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While I believe that the presidential race is important, there are much bigger issues at hand that can be fixed to help with the national issues. The federal government (everyone who works for them that isn’t in the House, Senate, or White House) that handle the day-to-day are possibly the biggest roadblocks that we have. Lets start out with some math.
As an employee of the private sector, I get 12 Holidays off and 4 hours of Paid Time Off (PTO) every paycheck, roughly every 2 weeks. PTO is used for personal leave or sick leave, there is no distinction between the two – and in most private businesses, this is the case. Knowing there are 365 days a year, we can average out that there are 260.7 work days in a year (365/7*5). Subtract out my federal holidays, and that is 248.7. Subtracting my paid time off (12 days a year), its 236.7. Now if we take that and divide that out, I only work 64.85% of the days in any given year. This is standard inside of the private industry.
Federal employees get 10 holidays, but their breaks are a bit different. They get 4 hours of PTO and 4 hours of sick leave at the end of each paycheck (again, roughly every 2 weeks). If we apply the same math to this number, it looks like this. (((365/7*5) – 10) – 24)/365 = 62.10%. On the high end of the government spectrum, people get 8 hours of PTO, 8 hours of sick leave a pay check. The same math, the percentage looks like this: 55.53%
To put these numbers in perspective, that means that a public employee will work AUTOMATICALLY 2.7-9.5% less than a private employee. This does not count ‘teleworking’ or paid leave for other reasons.
While this number seems insignificant, see how quickly it can rack up. For every 1 million spent on government employees, they are spending 27,000-95,000 for works to do nothing.
Again, these numbers might not add up, but lets remember one thing: These are public employees, not private. If a private employee takes money for doing nothing, it hurts the company – but if the public employee does it, it hurts the people and ultimately the country.
But lets look at the public employees and their rise to power, or the numbers that give them that kind of power. Lets put this into a scenario: You have a large number of people covering a wide range of social classes, wealth, and education. The private sector is not hiring people fast enough, or doesn’t want to, and your unemployment numbers start to go up. You need people to get a job so the numbers will go down, but you cant tell private companies to hire. The best thing you can do is give tax breaks, but that only works so well. The better solution, and the one that is obviously taken, is to hire these people in the public sector: from low paid workers to higher education positions. The issue is that since private sector already got the best, the public sector is getting (mainly) what the private sector didn’t want. This leads to the following:
-Low work output
-burden on the public
What can we get from this? That the road to federal collapse is federal hiring of these people – the private sector rejects – who wouldn’t survive otherwise. Instead of having those high unemployment numbers because it looks bad, they would rather hire them, have the low numbers, and pay or it all later. When these folks only work at their reduced percentages listed in the first part of this, the federal government is only working at a third of the speed that it should be – which in itself is costing more than every dollar in spending over the past few decades.
THIS is the problem. While the oval office gets a majority of the attention, it is THIS that is causing the ruination of the country.
Now imagine this - the money that goes to these government agencies? Goes through several filters and changes hands several times (losing some in the process, with money going to political allies and cronies), before it’s even handed off to the Bad News Bears. Where it goes is determined by silver tongued former lawyers who really have this mindset for business and economic prosperity:
Funfact: Market conditions matter, if people don’t want to hire more people, they won’t. Look at places where you have the liberal utopias, where Republicans can’t get elected, or do and get destroyed by legislatures. (See: The Governator, Arnold made it 6 months before the legislature took over.) Detroit has had endless tax increases to pay for entitlements, and it destroyed businesses there. That city is suffering as a result. Businesses are fleeing states like California and NJ due to taxes to go to freer states like Texas. This is not some abstract vacuum, this is the real world, this stuff happens in real time.
Some dinguses (some with high IQs and a sense of entitlement) look at at our economy with the market-creationism mindset: “If government doesn’t just do the everything, then how do free markets exist?” They think picking winners and losers is a good idea. It’s an idea that’s as stupid as saying it’s greedy to keep your own money, but it’s virtuous to volunteer the money of others for pet causes you like. (Wait..)
Places like that are exactly the kind where businesses do not want to operate if given a choice in the matter.
How much damn money we waste:
-If we passed the Buffett rule, it would bring in enough money to run the government for 11 hours. 18 if you use obama’s math.
-If you soak the profits of health insurance companies, (Taking the wildly ideological “point” that profits are evil), it would pay for our healthcare system for 2 days. What you do for the other 363 is a mystery.
