Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, April 26, 2012
On a regional EPA administrator’s apology for 2010 remarks likening the agency’s enforcement policies to the Roman practice of crucifying provincial subjects to keep the population cowed:
Well, he said it was a poor choice of words. It was a perfect choice of words. He said exactly what he thinks. He said exactly what animates him and other people in Obama’s EPA….
We heard Jay Carney saying [the remark] doesn’t reflect what we’ve done. He is completely wrong.
Look what they have done on coal. A few weeks ago the EPA issued a regulation that will make it impossible for any American to open a new coal plant because of regulations, and over time it will shut down the entire coal industry. It was overlooked because it was issued during the three days of oral hearings on Obamacare. But that is a fact.
And then we heard earlier in the show about oil — the regulations on refineries, hyperregulation, which has led to the closure of five [oil refineries] with three teetering on the edge.
And now you have the worst, natural gas. We have just stumbled across the greatest goldmine of energy in U.S. history, the fracking technique, which allows us to exploit these huge reserves of shale oil and gas. We are the Saudi Arabia of shale oil and gas, and EPA is stepping in over state regulations and trying to restrain it and to hold it back.
This is out of the philosophy [that says] if you have natural gas it will undercut the pie in the sky stuff: the wind, solar, algae and spinach that Obama imagines will fuel our economy in the future.
That’s why EPA acts as it does. It was an accurate representation and it completely reflects the fact of what the EPA has been doing on energy…
And remember what Obama said to Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian pal. He said “After I’m elected I’ll have more room to maneuver. I’ll be more flexible.” Imagine how flexible he is going to be honoring global warming and in killing the carbon-based energy in his second term. This is only a hint of what’s to come.
Posted by lumberjack at 6:05 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The quote gets attributed to Ben Franklin, or maybe Alexander Fraser Tytler:
"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."
Whoever said it, the President is going to test it. We have to hope that the country is sober enough to put the whole picture together and reject it.
Of course you're going to get college kids who want free money. Would free birth control be nice? Sure, let's have that! What about Cash for clunkers? Yes! How about open ended unemployment insurance? $ 10,000.00 towards an electric car? Yay! How about free health care? You bet! Unions extracting every dollar possible from your employer should you ever actually get a job? Sounds like a plan!
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Here's the problem with bread and circuses: in the end, you're the one getting punched in the mouth.
Have you ever stood at the Sam's Club register and watched the items being added up? $22 - $85 - $143 - $214 - $285 and before you know it you're paying over $300 when you just came in for toilet paper. Pushing the cart out to the car is not the time to wonder if you really needed muffins bigger than your head and tubs of garlic big enough to sicken every vampire in Sunnydale.
The solution to overshopping at Sams is easy. When you run out of money, you can't do it anymore. You're forced to stay at home and live off of the infinite box of Pop Tarts until you've earned enough money to go back shopping again; hopefully with a more cautious attitude this time.
You could of course obtain credit cards and spend money you don't have on things you don't need; but that would be stupid, right? Right.
But that's what Obama is doing. And the election will hang on how many of us are children - watching daddy run up the bill but not really knowing what it means, and not really caring because he's getting that ginormous jar of animal crackers. It's time to look up at the register and see what we're spending.
"The national debt is equal to $48,700 for every American or $128,300 for every U.S. household,"
And that number will be going up. We need to be angry at politicians who try to bribe us with our own money. It's easy to oppose extravagant spending that doesn't benefit us personally. The test of character comes when we have to reject government spending that does benefit us personally. Because it's crazy. Because we can see that it must stop if we're to avoid the fate of Greece. Because my $1000 "benefit" doesn't stand alone; it comes as part of a package that we just can't afford anymore.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:04 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Do you stay up nights worrying about an alien invasion? Well don't. I've been reviewing our Superheroes and have concluded we have nothing to worry about. We have enough Superheroes on Facebook alone to repulse any invasion, and most evil insurrections. Here are just a few:
OK, I'll admit I did it all for the surprise ending. I don't even think Thor is one of ours anymore.
Posted by lumberjack at 4:55 PM
Friday, April 20, 2012
I was going to make this a "What Is It?" contest but I'm certain nobody would be able to guess correctly, not in a million years. And besides, I'd have to give out a prize of some kind which means you'd have to wait for it to get there -- and I know people hate waiting for stuff like that.
So, I'll just explain it to you. There was no description where I found it, but it's amazing what you can deduce from a picture if you examine it one element at a time.
First, the time period. If you'll notice, all the cars are from the 50's. Plus the gasoline contains lead, and the Sunoco (see the sign) attendant is pumping the gas for the customer. Also, look at the businessman's clothing: that sports coat was available exclusively at JC Penny in the fall of 1959. The lack of leaves on the trees confirms this. Final date-clue - the angle of the sun. That's right, it was a Wednesday morning in September of 1959.
