August 31, 2007
It seems Midland is being profiled by Al Jazeera Television in a series of reports called Main Street USA.
In the second episode of Main Street USA Dave Marash takes us to Midland, Texas, in the heart of Bush country.
This is an interesting quote from the story:
There are more then 150 churches in Midland where people find shelter from their risky oil enterprises. Al Jazeera was unwelcome at several of Midland's largest and most-established churches, but two congregations did open their doors to us.
I though everybody went to Odessa for "Shelter" from their "risky oil enterprise."
Councilman Bill Dingus cast the only vote for the proposed apartment complex near Vista West. Apparently, the Planning Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission both approved it which is not a small hurdle to jump.
I would be willing to bet that the proposed use and location of the apartment complex fit exactly Midland's Master Plan.
Which means that the rest of the council caved to pressure.
Every case brought forth by the opponents argue either against building any new apartments (traffic, crime, etc.) or at the very least inflicting them on other citizens in other parts of town.
You would think that the "greenbelt" is freakin' Yosemite National Park, the Gettysburg battlefield, and Arlington National Cemetary rolled all into one the way they protect not just it but its surroundings.
More at Newsroom Stew (which has some interesting comments).
August 30, 2007
When they came for the inventors I was silent, because I was not an inventor.
This post will serve as due notice that Jessica's Well will no longer be a party to the theft of %%%EXPERIMENTALS%%% created by The Eurasian by Governments, Individuals, Organizations and All Ships At Sea.
Since I cannot control the theft of these %%%EXPERIMENTALS%%% by altering the behavior of those who choose to steal these %%%EXPERIMENTALS%%% without providing the compensation due their creator, my only recourse is to cut them (the thieves) off from access to them (the %%%EXPERIMENTALS%%%).
Therefore, in the name of peace, justice, and all that is good in the world, I will immediately delete any post or comment that offers up or even references any %%%EXPERIMENTAL%%% of any kind or nature, new or old.
Except this one.
Because it is just the right thing to do.
I would like to personally thank the taxpayers for my $8.80 subsidy this morning. I took the bus this morning because the wife's car is in ths shop, and I must sacrifice.
August 29, 2007
My dad once told me that State and Local Governments "...don't budget their money, they money their budgets." As for the Federal Government...well they can print money and can impact so many facets of the economy they are in a class of their own.
Municipal budgets are supposed to be simple, but more often than not they are a complex mess of fund transfers, enterprise funds and specific use funds.
So why all the complexity? Well, in the political world of budgeting, specific use has some advantages. When politicians royally screw up with money, defining exactly what a tax is going to wards makes the masses happy, and/or, selling a specific use can be easier than just saying "we need more money."
The truth of the matter is the local Government will "money their budget," regardless, and all these specific use taxes will just keep being collected, even if their use is no longer around.
Let's take Midland. We have a couple of sales taxes and fees that fall into this category.
First our "voluntary" now "semi-voluntary" recycling and trash clean up fee. This is just feel good gone bad. It sounded good, and it was only a dollar, but after a couple of years they were sitting on all this cash and no real plan. If they wanted to do the programs they should have just costed it out and rolled it into the solid waste fee and be done with it. I'm sure all this could have gotten done on less than $0.25 a month per customer and we would have been spared the drama of the fee.
Second our 4B tax. Yeah Midland wanted a new stadium, fine. Now what happens when it's paid off? We gonna roll back the tax? I mean we've already spent some of the excess doing some more construction now that sales tax revenue is taking off faster than projected. Might we convert that tax into "property tax relief?" (I'll get to that in a minute).
Third, or 4A tax. I don't know where to begin with this one, but the City of Midland's water and sewer fund did just as well landing AT&T (Cingular) as our $10 million dollar MDC has done landing everything else. When their kitty is big enough is their tax going to be repealed, or converted to "property tax relief?"
I hate to break it to everyone, but converting these taxes into "property tax relief" is just a shell game with more accounting rules. Here you are talking about two taxes that generate about $10 million a year and a $70 million dollar City budget. Now, you have to realize that the $5 million from the Sports Complex is already in the $70 million (fund transfers) and a portion of the $5 million from the MDC is counted too, in direct transfers and relief from supporting the chamber. In reality, you're only going to be able to apply MAYBE $3 million toward property tax relief which isn't a significant amount. You'll be able to buy your friends a couple of lunches at Bob's Better Burgers on what you save on property taxes.
You may ask, but what if the stadium is paid off and the MDC is abolished, will it help my tax situation then? Not really, I mean you pay sales taxes don't you? And I'm sure some facility is going to be so run-down we need a new bond to replace it. The only real reduction would come from that part of the sales tax that is generated by non-residents, but the consensus is that number isn't significant.
The only true path to lower local taxes is spending cuts. Everything else is just the shell game.
August 28, 2007
For everyone who is curious what the bottom line for these entities is, here's a breakdown for Midland:
Midland Development Corporation (4A)
Overall Expenses Include:
Administration Costs (Personnel) $1,832,303
Marketing Costs: $1,353,484
Capital Costs (Land/Buildings): $3,108,130
Payments to Taxing Units (City/County/State): $468,039
Actual Paid Incentives: $1,297,000
Midland Sports Complex Corporation (4B)
This may look funny because all of the 4B money is transfered to the City of Midland, for debt service.
Fine. Now my question is, what is the City doing with the excess 4B revenue? Their 2006-2007 Budget shows them only budgeting $3,092,804, yet we collected $4,899,119 in FY 2006 and that number will be even higher in 2007. Where is that additional $1.8 to $2.0 million going? I know there are things like Interest and Sinking funds and reserve requirements, but those would have been set up years ago. The short of it is, we have collected $23.8 million in our efforts to pay off a little over $38.4 Million (+ new luxury boxes) and yet we still owe a sizable amount (about $34 Million). We should be farther along than that, given the revenue.
Besides, it seems like the headline "Extra $1M in Sales Taxes collected for Stadium helps pay off debt earlier than anticipated" would be great PR for the City, but all we've heard about is refunding bonds with lower interest rates and more luxury boxes and other capital projects.
Now you know why people are whispering about modifying these taxes to pass what they call a "sales tax to reduce property taxes" measure.
August 27, 2007
I think the Midland Development Corporation board is in hiding. They haven't exactly been touting too many new businesses or prospects lately.
You got to hand it to them, if it could go wrong in Economic Development Tax land, it has for them.
1) Speculative building for new light industry, never occupied, has been vacant for years.
2) Two grantor's default on commitments.
3) Biggest company landed to date is in the headlines with tanking stock prices and rumors of a sale or merger.
4) Can't seem to beat funding announcements from the Governors office.
5) Only seem to find expanding local businesses.
6) Forced to quit their anemic job development mission to try and find workers for all those jobs they didn't have a hand in creating.
Speaking of that last one, why can't Midland Memorial Hospital tap some of the ED Tax money they are spending on recruitment instead of using our hospital tax dollars for that. I seem to recall that expanding the Medical sector was a goal of the ED Tax, so why have another taxing entity waste money when a taxing entity set up for that very purpose is sitting on a largess of local tax money?
Hospital Districts doing Economic Development activities, Junior Colleges doing Housing and Business Development activities. Should I expect to see the City of Midland getting into Educational Grants and MISD providing Parks and Recreation staff?
Maybe there are some Eurasian Experimentals being used in local government.
August 23, 2007
Apparently Midland College is not just an institution of Higher Learning, it is also a low income housing assistance and business development bank of sorts. Doesn't Midland have 3 or 4 governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that do that kind of work already?
Ohhh wait we do:
Casa de Amigos, City of Midland Community Development office, Community National Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Midland Community Development Corp. will collaborate with the BEDC [Midland College Business and Economic Development Center] to implement the project.
My question is, why is MC leading this endeavor and writing this grant? Isn't a program that is funded by these Housing and Urban Development grants, mainly suited for home ownership and micro-business development, better left to these other agencies so MC can concentrate on something that at least has EDUCATION in the title?
I'll tell you why, Money. Midland College gets to charge 15% of $600,000 in "administration" and that $90,000 helps pay for a grant writer to write grants that are seemingly un-related to the mission of Midland College. That and according to the story the Midland Community Development Corp. struck out a couple of times before when trying to get this program.
These Individual Development Accounts aren't really an "Educational Program," and with MC being the "First College" to implement the program, it just seems wrong.
This program is just the "New Welfare," which is just as expensive to the taxpayers as old welfare, but is more controlling of the recipients. Now you have to go to classes, AND put money in a special bank account once a month and then after a year (or 2 or 3) you can withdraw your money, plus your 300% match and spend it on what the government tells you (housing or micro-businesses in this case).
