Monthly Archives: November 2011

Occupy Raleigh

The Occupy Movement gathers strength amongst it’s supporters from the fact that they claim to represent the 99%.  That means that they feel 99% of American’s are being fairly depicted by these people’s actions.  That somehow, the words and ideas and thoughts and thesis of this movement is embraced by the 99% of American’s that are not the richest 1%.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Much of us not in the top 1% realize what it means to succeed in America, what it takes to make a life that is better than the one given to you as a child.  It requires risk, sacrifice and hard work.  It means that things we might otherwise hold dear to us will have to be passed by or delayed in order to achieve the goal.

And sometimes that doesn’t work out.  For some, it means that a life is spent in futile frustration agonizing over business ideas that never took hold.  For others it might mean a life of unrealized potential; an otherwise qualified corporate President is relegated to a life of middle management due to circumstances. And, in some cases, it means that decisions that are made are wrong.  Or if not wrong, less right.

But in aggregate, the fact that Americans all, poorest to the richest, have the best life ever afforded any group of people belonging to a nation in the history of the world is proof enough that Capitalism is the greatest anti-poverty program going.

But that isn’t enough.  For some, they have to make the papers, the news, the limelight.  They have to scream out that the world just isn’t fair and that somehow, of course, it’s not their fault.

And that’s where the Occupy Movement comes in:

RALEIGH — Protesters from the occupy movement disrupted a speech at N.C. State University Wednesday afternoon by the head of Wells Fargo Bank, but the program resumed after police escorted about a dozen protesters from the building.

There were no arrests during or following the outburst that occurred about 4:45 p.m..

John G. Stumpf, the president and CEO of Wells Fargo, was on campus as part of an executive lecture series sponsored by NCSU’s Poole College of Management.

His remarks were disrupted when protesters scattered amongst the audience of about 400 stood and started speaking. One woman protester began a speech and the others repeated and amplified her words.

The protesters said, “John Stumpf, we won’t take your home, but we will take a moment of your time. Your leadership has led to the death of the American dream. Wells Fargo is guilty of widespread predatory lending and holds over $5.7 billion in student debt.”

I suspect that John G. Stumpf has created more jobs in his singular life that the number of jobs that will be created in aggregate of the Occupiers escorted from that room.  Further, the benefit to society by having Wells Fargo around is lost on many, if not all, of those Occupiers.


They hold it against this man that his bank holds $5.7 billion in student debt.

I ask you, how willing would YOU be to borrow money to some kid to get a degree in Eastern European Social Studies with a focus on Slovakian history?

Occupy Capitalism

A most excellent development in the whole Occupy movement has occurred here in Raleigh.  See, the young socialists had been thinking that they could just camp on public grounds; the capital being public, the idea was they could just stay there.

Well, it turns out that the good people of North Carolina don’t want the Occupy people clogging up and cluttering up the State Capital with their nonsense and noise.  The city and the State has said that they have to move on.

So, they did.  And where did they move to?

Raleigh, N.C. — Protesters with the Occupy Raleigh movement moved into a more permanent base camp last week, thanks to a local business owner who saw his new tenants as a capitalist opportunity.

Rob Baumgart, who owns a Sprint and Nextel sales company called Chatterbox Communications, is leasing a 2,500-square-foot lot near the corner of West and Edenton streets, not far from downtown. He’s charging $400 a month to the group of about 15 people who have braved the cold and rain to camp out for their cause.

It’s what any small businessman who believes in making money would do, he said.

“That’s $400 that I didn’t have last month, and if the city allows me to continue doing it for 12 months, that’s $4,800,” Baumgart said Tuesday. “I don’t know a single American who would turn down $4,800 a year.”

Excellent news!

The young protesters protesting the evils of capitalism are now going to get a first hand look at running something.  See, ow that they pay rent, they are going to expect that members contribute.  See, every month that rent check is gonna come due and they are gonna need their friends to chip in.  Or but out.

We’ve seen how this plays out in other OWS encampments around the country.  We see in NYC that the haves and the have nots don’t always see eye to eye.  In Portland Oregon folks have been angry that people who don’t contribute to the movement are glomming on to the free food and shelter.

The sooner these kids can see that organizations require real leaders, the better they, and we, will be.

Who Says The Economy Is Bad?

All over the pace e are seeing and hearing that the private sector is struggling.  We’re not adding jobs, or if we are, just barely.  And even then, the news is that wages are going down.

But how about government jobs?

Durham, N.C. — The Durham County Board of Commissioners’ recent approval of salary increases for county employees of up to 32 percent, which has raised questions among some.

While most county employees were awarded raises of up to 4.25 percent, County Manager Mike Ruffin received a 10 percent raise and the clerk to the Board of Commissioners, Michelle Parker-Evans, got a 32 percent raise.

Good work if ya can get it.


Big 10 – ACC Challenge


With 3 games to play, the Big 10 has already clinched the contest.  Three straight years.

Abortion: Call It What It Is

There was a lot of debate around the Mississippi legislation that would have defined life at conception.  I’is no secret that this was nothing but a method to move to make abortion illegal.  The pro-life folks want to codify that life exists and therefore, that life has claim to individual Liberty.

