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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Another Reason Not To Fly Northwest

I'll never fly Northwest Airlines again.
Northwest Replaces Bud Light, Taps Miller Lite for Its Flights
By Jim Suhr, The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Northwest Airlines Corp. has tapped Miller Lite, the nation's No. 2 light beer, to replace top-selling Bud Light on all of its flights worldwide.

Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest, the nation's fourth-largest airline, said Miller Lite will be phased in aboard Northwest and Northwest- Airlink-operated flights over the next several weeks as its inventories of Bud Light are depleted.

Still, Northwest will continue serving Budweiser by Miller Brewing Co. rival Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. as its full-calorie beer on all of its flights. Northwest also still will offer up various imported brews.

Northwest and Northwest Airlink, which offer beverage service on roughly 2,800 of the 3,012 flights they operate worldwide to 247 cities in 23 countries, expect to buy more than 700,000 cans of Miller Lite a year to be served aboard its 659-aircraft fleet.

Last year, Northwest and its Northwest Airlink partners - Mesaba Airlines and Pinnacle Airlines - carried more than 67 million passengers. (link)
This is a huge blunder on the part of NWA. The company has no idea the havoc that is going to result from their arbitrary decision to drop Bud Lite. This year they can expect their passenger count to decline precipitately - by one.

They are going to rue the day ...

How Rich Is This?

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a band of do-gooders who want to turn millions of law-abiding citizens lawless by having the government revoke their God-given right to own weapons, has itself admitted to having broken the law.
Gun-Control Group and PAC Pay $12,000 FEC Fine
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A gun-control group and its political action committee have paid a $12,000 fine to settle a campaign finance case from the 2000 election.

At issue were ads and endorsements by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its Brady Voter Education Fund involving various Democratic candidates in 2000.

The American Conservative Union, in a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accused the Brady organizations of making illegal corporate contributions to the Democrats' campaigns.

The FEC disclosed the outcome of the case Thursday.

The Brady Campaign is named after Jim Brady and his wife Sarah. Jim Brady, press secretary to President Reagan, was shot during a 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan. The Bradys later became gun-control activists. (link)
All I can ask is that the entire bunch be thrown in prison, starting with Sarah Brady, the troll who shows no compunction about wheeling her brain-damaged husband around like he was a carnival freak, to show off the catastrophic wound that an insane gunman inflicted on him many years ago.

Well, This Didn't Take Long

A week after Business Week came out with a scathing (and wonderfully well-written) report detailing General Motors' bleak outlook in coming years, Standard and Poor's dropped GM's credit rating to junk status. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, they dragged down Ford Motor Company with them.

This is going to get really ugly.

S&P Cuts GM, Ford Credit Ratings to 'Junk'

DETROIT (AP) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its corporate credit ratings to junk status for both General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., a significant blow that will increase borrowing costs and limit fund-raising options for the nation's two biggest automakers.

Shares of both companies fell 5 percent or more after Thursday's downgrades, and the news sent the overall market lower.

The decision by one of the nation's most respected ratings agencies comes as the two iconic American automakers are losing market share at home to Asian automakers, seeing sales soften for their most profitable models and are facing enormous health care and post-retirement liabilities.

The credit ratings agency said its downgrade of GM's long-term rating below investment-grade status reflects its conclusion that management's current strategies may not be effective in dealing with the automaker's competitive disadvantages.

In a statement, GM said it was disappointed with S&P's decision but that it and its finance arm, GMAC, have adequate cash and liquidity to fund their operations "for the foreseeable future." (link)

"... for the foreseeable future." That's encouraging. Nice job of shoring up support among your frightened shareholders, fellas.

Marketing 101

Now I enjoy staring at women's breasts as much as anyone. And Pamela Anderson Lee has her share (I count at least three in this photo). But I want to know who the genius was who paid good money to put up a billboard showing Pamela's boobs (oxymoron alert) in the wilds of Northern West Virginia.

I was on my way toward Pennsylvania yesterday morning on I-77 when I passed this PETA billboard (denouncing cruelty toward chickens) somewhere around Burnsville, West Virginia. I can only assume, since the traffic count there is rather meager, that the marketing gurus at PETA were targeting some poultry processing plant workers in the area. Like Pamela Anderson Lee's mammaries are going to influence their career decision-making.

Now I have more marketing training than a grown man should ever have. But sometimes it comes in handy. As in this case.

