Monday, May 31, 2010

More Minds of Mush

~ Cato


A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they're credible and vet them for "good moral character."

Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation.

"Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government," he said.

He told that some reporters covering state politics don't know what they're talking about and they're working for publications he's never heard of, so he wants to install a process that'll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

"We have to be able to get good information," he said. "We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source."

I've got a better idea. Maybe the story should instead run like this:

A Michigan lawmaker wants to license POLITICIANS to ensure they're credible and vet them for "good moral character."

Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate POLITICIANS much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing AMOUNT of POLITICAL CORRUPTION --traditional, online and COMMUNITY-ORGANIZATION generated--and an even greater amount of misinformation from those same sources.

"Legitimate POLITICIANS are critically important to our government," he said.

He told that some POLITICIANS WRITING state LAWS don't know what they're talking about and they're TAKING MARCHING ORDERS FROM ORGANIZATIONS he's never heard of, so he wants to install a process that'll help him and the general public figure out which POLITICIANS to trust.

"We have to be able to get good POLICIES," he said. "We have to be able to rely on the LEGISLATOR and to understand the credentials of the LEGISLATOR."

Wow - Cato, you have outdone even yourself
~ Seneca

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hidden Gems

This  Ezra Taft Benson, who had served for 8 years(?) as Eisenhower’s Sec’y Agriculture and gave this warning in  1965.

Best Political Ad Ever

About time somebody started talking straight.

Here is some more ..

Minds of Mush

~ Cato

To see real stupidity in action, watch the following.

I would not ordinarily rebut this self-moronic argument, but for the sake of the children who are just now learning to think, I will ask Mr Smiley whether for the Christians he names – people in post offices or at Columbine – it is their Christianity that is the impetus for the act, as opposed to Hassan and Faisal Shahzad, for whom their religious belief has everything to do with the act.

But what should we expect from a PBS host that grew up watching "Friends" and "Knots Landing" instead of reading "War and Peace", "Atlas Shrugged"  or "The Letters of Thomas Jefferson & John Adams"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to Screw Yourself During a Job Interview

Want to know how to screw yourself during a job interview??

Use the phrase "most importantly".

As in "Most importantly, the cat chased the mouse over the cliff."

The word "importantly" is a mongrel and bespeaks of poor upbringing and the existence of a loose mental  attitude on the part of the speaker.

Yes, "The King strode, most importantly, into the room." but the use of the word in an adjectival sense or in a sense of being the condition of a thing (as opposed to an action) shows one to be a rube.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Easily Understood Explanation of Derivative Markets

~ field correspondent Tom

Easily Understood Explanation of Derivative Markets (In plain language, even a drunk can understand)

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers' loans). Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

California vs Texas

~ From Field Correspondent Ann

California vs. Texas...

Governors of two states jogging with their dogs along a trail. Coyote jumps out and starts to attack dog:


#1. Governor starts to intervene and then realizes he should stop; the coyote is doing what is natural.

#2. Call animal control. Animal control captures coyote and spends $200 testing it for diseases and $500 relocating it.

#3. Call Vet. Veterinarian collects dead dog and spends $200 testing it for diseases.

#4. Governor goes to hospital and spends $3500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and getting bite wound bandaged.

#5. Running trail gets shut down for 6 months while wildlife services conduct a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is clear of dangerous animals.

#6. Governor spends $50,000 and starts a coyote awareness program for people who live in the area.

#7. State legislature spends $2 million investigating how to better handle rabies and how to possibly eradicate it.

#8. Governor's security agent fired for not stopping the attack and letting the Governor try to intervene.

#9. Cost $75,000 to train new security agent.

#10. PETA protests the relocation of the coyote.

Texas: (aka The Great State of Texas)

#1. Governor Rick Perry spends $1.23 on a .380 ACP Gold Dot Hollow Point, and he and the dog keep jogging.

And everyone wonders why California is BROKE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

~ byline Cato

My comments in italics

From a news story ...

Employers with more than 50 workers could face big penalties even if they are trying to do the right thing by offering health insurance to their workers. For example, they could be fined $2,000 per worker if they fail to follow Washington's rules in providing "affordable" coverage.

Companies are required to calculate whether their health plans meet Washington's afford ability test by determining each employee's household income, not just what they are paying the worker. To say this presents a significant challenge is an understatement. But if employers fail, they could face fines of $100,000 or more.

