Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why the Dems are Losing It

This blog post hits the nail right on the head when it comes to why the Democrats are losing ground. Mr. Simon says:

I haven't heard a single original thought out of the Democratic Party in what feels like years now. All the serious debate seems to be taking place within the Republican Party between their traditional conservative, South Park wings, etc.

Yup, the reason why the Dems are being tuned out is that they are against the wrong things. Some of them like Kennedy are anti-troop and others just want to see the Iraqi leadership fail to give W a black eye. No American wants to hear stuff like "we need troops to frag their officers" or Iraq is Vietnam War Part 2. The Dems need to shake off the feeling that they are the gloom and doom party.

To do this they need to be at the forefront of the let's help Iraq movement. They are supposed to be the progressive, peace-loving people that support the 3rd world. They are billed as the party with the big heart that reaches out to helpless people etc. This would be a great time for them to speak out against the treatment of women in the Muslim world and for building a peaceful Middle East.

I never hear about what the Dems want to do in Iraq besides cut-and-run. Will they do anything differently and if so what would they do? What is their position on Iranian nukes? How would they solve the Israel and Palestinian mess?

They talk about Universal Health Care but they haven't floated a proposal on how they will pay for it. What is the Dems Energy plan if they even have one? What are the Dems proposing to lower oil prices? These are the questions they need to answer for Americans to take them seriously again. It sucks that they are the "anything but Bush party" when they cannot even say what they would do if they got "anything but Bush."

It was funny to watch Ravin' Mad Dean on the Daily Show a few nights ago. Stewart kept asking him what the Dems are going to do on various topics. Dean just kept saying "I'll tell you what we aren't going to do," and then slammed Bush. Maybe Mr. Simon is true when he says that they don't have anything original to bring to the table.

FED should tell us the inning at least

The FED raised interest rates another quarter point today. They are at least addressing energy prices when it comes to their rate rises though. I think high energy prices are likely to spin us into a recession here if we aren't careful. I think this bit was interesting:

The Fed is expected to pause in its rate-rise campaign eventually but has been vague about timing. The halt is likely to come when rates hit a level the Fed deems "neutral," one that neither slows growth nor stimulates inflation.

Lets get certain signs they are looking for that signal we are approaching this "neutrality." Something like the CPI is between this number and that number. Or the manufacturing index needs to be under this number. The speculation is starting to get annoying. I guess they are ass-covering just in case there is an actual recession coming down the pike.

The French are Blowing EU growth

I really agree with this EU official when it comes to the mess Europe is in with the "non" vote. Mr. Monti says the Chirac pretty much derailed the Constitution process for domestic political interests. So it seems the French are looking after the French it seems. And they blame the US for being selfish on the world stage. This was a striking statistic also:

Europe must reexamine its spending on agriculture subsidies--currently 40% of the European budget. Monti says the subsidies should be reduced for the benefit of poorer nations, and expenditures should be shifted towards research and development spending.

I had no idea that 40% of their budget goes to propping up farmers. That is an incredible figure in a world that has left behind the agrarian driven economy 100s of years ago. Getting rid of these subsidies will be really hard though. The French farmers would go wild and riot if cut backs are even mentioned.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More Ward Churchill Ravings

Wow, now he wants troops to frag their officers. And the left wonders why people don't take them seriously in this country. We have a so-called academic calling for the killing of US officers by their own troops. Aren't they supposed to be anti-war but pro-troop? I guess that is just a platitude that they say to mask their true agenda.

I think the left needs to come down like a ton of bricks on this guy. The more the left is painted with the brush of being anti-troop the longer it will take for them to be taken seriously. They need serious voices out there preaching against Churchill's nonsense. Maybe the left just wants to be relegated to a fringe group similar to the US Communist party.

Looks like War of the Worlds could be a dud

The first review is in and it doesn't look good. This is as scathing an indictment of the film:

This is Spielberg's "Attack of the Clones," a movie burdened with stiff dialogue and fatuous relationships, dolled up with the gloss of computer animation into a big-screen video game with puny humans as targets.

This to me would make me avoid the film at any cost. I really hated Attack and if this movie is anything like that then I don't even want anything to do with it. I hate even seeing Attack's DVD cover at the store. Maybe all of the Tommy Boy Cruises histrionics was to deflect attention away from this potential turkey. It still may do good business so I will reserve judgment until I see the Box Office on it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

DC Comics coming out this week

BATMAN #641 »
THE FLASH #223 »
SOLO #5 »

This week I'm going to be getting Flash #223 and The OMAC Project #3. Should be some good books since Flash will be continuation the Rogues War and OMAC has been a great book so far.

AMD serves Intel a Lawsuit

Wow, if what AMD says is true it looks like you can call Intel the new "Evil Empire." It is alleged that Intel did all kinds of stuff to push AMD down. Some of this stuff is serious big monopolist behavior that is Microsoftian in its scale and deviousness. Good thing I only use AMD PC chips when it comes to building a machine that I own.

It may even be a good idea to put AMD back on the watch list because this kind of thing will only serve to make Intel look bad. Perhaps some market share gains are in the offing for AMD in the future. Or some big old fines (and then good behavior) levied against Intel.

More Fuel Efficient Cars

This article states that 11% of auto sales by 2012 will be hybrid cars. I think this would be a great thing to see happen. I'm hoping numbers will be even higher then that.

What the Bush Admin. should do is provide a bigger tax credit for people buying Hybrid vehicles. Currently it is $2000 for '04/'05, $500 for '06, and nothing after that. They should double it or perhaps put some kind of national consumption tax on regular fuel vehicles. Maybe something like $250 per vehicle or something like that.

I never gave much thought to hybrid cars until I heard some stuff about how much Saudi and Iranian oil money has been funneled into terrorist groups. One way to win the war on terror is to cut off their sources of funding. So the less oil we use, the closer the war on terror will come to being won. I think the environmentalists and hybrid manufacturers should tap into this line of thinking. "Buy a Hybrid and keep money out of Osama's pocket."

Psychiatrists hit back at Cruise

Looks like the psychiatrists are fighting mad at Cruise's attack on their profession. They are saying:

"Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works," the APA statement said. "It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy."

But what the APA doesn't know is that Cruise is steeped in the medical research and is an actual published peer of the APA. Wait isn't he just an actor promoting a movie? An actor without a doctorate that hasn't gone through a residency or anything. Maybe Kelsey Grammer can shine some light on all this, after all he has played a psychiatrist on TV in the past few years. He has about the same amount of knowledge as Cruise does on this subject I think.

Wow the Brits are Fall down drunks?

It looks like the young of Britain are drinking the night away. And they are binge drinking too.

Binge drinking, generally defined as consuming five or more standard-sized drinks in one session, has become the norm for many young people. According to a recent study of 15- and 16-year-olds in Britain, 29 percent of the girls and 26 percent of the boys had engaged in binge drinking at least three times in the previous month.

This was a big problem at my college too. Lots of people had parties on the weekend that consisted of just drinking a bunch of beers and getting staggering around drunk. Also, the bars near UH always seem to have $1 beer or $3 shots for an hour or something like that. This encourages binge drinkers because you have to down lots of beers or shots to get your moneys worth. It seems the Brits are doing the same thing:

The industry promotes itself to the youth market in a manner that experts say encourages binge drinking. While suited corporate spokesmen speak solemnly of "responsible" alcohol use, pubs and clubs push happy hours, 2-for-1 specials, ladies' nights and discounts on sugary alcoholic beverages marketed to young people.

Is Pfizer a good Short?

Hmm all this talk of blindness and Viagra could make for a decent short candidate. That CBS news report may make people think that Viagra could have harmful side effects. Also I think the nature of the side effects could be pretty bad too. Blindness would be only short of death when it comes to taking what many think is a recreational drug.

