Friday, October 31, 2008


Law Dog notes that an increasing number of his friends are splitting the ticket by voting for the Republican for president, then voting for the Libertarian on all the lower offices.

As the Democrat party is hijacked and converted to the Social(ist)-Democrat party, and the Republican tent is pitched farther to the left, the electorate, like nature, abhorring a vacuum, drifts toward voting for Libertarians, Constitutionists, and other small, conservative groupings.

This, I believe, is the way for those parties to actually get somewhere. Quit running spoiler candidates for president, and get your people elected to the more mundane offices. Convince the electorate that you're not a bunch of whackos with solid, honest candidates, then go for the big one. Meantime, vote Republican on the top slot and keep the really big whackos out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deja Vu

For quite some time now I've observed that neither party really wants to win a presidential election. Every 4 years, the Democrats nominate some pathetic barking moonbat that no rational person would want to be seen with, and the Republicans dig up some party apparatchik, dull and boring enough to lose to him. Both parties did that this year.

Alas, the best laid plans go often astray, and someone gets elected anyway.

This year the trick may have been played to its logical conclusion. The radio news and American Thinker was reporting that in Florida, while the Dems are otherwise doing well in the early voting, Obama is losing.

It must really suck when your old yellow dog won't acknowledge you, but when the word gets out that you hate white people in general and Jews in particular, and admire Castro, you're not going to do well in Florida.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Voted

I voted today.

Well, strictly speaking, D'Wife took our absentee ballots down to the county election office and turned them in. We could have gotten the little oval stickies you get, which encourage people who shouldn't to vote themselves, but heck, every park bench, tombstone and vacant lot in the country already sports one, so why bother?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pin Shooting

I took the weekend off from the world, and kicked back. The club match was a bowling pin shoot.

For those of you who have never heard of such a thing, here’s how we do it in our neck of the woods. 2 tables are set up at about 7 yards from the line of fire. There is probably an official table type defined by the National Pin Shooting Nobbelers, but we use wooden saw horses and wooden doors. The edges of the doors are up near eye level so the 5 bowling pins set near the near edge are easy to see against the backstop.

This is a timed event. Two shooters take the line, and assume a “low ready” position (gun drawn, halfway raised). When the timer goes off, both shooters attempt to clear their table of the pins, and that means the pins must be on the ground, not lying on the table. I don’t know what a pin weighs, but it’s a bunch. The first thing you need to know about pin shooting is “bring enough gun”. A .380 pocket pistol isn’t going to cut it. A 9mm is about as small as will work, and something bigger is definitely a plus.

Murphy looks over this event. If you tap a pin just so, it will fall over, and spin on the table, coming to rest with the rounded top pointing right at you. Hit this, and it will spin some more, coming to rest….. get the picture?

The second thing you need to know is where your gun shoots. I saw more than one person nicking one side of the pins or the other, over and over, and not even knocking them down. For a real treat, imaging 5 carefully placed shots, each one entering the edge of the door, exactly beneath the pin, until the far edge of the door is completely shot out.

On that note, I will mention that I had brought some ammo for my .357 that I had loaded a bit light. Now a .357 will happily take .38 special, and that can be loaded to various levels, depending on your application or inclination, from “cowboy action” at the light end, to +P on the high end. Normally I load .38 brass, which is easy to find, to +P, which I think gives me the most bang for the buck. I wanted to get rid of the lightly loaded stuff, as I had made it in error, and frankly that stuff would have drawn snickers from the cowboys. NOTE 2: do not use cowboy action ammo on bowling pins. They will laugh at you. Fall over, yes, fly off the table, not so much.

Bowling pins are tough. If everybody would use a 9mm or .38 special, you could shoot the same pins all day. A .45 will damage the pins if you use hard ball ammo. A .44 magnum will cause shattered pieces of plastic to fly off the pin as it flies 2 yards back off the table. A .45 with soft lead wadcutters will bounce off the pin, fly back 7 yards, and bounce harmlessly off your sneakers. In its defense, it will knock the pin over.

Oh yeah, how did I do? Well, I’m plenty accurate, but I need to work on the speed. Individually, I finished lower than usual. More practice is indicated. I’ll be picking up more bullets, primers, and powder at the gun show this weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Ya Gonna Believe?

Like having 2 news sources in one. Today at Drudge, in the top left corner:


and in the middle, this big headline


Now both Battleground and AP have the two even, and Zogby has Obie 10 points up. Zogby has been known to favor the left, but then so has AP. Obie and Joe are campaigning like the Devil is close behind them with a handful of IOUs, which makes me think that Zogby has been jiggering the numbers, and they know it.

One other thing: The big headline is suggesting that Obie will win in a huge landslide, but Reagan was not a Socialist who relied on vote fraud to get elected.

Your 401(k)

Some of my readers may have a 401(k) to which they contribute. If you are employed, your employer may contribute also, and the contributions are tax-free until you withdraw them.

The democrats, however, are adding up the costs of all those hopeful new programs, and want to change all this.

Under Ghilarducci's plan, all workers would receive a $600 annual inflation-adjusted subsidy from the U.S. government but would be required to invest 5 percent of their pay into a guaranteed retirement account administered by the Social Security Administration. The money in turn would be invested in special government bonds that would pay 3 percent a year, adjusted for inflation.

The current system of providing tax breaks on 401(k) contributions and earnings would be eliminated.

So, instead of getting around 15% on my 401k investments, I'll get a government bond at 3%. Why don't they just kick me straight in the groin while they are at it? Seriously, this is what passes for a reform to Democrats?

But look, instead of one of those unreliable and soon-to-be-nationalized financial outfits managing your 401(k), you get the inimitable services of Social Security department, which your ill-gotten (tax deferred) money is in competition with.

All this makes a powerful argument for complete privatization of the retirement system, phasing Social Security out as quickly as is practical, and letting people manage their own retirement.

Now, yes, if you were 20-something and just getting started with your retirement account, and had it all invested in a market index fund that tracked the Dow Jones 30, you’d have lost about half your investment in the last 6 months. I’m guessing that would be about $500. If you were 65.5 and getting ready to retire, you’d probably have your account managed by someone who knew what they were doing, and only be down abut 10%, which is where I’m at. Just not that old.

Peru adopted this system in the early 1990s and it produces retirement incomes about 6 times what US social security gives.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Piece of History

You got a real piece of history there, mate. Ed Roth's Orbitron, found in Mexico, and now restored.

The New Mussolini

Back in the 20s Benito Mussolini pushed the idea that the best form of government was a benevolent dictatorship. As proof, he describes a citizen with a problem petitioning an elective democracy and getting only partisan bickering. The same citizen petitioning a dictator would get a solution producing the greatest benefit to the greatest number almost immediately.

On that basis, Benito ran for office on the platform that he would be Italy’s Dictator, solving problems without recourse to an endlessly bickering parliament. It was a strong appeal in a country where every city block had its own party, and it got him elected.

He was immensely popular with the press and the rest of the left, both in Italy and in the US, to the point that Studebaker even named their current model the Dictator, except in countries with governments that frowned on that sort of thing, where it was rebadged. Bypassing the parliament turned out to be quite easy mostly resulting in endless bickering with Benito’s Fascists in the majority.

90 years later Obama is proposing the same thing, without the title of dictator, which has fallen into some bit of disrepute over the years. For him, no tax is too large, and a huge, crippling energy tax will certainly fill the bill. This sort of thing has been proposed in the past, but some democrats, notably those from states where energy comes from coal, saw the folly of this and wouldn’t support it. See? Endless bickering.

The Obama solution for this is to have the EPA declare carbon dioxide to be a “dangerous pollutant”, which would impose heavy taxes and penalties on anyone producing it.

Mr. Grumet said that come January the Environmental Protection Agency "would initiate those rulemakings" that classify carbon as a dangerous pollutant under current clean air laws. That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress. Mr. Grumet warned that "in the absence of Congressional action" 18 months after Mr. Obama's inauguration, the EPA would move ahead with its own unilateral carbon crackdown anyway.

