Monday, September 29, 2008
Matchbox Bus Soap - when I was a kid I got a red Matchbox Bus made out of French milled soap in my Christmas stocking. The thing lasted for weeks and was probably the first time I noticed that not all soaps are equal.
Pears Glycerine Soap - I love the way this stuff smells. It doesn't last as long as a French milled bar but you can wash your hair with it, which makes this a must a have in your shaving kit when travelling.
The Soap in Men's Lavatory at The Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Fitchburg State College - When I was in the Air Force I would hang out and read at the Library at Fitchburg State College. They had nice clean restrooms with this nifty smelling liquid soap in the white plastic dispensers with the chromium steel spring valves on the bottom. Sometimes it's the little pleasantries in life that are most memorable, like a surprisingly pleasant public lavatory.
Bronnley Soaps - This is it boys, the real deal. What a 1968 Glendronach Single Malt is to a Chivas cow piss, Bronnley soaps are to what you are probably using. Pricey, but they last for weeks on end and well worth every penny. My favorite is Sage, which they don't make any more so try the Lavender or the English Fern.
Spanish Black Soap - Maybe too heady for some, but I like it. The best thing about this stuff is that after showering with it when you wet your skin again, either through sweating, rain, swimming, whatever, you get a faint whiff of it.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
A Conservative Case for the Paulson Plan
By Robert T. Miller
As I write late on Thursday evening, some conservative Republican senators and representatives are opposing the Paulson bailout plan because they think that the government should not intervene in the market—that it is better to let financial institutions that took risks that turned out badly for them bear the consequences of their actions. As one of the freest of free marketeers, I want to explain why that thinking is wrong-headed.
Read the whole thing.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
from Dafydd ab Hugh:
from the WSJ:
from the American Enterprise Institute:
The Cascading Financial Crisis: A Review of Work from the American Enterprise Institute
How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis
Blame Fannie Mae and Congress for the Credit Mess
Resistance Is Futile
Crisis Intervention in Housing Finance
and this from Francis Cianfrocca:
(still working my way thru Big Lizard's post and the AEI posts)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I challenge you to listen to the whole thing. My gag reflex kicked in right about the time she started with the whole air guitar thing - those legs, those gangly, school marm legs clad in white polyester. I may need therapy to recover from this.
Jonathan Kay, National Post Published: Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Read the whole thing.
Jerry Seinfeld: Hello? Who is this? Donna Chang? Oh, I'm sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number.
Elaine: Benes Donna Chang?
Jerry: Should have talked to her. I love Chinese women.
Elaine: Isn't that a little racist?
Jerry: If I like their race, how can that be racist?
-- Seinfeld Episode #90, The Chinese Woman, Oct. 13, 1994.
Great question, Jerry. And I know exactly the guy who can answer it: Pierre Deschamps. On Friday, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (HRT) adjudicator became the first jurist in recorded human history to convict someone of racial discrimination for praising visible minorities.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
A single farm, raising 140,000 head of cattle, can produce 1.6 tons of manure every year, more than is produced by Houston, Texas.1.6 tons of manure every year? 1.6 tons is barely a single Harry Reid press conference! If you're going to engage in fear mongering, at least try to get the facts close to straight. My guess is they meant to say 1.6 million tons of manure or the entire DNC output in 2008.
There was additional reason to celebrate. The Sox' clinch party came at the expense of the Yankees - who had been in the playoffs 13 consecutive seasons.
Late September and October in New England is pretty much the most compelling reason to live here. Warm, dry days, cool nights each a little longer than the one before. The maple and the oak slip a little each day into their gaudy autumn colors.
Lately we've come to expect the Sox to make the post season and this year is no different. I hope they do well. If they don't, I wish those pesky upstarts from Tampa well and rejoice at the ignominy of the failed Yankee season.
Monday, September 22, 2008
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's running mate says a campaign ad that mocked Republican presidential candidate John McCain as an out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate was "terrible" and would not have been done had he known about it.A decent sentiment, if a little late. Is this evidence of latent character in the Obama camp or just another example of Biden being Biden?
So I move to the next bench, "outta reach" of the chestnut tree -- and the intentional civilian bombings ceased.
