Archive for July, 2012

If Tom Cruise were a tomato, what kind would he be?

4972234_oriIf the modern industrialized tomato were a celebrity, it would be Tom Cruise, the modern industrialized actor.

The similarities are striking:

The actor and the fruit both look superficially appealing. They both have thin skins, not to mention an artificially long shelf life. And neither is as flavorful, juicy or interesting as its perfect appearance might suggest. Bland and boring as cardboard would be more apt descriptors.

In contrast, the old-fashioned, home-grown heirloom tomato — the kind that you pick warm from the vine on this Fourth of July, slice thin and sprinkle with salt and pepper — might be deemed the Tom Hanks of the gardening world. Like Hanks, its features may be a little more irregular and misshapen, and it comes in a wider palette of red, green and yellow. But in the end, it offers a far more interesting and rewarding flavor.

The difference between them is significant. For example, try to imagine Tom Cruise playing Forrest Gump. The very thought will make …

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Romney puts that ’sleeping giant’ back to sleep

The Republican response to last week’s Supreme Court decision was something to see. Upon losing the constitutional argument, they refocused their outrage immediately, this time targeting the court’s ruling that the enforcement mechanism behind the health-insurance mandate is a tax.

The synchronicity and speed of the shift were impressive to say the least. Within an hour or two of the ruling, the entire conservative movement had taken up the tax howl, and the raised voices chanting in unison instilled a confidence among many on the right that the ruling had “awakened a sleeping giant.”

Mitt Romney, however, wants to tuck that giant back into bed and feed him three Ambien washed down with a glass of nice, warm milk.

From National Journal, under the headline “Romney Campaign Declaring Cease Fire on Health Care”:

“In the aftermath of the Supreme Court health care ruling, the early conventional wisdom was that an unfavorable health care ruling at the court would be good for …

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At the nexus of neology, theology, technology

We’ve all experienced it, and most of us have probably done it:

You’re talking with someone in a social or business situation and a cell phone rings. Maybe it’s your phone; maybe it’s the other person’s. Either way, the previous conversation ends abruptly, because in the modern communications hierarchy the outside phone call or text message generally takes priority over mere face-to-face, human-to-human interaction.

Sure, it’s rude. But most people do it anyway, sometimes with a quick word of apology to the ignored party, but often not. And while some may not find the practice socially acceptable, the battle against it is quickly being lost.

If someone breaks off a face-to-face conversation to text-message or take a cell-phone call, then you have just been

  • 1.) tech-nored
  • 2.) e-rupted
  • 3.) out-synched (and in-synched when the conversation resumes)
  • 4.) e-holed
  • 5.) e-nored
  • 6.) mail-roaded
  • 7.) i-jacked

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The phenomenon of …

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ObamaCare, taxes and economic growth

We covered this debate in the comments earlier, but in our never-ending and always vain crusade to base policy debate on actual fact rather than invented “truth,” let’s address it again, head on, so nobody can claim they missed it:

Contrary to what you may have been told and may wish to believe, the tax increases used to fund ObamaCare do not amount to the largest tax increase in history, in American history, or in American history since 1950, since 1968 or even since 1980.

However you want to cut it, it is not even close.

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To the right is the list of major tax hikes since 1950, ranked by the percentage of gross domestic product that they diverted into the coffers of the U.S. government. As you can see, the 1982 tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan was 60 percent greater than the tax hike needed to implement ObamaCare.

A few other points of interest:

– Note the three large tax increases implemented in the early ’50s, a decade in which real gross domestic …

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