Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Life ain't nothing but a Ponzi Scheme*

Wealth cannot be stored in a bottle

FDR, Ponzi, and Madoff were right, you really aren't much worse off relying on Madoff or Social Security for retirement than an IRA or 401(k).

It doesn't matter if one systematically garnishes their paycheck to a 401(k) or expects the U.S. Treasury to overturn a couple centuries of demographics; either way, they are relying on future generations to produce the food, energy, goods and services that they will require to survive during their retirement.

That is the way it has been since the lifespan of retirees was extended past the edibility of their canned provisions or the firewood in the woodpile. Only today the cans contain imaginary wealth in the form of government promises or a greater fool being there to redeem our investments, instead of something tangible.

Wealth for the masses is a new thing. Society has almost always been able to redeem the precious metals and papers of a small number of royal or wealthy people. But the idea of masses putting away assets for years and later drawing them out for retirement is a new and untested idea.

Life ain't nothing but a Ponzi Scheme

It is not as if the money one put away in 1985 has any relevance to the food they will need to eat in 2035. Unfortunately, any canned vegetables, cat food or Metamucil squirreled away in the 1980's will not be fit for consumption when they need it. By then there will be tens of millions of other Boomers also using their retirement savings to compete for the limited resources being produced at that time.

Although you may have a pile of gold or paper (cash, bonds, or stocks), none of it is intrinsically good for anything needed to live. Most of us are even worse off, as we have some electrons stored in a database somewhere (Wall Street or Washington, D.C.) to account for our "wealth." That is many steps even further removed from being permanent and enduring. Whether metallic, cellulosic or electronic; you cannot eat it nor can you live in it or wear it. And it will not keep you warm.

Since the concept of retirement for the masses became reality in the 1930's, we have been dependent on demographics, actuarial reality, and ever increasing and efficient production of food and goods. All along, this has been an inter-generational transfer of wealth, but the above factors made it painless to those still working.

Work 'til you die

In my retirement, I will be dependent on increased efficiency of those still working, or more likely, I will need to remain a productive contributor to society to support those still ahead of me in line.

Now that I have figured out that wealth cannot be put in a bottle, I can forget about Die Broke. My new philosophy of life is Work 'til I Die. Those guys with gold teeth drinking Dom and driving the Escalades on credit have it right. The suckers are we folks who voluntarily have our wages garnished into 401(k)'s.


*I think I have the title for my book.

Monday, December 29, 2008

No need to guess this number ...

22

Interceptions thrown by 2008 NFL leader Brett Favre.

It would not have been much better had Favre remained in Green Bay. He just throws a lot of interceptions. He threw 15 or more in each of his last 12 seasons.

That touted idiot Ted Thompson just could not start a QB who turns it over with that frequency. Aaron Rodgers threw 13 picks this season, still too many, but not Favre-like by any measure.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Automomotive Curling



I laughed really hard at this. It is just too good not to post myself.

This reminds me of times spent on the curling rink. Once the stone is released there is not much that can be done to control it's path. A pump of the brakes does about as much as sweeping the ice like crazy. Even the sound of the vehicles striking is similar to when the stones hit.

We're just missing a skip holding his broom at the end of the road yelling "Hurry! Hurry hard! Harder! Harder!"



HT - Dad29

Redneck Sushi - Boldly going where no fattie has gone before

Oh boy, that didn't take long.

Now I've got copycats making Redneck Sushi and pretending its their own original creation. This guy did a good enough job, but has done nothing to advance the weaved bacon art form.

So today, while the ripoff artists are playing catch-up, Headless Blogger takes Redneck Sushi to new limits - The Bacon Cheeseburger Roll.

Starting with a layer of ground meat - beef round on the left and turkey on the right - fried onions and Penzey's Smoky 4S Seasoning are added. The dual meats were chosen to comply with the preferences of my family.

Click any picture for the supersized view.




The seasoned meat and onion is topped with crumpled bacon and a generous layer of grated sharp cheddar cheese.



The covered meat is then carefully rolled, and then wrapped in the weaved bacon. Note that the bacon lattice is not as tight as the last time I weaved it. I wanted to leave a way for fat to drip out from the beef and also to allow better smoke penetration to the meat.



The finished Redneck Sushi Bacon Cheeseburger Roll.



Perfect cut into half inch slices and served as sliders on small hamburger buns. Both the turkey and beef ends received glowing praise.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

There is no other explanation



My virtual friend believes that the QB change had nothing to do with another loss.

My jock sniffing nemesis thinks it is the playing ability of these quarterbacks that made the difference.

Wrong, both of them. The Curse is all that matters.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Parts of the economy don't suck

IBD tells us that some sources of power are just more farts in the wind.

The domestic auto industry isn't the only uncompetitive industry that seems to require life-sustaining transfusions of government cash to stay in business. Alternative energy sources have relied on such subsidies, called "investments," for years.

Yet in President-elect Obama's announcement of his energy team, we were told "the foundations of our energy independence" lie in "the power of wind and solar." Except that for these alternative sources there's been a severe power shortage.

After decades of tax credits and subsidies, wind provides only about 1% of our electricity. By comparison, coal provides 49%, natural gas 22%, nuclear power 19% and hydroelectric 7%.

Wind power is currently uncompetitive. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported recently: "In 1999, 2001 and 2003, when Congress temporarily killed the credits, the number of new turbines dropped dramatically." These subsidies will be renewed in the new administration, but to "invest" in wind and solar to replace fossil fuels will be expensive.

IBD continues.

Meanwhile, nuclear power is making a comeback despite regulatory and environmental roadblocks, and little federal help. It is spending its own money to invest in clean energy for the future.

The hysteria after Three Mile Island, where no one suffered any harm, shut down the American nuclear power industry and caused our nuclear manufacturing base to atrophy. The overhyped event at Chernobyl was more an indictment of Russian technology than of nuclear power. Yet the damage was done.

Until recently, there was no domestic capacity to manufacture the huge components needed to build nuclear reactors. Global nuclear giant Areva and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding are partnering to start building heavy nuclear components. The U.S. had very little enrichment capacity. Now, two new facilities are under construction, with two more planned.

"While visions of 'green jobs' dance in the heads of Washington bureaucrats," notes Jack Spencer of the Heritage Foundation. "The nuclear industry is creating thousands of high-skill, high-paying jobs."

