Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Know A Beat When I Feel It

Back in 'the day', the 70's it was... the big environmental science warned of Global Cooling, and the coming in our near future of the next ice age. Of course, this was all our fault. We used deodorant. Enjoyed air conditioning. Drove V8 cars. And lived the benefits of a non-stone age lifestyle.

Today the big scare is Global Warming, and of course, yet again... it's all our fault because we use air conditioning, deodorant, and drive cars.

I'm old enough to remember the first scare, and the pious lectures to change our ways, or else...
It all sounded much like the latest scare, and the pious lectures to change our ways or else...

I'm also old enough to remember, waaaay back, the 80's it was...
Global Cooling was out of style. It took about ten years, but we all realized, eventually, that utter bullshit had been heaped upon us and we were refusing to step in it anymore.
Now it was the trees that needed saving,instead.
Strongly encouraged to change our ways, and threatened with the loss of precious oxygen in the atmosphere, the grocery stores stopped packing our stuff in paper bags, and switched to plastic. It was better for the environemnt.

Today,with the latest from the wacko trendsetter city of San Francisco, we have returned to our roots, so to speak S.F. Leaders OK Plastic Grocery Bag Ban

In about ten years, the Global Warming doomsayers will be forgotten as we realize, once again, that we were fed more bullshit.

And a new crisis will be invented...

And more pious lectures delivered...

And the beat goes on....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Do As We Say...

An aide to Sen. Jim Webb was arrested Monday when he entered a Senate office building with a loaded pistol belonging to the senator.

Jim Webb is a democrat. A member of the party that overwhelming denies the second amendment exists. I don't know what Webb's personal belief about gun rights is, but he was definitely breaking the law.

What I'm getting tired of is left leaning politicians who never met a arms restriction they didn't like, while packing heat for their personal safety
(Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller to name just two).

I generally view all gun control legislation as illegitimate, and therefore having no application to myself. But if somebody wants to sit on high, and tell me my rights don't exists as stated, they better be towing the line themselves.
I hope this aide is jailed for the longest possible term, and Senator Webb is called to answer for his apparent lawbreaking. He's been caught red-handed. He better pay the price.

UPDATE:Senator Webb speaks:“Everyone here knows that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, that I have had a permit to carry a weapon in Virginia for a long time, and I believe that it’s important — it’s important for me, personally, and for a lot of people in the situation that I’m in, to be able to defend myself and my family.”

Still, a Virginia permit is not a valid permit anywhere outside the jurisdiction that issues it.
Senator Webb was clearly in illegal possession of a firearm within D.C. He needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of law, just as you or I would be.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Black Snake Moan

After reading several blog reviews that mostly downed this film, I decided to go see it anyway. Something about a movie flowing with blues guitar,rural southern culture, and ample promise of seeing very much of Christina Ricci is irresistable in it's own way.
By now, you know the story: Young, nearly naked, white nymphomaniac is found beaten on the side of the road by an older black farmer who takes her in, attends to her injuries, chains her lithe form to a radiator... and proceeds to 'save' her through a mix of preaching and music all the while saving himself from his own struggles of depression.
It's more of a "Father finds Daughter" story than the racially charged sexual exploitation flick it's been passed off as.

If the plot seems kinda stupid, it's because it is. Keep your mind at home, and enjoy the mix of drama, comedy, sweetness, southern cliches, and The Blues that meld together in what is really not a bad movie.

And Christina Ricci has never looked better.
Yep, this pretty much sums up her entire wardrobe in this film, more or less. With less taking place more often than more.
Nothing wrong with that.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stickin' It To The Man

If you look under the hood of any vehicle, there will be some sort of emission control certificate verifying that said vehicle was manufactured to air quality standards required of all new cars sold in the United States.

California has even stricter standards than the feds require, and this will also be attested to with the little certificate also stating the car was manufactured to California standards, if it is indeed the case.

Back in the early 90's, in an attempt to collect even more money from citizens, California instituted a levy on all out of state 'non-California' vehicles being registered within its borders. It was passed off, and titled accordingly, as a 'smog impact fee'. This one-time fee was set at $300.

Immediately, some taxpayer watchdog group, I cant remember who, filed a challenge to the new tax, and after about 5 yrs, it was thrown out by the United States Supreme Court, at least I think it was the Supreme Court,(anyway, that's an unimportant detail, and I'm too lazy to fact check it)... as an unconstitutional tax on interstate commerce and free flow of people across state lines,yadda,yadda,yadda...
As a result, California was required to reimburse all those who had registered out of state vehicles within the period of time the tax was in effect, and who had supposedly paid this illegal tax.
The catch: the owner who had registered one of these cars had to apply for the reimbursement. The state was, wrongly in my opinion, not required to track down and notify it's victims of its evil deeds. The burden was on the victim to learn about and press his claim.

