Saturday, October 31, 2009
From Darren Barbee and Aman Batheja, writing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Texas gained 19,572 jobs created or saved by federal stimulus funds, at a steep cost to taxpayers: $545,000 per job, according to data from a new but flawed government report.
The information, available on recovery.gov, shows that 376 contracts worth $608.9 million created 1,458 jobs. Grants totaling $10 billion contributed 18,114 more.
Administration officials argued that it was "calculator abuse" to figure the cost per job because many contracts haven’t been completed so additional people could be hired....
So we can now pile "calculator abuse" onto the mound of logic abuse that was required to pass the Porkulus bill. Are calculators members of a protected category in the new Hate Crimes Legislation? Just wondering.....
....A company called Affiliated Western received a $2.6 million contract to repair hangar doors. Total jobs created: a single position. Or two, since an interactive map on recovery.gov counted the contract twice.
The city of Arlington reported that $853,342 in stimulus money for "new pedestrian infrastructure" — a sidewalk — and a van service would create 130 jobs. Though the city reports that the project is less than 50 percent completed, it claims that 100 of those jobs would come from providing more transportation options to low-income residents.
Let's go back to basics here. Look at what you pay in taxes. That's money that you can't spend on something else. Look at the $2.6 million that the government printed to create two garage doors. That's money pumped into our system that dilutes the buying power of the money already in your wallet.
What they're doing is preventing you from spending your money on your preferred purchases, and giving it to their supporters.
Does anyone doubt that Affiliated Western, who got $2.6 million in porkulus, is now a huge financial supporter of whichever legal whore wrote them into the porkulus bill?
In another case, Tarrant County got credit for a contract awarded to B.W. Strayhorn of Wichita Falls worth $2,559,791. But zero jobs were created or saved, according to recovery.gov. The contract calls for the company to conduct embankment repairs at Bardwell Dam and shoreline erosion repair at Lavonia Park and Lavon Lake.
Which brings up another issue....How in the hell can someone directly credit, or not credit, this stimulus money for saving a job? Jobs are being lost by the tens of thousands because investors are worried about which insane card checking/earth saving/wealth transferring/red taping/productivity penalizing scheme that our Spreadsheet Messiahs are going to roll out next.
Here's The Gay Patriot:
Last week alone, more Californians filed for jobless benefits for the first time than the number of jobs created by the “stimulus” since it passed nearly nine months ago. The Golden State had largest increase in claims for benefits (of any state) with 5,774 citizens asking for government help after being laid off (H/t Instapundit).
According to recovery.gov, the “so-called stimulus” created (or saved) 2,260 jobs in the Golden State since the President signed the bill in February. At that time, the Golden State’s junior Senator, Barbara Boxer, heralded Senate passage of the legislation, promising it would “put Californians to work“.
Hey, Ma’am, it doesn’t seem to be putting Californians to work. You said, “This bill will put Californians to work now building the highways, bridges, transit and rail systems, and renewable energy sources of the 21st century.” The data show layoffs “in the construction, services and agricultural industries.” So, maybe 2,260 Californians are building bridges for the state. 5,774 fewer are building other things (or otherwise engaging in productive and remunerative activities).
Let me repeat: More than twice as many Californians lost their jobs in just one week in October than the number of Californians put to work by the “stimulus.”
So please, please, please, please, please..... Can all government busybodies, saviors, messiahs, and earnest hand-wringers call in sick for the next year? We'll get through this thing just fine if you promise to do so. Please. Think of the children.
Here's Caroline Baum, of Bloomberg.org:
....the government has no money of its own to spend; only what it borrows or confiscates from us via taxation. Oops.
“Government job creation is an oxymoron,” said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business. It is only by depriving the private sector of funds that government can hire or subsidize hiring.
That’s why “jobs created or saved” is such pure fiction. It ignores what’s unseen, as our old friend Frederic Bastiat explained so eloquently 160 years ago in an essay.
Lordy. Even CBS News is calling bullshint on this mess.
