Friday, October 30, 2009

And the Tea Parties are Organized Arms of the Republican Party?

I get the occasional e-mail from the remaining arm of Obama's campaign in that I signed up for it when he was running. What this shows is how it's "bad" when people organize to protest the government taking working people's money away from them, but if it's of a socialist stripe AND OBVIOUSLY ORCHESTRATED by the administration, then it's OK. Just like Bush's deficits are BAD and Obama's deficits are GOOD. Here you go;

Anonymous --

It's late; I know you've gotten a lot of messages from us recently, and everyone here at OFA headquarters is pretty tired. But the last reports of calls and commitments are just coming in from events on the West Coast, and I wanted to share the news with you.

As you know, we set a big goal: 100,000 calls to Congress placed or committed to in a single day by OFA supporters and allied organizations. By 2:30 p.m., you had crushed it. So, we gulped and said let's go for 200,000, not knowing what would happen. But the calls just kept pouring in -- keeping phones ringing off the hook in congressional offices in D.C. and your representatives' district offices around the country.

Then, OFA supporters gathered in over 1,000 living rooms and community centers from Macon, Georgia to Missoula, Montana. You called hundreds of thousands of key voters in your community and got them to agree to call Congress and speak out for reform, too. President Obama joined in at a call party in New York -- and he had some amazing words of support for the folks like you who make this movement possible.

I'm looking at the numbers, and with almost all of the reports now in, the tally wasn't 200,000 calls placed or pledged -- it was 315,023. You did it.

Take a moment to watch the President's inspiring words to OFA volunteers on this incredible day.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/m/55c103cc/506a9e4d/d1f4f0ef/1188608c/2445921390/VEsE/http://my.barackobama.com/page/m/55c103cc/506a9e4d/d1f4f0ef/1188608c/2445921390/VEsE/
Your voice was overwhelming -- with reports in the media of congressional offices "completely crushed with calls." CBS News described your effort as an "onslaught." And a congressional aide was quoted with a common response, saying their office was deluged by "pretty much non-stop health care calls from OFA."

You set a new OFA record, you caught the national media's attention, and you certainly put Congress on notice. But you know that's not what really matters.

The message I sent earlier talked about a woman, Jenny U., whose insurance company cut off her coverage because they decided her kidney donation to her sick daughter counted as a "pre-existing condition." What really matters is that today you brought America one giant, irreversible step closer to being a place where no one will ever have to suffer that kind of injustice again. That's what all the messages, late nights, and phone calls ultimately add up to. It's what makes everything we do together worthwhile -- and it's why we'll keep fighting together until the job is done.

Watch President Obama's special message to you from a call party in New York:

http://my.barackobama.com/TTDreport

Thank you, so much, for being part of the team.

Sincerely,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Real Real" Gross Domestic Product

Because of all the federal stimulus money, Real Gross Domestic Product is no longer quite a reliable measure as to how much the economy is growing. Sure we adjust for inflation to get RGDP, but do we adjust for temporary stimulus spending from the government? Here's a break down of RGDP growth by category.


Notice the government alone accounted for .5% of that economic growth, but if you factor in cash for clunkers, home purchasing credits, not to mention ditch-digging-then-filling projects like this, RRGDP is more like 1.8%. Recovery? Yes. Booming? No. Enough growth to create jobs for the increasing population? Certainly not.

Alas, leave it to the bubble-addicted markets to drive stock prices up by 150 points on the DJIA on the nominal 3.5% growth rate and not the RRGDP.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Think I Had the Pig Flu

Actually, I'm being half-serious about this.

I got a HORRENDOUS cold last month, took three weeks to fully recover, a worse cold than the typical cold I normally get during the cooling months, but still not the "worst" cold I've ever had.

Slept in, had girls come over to pamper me (and do electrical work), ate well, and didn't work more than I had to. Sure enough, like all other colds in the history of colds, this one went away as the Captain's T-cells went to battle.

So I was thinking that it was too coincidentally timed with the pig flu epidemic as several cases were reported here in Minnesota (although who knows, maybe it was just the schools shutting down being overworried).

Regardless, I wondered, "Did I have the pig flu?" and so I looked up the symptoms here at the CDC.

Wow, the pig flu is just like the regular flu, BUT!!!! (drum roll)....

IT'S SPELLED DIFFERENTLY!!!!

Seriously, it wouldn't surprise me if I had the pig flu.

Since then Young Joie more or less explains my position of this flu as well as provides some informational links about Pig Flu.

Never let a crisis, real or fabricated, go to waste.

Capitalism vs Socialism Speech - Part 10

You Will Visit Alice the Camel

Alice has been a long time blog-friend and as I slowly update my blogroll (as I recently learned how to program one) I will be putting new folk up there.

Regardless, pay Alice a visit. Also send her pictures of camels.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

American Labor Takes Too Long to Incubate

A real quick, but very insightful post, then I have to go.

I read this on Mish's blog and it got me thinking, "Dude, you're practically middle age by the time you get your doctorate and are ready to go into the labor force."

And then it got me further thinking as to just how much time we waste when we education our children and college students and how we could considerably shorten the time it takes to bring a kid from kindergarten to an employable adult.

First off a sheer improvement in efficiency by eliminating bad students that do nothing but distract those students with potential would certainly allow a teacher to cover an insanely higher amount of ground and impart an insanely higher amount of education. Along the same line would be getting parents to be real parents and force their students to study, to do well, and to do their homework.

Since both are politically incorrect because we champion losers in this country as well as it is a sin to accuse bad parents of...well...being bad parents, we have to focus on things that don't hurt people's feelings, especially morons at the expense of our future labor force.

This changes the focus to what I believe to be the inordinate amount of worthless "pre-requisite" classes that we force students to take to (put it simply) employ people who would otherwise be unemployable.

Why do we have phy ed?
Why do we mandate students take high school psychology?
How many of you took years of foreign language and never used it to this day?

It is these classes that need to be eliminated at the K-12 education level. They serve no purpose in training children into future workers, but they do employ a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have jobs in the real world.

Then there is lord knows how much spent on "extra-curricular" activities that serve no purpose in helping a kid's future.

Admittedly, I teach dance. But this is recreational and for adults who have since graduated and are presumably in the working world. They have no illusions about going out and competing professionally. It is a veritable recreation. But I don't know how many women I've ran into who I could tell had previous dance experience. And when I asked them,

"Have you danced before?"

They invariably say,

"Yes, tap, jazz and ballet when I was a child."

"So are you a professional ballet dancer now?"

"Oh, no! *giggle*"

Well how much time, labor, effort, money and taxpayer cash was used teaching kids a dance they will never use? Line dance? Jazz? Ballet?

Music is the same way. Along the same line of sports (as well as I presume ballet), what percentage of students that take music and are in high school band go on to make careers in music? Less than 1% I presume. And this speaks nothing to the psychotic parents that (like my own) force their children at the insanely young age of 3 to take piano or violin or tennis.

Now these are all topics or hobbies kids pursue as kids during their k-12 days. However, when they graduate onto college, the pointless "jumping through hoops" classes do not relent.

Freshman composition is the perfect example.

I don't care how bad people's writing is. If it doesn't cut it, it doesn't cut it. But no matter if you had straight A's through k-12 in English, you still need to take this class. Why? Because a bunch of English majors in COLLEGE need a job.

But forget English, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota require you not only take 3 years of a foreign language, but that you PASS A TEST before you can get your degree. I pissed away 2 years of college German that could have been spent on economics and finance which would have made me an even BETTER economist (if you can imagine that). Regardless, this is not for the students' benefit, this is to employ a bunch of people who majored in a foreign language and can't find a job at the UN.

Business school is just as guilty as any other college.

Why, if you are majoring in accounting, do you need to take HR or marketing? Again, it is not to make you "well-rounded" it's to employ otherwise unemployable "doctorates" in marketing.

And though I did not attend engineering school, there is no doubt a plethora of worthless and pointless pre-requisites in the arts and humanities you must have suffered that only postponed your graduation by a full year.

