Monday, April 25, 2011

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXX (Special Edition)

Recent headline: "Taliban Break at least 480 Out of Afghan Prison."

Best comment regarding that story: "I'm amazed the screws at the Kandahar prison didn't recognize something was afoot when inmate Akbar Dufresne asked for that Rita Hayworth poster."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Like the light bill, groceries, clothes...

In his speech about the budget today, Barack Obama said that we couldn't "afford" tax breaks (for the wealthy, of course -- to him, they get all the tax "breaks.")

A tax "break," a tax "cut" -- whatever you want to call it -- means that people get to keep more of their own money.  To most of us, that translates to "take-home pay."  So his point of view is that letting Americans keep more of their own money is an expense.  To him, to Democrats, to the government.  

Your paycheck is a bill the government has to pay, a bill Obama thinks the government can't afford..

Monday, April 04, 2011

A guy's movie - in the form of a BMW commercial

Tony Scott's Beat the Devil, a 2002 commercial for German carmaker BMW.

How slavery really ended in America

A fantastic New York Times article -- yes, I said it -- adapted from Adam Goodheart's book 1861: The Civil War Awakening.  The article details how a northern military commander, Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler, forced Abraham Lincoln to actually confront the issue of slavery and compelled the Emancipation Proclamation.

The article is timely in that it shows how decisions made by small, relatively (and previously) unknown citizens, clerks and bureaucrats can determine the fate of the larger world.  A clerical error and an East German commander who couldn't get anyone on the phone brought down the Berlin Wall.  A Tunisian fruit vendor who refused to pay a bribe sets off the revolution currently rocking the Arab world. And a fort's commander who couldn't get a straight answer from politicians -- sound familiar? -- formed the philosophy and established the practice that freed slaves in America.