Friday, June 18, 2010

Additional Web-Cruising

Why does your team winning a championship lead some people to think they should set a car on fire and throw rocks at police?

These are the South Carolina Republican gurus who are supposed to have masterminded a totally pointless, but undetectable plot to have Alvin Greene win the Democratic primary? Several GOP leaders in the state assembly don't like Nikki Haley because they think she'll be too confrontational with them and reform some of her power so they're backing her opponent and toying with backing the Democratic candidate if she still wins. Sheesh!

Victor Davis Hanson expresses the obvious
- Obama needs a more coherent foreign policy other than just trumpeting his differences with Bush.

The NYT looks at how Obama's dishonest drilling moratorium is affecting employment in the area. It's a dismal, depressing story and completely unnecessary.

Politico looks at all the maneuvering that has been going on to get the Democrats' DISCLOSE Act passed to retaliate against the Citizens United decision. Fearful of the NRA's opposition to the bill, they carved out an exception that would apply only to NRA. Then when they got objections from other interest groups and liberals who don't like kow-towing to the NRA, they added in additional carve-outs, but the liberals still don't like it. Supposedly Blue Dog Democrats are afraid of annoying corporate interests to support the bill. It's all a lesson in how Congress works. And this all ignores how despicable this law would be with its questionable constitutional status. We can hope that this stays tied up for the rest of the year and dies the death that all such legislative monstrosities should suffer. Kim Strassel has more about underhanded all this political maneuvering has been. As she says, the Democrats know that their law isn't constitutional and would be struck down but they just want it in place for this year's election.

Byron York has a decent question.
In the President's speech, he claimed that he had approved more deepwater oil drilling in the weeks before the Deep Horizon oil spill "under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe." York wonders which experts used such language since no engineer or expert would use such a phrase as "absolutely safe." They're never that absolute. York can't get an answer about who gave Obama that advice.


ic said...

Several GOP leaders in the state assembly don't like Nikki Haley...

The 64 billion dollars question is: will their constituents follow them, or will they be disgusted with them and dump them instead.

LargeBill said...


I'd like to help you understand the psychology of fans reaction to winning a championship. However, I'm from Cleveland and have no relevant experience.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Rick Caird
There is no Social Security money in the bank or in T-Bills

you can repeat this till you are blue in the face but it just ain't so

According to most projections, the Social Security trust fund will begin drawing on its Treasury Notes

also, a lot of money continues to pour into ss every year from its dedicated tax payments. there is a ton of money in the fund, and you can't just ignore or declare it away

you love to make assertions, but i don't see a whit of evidence

Now, if I buy a CD from a bank, the bank has assets, or should have, to pay back that CD

i guess you don't understand how banks operate. they are only required to have a certain percentage of what they theoretically hold in "assets" on hand. and, as you might notice from reading the papers, they frequently make bad investments on the money they are using and go broke. and then the customers are bailed out by the fdic - that's the government, you know - as best it can

you sure do make a lot of assertions without evidence, i must say

I have done better than the S&P 500 over the past 10 years and way better over the last 2.5

this is like saying you are doing better than most people in berlin in 1946. did you or did you not average 8% returns over the past 10 years? exactly what investment instrument did that for you?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

There was a time before I finished my degree in which I held three jobs at once. I started my morning at Pizza Hut working until the lunch rush was done. I bagged groceries at Publix in the afternoon and I worked at a savings and loan at night and on Saturday mornings. That doesn't make me special. It did make me tired.

Working six days a week made me a master at getting everything I needed to do - done on Sunday - whether that meant an oil change, laundry, a haircut, most of the cooking for the week, you name it. Time is money and sometimes time is just time and I did my time working jobs that you apparently now hold in such low regard. That time also made me determined to get my degree and to push myself to find a career that inspired me to work even harder.

