Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Before that happens, however, I'd like to recommend to you a summary of the years high and low lights by Dave Barry, who can see the humorous side of most things.
Remember Earth Day? Those who didn't celebrate it, didn't notice it, and those who did, smoked so much weed that they forgot what year it was:
In environmental news, Earth Hour is observed on March 29, when cities around the world display their commitment to conserving energy by turning out their lights for one hour. When the lights come back on, Detroit is missing.If you know what happened to Detroit, please keep quiet. Without it, unemployment and crime both go down 2 points.
*I was talking to myself. We took a vote, and that was the outcome. See? Democracy in action.
The map shows feral pig populations from Texas all the way to the east coast. The map, however, does not include Javelina and Russian Boar populations. I know that Javelina are fount throughout New Mexico and into Arizona, and Russian Boar are fount in NW Colorado.
Noting that the animals are thick in California, and a major pest on the Catalina Islands there, the high population is blamed on a local aversion to hunting in general. Not by hunters, but by legislators.
Which brings to mind the story of the Indian Raja who imposed a complete ban on hunting of any game, for any reason in his district. The place was soon over run with tigers, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and all manner of dangerous and pestiferous beasts.
The locals quickly grew tired of the depredations of the animals, and with pitchforks and torches, threw the Raja out of office.
This is a classic example of the reign being called on account of the game.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and community touched by this terrible tragedy. It is profoundly sad that a distraught man would take up arms to kill his family and others. In this season of hope, however, we should not despair and say this kind of violence is inevitable. We should not tolerate the steady drumbeat of gun deaths and injuries that tears our families and communities apart. We can and should do all that is within our power to find solutions to gun violence. In the New Year, we hope that our nation's leaders have the courage and conviction to take steps that will help protect our families and communities from gun violence.
To which let me be the first to add:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and community touched by this terrible tragedy. It is profoundly sad that a distraught man would don a Santa suit to kill his family and others. In this season of hope, however, we should not despair and say this kind of violence, which we have also seen at Wal-Mart, is inevitable. We should not tolerate the steady drumbeat of Christmas deaths and injuries that tear our families and communities apart. We can and should do all that is within our power to find solutions to holiday violence. In the New Year, we hope that our nation's leaders have the courage and conviction to take steps that will help protect our families and communities from Santa Claus."
Which makes just as much sense as Helmke's diatribe. I would point out that all those people didn't get killed because one man had a gun, they died because ONLY one man had a gun.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Motorbikes should be banned as part of a plan to eliminate road deaths, a safety expert has claimed.Europe is considered, by the left-leaning Illuminati in this country, to be the future utopia that the US should strive for, with crushing taxes, nanny statism, and a rapidly rising crime rate. Soon, they won't be allowed to go outdoors without a helmet and knee and elbow pads.
The goal of stopping deaths on the roads has been set by a number of countries including Norway, Australia and Sweden, where the programme has been called “Vision Zero”.
But Norwegian safety expert Rune Elvik said for it to happen, policy makers should consider the radical step of banning motorbikes.
“If they are serious about these lofty road safety ambitions that have been announced then I think such a discussion is needed,” he said in an interview with Motor Cycle News.
“Motorcycling would definitely not be allowed.”
Sure, they look like lice in their natural state, but as a commenter remarked, once deep fried in batter, no one will notice.
Original article here, courtesy of the Mail.
The problems will not manifest until the adults notice that their sprat are being captured by the bipeds on the surface, and come up to straighten us out on that count.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
“If we write a check for $75,000 to each of the unemployed, we won’t have anyone ‘unemployed,’” said former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.Even better, if you write such a check, this becomes declarable income, subject to taxation, at the going rate for Federal, State, Local, and FICA. The article suggests that the cost of creating a "make work" government job is, in fact, significantly higher than the $75K allotted.