Now the interesting part, that device on his back. Obviously it uses gasoline, so some sort of combustion could be involved. And the astute among you will have noticed a nozzle of some kind in his hand, so he means to spray it on something.
But that doesn't necessarily mean fire is involved. Those of you who are old enough might remember that we used to use gasoline to kill the weeds that would pop up from cracks in the pavement. So you look at this man and suspect, "Obviously, this is one of those traveling weed-killing Gentlemen from the 1950's. He's going door to door to assist housewives who just don't have time to do their own weeding. They do not pay him much, but his needs are few and he is happy to make a living doing honest work."
But you'd be wrong, and I'll tell you why. Notice the briefcase? That is the badge of the 1950's businessman. (plus, I gave you that business-man hint earlier) This man is on his way in to work. And look at the rope attaching the device to his roller skates. He wanted to be sure to remember to take his device when he put on his skates this morning. So the skates are definitely involved. (special hint: in the late fifties cars were the thing, and anyone still skating to work would be laughed at by all the girls in accounting. They'd try to hide their tittering but he'd know. Oh, he'd know.)
Have you figured it out yet? Of course you have, we all have. Understandably, the condescension from his workmates has taken it's toll. The businessman knows that with winter coming, the ridicule will only get worse. So he's built a flame thrower and attached it to his skates so that he won't forget it this morning. He's planning on burning every last person in that real estate office alive. Especially his supervisor, who has taken to making him work late every Wednesday.
See the glasses? They're only partly to shield him from the bright flame of burning real estate professionals. Their main purpose is so that his boss can see his own reflection as the flesh burns from his face. You can't tell from the picture but he is probably muttering "today they'll pay for their jokes, today they'll all pay" under his breath.
Lastly, notice the hairline. Where have you seen that receding hairline before? Yes, there is a very good chance this was Al Gore's father.
So now you know the rest of the story.
So far I have 8 e-mails saying that I'm completely wrong in my interpretation of the photo. Which, if you combine that with the 8 people who didn't e-mail saying I'm completely wrong, comes out to 50% agreement, which is just as good as you can get when it comes to these things. If one more person doesn't e-mail me challenging my findings, that will be over 50%, which is also known as "scientific certainty."
Posted by lumberjack at 11:21 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Administration, also known as the Obama Campaign, seems a little disorganized lately. They send Debbie Wasserman Schultz out to demand Romney's tax returns but it turns out she's never supplied them.
They make a big thing about Romney letting his pooch ride on top of the car, and then it comes out that the President has eaten dog. Next reporter who asks Romney if he feels good about letting his dog roof surf ought to be prepared for, "Well at least I didn't eat him when we got there."
Posted by lumberjack at 12:37 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sorry about being an absentee blogger. I've been doing taxes, mostly without a sound-track, well, except for gentle weeping, sometimes punctuated with involuntary sobs.
Actually, I got done early this year.
I don't mind the drama of last minute filing; chasing the mail-lady down the street as you're scribbling down the last number and trying to seal the envelope. No, in fact that's the part I used to like. But I found out the hard way that the IRS is capable of losing returns (and entirely incapable of admitting it) and, good gravy, they're the stinking IRS, they squash real people for sport. So I filed electronically this time.
I'll still hear the 4/4 string ostinato in D minor when I see any communication from the IRS, but now I'll have TurboTax to say that, "yes, we saw the data going through the tubes."
And on that note... Good luck to those of you who are just finishing up.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:54 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
At first it looked like the Norks had figured out how to get around the agreement not to test ICBMs. They double-crossed us. Then it looked like, oh, ok, it's a failure, whew, well that was lucky.
But what about the triple-cross? What if this was a torpedo test all along?
Posted by lumberjack at 9:19 PM
The White House said that President Obama earned $789,674 in 2011, so he doesn't qualify for the so-called Buffett Rule.
Here's the question though: Does Warren Buffett qualify for the Buffett Rule? Lost, well, conveniently left out of, these discussions is an actual number for Warren Buffett's yearly income. (and never mind that Buffett is fighting the IRS over taxes owed, in an amount that could run some small countries) How much of his income is from capital gains? Could it be that the Altruist from Omaha wouldn't be affected by the tax named after him?
BTW- I'm doing the lumberkid's taxes for the first time. She only works part time but I believe she may have given more to charity than she earned last year. Shame on you, Joe Biden.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:45 AM
how the elite are as dysfunctional as the new lower class.
This, part five, stands fine alone, but the whole series is worth a watch.
your car? We've got nothing to do with the Charles Murray post."
