Friday, July 27, 2007

Minimum wage $9.50? Democrats Say If That Is What The Unions Want.

The minimum wage, nothing more than a giveaway to labor unions. Why else do unions push so hard for these people who are not union members. How many minimum wage earners are union members? Why would you join a union if you are getting minimum wage? The minimum wage simply increases the cost of non union labor.
NEW YORK ( -- Just days after the first increase in the minimum wage in 10 years, Democrats on Capitol Hill led by Sen. Edward Kennedy are discussing a further increase to $9.50 an hour.

Liana Fox of the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute said part of the reason for Kennedy's initiative is that by July of 2009, when the federal minimum is $7.25, 12 states with their own minimum wage law will be over $7.25.

ACORN is one of the groups involved in advocating for higher wages for poor and working-class families.

"It's not an issue that divides the country," she said
Says who?

It has always struck me as odd that in a country that I can pretty much say anything I want and the government can do nothing about it, if a consenting adult offers to clean my office for $5 an hour, that is illegal.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Seattle Pays To Attract Poor Citizens

Love this story. The Mayor, Greg Nickels, wants to encourage lower income individuals and families by giving apartment developers tax breaks.
Apartment developers would get a 12-year exemption on any new apartment building in which 20- to 25-percent of the units are set aside for individuals who earn up to $49,000 per year, or families who earn up to $62,300 per year.

Here is what makes me laugh:
"The simple fact is that today's housing market is rising beyond the reach of too many people," said Nickels. "Whether you are a police officer, a grocery worker or a nurse, if you work in Seattle, you should be able to live in Seattle."

It is rising beyond the reach of too many people? Kind of reminds me of the old Yogi Berra line about a restaurant in New York, "Nobody ever goes there, it is too crowded". If the cost of housing is really rising beyond the reach of too many people, it would stop rising. That is how markets work.

Two things... First, why do you think the housing market is rising beyond the reach of too many people? Any chance it could be local governments building regulations, AKA growth management?

Second, just how many of these police, grocery workers and nurses are going to benefit? Well according to the city of Seattle's own website, the only police officer that would qualify would be one that was on the job less than 6 month. According to salary surveys, only 10% of nurses in Seattle make less than $52,000 per year.

So here is what I do not get.... why. There is always a beneficiary to something like this and usually for Seattle and when the Dems are in control of the Washington State government, it is almost always unions. I am trying to "follow the money" and honestly and I am not seeing the angle.

I would just tell Mayor Nickels that if he thinks it is so damn important to have lower income people living in Seattle, then maybe he should consider buying some property himself, building some houses or condos out of his own pocket and renting or selling them for below market prices. Why taxpayers should be picking up the tab for this is beyond me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ward Churchill, About To Be Fired

About damn time.
Churchill's liberal supporters insist that he's being fired for voicing unpopular views. Churchill himself believes "that going through my scholarship with a fine-tooth comb was simply a pretext to fire me for my constitutionally protected speech."

That constitutional protection keeps you out of jail for saying something stupid, it does not say you get to keep your job for saying something stupid. Try this little exercise, call every African American student by the N word and see how well that constitutionally protected speech argument works.
Actual Discussion With My Son

I, the owner of a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Computer Science from Seattle University, had the following discussion with my 7 year old son, who recently graduated from first grade.

Andrew: Dad, did you know the square root of 0 is 0?

Dad: That is correct. 0 is kind of a unique number, 0 times 0 is 0.

Andrew: Dad, the square root of 1 is 1 and 1 times 1 is also 1. So 0 is not that unique.

Dad: I need to call Seattle University and ask for a refund.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Run Cindy Run

Cindy Sheehan is running for Congress against Nancy Pelosi. Why? To quote Jonah Goldberg, because ours is a just and decent God.

I am really sorry her son, who enlisted in the all volunteer military, died.
In May 2000, Sheehan enlisted in the United States Army as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, MOS 63B. It has been reported that he had originally wanted to be a Chaplain's assistant MOS 56M. (Sheehan had acted as an altar server during the Palm Sunday mass on the morning of his death). Near the end of his tour of duty, the U.S. invasion of Iraq began. Sheehan re-enlisted, knowing that his unit would be sent to Iraq
I wish she had a better understanding on why he made that decision.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Fairness Doctrine, Lets Have The Discussion

Soon there will be a debate within the walls of Congress about the Fairness Doctrine.
A regulation of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which requires broadcast licensees to present controversial issues of public importance, and to present such issues in what was deemed an honest, equal and balanced manner.

Here is what that means… if I have a broadcast license and I broadcast a point of view, I am required to give equal time to the opposing point of view. So if I play 3 hours of Rush Limbaugh, I need to also play 3 hours of … National Public Radio, or CBS or CNN or The View or some liberal talk show host that nobody wants to listen to.

