Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chron Business page gets Stewarts mixed up

On page D1 of today's Chronicle we have this logo next to Stewart And Stevenson's name.

This however is the logo for Stewart Title.

HERE is the logo for Stewart & Stevenson:

Clearly the editorial staff is still on vacation in their "Ideal State"&trade:

Canadians see the light and begin to dismantle Socialized Medicine

In today's New York Times we find this article (free registration required). What used to be the "third rail" of Canadian politics has been disconnected from the power line and is being ripped up. I speak of the National Socialized medical infrastructure. It is still illegal to accept payment for Medical services, but nobody seems to care. Private clinics are opening all across the frozen wasteland of the north. Possibly as many as one a week. Private medical insurance is not far behind. Public hospitals are referring patients right and left to these private clinics and hospitals because they cannot service the patients fast enough.

But most Canadians agree that current wait times are not acceptable.

The median wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist has increased to 8.3 weeks last year from 3.7 weeks in 1993, according to a recent study by The Fraser Institute, a conservative research group. Meanwhile the median wait between appointment with a specialist and treatment has increased to 9.4 weeks from 5.6 weeks over the same period.

Average wait times between referral by a family doctor and treatment range from 5.5 weeks for oncology to 40 weeks for orthopedic surgery, according to the study.

Last December, provincial health ministers unveiled new targets for cutting wait times, including four weeks for radiation therapy for cancer patients beginning when doctors consider them ready for treatment and 26 weeks for hip replacements.

But few experts think that will stop the trend toward privatization.

No wonder the Canadians are rejecting the status quo, they think waiting a month to start radiation treatment is acceptable! And almost a year for a hip replacement!

I am heartened to hear that Canadians are waking up from thier flirt with the mental illness that is socialism.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Islamophobia, real or not?

pho·bi·a n.

1. A persistent, abnormal, or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus.
2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

Irrational or abnormal? Hmm, Let's review...

Irrational or abnormal? I don't think so.....

Remember, the question is not, "Are you paranoid?", the question is, "Are you paranoid enough?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This is what is wrong with our legal system.

Back a few weeks ago, Blwarren and I got into it over at Bloghouston about law suit abuse. Here is a prime example of lawsuit abuse in action.

5 million? For someone who didn't make enough money to live in anything but a roach infested dump of an apartment? How exactly does she arrive at the figure of 5 million?

Did anyone wonder why they were still virgins?

Hat tip Hyscience

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Red Ink: Texas' Legislative Agenda

With the mounting anger at politics as usual in Austin, we appear to be on the cusp of a sea change in State Government. Here are the things we here at Red Ink: Texas (that would be me and my hand puppet...) would like to see addressed in the upcoming legislative session.

First off, the following measures are intended to address the critical issue of immigration reform and the failure/refusal of legal immigrants to assimilate into our culture.

1: I would like to see a bill that withholds all state monies from any political subdivision (city, county, etc.) with a sanctuary policy, or that spends monies specifically on things such as day labor camps, or any other expenditure that is patently intended to aid and abet illegal immigration over and above any expenditures that are required by Federal Law.

2: Require that all school districts receiving state funds must eliminate perpetual bilingual education and replace it with a year long English immersion program.

3: Any person who applies for or receives state services, including but not limited to: education, medical services, Unemployment insurance, WIC, AFDC, school lunch programs, housing assistance, etc. must prove his or her legal residency status or be detained and turned over to ICE for immediate deportation proceedings.

4: Require photo I.D. and proof of citizenship to register to vote. All current voters must reapply with proof of residency prior to renewal of their voter registration. Photo I.D. must be presented again when appearing to vote to prove that the individual voting is the person who registered initially.

5: Levy a 15% surcharge on any money transfer to any country designated as a known source of illegal immigration. That list is to be determined by the legislature, but I expect that Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Colombia to be among those designated countries. The revenues from this surcharge are to be spent on: Border Security and law enforcement, indigent health care and English immersion programs in state school districts.

6: Implementation of a statewide toll free number for employers to verify identity and immigration status of all hires. Anyone knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant or anyone who fails to verify immigration status prior to hiring someone will be subject to a $50,000 fine per violation. Three violations within a 3 year period will result in the seizure of the company and it's assets by the state for liquidation as well as criminal charges of aiding and abetting the commission of felony trespass for all officers of said company. The funds will go into the same programs as Item #5.

7: Soliciting for day labor within 30 feet of a public street is to be made a class A misdemeanor and will trigger an inquiry into immigration status.

8: Lenders must verify immigration status prior to issuing loans, or other credit. Credit of any sort will not be issued to those not in the country legally.

9: Forward a bill for all federally mandated expenditures as well as the costs incurred in the arrest and incarceration of illegal aliens to the Department of Homeland Security. If the Federal government does not pay the bill, then withhold all monies owed to the federal government until the debt is paid. After all, the problem is fundamentally a federal problem, we, the state taxpayer however get stuck footing the bill for the resulting problems.

10: A bill making it a class C felony to be in the State of Texas without the proper immigration status. The punishment for such criminal trespass is to be up to a year in jail followed by deportation.

11: Formation of a state border security force to be paid for in part by items 5 and 6. These are to be armed with Fully Automatic weapons and provided with up-armored humvees from Texas National Guard stores. This force is to be under the control of the Texas Rangers but will have the authority to request TNG/TANG backup as needed. Texas National Guard and Air National guard will train and patrol along the Rio Grande Valley whenever possible.

Now, for some items not specific to border security and/or immigration:

12: Expand monetary caps on non-monetary damages to all lawsuits in the State of Texas.

13: Cap all state taxes and expenditures except for those for border security, to not exceed 2% over and above the rate of population growth or inflation, whichever is higher, similar to “Prop 2”

14: Cap all school district expenditures for non-academic uses, (special wording will be needed to allow expenditures for PE without allowing the proliferate building of massive sports arenas for high school sports.) to no more than 30% of total expenditures.

15: Permanently eliminate the “blocker bill” requiring a 2/3 majority to bring a bill to the floor of the senate for a full vote.

16. Raise the pay of state legislators to $50,000 a year and eliminate all pension benefits for legislators with COLA raises automatically keyed to the rate of inflation. The amount to rise over and above COLA raises by 3% per term of office up to a maximum of 20%. Legislators may pay into a 401K account and must abide by the taxes and penalties the rest of us are subject to. Eliminate the link between state judge salaries and benefits from those of the legislature. If the Leg wants a pay raise, they must vote on it publicly.

17. All votes in either house of the legislature MUST be recorded by name and must be available for review by the public ASAP via the internet.

18. A statewide database of all public notices and announcements keyed to zip codes is to be formed and made available to all citizens on the internet. No public notice will be legally valid without being submitted to the database. This will eliminate a public notice being made in a shopping circular 40 miles away in order to circumvent the public’s ability to comment on such notices or hearings.

I will add more as I think of them…

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The dangers of the wrong lube...

No I'm not talking about petroleum jelly and condoms, I'm talking about a much more dangerous combination: GI issue CLP gun lube and desert warfare. Our guys and gals in Iraq have had problems with the gun lube being issued to them causing their weapons to malfunction and jam in the middle of firefights because the lube issued to them attracts dust and sand and jams the action of their weapons. Our guys and gals in Desert Camo and dying because the US Army issued the wrong kind of gun lube. This problem was known to the Pentagon, but like most bureaucratic organizations, it was ignored. When the guys and gals on the ground started to try to order their own, better, gun lube, those orders were cancelled en mass by the US Army. Supposedly this situation has been rectified somewhat, orders by individual soldiers or units of a lube called Militec can go through now, but the standard issue lube is still CLP. You can read more here.

Update: This PDF file still resides on the US Army's Logistics computers from 2003. It is from PS Magazine. And it of course derides any report of problems with CLP and denounces any cleaning or lubrication regimen other than that which uses CLP. And after perusing the 2004 article index (the latest on their website) there are no mentions of any other lube regimen that is approved. Bureaucrats can be slow learners....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Justice in the World of Islam

In Iran, there is a 18 year old girl that has been sentenced to death. Her crime? Self Defense. You see last year when she was still 17, she and her neice were attacked by two men. These men tried to rape them. The seventeen year old drew a knife and stabbed one in the hand, he ran off. She stabbed the other in the chest as he attempted to rape her. He died. An Islamic Court found her guilty of murder. Amnesty International has pled for mercy, not because she was defending herself, Oh no! But because she was a minor at the time, they argue she should spend the rest of her life in prison instead.

THIS is the sort of justice the world can expect if dhimmitude is allowed to flourish.

Hat Tip Hyscience

Can you hear me now? Not so good..... (updated)

The News

I got some scary news the other day, I'm still trying to come to grips with it. I may have completely lost the hearing in my right ear permenantly, or at the very least if it does come back to any extent at all I may need a hearing aid the rest of my life. Now, as life changing events go, this is not THAT earth shattering, I mean it is not as if I lost a leg or an arm or something, It certainly could have been worse. But the suddenness of it and the virtual NORMALCY in how it came about still boggles my mind.

The Symptom

On Wednesday, week before last, at about 3pm, I yawned, my ear popped, started ringing, and I have not heard anything in that ear since. I had a sinus headache at the time and felt like a cold was coming on, so at first I didn't think a whole lot about it, I just figured I had an inner ear infection and I made an appointment to go see my GP doctor the next morning for some antibiotics and a decongestant and a steroid shot (this should have been a red flag, but at the time I didn't think much of it either) and everything would be right as rain in a couple days. Three days later, I still had not heard anything and went back to the doctor. They told me that this might drag on for a few more days and to relax, everything would be fine. Two more days passed and I was starting to panic. I made an appointment with an ENT for day 8.

The Testing

When I got there the first thing they did was a complete Audiology workup, and I do mean complete. They tested the mechanical movement of both eardrums (normal) they tested the reflexes of the muscles in the inner ear (paralysis on the right side) they tested both the frequency response and how well I could understand speach in each ear at varying loudnesses. The result? Over 100dB of hearing loss in the right ear. At this level, they are at the limits of thier machine to discriminate between crosstalk between the ears, bone conduction, and losses in the equipment itself. This loss appears to be neurosensory, and not a mechanical problem with the structures of the inner ear.

The Diagnosis

The doctor came in and after doing a visual examination of the ear, we discussed the results of the test. While there are a number of exotic things that can cause this, the leading culprit is something called Sudden Neurosensory Hearing Loss Syndrome. This is as you can imagine a "catch-all" type diagnosis for those things that don't neatly fit other diagnoses. These are often termed idiopathic meaning that nobody really knows why or how it happened. There are three main theories that exist for the "why" of it at this time. They each could be causative, but probably not in combination. They are nerve damage due to blood clots, essentially a stroke in the blood supply to the inner ear. Nerve damage due to viruses, a number of whom have shown some ability for nerve damage including a number in the common adenovirus and Pneumonae families. And third, and less well regarded, is a fistula or membrane tear within the conchlea itself. In my case either of the first two are possible as I was feeling poorly at the time, I could have had a virus. I also have a heart condition that COULD cause small clots to form due to turbulent flow patterns in my atria, especially if my heart rate gets up due to the use of stimulants such as decongestants.

The Treatment

Many cases of this syndrome resolve themselves on thier own without medical intervention or notice so it is difficult to gauge just how prevalent this is. The chance of full recovery is however tied fairly linearly to the amount of initial hearing loss, which in my case is virtually total. Therefore, the odds of a complete recovery for me are probably in the range of about 20%. The hope at this point is that I will recover enough hearing to be able to work with it using artificial aids. A number of treatments have been tried over the years, but the only one that has shown to be of any help at all is high doses of steroids. I'm on day three of this treatment and I MIGHT have recovered a little hearing, but that is far from proven. How well that bodes for me is yet to be known.

