But I Thought It Was About Limits

I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth here, but it seems like the Left (correctly) despises the idea of one man, the President, and more specifically the current President having too much power to regulate. They see this as a dangerous proposition to individual liberty.

I tend to agree.

Why, then, do they seem at the same time to favor giving this same power to a few hundred folks, Congress and the courts? Don’t the same principle and potential abuses apply whether the power is given to one man, one body, or *gulp* one party?

Althouse: Chemerinsky’s idea of “Enhancing Government.”.

So the liberal idea of “Enhancing Government” is about expansive federal regulatory power combined with enthusiasm for regulating business and enforcing federal rights.

HT Instapundit.

How Much Schooling is Enough?

I was listening to Dave Ramsey this afternoon and he fielded a call I’ve heard him take several times in the past–“Should I quite my job (or sell my house, or cash in my savings, or sell my kid, etc.) to go back to school and get a master’s degree?”  I think this is a pretty tough question to deal with.  On one hand, there’s a ton of knowledge to be gained by going back to school, and the fact that you’re paying to learn in an intense environment means that at least some of it will soak in.  On the other hand, is there any information they are giving you in school that you can’t get in a book or online?

I’ve considered an MBA several times.  It’s easy to talk myself out of it since my brother-in-law is storing his entire Duke MBA experience in our garage right now–all I have to do is open up boxes and start reading books.  But the advantage I see of going back to school, especially for business, is the connections you can make; the people you meet.  Those connections are a little tougher to make out in the real world, but it can be done.

I guess I tend to believe that the value is in the information you have and the people you know, not in the piece of paper you earned.  A degree doesn’t always imply an education, and an education doesn’t always imply a degree.  There’s no denying the fact that the degree can open some doors that the knowledge itself can’t.  Then again, the people you know can probably open more doors than both.  However, in the long term, it seems like knowledge and talent are ultimately going to trump everything.  As Dave Ramsey says, “Your raise will be effective when you are.”

And if your abilities are going to be discounted based solely on the fact that you don’t have the right degree, you probably aren’t keeping the right company to begin with.

At this point, more school almost seems like a luxury purchase to me.

Fed Plans to Meddle…Again

Because further regulating lending is the best way to protect consumers from predatory lenders who are in danger of not being paid.  Who are they trying to protect again?  Sure some people may lose their homes, but they are still free to go rent.  Last time I checked there were still plenty of houses and apartments for rent, and there’s nothing in the Constitution that guarantees us home ownership.

The real losers in this situation should be the institutional lenders who were handing out money like it was popcorn.  The people running these companies are supposedly educated and able to assess risk.  Of course, there really isn’t a need to assess your own risk if you know the tax payers are going forced to assume it for you courtesy of your old college classmates and buddies in the gov’ment.

Washington is so afraid that Wall Street may have to suffer through a bump in the road that they are willing to sell us down the river to keep it from happening.

Hell, why not take over the FICO and every other credit rating system while you’re at it?  You could tie it to income tax returns, making sure that only people who filed taxes had the opportunity to even rent.  And why not handle payroll for every company in the country while you’re doing that so that you can make sure that everyone’s being paid fairly?

More regulation=more expense for the consumer.  Thanks gov’ment!  You’ve effectively made yet another thing more expensive.

Parenting for Adults

When (if) my kid(s) decide to go to college as adults, I expect they’ll do some pretty stupid things during the first couple of years and beyond.  To me, making mistakes and dealing with the consequences are important aspects of the learning process; part of acquiring an education.  Luckily, the State of Tennessee now has taken it upon themselves to get involved in my chosen method of nonparenting, if my kid adult decides to drink a couple of cold beers on campus.

Let’s take this to its logical end.  Why not also notify the parents when they skip class, jaywalk, or get thrown out of an intramural floor hockey game for beating down an opposing player while protected with full goalie gear?  Not that I ever participated in any such activity as a student.  I did, however, have a friend who talked filthy talk at a football game once.  Luckily for him, his parents weren’t notified.

It’s nice to see that while State universities don’t have the ability to support actual academic programs, they still have the ability to parent effectively.


I know nothing about art. I take that back–the one thing I know about art is that a lot of the “modern art” doesn’t pass for art. Then again I guess that’s just an opinion. But a canvas painted black and I’m supposed to be admiring the width and length of the brush strokes? I don’t think so.

I think modern art is stuff like this video. It uses modern mediums, and is comprehensible by modern people like me (morons). Even if you don’t consider this art, you have to admit it’s really cool, unlike a black canvas.

ht SayUncle

Some Good Reading

Unfortunately, I don’t read as much as I used to–at least not books. I actually spend most of my time reading, but that’s mostly on the web–techie stuff, blogs, news, and millions of emails. I don’t get much of a chance to read fiction just for fun except in my, uh, “office”. Lately I’ve been reading a book of American short stories, and there’s some really good stuff in there that I’ve never read before.

