Unusual, yes. Interesting – I’ll let you decide. Entertaining – eh.
From the auteur’s description on the YouTube site:
An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict. For a breakdown of the actual battles portrayed in the film, visit: http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfi...136 For the official cheat sheet (breakdown of the foodstuffs), visit: http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfi...137 Now, to answer some FAQs... - The food in this film was consumed either by myself or my dog after shooting. None of the cast went to waste. - The software used was photoshop and after effects. - The film took me 3 months to do. - Although it seems like stop motion, most of it was stop motion created within After effects, using keyframe animation. I am basically moving the food around within the the program, frame by frame, which is the same as traditional stop motion, only it's digital.
Steele’s position is that Republicans should paint legalization of gay marriage as bad for small business owners.
Admittedly, that’s a diversionary tactic.
But Olbermann’s response was bizarre. He drew two non sequitars. First, the equivalence between:
Gay couples spending their own money on themselves, and
Small business owners spending their own money on other people (e.g., their gay employees’ partners).
Gay couples choosing how to spend their own money, and
Small business owners being forced to spend their own money (on their gay employees’ partners).
It gets worse. He stresses the economic benefits of adding gays to the marriage and wedding market. The thing is, nothing is preventing gays from spending their money this way – on what amounts to a big party - currently. In this regard, gays are in the same boat as small business owners: nothing is stopping them from voluntarily spending their money in Olbermann’s preferred way right now. Does that mean the solution to this lack of spending to make it involuntary? For Keith Olbermann, the answer is yes.
I think it’s very sad that so much of the gay marriage debate is about money not equality. A lot of people are in denial about that.
To see this, note that there are really 3 sorts of outcomes for gay couples: 1) they’re unequal to straight couples, 2) they’re equal and they both get extra benefits from society, or 3) they’re equal and they don’t get extra benefits from society.
With some issues – like visitation rights in hospitals – gay rights groups have made it clear that they would settle for either 2 or 3 (although 2 is clearly preferable).
But, when it comes to using the legal system to tell other people how to spend their money, choice 3 does not get mentioned.
When was the last time you heard a gay marriage advocate assert that benefits should be taken away from straight couples because they’re discriminatory?
Perhaps they should: one of the big successes of the (traditional) civil rights movement was the winning argument that equality meant not only more privileges for blacks but also less privileges for whites.
This isn’t getting said at all about benefits for gay spouses. I think a big reason for this is that privileges are a warm fuzzy, but job benefits are about filthy lucre.
And yet, the biggest benefit of all – a third-party payer healthcare system - is a historical accident left behind by Rooseveltian central planners.
Mind you – Rooseveltian central planners who, in keeping with the times, were pretty openly prejudiced against just about everyone, gays included.
The bottom line is that I feel alone: I have nothing against gay marriage, but I have problems with stapling it onto a policy that was supposed to be temporary and expedient but which now appears permanent and bloated. Why on Earth is the litmus test for gay sensitivity the willingness to feed gays into a system that slobbers rapaciously on all of us like Jabba the Hutt?
I don’t read every Maureen Dowd column, but I did read Sunday’s.
And … I thought she made a particularly good point that Bushies like me need to think about.
More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.
For a quick first try, I asked it how far it was from Buffalo, New York to Cedar City, Utah (I’ll be driving this soon, and will hopefully be somewhere on the prairie 2 weeks from now).
It came back with an answer of 1831 flying miles, and a whole lot of useless information I didn’t ask for.
This is a whole lot better than Google, which responded to the exact same plain English question with 84K hits. At the top of the list were home improvement stores in Buffalo, a query someone posted about a town near Cedar City, and a query about how far it was from Dallas to Laredo (???).
First point to Wolfram|Alpha. But no second point, since it never really got the idea of driving as opposed to flying miles.
UPDATE: Panetta has sent out an e-mail to all CIA employees confirming that his position is that Pelosi is lying. Via Politico.
UPDATE: FOXNews is reporting that Pelosi has defended herself by misrepresenting a 2003 letter from Democratic rival Jane Harman. The letter in question shows that Harman, who succeeded Pelosi as the Democratic House member who would necessarily be briefed on “enhanced interrogation techniques”, knew full well that they were being used very early in her tenure in that position.
I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I've seen in my lifetime. [emphasis added]
More to the point:
"Speaker Pelosi's the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent, or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses,” Gingrich said. “The fact is she either didn't do her job, or she did do her job and she's now afraid to tell the truth.”
It’s worth emphasizing for folks that aren’t connecting all the dots that Leon Panetta – the Clinton White House veteran appointed by Obama to bring the Bush CIA in line with the Democratics – is the one who brought this to a head. His support and submission of his staff’s evidence on this tells us that he thinks she’s a liar.
I guess we’ll be finding out how badly Steny Hoyer wants Pelosi’s job.
Nearly three months after President Obama approved a $787 billion economic stimulus package, intended to create or save jobs, the federal government has paid out less than 6 percent of the money, largely in the form of social service payments to states.
So, most of the stimulus hasn’t been stimulating yet.
