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Archive for the ‘annoyances’ Category

Dear Mr. President,

I just watched your “I Pledge…” video. I am now 100% unable to take you seriously. Next time you want to indoctrinate me, get somebody besides the host of Punk’d to deliver your message. Now if you need me, I’ll be off flushing twice after each pee.

Sincerely,
Garret

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HamEarlier this week I wrote a silly little story poking fun at the federal government’s taxpayer funded website Recovery.gov. The point I was attempting to make was that anything the government tries to do, the private free-market can accomplish more quickly, at higher quality, and at far less cost to society. I didn’t really go into what information can actually be found at Recovery.gov, but now I think I will. Yes indeed, the following real report is just a little, er, taste of President Obama’s idea of “accountability and transparency”. By the way, do you like ham?

Take a good hard look at this contract report from Recovery.gov. Pay special attention to the parts I have highlighted in red.

Contracts – Recipient Summary
CLOUGHERTY PACKING, LLC
Clarification of Codes

Award Overview
Agency Name- Department of Agriculture, Project Location- LOS ANGELES
Contract Number- AG3J14120297196, Project Location – State CA

Funding Amount- $1,191,200, Project Location – Zip Code 90058-1800
Completion Date- 2009-06-30, Congressional District- CA-34

Recipient Information (Award)
Recipient Name- CLOUGHERTY PACKING, LLC, Recipient Address- 3049 E VERNON AVE
Recipient City- LOS ANGELES, Recipient State- CALIFORNIA
Recipient Zip Code- 90058-1800, Congressional District- CALIFORNIA-34

Description of Work/Service performed-
2 POUND FROZEN HAM SLICED

That’s right, this is a real report from Recovery.gov. An extremely large amount of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $1,191,200 to be exact, was used by our government to purchase two pounds of sliced frozen ham.

I don’t even know what to say. I wonder how long it will be before this report mysteriously disappears?

Kudos to American Thinker.

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seatbeltI now officially live in a nanny state. I was proud that I lived in one of the 24 states that did not have mandatory seat belt legislation, but that all changed on June 30 when Arkansas residents became subject to a new primary seat belt law. Police officers are now allowed to stop drivers and issue citations for no other reason than failure to buckle a seat belt.

This is wrong. Anyone who knows a little physics knows what happens when an object the size of an automobile stops suddenly: the passengers inside will continue traveling at the same speed until they too are stopped by something, be it a seat belt or the windshield. This is called inertia. Anyone with any intelligence will choose to have their inertia curtailed by a seat belt rather than the windshield. However, your state government does not believe you have the capacity for this simple practice of self-preservation in your stupid little head. Therefore they saw fit to pass a law that forces you into compliance, wasting your state tax dollars in the process. It is not the government’s place to forcibly legislate intelligent decisions. It is not a public safety issue; those who choose not to buckle up endanger no one but themselves. It is an issue of your government wanting and getting more control over your life.

I wonder why our state government didn’t legislate that my hands must be at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel while they were at it. This would make me much safer, and I don’t really have any business deciding the position of my own hands anyway. Maybe I’ll call Representative Betts and suggest a 10 and 2 law. After all, none of you stupid Arkansans would have thought to keep your hands on the wheel yourselves.

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Census2010_Logo-1.aiI spotted some census workers in my neighborhood this week. They were loitering around in vehicles with “Official Government Business” placards in the windows. One parked outside my house and sat there for about 20 minutes.

It seems that the U.S. Census Bureau has begun preparing for their 2010 nationwide invasion of our privacy. They call this initial phase address canvassing and it kicked off in full swing on March 30. This time around the census workers are equipped with hand-held GPS systems that enable them to pinpoint your family’s physical address with “an unprecedented level of precision and accuracy” for use in later operations.