Westinghouse, for one example, has already created more than 3,000 jobs and expects to add 2,900 for a development in Louisiana that will be used to construct modules for new nuclear plants.

Each new reactor will employ 1,400 to 1,800 people during construction, rising to as high as 2,400 jobs as the facility is built. During operation, a nuclear plant typically has a skilled work force of between 400 and 700 employees.

Business has never been better for engineering consulting in the nuclear industry. More work is available than we can handle and we will post a record profit in 2008. By a factor of three!

All of this with construction of the next generation of reactors still years away.

Let the good times roll.

Thank you Nobel Laureate Gore.

Palin Drug Arrest!!!



Oh my goodness.

Bristol Palin's baby's grandmother was arrested on felony drug charges. What a scandal. Forget Blago-quiddick, it is a good thing that woman was not elected Vice President.

Related news is here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jukes



I acquired a USB turntable and am digging out my old LP's and ripping the music to MP3's. Southside Johnny is spinning right now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ultimate Fattie

UPDATE: Welcome BBQ Addicts Bacon Explosion fans. You are still (at least) one step behind me.


I saw this guy's cheese-filled bacon lattice and thought "Amateur Hour." Although the bacon lattice is rather inspiring, a bacon-cheese roll-up left me feeling unfulfilled. Cheese and bacon is a good start, but more heft was needed to make this a satisfying entree or even appetizer. My answer was to add pork sausage and muenster cheese.



And a poblano chile.



I rolled out the sausage slightly, added the grated cheese and diced chile, and then could not refrain from adding a layer of sliced pepperoni.



The sausage fattie was rolled up in the precooked bacon wrap. Note that the bacon was slightly undercooked so it would remain pliable and would not overcook on my smoker.



Rolled up and onto the smoker, cooked low & slow over hickory smoke.



Voila, good enough to eat. The Ultimate Fattie, or soon to be known as Redneck Sushi.



If they served these at Gitmo, we'd be talking crimes against humanity.

Serving suggestion, cut slices of the finished fattie and serve on small hamburger rolls to make really greasy pork sliders.

Eat your hearts out, cholesterol starved America.

Bon App├ętit

The cause of global warming - confirmed



Credit where credit is due. This graphic was developed by Warren Meyer using Anthony Watt's analysis (Watt's results shown below).

Everything you need to know about the cause of global warming is right here. The raw measured temperature data for the last 120 years show a cooling trend. Only after the global warming fraudsters adjust this data to match their theories and models does a "Global Warming Trend" emerge.




This brings me to that warning at the end of the late Michael Crichton's State of Fear:

WARNING: COMPUTER SIMULATION - MAY BE ERRONEOUS AND UNVERIFIABLE

There is no physical evidence of anthropogenic global warming. All the panic being generated by Al Gore, James Hansen, and Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu is based on computer simulations. Simulations using certain specific positive feedback assumptions with no factual physical basis.

Crichton wrote:
(I)t sounds like they went out and measured something. Actually, they just ran a simulation. They talk as if simulations were real-world data. They're not. That's a problem that has to be fixed.
Frankly, it is even worse than what Crichton wrote. "They" (meaning the Global Warming Industry) cannot even be trusted with the "real-world" data. It is just something to manipulate to confirm their models and simulations.

Even anomalous and physically suspect measured data passes through these alarmists without critical analysis. They have a vested interest in promoting a climate change panic. Their jobs depend on it.

One further note. The graphics in this post use only U.S. temperature data. The data from most of the rest of the planet is even more suspect and show greater global warming. Quality control cannot be confirmed in many of these nations. But more significant is the fact that many of the nations "producing data" showing an anthropogenic global warming effect will be the beneficiaries of significant economic gain if the United States is handcuffed by restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Jackie and Dunlap Christmas



It brings a tear to my eye.

Say "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwe"



We'd didn't put Pixel and Bandit together in the cat bed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barack Oblago

Jonah Goldberg must have tapped into Mark Steyn's supply of absinthe when he wrote today's column about Chicago political corruption. He had way too much fun writing this stuff.
There’s the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times — which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial-board meetings in a refrigerator box — created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin’s background, all the while treating Obama’s Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls’ bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That’s a Pegasus. That’s a pink unicorn. And that’s a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end.
But in another paragraph Goldberg gives Obama an undeserved benefit of the doubt.
But, there is a nice moral to the story here. For the last several years, we’ve heard a lot about “new politics.” We are going to start fresh and put aside the old politics and the old ways. So far, it looks like Obama did nothing wrong, and I hope that remains the case. But it’s worth remembering that there really isn’t any such thing as a “new politics.” Politics is eternal because human nature is unchanging. Even Barack Obama, hero-saint light-worker Jedi Knight Messiah that he is, came from a political culture that would not be unrecognizable to Caligula.
Obama has done nothing wrong? Yeah, right. Imagine Blagojevich saying this into that FBI bug.
He wants that f***ing [Senate Candidate 1] for his Senate seat and all that prick offers is his f***ing appreciation. F*** him!

My f***ing wife wants a two f***ing million dollar joint in Hyde Park. If she ever expects to cross that f***ing threshold, she better give Hot Rod more than f***ing appreciation, if you know what I f***ing mean.

F*** that mother f***ing Nigerian bastard. If he comes up with a f***ing quarter of the price of that house the b**ch is nagging me for, then I'll think about appointing f***ing [Senate Candidate 1].


View Larger Map

How far out is that? There is no evidence that even Blago was this f***ing blatant in his corruption.

Maybe in Goldberg's sunflower fantasy world a near bankrupt Mrs. Rezko can come up with $625,000 to pay towards the $2,275,000 price of Barack Obama's Hyde Park estate in her dream of someday living next door to the Chosen One. But in the sleazy world of Chicago graft and corruption, the reality is that political fixer Tony Rezko laundered a down payment from someone to his wife to buy the lot. He did this so that no one could ever build next to Michelle Obama's dream home. Obama, Rezko and that unidentified benefactor were definitely more careful and cunning than Blagojevich in his auction of a Senate seat, but that does not diminish the facts of Obama's sleazy and corrupt real estate deal.

This is the very same Tony Rezko who is ratting out Blagojevich. But Blago, universally acknowledged as the most blatantly corrupt politician in America today, didn't go out scheming for almost two-thirds of a million bucks to help pay for a new house.