Now you may be asking "Captain, why are you so hard on people? Why can't you just let people enjoy life a little bit? Life is not all about math and science and engineering and economics."

You're right, that's what you do on your free time. But when you go to school, let us not kid ourselves, it's not for entertainment. It's to train you for a real job in the real world. It's to give you the skills so that you may work up enough money in a successful career so that you may afford pursue your hobbies in the future. Arguing otherwise is putting the cart before the horse, and no doubt you wish to make a living out of your hobby which is almost a guaranteed way to become a rent-seeker.

But there is a larger consequence, or perhaps "opportunity cost" for being so lackadaisical in the education and training of our future labor, and that is foregone production.

Consider this - it is in my estimation that a full 3 years could be cut out from the K-12 education by simply eliminating the worthless classes and activities as well as forcing our students to work harder. I also believe that if you get rid of all of fluff and forced-pre-requisite classes at the college level, you could scale an engineering degree down to 3 years and a liberal arts degree to 3 months (just kidding!). I also believe most masters degrees could be done in 4 years and doctorates (unless in a REALLY advanced field) could be done in 6. And in focusing our efforts on studying as well as eliminating the unnecessary classes, you could have online fully trained and qualified, labor ready to go to work.

Bringing this labor online 4-5 years ahead of schedule and you have some amazing benefits.

Most notably 4-5 years of additional production per graduating class. This alone would (assuming near full employment) more than pay for Obama's spending binge.

You worried about collecting social security when you're older? Well, if people were allowed to get to work earlier instead of rotting in a mandatory "Global-Warming and Why Bush is Hitler Sociology' class, the tax revenues might be there to actually shore up the SS fund.

And, of course, lest we forget, how about all the extra money those students make for themselves (assuming we don't tax them to death) with that extra 4-5 years income? Let alone less student loan debt they might have. Less debt and an extra 4-5 years of income, who knows, all those Gen-X'ers and Gen Y'ers could have actually AFFORDED the houses they tried to buy 3 years ago.

In short you would have a HUGE increase in generational production, GDP, tax revenues and wealth and the country would be immeasurably off.

But of course, there is one thing standing in the way of this;

Big Education.

For you see, such a streamlined educational system would mean a LOT less money for that industry, and no matter how noble and how prosperous a faster, more focused educational system would be for this nation, society must suffer a lower standard of living so we can employ some more theater professors and German teachers.

Enjoy Freshman Comp!

The End Game of Leftist Policies

This is what happens when leftist policies are enacted. This is not hyperbole, nor rhetoric. This is just the truth.

The simple reason why is that you destroy any incentive to work. You do not promote nor protect the productive people. You punish investment and profit. And all you are left with are the degenerates of society living off of government hand outs TO THE POINT THAT LAND HAS A NEGATIVE VALUE.

Pig Flu Ala Charts

I like charts. Charts make things simple and provide relativity. From Herr Mueller.
OMG! AN EPIDEMIC!!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Recession Medicine - Hogan's Heroes


Hogan's Heroes is hands down the best show ever made. Certainly will get you out of those recessionary blues (of which you shouldn't have because you don't really control this economy anyway). Here is an episode that is bound to make your day go better.

Capitalism vs. Socialism Speech Part 9

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You Think I Make This Up

Minnesota, despite being flyover country, is honeycombed with incompetent, greedy, pathetic middle aged men posing as bankers. They have no skills, they have no talents, they only wish to "make the deal" no matter how previously-condemned to default and bankruptcy the deal is so they can skim their commission off the top. They then drive German-made cars and large SUV's as they pose as "successful businessmen" whilst behind closed doors beg for a taxpayer bailout like a bum with a cup in their hands. This is not "sour grapes." This is not "revenge." This is just the truth, people, and the future will bear me out (besides which I've had my revenge already).




Now I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Minnesota IS going to be one of the worst states in terms of bank closures and you will see it have its disproportionate share of bank failures compared to other states, adjusting for population. The primary cause is the likes of Riverview Community Bank, which was recently shut down by the Feds. "Community Banks" you must understand are these small town, local "community" banks that are basically the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the hierarchy of banks. While the likes of TCF and Wells Fargo were shooting down questionable real estate deals, there was no shortage of these second rate loser banks to sop up the deals and finance them while they played "imaginary real banker."

What's worse is that there are SCORES of these wanna-be-banks with wanna-be-bankers who financed "multi-million dollar real estate deals" so their impotent, inept middle aged bankers could say to naive 20 something girls, "Why I just finished signing off on a multi-million dollar real estate deal. I'm a multi-million dollar real estate banker!" (Little did the 20 something girls know they probably had a higher net worth as a waitress than these guys did with with their home equity line financed German car and overleveraged house.) Regardless, with so many of these petty, small time faux banks eating up the bad deals larger, more legitimate banks passed up on, you are going to see an increase in the number of Minnesota community banks come begging for a bailout.

But! Don't worry. Everything is going to be fine! The FDIC now assures us that they have the money to ensure our deposits at these Minnesota banks! (ht to Kate)



Of course never mind borrowing $500 billion would put the Federal government WAY over its debt limit already. And never mind we're already in the whole for $1.4 trillion this year anyway. The reason you should never mind is because Barack Obama is president and he's going to take care of everything.

Now you know why I installed my own wood burning stove and enjoy foraging for wood.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Going Galt Makes You Macho

October, it is in my estimation, will officially be henceforth known in my world as "Macho Month." And the reason I will consider it my own personal "Macho Month" is because I, your beloved Captain, has done no less than;

1. Replace a thermostat on my car
2. Replace a radiator in my car
3. Winterize 2 lawnmowers and a motorcycle
4. Install a wood burning stove and chimney at my house
5. Forage for at least 2 chords of free wood

All of which on my own.

Now you might say, "Cappy, I thought you were an economist and taught dance class? What's with all auto repairs and home improvement projects and everything? Shouldn't you adhere to the division of labor and specialize in economics and pay somebody to install a fireplace, fix your cars and store your motorcycle?"

And normally you would be right. But these are not normal times.

Understand that in these socialist times we live in today, it doesn't pay to work. The governments (state, federal and local) are estimated to expend 43% of GDP and this says nothing about the future promises of entitlements they've given to various special interest groups. Therefore if you're one of those working schmoes you're essentially slaving away for about half the year to pay taxes. And if you're one of those HIGH-EARNING schmoes, you're a veritable slave to the government for the majority of your working hours.

This is why you go Galt. Not that you choose to do this, but the government essentially makes any marginal pay you receive so marginal that it isn't worth the marginal time you must expend to earn what meager earnings the government will let you have. Therefore you find out how much you need, scale back your work and enjoy leisure time which (and this really pisses off the left) CAN'T BE TAXED!

Now the Captain has a fair amount of leisure time, but the problem in going Galt is that those who do go Galt are typically of the industrious sort and they soon get stir crazy. They're not the types to sit around and drink coffee at a coffee shop and then read THe Guardian while they talk to their liberal buddies about their manuscript for a play they wrote. They're people who know the value of work, have a strong work ethic and just can't sit still for more than a full day not doing anything.

The good news is that there are many things you can do that will not result in a paycheck, but will still improve your standards of living and essentially make it as if you have a tax free job. The most notable of these things are repairs and improvements.

If your car breaks down, you now face a problem. You have to give up some of your hard earned money to pay a mechanic to fix your car. The problem is doubled when the mechanic has to forfeit 43% of that money to the governments to pay taxes. In other words an exchange between you, the mechanic and the suppliers of any materials you might need, is now interrupted by a mafioso like government that insists you guys need "protection."

But if you've gone Galt, you have the one thing you need to avoid paying this unecessary protection money; time.

Oh, you may not be a great automechanic now, but just go on You Tube, look up what you want to repair or replace and usually there is a how to video ready and willing to hand hold you through the process. And in the end you've not only saved yourself a $400 repair bill, you also denied the government a $400 transaction which it cannot tax for it never happened.

