Monday, August 31, 2009

Brilliant picture of Obama thinking

Press Secretary Gibbs accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of misrepresenting the facts, but does not challenge a single statement specifically. Now he had the press conference exactly why?

That's right; he knew, sad to say, that most of the press was either unable or unwilling to call him on the fact that he didn't actually provide any evidence for his position. The only question about the Obama White House is what to call it. Potemkin Village? All hat and no cattle?

If the world starts to run out of rare earth elements, could very likely be significantly due to the Toyota Prius. Once again, if you want to destroy the planet we inhabit, you can do little better than to listen to so-called environmentalists. Your dad's 'Cuda couldn't drain the earth of oil, but the motor and batteries of the Prius could deplete accessible supplies of rare earth elements.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good news!

It looks like they're going to bring Oldsmobile back--something that means a lot to my family, as my father-in-law built Oldsmobiles for over 30 years. His specialty was checking the springs in the seats to make sure they had that cushy Oldsmobile feel long after they left Lansing.

Now you might think this is a joke, but it's really not. Here's how I know they're going to bring Oldsmobile back: Democrats are thinking of renaming a healthcare deform bill after Ted Kennedy.

Maybe I shouldn't be so happy about this after all, now that I think of it. Let's keep it on the bridge instead.

One of Great Britain's worst polluters... apparently the supercomputer they're using to model global warming. Even better; the computer predicted a roasting summer this year.

Here's my plan for combating climate change; de-fund the "researchers" who manage to throw billions after this chimera. They're polluting almost as much as Al Gore.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yet another reason to get out of the United Nations

Here. Can we please stop pretending that it's just a place for diplomacy?

It's not certain whether the proposed program teaches about the proper way to make a waitress sandwich, or how to stay in office and avoid excommunication after innumerable moral offenses.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How not to discourage drunk driving

Put out a bunch of radio ads with threatening sounds of jail cells clanging shut, and promising that all drunk drivers will be caught, as they're doing. Of course, anyone who has ever spent significant time in a bar has talked with someone who tells stories of driving drunk X many times without being caught; they know it's a fairly hollow threat, and it simply makes police look like goons.

What they should do; play the sounds of a funeral for a drunken driver, and then the sounds of a funeral for his victim. Explain that drunken driving causes about 16000 avoidable deaths each year. Close with a picture of the gravestone of Mary Jo Kopechne.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One big reason unemployment is so high in Michigan

Apparently, the state's Democrats are trying to add an additional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to the 79 weeks (!!!) already provided to the state's pool of jobless men and women. More or less, they're already paying people not to go on with their lives for a year and a a half, and want to extend that to a full two years--and of course charge employers for the privilege of having employees who think that they're entitled to over $20/hour with no discernable skills.

And then the Democrats wonder why businesses aren't coming to the mitten.

Talk about hot--another way to love your spouse

Some people--and regrettably many books on "how to improve your marriage"--will discuss "standard" things to do to improve your marriage. Dates, lingerie, vacations, and such all come to mind. That noted, Mrs. Bubba did something recently that puts all that to shame--she got out the weed-eater and spent some quality time cleaning up the yard.

It won't make it into the pages of the flashy magazines, but sometimes taking care of those everyday responsibilities does more than going to a restaurant with Michelin stars. Nothing against Michelin, of course, but sometimes it doesn't take a Cordon Bleu trained chef to make marriage wonderful.

Quick advice for young people in love

Here is a great way to propose to your intended. This is almost as good as KingDavid's story about how he proposed to Mocha Momma, and I bet Ben wishes he could have proposed this way to Faith. :^)

Or maybe not.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Now this is interesting....

Apparently, our Dear Leader (thanks Muckraker and others) is setting up a special interrogation team that will report directly to the White House. Apparently, the White House does not quite "get" why our nation has historically separated these functions from direct control by executive power, as this is a situation tailor made for abuse of political opponents. Or maybe he does.

Either way, I'd like to propose some names for the new team.

Geheime Staatspolizei


Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.

You're welcome, "Dear Leader."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some people are getting it,

and they're not even people I usually tend to agree with. First off, John Mackey of Whole Foods(which does not sell aragula in Iowa) gives a list of decent ideas for reforming the way we do healthcare. Next, Nat Hentoff (who probably voted for Pres. Blago) notes that this is the first White House that he has actually feared. Given that the list of Presidents he's seen includes Nixon, and the list of people he's dealt with include J. Edgar Hoover (no friend of Greenwich Village), that really says something. Hentoff also details some very real reasons that anyone over 40 ought to fear attempts to implement Castro-Care in full or part.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm seeing this more and more

Economists report that the drop in wholesale goods prices is three times that which was expected. Now apart from the wonderful news that prices are dropping (this is the first deflation our nation has had since 1955 or so), there is the interesting reality that more and more often, the actual shifts in our economy are quite different than what economists are predicting.

