Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Irish Sing-A-Long Trivia 2-24-09

What tune did McNamara's Band play at funerals?

3 More Weeks!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Response to Santelli

According to creepy-looking Chuck Todd of NBC, this was the Administrations response to Rick Santelli (the video Patrick posted below):

"The stuff that I've heard from the White House and people that have talked to me about this, you know, they -- I think they're kind of laughing that they're getting lectured by a trader, in their minds on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. And it's like, you know, this is -- you know, they're sitting there going, it's like -- to take the real criticism where this was coming from, the idea that, hey, are -- are you helping out people that, you know, should be punished, the fact is, they say, look, we are helping out people that should be punished, and we wish we could punish, but that isn't our role. Our role is to try to create stability in the economy and in the housing market."

What? What does any of that mean? Who do they wish could be punished?

Irish Sing-A-Long Trivia 9-23-09

What prompted Clancy to lower the boom?

O'Brien's Our Man

O'Bwien's ouw man.
He'll ably wepwesent the whole Iwish clan.
He'll lead the best pawade in the land,
As only he can.
We salute O'bwien our man.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Irish Sing-A-Long Trivia 2-20-09

What did Mrs. Finnegan serve at her son's wake?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rick Santelli: Silent Majority Spokesman

Not sure how much longer this guy will last at NBC if he keeps talking like this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Irish Sing-Along Trivia 2-19-09

I'm going to try to make this a daily post leading up to St. Patrick's Day. Questions will deal with popular Irish pub songs. We'll start off with an easy one.

Who threw the overalls in Mrs. Murphy's chowder?

Vox Gems: 2/18/2009

"OK, President Obama, I've been out of work for three months and have no health care. When will I get my unemployment raise and free health care? I need it now, not next year. Anything else free you got, like food stamps or cheese would help. If you got wine to go with that cheese, I'll take that too. And they're taking taxes out on my unemployment. How crazy is that?"

"Every time the gas stations raise the price of gasoline they are putting a nail in the coffin of the economy. They should be prosecuted for treason."

Top 5 Inconveniences on St. Patrick's Day

-Finding a decent place to pee pee.
By decent I mean not having to wait more than 20 minutes to enter a porta-potty that has a nearly full waste container with a giant turd sitting on the top covered in what appears to be bird seed. And not trying to sneak a leak in the thin bushes in the square, because you know someone is going to expose you for laughs.

You have to seek out the one person in the group who is the inside toilet man. This guy has confidential intelligence on the one porta-potty or corner dumpster that the other 399,999 revelers downtown somehow missed. When you get back to your drinking spot, and someone asks you where the best place to pee is, you shrug and say, "Anywhere."

-People stealing beer from your cooler.
You were smart. You went to Kroger the night before and bought a case or more of beer that tastes less than it costs. Bought the bag of ice, and most importantly, found a way to get the cooler to the square. That means either you lugged the bastard there or some poor soul who is too nice agreed to bring it for you.

Then your friends' creepy other friends just start reaching into whatever cooler, just because, "Hey, bra, whatever. It's Saint Patty's Day." No asking, no thanking. Just a lowlife vagabond skating through life mooching off intelligent, prepared individuals.

We like the better looking gender hanging around, fixing the sausage ratio. They look pretty in green and sunglasses. But they have trouble adjusting to the conditions and checking their high maintenance at the door. Where we deem it acceptable to urinate, they feel like they can stake out some magical, cleaner piss pot. When we're hitting our third wind at 5:00 p.m., they start pouting like they lost the Sunday school Easter egg hunt. Guys who now live all scattered around in Georgia get one guaranteed day to hang out like the good ol' days, and Jessica wants to go home at 3:00 because "her head hurts."

Don't get me wrong - one of the best parts about March Seventeenth is seeing all those wandering souls from your past who look fatter, older, and definitely weirder than they used to look. But God knows you can't remember the names of some of these sons of bitches. "Hmm. Your face is definitely similar to one I recall when I was a senior, and you were perhaps a sophomore. We may have even had a ten minute conversation in 2001 about something." He remembers your name as if it were written on your forehead. Just try your best to flash that little smile of recognition, say something crude that gets a pity chuckle, shake hands, take a drink, and mosey away.

Equally uncomfortable is the complete opposite situation. The acquaintance who is really good friends with one of your friends. You've met on several occasions, know exactly who he is and what his job is, but the guy will cheerfully introduce himself every year. Seems like a nice guy.

