Monday, June 22, 2009

What Would Reagan Do?

I came of age under Ronny. For those eight years no one $(%*ed with the U.S. or our interests throughout the globe. Was it hegemony? Sure it was, but whose hegemony do you want, ours or someone else's?

As I watch events unfold in Iran I can't say I know what the outcome will be. My guess is that it won't end up well for the protesters. We'll likely see another Tiamen and watch some kids crushed beneath tanks with the rest sent off to prisons never to be heard from again.

In the mean time we have nothing coming out of Washington, which is teaching the Iranian Mullahs one thing: The U.S. will not advance its interests. They can work on atomic weapons that directly threaten U.S. interests and when there is a threat of revolution that might stop this action the U.S. does...nothing. If this is the case, why would the mullahs respond to anything the U.S. does in the future if they do retain power? They know we did nothing when we had the chance to do so, so why would they fear us in the future? And if we do try to advance our interests now and lose, what are we afraid they will do if they stay in power? Try to develop nuclear weapons?

I am not a foreign policy expert, but if I ask "What would Regan do?" I know it isn't what we're seeing today. What we're seeing now out of Washington is nothing short of a joke.

Update: So what about O's statements today? It's better, and at this rate by the end of the month he'll really show some mettle.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is Anyone Convinced It's Not Amateur Hour?

The economy. Iran. It's like we put some teenager into office who thinks that wishful thinking and good intentions will make things all better.

It's like some bad joke, and millions of educated Americans - and lots more stupid ones - think things are just hunky-dory with the idiot America put into office.

The adults of America abandoned this country long ago, or maybe they just all plain died. In their place we have an unthinking populace who thinks of only of their immediate comfort at the expense of their long term prosperity, who try not to get involved in their neighbors troubles only to find out that later that the worsening situation affects them even more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One of My Last Lectures

I finished my MBA in 1993. One of my last lectures was my "class" on entrepreneurism, and I will never forget it:

No one in here wants to make a million dollars, everyone in here wants to spend a million dollars.

Because making a million dollars is hard. And it should be. But few if any of you out there will do it. You will go into industry, get a job, take a salary. And you will be comfortable. But few of you will go out there and take the risk. Risk failure. Risk everything. Because you are here for a pedigree. To put "MBA" onto your resume. Not really apply anything you learned here.

Now there is nothing wrong with that. And each of you will be successful in their own right. But few if any of you will earn the title of entrepreneur.

The sad part is, at least about me, was he was right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

MS Backs Out of One Area They Didn't Dominate

Microsoft is discontinuing its Microsoft Money software June 30, so any copies you have now are going to be it. They won't sell any more.

Now Money is not a great program, but I have been using various versions of it for eight years and am used to it. And since all I use it for is bookkeeping and checkbook balancing it wasn't worth the hassle to learn a new package. Sheer momentum and comfort kept me with it for most of a decade.

I guess after my current PC bites the dust I will have to move to Quicken.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Banks Learn There's No Free Lunch - Will The Rest of America Learn?

Banks are now falling all over themselves to pay back TARP funds. I know second-hand of one regional bank president who told his staff late last year that they would take TARP money even though they didn't need it since "everyone else is taking it so we should as well". That bank repaid its funds well over a month ago after finding out the increasing number of strings that were attached.

And that's the thing that Americans aren't learning. Every time the government gives you something - money, loans, "free" health care - there WILL be strings attached to it. Unpleasant ones. Because once you've accepted the government's money, you've given them power over you, and the government will work hard to slowly increase that power once they have it.

And that should be the really scary thing about any government health care proposal: the strings that will be added slowly and steadily over time.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Am Doubting That Plane Crash Was Just "Weather"

I was on a 747 one time over the Pacific in a really bad storm, probably the worst turbulence in my 20 years of business travel. As I looked out the window I could see the wing flexing up and down like a bird's wing. It was doing a full 20 foot arc from high to low, flexing with the wind and turbulence. And that's how they're designed - a 747 wing can flex 26 feet before it snaps off.

So I am doubting the AF447 crash was due to weather. Modern planes can take a beating and this entire plane disintegrated. With various systems failures the pilots would have attempted a water landing like Pilot "Sully" did in New York last January. In this case we don't have an intact fuselage or anything else - just a 3 mile path of debris. So this was something that tore the plane apart in the air before pilots could get it down, and I doubt it was just the weather.