Mrs. Obama's $100,000 raise from nowhere is another example of Barack receiving political favors. But that's another episode. Lightworker my f***ing a**.

To say that Obama "did nothing wrong" is a bald faced lie. Surely Obama won't be indicted, won't go to trial, and won't go to prison, but the truth of the matter is obvious. The political paybacks Obama has received are substantial and should not be sugar-coated by political pundits and the press. Jonah Goldberg should know better.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Double your pleasure!

Two days for Cheesehead superiority.

Yesterday - The Trib (and the Cubs) file for bankruptcy.

Today - Blagoquiddick!

At least Wisconsin's elected crooks are smart enough not to get caught.

Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald

Why did Fitzgerald drop the bomb on Blagojevich this morning?

Because Obama was getting close to making a deal with Blagojevich. We couldn't have that. In steps Mr. Fitzgerald with today's preemptive action.

Oh, it is possible that the President-elect had enough sense not to deal with Blagojevich, but not likely. Obama is too arrogant to think he'd be caught at anything he does. It has worked up until now. Why would this be any different?

U.S. Senate seat for sale

Its a good thing that Ted Stevens lost his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate seat from Alaska. The temptation may have been too great for Gov. Palin, and we could be reading this today.
Later, SARAH PALIN stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.” …

In regards to the Senate seat, SARAH PALIN stated “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.” …

SARAH PALIN states that he will put 64 “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.” ….

SARAH PALIN states that he will appoint “[Senate Candidate 1] . . . but if they feel like they can do this and not fucking give me anything . . . then I’ll fucking go [Senate Candidate 5].”…

Later in the conversation, SARAH PALIN said she knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”…
That was a close one.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Who is the worst Food Network chef?



After seeing Bobby Flay's Brown Bag Apple Pie Throwdown with The Elegant Farmer, I had to take a trip to Mukwanago and buy a pie. The Farmer's pies baked in a paper bag live up to their billing as the "best pies in America." It was no wonder to me why their pie beat Flay's Fried Apple Pies. But I still thought that Flay's pies must have been pretty darn good. Last night I found out the truth.

Following the recipe at the FoodTV website, my wife duplicated Flay's fried pies. The pies started with a cooked apple mixture. So far, so good. The mixture was mighty tasty on it's own.



The apple mixture was then wrapped in a pie dough (containing copious amounts of butter and lard) to make turnovers. The turnovers were then deep fried.



The result was a culinary atrocity. The butter, lard and peanut oil soaked pastry dominated everything. Think "McDonald's Apple Pie with a pat of lard on top." That Throwdown was not even close. I still feel wads of the fatty globules working their way through my body.

On the other hand, the crust was nice and flaky.



This wasn't our first Food Network recipe gone bad. Even some of know-it-all Alton Brown's "this is the only way to cook it" creations have been failures. And don't be pointing fingers this way, my wife and I can cook and know how to follow a recipe.

Who is the worst of the FoodTV chefs? Take the poll.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Rolling along

I was recently reminded of a business colleague who I would see numerous times a year in the 1990's. My friend William from Charlotte was paralyzed in a very unremarkable motorcycle accident while in college. He remained the consummate good ole boy, inspite of his lovely wife's efforts.

I knew him when we were in our 30's and early 40's. Of all the people I'd regularly see at my business meetings, William would put us all to shame with his athleticism and physical activity. Wheelchair basketball and racing were part of his routine.

William was always a gas to be around and he never slowed us down. In fact, he had to slow his chair to let us walkers keep up with him and he never let an escalator get in his way. He'd effortlessly wheel a 180 in order to ride up or down the moving stairs backyards. Bystanders would typically gasp when he did this. I also became a near expert at assembling and disassembling his chair to fit in a car.

William participated in a lot of charity events for paralysis causes. That, and with his engaging personality, made him well known around Charlotte. He would regularly work out in the gym at Hendrick Motorsports with Jeff Gordon's pit crew. He became well enough known nationally that a mono-ski manufacturer flew him to Colorado to test their prototype models. In his spare time he organized and participated in a handcycle marathon from Charlotte to the Atlantic Ocean as a fundraiser.

What reminded me of William (sorry Sheryl, but he's not Bill or Billy or Mac or Buddy) was this Elliot guy. The activities he lists at his "About" page sound like things my friend would do. I'd like to see how Elliott handles escalators.

Poll Results

The results of the fast food poll are complete. Here they are with the correct answer.

1. Wait until they finally decide to take my order.

Two votes - Wrong. If you chose answer #1 you are at the wrong restaurant. The reason you are at McDonald's is for FAST food. Waiting longer in that long line has defeated that purpose.

2. Pull in front of the woman and give my order at Window 1.

Zero votes - This is the correct answer. McDonald's is set up for this contingency. They took my order & money and had my food waiting by the time I made it to Window 2. The people in the cars behind me in the left lane were also appreciative.

3. Pull in front of the woman, then pull out of line and leave.

One vote - Wrong. Duh! What are you thinking?

4. Pull in front of the woman, pay for and take her order, and hopefully foul up the orders of the next half dozen cars.

Two votes - This is an alternate correct answer. If you don't mind eating and paying for random meals, this is the way to go. The confusion you leave behind will make the 3 Happy Meals and 2 plain Double Quarter Pounders with Cheese go down easier.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

They deserve each other

From Madison's Capital Times news blog.
The bicyclist who felt "extremely insulted" when a fellow biker told him to get a light on his bike and ended up beating the commenter was arrested and tentatively charged with battery and disorderly conduct Wednesday, police said.

Dustin Dunlavy, 28, Madison, allegedly grabbed Colin O'Brien, 51, around the head in the confrontation on South Shore Drive the night of Nov. 26.

According to police:

The incident started about 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 as O'Brien was biking home on South Shore Drive, on the south side of Monona Bay.

Two bicyclists came up behind O'Brien, with one saying they were going to pass him on the left. As they passed, O'Brien said, "Get a light."

Dunlavy apparently asked him to repeat himself so he did, with the couple then telling O'Brien to mind his own business. Dunlavy apparently then tried to run O'Brien off the road.

The pair followed O'Brien to his home, where the light talk continued.