-If we took all the evil profits of Walmart and Exxon-Mobil, we would be able to pay for 4 days of government spending (2011).
-If we took every penny from the Fortune 500, it would only pay for half the stimulus, or about a month of spending.
-Take all the ad money for the Superbowl, we’d pay 36 minutes.
-If we took every penny over 250k made by people in the US, it would only cover 4 months of spending.
-If you took every dime from the 300 billionaires in the US and the 100 “almost billionaires” under them, we would make it 73 days.
-Estimates on the “cost per job created” (Temporary jobs) of the Stimulus runs between $250k, to $4.1million (if you believe the CBO).
See that blue line? That’s what we spend.
See that red line? That’s our revenues.
After the tech bubble popped in 2000, and then we got 9/11 revenues fell short of the very rosy projections done by the CBO during the Clinton years. We also had a military to rebuild. But hey, check it out, those “evil” Bush tax cuts actually took in more revenue, grew the economy too (and the rich payed a greater share of their income) JUST LIKE such policies did under Reagan, JFK, and IIRC the last guy was Coolidge. But hey, facts are mean. We can obfuscate reality with politically correct and virtuous sounding language all we want – but it won’t make our economy grow faster the way letting people keep their own money will.
Clearly spending is a good idea, right? Hey, lets just raise taxes, that’ll fix everything right?
Being fast and sloppy - on average we only get about ~18%ish revenue of the GDP, with little regard of what the tax rates are. Solution: Lets just spend more money, even if the economy doesn’t grow as fast… because… slowing down the car means.. we’ll get somewhere faster…
The government is just a process of digestion for our tax dollars. By the time the grilled cheese sandwich of our money that’s taken from us gets filtered through government, the thing that is expelled from the anus of government is not quite what we remember. It looks like food to some, sure, but it’s obviously the losing alternative.
-Many of the polls we were seeing leading up to this election severely over-sampled Democrats when you looked at their data. NBC and The NYTimes polls in particular were bad with this, Gallup’s been all over the joint. (Note: Some strategists are saying really just toss that firm out, they had Romney up 7 on the same day Rassmussen had him up +2. They also had Obama up by stupid numbers when no other polls showed this a few weeks ago. A swing is one thing, but the degree of the swing was extremely troubling.) See voters do have ID numbers, %’s of the voters who identify with one party vs another. IIRC in the 2008 election it was like 38% D, 27% R or something. Big advantage for the Dems, that was for sure, the biggest in history too for them – it was a historic turnout for Dems. Polls that NBC and and the NYT were doing had numbers like, sampling 42% D and 23% R. In the state of VA for instance IIRC it was like 36/36 D/R in 2008. That cycle being historic for the Dems. Again, we were seeing Dems in that state in this current cycle polled like 41/29 when the “Omg dude, Obama’s too far ahead it’s all over Romney should just pack it up” polls and press memes were circulating.
- There’s one massive effing problem with those ID numbers. Republicans have made a gigantic, gigantic surge in voter ID, and the Dems have plummeted - for 4, straight, years. We saw this in 2010 too. The Tea Party label is now a negative one (Thanks to the press), but their voter ID numbers have continued to grow past 2010, they did not flatline. Rasmussen polls for these numbers, as I’m sure some other firms do. There’s talk that Republicans have tied, or are very close to Voter ID #’s. If anything is for sure, it’s that 42/26 numbers and the like that were shown in polls were asinine.
-Some people take RCP’s junk, and cram it into their mouths. RCP is an average of all the polls, even old ones, even garbage ones. The other day I looked at some of their state averages, I was seeing some very OLD polls, an entire debate behind. Now keep in mind there are twice as many firms doing polls this cycle as last time. Now how many of them are going to have massive corrections? Surely we didn’t add a row of A students into the back of the class… You can average gold with garbage brah. That’s what we’ve seen up to now. Now that they’re all going to mysteriously-this-time-must-
So, new details have come out on this case.
-ABC News is reporting that medical reports show that Zimmerman had 2 black eyes, a minor back injury, a broken nose, and a lacerated head. Read here. He also had bruising around his lips and cheeks. All of this is consistent with the “MMA style” beating a witness reports that he saw, in recently released Sanford PD documents.
By MMA style (and given the rest of their account) they meant this:
This is corroborated by all evidence and witness accounts in the case.
