Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Cold Is It?

Last winter it was cold enough that Al Gore's Only Remaining Audience came out to play. This year it's even colder. Quite a photo to explain!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mark Kirk is Gay

So says his Republican opponent for the US Senate, Andy Martin.

Andy Martin, a noted conservative dirty trickster, put out a spot on local radio in which he pushes a "solid rumor" that fellow Senatorial aspirant, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), "is a homosexual."

"I helped expose many of Barack Obama's lies in 2008," the ad goes. "Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a 'solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.' Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals."

"Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth."

The seedy spot seems to take a page out the Karl Rove playbook -- in which allegations of homosexuality are pushed by innuendo and 'simple demands for the truth.' In a statement to a local Illinois station, the Kirk camp vehemently condemned and denied its content.

Now far be it from me to point out the obvious, but doesn't attempting to slur one's opponent really just reek of general ignorance and incompetence? I would hate to have contributed to this guy only to hear my dollars being set on fire and flushed down the toilet with an ad like this. This is to say nothing of the fact that even if this "rumor" were true, perhaps Andy Martin hasn't noticed, but being gay isn't exactly the political leprosy it used to be. Martin also perhaps hasn't noticed that we aren't exactly in the era of social politics these days, what with the economy in the tank, and the federal government expanding exponentially. God forbid you'd go after Kirk for something substantive like the fact that he voted for Cap-and-Tax. How about we address some of the issues, Andy? Don't be such a fag.

Beyond that, I heard this ad today on WLS and was slightly taken aback that the station would even run it. You're not NPR, WLS. Let's leave the low-class nonsense to Janeane Garofalo.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mesirow Financial Backs Bernanke

(Link if video won't play:

In an argument that amounts to, "well, what was he supposed to do?" Chief Economist at Mesirow Financial, Diane Swonk, discusses why she thinks anybody deriding Ben Bernanke is simply trying to use him as a scapegoat.

An interesting little interview with Crain's Chicago Business here, that gives us a glimpse into the mindset of those interested in rolling with the status quo. Henry Bee would be proud.

What Wins You Person of the Year

It's obviously not one's ability at being forward thinking, or even a basis in reality for that matter. In any case, here's a fantastic compilation of Ben Bernanke moments that really, more than anything, goes to show just how out of touch Time Magazine is.

Hat Tip: Malkin

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Generate Your Own Healthcare Amendment

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to the healthcare bill currently being debated on the Senate Floor. When the motion to introduce the amendment as written was raised, Senator Tom Coburn objected. This forced the entire 767 page amendment to be read on the floor, a process so far estimated to take between 12 and 36 hours.

As this process takes place, with the amendment being read by what I suppose is a series of clerks, it seems an ingenious stall tactic to me that Republicans could continue this process in lieu of filibustering for as long as they can come up with amendments. And here is where the vast usefulness of the internet comes into play.

In the spirit of the now infamous SCIgen website, that was created to randomly generate gibberish scientific papers in the name of exposing fraud in the peer review process, I assumed there must be something similar for creating randomly generated legalese. Lo and behold, a few minutes of Googling brought me to The Lorem Ipsum Smorgasbord.

All one need do here is define the number of sentences one wants generated, between 1 and 10,000, and the site spits out piles of legal-style gibberish, looking like this:
The maintenance of any kind incurred by the Committee. Licensee shall be deemed a deferral accounts, if the Date OF each of all of THE TERM of any action which the Warrant Certificate issued and Appointment by it deems necessary or other agreements, understandings. Each award in whole or a calendar year following the services are received of Berkshire or responsibility for the Warrant Certificate, with respect to the terms and the Committee shall have no Stock Option shall be required in the fair market System and CHARACTERS (IMAGE) licensed PRODUCT(S) during the exercise and serve at the Warrant certificates to or firm affiliated with State of a quarterly royalty payments set forth in this Agreement by the person is made, shares or product or any time the Company, the other capacity, may from the consent to the preparation of Stock dividend or "SALES" to obtain and administer and shall be in connection with respect to be the number of this Agreement, should the Company.
Now obviously this isn't about healthcare, but given the fact that Bernie Sanders' amendment had no chance of passing, and it's being read anyway, we can safely assume that the move is all about strategy, regardless of content. In fact, since this site would generate thousands of sentences of gibberish at a time, at least anybody watching the process on C-Span would at least be highly entertained by the clerks stumbling through the nonsense!

