Monday, November 07, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Storm Drain of Government

Reading an article today by Eric Fry, and he gave this terrific simile:
The governments of the West have come to see themselves as a financial Army Corps of Engineers — overpowering the course of nature with brute force. They respond to short-term crises with powerful, overly engineered “solutions,” without ever really considering the long-term harm these solutions may produce. Sure, the river doesn’t flood when you transform every oxbow into a concrete storm drain. But diverting nutrient-rich silt away from farmland and into the sea is not exactly progress.

Nevertheless, governments throughout the West continue building their storm drains. They continue to divert essential nutrients away from the private sector and pour them into a bottomless sea of bankrupt governments and failing too-big-to-fail enterprises. In other words, the governments of the West continue to “do more,” when “less” would work just fine.
Friends, we have a century's worth of evidence that government at every level is a bumbling fool when it tries to do anything.  It never solves problems, but only creates bigger problems, which it then tries to fix with even bigger "ideas" that will lead to even bigger failures.  But the common thread through all of it is that taxpayers are expected to foot the bill for these ever-increasing failures without complaining.

Understand that I am not one of the anarcho-marxists currently "occupying" certain parks in several American cities.  I know there is a certain amount of government that is necessary for the orderly operation of society.  Vital records must be kept.  Contracts must be enforced.  Traffic must be regulated.  Property rights must be upheld.  Things of that nature.  But the sort of cradle to grave handout mentality that stifles and ultimately chokes out the God-given creativity and dignity of humanity, not to mention taking every penny from everyone it can just to feed it's Jabba the Hut-like maw - it must be done away with.  I pray that voters realize this in time, before those who don't particularly care for voting decide to do something about it.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Tigers Eliminate Yankees

There is joy in Motown today as the Detroit Tigers eliminated the New York Yankees from the American League playoffs last night.  Lots of clutch pitching against a potent Yankees lineup.  Despite two blowout losses, Tigers pitchers held that lineup to a .260 batting average for the five game series.

Yet, to read the national media today (ESPN and CBS Sportsline in particular), the theme of the day is a requiem for the Yankees, bemoaning their loss rather than the Tigers win.  Because of course, nothing important happens outside of New York, at least in the media's eyes.  Or, in Baseball context, nothing important happens outside of the American League East (or the National League East for that matter).

I sure am enjoying the fact that the two AL East teams, those great juggernauts, the supposed cream of the league, who were going to beat up on those other teams from flyover country, are now both out of the playoffs!  It seems that the East isn't the beast it was made out to be.

So hats off to "Jimmy Smokes" and his band of baseballers - you sure have made it an enjoyable summer, and we who are your fans are looking forward to more baseball wonderfulness as you take on the Rangers.  But whoever wins that series, it doesn't matter, because the Yankees have been vanquished, and there will be at least one non-East team in the World Series.

But I do hope it's the Tigers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Man is not free unless Government is limited

If you recognized that quote from Ronald Reagan's farewell address, give yourself a gold star. 

Now, many of you might think that this is the start of another rant against President Obama and all the other socialists that are running this country.  Although that would be an obvious and worthy place to direct more criticism, that is not where I am going with this post today.

Instead, I am directing it at Gov. Rick Snyder, and his proposal for the State of Michigan to require doctors to report to the state the Body Mass Index (BMI) of all children in the state.

Friends, this is where elections have consequences.  We all knew that Rick was a fiscal conservative and he has proven that since he was inagurated in January.  What most conservatives were willing to overlook was that he was a social liberal.  A social socialist, if you will.

The Governor appears to have no problem with big government when it comes to meddling in the private lives of individuals in this state.  Why is the business of the government what the BMI's of my kids are?  Of course, the answer from the big government Republicans is "we are paying for health care for a lot of these kids either through the insurance plans of their state employee parents or through the social welfare systems, so we have a vital interest in tracking that information, so we can form our policies appropriately".  Sounds all legal and proper doesn't it?

Well, if that sounds proper to you, then you have bought into the big government lie as well, because you have bought into the mindset that says "the government must provide the social safety net".  Or more broadly, "the government must provide the solution to every problem".  Ladies and gentlemen, this is socialism.  This is nanny-stateism at its most insidious.  It is this mindset that has let us to the edge of social, financial, and political ruin.  And unless we reject this thinking, our country will join all the others in the ash-heap of history who had freedom in their grasp, and traded it off for a bowl of stew named socialism (Gen. 25:29-34).

President Gerald Ford (no conservative, he) had it right in his address to Congress in August 1974 when he said "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."  This government, at all levels, continues to take everything we have.  Every right.  Every freedom.  Every dollar.  All in the name of enlarging the scope of its control over everyone.  Though he would never say it, this is what Gov. Snyder is doing.  The government has no business prying into the private relationship between a doctor and his patients, no matter how old those patients are.  Aren't we tired of the same old "it's for the children" rationalization for every new government program or initiative that comes along?  Haven't we learned that that isn't the reason at all?

Friends, this is not our birthright!  Our birthright as Americans is freedom, not slavery!  Freedom bought with blood and sweat and privation and death, because freedom is worth such things.

So no, Gov. Snyder, I don't want you prying into my children's personal information.  You can't know their BMI, their cholesterol, their weight, their music choices, or their reading habits.  You can't have them or their measurements.  My wife and I are the ones responsible for all these things, not you.  And the same is true for every other parent and child in this state.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Of Struts and Chryslers

Two weekends ago I had opportunity to drive my wife's van (a Dodge Grand Caravan), which I don't do very often.  This vehicle is 11 years old, has 155,000 miles on it, and is really starting to show it's age. But it still runs well.  She had been complaining about the front struts not being right and making strange noises, but I had not really driven it to see what she was talking about.

During this drive, which was about an hour of about 80% interstate and 20% surface streets getting to and from the interstate, I couldn't believe how bad it was.  It seemed that every ripple and tar strip in the road was going to bounce me off the road.  I called the mechanic on Tuesday and had it in Wednesday morning first thing.  Well, this began my education in the foibles of Chrysler minivans, circa 1996 to about 2004 (which I think they call "Gen. 2")

Wednesday after lunch the mechanic calls and says that the top strut mount is completely rusted through, and there is no way he can put a strut in there.  This is the spot in behind the wheel well where the top part of the strut attaches to the body/frame of the van.  Of course, I am now having visions of having to purchase a new vehicle for my wife in the next few days.  Then I remember a little tidbit of information I got a couple of months ago.  In my mind this is an example of how God acts in our lives and we don't even notice it.

At that time, we had had several major storms go through in the space of a week or so, and there was some serious water on the road.  My wife had driven home from her mom's after one of these storms, and upon arriving at home told me that the "transmission light" was on, and she was afraid the transmission was failing.  Well, what it really was was the "Check Engine" light, so I took it over to the local auto parts store and had them put their code reader on it to see what was going on.  It was nothing more than an oxygen sensor.  The clerk asked if we had driven it through any water lately (which obviously my wife had during the storms) and said that this was a common thing to happen.  During our conversation he said that he had owned a couple of Grand Caravans and had really liked them, but they had a problem with strut mounts rusting through.  My ears perked up at this and I told him I had a lot of rust on one my mine, and he told me that Chrysler had so many problems with it that they had made a little kit that you could install to fix it fairly cheaply.  Well, I filed that little bit of info away for later use, little knowing that I would need it really soon.  But God did.

So, back to the present, I mention this to my mechanic, and he says he will look into it, and lo and behold the dealer has a kit and so he is going to go ahead and see if it will work.  A day and a half later, after installing the repair kit (which he said worked better than he though it was going to), two new struts (completely shot, fluid completely out of them), a new tie rod on one side, and $1500, my 11 year old van now rides and handles like it's almost new again!  And I'm not making another car payment for the next 4 years!

On Saturday, wife goes out to a friend's house.  She gets back around midnight, and tells me "the (power) window won't close on the passenger side door".  Well, I wasn't going to go out at midnight to try to fix it.  We have already had trouble with these windows, and the drivers side doesn't work at all, but now the other window is stuck in the full down position.  So the next day after church I get on the internet and start searching, and wouldn't you know, Chrysler has had window motor problems with their minivans for a long time as well.  Indications are that it is a problem with the brushes in the motor, but of course you can't just buy the brushes, you have to buy the whole motor.  But I also found out that if you hold the switch in the "up" position while slamming the door, the window will move.  This did, in fact, work, and I was able to get the window up from the fully down and inside the door position to where I could pull it up and help the motor.  Banging on the motor with the handle of a screwdriver helped as well, and I got the window up.  So now the van is drivable in all weather conditions, not just when there is no rain in the forecast!

All I had to spend for that one was about $3.00 for the little door panel fasteners to get the inner panel put back on.

My conclusion is that cars are a pain, but I'm glad I don't have to walk to work.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Family Pride

I have to admit, I have been posting a lot this year about foolishness, stupidity, and downright idiocy, and I didn't want this blog to be all about that stuff, so I have been searching for some positive content that I could post.  And this morning it landed in my inbox.  This is my cousin Isaac (the fiddler) and one of the bands he plays in:

And the amazing thing is, he doesn't read a note of music.  He just makes it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Al Gore: Eat less meat to fight global warming

From an article in The Politico
Al Gore wants society to ditch meat-heavy diets and go organic to combat global warming.
"Industrial agriculture is a part of the problem,” Gore said Friday during an interview with FearLess Revolution founder Alex Bogusky. “The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet,” the clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle and the reliance on synthetic nitrogen for fertilizer are also problems, he added.
If AlGore is so concerned about "Global Warming" he can do two things today that would have a huge impact:
  1. Stop writing and giving interviews to newspapers and magazines.  That would leave more trees available to cleanse carbon dioxide from the atomosphere and turn it into useful oxygen. It would also decrease electricity consumption needed to print his drivel, thus less coal would have to be burned to generate that electricity.  Not to mention all the gasoline and diesel fuel needed to fuel the vehicles that deliver these publications to their readers - lots of CO2 in those exhaust emissions.
  2. Shut his fat gob.  That would decrease greenhouse gas totals in the atmosphere by at least 25%
Meanwhile, I'm going to have a steak for dinner this week in Al's honor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Traffic Stop

I don't know if this is a true story or not, but I think it's funny nevertheless.
True story from a Kansas State Highway Patrol officer:
I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan, KS.  I asked for her driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.  The lady took out the required information and handed it to me.  In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit.  I looked at her and ask if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box.  Something---body language, or the way she said it---made me want to ask if she had any other firearms.  She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console.  Now I had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse.  I then asked her what was she so afraid of.
She looked me right in the eye and said, "Not a damn thing!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kwame: Kilpatrick says Bing 'has a problem connecting with people'

Full Article Here

This headline in The Detroit News today.  Here are a few quotes:

"Economic development was the best it had ever been when I was there".
"City services worked better when I was there"
 And one of the reasons why the current mayor is not doing well: "they're talking about the old mayor every week."

Mayor Bing may well have a problem connecting with people.  But clearly, Kwame has a problem connecting with reality.

Kwame - just go away and leave Detroit alone.  She is better off without you there.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pistons considering Isiah Thomas for coaching vacancy

I don't think I have ever posted about the NBA because I don't particularly enjoy the NBA any more.  I kind of follow it from afar just through general sports interest.  So, over the last couple of days in my meanderings through the sports pages, I see that Isiah Thomas is being considered for the coaching vacancy on the Detroit Pistons.

Now, back when the NBA was actually enjoyable to watch - when they didn't have all the strutting, preening thugs that they have today - you had great teams with great players beating each others brains out on the court.  When you think of great basketball teams you think of the Lakers of Jabbar and Johnson, the Celtics of Bird, McHale, and Parrish, and yes, the Pistons of Thomas, Dumars, and Laimbeer.  That was the Golden Age of Baskeball.

I loved watching the "Bad Boys" Pistons teams in their heyday, and I loved Isiah Thomas as a player.  He wasn't afraid of anyone or any situation, and played his best in the biggest games.  His coaching record, however, is less than spotty, and his days with the Pacers and Knicks don't give any reason to hope that he has talent as a coach, or that he can develop a team, especially one that will be rebuilding as the Pistons will be.  He's pretty much been a bust as a coach and as a GM.

