Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Channeling McKinley and (Teddy) Roosevelt

"Let's see, we just killed off all of the plains Indians (in order to build the railroads). What do we do now? Hm.......Hey, I got it! Let's start slaughtering the Spaniards and Filipinos. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

On Why the Climate Models Were So Inaccurate

It was because they were based on two equally erroneous assumptions; a) that the climate is inherently stable and b) that the major driver of climate change is CO2 - assumptions that even a second year earth science student should have been able to detect were absurd but which the well-connected ruling class utterly failed to.

On the Federal Reserve System

I much prefer to call it the money spigot for the Washington war-machine.

On the Sordid Donald Sterling Saga

Yes, he's unquestionably an asshole. But I am just am much disturbed by the fact that somebody taped him without his knowledge and in his own home. These were private conversations, people, and do you really think that somebody like Al Sharpton would fare significantly better if we were to bug his home. I mean, he's already uttered such despicable statements as "Greek homos", "Chinamen, "white interlopers", "crackers", and "niggers" (part of a slanderous rant against David Dinkins), and that was when he wanted to be heard. Can you even begin to imagine this dude's innermost thoughts?

Three Strikes and You're Out There - Way, WAY, Out There - Addendum

Let me repeat the basic point one more time. Those climate predictions which were made by James Hansen and Ben Santer in the early '90s haven't just proven to be a little wrong. THEY WERE AS WRONG AS WRONG CAN BE (the actual temperatures having been lower than even what they predicted with a draconian decrease in CO2, and neither is there a hot spot). Please, PLEASE, give me one logical reason as to why we should continue to give these people (who have also been proven over and over again to be dishonest) credence. It makes no sense............................................................................................And think about it for a minute. If you were to accidentally swallow some poison and/or fall prey to an infection or parasite, are there properties in your body which would make these invading agents worse, or are there properties in your body which would mediate the effects? Of course it the latter, right (mucus, inflammation, excretion, an elevation in temperature, etc.)? Well, that is how the earth is also (i.e., a natural system) and why it has been proven (via a measuring of outgoing radiation) fairly categorically that the feedbacks pertaining to increases in CO2 have not been positive (as the alamists have predicted) BUT NEGATIVE. I mean, it's common sense, for Christ..............................................................................................P.S. And even if what these individuals have been saying IS true, it would be far, FAR, less expensive to to adapt to these changes than it ever would be to prevent them (using THEIR data I conservatively estimate it to be 27:1) - if in fact we could prevent them (the fact that even if we were able to drastically reduce OUR carbon footprint, China, Brazil, India, and the rest of the developing world unquestionably would not).

On Rush Limbaugh Inserting Partisan Politics into the Sordid Donald Sterling Saga

Is there anything that this asshole won't insert his two cents worth into?

On Walmart "Greeters"

The one at our Walmart doesn't even greet people half the time. My suggestion is that they totally eliminate the stupid position and give everybody else on the shift a 10-15 cent an hour raise. You know, the people who are actually working.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Science, Econometrically Speaking

According to a book by the OECD from 2003 entitled, "The Sources of Growth in OECD Countries", privately funded R&D has a powerful and positive effect on economic growth while publicly funded R&D has virtually no impact at all and, if anything, tends to crowd out the private funding......................................................................................And if that isn't bad enough for you, neither does there seem to exist any historical data to support this whole notion that the the government MUST support science (an assertion that even the likes of Milton Friedman have allegedly made). Case in point, England and the United States. From 1800 to 1900, England was the wealthiest country on the planet (with the most in terms of scientific breakthroughs) and they had virtually ZERO government expenditures on science. Ditto the U.S. in the early parts of the 20th Century in that even as late as 1940, over 80% of American R&D was private.....................................................................................So, with all of this evidence that government science is essentially wasteful, even counter-productive, why do we continue to piss away valuable resources on it? I don't know, probably for the same exact reasons that we continue to waste money in other regards; cronyism, the inexorable growth of bureaucracy (where a program's success is gauged by its size, not by its thrift), etc........That and, well, because we can. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Man Who Beat Floyd Mayweather

