Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ebay, you've done it again

Really, who wouldn't want a decapitated replica of Bill Murray from Ghostbusters for Christmas?

Be off, away, be gone!

The video that had my wife and I searching Google for about 20 minutes to try to find out if Roger Whittaker was gay or not.

It turns out he's apparently not.

Why? Just...I'm busy. This is New York.

For your eyes only-only for Hugh

Maybe a little more Richard Marx than Hugh Grant, but yeah...

Random assortment of Christmas stuff

Do you tree what I tree?

I was reminded this week when we bought our Christmas tree of the time my Dad and I got a BLM pass for $5 to chop down our own tree out in BLM land.

We went out in the red pickup with our saw and drove all over the hills to the south of St. George looking for an appropriate tree. We were out for about 3 hours and never could seem to find any that looked decent or that weren't 30 feet tall.

Finally as we had decided to give up we saw an adequate tree off the side of the road. We ran over and cut it down and tagged it proudly as if it were a 12-point buck and drove back home. But when we got home we realized the tree looked much smaller outside in nature than it did within the confines of a house, and that the tree was easily 13-14 feet tall.

So we started cutting branches and trunk off the bottom (this we did inside in the family room for some reason). But we really liked the bottom part of the tree and thought it would be a shame to cut off more of such a pretty portion of the tree. I don't remember if it was my idea or Dad's, but we decided 'why not cut off the top of the tree?'

So that's what we did, and we got the tree to fit. But we didn't trim the tree to shape it at all so we just had a tree that went up to about 2 inches shy of the ceiling and stopped, looking like if you went upstairs into the kitchen you'd see the top 3 feet of the tree poking through.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chairman Mao

Wait, was I supposed to do his picture of him alive? I'm a very literal guy. Also very current.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You asked for it

I actually have a spare Julia Roberts paint pic

Here you go.

I wish I'd said that, part 1 billion

I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they'll be routed in two or four years' time. The president-elect's so-called "tax cut" will absolve 48 percent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those who are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, on the dole.

By 2012, it will be more than half on the dole, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the Nanny State.

-Mark Steyn, National Review

Open Post

Leave your requests for new cartoons in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

And remember, go here today to receive your free Dr. Pepper!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holy cow

Have I really not posted since Monday? I felt like I missed about half a day or so. What a week! I've probably lost all my readers. I hope both of you come back!

Now I'm preparing to leave for Logan for movie night tonight, so this isn't really even an official post. But I will leave you with the following iconic drawing, which you are free to frame and place in your living room or wherever you place your most cherished picutres.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Apology

For all the tinkle-related observations today. I just truly feel that a new day is dawning now that the new Star Trek trailer is out. Kirk will show us the way.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sinatra, kind of

I refuse to fix the eyes.

UPDATE: I realize now this is actually a picture of the bad guy from Poltergeist 2. I apologize for the mix-up.


That's Karl Urban from the LOTR movies as McCoy. Is it even physically possible to cast a better McCoy? It submit that it is not.

Seriously...Knee-Deep in Tinkle Here

"Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence!"

OK so maybe the script won't be the best, but I care not. I so totally don't care. Weeee!!!

Star Trek new movie trailer here. Or here if you have a DVI monitor that supports HD. Or, very worst case resolution scenario-click on this only if you're stranded on a life boat and you only have access to YouTube-here:

Warning: There is a milisecond of a naughty bra scene in the trailer, so be warned that if you are squeamish walking through a Target store, this trailer is not for you.

New Star Trek Preview

I am literally giddy with excitement over the new Star Trek preview. I don't remotely mind that they've cast young kids who are kind of pretty boys for the cast members. Who else are you going to cast? Old people? Ugly people? This is Hollywood, not Milwaukee.

If this movie features the Kobayashi Maru storyline, I will literally tinkle myself. Heck-I am tinkling myself just thinking about it. But if they actually include it, I will tinkle myself to such as degree as to make all the world's previous tinklings seem like a mere trickle in the self-tinkling pantheon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008


There's been a lot of post-election analysis that's said the GOP desperately needs to modify it's 'anti-immigration' stance because doing so caused them to lose 60ish% of the Hispanic vote this year.

I'm sure there are some out there who are opposed to immigration in large numbers in and of itself, maybe because they think that immigrants take jobs of people who are already here. I think that's a pretty microscopic view of the system, seeing as how everyone's families who came here at one point potentially 'took' a job that might have been filled by someone who was already here. I also say employers have every right to hire whoever they want (I refuse to use the word 'whom' in any form, ever) and pay them whatever they want. As long as that person is willing to do the job for that pay, let them do it. If they're the best applicant for the job, go ahead. And if an immigrant is better at it or will do it for less money than someone who's already here, go ahead. The person who's already here shouldn't complain about it-they should instead get to work on making themselves more marketable-there's a job out there for everyone. And if you can't find one, start up your own thing. Steal my idea to make toaster van toasters and get to work.

