Shocking headline, right? So how did I fall into this discovery? Well, a friend of mine, Bill Johnson, made a post to his facebook wall about the Obama Birth Certificate, and two discrepancies on it. I, not subscribing to the birther notion, set out to prove it wrong. The first problem, the name of the hospital, was easily resolved. The second problem, however, was a little more difficult. Here it is, as laid out in Bill's post. "If you check a map of Africa from 1961, you will notice that the country of Kenya is not on it. In fact, the country of Kenya did not exist until 1963. It was known as British East Africa until 1963." So I set out to get the scoop on this, when I found this article from Media Matters.
As the war over the debt crisis wages on, tempers are beginning to flare. Today, John McCain blasted the Tea Party on the floor of the United States Senate. I suppose at this point I should do the obligatory hat tip to the Tea Party and point out that they are not a party, they just call themselves that. They are actually just an organization that has no official organization. And while they have no leader, they have no shortage of people called leaders who can go on FOX News and point out that they are not leaders before they give you the official stance of the party that isn't a party. Did I get that right, Tea Party? Anyhow, as anyone who has listened to my show for more than ten minutes or read many of my articles would know, I am no John McCain fan. However, what he said today needed to be said. Here it is.
Score another victory for Michelle Obama and her roving band of food Nazis. Today, McDonald's announced that the "Happy Meal" will be getting a makeover. For the past couple of years, children have had the option of choosing between hot tasty french fries, or cold bland apple slices. It make shock you to find out that 89% of children chose the hot tasty french fries, but according to McDonald's, only 11% opted for the healthier apples. Now typically, in a world where free market capitalists are left to do what the market tells them, I would be typing an article to inform the 11% of children out there not to worry, as McDonald's was getting rid of the apples and their parents could never force them to eat the wretched things again. However, in the quasi-capitalist system we now live under, I am here to inform the 89% of kids that, like it or not, you're going to get apples with your happy meal. Here's how McDonald's tried to drown out the crying children with some positive spin.
Forgive me if I seem to be celebrating a bit here over what will come as bad news to some, but years ago I had applied a healthy dose of common sense to this problem so I didn't have to wait for this study to come out to realize the "shocking" information I am about to deliver. Hippies, left-wingers, vegans, and loose nuts of all shapes and sizes, grab a box of tissues and a good comfortable seat. I know I am the last person you want to hear this from, but your organic food is killing you. I know, I know. I'm nuts, right? I'm the crazy guy that won't eat the food you found in the woods while you were hunting. I'm the guy that says if God wanted you to eat that turkey he would have wrapped it in plastic and put a Butterball sticker on it. So what do i know, right? Well, my organically inclined friends, read the Hudson Institute and weep.
Truck drivers frequently find themselves saying that they are in the wrong line of work. Consider a driver who makes $.40 a mile, a decent rate of pay in the industry. To drive 5 miles from a truck stop to a repair shop, he would get paid $2.00. Yet to get towed there, he will pay the tow truck operator $350.00. Is that a bit exaggerated? Then try this one on for size. The driver pays $3.60 for a gallon of fuel. That is certainly a fair price, below the national average. Let's assume he is very conscious of fuel savings, operates the vehicle efficiently, and gets 8 miles to the gallon. That is certainly higher than average. Yet even in these optimal circumstances, the driver receives $.40 cpm from his company, yet the truck stop receives $.45 cpm for the fuel he is burning in the course of his work. Still not enough for you?
The same driver picks up a meat load, and hauls it 500 miles to a grocery warehouse. He spends one hour at the shipper dropping his trailer and hooking up to the loaded, then eight hours driving to the receiver where he waits three hours to get unloaded. For that 12 hours of work, he is compensated $200.00. Meanwhile, the lumper he hires to unload the meat he just hauled there receives $200.00 for his four hours of work unloading the trailer.
Yes, it is fair for the driver to consider the possibility that he might be in the wrong line of work. That's why it struck me as a bit humorous this past week when I saw another industry receive an even larger jolt than the average trucker receives on a daily basis. Zynga, the company who created the game Farmville for facebook, went public at an estimated net worth of 20 billion dollars. It is now officially more profitable to get people to sit in front of their computer pretending to farm than it is to actually farm. They plant nothing, and nothing grows. They get up early to collect their eggs, but nobody can eat them. They raise livestock, yet they never produce a steak. They don't plow and plant their way to a living, they copy and paste someone else to theirs. They are e farmers who measure their success in points instead of crop yields, and friends lists instead of acres. To the real farmers, I feel your pain.
I'm not saying that anyone should quit driving and create a trucker game for facebook, but it might not be an entirely bad idea. You could get up in the morning and scramble to your computer to click your pre-trip inspection button before the cyber smokey raids the rest area you parked at. Characters could hire local thugs to create a diversion so they don't get a parking ticket while they are unloading at a dock that was designed for a 45' trailer leaving them hanging out into the road. They could lose points for parking their truck at a truck stop that does not have wi fi, and gain points for kicking the lot lizards out of the parking lot. Players could come home from a long day of work and hop on the computer to kick their e driver onto the sleeper berth line before they go to bed. At least when they wake up in the morning, they will have a couple of hours to tend to their fake farm while they wait in the dock at the imaginary shipper.
This week, the Supreme Court decided that a California law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors is a violation of the Constitution. Retailers will no longer be able to restrict the sale of violent games to customers based on their age. While this issue is not a particularly important one to me, I realize that some people have produced data that seems to suggest that it is possible that entertainment forms that include violence can lead to acting out violently in "real life". However, I discount these studies because they never address the offsetting issue of people who use these violent games as a from of venting or stress relief that may help keep them from acting out violently in other situations.
I didn't necessarily want to write on this topic, but this trial is frustrating me more and more on a daily basis. Going into the trial I assumed, like most of America still does, that Casey was guilty of murdering her daughter. At this point, the only thing that seems clear to me is that the defense has little or no case. Did Casey do it? I suppose it is likely that she did. Can the Prosecution prove it? It is becoming painfully obvious that they cannot surpass the reasonable doubt expectations of the law. Will they get a conviction? Perhaps. If nothing else, Casey appears to be a bad mother and an unlikeable figure and that may play out well for them. If they get the conviction, will it stand? Not a chance in hell.
In a private meeting with a group of bloggers today, a White House staffer revealed that the Obama Administration is having difficulties reaching their supporters. "We are not concerned that they no longer stand behind us, as these are very loyal people" he said, yet attempts to reach them had revealed that many of them "are no longer able to pay their phone bills or afford internet service". He said that approximately 65% of their email list was no longer able to access the internet, and nearly 40% of their call list was "temporarily not in service due to non payment". He said that the President was "aware but not overly concerned" with this development.
According to one White House aid, the President had put together a crew to reach out to these supporters with communications they could still afford to receive, even if his policies continue to turn the economy for the worse. Some of the ideas they are considering include handing out flyers in unemployment lines, stapling brochures to park benches, and purchasing ad space on place-mats at soup kitchens. "Our supporters are out there", he said. "We just have to find a way of reaching them".