I got most of these links from Instapundit.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Nat Hentoff, New York
Obama could've done several things to improve quality of life for Gay and Lesbian Americans. He could've finally become an advocate for Gay marriage, for instance. Here's an interesting hypothetical situation for you: Give Barack Obama the power to legalize Gay marriage, or the power to further isolate a victim group. Which one do you think he would choose?
He enhanced gay and lesbian minority/victim status. Instead of taking action to assist them in becoming like everyone else, he went to great lengths to keep them quarantined as a special needs group.
Almost all crimes are hate crimes. The perpetrators can already be brought to trial under existing law. But Obama has increased the penalty for crimes against some, relative to crimes against others. Does the idiot really believe this will help gays and lesbians?
That entire story is a mistranslation from the original Greek. I've spent the last 6 months working on this. I don't know how these textual errors have lasted for 2000 years, but I've set it all straight.
This is from Matthew 19:16-22.
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony....
19 ....honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, lobby for Hope and Change. Set up large programs administered by your government, in which other people are forced to give up their money to fulfill your agenda. Keep a lot of this money for yourself. Dole it out to your favorites. Give nothing of your own, for you know best how to use it, and nothing feels better than spending other people's money. Ensure that the multitudes retain their dependent victim status, and that they will be with you always. For such is the Kingdom Of God."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away rejoicing, for none of this would cost him a dime. I'm sure that all of you are relieved to learn this. This new interpretation relieves you of all personal responsibility, and puts the burden on others.
I've found other passages that have been mis-interpreted, and I'll be getting to them later.
The painting of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler came from here.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Obama described him as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood".
Mr. Obama didn't mention that William Ayers helped write the Obama memoir, Dreams Of My Father.
The following is from “Barack And Michelle – Portrait Of An American Marriage”, by Christopher Andersen. 2009, William Morrow Publishing.
Perhaps Andersen made all this up. Perhaps William Morrow's fact-checking department fell down on the job.
But if it's true, it would explain a lot about the direction of the last 9 months, wouldn't it? If someone wanted to destroy capitalism and the free market, could anyone improve on what we're now going through?
Indulge me here....
Here's the complete controversial text, from "Barack and Michelle" by Christopher Andersen, pages 164-166.
"Desperate to finish the book, Barack and Michelle took a leave of absence from their jobs and decamped to the Indonesian island of Bali so that, as his sister Maya put it, he could “find a peaceful sanctuary, where there were no phones, to work on the book.” When he returned in early 1994, Barack burrowed even deeper into the Hole (the office behind the Obama kitchen) in a last-gasp effort to finish it.
Two months later, with a September 1994 deadline looming, Barack was still stymied. It was around this time that, at Michelle’s urging, he sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor, Bill Ayers. Michelle had known Ayers’s wife, Bernadine Dohrn, at Sidley Austin, where Dohrn worked as a paralegal between 1984 and 1988. Dohrn’s father-in-law, former Commonwealth Edison CEO Thomas Ayers, just happened to be one of the firm’s most important clients."
One brief interruption. Like Fidel Castro, and like Che Guevara, Bill Ayers grew up very well-off, but wanted to rebel against the only system proven to make people well-off. Bill Ayers' father ran Commonwealth Edison. Sheesh.
"Barack got to know Bill Ayers’s father and his brother, John, when all three served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Education Fun. Ajnother mutual friend of Ayers and Barack was Jean Rudd, whose nonprofit Woods Fund had provided Jerry Kellman with the money he needed to hire Barack as an organizer back in 1985.
Neither Michelle nor Barack seemed particularly troubled to discover that William Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn had been two of the 1960s’ most infamous radicals – leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist group that set off thirty bombs in the 1960s and 1970s.
After an explosion in the Weathermen’s Greenwich Village bomb-making laboratory killed three of their fellow Weathermen (including Ayers’s girlfriend at the time, Diana Oughton) and virtually destroyed the neighboring town house owned by Dustin Hoffman, Ayers and Dohrn went underground. In 1973 charges against them were dismissed due to prosecutorial misconduct, but Dohrn remained a fugitive until she finally turned herself in to police in 1980.
