* * *
With four years before the next summer Olympics, I guess Michael Phelps figures he doesn't have to worry about his wind.
That's why they call it "dope".
* * *
Liberals think that Obama's government will be "more open" than Bush's. Because, y'know, Obama's a Democrat, and Republicans are automatically stupid, evil, and crazy.
To back away from the exaggeration a bit, though: the article clearly discusses government information, not the maneuvers of politicians--the kind of information we don't want our enemies to have. That's why the Bush administration clamped down on the stuff; not because they wanted to hide perfidy but to keep our enemies from getting information they could use against us.
It's better to err on the side of caution and deny unlimited access to potentially damaging information when you're at war. Which, y'know, we kind of are, right now. (And have been since 1978. At least, they have been at war with us.)
* * *
More evidence of global warming! No, it's not the volcano under the glacier which is causing it to melt; I mean, there are plenty of glaciers on volcanoes all over the world which aren't melting. (What? No, I didn't just contradict myself. I meant "which aren't melting as fast. Look, there are too many glaciers for scientists to keep track of all of them.)
It's global warming. Everyone knows that global warming will make the poles warmer, not necessarily the warmer parts of the world.
I just spriained my brain.
* * *
Vox Day confidently predicts that the economy will get worse before it gets better. Our government is throwing good money after bad, exactly as it did in the early years of the Great Depression--with predictable results.
Politicians would do well to learn the wisdom of Santayana.
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A linkfest of Boortz:
"Are you going to get in the game and start putting some pressure on your Senators?" Both of my Senators are Democrats. One of 'em is Obama's replacement, for crying out loud. I could email my Senators until my modem was blue in the telco jack and it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference.
Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter. Unless, of course, it's an important Democrat who is cheating on his taxes. Then his appointment to the Cabinet should be confirmed without delay and the tax cheating buried and forgotten: "Whoops, sorry, I paid it back!" (And no fines or penalties assessed, either.) Where are the mainstream media's attack dogs now?
This is an incredibly stupid product for incredibly stupid people. I want my stubble in the shape of a goatee, so I must have a special face shield to keep from accidentally shaving away my beard. I can't be expected just not to shave the parts of my face I want unshaven or anything; that is simply too difficult for my tiny brain to accomplish.
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This one has to have its own section:
College professor doesn't understand economics. As usual. "A law should be immediately passed that imposes a new special federal income tax of 99 percent on all income in excess of $500,000 annually for single taxpayers and $1 million for couples, starting for 2008 income." Such a law would wreck the economy worse than anything the Democrats have ever done.
So here I am, Mr. Rich and Famous, and I earn $1,000,000 per year, gross. At the end of every year, I send Uncle Sam a check for $495,000, meaning that my take-home pay is $505,000 per year.
Question: does this "greed tax" supersede all other taxes? Somehow I doubt it. I bet I'd still have to pay regular income taxes as well.
So instead of $495,000 in taxes, instead I pay (say) 30% of $1,000,000 plus $495,000...meaning that my take-home pay is in fact just $205,000 per year. Out of the $1,000,000 that I earned in 2008, the government gets 79.5% of it.
Now I have no doubt that a good accountant could help get me below that magic $500,000-per-year figure, thus insuring that I only had to pay 30% of $500,000 and avoided the "greed tax" entirely. But whatever I did it would mean that the bulk of my income was not available for me to purchase goods and services; one way or another I would not have literal hundreds of thousands of dollars available to spend or invest as I saw fit.
Do I have to explain why this is bad? Not just for me, but for the people who make and do things I am willing to pay money for?
If we learned anything from "Reaganomics", it's that lower tax rates help the economy. This wealth envy "greed tax" nonsense is the ravings of a socialist twit.
* * *
Francis Poretto on several things. He starts with the "Obama Dozed, People Froze" story--which finished with the excellent thought, "Distrust of our news organs has become a moral imperative."--then moves into some religion-based thoughts which are worth reading. (IMHO. As always.)
* * *
Bruce Springsteen is not the "champion of America's blue-collar workforce". Bruce Springsteen has never had to work a real job in his entire life. The guy's a multi-millionaire and he plays a guitar for a living. (Sure, tell me how it's such hard work to travel around the world and perform at rock concerts which make you rich beyond dreams of avarice. I'd like to see Bruce do my job for one year, and live in my circumstances, and see how he withstood it.)
