Monthly Archives: November 2011

Advil Cold and Sinus

I had occasion to shop for some cold medicine tonight; wife is sick.

When I went to purchase the Advil, the clerk informed me that I would have to show proof of identification.  See, it turns out that tweekers take the active ingredient in this medication and cook it into meth.  Sooooo, you need to present valid picture ID to purchase it.

Anyway, as the pharmacist dutifully entered my information in the anti-tweeker database, I was struck by two thoughts:

  1. I wonder how all of the old, poor, young, illegal, rural, urban Democrats who don’t have IDs by the hundreds of thousands obtain medication?
  2. By sheer luck, I happened to have my State required and issued identification papers; my driver’s license.


More Fight Than The Whole Team

The Vikings are horrible.  The whole team sucks.

And the worst part of it all, this guy, THIS guy has more fight than the whole 2011 squad combined.

According to media reports from Canada, former Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp got into a fight on the dais at a Canadian Football League banquet on Friday in Vancouver.

Kapp, 73, and former rival Angel Mosca, 74, had to be separated when Mosca didn’t take kindly to flowers that Kapp offered him.

He’d probably make the team if we offered him a shot.

Geeks And World Domination

I was a geek.

I AM a geek.

I programmed on an Atari 400; cassette tape drive and all.

My favorite thing in all the world for a very VERY long time was: Sepia Snake Sigil.

I suffered through very much humiliation as a young man in high school.

However, the hottest woman I’ve ever met married me.

Alabama Immigration Law: Working As Designed

An occasional commentator and Economics Professor here in North Carolina recently posted that the Alabama Immigration law is suppressing jobs in that state.  As proof, he cited this article:

(CNN) — Fierce critics of Alabama’s controversial new immigration law — and one of its staunchest supporters — are pointing to the arrest of a German Mercedes-Benz executive last week to make their case.

Police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, pulled the man over because of a problem with the tag on the rental car he was driving, and then detained him when he didn’t have proper identification on hand, according to Alabama’s homeland security director.

Somehow, this is sufficient evidence that immigration laws in Alabama are keeping jobs out of the State.  However, even the article doesn’t think that’s the case:

[Senator] Brewbaker told CNN that requiring immigrants and foreign visitors to carry identification is common around the globe.

“I know a good many people with Hyundai and companies like that have gone to live in Korea. They say, ‘We’re expected to carry our papers with us because we’re foreigners,'” he said. “That’s the standard worldwide. I don’t want Alabama to be any more onerous on visitors, as long as they’re legally present, than anywhere else.”

Yes, of course.  Let us not forget that it’s a Federal Offense not to carry paperwork demonstrating that you are in America legally.  A Federal Offense.  It’s against the law.  If you are in America legally as a foreign visitor, you are breaking the law if you don’t carry paper work on your body.

But I get the point.  After all, the Mercedes executive was Hispanic and we all know that the Republicans are just racist haters:

For state Sen. Dick Brewbaker — one of the law’s backers — the arrest shows that officers aren’t racially profiling and that the state is enforcing the same types of requirements other countries have.

“This police officer in Tuscaloosa, he sure didn’t pull that guy over because he looked Hispanic,” Brewbaker told CNN. “He was just enforcing the law.”

See..?  Wait?  What?

The guy was pulled over for a crime, was asked to provide documentation and then arrested and he WASN’T Hispanic?

Stop it.

But I’m sure he was thrown into prison, tortured and has yet to be released.  Right?

“The incident was resolved when our colleague — who was visiting from Germany on business — was able to provide his driver’s license and other documents to Tuscaloosa Police,” the company said.

What a burden!  The man had to show documents proving he was who he said he was.  And then released.

If anything, the Alabama law is CREATING jobs.  Alabama farm workers are leaving the state in droves creating a shortage of harvesters.  A shortage that the farmers are unable to fill with native American workers.


Income Disparity

Open Question:

Would you be more or less likely to look for a new job if your current job no longer offered vacations and holidays?

North Carolina Toll Roads

I’ve seen people drive all over creation to find a gas station that sells gas for $0.02 cheaper than they can get at their local fill-up.  In fact, they’ll spend 15 minutes to obtain cheaper petrol.  I see the same thing with folks wanting to buy a CD, or a book or a video game.

People react to price variance, often outrageously so.

Further, I acknowledge that we need to pay for roads.  Society needs to be burdened to cover the cost of building and maintaining this infrastructure.  Currently we use gas taxes to cover this.  However, with the advent of more fuel efficient cars, and all electric cars as well, that tax may no longer be appropriate.  It is continuing to fall short of requirements, though I suspect this is in large part due to the fact that gas taxes fund other things besides roads and bridges, and so another method is required.

I think that method is tolls.

We have long ago mastered the technology that allows us to gather and collect tolls without having to stop at toll booths thereby slowing traffic.  We can do this automatically and accurately.  Now the only thing preventing us is fear of change.

By tolling a rod we are able to directly collect funds from the vehicles using those roads.  AND we can tax some vehicles more than others.  For example, an 18-wheeler is going to impact our highways much more than a Prius.  We can tax the truck more.  And, from a capacity perspective, we are able to tax our roads in order to increase capacity.

As I mentioned above, people will go to great lengths to avoid even a small increase in price.  It is my expectation that as we increase the cost of driving on a road during peak times, fewer people will drive during those times.  This will spread traffic out  more evenly and allow for much more traffic on our roads than we currently experience.

And I’m glad North Carolina is going to experiment with this use:

Raleigh, N.C. — Growing congestion on Interstate 540 could require an expansion of the state’s first toll road, part of which is set to open to traffic next month, a regional transportation planner said Wednesday.

The Triangle Expressway is an 18-mile stretch of road that includes the western part of 540. Tolling is scheduled to begin in January on a 3.4-mile stretch that runs through Research Triangle Park

The rest of 540 is currently free, but planner Chris Lukasina said that could change in the future.

The long-term plan for the road, slated for completion around 2035, includes widening it from six lanes to eight, Lukasina said. Two of those lanes could become toll lanes, with varying costs throughout the day depending on traffic.

“At different times of day, or as congestion picks up or slows down, they can change the toll on that particular lane,” Lukasina said.

In other words, drivers will be able to pay their way into a faster lane.

I’ll be fascinated to see how this works.



Broadway Discovers Capitalism

I, of course, have no problem with this practice.  I do, however, find it deliciously ironic that the delicate Lefties that enjoy and embrace theater are so willing to allow such an evil concept as “free market pricing” to invade their world.  Then again perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.  Conservatives are more charitable than Libbers.  And while the charity of choice for the cons is the church, the charity of choice for the libs is the arts.

Anyway, it appears that Broadway shows are not meant for the 99%.

The producers of Hugh Jackman’s song-and-dance-and-bump-and-grind show on Broadway were so bullish about his popularity that, even before the first performance last month, they raised prices from $155 to $175 on dozens of orchestra seats for the 10-week run. The bet is now paying off handsomely, so much so that the producers are increasing premium prices for the best seats in the house: what were $250 tickets are now going for $275, $325 or even $350, depending on the demand at particular performances.

I happen to think that this is a wildly fantastic idea.  I think that people who sell tennis shoes should charge what the market would bear.  I think the same thing about pumpkins and pencils as well.  That Broadway shows be exempt is silly to me.

And roof that this works?

“Have I ever paid anything close to $600 for a pair of tickets? No,” John Joyce of Rockville Centre, N.Y., volunteered on Monday after mulling a range of prices at the Broadhurst Theater box office. “But my wife wants to see Hugh. It’s the holidays and it’s a surprise for her. So I think it’s worth it.”

So I think it’s worth it.

But doesn’t this type of free market based capitalism negatively impact the theater?

…a supply-and-demand strategy that is a primary reason why Broadway has weathered the economic downturn unusually well.

To the contrary.  Because of this strategy, the industry is booming and allowing all kinds of people to enjoy continued economic success.

And perhaps the most inspiring aspect to the story is how these Lefties have intuited and come to an understanding of what this all about.  See, in the past, when these shows would sell tickets at dictated prices, not market based prices, tickets would be scooped up by companies and resold at their proper level.  But this only benefited the ticket resellers and the consumer; not the producers of the shows, the folks who performed and invested money.  This now is taken care of:

The producers of Mr. Jackman’s show said they turned to dynamic pricing to help ensure that their investors and creative team — not ticket resellers — would be the ones profiting from high-cost tickets.

“People are prepared to pay a lot more than we’re charging, but nobody in the theater industry would have benefited,” said Robert E. Wankel, president of the Shubert Organization, a producer of Mr. Jackman’s show and the Broadway landlord for his theater. (It is Broadway theater owners who take the lead in setting ticket prices, with input from producers.) “By doing it through dynamic pricing, at least the people who do the work and took the risk are getting some benefits.”

See?  They understand.  They understand that the people who work and risk ought be rewarded.  This is very consistent with what we believe should take place in other markets as well.

Excessive Force

So, what’s it been, a week?  A week since that officer sprayed down those kids protesting on that college campus.  And I still don’t know how I feel.

On the one hand, the images are horrible.  The absolute nonchalant manner in which that coop was spraying down those kids was a bit creepy; just a bit [or more] too big state for me.

Again, on the other hand, this is how the Left rolls.  They “protest peacefully” just sitting back waiting to bait authorities.  They lock arms and lay down limp.  And then when the cops move in, they claim abuse or brutality.  The shots of the police trying to pull off protesters from one another to bring order to a chaotic scene are everywhere.

Back to the protests here though.  It didn’t seem chaotic.  It didn’t seem on the verge of violence.  It seemed calm.  Maybe the cops could have pulled ’em off one by one, I don’t know.

Then again….this goes back to one of my golden rules:  When a police officer tells you to “move on”, it is most prudent to move on.

I don’t think that I’dve used pepper spray, I KNOW I wouldn’t be sitting in the street protesting, and if I was that cop, I probably would’ve pried ’em loose, one by one.

Whatever else you think, this is funny:


Did you know that there are losers in addition to winners?

Insider Trading

I have a thought on insider trading.  And this pertains to politicians as well as corporate executives.

See, we want to be able to know as much about a company as we can, right?  The allocation of capital to the successful at the expense of the incompetent is crucial to the success of capitalism.  As such, any input we can get to the potential success or failure of that company is welcome; indeed, desired.

Given that, would we rather have a condition where the people who “know” must keep quiet so that the rest of us may invest foolishly or would we rather have that condition where we all know equally and fully the risk we are taking?

I would think that watching how a CEO spends his money would be desirable, not something we wanna suppress.