Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Y2.1K Crisis

Remember the hoopla about Y2K?
Remember the panic?
Well, have you done anything, anything at all to prepare your family for the Y2.1K crisis?

I have no idea what form it will take, or what the problem will be. But when it hits?
For a few glorious moments, I'm going to be the #1 Google search result for it.

Y2.1K - Hysteria, panic, and another reason for a massive government intervention.
You heard it here first.

Cool Myspace Generators

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bud Kennedy on The Tea Party Protester.

Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article in yesterday's paper about the Libertarian Party, the Tea Party movement, and the 9/12 project.

The political "Newcomer of the Year" must be the Tea Party protester.

But when you peek behind the new "Don’t Tread on Me" flags, some of the local Tea Party and 912 Project groups are looking more like the same old political factions.

When you sign up for e-mail from the supposedly nonpartisan Common Sense Texans network of Tea Party members, you’re giving your address to a Dallas Republican lawyer and social-networking-campaign expert who has been an activist for private-school vouchers.

Note to Bud: Almost everyone I know in East Fort Worth is an activist for private-school vouchers. If Barack Obama had a typical Eastside income, he too would be an activist for private-school vouchers.

Turns out I’m not the only person who’s leery of these fake grassroots activist groups sprouting on every block.

Robert Butler is the new state Libertarian Party executive director. He sounded frustrated Tuesday.

"The Libertarians started this thing, and now Republicans want to get ahead of the parade and take it over," Butler said by phone from Austin.

"Their brand name is held in such disregard that they’ve started marketing under the Tea Party banner. Then, behind the scenes, their organizers are getting in there and co-opting the Tea Parties."

Hit the link at the top to read Bud's entire column, with more Robert Butler quotes.

I've had many fine moments related to this website, but one of the best was when I ran into Bud at a 9/12 meeting a few weeks ago. We'd met a couple of times before, but hadn't talked much. I re-introduced myself, and Bud said "Oh yeah. The Whited Sepulchre."

You have to understand....Bud Kennedy is a big deal in Fort Worth. I'm not.

Anyway, the remainder of Bud's article makes note of the strange bedfellows, many who have sworn that they'll never vote for another Republicrat, who are trying to find a way to oppose the Chicago Machine currently looting the treasury. Very difficult when the Crips and Bloods have a stranglehold on the ballot access and debate mechanisms.

If you want some more info on the uneasy alliance between the Fort Worth Libertarians, the 9/12'ers, the Tea Partiers, the Campaign For Liberty folks, and the Republicans Party others, well, I might be the only person who has been to every rally and lived to type about it. If you don't mind wading through my schtick, you can go here to read the Top 10 signs that some of these refugee Republicans might not really be Libertarians, and the Top 10 reasons that members of another party (ahem...) might soon join our ranks.

Here's some hand-wringing I did about the Tarrant County Libertarian Party being invited to participate in a 9/12 rally. The butt-whoopin' I took in the comment field (from across the political spectrum) is worth noting.

Here are our folks in the 9-12 parade.

This is an account of the Tea Party rally held at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth. I've since become friends with the local businessman mentioned in the post. Adrian Murray. He's good folks.

And this one is about the original Fort Worth Tea Party, thrown together back in February.

Ok, everybody, take a deep breath and remember this: Our enemy's enemy is our friend.

Let's invade Nigeria

The South Puget Sound Libertarian wonders if its time to invade Nigeria.

Remember The Maine !
Remember The Alamo !
The Krauts sunk The Lusitania with 24 Americans on board !
The Gooks attacked The USS Maddox in The Gulf Of Tonkin !
15 Saudi Arabians flew planes into the World Trade Center, so let's invade Afghanistan !

A Nigerian tried to blow up our airliner ! !

Rally the Sheeple ! Invade Nigeria !

There are jobs to be created and/or saved with this proposal. Think about it.

Congratulations, Intelligrated

Congratulations Intelligrated !
Modern Materials Handling, one of the many trade periodicals that shows up in my workplace inbox, was the first to give me this good news:

Intelligrated, a leading American-owned automated materials handling solutions provider, announced yesterday that it has accepted more than $24 million in financial incentives from the state of Ohio. In conjunction with the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), company executives formally accepted the comprehensive package during Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s visit to Intelligrated’s manufacturing facility in West Chester, Ohio.

The state’s incentive package accelerates the company’s efforts to integrate the operations of recently acquired FKI Logistex and expand its facilities in West Chester, London and Mason, Ohio. During the three-year period of the project, Intelligrated will retain 537 full-time positions and create 267 new jobs in Ohio.

The incentives include low-interest research and development investment loans and Ohio enterprise bond fund loans from Ohio’s DFAC to the Butler County Port Authority to support costs associated with the acquisition of a 282,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in West Chester to be leased to Intelligrated.

The Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit Authority also awarded Intelligrated an Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit to support the project in Butler County as well as expansions in Mason and London.

While there are millions of people in Ohio (and the rest of the United States) who think that they are the best judges of which companies to support with their paychecks, they are mistaken.
The Ohio Department of Development and Governor Ted Strickland know best. After all, Governor Strickland has a Bachelors degree in history, a Masters Of Divinity from a freakin' seminary, and a doctorate in counseling psychology.
Here's some more advice on how Big Bidness can work hand in hand with Big Government to ensure that you pay your fair share of our $12,000,000,000,000.00 debt. And how companies like Intelligrated can pay as little as possible. This is from the Intelligrated website:

Thanks to the Stimulus Package that was recently approved by the United States President, Senate and Congress, businesses are receiving special tax incentives to invest in new equipment. According to Section 179 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, businesses are allowed to fully expense up to $250,000 of new equipment acquisitions in 2009. Also, the first year depreciation bonus is boosted to 50%
For example, if a business were to purchase $750,000 in new equipment, they can fully expense $250,000 and then take 50% of the balance (50% of $500,000=$250,000), plus the first year’s MACRS (14% of $250,000=$35,000). This adds up to $535,000 or over 71% of the purchase price. The balance would be depreciated normally on the standard seven–year schedule.
If you were planning a project prior to the recent economic downturn, please speak to your tax or financing professionals about the incentivized options you have in 2009.

