Archive for February 2008

Michelle Obama is a Socialist

There.  I said it.  And I believe I am right.  My only hope for the Obama administration is that their family is like the Clintons, where Bill was much more moderate than his socialist wife who has held nothing but rent-seeking jobs that gravy-trained off her husbands political position.

"We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we're asking young
people to do," she tells the women. "Don't go into corporate America.
You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers.
Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we're encouraging
our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to
move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then
your salaries respond." Faced with that reality, she adds, "many of our
bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management."

I already covered the idiocy of my fellow Princeton-Harvard grad's rant on student debt here.  And let's be clear:  You have absolutely no ground to criticize the state of the economy because kids of middle class black families are not doing well when you are busy counseling them to embrace low-paying jobs over higher-paying ones.

Update on E-Verify

This is a follow-up to my experience this morning logging on to E-verify for the first time, as required now by Arizona law.  After some research, it is becoming clear to me that the federal government's official position and the one that companies must agree to adopt when using e-verify is this:  When using e-Verify, it is against the law to screen out anyone in the hiring process based on immigration status.  Even if a company were to develop very strong evidence in the hiring process that a person is not a legal worker, that worker must still be hired (or at least not not-hired based on immigration status, if that makes sense).  Then, and only then, after the person is on the payroll, may the company begin the process of checking to see if that person is legal.  After weeks of various government steps, it may be required that the company fire that person, but apparently it could bring strong penalties to fire the person before the process has played out.

Is this nuts or what?  Its like having a job that requires an engineering degree but to not be able to ask during the hiring process if the candidate has an engineering degree and then being forced to fire the person after a few weeks of work for not having an engineering degree.  This is certainly a process that only the government could design, and one that completely ignores the substantial costs associated with taking on a new employee,

What really makes this interesting to me is that the Arizona law that requires the use of this system by Arizona companies was intended to end the use of illegal day laborers.  But in fact, there is absolutely nothing about this system that can be applied to day labor, given the way the timeframes work and the prohibition on pre-screening before the hire.   In fact, rather than being liable day one for hiring an illegal immigrant, one could argue with this system that, as long as one is following the process, a business is covered for weeks of an illegal immigrant's work -- covered so well that it is arguably illegal to fire said illegal alien worker until the multi-week process plays itself out.

Numbers in the Media Are Almost Meaningless

Every time I dig into numbers in a media report, I typically find a real mess.  Russell Roberts finds the situation even worse than average in the recent Washington Post article on middle class finances.

The debt figure of $55,000 in 2004 (which supposedly is 151% higher
than in 1989 to pay for day-to-day expenses) is actually ALL forms of
debt INCLUDING mortgage debt. So how can that be? How can the median
family have only $55,000 of all kinds of debt when there's $95,000 of
mortgage debt all by itself?

That's because each line of the chart (other than the top line and
the bottom line) is a subset of all families and a different subset.

So among families that have mortgage debt (maybe 40-50% of all
families) the median mortgage debt among those families is $95,000.

But among families that have any kind of debt, (about 3/4 of all families) the median indebtednes including all kinds of debt
is $55,000. That includes mortgages debt....

So you can't add up any of the lines of the chart or even compare
them to each other. They're each for a different subset of the
population, the population who have that kind of debt or asset.

Incarceration

Like a lot of folks, I am staggered by the fact that more than 1 in 100 Americans are incarcerated, including approx. 1 in 9 young black men.  I don't have the evidence at my fingertips, but my gut instinct, like many libertarians, is to blame the war on drugs for much of the prison population.  I would have liked to have seen more detail in the PEW Report on how the population breaks down -- ie for what crimes and sentence lengths -- but no such information is available. 

I will say that the PEW report spends way too much time on the utilitarian argument about the costs in public dollars to actually incarcerate these folks.  My sense is that Americans almost never complain about the budgetary costs of incarceration.  They tend to be more than happy, as a group, to pay whatever it takes to keep felons locked away for long periods of time.   I think a much stronger argument is the individual rights complaint that so many people are locked up for what is basically consensual activity.