In my opinion, Midland College has no business being a housing and business welfare dispersal agency, there are enough of those in the community already. I guess MC is well suited to teach the required seminars, but why tie up college resources to administer what amounts to a individual savings for HOUSING and BUSINESS program?
And we wonder why EDUCATION is suffering, schools don't seem to be educating, they are helping people buy houses and start businesses.
August 22, 2007
It seems USA Today is out with an article about how business incentives, like tax breaks and Economic Development money, may be useless, or harmful to local and state governments.
Generous tax breaks given to companies that threaten to take their business elsewhere are coming under increasing scrutiny from state and local officials who say taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth.
Critics say the tax breaks and other financial incentives have gotten out of hand, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and doing little for the economy.
Yeah, all that ED Money that we have in the bank, that we can't seem to spend (or comes back when contracts go unfulfilled) sure could go toward some "quality of life" improvements that seem to be cited as a tangible driver for business development.
(h/t Cato Daily Dispatch)
August 20, 2007
This Just in Countrywide Job Cuts!
The job cuts occurred in Countrywide's Full Spectrum Lending unit, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing an internal e-mail sent Friday to employees of that division.
The e-mail didn't disclose how many employees were laid off from that division, which handles many Alt-A mortgages, which are given to customers who either have minor credit problems or who cannot provide full income documentation required to get a traditional prime loan.
Hmmmm...didn't Midland get the Full Spectrum Lending Division?
August 19, 2007
I've filled up my tanks and await the Hurricane Premium at the pump...so now I can take a look at what Hurricane Dean will mean for rest of the landscape.
Lo and behold, I have found in a story carried by our own MRT some interesting quotes regarding the possibility of Dean hitting the border regions that cast some doubt on the veracity of the capabilities of our border enforcers!
First up, we are told that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol can't process people any faster than they already are and a "temporary" worker program is just un-workable. Now add Hurricane Dean and:
...U.S. officials already have spoken with the Mexican government about expedited processing by U.S. customs and border agencies should Mexican residents temporarily need to cross the border.
Expedite and Temporary are two words that I thought were removed from the Vocabulary of everyone in border enforcement.
Second up, there is no way we can find and deport millions of illegal aliens. It is just impractical. Now add Hurricane Dean and:
Of particular concern, [Paulison] said, is the state's southeastern coast and its colonias, or immigrant shantytowns, that are prevalent a few miles from the Mexican border. "There's probably about 400,000 people living in some very substandard housing. Texas is saying that they may have evacuate, if this storm does come up further north, over 100,000 out of that area. They primarily do not have any transportation," Paulison said.So we can't find and deport/transport large quantities of people, but we can evacuate and provide transportation for up to 400,000 people of which a good percentage are most likely in the country illegally. Are they going to put in place a don't ask don't tell policy in the Alamo Dome for all the evacuees?
I'm all for helping out these folks and getting them out of the path of this storm, but this seemingly instant ability to address border issues the way people have been asking the government for years, says that they are more afraid of a Katrina magnitude repeat screw-up backlash than illegal immigration.
August 17, 2007
As the world, and I mean the world, knows, Countrywide Home Loans has been having trouble. Major markets overseas have been watching the American economy, which leads the economy of the world, and it is evidently based on the weakness in the sub-prime lending market. This led to a loss in the stock market of about 10%, and another 10% from its height would mean recession. The hardest hit are commodities and energy--look at Exxon for example.
For this article I rely on the advice of a friend of great financial savvy, who has suggested something to me and I will actually run to Countrywide's defense although my bad opinion of working with them remains unchanged. It may be that Countywide was a victim of a brokerage firm, as was the rest of the world. And it ain't over yet.
Some years ago a stockbroker, Cupidity, in Midland, lied to me, and when I uncovered it, I teased him with the offer of future business into doing what he said he could not--he lied--and when this legal, ethical and reasonable request was done I took great pleasure in firing him, and I threw diamond dust in the Vaseline and deprived him of the pleasure of operating me by operating my money.