Public Option Lemonade

The reality of the Public Option, explained in 41 seconds.


How the Government makes little girls cry.

HT: Cato Twitter

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peter Schiff vs. David Epstein

David Epstein with Columbia University takes to the podium to attempt to explain to us all just exactly how President Obama's policies are saving the economy. Unfortunately for him, his opponent in this forum debate format is Peter Schiff. This is essentially a tour de force in the superiority of Austrian Economics vs. Keynesian Economics. If you've got friends that still aren't convinced, or you think need to be educated, this is the one to do it. Enjoy, and pass it along!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Your liberty or your convenience

While going about my usual evil and UnAmerican afternoon activities of eating pizza and reading various news sites, I was struck with the thought that - while it would result in, or rather need to arise from further structuring and monitoring of the internets - it'd be really nice if i sat down at a computer and said 'i am 22 years old' and it said 'ok, we'll stop asking you now.'
I've been an internet denizen (its a little different from being a user) for as long as makes no difference to being my whole sapience and I can not think of a single instance in which my age was an actual barrier or even a deciding factor of what content I did or did not absorb - barring of course various jokes I was too in-experienced to get or sexual acts I thought just yucky rather than an acquired taste. And yet whenever I watch a trailer for a game or a movie, I'm told first how old I should be before I should continue to watch - that is to say a big colored thing comes up and says 'if you're not a certain age you should not continue to sit there watching this video you clearly decided to watch anyway.' Some sites still hold onto the annoying practice of asking a user's age before letting them partake of their content, despite the obvious loophole in this practice (that it can easily be subverted by anyone with the most rudimentary arithmetical skills.) Frankly, I'm tired of proving that I am who I am and that I'm old enough to look at boobs and guns, and I'd like some way to stop having to repeat the procedure.
I feel somewhat ill at ease over this. As I said above proving my identity would of course require my identity to be known and recorded, then somehow tethered to my specific workstation. To forgo anonymity and security for ease and convenience is to turn against what I have held right and proper for most all of my 'adult' life. "If you can't take it apart, you don't own it." has always been a creed i could relate to and rely on. But more and more I've been looking to warranties for repairs and wishing for someone else to create a system to manage my data and information for me.
I wonder if I'm just getting lazy, or if my desire for 'better' user interfaces is simply an organic response to a more complex and harder to manage set of online identities and personal data. I'm not sure what implications might arise from my desire to have an easier time of viewing guns and boobs, but I have a feeling such regulation and identification is probably inevitable.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Free Market Healthcare

"We have this insane system now, where you need healthcare, you're the buyer. I'm the doctor, I'm the seller of healthcare, and someone else pays the bill. Who the heck is gonna shop for price when somebody else is payin' the bill?"

That's the money quote to start off this fantastic clip from, that implores us to follow the Lasik model for the rest of healthcare. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Costing the World a Fortune

Yesterday, I posted a video of Peter Schiff lambasting Ben Bernanke for never getting anything right. In and of itself, this is nothing new. What made it fun, however, was the fact that he was part of a panel discussion with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Fed Vice Chair Alan Blinder, who both attempted, quite weakly, to defend Bernanke.

Today, a new clip from the same roundtable, as Schiff gets technical and dismantles Bullard's weak sauce theory that other countries will for some unknown reason return to the dollar during times of crisis. Schiff also goes on to make a strong bet with Blinder on the continued reserve status of the US Dollar. As prescient as the man is, his forecast is nonetheless chilling.

The Debate is Over

Howard Dean instantly makes himself the poster boy for cognitive dissonance by declaring the debate between Capitalism and Socialism over because we need to use...both!

If that weren't bewildering enough, he goes on to congratulate President Obama for creating the Permanent Campaign, declaring it a win for Democrats and a win for the United States, bringing the country closer to a European model.

I am more amazed every single day by how moronic the people are that find their way into political leadership positions.

Hat Tip: Breitbart

A Red-Ink Train Wreck

The Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell appears once again for the Center for Freedom & Prosperity, this time to discuss the true fiscal costs of government run healthcare. Two main points here. First, that fiscal responsibility is achieved through smaller government, and second, that no matter what, a new entitlement program always means higher defecits. Enjoy, and share!