But the thing that bothers me is that legal immigration often gets confused with illegal immigration, and GOP people who are strongly opposed to illegal immigration are typically labeled by the Democrats or the media (but I repeat myself) to be 'anti-immigration.' I think a lot of immigrants tend to now just think the GOP is opposed to immigration entirely-either that or these people are in favor of illegal immigration and will vote for the party least likely to prosecute them, as if anyone on the planet gets prosecuted for immigrating here illegally. Worst-case scenario, you get a free temporary bus trip back across the border and are out of the country for 2 or 3 days.

On illegal immigration I take Dennis Miller's position on it. "I'm unequivocably for legal immigration. I'm also unequivocably opposed to illegal immigration. Why? Because it's ILLEGAL."

Tonight I went with my in-laws to a real soccer game (thanks again!) and we had to walk through metal detectors and anyone with a bag was searched. Why? So someone couldn't walk into a stadium of 20,000 people and, say, ignite a dirty bomb. We're safer with security checks-why shouldn't getting into the country be the same way?

I know people who are very much in favor of open borders. I just don't think that will work-someone very dangerous and very bad will get in and something very dangerous and very bad will happen. And if you can just walk in, how will you ever pay income taxes? You'll use everything here and not have to pay for it. Roads, public services, medical care, etc.

So the fix is this. Simplify the immigration process. Give everyone a background check who wants to come in. If they're just visiting, make sure their visa checks out. Make the whole thing shorter and actually achievable-there's a reason so many people immigrate illegaly and it's not because they really like to ride in the hood of a truck. And for crying out loud, GOP, start communicating this to voters directly-the media's certainly not going to get your message out for you. Get out to hispanic communities and tell people that everyone on earth is welcome in America-we welcome you and we love to have you, and we're going to do it the right way. Let's get you here, let's get you a job, let's get you paying taxes, let's get everyone who wants to to contribute to the society of our great country. The GOP needs to be the voice of the individual, not the collective-talk to people directly. They'll listen as long as they don't perceive you as an enemy.

Amnesty-most conservatives hate the concept. I hate it too-it rewards people for breaking the law. But if we continue to oppose it we will be out of power forever-people will not wake up tomorrow and become honest, and hispanics are the largest growing ethnic group in the country. I'm not saying all hispanics are dishonest, but so many of them are either here illegally or are close friends or family members with someone who is that they now no longer feel like they have any choice in the matter. If your mother were here illegally, would you vote for the party who wants to ship her back to Dirt Clod, Mexico? Maybe things will be different with the Dems controlling all 3 branches of gov't-if there's another terror attack or if the effects of illegal immigration hurt the economy enough, maybe they'll do something about it. But until then, they'll just continue to get mileage out of it by blaming the GOP.

So if you don't like it, GOP, too bad. Find a way to make it your own. Say "OK we'll do it but we're starting with the legal immigrants first-they're the first who get citizenship. Everyone else who did it the wrong way will have to wait their turn." And then you say 'day 1 is amnesty. Day 2 is where we put into place the presto ez-immigration process. 1 background check, a $25 processing fee, a basic citizenship class and test, and you're a US citizen in 4 weeks or your money back.' People by nature don't WANT to break the law-most will do it as a last resort, or if they have an urgent family need (or if they just don't feel like jumping through all the hoops to do it correctly). So give them an incentive to do it correctly, because it's become so poisonous at the ballot box to negatively reinforce it that that's just no longer an option.

Amnesty doesn't mean having to let convicts in. Make up some rules-if you have a conviction with, I don't know-2 years or so?-then you're out. You'll get credit for being open-minded enough to be flexible and you'll be seen as reasonable enough you won't get (much) flak for keeping out felons or people with terrorist sympathies or ties. And if you can't stomach it, guess what: amnesty is pretty much already happening right now. Say you're an illegal immigrant-walk into a sherriff's office and say "I'm an illegal immigrant." No one will do anything to you. So if it's already more or less happening, you may as well get credit for it.

In closing, I leave you with a picture I drew a few years ago of a hispanic guy I saw once who was jogging through a rainstorm with a plastic bag on his head.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Merry Christmas from a guy who has Dean Martin's head, cerebral palsy, and monstrously large hands with one of the hands having apparently 6 fingers

Reduction in Checker Sentence & Baby Names

Upon reflection, I was too hard below on the checkers who don't turn their lights on-they should not be murdered. That is harsh and really does not fit the crime-I went too far and I feel bad. I would be more than happy with just a light maiming. Checkers everywhere, please accept my apology.