Memo to PETA and its marketing firm: Know your target audience. West, by God, Virginians still believe in the literal Bible. You won't find many citizens there showing up at work with their (fake) boobs exploding from their tight-fitting knit tops. Truth be known, most God-fearing women in the area find photos like that plastered on your billboard to be pornographic.

Whether you find their attitudes toward nakedness to be quaint, outlandish, silly, or disgustingly Christian, they are the people you are trying to sway, you morons. Where on earth were your brains when you devised this marketing gem? What were you thinking?

Oh. Wait a minute. I took another look at the billboard. I know exactly what you were thinking about. You devils.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of animalrights.net
Posted by Hello

Times Editor Comes Out For ... Higher Taxes

The editorial page of the Roanoke Times devotes a good bit of ink (and precious bytes) to the many and sundry ways government can be more creative in its effort to collect taxes from citizens who still have a modicum of disposable capital and from the few businesses still operating in Southwest Virginia.

Today's offering involves e-commerce taxes.
A sales-tax system for the Internet age

Virginia should sign up for a streamlined system that would bring e-commerce into the tax base.

Forget about simplicity, modernization and unfair advantages. The most compelling argument for the streamlined state sales-tax project pushed by Gov. Mark Warner is Virginia's projected annual tax revenue loss on Internet-related commerce: almost $1 billion a year by 2011.

The project, begun with bipartisan support by the National Governors Association in 2000, seeks to collectively reform laws among the 7,500 state and local tax jurisdictions "to enable out-of-state retailers to collect the states' taxes." A crucial court decision made most such payments impractical by ruling that states could not require companies outside their borders to collect them.

The General Assembly declined to support the sales-tax project this year. Objections were predictable. Virginia companies doing business over the Internet like the tax advantage. Anti-government conservatives welcome any opportunity to seal off revenue sources. (
Somehow, in the course of the internet having come of age, government(s) forgot to tax - or have been blocked from taxing - the living hell out of businesses operating exclusively through on-line transactions. The internet commerce craze has resulted in (a) massive growth of e-commerce revenue, e-commerce jobs, and profitability of e-commerce businesses (e.g. eBay and Google) and (b) apoplexy on the part of liberals who somehow equate economic growth with the size of the government's budget.

You would think, with Roanoke's job growth opportunities and economic outlook being ranked 181st out of 200 of the largest cities in the nation, that the editors at the Roanoke Times would seize on the successes - and expanding job opportunities - created by internet marketing companies, and would be at the forefront of the movement to do more of that which works best. After all, aren't they interested in job growth in the area?

Or are they only interested in sticking to the template provided by their mentors at the New York Times and Washington Post, that being: corporate America bad; government (waste and inefficiency) good.

Given the chance, the editorial page editors at the Roanoke Times and their buddies in government (and let's not forget our congressman, Rick somebody) will do to e-commerce what they've done for economic opportunity in Southwest Virginia.

Heads-up to eBay: With their guidance and assistance, you too can become 181st - and failing.

Law Enforcement Teaches Kids How To Get Hooked

James Taranto, writing for the Wall Street Journal, brought this news out of Elma, Washington to my attention.
In-Class Meth Demonstration Angers Parents
Keith Eldridge, KOMO TV

ELMA - A local woman went 'through the roof' when a deputy took his anti-drug message to high school.

She says he showed students how to make methamphetamines, and she has the video to prove it.

Grays Harbor County sheriff's deputy shows class, "And the reaction will start occurring down there and start bubbling up."

It is part chemistry class and part drug enforcement as a member of the Grays Harbor drug task force talks to Elma High School students about making Methamphetamine.

Deputy shows class: "Then you'll have a little bit down at the bottom, the white stuff, and that's your meth."

One parent considers it a recipe for disaster.

"I was really upset when my daughter had come home and said 'mom we learned how to make meth today in school,' " said parent Teresa McCutcheon. "My jaw just kind of dropped and I said, 'what?' " (
What on earth is the sheriff's department thinking when it sends a deputy into a school to teach kids how to make meth? I haven't the personal experience to know whether you smoke it or inject it or sit on it and incubate it, but what ever you do with it, the sheriff's office in Grays Harbor County, Washington has been doing a little too much of it themselves.

So how do they justify this idiocy?
"We talk about how methamphetamine is manufactured. I think there's a big difference between 'how' it is manufactured and 'how to' manufacture it," [Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick] Scott said.
Oh. That explains everything, doesn't it?