Friday, July 31, 2009

A note about ads....

Astute readers will note how there is currently an ad running in AdSense for a particular RINO candidate for Governor. It is running in very heavy rotation, not just here but on most conservative Texas blogs with AdSense links.

I want it made clear. I do not endorse this candidate, I do not LIKE this candidate. I plan on voting AGAINST this candidate. But I'll take her money all day long. And no, she isn't getting any of it back either.

Clarification: I am NOT encouraging or discouraging anyone to click on this or any other ad, that is entirely up to you, only that if they want to pay me to allow them to display the ad, I have no problems accepting their money. It spends just like any other.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Once in a while, the NYT and CBS actually report the truth...

This is one of those times...
The New York Times/CBS poll shows:

Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe Obama’s plan will hurt the quality of their own healthcare.
Seventy-three percent believe it would limit their access to tests and treatment.
Sixty-two percent believe Democrats’ proposals would require them to change doctors.
Seventy-six believe healthcare reform will lead to them paying higher taxes.
A whopping 77 percent expect their healthcare costs to rise.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Suicide Counselling is part of the Health Care "Reform" bill

No, not counseling you not to kill yourself, counseling you on how you can kill yourself on the government dime. You are old after all, it is your duty to die! See page 425-426 of the bill.

‘‘(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning,
if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:
‘‘(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.
‘‘(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.
‘‘(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.
‘‘(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal service organizations (including those funded through the Older Americans Act of 1965).
‘‘(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

Airbus has a problem.

I have been saying for some time now that Airbus aircraft are deathtraps. The London Daily Mail agrees with me.

H/T PubliusTX

My advice to you is to start drinking heavily...

BlankAnd you can join us in doing so this Saturday from 2:00pm until whenever at the Stag's Head Pub.
The crew of blogHouston, Lose an Eye, Houblog, and of course moi, will be there working on our hangovers like there is no tomorrow... Because, you know there won't be if Obama has anything to do with it...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Medical Isotope Edition

In the mid 1970's, there was much concern about the size of the world's nuclear arsenal. India had just detonated it's first nuclear device using plutonium derived from reprocessed nuclear fuel waste. The US and the Soviets were in talks (ultimately unilateral on our side) to further reduce the number and the yield of their nuclear arsenals as well as the delivery platforms. Then there was the Three Mile Island partial meltdown that occurred just weeks after the release of a movie about a nuclear meltdown called "The China Syndrome", Starring everyone's least favorite traitorous bitch, Jane Fonda. This led to President Gerald Ford issuing a presidential directive temporarily banning all reprocessing in the United States. President Carter made the ban permanent. President Reagan lifted the ban in 1981, but by that time the industry did not have the money to restart production.

This has had several unfortunate side effects. It has caused nuclear waste that could be turned in to new nuclear fuel, to be stacked like nuclear cordwood outside nuclear reactor facilities, it has halted all new reactor development in this country, and it has led to us depending on Canada for our medical radioisotopes.

But there is a small problem with that picture, Canada has also let it's nuclear industry die on the vine. The result is that there are only six reactors in the world that can make a vital radioisotope used in the diagnosis of cardiac artery disease, bone cancer, breast cancer, and kidney disease: Technetium 99m. One in Chalk River Ontario Canada produces 40% of the Technetium 99m produced worldwide, another is in Petten, The Netherlands, it produces 25% of the world's production. The remaining 35% comes from three reactors in France, Germany and South Africa. The two major sources in the world are old and prone to safety problems and are in danger of being shut down permanently. Both Petten and Chalk River are shut down for repairs, and it looks like Chalk River may not be restarted.

All those tree hugging hippies who destroyed the nuclear power industry in this country are about to reap Karmic justice. They are getting older now and are suffering from heart, kidney, breast and bone disease, and now they are being tossed back into 1960's level care because of their actions. Unfortunately the rest of us must suffer a similar fate.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish, a continuing saga.

Several years back when Mayor/Senator Bill decreed that the city must buy Prii for all city employees to drive I did a little calculation and found that if the city were to buy Toyota's next most efficient vehicle (which they no longer make) that the city could buy Echos which at the time got something like 35 MPG in the city and a base price of right at $10K, and drive them for over 150K miles for the MSRP of the base model Prius, which at the time was claiming 60 MPG. Of course the EPA eventually revised the way mileage is calculated which brought the Prius down to 48 mpg which is a bit more realistic. It also brought the Yaris, which replaced the Echo in the line up down to 29 MPG. The price of gas, as well as the price of the various models has changed since then so I decided to revisit my calculations using today's numbers, and unsurprisingly, I found that things really have not changed that much.

