Saturday, September 24, 2011

If you really want to be ruled....

From an excellent comment on Libertarian Reddit, in response to "who will protect us from evil corporations if we don't have a massive government?"

Here are a few "corporate overlords"

•Bill Gates (Microsoft)

•Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

•Richard Branson (Virgin)

•Alan Mulally (Ford)

•Steve Jobs (Apple)

How do you see this group compared to politicians of the same era (selected at random)?

•Bill Clinton

•George (W. or H.W.) Bush

•Dick Cheney

•Donald Rumsfeld

•Janet Reno

•Chuck Schumer

•Dick Armey

One group are productive, imaginative, innovative people who made billions serving others by producing products people actually wanted. The other group is dominated by paternalistic, officious narcissists who are remembered most for what they did through the arbitrary deployment of force, whether anyone wanted it or not.

You bet your bottom dollar I'd rather be "ruled by corporate overlords"!  They rule -- or more accurately, they are ruled -- by the daily democracy of the marketplace. Politicians rule by the barrel of a gun.

Well said, sir. 

"Nobody Messes With Joe" - But Dead people don't count

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years, a watchdog report says.
Such payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general, Patrick McFarland.

In one case, the son of a beneficiary continued receiving payments for 37 years after his father's death in 1971. The payments—totaling more than $515,000—were only discovered when the son died in 2008.

Last year, government investigators found that more than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each from the massive economic recovery package went to people who were either dead or in prison.

This video is only 37 seconds long. Worth watching.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Elizabeth ! Warren !! is back !!!!!!!!!!

Back in 2010, a writer named Brent Budowsky almost put himself in the hospital from just thinking about the nomination of Elizabeth ! Warren !! to a Consumer Protection boondoggle of some sort. 

Most of the rational world had a great time with his piece, an editorial in which Budowsky imagined peace in Israel, justice in this life, the lion laying down with the lamb, the Democrats rallying behind Obama, and other unlikely scenarios - all from the nomination of Elizabeth ! Warren !! to a bureaucracy. 

Elizabeth ! Warren !! is back, and she's running for the Senate.  Here's something she had to say a few days ago at a political rally:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
Ok, let's look a little closer.....
Tax units in the lowest quintile (20%) pay 0.4 percent (of the total tax burden), while those in the second, third (or middle), and fourth quintiles pay 2.3 percent, 7.7 percent, and 17.6 percent respectively.

The top quintile pays 71.9 percent. The top 10 percent pays 55.9 percent while the top 0.1 percent pays 12.3 percent.
What it boils down to is that some very rich people have a lot of money, and Elizabeth ! Warren !! wants more of it.
Here's the pic that's currently making the rounds on Facebook, which I think sums up the situation nicely:

But wait !!!    It keeps getting better.  I found this parody here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giving credit where credit is due: Barack Obama deserves credit for allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in our military

Even a blind hog can find an acorn now and then. 
Barack Obama deserves almost all of the credit for allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in our military. 
Good for him. 
Here's a map of all the countries that realize that sexual orientation is as relevant to military service as, say, hair color, right-or-left handedness, ethnicity, or preferance for NFC vs. AFC teams in Super Bowls.  In 30 years, it won't make any difference at all. 

Think of the countries where you'd be willing to live. 
I bet they're all red. 
It took us a while, but we got there. 
Now all we have to do is bring 'em all back home. 

Cartoon came from here.   

Bill Clinton thinks Climate Change Deniers make us look like a joke

From Politico:
Bill Clinton turned up the heat on the leading Republican presidential contenders Tuesday, saying their opposition to acknowledging climate change makes the country “look like a joke.”

“If you’re an American, the best thing you can do is to make it politically unacceptable for people to engage in denial” about climate change, the former president said on the first day of the Clinton Global Initiative’s seventh annual meeting in New York City.

“I mean, it makes us — we look like a joke, right?"

Here's the pic of Clinton addressing the Climage Change conference, which I assume he flew to on a green plane powered by green hamsters on recyled treadmills.  I remember the last time he wagged his finger like that, don't you?

Speaking of jokes, here's a U.N. map from about 10 years ago, showing all the places that were supposed to be underwater by now if we didn't give Clinton, Gore, the U.N. and Climate Scientists lots and lots of money.  And set up a carbon credit exchanges through one of Gore's companies.  And stayed home a lot more, unlike Clinton and Gore. 

This is a beautiful map.  I love it more than life itself.  Go here for the original post. 
Speaking of other jokes, here's Clinton's Vice-President, Al Gore, The Goracle Of Music City Tennessee, claiming that THE POLAR ICE CAPS WILL BE GONE BY 2013 if we don't give him and his venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins, a whole lot of money.  Enjoy.  It's a real knee-slapper, but not as funny as the map.  This is from back in 2008.  Hit the link. 

