Friday, July 29, 2005
Freedom of speech is never an issue when a popular person expresses an acceptable point of view, Koppel said at the end of Thursday's "Nightline."
"It is of real value only because it guarantees us access to the unpopular espousing the unacceptable," he said. "Then we can reject or accept it, condemn it or embrace it. No one should have the authority to make that decision for us. Not our own government; and certainly not somebody else's."What do you mean embrace it? Embrace the taking of civilian hostages at a gradeschool and then machine gunning some of them when they tried to escape? And I love how Koppel calls this soulless terrorist "unpopular." I guess he is kind of like Amarosa in Koppels twisted mind. I think Nightline needs a little ethics on who they give the bully pulpit to. I have a feeling they would jump at the chance to interview Osama. And would probably call him "unpopular" as well.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
"If you get nothing else out of the whole day today, we are very, very, very serious and committed about driving our presence with that community, versus any and all competitors in the marketplace," Ballmer told analysts. "It is a job-one priority for our company, this transformation to services and the competition that it brings with Yahoo! and Google and everybody else."
They see their number one competitors as Google and Yahoo and not Linux and Oracle. So it looks like they are adding a higher margin services model to their slow growth software business. They seem to have already moved search to the desktop in Vista.
I would be willing to bet that internet sites will eventually show up in your search results. Depending on how good the results are people will use this rather then Google. So advertisers will end up paying top dollar for MSFT searches because they will end up in front of every Windows user and not just every person that surfs to Google.
As long as they leave a way to change the engine to another source they aren't trying for the monopoly on search. In fact they can say that anyone who wants to search further can just use IE 7.0 to do it.
The other services would be interesting to note and this Financial Times article has some possible ideas. They think they will be:
Besides existing services such as internet search and the Xbox Live online games service, new areas of interest were likely to involve communications, web-based storage and tools to help workers collaborate better, executives said at the company's annual analyst meeting.
So this means data warehousing which is a business that is growing quite well. They may try to do a Vonage type thing with internet phone calls. That would be a new and growing business that they can leverage Vista with. Finally, that collaboration thing could be an enterprise level version of Remote Assistance but with good encryption and security. Something that is similar to what GoToMyPC does. If they can take advantage of these areas MSFT could be a growth stock again.
But imposing some insane tariff on *all* Chinese goods is not the way to fight back. A trade war is not something the US needs now. Also the WTO will strike this down so fast it will make your head spin. Rattling the sabre like this will only make many goods more expensive when Americans are groaning under high gas prices.
Both Snow and Greenspan are trying to talk these guys down. Let's hope these measures are defeated before they get any traction. A 27% raise in tariff will be like a 27% raise in taxes on regular working Americans that buy lots Chinese goods. In other words anyone who shops at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, JC Penny etc.
Residents in Tooting said police had arrested three Turkish men who worked at and lived above a fast food restaurant selling halal burgers Â made with meat slaughtered according to Islamic dietary laws. The restaurant owner, who gave his name as Ali, declined to identify the men but said they were aged about 26, 30 and 40. The oldest man had worked for him for eight years, and the other two had started about two months ago, he said.
They preyed on the kindness of the Brits who allowed them to enter their country and even keep their customs and traditions. One of them even worked for 8 years in the country and was still involved in this cowardly act.
This is the worst kind of betrayal. The Brits gave them a right to better life, freedom, and happiness and they stabbed them in the back. In fact this seems to me like a worse betrayal then 9/11 because the terrorists were Saudi's that infiltrated our country with work visas etc. They were outsiders worming their way in. The Brit terrorists in some cases are actual citizens who made lives for themselves in Britain. They were on the inside enjoying all the prosperity and freedom that the Brits could give them. Let's hope they get the death penalty.
"This is the day I've been waiting for," said JP Morgan automobiles analyst Philippe Houchois. "It's a wonderful day for the auto industry as a whole."
Now that's cold. Not only does Schrempp lose his job but analysts are saying that the whole industry is made better by him getting fired. The company is better, the industry is better, and damn it the whole world is better with Schrempp out on his ass!
In a pattern only ever seen on Gough Island, one mouse attacks a chick and the resultant blood appears to attract others, who gnaw into the defenceless chick's body, creating a gaping wound until it dies.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
A recent survey conducted by Kelly Blue Book and Harris Interactive revealed that 51% of people who plan to buy or lease a car within a year say they won't pull the trigger without incentives.
