TeeJaw Blog

Mountain Cat

Posted in Digital Photography by TeeJaw on Friday, April 30, 2010, 10: 09 PM

Sharp focus of both near and distant objects requires a lens with a small f-stop, at least f/22 or even f/32. Most point and shoot digital cameras will stop down to only f/8 or maybe f/11. A DSLR is generally required to get this shot, with a lens such as this one which will go down to f/22. Of course, when you have bent the light reaching the sensor with a small aperture you will also need a slow shutter speed. This calls for a tripod and a subject, such as this cat, that will remain still.

The most pleasing aspect of the mountain cat is the warm natural light coming from the side, out of the frame on the right. It renders the cat’s left front paw and leg to be lit up with it’s right side in shadow but with sufficient detail. Nice.

Here is a photo taken with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens, shutter speed and aperture unknown.

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Boeing 767 Autolanding In Brussels

Posted in Uncategorized by TeeJaw on Friday, April 30, 2010, 1: 37 PM

This video shows what it looks like out the front window of a Boeing 767 landing in Brussels when the ceiling is right on the ground and the visibility is about 200 meters or 656 feet. At landing speed that distance is covered in about 2.5 seconds. The runway is not visible until the nose gear meets the pavement. This is done with autopilots (three of them) along with three of everything else all working together to put the airplane safely on the runway right in the touchdown zone. You can hear the automated voice of the radio altimeter calling out height above the ground, and the pilot responding with “Land Three” indicating that all is well with all of the auto-landing systems.

A pilot friend says, “And it is really cool when the autopilots remove the crab in the event of a crosswind, then dip the wing a little bit into the wind to kill the drift, while all at the same time raising the nose to set the flare. Then after touchdown, the plane will track an electronic signal right down the middle of the runway. All you have to do is pull the power off, take manual control after touchdown, and start breathing again.”

This country is not producing very good government and politics right now but the aircraft industry is performing well.

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Make Mine Freedom — 1948

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, April 30, 2010, 8: 21 AM

Suddenly relevant again…

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Vote For Liberty — Defeat Tyranny

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, April 30, 2010, 7: 35 AM

I once lived in Pennsylvania for a couple of years and I hold a special affection for the State. Tim Burns is trying to capture the Congressional seat formerly held by the vile John Murtha (for 36 years). The primary is May 18.

This video is powerful:

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Obama’s Envy

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, April 29, 2010, 10: 26 AM

Speaking in Quincy, Ill yesterday Obama said,

    “We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Maybe you thought you would decide for yourself when you’ve made enough money. Maybe you thought that your entirely legal pursuit of happiness and profit was not to be tested by someone’s else’s subjective opinion of whether it was “fairly earned.”

Obama, who has never in his life held a real job, made $5.5 Million last year off two books that are unreadable by anyone with half a brain. I wonder how he would feel about anyone telling him he has made enough? He made that money not on the merits of the books because they have no merit. He exploited his political position for financial gain. Was that income “fairly earned?”

If anyone tells you they think you’ve reached the point where you have made enough money and you ought to let up, you can ignore them. Maybe decide not to invite them to your next dinner party. But when the man sitting at the seat of an all powerful government thinks he can tell you when you’ve made enough money, you have a problem.

Liberals love root causes. So here’s a root cause for liberals. The root cause of liberals’ frustration, unhappiness and anger is unchecked envy of others.

The Powerline Blog has a great response to Obama: “At some point you have grabbed enough power.”

See also, SWAT team called in to control peaceful Tea Party Protest. There are three videos that show the Quincy police looking like jack-booted thugs. At least they weren’t goose-stepping.

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Sinking of the Horizon

Posted in Uncategorized by TeeJaw on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 7: 58 PM

11 people still missing, 126 escaped without serious injury, which attests to how well trained the crew was in emergency evacuation. Click any photo to enlarge.

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Obama’s Contempt For Israel — And Jews?

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 9: 19 AM

I’ve written quite a few times about Obama’s contempt for Israel. Here’s a list that even shocks me in it’s length:

Netanyahu Should Tell Obama to Go Pound Sand

Reaction to Obama’s Rude Treatment of Bibi Netanyahu

Congress to Obama — Grow Up

2010 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

More On American Jewish Support For Obama’s Policy Toward Israel

American Jews Having Second Thoughts? — UPDATE

The Obama Enemies List — Tea Party Movement, American People, Israel, Etc.

