November 17, 2006

Control Your Money Now ( Has Officially Arrived!

Filed under: Business Moves,General — Tom @ 5:03 pm

NOTE: This post will stay at the top for the rest of Friday.



“Budgeting, without the drudgery” is here!

Yours truly and webmaster Charles (often not in that order) have put together an easy-to-use, affordable tool that will make the financial life of anyone who uses it a lot more tolerable, and, once the results are seen, even enjoyable.

Here’s what promises, and delivers — a unique approach to money management (“budgeting,” if you will) that will, in a secure, safe, and confidential environment:

  • Help you quickly determine “where you stand” with your monthly finances, without traditional “bookkeeping” or “line-item budgeting.”
  • Show you a simple, easy-to-use system that will enable you to live and stay within your means.
  • Generate a complete roadmap for financial control, debt elimination, and additional saving.
  • Help you target spending reductions that will directly lead to either faster elimination of your debts or saving more money for future needs.
  • Save your information so you can revise and update it in later months.
  • Create “what if” scenarios to assess the impact of financial decisions.

This is a signficant part of what I have been teaching at companies during the past 15 years. Now I’m very proud to say that it’s on the Internet for everyone.

The project is the culmination of an on-and-off effort over many years to make “everyday” money management ….. well, manageable. It has been on-and-off because the programming tools haven’t all come together until relatively recently, because the number of people actively looking for the kind of help provides on the Internet has reached what I believe is critical mass, and because ….. well, it’s needed, badly, by so many people, who I believe would be only so glad to get their house in order if they could only be shown how to do it without becoming closet accountants. Now, they can.

You can be one of them. Or (just in time for the holidays, as the saying goes) any one of a number of people or families you know could benefit from a gift subscription from you (you can set the one-year subscripton period to start at a later date, like…. Christmas day).

I encourage you to go there, and learn more. You’ll be very pleased at what it can do, how easy it is to use, and especially how affordable it is. And wait until you see what the primary method for building a subscriber base is. Does the fact that it could cost you nothing if you refer 4 other buyers appeal to you?


UPDATE: Answering the inevitable — No, this does not represent a change in direction at BizzyBlog. My intent is to continue blogging on business, economic and political topics (hopefully in that order, which has not always been the case), and to be as opinionated as ever when appropriate. In an ideal world, success at could enable that the blogging effort, which has sometimes gotten in the way of my primary line of work, to continue at its current pace, and make it more manageable.

Another inevitable question — Will BizzyBlog turn into a mere marketing feed for Answer (if the previous paragraph wasn’t convincing enough): Of course not. But will I promote the site from time to time and advertise it on BizzyBlog? Well, yeah. Exactly why wouldn’t I? And why shouldn’t I? I certainly promise to get nowhere near annoying about it, because I’m as interested in retaining readers as readers are in avoiding being annoyed. More important, I believe that many of readers (not to mention millions of others) will benefit from the service — so of course I’m not going to hide it under a bushel.

Pleasure Inn Settles ‘For Service Speak Engish’ Sign Dispute

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:02 pm

NixGuy’s alert mechanisms are a few hours ahead of mine. The Cincinnati Enquirer has the story:

A state discrimination complaint over a Mason businessman’s “For Service, Speak English” sign has been dropped after Pleasure Inn owner Tom Ullum agreed to remove the sign.

The action ends a yearlong stalemate between Ullum and the state Civil Rights Commission, which declared the sign discriminatory in October 2005, three months after Housing Opportunities Made Equal of St. Bernard filed a complaint about the sign.

The commission’s declaration of discrimination launched a heated public debate over free speech rights and non-English-speakers’ rights in Greater Cincinnati. HOME agreed to withdraw the charge in exchange for the removal of the sign.

Other terms of the settlement are not being disclosed…..

Mr. Ullum clearly had the unlimited powers of the State, which was desperate to make some kind of point at any cost, lined up against his obviously limited resources. It’s sad that an Ohio Civil Rights Commission that can’t even keep its own fair-treatment house in order will probably cite this outcome in future discussions with merchants and other who (gasp!) insist on being communicated with in the language they understand.

