Friday, October 30, 2009

Quote of the Day 10/30

"I don't like to see trade associations refer to global warming as "an issue" because it supports the idea something needs to be done about it."

--Don Blankenship, CEO of coal producer Massey Energy Co., and a Chamber of Commerce board member.  (source)

Points awarded for an honest straightforward comment.  At least he has that going for him.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

In an article in the Wall Street Journal about politicians exerting pressure on firms that took bailout money, this little gem appeared:

Thomas Geisel, chief executive of New Jersey's Sun Bancorp Inc., says the bank paid back its federal money in June because of legislation that imposed limits on bankers' pay, among other areas. "Lawmakers let emotion and ego get in the way of making good business decisions," he says.
(emphasis mine)

Says the man whose decision making was so poor his firm required a bailout.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Net Neutrality fight is going to get ugly and we, the people, will likely lose.

It may be early still in the fight to maintain an open and unfettered Internet, but it definitely is not lacking in drama or shenanigans. 

According to the Wall Street Journal:
"AT&T and other Internet-access providers want latitude to manage traffic on congested wireless networks and freedom to devote a chunk of their wired networks to selling more expensive services. Internet providers are worried regulators are assuming veto power over their efforts to develop new revenue streams from their Internet lines."

We should all know what that means.  Comcast and Time Warner and their ilk want to be able to slow down your download speeds from Youtube or Netflix or Hulu or whatever, and speed up your connection to whatever craptastic media service they might introduce in the future.  Companies that thrive on delivering content know the ramifications of the telecoms and cable companies getting their way.

President Obama ramped up the debate with his Net Neutrality speech some weeks back:

And therein lies the crux of the argument, it is time to treat the Internet like the public utility that it is.  The US government does not allow electric companies to carve out a portion of their grid for "premium" electricity services or for the phone companies to block calls made from competitors lines.  The business they are in is one of providing a gateway to services. 

I have written my congressmen on this subject, but I already know that Bunning is too senile to understand the concept of the Internet, much less Net Neutrality and Mitch McConnell is already in too deep with the telecoms to be of any use.  I am relying on Ben Chandler to carry the water for consumers on this issue.  Don't trust the usual suspects of those you think might support a pro-consumer cause like open competition.  They might just disappoint you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Blue Madness brings out the haters

They've been there since mid-April when UK hired him.  They whined when his recruits followed him to UK, because athletes sign with schools, not coaches, right?  They popped up big time in early June when the NCAA punished an NBA player by vacating his one college season (I'm sure he shed a tear, until he cashed his next paycheck).  Well, they are back and in rare form now.

There is nothing more en vogue in college sports today than bashing UK, Coach Cal or UK fans.  My non-UK fan friends (why do I bother cultivating those friendships?) are just beside themselves at all the preseason hype going to this UK team.  But in the interest of fairness, how DO I know that I'm not the problem, that I'm not suffering from the most famous of Greenspanian ailments known as Irrational Exuberance?  I'll tell you why.  Because the haters won't talk about the facts.  Any attempt to have a discussion on the merits is met with "where there is smoke..." arguments.   It's like a town hall debate on healthcare, except I actually care about this debate.  ( I don't want any lectures, UK basketball affects my mental and physical health from October through March)

I've grown weary of defending our program, I'm ready to start kicking some tail so I can at least enjoy what has caused all this hand wringing. Let's play some ball.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What I'm reading, October edition

I've picked up a couple new books this week, as I finally expect to get some time to sit down and read after we move.  After finishing Time for the Stars,  which upon reflection was wholly forgettable, I spent an hour at Barnes and Noble and Half Priced Books looking for something new.

I'm currently reading Jose Saramago's Blindness.  I must have some issue to be constantly reading bleak books. Like McCarthy's The Road, Blindness offers little in the way of hope for humanity.  An epidemic of white blindness strikes, and a sub-group of the first stricken are thrown in an old asylum to fend for themselves while the outside world tries to deal with the problem.  Humans proceed to do what humans will do in extreme situations, lose all pretense of propriety and morality when survival is on the line.  They breakdown, yet you don't begrudge a single decision they make, because deep down we know we would all do the same thing, some would just do it sooner than others, as the reality of the situation sets in for different people at different times.

The internees find that the guards have deserted their posts (only by not receiving food for a week) and stumble back out into the real world and discover that everyone else is blind now too.  It is at this point that I'm currently reading, and I have no expectation of the world population getting their sight back, so all that is left is to watch the world descend in the same manner as the asylum folks. 

It's a fascinating book, that sadly is a pretty accurate depiction of how society would likely devolve in a situation like that.  The writing style is frustrating to read, there is little punctuation, quotations, or paragraph breaks.  It doesn't add to the feel of desperation that I sense the author is shooting for (at least for me) so I'm left to wonder why he writes that way.  On the whole, even when an author throws roadblocks in front of you, a great story can make it worth finishing. 

I'll be posting up the rest of my book purchases shortly as I make my way through them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ha! I win!

All I had to do was email the Kentucky Theater management once, and I got instant results!  Clearly, I have major pull!
Regardless of how busy a week I have, and it is a doozy, I've GOT to see this before it's gone.
Closing on the new house on thursday, father-in-law coming thursday night, moving on sunday along with a Cheerleading competition at Heritage Hall.  Not to mention a meeting sometime TBD tuesday with the Julius Marks Elementary Principal about getting the foster kids started on October 19th.
I think I see a sliver of time for a movie.
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