The 2010 survey of American Jewish opinion had a clear majority of American Jews supporting Obama’s policy toward Israel. His policy toward Israel can be summed up in one word: Contempt.

If Israel were destroyed would Obama care? That’s something I guess each person must answer for themselves but IMHO, I don’t think he would mind except for the loss of a useful enemy and object of his contempt.

A later poll by McGlaughlin included data from a later date and indicated that American Jews might be having second thoughts. I quoted William Jacobson who was skeptical of that result:

    I don’t believe it.
    As in, I do not think it is accurate.

    There is no Obamamania like the American Jewish Obamamania. The Reform Judaism movement practically was a division of Obama for America.

    Thousand of years of undeserved self-imposed guilt trips culminated in the Mother of All Guilt Trips, also known as the 2008 election.

    Oh, how the Jewish community kvelled when Obama won. The Mother of All Kvells.

    I never could explain it in any rational terms. If was as if electing someone who worshiped in Jeremiah Wright’s church and hung out with anti-Israel academics would … well, like I said, I never could explain it in rational terms.

    Anyone with a knowledge of pathological psychology who can tell me the term to describe someone who falls in love with someone who doesn’t love them back?

    “Glutton for punishment” comes to mind, but there must be a more precise term.

    Maybe things are changing. Maybe the way Obama pissed all over Bibi Netanyahu was the wake up call. Maybe the Jewish community simply is falling into line with national averages, the well-known “return to sanity” phenomenon.

    Maybe. But I’ll need a lot more proof than one poll.

Paul Mirengoff today writes of Obama’s contempt for Israel:

    President Obama’s stridently anti-Israel policies have drawn criticism from some of his key Jewish political allies. Among the most prominent are Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Anthony Weiner.

    Such criticism poses a serious threat to Obama’s popularity among American Jews. Most mainstream Jews would rather silently suffer Obama’s shabby, and dangerous, treatment of Israel than risk deviating from liberal orthodoxy. But once liberal giants like Schumer refuse to suffer silently, liberal Jews can feel free to criticize Obama without feeling that they have betrayed liberalism. The result could be quite liberating.

    Unfortunately, it’s far from clear that either Schumer’s criticism or a steep decline in Obama’s popularity among Jews in general will cause the president to back off from his hostile approach to Israel. Indeed, to Caroline Glick it seems clear that Obama will not back off.

Mirengoff also says, “I have no reason to believe that Obama holds American Jews in contempt, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a substantial part of him that is contempuous of Israel.”

Mirengoff is engaging in wishful thinking. One wonders what it would take to convince him. I will go with Caroline Glick, one of the most astute observers around, in my opinion. She writes,

    President Shimon Peres’s announcement last week that Syria has transferred Scud missiles to Hizbullah in Lebanon was a sharp warning that Iran and its underlings are diligently preparing for war with Israel. It also demonstrated that the Obama administration’s attempts to use diplomacy to coddle Syria away from Iran have failed completely.

    Administration officials’ statements in the wake of Peres’s bombshell make clear that Syria’s bellicose actions have not caused the US President to reconsider his failed policy. Obama’s advisers responded to the news by irrelevantly boasting that their policy of “engagement” enabled them to bring the matter up with their Syrian interlocutors three times before Peres’s announcement and once more after he made the statement.

    AND THAT’S not nearly the end of it. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week, soon the Obama administration will expand its dialogue with Syria by returning the US ambassador to Damascus for the first time since Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri five years ago. That is, Obama has chosen to respond to Syria’s open brinkmanship by rewarding Assad with newfound legitimacy and panache.

    And that’s still not the worst of it. What is worst is that Obama’s advisers openly admit that they have no idea why Syria remains a rogue state despite their happy talk. As one administration official told Foreign Policy, understanding why Syria – Iran’s Arab client state – is acting like Iran’s Arab client state is, “the million dollar question.” “We do not understand Syrian intentions. No one does, and until we get to that question we can never get to the root of the problem,” the official told the magazine.

    But while they wait for the Oracle at Damascus to decode itself, they are content to continue wooing Assad as he provokes war.

Read Glick’s entire article here.