Hiring Thomas to coach the Pistons would perhaps bring some positive PR, but it would quickly go downhill once the games were being played.  Please, Mr. Gores - don't start out your ownership of the Pistons with a move like this.  You will end up destroying your franchise.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Congratulations to Mickey Redmond

Former Detroit Red Wing and longtime hockey broadcaster Mickey Redmond has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame for his 30+ year broadcasting career.

I love listening to Mickey do color on a hockey game.  He came from a different era, but he understands the game so well and makes it easy for his audience to pick it up too. 

Congratulations Mickey - no one deserves it more.

This person is a Teacher?

Reading an article in today's Detroit News (full article) about protesters at the Mackinac Policy Conference, who apparently held a news conference, which was " organized by A Better Michigan Future, a coalition of about 50 union and public interest groups".  One of the quotes from a teacher really caught my eye:


" 'It can't be possible that everyone really believes that corporations need the money more than children,' said Tammy Hazley, a special education teacher from Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools."

Ms. Hazley, let me ask you a simple question:  From where does the money come to pay your salary?  I'll answer the question for you, ma'am:  it comes from taxes.


If, by the tax policies imposed on businesses by politicians to fund schools, libraries, parks, mass transit, subsidized housing, road commissions, police, fire, ambulance, etc., businesses which operate in your district have to downsize in order to remain profitable, how many of that company's former employees are going to be able to pay their taxes?  Especially in an economy like Michigan has had for the last 8 years?

So, if the persons in your school district don't have jobs, they move away.  Or they stop paying taxes because they have lost their homes from forclosure. How much revenue is coming in from those people who aren't paying taxes any more?  How much tax revenue is being generated by that company you want to raise taxes on which has had to cut its operation to the bone just to stay alive?  Is that tax revenue amount more or less than it generated when times were good and its operations were expanding?  And how many more people will it have to lay off if you increase their tax burden?  And what effect will that have on the tax base in your district?  Not to mention the amount of tax revenue not being generated by the companies that have already gone out of business.  But by law we still have to educate their kids.

So in light of these economic realities, and your expressed desire to have yourself in a classroom to teach students, isn't it in your best interest, Ms. Hazley, to see that those corporations that give people in your area jobs so they can buy houses and pay taxes [edited to add] are successful and thriving?  You really need to let go of the socialist claptrap you have been taught during your time in the Public Schools and step into the real world.  Because socialism doesn't work.  It never has and it never will.

Now - why are you on Mackinac Island protesting instead of being in your classroom teaching?  Did you take a vacation day, or did you call in sick?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Granholm Tweets Arnold: keep ur pants zipped

Full quote: "Another guy guv admits 2 cheating on his wife. Maybe we need more women governors. Guys: Keep ur pants zipped, for Pete's sake."

So Professor Granholm of UC Berkeley weighs in on the apparent moral superiority of women over men.  I guess she was too busy screwing up Michigan to engage in that other sort of behavior.

Frankly Ms. Professor Granholm, your Governorship isn't exactly one to be held up as a shining example for the rest of the country to emulate.  You and Arnold are running neck and neck in that regard.  We sure don't need more Governors like you, Professor, be they male or female.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I Voted

Today I voted to tell Virg Bernero no, you can't have any more of my money.  I need it more than you do.  You have streets to resurface- I have a roof to resurface.  You have Police to pay for - I have $4.29 gasoline to pay for.  Somehow I have to find a way to pay for that on my current income - so do you.  So cut the fat, put off purchases, sell off assets you don't need (like some of those school buildings you've closed), and all the other things that we poor peasants have to do when times are hard.

Edited to Add:  By a slim margin, Lansing voters rejected the tax increase proposed by Mayor Bernaro.  Frankly I expect to see an increase in "Impeding Traffic" speeding violations issued to try and make up the shortfall.  Nobody gets any points, but the City gets $120 or so each.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Big-10 Division Names

I have to agree with Lynn Henning, whose headline in the Detroit News today reads:  Time to ditch ‘Legends,’ ‘Leaders’ for more logical Big Ten division names

From day 1 the current "Leaders" and "Legends" names have been completely lame.  The Big-10 should have asked for their money back from whatever marketing firm came up with them.

I actually like Henning's suggestions:  "Great Lakes" and either "Great Plains" or "Heartland"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You know it's a slow sports day when...