Even if the PFE finds that their drug doesn't cause blindness it will still take months to complete the investigation. It will most likely lose market share against its two rivals in the meantime. Finally, if the FDA tells them to pull the drug this stock will take a Biogen Idec style nosedive.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Educational Bias Documentary

The film is called Brainwashing 101 and it is coming out at the end of 2005. This will be a great film to see because from what I read universities are getting worse and worse when it comes to policing correct thought.

I was in the business school and most of my friends were in engineering so we missed the majority of this stuff when I was at UH. But I know the crazy undercurrent that is there now. I mean the University of Hawaii invited Ward "little Eichmanns" Churchill there in late 2004. They did it at the height of that scandal just to get more publicity for him.

I am really looking forward to this documentary and what things it will uncover about this bias and "correct" thought that parents are spending $1,000s on.

Female Suicide Bombers get 72 Virgins?

Hmm this is an interesting statement I saw on opinion Journal.

Girls Gone Wild
Fundamentalist Muslim mythology has it that terrorist "martyrs" are greeted in heaven by 72 virgins. With Palestinian Arabs increasingly making use of female suicide bombers, we've often wondered what they get in heaven. Now we have the answer, thanks to a report in London's Sunday Telegraph from an Israeli prison:

One of the inmates, Ayat Allah Kamil, 20, from Kabatya, told me why she had wanted to become a martyr: "Because of my religion. I'm very religious. For the holy war [jihad] there's no difference between men and women shaid [martyrs]."

According to the Koran, male martyrs are welcomed to Paradise by 72 beautiful virgins. Ayat, as with many of the women she is incarcerated with, believes that a woman martyr "will be the chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair."

That is to say, the highest aspiration for a fundamentalist Palestinian girl is murder, suicide and prostitution. Has there ever been a more depraved culture?

I think the female suicide bombers get a passel of 72 Comic Book Store Guys, who live in their parents basement and get squeamish at the mention of a naked female. All 72 will congregate together, have bad BO, and mostly ignore her in favor of their debate about whether the Enterprise can beat an Imperial Star Destroyer in one on one combat.

100 Acre Woods looses voices

This is an odd story. Both the voice of Piglet and the voice of Tigger died within one day of each other. Also the guy who was the voice of Tigger, Paul Winchell, was the voice of Gargamel too. That's a pretty strange coincidence.

Supreme Court Ten Commandments Ruling

Looks like the Supreme Court is starting to make church and state start to stick together again. I guess this is a good idea but throws it back to the states to determine if the content is okay or not. So I guess there will be some person that will be in charge of figuring out what amount of material is okay. In this case a granite monument outside is okay but a display inside isn’t. The American people seem to be okay with church and state coming together a bit:

Ten Commandments displays are supported by a majority of Americans, according to an AP-Ipsos poll. The poll taken in late February found that 76 percent support it and 23 percent oppose it.

That is quite a large majority of people that think it is okay to post this kind of material in court houses. It seems like the God-hating wing of the Dems is out of step with the majority of Americans on this subject.

The Entitlement Generation?

Ah the next generation is now referred to as the Entitlement Generation. At least the term "slacker" to refer to my generation seems not so bad compared to that. The X-ers didn't know what to do but the Y-ers are feel that the world owes them a living. And this is a culprit I think:

He partly faults coddling parents and colleges for doing little to prepare students for the realities of adulthood and setting the course for what many disillusioned twentysomethings are increasingly calling their "quarter-life crisis."

This will be an interesting dynamic to watch as we go along here. The boomers are going to go into retirement and Gen-X will be running things for a few decades. We will have slackers in charge of people who think they are owed a living. Not a good recipe for competing with the Chinese and the Indians.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Monster Thickburger! It's a Monstrous and Thick!

Looks like big fat burgers are back in style again. It's strange too because people were just heavily into dieting just about a year or so ago. Everything was low-carb or low-fat and it seemed that everyone I know (including me) was on Atkins. I guess this guy is spot on:

"It's a backlash by the American people against the food police," said Dean Haskell, an analyst at JMP Securities. "And operators are catering to it. We try to eat healthy at home, but when we go out we want to splurge."

The problem with eating healthy is that it is usually more expensive then eating a big-fat burger. Most of the time a salad costs more then a Big Mac. If you wanted to eat healthy all the time it would take alot of work and extra money. Oh well, it is just another reason why America is the Land of the Big, Home of the Fat.

Hard-Liner Wins in Iran

Looks like the Revolutionary-Guard guy won the thing. This might leave Iran in a much worse mess then before. Let's hope this guy doesn't go all out to "destroy the Great Satan" and other such nonsense. Also let's hope W doesn't get froggy and jump Iran in the near future. This was an interesting statement though:

"The real nuclear bomb that Iran has is its unemployed young people," said Ali Pourassad, after casting his vote for Ahmadinejad at a polling station set up in the courtyard of a mosque in the middle-class south of Tehran. "If nothing is done to create jobs for our young people, we will have an explosion on the streets."

Hmm, I wonder if resentment of being unemployed will drive the young Iranians to revolt against the Mad Mullahs? I mean all it sometime takes is some crushing poverty to start the fire of revolution. It happened in France. I wonder if the Mullahs will go hard-line and touch off Tiananmen massacre Middle Eastern branch?

Theater Owners are Running Scared

Hmm this is a very interesting article on why people are going to the movie less. I think this reason that they gave is very compelling:

Industry watchers and even some insiders privately acknowledge that the filmgoing experience has become onerous for many consumers. Difficulties with parking, lines and what seems like an endless stream of commercials and coming attractions before a screening are turning viewers off.

Now there seems to be at least as many commercials as there are coming attractions in todays movies. And what is worse is they are exactly the same. They have that dumb Moterola (or Ericsson) one where the Japanese guy and the Swedish (or is he German) guy start to sing. They also have the one where the kids travel across the US to make a documentary for Coke. People don't want to watch commercials after having payed $8.50 a head to watch a movie.

Also I think one reason why DVDs are really starting to eat into movie profits because the lag time between the theatrical release and the DVD are so short nowadays. It seems that Hitch was just in theatres and now the DVD is out. In fact the article mentions that:

And the timelag between theatrical and DVD release has shrunk, said Carrie Dieterich, vice president of marketing and industry relations. In 2002, the average time between theater and DVD debut was 171 days. The lag currently is 138 days, with more than a month shaved off.

So for the price of two people going to see a movie you can actually wait and buy the DVD at a savings. It is still true that certain movies must be seen on the big screen to be appreciated. Movies like Lord of the Rings, Revenge of the Sith, and Batman Begins must be seen on the big screen to be appreciated. Those films will still make a bundle no matter what. The romantic comedies, the live action family films, and the non-Oscar worthy dramas will probably not make as much money as they once did. Seeing them on DVD is pretty much the same as seeing them in the theatre but without any hassle or trouble.

Tommy Cruise vs. Matt Lauer

I thought this was going to be an insane throwdown upon reading the headline. But it seemed like a pretty regular thing. It is nice to know that Tommy-boy is amateur phamacologist too. He says:

"Matt, Matt, you don't even — you're glib," Cruise responded. "You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That's what I've done."

Yup, he read those research papers and went for his PHD, no wait he went to acting school in New York. But I hear that the Actor's Studio offers a great PreMed program. And their Pharmacology Department is one of the best in the nation. So he speaks from a place of experience.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Supreme Court okays Cities to steal Homes

Now this is a far reaching development by the Supreme Court. Now it is up to the cities to be real careful using this eminent domain stuff. I can see all kind of trouble cropping up depending on who owns the property that gets nabbed. I have a feeling that some politicians will lose their jobs if the media sides with the disposed parties. I guess this will allow cities to clean up some urban blight and raise tax revenues. That seems like a good thing I guess.

Now the Aruban Police are going after the Dad

Now this is getting stranger and stranger. Now the Aruban police has arrested the dad. This thing is really getting bungled by these guys. Did the dad help the son hide the body or something? That really doesn't seem likely. They really need to tell people why these people are "suspects" or not. Plus, we get a little whiff of Anti-Americanism from the mom, Anita van der Sloot:

"How can this happen? This is not about Natalee anymore. It's about enormous pressure from the (United) States and the media," she said.

