Very good stuff:
Via Little Miss Attila
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Just heard Captain Sullenberger say this on Neil Cavuto:
"Part of what the book is about is a reaffirmation that cultivating seemingly ordinary virtues throughout one's life can prepare one to face extraordinary circumstances."
A perfect summation of what we should all try to do every day: Cultivate the ordinary virtues in our ordinary lives, and we, too, might achieve heroic status. Even without having to land a plane on water.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
The anonymous commenter stopped by again, here, a few days ago, but I've been too busy lately to post anything about it till now.
I actually don't work for Senator Kohl, although I gladly would work for either senator from my home state. I won't bother you with any more comments after this one, but I would like to say that there is no correct view - there are pros and cons to either party. There are democrats who genuinely care about the wellbeing [sic] of their constituents, and Senator Kohl is among them.
I won't post a screencap of the ISP info, because this time it wasn't from Senate.gov but from a private Internet provider in D.C.
My anonymous guest, you say there's no "correct view", there are "pros and cons to either party". Let's just keep talking about Cash for Clunkers for now, OK? We can get to the pros and cons of each party some other time, maybe.
I presented certain facts about Cash for Clunkers at the links in previous posts. Assuming those facts are true (and in this case, there's no argument from either side about the facts), we come to just one conclusion: This program was a very costly failure.
Senator Herb Kohl may very well care about the well-being of his constituents. But in this case, he was on the wrong side of the issue, and thus, inadvertently, harmed his constituents by spending their tax dollars in a counter-productive way.
A larger point: If Senator Kohl's concern for us leads him to believe that it's the government's job to guarantee our well-being, he will end up making more of those incorrect decisions. It's impossible for the government to guarantee our "well-being", however one might define that. However, in a misguided attempt to do so, they will pass more laws, increase the span of government control, and spend more of our tax dollars (sinking us ever deeper into a very dangerous level of debt), thus taking away more of our liberty and our individual and national economic stability.
That would definitely be an "incorrect" thing to do.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
... that Cash for Clunkers was yet another horrible government idea, read this.
The basic fallacy of cash for clunkers is that you can somehow create wealth by destroying existing assets that are still productive, in this case cars that still work. Under the program, auto dealers were required to destroy the car engines of trade-ins with a sodium silicate solution, then smash them and send them to the junk yard. As the journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote in his classic, "Economics in One Lesson," you can't raise living standards by breaking windows so some people can get jobs repairing them.
In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices. The people who really belong in the junk yard are the wizards in Washington who peddled this economic malarkey.
If you're thinking, "but, still, it did something great for the environment!", think again: the upgrade to more fuel efficient models saved maybe one day's worth of gas consumption.
Go read the whole thing.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Now it's time to have some fun with the "Anonymous" commenter from this post. I almost hate to waste the pixels on this, as really, it's hardly worth the trouble. But, hey, it's my blog, and that comment is definitely a "target-rich environment", as they say. So, here we go!
I know you probably won't post this, [wrong! and that won't be the last time in this comment] since my comment does not mesh with your views, [what, you thought I was afraid of a little opposition?] but I hope that you'll at least read it. You are sadly mistaken regarding just about everything you write. [The power of your argument already underwhelms. "Just about everything" I write? Really?? Can you actually point out any places where my facts are wrong? No? I didn't think so.] Perhaps you've seen Glen Beck cry [OK, this is picky, but wrong again; it's G-L-E-N-N] and have been moved by his "genuine" sadness regarding the state of the nation. [No, not really, but my teen daughter wants to know if you've been moved by Nancy Pelosi's crocodile tears.] Perhaps you've watched too many hours of the Fox News channel so your views are no longer your own. [Novel theory, that. Whose views would they be, exactly, if not mine? You think my brain becomes property of FOX after a certain number of programs viewed? But I suppose those of you who watch "the CBS news channel" or "the MSNBC" or "the CNN" maintain full and complete ownership of your views, which spring, Athena-like, from your brows, yes? Anyway, don't sell me short; I happen to get my news from a huge variety of sources, unlike most lefties I know.]
I thank God every day that the Bush Administration is out of office and has been replaced by one that is concerned about things like bringing our troops home from an unnecessary war in Iraq [really? I seem to have missed that announcement from the White House], ending torture and abuse of prisoners, [wrong again; we didn't torture prisoners. I thought waterboarding might be torture -- until I learned that Christopher Hitchens volunteered to have it done to him, and that we do this to our troops as part of their training. Ipso facto, it's not torture. End of discussion], focusing on rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals, [huh? again, I must have missed this announcement from the White House, unless by this you mean sending Gitmo prisoners to Bermuda. Rehabilitation? HA!] and ensuring that our public schools have the resources they need to succeed. [Oh yeah, that's what our public schools need. More money. And on the back of the 47% of us who are taxpayers, I suppose, funneled through our completely broke federal government. What shocking brilliance.]
You may have a problem with social programs. A lot of you do. [By "a lot of you", do you mean those of us who are intelligent, productive taxpayers? But what do you mean by "have a problem with social programs"? We're certainly not opposed to safety-net programs for legitimate citizens who are truly in desperate straits.] I certainly hope that you refuse to take part in Medicare or Social Security. You should avoid those out of principle, right? [Actually, I'd be thrilled if a Congressman or Senator would introduce a bill to start scaling back on the promised Medicare and Social Security benefits for my generation, because we simply can't afford it. Rather than see our government completely wrecked by these out-of-control Ponzi schemes, I'd much rather see the programs severely scaled back. Including for myself. And if our government would make Social Security voluntary, I would most definitely opt out, immediately. But then you don't get to collect anything out of my paycheck for it, either.]