This applies no matter how large or small the producer, thus not only Excell Energy, our local electricity producer would be hit with “pollution penalties”, and you know who winds up paying those. But you, Joe six-pac with your car, your power boat, your motorcycle, your lawn mower, your leaf blower, or gas grill, are now a producer of “dangerous pollutants” and the taxes will be levied against you, and against the polluters who sold you the hydrocarbons you used to produce them. You know who will be chipping in to pay the gas station’s share, now don’t you?

The EPA hasn't made a secret of how it would like to centrally plan the U.S. economy under the 1970 Clean Air Act. In a blueprint released in July, the agency didn't exactly say it'd collectivize the farms -- but pretty close, down to the "grass clippings."

Speaking of Excell Energy, if the power bills at US manufacturing plants get too high, the sensible thing to do is move the plant somewhere with lower energy costs, like China or Mexico. To compensate for this, the Dems propose extending unemployment benefits.

They think of everything.

Register your Guns?

And when that's taken care of, you'll need to register your cell phone, as they're planning to do in peaceful, crime-free England.


Because inquiring minds at the government want to know.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Day at the Range

Went out yesterday to shoot the postal match, and see if I could still hold everything steady, with mixed results.

Imagine a great day, 72 degrees, light overcast, no wind, and 4 hours with nobody else there except the hawks. Shoot at my own pace, walk up to check targets when I need to, move the backstop to suit the situation. This match can be shot with anything, in any position, and there's a bonus: base distance is 10 yards, but at 20, you double your score. At 30 you triple it. There was some discussion regarding shooting this with a Barret .50 at 1000 yards, as one bulls eye would be worth 1000 points.

I did the pistols at 10, and had planned to do the rifles at 100. The .22 had a reputation for not holding the scope securely, but I figured for 10 shots, it should work. I got the sights straight at 30 yards, shot one target to confirm this, and went to repeat the feat at 100. The rifle went on strike, refusing to fire when I pulled the trigger. Not even a click. So I'm submitting a 30 yard target.

I need more practice with the .357. Comparatively speaking, I was all over the place.

The varmint rifle is a tack driver. If I hadn't been so worn out toward the end, I think I might have tried this at 200 yards.

The CZ is not ready for prime time. Oh well, maybe later.

Postal match results will be posted at Traction Control shortly after 2 November.

Big News From N. Korea

Or so they claim.

From AFP:

TOKYO (AFP) — North Korea has ordered its diplomats overseas to get ready for an "important announcement" that may be related to the health of its reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il, a Japanese newspaper said Saturday.

Pyongyang has told diplomats around the world to stay in one place and refrain from traveling, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting several unnamed sources familiar with North Korean issues.

It is traditional, when changing heads of state or other high elected officials, for people in appointed positions to tender their resignations as a courtesy to the new boss. In N. Korea, when your resignation is accepted, the acceptance comes with a blindfold.

Naming the Sewage Plant

The City of San Francisco is considering renaming their municipal sewage plant after George Bush.

The local Republicans are objecting.

I think they should go along with this, after all what better name for a facility for that takes all the crap a city full of moonbats and Marxists can deliver, and turns it into something non-toxic that's good for the environment?

Persuasive Argument

Coming out winners in an arguement or debate is frequently a matter not just of statement, but also of presentation. Today's Day by Day comic has an excellent example of how that can work.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Science Fiction and Mad Science

Milehicon 40 will be happening soon, and while I plan only a limited presence, it is noted that the Denver Mad Scientists Club will be sponsoring a Study Group in the hotel bar either Saturday evening, or Sunday around lunch time. When I find out, I'll let you know. In the past this sort of thing has resulted in rail guns, pneumatic pumpkin cannons, Kinetics vehicles, and a cardboard sled, which, for quite a while, held the record for the greatest number of casualties at the Cardboard Downhill competition.

Meantime, click on the Critter Crunch and Critter Crunch Flotilla links here, or at at the Milehicon page.

The Yacht Regatta is an amusing and easy-to-participate in competition that involves your homemade boat racing across the hotel pool for fame, glory, and possibly a trophy. 9PM Friday.

