Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Best Argument Against Creationism
Serpents can't talk.
Plans for Earth Hour - Carbon Offset Needed !
For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
Since I believe that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a massive vat of Goremanure, I intend to do the following:
1) I'm playing guitar tonight at a church event. Eleven is better.
2) My immediate family and I will ride to this event in three different vehicles. Two SUV's and a Ford F-150.
3) It's unseasonably cold in Texas this weekend, so I'm going to crank up the heat. Hotter than the Oval Office.
4) Someone who buys into the AGW con, someone susceptible to marketing, someone extremely gullible, can you help me out with something? I need for you to turn your lights out for three hours tonight. Let me know you've done so, and I'll give you credit for being my Carbon Offset.
Caption contest: Poppy, Gipper, W, Ike, TR, Tricky Dicky, Jerry, and another guy
Jos Metadi, like the bearded man with his back to the viewer, remains unknown. But he won last week's caption contest.
Picture compliments of The Mother Of The Whited Sepulchre.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Videos For Tomorrow's Safety Meetings.
Here are some unh.... inspirational videos on both subjects. I'll use them for my employee safety meetings tomorrow.
You can safely skip to the .40 mark on this one, or, if you don't want to see a lot of beer wasted, skip it altogether.
I've twice seen drivers forget their mast is raised. I've never seen it make the lift go horizontal....
Here's a collection of horrific post-accident pictures:
And here's a collection of other videos:
Remember: Forklift safety is everyone's number one job ! !
Follow-up Hypothetical Question
Imagine you live in an apartment complex with a diverse assortment of tenants. There's a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker. A doctor, a lawyer, and an Indian Chief. A truck driver, a dentist, a mortician, a schoolteacher, and a mechanic.
Anything you need, you can get from the residents of your apartment. No one purchases anything from anyone outside the apartment complex. It helps to protect your apartment complex's jobs.
There's a slight problem. The schoolteacher hates kids. The truck driver is an alcoholic. The butcher is a Muslim, and won't handle pork.
Should you be allowed to trade with people who live in other apartment complexes? Even if it endangers the jobs of those in your apartments?
If someone uses the services of people living in another apartment complex, lessening the amount of potential revenue within the landlord's grasp, what percentage penalty should he/she be required to pay on those transactions?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Jeffrey Miron: Legalize Drugs To Stop Violence In Mexico
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Over the past two years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news. Some of this violence pits drug cartels against one another; some involves confrontations between law enforcement and traffickers.
Recent estimates suggest thousands have lost their lives in this "war on drugs."
The U.S. and Mexican responses to this violence have been predictable: more troops and police, greater border controls and expanded enforcement of every kind. Escalation is the wrong response, however; drug prohibition is the cause of the violence.
Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead.
Violence was common in the alcohol industry when it was banned during Prohibition, but not before or after.
Violence is the norm in illicit gambling markets but not in legal ones. Violence is routine when prostitution is banned but not when it's permitted. Violence results from policies that create black markets, not from the characteristics of the good or activity in question.
The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs. Fortuitously, legalization is the right policy for a slew of other reasons.
Prohibition of drugs corrupts politicians and law enforcement by putting police, prosecutors, judges and politicians in the position to threaten the profits of an illicit trade. This is why bribery, threats and kidnapping are common for prohibited industries but rare otherwise. Mexico's recent history illustrates this dramatically.
Prohibition erodes protections against unreasonable search and seizure because neither party to a drug transaction has an incentive to report the activity to the police. Thus, enforcement requires intrusive tactics such as warrantless searches or undercover buys. The victimless nature of this so-called crime also encourages police to engage in racial profiling.
Prohibition has disastrous implications for national security. By eradicating coca plants in Colombia or poppy fields in Afghanistan, prohibition breeds resentment of the United States. By enriching those who produce and supply drugs, prohibition supports terrorists who sell protection services to drug traffickers.
Prohibition harms the public health. Patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and other conditions cannot use marijuana under the laws of most states or the federal government despite abundant evidence of its efficacy. Terminally ill patients cannot always get adequate pain medication because doctors may fear prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drug users face restrictions on clean syringes that cause them to share contaminated needles, thereby spreading HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
Prohibitions breed disrespect for the law because despite draconian penalties and extensive enforcement, huge numbers of people still violate prohibition. This means those who break the law, and those who do not, learn that obeying laws is for suckers.
