Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well, If Voters Are Dumb Enough To Buy It

Nancy Pelosi:

“I didn’t come here to be partisan. I didn’t come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest."

Nonpartisan? Did she say that with a straight face or a smirk and a wink? Her party is anything but nonpartisan, and the stimulus bill (which she was discussing) is her party's gluttonous gorging on years of pent up spending wishes.

At at time when the media can't get enough of stories about wasteful spending in the corporate world, they give Pelosi and company a free pass on wasteful spending because by their logic, any government spending is good, sound, economic stimulus. And they also largely ignore bald faced lies like this one from Nancy Pelosi.

The Fathers of Global Warming

Via Drudge, KUSI brings us a fascinating history of the global warming movement, and by this account, it all starts with one scientist looking for a way to keep the funding flowing, and it leads to what our friends on the left might call "Big Science."

As a global warming skeptic, I find this historical arc a little too good to be true from my vantage point, the dots connecting in an almost too convenient manner. Still, it looks like a good jumping off point for further reading on the movement.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Distrubing Search Query

This evening Jiblog had a disturbing search result. That search result was for the query "teen agers disappear in fort atkinson". I'll admit that I find this search worrisome and that I've saved a screen shot of the limited information that Sitemeter provides, just in case.

In Defense of Citigroup

Private jets are a touchy subject these days and Citigroup is the most recent company in the hot seat:

Citigroup could be in some hot water over reports that the bank, which has received tens of billions of dollars in government bailout money, is buying a brand new $50 million corporate jet for its executives.

The move could infuriate Congressional representatives who eviscerated auto executives in November for flying down to Washington in their corporate jets to ask for billions of dollars in aid under the government’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Awful, right? Well, think before you bitch:

A Citigroup spokesperson told DealBook that he could not confirm the reports that the bank was set to take control of a new jet, citing “security” concerns. “Executives are encouraged to fly commercial whenever possible to reduce expenses,” Citi said in a statement.

Look at that key phrase that I've bolded and engage your brain for a minute. You don't just order jets like you order books on This order was likely placed long before the financial world went to hell in a hand basket last fall, and Citigroup would have probably taken a charge that would have been a significant percentage of the plane had they not taken the order. At least now it is an asset on the corporate ledger that can be sold down the line, if necessary.

Large corporate expenditures are not like buying a DVD player at Walmart-you don't have a 30 return policy. Additionally, you can't have your cake and eat it, too; you can't complain about the lack of economic activity and also bitch at a company for spending money. In the current economic environment, you've got to tolerate one or the other, and each has its unpalatable consequences.

The Revised Jiblog Economic Outlook

I'll admit it. In the third and fourth quarters of last year, I was hoping for a 1982-esque economic downturn. If it had leveled off, I was confident we'd start to rebound in the second half. After watching the economic news of the past few weeks, I've become certain that we've got a couple of rounds of downward cycling to go yet. The quantities of layoffs is such that I can't fathom any substantive rebound until the second half of 2010 at the earliest. Hold on to you seats, my friends, and if you haven't already, starting showing your superiors at work how important you are and how much more important you can be in a downsized company.

Random Thought From A Month Ago

I had this thought in an airport at the beginning of the month, and then I forgot about it until now: If you are outraged by Bernard Madoff, you should be ready to take up arms over the government Ponzi Scheme called Social Security. Unfortunately, too many of us are more like rats fighting to get the last of the cheese before it is gone.

As for me, well, I've been resigned for years to the fact that I won't see penny one of what I'm paying in. I consider it just one of many debts I'll be paying off on behalf of the last two generations. And I'm willing to do it as long as my child's generation can start to carry this country upward again.

'Green' Will Not Be a Detroit Panacea

Well, Big Three. Ya got your bailout. Enjoy your deal with the devil.
President Barack Obama wants automakers to make greener cars at a time when General Motors and Chrysler are hanging by the thread of a massive government loan and auto sales have plummeted to their lowest levels in more than two decades.

