Saturday, December 03, 2011

Do They Owe Me A Hobby?

Of course they don't. I'm speaking of $1 bills in particular. One of my geek hobbies is Where's George? No doubt you have received a bill with some Where's George markings on it, directing you to that website so that the movements of that bill can be tracked, for kicks and giggles.

In some of the budget cutting talks this year, the discussion turned to eliminating the $1 bill and replacing it with a $1 coin. This makes a lot of sense. Coins are vastly more durable than paper money. Did you know the average $1 bill only lives about 18 months? Over the long run, the cost savings are enormous- $5.6 billion over 30 years. This makes it worth doing.

But, but, but.. my hobby! Well, screw that. Nobody owes me a hobby. Where's George will as easily become "Where's Tom?" as $2 bills become the new smallest paper denomination, or, "Where's Abe?", as the public doesn't generally like $2s.

I'm fond of pennies, but there's really no good reason to continue minting them. I like riding trains, but that doesn't mean I support subsidies to Amtrak. Etc. I don't expect the entire country to spend foolishly just so that I may continue to enjoy a hobby as I know it today. My whims just aren't that important.

So, if the $1 should fade into history, I'll be glad of it overall. I'll smile at the cost savings to my country, and adjust my bill stamping habits accordingly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lunch At McDonald's

I'm going purely out of respect. Big respect! From Reason Hit & Run:

San Francisco's ban on giving away a free toy with a child's meal containing a certain number of calories, salt, and other particulars is set to kick in tomorrow. McDonald's, the clear target of the ban, had a year to figure out a way to change its business practices. Seems like they used the time wisely, reports the SF Examiner.

The San Francisco ban on providing free toys to entice children to eat unhealthy foods goes into effect Thursday, but McDonald’s plans to comply with the law by charging 10 cents a toy for their Happy Meals and donating the money to the nonprofit Ronald McDonald House.

No worries about my austerity plan. I'm getting a Southwest Salad and unsweetened iced tea, which comes in under 500 calories. But to outmaneuver the nanny asshole bureaucrats and leave them absolutely tearing their hair out? Oh, I'll spend a fiver!

Which Is The Parody?

I put it to you, dear reader: Can you discern which video is the joke video? Is it the "Indy Super Bowl Shuffle"?

Or, is it the "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video"?

Answer: The joke is the Cleveland one. Really! No fooling!

Update: Well, the people who made the Super Bowl Shuffle video have swiftly pulled the video. In the morning proud of it, by lunchtime embarrassed, and by dinner, gone. You can see the vacant remnants of the top video posted above, a sad, empty void that was roughly equal to the original. Per Advance Indiana:

WRTV is reporting that the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association has pulled a parody video it produced of the Super Bowl Shuffle song featuring downtown hotel workers plugging Indianapolis' major hotels. The take off of the song made famous by the 1985 Chicago Bears' team that confidentally predicted the team's Super Bowl win that year was resoundingly mocked throughout the Indianapolis blogging community.
The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association billed the video as a marketing tactic aimed at Chicago meeting planners and business executives to build buzz ahead of the 2012 Super Bowl.
But what officials described as a cheesy video featuring tourism staffers and workers from seven downtown hotels in their own choreographed version of the 1985 Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle" quickly garnered hundreds of critical comments and even a petition and a Facebook page asking city officials to pull it down.
As the feedback reached a critical mass online, ICVA removed the video from YouTube just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"Thanks for your passion about the city. We acknowledge making a mistake by going public with this and we accept fault. The video has been removed," wrote Jeff Robinson, the organization's creative director.
The YouTube video had nearly 8,000 views before the video was removed, but the dislikes outweighed the likes 3-1, and of the nearly 200 comments, almost all slammed the video as embarrassing and poorly done.
Yes, I contributed a 'thumbs down'. Happily. Pulling it kind of smacks of thin skin, though. Oh well. In the words of another Indiana accidental kitsch treasure, "Boom goes the dynamite."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Republicans, Defenders of Human Rights?

One of the things I had hoped for upon the inauguration of President Obama was the end to the policy of indefinite detention for prisoners of war. Trials should happen quickly, as opposed to the policy we had under Bush to simply incarcerate terror suspects without trials.

So, Obama strengthened the policy.

So, if the Republicans introduced the policy, and the Democrats confirmed it, what hope?

Yes, I could dream for the election of Libertarians. But in the meantime, Senator Rand Paul (R-TN) comes to the rescue.

Senator Rand Paul has submitted an Amendment to Senate Bill 1867 (known as the National Defense Authorization Act) which would strike the section of the bill that allows the US government to indefinitely detain individuals without trial or due process. The Amendment is #1062 and would eliminate Section 1031 which states:

"Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force...includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons...Detention under the law of war without trial"

The Democrats and their supporters made plenty of noise about human rights when Bush was in office. They did so correctly. Shame on them for not acting on their noisy rhetoric once in office. A bunch of empty suits. Well, this is consistent of them in so many things- deficit spending, war in Iraq, presidential power, etc., etc.

Rah-rah Rand Paul!