Archive for June, 2003

June 30, 2003

Public Service Announcement

I am a petty man. All this Do Not Call stuff reminded me of how much I hate junk mail. I thought I’d share just how petty I am.

Each time I get a credit card application or some other variety of junk mail that has a postage paid return envelope, I take all contents of the envelope and I rip them to shreds. I then place the shreds into the postage paid return envelope (which will be paid by the company sending me the junk mail), attach a note that says Please Recycle and place it in the mail box.

Every time someone sends me junk mail with a return envelope, it costs them 26 to 37 cents. I encourage everyone to do the same. If all 300 million of us did it, we could bankrupt the junkmail industry.

VPC Press Release

In a shocking move, the VPC and the Brady Center announced plans to lobby congress to pass a bill that bans children. Tom Diaz (VPC senior policy analyst) stated It was just the next logical step. We spend all of our time trying to get this or that banned willy-nilly in the name of the children. We decided it’d just be easier for everyone concerned if we just banned children.

In light of the recent string of litigation, studies, and statistics that conclude children are overwhelmingly the victims of everything from Battlestar Galactica action figures that shoot tiny plastic missiles and guns; to uncomfortable soccer shoes and Teletubbie induced insanity, Sarah Brady confirmed It’s about time we got to the heart of the issue, the children. If they weren’t around, we’d all have more fulfilling lives and some more free time. And frankly, we’re just tired of dealing with it. Plus, it’s tiresome being wrong all the time.

Do you realize what this means? Phil Jackson, vice president of games & puzzles for Mattel, asked excitedly We can start making lawn darts again! Jackson continued Everyone loves Jarts! Except seven year olds with particularly soft skulls.

The Motion Picture Association of America is opposed to the ban on children as it would put them all out of a job.

Nationwide, parents are expected to not even notice the battle in Washington until it’s too late. They’re collectively busy working long hours, reading about Ben and J-Lo, and scheduling play dates.



The United States would train and lead an international police force, bypassing traditional peacekeeping bodies such as the United Nations and NATO, under a proposal by the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

The plan, involving thousands of Americans permanently assigned to peacekeeping, would also be a major reversal by the Bush Administration, which has strongly opposed tying up its troops in such operations.

This is kind of scary.


My new URL has surpassed the old one, according to the ecosystem. But I am no longer a flappy bird.

Awaiting Part 3

Rich has a good two part series on the lie at the heart of liberalism. Part 1 and Part 2.

In the interest of full disclosure and to be fair and balanced, I wonder if he’ll do one on conservativism.

Insert Title Here

The teenage kids who shot into the interstate and killed one man will not be tried as adults. Good thing they’re not Snipers.

Two things about this situation are curious:

1) The police had the boys in custody for 24 hours before letting the public know, which could have lead to some sniper hysteria.

2) The police, to my knowledge, haven’t alluded to where the kids got the guns. I’m thinking from the parents and wonder if a case is being built against the parents or whoever may have let them have access to the guns.

Update: More here.

I was just starting to like him

Frist said he’d support an amendment banning gay marriages.

Slightly more troubling, however, is this statement:

“I have this fear that this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually — or I’m concerned about the potential for it gradually being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned,” Frist told ABC’s This Week.

“And I’m thinking of — whether it’s prostitution or illegal commercial drug activity in the home … to have the courts come in, in this zone of privacy, and begin to define it gives me some concern.”

So, the courts can’t define privacy? Apparently, it’s better left to the legislators according to Frist.

I think we see why the Republicans are losing the support of us libertarian whackos.

June 28, 2003

Arguing with the fringe

Over at Bubbaís, someone made the observation that while Clinton was in office, that unemployment decreased; and while Bush has been in office unemployment has risen. Of course, this observation was meant to credit Clinton with creating jobs (which is crap) and Bush with losing them (again, crap).

