Archive for the Category ◊ Business ◊

Sears Moving Towards Bankruptcy?
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 | Author:

Update

More on the downfall:

Sears Holdings Corp. suffered its worst stock decline in more than two years after acknowledging “substantial doubt” about its future, raising fresh concerns about the survival of a company that was once the world’s largest retailer.

Source: Sears Plummets After Filing Sparks Concern That End Is Near

 

January 4, 2017

It appears that Sears/K-Mart is on a downward spiral.

Hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert has pumped an additional $1 billion into his years-long effort to revive Sears, but the CEO’s latest financing likely is just another short-term fix for the struggling retailer.

Source: CEO Lampert Pumps Additional $1 Billion Into His Sears Bet

 

December 8, 2016

The venerable Sears retail stores, a mainstay of America for more than 100 years, is running into major financial problems:

It has lost more nearly $10 billion since 2010 and the retailer has sought to plug that with the sale of countless assets like some of its best stores, its stakes in Sears Canada and Lands’ End. It is currently trying to find buyers, investors or partners, for its remaining crown jewels, its Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard brands.

Source: Sears Says It’s Likely to Close Many More Stores

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
More Government Control of Your Life
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 | Author:

It’s not a crazy proposition of what’s likely to happen:

The time will come when you won’t be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending, he adds.

When it’s done, the governments are going to be very, very happy they are going to say they’re doing it for our own good, this is not them, this is for our good. That they’re doing this, but it’s coming, and it’s going to be a whole different world in which we live. Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace…

Source: Big Brother is watching you: Jim Rogers prophesizes death of cash & total govt control of spending

Is Science Now More Political Than Ever?
Monday, January 09th, 2017 | Author:

A tenured professor of climate science at Georgia Tech University decided to call it quits:

“A deciding factor was that I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science.  Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.  How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide.”

Source: Knives sticking out of my back

Vacation in Aruba
Sunday, January 01st, 2017 | Author:

We recently returned from our regular pilgrimage to the tropical island of Aruba.  It’s hard to beat the routine 80 degree and sunny days, along with the fine dining in the evenings.  Below are a few photos from our visit, including the view from the hotel balcony and a view towards the beach.

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
Unsustainable Government Pensions
Thursday, December 01st, 2016 | Author:

Frankly, I don’t know if there is ever a ‘Day of Reckoning’ for government-related ‘mis-economics’, particularly when it is related to employee pensions.  However, there is a pertinent court case emerging in California:

The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Northern California “pension spiking” case that has major implications for pension financing and reform efforts throughout the state, setting up a showdown over whether pensions may be reduced for existing government employees.

Source: Public pensions facing day of reckoning?

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
Visit to Cincinnati Zoo
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 | Author:

We haven’t been to the Cincinnati Zoo in almost 20 years, so Missy and I decided to make a visit…   The place is fantastic.  The flora and fauna are beautiful, even in late October; And what a deal!   It’s $15/person for adults.  Given that you pay $70 to $100 for places in Orlando such as Seaworld, the value is unbeatable.  Check out some of the ‘action’ photos below:

dz-jungle-ent

miss-w-giraffe

miss-brown-bears

dz-and-lion

The one observation that I made prior to the trip was during my search for the Cincinnati Zoo operating hours.  After searching for ‘Cincy Zoo’ on Google, I saw this result (see below)…  If you look closely, you’ll see a 2.9 star rating from Google reviews.  Since I know that the Zoo is considered one of the top 10 in the world, I was a little incredulous.  Thus, I decided to take a closer look at some of the individual reviews.  I quickly discovered that the undeserved rating is the result of wacked-out Leftist trollers who  gave hundreds of 1-star reviews (see a few excerpts below) so they could try to destroy the 140-year-old zoo… evidently because the zoo wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a Gorilla.

cincyzoogoogle

 

harmacomments

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
Making Costly Movies
Friday, October 14th, 2016 | Author:

Here is an interesting factoid:

The movie ‘Titanic’ (1997) cost more to make than the actual ship (Titanic) that sank. The movie cost $200 million. The actual costs to construct the ship from 1910 to 1912 were $7.5 million. Adjusted for inflation, that would be around $116 million in 1997!

Source: Amazing Fact About Hollywood Movies

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
545 People
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 | Author:

This is a pretty good rant from Charlie Reese (Hat tip to my buddy, Joe K)… however, one key item that he overlooks is these 535 politicians are part of a representative democracy, and the people have said that they rather have handouts instead of buckling down.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

100 senators, 435 congressmen, 1 President, and 9 Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the roughly 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing.. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget (Of course, Obama didn’t even propose a budget). He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan … If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses, provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…  Think of all the ways that politcians have discovered to separate the citizens from their money:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had no national debt, the largest middle class in the world, and Mom, if agreed, stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

Bountiful Harvest
Saturday, August 13th, 2016 | Author:

It’s that time of year, and the many vegetable plants that I nurtured from seeds are now bearing the results from their ‘pregnant flowers’.  First on the list is the beautiful butterfly that I discovered in my flower garden.  This is followed by the succulent tomatoes and gargantuan squash.
Butterfly in Garden Tomatos from GardenSquash from Garden

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
California’s Pension Pirates
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 | Author:

Are these what people refer to as ‘Pension Pirates’?

If public service truly is a sacrifice, then join me in shedding a tear for the 20,900 public workers in California who pulled down more than $100,000 in retirement benefits during 2015…

Leading the way for 2015 was Michael Johnson. The former Solano County administrator received a $388,407 pension last year…

Unlike your 401(k) that might increase or decrease in value with the stock market, public sector pension benefits are locked in place. If investment returns fall, the retirees’ benefits aren’t at risk because taxpayers are obligated to make up the difference.

Source: California’s Six Figure Pension Club Has More Than 20,000 Members 

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment