Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lawyers to go on hunger strike due to lack of business

Recent law school graduates are going to stage a hunger strike to protest the lack of jobs in their profession. 

Can you imagine how popular that would be if the starving lawyers were on a webcam?  Go here to watch a damn divorce lawyer starve himself to death.  Hit this link to watch a politician saw his arm off.  Click here to see an IRS agent slowly die from carbon monoxide poisoning.   

The picture of the vicious attack dog came from here.

Paul Krugman is pumped ! ! ! !

New York Times economist, Barackagandist, and all-around Statist lapdog Paul Krugman is pumped.  I mean PUMPED ! ! 
This is the chart that did it for him.  I gotta admit, my chair is getting a little moist because I'm looking at this chart:

Here's Dr. Krugman:
In other words, the Medicare actuaries believe that the cost-saving provisions in the Obama health reform will make a huge difference to the long-run budget outlook. Yes, it’s just a projection, and debatable like all projections. And it’s still not enough. But anyone who both claims to be worried about the long-run deficit and was opposed to health reform has some explaining to do. All the facts we have suggest that health reform was the biggest move toward fiscal responsibility in a long, long time.

Ok, here's my "explaining", since Krugman is feeling macho and has thrown down the gauntlet....

Things are expensive when they are 1) in demand, and 2) scarce. 
ObamaCare® does nothing to lower demand for medical care.  And it does nothing to reduce the scarcity of doctors, nurses, hospital, drugs, or bedpans. 
All it does is increase the size of the bureaucracy and prevent insurance companies from charging premiums to customers who aren't sick yet. 
Therefore ObamaCare® will raise the cost of healthcare, not lower it. 

I bet that I'm right, and that Paul Krugman turns out to be wrong. 
I repeat....Thirty years from now, it will turn out that a blogger/shipping manager with an Education degree from Delta State University was right about a simple economic concept.  The Nobel Prize winner in Statist Power Grabs Economics will be proven wrong.  

Christina Romer is finished with her research, and thanks you for your time and cooperation

Christina Romer, who made her academic reputation by proving that FDR's massive messianic spending programs did NOT end the Great Depression....

is now abandoning Barack Obama's messianic economic team.....

having proven that blowing $750,000,000,000.00 on unnecessary crap will not end a recession.  There is no need for any additional research.  She thanks all of you for your time, your cooperation, and especially your money.
Note to readers in Japan:  The lines of latitude and longitude for Pearl Harbor are 15 degrees north, by 165 degrees west.  We have removed all of the women and children from the area, and we don't have a single fighter plane in the sky.  
See, dear Japanese friends, you were the only nation who could distract FDR from trying to save us, and....
Naw.  Never mind.   

Friday, August 6, 2010

It could happen here....

From Oregon

The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying “Yummy.” She made a list of supplies…

Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping
After 20 minutes, a “lady with a clipboard” came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn’t have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.

Surprised, Fife started to pack up. The people staffing the booths next to them encouraged the two to stay, telling them the inspectors had no right to kick them out of the neighborhood gathering. They also suggested that they give away the lemonade and accept donations instead and one of them made an announcement to the crowd to support the lemonade stand.
That’s when business really picked up — and two inspectors came back, Fife said. Julie started crying, while her mother packed up and others confronted the inspectors. “It was a very big scene,” Fife said.

Those bastards would tax the pennies on a dead man's eyes. 

(Jon) Kawaguchi, who oversees the two county inspectors involved, said they must be fair and consistent in their monitoring, no matter the age of the person. "Our role is to protect the public," he said.

No, I beg to differ.  Their role is to collect fees, put up barriers to entry, and generate enough income to pay for their pensions. 

The county's shutdown of the lemonade stand was publicized by Michael Franklin, the man at the booth next to Fife and her daughter. Franklin contributes to the Bottom Up Radio Network, an online anarchist site, and interviewed Fife for his show.

Franklin is also organizing a "Lemonade Revolt" for Last Thursday in August. He's calling on anarchists, neighbors and others to come early for the event and grab space for lemonade stands on Alberta between Northeast 25th and Northeast 26th.

Good idea.  They can't arrest everybody, can they????

A brief warning about sacrificial offerings

From the Tarrant County Libertarian Partys chair-dude John Spivey's Facebook page:

"It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master."    -  Ayn Rand

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Archie Manning, Drew Mississippi, and "The Ballad Of Archie Who"

You may have heard of Peyton Manning, The Indianapolis Colts QB who led his team to a Super Bowl win in 2007. 
You may have heard of his little brother Eli, who did the same for the New York Giants. 

Enough about them. 