No it really is about Natalee Ms. van der Sloot. People just want to know where her body is and who it was that actually killed her.

Dems lash out at Rove

Oh oh, the Dems are spitting mad at some Rove comments. He said:

"liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he told the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

So they want him to resign over this? I thought for a second there he compared Gitmo guards to Nazis. Or maybe he agreed with Pelosi:

Seven House Republicans also wrote Pelosi saying they were shocked by a statement in which she said the war in Afghanistan was over. "Messages like yours could demoralize our troops and undermine our efforts to fight terrorism in Afghanistan and around the world," they wrote.

I guess his words just just hit too close to home for the Dems comfort. In fact even John Kerry agree's with Rove's statement:

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.

Ah the "sensitive war" where we all hold hands and sing in peace and understanding. I wonder how much compassion and understanding the Jihaddi's are showing their women and the defensless people that they capture?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Here is a good recipe for Baked spaghetti

A coworker passed this along to me and it sounds really good. I would add mushrooms to the mixture though but that is just how I would like it. This is such an easy recipe that even I could follow it. And that is saying a lot.

The $12,500 belt?

Ugh, now this thing sounds pretty weird. This is what is on the belt:

As for those belts at $12,500 a pop, well, that covers only the 14-karat gold buckle with princess-cut diamonds. Plan to add $325 for the farm-raised alligator skin belt, unless you just want to display the buckle and hold up your pants.

Hmm I also ponder this:

"Besides a watch, most men don't wear a lot of jewelry," says Todd Rauchwerger, owner of J.W. Cooper stores in New York and Bal Harbour, Fla. "They'll wear a $20,000 or $30,000 watch and a $3,000 or $4,000 suit and a 25-cent belt buckle. Why not wear a belt buckle that goes with the rest of the wardrobe?"

Hmm, maybe the guy doesn't want to look like a pimp with an alligator skin belt, with a 14 carat buckle, covered with princess-cut diamonds. Maybe this thing is aimed at the Hip-Hop freespender. I do agree with this statement though:

"Wealthy women have everything except the respect of luxury marketers," Pedraza says. "They're under-marketed. Banks and asset management firms largely ignore them."

Yeah this is true. The only people that respect wealthy women are the traditional clothiers, bag makers, and jewelry merchants. Banks and asset managers certainly cater to a male clientele. In the coming years we will see more pitches by the big brokers and banks that want to manage womens' assets.

Google head says they aren't competing with Paypal

Well not directly anyway. Schmidt says:

"We do not intend to offer a person-to-person, stored-value payments system,"

I guess his line was so important that they put it in this article twice. Maybe he yelled it the second time when the AP reporter kept wheedling him about it. This is interesting also:

American Technology Research analyst David Edwards believes Google's payment product initially will be tied to its shopping comparison service, Froogle. The company also plans to let people view online videos stored in an index, prompting some other observers to predict the service will be designed to sell content found through its search engine.

It seems this payment thing will be like an online wallet that allows you to put money into it to buy stuff you see on Froogle. You could probably do this without a credit card too because you could fund the wallet with a money order. You could also fund the wallet with a credit card too if you wanted to.

This would be a good idea too since the individual sellers don't have to deal with credit card or money orders because Google will be taking care of them. That sounds a lot like Paypal though. Actually if you parse his words:

"We do not intend to offer a person-to-person, stored-value payments system,"

The online wallet really isn't a person-to-person thing rather it is a person-to-Google thing. Also it isn't a stored-value payments system but a stored-value buying system. Yup, maybe it's like Paypal but just different.

One Brain Cell for Jennifer Aniston, one brain cell only.

This is a pretty strange study. It says that only one brain cell reacts when people see a picture of a celebrity on a laptop computer. That same cell will react also when the person see's pcitures of Aniston and Lisa Kudrow together. I guess that would be the "Friends" nueron. This part was weird though:

Oddly, when that participant was shown photos of Aniston paired with actor
Brad Pitt, from whom Aniston later separated, the brain cell didn't respond.

I wonder if the Brad Pitt nueron fired first when the picture of the couple was shown? Or the two of them together fired a totally different neuron that wasn't recorded in the study?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Krispy Kreme Donuts needs to get bought out

I think it is about time for Blackstone Group or some other buyout firm to go after Krispy Kreme. Judging by this article by Hank Greenberg the people in there don't know what they are doing. This is from the article:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KKD) hasn't filed its financial statements with the SEC since last September. It recently warned the delays will continue in the fiscal first quarter, which (surprise, surprise) will show a loss.

This is the same company that hasn't yet hired a permanent CEO. Instead, the acting CEO is Stephen Cooper of the management firm of Kroll Zolfo, who is getting paid $760 per hour while his partner, Stephen Panagos -- acting president -- gets $695 per hour.

Furthermore, their firm recently extended the deadline (yet again!) to negotiate a "success fee" for its role in Krispy Kreme's restructuring.

Meanwhile, the company hasn't implemented any advertising. It hasn't rolled out any new products. And it doesn't appear to have done much of anything to help its franchisees

It seems like these guys are trying to run the firm into the ground here while they are raking in the big bucks. At least Blackstone Group or someone like that will run the company fairly decently in order to make back their investment. I'd like to see it happen simply because a world without Krispy Kremes is a sad, sad place.

At Least Durbin Took it Back

Well he kind of did:

"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

I guess he doesn't believe the remarks crossed the line but "some people" do. Hmm, hes got that politi-speak thing going on here.

He had to apologize because of remarks he made earlier comparing Gitmo guards with Nazis, Soviet Gulag guards, and Pol Pot regime officials. At least he said he was sorry more or less. I really like McCain's comments on this thing:

Immediately after the apology, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and former prisoner of war, spoke in Durbin's defense. "All of us, I believe, who have had the opportunity to serve in public life from time to time have said things that we deeply regret. I know that I have. I would like to say that the senator from Illinois, he did the right thing, the courageous thing, and I believe we can put this issue behind us."

That's why McCain is a badass and he better run in '08 or I will really disappointed. Hmm, I wonder if there is a Draft John McCain thing going on? I guess there is.

Now we just need some hot woman NASCAR drivers

Danica Patrick sure cleans up good! Posted by Hello

Leo DiCaprio takes a Bottle to the Noggin.

Wow now this is some kind of party.

As the actor departed a Hollywood Hills gathering hosted by the 1 Night in Paris player in the wee hours of Friday morning, he was bashed in the face by a woman wielding what appeared to be a beer bottle.

I guess Leo just looked like her ex-boyfriend or something. Leo needs to beef up his security detail because this gal could have just gunned him down in the street. Couple this with the Tommy Boy Cruise getting the water to the face and we are having an epidemic of stars getting hit with things.

Virus kills Cancer?

Wow this is pretty good news for people facing cancer. The virus is called adeno-associated virus type 2, or AAV-2. The article says that it infects over 80% of the population.

"Our results suggest that adeno-associated virus type 2, which infects the majority of the population but has no known ill effects, kills multiple types of cancer cells yet has no effect on healthy cells," said Craig Meyers, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania.

Let's hope we can get a medicine out of this thing soon enough. The part about it not killing healthy cells is a big deal too. If this thing pans out then it would make chemotherapy a thing of the past.

PC World's take on Google payment service

This is an interesting take on Google making a Paypal like service. I have read about some real horror stories about Paypal. So it would seem that any real competitor will make them sit up and fix the problems people are complaining about.

The only problem I see about the whole thing is that Google really hasn't done anything like this before. PC world points this out:

Lots of would-be PayPal killers have come and gone, including ones from big-name financial institutions such as Citicorp. Most were me-too offerings at best. (BidPay seems to be one rival that's found a niche, but it did so by offering something that PayPal doesn't: The ability to send a money order electronically.) Google doesn't have any experience doing financial stuff, but considering the track record of companies that do have that experience, that might not be an impediment.

