Saturday, September 15, 2012

No, Moron, That's Not What We're Wondering ...

The dimwit in charge of the State Department (as opposed to the Wimp-in-Chief) was recently quoted in at least one news article as saying that Americans are likely asking themselves:
“How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be."
Actually, no, that's not what people are thinking. They're thinking "How could you be so stupid to think it would turn out any other way?" Let's see, 9/11 the anniversary of 9/11/2001. No, nothing's going to happen then. Warnings from the Egyptian government. Ahh, they're probably just over-reacting.

And why are our sovereign lands, surrounded by anti-US militants being guarded by native, least-cost, un-trained, probably double-agent, security guards from the host country? I'm sure it's very unlikely that they might have interests stronger than risking their lives to protect American interests...

Why the hell weren't the Marines there? To keep the natives from feeling offended? Tough S**t! Let them get over it...

So now the question is no longer, should we stop giving them aid? If we'd been defending our own interests properly, and as required by these fools' Oaths of Office, that would still be the question. The question has now become, why the hell are we not dropping thousands of 500lb bunker busters on them?

These morons' inability to do their job in protecting US interests has now made things MUCH worse for US interests.

To paraphrase what a famous actor recently said, "If they aren't doin' their job, ya gotta let 'em go..." It's time for them all to go. Even their stupid, moronic questions show that they don't understand their real job...

[Edit shortly after original post]
Now we know they DID know, and they STILL did nothing.  When will Congress get some cojones and impeach this fool in the White House?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Should Businesses Pay Income Taxes?

This is, of course, a trick question. The answer is "no". The reason is very simple - businesses never really pay taxes, they simply collect "hidden" taxes from their customers - some of which they pass on to the government. Let me illustrate with an example of two fictitious companies, Company A and Company B.

Both companies produce a "glibbitch" product. They each have the same market share, and their annual revenues are each $10,000,000.00 dollars. Because they have a fungible product, and their production costs are similar, they have the same Costs of Goods Sold. Let's assume that it costs each company $9,000,000.00 to make their product, pay salaries, cover advertising, etc. So each of them supposedly starts with a company income before taxes (Revenue - Expenses) of a cool $1,000,000.00. However, Company B has one significant advantage over Company A that is not related to the product they both sell - Company B has better tax attorneys.

So Company A pays the Coporate Tax on $1,000,000 at say 30% or $300,000.00. However, Company B's lawyers are REALLY good at ferreting out some loopholes, and at the end of the year Company pays $100.00 in Corporate Income Tax. Now, both companies have sold the same amount of goods, earned the same amount of revenue, and made the same amount of income before taxes. Yet company A passes on $300,000.00 of the tax money it collected, while Company B only passes on $100.00 of the same $300,000.00 of tax money it collected.

Why do I say that Company A and B both collected $300,000.00 in tax money? Well, for one thing, the Government says it's not theirs (initially). Secondly, all that money, regardless of how much gets passed on, came entirely from their customers! The customers paid the $300,000.00 to each company! It was built into the price! Company B was just better at not having to pay it to the Government!

Now suppose the world changes overnight and on January 1st, 200x the Business Tax Rate goes to zero. All of a sudden A and B are on the same footing. Company A is now looking at increasing their profits by $300,000 per year while poor old Company B, that was doing so much better before, is looking at a measly $100.00 increase in their profits for the year.

But will Company A really do that?  If they do, then there is nothing to really distinguish them from Company B. And frankly, if they lowered their price so their annual income was just $9,900,000.00, they would still be be making more money and cost less than Company B. Remember, Company B has been paying only $100.00 each year in taxes. If they lower their price to match Company A, their net profits (after taxes) would actually go DOWN. That's not good for the shareholders....

So Company A's market share will increase. Remember, "glibbitch's" are a fungible product. So now more customers are paying less money to get the same product, because the hidden tax is now gone.

