Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kansas City "Tea Party" (Stimulus and Bailout Protest)

This morning at least two hundred people met on a cold corner at the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri to express their outrage over the various "stimulus" and bailout packages being forced upon America by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. They then proceeded to walk about a mile to the Kansas City office of Senator Claire McCaskill, who eagerly supports the bailouts.

The turnout, no doubt, would have been even larger if there hadn't been a fresh padding of several inches of snow on the ground.

Many passing drivers honked their horns in support--the highlight of which was a snow plow driver, which drew cheers from the crowd.

The pro-bailout people were represented by at least two people. There was a passing driver who made his objections clear to the protesters, yelling out "You guys suck!" And there was also a young lady who, believe it or not, was already intoxicated shortly after 11 AM, accosting some of the protesters as they walked back to their cars.

(View all tea party posts here.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Compares Infanticide to Chimpanzee Trade

I could hardly believe it as I watched Bill O'Reilly equate voting against banning the sale of chimpanzees across state lines to Barack Obama voting against saving babies who were born alive after a botched abortion.

Okay--maybe "equate" is too strong a word. But if you watch the video, he clearly spends an inordinate amount of time describing Barack Obama's vote.

Decide for yourself.

I suppose it is a good thing to bring the infanticide issue to more people's attention--though most people who watch O'Reilly are probably aware of it already.

But at the same time, by comparing these votes, O'Reilly trivializes Obama's astonishing stance when he was an Illinios state senator.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Wall Street Journal Gets It Wrong

The opinion piece today in The Wall Street Journal, Jeremy J. Siegel, professor of finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, inspired me to write the following letter to the editor:

With sleight-of-hand skills rivaling those that encouraged investment in mortgage-backed securities, Jeremy Siegel attempts to convince us that stocks are cheap by lying with math. While I won't attempt to argue with the market about the "real" value of stocks, I will take issue with Mr. Siegel's chicanery.

Mr. Siegel begins his example with percentages, then switches to actual dollar values. That's deceptive, to say the least.

It's clear to any investor that a given percentage loss in a small investment is more than made up for by an equal percentage gain in a much larger investment. Hence the weighted S&P 500 Index.

It's equally clear to any investor that an actual dollar loss in a small investment is precisely offset by an equal dollar gain in a large investment. Using Mr. Siegel's example, although the average investor holds 1,381 times as much stock in Exxon-Mobil as he does does in Jones Apparel, his percentage share of ownership in both companies is the same.

You do the math.

I understand that The Wall Street Journal and Mr. Siegel want the market to go up. So do I. But I could do without the financial sophistry.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ed Rendell Admits He Doesn't Care about Fiscal Responsibility

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace had four Governors as guests. Throughout the show, Governor Sanford was the most impressive. I thought the exchange in the following video clip was pretty revealing.

George Will Insults Millions of Americans

On today's broadcast of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the round table guests were asked whether a 9/11 style commission should be set up to determine the cause of the current mortgage crisis. Naturally, the liberal guests pooh-poohed the idea (because we all know that much of the blame can be placed at the feet of the government). Not surprisingly, one of the guests said we shouldn't play the "blame game."

Yeah, right.

George Will, on the other hand, understands the usefulness of assigning blame. Among other things, it helps us avoid making similar mistakes in the future. But his answer to the question was surprisingly inept, and just plain lazy. It was an insult to the many tens of millions of Americans who responsibly pay their bills on time and are not burdened by debt.

Context note: Before the clip, George will said that we won't have a commission because "the commission would have to say... " And then he goes on to say what appears in the clip. One might argue that George Will wasn't expressing his own views but rather those of the hypothetical commission. That's a stretch, but I'd love to hear an explanation from Mr. Will.

Intergenerational Theft

I think that Senator John McCain's accurate description of the stimulus bill as "intergenerational theft" was particularly stinging to those sensitive souls on the left who see comments like that as having the potential to further erode the left's dubious claims of doing everything for the sake of the children.

I happened to come across this verbose piece that attempts to debunk McCain's statement. I'll save you the tiresome chore of reading it by explaining his ridiculous argument. His scenario goes something along these lines:

Suppose the government needs to borrow $10 million to build a road. The government will sell bonds to raise the money, promising to pay back the bond holders in, say, 30 years, the original $10 million plus interest. Because these transactions occur between people of the current generation, there is no intergenerational transfer of wealth.

30 years into the future, the children of the original bond holders are now due their money. But it is the children of the original borrowers that will be repaying this debt. And again, there is no intergenerational transfer of wealth occurring.

So according to the author of this nonsense, it is not intergenerational theft to borrow money from China because it is your children who will be paying back the Chinese children. Voila!

