30 June 2008
29 June 2008
Developers have turned much of Florida into theme parks, luxury hotels and golf courses, transforming the landscape. They have also attracted millions of people who require sewer lines, highways and electricity.Right . . . I can smell NIMBY from here.
Environmentalists want to protect that resource using, ecology changing, carbon dioxide-spewing industry from offshore oil drilling.
27 June 2008
21 June 2008
20 June 2008
I'll never gripe about having my taxes raised in order to incarcerate more shitheads.
Swanson and Alameri each tried to pin the crime on the other, the complaint said. Swanson said she hadn't stolen the mail but that Alameri had three garbage bags full of mail that he had put in a trash can in the alley behind his home. Alameri claimed that Swanson had brought all of the mail to the car and to his home.
According to court records, Swanson has prior convictions for theft, disorderly conduct, domestic assault and drunken driving. Alameri has several traffic offenses and a drunken-driving conviction on his record.
Principal Joseph Sullivan said almost half of the expectant girls, all aged 16 or younger, admitted they became pregnant after making a pact with friends to raise their children at the same time.And without detectable common sense.
"Families are broken. Many of our young people are growing up directionless," school superintendent Christopher Farmer said.
Sure enough, just a few hours before our event was scheduled to kick off, the Nashville Parks and Recreation Department has been in touch, claiming that the permit they approved doesn't allow us to launch our balloon from the city park where we're holding our event -- even though we told them repeatedly exactly what we planned to do.
Roy Wilson, the director of the Board of Parks and Recreation, has even reportedly told one of our staffers on the ground that Nashville police officers will be on hand and will physically restrain members of our crew if they attempt to launch the balloon.
It seems pretty clear that Gore allies in Nashville / Davidson County Metro government are trying to spare their local Oscar winner more embarrassment, following this week's revelation by our friends at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that Gore's already-high personal energy use is up 10 percent over last year -- to the point that he uses about 19 times as much energy as the typical American family.
God keep our land glorious and free, oh, Canada, we stand on guard for thee. But only if you're a lefty it seems. It's amazing how quick some can be to throw others under the bus, not realizing that sooner or later there will be a bus with their name on it.
Under Bill C-10, film producers will no longer be able to use tax credits as collateral when receiving their interim loans from banks (thus lessening their chances of securing these loans), nor will they be able to work them into their cash flow as a way of funding post-production needs. However, there is nothing stopping these producers from getting their money from another source. There is also absolutely nothing stopping them from making their films in this country, regardless of the content. All the bill says is that some films will not be made on the public dollar.
Compare that to what could happen if a human rights tribunal decides against Maclean's: It could order the private magazine to publish material and images against its editors' wishes. Let me repeat that: The state will order Maclean's to publish something it does not want to publish. Isn't that what China does? So why don't ear-to-the-ground, free speech-loving Canadian artists denounce it? At a trendy Toronto Annex watering hole, I recently posed this question to a lead scion of the left. Without hesitation he said, "Because Mark Steyn's an ---hole." "That may be," I responded. "He may also be right-wing, and you may be left-wing. But those are very poor reasons to deny a person or group their Charter rights." The fellow conceded my point, but I could sense he didn't understand how easily he could come to find himself in the same position in the near future.
Memphis has always been associated with some amount of violence. But why has Elvis’s hometown turned into America’s new South Bronx? Barnes thinks he knows one big part of the answer, as does the city’s chief of police. A handful of local criminologists and social scientists think they can explain it, too. But it’s a dismal answer, one that city leaders have made clear they don’t want to hear. It’s an answer that offers up racial stereotypes to fearful whites in a city trying to move beyond racial tensions. Ultimately, it reaches beyond crime and implicates one of the most ambitious antipoverty programs of recent decades.Read it all and then recall Econimics 102: You subsidise what you want more of. Thanks to Lyndon Johnson, I guess.
19 June 2008
Forget what I said about the thing at that place that one time:
"Hey you, the one that 'doesn't look American,' could you step out of the picture please?"
In November 2007, Obama answered "Yes" to Common Cause when asked "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?" Obama wrote: "In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election.
"The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people. Barack Obama has failed that test today, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics. Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds. This decision will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system.”
Two Muslim women at Barack Obama’s rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate. The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.
The candidate has vigorously denied a false, viral rumor that he himself is Muslim. But the denials at times seem to imply to some that there is something wrong with the faith, though Obama occasionally adds that he means no disrespect to Islam. “I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against by the very person who was supposed to be bringing this change, who I could really relate to,” said Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.
