Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Campaign Ad


A guy called a local talk radio show the other day to defend Obama's hostility to businessmen making profits, and he said something to the effect of "I believe in capitalism, but it's not unreasonable to limit the amount of profits someone can make." The radio host gave the example of a building contractor, and the caller said the contractor should split the profits with the workers.

I wonder how the caller would have answered if the host had asked, "should the workers all lose money if the project comes in over budget?" That is, is the entrepreneur the only one who should bear all of the risk, if he is compelled to share the rewards?

Or to put it another way. Suppose I need to hire two people. One will get a certain low, but guaranteed wage, and has the possibility of a substantial bonus if the project is successful. The other only makes money if the project is successful, and he doesn't get all of the profits if the project is successful, and if it takes a loss, he is the only one who loses money. Tell me, which position would you apply for?

In what sense could this guy possibly believe in capitalism?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Green Technology to the Rescue!

I love National Geographic. It's about the perfect magazine for me; I love foreign countries and cultures, I love politics, I love photography, and it's all in there (even if the politics are usually lefty).

This month's issue (November, 2008) has an article on disappearing rainforests in Borneo. There is a global boom in demand for palm oil. It is used for cooking, but the boom is for use as biodiesel. From the article, "The profitability of palm oil has sent the crop sprawling across some eight million acres of Borneo -- an area roughly the size of Switzerland." The loss of native forests means the destruction of plant and animal species' habitats.

So basically, American lefties promote inefficient biodiesel, which causes a spike in the demand for palm oil, which increases incentives to cut down ancient rainforests and kill off native plants and animals. Sounds about right. Considering that lefties don't care when their policies cause a spike in worldwide corn prices, which causes mass starvation in Africa, why should they care about a Switzerland-sized hole in the rainforest? Isn't it more important to "do something" than to make sure the "something" makes some sort of sense?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nevada Elections

In previous comments, a Nevada resident asked me for information on judicial elections. I don't have much information to give, but here's my opinion so far (all of this is subject to change as I do further research):

1. Supreme Court Seat B -- Mary Pickering. I don't know much of anything about either candidate. I make this decision based on the kinds of endorsements each has received, and it looks like Pickering is more pro-prosecution in criminal cases. Schumacher is a judge in Washoe County, and Pickering has never been a judge, so if experience is your key criterion, there you go.

2. Supreme Court Seat D -- Thomas Christensen. I don't think he'll win; Bill Maupin (the incumbent) is too popular and well-respected. I recommend Christensen because Maupin (among others) signed onto the absolutely horrendous Guinn decision, in which the Justices ignored the state Constitution to help raise taxes.

That decision already cost Nancy Becker her job, and Becker was an otherwise good judge (with some notable exceptions). Maupin is generally not a bad judge. But he was in Guinn, and that's enough, in my opinion.

3. District Court Judge Dept. 6 -- no recommendation

4. District Court Judge Dept. 7 -- no recommendation

5. District Court Judge Dept. 8 -- no recommendation

6. District Court Judge Dept. 10 -- The incumbent Judge Walsh has consistently received some of the lowest ratings in lawyer surveys other than Judge Halverson. I don't think she stands a chance.

7. District Court Judge Dept. 12 -- no recommendation

8. District Court Judge Dept. 14 -- Chris Davis. You may recall that Don Moseley featured very prominently in a series of Review-Journal articles about the problems of judges soliciting and receiving campaign contributions. It was not favorable.

9. District Court Judge Dept. 17 -- Michael Villani

10. District Court Judge Dept. 22 -- no recommendation

11. District Court Judge Dept. 23 -- no recommendation

12. District Court Judge Dept. 25 -- no recommendation. Susan Scann seems nice enough, but I only met her once, extremely briefly, and I've never seen her work.

I'll add this: my readers (such as they are) are probably mostly conservative, and looks like a conservative web site, so I'll note their recommendations, as well. I haven't looked at that site much, so I don't endorse anything there.

For Family Court judges, I'll say Ken Pollack, Bill Henderson, and Cynthia Giuliani. I don't know anything at all about any of the others.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tonight's Debate

In case anyone is wondering, there is a debate tonight. I will not be watching it. Instead, I will eat the New Orleans burnt sugar cake (that's "burnt sugar" cake, not burnt "sugar cake") I baked this afternoon, and studying Arabic.

Also, for your edification, I will give you the following interesting information about Arabic:

1. The word for "happy" is sa'eed. The root letters "sin-ain-dal" also form the word sa'daana, which means "nipple." The connection should be obvious. In addition, the word for "doorknob" translates literally as "the door's nipple" (sa'daana-t al-baab).

Please do not lick the doorknobs. It is unsanitary.