This picture of the Intelligrated Logo, with the E Pluribus Unum slogan came from the Intelligrated website. E Pluribus Unum means "Out Of Many, One" - Many revenue streams, and only one that matters.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Senator Max Baucus pleas for more Biprartrishahnslip

This is senator Max Baucus (D-Insurance) on the senate floor, doing his job.
At my workplace, the government has provided regulations that prevent employees from working while intoxicated.

Please spend 5 1/2 minutes watching Senator Baucus, the clown who happens to chair the senate finance committee.
Please spend the rest of the day praying for the continued health of the republic.

One other thing....I'm sure you noticed how often he attempts to say the word "Bipartisan", as if there's something noble about two opposing sides reaching across the aisle to screw the diminishing number of taxpayers.

Did anyone else notice, way back in the 1990's, that the words "partisan" (evil) and "bipartisan" (all things good, godly, and wholesome).... did anyone else notice that those words weren't in common usage until the Newt Gingrich Republican Revolution gave power to the GOP for the first time in decades?

Just wondering.

Monday, December 28, 2009

We, too, will soon be guaranteed surgeries withing 18 weeks. It's a basic human right.

Britain (you know, the place across the Atlantic with socialized healthcare) has introduced something called "A Patient's Bill Of Rights".

British officials say the NHS is now less likely to face a big bill because the Government has sought to cut waiting lists and has sometimes sent patients abroad.The Department of Health says that, while in 2000, people could be waiting as long as 18 months for surgery, the average wait for inpatient treatment was now eight weeks. It has also set a target to reduce to 18 weeks the time from an appointment with a general practitioner to an operation.

I'm gonna let that quote stand as is. No further commentary necessary, except to explain to my readers overseas that we don't wait that long for anything except transplants.

Picture of British plumber who has been waiting 10 months for surgery on broken arm came from here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Passengers leave seats to thwart terrorists; Government reacts by keeping passengers in their seats

I am not making any of this up. I've double-checked all of it for accuracy as best I can.

Ever wonder how regulations are born? Ever wonder where all the red tape comes from? Have you ever wondered why it takes a day's worth of paperwork to ship a clock from overseas on Federal Express?

Here's Mark Steyn, on the recently thwarted terrorist attack on an airliner:

On September 11th 2001, the government's (1970s) security procedures all failed, and the only good news of the day came from self-reliant citizens (on Flight 93) using their own wits and a willingness to act.

On December 25th 2009, the government's (post-9/11) security procedures all failed, and the only good news came once again from alert individuals:

From an interview of one of the heroes, quoted by the New York Post:

"Suddenly, we hear a bang. It sounded like a firecracker went off," said Jasper Schuringa, a film director who was traveling to the US to visit friends.

"When [it] went off, everybody panicked ... Then someone screamed, ‘Fire! Fire!’"

Schuringa, sitting in seat 20J, in the right-most section of the Airbus 330, looked to his left. "I saw smoke rising from a seat ... I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped," he said.

Schuringa dove over four passengers to reach Abdul Mutallab’s seat. The suspect had a blanket on his lap. "It was smoking and there were flames coming from beneath his legs."

"I searched on his body parts and he had his pants open. He had something strapped to his legs."
The unassuming hero ripped the flaming, molten object — which resembled a small, white shampoo bottle — off Abdul Mutallab’s left leg, near his crotch. He said he put out the fire with his bare hands.

Schuringa yelled for water, and members of the flight crew soon appeared with fire extinguishers. Then, he said, he hauled the suspect out of the seat.

Ok, so some wide-awake passengers rose from their seats to prevent a disaster in a situation where the regulators failed.

How have the government regulators responded? Here's Joan Lowy, writing for the Associated Press:

Some airlines were telling passengers on Saturday that new government security regulations prohibit them from leaving their seats beginning an hour before landing.

....Flight attendants on some domestic flights are informing passengers of similar rules. Passengers on a flight from New York to Tampa Saturday morning were also told they must remain in their seats and couldn't have items in their laps, including laptops and pillows.

The TSA issued a security directive for U.S.-bound flights from overseas, according to a transportation security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.

Here's Rand Simberg, with Pajamas Media: usual, the new measures, hastily put into place because something happened, will be measures that would likely have had no effect on what happened. But since they already had measures in place, and something happened anyway, they have to do something new to keep the curtains open in the theater.

Yep. The new regulations will be pointless, but we must be given the impression that our government is doing something. The show must go on.

Pics came from here and here and here and here. (The last one in the series is the one you're looking for.)
Also, I'm particularly proud of the labels for this post. Almost all of them reward further reading.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ross Douthat of The New York Times needs help defining Barack Obama

Ross Douthat of the New York Times is having a hard time defining our president.

Here's Ross: "Every presidency is the subject of competing caricatures. But almost a year into his first term, there’s something particularly elusive about Barack Obama’s political identity. He’s a bipartisan bridge-builder — unless he’s a polarizing ideologue."

Somewhere or another, I missed the bipartisan-bridge-builder part, but let's keep going.

