Wednesday, October 31, 2012
"Try letting a few major firms - yes, even in the financial sector, where we superstitiously believe no failures can be allowed - actually go bankrupt for a change. Make perfectly clear once and for all that there will be no bailouts, no looting of the public, on behalf of any firm, period. That would do more to jolt the financial sector into being sensible and cautious instead of reckless and irresponsible than all the regulatory tinkering in the world."............Hm, sounds good to me.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Word about town is that the N.T.S.B. is YET AGAIN threatening to make it illegal for parents to carry their infants on their laps during air travel - for safety's sake. But it's stupid. I mean, yeah, it may in fact save the lives of one or two infants per decade but can we at least look at the ramifications? People choose their mode of transportation based upon a number of factors, not the least of which is money. How many of these individuals, in an effort to avoid having to fork over the additional $200-400 per seat, are simply going to forgo air travel altogether and instead take their vacation via automobile, A MODE OF TRANSPORTATION THAT IS INFINITELY MORE DANGEROUS THAN AIR TRAVEL? I mean, I know that these bureaucrats aren't necessarily bred to think beyond the immediate and all but, geez, you gotta have a little bit of common sense, no?
Monday, October 29, 2012
All politicians engage in what sociologist, Erving Goffman, referred to as impression management (the presentation of oneself in a manner, the goal of which is to influence the perceptions of others). But Mr. Romney has take it to a level the likes of which I've personally never seen before. The man has gone from a person who was once to the left of Teddy Kennedy on abortion and gay-rights to a person who is currently to the right of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich on illegal immigration. It's absolutely stunning, this transformation...................................................................................And it's also exceedingly sad, this act of having to see somebody who so desperately wants to be President that he will literally say or be ANYTHING....I personally know a fair number of people (yes, myself included) who would probably vote for the Romney of 1994/2002 but who are just too turned off by this Kabuki dance and who are also confused as to to who the real Mitt Romney is to even consider pulling the trigger for him now. All I can say is that I hope that these new "friends" of his appreciate him. He's going to need 'em.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
1) At the end of the American Civil War, the black literacy rate in this country was practically zero. By the end of the 19th Century, it had exceeded 50%. This represents one of the greatest accomplishments in human history and it transpired decades prior to affirmative action and the welfare state. This whole notion that African-Americans have only achieved via political agitation is an absurdity and this is simply more prima facie evidence of that.............2) I really wish that Mr. Obama would stop lumping millionaires and billionaires together. A 65 year-old retiree who worked and saved wisely could easily be a millionaire (if, I'm saying, you combined their savings, pension, and property) in this society. To compare that person to people such as Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot, and Mark Zuckerberg is asinine, and I really think that the President should knock it off.............3) Sean Hannity is now saying on nightly basis that the "mainstream media" refuses to cover the Libya story. Mr. Hannity is either a lazy idiot or he's lying. CNN (most notably, Anderson Cooper and the hottie, Erin Burnett) has been covering it on an almost nightly basis and the coverage has been far from exculpatory for President Obama (courtesy the sources of Fran Townsend and Bob Baer). For Mr. Hannity to continue to follow this delusional narrative is really and truly embarrassing, I think.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
It was like watching Leibniz explain Boolean algebra and symbolic logic to Gomer, Gilligan, Bullwinkle, and Barney Fife.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A Quick Thought on Affirmative Action 2 (And, Yes, My Good Friends, Dmarks and John Myste, Are More than Welcome to Chime in Here)
Thomas Sowell wrote a powerful book in 1990 entitled, "Preferential Policies: An International Perspective". And, in it, he thoroughly examined the effects of affirmative action policies throughout a great number of countries that have attempted them. What was Mr. Sowell's overall assessment? He could not find one single instance of any group ever having gone from poverty to affluence predominantly through such political means (and even in the one instance - Malaysia - where there was a modicum of movement, that was more than offset by the violence which accrued). Yes, politics can and has played a pivotal role in other regards (voting rights, for example) but it is predominantly skills, industriousness, and savings which promulgate economic advancement. Thus spake Mr. Sowell anyway............................................................................................P.S. Here is one of the examples that Mr. Sowell pointed to in his analysis, underscoring his belief that affirmative action not only doesn't provide relief to minorities but can actually sometimes hold them back. He points to the affirmative action policy as practiced by the University of California at Berkeley (the Penn of the west coast). He followed the careers of all the affirmative action black students at Berkeley and found that a full 70% of them had eventually flunked out - not because they were stupid but because Berkeley simply wasn't a good fit for them. These same individuals, had they instead gone to Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, or Pacific, would have undoubtedly passed and gone on to respectable careers BUT because of a bunch of do-gooders in Washington and Sacramento trying to manipulate the situation, not quite so much.......Look, as I've stated before, I am NOT categorically opposed to affirmative action, but when I hear statistics such as this, it does in fact give me pause.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
President Obama is frequently compared by his harsher critics to Jimmy Carter. And, yeah, there are in fact some similarities; perceived and/or real ineffectiveness, major problems in the Middle-East, persistent difficulties with Congress (Mr. Carter's surprisingly more with his own party). But there is also one humongous difference. Obama can say (and President Carter couldn't) that he had to deal with a Republican Congress and that it was them who stymied his progress. Yes, it's possibly a stretch (this, in that Obama got a great deal of what he wanted early on and is also trying to take some credit for the lessened spending that those very same Republicans had forced him into) but, being that the Congress has an even lower approval rating (significantly, actually) than he does currently, I think that it's probably the most significant trump-card available to him.......And, so, yeah, he should use it.