It resulted in this, corroborated by again, all of the above:
-CNN in its coverage did not mention damage to Trayvon’s fists.
-Foxnews’s Shepherd Smith made sure to put great emphasis on how small this wound (consistent with delivering a beating, results shown on George Zimmerman) apparently was, in his journalist-AND-expert-on-hand-wounds-consistent-with-fighting-opinion.
-The screams on the 9-11 tape are those of Zimmerman, so say witnesses. Media pundits and the parents reeling from the death of their son have one thing in common – they were not at the scene that night. They’d also likely never heard George Zimmerman scream out loud before, which calls their “expertise’ on this subject into question, especially when compared to those actually at the scene to witness what was going on.
-Professional moron and ironically named Tim Wise (who I will not link to) harped on the “fact” that this shooting took place at a distance that was apparently quantified (to the laughter and confusion of combat veterans I talked to on the legitimacy of this word) by the term “intermediate distance”. To Tim Wise, this = murder, as if legitimate self defense shootings cannot occur unless they’re at some distance that he cannot name. This “intermediate distance” is a strange metric, it means between 1 and 18 inches. This is a bit shorter than the length of your arm. So far the evidence is consistent with someone having the tar beat out of them, then shooting their attacker.
Regardless of what noise was being made, the events spoke for themselves. By the accounts of the witnesses and the reports taken, Trayvon Martin beat the daylights out of George Zimmerman. If he did not, then someone else did. However all present on the scene did not say this. None of the witnesses or the physical evidence points to a two sided fist fight either. Trayvon was not struck by fists, nor grounded and pounded – then shot.
Apparently the police that night had expressed the opinion that this could have been avoided and deescalated before it had become a shooting. The media is of course running with this narrative. To bring balance and another side to this argument, I may add: This may have never happened if:
1) Trayvon did not punch George Zimmerman in the face. I am not the only person in the world to wonder, on at least one occasion in their life, if they were being followed. I managed not to hit anyone in the face.
2) Trayvon did not get on top of George Zimmerman and commence beating the tar out of him. Technically speaking, he could have run at this moment when Zimmerman was on the ground dizzy. The Monday morning quarterbacks who want to mention the scenarios where Zimmeran would not have shot Trayvon, never seem to mention this part.
3) He could have stopped beating up Zimmerman at any time, perhaps say, a punch or two in. He could have then run at that moment too. He could have yelled for someone to call 9-11, now that the person he’s “Defending himself again” is very dazed, broken, and bloodied. He did not.
The Super heavyweight champion!
1) Tale of the tape Male polar bears weigh over 1,000lbs and can be between 9 and 12 feet tall when they stand. They can run at 25 miles per hour, and swim for miles in open artic water (btw, it’s a land animal.) They can survive for months without eating when it stores up its batteries. They have dog like hearing, human vision (with night vision capabilities), and an incredible sense of smell. Smelling seals through 3ft of snow 1 mile away is not a problem. They do not give off much of a heat signature due to their fur.
It’s the largest and smartest of the bears, and arguably the strongest. (Some claim the kodiak bear is stronger). Keep in mind, bears are already very intelligent creatures to begin with!
More physical capabilities:
-They can pull a seal roughly 1ft thick, through a 4in opening in ice.
-A large enough and properly motivated (read:hungry) bear can pull a walrus onto the ice
-Bears this size are capable of killing 1,200lb steer with a single blow to the head. vs a human head, it’s a game of tee-ball.
-They have hunted beluga whale. (Which, oddly enough are as large and slightly larger than big polar bears.)
-Vs a moose, it would break the antlers, KO via strike.
-60 mile swim range
-Paws are snow shoes, fists, sledgehammers, climbing gear, and flippers.
-Capable of a cat-like pounce.
-Polar bears have been known to scale trees and cliff faces to eat bird eggs. Bears have a huge disadvantage here due to their size and physical properties.
2) A polar bear banged the USS Connecticut, a nuclear submarine. You read that right. A polar bear literally mounted and had sexual relations with that submarine. Not only is the USS Connecticut several tons of metal and moving parts, it’s housing nuclear ICBMs too. One of the finest war machines ever built, a state of the art design, really a pinnacle of human engineering…. The bear’s opinion? “You got a purty periscope…”
Zero. Zero f**ks given. “Honey badger don’t care, it just takes what it wants!” Correction. Honey badger pays lip service to the concept of taking what it wants. When one of them mounts a nuclear submarine carrying ICBMs, and the sub just sits there and takes it? Give me a call.
