Friday, March 19, 2010

An Unfair Comparison

Think of your best experience ever at the Department Of Motor Vehicles.  Then compare that unlikely memory to your worst experience at a Wal-Mart.  The occasional long lines or the difficulty you might have getting help from time to time. 

Think of the busiest Post Office you've seen in the past year.  Compare that to the slowest Wal-Mart (granted, a slow Wal-Mart is sort of a contradiction.) 

If you've ever done any building contracting, think of the most delightful experiences you've had with city electrical, plumbing, and mechanical inspectors.  Think of how prompt they always were for their appointments, plus or minus six hours.  Remember the what it was like navigating through their f***ing automated phone trees and getting sent to the same damn recording multiple times.  Compare that to the times you've found a Wal-Mart out of stock on anything but the hottest Christmas items. 

If you happen to work for a Wal-Mart supplier (Full Disclosure: I do), and you work in the shipping and freight end of things, did you notice some of the guys that The Teamsters started sending out from YRC about a year ago?  I bet it takes some of those guys five or six tries to back up to a handicap-stall toilet.  And yet those dangerous, low end, non-union Wal-Mart drivers can always, without fail, back up to the gates of Hell without pulling forward to straighten up a single time. 

Compare the U.S. government's response to Katrina....

....with that of Wal-Mart. 

  Then, when you're finished with all of those mental gymnastics, go here. 

Why we should all pray for Barack Obama's continued good health

Here's more from the people who want to take over healthcare, run our auto companies, take care of our retirement, stop us from emitting any carbon, and determine which groups we have to hire. 

From Hot Air:

Vice President Biden added to his lengthy list of gaffes Wednesday when he took a moment to honor the memory of the Irish prime minister’s mother — a woman who’s very much alive.

“God rest her soul,” Biden said as he introduced Brian Cowen and President Obama at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House Wednesday. …

“Wait … your mom’s still, your mom is still alive. It was your Dad (who) passed. God bless her soul. I gotta get this straight,” Biden said.

What a great bunch of kidders, those guys.  I wish they could take care of my health, order my food for me in restaurants, help me at four-way-stops, spell-check my blog posts, remind me not to break the speed limit, watch my caloric intake, restrain my dachshund population, make me switch to decaf, and just help me out with everything.  I need them and you need them.  You really do. 
Give them your money. 
We're in good hands.  Really.  I'm 3,000 % less concerned about everything than I used to be. 
The picture of the Irish Prime Minister, Barack Obama, and Obama's guarantee of non-impeachment came from here. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You might be a Libertarian.

If you've ever waited at a stoplight and wondered how much more efficient it would be if stoplights were privatized, you might be a Libertarian. 

If you know how to pronounce the name "Ludwig Von Mises", you might be a Libertarian. 

If you think the funniest three words in the English language are "Small Government Republican", you might be a Libertarian.

If you can't see a Broken Window without thinking of a dead French economist, you might be a Libertarian.

If you've ever stood behind a podium and boasted that "Our candidate broke 5 percent !", you might be a Libertarian. 

If the audience started applauding madly, they were all Libertarians. 

If you've ever had a dream where you were locked in a room with Alexander Hamilton, a rabid dog, one gun, and two bullets, and in your dream you shot Alexander Hamilton might be a Libertarian. 

If you've ever wondered why we're spending money to have our navy defend Japan and Taiwan from China, using money that we're borrowing from....China, you just might be a Libertarian.

If you root for certain sports teams because they don't play in publicly funded stadiums, you might be a Libertarian.

If you've ever been to a Tea Party, a NORML meeting, a Gay Rights parade, a Peace Run, and helped staff a gun show all in the same month?  You're probably me.  And you're a Libertarian.   

If you think that Barry Goldwater was too soft on Communism, you might be a Libertarian. 
If you think that Karl Marx's quote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is a great way to encourage people to hide their abilities and publicize their needs, well, you might be a Libertarian.  (I don't know where I first heard that.  Will give attribution if someone will tell me.)

If you've ever Googled the words "John Stossel DVD Boxed Set", you might be a Libertarian. 

If you've ever broken up with someone because she wouldn't say "Federal Reserve Note" instead of "Dollar", you might be a Libertarian. 

If you've ever carried a pistol because policemen are just too damn heavy, you might be a Libertarian. 

If you not only believe that marijuana should be legalized, but that morphine sulfate should be available in five pound bags at the supermarket for a couple of bucks, like sugar... but probably in a different aisle, to avoid confusion, well, if you go that far with it, you're probably a Libertarian. 

If you've ever gone into a singles bar thinking that The Nolan Chart would be a good conversation starter, you just might be a Libertarian. 

