Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Blumenfield said the impetus for his bill was one company expected to bid for the high speed rail work, Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), a French rail company that had direct involvement in the Holocaust.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
If anything, Capcom's latest in the Resident Evil series proves only one thing -- that we can never have something involving black people that won't cause a race debate. That's pretty fucking sad if you ask me. If we lived in a world that these anti-racist folks claim to want, then we would be working towards having a game like Resident Evil 5 that could be released without the controversy. If only we were mature enough and capable of seeing a game set in Africa without clicking our heels together and hoping to find some juicy racism to be upset about.
Even if we don't find that racism, we'll invent it.
Up until recently, banks could tailor the cost of credit to the risk
of default by raising or lowering interest rates on customers based on
the customers' credit-worthiness and financial condition, and
assessing steep penalties on customers who breach their agreements by
paying late or not paying at all. And why shouldn't they be able to?
Credit cards are collateral-free lines of credit, tremendously
valuable to the customer and potentially very risky to the bank; in
order to ease access to credit on the front end, and allow people to
obtain cards without the time commitment and document production
required for other loan products such as, say, mortgages, banks made
the entry barriers low and then slammed you when you broke the
agreement. And that's the way it should be. The greatest possible
number of customers benefit from easy access to credit, and the
greatest possible share of the systemic costs of customer default are
borne by the defaulting customers themselves.
At least that's the way it used to work. Last year, in response to
scattered customer complaints and a general desire to impose
communitarian versions of "fairness" on the financial sector, Congress
passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure
Act (Card Act), which reduces banks' ability to accurately price risk
and penalize default. As a result, banks have less flexibility to
raise interest rates on customers once they've opened a credit card
account, and less ability to impose meaningful penalties on customers
What happens when banks can't recover the cost of default from the
defaulting customers? Bingo, they recover the cost from all customers,
including those who use credit wisely and comply with the terms of
their agreements. Banks started raising their credit card interest
rates before the Card Act's interest rate provisions took effect in
February, they've been quicker to reduce credit lines, and access to
credit is becoming more difficult. Card Act provisions limiting the
imposition of penalties took effect this past Sunday, so the
tightening of consumer credit is only going to accelerate.
The Card Act's sponsor, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), remarked: "Better that
consumers should know up-front what the interest rate is, even if it
is higher, than to be soaked on the back end by tricks and hidden
fees." In other words, let's spread the wealth around; people who
read agreements before entering into them, and who keep their
financial bargains, are going to bear the financial burdens of people
who default. Because in the Left's twisted version of fairness,
making everyone suffer equally is only fair.
I've never been "soaked on the back end by tricks and hidden fees" by
a credit card company; I'm not lucky, I read and save the disclosures.
But thanks to Carolyn Maloney, American financial illiteracy has been
codified by an act of Congress, which has eliminated what used to be a
very strong motivation to understand and remember the terms of any
financial agreement we freely enter into.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
not good enough at all.
Obama used his visit to the Columbus home of architect Joe Weithman to
sing the praises of the stimulus program, noting that Weithman's
workplace, Mull & Weithman Architects, received $300,000 in stimulus
funds to work on "a new police station."
A stirring story, except that the project is not funded with stimulus
funds at all. It's funded by a Congressional earmark.
I don't expect the Administration to walk this back. Rather, look for
the Administration to start claiming more and more non-stimulus-funded
jobs as stimulus success stories by deploying a new, more inclusive
term: jobs saved, created, or borrowed.
Kudos to the Columbus Dispatch for tracking down and publishing the
facts; further evidence that the media are recovering from their Obama
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Francisco is going to seek a legislative exemption from the strict
rules of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in order to
host the America's Cup yacht race.
Back in February, Oracle software billionaire Larry Ellison's BMW
Oracle Racing Team won the America's Cup, and Ellison wants to defend
the title in San Francisco. The city has a limited time frame in
which to put together a proposal to host the Cup, but compliance with
CEQA review and standards will make it impossible to meet the
deadline, if not scuttle plan to bring the Cup to San Francisco
altogether. Of course the exemption is going to framed in terms of
jobs, jobs, jobs; 9,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in economic activity
will allegedly result from hosting the America's Cup.
