Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stimulus Plan Works ! ! And costs Texans only $545,000.00 per job saved ! !

Don't even bother reading this rant. It's just a collection of links that I want for future reference.

From Darren Barbee and Aman Batheja, writing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Texas gained 19,572 jobs created or saved by federal stimulus funds, at a steep cost to taxpayers: $545,000 per job, according to data from a new but flawed government report.
The information, available on, shows that 376 contracts worth $608.9 million created 1,458 jobs. Grants totaling $10 billion contributed 18,114 more.
Administration officials argued that it was "calculator abuse" to figure the cost per job because many contracts haven’t been completed so additional people could be hired....

So we can now pile "calculator abuse" onto the mound of logic abuse that was required to pass the Porkulus bill. Are calculators members of a protected category in the new Hate Crimes Legislation? Just wondering.....

....A company called Affiliated Western received a $2.6 million contract to repair hangar doors. Total jobs created: a single position. Or two, since an interactive map on counted the contract twice.
The city of Arlington reported that $853,342 in stimulus money for "new pedestrian infrastructure" — a sidewalk — and a van service would create 130 jobs. Though the city reports that the project is less than 50 percent completed, it claims that 100 of those jobs would come from providing more transportation options to low-income residents.

Let's go back to basics here. Look at what you pay in taxes. That's money that you can't spend on something else. Look at the $2.6 million that the government printed to create two garage doors. That's money pumped into our system that dilutes the buying power of the money already in your wallet.
What they're doing is preventing you from spending your money on your preferred purchases, and giving it to their supporters.
Does anyone doubt that Affiliated Western, who got $2.6 million in porkulus, is now a huge financial supporter of whichever legal whore wrote them into the porkulus bill?

In another case, Tarrant County got credit for a contract awarded to B.W. Strayhorn of Wichita Falls worth $2,559,791. But zero jobs were created or saved, according to The contract calls for the company to conduct embankment repairs at Bardwell Dam and shoreline erosion repair at Lavonia Park and Lavon Lake.

Which brings up another issue....How in the hell can someone directly credit, or not credit, this stimulus money for saving a job? Jobs are being lost by the tens of thousands because investors are worried about which insane card checking/earth saving/wealth transferring/red taping/productivity penalizing scheme that our Spreadsheet Messiahs are going to roll out next.

Here's The Gay Patriot:

Last week alone, more Californians filed for jobless benefits for the first time than the number of jobs created by the “stimulus” since it passed nearly nine months ago. The Golden State had largest increase in claims for benefits (of any state) with 5,774 citizens asking for government help after being laid off (H/t Instapundit).
According to, the “so-called stimulus” created (or saved) 2,260 jobs in the Golden State since the President signed the bill in February. At that time, the Golden State’s junior Senator, Barbara Boxer, heralded Senate passage of the legislation, promising it would “put Californians to work“.
Hey, Ma’am, it doesn’t seem to be putting Californians to work. You said, “This bill will put Californians to work now building the highways, bridges, transit and rail systems, and renewable energy sources of the 21st century.” The data show layoffs “i
n the construction, services and agricultural industries.” So, maybe 2,260 Californians are building bridges for the state. 5,774 fewer are building other things (or otherwise engaging in productive and remunerative activities).
Let me repeat: More than twice as many Californians lost their jobs in just one week in October than the number of Californians put to work by the “stimulus.”

So please, please, please, please, please..... Can all government busybodies, saviors, messiahs, and earnest hand-wringers call in sick for the next year? We'll get through this thing just fine if you promise to do so. Please. Think of the children.

Here's Caroline Baum, of

....the government has no money of its own to spend; only what it borrows or confiscates from us via taxation. Oops.
“Government job creation is an oxymoron,” said
Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business. It is only by depriving the private sector of funds that government can hire or subsidize hiring.
That’s why “jobs created or saved” is such pure fiction. It ignores what’s unseen, as our old friend Frederic Bastiat explained so eloquently 160 years ago in an

Lordy. Even CBS News is calling bullshint on this mess.

