How big is Africa?

This map really puts into perspective the true size of Africa.

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Quote for the day

This one comes from Proverbs 28:15-16 (GNT)

15: Poor people are helpless against a wicked ruler; he is as dangerous as a growling lion or a prowling bear.
16: A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyrant. One who hates dishonesty will rule a long time.

Wow, a couple of great passages on leadership. A leader, supervisor, etc. has a great amount of responsibility. In the Army, the term toxic leader has become a part of the vocabulary. We have a duty as leaders to weed this leadership still out. A leader can be tough on his people, hold them to a high standard, and push them, but he shouldn’t be cruel, uncaring, and wicked.

My thoughts on Jon Stewart’s characterization of Hobby Lobby’s SC case

Recently on his show, Jon Stewart Reveals the Absurdity of Hobby Lobby’s Supreme Court Case. Actually Jon, you revealed the absurdity of our government. The government is dictating the terms of a contract between an employer and employee. Employment and the benefits attached to employment, i.e. health insurance and salary, are a contract between two private citizens. If an employer doesn’t want to have certain options available in the healthcare insurance THEY provide to THEIR employees, they should be able to do that without having to file a lawsuit. Participating in their insurance coverage, heck even working their, is an option. If an employee wants those benefits, they have several options. Work someplace that has coverage of the things you want, refuse their coverage and get it on the exchange, find your own insurance plan, or pay for them out of pocket. Why isn’t anybody pissed that some health insurance plans don’t cover dental and vision? Those are two body parts/functions that are extremely important. It blows me away that we attack Hobby Lobby for wanting to decide what they cover in the health insurance plan THEY offer to THEIR employees. Why are we letting government decide what should be in a health insurance plan? Let the market decide. If Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to offer certain services in their health plan, let them do it. If people feel strongly about wanting those services, they will find them covered else where. If that means finding a new job, so be it, and Hobby Lobby may lose some employees. This may hurt business causing them to reconsider adding those services. Initially, health insurance was used as a recruiting feature when wages were frozen. Maybe covering certain services that your competitors don’t, may be the key to better recruiting, better employees, and ultimately profits.

Links worth sharing

Blog post by Mark Perry on a press release from Express Employment Professionals.

If the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, 38 percent of employers who currently pay employees minimum wage say that they would have to let some employees go to cover the cost. Among the same group, 54 percent say they would reduce hiring, and 65 percent say they would raise prices on their goods and services.

“As with any such policy change, there are upsides and downsides. But based on this survey, there’s no denying that raising the minimum wage will result in layoffs, reduced hiring, and higher prices at a large chunk of American companies. How severe will those effects be? That remains to be seen, but policymakers will certainly want to be mindful of this reality as they legislate.”

Shared from Kids Prefer Cheese. It will crack you up. Interestingly, there were no women spotted in these pictures.

What is it like to attend a “Magic: The Gathering” tournament? One fat guy with a beard goes around photobombing other fat guys with their butt cracks poking out. But I have it on good authority that this captures the look and feel (ewwww!) of MTG quite well.

Another share from Kids Prefer Cheese on Unprofitable Professors Getting Fired.

A couple of links about the FDA courtesy of Cafe Hayek.

FDA regulations should be safe and effective.

Before approving medical drugs sold on the market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires companies to demonstrate that the drug meets basic standards of safety and effectiveness. This is a high bar to pass, and Americans expect that officials at the FDA will use sound judgment in deciding which drugs get approved, since these decisions will have profound effects on the health and well-being of the American people. Unfortunately, the experts at the FDA craft regulations based on analysis that would not meet the same rigorous standards the FDA requires from corporations seeking drug approvals. Maybe it’s time that the safety and effectiveness standard applied to drugs should also be applied to regulations.

Kill the FDA (Before it kills again).

The best way to accelerate progress, argues Huber, is to fundamentally rethink drug-approval procedures that date back to the Thalidomide scare that took place during John F. Kennedy’s presidency. “The search for one-dimensional, very simple correlations – one drug, one clinical effect in all patients – is horrendously obsolete,” he says, and that’s only going to get worse as genomic sequencing of humans, tumors, and everything else moves forward. “The FDA should allow other drugs aimed at other complex diseases to follow the trail that HIV and, to a lesser extent, cancer drugs have already blazed.”

A couple of youtube videos:

If Google was a Guy part one and part two.

Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon present test drive one and test drive two.

Jimmy Kimmel’s this week in unnecessary censorship (Mar 15, 2014).

Bonus quote for the day

I just finished reading I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Reed. It was a short read, but absolutely fascinating. It is an excellent illustration of spontaneous order. It is the story of how “the invisible hand” and not a master mind (i.e. government) makes a pencil. My favorite paragraph is the last one.

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.