Monday, January 31, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Obama: Future Egypt Gov't Must Respect the Will of the People"

--headline, Ha'aretz (Israel), Jan. 30

H/T Taranto

You can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Medical News

Went in to see the doctor the other day. He looked at my head and got all squinty-eyed and used big words like "Actinic Keritosis" which is doctor talk for "You been standin' out in the sun without a hat for too long".

Sheesh. Most of my friends could have told me that, in fact several of them have, and without charging me anything at all.

The doctor explained that what this really means is that it isn't skin cancer, yet.... So O.K. he's got my attention now, and gives me an innocuous cream to put on the affected region. I now look like an extra from the zombie apocalypse movie as an area on my head slowly turns red and goes through the stages of turning black and falling off. I'm pretty sure this won't leave me with a bare patch of skull showing, but you never know.

Wasting the Crisis

The function of the State Department is to present to the world a collection of highly polished, well dressed, smooth spoken masters of nuance of the sort we know in this country as used car salesmen. It should also be true that this collection of smooth talking individuals understands that at the end of the day, they are working for the United States, and no one else.

To this end, they should develop an understanding of the countries they get sent to closely akin to that of a native so that when they wake up one morning to the sound of automatic weapons fire and the smell of burning tires, they aren't very surprised. At this point, they should not only have a pretty good idea who's shooting at whom, but who is expected to be the last man standing when the gunfire dies down.

If there are multiple possibilities to that last equation, the U.S. diplomats should have a score card prepared in advance listing the relative preference for each party regarding benefit to the U.S. and a phone list to contact our favored winner. We should also have a list of actions we are prepared to take to help the eventual outcome fall in our favor ranging from quick diplomatic recognition to covert shipments of arms.

Unless there's something very subtle going on in Egypt right now, I would have to guess the diplomatic corps is staring out the embassy windows in slack-jawed amazement as the government goes down in flames.

Mubarik has spent the last 30 years or so putting down dissent so such as there was got pushed into the Mosques where he can't just march in and break heads. Inside the Mosques, the Muslim Brotherhood is the loudest voice. This outfit is the parent group for every terrorist organization in the middle east. Muhammed ElBaradi is a high-ranking figure in the M.B. and is telling everyone who will listen that they are not terrorists.

The army, in that part of the world, tends to be the more moderate force, and generally better armed, so they get listened to more closely. Having some Egyptian general or committee of generals come to power would be far from the worst that could happen.

My worry is that the U.S administration will stand in slack-jawed amazement while a committee of mullahs steps up to fill the power vacuum. Obama has never met a bloody-handed dictator he wasn't willing to bow to, and the State department has never convinced me that everyone there is, in fact, working for the United States.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A division of the DHS has called the ACLU a terrorist organization. As of today, this means right next to nothing, as I notice no one is being arrested or anything. Rhetoric is cheap. To get an arrest warrant, you have to make a generous campaign contribution, at least to the judge.

In the future, everybody will become famous for 15 minutes. The DHS will put your picture up in the Post Office, declaring you to be a terrorist, and 15 minutes later, when you are picked up, your picture will be replaced by the next "celebrity".

In Search Of Accuracy

In a firearm, specifically. This is an interinting topic to search, as many people have opinions on it, but few have any hard data.

I have a varmint rifle that will shoot <1MOA all day long, and I guess I've gotten spoiled by it. I also have a Hi-Point carbine that shoots about 3 MOA. For this gun, that's probably not unreasonable, but why be reasonable if it presents a chance to tinker.

I found a thread in the Hi Point discussion group that mentioned that the barrels of H-Ps were not crowned. The moderator pointed that crowning cost money, and H-Ps were built to a price point, not an accuracy standard. This seems reasonable, as the easiest way to get a sum-MOA gun is to put about $3000 on the table, and wait for it to get built. Still, I know that some massaging will improve accuracy, and it doesn't have to be prohibitively expensive, so I looked into crowning.

For you non-gunnies, the crown is the recess cut into the business end of the barrel of the gun. The form varies, depending on how fancy you want to make it. Most guns use a double radius, so the end looks like a donut, radiused into the hole, and out to the outside diameter. This is easy to cut, and not expensive. There was a discussion at Snipers Hide on the relative merits of crowning that was reminiscent of .45 vs 9mm arguments. There was one post there that cited some actual data, suggesting that the difference between a nice square crown, and a 30 degree hacksawed barrel was mostly to move the shot group, although it was noted that if you cut off your barrel with a chainsaw, you can expect your groups to increase from 1 MOA to 1.5 MOA. One could conclude that the primary function of the crown is to prevent damage to the inside of the barrel while the gun is banging around behind the seat of your pickup truck.

Bill Johnson has a more exhaustive piece on accuratizing that has the advantage of having reasonable extensive documentation, and the inclusion of a control rifle. His test rifle started out at 4.5MOA which is worse than mine, so I felt this was a relevant study.

Polishing the barrel using Dave Tubb bullets with abrasive embedded into the jackets took him down to 2.67 MOA which is an impressive drop for an easy job, plus the price is reasonable, and you get to go shooting in the process. Shooting abrasive bullets down your barrel sounds scary to me, but this seems to work.

A trigger job made more difference than I would have expected, but hey, whatever works. I suspect that most trigger jobs involve simply polishing the parts to get rid of the scratchyness and reduce the friction. To that end in might be fun to see what throwing a disassembled trigger group into a tumbler with metal polishing media would accomplish.

Bedding the action helped, but only on the looser of the two rifles. Once you get to a certain point, the return on your investment falls off rapidly. It helped for Mr. Johnson, whose 4.4 MOA gun now shoots <1MOA. I'm not sure what bedding the action might entail on a gun that the furniture comes in a left half and a right half held together by screws that pinch the halves together over the metallic innards, but I guess I could have a look while I'm looking into the trigger group.

Keeps me occupied during the winter, I guess.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

Today is my birthday, so you get two for the price of one. From the same source, no less.

Before people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant. . . .
Frances Piven, leftist firebrand from the 60s.
The quote was from Jan 10th, so we have here proof she's never grown up. I suppose it takes a while to get over being hurt and ashamed at constantly being called a lazy good-for-nothing hippie. You get to be angry and indignant when the government announces its cutting off your allowance, which enabled you to maintain the lifestyle of a lazy good-for-nothing hippie.

Quote of the Day

H/T to Taranto for this one:

"We just have to make sure we're doing everything we can to unlock the productivity of American workers, unleash the ingenuity of American businesses, and harness the dynamism of America's economy."--President Obama, weekly radio address, Jan. 22
To which I say: One out of three so far. The other two are anathema.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Time For Everything

Up to now it's been an article of faith that crazed gunmen looking to set a new high score, don't normally make their attempts in police stations. We has one here in Colorado some time back in which a fellow pulled up in front of the Castle Rock PD building and opened fire toward the building. As I recall, no one in the building was hit, and even though the fellow had his 2 small children with him, it ended about like you'd expect.

The thinking was that he didn't really expect to kill anyone in the building.

Someone has tried again, this time in Detroit, where someone walked in to the station with a pistol-grip shotgun, and began blazing away. No real details out yet, but 4 cops were wounded and the shooter is toast.

Quick! What should we ban now?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I was wondering when someone in the international community would grow a pair when dealing with the Somali pirates, and now it's happened. H/T to Hot Air for the lead and here is the winner of the contest to be the first to deal with pirates in the traditional manner: The South Koreans.

The tepid response to date has been a blot on the character of civilized countries world wide since the inception of the Somali efforts. The hijacked ships should represent nothing more than a training exercise for the elite units accompanying the warships that frequent those waters ranging from the Egyptian Navy up.

Cheers for the ROK marines, and a note to future pirates: the ROKs don't care if you survive or not. The story says 8 pirates dead, and 5 prisoners, no casualties among the crew. Anybody want to make book on weather the prisoners survive the experience?

Gun Law

Peggy Noonan, one of the RINO columnists at the Wall St Journal, is proposing that in order to sustain his recent upswing in popularity, the president should wholeheartedly get behind a ban on "extended ammo clips".

I could almost agree with her on this one, since the definition of "extended" would likely be left up to the BATFEIEIO, who would revise the number down any time they found themselves looking for some new mischief to get in to. Official policy like this would stir up a firestorm of activity, confirming everything the right had to say about the president in the first place.

Presumably someone who knew what they were talking about would write this, so that "ammo clips" would become "magazines". Notice I didn't say detachable. This would extend the ban to include tube-fed firearms that could accept more than this weeks limit on bullets.

Proposing legislation for this is political suicide in most districts, so it probably won't happen, or if it does, it won't come to a vote so that no one will be held accountable next election. No, the Chicago way to get this done is to have the BATFE write a "ruling" which carries the force of law, but bypasses the embarrassment of actually having to vote on the thing.

