Saturday, January 31, 2009

Question:

If I change my party affiliation to Democrat, can I stop paying taxes? Or do I only get to stop paying taxes if I'm a high ranking party official? Just asking....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This sounds familiar....

Yesterday I linked to a story about Disney looking to buy-out 600+ executives. The comments to today's article include something that sounds very familiar. Of course, I can't verify that the commenter (a) knows what s/he is talking about, or (b) that they are telling the truth. But this is exactly the same crap that happened to me. On to our commenter, Anonymous from Kissimmee Florida:

Disney is also in the midst of firing management in its Engineering department. Unlike the 'big-wigs' they are not being offered any deals and instead being terminated for petty offenses like checking email and researching parts for rides online. Managers with numerous guest service accolades and excellent service awards who have been with the company for decades are being given the boot.

Something to think about the next time you're at the park see that a ride is down.
It's good to see that I'm not the only person Disney screwed in this fashion. More later. I think it's about time to start blogging publicly about the details of my work life.

ADDED: I'm starting to smell a class action lawsuit for damage to professional reputations.

Pictures

Amba directed her readers to an excellent collection of photographs from the Inauguration. One again, The Boston Globe has put up an excellent set of photographs. (I blogged one of their earlier sets of photos here.) Seeing some of the crowd shots it occurred to me that it might be interesting to compare Inauguration photos to those of the Million Man March from 1995. Fortunately both events have shots from similar angles. I'm not going to embed any photos because I don't want to violate any copy rights, but I do suggest taking a look.

[Added: I choose the Million Man March simply because I remember that (1) it was a huge event and (2) there had been controversy about the crowd size.]

First, views from the Capitol looking towards the Washington Monument.

Million Man March 1995
Obama Inauguration 2009

Next, views from the top of the Washington Monument looking towards the Capitol.

Million Man March 1995
Obama Inauguration 2009

Unfortunately I can't find any aerial shots of the Million Man March to match this one from the Inauguration. (Scroll down on this photo - it's very long.) The picture was taken about from a satellite about 40 minutes before the swearing in, so I imagine the crowd got bigger. I doubt there's satellite imagery from the MMM event, but I was hoping for some kind of aerial shot for comparisons sake.

Actually I'm surprised we haven't heard more about the MMM in the last few weeks. Or perhaps I've just missed it as I've been in a self-imposed semi-media blackout. Perhaps the media doesn't want to draw attention to the MMM because of Louis Farrakhan's role as an organizer, but it was an impressive event in its own right.

At first I thought these pictures suggest that the two events were comparable in size. But then I found an aerial photo at the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. There size of the crowd at the MMM was a matter of some dispute, with the Park Service initially providing a seemingly too-low estimate, and the organizers providing a seemingly too-high estimate. The CRS eventually provided an estimate somewhere in the middle. The CRS article on the matter is here. Note the first photo in the body of the article - it shows that the depth of Obama's Inauguration crowd was greater. (Unfortunately the photo doesn't have a time stamp, so the crowd at the MMM may have been larger at another time in the day.) The crowd for the Million Man March only went a block-and-a-half or so past the Smithsonian Castle, while Obama's crowd goes all the way back to the Washington Monument. (And perhaps even further than that.)

I really recommend clicking through to the photos, and perhaps the CRS article if you're so inclined. Just something to keep in mind as crowd size estimates are reported.

I pledge...

I pledge to be the same type of liberty loving bastard as my ancestors, and to refuse to bow down to any self-styled god-king.
The first comment about this at The Volokh Conspiracy points out the similarity to of the final imagery to this famous illustration of Hobbes's Leviathan.

When Obama fails to be the god his supporters believe he is, I wonder who they will turn on? I suspect, in typical cult of personality fashion, violence will be directed at Obama's perceived enemies. Perhaps scapegoats will be provided. Regardless, this isn't going to end well, and probably not peacefully. No, I don't expect Ashton Kutcher to man the barricades, but these celebutards aren't the only ones obsessed with the man....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh, the stories I could tell...

I know a helluva lot more about this situation than most.

Disney offers buyouts to 600 executives, more than half in Orlando

Change you can believe in!

[Corrections: While writing this post the Obama White House site has added redirects that weren't there earlier. I will note changes in brackets.]

Obama is definitely The Man of Change. Already he has not given his staff a raise on their second full day on the job, and he has changed the White House website!