Here are my variables: (source:

Toyota Prius Std 5 door (hatchback)
City MPG: 48
MSRP: $22,000 (base model price)

Toyota Corolla CE 4 door sedan Automatic
City MPG: 26
MSRP: $15,205

Toyota Yaris 5 door (hatchback) Automatic
City MPG: 29
MSRP: $13,305

I assumed an average price of gas at $2.25 per gallon which is fairly typical here in Houston. I did not account for oil changes every 3000 miles (assuming $20 for the price of an oil change), which would bring the total mileage down by about 10K miles I figure, but the actual calculation gets kind of involved so I decided to ignore that number for my analysis. Trust me, it won't make much difference in the grand scheme of things, as you will see.

Let's start with the Corolla.

$22,000-$15,205= $6795 difference in purchase price. $6795/$2.25 = 3020 gallons of gasoline at $2.25 a gallon. 3020gallons*26 mpg= 78520 miles the vehicle could travel on the price difference.

Now the Yaris.
$22,000-$13,305 = $8695 difference/$2.25 per gallon gas = 3864 gallons of gasoline * 29MPG=112,069 miles.

And of course for that money, the Prius hasn't even left the lot yet.
But what about the environment? Well, the Corolla gets 26 mpg vs the Prius's 48, so you do generate about 1.8 times the CO2 of the Prius. The Yaris generates 1.6 times.

But the question is, is the tradeoff really worth the price difference? Especially since the city can't even make payroll without borrowing money? When you are broke, can you really afford to spend money on extravagances like this? Is the mayor's conscience clear if he can't afford to put enough police and firemen on the streets and people die as a result, but he has kept the city from polluting a bit? How much does that extra crime or the loss of property taxes from the burned buildings or the loss of life, or the loss of business, cost the city in the process?

Addendum: If this information is to believed, which I do, then the value of reducing CO2 emissions is even lower than everyone thinks.

(prompted by a post by William Teach at Right Wing News.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The perks of the job....

In Iran, if you are female, and a virgin, and sentenced to death, you can expect at least one visitor before you are buried up to your chest and stoned to death. That visitor will be your legally sanctioned rapist. If you fight too much, you will be drugged first.

Yet another window into the inner workings of the "religion of peace".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Memories of a lifetime.

This is one of my earliest memories. It happened today, forty years ago. That memory changed and shaped my life, as I'm sure it did many others around the world. We owe those brave men more than we can ever repay in a thousand lifetimes.

RIP Mary Jo Kopechne

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The REAL definition of "Uncle Tom"

Back in the days of slavery, the Plantation Overseer usually had one or more lieutenants who were slaves but who got better treatment in exchange for being the enforcers among the slave population. Being non-persons, they were not given a title as such. In 1852, a novel, inspired by the true exploits of an escaped slave that made it to freedom in Canada, called Uncle Tom's Cabin was published by an abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel was very much anti-slavery and the title character was actually a Christian martyr killed when he refused an order to betray two slaves who had run away. Over the years, the pro-slavery minstrel shows altered the story and the term "Uncle Tom" and made the character out as an apologist for slavery and the term became a race traitor, who was servile and polite to the white man. This is how the term took on such a pejorative meaning, completely opposite of the true nature of the character in the novel. Over time those enforcers, the Overseer's lieutenants were renamed "Uncle Toms" with revisionist glee.

In the topsy-turvey world of race relations today, good becomes evil and right becomes wrong. In today's world a black man who works to try to get blacks to stand up on their own two feet and take responsibility for their own lives is shouted down and called an "Uncle Tom" with all the pejorative meaning in place, while a man who constantly reinforces victimhood and dependence on the federal government becomes a leader among black men. These people, the Quannel X's and the Louis Farrakahn's and the Al Sharpton's and the Jesse Jackson's and the Sheila Jackson-Lee's of the world are the modern day equivalents of the black lieutenants of the age of slavery. They derive their power from the perceived victimhood of their followers, so they must protect that victimhood and invoke it and reinforce it at every opportunity in order to maintain their power, because without that victimhood, they are nothing. So maintaining that hopelessness and despair among their followers becomes a priority for them, because without that sense of despair, they have no power.

Make no mistake, these men and women care nothing about the plight of their followers. They care only for their own personal power. What do they care if the schools in their follower's districts don't teach the kids anything? That makes their job easier because the kids have not been given the tools to think rationally so they are easier to manipulate and control. What do they care if 13 million black babies are killed while still in their mother's womb? or that illegitimacy is rampant in their neighborhoods? That just makes those mothers and their kids that much more dependent on them to "bring home the federal bacon".

