Tuesday, January 31, 2012

U.S. Economic Bellwether: California

The Controller for California reported to state lawmakers today that the State of California will run out of money in March.

Governor Jerry Brown and his allies predicted $2.6 billion more in revenue that what has actually occurred, and lawmakers and the courts have spent or delayed cuts on programs costing $2.6 billion more than budgeted for.

"The Assembly budget committee approved a bill today that would enable $865 million of borrowing from existing state accounts, Senate Bill 95. Chiang, after consultation with the Department of Finance and state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, is also seeking about $2.4 billion in delayed payments to universities, counties and Medi-Cal, as well as additional borrowing from outside investors.
Absent these actions, the state would fall below its prudent $2.5 billion cash cushion on Feb. 29, Chiang estimated. On March 8, the state would actually end up $730 million in the red. The state would be below the safe cash cushion for several weeks ending April 13, save for several days at the end of March."

This mirrors much of what is to come for the rest of the country, in my humble opinion.  For years, tax rates have skyrocketed in California, and spending on entitlement programs has also skyrocketed.  These two factors create loss of revenue (when people, tired of the taxes, move or quit producing) and an increase in expenditures.  California is finding is harder and harder to find loans to cover the difference, as potential creditors foresee economic doom and gloom for the state.  For those not economically inclined, that spells bankruptcy in the long term.

Now, we see the same on the national stage, but just a little more behind in the timeline.  As soon as our creditors dry up, we can expect the same in the national economy.  Businesses will leave because of high tax rates, people will become more dependent on the national government as their income falls, and the economic death spiral will ensue.

Or not.  Just depends on our future actions.  On the current path, the Controller for California is a bellwether for the nation.  Take aggressive steps now, or we'll be bankrupt.

You can argue all you want with politics, but the numbers just don't lie.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fun With Headlines

Headline 1:

"Chevy Volt Battery Fires Threaten All Electric Vehicle Makers, Not Just GM"

Headline 2:

"California Regulators Pass Emission Standards That Will Require One in Seven New Cars To Be Sold in 2025 To Be Electric or Zero-Emission"

So much for the free market and safety!  Even with huge cash incentives, people just are not ready for the switch...nor do they think its safe or makes economic sense.  Instead of letting the free market decide winners and losers, a "regulatory" board decides for us.  You see, central planners always have a better idea of what's good for the consumers and for the environment.

Until they don't.

"Solyndra Bankrupt: Department of Energy rushed federally backed loans to company--taxpayers lose $528 million"

Don't forget, if you think the government is all powerful and knows what's best for the environment, just remember who routinely exploded atomic weapons on our own soil.

"Wow, just got windy out here Bob!"

I Know the Feeling

A feel good video from CDR S.

I know just what those smiling dogs feel every time I roll down the road on the motorcycle.

Live free.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are You Free?

It's sorta a rhetorical question until, well....you actually start thinking about the true answer.

I'm not a proponent that the "government" is out to get us.  I truly believe that the "government" is filled with a high percentage of people trying to do a really good job.  I've met and worked with a lot of folks who work for the government and are true patriots.  That is, they want the best for the country and their fellow Americans.

Yet, good intentions pave the road to hell.

Our Founding Fathers knew this to be true.  They knew that absolute power, even in the hands of the best of people, eventually leads to tyranny.  This is why we have checks and balances.  It's why there is a divided government.  It's why it SHOULD be hard to pass legislation.

Take a look at the below clip.  While I understand the intentions of the Patriot Act, I also understand Judge Napolitano's concern over it.

And why the Affordable Health Care Act is unconstitutional.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ride On, Brother

Rest in peace, Amigo.

I'm going to miss you and your smile.  Wish I had a chance to shake your hand one more time.  Thanks for sharing your love of Harley's with me, and showing me and my family true friendship.

Look forward to riding together again one day.  Until then, this world down here is much less fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Buy This Man A Beer

I don't know Chris Kyle, but the first couple beers are on me if I ever meet him.

I watched Jesse Ventura's show "Conspiracy Theory" during the holidays.  That's 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back.  Jesse Ventura has definitely bought a ticket on the insane train, and the below story from Chris doesn't surprise me.  What surprises me is that the people of Minnesota decided to elect such a crackpot as their 38th governor.  By the way, his real name is James George Janos, and he changed his name to Jesse Ventura during his WWF wrestling "career".  His motto during his time as "The Body" was "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat."

Ventura, for some reason, decided to visit the wake of Medal of Honor recipient Michael Monsoor in 2006.  He started spouting off about how Americans were over in Iraq "killing women and children" and that the SEAL Teams "deserved to lose a few"...

...and Chris Kyle decided he would have none of this.

Hooyah, Chris.

From Hot Air.  Content Warning.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When Seconds Matter...

...the police are minutes away.

Sarah McKinley of Blanchard, Oklahoma, found herself in a very scary position on New Year's Eve.

Two armed men tried breaking into her house that night, and she was alone with her 3 month old baby.  She called 911, and asked...if she could utilize her 2nd Amendment right.

Amendment II: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

And no, not those kind of arms....

These kind of arms...

Recently widowed, Sarah picked up her shotgun and asked the 911 dispatcher if it was OK to shoot the men if they entered her home.  The dispatcher responded, "Well, you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself...I can't tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby."

Damn straight.  When Justin Martin, one of the intruders, broke into her home, Sarah sent Mr. Martin a welcome invitation.  Sarah fired her 12-gauge shotgun and killed him.

First Assistant District Attorney James Walters said that Sarah will not be charged.  He stated, "A person has the right to protect themselves, their family, and their property."  How refreshing!

For all those people who don't believe individuals have the right to bear arms, then I wonder how well Sarah could have protected herself and her baby.  Frying pans are heavy, but lack "effectiveness".

And I wonder how different the story would have read.  Let me make a guess on what the story would have been if Sarah did not have home protection in the form of a shotgun:

"A single mother and her child were killed on New Year's Eve as a result of a home break-in.  Police were unable to respond quickly enough to her 911 call, and arrived after the crime had been committed.  Police have no leads for suspects.  Police request anyone with any information to call the Blanchard Tip Hotline.  The victim's family says the funerals will be held next Tuesday."