The female said it appeared O'Brien had plenty of lights and asked for one, so he gave one to her, but Dunlavy still was upset and clamped his hands around O'Brien's head, according to a police report.

The report added that he twisted O'Brien to the ground and kicked him in the ribs, but Dunlavy denied doing so when he was arrested.
Colin and Dustin are the same type of jerk who went berserk at Paul Soglin's suggestion that cyclists leave their bikes at home during blizzards. They are each holier than thou. All urban bicyclists are pricks. Period. There are no exceptions.

Suburban and rural cyclists have completely different DNA. We are reasonable people.

Tire Rack exceeds my expectations, again.



After Monday's snowfall my Winter Tire Fetish kicked in and I decided to order a set of snow tires for my daughter's car. After choosing her tires online and confirming her approval of the wheels I picked, I finally placed the order with Tire Rack after 10:00 P.M. The immediate order status said the tires were on back order.

However, within one hour I had received an email from Tire Rack confirming my order and stating the tires were in stock. A welcome surprise, I now had hope of receiving the tires before the end of next week.

Before 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, I received another email stating that the tires had shipped from the South Bend Tire Rack facility. That was less than 36 hours for the order to be processed, products gathered, tires mounted and balanced on the wheels, and the tires shipped via UPS. Still, having chosen standard shipping, my expectations for receiving the tires in time to install this weekend were not high.

This morning a UPS Tracking check showed the tires were in Elm Grove, and I soon received a call from my wife saying the tires had arrived before 9:00 A.M. The total time from order to delivery was less than 59 hours. That would be exceptional service with expedited processing and shipping, but this was just a standard order for Tire Rack.

If you decide that Winter tires are a prudent choice for your vehicle, you cannot go wrong ordering from Tire Rack.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quantities are limited ...



Just in time for Christmas for the Favre jock sniffer in your life (hint, hint Mrs. Fischer).

Just between you, me and Vincent T., only a crucifix in urine may be more sacrilegious than this.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Drive-thru ettiquette

The other day I went through a McDonald's drive-thru to pick up lunch. It was one of the two lane drive-thru's, and things moved very quickly - left, right, left, right ...

Finally I get up to the board where I can pick out my Dollar Menu lunch. Left, right, left, right, right ... oops.

"Excuse me," I yelled in the speaker, "you missed my turn." No answer, as the woman in the right lane is having her order taken.

What do I do now? I can think of four main choices.
  1. Wait until they finally decide to take my order.
  2. Pull in front of the woman and give my order at Window 1.
  3. Pull in front of the woman, then pull out of line and leave.
  4. Pull in front of the woman, pay for and take her order, and hopefully foul up the orders of the next half dozen cars.
Take the poll, sidebar right.

UPDATE:

Poll results are here.

The Curse of Brett Favre



Until today, I have been a naysayer of those criticizing Ted Thompson's decision to trade Brett Favre to the New York Jets for a 2009 draft pick. By my logic, the drop-off in quarterback quality with Aaron Rogers was not exceptional and the Packers will end up with a potential future star with that high draft pick from the Jets. I analogize the trade to getting something for a used car that would otherwise not be driven again.

I have also been hard on Favre jock-sniffers Kevin Fischer and Huckleberry Dumbell. They are focused on the quarterback position where statistically Favre and Rogers have been a toss-up, 94.1 to 90.5 QB Ratings following last Monday night's fiasco in New Orleans. The reality is that Aaron Rogers is not losing any more games for the Packers than Favre normally did. It has been the Packers defense this year that is losing games. Fischer's and Dumbell's comparisons to the 2007 Packers also ignore the fact that the team was incredibly lucky with injuries last year.

I've been of the same mind as Jib, who said this week.
1. Think back on how many shootouts the Packers won with Brett over the years. Having trouble coming up with more than a few, aren't you? That's because the ultimate gunslinger wasn't actually all that good in shootouts. He was undisciplined and made a ton of errors when games seemed to be spinning out of control. Like you, I was hoping for Favre-like big plays in the second half from Rodgers. Unfortunately, even Favre did not make those plays very often in games like last night. He was more prone to toss 5 interceptions in games like last night.

2. You all are right. The Packers do miss the pass rush that Brett brought last year. And he was a stout run stopper, too.

3. You all are right. The Packers do miss the blanket-like pass coverage Brett brought to the secondary of this team.
But earlier today I learned of The Curse of Bobby Lane. The parallels are troubling.
In 1958, after leading the Lions to 3 NFL Championships and providing Detroit nearly decade of Hall of Fame play, the Lions traded Bobby Layne. Bobby was injured during the last championship season and the Lions thought he was through and wanted to get what they could for him. According to Legend, as he was leaving for Pittsburgh Bobby said that Detroit "would not win for 50 years".

For nearly 50 years the Lions have searched for answers and each time they think they have one, it gets foiled and they have to start from scratch all over again. The team is constantly in a rebuilding state with an ever constant Quarterback controversy (Ala Munson/Landry, Peete/Ware, or Harrington/Garcia).
And.
Upon his retirement in 1962, Bobby held the NFL record for most career pass attempts, completions, passing yardage, and touchdown passes (since broken). However, it was his leadership and will to win that, to this day, separate Bobby Layne from his quarterback contemporaries. He willed three average Detroit Lions teams to championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957.
Layne and Favre were cast in the same mold.
"Bobby Layne never lost a game. Time just ran out. Nobody hated to lose more than Bobby."
--
Doak Walker
How many time has that been said of Favre?

I now understand that it is not the quality of the quarterback's play that is losing games this year. It is the bad mojo that the Packers now carry from Thompson's treatment of Favre. The lesson of the Lion's treatment of Bobby Layne bodes ill for the Packers chances of success for decades.

How long until we can add the Favre Curse to this list of famous sports curses?

Cross posted at The Curse of Brett Favre blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I do like I Don't Like Mondays



I got here in a roundabout way. Dad29 linked to this Hugh Laurie YouTube song, which led me to Laurie playing the opening of I Don't Like Mondays, and then to Bob Geldof's version. A New Wave classic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More scratch

After months of substandard writing, I have pulled my blog back up to it's rightful Genius Level. It must have something to do with the increased non-Obama subject matter.

blog readability test

Movie Reviews



For those unable to comprehend this highest level of discourse, please click here.