If you own one of the rare Milton Friedman action figures, you might be a Libertarian.

And last, but not least, if you understood everything I just wrote, you might be a Libertarian. 

Go here to join the party ! !

Logo came from here.

A new E-Book to be released

There's going to be a new e-book released soon by one of my favorite libertarian bloggers. 

He's too humble to sing his own praises very loudly, so I'm doing it for him. 

The Work-Free Drugplace

From StopTheDrugWar.Org.....
The Missouri House Thursday passed a bill that would require welfare recipients to undergo drug testing upon "reasonable suspicion" they used drugs. But the Senate version of that bill, SB 607, is under sustained attack by Senate Democrats, who are filibustering it this week.

Under the bills, all work-eligible adults who received cash payments through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program would be drug tested if a caseworker has "reasonable suspicion" they are using drugs. Those who test positive would become temporarily ineligible for cash assistance, but their children could continue to receive benefits through a third party.
TANF is a federal program designed to help poverty-stricken parents provide for their children. In Missouri, more than 112,000 people get cash assistance through the program. The average family on the program gets $292 a month.
A legislative staff fiscal analysis of the Senate bill put the annual cost to the state at more than $5 million next year, and more than $6 million in coming years. Those figures represent the cost of drug testing an estimated 90,000 TANF recipients or new applicants each year and the cost of providing additional drug treatment services to deal with those who test positive.
This is one of those ridiculous sideshows that allows one of our ruling factions to show that they care about your money being wasted, while forcing the other faction to defend giving money to crackheads. 

What would happen if we broadened this proposal to cover other welfare recipients who don't fit the stereotype so well? 

Patricia Woertz, Chairman, CEO and President of Archer Daniels Midland Company, is an ethanol subsidy queen of the worst possible sort.  She has made a ton of money on the public teat.   I want Ms. Woertz (and the rest of her family) to go in for a supervised piss test before she receives another dime of taxpayer money.  She has three kids, and I'm worried about their exposure to this type of behavior. 

At my company, if a driver is involved in any accident that causes damage to people or property, they have to go in for a urinalysis.  Chris Dodd, please report for your drug screen.  We are still trying to find someone willing to test Barney Frank. 

Under the phenomenally corrupt deals within the pending healthcare monstrosity, Nebraskans will receive something called "The Cornhusker Kickback".  Mary Landrieu orchestrated something called "The Louisiana Purchase" for her Louisiana constituents.  Florida gets something mockingly named "Gatoraid".  The residents of these states need to get a test tube, get in line, and give us at least three ounces.  (Note to my Cajun friends in Louisiana: Nobody is impressed if you can supply 16 ounces.  Nobody.  Don't bother.)  This should take a while, but the results will be in the mail before the November elections, which is all that matters in any of this. 

Are you a farmer?  Are you one of the ten percent of all farmers who collected 74 percent of all subsidies amounting to $130.6 billion dollars over a 12 year period?   Get your wholesome, welfare-queen-condemning, salt-of-the-earth rear ends in line to fill up a piss cup.  (Warning: Don't bother substituting livestock urine.  It's been done before, and we know what you're up to.) 

Al Gore is trying valiantly to force you to use products and technologies developed by his partners at the venture capital firm of Kleiner-Perkins.  Well, Al, you're not going to get a cent until you can prove that you're not on crack.  Plus, there are a lot of us who are just curious. 

Seriously, why stop at the "traditional" welfare recipient?  Let's test military contractors.  Let's have every recipient of the Porkulus kickbacks go in for a urinalysis.  Want an NEA grant?  Prove that you haven't smoked weed, and good luck to you.  Are you a UAW employee, and did Obama save your job with taxpayer money?  Get in line. 

Just think....if the Missouri Republicans and I get our way, we'll soon be doing nothing but test each other. 

Welcome to the Work-Free Drugplace. 

The poster came from here. 

Walgreen's pharmacies won't be accepting new Medicaid patients after April 16th

From The Seattle Times:

Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won't take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement.

The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients.
In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a "continued reduction in reimbursement" under the state's Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents.
Walgreens follows Bartell Drugs, which stopped taking new Medicaid patients last month at all 57 of its stores in Washington, though it still fills Medicaid prescriptions for existing customers at all but 15 of those stores.

Please don't allow this to change your opinion about the need for more government involvement in our healthcare system.  Move along folks, nothing to see here.  Move along, move along.  No government inefficiency here.  Keep moving, please.  Thank you.  

Anatomy Of A Cable News Story

Warning: Adult language alert.
Another Warning: It's 100% accurate.
Final Warning: Finish your coffee and step away from the computer. This thing is funny.

