Saturday, February 28, 2009
Tomorrow is still on though.
Flooding. And snow, at the Home Hunt.
$%^&* Al Gore. My global warming is defective.
Although I hate to admit that there is such a thing, I have long believed it. I noticed years ago that we were having fewer and fewer snows, frosts, and too cold to hunt days. Just as the Otterhound packs noticed the decline of the otters first.
Which reminds me, it's only three degrees over a century, people. That means Tampa will be like...Miami!
I wonder, since the amount of land mass increases in the Northern Hemisphere and decreases in the Southern as one moves toward the poles from the outward limit of arability- how much MORE farmland will be available after that global warming? Despite the evasive, slanted, and conjectural stuff in this article, here's the money map-
The article's conclusions seem to be based on the agricultural results on existing farmland.
Buut... moving the polar direction arability lines only a little north and south produces big gains in available productive land. WELL WATERED available productive land. It MORE than offsets the loss from moving the equatorial "too hot" lines outward. All the Russians, Americans, and Canadians have to do is drive their cattle and run their tractors a little farther north.
And buy more of them, since they will be plowing more land. And buy less fertilizer, since it will be virgin,uncropped land.
Yes, poor and black people, and people ruled by tyrants, will be hardest hit. But unlike "Global Warming", which is a phenomenon we don't understand, don't know how to control, and won't be able to implement our magic solutions to, we can solve tyranny PDQ.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Since then, in millions of personal buying decisions, we decided that we didn't really want the Big Three's products, at least not exclusively. Ten years ago they were over 50%, now not even that.
We, as a population, don't want Detroit's products. (I say that having just bought one myself.)
But we're going to use our government to rob ourselves at gunpoint to buy the companies themselves.
And we won't even get an actual car.
That would work better- buy the cars at wholesale, auction them off. The whole inventory. Taxpayers eat the difference between proceeds of the sales and costs, automakers start fresh or wind up.
This is just beyond madness.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Imagine if our fiscal masters lived by the example of The Daily Buck.
And doesn't her debt advice sound EXACTLY like what we ought to insist on from the people who spend the money we earn?
ADD IT UP. Yes, add it up. I know from experience and from the e-mails I receive from others that debt-ridden people often times have no idea how much they really owe. I kept putting off adding up my bills, and when I finally did the amount I owed was much higher than I thought it was going to be. So ADD IT UP ALREADY! (Then pour yourself a cocktail.)
DON'T JUMP. You can and will be able to fix your debt problem, so think positive and put things in perspective. There are far worse things in life than debt. I mean, it's only money, right? So change your attitude - if you THINK you'll be able to conquer it, you soon WILL BE able to conquer it.
GET OUT A BIG OLE PIECE OF PAPER. Using a marker, write down the amount of money you owe in big numbers at the top, and then hang it somewhere where you'll see it every day (on the wall in your room, on the inside of the closet door, etc.). By keeping the amount fresh in your mind, you'll be less likely to go out to dinner, splurge on a pair of shoes, etc.
Try to make a payment to your creditors EVERY WEEK. Every time you do, subtract the amount of your payment from the total owed, and write the new amount owed underneath the old one. On my old website, the Grand Debt Tally page was SO helpful to me because it forced me to look at how much I owed every single week. The smaller the number became, the more motivated I was to pay off the debt.
BE PROACTIVE. Do not let the debt control you. You control the debt. There are several things you can do to make extra money to pay it off.
Craigslist.org - Craigslist is like a virtual bulletin board sort of website. Look in the "et cetera jobs" area to find a variety of odd jobs. You can volunteer for studies (be careful if they're medical studies), take surveys, help someone move, etc. Also look in the "Wanted" section. You may have something that someone is willing to pay cash for. Craigslist is also a great place to sell unwanted furniture.
eBay - Clean out your closets and sell stuff on eBay. People will buy ANYTHING - I've sold old magazines on eBay, broken electronics, etc. Just make sure you're honest in your description. And remember... when cleaning out your closet ask yourself this: Would you rather have another pair of black shoes or be DEBT-FREE? When my debt got out of control, I realized that I'd rather sit naked in an empty apartment than owe money to credit card companies.
Pay for things with whole dollar bills, and save the change. If something costs me $2.30, I give the cashier $3, and put the change in a jar when I get home. I try not to use any change when paying for things. Once a month I add up the change and send it as an EXTRA payment to my creditors. It's a great way to save money without trying that hard.
