Apr 16

Straight out of the headlines, it seems I'm not the only one that finds Palin a little immature, and full of hot air...at least she's (apparently) not dragging others down in her own special brand of tomfoolery.

Palin 9yr Old Full of Hot Air

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Aug 10

Sad, truly sad...this speaks volumes of the deplorable state of mental health of the insane among and within our society today: Baby P abuse article

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Jun 15

Seems there is a definite theme spinning up around companies, and some very dominant ones, targeting the public at the discretionary income level - and by that, I mean companies who sell products/services that are largely discretionary in nature, and/or those that can be displaced by lesser-popular/lesser-expensive brands.  These include Eddie Bauer, Carnival Cruise Lines, the holding company of Chevys and Marie Calendars restaurants, and so on.  The theme, quite simply, is one of declining profits, unrecoverable debt load, and dwindling customer base.  Not as though this is any great revalation, only that it's yet another product of the impact of the economic downturn, and was an inevitable eventuality as part of the down-stream effect of near-instant loss of wealth and cash reserves in the average household.  So, while we begin to catch wind of the government and captains of industry breathing easier on the notion that we've hit rock-bottom, I, for one, think that we've experienced about one-half of the iceberg.  

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

May 2

There's nothing quite like traveling from one coast to the other, logging on to check mail, and discovering the corporate announcement that all travel should be deferred unless absolutely necessary due to Swine Flu.  Oh well...

I did get to see many people donning various kinds of mask apparatus - most of which I seriously doubt were effectively blocking anything besides paint over-spray and small insects.  In addition, on the flight back, the odor of hand sanitizer hung in the air as heavy as that of a hog farm in mid-August.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Mar 5

I did a quick inspection, light of the Dow's steady free fall...now closing below 7,000 (6,594 on today's date) and having reached a 12 year low.  Only 18 months ago, the Dow was closing at, or around 14,000.  Think of that - the most notable measure of wealth and value known to mankind has halved its value in less than two year's time.  Frankly, I'm skeptical that the Dow will see an marked increase before it has seen further decrease yet.  Based solely on casual observation and pure conjecture, I do believe it will play down to the 5,000 range before any appreciable return is seen.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 28

I was saddened to learn today that Paul Harvey has passed away at 90.  It was always a treat to catch The Rest of the Story on KGO.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 23

From AP, it is revealed that the US military, most Special Forces, are engaged in training Pakistani troops on methods of warfare and supplying them with intelligence in an effort to combat al-Qaida and the Taliban.  If I'm not mistaken, was it not the same exercise which equipped al-Qaida with combat skills and techniques in the first place as we equipped them in the fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan?  I do hope that there is some method to this madness, and that we're not creating yet another cure that will appear to be worse than its disease.

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Feb 23

I understand that these types of things can happen, but I feel so compelled to capture the tragic comedy of the world's most prolific software producer, who made it a point to advertise that their recent layoff was their first ever, has requested some Ex-employees to refund an over-payment of severance.  In Reuters, it is pointed out that only 1400 workers could be affected (at most), but that some were overpaid, while others were underpaid.  Therefore, it would seem that the figure representing those who were overpaid is far less than 1400 - it is not stated to what degree overpayment was made, only that Microsoft sent a letter of demand and apology - "sorry you're out of work, oh, and sorry, but we want a bunch of our money back too...have a nice day!".

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Feb 17

I posted this topic at BeenSoldOut.com:

I'm afraid to say that I saw this one coming.  Social networking sites seem to have way too much opportunity to exercise way too much latitude in their ownership, use and re-use of member data.  I thought it was just a blip on the radar when I first read the article a few days ago...but it's really stuck in the craw of the member community and the media and just won't go away.

So what did they do?  Looks like Facebook slid a conditional into the user agreement which states that they (Facebook) retains the right of ownership to all data during, and after termination of membership.  That, in and of itself, seems a bit over the top, but to slide the clause into the agreement with effectively no notification shines a very dim light in Facebook's direction.

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Feb 17

Way to inspire confidence.  At WashingtonPost.com, a Reuters headline reads:

President Barack Obama's aides warned Americans on Sunday not to expect instant miracles from the $787 billion economic stimulus bill he will sign this week, but said it would help eventually.

I'm sorry, but hedging at this stage simply does not inspire confidence in a plan which will cost me, and my children's generation dearly through the remainder of our lives to recover from.  Nothing comes without a cost, and one can bet that so much cash pumped into the economy will ultimately fuel significant inflation and a significant ratcheting of taxes in the upward direction.  If we're to be led down this path, the people need strong, confident, and direct leadership to inspire faith in action.

Unfortunately, this flies directly in the face of modern American politics where being in the business of politics is just that - a business.  No longer do our politicians conduct themselves as elected officials and representatives of their constituents - that would describe the politicians of yester-year...a dying minority breed.  Politicians now are in the business of politics, are therefore career politicians, and have taken stake as the new robber barons.