He’s a crypto-Marxist radical — except when he’s a pawn of corporate interests.

Agreed, with one caveat: Ross, do you know what you call crypto-Marxist radicals who are pawns of corporate interests ???? You don't ??? Be patient. All will be explained in due time.

He's a post-American utopian - or else he's a willing tool of the national security state.

While Obama is doing his dead-level best to bring about an extremely post-American century, I'm going to go with the latter option. Look at Gitmo, Afghanistan, rendition, wiretaps, etc. The man is a tool.

The press has churned out a new theory every week, comparing Obama to John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, to George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — to every 20th-century chief executive, it often seems, save poor, dull Gerald Ford. But none of the analogies have stuck. We’re well into the Obama era, but neither his allies nor his enemies can quite get a fix on exactly what our 44th president really represents.

I don't know why Mainstream Media Typists find this so difficult to say.

It isn't difficult. Barack Obama is a fascist. This is from the Library Of Economics And Liberty:

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.)

Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions."

Not a perfect fit, but it shoulda been close enough for Ross Douthat to slap himself in the forehead and start wondering if Obama will take over the newspapers.

The Obama As Fascist pics came from here and here and here and here and here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Insurance Stocks And The Public Option

Talking Points Media, one of the most left-wing outfits outside of a few academic enclaves, understands that the current healthcare abortion puts a greater burden for the uninsured and allows the insurance companies to continue to operate as oligopolies/monopolies.

Why do so few other people get this? And second, why do people tune in to news shows where hosts won't allow guests to answer questions?

One other thing.... the current mess doesn't include much in the way of a public option. It has created space for a public option, which will be voted in as attachment to other bills. Here's all ya need to know about the public option:

Both of these came from the Tom Lewis blog.

On Santa Claus and Jesus

I was in the 2nd grade, working on homework at a desk in our den. It must have been close to Christmastime, because my mother was explaining something about Santa Claus to my little sister.
I don't remember my sister's question, but it probably involved the North Pole, elves, reindeer, Rudolph, or (temporal) punishments and rewards for being either naughty or nice. In one blinding moment the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy Axis Of Impossibility revealed itself to me.
There are no elves. Reindeer can't fly. Old fat guys can't get down chimneys. A giant rabbit can't leave us colorful plastic eggs (from Gibson's department store) filled with coins or candy.
Any fairy with a tooth fetish must be very lonely fairy indeed.

I had figured out the conspiracy, and needed some clarification on the finer points so I looked up from my homework and asked "Hey, there can't be a Santa Claus who brings all this stuff. Is it just you and Daddy, or is it somebody else?"

My Mother went through a frantic series of shushing gestures, throat slashings, and brow-furrowings, and then said something like "Of course there's a Santa Claus", followed by a wink-wink nudge-nudge. Once my sister left the room, she explained that Santa Claus was something that parents did to make Christmas more fun for children, along with a follow-up conversation about the need to conceal this from my sisters and brother. I immediately felt like more of an adult since I was in on what was obviously a very adult secret.

I relished the conversations I could have with my parents and other adults about what other kids were getting from Santa Claus. I had access to the people behind the curtain, the ones who made the magic happen.

I had a friend named Glenn Williams who was a year younger than me. (Note to self: write a post about the day Glenn was working at The Rushing Winery and managed to bottle his thumb.) Another friend, Walt Burns, took Glenn aside one day and told him all about Santa Claus. Glenn has told me at least three times about how mad he got at Walt for doing this.

Up until the time Walt spilled the beans, Glenn had a worldview that included a benevolent old guy who paid attention to his behavior and rewarded him with great stuff every December 25th. People were killing each other in Viet Nam but Santa was watching. Elves were making toys for people who were good, even if kids our age were starving in communist China. And Walt Burns had to ruin everything. There was no magic guy in a sleigh, it was just Pat and Guy B. Williams waiting up past their normal bedtime to bring Glenn's toys down from the attic.
Other kids claimed to believe, or pretended to believe, until they were in the 5th or 6th grade. In their families, once you stopped believing, the quality and quantity of gifts from Santa declined. Why rock the boat?

Flash forward about 15 years.

I briefly attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Cemetery Seminary in Fort Worth. The place seemed to operate on two levels. In some classes the professors spoke as if every word in the Bible was inspired by God, and that all of scripture hung together as a unified statement and plan. But a few other professors would sometimes imply that the book was a mishmash. It was filled with time and place-specific rants that had to be twisted and tortured into relevance. A few brave souls, usually at the doctoral level, would introduce Biblical Criticism into the mix.

(Go here for a Dan Dennett video on what happens when seminary students encounter Biblical Criticism for the first time, but find that they've gone too far to change careers. Go here for something I wrote on the subject a while back. If you don't know the competing gospel stories of the resurrection of Jesus, don't bother. You won't get it.)

No professors publicly confessed any doubts about whether the basic story was true. And by true, I mean in the sense that this event happened, not true in the sense that something is a true to life parable or narrative that can teach us something about blah blah blah....

However, I found that if I could get these professors off the clock, and they would sometimes confirm that doubt was a valid response. Some of them would go so far as to give me further reading on the subject.

But by and large, the main response to doubt went something like this: "These stories have given comfort to millions. They are the foundation of our morality, our ethics, and our hope for the future. They are the received wisdom handed down from previous generations. If they weren't true, would God have given them to us? And one last thing.... people will give 10% or more of their income to spread God's Eternal Truth. But can you imagine anyone giving 10% of his money to spread a story that's just a parable? Churches and ministers that waver in their professed beliefs have a hard time paying the light bill."