Baby names. We're always open to suggestions but we've decided that since we already know it's a girl, the only other surprise we can deliver to family and friends once she's born is what her name is. So we're keeping that under tight wraps until April 13th or soon thereabouts. No names have been finalized yet, and there will likely be some new entries between now and then. So watch for that...

Merry Christmas from a Troll Doll That Vaguely Resembles James Taylor

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Wish I'd Said That

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto:

Last Thursday's edition of AM New York, a free daily newspaper, contains this quote:

"I'm going to be really patient with (Obama). Change takes a lot of time," said Hannah Gold, 21, a junior studying political science at Hunter College.

Our reader has a feeling--and now that he mentions it, so do we--that "Change takes a lot of time" is going to be a common expression over the next four years among the kind of people who mocked President Bush for failing to turn Iraq into a modern democracy overnight.

Christmas songs & blog business

What, no more comments about how bizarrely horrifying like Chuck Norris that picture is? Going once, going twice...OK, we move on.

Blogging is fun when I have a spare moment, but spare moments aren't super common, so don't interpret any gaps as a blogging cessation. For example, today I have school till 9 pm and tomorrow will be a completely killer lousy day of meetings and dumb things at work, so blogging will be lite. But I read somewhere that only 12% of blogs are updated 'once a week or more,' so I think we're in good shape over here at TER.

Quick thoughts: checkers at grocery stores who do not turn the light on at their checkstand should be killed with no mercy or trial. Followed quickly by shoppers who go to their line to check out. If a checker is there with her light off, I will not go to her line, even if people are in it. By principle, I take it as a matter of fact that she's trying to leave for her lunch break, so I don't wander over to the line with a quizzical look on my face like the other shoppers. But 99% of the time the light is burned out. Which is stupid because IT'S A RETAIL STORE! Go to the lightbulb aisle and get one. But invariably she'll just check people through as I stand behind someone who is gearing up for a Machu Pichu expedition and is buying half the store.

Next thought: I only have 109 Christmas songs on my iPod-a dismally low number. Primary occupants are The New Christy Minstrels, Roger Whittaker, Mannheim Steamroller, and Sesame Street Christmas, with various other sundry indie artists, most of whom I've never heard of outside of their inclusion on various sundry indie Christmas compilations. My point: I need more Christmas song suggestions. Nothing lame, please-this would be your Elvises, your Bing Crosbys, your 'traditional' Christmas music. Just because it's Christmas music doesn't mean it has to be bland! Here is a good Christmas music litmus test: if you've heard it playing over head in a grocery store, it's not good Christmas music. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, either for songs or artists.

Final thought: You know, sometimes our children just have to express themselves. And we as parents should do that in a spirit of tolerance and understanding. Next up, The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah interviews another author who made up his entire 'non-fiction' book.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's a girl!

And no, neither of us saw that coming. Baby's healthy and seemingly happy, albeit a bit shy. She wouldn't turn over and show off her lips, so we have to go back in next month for another ultrasound to make sure all is well in the lip department. Negative 5 months old and already a trouble maker.

I'm sure I'll be back to my normal grumpy and cynical self very quickly. But for now, all is right with the world.


To start making good on my contest prizes, here is a picture of Chuck Norris. He's not delivering a roundhouse kick to anyone, but he does have a Mona Lisa-like smile, and that's what really matters.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Humorous portions of conversations vol 1

Dad: When I retire I'm going to be a door greeter at Wal-Mart.
CH: A kid in my former singles ward is a door greeter at Wal-Mart. He seems to like it.
Dad: Yeah?
CH: Of course he is slightly retarded, but...


(CH has just re-watched the teaser trailer for the new Star Trek movie for the millionth time, but this time in HD with the sound turned up)
Jan: You just got chills up your arm, didn't you?
CH: ....No....


Jan: Nerd! What am I going to tell our baby? The baby will say "Mom, why is Uncle Christian so nerdy?"
CH: No, the baby won't....wait-Uncle Christian?

A Time to Change

Today the nuclear power plant that provides electricity to my company sprang a leak, and poisonous gas and lava was released into the air. The president of the power plant has had a 100% safety record in the last 7 years, but in some ways he didn't have great controls in place and things got a little out of hand.

Knowing this was a time for change, I used my position to get the president ousted. But who should replace him? Who would be the most positive person-the one we could put all our hope in? Obviously,the right man for the job was Bill O'Rama, a motivational speaker I saw at the county fair a few years back.