CUT YOUR EXPENSES. Duh. Right? Pack a lunch, take the bus instead of a cab, make dinner at home instead of going out, cancel the cell phone - and send all of the money that you would have spent doing those things to your creditors. People ask me, "Do you mean I have to stop living my life?" The answer that is well... yes, you will have to sacrifice things in life if you want to pay your debt off. There's no way around it. Buy a book instead of going to a movie - it'll take you a lot longer to read it and cost you less money. You may even learn a few new words. You don't have to stop living, but you will have to make some changes in the types of things you do and the types of things you spend your money on.
I'm always saddened by the fact that Brittany Hilton or Bambi's disappearance on Tahiti are the sort of stories that predominate.
Fortunately those sophisticated, wise Europeans have a more serious outlook. Today's top 5 from Bild:
Top 5 stories
Oscars battle of the dresses: Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston is black and white!
Oscars dress battle
Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston again!
Paul Gascoigne's hell
Gazza tells all about drink and drug addictions
Jade Goody's perfect wedding to Jack Tweed: Terminally ill star says
"I'm ready to go to heaven"
Stock market freefall
Wall Street fall sees DAX and Dow Jones suffer
Rihanna ready to forgive Chris Brown: Attacked popstar ready to take boyfriend back
I'm afraid to look at Le Monde's list...
Monday, February 23, 2009
And have been for some time. More on Monday, in a long post.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I drive past 12,956 apologies and reparations every time I go to the post office.
My dam and her family were entirely unreconstructed. The young adults of the Confederacy were the old people of my grandparents' childhood, and I was raised on tales of the war heard by the teller from those who were there. These men came here to conquer my forbears, killed several people in my chain of ancestry, and their surviving fellows impoverished the South for five generations.
There's a great little scene in John Milius' movie "The Rough Riders". The newly enlisted volunteers are travelling from Texas to Florida on a special train. As they pass through some Alabama or Georgia tank town, we see that everyone has gathered to watch and wave. The camera focuses on an old man- maybe his sleeve is pinned up- who holds a young boy by the hand. He looks up as the Rough Riders, wearing blue flannels, pass and asks, "Grandfather, why are we cheering for Yankees?" The old rebel replies,"They aren't Yankees, they are Americans."
Their ungrateful beneficiaries shouldn't make their whines and "demands" in television studios or legislative lobbies, but here:
Rest in peace, Yankees far from home.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Deflation? There's never been a general deflation of a fiat currency in the entire history of human endeavour. We have to worry about deflation like Barney Frank needs to worry about being assigned to replace Ian Farquhar, Carlton Kent or Rupert Pennefather.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The interesting thing is that he also counted smoking, and saw a dozen puffing the Indian weed. But here's the thing- four were belted, and eight were driving unprotected- that's 5% of belted drivers and 38% of the naked ones.
He wondered if there was a correlation. No kidding, Mr. Holmes.
I've long thought that, now, smoking is the province of the addicted or the stupid. To back this up, I observe that most cigarette advertising is placed where it will be observed by the least clever and energetic parts of our population.
Lottery tickets, too.
If you doubt that, compare the quantum of tobacco and lottery adverts at a stop-and-rob in a neighbourhood full of Mercedes with one in a housing project.
I know BRILLIANT people who smoke. They are junkies and know it. But the ones with whom I've ridden in cars all belt in. Like Tom, I'm just intrigued by the statistical breakdown.
There's a grant in there someplace. No one will like the result, though.
Monday, February 16, 2009
So we spoke about how we'd do things, and agreed to meet and try to negotiate about all the coming week's cases at one weekly meeting. A good system, as it turned out.
So he came up to the office, and I had the sixty or so files ready. We spoke about the first one, and then it was time for me to make an offer. He asked if the defendant plead, would I agree to probation.
So I reached into the side drawer and pulled out my Magic Eight Ball...
"My sources say No."
"What are you doing?"
"You can't do that!"
"Au contraire, I just did. Look for yourself- my sources say no."
"You can't use an eight ball for pleas!"
"But this is the MAGIC eight ball. It knows things beyond our mere human ability to understand."
My reputation began that day. Enhanced by the Sentencing Ouija Board and Wheel of Parole introduced at other times.
As I recalled this tale, I used the wonders of the internets to discover that one can have Magic Eight Balls made with custom answers!
I wonder if lawyers would buy them with lawyer answers...