Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unique Name
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

How about that?

Global Warming, Still Not Likely

Thanks to Power Line for this post pointing in turn to a rather lengthy (111 pgs, pdf file) report by a couple of otherwise reputable meteorologists:

Authors veteran meteorologists Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts analyzed temperature records from all around the world for a major SPPI paper, Surface Temperature Records – Policy-driven Deception? The startling conclusion that we cannot tell whether there was any significant “global warming” at all in the 20th century is based on numerous astonishing examples of manipulation and exaggeration of the true level and rate of “global warming”.

That is to say, leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century.

So the data has been systematically modified to the point that nothing meaningful can any longer be derived from it. Imagine my surprise. You'd thing there was big money involved here. Not to mention big power, in the form of license to micromanage the smallest aspects of everybody's lives.

Remember this in November; No matter how nice the candidates make with their constituents during the campaign, they toe the party line once they get into office. You vote for some amicable local yuk, you elect Nancy Pelosi. Yes, I know, it works both ways, but look at the leadership. That's who you're electing.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Future of Transportation, Chariots

OK this is just the sort of really sick thinking that gets the ol' creative juices flowing, and adds to my already impressive driving record.
Go here and watch the videos. Pay no attention to the result of too sharp a corner on a soft pasture in the first one, we're talking genuine mad science here.

Gotta have one, right? but as they appear here, they're not all that practical, unless you own a horse track.

Consider this variant: You build the chariot pretty much as you see it here. You use real wheels and tires, you know, like street legal, say the back axle from a subcompact car. Out front, you use the rear half of a scooter, the kind that doesn't require a license to drive on the street. These things are good for 35 mph, unmodified. You have now got a 3-wheeled motor scooter, with the paperwork from the original scooter, street legal.

Sure, you could use a larger scooter or even a big motorcycle, but the scooter has no gear-shifting requirement to complicate it. Don't let that slow you down, I'm sure the linkages could be worked out. Law Dog might even appreciate this as a good exercise in recycling an otherwise undriveable police motorcycle.

If you're feeling artsy, you could even cover the scooter half up front with a shell resembling a horse. A small horse. Or a big dog. Or something. The mind boggles, no?

The Source Of The SOTU

You know he didn't write it himself. You wondered who did. Now we know.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama the O'Ban-shee

Anybody besides me notice that when the anointed one comes into town to stump for you it's not so much a help as it is the shrieking and wailing of the Irish spirit, foretelling the demise of the person whose house it visits?

First South Carolina and New Jersey, then Massachusetts. Now we hear he's planning a trip to Nevada to "help" Harry Reid, and has added a pass through Colorado for Michael Bennett.

Soo Laing laddie, Michael we hardly knew ya'.

The Future of Transportation, Pogos

Back in 1951, the Navy was looking for something that could quickly rise into the air and deal with the threat of Japanese Kamakazi attacks. Eventually they settled on surface-to-air missiles, and the R2-D2 radar directed Gatling gun. Between there and here, they came up with the Zimmer flying pancake, and the Convair XFY-1 "Pogo".
As a kid, I actually had a plastic model of this thing. The idea of launching and landing an airplane in the same manner as the spaceships I expected to roll out shortly afterword had a great deal of appeal.

The program was canceled when the engine proved to be more than slightly unreliable, and landing an airplane in reverse proved to be more of a challenge than even the test pilots cared for, but what did they know?

Today, we have the latest variant on the flying car in the form of the Puffin:
This update to the Pogo comes from NASA with help from MIT and Georga Tech. And it's electric, so no pollution, except back at the coal-fired power plant where the electricity to charge the batteries comes from.
In principle, the Puffin can cruise at 240 kilometers per hour and dash at more than 480 kph. It has no flight ceiling—it is not air-breathing like gas engines are, and thus is not limited by thin air—so it could go up to about 9,150 meters before its energy runs low enough to drive it to descend. With current state-of-the-art batteries, it has a range of just 80 kilometers if cruising,
So it can fly high enough to kill the pilot from anoxia, and come down close enough to his launch point that the airport of origin could probably provide the ambulance. Note also that the range is somewhat less that you could expect to get from an EZ-GO golf cart, although your arrival would certainly be far more spectacular.

