Monday, April 30, 2012

Poetry Corner

Good evening poetry lovers, tonights offering is from W.B. Yeats:  \Bullwinkle
A statesman is an easy man,
He tells his lies by rote;
A journalist makes up his lies
And takes you by the throat;
So stay at home’ and drink your beer
And let the neighbours’ vote,
        Said the man in the golden breastplate
        Under the old stone Cross.
The rest of it is here.  I've been told that a statesman is a dead politician, but I 
could be wrong. Yeats died in 1939 but this bit is as fresh as tonights news, 
which would make it about 2 weeks out.
H/T to Greg for this one. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Future Of Transportation - Urban

Her you go folks, the Westward Interceptor III, a sporty single-seater just made for today's crowded urban environment.
Shown here in NYPD meter-maid regalia and Popsicle truck body form, this little baby is actually slightly larger than a Smart For Two, but can be had in pickup or van form, either of which will out-carry the Smart. It has a 4-cyl F.I. engine of 61 hp with a 4-speed automatic, so performance should be adequate, and options include a tip-over warning to let the driver know they're going around a corner too fast.

Also included is an electronic speed governor that limits the beast to 40 mph, which looks to be in convenient plug-in form, suggesting that it's un-plugable as well, Un-plugged, it will reportedly reach 70 mph, but watch those curves.

Since this is considered a motorcycle in most states, insurance will be significantly cheaper than a car to insure, and parking into the curb is legal, although you may be required to wear a helmet while driving. It is built around a full roll cage and features sliding or hinged doors, so if you should over cook a corner, you just hop out, right it, and proceed on your way with damage limited to perhaps one of the mirrors.

Get one now and help your neighborhood begin to resemble a New Delhi traffic jam. Many of these should soon be on the used vehicle market as New York has decided to go with the more cost-efficient* Chevy Volt, which can spontaneously make a neighborhood look like an Iraqi traffic jam after an Al Quaida car bomb presentation.

America's answer to the Reliant Robin runs about $20K new and about $4K used, depending on condition.

*"Cost-efficient" apparently has a different definition than we're used to when used by Mayor Bloomberg.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Extorting Amazon

I could be wrong, but that's what it looks like. After several states were unable to squeeze money from Amazon over the collection of local taxes, Texas finally seems to have won its case.

To accommodate Texas, Amazon will add 2500 people to their payrolls, and spend $200M for no other purpose than to collect $260M to give to Texas.

If I ran Amazon, I'd see if Texas would take $200M in cash to simply leave me alone. It's the Chicago way after all.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Voting Twice

More or less in the same election, too.

In Wisconsin the unions have come up with enough petition signatures to trigger a recall election to remove the Governor. Signatories included Tim Tebow and Micky Mouse, but this is not considered a problem. In Wisconsin, they do things a bit differently in a recall. Superficially it's just like the general elections. The Dems have a primary to decide who will be the party candidate to run against Gov. Walker. Normally the Republicans would let an incumbent governor represent the party, and without a challenger from within the party, and he goes forward.

In a recall however, to get on the Republican primary ballot, all you need is 2000 signatures which the election commission (5-1 Dem) approves, and you get to run against the Governor in the Republican primary, which is open to anyone to vote in. Primaries are also famously under attended. A candidate from Occupy Wisconsin has gotten himself onto the Republican ballot. If he wins the primary, the election will be between two Dems, one running as a Republican.

To keep their governor, Republicans will have to turn out in high enough numbers to offset the truckloads of migrant voters and the trunk loads of absentee ballots found in abandoned cars after the election. Then do it all again in the general.

Aren't open primaries fun?

More details and many links at Samizdata.

Sittin' It Out

The election, that is.

Uncle favors this approach, being unimpressed with the available choices, and Robb finds his argument persuasive, but not convincing. I'm with Robb on this one. Let's face it, Attila the Hun isn't on the ballot this year so we make do with what we've got.

When you pull the levers this year, think about the difference control of the WH and Senate will make in the selection of two supreme court justices. It's not just the next 4 years, it's the next 20.

Mad Science

Now this is a whole lot more fun than ranting about politics and economics, although thoes probably have a greater impact on your life than doing this.

Unless you fail to keep an eye on the trajectory of the flying 55 gal drum your neighbor just lit off.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Was Right

Yet again of course, predicting that the 450M rounds of 40S&W ammo ordered by the DHS would soon be on the market when the agency was disbanded.

