Saturday, February 28, 2009
I decided to get some new shoes today. My beloved tennis shoes were getting kind of ratty. While I was in the shoe store I saw some Doc Martens. It reminded me of a time years ago in which I had those boots. Great boots - nice and durable.
On the way to the store, I saw a bum that hangs out around a gas station. He never begs for money, he just sits there in the cold. I bought him some cigarettes and some food. It seemed to brighten his day.
At Starbucks, I tried to figure out what all this meant in a religious sense. This is a very religious state, but very few people personally help the poor. They outsource that job to various charities. But did Jesus command us to outsource helping others? Who knows? But my coffee tasted good on a cold day.
Friday, February 27, 2009
A sign in a store called the British Home Shoppe reads as follows:
"Sorry, we are not a daycare center. Please control your children"
It seems that a mother found this sign to be offensive. So she responded by throwing merchandise at the owner until he shot her with a taser. Both the mother and the store owner were arrested.
Yeah, I am sure these kids are going to turn out OK.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Paul Craig Roberts has long been one of my favorite economists. As with many people that I admire, it is hard to classify him as being on the Left or the Right. He is one of the few voices that have expressed doubts about the axiomatic position held by the Democrat and Republican parties that free trade is all sunshine and rainbows.
Roberts also debunks the myth that the United States was built of free trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the earliest colonial times, the government has protected various industries.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Here is a sappy story that reminds me of a real life Miracle on 34th Street. In the movie, a government official threatens a harmless man with institutionalization for believing that he is Santa Claus. People come to his defense and he is set free!
In real life, Larry Douthwaite, a school crossing guard for 15 years, has worn silly hats to make the children smile. In seems that some odious government official decided that wearing such attire was not “professional” and she did what any strong and empowered woman would do – she wrote a letter complaining to the police chief of the town. Bowing to this government busybody, the police chief sadly told Larry Douthwaite that he could no longer wear his funny hats while working as a school crossing guard.
When the local townspeople heard about this, everyone rallied to Larry’s defense. At a special town meeting last night and hundreds of citizens attended to defend Larry’s right to wear a silly hat. The town council overturned the ruling. Larry Douthwaite is now free to wear his silly hats again!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Senator Tom Harkin is leading an investigation of a case in which a turkey processing plant kept a group mentally retarded men as virtual slaves. These men were shipped up from Texas and worked at the plant for approximately 44 cents an hour. The men slept in an old, unheated schoolhouse with boarded up windows. (See the video below of the bunkhouse provide courtesy of the Iowa Gazette newspaper online)
I interviewed Curtis Decker who is the executive director of the National Disability Rights Network. We discussed the issues of employing the mentally retarded to work at below minimum wage.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Here is an interesting article in Human Events concerning how eleven states are thinking about refusing to take the stimulus money. Per the article:
State governors -- looking down the gun barrel of long-term spending forced on them by the Obama “stimulus” plan -- are saying they will refuse to take the money. This is a Constitutional confrontation between the federal government and the states unlike any in our time
Originally, the United States was designed to be a country that decentralized power. The states had much more influence than the Federal government. Over time, the Federal government has grown in power and influence to a degree in which the states have very little power. The 10th amendment of the constitution clearly specified the separation of powers:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
As with most of the Constitution, this amendment is now pretty much ignored.
But the question still remains, do we as a people have a right to dissolve our bonds with a government when the government no longer represents us? A radical question today as it was in 1776.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Below is a graph that shows the increase of the Base Money supply of the USA. Base Money (M1) is the fiat money that is created by the Federal Reserve. As you can see, the Fed has been going crazy “printing” money. (Most money is now electronic, not paper - hence the word printing is somewhat of an anachronism.)
Based on this graph, you probably think that we should be experiencing hyper-inflation. Many people of the Austrian Monetary theory (such as Lew Rockwell, Peter Schiff and Ron Paul) have consistently predicted hyperinflation. And, yet, we have not seen a radical increase of prices. Why not?
The reason we have not seen hyperinflation is that most of our money is created by banks through loans. The government creates very little fiat money compared to the credit money created by the banks. And the credit money has been dramatically collapsing over the past year.
