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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Life in Socialist America

(This post approved by the Politiburo)

Today I drove to work in my privately owned vehicle to my publicly owned for-profit company, put in a day’s honest work, for which I will be generously compensated with actual money (not just food and shelter), and when I get my check, I’ll be free to buy whatever I want with it.

No one has knocked on the door of my privately owned home to demand I join the Party.

No one has arrested me because I said something they didn’t like.

There is no gulag to be sent to for offending the Great Leader.

In other words...we ain't socialist yet!

Friday Night Cinema

I've been working alone tonight and after watching the Nuggets lose, I put some flicks on in the background.

Apocalypto, which I think is one of my favorite movies of all time, Dune which is my favorite David Lynch movie, and Barry Lyndon, which is less a movie than a work of art.

Literally, like a moving painting.

Free Market Done Right

Peer Bearing may have started a trend. Witness:
[Boulder's] FreeWave [Technologies] is sharing $9 million of investors' money with its fewer than 100 employees as a reward for the company's success.

Shares are divvied up based on individual performance, but average more than $90,000 apiece.
I love it. More please.

Sad truth in this world: If the wealth were more equally shared, it wouldn't have to be redistributed.

Part of the Round-Up

Somehow I got linked on this page, which is cool, I guess. I mean, I'm not trying to build a media empire or become a player in the pundit world, but it's nice to know that my post had enough merit to be included in a round-up.

Even cooler, this was in the comments:
Unfortunately, the last quote is the most poignant one: “Why work for the government? Because they’re hiring…”
Comment by ArmedPorkypine — March 6, 2009 @ 7:21 pm
I think that's the first time something I've said has been described as "poignant."

Quote of the Day

From Bill Maher:
How stupid is it when people say, "Oh yeah, that's all we need...the federal government telling Detroit how to make cars or Wells Fargo to run a bank. You want them to look like the post office?" Yeah, actually. I mean...you mean the place that takes a note in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in New Jersey on Wednesday for 42 cents. Let me be the first the say, I would be thrilled if America's healthcare system was anywhere near as functional as the post office. Truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government doing the opposite--of stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it is plainly to greedy to trust with, like Wall Street, like rebuilding Iraq...
Runner-up quote of the day:
The stimulus package was attacked as typical tax and spend, you know, like repairing bridges is left-wing stuff. "There the liberals go again, always wanting to get across the river."

Friday, March 06, 2009

John Galt - Good Riddance

You want to laugh? Follow this link.

Dr Helen, aka the Instawife, asks
"Are you “going John Galt” and reducing your productivity by choice, or removing yourself from the economy all together, because of the Obama Administration’s economic and tax plans?"
John Galt, you might remember, is the titan of industry that withdrew from the world to teach us all a lesson in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.

Apparently she found some takers in the comments, and wow...they're bright folks.

Parabellum says:
I am, but there’s no way I’ll be on a video on the internet explaining how I’m dodging federal taxes.
There's a dude with the courage of his convictions! And now that he mentions it, I wonder if Parabellum is Tom Daschle's pseudonym...

And then there's Janet, who wrote:
I am going Galt. I have resigned from my job in order to deliberately lower my income as far as possible and am moving out of the country to wait things out. I am squarely in the crosshairs of the inevitable confiscatory taxes he supports and refuse to work even harder so that some welfare-dependent crack addict can buy a new flat screen television.
I'm literally reeling from the stupidity.

A) A crack addict welfare queen can't afford a new flat screen television. I have a well-paying job, am not addicted to crack, and even I can't afford a new flat screen television.

B) About Obama's "confiscatory taxes." Under his plan, the rate for the top bracket is going up by a whole 4.6%, from 35% to 39.6%, which is what it was during the Clinton boom years. And here's the funny thing: All Obama has to do to "raise taxes" is sit on his thumb and let the Bush tax cuts expire. Yeah, Janet, betcha didn't know Bush wrote an end date into his tax cuts, did ya? Well he did. He just hoped his Republican successor would renew them, which is a great plan...if you have a Republican successor. Besides, at what point in that 4.6% increase does it go from "acceptable" to "confiscatory?"

C) And then there's this: "I have resigned from my job in order to deliberately lower my income as far as possible..." Oh, what a noble fool you are! And what a luxury to make this decision of your own volition. I know several folks who had this decision made for them...when they got laid the fuck off.

D) But this part is great: "...am moving out of the country to wait things out." Good riddance!

But that's not all. Here's Delia, saying:
I’m going ‘Plain Jane Galt’. We’re not going to make any more many than we need to just survive on which means we will be living wellllll below the high income tax bracket.

