Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Science Marches Onward

Like it or not. Now you can experiment with DNA, then jump start yourself electrically.

What could go wrong?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Political Pranks 2 - Recounts

It has occurred to several people that the Stein-Clinton-Soros recounts are quite unlikely to alter the election results. Hill would have to flip all three states to do this and the margins, while small, amount to a lot of votes.

Thing to notice here is that Jill Steins fund-me site seemed to be getting a donation of $650,000 every day at the same time. Also her lawyer on this effort is closely connected to George Soros. Big surprise here. So given that the effort is unlikely to change anything, why do it?

Credibility. If the three states are tied up in court with a slow moving recall, they may be unable to have their electors vote with the Electoral college on the designated date. This will leave the total 223-260 or thereabouts meaning that neither candidate will have enough votes to be declared the winner so the vote goes to the legislature which is currently controlled by Republicans. The House will elect Trump, and the Senate will elect Pence and so what?

The point would be to reduce the legitimacy of Trumps win for talking point purposes. Selected, not elected all over again although that argument carried little enough weight back in 2001 that I can't imagine it carrying as much this time outside of the NYT building. Just a Soros supplied red herring.

Delaying tactics are a specialty of lawyers with weak or non-existant cases so expect  endless delays over procedures to be followed should the recount requests be granted, and remember it's all 3 or nothing here. If only one state turns down the request, it all disappears in a cloud of unicorn farts.

UPDATE: Apparently that is the strategy, although missing the application deadline in Pennsylvania negates the effort.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bad News From Ohio State

For certain definitions of bad news within the media.

1. No one was killed. Except for the perp, and he doesn't count.
2. The perp wasn't white.
3. The perp wasn't conservative. Being a Somali refugee, it's a pretty good bet he didn't vote for Trump.
4. The perp wasn't a Tea Partier.
and worst of all
5. No gun was used. Except by the cop who shot the perp.

Didn't slow down the knee-jerk calls for gun control though. Beware fake news.

GOP Prepares To Sell Us Out

So the election is over and your party now holds the coveted legislative/executive trifecta. Congratulations! But wait, some in the legislature are still butt hurt that their horse isn't in the executive stable. What will they do? What WILL they do?

Why, switch sides of course. Notwithstanding the Dems avowed intent to abolish the filibuster to put President Clintons judges on the supreme court, several highly placed Republicans are prepared to leave it in place to prevent Trump from getting his appointments seated. This could presumably be extended to any of Trumps policies requiring legislation. This is the sort of get along, go along behavior that culminated in Trumps election in the first place.

I suppose we're now officially a 3-party country; The Socialists on the left, calling themselves Democrats, The Capitalists on the right, calling themselves Republicans, and a center-left party supporting taxes and regulation masquerading as Republicans straddling the center.

To quote a famous Italian: "Nothing is more difficult than to establish a new order of things."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Having A Good Day

Finished in the top 25% in the club IDPA match, the new microwave arrived a day early, and here's a suggestion for all those Thanksgiving leftovers.
I've heard worse.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

English Lesson

Bears repeating:
Found here.

The Old Order Passes

The Democrats have now lost both the center-right pole of the party with the death of Ted Kennedy and retirement of Harry Reid, and now the center-left with the passing of Fidel. What will they do?

Oh wait, they've still got Keith Ellison and Nancy Pelosi along with wise advisors like Sheila Jackson Lee. If Hillary can stay out of jail for the next 4 years, she'll be tanned, rested, medicated, and ready for the 2020 race so maybe all is not lost for the Donks.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Political Pranks

'Tis the season for them and I'm waiting with baited breath to see what the Obama administration has planned to discomfort the incoming Trump folks. Remember when W took over just in time for the EPA to reduce the allowed levels of Arsenic in drinking water from 50ppb to 10. Sounds great, but the 50ppb had worked out just fine up to that point and was in line with levels of naturally occurring Arsenic found in the water in many areas of the south west. Bush eventually got this regulation cancelled but not before the press roasted him for upping the allowed level of Arsenic by a factor of 5.

For pranks like this to work, you have to wait until the last possible moment before the opposition ogre is sworn in, then beat him up for the consequences. In Trumps case I'm expecting Janet Yelin to announce an increase in interest rates, probably a week before the inauguration. The Obama people have been holding interest rates down for the last 8 years in an effort to get the economy going, stepping on the gas as it were. Unfortunately high taxes and additional layers of regulation are like holding the brake pedal down, so no movement. Japan has been trying this for the last 30 years or so and it hasn't worked there either.

