Friday, April 30, 2010

Scientists Develop 10-Day Cancer Cure. Still No Cure For . . . Oh, Wait.

In the time it takes for your body to overcome a common cold

- you could be in total remission from cancer -

IF this research pans out.

Hat tip: Synthstuff

This is The Thesis.

The ACLU, the Republican Senators, and everyone who believes the Bible (especially Revelation) is true, are against the new Democrat-led push for a biometric National ID card for everyone who wants to work in the USA.

This is part of their certain-to-be-terrible upcoming immigration reform push. Nevermind Obama's assertion that immigration reform is not on the front burner. It is still a very high priority agenda item. It is almost certain that the ID requirement will be dropped.

Democrat Thesis: dysfunctional immigration reforms WITH biometric national worker ID card
Republican Antithesis: No ID card or else nothing
Democrat Thesis: okay if you insist, just dysfunctional immigration reform then!

Stay on your toes. November (and then January) can't come soon enough. God help us when the Democrat lame duck session hits in December. Thank God for Scott Brown's #41.

Well Isn't That Convenient.

President Obama is not a fan of icky ol' petroleum fuels. If he could prevent it, Obama would probably love to be able to prevent further drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

For decades now we have been drilling in the gulf to retrieve it without major incident. We have no idea what happened, specifically including an uncertainty about sabotage.

. . . but PresBHO wants to ban future oil leases in the gulf until safeguards are in place to prevent whatever happened, from happening again.

. . . that is, leases for American companies. China, Russia, you guys can drill out there, whatever. Americans, feel free to pay extra for the luxury of having your enemies drill your oil for you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Austin to Boycott Arizona?

Based on flawed thinking and a basic misunderstanding of the issue (no surprise for an action by Austin City Council), the Mayor Pro-Tem of Austin was said to be considering a ban on the City having anything to do with racist ol' Arizona in protest of Arizona's highly effective anti-ILLEGAL immigration law.

I would say it was time to write Martinez a letter saying I was going to boycott Austin because of this. But then, I already encourage everyone to boycott Austin because of so many things it wouldn't really be much of a threat . . . .

[deleted] I Think This Might Be Enough (hand) Gun.

There is a very old saying, "handguns are handguns, and rifles are rifles" You will never hold a pistol for two shots, that will deliver 12,000ft-lbs of energy on a target a mile away, like you can get from some high-powered rifles. Pistols are a low-power emergency tool.

They start out at the .25ACP which will moderately annoy a pigeon.
You go all the way up to the .45ACP in guns in common use, that will put a serious hurt on a man.
Then you get into a gray area of "well, some lower-powered rifles aren't as powerful as these pistol rounds" like the .44 Magnum.

Then you jump a few steps and get a Wild West Springfield XD Tactical conversion kit for the .460 Rowland cartridge. 14 rounds of nearly-a-thousand-foot-pounds-each Major class pistol goodness.

Shoot it once, and you'll probably say "goodness" about the recoil. Down a brown bear with a few of them, and you'll be glad you paid the extra $350 (plus ammunition) to get a regular pistol-sized magnum-power pistol.

It's almost enough to make me want an XD. Hat tip to The Firearm Blog.

Quote of the Day 04/29/2010

The quote of the day is marked with an asterisk, given below in context.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger: (after calling a woman bitchy and hearing it bounce off the woman's skull) You know what, I'm not going to reach you, and the only person I feel sorry for is your husband.
Husband: (exasperated, in background on speakerphone): "Thank you!"*
Woman: (still not listening) Okay . . .

Lies: A Bad Way To Start A Campaign

We need Charlie Crist for Senator from Florida instead of Marco Rubio like we need Obama for President.

I heard Crist say in a recent interview, "I'm running as a Republican . . . ." and the interviewer sought to clarify: "You are saying you will not run under the "no party affiliation"" ballot? Crist said "That's right."

Then a Conservative showed up, ran as a conservative, and kicked Crist off the Republican ticket via the popular vote. Crist, however, is more about Crist than about the will of the People of Florida, so he is now breaking his word and running as a 3rd party spoiler candidate. If he has to lie before even beginning a run for office, why vote for him?

If we end up with a Republican in that seat, blame Crist. If you don't want that to happen, and you can spare a few credits, Please donate to the candidacy of Marco Rubio!

Like Another Hole In The Head.

That's how badly we need a 51st State in the United States. Especially another non-contiguous one with such a vastly different culture. But at least they may finally get a chance to have their say. The Republican gestures to try to hang conditions on the vote seem misguided and silly to me. If they vote to become a State, the Constitution and Federal laws will apply willy-nilly, just like in the rest of the Union. My preference is that they should be a sovereign nation.

Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans. Viva Independencia!

They Are Violent Because They Know They Are Wrong

Terrorist and Obama BFF Bill Ayers delivered a speech over the objections of the shool who was hosting it and had canceled it due to security fears. It went fine.


So leftists can speak and nothing happens, but let a right-winger speak (Ann Coulter comes to mind) and the leftist kook fringe throws things at them.

At the tea parties, there was no violence from the tea partiers. What violence there was, came from SEIU thugs and other Statists, and was quickly and roundly denounced by the tea partiers.

In the immigration reform debate a couple of years ago, there was no violence. Your alphabet news channel didn't cover it, but the pro-illegals had a "small riot" during a protest against the bill in Arizona, before it became law.

In a debate where one side is intellectually inferior as well as wrong, and the minds of the persons involved are too weak to stand being defeated with mere words, that side may be prone to violence. The other side, smarter and correct, needs only to stand on the truth of its position, even when the other side is speaking.


By the way, if you were listening to Savage yesterday, he gave us a dramatic example of this. After a caller ("an academic") was repeatedly rebuffed in his attempt to change the topic when his points were refuted, Savage poked two big holes in his mind by changing the topic twice in fast succession, proving his points both times. The caller then went from civil to ad hominem viciousness in an instant. I LOL'd at him, and found a new way to peel back the mask from a small-minded opponent in a debate.

Dreams Come In Packs Sometimes.

I had a dream this morning. It was pleasant, but none of the circumstances in it had ever applied to my life simultaneously in real life. It was a dream, and you know how dream plot lines can twist themselves. I woke up and #1 was crying from a bad dream she had.

Sometimes it happens that I will wake up from an evil dream, at the same time that one or more of the other members of my hold awakes from an evil dream, sometimes with them crying. I think that sometimes something nasty might be passing by (spirit, animal, weather, or human) that spreads its influence all the way into our home. I couldn't give a better definition than that without writing a multi-page thesis I think, and if you got what I meant, you know what I mean.

But isn't it an odd thing for the American mind to consider, that we might have bad dreams at the same time, influenced by the same force? I wonder if our neighbors' homes are likewise affected simultaneously . . .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greek Bonds Up To 26%. Ouch.

Yesterday Greece got a fat downgrade of their sovereign creditworthiness rating and the interest they were having to pay shot through the ceiling. Today, it shot through the roof. 17% at the close of trading, down from 26% during the day

People paying 26% on their debts don't necessarily always pay them back. The serious discussion of Greece's default has begun online, and the politicians are ratcheting up the number of dollars they think it might take to bail Greece out.

What needs to happen: Greece gets kicked out of the EU, defaults on its debt, devalues its currency, goes through 3 years of pain, and starts over.

What I think just may happen: Bailouts, then all of the above when the bailouts finally are found to be ineffectual.

New AZ Immigration Law Working Even Better 2 Days After Passage

Months before it goes into effect, but two days after the law was passed, and it is already working beautifully! Mexico has said to be careful when you are illegally in Arizona, and now the illegal laborers are making plans to go be illegal somewhere else. The nationalist conservative line is dramatically proving to be TRUE. Make it harder for illegals to get a job by creating effective penalties for hiring them, and your illegal immigration problem will solve itself in short order.

This is turning out to be an unmitigated success for Arizona! Leave it to the Associated Press to try to spin this into a sob story.

(unless you mind the loons, like the person who left a message on the answering machine at the Arizona Iced Tea company (not based in Arizona) saying he would boycott their product until the law was changed.)

It's The Toys' Fault, Not The Parents', Obviously

The county Board of Supervisors in Santa Clara County, California, has voted to ban the sale of toys and other promotional items in high-calorie meals packaged specifically for children. That would be McDonalds' Happy Meals and similar. No more toys. The toys make children fat, apparently. The ban was approved on a 3-2 vote, with one of the nay-voters giving the money quote of the day:

"If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers" Supervisor Donald Gage (who is himself overweight)

If You Drive Like This, You STINK!

For those who know the area, you will recognize this as a dangerous thing somebody pulled off in front of me. At 1431 and Parmer in Cedar Park, heading West on 1431 at 60+ MPH. I crossed Parmer in the #1 lane, and a car pulled out of the gas station at 5574 RR1431. The right lane was full of traffic. The left lane (where I was) was clear for several hundred yards BEHIND me. So this person pulls out and turns right, not into the right lane in accordance with the law and common sense, but into the path of an oncoming car (mine).

So, returning their courtesy, I gave them at least two yards' clearance rear and front when I made a little swerve around their car with a delta-vee of at least 30MPH.