Back in 1970, it was all about their father, Archie Manning.  Archie is THE favorite son of Drew, Mississippi.  According to Time magazine, Drew had a population of 2,143 people at the height of Archie Fever.  We lived between Drew and Merigold, but Drew was where I went to school, where we went to church, and where almost all of my friends lived.  My father had been friends with Archie's father.  Archie's mother did work for our attorney. 
Drew Mississippi children were told that they had to eat their spinach if they wanted to grow up to be big and strong like Archie. 

(Just for the record, Drew's other favorite sons are "Pop" Staples, who went on to form The Staple Singers, and Tommy Johnson, who wrote the old blues classic "Canned Heat Blues".)

Here's Time magazine, from way back in 1970, talking about some of the Heisman Trophy hopefuls of that year:

....In Mississippi, the entire state is in the throes of "Archie fever." The town council of Drew (pop. 2,143) has erected highway signs proudly proclaiming: HOME OF ARCHIE MANNING OF THE OLE MISS REBELS. To accommodate national TV coverage for Archie, the state legislature spent $150,000 to improve the lighting in the Memorial Stadium in Jackson, while at the University of Mississippi's Hemingway Stadium they only half-jokingly call the new artificial turf the "Archie Manning Memorial Carpet." Beyond that, there are buttons (ARCHIE FOR HEISMAN TROPHY), bumper stickers (ARCHIE'S ARMY), Archie handbills, Archie posters, Archie dolls, Archie T shirts and an Archie campaign song that has sold more than 50,000 copies. Sung by the Rebel Rousers on the Hoddy Toddy label, The Ballad of Archie Who is a twangy tribute to "the best dadburned quarterback to ever play the game":

The ball is on the fifty,
The down is third and ten,
He runs it down the sidelines;
Yes, Archie takes it in.

Until he injured his left wrist last week, Manning had as good a claim to the trophy as anyone in college football. He became known as Heismanning last season when he passed for nine touchdowns and ran for 14 more to pile up a remarkable 2,264 yds. in total offense. So far this season, he has tossed eleven touchdown passes in six games. A roll-out passer who likes to look in one direction and throw in another, the 6-ft, 3½-in., 205-lb. Manning has the size to uncork the long bomb —or fake it and go powering down the sidelines. A freckle-faced country boy, he looks a bit like Huck Finn in hip pads—and talks like him too. When asked about Archie fever, he says, "The only thing I can figure out is that Archie is a different name. Maybe if it were Bill or something, none of this would have started." Not a chance.
I don't remember the exact reason for the "Archie Who?" references.  I think an opposing coach was asked how he thought "Archie" would do against his team, and the coach answered with a flippant "Archie Who?" 

Manning went on to beat the snot out of that coach's team, and a nickname was born.  We had "Archie Who?" bumperstickers and buttons and banners.  We had "Archie Manning Day" in Drew.  We gave him a parade.  I think we gave him a convertible.  It was a big, big deal. 

Here's the "Archie Who?" song, which has finally made it onto YouTube:

According to Drew Mississippi Mythology, Archie Manning didn't miss a Sunday at Drew Baptist Church a single time, from the day he entered the nursery until the day he left for Ole Miss. Among Southern Baptists, that gave Archie the same status that Sandy Koufax achieved among the Jews for not pitching on Yom Kippur. Archie was greatness.

Unfortunately, Archie was drafted by a new team.  The New Orleans Saints.  Lord have mercy, they had some bad years.  Archie Manning spent a lot of his career getting sacked. 

Drew Mississippi Mythology says that if Archie had been drafted by The Dallas Cowboys and Roger Staubach had been drafted by the lowly New Orleans Saints, Manning and Staubach would have had reversed careers.  Manning would have gone to all those Super Bowls, and Staubach would have been Jack Youngblood's tackling dummy. 
Deep down in our hearts, we knew it to be true.  Archie was greatness.  If only Archie could have gotten on with The Dallas Cowboys....

About 15 years ago, Roger Staubach's real estate company was trying to work a deal with my old employer, Barnes & Noble.  Some of us got invited to a pre-game party at Mr. Staubach's home, and then got to go to a game in his suite at the old Cowboys stadium. 

During the pregame party, Staubach brought up the names of some of the other quarterbacks of his era, and I HEARD ROGER STAUBACH SAY THIS SENTENCE WITH HIS VERY OWN MOUTH:

"You know, there are a lot of people who think that if Archie and I had been drafted by opposite teams, we would have had opposite careers.  And they might be right."

I heard Roger Staubach say that sentence.  I heard it with my own ears.  I heard him say it.

The Bureau Of Dangerous Stuff

From Jeff Daiell's Facebook page:

The U. S. Constitution gives the Federal Government no authority to regulate alcohol, or tobacco, or firearms, or explosives.

So why does the Federal Government have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives?

Barry Hayes   Jeff, the FedGov does have constitutional authority to regulate any item crossing state lines for the purposes of commerce. However, that's where it stops.

