Saturday, August 3, 2013

Song of the Day: Marina and the Diamonds - Simplify

I love YouTube.  Seriously, I hadn't heard this older song of Marina's and then today, there it was, in YouTube's recommendations for me.

"Marina and the Diamonds-Simplify"

Beautiful song, love the lyrics, too.  What can I say, her music speaks to me.

So where did this song come from?  Apparently Marina had a self-released album in 2007, called "Mermaid vs. Sailor."

I don't see this album available on Marina's website or online anywhere.  Anybody know where I can get a copy???

Friday, August 2, 2013

Quote of the Day: Ed Feulner on the origin of our "Constitutional" rights

This is something that I am amazed that has to be explained to people.  I have had this very discussion with friends, which is why this quote resonated with me.  I completely agree that this is very widely misunderstood.  It is not the government which grants rights.  Rather, it is our rights that need to be protected from government.  Historically, it is government itself that has trampled on the rights of individuals ... and continues to do so to this day.

From Ed Feulner:
The Constitution doesn't grant us freedoms; it prohibits government from taking them. Nearly all of us, at one time or another, refer to our 'constitutional right to free speech.' While this common phrase may seem harmless, it points to a larger misunderstanding of where our rights come from -- a misunderstanding that undermines many of our most fundamental policy debates. The fact is, the U.S. Constitution protects our God-given rights from government. The government does not (as the phrase above implies) grant those rights to us as citizens. This is perhaps the most widely misunderstood aspect of our system of government.

In case you forgot, this is clearly stated in our Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Rights come from God.  Governments are instituted to secure these rights, not to create them--because they cannot.

The latter part of that quote from the Declaration might deserve a little more attention as time goes on...

Song of the Day: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Soft Shock

Love this song.

"yeah yeah yeahs - soft shock"

And an accoustic version.

"Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Soft Shock (Acoustic Version) Music Video"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Blast from the Past, or Future?

Co-worker sent this picture the other day, with this message:
"..saw this coming in to work this morning.  (this is a delorean if you can't tell)"

If you're not laughing right now, well, you're probably not as old as I am!  I used to take it for granted that everyone would "get" a reference like this but, sadly, that's no longer the case.  I date myself regularly now with movie references like this.

Speaking of which...

*Tangent alert*

I named a project at work "Field of Dreams."  Kind of a "build it and they will come" kind of thing.  Long story.  Anyway, I was showing a very young co-worker around and showed him this part of our building.  I said this is the Field of Dreams area.  Co-worker gave me a blank stare.  You know, like the movie, I said.  Build it and they will come and so forth.  Still, blank stare.  He had never heard of the movie.  Later, back in my office, I looked up the movie and asked him his age.  Turns out the move came out BEFORE HE WAS BORN!  Wow, did I feel old.  I later accused this same co-worker of joining our company merely to be able to drink at our company events--since he was probably too young to drink at a bar!

*end tangent*

If you don't know what a DeLorean is, see the links below.  I actually saw one in person, at a movie theater in Ironwood, Michigan of all places.  That was a long time ago...

DeLorean Motor Company (born again?)

DeLorean DMC-12 (the only model DeLorean ever produced)

DeLorean Motor Company

John DeLorean

Wait, what?  You're still wondering why that license plate on the DeLorean is funny?  You need to check out the movie Back to the Future.  And check out this final link:

DeLorean time machine

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


By now you have surely heard that the City of Detroit has declared bankruptcy.  I'm not sure how this will play out, but I can tell you that unless you visit Detroit (I have, I used to live in a Detroit suburb) you cannot believe the level of urban decay in the city.  Absolutely amazing.

Anyway, I found the following article to be very interesting.  From the Economic Collapse blog:
"25 Facts About The Fall Of Detroit That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head" by Michael Snyder

So much material here.  Some of the best points from the article follow.
Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about.
3) Back in 1960, the city of Detroit actually had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.
4) In 1950, there were about 296,000 manufacturing jobs in Detroit.  Today, there are less than 27,000.
7) At this point, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the city.
8) About one-third of Detroit's 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.
9) An astounding 47 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
10) Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
12) Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
Detroit is only just the beginning.  When the next major financial crisis strikes, we are going to see a wave of municipal bankruptcies unlike anything we have ever seen before.
And of course the biggest debt problem of all in this country is the U.S. government.  We are going to pay a great price for piling up nearly 17 trillion dollars of debt and over 200 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities.
Not mentioned in the above article is how Detroit reached this state.  Here's a clue, from the Toledo Blade:
"Detroit mayors all Democrats since 1962" by Tom Troy

Detroit last had a Republican mayor in 1962.  That Republican, Louis C. Miriani, only became mayor automatically (because he was the city council president) after the death of Mayor Albert Cobo, although he was elected in 1958.  Seems as though Mr. Miriani was not an effective mayor, and "was convicted in 1969 of evading federal income taxes, failing to pay taxes on $261,000 in income. He served 294 days in prison in 1970 and 1971 and died in 1987 at the age of 90 in Pontiac, Mich."

Wow, the voters in Detroit sure know how to pick losers!

This article, from Canada Free Press, sums it up well:
"Detroit:  Monument to Liberalism" by Joy Tiz
Detroit is a monument to what liberalism can accomplish. It’s been run by Democrats since 1957. The last Republican mayor of Detroit was elected in 1957. Only one Republican has been elected to the city council since 1970.
Can you imagine the hue and cry had the Republicans been running a city that managed to drive itself into bankruptcy and lose 63% of its population? Democrats are still trying to figure out a way to blame the fall of Detroit on George W. Bush. 
Detroit is the perfect example of what you get when you leave liberals in charge long enough. It won’t be the last to fall. The question now is, how much of our money are Democrats going to waste on trying to bail it out using more of the same liberal policies that destroyed it in the first place.
A talk radio show host put it like this:
"Detroit is what happens when you let liberals run everything long enough."  - Mark Belling, radio show, July 18, 2013

Late addition to this post.  Here is the take of someone who saw the problems first-hand.  These problems are not unique to Detroit, of course.  They happen any time you get large bureaucracy, people with a sense of entitlement, etc.

From the Wall Street Journal:
"Bill Nojay: Lessons From a Front-Row Seat for Detroit's Dysfunction"

Monday, July 29, 2013

World's Fastest Lawnmower?

Spend too much time mowing your lawn?  Honda might have a solution for you.

From CarScoops:
"Honda's 130MPH Mean Lawnmower Will Blow Your Socks Off, See Top Gear's Stig Drive it"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Watch "Shine Right Through - Correatown" on YouTube

Another one of those songs that captures a certain beautiful mood.

"Shine Right Through - Correatown"

A few more links: