Monday, February 28, 2011

Accounting 101: The Income Statement

(Hat tip to Lex for the link)

My accounting professor would be so proud...of the fact I'm looking at an income statement in my spare time, not because the data brings a lot of comfort.

I love the fact that, as Lex mentioned, if you completely removed the Defense budget, you'd still be left with a deficit of $800 billion.  That's with a "B".

Save that little tidbit of information to use the next time a random hippie talks about the "massive, out of control military industrial complex" (they usually put something else in there about Hitler, racism, or about how all of life's problems are the result of something President Bush did).

While we should all be ready to trim the edges, as the Defense Department has already taken a lead on, we must...must...acknowledge the white elephant sitting in the corner of the room.  And eating everything we have.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

See This Movie

Don't make any excuses, don't waste any time....see this movie (documentary).

Yeah, it's that important.


Wondering what the economic connection is?  Here you go.  "The mainsprings of development are the rule of law and a GOOD SCHOOL SYSTEM."

Quote, unquote.  Read and enjoy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two To Go

How sad is it that we only have two more shuttle launches to go?

After that, I guess it's "just too expensive".  I guess we've "already done that".  Need to build a high speed rail system, or something.

Some men would say there are better uses of our money.  Some incredible men.

Is there a more noble venture than space exploration?  Have we relegated ourselves to letting the machines explore for us?  If so, where will the new heroes come from?

One of my most memorable moments was meeting and hanging out with Gene Kranz.  Why do I have the feeling that my daughter will never know the feeling of awe and joy of seeing our country continue to lead mankind into space?

I hope I'm wrong.  I hope our leaders remember the power of exploration.

An Economic Twist To An Old Conversation

Thought this was an amazing twist to the topic of immigration

Texas demographer: 'It's basically over for Anglos'

How do you write a budget today for a future that has an uncertain tax base?  Is this an argument for educating the tax base, or is this an argument for adjusting the budget now for a lower future tax revenue?  If the latter, is that fair for the people who are currently paying taxes?

Is there a way around this?  Looks like the solvency of the Texas budget is comprised for the future.  Should other states be looking at this, too?

Time To Ruffle Feathers

Friday, February 25, 2011



Seriously.  You're being serious?  Com'on, serious?  Like, no kidding around, you're being serious?

Folks, I think he's serious.

"Easy."  Quote, unquote.

Well, wasn't the first word to come to my mind when thinking about how this was going to go.

Friday Review

Well, it's Friday, and to honor New York City's nanny state, I give you today's review:

The Dunhill Signed Range.  A nice torpedo size, 5 1/2" by 52 ring gauge.

My first Dunhill SR was smoked in Bahrain.  Gotta admit, after 8 weeks out at sea, everything was great.  But had a couple while I was there, and even my buddies admitted this was a great smoke.  I thought this was a Cuban when I smoked it, and learned after I returned back to the States that this was a Dominican.  The company has an interesting history, too.

Medium draw, medium burn (45min), and very smooth consistency.  Heavy nut with a little vanilla, medium spice (but not too much), and light wood.  Extremely smooth cigar with great construction....burned evenly with only 2 touch-ups.

I recently bought a box of these lovely sticks, and am anxious to smoke one.  Ok, I already smoked one.  But I violated a major rule...they must relax in the humidor after a week in the mail.  Wasn't the best smoke, but that's because they were stressed from being out of humidity for so long.

Overall, buy as many boxes of these as you can.  They are quite nice.

Thanks New York!

Request to Land....

Pilot: "Request PAR Runway 31."

Controller: "How will this approach terminate?"

Pilot: "Full stop."

Controller: "Roger...wait...Sir, was just informed we have no Runway 31."

Pilot: "You have no Runway 31?"

Controller: "That's correct.  We have a new runway 32, but you'll have to land visually.....we're not sure where it came from."

Pilot:  "Uh...."

(Note to the reader:  Unless you are (a) an aviator, and (b) a dork, the above will not be funny to you in the least.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just the Facts, Jack

For fellow econ geeks, some meat to chew on.

Take a good look at the differences in Net Government Savings starting in 2008.

Add to that the direction of our currency.

My recommendation?

Referring back to the Labor Dept's numbers...yes, that's in billions of dollars.  With a "B".  Oh boy.

Brave, Brave Sir Pelosi

If only all of us could write our own story line.  

Not taking away from all the work the Congresswoman has done.  Politics aside, it is very common in public service to work incredibly hard, but not have that much recognition.  

Some may say that's the point.  Service is the reward, as I like to say.

But, I guess when you place your happiness in things that are fading, you have to "keep people informed" of how magnificent you are...or something of that nature.

