Archive for the ‘From Other Members’ Category

Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – 24,142,578 hits

Those Canadians are almost certain to get 25 million hits by Christmas. Alphabet Photography, no matter what the cost, certainly got their money’s worth! You would think that might be a record. How about 58,027,166 views (Hook’em horns). Or the highest number I found by YouTube search of 159,327,017. So the ranking of YouTube viewers is: Pop culture, nature, great classical music. Seems to correlate with what is offered on TV. And far too often, news reporting.

Oh-oh. It gets worse. 415,113,381. This proves the YouTube search engine is lousy at searching on hits! Google is much better. I now know what my grandparents must have thought about Elvis and the Beetles!

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How progressive IS the US income tax?

Very progressive. In 1999, the bottom 50% of tax payers paid 4% of the individual income tax collected. In 2008, the bottom 50% with adjusted gross income under $33,048, which is gross less deductions, paid only 2.7% of the total individual income tax collected.

Add to the bottom 50% of tax payers those who paid no income tax or even received a tax credit, and it is obvious that more than half of the population pays little or no income tax. How much more progressive can you get?

Starting with Plato and Aristotle, the argument against a democracy surviving was that the population would continue to vote themselves benefits until the government would fail financially. And yet some people argue those old Greek philosophers are no longer relevant. Too bad the Greeks quit reading their own fathers of philosophy.

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Julian Assange of Wikileak is a creepy jerk!

The leaker thinks all secrets should be revealed – except HIS secrets. And his secrets are down right creepy. Seems Shakespeare gave us the phrase “Hoist with your own petard” in Hamlet just for such occurrences.

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Senator Reid pulls $1.1 or $1.2 trillion omnibus bill

Fox News:

Sen. GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has long been known as an effective whip, and Thursday night he showed his prowess as he effectively stripped Democrats of the GOP votes needed to pass the $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill, killing the measure for good.

A visibly frustrated and angry Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, lashed out, saying that he had nine GOP senators supporting the measure, but that suddenly the support evaporated.

“This action taken by my friends on other side of aisle going to cause people to lose their job,” Reid predicted.

“There’s only one reason why cloture is not being filed…He doesn’t have the votes.,” McConnell chided, as he referred to the term for the process to shut down a filibuster. “And the reason he doesn’t have the votes is because members on this side of the aisle increasingly felt concerned about the way we do business.”

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Bob Feller passed away Dec 15, 2010

Bob Feller was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. One of his nicknames was “The Heater from Van Meter” because he was born and raised in Van Meter, Iowa, 17 miles west of Des Moines. He was 92 years of age.

At the age of 23, he was the first major leaguer to volunteer for military service in WWII when he joined the Navy. He served aboard the U.S.S. Alabama in the South Pacific and saw plenty of action.

Nine things you didn’t know about Bob Feller.

Much has been made about what his stats would have been had he not gone off to war. If you followed the volunteer link you know he had no regrets. He struck out many of the great hitters. Here Joe Posnanski, a Sports Illustrated writer tells about his experience with Bob Feller.

RIP Bob Feller. A great Iowa farm boy.

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Atrocious

This one word completely defines the 111th Congress and the current administration. Let’s review:

  • “Never let a crisis go to waste” – utterly stupid! That thinking turned a crisis into a catastrophe – and will likely result in a one term presidency.
  • Cram-down legislation – from Obamacare to lame-duck spending and earmarks. Who would have thought the Republicans would be the last best hope of our citizens.
  • No budget by Congress until after mid-term elections – The worst performance of any Congress in decades. The last time the US Congress failed to pass a budget was in 1974 during the 93rd Congress. And which party controlled both houses of Congress? Democrats! But you have to go even further back in history to find a Congress that didn’t even TRY to generate a budget during the year.

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Ethanol – Subsidy and Food Prices

If we are serious about alternate fuels, then we must insist on honest reporting. There is NO WAY you can make alternate fuels cost effective via subsidies. You have to invest in R&D. For example, to be cost effective for large scale production of energy via solar cells, there efficiency must increase two to three fold.

The media almost always links ethanol credits to farm subsidies. This is NOT the case. The ethanol credits go to the refiners – and some journalists know this is the case. This made sense during the transition from MTBE to ethanol but it no longer makes sense. And if anyone questions why ethanol, which is biodegradable, then you can point them to the Wikipedia page on MTBE.

It was because of blatant and egregious errors made by journalists concerning engineering, science, and farming, that I started my personal blog. I even created short acronyms to define these people: SDD, MDD, and EDD. So when a financial journalist once again tied ethanol to higher food prices, I rounded up all my posts and emailed them to him. Here are the links…

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A century after his death, Mark Twain remains all too relevant.

“Look at the tyranny of party — at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty — a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes — and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master.”—Mark Twain, “The Character of Man,” from Mark Twain’s Autobiography

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How many states have approved a convention for a balanced budget amendment?

According to Michael Duffy on the NBC Sunday Chris Mattews Show, 31. (Link is to video & segment begins with 3:15 left – no transcript yet.) With the large number of state legislatures that flipped Republican (11), it might not take long to get the 38 states required. Not sure a constitutional convention would be a good idea but the federal government better start talking to the states. Unfunded mandates is one of the unintended consequences of the 17th Amendment. Suddenly the states could make the federal government live by the same rules as the states. That would be PayGo writ LARGE! A real in-your-face smack-down. Talk about budget cuts…

This is exactly what The Great Debate was, and still is, all about – checks and balances. And which Republic lasted the longest? You might be surprised. We only have about 900 years, about 45 generations, to go before we can be the longest. “We the people” better start paying attention or we will never make it.

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The Great Debate

There have been many great debates but this one is the debate about our constitution. The best documented of the debates were the Federalist Papers 1787-1788. Everyone should read, study, and know about these writings. But they can be a bit confusing without some background. How about twelve lectures of thirty minutes each taught by a well respected professor? Now you can have them for $20 dollars and about $5 dollars in shipping. The Great Debate from The Teaching Company is on sale. A Christmas gift of knowledge and greater understanding.

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