In it's defense, if you think of it as a variant on the backpack jet, it begins to look better. Notably bulkier, it goes a whole lot farther, and makes a lot less noise doing it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Unemployment - Hide the Incline

Propublica has a post up noting that unemployment doesn't seem to be getting any better:
So far, 25 states have run out of money [2] and been forced to borrow from the federal government, raise taxes or cut benefits And we project that the trust funds in nine more – Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Vermont – will go into the red in the next six months.
Fear not, Gov Ritter is a close personal friend of the management, and can probably get us a loan. He could pay it back by taxing those of us lucky enough to have jobs, which we drive to by converting the major freeways here into toll roads, or he could simply raise the registration fees..... oh wait.

Wash Up Before You Go Out

Gun Shop Goddess informs us of a rumor of a memo soon to be appearing at a gun shop near you:
“It instructs store owners to look out for certain customer characteristics, like insisting on paying with cash only, or purchasing large quantities of ammunition or other gun accessories. Store owners are also supposed to look for people with missing hand or fingers, chemical burns, or stains on their clothing.”
So look folks, let's say you've been working hard in the workshop all day, and the ammonium nitrate has spilled all over your pants, you're tracking diesel all over, and your shirt is scorched from those pesky oopsies that happen from time to time. If you decide to take some time off to go to the range, be sure to change your clothes before stopping by the gun shop to pick up a brick of .22, lest you appear suspicious.

Scrape the PETN from under your fingernails, too. The popping noise as you drum your fingers on the counter is a dead giveaway.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Deficit Reduction, Health Care

O'Bama is proposing a deficit commission to convene in November, just after the elections, to see if anyone can figure out what's causing this "debt" thing everybody keeps mentioning.

Let me drop you a hint, Sparky. The "Deficit Commission" will be convening November 4th, at a polling place near you. Their conclusions are expected to be published the very next day. Preliminary implementation will be in early January of 2012, so the State of the Union address may be before a somewhat hostile audience.

As regards health care, an audacious leader would not be put off even for a minute. You set up a commission of Senators and Reps to include several Blue Dogs from the House, and Senators Snowe, Collins, and Voinovitch, reconcile the differences by putting back in everything that was taken out, and include Maine in the "we'll pay your Medicare bills forever" club along with Nebraska. This should buy off not one, but two RINOs assuring "bipartisan" passage in the Senate, and only raise the cost of the bill a little bit.

The job of explaining to the electorate that 10% of $12 Trillion is "a little bit" will be left to the deficit commission.

The Blue Dogs will have it explained to them that any Democrat who loses his or her elected position in the advancement of progressiveism will ascend directly to heaven. Heaven being defined as the chairmanship of the Federal Commission for the Study and Regulation of Pond Scum, or something like it. The salary won't change, although the bribes are smaller.

Happy Birthday To Me

"When (mumble mumble) years old you are, this good you will not look.

Amazing, the way D'wife is always thinking of me. Mostly, I suspect, along the lines of "Where should I hide the body?" or "How should I hide the body?" or "How can I make this look like an accident?", although that last one gets easier and easier. So here's this touching story she sent me:

The awesome power of a wife's love

Harold, a very old man, lay dying in his bed. In death's doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs.
Harold gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.
There, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from Wanda, his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife, Wanda.
"Stay out of those," Wanda shouted, "They're for the funeral.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Evil Black Rifle

The Evil Black Rifle the wombats left me with has been looked over, maintenance performed, and internal parts re-arranged. Took it to the range today and tried it out.

NOTE: When trying out a recently repaired gun, making your first shots as part of a timed IDPA* stage is probably not the best of venues. OTOH, the trigger was smooth, the recoil was negligible, and the noise level was noticeably lower than the other AR pattern guns. Things like overall accuracy will have to wait till next time.

