Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chrysler is Dead. Long live Chrysler.

Bloomberg: "Chrysler LLC will proceed today with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to reorganize into a more viable car maker, an Obama administration official said.
...The president’s staff plans to use the filing to pave the way for Fiat Spa to take a 20 percent stake in the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker, people familiar with the situation said. If Chrysler has to go through bankruptcy, it won’t take long, Obama said yesterday.
“It would be a very quick type of bankruptcy, and they could continue operating and emerge on the other side in a much stronger position,” Obama said
. "

As the bitter taste of irony settles from Fiat taking stake in a Fascist car maker, there's some notables here.

The automobile 'bailout' (read:takeover) George W. Bush gave the automakers was to prevent bankruptcy.

The automobile 'bailout' Barrack Hussein Obama gave the automakers was to prevent bankruptcies.

The automobile 'bailouts' have failed.

It has been demonstrated ad nausem by arrogant men in history that a fiat government cannot run private enterprise, nor are they conducive to free enterprise. This is yet another ringing example in an increasingly noisy bell tower, an echo chamber of destroyed liberty.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Nations Leading Newspapers

How the mighty have fallen.

Positive Growth = BOLD
Negative Loss 0-5% = Yellow
Negative Loss 5-10% = Orange
Negative Loss > 10% = Red

USA TODAY -- 2,113,725 – (-7.46%)
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL -- 2,082,189 -- 0.61%
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- 1,039,031 -- (-3.55%)
LOS ANGELES TIMES -- 723,181 -- (-6.55%)
THE WASHINGTON POST -- 665,383 -- (-1.16%)

DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK) -- 602,857 -- (-14.26%)
NEW YORK POST -- 558,140 -- (-20.55%)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- 501,202 -- (-7.47%)
HOUSTON CHRONICLE -- 425,138 -- (-13.96%)
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC -- 389,701 -- (-5.72%)

THE DENVER POST (02/28/2009 to 03/31/2009) -- 371,728 -- N/A

NEWSDAY -- 368,194 -- (-3.01%)
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS -- 331,907 -- (-9.88%)
STAR-TRIBUNE, MINNEAPOLIS -- 320,076 -- (-0.71%)
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES -- 312,141 -- (-0.04%)

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- 312,118 -- (-15.72%)
THE BOSTON GLOBE -- 302,638 -- (-13.68%)
THE PLAIN DEALER, CLEVELAND -- 291,630 -- (-11.70%)
DETROIT FREE PRESS -- 290,730 -- (-5.90%)
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER -- 288,298 -- (-13.72%)

THE STAR-LEDGER, NEWARK, N.J. -- 287,082 -- (-16.82%)
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA.) TIMES -- 283,093 -- (-10.42%)
THE OREGONIAN, PORTLAND -- 268,512 -- (-11.76%)
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE -- 261,253 -- (-9.53%)

It's been rough for the news papers. Blatently obvious reasons include:
  • Associated Press Wire articles do not equal investigative journalism.
  • Only half the market appreciates left wing news biases
Other Reasons papers will rationalize their failings with:
  • Cost of Paper & Production
  • Loss of Advertisers & Classifieds due to internet
  • People don't want real news!
Also contributory:
  • Bloggers (Thats us!)
  • Proliferation of available news for free

Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama Seeks to exacerbate 'Credit Crunch'

AP:"""I trust that those in the industry who want to act responsibly will engage with us in a constructive fashion, and that we're going to get this done in short order," Obama said, delivering a pointed message to leading executives of credit-card issuing companies after a closed-door White House meeting.

Both the House and the Senate are pursuing bills to give consumers greater protections as an expansion of new rules slated to take effect next year. Obama said his economic advisers will examine the various proposals and work with Congress and the industry, but he made clear he wants to sign a bill into law.

"The days of any time, any reason rate hikes and late fee traps have to end," Obama said."

A credit card is intended to be a very short term loan, easily accessible by individuals and businesses. Its done marvels for speeding up purchasing and allowing flexibility in emergency financial situations people run into.

The price for this convenience?
High, HIGH interest rates. If its paid off in time, then your in the clear, and plenty of people are happy to lend to you again. But avoid or skip a payment, you'll be hurting. But you already knew this.
But because of these interest rates, and the rapid increase in cost to debtor, credit is easily and quickly available for a multitude of responsible Americans. It works well.

But the ponderous hand of government financial intervention, applying pressure or even legislation to lenders is nothing short of disastrous economic policy.
Required Lower Interest rates can only contract the available money pool from lenders, making it more difficult for low income, 'poor' Americans to borrow money for their needs. If the profit incentive for Credit Card companies is reduced, then they lend less, or what they do lend will have a higher base interest rate. Both outcomes are negative for all parties involved.

