Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I don't know why, but this piece printed if the WSJ is one of the best things about Christmas for me. I guess it's because it really illustrates what the birth of the baby Jesus meant to humanity.

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

Read the rest......

Joke of the Day

Q How do your starve an Obama supporter?

A Hide his food stamps under his work boots.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who's the racist here?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday sued The Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Higher Education unit, alleging that it discriminated against black job applicants by refusing to hire people based on their credit histories.

The federal lawsuit alleges that Kaplan needlessly evaluated the credit histories of potential hires in a way that had a disparate negative impact on black job applicants. The commission said the practice has been in place since at least January 2008.

Now isn't it kind of racist to presume that blacks are going to have worse credit than whites?


Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

From the Windy city.........

Middle-class parents started bailing out of Chicago's failing schools decades ago, enrolling their kids in private schools or moving to the suburbs. As recently as 2004, a Thomas B. Fordham Institute study found that 39 percent of CPS teachers sent their own kids to private schools.

But public officials who opt out of public schools are a particularly sore subject. "There's something to be said for leading by example and having a personal stake in the system you seek to reform," said Chico, a CPS alum whose two daughters also graduated from Chicago schools. (Then again, Chico's personal stake led to claims that he'd pushed for the elite Northside Prep to be built near his home in time for his daughter to attend. He denies that.) Chico deserves real credit for launching a reform effort when Daley made him school board president in 1995.

As I've always said. I'm not the smartest guy in the room but I always watch what the people who know do (and not what they say). What I want to know is how many of the remaining 61 percent of the CPS teachers send their kids to outlying suburban schools.

Making the public eat what you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?

Now that's "progressive"!


Life in "Progress" City - Pritchard AL edition

This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.

Since then, Nettie Banks, 68, a retired Prichard police and fire dispatcher, has filed for bankruptcy. Alfred Arnold, a 66-year-old retired fire captain, has gone back to work as a shopping mall security guard to try to keep his house. Eddie Ragland, 59, a retired police captain, accepted help from colleagues, bake sales and collection jars after he was shot by a robber, leaving him badly wounded and unable to get to his new job as a police officer at the regional airport.

Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”

It appears that Prichard is run by a democratic mayor and a democratic council.

You know, the conventional wisdom is that democrats have compassion for the little guy.

Does letting retirees go without their pension checks sound all the compassionate to you?

Stiffing pensioners out of their benefits?

Now that's "progressive"!


This is gonna suck for SMU

Growing up near Columbus, there was always an ongoing joke that the NCAA got so upset with Ohio State and Woody Hayes, they gave SMU another year of probation.

I guess, it's not a joke anymore.........

Six student-athletes on The Ohio State University football team have been suspended for NCAA violations, the school said Thursday in a press release.

Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor (pictured above) and Solomon Thomas will miss the first five games of the 2011 season and must repay money and benefits, the school said.

Of course, not to piss off Buckeye nation, the NCAA will enforce the suspensions next year when the Bucs play that murders row of Akron, Toledo, Colorado, Miami and MSU. I guess it's just a coincidence that they'll be back for their first real game against Nebraska.

For these guys to claim ignorance is just ridiculous. From 1981 - 1986 I was on the UC cross country and track teams. Each and every year, every varsity athlete had to sit through a two hour long NCAA compliance meeting where they went over every freakin procedure in the book (Because you know how the boosters love to throw money in the hands of a high jumper or 50 meter backstroker). In addition, we were required to attend a substance abuse course required by the NCAA.

That was almost thirty years ago for a bunch of nobodies and you're going to try and tell me these guys had no idea.

Whenever I hear people talk about these guys being paid, many have no idea of some of the benefits these guys already get. For instance, while these guys are down in New Orleans they'll each receive "gifts" from the bowl game organizers. Here's a list of the crap these guys get just for traveling with the team. In addition, these guys get rings, watches, uniforms etc they can trade in for all kinds of favors/money after they leave school. Plus there's meal money, where you can pocket a few hundred bucks if you are thrifty on one of these longs bowl stays.

