Eating his lunch

No, Mr. President, it's not about this:

it's about this:

 

From the TerrellAfterMath vaults:

Bully.

 

Paul Ryan's Express

Hitler finds out Ryan is the VP pick (subtitle language warning):

Dora Dogood does her own magic...

...over coffee with her friend Peregrina.  Dora and Peregrina like to spread their business around town...the last time the old ladies had coffee together, it was in the Dryden Dunkin...

***

At morning coffee with my friend Peregrina at the Queen Diner in Dryden we began discussing recent political ads.  The main thing these ads should be about, we agreed, was the dismal state of our economy.  However, the ads put out by the Obama camp include those attacking Mitt Romney over his income tax returns.  The case against Obama’s stewardship of our economy is pretty straightforward: an anemic recovery, huge unemployment which in fact is far worse than reported when you count the discouraged not looking for work and involuntary part-timers, and declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. But some people’s attention has been diverted to a sideshow.

What we decided was that we are witnessing an attempted magician’s trick.  My late father taught me about magic and that part of the magician’s task is to divert your attention so you are looking in the wrong place.  Obama would have us look at Romney’s tax returns.  Why?  So, we don’t look at Obama’s mismanagement of the American economy.  There is one thing that Mitt Romney should not let us lose sight of, that it is about the economy, the economy, and the economy.  The basic question is whether people are better off now than they were four years ago (or, as Charles Krauthammer says, "Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago?") and if they believe that four more years of pursuing the same class warfare, anti-development, and anti-business policies will somehow miraculously turn the economy around if only we take on more government expenditures and more public debt.
 
The President maintains that those who are successful owe their success to help from government.  But, that help does not really come from government.  Roads and other public programs are paid for by taxation.  The government does not create wealth itself, it taxes away wealth from the private sector.  Roads may be constructed by government but they are financed ultimately by private sector dollars drawn out of the private sector by taxes.  So, successful people and businesses have paid their share of the costs of these improvements, they have not received them for free.  Ronald Reagan wisely said, “it is all our money.”  The successful get no “free lunches” from government.  And, as successful people will tell you, “If you’ve got government as your partner, you’ve got a thousand pound gorilla on your chest.”
 
The last thing we discussed over coffee was the growth of the “Imperial Presidency.”  Peregrina, who knows the value of our constitution, pointed out that the constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the laws.”  Now, when I went through social studies classes in high school and later in college I learned that that means all the laws, not just those the president felt like enforcing.  Also, I learned that in a separation of powers government, Congress makes the laws, the president only enforces them.  But, this president not only has not enforced our country’s immigration and labor laws selectively, he has taken it on himself to modify them with executive orders.  He has appointed people to “recess appointments” when Congress would be surprised to learn it is on recess, and tried to use “czars” who are not submitted for Senate approval.  Some of his new policies he is well aware have not made it through Congress or could not make it through Congress.

There is one thing Obama should be really afraid of, public discussion of his economic record.  So, we decided that we face the grim reality of ever more outrageous attack ads on Romney to divert us from Obama’s record.  We think these will get worse.  Someday soon, we expect to pick up the newspapers and be told that an “unidentified source” told someone who related it to the administration that Mitt Romney eats babies for lunch or that he “masticates in public in front of little children.”  What the Obama administration will not talk about is the awful jobs outlook for our young people and those facing today’s labor market without jobs or in poverty.  The illusion is Romney’s alleged faults, the reality is Obama’s demonstrated economic record of incompetence.  Watch the magician at work, but keep your eyes where they belong, not on the sideshow.
 
 
 
Editor's note: In need of a little R&R?
 

 

Taking aim

Is it real or is it Photoshop?


We report, you decide:
 

At Mike Hanback's Big Deer blog:

...Mr. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, emails his colleagues from his tree stand, trying to find solutions to Obama's economic mess and our nation’s out-of-control debt while waiting and hoping for a buck to come by.
 
I am sure the lefties and the city elites think that is weird, but man, I can relate.
h/t Jacques
 

Separated at birth?

NYS and CA may be separated by a continent but otherwise appear to be joined at the hip.