Well lookey here: the War on Terror is officially declared over, so the DHS is now officially surplus to the national needs, thus the government will need to get rid of all that ammo. First right of refusal will probably go to the Mexican drug lords.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Science Fraud

When the Godfather decides he doesn't like you, for whatever reason, he sends around the stereotypical pair known as "Guido and Nunzio"*, who rearrange your outlook, or maybe just your looks. In extreme cases it's your metabolism that gets altered, from working to non-working.

The president, being from Chicago, understands this but has been briefed that outside of Cook county the overt practice of kneecaping your enemies doesn't play well. Instead, Guido and Nunzio show up with clipboards, briefcases, and EPA credentials.

If anyone thinks they are being heavy handed, remember they have lots of evidence to back up their assertions that whatever you're doing is bad for someones health. They do studies, sometimes taking hours to compile the data and produce the desired results. Of course if the frenzied number-crunching fails to deliver the goods, they simply cherry-pick the bits that do and bury the rest.

All you need is a FOIA lawsuit, and you too can be privy to the truth.

Update: In the first link there's an EPA official calling for oil companies to be crucified. This was a bit much for the DNC which has apologized. I'm sure they prefer public beheadings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vote Fraud

Don Surber wonders if Obama could ever get elected without vote fraud.

The Dems in the Senate don't seem to think so.

Chuck Schumer's position is that if the feds don't want to enforce a law, the states are certainly not entitled to enforce it in the feds place.

On Taking Those On-Line Surveys

Fun though they are, you knew there had to be an ulterior motive, right?

Some 2 weeks ago I was directed to a 13-question survey on how politically knowledgeable I might be. The quiz was only mildly entertaining, and I scored 13/13. I also agreed with Roger, the Real King Of France that no one scoring less than 100% should be allowed to hold political office.

So here's the ulterior motive. The survey was a Pew sponsored item which determined from the answers and background questions of those taking it that:
The Pew survey adds to a wave of surveys and studies showing that GOP-sympathizers are better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party.
I am proud to have upheld my end of the deal.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clever Inventions

Some better than others, some I expect to see at some point. I like No's 36,37,43, and 44.

One thing though, can anyone tell me what's wrong with this one?
Or is there nothing wrong with it, and we're seeing a brilliant piece of marketing genius?

Speaking of clever inventions, Blogger has "updated" the tools used for post writing. Nothing has actually changed, but everything is now in a new location. One improvement, pictures are now inserted where the cursor is sitting instead of the default location at the top of the post. Another improvement: Strikethrough font has been added.

One non-improvement: Spell Check still doesn't work in the titles.

Deep Truths About The Upcoming Election

Found here, the article goes on at some length on the dynamics of the impending /end of the world/ election.
If Obama wins, he will be elected by those who stayed home because they thought Romney not conservative enough.
If Obama loses, it will be because of people who voted for Romney and then lied about it.
So either way, the result will be YOUR fault.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Green Energy

Over at Zero Hedge, always a good source of interesting tidbits, I find an article on the increasing number of major power outages in the U.S. Here's a graph:
Evidence, if you will, that the Obama administrations war on coal is working. A shut down power plant here or there doesn't show up until demand for power outstrips supply and the old plant isn't there to bridge the gap.

A rational marketplace would shut down less efficient plants and replace them with the most efficient equipment out there, both economically and technically. Windmills and solar panels, alas, don't qualify here so while your utility is investing in both of these, the old coal plant they're shutting down probably produced more power for less money than all the windmills they ever bought.

In a recession, demand drops. If the infrastructure is being systematically pillaged, the supply can drop faster than the demand and the result is first sporadic outages, then rolling blackouts.

Also it does well to remember that the secretive cabal of insanely rich folks isn't getting richer when their enslaved workers are sitting around in a darkened factory waiting for the lights to come back on.

On This Day In History

April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began.

Four years ago, this blog started.

Update: I'd like to thank all of you who read here, and comment too. Yes, even the troll. When you're as small as I am, having your first troll is an important milestone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


In an article that brought back memories of headlines blaring that practically everything caused cancer when fed to lab rats in sufficient doses, usually measured in pounds or gallons per day, here's one in which the more or less expected result was neatly turned on its head.

