Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bad Weather

Back in the day when the Russians were industriously attempting to nationalize the agricultural sector, farms were appropriated and tossed into collectives which were managed by bureaucrats favored by the party. To no ones surprise, agricultural production tanked. The blame was promptly placed on capitalist resisters who were summarily shot, but the food shortages continued.

Apparatchiks, anxious to avoid the fate of the Kulaks, began reporting that "bad weather" was responsible, and used this excuse so often that it became widely reported in the U.S. that the Russkies were working on weather modification devices so powerful that they got blamed for any untoward weather in the U.S.

Today it is reluctantly observed that the agricultural disasters were the fault of the bureaucrats put in charge of the farms but the meme is a powerful one, assigning blame to a bogeyman who conveniently cannot be called to testify, put in jail, or shot.

The latest politician to ride this hobby horse is Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York who doesn't want his states economic woes to be laid at his feet in a possible upcoming presidential run. With New York leading the nation* in economic exodus, he is blaming the outflow of refugees on ........ Bad Weather.

Right. Eventually someone is going to figure out that there is nothing happening on Wall St that can't happen just as fast and at half the cost at an address on Pearl St. in Dallas.

*Maybe not first but certainly in the top 5.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pickups From Down Under

I have been looking over the offerings in the way of small pickups and have discovered that anything much smaller than a Kenworth just doesn't seem to be available in the U.S. Outside the country, however, there's a bunch. In Mexico GM sells the Tornado/Montana whose name varies depending on weather the Montana van in also offered, and Ford has the Bantam/Courier .
Chrysler has the Ram 700, a Fiat Stradabased pickup 
Shown here in long cab configuration, this is a 3-door.
GM has the Tornado, a Chevy Cobalt based unit 

Ford has been selling the Courier,based on the Focus 

for a while now  and the Bantam .

 The Courier may even make the US market eventually.

The Aussies have/had the Ford Falcon ute 

and the Holden which comes in a couple of styling and performance variants 

The long cab version is called the Crewman.
To the best of my knowledge, no cars are currently being produced in Oz right now. Seems the government originally subsidized auto manufacture to the tune of some $3200/unit in order to increase employment, but couldn't keep that big a subsidy going. The subsidies ended and the resultant economics produced no profit margin for anyone. Sucks to run out of other peoples money eh? Aussie cars are currently being built in Thailand.

Nevertheless, you can get a Falcon or a Holden in the U.S. if you don't mind paying a premium for the shipping and the required mods. Left Hand Utes will build you a Ford or a Holden in the $45K and up price range which will be equipped with either a Corvette or Mustang V8. Nice looking cars, real head-turners, and fast as well.

The process starts with getting a nice clean ute in Oz and having the engine and tranny removed. This makes the remainder classified as “parts” rather than a automobile, which the feds would confiscate at the port of entry. The parts arrive in Denver and the remaining odd bits are removed, the headlights, parts of the electrical system, the dashboard and the firewall panel. These are replaced with matching parts from a donor car, either a Mustang or a Pontiac GTO. The finished vehicle is given a US title, using the original VIN number and is ready to go.
Next to a mustang for length comparison.

Standard equipment includes a fiberglass bed cover and everything you'd expect in a performance vehicle.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Amendment 74 To Shut Down All Municipal Governments In Colorado

At least that's the way the opponents are portraying this one. Here's the text:
 “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution requiring the government to award just compensation to owners of private property when a government law or regulation reduces the fair market value of the property?”  
Sounds like someone cribbed this from the U.S. constitutions 5th amendment. That's fine, but the potential for required compensation from the municipalities to bankrupt the municipal governments is what sells me on this. I suppose their past actions would be grandfathered but a lot of what they do would be brought to a sudden halt.

Pretty much any regulation regulating anything would impact the value of all properties within the reach of the regulation so whatever the City Council does would invite a class action suit from the city residents.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Colorado Dem Platform

The complete platform can be found here. It's pretty predictable, higher taxes, more regulation, opposition to charter schools and gun control.

The gun control stuff is on page 5 and starts right off with a call for a ban on "assault weapons". Note the phraseology here. Almost anything can be a weapon, and adding the word "assault" simply means that the weapon in question is specifically called out either by make and model or by physical description. I other words, anything we don't like, which would be all of them.

And of course, opposition to Citizens United. Seems that when a group of people get together to do something they couldn't otherwise do individually, it's OK if they're paid by Michael Bloomberg, but not OK if they're being paid by the Acme Corporation.

It goes on and on.

Drug Testing Congressmen

And women too of course. In some districts a positive result would probably increase their vote count. In any case one could count on a Republican to withdraw/step down, and a Dem to flaunt the results.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Definition Of "Common Use"

In an attempt to get Judge Kavanaugh to somehow side with the gun-grabbers, Sen Feinstein went back to one of his dissents that noted that semi automatic rifles are in common use all over the country. Sen Feinstein wanted to know what surveys or studies he used to come to this conclusion and argued that if you're not regularly firing your gun, it's not "in use" and therefore subject to restrictions.

