Humor Archives

Political Cartoon: Invest Wisely

From Mike Lester (click for larger version):

Political Cartoon: Jumpstarting the Economy

From Chuck Asay:

Chuck Asay cartoon

Political Cartoon: Me and My Country

"Gee, I’ll vote to get some of that wealth spread to me."  Welcome to the 21st century.

From Chuck Asay:


Now We Know Where Hell Is

"Devil Is in Bailout’s Details" – Wall Street Journal

Revisiting the experience question, with regards to population values

A recent commenter to my Comparing Alaska and New York City; Does size matter? post has taken issue with my extended comparison of infrastructure requirements between Illinois and Alaska, and how such requirements relate to experience in one who governs Alaska vs. in one who is a US senator for the state of Illinois.

Ansley stated,

…There’s not even 700,000 people in Alaska. The mayor of New York City has big fish to fry, my friend….each city has its own unique challenges, but the fact is, the more people you have in an area, the trickier things become.

My first reaction would be to wonder whether or not the critic has been to Alaska and seen, firsthand, how they deal with the logistics of managing such massive sea and air travel, in such extreme locations and weather conditions? Winter conditions that shut down most US airports are simply business as usual in Alaska. While working in Valdez, I was sent home only once, due to weather (and that was because the snowstorm had been dropping snow at the rate of 1 foot per hour for more about 4 hours). It’s not unusual for a typical Valdez snowstorm to drop 4 feet of snow. Once, when landing in Anchorage, the pilot informed us that the current temp was 0 degrees F. He also noted that the current ambient temp in Fairbanks, where the plane was headed, was -43 F. Did you catch that? It’s -43 F, yet they’re going to land and disembark because… it’s business as usual.

Simply put, you don’t manage that type of infrastructure, in that kind of weather, over that expanse of territory, unless you know exactly what you are doing.

But, to address the nonsensical population argument, let’s take a nonsensical look at it in terms of how it supposedly applies to the running of various countries, states, or cities. First, let’s use the following population values, from Wikipedia:

  • US = 305,312,000
  • China (PRC) = 1,321,851,888
  • India = 1,132,446,000
  • Russia = 142,008,838
  • Canada = 33,390,000
  • California = 36,553,215
  • Illinois = 12,852,548
  • NYC = 8,274,527
  • Alaska = 677,000
  • Illinois(2) = 642,627

Using the Deepak Chopra / Ansley argument, it appears that running the US is roughly 1/4 the job of running China or India (I’ll give you 4 US presidents for your 1 Chinese premier – and I’ll throw in an extra president for half a dozen Chinese gymnasts). Yet, we see that running the US is about 2 times the job of running Russia (that must explain why Putin has the time to go tiger hunting!), 9 times greater than running Canada (yet another reason for our friends up north to hate us), 8 times greater than California (so former / current actors shouldn’t have a problem running Cal-ee-for-nee-uh?), 24 times greater than Illinois, 37 times that of NYC, and a whopping 451 times more complex than running Alaska!

Case closed? End of story?

Not so fast, census breath.

Isn’t the point here to compare experience levels with regards to being in charge of – as in – managing and running something (i.e., executive experience)? While Palin is actually running Alaska, Senator (did you catch that? – “Senator”) Obama is not running Illinois. In fact, he is only one of two senators, along with around 18 congressmen. Surely we can’t take Illinois’ total population of 12.8 million when comparing Obama’s responsibilities with that of Palin’s, can we? So, let’s do an Obamadjustment to the population of Illinois. First off, since he’s one of two senators, we need to cut the 12.8 million in half, to 6.4 million. And, since he shares responsibility with all those congressmen, let’s half the 6.4 to 3.2 million. Finally, since Obama isn’t really running the state (that’s left for the… ahem, governor), let’s take only, say, 20% of the 3.2 million. Now we’re left with an adjusted population (Illinois(2)) of 642,627 that we could reasonably attribute to Obama’s non-executive responsibilities.

Well, using our adjusted number, we see that running the US is 475 times greater than Obama’s current non-executive role. That puts him behind the governor of Alaska, in terms of population comparisons.

The thing is, Obama isn’t running for VP.

Shire Network News #134, Hosted by Yours Truly

Normally I don’t mention new episodes of the Shire Network News podcast here, since it’s not directly related to this blog.  However, this week I hosted the show, so if you ever wanted to hear a whole lot more of me than a 3-minute commentary (though I can’t imagine why you might), Shire Network News #134 has been released.  (Just a warning; as much as I may make my commentaries and this hosting duty family-friendly, that’s not entirely the intent of the producers.  A few words of the 4-letter variety make an appearance by other contributors.)

