Saturday, January 05, 2008

How to Sell Newspapers

......Not. The AJC, to no one's surprise has managed yet again to indulge in scare-mongering and illiteracy. I write illiteracy because they misunderstand or mis-state some of the provisions of the bill in question. Either they're illiterate or lying, and because I try to be charitable, I'm assuming ignorance in lieu of evil.

This is a fairly normal editorial for this crew, so of course the high level of thought and writing skill continues to pay off for them in the form of record circulation growth.

{H/T to Rob}

Avenue Q - I Wish I Could Go Back to College

Every time I face a sink full of dishes, I think about this.

Pack the Bags, I'm Coming Home!

Reading this article brought tears of joy to my eyes. I had thought where I lived qualified as a red meat kind of a place. But I have seen the light and I've repented of my weenie ways.

Best quote:"For most people in Argentina, a vegetarian is something you eat."

Friday, January 04, 2008

How Darwinian!


from here.

I kinda thought so.

cash advance

Online Payday Loans

Irony Alert

Qui protestieat ipsos protestes?

A Question For All the Candidates

I know your opponent molests children, smells bad and assassinates nuns, what I want to know is how are you going to end the war in Iraq with honour, fight terrorism, end global warming, balance the budget, reduce the national debt and reduce the bureaucracy's footprint without pixie dust or a magic wand?

I asked this in IM, and I think it's a valid question for the whole lot of them.

TANSTAAFL

With our aging population socialized medicine is looking more and more attractive to huge swaths of voters. The idea of course being that they could continue to receive the same level and quality of health care as before and have some one else pay for it.

Only things aren't all that rosy over in the UK.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Get Out the Old Crystal Ball

The Chicago Mercantile Housing Price Index (combined ten cities) is not looking real hopeful for the next couple of years. My only hope is that the Atnlanta market (which isn't part of the basket of ten) will show strong individual growth. Unfortunately, I can't think of any good reasons why it should.

Synchronicity

This past Christmas, one of our nephews or nieces thought it would be fun to challenge our plumbing with bubble-wrap. Imagine my joy in reading this little tidbit from New Jersey.

Scott Ott Scoops 'Em all

Once again the website Scrappleface has beaten the rest of the press to a key story.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

About those MDG's

It appears that China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa are poorer than previously thought.

Let Them Eat Steak

I've been reflecting upon what it means to be poor in America. In temporal and geographical terms, we have the wealthiest poor in history.

Don't believe me? Consider this. Currently the supermarket nearest me is selling USDA Choice Sirloin steak at less than $4 per pound. If a person were to make the foolish decision to live on nothing but sirloin steak for a year, the cost would be around $8 per day (Two pounds of meat). That comes to $2,920 on food per year. The poverty line in the US is $10,210 for a single person household. Our steak eating person would be spending 29% of their income on food.

Let's put this in perspective. Until the Industrial Revolution the lot of most of humanity was fairly miserable. In most countries over 95% of the population were peasants. In most cases they were bound to the land in some way. Often they were simply slaves, rarely did they own their land outright.

In pre-Revolutionary France, which was probably the most prosperous country in the world right before industrialization changed the world, the typical diet of a Frenchman consisted of barley or rye bread, pease porridge, assorted vegetables (onions and legumes) and very little protein and very little fruit. The French serf, and they were mostly serfs, raised wheat for cash to help pay the taxes and rents. Life was indeed brutish, miserable and short. To be poor was to be starving.

Of all of the people in Europe, the one's who could afford to have steak every meal were as follows: The King of France, The Ottoman Emperor (Sultan), the Czar of Russia, and the King of Spain. That's the full list. Steak every meal meant slaughtering a cow a day for an entire year. And even with that, the quality of meat was nowhere near as consistent or as good as the poorest of us can now attain.

All of this is not to say that there isn't poverty in America. There is. But it is to say that we have the wrong image of poverty in America. I see a lot of poor in my daily life. None of them are starving. Most of those I see are men who are unable to work due to mental illness or addiction. Most of the ones I don't see are the ones who are unable to work because they are too crippled or too feeble to work.

The typical homeless person is a middle aged man, who is the sole member of his household. Next time you see or hear someone advocating helping the poor, ask yourself "How does this person intend to help the wino down the street?" Because that is the face of true poverty in America. And I have yet to hear any real solutions for helping those who will not help themselves.