Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Post-Garage Sale Refrain
Those $30 Space Invaders and Asteroid cabinets must not have worked.
Those $30 Space Invaders and Asteroid cabinets must not have worked.
Those $30 Space Invaders and Asteroid cabinets must not have worked.

Because if they had, I would have had to buy them out of principle. So I didn't even ask, because of course the owners must have known the real value of working games. So I didn't heed the spontaneous stories in my mind that would have explained it....such as their belonging to the woman's ex-husband....and drove away.

Thursday, October 20, 2005
Not the Music I Would Have Chosen
But Nissan has placed The Cardigans' "LoveFool" under its new Altima commercials, with the chorus repeating:
    Love me love me
    say that you love me
    fool me fool me
    go on and fool me
Hardly something to fill consumers with confidence about a product.

Chavez Hearing Voices Again, Pronounces Them Intelligence
US planning invasion, says Chavez:
    Washington officially sees Hugo Chavez as an unfriendly leader Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez, says he is in possession of intelligence showing that the United States plans to invade his country.

    In a BBC interview, Mr Chavez said the US was after his nation's oil, much as it had been after Iraq's.

    But he stressed that any invasion would never be allowed to happen.
Some circus is one clown short.

$17,000,000 Doesn't Get Much These Days
What can local and state governments expect for $17,000,000 in giveaways to large corporations to keep their plants open?

Not a whole hell of a lot:
    Two years ago, Ford Motor Co.'s assembly plant in Hazelwood survived plans to close it after an intense state and community campaign persuaded the company to keep it open through 2007.

    Now, the Hazelwood plant may be forced to run a similar gantlet after Ford rolls out a restructuring plan late this year.

    Excess production capacity continues to weigh heavily on the automaker. The plant in Hazelwood, where about 1,450 people work, is among the company's most vulnerable facilities.
Never fear, though; the local and state governments are ready to spring into spending to throw bad taxpayer money after bad:
    Still, it's too early to speculate about the Hazelwood plant's future, said Hazelwood Mayor T.R. Carr. He's a member of the Ford Hazelwood Task Force, the group of state and local politicians, business and labor leaders formed in 2002 after Ford announced it would close the plant.

    "What is 'obvious' is not necessarily true," Carr said. "There are a lot of decisions that are up in the air for Ford right now."

    The region needs to focus on building a business plan that will encourage Ford to bring a new vehicle to replace the Explorer at the Hazelwood plant, he said.
We've spent $12,000 per employee already to keep those employees working for a coouple of years; soon, we will have spent the equivalent of a full college education for each (in state tuition for public universities, but hey, it's an education). What equivalent amount of money will be enough? Masters degrees? Doctorates? Eventually, Ford will close the plant, and the money will be just as lost.

Not that it's the government's job to develop business plans, but I'll help, no consulting fees attached: you know what kind of business plan calls for spending more and more money on a failing proposition? A bad business plan.

Let's return to Carr for the most appropriate, although inappropriately so, metaphor:
    "It's kind of like (Cardinal baseball player Albert) Pujols ... the game's not over, and we're going to stay at bat until we secure a future for this plant," he said.
Timely, sir, and it connects with the little people too unintelligent to see what bull you're selling.

Unfortunately, Albert Pujols' ninth inning home run in game five of the National League Championship Series only saved one game, forestalling the Cardinals eventual loss to the Houston Astros by a single game and a couple of games. Much like your business plan and next set of tax incentives will delay Ford's decision to close the plant for another short interval; but if it's in Ford's best business interest to close the plant, it will close the plant.

Perhaps it's time to let the air out of the Keynesian tires and abandon the plant on the side of the road.

What could make telephone conversations better? Commercials:
    In a few short years, consumers can expect to make telephone calls for free, with no per-minute charges, as part of a package of services through which carriers make money on advertising or transaction fees, eBay's chief executive said Wednesday.
I assume that's how the advertising would work. Of course, carriers already make money on transaction fees--like charging you money for each call you make--but I'm not the one trying to make a press release out of an expensive acquisition that won't really revolutionize communications as much as one would hope to convince shareholders.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
You Don't See That Every Day
And you probably wouldn't believe it if you did:
    Police said the woman had spent Monday at the house on Mimika, and on Tuesday morning she went on her way and homeowner went to work. The woman obviously returned, and broke out a kitchen window, unlatched it and tried to crawl through, police said. But the window had a second latch that permitted it to raise up only so far, and the woman became wedged and later died, police said.

    In her struggle to free herself, her pants came off, police said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
You Call That An English Degree?
My score: 13.333 out of 100.

(Link seen on National Review's The Corner.)

Caption That Whiteboard
Dramatic recreation of detritus only mostly erased from a whiteboard in the conference room:

The Phantom Whiteboard

Ladies and gentlemen, start your captioning. Here's my first, to get you in the mood:
    The human genome is safe from software engineers, as they fail to grasp basic Mendelian genetics.

Monday, October 17, 2005
Because I Have Too Much Time On My Hands
Draft Matt Blunt.

Pop-Up Mocker.

Abashed Pragmatism
Man, bird flu needs Tamiflu. For four years, I've been stocking the Cipro for nothing....

Sunday, October 16, 2005
The Secret The Tabloids Won't Share

Katie Holmes is pregnant with Nick Lachey's baby, which explains the breakup with Jessica Simpson.

I mean, for crying out loud, it's obvious. But the tabloids won't tell you because they're in bed with the celebrities they cover, regardless of whatever they tell you. And the stars' publicists won't let the tabloids reveal the real secrets.

Why Do We Hate Them?
The street is, in fact, rising up and attacking popular propoganda's convenient targets: neo-Nazis:
    A crowd protesting a white supremacists' march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said.

    When Mayor Jack Ford and a local minister tried to calm the rioting, they were cursed for allowing the march, and Ford said a masked gang member threatened to shoot him.

    At least 65 people were arrested and several police officers were injured before calm was restored about four hours later.

    Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help.
Funny, but isn't this the reason why Hollywood changes villains in movies from actual threats in today's world--such as radical Islamists (think The Sum of All Fears)--to Nazis? Because the better-minded amongst us don't want hooligans and vigilantes to attack the people depicted in the movie as unrepentant evil?

Well, I guess Hollywood might be right about its impact on popular sensitivities, and it can rest assured that the themes it espouses don't deal with contemporary evils, but instead continue to dish propoganda which demonizes a movement which has caused sporadic violence but which was last a credible global threat sixty years ago.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."