John Spivey   Same reason we have Depts of Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, etc. Wait. What is that reason?

Jeff Daiell    John, there are two reasons: Democratic members of Congress, and Republican members of Congress.

Karen Stack  The right to regulate interstate commerce seems to be sorta like the ring from Lord of the Rings...ultimate power to whoever holds it.

Bill Fason  Check out this hilarious cartoon from The New Yorker.

John Spivey  I'm waiting for a newly formed Dept of Bureaus which is not to be confused with the Bureau of Departments.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Industrialist Sidney Harman, husband of Representative Jane Harman (Mommy Party - CA), is going to purchase Newsweek magazine.  Newsweek magazine got me through many a boring Study Hall in North Sunflower Academy's library.  Lordy, I miss it. 

Here's Politico:

(Newsweek owner Donald ) Graham personally chose Harman from among several well-heeled bidders, in part because he would provide the most continuity for the magazine, according to the sources. Harman plans to keep Newsweek as a traditional newsmagazine, with a weekly print edition, and pledged to retain the majority of the magazine’s 350 employees, the sources said.
If this is the continuity they're going for, Newsweek will once again be on the auction block.  In about two years. 

Look closely at the cover.  In addition to the warm and fuzzy celebration of benevolent Statism, look in the top left corner.  "The Blackberry President".  
Our first "tech-savvy" president, if we are to believe Newsweek's glowing description, took Dmitri Medvedev to the headquarters of Twitters.  Yeah, Twitters.   

Here's Ed Driscoll, on another aspect of the buyout:
The Times quoted one person briefed on Mr. Harman’s bid who said his plan would retain 250 of Newsweek’s employees. Newsweek counted 379 full-time staffers at the end of March, according to the sale book posted by PaidContent, but a significant number have left in the time since. Losses at the magazine could approach $70 million this year, this person told the Times. Mr. Harman reportedly bid $1 for the magazine but agreed to assume the magazine’s liabilities; those details could not be confirmed on Monday.
What could cause a once-mighty newsweekly to sell for a dollar? 
Hell, what could cause dollars to be worth fifty cents? 

This is probably the 3rd time I've posted all these Newsweek covers and their parodies (which are becoming harder to detect). 
Maybe it's out of my system now. 
Details of the sale will probably come out sometime today.  I hope the Harman's get their money's worth. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"The Messianic Secret" (Don't tell anyone about it !)

One of my uncles was in the military with Lee Harvey Oswald.  They were good friends. 
At one point in their friendship, Oswald confessed to my uncle that one of his ambitions was to assassinate a president. 
There's a reason you haven't heard about this until now.  Oswald told my uncle not to tell anyone about his desire to murder a president, so he didn't say anything at the time, and didn't remember much about those conversations with Oswald until long after President Kennedy was murdered. 

Do you believe me? 

Now, try this out.  This if from The Gospel Of Mark, Chapter 5, verse 37, where Jesus raises a little girl from the dead:
41  He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" ).
42  Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
43  He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Or look at this one from Mark, Chapter 1, verse 32:

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.
33 The whole town gathered at the door,
34  and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

The majority of biblical scholars believe that Mark is the oldest of the four canonical gospels.  At the time of Mark's composition, there were still plenty of people alive who had known Jesus or had heard him teach.  Some of them might have been surprised to learn that a group of people called "Christians" was claiming that Jesus was the Messiah, or Savior.  If Jesus was God, they would have heard about it, right?   

This is from Mark, Chapter 3, verse 11:

11 Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God."
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.

This is Mark, Chapter 7, verse 33, where Jesus heals a deaf man:

33  After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.
34  He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ). 35  At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 
36  Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone...

This is Mark, Chapter 8, verse 25, where Jesus heals a blind man:

25  Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
26  Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village. (According to the New Internation translation, there are some manuscripts that contain the phrase "Don't go and tell anyone in the village.")

My uncle was in the military with Lee Harvey Oswald. They were good friends.

At one point in their friendship, Oswald confessed to my uncle that one of his ambitions was to assassinate a president.
There's a reason you haven't heard about this until now. Oswald told my uncle not to tell anyone about his desire to murder a president, so my uncle didn't say anything at the time, and didn't remember much about those conversations with Oswald until long after President Kennedy was murdered.
The Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy's death, would have been fascinated to learn about these conversations.  But my uncle didn't quite understand what Oswald meant.  I didn't understand it until now. 

Mark 8:27

27  Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
28  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29  "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."
30  Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Mark 9:7

7  Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
8  Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9  As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.

Skeptics would be tempted to say that the events and conversations written about in these verses didn't happen, since they were kept "secret" until long afterwards.  In fact, that's how theologians refer to Jesus's desire to keep his true nature undercover - The Messianic Secret

But I'm just sayin'....If there were still people around who knew Jesus only as a homegrown rabbi and teacher, well, claiming that Jesus had sworn his followers to secrecy would be one way to give Jesus posthumous miraculous powers and divine authority. 

