Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brazil's $12 Billion iPad Deal Is in Trouble

According to CNBC,
The expected start date for production was first set for July, then delayed to November. Now, it is unclear whether the project will ever get off the ground, at least in the form that it was originally envisioned, the officials said on condition of anonymity.
According to MarketWatch,
The Tech Trader Daily blog on Barron’s said J.P. Morgan analyst Gokul Hariharan wrote that (China's) Hon Hai “appears to be cutting production of the iPad for Q4, citing multiple sources from the electronics supply chain.”
There should no mystery. Apple is scaling back production because of this.

$600 is a major investment for most people, particularly for something that is very delicate and used primarily for frivolous reasons like playing Angry Birds and surfing the web. But $199 is a whole different price point.

The Kindle Fire will be the big Christmas gift this year. It will be huge. And Apple has just lost its market for the iPad.

Next time, try looking about 3,000 miles to the north and west

Former state trooper pleads not guilty to mortgage fraud
Reid, who collected a salary of $41,000, paid $500,000 for a home at 4515 W. Azeele St., in Tampa's posh Beach Park neighborhood in 2008.

Reid was charged with grand theft, mortgage fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. The Florida Highway Patrol fired Reid on Sept. 9, citing that investigation.

In a dismissal letter, Reid's boss, Colonel David H. Brierton, referred to the investigation and said Reid lied on financial documents used to convince a bank give him a mortgage. Those documents listed a second job at Hernandez Janitorial Service, with a monthly income of $1,700 and liquid assets of more than $160,000, according to the letter.
They continue to go after the minnows when there are far bigger fish to fry. Hello? Bueller?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CDC cancels summertime fun

Our lakes and oceans have far more crap floating in them, but the CDC is warning concerned parents about the dangers of water parks. Pools, play-in fountains spread diarrheal disease, CDC says.

Let's just shrink-wrap our kids and give them a self-contained breathing apparatus when they go out the door. If they approach something with wheels, make sure they have a helmet on. Don't let them walk to school even if they live two blocks away... as we all know there are child predators everywhere. If they touch something make sure they use generous amounts of hand sanitizer. And for Pete's sake, don't take your kids to the water park because they are breeding grounds for germs!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

That's it.

Looks like the Fed signaled it's out of ammo yesterday. We're toast.

What was inconceivable just a few years ago may occur very soon. A complete do-over. Debt repudiation, currency revaluation, trade wars with massive tariffs. I really do think it's coming.

Some would say, "It's about time." I am not sure that we understand the consequences, but we may be about to find out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My take on the 2012 GOP candidates

  • Michele Bachmann - She is crazy. It is one thing to pounce on the donations Perry received from drug companies for his HPV vaccination plan, but when she started up with the "vaccines cause autism!" crap she morphed into a full-bore kOOk. I don't want her anywhere near the levers of power.
  • Herman Cain - I like him and he doesn't stand a chance in hell. Which is a shame because he may be the only candidate from either party with real-life business experience.
  • Newt Gingrich - He isn't actually running for president. He likes the spotlight and is angling (brown-nosing) for a cabinet position with the Perry/Romney administration. I think he is a sleazebag but I do admire his intelligence.
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr. - Who?
  • Gary Johnson - Who?
  • Ron Paul - His ideas may or may not have merit, but what is undeniable to almost everyone is he looks and sounds nutty. Surely there are better candidates that represent libertarian ideals.
  • Rick Perry - Is fumbling. Instead of hemming and hawing he needs to point out that people like Mitt Romney and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman agree with him about the Social Security Ponzi. He needs better advisers.
  • Mitt Romney - Winning. He's not my pick but he is undeniably smooth and polished. His campaign is a finely-tuned machine.
  • Rick Santorum - Who?
  • Wild card: Marco Rubio.
There will be no Democratic challenger to Obama. Some believe that Hillary Clinton will challenge him, but I think she looks and sounds tired. She no longer has that spark.

Next Step

More Americans are living in poverty than any time in decades. Your base is yawning at your latest economic proposal. Unemployment is mired at over 9 percent, with no hope of improvement. Your approval rating has collapsed. A New York congressional district that had been solidly Democratic for 80 years just voted for a teabagging Republican. Potential adversaries in countries like China openly laugh at your policies. You have little more than a year left to turn things around. What to do?