This feat alone would pretty much earn the polar bear the super heavy weight title belt.
3) It weighs over 1000lbs, but is still a stealth hunter.
The bears have 3 main (or preferred) methods for hunting.
1) Stealth – They will stalk their prey for miles, get into position, and strike. In the case of seals, it will wait next to an air hole for it to surface and breathe. Upon smelling the breath of the seal, it will then reach its paw ii and destroy the seal.
2) Kool aid man – When it sees fit, it will literally break through ice to eat seals or their babies. Using its massive everything, the bear will hammer through ice to get into a seal den, normally housing seal pups. It will then, upon opening its cracker jack box, dig for its prize.
3) Wound and wait - They often do this for larger prey. They will go in for a death blow on the neck or head, and then exfiltrate the area and wait for the prey to succumb to its wounds.
4) Big game hunters and professional boxers
Like the Tiger, the Polar Bear’s prey list looks like a buffet menu. “Whatever it damn well wants” will suffice.
Some of the larger play includes walrus, and whales. That’s right, whales. This is like running up along side a rhino with a machete, and killing it, because you’re hungry and burger king is closed. The bears can/have/will do this.
They can and have died going after large prey like this, so they are careful when attacking prey this size. In the case of whales, they may attack whale’s blow hole, and then wait for the whale to expire. They may also wait until a walrus is stuck before they try it. However I do recall someone else’s story- where a bear actually dragged a walrus onto the ice to kill it, a herculean feat.
What’s also interesting to note? Given the territory range- a bear may have to swim 50-60 miles in open arctic water to its hunting area. It may then hunt this prey, and then have to fight another bear to keep the kill! Truly remarkable.
Side note, as I know some are interested: Yes, the bears do eat humans. When they eat humans, it is due to hunger. Polar bears are so confident that they generally don’t feel inclined to charge or attack humans under normal circumstances. Here’s the problem: We’re made of food, and the bear has no issues eating you. Instead of charging, the bear will stalk their prey. It will then close in on it and smash it with its everything, or use that awful-yet-amusing-pounce. A human head with 2 feeble arms trying to protect it is again, teeball for a motivated bear.
Myth and legend:
Supposedly, these bears have been known to hunt down and track humans that irritate them. There are tales of hunting/hiking parties irritating such a bear, only to find that the bear had followed them… waiting until night time, dragging people out of tents and mauling them.
5) They’re hilarious
The curious bears are actually known to be, well, “funny!” As far as 1000+lb apex predators go anyway. Bears have been known to play with local dogs, (for days). Some believe this was done to gain access to a food. Here’s an incident that was documented here: http://nifplay.org/polar-husky.html
Realize that during the course of play, the bear did put husky’s neck in his mouth. If the bear so much as sneezed, the dog would have been toast. This would be like climbing inside of a large cannon barrel for amusement. Only the cannon is loaded. And a pyromaniac child has been given the lever. It’s deeply amusing to realize that these bears do actually have a “play” mechanism. Sometimes, humans discover this:
I joked that honey badgers are akin to Stone Cold Steve Austin, tough, serious, intense, and with major attitude to boot. The tiger is more gentlemanly, intelligent, respectful, and bizarrely observant of their own codes. They might be more akin to Peyton Manning. The polar bear is your Shaquille O’Neal, a force of nature with a larger than life personality and a sense of humor.
The badger also:
-Chases a cobra up a tree
-Takes a freshly killed mouse from a venomous snake and eats it
-Then decides it wants to eat the snake
-Receives a bite from the snake and passes out
-It wakes up and finishes eating the snake.
-To reiterate: Takes what it wants.
Bad ass right? I believe it’s the Stone Cold Steve Austin of the animal kingdom. Stuns the world champion, pins him, wins the belt- then stuns the referee for good measure. Stuns Vince McMahon, does that thing where he yells at him on the ground. Gets up on the ring post and flips off little kids in the front row, and showers everyone with beer. Good times.
Some think the honey badger is like the Kim Kardashian of the animal kingdom. Initially famous for a shocking video tape, and now famous for being famous despite not having the talent of other animals. Regardless, while tough, I don’t think the honey badger is the heavy weight champ of the animal kingdom… Know who is?
(original image available here: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/barryzees/3570765210/)
1) The honey badger has theatrics, but the bengal tiger has metrics.