BOSTON - University of Massachusetts officials on Monday quashed efforts by an Amherst campus chaplain to offer two college credits to any student willing to campaign in New Hampshire this fall for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.I wonder if you could get two credits for campaigning for John McCain, if not then Kent Higgins should be shit canned.
Chaplain Kent Higgins told students in a Sept. 18 e-mail, "If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with (Republican candidate John) McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day."
Last night a friend sent me an email suggesting that much of the blame can be traced to the repeal of Glass-Steagal but that doesn't really make sense. (The bill repealing Glass-Steagal is called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.)
Glass-Steagal put a wall between commercial banks like Bank of America and investment banks like Merril-Lynch. Of course Bank of America just came to Merril-Lynch's rescue, which is to say: the repeal of Glass Steagal, at least in this instance, kept the problem from getting a lot worse.
Here's Megan McCardle on Gramm-Leach-Bliley:
"GLB had nothing to do with either lending standards at commercial banks, or leverage ratios at broker-dealers, the two most plausible candidates for regulatory failure here.So if GLB didn't cause this mess, what did?
Most importantly, commercial banks are not the main problems. If Glass-Steagall's repeal had meaningfully contributed to this crisis, we should see the failures concentrated among megabanks where speculation put deposits at risk. Instead we see the exact opposite: the failures are among either commercial banks with no significant investment arm (Washington Mutual, Countrywide), or standalone investment banks. It is the diversified financial institutions that are riding to the rescue."
Here are some more articles by other super smart people that helped me understand how we got here and what the next move or series of moves should be:
How Washington Failed to Rein In Fannie, Freddie
Rein In Fannie, Freddie? Not Dodd
A Bad Bank Rescue
Explaining the root causes of the crisis.
That last link was via Baseball Crank who has a post which collects the recent articles by Francis Cianfrocca, a regular contributer over at Red State. Every one of his posts is worth your time.
Boiling it all down, in the banks that have failed there was way, way, way too much leverage. Using borrowed money is a real easy way to make money when the markets are moving in your direction. It's an even easier way to be wiped out when the markets move against you. Bank of America's capital ratios are estimated to be about 10-1. Merril-Lynch's were at least 30-1.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
From over on starboard side, Nicholas Provenzo of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism is “troubled” by the implications of Gov. Sarah Palin’s “decision to knowingly give birth to a child disabled with Down syndrome.” He thinks “it is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)—a freedom that anti-abortion advocates seek to deny.” Here’s his line of thinking:
A parent has a moral obligation to provide for his or her children until these children are equipped to provide for themselves. Because a person afflicted with Down Syndrome is only capable of being marginally productive (if at all) and requires constant care and supervision, unless a parent enjoys the wealth to provide for the lifetime of assistance that their child will require, they are essentially stranding the cost of their child’s life upon others.
In short Provenzo looks at a Downs Syndrome child, does the math and concludes the child isn't worth it. If we are only a collection of clever tubes and chemical processes, maybe he's right. But I believe he's wrong. If human dignity has any meaning at all it starts with the assumption that all humans have the same rights as every other, specifically the right to life.
Over on the left Paul Ehrlich thinks large families are immoral:
I believe it is immoral and should be illegal for people to have very large numbers of children because they are then co-opting for themselves and their children resources that should be spread elsewhere in the world. You only get a chance to get your fair share.
What is a large family?
The issue is: What is the political position to take? In a country like the United States, we should stop at two. But if you had an ideal situation, you might have a lot of people who have no children at all, and some people who have as many as three or four because they happen to be particularly good parents, and are going to raise their children very well.
At the risk of seeming anti academic, these two schools of thought are exactly why academics should be kept as far away from positions of actual authority as possible. Provenzo and Ehrlich look at the problems facing the world, study them and apply their considerable talents to addressing them then subsequently come up with the exact wrong solution. I assert that their solutions rather than creating a pleasant Utopia, would create hell on earth. Where were these guys in eight grade when they showed the film strips about the last time some academics did the math and came up with the Final Solution?
Start with and preserve always the concept of equal protection before the law and you can never go too far wrong. Start with the presumption that some people are more deserving than others, no matter how well intentioned, and get ready for hell on earth.
Hat Tip: Cultman
Friday, September 19, 2008
We are the first generation in history that can end extreme poverty. That’s our good fortune, our challenge, and our responsibility.