There are also improvements to your household. The Captain is cheap. I have no problems letting the temperature in my basement go down to 32 degrees. I do this not to save the environment, I do this to save money. But as I thought about it, a nice wood burning stove would be nice to have. Not only would the basement stay warm, I'd save a LOT of money on gas, the pipes wouldn't freeze, AND I'd be emitting more carbon.

Again, I have a choice, do I spend the $5,200 I was quoted by the fireplace installation outfit? Or do I drop $1,500 on materials and do it myself? Sure, it took a week to properly install the flue, but in the end I saved myself $3,700 in labor therefore denying the governments the opportunity to tax that $3,700.

Now we could go on about how you can save money doing your own auto repair, improving your house, or doing your own computer repair, but the larger point is that to still produce while you "go Galt" the vast majority of your production is going to be in repairs and maintenance as these are things you can do on your own. You don't need the "double coincidence of wants" that is required for a barter exchange (besides which the government actually taxes you on the estimated barter transaction, not kidding, look it up). So while it is difficult for me to find say a dentist willing to trade dental work for dance lessons, I need no one to repair my house but me.

Now, since the majority of "Going Galt Work" is repairs and maintenance this practically forces you to become a macho guy. It's bumpy at first, repairing tires, changing oil, replacing a timing belt, but soon you're pulling out radiators, alternators, jerry-rigging things that were never meant to be but still work, installing fireplaces and cleaning out the carbs on your own motorcycle. You'll have grease and grit on your hands and under your finger nails. Women will look at you while you're dancing with them on the floor and say to themselves, "My goodness, not only is he a ballroom dancer, he repairs his own motorcycle and re-supported his house AND moded his own X-Box!" And soon not only will you be a rebel for going Galt and sticking it to the system, you'll be a macho Galt-Going rebel who will be able to do macho guy stuff with cars, the house, and the computer. And if they weren't already smothering you before, WOO HOO!!! Look out! THere's nothing more a lady likes and that going-Galt rebel who does auto repair, especially if he's an aspiring, junior, deputy or official economist.

Capitalism vs. Socialism Part 8

Economics Under a Democrat Senate

I am not a big fan of blaming one person or a small group of people for large economic issues that are obviously triggered by society. For example I do not blame GW for the current recession, just as I don't blame Barack Obama for the current recession or Bill Clinton for the previous recession (though the lethargic, painfully slow recovery circi 1990 Japan I will blame Barak and Bush for).

Regardless, I do believe congress is more powerful than the president as it is primarily their policies that are submitted to be voted on and implemented into law and therefore have more sway over a country, but I'm still not blaming democrats for all problems. Still, this chart suggests SOME correlation. I would prefer to see this going back to 1947 though.



Thank you Mr. Brown.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Deaths in Iraq vs. Afghanistan

I just found the data interesting in that you "hear" Afghanistan is going worse, but you never really see the data.

I also like how the "surge" "didn't work."

Another Reason Not to Buy The Economist

OK, it seems my former magazine flame has not only decided to change politics on me, but has now decided to get fat as well. Does any aspiring economist see what egregious error The Economist did here?
The answer is: "What does a country's GDP per capita have to do with time off?"
What they should have correlated it with is RGDP GROWTH. Just because previous generations busted their asses off for their spoiled children to enjoy high standards of living and take vacation has NOTHING to do with what they're implying. Economic GROWTH is what matters, not the nominal GDP per capita people pre-establishedly enjoy.

I Love How they Choose to Live in Europe

We want to make to make the countries we escaped to just as crappy as the ones we escaped from.

Enjoy the 72 virgins.

Oh, sorry, almost forgot the HT!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marriage is the New Fad

I've often said today marriage is like being engaged back in the 1940's. And being engaged today is like going steady in the 1940's. And dating today is like being friends back in the 1940's. There is no severity or seriousness we apply to courting anymore and just like you could break off an engagement back in the 1940's without much hoopla, you can get a divorce today quite the same. Of course that means there is no modern day equivalent of a 1940's marriage because the seriousness and commitment that existed back then just doesn't exist today, but I digress.

Ice Cream for Breakfast

I can't believe I have to write this post, but here it goes.

I AM AN ADULT.

AND IN BEING AN ADULT I CAN DO WHAT I WANT!

Remember back when we were kids and our parents would say,

"Well, when you pay for your own food, and pay your own bills, and pay your own rent, then you can stay up will 4AM and do whatever you want?"

Remember that?

Yeah? Well guess what!

I

BUY MY OWN FOOD

I

PAY MY OWN MORTGAGE

I

PAY MY OWN BILLS

ERGO!!!!

I CAN EAT ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST!

Don't you remember that as kids? You wanting to do all this stuff that your parents would not allow you to do, simply because you were a kid?

Well, now that you are no longer a kid and now that you are supporting yourself (unless of course daddy is still subsidizing your college tuition, and paying for your car or insurance) YOU CAN DO ALL THESE THINGS YOU WANTED TO DO BACK WHEN YOU WERE A KID!

But what do I get instead?

I get my NOW-ADULT FRIENDS saying I "can't do this!"

It's like they got nabbed and brainwashed and turned into those old-stodigy adults we so feared becoming and traitored on me. No, no, I have to have "breakfast food" for breakfast. I need to eat muffins and eggs and tofu and bark and leaves.

So, let me explain to those of you who are my age and somehow think there's something wrong with me having ice cream for breakfast.

1. I can have ice cream for breakfast. There is no way you can stop me. I can go to the store, buy ice cream, come back home and you have no legal means or forcible means to stop me. Ergo it's not a question of "can" I have ice cream for breakfast, it's a question of "SHOULD" I have ice cream for breakfast.

2. YES I SHOULD HAVE ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST. This has been a communist plot of our elders to keep us ignorant as children. Studies show that ice cream for breakfast increases your IQ by 40 points. It also has immeasurable health benefits such as strong bones due to the calcium in the ice cream, endorphins are released early on in your day, and it's a well-known fact that ice cream cures the common cold and attracts members of the opposite sex. A whole plethora of health benefits come with eating ice cream. Ergo it is a moral imperative that you eat it during the morning hours.

3. Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do? Joseph Stalin? Mao Zedong? Barack Obama? And what do you care if I do these things? Not only do I have ice cream for breakfast, I have been known to have Rumpleminze for lunch AND stay up till 4AM playing video games on a school night (of course I didn't have school the next day, but I still stick my tongue out at you regardless).

So, the lesson we all need to learn from this is that it is OK for full grown adults to have ice cream for breakfast. If somebody can engage in vices where they smoke till they get cancer, drink till they have liver failure or marry so they lose half their net worth, then I can CERTAINLY have ice cream for breakfast.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Retronomics

Mr. Trum, some of you know, is a regular reader of Cappy Cap and has started his own blog; Retronomics.

Of course, there is just one minor problem.

It's in German.

He assures me that in the future there will be an English version, but in the meantime you will all be mandated to read German.

Compliance will begin immediately.

Big Time!

For those interested and who happen to live in the North Twin Cities metro, the Capitalism vs. Socialism speech will actually be broadcasted in its final edited form on public access cable.

Yes, yes, I know, I am making it big time now, and I shall remember the little people.

Regardless, it is pared down considerably from its original format I put online and is more of a project a friend of mine wanted to work on to hone his editing/filming skills. Only about 55 minutes, but takes some of the finer points and puts them into a professionally done video.

The schedule is here for those in the north metro interested in viewing it.

Insurance Industry Profits

It is claimed by the Obama administration as well as leftists who like to make You Tube videos that the reason health care costs are so high is because of the profits the insurance industry makes. And that if we were to just get rid of those profits then the savings could be passed onto everyday people like you and me.

I was excited about this prospect of paying lower health insurance and so to see how much in savings would be passed onto me I looked up Aetna, one of the larger publicly traded insurance companies out there. I did this on Reuters because Reuters will not only show you the profit margins for the company you are looking at, but the entire industry. That way you can see just how high of profit margins these companies have and how much you're going to save!!!

