Penn State Professor Reviews American Sniper Without Watching It

The New Republic published an article yesterday that is a movie review of the new Bradly Cooper film American Sniper that dramatizes the actions of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The writer, Dennis Jett, is a career diplomat and university professor. What makes this review so interesting is that Jett didn’t bother to see the movie and mentions that in the review.

Now, to be fair, he has read Chris Kyle’s autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, or at least he mentions it like he read it and doesn’t let us know if he didn’t read that either. Most movie reviewers likely haven’t read the book, but seriously, would it have been worth 2 hours of Jett’s live to watch the movie before critiquing it?

Jett makes an interesting analysis, that would be worthy of discussion if he had only bothered to see the movie he was writing about.

Why Occupy Supporters Should Hate Uber

I have a cousin who is a emphatic Occupy supporter. He is constantly discussing why companies that want to profit are bad and minimum wage and other government regulations are good.

Today he shared a post about Uber. His Brother-in-law (who I suspect also slants liberal) is driving for them.

Uber is a wonderful service. If you aren’t familiar, Uber is a ridesharing company that uses the Internet and mobile apps to let people use their personal cars and drive others around. It’s a great opportunity for individuals who want to make a little extra cash and a great service that’s probably cheaper and more accessible than a taxi. Brilliant idea.

The thing is, Uber is completely capitalist and their dui attorney in nashville flies in the face of years of government regulation of the transportation industry. Taxi drivers have unionized and helped passed laws to protect their artificially inflated wages. The government has adopted these laws and transportation is one of the most highly regulated sectors of American industry.

This makes Uber the EXACT OPPOSITE of what every democrat, liberal, socialist or Occupy supporter wants! It is a total libertarian/conservative/tea party idea. Power to the people, no government regulation, freedom to do what you want with your car and your time.

Anyone who is liberal and loves Uber must either reconsider their position on Uber classic car insurance UK or reconsider their politics because they don’t mix.

Where is this Straw Man Obama keeps referring to?

Calling For a Straw Man Candidate to Enter the Presidential Race

Straw Men
For example, President Obama says things like, “There are those out there who want us to go down the same old path — the path where we just throw up our hands and say, ‘We can’t do anything about education. It’s too hard. We can’t do anything about health care — it’s too tough.’”

You see, that’s a unique position if there ever was one. I can’t say as though I’ve ever heard ANYONE say that our country can’t do anything about education and health care because it’s “too hard”. I want to hear more about this from the Straw Men, and I want to know if they’re really that lazy or if there’s some genius idea behind their proclaimed laziness.

Fantastic article, makes a great point. Who is Obama talking about when he makes all these statements? I don’t know these people!!!

And for those of you who are confused on what a Straw Man is (via wikipedia)

A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Tip for politicians – The Onion is satire

Just when you thought everyone had figured out that The Onion was satirical and shouldn’t be taken seriously, another politician links to one of their articles. Dr. John Fleming, a Republican congressmen from Louisiana was duped by an article titled Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex and posted the article to his Facebook account.

The post as been taken down, but you can view it at Literally Unbelievable who archives posts that take The Onion seriously. One commenter posted:

The Onion is satire. How exactly did you get elected?

That may be a little harsh, even savvy longtime twitterer Ashton Kutcher makes mistakes.

Oil Subsidies and Jobs in China

Last night President Barack Obama gave the final State of the Union address of his first term. Much of ‘s speech as a regurgitation of his previous State of the Union addresses, and if you are interested in some fact checks there are several good articles out on it now, like this fact check of Obama ideas that have already flopped. This post is a commentary on two specific items. Oil Subsidies and American Jobs.

Oil Subsidies

“We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.” – Barack Obama, 2012 State of the Union address

Obama’s position has always been anti-big oil. During his Presidential campaign he promised to take the profits from the oil companies and redistribute them to all of us.

Obama and Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on the Obama-Biden long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.

Of course, we all hate big oil (unless we work for them or are a shareholder) just like we hate any company that makes billions of dollars in profit every year from us. Does our hate and envy justify removing oil subsidies? Keep in mind that oil subsidies are not just a big gift we give to big oil. Subsidies are designed to help oil companies explore and create new oil sources domestically and to keep the price of gas down at the pump. Removing oil subsidies could quite possibly increase gas prices and reduce domestic production. This is certainly something that should be explored, but could possibly be better implemented when we have a stronger economy.