Further, 67% of those polled say the promotions impact which model they choose while 71% say the availability of these discounts affects the timing of their potential purchase.
Buyers seem like they really need these incentives or they won't buy the car. I like how the article uses the word "addicted" That is truly what they are if they won't even buy the car unless it is offered at a sale price or with cash back or something.
A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll published in USA Today said 32 percent of respondents believed the United States could not win the war in Iraq. Another 21 percent said it was possible the United States could win but they did not believe it would.
Um, hmm we already won the actual land war part of it and the elections showed that we are winning the political war. So what does USA Today call a "win" anyway? If we kill every insurgent in the country? Or if we make Iraq to 51st state? Maybe we can make Iraq a fiefdom of the Bush family and then USA Today will call it a "win." I love how these polls are manipulated.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Looking ahead, the company forecast third-quarter net sales between $1.76 billion and $1.91 billion and operating income between $60 million and $90 million.
Analysts on average have predicted third-quarter sales of $1.8 billion.
That sounds like a nice rise in expectations. I have been buying more and more from Amazon and their free shipping is the reason why I am doing so. I wouldn't sign up for the Amazon Prime service though because of the Super Saver Shipping deal they are still running seems like a better deal to me. Also Amazon Prime doesn't ship to Hawaii so I guess it doesn't matter if I liked the deal or not.
Their ice cream is great but it is really pricy though. I like to get the chocolate with the Oreo mix-in but it's like $4.00 or so. It really isn't worth it when you can just buy a regular pint of Ben & Jerry's or a 2 scoop sundae from Baskin & Robbins for cheaper.
According to Twitty, the witness said van der Sloot tried to hide his face with his hands as he drove to the Racquet Club with two Surinamese brothers, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe. The brothers were detained as suspects and later released.
Hmm, good eyesight for 2:30AM in the morning. I would have had a hard time seeing what a driver is doing with his hands at night but I guess this guy has really good night sight. The second witness said:
A second new witness told a private investigator hired by Holloway's family that she saw van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers drive into the Racquet Club three times that same night. The woman, who lives near the nightclub, has not yet spoken with investigators, he said.
Hmm, I guess a car driving back and forth 3 times would wake someone up but how does she know who was driving the car. I guess this Racquet Club is very well lit or something. The weird thing about all this is why the stepfather is talking about this stuff and not the Aruban authorities? They need to start giving people periodic updates or something so we don't get this second hand leaked info.
I'm still smelling coverup though. These 2 witnesses suddenly appear out of nowhere and can recognize people they have never saw before at 2:30AM. Sounds strange to me.
» BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE #6 (OF 6)
» CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY #11
» CATWOMAN #45
» DOOM PATROL #14
» THE FLASH #224
» JLA: CLASSIFIED #10
» THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #8
» NIGHTWING: YEAR ONE
» THE OMAC PROJECT #4 (OF 6)
» OUTSIDERS #26
» SGT. ROCK ARCHIVES VOL. 3
» SUPERMAN/BATMAN #21
» TEEN TITANS GO! #21
» WONDER WOMAN #219
» YEAR ONE: BATMAN/RA'S AL GHUL #2 (OF 2)
Looks like it will be a bigger week then normal for me. I will be picking up Flash #224, Superman/Batman #21, and OMAC Project #4. They all seem like great books and luckily I have them on my pull list so I don't have to worry about getting down to the store early on Wednesday.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Robert Bruno, a labor expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said having two union coalitions may boost organizing and political activity. "When nonunion workers have options, when they have competing unions vying for their membership, they'd be more likely to join," Bruno said.
Maybe FedEX and Wal-Mart workers can now shop around to see what the best union would be to help their wages and such. Competition is usually a good deal when it comes to things like this.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Walker's explanation did little to mollify critics, who point to the "Grand Theft Auto" series to highlight the issue of violence and sexuality in video games. The games celebrate nihilistic killing, and Take-Two has reveled in its image as the bad boy of a $25-billion global game industry that's trying to gain respectability to match its profits.
Um, the game doesn't celebrate nihilistic killing. You really aren't forced to kill people to score points like in a game like 25 to Life. And the funny thing about all this is they slapped the game with this A rating only after the sex scenes were revealed. The nihilistic killing only gave the game a M-rating.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Oh wait isn't Zell this screaming red-faced guy? Hehe, oh well.
But these stiff-necked parents groups jumped all over Rockstar who just caved like wimps. They should have fought it out a bit instead of rereleasing a game that groups like The Parents Television Council will not even play in the first place. The funny thing is these groups jumped on the game for showing a *gasp* a sex scene but the parts where you can cut the throat of a cop from behind was left in the game.
Now all this is going to do is drive up the price of the altered version of the game on the secondary market. It would be a good opportunity to buy as many copies of the current version as you can and sell them in a few weeks or months at a premium.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Even so, the company had to contribute $1.2 billion to its pension and post-retirement benefit plans in 2003 and $613 million in 2004. In the company's last annual report, HP said it expected to spend $910 million meeting those obligations in 2005.
The savings looks pretty good but they are still trailing their rivals pretty badly. IBM is beating them in servers and consulting and Dell is beating them in PC sales. IBM is being hit hard by paying out the pensions also though.
Even with the changes, IBM expects to spend up to $1.1 billion this year to shore up its defined-benefit pension plans for international workers, and already contributed $1.7 billion to its U.S. fund in January. IBM's chief financial officer, Mark Loughridge, said Monday that pension costs continue to rise.
That's $2 billion just to support retirees. Good thing IBM is growing their business pretty well so they can absorb this cost.
Now he gives up his chance at history by putting a Hispanic on the Supreme Court. He even defied his wife by not picking a woman as well. Maybe, he is going to try for a woman or a Hispanic person when Rehnquist retires. But getting Roberts through will probably be a monumental task. The deems are already getting mad because they weren't consulted on the thing according to lea:
"There has been some reaching to Democrats but certainly not to the extent we saw during the Reagan administration or the Clinton administration," he said.
Yup, so their initial story will be they weren't consulted on the nomination so they are going to be four-square against it. (They probably would have been no mater what though.)
If W had a squeaky clean Hispanic or another woman (or a Hispanic woman) up there, they could have made the deems seem to be standing in the way of history. They may have even been able to play the race card depending on how the deems phrased their rhetoric. Now they have to push some white guy through. Good luck W. You are going to need it.
For 15 days, half ate a daily 3.5 ounce (100 gram) bar of specially formulated, flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, while the other half ate the same amount of white chocolate.
This specially formulated bar is just what chocolateers like Hershey's and Cadbury needs to come out with. Some kind of healthy chocolate bar that is rich with flavonoids and is good for reducing blood pressure. Call it the Flavo-Bar or something like that.
Actually, Camron should just do a nude scene in a movie so it would drop the price of any further topless shots floating around. Or simply do a tasteful shoot by an artistic photographer and collect the big bucks herself.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The funny thing about these pacifists is trying to figure out what it would take for them to fight and kill for something. I guess it wasn't the threat of death on himself and family because the Blitz had been going on for some time when D.S. Savage wrote this screed in 1942.
What would it take to get these guys to fight back. I guess bombing from the air and the threat of invasion is not enough. Would this guy pick up a rifle if the Germans were actually landing the boats? Or would he stay a pacifist to the very end when he is put up against the wall and shot?
The same goes for the anti-war crowd today. Do we wait until they start chopping off peoples heads and daily bombing starts in the US like it was Israel? Or do we acquiesce to Al-Quida and wrap our women up like mummies and stone them if they drive a car? I guess these pacifists will just continue to say "not in my name" until a true totalitarian theocracy (they will say one is already in place) takes over. And then they can march in front of that black Ali Akbar banner with their principals to protect their necks from the sword.
» BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE #4 (OF 6)
» BIRDS OF PREY #84
» CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY VOL. 1: GET DOWN!
» DAY OF VENGEANCE #4 (OF 6)
» DETECTIVE COMICS #808
» THE FLASH: THE SECRET OF BARRY ALLEN
» THE HUMAN RACE #5 (OF 7)
» JSA CLASSIFIED #1
» MANHUNTER #12
» PLASTIC MAN #17
» THE POWERPUFF GIRLS #64
» ROBIN #140
» TEEN TITANS #26
» TEEN TITANS GO! VOL. 3: BRING IT ON!
I would probably be getting Birds of Prey #84, The Flash Secret of Barry Allen (I didn't even know this was coming out) and JSA Classified #1 which tells the origin of Power Girl. Should be a pretty good week I should think.