Wow! The past 12 months the insurance industry has had a profit margin of .94%. That's not 94% for those of you who majored in liberal arts and never took calculus, that's .94%, LESS THAN 1%.
Now I'll be kind and intellectually honest enough to admit the 5 year average has been 4% in the industry, but are you freaking kidding me? At maximum a savings of 4%?

And let us not kid ourselves kiddies, with the amazing efficiency of the government managing a health insurance plan, you damn well know it's going to gobble up more than that paltry 4% LIKELY COSTING YOU MORE THAN A PRIVATE HEALTH INSURER WOULD.

Oh, but it's not really about the cost, is it? It's the fact somebody else will be paying for it. And that's what this is all about. I just wish people would be intellectually honest about this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monthly "Obscene Profit Break"

Friendly reminder to all Cappy Cap readers out there to patronize my sponsors...most of which is me.

Regardless, to show your love you can;

1. Buy Ugg Boots! - Yes, the only official sponsor of Captain Capitalism! Christmas is coming, what a better gift than a pair of Ugg Boots to keep warm!

2. "Better gift" did you say? Well it's hard to beat Ugg Boots, but you could always buy the gift of WISDOM and take a class from the Captain! Take "The Analysis and Valuation of Stocks" OR if you have a teenage son or daughter take an INVALUABLE class titled "Stocks, Bonds and Investing, Oh My!" This class is THE class you WISH you had back when you were 17. Well worth the money. You can sign up for classes here!

3. You know you're out there! You procrastinators! I know you're out there because most of my friends have procrastinated as well. But like my friends, I know you still care about me, so I forgive you. Regardless, get off your behind and buy the book!

4. Natasha has a calendar coming in November, BUT you can make her happy by donating NOW! All proceeds go to my favorite charity - ME! Below is a graph showing you our fund-raising progress to meet our goal of raising enough money to pay off my mortgage;

Only $299,767 to go!
5. Local folk are more than welcome to take one of my dance classes, but that's only if you live in the Minneapolis area. But fear not intrepid aspiring junior, deputy, and official ballroom dancers of far, far away lands, you can buy instructional ballroom DVD's! Men, you can hardly go WRONG with this for the lovely lady in your life. Shoot the ole Captain an e-mail at CAPTcapitalism@yahoo.com and he can mail you whatever kind of instructional dance video you need (a different girl each video!)
And of course you can always;
6. Tell your friends about Cappy Cap. The Captain always appreciates you forwarding me to family, friends, enemies, and those you are generally indifferent about.
But no seriously, cash is much better.

Capitalism vs. Socialism Speech Part 7

For My RSS Readers

Just so you guys know I will be uploading some files that have nothing to do with posts, however, since you do have RSS feeds, these posts will still show up, but are irrelevant. I apologize for the incovenience.

Many thanks,

El Cap-i-tan

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Don't Need No Stinking Fathers!

Pfa! Men! Who needs them! They're soooooo 1950's!

US Federal Budget Deficit as a Percent of GDP

Well, it looks like the federal deficit has hit an all time high, as well as an all time NON-WAR high in the history of the US. Not even during the Great Depression did we spend this much more than we had coming in.


However, I have actually had conversations with several liberals who blame Bush for this recession AND in the same breath said he did the wrong thing racking up those huge deficits. Of course when I point out that Obama is doing EXACTLY what Bush did with bailouts and deficit spending, ONLY 2-4 TIMES MORE, they oddly enough don't have a response.

This is of course because deficits under Obama are "good" and deficits under Bush are "bad."

You see, it's all very complex, and you idiots who weren't community organizers don't understand you can't hold Obama up to Bush's standards, let alone any standards, because you'd be a racist then. So, to recap the leftist position on US fiscal policy, I've improved the chart so you'd all understand.

I'm glad we cleared that up. And if any of you disagree with it, you're a bunch of nazi's.

Another Reason Not to Move to, Or Invest in California

You just can't make it up.

What I love is how nobody in California seems to be capable of linking this to their 13% unemployment rate.

What Utter Rubbish

I will bet my dachshund that this idiot had mom and dad pay her way through college.

You will notice no statistics, only 2 bits of anecdotal evidence (WOW, Sotomayor and an author! Wow! TWO WHOLE PEOPLE??? I'm game, let me major in philosophy!) and then stories that are just hilarious;

The CREATIVE WRITING MAJOR is (drum roll).....

WORKING CONSTRUCTION TO MAKE ENDS MEET!!!

Hey, guess what you freaking moron. You didn't have to go to school to become a creative writer! You just paid thousands of dollars and years of your youth to do something you could have done on your own and with just as much success.

And then of course the hyphenated name DEAN OF A LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE plugs (drum roll)....

liberal arts majors!!!

Hey, guess what? I plug my book BECAUSE I WANT TO MAKE FREAKING MONEY! I don't lie about it like saying getting a liberal arts degree is a wise investment or will get you a job. AND I DIDN"T HAVE TO GO TO COLLEGE TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE A FREAKING BOOK!!! Something this moron presumably HAS YET TO DO!

"PUSH BOUNDARIES?"

"QUESTION CONSTRUCTS????"

You idiot, employers want you to program in C++!!!!

I can't write about this anymore, the whole this is just a freaking lie and is nothing more than losers trying to rationalize their majors (not to mention a liberal arts college trying to drum up business for a worthless product).

So here's what I'll do. Instead of write worthless drivel to make myself and millions of others feel good, I'm just going to provide ONE bit of economic data that will show this article for what it truly is - a lie.

STARTING SALARIES.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Natasha Calendar - Coming November!



Natasha is calling. And she is calling to let all of you guys know that she's coming out with a very Cappy Cap calendar. This is just a sampling of what you can expect (it is also one of the pictures we THREW AWAY! So just imagine what we decide to keep in the calendar!)

Photos done by my good pal, Vlad! Pay him a visit.

Code Talker Passes

I was very let down by the movie Windtalkers.

I like to call it "Nicolas Cage Fires His Magical Thompson Machine Gun" because instead of the movie being about the ACTUAL NAVAJO CODE TALKERS IN WWII it's 90% Nicolas Cage randomly spraying hillsides with his Thompson machine gun and "magically" every single bullet manages to kill, not wound, EVERY Japanese soldier.

Regardless, like the Tuskegee Airman, I wonder how many code talkers are left.

Job Seekers Per Job

Further convincing me this will be the lost decade of the US, the number of people looking for jobs vs. actual jobs has reached a ratio of 6:1.


Of course you know without the stimulus and Obama that ratio would be 12:1 AND puppies would be dying in the street! So you just shut up about that stimulus not working.

Dollar Reserves as Percent of Global Reserves



You see, when the youth of your entire nation major in sociology or philosophy or women's studies, NOTHING OF VALUE IS PRODUCED OR IS GOING TO BE PRODUCED and therefore your currency has NO VALUE because what are you going to buy with that currency?

Social worker services?
A screed against men?
A 23 year old pontificating about trees falling in the forest?

Yeah, right, countries are going to just buy up dollars so they can get their hands on that!

You see the Yuan has value because in China they produce, well, EVERYTHING YOU WANT.

Computers, I-pods, cell phones, building materials, clothes, you name it. Therefore there is VALUE to their currency because the STUFF you can buy with the Yuan is stuff people WANT.

What do we produce of economic value here?

Nothing.

Just whiners and spoiled brats.

This Economic PSA brought to you by Captain Capitalism.

Recession Medicine - Digby Wolfe

If you have not seen it, I strongly recommend watching the movie "Father Goose." Not just because it is a good movie, but I can see myself, as well as many other men in the US just kind of throwing in the towel and giving up on society as Cary Grant's character, Walter Ecklund, does in the movie. Walter grows sick and tired of the rat race and politics in academia, buys a boat, and heads to the South Pacific (during WWII) where he more or less drinks and does nothing while occasionally and non-chalantly pilfering supplies from the Australian Navy.

