Saturday, June 25, 2011

This is what happens when the government decides to get tough on the Mexican onion-pickers who are taking American jobs

Are you irritated by people who were born outside of the lines of latitude and longitude that you think of as your own? 
If someone was born on the oppositite side of an insignificant river from you, do you support laws to keep them from working on "your" side of the river? 
Do you want to get tough on our nation's onion-pickers, blueberry harvesters (and my forklift drivers) because their mothers birthed them in places that maps paint in a different color from your place? 
Do you want to keep Mexicans from doing jobs that you personally would try to avoid? 
In short, are you an asshole? 

I believe that the governor of Georgia can answer "yes" to all of these questions.

Here's Jay Bookman:
After enactment of House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
The resulting manpower shortage has forced state farmers to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.
Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal was forced to order a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.
Well, if the Massey-Ferguson, Case, Kubota and Ford tractor dealers ever convince some government bureaucrat to outlaw John Deere tractors, we're going to have a tractor shortage.  If the bureaucrat is surprised by the "unexpected" shortage, you shouldn't be surprised - they generally have the density of cinderblocks.

(Go here for a glorious compilation of headlines using the word "unexpected" bureaucratic misunderstandings of cause and effect.)

So what solution did Governor Deal propose for those having to deal with his crisis? 
“The agriculture industry is the number one economic engine in Georgia and it is my sincere hope to find viable and law-abiding solutions to the current problem our farmers face,” Deal said in announcing the findings. In the meantime, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.

I propose that Governor Deal try out a few of those 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers in his own workforce, and let us all know how that works out for him.  1,500 of them were probably locked up because of his anti-marijuana laws.  Trying to solve the farmers' labor problem with the victims of his Drug War problem is nothing but a recipe for another problem. 
If you're going to harvest crops like onions and blueberries, you have to be in incredibly good shape. 

Governor Deal would probably get better result by putting the ex-cons to work in the Georgia Department Of Motor Vehicles or the Georgia Highway Patrol.  Ex-cons, at least the ones who work for me, are usually very polite. 
Here's where Jay Bookman goes off the rails:
It’s hard to envision a way out of this. Georgia farmers could try to solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would create an entirely different set of problems. If they raise wages by a third to a half, which is probably what it would take, they would drive up their operating costs and put themselves at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without such tough immigration laws. That’s one of the major disadvantages of trying to implement immigration reform state by state, rather than all at once.

Bookman is deeply and profoundly wrong.  That's not a bug, it's a feature. 

New York legalized gay'n'lesbian marriage yesterday.  Because of its Southern Baptist infestation, Georgia is unlikely to do so anytime soon.  New York companies wanting to hire talented workers who just happen to be born gay or lesbian now have an advantage over Georgia companies.  The solution is for Georgia to get rid of its handicaps, not inflict similar disadvantages over New York. 

Texas doesn't have immigration laws as "tough" as those in Georgia.  Texans wanting to hire talented Canadians or Albanians now have an advantage over their Georgia counterparts.
Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, seems to be mentally stable.  Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, doesn't.  Indiana now has that advantage over Texas. 

Giving states the ability to try things out and experiment with different policies is a good thing.  When voters see that their policies have unintended consequences, they can change those policies. But without a "control group" in another state, they can't see the differences. 

Bookman gets back on track in his last few paragraphs.  His last sentence is brilliant:
The pain this is causing is real. People are going to lose their crops, and in some cases their farms. The small-town businesses that supply those farms with goods and services are going to suffer as well. For economically embattled rural Georgia, this could be a major blow.

In fact, with a federal court challenge filed last week, you have to wonder whether state officials aren’t secretly hoping to be rescued from this mess by the intervention of a judge. But given how the Georgia law is drafted and how the Supreme Court ruled in a recent case out of Arizona, I don’t think that’s likely.

We’re going to reap what we have sown, even if the farmers can’t.
Ok, that's all for today.  I have a crew of 30 bad-assed Mexicans to keep busy.  They are great, great people.  Georgia's loss is my gain. 