I’m not down on the census, you understand. In fact, the census serves an important function and is one of the few projects our federal government conducts that is fully and expressly authorized by the United States Constitution. Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 3 states:

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

But, as usual, the feds have grossly overstepped their constitutional boundaries. Notice that the Constitution authorizes “enumeration” only, which is defined as:

enu·mer·ate
Pronunciation: \i-ˈn(y)ü-mə-ˌrāt\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): enu·mer·at·ed; enu·mer·at·ing
Etymology: Latin enumeratus, past participle of enumerare, from e- + numerare to count, from numerus number
Date: 1616
1 : to ascertain the number of : count
2 : to specify one after another : list

The government is constitutionally authorized to count us and write that number down. That’s it. They are not authorized to ask us what race we are, how much money we make, what community services we use, or any other personal questions. They can simply count us. Period.

Of course, subsequent laws have grossly expanded the census and made vague and all-encompassing statements about what information census workers can collect. U.S Code Title 13, Chapter 5, Sub chapter II, § 141, point g states:

As used in this section, “census of population” means a census of population, housing, and matters relating to population and housing.

The U.S. Code also specifies penalties for not answering census questions ($100 fine) and providing false information to the questions ($500 fine), although to my knowledge no one has ever been punished for refusing to answer census questions.

The official tally will kick off on April 1, 2010.

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An Orlando man was recently arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for feeding the homeless. Orlando has an ordinance that prohibits feeding homeless people in groups larger than 25. The cops staked out Eric Montanes’s feeding station and waited until he handed out his 26th meal, then they handcuffed him and took him to jail.

Your government hard at work.

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straightjacketTo cure your good night’s sleep I offer the following slices of crazy pie from the world of U.S. econopolitics:

1. Barack Obama held a national press conference tonight in which he claimed that massive spending by the federal government is the only thing that can pull the United States back from the brink of total economic ruin. He seems to be ignoring the fact that no economy has ever been pulled back from the brink of economic ruin by massive federal spending. Ever. Earlier in the day, President Obama flew Air Force One to Indiana for a town-hall type meeting in order to explain to Indiana taxpayers the necessity of piling an additional $1 trillion in debt on their children and grandchildren; that’s on top of their share of the $68,000 per hour it cost to fly Mr. Obama in.

2. It seems that the U.S. government has decided to force General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy in order to make sure they repay the $18 billion they borrowed from the TARP program. Hang on just a sec. Does anybody else remember last month when the government claimed that if General Motors went under, the U.S. economy would implode? I think I remember something like that. It seems like we could have just let them go bankrupt last month, and saved ourselves a whole lot of trouble. Alas, that’s not the way we do things in this country. Incidentally, GM is one of the major corporations listed in the synthetic CDO list I discussed a couple of posts ago; if they go bankrupt, well…

3. It looks as though the Obama stimulus bill will pass a vote in the Senate tomorrow. I suppose I should impress upon you, dear readers, the importance of calling your senators one last time to protest the madness. Not that it will do any good.

4. In an interesting development, President Obama relieved the Commerce Department of the chore of conducting the 2010 census today. He bestowed that honor upon Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. According to a Fox News report:

The U.S. census — a counting of the U.S. population — is conducted every 10 years by the Commerce Department. Its results determine the decennial redrawing of congressional districts.
As a matter of impact, the census has tremendous political significance. Political parties are always eager to have a hand in redrawing districts so that they can maximize their own party’s clout while minimizing the opposition, often through gerrymandering.
The census also determines the composition of the Electoral College, which chooses the president. If one party were to control the census, it could arguably try to perpetuate its hold on political power.
The results of the census are also enormously important in another way — the allocation of federal funds. Theoretically, a political party could disproportionately steer federal funding to areas dominated by its own members through a skewing of census numbers.

Why would the White House be so interested in running the census? Hmmm….  Maybe Emanuel will put ACORN in charge of the process.

Enough insanity for now. Sleep tight knowing your Republic is in competent hands.

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blacklakes

Check it out! This is the Black Lakes Golf Club in Onaway, Michigan. It’s valued at about $40 million, but it must not be that great a course since it runs in the red about $23 million each year. Sure is beautiful, though. Oh, and did I mention that it is owned and operated by the United Auto Workers Union? I wonder if they would let us taxpayers play a round for free, seeing as we just gave their failing industry a big $17 billion donation?

Probably not.

Cross-posted to Facebook.

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