Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Transportation Problems, Solved!

As you know, people with limited intelligence believe that building trains will solve our transportation problems. Whereas people with basic analytical skills know this is not true. In a positive development, it turns out that even the Obama administration is starting to see the light. Consider this video. Could this be the first step towards a new transportation policy?

From The Onion:
"Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan"

What do you think? :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Gold?

Sound money advocates, people who oppose the Fed, often argue that our financial system should go back to a gold standard. This would prevent governments from tinkering with our money as much as they presently do.

But why use gold? Why is gold so special?

From NPR:
"A Chemist Explains Why Gold Beat Out Lithium, Osmium, Einsteinium ..."

This quote sums it up pretty well:
"So we ask Sanat: If we could run the clock back and start history again, could things go a different way, or would gold emerge again as the element of choice?

"'For the earth, with every parameter we have, gold is the sweet spot,' he says. 'It would come out no other way.'"

Gold is NOT some arbitrary choice. There is a reason why it developed into the currency of choice over many centuries.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese. What the f#$%?

Apparently Pimento Cheese is very popular in the south. They actually eat this on sandwiches! They ruin perfectly good cheese.

Here are some images of Pimento Cheese.

And here is a recipe:
Pimento Cheese
1 lb. of the best yellow cheddar you can buy, grated
7 oz. jar pimento, drained & chopped
2/3 c. Hellman's Mayonnaise
Frank's hot sauce
salt & pepper

Fold together the shredded cheese, pimento, and mayonnaise. Add Frank's hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator before dipping into the goodness.

Really people? This is the best thing you can come up with for cheese???

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We Won! Or did we...

Well, we know that the Tea Party (whatever that is, exactly--there is a lot of confusion about that) had a tremendous impact on the recent elections. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion. I happen to think that was a good thing. So I was looking forward to see the freshman class of Congressmen have an impact on Washington. Hopefully then can do better than what I'm reading about now. Consider this article.

From The Daily Beast:
"The Tea Party's Whiny Takeover" by John Batchelor

The article describes the situation very well:

"The pay-off for Boehner arrived when it was time to vote by secret ballot on the leadership for the 112th Congress. The froshers settled down dutifully and, without any doubts or even questions as to why there was only one name on the ballot for each leadership position, they voted for the men and women who had twice approved the Bush administration's TARP heresy in 2008 that began the long fall of the country into bailout nationhood.

"'The Tea Party kept the TARP leaders in power,' scoffed an unhappy veteran Republican. 'The revolution was over the first day.'"

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. I'm not holding my breath for any progress in Washington.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christie Versus the Unions! (Christie is Winning)

This is a video you NEED to watch. Mish (Mike Shedlock) is a great source for stuff like this, and this is a great find. The video gets even funnier as you get further into it.

From MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis:
"Incredibly Humorous Video of N.J. Governor Chris Christie and the President of the Teachers Union regarding 'Death Prayers'"

As funny as this video is, the underlying issues it discusses are very serious. Christie makes illustrates perfectly the difference between the Right and the Left. Really, the difference between decent people and weasels, when you think about it. Furthermore, there is a double standard and Christie calls them (in this case the president of the Teachers Union) on it.

Bravo, Chris Christie!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Federal Income Tax Rates Over the Years

Think taxes are high now? Take a look at historical federal income tax rates through the years, 1913 to 2010.

From the Tax Foundation:
"U.S. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History, 1913-2010"

Download the PDF file of the report to see the data more clearly.

Notice the initial top rate in 1913 was only 7%. But politicians have always been the same, weasels all of them. It only took three years before they raised the top marginal rate to 15%. And then the following year, in 1917, they raised the top marginal rate to 67%. Sixty-seven-fucking-percent!!! They didn't stop there. In 1918 the top rate was 77%.

Some sanity returned in 1927, when the top marginal rate was lowered to 25% This didn't last long, though. In 1932 we were back up to 63%. And in 1936 it was all the way up to 79%. In 1944 the top marginal rate was all the way up to 94%! And this was for all income above $200,000, whereas the top marginal rate in 1917 (67%) only kicked in at $2,000,000 or above!

Top marginal rates remained above 90% for a decade and a half, and stayed high (70%) for a decade after that.

Top rates dropped to 50% in 1982 and to 28% in 1988, both under Reagan. The economy took off. Our top marginal rate is currently at 35%.

The sad truth is that while our government takes in a lot of money now, our top marginal federal income tax rate today is actually fairly low by historical standards.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Secret Ballot, Anyone?

As you know by now, Nancy Pelosi defeated Heath Shuler to remain the leader of the Democrats in the House, now as Minority Leader. But I was interested by these stories for another reason.

"Why Heath Shuler Is Challenging Nancy Pelosi"

"Congressional observers predict Shuler may get more votes than one might expect, since the ballot is secret and many Democrats might want to express frustration with Pelosi and the party more generally."

"Pelosi Again? Are the Dems Gluttons for Punishment?"

"...Pelosi was elected to the position of House minority leader by 150 Democrats in a secret ballot."

The obvious question is: WHY IS IT A SECRET BALLOT? Why should the Democrats use a secret ballot when they sure as hell don't believe that American workers deserve a secret ballot when voting for or against unionizing? Think about it.

Oh, and back to Heath Shuler for a minute. Heath Shuler lives in Western North Carolina and represents the area where I used to live. I listened to some of the radio debates between him and his opponent (difficult to listen to Shuler's smarmy, condescending tone, but I suffered through it). Shuler is one of those guys who pretends to be conservative to get elected but is anything but. He claims to be a Blue Dog Democrat (fiscally conservative). He's not. His opponent challenged him as being a Pelosi pawn. He claimed he's not. Running for Minority Leader against Pelosi was nothing but a stunt to make himself look more conservative to the folks back home. Amazing to me that people don't see through his act.