Slavery has returned to the black man, but today's slave owners are the Democrat party and the overseers are the Al Sharpton's and the Quannel X's of the world. They are the ones that flog the slaves that run away from the plantation and attain personal enlightenment. And they have convinced the unthinking and unknowing horde behind them to take up the chains willingly and to flog any heretics themselves.

Martin Luther King Jr. is weeping for what has been done in his name. His dream has become a horror.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Microsoft and Securities Fraud: The two make a nice couple.

Microsoft has come out with it's answer to Google, it is called Bing. But Microsoft is busy stacking the deck to artificially pump up both Internet Explorer 8's and Bing's numbers. Microsoft has decided to force-feed IE8 by packaging it as a critical update. Which means that Windows Update (or it's newest iteration, Microsoft Update) will constantly nag you to download and install it. Most people (and I used to count myself among them, although I have learned how since then. Microsoft does not go out of it's way to tell you how, and for most things, you should not need to.) don't know how to silence the nag, so they will just install it out of frustration. That is what Microsoft is counting on, because IE8 does a couple of very unethical things, it automatically makes itself your default browser, even if you would normally use Firefox or Chrome or Safari or Opera, it also replaces your default search engine with Bing.

So network analytics will see a sharp spike of both IE8 and Bing use, which would not otherwise be seen because it was force fed to the XP using public. They will then be able to point to these numbers and proclaim just how popular both are, thereby pumping up their stock price.

This is a new variation of an old pump and dump scheme. It is unethical, and it is illegal. The SEC needs to investigate this, PRONTO.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Power and Ambition

A phone call last night has started me thinking. Court Koenning called me asking me to endorse him to replace Jerry Eversole. Now mind you to my knowledge, Eversole has not declined to run again or has resigned. If he has, it has not become public yet, but be that as it may, the potential candidates are crawling out of the woodwork to throw their hats into the ring. But there are things about that office, and those who are seeking it that are curious. The office is kind of a political black hole. The office has enormous amounts of power and controls huge budgets, but it does so essentially invisibly. Nobody pays much attention to Commissioner's Court, which is unfortunate because with so much money and power, and so little oversight, it is inevitable that liberties will be taken. The office seems to be the political "sweet spot". The turnover in commissioner's court is so low as to be virtually non-existent, and I cannot think of a single commissioner that has gone on to higher office. (maybe there was one or two that I am unaware of, but with turnover so low, it must have happened very long ago.). Commissioners are rarely challenged, and are essentially "safe" from election challenges. So one must ask oneself why an ambitious young man like Court would want the job. Court has been a lot of places and done a lot of things over his (relatively speaking) short career, which would imply he has not been in any one place for too terribly long. This office would seem then to be a bad fit for someone with that sort of political ambition. But there is a wild card in this equation: Dan Patrick.
Patrick (along with Court Koenning) has installed his hand picked replacement for Corbin Van Arsdale, and if Court can win Eversole's seat, Patrick will indirectly control a very large chunk of political real estate. I'm frankly a little worried that Patrick is gaining entirely too much power. What is the end game here? I don't know, but it worries me. Will I endorse Court? At this point I don't rightly know. Court and I have a bit of history and it is not really of the good sort. I'm not going to air dirty laundry but just say that there are some judgment issues I have to come to terms with.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The fallacy of "It is a Federal function"

Clearly our public school system is failing in it's task of educating our children on how the united states government is supposed to work, because I keep hearing from the pro-illegal alien crowd that immigration enforcement is a federal function and the states/cities have no right to interfere.

I'm here to tell anyone who believes that malarkey that you are full of shit!

The Federal Government only has the duties assigned to it by the states, similarly the states only have the responsibilities assigned to them by the people. The Constitution lays out which branch of government is to have what duties, but like any employer/employee relationship the employer is responsible for the actions of the employee. and if the employee does not perform his or her assigned duty, it is up to the boss to see to it that it gets done, even if he has to do it himself. In this case the people are the bosses, the states the middle managers, and the federal government the low level employees. That is not the way people usually think of the relationship however but that is in fact the case. The Feds work for the states, and the states work for us.
And just like the boss of a lazy employee, when the employee fails to mop the men's room floor, the supervisor either has to find someone who will do it, or do it himself. It is also up to the supervisor to get rid of that worthless employee. And we have a LOT of worthless employees that need to be fired. That generally indicates that we have been lax in our duties as supervisors. And just like a business, when the boss does not tend to his business, the business fails due to lack of leadership. The United States of America is failing. We have allowed the shiftless employees that can't be bothered to do what they are told to continue to run the business into the ground. The responsibility is however squarely on our shoulders because we have allowed the situation to get this bad.

The feds work for us, we don't work for the feds. They (and WE) need to be reminded of that fact from time to time. It is time to remind them (and US) again.