The offerings here beat the prices at Wal-Mart. Even those of dubious distinction are still a bargain. So, with a nod to Blackie we are off again.
Even the most ardent fans of Obamacare must have some pause when they consider the individual mandate that was just struck down by the Federal Court in Virginia. If the Commerce Clause permits that then there is no limit to the reach of the Federal government into your daily life. They could require that 25% of all your food purchases by veggies, which might make some moms happy, but many might feel their right of a personal choice has been infringed upon. It would be easy to issue vouchers (like the ration coupons during the War) and they voucher required that 25% of it use be for veggies. Ponder that a moment.
It ain’t just olcranky here worrying about the expansion of Chinese military power for the long-term. Those smart folks in notoriously pacific Japan have begun revising their strategic military policy to counter some of that Chinese threat. Lots of the “smartest guys in the room” are beginning to get nervous about the future threats from China, perhaps we should take note ourselves.
The Fed’s announced purpose in the latest QE2 600 billion printing binge is to hold down long term rates. Yet, since that announcement became official the rate on the 10 treasury has risen about 1 percentage point. That affects the mortgage rates and other lending rates for small business. How’s that working out for us? Do those Fed printers really know what they are doing or is the King not wearing any clothes?
Over the course of history there have been many attempts to redistribute the wealth of a society to make everything “fair”. That effort has existed since the time of the Jubilee in the Old Testament to the Soviet Union. I have a question. If that idea is so good and makes everything fair for everyone then why did they have to repeat it every few decades?
The subject of tax rates and tax reform is much the rage these days. We got a brief extension of the current rates by a whisker past the lame duck Congress. Olcranky would like to see a completely new tax system and tax code. If he were King for a day the first rule in the endeavor would be a requirement that the new tax code couldn’t be more than 50 pages long, including definitions and footnotes. If it can’t be done in that length then it is too complicated or too many special interests (crony capitalists, public unions, etc) are having too much influence in its drafting. Like folks did in the old days when they paid off their mortgage they would have a party and invite family and friends and burn the mortgage; we need a bonfire for the 70,000 existing tax code.
Most of you have never heard of or have any idea what the CFR is. Good for you but you should. It is the Code of Federal Regulations. It is hundreds of thousands of pages long. Tt is written by almost all Federal agencies, bureaus and commissions. From the Labor Department, OSHA, EPA, FCC, Commerce department, Transportation Department, etc. The list alone would take pages to delineate. Those regulations have the force of law unless and until overturned by a Court and to win a challenge you normally have to prove the regulation is frivolous, or arbitrary and unreasonable which is a very high hurdle legally. These are laws not approved by Congress but formulated by bureaucrats with pointy heads and making over $100,00 per year to make your life better. At least that is their story and they are sticking to it.
Before you rush out to buy that electric car you best consider the charging issues. You do know that you can’t just plug it into your existing outlet. If you did it would take even longer than the estimated 8 hours of charge time. You will have to install a new 240 watt outlet. Get an estimate from your local electrician. What do you do in the middle of the night when there is an emergency and you have to drive 30 miles but the useful electric life is only for 10 miles? We won’t even talk about the increase in your electric bill each month. But you can breathe that pure air (which is already 80% nitrogen). When are they going to tackle all that excess and damaging nitrogen?
Many disparage investing in gold alleging that it has no inherent value and that the current prices are artificial and will fall. I’m not smart enough to predict that but I know people since recorded history have always treasured gold in every society. When civilized nations, empires or people spread out to the far corners of the earth and met the savages they always noted that even the savages liked gold and sought it out. Don’t argue with history or the markets I say. It might only be good for filling cavities but people like it and it will always have some value and it can’t file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy like the “Golden” GM.
Great Britain is enduring another strong snow storm and bout of cold weather just like they had last year. I wonder how much longer they can endure all this Global Warming?
It is pretty amazing that a new-born infant smells so special and nice. You don’t have to add lotions, creams or powder and they smell terrific. Well, except when they have been “busy”.
“Men show no mercy and expect no mercy, when honor calls, or when they fight for their idols or their gods.” Schiller www.olcranky.wordpress.com