Prohibition is a drain on the public purse. Federal, state and local governments spend roughly $44 billion per year to enforce drug prohibition. These same governments forego roughly $33 billion per year in tax revenue they could collect from legalized drugs, assuming these were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco. Under prohibition, these revenues accrue to traffickers as increased profits.
The right policy, therefore, is to legalize drugs while using regulation and taxation to dampen irresponsible behavior related to drug use, such as driving under the influence. This makes more sense than prohibition because it avoids creation of a black market. This approach also allows those who believe they benefit from drug use to do so, as long as they do not harm others.
Legalization is desirable for all drugs, not just marijuana. The health risks of marijuana are lower than those of many other drugs, but that is not the crucial issue. Much of the traffic from Mexico or Colombia is for cocaine, heroin and other drugs, while marijuana production is increasingly domestic. Legalizing only marijuana would therefore fail to achieve many benefits of broader legalization.
It is impossible to reconcile respect for individual liberty with drug prohibition. The U.S. has been at the forefront of this puritanical policy for almost a century, with disastrous consequences at home and abroad.
The U.S. repealed Prohibition of alcohol at the height of the Great Depression, in part because of increasing violence and in part because of diminishing tax revenues. Similar concerns apply today, and Attorney General Eric Holder's recent announcement that the Drug Enforcement Administration will not raid medical marijuana distributors in California suggests an openness in the Obama administration to rethinking current practice.
Perhaps history will repeat itself, and the U.S. will abandon one of its most disastrous policy experiments.
Monday, March 23, 2009
American Jobs Threatened by Cheap Chinese Condoms
In a move that will cost around 300 American jobs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has decided to purchase condoms from foreign companies — in countries like South Korea and China — because they cost less than American-made prophylactics, the Star reported.
The agency distributes billions of condoms to poor countries around the world, but has previously used only American-made condoms because of "Buy American" regulations, the Star reported. The stimulus bill that recently passed in Congress, however, does not include that provision for condoms.
I can't imagine how much fun I would've had with a condoms provision in the umm...Stimulus...bill.
A USAID official told the Star that the agency considered the jobs that would be lost, but that the foreign condoms cost about 2 cents. American ones cost about 5 cents.
Alatech, an Alabama company that had been USAID's previous sole supplier, protested the contract's move, but the Government Accountability Office rejected the compliant saying the company had no standing, the Star reported.
Condom factory workers are unhappy about the move.
“We pay taxes down here, too, and with all this stimulus money going to save jobs, it seems to me like they should share this contract so they can save jobs here in America,” Fannie Thomas, who has worked at Alatech for 40 years, told the Star.
Ok, seriously....How much would you as a taxpayer be willing to overpay for condoms for someone else to use? What percentage? Is it equal to the percentage you'd be willing to overpay for an AIG exec to get a really nice bonus? How much more would you be willing to pay for an iPod made in your hometown? Or does it only make sense to spend the taxpayers' money in the most efficient way possible?
“I’ve made condoms here for 20 years,” Cindy Robinson, a $9.50-an-hour employee at Alatech, told the Star. “I understand why they bid the contract overseas, but they should buy American first, and I feel they are going back on their word.”
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I'm The Strawman, Part 2
For starters, there are plenty of people who think the government should be doing a lot less. Stating that fact after the idiocy of the past two weeks seems unnecessary.
But can the man not advocate a position without his now-patented "There are those who say...." fill-in-the-blank horse manure?
"There are those who say.... that we should allow orphans to starve, but I say we should spend two trillion dollars on orphan programs in Senator Dodd's district."
"There are those who say.... that we should use Canada for nuclear target practice, but I say we should send Canada a really nice card this year."
"There are those who say.... that I have too much faith in Tim Geithner, but I say 'Heck of a job, Timmy."
And on and on and on.
When Shepherds Get Bored
Some compliant sheep.
The business going on during the synthesizer music is a duplication of the late 1970's video game "Pong".
Light-Up Sheep Art - Watch more Funny Videos
I dare you to watch this and not think of the American electorate.