Friday, March 29, 2013

An apples to meatloaf comparison

Apparently comparing crime statistics in the US and the UK is like comparing apples to meatloaf! This is primarily due to the fact that the UK doesn't record a dead body as a murder unless there is a conviction of the perpetrator - and he/she has exhausted all of their appeals.   So in fact the UK artificially lowers their crime statistics.
I had no idea the difference in how the data is recorded was so stark, but now we have even more clear evidence that the gun controls in the UK have not reduced homicide.

Monday, March 25, 2013

This is why we can't have nice things!

Stupid, stupid, stupid Californians and their sneaky oligarchs wasting all of the tax money.
An administrator in Alameda County, Calif., which includes Berkeley and Oakland, has been rewarded with more than $400,000 a year for the rest of her life.

A new Cyprus money grab deal in the works

I love how they say senior bondholders will contribute to the bank bailout.  Contribute sounds much nicer than confiscate!
The revised accord spares bank accounts below the insured limit of 100,000 euros. It imposes losses that two EU officials said would be no more than 40 percent on uninsured depositors at Bank of Cyprus Plc, the largest bank, which will take over the viable assets of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the second biggest.
Cyprus Popular Bank, 84 percent owned by the government, will be wound down. Those who will be largely wiped out include uninsured depositors and bondholders, including senior creditors. Senior bondholders will also contribute to the recapitalization of Bank of Cyprus.
Gloss over the 40% confiscation of savings and the fact that everyone who has invested in the government will be wiped out, and call them contributors instead.  Just doing your civic duty eh, citizen?  But don't worry, it can't happen here.  haha. 

Chicana Lesbian Literature! Sounds useful.

The Captain is going to love this.
University of California students needing a quick music course to fill out their credit requirements for graduation have an option this summer: Take the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Perspectives in Pop Music” class. 
Campus Reform reports that class is a weekly “survey of English-language popular music in the 20th century, with focus on lesbians, gay men and members of other sexual minorities as creators, performers and audience members.” The cost of the course: It’s $1,395 for U.C. students and $2,085 for non-U.C. students, and at least 55 have already signed up, Campus Reform reports. 
It’s part of the UCLA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Department, which has already offered classes like, “Chicana Lesbian Literature,” and “Psychology of the Lesbian Experience,” Campus Reform reports. 
The LGBT agenda isn’t confined to California schools. 
The University of Tennessee is going to spend $20,000 from a student fund on a “sex week” that will include a “Golden Condom Scavenger Hunt” as well as an “interactive workshop … [from] lesbian Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism expert” Sinclair Sexsmith, Campus Reform reports.
The sex week starts on April 7.
Chicana Lesbian Literature sure sounds useful in the real world.  Good luck kiddos. Don't forget to thank your parents for paying taxes to fund this crap.  Illegal aliens should also pause to thank a citizen for subsidizing their education.  Lord knows more people should read stories written by Chicano Lesbians.  Good to know you'll all be well rounded when you come out of school with $100,000 in debt.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Freedom itself is an act of rebellion

The Cyprus government's savings confiscation plan failed, good for them!  Still, the world increasingly makes me ponder this quote and the message in the Captain's book.
Instead of working hard, producing a lot, and saving, only to have the government simply confiscate your money, you can rebel - you can go Galt, and you won't be the only one.  Go Galt and read Thomas Paine, and maybe we'll shape up enough to restore the republic.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. - Thomas Paine, The Crisis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ACA Tax Increases Are Double Original Estimate

Yeah, that's right, the latest estimates indicate the ACA will cost over $1 Trillion.

Update 3/15:
Brazil's universal healthcare system demonstrates yet another problem with centralized medicine - corruption.
Update 4/17:
Well, well, well.  Trying to win re-election by attacking the law he helped write?  Sounds like a politician.
A senior Democratic senator who helped write President Barack Obama's health care law stunned administration officials Wednesday, saying openly he thinks it's headed for a "train wreck" because of bumbling implementation.

"I just see a huge train wreck coming down," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told Obama's health care chief during a routine budget hearing that suddenly turned tense.

Baucus is the first top Democrat to publicly voice fears about the rollout of the new health care law, designed to bring coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans through a mix of government programs and tax credits for private insurance that start next year. Polls show the public remains confused by the complexity of the law, and even many uninsured people are skeptical that they will be helped.

Nearly 80 percent of NYC high school graduates functionally illiterate

I think Mayor Bloomberg has other things to worry about than banning large sodas.
It’s an education bombshell.

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.

