Do we need to? Not really, thank God.
Scrappy quickly lost his taste for the adventure- by the time I had started the car, he was sitting on the sidewalk, his butt hovering off the surface, and not looking happy. He had over the last two days took some of the quickest bathroom outings in history. I think all yesterday's trips combined wouldn't make a trip at 70 degrees.
I do have a few things in the ol' hopper to chat about for today. So I guess this is kind of an unofficial MWN post. To wit:
ITEM: Came across a Washington Post article in which the rabid Global Warming people tried to point out that one "polar vortex" doesn't mean there's no global warming (of course, they have been so vilified by the term they must call it "climate change" now. I guess that way, if the numbers swing the opposite direction, they can still say, "I told you so!") The article was written in the usual condescending, "since you can't understand simple logic" manner that such articles always are; but one comment left on the article I thought summed up the "idiotic opposition":
The problem with climate models is that it can't, as yet, take in all the data needed to make the model perform as the climate will. Part of this problem lies in that we don't know everything that goes into the making climate or the degree of the effects we do know. Geological data doesn't work well in most models and some ignore this data completely. Climate modelling is very, very inexact.
All that being said, humans do effect climate and we can see that---city heat sinks, agricultural and political mistakes such as the 1930s "dust bowl" or the Soviet Union's attempt to make a cotton industry by draining the Aral Sea also have natural climatic parts to it, though we can for the most part thank human "intervention" for these disasters. But as dramatic as these are they are still "local" events...
To which of course the smart-ass response was "The locality you refer to being the Planet Earth?" Combine such ass-hattery with the continual fall back to "97% of scientists agree on climate change", and you see why I told a minion of GW on FB, "You need to examine for yourself whether you believe because of the science or because of the agenda." Though he apologized later, his first response to that was something along the lines of "the only people who disbelieve are religious conservatives, tea-partiers, and extremists." And I replied to the effect of, "This is not a religious issue. This is a 'I need to do more of my own thinking and stop relying on Bill Nye to do my science' issue. And pretty much proves my point- do you believe the science or the agenda?"
ITEM: Friday, January 3rd, Cubans were allowed to buy foreign cars newer than 1959 without filling out the mountain of government paperwork to get permission for the first time. Those of you that believe Obama isn't a socialist, see if this sounds familiar: The Cuban Government still is the "retailer" for all car purchases; and the cars now available were slapped with a FOUR HUNDRED PER CENT MARK UP. IOW, a 2005 Renault, available outside the island for $3,000, costs a Cuban $25,000. Or to put it another way, if they were sold interest free, it would take the average Cuban, living without money for ANYTHING else, 104 years and 2 months to buy it.
But wait! There is an Obamacare-like consolation here...
The government said all profits would go into a special fund to upgrade public transportation.
Gee, thanks, Raul. The rich get cars for an extortionistic price, and the poor get to ride even more unsafe, dilapidated buses. Socialism really works, don't it?
ITEM: While on the subject of driving safety, here's one from the BBC:
Richard Newton, 36, from Whitby, was filmed driving for about 30 seconds with both hands off the steering wheel, Scarborough Magistrates' Court heard.
He was caught by a police safety camera van on the A171 between Whitby and Guisborough on 9 August.
Mr Newton had argued he was in control of the car but was found guilty of dangerous driving.
He was given a 12-month ban and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He was also fined £625 ($1,024.88) and told he must pay a £60 ($98.39) victim surcharge.
Dave Brown, from North Yorkshire Police said: "This case demonstrates two things. One is the sheer stupidity of some people who put others in danger and the other is the ability of our safety camera to capture a range of offences."
ITEM: On the subject of the BBC, here's another hoot story I found there. To those allergic to links, basically: In Holland's Amsterdam, homeless alcoholics are being given a hot lunch, cigarettes, and- most importantly- beer, on the government's dime, in return for spending 9 AM to 3 PM picking up litter in public parks.
"I have four children and three ex-wives, but alcohol has finished everything. I don't see them, they don't know where I am, or if I am alive. Now I have only him. He is there for 30 years, when times are good and bad, he is always there," (a homeless alcoholic named "Rene") says, referring to his habit.
His affectionate gaze travels downwards. It rests on an aluminum can.
Or, in non-alcoholic terms, "I've ruined the lives of at minimum 8 people including myself, but thank God for litter.
ITEM: I was directed to an article in Rolling Stone by a common sense-challenged individual named Jesse A Myerson called Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should be Fighting For." I thought, knowing the quality of article RS publishes these days, it should be good for a laugh. Lets have a look, shall we? And if you make it to the end, I have a cute picture or two of Scrappy loving on his Daddy to show you...
