Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Free Rent

A sign of the times is now appearing in Fleming Island, close to where I live. In the morning I pass by a few new commercial buildings. Many units have never been occupied and today I noticed two signs stating "Free Rent". They are large signs with bold color and they are indicative of the severe financial condition of the owners. I have not seen anything like this since the Carter Administration in the early eighties. At that time even homes had such signs and I guess that is where we are heading now. Carter admitted that "there is a malaise in the land" and was at a loss as to what to do. In 1977 Carter had tried Keynesian Economics to improve the condition he had inherited from Johnson, Nixon and Ford (the same thing Obama is now doing) and it did not work. He cancelled high-tech weapon systems (the same thing Obama is now doing) and made the USSR very happy. It took Regan to come in and make changes to the economy, halt Keynesian attempts to spend us out of recession, and put us on the right track to prosperity.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

G-20 Protesters

"We will have children in our militant march." This is the amazing statement made by march organizers in Toronto. Each year there are violent protests of the G-20 meeting by anarchists, communists, Marxists and even some malcontents. An area has been set aside for demonstrations and another area has been set aside as a secure zone. Not content to stay only at the demonstration zone, a march is planned to leave that zone and go toward the secure zone. This is an unauthorized march and could become violent as it has in the past. March organizers are attempting to set "rules of engagement" that will allow them to possibly get into the secure zone. It will be interesting to see if the Canadian police buy into the "take it easy on us because we will have children with us" ploy. The American military bought it in Afghanistan, how about the Canadians?

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It was not too long ago that the name Petraeous was slimmed by the liberals as "betray-us." Because he was the top general for Bush in the war on Iraq he was destroyed in every way they could. The world does indeed spin around, and now he has taken the aura of a saint because Obama has named him to replace McChrystal in the Afghanistan War. McChrystal was personally chosen by Obama because he did not want to be tainted with Bush's general. Obama believes the only good war is the war on Afghanistan. However, because McChrystal had views different than Obama's he had to go, and go he did. Obama claims that he and McChrystal had no disagreements on the "Rules Of Engagement." We shall see once McChrystal writes his book. Petraeous was successful in Iraq when the liberals were ready to give it all up. They expect him to succeed now in the Afghanistan War. However, the Iraq War was not fought with the same "Rules Of Engagement." that are now in effect. I contend that no army can win with those rules, they are a prescription for failure. More Americans will be killed and more soldiers will lose the heart for fighting. Reenlistment's will decrease dramatically and soldiers will do more bitching than they usually do. One other thing complicates this whole business: If you were an Afghan belligerent would you risk your life during the next year when the adversary will be leaving in a year?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Two Recession Victims

While at Longboat Key this last week I had an opportunity to talk to Mitchell Smitherman and Doug Slecta, Krista's husband. Mitch was a successful manufacturing representative when he decided to open his own rental company specializing in large equipment, mostly earth movers. Mitch A large warehouse was required to store the large equipment and he signed a lease to get it. The equipment was also leased and payments were necessary every month. With his experience and contacts business was very good and the company prospered. When the housing bubble burst he found the profitability almost gone, still he stayed open hoping it would all come back. He worked long hours morning to night, six days a week. He stayed open until just recently when he had to close it all down because he was running out of money. He was still liable for the rent on the warehouse, but, through a stroke of luck, his landlord declared bankruptcy and the bank has not shown a desire to collect on uncompleted leases. He was pleased to get out of such a big burden. He has obtained a job as a manufacturing representative from a previous employer. He gets around using an older truck that he salvaged from the business. Doug Both Doug and Krista worked in his Father's roofing business. When business became slow he decided to retire and Doug got the business. The hours were long for both of them but they managed to get by. Since business was slowing they were forced to cut back on their crews. Finally business almost came to a complete stop and they had to shut down. Krista took a job as a teacher and Doug looked around for another business. He decided on a storefront business called: "Play And Trade" Doug and his son Damon went to school out of state to get training. He rented a store with a five year lease. He and his son made most of the fixtures, product was bought with some of his own money. At first, business was good and it looked like they would make a go of it. As the economy got worse so did the business. There was only enough business for one person and the son had to be let go, Doug worked long days for seven days a week. Eventually, it had to be closed. Doug says he lost $300,000 on this venture. He was amazed at how fast the last $100,000 went. Doug lucked out on the lease, his landlord has decided to not press for specific performance, instead letting ham out of the lease which lasts for another three years. He has obtained a job with the school system as a maintenance man. He is overjoyed at this situation since he works ten hour days for only four days a week. They are both remarkable because neither of them are bitter, instead both are in good humor and sleeping good because they do not have the burden of a company with bills to pay. They are not sophisticates of the political situation (no time for politics when you are responsible for a business) and both hope for better times in the future.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Dream Conflict

There are times when in a conversation with Pat neither of us will remember a persons name. As we think about it one of us will remember, state it, and the other says, Oh yeah! Last night, in my dream, we came to such a situation. Pat suddenly blurted out: "It was Wayne." I recognized that was correct, but immediately went into another dream that questioned why did she get it right? It was my dream and these are my brain cells creating it all, why did she get the answer? If my brain knew the answer why did it not assign it to me? Still in the dream mode, I tried to resolve why this was so, but came up with no answer. After I awoke I continued to think about it but, again, cannot come up with a reason for this phenomenon. It is all fading away from me and now I do not even know who Wayne is.