This video is the opening scene and more or less explains everything, but the tune is amazingly catchy. I've been trying for YEARS to find this precise same accordion version (performed by Digby Wolfe). No luck. If anybody knows where I can get it, I would be most appreciative.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Capitalism vs. Socialism Part 6

You Get So Used to It You Forget

I remember being about 18 or 19, couldn't remember which, and coming back home from work on multiple occasions to see if my answering machine (remember those?) was blinking or not. The reason I was hoping for it to blink was that countless times before I had either given a girl my number or called a girl I had meet at the First Avenue Dance Club, and was hoping they had called me in return.

Of course, I think literally all of 3 times I may have gotten a call back out of what must have been at least a hundred numbers exchanged, but at the time I was still idealistically hopeful - or at minimum, logical - to think that if a girl said, "call me" or said, "what's your number" there would be a better than 75% chance she would call me back.

Now this was of course 1994, over 15 years ago, and over those 15 years men naturally become wiser and frankly, just stop listening to what women say in regards to dating. Not that we don't listen to what they "say" it's just we don't believe it, or at least incorporate it into our thinking or any part of our dating strategy. So common was it to get a phone number from a girl, set up a date, only to have her bail out at the last minute or just plain stand you up, I developed the Law of 505025 at the extremely young and cynical age of 21. And so much time and effort and hopes and energy had we put into these never-to-materialize-dates, that our brains, purely out of the rote-rehearsal of getting stood up, were psychologically conditioned to never "bank" on the date even though we "had a date."

Ergo, it was common to schedule an activity with "the guys" at the same time you had a date, because frankly, the chances of actually going out on the date was laughable. It even got so bad that your beloved Captain on MORE THAN ONE OCCASION forgot he had a date, was en route to hang out with the guys or work an extra shift, until his date actually called him reminding him of the date they had which he obviously promptly forgot the second it was made.

Now this was during my younger 20's and was quite some time ago. And as time goes on the whole idea of dating and marriage and all that loses its appeal and you move onto more noble pursuits. So much so that I don't think I've gone on a "date date" in probably 4 years. Oh sure, I run into girls. And there has definitely been some kissy kiss and smoochy smooch, but I haven't verbally asked a girl on a date in a long time. The whole game and theatrics is no longer even a part of the psyche or my daily life.

But fast forward though 15 years, and visit the Captain if you will this past Friday, and history has a tendency to repeat itself.

Last Friday I was requested by some former students to attend a salsa dance. This was a new venue and to help the new owners succeed, they asked if I could rally my troops (students) and bring them out for a night of salsa dancing. Happy to accommodate them, I said I would.

So I show up with not only 6 students, but 5 of my friends, all of us dressed very spiffy, all of us having a good time. The girls of my crew, all impeccable dancers, demanded I take on the mantle of "dance whore" that evening where I promised each girl two dances. Unfortunately, though, it was one of the rarer instances where there were VERY few men and a TON of girls. This meant that the floor was never crowded and what few men were dancing were then obviously the center of attention on the dance floor. This then triggered some odd behavior, especially on the part of all the single women at the dance.

For the first time in almost 10 years I was asked by a complete stranger if I would like to dance. Then her friend asked me to dance. And soon a third stranger DEMANDED I dance with her. I could barely meet my previously established "dance-whore-quota" when it was demanded again by stranger #3 I dance with her.

Admittedly, these are problems you wish to have, and I was not complaining, but soon a student of mine pulls me aside and says, "I have to talk to you."

Apparently stranger #3, who was quite a comely lass, had followed my student into the girls room where she then proceeded to interrogate my student about me, what I did, who I was, how old I was, etc. etc. She said, "Captain, you have to look out. This girl TOTALLY wants you!"

Which, though I am spoken for, still gave me a little bit of an ego boost and a smug look on my face in kind of an "awww-shucks" sort of way.

The night proceeded and I continued to dance, but not before being interrogated myself by stranger #3. She was a nice, sweet girl, a little young for me, but still nice and kind. She wanted to know where I taught, if she could learn, how to sign up, what did I do, etc. etc. I said, "How about this? The easiest thing is to just e-mail me and let me know what you want to learn and what town you live in and I'll let you know the closest classes in your area." Of course I was smiling inside because here was this 25 year old babe hitting on old me, which was flattering, but the only thing I could do was help her find a class. So I give her my card, the night ends, my crew and I take off and your Captain returns to the bachelor pad to drift off to dreamland.

Fast forward now to last night where your Captain was having dinner with some of the guys. We were talking about business, the economy, a friend's birthday and general standard guy stuff. I hadn't thought about Friday night and was focusing more on installing a wood burning stove for winter, but then the topic of conversation turned towards the salsa dance on Friday.

One of the guys, the pilot, had mentioned he had talked to this cute financial analyst at the dance and was supposed to meet her for kareoke. She didn't show up, but he didn't much care because he had other stuff going on. Another guy, Spartan, was mentioning how he had fun at the dance and hadn't seen that many girls in quite some time. They asked me if I had a good time and then BOOM!

It hit me.

96 or however many hours it had been, and I completely forgot about stranger #3.

Not only did I forget about stranger #3, but now that I thought about it, I hadn't received and e-mail or anything from this allegedly enamoured girl. I was almost certain she would contact me, yet hadn't.

Upon my return home I checked my e-mail and sure enough, nothing.

Now I found it interesting that despite 15 years later, things hadn't changed. Girls, no matter how interested they seemed initially, still would never call or return a call. And I, rapidly aging and becoming decrepit still had the embedded psychology of forgetting or purging any memory of meeting any girl.

Now many of you are asking "why did I just spend the past 10 minutes reading this lengthy bragfest of the Captain?" But the reason I bring this up is an important one, because we often forget how many young men there are inbetween those ages of 15 years ago and just what kind of a hell they're going through. So permit me a lesson couched in the above story for all the younger male aspiring, junior, deputy economists and that is a lesson in flakiness.

I, along with millions of other men, will attest to the literally billions of hours we wasted chasing, pining or just plain wishing one of our calls would be returned. And not only did we waste precious hours, if not weeks of our time trying to score a number or two, we wasted a lot of energy worrying/hoping the light would be blinking when we got back to our apartments. Worse still was wondering whether we should call them twice or thrice at risk of being a "stalker." Worse more than that was the time we spent or set aside for dates that were never to materialize, and even worse than that was the overly-self-critical torture we put ourselves through asking "what did we do wrong."

The answer is "nothing."

For whatever reason, young women have a tendency to flake out. There's no rhyme, there's no reason, you can just plain expect the majority of your calls to go unreturned and unheeded. You can also fully expect, especially in your teens and 20's that the majority of your dates will be cancelled or end up with you calling your "would be date" to see if you're "still on for the evening" while she never returns your call and you're left in a 3 hour lull on a Saturday night. Again, I don't know why, I don't know how, it just "is." But regardless of why, you have two ways you can approach this;

1. Blame yourself and worry about what you did wrong.

2. Realize you did nothing wrong and there's nothing in your power you could have done.

A perfect example and why I wrote about this is stranger number 3. Rarely will you get a girl interrogating your female friends about you. How much more of an ideal situation could you want? How much more guaranteed of a date could you get?

And what happened in this particular instance?

Even when it wasn't about romance/dating, just setting up a dance class, the girl still flaked out. I know, I know, women will say, "well, she was probably just shy" or maybe "she was too drunk to remember." Sure, that may be the case, but the "why" doesn't matter, all that matters is "what is" and the guy standing there on a Friday night with a hand full of flowers wondering why he got stood up will not understand that.

The larger point, as is many things in this life, is how you respond to this. Understand you DO NOT control the outcome. You do not control, arguably even influence whether a girl calls you back, goes out with you, or stands you up and flakes out at the last minute. What you do control is your response and your response should be that of forgetting and indifference. Your response is deciding to do what you want to do and what is within your power to do so even before the date occurs. Your response is to expect nothing, and when something is delivered, to be shocked.