The July/August 2012 issue of Imprimis has an article, Economic Lessons from American History, which includes this interesting story, under the heading "Governments Are Terrible Investors":

...History is littered with government investment disasters...consider the Erie Railway. In order to get political support for building the Erie Canal, Governor DeWitt Clinton promised the New York counties that bordered Pennsylvania (known as the “Southern Tier”) an “avenue” of their own once the canal was completed. The canal was an enormous success, but as such it affected the state’s politics. A group of politicians from along its pathway, the so-called Canal Ring, soon dominated state government. They were not keen on helping to build what would necessarily be competition.
 

A canal through the mountainous terrain of the Southern Tier was impossible, and by the 1830s, railroads were the hot new transportation technology. But only with the utmost effort did Southern Tier politicians induce the Legislature to grant a charter for a railroad to run from the Hudson River to Lake Erie through their counties. And the charter almost guaranteed economic failure: It required the railroad to run wholly within New York State. As a result, it could not have its eastern terminus in New Jersey, opposite New York City, but had to end instead in the town of Piermont, 20 miles to the north. It was also forbidden to run to Buffalo, where the Erie Canal entered Lake Erie, terminating instead in Dunkirk, a town 20 miles south. Thus it would run 483 miles between two towns of no importance and through sparsely settled lands in between—not unlike the current proposed California high-speed rail project, the first segment of which would run between Fresno and Bakersfield and cost $9 billion...
And why, you may ask, is CA repeating a historic NYS mistake?  Firstly, Governor Moonbeam probably doesn't know much NYS history, and you know what they say about the link between ignorance of history and doom.  But more importantly, there's this:
 
 
Both CA and NYS are in bad shape despite all the happy talk coming out of Albany and Sacramento. Why?  Taxes, regulations, and...union penetration.
 
Nationally, the percentage of workers who are members of a union is around 11% or so; in NYS, that figure hovers around 25%, while in CA, it's around 17%.
 
When you combine a high total tax burden (imposed by governement), onerous regulations (imposed by government), and union influence (on government), it isn't any wonder that businesses and productive individuals leave or choose not to establish themselves in NYS and CA—with the predictable result that those states are floundering financially.
 
And why is it that some people think that more government is the solution?
 

One Piece At A Time

No, One of Nine hasn't really disappeared. We've, well, relocated.  And as a result we've renamed the blog. To wit:

We—and our contributors like Dora, Publius, Cicero, TR, and others—produce this blog one piece at a time. Mostly.

We concoct a brew that's often a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56...a compendium, you might say.

Then there's the GM connection, the country music connection, and many other connections that make "One Piece At A Time" an apt name.

If you bookmarked One Of Nine in the past, please replace the old url with the new one, http://onepieceatatime.info/blog/

And we keep on discovering little things that need updating, so please be patient with us.  We can only do this One Piece At A Time.

God, Glory, & Gabby

And to think that before this girl with the million-megawatt smile started competing in London, she looked positively scared to death:

h/t Tom

Bitterly clinging to guns and the Higgs boson

No, wait…somehow that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. 

We here at Redneck Mansion, when we're not calling ducks with our kissin' cousins, the Robertsons, tend to spend some time thinking about, you know, Auguste Comte and Søren Kierkegaard, and we're convinced that we are actually now in a post-scientific age.

 

How do we know this? Because of the relatively recent proliferation and celebrity-status of "scientists" like Michael Mann and media charlatans like Josh Fox, most famous for his not-documentary Gasland, rife with supposedly scientific evidence of the evils of hydrofracturing. The scientific method?  Bah, humbug.  What's important is the narrative; actual data are something that only simpletons who are not "viscerally educated" concern themselves with.

 

One problem with the Manns and Foxes of the world, in addition to the ethical implications of their Machiavellian take on the uses of science, is that once their misuses of data and science are exposed, all legitimate science is under a cloud.  Not a good thing. 

 

Which brings us to the Higgs boson. It's been recently and widely reported in the MSM that the subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, aka "the God particle," has apparently been dis-CERNed.  Does this prove that God does or does not exist? 

 

According to physicist Stephen Hawking in his 2010 book The Grand Design

Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God...

