Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nerf Madness

According to The Central Virginian headline, a "fourth-grader could face expulsion" for bringing a Nerf gun to school.

Now, school safety is a good thing. Guns should be left at home.

On the other hand, isn't it a ridiculous overreaction to send a letter home to parents because of a toy? Isn't it an overreaction to even consider expulsion for bringing a toy to school? It's a fourth grader for crying out loud.

Says Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit, "We take any child bringing a weapon to school very seriously." Oooooo, I feel safe now. It wasn't a weapon, it was a Nerf gun, you fuss-budget.

What you do is you take the Nerf gun from the kid and put it in your desk. You tell the little whippersnapper that if he wants it back, Mommy has to come to school to get it. No eyes put out, no "consideration" of expulsion, no letter sent home to every kid in the school, no headlines in the local paper. No drama. No wasted time.

Good golly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Soc. Sec. Ponzi Scheme

John Trever at the Albuquerque Journal had it spot on with this cartoon.

Here's how Investopedia defines a ponzi scheme:
A fraudulent investing scam that promises high rates of return at little risk to investors. The scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. This scam actually yields the promised returns to earlier investors, as long as there are more new investors.
That seems to describe Social Security exactly. SS promises a return with little risk--it's "security" after all. The older investors are paid from the receipts of new investors. As long as the new investors keep paying, the older investors get their checks.

The prob. is that it can't go on forever when the number of contributors keeps shrinking and the older investors keep living longer. And when the Congress has no lock box, to use an Al Gorism, they put their grubby little hands on our money. All that goes in goes right back out.

The scary thing is that rather than making the terribly hard decisions to fix SS, our friends on Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle are talking about reducing payroll taxes. Yep, that means Social Security. So instead of fixing it, they'll make it worse. Keep paying out what you're paying but reduce what's coming in.

Now don't get me wrong, I would never say never to a tax cut in any form. But, but, but, this is different. Payroll taxes--SS, unemployment, medicare--aren't the same as the income taxes. There's supposed to be some sort of relationship bet. what you put in and what you get back. If they go cutting what people put into SS, they're making a terrible problem worse.

And for what? So they can look like they're doing something to "fix the economy". It's lunacy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Friend from Across the Pond

At least one Brit still looks to the U.S. for inspiration. Says Iain Martin at the Telegraph:
America is proving the regenerative power of democracy. Do not listen to those who say that great country is finished - it is still the global centre of gravity. Yes, we tuned in in our millions to watch the rather sinister opening ceremony of the Olympics in China. But if you want something life affirming rooted in a belief in human dignity, give me America and an event such as the inauguration every time.
And here I thought everyone around the world despised us. Isn't "regenerative" the perfect word?

Most Beautiful Church

This is the most beautiful church I've ever visited. Located in Grand Teton National Park south of Yellowstone, I pulled in on a week day and poked my head in. That's not a picture or HD screen but a window looking out at the mountains. Absolutely magnificent. How would you like to look out at that every Sunday morn?

One day wifey and will drive the retirement camper out there to attend a service.

I got the picture here. If you want a cool 360 degree panorama of the place, go here and click and drag the mouse around.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Next Willie Horton?

A former prisoner at Guantanamo was released to the Saudis and has now become the number 2 guy in the Yemeni chapter of al-Qaida. Read about it here.

Prediction: Obama will have his own version of Willie Horton by the time re-election rolls around.

Speaking of Dicks. . . .

Our Speaker of the House, second in line to the Presidency, qualifies. As reported in the San Fran Chronicle:
Pelosi said one of her favorite moments from Inauguration Day was when Marine One lifted off the Capitol grounds, signifying former President George W. Bush's exit from Washington. "It felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head," she said.
What a total lack of class.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Israelis Pull Out

The difference between Israel and Hamas? Israel said that when the rocket attacks stopped, they would pull out.

The rocket attacks stopped. Israel pulled out.

(Oh, that and the fact that the Israelis don't hide behind their women and children and don't store weapons in hospitals, schools, and holy places.)

On that international playground known as the Middle East, every once in a while one needs to smash the bully in the face.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't Be a Dick

My short-lived college roommate put every male he'd ever met into one of two simple categories. Ask him about someone he'd met and Taz would say either, "Yeah, he's a pretty good guy" or, "Nah, he's pretty much of a dick." Good guy or dick, it was one or the other. No room for confusion.

This recent peaceful transfer of power gives folks the opportunity to identify themselves.

Booing President Bush and VP Cheney from the Mall in DC today would qualify as a dick move and put you in the category of being a dick. Prosecuting someone for pouring water into a terrorist's nose when the lawyers said such tactics were legal at the time is a dick move, Rep. Conyers. You know what that makes you.

Not giving the New Kid a chance, questioning the honesty of his motives, wishing the economy gets worse so that he will fail--these can, in some cases, qualify you as a dick. Some folks have shown their dickish natures by rooting for higher casualties and American failure in Iraq and by cheering American economic collapse with the idea that such disaster, tho tragic, would help bring an end to GOP control of the executive branch.

Refusing to move-on can, in some instances, make you a dick. Blaming everything, ad nauseam, on the previous administration will surely make those who will want to call this the Bush Recession be dicks just as much as those who blamed 9/11 completely on Bill Clinton or completely on George Bush were dicks.

In the other camp, doing everything in your power to make this a smooth transition of power makes you a pretty good guy. Living by your campaign rhetoric which called for working together to solve some of our problems without all the Beltway BS will make anyone who can pull it off a pretty good guy. Possibly a miracle worker. Leaving the race card behind will also earn points toward being a pretty good guy.

Time will tell.