For example, the Millard Fillmore biography used to be at this address:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/mf13.html

[They're good! While I was writing this post they put in a re-direct! That's some speedy change! This URL registered as an error when I started writing the post.]

Go ahead, try the link. It will take you to a semi-dead page. If you want to read the White House.gov bio of Millard Fillmore these days, you need to go to

That link will redirect you to the following URL:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/millardfillmore/

That URL is much better!

The content also differs now. Take a look at this old cached version of the prior page. Note that the Obama White House uses a sinister looking close-up of old Millard, taken from an early photograph. But the old Bush White House web page used a nice full body portrait painted by George P. A. Healy. I'm guessing it's a partisan thing. (And who can blame him. Fucking Whigs....) Or perhaps Obama just hates the Compromise of 1850 that much.

Another noticeable difference is that the old Bush version included a link to biographical info about President Fillmore's wife, Abigail Powers Fillmore. (Link goes to the old cached version.) She was the first First Lady to have had a job after marriage, so she has some historical significance. The new version has no such link. Personally, I suspect sexism. First Obama screwed Hillary out of her rightful place as the First Woman President, and now this. Does his misogyny know no bounds?!

One can find the biography of Mrs. Fillmore on the new site, but one has to look for it. Let's compare the URLs. [Agains, re-directs have been added. I assume this is an automated feature.]

Under Bush:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/af13.html

Under Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/first_ladies/abigailfillmore/

Again, more Change! However, several problems remain. On the old Bush White House website one could link directly from Millard Fillmore's biography to Abigail Powers Fillmore's biography. Secondly, the old version included a picture of the former First Lady, while the new version has none. Even the Wikipedia entry does better than that!

Thirdly, and most importantly, the new version lists incorrect years for her birth and death at the top of the entry! [I'll try and catch screen captures before they change it again.] According to Obama Nation she died when her husband was about two years-old. (I'm pretty sure that would have been considered pedophilia even then.) They don't even have the correct life span for her. Inexcusable sloppiness. I suppose Obama has the same fact checker working on this as he had working on the Inaugural Address. The person responsible doesn't deserve the raise that Obama isn't giving him.

I noticed at least one other problem with Obama's White House page: It lists Martha Jefferson as a former First Lady. The only problem is that she had died many, many years before Jefferson became President. Therefore she was never First Lady.

But don't let mere factual inaccuracies, inadequate links and sinister propaganda photos stop you from viewing it. Lest you think I'm being overly critical, let me point out some good things about Obama's page: It's all about him! The old version had W.'s name in the header at the top, as does Obama's version. Other than that many pages could have been used for any Administration. But Obama's version has much more about the current President on every page. Even the page about Millard Fillmore has lots of information telling us about Obama's fluffers servants courtiers staff, and directing us to wonderful propaganda information about everything that B. Hussien Barack H. Obama is doing to for us. It's a masterpiece of the humility for which Obama has become justly famous.

President Obama for Website Change You Can Believe In!

Where's my fucking unicorn?

I was promised a lollypop-farting unicorn and rainbows if Obama was elected. So where are they?

A counting problem

Among the many problems I have with Obama is an inability to count. From his Inauguration Speech:

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
That is incorrect. Only forty-three Americans have taken the Presidential Oath - Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th President. Doh!

To be fair, though, I didn't figure this out. Kim did. I just assumed that everyone else knew what they were talking about. Let this be another lesson to me: Always maintain a cynical attitude towards authority, even on the simple issues!

ADDED: Kim wasn't the only person to notice.

AND LATER STILL: "Forebearers"? Bush's "decider" is better than that! "Decider" also has the advantage of being a real word - at least it was in my old college dictionary, listed under "decide". "Forebearers" is nowhere to be seen. Not only that, but it sounds bad. So much for Obama's supposed verbal elegance....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Classy

We now live in Obama Nation. It started off as the class act I expected. First, the Obama drones booed President Bush. Then came the benediction, which all but called Republicans instruments of Satan and made clear that Obama hasn't just been elected, he is the chosen of God. But the best part would be Obama smiling and nodding agreeably as the pastor giving the benediction made the following comment:

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.
Yeah, those god damned white people, they NEVER do what is right. I guess Obama has never met a non-typical white person. It's certain that none of Obama's ministers have ever met a white person they liked.