Why Is "Big Soybean" Getting A Pass?

Would an oil company get roasted for this or what:

Call it a soybean spat. The University of
Minnesota isn't going to receive any research funding from the state's
soybean growers council until the two parties have a heart-to-heart
talk next week.

The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council voted to
temporarily suspend its financial support after a study co-authored by
U researchers in the journal Science said increased use of biofuel
crops like corn and soybeans could worsen global warming, not lessen
it.

The council typically picks up the tab for $1 million to $2
million a year for research on such things as how to increase soybean
yields and how to improve marketing, said Jim Palmer, president of the
Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

The funding relationship has gone on for decades and was good until now, both the growers and the university said.

The study, published Feb. 7 by the University of Minnesota and
the Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group, warned that
converting prairie or peatland to cropland for corn and soybeans would
release more carbon stored in plants and the ground as carbon dioxide,
the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

My dad is a University of Iowa grad and has tried for years to get them to demonstrate a higher quality of scholarship around the ethanol issue.  Good freaking luck.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't... Hell, Damned if You Try To Run Any Kind of Business at All

Arizona state law now requires that employers use the federal e-verify system to screen employees for legal immigrant status.  As I mentioned earlier, state law requires that I use this system in ways that are illegal under federal rules, at the risk of losing my business license.

Right now, I am going through a 6000 screen required tutorial that I have to endure before I can use a system that requires me to fill in about 3 blanks and hit enter.  (Of course, since this is a government system, the tutorial has already crashed twice three five times and I have had to restart it each time).  Somewhere in the midst of the training, I reach this admonition:

You may not discriminate against applicants and employees based upon
their citizenship or immigration status with respect to hiring, firing,
or recruitment or referral for a fee. This includes treating citizens
and non-citizens differently during the hiring process, such as
screening out non-citizens or not hiring lawful immigrants based upon
their immigration status.

WHAT?  Personally, I am all for living by this, but isn't this EXACTLY what the law is requiring me to do?  To discriminate against people, and ban my hiring of them, based on their immigration status?  How can I possibly keep my actions legal if I am required to discriminate based on citizenship status but I am also banned from discriminating in hiring based on citizenship status.  How Orwellian can we get?

To continue the Orwellian theme, as part of this law by the state of Arizona whose sole purpose is to restrict the classes of people I can and can't hire, I must display this poster:

Ocw_poster

Gee, I would have thought everyone in the world had the right to seek work and to contract with anyone they please for their labor, but in fact the only body taking away the right is the group that made this poster -- ie the government -- which requires that everyone have a special government license called citizenship or a green card before they can sell their labor to willing parties in this country.

Well I wondered, of course, why there were 176 (I counted) training screens just to enter name-social-DOB and hit return.  It turns out that by "agreeing" to join the e-Verify program, which I am forced to do by Arizona law, I have agreed to become a US immigration officer and to do their job for them (without compensation, of course).  Here is an example screen:

There are five options for resolving a case:

  • Resolved Authorized. Select this option when employment is authorized.
  • Resolved Unauthorized/Terminated. Select this option when
    employment is not authorized (SSA Final Nonconfirmation, DHS Employment
    Unauthorized, or DHS No Show), or when a Tentative Nonconfirmation
    response is uncontested AND employment is terminated.
  • Self Terminated. Select this option if an employee quits or
    is terminated for reasons unrelated to employment eligibility status
    while the verification query is in process.
  • Invalid Query. Select this option if a duplicate query was discovered after the query was sent or if a query was sent with incorrect data.
  • Employee Not Terminated. Select this option to notify DHS
    that you are not terminating an employee who received an SSA Final
    Nonconfirmation, DHS Employment Unauthorized, or DHS No Show response
    or who is not contesting a Tentative Nonconfirmation response.

Got that?

Every campaign year we get these debates with all of these stupid questions, including things like "do you know how much a gallon of milk costs" or "Who is the head of state of Mayanmar?"  I would just love to see someone ask Obama or Clinton "In the largest city of your state, can you name all of the city, county, state, and federal licenses, registrations, tax numbers, certifications and registrations you need to be able to legally run a business with 10 employees?"