Instead of dying of horrible malignancies within days of starting a regimen of a daily dose of carbon, the lab rats actually doubled their expected lifespans. This is attributable to a couple of things. First the carbon was in the form of the C-60 molecular form, popularly known as "Buckyballs". Secondly, the buckyballs were delivered in the heart-healthy Mediterranean form also known as swimming in olive oil.

The dose:
“Here we show that oral administration of C60 dissolved in olive oil (0.8 mg/ml) at reiterated doses (1.7 mg/kg of body weight) to rats not only does not entail chronic toxicity,” they write “but it almost doubles their lifespan.”
Let's see, given a male lab rat of some 500g, this works out to about 1 ml of "black oil" per rat, per day. For a typical human, me for example, of 77 kg, that's 154ml of this glop every morning with breakfast. Mama mia! Thassa lotta olive oil! You might live twice as long, but I know where you'd be spending all that extra time.

Of course it's also easier to get humans to ingest generous doses of stuff they would not normally overindulge in if you just package it in a gelatin capsule and suggest they wash it down with a Martini, so there's hope for this yet.

At the bottom of the page at the link, there's an ad for buckyballs. They are, alas, a large plastic assemblage suitable for science lectures, and for most people, inedible, even after several Martinis.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Political Dirty Tricks

It's going to be probably the dirtiest election in recent memory. The incumbent has nothing to run on and the challenger is uninspiring. The incumbents party relies heavily on vote fraud and intimidation with the just-us department tacitly endorsing the practices.

Some on the left are calling for violence in support of their candidates. This is nothing new, they always do, but seldom follow up. This year we may see them emboldened. John Farnham, who writes and teaches defensive firearm use suggests that people should be extra cautious this year:
Best personal advice is to stay far away from public events, particularly political rallies, protests, et al, and stay out of metro areas to the extent that you can. We’ll continue to hear, from the mouths of leftists, open, and increasingly vehement, calls for violence directed against their political opponents. And, such political thuggery will predictably be sanctioned, even by some elected officials, with many others conspicuously failing to condemn it. As noted above, we’re hearing it already. Be ever-prepared, in depth, but maintain a low, personal profile. Never con yourself in to thinking you’re too insignificant to become a target of political violence.
One thing the lefties want as much as anything is to see conservative rallies and events under attended. This will be reported in the press as evidence of a lack of support or enthusiasm for conservative candidates. This in turn will drive down participation by the right. Current practice includes surreptitiously vandalizing vehicles with conservative stickers on them. This discourages the use of the stickers and gives the illusion of a lack of support. Pulling up yard signs is also popular. Put on the stickers, attend the rallies, and yes, be vigilant. It's always easier to win now than it will be to win later. It's war, folks, and if you're not prepared to fight it, be prepared to lose it.

Clean Energy

The U.S. leads the world in clean energy investments.

Sort of like being the biggest shareholder in Solyndra.

Oh wait....

Being Domestic

Heard in the kitchen:

D'wife: What can we spray around the yard to keep cats out"

Me: #8 bird shot.

D'wife: ......Legally.

Me: Now you're taking all the fun out of it.

Note: When we had foxes living under the back porch, we didn't have cats roaming the back yard. Or the neighbors back yards.

Friday, April 13, 2012

With Friends Like These...

The chairman of the Mains legislatures Democrat Moderate Caucus is calling for Dick Cheney to be executed.

Makes you wonder what the "Extremist Caucus" might be contemplating.Link

Monday, April 9, 2012

Colorado Dems Support Vote Fraud

A bill to put to the public the question of requiring a photo I.D. to vote was killed in the Dem-controlled Senate. Dem spokesman Bob Bacon said:

Yet, Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, who voted with the Democratic majority in killing the bill on a party-line vote, said the ballot proposal didn’t pass constitutional muster.

“The right to vote is a constitutional right and is not open to public opinion. Asking voters to verify a constitutional right is not constitutional,” said Bacon.

Someone should ask him if all that ID and background checking required to exercise ones right to bear arms also fails to pass constitutional muster.

Update: O.K. so I wrote him. He makes it easy to do, so feel free to join in.

Modern Medicine

Much like the gadgets on Star Trek that cure tour ailments by being passed over them accompanied by the usual humming noises, Researchers in Hong Kong and Australia are announcing a battery-powered plasma gun that can disinfect a wound to a modest but significant depth.

Extrapolating, I would imagine this could also be used to purify modest amounts of water in a pinch. A useful gadget to have out in the woods.

