July 31, 2009

Fox Educates Us On Amsterdam’s Drug Problem

Category: Movies/TV,Opinion,Travel — jerry @ 11:41 am

I still have mixed feelings about legalizing pot, but come on Fox:

Glenn Beck

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 5:50 am

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July 30, 2009

The Horribly Slow Murderer with Inefficient Weapon

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 11:52 am

And yet–it held my attention:

The Fat Tax

Category: Money & Investments,Opinion — jerry @ 5:50 am

I saw a clip on CNN this morning about the possibility of a special tax on fattening, non-nourishing foods and found the idea intriguing. We tax cigarettes and alcohol, I thought, maybe there is something to be said about taxing other harmful products to 1) discourage their use, and 2) use the funds for health care or whatever.

Yeah, this–like many taxes–disproportionately affects the poor, but…they also have disproportionately more problems with obesity because of buying cheap non-nutritional food.

Am I just being my usual “tax happy” self?  Bah:  I get a kick out of the One-Issue Republicans chanting “Lower Taxes” out of their own basic human greed (“More money in my pocket!”), while supporting policies that take many more multiples of that money out of their eventual pockets.  For example, it is said that the Iraq War will end up costing us $1 trillion when you take into account the future medical expenses for our wounded troops.  Divide this by the 300 million people in our country and we’re all going to pay an extra and unnecessary $3000+ just for that war–which will eventually have to be paid for during the Obama/Biden, Palin/Limbaugh, and Jenna Bush/Blanket Jackson administrations.  (Never mind that pretty much all of us lost more of our net worth that last year of the Bush Administration than we had paid in taxes during his eight-year reign…)

From the FREAKONOMICS BLOG:

From a Wall Street Journal article by Betsy McKay come these tantalizing facts (emphasis added):

The medical costs of treating obesity-related diseases may have soared as high as $147 billion in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, as its new director set a fresh tone in favor of more aggressively attacking obesity.

The cost of treating obesity doubled over a decade, signaling the rising prevalence of excess weight and the toll it is taking on the health-care system. The medical costs of obesity were estimated to be $74 billion in 1998, according to a study by federal government researchers and RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The findings were released at a conference on obesity held by the CDC in Washington, D.C. The prevalence of obesity rose 37 percent between 1998 and 2006, and medical costs climbed to about 9.1 percent of all U.S. medical costs, the researchers said.

Obese people spent 42 percent more than people of normal weight on medical costs in 2006, a difference of $1,429, the study found. Prescription drugs accounted for much of the increase.

We’ve blogged here variously in the past about the many possible contributing factors that have made it so much easier to get obese these days. That said, it is a self-inflicted condition any way you look at it….[Rest of article]

July 29, 2009

Birthers On The Hill

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 1:34 pm

Groan…

Fun At The Rodeo

Category: Sports — jerry @ 11:45 am

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I don’t know if they still do this at rodeos, but they did when my kids were growing up and I HATE myself that I never had them do this.

It is SO AWESOME!!

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The Iraq Campaign 1991

Category: Movies/TV,Opinion — jerry @ 5:49 am

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I’m evil to post this, since I wasn’t against this Iraq war in 1991. I just like stirring the pot… 🙂

July 28, 2009

Palin’s Farewell Speech

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 1:20 pm

In case you missed it–the high points, as recited by William Shatner:


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The actual speech, in its entirety:

What an absolutely beautiful day it is, and it is my honor to speak to all Alaskans, to our Alaskan family this last time as your governor. And it is always great to be in Fairbanks. The rugged rugged hardy people that live up here and some of the most patriotic people whom you will ever know live here, and one thing that you are known for is your steadfast support of our military community up here and I thank you for that and thank you United States military for protecting the greatest nation on Earth. Together we stand.

And getting up here I say it is the best road trip in America soaring through nature’s finest show. Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun. And then the extremes. In the winter time it’s the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs? And then in the summertime such extreme summertime about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter than just some months ago, than just some months from now, with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins. It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future. That is what we get to see every day. Now what the rest of America gets to see along with us is in this last frontier there is hope and opportunity and there is country pride.

And it is our men and women in uniform securing it, and we are facing tough challenges in America with some seeming to just be Hell bent maybe on tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism, and suggesting American apologetics, suggesting perhaps that our best days were yesterdays. But as other people have asked, “How can that pessimism be, when proof of our greatness, our pride today is that we produce the great proud volunteers who sacrifice everything for country?” Now this week alone, Sean Parnell and I we’re on the, um, on Ft. Rich the base there, the army chapel, and we heard the last roll call, and the sounding of Taps for three very brave, very young Alaskan soldiers who just gave their all for all of us. Together we do stand with gratitude for our troops who protect all of our cherished freedoms, including our freedom of speech which, par for the course, I’m going to exercise.
(more…)

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Tom Terrific

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 11:24 am

I used to love these on Captain Kangaroo when I was growing up in the 50s/early 60s. Here’s the introduction to a “Tom Terrific” cartoon (I had forgotten about “Manfred, the Wonder Dog”):

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There is a full cartoon at YouTube, but embedding has inexplicably been disabled. You can watch Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Senior Discounts, R.I.P.

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 5:11 am

Rats, just when I’m starting to get close…

From the FREAKONOMICS BLOG:

I love receiving senior discounts. I got 15 percent off Wednesday’s chamber concert and 30 percent off Friday’s hot-springs entry.

These discounts represent demand-based price discrimination. Theory says such discrimination is based on employers’ perceptions of different demand elasticities across demographic groups. But are today’s seniors’ demands more elastic than those of other adults?

Their more elastic demand can’t arise from lower incomes: In 2007 the poverty rate among adults aged 19 to 64 was 15 percent, and among those 65-plus it was only 13 percent….[Rest of article]