Somehow, there is a vision in my demented mind, of 100 college professors, toiling away to dig the ditch for a new municipal water line, using the large stainless steel spoons they use at the jails. I suppose the professors of archaeology would feel right at home, although some of the others might be somewhat put out. I suppose their former employers could offer credits in archaeology to the English Lit profs for digging, and English Lit credits to the archaeologists for listening to the English Lit profs complain in Iambic Pentameter about the lack of respect they get from the Poly Sci major who's been assigned to the project as supervisor.
If putting people to work is the goal, we could get rid of all the heavy earth-moving equipment and go back to digging ditches with shovels.
Why stop there? If it takes one man two days to dig a trench three feet deep and 30 feet long with a shovel, how long would it take 100 men using spoons?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I tried looking up me status with the .gov, but there seems to be some kind of secret handshake to which I'm not privy, apparently involving the spelling of my mothers maiden name.
Anyway, if the economy goes into the dumper, I could throw in the towel, and officially retire next month, on about $20K/year. Actually, there may be something to this.
It seems that if you are collecting Social Security between the ages of 62 and 66 you have to give back fifty cents of every benefit dollar you earn over about $13,000 per year. So, if you make anything over about $55,000 per year your Social Security benefit drops to zero.If I actually get a job that pays my usual wage, I'll be paying SS tax on the money anyway, so no real loss there. What I'll have is an emergency backup income should the bottom fall out, and there's no work to be had at all.
Plus, you have to pay Social Security taxes on the money you make so you are actually in the hole by starting your benefit at 62 and continuing to work at a job that pays more than about a grand a month.
I could get to like this, sitting on the back porch, shooting squirrels off the back fence, apologizing to my neighbor, across the back fence, and ignoring the wife's honey-do lists. Of course, if the economy improves (cue wild laughter), I can always find some kind of job to pay the handyman D'wife hires to replace me, and finishing his screw-ups, or in case one of my hobbyist projects involves words like "self-propelled" or "crew-served".
Monday, December 22, 2008
Here is an explanation of what this is, and at some depth, the damage it does.
The income derived from possessing a special privilege is called "rent" (which, by the way, has nothing to do with the monthly payments that tenants make to landlords). Rents themselves are just a transfer of value from some people to others. So, for example, when each American pays an extra $10 annually for sugar because of the special protections that Uncle Sam gives to American sugar farmers, that $10 winds up in the hands of sugar farmers. Each of us who doesn't grow sugar is worse off by $10, while those who do grow it are better off by the sum total.As someone else remarked, "when the politician controls buying and selling, the first thing bought and sold is the politician."
That $10 for the sugar grower comes generally from a tariff on imported sugar. It's why the government pays ADM a generous subsidy for their corn-based ethanol while hitting imported Brazilian cane-based ethanol with a $.58/gal tariff. As a by-product of this effort, the price of all the meat you buy is increased as the feed corn supply is bid up by the oil companies in an effort to keep in congresses good graces.
It would be a nice constitutional amendment to forbid the government from becoming involved in the operations of business.
Now ask yourself: What kind of car does your most un-favorite legislator drive. You know, the one who is always putting up the nanny-state legislation to ban smoking in bars, shooting squirrels off your back porch, or putting those stupid cameras up in the first place.
Originating from Wootton High School, the parent said, students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that "mimic" those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later.
Students are even obtaining vehicles from their friends that are similar or identical to the make and model of the car owned by the targeted victim, according to the parent.
If you think writing the legislator a letter gets little enough attention, think what 15 or 20 speeding tickets will do. HINT: Do not use the legislators vanity plate that identifies the driver as exempt from tickets. Use the plate from their personal car.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
So it will likely overhang the front yard into the street a bit. I'll put it on a pedestal high enough to clear the local Winnebagos.
NASA has announced plans for disposal of the Space Shuttle fleet and spare main engines. The space agency intends to donate one orbiter to the Smithsonian museum, and give the others to "educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations".
