Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yet another reason to love Starbucks

Most of the rants on this site are written from the Starbucks at Hulen and I-30, just south of the Central Market.
Almost every morning of my life, I buy a double espresso, access their wireless, and pound caffeine-fueled frustration into the laptop. I can stay there all morning, if I choose to.
The espresso shots at the I-30/Hulen Starbucks are extracted in 20 seconds, the way God intended. Coffee bars all over America go bankrupt because they can't do this one simple thing correctly.
Starbucks plays interesting music in their stores.
And there's this, from The Mercury News website, apparently someplace in Silicon Valley:

Starbucks has brushed aside a request from a gun control advocacy group to ban the display of guns in its retail locations, saying it will abide by laws that allow patrons to openly carry unloaded weapons.
The national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence made the request in the wake of a series of meetings in local restaurants over the past few months by Bay Area Open Carry, a group that hopes to make it legal to carry loaded guns in California. Peets Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen responded to similar requests by banning displays of weapons in the companies' coffeehouses and restaurants.
"Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue," Starbucks' customer relations department said in response to the Brady Campaign's request.

It is a strange world we live in, when a Muslim extremist can shoot up a U.S. military base because no one on duty is carrying a weapon.
This might not be the case at the I-30 and Hulen Starbucks, where they want the world to be a safer, more polite place.

Bay Area Open Carry chapter hailed Starbucks' approach.
"We definitely applaud Starbucks for allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and we will continue to patronize them as long as they do," said Brad Huffman, who is also a National Rifle Association-certified instructor and member of Bay Area Open Carry, which lists 610 members on its Facebook page.

Huffman said Open Carry advocates often visit Starbucks displaying unloaded weapons, either during formal events or informally. The Antioch chapter of the group has had about six meetings at a Starbucks there, he said. Other meetings have taken place at a Peet's in San Ramon and in Livermore at Panama Red Coffee Co.
Open Carry has a scheduled an event today in Walnut Creek, but has not announced a location.

That's not my oversized rear end sitting in a Starbucks. The pic came from here.

Thousands of children whose only hope is winning the lottery

Go here.

Pic of lottery numbers came from here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Geaux ye therefore into all nations....

Photographed outside the Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans last Sunday. Lord have mercy, this is going to be a good game.

Forwarded to me by The Whited Mama, who is rooting for Indianapolis because Peyton's grandmother used to help do legal work for our farm. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT WE'VE BEEN SAINTS FANS SINCE ARCHIE MANNING GOT DRAFTED BY THE SAINTS IN THE EARLY 1970's.

Can we get a pony? Can we? Can we?

I'm involved in a small group that tries to help struggling families.
One of the first things that we do is help the household come up with a budget.
I started thinking about this last night.....

Regardless of what you mistakenly think of as your financial stability, if you pay Federal Income Taxes, then your household's share of the current national debt is somewhere around $100,000.00

Your share of the upcoming unfunded spending requirements - baby boomer retirements, Medicare, Medicaid, government employee pensions, money to be burned at government bonfires, etc. - your household's share of that is around $550,000.00. But only if you pay taxes.

When my small group meets with a struggling family for the first time, we look to see which expenses can be cut. There's sometimes a free-loading family member or boyfriend somewhere in the picture. (Usually a healthy, able-bodied male.) We politely suggest that they throw his ass out.

Sometimes there's an ex-husband or ex-wife who was supposed to be providing child support, groceries, or hell, even living with the family and supporting them. But he or she is no longer contributing.
The list of problems is endless.

Anyway, to get to the point, if one of our client families met with us and told us they wanted to get a pony for their kids - yes, a pony - we would immediately object to this purchase with hundreds of valid reasons why getting a pony would be a horrible idea. There's no money for a freakin' pony. Please, please, please don't get a pony. You need to be cutting expenses, not buying something that eats its weight in dollars every day.
None of our "client" families owe anything on our national debt. (43% of Americans don't have to pay any Federal Income Tax.) Government debt is not their problem.

Unless you have savings greater than $550,000.00, and you're in the group that has to pay Federal Income Taxes, then your debt is worse than that of any client family we've ever tried to help. None of our client families have a $550,000.00 debt. They have some problems, but they're not that dumb.

Think about that the next time Obama comes on TV, listing all the reasons he wants a pony.

Pony pics came from here and here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two political ads. One of them will live forever as an example of weird

Here's a cool political ad, done The Chicago Way. I really like the Godfather typeface. Tony Rezko, Obama's old running buddy, gets a few shout-outs and its funny how the admakers can assume that their audience will know who Rezko is. Found it on Ed Driscoll's blog.

Here's another one that just might be the 2nd most bizarre thing I've ever seen that took major bucks to produce. Watch a little of the intro. It quickly becomes tiresome. Then go to the 2:10 mark. The special effects make Dark Shadows look like Avatar. Maybe that was the point. Sheesh.

These will only get better as election day approaches. Pass the popcorn ! !

Update from 15 minutes later: Mr. Reynolds at Instapundit just posted Hitler's response to the Demonsheep ad.