Construction Rules:
· Hull size is 1/2-gallon capacity. Any shape is allowed.
· Hull material must be clean milk carton cardboard.
· There is no weight limit.
· Power sources must be self-contained. No electrical, internal combustion, or other potentially explosive power sources are allowed.
· All other accouterments are, as you will.

In the past, rubber bands and compressed air have been potent contenders. Rube Goldberg machines are also welcome. The record for speed is somewhere between 1 and 2 seconds for a 25 0r 30 foot run.

Sunday features the Critter Crunch, Denver's own fighting robot competition. The rules are such that a competitive robot can be build for under $50. Much more than that has been known to have been spent. Sometimes to good effect. 2 pound class in the morning, 20 pound class in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lower Your IQ!!

At the Toyota dealership you can have a big SUV or a small IQ. Your choice.

Pistol Shooting

It's great therapy after being effectively in isolation from the world for so long. I shoot with a group that practices defensive pistol drills. Practicing a "draw, present, aim, shoot" drill works your coordination and reaction time. The "Mozambique" drill improves the ability to shoot quickly and change targets rapidly, if required. The "El Presidente drill is for quickly dealing with multiple targets and a forced reload in the middle.

In case you were wondering, the Mozambique drill envisions an encounter who is wearing body armor, which is not immediately apparent. On command, you draw your gun, and fire 2 shots to the body, then, as you notice the critter failing to fall, you follow up with one to the head, which is seldom armored. As the doggerel goes:

2 to the body
one to the head
makes darn sure
the varmint's dead.

The El Presidente is known as "the drill we never do the same way twice" in some circles, as there are variations that can be added. The simple version starts out with 3 human silouette targets at a distance of 7 to 10 yards, and the shooter facing away from them with his hands in the air. On command, the shooter turns, draws his gun, and fires 2 shots at each of the targets in turn, reloads, weather he really needs to or not, then repeats the shooting part, for a total of 12 rounds.
Variations on this can call for the second set of shots to be one round each to the head.

With practice, an average shooter with an automatic pistol and a spare magazine can do the standard drill in 10 seconds. A friend of mine did it in 6 seconds with a .45 auto, which is mighty fast. Revolvers normally take a bit longer as the reload time is greater. I've done it in 12 seconds, which is OK. There's a fellow out there who did this in 4 seconds with a revolver. The video is out there on the web, I don't have it to hand. Maybe tomorrow.

I only had 2 misfires tonight. One in the first 6 shots of the El Pres, and one in the second 6 shots. Figures. In competition there is scoring based on elapsed time and accuracy. Fortunately, we didn't use the timer. Nothing to complain about with the accuracy, though.

Stay back, folks! I've got a banjo, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Job

...if you can get it:

Writing headlines in the financial section of the paper,
"The Dow (rose / fell) xxx points today on news that (insert todays front-page headline here)".

Like you knew all along that the Broncos losing would (drag the Dow down / push the Dow up) like that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bike to Work

Finally got my bike back. The seat got bent a bit, but otherwise seems OK. The bad news is that I'm not allowed to ride it until January, says D'Wife.

At least I'm now allowed to drive my truck. At last I can get out of the house. All I need is some place to go.

Postal match at the range Saturday sounds good.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Second Bill Of Rights

Found this article posted by the Toledo Blade:

Back in 1944, as the depression was moving steadily along, FDR made a speech advocating a “Second Bill of Rights”. His “experimental” economic policies having been a notable failure up to that point, he was still convinced that the government could make any problem go away by royal decree or something.

In today's bad-news economy, many believe the 32nd president's ideas should be invoked again.

Many believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, too, byt hey, if at first you don't succeed...

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D., Ohio), said the rules of economic fairness in the country need to be restored.

What rules would these be, and where are they printed?

'The social contract in this country has always been if you worked hard, took care of your family, went to work, and played by the rules, you would be rewarded,' Mr. Brown said. 'We have moved away from that, and the social contract is not what it used to be in this country.'

The government will now reward you for doing none of that.

President Roosevelt's proposed second Bill of Rights included:

• 'The right to a useful, remunerative job in industries, shops, farms, or mines.'