The honey badger, at 30lbs- is tough for sure, but never mistake enthusiasm for ability. If you had an animal combine the way we do for NFL scouts? The tiger would be shattering records and embarrassing the other scouts.
-Bengal tigers have a standing long jump of 10 meters
-They can run at 40mph. They ain’t no cheetahs either, tigers are BIG cats
-Strong enough to swim with prey
- The average weight of a male bengal tiger is around 500lbs.
- They’re about 10 feet long.
-Paws are positively enormous
-They will and have hunted bears (via ambush)
You cannot overlook this stuff. Physically the honey badger has no business trying to fight in the tiger’s division. Yes, it’s aggressive, but I’m sure most house cats will vouch for the fact that their chew toys seemed aggressive- before they ripped them in two and pulled the stuffing out of course.
2) It’s stealthy, too.
It’s clear that tigers are absolute powerhouses and tremendous athletes. Even if the tiger were not a mostly silent predator, a non-skilled hunter that would use only use frontal attacks? It would still be a terrifying animal on its power and speed alone. But the reality is they’re incredibly stealthy. They will stalk their prey for quite some time, then blind side it and overwhelm it.
From a design standpoint? Image this: You assemble a panel to design the ultimate warrior on the battlefield for ancient times. The panel would have concluded: “It should have the speed of someone unarmored while being armored, the strength and toughness of a barbarian, the skill of a knight, but the quickness and stealth aspects of a ninja.” The tiger is mother nature’s answer. To say it’s like a ninja the size of an NBA player carrying around William Wallace’s 5-6ft tall claymore sword would be a fair comparison.
3) The lion, the “king of the jungle”- goes second in the draft behind the tiger.
Lions are big cats, pretty fast, good predators, good scrappers, capable of bringing down large prey, but still second place. Why so? Tigers are bigger, faster, stronger, have a more interesting range of prey (including bears), you name it. In a fight, lion vs a tiger?
“Owner of Londolozi Reserve in South Africa, John Varty cited “People always ask me which one is bigger? If a tiger and a lion had a fight, which one would win? Well, I’ve seen tigers crunch up a full-grown leopard tortoise like it was nothing. And lions try, but they just don’t get it right. If there’s a fight, the tiger will win, every time.” “
There have been several recorded incidents of lions and tigers fighting in captivity due to accidents. From my own short research, it looks like the tiger’s mostly undefeated. In the wild though, this battle would be different – with some animal experts stating, “It would be a pack of lions roaring at the single tiger to retreat.”
4) Tigers are gentleman
Those who study tigers are constantly perplexed by their behavior. For one, they’ve found that even though tigers are very territorial, male tigers will often let the loser of their dominance battles also inhabit the same territory range as long as it doesn’t bother the original tiger. (Note: this includes mating rights with females). These dominance battles usually take place through intimidation and noise, not going to fists. They would rather talk things out before fighting! The conversation might look something like this: ”Alright, you can crash on my couch for a bit- but don’t look at my girlfriend when she comes over, and don’t eat the food labelled for me in the fridge.”
Further, “In contrast to male lions, male tigers will allow the females and cubs to feed on the kill first”. It’s not uncommon for tigers to share kills with other unknown tigers.
Tigers can truly do whatever they want, in ways that disrespectful little weasel the honey badger could only imagine. They don’t have to be conciliatory or fair, but they are often both. Everyone loves a champion that’s a respectable person off the field- The tiger is exactly that. If it had the time and a checking account? The damn things would likely even open a “Alpha Male Bengal Tiger center for cubs who can’t read good- and who want to learn how to do other things” school.
5) Their prey
Tigers have an awesome menu to choose from. It includes all kinds of deer, boar, water buffalo; little things like porcupine, bunnies, peafowl, and cows when humans build farms too close to their territory. Interesting of note is the fact that wolves really try to avoid tiger ranges. Farmers and hunters are told to avoid taking tigers if they wish to control the wolf population. In that respect, are tigers like the United States in the cold war, a huge deterrent force? I’ll let you decide…
..but the answer is yes.
“Bengal tigers have been known to take other predators, such as leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, Asiatic black bears, sloth bears, and dholes as prey, although these predators are not typically a part of their diet. Adult elephants and rhinoceroses are too large to be successfully tackled by tigers, but such extraordinarily rare events have been recorded. The Indian hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett described an incident in which two tigers fought and killed a large bull elephant. If injured, old or weak, or their normal prey is becoming scarce, they may even attack humans and become man-eaters. ”
When your prey list looks like a who’s-who of tough guy animals? You’re something special. Something I find amusing… Their retirement plan is to eat humans, the thing at the top of the food chain.