So I've had that career in the Army and I may step into another but along the way I will always respect the people that work those "menial" jobs at fast food restaurants, delivering pizzas, stocking shelves at night, so that they can make ends meet, so they can save money, or so they can put themselves or someone else through school. I'll continue to respect them for many reasons but also because I've been one of them. I'm not sure what sort of silver platter you had your life handed to you on but I would expect an educated man to have a higher regard for people that don't stand around with their hand out but find work where they can find it.

i have to say i really enjoyed reading this, as it made me feel that tfhr is very much like myself. i hope this sentiment doesn't make him feel too icky

i worked at plenty of jobs like that during my college years - dishwasher, red's aaa wrecking crew, dishwasher, vacuuming floors in a department store, breakfast cook - a lot of cooking in restaurants - it taught me how to show up at 6AM ready to work as fast as i could for 9 hours straight for $4.50/hr - stuff like that.

i was brought up to respect anybody who had a job, despite the privileged aspects of my upbringing mixed in with the going to bed hungry aspects

my reaction to all of it was to feel that hard working people who are **** out of luck in life are the ones who deserve the most sympathy and help. and their children

i really can't make out why some people don't agree that protecting the hard working people who keep on keeping on despite all the crud they have to put up with should be a primary aim of government

tfhr said...


Because intrusive government hurts the free market and that hurts the "hard working people who keep on keeping on despite all the crud".

As has been said before - "Government is not the solution. Government is the problem."

Tacitus Voltaire said...

"Government is not the solution. Government is the problem."

then why did you spend 20 years working for it?

Pat Patterson said...

Simply put there is no cash in the SS trust fund. But it is full of IOUs which cannot be leveraged or borrowed against like any normal asset. The money is collected by the Treasury Department and either disbursed for current liabilities or put into the general fund.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

tfhr said...
TV, Government spends other people's money. It produces no wealth of it's own and requires ever growing sums of wealth to function. Can we agree on that much?

i this below by saying that government is not supposed to "produce wealth", it is supposed to provide services, like the armed forces that you worked for for 20 years

but thinking about it for a few minutes, i remembered that, of course, the united states government has produced lots of "wealth" over the years:

everybody likes to laugh at al gore, but who really invented the internet? it was a project of the federal government of the united states. any engineer would know that. in addition, even the computer itself was invented by the government. yes, it was a government project, look it up. the federal highway system was created by the government. how much commerce has that enabled in the past 50 years? where would our economy be without it? how many hydroelectric dams were built by the government? how much military hardware was commissioned by the government, and how many inventions that were spawned by these military contracts have, like computers, become part of the amazing heritage of american inventions? the jeep and the hummer were invented by these military contracts.

that's just off the top of my head.

so, looking at it the other way, if the government of the united states hadn't commissioned them, there would be no computers, internet, jeeps or hummers, massive hydroelectric power plants, or interstate highways.

that's a mother load of "wealth"

now, don't tell me it would have all happened, cheaper and better, through private industry. it didn't, and saying it would have is just idle speculation.

your assertion that the united states government does not "produce wealth" is really, really wrong. massively wrong

Tacitus Voltaire said...

However, it was not Aiken's and Stibitz's relay calculators that were decisive for the development of the universal computer but the ENIAC, which was developed at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Extensive ballistic computations were carried out there for the U.S. Army during World War II with the aid of a copy of the analog Differential Analyzer, which had been designed by Vannevar Bush, and more than a hundred women working on mechanical desk calculators. Nevertheless, capacity was barely sufficient to compute the artillery firing tables that were needed. In August 1942, John W. Mauchly, a physicist, presented a memo at the Moore School for a vacuumtube computer that was conceived as a digital version of the Differential Analyzer.

Mauchly had adopted John Vincent Atanasoff's idea for an electronic computer. Atanasoff had developed the ABC special-purpose computer at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) to solve systems of linear equations. Mauchly had viewed the ABC in June 1940. John Presper Eckert, a young electronic engineer at the Moore School, was responsible for the brilliant engineering of the new ENIAC. The work began on 31 May 1943 with funding from the U.S. Army. In February 1946, successful program runs were demonstrated.