Here is the bottom line truth: Obama is an ideologue above all. He is not a pragmatist. He will not change his stance on Israel and he will not do anything to keep the loyalty of American Jews. He may think he doesn’t need to because they have no where else to go. What are they going to do? Vote for Republicans? He probably doesn’t even consider that a possibility. He would be right about that, as far as I can tell. And even if it were the least probable, it is also likely that Obama just doesn’t care. That’s what ideology, especially radical ideology, does to the mind. It crowds out all other thoughts, considerations, alternatives, and sympathies.

Paul Mirengoff and many others are not ready to accept that Obama truly is a radical and just what that means. But before the Obama era is over, this reality will triumph over their wishful thinking. By that time the wreckage will be deep and severe.

Of Obama, Moammar Gaddafi said on Monday, …”I really endorse and support the policies that he has adopted so far.” Well, why wouldn’t he?

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Liberals Try To Play The Violence Card

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 10: 36 AM

In case you missed it Rush Limbaugh had a column in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal that is now available at Opinion Journal. In Liberals Play the Violence Card Rush takes on Bill Clinton’s “celebration” of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Building by Timothy McVeigh. Ordinary people will commemorate but not celebrate the mass murder of 168 innocent human lives. But for Clinton it is not remembrance and respect for the dead that animates him as much as it is an opportunity to use the atrocity for purely political purposes and to create an enemy and a villain.

I’ve made reference to Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book The True Believers several times but that is because Hoffer is so correct when he says,

    Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.

The Left is one mass movement after another seeking always to take over some aspect of American life (healthcare, energy, immigration, the weather, our bathroom fixtures, our light bulbs, or the whole private sector if possible), shape it and dominate to political ends. The rise of the Tea Party movement is the greatest threat to left-wing hegemony since the rise of the conservative movement that was spurred into existence by William F. Buckley fifty years ago. Rigorously following Eric Hoffer predictions, the left always finds a devil to use as a card to play like a crooked gambler with an ace in his sleeve. The race card has been a trusty standby and it is being played against the Tea Party at every turn. With new lines of communication such as the internet blogs, and the explosion of home-made videos the left is finding it difficult to keep up the game. That angers them to no end, hence the need to dust off the violence card that Clinton, with the help of Dick Morris, played so well against the Republicans in 1995.

Except it’s not working anymore. The cards are counted and the extra ace is found. It is plain that someone is trying to win by cheating.

Rush says this,

    Like the millions of citizens who’ve peacefully risen up and attended thousands of rallies in protest, I seek nothing more than the preservation of the social contract that undergirds our society. I do not hate the government, as the left does when it is not running it. I love this country. And because I do, I insist that the temporary inhabitants of high political office comply with the Constitution, honor our God-given unalienable rights, and respect our hard-earned private property. For this I am called seditious, among other things, by some of the very people who’ve condemned this society?

    I reject the notion that America is in a well-deserved decline, that she and her citizens are unexceptional. I do not believe America is the problem in the world. I believe America is the solution to the world’s problems. I reject a foreign policy that treats our allies like our enemies and our enemies like our allies. I condemn the president traveling the world apologizing for America’s great contributions to mankind. And I condemn his soft-pedaling the dangers we face from terrorism. For this I am inciting violence?

Clinton’s recent attempt to paint Rush Limbaugh as inciting violence with his radio show is in sharp contrast to what Rush was actually doing last Friday while Clinton was demagoguing away at the Center for American “Progress” in Washington D.C.,

    Few presidents have sunk so low as Mr. Clinton did with his accusations about Oklahoma City. Last week—on the very day I was contributing to and raising more than $3 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma on my radio program—Mr. Clinton used the 15th anniversary of that horrific day to regurgitate his claims about talk radio.

Read Rush’s column here. The Opinion Journal version contains a video from Fox News that features an exchange between Bob Beckel and Andrea ________ [said so fast I couldn’t catch her last name]. I like this video [I could not post it — embed code blocked] because for once the bulldog-face old guy is the liberal and the attractive babe is the conservative. As is usual on our side, the female is also smart, unlike the typical airhead the left trots out to speak in mindless slogans.

For real violence by protestors we need look no further than the pro-illegal immigration protests in Arizona in the last fews days by so-called “progressives.” This video shows protesters being arrested after throwing rocks and bottles at police:

And this one shows a photographer being threaten with violence for trying to make a video:

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Governor Culver Will Sign The Iowa CCW Improvements Bill

Posted in Gun Rights by TeeJaw on Monday, April 26, 2010, 8: 23 PM

Two weeks ago I reported this:

    SF 2379 has been approved by overwhelming majorities in the both the House and Senate in Iowa and awaits the governor’s signature. It will make Iowa another “shall issue” state and all out-of-state permits will be recognized. It will also make open carry legal with a CCW permit. This is the first time I have seen open carry linked to a CCW permit.

Gun owners in Iowa have been waiting to see whether Governor Culver, a Democrat, will sign the bill. Today the Governor’s office announced he will sign SF 2379 this Thursday at 9:00 AM at the Governor’s Office in Des Moines.

The Bill does the following:

  • Shall Issue
  • Standardized Training
  • A 30-day time limit on issuing a permit
  • A tight appeals process
  • A CCW permits allows open carry as well as concealed carry — this is especially good because police can quickly determine if someone who is open carrying is doing so legally
  • Universal recognition of all out of state permits
  • No ability for the Sheriff to record make, model, SN, or ammunition type of any weapon during the permit process
  • Removal of all individual Federal disqualifiers, replaced with one sentence
  • Permits good for five years
  • Iowa has not been a shall issue state although permits were issued in most counties but under differing standards and it was generally what “may issue” always is, a general mess with some sheriffs issuing to all law-abiding citizens and some only to their cronies. Visitors were faced with uncertainty as whether or where they could carry. Now it will be standardized and all out of state permits recognized. That means Iowans can also carry in States like Wyoming that have the same type of law.

    This is good.

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    Arizona’s New Immigration Law

    Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Saturday, April 24, 2010, 11: 05 PM

    UPDATE 4/26:

    Activists Amplify Arizona Act, Accelerating Attrition Aftermath

      I think the biggest impact of the new law won’t actually be in its implementation; rather, the hyperbolic fear-mongering by the bill’s opponents will actually amplify its effect far beyond anything the sponsors could have wished for. The bill on its own obviously isn’t going to create a police state or Nazi Germany, but it’s also not a magic wand that’s going to make illegal immigration go away — it’s a modest measure, part of which simply parallels federal law, and gives police some extra useful tools (citizens, too, who may now sue sanctuary jurisdictions). But if the thing had been passed and signed with little fuss, it wouldn’t have half the attrition effect it’s going to have.

      So my advice to the open-borders folks: Fear-monger away!

      — Mark Krikorian

    UPDATE 4/25:

    70% of Arizona voters agree with this new legislation.

    Photographer Assaulted by Leftist protest Organizer at Pro-Illegal Immigration Rally in Arizona (Video)

    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has signed Senate Bill 1070, Arizona’s new immigration law. It is being called racist and unconstitutional. Here is the text of some of its critical parts. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Read it and decide for yourself:

    Senate Bill 1070

    11-1051 A. No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.

    [That means no more sanctuary cities.]

    11-1051 B. For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state of a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation….Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the Federal Government pursuant to 8 United State Code Section 1373(c). A law enforcement official or agency of this State or a County, City, Town or other political subdivision of this State may not solely consider race, color, or national origin in implementing the requirement of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:

    1. A valid Arizona driver license.
    2. A valid Arizona nonoperating identification license.
    3. A valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
    4. If the entity requires proof of legal presence in the United States before issuance, any valid Untied States Federal, State or local government issued identification.

    [Unlawful stops not allowed, all you need is a driver license or state ID card and you’re OK]

    11-1051 C. [Provides that when an illegal alien convicted of a crime is released from jail or prison ICE shall be notified.]

    11-1051 D. [Once it is verified that an individual is illegally present in this country that person shall be transported by law enforcement to a Federal facility]

    11-1051 E. Except as provided in federal law, officials or agencies of this state and counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions of this state may not be prohibited or in any way be restricted from sending, receiving or maintaining information relating to the immigration status of any individual or exchanging that information with any other federal, state or local governmental entity for the following official purposes….

    [no intention to pre-empt Federal law]

    11-1051 F. [This law shall not be construed to implement or establish the Real ID Act of 2005]

    11-1051 G. [No more sanctuary cities, any Arizona resident may bring a law suit against any agency of the state that has a policy that hinders immigration enforcement and if successful the offending agency shall pay a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 per day that such policy is in force.]

    11-1051 H. [Court to collect the civil penalty in subsection G and remit to the State treasurer]

    11-1051 I. [Costs and attorney’s fees to the prevailing party]

    11-1051 J. [Law enforcement officers acting in good faith to be indemnified by their agency in any law suit in which they are named as a party.]