-- Jeffrey D. Sachs
What he means is, he can take 47% of your income and redistribute it as he sees fit. The thought of creating new wealth, more productive crops and industry is far too passe'. Viva the Norman Borlaug Green Revolution - Borlaug has single-handedly done more to feed the world than any hundred men you care to name.
With all the food leaving our kitchens each night, I’m still astonished that this country has a hunger problem. There are hungry people in every community who cannot afford food. While I can’t help every family, I can start by helping one.
-- Tom Douglas
Yet more chiding of the well fed cattle, er customers by their moral and intellectual superiors.
Wild animals often do a much better job of caring for their offspring than we civilized and educated humans do. If we cannot keep children safe in their homes, how can we hope to make ourselves safe in the world?
-- Lee Grogg
Any Tiger cubs care to comment?
People often ask me if it is worth it to work at sea, isolated from the world, far from loved ones, seasick, and running on three hours sleep. To lay eyes on something never before seen by anyone, to learn something new about our planet, for that one moment of discovery – yes, it is all worth it.
-- Katy Croff
This is particularly true if you aren't very fond of your loved ones and addicted to caffeine.
Anger is contagious.
-- Sandra Cisneros
So are pat aphorisms! See there goes another one!.
Beware of turning into the enemy you most fear. All it takes is to lash out violently at someone who has done you some grievous harm, proclaiming that only your pain matters in this world. More than against that person’s body, you will then, at that moment, be committing a crime against your own imagination.
-- Ariel Dorfman
I heard that Patton felt the same way and wept on his death bed about liberating all those concentration camps by using his armored division, just like the Nazis would have done, except he was trying to get people out of the camps, not into them, but still.
You can learn a lot more from listening than you can from talking. Find someone with whom you don’t agree in the slightest and ask them to explain themselves at length. Then take a seat, shut your mouth, and don’t argue back. It’s physically impossible to listen with your mouth open.
-- John Moe
Not true, my jaw drops every time I hear liberal mewl about all that crazy shit they believe..
How have we become so addicted to petroleum oil? How would the world be different if we could make all our own fuel in our own country? For the last two years I have driven to work on soybeans. This is possible in our lifetime.
-- Martin Tobias
Who will rescue the preachy rescuer from his addiction to soybean oil? When will this madness stop?
Scientists tell us we only use 5% of our brains. But if they only used 5% of their brains to reach that conclusion, then why should we believe them?
-- Joseph Palm
A. Scientist never said that because it's not true, never was. B. Except in the case of Joseph Palm.
Have you noticed that dogs are the new kids? You take a walk with your kid and your dog, but nobody says, “What a cute kid!” Instead they say, “What a cute dog! What’s his name? Is he a rescue?” Maybe if I put a collar and leash on my kid someone will notice her.
-- Judy Gruen
Who could tell?
Worldwide, more than 40 million people are living with HIV and AIDS. Thirteen million children have been orphaned due to AIDS. Six hundred thousand children are infected with HIV each year. And 25 years into the AIDS pandemic, no vaccine or cure is in sight. The numbers speak for themselves. What are you doing to help?
-- Joe Cristina
I'm protesting the EVIL DRUG COMPANIES with ACT UP, that'll teach to spend billions on researching life saving drugs.
Children are born with such a sense of fairness that they will accept no less than equal treatment for all. I know – I have three. I hope that as they grow, they keep that sense of justice and learn to challenge the old adage that life’s not fair. It should be, in so far as we have control of it.
-- Beth Vanden Hoek
To liberal morosophs, children hold the answer to everything, not true. Lord of The Flies may be fiction, but it's less fictional than the belief that we are born perfect and degrade as we age.
Sometimes good art is simply creating an honest mess.
-- Stacy D. Flood
So sayeth talentless hacks the world over. (We meet the first Wednesday of every month at the learning annex, room 317)
Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.
-- Bill Scheel
Because God created you, dolphins and the rest of the universe in only six days. The best you could do is come up with this lame ass observation.
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Wikis give us a place where anyone who is kind, thoughtful and intelligent can come and join us in building a better and more rational world.
-- Jimmy Wales
Until some prick with a gun comes and shoots them, takes their shit and sells it.