In other words, once people start thinking of Santa Claus as a metaphor, you can't rely on them to put out milk and cookies in front of the fireplace.

Go back to the Dennett video above. We now have ministers all over the U.S. who no longer truly believe what they're preaching. So why do they continue?

They don't want to be the Walt Burns who tells Glenn Williams what they've learned. They don't want to hurt their colleagues, financially or professionally, who still claim to take it all literally instead of figuratively. In some groups, to go against the story is to go against the entire tribe, and would mean rejecting family, town, denomination, and (ahem) salary. Sometimes it's too late to re-invent yourself as an insurance salesman, retail manager, or freight broker.

Plus, the church still owes $250,000.00 on the new education wing they built 10 years ago.

When I'm feeling particularly dark, I sometimes tell people that I didn't learn the truth about Santa Claus until I spent 6 years training to be an elf.

Could there be anything sadder than a 25-year old who still believed in Santa?

On the other hand, could there be anything sadder than a 50-year old minister who lives on the same planet as theologian/scholars like Marcus Borg and John Spong, but who continues to proclaim the virgin birth, angelic visitations, and the eternal damnation of dead Muslim teenagers?

Let's make some changes, starting with a few obvious propositions. I don't believe in hell. I don't believe that I'll die and get some wings and a harp either. What happens after we die? I don't know. Neither does anyone else. But we can all agree on what happens to a tree when it dies, can't we? Let's start there.

Here's another one. I don't believe that Jesus got his Mama pregnant with himself.

I don't believe that languages were invented when people got uppity and tried to create a tower that would reach the sky and God felt threatened and punished everybody by giving them different languages. You don't believe that either. I promise, you don't. People... Just... Don't... Believe... That...

So if you're a minister who happens to read this rant, you have the blessing and approval of a lot of people to crawl up into your pulpit Sunday and admit what you don't believe certain things anymore. You're probably a good person with some good ideas. Give your folks something new to think about. The Santa Claus guided by Rudolph/Wise Men guided by the star in the east business - those stories don't work any more.

Sunday morning, tell us what you think will make the world better, without resorting to mythology.

I think you'll feel better afterwards. I feel better just writing all of this.

Merry Christmas !

Caption Contest - Snowman Edition

Because of Global Cooling, we're having our first White Christmas in The Town Of The Cow since sometime in the mid-1970's.
I need a caption for this picture.

Tarrant Liberty Guy won the previous caption contest.

Pic came from here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Michele Bachman is a Welfare Queen

From Truthdig:

Michele Bachmann has become well known for her anti-government tea-bagger antics, protesting health care reform and every other government “handout” as socialism. What her followers probably don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is, to use that anti-government slur, something of a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.

....But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006.

The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system....

Go here for a USA Today listing of legislators benefiting from farm subsidies. The list includes Senator Charles Grassley (R-Ethanol), whose outfit has taken home more than $800,000.00

End it, Don't mend it.

Fight the power.

Pic of subsidies growing in a field came from here. Go here for a Shameful True Confession moment relating to farm subsidies in my family.

Gun Sales Up, Crime Rate Down

Sometime last week, I heard a radio ad for a gun shop. "We have firearms and ammo AT PRE-ELECTION PRICES !!!" was one of the lines used.

Gun sales have gone through the roof because of the Dems taking control of Congress and The Teleprompter.

So what is supposed to happen, with all these dangerous weapons in the hands of ignorant citizens, radical right-wingers, loony libertarians, and P.O.'d Tea Party Participants?

Crime should be up, right? According to the preferred narrative, we should be reading about an increase in violent crime.

Nope. Violent crime is still decreasing, and is a full 10% lower than last year.

When Jesus "cleansed" the temple, he used a knotted rope to knock some folks upside the head, possibly because assault rifles hadn't been invented yet.

Naww....I'm not going to go there.

Links and pics, one way or another, came from Ed Driscoll.

We Three Kings - The Demotivational Poster - Elvis Edition

Some neighbors of mine put this in their front yard every December.
I love it, love it, love it.

Even if some skeptics say he's buried in Memphis, I hope the King lives in your heart all year long, with a hunka hunka burnin' love.

Note to self: when time permits, write a post about your Mississippi neighbor's daughters who, in the mid-1970's, packaged themselves in dog crates and had themselves shipped to Graceland. And actually got inside the gate.

Merry Christmas Demotivational Poster

I created this thing last year when things were looking a bit bleak.
This year, they're worse.
Oh well. Hope'n'Change.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, Deer Hunting Season, etc.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Benevolent Government Saves Airline Passengers From Evil Capitalists ! ! ! !

This is from CNN, reporting on how the government is preventing those mean ol' airlines from keeping you stranded on the runway....

Washington (CNN) -- In what one advocate called "a Christmas miracle for airline passengers," the Department of Transportation on Monday announced a rule prohibiting U.S. aircraft on domestic routes from remaining on a tarmac for more than three hours with travelers aboard.

"Airline passengers have rights, and these new rules will require airlines to live up to their obligation to treat their customers fairly," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

That sounds good, doesn't it? One of the instances where we would want government to intervene. But hold on a minute....
This is from a book by Michael Cloud. This little essay is entitled "How Government Blames Business". I just happened to read this last night.

Our United Airlines flight had been sitting on the runway for 40
minutes. Boston's Logan Airport is notorious for delays. The people
behind me and in front of me were grumbling.

"I hate these *$*%+*#*! airlines," said the guy behind me.

"They ought to do something about these fat cats," said a man across
the aisle.

"The Government ought to do something about it," said the woman in
front of me.