The increase of fiat money by the Federal Reserve is like pushing on a string. The banks are not lending this money because businesses are not expanding and current loans are defaulting. And without lending, money cannot increase under our current monetary system.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
One of Obama’s plans for revitalizing America’s economy is to encourage kids to pursue science and high-tech education. However, the dirty little secret is that these types of jobs are now being off-shored to non-Americans (such as China and India) who will work at a fraction of an America wage. As such, American engineering and computer graduates discover that they have been misled about the America’s need of high-tech graduates. Our leaders have gutted America’s industry and science in the name of flipping a quick profit.
As my daughter visited me this weekend, I decided to interview her about science and engineering. Molly is currently a chemical engineering and math major.
We also discussed why there is a lack of women in the hard sciences such as math and why Asians are over represented compared to other ethnic groups.
*The end of the video is a silly clip of a “stare out” we did last night at dinner. I was just going to share this clip with family and friends, but I accidently made it public earlier today. (Youtube allows you to set videos as private to be viewed by only certain people.) Anyway, Molly suggested that we just keep it in for your amusement.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Obama’s housing plan will reward people who lived beyond their means and took excessive debt. Why should you be a sucker and continue to pay your mortgage when the government will come to the rescue? The government rewards scam artists, deadbeats and parasites and it punishes the people who produce. If that is the case, why should we produce?
I called GMAC and asked them if they would reduce the principal on my mortgage. I figured if they can loot my tax money via TARP, they can reduce my mortgage.
Below is the famous Rick Santelli rant about the situation:
Thursday, February 19, 2009
My interview with Maureen O'Leary, primate expert at the Tulsa Zoo. Maureen explains chimp behavior in reference to the savage chimpanzee attack of a Connecticut woman. Maureen also provided some expert advice as to what to do in case you should ever be attacked by a gang of chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees (especially adult males) are dangerous animals that can be quite aggressive. Their canine teeth are up to three inches long and they have tremendous jaw strength. It is common for chimps to bite off the fingers of people who are silly enough to stick their fingers into the cage. If you should be unfortunate to face an aggressive chimp without a cage to protect you, the chimp will attempt to chew off your face.
In 2008, two chimps attacked a man in a California sanctuary. The chimps bit off his nose and part of his foot. The Sun interviewed this man about his attack (warning, gruesome pictures.)
Below is the 911 call concerning the Connecticut chimp attack:
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It was reported in the news that a vicious criminal stole 150 bowling balls from Thurston’s Restaurant bowling alley in New York. Of course, I was curious as to why anyone would want to steal 150 bowling balls. Is there an active black market for crappy bowling balls? And how would a thief manage to remove 150 bowling balls in the middle of the night? Did he have a truck to carry the bowling ball loot? I can’t imagine that someone could fit 150 bowling balls in a car.
As part of the RAMZPAUL’s in-depth investigations, I looked deeper into the mysterious case of the Bowling Ball Caper.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I was please to interview Dana Cody. Dana is the Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
Dana ‘s organization is providing legal aid to Walter Hoye, a pastor in Oakland, California. Hoye was arrested for carrying a sign that read ‘Jesus Loves You. Can we help?’ Oakland has a city ordinance that prohibits free speech in a certain radius around abortion clinics. The legal question is can a city prohibit peaceful, free speech in a public area? The Supreme Court has struck down similar laws that attempt to limit speech in such a manner (Hill vs. Colorado).
My primary interest in this story is that of Free Speech. I have noticed a disturbing trend from both the Left and the Right with attempts at silencing political speech. President Bush had “free speech” zones at his public appearances which prohibited protests except for out of the way locations. Protestors were only allowed their Free Speech in a chained off area that was out of sight of the President. Such areas (which were basically cages) were called “Free Speech Zones”.
Now we are seeing similar “zones” that attempt to silence speech. The Founders of this country believe that the entire country was a Free Speech zone. They believed that any attempt to prohibit free speech in public is a form of tyranny.
Below is the video of Walter Hoye protesting.
[Clinic escorts routinely block Rev. Hoye’s sign with blank signs to prevent women from seeing his message: “God loves you and your baby. Let us help.”]
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Working in the corporate world for the past twenty years, I have seen an endless parade of silly fads introduced by various consultants. Usually these initiatives are released with much fanfare (and with great cost) only to be usurped by a new fad within six months.
One of the common business consulting myths was the idea that the Chinese word for "crisis" is composed of elements that signify "danger" and "opportunity." This was presented by consultants as some motivational tripe in order to encourage the employees when things were going to Hell. “Hey, our sales may be down, but remember the ancient Chinese wisdom that a crises is really an opportunity!”