When Obama took office, we were paying interest on $8T in debt. As of today we are paying interest on $20T in debt although at a lower rate than in 2008. If the rate is raised, we will be paying a good deal more in interest and less will be available in discretionary funding for whatever pet projects Trump has in mind. There will be pressure from the Dems to raise taxes to cover the increased debt payments and derision from the press if Trumps back pedals on lowering taxes.

Other such stunts are certainly possible and the administration has until Jan 22 to think of them. What they will be I don't know. That some sort of wrench will be tossed into the wheels, I have little doubt.


Made it through the Feast with everyone happily stuffed, including the dog who made out like the proverbial bandit when D'wife dropped a container of gravy on the floor. The only casualty was the microwave which gave up the ghost after being asked to reheat one more 5-person helping of something or other.

1. Boston Market makes a fine pre-packaged and pre cooked Thanksgiving spread. Minimum fuss except for reheating the sides.
2. Beaujolais Nouveau is a fine red that goes well with turkey and goes down easily. Only available for about 2 weeks around Thanksgiving. Go grab a bottle.
3. Crown Royal Rye is over rated, at least to my taste. Suitable for Irish coffee but a bit harsh to drink straight up.  Buffalo Trace is better but I still prefer Black Grouse or Shanahans Colorado Whiskey. YMMV.

The Fix Is In

And guess who's on the wrong side of it this time? Seems the Obama just-us department has already certified the so called "sanctuary cities" as being out of compliance with federal law
Because of the foresight of a Texas Congressman, President Trump will be able to end certain funding to the largest sanctuary cities plus the entire state of California on his first day as President. Working quietly, Culberson convinced the existing Justice Department to certify those cities as non-compliant with federal law, thereby making them vulnerable to loss of money from Washington.
I suppose that no one believed that President Clinton would go so far as to insist that federal law be complied with in this case. Around here this would mean Denver, Boulder, and Aurora. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Federal Spending Cuts

There is an e-mail going around with a long list of proposed federal spending cuts which is being attributed to Paul Ryan.

I did some digging. This is sort of an executive summary of HR 408 by Jim Jordan of Ohio. The official title is the Spending Reduction Act of 2011 which tells you how seriously anyone took these suggestions under Obama.
Second link includes the text you might be seeing.

It's a nice list but to my mind it's mostly just cosmetic trimming around the edges. If anyone's really interested in cutting spending, there are multiple government departments that could profitably be taken out behind the D.C. barn and shot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Continuing Emissions Fraud

Here in Colorado and probably in most other places, we have to take our cars in periodically and have the emissions levels checked. This service adds another $25 to the price of renewing your license plates which was doubled a while back to help pay for Denver mayor Webb's Toy Train Set. Ostensibly the check is to help keep the local air cleaner and not to be an additional tax on your car, and when it was implemented, there were a significant number of older vehicles on the road that, yes, could have used a tune-up.

Today most of the pre-OBD cars are gone and pretty much everything made after 1980 has an ECU in it that monitors engine health and helpfully puts up an alarming signal on the dash if your car varies from the prescribed levels. Mine even bitches while continuing to meet the allowed pollution specs.

Channel 7 has asked some local mechanics about the efficacy of the tests since a number of people have had their cars fail the emission test even though nothing was subsequently found to be out of order. I had this experience some years back when I took my Triumph in for a check and initially flunked badly. Of course I could see this coming when the millennial whose job it was to drive the car on the dyno stalled it 4 times trying to get on to the machine. From there on his efforts to avoid another engine stall resulted in his driving the whole test on the acceleration pump of the 4-bbl carb fitted to the engine. It was also obvious to me that a stick shift was not anywhere near his comfort zone.

I was entitled to another test for free, having paid for the first one, so I took the car to another testing station where the V-8 engine raised no eyebrows at all and the tester drove the car like he owned it. Unsurprisingly it passed easily.