I previously mentioned my past ownership of a Geo Metro. I purchased this car from somebody else who had purchased it, also used, from somebody in Ohio, where the car was originally sold. After driving the car to California, he promptly sold it to me without re-registering it first. I was required to pay this tax when I registered the car before the state would issue me California plates.
The clerk at the registration desk, after informing me of my fees, and my requirement to pay this particularly evil one, goofed. She forgot to collect this extra $300 from me! And inadvertantly also proving what I'd always suspected: that government employees aren't necessarily the best and brightest among us.(keep this in mind when you start thinking gov't run health care might be a good idea).

Being eminently smarter than the lowest-common-denominator-type-person who works for the government, I kept my mouth shut, wrote her a check, grabbed my plates and paperwork, and quickly gotthehellouttathere.

About a year and half later, I read about the overturning of this illegal taxation perpetrated upon the people, and how the victims of this evil can receive restitution.

Sensing I had nothing to lose...
I filed my claim.
And was reimbursed, by the State of California, for taxes I never paid in the first place.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I remember a conversation I had with a survey taker/marketer not long ago (2 months,maybe). Among the queries was whether I would consider buying a hybrid. The answer was 'no'.
Here is why: there is not a hybrid out there that performs as well as a pure gas powered car. And those that do come close, cost too much.

I'm not down on the hybrid idea, though. I'm just down on hybrids as currently offered.
If a salesman offers me a hybrid, as a selling point, I immediately assume it is a lessor performer, and/or more costly. "But its a hybrid! Cheaper on gas!" is an excuse, not a selling point.

There is not a hybridized model of any car that performs as well as the standard version. Add the cost of hybridization to that, and you have a "less costs more" equation.

Hybrids are not offered as great vehicles in their own right. They are overpriced compromise cars, who's only real purpose is to assuage guilt. I want what I want, at the price I'm willing to pay. That's all there is to it.
I really don't care how its powered, only that it performs as to my needs and desires, and at the most affordable cost. Cost of a vehicle is more than price. Cost includes all the sacrifices in comfort, power, handling, fuel, reliability(or lack of) and upkeep.

As it stands right now, petroleum fuel is the most economical way of putting power to the ground. Nothing else does as much for as little a price, or even comes close.

I want cheap gas. But even at $10 a gallon, I doubt that anything else will still be as economical. Ethanol actually cost more to produce than gas. So, as it stands now, corn is still not a solution to petroleum.

Even at the exorbitant cost that Europeans have traditionally been paying for gasoline, they still stick to gas powered cars. Why haven't they figured out something else by now? If the price of gas is any motivation, they should be 40 years ahead of us in the technology, don't you think?

I don't know what will come next. but as long as gasoline is still around to do what it does as economically as it does it, I will stick to it.

And these overpriced hybrids do not impress me. They offer marginal fuel economy at a much larger price tag. My V6 Santa Fe gets 25mpg hwy. The comparable hybrid, Ford Escape, gets 27 mpg. And does not have the same power.
I had a 1990 Geo that got 45 mpg. (only the Prius comes close, and it took over ten years to catch up to that.) All gas.Very primitive technology. I got it used with 95K on it, for $1200. Over 4 yrs, I put just shy of 150K additional miles, over the course of which I replaced 12 tires and one battery, changed oil every 5k... And no other costs. It went everywhere I needed it to go, even off road every couple weeks to go shooting in the hills. When I was done with it, I passed it over to my gardener (for free). When I last saw him, 18 months later, he was still driving it. What hybrid out there is going to treat me the same way, economically, as this Geo did?

(All that, and I took the state for $300 in reimbursed registration fees. That I did not pay. It's always good when you can screw The Man and get away with it.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pissing On Kal's Suggestion

Kal wants me to buy this car to help the environemnt.
Base Price: $92,000, without a stereo system.
Only seats two, but no mention of lack of comfort for those two.
Range: 250 miles, if you are lucky. And it'll take seven hours to get you that far. On flat land. In nice weather. Without a head wind.

Last night, I took four adults out to dinner in my car.
If it was up to Kal, two of us would have had to stay home.

(most options, taxes,fees etc... $21,000 out the door).Plenty of room for fishing pole, rifles, luggage, cooler, and still able to drop the seat for a comfy snooze.

Going fast is great, for 3 hours... and then what? In a best case scenario, you have to stop for 3.5 hours to recharge. Vacations and road trips would take twice as long to get 'there'. And without luggage.

And I guess it's fine if you like paying for motels and restaurants. With this car, there is no room for an ice cooler,or to drop the seat back and take a snooze on the side of road.