6) They can win via submission or strikes
Many animals are stuck hunting a narrow set of prey, with only a few tools. Tigers don’t have that limitation. When they fight or kill large prey, they prefer to ambush the prey and go for the neck or spinal column. This is true for bears. For the most part they do not prefer to go up against a bear in a frontal attack. Submission and ground and pound keeps the tiger out of trouble – they’re smart to use this when they can. However, for other prey they will not stray from more or less beating and clawing/striking it into little meat cubes. With teeth, claws, and that kind of strength? They can destroy most things in a frontal confrontation.
7) Female tigers: They have their s**t straight.
Female lions have no problems providing for their freeloading boyfriends/husbands who sit around all day trying to look pretty. (In fact some studies on lions showed that that female preferred their males to have larger darker manes, and that this was a very serious factor in picking a mate.) While female lions concern themselves with silly things like hair, female tigers are much more results oriented. Also, female tigers usually establish territory close to their mother’s. They play things safe and don’t try to bring home bad guys they think they can fix. They hold their men to a high standard, making sure the ones allowed to stay are the kind that pay for dinner; and they are not dependent on male tigers (some refusing to let one near their cubs). Interesting story of note:
“A dominant tigress they called Padmini killed a 250 kg (550 lb) male nilgai – a very large antelope. They found her at the kill just after dawn with her three 14-month-old cubs and they watched uninterrupted for the next ten hours. During this period the family was joined by two adult females and one adult male – all offspring from Padmini’s previous litters and by two unrelated tigers, one female the other unidentified. By three o’clock there were no fewer than nine tigers round the kill.“
Have a grandma who cooks like a champ? This is apparently a feature of tiger society too.
I hope you found this article fun and interesting! I plan to a do a few more like it. Next week we will be meeting the super heavyweight champion.
With so many divergent ideas on China, I have one to add to the pile. One I believe is quite plausible if not probable: China will collapse on itself, and sooner rather than later. Gordon Chang wrote an article about it that you can read here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/29/the_coming_collapse_of_china_2012_edition
He also wrote a book or two about the same topic. Is he a “doomer”? Possibly, but I personally believe what he has to say.
What’s in the article that you the reader would prefer not to have to sift through?
1) China has turned its back on the policies foremostly responsible for their economic growth, and reverting to the ones that were in fact the weights on their feet. (For example: ditching the working parts of communism, opening it up for foreign investment, etc.)
2) They’re defaulting to big government strong arming to solve their unrest problems, including mass censorship and heavy handed police tactics.
3) One of the reasons they were successful in the last decade: They were not playing by the rules of the WTO that they agreed to follow when they joined in 2001. The Euros would not hold them accountable for protectionism.
4) They had a bulge in the work force that is starting to age. They’re out of people to move to cities and work in factories. Wages are also rising, hurting their competitiveness. I’m not sure even their pegged currency can save them from that.
5) The world’s economic market conditions have changed for the worst for them – as countries begin to take hard looks at measures to improve their import/export ratios, reforms that would hurt China.
6) The first world’s economic engine troubles the past few years have also hurt China.
7) Their government is more or less a room of 9 guys calling the shots for over 1 Billion people.
8) They’re currently planting the seeds for future trouble too. Picking winners and losers, nationalization, harassing the “Winners” (like Google), etc. They’ve been doing this since 08.
9) The economic indicators point to trouble there, money/investors are leaving, all this despite their own stimulus spending. Kinda funny, we did borrow money from them. It’s like taking money from a loan shark to pay for our coke problem- and finding out the loan shark also has their own coke problem.
Let me leave you with his closing notes:
“And as for the existence of an opposition, the Soviet Union fell without much of one. In our substantially more volatile age, the Chinese government could dissolve like the autocracies in Tunisia and Egypt. As evident in this month’s “open revolt” in the village of Wukan in Guangdong province, people can organize themselves quickly — as they have so many times since the end of the 1980s. In any event, a well-oiled machine is no longer needed to bring down a regime in this age of leaderless revolution.
Not long ago, everything was going well for the mandarins in Beijing. Now, nothing is. So, yes, my prediction was wrong. Instead of 2011, the mighty Communist Party of China will fall in 2012. Bet on it.”