The proud new owners will need to stump up an estimated $42m in decommissioning and delivery charges for a shuttle and $400-$800k for a main engine, exclusive of shipping.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I wrote this up earlier noting that the successive experiments seem to be going in the right direction, and further funding from this one was dependent on its success in the series. It seems there was enough success to justify further work, and this time it's to be a net energy producer.
Go, go, go.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Several options come to mind. Since this is Gunny-claus and not someone more omnipotent, I'm afraid that title deed to Puerto-Rico is probably not going to happen.
Since this has to be gun related, how about s shiny new Dillon reloading press, and 4 of the models Dillon uses in their catalog. OTOH, the maintenance on those honeys would kill me.
But I'd die happy.
Closer to reality, how about:
1) CZ 75B compact, w/2 spare mags
2) CZ 97B w/2 spare mags
3) Remington 700 (.308) w/ heavy match barrel, bipod, and a scope that would make the Hubble jealous.
4) A good IWB holster for item 1 above
5) 1000 rds of ammo for each of items 1 thru 3
See, in addition to being good, I'm also not greedy.
In Chicago, this means a big bag of money, which, while looked upon askance, may not be too much of a problem if you already own the judges.
Which brings me to the burning question of the day: What's a Senate seat worth in Colorado?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Congress at the time was controlled by the Dems, and Reagan was prez. Reagan promoted missile defense, and the Dems took the position that since it could never work, no money should be spent on it. Losing the presidency, however, sent the message that if they wanted to keep their seats, then some money must be spent.
The Dem approach was to vote R&D money on whatever they figured was least likely to actually work. In the aerospace biz, our mission was to prove them wrong in the least amount of time. Upon completion of a successful demonstration of the technology, the congress would declare the project to be an unnecessary provocation, de-fund it, and move to the next most unlikely item on the list.
In fairly short order, we had field demos ready for the Space Based Laser, Ground Based Laser, the Kinetic Kill Vehicle (from the video) AKA "Smart Rocks", and were making progress on "Brilliant Pebbles" and "Savant Sand".
Somewhere in my collection of memorabilia, I have a cartoon that illustrates about 12 or 18 of the more popular systems. On average, one of our systems was smarter than Tip O'Neill, speaker of the House, and prime enemy of Star Wars, as the press named it.
Most of the projects that were publicly discussed, were covered in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine (our motto: If you can't keep it secret from us, you can't keep it secret from the Russians, either). One of the first projects to get R&D funding was the Space Based Laser, since a collection of physicists, who should have known better, had just published a lengthy article in Scientific American, essentially proving that it couldn't be built, couldn't be launched, and wouldn't work anyway. After all, it was to be a 5 meter diameter, 25 MW beast running on Hydrogen and Fluorine.
About 8 months after the money had been awarded, the contractor, Rockwell, I think, rolled out a 1 meter 5 MW proof of principle laser, and asked if a spot on the shuttle could be made available for a test in space.
The phrase "pants shitting hysteria" had not yet been invented, but it would have fit nicely, the reaction of the Dems. Funding was immediately cancelled, and the go-ahead was given to begin testing the Ground Based Laser, which was expected to hit a target on the other side of the world using 2 mirrors in orbit. The former Space Based Laser prototype was located at Sandia labs in New Mexico. The target was conveniently located in the Falklands Islands. Setup took 4 months, and the target was hit on the first try. More PSH, and funding cutoff, and the next item was funded, which I don't remember.
As I remember, it seemed to never take us more than a year to do the impossible and get our funding cut off. Fun times.
Our successes bothered the Russians, too, and they put an enormous amount of money into counteracting whatever we did, and eventually went broke and collapsed.
Star Wars; the best weapon system we never built.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Come on, people, it's just powder, not a brand new AR with hyper capacity magazines. Calm down, don't be panic buying everything from the gun stores. Take a breather, and let me get my stuff. Then you can resume the panic, refreshed by the break and cuppa coffee.