An Obama aide also noted that the campaign has no policy against the candidate’s appearing with women in headscarves: The next morning at Wayne State University, Obama posed for a picture with a student wearing a hijab.
Well, I guess that fixes everything. Somebody seems to have an Islam problem. I think the shine is fast leaving the new shiny thing.
18 June 2008
A CJ? Oh, please - time to leave Silicon Valley for a bit, kiddies. For all out I'm In Charge Moments, I'll take the Stryker in a heartbeat, but for street-legal use, make mine a Pinzgauer.
17 June 2008
Lee Cooper of Solomons had done the smart thing and signed up for e-alerts about flight delays. So, thanks to a United Airlines e-mail, he knew that his 7:25 p.m. flight from Knoxville to Dulles was delayed until 9:40 because of air traffic control backups. That should have saved him more than two hours of waiting around at the airport.I've been in airports where the newsstands and bars are closed, but who closes security? These are clowns we're using to look for the next Richard Reid?
He did two more smart things: He printed his boarding pass and went to www.tsa.gov to check the average wait times at security checkpoints between 8 and 9 p.m. His diligence, however, was unraveled by the Transportation Security Administration, which closed the security checkpoints at 7:30 p.m. The result? Cooper ended up on the wrong side of security and had to wait until the next day to depart.
The latest example comes from Japan created by a company called Genepax. They have devised a system that consists of a fuel cell and a so called energy generator. The energy generator is claimed to consume water and breaks it down to hydrogen and oxygen which is fed to the fuel cell. While fuel cells are well understood and are known to work, the hydrogen generator is the issue. Hydrogen can actually be separated from water quite easily with no energy input. Just put a piece of aluminum in into some water and hydrogen will be release as the surface of the aluminum oxidizes. The problem is that such processes are not sustainable. Once the surface of the aluminum is fully oxidized, the reaction stops. After this, the material needs to be reprocessed so it can be used again. This part requires significant energy input.Even thought the mechanics are unsound, look for fools to rush in.
The thing is, though, the people of eastern Iowa seem to be stepping up in the Iowa stubborn way. I have seen any number of man-on-the-street interviews, and nobody is complaining. They all seem to be working to solve their problem, which is not surprising because Iowans do not complain about tragedy. They complain about hot weather and dry weather, but not tragedy. And I have looked for reports of looting and come up empty so far. Katrina has become a metaphor for many things beyond natural disaster, including governmental and individual incompetence (depending on your point of view). In Iowa there is a 500 year flood, but the people are not paralyzed, whining, or looting. There will be no massive relief effort from around the world, and nobody will step up to help Iowans except for other Iowans. Yet years from now, there will be no Iowans still in FEMA camps.The difference is not in the severity of the flood, but in the people who confront the flood.Don't forget about Grand Forks in 1997.
15 June 2008
Although Comcast has been fairly headstrong about updating its HD offerings of late, the firm's Chief Financial Officer was caught making some fairly interesting remarks during a discussion at the annual Bear Stearns Media Conference in Florida. First off, the exec deemed Comcast's HD service "great," but did acknowledge that DirecTV did a "better job" of marketing its HD capabilities. Additionally, he proclaimed that even though the carrier is capable of tossing in upwards of 150 high-def channels (trimming down, are we?) into its lineup, "not every HD channel deserves to be in HD, and there are lots of HD channels that aren't watched very much." Yeah, we're curious to know the context of said statement, but still, we can't think of a single network -- boring or not -- that wouldn't at least look better if aired in high-definition.Fool. Arond here, we demand Westminster in all its 1080 glory.
14 June 2008
Watch out, governor haters; there's a big chink in your armor and it's in the Lefty House Organ:
Seven years before the Interstate 35W bridge fell (that'd be 2000), a consulting firm sent Minnesota officials a proposal to shore up the aging structure that included examining its gusset plates -- the connections that federal investigators now believe likely played a role in the collapse.Buried? By an arm of the Democrat-controlled Minnesota legislature? Do tell . . .
The preliminary plan from HNTB Corp. of Kansas City, which was buried among hundreds of documents released at a recent legislative hearing, has gone largely unnoticed in the debate over the disaster. The company did its study at no cost in an attempt to gain a state contract for the bridge work but, in the
end, wasn't hired by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
Although a top HNTB official said recently that it's impossible to say whether the company would have found the critical gusset plate problems now under investigation, the proposal is a rare documented instance in which experts explicitly planned to examine gusset plates.Even the engineers have a hard time drawing absolute conclusions, but that won't stop the People's Professional Progressives for politicizing that sad day.
