Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gun Fun

This cartoon recently appeared in the Miami Herald, where Jim Morin is upset that some congressmen are, in effect, being bought.
Let me explain something to Mr. Morin. All congressmen are bought. Top to bottom, left to right. If you show a congressman that your cause it right and just, and will donate several million to his re-election campaign, then you'll have his vote, at least once. Holding money to a congressman's head is the socially acceptable way of getting his attention. Per the constitution, using the gun in its intended fashion on elected officials is supposed to be only a last resort.

In that light, I'd like to nominate Mr. Morain for the Gaia-Journalism award for Journalistic recyclability. Taking the same image, and dressing the man with the gun in a dark suit and shirt, with a white tie with a union tietack, the cartoon is usable the next week as well. Dressing him up in an ordinary suit and changing the tietack weekly, going down the list of K-street lobbyinsts, the thing should get Mr Morin paid for the rest of the year. All else that would be necessary is to be sure the "evil" lobbyist comes from the "right" side of the fence, so to speak.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nationalizing G.M.

Well not quite yet, but the CEO has been fired by Oboe himself.

No word yet as to who will be appointed to replace the departing Mr. Wagoner, but hopefully it will be someone with his taxes up to date, and no more than one or two outstanding warrants. Loyalty to the president a must. No actual knowledge of running a company required.

This bodes ill for Ford, who has taken no money from the government, and is still independent. A government-owned company has no need to show a profit as long as the grateful taxpayers pick up the losses. A for-profit company cannot compete with an outfit that can price its product as low as necessary to move its inventory.

This is an old story, best read in English History (recent) with regards to BSA motorcycles and British Leyland automobiles. In both cases the government bought up and nationalized the weakest company in the industry, and allowed it to drive its competition to bankruptcy until most of the industry operated under only two logos, British Leyland for the cars, and BSA-Norton-Villiers-Triumph-Cotton and probably a couple more at the end.

Biker Gangs

Or to put it more "correctly, "Bikie Gangs". Bear with me here, this one comes from Australia, and as we know, English, as we know it, is not their first language.
Anyway, there seems to be enough of an upsurge in the bikies having at one another, in a land where the national sport is drinking, that parlament feels that Something Must Be Done. In this respect they're exactly like us.
At least one MP seems to think it's time that the foolishness involved needed to be held up for ridicule. He proposes mandatory re-naming of the various bikies from the names current now, i.e. Banditos, Hells Angels, etc, to a list of government-approved names:
* I Have Two Daddies
* Hell’s Netballers
* The Petersham Power Lispers
* Lilith Fair
* Cuter in Chiffon
* Earth Hour
These are just a few of the offerings. He also offers the standard nostrum of the anti-gun people, the buyback.

Also, Mr Speaker, may I mention the Harley-Davidson buy-back now under way. You possibly noticed Dancing With Quentin protesting outside Parliament today aboard their replacement Honda 110 step-throughs.

I’m happy to report that they all went home after a friendly visit from The Crystal Street Lycra And Lace Cuddle Fellowship. At least, I think they all went home.
I'm sure the visit was as congeniel as that sort of thing usually is.

Thanks to Tim Blair, and RTWT

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Musical Interlude

This guy must be the absolute shiznit at the karaoke bars.

Here's his site. He pretty much covers everybody.

Airborne Laser Testing

Speaking of Dale Amon at Samizdata, he also notes that the Airborne Laser has been successfully ground tested:
US announces successful tests of Airborne Laser The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully fired multiple long-duration blasts of the Northrop Grumman high-energy Airborne Laser (ABL) during ground tests, the company announced on 19 February. The tests for the Boeing 747-400F-based ballistic missile defence system lasted up to three seconds each and were concluded on 12 February.
The above quote is from Janes, to which I do not have a subscription. And yes, the proof of this particular pudding is the successful interception of a high-flying warhead from an ICBM, but allow your mind to stretch a bit to some of the other targets on offer. Ground-to-air missiles, while fast, are heading straight at you, which is equivalent to holding still. Another fine testing spot would be alond the Gaza-Israel border where flying targets as small as mortar shells are frequently on offer.
Last, but certainly not least, is the unsettled areas in Iraq and Afghanistan where targets become available running along the ground, carrying Kalashnikovs. Imagine Mohammeds head suddenly assuming the look of a sealed bottle of ketchup placed in a microwave.