Meantime, I need 2 bolt springs for an Armalite AR-180, which are interchangeable with the damaged ones in the Leader Dynamics. I am informed by my shooting buddies that there's a fellow at the upcoming gun show who has a large collection of springs and other parts. No one could recall his name. Failing this, I may have to order them. Armalite has them, at $0.95 / ea. Plus $11.00 shipping. Plus $3.00 for having an order under $20.00.

And here I thought all the pirates came from Somalia.

*Yeah, I know, this is a pistol event, but since we're not sanctioned or anything, after we finish the pistols, we sometimes run a stage using rifles. So sue us.

Gun Confiscation 6

Our hero has his gun back. He got the bullets back in a heat-sealed plastic bag. While visiting, I noticed another heat-sealed bag of bullets. Seems this was the leftover from his earlier accident when the Westminster police took his gun.

He keeps souvenirs of his brushes with the law, I guess.

Anyway, the deadline for the cops to file charges is end of February, and he then has 18 months to file any suits. I'm guessing that no charges will be filed, and while everybody involved treated him rather shabbily, and the cops gave him a first-class rousting, I'm having a hard time imagining a successful lawsuit anywhere.

Nothing going on until then, if at all.

Asteroid Impacts

2008: The Russians send out a mission to study the asteroid Apophis, which passes very close to Earth, from time to time. They deny any other purpose for the mission.

2012: The Asteroid Apophis strikes earth, but thanks to Russian adjustments to its orbit, no significant damage occurs.

Initial reports of a "work-related accident" in a mosque proved unfounded.

As a secondary benefit, oil, which was formerly pumped from under the ground in the region, is now economically skimmed from the surface of the new sea.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Global Warming; NASA Says No

An article in Strata-Sphere shows an e-mail from a NASA scientist stating that available data suggests that global warming in the 90s is not statistically different from the global warming we experienced at the beginning of the great depression.

I guess once the cats gotten out of the bag, the great game of government funding is over. If you can no longer present a plausible reason for the government to raise taxes, they aren't so interested in your work. Honesty is the fallback position.

Airborne Laser

This looks like an early operational test of the Defiant, with a ground-launched sounding rocket as a surrogate Klingon:

I am imagining a 747-type aircraft in a ground support role, picking off targets on the ground, and untouchable by anything but gunfire, as the bullets would be too numerous, small, and fast to engage with a laser. At least early on. The plane simply flies high enough to avoid small arms fire, and literally toasts targets on the ground.

Pardon the expression;"Smokin', dude!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Air America

I never got a chance to listen to it, as it was always on at some inconvenient time. The reviews I heard were universally dismal, but in all fairness, most of the reviewers I heard were conservatives.

So they declared Chapter 7 (we ain't coming back) bankruptcy, turn their tent over to the banker, and steal softly into the night.

Hard to believe it was really that bad. After all, one of their staff parleyed his position into a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he continues to be just as annoying as he was on the radio.

Homophobic Nude Teabaggers

Homophobic Nude Teabaggers strike again, and again, and again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown v Coakley

Brown wins, 5% margin, Coakley concedes. Kennedy's seat now Republican.
Lambs lay down with lions.
Pigs fly.
Hell freezes over.
Saints win super bowl, Cubs take World Series.

Take notes here. The only "safe" Democratic seats now are the ones the Republicans decline to vigorously contest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taxing The Banks

Noted from a piece by Darleen Chick, here: In a speech allegedly in support of Coakley, O'Bama thundered that while most of the money he loaned to the banks has been paid back, he wants to be sure to get ALL of our money from them. To that end he is proposing a tax on the largest banks, several of which were not involved in the bailouts, in order to get our money back from the ones that were.

Anyone care to bet as to weather we will actually see any of that money? Didn't think so.

A bank tax is no different from any other corporate tax in that it is not paid by the corporation, but by the corporations clients. I put my money in a bank because the bank pays me to let them use it. If O'Bama puts a new tax on banks, that will leave less money for the bank to pay me for the use of my money, which I've already paid taxes on, effectively double taxing my income.

There will also be less money available to be loaned to "the rich". You know, those people whose names appear on the bottom of your paycheck?

