Saturday, December 20, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Goracle Has Spoken--Mark Your Calendars!

Algore on Germany's ZTV:

"The entire North Polar ice cap will be completely gone in five years."




Update 1/1/09: Ruh-roh. Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Your Government at Work: Protecting Consumers

Several stories about the importation of dangerous toys have appeared in the media during the past year or so. These toys were imported from third-world countries (mainly China) in violation of laws regarding small parts and lead content.

To address this problem, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys, and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

Large manufacturers can meet the new requirements fairly easily, but compliance costs will be prohibitive for small manufacturers. According to the Handmade Toy Alliance:

For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers...the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

A toymaker...who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.

A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.

A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.

And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.


It's not only handcrafters and startups who won't be able to meet the new compliance costs. Selecta Spielzeug, a well-established German producer of high-quality wooden toys, has announced that they must stop exporting to the U.S. due to the new regulations. Take a look at their products and decide for yourself how dangerous these toys are to children.

This is the coincidence that happens too often to be coincidence: Under the guise of consumer protection, legislators enact laws favorable to the special interests that pay them, at the expense of competitors, small businesses, startups, and consumers. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Capitalism in Action

The Feds are nationalizing every business they can get their grubby paws on, but Free Enterprise ain't done yet!




Thanks to Chronicle of the Conspiracy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All Quiet on the Paki Front

We all know how much those peaceful, moderate Paki Muslims love to take to the streets to demonstrate their love of peace and moderation. Google Image Search has literally hundreds of pictures of peaceful, moderate Paki Muslims outraged that a Danish paper published some cartoons, so we also know it doesn't take much to get these true believers riled up.

Given that some not-so-peaceful-and-moderate Paki Muslims just tortured and murdered 175 or so innocent people in Bombay, I searched for some images of peaceful, moderate Paki Muslims demonstrating their outrage at this atrocity committed in the name of Islam. I must be doing something wrong, because I haven't found any of those pictures thus far.

If you know of any pictures of peaceful, moderate Paki Muslims outraged by these murders committed in the name of Islam, please send them to me. I'd hate to start believing that "moderate Islam" is nothing more than a convenient myth. Yeah, I'd really hate to start believing that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nail Jack



Given that we've been using them for several millennia, you'd think there would never be anything really new in hand tools. Nail Jack might be an exception. Read more at ToolCrib.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smart Defrag

I'm not a computer geek. I have no more interest in messing with a computer than I have in messing with a light switch when it's too dark to see. I just want them both to work.

I've been using Smart Defrag for a couple of weeks. Now, this is my kind of software: It's free, it works well, and it eliminates one small part of "messing with your computer."

Smart Defrag defragments your drive continually by working in the background during idle time. Install it and forget it--no additional input is required, and you never have to concern yourself with defragmenting a drive again.

Me likey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sen. Jeff Sessions' Letter to President Bush

This guy is fast becoming a hero of mine.

November 14, 2008
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Bush:

I am deeply concerned that the execution of your economic stabilization plan by Secretary Paulson represents an unprecedented governmental intervention in the economy that threatens our nation’s long heritage of limited government and commitment to the free market.

Although I understand the need for a narrow plan to help stabilize our nation’s financial sector, I opposed Secretary Paulson’s bailout plan because it represented a massive interference in the market, one which hinged on the delegation to a single unelected executive branch official the authority to spend $700 billion in taxpayer money. Unfortunately, recent events have confirmed my fears that this unfocused scheme provides a basis for almost any action, including direct government ownership of private corporations, and sets a dangerous precedent.

Less than a week after pushing for authority to purchase distressed securities, Secretary Paulson altered the focus of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to recapitalize banks instead. That move directly contradicted his prior testimony to the Senate: “There are some that said we should just go and stick capital in the banks . . . but we said the right way to do this is not going around and using guarantees or injecting capital.” Since that time, Secretary Paulson has abandoned the stated goal of purchasing distressed assets and is now concentrating on purchasing large equity stakes in banking institutions. The financial sector recovery program operating today is entirely different from the one outlined to, and approved by, Congress in October. I can only conclude that the swift reversal from purchasing toxic assets to stock purchases was part of a plan to mislead the Congress because massive stock purchases would have received a much more hostile reception.

Predictably, efforts are now underway to expand the TARP to bail out private companies suffering in a recessionary economic climate, notably the big three auto manufacturers. Allowing this trend to continue sends a clear signal to foreign nations that the United States has turned its back on the free market and is a virtual guarantee that other “vital” industries will request government assistance in the future. As estimates for the Fiscal Year 2009 federal deficit approach the staggering $1 trillion mark, we must ask: where do we draw the line?

