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Updated: 2010-12-30T00:23:16Z

 



Doing some housekeeping

2010-12-30T00:23:16Z

After talking about it for the last couple of years, I think I'm going to spend the weekend updating the blog. Hopefully I'll be able to install WordPress and import old content into it a few hours. So if you...

After talking about it for the last couple of years, I think I'm going to spend the weekend updating the blog. Hopefully I'll be able to install WordPress and import old content into it a few hours.

So if you visit this weekend and things aren't working...you know why.




Stossel on the unintended consequences of government intervention

2010-12-29T12:55:55Z

John Stossel recently took up the unintended consequences caused by 10 promises made by politicians that allowed government to intervene in different aspects of society. Some of the targets are Cash for Clunkers, the minimum wage, publicly-funded sports stadiums, ObamaCare...

John Stossel recently took up the unintended consequences caused by 10 promises made by politicians that allowed government to intervene in different aspects of society. Some of the targets are Cash for Clunkers, the minimum wage, publicly-funded sports stadiums, ObamaCare and ethanol subsidies.

The exchanges with supporters of these policies are great, especially when Stossel calls Wesley Clark, who lobbies for ethanol subsidies, a parasite.

Here is the full episode:

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An eerie forum post on the World Trade Center

2010-12-28T17:04:54Z

Via Doug Mataconis comes this post on an aviation forum from November 30, 2000: When the two towers that make up the World Trade Center were built, they were designed to withstand the impact of the largest airliner of the...

Via Doug Mataconis comes this post on an aviation forum from November 30, 2000:

When the two towers that make up the World Trade Center were built, they were designed to withstand the impact of the largest airliner of the day, the Boeing 707 Intercontinental. The Empire State Building survived a B-25 medium bomber crashing into it on very foggy day. It was during the weekend when most people weren’t there, but still, 14 people died.

Anyone wanna bet that the World Trade Center could survive an 767-300 impact?

Both the planes, American Flight 11 and United Flight 175, that hit the both towers of the World Trade Center were older model 767s. Eerie, no?




In which I agree with Sonny Perdue (sort of)

2010-12-28T12:56:10Z

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of Gov. Sonny Perdue, who has been a tax-hiking spendaholic, but I tend to agree with him here:Perdue said his party needs to avoid "a gang-type mentality" that could be harmful...

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of Gov. Sonny Perdue, who has been a tax-hiking spendaholic, but I tend to agree with him here:

Perdue said his party needs to avoid "a gang-type mentality" that could be harmful to those "who want the American dream."

"The Republican Party needs to be very, very careful that it maintains the golden rule in its rhetoric regarding immigration policy," Perdue told The AP.

Perdue said the GOP needs to ensure that "people of color and people who are not U.S.-born" feel welcome. "And I think that's the challenge of the Republican Party."

"(Immigration) is a very emotive, emotion-filled topic that I think sometimes gets us out there where our hearts really aren't," Perdue said.

This is a bit of doublespeak on his part considering that he signed legislation backed by restrictionists in 2006. But the overwhelming majority of the people coming here truly do want a better life for themselves by pursing the American Dream. Unfortunately, they are getting caught up in the nationalist and populist rhetoric from people who ignore the benefits of immigration.