Update: OMG I have to pass a 33-page test before it will let me use the system.  LOL.  We can't test government-employed teachers for subject competency but we can test employers on government bureaucratic procedures before we allow them to hire anyone.

Update #2:  Well, there is an hour and a half of my life I will never get back.  It would have gone much quicker if they had a server that wasn't powered by a hamster on a treadmill.  Every several pages the server would take a minute or more to respond with the next page, and every twenty pages it would crash my browser completely.  Incredibly, to continue the Orwell theme, there were several questions where a correct answer required one to confirm government propaganda about the program.  Stuff like "The e-Verify helps every employer by...."

I am now fully empowered to, as required by US and Arizona law, discriminate in hiring based on immigration status just so long as I am careful not to discriminate in hiring based on immigration status.

No More Mike's Hard Lemonades For Me

OK, perhaps it is a guilty pleasure, but I enjoy downing a couple of Mike Hard Lemonade's on a hot afternoon.  Now, it seems, the Food Nazi's at the Center for Science in the Public Interest want to stop me"

Public Citizen's blog announced that CSPI
plans to sue the beverage sellers, asking for disgorgement of profits
from flavored malt beverages, unless they agree to take them off the
market. Their theory? By making flavored alcoholic beverages that taste
good, they are effectively marketing to children. (Because, after all,
adults don't like beverages that taste good.)

Great Picture

This is an awesome photo.  I am a total sucker for depression-era southern photograph.

Why Charles Bronson and Dirty Harry Were So Popular in the 1970's

Citizens of the US in the 1970's were in shock at how the crime rate was increasing.  In part, this was a demographic shift as a wave of young males more likely to resort to crime bulged through the system.  But this chart showing the great release of mental patients onto the streets in the 1960's and early 1970's points to another potential cause we seldom hear people discuss.

Bernardharcourtvolokh_graph1

Here are US crime rate stats:
Crime

The Irrational Voter

Much has been made of late of the irrational voter, a voter who demands of politicians government economic measures that actually are not in his/her long-term best interest.   For example, a large number of voters want the government to shut down NAFTA, thinking this is in their economic best interest when in fact the evidence is pretty strong that for most of them, it is not.   

What is a gung-ho but thoughtful politician to do?  Do you listen to your experts, who council free trade, or do you pander to the masses?  Do you stick by our trading allies, or do you begin your kindler-gentler foreign policy by unilaterally abrogating treaties with our neighbors. 

Well, if you are the modern presidential candidate, you tell the masses what they want to hear, and then tell our allies you are just kidding.

Update: Cato brings us a great example from North Dakota

Whew

I just got a 15,000 page bid package (yes your read that right) to the shipper, and so my hell period of the last week is pretty much behind me.  In my business, I bid to be a private operator of public and private recreation facilities, usually on a concession basis (description of why a libertarian is providing services to the government here).  In this case, the government body we were bidding with required 16 copies of the bid, so really the bid was only about 900 pages long copied 16 times, but even generating 900 pages of business strategy and operations plans is tiring.  Not to mention the logistics of making 14,000 copies.

While this may seem to be surprising, it is exactly this type of sales process that attracted me, in part, to this business.  Yes, I know, most of you want to barf just thinking about preparing such a document.  However, I knew myself well enough at the age of forty when I got into this to know that I am really, really good at this type of complicated written presentation and that I am really, really bad at face-to-face cold-call selling. 

Postscript:
So far, the business has been fun to run and we have had some real victories in privatizing public recreation, and new opportunities open up every day, as California threatens to close its parks.  We do a fair amount of private work now, as well.  I can't say that dealing with the government, particularly as a libertarian, is always fun, but so far the business has continued to be a pretty fair straight-up bid process with the best bid winning.  However, the moment I start seeing evidence that the bid process is shifting to lobbying and rent-seeking, I'm out of here.  I can't even muster up even the smallest desire to play that game.

