Assorted Links 7/6/09


This week I found this amazing video of a marriage proposal that you must see to believe. I suspect the groom-to-be works in the Disney World park…..

  • Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments, July 29, 2009
  • Preparing and Delivering Congressional Testimony, July 30, 2009
  • Advanced Federal Budget Process, August 3-4, 2998
  • Advanced Legislative Strategies, August 5-7, 2009
  • Not Much News Yet: Media sources are hoping to get the jump on the foreclosure tsunami. – “Sales of foreclosed houses soared last year as investors and first-time home buyers swarmed over what were considered bargain houses. This year it’s been unusually quiet, says Jerry Abbott, a broker and co-owner of Grupe Real Estate in Stockton [CA]. That doesn’t make sense, he said, because he sees many houses in foreclosure in the city.

    But just recently, said the 37-year real estate veteran, there’s been a surge of requests for so-called broker price opinions, or appraisals that lenders often ask brokers to provide just before they put a foreclosed property on the market.”

  • LA Times: ‘Another wave of foreclosures’ – “Hoocoodanode? And just wait for the Option ARM recast wave … ”
  • Homeownership’s Downsides – “My hunch is it’s time for new hybrid forms of housing tenure which mix the benefits of ownership with the flexibility of renting.”
  • 3 Benefits of Living in a Small Space – “A very common question we’re asked is if we ever wish we had selected a larger living space. Our quick answer is, no – our space is perfect and well considered for our needs. At only 80 square feet of living space ….”
  • Billy Mays, Free Market Hero – “Smug journalists just cannot accept capitalism. Mays sold ‘as seen on TV’ products like OxiClean detergent and Mighty Putty; products that he believed in and backed with a money-back guarantee. And people apparently loved the products, since Mays sold an estimated billion dollars worth of goods.”
  • Hezbollah on Steroids – “Smart weapons, once the near monopoly of the U.S. military, are now proliferating to non-state actors. That was the real shock of Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war when Hezbollah roughly handled the Israeli military. That ‘proliferation of precision’ will greatly accelerate in coming years as munitions become more precise, with increased range, easier to use and more widely available to irregular warriors, according to CSBA.”
  • That’s My Kid Too – “The real science is obvious and overwhelming. Vaccines don’t cause Autism. Mercury in vaccines didn’t cause Autism. Jenny McCarthy’s son was vaccinated after mercury was removed from the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Autism rates haven’t dropped as a result of mercury being removed from vaccines. Autism rates are the same in vaccinated and non-vaccinated kids. There are big studies around the world showing this to be true. They are the best science we have and science is our only hope in solving this. Chip Denman said it best, (Forgive my paraphrasing) ‘Science is not a smorgasbord. You don’t pick and choose what you want to believe. You sit down and take what you’re served.’ Autism rates won’t be changed by Jim Carrey or Jenny McCarthy but there will be dead and injured people as a result of their anti-vaccine campaign. … Oddly enough, there IS a conspiracy. The vaccine scare is a known and well documented scam started by people wanting to make money off the growing Autism panic.”
  • 15 of the Most Spectacular Uses for LEDs
  • China Looks to Undermine U.S. Power, With ‘Assassin’s Mace’ – “Could China wipe out an American military advantage with a simple black box? Joshua Cooper Ramo’s thought-provoking book The Age of the Unthinkable challenges all kinds of conventional thinking about everything from venture capital to military strategy. One section caught my eye in particular, about how the Chinese might neutralize American air superiority, using a type of weapon known an ‘Assassin’s Mace.'”
  • Our Chrysalis Stage – “Our America–nationalizing the auto industry, socializing the health care system, allowing state, local, and federal income and payroll tax to confiscate 65-70% of the wealthy’s income, gravitating to a state-run, Ministry of Information media in which ideology governs access, news dissemination and appraisal, and even the banalities of press conference questioning–is now to be not that different from previously demonized states.

