Friday, March 30, 2007

A 6 Year Old Gets The Best Surprise

Originally from Hot Air... Video of a Sedro Wooley boy getting an unsuspecting visit while in class. Be prepared to cry like an 8 year old girl who just got a pony for Christmas.

Thanks to Karl @ LSU for the YouTube link.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Do Not Expect A Tax Cut If You Do Not Pay Any Tax

I saw a bumber sticker on the way into work this morning on a lower cost compact car, "I do not earn enough for a tax cut". Since everyone who actually paid federal tax got a tax cut, the bumper sticker should have said "I do not earn enough to pay taxes". The reality is, most people are not tax payers of federal tax. When I hear people complaining about "tax cuts for the rich" I correct them by saying tax cuts for the taxpayers. It is kind of hard to cut your taxes when you do not pay taxes. I saw this from Dan's Show Prep Blog that says:
Overall, we find that America's lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly $8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004. Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and America's highest-earning households received $0.41. Government spending targeted at the lowest-earning 60 percent of U.S. households is larger than what they paid in federal, state and local taxes. In 2004, between $1.03 trillion and $1.53 trillion was redistributed downward from the two highest income quintiles to the three lowest income quintiles through government taxes and spending policy.

Lets say we go out to dinner and the bill is $40 and I decide to pay for both meals and hand the waitress a $100 bill. Who should get the change? Why I should of course, I am the one who paid. How are tax cuts any different?

Monday, March 26, 2007

It Is Official, We Can Now Question Their Patriotism

I am not even going to attempt to hint what this is other than a picture from the recent anti war protest in Portland. If I tried to simply hint at what it shows, I would have to put in a Not Safe For Work warning for that alone. Let me just say DO NOT CLICK HERE unless you are NOT offended EVER!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stop The Funding If You Want Peace... For The Terrorists

In yesterday's Seattle Times article about the pork filled bill to set a time table to cut and run from Iraq, there is the following line:
"If you want peace, stop funding this war," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
Since the "reporters" are not asking, maybe I should. If we stop funding the war, who exactly will be at peace?

Let's think about what will happen if we stop the funding. Sunnis will get slaughtered just as millions of Vietnames died after we left Siagon. Millions of people in Iraq will now live under Shia law where homosexuality is a death penalty offense, women can not drive, vote or go to school. The terrorists and all of their anti American allies will view this as a victory and embolden them to bring the fight to our land.

So exactly where would the peace be Rep. Kucinich? ... well, besides amongst the terrorists that want to kill us?
Do Not Question Their Patriotism

From LGF... Well.... maybe we can now. Just make sure you listen to the sound, without kids present.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Democrats Takes A Principled Stance Against The War... For The Right Price

From Gateway Pundit by way of Hot Air...

According to the Seattle Times:

With Democrats holding 233 seats and Republicans with 201, Democrats were able to afford only 15 "no" votes. Accordingly, Pelosi, and her leadership team spent days trying to convince members that the bill was Congress' best chance of forcing Bush to change course — an argument that was aided when they added more than $20 billion in domestic spending in an effort to lure votes.

That 20 billion included the following according to Gateway Pundit by way of Hot Air...

$25 million for payments to spinach producers that were unable to market spinach crops as a result of the FDA Public Health Advisory issued on September 14, 2006.

Provides $120 million to the shrimp industry for expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina.

Provides $20 million for the cleanup and restoration of farmland damaged by freezing temperatures during a time period beginning on January 1, 2007 through the date of enactment.

Provides $74 million to extend peanut storage payments through 2007. The Peanut Subsidy Storage program, which is set to expire this year, pays farmers for the storage, handling, and other costs for peanuts voluntarily placed in the marketing loan program.

In case you thought that was a typo, let me repeat that... $74 million to extend peanut storage payments.

Back to the Seattle Times:
They got a breakthrough Thursday when four of the bill's most consistent critics said they would not stand in its way. California Democrats Lynn Woolsey, Diane Watson, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters said they would help round up support for the bill despite their intention to personally vote against it because it would not end the war immediately.