Over the years I have wound up firing every single stockbroker that I've had because it has become obvious to me, from the things that they have recommended to me, that their interests were not coterminous with mine. My interests were, of course, to get rich. Their interests were to engage me in as many trades as possible so that they could get rich, feeding off my work, not necessarily augmenting it. Their survival does not require that and only their individual worth assures it. Cynically, that is, realistically viewed, their interests were in fact directly opposed to mine: they get that Lexus by inducing me into thrashing my account and being only good enough that I would not fire them and go somewhere else or, horror of horrors, finding a firm like, say, Vanguard or T. Rowe Price or Dodge and Cox whose interests run concurrently with mine. Making money for me is secondary to their purpose of lining their pockets by generating business by selling stocks, too often boomed by their corporate masters with their own agendas. It is to their interest that I not go broke only because if I do, I cannot trade any more. It is not to their interest that I be placed in value stocks which I will hold for the long run. They profit most by keeping me in a constant state of hysteria.
(This is not to say that there are not good stockbrokers for there are, I assume. But they may be focused on people with a great deal more money than I have: my rather sinister analysis allows that the pressure to churn accounts would be lessened if each trade and therefore commission were larger, and also people with a great deal of money may be more sophisticated than people who work full time, have families, and have a smaller amount to work with at a time and therefore are not such easy marks.)
"Half the nation's families earn below the median family income of about $56,000."
You don't say. What the f*** do you think median means, Einstein?
August 16, 2007
Personal: I am 99% recovered from a month-long bout of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, contracted in San Antonio, which caused my right calf to swell up to the size of Hillary's ass and get as red as Teddy's face with shooting pains like those from the last time the hotel television turned onto CNN and I couldn't find the channel button fast enough. But my physician Michele dug into her armamentarium and rolled dope which worked. Did you know that Ichthammol, a combination of tar and fish oil, will draw pus through skin? It really does.
Now to my mental pus du jour.
Today an Indian doctor sold his house here in Culo del Pecos. He is a skilled nephrologist, a rarity and needed more and more by the widening of America. He was well settled here, well liked, not only for his competence, but for his charm and wit, but he decided not to be separated from his wife, a computer engineer, and who is also an Indian and a resident of Chicago but not for long.
I wasn't paying attention and noticed my One Year blogaversary here at the well came and went on August 11th.
BTW, all my old posts are now out of warranty.
"So remember, when you get on an EZ-Rider bus, and you pay your $2, the citizens of Midland/Odessa paid $4.70, the State $2.73 and the Feds $10.18."
This isn't my quote. Hell, it isn't even from one of my own posts. I just figured it needed to be in big print. Even if I had to resort to thievery to do it.
(Oh, yeah.....hat tip to ospurt).
I have been out of pocket for a while so forgive me if I have missed any mention or stories about this...but is there a chance that the City of Midland might be running some sort of income deficit (at least departmentally) due to the lack of water sales to homes and businesses this year?
It seems odd, but I remember someone telling me years back that the city budgets for a certain amount of income from the sale of water and when we get an extraordinarily wet year (and this year would qualify, I suppose) it puts great downward pressure on the amount of water they sell to the citizenry thus creating a cash shortfall.
Anyone know anything about this?
August 15, 2007
According to the financial papers, Countrywide Financial hit a 52 week low of $19.25 a share after setting a 52 week high of of $45.26 back in January of this year. Things seem to be getting worse as reports talk of options traders buying $17.50 puts for August and $5 puts for September-October. Additionally, as shares race toward single digits, take-over talk is resurfacing with a likely suitor of Bank of America.
If you haven't been in a cave the last 3 to 4 weeks this is all because of the sub-prime lending melt-down occurring as it is now time for all those ARM's and Interest Only financing vehicles to shed their introductory low payments and kick borrowers in the pants with large principal plus jacked up interest payments. I sounded the alarm on Countrywide on this very blog back in March.
Now, what does this mean for Midland. As you know, the State of Texas and our own MDC gave Countrywide $2.5 Million to move operations to Midland. Now, what division is in Midland? Countrywide Full Spectrum Lending, which is Countryside's SUB-PRIME lending unit. Here's a recent job listing for openings in Midland:
8/15/2007 Account Executive - 10006038 Midland, Texas
At Countrywide Home Loans' Full Spectrum Lending Division (FSL), we believe that everyone deserves a chance to achieve the dream of homeownership. Our philosophy - that all prospective borrowers should have options and choices that provide a bright future - has resulted in an array of competitively priced Non-prime Loan Products designed to assist borrowers who may have difficulty qualifying for traditional loans.
