Monday, February 13, 2012

Walking Backwards

The President's recently submitted budget is slated to kill the D.C. school voucher program called the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

School vouchers have proved a huge success, giving parents choice in how their tax dollars go to providing an education to their children.  Opponents of the voucher program attempt to find every possible failure of individual students, and use those failures to draw a bleak picture of the program.

Yet the overall facts don't support detractor's theories.

But, when you support increased government control over people's lives (as the administration does...and it's not just Democrats, you know) and when you must appease a union powerhouse (aka the teacher's unions)... kill individual choice.

"The D.C. OSP (Opportunity Scholarship Program--aka, School Voucher program) has been highly successful. According to federally-mandated evaluations of the program, student achievement has increased, and graduation rates of voucher students have increased significantly. While graduation rates in D.C. Public Schools hover around 55 percent, students who used a voucher to attend private school had a 91 percent graduation rate.

And at $8,000, the vouchers are a bargain compared to the estimated $18,000 spent per child by D.C. Public Schools.

The Department of Education’s budget will increase 3.5 percent if the proposal is enacted, continuing a failed trend of spending more taxpayer dollars through Washington on a myriad of programs with a poor track record.

By contrast, the D.C. OSP has a stellar track record of increasing academic success, student safety, and parental satisfaction. And because of the nature of the District of Columbia (education in D.C. is under the jurisdiction of Congress), it is entirely appropriate for the federal government to fund the D.C. OSP."

Less money for people to make the best choices for themselves and more money for central planners.

Yup, walking backwards on the road to recovery and moving forward on the Road to Serfdom.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


So, as I get ready to be punched in the face by my next advanced management accounting exam, I thought I would share some simple rules of life that I might not remember after the next 4 hours.

1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a BMW than on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard's name.

3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

Hope that helps.  Ok, off to the firing squad.

Monday, February 6, 2012

All the News That's Fit To Print

Hat tip to one of my Saturday morning breakfast friends.


1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave LA to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are Democrats.

10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

The Unemployment Calculation: Abbott and Costello Style

When you study basic economics, you learn the many ways to count the unemployment rate...and then learn the the government calculates it very absurdly.  You see, if you are out of work, and stop looking for work because (1) there's none to be had or (2) you just quit, you don't get counted anymore!  Wow, our numbers just got better (because an unemployed dropped off the radar)!

Here's a "Who's on First" explanation:

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 17%

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 17%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 17% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 9%...

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 17%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 17% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed?

ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work... Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 17%. You don't want to read about 17% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Commie Conspiracy and Precious Bodily Fluids

Well, you know, sometimes I've got nothin'...

So, I live in California.  Let me tell you, there is no shortage of craziness I can blog on from day to day.  It's not a challenge, really, so I end up not blogging at all.  I don't feel it's fair to pick on those who do not think for themselves and allow emotion and illogical reactions to guide their lives.

As I was looking through the local headlines, I noticed a city nearby that has fought the fluoridation of their water.  You heard me right...they don't want fluoride in their water.

The libertarian in me applauds their "we don't want government to tell me what's good and what's bad" attitude. But, in this case, the government is right.  Fluoridation has saved millions of teeth and prevented millions of cases of dental disease and decay.  If you don't believe me, try watching some British...or even American...movies from the 50's and 60's.  Heck, Mike Myers made a small fortune playing off the reality of bad British teeth.

So, as I read....

WATSONVILLE, Calif. -- A decade-long battle between state health officials who wanted fluoride in Watsonville's drinking water to improve oral health, and Watsonville city leaders who opposed it, ended Thursday.  The California Dental Association Foundation pushed for and introduced fluoride into several California cities' tap water. The CDAF argued that low-income families that cannot afford visits to the dentist's office greatly benefited.  Water fluoridation was cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the top-10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century.  But the controversial idea of pumping fluoride into Watsonville, where many elementary school students already have decaying teeth, is dead in the water.  Resistance from city leaders and local groups, coupled with pricey contracts for the project, combined to cause the CDAF to throw its hands in the air and give up Thursday, CDAF officials said.

...I wondered, "why?".  Why would the city fight this tooth and nail?  Has fluoridation caused ill health? Have their been outbreaks of fluoride disease?  Has their been a huge conspiracy cover-up in the fluoridation of water?

No.  Not at all.  As a matter of fact, it's one thing that government got right.

Why would the city fight this?  You know, I really don't know.  I have no clue.  But what I do know is this...

...the below clip is the most perfect clip I have ever matched with a blog post.