The government will force business owners to hire people they don’t need?

• 'The right to earn enough to provide adequate food, clothing, and recreation.'

The government will force these business owners to pay them a government-mandated wage? Absolutely. FDR implemented this. Economists at UCLA estimate it added 7 years to the depression.

• 'The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return that will provide a decent living.'

The government will mandate high food prices, and to back this up, they will also mandate high tariffs against cheaper imported foodstuffs.

• 'The right of every businessman to trade with freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies.'

Ah, to be free from competition. If the public won’t buy my over-priced widgets, the government will pay me the difference so I can price things competitively.

• 'The right of every family to a decent home.'

Didn’t we just try that on a rather large scale? How’s that working out?

• 'The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.'

Any “right” to a product or service implies an obligation on someone’s part to provide it. This means a form of involuntary servitude by new Med school grads, in which the government requires them to provide services at rates set by the government. They do this in England, where the National Health hospitals are the worlds most prolific providers of antibiotic-resistant infections.

• 'The right to protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.'

How many of you actually expect to see more than a very small fraction of the money you’ve put into Social Security, if any? How would you like health insurance, and tenure to go with that? Live like a college professor at a State college.

• 'The right to a good education.'

If you can’t learn anything else from the events of the last 100 years, learn this: Socialism, in all its myriad forms, including Communism, Nazism, Fascism, New Dealism, Third Wayism, or whatever ism they’re calling it by this week, DOES NOT WORK. The difference between one and another is best measured in the number of their own citizens they kill, intentionally or not, in order to preserve the government.

Contact Ignazio Messina, author of the Blade article at: or 419-724-6171.

God, I hate politics.

The Second Bill of Rights

Found this article posted by the Toledo Blade:

Back in 1944, as the depression was moving steadily along, FDR made a speech advocating a “Second Bill of Rights”. His “experimental” economic policies having been a notable failure up to that point, he was still convinced that the government could make any problem go away by royal decree or something.


In today's bad-news economy, many believe the 32nd president's ideas should be invoked again.


Many believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, too.


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D., Ohio), said the rules of economic fairness in the country need to be restored.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Game Hunting

I saw a cartoon once, showing a fellow sitting before the fireplace, the heads of a lion, a buffalo, a rhino, and a mouse over the mantle. He was saying: "The big game I got on safari. With the mouse, it was personal."

Conservative UAW guy got himself a trophy.

What's the difference between a presidential debate and a dead groundhog?

One's a disgusting, lifeless and smelly thing, the other is a dead rodent.

This one was certainly a big one, though.

Friday, October 10, 2008

He's a Magic Man

This article appeared in today's WSJ, and asks all the questions John McCain is too nice to bring up in polite company. Of course this sort of behavior on McCains part is causing the company to become noticeably less polite.

Obama, it appears, is going to wave his arms, and make a lot of unlikely things happen.

If my car blew smoke like Obama, it would be impounded.

Vote Fraud

By now there should be no doubt who the national and international champions in promoting vote fraud are: ACORN, hands down. They're being investigated in Illinois, where Michelle Obamas law firm is defending them. They've been indited in Missouri, and are under investigation across the country. They have added, at minimum, 3 million new names to the voter rolls across the country, including moving the Dallas Cowboys to Las Vegas.

3 million fraudulent votes would probably come close to carrying Jimmy Carter to a win over Ronald Reagan in1980.

A careful and detailed audit of the voter rolls in all 50 states is seriously overdue, but for some reason Few AGs seem to think this a pressing problem.

Term limits will help.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cheap Entertainment

I get to drive to work tomorrow, for the first time in 7 weeks, so I'm pretty stoked. I probably should put up "Shakey Jake" (..get off the streets, it's Shakey Jake!) instead of this, but this was genuinely funny.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10-7 Debate

Where's Al-Quida when you REALLY need them?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are We Winning?

You take a poll by calling people on the phone, and asking them whom they plan to vote for, A or B. While you’re at it, ask them which party they associate with, R, D, or I. When you’ve got enough answers, go check the historical record to see how the area you’re polling usually turns out. It’s a pretty good bet that folks will turn out in a similar manner this year.