Truth be told, I feel bad for the people of China. They’re just like anyone else, trying to make a living for themselves, with a desire to make things better for the next generation. It appears central planners made dumb policy decisions, and now they may suffer because of it.
Now retired bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, who some of you may recognize from his long and successful career as a bodybuilder- and others may recognize from the “Yeah Buddy!” videos. Like many champions, he has an interesting story. Apparently his first choice for his occupation, his first dream really, was to play professional football in the NFL. He was denied his dream, and upon graduating from college he became a police officer. After being prodded by a friend, he got into bodybuilding. ”Look at the guy, he must have taken it by storm,” you may be tempted to say…
In fact Ronnie competed for quite a long time without being successful. Bodybuilding is an expensive sport, even more so if you’re not a winner/regular runner that lacks a sponsor. It’s a lifestyle, and a huge time consumer. Many bodybuilders do not work at all, and live mooching off of family or breadwinner spouses, no joke. Competing several times a year is financially difficult, as well as extremely physically straining. Ronnie was competing for several years on his own dime in competition after competition. Flying around the world to contests, spending oodles of money, and getting nowhere. It’s not just that he wasn’t winning 1st or 2nd, he was placing horribly.
After several YEARS, his friend and fellow bodybuilder Kevin Levrone told him to quit. (Kevin, at the time, being a “regular runner up” and favorite to win the coveted Mr.Olympia title). He gave him the advice as Ronnie’s friend- after all he’d been spending tons of time money and time, but getting absolutely nowhere to show for it. I believe this pattern was going on 5+ years, Kevin had believed it was time Ronnie gave it up.
Eventually, Ronnie actually started winning. His first Olympia win was in 1998. He ended up winning 8 straight titles, tying the record of his idol, Lee Haney. Worth of mention is the fact that he was 41 for his last victory in 2005, and he had a real job as a police officer during his first 2 wins.
Not only did he win, he changed the sport. Commentators later joked it looked like he got off of a spaceship. Other competitors would be backstage and wonder who was placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. When later asked what his favorite victory was, some wondered if he would cite 2003 as he was in his best shape. He stated, paraphrasing in Ronnie-speaker, “1998. It’s, hard for me to believe that I’ve won to this day because.. actually I was just hopin’, I could make the top 5.” In 1997, he had placed 9th. What’s interesting to note, is that his friend Kevin Levrone never actually won an Olympia title.
Ronnie Coleman went down in history as one of the best of all time. The guy’s made millions of dollars, he’s famous, loved by fans, and a world champion several times over. He’s not the most articulate speaker you’ve ever heard, he didn’t invent anything, – there’s a list of things he hasn’t done: but he’s lived a storied life anyway. Not bad for someone that lost his dream of going to the NFL. Had he made it to the NFL, he may very well have had a lack luster short career, fighting for starting spots and the like. As a bodybuilder, he was one of the greatest of all time.
It’s stories like his and others that I’ll be talking about in the future, that have me mostly unconcerned with the prospect of life closing a door on an opportunity.
A newsman that recently passed away unfortunately. He had heart problems and was in and out of the hospital with them, he died at 43 leaving behind a wife and family. Pretty sad in my opinion.
He assisted Matt Drudge with the Drudge Report, as well as Arianna Huffington in the creation of HuffPo. (Not joking, look it up.) He was raised by two very liberal parents, which is interesting considering his own political leanings and stances. After working in the media, he sincerely believed there was a left-wing slant to the reporting, and more or less became an activist, often times (self admittedly) trolling the left.
What I remember him best for:
Here he is, in his shining moment, a moment of redemption right before Weiner announced his resignation. Here’s how it went down (worth the watch).
Commenatary on “Weinergate”:
In his speech he called out:
Gawker – (Who regularly posts inflammatory and false statements about Fox News personnel for one.)
Salon.com and its editor at large
MediaMatters (Check out the articles on them from the DailyCaller. If the documents aren’t completely made up, then essentially they occasionally write newscasts for MSNBC, HuffPo, the LA times, and George Sargent of WaPo. They also organize boycotts of conservative figures they don’t like. /Attacking sponsors as a way of soft censorship = free speech amirite?)