... one of your top headlines is "Long Snapper Daly commits to Notre Dame".  (From the ESPN Website today)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monica Conyers wants to finish out her prison sentence at home

Former Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers wants to finsh out her prison sentence for bribery at home.

Now you might think I would be all indignant about this, given the arrogance and deceitfulness this woman has displayed over her time in public office, and I must admit that I did have these thoughts at first. But upon reflection, I think maybe Monica has come up with something here. Let me 'splain.

It is well known that Michigan has a fiscal problem, and there isn't as much money as there used to be for stuff like prisons, so perhaps as a cost cutting move, we can let felons like this just go home. Then we don't have to pay to feed and house them, and we don't need as many prison guards to watch over all these prisoners.

This could even be bumped up to the federal level. Let all those criminals go home! I'm sure they won't cause any problems for anyone, or commit any more crimes. They'll just go out and find jobs and become productive members of society.

Thanks, Monica! That's a really helpful idea in these days of governmental money problems!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Peaceful, Compassionate, Altruistic Left

As embodied by the teachers unions.  This excerpt from an article in today's Detroit News entitled "Tougher teacher no-strike law pushed" shows how the left uses logic, peaceful dialog, and uplifting art to argue their point:

Acrimony over school funding played out Tuesday in controversy over the MEA's Facebook page and its image of Snyder with satanic stars, red eyes and blood spatter.
The photo appeared to have been posted on March 11, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential, an online news agency run by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank.
The agency alerted the MEA to the photo on Tuesday morning, and it was removed minutes later.
Ken Braun, managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential, said his staff had noticed even before discovering the photo that the tenor of comments posted on the page had grown remarkably harsh in recent days.
Folks - these are the people who have control of your kids for 180 days a year over 13 years.  Think about that for a minute.  13 of the most formative years your kids will have in their entire lifetime are spent with people who for the most part think that drawing demonic horns and blood spatters is an acceptable way of expressing themselves.

Is it any wonder that people home educate their kids more and more these days?

High Capacity Freedom

In the aftermath of the Tuscon shootings earlier this year, there is lots of heat being generated these days in the hallowed halls of Congress over a renewal of the "high capacity magazine" ban. (Thanks again for nothing, Bill Ruger). This article by Rabbi Dovid Bendory gives logical reasons why high capacity magazines are essential. Not that gun banners care about logic.

Link to the original article: http://jpfo.org/rabbi/five-reasons.htm

Minutes before lunatic Jared Loughner began his mayhem in Arizona, the issue of a Federal high capacity ammunition magazine ban was a complete political non-starter. Obama didn’t go near it when he had Democratic majorities and he certainly wouldn’t have tried it after the election rout of 2010. High cap bans were simply not possible. Add to this the pro-self defense victories in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions, and the door to magazine bans seemed both locked and barred … perhaps even welded shut for good.

And then came Jared Loughner. And the gun grabbing vultures circled and landed. We now face a replay of the hysteria that brought us the so-called “Assault Weapons” Ban (and the included magazine bans) of the Clinton years. The act of a single madman has struck a blow against the Second Amendment that all the gun grabbers combined have been unable to strike. Please think long and hard on this irrational state of affairs.

Today, the most common plaintive question you hear from the victim disarmament crowd is: “Why would anyone need a high capacity ammunition magazine?” Note that the emphasis is always on the word “need”.

So-called “gun control” has always used semantic deception. What the gun confiscators want to do is apply “needs” to situations that more accurately require “wants”.
No one “needs” a seat belt. After all, 99.999 percent of your driving time you don’t “need” a seatbelt. You only “need” a seat belt during an automobile crash. Do you want a seatbelt? Of course! No one would even debate this issue.

To a greater or lesser degree, the same goes for property insurance, fire extinguishers, spare tires, life jackets, and first aid kits, to name just a few things.
So with this in mind, here are five good reasons that you should WANT a high capacity magazine.

1. Multiple assailants. Whether on the street or during a home invasion, violent criminals often move in pairs or packs. Realize that you will never shoot as well as your score at the range when you are under the unbelievable stress of a life-or-death encounter. Which would you prefer to have in your magazine in such an event? Ten rounds? Or fifteen or seventeen? Or perhaps even 30?