Found it on Ace Of Spades.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cedric Katesby Lives ! ! !

For about the last two years, I have been blessed/cursed with a commenter who calls himself Cedric Katesby.  He lives somewhere in South Korea. 
Go here for a sample of Cedric in action.  Cedric believes that we are causing the earth to get warmer.  I don't.  I think earth's temperature is on a natural cycle.  I believe that there was a Medieval Warm Period.  I believe that it was once warm enough to grow potatoes in Greenland.  I believe that Al Gore's "Hockey Stick" is more like a little pruning hook. 
Cedric believes otherwise.  We have argued with each other for about two years.

Then East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit's emails were hacked, revealing efforts to "hide the decline" of warming.  Much nastiness was uncovered about the peer-review process. 
Then the Copenhagen Climate Change conference was a dud. 
I stopped hearing from Cedric.  Dr. Ralph, among others, wondered where Cedric went off to, and my theory was that he might have lost his funding.  I didn't think I'd ever hear from Cedric again.   
A few weeks ago, I got an email.  Cedric wanted to send me some books.  I gave him my work address, and didn't think much more about it. 

The other day, I got two large boxes of books in the mail from Barnes & Noble, compliments of Mr. Katesby in South Korea.  Most of them are about Climate Change, some are about skepticism in general (Cedric still can't believe that I'm not a religious fundamentalist) and some are about other issues where we've disagreed.  A few of them he just thought I would like !
It's the most extreme example of true dedication to a cause that I've ever seen.  I'm guesstimating that Cedric spent more than $200 on these books. 

Included are:
1) Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History
2) Climate Change: Picturing The Science
3) Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health
4) Alternative Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide
5) Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions And Misuses Reavealed
6) Creationisms Trojan Horse: The Wedge Of Intelligent Design
7) Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms The Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.
8) The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America
9) The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
10) The Faith Healers
11) Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
12) Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assasination of JFK
13) The Discovery Of Global Warming

A couple of things about these.  "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan is one of my favorites, and I read it for the third time last year.  I've already been loaned to a friend.  "Case Closed" by Posner is one of the few best-selling books on the Kennedy assasination to more or less agrees with the Warren Commission Report.  (Mrs. Sepulchre is a Kennedy assasination expert, and she takes issue with many of Mr. Posner's findings.)  "The Faith Healers", by James Randi, is a Prometheus Press classic that I read soon after it was released (late 1980's?) but I look forward to revisiting it. 

It's going to take me years to read all of this stuff.  I'll probably start with the NASA title, then go to "The Discovery Of Global Warming" since those are the two most intimidating volumes. 
Cedric, if you ever find yourself in Fort Worth, TX, I owe you one.  The food and drinks are on me. 

Next topic.....Think of the person you would most like to convert to your point of view on your favorite hot-button issue.  For instance, my passion right now is freedom and liberty. 

If I were to mail 13 books to "convert" someone to Libertarianism, I would probably select:

1) Free To Choose, by Milton Friedman
2) Modern Times, by Paul Johnson
3) Mao's Last Revolution, by Roderick MacFarquhar
4) Libertarianism: A Primer, by David Boaz
5) Radicals For Capitalism: by Brian Doherty
6) Eat The Rich, Parliament Of Whores, and Holidays In Hell, by P.J. O'Rourke
7) Hamilton's Curse, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
8) What It Means To Be A Libertarian, by Charles Murray
9) Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell
10) Economics In One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt
11) I, Pencil, by Leonard Read
12) The Revolution, by Ron Paul
13) The Price Of Everything, by Russ Roberts

Any other suggestions? 

Cedric, thanks again for the books.  We really have missed you ! 

Photographs of the books came from the Mac/Photoshop/Photography Princess. 

Orange Punch - another good libertarian blog

Here's a libertarian blog associated with The Orange County Register. 

Orange Punch. 

A sampling, this one from Mark Landsbaum:
In their head-to-head debate Monday, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner showed enough differences to give voters a choice. Poizner’s positions almost always were to the right of Whitman’s, but on one particular issue he not only was to her right, but he was right.

Whitman advocated “targeted” tax cuts. That’s the insidious game played by politicians, who take your money, but deign to return some on the condition you do what they want you to do.

“Targeted” is code for “approved by the government.” Certain kinds of business or personal activity, indeed, certain kinds of businesses or individuals, are rewarded (with their own money) because of what they do or who they are.

Everyone should be offended. Those getting “targeted” tax cuts should realize they have been played. The government took their money and now uses it to bribe to do what the government prefers they do. Those not getting “targeted” tax cuts should realize their money is being used to play favorites, rewarding others, while punishing them.