With this in mind, I urge you to:

1. Publicly outline a plan for extricating the government from the market as soon as reasonably possible, limiting further interference, and allowing markets to function in the future, as well as emphasizing clearly why this is an important principle.

2. Establish guidelines for making the TARP’s basic earnings and loss data – similar to that found on a corporation’s quarterly statement – available to the public. The Administration has argued that taxpayers may be made whole by the future sale of equities purchased by the TARP. Accordingly, the American people have the right to know the status of their investment.

3. Oppose the economic stimulus package that includes an additional bailout for troubled auto manufacturers. Your administration should not allow a struggling economy to be used as justification for a huge surge in government spending and control.
It seems to me that Secretary Paulson, whom you obviously admire, has assumed an inappropriate role in our governmental system. He is acting as a Wall Street investment banker, allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, with no oversight and no stated plan. This undermines our heritage of law and order, and is an affront to the principle of separation of powers. Of course, the Secretary works for you and serves at your pleasure. While you have many challenges in these busy days, I believe you have a clear constitutional duty to personally supervise his actions and to direct this process. I urge you to do so.

In this time of economic turmoil, let your actions clearly reflect a commitment to the sound economic and governmental principles that have made our nation great. It is important that we recognize the magnitude of the precedent these actions have set, and that you intentionally act and speak in ways that limit that precedent for the future.

I have been honored to work with you on many important issues and please know that my affection and appreciation for you and your leadership remains strong.

Very truly yours,

Jeff Sessions
United States Senator

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Next Meltdown Is the Big One

Has the economic meltdown got you in the dumps? Cheer up! It's going to get a lot worse. According to the GAO:

Our long-term simulations show that absent policy actions aimed at deficit reduction, the federal government faces unsustainable growth in debt…growth in spending on major entitlement programs will absorb the lion’s share of the government’s resources. Just ten years from now…76 cents of every dollar of federal revenue will be spent on retirees and their health care providers.

33 Minutes

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What to Do: "Embrace the Suck" or "Go John Galt?"

With the Bush administration nationalizing finance companies and the distinct prospect of a Marxist President in our near future, this Robert Heinlein quote seems timely:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Republican Solutions and a Positive Agenda?"

Take a look at this nondescript post by Tom Cole at the NRCC blog. Read the comments from loyal Republican voters and party supporters. This isn't everyday, garden-variety anger and frustration from the rank and file. After reading these comments I know the GOP is toast. History. An ex-party.

You know, somebody was the very last Whig in American politics. I wonder how that guy felt when he realized he was all alone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Barack Obama's True Position on Gun Control



In "Obama and Guns: Two Different Views," John Lott discusses Barack Obama's extremely nuanced views on gun control legislation, including the following exchange from the mid-90's:

Indeed, the first time I introduced myself to him he said “Oh, you are the gun guy.” I responded “Yes, I guess so.” He simply responded that “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.”


Regardless of his lies about it now, Obama has never supported the rights guaranteed to us by the 2nd Amendment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Today's News...



Former President Jimmy Carter said he feels "quite at ease" about meeting Hamas militants over the objections of Washington because the Palestinian group is essential to a future peace with Israel, but Alzheimer's experts have cautiously welcomed a revolutionary treatment which shows immediate results in up to 90% of patients.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Islam's Not for Me: CAIR Bears Edition

If any of you terribly courageous Islamist headchoppers want to come after me for this--don't kill me, just burn my house down. I can use the insurance money.

Press Operators in China Have It a Bit...Different

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why Women Live Longer than Men #96,111

Slacker Personal Radio






Slacker Personal Radio is a music site similar to Pandora, but with a larger library and more customizable features. It's become my favorite of this type of site.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Fitna

American Justice: Keeping Us Safe



Fresno County, CA won a judgment of almost $600,000.00 against evil 3M Corp after proving that Scotch Tape labeled "for one inch use" was actually only .94 inches wide.