Understand this attitude is not something that you can "will." I do believe it is a conditioned psychological response to where you really do forget about the drop dead gorgeous girl that talked to you at church. You really do forget the drunk girl at the bar who was making out with you. Or you really do forget about stranger #3. You just need to be stood up and led on a couple hundred times for this attitude to manifest and sink in. But in due time it will happen and when it does it will make you immeasurably better off.

You will no longer have to deal with the stress of worrying about whether you will get a date. You will no longer waste time setting aside time for dates that will never happen. Better yet, you will save COUNTLESS hours not going out to bars and clubs in the first place, permitting you to pursue more productive pursuits such as a masters degree or just working a little bit more. And although this "epiphany" takes time to realize, the key to hastening your understanding this epiphany is to realize the statistical likelihood of actually going on a date is VERY low. Out of 100 girls that said yes to a date to me in my 20's only about 7-8 of them actually followed through. And frankly my younger friends, life is too short to play those long odds.

So take it from Uncle Cappy Cap. When you get a girl's number, understand it's like getting a check from a dubious source - it's doubtful the check will clear, therefore don't "bank" on it.

This PSA brought to you by Captain Capitalism.

Apple One - Minneapolis

Quick story that must be told, but then I have to get on with my day, but I feel this will save no doubt scores of people from wasting hundreds of hours of their time.

Had an interview today with a recruiter, Apple One. The guy said to go online, fill out the online application, bring a resume and show up at the DT Minneapolis office this morning at 11AM.

So I spent an hour yesterday filling out their little online application form, basically replicating the information that was conveniently provided in my resume, hit "submit" and the screen says, "Application Submitted."

Wake up this morning earlier than normal because now I have to go downtown. Put on a suit, print off an extra couple copies of the ole resume and stop at the cash machine because I have to pay to park in Minneapolis. Whilst enroute I get a call from Apple One.

"Are you coming in today for an interview?"

"Yes" I said.

"Well you haven't filled out your application? Shall we cancel the interview?"

I said, "I haven't filled out my application? Ma'am, I filled it out yesterday."

"Well we don't have it on our system."

I said, "Do you have a copy of my resume? Would it be possible to just interview me over the phone then?"

She said, "I don't know."

Now angered and frustrated (because as some of you no doubt know what it's like dealing with recruiting firms) I said, "You know something, if your system is so unstable it doesn't save applications, then forget it. I'm not driving downtown and wasting my day if you guys don't have your act together."

Steaming because of how unprofessional Apple One was, not to mention the waste of my time, I thought maybe my recruiter didn't know what was going on. With an outfit unreliable as this, it was likely my recruiter was fully expecting me and nobody had informed him I wasn't coming in. So I called.

Guess what.

He was never in the office. He had the day off.

Now I don't know about you, but my limited experience with recruiters is not all that good. For the most part I think I've gotten all of one gig from them, and barring that it's largely been they interview you, they smile at you, and then you never hear from them again.

But Apple One is insulting. Forget the unreliable application system, how about the unreliable people? Not to mention how these inefficiencies result in wasting other people's time.

So here's the lesson from Cappy Cap today boys and girls;

Do not use Apple One as a recruiter, either as an employee or an employer. You're not going to get the job/find the ideal candidate for the job, and all you'll end up doing is wasting your time while their system crashes and their recruiters take days off.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And So Ends Another Season

I was at my bar last night with Natasha and a Russian friend of mine and in the other room was a crowd of 20 and 30 somethings with their eyes glued to the TV screen. The reason their eyes were glued to the TV screen is because a group of men had decided to go out onto a field, one of which was throwing a spherical object repeatedly over a plate like object.

However, the reason for the intrigue, was that not only was it a group of men in a field throwing a sphere, but there was this OTHER group of men, one of which had a stick and was standing over the plate like object. And not only was he standing over the plate like object, HE WAS TRYING TO SWING THE STICK AT THE SPHERICAL OBJECT after which he would run around in a circle should the stick come in contact with the sphere.

It seemed the two groups of men would then occasionally switch positions, where the other group would swing stick and the other team throw the sphere.

However, the most interesting observation was that of the 20 and 30 something men in the other room at the bar. For apparently on TV the group of men in the white clothes didn't swing the stick or throw the sphere as good as the men in the gray clothes. And thus they were "defeated" and walked off the field sadly while the men in the gray clothes jumped up and down and engaged in very big hug. And this "defeat" elicited the oddest response from all the people in the room;

depression
sadness
and
anger.

I found it odd, that group of guys swinging sticks and throwing spheres in a place far far away would have this affect on other people who, quite literally, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MEN ON THE FIELD. How a group of men playing a game could actually affect the mood, happiness and lifetime fulfillment of other people who were 100% inconsequential to the stick-swinging and sphere throwing. But there it was, empirical proof right in front of me, people were actually affected by OTHER PEOPLE'S stick swinging and sphere throwing.

It left me to believe that the people who not only glued their eyes to the screen, but their happiness to the ability of complete strangers to swing a stick and throw a sphere were psychotic. Complete morons who pinned their hopes and happiness on something completely outside their control. How else would you describe this phenomenon?

Were their lives so pointless and meaningless and void of purpose that THIS is the best they could come up with? To sit and watch OTHER men throw spheres and swing sticks? And to get excited or depressed based on which colored-shirt men swung the stick really good and threw the sphere really fast? Could they not spend time with family and friends? Could they not play X-Box or some other video game? Could they (and here was a REALLY radical thought I had) GET THEIR OWN FREAKING STICKS AND SPHERES and engage in their VERY OWN game of sticks and spheres?

Natasha even said she heard that some of these people actually spend 5 HOURS OF THEIR FINITE LIVES driving to fields, whlie they pay $200 EACH PERSON to watch the stick swinging and sphere throwing. Then they spend another hour and a half in traffic as if it were rush hour on the way back. Some even go so far as to pay $20 for parking near the field AND $10 for a hotdog which are served at the fields. My Russian friend said he heard that stick swinging and sphere throwing was SO important to some societies that the government would pay for the fields where these activities occurred.

Worse still was just how many of these simple-minded automotons would still be obsessed over stick swinging and sphere throwing...WHEN THERE WAS NO FREAKING STICK SWINGING OR SPHERE THROWING OCCURRING.

Apparently before the sticks are swung and the spheres are thrown there are "pre-stick-swinging-sphere-throwing" shows where other idiots speculate on whether or not certain men will swing sticks and whether or not spheres will be thrown. This results in shows that are horribly boring to anybody with the slightest bit of sense;

"Well Jim, what do you think Joe is going to do?"

"Well, I'm not sure Steve, but I think Joe is going to try and swing the stick."

"You think he's going to try to swing it really hard?"

"Yes, Steve, I think Joe will try to swing the stick really hard."

And by god, guess what? Joe DOES swing the stick really hard!

My goodness, who saw that coming?! Thank god we have Steve and Jim to predict such things.

Of course, you'd think with the "Pre-Stick-Swinging-Sphere-Throwing" show, the masses would be satiated.

Oh no.

You see, then comes the "Post-Sticking-Swinging-Sphere-Throwing" show where a whole new set of idiots tell you what just happened even though you were there to see it.

"Well, it looks like Joe swung the stick really hard."

"You're right Phil, Joe swung the stick really hard. I also noticed how Mark threw the sphere really fast."

"Wow, great analysis Tim! Mark DID throw the sphere really fast!"

This then entertains the 20 something and 30 somethings for another hour.

Regardless, it was a very sad revelation I had. That so many people had so little going on in their lives that this was one of the more important aspects of their lives. Let alone they seemed relatively indifferent about things that actually did impact their lives.

Federal deficit is at an all-time high?

Naw. Not relevant.

Your children are now enslaved with all the debt we saddled them with?

Meh, couldn't care less.

Unemployment is at 10%.

Pfa, who cares.

Oh, but "Joe Schmoe" swung the stick really good and hit the sphere really far?