MORE: It turns out that the Obama 'bots continued to display their graciousness as Bush left DC.
The Bushes Depart | 12:56 p.m. The helicopter steps are folded up. The blade begins to rotate. The Obamas and Bidens are standing still, holding each other’s hands, as they watch the helicopter rev up. We now have lift-off; the Bushes have left the Capitol at 12:55 — almost half an hour ahead of time. The Obamas wave.

The helicopter is swinging out over the Mall first instead of heading directly to Andrews. Surely the Bushes can’t hear the crowd below, but the chant is one that sports fans jeer to the opposing team: “Na Na Na Na/Na Na Na Na/Hey Hey Hey/Good-bye.”
And earlier....
Noting the Departure | 2:15 p.m. Corey Kilgannon, another colleague, talked to some people near the Capitol earlier today as former President Bush headed for the helicopter:

Directly after the swearing-in, a crowd began to gather behind the Capitol building to watch George W. Bush airlift out of Washington.

“We’re here to see Bush leave – we’re going to give him the Jersey wave,” said James Moore, who was there with his wife, Sandra. “If you’re from New York, it’s the same as the Bronx cheer.”

“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” Ms. Moore said, gazing down to the Capitol. There were dozens of people holding up cameras and waiting for the moment that they considered the end of the Bush era.

“We want to see closure,” said Deborah Tompkins, who lives in the adjacent Capitol Hill neighborhood and jogged over to the location from home holding a sign that read, “Heck Of A Job, Bushie.”

Not everyone was celebrating Mr. Bush’s departure. Jan Olowski, 23, of Chicago, said he was a Bush supporter but that he realized it was his time to go.

“I supported him and I think he is a great man and a courageous leader, but after eight years – he can’t be president for life,” Mr. Olowski said.

“Thank God,” interjected a man near him, Jim Cobb, 56, who was in Washington with his son Chirstopher, 17, from New Orleans. The Cobbs said their house was flooded during Hurricane Katrina and it took 18 months to repair it, and they still resent Mr. Bush for what they call his inadequate response to the crisis.

“For us, it’s personal,” Mr. Cobb said. “It’s time for a change.”

At this point, the crowd spotted George and Laura Bush standing with Barack and Michelle Obama on the rear Capitol steps. Sharida Newton, 23, from Pine Hill, N.J., said, “I wish I could have helped him pack.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the ball

Our new Congress demonstrates that it will use its oversight capacity to good effect - no longer will it sit idly while the country goes to Hell in a hand basket. They will make certain that the nation's interests are vigorously defended! Congress will in fact make certain that the interests of NFL players are protected above all else!

Source: Congress may monitor NFLPA's executive director search

If only these guys had been in charge before....

MEANWHILE - in the reality the rest of us inhabit:

"The Panel still does not know what the banks are doing with taxpayer money."

My guess is they're using it to buy Congressmen and Senators, as well as a few governors, one sitting President and a soon-to-be President, and a bunch of federal regulators. Hey, it worked for Fannie and Freddie! And Goldman Sachs! And Citi!

Orlando continues its descent into lawlessness

Early in the morning an Einstein Bagels shop was robbed in the College Park neighborhood. That's the neighborhood where our mayor lives. If the mayor can't keep his own neighborhood safe then what hope does the rest of the city have? And don't even get me started on unincorporated Orange County....

It's not that the Orlando crime rate is the highest in the country. The City of Baltimore, for example, has a much higher murder rate. But in Baltimore the violence is concentrated in a few bad neighborhoods. If you avoid those areas you will avoid almost all trouble. (Of course, if you live in those neighborhoods in Baltimore, you're fucked.) Not so here. While we have bad neighborhoods (believe me, I know, as my mother lives in one of the worst), the violence is spread out. No area is truly safe.

Which is why we have an increasing number of citizens taking up arms and shooting first. Hell, even the local newspaper has started to admit armed citizens killing the bad guys on sight may be the only solution. The police can't (or more likely won't) do a damned thing about the criminals. Although I expect that any day now they will start throwing people in jail for defending themselves.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wow, they even got Hitler....

This must be the most viewed video on YouTube - it's used to spoof everything. This time? The Real Estate Bubble. (Probably not so good if you understand German.)



H/T: Razib

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's good to see someone from the old neighborhood succeed

No really!