Bill has what it takes to put this power plant back on track. With his extensive years of experience traveling around Utah county and telling people about the power of positive thinking, he should have things fixed in no time. Of course he does associate with people from the 'destroy nuclear power' union. And he wants high school students to be forced to work at the power plant for 3 months. And he has vowed to bankrupt the plant by giving all our income to people who ride bicycles that have those little motors on them that light up a headlamp. Sure, he doesn't technically have any relevant 'experience' in running a complicated nuclear power plant. But it's not like you have to be a rocket scientist. His rhetoric is so positive, there's really no way we can lose.

Contest of the Day results

A few days back I held a contest that asked people to submit a list of even a single thing the government does better than private enterprise. The most popular entries were 'lies,' and 'spends our money.'

I would personally submit 'military' except that I don't think America has ever tried to have a private military, and I'm not sure that would work. People in individual towns would have to contract with military companies for defense, and you would have places like San Fransisco declaring war on Provo and stuff. So that probably wouldn't be a good idea.

But anyway, the prize to the winner was that I would draw a cartoon of their request. Since many people participated, I declare you are all winners and I will draw a picture of whatever anyone wants. Just leave it in the comments and I'll see what I can do. I promise it will be of the same quality standard as my normal cartoons. But don't let that stop you.

The Daves I Know

To cheer you up after reading my gym memoirs.

Those who can't teach, team gym

I continue my memoirs by touching on a rite of passage for everyone: having to endure middle school gym class.

I really hated gym. When the entire object of middle school/high school in the late 80s/early 90s was to look really gelled up and cool, it didn't do much for your image to have to dress down in 3rd period, run around and sweat, and then try to put yourself back together again for any ladies who might have been interested in a nerdy and very pasty guy with pegged pants and hair that was gelled but styled like that of Chief Justice John Roberts.

My teacher was Mr. Heppler-a severe guy with a permed mullet, Hammer pants, a Trans Am, and a fondness for the LA Raiders (the middle school football team gave him a hideous leather jacket with the Raiders logo on the back one year, and he cried). He didn't especially like me and couldn't pronounce my name correctly-I was always just 'Hoops.'

One day Hep was forcing everyone to do some kind of permanent frozen push-up position on the gym floor. The entire class was doing them but I was having trouble holding my balance, so I lifted my rear a little (or a lot-I couldn't exactly see from my vantage point) and Heppler said "Get that stink bug butt down, Hoopster!" and everyone laughed and laughed. I was laughing on the inside, which at the time felt like severe embarassment because it was a co-ed class and such, but I now realize it, actually it really was just severe embarassment.

In my school you had to read for 15 minutes straight for a 'free read' in 3rd period, regardless of what your class was, and mine was gym. Heppler told everyone if they didn't bring a book, they would have to run 'the grand stroll,' which was a heinous jog around the adjacent city park plus a field plus the entire school grounds, and around the baseball diamonds, and then back. It took the entire class period and was more jogging than any of us had ever done in our entire lives.

One day a friend from church who shared the class period with me forgot his book. Having recenently been made a deacon and feeling very spiritually enlightened, I decided to do the Christ-like thing and let this kid read the book I'd brought. My only remaining book was my book of trombone music for band class. I pulled it out and 'read' it as dilligently as I could, and looked convincing enough reading it that I got away with it for a full 30 seconds before Mr. Heppler walked by and told me "take the stroll, Hoopster. Those are just notes. Just notes!" I shot Russell (the kid to whom I'd lent the book) a pained look and took off running. I ran so much my sides were killing me and I threw up in the bushes a little, but knew stopping would be punished even more severely. I wasn't embarassed, but I did have a good 50 minutes or so to ponder the moral ramifications of my act. I concluded that being Christ-like didn't necessarily mean that you'd have a charmed life (at least not necessarily a mortal one).

A few weeks later Heppler called on several boys to help move the really large tackling pad array that the football team used. This is the giant metal contraption that has several person-sized pads that football kids can run into and pretend they're blocking. I was on the side that was walking backwards, and luckily the array only weighed as much as a 1975 Buick Electra on the surface of the planet Jupiter. I tripped and my end of the array came smashing down above my left kneecap, pinning me to the ground.

The other boys lifted it off of me and I hobbled off, with Heppler calling me a 'wimp.' Though I wasn't bleeding I was bruised as all get out, and about 20 minutes later when Heppler was making everyone watch a video of sports highlights (not being even remotely a sports fan, this was akin to forcing me to watch live footage from World of Bass Fishing), I noticed my knee was turning green with severe bruising. I received impatient permision to go to the office, and I later found out at the hospital that I had squished all the nerves in my knee and that if one were to run this little spur thing over my leg, it would not feel like anything for about 5 inches in the knee region.

The good part of the story is that I think Mr. Heppler eventually lost his hair and had to shave his permed mullet off. Either that or it fell off naturally.