Reminds me of the scene from Holy Grail where Sir Robin doesn't like the words being sung.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Kinder, Gentler Rhetoric

When Congresswoman Giffords was shot, we were told to "tone it down" in political rhetoric.  It was now unacceptable to use certain rhetoric...because, you know, it will make crazy people do crazy things.  And let's create an "institute" to educate non-crazy people on how crazy people can be crazy if we say the wrong crazy things.  Yeah, I'm confused too.

I guess it only applies to one side of the aisle, huh?

Bloody, indeed.

I've never had a problem with using "battleground" terminology in politics.  If someone has a problem saying "battleground state" or "put your opponent in the cross-hairs", they're being too politically correct...and need to find something more important to worry about in their spare time.

But, it's the "it's good enough for you, but not for us" that bothers me.  Double standards stink...period.  Especially when we're discussing real issues.  If we are seriously worried about the safety of our fellow Americans, then let's all agree to tone it down.  Otherwise, focus on the real issues.

Speaking of safety, is this what we want for our elected officials?

But, if it's just another method of silencing your opponents with terms like "racist", "hater", or "dangerous" instead of actually debating real issues, then shame on them.

Isolated incident?  Nope.


And, nope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"A Nation Which Forgets Its Heroes..."

"...will itself soon be forgotten."

Tip of the hat to you, Staff Sergeant Maschek.  You have more courage in your little finger than some students at Columbia.

I guess military folks are far worse than more distinguished speakers.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tahrir, Wisconsin

I earlier posted about how I thought the media was comparing the union strike in Wisconsin to the recent uprising revolution in Egypt...and how absurd that was.

Well, the media decided to make my job easier.  I really don't have to explain in depth at all...similarities, metaphors...he just comes right out and says it.

It's still absurd.  It's still unethical to make such a link.  This blog and other editorials are allowed to spout crazy assertions or ideas.  But the "main stream" media is held to a higher standard.  We go to them to "get the facts".  If we decide we want to form opinions, we go to opinion makers...or even better, we make our own.  I understand that, intentionally or unintentionally, opinions creep into the writing.  That's just human.  But to use the position of "fact giver" as a platform to editorialize...or worse, to unethical.

Again, until we start solving problems, we won't have anything to politic over.  Without being a union member, I can still appreciate the need for unions...and understand the historical reasons for needing them.  But I can not rationalize the union's assertion that "what's good for you is not good for us."  Is collective bargaining a "right"?  Or is it a privilege? Is it something that people cannot live without?  Or is it something that must be metered with economic reality?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Graphs Worth a Thousand Words

Some food for thought...ironic it's from the IRS.

Yup, I'd call that sustainable.  Time to put down politics for a while, and fix our economic problems.

Or, there won't be much left to politic over if we don't.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Precious

"Smeagol" Skippy....oh, precious.....

Did you notice about the 1:30 mark how the headlights were compensating for the turn?  You didn't?

Still not sold?  Ok, well, one more.

Still accepting donations to the Skippy Maximus Riding Foundation.  Your contributions are still not tax deductible.

Think of the children.

Unauthorized Absence

So much for the will of the know, that unfortunate thing called elections.

I think the scariest thing I saw today was a sign being held by one of the protesters..."Walk like an Egyptian".

And the news is covering the event, just like it was Tahrir Square, Wisconsin.

I don't remember seeing anything about Unions being a branch of the government, but it sure seems like they are able to control our elected officials a little too much for my comfort.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And How Does This Help?

In my first grad program, my thesis was on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.  While I agree the continued settlement by the Israelis does not help (it hinders) a peace settlement, how does this help?

Seriously, do we think we'll make Arab friends by doing this?  Will they respect us more?  Is this a step toward a peace?  Nope.  Yet another inexperienced move. 

In yet another display, we show how completely random we are when it comes to foreign policy.  Makes it hard to trust us when we continue to move about in the world just looking to become more "internationalist".

Realism, baby.  It's the only good national security policy.

Just when it couldn't get more conflated, we decided against formally saying "it's bad" and now we're just saying, you know...well, not sure what we're saying.

See what I mean?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Answer?

"Having to explain myself to you."

Yup, that would probably be it.  The worst response ever.  

But it would be so very cool for about 2.5 seconds.  

A New Housing Market Crash... Berkeley.

Seriously, these people are nuts.  Yes, nuts.  That's a technical term.

Sad, because this is a nice area.

But, when emotions overtake logical thinking...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ah, now I understand

(H/T Lex)

As I continue with this weekend's balance sheet (see below), ran across a wonderful You Tube video.  It involves whiskey, politics, humor, and the economy.

Seriously, does it get any better?

Realistically, though, is there any way out of this hole?  My first response would be to stop digging, but could be wrong.  Does the collapse happen when our creditors say "no mas" or when our local/state governments start going bankrupt?  This is not just a federal the heart of the matter is the size of government.  It's a monolith, and it takes a lot of funding to keep it going.

In addition, one of the problems with democracy is that people can vote for their own pay raise.  Politicians who promise to give you more money sound attractive...and get elected.

In the end, even though I am frustrated with government, the Constitution reminds us who to really blame: We the People.

Oh, and I'm for term limits, a flat tax, and huge tort reform in medicine.  Pretty sure that fixes everything.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thanks Lex

A hat tip to Neptunus  Lex...was kind enough to add a link on his blog to yours truly.

He has a great post on the breaking news from Egypt.  Spend some time over at Lex's...he's pretty smart, even for a pointy nose guy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'd usually just place an update to an earlier post, but this deserves it's own post.

"Director of National Intelligence: Muslim Brotherhood largely secular...has eschewed violence"

Seriously, there is some weird agenda here, or our leaders need a better research staff.

I'm available.  But you may not agree with what I have to say.


Celebratory picture after our accounting mid-term...

Debits, credits, and ratios.  Who knew it was so hard to balance?

Don't know about the rest of my MBA classmates, but I'm going to work on a different balance sheet this weekend...

Monday, February 7, 2011

As I get taxed tomorrow...

let's hope the demand curve is inelastic and deadweight is reduced.  I don't know what that means either, but sounds cool.

This M.B.A. program is actual work.


One two three midterms done, two one to go.  In the meantime, some meat to chew on.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Today was a good day

Was good to roll the throttle again today...

Accepting donations to the "Skippy Maximus Riding Foundation".  Your donations are not tax deductible.

Think of the children.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Why are people using "Muslim Brotherhood" and "peace" in the same sentence...along with "democracy" too?

Simply, if you think the Muslim Brotherhood is a nonviolent, democratic movement in Egypt, you are either listening to too much NPR (which I listen to every day, and try not to throw things while listening), or you are not a student of history.

Via Andrew McCarthy:
One might wonder how an organization can be thought to have renounced violence when it has inspired more jihadists than any other, and when its Palestinian branch, the Islamic Resistance Movement, is probably more familiar to you by the name Hamas — a terrorist organization committed by charter to the violent destruction of Israel. Indeed, in recent years, the Brotherhood (a.k.a., the Ikhwan) has enthusiastically praised jihad and even applauded — albeit in more muted tones — Osama bin Laden...

So, please educate yourself.  There seems to be a lot of disinformation floating around freely about how great it would be to topple the Mubarak presidency.  I'm no fan, but who's waiting to take his place?  Here's a hint...

History is not a quest for freedom. This is particularly true in the Islamic ummah, where the concept of freedom is not reasoned self-determination, as in the West, but nearly the opposite: perfect submission to Allah’s representative on earth, the Islamic state. Coupled with a Western myopia that elevates democratic forms over the culture of liberty, the failure to heed this truth has, in just the past few years, put Hamas in charge of Gaza, positioned Hezbollah to topple the Lebanese government, and presented Islamists with Kosovo — an enduring sign that, where Islam is concerned, the West can be counted on to back away even from the fundamental principle that a sovereign nation’s territorial integrity is inviolable.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Face Palm


For the love of the award.  Please let the Nobel

Thank you, New York!

The Nanny State strikes again.  In response to New York's newest "you gotta be kidding me", I'll review the tasty and yummy, Cohiba XV.

The Cohiba XV (652 is my favorite size), is a 6", 52 ring gauge Nicaraguan cigar.  The draw is medium, burn is even, and it has a firm consistency.  Dark chocolate right off the initial light, with heavy nut flavor in the 1st third.  Very low spice, low pepper, but with a nice light vanilla through and through, with nice wood and mocha.  This puppy is all ligero, so you'll have a nice buzz at the end.  Overall, this has a wonderful tobacco flavor, and almost burned my fingers smoking all the way to the end.  Highly recommended.

Thanks again, New York!  Think I'll go burn one right now!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Agreeing with Lex

(H/T Neptunus Lex)

Is "openness" always the cure for what ails you?

But one wonders what Assange’s supporters think of this, in their studio lofts in the West End and Manhattan. Their tinfoil hats longingly tucked away inside their walk-in closets. Saint Julian is so keen to expose the secrets of a decadent West – what were they again? – that he’s willing to underline that exposure in the deaths of a few thousand Afghan rustics who dared to dream of a world where real, existential terror doesn’t rule both night and day...There’s a word for that sort of behavior: Sociopathy. One of it’s characteristics is the remorseless manipulation of others, and another is the sociopath’s lack of empathy for his victims. It’s clear that Assange lacks empathy for those he’d willingly cast into the flames. I wonder if it’s clear yet to his supporters that they – rather than having joined him on some noble quest – have been manipulated....I wonder if they’re self-aware enough to even care.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

User's Guide


Having a Political Science degree, you would think I would be accustomed to the various opinions and musings of politicians.

Well, they continue to astound me.

No, Sir, I think you have really missed the point.

Maybe concentrate on your own problems?