2. Arabic is an unintentionally filthy language if you know which words to yell loudly, in front of an English audience. For example,

al-jow SHITEE al-yown = the weather is wintry today.
'andi akh wahad FAQAT = I only have one brother.
'ASHIT as-sayaara = she bought the car.
DAAMIT! = she persevered.

I recommend you go practice your Arabic as loud as you can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Monday, October 13, 2008

If I May be Serious for a Moment

Stephen Green at VodkaPundit sent his first ever mass e-mail in seven years of blogging, to promote this post. He's been kind enough to link me in the past, so I'm more than happy to return the favor.

More importantly, I am terrified that he might be right.

If (when?) Obama is elected, by my estimation there’s an at least even chance
that the newly-reconstructed FCC will reverse course and attempt to apply the
New Fairness Doctrine to blogs.

If (when?) it happens, I’ll break that law. I will break it with all due malice and in full knowledge of the possible consequences. I’ll shout “Fire Obama!” in a crowded theater. And then, for the first time ever, I’ll ask for reader donations. Because I’ll going to need them, lots of them, to pay for the lawyers.

I'll just add a few things. Jaymaster predicts that Obama will be more concerned with making as few decisions as possible than with raping the country. I suppose he might point out that in the Illinois legislature, Obama voted present 130 times. In response, I'll note that in Obama's first year as a U.S. Senator, he got a $1 million earmark for the hospital where his wife works, in exchange for his his wife getting her salary nearly tripled. He has already tried to use the Department of Justice to silence legitimate political discourse (what happens when he directly appoints the attorneys at DoJ?). He is already using frivolous criminal investigations against local government officials. He has helped ACORN with their biannual voter fraud efforts. How can Jaymaster seriously argue that Obama will abuse his power less when he has more of it?

That's full-on scary corruption, without the slightest attempt to hide it, after he already knew he would face national scrutiny as a Presidential candidate. And here's the worst part: it worked. When is the last time you heard a reporter mention his unabashed quid pro quo? As a Senator, he can manipulate federal spending. He can request a DoJ probe. As President, he gets at least two Supreme Court picks, he gets to appoint DoJ attorneys and order them to pursue his agenda, he gets to pick his cabinet, he gets to initiate a disastrous and humiliating collapse of U.S. military power for decades to come by forcing defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Again, if Obama isn't even trying to hide his manifest disregard for the Constitution now, why would he change his mind in the White House? Especially if he has a filibuster-proof majority?

Second point: Diane Hsieh e-mailed (sorry for the no-linky; if you have a blog, let me know) and noted that McCain, too, is an enemy of the First Amendment. And I totally agree with her, for exactly the reason she gives:

"When asked whether McCain-Feingold violates freedom of speech, McCain said, I
would rather have a clean government than one where quote 'FirstAmendment
rights' are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had mychoice, I'd
rather have the clean government."

Well John McCain can go piss up a rope, because the Constitution expressly protects free speech, and not John McCain's efforts to assuage his conscience after his own political corruption came to light.

In case I haven't made myself absolutely clear, I do not like John McCain. At all. He is an enemy of the Constitution and any judge with an ounce of sanity should issue a restraining order keeping him five miles from elected office at all times. I would call him a scum bag, but I would feel bad about insulting actual bags filled with scum. The entire State of Arizona should burn with a deep and abiding sense of utter humiliationg for repeatedly electing such a putrid waste of human life to the Senate -- except that the Senate seems to be a strikingly appropriate place for putrid wastes of human flesh.

All that said -- and again, I mean every word of it -- there is a difference between increasing the cost of political speech and restricting which legal entities may engage in political speech before elections (with all kinds of ridiculous loopholes and whatnot), and actually threatening to use the police power of the federal government to throw you in jail for the substance of your political speech. Obama has proven time and again that he does not take well to criticism. He will not just cost you money for speaking, he will throw your ass in jail if he doesn't like what you say.

In my link above, about Harold Simmons (the investor who Obama tried to silence with a DoJ probe), keep in mind that Obama could have called the Federal Elections Commission guys. Instead he called the guys with powerful handguns.

One final thought. Now that I've disagreed with Steve's detractors, let me disagree with Steve for a moment. He says:
"But that law, should it pass, will not stand."

I wish I could agree with you. The Supreme Court, as currently constituted, would probably agree. But that's a 5-4 split. Obama will almost certainly replace Ginsburg and Stevens (a liberal and a ... well, we'll call him a liberal for purposes of this post). Scalia is 72-years-old. Kennedy is 72-years-old (I didn't check their birthdays -- I could be off by a number). Anyone want to bet real money they'll both be alive and kicking at the end of a hypothetical second Obama term?