"Despite my steadfast opposition, I have told the speaker that I will work with her to obtain the needed votes to pass the supplemental, but that in the end I must vote my conscience," said Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif.

Liberal Tolerance, Respect Diversity, As Long As I Agree With It

Originally heard on the Michael Medved show. University of Washington Professor David Barash in today's Seattle Times says we need more bigotry towards religious presidential candidates.
Indeed, here is a controversial suggestion: It is high time for the electorate to reject a devout Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, evangelical Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Shintoist, Wiccan or committed practitioner of any other faith or creed. Our problem isn't too much prejudice against devoutly religious presidential candidates (e.g., Romney), but not enough. Let's reject any religiously orthodox candidate for high office.
I am going to guess Professor Barash would actively fight any bigotry towards pre-op transsexuals kindergarten teachers. Just a guess.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Zero Energy Homes Consume… More Than Zero Energy

Todays Seattle Times contains a front page article about homes that consume “zero energy”. The problem is when you read the fine print, zero energy is really 50% or 59% or 70% or… now I did not major in math…. Wait a minute, I did major in math… should not a zero energy home consume approximately 100% less than what a normal house consumes, give or take 0 percent?
The 10 energy-saving town houses in the Issaquah Highlands will be aimed at the median market.
"We don't want this to be for an exclusive few," he said

According to preliminary plans, the homes will range from 500 to 1,700 square feet.

The features could tack about $100,000 on to the Issaquah units, Liljequist said.
That is $100,000 PER 500 to 1700 sf unit.
If homeowners produce more electricity than they use, utility companies are required to credit them for it under Washington's net-metering law. And, under a state law that took effect last year, those who generate solar energy for the power grid could earn up to $2,000 a year in cash reimbursements through 2014.
Spend $100,000 and earn up to $2,000 a year through 2014. Run that past an econ major.

Now the Seattle Times touts dual glazed windows, heavy duty insulation, high efficiency appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Now all of these are great at REDUCING energy consumption but in order to be zero energy, you will need to produce the same amount as you use. So they also talk about solar panels. So how effective are solar panels?

From, How many solar cells would I need in order to provide all of the electricity that my house needs?
Assumes 5 hours of sunlight a day...
From our calculations and assumptions above, we know that a solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That's a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet (about 26 square meters). That would cost around $16,000 right now. Then, because the sun only shines part of the time, you would need to purchase a battery bank, an inverter, etc., and that often doubles the cost of the installation.

If you want to have a small room air conditioner in your bedroom, double everything.

The thing to remember, however, is that 100 watts per hour purchased from the power grid would only cost about 24 cents a day right now, or $91 a year. That's why you don't see many solar houses unless they are in very remote locations. When it only costs about $100 a year to purchase power from the grid, it is hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a solar system.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Peace Activist" Rachel Corrie, Coming To A Theatre Near You

From The Seattle Repertory Theatre:
Twenty-three year-old Evergreen State College graduate (and Olympia, Washington native) Rachel Corrie went to the Gaza Strip to aid Palestinians whose homes were being destroyed in the conflict with Israel. In March of 2003, she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. Combining an activist’s passion with an artist’s sensibilities, Rachel Corrie was a determined and caring young woman, trying to find a sense of truth and understanding in a very complex situation. This compelling story of a personal political journey is told through Corrie’s own words from her journals, as assembled by actor/director Alan Rickman and journalist Katharine Viner.

My Name is Rachel Corrie was the winner of the Theatergoer’s Choice Award in London, where The Guardian wrote “Theatre can't change the world. But what it can do, when it's as good as this, is to send us out enriched by other people's passionate feel you have not just had a night at the theatre: you have encountered an extraordinary woman.”

Here is Rachel teaching Palestinian children about peace and tolerance.
Can't you see the passion in her eyes?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Global Warming Is Cause By...