I have a feeling it could be an impediment if Google can't get the financial side of things worked out decently. They may benefit from an outside bank working that end of the deal while they work the technology end. But I guess they are confidant that they can do everything in house.

Ford lowers earnings and cuts jobs

Well looks like Ford is being hit by the same thing that is hitting GM. They are also suspending matching grants to 401K grants to salaried workers and cutting another 1000 salaried postions. Actually this is what they need to be focusing on:

Both Ford and its larger cross-town rival General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have been reeling this year from a dramatic slowdown in sales of their mid- and large-size sport utility vehicles. The fuel-thirsty SUVs, former profit engines for Detroit's automakers, have entered the slow lane of the U.S. vehicle market as consumer sentiment changes in the face of high gasoline prices.

They should be trying to really try to become the leader in hybrid cars. It seems Toyota is already throwing big bucks behind them and they are selling like crazy. But it seems Ford is just going to cut jobs and complain that the unions are too powerful while they ignore what the consumer wants. Oh well, at least they aren't cutting back on their NASCAR spending.

Monday, June 20, 2005

DC Comics Shipping This Week

Looks like a short week this week:

ROBIN #139

I probably will only pick up Catwoman #44 of these books. I want to see if that title is any good or not. I will probably pick up House of M #2 and Spider-man: House of M #1 from the Marvel side too. House of M #1 has really peaked my curiosity.

It will cost $3,365,449 to be Batman

That is what Forbes Magazine thinks. Most of the money comes from the Batmobile and his Bruce Wayne Alter ego's living expenses. That sounds about right I think. I think the bat suit and the utility belt would cost a bit more but I guess that's okay.

The thing I wonder about is how they figured out Bruce Wayne's Net worth of $6.3 billion? I guess they interpolated that Wayne Industries was mostly a technology and weapons manufacture firm. So it would be similar to a Northrop Grumman.

To control half of NOCs outstanding shares it would cost about $10 billion or so. From what I read in the comics Wayne is supposed to hold a majority position in his company. So his shares would be worth about that much if his company traded like NOC. So it seems Wayne Enterprises is trading at a deficit to other defense concerns.

I guess the acquisition of the Daily Planet (it's talked about here) wasn't such a good idea because it seems to have diluted the business. Wayne should think about acquiring other defense firms before he makes his company a media company or whatever direction he seems to be heading in now.

Senate Blocks Bolton Again

Well the Dems have blocked him again. This is just getting old already. First the Dems block a bunch of judges and now the UN ambassador. Either get someone else up there that they can all agree on or take and up and down vote already. These guys need to get their work done. One thing interesting about this article is a new track taken by the AP:

The setback left Bush facing stark choices — most of which could leave him appearing weak at a time he is facing sagging poll numbers and fighting lame-duck status six months into his final term.

The sagging poll numbers are because of high oil prices and war weariness not looking weak on who he picked for an UN ambassador. And now they are calling him a lame duck with 3 and half years left on his term. I've heard some rumblings about this but I bet you will hear it more and more as we go along here. The only true lame-duck president is one that is still in office when a new guy gets elected.

Anti-Hillary Book coming out

This may be an interesting book to read. I guess conservatives are latching onto the thing to head off a Hillary in '08 push. I agree with this:

Such works, according to former Clinton adviser-turned critic Dick Morris, can backfire.

"Personal attacks on Hillary Clinton and her marriage only tend to invigorate her and permit her to characterize all criticism as extreme and personal," wrote Morris in an e-mail exchange with the AP. He added: "These personal shots obscure the more serious questions about her lack of qualifications to be a good president."

I agree that she is going to use this as an attack by the so-called "vast right-wing conspiracy." It just makes it look like people are out to get her and she can play the victim card. This kind of sympathy should not be underestimated because she is after all the jilted-wife that stood by her man. Even though it was for political gain, I believe that most Americans don't feel this way.

The conservatives pushing this kind of thing so hard makes them look mean-spirited and out to get the Clintonistas no matter what. Let the vendetta die for the time being and character assassinate her when it comes to election time. Tapes of her belittling a subordinate or something like that will get you far more votes then all the hit-pieces in the world.

More Signs of a Housing Bubble

Now the senior vice president for risk policy of Fannie Mae, Thomas Lawler is saying that there may be a bubble in housing. This statement kind of sucks though:

The report noted that no one can tell if a housing bubble exists until after the fact.

That means they get to say the bubble burst after housing prices go south and a bunch of "investors" get burned trying to flip houses. I guess they can just say "I told you so."

Cruise gets Splashed by Water

Hah ha, that is pretty funny stuff. He was amused at first and then started to freak out. Lucky thing they didn't splash Katie or he would have gone hog wild. Hmm, maybe that comedy team should play a practical joke on her next.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Interesting article on Bending the Yield Curve

Hmm this article is a very interesting way of getting a decent yield without resorting to the long bond. I like the two Canadian oil stocks (PWI, PTF) and may be thinking about buying them for that juicy yield. They didn't mention REITs for some reason though. Some of the shopping center REITs like Simon Property Group (SPG) have pretty decent yields.

Holy Crap! Master Card exposed how many holders?

Wow, they potentially exposed 40 million card holders to fraud! Now that is a big time screw up if I ever heard one. And it looks like one person had access to all this data.

MasterCard said it discovered the breach at an office of CardSystems Solutions Inc. in Tucson, Ariz. An unauthorized individual was able to infiltrate the firm's computer network and access cardholder data.

I wonder if it was an inside job by one of the root admins or some other higher up. They really should investigate how this person was able to get their hands on such a wide swatch of cards and such. Maybe the Congress will step in. Whoops they have:

The breaches have sparked a response from Washington: Representative Edward Markey (D-Ma.) has introduced three bills to protect consumers against identity theft.

I think they need a full-on congressional investigation on this though.

Time to buy Elan?

Hmm this guy conjectures that Elan may be a good buy now even after that near term runup. Elan has a good pipeline and hoepfully no more PML will be found from those people that took just Tysabri alone. This drug sounds pretty interesting too:

Their Alzheimer's research is a collaboration with Wyeth where they look to use the patient's own immune system to remove beta amyloid plague. This is a second-generation effort that is currently in Phase II.

This sounds like a very interesting drug that could bring in the big bucks for Elan. 400,000 people in the US have MS but some people estimate that 4.5 million people have Alzheimers. Any Tysabri news will make the stock volitile for a while but it may be a good buy going forward. I've put it on my watch list.

Market up for the week.

Looks like a good upward move here with some indicies close to their multi-year highs. But those record oil prices are going to weigh on the market here sooner or later. Also I've read that the weeks following quadrupal witching are pretty volitile so next week will be pretty interesting for the markets.

S&P 5001,216.96+6.00(+0.50%)

The nabbed a 4th guy in the Holloway disappearance

I wonder what this guys roll is in the case? Maybe one of the other boys told him some stuff about what went down. Hmm, this seems like a veiled jab at the US:

Asked why it took more than two weeks after Holloway's disappearance to search the home, Janssen said Thursday, "You have to build up an investigation. You can't just go in there like a cowboy."

This is the Attorney General of Aruba too. In the US you want to check the home of the accussed ASAP so they can't burn the bloody clothes, destroy the murder weapon, or basically cover their tracks.

The Arubans on the other hand screw around for weeks so they accused has a better chance of beating the rap. Cowboys catch criminals better then people who take two weeks to "build up an investigation," before they even try to act. I have a feeling that Holloway's death is going to go upunished here because of Aruban bungling.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

PC World's opinion on the new consoles

Very interesting rundown on the three new consoles going head to head later this year and next. It mentions that the Xbox360s' first mover advantage and this line about the PS3 was interesting to me:

Its 3.2-GHz Cell processor gives the system about 2 teraflops of performance--twice what Microsoft is claiming the Xbox 360 will do. "Just seeing the specs of the PS3 was amazing," says Dig-Doug. "All the subprocessors--that's just a huge deal--you're going to be able to do so much."