Scratch this

This recipe for Baked Cornbread Casserole has become a Thanksgiving staple in my home. If you are looking for something different and easy this year give it a try.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 pound butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
1 (12 ounce) package corn bread mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBSP Raw sugar
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles or jalepenos (optional)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, fold all ingredients together. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

Click here for the easy wheelchair accessible recipe instructions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Barack Obama - Economic Ignoramus

In contemplating Barack Obama's possible actions to address the economy there is one thing that he could immediately do to reassure and strengthen our financial markets. If he made a statement that the Obama Administration will make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, it would provide significant economic stimulus. Tom Blumer wrote on the matter of Obama making the tax cuts permanent and abandoning his plans to destroy domestic oil production.

If Obama doesn’t currently signal and then carry through on forgetting about his punitive tax plans and/or foolishly locks up fuel resources, the fuel-price stimulus just noted will go away. Any other so-called stimulus coming out of Washington won’t be of much ongoing value to the long-term health of the overall economy. If fuel prices will head back up, or if Obama’s campaign tax promises are carried out, businessmen and entrepreneurs will continue to play it close to the vest by avoiding hiring and capital investment.

The new president and his party have worked tirelessly to talk down, and take down, the economy for years. They finally succeeded doing so sometime in June, creating the current POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy — soon to be known, barring an unlikely fourth quarter turnaround, as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Recession. Unlike them, I want the US to prosper no matter who’s in charge. Following the suggestions just outlined will bring prosperity back.

I believe, however, that Obama will continue with his plans to further manipulate the tax code to achieve his idea of redistributive tax nirvana. It is telling to watch Obama respond to Charlie Gibson after Gibson carefully explains how our economy previously responded to reduced capital gains tax rates by collecting a greater amount of total taxes.



Obama does not even acknowledge what Gibson explained for almost one minute. He instead goes directly to talking about fairness, punitive measures against hedge fund managers, and how he needs to raise capital gains tax rates to finance health care and other giveaways. Gibson and the compliant media never challenged Obama on this change of subject or pointed out his economic ignorance. It is crystal clear that Mr. Obama does not understand basic economic theory or the demonstrated effect of the Laffer Curve for over a quarter century.

This was not an isolated incident, as Obama reinforces the fact that he is economically ignorant in the famous dialog with Joe the Plumber.



"Spread the wealth around" is his response to Joe, showing that he believes that economics is a zero-sum game. He thinks he can simply take "wealth" (actually meaning income) from those earning more and give it to those earning little or nothing without affecting the economy or reducing the overall amount of taxes collected. For our next President, it is all about punishing those that do well and rewarding those who do not try.

The question that should have been asked by Charlie or by Joe was, "Mr. Obama, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that when taxes are raised on the affluent, not only do they end up with less money, but the government also receives less taxes to spread to the needy and the number of needy also increases. With these facts in mind, how is raising taxes on the affluent fair to anyone?"

This type of economic ignorance is not unusual for many who major in the arts or letters when in college. These individuals gravitate to these soft majors in part because they have little or no aptitude for math and science. Obama fits this profile, which could be one more reason he will not release his college transcripts. More evidence ...



This Obama gaffe was blamed on ad libbing or poor preparation. But I think his staff prepared him well with this talking point, but his brain could not process math and economics which led to his awful verbal stumble.

I worry that despite have a large group of informed economic advisers, many coming from Bill Clinton's pro-growth administration, Barack Obama will be unable to mentally process their arguments. He will govern based on his feelings, which may be appropriate for preschoolers, but is dangerous for an adult in the office of the President.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Global warming's cause discovered - Visual Evidence

Anthony Watts created this graphic which shows the adjustments made to the U.S. temperature record between 1999 and 2008 by James Hansen's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. (Click the graphic to see it in it's entirety. The formatting does not cooperate with Blogger).



The philosophy at GISS appears to be: When the climate data does not cooperate, change it.

I can conceive of no reason to accept any information provided by the zealots at GISS at face value. The philosophy at Headless Blogger is: When in doubt, throw it out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Global warming's cause discovered



On Monday you may have read about NASA's James Hansen declaring that October 2008 was the hottest October on record. The Climate Skeptic blog had this report.
For October, the GISS metric is showing the hottest October on record, nearly 0.8C hotter than it was 40 years ago in 1978. However, the satellites are showing no such thing, showing a much cooler October, and a far smaller warming trend over the last 40 years.

So which is right? Well, the situation is not helped by the fact that the GISS metric is run by James Hansen, considered by skeptics to be a leading alarmist, and the UAH is run by John Christy, considered by alarmists to be an arch-skeptic. The media generally uses the GISS data, so expect stories in the next day or so trumpeting "Hottest October Ever," which the Obama administration will wave around as justification for massive economic interventions. But by satellite it will only be the 10th or so hottest in the last 30, and probably cooler than most other readings this century.
That graphic at the top of the page shows the reason for the high GISS readings. A large area of northern Asia reported an average measured temperature for October that was 13.7 degrees Celsius warmer than normal.

Putting that into words that you and I can understand, a North America-sized area across Northern Asia was 25 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal for the month of October. I guess that would account for the new record high month. Twenty-five degrees warmer ... I'm surprised I didn't read about that in the news.

Eureka!

A blogger looking through NASA's dataset discovered an error. For the large area with the record high temperatures, September's temperatures were erroneously repeated for October. Again, putting it in terms that you and I can understand, NASA's vaunted Quality Assurance Program could not find this error, but some guy eating Pop Tarts in his pajamas at home did.

Even more amazing is that a huge brown 25 degree stain on the global temperature map was published by NASA without raising one single eyebrow within the buracracy.

From this it is easy to discern the cause of Global Warming. It is NASA's Dr. James Hansen fudging his data to achieve the results he needs to justify his abysmal climate model.

Aussie blogger Andrew Bolt may have put it best.

The Goddard Institute of Space Studies of warming extremist James Hansen has released its latest surface temperature data - and, oh my god, the recent cooling has suddenly ended.