I donít think that the government can control the economy. If it could, weíd have no recessions or depressions. But we do. The government can slightly impact the economy by adding or removing certain barriers at its disposal, such as taxes, fines, subsidies and a limited number of other things. That is, in a nutshell, my position in this argument.

Barry B. makes the claim that when Clinton was in office, he was responsible for the phenomenal unemployment rate. I asked Barry to prove it. Obviously, he canít because it didnít happen. The overwhelming majority of jobs were created as a result of a technological revolution. The internet revolution and IT consulting employed a great number of people and stock prices rose and everyone was happy. Clinton was, of course, happy to be coincidentally occupying the office of the president about this time. If Clinton was the reason, why then did unemployment and the markets start tanking at the end of his tenure? Because the internet revolution and IT consulting went belly up and did so hard and fast. Therefore, he couldnít control it.

After asking Barry to prove it, Digby chimes in to tell me that my debate skills are minimal because all I did was tell Barry to prove me wrong.

My problem with this is that I donít have to prove that there is no cause and effect. But Barry has to support his contention of cause and effect to prove his point. Things coincidentally happen all the time without one being the cause of the other. Right now, I am typing at my computer. I am also drinking a beer. These two things just happen to be occurring at this moment almost completely without regard to one another. I therefore canít state drinking beer caused typing at my computer; nor that typing at my computer causes me to drink beer. I think for a scientific fact to be valid (if Iím recalling high school science correctly) that it must be absolutely proven. We call this positive assurance, which means something is proven to cause some other thing. Negative assurance is essentially stating that nothing has been brought to our attention that disproves what we think is the effect of this particular cause. This is the basis for theories, not facts.

Barry can (and does) theorize about the cause of employment but it is not a hard and fast fact. So, we will disagree until he proves that Clinton caused unemployment to significantly decrease. Regardless, the burden of proof is on him.

And no, I don’t think the current turnaround in the economy is attributable to Bush.

How ‘Bout Dat!

The straw poll at moveon is interesting. I think itís useless but it is interesting. Some problems with it: It should have just excluded the folks who really have absolutely no chance (Sharpton & Braun). Also, the votes in these types of things tend to be dominated by the fringes of the parties.

Dean was the most popular but he didnít get 51%. However, I donít think Dean can win the real thing. Sadly, I think it will be Lieberman or Kerry.

June 27, 2003

Well, duh!

Seems like Rachel Corrie’s untimely demise was no one’s fault but her own. Or perhaps her zeal.

Don’t get me wrong, her death was sad. But she’s not the martyr you’re looking for.

Frustrated Greenspan Proves Everybody Wrong

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan today announced that the Federal Rate would be lowered to negative 5%. In response to recent criticism that he was a one trick pony and the fact that he was running out of positive numbers, Greenspan decided that the best way to aid the economy was to totally change the rules since he couldn’t change algebra.

That’ll show those smarmy bastards! said Alan Greenspan, referring to positive numbers.

One effect of this change is that banks now pay you to borrow their money. And you pay the banks interest on your savings account. When asked if he thought that this change would devastate the banking industry and commercial securities market, Greenspan responded by flipping everyone off, downing two shots of Cuervo, and lighting a big fat spliff. He then stated: I haven’t really given it much thought. But surely you understand how powerful I am now!

The other effect of this change is that the stock market is expected to take off like a shot, since you can borrow money (at a profit) and invest it (hopefully at profit). That or your mattress is the best investment, no one is really sure.

In addition to this change, accountants around the world began using imaginary numbers in the computation of annuity payments and bond payment schedules.

What do you mean X2 equals negative one! It makes no sense said Bob from accounting, not realizing that math had been made up for a long time. At least, continued Bob we’re still using the decimal system and not binary.

Fuck! said Greenspan I didn’t think of changing the decimal system.

This reporter is off to close all his bank accounts and borrow as much as he can.

If you read one thing . . .

About affirmative action this week, make sure it’s this.