While pretending to talk to the person next to me, I spoke loud enough
to be heard 4 rows back, and 4 rows up:

"There must be 10 times as many flights today as there were 22 years
ago, before we deregulated the airlines. Probably 10 times as many
airplanes in the skies. Free enterprise builds the planes and puts
them in the air.

"But Big Government runs the airports. Big Government controls the air
traffic. Are there 10 times as many airports as there were 22 years
ago, when we deregulated the airlines? Are there 10 times as many
gates at the government-run airports? Are there 10 times as many air
traffic controllers?

"Government's causing this bottleneck. Free enterprise is generous
with airplanes, but Government is stingy with airports, gates and air
traffic controllers.

"Then Government plays the Frame and Blame Game against the airlines.
Government tells us it's United's fault. Or Delta's. Or American
Airlines'. The airlines have solved their part of the problem: getting
us planes and getting us seats. But Government can't deliver the
airports, the gates or the air traffic controllers needed to fly us
safely and on time. We're stuck on this runway because of
Government-created scarcity.

"What do you think?" I asked the person I pretended to be talking to
privately... while making a statement to the people around me.

"Gee, I've never really thought about it," he said. "But you know, the
Government hasn't made Logan Airport much bigger in the last 20 years.
It's kind of like the Big Dig, isn't it?" [The Big Dig is a typical
Government highway project in Boston: way over budget, late and a

The people in the seats in front of and behind me started discussing
who caused the delays in our flight. These Massachusetts flyers openly
discussed how much Government was at fault.

Here's the Big Government Frame and Blame Game:

First, government frames business for the crime. They frame free
enterprise for causing the problems created by government. Then they
blame business and free enterprise for the consequences.

For example, government frames responsible gun manufacturers for gun
crimes. Then government blames the guns for the violence caused by the
Drug War. Gun violence has doubled since the War on Drugs. Need
another example? Compare gun violence during Alcohol Prohibition to
gun violence before and after Prohibition.

Government frames and blames HMOs. But the government created HMOs in
1974 and mandated their use in the early 1980's. Further, government
spends 52 cents out of every health care dollar in America and
regulates 100% of all health care services. Health care is the most
heavily regulated industry in America.

Yet in 1999, the Amherst, Massachusetts Town Government passed a
resolution to "end the free market carnage in health care." And the US
Congress regularly subpoenas and interrogates health care providers in
front of television cameras... blaming HMOs for the crimes of

Libertarians need to think through and explain the following:
* How does Government increase the cost of the business you're
* How does Government regulation create scarcity and reduce consumer
* How does Government red tape drive small businesses out of
* How does Government increase the cost of everything you buy?
Taxes, restrictions, zoning, unfunded mandates... and what else?
* How does Government slow down service and reduce staffing?
* How does Government cause or contribute to the very problems they
blame business for?

To be effective, we must be well-informed. We need to read books like:
The Great Libertarian Offer and Why Government Doesn't Work by Harry
Browne; Freedom in Chains and The Fair Trade Fraud by James Bovard;
Losing Ground and What it Means to be Libertarian by Charles Murray.

As Huxley said, "A beautiful theory, slain by a gang of facts." The
facts are friendly to Freedom.

Sometimes no persuasion is necessary. We merely need to inform and

To show how, where and why Government has caused certain problems, or
made them worse.

Sometimes all you need is a captive audience, a voice that carries,
and a few thought-provoking facts and explanations.
It's funny how the perspective changes, isn't it?

We have seen the future of Health Insurance. And Health Insurance is delighted.

From The Business Insider:

Howard Dean, who knows a thing or two about medicine, and has long been an advocate for reform, just said on CNBC that "you may want to buy health insurance stocks if this thing passes."

Basically, "reform" has turned into a big ol' gravy train for private industry....

What? This isn't about providing low-cost healthcare for America? What else has Howard Dean had to say about the Healthcare Bill?

On Sunday's Meet The Press, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was asked a simple question about health care: What has President Obama achieved? His answer: "He has made a lot of people with insurance stock a lot richer."

"This [bill] is great for insurance companies," he explained. "They were going to reform the system [but] neither side wanted to take on the insurance companies. Neither side wanted to get rid of anti-trust exemptions. Neither side really pushed hard to allow you or me or anybody here to buy across state lines."
And as Howard Dean said -- and this is a devastating fact -- insurance companies' stocks reached [52-week] highs on Friday after this so called reform bill got its 60th vote. So David Axelrod, who I love and respect, but David Axelrod kept saying 'we took on the insurance companies, this is real reform, they're against it.'
Really? I don't think so."

What? Insurance stocks are now at a 52-year high? Do The Playahs know something that we don't know?

Well, yeah, they do.

When time permits, look up
Regulatory Capture.

Then do a bit o' Googling on
Barriers To Entry.

Speaking of Howard Dean, and our failure to encourage competition, here's Dr. Dean in full competition mode:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fester's Den

Uncle Fester, Colorado Libertarian and long-time commenter on these pages, now has his own blog.

Go here. Bookmark it for future edification.

And now, compliments of Uncle Fester, here's something completely different.....