Wake up people! It's not a tax on banks, it's a tax on YOU!

An observation from the comments to the above article:
Speaking of owing us and getting are money back, how’s it going getting it back form GM? Any chance you recovered money you loaned General Motors?
Maybe he's planning a special excise tax on Ford, Honda, and Toyota to cover this.

He That Hath No Sword

I just finished the illustrated version of Terry Pratchetts book "The Last Hero". It's a bit pricey, compared to an ordinary paperback, but think of it as getting about 40 or 50 really nice pieces of art, with Pratchetts acerbic wit thrown in for free. It deals heavily with the Gods of Ankh-Morpork and their dealings with the mortals there, which brings me to this bit of artwork:
I can't help but think that He must be having a warped sense of humor to hand a nice rifle to a man who has obviously sold not just his cloak, but every stitch of clothing he owns, without a magazine or a single round of ammo. Especially knowing how hard ammo is to find these days. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rocky Mountain Blogger Fest

Thanks to Jed for the graphic:

It's now official. Be there or be square. Good food, Good beer ( I hear they even serve martinis) Good company. Probably no prominent politicians:
But you never know. Thanks to Chris Muir for putting ideas into my head.

Updated: Moved out to Feb 6th, just for Mr. Lady.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brown v Coakley

Polls currently show either candidate leading by 15 points, so I suppose it's still close. Coakley leads in a poll by the Boston Glob, the fairly unbalanced local fish wrap. Somehow I have visions of pollsters barricading the upper-floor rest rooms and not allowing anyone to use them until the poll questions had been answered. Thus in a poll of adults, Coakley wins by 15 points.

The other one was sponsored by Pajamas Media and was one of those robotic phone polls that, at least, doesn't take very long to complete. Brown won this one by 15 points.

Either way, Brown will need to win by at least 3 points in order to overcome the Coakley advantage of numerous ballot boxes in abandoned cars waiting to be found in case of need. Even then, the Secretary of State may refuse to certify a Brown win until all the absentee ballots from military personnel can be found, certified, and counted. This is estimated to delay Browns arrival in Washington by another 10 days. Then there would be the matter of working him into Harry Reids busy schedule to get him actually sworn in, which will probably not happen before July 4th, although Al Franken was sworn in even before his election was confirmed back home.

Most encouragingly is the news that president O'Bama himself may bring his entourage to Boston to put in a plug for Coakley. So far, he's 2-0 with his endorsed candidates.

Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gun Confiscation 5

Hopefully this will be the end of it. Proof of ownership has been established. Now take notes, as this may prove useful somehow. Seems our hero was in a motorcycle accident up in Westminster a couple years ago. When the police and ambulance folks were finishing up, it seemed he was wearing a gun, and had a valid CCW. The police took the gun, so the ambulance folks wouldn't have to deal with it, and returned it to him when he got out of the hospital. The record of this transaction is as good as a bill of sale, almost.

Having established ownership, the gun will be returned as soon as a background check is completed. Huh? I hear you say.

Right. Having established ownership. the Denver police apparently still cannot transfer a gun to its legal owner until a background check has been completed. Never mind that they checked for wants and warrants at the outset and he came up clean. Never mind that any FFL in the state could run such a check in something between 15 minutes and 3 hours, which is why it's called an "instant" check. At one time, he held a high security clearance. I guess they plan to find out if it's still valid. Any day now.

They already returned the ammo, having emptied the magazines. This is because they will not return a gun in a loaded condition, or even with the ammo in a ziploc bag. You know how gun owners are.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Future of Transportation

H/T to Sondra K for the tipoff on this little zipper.
The Lumeneo, a 2-seat electric that combines the 4 wheels of a car with the leaning of a motorcycle over an electric drive train. The thing claims a top speed of 80 mph, and/or a maximum range of 93 miles, which actually represents a 30% improvement over typical lead-acid electrics. I'm not sure if the number 2 refers to the number of wiper blades or what.