Also I think many religious Americans want to go out of their way to be PC when it comes to other peoples religious belief. So you don't hear too much about stealth Baptists sneaking into Riyadh in order to turn the Muslims into good Christians. (Even though that would be a good way to martyr themselves for the cause.) However you do see them go after atheists hammer and tongs. They think that if you testify to the person then you have a convert and have personally saved that persons soul from hell.
Then when the atheists hit back, saying they don't want to hear about your book or your testimony (or worse yet belittle the believers beliefs) the faithful rise up in fury. They think "I'm trying to save you from hellfire here and you don't want to listen?" Some atheists can be pretty insulting in their rejection of what is a core belief for the testifying person. They belittle the person as small-minded or believing in fairy tales. Or they have been duped by an organized religion that has been the cause of strife for centuries. I think being called an idiot for believing in something that they hold close to their heart would make anyone mad.
Add this to the fact that atheists are portrayed as totally lacking moral fiber of any kind and you can understand the hatred directed toward them by the faithful. Their religion teaches them morality and how to act when around temptations. So they think that someone without religion hasn't been taught this basic thing at all. This is of course wrong but it doesn't matter to the believer. They figure that not only are you saving their soul you are bettering civilization by putting this moral degenerate back on the strait and narrow.
Add this to the fact that the majority of Americans are in some sort of organized religion and you have a very volatile combination. I think the idea that atheists have of calling themselves something non-religious is a good one. Calling themselves "brights" isn't though because you are rubbing it in the face of believers that the atheists are smart and the believers are dumb. I think they should call themselves some sort of nonsense word like Ebay or Haagen Daaz or something. That way they can get away from religious terms and also not go around insulting the majority of Americans.
If all goes as planned, says Ellen Johnson, longtime president of American Atheists, at least one presidential candidate will be courting their vote in 2008.
Umm, I don't think so. The atheist Candidate will get laughed out of the room when the evangelical get a hold of them. Appealing to the religious in America is the only way to win the White House. Even a supposedly lapsed-Catholic like Kerry got religion all of the sudden. Even Hillary Clinton is wearing her religious stripes on her arm. Trust me, all of the candidates no matter what their belief will go out of their way to court that massive religious voter block.
Friday, July 15, 2005
"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," he told an official briefing for foreign journalists.
Is that a threat Zhu? So if we try to protect Taiwan from an invasion will the Chinese will nuke us? In any case this idiot should get fired for this kind of statement.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
We should all be deeply disturbed that a game which now permits the simulation of lewd sexual acts in an interactive format with highly realistic graphics has fallen into the hands of young people across the country," Clinton wrote in a letter to the head of the Federal Trade Commission.
Um, Hillary the game is rated M (Mature 17+) so no "kids" should have the game unless it fell into their hands due to idiot parents. Since this is a game mod too that is causing all the controversy then Take-Two really can't do anything about that. There are lots of game mods that allows you to make characters nude and such floating around the internet.
Also lest we forget is was Hillary's husband that subjected this nations' young people to all sorts of sordid things just a few years ago. Hey but pixelated characters in some video game is *much* worse then the Pres getting serviced by a civil servant and then hearing about it endlessly on the evening news.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Gauguin, Manet: You're number one when it comes to great minds that died of syphillis.
For a new release such as Fox's Robots, which comes out as a two-disk set on Sept. 27, prepare to pay $29.98. Overall, The DVD Release Report's numbers show that the retail price for DVDs of new movies has been creeping up steadily for the last five years.
Yup, unless you really want to own the movie to watch it over and over it really isn't worth plunking down $29.98 on that movie. I recently joined Netflix and for $14.99 I can rent two movies at a time. This is less then the price of one DVD. So now I am only renting the movies that I want to see but I don't want cluttering up my apartment. I may never need to buy a DVD again.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #1
THE BATMAN STRIKES! #11
GREEN ARROW #52
THE RANN/THANAGAR WAR #3 (OF 6)
SEVEN SOLDIERS: GUARDIAN #3 (OF 4)
SUPERMAN/BATMAN VOL. 3: ABSOLUTE POWER
WONDER WOMAN #218
I will probably be getting All Star Batman and Robin #1 (if I can find it.) I will also be buying JLA #116 because it is the 2nd part of the fantastic Crisis of Conscience storyline. I will probably be buying the Rann/Thanagar War #3 also because I have the first two issues already so I might as well get the next several parts.
He said police had found personal documents with the names of three suspects close to the scene of three of the blasts.
All four men were believed to be British nationals, a police source said. Three came from West Yorkshire in northern England, an area with a large Muslim population of south Asian origin.