Its gettin thicker than dreadlocks
they treat us like we're dread scot
don't wanna see the feds pop
or be the one that they'd stopped
or get in trouble cause I talked shit to their mascot
frickin' busybodies need to go and buy an ascot
tellin' me you own me then makin sho' i'm taxed out
maxed out, deep in-debted from the easy credit
that the fed imbedded then they betted it all be copacetic
if they were the medic but forget it
the people are gettin' pissed
blowin up like some unleaded
they want control unfettered
but ya'll know that smells fetid
like the craphole that we're headed
to if they don't let me do me
and you do you
and all the guns in the gunverment
won't amount to a twenty-two
if they keep on stompin' on amendment number two
and we don't even need you
take your welfare and your brainwashing free-school
and ya'll are so see through; easy to see you is evil

Nobody owns me
ya'll haters don't
I own me
so back the f*** off
(x 2)
I make my own rules
take my own tools
you ain't in my shoes
no you ain't get to choose
I ain't pay you dues.
I pay 'em for my self
don't expect shit from me
and I ain't need your help

and in case you didn't know
this song is for the parasites
the feeders that bleed us and treat us
like they're the hand and we're the dice
no utopian paradise to be had from any plan
the world's too complex for any man to comprehend
all the supply and again all the demand
when the few control the view
their mistakes are multiplied
the decisions should be ours
like our bodies. Let's take back our lives
Only a slave if you submit
and ya'll know I got some fight!
and this ain't racist
its for blacks, whites and asians
middle eastern people, latinos
and everyone who wants to be free, so
we'll even let it slide if you're emo
I never signed no social contract
I'm about to have to repo
myself, for my health
and my wealth
put your bills back on the shelf
capitol hill can go to hell
we should put them punks in jail
we could live our lives ourselves....


So who's to say Barack Hussein
knows what's best for me?
I knock the man and not the name
cause in my family tree
could be husseins so I take aim
at tyranny times three
branches that act just
like geriatric babysitters
but really you'll get beat-up
if you don't follow their edicts
there's a law against living
year its worse than shariah.
but where can I go if this
whole world is socialist
though we know that it failed for the soviets.
Its 1984 people please notice this.
F*** a tax feeder time to overthrow them tics
its in the declaration Jefferson wrote the shit
So choose to be a free man
governments we're over it
governments we're over it!

Go see Invictus

If you get a chance, check out "Invictus", Clint Eastwood's new movie about Nelson Mandela's decision to use the Springbok rugby team as a cause to unite South Africa after the end of apartheid.

Matt Damon is good, Morgan Freeman (of Clarksdale, Mississippi) is pure, undiluted greatness.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henley

The Obama Logo FDR button

From the Von Mises blog:

....Logically, one might think that the best way to fix this mess (the recession) would be to liquidate the malinvestments of businesses, pay down our debts and start fresh; in other words, allow for the market to correct the imbalances and distortions created during the artificial boom.

But the enlightened Barack Obama and his team of trusty economic advisers, along with the ever-compliant Messrs Bernanke and Geithner, have other ideas. Practically every single policy they have enacted is intended to stop the market from clearing out the wastes and excesses of the boom.

The government has undertaken programs to keep people in homes and cars that they cannot afford, fictitiously propping up GDP numbers. It has bailed out failing enterprises; abrogated contractual obligations; created make-work, politically oriented, and naturally often fraudulent and wasteful public-works projects; and increased the money supply at an unprecedented rate, easing the Federal Reserve–controlled interest rate to a ridiculous 0 percent. Our representatives have done all of this while vastly expanding a national debt that was already egregious.""....There is a final point that must be made. Just as during FDR's presidency, market entrepreneurs (as opposed to the political ones, who profit from government swindling) are now genuinely afraid of this administration. People in business do not know how arbitrary or onerous future government regulations will be."

Regardless of what you think of their argument, you have to admit this much: That button is funny.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why things are costing more and more and more and more

I found a great link on Radley Balko's site.

Check out these pics of American currency.

If you go to the site, notice how many banknotes said "payable in gold" or "two dollars in silver" or "payable to the bearer on demand", or similar verbiage. You could walk into the bank and swap this piece of paper for some silver or gold.

Do you think our government was a little more careful about printing batches of these babies?

Compare that system to the junk you see below. The little piece of paper that you sometimes see blowing down the street, and don't even bother to chase after? It says "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE".

Why is it legal tender? Because they say so.

There are no longer any safeguards in place to prevent our government from spending these in the billions and printing these things by the trillions. You can to for a good explanation of Fiat Money, Inflation, and Dr. Paul's proposal for an open competition in currencies.

Good luck when prices start doubling. A special prize will be awarded to the reader who sends me the first earnest MSM editorial blaming greedy corporations for the price increases.

Jason Mattera gives the AARP an invoice for $1,800,000,000,000.00

This video was produced by Jason Mattera. Young Mr. Mattera is with an outfit called The Young America's Foundation.
He's shown here pursuing the Vice President of AARP, Nancy Leamond, to give her a massive "Obamacare Generational Theft Invoice" for $1,800,000,000,000.00

It's one of the most devastating things I've ever seen.
The AARP has endorsed Obamacare.
AARP, through a special loophole in Obamacare, would still be allowed to turn away people with pre-existing conditions, through something called "Medigap" coverage.
Nancy Leamond makes $400,000.00 per year.

These kids make Michael Moore look like Ed Wood.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All the more reason to lose this moment

All the more reason to lose this moment....

John Stossel's show on Healthcare

There are very few diamonds in the television dungheap.

John Stossel's new show, Stossel, is one of them. Thursday's show featured John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, and it was excellent. It will probably repeat on FoxBusiness a couple of more times. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to libertarianism, you owe it to John Stossel's ratings, and you owe it to the planet to Tivo this show every week. You owe it to third world countries. Think of The Children. It's the closest thing to a libertarian TV program that I've seen.