While I may not be as big a boxing fan I used to be, I still follow it to the extent that I can tell you two important things. a) Jose Luis Castillo is one of the finest boxers of his generation (yeah, he's stuck around a little too long but they all do) and b) the dude walloped Floyd Mayweather in their first encounter back in 2002. I make this claim in that not only was Castillo the aggressor throughout the fight, he landed (per Compubox) 107 more power punches (173 to 66) and even connected with a higher percentage (40% to 35%) than Floyd did. Of course, the biggest indicator that this was a shitty decision (yes, Mayweather was awarded the decision) was probably the fact that the Las Vegas (Floyd Mayweather's home town) crowd even booed the thing. Now that is bad.

Three Strikes and You're Out There - Way, WAY, Out There

If a scientist is judged based upon his or her predictions, then the global warming cabal of individuals such as James Hansen, Phil Jones, and Kenneth Trenberth has to be ranked at or near the bottom. Back in the '90s these folks made three separate predictions pertaining to temperature; one with a zero decrease in carbon emissions, one with a moderate decrease in carbon emissions, and one with a draconian decrease in carbon emissions......and as we're all painfully aware of by now, the actual temperature recordings have been slightly BELOW even those predictions with a draconian decrease in carbon emissions......................................................................................And what of course makes this failure all the more disturbing is the fact that, instead of just admitting that they were wrong and adjusting their theory, THEY FRIGGING DOUBLED DOWN...and tortured not just the current data but a lot of the readings from the '30s, '40s, and '50s. To even attempt to assert that these lunatics are actual scientists is a joke (and, yes, thank the good Lord for folks like Judith Curry, James Lovelock, and David Evans who in fact HAVE seen the problems and who have adjusted their thinking, not the data).

On the Assertion by a Certain Leftist Bozo that I Lack an Open Mind

I have an open mind, alright. I've just gone in the other direction (from a Blue-Dog Democrat to a small l libertarian - and, yes, I'm aware of the limitations of labels and that is exactly why I've endorsed the No Labels movement, Simpson-Bowles, and various other nonpartisan initiatives) and that's what really bothers him, I'm thinking..................................................................................And I also have to ask you here, is there anything sadder on this planet than a fair to middlin' mind (astute observer of the obvious) who constantly tries to act so scholarly, pontificating, recondite, etc.? I mean, I know that it can in fact be amusing and for that it does have SOME value (in the form of comic relief) but for the person involved, I'm saying - sad.

Friday, April 25, 2014

On Progressive Bloggers, From My Experience

They are very litmus-test oriented; the fact that you could actually agree with them 50-60% of the time and they will still always, ALWAYS, focus completely and with great fervor (Ahab and Javert ain't got nothin' on these people) on the 40-50% of the time that you don't. To say that these people are dogmatic is as complimentary as I can be and I thank you for patience.

On Cowboy Junkies

They're good (enjoy the cover of Lou Reed's, "Sweet Jane") but I can't seem to get the words, heroine music (that eerie harmonica sound, especially), out of my noggin.

On the Wall Street Journal

I prefer to call it, "The War Street Journal".......And don't you just want to slap that Bret Stephens? Seriously (always calling for war, a young fellow like that, but never once volunteering his own services)?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

On Industrialist, James J. Hill

I consider this fellow one of the great North American heroes of the 19th Century, in that not only did he construct a transcontinental railroad, he did it a) without a dime of government largess and b) without slaughtering a single Native-American. Compare that to the crony capitalists in both business and government who gave us the Union Pacific and the way that those folks bled the treasury dry, ripped off their customers, and essentially exterminated the plains Indians and, yeah, the achievement is even more remarkable. Give it up, folks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Actress, Teri Polo (Of "Meet the Parents" Fame)

I'm probably going to go with, not too shabby, on this one, folks.

