Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the dark

I'm not sure what the big deal about today's "Earth Hour" was. I mean, being in the dark is nothing new for a liberal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gratulations Conresswomun

I don't even know what to say.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Essential movies

Yesterday, Yahoo Movies released their list of 100 Movies to See Before You Die. They are careful to make the point that their criteria went beyond the entertainment value, commercial success, or awards earned by each movie to assess the cultural and historical importance of each movie.

They avoided the most common trap of focusing too much on recent movies. With 76 of the films made before 1980, they acknowledge what we already knew: they don't make them like they used to.

Naturally, no two people will ever agree on such a list. They were not far off on a lot of their picks, but some titles just don't belong there, and other very deserving films are omitted.

These are some of the titles from their list which I agree with completely:

Double Indemnity
Dr. Strangelove
Lawrence of Arabia
Schindler's List
Shawshank Redemption

But these films don't merit inclusion:

Blue Velvet
Die Hard
Do the Right Thing
Enter the Dragon
The Exorcist
The Graduate
Groundhog Day
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
National Lampoon's Animal House
Princess Mononoke
Terminator 2
When Harry Met Sally
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

But where was "North by Northwest", Hitchcock's film which set the bar for the mystery adventure comedy?

And why was "A Witness for the Prosecution", one of the all-time great courtroom drama mysteries, not included.

"Laura" is a definitive film in the hardboiled detective genre.

Other films which deserve inclusion more than those listed above are:

The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Big Sleep
Dial "M" for Murder
Taxi Driver
Pan's Labyrinth

Monday, March 09, 2009

In Memory

If I were the devil...

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

If I were the devil, I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

By Paul Harvey
August 16, 1999

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Introducing Obama Inc

Read news the way the mainstream media wouldn't dare to tell it: not factual but entirely true. Introducing Obama Inc.

More fractals

Several people asked about the fractal I posted last week, so I'll post a few more, even though this is somewhat off topic for this blog. These are images of the Mandelbrot Set, which is a generating function involving imaginary numbers. It just takes a few lines of code to generate the image, but the detail in the image is limitless. This means that you can zoom in on one portion of the image and find more detail. My program allows the user to select a rectangle with the mouse, and then zooms in on that rectangle. Here is the top level of the Mandelbrot Set.

Here are other views, zoomed in closely to different parts of the Mandelbrot Set. Remember that you can click on any image to see it in full resolution.

If anyone would like to try this program out, I'll give you a copy. It's kind of fun in a geeky sort of way.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fiscal responsibilty?

BO's staged "Summit on Fiscal Responsibility" and his whining about the deficit he "inherited" from President Bush are losing more credibility every day. The irony of claiming to follow a "pay as you go" policy days after signing a $787 billion pork spending bill that will still be accruing interest when our grandkids are footing the bill was overshadowed when BO proposed a budget with a $1.75 trillion deficit.

For Democrats and other mathematically challenged in-duh-viduals, that is a quadrupling of the previous record deficit. In a single year the government will go $5,800 further into debt for every man, woman, and child in America, making BO the most reckless money waster in history. If he wants to waste his own money, I'm fine with that, but he is wasting our future and the futures of generations not even born yet.

BO proposes a myriad of tax increases to go along with his spending binge. He admits that these taxes will not pay for everything he wants to spend, which is not surprising. According to CBO figures, even if he taxed 100% of all income over $75,000 it would not pay for all of his spending proposals.

I'm sure you were relived to hear that only people earning more than $250,000 would be affected by BO's tax hike. If I doubled my income tomorrow I wouldn't be close to that, and unlike the President I cannot confiscate other people's earnings by fiat. But these 2% of the highest earners in America who BO loves to demonize are the people who make our economy work. They already pay more taxes than the remaining 98% of us put together. They own businesses and invest in wealth-creating enterprises which create jobs and generate prosperity that benefits everyone.

If you think that BO's massive tax grab will not affect you, think again. His budget includes a mammoth energy tax, which he estimates will generate $650 billion. Do you drive a car? Ride in a bus, train or airplane? Do you use electricity? Do you rely on natural gas to heat your home? Do you buy groceries? This tax will hit you hard. BO's $13 per week tax cut won't go far to offset the $1.30/gallon jump in gas prices or the doubling of your electric bill.

Another horrendous proposal is eliminating itemized deductions for those evil people who earn more than $250k. Those same people who create most of the jobs and prosperity in this country and pay most of the taxes also give more to charity than anyone else. Private charity groups who work in our communities and around the world to help people in need will be pounded mercilessly by this tax hike, and it won't be the rich who are punished, as BO suggests. The United Way, March of Dimes, Feed the Children, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, World Vision, and hundreds of others will see contributions plummet. I believe that this is entirely intentional, as BO wants to be the sole benevolent benefactor with as many people as possible dependent on him for their subsistence.

The most insidious tax of all is being levied on us all right now, without any legislation passed by Congress or signed by the President. It is a tax on the value of our currency. In the past few months, the US Treasury has fired up the printing presses to a record rate and flooded the economy with money created out of thin air. The money supply, which had been growing at a fairly steady rate of six or seven percent a year for decades, was nearly tripled in just a few months, and even more is on the way to pay for more bailouts and the porkulus bill. With three times as much money chasing the same amount of available goods and services, rampant inflation is sure to set in as soon as people start spending money again. Right now, people are fearfully hoarding money, due in large part to BO's gloom and doom rhetoric and dire predictions of the catastrophe awaiting is we don't immediately rush his harebrained agenda through which is destroying what shreds of consumer confidence were left. This demagoguery ensures that the economy will not recover in the short term, which is fine with BO, who wants to take full advantage of the situation to seize as much power as possible and entrench countless new entitlements and government bureaucracies while people are gripped with the urgency of a crisis mentality. But when all of the newly created money starts to move again, inflation will hammer the purchasing power of your savings and income. This hidden tax will hit everyone, not just the evil rich people. In fact, those people who are having trouble affording the basic necessities right now will feel the effects the most, when the price for food, clothing, electricity, gas, and rent all skyrocket.

Is this the change people voted for? If BO had campaigned on a platform of quadrupling the deficit, taxing the life out of private charity, sending energy costs sky high, and decimating the value of the dollar, would he have been elected? BO is betting his Presidency, his re-election, and his legacy on big government socialism. History says that is a losing bet.