2. Private citizens always face the threat before the police arrive. Private citizens were on the front line at Tucson, Columbine, and Virginia Tech. Why limit our effectiveness?
You should logically want whatever cops choose to carry. How many cops choose a ten round magazine? If politicians want to hinder us “little people” with a ten round limit, they should also hamper the police with the same limit. Let’s see how far that flies.
In nearly every instance it is not a cop on the “front line” of a violent situation. It is private citizens who must face the “lone gunman” until (and sometimes even after) the police arrive. See Dial 911 and Die. Is the life of a policeman more important than yours?

3. Civil disturbances. Watch the Reginald Denny beating video some time. Review the looting insanity of Hurricane Katrina. You’ve got a crazed mob of ten, twenty, or fifty people headed in your direction. Are ten rounds enough? Might you want fifteen, or seventeen, or even thirty? 

Oh, and while you’re at it, perhaps bring from memory those Los Angeles Korean store owners standing guard on the roofs of their businesses with semi-auto AKs during the Rodney King riots. No one messed with those stores, did they?

4. Because it is your most fundamental right as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and, more importantly, as given by G-d A-lmighty: the right to the righteous defense of yourself and the innocent. “Shall not be infringed” simply means what it says. When politicians infringe on magazine capacity, they infringe on the Second Amendment. You should want a high cap mag because you can have one! 

This is America, not a socialist nanny state or tin pot Third World dictatorship. The saying “use it or lose it” is never so relevant as when applied to our Bill of Rights. See "2A Today for the USA"

5. Your assailants may well be armed with high cap magazines themselves. No ban will affect these criminals; it will actually encourage them. Do you really think the gang bangers care about federal laws? Again, ask the local cop why he or she won’t “downgrade” to a ten round mag to go along with this feel-good idiocy. Ask the pols why they don’t think the cops should do so.

These are just a few of the reasons for WANTING (not “needing”) a high cap magazine. In the spirit of JPFO’s recently launched “High Cap Freedom” campaign, go out and buy one or more high capacity mags for your pistol or rifle today.

Always remember, the present drive towards a ban might fail, but all it will take is “Loughner II” (another convenient “crazed lone gunman”) to drive the hysteria machine to victory for the gun grabbers. Get your high cap magazines before any ban can take place.
“Because your life is too precious to risk running out of bullets.”

signature

Rabbi Dovid Bendory
Rabbinic Director
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
(http://jpfo.org)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Continuing Irresolution

My frustration with this whole continuing resolution mess in Washington is summed up by freshman Rep. Lankford (R-OK). In an interview with Radio America, Rep. Lankford defends the continuing resolutions with the statement "We're cutting 2 billion per week". Well, let's do a little math, shall we?

The first number we need to know is 14 trillion. That is the commonly accepted total budget deficit right now (not that I believe that, but for the sake of argument we'll use that number). The second number we need to know is 104 billion. That is 2 billion per week times 52 weeks. That is the amount that will be cut from the deficit if Rep. Lankford's pace continues. So what percent of 14 trillion is 104 billion?

Let's start with an easy one to show the formula. What percentage of 100 is 50? We all know it's 50%, but how do we do the math? Well, we make a fraction. The bottom number (the denominator) is the number we want to determine the fraction of, in this case 100. Then we put the other number on the top of the fraction (the numerator). So in this case, the fraction is 50/100, which can be said as "fifty over one hundred" or "fifty one-hundredths".

All you sixth-grade math students can see that we can reduce this fraction by asking which numbers can be evenly divided into both numerator and denominator. I can see several: 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50. I'll take the largest to eliminate steps, so 50/100 becomes 1/2, or "one half". We all know that "one half" is fifty percent.

It's easier to show it in decimals, so we would express our 50/100 in decimal notation as .50 - fifty one-hundredths. To express any decimal number as a percent, you multiply it by 100 which is the same as moving the decimal point two places to the right, which gives you 50. - that is, fifty percent. This is how we calculate batting average, save percentage, winning percentage, all kinds of things.

