Friday, August 13, 2010

I hope Atlas doesn't shrug

From Wired magazine:

Nick Newcomen did a road trip over 30 days that covered stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. First, he identified on a map the route he would need to drive to spell out the message. He put a GPS device in his car to trace the route he would follow. Then, he hit the road.

“The main reason I did it is because I am an Ayn Rand fan,” he says. “In my opinion if more people would read her books and take her ideas seriously, the country and world would be a better place — freer, more prosperous and we would have a more optimistic view of the future.”

Newcomen, unlike previous GPS artists, actually traveled the lines he traced on the map. He used a GPS logger (Qstarz BT-Q1000X) to “ink” the message. Starting his trip in Marshall, Texas, he turned on the device when he wanted to write a letter and turned off the device between letters. The recorded GPS data was loaded into Google Earth to produce the image above. below:

Now THAT is dedication. 

Read More

Glenn Beck on Gay Marriage

Here's Glenn Beck, in a recent interview on gay marriage.  If Beck has figured it out, can the rest of America be far behind ?

O’REILLY: But let’s take the gay marriage deal. Big ruling in California. You really didn’t cover that much, right?
BECK: Nope.
BECK: Because honestly I think we have bigger fish to fry. You can argue about abortion or gay marriage or whatever –
O’REILLY: Do you believe — do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?
BECK: A threat to the country?
O’REILLY: Yeah, it going to harm the country?
BECK: No, I don’t. Will the gays come and get us?
O’REILLY: OK. Is it going to harm the country in any way?
BECK: I believe — I believe what Thomas Jefferson said. If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?
O’REILLY: OK, so you don’t. That’s interesting. Because I don’t think a lot of people understand that about you.
BECK: As long as we — as long as we are not going down the road of Canada, where it now is a problem for churches to have free speech. If they can still say, hey, we –
O’REILLY: Oppose it –
BECK: — we oppose it –
O’REILLY: Right.
Here they're talking about Canadian ministers who get in trouble with their Human Rights Commissions for using "hate speech" in opposing gay/lesbian marriage.  BECK: — but we’re not trying to kill anybody or trying to –
O’REILLY: In Sweden they have that too. OK, so gay marriage to you, not a big a threat to the nation.

But that's not the best part.  Here's a chart showing approval/disapproval for same-sex marriage.  All of this is from the "Beyond The Beltway" blog, BTW:

Note the bulge in the otherwise smooth line as things come to a head around the 2004 elections, the wide, wide base in 1988, and of course, the tip where things come together in 2010. 
My, my, my, what a big long trendline on gay marriage.   

Dream Big ! !

The Aggie has always taken pride in doing things that others say are impossible, but this stunt took it to a new level.  This is from the Downtown Fort Worth YMCA, where she has worked as a lifeguard all summer:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reducing taxes on imports - Good. Bush tax cuts - Bad.

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a bill meant to reduce costs for U.S. manufacturers and help them regain their footing in the shaky economy.

The law would reduce and suspend tariffs (i.e. - taxes) on certain materials U.S. companies must import to make their products. It passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support.

The president signed the bill into law in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

The National Association of Manufacturers says the new law will help create jobs, cut costs for businesses and consumers and boost U.S. exports. The industry trade group says studies show the bill would increase production by $4.6 billion and support 90,000 jobs.

Please allow me to repeat part of that last sentence....Cutting taxes on things that we import will "help create jobs, cut costs for businesses and consumers and boost U.S. exports. The industry trade group says studies show the bill would increase production by $4.6 billion and support 90,000 jobs."

Now, let's apply that same logic and reasoning to ALL imports.  Do you think that would help us prosper?  Would tearing down our current insane protectionist tariffs against sugar and wheat help American families? 

Well, the really long answer is....yes. 

So can someone please explain to me, using little bitty words that I can understand, why it is that Numb Nuts will sign a bill lowering taxes on imported raw material (because that will help the economy and create jobs) but he's wanting to let the Bush tax cuts expire?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Broken Windows - The Video

Here's the final word on Bastiat's "Broken Windows" fallacy.
It doesn't matter if it is Cash For Clunkers, the new Cowboys Stadium, or Obama's Porkulus plan - we're all better off when you can spend your money the way you want to spend it.