Football is meant for the elements, except when it's not

2010-12-27T17:38:09Z

While speaking at a reception in Atlanta last month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained that the city would need to build a new stadium that was either open air or with a retractable roof in order to land another Super... While speaking at a reception in Atlanta last month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained that the city would need to build a new stadium that was either open air or with a retractable roof in order to land another Super Bowl. Goodell's reasoning is that the "game is meant to be played in the elements." Fast-forward to Week 16 of the NFL when the Minnesota Vikings are set to visit the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field - an open air stadium - when a blizzard is set to hit the Northeast. The NFL cancels the game, opting to play it on Tuesday night. This also makes it very tough on the Eagles, who are fighting for a playoff spot, as they will now have only four days in between games. Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News sees it as wimping out:In 1948, the Eagles won an NFL championship at Shibe Park in a raging blizzard, a game that was never forgotten by the 36,309 die-hards who didn't think twice about braving those conditions to watch history in the making. Then there was the "Snow-Plow" game in New England and the Pats' memorable playoff victory over Oakland in a snowstorm years later, and the frigid 1967 Ice Bowl in Green Bay. To paraphrase Frank Capra this Christmas season, for a true football fan it would not have been as wonderful a life had those remarkable games never been born. That's why the decision by the NFL and the Eagles, with input from the city of Philadelphia, to postpone last night's game because of a snowstorm that isn't really all that (we might get 11 inches in the city - not exactly Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer territory, not even close) is more than downright disappointing. [...] Ultimately, life is all about risk management, and the reward of football in the snow - so often a beautiful thing - means that thousands of fans, not to mention the players and coaches who seem disappointed and befuddled by this decision, were willing to take a few risks to see it. You know, a term that gets used a lot in the great political debate - overused, in my opinion - is whether America has become "a nanny state." Usually I'm on the other side (like when it comes to health care, in which . . . oh, never mind), but in this case I think here it's perfectly OK to channel your Inner Rush Limbaugh and say that "the nanny state" killed this football game. If we're not "a nanny state," then we've become a nation of overcautious risk managers, also known as wimps. They don't play American football in China, but I believe that if they did, not only would they have played this game, but 300,000 fans would have marched barefoot through the drifts for 15 miles to get to the stadium, drilling each other with advanced calculus problems as they walked. In a few years, they'll come here and conquer what's left of America while we huddle on our TV-room couches to keep safe and warm, watching "A Christmas Story" on TBS for the ninth time after a forecast of flurries has canceled the entire NFL schedule.So if Goodell and the NFL wants the struggling State of Georgia and the even more struggling City of Atlanta to pony up the cash to pay for a new stadium (despite the fact that the Dome is only 18 years-old and not even paid off) because the "game is meant to be played in the elements," why is the NFL canceling games that would be played in typical winter weather in the Northeast? There were games played this year where the weather was as bad as it would have been in Philadelphia. These are some very mixed signals from Goodell and the NFL. [...]



Pat Robertson calls for drug law reform

2010-12-27T12:13:53Z

While his spokepeople are trying to walk back his comments, Pat Robertson, a well-known televangelist, recently called for decriminalization of marijuana (emphasis mine): Calling it getting "smart" on crime, Robertson aired a clip on a recent episode of his 700...

While his spokepeople are trying to walk back his comments, Pat Robertson, a well-known televangelist, recently called for decriminalization of marijuana (emphasis mine):

Calling it getting "smart" on crime, Robertson aired a clip on a recent episode of his 700 Club television show that advocated the viewpoint of drug law reformers who run prison outreach ministries.

A narrator even claimed that religious prison outreach has "saved" millions in public funds by helping to reduce the number of prisoners who return shortly after being released.

"It got to be a big deal in campaigns: 'He's tough on crime,' and 'lock 'em up!'" the Christian Coalition founder said. "That's the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn't the answer."

His co-host added that the success of religious-run dormitories for drug and alcohol cessation therapy present an "opportunity" for faith-based communities to lead the way on drug law reforms.

"We're locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they've got 10 years with mandatory sentences," Robertson continued. "These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We've got to take a look at what we're considering crimes and that's one of 'em.

"I'm ... I'm not exactly for the use of drugs, don't get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing it's just, it's costing us a fortune and it's ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That's not a good thing."

His handlers can say whatever they want. Whether or not it was his intent to call for decriminalization, that's exactly what he did.

Here is the video:

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Merry Christmas

2010-12-25T14:53:26Z

Merry Christmas to you and yours! We visited my parents yesterday. We're dropping by Amanda's parents today. Hopefully, we'll be home in time before it starts snowing (if that's even in the forecast now)....

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

We visited my parents yesterday. We're dropping by Amanda's parents today. Hopefully, we'll be home in time before it starts snowing (if that's even in the forecast now).




Merry Christmas, Georgia fans

2010-12-23T11:48:41Z

It probably comes as no surprise that AJ Green plans to play on Sunday next year:Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver A.J. Green is set to enter the upcoming NFL draft sources have told Channel 2 Action News Sports Director Zach Klein....