Chinese linguist experts at the University of Pennsylvania have finally explained in detail why this is an urban myth. A better translation that “opportunity” would be “dangerous moment”. Of course, an accurate translation would not sell motivational books.
This whole episode reminded me of the fad motivational book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” As near as I can figure this book was targeted to children in First Grade who suffer from severe learning disorders. The book was silly and patronizing. Basically the “lesson” was that you need to find other opportunities when someone steals your “cheese”. Executives loved to pass out this book in an attempt to appease employees while the executives were financially raping the companies.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Ahhh… Valentine’s Day. Somehow over the years this holiday has morphed in Vagina’s Day. This has become another hallmark Holiday designed to shame men into spending elaborate amounts of money in an attempt to appease women. The irony is that the less you need to spend on a woman, the better the relationship.
Anyway, below is a typical expert “advice” comment geared to women complaining about men on Valentine’s Day. It seems we men don’t spend enough on women.
This article also reminds me of the JC Penny’s Christmas ad designed to shame men into buying expensive jewelry. I created a video in response that received some attention in Canada’s largest newspaper. (see below)
Ahhh, February 14. Hearts, roses, and reservations. Sounds romantic, but let's get real here, ladies: V-Day can be anything but victorious. And who do we have to thank for that? M-E-N. Okay, besides the three guys on earth who come up with creative dinner ideas and adorable trips in advance, most of the male species disappoints. From terrible gifts to a sudden case of amnesia, many of us are left hanging... even those of us who think Valentine's is the cheesiest day of the year. Read on for more cringeworthy moves.
1. Saying he doesn't believe in hokey commercial holidays two seconds after you've given him a cute card.
2. Telling you, "We're never going to be able to get a dinner reservation tonight because it's stupid Valentine's Day."
3. Giving you supermarket flowers.
4. Emailing you the morning of the 14th to say, "Hey, so what are you up to tonight?" He's not asking you out, just wondering if you'll be out with someone else.
5. Taking you to a fast-food drive-through, then renting "Basic Instinct" and inviting you back to his dorm room/shady apartment to watch it with his roommate.
6. Making you a lame heart-shaped card cut from notebook paper with "IOU one gift" written on it.
7. Insisting on treating you to a lavish dinner and ordering tons of appetizers, and the priciest entrees. Then when the bill comes, Loverboy asks if you can throw in, say, 80 bucks or so.
8. Setting tentative plans but not telling you exactly what time he's picking you up or where you're going. Then -- surprise! -- at 9:45, he tells you he's stuck at work, then says, "You're not mad, are you?"
9. Then telling you before he hangs up, "Look, I really wanna make it up to you," but not bothering to nail down a date.
10. Dumping you the day before because he didn't want to torment you by going through the motions. (At least you could've gotten one last fancy meal out of the deal.)
11. Buying you chocolates the day after V-Day because the prices were slashed.
12. Giving you ghastly mall-rat jewelry that you saw on his sister the week before.
13. Waiting until February 13 to make plans with you.
14. Taking you anywhere that serves two-for-one meals.
15. Inviting you out for an evening with him... and his mother.
The infamous JC Penny's Doghouse ad:
My Response video:
Friday, February 13, 2009
Brooke Heike, a college basketball star, is suing Central Michigan University for being cut from the team for “not being a lesbian.” Brooke claims that her coach, Sue Guevara, discriminated against her for being a heterosexual. When Brook refused to become a lesbian, the coach allegedly cut Brooke from the team.
Below are pictures of Brook Heike and Sue Guevara. I will let you guess which one is the heterosexual player.
As part of the Starbuck Pledge 5 campaign, I hope to use this case to raise awareness concerning the plight of heterosexual female basketball players. I hope Brooke can break down barriers and allow other female heterosexual basketball players to come out of the closet.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Boston College has been in the news recently due to a ruckus raised over crucifixes and other religious art being displayed in the classrooms. The fact Boston College is a private Catholic university puts an odd spin to the story. How can one become offended of religious icons when you are in a Catholic school? What is next? Will people become offended that the Pope is Catholic and that he should change his religion in the name of “diversity”?
I interviewed Professor Dwayve Carpenter who is a professor of Jewish Studies at Boston College. Professor Carpenter is offended that the religious icons that were placed in his class.