All of whom, he states, tried to destroy him and protect the firemouthed congressman sharing their political leanings. Now here’s what’s rattling around my head…
All of those outlets declared open season on Breitbart insinuated the following, and you hear it in the press conference video:
-This was a non story
-Only Breitbart considered this a news story
-Weiner’s computer was hacked
Among a list of other excuses. By what metrics is that a non story?!
That makes me want to make a list of my own!
The list of Non stories here:
-A sitting congressman posts a lewd picture, publicly, on ****ing twitter. That’s about as public as it gets on the internetz.
-Said sitting congressman intended to send this privately to a young girl (that is not his pregnant wife.)
-Said sitting congressman then insinuates that his computer was hacked by a public figure to obtain information.
-He did not go to the Police, and repeatedly stated he would not. This is apparently not bizarre or cause for question.
-Several media outlets all sharing the same slant declare open season on a News-guy who had the gall to report it, seeking to completely discredit him.
-Eventually the congressman holds a news conference in which he confesses to a series of events that corroborates News-guy’s story, and resigns.
-The media outlets that declared open season on him? Their motives were never questioned, no apologies made.
What’s kind of sad, is the fact that even in death he’s still the victim of demagoguery.
Now giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, he does appear to be from the UK, he’s likely trusted someone else’s assessments.
Now excuse me while I express my own opinion, in the form of my “Advice-Toby-Meme”.
In Conclusion: The eccentric Breitbart will be missed. A little bit “out there”, but always honest. It was kind of refreshing, and deeply amusing to see the guy at work.
You’re in luck, that’s what I’m here for my friend.
The answer is this: Ever play that video game where you can’t unlock a certain character that’s really really good? And in the next video game they let you unlock that character, but there’s another better version of that same guy that you can’t get? The F-22 is that second guy.
If you look at the listed statistics of the plane, they’re not mind blowing, even when compared to current planes like the F-15 series. But here’s something worht of mention: The stats game in the cold war was different. The US and the USSR (ESPECIALLY the USSR), would sometimes inflate claims or exaggerate as the capabilities of their systems. The Russians once publically paraded missles during one of their their parades that were just models.
Something like this:
It was the world’s most expensive pissing contest, and we won it. We can thank Team Captain Reagan for that.
Nowadays it’s hard to get the official top speeds, fuel range, etc- of practically anything we have. If there was a general issue coffee maker out right now, its listed capacity would be like 9 cups, but every user of the machine knows it’s capable of 12. That’s pretty much how the game goes for all of our military tech nowadays. If you’re seeing it on future weapons? It’s probably been in the field for a few years. If it’s being declassified? It’s probably 10-20 years old now. So when some people look at the top speed numbers and compare it to, say, the F-15, and wonder why it seems slow? Wink wink, nod nod, is the only answer I can give.
For the Russians and all the other tin-pot dictatorships, the numbers game is the opposite. Their military’s published capabilities follow the “high school football guidelines”. The published roster has about a half a foot and 50lbs added to every player. I’ve talked to engineers who ripped apart the “Raptorski”, the F-22 knock off the Russians recently made (Shown below)
They said: ”If they can get it off the ground and build more than 3 or 4 of the damn things, and THEN figure out how to reduce those radar signature enhancing fist-sized rivets? Maybe I’d be worried. The only thing it has it common with the F-22, is some of the visible design lines. That’s about it.”
Note: The Russians have claimed that they weren’t copying anything.
In terms of fairness: Fielding an F-22 against, say, Iran’s current airforce? (Iran’s airforce consisting mostly of much older planes in horrible states of repair with poor electronics suites and shoddy pilots, of course).
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being unfair, and 1 being fair… It’s “sweep the leg.”
You can almost picture the twerpy kid in the background going, “YEAHHH, GET HIM A BODYBAAG!”
“Why is the F-22 so ridiculous though?”
It flies too high, it’s too fast, the kill range is too far, and it’s pretty much invisible to radar.
From the bad guy’s POV: It was never there, and you died. You wonder where the squadron of fighters was that took out yours. There was just one plane. It’s the pilots who have gotten time on the F-22 that that normally fly older 3rd and 4th generation fighter aircraft that love it so much.
“I’ve heard about teething problems with the plane?”
Yes, unfortunately we are having some issues with the plane that are more maintenance oriented. Kinda unfortunate, but brilliant minds are working on them, fixes are in the pipeline. But. I’m going to revert to the defense sports fans often use when they find out their favorite player might be on the DL: “No comment.”
Thus completes a layman’s guide to the F-22. I hope you find this useful!