Saturday, March 3, 2012

Please, please, please somebody make Barack Obama stay at home

Remember that William H. Macy movie called "The Cooler"? 

Macy plays a degenerate gambler whose luck is so bad that Alec Baldwin, playing a casino owner, actually pays him to sit down next to other gamblers who are on winning streaks.  Macy's mere presence at the table is enough to chase good luck away.   

If Barack Obama ever walks into a casino when I'm playing blackjack, I'm gone. 

First, Obama appeared at solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, praising them and their products for leading the way into the new, green, wholesome, stimulus-funded, just freakin' awesome future.  Solyndra went bankrupt. 

Then came LightSquared.  Obama himself was an early investory in the company.  Now there are nasty allegations that folks at the White House encouraged an Air Force general to change his sworn testimony about the company's finances.  LightSquared isn't bankrupt yet, but it is getting ugly.  If you need the White House to destroy your competitors, you're probably about two laps away from the drain. 

I won't bore you with all the failed "stimulus" boondoggles.  Let's get to the latest financial misadventure of this deluded little man who just happens to have access to your money to your great-grandchildren's credit cards. 

And that would be the Chevy Volt.  The taxpayer subsidy on each of these little go-carts is already set at $10,000.00 each.  We've already had to save G.M. from bankruptcy. 

Here's an enthusiastic video of "The Cooler" at the G.M. Hamtramck plant making a victory lap around a Chevy Golf Cart that needs a new $9,000.00 battery every five years.  (And the old battery is hell to get rid of in an environmentally responsible way.  I'm not a greenie, but I do care about taking care of the earth, avoiding negative externalities, etc.)  A Fresh Coat Of Whitening to Michelle Malkin for the link to this video, BTW. 

Flash forward two years.  Here's the Detroit Freep:

General Motors has told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that they will be temporarily laid off for five weeks as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart, the Opel Ampera.

“Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand,” said GM spokesman Chris Lee.

"Aligning our production with demand".  What a glorious statement.  That was the problem faced by the last buggy-whip manufacturer.  The makers of New Coke also had to deal with aligning production with demand.  Ditto for the producers of Milli Vanilli's last CD.  Kodak recently failed to align production with demand.  When you fail to align production with demand, you go broke.  That's what generally happens when politicians try to "produce" with stolen money.  They have no freakin' clue what consumers "demand".  One thing they don't demand is the Chevy Volt. 

Lee said employees were told Thursday that production would put on hold from March 19 to April 23.

The Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric car, is both a political lightning rod and a symbol of the company’s technological capability.

Chevrolet sold 1,023 Volts in the U.S. in February and has sold 1,626 so far this year.

In 2011, Chevrolet sold 7,671 Volts, but fell short of its initial goal of 10,000.

GM had planned to expand production of its Volt plug-in hybrid to 60,000 this year, with 45,000 earmarked for the U.S.

At 1,626 for the year, they're on pace to sell about 9,500.  IF people aren't scared away by the exploding batteries.  Did you know that the batteries explode?  Here's what it looks like when you leave a Volt in your garage unattended for a week:

Last fall, the GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spent several weeks trying to explain why two Volts whose batteries were punctured caught on fire after sitting around for at least a week.

NHTSA determined that the range-extended electric Volt is as safe as any gasoline-powered vehicle on the road.

GM said on Jan. 5 that it would improve the structure and battery-coolant system of the Volt sedan to protect it better against fires after crashes.

The incident also was the subject of a congressional hearing in January that included testimony from GM CEO Dan Akerson.

“We did not design the Volt to become a political punching bag and that’s what it’s become,” Akerson told Congress on Jan. 25.

Sorry dude.  The only reason your product exists is politics. 
Now you've been visited by "The Cooler". 
You're doors are going to close. 
Man, I used to love my Chevy pickup.  This is a shame. 

The picture of the Chevy Volt fire came from here.  The cartoon of all the Chevy Volt subsidies came from here.  The propaganda below came from the White House website. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Daily Paul on Gary Johnson

Someone at The Daily Paul, one of the many unofficial Ron Paul websites, has done an interesting compare/contrast piece on The Good Doctor and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. 

Johnson is now seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president.  Here goes:

For a while now, Gary Johnson supporters have been pointing out one simple fact: even as a Republican, the media had completely blacked Gary Johnson out, even worse than what they did for the iconic Ron Paul. Now, after pondering that fact, I think I know why.

Gary Johnson, being so similar to Ron Paul, is a "second witness" to the political truths that Ron Paul expresses. Worse, he is evidence that those truths work.