Obama's plans could bring smaller cars, more hybrids and advanced fuel-saving technologies to showrooms, but car shoppers will probably pay more upfront because the new rules are expected to cost the hamstrung industry billions of dollars. (emphasis mine)

That will work out well for Detroit. Why is the American auto industry, nay, the global auto industry suffering today? A big part of it is because people either can't afford to buy new cars or uncertainty about their jobs is leaving them too afraid to make the financial commitment. So what is Washington going to do? Force Detroit to make cars that are more expensive than the market can bear because they believe we all want to pay more in this time of economic paralysis for a car because it'll save Gaia. Bub-bye Detroit. We'll miss ya. All hail Toyota!

The Gore Global Warming Tour To Be Snowed Out

Ahh, this is my favorite part of the last few winters. Al Gore prepares to blow his hot air while the winds of winter threaten:

Al Gore is scheduled before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday morning to once again testify on the 'urgent need' to combat global warming.

But Mother Nature seems ready to freeze the proceedings.

A 'Winter Storm Watch' has been posted for the nation's capitol and there is a potential for significant snow... sleet... or ice accumulations.

It seems like this happens to Al a couple of times a year. Of course, the up tick in extreme winter weather isn't just nature being nature, but just another sign of global warming. I love how they cover their bases like that. It is like saying that there is global drying, but monsoons are a direct symptom of it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

History Re-Folded

Huh. This wasn't what I was expecting when I asked for history to be re-folded, but it works, I guess.

Yay! Wrinkle-free history!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On FDR, the New Deal, and the Great Depression

I know that a lot of people out there are encouraging the incoming Obama administration to take heed of the example of FDR and the New Deal, some even encouraging a "new" New Deal. I caution against that approach to the economy, and I do so by eschewing the traditional economic debates on the issue.

Instead, I ask you to think of it this way. If Obama were to follow FDR's historical path and time line, then we will begin to claw our way out of this economic mess sometime in or after 2016, and then at least in part to a global conflagration that completely reorganizes the economy from a production footing to a 'destruction' footing. Does a seven plus year plan really sound all that appealing?

And that assumes that, after 70 plus years of deficit spending, we can even afford to respond to a global conflagration in the same manner we did then. Perhaps there is a better way than a "new" New Deal.

And So Begins the Great American Tradition...

...of the People falling out of love with their chosen President. Congratulations, President Obama, and enjoy today. If you are successful, by about year six of your presidency the nation will be sick of you. If not, well, they'll come to loathe you much sooner.

That's not the partisan in me speaking, it's just the way of the modern presidency in today's age of short attention spans.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

U.S. Airways 1549 Lands on Water


Shock, relief, gratitude. Most of all, the soaked and freezing passengers of Flight 1549 just seemed amazed to be alive.

All of them.

"You've got to give it to the pilot," said Jeff Kolodjay of Norwalk, Conn., who was aboard the US Airways jet that ditched in the frigid Hudson River after an apparent collision with a flock of birds. "He made a hell of a landing."

"He was phenomenal," echoed Joe Hart, of Long Island, a salesman with investment firm ING.

"He landed it — I tell you what — the impact wasn't a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision). It threw you into the seat ahead of you. Both engines cut out, and he actually floated it into the river," he added.

I've flown a lot in my life, and I've always discounted any talk about flotation devices. I thought that I knew enough about the physics of an airplane hitting water at high speeds to know that it wasn't going to work. Maybe from now on I'll pay attention to my flotation devices, just in case I have an incredible pilot like this one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thoughts on Kickers

I really don't know why the subject of kickers and punters has been on my mind lately, but it has. Here are the two thoughts that cursing me:

Whatever happened to barefoot kickers and punters? If you were an NFL fan in the '80s, then you can remember a time when numerous kickers and punters used to kick barefooted. As someone who grew up in a northern climate and who has damn near shattered his foot a few times kicking a football in the cold, I always found it idiotic. As such, I never paid much attention as the practice disappeared from the game until one day I noticed that nobody did it anymore. So what did happen?