He also had a link to this one about the comical reasons we should let the government begin a Cap and Trade system....

Will the Superbowl ads compare with this? I think not.

What does the Federal Budget "freeze" look like?

A fresh coat of Whitening to the Tom Lewis Blog.

Vanderbilt Chaplain - "go with what Islam teaches" on capital punishment for homosexuals

From The City Paper, in Nashville:

Vanderbilt University Issues Statement On Muslim Speaker's Remark:

By E. Thomas Wood

Vanderbilt University last night moved to distance itself from the controversy over a statement made by its Muslim chaplain last week at a campus event.
At a forum entitled "Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military" on Jan. 25, Chaplain Awadh A. Binhazim responded to a question from student Devin Saucier, vice president of the V.U. chapter of conservative group Youth for Western Civilization, by saying he would have to "go with what Islam teaches" regarding the imposition of capital punishment on practicing homosexuals.

For those of you who are fans of Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals", Mr. Saucier employed Rules # 4, 5, and 6.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

Several Islamic countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are known to have put people to death for homosexual activity.

After accounts of the event and YouTube footage of Binhazim's comment led to widespread criticism on both conservative and gay-oriented blogs, the university put out a statement Monday evening noting that the event was part of its "Project Dialogue," a series meant to bring "diverse viewpoints" to campus.

Well, if diversity was the goal, they met it.

"No view expressed at a Project Dialogue or similar campus forum should be construed as being endorsed by Vanderbilt," the statement said. "The university is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas. It is the belief of the university community that free discussion of ideas can lead to resolution and reconciliation."
The statement went on to reaffirm V.U.'s commitment both to free speech and to non-discrimination.

In the words of Glenn Reynolds, "Luckily, he (Binzahim) was Muslim, not Baptist, so it won’t be a big national scandal."
Seriously. This statement was made on January 25th. The Nashville paper published this account of the frenzied back-pedaling on February 1st. At times like this, I wish Keith Olbermann had been there.

"There has been some confusion as to Binhazim's role at Vanderbilt," the statement concluded. "He is the Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt, a volunteer position. He is not a professor of Islam and is not associated with Vanderbilt University Divinity School. He has adjunct associate professor status at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in pathology. This position, which carries no teaching or research responsibilities, is also unpaid."

It sounds like they just let him hang out at Vanderbilt, doesn't it?

Binhazim is employed as a professor of pathology at Meharry Medical College.

A busy man, Mr. Binhazim.
Back to Glenn Reynold's point about the harsh and savage criticism (justly) leveled against Baptists, vs. the free pass given to Muslims on this issue..... If a political, military, or celebrity spokesperson of the fundamentalist Protestant persuasion held these beliefs, he would be unable to speak in public on any issue without having to take questions about his belief that gays and lesbians should be executed.
And yet with the Muslim faith, we agree to accept it as part of their culture. Why do our newspaper and TV journalists give them a free pass on this?

Picture of the execution of two gay Iranian teenagers came from here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From The Humble Libertarian

I found this, like so many other good things in life, at The Humble Libertarian.

Here's Morgan Freeman, who, like so many other good things in life, came from Mississippi.
Want to end racism? STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

On a totally unrelated topic, here are the humble ones on why the spending freeze isn't going to happen:

Can't you see it now? Even though Obama proposed this spending freeze, can't you see Republican Congressmen getting bashed in the media one year from now for voting to confirm it? Is it so hard to imagine a public with an extremely short memory and and all-too-willing media painting Congressmen as villains for cutting spending on education and our national parks, even though it was originally Obama's policy proposal?

I didn't have the patience to liveblog and Fisk the State Of The Union address. Had I done so, my left index finger would have jammed itself through the "F" and "Y-O-U" keys on my laptop.
The Humble Libertarian, however, is disciplined, patient, and says everything I would've said, but with better grammar:

Wouldn't you just love for Americans to be as scared and desperate as they were the day after 9/11? As willing now as they were then to let the government assume all kinds of unconstitutional powers and exercise unlimited authority? Don't you just wish we were clamoring for our safety and willing to trade anything for your empty promise to keep us safe like we did with Bush? Yeah be honest- you really envy Bush. Never waste a good crisis, after all. Your own chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel said that didn't he? Don't you just wish you had such a juicy crisis upon which to predicate more expansion of executive power?

You might wonder about the name. The Humble Libertarian? Aren't libertarians those people who value individual liberty above everything else? Aren't they the ones who think they have more wisdom than, say, Nancy Pelosi?

I don't want to put words into the mouths of The Humbles, but let me take a guess.

It's all I can do to keep my own life in order. I do an ok job of it, but it takes up most of my time. I volunteer for some projects to help other people, but it's a voluntary thing. If you want to eat at McDonald's, sleep with people who have the same bedroom equipment as you, or smoke weed with Clinton, Obama, and Bush The Younger, you know what? I don't care. Doesn't bother me a bit.

I don't know enough about you to tell you what you need. If you have something I want, I feel obligated to swap something of mine for it, assuming that you agree with the deal. I sure don't know enough about you to take your money from you for your own good.