Mmmmmm. Mayhem.

Denver Tea Party

For the moment, I am now available to participate in Tea Party protests during what would normally be business working hours. To that end, I would like to invite my like-minded, and like-situationed readers to join me and everybody else at the Colorado State capital on Tax Day (April 15) in the festivities. Bragging rights go to the most cleverly worded signage in the form of a closeup during whatever media coverage there is.

Your local get-together may be found here.

Dale Amon over at Samizdata, or maybe Laramie, has some slogan suggestions.

Earth Hour

Today is Earth Hour, which used to be Earth Day, and I know that it has its supporters and detractors, so here's how it works:

For the detractors, turn on your porch light, and any other lights you still have control over. For those of you in California, this may be limited to the porch light if you have the "smart meter" on your house that allows the local power company to control your usage. Afterwords, if you turn off the porch light, your refrigerator may be allowed come back on line, so be sure to drink any beer you have before it gets warm.

For you supporters, turn off all the lights around your house, and leave the keys in your car. Local community activists will be around to confirm your compliance, check your cars emissions by starting the engine, and will put your address on a list to receive a new car from the upcoming Earth Hour bailout .

Trust us on this one, it won't be like last year when the lights came back on, and Detroit was missing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pin Shoot

The club pin shoot has been canceled, due to the blizzard that blew through here yesterday. Some folks object to having to chase brass in knee-deep snow.

Oddly I get this vision of 10 snowmen in a row, each with a bowling pin balanced on its head, and the Pistoleros standing in the now snow-free marshaling area around the fire barrel, watching the shooters.

Special rules: The snowmen are "no-shoots", with IDPA penalties applied.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

State of the State

Temps in the 20s, Blizzard warning in effect, 10-18" predicted to fall today thru tomorrow AM, Temps tomorrow to peak in the low 30s.
Saturday: Clear with a high of 50. The club pin shoot is on, as is the Machine gun shoot up in Ft. Morgan. Winter is over for a while longer.
We still have 3 big snowstorms / freezes to go to coincide with the state of the fruit trees in my back yard. One each for the blossoming of the apple, peach, and plum trees.

Sent a resume to a prospective employer last Thursday. Got an e-mail back on Friday asking how much I wanted, and when I could come in and interview. E-mailed this back on Saturday, and heard nothing on Monday so I called on Tuesday, only to be told that the HR dept had hired the first fellow to walk in the door. Bummer.

A former co-worker says the place he works at may have an opening though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Youth Serving the Dear Leader

The "Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act" passed the House today. This thing lays out the structure for creating the US version of the Young Pioneers, with their red neckerchiefs or the Hitler Jungen with their Sam Browne belts.

The bill includes language indicating young people will be forced to participate in mandatory national service programs. The bill also states that "service learning" will be a mandatory part of the youth curriculum.
Involuntary volunteerism. More or less what I've come to expect from Oboe. And guess what?

Kelley in Virginia adds:

"There is even a provision in the bill for uniforms."
Why am I not surprised.

There's an opportunity here for some fashion-conscious person do come up with a design for a spiffy uniform and convince the Minister of Volunteerism to give him or her the contract to make the 20 million* or so of these things that would be needed.

What do you think would be a winning entry? Whatever it is, it should include armbands with the "Pepsi" party logo.

*Their estimate. Bailout funds should be available to purchase any unsold surplus.

Monday, March 23, 2009


As most of industry is laying people off, and the government is the only employer actually hiring right now, this one seems appropriate:

A guy goes to the Post Office to apply for a job. The
interviewer asks him, "Are you allergic to
He replies, "Yes, caffeine."
"Have you ever been in the military service?"
"Yes," he says. "I was in Iraq for two
The interviewer says, "That will give you 5 extra
points toward employment."
Then he asks, "Are you disabled in any way?"
The guy says, "Yes...an IED exploded near me and I
lost both of my testicles."
The interviewer grimaces and then says, "O.K.
You've got enough points for me to hire you right now.
Our normal hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. You can
start tomorrow at 10:00...and then starting at 10:00 A.M.
every day."
The guy is puzzled and says, "If the work hours are
from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., why don't you want me here
until 10:00 A.M.?"
"This is a government job," the interviewer says,
"For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking
coffee and scratching our balls...No point in you coming in
for that."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pumpkin Cannons

Way back when, the Denver Mad Scientists Club built a pumpkin cannon called Johny Pumpkinseed.
This thing had a barrel 40 ft long, of 10 inch PVC pipe, and about 90 cu ft of air tank, made from 2 45 cu ft propane tanks connected together. This in response to a local pumpkin launching challenge similar to the Punkin Chunkin in Delaware. How far can you throw an 8-10 lb pumpkin?
J.P. was a great success, and in testing at the gun club, made a toss of 3300 ft, which put us at about #5 nationally. Unfortunately, the local contest didn't anticipate us, and only had 1000 ft to their venue. There were some good stories attached to this machine involving golfers, waste ponds, and successes beyond our wildest dreams.