Sometimes it gets difficult separate news that is found on TheOnion to that of real news. After all, how can I properly do satire when reality is more absurd?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Howard B. Richman author of, Trading Away Our Future, claimed in an interview with RAMZPAUL that the US could win a trade war with China. Mr. Richman slammed China for engaging in mercantilist trade practices which have damaged the global economy.
Mr. Richman also explained his advocacy of the Fair Tax proposal as a way to reduce corruption and improve the economy.
I personally want to thank Mr. Richman for the interview. He is an intelligent and articulate man who brings an interesting perspective to our current economic crisis.
The current trade policy on the United States is gutting our manufacturing and high tech industries. If we continue to allow our country to be pillaged in the name of “free trade” we will soon be reduced to a Third World status. This country was built on a trade policy that protected our industry. It is madness to continue in our current direction.
I am also an advocate of the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax would eliminate much of the bureaucracy of our tax system. Such a tax would reward savings and discourage reckless consumption. More importantly, such a tax would prevent politicians from using the tax code to provide favors (i.e. kick backs) to lobbyists who fund their campaigns.
If you are interested in a deeper understanding of such policies, I highly recommend reading “Trading Away Our Future.”
Monday, February 9, 2009
I had the pleasure today to interview the real life Indian Jones – Richard Reeves. Richard Rives is a famous Christian personality who has conducted various archeological searches for the Ark of the Covenant and Noah’s Ark. Mr. Rives made worldwide news when he claimed to have found the remains of Noah’s Ark in modern day Turkey.
Recently, Mr. Rives has been promoted by the popular conservative on-line news web site, WorldNetDaily.com. Mr. Rives advocates a theology that maintains Christianity has been corrupted by paganism. For example, Mr. Rives believes that Easter and Christmas are pagan holidays that should not be observed by Christians.
While I do not advocate a specific religious point of view on my blog, I do think it is important to understand the religious people that have influence in politics and culture. Mr. Rives and his ideas have definitely been influential concerning the Christian Right and the Republican Party.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
A school teacher in Wisconsin, Betsy Ramsdale, was put on administrative leave when she posted a picture on her Facebook account of herself holding a rifle. It seems some “concerned” staff member saw the picture and decided to report her to the school’s administration.
As it is apparently legal for women to own guns in the state of Wisconsin (go figure) I am not exactly sure why she was reprimanded. Are Wisconsin teachers prevented from participating in biathlon competitions? (Biathlon is an Olympic sport combining shooting and cross-country skiing.) Are Wisconsin teachers allowed to hunt?
Apparently some mothers were “offended” at seeing a teacher of their precious little angels shooting a gun. And we all know that when a woman is “offended” that trumps any of our Constitutional rights.
Personally, I don’t mind seeing women with guns.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The birth of eight children to Nadya Suleman has been in the news recently. Nadya Suleman is an unwed mother who has 14 children. She has lived off disability insurance since injuring her back as a counselor. For some odd reason, while the disability has prevented her from working, it has not prevented her from making babies.
The hospital bills for the children are expected to run up to 3 million dollars. Miss Suleman is not worried about money to raise the children as she plan to go back to college and get her Master’s degree in counseling.
In other news, a leader in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has declared that the breakdown of traditional families, far from being a “crisis,” is actually a triumph for human rights. The results of such a “triumph” can be found in any slum.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is a libertarian masterpiece that is a must read for anyone that is a friend of liberty and capitalism. The novel is set in America during an unknown time. The country is in a midst of a financial crises and the government creates various “temporary” regulations to counter the “national emergency”. These regulations actually create further harm to the economy. The government, of course, never admits that their control and meddling is the source of these problems. The blame is always put of selfish people and greedy businessmen.
Wesley Mouch is a bureaucrat in the novel who eventually assumes the role as the county’s chief economic planner. He believes that the government must take an active role to ensure that the economy recovers.
Wesley Mouch introduced a series of economic regulations designed to improve the economy. These included the “anti dog eat dog act” (to reduce harmful competition) and Directive 10-289.
Directive 10-289 purported purpose was to stop the country’s economic decline by freezing the economy in its present state. The directive employed comprehensive central government planning to freeze the status quo.
Part of the directive read as follows:
Point One: All workers, wage earners, and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment...
As life once again imitates art, a real life Wesley Mouch has emerged as an economic advisor to President Obama. Lawrence Chimerine, a prominent economist, has proposed his own version of Directive 10-289. Chimerine is proposing that the White House call for a "national initiative" in which Corporate America would agree to “temporarily” put a freeze on further job cuts.