This large ball of fire in the sky commonly called "The Sun". Kind of makes sense to me:

Friday, March 09, 2007

The 2nd Amendment Appears To Mean What It Says

Originally from... CNN? Nope, The Seattle Times, of course not. From Hot Air:

BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds that the District of Columbia's gun control laws violate individuals' Second Amendment rights: You can access today's lengthy D.C. Circuit ruling at this link.

According to the majority opinion, "[T]he phrase 'the right of the people,' when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." The majority opinion sums up its holding on this point as follows:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.

The majority opinion also rejects the argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a State. And the majority opinion concludes, "Section 7-2507.02, like the bar on carrying a pistol within the home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense. As such, we hold it unconstitutional."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Real Questions We Should Be Asking About Global Warming

I keep hearing about global warming and what may or may not happen as a result and how much humans may or may not be causing the problem and what we should or should not do about it. What I am not hearing is if we should do something about it, what is the cost and is that a cost that makes sense to pay?

I do not know if human activity is causing global warming and if your job title is something other than God, neither do you. There is plenty of evidence that the sun has been sending more heat our way recently. Regardless, let's assume we are the one and only cause of global warming and let's assume that we can do something that would slow or stop or reverse global warming. Should we pay that price? That is the question that needs to be asked and answered. Because the cost might be we all need to stop driving vehicles and we all need to stop using electricity and we all need to stop heating our houses. Would you willing to live in a non heated mud hut to stop global warming? That maybe the price that needs to be paid.

George Will has an excellent article on the subject:

We do not know how much we must change our economic activity to produce a particular reduction of warming. And we do not know whether warming is necessarily dangerous. Over the millennia, the planet has warmed and cooled for reasons that are unclear but clearly were unrelated to SUVs. Was life better when ice a mile thick covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed there? Are we sure the climate at this particular moment is exactly right, and that it must be preserved, no matter the cost?

It could cost tens of trillions (in expenditures and foregone economic growth, here and in less-favored parts of the planet) to try to fine-tune the planet's temperature. We cannot know if these trillions would purchase benefits commensurate with the benefits that would have come from social wealth that was not produced.
Urine Test First, Government Handout Second?

Got this from a client. Not sure how you could argue with it.
Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit. In order to get that paycheck. I am required to pass a random urine test, which I have no problem with.
What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to earn it for them?
Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on their butt. Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ann Coulter - John Edwards Kerfluffle

Ann Coulter was wrong to say what she said. Clearly she is way too smart to have to resort to those kinds of comments. I do not buy her argument that it was a joke about political correctness and speech codes and.... BUT ... I dare anyone to watch this video and not say... "she may have a point".
Plame-gate In A Nutshell

From the normally Bush bashing Washington Post, by way of Hot Air:

Mr. Wilson was embraced by many because he was early in publicly charging that the Bush administration had "twisted," if not invented, facts in making the case for war against Iraq. In conversations with journalists or in a July 6, 2003, op-ed, he claimed to have debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger; suggested that he had been dispatched by Mr. Cheney to look into the matter; and alleged that his report had circulated at the highest levels of the administration.

A bipartisan investigation by the Senate intelligence committee subsequently established that all of these claims were false -- and that Mr. Wilson was recommended for the Niger trip by Ms. Plame, his wife. When this fact, along with Ms. Plame's name, was disclosed in a column by Robert D. Novak, Mr. Wilson advanced yet another sensational charge: that his wife was a covert CIA operative and that senior White House officials had orchestrated the leak of her name to destroy her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson.

The partisan furor over this allegation led to the appointment of special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Yet after two years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald charged no one with a crime for leaking Ms. Plame's name. In fact, he learned early on that Mr. Novak's primary source was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage, an unlikely tool of the White House. The trial has provided convincing evidence that there was no conspiracy to punish Mr. Wilson by leaking Ms. Plame's identity -- and no evidence that she was, in fact, covert.