Thursday, January 24, 2008

Have Some Fun

Take Furious George on a heinous cross country spree of unspeakable atrocities.

Go ahead. You know you want it.
Cultural "sensitivity" in England has officially gone from merely ridiculous to certifiably insane:
A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned by a government agency's awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.

The Three Little Cowboy Builders has already been a prize winner at the recent Education Resource Award - but its Newcastle-based publishers, Shoo-fly, were turned down by the Bett Award panel.

The feedback from the judges explaining why they had rejected the CD-Rom highlighted that they "could not recommend this product to the Muslim community".
Apparently, it's not just the Muslims that might be offended, either. You see, the three little pigs are portrayed as builders, since they built their houses after all. It seems that contractors might be offended, too:
They also warned that the story might "alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)".

The judges criticised the stereotyping in the story of the unfortunate pigs: "Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?"
Oh, for God's sake, people would you please just stop all this nonsense and grow up?
So congress has settled on an economic "stimulus," the center of which is "tax rebates." Let's start with the definition of a rebate:

Rebate (N): a return of a part of a payment

So what does this rebate look like? Are people that pay taxes getting to keep their money? Hardly.
Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes.
You don't even have to pay taxes to get a rebate! But at least people who do pay taxes will get rebates right? Wrong!
Rebates would go to people earning below a certain income cap, likely individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less.
Okay, for the sake of argument, let's assume that "rebates" will go to everybody with an adjusted gross income of about $100,000 or less. That means that 90% of Americans will get a check from the government, and 10% will not. The 10% that "get" nothing contribute 70% of the income taxes paid to the government. Sure, that's fair. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of wage earners, who contribute a whopping 3% of tax revenues, all receive checks of between $300 and $1200.

This isn't a rebate. It is a forced transfer of income from 2.5 million more productive people to 125 million less productive people. It is the government taking money at gunpoint from the people that earned it, and giving it to people that did not.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Politicians in Action

Boy, my Virginia politicians are working hard to protect me. First is the bill making cat theft a Class 5 felony, which has dairy farmers concerned, of all people:
"If it wanders off the property and they (other people) start caring for it, are they guilty of a Class 5 felony?" he asked.

Farmers, especially those with dairy cows, who often end up taking in wandering cats attracted to milk, have similar concerns.

"We wouldn't want farmers convicted of a felony for cats they don't own and aren't trying to steal," said Lindsay Potts, lobbyist for the Virginia Farm Bureau.
Then, it became critical that seatbelt violations be changed from secondary to a primary violation. Seems that notifying family members is tough on the police:
Virginia State Police Capt. Steve Chumley told the 12 senators on the committee that he has had to break news to families of a loved one killed in a car wreck, and often informs them that the person wasn't using a seat belt.

"Every single time, I realize that that person's life could have been saved if they were wearing a seat belt," Chumley said.
Yeah, and they could have been saved with 5 mph governors on cars, too, but we don't mandate that.

And finally, we have news of my legislator not introducing an unneeded law, at least for now:
Del. Paula Miller, D-Norfolk, wants to ban aluminum bats from high school baseball games, but she’s willing to wait another year to try to do it.

Miller said this morning she’s pulling a bill she introduced that would allow only wooden bats at school games because the Virginia High School League has agreed to study the issue.
How about we go all the way, and mandate that boys play softball instead of baseball? Virginia tax dollars at "work."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Update: It ain't true! We heard from a Marine at Miramar in the comments: This is a made up story and if this were true you would have heard about it on the local news station in form of a press release or media advisory. Thanks and take care. Thanks for setting the record straight, Brandon, and more importantly thank you for your service to our country. This blog loves our military, but as the son of a retired Marine, you guys are my favorites. Semper Fi!

I have no idea if this is true or not, but the story is interesting to read nevertheless:
Palm Desert California, 2007 - Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15 near MCAS Miramar. One of the officers was using a hand held radar device to check speeding vehicles approaching near the crest of a hill.

The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300 miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and turned off. Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact locked onto a USMC F/A-18 Hornet which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location.

Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander.
The best part of the story, though, is the Base Commander's response to the complaint:
Thank you for the message, which allows us complete the file on this incident.

You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked onto your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, an air to ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked onto your equipment. Fortunately the Marine pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched and your hostile radar was destroyed.

Thank you for your concerns.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ann Coulter remembers her recently deceased father and how he loved her mother:
To Mother's lifelong consternation - until he had dementia and she could get him back by smothering him with hugs and kisses - Father wasn't demonstrative. But all he wanted was to be with Mother (and to work on his Volkswagens). They traveled the world together, went to DAR conventions together, engaged in Republican politics together and went to the New York Philharmonic together
This reminded me instantly of something I wrote in December of 2005, the day my wife died:
We rarely took vacations or socialized much. We were completely content to simply be together, so to us, every evening was all the "vacation" we needed. I know it’s a cliche, but we really are soulmates.
Crap, now I am sitting here crying again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Great NY Times Parody

Oh man, this is good: