Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Tornado

Michael Ramirez nails it. Click to enlarge.

Quote of the Day

"I've come to New Hampshire today because I'm very concerned. I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump's Republican registration."

-- Rand Paul

Some notes on Donald Trump's politics, first from John Hinderaker of Power Line:

Donald Trump has no history as a Republican. In the past, he has contributed mainly to Democrats. He was as bitter a critic of President Bush as he now is of President Obama, and his policy positions--support for universal health care, protectionism--are, in key respects, more liberal than conservative.

Then there's this look at Trump by Michelle Malkin:

Trump has been wooing conservative activists for months and flirting with a GOP presidential run — first at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and most recently at a tea party event in South Florida. He touts his business experience, “high aptitude” and “bragadocious” deal-making abilities. But he’s no more a standard-bearer of conservative values, limited government and constitutional principles than the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

Too many mega-developers like Trump have achieved success by using and abusing the government’s ability to commandeer private property for purported “public use.” Invoking the Fifth Amendment takings clause, real estate moguls, parking garage builders, mall developers and sports palace architects have colluded with elected officials to pull off legalized theft in the name of reducing “blight.” Under eminent domain, the definition of “public purpose” has been stretched like Silly Putty to cover everything from roads and bridges to high-end retail stores, baseball stadiums and casinos.

While casting himself as America’s new constitutional savior, Trump has shown reckless disregard for fundamental private property rights. In the 1990s, he waged a notorious war on elderly homeowner Vera Coking, who owned a little home in Atlantic City that stood in the way of Trump’s manifest land development. The real estate mogul was determined to expand his Trump Plaza and build a limo parking lot — Coking’s private property be damned. The nonprofit Institute for Justice, which successfully saved Coking’s home, explained the confiscatory scheme:

“Unlike most developers, Donald Trump doesn’t have to negotiate with a private owner when he wants to buy a piece of property, because a governmental agency — the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority or CRDA — will get it for him at a fraction of the market value, even if the current owner refuses to sell."

So, despite the Trump-induced media circus about Obama's birth certificate, Donald Trump is neither a conservative nor a free-market businessman. Instead he's an opportunistic leech on the taxpayer in capitalist disguise.

I'm willing to let him keep pushing for the release of more of Obama's documentation (in particular his college records), but don't want to let the guy anywhere near the GOP nominating process.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

It's very simple:

Jesus wins.

Satan loses.

Read the Book.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Navy Medicine

Great video.

My roommate works at a Navy medical center in patient care. I'm very proud of her.

You can also watch it at YouTube here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

Today's quote is from an email I was copied on from one of my friends to our mutual friend, who had said she agreed with her daughter: This daughter posted on her Facebook status that Turner Classic Movies had ruined her by giving her unrealistic expectations of men.

"Unrealistic expectations of men, huh? You should socialize as much as I do, my friend. You won't have unrealistic expectations anymore. You will expect them all to be clods, ask inappropriate questions, not call back, lie, expect sex on the first date, drop you for someone younger, thinner, and stupid, who will then get knocked up and trap them...

Remeber, men are like parking spaces: all the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped."

-- My friend the astrophysics major

Rescued Again!

A few years ago, I had some "special" challenges with my computer. A virus pretending to be antivirus protection invaded my laptop and tried to destroy it. But I stopped it with a little help from my friends in India.

All was good until Friday night just a little after midnight (that would be Saturday morning for those of you who get nit-picky about such things). A little box popped up from my taskbar, telling me that I might have a virus and should click on it to check.

Not having been born yesterday, I ignored it and double-clicked on McAfee to make it go find the virus and destroy it, but it said a crucial module was missing, so it didn't open. The virus must have stealth weapons that attack and disable the real antivirus software. I shut down my computer by holding down the power button and didn't turn it on again all weekend.

My daughter brought her laptop to my house yesterday, so I used it to sign up for my India buddies to clean up my system. Just after midnight I called and within a half hour, my new favorite friend Dinesh had my computer in tip-top shape again. Even better than before, because after the time I had to have my operating system re-installed, it couldn't find the icon for Internet Explorer, so I've been clicking on a generic icon to get to the internet for over a year.

