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2006 October 19 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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My Choices

So far I’ve decided, for a lot of reasons, that I’ll be voting for Jim Davis for governor, Skip Campbell for Attorney General, Alex Sink for Chief Financial Officer, Charley Bronson for Agriculture Commissioner and Joe Roberts for Congress.

There are a couple of local races I’m not sure about, and one race in which I’m abstaining.

I still haven’t received much campaign literature, and don’t watch television, so it has been a very quiet election cycle.

October 19, 2006   3 Comments

Creationist Whacko in Tax Evasion Trial

Not a headline you will see in the Pensacola News Journal as the Pensacola Beach Blog points out in his coverage of the trial of Kent Hovind: [part one] and [part two].

Hovind is a local Elmer Gantry wannabe who has been fleecing the flock and failing to pay taxes on his “amusement park” or church or mission, or whatever he calls it over in Pensacola. He hasn’t been paying his local, state, or Federal taxes because “he’s on a mission from G-d”, which sounds like a copyright infringement to me.

Maybe they are saving the “good stuff” for a book, but PBB is getting pretty annoyed with the Jack Webb reporting in the News Journal.

While Pensacola might be a suitable replacement for Dayton, Tennessee, I don’t see the potential for popular interest that was stirred up by H. L. Mencken, William Jennings Bryan, and Clarence Darrow.

October 19, 2006   2 Comments


On January 14, 2000 the Dow-Jones Industrial Average closed the day at 11,722.98. That meant it would cost you $11,722.98 to buy the stocks listed in the DJIA group. Recently the DJIA has surpassed 12,000, but that’s 12,000 year-2006-dollars. To have the same value as the 11,722.98 year-2000-dollars, the DJIA would have to be at 13,715.89.

The stock market is still running behind inflation.

Fun unemployment fact: if you add new jobs, but the unemployment rate stays the same, there are more unemployed people.

Consider: if you have 100,000,000 people in the work force with a 5% unemployment rate, you have 5,000,000 unemployed people.

If you add 95,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate stays at 5%, there are 5,000 more people on the unemployment rolls, because there must have been an additional 100,000 people looking for work in the period. If the “new” jobs aren’t decreasing the unemployment rate, the actual number of unemployed people has to be increasing.

October 19, 2006   Comments Off on Numbers

Programming Note

While not up to the standard of Keith Olbermann, Jack Cafferty is not afraid to speak his mind, and tonight at 7PM ET on CNN he starts a new six-part series, Broken Government.

CNN hosting a series about governmental problems just before an election – will wonders never cease?

By-the-by, the thought that the Shrubbery’s last trip on Air Force One could be to Guantanamo is mildly diverting. I thank Keith for that image.

October 19, 2006   Comments Off on Programming Note

Darwin On-Line

Lambert read it in The Guardian and I heard about it on the BBC: the complete works of Charles Darwin on-line, everything, including the notebooks, not just the printed works.

October 19, 2006   2 Comments

Borat Will Love This


Most people are blissfully ignorant of Kazakhstan, once a Republic within the Soviet Union. Space fans might have picked up on the fact that Russian space launches and recoveries take place in Kazakhstan, or maybe you came across it in a crossword puzzle as one of the three Eurasian countries, Russia and Turkey are the other two.

Then a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, created the character of Borat Sagdiev [Борат Сагдиев], a fake Kazakhstani journalist, and the government of Kazakhstan became really upset at the image of the country that was being displayed on British and American television sets.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev was so annoyed, that he filed diplomatic protests with both the US and the UK. Mr. Nazarbayev is attempting to convince the world that Kazakhstan is a stable, modern country ready to take its place among the community of nations.

So one of the last things you want when you are trying to avoid being the butt of jokes around the world is have your central bank misspell the word “bank” on the new bills they just printed.

If you look at this image of a 2000 tenge note [$15.63, 128 tenge = $1 US], you will see “БАНКI” printed on the left side. The new notes have “БАНҚI” printed on them. Non-Kazakhi wouldn’t notice the difference, but there is a pronunciation difference between the Қ and the K. When transliterated into the Latin alphabet the Қ is rendered as Q, while the K is just a K.

Compared to the other Turkic former Republics, the government of Kazakhstan is sane and free. Well, Ludwig of Bavaria was sane compared to the leader of Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan would make Nazi Germany look like Berkeley.

October 19, 2006   4 Comments