June 25, 2011

Strategic Campaign Reserve

You Probably know that the United Stated Government owns a huge supply of oil. It's called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The U.S. Department of Energy describes the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as follows:

The 727-million-barrel U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve. 

The One recently announced the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the reserve to counter…

The effect of recent decreases in domestic petroleum supplies caused by his administrations policies?

The effect of disruption of a minor international exporter caused by his decision to go to war in Libya without Congressional approval?

The effect of high fuel costs on his poll numbers?

Current US demand for oil is about 19 million barrels a day. I'm not a mathematician, I'm a graphic designer with a degree in journalism but even I can see that we're talking about less than a 2 day supply of petroleum. Lybia supplies less than 1% of U.S. imported oil, and Saudi Arabia has committed to an increase in production to replace Libya's oil on the world market. This makes The One's planned release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve seem more symbolic than having any intended practical effect. A chance for his campaign to say "Yes we did something."

It is easy to look at this administration's economic policies, compare them to the results seen in the actual results as seen in the economy, and reach the conclusion that they are doing it on purpose. But then there is that old saying, never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

The way to understand any action undertaken by this government is to look at who benefits. The administration orchestrated bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler were done to benefit the labor unions at the expense of creditors who by law and precedent should have ben made whole first. The administration's energy policies are designed to benefit friends in the environmental business, such as Government Motors and General Electric.

The strategy behind The One's oil move is equally transparent. The Osama bounce has evaporated from the polls, unemployment is creeping back up toward double digits, ObamaCare is headed toward an unfriendly Supreme Court, the country is facing a massive spending driven debt crisis. He needs something that can be spun as a positive. There's an election coming.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

June 18, 2011

Pick Up Lines

I am tremendous fan of advertising and not just because it is part of what I do for a living. I like the ability of good advertising to quickly communicate a compelling message. But mostly I like advertising's use of really fun imaginative wordplay.

A great line can redeem an otherwise awful ad.

A few houses down, one of neighbors makes their living doing something focused on pomegranates. I know this because of their car. A little white car with lots of pomegranate graphics in pomegranate colors. I'm personally ambivalent about the pomegranate but not the car. The car is ugly. But there is a great line on the passenger doors that redeems the whole thing:

"Health's Angel."

I've Googled it and I know it's not original to the pomegranate car. But I like the line in the context. I'm not going to rush out and buy pomegranates because of it though.

I heard another good one the radio the other day. I don't know if it is original to this advertiser or not, nor do I care. It was an ad for a gun shop. The name is not important which is good since I don't remember it! The line at the end of thad was fun enough that I remembered that:

"We stand behind our guns. Not in front of them."

One of my favorites from my own portfolio is an ad for a line of pens and pencils. The ad showed classroom scene with a young girl coyly passing a note to the boy behind her. The headline read "Instant Messaging." 

I have a folder full of ads I've ripped out of magazines because I liked the line, or the visual or just how well they worked together. Do you have a favorite? Let me know. That's what the comments are for!

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

June 10, 2011

The Price of Convictions

Via The Irritable Architect I came to this bit of absurdity from the Sidney Morning Herald. Some complete ass by the name of Richard Glover attempted a bit of absurdist hyperbole, and failed.

Surely it's time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

Not necessarily on the forehead; I'm a reasonable man. Just something along their arm or across their chest so their grandchildren could say, ''Really? You were one of the ones who tried to stop the world doing something? And why exactly was that, granddad?''

I don't think he more than half meant it. He backed of from the tattoo idea pretty quickly because "maybe the tattooing along the arm is a bit Nazi-creepy." You think? Idiot.

But he didn't back off from suggesting other ways from punishing those who committed the heresy of questioning the Holy Church of Global Warming. One of his other ideas was a form of crucification in which "deniers would be forced to"

stand, in the year 2040, lashed to a pole at a certain point in the shallows off Manly? If they are right and the world is cooling - ''climate change stopped in the year 1998'' is one of their more boneheaded beliefs - their mouths will be above water. If not …

Again I don't think he more than half believed that.

His other idea for punishing non-believers was that they be forced to buy property on low-lying islands so that they would be bankrupt when the sea levels rose and their mortgages were literally under water.  He wants to force them to put their money where their mouths are.

I wondered how deeply this ass held the courage of his convictions so I wrote a letter to the editor of the Sidney Morning Herald and issued the following challenge:

I will purchase from Mr. Glover any home situated on low lying ocean front property that he may legally sell me, for the price he believes it will be worth in 2040 plus $1 at which time he agrees to buy it back at full current market value. If his beliefs are correct, the property will be worth the $1 I paid him for it in 2011 and he will have lost nothing but what it cost to acquire the property in the first place. If he is wrong, I will make a tidy profit when he buys the property at full 2040 market value.

I have the dollar sitting on my desk awaiting his reply.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:05 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment

June 07, 2011


I was tempted to let the entire Congressman Anthony "Twitter" Weiner controversy go by without comment, but it seems that just isn't going to happen. Even though I have absolutely nothing original to add to the 17.5 million words that have already been written on the subject.

So I'm going to start by adding my usual complaint about things like this. When will we ever have a political scandal that isn't tagged with "gate." This is by far the most appalling Nixon legacy. Scandals used to have better names before Nixon. Like the Teapot Dome Scandal. If it happened today it would be Teapot Domegate. That would just be lame.

Why couldn't this one have been called "The Case of the Congressman's Weiner?" So much better than Weinergate. Unless he either took or Tweeted the photos in a room at the Watergate Hotel.

We need better scandal names. We need better scandals too. Something a little less tawdry. Something big and important enough that it commands it's own identity and can stand on its own without adding "gate."

I'm positive it will happen some day. I'm positive because this is Congress we're talking about. I no longer even feel the need to quote Obi Wan Kenobe's description of Mos Isely. All that phrase contains is encapsulated in the single word, Congress.

The American system of justice is based on a Presumption of Innocence. We The People are Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Since Members of Congress are so fond of exempting themselves from so many of the laws they inflict upon We The People, I think it only fair that We The People exempt them from the Presumption of Innocence.
We The People are Innocent Until Proven Guilty. They shall be "Member of Congress Until Proven Innocent."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:27 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

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