Now I don't know what the actual statistical significance is here, or whether the econometrics gurus have even come up with a method of calculating confidence ranges. It's not an easy task. However, what I do know is that our nation is using their calculations to set monetary, fiscal, and other policy. It scares me that we're apparently using models that can't reasonably predict results out a month or so to set policies whose effects will be felt for decades.

Time for them (and all of us) to read some Bastiat, I guess, and come up to speed on "that which is not seen."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Want to do some global warming research?

Good luck, at least if you're not an officially sanctioned minion of the IPCC. Why so? Apparently, the world's preeminent database of climate data has refused to share it for several years, and has even destroyed some of it. (this on top of the fact that apparently 70% of climate monitoring stations are situated improperly)

Actually, you may be in luck here. When you're told that global warming is "settled science," you can say "well, can I see the data and assumptions you used to process it?" The answer will apparently be "no", and you can then inform the so-called "scientist" you're talking to that two cardinal principles of sound science are falsifiability and reproducibility. If you can't refute or reproduce the results (two sides of the same coin, really), you can almost automatically assume that the theory is....


Did I mention, by the way, that modern evolutionists are constructing their hypothesis so that it's not falsifiable?

Breathtaking lie from President Blago

....that the unsolicited SPAM emails he's been sending out are the fault of the "third parties" who reported others to the email.

Uh-huh. Now wasn't the very POINT of this to, ahem, collect email addresses and other information so that his goons could better direct their rhetorical fire and give us "Castro-Care" nationwide? Of course it was. So to blame OTHERS for the actions that he himself planned is more than a little bit duplicitous, don't ya think?

Obama; the only man I can think of who makes Bill Clinton look honest in comparison.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What do you notice?

Take a look here. It apparently is a bus leaving a "town hall" meeting filled with supporters of the Health Care Deform Bill, HR 3200. Now we know already that these people are bused in, that they are paid to protest, and that they're from government employee unions, by and large.

What else? Look closely; they are riding a school bus. So we have government employees in government unions using government property (the school buses) to get to protests to advocate government run health care.

If you wonder why it's hard to prevent government from further encroaching upon our rights and liberties, take another look at the picture. The "change" we have no is apparently that we will no longer have a level playing field in debate, and TOTUS is apparently failing to tell the President that this is a monstrous breach of ethics on many levels.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cool bait & switch

One thing I've noticed while reading both sides of the debate--beyond the fact that liberals never seem to want to bother to actually read the bill--is that liberals are concentrating on what the bill says it will do, and conservatives are noting the incentives actually created by provisions in the text.

This is the key reason, of course, that any responsible Congressman or Senator should vote against any 1000 page bill, and why any responsible President ought to veto any bill that is so long. It is simply beyond human ability to diagram the full set of incentives that will be created in thousands of pages of legislation--never mind the impacts once those thousands of pages are codified into tens of thousands of pages of regulations.

Not a bad justification for the whole doctrine of limited government, huh?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A fun thought

Given that the new Chevy Volt has "energy efficiency" equivalent to about 30mpg, and effectively burns mostly coal (with a hefty dose of mining for the lithium batteries), it actually turns out to be worse for the environment than the new Camaro, which burns (relatively) cleaner gasoline.

Real environmentalism is a lot of fun, don't you think? In other cool environmental news, may grasslands NEED to be grazed to be environmentally healthy. So when you head to the butcher shop for a few steaks, you're being far more environmentally conscious than any PETA member.

Why health insurance doesn't work

I was thinking about Castro-care (oops, Obama-care) on my way home from work last night, and it seems to me that the biggest reason that health insurance in general does not work is because it's insuring the wrong things. As Shawn noted a while back, insurance works well in cases where the risk is uncorrelated to other factors we can influence. However, medicine has many risks well known to be correlated to other factors, such as smoking and cancer.

And hence insuring for these factors--smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, etc..--simply adds the cost of administering insurance to the overall cost of healthcare. Worse, it forces the nonsmoking, fit person to subsidize the behavior of the obese and smokers.

If we want to seriously reduce the cost of healthcare, we need to stop insuring for expenses we know we're going to have, and for expenses that we bring on ourselves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Say what?

Apparently, the American Psychological Association is advising their members to tell homosexual clients that they cannot change (arguably false, there are people who have done so), and then to tell those who do want to change that they can construct an identity that rejects one's sexual inclinations.

At face value, that would appear to mean that the APA is encouraging its members to cause schizophrenia among their clients. We have the bizaare phenomenon of people paying good money to become mentally ill--at least if the therapy is successful.

Further down in the article, it appears that the APA rejects studies that allowed the researcher to evaluate his own success--fair enough, but if you do so, you've got to reject the entire corpus of Sigmund Freud. It would seem that an awful lot of psychology would fall with such a provision being uniformly applied.

Maybe that's not such a bad idea after all! I had some counseling as a teen, and the defining moment was when the counselor spent about 15 minutes telling me that it was OK to "self-pleasure." The fun part; I had no clue what he was talking about, and he had no clue that I had no clue. As far as he was concerned, the windows into my psyche might as well have been made of granite.

H/T Gene Veith.

More joys of government healthcare.