We're not betting real money, of course. We're betting our right to free speech.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shopping for Uniforms

Now that I have my seed money for my evil plan to conquer the world, the next step is to get some henchmen uniforms. Like most of you, I subscribe to Henchmen Fashion Quarterly, which just put out its new winter catalogue. Let's see what we have this season:

Item # 213576, the Reactor Worker

Kinda plain. It doesn't even have a utility belt or pockets or anything. It comes in white, yellow or red, but I think they're all solid colors. I think I want a little more zip than that. Plus, the hat makes it harder to tell if a spy has knocked out one of my men and infiltrated my lair.

Item #781121, the Shuttle Launchpad Worker

That's a little better. The hats don't provide much opportunity for disguise, and at least we have belts to break up the monochrome. Still, pretty boring. It needs like an insignia or something.

Item #533125, the Chinese Mercenary

That won't work. Sure, we have the belt, but it's over a bright yellow sash. Not only is that hideous, but it's also not practical. I can't be spending funds on totally superfluous cloth, especially when it gives a combatant something to grip. Plus, who decided on the bright white socks and black slip-on shoes? Terrible. Is it really so hard to get something that's fashionable and practical?

Item #309808 the Space Station Worker

Holy crap, that's even worse. First of all, I assume most henchmen are going to be high-functioning retards at best, but actually issuing them the dumb-kid helmets is only going to hurt morale. These have insignia, which I like, and also utility belts. I don't like the collars. It looks like tin-foil, like they were designed by the costume crew for The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Here's the other problem. On the "hers" version, they put the insignia on the chest. That's cool. I like that. Gives you the chance to surreptitiously check out her rack and pretend you're looking at the design thing. But let's be honest here. The insignia looks like a pair of testicles. And on the dude, the insignia is down near his crotch. I mean, come on. I gotta work with these people.

Item #543534, the Scuba Army

No. No no no no. If any of my henchmen have prominent bellies, as this one does, I do not want them in form-fitting clothing. This is not negotiable.

Item #112001, the Oil Platform Worker

I don't even know where to start, here. Bright blue jumpsuit with white zippers. Bright orange electrical worker helmet, bright orange gloves, bright orange utility belt with matching holster, bright orange boots. Even a little silver lightning bolt on the helmet. Orange and blue? Are these henchmen, or drunken Broncos fans? Could this possibly get any worse?

Item #000187

And it gets worse. Orange and blue is bad enough, but when it's an orange t-shirt and blue jeans, that's just plain lazy. And no, matching orange socks and converse All-Stars do not rescue this disaster.

Item #433967, the Spec-Ops Wanna-Be

I think this is where the fashion trends are heading. All black looks cool, gives at least a semblance of camoflage as long as you keep the ambient lighting low, and of course it's slimming. And I want my guys to have lots of pouches and straps and what-not, so they feel more military than, say, a bunch of scrawny dudes in orange t-shirts.

I'm just worried that this has been done to death. Maybe there's something a little less ... I don't know, traditional?

Item #913542, the Stormtrooper

Eh. It looks kinda cool, but a utility belt should be an actual belt, that is actually useful, and not bits of square-shaped plastic built into the armor and made to look like a belt. This thing doesn't give enough mobility or field of vision, and the exposed joints are a serious problem.

Item #913543, the Imperial Guard

Whoa, that's awsome! Okay, it may be the least practical thing I've seen -- the mask, the flowing robes that can't possibly help in hand-to-hand combat -- and it's monochrome, but the sheer badassery just might make up for the drawbacks.

But it's pretty expensive. Maybe I'll just google "uniforms" real quick and see if maybe there's something I like better. Hmm...

Item #545628, the Nurse

Umm, that's probably not a good idea for a lot of reasons.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Evil Scheme to Conquer the World

So I've been kind of busy recently.

Now that the world financial markets are collapsing, and the two major party candidates for the U.S. presidency are both hopelessly inept, I figure it's time to take things into my own hands. I've decided to conquer the world and subject all of humanity to my iron will.

Of course the first step is to get the seed money for my evil scheme. Shouldn't be too much of a problem. I downloaded a grant application from the National Endowment for the Arts, requesting $4 million "to build a lethal space laser as part of an avant garde performance piece."

I'll let you know how it goes.

Update: Application granted!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Obama and Biden, Part 4

Later ...

We'll spice up your life
(NOTE: please be advised that the proprietor is aware of certain rumors to the effect that, as part of his preparation for this post, he listened to the Spice Girls' "Wannabe." Three times. Such accusations are so manifestly scurrilous and without basis in fact as to not merit the dignity of a response. That is all.)