October 27, 2008
Right Wing News posted a survey on the election. Here are my answers with explanations:
1) Who do you think is going to win the election?
A) John McCain
I think the "Joe the Plumber" theme will carry him through. Plus I think there's a significant faction of poll respondents who say "Obama" because it's obvious that the pollsters want them to say that, and the respondents don't want to hurt their feelings.
2) Do you think Sarah Palin has been a plus or a minus to the ticket?
Before Palin, this election would only be "historic" by voting for Obama. Now there's a "historic" first either way.
3) How do you feel about Sarah Palin as a candidate?
A) I really like her!
She's not a member of the Church of Global Warming, and she understands that, although taxes are a necessary evil, they're still evil, and need to be minimized.
4) The Republican Party did poorly in the 2006 election and even if McCain wins is on track to do poorly again in this years Congressional races. If you had to choose between these two options, do you think that's because they were...
B) Not conservative enough
Missing talking points: tax cuts, dead terrorists, less government intervention in the economy.
5) Do you believe the mainstream media's coverage has been...
D) Heavily biased in favor of Barack Obama.
When was the last time you saw a MSM story that had anything favorable to say about McCain?
6) Do you think Barack Obama is...
A) Honest (no)
He says he'll only raise taxes on those making $250k/yr, but also says he's going to raise the capital gains tax rate. Dude... *I* pay capital gains taxes and have done so in years when I've made less than 10% of that.
B) Patriotic (no)
In America, patriotism means supporting the Constitution, which authorizes taxation to pay for certain specified government activities. Obama sees taxation primarily as a means of wealth redistribution, not government funding.
C) Qualified to be President (Yes)
35 and (pending the outcome of Berg v. Obama) a natural born citizen of the US. That's all he needs.
October 25, 2008
Via IMAO, a reporter clamps onto Biden and shakes him like a pit bull gnawing on a kitten.
Read about the Obama campaign's reaction at Right Pundits.
SCOTT ADAMS 9 POINT WEALTH PLAN
I'm posting this here so that I can find it whenever I need it:
Do these in this order
1. Make a will.
2. Pay off your credit cards.
3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support.
4. Fund your 401(k) to the maximum.
5. Fund your IRA to the maximum.
6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it.
7. Put six months' worth of expenses in a money market account.
8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker, and never touch it until retirement.
9. If any of this confuses you, or if you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner.
The only modification I'd make to this is to suggest that the bond investments be on sort of a sliding scale proportional to your age. The bonds are there as a hedge against downturns in the stock market. The closer you get to retirement, the more you need that, because you have less time left to ride out rough patches. If you're in your 20's, there's nothing wrong with going 100% stocks. By the time you hit your 40's, though, you should definitely start putting some bonds in the mix.
OH. GOD. NO.
This wouldn't be so bad, except that it's reasonably well executed and choreographed.
If there's anything more disturbing than watching a Wookie bust a move, I'm not sure what it is.
[Curses unto the seventh generation: Shamus of Twenty-Sided]
I HATE OBAMA LESS THAN I HATE FRAUD
That receipt floating around showing Michelle Obama ordering from room service?
Both signatures are EXACTLY the same.
No one EVER signs their signature exactly the same way twice in a row.
Also, she wasn't in New York that day.
October 21, 2008
Economic inequality is growing in the world's richest countries, particularly in the United States, jeopardizing the American Dream of social mobility just as the world tilts toward recession, a 30-nation report said Tuesday.
Two oddities about this BusinessWeek article:
1) No mention of whether those mired in poverty are the same people from one year to the next, or if the poor move up to be replaced by those who have just become old enough to join the workforce.
2) "In the United States [...] the poorest 10 percent earn an average of $5,800". I guess "earn" is the key word. NOBODY can live on $5800 a year. They're obviously also getting income in the form of food stamps, subsidized housing, or direct welfare payments that - for some reason - "doesn't count", and makes this whole study worthless. Money is fungible folks, so there's NO excuse not to count everything that the "poor" get.
Finally, allow me to quote myself, circa 1996:
I see nothing to lament about. America's capitialist society is extrememly just. The reason the "haves" have so much is that they plan their lives long-term, make a habit of keeping their promises, and spend a portion of their leisure hours fine-tuning their job skills.
The "have-nots", by contrast, are usually also the can-nots, will-nots, plan-nots, and think-nots. Were they to put forth the same kinds and degrees of effort that the "haves" do, they would reap similar rewards.