I personally know a guy who used to take in gear from the players at a local sporting goods store. If you were a nobody, he'd swap out your turf shoes for a warm up suit. If you were a great player, he'd cash you out for your gear (provided your signature was on the gear) and then resell the stuff to some guy with a nice man cave.

Today, the schools keep pretty good tabs on a lot of this stuff but there's still enough to keep these guys with money in their pocket.

None the less, how is it that USC gets probation for the sins Reggie Bush commits but OSU has avoided any sanctions for Maurice Clarett, Andy Katzenmoyer, and now this crap?

SMU better get ready for another death penalty.

This year's hot Christmas gift

So you're looking for that special gift for your liberal relative but can't seem to find it.

This year's cabbage patch kid, Tickle me Elmo gift shortage appears to be........cocaine.......

The cocaine market in the United States is under "significant stress," reports the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Cocaine production has dropped in Colombia due to recent eradication efforts, putting stress on the U.S. market in 2009, the office announced this month. And although a direct connection between data is not sufficiently made clear, use of the drug also dropped last year in the United States, where most Colombian cocaine is destined after being moved by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.

So I guess you're going to have to fall back on a bag of weed.


Happy Festivus

May Bartman ruin another Cubs pennant...........


This is cute

Thanks reader Tim

Education Spending in the US - Dissecting the Data

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Director of Cluelessness

What if this were Sarah Palin.

Great job Brownie

The Exodus from "progressive" policies

Since the census results have been released, much has been made of the changes to the electoral map.

But little has been made of why the mass migration from traditional "blue states" to "red states" is occurring in the first place.

Of course, your average liberal would say something "scientific" like "people are moving to warmer climates". But how does that explain Louisiana, the state right next to Texas who lost an electoral vote?

Or why hasn't California picked up yet another electoral vote given their kick ass climate and economic opportunities.

But the lessons don't end there. How does one explain the exodus of people from our once great cities to suburban and exurban enclaves.

Take the city of Cincinnati for example. In 1960, the city population proper was over 500,000. After this census, the population will probably be just over 300,000.

Or take Cleveland, where the population in 1950 was 914,000 and will probably be just over 400,000 in this census.

The metro area populations have remained fairly stagnant for these cities which means that people are leaving the mess known as the cities for areas outside of the city. Why?

Once again, your liberals will tell you that "white flight" is the main cause of the exodus. But is it simply because of people's skin colors that they choose to move or maybe these people are simply using their cost/benefit principle to decide to move.

Think about it.

For more taxes you pay in the city, you get more crime, more urban decay, horrible city services (unless you're from the underclass) shitty schools, etc. In fact, like most liberal policies, there and implicit and explicit statement that if you are rich you are not welcome (sound familiar?).

As a result, anyone with any means has to make the call. I can stay here and fight to change the culture and/or policies or I can move to where I am more welcome. Oh, by the way, I'm taking my wealth and values with me.

Which choice is easier?

What the talking heads also haven't addressed is that the flight of people from blue to red is not equal across all socio-economic groups. They're almost all people with wealth, education, and stronger values, leaving the derelicts of society behind.

All this exacerbates the problems in blue areas. More poor people needing public assistance with fewer "rich" people to carry the load.

Just look at what happened in Oregon, who last year decided to beat on those asshole millionaires one more time..........

Oregon raised its income tax on the richest 2% of its residents last year to fix its budget hole, but now the state treasury admits it collected nearly one-third less revenue than the bean counters projected. ...

In 2009 the state legislature raised the tax rate to 10.8% on joint-filer income of between $250,000 and $500,000, and to 11% on income above $500,000. Only New York City's rate is higher. Oregon's liberal voters ratified the tax increase on individuals and another on businesses in January of this year, no doubt feeling good about their "shared sacrifice."

Congratulations. Instead of $180 million collected last year from the new tax, the state received $130 million. ...

One reason revenues are so low is that about one-quarter of the rich tax filers seem to have gone missing. The state expected 38,000 Oregonians to pay the higher tax, but only 28,000 did. Funny how that always happens. These numbers are in line with a Cascade Policy Institute study, based on interstate migration patterns, predicting that the tax surcharge would lead to 80,000 fewer wealthy tax filers in Oregon over the next decade. ...