Well, there are two theories. This one, put forth by Chuck Klosterman at ESPN, proclaims barefoot kicking to be a fad in a sport prone to fads. Possible, but it didn't seem like a very strong theory. The second theory seems much more plausible. Apparently, barefoot kicking is banned at the high school level in 48 states. Because of that, most kickers are learning to kick with shoes on. Changing to a barefoot style in college after growing comfortable kicking with feet clad in cleats could affect performance and therefore be seen as a risk not worth taking. So let's put the reason for the extinction of the barefoot kicker at 10% theory #1 and 90% theory #2.

Why is there no outrage over the lack of black kickers? When it comes to the NFL, race and the QB position have been a sensitive topic for years. But there is one position on a football team that has been decidedly non-black, and that is the kicker position. Where is the outrage, people?

The Origin of Football's Penalty Flag

Ever wonder who thought of the penalty flag? Me either, but Youngstown State University has the story for you.
Before the introduction of the penalty flag, the officials used horns and whistles to signal a penalty. This made it difficult for fans and the media to know that there was an infraction on the field because they could not hear the signal.

Beede said, "I always disliked the fish horn signal, figured it was a nuisance, irritating to the ears."

Jack McPhee, who was an official during the first game the penalty flag was used said, "Through the use of the signal flag, everyone in the stadium knows that something is wrong. It’s been a big help."

Beede came up with idea of the flag and had his wife sew it together. His wife, Irma Beede, later became known as the ‘Betsy Ross of Football’ because she sewed the first flags together. He asked her to make a flag that had a bright color (red) with white stripes. The flags were put together using pieces of the Beede’s daughter’s old Halloween costume for the red part of the flag and an old sheet for the white part. She used some lead sinkers from Beede’s fishing tackle box to weigh it down. It was 16 inches square with the weight all at one end of the flag. The flag has been modified over the years and today it is yellow cloth that has sand in it to weigh it down.

Beede came to an agreement with Oklahoma City Coach Os Doenges to use the flags as an experiment. Beede proceeded to ask the game officials to use the flag.

"Do me a favor boys, instead of using the horns, try dropping these flags on violations. The fans never hear the horns. Besides its just an experiment."

When you go to a Super Bowl party or a bar for the NFC/AFC Championship games, drop that one on your buddies to show them your Cliff Claven-esque knowledge of the game.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

UFO over Jersey, or Me?

I find this story funny.

Was it a UFO or is there an explanation for it?

Strange, red, blinking lights could be seen across Morris County on Monday night, and officials thought they had figured out what caused them.

Now, they're not so sure.

Between 8:30 and 9 p.m., the Hurley family in Whippany captured images of a bizarre object in the sky and contacted

Why do I find it funny? Because I was in approximately that airspace at just about that time. I saw nothing but other planes heading to New York/New Jersey airports.

The UFOs must have been on the other side of the plane.

Thanks, National Democrats!

I was getting worried that conservatism, because of its necessary ties to the Republican party, was going to walk with the party through the desert for sometime. After all, a lot of good will and "political capital" has been squandered over the years, and not just by President Bush. But just as the Democrats float to the top, they show that it probably isn't because they are the cream. First, they will probably rescind the portion of the Contract with America that opens up the participation of the minority party in the House, even though their power play through parliamentary rules is part of what led to the Republican Revolution in 1994. Now they refuse to seat a seemingly clean, albeit self-adoring, black Senate appointee from Illinois who is political poison because he was appointed by a dirty Democrat Governor. President Obama will need to walk on water and turn carbon dioxide into beer in order to save his party from itself in 2010 and 2012.

Psst! Yeah You. Shh! Did Ya Know Bush Reads?

I meant to comment on this last week, but I was doing a lot of running. It is a story that got under my skin something awful, and I'll explain why after the snippet.

It is perhaps something they should have told us sooner: George W. Bush is a voracious reader. “In the 35 years I’ve known George W. Bush, he’s always had a book nearby,” writes Karl Rove in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal.