Monday, October 22, 2012
I know that some on the left would have preferred that we had captured Mr. bin Laden and tried him, etc.. And, yes, there is in fact some merit to that. But I'm not going to second-guess the President or the Seals on this. This, I believe, was a mission that had to take place quickly and, if apprehending this piece of garbage (and whoever else who may have been with him) had caused it to lag even a little, it would have been a HUGE mistake. Decisiveness was what we needed and, yessiree, if that meant putting a bullet between his eyeballs, I do not have an issue with it.
"If you attract timid people, you're going to have conformity, no matter how much freedom you give them."
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I've been very critical of the President and so let me take a minute and say something good about him. The dude could have played it safe and listened to that freak/imbecile, Valerie Jarrett, and not gone after bin Laden. But he didn't. He listened instead to Gates, Hillary, Petraeus, and Panetta and, because he listened to them/those four grown-ups, Mr. bin Laden has finally received some justice. I mean, yeah, maybe Obama did in fact spike the ball a little but it was the right decision and even his critics (me included) should give him some credit for it. "A job well done, Mr. President."
In 1959, during their national championship season (yes, that great team with Ernie Davis), the Syracuse Orangemen held Boston University to minus 88 yards rushing. MINUS 88 YARDS RUSHING! I mean, I know that in college football they count quarterback sacks as negative rushing yards and all but, still, they must have been having lunch in that backfield. Can you even begin to imagine being the B.U. quarterback that day? Ouch, huh?
Well, one of them has to win.
Friday, October 19, 2012
http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/rising-black-social-pathology.html - Yes, Mr. Williams is a conservative. But he's also black, old, and a person who's background was modest. I think that he probably knows a thing or two about racial discrimination and various other aspects of the black community (he knows, for instance, that the exodus of businesses from the inner-city predominantly took place AFTER the 1960s riots). I mean, I know that we've all become exceedingly invested in each of our respective ideologies and all but, come on, please!