I got most of these links from Instapundit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama, Hate Crimes, and Some Are More Equal Than Others

Nat Hentoff of The Cato Institute wrote the following letter to The Washington Post, shortly before The Teleprompter Jesus signed the recent Hate Crimes Law (tacked onto the end of a $680,000,000,000.00 Defense Bill, BTW):

The Oct. 28 editorial "A civil rights advance," applauding President Obama's imminent signing of "hate crimes" legislation, ignored the legislation's plain violation of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the laws." As a result of this law, those convicted of serious bodily harm against protected classes of Americans -- based on their gender or transgender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, color, religion or national origin -- could get longer prison sentences than persons convicted of bodily harm against victims outside protected classes. Perpetrators of a violent act not designated a "hate crime" -- for example, against a homeless person on the street, or a police officer, or a former employer -- could receive lesser prison terms.
Furthermore, the Fifth Amendment states: "Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." This "hate crimes" statute gives federal prosecutors the authority to try a defendant a second time for an alleged hate crime after prosecution in a state court.
Nat Hentoff, New York

Obama could've done several things to improve quality of life for Gay and Lesbian Americans. He could've finally become an advocate for Gay marriage, for instance. Here's an interesting hypothetical situation for you: Give Barack Obama the power to legalize Gay marriage, or the power to further isolate a victim group. Which one do you think he would choose?

He enhanced gay and lesbian minority/victim status. Instead of taking action to assist them in becoming like everyone else, he went to great lengths to keep them quarantined as a special needs group.

Almost all crimes are hate crimes. The perpetrators can already be brought to trial under existing law. But Obama has increased the penalty for crimes against some, relative to crimes against others. Does the idiot really believe this will help gays and lesbians?

The Hate Crimes Demotivational Poster came from here.

Jesus and The Rich Young Ruler and Mandatory Compassion Outsourcing

Many of you are probably familiar with the story of The Rich Young Ruler: A guy comes up to Jesus and asks "What do I have to do to be saved?" Jesus says "Take what you have, sell it, and give the money to the poor". The guy sadly walks away, because he has lots of money that he doesn't want to part with.

That entire story is a mistranslation from the original Greek. I've spent the last 6 months working on this. I don't know how these textual errors have lasted for 2000 years, but I've set it all straight.
This is from Matthew 19:16-22.

16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony....

19 ....honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'

20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"

21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, lobby for Hope and Change. Set up large programs administered by your government, in which other people are forced to give up their money to fulfill your agenda. Keep a lot of this money for yourself. Dole it out to your favorites. Give nothing of your own, for you know best how to use it, and nothing feels better than spending other people's money. Ensure that the multitudes retain their dependent victim status, and that they will be with you always. For such is the Kingdom Of God."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away rejoicing, for none of this would cost him a dime.

I'm sure that all of you are relieved to learn this. This new interpretation relieves you of all personal responsibility, and puts the burden on others.
I've found other passages that have been mis-interpreted, and I'll be getting to them later.

The painting of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler came from here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Barack Obama, William Ayers, "Dreams Of My Father", and ghostwriters

During the unpleasantness of last November, there was considerable debate about Barack Obama's relationship with former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.
Obama described him as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood".

Mr. Obama didn't mention that William Ayers helped write the Obama memoir, Dreams Of My Father.

The following is from “Barack And Michelle – Portrait Of An American Marriage”, by Christopher Andersen. 2009, William Morrow Publishing.
Perhaps Andersen made all this up. Perhaps William Morrow's fact-checking department fell down on the job.
But if it's true, it would explain a lot about the direction of the last 9 months, wouldn't it? If someone wanted to destroy capitalism and the free market, could anyone improve on what we're now going through?
Indulge me here....
Here's the complete controversial text, from "Barack and Michelle" by Christopher Andersen, pages 164-166.

"Desperate to finish the book, Barack and Michelle took a leave of absence from their jobs and decamped to the Indonesian island of Bali so that, as his sister Maya put it, he could “find a peaceful sanctuary, where there were no phones, to work on the book.” When he returned in early 1994, Barack burrowed even deeper into the Hole (the office behind the Obama kitchen) in a last-gasp effort to finish it.
Two months later, with a September 1994 deadline looming, Barack was still stymied. It was around this time that, at Michelle’s urging, he sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor, Bill Ayers. Michelle had known Ayers’s wife, Bernadine Dohrn, at Sidley Austin, where Dohrn worked as a paralegal between 1984 and 1988. Dohrn’s father-in-law, former Commonwealth Edison CEO Thomas Ayers, just happened to be one of the firm’s most important clients."