So using this formula with our actual numbers, the equation is 104,000,000,000 (that's our 104 billion) over 14,000,000,000,000 (14 trillion) which comes out to .007428571429 according to my handy-dandy Casio calculator (and Microsoft Excel confirms it). Multiply that by 100 to move the decimal point for our percentage, that gives us .7428571429 percent. Let's just round that off and say .74 percent.

Folks, that is three-quarters of one percent. Less than one percent. Or put it another way: for every $100 of deficit, Rep. Lankford and his colleagues are cutting seventy-five cents.

All this wrangling, all this speechifying, all the meetings and arguments and proposals and interviews - all for a lousy .74%. This is beyond appalling, beyond disgusting, and bears a passing resemblance to a great heaping mountain of male cow excrement. Only much, much worse.

Rep. Lankford, let me remind you and your fellow freshmen why you were voted into office last November: GET CONTROL OF WASHINGTON'S EXCESSIVE SPENDING!!!! With this kind of crapola you are spewing publicly, you are showing yourself to be no better than the one you replaced. YOU ARE NOT DOING YOUR JOB, SIR! GET WITH THE PROGRAM OR WE'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL TO REPLACE YOU IN 2012!

Let me help you out. You have set your goal way too low, obviously, so let's give you a new goal by taking your original yearly goal (104 billion) and make it your weekly goal! That would lead you to cutting 5.408 trillion by this time next year. That's over one-third (38.6%) of the deficit in one year! THAT would be a much more worthy goal for you!

I'll go even farther for you. Here's a list of programs that could be cut completely from the budget:

Dept. of Education
Dept. of Commerce
HUD
Dept. of Interior
Dept. of Homeland Security

And here's a list of those that could be cut drastically:
IRS
BATFE
Transportation

That's just a start, Congressman. I'm sure you can come up with some more.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Energy

If we would have started drilling in ANWR when we first found the oil there, we wouldn't be having $3.55 gasoline prices today.

I'm just sayin'.

And we're going to lose at least two more years until we get someone (and more like a lot of someones) in Washington who will not cave in to the enviro-socialists.  And then it will be ten year (or more probably, since the eco-weenies litigate what they cannot legislate) before we see the first tankful of gas produced from oil out of ANWR.

You know - Congress can limit the jurisdiction of the US Courts...

Glen Beck and Detroit

I'm hearing and reading news reports of Glen Beck's rant comparing Detroit to Hiroshima, but I didn't hear the rant myself.  Most of the Detroit media is huffing and puffing about how horrible it was and what a jerk Beck is and Detroit is coming back, you just wait.

I have to ask Detroiters - what do you expect?  People have been down on the D for years.  Don't you remember "Murder Capital of the World" for all those years?  And frankly, you don't have a lot going for you right now.  Do you think Mayor Bing would be wanting to consolidate neighborhoods and move people around and create "Urban Farms" if there was much of a chance of recovering your former glory?  It's time to face reality, folks.  Your city sucks.

I was talking to a friend of mine that grew up in Royal Oak, a city right on the northern border of Detroit.  He hasn't lived down there for probably 25 years, but was back recently to take his daughter to Childrens Hospital.  He said he can't believe the decay since their last trip to the hospital about 3 years ago.  Neighborhoods that used to be nice are now nasty.  Not like it was when he was growing up.

The last time I was down there was in 2006.  My wife and I spent the weekend there at the Renaissance Center, which happened to coincide with Game 1 of the World Series which the Detroit Tigers were playing in.  We didn't go to the game, but we did walk around the area of Greektown and Comerica Park during the afternoon before the game.  Certainly it had been spruced up a little bit for the game, but I remember looking around and seeing all the buildings that had no tenants and were already decaying.  I remember thinking how grim it looked outside the stadium district. 

I would truly love to see a true revival of Detroit's fortunes because frankly that city has been dragging down the rest of this State with all of its problems and corruption and racist knucklehead politicians at every level.  But I don't see much hope for that because they keep electing the same kinds of politicians and running the place out of the same socialist playbook they have used for the last half century.  Where has that gotten you, Detroit?  Be honest with yourselves.

So when Glen Beck or anyone else goes off on you, don't get all self-righteous and whine about how mean and unfair the remarks were - use it as a motivation to effect real change.  More of the same will get you nowhere and you'll drag the rest of us down with you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Romney tops state GOP poll on presidential hopefuls"

This is the headline from The Detroit News today.