Perhaps I haven't made this point sufficiently clear. My criticisms of President Obama are in no way an endorsement of Governor Romney. In fact, I might even find him marginally more troubling than the President; the fact that he will probably appoint Antonin Scalia types to the Court, the fact that he still seems somewhat enamored by neoconservatism, just a couple concerns........................................................................................But it is what it is and I am what I am; a fiscally conservative and socially tolerant voter who only thinks that we should get involved militarily when our national security is at stake....Now, is Gary Johnson the perfect candidate for me? No, of course not. There's NEVER the perfect candidate (I don't, for example, agree with position on the "fair tax"). But in terms of reigning in our expansive foreign policy, getting a hold of out-of-control spending, taking a different approach on the so-called "war on drugs", getting rid of cronyism and corporate welfare, and advocating for marriage equality (he, unlike Mr. Obama, WOULDN'T leave the matter up to the states), he's pretty darn good and for that I'm supporting him..............................................................................................P.S. I actually have quite a long history of voting for third party candidates (all told, state, local, and national, I've probably voted for third party candidates 20% of the time). And, while, yes, a lot of those votes were probably of a protesting nature, Johnson I actually kind of DO like. The fellow has experience, integrity, and, unlike certain libertarians, he isn't some whacked-out anarchist fud (thank you, Mr. Kerouac) type. That I can appreciate.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
1) While I think that Romney has every right to be critical of the way that the President has handled this Libya crisis, I also think that he's missing something here. It's not so much as to whether or not this was a terror attack. OF COURSE IT WAS A TERROR ATTACK! Any time that people get blown up and senselessly killed it's a terror attack. The real issues here are whether or not it was a) premeditated, b) al Qaeda related, c) preventable, and d) covered up by the administration. Those are the things that Romney really needs to harp on and hopefully he can avoid the President's semantical parries by doing so.............2) Obama's best punch-line at the Al Smith dinner tonight? I would probably have to go with, "Win or lose, this is going to be my final campaign and so I want to drink it in. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces of it."............3) Romney's best punch-line at the Al Smith dinner tonight? He actually had quite a few but I would probably have to go with, "In fact I can see the headlines for this event tomorrow; 'Obama Embraced by Catholics, Romney Dines with Rich People'."
a) They both want the public to trust them (hence the lack of specificity from both) and b) they're both having an exceptionally difficult time accomplishing the task.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
That's the number of planets that scientist, Richard Dawkins (in his book, "The Blind Watchmaker"), postulates there to be in the universe (100,000,000,000 planets per 30,000,000,000 galaxies). Youza, huh? That's a lot of damn planets!
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession officially started in December of 2007 and officially ended in June of 2009. By that time, only about 60 billion of the 831 billion dollars in stimulus money had been spent. And, yes, WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE that, if not for this 60 billion in government spending, unemployment would have literally gone to 20-25% (numbers commensurate with the first Great Depression). Yeah................................................................................................Look, I've admitted it on many occasions that the right has engaged in a lot of fuzzy thinking over the years. But, if after reading this, you still don't think that the left has, too, then, man, I seriously don't know what to tell you here.
Smooth, REAL SMOOTH. You show up at a soup kitchen, uninvited, for a photo-op, and clean a bunch of dishes that aren't even dirty. Seriously, what were you thinking? I mean, I thought that you were supposed to be this intellectual giant at all. You certainly weren't on this one, bud. No sir.
Yes, President Obama inherited a tough situation and, no, the Republicans didn't help him out very much (some of them in the media and on the Hill were downright nasty to him) but aren't we eventually going to reach a statute of limitations on feeling sorry for him? I mean, my God, a) him and his side are slinging it pretty good themselves of late (that ad about the poor bastard's wife dying of cancer and Stephanie Cutter downplaying the death of those four brave Americans, two recent examples) and b) you really gotta show some leadership, for Christ. Reagan didn't have anywhere a bullet-proof majority when he took office and he was able to take his case to the American people and basically shamed the Democrats to act. President Obama? The only thing that he really did, in my opinion, was carry damned Pelosi's water and pencil.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
”These Negroes, they‘re getting pretty uppity these days and that‘s a problem for us since they‘ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we‘ve got to do something about this, we‘ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.......I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Romney's joke (at a campaign stop in Michigan) about not needing a birth certificate - minus one for him. The Obama super-pac's ad that linked Mitt Romney to an individual's cancer death - minus one for them. The Romney super-pac's ad that totally distorted Mr. Obama's record regarding welfare reform - minus one for them. Stephanie Cutter saying that the Benghazi attacks are only a big deal because Romney and Ryan are politicizing it (the senseless slaughter of four American citizens is nothing, I guess) - minus (at least) one for her. Alan Grayson likening his 2010 Congressional opponent, Daniel Webster, to the Taliban - minus one for him. Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert attempting to tie a well-respected State Department official to Islamic terrorists - minus one for them....You see how this works, folks? We judge the merits of something strictly on whether it's right or wrong and, not, NOT, based upon who the perpetrator is. I mean, I know that this sounds utterly elementary and all but it does seem that I have to point it out from time to time. No?
Saturday, October 13, 2012
On the Relationship Between the Percentage of GDP Going to Manufacturing and a Nation's Overall Economic Well-Being
Cuba's percentage of GDP going to manufacturing is 37%. That's nearly three times the rate of Canada and the United States. I don't think that anybody here is prepared to say that Cuba is an economic powerhouse greater than those two countries (or at least I'm hoping they're not).
