Monday, December 22, 2008
States and their legislative calsses can't not spend. Spending is the life-blood of government. What fun is there to be had by just going to the office & trying to craft sensible legislation when there's no fun or largess to tie a representative's name to.
Michigan, as you may know has had a recession going for 7 years now. Not to be out-done, California is looking at a $14 billion dollar shortfall. Yup, that's billion. Big time states come with big-time budgets.
Michigan's problems are simple: too many regulations chasing too few producers. Add to that many taxes upon business, the humble hourly earners, and a feckless representative class in Washington that sits idly by and watches their environmentalist colleagues in congress regulate Michigan's auto industry to the ash heap. Pile on a lousy national energy policy, correction: NO national energy policy. And whaddya get? Common folks that don't want to buy autos fearing that gas prices will skyrocket again or, that automakers will be legislated out of existance.
So what's a weak-sistered congress to do in the midst of a recession largely of its own making along with a reckless attitude towards American industry? Print money!
Heck! The devaluation won't hit the monetary markets 'till day after tomorrow, so spend it now at the higher rate. Tomorrow's problems are someone else's problem.
Just don't mess with my retirement or my medical!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It's not a sign of lean times as much as a sign of the break-neck speed at which information technology has advanced into every home. It's not just "The News" and "The Freep" either. In WI-FI cafes across the nation, news still accompanies breakfast and coffee. But, the news, like Starbucks, comes in many flavors from many hemispheres.
Today's newspapers are delivered through cable lines or a wireless cloud, easily condensed into a PC, a laptop, or one's pocket-sized hand held device. Today's bulky print newspapers are so...yesterday. Trees are being spared but jobs are being pared down because the "news" is ever-changing. Getting the news online is just too easy. Getting a real newspaper involves effort and resources above & beyond the monthly expense of an Internet connection.
The storm clouds have been forming on the printing and publishing industry's horizon for years as desktop computers deliver digitally correctable color proofs that used to take a legion of employees hours upon hours to put together by hand. As the Internet took hold in American life, the Detroit News and 'Freep' ran television ads locally featuring the CEO of Detroit Media Partnership and Free Press Publisher David Hunke, telling television viewers and newspaper readers alike to: "go to the website".
Hunke's suggestion; while great advice for the readers, was fatal for his own newspaper.
Friday, December 12, 2008
IRONY: The UAW and Democrats now look to the much hated and much maligned Republican President George W. Bush to authorize through executive action funds that GM and Chrysler say they need to survive restructuring.
Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow said that "we worked hard all night" to craft ostensibly meaniful legislation. All the while she brought up AIG's partying ways. Can Michigan's junior Senator (Heck! Can any of 'em) account for every dollar that they have doled out to Wall Street in the last 90 days?
It's simply a war of political payback: Republicans are flipping the bird to the UAW and organized labor in general for not just a lack of support, but for a decades long war against them that has defied any sense of politcal pragamatism. By aligning themselves soley with Democrats and forsaking Republicans, the Unions have painted themselves into a precarious corner. The Republican goal to humiliate the UAW may be short term but the UAW still has a long-term challenge.
Let's remember that Democrats have fought major manufacturing nationally as long as the environmental movement has had a home in the Democrat party. One has to ask, where are the "good paying American jobs" going to come from if not in part from a manufacturing process? It's a process that produces through the use of natural resources, major-purchase products. The Democrats have an interesting challenge: Either allow companies to prosper with abandon in order to provide "good paying jobs", or regulate America back to an agrarian society, which creates its own environmental wreckage upon the land.
The dichotomy here is that the the UAW has been harbored in the wrong port. Conventional wisdom has told us that businesses have traditionally supported Republicans. Prosperity and wealth building being part of the party's platform. Money may be printed by Washington, but wealth only comes from private enterprise. "Workers" of all stripes enjoy employee protection from federal, state, and local regulations that have been put in place these many years, which undermines a leg of the UAW's "helping the little guy" table. The only thing not under anyone's control: the laws of economics.
Government at all levels created this mess. It should be obvious by now that they are neither qualified or capable of producing a solution that will right anything. The free citizen is the solution. You only have to tell your government to "get out of the way".
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Senate Majority Harry Reid (D): "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol."
Going to Washington as an elected representative should be hard work. Perhaps nearly undesirable. Cutting representatives wages or benefits wouldn't make much of a dent in the federal budget. But making the working conditions and perks commensurate with daily American reality would perhaps, create more circumspection rather than the contempt that's typically on display from those clowns. It would be refreshing to see congress think in terms of millions again rather than "billions" and "trillions" be the common budgetary terminology. Less spending in volume and regularity would simplify the scope and vision of all of those involved. And...the republic would survive.
Yeah, it's easy to belittle what representatives do. They have their corporate planes, high-dollar lunches, and high-stakes engagements with VIPs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a Boeing 737 at her beck & call because she's: the speaker!
There are certain committees that have necessary emergency meetings from time to time. But overall, the elected class is held in contempt by us because they rarely if ever, have demonstrated any respect for the people's liberty, their oath of office, or their treatment of the taxpayer's money.