The feature interview is with journalist Bill Bishop, author of "The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart".  He says America is increasingly divided, not just politically, but by basic, fundamental world views. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

The big question now is whether they’ll ever let me host it again.  :)  (My sound equipment is not, shall we say, optimal.  Kudos to "Brian of London" for removing what he could of the awful hiss.)

[tags]podcast,Shire Network News,Bill Bishop,The Big Sort[/tags]

Global Warming Update

It seems that there has been quite a lot of news that has, again, gone unreported by much of the mainstream media. An editorial in the Washington DC Examiner last Thursday noted a number of data points that are all trending in the same direction. (As you read this, please place your tongue firmly in your cheek. This is the script I used for my segment in the most recent Shire Network News podcast, in which we use satire and humor to get our points across.)

New data produced by more than 3,000 sophisticated ocean buoys scattered across the world’s oceans indicate average water temperatures have been decreasing since 2003, not increasing as would be the case in Gore’s globally warming world. NASA’s Josh Willis, who studies the output of the sophisticated buoys that take temperature readings from thousands of feet below the surface, says the significance of the new data is unclear.

Of course, it’s unclear. Now, if the data had shown that the ocean was warming, the significance of the new data would have been immediately clear, and Al Gore would have held a press conference by now.

The average land temperature of the globe dropped precipitously last year, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. The temperature drop — more than enough to “wipe out most of the global warming of the past 100 years,” according to the online technology publication Daily Tech — was also recorded by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Somehow, this must all be Bush’s fault. Or Karl Rove’s. Either way, it seems rather, shall we say, convenient that this happened so close to an election year? Things like this simply do not happen during a Republican administration.

The severity of this global temperature drop was reflected in the fact the average U.S. temperature in January was lower than the average for the previous century, according to the U.S. Climactic Data Center. Also, the Canadian Ice Service reports the Arctic ice pack is 10 to 20 centimeters thicker in many places this year than it was in 2007.

Well so what? All this means is that the ice floes those poor polar bears are floating on are 8 inches thicker.

Professor Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences is advising people “to stock up on fur coats” because he expects an extended period of global cooling, an assessment that is echoed by Kenneth Tapping of the U.S. National Academy of Science’s National Research Council. Both scientists contend solar activity explains most of the temperature variation in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Solar activity affects Earth’s temperature? Yeah, right. And ocean currents affect fish migration. Puhleeze. (Besides, we can’t tax the Sun. Yet.)

A peer-reviewed study published recently in the journal Nature suggests there will be no global warming until 2015, due to the effects of the Meridional Overturning Circulation, a giant oceanic conveyor belt that moves warmer water into the North Atlantic in a 70- to 80-year cycle, according to the London Telegraph.

Oh, for goodness sake, so they are going to bring up ocean currents! Solar cycles, weather cycles, ocean cycles, yadda yadda yadda. This is global warming we’re talking about! What does history have to do with it?


In any event, if you’re waiting for these items to gain prominence in the news reporting of the day, hold not thy breath.

[tags]environment,global warming,climate change,Josh Willis,Hadley Center for Climate Prediction,Goddard Institute for Space Studies,U.S. Climactic Data Center,Canadian Ice Service,Oleg Sorokhtin,Russian Academy of Natural Sciences,Kenneth Tapping,U.S. National Academy of Science’s National Research Council,Meridional Overturning Circulation[/tags]


I realize the above news clip will not please my Roman Catholic readers, thus I hope they’ll further forgive me for the following by Fr Chrysostom MacDonnell, taken from “An Orthodox view of Church History” …

A few years ago I met an Anglican clergyman who was married to a Greek Orthodox lady. They once went to Greece for a holiday and visited her home village. Naturally, she introduced her Anglican husband to the local Papas (the Greek Orthodox parish priest,) who spoke a little English. At the time there was a little old Greek lady standing beside them who asked the Greek priest who this visitor was.

“He’s an Anglican Christian,” the priest responded in Greek.

“What’s an Anglican?” the old lady inquired.

“They’re Protestants,” replied the priest. “You know, like Roman Catholics.”

From Orthodoxie.

 Page 4 of 4 « 1  2  3  4