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.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen- The Song

This is the legendary Robert Earl Keen's song about Copenhagen - the smokeless tobacco. He gets started after about a minute of onstage banter.

Mr. Keen left out a few verses. These are more timely.

First we tried some Y2K, then tried Acid Rain,
Bird Flu came and went 'cause it was too hard to explain.
Global Cooling, Global Warming, couldn't be arranged,
But now we've got 'em panicked with our talk of Climate Change !

Copenhagen, Let's all fly to Denmark,
Copenhagen, Let's all increase our worth!
Copenhagen, Let's release some carbon,
Fly to Copenhagen, and claim we're saving Earth!

So I to flew to Denmark with two drivers for my car,
Chatted and ate caviar with buddies at the bar
Sat through half a seminar, voted Cap And Trade,
Doesn't matter, warm or cold, now we've got it made!

Copenhagen, Let's all fly to Denmark,
Copenhagen, Let all increase our worth!
Copenhagen, Let's release some carbon,
Fly to Copenhagen, and claim we're saving Earth!

The moral of this story is so easy to relate:
Selling is a hassle, why not just legislate ?
So try my little method and I promise you will win,
Fly to Copenhagen, start your money rollin' in !

Copenhagen, Let's all fly to Denmark,
Copenhagen, Let's increase our worth!
Copenhagen, You rent-seeking bastards
Fly to Copenhagen, and claim you're saving Earth!

(Repeat Chorus until North American and European manufacturing gives up and totally shuts down, and everyone is forced to purchase Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins Perpetual Motion Machines, and we have to spend most of our time digging furrows in the earth with sharp sticks.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Climate Change Hockey Stick, or Scythe, or "W", or Rollercoaster, or Heartrate monitor

Their "safe word" was "Whatever I say, Don't Stop !"

Rod Jetton, the former Missouri House Speaker, fired a state lawmaker from his committee chairmanship in 2007 because the lawmaker had changed a bill in order to end a state ban on gay sex -- or what Jetton called "deviate sexual intercourse."

Jetton was charged with felony assault Monday after a girlfriend alleged that he had beaten and choked her during a recent sexual encounter, in which she failed to use a mutually agreed upon "safe word." The woman also suggested that Jetton may have slipped a date-rape drug into her glass of wine, causing her to lose consciousness. In the wake of the charges, Jetton announced that the political consulting firm he has run since leaving office last year would close its doors.

The picture of Big Daddy Rod Jetton swangin' his big ol' hammer, and showing the gavel who was in charge, and bending both the hammer and the gavel to his will and making them both submit to his desires, and asking them both if they want more? Huh? Do you want it harder? Faster? Does it hurt? Do you like it when it hurts?
Sorry. Got carried away there.
That picture came from here.