So the "blue staters" can bitch and moan about how the rich don't pay enough all while the rich continue packing their bags and heading to places where they are wanted and appreciated.

Do you think that any liberals will pay attention to this "science" and change their policies accordingly?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Branch Gorvidians have a mental illness

So when it gets warmer, it's evidence of global warming. When it gets colder that's also evidence of global warming?

There were two silent calls, followed by a message left on my voicemail. She had a soft, gentle voice and a mid-Wales accent. "You are a liar, Mr Monbiot. You and James Hansen and all your lying colleagues. I'm going to make you pay back the money my son gave to your causes. It's minus 18C and my pipes have frozen. You liar. Is this your global warming?" She's not going to like the answer, and nor are you. It may be yes.

How about this theory. Maybe it's because of global cooling that it's getting warmer in other parts of planet earth..........


Let's run more business out of town

As you are probably aware, the state of Ohio has a 5 1/2 percent sales tax. In addition to the state sales tax, counties throw on additional tax. Most counties in Ohio add another one percent (Cuyahoga county adds another 2.25%).

The tax in and of itself is bad enough for the consumer. But the sales tax requirement for the businesses collecting the tax for our Columbus pols is getting downright ridiculous.

For instance, last year, the state required all businesses to file their returns electronically regardless of the amount of tax due.

Now I still have clients who don't have computers so I have to file these returns for them adding fees to the process. In these winter months, I have to charge clients to do sales tax returns for months they have zero taxable sales. It's patently ridiculous.

Starting next month, the state is accelerating their collection. So for some tax collectors they'll now have to send in a payment by the 23rd of the month as an estimate for the taxes collected that month.

Meaning if Company A has taxable sales, by January 23rd they'll have to send the state an estimated tax payment of projected January sales. Then you are required to file your return and pay the rest of the sales tax by the following 23rd.

If the state doesn't get at least 75% of that month's sales tax by the 23rd, they'll be nice enough to throw you a penalty.

Now if you have the kind of business that generates lots of sales at the end of the month, if you don't pay enough tax in before you actually collect it, you're screwed.

So if you are a big ticket retailer that does lots of promotional sales towards the end of the month this is going to be yet one more straw on your camel back. Seriously, sales of big ticket items are really difficult to project. So how do you pay something when you have no idea what you're going to collect?

As I've said before, I'm rarely the smartest guy in any room but I watch what the smart guys do and then I emulate it.

Ohio has decided to do what successful states have done to attract business by following California's lead.

And we wonder why we're losing a couple of electoral votes this census.

That idiot Palin

Can you believe that idiot, Sarah Palin said this.......
“What I say to the American people is that… thousands of people are working 24/7, 364 days a year to keep the American people safe.”

Hey, that other day they're probably at a "C" word party

What? You mean it wasn't Palin but an Obamunist?


Maybe we should call it the "C" word......

Apparently, an ignorant, NPR reporter (ignorant and NPR..... Is that redundant?) made the following quote about Christmas......

"And I was at--forgive the expression--a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this."

Instead of apologizing for the expression, maybe this nut job should apologize for being at a party where they actually celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus.

For a liberal, isn't that akin to going to a Klan meeting or something?

I wonder if anyone got a photo of her wearing a hood..... oops..... I mean a cross on her neck.

Normally, I try not to give any more air time to air heads than they've already have. But in this instance, her ignorance is more than I could bear.

Life in "Progress" City - DC edition

From the nation's capital............

One day last summer, a man wearing a bus driver's uniform showed himself into the offices of the general counsel for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, where he served court papers on a receptionist.

It was an unusual event because process servers usually call up from the lobby. They tend not to be bus drivers, either. So WMATA officials launched an internal inquiry to find out whether the employee was serving court papers on official time.

What they learned was that even though the bus operator had been on extended leave for 13 years, he still had an active identification card and continued receiving holiday pay and uniform-cleaning allowances.

The investigation also raised questions about benefits to other employees on extended leave, according to documents from the WMATA's office of inspector general that were obtained through an open-records request.