The idea behind the need for the fairness doctrine is fairly weak. The concept is that the public owns the airwaves and therefore broadcasters should be required to provide balance in what they put on those public airwaves. The problem with that is most broadcasters are for profit businesses that given the option, would rather broadcast, oh I don’t know, stuff people want to listen to rather than spend half the time on someone’s opposing point of view nobody cares about.

Now in some ways I would like to see the Fairness Doctrine pass and watch the Law of Unintended Consequences wreak havoc on every single (mostly liberal) niche broadcaster. Tonight on Black Entertainment Television, "Rap City with 50 Cent" followed by "A Tribute to Robert Byrd on KKK Today. Tonight on Gay TV, "Chachi Loves Jerry" followed by “All Of You Sodomites Are Going To Burn In Hell”.

Now could there be a place for a fairness type doctrine? If there existed organizations that are funded by the taxpayers, were specifically intended to educate and inform, had the power to influence lives and decisions and were heavily slanted to one ideological viewpoint then maybe a fairness type doctrine would be appropriate. You know what, we may have that exact situation in places we call public universities. Publicly funded, check. Educate and inform, check. Power to influence lives and decisions, check. Heavily slanted to one ideological viewpoint… lets examine the evidence.

The latest report, by political scientist Stanley Rothman of Smith College, communications professor S. Robert Lichter of George Mason University, and Canadian polling expert Neil Nevitte, published in the online journal Forum, paints a stark picture of a politically skewed academy. Nearly three quarters of the professors in a 1999 survey of college faculty identified themselves as left/liberal, only 15 percent as right/conservative; 50 percent were Democrats and 11 percent Republicans.

According to a study by professors at Smith College, George Mason University and the University of Toronto (they surveyed 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools), 72 percent of professors at American universities labeled themselves liberal, while just 15 percent said they are conservative. 50 percent of faculty members identified themselves as Democrats and only 11 percent Republicans.

A 2002 survey by pollster Frank Luntz of Ivy League professors found that only 3% are Republicans while 57% are Democrats. 84% voted for Al Gore in the 2000 election versus 9% for George Bush. 6% of these Ivy League profs said they were “somewhat conservative,” while 30% said they were “somewhat liberal” and 34% said they were “liberal.” That’s 64% liberal or somewhat liberal versus 6% somewhat conservative (note that none said they were “conservative”). That’s a 10 to 1 margin.

How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields by Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern

To which political party have the candidates you’ve voted for in the past ten years mostly belonged? Narrowing the set of respondents to the 909 who answered the voting question either “Democratic” or “Republican,” we separate by discipline

Anthropology 30.2 to 1
Economics 3 to 1
History 9.5 to 1
Philosophy 13.5 to 1
Pol. Science 6.7 to 1
Sociology 28 to 1

But just because someone says they are liberal or votes Democrat, that does not mean they would punish someone who disagreed with them politically now would they? Tell that to Dr. Mark Moyar.
Mark Moyar doesn't exactly fit the stereotype of a disappointed job seeker. He is an Eagle Scout who earned a summa cum laude degree from Harvard, graduating first in the history department before earning a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England. Before he had even begun graduate school, he had published his first book and landed a contract for his second book. Distinguished professors at Harvard and Cambridge wrote stellar letters of recommendation for him.

Yet over five years, this conservative military and diplomatic historian applied for more than 150 tenure-track academic jobs, and most declined him a preliminary interview. During a search at University of Texas at El Paso in 2005, Mr. Moyar did not receive an interview for a job in American diplomatic history, but one scholar who did wrote her dissertation on "The American Film Industry and the Spanish-Speaking Market During the Transition to Sound, 1929-1936." At Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004, Mr. Moyar lost out to a candidate who had given a presentation on "promiscuous bathing" and "attire, hygiene and discourses of civilization in Early American-Japanese Relations."

Mark Moyar looks like the perfect fit to teach history at Miami University: first in the history department and summa cum laude at Harvard; Ph.D. at Cambridge; speaks French and German; two successful books and a third on the way
He had better academic credentials and recommendations from the best historians, but he was not even granted an interview during the search last year, Moyar said.
“Your qualifications are fine,” he was told. But Miami’s history department had “its own priorities, its own gaps, its own desires.”
Yet among the dozen candidates the faculty chose to interview were two who did not have doctorates, one whose dissertation was on “Race, Identity and Gender in the Panama Canal Zone,” and another whose scholarship focused on “American Radio in East Asia.”
President James Garland backed the history department. When Garland retired, new President David Hodge told Moyar that Miami promotes “diversity of ideas on campus,” but said the faculty had properly picked four candidates to hire, but none accepted. The search was closed. So was the investigation of Moyar’s complaint.