Yes, it shows a huge upward spike for October - one of the biggest monthly anomalies ever recorded. And when you check closely, you will find that ... September was the hottest October ever recorded.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The measure of a man



Eugene Allen started work at the White House in 1952, retiring as a butler in 1986. In all that time he never missed a day of work, with the exception of a state dinner with Helmut Kohl that Nancy Reagan would not let him work.
First lady Nancy Reagan came looking for him in the kitchen one day. She wanted to remind him about the upcoming dinner for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. He told her he was well ahead in the planning and had already picked out the china. But she told him he would not be working that night.

"She said, 'You and Helene are coming to the state dinner as guests of President Reagan and myself.' I'm telling you! I believe I'm the only butler to get invited to a state dinner."

Husbands and wives don't sit together at these events, and Helene was nervous about trying to make small talk with world leaders. "And my son says, 'Mama, just talk about your high school. They won't know the difference.'

"The senators were all talking about the colleges and universities that they went to," she says." I was doing as much talking as they were.

Mr. Allen's career and his pride in the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency is described in this piece in the Washington Post. If Mr. Obama does not keep company with Eugene Allen on 1/20/09 it will make a large statement about his character.

Don't miss the sad ending.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Lapdog Media - Redefined



My goodness. Books, "living" ex-Presidents, a new puppy, and the school choice for his daughters. Thanks God President Bush never had to face hard-hitting questions from the press like that during his eight years in office.

The dog response is encouraging. If our President-elect ever finds time to give half as much thought to the financial crisis as that, a quick return to prosperity is guaranteed.

Talk about not ready for prime time. It is no wonder that Obama refused to hold press conferences for the last two years.

Friday, November 07, 2008

BREAKING: GAB says no vote fraud in Wisconsin

This may not be the officially published position of Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board. But it is the mindset of their staffers.

My leftist friend working in the cesspool of Wisconsin government reports that his breakroom buddies from the GAB's Election Division say that voter fraud in Wisconsin "is virtually non-existent when compared to the number of voters." They have also told him over donuts and coffee that "voter registration discrepancies never have been proven to lead to voter fraud." These public servants are more concerned with "voter suppression" that voter fraud.

Other than the Black Panthers, who was suppressing voters this year? News reports say that 2008 voter turnout was the "best in generations." This record turnout was led by African-Americans, with white Republican voting lagging 2004 turnout. There was even that black gentleman bragging to CNN about voting three times. From this I conclude that those Panthers were pretty damn effective in suppressing the white vote. Investigate THAT, GAB.

With the mindset of these hacks, why does the Election Division still exist? They have no interest in understanding and enforcing Wisconsin's election statutes. Jim Doyle can start here in making up that $3 Billion budget shortfall.

Nevermind these poll watcher reports from Milwaukee's inner city. There is nothing to see here, please move along.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My new neighbors



Investment tip for today - international securities.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You can fool enough of the people, enough of the time.



Four years of that wart. We'll find out what "change" means, soon enough.

Dude, please see a dermatologist.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Nacht



We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a Civilian National Security Force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
A disturbing concept. There are a good list of questions about this proposal posed at the Captain's Journal.
  1. How will this Civilian National Security Force (hereafter CNSF) be just as powerful as men with guns, artillery, ordnance, war ships and aircraft?
  2. What will make the CNSF “just as strong” as the U.S. Marine Corps?
  3. How will this CNSF implement national security policy?
  4. Since the 2009 budget includes just over half a trillion dollars for defense spending (The Captain’s Journal supports this, and calls for even more), and since it is judged that this CNSF be “just as well funded” as the military, where will this half a trillion dollars come from?
  5. Finally, if he didn’t really mean that this CNSF would be the beneficiary of half a trillion dollars (to do with we don’t know what), then why did he say so?
I have a few questions on my own.
  1. Who controls this "civilian" force?
  2. Is this a part of the Federal Government?
  3. Controlled by Executive, Legislative, or Judicial?
  4. If part of the Federal Government, how does a "Security Force" remain "civilian?"
  5. Does this amount to anything more than arming and legally empowering civilian Community Organizers to enforce the Obama doctrine?
The list could continue, but I tried to answer my questions based on historical precedent.
To understand this fully, students should be acquainted with the concept of the "dual state." In effect, the (...) government and the (...) party were operated at the same time and along parallel, but often conflicting, lines.
I think the Org Chart will look something like this.



Here is a real life example of what to expect from Obama's Security Troopers.

It seems that a bunch of Obama supporters -- paid campaign workers, actually -- were loudly demanding that they get the "working man’s price" for alcohol. When the bartender explained that the prices were consistent every night and that most Republicans didn’t order top shelf unless they were willing to pay for it, the Obama workers went a little batty. According to the bartender, the Obama-ites wanted top-shelf liquor, scotch, that was $100 a glass or more, but they wanted it cheap.

“Working man prices.”

When the campaign workers started going after other patrons, that's when it got ugly. They started accusing regular folks of not voting for Obama because of racism, etc. Instead of explaining why they liked Obama so much, Team Obama members demanded that others defend Obama on their behalf.

It is not hard to imagine that these campaign workers will be members of Obama's Civilian National Security Force. Expect them to be well armed with the power to quell dissent and arrest those who are disloyal to the State and Herr Obama.

How will this work. Try to imagine the following example with the SS having the ability to monitor communications on the Internet and cellular communications (24 fans: think Frau Chloe).
One final word is necessary on the operation of the Nazi government. Everyone knows how important the Gestapo was in terms of maintaining an atmosphere of terror. The usual view has been one of Gestapo agents everywhere, watching every move of every German. History teachers today would be well served to familiarize themselves with the work of Robert Gellately. He has demonstrated convincingly and surprisingly just how few Gestapo agents were needed to keep ideological order in Germany. For the administrative region of Lower Franconia, for example, only twenty-eight agents were needed to monitor a population of one million, and all but six of them were assigned to the city of Wuerzburg. How did they manage, given what appears to be an enormous task and a severe shortage of manpower? Gellately has shown that the ordinary citizenry proved to be enormously helpful in terms of conforming to the demands of the regime and spying on one another. The main job of the agents, as it turns out, therefore was to sort through denunciations. This is an aspect of the Third Reich that has definitely been misunderstood.
Change that from "disturbing" to "chilling" concept. You read it here first, folks. Be afraid. Very, very afraid.

I am GestapObama, and I approve this message.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And what is wrong with socialism?