I have a PHD in horribleness

Yay, the Dr. Horrible DVD is going to be out before Christmas! Oh, and it's also now on Hulu.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Political fairy tale

President-Elect Barack Obama and a moderate voter were standing by a large river.

"Will you take me across this river, moderate voter?" asked Obama.

"Well, I don't know," replied the moderate voter. "I voted for you, but I heard you're a lot more liberal than the mainstream media portrayed you to be. How can I know that you won't sting me?"

"I give you my word, as God is my witness, that I will not sting you. It's just that there's a Whole Foods store on the other side of this river and there's a sale on arugula, and I really don't want to get my new Berluti shoes wet."

"I'm still not sure," replied the moderate voter.

"It will be OK," said Obama. "All you have to do is hope hard enough, and the water will change into a river of shiny quarters!"

"Wow!" replied the voter. "Alright, let's do it."

So President-Elect Barack Obama climbed onto the voter's shoulders and they started to cross the river. However, when they were half-way through, President-Elect Obama issued an executive order to close down Guantanamo Bay and release the terrorists into the US, and a band of roving terrorists came by and shot the moderate voter and burned his house down.

As they began to sink into the water, the moderate voter said "But you promised!" to which President-Elect Obama replied "You knew what I was when you first saw me." The moderate voter replied "No...I believe everything the mainstream media tells me-I really didn't."

The end.

We need a hero

Anyone out there in Blogland watch Heroes these days? They've made Sylar really cool, and we can't believe they killed (highlight for name) Adam! This season is much better than last season, with the glaring exception of Sylar's 'threatening' line to Claire: “That’s all behind me now, like a long night after a bad taco."

I'm 'post partisan'

...but oh, yeah, I'm going to reverse everything President Bush ever did, starting with the items that made religious conservatives the happiest.

This term 'post-partisan'? I do not think it means what you think it means.

Also, you have to love the liberal media's treatment of this paragraph:

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.

And here's how it should have been written:

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's limit on federal funding of embroyonic stem cell research, a controversial process which many say is 'morally monstrous' wherein the American taxpayer is forced to fund the deliberate destruction of human embroys for the purpose of the harvesting of stem cells which are readily available in umbillical cords in a process that does not destroy human life.

Through dilligent research,
scientists have made normal human skin cells take on the relevant properties of embryonic stem cells. That makes 73 breakthroughs for adult and cord blood research to date. There are still no embryonic stem cell breakthroughs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey Hey Hey America Inc There Goes the USA

In church we talked a bit about Proposition 8, and the protests that are occurring around the LA temple. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the seventy said "We respect the rights of people who have different points of view; we hope they'll respect ours."

Ha! Respect in America is not a two-way street. People are no longer able to see things in terms of the defintions 'opinons' or 'beliefs' or 'the foundation of society.' Elder Bednar said "it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else." I'd say LDS people are one of the only groups on the planet who actually live that-the rest of the world, not so much.

So why would redefining the definition of marriage damage society if it would seem, on the surface, according to our critics, to be 'none of our business?'

First and foremost, why don't we try as a society to actually NOT call God's judgments down upon us for once-OK? The world doesn't technically have to destroy itself-we could all wake up tomorrow and decide to choose the right and we would heal the world's economy instantly (no more money going to security systems, door locks, or policemen-all of it going instead to, say, cancer research).

So there's that, along with the fact that the Savior has commanded us to not redefine marriage and He doesn't have to give any reason and that's good enough for me. But suppose one was called upon to have to defend our position in secular terms. What would you say?

You could start with this: that a marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental family unit of society and no matter how many studies Yale does, you will never ever be able to prove that in the majority of the time, children who are raised with no father in the family or no mother will turn out to be as well-rounded and complete as a child raised in a mom & dad home. Without a real father figure who loves you unconditionally and teaches you the male perspective, i.e. how to respect women, how to honor your priesthood, how to hide it from your wife if you accidentally set the car on fire because you were involved in an experiment involving some tennis balls, your air compressor, and a blow torch, and so on. And likewise for a real mother figure.

Next, think about the term marriage itself. It still has gravity-it means something. What do you think of when you hear the word? Commitment. Integrity. Stability. Faithfulness. A family. Now pass a law that says two people of the same sex can get 'married.' Then continue on down the slope and say that you can have more than one spouse. Hey, it's the name of the game in Sharia Law-it's only a matter of time before the Muslim population in the country demands it as a 'civil right.' If we can accomodate one special interest group's beliefs, then why not theirs? Then continue to redefine it to accomodate the people who are lobbying to marry lamp posts, or the college kid who wants to marry something existential, such as the concept of paradigm neutrality. OK I'm just making things up now, but do you see where this all leads?