The more I read about the PS3 the better it sounds to me. However there are rumors of a machine that will cost as much as a regular PC. I would be very leery of paying $500 for a machine that I will use pretty much as a game console.

I use my home PC as a game console but I also surf the web, post to this blog, read e-mail etc. with it. I would be hard pressed to pay $500 just to play games. I have a feeling that some parents will agree also. Couple this with the fact that many gamers will have shelled out for the Xbox already and people may push back their purchases of it.

This guy is right on target with this statement:

"I think it's early days," says Russo. "It always comes down to the company with the best gaming software."

That will be what will make the ultimate decision for me.

Senate votes against Oil Supply Cuts

Ugh, another bone-headed move from the Senate. It looks like they are pro big-oil even more then they are now. Reducing oil imports by 2025 would put a nice deadline on efforts to make us less dependent on oil. This is part of the reason why W has such low approval ratings:

The Bush administration on Tuesday came out against the 1-million-barrel reduction in the energy bill and said it would oppose any provisions that require an increase in the fuel economy standards of automobiles sold in the U.S.

It looks like they are against trying to reduce oil consumption here. It seems that they are pandering to the automobile lobby as well. I thought the republicans wanted to not be the party that is in the pocket of big business.

This bill seemed pretty symbolic since it would take 20 years to be realized. Maybe they figure cutting by 7.64 million barrels per day in 20 years is too deep or something. They should have just amended the number to something more doable instead. These kind of screw-ups will cost them the majority if they aren't careful.

Market Up Slightly again Today

Not too bad a move up today. Market started down then went north as the day wore on. Most of the economic indicators didn't effect trading too much.

S&P 5001,210.96+4.38(+0.36%)

Looks like GM in for a fight with UAW

The UAW head, Ron Gettelfinger isn't going to budge when it comes the health care benefits. He does have a point when he says:

Gettelfinger told the paper that "[GM is] paying out dividends, their equity in their stock is up a lot, they have a lot of cash on hand, they've stated that they have no intentions of going into bankruptcy.

That big cash horde that GM is holding should keep them on decent footing here. I guess the UAW is going to wait until GM is as bad as the airlines before they act. It may be a bad move to wait until GM is on its death bed though.

Michelangelo code found?

Wow I didn't know people think Michelangelo hid all this anatomy stuff in the Sistine Chapel. I wonder why he hid this kind of thing in his picture. Michelangelo wasn't an amateur anatomist like Leonardo DaVinci was. From what I read Michelangelo was mostly a painter and didn't seem interested in science as much as other people were at that time. Perhaps this is just the case of seeing what you want to see like the Face on Mars. This guy agrees:

"The problem, and art historians too are certainly often guilty of this, is simply that we often see what we want to see," said Dennis Geronimus, a specialist on Renaissance art at New York University who had a chance to examine some of Barreto and Oliveira's "de-coded" matches.

Whatever the case it is a very interesting book and I would love to check it out when they print up the English version.

Men's and Women's Brains physically Different

A very interesting article on how man and women have different brains. It also reveals that Einstein was a math mutant with a 1 in a billion brain.

What is a Holla Back Girl?

I keep seeing this Gwen Stefani video on MTV and hearing the song on the radio and I wondered what it meant. Well I did some checking and this is what I found. I guess a Holla Back girl is something that Gwen apparently doesn't want to be. For obvious reasons of course.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Remember the Gummi Bears?

Recently I was listening to some old cartoon theme songs and I came across the Gummi Bears one. I remember that show from when I was in intermediate school. It was a great mix of adventure and whimsy but without annoying little blue guys.

It was set in a mystical D&D style world with the Gummi Bears as a race of sentient bears that drank this juice that allowed them to bounce around. They had various adventures but were mostly legendary to the people of the world. The visuals were outstanding and the story telling was first rate. I'm hoping that Disney will release the various seasons of the show on DVD soon. So far no luck though. Here is a site that has lots of information on the Gummi Bears.

It's the End of Europe as we know it?

At least Robert J. Samuelson thinks so. Some of the points he are raising is spot on. An aging population with heavy social programs cannot hope to survive without a core change to the way they are doing things. This paragraph is especially telling:

Ever since 1498, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and opened trade to the Far East, Europe has shaped global history, for good and ill. It settled North and South America, invented modern science, led the Industrial Revolution, oversaw the slave trade, created huge colonial empires, and unleashed the world's two most destructive wars. This pivotal Europe is now vanishing -- and not merely because it's overshadowed by Asia and the United States.

I don't think Europe is ready to go 100% though. I think some of their young may throw off the fetters of the past and remake Europe into a powerhouse it once was. They will be filled with a new purpose and eschewing the free ride of the past for a self-made future. Well, maybe not.

Evangelical Republicans don't want Activist Judges

Looks like these Evangelical Republicans want legislatures and not the courts to decide social issues. It seems that the Supreme Court if getting the worst rap:

Overall, 57 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the court, down from 68 percent in January 2001, the Pew poll found. Among conservative Republicans, there was a drop of 19 points, from 78 to 59 percent favorable, and among evangelical Protestants, the decline was 22 points, from 73 to 51 percent

I guess they don't like the idea of checks and balances that is written into the Constitution. I guess this is all due to the Schivo mess.

Market Up slightly today

Some good economic numbers didn't keep the markets up much during the midday but we finished up at the end there though. Not too bad for the most part.

S&P 5001,206.58+2.67(+0.22%)

People are Getting fired over blogs

Hmm, I guess it pays not to bad-mouth your company online. It seems like all these people are getting fired over saying something bad about their coworkers or giving away company secrets.

They seemed to have taken the journaling aspect of blogging too far. I guess pouring out your feelings in a public place isn't so good because your company may be watching. It's kind of a bad deal but I guess the company has the right to protect other employees or themselves if their trade secrets are endangered.

In any case I'm never even going to say where I work on my blog. You never know who is reading it.

Some Stem Cell companies worth looking at

Well here is a good article about some stem cell companies out there. ViaCell (VIAC) seems like an interesting company because it has a nice side business in storing stem cells for parents. This business should keep them decently flush with cash so they don't have to rely of tapping the equity and debt markets so much. Seems like their bone marrow drug is quite a ways off though since it doens't mention it going into the FDA approval process at all.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Movie Review

I went to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith yesterday and I thought it was a great movie. The action sequences were outstanding and it had a nice comedic touch throughout the movie. The chemistry between Brad and Angelina was apparent and shown through quite nicely. Both actors worked well together and had a number of nice back and forth scenes. Also, Vince Vaughn was funny as hell, and I wanted to see more scenes with him in it. There are some nice in-jokes about the movies that both actors were in before that I think worked very well.

I think some people may see it because of the Pitt leaving Aniston for Jolie side angle. Unlike Proof of Life though, which had a similar side angle of one star leaving their spouse for the co-star, this movie brings the goods. You can see Brad and Angelina's attraction for one another throughout the movie. If we didn't know they had an off-screen romance you may have still suspected that something was going on.

The action sequences were outstanding with much Angelina firing shotguns and throwing knives, and Brad firing two guns at once and leaping around. The fight scene between them in the middle of the movie was an absolute beat down. I never seen a man beat a woman like that and then see the woman giving back 100% like in that scene. They went all out, no holds barred. I guess it is a tribute to both actors to make this brutal beat down not look as sickening as when Queen Latifa beat that woman in Bringing Down the House.

Finally, this movie has all kinds of sequel potential. Both actors did great in their roles and looked like they were having fun. They set up an interesting world with two powerful hitman agencies that still want the two main characters dead. They can have the Smiths breaking into the agencies and trying to take them out from the inside or something like that. Lots of high tech gadgets and Mission Impossible style crawling around in air vents. Basically, I just want to see more of the world they made for this movie.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Snow Interview Raises some Questions

Wow, Snow is saying that US investors may pull their cash out of Europe.

"It is not so much the language that is used, it is the policies that get embraced. And if policies get embraced that make capital feel unwelcome, capital won't come."

That would be terrible news for European economies. They are already heavy in the red and really need outside groups to buy their debt. If US captial flows heavily out of those countries then they could reach the default zone. A German or French default would blow a big hole in the world economy and would hurt the US no matter what.

It may be a boon for Eastern Europe and Asia though because that will probably be the places where ear-marked Western European money will go.

I think this guy needs to think before talking though:

The head of Germany's ruling Social Democrats (SPD) Franz Muentefering recently described some investors as "locusts" who destroyed firms for their own profit.

Uh no, Mr. Muentefering investors are one of the groups that are keeping your economies flush with cash so you can pay for all of your social programs. If you pull the rug out from under them you can only rely on your own people. And you know you can only raise taxes so far.

Economist Reynolds loses Mind

Wow now this guy has some fantastic theories about 9-11. I'm not sure how an economist becomes a structural engineer though. He can somehow tell the difference between a building collapsing due to extreme heat and one collapsing due to controlled explosives. Maybe it was his minor in college. LGF points out:

professional demolition on such a scale would have been a gigantic task, would have taken a lot of time to set up, and would have been very visible to the tens of thousands of people who worked in the Trade Center every single day.

It wouldn't be if they replaced all the people at the Trade Center with cloned replicants, yeah that's it. Those replicants would be specially programmed to ignore any black-suited government agents hanging explosives in the stairwells and key points in the building.

Or maybe there was a satellite that beamed all of this stuff into our heads since the 1970s. There were no Trade Centers at all but merely figments of our imaginations. Even the people working there just sat in a field and dreamed they were working there.

France later discovered the satellites and the Bushies were forced to liquidate the whole program. So those hapless people had to be taken away and executed to cover the evil warmonger Bush's ass from a French blackmail attempt. Yeah, yeah that must be it!

Holloway Twitty says Cover-up possible

Hmm, she might be right about the Aruban government covering up the disappearance but I seriously doubt it.

Holloway Twitty said if she did not see results soon, she might start to believe authorities were trying to protect the young men, who told police they took Holloway to a beach after an evening of dancing and drinking.

The Dutch boy is an honors student at Aruba International School and is the son of a high-ranking judicial official in Aruba.

"All three of those boys know what happened to her," Holloway Twitty said Sunday.

I agree that these boys know exactly what happened to her and aren't coming clean about it. They are, after all, the last people to see her alive. I don't think the Aruban government would cover it up though. They just have too much to lose.

Look at it from a strictly dollars and cents perspective. Aruban tourism is probably being hurt by the disappearance in the first place but it will eventually recover. They may not get as many senior class trips but they will still get partying adults and college students.

If their government was caught trying to cover up the disappearance it would be permanent disaster to their tourist industry. They would be siding with some government official over one of their own tourists. That is the kind of thing that would go down in Iran, Myanmar or some other dangerous place and not a sun, surf, and sand location like Aruba.

Phil Jackson back with the Lakers

I guess Kobe and him made up or something. It's no big deal because it looks like the NBA may get locked out anyway.

Online Brokerage Comparisons

Here are my thoughts on this article. It seems that:

E-Trade, Fidelity Investments, and Ameritrade had the highest success rates in converting prospects into customers, according to the Customer Experience Rankings study.

I am with E-trade currently and have been since tech bubble times. They are a great online brokerage but I had several problems with them.

I tried to set up a monthly transaction that moved a certain amount of cash from my bank account to my Roth IRA. I couldn't get the thing to work for the life of me. I eventually gave up on it and am just transferring a chunk of it all at once at the beginning of the year.

Also E-trade has always had very bad research when it comes to companies. It would be nice to see them partner up with some sort of Analyst firm even if it is a small one. That way it would be easier to research stocks on their site. Other then those two things I have enjoyed using E-trade and will continue to do so.

Looks like Blogs Mixed about Jackson

Well Mikey the Molester has engendered some mixed feeling out there in the Blogosphere. This statement doesn't seem accurate in my case though:

News sites, on the other hand, appeared to handle the additional traffic well after the verdict. Website tracker Keynote Systems Inc. said it saw no performance problems at major news sites it monitored.

I was trying to go to the CNN site right before the verdict was released and it was super slow. I ended up just watching it on my little TV.

I still think the TV is the best medium when it comes to up to the minute reporting on an event. When everyone goes wall to wall coverage news sites seem to slow, and blogs are just reporting the news as they see it on TV. This is for the big US stories of course.

Looks like inflation fears are starting to drop

This is good news at least as far as Merrill Lynch analysts are concerned. We have inflation fears dropping and GDP growth staying steady. The economy may be on fairly decent footing here.

Market up slightly

Looks like trading is slowing down a bit as we hit the summer slow period.

S&P 5001,203.91+3.09(+0.26%)

Lehman's Quarter looks good

Unlike Morgan, it looks like Lehman is doing pretty good. It got a nice bump from overseas operations and it was able to control its compensation costs. There may be problems depending on how hedge funds play out though:

Lehman and other banks have seen the percentage of their business lending too, trading for and trading with hedge funds swell in recent years. That's led some industry analysts to fret that any problems with hedge funds would also damage Wall Street's top firms.

Well at least some good came out of the Trial

Looks like Michael the Molester (err acquitted molester) isn't going to let pre-teen boys sleep in his room in the future. I guess sleepover time is over for him. He can pack up the Jesus juice and the the Barely Legals and shuffle off to the great dustbin of history.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gosling is Pro-Darfur

Finally, a celeb is giving the stuff going down in Darfur some press. Now we need some other star to wear a "Free Iran" T-shirt and we will have some liberals taken seriously for once. I remember when the "progressives" wanted to Free Tibet, South Africa, etc. It seems they don't want anyone freed anymore? Posted by Hello

Iranian Women Protesting

This is certainly good news .

Hundreds of women staged an unauthorized demonstration in Tehran today, protesting sex discrimination under Iran’s Islamic leadership just days before the June 17 presidential elections.

You tell it to them Iranian women! It may a great time to put your protest shoes if you are currently living in Iran. The government probably won't crack down and massacre them while the world has their eyes on their election. Let's see some solidarity with pro-women marches by the National Organization of Women or something.

Some of these Persian women are hot! I guess that's why Muslim men are so up in arms about them walking around uncovered in public. If they come to the US they can go ahead and dump that head scarf (or just wear it as a fashion statement) and have their pick of men. We will even let you drive and own your own car!

Very Interesting Article about Investing Errors

This is a very intersting post on Fund Universe about 5 Investing Errors people are getting into today. It is a very intersting article and is food for thought if you fall into any of the catagories that they mention.

I think the Victrola Coffee shop is smart

They should have pulled the plug on this much sooner then they did. I hate people like this:

Worse, many of them were tapping on their machines for six to eight hours, without buying anything, and became defensive when asked by a worker if they wanted a beverage.

These are selfish folk sponging off of the paying customers and just hanging out and blocking space. So they ruined it for everyone else. Way to go freeloaders.

Interesting Thoughts on ATI Technologies

This is a very interesting article on ATYT and how their stock may be oversold right now. There are some points I agree with like why the stock is down.

ATI forecast that its third-quarter earnings for the three months ending in May, would come in at $530 million--5% lower than its previous outlook. The company also lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter saying that revenue would come in around $600 million, down from an expected $659.8 million.

This is due to the console switchover. I am still thinking that the Xbox360 to be a huge seller this holiday season so they should get things sorted out by 1st Quarter of 2006. Their growth going forward though from putting high def video chips in cell phones for cameras is spot on. That will be a growth driver I should think. I don't agree with this possible assesment just from my experience as a gamer:

But while camera phones are a big opportunity for ATI, putting video graphics chips into cell phones, thus turning the cell phone into a platform that can handle, in a superior fashion, applications such as 3-D mobile gaming.