Word going around right now suggests that the Saiga shotgun, and possibly the Rossi lever-action .410 are both in the agency's sights for a ruling come Monday. With control of the agencies, the congress becomes unnecessary.

When writing your representatives, never forget to include the closing lines asking that the BATFE be defunded and abolished.

Energy and Environment

News is beginning to percolate up about the Bakken oil field in North Dakota, which also extends into Montana. The actual size is uncertain, but the estimates keep getting bigger.

If the discovery turns out to be significant, expect the interior department to name the entire area the "Chief Sitting Bull National Wilderness Preserve" and ban all human activity anywhere near it. This will be closely coincident to a generous campaign contribution to the administration from the Saudi royal family, reminiscent of a similar practice in the 90's in which a contribution from the coal magnate Riady family of Indonesia got the worlds largest deposit of clean coal declared a national monument in Utah.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The administration has put out a good deal of lip service about energy production, but has delivered little beyond looming shortages. Gas, for example was $1.60 in late 2008, but is currently just over $3/gallon. I don't use heating oil, but I'm pretty sure the price there has followed apace.

Most of the solutions we've seen so far tend to be large sums of money funneled into beta-level production of schemes that produce energy in small and unreliable squirts, such as wind and solar.

Here's a piece on two proposed nuclear options that have the advantage of being proven designs in both scalable and modular modes. At least one of the designs draws from our experience with Naval reactors which are designed to be operated by enlisted men, and be pretty much 100% reliable. The other is a bit more nebulous, or I'm too lazy to dig far enough to ferret out the details, but uses many of the same buzzwords, like small, modular, and scalable.

The other advantage of the small plants is the hardening of the power grid that stems from the dispersion of the generators. Myself, I prefer the efficiencies of large central generating stations, but in this case, the losses from lack of scale don't seem to be as great as what you would get from a similar dispersion of coal or gas-fired plants.

The biggest obstacle right now is the government, who gets to regulate nukes. The purpose of a government regulator is to see that nothing new is introduced that might inconvenience anyone already in the market. Of course you remember I did include the Department of Energy in my proposed budget cuts, right?

Balancing the Budget

Back on the 7th, I speculated on the effort required to get federal spending under control, and without too much effort, came up with $269B in spending cuts.

Now the Republicans are looking into the same problem, and have come up with $2.5T worth of cuts. Disclaimer: this is added up over 10 years, so the number would be comparable to $250B in the next year, which is close to what I came up with.

What impresses me is that they claim be able to repeat this feat every year for the next 9 years. Hopefully this isn't done by projecting the elimination of some bogus agency for a savings of $250M, then counting that cut every year thereafter for the next 10 years. Still, it looks like a good start, and goes to prove that the folks in Washington are marching right along with me, singing together as voices of reason, and not even remotely the blood-splattered, masked wielders of chainsaws some people make us out to be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It was once said that if the U.S. government controlled the Sahara desert, in6 months there would be a shortage of sand.

This afternoon the snow fell, lightly, and the temps dropped, mightily. Evidently the government now controls the Sahara, because there's not so much as a single grain on any street I drove on to get home tonight, through 5 municipal districts.

Getting in tomorrow should be amusing too.

Climate Change

Climate change research has been shown to have more than a few holes in it of late.

This does not prevent its supporters from attempting to cover them up by making investigating the fraud illegal.

AGW is a problem that, at this point, I have to conclude, doesn't exist. Well, O.K. I was never really convinced it really existed. What it was, was the modern equivalent to chicken Little, running about madly screaming that the world was about to end, and the only solution was to let him and his friends, all of whom knew better than me, manage the economy.

Noteworthy was evidence that letting these people manage my life would cause a great deal of my money would wind up in their pockets, mostly to their benefit. I am reminded of the doomsday cults of the past, usually religiously based, who promised paradise to true believers who would give over their worldly goods to the chief charlatan before the apocalypse.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Testing, Testing

The Taiwanese test fired several missiles today, presumably to demonstrate preparedness in the face of ChiCom aggression.

Most of them missed their targets.

Look, guys, don't buy your military hardware or software from someone who might be your enemy. As Hamas found out in Gaza, a stinger missile will not launch against an Apache helicopter. As the space forces of Earth found out, Cylon designed fighters can be turned off by the Cylons. As the Taiwanese found out, missiles using iPhone-based guidance systems, assembled in China fly poorly that close to China.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arms Race

You knew it would happen, after introducing the Taurus Judge in various barrel lengths to shoot .45 and .410 shotgun shells, they had to preemptively bring out an even bigger one, the "Raging Judge":
in glorious 28 ga. That's .54 caliber in case you were thinking of sniffing out some actual pistol-type bullets to go with this. I don't know of such a cartridge on the market, so I suppose you're reduced to alternating shot with slugs for variety.

