Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘free stuff’

Mmm, doughnuts

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2016

Today is National Doughnut Day. Did you remember to stop by Krispy Kreme and get your free doughnut?

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Happy National Coffee Day!

Posted by Richard on September 29, 2015

September 29 is National Coffee Day. In celebration, a number of doughnut shops and other restaurants are offering free coffee today. Krispy Kreme is even throwing in a free doughnut. If you’re a cheapskate and have lots of time on your hands, you could drive from place to place filling up for free on the world’s healthiest beverage.

I should point out that for some of us, every day is Coffee Day. 🙂

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Obama plan to tax college savings reveals his Marxist core

Posted by Richard on January 20, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama proposed to make community college “free” for everyone. Of course, just like lunch, there is no free community college. The cost, which the administration says will be $60 billion over 10 years (but will probably be several times that), must be borne by someone. His plan to pay for it (leaked in advance of the state of the union address) reveals how thoroughly Marxist Obama is in his core beliefs.

For years, parents (and grandparents) have been urged to save for their kids’ college educations by regularly contributing to a 529 college savings plan. You’ve probably seen the public service announcements countless times on TV. Like a 401k, the contributions grow tax-free in the plan. Like a health savings account, the money isn’t taxed if withdrawn for the intended purpose, in this case college expenses. This is what people have been promised for the past 15 years in order to encourage them to be thrifty and plan for their children’s future.

Obama wants to break that promise. He wants to tax the savings of the thrifty and responsible parents and grandparents in order to give a “free” college education to everyone. It illustrates perfectly that the core belief driving him is the Marxist dictum, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

This is but one of several wealth redistribution schemes being unveiled, supposedly to help “the middle class” at the expense of “the wealthiest.” Like most such schemes, it won’t just take from “the wealthiest” — not that it would be any less evil if it did. My guess is that the typical contributor to a 529 college savings plan is firmly in the middle class, not in the much-maligned 1%.

This contemptible proposal would punish personal responsibility, foresight, and thrift, while rewarding lack of personal responsibility, failure to plan, and dependency. In practical terms, you get less of what you punish and more of what you reward. In moral terms, this is punishing good people precisely for their goodness, and that is vile.

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Michael Moore vs. Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Richard on March 4, 2011

Fat cat (no pun intended) movie mogul Michael Moore, interviewed on something called Grit TV, has declared that the money of wealthy Americans isn't theirs, it's a "natural resource" that the government should seize and redistribute. I can't help but wonder why the interviewer didn't ask what Moore has done to redistribute the tens of millions of dollars of this "natural resource" that reside in his bank accounts.


[YouTube link]

Moore and those like him are guilty of two egregious errors. The first is an error of ignorance (willful ignorance, I'm tempted to say). They seem to believe that wealth (or money, which they seem to think is the same thing) is just a fixed pile of stuff that somehow, magically, exists — and that all that's necessary is deciding how it should be distributed. 

The second error is even more egregious, and it rests on the first — because it requires one to be ignorant of (or indifferent to) how and why wealth is created and even of the fact that there are those who create wealth. It's the moral error of believing that it's OK to take wealth from those who've created it to give it to someone else. As I noted, people like Moore can believe and justify this because they don't view those who've created the wealth as its creators, and thus don't view them as its rightful owners. Wealth just exists, or appears magically like manna falling from heaven, so it's a "natural resource" that we all collectively own.

Peter Wehner contrasted Moore's perspective with that of Abraham Lincoln, and quoted Lincoln: 

I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. …. I want every man to have the chance — and I believe a black man is entitled to it — in which he can better his condition — when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.

Allowing individuals the chance to better their condition is a legitimate moral claim that citizens demand of government. Government’s goal should be to ensure equality of opportunity instead of equality of outcome; to work toward a society where everyone has a fair shot rather than one where government enforces equality.

This issue — equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome — is one of the great dividing lines between modern conservatism and liberalism. If given the choice between the philosophy of Michael Moore and the philosophy of Abraham Lincoln, my hunch is that the public will side with Lincoln.

I think the public sided with Lincoln in last November's elections. I think — I hope — enough people understand that increasing the total wealth of our society depends on ensuring that people have the opportunity to create wealth. And that the redistributionist philosophy of Moore and those like him destroys that opportunity. And thus makes us all poorer in the long run. 

Besides, it's not just that it would do more harm than good — it's just plain wrong. The person who creates something that didn't exist before is the rightful owner of that creation. Calling it a "natural resource" and redistributing it is theft, plain and simple. 

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National Doughnut Day

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2010

The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day, and that means you can probably score a free doughnut at your local doughnut shop or a national chain outlet (like Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Doughnuts). But don't overdo it, running from one location to another to score all you can. Remember, doughnuts will kill you — they're on more than one list of top ten unhealthiest foods.

 

 

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Free money from Obama’s stash

Posted by Richard on October 9, 2009

Remember when they promised us the $780 billion in "stimulus" spending would produce jobs, funding shovel-ready projects that would get the economy moving? Not in Detroit. There, they just created a lottery for free money. Instead of creating jobs, they stimulated a chaotic mob scene, with fights and injuries and a near-riot. Welcome to Obama's redistributionist America.