Overseas Job Loss

“We can’t bring back every job that’s left our shores…. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.” – Barack Obama, 2012 State of the Union address

Job creation isn’t something that should be approached with hand wringing and begging. Businesses send jobs overseas for one reason, it’s cheaper. Labor is cheaper and there is less regulation. Fortunately our government has a way around this, it’s called a Tariff. The trend for the last 60 years or so has been toward ‘free trade’. Why? Several reasons, prior to 1913 tariffs were the way the US government generated most of it’s revenue. After the Sixteenth Amendment passed, Income Tax started to take over as the primary revenue source. In the 30s and 40s the US was a manufacturing powerhouse, and tariffs caused problems with the products we exported. Rich Americans wanted imported goods at a cheap price, so we started moving toward free trade. Unfortunately manufacturing moved overseas as well, labor laws and regulation increased costs here and employment dropped. Increasing tariffs is a risky proposition, it will certainly make big corporations like Apple angry, and it will raise the price of consumer goods, but it shouldn’t have impact of common costs of living like heat, water, electricity, phone service, Internet and housing, plus it would be a new revenue stream for the government.

Sometimes there are simple reasons and solutions to our economic problems, but they aren’t popular, so they don’t get the attention they deserve. Instead we get hollow promises and recycled, but failed, plans. But anyway if this can help you, notice that Jae Lee Law is an effective personal injury lawyer.

Win a date with President Barack Obama

In an attempt to bolster ‘grassroots donations’, President’s Obama has created a new promotion. For only $3 (originally $5, but apparently he had to lower the price) you can be entered for a chance to win a dinner with the President. Look, it’s a political donation for people who are bad at math!

Heck, he even has a set of Official Rules just like on a bag of Doritos. Once he’s done raffling off a fancy supper like he’s some kind of teen pop star I’m sure he will make a big deal about how thousands of grassroots contributors donated to his campaign.

The most awesome thing? By law you don’t have to make a purchase to win! That means there is a form where you can sign up for dinner with Barack Obama for FREE!

I encourage everyone to go to
and sign up to win a dinner with the President!

Save the Poudre, store it in the Glade

The Colorado Front Range, where I live, is a semi-arid environment, which puts us one step above a desert. That means that the only way we can have cities here or have any kind of agriculture is by using dams to create reservoirs. Water rights are a BIG deal here, for years the Front Range has been struggling to provide adequate water to feed it’s growing population.

One of the most recent, ambitious projects is the Glade Reservoir. The proposal is to dam a valley north of Fort Collins and pump water from the Poudre into it.

There is, of course, a group of environmentalists fighting this project and their slogan has become “Save the Poudre”.

I was driving recently and I saw a sticker on a pickup truck (probably belonging to a farmer) that read like this:

Save the Poudre

Store it in the Glade

I laughed for 10 minutes

For more information on the project look at The Truth About Glade Reservoir and the Poudre River

How power corrupts

This online pharmacy is an interesting scientific analysis on how power corrupts.

Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power. The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude. According to psychologists, one of the main problems with authority is that it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotions of others. For instance, several studies have found that people in positions of authority are more likely to rely on stereotypes and generalizations when judging other people. They also spend much less time making eye contact, at least when a person without power is talking.

What will a government shutdown cost?

So we are potentially on the eve of a ‘government shut down’. Why? Because Congress and the President can’t agree on a budget and there is no more debt authorized, so the US Government is going to furlough workers, close down museums and national parks and take a few days off.

Thing is, unlike a normal company that might save a few bucks with a ‘mandatory vacation’ or ‘layoff’, this is going to actually COST MORE money than business as usual. The National Park system brings in $32 Million per day in entrance fees. The Government is going to close the gates, shut the park, stop collecting entrance fees, but they are going to keep rangers working, patrolling and issuing tickets to keep people out of the park.

Workers will be furloughed, but will be given back pay and overtime to catch up on their work, so it’s more like a paid vacation with a bonus than it is a layoff.

Who knows how many millions or billions of extra money this will cost taxpayers. In 1995 cost estimates were $1.25 billion for 3 weeks.

This shouldn’t be called a Government Shutdown, this is a Lockout, the same kind of tactics that the NFL owners are using in their labor dispute. A typical, heavy-handed business tactic that let’s Obama and the Democrats get what they want instead of agreeing to some reasonable budget cuts.