It gets worse: theories that assert that stimulus is possible are always careful to point out that the effects of things like “social services payments” are nil. In order to get stimulus you actually have to buy things that wouldn’t be bought otherwise – and transfers for social services don’t do that.
Moving on, the article is a rich source for other juicy tidbits that again … are not connected very well.
Here’s Joe Biden’s unusual math:
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who writes in a report on the stimulus bill to be released this week that it remains “ahead of schedule” …
“We’re 85 days into a two-year program here …
Let’s see: 85 days out of 730 is 11.6%, yet they’ve only spent $45.6B out of $787B or 5.7%. How’s that ahead of schedule?
At that pace they’ll only spend $392B by the end of two years. I wonder if they’ll give the other $395B back? In their defense, they’re only:
… Committed to spending 70 percent of the money, or $550.9 billion, within the first two years.
Fair enough: will they return the $159B that it doesn’t seem like they’ll get around to disbursing?
Of course, there’s also the promises:
… Federal I.O.U.’s — the government has made $88 billion worth of commitments so far …
If we count these, they’re actually ahead of schedule.
What I wonder though is why we should count the I.O.U.’s of institutions that are directly connected to the ability to print money! I understand the macroeconomics and institutional constraints here on that connection, but my point is more philosophical: we’re not talking about uncashed checks here, but rather unwritten ones. Would you count that?
Then there’s this frightening prospect:
… A federal government that has often been caricatured as profligate has begun trying to spend money as quickly as possible and has become fixated, to use the new Washington catch phrase, with “getting money out the door.”
And yet they don’t seem to be able to do it.
Then there’s job saving:
There has been skepticism of the administration’s claim of creating or saving 150,000 jobs.
There are worse things than skepticism: in particular, a lack of awareness of irrelevance.
Let’s take that figure at face value. What we’ve seen over the last 6 months is the economy losing about 600K (net) jobs per month, and the unemployment rate going up by about 0.4% in each of those months. So, 150K jobs translates into a change of 0.1% in the unemployment rate.
You read that correctly. The recession itself has increased the rate of unemployment by about 3% in the last 9 months, and the Obama administration is crowing about averting the loss of 1 out of every 30 of those jobs.
And … what bloggers do is the arithmetic that journalists can’t or won’t. The administration is claiming to have spent $45.6B to save 150K jobs. The magic of a dollar-store hand calculator shows that this is $300,000 per job.
But they’re the one who want us to count their I.O.U.’s to, and if we do it’s closer to $900,000 per job saved.
In the end, Biden is surprisingly clear:
“In baseball terms, I think there’s going to be real pace on the ball here,” Mr. Biden said in the interview. “I think that what you’re going to see happen here is the velocity of this will increase not just arithmetically, but geometrically here. At least, we’ve got to make that happen.” [emphasis added]
But it seems to me that the Obama administration is politically torn here: 1) they need to spend the money faster if they actually believe they are helping the economy, or 2) they need to spend it more slowly if this is really about indirectly buying votes in the 2012 election.
Give Biden credit (I can’t believe I’m writing this) for having his heart in the right place.
The reason is that this interacts with the students willingness to resell their textbooks. Since students aren’t going to be able to resell their Kindle texts, the important comparison is the net retail price a student pays for a hardcover (after reselling), versus the list price of the text for the Kindle. One thing is clear: the Kindle books will have to be under that net price.
The thing is – a student controls that net price. Some resell everything and their net price is probably half of the list. If you keep your books, the net price is then the retail price of your text.
But … if you’re going to keep your books, a new element enters the picture – you have to keep your Kindle too.
The cool thing for this analysis is that those factors balance out.
So, say you’re a text-keeper. If you buy 4 conventional books a semester at $100, and Amazon prices the Kindle equivalents at around $50, a Kindle DX becomes a good buy if you use it for only a single academic year – even if you keep it and never use it again!
Alternatively, suppose you buy your $100 books, but you resell them for $50. Amazon will have to beat that net price of $50. But … because you’re text-reseller, you’ll probably have no compunction about reselling your Kindle DX too. The result is about the same: a Kindle DX is a good purchase if you’ll use it for two semesters even if Amazon prices their books just below the net price you’d pay for conventional texts.
The spreadsheet includes all the other details that financial professionals like to see: opportunity costs, discounting, salvage and so on.
But … the bottom line holds. There are two types of students – those that keep their books and will keep a Kindle too, and those that resell books and will resell a Kindle too. For either one, the purchase is close to a no-brainer if Amazon can knock off half the price of a conventional textbook.
The BIG IF for now is what textbooks Amazon is going to be able to make available. My guess is that they are going to start with the standard general education classes. These are probably filled with resellers that might put downward pressure on the list price of a new Kindle DX. The alternative is graduate students – particularly Ph.D. students. These are the book keepers, and their books are often high price and low margin in traditional formats. Publishers like Wiley may leap at the chance to get out of the paper text market.
With the development of internet technology, work at home jobs are increasing in the market. Also setting up small business online with ones own bank savings can provide excellent work at home opportunities. Apart from savings, banks offer0 credit card to cater to short term finance needs. Partial tax payments like tax credits are also available to promote online businesses. Market now offers several alternatives to traditional credit card debt which are helpful to work at home businesses.