I have a suggestion for Mr. Ullum — If it appears that the terms of your settlement allow it, consider putting up this picture of your spiritual comrade:



UPDATE: How coincidental — Hot Air has a John Gibson-Michelle Malkin interview earler today about illegal immigration, immigrant assimilation, and English-only initiatives. Voters favor English-only every time it gets on the ballot; the politically-correct bureaucrats can’t stand it.

UPDATE 2: Geno’s Steaks owner Joey Vento hasn’t exactly gone into hiding. It also appears, based on the fact that adverse action against him isn’t mentioned in the linked article about his financial support of Hazelton, PA’s ant-illegal immigrant laws, that Vento, unlike Ullum, survived the onslaughts of Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s “civil rights” nannies during the summer.

UPDATE 3: The anti-freedom viewpoints and totally invented sense of outrage expressed by some people interviewed in this WKRC-TV coverage of the story (video is at link) are, to say the least, disappointing.

UPDATE 4: Here’s an interesting addendum that will drive the PC Police wild:

(Ullum’s) attorney and ProEnglish Executive Director K.C. McAlpin said HOME blew the issue out of proportion. ProEnglish is Virginia-based group who wants English as the official language.

McAlpin said Ullum was merely expressing support for proposed legislation for English as the nation’s officials language, but his message was misconstrued.

“He rejects that his actions were discriminatory,” said McAlpin of Arlington, Va. “But he didn’t want to go into a long, drawn out legal process to fight that. He’s at an age when he wants to go on and do other things.”

McAlpin said Ullum, who is in his 60s, does have the freedom to put up signs that read, “This is America Speak English” or “English is the Language of Our Country.”


Related Previous Posts:
- Oct. 26 — Ohio Civil Rights Commission Found Guilty of Bias
Sept. 25 — The Pleasure Inn Is As Feisty As Ever
June 19 — Geno’s Update: The Mayor, The Profile, and The Letter
- June 12 — Welcome to the Club, Joey Vento — Philly Human Relations Commission Has Filed a “Discrimination” Complaint
- June 10 — As in Greater Cincy, “For Service Speak English” Place in Philly Is Catching Flak
- May 31 — The Pleasure Inn Has “For Service Speak English” Company
- May 13, 2006 — Why Won’t the Ohio Civil Rights Commission Get Off Tom Ullum’s Back?
- Dec. 19, 2005 — Update: Thought Police 1, Bar Owner 0; Bar Owners Showing Solidarity–1
- Dec. 16 — Thought Police 1, Bar Owner 0
- Oct. 9 — Questions for the Thought Police at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and The Cincinnati Enquirer

Music Out of Thin Air

Filed under: Business Moves,Marvels — Tom @ 2:25 pm

Soon people will be able to make sounds by playing air guitar. See if you can catch the terminology error in this report:

Engineers Create Music From Air Guitar
Nov 15, 6:10 PM (ET)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Posers can become performers with a high-tech T-shirt that turns the strumming of an air guitar into music.

Motion sensors built into the shirt’s elbows pick up the wearer’s arm motions and relay them wirelessly to a computer that interprets them as guitar rifts, said Richard Helmer, an engineer who leads the research team from the government’s Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

Helmer, a 34-year-old part-time guitarist with several bands, said Wednesday he did much of the development at home as “a more fun product” that built on research the CSIRO conducted into monitoring the knee movements of professional soccer players.

With strong interest in the “wearable instrument shirt” since the prototype was revealed Monday, Helmer is considering going into commercial production soon.

“This has been quite a small project that’s getting out of hand,” Helmer said of the interest.

Helmer said he could add gloves to interpret the would-be rockers’ finger movements, but that would prove too challenging for the musical skills of most air guitarists.

No word as to whether anyone has been able to play anything someone would be willing to hear. You’d probably rather not be listening to players who are creating “rifts” with their guitars instead of playing “riffs” (second result at link).

The Latest Bad News from Airbus

NixGuy does a great job dissecting it, so I don’t have to. Go there.

Which States Best Support Entrepreneurship, and Which Ones Don’t?

Here’s the list of best and worst, according to the Small Business Survival Index (PDF), announced in a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council press release: (HT to a Fox News story):

In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Survival Index 2006″ are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) Alabama, 5) Washington, 6) Florida, 7) Mississippi, 8] Colorado, 9) Texas, 10) Michigan, 11) South Carolina, 12) Indiana, 13) Tennessee, 14) Virginia, and 15) Arizona. In contrast, the most anti-entrepreneur policy environments are offered by the following: 37) West Virginia, 38) Ohio, 39) Oregon, 40) North Carolina, 41) Iowa, 42) Vermont, 43) Massachusetts, 44) Hawaii, 45) New York, 46) Minnesota, 47) Maine, 48) Rhode Island, 49) California, 50) New Jersey and 51) District of Columbia.