A growing "gap" between the two groups means only that the rich are working more diligently, the poor are still sitting on their butts with their brains shut down, and both groups are getting exactly what they've earned.
See better examples »
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, GOT THE JOINT MERITORIOUS UNIT AWARD
Well, it WOULD be a catastrophic bloodbath.
On their side.
Operation Praying Mantis II, anyone?
October 12, 2008
SAW THIS, THOUGHT OF...
In the interests of full disclosure, I once attended a Support the Troops rally with both dogs sporting red, white, and blue bandanas around their furry necks, so I'm living in a glass house here.
October 11, 2008
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Scott Adams's Dilbert cartoon is one of the most depressing things ever written, celebrating daily the tragedy of working in the salt mines of corporate bureaucracy.
But I think Scott himself is a die-hard optimist. Not surprising, since an engineer's job is solving problems, which - if you do it long enough - tends to lead to a more generalized belief that ALL problems are solvable if you stare at them long enough.
Which he sums up nicely like so:
Worrying comes from predicting the future on a straight line, imagining trouble increasing at some established pace. But the real future comes in leaps and bounces, with creative solutions expanding faster than problems. I believe this is some sort of fundamental law of the universe, that solutions will always outpace problems.
Take a deep breath. You're going to be fine. Someone, somewhere, just thought of an idea that will fix everything. And you couldn't stop it if you tried.
Just a little silver lining to offset the smog being pumped out by the Media's Dark Cloud Factory.
October 05, 2008
GOOD WILL AND DOODAD PRO?
Ya know, if you're going to make up fake names for campaign contributors, you should at least have the courtesy to not be OBVIOUS about it.
Try flipping through the phone book or using a hippy name generator or something.
October 03, 2008
SOMETIMES BIGGER IS BETTER
Seriously, if this crap ever comes to America, I vow to never use anything with a carbon footprint under 4 digits.
[Hat tip: Beloved Wife]
October 02, 2008
STILL NOT BUYING THIS
"The four major agencies tracking Earth's temperature, including NASA's Goddard Institute, report that the Earth cooled 0.7 degree Celsius in 2007, the fastest decline in the age of instrumentation, putting us back to where the Earth was in 1930."
And NOW they expect me to believe in the accuracy of temperature readings taken 78 years ago?
They expect me to believe that back when transatlantic flight was still a NOVELTY, they had the ability to take temperatures ALL OVER THE WORLD to an accuracy of less than one degree?
Peddle your piss on the other side of the looking glass, Alice.
Regardless of temperature, my point is as it always was and shall ever be. Leave the free market alone to deal with weather as it comes instead of having the government pretend that anything it does - besides killing terrorists - is ever helpful.
October 01, 2008
SIGMA KAPPA DELTA - NOT THAT BRIGHT
A children's book that was banned from elementary school libraries in the 1980s will be honored with a special reading in Janesville this week as part of Banned Books Week.
The English honor society Sigma Kappa Delta is sponsoring Tuesday's reading of Shel Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic" at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County.
The university says the book had been challenged at a Beloit elementary school because it "encourages children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them."
It also says a Mukwanago elementary school banned it in 1986 because some of its poems "glorified Satan, suicide and cannibalism, and also encouraged children to be disobedient."
I challenge the premise that this book should be honored for that reason. It's not a question of some Nazified, over-reaching government entity trying to destroy a work of art. It's a matter of whether, in the judgement of the school board that was duly elected by the people to decide such matters, the book in question was age-appropriate for the students of that establishment.
They decided it wasn't.
They were probably right.
Don't get me wrong, here. I adore me some Shel Silverstein. "The Great Smoke Off" is absolutely one of my favorite guilty-pleasure songs. But the man has a twisted sense of humor, and some of his works are conceptually out of reach for the young and inexperienced who don't have the mental tools to appreciate the richness of the commentary they hold within.
So if SKD wants to read Silverstein because he simply kicks ass, that'd be wonderful. But doing it because and ONLY because he's not kid-safe?
That's just stupid.
The dabblers & day-traders have fled. And good riddance to them. They always fuck up a good party.
You'll notice that the INVESTORS who know what the hell they're doing put $700 or so billion back into it the next day.
Maybe we don't need the government's shit-sandwich proposal after all.See better examples »