Providing opportunity is more than good policy; it's good business. Countrywide is committed to attracting a diverse and ambitious workforce of professionals eager to extend the promise of home ownership to an ever-expansive pool of borrowers. Explore our current openings and discover the path to a career with an industry leader.
Many analysts expect Countrywide to pull through this if their earnings look O.K. when they next report, but they expect they may have to curtail or close their sub-prime lending operations if their stock continues to fall.....remind me not to have anybody from the MDC board sit next to me at the Roulette wheel in Vegas.
UPDATE: Countrywide Bond/Credit Rating slashed to just above Junk by Moody's and is trading below $18 as the market gets going on Thursday.
Moscow - A Russian region of Ulyanovsk has found a novel way to fight the nation's birth-rate crisis:
It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate. The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia's national day. Couples who "give birth to a patriot" during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.
Tip to investors: Buy JNJ while the getting is good. I predict a run on KY in the former Soviet block by the second week of September.
So what if The State of Texas pulled their funding for EZ-Rider? What is the impact.
Well, first of all, the share of EZ-Rider expenses broke down like this in 2005 (the last year official government figures are available)
If you are of the opnion that the press does a great deal of reporting on things they don't really know anything about this won't make you feel any better.
August 14, 2007
OK. this story about the La Entrada al Pacifico Rural Rail District's grand plans to build a rail line from McCamey to Seagraves for "Economic Development" and FutureGEN purposes is troublesome.
First off, it is full of supposed missed opportunities because we didn't have a north-south rail line like:
Midland Chamber of Commerce executive Woody Woodward said the Basin's lack of a north-south line drove Mexican corn flour giant Grupo Industrial Maseca to abandon the region in favor of Lubbock nine months ago.
Ummm... could it also be the lack of wheat and corn production in the Permian Basin? I don't think Grupo Industrial got driven anywhere, I figure they couldn't be bribed with enough money to come to a third tier location for that industry. Seems like the chamber is just using the lack of a north-south rail line as cover to show the local taxpayers that they really are trying to target new business with our vast sums of tax dollars in the bank. Secondarily, it seems to add more urgency (it's for ED!) to the rail project, (like FutureGEN won't create it's own $1B urgency if we get it). This is shades of lost convention business from Antioch Christian Church.
Speaking of rail projects, these are the same Geniuses that couldn't pull off a simple container handling facility off the Union Pacific railroad near FM 1788. Wasn't this something the rail district, MDC, both Chambers, MOTRAN and others touted in 2005 as a slam-dunk facility to be fully operational in late 2006? Yet, here we sit over half way through 2007 with an expired land lease, a stack of design and consulting bills and not a single FOOT of track.
That sure makes me all warm and fuzzy about their ability to build and operate a working rail line.
August 12, 2007
As the world has long known but I have only found out, on July 11, 2007, Florida Republican representative Bob Allen was arrested on charges of prostitution. He had wandered in and out of a men's room in a Florida park, and offered $20 to a man to perform oral sex on him. The man, it turned out, was an undercover police officer.
Allen attempted a justification so weak that it paralyzes me with laughter: he said that he was afraid of the stocky black man and hoped that he could, by paying money to give lip service, secure his safety.
This is rich. Allen was designated as "Wicked Witch," a term of special opprobrium for "The Worst of the Worst" from the central Florida-based Rainbow Democratic Club, a Gay & Lesbian civil rights organization. Not content to outrage gay groups, which I admit doesn't take much doing, he also managed to get into high dudgeon about onanism, sponsoring a bill, which failed, in the Florida legislature to criminalize masturbating in front of someone else, regardless of age of the participants or consent given. I wonder if Jimmy Swaggart's staff was consulted on the wording of the bill. Hypocrisy loves company.
August 9, 2007
Organic farming practices generate significantly greater CO2 emissions while producing less than conventional agriculture. On the other hand, growing genetically modified crops allow the farmer to reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining yields.
Research has demonstrated soil and water conservation benefits of genetically modified HT crops. It is now clear that these products of modern biotechnology can also help farmers reduce agriculture based CO2 emissions.
There is a backlash underway in the ultra-green enclaves of the coasts against the CO2/environmental unfriendliness of bottled water (bottles, shipping, processing) in favor of tap water.
I expect a similar backlash against organic farming, soon.
I also expect a backlash against ethanol as fuel as soon as it is understood that it is equally environmentally unfriendly and is driving up the prices of food products as diverse as tortillas and beer. And steak.