It was a story much commented on by various writing airheads who expressed surprise, and some of whom saw the titles Bush chose as somehow intellectually insulating. Well, I've got a surprise for them. I've known for probably six years that President Bush was a voracious reader. It really wasn't a surprise, unless of course you are the type that thought the President was a chimp and a dullard. Of course, if you are in that camp, it also marks you as intellectually incurious and insulated, because Bush's love for reading has been much written about in non-liberal, non-BDS circles for years.

Define "Burn"

This is an unpleasant story:

An Australian woman has appeared in court in Adelaide charged with murdering her husband by setting fire to his penis.

Rajini Narayan, 44, is alleged to have doused her husband, Satish, with a flammable liquid while he was sleeping.

When she set him alight, Mr Narayan jumped out of bed and knocked over the substance, causing the fire to spread.

Mrs Narayan told the court she had not intended to kill her husband but to punish him for his alleged infidelity.
Mrs. Narayn, it was probably already burning, just not in a way that was manifestly apparent to you.

Oh, the Humanity! or The Seven Modern Media Plagues

First, there was financial calamity. Next, there was threat of SUPERVOLCANO! Now, ebola and bird flu are back:

The authorities in Angola say they have closed part of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Angolan officials said all movement of people from northern Luande Norte province to DR Congo would be stopped.

The outbreak in DR Congo was the first in Africa in several months and the fourth in DR Congo since 1976.

It is believed to have infected at least 40 people of which more than ten have died.


Just when you thought you could scratch bird flu off your list of things to worry about in 2009, the deadly H5N1 virus has resurfaced in poultry in Hong Kong for the first time in six years, reinforcing warnings that the threat of a human pandemic isn't over.

India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and mainland China also experienced new outbreaks in December. During the same period, four new human cases -- in Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia -- were reported to the World Health Organization. A 16-year-old girl in Egypt and a 2-year-old girl in Indonesia have died.

When I first conceived this post, my plan was to poke fun at the media's alarmist nature, as I am wont to do. But then I began to think about the seven plagues, and I began to wonder what the modern media's seven plagues were. This is what I came up with:

  1. Bird flu/Ebola
  2. Economic calamity (famine)
  3. Supervolcano/'Big One' earthquakes/Monster tsunamis
  4. Asteroid impact
  5. Global warming
  6. Species Extinction
  7. Fresh water scarcity
What say you? Am I missing any?

Monday, January 05, 2009

No Win Situation

Today I had the chance to talk with, or rather listen to, Joe Everyman. It was a most entertaining conversation, but a few things struck me:
  1. Joe Everyman was solidly convinced that things have not been this bad since the Great Depression. Joe also took a holiday vacation in the Caribbean on a lark.
  2. Joe doesn't think the government is doing enough to protect us from terrorism. Joe is also pissed that we are spending vast sums on the war in Iraq during tough economic times.
  3. Joe blamed the U.S. automakers problems on their truck & SUV reliance. Joe drives an American made SUV. A big one.
I liked Joe. I'd enjoy having more conversations with him because there were kernels of wisdom in some of the topics he discussed. But I found these three contradictions very interesting, because they are contradictions that I think are in the belief system of a lot of people, and I find it fascinating. I don't hold him and others in low regard because of this, but I do wonder how these contradictions get rationalized.

And He Shall Call It 'Jiblet'

I'm not really sure what 2009 will bring for this blog, for conservatism, for the nation, or even for the Brewers, Packers, Badgers, and Bucks. But I do know one thing, and that is that, come mid-year, I'm going to have a tiny ally that will keep me up late at night to make many incomprehensible posts. Just something for you all to look forward to...Jibabble with the Jib and the Jiblet.

If you made sense of that post without access to my Facebook or Flickr pages, congratulations. You'll enjoy the Jibabble with the Jiblet.

First Post of the New Year!

Such are the benefits of not having a co-blogger(s).