It probably comes as no surprise that AJ Green plans to play on Sunday next year:

Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver A.J. Green is set to enter the upcoming NFL draft sources have told Channel 2 Action News Sports Director Zach Klein.

Klein said two sources close to the program have told him “There is a 100 percent chance he is gone, and a possible (NFL) lockout has no bearing on his decision.”

Green led the team in yards and touchdowns despite being suspended for four games by the NCAA for selling last year’s bowl jersey. During his junior season, Green caught 49 passes for 771 yards and nine touchdowns.

According to ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., Green is the third best prospect in the country. ESPN’s Todd McShay has Green as a top five selection.

Part of Georgia's probably during the first four games of the year was the absence of Green to open up the offense. Looks like we'll have to worry about that again next year until a playmaker steps up.




Snowpocalypse on Christmas?

2010-12-23T11:49:26Z

It looks like St. Nick will bring snow with him on Christmas:A strong storm system churning its way through the desert Southwest early Thursday will bring metro Atlanta a good chance for a white Christmas, with accumulating snow possible as...

It looks like St. Nick will bring snow with him on Christmas:

A strong storm system churning its way through the desert Southwest early Thursday will bring metro Atlanta a good chance for a white Christmas, with accumulating snow possible as far south as the Columbus and Macon areas, forecasters said.

While the ground probably won't be white when you wake up on Christmas, a rain-snow mix expected to begin during the morning will likely change over to all snow later in the day, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

Nitz said he expects the rain-snow mix to continue through early afternoon, then change to all snow by Saturday evening.

The snow will likely continue across metro Atlanta through Saturday night before ending Sunday morning.

"Across the north Georgia mountains, the precipitation should fall as snow the entire time, allowing 2 to 4 inch accumulations there," Nitz said.

In a statement issued early Thursday, the National Weather Service predicted that 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall across metro Atlanta, with accumulations of an inch or less south of the city.

A white Christmas is something I've always wanted in Atlanta, and now it looks like it may actually happen. On my 30th birthday, no less.

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You guys came through!

2010-12-23T05:14:07Z

According to Larry Stanley, the goal ($2,400) for the van fund for Mike and Linda Moon was reached this evening. They'll be able to purchase a van with accommodations necessary for him to travel. Mike sent me an e-mail a...

According to Larry Stanley, the goal ($2,400) for the van fund for Mike and Linda Moon was reached this evening. They'll be able to purchase a van with accommodations necessary for him to travel.

Mike sent me an e-mail a few minutes ago expressing his gratitude and appreciation for everyone who donated. Mike says, "You are talking to a real life George Bailey because It is a Wonderful Life."

Thank you for contributing. The Moon family truly appreciates it.




Net Neutrality

2010-12-22T22:05:58Z

Since the FCC passed new rules regarding regulation of the Internet, here is a primer explaining what Net Neutrality is and what it means to you:...

Since the FCC passed new rules regarding regulation of the Internet, here is a primer explaining what Net Neutrality is and what it means to you:

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No nativity in DC this year

2010-12-22T16:31:32Z

I was looking through archived e-mails and came across this. It's fitting considering that it's near Christmas and Congress is still in session: There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington this year!? The Supreme Court has ruled that there...

I was looking through archived e-mails and came across this. It's fitting considering that it's near Christmas and Congress is still in session:

There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington this year!?

The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the United States' Capital this Christmas season.

This isn't for any religious reason.

They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation's Capitol.

A search for a Virgin continues.

There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Ha!