Anyway I've never thought Springsteen was any good. I've discussed "Born in the USA" before, a song for which the music consists of five distinct notes over and over and over again.
My cynical side would wager that this "exclusive" deal went through with Springsteen fully cognizant of Wal-Mart's "anti-union" stance, thinking, "WTF, the fans aren't going to leave me just because of this. I'll just apologize after it comes out."
You don't get to be as rich as he is without being able to think that way. Not these days, you don't.
* * *
"Green jobs" is a washout in CA.
The green lobby has lectured us for years that global warming is all about the sanctity of science. Those who question the "scientific consensus" on catastrophic atmospheric changes are belittled as "deniers." Now, in assessing the costs, the greens readily cook the books and throw good science out the window. "To most of the most strident supporters of this legislation," says Mr. Niello, "the economic costs don't really matter anyway, because we are supposedly facing an environmental apocalypse."Yes, that's right: when the fate of the world is at stake, a few lies here and there are okay! You can go right ahead and lie to everyone about the impact your plan will have because your intentions are good!
* * *
The headline says it all: Iran says Obama's offer to talk shows US failure.
Obama's delusion that all he has to do is talk to Ahmadinejad in order to resolve our differences shows the typical politician's mindset: "I'm so good, no one can resist me!"
Unfortunately, when someone hates you and wants to see you dead, it's rather hard to cajole him into not hating you and wanting you dead. Particularly not when his hatred is shared by many of the people he rules.
"If only I could have talked to Hitler! All of this could have been avoided!" Blerk.
Please revist what I said above about Santayana. Yeah.
* * *
Gunbunnysmit is now a full-fledged gnomish engineer. 47th level and having fun.
...I've explored a lot of both Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, to the point that I'm starting to think about installing Burning Crusade so as to have access to Northrend. I'm not sure what the monster levels are like up there, but it'd be nice to be able to go see the place, at least a little.
Once Gunbunnysmit hits 55th level, then I'll buy Lich King and install it--you can't make a Death Knight until you have a 55th level character on a realm--and see how that works for me.
I've taken this incremental approach to the game because when you're just starting out you don't need all the extras that the expansion packs give; just learning how to play the game and learning about the world around you is enough to keep one occupied for quite a piece. I've been playing the thing nearly every day, for hours at a stretch, since Dec 19, and I'm still seeing things I haven't seen before.
One experiment I was giving some thought to trying, though, was to run from Booty Bay as far north as I could and timing the journey. Assume that characters on foot run at 10 miles per hour; this would end up giving me a rough approximation of the "real" dimensions of the Eastern Kingdoms. (Or I could do the same mounted; a mounted character moves at 160% of run speed.)
The point is, I realized that the world (...of Warcraft) really isn't that large. It is, in fact, small; I'd bet that the Eastern Kingdoms would comfortably fit within the confines of Will County--and probably a smaller area than that, even.
I'm not being critical, here; an arbitrarily large world would make things very difficult to handle on the server end, and there is already plenty to do in WoW. (And "too big" would make for too much walking. "Well, I'm on the third day of my journey to Goldshire from Stormwind..." Erk.)
So I've spent some time exploring and running down quests, and so Gunbunnysmit is halfway to 48th level now. The guys I was teaming with are now somewhere around 54th level; those guys together make a pretty powerful mob, and they power-level with the best of them. If I teamed with them now, I'd get slaughtered (a lot). *sigh*
I joined a new guild, too. The one I'd been in (the name of which I have alredy forgotten) never seemed to have more than one or two members on at any given time. This new guild has 311 members, so there are bound to be people on--which is good, because it lets one participate in chat, at least.
I quit my old guild to sign on with a new guild; and after the guild master fiddled around with rankings--rapid-fire promoting and demoting a couple of people, self included--I posted, "Gunbunnysmit is confused :P" and I got booted from the guild.
One guy whispered me, "Why'd she boot you?" I replied that I didn't know; he asked and replied to me that "All she'd say was 'personal reasons'." (Being a douchebag is, I would suppose, a "personal reason".)
So he got me invited to his alt's guild, and that kicked ass.