Ex-warlord's son gets 97 years for torture

Perhaps I shouldn't be so excited, but it's good to know that Pine Hills now gets prime recognition for the torturers and sociopaths we raise.

So ...

There was a pro-Hamas demonstration in town today. (Pictures in a later post.) Several dozen, probably a couple of hundred Orlando police were there to keep the few hundred pro-Hamas types away from the few pro-Israel counter-demonstrators.

While Orlando's Finest were planning to keep the dumb-asses from getting killed by the evil assholes yesterday, Orlando's residents once again had to fend for themselves. Fortunately, Orlando's law-abiding types are better shots than its criminals. Yesterday evening another citizen had to kill another armed robber in a public place. This is part of a welcome trend. If you don't think it is, then consider the alternative - letting the criminals do as they will. The police sure as Hell aren't going to do anything.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Would-be victim shoots, kills robber at Orange County carwash

Willoughby Mariano Sentinel Staff Writer
January 10, 2009

Gunfire at a South Orange Blossom Trail carwash Friday left a suspected robber dead at the hands of his intended victim, Orange County deputies said.

The attack took place about 6:40 p.m. when two men, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun, walked up to a customer inside a carwash bay at 5101 S. Orange Blossom Trail. They tried to rob the patron, but he pulled out a handgun and fired, striking one of his attackers, Cmdr. Paul "Spike" Hopkins said.

"The bad guy was killed, and this guy [the customer] is safe tonight," Hopkins said. Investigators did not release the names of those involved. The second suspect ran off and had not been found early today.

Friday's shooting was the second time in four days that a customer at an Orange County business shot and killed a robbery suspect.
ADDED: I left out the best part of the story from the Sentinel.
The attempted robbery was similar to five attacks during the past week along a one-mile stretch of South Orange Blossom Trail, Hopkins said. Two men, one armed with a shotgun, demanded money from their victims. Investigators are trying to establish a possible link.

Fred Johnson, 39, who owns a hair and nail salon next door to the carwash, spotted the suspected robber lying in a pool of blood.

"You can't go around robbing people. Simple as that. It's not fair," Johnson said.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let's here it for the vigilantes!

Okay, not a vigilante, but a concerned citizen coming to the defense of another citizen in duress. I mentioned in a previous post that people in Central Florida increasingly feel the need to defend themselves and others because the police can't do it. Here's another example, as detailed by the Orlando Sentinel:

Police have identified the robber who was shot and killed by a good Samaritan Monday night, after he beat a female store clerk with a bottle at an Ocoee gas station.

Freddie Carson, 40, of Orlando was shot by a customer at the Kangaroo Gas Station at 400 Franklin Street in Ocoee, police said. The customer has been identified as a man named Christopher, but authorities have not released his last name.

Records show that sometime before 10:50 p.m., Christopher was parked in his SUV outside the Kangaroo Gas Station at 400 Franklin Street.

At some point, he heard the store clerk, 39-year-old Marina Rodriguez, screaming in the gas station's convenience store.

"All I heard was the woman screaming, 'Help! Help! Help!' " Christopher said.

The witness ran out of his car and into the store. He saw the suspect beating a female clerk with a bottle. The witness ran back into his car, grabbed his handgun and returned to the store. He fired at least two shots, killing the suspect.
It's not even necessary to read the comments on this story - mostly they will be from people cheering the result. Elsewhere I've heard that Freddie Carson had a long criminal record, but that isn't reflected in this story. Welcome to the Dodge City of the Twenty-First Century. Don't forget to buy a souvenir t-shirt on your way out of town.

PREDICTION: The Good Samaritan will be sued into the poor house by the dead man's family.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

An appropriate level of cynicism

Steve Sailer observes the careers of Michael F. Bennet and Barrack Obama and draws the correct conclusion:

Evidently, the point of being a public school reformer these days is to become known as a public school reformer, not to actually reform the public school.
Agnostic (of Dusk in Autumn and Gene Expression) has the first comment:
Great, Generation X is in charge of the Education and HUD departments.

I mean, they flocked to see Dangerous Minds when it came out -- how tough could it be to fix "underperforming" schools?

Simply divert most of the stimulus package to Teach for America, and let a thousand Michelle Pfeiffers bloom in the ghettos.
My wife also points out that one can get the moral credit as a public school reformer while sending one's own children to private schools.