It's a given that we all despise out-of-towners like the good little isolationists we are. They crowd our streets and bring in an odor of douche so strong it cuts through the parade horse poop. However, this element of the crowd is consistent and predictable, and so I don't consider them to be a top inconvenience. I believe the last spot is more appropriate for the out-of-towners we actually know and unleash unto the festivities. Even more specifically, the ones who have never been to Savannah.

They ask you about the best bars to go to, the best square from which to observe the parade, so on and so on. Always full of questions, these people. Now you have to play host, desperately trying to slice up your time between these visitors (usually people you already see too much of anyway) and the Savannah folks. Their typical impatience forces you to realize that maybe not everyone is that interested in standing around for ten hours outside of a circle of guys who tell obnoxious inside jokes and pretend like your visitors aren't even there. To hell with these people. Hire a tour guide next time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Deal

No, not like FDR's New Deal. This one is cheap and actually works. McDonald's has 2 sausage egg mcmuffins for $2.50 right now.

You won't even have to eat lunch.

One More Month!

Shenanigans tonight at Kevin Barry's!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top 5 Potential Guest Speakers at the Irish Hurricanes Breakfast

1. Steve Carl - Yeah, he's got two first names. So what? BYOMP. (Bring your own military protractor.)
2. Bill Curley - Not the former Boston College basketball star. I cannot substantiate that point any further.
3. Conan O'Brian - I actually sent an email to Late Night a few years ago, inquiring about Conan's availabilty to speak at a future breakfast. I never got a response.
4. Matt Ryan - Irish, Catholic and now a Georgia resident. Why not? Plus, he would be with guys his own age.
5. Kenny Powers...

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Top Five Personalities you will see on St. Patrick's Day"

1. Chris Connolly- You can not have the Sinn Fein, or the parade for that matter, without this masterpiece of a legend. With an endless array of one-liners second to none (the topic was covered in a previous post) only Chris can walk the entire parade with a plastic cup full of Jim Beam, and spike the cup on the asphalt at the foot of the grandstand, as if he scored the winning touchdown for the Super Bowl.

2. Kevin Hagan- 250 lbs of pure smiles and sweat bearing down Abercorn. Sure, it's a comfortable 65 degrees at 11:23 a.m. on March 17th, but Kevin will make you think it's 105. All the girls love him, all the guys admire him.

3. Jimmy Ray- "I'm not a bad ass, but I can be." The nicest and funniest guy you'll ever meet. Never been married, rules the KofC. Anyone who knows anything befriends this giant of a man. Sits on the visitor's side of BC football games alone, just so he can watch the game in peace. For the past decade or so, Jimmy has been commentating with the local news stations during the parade. You'll hear comments like... "That's my cousin walking bye!" And my favorite, "That was one helluva-ball-playa-fo-Benedicten." After the parade, you'll see Jimmy at the KofC bar, cracking jokes about the Marine Corps. At two o'clock the same night, you'll see him with two ladies on his arms... wearing a tuxedo.

4. T.P.- Thomas Powers, Pat's Uncle. A jack of all tricks. The red laser light pen, the $5 on a string (An increase from $1 because of inflation.), fake teeth and googly eyes. The entire Clan Na Erin breakfast ridicules the happiest man in America each St. Patrick's Day morning. Why? Because they're jealous.

5. Rick Schwartz- Drunk as hell, working the route with the Parade Committee with his white coat, green pants, and a gigantic cup full of Makers and Coke. No one can out drink him this day. He tends to attract Marines into a brawl at McDonough's around midnight of St. Patrick's Day.

Top 5 types of ladies you see on St. Patrick's Day

1. The Local- Dressed in their green best, these have been to every parade and have seen it all. Many can hang with the boys until the wee hours....or not.
2. The Rookie- These are usually attending their 1st parade, and will act like it. It's a marathon girls, not a sprint. They will not make it late into the night unless they get a chance to pass out for a while.
3. The Cougar- I use the term loosely, as they aren't necessarily single or looking for action. These are the more mature ladies that have usually applied lipstick to their face with a paint roller and are looking to kiss any man in the parade that can still hold himself up. Have been known to reek of Mad Dog 20/20.
4. The Flasher- You'll see these creep up to Bay Street to catch a glimpse of the parade before returning to their element on the river. They are more than willing to bare it all, usually at their boyfriends encouragement. It's all fun and games until they're yanked down by the SPD and get to make that call to their parents.
5. The Token- These usually don't want to be around a mass of people in the first place, and are forced to follow their boyfriend and his friends around all day and watch them get hammered, while all they can think about is getting home to their cat(s).