As I was curious how such a plan would be implemented, I called and interviewed Dr. Lawrence Chimerine. His answers to my questions were fascinating.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The DailyMail reported that an insurance corporation in Austria has decided to only hire people based on certain astrological signs. This has created some controversy as it is illegal in Austria to discriminate based on the usual race, religion or gender reasons. However, this insurance company claims that excluding potential employees based on their astrological sign is quite proper.
As astrology is a religion (it is not a science) I would imagine that this violates the religious discrimination restriction. I doubt that the insurance company could require that men be circumcised as a condition for employment. Demanding that a person be born under certain star signs is no less absurd.
As such, I decided to call an astrologist and get her opinion of the matter. It seemed somewhat strange to be interviewing an astrologist after I had just interviewed one of the world’s leading scientists within a 24 hour period. But I guess that was the fate based on the stars alignment.
I was proud of my interview with Dr. Tans. My interview with the astrologist went horribly off track. I thought about scrapping the whole video, but then I thought I would show you the train wreck for your own enjoyment.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Pieter Tans’ interview – Part 2
I was honored to interview Dr. Pieter Tans, Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Tans is considered to be one of the leading and most influential climate scientists in the world.
I asked Dr. Tans his opinion of Steve Chu’s (Secretary of Energy) statement to the media that California is in danger of losing its agriculture due to climate change. Dr. Tans explained that this is a real concern due to the lack of snowfall to provide water for the plants. We discussed that building new damns may be a partial solution to capture the water that runs off from rainfall.
We also discussed the story that Dr. Tans was under political pressure to change his scientific findings. We discussed how that government funding of science tends to compromise the integrity of science. The bureaucrats of these governmental departments are always fearful that they will lose funding. Hence, the managers put pressure on the scientists to produce specific results. Dr. Tans referred to this as a “climate of fear”.
Dr. Tans also stated that he feels we are in big trouble unless we discover a technical solution to lower the CO2 level. Dr. Tans admitted that we are actually in a low period of CO2 and that the CO2 level was much higher in the past. The problem is that the CO2 level has recently dramatically increased. The question is if we will be able to adapt to the climate change.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program
I live in a state that is predominately Republican and Conservative. I live in Mid-America. Fly-over country. The Bible Belt. I do not live near Berkley or Massachusetts. The people in this state believe in God, Football and Guns.
While running my errands, I decided to go on a search for Karl Marx in this most conservative of states. My question was this - could Marx’s ideas be receptive to Middle America?
I decided to interview just normal people in everyday life and see what they thought about this slogan.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have often wondered why there is a Woman’s studies program and a Woman’s Resource center on virtually all American universities. Do women really need to be studied? And, if so, what do you learn? How to better pick up a woman in a bar? Inquiring minds want to know.
And why is there not a Men’s studies program? Are men not worthy of study? Do men not need resources?
To further confuse the matter, many universities now call it Women and Gender studies. Isn’t the other gender male? If so, couldn’t we just call the program “people studies?”
I called Colorado University and I talked to some of the sharpest minds concerning this topic. I learned that gender studies are based on fluidity and binary roles. I don’t know what that means. But, then again, I am not some smart woman studies professor. This video will help us all learn and grow.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Paul E. Kanjorski (D - PA), 11th District was on C-SPAN the other day talking about the TARP and the proposed stimulus package. (See clip below.)
I found this clip to be interesting as Kanjorski admitted that Congress does not know what to do. And that the original TARP funds did not put us in a better situation. Basically, almost a trillion dollars was pissed away.
The proposed stimulus package looks to be even a bigger boondoggle. Over a trillion dollars will be spent on all sorts of pork ranging from constructing bridges to nowhere (excluding white construction workers, of course) to Planned Parenthood abortions. We simply do not have this money to spend and we risk a bond dislocation if we insist to blow out the national debt.
The caller in this clip was passionate. She pleaded that we Americans be allowed to keep our own money instead of it being pissed away on stimulus spending. She is right. The solution is to drastically cut the size and scope of the government.
Of course, the politicians will never agree to such a notion. No matter how many times their policies fail, they will always blame it on “not spending enough”.
When everything started to fall apart last September, I created a video that illustrated the sequence of events that led to the dominoes to fall. It remains one of my most popular videos.