To borrow or not to borrow should be the decision of the Borrower and the Lender, not society through the savage blows of Federal law. This is economic populism at its worst, and I expected little else from the current administration.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Panem et Circenses

"To use a literary allusion, I think it's called "bread and circuses." You'd think the public would start catching on..." Solameanie of Seventh Sola.

'Bread and Circuses' refers to the idea of political leaders, most notably those in the late days of Rome, giving away bread to appease the crowd. When that failed, we throw circuses and lavish feasts and gladiator combat, and keep the masses full of mirth, and clamoring for more, always more.
Today, we like to think of ourselves as a more refined culture. We don't throw bread off wagons into the teeming masses of Americans. We don't slaughter slaves on sand red with blood. We don't clamor city hall for our next meal.

Yet, in many ways we are the same. The same premise applies, where long term public policy is sacrificed for the sake of political expediency, throwing not bread but money. Subsidies, bailouts, and straight up cash handouts are the flavor of the day, conquering both common sense and all rational reasoning for the future. So how does this end?

In Rome, it was only the most visible symptom of a deep set societal decay, the rotting hulk of a once vigorous empire, destroyed not by enemies from without, but by apathy from within. The United States of America has yet to become an empire, a nation bent on conquest for the exploitation of other nations. While we possess power greater then any nation in the history of mankind, we have no compulsion to use it. That is the defining difference between the US and Rome, the reason for our power.

Where Rome was based upon conquest, the United States has been based on economic power.
Because of this, I don't see this newest round of 'Bread and Circus'-ing as a fatal blow upon a wounded giant. While I am disturbed, even angry about these new economic policies, it is not a direct parallel to the past.

When do the masses realize what has been done to them? I have no answer.

We do know something critical. Conservatism begins, and ends, with the individual. There can be no sweeping movement of societies without individuals being a part of it. Keep on fighting, and know that our labors are not in vain.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blasphemy of Budget Cuts

AP Spin Meter: "The president gave his Cabinet 90 days to find $100 million in savings to achieve over time.

For all the trumpeting, the effort raised questions about why Obama set the bar so low, considering that $100 million amounts to:

--Less than one-quarter of the budget increase that Congress awarded to itself.

--4 percent of the military aid the United States sends to Israel.

--Less than half the cost of one F-22 fighter plane.

--7 percent of the federal subsidy for the money-losing Amtrak passenger rail system.

--1/10,000th of the government's operating budgets for Cabinet agencies, excluding the Iraq and Afghan wars and the stimulus bill.

Obama only asked his Cabinet secretaries to identify waste in their annual operating budgets, which total a little over $1 trillion. He's leaving out war costs, the economic stimulus measure, the Wall Street bailout and benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fort Worth Tea party

So I went with some of my family and a friend to the Fort Worth Tea Party tonight.
My first impression was how large it was, I'd guess 3000 people. Gov. Rick Perry was the highlight speaker, but the rest of it was rather dull from that point on.

The lasting impression I'm left with is not an encouraging one. I felt like I was watching an old hound dog gnaw on the remains of a long ago devoured bone. Bitter, insular, resentful, and still defiantly wringing what taste he can out of the bone. No fresh meat is a part of this meal, only insufficient remains of the past.

There were no solutions presented besides a strident call of 'STOP!!'. No drive for a fresh awakening of Liberty in the minds and hearts of my American brethren, only a policy of self congratulations for the patriots present at the rally.

While I imagine the Boston Tea Party was a rather angry event, my particular party was not positive. Friends at other parties report differently, so this may be the start of something. It's still rather mind boggling that these events were organized independently of any party or PAC.
If it happens to the same degree next year, it may even impact the elections.

Tax Day Tea Day

In the US, its tax day. What that really means is beyond me, I paid my first Federal Taxes a few weeks ago. (No income tax in texas!)

But this year, it also means something different. It's a day to protest our tax rates with a tea party, and I'll be at one tonight. To find one near you, click here.

Basically, there are rallies in over 2000 cities today. Its a ground swelling, and without an organization such as MoveOn, or a political party behind it. In fact, the GOP chairman asked to speak at a Chicago rally, and the organizer's declined.

I'll be there, report from this intrepid reporter to be forthcoming.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Change & Reformation

""I knew that there is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any design, will constantly be confounding,—that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation.
The former alters the substance of the objects themselves, and gets rid of all their essential good as well as of all the accidental evil annexed to them.

Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be certainly known beforehand. Reform is not a change in the substance or in the primary modification of the object, but a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of.

So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was.""
-Edmund Burke, 1796 (Via Mark Levin's Liberty & Tyranny)