Makes me wonder what one might do by scaling it up to a 5Kw model to run off your home generator. Lessee, how many watts available in a nuclear-powered navy cruiser? Or maybe from a freighter boat, minding its own business in waters off Somalia?

H/T to Jigsaw for this one.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Global Warming

You can tell that the research grants for some schools of climate research must be getting harder to get, absent any meaningful results. Here's a quote from a research paper:
“A global climate model that does not simulate current climate accurately does not necessarily imply that it cannot produce accurate projections”
The purpose of this line of research is to get re-elected the pols who vote the money that funds your research. The statement was attacked as indefensible, but hey, even a blind pig sometimes finds an acorn.


Found this one at Semiredneck Writings and Research.
Number 7 - Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.
So here I am both embodying this observation and/or contributing to the delinquency of all my readers.

I suppose I should feel guilty or something.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Transportation, Political, Continued

Sen Durbin (D-Oz) is suggesting that if we purchase more hybrid cars, we will reduce the instances of deadly tornadoes such as showed up in Dallas last week.

It's my inability to think like this that condemned me to a life as a lowly engineer rather than a lifetime sinecure as a U.S. Senator.

Friday, April 6, 2012

March Unemployment 11.8%

Or, to quote the Barbie doll;"Math is hard!".

Here is the latest breakdown of the U.S. population from the BLS:
1.Civilian non institutional population.................242,604
2. Civilian Labor Force.........................................154,316
3. Participation rate..............................................63.6%
4. Employed.........................................................141,412
5. Unemployed......................................................12,904
6. Unemployment rate............................................8.4%
7. Not in Labor force.............................................88,288
8. Persons who want a job.....................................6,041

Not in labor force includes a variety of folks. the definitions vary a bit, but:
Not looking for work during the past 30 days or a homemaker, student, disabled, retired, or an inmate of an institution.
The military is also part of this. Persons who want a job, for this discussion, means persons not in the labor force who would like to be working, which is some percentage of what is called "underemployed".

So let's be honest here. Persons who want a job, but have given up looking are moved from the unemployed to the Not in labor force. If we move them back into the labor force the labor force population goes to 160,357. The total employed remains the same, and the actual unemployment rate becomes 11.8%.

Conversely, if all those pesky unemployed folks would just give up and drop out, the labor force would then equal the number of employed and the unemployment rate would be zero.

The participation rate would then be 58.2%, which we are heading for at a fairly steady rate.
US Labor Force Participation Rate Chart

US Labor Force Participation Rate data by YCharts

If we keep this performance up, by 2017, the unemployment rate will be zero.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nuclear Drones

The government is proposing nuclear-powered drones to increase their loiter time, which suggests to me that the mice are learning to keep under cover to avoid getting a Hellfire missile in the trunk of their car.

Way back when, the government investigated nuclear cruise missiles. Very innovative, the missile consisted of a booster engine, a small but potent reactor, and a fuel tank which in this case was filled with ammonia.

The booster kicked the thing up into the air and far enough away from the launch point to protect the troops using it at which point the booster motor and all the reactor control rods were jettisoned. At this point the ammonia was pumped into the reactor, which controlled the internal temperature, and expelled out the back, hot enough to have become plasma. This made for a very efficient rocket engine.

To save weight, there was no reactor shielding and no warhead as such since the radiation from the unshielded reactor was sufficient to sterilize the ground in a swath about 1/4 mile wide beneath. It was expected to work best against soft targets such as infantry who would die slowly over the next week or so.

The drawback was that the newly created walking dead would have little or no compunction about suicide missions of the most desperate sort. Instant zombie apocalypse. As a final insult, I suppose the thing could be equipped with a modest conventional bomb under the reactor so that when the fuel ran out, presumably over a high-value target, the bomb would shower radioactive debris over the location rendering it uninhabitable for the next 1000 years or so.

As far as I know, this never got built, which is probably just as well.

Obama and the Supreme Court

First off the man doesn't seem to understand judges any better than he does constitutional law. In Chicago, one can threaten a judge with passing references to kneecaps and the Chicago River, but even there the results have been problematic at best with more Mayors and governors retiring to the Big House than to the family farm in the past 50 years or so.

What Obama needs to do is channel his inner FDR. This time after all, only 2 more justices would be needed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Transportation, Political

What does your ride say about you? In my case (93 Dodge Dakota) it strongly suggests I'm poor and collect scrap iron to supplement my income. Still, the fact that I use a motor vehicle instead of a shopping cart puts me in the upscale part of my demographic, which also suggests I might be a Republican.