Top 5 St. Patrick's Day Smells

5. Horse squeeze on hot asphalt
4. Funnel Cakes
3. Corned beef hash
2. Flat beer
1. That smell that occurs when you sip your cheap liquor and the smell of scrambled eggs wafts into your nostrils causing that quarter-stomach-turn.

Top 5 Items Bought From Street Vendors

Expanding on Joe's Top 5...

1. Silly String
2. Fake/Candy Cigarettes
3. Stink Bombs
4. Poppers
5. "Invisible Dog" leash

Top 5 St. Patrick's Day Knick-Knacks

5. Big green horn.
4. Green and white Dr. Seuss-type hat.
3. "Patrick was a saint, I ain't" t-shirt.
2. Three-feet tall inflatable hammer.
1. Green beaded necklace with prominent Cannabis leaf.

Top 5 St. Patrick's Day Sounds

1. Bagpipes
2. Kazoos
3. Police sire chirps
4. Snare drums
5. Dinosaur calls

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top 5 St. Patrick's Day Traditions

1. Pinkie Master's before the parade.
2. Open-bar breakfasts.
3. Chipewa Square after the parade.
4. BC boys getting kisses.
5. Green grits.

Top 5 Things To Do on St. Patrick's Day If You're Not Irish or Catholic

1. Pretend you recognize someone from BC who recognizes you
2. Pretend you aren't some rootless mutt with no ties to anything, really
3. Pretend that your BC ring isn't killing your fatter finger
4. Pretend that everyone you're waving to while you're marching cares that you're waving to them (fairly easy after heavy a.m. drinking)
5. Pretend that you have the stamina to suddenly be able to drink as much and as long as your red-faced, Catholic mick friends (difficult)

St. Patrick's Day Top 5's

With only five weeks to go until the most important day of the year, it is time to start posting some St. Patrick's Day material. Ryan started off the 2009 season with his five week's notice. I will periodically post Top 5 lists of various items relating to St. Patrick's Day in Savannah. I challenge you to do the same. I am also going to reach across blog lines and invite OIA and OITO to do the same.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Assault on Saving, II of II

I left off yesterday arguing that consumer spending is the result of economic prosperity instead of the cause. The misunderstandings surrounding this issue are like most in economics: people are short-sighted and only tend focus on what is seen in the immediate sense, not on what is unseen. This is why it's not immediately apparent how savings are what fuel greater economic prosperity that later allows for more spending and higher living standards.

To illustrate, let us consider the story of two friends: one is named Hank, the other Snuffy. Snuffy and Hank must both be blessed by the luck of the Irish because an anonymous wealthy benefactor at Blessed Sacrament School has passed away and left both with an annuity of $100,000 in dedication for their lifelong service and support of that renowned institution.

Snuffy is a lavish spender with the new income. And he spends not only based on desire, but on principle. He is a firm believer in the theory that every penny must be spent or else goods will accumulate and people will be out of work. So he goes all out in redecorating his home, and buys a few luxury sports cars and a yacht. He dines at the finest restaurants, drinks top-shelf liquor at elite establishments, and goes on numerous vacations at exotic locales. He buys the finest diamonds and jewelry for his girlfriend. He tips very handsomely and keeps a large staff of chauffeurs and servants.

In this way, Snuffy feels he is not only serving his own immediate wants and desires, but is helping others through his generous spending. And it certainly appears this way, because Snuffy is extremely popular with the Lexus car dealers, the bartenders at the Mansion, the bellhops at the Westin, the strippers at Temptations, the wait staff at Ruth's Chris and the Yacht Club, and the entourage he keeps. Everyone around Snuffy see him as a public benefactor for his liberal indulgences. His extravagance keeps these people fat, happy, and employed because he pays for their services; that is what is seen.