While I don't expect Obies administration to be much of a success, at least nobody has made the news yet by replacing the white picket fence in front of their suburban ranchette with sandbags.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Here are the top 10.
2. Mississippi (6.66)
3. Kentucky (5.18)
4. Alabama (4.76)
6. Illinois (4.68)
7. Pennsylvania (4.55)
8. Florida (4.47)
9. New Jersey (4.32)
10. New York (3.95)
Now why should Illinois rank so low? Well it's because the ranking is based on convictions for political corruption per 100,000 residents. Granted, you have to come up with some way to rank this sort of thing, but I believe the reason Illinois isn't at or much closer to the top, is because the criteria for rank depends on convictions.
When you own the judges, convictions are much harder to get, something the rubes in Miss, Ky, and Alabama haven't figured out yet.
My own state comes in at 29, something I expect to improve (?) as we now have Dem. majorities in both houses, and the Governors seat.
There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge
Where you have gaps in your knowledge:
Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:
I confess to having farmed one question out, as poetry has little enough interest for me. I enjoy this sort of thing, as it takes less time than making level 20 of Doom of the Universe, and occasionally provides some useful information. I wonder about this one, though, as lately my brain is reminding me of a chunk of Swiss cheese.
Thanks to Carnaby Fudge for pointing this out.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"Today. Is December 7. The day that this government killed. Over 80000. Japanese civilians. At Hiroshima in 1941. Two days before giving an additional. 64000. Japanese civilians. At Nagasaki by dropping nuclear bombs on innocent. People."When you're up on the pulpit, shoutin' the devil, coherency isn't a prerequisite. Besides, it was retribution for the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Germans, right?
It's as much fun as, as Tom Lehr once pointed out, that on the first day of National Brotherhood Week, Malcom X was assassinated.
I'm sure there are more noteworthy events like this that occur on appropriately auspicious days. Can anyone think of any?
So you visit widget factories all over the country, and try to get them to buy your process, and add the frammises to their widgets. Problem is that the consumers really have little use for frammisses, and find the cost of having one attached to each widget to be prohibitive, to the point that they insist to the marketing types that they would buy their widgets from another source, rather than bear the added cost of having a frammis attached.
At this point, it doesn't look good for your plan to become rich, but wait! You go to the government, and convince them that there is some benefit to them, however slight, to requiring a frammis with every widget. Try not to mention that you hold the patent on frammis attachment, it might look self-serving. Speak, instead of campaign contributions for forward-looking politicians. Got possibilities? Here it is.
Legislation to trace ammunition is pending in several states, and many gun owners are concerned that it is just another attempt by anti-gun groups to violate citizens' Second Amendment rights.
An organization known as Ammunition Accountability is pushing to make coding technology mandatory across the nation. Its website claims it is a group of "gun crime victims, industry representatives, law enforcement, public officials, public policy experts, and more" who are "saving lives one bullet at a time."These guys already tried to sell the idea on its own merits, such as they were.
According to Seattle Weekly, the men couldn't find an ammunition manufacturer to agree to stamp bullets, so they hired a lobbyist to push for state legislation to require the laser coding. They launched the Ammunition Accountability website and successfully introduced bills in the following 18 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.No doubt pushing the idea that this would somehow benefit "the children", who are, I suspect, limited to the inventors own children.
If states pass the legislation, manufacturers will be required to laser etch a serial number into the back of each bullet and the inside of cartridge casings, a patented process developed by Seattle, Wash., resident Russ Ford and his business partners, Steve Mace and John Knickerbocker.RTWT. Then drop your legislator a line pointing out the self-serving and monopolistic nature of this idea. Point out that someone of his or her stature shouldn't sell out for less than, say, a seat in the US Senate.
You might also ask how long you will go to jail for if ammo stolen from you, but not reported, as the theft wasn't noticed, is used in a crime. Do you get charged with the crime, or do you just get 5 years for failure to report the theft?