Strategic Vision has a survey out that explores who buys what and correlates that with how they vote. Not surprisingly, Republicans seem to be somewhat wealthier and buy spiffier cars:

Democrats ..............................Republicans
1. Honda Civic Hybrid............ 1. Ford Mustang Convertible
2. Volvo C30.......................... 2. Audi A8
3. Nissan Leaf......................... 3. Mercedes GL
4. Acura TSX Wagon.............. 4. Ford Expedition
5. Ford Fiesta Sedan................. 5. Ford F-150

Interestingly the report at the link notes that people who become the richest earliest are libertarians.

H/T to Surber for this one, who notes that in his home state of West Virginia, the Nissan Leaf runs on coal.

Dirty Politics

As of right now, I think I can safely predict that the 2012 election will be the most corrupt election in the history of the country. Sure, ACORN is no longer getting federal funding directly after getting caught in the fraudulent voter registration business in multiple states, but what almost no one notices was that ACORN is an umbrella group for a bunch of like-minded folks who do the same thing the parent group does, and the funding that formerly went directly to ACORN now goes to the sub-groups.

Michelle Malkin has a post covering the various ruses we can expect to see (or not see) this election. Numerous other sites have noted that the Obama donations website has turned off all the safeguards to unqualified donors, taking money from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Last election, Obama got caught taking some $30,000 from Hamas, who donated the money via credit card from Gaza. This is not speculation as at least one media outlet actually interviewed the donors in Gaza. When confronted, the soon-to-be president assured that he would look into this, and refund the money is there was something wrong with it. A follow-up interview with the donors revealed that the money had never been refunded.

This election, the Obama website has been set up exactly the same way so that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt could kick back some of the billions we send there as foreign aid to the man who sent it in the first place and Mexican drug lords can contribute to the man who sells them guns.

It's going to be very ugly.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shooting And Moving

It's a bit more complicated that the standard routing involving shoe leather and chewing gum, and other people have noticed this as well. But why stop with a routine that involves about as much of one as it does the other?

Imagine an IDPA match with the targets 3-5 times as far away and as much further apart. Now carry a carbine.

My shooting was O.K. it's just that I can't actually seem to move any faster than continental drift.

Obviously I need to train by jogging around the block while carrying my rifle and occasionally aiming at targets of opportunity like signposts, license plates, or mail boxes. That ought to do it.

Maybe the R.O. would entertain a class for those of us in need of mobility carts?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good News Week

Locally the state legislature has decided that the state payroll should shrink by only 1% thus saving so many (potentially about 500) of our Lords and Masters from the debasement of unemployment.
Meanwhile, the productive sector has undergone reductions of one sort or another amounting to some 20%. On days when the state and federal employees get off, the drive i9n and out of work is a breeze with traffic at post-apocalyptic levels.

Here's a whimsical bit from the 60's that came to mind.

Wait, did someone say "Zombie apocalypse"?

Concealed Carry

Pravda-On-The-Platte has an editorial today opining against a national reciprocity law on concealed carry. Without discriminating between the good, the bad and whatever, they oppose them all and offer their sincere wishes that our Senators vote against anything that makes it to the floor.

I am reminded of a tune that became popular when it was updated musically. Based on an Australian aboriginal song reputedly sung by the Abo's to make the sun come up every morning.

Nice tune, and I'm sure the sun came up as required every morning. They sing something like this at the paper to assure that Bennett and Udall remain loyal to Obama too, every morning.

Gun Fun

Went to the club Carbine match, which is like IDPA only further away. Disappointing all expectations, the Hi Point ran perfectly, the only problem being the 32-shot stage for which I had only 3 Cali-legal 10 round magazines.

Stage 3 involved shooting 2 targets at 35 yards through ports in a barricade, some of which were a narrow oval sloped at 45 degrees, and some of which were pyramidal ports down on the ground which involved tilting the gun just to see through them, or nice square ones you had to shoot left handed. This is not difficult if you are under 30 and in good physical condition, or practice Yoga regularly, which lets me out.

Course hazards included 2 of those cute little dust devils which look fairly innocuous at a distance, but which will completely flatten the walls and targets of an IDPA stage, even when they are ballasted with old tires.

Lots of sunshine and temps in the low 80's. Monday it's supposed to snow. 'Tis a privilege to live in Colorado, as the newspaper used to say.