Monday, November 30, 2009

Social Security surplus

I haven't had much of a chance to look much deeper on this issue (and this may be all a matter of perspective--taking away legitimate earned revenues from Social Security, then crying "deficit!" seems a little overwrought). But this appears to be something worth digging in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Did Christianity cause the Crash?

More particularly, did American-style prosperity gospel teaching lead to overextended consumers among believers?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fed to be audited?

Realizing I'm treading close to conspiracy stuff here, it is probably worth noting that the House has moved legislation along which would require audits of the Fed.

I have a small quibble with the article talking about the Administration as being "losers" in this debate--it seems to be a relatively easy thing for the Administration to re-cast this as another move for government transparency. But in general this is a good move, I think.

Holiday Mail for Heroes

I had neglected to note that Red Cross was already accepting mail for their Holiday Mail for Heroes program, but because there is still some time it is probably worth posting here.

There are some limitations on what can be sent through the program, but take a look. It is a good program if you have kids who want to take part and give thanks to those thousands of men and women (often, Dads and Moms themselves) protecting our freedoms overseas.

Cleaning for a reason

A foundation that offers free housecleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatment. Very nice.

Weird Windows error messages

A cornucopia of messages, with great commentary.

Dave Ramsey

Megan McArdel with a smart piece on Dave Ramsey. My wife and I have listened to him, watched much of his talk, read books, etc.

The most important aspect of Ramsey, IMO, is your relationship with debt. Many people carry some debt, but certain debt is stupid, frankly. There are people who carry debt because they would rather have the cash in their bank account (not making money) and then pay minimums on their credit cards even though they have enough to pay off their balances. Stupid debt.

But Dave Ramsey is much more than that--re-examining how you utilize budgeting (first, by placing a budget in its proper place as a record of what you spend your money on rather than a wish list of what you should be spending money on), how you save, what is important to save, etc. He's worth a long look by people not because you should buy into his system (literally), but because people sometimes need a real look at their own finances and Ramsey offers an easy yet bracing way of doing that.

Black Friday, 2009

Want to know what Wal-Mart will have on sale?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Mandatory gratuity"

PA couple arrested for not paying tip after bad service.

Another reason to get rid of tipping entirely and just add the cost of the food.

More ACORN blaming...

This is just dismaying:

A majority of Republicans think ACORN stole the election for Obama.

If given the choice: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?" 52% of Republicans choose the latter.


The dingo stole my baby!

Hoffman blames ACORN for his election loss.

If nothing else, the last few elections should strip away the notion of Republicans as the party of personal responsibility.

Never again! Err....

The GOP Publicity Channel caught pumping up crowd sizes through wrong footage. Again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hit the Bitch!

Somehow I don't think trying to get guys to stop domestic violence by letting them hit a woman virtually is the way to go. Call me crazy. Or an idiot.

HT: Megan McArdle

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Israel keeps on building settlements

With many conservatives (particularly neocons) equating any deviation from Israeli policy on the part of the US with enabling terrorism, there should be no wonder that Israel feels it can do anything while the US pays the bills.

God forbid that anyone in the Administration even mentions that Israel has nukes.

Cut em off, I say.

Is your library included?

With all the talk of libraries closing, it is nice to know there are still many great public libraries around. Check out the Library Journal list of top public libraries.

A good point

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wolf Blitzer attacks Jag lawyer of Hasan

Looking for a show trial, perhaps.

I hate those weasely questions where some is suppose to respond to "they" instead of the person asking the question. I wish some of these people would get the balls to say "
I'm sorry--I don't answer any questions you don't take responsibility for asking on your own behalf."

Monday, November 09, 2009

What year is this?

Mendoza has faced sexual discrimination claims before. In 1999, he was manager of a Denny's restaurant in Allentown. A hostess accused him of following her around the restaurant with a vibrating sex toy in his pocket, buzzing his genitals and singing to himself.


IMO. And it makes me optimistic:

I realize many of these young people will change their minds (just as we know that there is a conservative trend as people get older). But we also know that once gay marriages are approved in some states and the arguments against them in all states are shown to be hollow, some that oppose gay marriage right now will start becoming more agnostic toward them.

The best book companies to work for

[I used to work for #5]

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Health care--getting to the root of the problems

David Goldhill with an excellent piece on health care that tries to get at the root of the problem. This, I think, is a classic description of what we are facing:

"Indeed, I suspect that our collective search for villains—for someone to blame—has distracted us and our political leaders from addressing the fundamental causes of our nation’s health-care crisis. All of the actors in health care—from doctors to insurers to pharmaceutical companies—work in a heavily regulated, massively subsidized industry full of structural distortions. They all want to serve patients well. But they also all behave rationally in response to the economic incentives those distortions create. Accidentally, but relentlessly, America has built a health-care system with incentives that inexorably generate terrible and perverse results. Incentives that emphasize health care over any other aspect of health and well-being. That emphasize treatment over prevention. That disguise true costs. That favor complexity, and discourage transparent competition based on price or quality. That result in a generational pyramid scheme rather than sustainable financing. And that—most important—remove consumers from our irreplaceable role as the ultimate ensurer of value."