Well, Senator, I might point out that your own constituents use theirs regularly in Pasadena at group dinners, and in Washington at baseball games, and in Florida at night clubs. How much more common can usage get? If she really wanted to reduce crime, she would support legislation to forbid firearms ownership to Democrats and Muslims.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Getting Out The Vote

The city of Golden, CO would seem to be the ideal spot for a one-party government with a large college campus full of 18-21 year old minds, amenable to promises of low cost beer and other free goodies, but it seems the city council has some as yet unannounced plans for which even college students won't go for.

In their defense, the students there at Colorado School of Mines are probably in the top couple of percentage points for brains and even allowing for a lack of experience there are some things they can't be persuaded to vote for. Hence the latest attempt to preempt the adults in town: lowering the voting age to 16. Think what the average 16 year old wants, and at much reduced cost, then think what the city council might suggest they would consider if they will see to it that they survive the voter indignation at having to pay for the white elephants the council really wants.

Of course the real advantage to this is that the average 16 year old is assuredly NOT School of Mines material which would make them even easier to persuade. Imagine a municipal government elected by children on a promise to install a skateboard only lane on Highway 6 up Clear Creek Canyon.

Of course one must take into consideration my own personal position, that being that the voting age should probably be raised to 25 and the franchise withheld from anyone drawing a government paycheck. Yes, I know, I'm on Social Security, but how long do you think it would take to see the SS system revised to individual mandatory IRAs and the geezers allowed to vote until SS is completely phased out? If you're working for the government or on welfare and want to vote, then get a job in the private sector. For the geezers, this is much more difficult, hence the temporary forbearance.

The Importance Of Planning To A Space Program

Some folks at the University of Glasgow are proposing nudging some modest sized (90-100 ft diameter) asteroids into Earth orbit where that would be more conveniently studied and/or mined. This sounds to me like a swell idea and may well be a way to get past any future proposals to declare space to be like the oceans, "a common heritage of mankind". That common heritage crap is why no one is mining the oceans for the nearly unlimited supplies of various minerals to be found there as everyone from the UN to the Bumfarkistan Liberation Front would demand a piece of the action.

Of course there are the usual Luddites tut-tuting that if anything went wrong with this project, the asteroid might well wind up being mineable right here on earth. The solution is easy enough, as the proponents of the project are double-dome boffins who could plot the asteroids path to within a yard or so and thus guarantee that if something did go wrong, the resultant crater would be located somewhere where no real damage would be done. Of course what would likely happen is that the maths would be left to math majors who would assume that the project being Scottish, the weights would be in stone, and the distances in leagues.

Them being Scottish, they'd probably put London at the top of their list.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Who Is Running The Country

It is said that the country is run by a small, rich cadre of people, to which none of us belong. Scott Adams suggests that the big decisions are made by the congress, the small ones are made by the bureaucracy, and everything in between is the realm of Mark Zuckerberg and 3 or 4 of his peers.

Check his reasoning here.

I think that as long as Facebook/Google/Twitter can control the flow of ideas without making it overly obvious, they can probably get away with it. This approach worked for the MSM for years. Once it got to the point where they couldn't get away with it, the deal collapsed.

Give it a listen.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Health Issues - 2c

Cuban sandwiches and beer are back on the menu, and I did 25 miles on the bike today. Slower than usual, and my legs were telling me that I'd been off the bike too long, but not a bad start. My guts are still not working normally, but by now they work well enough.

That club match I talked about in the previous update went reasonably smoothly, I finished 5 of 8 which was lower than I usually do, but better than I expected. Part of that also is attributable to my lack of a decent light for the low light stage that seems to almost always get tossed in. I may have that fixed. 588 lumens makes things mighty bright.

Pedals and Pints is a social group in the Meetup list that sets up bike rides from brew pub to brew pub. Most of the attendees are 30 somethings and most of them can ride much faster than me. It's still fun, and for me a 4 oz beer is plenty with 3 or 4 of them on a ride. There's a ride coming up on the 15th. 4 pubs, and only 5 total miles of riding. At this rate I could probably keep up walking.

Jargon - Controlling The Language

Again with the caterpillar for whom words had whatever meaning he wished them to have. I noticed that the text of Washington initiative 1639 referred throughout to "semiautomatic assault rifles." The upshot of this being that any semi-auto rifle was to be considered an assault weapon, all the way down to your 10-22.

Last I looked, a rifle, might be equipped with a muzzle thingie, handlebars, headlights, tail fins, bottle opener or anything else, but unless it has full auto capabilities, it is decidedly NOT and assault weapon.

Thinking about this for a bit, the next obvious step will be to define new classes of weapons to include the "bolt action assault rifle", the "lever action assault rifle", the "pump action assault weapon", and the "revolving cylinder assault weapon". In fact, it might be advantageous for the pro-gun folks to adopt this nomenclature first to make it as obvious as possible to all that the opposition is making things up as they go along, hoping that no one will notice.

Is not ridicule the best weapon, at least up to the point where the shooting starts?