Let me get back to what it was like when my uncle and I would discuss Lee Harvey Oswald.  We just couldn't understand (until recently) what he meant when he said "assassinate a president". 

Here's something from Mark 9....

30  They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31  because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."
32  But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

In other words, the disciples didn't say anything about Jesus being the Messiah while Jesus was alive.  The small group of disciples only "remembered" these conversations much, much later. 

From Mark 10, where Jesus, the disciples, and a large group of camp followers are on their way to Jerusalem....

32  They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33  "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,
34  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."

Do you think more Jews would've converted to Christianity if Jesus had made this announcement to the larger group?  He could have easily done so. 

Do you think The Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy would have been more believable if it had included my uncle's testimony about his conversations with Lee Harvey Oswald?  If only Oswald had told more people; if only my uncle had talked to The Warren Commission, we wouldn't have so many people doubting The Warren Commission Report....
Maybe my uncle should have said something about Oswald back in the 1950's instead of waiting until the 1980's, when he told me about the conversations. 

Please remember that, according to the majority of biblical scholars, the book of Mark was the first of the gospel stories to be written.  And it's the only one with Jesus telling so many people "Don't tell anyone about this event".  The device tapers off in the later gospels (Matthew and Luke) and in John's gospel, the last to be written, it isn't used at all. 
Mark was probably written in the late 50's or early 60's.  There were still plenty of people around who remembered the rabbi/teacher Jesus.  Would they have been surprised to learn that Jesus healed so many sick people, and cast out so many demons, or predicted that he would rise from the dead? 
Well, yes.  But the disciples had been told to keep these events (or perhaps the ones that could be tied to a specific time and place) a secret.

By the time Luke's gospel was written (in the late 60's or 70's) and a few more witnesses to Jesus's life and teachings had disappeared from the scene, the secrecy is replaced by, well, confusion and ignorance on the part of the disciples.  Here's Luke Chapter 9:

43  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.  While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
44  "Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."
45  But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Even the disciples didn't figure it out until much later???  It seems fairly straightforward.  But perhaps that's why Jesus's miracles and prophecies weren't discussed in Palestine until much, much later on.  Perhaps that's why more Jewish people didn't convert to Christianity on the spot. 

This is Luke 18, where Jesus gets even more specific.  Or at least the "memories" are more specific....

31  Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.
32  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33  On the third day he will rise again."
34  The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

Otherwise, they would have told someone.  They would have reacted differently in the days leading up to Jesus' death. 

If my uncle had understood his conversations with Oswald about presidential assassinations, he would have gone to the authorities before that day in November of 1963.  But I'm only remembering this 40 years later.
There are more and more biblical scholars who believe that there was a rabbi/teacher named Jesus, a rabbi who taught peace, love, and forgiveness, and this rabbi got crossways with the authorities and was executed.  Long after the fact, people started hanging miracles, healings, prophecies and resurrections onto the Jesus story, claiming that Jesus wanted his true nature kept secret.  Sometimes they claimed that they just didn't understand what Jesus was all about until much later.  Sometimes they claimed that they were simply afraid to tell anyone. 

Here is the original ending of the Gospel of Mark.  At the end of Mark's story, there are no post-resurrection appearance of Jesus, Jesus doesn't suddenly appear in locked rooms to make prophecies, and none of the disciples see the empty tomb.  There are only two women who are going to embalm Jesus's body.  According to the New International Version of the Bible, our "oldest and most reliable manuscripts" end the Jesus story like this.

1  When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.
2  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb
3  and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
4  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
5  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6  "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
7  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
8  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

The "Green At All Costs" Chevy Volt

Go here for a brilliant analysis of Government Motors' new Chevy Volt.  In the words of the email that brought this to my attention,  This was printed in the New York Times!  How bad have things gotten when Bammy can't even trust Pravda on the Hudson to shill for him anymore?

GENERAL MOTORS introduced America to the Chevrolet Volt at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show as a low-slung concept car that would someday be the future of motorized transportation. It would go 40 miles on battery power alone, promised G.M., after which it would create its own electricity with a gas engine. Three and a half years — and one government-assisted bankruptcy later — G.M. is bringing a Volt to market that makes good on those two promises. The problem is, well, everything else.

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

In short, the Volt appears to be exactly the kind of green-at-all-costs car that some opponents of the bailout feared the government might order G.M. to build. Unfortunately for this theory, G.M. was already committed to the Volt when it entered bankruptcy. And though President Obama’s task force reported in 2009 that the Volt “will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short term,” it didn’t cancel the project.
You know, somebody should have known this would happen before we put all this money into it.

Oh wait, we did.