Thursday, March 31, 2011

Business 101

When I saw that Harry and David were in bankruptcy I figured it was just a sign of the times, that there wasn't quite enough gravy to go around to keep a higher end mail order food company in business. However, I thought the timing was a bit off and that if market forces were a factor that the place would have been in bankruptcy protection much sooner. After reading the article my suspicions were confirmed and the company's poor experience reflects one that happens all too often:

  1. A well off accounting goon fancies that he can run a business.

  2. He sets his sites on a fairly successful business.

  3. He goes to his bank buddies who are looking for a place to park a portion of it's vast ocean of cheap cash that it's been given by the Feds. The goon sells them on the idea that by 'streamlining synergies' and what not that they can run the business much better than the provincial idiots currently managing it.

  4. The pitch justifies an outsized buyout offer to the current company's owners and the accounting goon and the bank have dreams of being in gold plated heaven when their brilliant efficiencies are brought to bear on this business that was formally run by clueless putzes.

  5. The bank gives the goon the cash, with various financial 'experts', lawyers, sales realtors all getting a cut. The current owners retire to the Caribbean, the accounting goon gets his business toy with an outrageous salary and, more than likely, many people at the targeted business are fired.

  6. Low and behold, the accounting goon actually doesn't have clue about what's he's doing and the business struggles. Since he had no money of his own, the loan to purchase the business is on the businesses own books. Even more people are fired when the business inevitably goes bankrupt since it's veritably impossible for it to ever pay back a loan whose balance no doubt exceeds the worth of the business itself, especially when it's being run by a clueless dolt.

The occasionally odious Tom the Dancing Bug has a nice comic that sums the whole mess up:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Black Love

From here:
About 1:30 p.m. Ashley Jackson 21, of Elyria, and Toni Duncan, 49, of Elyria, assaulted the 71-year-old man at the store on Chestnut Ridge Road after he asked to see their receipt, which they did not have, police said. According to the report, the women became upset after not receiving help at the customer service desk and attempted to leave the store. When the greeter asked them for their receipt, both woman yelled obscenities at him and called him a “cracker.” Duncan then pushed a shopping cart into the man, began choking him and threatened to punch him in the face. ... Jackson told the attendant, “when she tells her boyfriend about the door greeter he won’t be alive,” the report said. Jackson then yelled three times that she would “blow up” Walmart, alarming nearby customers, police said.

Update: Get your black love here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kasich: Corporate Whore

Quickly proving every evil thing said about him during the campaign, Ohio governor John Kasich has a brilliant idea to sell several decades worth of liquor tax money so that he can hand out corporate welfare today:
Kasich last week unveiled his state budget proposal, which includes a plan to lease the state's liquor distribution operation -- which of late has drawn record profits -- and use the cash to fund his crony capitalism private economic development machine.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Video Game Movie

I didn't know much about Battle:Los Angeles when I went to see it yesterday, but I already knew something I didn't like about it. This is a mild slight, but any movie that takes place in LA automatically gets me thinking that it's primary mission is navel gazing by the movie's makers. I can almost see a guy on the set telling a post production person to make sure that his apartment shows up in the intro sequence. It almost has a wiff of laziness to it, which would be forgivable if the rest of the film is good

Unfortunately though, the movie was a bit of a bore, kind of like watching someone play a video game that features long, unskippable cut scenes. It had great set piece action sequences, with lots of first person camera views, interspersed with eye rolling dialog breaks delivered by one dimensional characters ('dead meat', 'virgin', 'grizzled commander', etc). Adding to the video game motif, in the confrontation with the final boss, the characters had to defend their 'rally point' for a set amount of time, and Kid Sandmich said that I unconsciously chuckled a bit during the movie when I later related to him that I expected a red countdown timer to appear in the upper right corner to let the player movie goer know how long to keep the defense up.

It doesn't help that the movie's plot is fairly similar to the Resistance series of games. Interestingly, although the game wasn't even announced at the time, a real billboard ad for Resistance 3 was put up strictly so that it could appear in the movie. It goes without saying that the PS3 exclusive Resistance is made by a Sony owned video game developer (Insomniac) and the movie studio that made Battle:Los Angeles (Columbia) is also Sony owned.

It's enough to make me think that someone pitched a Resistance:Fall of Man movie, but the producers wisely chose not to make it strictly a 'video game movie', so they took drastic action and changed the words before and after the colon.

(My buddy related that the movie has a good vibe due to the favorable portrayal of the U.S. Marines in the movie, a rare event for Hollywood. You'll note though that I didn't say 'U.S. military' as the politicians in Washington are doing their best to destroy the military and are largely succeeding. It's sad that it's turning into a group of worthless job classes (like the nutritionist I saw on TV), lesbians, diversacrats and those aspiring to be pensioners living on disability, but it wouldn't shock me that much if such a group had trouble defending the coastlines of our nation from even a mediocre alien invasion. After all, they can't even defeat a bunch of African hillbillies in canoes on the coast of Somalia.)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Canned Pig

I recently had the lovely experience of sitting in Parma traffic court due to a B.S. traffic ticket written by the overtime extortionists that pass themselves off as police officers. I was pissed off granted, but as I sat there I grew even more pissed off, but not about my situation. I was able to make the trek over to court from work during my lunch hour and thus didn't have to take any time off. As well, although I was displeased by my fine, it wasn't some financial wrecking ball. However, most of the rest of the people in the court were typical Parma blue collar workers, people who are lucky to ever see three digit sums in their bank account, let alone four. In it's infinite wisdom the state of Ohio decided to shackle these people with a horrible regressive income tax of $100 minimum court costs. On top of that, at least while I was there, I didn't see anyone in the court who needed to be there. The worst story of all was a woman whose adult son had a suspended license, and her son borrowed her car without asking, but that didn't stop Parma's idiotic finest from filing charges against her to the tune of $1,000 and thirty days in jail for 'allowing' an unlicensed driver to borrow her car.

Stepping over for some fresh police union thug news, there's this bitty (thx Instapundit) about the lawyer for the Ohio police union making threats against a politician who voted, in part, to help put an end to public union thuggery. Also from Instapundit is this bit about a woman who was subjected to third world levels of justice for photographing a military helicopter from the side of the road, as the arresting officer wanted to 'teach tea baggers a lesson'.

I remember reading a bit in a libertarian magazine where the author pressed the point that the police should be eliminated. At the time I thought the guy was insane, but with the under-prosecution of real crimes, under-sentencing of serious criminals and the extreme prosecution of fake and non-existent crimes, I'm beginning to think that mob justice does have it's appeal. Maybe at least the slate should cleaned and all existing police officers, at least in Ohio, should fired and then after a spell, rehired as the local public sees fit (and maybe then only as the need arises).

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Voting Power

The PD notes on a woman suffragist:
In 1911, when California women achieved the right to vote, she was lauded as the spiritual leader of Southern California's suffrage movement. The following year, at the age of 92, she cast her vote for president -- after working for more than 60 years to earn that right.

Now of course correlation is not causation, but it looks like it was all uphill for the country after that, at least in terms of federal government spending:

What was that line from Dune? Something like 'if one has the power to destroy a thing, then they have the power to control it'? And vice versa, I'd imagine.