Posted by lumberjack at 11:12 AM
The Economist looks at American regulations:
A Florida law requires vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there. The Federal Railroad Administration insists that all trains must be painted with an “F” at the front, so you can tell which end is which. Bureaucratic busybodies in Bethesda, Maryland, have shut down children’s lemonade stands because the enterprising young moppets did not have trading licences. The list goes hilariously on....
Governments of both parties keep adding stacks of rules, few of which are ever rescinded. Republicans write rules to thwart terrorists, which make flying in America an ordeal and prompt legions of brainy migrants to move to Canada instead. Democrats write rules to expand the welfare state. Barack Obama’s health-care reform of 2010 had many virtues, especially its attempt to make health insurance universal. But it does little to reduce the system’s staggering and increasing complexity. Every hour spent treating a patient in America creates at least 30 minutes of paperwork, and often a whole hour. Next year the number of federally mandated categories of illness and injury for which hospitals may claim reimbursement will rise from 18,000 to 140,000. There are nine codes relating to injuries caused by parrots, and three relating to burns from flaming water-skis...
But red tape in America is no laughing matter. The problem is not the rules that are self-evidently absurd. It is the ones that sound reasonable on their own but impose a huge burden collectively. America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal.
A friend's local pool is in turmoil just recently because of ADA mandates. They're caught up in this:
Your local public swimming pool may be forced to close this year for lack of having a “Permanently” installed pool lift. The ADA with the backing of Obama’s Department of Justice in all its infinite wisdom has decided to mandate that all public swimming pools now have these pool/chair-lifts installed at all swimming facilities that offer access to the public. This includes private membership facilities as well as county and school facilities.
Did Cass Sunstein [Obama's regulation czar] ever bother to determine what the economic impact would be on these pools in neighborhood subdivisions that can just squeak out enough to pay the pool boy? How are they going to afford to stay open when they have to part with as much as $7000.00 for a pool-lift chair. Perhaps as high as $10,000.00 with deliver and installation cost added. This does not cover any foreseeable maintenance or replacement issues.
I have to wonder just how much of this recession is just us shooting ourselves in the foot over and over again.
No, we don't want children working in factories. Make that a law. I'll support it. (as long as it doesn't go overboard) And I've got one other law to suggest: make it a law that you can't write a new law unless you strike down two old laws. Get rid of the crappy legislation first.
Course you know what will happen: The first law that the regulator in chief strikes down will be the one requiring you to strike down two old laws for every new one.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:09 AM
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Two ways to go - accomplish something, or blame the other guy. Rahm picks:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel went on the defensive Thursday about a surge of recent homicides in Chicago and questioned why new law enforcement tactics hadn't been created before he was elected 10 months ago.
"You can say, 'Are you doing it right,'" Emanuel said, "but the question is, 'Why were those policies not done before?'"
Posted by lumberjack at 11:52 PM
I knew I was messing with forces beyond the usual dealeo. Divide by zero, sacrifice a few chickens, invert Obama and have him hold himself up, upside down. But there's always a price; you can't escape the price. What is the price? About tree fiddy.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:15 PM
Speaking Friday at what the administration called “The White House Forum on Women and the Economy,” President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife—both Harvard Law School graduates—could not afford the “luxury” of having her stay home with the children.
In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Oh yeah, I can see not being able to scrape by on $162k/year. You'd have to eat at home some nights and maybe even let the housekeeper go.
So poor Michelle had to work. The good news? It was a Chicago no-show job created to give the hospital a friend in government. The job wasn't even important enough to continue existence once the Obamas moved on.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:05 PM
They're the government so I suppose they know best:
If the government can make you buy health insurance, can it also make you buy broccoli, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wondered during the high court’s three-day hearing on the constitutionality of Obamacare. The U.S. solicitor general, arguing the government’s case, said broccoli is entirely different. But, he was wrong — if you are a student. There already is a broccoli mandate for school lunches...
The guidelines include the broccoli mandate. A child can’t leave the serving line without a fruit or vegetable. If he refuses, he will pay a higher price for his lunch and the meal’s cost cannot be claimed for reimbursement by the federal government. Washington will pay $2.72 for a meal, including vegetables, that meets its guidelines for a child who qualifies for free lunches.
I still remember my elation when I realized that my high school cafeteria would serve me an entire tray of french fries if I asked for it. They also made cake in big flat pans and cut the slices in squares by hand. That meant that some pieces were bigger than others. Plus!!! the oven racks were uneven so the cake would be thicker on one end. That didn't look good so the lunch ladies would even it up with frosting.
This resulted in some normal slices, some slices with lots of cake and only a little frosting, and some slices with just a quarter inch of cake covered by two inches of frosting. That meant that if you got a randomly cut large slice from the shallow-cake side, you could be feasting on 2 or 3 pounds of frosting before the bell summoned you to chemistry lab. The insulin storms sometimes raged for the rest of the day.