According to its sample legislation, manufacturers would be forced to code all ammunition sold in the state. Private citizens and retail outlets would be required to dispose of all non-coded ammunition no later than Jan. 1, 2011.A friend of mine has a Brown Bess musket. He casts his own musket balls. Who's going to make, ship and sell laser-encoded musket balls?
What about shotgun shells? I could see the 18" coach gun becoming popular with folks outside the cowboy action fraternity.
Machiavelli famously observed that the successful prince could, and should, be freely generous with other peoples money.
Ammunition Accountability explains its system would require states to establish databases to track coded ammunition for handguns and assault rifles. The databases would be funded by a surcharge of up to five cents per bullet.
At that rate, a brick of .22 would go up by $27.50, nearly tripling the price of plinking.
When it comes time to dispose of non-coded ammo, does anything come to mind as a target?
Monday, December 8, 2008
Of course there is a down side. If any of the vendors there had any Titegroup powder, it was gone by the time I got there.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Look at your last pay stub, and see how much that adds up to. It's a sizable chunk of change. Of course the problem with this is that it's a one-time thing, and everyone, knowing that their check will get dramatically smaller shortly, will likely just rat-hole the money, instead of putting a down payment on a Chevy Volt.
The good side, in the slightly longer term, is that people are going to be mightily pissed when the size of the tax bite in their paychecks is brought home like this.
“People think it’s African, but it’s not,” admitted Karenga in a 1978 Washington Post interview. “I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of ‘bloods’ [Blacks] would be partying.”So party on, dudes. Happy Kwanzza.
Found in Samizdata as a quote of the day:
[A despot still has good moments; an assembly of despots never does. If one tyrant mistreats me, I can get round him by means of his mistress, his priest, or his page-boy. But a staid company of tyrants is impervious to temptation.]
Voltaire recognized a “staid” company of tyrants, but missed the mark of describing the childlike company we are facing in the US congress. The immediate and obvious way to deal with them is to bribe 51% of them. This raises the price of petitioning for redress of grievances, but it is still possible. Even better is when the tyrants organize themselves in a system based on seniority. Here, one only needs to bribe the more senior, and perhaps one or two of his advisors or cohorts. The drawback is that by the time the Senator or Representative has acquired such seniority, he’s so set in his ways, that the cost of changing his mind can be prohibitive.
The break point is when the cost of bribing the official becomes equal to the cost of replacing him. Incumbents are notoriously hard to displace, especially in a two-party system where voting one crook out means voting what you may consider another, even worse crook in. Thus, the best place to strike, is in the primaries. Incumbents are aware of this, and have done their best to insure that the party is solidly controlled by their allies. This level is where the myriad 3rd parties actually belong. Republicans, for example, should be better organized among the Libertarian, Constitutional, Conservative, or whatever, wings. This makes it harder for the incumbent to sweep troublesome challengers under the rug.
Absent term limits, it makes it easier to replace politicians who have exceeded their shelf life, and become a liability to the party and the country.
Friday, December 5, 2008
In any case, as I have remarked, if you can tow or carry it in a half-ton pickup, it should be beneath the notice of the government.
H/T to FMFT for directing me to this one over at Theo Spark, which is at least 60% safe for work.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The analysis indicates that the author of http://www.billllsidlemind.blogspot.com is of the type:
ESTP - The Doers
The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
I personally test differently. I forget the type, but it was one of the less common ones. Anyway the test is here.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I liked the" emerging zombie yard sculpture", item 11 on the list. Show the neighbors where your interests lie. Let them know that's why you have that huge gun collection, and enough ammo to last to the end of the invasion. Who needs gnomes, pink flamingos, or barnyard animals, unless you're REALLY in to barnyard animals, in which case maybe you better forget the whole thing.
Plant this baby in your front yard, and retire to watch "The Return of the Son of the Bride of Frankenstein vs. the Living, Laughing Dead II".
Monday, December 1, 2008
In most of Chicago, this is known as "hush money".
Welcome back out from under the bus Michelle.