Gary Johnson, as a libertarian-leaning Republican, ousted incumbant governor of New Mexico by a significant margin (at least 40% more than his opponent) in a state with a heavy Democrat voting population (2-1). This by itself doesn't prove much, but then he got reelected against a hispanic Democrat by a similarly significant margin, being the first NM governor in years to be elected a second consecutive term ever; in New Mexico, there was a law holding term limits to 1. That had changed in 1991, 2 years before Johnson was elected.

This is evidence that a libertarian-leaning Republican can easily compete and win against multiple establishment opponents. This record proves that freedom -- libertarianism -- is indeed popular. If Gary Johnson did it in New Mexico, Ron Paul can do it nation-wide.

While in office, Gary Johnson vetoed so many bills, and line item vetoed even more that he earned a nickname, "Governor Veto." Anytime someone approached him with a bill, he'd ask if government should be involved with that to begin with. Through cutting costs, he succeeded in balancing the budget, even as he cut taxes. He left NM with a surplus. I'm sure that if he had proposed a bill to get rid of the imposed term limits, he could have stayed in the office longer than 8 years.

Gary Johnson did this completely independent of Ron Paul. He was not a "Ron Paul Republican" following the footsteps of his hero. He probably didn't even know he was a libertarian. He just wanted to bring common sense to the governor's chair

Do you see how dangerous this story is to those trying to block Ron Paul out?

Hit the link at the top to read the whole thing. 

I don't believe that there is an organized conspiracy trying to block out Ron Paul or Gary Johnson or anyone else trying to reduce the size of the government machine.  Republican party muckety-mucks and Mainstream Media Munchkins have become so fascinated with their access to power that they can't imagine that power being diluted without it hurting themselves.  They're simply responding to market forces by looking out for their own interests.   

Think about it....If you've spent 20 years cultivating a relationship with John Boehner, either as a Republican party supporter or as a media member, you don't want to see your investment downgraded. 

If a Ron Paul or a Gary Johnson ever win the presidency and if Libertarians ever get control of Congress, think of the miles and miles of abandoned housing and office space that would surround Washington D.C.....there simply wouldn't be a demand for it.  Not much work would be going on there. 

For D.C. residents and workers, opposing this doesn't require a conspiracy. 

The fantasy picture of a post-libertarian D.C. suburb came from here. 
The picture of the Libertarian Party's fantasy ticket for 2012 came from here. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

U.S. military and CIA interventions since WW2

Let this be a warning to Canada, Greenland, Mexico, The UK, and Scandinavia.... We WILL intervene in your bidness if you give us an excuse.  And if you don't give us an excuse, we'll invent one. 

Here are the chapters in the book "Killing Hope" by William Blum:

1. China - 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?
2. Italy - 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
3. Greece - 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
4. The Philippines - 1940s and 1950s: America's oldest colony
5. Korea - 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
6. Albania - 1949-1953: The proper English spy
7. Eastern Europe - 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
8. Germany - 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
9. Iran - 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
10. Guatemala - 1953-1954: While the world watched
11. Costa Rica - Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally - Part 1
12. Syria - 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
13. Middle East - 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America
14. Indonesia - 1957-1958: War and pornography
15. Western Europe - 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
16. British Guiana - 1953-1964: The CIA's international labor mafia
17. Soviet Union - Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy planes to book publishing
18. Italy - 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal's orphans and techno-fascism
19. Vietnam - 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
20. Cambodia - 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the high-wire of neutralism
21. Laos - 1957-1973: L'Armée Clandestine
22. Haiti - 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
23. Guatemala - 1960: One good coup deserves another
24. France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA
25. Ecuador - 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
26. The Congo - 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
27. Brazil - 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous new world of death squads
28. Peru - 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
29. Dominican Republic - 1960-1966: Saving democracy from communism by getting rid of democracy
30. Cuba - 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
31. Indonesia - 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno … and 500,000 others
East Timor - 1975: And 200,000 more
32. Ghana - 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
33. Uruguay - 1964-1970: Torture -- as American as apple pie
34. Chile - 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped on your child's forehead
35. Greece - 1964-1974: "Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution," said
the President of the United States
36. Bolivia - 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara in the land of coup d'etat
37. Guatemala - 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized "final solution"
38. Costa Rica - 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally -- Part 2
39. Iraq - 1972-1975: Covert action should not be confused with missionary work
40. Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
41. Angola - 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
42. Zaire - 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
43. Jamaica - 1976-1980: Kissinger's ultimatum
44. Seychelles - 1979-1981: Yet another area of great strategic importance
45. Grenada - 1979-1984: Lying -- one of the few growth industries in Washington
46. Morocco - 1983: A video nasty
47. Suriname - 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
48. Libya - 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
49. Nicaragua - 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
50. Panama - 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
51. Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists what democracy is all about
52. Iraq - 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
53. Afghanistan - 1979-1992: America's Jihad
54. El Salvador - 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
55. Haiti - 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?
56. The American Empire - 1992 to present

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Well done, sir. Well done.