I sent this Prosqtor's Progress link to my leftie friend, a unionized employee of the State of Wisconsin. He used to do honest work in corporate America and has always believed in investing in the stock market. Talk about drinking the Obama Kool Aid. It must be blended in the coffee in the State Office Buildings in Madison.

This is the fun that ensued.
Headless Blogger: If the impossible happens on Nov. 4, you should visit this website.

Leftie Friend: I like it ...I'm SOLD! If the election is thrown again, I may just leave this loser place to you "reds"!

HB: Yeah, frankly if Obama succeeds in stealing the Presidency, I may use the service. Suddenly, Canada will be less socialist than the U.S.

LF: And what is wrong with socialism? (which the US will never fully be)

HB: And what is wrong with socialism?

Say goodbye to your 401(k), IRA and any other stock investments.

LF: They will not get rid of our retirement account options; give me a break! That's ludicrous!

HB: I stand corrected. 401(k)'s will still be around, just without the tax advantages and the employer incentives to match contributions. Oh boy!

LF: The comments on the article were more telling than the article itself.

Innocent Libertarian Bystander: What's wrong with socialism? Oh, not much. Ask the former members of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics how it worked out for them. From each according to his ability to each according to his need.You have ability, so cough it up and give it away to those who have the need. Or rather, have it taken forcibly away from you.

If a single person uses force to take away your wealth and give it to someone else, that's called theft. If the government uses force to take away your wealth and give it to someone else, that's called redistribution of wealth through taxation and is considered perfectly legal.

We'll find out what is wrong with socialism soon enough.

But you're right. The Second Amendment should prevent full socialism in this country.

LF: The USSR was Communist; not socialist. There is a big difference!

HB: Spoken in my best Ronnie voice: Well, there you go again.

After being bombarded by Obama lying about McCain taking Granny's SS Check away for a week, I see nothing wrong with taking the Obama 401(k) redistribution plan to it's logical conclusions. Did you also know that the government will take 50% of what is left in your 401(k) or IRA when you pass away and hand it out to dope fiends, child rapists, community organizers, and other ne'er do wells?

Also, if you think you are getting anything from BO's plan you are fooling yourself. You and I are each in the top 15% of U.S. household income. He's got to draw the line somewhere between who gives and who gets. We are going to be the givers, not the getters.

See Wiki for household income graph:

That exchange is from Monday, interestingly enough by Friday $250,000 has become $120,000. Barry O. has me and my friend in his sights, and this is four days before we vote. With a victory will Obama move that decimal point to the left?

Drudge says McCain is up 48% to 47%. My friend had better start thinking about packing those boxes for the move north of the border.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Does the spirit of Bill France live on in Bud Selig?

What I witnessed last night was the equivalent of that conveniently discovered debris that seems to always cause a yellow caution flag with seven laps to go in too many NASCAR races. Bud Selig has demonstrated a need to manipulate baseball games rather than to let them be played out by the rules. He threw away the Official Rules of Baseball last night, just as he did at the 2002 All Star Game.

Why was completing Monday's World Series game so important that baseball's rules were ignored and the Phillies put at a substantial disadvantage? Was it for the Wednesday pregame Obama infomercial?

The Phillies were screwed by Bud Selig on Monday.

Bud outdid himself this time. This was worse than the 2002 All Star fiasco. Especially considering the All Star Game is a exhibition and last night the Phillies had the 2008 World Series won until Selig intervened.

In this case the Umpire-in-Chief could and should have suspended play after five innings, but that would have made it an official game. And also would made it a Phillies' victory if they could not resume play. Bud said that was a no-no.

"I would not have allowed the World Series to end this way," Selig said late last night, at a Citizens Bank Park press conference that was crowded and uncomfortable.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, in the top of the 6th the conditions were so bad that a routine ground ball third out becomes an "infield hit" and then the tying run. Once the score was tied it was acceptable for Bud to suspend the game. The final three and one-half innings are now scheduled to be played immediately following the Obama ad on Wednesday.

What do the Phillies get when they come to bat in the bottom of the 6th following the Obamamercial? The Rays get to bring in a fresh pitcher, almost certainly their top available starter. The field will then be dry and the fielders, too. And the Phillies Ace is not available to complete the game. The Phillies got screwed by Selig, the Rays play the bottom of the sixth inning with a substantial advantage.

If this game was played using the Official Rules of Baseball, the Phillies win the World Series* on Monday. A rain-shortened game? Yup! Those are the rules for 162 games of the season, but not for Bud in the World Series. He throws away the rulebook and waves the yellow caution flag.

What if they had played by the Rulebook?

First, chances are the game never starts. It is the home team's call whether or not to start, not Selig's excuse to get Obama the maximum audience on Wednesday.

By the fifth inning the field was a mess and the game should have been suspended and replayed on another day. But by then Bud had to keep it going.

In the sixth inning it was a crime to make Cole Hamels pitch in that crap. His effectiveness was lost to the wet ball and his defense was crippled by poor vision and wet hands. Selig bent over backwards to give the Rays a chance to score, then he suspended the game with the weather no worse than in the top half of the inning.

Selig said that he wanted a full nine inning game, but the Rules of Baseball give the umpires that sole discretion. Per the Rulebook, Selig has no say in the matter.

The Rules say:
4.01(d) As soon as the home team’s batting order is handed to the umpire-in-chief the umpires are in charge of the playing field and from that moment they shall have sole authority to determine when a game shall be called, suspended or resumed on account of weather or the condition of the playing field.
According to JSOnline, here's what Selig said.
By scoring a run in the top of the sixth, the Rays prevented Selig from making a difficult decision. With Philadelphia leading, 2-1, entering that inning, the rules allowed for the Phillies to be given a rain-shortened victory and therefore the World Series title.

But Selig said he would not have allowed the crown to be settled in that fashion. No World Series game ever has been started and not played at least nine innings (three ended in a tie).

"I have to use my judgment," Selig said. "That's not a way to decide the World Series."
Wrong Bud. That is the way baseball is played. You are the Commissioner, not an umpire. What's next, is Bud going to call balls and strikes from the Commissioner's box?

*There is my asterisk. The Phillies are the 2008 World Champions in 5 games.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween 2008 - The Costume

What you will need:
  • A Balding Head
  • Thick Rimless Eyeglasses
  • Tweed Sport Coat
  • Che T-Shirt
  • Obama Button
  • Dreams from my Father
  • Bomb-like Device
  • American Flag
Assemble the above.