Now pull the right number of responses from each of the 3 stacks (you did sort the responses by party, right?) and treat them like ballots. This should give you a pretty good approximation. In most states, the turnout for one party is seldom more that 5% more than the turnout for the other, discounting the occasional rout.

Classical Values observes:

Voter models are the essence of political polls. You take a sample of a few hundred or a few thousand people and predict how that sample can reflect 10s-100s of millions of people. If you are off by even a small fraction in your assumptions the bottom line could be off by 5, 10 or 20% (despite an MoE claim of a few points).

We have a perfect example of this in two Colorado Polls out recently. The first poll was commented on by our Reader MerlinOS2:

PPP just released a poll in Colorado which puts Obama up +7

Now what the issue is here is that the party split was

Dem 40
Rep 36
Ind 24

However August voter registration number per the spreadsheet available from the Secretary of State show the registration breakdown is

Dem 30.6
Rep 34.8
Ind 34.5

Details on the poll in question can be found here. Just this week American Research Group (ARG) also released a poll for Colorado (which is not used in the RCP poll of polls strangely). Its voter model was Dem 32%, Rep 35% and Ind 33%, very close to the ACTUAL voter registration levels noted by MerlinOS2. The result: McCain 48%, Obama 45% - a McCain lead of +3%. (Note: this polls also shows McCain tied with women)

These polls were taken at basically the same time in the same state. But we can see how the voter model can really change the bottom line (a 10% difference).

If the results you get differ from what your client had in mind, just send a Bunch of Rs to Siberia, and have a bunch of Ds immigrate from wherever they normally hang out. If the Is are breaking the wrong way, just jigger the Ds upward, or the R’s down, until you aren’t bothered by them so much.

Bottom line: when a poll comes out, treat it like any other campaign ad unless you personally want to look at their methodology and maybe see if you can correct the work they did. Any poll that does not publish its methodology should be ignored.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Congressional Term Limits

If such an election were held right now, 59% of the people would vote to turn out both houses of congress in their entirety.

I’d certainly vote for it. To be sure, unless the question were carefully worded, all the guilty culprits would be at the top of their respective ballots in the next election, and the next congress would likely look a lot like the one we just threw out.

The only real solution to this is congressional term limits. This requires a constitutional amendment to accomplish, and guess where such an amendment has to originate? Right. Only the foxes can propose changes to the security of the henhouse. Firm Wikipedia, this summation of article 5 of the constitution:

Main article: Article Five of the United States Constitution

Article Five describes the process necessary to amend the Constitution. It establishes two methods of proposing amendments: by Congress or by a national convention requested by the states. Under the first method, Congress can propose an amendment by a two-thirds vote (of a quorum, not necessarily of the entire body) of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Under the second method, two-thirds of the state legislatures may convene and "apply" to Congress to hold a national convention, whereupon Congress must call such a convention for the purpose of considering amendments. To date, only the first method (proposal by Congress) has been used.

The last time this came anywhere close to happening was when the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed. It made it through the congress, but when placed as a ballot item in the several states, it failed to get the requisite support.

The device of the states demanding a convention is a powerful threat, and was used in the case of the 17th amendment which provided for direct election of Senators, turning the Senate into an even more exclusive version of the House.

Since it is unlikely that the congress will vote term limits on itself voluntarily, the demand for a convention seems to be the only realistic approach to the problem. The other problem is that the request for a convention must come from the state legislatures in the form of a resolution, asking that the convention be called. As of right now, not many state legislatures have term limits, and the members in states with, in effect, lifetime tenure for elected officials, are not going to demand that the federal government be so limited lest the voters decide that perhaps this should be applied to the local crooks as well.

This being the case, the only way we’ll ever get congressional term limits, is to first impose them on ¾ of the states first. Currently only 15 states have functioning term limits on their legislators.