    We are no longer ‘exceptional’ (Obama’s words, not mine), and merely a postnational state with no particular global interests other than “world peace” and “global fairness”. In other words, there is now no real reason why an Iran or Venezuela should have any reason to be angry with the United States. Our President sympathizes with much of their past hurts and sensitivities; he has voiced similar criticism of the past global role of the United States; and America will now find its new role as one with those it used to isolate and bully. (The Europeans used to despise sanctimonious, moralistic and non-interventionist Jimmy Carter; but they can’t really get mad at Obama. He’s no Georgia peanut farmer, with drawl, Bible, and Billy, but a metrosexual, Europeanized one of them who will drive them absolutely crazy as he sermonizes and pontificates.)
    . . .
    I think after Afghanistan, NATO will be analogous to the International Criminal Court–A Hague-like institution that will let the Euros deal with the Russians or the Islamists on their own, while issuing all sorts of moral “grave concern” and ‘extremely troubled’ communiqués.
    . . .
    The problem with all this is that Obama’s sleek Boeing jet, his neat helicopters, his Chicago mansion, his children’s upscale prep schools, the flying in of chefs or flying in for a night in New York, are all predicated on a bountiful, profit-minded capitalist system of production, in which entrepreneurs take enormous risks in search of sizable personal profits, and are left alone to profit within government’s wide parameters of fair play. A state-of-the-art military protects the global capitalist order, ensuring both free sea lanes and communications, but also plays the theoretically ultimate enforcer of fair play on things as diverse as copy-write laws to patent protection. Tamper with all that? I don’t know at what point the proverbial goose and golden egg rule applies, but it is somewhere-as we see in the messes elsewhere in most of the world.

    Obama has surrounded himself with legions of ‘fixers.’ Bright men and women who have Ivy League law degrees, business school credentials, PhDs in the social sciences, and academic pedigrees in science, humanities, and engineering. Quite impressive, these Platonic Guardians of the soon to be perfect state. But most of their careers in finance, government, business, and academia have been well paid jobs critiquing, administering, regulating, nuancing, writing about, and hectoring those who create things–builders, developers, industrialists, farmers, truckers, transportation execs, retailers, lenders and investors.”

  • Thanks! – “In an exceptionally magnanimous gesture, North Korea today fired a series of rockets into the sea in celebration of 233 years of freedom and democracy. This extraordinary display of fireworks in recognition of America’s Independence Day would have ordinarily been unthinkable for an envious regime that maintains its tenuous claim to legitimacy only through vicious suppression of a brutalized populace, but such was the regime’s unmasked appreciation of a superior system that they did so willingly, even eagerly! … So right back at you, Huge-Headed Impotent Dictator Guy: You’re a Real American hero!”
  • Palin: it’s the education, stupid – “Back in September I wrote that some of the Palin-hatred we’ve seen represents a class war. … Liberals like to think of themselves as friends of the downtrodden masses, the uneducated and the working classes. But they prefer this to be a form of noblesse oblige–they are the enlightened ones reaching down in their great magnanimity to help the unfortunates, who will then be ever-grateful for the largesse. … Sarah Palin shatters those rules. Her true bottom-up (as opposed to fake top-down) populist appeal, her whiteness, and her rejection of the veneer of academic elitism that she could take on if only she changed her speech patterns, have driven them wild from the start. It’s only been compounded by the fact that she is a member of a certain group usually seen as oppressed: women. … Later on I got my own big degrees, several of them, from a few highfalutin schools to boot. But I encountered a surprisingly wide variety there in terms of brainpower. There was book learning and then there was smart, and the one didn’t always have that much to do with the other, although sometimes it did. I also found myself thinking that the highly educated could be dangerous in their hubris if their schooling wasn’t accompanied by a deep thoughtfulness, because it could instead be accompanied by arrogance and the idea that because they had that elite education they knew far more than they really did.”
  • “An assembly-line fraud factory” – “A jury convicted three California lawyers and two interpreters who prosecutors said had organized massive fraud in the filing of asylum claims, generating false documents and coaching hundreds of clients to make false claims of persecution in India, Romania, and other countries so as to obtain the right to remain in this country.”
  • Evernote- the Best Productivity App on the Planet – “One of the big strengths of Evernote is that it is cloud based which means my notes live up in the cloud. This is important as it means they are available no matter what device I am using in a given moment, they are just there. More importantly for me it also means that I can capture bits of information for future reference no matter what I am doing or what I am using at the time. The many ways to get information grabbed and saved is simply game-changing for my work.”
  • The Perfect Mobile Phone Is (Nearly) Here – “The iPhone may have begun the smartphone’s transition into a full-fledged computer, but lots needs to change before we get there. Here’s my wish list.”

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Posted in: Caught Our Eye

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