If you don't know his story, Mackey recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal advocating a more free market approach to healthcare. All of Mackey's proposals were simple, inexpensive, and fair. The ThoughtPolice were outraged, of course, and called for a boycott of Whole Foods.
(Whole Foods is the leading organic/locally grown/health food outlet in the U.S. Whole Foods' customers, until recently, didn't know that the Whole Foods CEO was a Libertarian who voted for Bob Barr in the most recent election, and who also contributes large chunks of money to Reason magazine. God bless him. He's doing more for humanity through his charitable work than he's ever done by providing locally grown organic arugula to the socially aware shoppers of Highland Park, TX. Please hit both of those links if time permits.)

Mackey claims that since the boycott, sales have actually increased. I intend to go to the Arlington TX store this morning for the first time ever. Guess why?

Stossel also had the leader of the Whole Foods boycott on the program, a guy who mostly fumed and sputtered and expressed his outrage. There are all sorts of links to various TV shows and resources on the boycott site, but there's no mention of this dude's appearance on Stossel's program. Mostly because John Mackey carved the poor guy up into tiny bite-sized organic pieces, doused them with a locally-grown marinade, and ate them (with sustainably produced utensils).

Last week, Stossel showed how you can get the taxpayers to buy you a free golf cart via the Cash For Clunkers scam. This week, he explained why you are insured for a free electric wheelchair, whether you want to be insured for one or not. (You are probably eligible ! ! Even if you aren't handicapped ! ! Our operators are standing by ! ! Call now ! ! Dial 1-800-WE-LOBBIED-FOR-IT ! !)

The program closed with a short piece on Lasik eye surgery. In the past ten years, the cost of a Lasik procedure on one eye has dropped from more than $2,000 to somewhere around $1,000, despite a near-doubling of all other medical costs.


Because Lasik isn't not covered by insurance, so people shop around. If the price isn't right, fewer people elect to have the procedure done. Lasik is one of the few free market medical procedures. Doctors have to compete for the business. Customers care about the cost. Therefore, the cost is dropping.

Stossel. FoxBusiness. Go to the Tivo now. Program it to record.

One other my previous post about Stossel, I mentioned that all of the audience questions were hostile. I kinda like that.
Others disagree. Go to Stossel's blog for a discussion.
Full Disclosure: See those display fixtures Mackey is standing near? I think they were made by my employer, Jukt Micronics.

Libertarian Credo

One more time....

I own me.
You own you.

This is my stuff.
That's your stuff.

If you and I decide to swap stuff, the existence of an arbitrary political border between us should matter no more than the existence of a highway or a telephone line between us.

Anyone requiring you to give your stuff to me is probably on my payroll in some way.

As long as your actions don't cause harm to me and mine, what you do is none of my business.

A few exceptions: We need a structure in place to enforce contracts, provide some very basic infrastructure, referee in disputes about externalities (see comments), and maybe defend the borders. If we limited government to that, and only that, our borders will need a lot less defending.

I don't care if you go on a crystal meth binge with gay midget hookers in a gas-guzzling SUV outfitted with semi-automatic weapons and the complete works of Barry Manilow on 8-track. As long as it doesn't hurt me and mine, we're fine. (I already know what its like to shoot skeet with Manilow's "Weekend In New England" in the background. Long, tiresome story.)

One more time....

I own me.
You own you.
Do what you said you were going to do.

That's all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

China's complete and total victory is assured.

Sorry for posting so many videos, but this stuff from Jay Leno's show is priceless. If you don't laugh out loud a couple of times during the last minute and a half, well, you're probably a schoolteacher and have developed an immunity.

There are those who say....I reject the view that....There are those who insist....that Obama's Strawman needs some recognition

Scott Stanzel has taken exception to Time magazine naming noted counterfeiter Ben Bernanke as Person Of The Year.

Who did Stanzel nominate? One of my favorite whipping boys: Barack Obama's Straw Man.


Straw Man should be the person of the year. He’s been employed by President Obama so much this year that he is certainly the busiest person in Washington. As the president has advocated his bloated stimulus package, his government intrusion into health care and his plans to return us to a pre-9/11 security mindset by treating terrorists as common criminals, Straw Man has provided the perfect foil for the president’s arguments. Straw Man deserves the Person of the Year recognition, particularly because he is rarely named. Most of the time he is referred to by his nicknames “some say” or “those who say.” Witness how busy Straw Man has been in 2009, as President Obama takes on his greatest hits:

Obama: “There are those who say these plans are too ambitious.”

Obama: “I know some folks on Wall Street who say we should just focus on their problems.”

Obama: “There are those embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: anything goes.”

Obama: “There seem to be a set of folks, and I don’t doubt their sincerity, who just believe we should do nothing.”

Obama: “"I reject the view that . . . says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity."

Obama: "A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy."

Obama: "We have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

Obama: “There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences.”

Obama: "Of course, there are some critics, always critics, who say we can't afford to take on these priorities.”

Obama: "A philosophy that says every problem can be solved if only government would step out of the way; that if government were just dismantled, divvied up into tax breaks, and handed out to the wealthiest among us, it would somehow benefit us all. Such knee-jerk disdain for government -- this constant rejection of any common endeavor -- cannot rebuild our levees or our roads or our bridges."

Straw Man’s influence in Washington is at an all time high. He deserves to be the person of the year.


The Weekly Radley - From "The Wire"

I've never seen this series, but I might have to check it out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Polar Ice Caps Will Be Gone By 2013 ! ! ! ! ! !

I don't have enough clutter in my blogroll, so I've added one more distraction over to your right.

I've made a little countdown widget based on Al Gore's statement that THE ENTIRE POLAR ICE CAP WILL BE GONE IN FIVE YEARS (unless we give Gore and the Kleiner/Perkins venture capital firm a whole lot of money).
The countdown timer I chose doesn't go higher than a thousand days, so just add a "1" to the front end of the days remaining until the poles are ice free.