Another Gem from "Bully Boy"

"I suppose I should be ashamed to say that take the Western view of the Indian. I don't go as far as to think that the only good Indian is a dead Indian, but I do believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth." Teddy Roosevelt, 1886.............Yeah, he was a product of his time, but the way that the dude framed that first sentence is telling, I think.

Paving the Way/The Only Good Indian...

S.L.A. Marshall was one of the most famous combat historians and journalists in American history and, while his methodology on "ratio to fire" has been called into question by some, his 30 plus years of experience still has to count for something. And so when Mr. Marshall once referred to the orders of Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Henry Sheridan as they pertained to the government's war on the plains Indians as "the most brutal orders ever to American troops", I have a tendency to believe the guy......................................................................................Not that this harsh assessment should come as any surprise, of course, in that these were the same exact war criminals who perpetrated the same exact atrocities on southern civilians (AND SLAVES) all throughout the Civil War and whose barbarism set the stage for future conflicts in which protocol was essentially destroyed (the Philippine War, the Boer War, WW1, WW2, Vietnam, etc.)....But these are the good guys, though.

On the Owing of Money to the Federal Government

Thousands of IRS employees owe money to the federal government and they get bonuses. This Bundy fellow (who I actually DON'T consider a hero, btw) owes money to the federal government and he gets his property destroyed, his cattle stolen, and a bevy of federal agents/snipers pointing rifles at his head. To say that there's a double-standard here is exceedingly obvious and probably a bone of contention, too, I would think.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Trouble in Rushmoreville?

It's not a stretch to say that Mr. Roosevelt was one of the founding fathers of American Imperialism. As Vice President and later as President, he got us involved in a three year long occupation of the Philippines in which upwards of 200,000 mostly innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered. It was easily one of the most horrible episodes in U.S. history and in order to justify it, TR of course fell back upon the same type of virulent racism that characterized many from the early progressive movement. He claimed specifically that these Filipinos were little more than "savages, half-breeds, and a wild and ignorant people" and that they obviously needed to be civilized. To say that this fellow was racist just about sums it up, folks.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Domestic Imbecile?

Sorry, but I gotta vote, yes, on this one. The very same shlupp who went out of his way to NOT call the Fort Hood shooting, terrorism (and instead referred to it as, "workplace violence"), and who was as quiet as a church-mouse when the Occupy movement was vandalizing Oakland, defecating in Zuccotti Park, and blocking off traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge now suddenly has the balls to get tough on people? Yeah, I don't think so.........................................................................................P.S. And for anybody out there who thinks that I'm being partisan about this, I said the same exact thing about Michele Bachman and Louie Gohmert when those two clowns went after Huma Abedin and referred to her as a terrorist. It's called having a consistent moral yardstick, people.

Millions Wise, Millions More Foolish

According to BLM spokesperson, Kirsten Cannon, the federal government has dished out $966,000 (paid to a contractor) to round up this Bundy fellow's cattle. This, in response to the fact that said Bundy supposedly owes them $1,000,000 (and I would really love to see an itemized bill on that one - a million dollars for grass?). Please, tell me that I'm not the only individual who sees an absurdity here.................................................................................P.S. And, no, this doesn't even begin to take into account all of the other expenses (transportation, overtime to the agents, etc.) that this operation is costing us, the taxpayers. I would certainly love to see an itemized bill there as well.

