Saturday, July 19, 2008

Digg this --> Ripped From The Headlines, 7-19-08

12 Local Starbucks to close

This was a bubble waiting to burst anyhow. I was never a fan of Starbucks, I think I can count on my left hand the number of times I patronized them. Their coffee is so rich, it has a burnt taste. Besides the fact it costs 3 times more than EVERYWHERE else you can buy coffee. Granted, I like my coffee in the morning, but Starbucks is not on the options of places to get it, and I work a half mile from a Starbucks.

I think they could recapture the market though if they back off from all their hype. While they glamorize the whole idea with their mix with bookstores, malls, and shopping centers, they are much too complicated for most of us simple people. They have the right idea and the right intent, but they over power it with crap. That drives up the costs for sure. If they would just concentrate on offering a basic cup of coffee at a REASONABLE price, and I don't mean $2.00 for a 16oz cup. They have to compete with all the 7Elevens, Wawas, McDonalds, Burger Kings, and every other corner convenience store and fast food chain. Connect that with the necessity for consumers to tighten their budgets, the $4.00 cup of cappuccino is going the way of the dinosaur.

NYC Chains Must Post Calorie Info Or Face Fines

This has to be one of the more futile laws to be enacted in modern history. Do people really have to be told how unhealthy fast food is? They're not eating there because it's healthy. They're eating there because is fast and convenient. They don't have to go to a store, buy it, transport it home, and prepare it. Most of us don't give a hoot how much fat or carbs is in it, we're gonna do it.

It's another stupid effort by government to regulate our lives. While a small percentage will be frightened away, for the most part, it will be in vain. The most it will accomplish is the added cost and headaches for business to have this information posted. Oh, and give some city officials a job to enforce this.

Maliki: I Support Obama’s Withdrawal Timetable

Given John McCain's pledge to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years if necessary, I think this wins hands down. Is there anyone still supporting John McCain? Let me rephrase that, is there anyone outside the current White House administration that support John McCain?

Oil Prices Tumble in Biggest Weekly Drop Ever

Oil company shareholders beware, you stock is dropping. But you won't notice it among the billions you've taken from Americans.

I personally haven't seen any drop in gas prices recently, but I hope it's a sign of things to come. Meanwhile, I think U.S. auto makers need to shift their thinking away from everything conventional. GM, Ford, and Chrysler need to take a year off from new models. Divert all their efforts to developing alternative transportation means. Why is it necessary to come up with 20 new vehicles every year? Volkswagen made the same bug for 30 years, the SAME vehicle with only subtle changes.

In 1987, I bought a brand new Doge Omni. It was allot like the VW Golf. It had 4 doors and a hatch. I could haul 5 people (including the driver), and cargo. That is as long as the total weight was less than 815 pounds. This thing was loaded, a 5 speed transmission, A/C, comfortable seats, front wheel drive, and it went almost anywhere in the snow. Best of all I got 40+ MPG on the road, 34 MPG or so just around town. Chrysler stopped making them in 1990 (The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon). As my family was growing beyond this little car, a Dodge dealer commented to me they don't make enough money from them, so they are being discontinued. I don't know if that's true, but it was by far my most cost effective vehicle to own. In 3 years of ownership, I drove it 34,000 miles, and had everything original except the battery when I traded for a minivan. Still had the original Goodyear Vector tires. Other than putting gas in it and regular oil changes, it got a tune-up when I returned from Germany.

So here's the question, why can't they make that kind of car again? Datsun (which later because Nissan) had the B210. It was common for B210's to get 45MPG, and this was in the 70's! The answer, automakers make no money unless you're buying new cars from them. They're gonna have to get out of that frame of mind or they will find their way into bankruptcy.

FDIC Insurance for BIG Bank Deposits

I only have one thing to say to this. That is, I wish I had that problem, then I'd actually care.

John Crawford

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