Sunday, November 30, 2008

Zombie Repellent

In addition to repellent properties, trappist ales also provide the imbiber with a immunity (most likely temporary) to the Zombie Blood Virus (ZBV). Too bad for you gluten-intolerant people. Your brains will be among the first consumed by the zombie hordes.

A case of trappist ale will be joining the machete and shotgun in my zombie emergency preparedness kit.

Thanks to Northern Brewer.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shifting the Tax Burden

A recent discussion with a friend regarding President-elect Obama's proposed economic policy has left me scratching my head in disbelief.

It is my contention that Mr. Obama's policy is socialist. Socialism is the vesting of ownership and control of capital (or property, means of production, etc.) in the community as a whole. Mr. Obama has stated, on more than one occasion, that he wants to spread the wealth around (and place a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, or any other business that makes too much money for his liking). He would do this by using the tax code to place an even higher burden on higher-income earners, while relieving more lower- and middle-income earners of any income tax liability. This is not news to anyone, it is Mr. Obama's campaign platform. Accusing someone of using circular reasoning regarding this issue (Obama is a socialist because he wants to redistribute wealth; Obama wants to redistribute wealth because he is a socialist) is misguided and intellectually dishonest.

To say that everyone who earns an income pays federal tax, at least in the form of Social Security and Medicaid, regardless of income level, is a fallacy. There are these funny little things called the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Care Credit. These two refundable "tax" credits actually pay lower-income earners above what is deducted from their income for all federal tax. That is what they were designed to do. At the Urban Institute:

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest cash transfer program for low-income parents in the United States.1 The refundable tax credit supplements wages and offsets taxes paid by low-income workers.

...

The EITC program was implemented in 1975 to help offset the Social Security payroll taxes paid by low-income working parents and to encourage parents to work. Over the past 25 years, the EITC has grown dramatically through a large increase in benefits and expanded eligibility.

These credits pay individuals with children (up to two) more than what a single person would receive. The children involved do not even have to be related to the individual in order to receive the credit. These credits are abused in low-income neighborhoods. I have known, first-hand, of people selling the SSNs of their third, or fourth, child to people without children so that the buyer can claim the EITC and CCC illegally.

Obama will raise taxes on those who work hard, achieve more, and try to save some of their earnings. Obama will shift more of the tax burden to the high-income end, thereby relieving more on the low-income end of any tax liability whatsoever.

While we are on the subject of socialism, Mr. Obama sponsored S. 2433, known as the Global Poverty Act, in May 2008. It would require "the president to develop and implement a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade debt relief, and coordination with the international community, businesses, and NGOs." This would cost the U.S. nearly $845 billion in addition to what we already spend on foreign aid.

These are things Mr. Obama said he will do as president. If his plans are not socialist, I do not know what is.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I Don't Attend My High School Reunions

Because they would most likely be exactly like this (from The Onion):

NEW YORK—For the fifth straight year, Jordan McCabe will return home for the holidays and spend the night before Thanksgiving running into every smug and unlikable asshole he ever went to high school with, the 26-year-old reported Monday.

The trip back home, scheduled for later this week, will reportedly bring McCabe face-to-face with an endless string of pricks from his past, each of whom he will have to engage in awkward conversation, and generally pretend to be happy about seeing again.

...

At Marleybone, McCabe will be required to partake in a number of unpleasant activities, including making small talk with several assholes who used to openly mock him during high school, and reminiscing about the "good old days" of which he was never a part. While the consumption of alcohol will initially make the evening more tolerable, McCabe is ultimately expected to leave the bar after realizing he has just as little in common with all these assholes as he did when he was 15.


Heh.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Toy

Behold!



It is a Leland CO2 Picnic Tap. It injects CO2 into a beer keg as said beverage is being dispensed, eliminating the tedious pumping. The CO2 keeps the beer fresh, unlike the stale air that pumps introduce to the keg. (Remember your college days, when some drunk moron at the keg would pump the poor thing about a thousand times in a misguided attempt to make the tap run faster? All you could get was foam for the next three hours! No more.)

Retail: About $230. Like-new condition, second hand: $5.
It should come in handy the next time I brew beer (perhaps with Smallholder?) at Queen City Brewing Co. No more bottles! Well, perhaps a few...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Interviews with the Vampires

I feel my limited intelligence being sucked out of my brain by these people:


Monday, November 17, 2008

Offal Good

With the election finally over, I feel the need to begin posting about other things that draw my attention and fancy, such as the ever-informative site Offalgood. Not for the squeamish, mind you.

Chef Chris is a loud voice against waste, factory farming, and the industrialized nature of our food supply. His mission is to open eyes (and minds), and to help people understand where food comes from, and how it arrives on our plates. Please take the time to read his blog, especially the items regarding the slaughtering of animals and their transformation into dinner before a live audience.

Of special interest is a link to a post about Charcuterie at Star Chefs.

At the top of the blog at Offal Good is a story about Cod Sperm. Yes. Cod Sperm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Name is Bruce

I had pleasant (and estrogen - free) evening out last night to see My name is Bruce with Smallholder, the Maximum Leader, and Kevin. Dinner and manly conversation at the The Tombs in Georgetown followed.

Anyone familiar with Bruce Campbell's oeuvre will find the film enjoyable, as there were many gags spoofing his long B-movie career.


My thanks to our most gracious host the Maximum Leader (and his family). Long may he reign.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

But If Not...

A line from the Book of Daniel, sent by trapped British troops on the beach at Dunkirk in 1940. The Llamabutchers quote-the-quote from the article "The Demise of Literature" by George Will.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
I, too, find the quote reassuring in the Age of Obama.

The Lord is my shield and my strength

Secretary of Education?



Could a bio "reissue" and a book tour for terrorist William Ayers help to "soften" his image in the Age of Obama? Could he become Dear Leader Chairman Maobama's Secretary of Education? If Dear Leader is actually considering John F. Kerry (who served in the Viet Nam war, by the way) for any cabinet post (or waterboy, for that matter), it is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Get ready for a steady diet of turd sandwiches for the next four years.