Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Points for Honesty

As I'm sure many of you have already heard, AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom.  Naturally, the antitrust goons have raised hell, along with Sprint who isn't real happy about the deal.  I'm sure that I have discussed on this blog how Antitrust laws are the Jim Crowe of business regulations.  They are the most unjust, indefensible business laws on the books.  Being indefensible, they have garnered a creative assortment of proposed justifications of the economic, moral, and social varieties.  The best one yet, the most honest and the most frightening, I heard a couple days ago while watching CNBC.

Steve Forbes was guest hosting, and they were interviewing one of Clinton's Fascist Communication Commission Chairmen by the name of Reed Hundt.  They were talking about this acquisition, and Forbes asked Hundt something like "Don't you think that antitrust is fairly obsolete in this case?  These aren't large manufacturing firms than can stifle competition.  Competition in this industry is incredibly fierce between the two major players."  Ignore the problems with that question for the time being.  Here was Hundt's answer, paraphrased:

"Well, I've been an antitrust lawyer all my life, so if antitrust is obsolete than I'm in a lot of trouble."

I think that boils antitrust legislation--and most regulation--down to its essence.  Antitrust is right because it's my job.  Love it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who is Ron Swanson?

In case you didn't catch my Ron Swanson reference in the last post, he is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Pawnee, Indiana.  He is the most amazing character on TV right now...after Michael Westen and Jack Donaghy.  Here is a picture of him and his amazing mustache.

That's not the best part, though.  This is what his bio says on the Pawnee, IN website:

Ron enjoys woodworking, breakfast meats, and the works of Ayn Rand.
'Nuff said.

Monday, March 7, 2011

An MBA With Some Meat to It

This is pretty cool.  Tired of being abused in the court of public opinion by terrorist-sympathizers like PETA, the National Cattleman's Beef Association has started training ranchers, butchers, and other meat purveyors in a program it calls the M.B.A: Masters of Beef Advocacy.  No, I am not making this up, and yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.  Here is the article about it.  Here's a choice excerpt:
At the Denver training, South Dakota rancher Troy Hadrick—one of the first MBA graduates—told students about one of his recent triumphs.
It came about after Mr. Hadrick learned Yellow Tail wine had donated $100,000 and pledged $200,000 more to the Humane Society of the U.S., an animal-rights group that has embarrassed the cattle industry with undercover videos of slaughterhouse abuses.
Mr. Hadrick, outraged, set a video camera on a fence post and filmed himself dumping a bottle of Yellow Tail onto his snowy pasture while blasting the donations as an affront to ranching families.
Mr. Hadrick's video went viral on YouTube—at least among fellow cattlemen, who bombarded Yellow Tail with protest emails. Chagrined, the winery withdrew its $200,000 pledge to the animal-rights group.
 I'm sorry, but how awesome is that?  I think this is my favorite part, though:
MBA graduate Suzanne Strassburger, who sells steaks to high-end New York City restaurants, hasn't tried YouTube advocacy yet, but she says the course has helped her pump up her sales pitches. "It gives me more confidence" to talk about how the meat was produced, she said. And talk she does: Beef "is my love and my passion," Ms. Strassburger said. "This is what I get up for."
 Amen, Sister.  Amen!  You gotta love people who love what they do.  And few things combine quite as tastily as steak and capitalism.  Just ask Ron Swanson.  And if you don't know who Ron Swanson is, you do not watch enough good TV.