Eventually, the Government would have to raise the sales tax on "glibbitch's" because their revenue has gone down. But that's OK. Because now it's clear how much money is the Government's.

But more importantly, and rarely discussed, is that now Company A and B have to complete solely on their primary business - which is making "glibbitch's". Company B will have to lower their price to match A's. But since B is now making less revenue, they'll have to figure out how to make their product either less expensively, or improve it to maintain the price they were getting before. The important issue is that they will now compete on the price/value of their product - not on how good their tax lawyers are. Isn't that better for us all? (Well, maybe not the tax lawyers...)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Democrat September Surprise?

A day or so ago, I had a premonition.

I think there will be a "September Surprise" from the Democratic Convention starting this coming week. My premonition is, that on the day that the VP candidate is to be announced and voted on, Old Joe will withdraw for family/medical reasons. The party will be thrown into apparent turmoil. "What are we do?" "We sympathize with Joe, but we need a candidate!" "We have to draft somebody!" "I know, let's draft Hillary!"

Yes, my premonition is that Hillary Clinton will be drafted as the VP candidate for the Democrats. I know the buzz is that she was "asked" and she "declined". Pundits have posited that
  • If BO loses the 2012 election, then she will be associated with a second failure in a presidential campaign, and
  • If BO wins, she doesn't want to be forced to defend his policies in 2016 when she runs again
But I think the party is scared, and sees her as necessary. And the party doesn't care about her reasons. They just want to win. They'll demand that she accept for the "good of the party". This scenario gives her and them perfect cover.

If BO loses 2012, she can claim that it wasn't really anything to do with her, because she was "drafted" and didn't really want it in the first place.

If BO wins, she won't have to support his policies in 2016, because she only took the job for the "good of the party", and not because she believed in them.

That would ironic wouldn't it? BO's presidential campaign saved by your "typical, old, white woman"...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Should Sony Spell Their Name "CRAP"?

I've never been too fond of Sony equipment. Years ago, my #1 offspring wanted a laptop. A Sony Vaio was purchased. It broke (display went out), in about a year - out of warranty.  The cost to replace the display was more than the cost of the original laptop. TRASH HEAP!

About 2 years ago, I made the mistake of buying a Sony Bloggie at CostCo to record the activities of offspring #2. What a pile ...

Sound quality is bad. Focus takes too long to acquire. Changing the zoom means taking one hand off the device, and ultimately changing the plane the device is in, which messes up the video.

The software, chrome browser based, is another pile of crap. Every time I've started it, it asks if I want to download an update for a device that is not my model. Occasionally it just freezes. Now the upload to YouTube is no longer working. When I upload (after poking around and finding the file I want outside of the Bloggie software), the audio and visual are not in sync.

Finally, the device itself no longer turns on. We had some intermittent problems recently, where it would just freeze - wouldn't record video, couldn't change the zoom, couldn't turn it off. According to the Lady of the House, letting the battery run down completely, then putting it on the charger,pressing the on/off button would bring it back to "normal".

No longer. It seems to be terminally broken. I suppose I could find out if someone can repair it. But then I'd have spent more money to get a functioning device that I really don't like. I'll spend some time looking for better alternatives.

Sony seems to be a company that can no longer produce anything of quality - or at least anything I care about.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Paen to Smokey Nonsense ...

For some reason, I'm drawn to smoky food and scents. My favorite Scotch whiskies are Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Both are, and are known for, their smokey, peaty flavor and aroma. While I enjoy a really good Tequila, given a choice between a moderate Mezcal and an excellent Tequila, I'm drawn more to the Mezcal. I've yet to find a Bourbon or Rye that gives me quite the same pleasure.

I don't own a barbeque grill - I have a Big Green Egg smoker/griller. I've never used it for simple grilling. My wife likes the smokey quality of the meat and vegetables it produces. In our house, it's the closest she lets me come to working in the kitchen - outside. I have an older model that doesn't have all the fancy stuff you'll find on their site. What else would you expect from a curmudgeon?