Why work for the government?! WHY? No point in it. NO incentive whatsoever.
Delia, do you understand how tax brackets work? It's simple: income past a certain point will be taxed at a higher rate.

Say the top bracket is $250,000 and you make $250,001. You're only going to be paying the higher rate on a dollar. A whole fucking dollar!

As to this nonsense, "Why work for the government?! WHY? No point in it. NO incentive whatsoever."

Why work for the government? Because they're hiring...

Plus...remember this?
In public-sector America things just get better and better. The common presumption is that public servants forgo high wages in exchange for safe jobs and benefits. The reality is they get all three. State and local government workers get paid an average of $25.30 an hour, which is 33% higher than the private sector’s $19, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Throw in pensions and other benefits and the gap widens to 42%.
I found that on Instapundit's blog.

Ignorant idealogical fools.

Rachel Maddow

I don't want to slam Rachel Maddow too hard...but there's something about her that really bugs me.

Here's Rachel on her show.
Here's Rachel on every other show (in these photos, Jay Leno and the View).


Notice anything?

The Rachel Maddow on her show is a de-butched make-up wearing femme in a pantsuit.

But anywhere else...pure unadulterated butch!

And while I know the butchy frat boy Rachel is her true persona, and the pantsuited femmebot is an affect, it still bothers me. I can't slam Rachel too hard, because I don't think this is something that she suggested. But it bothers me that the viewing public is only comfortable with an out-of-the-closet unapologetic lesbian having a TV show if -and only if- she's been feminized.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Court

And I was worried about jailtime...

They dropped the suspended license charge completely and reduced the "driving in the passing lane" charge to "operating a vehicle with a damaged headlight."

My fine? $35 plus $16 in court costs and $4 in fees.

But when I went to the cashier to pay, they only asked for $47. Maybe I've been doing math wrong all these years, but I'm pretty sure 35 + 16 + 4 does not equal 47... Not that I'm going to quibble.

I'll take it.

Swiss Bank Accounts' (Days) Are Numbered

Here's 47,000 people who don't need a tax cut.
WASHINGTON - UBS AG now says it had about 47,000 accounts held by Americans who didn’t pay U.S. taxes on their assets, but Switzerland’s biggest bank isn’t providing the names of any more of them to the U.S. government.
Guess how many welfare mothers and illegal aliens have Swiss bank accounts or off-shore tax shelters?

Not...very...many.

But clearly, it's the welfare mothers and illegal aliens we should be mad at.

Quote of the Day II

"So all you dumbass homeowners out there who let your optimism and bad judgement blind you into accepting money that was offered to you from banks, educate yourself."

-Jon Stewart

Court

Today I find out if I go to jail or not.

Here's hoping the DA wants to play "Let's Make a Deal" and not "Hardball."

Betting Against America

Leave it to a guy named Dick Spotswood to make the quote of the day:
Only if Obama and the Demos don't succeed in restarting the economy will Republicans have a shot at getting back in power in 2012 or 2016. Their strategy is effectively a bet against America and that's always dangerous. Most who made that wager in the past have lost.
And these same guys tried to beat Obama with a slogan of "Country First."

Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann: Two Peas in a Pod

Ross Douthat compares Rush Limbaugh to Keith Olbermann, putting into perspective how weird it is for the entire right-wing movement to rally to Rush's defense.
Just imagine, for a moment, how conservatives would react if four months after the worst defeat liberalism had suffered in a generation, an Olbermann (or a Moyers or a Michael Moore or a Bill Maher or whomever) showed up to deliver the keynote address at a liberal equivalent of CPAC, and during the course of his speech he blasted every Democrat who disagrees with him as a miserable sell-out, suggested that conservatives are fascists and conservatism a psychosis, lectured the crowd on the irrelevance of policy ideas to liberalism's political prospects, and insisted that the only blueprint liberals need to win elections is the one that Lyndon Johnson used to rout Barry Goldwater. And then further imagine that both before and after this speech, a series of left-of-center politicians ventured criticisms of Olbermann, only to beat a hasty and apologetic retreat as soon as he turned his fire on them. Conservatives would be chortling - and rightly so! Not because liberalism needs to purge or marginalize its Keith Olbermanns, or because impassioned liberal entertainers don't have a place in left-of-center discourse - but because when your political persuasion faces a leadership vacuum, you don't want to have it filled by someone who appeals to an impassioned but narrow range of voters, and whose central incentive is to maximize his own ratings.
Spoken like a true conservative.