Although the official investigation of the bridge collapse by the National Transportation Safety Board isn't expected to be completed until later this year, the NTSB has tentatively concluded that undersized gusset plates ordered in the original design of the bridge likely played a role. Gray Plant Mooty records show that some MnDOT officials wanted to go ahead with hiring HNTB in late 2001. Notes from a December 2001 meeting at MnDOT, for example, show state bridge officials concluded that since replacing the bridge would not occur until at least 2016 "[we] decided to proceed with study HNTB/Dexter proposed." MnDOT officials told the law firm that the delay between HNTB's late 2001 report and the decision to formally hire a consultant in early 2003 came because the agency could not hire the company without seeking competitive bids and had lingering questions about whether HNTB's plan would fix the bridge's weaknesses.
2000, 2001, who was governor then? Oh yea, ol' Turnbuckehead and who was Jesse's head of MnDOT? It was the Tinkler, who's perpetually running for whatever higher office he can scrounge with full blessing of the DFL. Surely the Tink made bridge inspection #1 while he minded the store, right? Check this out:
I will help ensure the safety of our roads, bridges and interchanges through timely maintenance and improvements. Well-planned improvements to a balanced transportation system are necessary investments in the economic future of the state and region, and will help Minnesota capture the 80% federal matching funds currently available.
That's right, Tink will make sure everything is taken care of. Does he mean like when he was head of MnDOT, or some other time, perhaps?
Dan Dorgan, who succeeded Flemming as state bridge engineer, acknowledged that "it appears that we made a choice not to push it that quickly." He said that MnDOT had competing priorities at the time, including building Minnesota's first light-rail line. "They were very busy years for us," said Dorgan. "It was one of those things we intended to do, but it wasn't in our list of things."Bridge safety put on the back burner to build the euphorian plastic choo-choos? In Minnesota? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
12 June 2008
Wow; could lightning please strike and kill this parasite soon, please? Whatever happened to the good old days of CIA operatives working in the dead of night?
The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.
An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.
11 June 2008
Although it is widely assumed that the world has reached a point where oil production has peaked and proven reserves have sunk to roughly half of original amounts, this idea is based on flawed thinking, said Richard Pike, a former oil industry man who is now chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Current estimates suggest there are 1,200 billion barrels of proven global reserves, but the industry's internal figures suggest this amounts to less than half of what actually exists. The misconception has helped boost oil prices to an all-time high, sending jitters through the market and prompting calls for oil-producing nations to increase supply to push down costs.and from The Herald:
Most news programming is produced by and for sheep. Here's hoping there will be more informational wolves in our region soon.
OPEC stunned the legislators by pointing out that oil inventories in the US are now higher than at any time in the past eight years. Production of crude oil by Middle East countries has been increasing steadily since 2003. The US government's own forecast is that there will be a surplus of between three and five million barrels of oil a day by 2010. So, why have crude oil prices doubled in the past year alone? Surely, if there is a surplus of oil, prices should fall.
It doesn't seem to make economic sense, until you look at what has been happening in the international financial markets, where there has been an astonishing boom in speculative commodity trading in the wake of the credit crisis. Oil economists, such as F W Endgahl, believe 60% of the current oil price is due to a combination of cheap money and speculation. Rather like the dotcom stock market bubble, which burst in 2000, and the housing bubble, which burst in America in 2006, and is bursting here now, the oil-price bubble is yet another consequence of low American interest rates and the decline of the dollar.
10 June 2008
Gonna be a hell of a Father's Day 'round the old Lane place, huh? You know, in better days, locals would take of this after hours and without the ponderous leagal procedures.
Michael Anthony Lane Jr., 21, was charged Monday in Itasca County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide. Michael Anthony Lane Sr., 45, is charged with taking responsibility for criminal acts and aiding an offender.
Joseph Dewayne Olson, 57, of Grand Rapids was fatally injured in the accident shortly after midnight, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department.
The vehicle that hit Olson then hit another vehicle and fled the scene. Lane Jr. is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.21 percent, more than double the legal limit to drive. According to the criminal complaint, witnesses said the vehicle Lane was driving did not have its headlights illuminated.
05 June 2008
6:00 am - At last! I go pee! My favorite thing!
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00 pm - They're home! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Diary:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe —for now...
