Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Newspapers Subsidies

So guess who is gonna be lining up for their share of the bailout? Tribune Media, The New York Times and other giant newspapers. It turns out that they are in horrible financial shape. Of course they wont really talk to much about that, but it turns out that newspaper subscriptions are at an all time low. Huh, strange. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that by the time I get my morning gazette, I have seen the news on my favorite 24 hour cable news station, but I have also read about it all over the web, including an obligatory trip to Wikipedia (no one wants the truth anymore) and probably blogged about it. Plus when I watch the TV news there is no reading involved and if I do read it on the web then I don't have to worry about getting nasty newsprint on my fingers. Now, I will say for disciplining the dog (Sorry Harley) nothing works better then a good old fashioned New York Post but that's about it.

So I say either adapt, or die. Its Darwin at its finest. Now, I know that's cold but I believe that giving money to these media companies is a very dangerous idea. I mean these are the people who are molding public opinion. Do you really feel comfortable with trusting our politicians to honestly and fairly dispense tax payers money to these companies? I surely do not. A bailout would essentially create state owned newspapers. Sounds a little scary doesn't it? Also the newspapers would be afraid to criticize whomever was in elected office out of fear that they would not receive government funding. It would makes today's slanted news look like campaign commercials.

What you need to understand about newspapers, tv news shows and online media outlets is that they like Walmart are a business. The more people that buy their papers, and watch their programs and visit their websites, the more money they make. Think about it, you really think that news people are above sensationalizing stories for ratings. Dan Rather passed off a fake story about President Bush during his reelection campaign. It was a disgrace and ended up costing Dan his career (and rightfully so). So do you really think that these people can be trusted with taking money from the government and not being biased in the process? They are the ones who are rooting for disaster anyway. Ironically the worse things get, the better it will be for them. That means they are rooting against us, rooting against America. Kind of puts a chill down your spine. After all they have tremendous influence over what we think and how we act and yet they benefit from our downfall? Yikes.

So I will say what I always say, I believe in a free market. I dont believe that we should be bailing anybody out. Sink or swim, thats what I always say. If you are unable to make it, then you have been extincted. Time to evolve into something that works.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Enough with Arod Already

Look I know that as a Yankees fan that I am a bit biased, but enough already with the a-roid stuff. The guy messed up, admitted he did and has asked for our forgiveness. What ever happened to turning the other cheek? I mean the guy takes a supposedly anonymous test that is somehow "leaked" to the public and we jump all over him. His first response, which was not a good one, was to go to the union. Everyone went crazy. How dare you not tell us what happened. We have a right to know. Tell us what you did, when you did it and who else has done it. So he does. He says he did it between 2001 and 2003. He apologizes for breaking our trust, and for lying about it and for hurting the fans. Then he sits back solemnly and we go after him even worse. We call him names, we make accusations, we revoke him from the hall of fame. Shame on us. How dare we, here is a man who has made a mistake, owned up to it and asked for our forgiveness and we say no. We show how despicable we are, much worse then these so called cheats, kicking a man when he is down.

On top of that we ask, no demand that he tell us who else he knows that has taken performance enhancing drugs. As if that will redeem him. I am glad that Arod did not fall into that trap. At least he has his dignity, he did not rat out his friends and colleagues. Once again he shows us how classy he is by standing alone and taking the heat. He could have diluted the focus on him by throwing his fellow steroid abusers under the bus but he chose to take the high road instead. For that I commend him.

You say, he should be able to take it, like Arod is some sort of amazing super creature without any feelings. If anything his problem is not that he is without feelings but that he has too may. All he has done is to ask for our acceptance and love, and how do we repay him. We hate him. And why, because he is not only good at what he does but one of the best. That makes us the worst kind of person, petty and jealous. I for one am not going to be that way. I am making a stand. Next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I will stand up and cheer loudly for this great hero, this great man.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bong Gate aka The Phelps Phillie

Man it must really be a slow news week. Everywhere I look people are talking about the picture of Michael Phelps smoking out of a bong. Without getting into a whole thing about the pros and cons of marijuana lets look at things objectively. With all illicit drugs that our athletes are taking, I have to be honest it is kind of refreshing to see a guy who is only smoking a little doobie. Performance enhancing drugs were so prevalent in baseball in the 90s, that it is now knows as the steroid era. Classy. Look at Michael Johnson and Marion Jones and their drug scandals. Thats a big deal, steroids are not only very dangerous to the body, but they are also used for cheating. Using perfomance enhancers is not only very dangerous, but it shows a huge lack of class and integrity in an individual. Smoking pot, that shows a love of Doritos and Cheech and Chong Movies. But everyone wants to pile on poor Michael Phelps. I mean what that guy did at the olympics was nothing short of amazing, the guy won 8 gold medals!! So if he wants to kick back and hit a water pipe (see the wet theme here?) let him. Outside of putting some twinkies in the pool, pot is not a perfomance enhancer. I guess the question we need to ask is, if little Josh Jr. was going to be taking some sort of drug, wouldnt you want it to be weed and not HGH, steroids or some other horrible perfomance enhancer? I know that I would. Now had Phelps broken the rotation (you know puff...puff..not give) then we would have a reason to demonize him. But from all evidence it doesnt seem that that was the case. Of course maybe you can say that with his oversized lungs that he sucked down a whole quarter ounce per bong hit, but I think thats just being petty. So I ask you, what did he do that was so bad, that caused this fuss. Nothing. He smoked a bit of weed. Whoopty doo. Lets move on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Buy Buy Buy Buy Bye?