Finally, here's a post about some crazed Brit named David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire claiming that snow is going to be a thing of the past in England.  Hit the link.  He made this statement in 2000.  The pics of the snowstorms are from 2010, and are hilarious.  Funny, funny, stuff.  Some might even call them a joke.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I want to sell muffins

I want to get out of shipping, warehousing and logistics. 
I want to get into muffins. 
Yes, muffins

Muffins create jobs.  They stimulate the economy.  I can dye them green in order to help fight Global Warming.  Whatever it takes, I want to sell muffins to those clowns. 
Yes, muffins. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote Of The Day, from Daniel Hannan

Via Samizdata, here's British M.P., Daniel Hannan:

The Tea Party, perhaps more than any other contemporary movement, brings out the 'Yeah, but what they're really saying…' tendency. The 'tea' stands for 'Taxed Enough Already' but, if you relied on the BBC and the Guardian for your information, you might not know it. Many Lefties pretend – or perhaps have genuinely convinced themselves – that the Tea Party is clandestinely protesting against immigration or abortion or the fact of having a mixed race president; anything, in fact, other than what it actually says it's against, viz big government. The existence of a popular and spontaneous anti-tax movement has unsettled the Establishment. They'd much rather deal with a stupid and authoritarian Right than with a libertarian one. Hence the almost desperate insistence that the Tea Partiers have some secret agenda.

I get especially p.o.'d about the race angle, especially when people like Alan West or Herman Cain or Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley were elected or are supported by a massive number of Tea Partiers. 

It's really hard for The Left to change their script.

On a totally unrelated note, here's one of my favorite Daniel Hannan rants. It really gets crankin' at the 1:50 mark.

Pure, undiluted, nasty Brit greatness.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On the care and feeding of recessions

Congratulations on your new recession ! 
Here's how to care for and feed your new economic downturn.  Just think....  By applying the right policies, you may be one of the lucky few to turn your baby downturn into a full-blown depression. 
Maybe, just maybe, you can follow in the footsteps of FDR and grow A Great Depression !   But for now, let's start small. 

1) The best way to grow a recession is to try to kill it.  Get Congress, the President, the Unions and the courts involved in killing the recession.  These are the people who couldn't run a profitable whorehouse, so your recession is bound to thrive and prosper. 

2) Take money from one group and give it to another group.  Claim that it is for our own good, and that this will help kill the baby recession.  If this doesn't scare away economic growth, nothing will.  Then sit back and watch your baby recession grow to maturity. 

3) Apply various Keynesian stimulus measures, and apply them deeply and throroughly.  Stimulus, stimulus, stimulus.  Prevent consumers from spending their own money as they see fit.  YOU are the one who is trying to save a recession.  Those selfish Tea Party Bastards are trying to reward vendors and suppliers who fill consumers' needs.  The State wants to reward donors and unions.  Which group do you want spending the money ?  Doh!!  You have an infant recession to take care of. 

4) Take a bunch of people who have never had to hire anybody, fire anybody, or produce a profit, and give them the responsibility for "creating jobs".

5) Let governors get away with bragging about how many jobs that they created.  This confuses the electorate, and continues the illusion that a larger, more active government helps an economy.  In reality, this just helps your baby recession grow.  

6) Like many other living things, recessions grow best in mounds of bullshit.  Apply it liberally.   

This chart showing ideal recession growth came from Reason magazine.  Anyone wanting to grow a recession should avoid this magazine at all costs. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Maureen Dowd on Rick Perry's and Barack Obama's college transcripts

Here's an excerpt from Maureen Dowd's latest editorial in the New York Holy Times:
Traveling to Lynchburg, Va., to speak to students at Liberty University...., (Rick) Perry made light of his bad grades at Texas A&M.

Studying to be a veterinarian, he stumbled on chemistry and made a D one semester and an F in another. “Four semesters of organic chemistry made a pilot out of me,” said Perry, who went on to join the Air Force.

“His other D’s,” Richard Oppel wrote in The Times, “included courses in the principles of economics, Shakespeare, ‘Feeds & Feeding,’ veterinary anatomy and what appears to be a course called ‘Meats.’ ”

He even got a C in gym.

Perry conceded that he “struggled” with college, and told the 13,000 young people in Lynchburg that in high school, he had graduated “in the top 10 of my graduating class — of 13.”

It’s enough to make you long for W.’s Gentleman’s C’s. At least he was a mediocre student at Yale.
Yeah, bad grades are a problem.  Going to Jerry Falwell University to address the Baptists in Lynchburg is a bigger problem, but not for most Republicans. 
So how do Perry's college grades stack up against those of our current Commander-In-Chief?  Let's got to the Occidental College website.....
The 1974 federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (34 CFR Part 99) protects the privacy of student education records. We, therefore, cannot disclose students’ classes, grade point averages, majors or other such information. President Obama's transcripts and other student records have not been released by Occidental.

Nor will they ever be.  They're too damn embarrassing.  Based on my own research, I've been able to determine that teleprompters were not allowed in the classroom in the early 1980's.  Therefore, Obama's college grades sucked. 

I suspect that Barack Obama failed Economics, he failed American Government, he got a "D" in Political Science, a "D" in Speech, and a "Fails" in a couple of simple "Pass/Fail" basic math courses.  Those are just suspicions on my part, though, based on the current evidence. 