Friday, October 12, 2012
I was very uncomfortable watching it and happy when it concluded.
So, who do you trust more, Eli Lake ("Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast"), Jake Tapper (ABC News), Mark Hosenball (Reuters), and Anderson Cooper/Fran Townsend (CNN) or Jay Carney and Stephanie Cutter? Me, I'm probably going to have to go with the former group (all of them having pointed out that the administration knew well within 24 hours that this was a terrorist attack and NOT some spontaneous reaction to that schmuckley video), thank you very much.
"An impoverished view of cooperation, an impoverished view of what 'us' means."......The fact that every example listed by the President was of a governmental nature and not private, voluntary, etc..
I was very disappointed in Mr. Ryan on foreign policy (not that I didn't see it coming, mind you). The man apparently thinks that a) we should be staying in Afghanistan indefinitely and b)simply throwing money at the Defense Department (above and beyond even what the Pentagon itself has requested) is somehow going to make us safer. The only thing that I can think of is that this is just another hard-core politician with a humongous blind-spot. The dude is so into cutting out waste in virtually every other part of the government but the Pentagon, not so much....Oh well, maybe Rand Paul and some of the other reasonable Republicans can somehow forge a deal and reform that sucker...and Romney, if elected, will eventually come to his senses.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Martha Raddatz asked Vice President Biden a very simple question tonight. She asked him what, other than raising taxes on the wealthy, would the Obama administration do to reduce the budget deficit. His hysterical response (and, yes, he was pretty much hysterical all night) was, "Just let the Bush tax-cuts for millionaires expire!" That was it. That was all that he said. Now, I don't mean to be disrespectful to the Vice President here but if he thinks that that's all that's necessary, then he is a total frigging idiot. Allowing the Bush tax-cuts to expire for families making over $250,000 a year ($200,000 for individuals) will only net the treasury 70 billion dollars a year. This, while our deficits will continue to swell well in excess of a trillion a year. This was not a serious answer and hopefully Obama and Biden will thoughtfully shore this up in the future.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This is an easy one, people. The Democrats are correct in pointing out that a) the cuts do not directly come out of seniors' pockets and b) Congressman Ryan himself makes these same identical cuts in his budget. But the Republicans are correct in pointing out that these cuts (which are essentially reduced payments to providers) could in fact have negative consequences down the road (certain actuarials have shown that, assuming these adjustments, Medicare reimbursements may ultimately fall below those of Medicaid). The fact that these two parties seemingly cannot come together and even agree on the basic elements here is utterly dispiriting, I think.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Get Him to Stop Constantly Referring to His Program in Short-Hand; "We're Trying to Get Him to Come on the Factor", Etc.
What would be my answer to the question, "So, if you could do a total make-over on Bill "O'Reilly, what would be the first thing that you would change about him?"
6) When Mr. Obama claimed that Romney's numbers didn't "add up", he could have responded to that claim by saying, "Well, yeah, Mr. President, if you go strictly by what the Tax Policy Center is saying. Those blankety-blanks made a whole host of assumptions that I have never once uttered, for Christ; the fact that I would somehow never put municipal bond interest or interest from whole-life insurance policies on the table. I mean, I know that you want to paint me with the unfavorable light possible (having your lackeys and henchman say that I'm a tax-cheat and a murderer, for instance) but next time maybe you could utilize a source that doesn't give 97.6% of their political contributions to your side.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
If she's ever said anything funny, I missed it.