Soon to appear, the "Batshit Crazy Judge", in 12 ga. Still in development it would appear.

Hmmmm.... Has anybody heard of anyone using a .410 Judge with slugs in a bowling pin match?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Freedom Of Speech

Free speech can't exist unchained. US politics needs the tonic of order.
Simon Jenkins, Guardian, UK
Honest you can't make this stuff up. The only thing that can preserve the freedom of speech in America is restrictions on what people are allowed to say. Once you realize the suggestion is coming from England, the idiocy becomes somewhat more expected.

It's scary to see such things put forward, as it's possible some people in the administration will take the suggestion seriously, or rather more seriously than they do already, and try to act on it.

Come to think of it, they already are. There is, I suppose, nothing wrong with a free society that a bit less freedom won't make better.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gun News

Found in North Central Idaho, this quote from the usual suspects:

As household gun ownership has dropped dramatically since the early 1970s and America’s youth turn away from guns, the SHOT Show is proof of the gun industry’s embrace of increased lethality to shore up its fading market and declining sales.

Violence Policy Center
January 13, 2011
A little looking shows just how much gun sales are fading:
"Peaking", maybe. When the January stats come out we'll see if the shootings in Tucson had any noticeable effect.

Meanwhile, Rep King (RINO-NY) has proposed a law that would prohibit carrying a gun within 1000 ft of a high government official, such as a politburo member. This raises the question of how, exactly we're supposed to tell we're within 1000 feet of such an august presence?

Folks, it's only hard when the wind is blowing the wrong direction. Downwind, it's easy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


What she said. All that, and more.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unintended Consequences

So the left, figuring that a mass shooting might give gun control some traction, begins discussing gun control.

The rest of us, figuring they might try something like that, rush out and double the sales of guns.

Don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Science Marches Onward

Here's a piece on a Genomics award for the first person to develop human skin with sub-dermal spider silk, strong enough to render the body at least minimally bulletproof.

It crosses my mind that skin so augmented would also be resistant to the usual sagging and bagging that age tends to bring on.

Yet another approach to the sub-dermal bra?

Of course it could also make putting on weight or a pregnancy rather uncomfortable too.

Gifford Shooting

Now that the shooting has been largely sorted out, and all the relevant facts known, I can say that most of what is going on is depressingly predictable.

Already some of the best-known whack jobs in the house have rolled out gun control legislation almost as though it had been moldering in their desks for the last 4 years, a tacit admission that unless you represent a very safe district, supporting gun control is an invitation to disaster. Current offerings would revive the "assault-weapon ban" and ban sales to people adjudged to be mentally unstable, neither of which would have affected the outcome of the shooting.

Expanding on this, one other offering would ban criticism of elected officials, lest the "dear leaders" be offended or something, and another would bring back the "fairness doctrine", AKA the "Hush Rush" bill, again the primary objective being to silence dissent in any form.

What kind of government wants to disarm its citizens, and prosecute dissent?

One more thing: In my lifetime I've seen a few politically motivated assassinations. Since 1960, how many of the assassins have been right-wingers? I don't remember any.

Aside: How long will it be before someone on the left accuses Rush Limbaugh of being the spotter for Sarah Palin over on the grassy knoll?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Salt Shaker

It looks like we're in for some actual snowfall, with our favorite predictive source, who's never more that 80% off calling for 5-10 inches, up from 3-6 earlier. They're now saying that the 10" number may turn out to be closer to reality when this stops. When waqtching the wearther reports, pay no attention to the actual numbers, but watch the trend. By the time the storm is over they've generally gotten it exactly right.

So far it's break out the push broom and salt shaker to keep ahead of the 3/4" we've gotten so far. Here's a salt shaker:
Ah, Coffee, is there anything it can't do? Just fill with driveway salt, and it lays a nice uniform scattering as you stroll along.

Weather predictions being what they are, I'll probably wake up Monday unable to see out the windows for the drifts.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Tale Of Two Congressmen

I write letters to congressmen on the off chance that if enough of my fellow constituents do so as well, it may influence his vote on issues. I recently wrote to one about efforts in the Senate to abolish or at least neuter the Senate rule regarding the filibuster and the Senatorial hold, which allows a Senator to slow down the progress of legislation.