Alas, the thing was far too powerful for the local contests. What came of it was a fellow from a mountain fire district who thought the air cannon might be able to launch fire suppressant up to hard-to-reach fires, saving the cost of a helicopter or airplane to put them out. He donated a trailer for a platform, and with some industrious scrounging, Bomberos we born.
After much developmental work, the above configuration is what we wound up with. The fire suppressant idea died with its inventor, and for lack of funding to have the 3-gallon containers required built, but the cannon soldiered on, launching pumpkins and inspiring 2 or 3 other air cannon builders in the Denver area.
Among the original group, interest has flagged, so it's time to sell this off and move on to bigger and better things. I may have found a buyer at the gun show today. I'm going to miss this monster. At full pressure, a 12 lb bowling ball leaves the barrel at 200 mph, and travels about a half-mile, or rolls quite some distance along the prairie, bowling for gophers.

Oh well, onward and upward.

Gun Stuff

Cleanup day at the range where we busied ourselves evicting several hundred mice from the equipment shed, and watched a Rhodesian Ridgeback chase the rabbits. Rabbits are faster.
We may be able to get some birdhouses, in Hawk and Golden Eagle sizes put up at the range, too, as the raptor support group is happy to do this, at no charge, no less.

Shot Mr. Completelys postal match. This is supposed to be a copy of a steel challenge stage, and all I've got to say is that I hope the real steels aren't that small at the normal distances.

Worked a quite crowded gun show, and ran into Jed of Freedomsight.net. He hasn't posted anything for a while, but when he does, it's generally worth a read. He may have writers block, in which case, get well soon, Jed.

Ran into another friend who was taking some coursework at a local college. At some point he hoisted his laptop, which caught on his jacket, and briefly exposed his carry gun, for which he has a permit. Someone reported this to the dean, who widdled his britches, and summarily called my friend in and expelled him from the school.
To the best of anyones knowlege, the school had no published policy regarding CCW, and had no notices posted anywhere. The course instructor was not bothered in the least, and as a result has incurred some wrath from the dean. Still collecting details on this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

State Of The Economy

A downturn is when you hear of someone losing their job.
A recession is when someone you know loses their job.
A depression is when you lose your job.

As of Friday, March 27th, it will officially be a depression.

Now that you know, I expect that everybody will get out there, and announce it, and make sure your friends understand it's Oboes fault. I learned that from many years of working in the corporate coal mines: First fix the blame, then fix the problem.

Blame fixed. Problem in work.

Tea Party Platform

The Tea Party movement is gaining momentum rapidly, due to Republicans losing their jobs, and having weekday afternoons free to attend rallies. Some people are even speculating as to what sort of platform should form the basis for such a party. Suggested items include:

1) A flat tax. Some modest rate to be paid by everybody. No deductions, no exceptions.

2) Congressional Term Limits. The more charitable suggest that sitting congressmen with less than 12 years service be exempt from hanging. Wussies.

In addition, I will suggest a couple more:

3) Federal TABOR. This limits annual increases in spending to the increase in population plus inflation.

4) Adjust the taxes on business. Might as well make them zero, as they don't pay them anyway, their customers do, in the form of higher prices.

5) Phase in privatized Social Security. You'll retire much richer this way, and not be dependent on the government when you're old and too ditzy to know better any more. Example: Chile.

6) A constitutional amendment banning socialism. This might be tricky to write, as traditionally you're limited to 2 sentences or so. I'm open to suggestions on this one, although borrowing from the first seems like a good start. Something like: "Congress shall make no law establishing the practices of commerce, nor shall it limit the practice thereof." OK that one needs work. I will defer to practicing constitutional lawyers of the proper bent. Volokh? Anyone?