One brief interruption. Like Fidel Castro, and like Che Guevara, Bill Ayers grew up very well-off, but wanted to rebel against the only system proven to make people well-off. Bill Ayers' father ran Commonwealth Edison. Sheesh.

"Barack got to know Bill Ayers’s father and his brother, John, when all three served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Education Fun. Ajnother mutual friend of Ayers and Barack was Jean Rudd, whose nonprofit Woods Fund had provided Jerry Kellman with the money he needed to hire Barack as an organizer back in 1985.
Neither Michelle nor Barack seemed particularly troubled to discover that William Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn had been two of the 1960s’ most infamous radicals – leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist group that set off thirty bombs in the 1960s and 1970s.

After an explosion in the Weathermen’s Greenwich Village bomb-making laboratory killed three of their fellow Weathermen (including Ayers’s girlfriend at the time, Diana Oughton) and virtually destroyed the neighboring town house owned by Dustin Hoffman, Ayers and Dohrn went underground. In 1973 charges against them were dismissed due to prosecutorial misconduct, but Dohrn remained a fugitive until she finally turned herself in to police in 1980.
Ayers made no apologies for his terrorist past, and in the 1990’s still described himself as “a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist….The ethics of communism still appeal to me. I don’t like Lenin as much as the early Marx.”

I love that phrase. "The ethics of communism". Communism killed somewhere between 60 and 100 million people. They made the Nazis look like amateurs. But their intentions were so good and wholesome.

Ayers’s radical past didn’t seem to bother Chicago’s civic leaders, many of whom worked with him on education reform. He worked particularly closely with Mayor Richard M. Daley on reshaping the city’s school programs – an effort that also brought him into contact with one of Daley’s assistants at the time, Michelle Obama.
What did interest Barack were Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer. Unlike Barack, Ayers had written and cowritten scores of articles and treatises, as well as several nonfiction books beginning with Education: An American Problem in 1968. But it was the tone Ayers had set in his latest book – To Teach (1993) – that Barack hoped to emulate.
The tale of a maverick teacher who takes her students onto the streets of New York to teach them firsthand about history, culture, and survival, To Teach was written in a fluid, novelistic style. Barack asked for Ayers’s input, and Ayers, who like so many in his circle was greatly impressed by the charismatic young activist, obliged.
To flesh out his family history, Barack had also taped interviews with Toot, Gramps, Ann, Maya, and his Kenyan relatives. These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes, were given to Ayers. “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together,” another Hyde Park neighbor pointed out. “It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.”

In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams from My Father would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writings. Even the caveat at the beginning of Dreams, in which Barack points out that he uses invented dialogue, embellished facts, composite characters, inaccurate chronology, and pseudonyms to create an “approximation” of reality, resembles Ayers’s defense of the inaccuracies in his memoir Fugitive Days. In the foreward to his book, Ayers states that the book is merely a collection of his personal memories and “impressions.”

In other words, don't bother fact-checking either book. Like the other products produced by these two, the books are bullshit.

“There was a good deal of literary back-scratching going on in Hyde Park,” said writer Jack Cashill, who noted that a mutual friend of Barack and Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, thanked Ayers for helping him with his book Resurrecting Empire. Ayers, explained Cashill, “provided an informal editing service for like-minded friends in the neighborhood.”
Certainly none of these authors hesitated to acknowledge their admiration for one another at the time. In his 1997 book, A Kind And Just Parent, Ayers would cite the “writer” Barack Obama (along with Muhammad Ali and Louis Farrakhan) as one of the celebrities living in his neighborhood. In turn, Barack would write a glowing review of that same book for the Chicago Tribune, and Michelle would host a panel discussion on the book at the University of Chicago, with Ayers and her husband as the principal speakers.
Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books. With some minor cuts and polishing, the book would be on track for publication in the early summer of 1995. In the meantime, he began showing the rough draft to a chosen few relatives.

From the dust jacket of "Barack and Michelle": Christopher Andersen is the critically acclaimed author of twenty-eight books, which have been translated into more than twenty-five languages worldwide. A former contributing editor of Time magazine and senior editor of People magazine, Andersen has also written hundreds of articles for a wide range of publications, including Life magazine, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair.

Fortunate Son - Party In Power version

Pretty funny, if you know enough about each politician's background.