Hank, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. His spending habits are quite austere. Unlike Snuffy, Hank decides to only spend half ($50,000) the income each year. Sure, Hank splurges on the occasional Outback steak or Captain's Platter at Hilliard's, but for the most part his spending habits remain the same as before the bequest. He lives a much more modest lifestyle and is rarely seen making it rain at the jewelers, the nightclubs, and the strip clubs. He still eats bologne sandwiches, sneaks peanuts and Sam's cola into the movie theatres, and brings flasks into bars. For this reason, many view Hank as overly stern and stingy. With Snuffy being the city's Santa, Hank is seen as its Scrooge. By withholding potential spending dollars, he deprives retail and services sector additional income or employment; that is what is seen.

But what of the $50,000 Hank chooses not to spend? Where does it go? Does he just stuff it under his mattress or allow it to pile up in his closet? What happens to it? This is the part of the equation this is not seen. Hank decides to take his cash and deposit it into a savings account at First Chatham Bank. And when Hank does this, the Bank uses that money to loan to businesses. The businesses can employ Hank's savings in a variety of ways: maybe as short-term working capital, maybe to expand production, maybe to invest in new and better equipment, maybe to hire additional workers.

In this way, saving is really just another form of spending. The chief difference is the spending Snuffy engages in can be easily seen with the naked eye, while the result of Hank's investing is harder to grasp because it goes unseen. When people like Hank save, it increases the supply of money capital in the economy, which lowers real interest rates. And when interest rates are lowered, it allows for the production and purchase of capital goods like new houses, factories, office buildings, equipment, and high-tech tools. Businesses are more willing and able to invest because loan payments are cheaper than before. More projects can now be undertaken because interest payments no longer exceed the potential and projected revenues from such projects.

20 years pass. The trust fund becomes exhausted. Snuffy, having spent every dime, is now broke. His former colleagues now think of him as a fool, and he begs his friend Hank for money, who is meanwhile rolling in dough from the interest income he now receives from his investments. And not only has his fiscal prudence secured his own personal financial well-being, but his savings have provided and will continue to provide better, high-paying, and more productive jobs.

In this way, Hank has done far more good for the economy through saving than Snuffy did with his spending. When a company invests in new equipment or better machines, it helps raise living standards by lowering the costs of production. There are two ways in which this happens: (1) workers are provided with higher wages, because they are now able to produce more per hour and thus create more value for their employer, and (2) it allows the business to reduce the price per unit, which translates into more money into consumer's pockets. So not only is Hank's personal income and wealth greater than Snuffy's, but he has added to the economy's productive capacity while Snuffy has not.

This is why a nation's wealth and prosperity depends not on the public's willingness to spend money on consumer goods, but on the amount of accumulated capital the public has at its disposal in its production of such goods. This is why it makes little sense for our government to continue coercing consumers to engage in spendthrift behavior (just so we can get nice, big, fat GDP figures!) instead of allowing the market to adjust and the economy to recapitalize itself. By continuing to inflate the currency and holding down nominal interest rates (now at a ridiculous 0%), people have little, if any, incentive to save their money. Washington is doing everything in its power right now to turn us into a nation of Snuffys, but the road to prosperity lies in having more Hanks.

The Assault on Saving, I of II

Nowhere else in the free world are the rhetorical obscenities necessary to justify radical economic fallacy so flagrantly on display right now as in our nation's capital. Nowhere else but in a political setting can good so easily be viewed as evil, can vice be so suddenly transformed into virtue; can common sense so quickly be chastised as ignorance.

I am talking of course, of the political establishment's all-out war against thrift in the current economic mess. In the stimulus debate going on right now, there is deep disdain for giving out tax refunds because, God forbid, the people might actually just "save" some of it. And that's bad news! We can't have that! We can't allow selfish private citizens to think only of themselves instead of the common good during these rough times! We can't have miserly taxpayers hoarding dollars into their bank accounts! This is proof, the president said last month, that only government can truly look out for the common good and get money circulating again to create jobs! Right?

So, the politicians and so-called "economists" who say and publish whatever is necessary to win their favor reason that the "wise" course would be to "get the biggest bang for the buck" by spending the money on government make-work projects, food stamps, and unemployment benefits. This, they claim, will have a so-called "multiplier effect" because it will force dollars to "circulate" out in the economy in and endless process that will create an infinite number of jobs! Yay! The public workers will most certainly get some cash, and then they'll turn around and spend it at the grocery store, so that the grocery store's employees can get cash and spend it on new DVD players, so that the DVD manufacturers will get paid and spend it on new cars, so that the automakers can go out and purchase new houses! And the boom never ends! Thanks to government spending, we'll just have a never-ending, "trickle-up" spiral of prosperity! Anyone who's watched CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, or read any major newspaper has been subjected to this drivel on a daily basis.