I ask you, did they proceed to hang out in the #1 lane? They did NOT. A hundred yards down the road, having never accelerated to full highway speed, they pulled off into the HEB parking lot. They risked my life and theirs, not to mention our cars, so they could go in front of ONE car (mine) instead of waiting an extra 5 seconds.

Thanks, jerk.

Human Smuggling Ring In Central Texas Broken Up

Two people I know have had their trucks stolen. The trucks were found near the US/Mexico border on the US side, missing their backseats and consoles. One still had the owner's wallet (with cash) inside when it was found. We were all wondering why they would be found in this condition.

It turns out, they were probably used for smuggling people. F250 and F350 crew cabs were being stolen from Central Texas, their consoles and rear seats were being removed, and then they could stuff more people in the truck. Anyhow, 9 trucks are currently being held by ICE, and the ring has been busted up.

Why they were smuggling people OUT of the country, if they were, is an interesting question.

Texas Governor Perry Shoots Wild Coyote

Yes, this is Texas. Where the Governor packs heat and, when he says "Don't attack my dog," he means it. Ruger and Crimson Trace each get a plug. Perry gets a nice bonus of free positive publicity in an election year. The world gets some coyote flavored mulch. The Governor's daughter gets her dog back unhurt.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This Is No Flight To Safety!

Out of the fire and into the frying pan, is more like it.

Greece and Portugal, to the surprise of no-one who both is paying attention and understands, have just had their credit ratings cut. Greece is looking at 18% interest to borrow money (up from 13% YESTERDAY) after their bonds were officially labeled as "junk" grade. Portugal is faring hardly better.

I know two people with loans at 17%+ interest. They have horrible (400-500 range) credit scores. If they get a call from a creditor, they hang up. Bills go unpaid. This is what the world bond market thinks of Greece right now. Not surprisingly, the US dollar, Japanese Yen, and gold were all trading higher today.

Bloomberg's article on the subject has a typically-clueless quote from someone who should probably know better: "People are flocking to security," said Michael Franzese, managing director and head of Treasury trading at Wunderlich Securities "They’re seeing how inept the EU is in handling this Greek thing. If Italy, Portugal or Spain has the same problems this could be a real bad situation."

The term PIGS was invented because economists who go deeper than yesterday's equity index numbers know that Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain are all in the same (sinking) economic boat. It IS a "real bad situation."

The buy-ups of US treasury bills is being reported as a "Flight to Safety." This is very far from the truth. Anything as short as 5 or maybe even 10 years is probably a decent place to park money, in light of the fact that Greece is going to give you $0.30 for every $1 you lend them. But we waste in a day what Greece would need to rescue their entire national economy. They are undertaking austerity measures to face budget pressures in a nearing-realistic approach to balancing their budgets.

We are going to be $14 Trillion in the hole this year. The IMF couldn't bail us out if they wanted to. The ONLY way out of a $14T hole is to dig with a teaspoon, or just pretend the hole was never there. For us, that means 2 lost decades like Japan, or defaulting on our sovereign debt.

Never happen VFD, not in a million years. The US pays back T-bills but but always.

Really? Why?

The Floor Is Not The Only Place Debate Can Happen Sir

President Obama has criticized the Republicans in the Senate for standing up to his totalitarian ways not allowing a bill to the floor for debate. Nevermind that we all still remember the quantity and quality (or lack thereof) of debate on Obamacare.

The Republicans have issued a proposal of their own. It is reportedly somewhat less-sweeping in the unreasonable, unprecedented giving of discretion to the Executive branch (away from the legislators themselves). Don't hold your breath waiting for BHO to stop his demagoguery. After all, they did refuse again to let the National Socialist Democrat bill to the floor. They must be racist or something.

Mexican Government To Arizona: It Worked

Arizona, a couple of weeks ago, was dumb. If a policeman stopped a van for speeding North from the border, with no plates, the driver and all 20 passengers speaking zero English, he couldn't ask any of the passengers if they were in the country legally.

Now, with the new law in Arizona, he can. This, apparently, somehow, is racist and racial profiling and Al Sharpysharp head asplode.

United States federal law requires that non-citizens visiting the country MUST carry on their person, at all times proof of their legal status in the country. Mexico has issued an advisory telling their citizens to carry their immigration or visa paperwork with them, or risk arrest by the US authorities. I see this as a hugely positive development. The dinosaur news media outlets are trying to spin this into some horrible thing, but it is *exactly* what Arizona would have wanted from Mexico anyhow.

Great success. How's that n+1 foot ladder coming along?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Local Policeman (Nearly) Murdered On Duty!

The other day as I was cleaning my car, a stray dog (gray lab/poodle mix) came up to see what I was doing. I noted that she was clean, groomed, friendly, and in good health, and called her over. She came and was as well-behaved as I had supposed, and I grabbed her. No collar. The power cord for my vacuum cleaner made a decent impromptu leash/collar. I had #1 get me the phone and in a couple of minutes, Podunkville's finest was on the way. As Officer Friendly was taking his zippy adjustable leash out of the trunk of his cruiser, a fellow came around the corner of the street and claimed the dog as his own, an escapee from the backyard where they were going in and out, working. The COP told the dog owner to return the leash to the P.D. after he got the dog home, and everybody went on their merry ways.

This is NOT related to the title of the post, VFD!

Sure it is. Little Brother was in my pocket the whole time. An innocent child, a dog, a Policeman, and a random dog owner all came within single-digits of feet of a loaded gun.


So nobody was killed. In fact, nobody but #1 and I even knew it was there (and she's trained not to mention it).

Normal people carry guns while going about their daily lives. Carry your guns, people!

Senate Democrats Fail To Crush Dissent

The will of The Obama has been, at least temporarily, thwarted.


The argument from Senate Democrats went: if we vote to allow a floor debate, you will still be able to debate and amend the heck out of this financial sector reform bill, honest!

The counterpoint went: we tried that with healthcare and Obamacare got rammed down our throats with less than a minute per page of "debate" time.

The "mainstream" press coverage went: It's needed reform to keep those bad ol' banksters from picking your pocket again some more again!

The blogosphere coverage went: It does the opposite of what you guys are saying it does!

The vote today went: they couldn't even get all the Democrats on board with this measure, even to pass a procedural vote!


N.B.: Ben Nelson is the same one who caved and got Obamacare passed with a meaningless pronouncement of intent from the President which carries no force of law. THAT guy is the hope of our country. Great.

This stuff is complicated and boring, and most peoples' eyes glaze over when you get two sentences into discussing banking regulation, so here's the cliff's notes: The same people who think they can take 100% of your salary as long as you get enough benefits from the government, and who just passed a law that will take over 1/6 of the largest economy in the world, taxing you for ten years but giving you benefits for six years, THOSE are the people making up a system to reform the banking industry. Are THESE really the people you want making up the rules? Seriously? How about you call your Democrat Senator and tell them to just hold off until after the election this November?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Congratulations to 2010 PEY Winner!

Saturday Night Live stopped being funny for me quite some time ago. Every once in a while, they still manage to hit one out of the park. For those of you who have been increasingly irked at the behavior of unions everywhere and especially public sector unions, I present:

Mish Presents:

Saturday Night Live Presents:

The 2010 Public Employee of the Year Award ceremony!

Less Bad, But More Expensive.

I have the good fortune to live one house away from (as I turn anti-clockwise through a circle looking around the neighborhood) a nuclear physicist, a licensed master plumber, and the maintenance guy for a local shopping mall. The latter has both R-22 gauges and R-22 kicking around his house all the time. I needed a few pounds of R-22. He needed $60. Problem solved! 49 degrees at the outlet of the air con. in the house is good enough for me!

Still, that's going to be an additional $60 on the cost of air conditioning this year. That will put us all the way up to just over $2.26 per month invested in service of this old system since we got the house. That doesn't sound too bad, but then you have to consider it's probably got a SEER of 7 or so. American standard's new flagship a/c system has a SEER of 20! Last year's high electricity bill was $200 over baseline normal house electricity use. Cut that by 2/3 and we're looking to have the new air conditioner pay for itself pretty fast, even if you don't count tax "credits" we might get with it.

We're happy to be cool and dry tonight, thanks Jesus, but that old system has got to go, and I'm thinking it's going to be this year.

I still need to finish putting up the raidant barrier in the attic, cut in some new soffit vents, finish putting the low-e film on the windows, and maybe blow in some insulation upstairs. THEN we'll be ready to get the house evaluated for a reasonable load number and spec. out a new air conditioning system. Keep your fingers crossed.

That's about it for "Fix Up Chez VFD" weekend. Let's see:
  • Waist-deep in the dishwasher, clean out a cup and a half of smutz, to include pieces of plastic popsicle wrapper, twist tie, and plastic bread bag clip, check.
  • Reseat toilet in guest bathroom 3x including breaking one Chinese bolt, and then replacing the waterlogged spacers with plastic ones, check.
  • Seal up the base of the toilet with 1/2 a tube of silicone caulk after the floor dries overnight, check.
  • Clip the taller of the grass/weed stalks in the front yard, check
  • Recharge the air conditioner, check
  • Fix the pipe maze under the kitchen sink so both sides will drain properly, check
  • Install one more window worth of window tint, check

    Welcome to home ownership.
  • Text. Not Video, TEXT.

    I know some people out there didn't graduate high school with the ability to read their own diplomas. Those people aren't going to sit through a three-minute video report on the Internet.

    Those of us intelligent enough to understand the News don't necessarily want to hear someone blather on for three minutes when we could have skimmed ahead to the five sentences of money in a one-page article instead. Besides which, I don't feel like hearing you talk. If I wanted to hear your reporter prattle I'd have turned on the network nightly news or the radio. I'm not online to wait for an ad, then a video, to load. I'm online to read. Ixnay on the ideo-vay. Oy vey.

    Already. Text. Put up the script and save the $1000 you would have paid the news crew to roll film. kthanksbye.

    Chicago: Nat'l Guard NOT The Proper Answer!

    If the City of Chicago cared to comply with existing anti-gun-prohibition law instead of being forced to do it having lost a lengthy court battle, this would be a moot point. It is a well-known fact that gun crime is both unpossible and very common in Chicago, due to the unreasonable restrictions on civilian gun ownership there. Criminals know that the city is full of mostly unarmed victims.

    The answer to gun crimes and violence in general is NOT to call out the National Guard to enforce order, as the City is currently wanting to do. The answer is to say "ok everybody, go ahead and pack heat!"

    Prove it!

    I don't have to. The year after the Heller decision, crime in DC fell like a rock, and it will continue to fall. The ONLY difference from the year before is that, in that formerly gun-rights-restricted hell hole, gun rights were restricted somewhat less. The criminal element decided to go be bad elsewhere or not at all. It works everywhere, and it the inverse is also true (witness Chicago's current state).

    Of course, hoplophobia is real and Liberalism is a mental disorder, so there is a problem in Chicago. . . but the answer is NOT the National Guard!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    How Immediately Would You Like Air Conditioning?

    My Darling Wife and I were discussing the need for immediate replacement of at least part of our air conditioning system and she said to me:

    DW: Like next year? How Immediately?
    VFD: How immediately would you like to have air conditioning?
    DW: Oh.

    Our home air conditioner has likely conditioned its last air. The compressor sucks, but it doesn't give any high-side pressure. This is a Very Bad Thing. It's slightly worse because it's an R-22 system and (thanks, Congress!) we can't get parts for it anymore, by Federal law.

    So I'm looking into where I can get a replacement without getting an extra screw, if you take my meaning. Please excuse the lack of content at VoteForDavid tonight.

    This, by the way, following my fun with the guest restroom toilet today. The one that was loose on the floor. Again. You know, the one on which, when I was tightening the mounting bolt to secure it to the flange, the bolt snapped and I had to drain, disassemble, and remove the toilet again to fit the older, larger, stronger bolt? Yeah, that toilet. Three times I had it on and off its mounting flange in the floor today. It's not too dirty because I just did this a few months (a year? time flies) ago, but it's not all that light.

    Plus yardwork.

    Plus disassembly and cleaning of a clogged dishwasher last night.

    So I've been busy. Please pretend some pithy commentary was found here and check back tomorrow night.

    Thanks Jesus for the skills to do this sort of work. I can't imagine how people get by who can't.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Congratulations to Gov. Brewer!

    Standing up to criticism from illegal alien pressure groups and the President, Governess Brewer did the right thing and signed the new Arizona immigration reform law. I thought it was particularly disgusting the way the POTUS was saying 'that's not your job but nevermind that we won't do ours!'

    If the federales won't enforce the border, the States MUST or the Republic is lost.


    Up the Republic!


    P.S. if you think this law is racist, then you are one, so neener-neener!

    Austin Dumber Than Last Week

    The Austin City Council has approved a new plan to transition from getting 12% to getting 35% of the electricity in the city from 'renewable' resources. By 'renewable' you may rest assured they do not mean 'nuclear' which has a nearly-completely recyclable fuel source and a stellar safety record, as well as huge efficiency. No, of course they want more wind, solar, etc. power.

    The upshot is that it may increase Austinites' electric bills up to 50%.


    For a house like mine, that would make a worst-case electric bill HUNDREDS of dollars more per MONTH, for zero difference in the quality of the electricity they receive. But hey, if it makes you all feel better about where the electricity comes from, knock yourselves out. Just don't expect sane people to be moving to Austin instead of the suburb towns.

    CDC Leans On Texas To Ban Public-Places Smoking

    Texas is one of seven States in the USA without a statewide ban on smoking in public buildings. The CDC doesn't like that, so they're pushing us. They claim there is a marked decrease in various illnesses in States with statewide bans. OK, fine whatever. Don't push us. Especially don't try to foist off on us logical fallacies like "secondhand smoke is more dangerous than first-hand smoke!"

    But it IS, VFD!

    Okay, so when you smoke, you take a drag and exhale the smoke into a sealed chamber where your children are, and you don't breathe the secondary smoke? Or is it more likely that a person smoking inside a closed space is breathing both primary AND secondary smoke? Go ahead and tell me that it is not more dangerous to breath first- and second-hand smoke than it is to just breathe second-hand smoke. No? Okay then go tell the hysterical woman caller on the radio talk show this morning to go soak her head.

    Oh, by the way, there is also this little concept known as "dilution" which says that, unless you are breathing right into your childrens' lungs, they are getting a vastly smaller hit of smoke than you are, primary or secondary. Then go look up a suppressed WHO report about secondary smoke.

    Or just go back to sounding like a screeching harpy. Your choice.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Celebrate Earth Day With Me!

    Now that it's over, let's talk about our celebrations on this Earth Day.

    At work, I left my shooting lights on when I wasn't taking pictures. And, as usual, I left all three of my 22" computer monitors running at full brightness all day, including BOTH 22" CRT monitors. I burned a (green) candle for the heat of it. I killed two birds before they hatched, and I left the computer running when I wasn't using it at the house.

    Wow. That's WAY more than I managed to do for Buy A Gun day this year.

    Austin: A Financial MESS.

    I am SO glad we didn't move into Austin proper when we came to Central Texas.

    Austin is looking at a $28M shortfall in the budget this year. That's down from $40M+ last year, but still not great. So what is the radio news saying the City is considering? Well, there's a choice between not giving raises to some employees, or hiking taxes to pay the raises.

    . . .

    Cutting spending to make up for being $28M shy is apparently somewhat lower on the priority list.

    This, by the way, at a time when A.P.D.'s union (yes the voters of Austin let the city Police unionize in a right-to-work state) is saying they are 500 officers short of a full compliment, and anything less than Priority 1 calls to the Police are getting pushed off the back of the back side of the back burner.

    Aaaaaand . . .

    Capital Metro (known locally for their inability to run a profitable enterprise of any sort, and for repeatedly taking more tax dollars than projected to do a worse job than expected) has been found (again) mis-spending taxpayer money. This time, that co-incides with the report of a few railroad bridges they speak for, which may be unsafe. But surely, if we give them more money (again) they will promise (again) to do it right this time . . . and if y'all would be so kind as to make that "give us more" money not come from the $51 Million CapMetro owes to the City of Austin, that'd be great.

    What a mess this place is. Higher priority: turning streets into bike lanes and building a recycling center.

    Fifty Years for Speeding!?

    A local winner was just sentenced to fifty years in prison. The news said he was stopped by Police for speeding.

  • Speeding
  • No driver's licence
  • No insurance
  • Weed in the car
  • 2 loaded guns in the trunk
  • . . . as a felon in possession
  • . . . having only recently been released from prison!



    The other side of that Fail coin is when the arresting officer gets pats on the back at the station house for a Good Arrest.
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    VAT != Fair Tax.

    Obama is now making noise about a Value-Added Tax as a way to cause instant price inflation without wage inflation to match, crushing the middle class raise money for purposes other than what the people who earned it had intended.

    A value-added tax is required for membership in the EU. Why? Because if everyone has a VAT then nobody (without a VAT) would have an unfair economic advantage. The VAT is an economy stagnation tool.

    The Fair Tax is the most extensively-researched taxation plan in history, and it would kick the economy of whatever nation tried it into high gear pretty much instantly.

    So which one does Barack Obama favor?

    Reassurance From Your Allies: Not This Time, Israel

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was asked if, should Israel fly attack planes over Iraq (through the no-fly zone) to Iran, we would shoot them down.

    He didn't want to go into the hypothetical.

    Perhaps a bolder leader and more staunch ally of our ally would have said "We're not in the business of shooting down Israeli jets," but that's not what we have right now.

    Barbara Boxer 2nd Fundraiser NOT Hilarious.

    Barry "Campaign Kisser Of Death" Obama has done one fundraiser for Barbara Boxer in California already. Now they're looking to do another one. It should be pretty clear to them at this point that she will be losing the campaign but they are Democrats.

    She will not spend all the money raised by POTUS for her campaign, on her campaign, unless she's stupid as well as crazy.

    Then they'll have a pile of undedicated party funds to put wherever they want. Laura Ingraham thinks it's "hilarious" that BHO is running another fundraiser for her. I consider what those funds could do, and I'm not laughing.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    No. Nothing.

    Fooling with my Darling Wife's laptop computer has got me

    a) hating Windows for taking so much hardware just to frikken RUN
    b) too busy to blog.

    Plus I'm tired. Thanks for checking in. Better luck tomorrow. :(

    You're Not Married, Butch.

    Call it whatever you want to in Massachusetts, but in Texas we recognize that your genitalia has to be a matched set (vice duplicate pair) in order for you to be married to someone. Words still having meanings, and all.

    So please don't come to Texas to try to break up your un-marriage. it won't work.

    Because you're not married.


    The sad part is, these people brought a child into the world when, as any right-thinking observer could have told them, this 'union' was very likely to be a train wreck from the start. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "+1 messed up kid needing therapy in 5 years"

    On This Day In History . . .

    (well, yesterday but I couldn't get to the computer then)

    Very Bad Things were done by our government at Waco and Ruby Ridge, engendering hurt feelings that led to an (islam-led) anniversary celebration at Oklahoma City.

    Col. Cooper called April 19th "patriot's day" and called on citizens to "show arms!"

    Ironically, in 1775, the "shot heard round the world" was fired on this day. Ironically, because Waco was a huge wake-up call for patriots in our day, and that's what the lefty news media was talking about all day. Don't let them brand you as a whack0 rightwingextremist because you are a tea party activist. Brand them instead (not literally, figuratively) as the Statists that they are, and try as much as you can in your daily conversation to show that the greatest killer of men in the last century was Statism.

    Take A Little Trip And See . . .

    You were intended to hear the horns from Low Rider by War at this point, but that's not how Blogger rolls. Anywho . . .

    I went for a ride-along with one of the officers at the local Police Department Friday night/Saturday morning. It was a fairly quiet night as far as police work goes. A family got their lost cell phone back, a dog was impounded, a few tickets were written. Lots of general driving around in the dark looking for trouble and not finding it. Lunch with two policemen. What happened wasn't really the point.

    For something like a year or more, I've been getting this feeling like I ought to be (have to be?) a COP. I went for a job interview; they were being interviewed and didn't know it. I found that (at least on that shift) the local P.D. is highly professional and they love their work, and where they work. Evidently this is a REALLY good department for a policeman to work. There is also a very nice (new-ish) facility down town, and about 20x more things to fool with in the cars than I am used to. I went on a ride-along to see if it was an instant turn-off or what. I know a girl who went for a ride-along with an EMS crew and knew that night she no longer wanted to be an EMT. No such luck with me.

    So I'm not sure what will happen. This seems like one of those times when God has something cooking but he won't let anyone know what it is until they take a bite of it. The main impediment really is that the locals don't sponsor cadets at the academy, which is expensive. The other two single-digits-of-miles-away PDs do, but I don't feel like working somewhere else (for now). The other problem is who pays the bills my salary normally covers, while I'm tied up learnin' policin' work.

    We'll see.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Iran Made Me LOL

    Imagine a fellow who lives down the block from you and who has, at times past, repeatedly threatened to shoot you. He has proven that he has guns but you think he doesn't have any bullets. You are pretty sure he is trying to get bullets.

    Imagine this fellow holds a meeting in the street in front of his house. He walks around with his guns for a little while and calls the meeting to order. The meeting is about preventing shootings in the neighborhood. He demands that you sign an agreement not to have any bullets for your own guns, in the interest of neighborhood tranquility.

    Well, Iran is displaying typical leftist and islamic chutzpa by holding a nuclear arms non-proliferation conference, and they have demanded that Israel sign their non-proliferation treaty. Riiiiight. You just hold your breath on that one. Now look for the next headline from Iran: Since Israel refuses to sign the NPT, we're forced, forced against our will I say to develop our own nuclear arms. World community buzz off, Israel pushed us into it.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Uh-Oh: Canada Housing Bubble Closer To Bursting

    Michael Shedlock has updated his real estate price timeline chart for the USA.

    . . . and notes that Canada is possibly only months away from the top of their housing market based on the news (history is rhyming again).

    And as if that weren't going to be bad enough for the global economy, some of the somewhat-better-off nations in Europe are about to go through the same scares Greece is going through, sort of.

    . . . none of which they will be putting out on the alphabet networks tonight, and all of which are more reasons why you should be reading Michael Shedlock instead of watching MSNBC

    Well, He IS Still A Baby.

    #3 had not fallen asleep for his nap, despite being in bed for quite some time. I went in on a hunch and had the following conversation with my 2 year-old.

    VFD: Do you need a diaper change?
    #3: Diepurr, change it?
    VFD: Right, change your diaper (grabs fresh diaper from holder beside the crib)
    VFD: (smells a rat in Danemark) Did you poo-poo?
    #3: Yeah, (points to exhaust port) right there.
    VFD: Stand by, I'm going to go get the wipes
    #3: Wipes.

    For some of you with toddlers, this is an everyday occurrence. It is probably the first time in half a year I have dealt with a poop diaper. We started potty-training him at 2 or 3 months to poop in the toilet. Pee diapers I don't mind so much, which is good because he isn't quite there yet in his potty training, but he's got the poop-in-potty part down pretty well.

    No, YOU Would Think That

    "You would think they would be saying 'thank you!'" -Barack Obama

    "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche." -Marie Antoinette

    BAG Day Fail :(

    The killer deal I got on Buy A Gun Day last year will have to suffice for this year as well. The observation of BAG day was just not in the budget this year. Oh well.

    Photograpy: Not A Risk-Free Profession!

    NLB was talking to someone about rights and copyrights to photos of people taken in public places. He's a decent sort but I felt like giving him a hard time. He wanted to get meaningless backup for his position, so he turned to me:

    NLB: Isn't that right VFD?
    VFD: Hmm?
    NLB: About takin' pictures of kids in public . . .
    VFD: Might be an ass whoopin'
    NLB: (something about explaining you're a photographer taking pictures & not some pervert)
    VFD: Well, not if you're nice about it. If you're a jerk about it, that might be an ass whoopin'
    NLB: I gotta legal right to it
    VFD: Show your legal right to the asswhoopin
    NLB: (something about how the asswhooper would catch charges for Assault)
    VFD: Depends on how you do it & where you do it!
    NLB: ::crickets::

    If you are in a crowded park, you should have no expectation of privacy and you should expect to catch a case for Assault for stomping a photographer into the ground for photographing your children.

    If you are alone save the photographer, and he doesn't know you, and you take his camera as well as leave him lyin', I'd say you have a pretty good chance of not getting in any trouble at all.

    Not that I recommend beating on people, but I also recommend not taking pictures of my children without my consent. You perv.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    The Jews The Romans Jesus Killed Jesus

    A nominally-Jewish friend of mine asked for me to weigh in on an e-mail he received. A female Jewish acquaintance of his was distraught that her 7 year-old child had heard from a Catholic-reared 10 year-old cousin that the Jews killed Jesus. Further inquiry from the mothers revealed that the cousin heard this in church. The Jewish mother made the Catholic mother aware that this is not a position of the church in Rome and the Catholic mother seemed immune to that knowledge. The Jewish mother was wondering whether she should allow her children to play with their Catholic cousins any more after this. I took the time to type it all up, so I'll go ahead and copy/paste the reply I gave to may friend.

    From a certain perspective, the Jews did kill Jesus. They had him arrested and Pontius Pilate would have released him, except that the Jewish religious leaders incited the crowd to call out for the release of a murderer and insurrectionist instead of Jesus. You could say it was the Jews' "fault" that Jesus was killed.

    From a certain perspective, the Romans killed Jesus. He was brought up on false charges and given a sham of a trial, then not released when the governor thought he ought to be set at liberty. Roman soldiers certainly were the individuals who laid on Jesus many stripes, beat him, placed on his head the crown of thorns, and eventually Romans nailed him to the cross. A Roman pierced his side with a spear and a Roman took him down, dead, from the Roman cross on which he was executed. The Romans did the actual *killing* of Jesus, regardless of whose idea it was.

    From a certain perspective, Jesus killed himself. Ever since the first man (Adam) violated the only rule he was given, all of us have had a tendency to do what we wanted to do, God's orders notwithstanding. Every man alive has done things he knew at the time were not the right thing to do. God (the Father) is too just to have sin in his presence, so sin must be forgiven if we are to stand before Him. The prophet Ezekiel said (speaking for God) "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die...?" God is eternal, and his rewards are eternal. He is also just. A sin against an eternal, just God must be paid for in a permanent way. The covenant God established with Moses and the descendents of Israel provided a temporary (to be repeated at least annually) method of paying for men's sins with the blood of animals.

    Saul of Tarsus was a Jewish scholar, perhaps you could say he was a rising star of the Pharisees. He had studied Jewish law and custom under one of the preeminent teachers of his day. He was a contemporary of Jesus. Saul said "almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." He also said "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." and "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law..." God's justice requires the blood of a *man* to pay the eternal price for a man's sin. God, knowing that we wouldn't live up to the letter of the Mosaic law, sent a man to pay for every *other* man's sins in a way that prevents men from being punished eternally. That man was Jesus. Jesus had at his command all the power of his Father (God) and could have removed himself from the cross, struck the responsible Romans and Jews dead right there, and gone about his business . . . but he had a more important thing to attend to than his own discomfort. He COULD have come down, but chose to sacrifice the life of his human body (temporarily) to pay for your sins. By not acting, Jesus might be said to have killed himself.