On the Assertion that Fossil Fuels are Bad

It makes me sick in that if it wasn't for cheap and abundant fossil fuels we'd still all be living in squalor and dying off before the age of 40. The fact of the matter here is that electricity = modernity = prosperity and the sight of all of these radical environmentalists who are literally against anything that works (fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro) but who themselves have benefited handsomely not simply from fossil fuels (preaching from the confines of their air-conditioned offices) but from minerals (they apparently think that all of these cell-phones and computers simply drop out of the sky) taken from the very mines that they're also against makes it even more nauseating. I mean, talk about a virulent, spoiled bunch of lunatics.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Clearing the Field, Emptying the Bank

The estate tax is so nasty in Rhode Island that a large chunk of its over 65 population is moving out of the state. But before you just assume here that this is some short-sighted strategy that essentially defeats the whole purpose, think again. Some people/Rhode Islanders (and, yeah, it might be a trifle paranoiac in that it seemingly gives these idiotic politicians a little too much credit) think that this is exactly what the politicians are trying to do. The thinking here is that with a lot of these successful retirees moving out, so, too,  the possible competition for key political posts and the same old shlupps and bozos can keep on getting elected. It's brilliant! If true.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Apples and Apples and Clams and Clams

Several years ago I came up with a tax proposal in which the top rate was 40% (that, in addition to an elimination of the special exemption for capital gains, I had put forth as a viable offset for the total elimination of the corporate income tax). You do realize here, don't you, that that rate was based upon the current tax structure and that my more recent proposal of a top tax rate of 25% is based upon significant tax reform in which I essentially get rid of ALL deductions and loopholes and so that of course those rates will be lower? I mean, I know that most of you are astute enough to have realized this already but, you know. YOU KNOW.

wd as Burt Gordon in "The Hustler"


Orlando Reload

It took over two months but UCF football coach, George O'Leary, finally got his first "verbal" for 2015, and it's a Jim-dandy. Cameron Stewart is a 6'3" 190 pound wide receiver (Shiloh High in Snellville Georgia) who can run like the wind, has excellent hands, and who can also take a pop going over the middle. And being that UCF just graduated a large chunk of their receiving core from last year's Fiesta Bowl championship squad, this kid will probably get on the field in a hurry....George O'Leary - striking it rich in rural Georgia, yet again!

On Moses (Charlton Heston) Making Out with Queen Nefertiti (Anne Baxter) in "The Ten Commandments"

Is that in the Bible?

Powerful Circumstantial Evidence

There were numerous economic downturns, recessions, and depressions prior to the Great Depression of 1929, and each of these episodes not only self-corrected but they did so in a relatively short period of time. It was only during the depression of 1929, when the government significantly interfered (Hoover with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Smoot-Hawley, wage supports, Davis-Bacon, etc. and FDR with the AAA, the NRA, unit baking laws, etc.) that a downturn lasted as long as it did - 16 years (yes, I include the war years because if you disaggregate the GDP you'll quickly see that the public sector was still extremely poor off; shortages, etc.).......................................................................................Look, I'm not necessarily saying that we can draw anything definitive here (we are, after all, talking about correlations). But you have to know that if the results were the exact opposite, that if every economic downturn prior to 1929 was a long and protracted one and that in 1929 we bounced back rapidly due to the wondrous actions of Hoover and FDR, YOU KNOW, all of those hard-core Keynesians, economically illiterate progressives, etc. would be strutting and reminding us CONSTANTLY....................................................................................My personal view here is that the economy has extraordinary recuperative power of its own and that if the government does want to intervene, the best and least harmful way to do it would be to deal with the citizens directly (a negative income tax, health savings accounts, etc.) and steer clear of the damned market.

A Devastating Indictment on the Policies of Hamilton, Clay, and Lincoln (The Holy Trinity of Crony Capitalism),

"Henry Clay was the champion of that political system which doles favors to the strong in order to win and to keep  their adherence to the government. His system offers shelter to devious schemes and corrupt enterprises.......He was the beloved son (figuratively speaking) of Alexander Hamilton with his corrupt funding schemes, his superstitions concerning the advantage of a public debt, and a people taxed to make profits for enterprises that cannot stand alone. His example and his doctrines led to the creation of a party that had no platform to announce, because its principles were plunder and nothing else." Edgar Lee Masters, "Lincoln the Man", 1931.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Clay's Rationale for the Tariff of Abominations (In 1828)

That the prior tariff from 1824 "fell short of what many of my 'friends' wished."