Why would suicide bombers bring personal documents if they knew they were going to die? I suspect that the police figured out the people were British nationals by looking at these documents. So there was probably a drivers license or some kind of ID card in their wallets.
The real thing that would push it into the conspiracy zone is if there was money with them that was beyond what they needed for their train or bus passes. They know it is a one way trip so they wouldn't need any extra cash for a pack of gum or a magazine on the way back home.
I heard one thing from the news that may explain why the suicide bombers brought their wallets. The expert said they weren't in their right mind so they didn't think about their wallets or even if they would need them. So in other words they strapped on the bomb belt then grabbed their keys, watch, and wallet and went out to get those 75 white raisins/virgins/free trip to hell. I think it would be very hard to fathom the mind of some coward that is willing to kill himself just to murder others. So I think this is a very valid explanation.
Whatever the case I think Israeli officials would be the best people to know the number of suicide bombers that carry their wallets with them. Also our boys in Iraq could give us hard numbers on this as well. It would be an interesting thing for the experts to know (and they probably do) in order to understand how the minds of these cowards work.
Monday, July 11, 2005
One massive earthquake is estimated to have hit the region in 900, while eyewitness accounts from the 19th century point to a huge earthquake and tsunami that hit the area in 1700.
Sounds like a fun science project I think.
President Bush is relying on commanders in Iraq to judge when the time is right to adjust the level of U.S. forces, based in part on an assessment of how capable the U.S.-trained Iraqi government forces are of fighting the insurgency on their own.
They are not like Abercrappy (Neil Abercrombie the lefty representative from Hawaii) and the rest of the cut and run crowd. At least they are asking the commanders how many troops they need to get the job done. They aren't going to pull out willy nilly by some self appointed date pulled out of thin air.
This article brings up the spectre of piracy by saying that the movie is pirated as soon as the movie starts its theatrical release. Then people just buy the pirated DVD for $5 instead of buying it from the store weeks later. I think this could be part of the problem but I think the market may be saturated by DVDs. This is a one buy item after all. Once you have the movie you don't need another one for any reason.
One theory I have is that cheap rentals (now without late fees) could be eating into DVD sales as well. The movie is sent right to their home without any muss or fuss. They can then rip the DVD if the movie is good enough to own. There is no reason to go to the store to buy the DVD when you can have it delivered right into the home.
I think Emilio Garza would be a better choice because he isn't as high profile as Gonzalez. This would make it easier to get him past the first line of bad press. Whatever nominee that they pick had better be as clean as a whistle or they will be attacked up and down. They can't afford to have another Bernard Kerik paraded before everyone.
Friday, July 08, 2005
It succeeds on the goofy part, presenting a shallow tale that has a few laughs but no real drama. Less a movie than an anecdotal collection of slapstick action, "Fantastic Four" carries the silliness to such a degree you practically expect campy flashes of "Thwap!" and "Kapow!" a la the 1960s "Batman" TV show.
Batman of the 60s is the pinnacle of campy comedy superhero stuff. The bar has been set too high with Spiderman 1 and 2 and Batman Begins to revisit this kind of drek again. I really hope the movie isn't as bad as this reviewer makes it out to be. If it is then Marvel will only have X-men and Spider-man as bankable franchises. All of the rest of the stuff pales in comparison.
The inane banter was especially bad because they cut into the performances as well. So we ended up with MC Lyte or that Indian guy talking about some stupid thing or another while there is a band singing in the background. That is unpardonable IMO. I just wanted to make them shut up for a minute so we could listen the music in the background. MTV/VH1 should be ashamed of themselves.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
And I think this Winston Churchill quote is quite apt as well:
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, What is our policy? I will say; "It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy." You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory - victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I would say that 70 percent to 80 percent have been in the stock market and were burned in 2000 and 2001 or just do not feel they have any control over what's happening."
70 to 80 percent got taken in the internet bubble? That would really suck if they get burned again since they have even less time to make up the losses before they hit retirement.
Wow, that must have been some scene. "I had a great meal Scarlett and now I shall reveal those who lurk in darkness!" Cruise throws open the door to reveal a 2nd room full of wooly eyed folk who scrabble in hoping to dine with (on?) the young woman. Scarlett flees from the room with the refrain from Hotel California "they were gathered for the feast; stabbed it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the Beast." repeating over and over in her head.