GPS or the Global Positioning System was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D) and Ivan Getting, at the cost of twelve billion taxpayer dollars.

The Internet and Transmission Control Protocols were initially developed in 1973 by American computer scientist Vinton Cerf as part of a project sponsored by the United States Department of_Defene Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)

tfhr said...


Why? Because I solemnly swore that I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I would bear true faith and allegiance to the same; I took that obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I would and did faithfully discharge the duties of the office I held. So help me God.

Anymore questions?

I have one for you:
Do you feel that our politicians today are public servants or are we, the public, serving them?

When our federal government is limited to the duties and responsibilities as described in The Constitution, we're fine. When government seeks to expand beyond those limits, it becomes a problem. I think The Constitution is worth defending, what about you?

equitus said...

Government is ill-suited to such benevolent activities. We've seen this time and time again.

History if full of private societies, institutions, and charities that do this sort of thing very well - funded by people like you and me and Bill Gates who contribute *of their own free will*. They function best if the government doesn't interfere.

Expecting the government to help the needy is to absolve oneself of any personal commitment to help. "I pay my taxes" and that's enough.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

When our federal government is limited to the duties and responsibilities as described in The Constitution, we're fine

oh, so now it's "government is ok when it does what i like it to do"! walking it back, are we?

listen - i am an american citizen, and i have every bit as much right to decide what the constitution does or does not say as you do. and i don't agree with your. besides, you contradict yourself:

TV, Government spends other people's money. It produces no wealth of it's own

um, where in the constitution does it say that the government is supposed to "produce wealth"? if it doesn't, why do you cite it as a failing of the government? why mention at all that it doesn't do it if it isn't supposed to

and you have conveniently ignored all the factual examples i gave you above of all the the things that the federal government has contributed to the wealth of this nation

Pat Patterson said...

Near as I can figure out the computer and the internet are two different things. While gigantic calculators were ordered by the Navy and the Air Corps the credit for the internet must go to MIT and J.C.R. Licklider. Al Gore being only four-years old at that time. It wasn't till they had linked up three schools did the government take a interest in the possibilities.

tfhr said...


That's right - when the government conforms to The Constitution, it is doing what I want it to do. Next time you rattle off a quote that you want to attribute to me, be sure to include the context and that context was and is that The Constitution limits government and that is the way I like it.

As for the rest of your comment, inane as it is, I don't say that the government should produce wealth. I'm just trying to get you to realize that it doesn't produce goods or services on it's own that can fund its operation. Thus we pay taxes and sadly our politicians keep finding ways and means to require more and more. The net effect is a drain on the economy when those funds are redirected away from those that do produce wealth - businesses and consumers.

The examples you provided produce wealth how? Who runs the internet? The government? Does make money using a government controlled internet? GPS was designed for the military and it did not make money until it was commercialized. Who do you know that bought their GPS from the government? Was it produced in China for the US Government to resell? Of course not. Hummers - well they're out of business and Chrysler builds Jeeps. I own a Jeep and I didn't pay the government to build it though I did send Maryland plenty of sales tax. Those roads I drive it on don't produce wealth in and of themselves though they certainly require plenty to maintain. You confuse infrastructure and innovation with production, TV.

Infrastructure costs money to build and maintain. All those cars and trucks you see running down the highways and jamming the truck stops, gas stations and restaurants - they create the wealth - not the road.

Innovations can cost enormous sums in research and development and once in a while an idea that the military or NASA might bring to fruition for their needs finds a home in the civilian world where it can help someone else generate wealth, not the government. No, the government does not produce the wealth, even in instance where it may own the road. Get back to me when GM actually starts making money and then you might have an example of the US Government producing wealth. But be prepared to answer the question, "How many Silverados will have to be sold to finance FY 2011?"