Monday, March 30, 2009

PPIP Boy

TurboTax Tim Geithner is at it again with his latest rich banker bailout ploy, and the beauty of this one is that he doesn't really have to seek congressional approval for any funds. The reason for this is that he is relying on loans from institutions, namely the Treasury and the Fed, that congress has subcontracted it's authority to. Congress can, of course, call him on this, but I'm given to think that they'd rather lay back and go to sleep than to worry about anything so trifling as the solvency of the country that they're paid to keep on track.

Mish details the score and links to this informational video:

As Mish also points out, the bank may well have nothing to do with the purchases (although preliminary reports are that they're scheming for a way to get directly on this gravy train). It would work like this:
  • Let's say I paid $100,000 for a house and borrowed $70,000
  • A couple years later I have to pay back the $70,000, but my house is now only worth $30,000
  • I'm in a pickle until my Uncle Sam says that he'll finance someone to buy it off of me and the most they'll be out is 7%
  • I approach the bank that I owe the $70,000 to an insist that they bid up and purchase the house for $100,000
  • Wa-La, instead of the bank taking at least a $40,000 bath on the loan, they only lost $7,000, and maybe not even that if I've made some reassurance to them that they'll get some of that excess capital left over from the transaction.
Any old way it's a scam, plain and simple; courtesy of 'Bailout' Obama and his tax cheatin' toadie.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kimono

Years ago, back when the company I work for contracted in security guards, there was older (think 90) guy who bragged that he recycled deodorant dispensers by gluing a photo to the dispenser. He would wheel the bottom of the deodorant container and the picture would come out of the top as if on a cheap, jerky elevator and I would say something thoughtful like "uh huh...". His was a typical case of an untalented folk artist resorting to a desperate medium in order to differentiate himself from people who actually had talent of some sort.

On the other end of the scale you have Itchiku Kubota whose work is currently featured at the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton, Ohio. Mr. Kubota's area of expertise was creating exquisite kimonos:

The kimonos as created were never meant to be worn, but just admired for the artist's handiwork. My first thought was that Mr. Kubota was only seeking to differentiate himself from other artists by working with an unusual medium; some kind of Japanese folk art on 'roids. The exhibit itself proves otherwise. Rather than just reusing known techniques someplace unusual, he sought to push art forward by engineering new techniques and applying them in a unique way.

His 'seasons' set (i.e. Symphony of Light) which is featured in Canton is truly one of a kind. As an example, although the winter themed kimonos could have been a walk in the park, Mr. Kubota was sure to put as much time into them as the more colorfully ornate sets in the series, complete with empty trees and silver highlights. This attention to 'painting in the corners' is a staple of all of his pieces.

In addition to the show, the museum is also putting on a slice of fake Japan with some dances and a $20 a serving 'Lipton' green tea ceremony.


Don't make me guess the province it's from, as it probably doesn't exist.

In Canton (yes, Canton) until April 26th, after that you're going to have to take a twelve hour flight to see them.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Company Assets

From Fox:
"These institutions are under siege and their primary asset is their people," Sedgwick said, explaining that adding taxation to shrinking compensation for bankers will drive people from the business.
Wrong. The primary asset held by these bankrupt institutions is U.S. taxpayer bailout money, and if this ex post facto reclaiming of the bailout funds by CONgress is the only way to end this madness then so be it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

McSausage

Ummm....

After taking the picture, I noticed the pig next to the cheese grater in full sausage prep mode.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crowd Appeal

There was recently a horrible crime in Cleveland where a man shot his wife, her sister, and her sister's three kids. Police and others put the beat-down on the neighborhood in an effort to find the man, finally tracking him down at his cousin's house which happens to be about fifteen minutes away from where I used to work. Not wanting to go (back) to jail, the mass murder instead ate one last bullet from his handgun.

The reaction of Clevelanders to the guy's corpse being removed from the house warmed my heart with the knowledge that the population in general still views barbarity as something that warrants the ultimate punishment, despite what our wretched elites think. Click here to check it out, it's worth sitting through the 5 second commercial.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Temporary Property

I saw something in the Marketwatch comments that I couldn't believe and had to look it up:
China’s urban middle class has fueled a real estate boom, even though all land is owned by the state and purchasers trade only the right to use property on the land for up to 70 years. The disposition of property after that term expires is one of many unsettled issues.
Oh it isn't unsettled, it reverts 'back' to the people, i.e. the government. The note I saw was from a frustrated shopper who was finding property that was built thirty years ago and although he would be 'buying' it, it would for all intents and purposes be a lease since the government would get it shortly after it was paid off.

It's hard to see the Chinese government removing this restriction since it's no doubt a corrupt government gravy train of untold proportions.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Racist Evil 5

Those who do not actively keep track of video game news (i.e. nearly everyone) may be unaware of the festering controversy surrounding the upcoming Resident Evil 5 (i.e. Biohazard 5) video game. The game takes place in some African hellhole (as opposed to the non-hellholes) which is under assault by an evil virus (the mind boggles at the possibility!) that turns the residents into (more) evil, zombie-like creatures. The game has generated much feigned outrage like the following:
Kikizo asked the BBFC's communication head, Sue Clark, about a specific scene where a (*minor spoiler warning*) white, blond woman is dragged by a black man and "impregnated" with the virus, in a way that evokes racist imagery.
Hehehe, how racist! I mean, it's not like anything like that happens in real life!

More to the point is that the game has a white main character, along with what is accusingly called a half-white woman:

Capcom released a demo of the game that Kid Sandmich and I played through several times and it featured the tense shooter action that's a trademark of the Resident Evil series, but with an extra added bonus of doubly tense multiplayer co-op. In the game you get maybe three 'hit points' (unless it's a boss in which case you get one) and if there are ten enemies that have to be taken out, the game will give you maybe twelve rounds with which to take them out.

I have to admit though, that for as much as I wanted to see something politically incorrect I never thought that I did as the game is careful to put in a smattering of what are probably white do-gooder peace corps zombies and Arab expat zombies.

So just for the record:
Penny Arcade made up the following helpful check sheet:


click to enbiggen

Cable Caveman

For the first time in our more than fifteen years of marriage, we now have cable TV. A few minutes of viewing left me convinced that broadcast TV has been pretty much abandoned by the powers that be. Now, to catch up on a couple years of missed cable TV viewing...

...before I inevitably cannot afford it again :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

CONgressional Logic

I wrote to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) a couple times on the porkulous bill to take issue with the logic that was pressing for passage. On both occasions a I got the canned letter that defended his position.

Although the porkulous bill didn't, as a percentage, contain a large portion of infrastructure money, one of Senator Brown's main points was:
Another important step taken was to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. Studies indicate that not only do these projects create jobs, but every dollar spent on infrastructure adds $1.59 to our economy.
By that logic we should pave the whole country and roll around in the ensuing money waterfall.

Edu After Action Notes

An anonymous commenter who do not wishes to be associated with this site (can't say as I blame him) has left a wealth of well formed comments to the post below:
http://sandmich.blogspot.com/2009/02/impossible-education-dream.html
Since the post has fallen off the page I felt that I should link over to it with a fresh post.

As can be expected, the most sensitive point is the contention of different learning abilities between races (and to a lesser extent cultures). To sum up his point perhaps too leanly, the commenter insists that we are forming the ability to overcome these gaps. I pray for the sake of our nation that he is correct and I am not.

UPDATE: Steve Sailer points out that random drawings for prestigious charter schools might not be as 'random' as people would hope.