    K. This section shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.

    [no one will be profiled solely on the basis of race or skin color, and the privileges and immunities of United States citizens shall be respected, something the United States Supreme Court has refused to do since 1873]

    Read the entire Bill here.

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    Natural Justice

    Posted in crime by TeeJaw on Saturday, April 24, 2010, 2: 31 PM

    Dashboard video from a January traffic stop in Hamilton, Montana that ended in gunfire. A coroner’s jury ruled on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, that Hamilton Police Officer Ross Jessop was justified in shooting Raymond Thane Davis. Davis was shot following what began as a routine traffic stop just before 2 a.m. on Jan. 2nd in the 100 block of Fairground Road. Jessop approached Davis’ vehicle and was talking to the man when Davis pulled a gun and fired at the officer, the release said. Jessop returned fire and hit Davis. Davis sped away east on Fairgrounds Road, where his vehicle collided with a utility box and a Ravalli County Road Shop building. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    This police shooting appears to be in compliance with the standard laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), for shooting at a fleeing felon in that this guy clearly demonstrated that his continued liberty presented an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury to innocent life.

    It’s unclear whether the idiot’s first shot was a miss or whether Officer Jessop’s life was saved by his vest. In any event, the bad guy got what he deserved. Natural Justice in action.

    Oh, and one other thing the bad guy didn’t figure on. Bullets fly pretty straight through auto glass without much deflection.

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    Jon Stewart On South Park Death Threats

    Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Saturday, April 24, 2010, 2: 07 PM
    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Via In My Copious Free Time: “…for once, that f-bomb tag line of yours was truly deserved by its target.”

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    We Will Remember — In November

    Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Saturday, April 24, 2010, 10: 19 AM
    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    You can make your pledge at http://remembernovember.com/

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    The Great Global Warming Blunder

    Posted in Global Warming Hoax by TeeJaw on Friday, April 23, 2010, 10: 08 PM

    The evidence of the great global warming hoax keeps piling up and this new book by Roy Spencer collects much of it in one place.
    global warming blunder I’m proud to say that I never for one minute believed the hype that human activity was causing global warming. The idea just seemed too preposterous to take seriously, but as we know the overwhelming majority of people in western civilization fell for it hook, line and sinker. So if you are one who swallowed it whole you needn’t feel bad since nearly everyone else did as well.

    This book explains in layman’s terms why any recent warming is simply part of natural earth cycles that have been going on for millennia. It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. But there are still plenty of politicians, speculators, and commodity traders that saw a chance to turn carbon dioxide into gold and they won’t give up until the last lie is told. The true believers will also hang on as long as they can even though they don’t stand to gain financially. They just won’t easily accept the psychological pain of having to admit they were duped.

    Even in usually sensible Wyoming the cowboys are still making plans to spend millions of dollars, perhaps billions, to pump carbon dioxide into underground caverns. At some point I predict they are going to feel pretty stupid, and look it too.

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    The Financial Meltdown Began With Democrats — Not Wall Street

    Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, April 22, 2010, 10: 02 AM

    All during 2004-2006 The Wall Street Journal was warning of the impending disaster and reporting the financial shenanigans of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were under the control of top Democrats from the Clinton Administration, Franklin Raines, James Johnson and Jamie Gorelick. These Dems took millions in compensation while at the same time cooking the books and using their clout to pressure banks into making sub-prime loans which they could then sell to Fannie and Freddie. Raines took bonuses of over $100 Million, Johnson an equal amount and Gorelick over $20 million. Meanwhile they were steering the country toward the financial meltdown that we now know about.

    This video shows the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress warning of the impending disaster and attempting to bring some semblance of sanity to the regulation of Fannie and Freddie. All the while the Democrats were mightily resisting at every turn, playing the race card and every underhanded tactic they could conjure to defend what was happening before their eyes.

    Now Obama and his minions are trying to lay the blame on who? Right, Wall Street, the private sector and Republicans! This takes more than gall. It takes chutzpah. Chutzpah on stilts.

    Wall Street played its part but the final reckoning will lay the bulk of the blame on Government and more pointedly, the Democrats’ resistance to stopping it before it was too late.