04 June 2008
MSNBC - Not a night for decisions even when faced with the fact that out in Minneapolis, Barack Obama was making history.
Bloomberg - He has taken steps to solidify his position, rarely mentioning Clinton in his speeches and campaigning in states where the nominating contests already have passed. After spending yesterday in Michigan, Obama plans a rally tonight in Minneapolis, where the Republican Party will hold its convention in September.
Voice of America - Obama is planning a major address in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shortly before polls close in Montana and South Dakota.
Jewish Telegraph Agency - "Because of you I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee to be president of the United States of America," he told supporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday night, after the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota.
Sydney Morning Herald - In jubilant scenes at the Xcel Centre in Minneapolis-St Paul in the heart of America's Midwest, Senator Obama announced that he had won sufficient delegates and superdelegates to claim the nomination.
Huffington Post - Speaking on a conference call to preempt Barack Obama's appearance in Minneapolis, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty asserted that Clinton backers would find a natural affinity to McCain's experience, judgment and political leadership.
Kansas City Star - Barack Obama surely hasn't been briefed on Hillary Clinton's defiant non-concession speech. He's giving her a huge nod in his speech in Minneapolis.
Austin American Statesman - Meanwhile, Obama signaled the start of the general election with a rousing speech to cheering supporters in Minneapolis. It was no coincidence that he chose that city, the site of the Republican National Convention in September.
Montreal Gazette - In a bold move, Obama has scheduled a rally tomorrow night in Minneapolis at the site of the Republican national convention planned for September.
Bradenton Herald - "Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey and we begin another," he told his supporters in Minneapolis, site of the Republican national convention in September. "Because of you, I can stand here and said 'I will be the Democratic nominee for president."
It's like shooting fish in a barrel. All of these dumbasses are stupid, lazy or merely dismissive of fly-over land. None of the three are very becoming and they're clearly taking their audiences for granted.
By the way, this is not the first time MSNBC hasn't cared about where news is actually taking place.
Brigitte Bardot was convicted Tuesday of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France.A woman with an opinion - can't have that in France, I guess. Meanwhile in Canada (which is not to be confused with free nations):
In the December 2006 letter to (Nicolas) Sarkozy, now the president, Bardot said France is "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us,
destroying our country by imposing its acts."
A respondent who comes before Canada's "human rights" tribunals has none of the defences formerly guaranteed in common law. The truth is no defence, reasonable intention is no defence, nor material harmlessness, there are no rules of evidence, no precedents, nor case law of any kind. The commissars running the tribunals need have no legal training, exhibit none, and owe their appointments to networking among leftwing activists.Quite a sad state of affairs. Makes a guy pretty happy to be living with the protections of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
I wrote "show trial" advisedly, for there has been a 100 per cent conviction rate in cases brought to "human rights" tribunals under Section 13.
03 June 2008
02 June 2008
First of all, the fact that everyone agrees and everyone has a doctorate leads to the occasionally explicit idea that all intelligent people think the same thing — that no one could disagree with, say, Obama-ism, without being an idiot. This attitude is continually expressed, for example, in attacks on presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, not for their political positions but for their grades and IQs.(Sound) What was that? Oh, just tuition going up faster than the rate of inflation. Again.
That the American professoriate is near-unanimous for Barack Obama is a problem on many levels but certainly pedagogically. Ideological uniformity does a disservice to students and makes a mockery of the pious commitment of these professors simply to convey knowledge. Also, the claims of the professoriate to intellectual independence and academic freedom, supposedly nurtured by tenure, are thrown into question by the unanimity.
The chaos and vitriol seemed to confirm Democrats' fears that they might blow an election that should otherwise be an easy victory for them. Nor did the compromise fit well with the Democrats' oft-voiced commitment to voting rights. They decided they would give Florida and Michigan half of their voting rights -- one of the more arbitrary compromises since the 1787 decision that a slave should count as three-fifths of a person -- and voted to award Obama 59 Michigan delegates, each with half a vote, even though his name wasn't even on the ballot in the state.This manner of chaos is to be expected from a party that is poised to ignore the popular vote from state primaries (the votes of its own people!) in order to endorse the brighter, shinier thing. And don't get me started about the Democrat invention that is the super delegate; could there be anything more elitist and exclusionary?
Gold-colored ropes (along with some hired DNC muscle) kept the public and the press at a distance from the committee members. "We are strong enough to struggle and disagree and to even be angry and disappointed and still come together at the end of the day and be united," Dean told his troops. But not this day.