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New York City as the New Detroit

Is the greatest city in the world going to go the way of the worst city in the country? The government of my current home state seems to want that to happen. With financial sector jobs fleeing the city in droves, taking their tax payments with them, the state and city government has responded by, you guessed it, hiking taxes and spending and doubling down on regulations. Brilliant.

And why would these jobs ever return? With markets increasingly decentralized, financial companies have no incentive to come back to NYC, and instead will turn up elsewhere around the country, or even overseas, in Dubai, or Frankfurt, or Shanghai. When your government is treating you like the source of all evil in the world, when they’re encouraging citizens to go to your homes, when elected representatives are calling for you to (quite literally) fall on your sword, that’s small encouragement to hang around.

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03/31/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creeping Fascism

At Ace of Spades HQ, Purple Avenger details a particularly insidious little piece of legislation, HR 875, that, as I understand it, will basically enact draconion regulations and potential fines on small farmers throughout the country with the intention of making it virtually impossible for them to compete on any level with large-scale industrialized agriculture.

Purple Avenger’s gist:

Basically, HR 875 sets up a MASSIVE new government bureaucracy called the Food Safety Administration, and compels anything known as a “food establishment” to register with the federal government (paying registration fees of course) and to submit to inspections that are at different intervals depending on the type of “food establishment” you are.

Much more at Ace HQ, as well as a handful of links to other discussions here,here, here and here.

Avenger also includes a video from Shelly Roche laying out the basics:

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03/31/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Identical Twins Use Identical DNA to Commit Perfect Crime

via Jonah in the Corner:

A Perfect Crime?: Twins Suspected in Spectacular Jewelry Heist Set Free

German police say at least one of the identical twin brothers Hassan and Abbas O. may have perpetrated a recent multimillion euro jewelry heist in Berlin. But because of their indistinguishable DNA, neither can be individually linked to the crime. Both were set free on Wednesday.

I guess my post headline is misleading, who knows if they actually committed the crime, but it’s cooler that way…though this whole thing reminded me of a side plot of the underappreciated 2002 Nick Nolte remake of The Good Thief.

*****SPOILERS*****

As part of a “big heist,” a pair of identical twins pull off the perfect crime. One of the pair gets a job at the casino that allows him access to the vault while the existence of his twin remains a secret from nearly everyone. Therefore, when he simply opens the vault and takes the cash, he has an unimpeachable alibi, as his twin is in plain view of hundreds of people and security cameras.

03/30/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BM?

Obama outlines plan for GM, Chrysler

Ever wish you could drive a car built by the same people who brought you reliable, high-quality, stress free institutions like housing projects, the DMV, the post office and public transportation systems? Well now you can! Where do I sign up?!

bm

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin weighs in here.

03/30/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So Cool

So, I knew that Creed Bratton (aka “Creed Bratton” from the Office) was a musician, but I never really bothered to look into it. But this morning Yeah Right posted a YouTube video of a (very) young Creed playing lead guitar with the Grass Roots on their Top Ten hit “Let’s Live for Today.” He shows up at 1:30, and then again around 1:48, looking appropriately shifty-eyed. A great song.

He also apparently played guitar on another of the Grass Roots big hits, “Midnight Confessions,” one of my favorite songs of that era, but one of those that I never could have named the artist. I’m assuming he’s in this video as well, off to the left, but for reasons that escape me the director apparently didn’t wish to make Creed the face of the band. Jerk.

See the “Midnight Confessions” vid here.

This is one of those little pieces of trivia that you find out about somebody you already know for something else that makes them that much more awesome. My favorite items of this ilk is the whole Ricky Jay thing. For those who don’t know, Ricky Jay is one of those recognizable faces that pops up every once in a while (particulary for David Mamet fans, and to a lesser degree, Paul Thomas Anderson devotees) and lends a distinct sense of creepiness, mystery and/or indefinable oddity to the proceedings.

However, Jay first made his mark as a slight-of-hand artist, and is apparently widely recognized as the premiere slight-of-hand guy in the world. Awesome. Some of his tricks are available on YouTube, along with his trademark deadpan banter.