At least 38 states must have them before we can realistically expect to be able to see congressional term limits, so I’m not holding my breath on this one. There needs to be citizen initiatives to put term limits on the ballot in 23 states that currently don’t have them before we can get anywhere with this. At this point, a policy of actively culling the herd seems to hold more promise. Like my bumper sticker says:

Limit Terms: Declare politicians a game species.

Alas, the Fish and Game dept has not yet established a season.

Political humor

Curmudgeonly and Skeptical has produced this bit which is up in the same league as the one about Palin and the Sasquatch.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Or what your kid does with all those toys you foolishly bought him, including the paintball gun and the Lego robotics kit.

I seem to remember that one of my friends built a "desktop defender" that would watch a wide area around your cubicle and shoot a rubber band at anyone who came too close. I never saw the actual device, so it may be an urban rumor.

E-Postal Match

To get off of politics and on to something fun for a change, here's a target you don't just look at, it looks back at you.

There's an off chance I could even participate in this one. All I have to do is find someone else who wants to shoot this, and get them to give me a ride to the range. D'wife says I can shoot, towards the end of the month, but she's still not up to letting me drive.

I don't see at all what her problem is with me driving. I don't have any trouble identifying her shortcomings behind the wheel.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palins Performance

I watched some of the debate last night, and all the summaries that came out today. I'm not evaluating the next VP, I'm evaluating the president-after-next.

Unless President Obama, for reasons unexplained, turns up in Ft Marcy park or something along those lines, Biden will never be president.

If President McCain doesn't beat the insurance industries odds (14% chance he won't live another 4 years), or if he decides not to run for a second term, Palin will be.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun Stuff

For those of you with kids, or for those of you who are kids, here's a flying rocket made of paper that will get your space program or neighbor-threatening nuclear arsenal plans off the ground.

Well, OK you gotta start somewhere.

Speaking of starting, how are your basic skills? Know which end of the hammer goes against your thumb? Go here and get the basic instructions for lots of everyday skills that no fully sentient being should be without.

Both of these courtesy of Popular Mechanics.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Current Crisis

Back in the teens and twenties when he was running for office, Benito Mussolini used the arguement that the best form of government was a benevolent dictatorship. He put himself forward as candidate for the job of dictator, and the Italian people bought it. Part of the persuasion to demonstrate the obvious superiority of a thoroughly modern dictatorship over the so 19th century democracy was that if you had a problem of some sort, and went to a democratic government for help, all you would get would be endless partisan bickering. If you went to a good dictator, however, your problem would be properly addressed pretty much immediately. He didn't go in to how often you would actually like the solution.

It's a persuasive arguement with only a couple of shortcomings. First is the presumption that any problem you have even should be addressed by the government, and second, the notion that there will always be problems of this magnitude for the government to address. If you're running for office on this platform and there is no problem to cite, then one must be created to justify your position.

Back about the same time frame H. L. Mencken observed:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed [and hence clamorous to be led to safety] by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

Is this whole financial mess just another hobgoblin? Check this, in light of the US to fail to turn into a black hole quickly enough through the Freddie and Fannie show:

Harry Reid joined Senator Chuck Schumer today in spreading panic.
In July, Senator Schumer caused a run at IndyMac after a letter he wrote prompted the collapse by causing the run and scaring away potential acquirers.
Today, Senate Majority Leader Reid joined him.
Reid told reporters that a major US insurance company is going under:
The bigger the problem gets, the more government intervention is obviously needed, and everybody knows which party is the party of big government intervention.

The more I see legislation purporting to fix a problem used as a vehicle for personal pork, the less I'm inclined to thing the problem wouldn't largely fix itself if left alone. In the case of the mortgage meltdown, the problem was set up by legislation requiring banks to make questionable loans, followed by legislation requiring F&F to buy those mortgages.

Just repeal the bad legislation, and walk away.

Urgent bailout?

Quick, let's fling billions of YOUR money down unspecified ratholes lest something really dire happen, and trust us we stand by our record of never wasting a dime. The following is included in the Senate version of the impending bailout bill:

a) STUDY. — The Secretary of the Treasury shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects.
(b) REPORT. — Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to Congress a report containing the results of study authorized under this section.
(c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. — There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,500,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Term limits, anyone?