Funny that San Francisco is going to seek an exemption from burdensome
environmental regulations in the name of jobs, when California's
environmental policies have been driving jobs out of California for
decades. California environmentalists and energy policy-makers (as if
there is a difference between the two) triumphantly proclaim that
California's per capita energy usage has remained flat while the rest
of the nation's usage has grown; what they omit to mention is that
we've kept energy usage flat by driving heavy industry out of the
state. When heavy industry relocates out of state, it takes a lot of
jobs with it.
Remarkably, it's about to get a lot worse in California. Under the
guise of protecting the environment, California's elected officials
and unelected bureaucrats are going forward with a burdensome version
of the same cap and tax energy policy that even Congress has had the
wisdom to shun, and as a result it's about to become even more
expensive to live in the Golden State. With the web of different
industrial, zoning, and energy policies taking effect in California,
all of us little people are going to have to pay more to heat and cool
our homes, renovate our homes, buy cars, drive cars to and from our
homes, and sell our homes when we come to our senses and decide to
flee the state. We are promised a double-whammy of benefits from
these policies, both a cleaner environment and clean energy jobs for
Californians, although so far the Chinese manufacturers of solar
panels and wind turbines seem to be the main beneficiaries of our
policy. Increasing amounts of Californians' money is about to be
redistributed to favored industries by government bureaucrats, and
unless you work for one of the favored industries, are Larry Ellison,
or are a Chinese manufacturer, California's policies are going to make
you worse off.
California energy policy seems inspired by Josef Stalin, who said that
one death is a tragedy but a million deaths is a statistic; the
thought that we might lose the temoporary economic boost from the
America's Cup is causing some Californians to favor jettisoning our
strict environmental rules, while the enforcement of those same rules
against more anonymous businesses and citizens day after day is
causing economic hardship for millions of Californians.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding."
Friday, August 13, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Q: I can’t give much – is (whatever amount mentioned) even worth it?
A: Yes! If enough people each gave even just ten dollars, I could get my message to every voter in the 25th District through advertising, signage and mailings. Also, having lots of individual contributors helps reinforce the broad support I’ve been lucky enough to earn during the campaign.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
To date, our volunteers have sent hundreds of thousands of care packages and letters to deployed service members; we have supplied the wounded with our First Response Packs directly at the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan and the major military hospital in Germany, as well as provided care and comfort to those in stateside military and VA facilities; we have provided emergency aid to military families in need; we have partnered with the Department of Defense to provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptops to nearly 3,000 severely-wounded servicemembers, as well as other technology that supports rehabilitation; we have provided flights to soldiers on leave or in emergency situations, and to their families wanting to be with them upon return from overseas; we have provided Level III KEVLAR armored blankets to give personnel extra protection in their vehicles when it was needed; we help to honor and uphold the families whose loved ones have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and safety. With the assistance of our generous supporters , the many volunteers of Soldiers' Angels have accomplished this and much, much more on behalf of the grateful citizens of the United States of America.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
afflicted with a curious sense of euphoric satiety, you know Morie
Yohai, who passed away last week at the age of 90.
Morie was a World War II pilot, a poet, a devotee of Jewish mysticism,
and an associate business school dean.
Morie Yohai was also an inventor. Morie invented Cheese Doodles. Or rather,
Morie received the revelation of the Cheese Doodles. Colored like the heart
of a flame, and shaped like a crescent moon; only someone with the
soul of a poet and a love for ecstatic religious experience could have
deduced the transcendent snacking experience of Cheese Doodles from the
fabric of the universe and shared it with humanity.
Father of Doodles
With an orange-tinted smile
I bid your soul peace
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Without privacy, the social contract is changed. Zero tolerance combined with no privacy removes every civil right we have. The CEO of Google has stated “Privacy is dead, get used to it.” On the other hand, the German high court recently mandated early deletion of all cell tower data, web traffic, IM tracking, and other “personal acts.” The battle for privacy is already publicly engaged. The more people know, the more people are going to care.....I write this a few days before the Fourth of July. The US has always been the land of the frontier. “Go West, young man!” Horace Greeley famously spoke. West was where you could make something of yourself, perhaps a new something that was not what you once were. The West was where you went to start over. The west was the creator of a classless world, one where your parents did not matter because no one had a past. Failure to protect privacy is the final closing of the frontier.