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Training Us to Pretend Our Leaders Are Magic

The local daily has a segment informing us that junkets are good for the economy. Here are some excerpts to make freemarketeers sad:

  • And, when the topic of scientific research came up, a person whose legislative powers can actually help determine the fate of its funding through the National Institutes of Health was listening.

  • “Generally, there are three values that a business would derive from a politician making a speech at their business,” said Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. “To support the brand and support the overall identity of the company in the region, to serve as a recruitment vehicle and position the company as a vital engine of economic development and innovation in the regional economy and the third reason is to receive consideration by way of legislation and policy.”

  • Despite the faraway opening date, New Belgium spokesperson Susanne Hackett said private visits from politicians and other community stakeholders at the distribution center can be expected in the coming months.

  • One of the most effective ways a company can not only celebrate its milestones but remind politicians of its needs is through lobbying efforts that align with business interests.

  • And unlike a letter writing campaign or a power meeting, inviting a politician to tour and talk at a business establishment can be more powerful, largely because it can be more difficult to forget.

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Let Them Burn Cake!

Bloomberg Philanthropies has given Beyond Coal $30 million to help with endeavors like retiring the Lake Julian Duke-Progress Energy plant. As anybody who has driven past the plant in recent years – and more especially those Green Peacers who trespass – can tell you, the plant causes no macroscopic changes in air breathability. We therefore put our trust in the mayor and leadership of green organizations to set thresholds to keep us safe.

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The Player You Get

Blue Ridge Community College is getting permission to make beer on campus. It is hoping to be able to sell the beer by late summer. It is just assumed that students will man the chairs in a tasting room. It’s what we call a 21st-century education.

As for the multipliers, they can do nothing but hockey-stick. Beer consumption is illimitable, and local craft brewers can make up profits thus crowded out with economic development incentives. Craft brewers trying to mind their own business without playing crony games can just disappear.

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Because Price Ought Not Reflect the Cost of Production

Two companies, and I use the term loosely, are fishing for $25,000 and $31,000 in taxpayer dollars to support million-dollar expansions. In the old days, profits were sort of linked to sales, and so government wasn’t needed so much to crowd out more efficient competition.


When 1 + 1 = 9, It’s Just As Well

It’s been one of those days, waking up with a migraine and all, so I doodled over to the AB Tech web site and clicked on the “Diversity Awareness” link. That took me to a “Safe Zone” logo that wouldn’t download and a pamphlet teaching how to “create balance in your wheel of life” A big part of the program appears to be signing up for Obamacare even though it is once again too late. I also see I missed a broadcast of Arianna Huffington on redefining success. Perhaps failure is the new success. Hopefully you are anxiously engaged in helping your fellow man, but if you are in a funk and need to blow off some steam, you might want to fish around for some more absurdity by following links on this site.

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How Beer Is Creating Jobs

Yesterday, we forwarded a report that somebody must have done something, because there was an article saying nothing could be released. Since then, the Sylva Herald has gotten journalistic and uncovered and published a copy of the “Incident/Investigation Report.” In sum, the investigation into WCU frat hazing revealed inductees were coerced to recite the order’s pledge with water forced into their mouths. One guy alleged he was water boarded. Other complaints included punkish and destructive displays of control freakery. Alcohol intoxication is a recurrent theme, but frat brothers drank responsibly; there was only a single instance of one attempting to drive. Thus we see why it is very, very important for our government to provide more and more incentives to brewers to grow the industry. And, as always, do not forget to lobby for free beer in schools for the food-insecure.

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Happy, Happy Windmills

I thought I had asthma. It was horrible back in the days when Washington, DC was nothing but a swill of diesel fuel, and Hamilton, Ontario is practically a death sentence. I have issues here from time to time, but it is usually because I am behind a vehicle billowing dark, nasty clouds. Never in my life, though, have I noticed the slightest change in my ability to breathe in my many trips down to Skyland.

I just tell you that so you can put a face on the problem. The fact of the matter is the Mayor of Asheville is being asked to sign a document declaring sulfur dioxide emissions from the Lake Julian power plant unsafe. This is just the latest excuse to squeeze Duke Power out of business so reliable, affordable home heating can become a lifestyle of the rich and famous.

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Tell Me This Is a Bad Joke

I stopped to read my email before going to – ejem – volunteer in another office. Inside was an email from a member of the local delegation informing me that women were offended by recent actions of the General Assembly. I shall say the commentary was smaller than I would have expected from one of her stature. I therefore offer the following for consideration by those who handle her publicity:

  1. Do not use wordy-dirties. It is unprofessional and reflects poorly upon the user.
  2. Do not make generalizations about women. Current trends indicate there are maybe 100 genders. Whereas I believe there are only two genders, I do agree there is a full spectrum of interests and proclivities that do not fit into the two pigeonholes. To say all women think the same way is sexist and likely incorrect.
  3. Taking offense is evidence of unrighteous dominion. It supposes I am responsible for the choices others are taking with the rights bestowed upon them by their Creator, and that is, in modern parlance, just plain crack. Each of us wends his way through the mystery of life as he best chooses; we all have enough of our own baggage to keep us busy without making time to judge another.
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In sum, after reading the news today, I see an underlying theme of federal dollars going to words that have no meaning.

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Somebody May Have Done Something

Western Carolina University suspended the Zeta Xi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha following an investigation of allegations of hazing. An unattributed press release not released to the press stated appropriate disciplinary procedures have been completed. Federal law prohibits the release of records concerning the disciplinary hearings. Thass wo it say!

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