On Speaking Truth to Power

I've never been a huge fan of the "except for" part of it.

On the Stunningly Beautiful Joanne Dru

Yet another hottie that Monty could have had....Man, to have been in that guy's shoes (Joanne Dru, Olivia de Havilland, Elizabeth Taylor, Donna Reed, Anne Baxter, Marilyn Monroe, Eva Marie Saint, Lee Remick, Hope Lange, Jennifer Jones, Dolores Hart) - even for a split second, I'm saying!

The Providence Rhode Island Economic Development Plan

a) Increase taxes on business. b) Jack up the minimum wage (yet another burden on companies). c) Increase the penalty for parking tickets and instruct the meter-maids to ticket even people who are parked legally (the rationale being that most folks won't take the time out of their busy days to challenge it)....Yep, sure sounds like a killer plan to me.

On Harry Reid Referring to that Bundy Fella' (In Nevada) as a "Domestic Terrorist"

Not exactly a "calmer heads should prevail" strategy, now is it?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Right-Wing Pundit, Monica Crowley, Discussing Civil Liberties

It had all the sincerity of Louis Farrakhan selling matzo balls.

The Ugly Side of Benevolence

According to Congressman, Paul Ryan, there are currently more than 90 federal poverty programs (many of them overlapping) that the government is ""administering" (mismanaging, is probably a better term). I propose that we do away with all of them and replace them with two; a beefed-up Earned Income Tax Credit (which I would administer monthly rather than in one lump sum) and subsidized health savings accounts supplemented with a high deductible catastrophic policy. You see, that way we could continue to help poor people but we'd be doing it in a manner that is far less bureaucratic and far more empowering to the individuals. That, and, since the patient himself would be the one in charge of these expenditures, the cost of overall healthcare would probably come down (much like it has for lasik eye surgery, full body scans, nose jobs, hair transplants, etc. - the fact that people would take better care of themselves, not go to the doctor for small things, shop around, etc.) as well.........................................................................................Of course, this type of approach wouldn't make the bureaucrats and paper-pushers down in Washington very happy in that it would radically reduce their power over the citizens and taxpayers. But that's a major-league positive side-effect, in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On the Anne Baxter, Montgomery Clift Pairing in Hitchcock's, "I Confess"

One word - STUNNING!

On British Screen Goddesses, Rachel Stirling (The Daughter of Diana Rigg) and Keeley Hawes

Tea and crumpets, anyone?

A Cable-News Assessment Update

MSNBC - Not enough "bridgegate" coverage. CNN - Not enough missing airplane coverage. Fox News - Not enough Obamacare sucks big time coverage. Headline News - Not enough Nancy Grace chewing up the set airtime.

On Libertarian Type "Think Tanks"

I can assure you. There is a lot more uniformity of thought at Columbia University than there is at the Cato Institute, and at least the Cato institute doesn't indoctrinate impressionable youngsters into Marxism, radical environmentalism (a loathsome philosophy that has killed literally millions of poor folks in the developing world; the banning of DDT, the utilization of food as fuel, the boycotting of GMOs), etc..

Monday, April 14, 2014

From the Keyboards of Some Honest "Warmists"

"So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. We're facing a puzzle." Hans von Storch, climatologist, University of Hamburg............."This (the fact that there hasn't been warming for going on 17 years now and if anything it's actually been cooling) changes everything. Global warming should no longer be the main determinant of economic or energy policy." David Whitehouse, astrophysicist, The Global Warming Policy Foundation............."The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.......The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world by now." James Lovelock, independent scientist and environmentalist.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Congressman, Paul Ryan

Well, I know that we're not SUPPOSED to like him.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