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    New Products To Make Life Easier In Tough Times

    Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 10: 18 PM

    Something for dealing with the whiney girlfriend problem…

    Help with road rage…

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    Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 1: 33 PM

    Click to enlarge:

    Will GM ever again make anything this cool? Maybe, if someday GM again stands for General Motors and not Government Motors.

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    Crony Capitalism — Gangster Government — Fascism

    Posted in Economic Theory, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 8: 56 AM

    Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations (1776) that,

      People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, must less to render them necessary.

    By 1890 when the Interstate Commerce Commission was established by Congress private companies had discovered that conspiring with each other was chicken feed when much more power and control over the market place could be obtained through collusion with the Government. With the assistance of government power the most dominant companies in the market could also gain an advantage over smaller competitors as well as discourage entry into the market by potential new competitors. Not only could competitors and new entrants be kept at bay by forming an alliance with government but customers could be subdued as well. Railroads and Regulation, a book by Gabriel Kolko written in 1965, debunks the myth that progressive reformers in government regulated the railroads to protect smaller shippers and farmers and shows that it was the Railroad Barons themselves that sought regulation by the Government to stave off competition and divide up the market between the strongest carriers.

    Kolko explains:

      The crucial point is that the railroads, for the most part, consistently accepted the basic premises of federal regulation since only through the positive intervention of the national political structure could the destabilizing, costly effects of cutthroat competition, predatory speculators, and greedy shippers be overcome.

    The reader ought not be overly influenced by the strong adjectives used in that paragraph. To a business all competition is destabilizing, costly and cutthroat; all speculators in the field are predatory; and all customers seeking the lowest price are greedy. A business entity will always seek ways to make life easier. Colluding with others in the same trade is risky because it may bring criminal charges by the government. Colluding with the Government itself, on the other hand, is golden. It’s what might be called good work if you can get it.

    Crony Capitalism exists when the Government grants special favor and protection to politically connected companies and targets the unconnected companies for harsh treatment and possible destruction. Michael Barone has accused the Obama administration of practicing gangster government for its pressuring, (i.e., threatening), of secured bond holders in the Chrysler bailout to accept 30 cents on the dollar while awarding the Auto Workers Union 50 cents on the dollar for its unsecured debt. This is contrary to established bankruptcy laws which hold that secured creditors are completely paid off before unsecured creditors get anything.

    Fascism may be defined as a political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government, business-and-government control of the market place, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state above individual rights.

    I had that background in mind as I read the following two stories from today news:

    Goldman Sachs wants regulation — not liassiz-faire

    Gangster Government becomes a long-running series

    See also, Goldman Sachs — Harbinger of the State Capitalist Firm

    I especially liked this from Professor Rowley:

      Goldman Sachs, indeed, is the harbinger of America’s corporate future in the absence of some unlikely reversal of political economic direction. Goldman Sachs is the perfectly designed two-way sewer, pumping excrement in and out of privately-networked political markets and in and out of politically-networked private markets. Goldman Sachs, to put it more bluntly, is designed to work the sewer system, extracting all valued protein for itself, while discharging the residuals into any waste dump corrupt enough, or foolish enough to provide access to its pipes.

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    Ronald Reagan and James Dean: Rare Video From 1954

    Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 2: 47 PM

    From The Atlantic:

      Today, it’s an astonishing, even eerie, scene: the icon of modern American conservatism, whose rise to political prominence was galvanized by the cultural rebellion of the 1960s, fighting off an attack-at-gunpoint by the quintessential modern American rebel. But when “The Dark, Dark Hours” episode of General Electric Theater aired live from Hollywood on December 12, 1954, Ronald Reagan and James Dean were just two actors yet to find the roles that would define them.
    Vodpod videos no longer available.

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    Obama Heckled At Boxer Fundraiser

    Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 11: 10 AM

    These were not Tea Party protesters they were gay activists demanding repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” in the military. Nevertheless, I wonder if Obama may be coming close to the sort of thing that plagued Lyndon Johnson in 1968. Everywhere he went he was confronted with the chant, “Hey, hey LBJ…how many kids did you kill today?”

    The issues today are not similar but maybe this: “Hey, hey Obama, why did you destroy health care for my Mama?” Or this: “When I’m plain ill, I’ll need more than your damned pain pill.”

    How do you know that a Democrat politician is going to lose the next election? Obama speaks at a fund raiser for her. Barbara Boxer is in trouble. Heh.

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