There are studies every other year or so that say, alternately, that wine is really good for the body and wine is really bad for the body. Because of the Word of Wisdom, we abstain regardless of what anyone says. Sure, there's an element of obedience in obeying it-we obey it because it's a commandment and that's the only reason we should need to obey it. But do you ever notice how there's really never a commandment out there that doesn't benefit us in some way? God will never command someone to swallow their entire drawer of silverware just to see if they'll do it. Even Abraham sacraficing Isaac: that was teaching the concept of sacrafice, humility, and submission to God's will. It wasn't commanded because it was a slow news day. It's the same with traditional marriage-there are benefits to society that haven't even been revealed yet. Do all the studies you want-finding otherwise won't make you right. In the end you're just a person with a study going up against the Person who created the universe. What are the chances you're right? Zero divided by zero?

The world will naturally just slip farther and farther down the slope, and we have to all be William F. Buckleys, standing atwart history yelling 'stop!' But while we may not be able to save the world, we need to save as much of it as we can-ourselves included. We can't do that if we play by the world's rules.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do They Know It's Christmas?

One of the best musicians I know is my little brother, Griff. I don't know any other musicians, but I'm sure if I did he would be one of the better ones. Anway, in addition to being a natural talent on the gee-tar and banjo and many other items (Maybe digireedoo-I'm not sure), he's also a very good musical producer/editor.

Since it's a Hoopes tradition to start cranking the Christmas tunes the moment Halloween is done, I've been doing so and have been enjoying Griff's 'gmix' of Band Aid 20's updated 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' wherein Griff seamlessly cut out this entire segment of a lame british guy rapping. The song in its entirety is presented for your listening pleasure below. And be sure to visit his band's myspace page and consider leaving a donation or two!

What a cute wife I have

Economics 101

At our mortgage company CEO monthly meeting today, our CEO told us we had thousands of people calling in to our customer service and collections departments ever since Tuesday and telling us that they're going to stop paying their mortgage payment now that Obama was elected, and that if we want our money we just have to wait till January, when these mortgage payments will arrive, along with everyone's very own bag of magic beans and personal unicorn. I think I'm going to name mine "Sprinkles."

Now as much as I am looking forward to receiving my own magical $4,000 check (or will it be direct deposit?) on January 20th, as well as for the accompanying lowering of the sea levels and the repopulation of the entire unicorn species, I'm not sure if I will find it funny or tragic when these people wake up to a cold, hard, dose of reality. Probably funny, but still.

Our CEO also told us our corporate tax rates are expected to almost double under the Obama administration, and that this is going to result in a few things:
  • Greater overhead in our expenses, which means less company income.

  • Fewer new hires, and likely an employee runoff through attrition (this means we won't replace employees if they quit)

  • Less income means a lower credit line for corporate advances. In the mortgage servicing industry, financing your advances is everything. If you can't finance loan-level advances, you can't service mortgages. We'll still be in business, but we won't be able to grow the business unless we can reduce advances. This means taking loans to foreclosure faster, because we'll have less time with which to work to find a workout option for that mortgage customer.
  • Lower raises for the company employees.

This is Economics 101 for any person who thinks that cutting an individual's taxes but not cutting corporate taxes or not cutting taxes on the wealthy (i.e. the most productive members of society who have the smarts and means to organize successful business plans and therefore create jobs) is a swift route to increased fairness or prosperity. In reality, it's like letting the air out of someone's car tires and then giving them a coupon for a free sno cone. Great! You got a check for $1000. Dang-you're unemployed. Thanks...

This also shatters the myth that it's OK to let corporations pay all the taxes, because by definition corporations are faceless and evil. Corporations are made up of people, and when you cause businesses to be less successful, you hurt not just the company but the employees, stockholders, and customers as well. Increased overhead is ALWAYS passed on to the consumer. When gas prices go up, the cost of goods and services goes up. When insurance plans are used extensively and claims are filed, premiums go up. Raising taxes on these things doesn't take money off the top-it takes it from the bottom.

The bottom line is that the government cannot create wealth. Let me say that again. The government cannot ever create wealth; they can only move it around, and moreover it is more expensive to have the government move it around than to do it yourself. If you want to spend $13 million dollars on something, it will cost the government $500,000 to do so. Why not just keep that money ourselves and let us spend it on whatever we best see fit? Cut out the middle man.

Capitalism is 'dog eat dog'? If by that you mean people in a free market system have to compete against each other for the consumer's money, then you're right-it is dog eat dog, except both the dogs survive and buy dog condos and a barrel of snacky bones. The consumer wins because the sellers have to entice the consumer to spend their money on their product. The sellers then both have a vested interest in selling the best product possible-the better the product, the more likely the consumer will buy it. Now remove the free market and you just have sellers who no longer have to compete-the government will decide for us which is the better product. Do you think you'll get a good product? Do you think it will be as affordable as it was when they had to compete for buyers? Do you think they'll jack the price up as high as possible because the government has 'deep pockets'?