The MRI Results

Well after much consternation and calling every person remotely associated with the fiasco, I FINALLY got my MRI results. Seems the doctor's office either lost the results, misfiled them, or just fell flat on thier face. The results had been posted last friday in the computer system, and hardcopies were faxed Monday morning. The doctor's office was telling me that Radiology had not sent them the results yet. So I ask for the number to radiology, thinking I'd call over there and light a fire under someone's arse, she tells me she can't give the number out. BULLSHIT. I called the main number and asked for the head of radiology, got right through. As it turns out they had done thier job, and were willing to send yet another copy. Seems my beef is with the doctor's support staff. I guess they've never sat and waited a week to find out whether they have brain cancer or not.... assholes....

Oh, by the way, in the words of Ol' Arnie... "It's not a TOOOMAH!"

They still don't know for certain what happened, but they at least know what it isn't...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I need a little advice

Given some of the situations I've been finding myself in of late (working late alone at a dental office across the street fron Greenspoint (gunspoint?) mall) I'm seriously considering obtaining a CCW. I've been reluctant to do so for cost reasons. And cost is still a factor as my wife is still out of work, therefore this might have to wait until she finds a job and some of the bills we've been running up over the last 6 months are paid back down.

I need some suggestions for both good places on the north side of town to obtain my CCW training, as well as the best weapon/holster combo to carry.

I currently own two handguns, a Taurus PT-58 12+1 in .380 Auto, and a Nickel S&W .357 Magnum Revolver (I forget the specific model, possibly a 686, although that doesn't sound right) with a 6" barrell. Neither of those is ideal I think for a carry weapon, the S&W has no safety and is a bit too big to stuff in the waistband of my pants. The PT-58 is inaccurate as hell, the barrel floats and each trigger pull causes it to be pointing in slightly different directions. You'd be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn from the inside of said barn with the door closed. While the PT-58 is a bit more amenable to a waistband holster, it is still a bit bulky. And .380 is not exactly known for it's stopping power either. I think I would prefer a Semi-auto over a revolver due to the smaller cross-section, although I admit Autos are a bit more prone to mechanical malfunction and in cases where every millisecond counts, this could very well be a life and death issue.

So my requirements are as follows:

Small and lightweight, smooth cross-section.
Enough stopping power to make sure I don't just piss the guy off.
Enough rounds in the magazine to make sure that the guy and his buddies goes down and stays down, even if I'm all hyped up on adrenaline and miss more than half my shots.
good accuracy if shot well.
comfortable holster for inside waistband that allows easy and quick draw for someone with limited rotator cuff range of motion (I can reach the small of my back fairly easily however).
Relatively inexpensive (I don't have a grand to spend on a gun)

Anybody have any suggestions?

The Chronicle? Gunblogging?

YEP! Sure nuff! J. Reynolds has a new reader blog up on the Chronicle's website, appropriately named "GunBlog". OK, so the name is not exactly imaginative, but it is certainly self explanitory. Go give him a vist!

Monday, February 06, 2006

It must be mighty cold in hell today

That is the only explanation I can come up with. Allow me explain:

Back in August, I penned a post about how Harris County Prosecutor Chuck Rosenthal has instructed HPD and other law enforcement personnel that it does not MATTER what State law says, they are to arrest anyone with a weapon in thier car.

Last thursday, Roddy Stinson penned a column in the San Antonio Express-News agreeing with Mr. Rosenthal and several other DA's that have instructed law enforcement similarly. Today, the spokeman of the Texas Chapter of the ACLU (yes, THAT ACLU!) Scott Henson replied. They OPPOSE Mr Rosenthal's plan. You can read it here.

Mr. Stinson does not understand why he is wrong. Make sure and write him and tell him why.

(Hat tip NRANews)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

THAT is some mighty fine shootin....

Over at Hyscience They have a report up on the excellent sniper work being put in by our fine fellows in Desert Camo. This guy took out an islamothug who had just shot and killed an American Soldier. He took him out with one shot from over 1250 meters away (4101 feet)!!!. The 10x42 Leupold Ultra M3A scope on his M24 (.308 Winchester) is only calibrated out to 1000 Meters, the max effective range that the Army claims is only 800 meters. Carlos Hathcock had better watch out.... This guy is gonna catch him and pass him up.