As the Evidence Changes, So Must We

Judith Curry is a climatologist at Georgia Tech. Robert Austin is a physicist at Princeton. Freeman Dyson is a former physicist at Princeton (and one of the most active minds of the 20th Century). David Evans is a former climate modeler (with a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford) for the Australian government and a former member of Greenpeace. Paul Driessen is an energy and environmental expert (with degrees in geology, ecology, and law) and a former member of the Sierra Club. Bruno Wiskel is a geologist at the University of Alberta. Nir Shaviv is an astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Reid Bryson is a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin. Ian Clark is a paleoclimatologist at the University of Ottawa. Jan Veizer is an environmental geochemist at the University of Ottawa. Klaus Eckart Puls is one of the leading researchers, physicists, and meteorologists in Germany. What do these folks have in common? They were all strident believers in man-made global warming and now, because they've fully examined the evidence (the fact that the predictions from the models were ridiculously off, the fact that the feedbacks now seem to be negative, the fact that the ARGO buoys are currently showing zero ocean warming, the fact that tropical storms have not not increasing, etc.) THEY ARE NOT. It's good to see that there are still a few honest scientists left.

Garbage In....

Dr. Max Gammon is a British physician and researcher who did a study on the British national health care system in the '70s and his results were quite disheartening. From 1965 to 1973, he found that hospital staffing went up by 28%, that administrative staffing went up by 41%, but that the outcomes, as measured by the average number of beds per day, actually WENT DOWN by 11%. He also pointed out that this reduction in outputs had absolutely nothing to do with a reduction in demand (as was markedly evident by a huge increase in wait times)..............................................................................Gammon's theory as to why this was happening was something that he ultimately referred to as the Theory of Bureaucratic Displacement (a theory that received additional notoriety in large part thanks to Milton Friedman's bringing Gammon's theory to the fore); the more that an organization institutes inputs (especially if these are hierarchical), the more that the outputs go down. Friedman kind of saw it as an extension of Parkinson's Law (and I concur) and damned if it doesn't go a long way in explaining just exactly why governments and larger businesses tend to fail so much (the former obviously failing more so in that those folks aren't spending their own cash).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two Ole Boys from Arkansas

While they both have professed on numerous occasions to have read the Bible, only one of them has in fact the capacity to understand it....and it ain't the retarded one.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sam Harris on Islamic "Honor Killings"

"What can we say about this behavior? Can we say that Middle-Eastern men who are murderously obsessed with female sexual purity actually love their wives, daughters, and sisters LESS than American or European men do? OF COURSE WA CAN. And what is truly incredible about the state of our discourse is that such a claim is not only controversial but actually unutterable in most contexts."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Miscellaneous Environmental Lunacy

1) "Loggers losing their jobs due to the spotted owl legislation is in my eyes no different from people being forced out of work after the furnaces of Dachau shut down." David Brower, environmentalist and founder of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and numerous other radical pressure groups.............2) "If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal-trains will be death-trains - no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to a crematoria." James Hansen, former head of NASA, liar, data fudger, and global warming nut.............3) In 1979, Jimmy Carter (who I've never considered a zealot as President) appointed a fellow by the name of Dennis Hayes to be the head of the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Research Institute and this fellow immediately predicted that by 2000, the U.S. would be getting 50% of its total energy needs from solar power. Yeah, I would say that the dude was a little bit off on that one (it's 2013 and we still only get about 2 tenths of 1% from solar).

Monday, April 7, 2014

UConn 60 Kentucky 54

Consider it a going-away present to all of those "one and done" youngsters who'll be heading off to the NBA. Something to remember us by.

On the Blade-Runner, Oscar Pistorius, And His Current Predicament

He may be "stumped", but I ain't.

America's Most Bigoted President?