Now the proper icon is back, thanks to Dinesh, who probably had no idea he was fixing that problem for me for free. It's good to be back.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Eating Budget Cuts

When you're talking about real money, like billions or trillions of dollars, those numbers are so big we have no clue how much that really is. So they give us analogies, like if you stacked dollar bills on top of each other, a trillion dollars would go to the moon and back and halfway to the moon again. But we still don't get that.

We do understand food, though.

Back in March, John Hinderaker at Power Line explained the $6 billion spending cut in that continuing resolution in terms of a Big Mac Value Meal.

Hinderaker gives the math, but I'll just cut to the chase:

So, consider: if you were to go on what the Democrats consider a starvation diet, and "slash" your calorie intake to exactly the same degree that the Republicans' $6 billion cut has "slashed" the federal budget, you would do the following. Go to McDonalds and order a Big Mac Extra Value meal. Eat the Big Mac. Drink the Coke. Eat 86 of the 87 french fries. Carefully take the last fry and bite off two-thirds of it. Put the remaining one-third of one fry back in the bag.

Yep. I understand that.

But that was then. This is now. Now they're talking budgets for whole years, not just continuing resolutions for three weeks. A year is over 17 times bigger than three weeks, and the proposed budget cuts are only 10 times bigger than the continuing resolution cuts. It feels as though we're going backwards, while Washington is screaming either that we've really done a Great Thing (the Republicans) or that we're Killing Babies and Old People (the Democrats). How do we make sense of it all?

With more food, of course. Leave it to Michael Ramirez to make understanding the budget cuts as easy as pie (HT: Power Line). Click to enlarge:

Now isn't that clear? They're all full of beans, soon to be followed by a lot of hot air.

And we're not swallowing any of it anymore.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Obama's Inner Bracket

There's a sport that people follow, but I don't because I'm not a sport. They call it basketball, but I don't believe that's really what game it is.

When I was in junior high, they taught us basketball, and there was this rule that I've never seen enforced in the professional version of the game. The rule is that if you're moving and you have the ball, you have to keep the ball bouncing. If you don't, you get called for traveling, and there's some dire penalty that you have to pay that I don't remember because it's been way too long since junior high.

They don't have that rule in the professional game that they pretend is basketball. The men with serious pituitary problems who play the game make a show of bouncing the ball once or twice, but who are they kidding? That's why I don't watch this sport, because I get too frustrated by the lack of ball-bouncing enforcement.

And there's another part of the sport that I have trouble understanding. There are two seasons each year that are devoted to "basketball." There's the Regular Season, and then there's the Tournament Season which lasts longer than Regular Season. And if you're a betting man (which I'm not), you pick the team you think will be the winner of Tournament Season, but it's not that simple. You can't just say, "I think this team will kick everybody's butt." You have to say exactly how you think the butt-kicking will happen by picking the butt kicker of every game and how that all works to having YOUR team be the top kicker of the other butt-kicking team's butt. All that kicking is written down in a format known as a bracket. And everyone who's a betting man (which I'm not) has his own bracket.

Got that? Me neither.

So what does this have to do with President Obama?

Much has been made in the news about Obama's 2011 bracket. This is for college basketball, but I don't know enough about how they play it in college to decide if it's fake basketball like the pros or if it's real basketball like high school. Even people I otherwise respect pay attention to college Tournament Season (Bekah's comment is what gave me the clue that people actually take ownership of their brackets), so it might be real.

The President has been criticized for playing the fiddle and not noticing that Rome is burning. Or something like that. But this isn't the point I'm trying to make.

Obama really likes having a bracket. So much so that he took time out of his busy presidential schedule to make not one but two: Men's and Women's.

There are other people who like brackets too. People who like to make brackets about things that aren't basketball (real or fake). One of those people is Zombie, who made a bracket about Presient Obama's inner cranial workings (HT: Power Line).

That’s all very well and good, but one wonders: Don’t we all have what is essentially an “inner bracket” which delineates our personal hierarchy of priorities, beliefs, behaviors and traits? If there was a bracket which revealed the inner workings of Obama’s mind, what would it look like? And what trait would emerge dominant?

Here's what she came up with. I think she came pretty close. (Click to see full size.)