Sunday, February 27, 2011

Irony Anyone?

What kind of an America-hating unhinged leftist would say such a thing:
In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/world/26gates.html?_r=1


Public vs. Private Service

Yesterday I transported meine Frau and kinder to the post office to renew our kids' passports. We waited a few minutes, then were told the person who did passports wasn't there. The office manager called and referred us to another branch. Ten minutes later we were waiting in line, then were told that the passport camera was broken. We were referred to a nearby CVS store. We arrived at the CVS store and were told the person who does the passports wasn't there. We were referred to another store, but instead drove to a nearby Walgreens. The Walgreens photo rep managed to take the photos of my restless children, but one of the photo computers was down and the other was being monoploized by a high maintenance customer who was not about to finish any time soon. It was suggested that I come back in an hour to pick up the prints.

After another trip to Walgreens, then to a public swimming pool to pick up the kids, we were back at the post office, which doesn't make copies of IDs, so it was off to a line at the currency exchange then back to the post office. The applications were submitted four hours after we first left the house. I think the total cost was around $400. The government got to keep most of the money- but in terms of service, there wasn't much difference between public and private employees or my experiences in either setting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

PC gonna get your Mamma

I recently heard a respected old school journalist claim that "political correctness" has caused "a tremendous loss of life." Unfortunately he didn't have time to elaborate.
Political correctness means different things to different people. To me, PC is about trying to avoid perpetuating racism and sexism through they way we portray other people. It's about respect and even politeness. I found it funny back in the eighties when politically priviledged people would complain about feeling threatened by PC. No longer could they complain in public about lazy black people living it up on welfare, or women being too emotional to hold important jobs (other than working with kids or assisting males). Maybe they'd suffer the indignity of being told to say "disabled" instead of "crippled" or use gender neutral terms like firefighter or chairperson. Oh how we poor white disadvantaged caucasian Americans have had to suffer under such totalitarian tyranny.
When the left complains about racism and sexism, the anti-PC forces cry censorship. The right does the same thing with "unAmerican" speech. Just ask the Dixie Chicks or Bill Maher. Certain conservatives have even tried to use political correctness to their advantage, such as Glenn Beck portraying President Obama as a racist or dirty trickster/blogger Andrew Breitbart's selective editing of a video that made it appear as if an employee of the US Agriculture Dept. had discriminated against a white farmer.

The latest outrageous anti-PC move can be found at:
http://www.chasingevil.org/2011/02/tennessee-bill-would-jail-practicing.html


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm Sick and Tired of Those Overpaid Teachers

I'm sick and tired of those overpaid teacher. I saw on the internet that their making $100,000 and more. We should only pay them what their really worth-maybe minimum wage. Let's see, my last minimum wage job was $5.25, so X 8 hours that would be uh....where's my calculator? Wait a minute! They don't work 8 hours a day. I would get to school at 9:00 and leave at 3:15, so that's uh...9+3 is 12 hours, no wait. Take away 3 from 12 to get 9 hours + 15 minutes. OK. So if they work 9 hours and 15 minutes minus 45 minutes for lunch that's uh...8:30 hours, X $5.25 is um...I'll round up to 10 hours and times $5.25/hr. Let's see, that's $525 a day. Now I round that down to $500 a day. Of coarse they should only get paid that for the 180 days they work, not the other 250 days of the year they spend on vacations, holidays and weekends. There's 52 weeks in a year, so they work 26 weeks. Two weeks has 10 days, so I times $500 by 10 for $5000 every two weeks, and every month has for weeks, so that's 2 $5000s dollars a month or $10,000 a month. Half a year is 6 months so that $10,000 X 6 = $60,000 a year for a teacher. See, I didn't need that calculator after all!
Well, enough of this. Time to see if my kids have finished there homeschool workbook page.

BIG Prophets

Nassim Taleb told CNBC Friday:
"The problem I have is that Republicans love big business and Democrats love big government, and I hate both big business and big government."

Taleb was one of the few people who criticized the finance industry and warned about the financial crisis of 2007–2010.

Other successful prognisticators were Robert Shiller and Peter Schiff. You'd think that since both of these economists predicted the financial crisis, we should follow their advice on fixing the economy. Unfortunately, Shiller advocates Keynsian solutions while Schiff prescribes a libertarian/Austrian approach.

It strikes me that faith in an invisible hand of the marketplace is just as idealistic as faith in the balance of power between government regulation and industry. Talk to any devout capitalist or devout socialist and you'll find yourself talking to an idealist. Reality is a lot more complex and messy. Big government and big business depend on each other and are even interchangeable at the top. In other words, I think we're still in big trouble.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Free Lunch

I was trying to find information on the federal budget and national debt recently and came across www.federalbudget.com. It didn't have the information I was looking for, but it did have a section about corporate welfare. I clicked on the link and found that rather than revealing examples of government bestowing special treatment on favored corporations, it was simply an argument for giving corporations a free ride, claiming:

Corporations don't pay taxes. When you buy stuff, you pay their taxes for them.