The probe found that the former driver created at least an appearance of a conflict of interest by getting paid to serve legal papers on WMATA.

"The more important issue that came to light from this investigation, however, is that WMATA failed to monitor [the driver] and apparently other employees who were on extended leaves of absence and are allowed to maintain an active WMATA identification card which provides access to facilities and transit benefits," investigators wrote in a report.

The employee "had use of a valuable service that cost WMATA money - free transportation - for 13 years during which time he did not work," the report concluded. "He also received a monetary benefit from WMATA - cleaning allowance - for which there appears to be no logic........."

Logic? Government? That was so freakin' hilarious I blew a bunch of Mountain Dew through my nose onto my computer screen.

Paying people not to work?

Now that's "Progressive"!


Life in "Progress" State - NY, MI, OH & CA editions

How crappy is life in traditionally "blue" states? Hey don't take my word for it, just look at the science (maybe you remember how "progressive" believe in "science"), and the science of demographics doesn't tell a promising story for the blue staters...........

New population data from the Census Bureau this week will reshuffle political clout among the states, and the power shift may be amplified by economic forces as well as demographic ones. Simply put, some states have been gaining people because they offer cheaper housing or more abundant jobs.

Consider that the state poised to gain the most new congressional seats is Texas, which happens to be home to strong job growth, low tax rates, and relatively light regulation of business.

Texas could gain four new congressional districts due to its rapid population growth over the past decade.

RELATED: 10 things you should know about Census 2010

Of course, one big driver of population growth in places like Texas is birth rates and immigration. But another factor behind this week's census data is that, in effect, Americans are voting with their feet about where they want to live.

Economic opportunities are one major factor behind those choices, researchers say.

Over the decade from 2000 to 2009, according to Census Bureau data estimates released earlier this year, Texas has added nearly 850,000 people who have moved there from other parts of the country.

California, by contrast, remains the most populous state but hasn't had incoming traffic from other states. Instead, the state has seen 1.5 million more people move out than in during that decade. That population loss is more than offset by other gains (such as from immigration), but the bottom line is that the Golden State may notch no change in congressional seats.

Critics of California say a key reason is that its economic climate is much poorer than that of Texas.

Turning your state into a Sahara of economic opportunity?

Now that's "progressive"!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Life in "Progress" City - San Francisco edition

More than 800 people are hit by cars in San Francisco each year, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the state - and possibly the country - for pedestrians.

This is a city that last year was named the best walking city in the country by the American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention magazine because of the many city agencies assisting in walking issues. Yet more than two pedestrians are hit each day on average, accounting for about a quarter of all injury crashes and, according to some reports, nearly half the city's traffic fatalities.

The streets of San Francisco are especially dangerous in December, when shorter daylight hours, holiday-swollen numbers of pedestrians and cars, increased alcohol use and winter weather lead to the highest number of pedestrian-vehicle accidents.

Read more:

Life in "Progress" City - DC edition

From the nation's capital where there hasn't been a conservative in city government since man invented time............

More than two years after an outside contractor was hired to run one of the city's most venerable schools, D.C. officials said Tuesday that Dunbar High remains plagued by a litany of troubles: Nearly half the senior class is not on track to graduate, more than 100 students are taking courses they've already passed and the campus is growing increasingly unsafe.

Interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson made those findings and others public to justify her decision last week to oust Friends of Bedford, the New York-based contractor that former chancellor Michelle A. Rhee retained to turn around the 822-student school.

"In general, the building seems to be in turmoil at all times," Henderson wrote in a termination letter made public this week. "Well after the school day begins, many students are wandering around the building, strolling to class with absolutely no sense of urgency."

While problems at Dunbar have festered for months, the situation has turned into an early test of how Henderson and Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray (D) will respond to school reform efforts that appear to go awry. On Tuesday, after a week of news describing disorder and disarray at the school several months into the academic year, Gray and Henderson joined Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) in an attempt to turn the page. They gathered at the school on New Jersey Avenue NW to unveil the design for a long-planned $100 million new Dunbar to open in fall 2013.


Must see TV

I don't know that I've watched 60 minutes in 15 years.

But I did catch this segment yesterday...............