Thursday, July 31

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.
Sysco: whether it's Wendy's, Applebee's, the local diner, a fancy restaurant, the cafeteria, or Guantanamo Bay, it's what you eat.

In related news, Bennigan's files for bankruptcy protection and shuts down 150 company-owned stores. Nobody cares.

Wednesday, July 23

A good discussion on Lifehacker the other day regarding car sharing.

Tuesday, July 22

There are now over 1,000 laws that will let the state's minions legally invade your home in the UK.

"A recent study by the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank warned that the 'proliferation and variety' of such laws mean householders can no longer 'realistically be aware' of their rights and legal obligations." Ya think?

Cast your vote for the worst company in America: Comcast VS Countrywide Home Loans.

Monday, July 21

"I won't just ask for your vote as a candidate; I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am president of the United States. This will not be a call issued in one speech or program; this will be a cause of my presidency.”— Barack Obama, December 5, 2007

Broken down a bit by Jim Lindgren...

So – if Obama means what he says – his civilian national security corps would cost at least another $100 billion a year, and perhaps as much as $500 billion a year. With total federal income taxes of $935 billion in 2005, Obama's proposal would mean using up to half of all federal income tax revenues just to fund his promise “to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the military.

Three quick reasons to fear this even if you really like the guy proposing it:
1. Cost.
2. Invasiveness- what part of the country wouldn't be covered by a corps?
3. Imagine this army of "armies" under the control of a president you don't like so much.

Friday, July 18

January 17, 2001 - The Onion publishes a hilariously prescient article just before George W. Bush's assumption of the presidency:
"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Wednesday, July 16

Today is "the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state and local levels."
That is, for the average American, the government keeps every dollar the worker earned earned from January 1, 2008 up until yesterday.

Tuesday, July 8

The bulbous root is the only commodity for which futures trading is banned. Back in 1958, onion growers convinced themselves that futures traders (and not the new farms sprouting up in Wisconsin) were responsible for falling onion prices, so they lobbied an up-and-coming Michigan Congressman named Gerald Ford to push through a law banning all futures trading in onions. The law still stands.

And yet even with no traders to blame, the volatility in onion prices makes the swings in oil and corn look tame, reinforcing academics' belief that futures trading diminishes extreme price swings.


Since 2006, oil prices have risen 100%, and corn is up 300%. But onion prices soared 400% between October 2006 and April 2007...

So do we really expect Congress to learn from history, or do we expect them to blame the speculators?
When Fox News Is the Story.

Thursday, July 3

My Independence Day post, one day early:

Things to help you remember your love for America: great economic freedom; being able to eat what you want; being able to be an offensive jerk without speech police; growing freedom to love whom you want; still the place for science and genius.

Things that remind you of your disappointment with America: the low (48th) ranking in Press Freedom; not being able to eat what you want; our share of scary cops; 35 years of bad drug policy.

The founding of most nations, if you go back far enough, revolves around some guy with an army beating some other guy's army and carving out a kingdom for himself based on the spoils. That, and ethnic identity (England, i.e., land of the English).

I think it's pretty cool that country I call home was founded on some really awesome ideas, as imperfectly realized as they may be.
“As president, I’ll try to put your kids to work as soon as they’re out of the house. Not for full pay, of course, or anything resembling fair compensation. When Junior hits his formative years around high school and college, my administration will dangle all kinds of incentives that amount to a fraction of what you, a fully grown adult, would get for doing the same work.”

An honest translation of a popular popular position on generational welfare, I mean, national service.