"A Texas man is suing 1-800-Flowers for $1 million after a thank you note from the web florist outed him as an adulterer. Leroy Greer specifically asked 1-800-Flowers not to send him a receipt for the cuddly stuffed animal and dozen long stemmed roses he ordered for his mistress. Despite his request, 1-800-Flowers sent a thank you note to his house several months later, prompting his wife to ask who the hell got flowers. She called 1-800-Flowers, which gladly faxed her a copy of Leroy's order form that included the following message meant for his mistress: 'Just wanted to say I love you and you mean the world to me! -Leroy.'"
They're currently in the midst of a messy divorce as a direct result. Read the whole thing here.
Well, he's already an idiot, but you get the idea.
I found the saddest aspect of this ordeal in the divorce suit, which was attached as an exhibit to Mr. Greer's lawsuit against 1-800-Flowers.com. The couple have a ten-year-old son, Darius, who gets to go through custody-and-restraining-order hell as a result.
Talk amongst yourselves.
August 8, 2007
In one fell swoop, Google has come up with an idea that is the both the best thing to happen to journalism and the worst thing to happen to journalists ever.
We wanted to give you a heads-up on a new, experimental feature we'll be trying out on the Google News home page. Starting this week, we'll be displaying reader comments on stories in Google News, but with a bit of a twist...
We'll be trying out a mechanism for publishing comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question. Our long-term vision is that any participant will be able to send in their comments, and we'll show them next to the articles about the story. Comments will be published in full, without any edits, but marked as "comments" so readers know it's the individual's perspective, rather than part of a journalist's report."
This is way cool.
August 6, 2007
August 5, 2007
George Orwell, I have read, said that bad English is the beginning of the end. I suspect he meant the damage that can be caused by careless use of words. And he of course went on to write Nineteen Eighty Four, in which he popularized the entire idea of lying through carefully chosen language to enable totalitarianism: words are our greatest tools but can be put to bad use, as a knife can cut a steak or go through a heart.
In the early 90s we had political correctness sprung on us. It is boomed as being "sensitive" but notice how quick the usual suspects--the bossy toadies to power--were to adopt it, and to sniff at people who committed the ultimate sacrilege of laughing at it. But it is risible: the handicapped were differently abled, something so vague that it says nothing. Orientals are now Asians--where does that leave the Asian Indians, who are Caucasian? African Americans have replaced blacks, leaving all Americans from north Africa and a good number from South Africa out in the cold. This has progressed to the point that some half-witted sportscaster talked about a black foreigner who won an event, and he was reduced to non-American African American. This cowardly and bullying method of speech has been wonderfully satirized in Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, and the reviews in liberal organs have set a new bar for sniffing. Here's one reason why, when Henny Penny in "Chicken Little" tends her garden with "...no fertilizer, insecticide, and no herbicide and allowed the various non-edible types of wildflower (sometimes called weeds) to mingle with her food crop..."
Some of the old words were quite descriptive and not in the least offensive, at least not to people who do not make a career in being offended so why change the language of the nation? Control.
PC also appears in the halls of the Tranzis, those global socialists who plan for all humanity. One example is that poor countries can no longer be called that; Third World was a nicer term; then Undeveloped; and now the hilariously named Developing Countries, which can be thought of as developing only if our Masters are allowed to take as much of our money as possible away from us to give to them and then that money will only be used to develop the Swiss bank account of the despot du jour. Ask Robert Mugabe when he takes a breath from destroying Zimbabwe.
August 3, 2007
I apologize. A bit of a problem here--medical. Nothing dangerous or which cannot be handled successfully and a diagnosis which would have implied a dreadful regimen was wrong. Still, I'm very cross and out of sorts. But there is good news: one or two lab numbers which had caused me worry are very good indeed.
And it's too bad that I'm not up to snuff, for I've got a really good idea comparing some of those leftist monsters with Mao, but don't think that now any wit would be forthcoming.
And it's not now. Later.
August 1, 2007
In 2004 when Apple started its 174 Apple stores, people scoffed. Until Apple sold $1 billion a year, and in 2006 sold $1 billion a quarter. That is $4,032 per square foot per annum, which is more than Best Buy, Saks, or even Tiffany. This is an astonishing achievement and a gobsmacking profit.
If you believe in yin and yang, and that things are balanced, then if there were only one hundred times as many Apple stores, they would balance the DNC headquarters and we would have a zero-dollar footprint.