Mission Accomplished, Team Obama !!!

From The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Obama plans soon to introduce his energy and environment team, which will include Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner as White House energy adviser.

The team's makeup shows that Mr. Obama plans to put a heavy emphasis on combating climate change and promoting technologies to wean the U.S. off imported oil. He is packaging such priorities as a way to boost employment and help the economy by pouring money into efficiency projects.

.But the next administration will face a range of obstacles on the energy front, from plummeting oil prices and a declining economy to potential rifts among Mr. Obama's own advisers.

In a sign of one major internal difference, Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.

"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," Mr. Chu, who directs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in September.
Well done, Mr. Chu.  Well done ! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Pew Research Religion Quiz

Go here to take the Pew Research Religion Quiz !! 

I nailed it !!!

Post your results below.  Readers who didn't grow up in Mississippi may add two points to their score, just to make it fair. 

I don't know if this link will work or not, but as a general rule the religious groups scoring the highest, question by question, were Jews, Atheists and Mormons.  White and black Protestants were near the bottom on each question. 

The average person in the Pew sample answered only 50% of these questions correctly.  If you think that's scary, check out the scores on the political knowledge tests.  Then go pray.  Or offer up animal sacrifices.  Start honoring all three major Sabbath Days.  Avoid pork. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

They should sell it to me for less because we live close to each other !!!

Don Boudreaux teaches economics at George Mason University, the place where I'm going to get a Doctorate in Economics if I ever win the lottery and can afford the tuition.  Boudreaux has written a beautiful letter to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News. 

This letter should be studied by schoolchildren everywhere. 
Boudreaux and Russ Roberts are the proprietors of the Cafe Hayek blog. 
Here goes: 

Mr. Bill O’Reilly
The O’Reilly Factor
Fox News
New York, NY

Dear Mr. O’Reilly:

You’re all lathered up because U.S. oil companies are exporting much of their refined gasoline and heating oil to other countries and thereby putting upward pressure on fuel prices here in America. You conclude that these companies have a moral obligation not to export so much.

Your economics is wrong and your ethics convenient.

First some economics. Selling in the global market encourages firms to build larger factories and refineries that, in turn, enable outputs to be produced at lower costs per unit. So while in the short-run rising exports of oil products can cause fuel prices here to spike, the long-run effect might well be lower prices because of larger, more-efficient scales of operation. Also, more exports of fuel products means more imports of other goods and services. The result is lower prices in America for consumer goods such as clothing and furniture, as well as lower prices of inputs such as steel and industrial machinery used by American factories.

I was amused, by the way, that in your Feb. 17th discussion with Lou Dobbs, Mr. Dobbs shared your anger at rising U.S. oil exports. This is the same Mr. Dobbs who repeatedly complains that the problem with America’s involvement in the global economy is that foreigners stubbornly refuse to buy sufficient amounts of American exports. Go figure.

Now about your ethics. You’re paid so handsomely because there’s a large nation-wide demand for your commentary and bombast. In your career you’ve worked for broadcasters in Boston, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, and elsewhere. And before moving to Fox you were a correspondent for ABC News. You apparently never hesitated to sell your product to the highest bidder; you never hesitated to export yourself from one market to another in search of higher pay; you never resisted the bidding for your services by buyers (i.e., employers) far and wide which put upward pressure on the amounts of money that you are paid, both to appear on television and to deliver lunch and dinnertime speeches.

Get ready!!   Here comes the Don Boudreaux Karate Kid Crane kick !!!!!!!

So I ask: are you guilty of an offense against those many Americans who – as a result of your responding to market signals regarding the value of your services – must now pay higher prices for the privilege of hearing your commentary? Should you return to your long-ago job at a local Scranton television station, at your long-ago lower salary, and apologize to the good people of Lackawanna County for your greedy and evil habit of exporting yourself to wherever and whoever offers to pay you more money?

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

Don Boudreaux.  Often imitated, never duplicated. 

The coffee mug shown above was a gift from Dr. Ralph.  His son goes to GMU. 
The picture of Don Boudreaux morphed with Dr. Ralph came from Dr.Ralph.  It's one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen, despite serious competition from some incidents in my Mississippi childhood. 
At 2:00 this afternoon at The Corporate Image 5418 Brentwood Stair in East Fort Worth, I'll be playing guitar and singing with Dr. Ralph. 

Any time you see an electric car, remember what powers it