Military Lasers

Northrop has announced that it has passed the 100 Kw milestone in the quest to develop a really "weapons grade" laser for the battlefield.
The battlefield-strength breakthrough is just one part in a larger military push to finally make laser weapons a reality, after decades of unfulfilled promises. The Army recently gave Boeing a $36 million contract to build a laser-equipped truck. Raytheon is set to start test-firing a mortar-zapper of its own. Darpa is funding a 150 kilowatt laser project that is meant to be fitted onto "tactical aircraft."
All well and good, but the big show-stopper with lasers is not the power, as such, heck, I bought a 100 Kw model at a previous job to weld airbag inflators together. The problem is, as always, the power supply, which runs from several semi-trainers, to a warehouse. Chemical lasers don't have this problem, at least to the extent solid-state lasers do, but they have other problems. Imagine the exhaust fumes from something that runs on Fluorine, for example.

If you don't mind venting toxic gasses out the tailpipe of your "tactical aircraft" (think converted wide-body), a 5 Mw unit is awaiting deployment at Sandia right now. It's a leftover from the "Star Wars" programs of the 80s.

Still, it's good to hear that programs like this are still moving forward. You never know when an errant ballistic missile er... satellite launcher from N. Korea may need to be zapped before it plunges to earth in L.A.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Workshop

Here is a bit of ingenuity:

I have a model of a human hand that crawls across the floor, pulling itself along on its middle 3 fingers. The motion is quite realistic. I'll have to make a video of that and put it here sometime. It would beat the dickens out of another rant about the government.

H/T to Theo for this.

Military Brass II

There is a ton of discussion going on about the reclassifying of spent brass, the gist of which is like an on-line survey:

Was this:

1) A carefully thought-out plot to take away our ammo?

2) A carefully thought out plot to test the reaction to taking away the ammo?

3) Simple stupidity.

My vote goes to 3. A conspiracy requires careful planning and the ability to keep a secret. The phrase "Government conspiracy" is an oxymoron.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Military Brass

The recent kerfuffle over the DoDs plan to discontinue selling fired brass to civilian re-manufacturers caused a firestorm. Thirdpower has greater detail, but the gist of it all is that some noob at the department of leftovers or something changed the classification of brass from "OK to sell as is" to "Must be demilled before sale" without knowing exactly what he was doing. I wrote the surplus property agency and asked what was going on, and got a reply today.

Dear Mr. L,

Thank you for your e-mail. Government Liquidation has received an updated notification from the Defense Logistics Agency with regard to expended munitions. Effective immediately any expended munitions 50 caliber (12.7mm) or smaller can be released without mutilation. This includes expended cartridges and links. All other expended munitions larger than 50 caliber including grenade fuses and flare canisters must still be mutilated.

We appreciate your attention in this matter.


Customer Service Management
Government Liquidation, LLC
See what prompt action can accomplish? If we all reacted this way to proposed gun legislation, we'd probably all get a free gun as part of the stimulus bill.

Gerrymandering The Entire Country

Oboe is not only planning to move the census collection from the Commerce Department, where the constitution says it properly resides, to the White House, where the constitution does NOT say it belongs, he is bringing in some special help. ACORN.
ACORN, the scandal-plagued organization with close ties to Barack Obama, will be assisting Obama and Democrats with the US census.
Yup, the folks that registered "DoDad Pro" to vote, along with thousands of other non-existent folks, will be out there insuring that states that are hemorrhaging voters don't lose any representatives.

It seems the states losing population fastest, like California, New Jersey, Mighagan and New York, were the reddest of the red during elections, but will be losing representation to bluer states like Utah and Texas. In an effort to preserve any advantage he can, Obie will now demonstrate how to gerrymander an entire country in a single census. Good trick if he can pull it off.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced this week that he would not reverse the Bush Administration's decision to remove gray wolves in the northern Rockies from the endangered species list."
Excellent decision, Ken. Not only is the wolf nowhere near being endangered, there's one at every door in my neighborhood.

Quote of the Week

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” chief-of-staff-designate Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times the Sunday after Barack Obama’s election. “They are opportunities to do big things.”

Or, when viewed from the victims point of view:" The kind of politician who never encounters a constituent problem that couldn't be turned into a revenue enhancement without actually fixing the problem."

Todays Gun Show

Worked the gun show today for the CSSA. Not too many people there, probably due to the new venue in Yemeni Aurora*. Not so much stuff, and what was there was way over priced. Once fired brass was selling for about what finished ammo was bringing about a month ago. If you didn't stock up then, you're out of luck now, and doomed to be over run by the zombie hoards in the near future.