The Grate Typo Hunt

From NPR:

Insensed by a "no tresspassing" sign, Jeff Deck launched a cross-country trip to right gramattical wrongs.

He enlisted a freind, Benjamin D. Herson, and together they got too work erassing "errant quotation marks", rectafying mispellings and cutting unecessary possessive' apostrophe's.

The Grate Typo Hunt is the story of there crusade.

In 2 1/2 months, Herson and Deck travelled the perrimeter of the country, exploring towns and city's in search of typo's. They found 437 typo's and were able too correct more than half of them.

Hit the link to reed the rest of there article. 

More controversy surrounding Baylor University and the cult of Aqua Buddha

From Fox News:

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is threatening to sue a magazine following a report that alleges he kidnapped a female friend and tried to force her to smoke marijuana as a college student at Baylor University.

That sentence contains its own rebuttal.  There is no marijuana at Baylor University.  Or anywhere else within 25 miles of Jerusalem On The Brazos
GQ Magazine published a report Monday anonymously quoting a woman who claimed Paul and another man came to her house, blindfolded her, and tied her up before trying to force her to "take bong hits" in 1983 when the three were students at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Seriously.  Baylor.  Bong hits.  That does not compute. 

The report also alleges that Paul, who is running as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, was part of a secret society called the NoZe Brotherhood, which "existed to torment the Baylor administration" through "pranks" and its student-run satirical newspaper.

Paul told Fox News that he "categorically" denies the kidnapping allegation. "This stuff is just outrageous and ridiculous. No, I never was involved with kidnapping. No, I never was involved with forcibly drugging people," he said.

The report continues:

The woman, quoted in GQ, told the magazine that Paul and another member of the brotherhood drove her to a creek after she refused to smoke marijuana and forced her to worship an "Aqua Buddha."

"They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman reportedly told the magazine. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.'

The picture of Aqua Buddha came from here. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why economic conservatives need to start voting for Libertarians

Here's wannabe House Speaker John Boehner (Daddy Party - Ohio) from last Sunday's edition of Meet The Press.
Lord have mercy, what an empty suit.  At least when Pelosi is wrong, she's entertaining.  She's displays a vibrant, colorful ignorance.  Ignorance that I can have fun with.   All Boehner can do is pull the string in the back of his neck and stumble through his talking points with his calm, soothing, mid-1970's disc jockey baritone fog of a voice. 

David Gregory, the host, in this segment and the later ones, keeps harping that THE BUSH TAX CUTS AREN'T PAID FOR.  And they aren't.  They don't have to be. 

Here's how Boehner should have responded:

Boehner:  David, thank you for that interesting perspective.  I would like to agree with you, but that would make both of us wrong, wouldn't it? 
You see, when you cut taxes, you allow people to make better choices with their money, instead of letting Washington pour the money into the gaping maw of the government beast.  The economy is more likely to expand when this is the case.  People can make rational investments in rational projects.  Raising taxes also makes people less likely to take risks with their investments - you see, David, starting a business is a risky proposition.  Would YOU take that risk if government munchkins were allowed to confiscate 50% of your potential profits?  (long pause....)

David Gregory:  I was speaking more about the hypothetical.....

Boehner:  No, David, I'm not speaking of hypotheticals.  I'm talking about reality, and how people act.  Do you have a tax attorney or accountant who tries to guarantee that you pay as little as possible in taxes?

David Gregory:  Well, yes.  But how are the Bush Tax Cuts going to be paid for? 

Boehner:  I'll get there, David.  Give me time.  You see, the super-wealthy have tax accountants also.  The super-wealthy, like John Kerry, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and every other member of the megabucks earning circle, they all have tax accountants.  If you raise their taxes, they're simply going to put their money into shelters instead of into more productive investments.  Increasing their taxes will change their behavior.  It will not guarantee that a higher percentage of money will pour into Tiny Timmy Geithner's piggy bank.
Look at what happened when Reagan cut the tax rate.  The amount coming into the treasury increased !