Snoop and Ted

An interesting piece on political hypocrisy. By using the same rationale that feds are using to investigate Snoop for arms violations, it seems Ted Kennedy is not allowed to own guns or have bodyguards. Oh wait, he’s a politician and therefore above the law.

Tax Dollars At Work

City officials in Mesa have mistakenly installed two bus shelters where no buses run.

The installation cost $32,000 at a time when the city is cutting its public transit budget to save money.

Wondered when that would happen

Looks like some teachers could be carrying guns to school. If this wasn’t Utah, I’d comment about how at least they could shoot back now.

Do Not Call List Update

In a follow up to this post, local regulators say no to the feds request for a list of Tennessee’s 850,000 no call subscribers.

Update: Kathy has more on how to sign up.

June 26, 2003

How ’bout them tax cuts

Just noticed my first check at my new tax rate. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that extra $8. Only benefits the rich, my ass.

Blogger Bash

The bash was last night. Smallest turnout I’ve been to. Myself, Rich, Les and Chris showed up eager for some entertaining conversation. The smaller crowd was nice because you could talk to everyone there but still I missed seeing the regulars. I think weeknights are bad for folks as evidenced by the small crowd. But any excuse to toss back a Guinness (or three). And the fact it’s summer may limit weekends as well.

Seeing Rich again is always a pleasure. Chris was a super nice guy who appreciated my adult beverage choice. And Les showed up wearing an I’m Blogging This T-Shirt. We talked about Canada, strip clubs, dogs (I talk about my dogs too much), new bloggers in town, and the status of the RTB.

Some specifics:

We pondered if the epic struggle of good and evil, played out by Bill Hobbs and SK Bubba (not necessarily respectively), was an intentional ploy to draw traffic; or if those two were just ornery; or if perhaps they had a slight affection for each other.

We also pondered why Bubba (an ordinarily mild mannered liberal) has been so quick to ire lately. We wondered if he was catering to lefty lunacy to increase traffic, which is apparently very popular these days. We decided instead that it may have coincided with a specific event.

We also discussed the difficulty in getting Instapundit’s attention these days. And we discussed the current quality of his posts. Until recently, Insty would post a link to something, then a quote or relevant fact about the topic, and then some of his insightful commentary.

Now, all he seems to post are links to other people’s insightful commentary followed by an Indeed or the slightly less frequent Heh. Is he burnt out? Busy? Enquiring minds want to know.

Les also proposed the idea of having RTB day at the range. Come one, come all. Bring your family and your guns. Could be fun or deadly.

It was a good time. I hope more (and especially some of the newer members) make it next time.

Buzzwords going too far

This is awful but not every whacko who shoots someone is a sniper.

Poor Dean

I don’t like him because he supports the AW ban renewal. Anti gun groups don’t like him because he’s not a true gun control candidate.

Even Letterman is making fun of him.

But they don’t have any

Nuclear materials found in an Iraqi man’s backyard.

“This shows how hard a job it will be to find stuff when it’s under people’s rose bushes,” the U.S. official added

June 25, 2003

One Trick Pony

Alan Fucking Greenspan and company announced an interest rate cut to 1%. Is this all he can do? Back in the 90s boom, he was cutting interest rates. Now that the economy is supposedly going to hell in a hand basket (gratuitous sarcasm), he’s doing the same thing.

Seems to me lowering rates in times of plenty encourages people to purchase things while discouraging interest rate based investments (bonds and such). This would serve to promote investing in the stock market, I would think but I’m no economist.

It is widely believed Greenspan wasn’t a fan of the stock market boom in the 90s (and rightly so since it tanked hard and fast) because it was overvalued. But why did he lower rates? To encourage spending or discourage other low risk, low return investments. It seems the actions don’t fit the motives. And he’s doing the same thing now when the economy is not as good. And by not good, I mean the stock market is no longer overvalued.

Kind of curious to me.

The Grind

After a long hard day at the office of shifting paradigms and leveraging resources for value-added catalysts for change, it’s nice to know that Deloitte Consulting can help me make sense of it all.