Update: TJIC writes:

It's fascinating how modern technologies let introverts (or, at least,
people who aren't skilled or interested in traditional glad-handing)
thrive in fields that are thought to require exactly that sort of thing.

He was right the first time.  I am an introvert.   And this very blog is another great example of his point.

Down With DST

I think that Arizona's decision not to go on DST is a great one.  Being outside in the summer sunshine in Phoenix can be miserable, but the desert cools very quickly once the sun goes down.  The earlier the sun goes down in the summer, the better as far as I am concerned.  Within an hour or two after sunset, it is pleasant to sit and eat and play outside.

A new study seems to show that DST increases electricity use, rather than reducing it.  DST was, if my memory serves, a WWII innovation to save electricity.  It does so quite well if electricity demand is driven mainly by lighting.  It lets one read and function by sunlight in the evening hours.   However, as air conditioning has become a larger element of electricity demand, that equation is changing.  DST can lead to higher air conditioning loads in the evenings.

Our main finding is that"”contrary to the policy's intent"”DST increases
residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase range
from 1 to 4 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant
throughout the DST period. There is some evidence of electricity
savings during the spring, but the effect lessens, changes sign, and
appears to cause the greatest increase in consumption near the end of
the DST period in the fall. These findings are consistent with
simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for
lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. Based on the
dates of DST practice before the 2007 extensions, we estimate a cost of
increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $8.6 million per
year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions
that range from $1.6 to $5.3 million per year.

Danger! Loss of Perspective! Danger!

Via Q&O comes this charming story of PETA asking Sri Lankan terrorists to go back to murdering humans and leave the animals out of it:

An international animal rights group called on Sri Lanka's separatist
Tamil Tigers to "leave animals out" of the armed conflict, two weeks
after a grenade attack blamed on rebels at the island's main zoo.

People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, said in a letter dated
Feb. 15 to Velupillai Prabhakaran, the reclusive rebel leader, that
"the explosive device that was set off near the zoo's bird enclosures
terrified many animals at the zoo."

PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk pleaded with the rebel leader "to leave animals out of this conflict," the letter said.

Newkirk added that the group has been inundated by messages from people saddened by the attack.

There was no immediate comment from rebels to the PETA's letter.

It is an amazing loss of perspective when scaring zoo animals (not even killing them!) gets an organization worked up enough to send out such a letter when just merely killing people did not.

Update on the Science Project

We're having a lot of fun with the post of my son's science project measuring the Phoenix urban heat island.  The original post has nearly 60 comments and at least five long updates.  Go back and read it all, its like a whole new post.

Commenters are slamming my son for having an R-squared that is insufficient (only 84%!)  I have challenged them to post the R-squared of their vinegar and baking soda volcano they did in eighth grade.

Well, I lost My Appeal

The California labor board has ruled, in its infinite wisdom, that my company is responsible* for the unemployment insurance payments to an employee who got hurt when he wrecked his motorcycle on his own time and was physically unable to work.  So an employee gets hurt in his off time and leaves us in the lurch when he can't work during our busiest season, and we owe him money for staying home?  Other issues I have with California unemployment here.  The original post about the ruling I was trying to appeal is here.

* Being responsible means that these payments go into the calculation for our unemployment insurance premiums.  Effectively the premiums we pay this year are calculated to match the payouts to our employees (or ex-employees) last year.

The More Things Change....

Professor Lance Endersbee, via Tom Nelson:

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the climate in Europe was cold
and unpredictable. Crops failed. Famine followed famine, bringing
epidemics.  There was a belief that crop failures must be due to human wickedness.

But who were the wicked ones? 

It
was believed that there must be some witches who are in the grip of the
devil. Witches were named, Inquisitors tested their faith, and a large
number of poor souls were condemned and burnt at the stake. For decade
after decade, fires burned in most towns in Europe.