Though not specifically looked into, it sounded to me like a number of the test failures mentioned in the article could be easily attributed to "pilot error" on the part of the test drivers keeping in mind that erratic driving technique will worsen any vehicle's emissions. Beyond that, pretty much any car made after the introduction of electronic fuel injection has programming in it that lights up that "service engine soon" light if your car gets even a bit out of spec, so it would probably be safe to ditch the dyno-equipped warehouses we have now and simply check for the trouble lamp on the dashboard. Taking the bulb out is no longer an option as that will show up on a code reader, the whole process taking no more than 5 minutes.

BTW: The emissions program, like the red light cameras, is run by a private company that collects the money from the drivers and kicks back a percentage to the counties that subscribe to its service so it's not likely that the program will be going away any time soon. There's too much graft at stake.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Etymology - Politicly Correct

Found over at Q&O a nice article on the origins and current status of political correctness. Ever wonder where the expression came from?
“The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself,” Dr. Codevilla writes in the Fall 2016 issue of the Claremont Review of Books.
Dr. Codevilla indicates that the politically correct directive began word-of-mouth as a running joke that communists told each other that went like this:
“Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”
“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”
In the 30s under Stalin being politically incorrect would get you a one-way ticket to Siberia, if you were lucky. Funny how that sort of black humor has enjoyed a resurgence in the Obama administration.

Conversational Gambits For Thanksgiving

 Found on Ace Of Spades, here's a whole great long list of conversational gambits to get you past the tearful liberals you might encounter at dinner. The whole article brings be to mind of a line from the great Girl Genius web toon from a monk who remarked "Surely my family was a gift from God, and a good thing that was for I wouldn't have given a brass farthing for any of them."

Some of the better conversation starters:
Eliciting a canned response:
He demonstrated this to me at a party by interrupting a couple of liberals talking, and announcing to them:
"You know, based on current statistics, in ten years, the entire state of California will be homeless."
"Right! I know!" came the response.
Or citing statistics, 48.7% of which are made up on the spot:
"Studies have proven that if you have a gun in your house, you are more in danger of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rattlesnake. Think about it." 
Lots more at the link. BTW, this is a year old post, recycled. There might eventually be an update to this to account for Trumps electoral win. Here's hoping.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Budget Committee

This would make a great standing committee for an incoming president to set up with little or no fanfare, to examine the federal budget and suggest elimination of parcels that really don't need to be there. Mr Trump has noted that the Department of Education qualifies as such a parcel and has suggested that if it were to go unfunded, no one would likely notice, beyond the people working there who would suddenly find their positions to be surplus.

This isn't a big item with the current asked budget being about $126B out of about $4T or about 3.6%. Still you save a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you're talking real money. If you were looking for a topic to bring up with your congress people, here's one. Write and ask them to support abolishing the Dept. of Ed. Follow up would be to reduce federal taxes by half the amount saved, and allocate the remainder to paying off the debt. There are lots of other places, most easily identified by the title "Department of.." in front of the descriptor that would be easily done away with reaping the attendant savings. There's an interactive chart here that breaks out a lot of this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Endless Entertainment

I swear I'd have to invent anti gravity or some such to get more entertainment than I do from the old squirrel trap. See the comments as other people seem to like it too.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Never Say Die

The DNC Brownshirts were out last night in my daughters neighborhood with BB guns shooting out windows of houses that still had Trump signs up. Similarly minded groups went out marching and blocked I-25 briefly. Todays news is full of similar reports along with calls for lethal violence.

Trump needs to address these people with a soothing quote from BHO: "I won."

Maybe then they'll quiet down and go home like whipped Republicans after O'Bummers wins.

Trump Staff and Cabinet Suggestions

With only a little thought I'm sure we could come up with lots of good suggestions for Trumps staff and cabinet positions. Here's one:
Trump needs to make Milo Yiannopoulos press secretary and let him go off on stupid questions. It would be endlessly entertaining and they'd put up with it in order to gain access.

Then when Milo got bored he could be made Secretary of Education just to screw with the Universities.
#1.1 rjschwarz on 2016-11-10
And when Milo gets bored with the Sec Ed position, he can simply turn out the lights on his way out. The individual states are fully capable of addressing the educational needs of their citizens.

Found here along with a suggestion to put Ted Cruz on the supreme court.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The End Of The World

As some people would like to know it. Last night various columnists from the New York Times, including renowned economist* Paul Krugman were staring the end of Western civilization as they understood it, wailing, rending garments, and no doubt considering becoming refugees to whatever country would take them. Here's Krugman:

It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?
Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.
Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.
Last night market futures in the DJ Industrials was down some 900-1000 points so maybe they were right to be nervous. Still, today:
Dow 30
256.95 (1.40%)
A modest uptick overall. Pretty good recovery for 18 hours, no?

