Friday, October 31, 2008

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them?

I picked up a free subscription to the Economist, a UK-based weekly magazine, using frequent flier miles. I started reading it casually while in business school, and usually liked what it had to say. If offers a different perspective--not another parroting of the American MSM.

The latest article that caught my eye was on p. 43 of the print edition. (URL here)

The article discusses the Mormon work ethic, and how the economy in Mormon-dominated Utah continues to grow--and unemployment remains low compared to regional neighbors. Two pieces of this article stuck out to me, and I quote them here:

The "cultural thing", as businessmen from out fo state delicately refer to Mormonsim, helps in other ways. Utah's almost universal conservatism makes for stable, consensual politics. It took the state legislature just two days last month to plug a $272M hole in the budget. By contrast, California's budget was 85 days late. Nevada's politicians are preparing for a nasty fiscal fight next year.
Mormons do not come to work nursing hangovers, and they are inclined to stay put in the promised land rather than pursue better-paying jobs elsewhere. Matthew Donthnier, who is hiring for a new Proctor & Gamble plant, has only one complaint about the local workforce: it can be a little difficult to persuade people to toil on Sundays.
"I teach people correct principles and let them govern themselves." -- Joseph Smith

Friday, October 17, 2008

Every Once in a While--You Pause...

I never knew Stephen Fortunato, yet I am fortunate that he served me--and the rest of America--for all the right reasons. I want to thank him and the thousands of others like him for selflessly serving me and the rest of this great nation of America, and for giving his life in that struggle. It would seem by the included blog post which he wrote, that the sacrifice he made was done so willingly, with a clear head and with gratitude for the opportunity.

From Boston Globe:

If I may …

I'd like to say something....Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush's agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the "war on terrorism." i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America's sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.

I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don't care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don't care if you don't think our freedom within America's borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America's power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There's nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.

I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else's country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.

...One last thing...a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn't that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That's are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don't try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.

Thank you, Spec. Fortunato. Rest in peace.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I think I just wet my pants laughing.




Umm...Let's do the Math.

At first glance, this story from looks terrific. Voter registrations in Indianapolis are up. People are taking a stake in the elections. I've always said that it's shameful to have anything less than a 90% turnout in elections (hey, you get sick, you travel, it happens--100% is a pipe dream).

Well, apparently, 100% was setting the bar too low for Indianapolis. According to some quick math figures by blogger Ogden on Politics, there are now officially 105% of the eligible voters in Indianapolis registered to vote. Uh.

I notice that Say Anything has made the obvious connection. Yes. ACORN has an office in Indy.

Photoshop courtesy of Blind Mule.

Monday, October 06, 2008

First Rule of Nate Club: Don't Talk About Nate Club

Nate loves his bike. Nate loves to ride. Nate's bike is about a half-inch too big for him. Nate goes down hills on the Boise Greenbelt. Nate goes downhill under bridges. Idiots stand under bridges in the bike lane. Nate hits idiots who stand under bridges in the bike lane. Nate's Dad wants to cold-cock the idiots who stand in bike lanes acting as targets for five year-olds who are riding down hills under bridges on Greenbelts.

Contrary to what this picture shows, Nate is not trying to become a cage fighter or even taking Rex Kwon-do classes. I just wish Nate were my size, because the idiot who was standing in the bike lane in the dusk under the bridge would've taken the worst of it.

Keep on riding, Nate. We'll get him next time!