That’s why Poizner’s proposed across-the-board tax cuts are preferable. He’s willing to let you keep your own money and do whatever you like with it.
Heh.  Well said, sir ! ! 

These guys are church preachers, not evangelists, and should be bookmarked by the already-converted. 

The picture of the delicious looking orange punch came from here. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


If Obamacare passes, premiums could fall by 3,000 %  ! ! 
Go to the 1:05 mark on this video  ! ! ! 
If we'll just let him have his way, $6,000 per year insurance policies will only cost TWO DOLLARS ! ! ! 

Let's pass it now ! !  What are we waiting on?? 

I found this on Weasel Zippers.  I will be disappointed if this turns out to be a teleprompter malfunction. 

The Cato Institute on the true cost of public education

Here's the latest Cato Institute video on education.  The link will get you to a PDF explaining the methodology used to get the numbers in the video.
If you need a standard for comparison on this, you can send a fairly low-maintenance kid to Texas A and M, one of the best schools in the state, get her in classes, buy books, rent a dorm/apartment, and keep the kid fed for around $16,000.00 per year. 
You can put a child in Fort Worth Country Day, or Trinity Valley, two of Fort Worth's finest private academies, for somewhere around $16,000.

Please allow me to counter a few objections to privatizing our school system tomorrow:

1) Private schools don't have to accept anyone who shows up (special needs kids, for example). 
Well, we're currently spending a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS per classroom.  According to the Cato Institute, it's double that in D.C. All that money is going someplace, and it isn't to teachers.  There is some slack to be found in the savings for special schools for kids with special needs. 

2) Some parents, if given vouchers, would not make good choices for their children. 
Ok, think of the worst school choice a Fort Worth parent could make. 
The defense rests. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Dime Store Deity

The Photoshoppers at the New York Times have taken it to a new level.  I found it, appropriately, at Moonbattery.  Here's their latest aid to Lenten worship, a devotional icon centered on the lonely battle of He Who Now Dwells Among Us.

Andrew Ian Dodge on the first British Tea Party

Go here to read my buddy Andrew Ian Dodge on the first British Tea Party event

In both of these interviews, (Daniel) Hannan was keen to assure people that no tea would be harmed in any way. American observers found the fact that a tea party event in the UK was being planned both ironic and amusing. However, the problems discussed were as serious as the ones with which American tea party attendees are concerned: high taxes, bloated government, and fiscal irresponsibility.

I'll say it again....there is very little difference between what is screwed up here, and what is screwed up in Britain.  Ditto for what works well. 

Libertarians of the world unite !   You have nothing to lose but your unnecessary overhead ! ! 

Representative Travis Childers of Mississippi needs to hear from you

Go here for a list of the Blue Dog Democrats who are most likely to be swayed away from supporting Obamacare. 
This is an important time.  Start calling them NOW. 
There are no Texans on this list, but since I have a lot of readers in North Mississippi (land of my birth) let's all call this guy.....

Travis Childers (MS-01)

DC Address: The Honorable Travis W. Childers
United States House of Representatives
1708 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2401
DC Phone: 202-225-4306
DC Fax: 202-225-3549
Mississipians can go here to send Rep. Childers an email. 
He seems to have basic sense, and represents a right-leaning district.  Greg Davis is the name of the Republican most likely to defeat him if he supports Obamacare. 

Obama Akbar ! ! !

Found this on Hot Air:

As Rich Lowry said on "Meet The Press" the other day, Nancy Pelosi's going to channel Ataturk and his famous order of the battle of Gallipoli: "I don't order you to attack, I order you to die."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A rant

If I have to hear one more politician talking about how their spending bill will create jobs, I'm going to go stark raving mad.  I think that in the last week, I've heard it on NPR, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Jobs aren't created by forcing people to surrender their money so it can be used by some other favored group.  Jobs are created by trade.  People trade their skills, their time, their expertise, or their bodies for money.  If someone values your skills, time, expertise, or body more than they value their money, they'll offer a swap.  I'll give you x amount of dollars in exchange for x amount of your time. 

Unless government intervenes, these trades only happen when both parties believe they're getting the best end of the deal. 

The only way to increase these trades, their frequency, and the number of parties involved, is to lower and/or eliminate barriers to these trades.  Stop punishing people who succeed via trade.  Stop government munchkins from injecting themselves into these trades as middlemen.  Allow people to trade all over the world without penalities. 

Some employers take huge risks when they try to create something.  They sometimes lose everything that they've invested, unless, of course, the government steps in and covers their losses (type "bailout" into the top left corner of this site). 
I repeat, entrepreneurs can lose everything if when they aren't successful.   At what confiscation rate should government punish their occasional successes?

End of rant.  Thanks for listening.