To my memory, I remember it being used by Dems to impede civil rights legislation in the 50's and by Republicans to impede Obamanomics in the last two years. Absent the filibuster, the Senate is just a carbon copy of the house where legislation passes without much consideration beyond party politics.

The response I got, from Senator Bennett who described himself as a cautious moderate Dem in the last election was:
As you may know, the filibuster is a procedural tool, sometimes used by a minority of Senators to delay the Senate from proceeding to debate or a vote on legislation. Over the past two years, partisan games have prevented the Senate from moving forward on important issues such as economic recovery and creating jobs, in part due to the current rules of the filibuster.
Abuse of the filibuster is an important issue to me and I have taken actions to reform the broken filibuster process. In March, I introduced a common-sense proposal to reform the filibuster process as part of my Plan for Washington Reform.
Revealing himself to be a loyal tool of the administration. Later, I wrote representative Coffman about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including my standard closing line about the ATF:
The Congressman is in total agreement with you that we need to severely reform Fannie and Freddie, if not do away with them altogether. Their actions have been extremely harmful and taxpayers need to stop paying for this. The Congressman also supports making major overhauls to the ATF. He was a co-sponsor on H.R. 2296, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009, which was introduced by Representative Steve King last Congress.
So someone's working for me out in the swamp.

Get your humor fix on the topic. Go here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Balancing the Budget

Speaker Boehner recently couldn't think of any programs he'd de-fund, I suppose, without a poll or two telling him which ones affect his own constituents the least.

He'd better start thinking of some soon. It's why his party currently controls the House.

As I remember, the outgoing congress never actually passed a budget, which is the first responsibility of the House, but rather, in the waning hours of the year, passed a continuing resolution that lets things go on as they are until March. So come March, the House will get to take up the budget once more. This time I bet we'll see some movement on the issue, although I bet we see some pretty egregious efforts at bribery too.

Balancing the budget isn't hard, you just have to realize that a lot of agencies got as big as they are today by channeling monies into powerful congressmens districts. Thus Republicans from farm states seem to think that tarrifs against foreign agricultural products are a good idea, when coupled with subsidies for locally produced produce. Which is why we pay twice the world price for sugar, for example, and soft drinks are sweetened with corn and beet sugar instead of the better-tasting and cheaper cane sugar.

Budget suggestion: Reduce the Department of Agriculture to a low-level advisory board. Current Budget = $94B

Some 40% of the U.S. corn crop gets burned in our gas tanks in the form of ethanol, which I've ranted about before here. The Department of Energy was originally created to help us become independent of foreign oil, but so far has only made the situation worse.

Budget suggestion: Abolish it. Savings $26B

Not sure what the Department of Education actually does, bit if we reduce it to a committee to establish competency tests for 4th, 8th, and 12th grades, that would certainly suffice. Savings = $59.2B

Department of Homeland Security. Our very own stasi, only without actually doing anything to improve security. Drop your pants and bend over. Savings = $44.3B

Housing and Urban Development. Guarantees loans to people so that banks don't have to worry about defaults (as much). Budget suggestion: Abolish it. Savings = $45.6B

There's 269 billion without trying very hard, and yes, there are some features that it would be worthwhile to retain, but only about 10%. Toss in the $500B the administration is currently proposing to acquire lands, mostly in western states, and there's 3/4 of a trillion bucks right there.

See? Nothing to it.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Here's an interesting new technology that so far shows signs of working by causing rain to fall out of season in the UAE. The UAE has the advantage of being located downwind of a large body of water.

Several other places would seem to be properly situated for this trick to work.

And here I thought all those ionizers were good for was giving a technological ambiance to fern bars.

Reasoned Discourse

In some circles this is a euphemism for "Talk to yourself, I'm not listening.", and Lord knows we gunnies have been vilified to the point we get a bit touchy when someone comes along a begins parroting the Brady Bunch talking points du jour.

It can work out, however hard that may be to believe, as noted on Popguns blog.

Is loving story weeth happy eending.
B. Badenov

Gun Law

Ian Argent thinks the Macdonald and Heller decisions have opened parts of the NFA 34 to repeal.

He also includes some historical footnotes about the NFA I wasn't aware of. Of course there's always a good story behind the scenes of any piece of legislation, usually better yet for the bad stuff.

