Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Do You View Spending?

After work tonight, I stopped at a local watering hole to meet my former co-blogger Col. Ollie. While I waited for him with an ice cold Leinie's Honey Weiss in front of me, a corporate event of some sort came in. A well dressed older gentleman bellied up to the bar, tossed down a credit card, and said, "I'm opening a tab, and it is going to be a big one." As I watched on as the bar filled up, I figured I had two ways of looking at the situation:

1. I could think, "What a waste of damn money. How much better off would corporate America be if they weren't running up tabs like these to essentially buy a party for people? Heads should roll for this excess in these times." (I suspect that 80% of the public would fall in line with some variation of this critique).

2. I could think, "Wow, it is quite the crowd in here tonight. I know the owner, and I'm glad he's getting this boost in business. And I see that he's tossing a few free appetizers their way. I hope these people come back, because this is a net good for the community. If it buys the company some goodwill with these individuals they are trying to woo, good for them, too."

I chose the second, but I think that I'm uncommon in that regard. Too many people right now are quick to judge the spenders without considering how essential this type of spending is to both the establishments receiving the sales and the businesses trying to make their own sales, as well as the employees at both. And that kind of judging will only stand to slow the pace at which we try to get back to some sort of economic normalcy.

The Althouse Fallacy

At least, that's what I'm naming this statement:

When a white man gets onto the Supreme Court, it's because of his legal credentials, because he got no points for diversity, but when a woman or a member of a minority group makes it onto the Court, she (or he) will be forever marginalized as an embodiment of the quality or qualities that clinched the appointment, even though excellent legal credentials were required for her to make it into the pool of finalists. Don't you see how unfair this marginalization is?

What makes it a fallacy, you say? Well, there is no reason to marginalize a woman or a minority when they are considered amongst a diverse group of the finest legal minds around, regardless of gender, race, or creed. However, when a President chooses to only consider one demographic for his nomination, it is perfectly fair to wonder if that person was the best of the best, or merely the best of the best of a very small select sliver of the available options. Unfortunately, racial and gender politicization have thrived on misconceptions like those of Ms. Althouse.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why does the universe exist at all?

That headline is part of what Stephen Hawking wants to understand in his scientific efforts.

Until science has discovered and proven the answer to that question, it cannot say that it has either proven or disproven anything about religion.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Q: How Bad is Republican Leadership?

A: A former Vice President who should be enjoying retirement and a talk radio show host are forced to lead the opposition against the majority Democrats. Both are quite capable in their roles, but neither should have to be leading the charge. Pathetic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dems Lay Down Cover Fire for Obama

Guess what? President Obama was wrong about Guantanamo Bay. Not that it mattered-he got to milk the issue for all it was popularly worth during the election. But the Democrats are coordinated right now, and congress is laying down covering fire for him. In what is being portrayed as a setback for the President, congressional Dems are refusing to authorize the funds to shut down the detention facility at Gitmo. It is not a setback at all. It is clear that Gitmo must continue to operate, but Obama cannot leave himself vulnerable in 2012 to charges that he reneged on one of his most popular campaign promises. So congressional Dems play the part of sober and responsible leaders, co-opt the Republican position on the matter, and deliver "setback" that is nothing of the sort.

The way Republicans are being politically out maneuvered right now is stunning.


I am very dispirited with the right at the current time. There are lots of reasons for it, but a number of those reasons come back to the leadership. The Republican party needs to start building a narrative around President Obama. A lot of people out there are bothered, disturbed, or angered by at least one decision he's made. These things need to be jumped on, they need to be repeated, and they need to be tied back to his campaign to show what false promise he sold the American people. I'm not seeing very damn much of that. Until it happens, the right is going to continue to get trounced, and the right will remain powerless against everything we revile about Obama's far leftism.

With New CAFE, Time to Invest in Horse Power

So, with the Obama nanny state requiring CAFE standards that exceed the current and near future technological/performance capabilities, what does this mean for those of you who own a boat, or a trailer, or any other heavy item commonly towed behind a vehicle? What does it mean to you small contractors whose livelihood depends on that powerful, low gas mileage vehicle? I'll tell you what it means. It means you'd better look at investing in a team of horses to move your gear. Don't forget to thank your President for the Hope he's given you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Noah: Out of Power Republicans Bigger Babies than Dems

This is amusing:

As a Democrat and longtime resident of Washington, D.C., I've always found the capital more congenial when my party was out of power. Partly that's because I make my living as a journalist. Republican presidents tend to create a more target-rich environment, not just for liberals but (I think) for everybody. Mostly, though, it's because Republicans out of power go out of their way to make life unpleasant for the rest of us. When Democrats lose, they're pathetic. When Republicans lose, they're bitter and mean.

Heh. I clearly made some poor choices in life by trying to make good choices. Had I chosen to be vapid and ignorant, I too could've landed a gig writing for Slate. Mr. Noah is clearly blocking out how big of babies his side (and he himself) were during the 8 years of the Bush administration.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Photo that Made New York Soil Itself

I really, really hope that this is one of the throw-aways from the administration's photo shoot of Air Force One. Because if this is one of the "good shots," then they are going to need to do some serious Photoshopping on it. And if they are going to need to do a lot of manipulating, then they may as well have taken the photo someplace else rather than keeping New Yorkers in the dark and scaring the living bejeebers out of them.

Because this photo sucks.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Will Griffey Jr. Skate Past the Scandal of His Era?

He just might, and part of the reason is that people really, really want to believe that he's innocent.

Yet that would be a clich├ęd reaction, naive to the fact that in a game tainted by lies atop lies, Junior is bidding farewell as an honest-to-goodness ambassador; as a man who -- Please, dear God, let this be true. Please -- became a legend without the assistance of a needle or an under-the-radar bag of pills and creams.

All I have to say is this: Don't get your hopes up. Anecdotal evidence leans against Griffey being clean. First, look at that guy early in his career. He was a very lean ball player who thickened up considerably as his power numbers grew. Still, we could look at his father and say that was natural growth. But then look at the types of injuries that held him back during his years in Cincinnati. They were the pulled/torn muscle type of injuries that can inflict a person that becomes to strong for his skeletal structure-the types of injuries than afflict steroid users.

Until there is evidence otherwise, we have to assume that Grif is clean. But don't let that assumption make an ass out of you.