Back in the early 70s, Corbin-Gentry marketed an electric motorcycle that would deliver 75 mph and/or* 75 miles to a recharge. Corbin later, minus the Gentry, produced the Sparrow, which had similar speed and range combo numbers. More interestingly, someone bought the bodies and swapped in Harley-Davidson engines that would deliver 130 mph, and 5 minute "recharge" time at the local gas station.

My interest in electric exotics like this, and the Smart car, is limited to what can be done with them when you throw away the batteries, and install about 3 times as much gasoline engine as you actually need, although, in all fairness, this might make an interesting enclosed motorcycle with a 350cc engine in it, delivering 60+ mpg, and all-weather transport. The flaw is the 4-wheel design, which in the U.S. makes it a car, and subject to all the Federal crashworthiness doo-dads that typically add about 1200 lbs to the weight of anything.

Modifying the undercarriage to a 3-wheel configuration would allow the vehicle to escape the federal regulations by qualifying the machine as a motorcycle in most states. Similar to the Piaggio MP3,
this would compete directly with the Aptera, assuming that there ever is an Aptera to compete with. The use of gas engines makes the platform more salable. The Piaggio is currently available at dealers all over the country right now. If only it had weatherproofing of some sort.

*and/or: The vehicles could deliver the top speed briefly, or the maximum range eventually, but not both simultaneously. It seems to be a characteristic of electrics.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gun Confiscation 4

In the continuing saga, my friend has been contacted by Manpower, the group who was finding work for him. They inform him that they will find it nearly impossible in the future, to represent him to any employer, as most of them disapprove of people bringing guns to work.

Note that "bringing a gun to work" was not in the description of what happened, and when the dust had settled, no charges were filed.

They leave the door open just enough of a crack as to avoid a lawsuit, but it's quite clear that he won't be getting any work from them any more.

And people ask me why I don't get a CCW?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gunney Good News

The Wally World at Yosemite and C-470 had Federal .22LR, 330 pack, at $9.95, or about $.03/rd. Ad Victrix, valorum, as we used to say in the old days.

So Neener, Neener, to whomever you are who's been cleaning out the bulk .22 and trying to sell it at the gun show with a $10. premium tacked on.

Rocky Mountain Blogger Fest

In the interest of making something in the new year demonstrably happy, I'm hereby proposing the first Rocky Mountain Blogger Fest to be held at The Old Mill Brewery, 5796 Rapp St. in Littleton, either the 30th of January, or the 6th of Feb.

If you include Steve Green in the numbers, it's centrally located, and isn't that hard to get to in any case. It's 2 blocks off Sante Fe if you're driving, and 3 blocks from the Littleton light rail station if you're a public transit fan. They also have lots of free parking.

I've been there. The food is good, the beer is good, and they have an area toward the back where birthday parties, Blogger Fests and the like are held. They have areas scattered about that can accommodate groups from 12 to 30, and if we get the back area, they'll even turn the TV off. Or on if there's something momentous going on.

So how say you all?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gun Confiscation 3

The story marches on, currently with the speed of continental drift. Official Legal Advice says that the police have 2 months in which to either file charges or punt. Our Hero has 2 years in which to file any suits. Until the clock runs out on the police, it's their ball, so hurry up and wait.

Speaking of speed, or lack thereof:

It's a typical day at the Nissan dealership, when a large snail glides in and asks to test drive a 350Z. The salesman agrees, and the snail leaves the dealership in a cloud of burning rubber and shrieking exhaust.

Returning a few minutes later, he announces he likes the car, and will pay cash on the spot, but, being a snail, he would like the service department to remove all the "Z" logos, and replace them with an "S". The customer is always right, and this was done and the car presented out front of the dealership.

The snail thanks everybody, oozes into his new ride, and in another cloud of wheel smoke and screaming exhaust, goes burning off down the street, prompting a passing pedestrian to remark:

"Wow! Look at that S-car go!"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gun Bleg 2

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to a Hi Point carbine. I was walking along, minding my own business, when I was jumped by a band of marauding wombats who held me down, took my money, and left behind this:
A Leader Dynamics T-2 5.56 Evil Black Rifle. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

It needs a bit of maintenance, but reportedly shoots fine. It should be in primo shape in time to defend me from migrating polar bears fleeing the encroaching glaciers.
This one is someone elses, showing the internal bits.