Fast-forward to our "enlightened" society today:

"Every time a child dies as a result
of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of
his office and drowned
," for causing global warming, rants UK
firebrand George Monbiot. Government leaders "should go to jail" for
failing to act more quickly to prevent planetary climate cataclysm,
insists Canadian eco-zealot David Suzuki. These assertions range from
simplistic and outrageous to straight out of Lewis Carroll.
...
Eco-alarmists
tell impoverished Africans that global warming is the greatest threat
they face "“ when Al Gore uses more electricity in a week than 100
million Africans together use in a year. Those people rarely or never
have electricity and must burn wood and animal dung, resulting in lung
diseases that cause millions of deaths annually. Yet alarmists oppose
fossil fuel power plants, as well as nuclear and hydroelectric projects
"“ guaranteed that Africa's poverty and death toll will continue.

Food-Miles: Most Moronic Metric Ever?

For some reason, a group of people on this earth have convinced themselves that food-miles, or the distance food had to travel from the farm to the table, is somehow relevant to the environment.   Food-miles is one of the best examples of the very common environmental practice of looking at a single factor out of context of the entire system. I have written about the food-miles stupidity before.

We actually have a name for the system in which food-miles are reduced to their theoretical minimum:  Subsistence farming.  It used to be that most food was grown just a few feet from the table where it was eventually eaten because nearly everyone was a subsistence farmer (or hunter or gatherer).  We abandoned this system, and thereby increased food miles, for a number of reasons:

  • It is very inefficient, not just from labor inputs but from a land use standpoint as well.  Some places are well suited to potato or rice production and others are less so.  It makes a ton of sense to grow things on soils and in climates where they are well-suited rather than locally everywhere. 
  • It doesn't work very well in a lot of areas.  Subsistence farming here in Arizona is not very practical, and would use a ton of water
  • It leads to starvation.  Even rich countries like France were experiencing periodic famines just 150 years ago or so.

But the main reason food miles and local subsistance farming is stupid is that it has nothing to do with environmental health.  Everyone looks at the energy to transport food, but no one looks at the extra energy cost (not to mention the land use cost) of growing food locally in climates and soils to which the food is not well-suited.  To this point:

European consumers shunning imported food supposedly to limit climate
change should not make African farmers a scapegoat, a Brussels
conference has been told.

In Britain, several supermarkets have
begun labelling products flown into the country with stickers marked
"air-freighted," to reflect concern about the contribution of aviation
to global warming.

But Benito Müller, a director at the Oxford
Institute for Energy Studies, dismissed the concept of food miles as
"an extremely oversimplified indicator" of ecological impact.

Saying
he was "really angry" with the implicit message that agricultural
produce from Africa should be avoided, Müller claimed that less
greenhouse gas emissions are often emitted from the cultivation and
transport of such goods than they would be if grown in Europe.

Strawberries
imported from Kenya during the winter, he maintained, have a lower
"carbon footprint," a measure to ascertain the effect of a method of
production on the environment "” than those grown in a heated British
greenhouse, even when their transport by air from Africa is taken into
account.

Ethanol Update

Q&O has a great extended post on the ongoing ethanol fallacy.  But the farmers love the rent-seeking:

Crops

I Wonder if This Is Related?

Megan McArdle had a stat the other day that was pretty depressing, related to the number of kids of middle class African-Americans that appear to fall back into poverty:

A chapter of the report released last fall found startling evidence
that a majority of black children born to middle-class parents grew up
to have lower incomes and that nearly half of middle-class black
children fell into the bottom fifth in adulthood, compared with 16
percent of middle-class white children

That is not good, though I am always suspicious of income statistics (for example, income statistics show me as close to or below the poverty line over the last few years, a function of an entrepreneurial startup).

Then I saw all the silly to-do about Michelle Obama's senior thesis at Princeton (I can't say I honestly even know what my wife's thesis was about).  But what got me to thinking was the fact that as an African-American Ivy League student, she felt compelled to study and write her thesis about race.  I started to remember a disproportionate number (but by no means all) of my middle-class African-American Ivy League acquaintances studied and wrote on the same thing - race.  This means that while I was studying engineering, which had obvious value in the workplace, many blacks are studying a topic that has no marketplace value except to get a very low paying job in a non-profit somewhere.  Which is all fine and good if that is what people want to do, but if blacks are worried their kids are not financially successful, they should consider whether its smart that, while other kids are studying subjects that will get them ahead, their kids are studying a subject that seems to focus mainly on explaining to them why they will never get ahead.