I really don't think that 3-D mobile gaming on a cell phone is going to take off. The screen is almost always fairly small and the controls will be hard to use on a small item like a cell phone. Strategy and puzzle games work on a cell phone and seemd to be selling fairly decently.

An actual twitch shoot-em-up like Halo 2 or Half-Life: Source will be very hard to control and would be even harder to see the people you are trying to shoot at. Maybe Japanese and Korean gamers are different and can handle playing Halo 2 on a tiny 3" screen but I think most first person shooter gamers need a big display and confortable controls in order to get some decent frags.

I think this is the same thing as watching TV on an Ipod. A great idea in theory but not so great idea in practice.

DC Comics titles shipping the Week of June 15th

Looks like a quiet week this week:

Birds of Prey #83
Day of Vengeance #3 (of 6)
Hawkman #41
Manhunter #11
Prelude to Infinite Crisis
Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy #2 (of 4)

I will probably be picking up Birds of Prey #83 and Prelude to Infinite Crisis. If you want to gather some backstory for this October's big kick off then this is the place to go.

Morgan looking Bad, CEO retires

Wow I didn't know there was so much trouble at Morgan Stanley. Bad trading results, loss of market share, and inflating salaries to keep talent around. That is not a good news going forward. At least Purcell left willingly and didn't harm the company if they had to be forced out. I guess he cares more about his company then Eisner did for Disney.

Market up Slightly Today

There was light volume though going into Wednesdays OPEC meeting

S&P 5001,200.82+2.71(+0.23%)

Bah Jackson Innocent on All charges

Yup, if you have the cash you can get away with anything. I just hope that people don't send children his way anymore though.

Getting fired for stupid stuff.

Your off work behavior should not even come into play unless it is affecting your on work behavior. If you are getting drunk and then bringing the hangover to work then that should be grounds to get fired. If you get fired because you gained weight, supported John Kerry, or drank a Coors then that is really idiotic I think.

Edwards Flips at Pocono!

Edwards doin' the the back flip! Posted by Hello

Carl Edward Wins It!

Wow he wins again this time at Pocono. And he says the NASCAR video game taught him how to race that track. He didn't even see the track in his life until Friday. He also started 29th but was still able to pull out the win.

I only got to see the last 27 laps or so but Edwards car was insane during that part of the race. They had a caution near the end and his car just started pulling away almost immediately. Too bad the race ended under caution but that's how it goes.

Also Brian Vickers (the 2nd place guy) is a name you don't hear too much who raced pretty well and led part of the race. He drove great but his car was just not in the same league as Carl's car. Finally, whoever put those rumble strips down that popped so many guys tires should get fired. Lots of guys got their days ruined or dropped in the point standing because they ran over those strips. I'm sure the Dale Jr. and Tony Stewart fans out there are hopping mad now.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Harold Ford Jr. of Tenn against Dean

Judging from what Rep. Ford said I think he may be a decent sort of Democrat that cleaves more to how actual Americans think. He seems to be a God-fearing, level headed, sort of man who could lead the Democrats back to the middle.

If there are more people like Rep. Ford out there the Dems may have a chance of winning in the future. They need to push these guys past the loud-mouthed Deans, and the idiotic Rangels that are getting so much airtime. Hell, I would have voted for a guy like Leiberman if he ran against Bush. I would even vote for Rep. Ford too if he ran.

The New Man?

Now this is an interesting thing for the Europeans to be doing. This guys says:

"The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned," said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency's managing director.

Hmm, so the Europeans are trying to make themselves more wimpy? I guess this is to expand the fashion and makeup industries to include men. More of the metrosexualization of society.

I really don't like this trend at all. It is making the ideal man into a weak, simpering, person that would rather hang out at a spa then at a sporting event. This flies in the face of evolution and history.

I guess this does make certain new revenue streams open to companies that didn't have them before. I mean the makeup and spa industry takes in multi-billion dollars a year and it only serves half of the population. Let the Europeans wear cake-makeup. Maybe if it takes off big time Revlon stock will start to look good.

Looks like LA police cracking down on Paparazzi

This seems to be about damn time. I mean taking pictures is one thing but running a celeb off of the road is another thing entirely. They aren't even sorry about it:

"It was an accident. If somebody is responsible for the whole thing, it's most likely Lindsay, who has nearly one a month, an accident,"

This is from the owner of Fame Pictures named Boris Nizon, a Paparazzi outfit. Hey it was Lohans fault because she isn't a good driver? I guess his tune would change if Lohan flew threw the window splitting her skull open. Come to think of it those would be some expensive photos.

I can see the cover of Us Weekly now with the title "Lindsey, Fully Totalled!" with a picture of Lohan covered in blood.

Madonna to create Kabbalah Hotel?

Yup she spent $2.9 million on some mansion in England. I wonder if they are going to storm this place Branch Davidian style in the next few years?

Big Throwdown over Patiot Act

Now this is some stupid stuff from Captiol Hill. We have guys shouting, people leaving and taking the gavel. It's a big joke. At least there wasn't a fist fight or something. That would have made some news. I agree with this to a point:

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, speaking immediately after Sensenbrenner left, voiced dismay over the proceedings. "I'm troubled about what kind of lesson this gives" to the rest of the world, he told the Democrats remaining in the room.

Can't these idiots stay civil when it comes to this kind of thing. It shows the rest of the world that we would rather argue and stomp off with our ball then get things done. Everyone should be ashamed of themselves over this.

Stocks Finish Mixed

Some good points out there though. Oil prices are up again but the trade deficit down slightly. That should be good news for the GDP. Probably more sideways movement next week though.

S&P 5001,198.11-2.82(-0.23%)

Wonder how Glazer is going to run the Red Devils?

Hmm looks like he is buying out the Manchester United execs now. He pretty much has control of the company and is going to take it private. I wonder if he is going to bring some of that US football mentality to British football. I mean luxury boxes, seat licenses, endless marketing, and exclusive TV deals? They may be serving sushi at Old Trafford by next season.

Citigroup cuts its Losses and pays up

This is one of the reasons why I own this stock. I am kind of like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal the so called Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia who said he will never sell C no matter what occurs. I on the other hand may sell it but the chances are really, really low.

Citi knows when to just pay the money for something like the Enron screw-up instead of fighting it like Morgan Stanley is. Now the Citi CEO, Prince just has to work on not getting into these stupid scandals in the first place.

Looks like the budget deficit is coming down

Looks like the government isn't ponying up for excess $100K toilet seats now. Maybe the Repubs are finally exercising some of that fiscal discipline that I heard so much about.

Holloway did have sex in Car

Yup looks like she did hook up with the Dutch guy. I guess even honor students get it on when exotic Europeans are lurking around the casino of the hotel they are staying at. In fact they were both honor students.

Also, this seems like quite a senior trip. A casino in the hotel and bars you can go to where you can get stumbling-out-of-the-car drunk. You even get to hook up with Europeans in their car. It seems that the Senior Outing Committee of Mountain Brook High picked Aruba because "dude you can get like drunk at 17 and they don't even check IDs."

One of the things that is messed about this though is why Holloway couldn't have sex with this dude in her room. I bet the chaperones would have smacked her around if she snuck him into her room and got caught.

It looks like Natalie may be the victim of US style morality. If the chaperones were more loose with the rules on sex then she could have done the nasty with this guy, had a shower, and then went to sleep. She would have got onto the plane the next day, with a fun adventure under her belt. Instead it may be the security guards that did her in:

After Holloway and the three men went to the beach, they drove her back to her hotel, where she stumbled and was approached by a man wearing a security guard uniform, another defense attorney, David Kock, told the AP.