Another physicist, Lawrence Krauss from Arizona State, wrote recently

What makes this term ["the God particle"] particularly unfortunate is that nothing could be further from the truth. Assuming the particle in question is indeed the Higgs, it validates an unprecedented revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics and brings science closer to dispensing with the need for any supernatural shenanigans all the way back to the beginning of the universe—and perhaps even before the beginning, if there was a before. The brash notion predicts an invisible field (the Higgs field) that permeates all of space and suggests that the properties of matter, and the forces that govern our existence, derive from their interaction with what otherwise seems like empty space. Had the magnitude or nature of the Higgs field been different, the properties of the universe would have been different, and we wouldn’t be here to wonder why. Moreover, a Higgs field validates the notion that seemingly empty space may contain the seeds of our existence. This idea is at the heart of one of the boldest predictions of cosmology, called inflation. This posits that a similar type of background field was established in the earliest moments of the big bang, causing a microscopic region to expand by more than 85 orders of magnitude in a fraction of a second, after which the energy contained in otherwise empty space was converted into all the matter and radiation we see today! Alan Guth, the originator of the theory, called it “the ultimate free lunch.”

But as all economists know, TANSTAAFL. But we digress.

If these bold, some would say arrogant, notions derive support from the remarkable results at the Large Hadron Collider, they may reinforce two potentially uncomfortable possibilities: first, that many features of our universe, including our existence, may be accidental consequences of conditions associated with the universe’s birth; and second, that creating “stuff” from “no stuff” seems to be no problem at all—everything we see could have emerged as a purposeless quantum burp in space or perhaps a quantum burp of space itself. Humans, with their remarkable tools and their remarkable brains, may have just taken a giant step toward replacing metaphysical speculation with empirically verifiable knowledge. The Higgs particle is now arguably more relevant than God.

The sound you just heard was a quantum burp—pardon us.  Some would say arrogant?  Of course, this appeared in Newsweek—'nuff said.

 

But is this discovery really the blow to Judeo-Christianity's belief in the creator God that many in the media are claiming it is?

 

The same Dr. Krauss had written a few months earlier:

...If the Higgs is discovered, it will represent perhaps one of the greatest triumphs of the human intellect in recent memory, vindicating the construction of one of science's greatest theories and the most complicated machine ever built. That's the good news.

But if the Higgs is all that is found at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a huge amount will remain to be discovered. Crucial experimental guidance that physicists need to understand fundamental questions about our existence – from whether all four forces in nature are unified in some grand theory to determining what may have caused the big bang – will still be absent. Answering these questions may be beyond our technical and financial capabilities in this generation.

Allrighty then. We're going to use our remarkable human brain and stick out our remarkable human neck and posit that he's saying that the Higgs boson does not provide an explanation for the cause of the Big Bang. But you're not hearing about that part now, are you?

So, since the science is apparently not quite as settled as some would have you believe, let's keep thinking about this, shall we?  In addition to Comte and Kierkegaard, we also like to cogitate on Thomas Aquinas every once in a while and his "first cause" argument…which indeed depends on some abstract reasoning but at its root relies on—gasp!—the human intuition that everything must start somewhere—or with Someone.

Maybe there's a reason why Isaiah 55:8 reads "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

The Cassandra Problem

There's a local prophet(ess)—that's a portrait of her tearing her hair out over there on the right—who wrote the following regarding zoning in Dryden in 2010.  It was based on the (then) Amended Zoning Law, revised draft, of September, 2009:

The scope and control the Town would assume over private property owners goes far beyond health and safety and well into social engineering...
 

...Part of the "character of Dryden" has been that its town government was "minimalist," and apart from providing basic town services, left its residents alone. That is part of the "character" that has made Dryden attractive.  That part of character would be lost as the Town moves into comprehensive socially driven zoning, recreation, and other activities that enlarge Town government...

...this level of planning is unnecessary, adds to New York's passion to overregulate, and will be costly to administer, hence demanding even higher taxes...

...It appears government would like to shape and control how Dryden develops to make its tasks easier and to fit the social mode some residents prefer.  But government is supposed to serve public needs, not direct them...

So, while a lot of time in the last year has been spent arguing back and forth over nitty-gritty details of the new zoning law, the real problem was that the Town's entire approach was—dare we say it so baldly?—just plain wrong.

And, as it's turned out, none of the recent suggested changes that might have made the new law at least somewhat less of an overreach were adopted in the final version that was passed by the town board last week.

Not really surprising.  At this point, we'll don our preferred chapeau

and remind you of where the kind of thinking demonstrated by the Town originates. Watch the PowerPoint presentation—it's still news to many people in Central New York, but will sound distressingly familiar to many others.

Beware, other towns and municipalities...don't say Cassandra didn't warn you:

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