Update:  I want to be careful not to call race / gender / group identity majors "worthless."  Worthless is in the eye of the beholder, and if a student values such a course of study, then it has worth.  However, by the same token, the student should be prepared for the fact that most of the world, particularly the subset called "hiring managers", does not value degrees in majors that have little practical application outside of academia and which have a reputation in general for having low academic standards.  The student does not have to accept the rest of the world's judgement of her degree, but in turn the student can't demand that the rest of the world adopt hers.

In fact, when I made these comments, I didn't know Ms. Obama's choice of course of study.  Knowing that now, it is even more amazing to me that she sees her student debt experience as an average data point indicating a structural flaw in the economy instead of the fact that she chose perhaps the most expensive college in the country and then chose to dedicate four years of study to a major that is nearly impossible to monetize in the job market.

IKON: The Perfect Storm of Suck

I had a really bad day today. 

I have a 18,000 page proposal (actually 18 copies of a 1000 page proposal) due next week.  I had a new color printer ordered from IKON Office Solutions scheduled to arrive last week.  When I got in town this morning, I found no copier, even a week after it was promised.  No call, no warning -- just no printer.  I called and my sales guy had no idea what was going on, despite the fact that I had been adamant that I needed to hit this date.  Apparently, he never even bothered to check the schedule.

Anyway, he promised an immediate call back but never called.  I called him again on his cell at noon and he acted like he had forgotten to check and promised to talk to his boss.  An hour later it was confirmed -- I was not getting my equipment in time for this bid.  I told them they could therefore keep it, and I would call Xerox.  I absolutely cannot stand companies that require me to do constant checking and expediting in order for them to deliver on their promises.  I can't tell you how many times I have been promised an immediate call-back from IKON "within the hour" for service only to have to call again and again over the following days to get any response.  I would not have contracted for this new machine in the first place if I wasn't already locked in an IKON lease they won't let me out of -- this would at least have gotten me a better machine for the money.

In the mean time, I prepared to do the proposal mostly in black and white with bits of color from the laser printer.  I was going to use my high speed B&W copier I had under lease from IKON, and which we were planning to replace with the new machine that never showed up.  I had a technician from IKON out just last week to check it so I knew it was in good shape.  WRONG.

Within minutes of use, the machine began spitting out horrible copies.  Looking inside, it was clear something in the heat-finisher was unraveling and very broken.  I called service and was given an emergency designation and assured of a call in one hour.  Nothing.  So I called again, and was again assured that I would definitely hear from a technician in one hour.  Nothing.  Now, everyone has gone home, and the messages all say they will get back to me on Monday, when it will be too late.  I called my sales person on his cell phone tonight (the one that was begging me a few hours earlier, asking me what he could do to save my business) and was told there was nothing he could do and he had no way of getting in touch with a dispatcher or any real human service person until Monday.  Right, they are willing to do anything for me except what they are supposed to do.

So here I am, with a thousand dollar a month copier that doesn't copy, a color copier that is not here, and the prospect of spending all weekend and a couple grand at Kinko's to get my proposal out.

IKON has been informed that they are now in breach of their service contract and may come by any time and pick up their boat anchor.

Oh Crap, I Agree With Paul Krugman!

Paul Krugman, on ethanol:

I'm almost never censored at the Times. However, I was told that I couldn't use the lede I originally wrote for my column
following the 2007 State of the Union address, in which Bush made
ethanol the centerpiece of his energy strategy: "Before the State of
the Union address, there had been hints and hopes that President Bush
would offer a serious plan to reduce our dependence on imported oil.
Instead, however, he took refuge in alcohol."

Well, anyway - the news on ethanol just keeps getting worse. Bad for the economy, bad for consumers, bad for the planet - what's not to love?

Well, I have heard that he was a pretty good economist before he became a political hack.