No thanks,Kal.
Tesla may be a nice car for wealthy Republicans to drive on the weekend to show off their wealth, uber-coolness and enviro-consciousness, but it has no place in the life of those of us huddled masses whose lifestyle you think isn't practical enough.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


American Heritage Dictionary
trog·lo·dyte (trŏg'lə-dīt')

a.A member of a fabulous or prehistoric race of people that lived in caves, dens, or holes.
b.A person considered to be reclusive, reactionary, out of date, or brutish.
c.An anthropoid ape, such as a gorilla or chimpanzee.
d.An animal that lives underground, as an ant or a worm.

a.An anthropoid ape, such as a gorilla or chimpanzee.
b.An animal that lives underground, as an ant or a worm.

**Caveman added due to suggestion from LawFairy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Know Your Enemy

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the now admitted 9/11 mastermind has confessed to a wide range of criminal/terrorist acts:
*"I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z"
*Beheading Daniel Pearl
*1993 World Trade Center bombing
*2002 bombing of Kenyan beach resort
*2003 Bali resort bombings
*attempts at downing two transatlantic flights
*plotting assassinations of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton,Perves Musharref and Pope John Paul II
*attacks on New York bridges
*signing Rosie to co-host The View
*attacks on the Sears Tower,Empire State Building,Panama Canal and New York Stock Exchange
*plots against nuclear power plants,American Naval vessels and oil tankers
*not sure if he supports Obama yet, but finds him to be attractive,clean and articulate.
*denies any involvement in the JonBenet Ramsey slaying, shaving Brittany Spears, or Global Warming, but thinks he might be the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Technology Threatens Traditional Marriage

Robotic Beer Launching Refrigerator -

Now, if only this guy can invent a robot that'll iron shirts, run a vacuum, and still keep quiet during a football game...

Hat Tip:Allan

Monday, March 12, 2007

I Knew It Was Coming

It's here!
The new Talking Barrack Obama Action Figure.
Get Your's Now!

I sure hope he grows into that outfit before he takes office.

People Is People

It's been 20-plus years since I last failed to attend a U.S. Government class. Needless to say, I ain't no constitutional scholar, though I sometimes play one online. My law training is limited to several trips to small-claims or traffic court over the past 27 years. In short, I don't know 'the law', but I've known enough lawyers, and stood before my share of judges, to understand the that initials "J.D." after someone's name is absolutely no guarantee of any higher level of intellect. I'm even willing to go so far as to believe, in many cases, it is a verifiable sign of just the opposite. Lawyers don't always impress me,and unless it's Halloween, adults in Darth Vader Robes just look silly regardless of who's wearing them.

Anyway... what brings this up is a Federal Appeals Court (D.C. Circuit) ruling to a challenge of a District of Columbia law banning the ownership of handguns by the citizenry. Personally, I think the law is stupid, and it appears the DC circuit majority agrees with me, overturning the law, setting up a challenge in the US Supreme Court on Second Amendment grounds.*Link*

In a 2-1 decision, writing for the minority,which means herself, and herself alone,Judge Karen L. Henderson,offers up this explanation:
"To sum up, there is no dispute that the Constitution, case law and applicable statutes all establish that the District is not a State within the meaning of the Second Amendment."

Hello? The second amendment does not mention the rights of states, but the rights of the people, and last I heard, the District does indeed have people in it.

I understand that the ridiculous sounding Justice Henderson just may be whoring for her idealogical point of view that opposes gun ownership, but is it necessary to be so stupid and illogical when doing it?
Is this the best a graduate of Duke and UNC Chapel Hill can do?
I'm thinking just maybe we might all be better off if we just put normal, logical everyday folks without educational pedigrees in charge of this stuff.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Meet The $600 Cat

Somewhere in my apartment is a protruding cat-gasher. I still haven't found it yet, but this kitty certainly has.

Seems kitty ran across this mysterious cat-gasher sometime Friday, or early last Saturday. Being a diligent cat-dad, I didn't notice the wound until late Sunday night.
I my defense, the wound was located in the fold of his hind-quarters, not easily visible to the eye, and there was no blood. Not a drop. On him, or any signs of blood in the house. As he wasn't showing any signs of discomfort, or lack of willingness to rough house and be chased around, I assumed that he was fine despite it all. Since it didn't look too serious, I waited til morning to take him to the vet for a look at it, just in case.

As it turns out, the gash was really deep, exposing the muscle, and already infected. After the required surgery, meds, and etc... I got nailed with a $600 invoice.

Now, he's wearing one of those plastic cone-shaped collars and a surgical drainage tube, and his sister thinks he's a freak. Poor guy. But I think he's clearly enjoying the extra tender loving care from Dad. And he takes his meds so easily, no fuss, no scratching, no struggle.

"Sure, Dad, I'll eat that pill, and wash it down with a dropper full of icky brown stuff."
A dream cat!
He can't be real.

Now, if he'll only show me where the cat-gasher is...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sometimes Things Just Work Themselves Out

Scooter Libby goes down, facing somewhere between 20-30 years in prison.
Personally, I think the charges against him were bogus and political.
Karma sometimes has a way of coming around, since it was Scooter who arranged the pardon (payoff)from Bill Clinton to Marc Rich.

Scooter ain't no conservative hero. He's been running with dogs. And he's as mangey as they are.

Drop him in a hole, and throw away the key.
America is better with one less of his kind running around.

Where Would Jesus Live?

I don't know what it is about politicians who feel the need to play the Jesus Card when 'down south', or when talking to Christian groups about policy, and why they think it works. Bible thumpers,(I was one, long time ago) might be easily duped with scripture quotes, but there has to be something else. Something real about the dude who's trying to dupe them. In short, this is not a group easily pandered to.
And obvious hypocrites receive no quarter.

Latest foolery comes from none other than John Edwards.
According to John, Jesus would be appalled at the selfishness of Americans when we live so well, and so many others do not. He wants to make fighting poverty a keystone of his (never to be acquired, despite his delusions) Presidency.

Of course, John's idea of fighting poverty, Jesus style, means the government taxes mill workers in Anaheim at 33+% (yours truly), while making no mention that rich bastards like himself live off of millions earned from investment income taxed at half that rate. The rich stay rich, while the working stiff struggles under the jack boot of progressive taxation to help the poor. This is John's "Two America's". His tax rate, and everybody else's.

Yeah, John's rich. Filthy rich. Self-made rich. This is good, and I fault nobody for making honest money. And he's done his own bit to relieve poverty through his selfless acts of suing obstetricians for millions on behalf of poor people, at a 30% cut, of course.

But somebody needs to tell this pretty boy that preaching to the 'other' America about fighting poverty for Jesus just seems a little bit disingenuous when one lives in a house big enough to shelter all of Nazareth. 28,000 square feet! 102 acres.
Couldn't he at least peel off a few acres for low-income housing? Or maybe even a tent city for the homeless?
I'm thinking John's next speech is going to center around forestland preservation, and reducing energy consumption for the 'other' America.
Because Jesus would like that.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More From The Battlefront

A study in the UK shows that single women do less housework than partnered women. Well,duh! Two are messier than one. It took a college professor with an MA and an Honorary Doctorate to figure this shit out, I guess. Here's the link.

Among the findings:
*Single women in Britain spend 10 hours on average a week
*Single men in Britain spend 7 hours on average a week
*Women living in a couple spend 15 hours on chores
*Men living in a couple spend 5 hours on chores
The study involved households where both partners worked outside the home.

...And fails to bring up another well known fact: men generally work more overtime, at more physically demanding jobs, than their women.
(this study ignores another study, also taken in the UK, for obvious agendized reasons, begging the question: does feminism really care about women's health?)

What this study doesn't mention, and likely didn't bother to look into, is what percentage of other household work was done by the men. There is more to maintaining a household than housework.
Likely, the man now has to repair and maintain two vehicles, instead of one, and take out four times as much garbage as before. What percentage of outdoor chores did the man acquire in exchange for the new lifestyle?
Twice as much wear and tear on the home equals twice as many plumbing repairs,clogged toilets, and broken fixtures. Who is taking care of these things?
Who is shoveling the snow from the drive in winter?
And who is expected to wake in the middle of the night to confront any bumps in the dark?(in other words, who is expected to die, if necessary, while the other flees?)

Creating a home together is an enterprise that requires sacrifice and teamwork from both partners. And like any other economic enterprise, and yes, householding is an economic enterprise, a division of labors is the successful pattern, as opposed to equal sharing of all labors. Besides, just how many women would rather be shoveling their 'fair share' of snow,anyway?
But we aren't likely to hear this other side from the feminist study takers.

Of course, the answer from at least one feminist is:
"As much as we might like to legislate against men for not doing housework, it is not an option," laughs Ms Ruth Lister, adding that cultural expectations die hard.(Yeah, lady. I'm laughing too, but for a different reason.)

Again, blaming the culture (patriarchy?), instead of just recognizing that the very thought of such legislation is just plain stupid.
Almost as stupid as a gratuitous swipe at her fashion sense.But, no post about a woman would be complete witout some judgement of her appearance,would it? /sarcasm

Ruth Lister, social policy professor, Loughborough University
(No, it is not post-transgender-surgery Rod Stewart)

Note To Reader: I have alluded to Ms. Lister's academic and professional accomplishments, commented on her appearance, and made passing remarks to her level of intelligence and dedication to agenda. I think I've covered all the bases on this one.

As The Curtain Falls...

I'm kinda thinking this is apropriate.

Thank You.