He made the statement during the week of December 13, 2008.
I'll be generous, and assume that he said it on New Year's Eve 2008.
The ice caps now have a little more than four years to melt.


From Stephen Colbert, on Obama's Nobel speech, our strategy in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Skate Expectations - Bobsled Team Tryouts
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

I can't believe I posted this before Dr. Ralph.
A fresh coat of Whitening to VampE for the linkage and for aid in Dachshund placement.

Science sources

For those wanting to get their science from science sources, go here.

The picture of the Warmist Industry Logo came from here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oral Roberts - Physician, Heal Thyself

Oral Roberts, the famed Oklahoma faith-healer, has finally bought the six-foot pine condo.

Here's one of my earliest memories of this fabled con artist, from one of my first blog posts:

My first exposure to these clowns was through my grandmother. She had been crippled by a severe stroke, and lived with us most of the time. I can remember her watching this charlatan's TV programs, and watching Roberts "heal" shills from the audience. "I just wish I had that kind of faith," she would say, after Roberts would shriek that her illness was still with her because of her unbelief.

I think my intense opposition to scams, ripoffs, and con artists, regardless of their party affiliation, comes from watching Oral Roberts with my grandmother.

If you want to see a present day healing, you could do worse than this video. You'll get the general idea after the first minute, the baby Nyquil wears off at the 6:45 mark, and the Superiority Dance starts around 7:15.

At the 8:03 mark, the kid demonstrates that she might still be inhabited by Beelzebub. Or KISS bassist Gene Simmons.

At the 8:20 mark, the child is restored, and spends the rest of the video begging to be adopted by a nice elderly widow in Somalia.

That's all I've got on Oral Roberts. I absolutely detest that pious fraud and what he put my grandmother through.
Lock me in a room with Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, and a gun with only two bullets?
I'd probably shoot Oral Roberts twice.

A lot of this is just the beer talking. But if I didn't make my point....I really, really, really didn't like that man.

Ben Bernanke - Time Magazine's Person Of The Year

Ben Bernanke, violently fighting against Ron Paul's "Audit The Fed" movement, is Time Magazine's Person Of The Year.

Gag me with a dirty diaper.

My vote would go to The Climaquiddick hacker/whistleblower. Remember when whistleblowers (who saved taxpayers and investors millions of dollars) were lionized and admired?

The Climategate Hacker's achievements makes Bernanke's inflationary achievements look small.

Bernie Madoff vs The U.S. Dollar - which was the worst investment?

Now we're getting somewhere.
Ron Paul has made a motion for Congress to consider allowing alternative currencies in the United States.

Why is this a good thing?
We in the U.S. now have what is called a "fiat" currency. A fiat, according to these folks, is "a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort".

In other words, all those pictures of dead presidents printed on greenish paper in your purse or wallet or checking account? They're only worth something because our government has declared that they are worth something, and must be accepted for all debts, public and private.

But that sounds like a reasonable system, doesn't it? What would happen to retail cashiers if they had to have registers with 3,682 different bill and coin slots? What would happen to pricing? Exchange rates? Wouldn't things get complicated?

Yes, having only one type of currency in circulation is convenient. But who controls the amount of this fiat currency in circulation?

Senators who have to be re-elected every few years. Representatives who believe that their congressional district is somehow special, and needs money. Presidents who want to send the kids off to Foreign Adventures in a sandbox somewhere on the other side of the world.

Our government spends more than it takes in because they know if they get in trouble, they can always print more money.
Here's a chart showing the number of dollars printed, in billions, ever since the creation of The Federal Reserve. Note the Obama uptick on the far right. A 2009 dollar is now worth a 1913 nickel.

This devalued crap was printed to pay off government debts.

The Federal Reserve was created to stabilize the money supply. The dollar has lost 95% of its value since then. Things have less value as they become more common.

What do you think this new mega-increase in the money supply will do to the price of eggs and butter and beer?

(A special prize will be given to the first reader to email me an editorial blaming these upcoming price hikes on GREEDY CORPORATIONS.)

And why can our government get away with this? It's because our currency doesn't have a competitor. If someone owes me money, I'm required to accept Obamabucks as payment. (Or Bushbucks, Clintonbucks, Reganbucks, Bernankebucks, Greenspanbucks, etc. I'll be fair.)

What would happen if some banks were once again allowed to print their own currency, the way many banks did prior to the government monopoly? (One of our worst presidents once made it illegal to own gold, BTW. Statists hate, hate, hate competition.)

What would happen if some of these banks had honest managers/owners, and conscientious boards of directors, and they vowed to keep their money supply at a constant level?

Whose currency would you prefer? The system run by these hypothetical banks, or the system currently overseen by Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Bernanke and Company?

People would start asking if there's anything worse than losing 95% of value. Taken as a whole, even Bernie Madoff's investors fared better than that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Aggie Is NOT amused. I repeat, The Aggie is NOT amused.

I have a bathroom full of these things.
Dachshund puppies. Go here to see pics as newborns, go here for a week later.
They go into the bathtub when we're cleaning the bathroom floor, and they go onto the bathroom floor (yeah, they GO there) when we're cleaning the bathtub.

They've been fun, but it's now time for these guys to go. (All are now spoken for, BTW.)
This one was recently adopted by a Fort Worth couple. Mom works at TCU, and Dad does some kind of computer work near Dallas. Dad is a University Of Texas graduate, and is a diehard UT fan. Guess what they're naming their new puppy?


Yeah, Colt.

The Aggie is NOT amused.