To be fair, the author does go on to mention that this debt financing can potentially make the future generations worse off if, among other things, we borrow from foreigners. Apparently, as long as the masses of American children are indebted to the children of the few wealthy Americans, then all is well, and McCain was way off base with his description.

It's scary how some people think.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kansas "Stimulus" Protest

Here are some photos from the protest held outside Congressman Dennis Moore's Overland Park, Kansas office on a very cold Saturday morning.

(View all tea party posts here.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

NY Post Monkey Cartoon

Many people have expressed outrage over this cartoon claiming that it is racist. If someone is predisposed to see racism in everything, then perhaps they'll see it in this cartoon--even though the stimulus bill was written by a white woman, not a (half) black man.

However, the true indignity suffered here is that of the primate species. To suggest that an animal of a chimpanzee's intelligence would write such a pathetic "stimulus" bill is an insult to apes everywhere.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

False Hope

I've now seen numerous Republicans righteously proclaim how they hope that Obama's stimulus plan will revive our economy, even though they don't think that it will.


I'm tired of hearing this garbage from people who just want to get along. Rush Limbaugh took some flak for saying that he hoped Obama's plans fail. I agree with him.

It doesn't make sense to hope that socialism will help our economy when all the historical evidence points to the contrary.

Obama and friends will, no doubt, try to claim credit for the eventual economic recovery. But falsely crediting unworthy cures will only encourage further irresposponsible behavior in the future.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The "Stimulus" Bill

Prior to the House vote on the so-called stimulus bill, I called and left a message for my congressman. I asked him if he planned to read the bill before he voted 'Yes', or if he was just going to vote 'Yes'. Of course, we all know the answer to that now.

I am certainly not surprised by my congressman's vote. But what really amazes me is the fact that he, and all the others who voted for this travesty, didn't have the courtesy toward my children's children's children (the people who will be paying for this) to at least read it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC

On the rare occasion that I happen to catch a snippet of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC as I channel-flip, she always seems to be ranting about the Bush administration or about capitalism in general. I don't think it takes most people a lot of time to realize that watching her show is a complete waste of time.

Yesterday I caught the beginning of her show, and decided to record it, to prove my point. Here's about a minute's worth of clips from her show.

If you haven't seen her show, now you know that you haven't been missing much.

These clips also demonstrate that among the biggest tragedies of the whole financial crisis is the impetus it gives people on the left to persuade the ignorant masses that free market capitalism is the root cause of the mess rather than the government meddling in the market.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oops. My bad.

"I'm here on television saying I screwed up and that's part of the era of responsibility," Obama said to NBC News.

About 24 hours before this, however, Obama "absolutely" stood by Tom Daschle.

The White House said that Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer both withdrew on their own, that they weren't pushed out.

So why can't a news organization ask the obvious question: Exactly what mistake did you make, Mr. President?

Apparently the mistake wasn't picking nominees with tax problems--because he didn't ask them to withdraw. It sounds like he believes his mistake was picking people who were unwilling to fight for their nomination.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ear Wax and The New World Order

Undoubtedly, the very worst thing to come out of the current financial meltdown is the lesson some of the world's leaders are hoping the gullible will learn. Turning facts on their heads, these parasites in the public sector are using these times to push more government intervention into the market.

In an upcoming essay, Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, espouses more of the same nonsense that helped us get into this mess in the first place.

Perhaps it's all the ear wax he's ingested.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Logging Frameworks

There are several logging frameworks available for the .NET development community. One of the more popular ones is Log4Net. Like many things in life, this framework has gotten more popular because of its popularity--kind of like a celebrity being famous for being famous.

One of the framework's problems, however, is its complexity. Looking at the size of the DLL alone will tell you that. (If you write a relatively small application, the logging DLL will be larger than your application!)

Here's a link that really cracked me up. This guy thinks that spending 8 hours to successfully implement and configure Log4Net is amazing. (Amazing in that it only took 8 hours.) No, he isn't joking.

That's ridiculous!

Here's a logging framework that makes sense. I noticed several other postings across the net that referred to The Object Guy's Logging Framework. It may not be as popular as the other framework, but it looks like people who have compared them--at least from what I've read--prefer The Object Guy's Logging Framework. This is an example of what I mean. And here's what the author of the framework thinks.

And check out this review: he says it is the best logger ever.

And it sure won't take 8 hours to figure out. It's more like 8 minutes.

Take the challenge yourself: if you haven't used either framework, spend 15 minutes with each one. Afterwords, decide which one you'd prefer to spend more time with. I'd bet 9 out of 10 people will choose The Object Guy's Logging Framework.