Oilman T. Boone Pickens has been all over the airwaves lately promoting his “Pickens Plan,” which is pretty cool; he’s putting (some of) his money where his mouth is, trying to effect change in America’s energy policy. What bothers me about his ads, though, is this line: “Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion — it will be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.” See, that makes it sound like some sort of welfare program, or income redistribution program - as if America is simply giving the $10 trillion away, or the money is being somehow “transferred” to another entity without our knowledge or agreement.
The truth is, it’s not a “transfer” — it’s an EXCHANGE. An exchange of money in return for goods and services. It’s called capitalism, albeit not exactly “laissez-faire.” We want oil. “They” have oil. We give them money, they give us oil in return.
In other words, it is NOT a wealth transfer - it’s actually millions of transactions, wherein one side pays the other side for something of value. Now, is it entirely a “fair” deal? Possibly not - with so many politicians & nations involved, and taxes and tariffs and such, no one can put an actual cost and benefit tag on the transactions. But the fact remains: it is NOT a transfer of wealth. The $10 trillion represents transactions of money for goods.
Over at the Blog Herald there is an entry about how to come up with ideas for content. Here’s my two cents:
Don’t forget one of the most basic sources of information: the world around you! Pay attention to billboards - they are often one of the first signs of upcoming events and attractions. Listen to snippets of conversation in restaurants and coffee shops - people are always talking about something that is blog-worthy, to some extent. Flip through the local ‘zines in your community - see what sort of community events are happening. Sit in at a local school board or city council meeting - chock full of ideas for civic-minded blog entries. Keep your cell phone handy, too — snap a picture of something that you will want to blog about later, or text yourself a brief message about something you hear and might want to blog about later.
In short - just pay attention to everything around you!
Well…if you define “success” as earning enough money from advertising to cover the cost of hosting and buy a few quadruple-shot iced Americanos every month. The programs that I use are as follows, with the most profitable one listed first and then in descending order:
First up is Text Link Ads; I’ve been with it for a few years, and it nets me just over $50 each month. It’s simple to use; once you sign up, just add a snippet of code to your sidebar (or a widget, for certain WP themes), and that’s it.
Second is the ever-reliable Google AdSense program; the money comes in nickels and dimes, usually, but it is pretty consistent. I haven’t gone a day without earning at least something; in an average month, anywhere from $20 to $30.
Next up is the Amazon.com Associates program; it doesn’t pay off very often, but when it does, it can be decent. I probably only make a couple of sales each month, but (for instance) someone clicked through on a Montana book once, but then purchased a fancy baby stroller for nearly $300. My cut was $10. Not a lot of money, but considering how much effort I put into it…not too shabby.
And the newest program: PepperJam Ads. Just signed up a few weeks ago, and I really like the interface and attitude of this one; it’s easy to configure and has some nifty partners. I predict that this PepperJam will perform well.
And there you have it: my “get rich very slowly” scheme! If you’ve ever wondered whether you should try advertising on your site, give some of these programs a try. And if you’ve been confused about how to sign up or install the code or positioning or anything, just holler - I can probably help get you started.
I’ve seen bits-n-pieces of the modern cult classic “Office Space” and…well, I just don’t get it. It’s just way too predictable and the characters are simply too-broad caricatures. Mostly. But I understand that the movie is hailed as genius by fans of Jon Stewart and such. So although I’m not a big fan of the movie, this list of the “10 Signs It Might Be Time To Quit Your Job” sure did make me smile. Among the ten that ring the most true for me:
10) The best part of your day is listening to the radio on your morning commute. You’re actually disappointed when you arrive in the parking lot and have to turn off your car.
9) You break into a cold sweat when you suddenly realize how trivial everything really is, and yet how insane your co-workers get over things anyways.
3) You cautiously start using idiotic work clichés at every opportunity, like “let’s have a come to Jesus meeting,” or, “Let’s peel back the onion,” assuming someone is finally going to call you on your ridiculousness. But no one ever does, and instead they start using your clichés in their next presentation.
I heard a rumor a few weeks ago that someone once tried to train cats - CATS - to deliver mail. Sure enough, it really happened; someone wrote a story about it: The Mail-Carrier Cats of Liège!
Amazingly, this tale was inspired by a true event. It took place in 1879 in Liège, Belgium. The city fathers attempted to train 37 cats (imagine that!) to deliver mail from the central post office to outlying villages. What the cats thought about this, and what they did and didn’t do, is lost in the mists of time. All we know is that the scheme didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
For the life of me, I can’t even begin to fathom what could possibly make someone think that a cat could be trained to do this.
John McCain should select J.C. Watts as his Vice-Presidential candidate.
Barack Obama should select retired general Wesley Clark as his Vice-Presidential candidate. Both moves would likely satisfy the “base” of each party.
Obama’s selection of Clark would give him the military & foreign-policy depth that he desperately needs. As a former Presidential candidate, Clark has been vetted about as thoroughly as possible. He also would represent maturity, something that Obama, at the tender age of 46, doesn’t quite project.
Watts is much more of a conservative than McCain and would reassure the right-wing that McCain “gets” it. He’s a former Congressman, a sports hero, and man of the cloth; how much more conservative could he be? And true, the fact that he is black might elicit enough interest among Obama supporters to at least give the Republican ticket a second look, if not draw some Dems away outright.