You are now Barack Obama's BFF and #1 supporter.



Halloween 2007 - The Costume

Adventures in Charcuterie: Prosciutto di Baraboo

SALTED AIR-DRIED HAM

This ham is in the style of the most famous hams, prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele, Bayonne, and Serrano. It's the most simple kind of dry-cured ham, anyone can do the curing, but the quality of the end result is entirely dependent on the hog, where it lived, what it ate, how fat it grew.
This is another recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Because my Berkshire hog was raised until slaughter in Baraboo, I believe the proper name for my ham is Prosciutto di Baraboo.

The ingredient list is very simple: Kosher Salt; Fresh Ham; Lard; Cracked Black Pepper; and Cheesecloth. This is my 14 pound ham packed in kosher salt.



I placed the salted ham in the vegetable crisper, safely out of the way of other activity. I put a 10 pound weight on the ham to squeeze out moisture as it cured for three weeks, and applied more salt regularly.



After the curing, the salt is rinsed off and the ham is dried.



The meat was covered with lard (it helps to keep the exposed flesh from overdrying) then sprinkled with cracked black pepper (the books says the pepper helps to keep bugs away - Yummo!).

I didn't take any pictures of this step because my hands were covered with lard.



Wrapped in cheesecloth, the ham will hang in my basement for 4 to 5 months to dry. It will be ready just in time for St. Paddy's Day.

This finished product is here.

B. Obama has studied T. Jefferson, very well

"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.
Add Bob Jordan and Barbara West to my list of heroes. I have some certainty that their lives will be torn apart in public ala Joe the Plumber.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

Here's a link to the interview: http://www.wftv.com/video/17790025/index.html.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."

Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.

"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."

Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."

Obviously, Jordan and West did not attend Columbia's School of Journalism. This kind of thought is not taught there.

"The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper." --Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

Life in the Obama Administration will be ugly for dissenters. We are not just getting hints, Obama's campaign has issued warnings and shown numerous examples of what to expect.

"No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth whether in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:406

Sadly, it will take members of the Party of Lincoln to school the Party of Jefferson in what a free press means our other freedoms. I fear that it may take another of Jefferson's lesson to make it happen.

"To preserve the freedom of the human mind... and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement." Thomas Jefferson to William Green Munford, 1799.

This is a healthcare crisis?



Juxtaposing a couple of Dad29's recent posts, that graph came to mind.

I stole the image and the following directly from William M. Briggs, Statistician.

This is because both presidential candidates, and of course many other people, nervously claim that there is a “Health Care Crisis! We have to do something!”

Yes, it’s so bad that the people are living longer and longer and longer… This picture says that whatever the crisis is, it clearly doesn’t have to do with that part of health that keeps people alive. I would argue that that part is the most important; apparently, others disagree.

The graph shows that the odds for survival of older Americans have nearly doubled in the last 50 years. That looks more like a retirement funding crisis than a healthcare crisis to me. But what do I know? I am not a doctor or an actuary.

I really fear the Obama-Ayers Final Solution to these "crises."

I'm still waiting for McCain or the Republicans to put up an ad reporting the Obama-Democrat plans to take away our 401(k). Talk about front page news, this has far more significance to far more Americans than any of the Bill Ayers distractions.

If their plan is implemented, I think there will be a real CRISIS in the United States. The dreams of Bill Ayers or Jefferson Davis may finally come true.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Viral email

My wife received this from her (former Obama supporting) girlfriend.
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

Frankly, I am tempted to try something similar if Milwaukee County approves their increased sales tax.

Since the only thing I buy in Milwaukee versus surrounding counties is restaurant food, I have some control of the situation. I will just deduct the extra 1% sales tax from the tip I leave my server. I end up spending no more than I would now, the server has no idea that I shorted her or him, and Milwaukee County collects the extra 1% sales tax.

I call that a WIN - WIN - WIN.

Corn prices now directly linked to oil prices

I caught this bit at a link from Instapundit.
Ethanol producers are jockeying for a seat on the increasingly crowded bailout bandwagon. Just last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer addressed the plight of those poor, poor businessmen who got locked into the cost of corn this summer. Just like oil and natural gas, the current price is half of what it was at its peak.
I had not realized that corn prices had crashed since this Summer's peak. Here's my graphic overlay of corn and oil prices.



I have not asked the Wisconsin ethanol producers for their opinion, but to my eye, corn prices now (since December 2007) march in lockstep with crude oil prices (you may click any of the graphs for an enlarged view).

Stew on that one for a while ... OPEC now controls the price of your Frosted Flakes.

Contrary to this WFBL claim ...
ETHANOL helps ease gas prices.
With gas prices projected to be more than $4.00 per gallon this year, the use of ethanol-blended fuel usually lowers gas by 15 cents per gallon. It’s not a great savings, but every little bit helps with oil production controlled by OPEC and large oil companies making large profits

Ethanol does NOT ease gas prices, oil prices set ethanol and corn prices.

The fact is that corn prices are now arbitraged to oil prices. This is true solely because corn is used to produce ethanol. This was not the case just one year ago, but it is now. What has changed is that there is now excess ethanol production capacity in the U.S.

Because of this excess capacity, ethanol producers must compete for limited corn resources to produce their product. As oil prices rise, the price for corn will increase because these ethanol producers will bid corn prices up to chase the opportunity for increased profits.

This ain't just me speculating anymore. Here is your proof.

Weekly Light Crude Oil Prices, NYMEX



Weekly Corn Prices, CBOT




Weekly Oil versus Corn Prices



I think the next graph is particularly interesting. I pasted the commodity price of ethanol over the corn and crude oil graph. It shows that prior to October 2007, ethanol was selling at a premium to the cost of the raw material (corn) and energy (oil or natural gas) used in it's production.

This profit premium created an ethanol gold rush as everyone and his brother (So how's the ethanol business going Luther?) decided to build an ethanol plant. As a result, windfall profits are no longer available from ethanol production and many of these new distilleries are failing.

Weekly Oil versus Corn versus Ethanol Prices



Today's Question - When you fill your tank with that $2.50 gasoline, does it feel like you're stealing the shit?

I think I'll get me a really big SUV!

Updated 6/2/09 - The relationship still holds.