Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

Just some random thoughts on issues great and small...

1.) Did you hear the Bob Griese (football legend) ooops when he made a racially insensitive remark about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya?

They were discussing a promo graphic listing the top five drivers in the Chase for the Cup race, when broadcast partner Chris Spielman asked, "Where's Montoya?" to which Griese responded, "Out eating a taco."

OMG what a horrible, terrible, racist, God-awful, earth-shattering thing to say. OK, so he wasn't too bright to say that in this day of hyper-sensitivity, but for Heaven's sake it was a minor fopaugh. Ask yourself this: If someone had asked "where's Tony Stewart?" and Griese had said, "out eating a cheeseburger" would anyone have to apologise? The answer is no.

Move on, nothing to see here.

2.) It seems to me that the average (uninformed) person regards the "fight" against climate change with the same passion they give to recycling. No one, not even those evil American flag waving conservatives, want waste and pollution to choke the planet. So most people casually go along with this hoax of "fighting climate change" because they want to feel good about themselves the way they do every week when they put the recycling on the curb. So far they have paid nothing but the cost of an overpriced hybrid in the driveway.

The problem is the purveyors of this hoax are using the good will and noble intentions of the hybrid driving recyclers to advance an agenda they know will do nothing to stop climate change - because it a preposterous goal on the face of it. Their real goal is to redistribute the wealth of the hardworking and productive to the backward and corrupt as if somehow the hardworking and productive are cheating the poor out of their share of the wealth. If people really understood what the "climate" pimps (including and especially President Obama) are doing I doubt they would go along with it.

3.) The health care issues in this country are real, no question about it. Too many people have no access to health care coverage. So, when the "government is the only answer" crowd toss up one lie after another to demonize their opponents it becomes harder and harder to weed out the good ideas from the bad. The biggest whopper of all is the constant lie about obscene profits for the health care insurance industry. It's just plain not true...

The truth is that the healthcare insurance industry's profits are small fraction of that of other industries. For example, Network Equipment manufacturers reap 20.4% profits, Railroads 12.6%, Crude Oil extraction 11.5%, Securities 10.7 %, Household & personal products 8.7%. Where does the health care insurance industry fall? A whopping 2.2%. Why that's obscene!

4.) The White House vs Fox News is either a brilliant strategy by one or both parties or a disaster for the seemingly thinned skinned Obama administration. One school of thought is that the White House having no illusions of turning Fox News around is firing a warning shot at the other networks. This one is a little weak. The other theory I heard that the more Fox is attacked the more shrill and over the top it will become making the already near-parody news/opinion operation even more goofy. This one is plausible. The most likely scenario is the one that seems most obvious. This White House feels entitled to complete and utter adoration and Fox News just isn't playing along. The hissy fit angle seems about right to me.

5.) The Stock Market Rally that's been ongoing since March is perplexing on the face of it. Really though it's not that surprising. Companies will enjoy increased profits and increased dividends when they have slashed their payrolls to the bone and reduced their inventories to one deep. Lead times for manufactured goods are going way up because the reduced work force. Eventually this will backfire. Without (employed) consumers driving demand across all non military sectors eventually profits and dividends will fall. Unless employers see the need to start calling people back to work a double dip recession (or worse) is a distinct possibility. There are a few proven forecasters predicting the "or worse" part.

I'm jumping down from the watchtower now... I've got work to do.