A variety of thoughts and opinions.

Poor guy

Written by:remyrw
Published on May 9th, 2009 @ 11:53:36 am , using 60 words, 614 views
Posted in Fun

"James Kimondo said the seven-day sex ban, which ended this week, resulted in stress, mental anguish, backaches and lack of sleep, his lawyer told the state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corp." - cnn article

My heart bleeds for him. How horrible, he went without sex a whole week. Buddy, you and probably a billion other people any given week. Deal with it.

Economics 101

Written by:remyrw
Published on March 9th, 2009 @ 11:22:53 am , using 232 words, 666 views
Posted in Welcome

First rule of economic recovery for Obama. Stop talking, every time you open your mouth the market nose dives.

Stop spending money we don't have. All we've managed to do is dig a hole a few years ahead to fill the hole right here, at some point the pot hole is going to swallow us whole.

I love how they declare a huge chunk of the budget off limits to changes because it's medicare, social security... but have dug into those funds directly for decades. Either it's inviolate or it's not. Since these programs are insolvent anyway, maybe we should look at whether it's better to kill them, or cut them off and figure out a better solution. Maybe anyone currently 40 and up is eligible and under that will not be unless already qualified due to disability or other early qualification system. It will still be broken for THOSE folks, but at least it's a train wreck with a smaller train and not ten more behind it. I'm not saying that's a perfect solution, or even the best solution, just that it's one idea that needs looked at and tossed around to maybe generate much better ones. The way I see it, we're looking at complete economic collapse if things aren't corrected. This could very easily lead to social collapse. At that point things like SS and medicare are non issues anyway.

Gun Control

Written by:remyrw
Published on March 9th, 2009 @ 11:12:29 am , using 269 words, 654 views
Posted in Commentary

(Copied from SASS Forums, posted by Sixgun Shorty, SASS #35717 Life)

GUN REFRESHER COURSE...

Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.' ~ Thomas Jefferson

FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.

11. What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don't make more.
24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

Economics 101

Written by:remyrw
Published on January 29th, 2009 @ 12:33:38 pm , using 1158 words, 2001 views
Posted in Commentary

I'm kind of ambivalent about how the government is handling our economic crisis. First, I have to say that I DO feel that propping up, at least short term, certain major institutions is important and worth the money. Not because they're special or particularly valuable, but because the cost of keeping them functional is lower than the cost of having them go under. The best example is the car industry. As one journalist put it, all the money spent saving the big US auto companies recently amounted to the cheapest jobs and welfare program ever. If those companies had gone under it would have had a massive ripple effect at a bad time. A few years from now, having them merge, consolidate or even fail would not be as troublesome. Bad, but not pushing us over the edge into chaos. It's not just the people they employee, it's the support structure around them, the psychological impact on the country... Personally I give each of the companies that got bailed out a 50/50 chance of surviving as independent companies in five years. I don't think they can change their spots.

All that said, I think TARP has been a huge waste of money and so poorly handled it makes it obvious how we got in this mess to begin with. Again, journalists have recently pointed out that the recent choices in management and oversight are all people who seem to have blindly walked into this mess already. Why are we assuming they got any smarter? Meanwhile, the executives and analysts who have been correct (but generally noisy in their critique of the government's handling and the other institutions) are being ignored. Personally, if I was choosing people to sort out this mess and help decide how the funds available will be used I would be looking for the financial institutions and major industry leaders who are NOT in trouble due to poor management. Look for the ones who took TARP money because it was offered, but didn't need it, and were already effectively managing their risks and losses.

Third, I'm absolutely disgusted that the government answer to a massive drop in the economy and economic turmoil is to spend MORE money. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what got us here? Spending more than we could afford to? Oh but this is the government... yeah, and they get their money from the people, international loans, and loans from the very banks their giving money back to now. A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon we're looking good on the economy for another couple years and then all those loans fall apart and it's even WORSE. How about we take our lumps and learn to do a better job? Spending more money on this scale just means that taxes will either wind up higher or federal borrowing will increase without any way to pay for it. Sure, short term you can reduce taxes, but if you increase spending too that's just cutting your throat twice in the future. How about instead of trying to pass out money you already took from the people as a way to fix this mess, you just take less? Cut some more of the BS spending, simplify the tax code a bit, and accept that it's gonna hurt like hell for a few years while the country adjusts. Government is by definition inefficient. They take our money in the form of taxes, then spend a good chunk of it in the process of giving it back. Whether that return is in the form of spending on worthwhile projects or tax returns or just paying Joe the Janitor to clean the building used to collect those taxes, there is significant waste involved. Don't get me wrong, the government provides many vital services and needs funding to operate, but it's an inefficient system by nature and the more it tries to do the worse that gets. There's a point of diminishing returns.

My own choices, for the limited areas they cover, are to go back to the original plan for TARP, buying up bad assets at reasonable rates so that the banks could get back to functioning without that dead weight. Then you split up the bad loans into several categories. Salvageable with normal tactics such as reduced rates, smaller payments over a longer time...... Recoverable by a small loss through the sale of the property by the owner if the government takes the loss so the owner can afford to move rather than wind up homeless and in more debt. Lastly, loans that are unrecoverable by any means except foreclosure. In those cases there's something to be said for letting the present owners continue living there and paying whatever they can afford as rent, but the government will own the house. Keep rent reasonable, the goal is for them to be able to pay their other bills, reduce other debt, and eventually find a less expensive home to purchase. When the market allows, sell the property to a new owner with a reasonable amount of lead time for the occupants. Again, if the government takes a small hit on these that would be acceptable but ideally enough time would pass that the market will have improved enough to at least break even once the rent is factored in.

The second part of the plan is to stop treating the money as a handout. If you give money to an institution with a goal in mind, make sure they are obligated to spend the money toward that goal. Treat it like a business asking for a loan from a bank. You need a business plan, reasonable forecasting of returns... Why is it easier for a bank that obviously didn't have a good plan already to get a ten billion dollar check from the government with no oversight or requirements on spending than it is for Joe Blow to get fifty grand with a good solid plan, his own cash on the line as well, and a great location? Joe would at least have to promise to pay it back over a certain amount of time, at a specific amount per payment and the bank would own its share of his business to sell off if things went badly. It's not 100% sure obviously, but it's a lot tighter than what we're seeing from the current TARP setup. As a tax payer I'm very upset at how much money is being given out by the fed with one stated goal and then used or held by the banks who have no obligation to say what they're doing with it. Many have outright said they're going to either sit on it as insurance or use it for acquisitions. That is not what the money was for, if they needed TARP funds I'd rather they get bought out by someone who didn't, not that they buy up someone else.

Welcome back

Written by:remyrw
Published on January 27th, 2009 @ 07:39:06 pm , using 96 words, 140 views
Posted in Welcome

:oops:
I switched web hosts a while back and didn't bother recreating or moving my blog. I have all my old posts in an archive, and maybe some day I'll be bored enough to make them available here. In the meantime, welcome to the new version. I'd claim it was the new and improved version, but I was already perfect. :D

Seriously though. I've got some comments to make regarding the economy and so called stimulus packages being considered. I'll get to that later though, I just wanted to get this up and running this evening.

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