03/30/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hope! *

Re the looming GM debacle from Francis Cianfrocca at Red State. A taste:

But the public money given to GM and Chrysler LLC has simply been poured down a rat hole. These companies are bleeding cash, and in a just world they would have failed months ago. Instead, public money is getting fed into them, just like pint after pint of precious blood dumped into a guy who’s hemorrhaging from a dozen bullet holes.

Read it all here.

*in the strict Obamian sense, which of course means exactly the opposite

03/30/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Great Read

Haven’t had a lot of time to post today (it’s nice having a job in the private sector, I shouldn’t complain), but just wanted to link to another great read, this one via Ace, posted at Blackfive, written by Robert Hall, Marine and former State Senator from Massachusetts.

A taste:

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth around” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them-with their own money.

Read the whole thing here.

03/27/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simon Jester

simon-jestervia Instapundit - Great manifesto from Liberty Girl re libertarianism and a suggestion for action beyond the popular but, to this point, ignored and largely ineffectual Tea Parties.

Just a taste:

The Constitution of the United States of America tells us how our government is supposed to operate. It tells us what powers they have been lent by its citizens. It even delineates what powers each branch of government is supposed to have. Our Federal Government, all three branches, has over-reached. Continually.

Read it for yourself, please. Anything that references Robert Heinlein and Firefly has gotta be good.

03/27/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dan Hannan, MEP

I know this has already made the rounds, pretty much everywhere, but I wanted to post it anyway, just on the off chance that you’ve yet to have a listen. It’s quite simply one of the single best oral performances I’ve ever witnessed.

This is how you “speak truth to power,” to employ the ridiculous phrase of the left. Please watch it. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again. Brilliant.

And I’ve since gone and listened to some of his other brief speeches available on YouTube, and I would heartily recommend you do the same. The guy just knows how to talk. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I agree with pretty much everything I’ve heard him say to this point, but it’s so refreshing to listen to a politician who doesn’t mince words, who doesn’t pontificate endlessly about how great he is, who doesn’t employ the legalese and meaningless PC jargon that has taken over our society, with its roots firmly planted in academia.

There’s hope yet for Britain, and if our cousins across the Atlantic can be pulled back from the abyss, then there is hope for America.

03/26/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Racist Indoctrination in Education

via small dead animals, David Thompson posts a couple of videos laying out incredibly shady practices at U. of Delaware. Watch the videos, prepare for outrage. This kind of thing is nothing new on college campuses, but it’s useful to be reminded of what kind of things are going on at many colleges throughout our country.

David highlights a particularly egregious portion of the curriculum: “The term [racist] applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

Every single education student at my grad school is required to take a “Diversity” course as one of the four “core” classes (along with Teaching Reading, Teaching Math and Intro to Child Psychology). Mine was taught by a Professor Henry Evans (his “slave name,” as he put it) who was a pitiful excuse for a teacher. He would basically ramble for two-plus hours every week, using non-specific, obviously fabricated anecdotes in order to “prove” inherent societal racism. I would leave every class boiling over with anger and frustration that I was being forced to pay money and spend time enduring this.

Myself and a few other students tried to speak up, to counter some of the asinine claims that Evans made throughout the course, but we soon learned that to do so was futile. A basic tenant of the course was that despite his blatantly obvious liberal/Marxist leaning, Evans would fall back on the blanket statement that all we were learning were “theories of diversity.” Nothing he was attempting to indoctrinate us with was his personal belief, so he claimed, so he wasn’t obligated to defend any of it. He was merely introducing us to the various “theories,” in order that we might select one to use in our future educational careers.

The reason I bring this up is that at the end of the semester, the class was required to read and discuss a book entitled “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.” The ground from which the author argued was remarkably similar to that included in the U of D “orientation” handbook. All white people are racist. No “person of color” can ever be racist. Case closed.

Again, Evans refused to take a stand on this statement, “Now, this is what the author is saying. How do you feel about it?” But any student who attempted to argue the point was immediately subjected to a nonsensical cross examination from the professor, one that, as usual, was based on unverifiable personal anecdotes, and was therefore irrefutable. Meanwhile, any student that went along with the professor’s obvious party line was encouraged and congratulated.

As I said, every education student at my school is required to take this course before becoming a teacher. And this is merely the opening salvo in the indoctrination of our future educators.

03/26/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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