    To address the more pressing concern, I don't think this is really a reason to not have children who are friends play together. If it is a one-time thing and it was not meant in malice, almost anything could be said between children, without being a reason to ban them from seeing each other. If it becomes a repeated, or systematic, pattern of offensiveness (cursing, hitting, religious difference, theft, whatever) that would be a different story.

    More Great Economic News!

    (For the Cloward-Pivens folks, it's great)

    Initial claims for unemployment benefits were "unexpectedly" 10% higher than the average economists' surveyed opinion. That would be twice in a row if memory serves. Why? Because we're STILL HEADED INTO THE WOODS, "escape velocity" claptrap from the Powers That Be notwithstanding.

    Maness @ Work

    The following conversation took place after LB walked into the front of the room where I work, wheeling a metro rack from the shipping department. He walked with me to the back, and concluded by the back of the room where MM was working.

    LB: I had to tell WM I was going to kill him!
    VFD: For stealing your metro rack?
    LB: No, for talking all that smack, getting crazy again. He's all wah wah wah wah
    VFD: Why don't you turn him upside-down? It's about time to turn him upside down again!
    LB: I know, but I just hurt my back. I picked him up (makes bear-hug-and-lift motion), but he's too fat to slam.
    MM & VFD: LOL

    Update 5 minutes later as LB walked by my staion and WM walked across the front of the room to his office:

    LB: You gotta lose some weight WM.
    WM: (mocking noise) meh meh meh meh

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    SEALs Are Amazing, But We Knew That

    Yet another proof that U.S. Navy SEALs are exceptional individuals. Their brains process some information differently to mere mortal men's. It has already been shown that race car drivers perceive things more quickly than your average I-35 commuter. Now we find that SEALs recognize angry faces more quickly, and respond to it differently, than the rest of the race.

    Elite soldiers and race drivers are highly worthy of respect, admiration, and emulation for their exceptional qualities. We used to train boys to look up to such men. I've got three boys and I'm working on them. What are you doing?

    One Jerk Spoils It For Everybody.

    You have to meet with a child at least THREE times to adopt him from Russia. One would think you would be able to tell that he is a boy and have a clue that he was a bundle of energy. If you subsequently adopted him, you would have accepted these facts if you were a person without psychological problems.

    The stupid [deleted] who put her adopted Russian 7 year-old on a plane -by himself- to Russia with only a note that he has psychological problems, herself has psychological problems. This is the equivalent of calling 911 for a garden snake in your yard, except this time it has made life hard for other people. Russia has (one hopes only) temporarily suspended adoptions to the USA until this sort of thing can be sorted out. Look for some sort of monitoring or reporting requirement for future US adopting parents.

    1,800+ Russian children with basically no other hope were adopted to families in the US last year. Now the prospective families of those still in Russia will have additional hurdles to cross if/when Russia allows them to rescue their children again.

    Jail time is what this woman needs. And a whole heaping lot of it. Anything could have happened to the boy, but he appears to have arrived physically unhurt. Jail time and a beating or three.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Burger King Marketing: Great Success!

    I'm not sure I quite get the huge-plastic-headed Burger King from BK's latest advertising campaign, but that's okay. I'm also not insane (the voices tell me so) so that's okay as well. You're okay, I'm okay. It's all okay.

    What apparently is not okay, is when you make a very-mild joke about the fact that some people are raving loonies. The mental health people are all bent out of shape for some reason. Of course, you're known by the company you keep, and the people who find this ad "blatantly offensive" probably spend a lot of time hanging around with (as Alice said) "Mad People" so it may have rubbed off a bit.

    As far as Burger King is concerned, this ad is a smash hit. The news feeds have picked up their name and published their low-low prices all over the place, where people (like me) who never saw the commercial, will now see it. I thought the flames as he ran down the hallway, and indeed the whole spot, were rather silly.

    "Blatantly offensive" don't get me started. I'll hook you up with some blatantly offensive if you really want, but this here ain't it!

    Q: What Do Bill Clinton And Barack Obama Have In Common?

    A) They are both America's first black president
    A) Both Democrats
    A) Both men (that's sexist!)
    A) Both misunderstand Somali tribal structure badly enough to commit United States warfighters to the cause of (attempted) overthrow of a Somali "warlord."

    That's right boys and girls, the local Black News type fishwrapper (that's racist!) says that we are going to be sending our men back into harm's way in that peaceful region dominated by the Religion of Peace: Somalia.

    Because we left on such good terms, with such good results the last time.

    And has the Obama-loving leftist dinosaur media reported it? No sir, they have not. Ask yourself: would Bush have been able to get away with doing this thing quietly? (hint: NO!)

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    You Are Your Own Worst Enemy!

    No, really.

    You use resources from the planet.
    This destroys ecosystems.
    Destroyed ecosystems are hard to enjoy.
    You are preventing your own enjoyment of the planet.
    Kill yourself now.

    Note to anyone who says the word "ecocide" and means it: If you are so convinced that people are bad for people by way of being bad for the planet, I would be happy to lend you the use of one of my personal arms and I will outright GIVE you a cartridge with which to kill yourself. Removing yourself from the earth will of course greatly enhance your ability to enjoy it.

    They don't mean it. They want to do to you, just like the muslim imams don't strap bombs on themselves. "but someone has to spread the message!"

    Hat tip: Junkscience

    White Bread != Food

    The radio news mentioned a study that's just been reported. It seems women are "more than twice as likely" to have heart disease if they have diets high in white bread, white rice, pizza, and other things that make the blood sugar spike. This is just one more proof for the theorem "white breat is not food."

    Huh? Why?

    Because it messes with your blood sugar. When your blood glucose levels alter drastically, it messes up the balance of calcium and potassium in your blood. If you spend basically your entire life recovering from an excessive amount of blood sugar (for several hours after all those high-carbohydrate meals and snacks) your calcium and potassium levels STAY messed up. Your heart kinda needs them not to be messed up in order to stay healthy.

    Go ahead and do your own research into the Glycemic Index if you want to moderate your risk of developing heart disease by improving your diet. And eat some real bread for a change. How about a nice heavy aged-cheese-on-rye sammich?

    Vermin Eradication

    The pile of nasty bird poo right by my house is a sign that the blue jay is not doing his job. Fortunately, my Daisy does hers and the world is a cleaner place for want of one vermin bird.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Yet Again: Spanking Study Says Not To, SURPRISE!

    One more time we have a study purporting to show that spanking children makes them worse than putting them on time-outs.

    Once again let me say it: BEATING children makes them worse. Striking them for reasons unbeknownst to them makes them worse. So does screaming at them when they don't know what's going on.

    For those who are unaware, God says:
    The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame

    You don't HIT a child only. You make sure they understand they are being punished for doing whatever they did, and why what they did was wrong. That's the reproof part. Without it, you would be better off putting a child into time-out. AND you don't harm the child. A rod hurts, a belt hurts, a bare hand hurts; they do no lasting harm. Welts is pushing it pretty hard, and blood or broken bones is Child Protective Services time. Spank a child on the bottom or use a light tap to get attention somewhere else (in parts of Africa they use a closed-fist "konk" on the head -not a punch!- which I find gets attention in a BIG hurry).

    As for that "bringeth his mother to shame" part, think about the last time you saw a child old enough to know better have a meltdown in the store in front of God-n-everybody.

    Do. Not. Trust. The American Academy of Pediatrics over the Bible.

    South Africa Continues Downhill.

    A fellow who thinks Mr. Mugabe is just spiffy is heading the ANC.

    Great. This should end well. I mean, since Rhodesia is in such great shape and all . . .

    Trying To Distract Me!

    I finally got up early this morning to continue in my Bible study (first time since daylight savings time change messed up my internal clock). As I was about to get rolling, not one, not two, but all three of my children started coughing in their sleep. I went to listen to see if they were OK, but knew that if I were to go in to tend to any of them, my study time would be shot. #1 sleeps with her door open a crack so VFD Kitty can get in and out. She started coughing again after a pause and I shush'd her and she quieted down. Then the DOGS started sneezing and I had to laugh at the whole situation. I decided everyone (but the dogs) was asleep still, and got on with my study.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    An Old Math Joke In Real Life

    Too many Poles in the right hand plane.

    This must be a huge blow to the people of Poland, especially in light of where it happened. Here's hoping their (very young) self-government system can survive.

    President Obama: Madman!

    He appears to sincerely believe that, through legislation, all nuclear materials can be controlled. All. As in, over the whole face of the planet. His upcoming discussions are likely to produce a somewhat less thorough result.

    Question: if something is found in dirt in hundreds of places, as well as in refined, useful forms in dozens of places, some of them lawless, how will a law control it?

    Question: if someone is 90% of the way to making a nuclear weapon, and he is bound by his religion to blow up his near neighbor, international law to the contrary notwithstanding, how will you stop him?

    Question: do you think it would really hurt The Obama's feelings that much if he had to impose trade sanctions on Iran after they proved they had nuclear weapons by blowing up Israel? One wonders, in light of his treatment of each of those countries, if he would even go so far as actual sanctions . . .

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    More Home Improvements

    In further attempts to prevent another $300+ electric bill from running the air conditioner in our 1,300 square foot house, I've been putting up window tint. It's supposed to block 94% of the sun's heat from getting in the window.