I just finished “Imagine Kissing Pete”, which is a John O’Hara novella and part of Gibbsville, PA: The Classic Stories, which is going onto my “to read” list. The story follows a couple through a troubled marriage as seen through the eyes of their friend, the narrator. The story itself is interesting enough to keep your attention, but there are little bits of commentary scattered throughout that really make it a great read:

Prohibition, the zealots’ attempt to force total abstinence on a temperate nation, made liars of a hundred million men and cheats of their children; the West Point cadets who cheated in examinations, the basketball players who connived with gamblers, the thousands of uncaught cheats in the high schools and colleges. We had grown up and away from our earlier esteem of God and country and valor, and had matured at a moment when riches were vanishing for reasons that we could not understand. We were the losing, not the lost, generation.

I’d never read anything by O’Hara, so I went to check him out on that there Wikipedia. I found even more to like about him and his writing there, like his support for Barry Goldwater and this quote from one of his coworkers at The New Yorker:

“Oh,” writes Gill, “but John O’Hara was a difficult man! Indeed, there are those who would describe him as impossible, and they would have their reasons.”

He sounds like a real jerk–someone I’d love to either drink or argue with. Either way, we’d both have a good time.

Big Oops for Former Electrical Engineering Professor

J. Reece Roth was allegedly involved in providing sensitive data to the Chinese.

I had professor Roth for a class.  Here’s how remarkable the guy was–I’m not 100% sure what class it was.  Plasma engineering maybe?  All I remember about him is that he was slightly on the tubby side, the suits he wore included a vest, and he seemed very disinterested in dealing with undergrads.

My class attendance record probably insures that he remembers even less about me.

Mongolian Spots and CPS

I just got a phone call from a friend who was upset to the verge of tears. She’d had Child Protective Services called on her by the daycare that she’s used for more than three years for her first child, and most recently for her six week old baby. Why did they call CPS? Because they mistook the Mongolian spots on her baby’s back for bruises.

I’m not expecting everyone who reads this to know what Mongolian spots are, so here’s a quick explanation. They are birthmarks that occur on almost every baby of East Asian decent and are common in other races as well. They look a lot like bruises, as the photo above demonstrates. (More on Mongolian spots at Wikipedia).

Mongolian spotBut Mongolian spots aren’t bruises. And while I’m pretty sure that the average person who hasn’t seen them before doesn’t know what they are, I would definitely expect the director of a child care facility to know exactly what they are, especially when this facility exists in a THE family fitness center (you can probably guess the one) that presumably services a variety of members from different ethnic backgrounds.

How embarrassing for her, not only to have CPS called on her because of someone else’s inexcusable ignorance at their job, but also because she is an instructor at this facility and was leaving her children with her co-workers while she taught her class.

Bad For The Country?

When I got in my car today, Sean Hannity was on. I know, I know–but that’s the station I’d been listening to earlier. I’ve pretty much established what I think of him before, but what he and his guest, Bernie Goldberg, had to say today really drives homes those feelings. Although I don’t remember which one said it, the other was definitely in agreement. I’ll keep the quote to the part that I know is 100% correct so as not to unfairly portray these gentlemen:

“It’s bad for the country.”

Since you probably don’t listen to his show, you may wonder exactly what they were talking about.
Was it the federal government meddling in the education system? Was it the devaluation of our currency by the Federal Reserve? Was it the triumvirate of big government regulation-happy candidates to which they we have narrowed our realistic choices to?

Nope. Bloggers. But not every blogger is bad in their eyes, just those that disagree with them. Actually, they didn’t use the term “blogger”. I believe the phrase they used was “idiot with a computer and a modem.”

It seems that to Mr. Hannity and his guest, an idiot with a microphone has more right to an opinion than an idiot with a computer.

My favorite thing about free speech is that it allows me to speak my mind and spread my ideas if they are good. My second favorite thing about free speech is that it allows every idiot with a bad idea to expose himself as an idiot, and have his bad idea ripped apart.

For these reasons, I hope that Mr. Hannity and I both continue to enjoy the benefits of free speech.

Charlie Don’t Blog

But NewsComa does, and she has a post about some new evidence coming to light against Manson after all these years, along with something lots of us can relate to…

I remember thinking, when I was a child, that this was one of the most terrifying things I’d ever heard of. I was a child but our country was horrified and mesmerized with Manson and the family.

I’m a little younger than Coma and wasn’t yet born when the Manson family went on their spree, but I was fascinated with him/them as a middle schooler. I read Helter Skelter, and it scared the crap out of me. The scariest things these freaks did was go on “creepy-crawly missions” where they’d get into people’s houses and creep around…not hurting anyone or taking anything, just crawling around. Eeek!

I’m sure I worried my parents (or maybe not) because I read a bunch of books about Manson and Hitler at that time. At least I was reading, right? The killing part isn’t what drew me in though–it was the ability these guys had to persuade people to go along with their absolute lunacy. I mean, Manson wasn’t even at the Tate/LaBianca homes when the murders took place, but he had those people so far under his control that he didn’t have to be there for them to kill for him. Freaky.