Spent 3 hours looking at outrageous prices, and listening to the fellow at the table behind us complaining about his lousy sales, which seemed to include a nice stack of 4473s. Every where you went was an unceasing rumble of complaint about the current administration. These folks are getting well and truly fed up with the tomfoolery, and patience, which Jimmy Carter got, is mighty thin among the natives.

*For those of you not familiar with the Denver area, there's an inside joke here. Aurora is the 'burb just East of Denver. A bedroom community that never developed anything resembling a downtown to the point that "downtown Aurora" is itself a local joke. Being out east of town it has expanded into the prairie and over the barren hills of what might best be described as "West Kansas", the part they willingly gave up for lack of water or any other resources. The generally arid landscape led to the place being called "Saudi Aurora" by large numbers of Denverites, and the gun show site is out at the extreme eastern edge, hence Yemeni Aurora.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taxing Marijuana

In Oregon, where pot is sort of* legal, i.e. for "medicinal" uses, the cash-strapped state has come up with am idea: Tax it.

Sponsored by Rep. Ron Maurer, R-Grants Pass, House Bill 3274 imposes a $98-per-ounce tax, which would cover the state's cost of operating and securing the production center.
*First off, I have to point out that the federal government thinks that pot is still illegal, although I hear the prez is looking to fix this.
(Day by Day, great webcomic)

Second off, that production cost of $98/oz seems a bit high for a center that will supply every pot head in the state with government-grown weed. I guess the staff costs will be up there if you count 3 shifts of armed (union) guards, OSHA inspectors, electrical inspectors, agricultural inspectors, inspector inspectors, and the governors neer-do-well cousin, all working under the watchful eye of a cabinet-level appointee. The posting of a lifetime for a summer intern, no? I'm sure it will produce the kind of high-quality product and service that makes the DMV everybody's favorite agency.

I have to come out against this on principle. After all, it is NEVER a good idea to give the government money. As P.J.O'Rourke notes, this is akin to giving teenage boys whiskey and car keys.

Politics As Usual

An elected politician has several duties and responsibilities, first and foremost is, of course, to get re-elected. To that end, preserving ones electoral base is the way to go. With this in mind, I note that in the last "stimulus " bill, there was an amendment to extend the E-Verify program, and insist that when bodies are attached to shovels being paid for by this money, that it be used to insure that it's American citizens who get the jobs.
But, as Pat Buchanan notes, no:

The Senate voted 50 to 47 to end E-Verify in six months, when current funding runs out. Sen. Jeff Sessions' proposal to give this successful program five more years was rejected 50 to 47.

Republicans and seven Democrats voted to save E-Verify. But only Democrats voted to kill it.

Note also that a lot of ordinary employers use this program too, so when you're out there pounding the pavement, looking for some really scarce work, about 25-30% of the employers you contact will be using the program. For the rest, you get to compete with the estimated 12 million illegals in the country.

Remember: A worker deported is a vote lost, for somebody.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

State Of The Union

It now appears that the economy is, in fact, not currently in worse shape than during the Depression, and things are getting better already.

Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is "not as bad as we think" and his plans will speed recovery.

Make up your mind, Barry, you can't have it both ways.

That being the case, this week at least, I urge all my readers, both of them, to write your congressfolks, and urge them to introduce legislation to repeal the Porkulus bill, passed in a state of unreasoning panic, when we thought there was actually a problem. If there, in fact, is a problem, the repeal will do more to fix it than the execution.

The Democratic party is rapidly becoming the Peter Party, in which every member has risin to his or her level of incompetence.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama Creates White House Women's Council

Ten years ago that was a presidential advisory job. The women eventually got their own counselors.
Today it's being done differently. The gist of it is that it sounds a lot like the Chicago practice of putting your friends and relatives on one payroll or another without actually expecting them to show up at work and get underfoot more often than on pay days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


OK, They can't all be deadly serious rants about economics, or fun stuff like shooting guns and blowing things up. This was shamelessly filched from Curmudgeonly & Skeptical because I like cute dogs who can brush their own teeth, then offer you the toothpaste when it's your turn.
Now ain't that cute?

Monday, March 9, 2009


I found this at Sharp as a Marble, and followed links back to My Hunting Spot, in New Zealand. Even there, I'm not sure where this came from.