Which brings me to something SeanH wrote:
I think we just may be seeing a party dying before our very eyes-at least as we know it. The Republican Party’s entire economic philosophy has been shown to be, for lack of a better word, wrong. The concept of supply side economics and trickle down that they have clung to since Reagan started the bankrupting of America has been definitively shown to NOT FRIGGIN WORK. Contrary to their claims, doing everything they could to benefit the wealthy has not helped the middle class at all. Right now the Republicans have nothing to offer except obstruction
Having his own economic philosophy already proved a failure by events, it kind of puts Rush's desire for Obama to fail in perspective.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

W

Oliver Stone's valentine to George W. Bush, W, was, as I expected, dreadful. Like even the crappiest movie, it has its moments but as I watched it, I realized that this movie suffers from the same issues that doomed Alexander: a rambling, plotless biographical study about a powerful guy with major daddy issues.

And sadly, the movie is a bundle of mistakes: Mistaking research for insight, or a non-linear structure for a story, and worse, mistaking caricature as character.

The performances:

Josh Brolin's George W. Bush seems to be based more on Will Ferrill's SNL impression of Bush than on Bush himself. He crinkles his brow, juts out his chin, but his dialogue is little more than a list of out-of-context Bushisms. (Scott Glenn's Rumsfeld gets the same treatment. It's almost as if Stone took a list of Bushisms/Rumsfeldisms and plugged them into the screenplay almost at random.)

Most of the actors should be embarassed, Thandie Newton probably more than most. Her Condi Rice impression is horrible, the expression on her face painful to look at, the affect of her voice painful to listen to. It's baaaaad.

Some of the other actors fared better, most notably Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney. They don't resemble each other, Dreyfuss being smaller than Cheney, but there are times when Dreyfuss has Cheney's deep rumble of a voice down.

Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell wasn't very Powell-like, but at least he seemed intent on actually creating a character as opposed to a half-assed impression. (I'm biased, of course. In my book, Jeffrey Wright is one of the best character actors working today.)

And Toby Peters does a good job as Karl Rove, although I think Stone severely missed the mark in his characterization. Maybe Rove really is a wonderstruck fanboy who latches onto Bush because he wants to, in effect, be Bush. But does that sound like the Karl Rove you know? Of course not.

And that's really the problem with W. Thandie Newton didn't ruin it with her god-awful portrayal of Condi Rice. Brolin didn't ruin it by giving generic Bushisms poor line-readings.

Olive Stone ruined it when he wrote the script.

Doh!

David Frum tackles Rush Limbaugh:
On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party.
Yeah, the contrast really is that stark.

Sorry, Rush

It's time to get on the latest bandwagon. And no, I'm not talking about Twitter. I'm talking about apologizing to Rush Limbaugh.

Another Counter-factual from Glenn Reynolds

Listening to Glenn Reynolds complain about newspapers not covering his pet Tea Party Protest project is kind of like listening to Ward Churchill complain about newspapers not covering his Columbus Day protests.

They're both professors. (Well, Churchill used to be, anyway.) They're both fringe idealogues who sneer at the mainstream.

Just listen to the whining.
The Tribune covered the anti-protest smear, but didn’t cover the protest itself, leaving that to blogs, etc. And we’re supposed to cry for the disappearance of newspapers? Maybe if they actually did what they claim they do, people would miss them more when they were gone.
Duuuuuude.

Newspapers are dying not because they (rightly) ignore fringe bellyachers, but because people are going to Instapundit for their news rather than, say, Scripps newspapers, because they go to Craigslist for classifieds, and ads just aren't as lucrative as they used to be. Right?

In fact, most of the people lamenting the death of newspapers are lamenting the lack of indpendent reporting. Here's an example. Choice bit: "If newspapers die, so does reporting. That's because the majority of reporting originates at newspapers. Online journalism is essentially parasitic."

Got that, Glenn? Essentially parasitic. Aside from his "There's a sale at Amazon" posts, this describes Glenn Reynolds's blog to a T. Essentially parasitic.

So keep on being the best sales agent Amazon ever had, Glenn, and leave the reporting to the professionals.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Funny Dude

It wouldn't be fair to call Danny McBride a redneck, because his mullet no doubt keeps his neck as white as his asscheeks, but he possesses enough of the ignorant South to own the label. It's not just the accent, but the attitude. You might have seen his supporting turns in Tropic Thunder or Pineapple Express, but he's got a show on HBO now, East Bound and Down, and he also starred in a little-seen Netflix-worthy movie called The Foot Fist Way. Check em out.

My Piece of the Rock

It looks like I was home when the Google Street Views van rolled by.