Posts tagged ‘Via Maggies Farm’

The Sequester in One Chart



source (and don't miss the Maxine Waters classic about 150 million jobs at stake, at the link).

Via Maggies Farm


Awesome Bastiat Quote

Via Maggies Farm

"Poor people!" he lamented of the duped French populace in the same tumultuous year [1848]. "How much disillusionment is in store for them! It would have been so simple and so just to ease their burden by decreasing their taxes; they want to achieve this through the plentiful bounty of the state and they cannot see that the whole mechanism consists in taking away ten to give it back eight, not to mention the true freedom that will be destroyed in the operation!"

Written over a century ago, but still just as relevant today.

Animated Pictures

Via Maggies Farm, I found these animated pictures really terrific.  I know what you are thinking -- cheezy animated smiley gif's people embed in their emails.  No, this is something entirely different.

You Libertarians are So Paranoid. Government Would Never Use its Power to {Fill in the Blank}

From San Francisco, of course.  Via Maggies Farm's great daily link roundup

If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country's first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."

This is the same city that is replacing Cokes with Soy Milk in its vending machines.  Oddly, when you read the pet article, it turns out their main concern is with hamsters, that get euthanized a huge rates as people who initially think they are cute wake up one day and realize they are just irritating rodents.  One wonders then why they ban on all animals just to get at one kind.  And why are fish OK but dogs are not?

I think I blogged this the other day but I want to repeat the un-ironic comment made by a city official on the soda ban in vending machines:

"It's entirely appropriate and not at all intrusive for city government to take steps to discourage the sale of sugary sodas on city property."

One wonder if any limitation on individual choice (save perhaps on abortion) would be considered inappropriate or intrusive by these folks.

Environmental Theater

Via Maggies Farm, much of your recycling ends up in a landfill, so that much of our recycling effort is just an empty ritual, a ceremony of dedication to the Earth mother god without any actual consequences.  I have written for years that only aluminum and certain other metals really makes economic sense to recycle, so effort on all those other materials is just a fiscal loss to municipalities to save landfill space that is not really even running short.  Given this, it is not surprising that, behind our backs, cash-strapped local governments are just dumping it.

This is a theme of my comments next week at a forum on alternative energy -- no business model (save perhaps farming, which the public seems willing to subsidize forever) is sustainable if it requires constant subsidies - at some point, the public wearies of the fiscal drain, or the growth of the business makes the subsidies too large to sustain.

By the way, don't even get me started on the government-enforced labor involved.  10 minutes a week per person is 2.6 billion man-hours a year of forced labor.  I remember old Loony Tunes cartoons where some guy is sorting mail into slots and on the other side of the wall you see all the mail from the various slots being sent back into a single bag.  Given that the government forces us to expend this labor, forgetting the individual liberty aspects of it, is this really the best use of 2.6 billion man hours?

Postscript: Every time I write about recycling, I get this:  Well, we agree that mostly it does not save energy and we agree it does not save money (even though we told everyone it did) but you are forgetting about landfill space.   OK, here is a take on landfill space -- it turns out that it is not running out, as technology and innovation  (and the profit motive) have expanded the capacity of existing landfills.

Green Screen

This is a pretty cool video showing green screen use in TV and movies.

I will say I don't really draw any philosophical conclusions about the meaning of life and reality from it, other than to say, "how cool is it that we can do this?"

Via Maggies Farm

Funny, But True

The Unintended Consequence They Pretended Not To Expect But Everyone Predicted

Cash for clunkers has raised used car prices, particularly for the poor looking for cars under $5000

In her search for a cheap, used minivan for her and her husband, Krissy Dieroff has visited seven dealerships across Berks and Schuylkill counties in the last week, but to no avail.

"There's not much to pick from, and the ones we do find are overpriced," said Dieroff of Auburn, Schuylkill County, while browsing the lot of a city dealership on Monday.

Dieroff blames the shortage of inexpensive used cars on the federal cash-for-clunkers program, in which almost 700,000 used vehicles were traded in for newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and then scrapped.

Some local used car dealers specializing in vehicles priced $5,000 and under agreed that there are fewer inexpensive vehicles available.

The trend is occurring nationally as well.

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index reported that prices reached record highs in September. The consulting firm that publishes the index blamed low inventories.

That's bad news in Berks, where many shoppers seek inexpensive, used vehicles, especially during difficult economic times, said George Tabakelis, general manager of Perry Auto Service & Sales on Route 61 in Perry Township.

"Customers used to be able to find a good car for their son or daughter to take to college for $2,000 or $3,000, but now that same car may cost $5,000," Tabakelis said. "It's sad."

Via Maggies Farm

Fox, Meet Henhouse

Via Maggies Farm and a commenter on TigerHawk:

During consideration of H.R. 3126, legislation to establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee voted to pass an amendment offered by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that will make ACORN eligible to play a role in setting regulations for financial institutions.The Waters amendment adds to the CFPA Oversight Board 5 representatives from the fields of "consumer protection, fair lending and civil rights, representatives of depository institutions that primarily serve underserved communities, or representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgages" to join Federal banking regulators in advising the Director on the consistency of proposed regulations, and strategies and policies that the Director should undertake to enforce its rules.

By making representatives of ACORN and other consumer activist organizations eligible to serve on the Oversight Board, the amendment creates a potentially enormous government sanctioned conflict of interest. ACORN-type organizations will have an advisory role on regulating the very financial institutions from which they receive millions of dollars annually in direct corporate contributions and benefit from other financial partnerships and arrangements. These are the same organizations that pressured banks to make subprime mortgage loans and thus bear a major responsibility for the collapse of the housing market.

In light of recent evidence linking ACORN to possible criminal activity, Democrats took an unprecedented step today to give ACORN a potential role alongside bank regulators in overseeing financial institutions. This is contrary to recent actions taken by the Senate and House to block federal funds to ACORN.

ACORN was an important actor in the housing bubble, responsible for numerous lawsuits and other political pressure to force banks to lend to borrowers who by objective standards did not have the income or credit history to sustain mortgage payments.  It would be interesting to see how many mortgages ACORN was involved with have gone belly up.  But now, as part of the "solution" to the financial crisis, we will put ACORN in charge.

Keystone of Western Civilization

One terrorist nuke here would bring western civilization close to collapse.  Via Maggies Farm