And it's not like we didn't get vegetables. I remember being quite fond of catchup drunk straight from a dixie cup, for a time.
Looking back, I can't see where any damage was done. Kids, teenage boys especially, can burn calories like locomotives. And we got vegetables at dinner, and sometimes at breakfast, and second breakfast. It's hard to argue against broccoli. Broccoli is good for you. But it irritates to have the government shove it down our throats.
Posted by lumberjack at 1:07 AM
East Germany before the fall of the wall.
Der Spiegel has a bunch of these. Ruins minus communism equals civilization again.
It's nice to have it documented for when the old commies in ché shirts argue that maybe it will work this time.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:39 AM
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A wish-I'd-thought-of-that photoshop. In fact I've been looking for a classic to do this with, never thinking of the Girl With a Pearl Earring, which used to be my desktop background. Maybe I'll just redo it - the painting is fine, but not exactly Vermeer-like.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:10 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
Mr. Obama knew that the mandate would pose difficulties for the Catholic Church, so he invited Archbishop Dolan to the Oval Office last November, shortly before the bishops' General Assembly in Baltimore. At the end of their 45-minute discussion, the archbishop summed up what he understood as the president's message:
"I said, 'I've heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity. . . . I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work and . . . that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness. . . . Does that accurately sum up our conversation?' [Mr. Obama] said, 'You bet it does.'"
The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. "You don't have my permission, you've got my request," the president replied.
"So you can imagine the chagrin," Archbishop Dolan continues, "when he called me at the end of January to say that the mandates remain in place and that there would be no substantive change, and that the only thing that he could offer me was that we would have until August. . . . I said, 'Mr. President, I appreciate the call. Are you saying now that we have until August to introduce to you continual concerns that might trigger a substantive mitigation in these mandates?' He said, 'No, the mandates remain. We're more or less giving you this time to find out how you're going to be able to comply.' I said, 'Well, sir, we don't need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we're unable to comply.'"
I just can't understand what Obama thinks he can gain from this. Sure, he now gets to pretend that forcing the Catholic Church to buy morning after pills and pay for sterilizations is "allowing access to contraceptives." And that any employer who has a moral objection to paying for sterilizations is "restricting access to birth control."
But let's be straight on this: The Catholic Church doesn't buy contraceptives now. They don't have to provide these things.... yet. And are there citizens in dire straits because of the status quo? Contrary to the claims of Sandra Fluke, birth control pills need only cost her $9/month. In my view, anyone who is taking on the responsibility of having sex should be able to pay the 30¢/day.
But Obama wants Catholic employers to rescue their employees from this onerous burden of $9. To the administration the $9 is more important than religious conscience. Which is just nuts, right?
This country used to bend over backwards in order to accommodate religious liberty. We let some sects handle snakes, take peyote, and do whatever the heck it is that Scientologists do. We have always valued religious liberty, even when we're highly skeptical of the protected activity.
Because even though I'm highly skeptical of Scientologists, I know there are people who believe deeply in it. So I accept that Scientology is a religion because those people have a right to their belief. And I'm aware that many people are atheists, and think my church is a joke. That's fine with me, so long as I'm allowed my beliefs. I don't tell you what to believe, and you extend me the same courtesy. It's not just a Constitutional right, it's the reason we founded this country. And if I don't want to buy your morning after pill, I have a right to refuse to do so.
This stuff seems simple to me. There's no nuance here. This stuff is basic. Which is why I found it distressing the other week when I thought I could discuss this with a Catholic Obamacare-supporter friend. She's an intelligent, kind, and caring person, so she should have been open to reason. but when I mentioned the HHS mandate, I realized that she didn't even know what it was. She knew she liked Obamacare though; how could anyone not like giving everyone healthcare?
And that's what makes it almost impossible to educate. Most people aren't political, and they don't want to know the details. They want to decide Obamacare=bad/good and move on. And if you try to reason them away from their positions you'll just be irritating them. So I didn't try.
Sigh. But the good news is that the Supreme Court seems to be taking their jobs seriously. Contrary to what our law-professor-in-chief says, their job is to rule on the constitutionality of legislation. My fingers are crossed.
And I also said a prayer, asking that the SCOTUS will have the courage to uphold the Constitution. I don't usually pray about politics, or football, or lottery numbers, but I prayed about this; partly because I knew the President didn't want me to.
Posted by lumberjack at 6:25 PM
Remember before Hope and Change? One of the problems in the prehope, unchanged world was that toilet clogs limited how fast the government could process investments. Now, with the Flushomatic 9000, we enter a new era of high speed money flushing.
Shown here in set-up mode because it moves too fast to be photographed when in operation. Best feature: it has an "automatic" setting which allows it to run itself, thus freeing up its government "workers" for training, breaks, and retirement.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:38 AM