I recommend a well-deserved vacation and a nice ice cream.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Work opportunities in Houston

Stuff I've seen, off the top of my head...
  • Pipefitters/welders. I don't know about other parts of town, but the fabricators along 290 near Cypress have billboards and electronic signs lining the highway advertising that they need workers.
  • Foundation repair. A number of the foundation repair companies are tacking on messages that they are hiring during their radio spots. (This is brutal work this time of year.)
  • Tree surgeons/timber cutters. The drought has devastated the forests and there are millions of dead/dying mature trees in the Houston metro area. These trees, particularly in neighborhoods, will need to come down before the start of next year's hurricane season. I haven't seen the help wanted ads yet, but they will start appearing soon enough. Very dangerous work that requires unique skills. It's amazing to watch them in action.
  • Food service. The restaurant business is in a hiring mode, based upon the Help Wanted signs I've seen.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It sucks to be poor.

It really does. It sucks on a level you can't imagine unless you've been there.
(Michigan) Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed into law a stricter, four-year lifetime limit on cash welfare benefits, prompting advocates for the poor to warn that tens of thousands of residents will find themselves without cash assistance on Oct. 1.
How are these people going to find jobs in the next 3 weeks? Many of them have none of the skills necessary to survive a work-and-pay-your-bills world. The factory jobs are gone, illegals perform much of the back-breaking work that is required to keep our country moving and government jobs are evaporating as the tax base shrinks. There's nothing left for someone with no knowledge of even basic job skills. Thanks to the welfare state, the world has passed these people by.

The simple answer is, "Kick the illegals out and make the unemployed bums pick up the trash/debeak the chickens/slaughter the steers." But have you seen what a lifetime of welfare does to people? Many (most?) of them are not physically capable of doing these jobs. You are welcome to accuse me of generalizing, but I don't think I am.

I don't like the welfare state, but kicking people out of the system with just 3 weeks notice is cruel and will lead to very bad events.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In defense of President Obama

A comment posted on The Atlantic:
ecoco 2 hours ago
We don't want to hear the President have been disconnect the Democrats and Republicans must have been disconnect for 8 years when Bush was in the Seat, both of these party's bent and bowed for everything Bush and Cheney ask for while they was pushing this Country off the Cliff. We would like to ask the People if President Obama doing such a Bad job maybe he should have let your BUTTS Float on down one of the Stream's, what we see is a bunch of ungrateful bastards, we said a long time ago no matter what President Obama do for them they are ungreatful, every Disaster that have happen who do they call President Obama, he's there Consoling the people, do they think Bush would put his life on the line for them or got out the Plane and hit the ground? As President Obama, American people are like wild animals that's starving you feed them and Put meat on they bones, theY get the Strength back then they Bite the hands that feed them, But guess what it's coming up again, you can Mark My Word, My kids don't like for me to said that. Because I' m right 88 percent. One man ask was this Country Curse, Because all the Trials this country is going through, is because Hate President Obama.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Massive layoffs at AT&T

Tens of thousands of layoffs at AT&T due to technology upgrades.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Texas wildfires

About 20 miles from here as a crow flies.

We have the smoke, but I don't think we're in any danger as the trees here in my 'hood are kept pretty well watered. But the forests north of town are tinder-dry. News reports say 10% of the trees in the Houston area have died due to the drought, and it's worse in the national forests. 66 million trees will need to be culled over the next few years. I don't know how they plan to cull a number that large.

This drought has been brutal. I am very sad to see the large 100+ year old live oaks dying. It makes me want to throttle land owners who refuse to take care of these trees.

Update: An amazing video that shows how quickly the fires spread yesterday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Microsoft ad that I actually like

I bet Paul Allen had a van like that.

Barack Obama is a hero

A comment from the prior post:
That dork on the bike made the call and got OBL. A bit more macho than dressing in a flight suit and posing on an aircraft carrier. That dork made the call that in 5 months helped to bring down Gaddafi with no loss of US lives. That dork has put a lot of pressure on terrorists everywhere... That dork may have saved your job with the stimulus. That dork gave you multiple tax cuts. And despite the best efforts of some in Congress he has given us 17 connective months of private sector job growth .... Need I go on? Meanwhile the guy from Texas has produced jobs while poisoning the air and water of Texas. Texas ranks dead last in the number of citizens over 25 with a high school degree. Texas is a horrible place to be a citizen, unless you're a corporation.

Guess I'd rather have the dork than the gunner!
With the swell job Obama has done, I don't understand why his poll numbers are at Jimmy Carter/George Bush levels. Perhaps the low polling is the fault of the teabagging rednecks in the press who are so mean to him.

Update: Wait a minute. The percent of residents over 25 with a high school degree in Texas is just barely beat out by the very blue state of California. What do these two states have in common? Let me think... Could this possibly be due to the millions of undocumented workers who come here looking to better their lives but lack a standard American K-12 education?