While I resonate with the concept I diverge in two areas:

  1. I don’t think that human life begins at conception.  Shortly thereafter?  Sure.  Heartbeat, brain activity and blood flowing?  Yeah, then.  Then’ish.
  2. We don’t have to work that hard to make this point.

There is already bi-partisan support for this concept.  In fact, that support passed new legislation into law that will take effect here in North Carolina tomorrow, December 1.

RALEIGH, N.C. — More than four years after a pregnant woman was killed outside a Raleigh convenience store, a law named for her unborn son that criminalizes the murder of a fetus will take effect Thursday.

State lawmakers passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, often referred to as Ethen’s Law, in April. The legislation deems that anyone who commits murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman is guilty of the same crimes against the fetus, regardless of whether an attacker knows about the pregnancy.

I do not find it consistent to be charged with a crime against a human being unless you committed that crime against, you know, a human being.

We all  know, ALL of us, that life begins well before literal conception.  What we’re doing is just negotiating on the time.  As such, we know that the kid in the womb is just that, a kid.

So, we’re not arguing about what’s going on when there is an abortion, a child is dying.  We’re just saying we’re okay with the taking of that life when it suits us.  It would be refreshing, as if, the Liberal Left would be honest and admit that.

Men And Power

So, what do you suppose it is with men who are in positions of power and the women in their lives?  Why do these guys continue to cheat in the way and manner in which they do?

Or do they?

Are men who are in these positions really more of the cheatin’ kind than the normal population of men?

And why are women drawn to powerful married men?

Blondes and Redheads

It turns out that appreciating brunettes over blondes doesn’t matter when fighting wars:

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – Marine Gen. James Amos, the face of opposition in the military to lifting the ban on gays serving openly, now acknowledges his concern that repeal would undermine the war effort has proven unfounded. In fact, he said, Marines have embraced the change.

In an interview, Amos called the repeal in September of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “a non-event.”

That is in contrast to his cautionary words to Congress in December 2010, shortly before President Obama signed the repeal legislation. The ban was not lifted until this year to allow the Pentagon to prepare troops for the change.

“Successfully implementing repeal and assimilating openly homosexual Marines into the tightly woven fabric of our combat units has strong potential for disruption at the small-unit level as it will no doubt divert leadership attention away from an almost singular focus on preparing units for combat,” Amos testified. Still, he said at the time that if the law were changed, it would be faithfully followed by the Marines.

He now sees no sign of disruption in the ranks — even on the front lines.

“I’m very pleased with how it has gone,” Amos said during a weeklong trip that included four days in Afghanistan, where he heard not a word of worry about gays.

As it turns out, appreciating one sex versus another has the same non-effect.


I’ve reflected on the discovery of free markets o the part of Broadway and the airlines.  I can’t help but feel that the attitude of the Liberal is to rejoice that the Arts will enjoy increased revenues to further their artistic causes while the same activity by the airlines will be reviled as further evidence of corporate greed.


Capitalists Discover Capitalism

Friday I mocked the Liberals who dominate Broadway theater for their embracing market pricing for their tickets.  I was correctly mocked back in the comments for not calling out traditional conservative bastions for equal failure.

Well, critics all here is your reward.

Greedy corporate pig airlines discover capitalism:

Fliers can still choose between window and aisle seats on Delta Air Lines, but they’ll have to pay extra if those spots are near the front of the plane.

Economy passengers can now pay $9 or $29 for these prime seats, depending on the length of the flight. They were previously only available to frequent fliers in the airline’s Medallion program.

Other airlines such as US Airways, Sun Country and American Airlines already charge for window and aisle seats. The fee for premier seating is the latest in a string of surcharges by airlines. The fees have generated billions of dollars in extra revenue and have helped offset rising fuel costs.

I’ve long lamented the lack of markets in airline seating.  As airlines are continually being squeezed for revenues by the competition, they are looking to gain efficiencies wherever they can.  And part of that is scheduling flights as tightly as possible.  Often I find myself looking at a connecting flight with only 20-40 minutes to catch it.  I NEED to sit in the aisle and up front.  At other times I’ve scheduled my flight the day before and am in a position where I can sit in the back without a problem.

There has to be a better way than randomly assigning seats or even setting up an “e-bay’esque” type of event like Southwest does.  And for a long time I’ve told my poor suffering wife that “the market would set them free”.  Now, of course, I’ve always wanted them to set up a market where I could sell my seat position with the airline taking a cut.  But I guess this was inevitable.

In short, the market will allow people who need to be up front to be there while giving the folks who don’t need to be there the ability to well, not be.

Good News For The Market

This news alone should drive the market 200 points:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will announce Monday that he is not seeking re-election, a spokesman said Monday morning.

Frank, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee was the architect with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) of the sweeping financial reform bill that bears their names.

If there is any one single individual who is the face of blame for the housing bubble and the resulting recession, it’s Barney Frank.

Very good news that this man is retiring.