Leader Dynamics has a short history, developing the rifle for the sporting and military markets, going through a management upheaval, then falling victim to AW bans in both Australia and the US. The gun uses AR-15/M16/M-4 magazines, and has some internal parts in common with the AR-18/AR-180. Sort of the firearms equivalent of owning an Aussie-made Chevrolet.

Being Australian, you have to put the bullets in upside down, but I'm sure I'll get used to that quickly enough.

Local Politics

One of the old fixtures in congress once remarked that "When I feel the heat, I see the light." To judge from his record, he was fairly fireproof, but less so are some of the others.

The big news today is that the howling of the lynch mob and the heat of the torches and bubbling tar has evidently reached Bill "Mo' taxes" Ritter, who has announced that he want's to spend "more time with his family", which he could expect to be spending following the upcoming elections anyway.

He remarks that the Democrat party has plenty more like him in the wings, who haven't yet pissed off the locals to the extent he has. The "A" list includes Ken "No drilling" Salazar, Mr O'Bama's current minister in charge of energy shortages, and John "No guns" Hickenlooper, Colorado's only member of Mr. Bloombergs anti-gun club. If I was Scott "Trust me, I really am a Republican" McInnis, I'd be measuring the mansion for drapes already.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Democrat Political Strategy

The WSJ is reporting that the Dems are tuning up their slick new strategy to save their phony-baloney jobs:
Democrats are reportedly busy devising a strategy as a firewall against a citizen revolt at the polls. Rather than emphasize their party's accomplishments, they will attack Republicans for wanting to restore the discredited Bush era. "The Republican party in Washington today is no different than the Republican party that ran the Congress before," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democratic House campaign committee, told the liberal Talking Points Memo.
Keeping in mind that the last time the Republicans controlled the Congress was 2006, I will suggest that the Republican strategy would be to ask the public if they're better off now than they were 4 years ago.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Space Battleships

I liked the animated episodes I saw of this, and the live version looks like it will be adequately faithful to the original.

Gun Confiscation 2

My friend brings me up to date:

He was employed by a contractor doing some work on the indoor arena. The contractor thinks he's getting a raw deal and likes his work.

The administration at D.U. has informed him that he's no longer welcome on the D.U. campus, which means he's effectively out of that job.

The NRA has been contacted. They don't think much of this either.

The person to contact regarding getting the gun back would be the detective assigned the case, but due to his work schedule, that will be tomorrow.

Film at 11 as they say.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Digital DNA

There is a video, running about 30 minutes on Samizdata with Craig Venter, talking about synthesizing life forms using digitally stored DNA segments put together in what might be the most efficient manner. His favorite form at this point is one that tales CO2 and sunlight, and poops out hydrocarbon fuels, such as Methane or even Octane.

He points out that such organisms exist in nature but are not particularly efficient, as CO2 does not make up much of the atmosphere. One imagines some really efficient ones tossed into a stagnant pond, in a low-wind area, where there's lots of CO2 bubbling up from decaying biomass at the bottom of the pond, until a flammable pool of methane has accumulated over the pond.

Weaponization of the technology was brought up, and quickly dismissed, as his organisms do not survive well outside the lab, and additionally, have a "destruct" gene that can be activated. No mention of whether other people's microbes will have the same features. I rather favor biological warfare as it's difficult for anyone to seriously oppose your advance when they're lying on the floor, projectile vomiting from both ends. Anyone with antidote is apt to be looked on with favor, at least initially.

His energy proposal offers the possibility of taking coal, which is pure carbon, burning it to produce electricity, then using the CO2 and water by-products to feed his bugs, who convert it to gasoline, which is burned in cars, producing CO2 and water, which is not readily captured. It's like getting to burn the coal twice.

It's a good video and worth the time.

Illegal Gun Confiscation?

I was not there, but here's what happened, as it was explained to me.