- This is known as embedded taxes, and it does NOT show on your cash register ticket.
- This form of taxation hits low income folks the hardest because it's a higher percentage of their income.

Now I've been a little uneasy about oil prices going up again. Maybe if Big Oil didn't have to pay all those taxes, gas would be cheaper. Unfortunately, corporations like Exxon get tax refunds from the United States, and pay the lion's share of their taxes to places like Nigeria, Abu Dhabi or the Cayman Islands. Most corporations have figured out ways to avoid paying US taxes, as reported in the New York Times:

Study Tallies Corporations Not Paying Income Tax

Published: August 12, 2008
Two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Friday, February 18, 2011

No Unions Left Behind


If we want better schools, we need to create better communities by reducing poverty and violence, and having employment opportunities for students after they graduate. Two articles debunking the myth of non-unionized, messianic Super Teachers swooping in to save education can be found here and here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

McDonald's Finds Abduction to be in Poor Taste!

The Food Liberation Army executed Ronald McDonald last night by guillotine.

I heard a FLA member being interviewed on the socialist NPR news this weekend. The interview can be found here.
What I found funny was that he admitted to eating at McDonald's several times a month and feeling guilty about it. I have the same feeling when I eat at the Wendy's 3 blocks from my house or buy groceries at Walmart. To be liberal is to always feel a little guilt and hypocritical.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Air Farce

Good news for family members of those in the US Air Force. A week ago lawyers for the Air Force Materiel Command said: "If a family member of an air force employee accesses WikiLeaks on a home computer, the family member may be subject to prosecution for espionage."
Now the Air Force is backtracking on their warning.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/08/us-air-force-wikileaks-families-banned-classified-material

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Star Spattered Performances

Last Sunday, Christina Aguilera joined a long line of vocalists who flubbed the Star Spangled Banner, such as Willie Nelson, who struggled with it at the 1980 Democratic Convention, Rosanne Barr, who intentionally mangled it, and Michael Bolton, who took the precaution of writing the lyrics on his hand. To really get a feel of how agonizing the National Anthem can be, check out Time magazine's top ten worst performances here.
Here's one performance that didn't make the top ten:


I've always thought of our National Anthem as a choral piece not suited for solos-especially warbling pop inspired ballads present on the Top Ten list. The melody sprawls over an octave and a half, while the 19th Century English lyrics are confusing to a typical American. There are 3 overlooked additional verses that include lines like:

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Egoists and rugged individualists may want to add trills and stylistic wails to their solo performances, but the National Anthem is best suited to being a communal effort. Like dealing with difficult times, fellow singers can support each other with the difficult to reach highs and lows and cover the gaps in each other's individual range and memory.
My all time favorite rendition is from Disability Awareness Day at Fenway Park. You'll hear the crowd come in to assist the singer in a truly democratic effort.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pyramid Scheme

Does anyone really understand what's going on in the Middle East? Liberals are hoping for People Power Revolutions like in the Phillipines or in the Soviet Bloc. Some conservatives see it differently...

John Bolton: US should bomb Iranian camps

John Bolton, America’s ex-ambassador to the United Nations, has called for US air strikes on Iranian camps where insurgents are trained for war in Iraq.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1931520/John-Bolton-US-should-bomb-Iranian-camps.html

One common thread in conservative responses is annoyance or outrage at President Obama.
For example, Michael Savage contends We are listening to the biggest mistake in US diplomatic history. This fool. This pinheaded fool running this country either doesn't know his history or is on the side of radical Islam. There's no two ways about it.



Sarah Palin was interviewed on CBN and criticized President Obama:

This is that 3 a.m. White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House, it seems that that call went right to the answering machine. And nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak...


Governor Palin then went on to say:

We know that, now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for, so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.

http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2011/02/05/exclusive-sarah-palin-interview-with-the-brody-file.aspx

So what does America stand for? The rhetoric of some Tea Party members more accurately describes the government of Egypt than the US, but many freedom loving conservatives and pragmatic democrats seem fine with dictatorships as long as they are "pro-American." Ron Paul is an exception:

It reminds me of what happened in Iran when we ousted one leader, Mosaddegh, in 1953 and then it took a good many years before the Islamic revolution occurred in 1979, but we lost out on that. And there’s an ongoing rebellion in Egypt right now, and nobody knows exactly who’s on whose side. It has been rumored that we may well be orchestrating the revolt and the disturbance. But I know one thing, our officials are working very diligently to be on the side of the winner. So regardless, they may have their support in both camps, both from those who are complaining about the government, as well as continuing to prop up their puppet, Mubarak. http://www.ronpaul.com/2011-01-31/ron-paul-on-egypt-u-s-meddling-leads-to-unintended-consequences/

My favorite headline comes from the right wing American Spectator:

Obama's Too Conservative Re: Egypt By

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nobody Say "Amen!"



“We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love one another.”
-Jonathon Swift