[YouTube link]

Via The Virginian, here are a couple of transcripts of WJR's Ken Rogulski interviewing some free money lottery participants (emphasis added): 

ROGULSKI: Why are you here?
WOMAN #1: To get some money.
ROGULSKI: What kind of money?
WOMAN #1: Obama money.
ROGULSKI: Where's it coming from?
WOMAN #1: Obama.
ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get it?
WOMAN #1: I don't know, his stash. I don't know. (laughter) I don't know where he got it from, but he givin' it to us, to help us.
WOMAN #2: And we love him.
WOMAN #1: We love him. That's why we voted for him!
WOMEN: (chanting) Obama! Obama! Obama! (laughing)

And the other one:

ROGULSKI: Did you get an application to fill out yet?
WOMAN: I sure did. And I filled it out, and I am waiting to see what the results are going to be.
ROGULSKI: Will you know today how much money you're getting?
WOMAN: No, I won't, but I'm waiting for a phone call.
ROGULSKI: Where's the money coming from?
WOMAN: I believe it's coming from the City of Detroit or the state.
ROGULSKI: Where did they get it from?
WOMAN: Some funds that was forgiven (sic) by Obama.
ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get the funds?
WOMAN: Obama getting the funds from… Ummm, I have no idea, to tell you the truth. He's the president.
ROGULSKI: In downtown Detroit, Ken Rogulski, WJR News.

You can't imagine how much that depresses me.

Gregory of Yardale at Moonbattery thinks this is the model Obama citizen:

There you have the core of the Democrat base, someone lining up for money the government has taken away from someone else (future generations, in this case), who has done nothing to earn it, who doesn't give a damb where it came from, and is happy that Obama is looking out for her.

And Tim Geithner's bailout buddies at Goldman Sachs are no better.

I'd amend Gregory's assessment slightly. These aren't model citizens, they're model subjects.

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Obamabot sound bite of the day

Posted by Richard on November 4, 2008

I heard this sound bite on the radio this morning. A south Florida woman explained to a reporter that she was so excited about electing Obama because "I won't have to work on putting gas in my car, I won't have to work on paying my mortgage, you know, if I help him, he's gonna help me."

I was reminded of the SNL presidential debate skit from a few elections ago (1996?) in which a questioner from the audience demanded of the candidates, "Where's my stuff? I want my stuff!"

Go vote. For McCain.

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If it redistributes like a duck …

Posted by Richard on November 4, 2008

David Harsanyi (emphasis added):

Obama laughs off the charge of socialist behavior — and to be fair, socialism isn't the precise term to affix to his ideas. It's more like Robin Hood economics. On a recent campaign stop, Obama joked that, by the end of the week, McCain would be accusing him "of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten."

A funny line. But, of course, Obama's lofty intellect must comprehend the fundamental difference between sharing your G.I. Joe with a friend and having a bully snatch your G.I. Joe for the collective, prepubescent good. It's the difference between coercion and free association and trade. In practical terms, it's the difference between government cheese and a meal at Ruth's Chris.

Now, I'm not suggesting Obama intends to transform this nation into 1950s-era Soviet tyranny or that he will possess the power to do so. I'm suggesting Obama is praising and mainstreaming an economic philosophy that has failed to produce a scintilla of fairness or prosperity anywhere on Earth. Ever. 

Amen! Read the whole thing. Then vote as if our future depends on it.

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Visual search plus humor

Posted by Richard on March 8, 2007

If, like me, you think Google Image Search, Flickr, and Photobucket are pretty useful, but not as useful as they could be — well, you might want to keep an eye on Riya. It's still a pretty young outfit (company, service, technology, …), but there's a lot of potential there, and no shortage of ambitious goals:

Riya is a new kind of visual search engine. We look inside the image, not only at the text around it.

Use Riya to:

  • Find similar faces and objects on many images across the web.
  • Refine the results, using color, shape and texture.

We believe the time has come to truly make photos searchable, to let people say I want "more like this" and get what they want, and to eventually allow every public photo in the world to be found. We are only starting on this journey. Image search on the web hasn't changed significantly in many years. We are a geeky (and proud of it) group of engineers and researchers who are slowly innovating in this area. We look forward to your feedback via email or via our blog.

Like Flickr, Photobucket, et al, Riya lets you upload and store photos online (free, and with no number or bandwidth limit, but they're all resized to 800×600). You can keep pictures private, share them with friends, or make them public. But Riya can do some stuff the competition can't. Like recognize new pictures of Uncle Ernie (once you've identified him, of course) and tag them appropriately. And recognize text in pictures and generate tags from that.

The image database doesn't rival Google's, but Riya has some nice features, like the clickable tag cloud showing the most popular image tags. The size of the words indicates their relative popularity.

One thing that really struck me about their site — I believe it's the first time I've ever seen someone kidding around in the legally binding Terms of Use:

3. Grant of License.

The Company claims all rights to every photograph you have ever taken, even if you have not yet uploaded it to the Web Site. We even claim rights to future photographs you may take or even think about taking. Mwaaaaahahahahahaha…

Just kidding – this is not the evil empire. We don’t approve of the large scale theft of intellectual property by corporations on the web today who claim ownership to everything you do on their site. Our ACTUAL policy is that you keep all copyright rights you have to all of your photographs that you, through use of the Web Site, upload to the Web Site.

Check these guys out. An attitude like that deserves your support.

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