That's why libertarians are the least arrogant political group out there. We're humble enough to admit that we have no idea what you need.

(Yeah, we occasionally admit it more loudly than others.)

Some presidential quotations

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" - FDR

"I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell." - Harry Truman

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not blah, blah blah blah blah...." - John F. Kennedy

"I am not a crook" - Richard Nixon

"Our long national nightmare is over" - Gerald Ford

"I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go swimming." - Jimmy Carter

"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." - Ronald Reagan

"Read my lips - No new taxes" - George H.W. Bush

"I tried marijuana once. I did not inhale." - Bill Clinton

"I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." - George W. Bush

Ok are you ready? Swallow your coffee. Put down your Coke.

"To help address this, we need to stand up to the special interests, bring Republicans and Democrats together, and pass the Farm Bill immediately." - Barack Obama, on the granddaddy of all special interest legislation

From here, via here, via here, because I started here.

Congratulations, Denny

Congratulations to my friend Denny at the Grouchy Old Cripple site.
He made the cut in the Top 100 Conservative websites.

Denny has recovered from his skiing accident, except for some slight Drain Bamage.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's so cold in Minnesota that the anti-Global Warming wind turbines won't work

In order to keep the planet from, well, doing that thing I'm not going to write about any more, we in the U.S. have put up a lot of wind turbines. Many of these have been taxpayer subsidized in some way.

But ABC news is reporting the following:
Wind turbines placed in cities across Minnesota to generate power aren't working because of the cold temperatures.
The Minnesota Municipal Power Association bought 11 turbines for $300,000 each from a company in Palm Springs, Calif.
Special hydraulic fluid designed for colder temperatures was used in the turbines, but it's not working, so neither are the turbines.
There is a plan to heat the fluid, but officials must find a contractor to do the work.

But if they find a way to heat the fluid, doesn't that also heat the..... Awwww...never mind.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Schadenfreude - taking delight in the misfortunes of others. Especially when they're con artists

Schadenfreude - to take delight in the misfortunes of others. I really shouldn't, but had to fight the battle alone for years.
Go here. Then go here.
It's all unraveling. But I'm not going to write any more about it. I promised.

The huge things made of ice in the Himalayas were NEVER in danger because of the thing I'm not going to write about any more

A couple of weeks ago, I vowed to not spend any more time typing about this panic-fueled ripoff.
I'm not going to. I'm going to remain true to my word.

But I've just got to send you here and here. (It keeps getting better and better.)

Hail to the East Anglia Hackers ! ! The thing I'm not going to write about any more is dead ! ! Long live the, unh..., long live the....long live the things covered in ice in the Himalayas that we once thought would melt ! ! !

The January Pew Research Political Quiz

Go here to take another Pew Political IQ Quiz.

Get 'em all right, and you know more than 98% of all Americans.

Those living outside the borders of Obamastan can go ahead and add two correct answers to your score.

I got 'em all right, but had to guess on one question due to overthinking it. Post results in the comment field.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obama The Job-Killer

Here's Mark Steyn, in what I think is the best short piece he's ever written. Go here to read the whole thing. Memorize it, then teach it to your children. Give photocopies to the winos along your commute, and give them extra beer money if they promise to spread it far and wide.

Functioning societies depend on agreed rules. If you want to open a business, you do it in Singapore or Ireland, because the rules are known to all parties. You don’t go to Sudan or Zimbabwe, where the rules are whatever the state’s whims happen to be that morning.

That’s why Obama is such a job-killer. Why would a small business take on a new employee? The president’s proposing a soak-the-banks tax that could impact your access to credit. The House has passed a cap-and-trade bill that could impose potentially unlimited regulatory costs. The Senate is in favor of “health” “care” “reform” that will allow the IRS to seize your assets if you and your employees’ health arrangements do not meet the approval of the federal government. Some of these things will pass into law, some of them won’t. But all of them send a consistent, cumulative message: that there are no rules, that they’re being made up as they go along — and that some of them might even be retroactive, as happened this week with Oregon’s new corporate tax.

In such an environment, would you hire anyone? Or would you hunker down and sit things out? Obama can bury it in half a ton of leaden telepromptered sludge but the world has got the message: More Washington, more micro-regulation of every aspect of your life, more multi-trillion-dollar spending, and no agreed rules in a game ever more rigged against you.

God's mad

I hope everyone is having a pleasant Sunday morning.
If you find yourself unable to attend formal worship services, how about this gem from Westboro Baptist Church, the group that pickets the funerals of American soldiers (They do this because God is punishing America for tolerating gays and lesbians - Get it? I don't either.)

God is mad, mad, mad.
As best I can tell, God is mad at gays, lesbians, Catholics, Jews, and everyone else who is different from the people Reverend Fred Phelps grew up with.

Hit this link to go to the Westboro Baptist website. They've added a few things since the last time I visited: There's a banner that says "Welcome, depraved sons and daughters of Adam", and a countdown ticker that tells you how many reprobates have entered hell since you entered their site.

That spinning sound you hear is Michael Jackson rolling over in his grave, begging for vengeance.