The picture of the Mexican migrant workers stealing American cucumber-picking jobs came from here.   The map showing the arbitrary lines and coastal borders where immigrants aren't welcome came from here.   The "No Deal" pic came from this Facebook page.   My boss who wants me to work on this beautiful Saturday morning came from Juarez Mexico. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gary Johnson didn't create ANY jobs as governor of New Mexico !!! Read the shocking story here !!!

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson gets it. 
He came out with the following shocking statement in an interview with Reason magazine:

“The fact is, I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor.”...

“Don’t get me wrong....We are proud of this distinction. We had a 11.6 percent job growth that occurred during our two terms in office. But the headlines that accompanied that report—referring to governors, including me, as ‘job creators’—were just wrong.”

He claims that all he did was keep the path clear and keep government in check.  Compare Johnson's glorious statement to all the idiotic hand-wringing going on in D.C. about how Congress should do something to create jobs.  All Congress would have to do to create jobs is repeal their previous 50 years of work.  We would then have enough work to keep half the planet employed.

Finally.  A politician who understands the difference between the cheerleaders and the quarterbacks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ben Bernanke is puzzled

We've allowed the government to spend almost a trillion dollars on make-work projects to stimulate the economy. 

We've destroyed almost 3/4 of a million automobiles so we could recycle the metal and make new automobiles (see: Cash For Clunkers)

We've introduced ObamaCare, a program that has scared the living shit out of anyone foolish enough to consider hiring new employees. 

The Federal Reserve is printing new de-valued money faster than McDonald's prints Happy Meal boxes.

We've elected a president who would have to study for 5 years to rise to the level of "economic idiot".   

The National Labor Relations Board is now telling companies where they can and cannot build factories. 

The Democrat Party is floating all sorts of potential policies to raise taxes and punish success. 

And Ben Freakin' Bernanke, chair of the Federal Reserve, says he doesn't "have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting".   

I swear to God, he said it. 

Nice work if you can get it

James Hansen, one of the more famous of NASA's global warming/cooling/changing alarmists, has been milking the AGW cow in double shifts.  In addition to his government salary of $180,000.00, he's pulled in the following:

-- A shared $1 million prize from the Dan David Foundation for his "profound contribution to humanity." Hansen's cut ranged from $333,000 to $500,000, Horner said, adding that the precise amount is not known because Hansen's publicly available financial disclosure form only shows the prize was "an amount in excess of $5,000."

-- The 2010 Blue Planet prize worth $550,000 from the Asahi Glass Foundation, which recognizes efforts to solve environmental issues.

-- The Sophie Prize for his "political activism," worth $100,000. The Sophie Prize is meant to "inspire people working towards a sustainable future."

-- Speaking fees totaling $48,164 from a range of mostly environmental organizations.

-- A $15,000 participation fee, waived by the W.J. Clinton Foundation for its 2009 Waterkeeper Conference.

-- $720,000 in legal advice and media consulting services provided by The George Soros Open Society Institute. Hansen said he did not take "direct" support from Soros but accepted "pro bono legal advice."

As long as the weather continues to get either warmer, cooler, or changier, Hansen will be able to claim that 1) he predicted it, and that 2) it is your fault, and that 3) taxpayers should continue to give him more money. 
Nice work if you can get it. 

The pic of Hansen traveling to a protest to speak out against traveling came from here. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You can program The Teleprompter Jesus, but you can't program its audience

Last week, some of the spokesmodels for The Teleprompter Jesus got booed and jeered at the lefty-ish Netroots convention. 
Now people are starting to laugh at the content of the programs that are projected through The Teleprompter's neural interface, also known as Barack Obama. 

According to Politico, The Teleprompter and its Obama hardware were sent to a fundraiser and programmed to broadcast the following statement:

"Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs."

Granted, this is an idiotic statement.  For instance, I now employ about 20 good temp employees.  But because of their dismal public school educations, I've had to go through about 60 temp employees to find these 20 decent workers.  40 of them either couldn't read, couldn't write, or couldn't remember the "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" rule for using an end wrench.  I had to release those 40 people back to the marketplace. 

