Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hubris and Narcissism

Update: This from Thomas Sowell:
Stepping beyond your competence can be like stepping off a cliff. Too many people with brilliance and talent within some field do not realize how ignorant — or, worse yet, misinformed — they are when talking like philosopher-kings about other things.
With that, I give you Harry Reid:

Tonight, I found this in The New York Times:
In one last touch on Wednesday, Mr. Reid and his aides finally named the bill that he wrote over the last few weeks, selecting parts of bills previously adopted by two Senate committees. It is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “This legislation is a tremendous step forward,” Mr. Reid said. “It saves lives, saves money and will make Medicare stronger.”
So, we are informed that Mr. Harry Reid of Nevada has written a bill over the space of a couple weeks. And that bill will take over the delivery of medical care to 300 million people. Now, one might ask, what in Harry Reid's past qualifies him to design such a system? Is he an economist? A doctor? A master planner? Hardly. He sole life accomplishment is election to public office. From Wikipedia, here is Harry Reid's CV:

  • Southern Utah University
  • Utah State University
  • George Washington Law School
  • City Attorney, Henderson, Nevada
  • Nevada Assembly
  • Nevada Senate election (lost)
  • Las Vegas Mayor election (lost)
  • Chairman, Nevada Gaming Commission
  • US House of Representatives
  • US Senate

    There you have it. Not a single private sector job in his entire life. Not a single business owned, not a single payroll met. Not a single non-government job. Not a single health care related connection, not a single insurance related connection. And this man feels himself capable of designing a system that usurps the private insurance industry and purports to deliver and administer medical care to us all.

    And it only took him a few weeks to write it! Who wouldn't be suspicious of such a thing? Hmmmm?

    That's a mighty high horse this man is on.
  • Friday, November 13, 2009

    The New York Times reports that the FDA is threatening to ban drinks containing both alcohol and caffeine:
    Top federal food regulators threatened on Friday to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks unless their makers quickly proved that the beverages were safe.

    In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration said it told nearly 30 manufacturers of the drinks that unless they could provide clear evidence of safety, the agency would “take appropriate action to ensure that the products are removed from the marketplace.” Officials did not say how long such a determination might take.
    One wonders if they will take this to its logical conclusion and ban rum & cokes as well.


    Well, November 12th was one lousy day.

    I awoke about 0630 to a raging northeast storm. The wind was gusting over 50 mph, and the rain was coming down in buckets. There was a slapping noise outside, which I attributed to some fabric chairs we have on the deck outside our third floor bedroom, and went back to sleep.

    I woke again around 0800 and discovered that the sound I heard was loose vinyl siding flapping in the gale outside the bedroom window. Once the wind gets behind that stuff, it comes apart like a big zipper, so I had to secure it.

    I ran downstairs and outside into the rain to see how big a job it was going to be. That was when I discovered that both Jeeps in the driveway had the passenger window smashed out, both GPS units had been stolen, and the rain had been flooding them for hours.

    I raced around trying to track down roofing nails to secure the siding and duct tape to seal the cars. The duct tape didn't work because the metal was too wet, so I climbed out on the second floor porch roof in the wind and rain to tack in the siding and keep the wind from taking off the rest. While I inspected the project, I put down my hammer and it slid right down the roof and 20 feet to the ground. So it was back inside, down to the yard to retrieve the hammer, and back to the roof.

    A few minutes later, drenched and cold, I had successfully secured the siding. Time to turn our attention to the Jeeps.

    Laurel and I made room in the garage for one car, and oriented the other leeward with a plastic cover on the broken window to deflect any more rain. Now we had a new problem: neither car was drivable in this weather, but we had to pick up 160 pounds of raw chicken about 40 miles away. The dogs don't care about wind, rain, cars, crime, or anything. They need their chicken.

    At 0900, Laurel made a reservation with Enterprise so we could rent a car to pick up the dog food. It wouldn't be ready until 1200, so that gave us three hours to piss and moan about our misfortune. Which, believe me, we did. We also called our insurance company and Safelite Auto Glass.

    End of story, I spent three hours retrieving raw chicken backs in a rented car, Laurel spent another 45 minutes bagging it up, and Safelite is scheduled to come out tomorrow and fix our car windows (weather permitting).

    What a mess. But I am thankful for my Laurel and my Alison. The cars will be fixed and the GPS replaced.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    In his taped address for the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, President Obama said this:

    "Few would have foreseen ... that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it."

    Prompting this analysis at Poweline:
    Obama's brief remarks are an exercise in bowdlerization, circumlocution, evasion. Omitted from the remarks, among other things, is any mention of the Soviet Union or Communism, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul. Obama neither decries the villains nor salutes the heroes of the story. Rather, Obama celebrates himself. He is an agent of destiny. He is the fulfillment of history.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Redneck Christmas Lights

    The environmentalists are coming after your golf balls.
    "There has been very little research on the environmental impact of golf balls, but it's safe to say the indicators are not good. We are planning to collaborate with environmentalists in America to conduct more tests to fully explore the extent of the problem."
    It seems the bottom of Loch Ness is full of the things, according to "scientists" that were down there looking for the monster.

    Sunday, November 08, 2009

    I found this at a link on Megan McArdle's blog. It gave me a good laugh and reminded me of the bulletin board at my college student union, so I put it up here for my own amusement. For the record, my diet doesn't require a support group. And I am not vegan curious, either.

    These folks seem to have substituted "vegan" for "gay" to create a new oppressed class; how odd that these causes employ the same language for such disparate behaviors. Are we to now assume that vegans and vegan curious types are somehow in a closet and need non-judgmental support to continue their diets?

    Everybody wants to play the victim card, it seems.

    Saturday, November 07, 2009

    Green Jobs to China?

    Massachusetts taxpayers have subsidized green jobs for a few years. Evergreen Solar is one of a few company which have benefited from revitalization efforts at Devens, a former Army base. Now facing competition and lack of demand the company is shifting green jobs to China.

    And financial analysts quoted in the WSJ say that's not even enough, the company is hamstrung by needing to keep 350 jobs in Massachusetts as part of the deal the company made with the state when it built the Devens facility. Another issue is that Chinese companies are flooding the market with cheaper solar panels.

    This is the industry that is supposed to be saving American jobs, but the reality is that no industry is safe from international competition.

    If the government truly wants to help out with jobs, it should be subsidizing large scale infrastructure projects. We have an aging electrical grid that needs tons of work, aging rail systems, aging bridges and tunnels. There are plenty of opportunities for our tax dollars to benefit all by investing in the very backbone of our country. These would be American jobs because they are projects located within our borders. Of course, our government would probably award the contracts to foreign owned construction companies.