April 19, 2014

A bit of pushback

Wonderful news - from The Salt Lake Tribune:

Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover
It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil, timber and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

“It’s simply time,” said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. “The urgency is now.”

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.

The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said.

“What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem,” Lockhart said.

Hell yeah! I am reminded of the 10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

And if FedGov wants to change this, there is a due process in place. Ratification by three-quarters of the states? Easy-peasy.

Posted by DaveH at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) Category: Leviathan

Clay Aiken gets political

The word “goon” comes to mind. Clay is fundraising in a public venue and two security goons ask a conservative reporter to leave.

From Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

Video: How to get kicked out of a Clay Aiken fundraiser
In case you hadn’t heard the news, American Idol star, singer and actor Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina’s second congressional district. He’s hoping to take on (and take down) current GOP Representative Renee Ellmers. While Aiken’s success could allow him to largely self-fund the effort, politics still requires you to get out there and do some fundraising, pressing the flesh with the local donors and power brokers. But as the following video shows, don’t bother stopping by if you’re a Republican. You’re likely to get an icy – and expletive laden – welcome. You can just see Aiken in the background as the clip begins, though he’s quickly blocked from view by some looming thugs with a lot to say.

I’ll preface this with the necessary warnings. NC-17 language ahead, and so much of it packed into a barely more than 30 second clip that I can’t even put up a transcript on the pages of Hot Air. So it’s not for the easily offended and put your headphones on if the kids are around.

If this is the kind of people he surrounds himself with, you can only imagine what kind of a Congressman he will be - listening to his constituents and all that good stuff.

Aesop had this to say (from The Ass and His Purchaser):

A man is known by the company he keeps.

And who can forget Proverbs 13:20:

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

It is good that Clay has a singing career to fall back on…

Posted by DaveH at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) Category: Asshats

Shooter

Just ran into this incredible Ballistics Calculator for iOS and Android.
$9.99 from your favorite app store.

Check out Shooter App:

To say that this is a comprehensive piece of software is to severely understate its abilities. This puppy will use the GPS on your device to get your latitude and from that, calculate the effective Coriolis force.

Posted by DaveH at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) Category: Guns

April 18, 2014

Playing with fire

A couple Danish physicists travel around demonstrating physics experiments to kids schools.
One of which is this 2D Reubens' Tube — very cool!

Their YouTube Channel: Fysikshow

Here is another one — no interviewer, just basic setup and some music:

Very cool — I could see a fire-pit made this way. I also think that they could improve the design a lot — not just stick a loudspeaker in the side of the box. I bet I could get a more dramatic display although this is pretty awesome…

Posted by DaveH at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

Well Crap - RIP Jesse Winchester

Passed away last Friday, April 11, 2014.

His website: Jesse Winchester's Studio
Fan site: The Rhumba Man

One of the great singer/songwriters. First became aware of his work in 1970 and have followed his career since. He will be missed.

Here he is with Jimmy Buffet performing Rhumba Man at the Gulf Shores Benefit Concert for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina:

Posted by DaveH at 01:51 PM | Comments (0) Category: Music

Jimmy Carter in the news again

Being schooled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. From the Winnipeg Free Press:

Canadian government scolds Jimmy Carter over position on Keystone XL pipeline
The Keystone XL pipeline issue has created a tiff between a former U.S. president and the Canadian government.

The Prime Minister's Office reacted swiftly Wednesday to a letter signed by Nobel laureates, including Jimmy Carter, urging President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline.

Carter is the first former president to come out against Keystone XL.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office responded with a warning: Remember 1979.

It was a reference to the dip in oil supply which followed the Iranian revolution and touched off a global panic. Prices spiked and long lines formed at gas stations, helping destabilize Carter's one-term presidency.

“Mr. Carter knows from his time as president during the 1979 energy crisis there are benefits to having access to oil from stable, secure partners like Canada,” the PMO said.

The statement also cited multiple reviews by the U.S. State Department, which said the project would create thousands of construction jobs without an impact on the environment.

And this little nugget — talking about Carter's 1979 Malaise speech:

In his famous speech, Carter also stressed the need to become more energy self-reliant — by building pipelines when possible and tapping the nation's abundant shale resources.

Yup - an out of touch hypocrite. A member of the elite ruling class that sincerely believes that we are unable to manage our lives.

Posted by DaveH at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) Category: Asshats

A perfect case for Homeopathy

We recently had a Homeopathy Awareness Week and I had a discussion with a demonstrator outside our local food co-op. I have little truck with pseudoscience and I consider it amoral and criminal that these asshats will hold out the hope of a cure when their treatments show no difference from a placebo. People have a right to choose their own medical care but they should not be deceived.

That being said, there is now a huge quantity of an amazing Homeopathic remedy available in Portland Oregon. Unfortunately, it is being destroyed.

Imagine drinking a nice warm glass of someone elses urine.

Makes you feel sick to your stomach and a bit nauseous.

From Reuters:

Portland, Oregon flushes water reservoir after man urinates in it
Portland, Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million liters) of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.

More:

“That water goes directly into people's homes,” David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau administrator said. “There is no way to re-treat it.”

Assuming the volume of the guys pee was one pint, that would be a dilution of 304,000,000 to one — right up there with the standard standard Homeopathic dilutions.

Just imagine, a city reservoir full of a potent medicine to cure gagging and nausea…

Posted by DaveH at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) Category: Science

The business of Yahoo

Two days ago I wrote about how Yahoo was handling its email business.

Now, Matt Levine writes this at Bloomberg:

How Can Yahoo Be Worth Less Than Zero?
Yahoo Inc. is a public company consisting of a portfolio of
  1. whatever you think Yahoo is,
  2. a 35 percent stake in a separate but similar publicly traded company called Yahoo Japan, and
  3. a 24 percent stake in a separate, different, soon-to-be-publicly traded company called Alibaba.
My Bloomberg View colleague Matt Klein ran the numbers in March, and non-Bloomberg-affiliated Matt Yglesias ran them again today, and the numbers tell you that 2+3 > 1+2+3, as it were: Yahoo's Alibaba and Yahoo Japan stakes add up to be worth more than Yahoo is worth. Meaning that Yahoo's actual business — Yglesias calls it “Tumblr and Flickr and the iOS weather app that I love and all the news sites and the mail and the fantasy sports stuff” — is worth a negative amount of money, something like negative $13 billion today.

And also this with a link:

Of course, profits that theoretically belong to shareholders aren't necessarily paid out to shareholders: Yahoo pays no dividend and has a … checkered management history, so you could easily take the cynical view that Yahoo will plow those profits back into a declining business, be completely mismanaged, run the business into the ground and leave shareholders with nothing.

That link goes to this November 2013 piece by William D. Cohan at Bloomberg:

While Loeb and Mayer have done well, Yahoo’s users, especially the estimated 275 million Yahoo Mail users, have suffered mightily. Last month, Mayer announced a revamp of the Yahoo Mail user interface. Many people think, not coincidentally, that it looks like a clone of Google Inc.’s Gmail.

According to the New York Times, there have been tens of thousands of user complaints: everything from “The new Yahoo is so bad it’s tragic” to “IF IT AIN’T BROKEN DON’T FIX IT” and “It just feels like Yahoo doesn’t care about users like me: Longtime, loyal, paying customers who were happily using the Yahoo service.”

A Yahoo forum contained additional complaints, such as “new page layout sucks! Have to scroll through two screens to find send button. Hate it” to “left navigation column does not show photo folder any longer. Bam…gone. just like that. Who knows where all my photos went? Please don’t tell me they are all stuck within all of the thousands of email message now.”

Much more at the site. Perfect example of out of touch management only concerned with maximizing the amount of money they can take from the company. Not concerned at all with the companies long-term health. Asshats!

Posted by DaveH at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

The First Amendment

Randall nails it:

20140418-free_speech.png

The mouse-over comment is spot on:

I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.
Posted by DaveH at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

April 17, 2014

That is it for the night - into Bellingham tomorrow

Got an early run into town tomorrow and then back home to open the store at 10:00AM
Heading upstairs to sleep…

Posted by DaveH at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) Category: Administrivia

Another possible auction - Weyerhaeuser R&D Machine Shop

Auction on May 16th. Looked interesting at the outset — Weyerhaeuser is one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands (six million acres). Founded in 1900.

Murphy Auctions is selling machine tools from their R&D Machine Shop. Looking at the auction listing, the tools look pretty well picked over and a lot of the larger machines show signs of heavy rusting. Murphy will post more information closer to the sale date so I'll keep an eye on this listing but I don't think it is worth the drive down at the moment.

Posted by DaveH at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

J.D. Winteregg for Congress

J.D. Winteregg is running for Ohio Representative John Boehner's seat in Congress. I love the commercial:

J.D.'s campaign site is here: J.D. Winteregg for US Congress

If he wins, that would send a wonderfully strong message to the entrenched Republican machine.

Posted by DaveH at 08:09 PM | Comments (0) Category: Politics

About that murderer

From American Power:

Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., Kansas Jewish Murder Suspect, Made Democrat Congressional Bid in 2006
The suspect ran for office numerous times, but he started as a Democrat in 1984, running in the North Carolina gubernatorial primary. After a number of other attempts at elected office, he returned home to the Democrat/Ku Klux Klan/Party in 2006, running in the Democrat primary for Missouri's 7th congressional district in 2006. His candidacy had the far-left hate site Daily Kos freaking out, “Racist felon running for the Dem nomination in MO-7.”

Frazier Glenn Miller is a Democrat to the core.

The KKK was always Democrat to the core. Dr. Martin Luther King was a Republican.

Posted by DaveH at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) Category: Asshats

Reaching the tipping point

From CNS News:

86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers
Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.

That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.

These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media have not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.

It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.

Details on the number of makers:

In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. “A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round),” said the Census Bureau. “For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall.”

Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.

The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)

At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.

And the number of takers:

All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who “received benefits from one or more programs” in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.

The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.

A lot more at the site — the author breaks down the numbers in detail and the overall picture is not sustainable. We are a few years behind Greece with zero attempt to reverse.

Posted by DaveH at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) Category: Leviathan

Another Open Source project - seeds

Great idea — from the University of Wisconsin at Madison:

Novel Open Source Seed Pledge aims to keep new vegetable and grain varieties free for all
This week, scientists, farmers and sustainable food systems advocates will gather on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to celebrate an unusual group of honored guests: 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains that are being publicly released using a novel form of ownership agreement known as the Open Source Seed Pledge.

The pledge, which was developed through a UW-Madison-led effort known as the Open Source Seed Initiative, is designed to keep the new seeds free for all people to grow, breed and share for perpetuity, with the goal of protecting the plants from patents and other restrictions down the line.

“These vegetables are part of our common cultural heritage, and our goal is to make sure these seeds remain in the public domain for people to use in the future,” says UW-Madison horticulture professor and plant breeder Irwin Goldman, who helped write the pledge.

Goldman will release two carrot varieties he developed-named Sovereign and Oranje in the spirit of the event-at a public ceremony Thursday's public ceremony, which is set for 11 a.m. on the front lawn of the UW-Madison's Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive.

Great idea but there is no real one-size-fits-all variety. Too many different climates in the USA. I get my seeds from a grower about 20 miles away and they grow like gangbusters.

Posted by DaveH at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) Category: Farming

Kermit Gosnell - the movie

Kermit who? Kermit Gosnell was America's most prolific serial killer until his capture and trial.
A great group of people are making a movie about him and raising funds through indiegogo.

This is the same team that filmed Not Evil Just Wrong and FrackNation.

The trailer:

Posted by DaveH at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) Category: Media

A nice milestone for open source software

From The Apache Software Foundation:

The Apache Software Foundation Announces 100 Million Downloads of Apache™ OpenOffice™
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 170 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache OpenOffice™ has been downloaded 100 million times.

Apache OpenOffice is the leading Open Source office document productivity suite, available in 32 languages on Windows, OS X, and Linux. OpenOffice includes a word processor (“Writer”), a spreadsheet (“Calc”), a presentation editor (“Impress”), a vector graphics editor (“Draw”), a mathematical formula editor (“Math”), and a database management program (“Base”). As Open Source software, Apache OpenOffice is available to all users free of charge; the C++ source code is readily available for anyone who wishes to enhance the applications.

OpenOffice works with Microsoft Office files so it is a nice alternative to the $$$ that MSFT charges.
Download here: OpenOffice

Posted by DaveH at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

Peak gas (methane) coming online in 3... 2... 1...

From the Beeb:

Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first
Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast, in a world first.

Methane hydrates, or clathrates, are a type of frozen “cage” of molecules of methane and water.

The gas field is about 50km away from Japan's main island, in the Nankai Trough.

Researchers say it could provide an alternative energy source for Japan which imports all its energy needs.

Other countries including Canada, the US and China have been looking into ways of exploiting methane hydrate deposits as well.

Pilot experiments in recent years, using methane hydrates found under land ice, have shown that methane can be extracted from the deposits.

And this:

A Japanese study estimated that at least 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate exist in offshore deposits.

This is the equivalent of more than a decade of Japan's gas consumption.

Very cool!

Posted by DaveH at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) Category: Science

Peak Oil - not so much

Great verification from Forbes Magazine:

Peak Oil, Entirely Nonsense: As is Peak Gas
One of the things that really rather annoys me about the peak oil (and in the UK, there’s a similar one about peak gas) argument is that it entirely ignores the impact of changing technology. The point is indirectly made here at The Guardian:
The Earth’s crust is riddled with fossil fuels. The issue is not whether there is a shortage of the stuff, but the costs of getting it out. Until recently, the sheer abundance of low-cost conventional oil in places like the Middle East has limited the incentives to find more, and in particular to go after unconventional sources. But technical change has been driven by necessity – and the revolution in shale gas (and now shale oil, too) has already been transformational in the US, one of the world’s biggest energy markets.
And to make the point more directly. Once we invent a new technology to extract oil or gas (or indeed any other mineral you might like to think of) this does not mean that we’ve just found that one new field that we’ve developed the new technology to extract oil or gas from. It means that we’ve just created a whole new Earth, an entire new planet that we can prospect for similar deposits that can be exploited with the new technology.

And of course, there is the whole abiogenic petroleum origin theory.

Drill here, drill now. We could shut down Russia and the Saudis in a heartbeat if we started using our own resources…

Posted by DaveH at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) Category: Environmental

April 16, 2014

This is My Money

From Indianapolis, IN station WIBCChicks on the Right
They have their own website too: Chicks on the Right

Posted by DaveH at 11:13 PM | Comments (0) Category: Liberals...

British Pathé online

British Pathé is an English film company. From their About page:

About Us
British Pathé is one of the oldest media companies in the world.

Their roots lie in 1890s Paris where their founder, Charles Pathé, pioneered the development of the moving image.

They were established in London in 1902, and by 1910 were producing their famous bi-weekly newsreel the Pathé Gazette. After the First World War they started producing various Cinemagazines as well. By 1930 they were producing the Gazette, the Pathetone Weekly, the Pathé Pictorial and Eve's Film Review, covering entertainment, culture and womens' issues.

By the time Pathé finally stopped producing the cinema newsreel in 1970 they had accumulated 3500 hours of filmed history amounting to over 90,000 individual items.

Those 90,000 clips are now completely online and free for non-commercial use.
Check out British Pathé
There is also a YouTube page here.

Posted by DaveH at 08:57 PM | Comments (0) Category: Media

Leaving well enough alone - Yahoo email groups

There are email lists for an amazing number of topics ranging from accurate time keeping to My Little Pony to collecting Edison cylinders to Civil War re-enactment to… You get the picture. Many of these are hosted on the Yahoo Groups website.

Yahoo makes money by selling targeted advertising to those people reading the groups through a web browser. You can also have new emails sent directly to your own email account to be read by your email app (Outlook, etc.).

The Yahoo system had a clean interface and worked really well — fast message handling.

Unfortunately, a couple months ago, Yahoo made a major change to their email software and screwed up the user interface. This not only hurt web based email readers, this also hurt group administrators as they can only do their administrative functions through the Yahoo web interface.

Rather than retract the new UI (like Slashdot did a month ago THANK YOU!!!), Yahoo is forging ahead to the extent that — from The Register:

'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru
Email luminary John Levine has accused Yahoo! of sabotaging email lists for everyone, everywhere.

In a post titled “Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World! Including! The! IETF's!'”, Levin explains “an emerging e-mail security scheme” called DMARC that “lets a domain owner make assertions about the From: address, in particular that mail with their domain on the From: line will have a DKIM signature with the same domain, or a bounce address in the same domain that will pass SPF [sender policy framework.”

Levine explains that DMARC has weaknesses, notably because “Lists invariably [sic] use their own bounce address in their own domain, so the SPF doesn't match. Lists generally modify messages via subject tags, body footers, attachment stripping, and other useful features that break the DKIM signature. So on even the most legitimate list mail like, say, the IETF's, most of the mail fails the DMARC assertions, not due to the lists doing anything 'wrong'.”

Most of the time that's not a big problem for the world at large. But Levine says “over the weekend Yahoo published a DMARC record with a policy saying to reject all yahoo.com mail that fails DMARC.

Aside from lots of bounced emails that should go through, here's what Levine says will result from Yahoo!'s change:
“Since Yahoo mail provokes bounces from lots of other mail systems, innocent subscribers at Gmail, Hotmail, etc. not only won't get Yahoo subscribers' messages, but all those bounces are likely to bounce them off the lists.”
In other words lots of email not getting through, lots of automatic unsubscribes and lots of angry users and sysadmins.

Of the 33 lists I subscribe to, 24 are running through Yahoo Groups. Performance over the last two months has sucked. I can send 30 emails and they each show up in a few minutes but then I send one to the same group and it takes forever.

Someone needs to get their collective crap together or Yahoo Group's client base will start moving somewhere else and they lose their advertising revenue and goodwill…

Posted by DaveH at 08:06 PM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

Heh - data mining for fun and profit

From The Atlantic:

The (Unintentional) Amazon Guide to Dealing Drugs
One day, some drug dealer bought a particular digital scale — the AWS-100 — on the retail site, Amazon.com. And then another drug dealer bought the same scale. Then another. Then another.

Amazon's data-tracking software watched what else these people purchased, and now, if you buy the AWS-100 scale, Amazon serves up a quickstart kit for selling drugs.

Along with various scale-related paraphernalia, we find:
  • Many “spice” grinders
  • Pipe screens
  • A rolling paper and tray bundle
  • Bulk pure caffeine powder (perhaps to cut heroin?)
  • Baggies
  • More baggies
  • Skull baggies
  • Pot-leaf baggies
  • An encapsulation machine and gelatin capsules
  • A scientific spatula
  • A diamond tester (?!)
  • “Air Tight Odorless Medical Jar Herb Stash Medicine Container”
  • Digital caliper
  • Tweezer and snifter set for “miners and prospectors”
  • A tool for cleaning a gun part
  • A safe in the form of a Dr. Pepper can
  • Potassium Metabisulfite (for decontamination?)
  • A drug testing kit (“this kit contains the same reagent chemicals as found in Justice Department test kits”)
  • A really powerful magnet
  • “TAP DAT ASH” ashtray
  • Beta alanine powder (maybe for bodybuilders?)
  • An actual drug called kratom (big in Thailand, apparently)
This is classic data mining at work. Even if each scale purchaser only made one other drug-related purchase, when you look at the clusters, the pattern becomes obvious.

The original article had links to each of the items listed above. Didn't feel like doing a large cut and paste session. Also, the Kratom link is suddenly 404'd for some strange reason.

Unintended consequences — never know when you need some skull baggies or an encapsulation machine…

Posted by DaveH at 07:28 PM | Comments (0) Category: Geekdom

Environmental Protection Agency - a three-part story

Talk about overstepping their scope.
From Gary Baise writing at Farm Futures:

First - EPA's Water Police, Part One: Coming to Your Farm?

I just returned from Germany and Poland and was startled to discover the regulatory control the European Union exercises over its farmers and agriculture.

This should not be a surprise, however, when a farmer has the EU paying one-half the cost of his tractor and/or farm equipment.

In eastern Germany, we were also regaled with stories about the old communist government ordering planting on days it was raining.

Unfortunately we are headed in the same direction here.

Second - Water Police, Part Two: EPA Proposal Won't Help Ag

Third - Water Police, Part Three: EPA's Definition of 'Tributary'

This must be stopped in its tracks. It may not directly affect a city-dweller but it will most certainly show up in their food prices.

A I have said before, this agency needs to have its budget cut by 90%. They initially did good work — our rivers and air were dirty and now they are clean. Unfortunately, they fell victim to Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

Posted by DaveH at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) Category: Leviathan

Spooky action at a distance

Just when you think you have a handle on something.

Hat tip to NASA Science News

Posted by DaveH at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) Category: Science

Putin's Girls

From KA-CHING!:

20140416-putin-girls.jpg

Posted by DaveH at 11:38 AM | Comments (0) Category: Leviathan

Have fun spending that money Nanny Bloomberg

From the New York Times:

Bloomberg Plans a $50 Million Challenge to the N.R.A.
Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.

“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”

He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

Emphasis mine - from the Wikipedia definition for Grassroots:

The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.

Fscking hypocrite. Nanny Bloomberg has a bit of an ego issue too:

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

What a maroon…

Posted by DaveH at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) Category: Asshats

A Brewmaster reviews some cheap wines

Hat tip Neatorama

Posted by DaveH at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) Category: Food

April 15, 2014

A little test

From the Reaganite Republican (lightly edited):

TEST: Are you a Democrat, a Republican… or a Texan?
You are walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges at you…

You are carrying a SIG Sauer 9mm, and you're an expert shot.

You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

Democrat's Answer:
  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • We need to raise taxes.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!
Republican's Answer: BANG!

Texan's Answer: BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! …click…
(sounds of reloading)
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! …click….

Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or hollow-points?!

Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'

Wife: 'You ain't taking that thing to the taxidermist!

Heh - I grew up among academic liberals (9/11 was my Epiphany) and this is just pitch perfect…

Posted by DaveH at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) Category: Guns

Quite the eBay auction - wish I had about $60K or so

It is not announced directly but from all appearances, it seems that Kraftwerk member Henning Schmitz is selling equipment from his recording studio in Düsseldorf.

A lot of mundane signal and control processing equipment but some amazing nuggets there too. Pieces of music history.

Posted by DaveH at 09:38 PM | Comments (0) Category: Music

For more entries, check the Archives section at the top right.