On Herman Cain's bid for president

2010-12-20T22:58:49Z

As you may have heard, Herman Cain is planning on forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2012. I'm not surprised. Cain has always held ambition to hold elected office. He ran for the United States Senate here... As you may have heard, Herman Cain is planning on forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2012. I'm not surprised. Cain has always held ambition to hold elected office. He ran for the United States Senate here in Georgia in 2006; losing to now-Senator Johnny Isakson without a runoff. Many don't realize that this isn't the first time Cain, who once served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has discussed a presidential bid. As Matt Lewis has noted, Cain ran for president in 2000. Like many conservatives, Cain has used the tea party movement as a platform to build up his name and slam the policies of Barack Obama and Democrats. Unfortunately, the criticism of Obama and friends inside the tea party movement is no longer limited to economic policy. However, Cain was largely silent during the six years of runaway spending under the Bush Administration and a Republican-controlled Congress. Like most Republicans, he only acknowledged his party's failings after it was too late to do anything about it. He backed the Wall Street bailout, or according to Cain, the "recovery plan," as he called it on his radio show. Cain wrote that nationalizing banks "is not a bad thing." He even went as far as criticizing opponents of the bailout, calling them "free market purists" and absurdly claiming that no valid criticism had been brought forward. Fast-forward two years and we see that the bailout did little to help the country recover, especially since most of the "troubled assets" remain on the books of banks. Of course, Cain and other backers of the bailout still wrongly claim that taxpayers have seen a profit from TARP. The advantage of him running is that he likely takes at least some of the wind out of Tax Hike Mike's run as Cain is likely to get support from his fellow talk show host Neal Boortz, author of two books on the FairTax; a plan that Cain has also vigorously advocated. If you recall, Huckabee was able to court FairTax supporters in 2008, who seemed unconcerned about his record of tax hikes, support of cap-and-trade and nanny-statist policies, launching him to contender status. Cain is an excellent speaker and will no doubt draw comparisons to Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, the similarities end there. At least Reagan read F.A. Hayek (one of his favorite book's was The Road to Serfdom) and understood Austrian economics. Cain doesn't have those influences; at least if he did, they aren't beliefs he holds today. On a personal level, Cain is a nice guy. Very easy to talk to and doesn't mind a difference of opinion. While he has been a successful businessman, he is also a reactionary, inconsistent and somewhat of an opportunist. No doubt, we all recognize these as the traits of a good politician. [...]



Graham out as revenue commissioner

2010-12-20T17:16:13Z

Bart Graham, the state's Revenue Commissioner, claims that he has not been offered a position inside the new administration:Gov.-elect Nathan Deal announced Friday that he's replacing State Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham, an official whose meetings with Deal were the subject...

Bart Graham, the state's Revenue Commissioner, claims that he has not been offered a position inside the new administration:

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal announced Friday that he's replacing State Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham, an official whose meetings with Deal were the subject of a House ethics probe into the Republican's actions as a member of Congress.

And the incoming governor's team and Graham are now at odds over whether he's been offered a job in the new administration.

A news release from the Deal transition team on Friday said Graham was being replaced by Doug McGinnitie as state revenue commissioner, but that Graham had agreed to accept a position in the Office of State Treasurer.

But Graham said Friday evening the only thing he'd been told is that he's out as revenue commissioner, a $158,556-a-year post.

"I have not been offered any job by Deal or the transition," Graham said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"If I have been offered a job I would like to know the terms, salary, insurance or anything else relevant to a job offer."

The Office of Congressional Ethics report released earlier this year didn't leave any ambiguity on Deal's top staffer meeting with Graham on keeping his no-bid agreement with the state in place. Graham, who gave testimony to a grand jury concerning Deal's dealings with the state, believed that the program could be done cheaper if it were privatized.

McGinnitie, who will be replacing Graham, ran unsuccessfully against Brian Kemp for Secretary of State in the Republican primary this summer.




Warning to Atlanta Thrashers fans

2010-12-20T16:33:18Z

The Atlanta Thrashers are going the way of the Atlanta Flames:Thirty years after losing the Flames, Atlanta’s hockey fans are on the clock again. The NHL wants the city to show better support for its winning team. Atlanta fans who...

The Atlanta Thrashers are going the way of the Atlanta Flames:

Thirty years after losing the Flames, Atlanta’s hockey fans are on the clock again.

The NHL wants the city to show better support for its winning team.

Atlanta fans who can remember the Flames’ move to Calgary in 1980 don’t have to be told what could happen if poor turnouts continue at Philips Arena.

The Thrashers, blessed with young talent, have a winning record but rank only 28th among 30 NHL teams in attendance.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Friday the league wants to keep the team in Atlanta. He says the team’s owners must consider all options if attendance does not improve and they cannot find additional investors.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Thrashers have put together a good season thus far. They're in first place in their division, and just beat the crap out of the New Jersey Devils, where former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk now plays, in front of the largest crowd of the season.