The Teleprompter Programmers are counting situations like those 40 short-term jobs, some of which ended at 10:00 a.m. on the day they began, as a "job created".  (That's what they did with census workers who were re-hired for the same job multiple times.)  This is total bullshit.  The "jobs created" statistic doesn't matter.  The unemployment rate is all that matters. 

Sorry for the digression.  Back to my point....

Programmers, for the most part, are very literal people.  If you ask them to write lines of code that will cause one of the animatronic Barack Obamas to recite sentences like "Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs", that's what you'll get. 

And dammit, if you ask them to record the reaction to the speech in an official White House transcript, that's what you'll get.  This is from the official transcript of Monday's fundraiser, which went out to the press around 11:30 Monday night:

"Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.)"


According to Politico 44, this brought on a frenzy of wagering amongst the White House Press Corps, many of them betting on how long it would take the programmers to correct the reality-based transcript of the event. 
Whoever wagered closest to 4:04 p.m. Tuesday won the bets; that's when the program was altered to state "applause" instead of "laughter". 

I came of age hearing the following mantra from computer programmers:  "Computers cannot make a mistake.  People make mistakes". 

In this case, who made the mistake?  The programmers, by allowing The Teleprompter Jesus to display and broadcast an idiotic statement?  Or the audience, with their inappropriate laughter? 

Dammit, why aren't people following the program?  When can they be replaced with voters whose software doesn't have a "laughter" glitch? 

I had some really cool pictures selected to accompany this post, but the Blogspot software I use has a programming problem this morning.  Either that, or the White House programmers are already intervening and working on the "inappropriate laughter" bug that has infected the citizenry. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The New York Times has felt a disturbance in The Force

From Nate Silver, writing in The New York Holy Times:

Libertarianism has been touted as the wave of America’s political future for many years, generally with more enthusiasm than evidence. But there are some tangible signs that Americans’ attitudes are in fact moving in that direction.
Since 1993, CNN has regularly asked a pair of questions that touch on libertarian views of the economy and society:
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?
A libertarian, someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least, would typically choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second.
In the polls, the responses to both questions had been fairly steady for many years. The economic question has showed little long-term trend, although tolerance for governmental intervention rose following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The social libertarian viewpoint — that government should not favor any particular set of values — has gained a couple of percentage points since the 1990s but not more than that.
But in CNN’s latest version of the poll, conducted earlier this month, the libertarian response to both questions reached all-time highs. Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008. (It was the first time that answer won a plurality in CNN’s poll.)

Whether people are as libertarian-minded in practice as they might believe themselves to be when they answer survey questions is another matter. Still, there have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand, to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand, that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.
The Tea Party movement also has some lineage in libertarian thinking. Although polls suggest that many people who participate in the Tea Party movement have quite socially conservative views, the movement spends little time emphasizing those positions, as compared with economic issues.

May this trend continue !!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Under God ?

NBC is facing an internet firestorm because they deleted "Under God" from a depiction of The Pledge Of Allegiance. 
Here's Newsbusters:

NBC on Sunday decided to cut the words "under God" from the reading of the Pledge of Allegiance that accompanied the beginning of its coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Championship.
In fact, this happened twice during the show's introduction (video follows courtesy Mark Finkelstein with partial transcript):

Here's a picture from a 1943 yearbook, depicting the flag and the pledge. Notice anything missing?

"Under God" wasn't added to the Pledge Of Allegiance until 1954, during the Red Scare era.  How the nation survived before then remains a mystery. 

We were not founded as a nation "under god". 
The British Empire was, or at least thought of itself that way.  The king ruled by divine right, and to go against him was to go against god's established order.  When Jefferson, Paine, and others started questioning this system, they were reviled as filthy atheists or worse.  We forget what a radical departure from the norm it was for Jefferson to declare that "All men are created equal" in the Declaration Of Independence. 

One other thing about pledges, vows, loyalty oaths, and promises of eternal servitude....   No American should ever pledge total, unquestioning allegiance to anything political.  End of freakin' story. 

Our Pledge Of Allegiance was written by a freakin' Socialist. 