Humberto Fontova notes that the much hyped "achievement" of Cuban healthcare in terms of infant mortality is in reality a combination of abortion of weaker-looking children, falsification of actual infant mortality data, and absyssmal results for maternal mortality and mortality of young children.

Of course, the mainstream media apparently cannot be bothered to look behind the smoke and mirrors to realize that their abortion rate is about three times ours, their maternal mortality rate is four times ours, and their mortality rate for young children is 34% higher than ours. Moreover, the trend for Cuban healthcare since Fidel Castro came to power is sharply downward, demonstrating that they are not in fact a model for the United States.

Let your legislators know that you want no part of Fidel-care.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Here's why you want government sponsored healthcare

No, really. I just read this bit on SayAnythingBlog, and apparently the entire nation of Cuba is set to run out of toilet paper for the rest of the year.

Mull that around a little while. When government provides goods and services, the situation gets so bad, they can't even get toilet paper for nearly half a year without an emergency being declared. Never mind the little fact that you can make paper from a readily available resource in Cuba: sugar cane. They don't even have an excuse for not making their own, really.

Nope, it's simply the fact that absent the profit motive, nobody can be bothered to get as basic a thing as toilet paper out there. Not even the prospect of a cholera epidemic brought on by poor sanitation can motivate the bureaucrats in Havana to get such a basic consumer good to store shelves.

And Comrades Pelosi, Reid, and Obama want us to give more authority over our medical care to the government.

How convenient!

I'm so grateful to President Obama for providing the email so we can report false information on the health care bill to the White House.

Of course, the irony is that most of the misinformation is coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to begin with, so it's kind of a clumsy way of closing the circle, don't you think?

Friday, August 07, 2009


Apparently, a prominent North Dakota blogger has been told that Senator Conrad's "listening" event is "by invitation only," and the notice that the meeting is "by invitation only" asks that the note not be shared.

Sorry, Senator Conrad. Your unwillingness to listen to the views of your constituents and the nation has been duly noted, and this blogger encourages his readers to contact Senator Conrad's office to let him know that as long as he's being paid to legislate with the people's money, he had better make time to listen to their views, and not "cherry pick" those to whom he will listen.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A belated bit of humor

At the Independence Day Parade my family attended this year, one group marching was the staff of the local "Supercuts." Ironically, most of them were attesting to the quality of their product by wearing hats.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Real Medicare

One very interesting conversation I had with my aunt last weekend detailed how she had cared for her mother (my grandmother) and also her mother-in-law in the last years of their lives, and how the official (paid) caregivers at the nursing homes were astonished at the care she was delivering to her relatives--including things as basic as providing (and insisting on) proper care for bedsores and helping with taking medications.

It seems that whether or not Comrade Obama's health rationing plan passes, we all need to remember that our real source of quality care in our aging years will come from those we love; family and friends. All the efforts of the "New Deal" and "Great Society" to obscure the true source of "social security" for the aged meet their match in my Aunt Donna. Those who hope to have gray hair some day should take note.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Government tax receipts....

....are apparently down steeply this year, according to Breitbart. Things get worse for the tax and borrow and spend liberals, too; this does not count the fact that the IRS is going to be mailing a lot of big refund checks to people who lost their jobs in 2009, myself included. How so?

Simple. IRS rules state that a severance check is taxed as a bonus with a standard rate of 25%. Hence, large numbers of people are going to be getting big refunds come 2010. This reality may help put a brake on the tax and borrow and spend proclivities of Blago Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

At least we hope.

And yes, it's bizaare that the government would choose to further hurt workers who lose their jobs by taxing their severance payments at 25% or more. If they had desired to further slow the economy, I can hardly think of a better course for them to follow.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Inflating the next bubble

Think if you will about "cash for clunkers", as well as the $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. Now who is driving a clunker, or renting? If you answered "people not in a position to buy a nice car or home," move to the head of the class.

So we must assume that a large portion of those taking advantage of these programs are those who would not qualify to do so otherwise, right? So here's my prediction; after the initial down payment/payments provided by Uncle Sam (picked right from your pocket) is spent, large numbers of the buyers of new cars or homes will default, plunging the country into at least a second, if not a third, dip in the Pelosi/Reid/Obama recession.

Plan accordingly. I am not a prophet, but these are the choices being made today. The question is not IF the bubble will pop, but when, and what factors deflate it.

See also: Mr. Dilletante's point that it's really all about the "fallacy of broken windows", and Chad's point that the whole deal is really a monstrous accounting trick. We could play "count the fallacies" here and have hours and hours of fun--and frustration that a man with two Ivy League degrees apparently hasn't mastered some of the most basic economic concepts.

Send the President a link to Bastiat's work for his birthday!

A bit more gratitude

The family went to my cousin's wedding this weekend near Green Bay, learning that a cousin (with whom we have only intermittent contact) was in fact walking with Him. Not a bad weekend. Here are some pictures.

Funny bit; despite never having met my family, the bride counted my daughters and immediately knew who we were. And they say there are no advantages to having a big family. :^)