401K watch

In Europe, where the administration seems to be getting a lot of inspiration, several countries have come up with clever ways to rob Peter (that would be the peasants) to pay off Paul's (that would be Prime Minister Paul to you) overcharged credit card. It's fairly simple. You know all that boodle the peasants have been hoarding in anticipation of retirement on a better scale than the national pension plan? Well, it's more urgently needed to avoid a national bankruptcy a la Greece, than to buy anyone a better grade of dog food.

Admittedly, in this country, the government has long since cleaned out the Social Security fund, leaving behind a stack of IOU's. Retirees who have paid into the fund are being paid from the general revenues, which leaves that much less for the general pork and such, you know, like national defense.

Proposals were floated last year to nationalize peoples 401K's and replace whatever's in them with government bonds. This got quashed fairly quickly as no politician wants to be the target of angry geezers with firearms and bad eyesight, but if it can be done there, it can be at least proposed here.

If such a thing is proposed, you can bet you won't hear about it in the local fish wrap until the legislation is up for a final vote, and probably not until the day of the vote. Keep your eyes peeled, as we used to say.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Darwin Awards

Voting is now open for the coveted 2010 Darwin Awards. I can think of several people I sincerely wish could win one of these, unfortunately none of them are on the list.

My favorite was the double-double.

The Chicago Way

The race for Mayor of Chicago is warming up, and promises to provide at least a modicum of entertainment for the rest of us who, at least, don't have to live there.

Rahm Emmanual wants to be Mayor, and the current Duke of Chicago, Daily, seems to be backing him. The election commission, who owe their jobs to the Duke, decided that moving away for two years doesn't disqualify anyone from being a resident, so he can run.

Rahmbo for Mayor
Because you like your kneecaps
The slogans just write themselves. The way politics works there is that potential candidates announce themselves, the party machine picks the winner, and enough dirt or bribes are dug up or offered that come election day only one name appears on the primary ballot. In the general election, the same technique is followed, with emphasis on the dirt. Getting to be Mayor in Chicago is thus, mostly a matter of having your opponents whacked, figuratively speaking, early on.

Now another candidate has come forward, addressing an issue near and dear to the hearts of every resident of Chicago; race.
Pressure to unite around one African-American candidate has been bubbling here for months, in part out of fear that the city’s black vote would be split — diminishing its influence and all but ensuring that a white candidate (like Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff) or a Latino candidate (like Gery Chico, a former board of education leader) might win on Feb. 22.
Yeah, we all know what's really important: Patronage and pork.

Because America Needs Another Detroit

The above was Stacy McCain's slogan, but hey, they just write themselves, don't they? Still, enough like this, and it actually becomes possible for a Republican to win, at least until all those lost voting machines are found in the trunks of abandoned Cash For Clunkers cars.


This time of year, predictions are very much in vogue. The brave and the bold make theirs early, and the meek and timid look these over and cherry pick the ones they like best to put together a late list.

I made mine last month.

Of the major pundits so far, I like Bill Quick's list the best. As an eternal optomist, I note that even the ones with short-term unpleasantness attached, have the potential to provide long-term benefits.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Future of Transportation, Stop-N-Go

While perusing the predictions for 2011 from Frank J. (see June) I ran across a call for the introduction of the Next Great Thing from Government Motors, an electric car that you charge by shaking it.

Now I've seen flashlights that worked on this principle, which were probably the inspiration for that shake-me-Elmo exerciser and running joke widgett, but this may be the real deal. Considering the stop and go traffic I endure daily on the trip home from work, I'm guessing the car should arrive in my driveway with more charge on it than when I left from work.

As a plus (?) it gives CDOT an excuse to delay any further improvements to the traffic situation around here, as the congestion is actually useful in keeping the vehicle charged.

Humanitarian Aid

And Happy New Year to all of you out there. It seems our cousins Down Under are suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous weather, at least in Queensland. Torrential rains associated with a tropical cyclone are causing flooding over vast areas just north of Brisbane.

This would normally be a routine tragedy, but the affected area includes the town of Bundaberg, home of Bundaberg Rum. The distillery is located only one block from the river, and I fear the worst. This is a chance for the administration to strengthen our ties with an ally for a change, by donating a piddling $1B toward the fabrication of a complete distillery on an ocean-going barge, and quickly tow it to Australia to fill the gap while the old distillery is rebuilt. I hereby volunteer to lead the project and see to it's proper installation.

From the look of the pictures, we would be able to anchor it over the existing parking lot, where it could become a permanent fixture as soon as the water recedes.

To make things more interesting, it is now being reported that crocodiles and snakes are being washed into peoples homes by the flood waters. Bundaburg drinkers know how to deal with crocs.