You say that the Cash for Clunkers program did not work. [No, I didn't just "say" it, I proved it. Did you bother to follow the links in that post? Cash for Clunkers was an EPIC FAIL.] You say that people are buying vehicles that they cannot afford. [Some of them did, absolutely.] However, you also advocate less government regulation of individuals, so shouldn't these people be allowed to make such poor decisions? [OK, this is where I don't know if I should laugh or cry. This is the most ludicrous statement that it makes me laugh... but then again, can someone with such poor logic really be working in our government? That makes me want to cry. Let's try this: I DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMENT TAKING MY MONEY TO GIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE TO MAKE BAD DECISIONS!!! If they want to make their own bad decisions, let them do it with THEIR money!!! Is that really so hard to understand??]
I certainly hope you are not a Wisconsinite, because I am, [I don't really hide the fact that I blog from Wisconsin] and would not want to identify [I don't think that word means what you think it means; you probably meant to say "associate". Don't worry, I don't particularly want to associate with you, either, though I wouldn't mind meeting with you and sitting down over a civilized glass of wine so I could explain my ideas to you. You might learn something.] with a town hall yeller [Wrong again. I've never yelled, ever, in a townhall meeting] such as yourself. Pathetic. [Nice. Thank you for the insults.]
Gee, that was fun.
According to my Sitemeter stats, you've been back to visit today, My Dear Anonymous Commenter. Please do stop by often.
You should be able to click on the image below to enlarge it (or, as the cool bloggers say, "embiggen" it).
Anyway, that screenshot indicates my "anonymous" commenter most likely is an employee of the United States Senate. If I had to guess - and this is just a guess - I'd say it's probably a young staffer in Herb Kohl's office. The IP address indicates the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms, which owns the IP addresses for the U.S Senate. (The linked Wikinews article is about other federal employees meddling with Wikipedia.)
Aren't you glad to know that a federal employee (or perhaps an unpaid intern) took the time out of his busy day to spend about 12 minutes visiting my blog?
And that he made sure to insult me? I'm a mere citizen, a taxpayer, exercising my right to free speech here, but this employee of the United States Government called me a "town hall yeller" (really? I've been to many townhall meetings and never once have I yelled at anyone) and "pathetic".
Last time I checked, federal government employees were supposed to serve the people, not insult them.
I guess to leftists, it's all the same. Serve, insult, whatever.
But please advise me: Should I call Senator Kohl's office and try to find out who the anonymous person was? Wouldn't that be kind of interesting? Maybe the Senator would want to know that his staffers are taking time out of their day to insult his constituents.
On the other hand, maybe that's OK with him seeing as he sort of does that himself.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Ah, sweet, sweet schadenfreude!
Honestly, I am totally stunned (and completely thrilled) that Obama didn't land the Olympics for Chicago. I really thought he must have known he had it locked up (or that he was going to pull such under-the-table deals that nobody could resist him).
At the same time, I'm more than irritated that he risked the awesome power and prestige of the United States presidency on such a meaningless task.
Still -- HA! He failed, his giant ego has been taken down a notch, and Rahm and Da Mayor and Senator Burris all look like the bunch of corrupt, pathetic hacks that they are. That's worth something. In addition, the taxpayers of Chicago will be spared the expense of hosting an Olympics, with all the white elephant stadiums and venues left over afterwards.
But darn, I really wish I hadn't gone to confession already today, because this post is so horribly uncharitable that I feel the need to go back.
In the meantime, here's another song to celebrate Rio getting the Olympics:
I'd called his office to register my disapproval of the Cash for Clunkers program. Yesterday, I received a reply from him that can only be described as inane, unless you describe it as pathetic, unless you describe it as delusional.
Yes, actually, delusional is the word I want.
For example, The Honorable Senator said that the Cash for Clunkers program was an "overwhelming success."
Sure, if by "success" you mean destruction of a country's assets and wealth (700,000 usable, working vehicles were destroyed), and if you mean the artificial pulling forward of demand (vehicle sales are plummeting), and if you mean a complete waste of $3 billion of taxpayer money (rather than saving on fuel, the program will lead to the burning of more gasoline during the first few years of new car ownership).
If that's not enough, the program enticed a whole lot of Americans to turn in a car which they most likely owned free and clear to buy a new car with expensive monthly payments they very likely can't afford. Probably not the greatest idea during a severe recession with high unemployment and lots of other jobs on the line, not to mention that Americans are saddled with nearly a trillion dollars in revolving consumer debt (not including mortgages).
Oh, and once again our federal government showed its complete obliviousness to the "Forgotten Man": They took money from Group A (we the taxpayers, an ever-shrinking group) to give to Group B (the auto dealers who got the $4500 per car and had increased sales for a few weeks), in order to benefit Group C (the people who got the new fuel-efficient car to theoretically save a little bit on their gas expenses). We, the taxpayers, are the Forgotten Man in this scam.
As this article puts it:
[Cash for Clunkers] took $2.8 billion from the general roster of 300 million citizens and handed it tax-free to a small group of 700,000 citizens.
Topping it off, this tax-free benefit was only available to those who had not already bought a fuel-efficient car, thus rewarding people who didn't do "the right thing" in the past.
Nice job, Senator Kohl and President Obama. Once again you prove that you have no idea what you're doing and will most definitely bring this country to ruin.