It would be great if everyone had plenty of money. The thing is, there's nothing stopping anyone. Now that we've proven racism is extinct, it should be apparent that anyone anywhere can get a job, or two, if necessary. Everyone who tries can get into school. The free market is difficult sometimes because as employees, we're a commodity ourselves-we have to be something our employers want to 'buy.' And unfortunately, employers can't always afford to buy us, especially when you have naive idealogues who have never held a job that involved actual responsibility raising your corporate taxes because they think that will make life for all employees more fair. And that is how you wind up hurting the very people you are trying to help.

People say 'why give the money to the rich'? Ignoring the fact that the government cannot give money away-they can only let us keep more of the money we earn-and interpreting this to mean 'why give tax cuts to the rich when it is the little guy who needs the money?', the answer is because this system rewards work, and moreover valuable work that is a proven valuable commodity and not pretend work like 'artist' or 'musician' or 'actor.'

Think back to the last really transparent time the government handed out money directly to the poor. When Hurrican Katrina hit, the government handed out 10,000 debit cards loaded with $2000 each directly to the poor people directly affected by the storm. What did they do with them? They spent the money on Louis Vuitton handbags, breast implants, plasma TVs, and strip clubs.

So I say give the money to people who will use it to create jobs for others, or will use it to invent something useful, or will use it to invest in someone else's business. Don't just take the money from the people who can best use it and give it to people who can't. Remember-most of the time, poor people are poor a reason, and it's not because the world is unfair.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quote O' the Day

"When asked yesterday by my sister, an Obama supporter, how I felt about the election, I replied that I hoped Republicans would extend to Obama the same respect Democrats had shown to President Bush."
-Robert Aines (Commenter at Pajamas Media)

52 to 48

This is an extremely gracious and classy thing for some of our political opponents to do, and they should be sincerely commended for it.

Contest of the Day

Name one thing the government does better than the private sector. I'll accept nominations throughout the day and will award a drawing of anyone's choosing to someone who can name one thing. Here are some great-working things to get you started:
  • The post office
  • The DMV
  • Medicare
  • Social security
  • Public education
  • Amtrack


Europe is my playground

Response from a commenter to Yahoo Answers question "Where does Socialism work , if it does , and if so please provide credible links?":

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden...

So at least we know that under President Obama we can look forward to the US's economy being as dynamic and strong as world superpowers Luxembourg and The Netherlands.

Quantum of when?

Well, my house didn't burn down but I did find out the new James Bond movie doesn't come out this Friday as I thought it did but instead comes out next weekend. Freak! No reprieve, I guess. I've had it with today-good night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton, RIP

So the US elected a socialist and one of our favorite authors died. What's next-my house burns down?

Sheilds raised, keptin

Remember-things are not supposed to get better in the world. These are the last days. Humanity will not lock arms and march off bravely into the sunset. Things will get bad-very bad, and that can't happen in a free market system where belief in God is widespread and personal responsibility reigns. Elections aren't the cause-they're the symptom.

We all have work-let no one shirk. Even though that's not really a word.

This morning I just turned off the radio and cranked my Christmas tunes for the 45 minute-long commute of what is normally a 12-minute commute. Putting along at 2 miles per hour with heavy snow falling, I felt very much at ease. In the world but not of the world-that's the way to go.

“The living of one protective principle of the gospel is better than a thousand compensatory government programs—which programs are, so often, like ‘straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.’ ” Neal A Maxwell

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." -ETB

Well, that could have gone better

Unfortunatley, the Hanoi Hilton wasn't the last time in his life McCain was beaten by a communist. At least now those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes. Eh comrades? Eh?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Darcy the Dragon

With October behind us I've been cranking the Christmas tunes pretty consistently ever since. Along the way I've come across the classic "Darcy the Dragon" by Roger Whittaker. The lyrics are these:

Roger Whittaker - Darcy The Dragon

Christmas was coming, and Darcy the dragon
Was thinking what he should do
Go through the forest and into the village
To pick up a gift or two.
For through the forest dear Darcy had friends
Whom he loved very much
He thought it'd be fine, at Christmas-time,
To give each a present or such.

But Darcy'd forgotten the very thing
That makes a dragon unique.
Unlike a horse, a dragon, of course,
Breathes fire whenever he speaks.
Off to town dear Darcy went,
But woe is me, oh lament,
Before a dragon penny was spent
He'd started a tiny fire.