Children are living in a world surrounded by media. If we can use television to teach tolerance and respect and promote healthy eating, we can indeed change the world.
-- Gary E. Knell
How has that worked out for all those overstuffed couch potato children in the last thirty years there Gary?
In reality hell is not such an intention of God as it is an invention of man. God is love and people are precious. Authentic truth is not so much taught or learned as it is remembered. Somewhere in your pre-incarnate consciousness you were loved absolutely because you were. Loved absolutely, and in reality, you still are! Remember who you are!
-- Bishop Carlton Pearson
What the hell sort of church is this gomeril a Bishop of? Perhaps he's just well meaning heretic engaging in wishful thinking.
We will end poverty and stop HIV/AIDS within our generation when guided by African principles such as ubuntu that underscore our interconnectedness. With greater compassion for others, we would no longer accept hunger and disease as facts of life.
-- Cedza Dlamini
Yet there they are and there they are likely to remain. Might I recommend being guided by Western principles like scientific inquiry to end HIV/AIDS and hunger and capitalism and free markets to pay for it.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I am no violet, and I know that politics is an ugly business. But I must say: The attempted destruction of Gov. Sarah Palin — by some of the worst forces in this country — is making me sick. You? For most of our lives, we have heard squawks from the left about civil liberties. Also about the “politics of personal destruction.” I know they hate her, politically and personally. But won’t some of them stand up against what is happening now? Just for the sake of a semblance of integrity?No.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence...Pete Hegseth has more.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
If only the Obama campaign could figure out why?
Take every state where Obama leads by four points or less and give it to McCain, and you end up with a map that looks like this sometime late on November 4,
Read the whole thing, Green is one of those bloggers who makes me seem like one of those monkeys typing away at random in search of a Shakespearean sonnet.
If the Dems lose in November, and it's starting to look like a possibility, they are going to go ape shit, apoplectic, bat shit-crazy. They'll wonder whats so wrong with Kansas, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Hampshire that they can't see the perfection inherent in The ONE.
Friday, September 12, 2008
For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, here's a scene with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and Michael Caine as Albert Pennyworth:
Bruce Wayne: People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?
Alfred Pennyworth: Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.
Bruce Wayne: Well today I found out what Batman can't do. He can't endure this. Today you get to say "I told you so."
Alfred Pennyworth: Today, I don't want to. [pauses for several moments]
Alfred Pennyworth: But I did bloody tell you.
In twenty or fifty years, when the Middle East is the home of prosperous, tollerant democracies the father of this success will be George Walker Bush. The Pelosii and Reids of this world will try to find a way to claim paternity, but the only thing they have ever screwed is up.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
This isn't a hard call, but I bet self described feminists won't vote for McCain/Palin and help Palin become the nation's first woman president in four or eight years because she is not a "real" woman by their standards.
Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican party's cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America, and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.Pretense? Cynical? Are we to pay any attention at all to the pernicious musings of a Professor of Religious History, who seems, paradoxically, entirely immune to the lessons of both religion and history? A woman who denies another's muliebrity simply because the other chooses to live a life of faith, family and service? I thought the feminist mantra for to past thirty five years was choice, I guess that only applies to women who do what they're told.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly.
“Cleverist” is a matter of opinion, but I’d suggest that when Mark Steyn gets a haircut, the shorn pieces fall to the floor and form, at random, cleverer observations in the form of Chinese characters.
Read the whole thing, it's pretty funny.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Is this what he means by hope and change, referring to a woman Vice Presidential candidate as a pig? I'd like to think he was misquoted or in the heat of his oration he misspoke, nonsense. He knew what he said and we all know who he was referring to. This man is a super genius! By throwing some red meat to his afficion, he risks further alienating more than half of the electorate. Simply brilliant. I can't wait until see how well he'll do for us when dealing with Medvedev, i.e. Putin, Achmedinajad and Chavez.
“I hope you guys are up for a fight. I hope you guys are game because I haven’t been putting up with 19 months of airplanes and hotel food and missing my babies and my wife – I didn’t put up for that stuff just to come in second,” he said. “I don’t believe in coming in second. The American people can’t afford for us to come in second.”