The press release also has the full list.

There are what appear to be many surprises here, until you remember that what is being evaluated is the “policy environment” and not necessarily the number of, or fruits from, entrerpreneurial endeavors. For example, California’s policy environment for entrepreneurs is indeed a nightmare (a family member confirms this). But there is, for whatever reason, an incredibly high number of entrepreneurial-minded people in the state who, thank goodness, manage to leap over the onerous barriers placed in front of them. Conversely, the Top 15 states, despite their lack of governmental and regulatory overreach, are for the most part not considered entrepreneurial havens.

At the risk of being controversial, despite the awful policy environments of many Blue states, they may have an advantage over many Red states in breakthrough entrepreneurship (but who knows what might be accomplished if Blue-state governments made it easier to be entrepreneurs?). Why that appears to be the case would be an interesting study.

This Is a No-Brainer, But It Involves a Small Tax Reduction

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 8:15 am

….. which probably explains why Ohio’s Senate hasn’t acted (HT Right Moment):

State bills to cut taxes for military sit in Senate
Those in noncombat posts outside Ohio now must pay
Friday, November 03, 2006

If you’re an Ohioan in the military who is deployed to a noncombat post outside Ohio or abroad, you pay state income tax.

If you’re a civilian Ohio resident working out of state or overseas, in most cases you don’t.

The Plain Dealer article goes on to say that many states don’t tax the income of military members deployed out of state, regardless of their duties.

But the Ohio legislature is dithering over this, pleading poverty:

However, (SB 208 sponsor Republican Sen. Ron Amstutz) said active consideration of the bills probably won’t happen until after the election.

He noted that the biggest obstacle to passage of either bill is the potential cost in lost income-tax revenue, $20 million to $22 million annually. Other estimates have ranged from $17.4 million to $28.5 million, based on an Ohio Department of Taxation estimate that 40,266 Ohioans served on active duty outside the state in 2005.

Ohio collected about $8.6 billion in income-tax revenue last year.

Poverty, schmoverty. The latest monthly financial report (PDF) from Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management indicates that through the first four months of the fiscal year the state is behind $202 million in revenues compared to what it anticipated collecting. But it has also spent $318 million less than it anticipated, meaning that it’s ahead of where it expected to be on an overall basis by about $116 million. If that rate of improvement continues, and there are good reasons to think it will, as the state’s unemployment rates is finally coming down to about 5%, there should be plenty of money (by a factor of at least 10!) to support the tax reduction without our legislators losing sleep about their precious revenue streams.

Continuing to require income tax of out-of-state military members is inconsistent with how civilians are treated, and ignores both the extra costs and the foregone income that our servicemen and servicewomen incur.

I agree with Right Moment; they should not have to pay, period. Ohioans who agree should write or email their senator and urge them to pass House Bill 378 or 208 (a quick pre-post check indicates that the bill is indeed not progressing at the moment):

Senate Building
Room #140, First Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: 614/466-7505

Michigan at Ohio State: As Good As It Gets

Filed under: General — Tom @ 8:05 am

Cherish it. This is the biggest version of The Game in its 109-year history:

  • The Game has never pitted #1 v. #2 before.
  • It’s also the first time both teams have entered The Game undefeated in 33 years.
  • My opinion on an ahead-of-ourselves question that’s on everyone’s minds: If both teams play a quality close game and no other major team is undefeated at the end of the season, the national championship should be an OSU-Michigan rematch. Who’s to argue? Even if Rutgers and Boise State, the only two remaining undefeateds at the moment, stay that way (and though I love what Rutgers has pulled off this year), I am unconvinced that either belongs in the national championship game (11/18 update: This post was originally written before I looked at the BCS list, which shows Rutgers at #6. See my comment 5 below; I now think Rutgers belongs in the BCS championship game if it runs the table, unless OSU-MI goes to overtime, in which case I think a rematch would be the right choice).

Me? Go Bucks.

Nutcases who want to trash Columbus after the game? PLEASE, stay home.


UPDATE: Wizblog has posted a video about possible actions to consider against the Buckeyes’ Saturday opponent. Hey, it’s “only” a game. Besides, the way their economy is being mismanaged, they’re slowly but surely doing to the whole state what the video suggests doing to Ann Arbor.

UPDATE 2: RIP, Bo Schembechler. Wizblog reports that Bo actually enjoyed the video that I mentioned in the first Update.

UPDATE 3. Nov. 18: But the Dead Schembechlers who produced the video and have, as I understand it, been a local Columbus-area band for some time, apparently disbanded after Friday night’s show (ESPN story here).

Now THIS Is What I Call a Grave Matter

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer (HT RAB):

Cuyahoga County has 1.05 million registered voters, which tops the number of adults in the county by 200,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


UPDATE, 6:20 PMThis previous post (“Remind Me Again: What’s Wrong with Requiring ID to Vote?”) noted that a Cleveland TV station found numerous examples of votes cast (and allowed) in the names of dead people in Cuyahoga County in last May’s primary.

NFL: TV Viewers More Important Than Fans in the Stands

Filed under: Business Moves,Consumer Outrage — Tom @ 7:55 am

From the New England Patriots web site (at the bottom of the page), confirmation of what I just heard after the Bengals game nightmare this past Sunday:

Beginning in 2006, the NFL will implement flexible scheduling for seven of the final eight weeks of the regular season. This will allow the NFL to bring more attractive matchups to NBC’s national audience late in the season. Sunday games during Weeks 10-15 and Week 17 will be eligible to be moved into the prime time slot. Week 16 is a holiday weekend and will not be subject to changes. Games scheduled for Monday, Thursday or Saturday will not be moved.

Twelve days prior to each flex week, the NFL will select (after consultation with CBS, FOX and NBC) and announce a featured game that will be moved from 1:00 to 8:15 p.m. ET, as well as any games moving from 1:00 to 4:15 p.m. ET. For the Week 17 games, the decision may be made on six days notice to ensure a Sunday night game with playoff implications. Season ticket holders will be notified of any changes via e-mail.

So if you have tickets for a particular late-season Sunday game or are a season ticket-holder, you’ll have to block out the entire Sunday of each home game involved in your calendar, because your day game could be moved to the night slot with little notice.

I think this stinks, but I’m probably one of only a dozen or so people in America who believes that the NFL’s paying customers are entitled to more courteous treatment than its TV viewers.

Stem Cell News You Can Use (111706)

Filed under: Life-Based News — Tom @ 7:50 am

That’s means it’s from stem cells of the “adult” variety, of course:

Adult Stem Cell Research Shows More Promise Treating Heart Attacks
November 14, 2006

Baltimore, MD ( — Scientists at Johns Hopkins University continue to show the promise that adult stem cells have in treating the effects of heart attacks. The successfully grew adult stem cells from healthy heart tissue and used it to repair some of the tissue damage done to organs by heart attacks.
The researchers conducted the experiments on pigs as pigs’ hearts closely resemble those in humans, making them a useful model in such research.

Following up on previous studies, Hopkins cardiologists used a thin tube to extract samples of heart tissue no bigger than a grain of rice within hours of the animals’ heart attacks. They then grew large numbers of cardiac stem cells in the lab from tissue obtained through biopsy, and within a month implanted the cells into the pigs’ hearts.

With help from a blue-dye tracking system, the scientists have shown that within two months the cells had developed into mature heart cells and vessel-forming endothelial cells.

Eduardo Marbбn, M.D., Ph.D., senior study author and professor and chief of cardiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute, says that if similar studies show the same success in humans, it would be easy to help numerous patients.

Positivity: Man says Bibles in pocket stopped bullet

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

Giving new meaning to “saved by the Word of God”:

November 7, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –A 54-year-old Orange Park man credits two small Bibles in his shirt pocket for saving his life when they stopped a bullet.

The man, whose name was withheld because his attackers are still at large, told police that two men who he didn’t recognize ambushed him with a rifle as he carried bags of garbage to a trash bin. The two men fled in opposite directions and have not been arrested.

Other than a red mark and a pain in his chest, he was not injured, The Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday.

The man said he was carrying two New Testament Bibles in his shirt pocket to give to friends. Police took the Bibles as evidence.