Friday, January 1, 2010

The Worst Political Decade Since The 1990's

Here are the geniuses at Reason magazine, on why the "oughts" were the worst political decade since the 1990's:

The Weekly Radley - Hank Williams edition

Hank Williams (the first) died 57 years ago today.
Lord have mercy, what a man.

Here's Damon Root, of Reason magazine (I've spent the morning on their site) on the continued influence of Hank I on just about everything.

"Your Cheatin' Heart", "Move It On Over", "Hey Good Looking", and several others are in the Whited guitar/vocal repetoire. They're usually well-received, eliciting polite smatterings of applause and appreciation, and nothing more. But "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" always, always, always makes someone say something like "Can you imagine that much hurt inside a person?"

This is a video of Hank's "Long Gone Lonesome Blues"

A fresh coat of Whitening to Radley Balko for the link. If anyone is wondering, I run an occasional feature called The Weekly Radley as a testament to the immense power of getting linked to by Radley Balko. Long story.

Democrats Resegregate the Washington D.C. School System

Sometimes Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit pulls together such an excellent collection of links and commentary, all I can do is scrape 'em and encourage you to go to his site every day.
Here's what he accumulated on the D.C. School Voucher Program, one of the very few federal programs that Obama doesn't like:
KILLING THE D.C. SCHOOL VOUCHER PROGRAM: Because protecting bureaucrats’ rice bowls is more important than, you know, actually educating.

UPDATE: “Democrats Resegregate DC School System.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails:

I keep thinking -hard- about what an amazing example the DC Voucher program could be… if it was really adopted as a cause celebre on the right. Not just as a punchline, but as a going concern.

There just aren’t that many recipients, and there’s a mighty strong overlap in DC between “underprivileged” and “permanent Democrat voters.” And these identical voters are personally steamed. They can recognize being completely jobbed. If there’s one spot to push to shatter this particular unholy alliance, it is precisely this spot.

Think of it as a reverse-ACORN. Scholarships are strictly need based – not race based. An endowment focused on K-12 instead of higher education.

I’m not quite sure the Glenn Reynolds DC Scholarship Fund has quite enough panache ;)

But just think of the same idea with different marquee players:

The Ronald Reagan Scholarship Fund.

The Rush Limbaugh Scholarship Fund.

The Sarah Palin Scholarship fund.

Note: I would like to add the Milton Friedman School Voucher fund, since Friedman was one of the first in the U.S. to advocate this type of program. Since this is one of the few areas where I could possibly get behind a racial quota system, if anyone wants to establish a minority scholarship in my name, please call it the Whited For Black And Brown Education Fund. And if you think that's racist, just look at some of the eugenics-inspired requirements for other minority set-asides.

Back to Instapundit. Sorry for the digression.

What do you think? Reach out to these folks and raise some money? (More here). Though that bit about lacking panache kinda hurts . . . .

UPDATE: Arnold Kling likes the idea. “The conflict between voluntary charity and progressive tax-funded spending is a very interesting potential battleground. Progressives want to shift away from charitable giving and toward taxes, while libertarians (or civil societarians) ought to be aiming for the reverse.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Heather Benes writes: “I suggest a Thomas Sowell/Walter E. Williams scholarship fund for those D.C. kids.”

MORE: Reader Catherine Elkins writes:

I love this idea and wish it had been an option when doing my last minute year-end contributions last night! If you and/or others who may write you can get anything like this set up, I look forward to seeing links here to contribute. My guess is, the sooner it can be done, the better, so that some of these families can plan for the next school year with an idea of funds/funding available.

I’d offer to help but I don’t know the first thing about setting up scholarship funds. I’ll contribute, though!

Anybody know anything about setting up scholarship funds?

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.