I'll sleep better tonight knowing that the scourge of international tape terror has finally suffered a serious blow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Women Live Longer than Men #96,110



Walter Williams on Obama and Racism

In "Is Obama Ready for America?" Walter Williams injects a bit of sanity into the current Obama/Wright brouhaha:

The fact that the civil rights struggle is over and won does not mean that there are not major problems confronting many members of the black community but they are not civil rights problems and have little or nothing to do with racial discrimination. While not every single vestige of racial discrimination has disappeared, Obama and the Rev. Wright are absolutely wrong in suggesting that racial discrimination is anywhere near the major problem confronting a large segment of the black community. The major problems are: family breakdown, illegitimacy, fraudulent education and a high rate of criminality. To confront these problems, that are not the fault of the larger society, requires political courage and that's an attribute that Obama and most other politicians lack.

It's unfortunate that Dr. Williams' views won't be incorporated into the "national dialogue on race" that Sen. Obama claims he wants. All Americans are the poorer for that.

The Art of John Daker

Last.fm

This may be old to some people, but it's new to me. Last.fm is a music site with social networking features. Enter an artist name and you'll get a list of music tracks and a list of other, similar artists. The software tracks your listening preferences over time, then suggests playlists from other users with similar tastes. Like Pandora, Last.fm is a great way to find new music tailored to your tastes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When Matthew Conley Came Home



United States Marine Corps Corporal Matthew Conley was killed in Iraq on February 19, 2006.


In Bedtime Stories for Catherine, Wright Thompson of ESPN.com offers a beautiful tribute to Cpl. Conley, his family, and his community. Please read it all.


When the Marines brought Matthew home:

Someone donated limousines for the family. The sheriff met them at the funeral home. He led them on the long drive across the state of Alabama, lights flashing. Something amazing happened along the way. At every county line, other sheriff's deputies waited in their cars, ready to escort the Conleys, blue lights on, all traffic stopped. Nothing was interfering with their awful journey
that night, from Lauderdale County to Lawrence County, then on to Limestone and, finally, Madison. All along the way, people lined the roadside, waving American flags. When the sun went down, they shined flashlights on the stars and stripes, so that the only things the Conleys saw blazing across northern Alabama were small circles of light with flags inside.

When they reached I-65, Alabama state troopers blocked off the interstate, clearing the way. Marines loaded the casket into the hearse and then the procession turned around.

It was time for Matthew to come home to Greenhill.


Words fail me. We can never, ever repay fine men like Matthew Conley for the sacrifice they've made on our behalf. We can only do our best to honor them by holding their memories dear.
Thanks to Cuffy.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why Women Live Longer than Men #96,109

Tommy Emmanuel - Guitar Boogie

Printable Targets

OK, gun nuts--here's a nice collection of targets ready for printing. There aren't any bombheaded Mohammeds, but three good OBL's are included.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Deep Thoughts in DC: Let's Cut George Bush's Secret Service Protection!



According to Andrew Roth at Club for Growth, the law mandating lifetime Secret Service protection for former Presidents was changed in 1997, limiting protection to 10 years after a President leaves office.

The first President to be subject to this new restriction? George W. Bush.

This seems stunningly stupid to me. The same Congress that refuses to reform its bridge-to-nowhere earmarks system finds protecting the lives of former Presidents to be prohibitively expensive.

Stunningly stupid.

Why Women Live Longer than Men #96,108


Charlie Bit Me

Twelve million views and still going strong.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Housepainting Tip



If you're painting from the very top of a 20-foot extension ladder and a red wasp tries to shinny up your left nostril, just let the satanic sonofabitch do its thing.

Trust me on this one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hello Mudda, Hello Fatah




Fatah operative Muhammad Shehadi, suspected mastermind of last week's Yeshiva murders, assumed ambient temperature today after a brief encounter with an unspecified number of "IDF forces." Fatah and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas denounced Israel's action as a "barbaric holocaust...perpetrated against our people, our women and children in Gaza." Fatah's primary benefactor, the U.S. State Dept, could not be reached for comment (ok, I made that up).

Congratulations IDF--you rock!

Update: Ynet describes Shehadi as a member of Islamic Jihad who used to be a Fatah member.


Flickrvision

What's being uploaded to Flickr, by whom, and from where? Flickrvision has it.

via

Eight Year-Old Russian Harpist Alexander Andrushchenko

Why Women Live Longer than Men #96,107


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not an Animated GIF



No matter how often I see these things, they're still interesting. Maybe I'm just easily amused.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Four Photos from Today's News


1. Lauren Burk. Murdered.



2. Lauren Burk's murderer.




3. Eve Carson. Murdered.




4. Eve Carson's murderer.


Any questions?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's Logic!


If four of five people suffer from diahrrea, does that mean one of five enjoys it?

Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us


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