Uh, sorry, my company has no business knowing what my “household income” is! More tyranny!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Health Care Law Killing Millions

The headlines today trumpeted this tidbit

Obama says health care law already helps millions (AP)

well, here is a news flash ...
Seneca says health care law hurting scores of millions (SN)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mexicans Think US is Place for Mexican Nationalizm

~cato  - because Seneca is plum wore out

From the news today comes this troubling report of political correctness run amok (Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees):

My comments:

If wearing an American flag on 5 May in an American high school is going to cause a fight, maybe it’s time to punish the Hispanics for fighting, or teach them not to fight. If it is going to offend Latinos … well, sounds like a pretty good argument for suppressing Hispanic culture in an American school! Maybe it’s a good argument for border crackdown, and a policy of strict assimilation. These little thugs are nothing but a buch of racists hell bent on destruction of Los Americanos".

Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, so what’s it doing being celebrated here?

The article says that:

Freshman Laura Ponce, who had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, told the Morgan Hill Times that Cinco de Mayo is the "only day" Mexican-American students can show their national pride.
Uh, so are you a Mexican or an American? If you want to show your national Mexican pride, go to Mexico. If you are living here, this is your nation.. and it isn't Mexico.Translation - You can't come here or be born here and expect to play on the other guy's team. This is the American Team - Not the Mexican Team.

~ Seneca awakening from his slumber says
The article further says:
But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.
Oh yeah - Well I am offended and outraged that you are offended. What? I am supposed to be sensitive to YOUR culture. Like hell, YOU are supposed to be sensitive to MINE. These Mexican Racists have no idea of American Nationalism and they seek to replace it with THEIRS. Indeed, THAT is why the boys are offended - because the wearing of an American Flag gets in the way of inserting their racist aganda into the mainstream.

BTW  - If I were the principal I would have kicked YOU out instead of kicking out those white dudes.

What a Disappointment - Canon 50D Review

I now have a Canon 50D digital camera body and 4 (count em-4) of the Canon Premium L series lenses (A 70-200 L IS lens, a 70-200 L (non stabilized), a 28-70 non-IS, and a 28-105 IS L lens.)

I am extremely disappointed with all of them. The focus on all of these is spotty at best. To make things worse, the spottiness is the irritating thing over and above the bad focus itself, for on some occasions I shoot images that are razor sharp, but then, for the same conditions, the focus is just plain off.

The shutter speeds are fast 1/400 and above and the f-stop is f/9 or above, and the subject distances are anywhere from 15 feet to 175 feet - so it should not be a depth of field problem.

I have used all my lenses in strong light and low light. The strong light works better than the mid to lo light, but for $1,000--$2,000 bucks of glass/ lens I frankly expected better.

BTW- For the life of me I cannot understand why the camera manufacturers on these expensive bodies force us to use an "autofocus" and do not supply as standard a split screen focus. Using just the ground glass to get things in focus is a pain as there is not enough definition. In short, one cannot get these lens "in tack" enough unless one has a split screen - or a perfect autofocus.

Some final notes:
Yes, I know that these Canon premium lenses have a way to do a micro adjustment for the focus, but WHY should I have to do that. It seems like THAT was just a work-around to cover up for something wrong in the lens itself, or its focusing algorithms. And to make it all worse - the micro adjustment is only good to a particular focal length. So you will get tack and one focal length, but possible blur at the others ... Sheeesh, my $400 Sony point and shoot takes better pictures.

Also, is it to much to ask for Canon to give us a split screen on a Canon 50D?? Also, is it too much to ask for the manufactures to program into the software the algorithm  - and actually display on the screen -  the actual distance that the lens "thinks" the subject is at - and the darned depth of field???

Quite frankly I am really disappointed.

Concerning Greece Yeah That's the Ticket - More Debt

From todays headlines

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said Sunday an unprecedented bailout had been agreed with the EU and IMF to avoid bankruptcy, but that the country would have to make big sacrifices for the aid.

You mean "sacrifices" like telling most of the population that they will have to get off the government tit and start working for a living instead of expecting and demanding that their neighbor pay for their 8 weeks mandatory vacation, their health care, & their other "aid" entitlements.

That is what all the rioting is about - people hacked off that their personal gravy train is coming to an end.

Debt and dole is what caused the problem in the first place - well, actually thinking that you could get a free lunch without the system noticing and eventually taking corrective action is the real root of the problem. Makes me wonder what their government "administration" costs are in comparison to their overall economy.

Any Rand wrote extensively about all this - but, of course she was a kook, right?