Enough about Rick Perry vs. Obama.  We don't have Obama's transcripts to hold up to one of Dowd's pitiless investigations. 

Here's another section from Dowd's editorial, which is primarily about how Republicans disregard college transcripts in choosing who to put at the top of the ticket:
The Republicans are now the “How great is it to be stupid?” party. In perpetrating the idea that there’s no intellectual requirement for the office of the presidency, the right wing of the party offers a Farrelly Brothers “Dumb and Dumber” primary in which evolution is avant-garde.

Well, yeah, the Republicans might have difficulty finding their way out of a sack.  That's why they aren't Libertarians yet.  But who are the scholastic giants that the Democrats put on the ticket prior to the Scholar From Chicago/Kenya/Indonesia?

Here's an evaluation of the college transcript of St. Albert, The Goracle Of Music City Tennessee:
Gore arrived at Harvard with an impressive 1355 SAT score, 625 verbal and 730 math, compared with Bush's 1206 total from 566 verbal and 640 math. In his sophomore year at Harvard, Gore's grades were lower than any semester recorded on Bush's transcript from Yale. That was the year Gore's classmates remember him spending a notable amount of time in the Dunster House basement lounge shooting pool, watching television, eating hamburgers and occasionally smoking marijuana. His grades temporarily reflected his mildly experimental mood, and alarmed his parents. He received one D, one C-minus, two C's, two C-pluses and one B-minus, an effort that placed him in the lower fifth of the class for the second year in a row.

For all of Gore's later fascination with science and technology, he often struggled academically in those subjects. The political champion of the natural world received that sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 (Man's Place in Nature) and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year. The self-proclaimed inventor of the Internet avoided all courses in mathematics and logic throughout college, despite his outstanding score on the math portion of the SAT. As was the case with many of his classmates, his high school math grades had dropped from A's to C's as he advanced from trigonometry to calculus in his senior year.
Here's how The Goracle performed while going through the seminary associated with Vanderbilt:
(Gore) took the religious studies courses while also working full time as a journalist at the Nashville Tennessean, and after getting off to a strong start with an A-minus in Ethics, he failed to complete any of the three courses he took in the fall of 1971, and those incompletes eventually lapsed into F's. He returned for another semester in the spring of 1972, when two more incompletes turned into F's.

In the meantime, George W. Bush, our first president to earn an MBA, was knocking out a 2.75 GPA in a Harvard MBA program while, by all accounts, he was partying his ass off. 

I repeat.... While The Goracle was flunking 5 out of 8 courses at a freakin' seminary, Bush was doing ok in a Harvard MBA program. 

W. was not a good president.  Until The Teleprompter Jesus came along, George W. Bush did more to increase the national debt than any other president.  But I can assure you that George W. is not the anti-intellectual dolt that the Maureen Dowds of this world have portrayed him to be.  While I was running bookstores in Dallas, GWB was a regular visitor, purchasing Current Events, Politics, Sports, and lots and lots of history.  I don't know if he read 'em, but he sure bought 'em and knew how to talk about them.  Ask anyone who worked at the Dallas Preston/Forest Bookstop back in the day. 

Well what about John Kerry?  Surely he outperformed Bush?  Naw.  He didn't.  Here's CBS News:
Senator John F. Kerry's grade average at Yale University was virtually identical to President Bush's record there, despite repeated portrayals of Kerry as the more intellectual candidate during the 2004 presidential campaign.
No, their grades weren't "virtually identical".  Bush's grades were 1 point higher. 

Kerry had a cumulative average of 76 and got four Ds his freshman year - in geology, two history courses and political science, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

His grades improved with time, and he averaged an 81 his senior year and earned an 89 - his highest grade - in political science as a senior.
"I always told my dad that D stood for distinction," Kerry said in a written response to reporters' questions. He said he has previously acknowledged focusing more on learning to fly than studying.

Under Yale's grading system in effect at the time, grades between 90 and 100 equaled an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and anything below that was a failing grade.

In 1999, The New Yorker magazine published a transcript showing Bush had a cumulative grade average of 77 his first three years at Yale, and a similar average under a non-numerical rating system his senior year.

Bush's highest grade at Yale was an 88 in anthropology, history and philosophy. He received one D in his four years, a 69 in astronomy, and improved his grades after his freshman year, the transcript showed.

Kerry, a Democrat, previously declined to release the transcript, which was included in his Navy records. He gave the Navy permission to release the documents last month, the Globe reported.
So the best Dowd would be able to say about Kerry is that he wasn't quite as sharp in the classroom as Bush. 

How about Republican John McCain, another Republican dunce?  He barely passed

How about current Vice President Joe Biden?  How did he do in school
Biden graduated College in 1965, with a Bachelor of Arts and a double major in Political Science and History.  He was 506th in a class of 688.

At Syracuse University of Law, 1968, Biden graduated 76th in a class of 85

I couldn't find anything on Ron Paul's GPA or his college transcript.  But if grades really are that important, let's point out the obvious....  Ron Paul did well enough to get into medical school.  But then, he's not really a Republican.  He's a Libertarian.  And a genius

I'm with Maureen Dowd on this one.  Grades matter !!!