Thanks to Moe Lane for producing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forty four percent of the electorate will self-identify as Libertarian (if you give them enough hints)

I don't see any way to condense what the Cato institute has to say here, so I'm going to scrape the entire post. Gentlemen, my apologies.

In today’s Washington Post, William Kristol exults:

The Gallup poll released Monday shows the public’s conservatism at a high-water mark. Some 40 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, compared with 36 percent who self-describe as moderates and 20 percent as liberals.

Gallup often asks people how they describe themselves. But sometimes they classify people according to the values they express. And when they do that, they find a healthy percentage of libertarians, as well as an unfortunate number of big-government “populists.”

For more than a dozen years now, the Gallup Poll has been using two questions to categorize respondents by ideology:

  • Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
  • Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?

Combining the responses to those two questions, Gallup found the ideological breakdown of the public shown below. With these two broad questions, Gallup consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents to be libertarian. The word “libertarian” isn’t well known, so pollsters don’t find many people claiming to be libertarian. And usually they don’t ask. But a large portion of Americans hold generally libertarian views — views that might be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or as Gov. William Weld told the 1992 Republican National Convention, “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” They don’t fit the red-blue paradigm, and they have their doubts about both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. They’re potentially a swing vote in elections. Background on the libertarian vote here.

And note here: If you tell people that “libertarian” means “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” 44 percent will accept the label.

That's right, 44%. Forty four percent. Combine that with this little nugget from the New York Times. Here's Jonathan Weisman:

Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy after a mild upswing of attitudes in September. But Republicans haven't been able to profit politically from the economic gloom, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The survey found a country in a decidedly negative mood, nearly a year after the election of President Barack Obama. For the first time during the Obama presidency, a majority of Americans sees the country as being on the wrong track.

This is possibly caused by the memory of Presidents named Bush and Reagan setting spending records until they were upstaged by a President named Obama. One day the electorate will figure out that Republicans don't want to change the direction of the national vehicle, they just want to drive it and choose which gas stations and restaurants to support.

One day, the electorate is going to figure out that Democrats invented "don't ask, don't tell", they are partially responsible for us having 20% of the world's prison population (with only 5% of the world's population to pull from) with their insane War On Drugs, and that the Democrats' economic policies keep more minorities in poverty than anything the Klan could've invented.

The Libertarian Party - One day soon, we're going to march on Washington and demand.....Nothing ! !

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Weekly Radley - A Brief Lawsuit

From the sheer undiluted greatness that is Radley Balko, in reference to the Above The Law website.

It defies commentary. It can't be condensed. The entire thing must be read from beginning to end. Hit the 2nd link. Read the comment field at your own risk.

Aw, what the heck. Here's the opening paragraph:
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. Albert Freed (pictured) won a trip to Hawaii (not pictured). As part of the vacation celebration, Mrs. Freed bought her husband some new Hanes brand briefs. But Mr. Freed is a husky gentleman, and apparently the new trunks couldn’t contain all of his junk. He sued Hanes, claiming they made “defective” underwear.
I'm sitting in Starbucks, laughing out loud. I'm crying. What in the hell would possess someone to drag something like this into court? Here's some more:
A question for the guys out there: How long would it take you to correct a problem involving sandpaper and your ----? Don’t you think ----- chaffing is something that requires immediate attention and decisive action?
And while we’re here, how long does it take for you to notice your stuff hanging out where it is not supposed to be?
Please forgive me for not filling in the blanks. My mama sometimes reads this stuff.
Hit the second link. Imagine this guy in court. Imagine the look on the face of the court reporter.
I love being alive. I love the internet.
Here's that link one more time.

Don't your customers need a Yugo ??

For my Serbian friend Igor :

Here's a 1988 sales video extolling the mighty and numerous selling points of the Yugo, such as the 1.1-liter engine that roared with 54 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, the 19.5-second quarter-mile time "ensuring safe access to major highways," and "no expensive computer chips to diagnose or replace.

Yes, the Yugo. It can do the quarter in 19.5 seconds. I think Secretariat could do the quarter in 19.5 seconds. Ah, the glories of Socialist auto manufacturing ! !