They may have thought to have a little fun with her and maybe she accidently died of alcohol poisoning, or gave her some drugs that she couldn't handle, or she hit her head or something. Then the guards hid her body. Whatever the case though if she went Dutch in her room instead of in the car she may be alive today.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Yup Date a Nerd. You can't go wrong.

I have always agreed that this is a good idea. Geeky guys are always more devoted to women then some good-looking player. They will treat the girl well because they will be damn happy to get her in the first place.

The player will as likely to ditch a girl for a her best friend or sister then be serious in the relationship. Plus the player will probably not pay as much attention to a girl as a geek. To a player there is always someone better looking then you. A good-looking player knows he can get any girl he wants so why stop with you?

The geek will always put you first or just slightly behind his Hero Clicks, Comic Collection, Magic cards, etc. At least a girl dating a geek will have to simply rise above Batman and not that hot waitress that is taking your dinner order.

Finally, many geeks bring the one two punch of intelligence and wittyness to the relationship. He knows alot about stuff and can probably speak eloquently on almost any topic. It is just the girls job to make him presentable and teach him social graces if he is deficient. Remember the geek will always go the extra mile for a decent girl. He is willing to change.

Free Katie! Free Katie!

This is a funny development in the Holmes/Cruise hook up. "Free Katie" indeed. Here is a link to the site

I think she may be suffereing from Stockholm syndrome already:

"I feel like he's made my life. He's amazing. He's kind, he's generous, he's smart, he's Tom Cruise," Holmes gushed to the Boston Herald. "He's the most artistic man I've ever met, he's a joy, he makes me laugh like I've never laughed. He's the most wonderful being.''

Notice how she left out the word "human" in front of being. Tom Cruise is her Rasputin I tells ya! Free Katie! Free Katie!

Intel Guides Upward

Looks like demand for semis are higher. They said:

In a scheduled update, Intel targeted sales of $9.1 billion to $9.3 billion. In April, the company forecast sales of $8.6 billion to $9.2 billion.

Intel also forecast quarterly gross margins of about 57 percent, plus or minus a point, ahead of its previous forecast of 56 percent, plus or minus a couple of points. Gross margin is the percentage of sales left over after accounting for production costs.

Both revenue and margins are up which is always a good thing in these markets. As long as capital spending on tech is still there this stock looks pretty decent going forward. Too bad it has had a 25% run up here recently.

I think they need some Scotch tape.

Torn Bibles at the Saudi International Airport. No wait! Those are Qurans!!! Posted by Hello

Koran abuse from Israel! Oh my God!

How dare those heartless Zionists tear some pages in a book! Wait just a minute:

The charges against Israeli soldiers originally surfaced on Tuesday, when prisoners charged that soldiers tore three Qurans and stepped on them. In a later version, they said soldiers ripped pages out of one Quran.

Hmm, perhaps the prisoners tore the pages and blamed the guards? No, that would be a totally laughable claim. But they would do it if they were effected by insidious Zionist mind rays! They are being controlled I tells ya! The UN must ban insidious Zionist mind rays at once! Who knows what idiotic Jihaddi is going to rip their own Koran under their influence.

Late move pushes the market up

Nice little late rally here. At least it held not like the last couple of days.

S&P 5001,200.93+6.26(+0.52%)

Journal says Tysabri needs more study

Looks like the New England Journal of Medicine is weighing the risks and rewards for Tysabri. I say if the people helped are willing to take the risk they should go for it. They should just monitor the person really closely and if they are getting the brain disease then they should stop the treatments immediately. It is a good thing though the Biogen and Elan are making damn sure everything is okay before going ahead.

Natalee Holloway story is getting Stranger and Stranger

Looks like they nabbed 3 more guys that may be connected to her disappearance. The were all students two guys from Surinam and a Dutch guy. Their story about dropping her off at the hotel in the early morning sounds kind of fishy though.

Maybe they dropped her off and the security guards nabbed her afterward but that doesn't seem right. They would have had to grab her right in front of the hotel. She would have probably put up a struggle and alerted people though.

Here is what may have happened. The students met her and partied with her at Carlos' n Charlie's bar and restaurant and took her somewhere else to maybe hook up with her. Maybe to the beach or something like that.

She had her bags packed already so this would have been one last fling before she went back to her honors courses and such in Alabama. A last chance to hook up with some exotic guys before returning to her regular, structured life in Mountain Brook.

The students may have given her some Extasy or just lots of liquor and she couldn't take it and died. They probably didn't even force her but said something like "just try it it will be fun." The students then freaked out and hid the body instead of alerting autorities. I have a feeling if it happened in the Netherlands or Surinam they would have called the cops, but not here in some strange country. I think this may be the case of a party gone wrong. It went from a tale she would tell her girlfriends back in Alabama to tragedy.

Starbucks expanding in China

Looks like Starbucks is going hog wild expanding in China. This statement seems interesting:

Starbucks already operates about 300 stores in China and Jim Donald, president of the company, said recently that there plenty of room for growth.

"China will be our largest market outside of the U.S.," he said in an interview last month. "Clearly there can be lots more than (the 300 stores), but we haven't really put a number to them yet because we don't know what the upside is."

More then Europe? I figured Europeans are the original coffee house people and they should be the 2nd biggest market. I guess there isn't much more expansion there.

I was thinking that the Chinese really don't drink much coffee but I guess Starbucks begs to differ. Maybe Starbucks will be serving more kinds of teas in those Chinese coffee houses or something. In any case you can kind of see the end of their growth plans here. After they expand to capacity in China then where else can they go?

30 Year Mortgages are dirt cheap

Wow, now these are some good rates on mortgages and they just keep dropping. I guess this is part of reason why there is a housing bubble. Lots of cheap money out there to buy multiple homes or get home equity loans. When that bubble bursts though you better have a large cash position or you will be hurting.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Glenn Reynolds Tech Central Station column

This is a very interesting article that Glenn wrote. I think customization is really going to be important as we go deeper into this century. We are already customizing our music (making smash ups, mix tapes etc.) in our Ipods and CDs. We are also customizing our ringtones, faceplate, etc. on our cell phones. Some PC games are modded so much that the mod is better then the game itself.

There are some problems with this customization paradigm though. I agree that some people will really enjoy having a one-of-a-kind item that they designed themselves. The problem is not all people are creative. Some people may just want a toaster that works. They won't have the time or skill to sit down and design an item that will do and look exactly how they want it to.

Also depending on the sheer number of options and tweaks that they have available people are going to be become overloaded and just go with the default. I think they call this option paralysis. I guess these are just a behaviors that the personal manufacturing machine company is going to have to overcome.

Wow, is Howard Dean is working for Rove?

I think he is a secret Rove plant to make the Democrats look like fools. Dean says:

Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

Yup, they are just a bunch of white Christians who act exactly the same. Sounds like something a bigot would say about blacks, gays, Jews, or some minority. If he replaced Republican with any of those minority groups he would have been run out of national life on a rail.

I am starting to think that he is a plant by Rove to discredit the Democrats. Noone could call this much attention to himself when he was simply trying to drum up money for the party.

This is the final whopper that convinced me:

"We have to be rough on the Republicans. Republicans don't represent ordinary Americans and they don't have any understanding of what it is to go out and try and make ends meet."

All this from a millionaire doctor who went to Yale and whos father, grandfather and great grandfathers were all investment bankers. I have a feeling that he doesn't shop at Sam's Club to fill the larders of his Park Avenue apartment. Rove must be pulling his strings!

Rangel says Iraqi Liberation is like the Holocost.

Looks like Rep. Charles Rangel(D) is comparing the Iraqi Liberation to the Holocost. This is the same Bush=Hitler stuff that crops up all the time. When are they going to understand that regular people don't agree with these kinds of statements.

This kind of rhetoric only plays to the people in their own echo chamber and noone else. Anyone with any kind of sense of decency can't compare the systematic slaughter of 6 million people to the freeing of 26 million other people. This is case in point why they lost the White House and will continue to keep on losing down the line.