David Gregory:  But the deficit increased under Reagan !

Boehner (embarrassed):  Well, yes, the deficit increased because we also increased spending at the same time.  We are, after all, Republicans, and that's what we do with money. 
Ok, let's go back to hypotheticals: say you are playing roulette.  You can either bet on red or black, and there's a $100.00 minimum wager.  If you lose, you lose everything.  If you win, you could win another $100.00 or possibly $200.00 or maybe even $300.00    Would you play? 

David Gregory:  Possibly.....

Boehner:  But what if the Nutcase-In-Chief declares that nobody should be able to win more than $75.00, and that all winnings above that rate will be given to the government.  Would you play?

David Gregory:  No.....But how would the Bush Tax Cuts be paid for? 

Boehner:  David, please listen to me.....when the pie is expanding, which is what happens when you lower tax rates, the amount the government collects increases also.  Investor behavior will....

David Gregory:  Thank you for being with us, Congressman Boehner !   Please stay with us after this break, when I will be joined by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Tennessee congressman Harold Ford, and Democrat campaign consultant Bob Shrum, as we discuss "How Are We Going To Pay For The Bush Tax Cuts?" 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why we need SWAT teams:

From the Nevada Union:

At 12:32 p.m., a caller from West McKnight Way reported steroid-using body-builders from Reno had beaten up the caller's son and might have killed him.

Midgets from Fulton Avenue had been following and trying to poison the caller. The body-builder and the lead female midget, who the caller reported as being “really violent,” allegedly had been driving the caller's truck. The caller wanted the Nevada County Sheriff's Office to activate the SWAT team.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let's redraw the map !

The good people at The Economist magazine have come up with a fantasy map of Europe.
If you've followed the travails of the EU for the last decade, this thing is FUNNY. 

The good folks at Reason magazine have opened their comment field for suggestions for the United States version. 

All right-thinking citizens, of course, want to float California out into the Pacific and let it sink under the weight of its own incredible debt. 
We could move Arizona further away from the Mexico border, just to give sheriff Joe Arpaio a break. 

One guy suggested that we "move DC to Salina, KS. That way all the people who speak for the regular Americans can meet them for once. This will also give VA, MD and DE a break from government busybodies making local laws."

My suggestions?

Let each state with beachfront drill for oil closer to the coastline.  Those who do not allow oil companies to drill in reasonable locations will be swapped out with an interior state.  OR drug out into the ocean where the oil is beneath a mile of water. 

In exchange for producing William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, Jimmy Buffett, Archie Manning, Jim Henson, Jerry Rice, and Walter Payton, The Great State Of Mississippi gets to stay where it is, but will be renamed "Awesomeland". 

All states that do not allow gay marriage will be consolidated someplace in the upper Midwest.  This way, they won't be offended by gays, lesbians, or tasteful interior decor. 

Move the entire government apparatus currently in Washington, D.C. to an abandoned Sam's Club warehouse in Hobbes, New Mexico.  Do NOT pay any moving expenses for employees or government officials.  Take extensive notes on whether the economy improves or deteriorates afterwards. 

Consolidate California and Tennessee so that Al Gore's two mega-mansions will be closer together, thereby shrinking Gore's carbon footprint. 

Let's have a referendum on ObamaCare® so that the states favoring socialized medicine can cluster around their V.A. hospitals.  Move the Border Fence around these states, and allow the Free Market nation to impose a "medical tourism" tax on anyone crossing over. 

We should attach hundreds of chain hoists to Las Vegas and drag it to the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas.  I'm tired of driving to Shreveport to get to blackjack tables with player-friendly rules.  The remainder of Nevada will be uprooted and moved to Iraq.  After all, they produced Senator Harry Reid. 

Hawaii should be dropped into the center of Kenya, ending the Barack Obama "birther" controversy once and for all.