*Krugman won a Nobel in economics. He also was an advisor to Enron and helped make it the company it is today. Extinct.

QOTD - The Election

BRITAIN: Brexit!

 AMERICA: Here, hold my beer.

The big winner last night in Colorado seems to have been Michael Bloomberg who won at least 2 state Senate seats and one ballot question. I hear he did well in other states as well.

We still seem to have a Republican majority in our Senate so absent Bloomberg it would have been a conservative landslide here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Historian's Take On The Election

Here's a post on Samizdata from a historian who points out that small omissions in speeches can leave other countries with an incorrect impression as to what exactly our country is prepared to do in some situation. Running down a detailed list of places where we announce we're prepared to intervene and leaving one small country out by oversight or design can lead to a rapidly escalating military conflict. WWI and 2 are cited.

So for the right sized contribution to the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton would have no problem with Russia taking over the "administration" of the Baltic states and Ukraine? Or perhaps if Iran were to repatriate 10% of the tribute Obama paid them to the Foundation, Iranian administration of Syria would be acceptable.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fun With Headlines

Seen at Drudge:

While it's nice to see the bit about leading in Colorado, one should perhaps ask President Romney just how much better Trump NEEDS to be doing in order to take those states. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Weiner in Rehab. Hopes To Get Lucky

Anthony Weiner was spotted riding a horse while in a sexual rehab clinic. I think he's trying to see if there's any currency to the phrase "F.U. and the horse you rode in on."

Related tweet here. Click the link, it's pretty funny.


Noticed the car was quieter than normal today if somewhat slower. Got home and noticed some stuff stuck into my tailpipes. Wondered if it was the neighbors fed up with the noise the car was making or maybe my yard signs and pulled the stuff out:
These little numbers are not hornets nests, but broken fragments of my cat converter which had worked their way down the exhaust and through the muffler. I suppose they would have eventually gotten blown out the tailpipes but these got caught in the baffles. This probably accounts for some of the rattling I hear when I go over bumps. The car is now significantly noisier.

The chunks I'm told are platinum.

The car is what GM calls the "base" model, which means it has the smallest engine and no options. I've discovered that it does come with at least most of a complete wiring harness so a couple trips to the junkyard and now I've got cruise control and push-button trunk opening. I tried for power door locks and got the right parts but the harness is not all that complete so I'm holding that project for later. Gives me something to do in my spare time.

Someone Needs A Dog

A regular program of exercise is a wonderful thing. A dog will get you out of bed at progressively earlier times and take you for progressively longer walks. Mine has me up to 3-5 miles/day and in dog years, she's as old as I am.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

More Stickers

Just noticed that I seem to have not posted these. Better late than never I suppose:

There you go. Real Clear Politics is showing an Electoral College map with Hill barely squeaking out a win. Meantime Colorado is cruising to a dead heat rather than leaning blue.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Bumper Sticker - By Popular Demand

OK Here's the update. As a reminder it was inspired by the Edwin Edwards v David Duke race in Louisiana that inspired the sticker reading
Vote for the Crook. It's important!

Print it out in landscape and tape it to your window. You can pull it off after the election or leave it up as an I Told You So piece. As of today, RCP is predicting a 273/265 Hillary outcome. If she loses a single state, she's out and I hear that Michigan is now a squeaker. Meantime here's how squeakers become no-sweat squeakers:

Early Voting

Everyone at Rancho DeBillll has now voted. I can't vouch for the ladies, but as precinct captain here's my front yard:
Yes, I did. Local vandalism has been limited to having my Trump sign uprooted and left lying in the yard, as was the one across the street. Both are back up and the evidently remorseful vandal has not been back.

Election Humor

There's always something funny about a situation, even ones that result in major catastrophe.
Take the Russian point of view in which the whole thing can be summed up with only the names of the participants:
Wiener Putin Clinton Bush
Although it might not seem so humorous to some. It reminds me of a Rocky and Bullwinkle scene in which an out-of-favor Badinov was calling home only to be informed by his supervisor that it couldn't be him since he was dead. A quick check revealed that his supervisor had been reading the next days paper and apologized for the error.