Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Remember Reuters in the Israeli conflict in Lebanon?

Not to be outdone, the AP rubberstamps the following 'news' item:


In a region where the tradition of hospitality outweighs personal opinions about people…”

Says who?

“While Ahmadinejad likely expected at worst a hostile grilling by the audience, Bollinger's sardonic comments reflected a blatant disregard for the tradition of hospitality revered in the Middle East.”

Says who?

While you can’t expect a report out of Tehran to follow journalistic ethics, that doesn’t mean the AP should still feel comfortable slapping their logo on this commentary.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Vote Early, Vote Often

One stop voting began Thursday in Wake County.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Those aren't the words, Err

Now I haven't heard one of these songs in, well, years probably. But the beginning of both Nine Inch Nails' Closer and Foreigner's Jukebox Hero are eerily similar. Perhaps NIN was paying an homage. This lead to much confusion earlier when I was flipping through my presets and heard (I thought) 100.7 The River playing Nine Inch Nails.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Free Lunch

So there's a convenience store I like to stop at around work (won't specify which one). It's nearby, they have Saranac Ginger Beer, and the inked up guy behind the counter is always really nice. Anyway, I dropped in today to pick up some Tums. We started talking about what works for controlling heartburn besides just antacid tablets. I mentioned I had used Prilosec before. The clerk said that Nexium works really well. And then he said something I wasn't expecting. "I've got plenty of it if you want to try some." Which was very nice of him, of course. But I kinda shrugged him off. He was persistent: "No really, if you're around here Saturday, come by and pick some up. The stuff cost like $300 a bottle, but my insurance pays for it, and I've got a ton of the stuff."

You don't say...

Sunday, September 16, 2007


As much as I'd like to see Mario Williams continue his nice start to the season, I am a Panthers fan first. And seeing the Jake to Smitty thing clicking this well early on feels me with hope for the season.

Keep Rowin' Rowin' Rowin' Rowin'

Update: oh crap :(

Friday, September 14, 2007


What's all this water falling from the sky?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Robin Hoodwinked

As I was looking at the vote for the revamp(ir)ed corporate giveaway package, unsurprisingly, it fell largely along party lines. Only four Republicans and three Democrats crossed over the aisle. But then I started thinking about what those parties usually represent. Specifically, I was thinking back to a comment I read in this N&O article. "Tire manufacturing is coveted because of the pay and benefits associated with the jobs. Goodyear pays its Fayetteville workers an average of $55,000 a year. Hourly workers at Bridgestone also earn $55,000 a year." Now, socialist minded redistributionists, which the Democratic party presumably represents (at least more than the Republicans... I hope) might have a problem with that. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the per capita income in NC in 2005 was $31,041. I'm guessing, but am not entirely sure, that a fair amount of people between that number and the tire plant workers are paying something in State taxes. Wouldn't that make this a regressive redistribution? Perhaps not overall. Obviously those above $55,000/year are paying more of the taxes. But still, there are those making less than the tire plant workers that are helping to pay their wages. I'm not sure I've ever heard someone passionately claim they were, "Stealing from the lower middle class and giving to the middle middle class!!!"

Friday, September 07, 2007

Blimp My Ride

Over at the Locker Room, I added my support to the movement opposing the Goodyear incentive program. I join a diverse cast, including members of the John Locke Foundation, NC Policy Watch, and the Governor himself. Check it out! (Apparently Mr. Coletti enjoyed the subject line I included in the email -- wonder if that nickname will stick with me) One thing I learned from watching NC Spin is that anytime John Hood and Chris Fitzsimon agree on something, it’s probably because somebody in government is screwing up so egregiously, it simply cannot be accepted. Of course, not everyone listed is so hard-lined against targeted incentives for ‘economic development.’ Easley being the most obvious example. But that just shows the complete lack of foresight amongst those that support such measures when it promises to “create new jobs.” OF COURSE existing firms will start crying for a handout. How would you feel if you were a businessman in North Carolina for some number of years, always making it on your own, when you see that someone else is getting a break starting out because they’re adding jobs at a time when it’s politically expedient to give a handout. Some of the players in the Incentives Game are throwing their hands up at the Goodyear deal saying, “We only want to give to those who are adding jobs!” Well what about those that have already added jobs? Did you help them? Frankly, while the whole deal is detestable, Goodyear, and any other existing company in the state, has some grounds to request support. And the next domino is teetering over in Wilson County.

Of course, supporters of corporate welfare claim that it is not a matter of rewarding those that create jobs, but just providing incentives for new jobs to be created. It’s strictly an investment. It pays for itself. Unfortunately, those that are making the decision to undertake the entrepreneurial risk are playing with someone else's money. Politicians can gamble on long-term risks with the taxpayers' money and take the short term gain of smiling for the camera at a ribbon cutting ceremony. If the terms of the incenvitves outlast the next election cycle, then it's too late to hold the pols respondible. Indeed, because of short memories and political spin, the animosity will likely be on the company if they pack up and leave once the public teat dries up. There is simply not enough personal risk assumed by the decision makers. It takes a lot of faith in the hands that hold the purse-strings to believe they will give away money with only the best of intentions. It's not really a surprise, then, that most proponents of such giveaways are those that feel comfortable consolidating more power in the hands of the politicians to run our lives, but I digress. Even assuming the best of intentions, it's too much to expect aldermen and commissioners, and even state legislators, to have sufficient knowledge of industries in which the cruel efficiencies of the market make or break experienced venture capitalists.

Anyway, this is the first blog post in a while. I've been thinking of getting back into it for a few weeks now, mainly because of issues like these. But once I got the reference on the Locker Room, I figured I'd definitely need to start back sooner rather than later. I just need to find (or remake) my old banner image and host it somewhere.