Ayers made no apologies for his terrorist past, and in the 1990’s still described himself as “a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist….The ethics of communism still appeal to me. I don’t like Lenin as much as the early Marx.”
I love that phrase. "The ethics of communism". Communism killed somewhere between 60 and 100 million people. They made the Nazis look like amateurs. But their intentions were so good and wholesome.
Ayers’s radical past didn’t seem to bother Chicago’s civic leaders, many of whom worked with him on education reform. He worked particularly closely with Mayor Richard M. Daley on reshaping the city’s school programs – an effort that also brought him into contact with one of Daley’s assistants at the time, Michelle Obama.
What did interest Barack were Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer. Unlike Barack, Ayers had written and cowritten scores of articles and treatises, as well as several nonfiction books beginning with Education: An American Problem in 1968. But it was the tone Ayers had set in his latest book – To Teach (1993) – that Barack hoped to emulate.
The tale of a maverick teacher who takes her students onto the streets of New York to teach them firsthand about history, culture, and survival, To Teach was written in a fluid, novelistic style. Barack asked for Ayers’s input, and Ayers, who like so many in his circle was greatly impressed by the charismatic young activist, obliged.
To flesh out his family history, Barack had also taped interviews with Toot, Gramps, Ann, Maya, and his Kenyan relatives. These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes, were given to Ayers. “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together,” another Hyde Park neighbor pointed out. “It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.”
In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams from My Father would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writings. Even the caveat at the beginning of Dreams, in which Barack points out that he uses invented dialogue, embellished facts, composite characters, inaccurate chronology, and pseudonyms to create an “approximation” of reality, resembles Ayers’s defense of the inaccuracies in his memoir Fugitive Days. In the foreward to his book, Ayers states that the book is merely a collection of his personal memories and “impressions.”
In other words, don't bother fact-checking either book. Like the other products produced by these two, the books are bullshit.
“There was a good deal of literary back-scratching going on in Hyde Park,” said writer Jack Cashill, who noted that a mutual friend of Barack and Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, thanked Ayers for helping him with his book Resurrecting Empire. Ayers, explained Cashill, “provided an informal editing service for like-minded friends in the neighborhood.”
Certainly none of these authors hesitated to acknowledge their admiration for one another at the time. In his 1997 book, A Kind And Just Parent, Ayers would cite the “writer” Barack Obama (along with Muhammad Ali and Louis Farrakhan) as one of the celebrities living in his neighborhood. In turn, Barack would write a glowing review of that same book for the Chicago Tribune, and Michelle would host a panel discussion on the book at the University of Chicago, with Ayers and her husband as the principal speakers.
Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books. With some minor cuts and polishing, the book would be on track for publication in the early summer of 1995. In the meantime, he began showing the rough draft to a chosen few relatives.
From the dust jacket of "Barack and Michelle": Christopher Andersen is the critically acclaimed author of twenty-eight books, which have been translated into more than twenty-five languages worldwide. A former contributing editor of Time magazine and senior editor of People magazine, Andersen has also written hundreds of articles for a wide range of publications, including Life magazine, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Forty four percent of the electorate will self-identify as Libertarian (if you give them enough hints)
In today’s Washington Post, William Kristol exults:
The Gallup poll released Monday shows the public’s conservatism at a high-water mark. Some 40 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, compared with 36 percent who self-describe as moderates and 20 percent as liberals.
Gallup often asks people how they describe themselves. But sometimes they classify people according to the values they express. And when they do that, they find a healthy percentage of libertarians, as well as an unfortunate number of big-government “populists.”