Wow, that's a tough one but I'm probably going to have to go with Millard Fillmore. As President, he strongly supported slavery into the territories and was also one of the major drivers of the Fugitive Slave Act....And his bigotry didn't end when he left the Presidency (it was actually just getting started) in that he was one of the "founding fathers" of the Know Nothing movement of the 1850s that was virulently anti-Irish, virulently anti-German, and virulently anti-Catholic, and which also essentially advocated an end to all immigration (except of course from England). I mean, I know that it's a hard thing to vote against a dude like Andrew Jackson who was a) one of the largest slave-owners in the entire Southeast and b) a practitioner of ethnic cleansing pertaining to the Native-Americans (or even a Woodrow Wilson who advocated eugenics and segregated the federal work force and U.S. military) but at least for now I'm probably going to stick with old Millard.......That, and doesn't he kind of look like Alec Baldwin?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Yeah, But He Didn't Lie About Cutting Down the Tree

According to Andrew Napolitano's book, "Lies the Government Told You", not only was George Washington a slave-holder, he was an active and virulent one. According to Napolitano, Washington whipped his slaves, cut their toes off, and even had some of their teeth extracted and implanted into his own mouth. He also auctioned off the slaves of his debtors and while in office rotated his slaves in and out of Philadelphia because in Pennsylvania slaves by law had to be released after six consecutive months of bondage. This is all pretty hairy stuff and while I haven't been able to substantiate all of it, even if some of it is true, damned if it doesn't go a significant way in substantiating BB's claim (to which I totally concur) that all of these dudes had their fair share of warts for certain.

Cock and Reload

Remember that scene from "Pulp Fiction" when the Uma Thurman character asked the John Travolta character if he "listened or waited to talk"? Yeah, huh?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

On Charles Barkley

I have tried on numerous occasions to not this this guy. I JUST CAN'T DO IT!!...He's too charming! I mean, have you seen those recent credit card commercials? He kills. That, and the dude has absolutely no filter WHATSOEVER. How fucking refreshing for a change. Sir Charles!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Number of Young Kids in the '60s Who Learned How to Play Guitar by Listening to Johnny Rivers's "Secret Agent Man"

Oh, it's gotta be in the trillions.

They Shot the Tariff

And while the tariff issue wasn't as prominent in the South, it did in fact play some role. Robert Toombs of Georgia, for instance, called the Morill Tariff, "the most atrocious tariff bill that was ever enacted" and Richard Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina put forth this tour de force just prior to secession; "And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue— to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.".....................................................................................I would also put forth these additional facts. a) The tariff issue was easily one of the most controversial topics during the hotly contested ballot for Speaker of the House in 1858 (the vote was deadlocked for over two months). b) The Morrill Tariff Act of 1859-1860 was passed on a strict North-South party-line-vote (only one southern Congressman voted for it). c) Yes, the Morrill Tariff eventually did help to finance the war for the Union (to the tune, though, of just 11%, the other 89% was paid for via greenbacks and war bonds) but its prime initial purpose (unless of course Lincoln was clairvoyant) was to subsidize northern industries, mines, and railroads. d) It isn't entirely true to say that the time period from 1832 to 1860 was one of invariably low tariffs in that the Compromise of 1832 (which quite literally stopped the Civil War from happening THEN) only lowered the rates gradually and the Black Tariff of 1842 majorly spiked the rates back up to 40%. e) Lincoln owed pretty much the entirety of his Republican nomination to the fact that he ran a full-bore protectionism campaign all throughout the North (Pennsylvania obviously being one of critical states).

On Rick Perry Blaming Back Surgery for His Crappy Showing in 2012

It's about as legitimate as when Scott Ledoux told Chris Schenkel that he was actually "setting Larry Holmes up" - this, after the former had absorbed 300 to 400 hard blows to the head and the referee stopped the carnage.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On the Geneva Conventions of 1863, 1906, 1929, and 1949

I strongly support them and condemn any world leader who violates them. Period.

Lincoln's First Inaugural - In a Nutshell

Slavery forever and if you don't pay the tariffs you die.

To My Conservative Colleagues Who Might be Thinking that I'm a Tad too Harsh on Lincoln

Four points to consider. a) He was an absolute protectionist. b) He was a crony capitalist and thoroughly corrupt. c) He consolidated political power predominantly in Washington. And d) he was a hard-core advocate of an inflationary central bank and a huge deficit spender.