The motivation behind it was to train kiddies to follow their politicians into whatever battles the politicians chose for them to fight. 
Pledging obedience to a piece of cloth, no matter how many people have died for it, is un-American.  Dying for a flag, sacrificing your income for a flag, and proclaiming your unquestioning loyalty to a flag is a leftover relic from the Divine Right Of Kings era. 
Seriously, would you pledge allegiance to Barack Obama?  Mitt Romney?  Anthony Weiner?  The Department Of Motor Vehicles? 
Here's a pic from the 1920's that sums up my argument nicely. 

Pledging allegiance to your government isn't American.  It's Fascist


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The new anti-Obama bumperstickers

Don Surber, a blogger whose typing I usually love, has posted some of the new anti-Obama bumperstickers
Some of them are funny, some are kinda harsh even by my jaded standards, and a few of them raise more questions than they answer. 
Mr. Surber blogs from a more or less Republican point of view.  Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that these bumperstickers will be found on Republican bumpers. 
Here's the first one.  Let's call it "ObamaZombies". 

The idea behind this one is that Obama's remaining supporters are an unthinking, brain-dead group.  Fair enough.  Unless you're a defense contractor, a federal employee, or a gay soldier (not that there's anything wrong with that), things are probably worse for you than they were two years ago. 

But wait a second....You can go here and learn that a Tea Party spokesperson is claiming that the Tea Party will support any Republican nominee against Barack Obama.  Any Republican?  Seriously?  Donald Trump or Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee?  Rick Freakin' Santorum?  Who are the brain-dead zombies here? 

Let's look at some of the other bumperstickers: 

1.  If this one is a reference to the birth certificate controversy, it is lame.  The man has produced a legit birth certificate  End of story. 
If this is a reference to Obama's asking "What would Belgium do?" when confronted with economic problems, the Republicans should examine the mote in their own collective eye.  They've voted for almost as many subsidies, price supports and corporate welfare schemes as the evil scheming socialists on the other side of the aisle. 
2. I totally agree. Nobody owes you crap. Let's end ethanol supports today. How about it, Senator Grassley (R-Iowa)?

3.   100% ANTI-OBAMA?  Well, it's good to have you in the Libertarian Party !!!!   Obama supports the War On Drugs and the Libertarians don't.  Obama is opposed to Gay and Lesbian marriage, and the Libertarians aren't. 

4.   If you look at the spending sprees of Bush Major, Bush Minor, and Ronald Reagan, this one will make you downright giggly.  Our current debt was caused by both factions of our government reaching across the aisle in a spirit of bi-partisan cooperation to work together and get things done, i.e. - screw you over.  Yes we can ! 
5.   Yes, we've all had enough.  We've had enough expensive wars, to use just one obvious example.  We don't want new wars, though.  We want the good ol' kind, like the ones against Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Republicans who will always wear a flag lapel pin.  No more new ones, though.  We've had enough. 
6.   This all depends on the next president, doesn't it?  The Republicans really might nominate a Global Warmist like Mitt Romney, who will probably continue the green giveaways.  Or a theocrat like Mike Huckabee or Michelle Bachmann.  How much longer are we going to support nominees because of their Republican or Democrat label?  Which party struck the match that Obama used as justification for burning down the house?   

7.   This one is kind of funny.  Mr. Hope'n'Change Nobel-winner has found new wars, bombed new countries, kept up the illegal wiretaps, carried on the rendition policies, and Gitmo is still open for business.  If we put in a Republican on January 20th, I'm going to buy one of these.  The corporate giveaways will continue, the military-industrial complex will continue to grow, and the debt ceiling will get raised a few more times.  Hide and watch for even more of the same. 

8.  Jimmy Carter was a deficit hawk compared to Reagan, Bush, and Bush.   Lordy, I'm tired of pointing this out. 

9.   This is another funny one.  I kinda like it.  Obama plays a lot of golf and he takes a lot of vacations.  What the hell do you want him to do?  Create more stimulus packages, bank bailouts, wars, and economic recovery plans?  If someone else could put The Aggie through college, I'd volunteer to caddy for Obama all day every day, if that's what it takes to keep Obama (or the next Republican nominee) from going to work on any more of the nation's problems. 
Please, please, please just leave us alone.  Stay out of the economy.  Stop trying to create jobs.  Please. 