Several likely spots come to mind, however.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Economy Right On Track

Unfortunately, it may be the wrong track. I found this chart over at Gateway Pundit. It's an edifying comparison of todays economic problems, and The Big One, as we might call it.
I knew things were bad, but I'd never seen such a stark comparison.

Pin Shooting

Bottom line: I suck. Of course I have to notice that my speed is down considerably from where it used to be, and presumably, practice will pick this up. It was great fun, and not even too cold, beginning at around 30 and rising to the mid-40s.

Rangemaster: "We run a cold range here. Everybody know what that means?"

Some Smartass: "We need to keep the fire barrel lit all the time!"

I also had a rather large number of misfires. I suspect the previous owner of my gun has cut the hammer spring back to lighten the trigger pull. NOTE to all you wannabe gunsmiths out there: This also lightens the hammer strike!

From the workshop, I take home the pins that aren't completely shot up, especially on the tops,
Then cut the top off:
And pretty soon we have the material for a .22 cal pin top shoot:

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. These may not be exactly to official specifications, but they seem to work fine. Is there an official spec for pin tops?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gun Fun

Let's see, IDPA-style match last Saturday, followed by a defensive pistol class on Wednesday, followed by a bowling pin shoot this coming Saturday.

At least I have no doubts about what's causing the ammunition shortage, at least here at casa Billll.

Tamera has a better explanation for this, indicating that she's better qualified to be Secretary of Commerce or Treasury than the chimps currently warming those chairs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Relative Freedom

Here's a scholarly paper on relative individual freedom among the 50 states. Caution, big pdf file, 60+ pages. The basic tables are on pages 11 and 12, the summary table is on page 19.

Colorado finishes second overall to New Hampshire, although the authors note that recent changes in the political climate there will likely cause its rating to drop. A blogger I read from NH curses the influx of Massachusetts tax refugees who move there fleeing excessive taxes, and then vote to raise the local taxes.

This might give Colorado a shot at first place, but having recently become a blue state, I imagine we'll be sliding down the list ourselves pretty shortly.

Anyway, the top 5 are:
1. New Hampshire
2. Colorado
3. S.Dakota
4. Idaho
5. Texas

The rogues gallery is the usual suspects:

46. Maryland
47. California
48. Rhode Island
49. New Jersey
50. New York

The whole thing is worth at least a quick perusal with some interesting insights as to how the methodology was used.

Bonus: Guess which states will be losing representatives after the next census unless Chicago rules for counting the populations are applied?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Low Cost Housing

Elect enough Democrats for long enough, and eventually low cost housing will become a reality.

“It may be tough to get financing for a new car these days, but in Detroit you can buy a house with a credit card.

The median price of a home sold in Detroit in December was $7,500, according to Realcomp, a listing service.

Not $75,000. Remove a zero—it’s seven thousand five hundred dollars, substantially less than the lowest-price car on the new-car market.

This according to the Chicago Tribune. Buy now, and when the Big Three come roaring back, spurred on by the completely recovered economy and the generous federal bailouts, you too can become a filthy-rich real-estate mogul. For the price of a Chevrolet, you can be the owner of not one, not two, but three properties, ready to rent, assuming the interior fixtures and wiring haven't been stripped for salvage.

Of course, at the rate things are going, for the price of that Chevy, you may well be able to buy General Motors. You should be able to make a tidy profit, stripping out the interior fixtures and wiring and selling it for scrap.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

RFID Documents

New passports are already being issued with RFID chips onboard that can be read from a parked car with the right equipment as you drive by. Now it is proposed that this chip will go on your drivers license and in some cases, double as a passport, say between the US and Canada.

"Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.
The only way I can see this working is if the PIN number on the chip in the drivers license matches the PIN number in the chip embedded in the person carrying it. One hopes that Homeland Security will verify that the persons chip is in fact embedded in the person, and not being carried in a blood-stained zip-lock bag by the person with the license.

An item I can see becoming popular is a flat, metal, (Faraday cage) container, similar to the old cigarette boxes of the days of yore, that will hold your passport or wallet. Imagine the fun as you get pulled over when you drive past a police car because your license didn't register on the policemans reader. Even better, imagine the police thinking that your passenger, who, having nothing to hide, isn't masking his license, gets the ticket, because it was the only license readable as you drove by.

What could go wrong?