The Master (Race) Plan

The conventional wisdom on Lincoln is that he eventually gave up on his notions of colonization (of backs) and replaced these sentiments with those of a much more enlightened nature (i.e., those pertaining to equal rights). Yeah, well, guess what, folks - WRONG! According to multiple documents that have recently been uncovered (from the U.S. archives) by historian and researcher, Philip Magness (his book is entitled, "Colonization After Emancipation"), Lincoln was in intense negotiations with the British government RIGHT UP TO HIS VERY DEATH on just how to eliminate black people from this country's soil. There, try and put some lipstick on that pig..................................................................................P.S. An additional source on this matter is a fine book written by African-American historian, Lerone Bennett Jr., "Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream". You just might want to check that one out, too.

The Death of the Peaceniks

Unlike some people who claim to be anti-war and pro-civil-liberties but who shamelessly and reflexively support pretty much anything that their fellow initiates, I truly am. And, yes, I am in fact referring to Abe Lincoln again; the fact that the dude didn't just wage war (a war, mind you, that killed or maimed close to 5% of the total population and of which also destroyed nearly half of the country's wealth) but all-out total war. I cite specifically the fact that under his auspices, Union soldiers killed civilians, plundered and confiscated private property (a large percentage of these victims having never owned a single slave), raped women (a large chunk of them slaves), and burnt to the ground entire cities...........................................................................And, no, it wasn't as if his behavior to the north was any more enlightened. The man imprisoned citizens (by the thousands) merely for speaking out against the war, closed down newspapers that criticized him, ordered the largest mass execution in the history of America (38 Santee Sioux who were all strung up after five minute trials and virtually no defense), suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and even had a Congressman (whose major offense was having the temerity to disagree with his government's policies) deported to Canada.............................................................................I'm telling you here, folks, while I had always more or less thought that Nixon and FDR were the two most fascistic Presidents in American history, I realize now that that assessment was incoreect. It is Lincoln - by a mile.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On the Lingering Myth of Civil War Medicine

Yeah, I'm referring here to a common belief that anesthesia was rarely and/or ineffectively utilized during the war, and the fact that that notion is just patently wrong. I cite specifically the words of George Wunderlich, the executive director of the Museum of Civil War Medicine, in his assertion that not only was anesthesia used (ether and sulfuric acid) on both sides during the conflict, it was probably used in excess of 95% of the surgeries (his source is the "Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion" by the Surgeon General's Office).................................................................................As to how this particular myth came into existence, Professor Wunderlich speculates that it probably came about via eye witness testimony of various journalists who happened to see patients crying out during surgery and these folks just not understanding the concept; the fact that there are multiple levels of "being under" and that even in the milder stages pain is radically reduced and that the crying part was probably more of a reflex and/or fear response....That's pretty damned interesting, no?

wd's Only Lines From "Spartacus" (Yes, Left on the Cutting-Room Floor)

"I'm not Spartacus. That guy over there - he's Spartacus."

On the Term, "Twittersphere"

Might we uninvent that one? Please.

Al Gore's Career High?

Probably when he went on Letterman and the host talked him into saying, "Buttafuoco".

Golden Striking

One of the main criticisms of University of Miami football coach, Al Golden, is that he hasn't been as effective in securing local talent as some of his predecessors. Well, that finally seems to be changing, at least a little. I cite specifically here the recent commitment of Pasco High's (in Dade City, Florida) standout tight-end, Bowman Archibald. This fellow is one hell of an athlete (Rivals has him as the 3rd best tight-end in the state of Florida and the 14th best in the country) and the best part of all is that he's "rising" (a term that's frequently used by scouts to describe players who are quickly improving). I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him on the field as a true freshman and eventually becoming yet another great Miami tight end (along the lines of Jeremy Shockey or Kellen Winslow Jr.). Go Canes.