Nevermind that it's equally imaginable how the public worker, like the refund recipient, could also decide to save a portion of his income. Maybe he won't go out and buy that flat-screen. Maybe he'll just sock it away like all the other stingy taxpayers would have. I guess in the minds of the business journalists and exhalted economists, the public worker is somehow "different." He's just going to be inherently generous with his paycheck for some reason, it's presumed. How or why, I'm not sure. Like the several other "crises" we've experienced these last 6 months, we just have to take them at their word, I guess. And we know how that usually turns out.

But this is all beside the point. The theory that we can somehow spend our way into prosperity not only seems just a little too good to be true, but it contradicts and violates everything common sense has told us for thousands of years. Since time immemorial, the virtues of saving over spending have been preached. Since ancient times, in every successful religion, culture, and tradition, thrift and industry have been exalted while prodigality and waste have been chastised. Since grade school, our parents have always lectured us to keep whatever and whenever we can, and to spend less than what we have. Only in Washington, D.C. are such established truths and proverbs perverted to serve the ends of the political class and their addiction to spending other people's money.

So, as I'll demonstrate in tomorrow's post, politicians and media pundits are putting the cart in front of the horse when they say things like "consumer spending drives the economy," because saving is not the enemy of economic growth but is in fact its very source. Stay tuned as we will see how a simple short story can illustrate this truism and thoroughly dismantle Keynes' alleged "paradox."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Show About Nothing

I was a Freshman at BC when the last episode of Seinfeld aired May 14,1998. Little did I know back then that this show was truely a gem that will be carried on for many generations to come. I really didn't start to appreciate the cleverness of the show unitl I was well into my college education at GSU.

Now almost eleven years after the finale it has many phrases that are still used today, like "Not like there is anything wrong with that", Yada Yada Yada" and "Shrinkage". What is your favorite?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The 2nd Annual Gael Force Run

It's that time of year again. As St. Patrick's Day draws near, so too does the Gael Force Run.
This year's race is scheduled for Friday, March 13th at 6:30pm and will follow the parade route.
There's a twist this year: everyone begins at the start with a full beer. Racers cannot leave the starting line until they have finished their beer. At the finish line, each racer will grab another full beer and must finish it before they can be counted as finishing the race.
Whoever finishes in last place must buy a round of beers for the top 5 finishers at the post-race social at Pinkie Masters.
Also, we are getting t-shirts made, so the entry fee is $10.
As tradition dictates, creative Irish attire must be worn by all contestants.
See y'all there!

Delirium of the Brave - The Movie

No, a production of the quintessential Savannah Catholic novel is not in the works...but what if it was?

Your job is to help cast the movie. I will list the major characters with a brief description. In the comments section, list which current Hollywood star you think should fill each role. I am assuming you have all read the book. If you have not, you will be suspended from posting until you have completed the assignment.

John-Morgan Hartman
The novel's protagonist. A young man who leads by example. Brigade Commander of the Benedictine Corps of Cadets.

Ann Marie Kerry
John-Morgan's sweetheart and an SVA girl. Beautiful and would make a good wife.

Charlotte Drayton
John-Morgan's summer fling. A Country Day girl from a wealthy family. A fast girl.

Tony O'Boyle, Jr.
The novel's antagonist. Aggressive and power-hungry. Knows what he wants and will step over anyone to get it. Start QB for the Cadets.

Bubba Silverman
One of John-Morgan's life-long friends. Happy-go-lucky. Jewish.

Mike Sullivan
Another of John-Morgan's best friends. Big and rowdy. Enough personality to fill the room.

Lloyd Bryan
First black student to attend BC. Incredible athlete. Devout Catholic. Becomes friends with John-Morgan, Bubba and Mike.

John Hartman
John-Morgan's father. A level-headed newspaper columnist.

Tony O'Boyle, Sr.
Young Tony's father. Taught young Tony everything he knows. A social-climbing politician.

Al O'Boyle
Big Tony's brother. The Victory Drive Slasher. Semi-retarded. Big and burly. Does not know his own strength.