    The windows in our house are dozens of little pieces of glass. Divided light windows: they look nice but I'm going to have to charge myself extra for installing this film!

    Working in front of an untinted window getting the smutz off the glass stinks. It's all the heat and sweat of being outside without the refreshing breeze. Putting up the last piece of tint on the window is pretty nice, as it's being done from behind shade.

    Back to work. I just had to share my sweaty discomfort with you all. :)

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Madness @ Work

    This will be funnier for ex-military types, especially for ex-sailors or Marines. MM was a Marine and I was in the Navy.

    I had an 18" x 18" square padding-sandwich thing comprising a sheet of corrugated cardboard, 2" of grey foam, and another sheet of cardboard. The whole thing looked like it would be able to take a pretty good hit (which is why it was packing material for the thing it was in a box protecting). MM came walking by just as this thought occurred to me.

    VFD: Hey you wanna do something amusing?
    MM: What?
    VFD: (holds up the cardboard/foam thing in front of his chest, at arms length)
    VFD: Punch this.
    MM: (Taps the thing with maybe 0.5lbs of force)
    VFD: Aw, c'mon!
    MM: That's all I got.
    VFD: Well, I did hear you were a Marine . . .
    MM: Easy, squid.
    VFD: :-D

    Madness on The Roads!

    A dude on a motorcycle was going approximately 105MPH on the tollway in North Austin yesterday around 02:00. He noticed some blue and red lights in the rearview and decided to speed up. He lost control and flipped right out of his mortal coil. The officer in pursuit steered to avoid a collision, but his training apparently didn't include the mnemonic: "Steer, Steer, Countersteer" for correcting your car's direction of travel after emergency avoidance maneuvers. The cop car rolled as well, and ended up on its roof.

    In Houston, this would have been mopped up by 02:30. The whole of the East-bound side of the freeway was STILL blocked off at 08:00 in the morning because this ain't Houston by a long shot. It barely got cleared up in time for the afternoon rush hour!

    LB is an ex-cop. He knows that a policeman on a call has to remain on station, regardless of the silliness going on around him. LB also has a lead foot. He came around the bend and saw

  • parking lot in the East-bound lanes. HUGE backup.
  • flashing lights
  • blue tarp over a corpse
  • upside-down police cruiser

    and LB started counting . . . 2, 4, 8, 12, 15 police cars . . . well, that's about everybody . . . and down goes the accelerator pedal. 90 . . . 100 . . 105 . . . 110MPH yyeeeeEEEEEOOOOWWWWWwwww!! he goes tearing by the circus full of flashing lights and now-late commuters to work.

    Like I said: lead foot.
  • Good Times

    We just got back from the Dripping Springs, Texas Founders Day Parade & Carnival. #1 and #2 had a great time at the fun houses and #3 even went through on his own feet once. Those things have got to be huge profit centers. Kids go tearing through again and again all night at $3 a pop and who cares because it's the Founders Day festival!

    So that was fun. Getting a 2 year-old to stay in bed quietly after a nap in the car at 22:50 -following a pretty hard-core case of over stimulation- is my Darling Wife's current challenge.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Call Your Senator's Office.

    Tell him to vote AGAINST ratification of the treaty President Obama just signed. That is all.

    I'd Laugh If It Weren't True. $23M Pissed Away In A DAY

    The State of Texas offered $23,000,000 a few at a time to help people pay for new, energy-efficient home appliances. The deal was, you would call a special phone number or hit a special web site to reserve your voucher for a "rebate."

    The system opened for business in the morning with reports of continual busy signals and a constantly-down website. One fool thief on Twitter reported that she had missed an hour of work trying to get in the proverbial door. Well she better not have given up to try the next day.

    The phone lines melted and the server's head asplode. The State reported 1,000 phone calls per minute and 1,700 hits per second on the website. By mid-afternoon, all $23M was spoken for.

    The State will now rob from my family at gunpoint so you can have an Energy Star rated fridge. And I benefit from this, how, exactly? Moochers. This is catering to the parasite class. Besides which it won't work. Just like cash for clunkers and the first time homebuyers' tax credit, it can only push demand forward. Someone who was going to buy a dishwasher this year bought it this month instead of in July. Zero net gain for the manufacturer and an induced slump in sales after the rebate-inspired purchases are all made. No doubt this, like the aforementioned Federal programs, will be hailed as a tremendous success because the moochers ate up all the Free in record time. Then it will be reported not to have made a difference to the economy.

    Thanks Texas, that was a great idea.

    Austin City Council Hates Children?

    Austin's City Council has just (unanimously) passed a law that says says pro-life pregnancy crisis centers MUST -on their own property- post a sign that says they do not offer abortions or birth control.

    No word on why abortuaries don't have to post pictures of murdered children on their property.

    Note the typical leftist spin the Statesman puts on it: oh' it's no big deal [why bother then] it only infringes on the will of a few organizations [tyranny of the majority]. Besides nobody will get arrested [for now] for violations it's only [!] a $450 fine. Besides it's complaint-driven [as if NARAL wouldn't protest every non-compliant facility on Day 1]

    Conservative Austinite: are you ready to run for City Council yet?

    Why Are They Fighting in Kyrgyzstan?

    The last few days I have been hearing a buzz about "the opposition" having taken over the former Soviet country of Kyrgyzstan. Tonight I tried to find out why. Nobody much is telling why, exactly, but I found a few links you might find useful. Here are a few snippets:

    For a bystander, life in Kyrgyzstan appears to be a chain of never-ending financial acts of gratitude for everyday civil services. We need to be grateful to doctors (if we want to stay alive after their interventions), to the educators of our kids, to judges and policemen. And of course to a variety of bureaucrats for the work they do, which is, by the way, already rewarded by taxpayers' gratitude.

    According to a survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Public Opinion in Kyrgyzstan, people "normally" show their gratitude by offering money to customs control system (93 percent of respondents), police (90 percent) and the courts and judiciary (66 percent). Among the most corrupt organization were customs, tax inspection (92 percent), militia and departments of internal affairs (90 percent) and the state auto inspection (89 percent). Thus it's indeed safe to conclude that the majority of the population is pessimistic about the Kyrgyz government's ambition to bring corruption to its knees.

    (from: Global Integrity)

    [President] Akayev, who ruled the country since its independence, was ousted following a dispute which grew out of parliamentary elections Feb. 27 and subsequent runoffs, according to The Associated Press. The revolt was also fueled by deep-rooted poverty and allegations of corruption against Akayev and his family, AP reported.

    ... and ...
    "They told my dad and husband to get out of their Kyrgyz land because Jewish and Russian people will not be allowed to stay," she said of the men who broke into her parents’ ground-floor apartment during the March upheaval. "More people over there are starting to think that if you are not Kyrgyz, then you don’t have a right to be there," she said. Efunia, who traveled home in summer 2002 and has since been visited by her father, believes Islamic extremists are fueling much of the unrest. "Me and my family are scared of this — we do not want to live in constant fear," she said.

    In her homeland, the Kyrgyz is the largest ethnic group at some 65 percent of the population, followed by 14 percent Uzbek, 12.5 percent Russian and the rest other nationalities. The religious breakdown is 75 percent Muslim, 20 percent Russian Orthodox and 5 percent other, including Jewish.

    Southern Oregon Mail-Tribune via

    "It's not the opposition that has seized power, it's the people who have taken power. The people. They have been fighting for so long against corruption, against that [Akayev] family," Shambetov said.

    Kyrgyz politics depend as much on clan ties as on ideology, and opposition figures have no unified program beyond calls for more democracy, an end to poverty and corruption, and a desire to oust Akayev, who has been in power in the former Soviet republic since independence was declared in 1991.

    There is no sign that the opposition would change Kyrgyzstan's policy toward Russia or the West – and unlike in successful recent anti-government protests in Georgia and Ukraine, foreign policy has not been an issue. But any change would have impact, since both the US and Russia have cooperated with Akayev and have military bases near Bishkek.

    There is also no sign the opposition would be more amenable to Islamic fundamentalist influence than Akayev's government has been.

    Jerusalem Post via

    So: you have a decade of increasing outrage over government corruption, especially in the President and his family. You have a disputed election. You have a bunch of poor young people ready to pop off. Then somebody casts the first stone. Before you know it, some used-to-be-unknown person, possibly the equivalent of the Tea Party chairman of BFE, Pennsylvania, USA, is in the White House and the President is out of the country.

    This could be an internally Good Thing, or it could degenerate the way the Russians' and Iranians' revolutions did. Only time will tell.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    March 2nd 2010 Republican Primary Results/Runoff Picks

    Just over a month later, my belated, brief commentary on the March 2nd election results, with my picks for the runoff election. Once again primary turnout was pretty low (15.3%) but hey, who cares what happens in the stupid ol' government anyway?

    District 10, United States Representative: McCaul hammered both challengers into the ground. It wasn't even close.

    Governor: Debra Medina had the misfortune to share a race with Wobbly Kay. The Democrats reportedly turned out in (relatively) large numbers voting in the Republican primary to jump on the Hutchison bandwagon in an attempt to get an unsuitable Republican candidate for Governess on the ballot. Fortunately it didn't work, and this November's race for Governor is going to be a hotly contested one indeed.