Moyar’s research found that among Miami history faculty who declared party affiliation, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 15 to one. My own check of Butler County voter registration shows 13 Democrats and three Republicans in the history department.

Do I think we will see a return of the fairness doctrine? No, I honestly think the American public will see this as political partisans in power attempting to censor opinions they do not agree with. Politicians can do a lot of exceptionally stupid things and get away with it but when you start messing with the radio show I like to listen to, I suggest you buckle up and get ready for a fight.
Plame Lawsuit Tossed


I was really looking forward to Joe Wilson, on the stand, UNDER OATH, letting us know which of the numerous versions of his story is actually true.
Wilson's reports to the CIA added to the evidence that Iraq may have tried to buy uranium in Niger, although officials at the State Department remained highly skeptical, the report said.

Wilson said that a former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, was unaware of any sales contract with Iraq, but said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him, insisting that he meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq -- which Mayaki interpreted to mean they wanted to discuss yellowcake sales. A report CIA officials drafted after debriefing Wilson said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to UN sanctions on Iraq."
According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998.
Recall Wilson's famous op-ed in the New York Times, published on July 6, 2003, which ignited the whole firestorm over the famous "sixteen words" in Bush's State of the Union speech. In that op-ed, Wilson identified himself as the formerly-unnamed person who had gone to Niger to investigate rumors of a possible uranium deal between Iraq and Niger. Here are the key words in Wilson's article:
[I]n January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa. The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them.

So what was Iraq looking to import from Niger?
Uranium is Niger's largest export. Foreign exchange earnings from livestock, although difficult to quantify, are second. Actual exports far exceed official statistics, which often fail to detect large herds of animals informally crossing into Nigeria. Some hides and skins are exported, and some are transformed into handicrafts.

The persistent uranium price slump has brought lower revenues for Niger's uranium sector, although uranium still provides 72% of national export proceeds.

I am guessing goat hides. Can never have enough goat hides.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dog Fights Are Bad In 25 Minutes Or More

The Readers Digest version would say "Dog fights are bad and dogs make good pets".

Blatantly ripped off from Hot Air.

Nobody can argue with the message but in a nation of 300 million people, 300,000,000!, Three Hundred Million! this is one of the 100 that resides in the Senate? The state of West Virginia considers him to be one of its top 2 citizens... ok, bad point. Watch the videos, all of them and say to yourself, this guy makes laws and spends my tax money.

He would have been more productive talking for only 20 minutes about how ice cream is delicious. Just waiting for the "separation of church and state" crowd to complain about all of that "God talk" starting around 1:30 to go on the last video. {crickets chirp}

Final point. Never understood why Senator Byrd has been nicknamed Kleagle, a Ku Klux Klan officer whose role is to recruit new members, when in fact he was the Exalted Cyclops, leader of a local Klan chapter, or Klanton as they were known. Give the man the credit he is due.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Local Area Talk Show Host Makes Fun Of Incapacitated Senior Citizen

Some insensative listener sent KVI talk show host Bryan Suits the following You Tube video which makes fun of an elderly citizen who clearly is no longer in control of his mental capacities.

My mistake, that is West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd making a speech on the Senate floor.
How Big Of A Check Should Islam Have To Write?

I sent the following to someone regarding the recent Catholic Church sex abuse case in Los Angeles.
The Catholic church in L.A. is shelling out 660 million for about 500 abuse victims that probably goes back 40 or more years. Abuse by Catholics, not in the name of the Catholic church. On the other hand, there will be way more than 500 murders around the world in the name of Islam this month. Not just by Muslims but in the name of Islam. Lets add up those numbers going back 40 years and put a dollar figure on that.

News today is that we may find out.
The widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against al Qaeda, other radical groups and Pakistan-based Habib Bank Ltd over the 2002 abduction, torture and murder of her husband.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This Is Worth 4 Minutes and 42 Seconds Of Your Life

Monday, July 09, 2007

1 Year Investing Anniversary

As I mentioned a while back, I changed my investing method. Well tomorrow will be 1 year since I bought the first of my 4 sets of 5 stocks. Drum roll please... with dividends, those 5 stocks are up 29.57%. Works for me.

The other 3 sets of 5 are not doing nearly as well, +8%, -4.5% and +3%. But then again the first set took a long time to get going.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Another Job Americans Refuse To Do

According to the Seattle Times:
A Reuters report, citing analysis in the online financial publication Sentido Comun, says Bill Gates is no longer the richest person in the world. His wealth was surpassed by that of Mexican magnate Carlos Slim after shares in one of Slim's biggest holdings increased 27 percent in the second quarter.