From the article:  "Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was the first choice of 28 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 15 percent."  Romney?  And Huckabee?  Are you kidding me? 

This is why Michigan Republicans drive me crazy - they keep on voting for losers who have no clue.  Romney, who created and passed through the Massachusetts legislature the model legislation on which Obamacare is based?  Really?  He's a guy to bring fiscal sanity to the US?  And Huckabee, who never met a legislative solution to a problem that could better be solved in the private sector that he didn't like?  And who releases murderers so they can go out and murder again?  He's the smaller government guy you like?  Hope you're prepared to lose again, folks.

Yes, it's early.  No, there isn't much to choose from right now.  But nearly a third of you Republicans think Romney is a better choice than a bag of hockey pucks?  And 45% of you would vote for either one of these two over said bagged rubber?

I sure am glad I'm not a Republican any more.  I would be embarrassed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Fun

My daughter went sledding with her church youth group last Saturday.  I think it was about 10 degrees, and the wind chill around zero.  Fahrenheit, that is.
video

Granholm to teach at UC Berkeley

So reads the headline in The Detroit News today.

First:  THANK GOD THAT WOMAN IS GONE!!!!  Now we might actually make some headway with our economic woes here in Michigan, since we have someone in the Governors office that actually understands how to make economic decisions based on reality instead of some fluffy leftist utopian academic brain fart.  Which means she'll be right at home at Berkeley, where that sort of thing happens daily.

The article goes on to say that she will teach in their Public Policy school.  She's certainly qualified to teach what NOT to do in terms of Public Policy.  But again, this is Berkeley we're talking about, so she'll probably be the darling of the department.

And finally, the article reports she will be a "paid contributor" to NBC's Meet the Press show.  This fact tells you all you need to know about NBC.  Well, I guess the whole country is going to see the incredible ignorance we have had to put up with in Michigan for the last eight years.  Have your barf bags ready everyone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Congressional response to Giffords shooting

First things first:  my fervent prayers and best wishes go out to Rep. Giffords and her family, as well as the families of those wounded and killed by this piece of excrement.  None of them deserved what happened to them, and the piece of crap that did it needs to fry - with extreme prejudice.  And yes, I'll say it:  I'll volunteer for the firing squad.

As for the reaction of those in Congress, I am a little disturbed by the haughtiness of those who believe that they need more protection for themselves in the wake of this attack.  I say if they can afford it, they should absolutely hire more security for themselves out of their own means, not that of the taxpayers.  Otherwise, they can live under the same laws and in the same environment they have set up for the rest of us to live in.  If DC is a gun-free zone, then those laws need to apply to them too.  If their district does not allow for "shall issue" concealed carry permits, then they shouldn't have any special privileges for self protection either.

They have created this little slice of utopia - they need to live it it like the rest of us do every day.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Sometimes, I just shake my head

Working at a major state university, "political correctness" and "diversity" are a part of the daily landscape.  But today my email contained one that just caused me to facepalm.  I was reading an email conversation from a Listserv I belong to for network administrators on campus, and one of the topics was whether or not there were a list of email addresses from our SAP implementation project, so they could be put into what is called a "whitelist" on a departments email server.  For those who don't know, in the email server world, a "whitelist" is a list of email addresses that are always allowed through, while a "blacklist" is a list of addresses that is never let through (usually because they are known spammers or attack sites).

So one guy gets on and requests that everyone use the terms "allow lists" and "deny lists" because of the racial connotations that are attached to "whitelist" and "blacklist".



I don't understand why otherwise intelligent people continue to subscribe to destructive philosophies like "diversity", which is not about equality and inclusion, but about divisiveness and exclusion based on external physical characteristics that no one can do anything about.  It pigeonholes people based on these characteristics, it makes broad assumptions about what they think and how they think based on these characteristics, rather than promoting understanding and reconciliation.

I have been through all the seminars and heard all the slogans and experienced the attempts at indoctrination over my twenty plus years at this institution, and it has always revealed itself as a philosophy that is empty of meaning and substance, promoting of strife, and frankly rather paranoid.

Not for me, thank you very much.