A fresh coat of Whitening to Autoblog for resurrecting this one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures from a fun weekend

I took a lot of unrelated pictures this weekend, and thought I'd roll them all into one post:

I went to my sister and brother-in-law's house Friday night. Mr. Chen, the factory owner that I've worked with during 5 trips to China, was having dinner with them. Mr. Chen is a Tool And Die maker who started his own company in China almost immediately after Xiamen (his hometown) became a "Free Enterprise Zone". (Free Enterprise Zone is a term used in Communist China to designate places where people aren't starving to death any more. It's strange how the Free Market works, isn't it?)
And for long-time followers of this blog, Mr. Chen is the star of The Infamous Chinese Dog Story, an epic tale of death, destruction, and bizarre cultural differences that has been read and copied and emailed all over 6 continents.

Mr. Chen speaks almost no English. Here he is cooking scallops and signaling that he needs to find a urinal.

This is Nancy. Nancy is Mr. Chen's translator, Salesperson, Office Manager, and right hand. Nancy also had a small part in The Celebrated Chinese Typhoon Story.

I spent Saturday morning working at the Jukt Micronics New Everman warehouse.
Tommy, Joshua, and the crew have brought order out of chaos. NOTHING is out of place in this entire facility. NOTHING.

Saturday afternoon, I went to the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup at The Flying Saucer in downtown Fort Worth. Michael Badnarik, our 2004 Presidential candidate, was there. And that's Stephen Smith, of the "Beginner's Guide To Freedom" blog, on the far right. Stephen is staring off into the distance, thinking of things far more brilliant than anything I'll ever write.

Stephen is, after all, from Jackson, Mississippi.

That's me, plotting rebellion and upheaval with Tarrant County Libertarian Party Chair, John Spivey.

Mandy the dachshund has been "great with child", to put it biblically, for quite a while. She decided to have 6 babies Sunday morning. I kinda had to help out with number 6, who was quite comfy inside his old resting place. Thought he was stillborn, cause he didn't move at all once he hit the great indoors. A couple of minutes passed by. I decided to let Mandy sniff him, etc., so she could see that he didn't make it.
Mandy licked #6 for about a minute and a half without stopping.
#6 woke up, lifted his head, and started sniffing around for breakfast. It's amazing how they just "know".
We let Mandy outside so we could count the puppies. 6 of them, and all seemed healthy. We let her in, and then watched some "Lost". I'm at the very beginning of Season 4, and I think the Island is the center of a Time Warp.

The Aggie and I decided to count how many boys vs. girls we had. We counted 4 boys and 3 girls. That couldn't be right, because we had 6 puppies. We counted again. Came up with 5 boys and 2 girls. (Their mother kept moving them around. That had to be the reason.) We counted again. It added up to 7. Mandy had pushed out another pup while we weren't paying attention.
I'm glad Mandy stopped at 7, because I think she only has place settings for 8. Woulda been crowded at the table.
It's strange how these tiny, delicate, effeminate, mewling, balls of life can grow up to be somewhat larger, delicate, effeminate, mewling, balls of life. I honestly don't know how I wound up with all these dachshunds. (Well, I know how I got the last 7. I just don't remember a conscious decision to fill the yard with them.)

Went to Boomerjacks in the old Montgomery Ward's area Sunday afternoon. There supposedly was a Cowboys game going on. I think the Cowboys won. This will only encourage Jerry to remain in place as G.M. Therefore, in the long term, this victory is a bad thing.
Other relapses were prevented. (Long story.)
When I got home, The Aggie had made a TCU pumpkin for my Paw In Law, who got his doctorate at TCU.
My Maw In Law countered with some ghost brownies.

End of weekend. It was a good one.

From the people who brought us the swine flu vaccine shortage....

From the people who brought us the swine flu vaccine shortage. Here's the Washington Examiner:

On Sept. 13, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, told ABC's This Week program that the government was on schedule to deliver an "ample supply" of swine flu vaccine by mid-October:
"We're on track to have an ample supply rolling by the middle of October. But we may have some early vaccine as early as the first full week in October. We'll get the vaccine out the door as fast as it rolls off the production line."
But here we are five weeks later and news reports are coming in from across the nation of long waiting lines of people wanting the shot, but being turned away because of grossly inadequate supplies. The typical explanation from public health offiials is that the swine flu vaccine requires more time to be cultivated than seasonal flu vaccine.
That's no doubt true, but did federal public health officials just discover that fact? These are the same government officials who will be in charge of your health care under the government-run health care system being sought by Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress.

Someone named Mike O'Keefe brought the entertaining signage. Links from Instapundit.