A lot of people are criticizing Obama for leaving things out of last week's debate. Might I level a similar charge at his opponent?............1) When Mr. Obama pointed out that Medicare's overhead is smaller that that of the private insurers, Romney could have responded by specifying that there is a lot of hidden overhead in Medicare and that the fraud rate for both Medicare and Medicaid is approximately 10% (a figure that doesn't even include the "soft fraud" and the milking of the system).............2) When Obama said that Mr. Romney's premium-support plan for Medicare (a concept that up to now has had a fair degree of bipartisan support) would allow for insurance companies to only accept the healthier seniors, he could have pointed out that he is opposed to insurance companies refusing individuals due to pre-existing conditions and that the denial of service rates are actually higher in Medicare than they are with the private providers.............3) When Obama said that the Affordable Care Act was exactly the same as that which Governor Romney first created in Massachusetts, he could have (in addition to what he did say about state versus federal) responded by saying, "Yes, Mr. President. The only difference we didn't dole out a bunch of bribes to legislators in order to get their votes AND, once in fact the program did start, we didn't grant a whole bunch of waivers to well-connected political toughies."............4) When Mr. Obama said that he wanted to hire 100,000 (I think that that was the number) new teachers, he could have countered that one by saying, "The only problem here is that, like with the stimulus package, once the federal money runs out, you're essentially back to square one. You're certainly not saying that the federal government should take a permanent role in hiring local personnel, are you?"............5) When Obama kept on muttering how he wanted to raise taxes on everybody making over $250,000 a year, he could have countered that one by saying, "Alright, let's say that we do do that. You do realize, don't you, Mr. President, that that would only raise approximately 70 billion a year (assuming that it doesn't dampen economic activity) and that the deficits for as long as the eye can see are in excess of a trillion a year. Don't you think that maybe you're being just a little cute on this one?" That, and he could have also pointed out that the top 10% already pay 70% of all the federal income taxes NOW.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
You think that politics is nasty? Try football down south. After Georgia Tech's inexplicable loss to Middle Tennessee State last week, the blogs of the Atlanta Journal Constitution absolutely erupted with some of the most hard-core vitriol imaginable. I would not want to be in the shoes of head coach, Paul Johnson, or defensive coordinator, Al Groh, any time soon....Now, am I saying that these two dudes need a bodyguard? Yeah, maybe.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I have a suggestion, fellas'. How 'bout instead of drooling all over yourselves and constantly trying to portray the other as some sort of evil-genius outsourcing madman, you actually take a few minutes to educate the voters on what exactly outsourcing is and that it isn't even remotely some purely evil thing?...Like, I don't know, maybe point out out the fact that, while, yes, certain assembly jobs may in fact be lost, the end-point will ultimately be a strengthening the company and this results in other jobs (not to mention, cheaper products); tech, design, sales, marketing, advertising, shipping and receiving, transportation, administration, finance, repair, etc.. To just play into this oversimplified narrative, ad nauseum, and pander to our baser, nativistic impulses is just not something that a JFK, a Truman, or an Ike would have ever done - in my opinion....And I thank you for your time.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
1) Romney needs to do two things in tomorrow night's debate. He needs to a) be specific (i.e., provide at least one example of a loophole that he's willing to close - a cap on the mortgage interest deduction, for instance) and b) succeed at rattling the President (respectfully, of course - "No, Mr. President, I'm not going to increase taxes on the middle-class by $2,000, that's a bogus claim by a think tank that donates 97.6% of their political contributions to Democrats). If, IF (and he probably won't 'cause he's a dolt), he does these things, I think that there's a decent chance that he just might score a point or two.............2) According to journalist, Richard Miniter, those in the Obama administration who supported the bin Laden raid included David Patraeus, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Leon Panetta. The only person who was truly against the mission was Valerie Jarrett and, for her, it was entirely political. Yep, Ms. Jarrett felt that a botched military enterprise (similar to that rescue attempt of the hostages during the Carter administration) would more than likely destroy the President's re-election bid and she just didn't want to chance it. Yeah, I would say that President Obama definitely listened to the right advisers on this one.............3) To all of those religious-right lunatics who somehow think that the Founding Fathers were majorly Christian, this, from the pen of then President John Adams - "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."...So, how do you like me now, Pat Robertson?
Monday, October 1, 2012
Dude, you're 2-3 (really, a 49-28 HOME loss to Middle Tennessee State?). And you're more than likely going to get blown out next week at Clemson.Why don't you just frigging put the youngster (Vad Lee) in and be done with it? He runs like the frigging wind, can throw the ball 60 yards on a rope, and is probably the best athlete save for Calvin Johnson that has come to Tech in over 20 years. I mean, I know that you really like Tevin Washington. I LIKE TEVIN WASHINGTON (he's a gamer and a stand-up kid on and off the field). But enough is enough, for Christ, and since the season is already pretty much shot, you've really got to at least consider Lee. Yes, he'll certainly make some freshman mistakes, but at this point is 3-9 all that much worse than 4-8?...And, who knows, with his talent, he might even net you a win or two.
What would be my answer to the question, "So, what's your all-time favorite music video?"