November 16th, 2009

#1815: Mondays always seem to be hectic around here.

I've got a ton of links to comment on; and because I spent 90% of my waking time yesterday playing World of Warcraft I slept until almost 3 PM today.

So I think I'll begin with Michelle Malkin, who has a bevy of posts today of which most are about Democrat/liberal/union thuggery.

Union protests a Boy Scout volunteering. 39 union employees were laid off in July from Allentown's park service. After a boy in search of an Eagle Scout badge clears a path in a park, the union thugs are up in arms because the Boy Scout took a union job.

But the SEIU thuggery doesn't end there; no.

Apparently that recent union election here in Illinois was "unfair": "The SEIU has filed an objection to the recent election accusing the State of Illinois of not maintaining neutrality." Why do they say that? Why, because they lost the election, of course. Do you honestly think SEIU would be filing a suit if they had won?

* * *

"Scratch a 'liberal,' and you’ll find a totalitarian underneath," goes the first comment in this thread.

Watch the video and see three ANSWER goons mob two people who are merely videotaping their activities. These guys really need to file charges. I sure as hell would.

* * *

Three prominent Chicago area politicians have committed suicide in the last year. Is it a coincidence? Is it statistical clustering? What is it?

* * *

It turns out that when Obama said he wants to cut the federal budget by 5%, he meant exactly that: actually trimming spending such that year-on-year spending is 95% of the prior year.

This budget will be voted on in November of 2010.

And I have to wonder, by the way: what will this really-cut-budget be 95% of? Count on it being 95% of $3,550 billion ($3,372 billion) which will still require huge deficit spending. 5% of $3,550 billion is all of $177 billion. Instead of a deficit of $1,400 billion, it'll only be a deficit of $1,233 billion.

Oh yeah, we're really saving money now.

...all of which, I might add, assumes that the thing will pass, which it most certainly will not, since it is going to be voted on after the elections are over.

So Obama and the Democrats can campaign on "deficit reduction" (meaningless deficit reduction) and then--when the elections are safely over--say, "Well, we tried--we really tried! ...but we just can't cut anything out of the budget."

And if the Republicans take control of Congress, regardless of what budget is passed, the Democrats have something to pound them with: either "WE would have cut spending if only you'd elected us!" or else "WE would have taken into account the needs of the people and not cut spending so much if only you'd elected us!"

Regardless of interpretation, my initial impulse was dead on: all this is merely political posturing. It represents nothing but Obama's realization that indiscriminately running the printing presses is not popular with the American people.

"Debt-driven growth cannot fuel America's long-term prosperity," the President read from his teleprompter. "Long-term prosperity"? It can't even fuel short-term growth. We spent three quarters of a trillion dollars in an effort to stem the consequences of a recession, and the effort demonstrably exacerbated unemployment.

* * *

I am really glad I don't work for Wal Mart. They're going to be open Thanksgiving Day. Any ideas on how much of a zoo that's going to be?

I'm looking forward to hearing the news on 11/27/09, because I want to see if I was right. Or, rather, I know I'm right, and I want to crow about it.

* * *

Sarah Palin says Levi Johnston is "doing porn". Come on, Sarah! You know better! The boy himself said his Playgirl spread is "art"!

Levi Johnston is a male bimbo. The sad part is that he doesn't realize--he's too young to understand--that these people are using him to get at Sarah Palin. All of the celebrity surrounding him is due solely to his proximity to the Palin family; he's like Kato Kaelin--it has nothing to do with him nor his talent (or lack thereof). It has only to do with whatever dirt he has on Sarah Palin, real or imagined. Whatever stupidity Levi Johnston gets into, his asinine behavior will somehow be tied to Sarah Palin in a lame attempt to destroy her.

But Johnston is over the age of 18, which means he's an adult and whatever dumbass decisions he makes are his own lookout. Right now the sum total of his contribution to the liberal cause is to knock up the daughter of someone who is arguably the preeminent conservative politician in America; if Sarah Palin were a Democrat this asshat wouldn't even be on the damn radar.

* * *

A few heads nod, and the rest have to be told: Kato Kaelin, OJ Simpson's "housesitter"? Remember?

Brian Gerard "Kato" Kaelin?

No?

Thought so.

* * *

Vox Day on the economy, again.
...[T]he two best leading indicators of reported economic growth are debt and government spending, and changes in debt are a more reliable indicator than changes in government spending. Since the amount of debt in the U.S. economy is continuing to contract at a rapid pace, this is a strong indication that the reported GDP growth is merely a temporary artifact of increased government spending, the economy has not recovered, and the desperate attempts to conceal its continued contraction will eventually fail at some point in the future, most likely before the end of 2010.
We're told that the stock market is recovering; but if you look closer, you see that commodity prices are rising at the same time, particularly for precious metals. Gold is at an all-time high; and oil has gone up without demand going up. Why?

Because the dollar is weaker. Some estimates say the dollar has lost 15% of its value since the beginning of the year. If a dollar buys less, then it takes more dollars to buy a specific quantity of oil or gold or blue-chip stocks.

Setting that to one side, however: after the first stock market crash in 1929 there was a recovery which lasted a couple of years, and the really big crash happened in 1933.

We're not out of the woods.

* * *

Global warming! Two excellent links debunking AGW, presented without comment.

An interesting article on the Appalachian chain and its contributions to paleoclimate.

Another parallel with the Maunder Minimum.

* * *

Last night I was up until 5 AM. Mom and I went out for Chinese; once back I sat at the computer and chatted with folks in the gunblogger IRC channel. But I got bored, so I took an opportunity to log out (command issued: "/quit eaten by a bear") and fired up WoW.

...next thing I know it's 4:30 AM and Chenal is 19th level. She was like 14th when I started....

(And now I realize that "Chenal" looks like a corruption of "Chanel", which it is not, damn it. *sigh* And since it costs $10 to rename a character, I'm going to live with it.)

It's really a sad commentary on my life that I consider this an evening well spent. But WTF--I had fun, damn it, and it's better than moping about all the shit I can't change.

Saturday night was also an evening well spent, though: Mom and I went to my niece's "sweet 16" surprise party. My brother and sister-in-law went all out; they rented a place, had a DJ, invited a ton of people; there was pizza and snacks and soda. The guest of honor was suitably surprised.

Mom and I didn't stay very late, though. First, we left the house at 4 PM in order to get to where the party was by 6:30. (100.4 miles from the gas station, and we arrived half an hour early.) Second, the DJ was (predictably enough) very loud. Third, the room was an echo chamber. So we left around 8:40.

The music was loud enough that it was impossible to talk to anyone; all the girls were 15-16 and therefore too young to ogle. I hadn't brought any drawing materials with me, so I couldn't even draw. (It probably would have been an ideal environment, too, strangely enough--plenty of distractions for my conscious brain--but oh well.)

So, WTF, I had a busy weekend. So what.