For more than a dozen years now, the Gallup Poll has been using two questions to categorize respondents by ideology:
- Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
- Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
Combining the responses to those two questions, Gallup found the ideological breakdown of the public shown below. With these two broad questions, Gallup consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents to be libertarian. The word “libertarian” isn’t well known, so pollsters don’t find many people claiming to be libertarian. And usually they don’t ask. But a large portion of Americans hold generally libertarian views — views that might be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or as Gov. William Weld told the 1992 Republican National Convention, “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” They don’t fit the red-blue paradigm, and they have their doubts about both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. They’re potentially a swing vote in elections. Background on the libertarian vote here.
And note here: If you tell people that “libertarian” means “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” 44 percent will accept the label.
That's right, 44%. Forty four percent. Combine that with this little nugget from the New York Times. Here's Jonathan Weisman:
Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy after a mild upswing of attitudes in September. But Republicans haven't been able to profit politically from the economic gloom, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The survey found a country in a decidedly negative mood, nearly a year after the election of President Barack Obama. For the first time during the Obama presidency, a majority of Americans sees the country as being on the wrong track.
This is possibly caused by the memory of Presidents named Bush and Reagan setting spending records until they were upstaged by a President named Obama. One day the electorate will figure out that Republicans don't want to change the direction of the national vehicle, they just want to drive it and choose which gas stations and restaurants to support.
One day, the electorate is going to figure out that Democrats invented "don't ask, don't tell", they are partially responsible for us having 20% of the world's prison population (with only 5% of the world's population to pull from) with their insane War On Drugs, and that the Democrats' economic policies keep more minorities in poverty than anything the Klan could've invented.
The Libertarian Party - One day soon, we're going to march on Washington and demand.....Nothing ! !
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
And while we’re here, how long does it take for you to notice your stuff hanging out where it is not supposed to be?
Here's a 1988 sales video extolling the mighty and numerous selling points of the Yugo, such as the 1.1-liter engine that roared with 54 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, the 19.5-second quarter-mile time "ensuring safe access to major highways," and "no expensive computer chips to diagnose or replace.
Yes, the Yugo. It can do the quarter in 19.5 seconds. I think Secretariat could do the quarter in 19.5 seconds. Ah, the glories of Socialist auto manufacturing ! !
A fresh coat of Whitening to Autoblog for resurrecting this one.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I went to my sister and brother-in-law's house Friday night. Mr. Chen, the factory owner that I've worked with during 5 trips to China, was having dinner with them. Mr. Chen is a Tool And Die maker who started his own company in China almost immediately after Xiamen (his hometown) became a "Free Enterprise Zone". (Free Enterprise Zone is a term used in Communist China to designate places where people aren't starving to death any more. It's strange how the Free Market works, isn't it?)
And for long-time followers of this blog, Mr. Chen is the star of The Infamous Chinese Dog Story, an epic tale of death, destruction, and bizarre cultural differences that has been read and copied and emailed all over 6 continents.
Mr. Chen speaks almost no English. Here he is cooking scallops and signaling that he needs to find a urinal.
Tommy, Joshua, and the crew have brought order out of chaos. NOTHING is out of place in this entire facility. NOTHING.
Mandy licked #6 for about a minute and a half without stopping.
#6 woke up, lifted his head, and started sniffing around for breakfast. It's amazing how they just "know".
I'm glad Mandy stopped at 7, because I think she only has place settings for 8. Woulda been crowded at the table.
On Sept. 13, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, told ABC's This Week program that the government was on schedule to deliver an "ample supply" of swine flu vaccine by mid-October:
"We're on track to have an ample supply rolling by the middle of October. But we may have some early vaccine as early as the first full week in October. We'll get the vaccine out the door as fast as it rolls off the production line."
But here we are five weeks later and news reports are coming in from across the nation of long waiting lines of people wanting the shot, but being turned away because of grossly inadequate supplies. The typical explanation from public health offiials is that the swine flu vaccine requires more time to be cultivated than seasonal flu vaccine.
That's no doubt true, but did federal public health officials just discover that fact? These are the same government officials who will be in charge of your health care under the government-run health care system being sought by Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress.
Someone named Mike O'Keefe brought the entertaining signage. Links from Instapundit.