It’s also nice to know that I can immediately insert jargon back into my work.

The War On Cough Medicine

Missouri is limiting the amount of cold medicine you can purchase in an effort to thwart production of methamphetamines.

Should I remind everyone that Drugs are currently winning The War on Drugs.

Internet Gambling

Caribbean nations say that US prevention of internet gambling violates World Trade Organization rules.

Have a blog? Lose your job?

Moxie had a blog. Moxie wasn’t some other Moxie. They had a little spat over who the real Moxie was. Someone faxed Moxie’s employer a nastygram stating that they wouldn’t do business with someone who employed the likes of Moxie.

Now, I hope people understand why some of us bloggers remain anonymous.

In the interest of full disclosure

In response to my post on NPR, Bjorn writes:

NPR affiliates are only partially funded by government, and many, including our own here in Knopatch, are actively seeking to get rid of all government funding. Knoxville’s NPR affiliate is hardly funded at all right now by the University. The station is almost entirely listener supported.

All NPR/PRI programming is purchased at the local level through funds raised by the stations. If a show is not popular, the station has the choice to remove it and play something else. So what you hear on a local station is not really being spoon-fed from the national level.

A good example of an independent station is WDVX, Knoxville’s world-famous bluegrass/Americana station. They can do whatever they want.

NPR stations do tend to attract the more intelligent/affluent listeners because of their programming and musical selections. Those people have a lot of money to give, and do so. Those people also like the quiet DJ who can properly pronounce all the German/Russian/whatever names too.

Anyway, many NPR affiliates survive with ZERO government funding. Our local station is working towards that at this very moment. It is important to realize that the local stations are not sanctioned by nor are they controlled by NPR. These stations simply broadcast selected NPR/PRI shows that listeners pay for.

I have to say that I applaud such an effort and if that effort comes to fruition, I would listen to the programs.

June 24, 2003

Welcome to the RTB

The RTB welcomes Sick of Bush and Democratic Veteran.


The Rearend Jesse Jackson

Black protestors turn out to protest Jesse Jackson.

Jesse wasn’t there, he was too busy running his two Anheiser Busch distributorships that he blackmailed and extorted from the man, err, earned fairly and squarely.

Ornery Geese

Six biologists and technicians with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Division spent the morning herding gaggles of geese into pens at Greenbelt Bicentennial Park for relocation to areas adjacent to Kentucky Lake in West Tennessee.

Me and the Mrs. were there last weekend and there were literally hundreds of geese and ducks. Geese are fairly unpleasant animals. Every year (twice per year), there is a group of 3 – 4 geese that settle in my subdivision for a couple of weeks to take a break from migrating.

Geese are not very smart. I have a seventy pound bull dog. You would think that when such a dog was near the geese that the geese would lay low and keep it quiet (like rabbits) so as not to draw the dog’s attention. This is not the case. I would take pupster for a walk and the geese would come out, start strutting around with their wings extended, and honking. They were trying to intimidate me and my pooch so that we would leave their property. Don’t they realize I pay a mortgage and it’s my property? They were safe because pupster was on a leash. This went on for about four days. One day, I’d had enough of these uppity geese. I looked around and none of my neighbors were out and I knew pupster wouldn’t catch them (the can fly, you know, or so I thought). So, I unhooked pupster’s leash and off he went in full geese catching mode.

Pupster chased the geese for a good hundred yards. Did I mention that geese aren’t real smart? The geese flew away from pupster while staying relatively close to the ground (maybe three or so feet). Apparently, they forget that they can fly upwards when they are stressed. As pupster was closing in on the flying geese, they finally remembered Oh yeah, flying is three dimensional. We can go up! Pupster didn’t catch them, which is good because I’d hate to violate some arbitrary federal migratory bird law. Yet, those geese (who did return two days later) weren’t so vocal the next time we went for a walk. Lesson learned.

Instead of USDA agents, maybe the feds should just ask to borrow pupster.