Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sonic Threatened By Financial Crisis

From a McCain press release:

      Sonic Corporation, a drive-in restaurant chain based in Oklahoma, learned on Thursday that one of its lenders, GE Capital, had stopped extending new loans to the chain's franchisees. That will block plans to rebuild restaurants, add equipment and open new locations. When small businesses like Sonic franchisees can't borrow, contractors don't get the remodeling work, equipment-makers lose sales, and restaurants go out of business. It hurts the entire community.

Chaka sez: "He doesn't mention the most important thing: the dire threat to the Banana Cream Pie Milkshake!"

Mrs. Chaka sez: "They probably don't need a line of credit to buy bananas. But maybe we should drive to Lockport right now."

The Global Pool of Money

Go here to hear about it. Financial reporting that you can actually understand and enjoy (other than the whole we're-going-to-relive-the-seventies part).

It's nice to know, though, that our financial troubles, like the increase in our gasoline prices, are triggered by the rest of the world being less poor than they used to be. It makes the troubles more like a badge of honor.

I saw a billboard the other day for Miller High Life (I believe it was). It said "Tell the recession where to go." So I guess we've bought into the fact that things will be bad for awhile and we're embracing it. No doubt the brief revival of 80s fashion will now be gobbled up by a resurgence of 70s fashion. And you thought the 70s went out with the late 90s. You even got rid of your bootcut jeans. Silly rabbit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's Wrong with Illinois?

I've argued in the distant and recent past for the principle of subsidiarity. (HT to Jon Schindler for giving me the word for what I was arguing for). I also firmly believe that Illinois is the worst-governed state that I've lived in. Honesty requires me to acknowledge that a recently acquired fact puts these two principles, both near and dear to me, in seeming contradiction.

Apparently, the voters of Illinois are asked every twenty years whether they want to have a brand new constitutional convention. Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, recently sent me a pamphlet explaining the proposed call for a convention, along with arguments for and against the call.

Incidently, Jesse White is one of my prime examples of the illness in Illinois governance. His name (and often his likeness) is plastered on everything associated with the Secretary of State's office, as though it was his own personal fiefdom. Which it probably is.

Exhibit A, your honor. This ain't a campaign site, kids; it's where you go for all your licensing needs in the big Ill.

Anyway, the Secretary of State's office sent this pamphlet, which happens to mention that "Illinois has over 6,900 units of government far more than any other state in the nation. Delegates to a constitutional convention could propose ideas to consolidate state and local governments to provide citizens with a more responsive and cost-effective government services."

Ah, the bitter taste of cognitive dissonance. I would have thought that multiple small units of government would make for more responsive government than a few gigantic ones. But my experiences/uninformed prejudices tell me that Illinois does this badly. What to believe?

And what to vote? I like the idea of voting for the convention just to shake things up, but I don't have any confidence that the delegates would get right what the legislature gets wrong.

Lastly, I can't resist linking to this. My internal Gollum agrees entirely with Barney Frank on this one. Actually, Gollum doesn't give a fig for patriotism, precious. He just has a very shallow well of pity for people who make millions of dollars screwing things up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Internal Dialogue

Gollum: Another bailout. We can’t stands it.

Smeagol: But we dursn’t let the markets to fail, precious.

Gollum: You mean the rich government people dursn’t let their rich friends lose their fortunes. If we was to go bankrupt, where would our bailout be?

Smeagol: But the people in charge are getting fired when the governmentses takes over, they are.

Gollum: Fired? Fired?! And getting millions of dollars for getting fired, they are. We’d love to get fired like them, wouldn’t we? If the governmentses want to nationalize a company, they should have the courage to go all the way—nationalize the Latin American way.

Smeagol: Nasty, socialist Gollum!

Gollum: Nationalization should be a bitter pill, it should.

Smeagol: Anywayses, it’s not only the rich company mangers that would suffer if the companieses went under. They’re too big to fail, they are.

Gollum: Too big to fail? **Gollum** **Gollum** Whose idea was it to let them get too big to fail, now? We thought that Teddy Roosevelt dealt with companieses that were too big to fail. Why should anything be allowed to become too big to fail?

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Didn't Try to Steal Pirate Jimmy's Identity

But according to this quiz,

My pirate name is:

Dirty James Kidd

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Shouldn't that be "Me true name be"? Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Friday, September 12, 2008


How did I not know about Sealand until today? You can read all about it at the big W.

Would Herder support such endeavors, or would he recognize them for what they are--a descent of the concept of nationhood into parody? Why am I obsessed with asking what a dead person would think of a contemporary phenomenon? What would Freud make of that?

(He would diagnose me as a shameless name-dropper. And throw in an Oedipal complex free of charge. I wonder if that's in the DSM IV?)

Incidently, it seems that Herder studied under a "Francophobe" ancestor of Pirate Jimmy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I probably should stick to the comments since this is Chaka's blog, but no one took away my ability to post yet so I'll post, hehe. While I wish I'd been reading Nietzsche lately and could toss in some sort of quote here, all I can offer are my own words. I don't consider myself a philosopher, but I do have philosophies.

I'll have to admit, I'm disappointed in the post about the movie being a waste of $6.25. My tickets cost $10 when I went to see it... where are movies only $6.25 these days? But anyway, did I like the movie? Yes. Was it worth the $10? Positively. Did I enjoy it all three times I saw it in the theatre? Of course. So I guess I'll have to join the group of folks who thinks it was _not_ a complete waste of time. And having read about as much of the bible as I've read works by Nietzsche in the past few months I'm going to blindly place Jesus as someone who agrees with me. Is that blasphemy? Perhaps. Am I already directing too many rhetorical questions towards myself? Definitely. Will I stop? No. So will I share my barbaric analysis of the movie? I suppose.

I'm pretty sure Jesus liked to do shit with folks, though chances are they weren't ALL "bible-worthy" events. In that respect, I think it's alright to do shit with folks, just don't expect it to be recorded in the bible. Though maybe taking your friendly neighborhood pastor to a movie like The Dark Knight WOULD indeed be a "bible-worthy" event. Maybe it's just the rebel in me, but I like the whole idea of offending people's sensibilities, that's certainly my favourite part about Jesus. Jesus was kind of a badass, he offended a lot of people's sensibilities in his day. Do you happen to remember that statement I made a while back? "The search for truth is beset on all sides by pleasant lies?" I think one of those pleasant lies might be the strange idea that sheltering yourself from seeing evil makes you a better person. I don't think hiding from all outside influences helps you grow as an individual or as a christian. Maybe I'm wrong and it's my belief right there that's truly the pleasant lie, but what if I'm right?

But that's really beside the point of actually examining the movie. I honestly just enjoyed the movie because it kept to the spirit of the cartoon I grew up watching, while making it entirely real. I did find a message in it as well, it was about doing the right thing without needing a reason. The Joker used the faults of humanity (that are undeniably everywhere) to justify being an agent of chaos. Batman saw the faults of humanity to justify being an agent of good. Both did so with no want of reward, and little regard for personal safety. They truly are polar opposites, arch-nemeses, and theirs is an undying rivalry.