Instead, we are treated to behavior pursuant to lawyers and criminals - always posturing to keep a smooth exit ready at-hand.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 13

I found this article at USNews.com interesting - The Five Top Fears (besides al Qaeda) of U.S. Spy Agencies:

  • The Economic Crisis - just like the article says, one would expect that such rampant financial instability would be just the kindling needed to start a firestorm across already less-stable nations and even between nations.  Very dangerous...
  • The Balkans - ok, I guess I can see this...but #2 on the list? The Balkans have been in turmoil for years now.  I'm not all that convinced that the area is any more/less stable than it has ever been in recent history.  Still, the geography itself is of such strategic importance that it does warrant a spot near the center of the radar, I think.
  • Afghanistan - I fear to think that we're about to follow on the footsteps of the USSR, the Brits, Alexander the Great, even the Mongols in our quest to conquer (reform?) Afghanistan.  It is a nation and a land that defies the very principle of defeat.  To know no shame in being occupied as it only brings wealth, training, and opportunity (oh, and some great weapons too...good for barter) to the people until such time as it appears to the occupying country that they've got no traction, have run out of money and resources, and simply can't extract the value that was anticipated...so leave in defeat.
  • North Korea - Just plain crazy, erratic, well-armed, and untrustworthy.  In my opinion, N Korea should be bumped to second on the list.
  • Computer Security - I found it interesting that this was on the list at all.  Not that this isn't a big topic, and a sleeper at that, but I simply didn't expect it to own a place on the radar in a top-5 kind of way.

Well, that is all...

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 10

I'm reading an article now at LATimes.com which is discussing the latest in the saga of California budget crisis maneuvering and resolution.

At first, this had me thinking WTF??  How could this possibly be the case in a state government where the voices of those who represent their constituents are to be heard and recognized in all manner in which they are being represented.  And then read further, and came to be reminded...what constituents?  Was I really so naive, if only for a moment, to think that my voice actually matters...matters above that of the oh-so-powerfurl California lobbiest positioning and oppositioning for damn-near every conceivable variable in damn-near every conceivable topic which man, or may not have any bearing whatsoever on life in this, the 31st state in the union?

No, I'm of a completely different opinion now I think - let the governor and a select group of bipartisan representatives hammer this bastard to death behind locked doors where they are effectively free of influence by outside party.  As I'm now re-acquainted with the reality that my vote counts little against the PACs have run our state government for so many years, let's hope now for action in decision and execution at the expense of the agendas of lobbiests and one-sided, short-sighted legislation.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 7

It seems we're close (again) to finding a workable economic stimulus package on the table.  I'm intrigued with the notion of a tax cut of up to $1,000 for working couples.  Given the way partisan politics have played into efforts thus far to get any sort of traction at all on the stimulus package, I can hardly imagine that people like me will see any significant benefit at all from this...of course that would imply that $1000 is significant in the first place.  $1000 in lump sum doesn't even cover child care for one month - $1000 in the form of a tax cut, spread over the course of a year, by the simplest possible calculation ($1000/24 paychecks) amounts to about $42 per paycheck.  Please withhold this part of "the plan" and figure out a better way to make these funds work for the greater good, in a more impactful way.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Feb 5

There is this little concept in leadership which states "Lead By Example".

I was disenchanted before, now I'm altogether disappointed, un-trusting, and completely angry with the affairs of our elected officials as they pertain to taxation and their general failure to abide by the laws that they themselves are the architects of, and governing bodies for.  Already, four individuals slated to take posts in Obama's cabinet have been linked directly, or indirectly through their spouses, to serious abuses and/or oversights in matters of taxation.  The amounts of money, in some cases, are not great; however, the situation itself begs to the character of the individuals who are our elected officials tasked to represent us and protect our right to fair taxation (a fundamental cornerstone of our nation).

Examples such as these raise serious questions in me, as I believe they likely do in many others, as to the inherent fairness of the system and the necessity to abide by the tax code.  Under the circumstances, I can't possibly imagine what real motivation exists to warrant my complete compliance with the laws of taxation.  If the same people who I pay, by way of taxes, to enact the taxation that they themselves do not abide by, what incentive exists for me to abide by the same governing law?

I guess there is also the notion in leadership of "Do as I say, not as I do..."

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

Jan 28

When a simple cup of coffee spells the bellweather to tough times - from Bloomberg.com:

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest chain of coffee shops, said it will cut 6,700 jobs and close 300 more stores after reporting first-quarter profit that fell more than analysts estimated. ... Net income dropped 69 percent to $64.3 million, or 9 cents a share, from $208.1 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier, the company said in the statement. Sales fell 5.5 percent to $2.6 billion in the period ended Dec. 28.

It's no profound conclusion that I'd drawn months ago, that the economic downturn in the housing sector would lead to downstream effects having such widespread and long-reaching impact as to make the housing-bubble-burst seem like an unfortunate (albeit painful) sliver in time, is coming to light in areas that seem so far-removed and insulated from what led to our current climate in the first place.

Coming on the heals of announcements of layoffs that sum daily to 10's of thousands, this is sad and foreboding news.

At the very least, the economic stimulus machine has been set in motion by way of passage of Obama's $819 billion recovery plan - fully UNsupported by the house Republicans, and mostly supported by the house Democrats.  Whether good, bad, or indifferent, the clear party-line opinion illustrated in the vote does not foster a great deal of confidence in our government.

Posted by Adam KrauseGo w.i.d.eTweet MeShort URL

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