1. Guaranteed work for every one. "Unemployment blows. The easiest and most direct solution is for the government to guarantee that everyone who wants to contribute productively to society is able to earn a decent living in the public sector. There are millions of people who want to work, and there's tons of work that needs doing – it's a no-brainer." No brainer indeed. How does he intend to get "the public sector" to create all those jobs, when they can't create them NOW? "A job guarantee that paid a living wage would anchor prices, drive up conditions for workers at megacorporations like Walmart and McDonald's, and target employment for the poor and long-term unemployed – people to whom conventional stimulus money rarely trickles all the way down.
The only thing that would trickle down from "driving up conditions for workers at Wal-Mart and McDonalds" would be MORE UNEMPLOYMENT. But wait, he has an "alternate solution":
Some economists have proposed running a job guarantee through the non-profit sector, which would make it even easier to suit the job to the worker. Imagine a world where people could contribute the skills that inspire them – teaching, tutoring, urban farming, cleaning up the environment, painting murals – rather than telemarketing or whatever other stupid tasks bosses need done to supplement their millions.
Imagine a world where non-profits, which depend on the hated rich to give donations to to remain "non-profit", start shriveling up because the hated rich don't feel like contributing to what amounts to nothing more than direct welfare. But wait, it gets better...
2. Social security for all. If you want a peak into this moron's soul, here it comes. "But let's think even bigger. Because as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs. What if people didn't have to work to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone's bank account every month."And where does that money come from? And how is it sustained? and what level do we receive? AND WHO THE HELL DOES ALL THE WORK?
Put another way: A universal basic income, combined with a job guarantee and other social programs, could make participation in the labor force truly voluntary, thereby enabling people to get a life.Martin Quick Quiz: Count up all the things wrong in that one statement and answer in the comments section. Highest number wins.
3. Take back the land. WTH does that mean? Take a deep breath:
Ever noticed how much landlords blow? They don't really do anything to earn their money. They just claim ownership of buildings and charge people who actually work for a living the majority of our incomes for the privilege of staying in boxes that these owners often didn't build and rarely if ever improve. In a few years, my landlord will probably sell my building to another landlord and make off with the appreciated value of the land s/he also claims to own – which won't even get taxed, as long as s/he ploughs it right back into more real estate.
Think about how stupid that is. The value of the land has nothing to do with my idle, remote landlord; it reflects the nearby parks and subways and shops, which I have access to thanks to the community and the public. So why don't the community and the public derive the value and put it toward uses that benefit everyone? Because capitalism, is why.
The most mainstream way of flipping the script is a simple land-value tax. By targeting wealthy real estate owners and their free rides, we can fight inequality and poverty directly, make disastrous asset price bubbles impossible and curb Wall Street's hideous bloat.
Do you see where this is going? This article should have been titled "Pie-In-The-Sky Communism For Idiots." Just leaves out the part where the Government does all these things for HIS buddies; the wealth transfers from one group to another, the poor stay poor, the lazy stay lazy, and nobody is allowed a voice in disputing it. Does he know that the Soviet Union collapsed? But let's go on.
4. Make Everything Owned By Everybody. And he even has a way to do it, and a model to look up to:
"...there's a way easier way to collectivize wealth ownership than having to stage uprisings that seize the actual airplanes and warehouses and whatnot: Just buy up their stocks and bonds. When the government does that, it's called a sovereign wealth fund. Think of it like a big investment fund that buys up assets from the private sector and pays dividends to all permanent U.S. residents in the form of a universal basic income. Alaska actually already has a fund like this in place. If it's good enough for Levi Johnston, it's good enough for you.
Levi Johnston, for those who have forgotten, is the
5. A public bank in every state. "You know what else really blows? Wall Street. The whole point of a finance sector is supposed to be collecting the surplus that the whole economy has worked to produce, and channeling that surplus wealth toward its most socially valuable uses."
I don't think I've ever heard "the finance sector" described that way. I always thought it was a business, one of many. How much money does George Soros "channel towards the most socially valuable uses?" I mean, besides the well over $30 Million he's dumped into Democratic superPACs?
There is only one state that currently has a public option for banking: North Dakota. When North Dakotans pay state taxes, the money gets deposited in the state's bank, which in turn offers cheap loans to farmers, students and businesses.
And I guarantee you, if they're anything like Indiana, Myerson and his ilk will then bitch about the money being given to rich farmers collecting government subsidies for doing nothing. Anyone who doubts me on that, I have a local blogger I can steer you to who spends about 75% of her blogging on that very subject. Because, as you might guess, we have a GOP congressman whose family is in the farming business.
And finally, the pictures: