26 February 2009

Molon labe

That didn't take long, did it?

In case that wasn't clear . . . .

Who is John Galt?

“…whining rotters who never rouse themselves to any effort, who do not possess the ability of a filing clerk, but demand the income of a company president, who drift from failure to failure and expect you to pay their bills, who hold their wishing as an equivalent of your work and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort … who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence…”


24 February 2009

The Bailout Prize Patrol

This is why we live in the greatest country ever! In certain other countries, these kids would be arrested and charged with such crimes as "making your elected officials look bad" and "bringing shame to CEOs of failed companies."

Keep it up, guys!

How to Ruin Your Business

Cruising over to Clark Howard's site, I saw that he had a blurb about United Airlines and how they are totally revisiting their business model.

Namely, they're gonna stop offering their overseas customer service call center.

I can just imagine how the conversation went down in their boardroom.

Bigwig: Customers don't seem to get good service when the call with a compaint, but our email and snailmail models work pretty well.

Bigwig 2: Yes, obviously it is because people are too freaking stupid to understand Hindi. We should eliminate that call center.

Bigwig 3: That could save us dozens of dollars and allow us to keep our bonuses.

Bigwig 4: All in favor of doing away with any pretense that we actually care about our customers, please raise your hand! Okay, that's a unanimous vote. We axe the Indian call center, tell our customers to go screw themselves, and we'll somehow keep our market share in the face of rising fuel costs, increased traveler angst, and a worsening economic recession.

Great job, guys. Note to businesses: Your customers pay the bills. Treat them well. Telling them to go eff-off is not a path to success.

Macroeconomics 101: Uncertainty

As we watch our 401k's sink in value, as we gaze upon the destruction that used to be our 529 plans for the kids, keep in mind that the whole of the economy depends on one thing. That thing isn't necessarily crude oil or low taxes, nor even the industrious nature of those who innovate, create, and drive themselves to be better than their competitors.

No, the one thing that holds the economy together is "confidence." We can be reasonably confident that we'll wake up and go to work tomorrow, and we can be reasonably confident that we'll get our next paycheck. We're pretty sure that our taxes won't suddenly jump up overnight, nor will the Social Security Administration suddenly decide that it does have a solvency problem and want to fix it with 75% of your pay.

Similarly, when there is uncertainty, or lack of confidence, the market suffers. Think of your own life: If you weren't sure where your next paycheck would come from, would you go out to dinner tonight? Would you sign up for that $200k mortgage? If there was a decent chance that you might not come back from the grocery store, would you head out to pick up that gallon of milk you forgot to get yesterday?

So, with our intrepid President Obama and his Gathering of Clowns (also known as Congress) leading the way, we have speeches about how dire the economic situation is (uncertainty), how it's all the fault of things we don't really understand (more uncertainty), and that we don't really have a decent plan for what to do (ah, the uncertainty topping!).

Watch Obama's body language when he's talking about the economy. He doesn't have a freaking clue about what to do, because for all of his "golden boy" status, he never learned the real lessons of life.

As long as this train-wreck of a government is going to try to "help" I fully expect the markets to continue to spiral downwards. Why? Because these guys couldn't find their way out of a paper bag, much less try to control a $14 trillion economy.

Although I am unhappy to see my retirement monies disappear like a campaign promise, I will be sitting and gloating when those who voted for these ass-hats come to the realization that stupidity can not save you from stupidity.

Wisdom can only be brought with pain. Prepare to get really wise over the next few years.

23 February 2009

Motivational Quotes - Duty

All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.
George S. Patton

A universal truth: All men are afraid in battle. From the time of Alexander the Great to the pilot of the F-22, when the time comes to fight for your life, you are afraid.

Another universal truth: Duty is the essence of manhood. There is none who can call himself a "man" who has walked away from his responsibilities. Fleeing before the might of the Persians, or running away when you discover you're about to become a father, both have their root in cowardice.

Be dutiful, and the respect of others will be heaped upon you. Shirk your duties, and you will be the repository of others' scorn. And rightfully so.

20 February 2009

I, for one, will welcome our new Metal Overlords

Judgement Day approaches! Well, it does according to this article.

But I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. After all, with all the experience of companies like Microsoft, I'm sure there's no reason to think that code does something that you're not expecting.

For the record of history, I will not be one of the resistance leaders or organizers, so you metal machines can just not worry about teleporting back in time to try to kill me, okay? But if the Resistance is listening and you want to send me back a cybernetic protector, could you maybe make it the River Tam model, please? Thanks.


14 February 2009

Welcome, Socialism!

Last night, the US Senate passed the Craptacular Porkulus Bill, designed to fund every pet project the Democrats could think up. Building roads, funding schools, spending money for STD prevention, grants to cities so that those cities can build water slides (thanks, Carmel!), setting up a health-care rationing board that will have the power to fine doctor if those doctors do something as horrible as prescribe the latest and best medicines (because that darned new technology is too expensive, don't ya know), extend unemployment benefits (how this makes one more likely to go out and get a job they never explained), and fund "green" energy projects that use technology that has yet to prove its effectiveness.

Overnight, the United States has added 30% to its national debt, and that number currently stands at $13,000,000,000,000. Think about that for a moment. The GDP of the US, being the total value of goods and services sold in the entire frickkin' country, is a little over $14 trillion. That means that everything you make, everything your neighbor makes, everything the company you work for makes, everything anyone in this country makes would need to be confiscated for a year. Can you survive without a salary for a year?

My preditions:
  1. The "Stimulus" will fail to create the kinds of jobs that are needed to come out of a recession.
  2. Printing money without the requisite increase in productivity creates inflation. We just increased the money supply by about 10%, so expect inflation to go over 10%.
  3. Democrats will not take any responsibility for the economic catastrophy they have created.
  4. Republicans might be able to win back the House in 2010. But the Senate will have to wait until 2012.
  5. Conservatives will be blamed for all the bad stuff that happens in the economy, although conservatives haven't been in power in the past decade.
  6. People require the government to run their lives (health care, retirement, what foods to eat) will get exactly what they deserve, but will still whine that it's not their fault they're unemployed and broke and fat. These people, incapable of learning from their mistakes, will demand that the government do more to help them.
  7. Those of us who take responsibility for our lives will continue to look at which other countries might be more receptive to having creative, driven people relocate there. I've personally always liked Ireland, Austrailia, and New Zealand.