10.   Or how about "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Tractor"?  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Combine".  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Bombs".  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Child's Jail Cell".  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Husband's Substance Abuse Counselor".  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Tank".  "Honk If I'm Paying For Your Drug War". 
All of these are worthy bumperstickers.  May they spread throughout the nation.  How about it, Republicans?

11.   Of course it's all hype.  The next president will be elected because of hype.  In the libertarian view of things, electing a president shouldn't involve much hype.  If an election requires hype, then the government has grown too large. 
12.   This one is greatness.  It's perfect.  So as an alternative to ObamaCare, please give me a choice of who I can go to for medical care, drugs, or anything else that doesn't harm someone else.  If I want to go to a low-cost doctor or nurse, in the form of someone who didn't complete med school, is it anyone's business but mine?  Are the Republicans going to allow me to go to Ray Lewis to get stitches and a tetanus shot?  (He runs our wood shop, and is a former Marine medic.) 
It currently costs around a billion dollars to lawyer-proof a new medication.  Let me sign something stating that I want sue the supplier, and then allow me to try any new medication that I choose. 
I don't think this will ever happen.  It would piss off the trial lawyers too much.  And the Republicrats and Demoblicans are owned by the trial lawyers. 

13.   For those of us with low expectations, and who are aware that presidents are just like the rest of us (sometimes lazy, sinful, lying, grasping, Weiner-texting, and fallible) human beings, we're never disappointed or bummed out by presidential behavior. 
Our next president will not meet expectations.  That's why he should have very little power.  We shouldn't trust him, or Congress, any further than we can throw them. 

14.   See commentary on #13. 

15.   And voting for someone just because he's a Republican is just as dumb as voting for someone just because he's a Democrat.  You don't get a prize for guessing the winner, people. 

16.   This one is too big for a bumpersticker.  I don't know why Surber included it.  For those reading this in Europe and Asia, we have a series of commercials in the U.S. featuring a guy who dresses in a suit covered with dollar signs.  He sells a book about how to get money from government.  I don't know if it includes a section on selling them border fences, bombs, ethanol, soybeans, helicopters, and machine guns.  I don't know if the book has any info on boondoggles like George Bush's TARP program. 

17.   I can't argue with this one.  But doesn't it make you consider the need for another party to be represented on this scoreboard? 
18.   Yep.  He blows.  So did Nixon, Carter and Bush Jr.  So did LBJ.  Ford didn't have enough sense to stop inflation (all you have to do is quit printing money).  One could argue that the majority of Democrat and Republican presidents have sucked. 
Let's consider some other alternatives, alternatives that aren't so entangled with lobbyists, giveaways, and the status quo.  The Libertarian Party awaits. 

19.   Oh for the love of God, what do we have here?  The only thing missing is Pro-Marriage and Pro-Flag.  Is there anyone out there who believes that, say, Newt Gingrich spends a lot of time with God? 
20.   This one, considering the failure of Obama's "Shovel-Ready" projects, is just downright funny. 
21.   I don't like this one, even as someone who dishes out more than his fair share of snarkiness.  We don't have stupid voters; the current governing factions allow nothing but stupid choices and we've grown accustomed to it. 
22.   I don't like this one either.  The black slang seems kind of racist.  Plus, the Republican party serves up "small government" Kool-Aid in massive vats and buckets and pipelines and supertankers while doing nothing, absolutely nothing, to shrink the size of government. 
23.   Nah.  That would be Richard M. Nixon or FDR.  Nixon implemented wage and price controls that were outrageous enough to cause my political forefathers to form the Libertarian Party.  Then he started the National Endowment For The Arts. 
FDR planted the seeds that of most of the programs that got us 14 trillion in debt.  He outlawed private gold holdings.  He locked Japanese citizens into internment camps. 

24.  Well, yeah. 
25.   I'm not going to comment on this one.  I'm just going to follow it with a chart showing increases in the national debt by president. 

Now THAT is your brain on drugs. 

If you really want a smaller government, less debt, and more personal freedom, please consider the Libertarian Party in the 2012 elections. 
How about this for a bumpersticker?