Conversely, John McCain put up with airplanes and less than perfect accommodations too. While flying his 23rd bombing mission over Vietnam, McCain was shot down and spent five and half years in the Hanoi Hilton. He could have checked out after two years, but he stayed an additional three years refusing to break faith with his brothers in arms.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn’t in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I’d been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn’t know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.
Compare and contrast the two men, compare their words, contrast their actions. This choice isn't a hard one.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Hat Tip: The Blog Father
...The Obamains decying "mean-spiritedness" are diminishing Obama the former giant slayer turned victim. They think Sarah Palin, Rudy, Mitt and Huck are tough? Remember Obama is scheduling meetings with Ahmadinejad, Kim, and Chavez for '09...Yeah, I was thinking that too.
Also, when Obama complains about Republicans being "divisive" - what the hell do they think it is when Democrats call Republicans "Fascists"? What a whiner.
I also loved this from the comments:
as Howard Cosell would say....
The Thrilla from Wasilla...Down goes Obama! Down goes Obama!
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Is it fair for a US citizen to pay for and air spots like this that are critical of a candidate's affiliation with an unrepentant anti - American terrorist? The Obama campaign didn't think so, so they whined to the DOJ to try and get the spot removed and the financier, Harold Simmons in a jam. Of course they only succeeded in bringing attention to the ad, which shows how Obama clings to the paleo radical Bill Ayers. If there are any inaccuracies in the ad, I'd love to hear about them. The lack of denial from the Obama camp is deafening.
Every American voter should see this ad, consider making a donation to the American Issues Project.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
"I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."
It's not just sexism that's driving much of the negative coverage of Governor Palin. There's also naked fear.
update: also, this from today's WSJ.
Perhaps realizing that there is no hope on the Ayers issue, the Obama campaign began its strategic retreat today. They trotted out a local ally in the Chicago school wars, Linda Lenz, to begin the effort. Her job: admit finally that, in fact, there was some kind of relationship between Ayers and Obama after all but "it ain't no big thang."Wondering when the media are going to finally get around to vetting Obama.
We'll see if this helps or only fans the flames...
...Gov. Palin's service on the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission is significant. First, it marks the beginning of what's become a very in-depth exposure to the intersection between government and the energy industry. Alaskans in general tend to be more attentive to energy issues because so much of their state's economy and their state government's budget depend on that industry. But Palin has been focused heavily on energy more or less continually since 2004 — a claim that neither Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or (for that matter) John McCain can make.Read it all. Her qualifications COMPLETELY eclipse Obama's (and, btw, Biden's). When has Barry ever taken on corruption within his own party?
Second, although she'd been a reformer and opponent of government corruption/favoritism since her time as a Wasilla city councilman and then mayor, she significantly expanded those credentials — at enormous potential political risk — in her capacity as the Commisson's ethics officer...
I'm no doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but it seems to me that if the Oral Polio Vaccine were the culprit many, many more, if not all, of the people who took the OPV would have developed AIDS. This didn't happen. Besides, the way these vaccines were allegedly developed is that they were created in relatively small amounts on site, which were then sent abroad for further development into yet more vaccine. So if one drop of the starter culture is infected, every subsequent milliliter of vaccine will also carry that infection. Unless the biological media used to create the new vaccine is the source of the contamination, which is not what is alleged.
There are two ways in which a Simian retro virus can infect a human, you either have some sort of contact with a simian, which people outside of Africa rarely do or you are exposed to the simian virus through a vaccine, which happens whenever you take a vaccine developed in simian biological media. Since the SIVcpz of the chimps in question is phylogenetically distinct from all strains of human HIV, the simian - human transmission must have happened the old fashioned way, humans eating chimps, the mode of cross infection most of the medical establishment believes to be the culprit.
This question needs to be addressed fully, openly and honestly by all parties involved because it is imperative that people all over the world have confidence in life saving vaccines. Polio is on the verge of being wiped out the way Small Pox was, the few remaining hot spots are in Africa where the local populations are leery of the safety and efficacy of Western proffered vaccines. With stories like this who can blame them?
Monday, September 01, 2008
I don't get Andrew Sullivan. I understand why he wouldn't dig Sarah Palin: she's a genuine conservative, pro gun, pro life, pro family, pretty, but some of his commentary is just plain asinine.
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