The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.
The public education system has been mocked for years, hell, for decades, due to it's poor performance.  My personal experience backed up the mockery perfectly - when I went to the university after graduating from high school, I was surprised at how little my fellows knew about anything, even something as simple as how many centimeters comprised a meter.  Politicians are constantly trying to reform it, and schools are constantly complaining about funding.  But funding per student has risen to triple - adjusted for inflation - what it was in the early 1960s. 
Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly “reforming” their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they’re always busy “reforming” is an implicit admission that they didn’t get it right the first 50 times. - Lawrence W. Reed
Of course, if the reform is just smoke and mirrors, you're left with the conclusion that the dumbing down of your children (and future voters) is intentional.  Why could they possibly want stupid voters?  Could it be that ignorance leads to easily manipulated elections?
In October 2008, a few weeks before the elections, national polls indicated that “We The Voters” gave our Congress a 10% to 15% job approval rating. Then, in November “We The Voters” went to the polls and re-elected 95% of them right back into office. In any other (non-government) organization in the world an across-the-board 10% job approval rating would likely result in 95% of the group being demoted or fired. But in the U.S. Congress 10% approval equals 95% re-elected...

But hey, as long as everyone is happy I guess it's OK right?  Don't go and put reality between me and Snooki.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The state of man?

I saw a young man at the market today. He was decked out in black flannel, black leather, black jeans, black shoes, he had black hair and a black beard, and he wore earrings. His pants were skinny girl jeans - tight, black girl jeans. He had his feet slipped into black girls slippers with little brass studs (spikes) all over them, and and his black flannel shirt was untucked and covered by a tight leather biker jacket, zipped all the way up.

If this is the state of man, I fear for the species.

Fashion can be an incredibly seductive thing, and this quote comes to mind whenever I am baffled by the trends that we will follow religiously: “Fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.” Suffice to say I was not surprised when my vey macho, muscular teenaged son bought his first pair of skinny jeans. Then it seems that was all he wore, along with most of his friends and peers. Baggy [Unlink] was out and slim fit was decidedly in. 
Now fashionistas have taken it up a notch—or should I say down? Meet the latest in men’s wear: ”Meggings .” Men in tights have certainly arrived, as leggings for the male trendsetter is all the rage in Cosmopolitan cities like New York. If you happened to see ABC’s "Good Morning America" on Friday in New York City, models and even some of the GMA male crew were sporting a pair of tights.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Battle for Athens

If you've never heard of it, the Battle for Athens was an uprising in Athens, Tennessee carried out by WWII veterans that had enough of corrupt politicians, and used their 2nd Amendment rights to take back the political process from them.  Read more here.

On this subject, I just bought this book, and I am really looking forward to reading it:

Battle for Athens
This poetry collection describes the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, which unraveled between August 1st and 2nd, 1946. When three thousand World War II veterans came back to their homes in McMinn County, they discovered an incredibly corrupt and oppressive government that engaged in false arrests, bribery, extortion and a long list of other crimes. The ex-G.I.s put together an all-G.I. ticket in the town elections for Sheriff and other major town offices. Over the course of the day, Senator Cantrell and Sheriff Mansfield, the corrupted opposing party, engaged in election fraud that went so far as to shoot Tom, a black farmer, for voting against them. In response, the veterans acquired guns and mounted an offensive that led to a stand-off at the jail house. The veterans in Athens won their right to a fair election with the use of deadly force. This collection closely follows archival evidence, and includes several poems about related philosophical and political concerns. It is a fascinating read for students of American history, as well as those who enjoy political poetry.
There are only a couple of reviews, but read this one:
In the long tradition of narrative poetry, this work will stand out as a worthy addition. The story is clear: In Athens, Tennessee, in 1946, having fought long and hard in World War II, American GIs found themselves once again in battle, this time at home, fighting against political corruption and election fraud. The triumphant part of this story is that in Athens, the veterans succeeded in establishing a fair election. In other cities across the nation, this was not the case.

Writing historical narrative poetry requires a challenging combination of dispassion in the story telling and passion in the stance that the story takes. Faktorovich achieves both. Each poem can be read as a unique element; together, they create the full story and indict the power that corrupts. Further, Faktorovich implies a strong analogy to the processes in which we engage today, questioning our country's motives and encouraging the reader to think.

Poetically, this work is dense, telling in carefully crafted and pithy sentences the story and its implications. Historical black and white photographs enhance the poetry with images of the time, but the most memorable are those with close-ups of people where the reader can see the intensity in their faces. The combination of poetry and image presents a stark and unvarnished view of this story and forces the reader to think long and hard about where we have been and where we are going.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Police State, no bullshit.

A short collection of links that will get you caught up on some of the latest moves:

DHS has it's own expanding drone fleet for homeland use.  Don't worry, they've promised they will only fly the drones over the border.  Of course, the Supreme Court says you have no standing to contest the NSA domestic spying programs, so that doesn't really matter.  To round out their status as the civilian paramilitary group desired by Obama, they've also purchased a few cute recreational vehicles to handle the maintenance of the police state

I believe I've talked about this before.

The ACLU is also talking about the militarization of our police and the Constitution free zone.

American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. On March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 23 states filed over 255 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments. Stay tuned as this project develops.