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May 2006 Archives

May 6, 2006

Legal "mumbo jumbo"

A recent thread on Dean's World induced this post, and I haven't even had the chance to read to read the Reaon Foundation article to which Dean originally linked, yet. Heh.

What sparked my post was bad reasoning, assumed beliefs about illegals (how they get paid, whether they "steal" jobs from Americans), blithering about what's "fair" or "right," and several magnificent posts by the inimitable Arnold Harris.

My thougts, as follows:

For those of you hyperventilating about "lost taxes," try investigating how hard it is to create and run a small business in the US today. Even a local drive-through has to take out fed, state, and FICA taxes before paying an employee.

Paul S. repeats a popular argument, but one that lacks force. I can testify from personal experience that -while there are jobs Mexicans will do that Anglos won't- the workers aren't paid less. Go to damn near any restaurant in America, and you'll find managers who will hire anyone willing to work hard at well above minimum wage. In fact, many Mexicans expect more exactly because they are willing to work so hard.

Paul is, of course, perfectly free to contradict my position by providing facts to the contrary. :)

Arnold (as usual) does a magnificent job defining the problem. While I don't agree with every word, the gist is inarguable.

Continue reading "Legal "mumbo jumbo"" »

How is the "Culture of Corruption" incubated?

I originally put this up in February 2005; I find it to be even more relevant today. Please note that I have taken the opportunity to add some detail wherein I felt the original occasionally lacked.

Any party that reigns unchallenged for a long period of time tends to become corrupt. Acton once said "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Analog editor John Campbell once said that he would change that to "unchallenged power corrupts absolutely." I think that this is largely true.

A review of the political history of the United States does not indicate much Federal corruption for the first eighty-plus years of our existance. This is true mainly for two reasons: the Federal government lacked the political power it has today, and it controlled a far smaller percentage of the national income. Recall that tariffs were the main sounce of income for most of the 19th century; hence their importance for the Civil War-era politicians.

For at least a generation after the Civil War, the GOP reigned supreme over the United States, damn near literally. A single act sufficed, generally, to quell any possible Democrat upstart: waving the bloody shirt; a phrase introduced at this time by actually waving a bloody, torn shirt supposedly taken off of the body of a man flogged by unreconstructed Rebels in the South.

Continue reading "How is the "Culture of Corruption" incubated?" »

May 7, 2006

A GOOD 5th of May: femte Maj

Pretty much everyone in America knows about Cinco de Mayo these days, but his Rottiness takes the time to reminisce about a more recent, and more relevant anniversary on the 5th of May.

Beautiful stuff.

I'll bet his granma was a real protest babe in her time, back in the day...

May 10, 2006

Comet to hit earth, Bush to blame...

You just can't make this stuff up!

A former French military air traffic controller says a fragment of Comet Schwassman-Wachmann will hit the earth in two weeks.

Better yet, it's all Bush's fault:

He concludes the May 25 event is tied in to the Bush administration's policy of preemptive use of nuclear weapons against Iran, and the effect of nuclear weapons on the realms of higher intelligences.

First Katrina, then this. What's next?


A big thanks to Professor Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy for the original link.

May 11, 2006

That's how we play the game...

Rusty at The Jawa Report has a hysterical clip up by Carlos Mencia.

Some of the (lefty) commenters found Mr. Mencia to be "offensive."

My reaction: Carlos Mencia was enunciating the Jacksonian Tradition in an especially pungent form...

PostScript: a Spew Warning is in effect for the duration of the above clip. You Have Been Warned.


May 15, 2006

Bloglist addition

Just found a nifty new blog called "Out on a limb at Mike Lief.com"

He's an ex-squid, a current DA, and an author. He also writes well.

Check him out.

May 16, 2006

"Sensitive and respectful" Rules Of Engagment

Varifrank has the most up-to-date ROE (Rules Of Engagement) released to date by the Bush administration.

Try to keep a straight face while reading them. A spew alert may be in order.

Readers may also appreciate ACLU Takes Over Terror Investigation.

(hat tip to Austin Bay for the link)

May 25, 2006

Let's be nice...

I seem to have accidentally touched a nerve, wherein Baldilocks thinks I am defending that lackwit Jesse MacBeth. This is not the case. I am defending the concept of accuracy; hence the title of this post.

You see, one of the archaic meanings of the word nice is "precise, accurate." We have seen far too many instances of bloggers on both sides of the aisle going off half-cocked, such as the recent excitement about the Karl Rove non-indictment and the Howard Dean non-story.

While the specific statement that MacBeth was never in the Rangers/SF has been established as true, the statement that he "never served in the Army" has not yet been equally established. And, yes, I am being picky. Or nice. But that's exactly how I argue against typical idiotarian ideas: specify that which has been factually established, determine that which has not, and beat them over the head with the difference. Since many of these ideas are assertations or conclusions cloaked as fact, the process can be entertaining. But I digress...

Continue reading "Let's be nice..." »

May 28, 2006

I wanna be a keyboard ranger!

I knew there was something I had forgotten! About a month ago, Captain Ed formed the 101st Fighting Keyboardists as a way to spoof the intellectually bankrupt "chickenhawk" argument put forth by the mentally lightweight.

Spoof? Sarcasm? Ridicule!? Naturally, I joined immediately. :)

And -equally naturally- I forgot to include the 101st blogroll script for a month. Feh.


The deranged Frank J. was -as always- ready to provide one of his infamous FAQs.

Finally, a big tip o' the hat and a hugh THANK YOU to Derek Brigham for designing the logo!

Continue reading "I wanna be a keyboard ranger!" »

check, check...

Jeff over at Protein Wisdom is testing new blogware out, so here's a test trackback.

Blog software on my end: MT v2.65

This is a test. If this were an actual blog-post you would have been directed to the nearest real blog for serious punditry.

This is only a test...

UPDATE: I guess I needed to hand cut'n'paste trackback URL. MT 2.65 (apparently) does not recognize the full URL by itself.

About May 2006

This page contains all entries posted to The Gantry Launchpad in May 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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