The private sector punishes harshly many of those that scam us. We dislike being had whether it's by big business or the corner fruit stand. Private companies by and large maintain a respect for their customers that few in Washington rarely if ever demonstrate. Big and small businesses alike day in and day out have to demonstrate value and provide in many cases, air conditioning on their own dime. The elected classes of Washington want us to forget the devastation they just heaped upon America's housing market, our investments, and businesses large & small. All the while assuring us that they can solve the problem they created.
Why let them be comfortable doing it when the unpleasant stink of high temperature could remind them of how badly they have blown it?
Friday, November 21, 2008
Since I had never owned a car, I had no I.D. to get in! I rode my bike on a cold November afternoon to the Secretary of State's office and got a "State I.D". The same thing that many irresponsible voters are too damn lazy to go get for themselves. The MI-Sec-State hooked me up within 20 minutes! And that was in the days of crusty-cantankerous old Richard Austin's management.
Scott Ashton and Scott Morgan (pic by Sue Rynski)
Fred 'Sonic' Smith
Sonic's Rendezvous Band was truly a "had to be there" rock band. But I dug 'em...and I still do. To this guitar player; their attack was ferocious and true. It was a pure masculine blast of unapologetic Motor City Muscle. They were a great band that rocked every show and could make any top billing band sound marginal if Sonic's was the opening act. SRB wasn't just "from Detroit". They sounded like the Motor City. Sonic's Rendezvous Band's old-school rock style defied punk's new-rock rebellion and at the same time, brought the local punker movement into their fold to also enjoy national acclaim. The links below provide more info and yes, there is a recorded legacy. Check Amazon.com.
The fidelity ain't the greatest, but if you turn it up, it's all there.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"...that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time".
The fight continues for a runoff election in Georgia, and (hopefully) an honest recount in Minnesota to limit the destruction of Republican clout in the U.S. Senate. But the Democrats already have a 60 vote majority when one includes the RINO's of Maine (Snowe & Collins), South Carolina (Graham), Pennsylvania (Specter), and McCain himself. The Reagan revolution of 1980 was a long, long time ago. 1994 seems just as far away.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
John Dingell is being shoved out the door as chairman of the ostensibly powerful (at least that's the way reporters have always defined it) House Energy and Commerce Committee. Dingell has been described in the past as the "Dean" of the House of Representatives. When power is on the line, there is no tenure.
Well what's the Michigan delegation gonna do now? What are Michigan voters gonna do now? Pick their teeth up off the floor and pull their pants up. There's an election again in 2 years. The last few have given the state so much pleasure.
Some Good News: There's a print shop somewhere printing more of those "early voting" ballots.
Source: The Detroit News
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth said Wednesday the state has been hurt by the weakening of the national economy. Its work force has fallen by
74,000 people, or 1.5 percent, since October 2007.
2 years ago Michigan residents had the choice to move towards reform and away from this downward spiral which Governor Granholm engineered during her first term. Granholm continues to blame former Governor John Engler to the delight of Democrats and Granholm supporters only. Most Michigan residents are looking for any clearly marked exit.
I'll get the lights.
Source: Detroit News
Friday, November 14, 2008
The word on the Korean and European street is that America is an imperialistic, velvety gloved dictator pushing the little guys around while our GI's drink heavily in the local pubs and harass their womenfolk. This hegemony has resulted in protests here and abroad of U.S. out of: (fill in blank)!
Whittaker Chambers, the author of Witness wrote: "a man has to have something to live for and something to die for". Believing as he did at the time that communism was humanity's answer to the ills of the world. Chambers went all-in with the belief that communism was worth defending with his life. Years later Mark Steyn has written that Europeans are not having enough children to replace their aging populations. 'Mohammad' has become one of the most popular names of British born children. If given the choice today, would Europeans and/or South Koreans citizens be willing to die in defense of their own nation's interests?
When should the American military leave Europe or Japan? Should we also bail on Korea? In a military sense no. Those regions are as good a location as any we may get to project the occasional cruise missile or Stealth fighter against foreign enemies. But when, if ever, will we give military license back to any of these otherwise self-governing political entities? Iraq is well on its way to self governance, what about Japan?
We are scolded from many quarters that America is "not liked" abroad. We hear ad nausea about how any goodwill bestowed from abroad after 9/11 was squandered with our militaristic escapade in Iraq. Squandered because we did not find huge stockpiles of Weapons which ostensibly justified our reasons for going in. As if fighting al Qaeda was merely the equivalent of busting a check forger or the local crack dealer.
Would Europe's birthrates increase if Europeans were faced with having to live and fight for their own sovereignty? Would South Koreans shelve their placards of protest if they had to make the personal choice of what kind of weaponry would best repel the North? Do the people of Japan feel likewise? Dunno. For many decades now, America's electorate has continued to green light the human, emotional and monetary capital to nations abroad to maintain a relatively stable world.
If any of these countries suddenly had the responsibility of self defense thrust upon them, would they find themselves waxing nostalgic for that 'ol American military presence? Would they find in themselves any appreciation for what we as a nation had been doing for them all those years?