ReNeuron will supply cells for StemCells to use under the cross-license.
They may be able to fly under the US ban by using cells harvested from the UK. I'm not sure if that is legal but it is a nice hedge against Bush's veto of that stem cell bill.
How can we be the evil empire and occupier of the world when our commander keeps falling down? I think we need to invade Scotland in retaliation for this ignominy!
Mr Chirac then reportedly said: "You can't trust people who cook as badly as that. After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."
This blog post says that 2 of the judges were Finnish. Could old Chirac have opened his big mouth and caused Paris to miss out on the Olympics? They were certainly the front runner for a while there and suddenly they were out in the cold. Maybe those pissed off Finns conviced some of the voters to go the English way? I think Chirac needs to keep the insults to himself before he causes a real problem done the line.
They really should think about not going out to the various bars in the area because there always seems to be some drunken fight. Maybe the Real World needs to take a hint and realize that many people don't want them around. Especially if it is in some kind of dance club or bar. I guess they need some hapless Real Worlder to get seriously injured so that they take the hint.
Also the hookups on the show have been progressing lightning quick. One girl broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years almost as soon as the show started to be with the guy that got beat down. That part seemed kind of fishy to me.
I'm really liking the military girl that was a nurse in Iraq. She made a comment about hating Michael Moore that made my heart leap. She's putting on the full court press to hook up with the blond guy, but the blond guy likes the Peruvian girl. I don't know what the blond guys problem is because the military girl wants to hook up in the worst way. Maybe he will wise up as the show progresses.
Finally, I have noticed that from watching this Real World, and the Inferno 2 that these people just love to get drunk. They drink all night, get into fights, and then say sloppy drunken things to one another. It almost seems that MTV is getting some secret funding from the liquor lobby or something. Maybe they need to start calling the show: Jack Daniels presents the Real World Austin.
"Many people do reckon that London is the greatest city in the whole world at the moment," an exultant Blair said after hearing the result in Gleneagles, Scotland, where he is hosting the G-8 summit.
"I do reckon it, I tell ya what." *said in a Hank Hill drawl*
Beth Holloway Twitty's statements were inflammatory though.
Two suspects were released yesterday who were involved in a violent crime against my daughter," she said.
"These criminals are not only being allowed to walk around among the tourists and citizens of Aruba," she said, but there were no limits on where they could go.
I think she needs to tone down her statements a bit. First of all there is no indication that it was a violent crime against her daughter. I still think she was on ecstasy or was really drunk and either drowned while swimming, accidentally hit her head, or died of alcohol poisoning.
Secondly she should have used the word "suspects" to describe the two brothers. Criminals are people that have been convicted of a crime. These guys are suspected of a crime but probably didn't violently kill Natalee. I have a feeling that they did help hide her body or saw what went down between her and the Dutch teen.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE #5 (OF 6)
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #67
BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #193
BLOOD OF THE DEMON #5
CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME #6 (OF 6)
DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2 (OF 4)
ELFQUEST: THE GRAND QUEST VOL. 9
GOTHAM CENTRAL #33
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #11
LOONEY TUNES #128
ROGUE TROOPER VOL. 2: FORT NEURO
SON OF VULCAN #2 (OF 6)
TRANSGENESIS 2025 VOL. 1: ANCESTOR PROGRAM
VILLAINS UNITED #3 (OF 6)
Well this week I'm going to be getting Villains United #3 of course. This comic is my favorite one out right now. And JSA #75. I will also be buying House of M #3 because I bought the first two and the series is getting pretty good.
I have been in Build a Bear before and the idea seems like a winner. The store allows you to make your own plush toy complete with clothing and accessories. So it taps into kids imagination and creativity.
The only problem that the store has is that it cannibalizes business when two stores are too close together. I mean how many hand-designed stuffed bears does a kid need? They only need one store per mall to bring in the cash. Thus their growth is naturally restrained.
Also the business seems very labor intensive because the bears go through a lot of steps to go from the bin that holds their outer covering to the little house like thing that they are sold in. Finally, the workers have to be more caring and patient then some retailers have to be because they deal with little kids the majority of the time. I assume they are paid fairly well or they are studying to be Kindergarten teachers of something.
However there is a growth engine on the horizon. It was mentioned in a Business Week article that a read a couple of months ago. Build a Bear is considering a new concept store called Build a Friend workshop. In this concept they allow kids to design a doll and dress them with various fashions and styles. It would be a great idea if a kid could design a baby doll or maybe a Barbie style doll.