He said he was sorry, our Darcy did,
He helped put the fire out.
The folks forgave him for he'd been kind,
and off he went looking about.
Into the toyshop did Darcy go, with thoughts of his forest friends.
I'll buy each a gift, he said with a flame and the second fire, it was then.

This time, when the fire was out,
The villagers charged along
Pursuing Darcy with angry shouts:
'Be off! Away! Be gone!'
Poor Darcy spoke,'No harm I meant!'
But from the village he was sent.
And woe is me and oh lament,
No presents for his friends!

As Darcy let out with a dragon cry,
He opened his mouth so wide
That the wind and snow blew right down his throat
And put out the fire inside!
When Darcy realized the fire was out,
First a whisper, then a SHOUT!
And a laugh to know he could speak without
Starting another fire!

Now it was late on a Christmas eve.
He was up, and off with a roar!
He raced to the village and he cried out,
'My fire! he am no more!'
From shop to shop he then did go.
In each he made his choice.
Darcy was treated so kindly now,
No need to fear his voice!

The villagers came to the edge of town,
And Darcy waved good-bye.
'Come back again, if ever you can!'
They said, and he said that he'd try,
Merry Christmas all did say as to the woods
he made his way
tomorrow will be Christmas Day and a Merry Christmas to thee!

So basically a dragon is Christmas shopping in a village when he is expelled for starting fires, which is at least somewhat understandable. In a culture wherein talking dragons who conduct commerce are the norm, however, you'd think there'd be a little more awareness regarding the biological realities of the species.

So anyway, he leaves and then swallows a lot of snow and it 'put the fire out,' apparently forever, which is too bad. It would be like a human eating a snow cone and then becoming permanently blinded.

But this qualifies him to return to the village, where the villagers cheerfully welcome him and the money he's infusing into their economy for all the presents for his Christmas Village dragon friends. He's also kind of a 'special' dragon, too, what with the 'my fire, he am no more!' comment.

This isn't really a happy song with a good lesson, is it? At the very least you'd think in the typical narrative that Whittaker could have had a glacier hit the town and Darcy uses his unique talent to thaw everyone, thereby teaching the world about forgiveness and brotherly love and so on. I think I am offically jaded.

This morning

This morning Jan looked out the window and told me our neighbor had mowed their lawn and it looked good. I said "Darice or the dude?" and then I realized that "Darice and the Dude" would be a really good name for a 70's TV show.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'll sometimes pop over to National Review's website for the occasional piece of political wisdom, although their work is fairly uneven. Normally I enjoy Jay Nordlinger's 'slice of life' writing style, though, but I have to admit his post today is absolutely baffling. I don't have the slightest idea what on earth he's talking about. Can anyone decipher?

Channeling Kingsley Amis [Jay Nordlinger]
I wish to tell one of my favorite stories out of British politics. It is Election Day 1970, and the Conservatives, led by Ted Heath, have pulled off a victory against Labour, led by Harold Wilson. Ken Tynan, sitting at a bar, is despondent. And Kingsley Amis is on a table dancing, saying, “Show the shaggers, show the shaggers! Five more years outside the barbed wire!”

I say, in the same spirit, “Come on, Americans, show the shaggers [or whatever your favorite national equivalent is]! Four more years outside the barbed wire!”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Only for you

It will be nice when the election is over and all the political chatter can die down for a while. And for anyone who doesn't find themselves on the right side of the aisle, I hope everyone knows I would not deliberately post anything to snark at anyone. These are all just opinions, and I could be wrong, and everyone else could be wrong too. There is more to life than politics.

Like James Bond. The next James Bond movie looks to be good, and Dan Craig is great. But let's not forget the 3rd best James Bond, behind Timothy Dalton who comes in at #2 (Sean Connery...meh. He wasn't really all that much like the Bond of the novels until Ian Flemming started re-writing them to seem more like Connery-true story!), Roger Moore.

Anyway, one of the best Roger Moore 007 films is For Your Eyes Only, and not just because the theme song rules. It rules, amongst many other reasons, for the gripping scene wherein Bond is chased by men on motorcycles. Did I mention he was snow skiing at the time, and that 99% of the motorcycles on the planet would in reality stay up on snow for about 17 inches or so before they would fall over and explode in a fiery fire ball?

But don't worry, because in the end the motorcycle guys all wipe out or are horribly killed, and when the last one finds his bike is no longer usable, he picks it up and throws it in the general direction of Bond, who escapes by slowly moving out of the way. It has to be seen to be believed.

Ah-nuld pumps everyone up

12 mins long but what a speech. He hasn't been a very effective governor but he's a good man. If Mac can pull this off he should make Ah-nuld secretary of pumping up.