Everyone keeps talking about how bad things are in the economy. They talk about slumping sales, they talk about how consumer confidence is at an all time low, they say no one is buying cars, no one wants to buy a house, I even heard that porn sales are down. But I am here to tell you that things are not nearly as bad as people are making out to seem. Apparently these economists have not heard about the abundance of high quality, free porn on the internet. Anyway if these so called experts are wrong about porn, what else are they wrong about. Well I am here to fill you in on what is really going on out there. So hold on, strap in and lets get this party rolling.

The other day I was listening to the news and I heard an expert say with a sigh "well I guess Americans will just have to live at their means.". I heard this and I screamed Eureka (if only I was in a bathtub)!! I got it. I figured out what had happened. Those SOBs. You know what they did, they tricked us. They gave us access to easy credit and sold us a ton of shiny goods. We never stood a chance, all the promises of buy now pay later. Dont worry about the future, just keep consuming. Its all good, you have been preapproved, no payments for 12 months. Just keep buying dont worry you can always open up another line of credit. Before we knew it we were out spending money we didnt have and getting ourselves deeper into debt. Hey, they even told us to refinance our homes and pull out the equity and buy jet skis. How could we say no. We couldnt, not with the mounds of cash being layed at our feet. And what did this do? What was the result of this? Gourment specialty stores, electronic megaliths and so many freaking Starbucks, I thought Juan Valdez had become president. Now we are saying, enough is enough. We are tired of having 20 grand in credit card debt and not being able to pay it off. What do you say to the guy who owes 450,000 on a house worth half that? Well at least you have a nice TV, it will look great in your apartment?

What do I think? I think this disappearing credit is good for America. If it means that 300 Starbucks have to close, so that we can get out of debt then so be it. I think the coffee at the corner gas station is still better then that frufru coffee they sell and its 1\4 the cost. I heard Circuit City was going out of business, you know what I said? I said Good!! Now I can get a cheap TV. These vampires who have been bankrupting America one flat screen at a time are now in trouble and they want us to feel bad. Oh boo hoo poor big corporation. I think its a great time to be a consumer, I mean everything is on sale. They couldn't sell water in the desert right now. Everywhere I go I see sales signs. What a great time to be a consumer. You want a car, shit the dealer will come to your house every week and wash your car for you. Now thats what I call consumerism. When Linens and Things went belly up last fall, I swooped in an outfitted my next 5 kitchens for pennies on the dollar. Oh yeah!! They say its bad, I say its a great time to be a buyer. Finally its a buyers market... Hooray!!

Look, it was unrealistic to assume that our economy would continue to grow and to never shrink, but that is exactly how our economy was engineered. As long as we kept consuming at a feverish pace everything would be ok, but you know what thats impossible. Even an alcoholic will take a day off every few years. And thats what happened, and whether it was the booze that disappeared (loose credit) or us who no longer had an appetitte, the result was the same. Economic collapse. To be honest it is not that bad, this is natural. Our economy had grown too large due to greed. Greed on our part to get the things we couldn't afford, and greed on the lenders who saw a potential for a buck, to greed on the huge super stores who hawked their goods. But now, we are all paying the price. Americans are deep in debt, banks are failing and stores are going out of business, but its OK because soon things will settle back down again. Consider this our 25 year hangover. We need the economy to shrink, it was too big. It had become unsustainable. The Fed can try everything raise interest rates, print more money, bankrupt America, destroy you, eat your children (sorry got away from me for a second) eventually this house of cards was going to come tumbling down.

So what does this mean? It means that things are good then they are bad then they are good again. Things happen in cycles. Or even more accurate, whats good for one, is bad for another. Today, is our day, the day of the consumer. All this negative talk does is to scare people into not buying. I say harrumph to that. Go out and spend. Buy stuff, its really cheap now and very affordable, but please dont get in over your head. Lets be smart about this and lets take advantage of the lowered prices and abundance of goods. Remember its a buyers market right now, and I dont know how long it will last so, I guess what I am saying is to go out and stock up and buy stuff on the cheap, and take advantage of the sales and get that green sweater you have been eyeballing. Cause remember just because its a buyers market today doesnt mean that it will be that way for long.