Measuring Urban Heat Islands

My son finished his science fair project to measure the Phoenix urban heat island, the effect the IPCC swears is too small to have an effect on surface temperature measurements.  See all his results at Climate Skeptic.

Experience is in the Eye of the Beholder

Via TJIC, on Hillary:

In 1973 she worked for a non profit.

In 1974 she was a government employee.

In 1975 she failed the D.C bar exam, and married Bubba.

In 1976 she joined the Rose Law Firm, and somehow made partner
three years later in 1979, despite rarely appearing in court "¦a
stunningly quick rise!

Oh, and Bubba became the Governor of Alabama in 1976, but that's unrelated.

In 1976 she was made, through political appointment by Jimmy
Carter, head of a government funded non-profit corporation which did
nothing but launch lawsuits.

In 1978 she laundered $100,000 of bribes through cattle
trading contracts. Despite having never engaged in cattle trading
before, she somehow managed to pick the two best times to trade each
day: she bought cattle contracts at the absolute lowest price each day,
and sell them at the absolute highest price. After laundering the
bribes, she quite cattle trading forever.

From 1993 to 2001, Hillary attempted, from her unelected
position, to socialize American health care, and routinely violated
open meetings laws.

In 2000 Hillary carpet-bagged her way into a senatorship.

Women's groups seem to be supporting Hillary's contention that being married to the President counts as presidential experience.  Wow!  If that is the case, the glass ceiling is exploded!  Melinda Gates has 20 years of experience as Microsoft CEO!

I'd like to say that I would love to see someone who has actually tried to run his/her own business running for the White House, but most of the candidates who claim to have business experience seem to have the politically-connected rent-seeking business experience (e.g. GWB) rather than the real try to make a business work against the general headwind of government bureaucratic opposition type of experience.

Kept Down by the Man

I think it's so cute when my fellow Princeton grads who pull down nearly a half million dollars a year complain about being put down by "the man."

Blaming your student debt on the structure of the economy when you chose to go to the most expensive school in the country is a bit like trying to get sympathy for the size of the note on your Lamborghini. 

By the way, lost in all this is the fact that Princeton is one of the two schools in the country that now help students graduate debt-free.  In most cases, Princeton has replaced student loans with outright grants. Somehow she kind of forgot to mention that Princeton solved this problem years ago, without even a whiff of government intervention. 

With Universal Health Care, It's No Longer Your Body

I have chided women's groups for the inconsistency of supporting choice and freedom from government coercion when it comes to decisions about their bodies, but at the same time lobbying for universal government health care.  If after my previous posts you still fail to see the inherent contradiction, try this story:

A Winnipeg case currently winding its way to its grim conclusion pits
the children of Samuel Golubchuk against doctors at the Salvation Army
Grace General Hospital. According to the pleadings, Golubchuk's doctors
informed his children that their 84-year-old father is "in the process
of dying" and that they intended to hasten the process by removing his
ventilation, and if that proved insufficient to kill him quickly, to
also remove his feeding tube. In the event that the patient showed
discomfort during these procedures, the chief of the hospital's ICU
unit stated in his affidavit that he would administer morphine.

Golubchuk
is an Orthodox Jew, as are his children. The latter have adamantly
opposed his removal from the ventilator and feeding tube, on the
grounds that Jewish law expressly forbids any action designed to
shorten life, and that if their father could express his wishes, he
would oppose the doctors acting to deliberately terminate his life.

In
response, the director of the ICU informed Golubchuk's children that
neither their father's wishes nor their own are relevant, and he would
do whatever he decided was appropriate. Bill Olson, counsel for the ICU
director, told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that physicians have
the sole right to make decisions about treatment "” even if it goes
against a patient's religious beliefs "” and that "there is no right to
a continuation of treatment."...

The claim of absolute physician discretion to withdraw life-support
advanced by the Canadian doctors would spell the end of any patient
autonomy over end-of-life decisions. So-called living wills, which are
recognized in many American states, and which allow a person to specify
in advance who should make such decisions in the event of their
incapacity, would be rendered nugatory.

I find the discussion of the "duty to die" to save the state money especially chilling.  This story is also in the save vein.