"OH WOW! WOO HOO!!!! YEAAAAA!!!! THAT'S MY MAN!!!! YOU SHOW 'EM JOE!!!! YEAH FOR JOE SCHMOE!!!!!"

Ah, what could possibly go wrong with a society with priorities such as this?

Your Recession Medicine

Ah, it's Monday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

People on the Nobel Prize Committee

U-G-L-Y she ain't got no alibi;


These are the people who selected Obama as the Nobel prize winner. ht though I am not endorsing some of his analysis.

In the meantime I'm going to buy myself a Subaru and get some organic chai tea.

Cause for Anti-Nepotism Legislation

Despite being an ardent capitalist, I do not believe the majority of rich people earn their wealth. I believe it is more or less earned by a "founder" such as Joe Kennedy and then passed down to trustfund babies such as Ted Kennedy. Additionally you throw in how unqualified relatives and cronies are awarded jobs well before much better-qualified candidates and you can see how when I become king I will implement anti-nepotism legislation.

Regardless, found this chart interesting. Not that it is a call for socialism, but the gini-coefficient is starting to test my patience;

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Noble Prize

I do believe the good colonel is onto something. When the Nobel prize has done nothing more than prostitute itself out to backscratching socialists, it not only has become irrelevant, but a replacement must be made that actually honors real achievements that it's namesake originally set out it to do.

The colonel lists the "Noble" winners of various categories, and tongue and cheek as it may be, if you think about it, these people REALLY have done the most to advance society in those areas.

In the meantime here are the people the Nobel committee passed up on.

Friday, October 09, 2009

How Holiday Gas Station Could Make a Killing

I go to Caribou Coffee.

The reason I go to Caribou Coffee is because I have to leave the Twin Cities early, lest I care to get caught up in the afternoon rush hour. And so to avoid it, I'm willing to leave 2 hours earlier than is necessary and thus kill the excess time at the Caribou in the small town I teach.

Now obviously I go to Caribou for the internet access and buy a token tea or soda or what have you so I don't feel like a freeloader. However as time has gone on, I have experienced a progressive mental irritation that I haven't been able to put my finger on. Nothing stark or obvious, but when I leave Caribou I've realized I'm in a worse mood than when I arrived.

And today, as I type live from the Caribou Coffee here, I have identified this irritant;

Proselytizing.

Upon entering the Caribou Coffee I am immediately inundated with advertisements suggesting I do the right thing and donate to "Amy's Blend," a blend of coffee where presumably a certain percentage goes to fight cancer (Amy being a former employee of Caribou that unfortunately passed away). This is the most noble of Caribou's proselytizing and one I'm willing to let slip in that it is noble.

However, the nobility of the proselytizing quickly deteriorates as I look to my left and see bottled water with the brand name "Project 7." Project 7 being a touchy feel good leftist non-profit organization that advocates (you guessed it) helping the poor, saving the environment and the other potpourri of leftist causes that never seem to get resolved.

Then of course there is the "organic/fair trade/green" or whatever you want to call it. Placards and posters abound telling me how virtuous Caribou is making sure their coffee is acquired according to the "Rainforest Process" and that people are paid a fair wage and other things that just boil the blood of even the "rookiest" aspiring, Junior Deputy economist.

In short I cannot look anywhere without seeing Caribou Coffee Inc treating me like a child, telling me what I should think, what is "right" and "wrong" and how bad I should feel if I don't live my life this way (all of course with a leftist slant). I might as well go to church.

Regardless, the short and quick of it is it isn't worth the internet access. To go into a building or a place of business and be lectured by some coffee snobs is insulting. I came here for internet access and tea. Not a freaking college lecture on "Leftist Causes that Never Get Solved Because We Do It First and Foremost to Make Ourselves Feel Better 101." Let me have my tea, let me have my internet access, sure, pipe in some nice music, but get rid of the Marxist propaganda.

Now this got me thinking, and like all other great ideas in the history of my life, this will be surely ignored. Ergo I'll throw it out there in the outlandish hopes the good men and women at Holiday Gas stations will listen to me.

I like Holiday Gas Stations. They're my favorite. They're conveniently located and they have gas, sure, but;

1. They have free air
2. They have the power drinks I like
3. They do have a pretty darn good deli. Not that green egg sandwhich with the expiration date you don't care to risk. But fresh burgers, brats, donuts.
4. They have a little area for you to sit and enjoy your food should you wish.

Everything a guy could want, BUT internet access.

And here is where Holiday could outdo McDonald's attempt to steal Caribou's and Starbuck's business.

If Holiday Gas Stations (or any convenience store) added that additional bit of convenience of internet access, they could make a killing. People who are sick and tired of paying an extra $2 for a cup of Joe just so some worker in Bolivia can make an extra 50 cents per hour would go to the gas station instead of Caribou. People who are sick and tired of paying $4 for a tin of gum just so $3 can be donated to a cause that will probably not be solved, would go to the gas station instead of Starbucks. People who just plain want to get a FREAKING cup of coffee without being lectured for not being a leftist would go to the gas station instead of Dunn Brothers.

Oh, I could see it now. I have to go to Holiday anyway to get gas and my daily power drink. There, in the corner is a nice table with a plug in. Grab a donut, fire up the ole laptop and boom, get my daily internet stuff done. No doubt I'll buy a burger with the $41.87 I saved not going to a "premium" coffee store, but more importantly Dante the attendee is just sitting there checking people out, doing his job. Not brow-beating me into buying "organic gas" or using recycled toilet paper when I have to go.

It's an achievable goal. And a goal that would make mine and no doubt some of your lives happier.

Alas, it is outside my control.

Unless I approach Holiday with this idea and they put me in charge of it. Allowing me to realize my dream...and getting paid $250,000 to spearhead the operation.

Hmmm....might just pay them a visit.

Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

I, no doubt, will be asked about my opinion of this, but to pre-emptively address this issue, I shall write it as briefly as I can;

This only shows how the Nobel Peace prize has decayed and degraded from its original intent, in that it is nothing more than another leftist institution awarding itself self-congratulations and accolades.

This is not meant to sound crass, but I use this word since it is the only word in the entire English language that accurately describes that the nobel prize is;

Leftist masturbation.

You will see in our lifetimes where the Nobel "Prize" is utterly worthless and irrelevant in that the masses don't care who gets it in that it no longer represents anything that advances or progresses society.

That is pretty much all I have to say.

You can have your say by e-mailing these idiots at;

postmaster@nobel.no

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Advice to Teachers

I belong to a running group and before I got sick one of my last runs was with a young man who was teaching calculus at the collegiate level. He was telling me about how he was in the impossible position of trying to educate the kids, BUT (are you ready)

the kids were complaining about the difficulty of the course.

Now, it would be at times likes these where previously established standards and criteria would be used to judge whether or not his course was indeed more difficult than other professors. That the dean of the department would look at what topics were being covered and by what stage in the class and then determine if the kids had a legitimate complaint, or were your typical Gen Y type whiners who expect to be given a B+ for having a pulse.

Of course the kids were just complaining and whining because that's how you get what you want nowadays, and my running colleague was not making the class any more difficult than in times past. However, whereas in the past (and by "past" I mean the 1940's) the dean would then side with the teacher, maintaining the educational standards and integrity of the college, this time the dean sided with the students.

According to the professor the dean was concerned about student satisfaction, not to mention that the department received funding based on attendance AND student evaluations of the class. So unhappy students and less students taking calculus = less funding. And thus the emphasis is on making money and NOT giving the kids a good education.

This angered him because he genuinely believed in a good education. He WANTED to teach these kids calculus. However, not only were the students getting in their OWN way of letting this happen, the dean was now coming down on him for daring to hold the students to just a basic standard.

Now I have taught several times before. Twice in college, once as a substitute teacher and once as a tutor (and still teach to this day, but that is adult education which is not the same as what I'm talking here). And if you will permit me to help those of you who are teaching or about to enter teaching or are considering teaching, allow me to give you the single best piece of advice I can possibly give;

Do not worry about the education of your students, only worry about you.

I know this may sound cynical, pessimistic, let alone amoral, and you may be saying, "well, there goes Cappy Cap again, going for shock value and going over the top to make his point," but I'm deadly serious about this.

Do not worry about your students. They are irrelevant. Only worry about you.

You must understand, that at all levels of education, it is no longer about the noble and infinitely important purpose of providing students with a good education. That ship has sailed LONG ago.

"Education" is really nothing more than an act, a play, a theatrical performance to make its participants feel good about themselves. No real production or progress or learning takes place. People just want to go through the motions of "education" so they can get that piece of paper at the end and move on with their lives. And what is happening in reality is this unspoken agreement between the students and the administration of these schools where the students basically PAY to get a degree. The administration sells the degrees and the students buy these degrees.

Now understand there is NO earning the degree. That is NOT what the students are paying for. They are paying for the degree.

Now the problem is you can't have a veritable degree mill where people just walk up to the counter and pay for the degree. Ergo a much more elaborate ruse must be performed where students and colleges feign there is some kind of education going on.

Ergo why you have to perform in a theatrical play for four years acting like you're getting educated.

Understand these are hoops simply there to make it look like it's a legitimate school and that the degree is legitimate. Oh I know they're accredited. I know these are "official" colleges and universities. But forget all that. Just look at the quality and caliber of students coming out of college. They're morons. Complete idiots. Berkeley students think "Benjamin Franklin" was a freaking president. They think $19 trillion is the total bailout bill. And Berkeley is presumably one of the best public schools out there.

Regardless, the problem this presents is that while the students and administration have this unspoken agreement of basically purchasing a degree, the people who are inbetween these two entities are not informed of this agreement; the teachers.

The teachers are the unfortunate souls on the front lines who get the impossible task of reconciling these IRRECONCILABLE goals. They teacher is to somehow "educate" the students, but not make it too hard to the point they might actually learn something, otherwise they'll get fired because the students never really signed up for any kind of rigorous study. Worse still are those naive, idealistic teachers who actually care to go above and beyond and REALLY help educate those kids. Those are the ones who get fired immediately.

Therefore you have two choices.

You can try to be moral and noble and good and actually TRY to teach students. You can do what is in their best interests and give them an education. Unfortunately you WILL be laid off, you WILL be called to the dean's office more often than not, and you WILL never have a long lasting career as a teacher/instructor/professor.

or

You can just play ball and really lower your standards and pass everybody. In this case, yes the students will learn nothing. And yes, they will go forth and not be able to do any job in the future. And yes, society in the future will pay for it. But you will have a job. You will have a career. You will be a "successful" teacher.

The question is one of really morality, however, I want you to seriously consider the REALITY of the teaching environment we have in the US today.

1. Once these kids move on, they're not your problem. They're their parents' or future employer's problem. Additionally, they don't care about you. They care about getting their B and getting out of your class. You have to ask yourself if these kids REALLY don't care about their education and are just there to get their class to move on, then what do you care? If they want to waste their money, then there is nothing you can do. Why sacrifice a paycheck trying to hold them up to standards?

2. Society, namely lazy parents and a dumbed down K-12 school system that sacrifices educational integrity for the sake of saving little kids' "feelings", is to blame for the impossible position you're in. For God's sake, you have parents going into COMPANIES COMPLAINING TO THEIR CHLIDREN'S BOSSES WHEN THEIR KIDS DON'T GET PROMOTED!? What kind of quality and caliber of students can you possibly expect to have? Additionally you must realize the education establishment has no longer become one of education as much as it has been dealing with failure and making "failure" acceptable. Trying to create a world where standards are non-existent. Once you start rocking the boat by insisting standards be applied, you are no longer working towards that universally unspoken goal. In education YOUR JOB is to make sure people get passed. NOT that they get educated.

3. Think about your personal finances. In the end, nobody is going to come looking for you and say, "my teacher sucked and didn't educate me." Again, they moved on and forgot about you long ago. But you and your little lonesome are NOT going to change this society wide decay of education. All you do in trying to stop it is sabotage your personal finances. Put yourself first, because nobody gives a damn about education.

Capitalism vs. Socialism Speech Part 5

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Part 4 of the Capitalism vs. Socialism Seminar

To My Reader from Toronoto Dominion Bank

Shoot me an e-mail. I need to ask you a question;

CAPTcapitalism@yahoo.com

The Worthless OECD

I was going to write a lengthy piece, but I think my readers are smart enough to already understand the inanity of this image here;


This image comes from a report on Ireland from the OECD.

The OECD, presumably the largest and best database for economic data and research in the world, suggests that because of Ireland's tough economic times, to get out of its recession it must do several things. One of which being "INCREASE TAXATION."

Now what this shows you is how the OECD puts the government first and foremost above all other entities in a country. Not the people, not the private sector, it's the GOVERNMENT that needs more money to make up for its financial shortfalls.

Now this is sad, because this flies in the face of even the simplest of economic lessons you learn in grade school and that is...(you ready?)

YOU DON'T F%CKING RAISE TAXES DURING A RECESSION!!!

Again, the OECD, like man of its other NGO/Non-profit counter-parts fail to realize that the solution to society's problems, reside within society. The government is not the end all, be all solutions to society. It's not the most important thing in society. Matter of fact, it ISN'T SOCIETY. It SERVES society. I don't know how many more years and how many more countries and how much economic history we need to prove this, but government has always been and always will be the problem.

But for people at the OECD, who no doubt have similar trust-fund-baby backgrounds that the majority of our politicians have, they have no experience in industry, commerce or just plain real life. Their only experience is working at institutions where they arrogantly assume these institutions are what makes society run? Little do they realize these institutions RELY, if not, PARASITE off of society as they produce nothing of worth or merit of themselves.

But don't listen to me. I'm just some dumb guy. Not an esteemed "colleage" or "fellow" at the OECD.

In the meantime, let me know how raising them taxes works on getting you guys out of the recession.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You Know It's Bad When SNL Takes a Swing

Capitalism versus Socialism Speech Part 3

Durable Goods

Whilst your Captain prepares for an interview, I happened upon a rather shocking chart.

Not that I didn't know it was this bad, but again (as you understand my affinity for charts) until you visually see it, words don't really help the severity of this recession register with your brain.
Regardless, there is an economic lesson of the day with durable goods!
Much like housing starts predict the economy and employment into the future, durable goods is also a good leading indicator in that people usually hold off on these "large ticket items" if their future looks uncertain and buy them when they have faith their economic future will be bright. Things such as washing machines, microwaves, lawnmowers, etc.
If you look at the chart people certainly do not think the future is bright.
Or as I like to say, "REAL hope does not exist. Only faux hope of the socialist variety does."
Enjoy the recession!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Banker that Will Be Killed

For he did not conform.

He did not comply.

He thought independently.

He actually is a real man and made his own money and didn't have to go grovelling to the taxpayer like a trophy wife does her husband for more money.

And no doubt, according to his heavily bailed out contemporaries, he must be eliminated.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Why You Can't Get Refinanced or a Loan Modification

Being self-employed, in the banks' eyes, I make $0.

And the reason why you understand is that no matter how much money you make and no matter how long you've made it, if it is self-employed income, it's not "real" income. Banks don't consider it "real" income unless you're miserably slaving away for some other schlep.

Ergo if you are self-employed it's very difficult to get financed, refinanced, or any kind of financing from banks in general.

But for those of you who are trying to get refinanced, haven't missed a payment, or could make a payment if they just modified your loan, but are constantly getting turned down here is the explanation why.

Now it is somewhat of a detailed and mathematically lengthy explanation, but just try to follow through with it. Regardless, the larger point is notice how once again, the government solution has failed to bring about a recovery in the housing market. And not only failed, but made it more or less impossible to help those they claimed they were trying to help.

Hitler on Corporate Taxes

I've been toying around with microsoft movie maker more and more and have been putting together little tidbits of video. Thought this might bring some humor, as well as a lesson on economics, during this recession...that really could be ended within 6 months if I was in charge;