On Dec 31, a friend was going to work, and arrived in his car on campus at D.U.
He has a permit, and carries. D.U. buildings are a no-carry zone, so he takes the
gun, unloads it, puts the gun in his glove compartment, puts the round
from the chamber into the magazine, and puts the mag into his carrier on
his belt.

He thinks someone may have seen him handling the gun and called the police.

He leaves his car, and heads for his destination when he is accosted by
the Denver Police, guns drawn, handcuffed and searched. He produces ID and
permit, tells the police what he did, gets berated for having 2 magazines on him, (too much ammo) has his car
searched, and his gun "found", where he told them he put it. The cop also expressed displeasure at some of the literature he found.

In the end, he's just a citizen with a permit, disarming before entering
a "gun-free" zone, but, since he cannot produce a receipt for the gun,
which he bought about 20 years ago in Texas, the gun gets confiscated.
The cops say he can have it back when he can prove it's his.

I don't know about you, but I couldn't prove I owned my watch (for example) if challenged, and I'd hate to have it wind up in someones collection when the evidence lockers are cleaned out. As to granting permission to the police to search your vehicle, this is a no-win situation. If you agree, there is nothing at all in your car that cannot be construed as evidence against you. If you refuse, the situation becomes the cop equivalent of vaudeville as the in-house judge signs the warrant, the PD demolition team arrives on scene and when they're done you'll be lucky if your car is drivable.

Several people have offered to help on this, and I expect I'll hear more on Monday, but in the meantime this looks like a case of egregious abuse of authority on the part of the Denver PD.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Unemployment - Hide the Incline

Sort of the reverse of what the climate people do, but Tyler at Zero Hedge has an interesting article suggesting that:
While the government is willing to admit to a 10% unemployment rate, the numbers have been massaged since about March of last year, and the real U-3 unemployment rate is closer to 13%. Of course this would drive the U-6 up to about 22% which would match Shadowstats number from two posts back.

Remember, when you are told that the Happy Days Are Here Again because "only" 250,000 people were laid off last month as opposed to 255,000 who were laid off the month before, that the pool of unemployed is still growing, not shrinking.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gun Bleg

I looked at the stats for this blog, and see that readership is up nicely this year. I also see that the 2 things that people seem to be most interested in are guns and bikini babes, so I promise I'll try to increase the occurrence of these. To that end, here's a gun.

I have decided to try to buy a gun this year, and not just any old gun, but something economical and fun to shoot. A plinker:
All right, you gun snobs can quit laughing. This is a Hi Point 4095 carbine, in .40 S&W. The last MSRP I saw for one of these was $242. One recently sold at an online auction for $181, used. Since I load my own pistol ammo, I figure I can feed this without going broke, and 2 spare mags will run me about $30. Options include lasers or scopes, which I don't need, or 2 magazines with a carrying pouch, which would be nice.

What I don't like about this gun is the wording that accompanies all the regular distributor ads for it: "Out of stock." I'm in no hurry on this, as the cold winter has cut the flow of zombies to my front door to nothing, but if anyone should notice one of these for sale in the Denver area, would you please let me know.

Economics III

The government is announcing that the tax take for 2009 looks like it will be down about 20% from what was expected. First off, who expected a big haul for the tax man in a down economy? Second, the unemployment rate is between 17 and 22%, depending on how you do the math:
The government may be surprised at this, but if 20% of your cows don't give milk, you would normally expect to see about 20% less milk going to market.

But aside from that, HAPPY NEW YEAR! This is when all us pundits do some kind of retrospective over the last year, and revisit the highs and the lows. I gave last year some thought. Here's the executive summary: 2009 SUCKED! Big time.

Hope 2010 is an improvement, although with the same pack of morons in charge, I hold out little hope, but it could happen. It looks like the total number of unemployed will stop going up around June or July,
which is something, and with elections coming up, it's possible some pols will have an epiphany and temporarily mend their ways in hopes that the voters will ignore their records.

Remember, a Blue Dog democrat is one who does what Pelosi or Reid says after getting the biscuit, not before being promised one.