    Railroad Commissioner: Congratulations to Porter.

    Place 3, Justice, Supreme Court: Rick Strange's name did it for him. He's out. Fortunately, so is crazy-eyes Simmons. Vote for Lehrmann on the 13, because Rick Green still has never been a judge, and therefore he can keep wanting a place on the Supreme Court.

    Place 9, Justice, Supreme Court: Eva Guzman hit it out of the ballpark.

    District 10, Member State Board of Education :Please vote for Brian Russell Rebecca Osborne missed the runoff by 5%

    District 50, State Representative: Ryan Lambert loses. Next time get a friggen proofreader!

    Place 4, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District: Melissa Goodwin takes the nomination. Good.

    The Republican ballot propositions all went mid-80's percentage points YES except for the most controversial, which still passed a majority of voters saying YES. This proves once again my rule of thumb theory that all you have to do to get Travis County voters to approve something is get it on a ballot.

    Will The Senators Follow The President Again?

    The new position the Obama administration is taking with regards to the use of nuclear weapons is being hailed as a great step toward international peace, and a sure route to invite our enemies to attack us. It is both a display of strength and a display of weakness, depending on whom you ask.

    If the President signs a treaty, it has to be ratified by the Senate. Some of those Democrat (spit) senators are pretty good on gun rights. I wonder what they will do when The Obama presents them with a treaty to ratify. Will they sign on to unilateral disarmament because he wants to do it? Will there even be a debate on the Senate floor? Does anyone have any popcorn?

    It's Nunna Yo Biz Ness!

    Clark Howard, who is generally pretty good with financial advice, is not a political animal. He's a fan of filling out the short form census with whatever information you feel comfortable entering. He said some people don't want to fill out their forms even though it's important and The Law, because they were afraid to fill it out or distrust the government.

    I'm not afraid to fill out the form
    I don't distrust the government
    It's none of their business

    I told them the answer to the important question: 5 people. Then I hand-wrote 5 people on half the other questions on the first page, and then wrote "You get the idea. The answer to all the questions is 5 people."

    This is the same response (plus 1 for #3) that I gave the man 5 years ago when a census worker came to the front door to give me the long-form survey.

    Speaking of things that are none of the Government's business, Uncle links to a story about a proposed law in California to register long guns in civilian hands. Of course it was proposed by a Democrat. A Democrat with either a very bad history education, or a very scary set of ideas.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Alright Now This Is Just Too Much!

    12-core processors from AMD Twelve cores. Twelve.

    3D display screen . . . for a PHONE. And you need a 3D display on your phone because . . .

    Sony, the company with good products but which sucks as a corporate enterprise for the way they treat customers AND competitors, removes Other OS capability from PS3s instead of fixing an exploit

    And finally, NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity is not only still kicking at 7 years old, but getting better with age! Not bad for something designed to last 3 months!

    I Was Right, And It Didn't Even Happen (here) Yet!

    So you thought I was fooling with you, saying people would only sign up for Obamacare medical insurance when they were diagnosed with serious illnesses? Uncle linked up a article that says this is standard practice in the already-socialized-medicine paradise of Massachusetts.

    Detroit, Los Angeles Both Bankrupt.

    Film at never o'clock.

    One of the easier quips about Socialism is: The main problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend. Well, that's also a problem with big-government, pro-union left-leaning city governments. Detroit and Los Angeles are both bankrupt economically. It is quite possible that they will both be bankrupt and in court getting reorganization plans made up within a year.

    Look for this to be a very surprising development if it ever makes your nightly newscast.

    From The Whitehouse Egg Roll

    Michelle Obama was happy to have beautiful weather for the Egg Roll at the Whitehouse this Easter. Her response was interesting. Did this woman who went to the same "christian" church as Barry for 20 years thank God for the weather? I heard this from her mouth with my own ears:
    "Let's say "Thank you" to Mother Nature" -Michelle Obama

    The President read the children a story. Was it, on Easter something Easter-related? I mean, we can expect that such a big lefty is not going to break down the wall of separation between church and state. As a Constitutional Law Professor he knows that The Wall is clearly right in the text of the Constitution. We shouldn't be surprised that he failed to read the historical account of the resurrection of our Lord from one of the Gospels. But what did he read? Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.

    Obviously it is egg-related, which is why it was likely chosen. I attribute the choice of books to this motive, but it is not the only one I have heard. A caller to the morning radio show to which I was listening today mentioned a possible ulterior motive. The beleaguered dude in GE&H is pestered and pestered until he finally breaks down and tries, and finds he likes, GE&H. The caller pointed out that one can insert "socialized healthcare" for "green eggs and ham" and you have a perfect analogy of what President Obama wants to have happen. You didn't want Obamacare to pass, but it did. Now you will find that you like it.

    Try it, try it, you will see!

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Steele: Spoiling It For The Other Brown Folk (Like Obama)

    RNC Chairman Michael Steele is taking a card from President Obama's Mainstream Media Defensive Maneuvers Playbook and just might be spoiling the chances of other dark-skinded people who aspire to high office. That would be, the Race Card.

    You see, Steele is not exactly the best choice for the chair of the party that turns out to be the only place a Conservative can go to be elected these days. The conservatives are turning on him for being . . . well, for being himself.

    Unfortunately, blackness is part of himself. So he does some high quality conflation (in regards to the motives of his critics) and comes up with a defense of himself that is mostly "they hate me 'cause I'm black" and expects that it will hold some water with the conservative base of the Republican party. No dice. You can't shut off a thinking mind by calling it racist, any more than you can with bigot/sexist/homophobe. This cat needs to go. Stand on your own two feet, not on your melanin concentration, if you are worthy of standing. If all you have is the skin color your mama gave you, you need to not be RNC Chairman.

    Down with Steele!

    You Didn't Adress Your Initial Point, VFD!

    You're right, if you missed it. The problem with pulling out the Race Card whenever you are criticized is a different facet of a huge problem with Affirmative Action. It paints people you portray yourself like, with the brush you apply to yourself. If a school takes skin color into account when choosing students to admit, every person with the "complexion for the connection" will have a big question mark over his head: did he get in for academic merit, or because he's one of them? The same with the Race Card in this case. Are we sure we want to put a ______ person into the chairmanship this time? Remember what the last one pulled when he started taking heat . . .

    These thoughts, of course, are both logical and not to be acted upon. The proper thing to do is to consider well their past words and actions, then to treat all similar persons* similarly until they prove themselves unworthy. How about all the darker-toned people out there with black chips on their shoulders go ahead and NOT pull this boneheaded stunt and give so much as a moment's pause for reconsideration based on skin color. Another dark man once had a dream that we would move beyond this nonsense. Then again, he got shot for his trouble, so maybe you're on the right track?

    Or something.

    *Not similar-colored! That's the one criterion we can ignore!

    You MUST Speak Up!

    Unless you want to read words like this reported as having come from the mouth of your son or daughter, it is your obligation to spread the love of liberty, and especially freedom of speech. You MUST let people know in no uncertain terms where the bounds of logical thought lie, and confront them when they stray into moonbattery.

    Those of you who know me personally are already aware that I am plenty outspoken orally, as well as being an Internet Big Mouth. I encourage you all to be likewise, for the sake of both your sanity AND the Republic.

    Austin to Co-Sponsor Gay Pride Parade?

    The queers have been having their day to party and do various mentally-disordered things with each other in Austin for the past several years now, calling it a 'gay pride parade'.

    The local radio news announces that Austin's city council has been thinking it would be a great idea to take money from Austinites at gunpoint, to give money to co-sponsor the gay pride parade, because it brings so much money to the town.

  • a) why not let it continue to bring money to the town without taking money from taxpayers in Austin for the purpose?
  • b) Austinites, why haven't you contacted your city council member to protest this potential use of your money? Oh wait, you don't HAVE a member representing you.
  • c) Why haven't you run for a spot on the city council yet? What will it take to get the normal people to finally take the city by the halls? Will you really let it turn into another San Francisco?
  • The World Is A Better Place Today . . .

    Feral hogs are a menace to farms. They destroy crops and breed like . . . well, like wild animals will do. In some place, you can shoot them as freely as you can kill flies. Will somebody please frikken invite me on a pig hunt already? Just give me a field to watch and say "go" and I'm there. Paying you $800 for the privilege of ridding your farm of vermin is pretty low on my list, but I'll volunteer! My man MM has a contact, but they have to invite him first, before he can invite me.

    Feral gangsters are a menace to civilization. They destroy lives and . . . oh nevermind the rest of the analogy. Anyway, a HUGE Bravo Zulu to Officer Sean Kelleher for having the presence of mind to jam a thumb in the hammer of a revolver pointed at him, and another one for Officer Tara Hayes for getting in a perfect one-shot kill on a piece of human offal referred to by those who knew him best as "a troublemaker and a thug".

    Hat tip for both links to Tam

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Ooooh! Pretty Colors!

    Here are two reasons you should be reading Calculated Risk. They both say: "The Economy stinks and will continue to do so for quite some time."

    As always, click the images to see them full-size.

    It's Like They Got Him From Austin!

