Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

All pics by the lovely and talented Mrs. Sobek. Click to enlarge.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Geek Stuff

So totally out of the blue I got this idea in my head for a t-shirt or mug design. Something along the lines of this:

You know, something tasteful and classy to impress the new co-workers.

And in the process of looking for a graphic to make the design, I found this. My geek cred is weak.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wacky Nevada Legal Adventures, Part 3,255

Ted Marshall owns a warehouse in downtown Las Vegas. He has a barb-wire fence around it to keep out vandals, but apparently it doesn't work very well, because he has had to paint over graffitti six times. The most recent vandal, however, painted something Marshall kind of liked, so Marshall decided to just leave it there.

So the City of Las Vegas fined him $900.00. Meaning the city is, basically, worse than the vandals. They can use government power to victimize him.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wacky Nevada Legal Adventures, Part 3,254

Suppose for a moment that during a criminal trial for murder, one of the jurors decides she thinks the defendant is attractive. So much so that she writes the defendant a bunch of sexually explicit love letters, and then comes to visit him in jail several times. Juror misconduct, right?

Not in Nevada, it isn't.

Of course, this is a state where you can drink while on a jury, so long as you don't get carried away, so, you know.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nevada Revenue Projections Look Bleak

From the Review-Journal, a jaw-droppingly obvious article. Nevada has no state income tax, so revenues depend heavily on property taxes. It's a pretty sweet deal if you don't own any property, and especially if you don't stay or play at casinos (another huge source of tax revenue).

So what happens when the housing market precipitously declines? Simple: tax revenues decline precipitously. Duh.

The article doesn't mention that Nevada, and especially the Las Vegas area, had one of the largest real estate booms in the country within this past decade, which means for several years, the government was absolutely flush with unexpected cash. Rather than figuring out that markets are cyclical, and that what goes up must come down, and maybe we should save some of this or even give a tax refund, they jacked up government spending in all areas. That little tidbit is critically important to know when reading this sentence:
Forum members expect to see significant declines followed by modest gains in tax
revenues during the coming years that throw Nevada back to the level of state
tax receipts collected in 2004-05.

Which was exactly at the very top of the market. So even if the government manages to cut spending to stay within projected revenues, all they are losing in spending is stuff they shouldn't have increased in the first place.

Your Morning Moment of Zen

Newsweek: "Rich are Feeling 'Luxury Shame'"

Stop the ACLU: Obama Buys his Wife a $30,000 "Thank You" Ring

Of course, if you have no sense of shame to begin with...

The other day I head Obama on the radio criticizing the Big Auto leaders for flying into Washington on three separate, luxury corporate jets to ask for massive government handouts. Obama's criticism was actually pretty wussy, but something to the effect of "I think they are tone-deaf to what's going on in America." I was surprised to note that I agree with him completely: the substance is meaningless, but the tone of the thing makes them look bad.