Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama's biggest f***-up

It's this:

Not getting our men out of Afghanistan as soon as Bin Laden was iced. That was the golden opportunity. Now he's continuing the failed nation building crap Bush started and making it even worse by "apologizing to the Afghan people" as our soldiers are gunned down by 6th century rioters. Karzai is the one who owes an apology.

This is the one act that Obama's done that truly disgusts me. Everything else is petty political crap.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What happens when you outsource financial writing to a foreign country

You get 12 Times That Being Cheap Will Cost You. Yes, that is the title. The article has such advice as,
Bypass the vending machine and purchase high quality snacks online instead, says Batayneh. "I subscribe and have KIND bars shipped to me monthly through Amazon," she says.
"There's no good argument for staying married to someone who has no control of your life."
Update: In other news, a Swedish man was emancipated last week after being trapped in his car for two months.
When rescuers arrived at the scene, Skyllberg was emancipated and barely speaking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gary, Indiana

The industrial rot has been going on for over 50 years. These Wikipedia charts on metro populations in the US are interesting. Between 1950 and 1960, the populations of Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis and Boston, all Top 10 cities in 1950, peaked. The de-industrialization of America started way before NAFTA, way before the Chinese started manufacturing our consumer goods.

Stepping back further, one could say the de-industrialization of America started almost 100 years ago as the mill towns of New England started dying. The rot had set in long ago, with a respite during WWII. New England is filled with large factories/mills of various conditions. Ones closer to Boston have been refurbed into trendy places like lofts and office spaces, but most of the old factory buildings outside of easy driving distance from Boston are either a memory or soon will be.

Update: I just realized where the the writers for The Simpsons got their inspiration for the Monorail Guy. Duh.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

LA County bans Frisbees on the beach

Throw a Frisbee on a beach in LA County and they'll fine your ass $1,000. And for good reason!

And don't let your kid dig a hole in the sand deeper than 18 inches or you'll be staring at another grand.

It is good that government agencies throughout the US are passing more and more laws every day to protect us from ourselves.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to solve the higher education bubble

I like this No Money Down idea.
Under the students’ plan, called the UC Student Investment Proposal, students in the system would pay no upfront costs for their education but would agree to pay 5 percent of their income to the system for 20 years after graduating and entering the workforce.
It's a winner for almost everyone.
  • Students would no longer graduate with crushing debt loads, hounded literally to death until it's paid off.
  • The Federal government/IRS would no longer be involved in collections.
  • Schools would be forced to offer degree programs that truly offered students good career paths.
  • Degrees awarded would finally match the skill sets required in the modern workplace.
  • Schools would receive a steady, uninterrupted income stream that is no longer dependent upon the whims of what the state legislators feel should be chipped in.
  • There are no barriers to the poor. If your grades are up to snuff you get in. No more games with income thresholds.
Who would lose out? Sallie Mae and its employees. Education lobbyists. "Fluff" university programs that don't offer students valuable career paths. For-profit rip-off "schools" that operate out of storefronts.

Hey Rick Perry, you're looking to rebuild your legacy after your embarrassing performance this past fall. Get busy with this.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Student loan debt destroys families

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Avoid student loans. From Bloomberg,
"Colleges will keep doing this as long as the loans are available and as long as people keep applying," said Laura J. Clark, director of college counseling at Fieldston, a private high school in New York. "If there's a drop-off in the number of applications in the middle-income group, that's when colleges may moderate prices or come up with new strategies for helping people pay."
It bears repeating: You cannot escape student loan debt. The federal government will hound you until the day you die if you don't pay off those loans. They will even garnish your social security check.

We all like to make fun of seemingly stupid and greedy people who did cash-out refi's during the housing bubble. Sure, billions of dollars were spent on Escalade's, granite counter tops and expensive vacations. But how much of that money was spent to inflate the higher ed bubble? I bet a lot of it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fall 2012 Preview


Did I miss any?