    In Austin, there is not a city council member representing a single district of the city (single-member districts). There is nobody standing up to the Man for the brown people East of the Interstate. There is no voice for the junkyard proprietors on South Congress. In Austin, there are seven people running the council, ostensibly elected by the populace of the entire city. They ALL come from between 15th and 45th street, between the highways. ONLY the inner city dwellers are represented by these people That is to say, only the extremists in the city who care enough to get off their bicycle saddles and go vote.

    The Spandex Lobby is in large part responsible for what happens in the City Council in Austin. That explains why they are trying to spend millions of dollars to convert a street downtown into a "bicycle boulevard" over the outraged protests of people who depend on the cars on that street for their very livelihood.

    Ray LaHood, apparently, is cut from the same cloth as the Austin City Council: “Today I want to announce a sea change . . . This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.” He wants to make you the taxpayer pay to run snow removal equipment on footpaths, for example. Go click through the links. Maybe it's pandering to the bicycle voting block (?!) but even as such, it's madness to say things like what you will see him proposing to them. Even a sane biker should be booing this [deleted].

    N.B.: Almost everyone living outside of downtown Austin hates the city council. The suburb cities are growing like gangbusters because Austin is run but STUPID. The people in flyover country will no doubt have similar sentiments with their hour-to-the-nearest-town everybody-needs-a-truck selfish attitude.

    But it's for their own good!


    Some people are getting antsy about Obama having a 6,000-man (or 300,000-man, depending who you ask) private army written into law as part of Obamacare, and the references to his proposed non-military military force just come all to easily. The reason you can't trust Fox as your only news source is the reason you can't trust any one source: they can't cover it all, and won't get it all right. Mike has a link to a somewhat more cool-headed evaluation of this language.

    The new law does have some language that may sound ominous to those who have never been part of it, but as a former member of the Individual Ready Reserve I feel qualified to comment.

    When you sign up for the U.S. armed forces, you sign on for a number of years of service. As far as I know it is 8 for most people, 10 years if you get a 'free' college education out of the bargain. The most commonly-known part is the Active Duty portion. You are a Sailor/Soldier/Marine/Airman for 4 years or however long your enlistment is supposed to last. Then the balance of your 8 years is "inactive duty" as part of the Reserve Corps. You are a member of the Individual Ready Reserves during these years. This is 99.995% a technicality, and almost everyone is allowed to start a 'normal' civilian life with no worry of being re-activated. I knew exactly one person in the Navy who was held beyond his EAOS*. That man was very, VERY unhappy about the situation. I understand the actual shooting warriors have a higher percentage because you can only find so many people willing to kill for a living (for what the Army pays).

    Here is my take: This bill law has a provision allowing the President to re-activate some members of the IRR against their will during a time of actual or threatened emergency, for up to one year. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of them will HATE the President for it, if he calls them up for anything short of a gen-u-wine WAR, and most will hate him even then. NOBODY wants to be called back against their will. I know a man who got a phone call that started out with a vague reference to him going back to being an Operator. He doesn't know how the call would have gone, because he went "ghost" for the next few years until Uncle Sam declared him to be a full civilian.

    Getting out of the military is very often compared to the end of a prison sentence. Consider it. Really think about this next sentence for a minute. People who get out of the military, get out for various reasons that are good enough to have them willing to completely abandon the life they know, all their friends, and the only place they have to live, to risk it all starting a new life doing anything else. Making a person like that go back and stick his dick out for the Nation again, causes hurt feelings. Trust me on this: raising an army by calling up the Reserve Corps would be a HUGE mistake for a President bent on tyranny.

    This is more nanny state nose poking. When the President thinks the local yokels in flyover country just couldn't possibly handle whatever situation he thinks is emergent, he can call up some military members from the IRR to help out. They will hate it. They will be as disloyal as they can be without going to jail. They will have poor customer service. They will NOT be herding you into detention camps if you don't want to get a flu vaccine shot.

    Calm down. Wait for the actual alert to go out. No Fort Sumters. Besides, this really is a very mild provision compared to forced volunteerism on the part of your schoolchildren as part of a civilian force loyal to Barack Hussein Obama that is ALSO already the Law of The Land.


    *End of Active Obligated Service (date): the day you are transferred from Active to Inactive status in the Personnel office and given a different ID card. NOT technically a civilian yet!

    He Is Risen

    Happy Easter.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Global Warming Causes More Ice, Film At 11!

    You remember how the warming global temperatures changes in global climate would cause less and less sea ice in the arctic? Because the jury-rigged computer models said so? Yeah, turns out the Daily Mail is reporting record HIGH amounts of arctic ice. Because it's

    (Pick one)

    Hat tip to: Moonbattery (gratuitous beefcake picture warning)

    Filtering Out The Noise

    You people are so excitable. I got an email from someone who buys into more 'theories' than I do. The gist is that the new socialist medicine bill requires microchipping everyone starting in 2013. The bill, as pointed out by a commenter to the article, requires tracking things put into people, which it would be Very Bad if they were to fail.

    Your new knee will have a serial number, and if it goes kaput, the lot number will help them identify a possibly-bad few dozen replacement knees. They aren't going to slip you a chip next time you go to your doctor.

    Relax about things that sound too far-fetched to be true. There are enough REAL threats coming down the pipe to keep you on your toes. Spreading exciting rumors not based (entirely) in fact is just a distraction from the actual problems with which we need to deal.

    The mark of the beast is coming, don't get me wrong. Just this ain't it. Probably. Yet. ;)

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    You Got No Right

    . . . to secure your borders. That's our job. No, we won't be doing it. No, you can't either. Because shut up, that's why.

    The only thing mitigating the horrendousness of government thinking like this, is that SCOTUS has already ruled the Police have no duty to protect an individual, whereas it is pretty clearly a Federal Government responsibility to tend to the security of our national borders.

    How does that make it less bad?

    In England, they don't have a right to individual self-defense as a practical matter, and the Police are failing to defend people individually. So you'll have (for example) a homeowner up on harder charges, facing more time, than the burglar he tackled breaking into his house.

    I'm For Checking Up On Welfare Recipients.

    . . . shooting them dead when they don't want to be checked-upon, not so much!

    Smart Cars: Volkswagen Fox Cross Edition

    The engineering looks good on paper but in the real world . . . The whole car is a crumple zone, including the passenger compartment. If your car goes a meter under the front bumper of a lorry, you're dead. If my car goes meter under the front bumpter of a lorry, my suit gets rumpled and my hat may fall off. They would need the Jaws of Life, but I'd still frikken HAVE one to save.

    Super small fuel economy cars: for places where everyone drives them. Not for places where bigger things drive. Ever. Saving fuel is an admirable goal. Just don't take it too far eh.

    Hat tip: Moonbattery

    The Clue Bat Begins Its Swing Toward Unions

    You know it's getting bad* when the Chief of Staff of the Mayor of one of the largest cities in the country is saying things like:
    "Unions have priced themselves out of a job."

    *bad for unions. Good for everyone else, including the membership of the unions, who pay taxes to support their own and other excessive union compensation packages.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Obama The Nobel Laureate

    . . . was also apparently a well-beloved, long-teaching professor of Constitutional Law. Or something. Click the link, Moonbattery once again brings news you won't find on The News.

    Feel Free To Fire This Jerk

    Should we be surprised that an Elected Hero from Illinois doesn't care about the Constitution? Well, Phil Hare admits he doesn't..

    I am of the opinion that someone who doesn't care for the Constitution is not qualified to have a job created by it, but obviously the (dead and living) voters at the Illinois polling places think otherwise.

    If you are in Illinois: What are you going to do about this guy, when the campaign season starts in earnest this year?


    Update after a few days of taking heat from constituents: he issued a clarification: he doesn't consider the Constitution when it comes to Obamacare because he thinks it's blatantly constitutional. That's a blatant sign you need to volunteer for the campaign of whomever else is running against him this November in Illinois.

    Took The Day Off

    I took the day off from work today, and it turned out to be a "road day" with the family, from 10:00 to 18:00 out of the house. 2 scheduled doctor visits, a stop at the clothier's, a restaurant luncheon, and some quality time at the Home Depot and the grocery store, as well as an emergency potty break (pregnant woman bladder emergency) at a friend's house. With my wife and I dragging all three children along, this made for a longish day out

    There are several guys where I work who think they are funny. I am happy to be able to report I missed all of their April Fools antics today. On the other hand, we spent several hundred dollars more than we would have, had I been at work. :( Oh well.

    Living Dangerously

    As a free, thinking individual, I have elected to leave Windows' Automatic Update feature turned off since . . . well, since I installed XP for the first time. Tonight I am paying the piper. "once in a while" best describes my manual update schedule. Tonight there are 64 updates, most several megabytes each, and those are the smaller ones which I elected to download and install. There were several programs MS tried to foist off on me, which would have made this take much longer than it already will.

    There are probably people out there (without external backups) that would be terrified not to have Microsoft protecting them with automatic updates. Well, freedom is scary. I like to NOT be the guy making headlines with a crashed computer following an Automatic Update gone horribly wrong. When I heard about such a problem for the first time, it was worldwide news, and I was still running Windows 98 at the time, blissfully stable and not-crashing due to automatic updates.

    And now here I sit, waiting, on the user end of a cheapest-possible-service DSL modem, downloading "critical" updates. Oh well.