Girls can come in and purchase additional accessories and new styles to dress the dolls that they have created with. In fact they could sell accessories like cars or Dream Houses that could also be customized.
A partnership with Barbie or Bratz would be huge in this case because the girls will not only have a hand in creating and dressing the dolls; they will also get to pick the make and model of her dream car as well. Just making custom doll houses could be a lucrative business that they could get sponsorship money from. This Dream House has a Sub Zero fridge, Price Pfister Faucets, and painted with Behr brand paint. It would be a great way to build brand awareness in kids before they are even old enough to buy the things.
They can also have some kind of action figure design thing for boys. Similar to the Gi Joes with the cloth uniforms that came out in the 60-70s. They can have various uniforms (or civilian togs) that they could wear and different weapons that they could buy. The child can even buy various types of cars that come in different colors, makes, and models. A James Bond style doll would be a big seller I think.
This build a friend idea taps the younger kids with the baby dolls, and the older kids with the Barbie or Bratz style doll. Currently they are only tapping the younger kids with those stuffed animals. The accessories and add-ons revenue stream may be quite lucrative depending on how many are purchased and who they license them from.
"Risk of brain-drain and lost business dissipates now that leadership and succession issues are resolved," Merrill analysts wrote in their report.
I seem to remember that most of the brain-drain happened because those bankers were leaving for better deals at the other brokers. I guess Merrill thinks that Mack is going to throw more money at the bankers to keep them loyal. Let's hope that move doesn't hurt their bottom line.
However, it may be a good idea to look at these brokerage stocks. I read an article in the Economist that says that the majority of these stocks are undervalued according to their metrics. Their valuations are lower because their profits are pretty hard to predict. One quarter they do great (Lehman last quarter) and the next they do poorly (Morgan last quarter.)
I guess brokers valuation is how they are because they really are the definition of the cyclical stock. When the economy is doing good there will be lots of mergers, trading profits, and lots of trading fees are generated. It is just the opposite when the economy hits a rough patch. So that risk is built into what their stocks trade at. They used to say this about housing stocks and they seem to go up and up and still have low P/Es
Hapless Senate Republicans. Emboldened Senate Democrats. And a second-term president facing nothing but politically risky choices.
We also have W portrayed as a lame duck again only a few months into his 2nd term. I guess they figure if they can just repeat it enough it will be true.
Whatever the case they should just put some other name up there. I assume the W-admin has some other pro-reform UN guys lined up somewhere. Just use one of these guys instead of Bolton.
The UN is going to dodge the "oil for food scandal" bullet here if we continue to dicker with who the ambassador will be. The UN cannot be let off the hook on this one after they totally blew 2 different cases of African genocide. The UNs feet must be held to the fire, if not by Bolton, then by some other qualified person.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Or perhaps people are buying a regular car for the day to day driving back and forth to work and a pickup for weekend stump removal, hauling lumber from Home Depot, tailgating, etc. Interest rates are certainly low enough that people could afford to maintain two vehicles as long as they don't use them every day.
McAlpine said. "What's really happened is that some of the retailers are probably returning product sooner rather than later. Wal-Mart wants to move that inventory faster."
I have noticed this trend, in that Wal-Mart doesn't seem to stock as big a library as they once did. They want to get lots of copies of the newest movie so their back catalogue of stuff is pretty thin. Lots of time, there are empty spots where an older movie has been. Other times it is very hard to find certain movies if they are about a year old.
But DVD sales are still looking pretty robust around these parts though. Recently the movie Hitch was 100% sold out the last time I was at Wal-Mart. I could never remember a romantic comedy selling out every copy as long as I have been buying DVDs. Maybe Will Smith is just that big a star.
Experts say shark attacks are rare, pointing out that there were only 30 in 2003 among the millions of people who hit the state's beaches. Most of those attacks were minor bites on the feet or ankles. Last year, when four hurricanes kept many visitors away, there were 12 attacks.
I bet there are more then 30 people who got attacked by swans in the last month. I guess sharks are just that much more cool then swans.
No matter who W chooses there will be a massive throwdown over it. They will dig up some idiotic thing from this persons early 20s or something and pin it on them. Character assassination will be taken to a high art form. This person is going to have to walk through fire and they still won't give her an up-or-down vote. My guess the fight will be ugly and leave you feeling greasy and even more convinced that Washington is a big joke.