Yesterday, after several months hankering for it, I bought a tin of Lapsang Souchong tea. This morning, savoring the fine, camp fire like, smokiness of the tea, I'm writing this post. When describing this tea to others, the best descriptor I can come up with is "like a camp fire". Almost everyone comprehends that - few can quite understand why I like it.

Actually, even I don't completely comprehend why. The only thing that comes to mind for me is that it always evokes a flash of my youth. It's not a long drawn out memory - it's just an image that pops up and then disappears like one of those silly "whack-a--mole" games. The mole pops up when I first smell the tea (or the whiskey), then disappears. It doesn't come up again that day, regardless of how much tea or spirits I imbibe that day. A few days later, with my first sip of the day, it's there then gone again.

When I was eleven, my parents bought a new house in our home county of San Diego. I don't know if was an un-incorporated part of the city or not. I just remember it being surrounded by tons of open space, and next to the largest mountain (Cowles Mt.) in San Diego. My friends and I would often go out for an over-night camping trip to one of the canyons in the area. The image that always comes to mind is me and my friends, sitting around the camp fire, eating our canned "Chili & Beans", and  talking about nonsense...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Is Romney Just an Obama Mini-me?

Mr. Romney doesn't seem to get his numbers up very much. His opponents have surged and fallen by the way-side ever since the beginning of the primary contest. Pundits have theorized that the reason is the conservative base (and perhaps the middle) are just supporting the "anyone-but-Romney" of the day.  As each of these alternatives is found to have serious flaws, the next in line is supported until another major flaw is found. While people seem puzzled by this "anyone-but-Romney" ethos, no one seems to have a handle on why it exists. To me the answer is glaringly evident.

Mr. Romney is just an Obama Mini-Me, or Obama LIte.

Why do I say that? To answer that, I look at two things that are particularly revealing about his nature and beliefs. The first thing is the answer he gave recently to the question, "What would be your first actions if you were elected President?" His response was essentially, he would, through executive order, give waivers to the States so they could "decline" to participate in Obamacare. Compare that to Newt's answer, which was he would, day one, ask Congress to repeal Obamacare. Note the difference. Newt recognizes that Congress is the source of all Federal laws. Mitt never even mentions repealing it. He'd just issue an executive order. Mitt seems to have no idea how our Constitution lays things out. When it comes to Obamacare, Congress is the real culprit here. They passed the damn law! It may have been Obama's desire to pass it, but Congress brought the desire to fruition. Romney's solution is just to "paper" over the problem, and ignore it. It doesn't make the problem go away. Worse, it  allows an executive order in the next administration to remove the waivers. Mitt just doesn't understand the real issue.

The second reason is somewhat apocryphal. It is reported that in the last campaign, Mitt was sitting in a cameraman's garage, waiting for some event to begin, or for his time on stage to start. He noticed that the garage was dirty, and began to sweep it clean and tidy it up.

Now what could be wrong with that? Helping your fellow man, keeping active (since idle hands are the devil's playground), etc. Except for two things: the cameraman didn't ask Mitt to clean up the garage, and Mitt didn't ask for permission before he began cleaning. He assumed, "no one really wants to have their garage this way, let me just help by making it the way I think is best". In other words, a do-gooder liberal who thinks he knows the way that you should live - his way. I realize that cleaning someone else's garage is a humble act. It certainly is beneath me most of the time. It certainly implies that Mitt is not too much of a snob to get his hands dirty. What's telling, and disturbing, is the innate instinct to INTRUDE on someone's life without asking them. The implicit assumption of "I know better than you how you should run your life".

To me the only difference between Obama and Mitt is one of degree. Romney may have more business experience, and may be able to help the economy more - but the two of them share the same disregard or lack of understanding of our founding documents, and they both are happy to try and make sure you live your life they way they think you should.