Darn those facts; they can be such a buzzkill when you are prone to believe in something for nothing.
Then we took the car to a specialist who installed, for nearly $1900(!), a hydrogen generator and a system of other enhancements. There was a fuel heater, fuel-line magnets (which I debunked here), and several inscrutable boxes full of electronics designed to fool the car's computer into using less fuel. There was even a bottle of acetone to add to the fuel. (This is something that I've mentioned doesn't work here
and here). The specialist guaranteed major improvements in fuel consumption.
One week and nearly two grand later, the producer from NBC (who still hadn't identified himself as anyone except a guy who was tired of spending $50 to fill up his tank) picked up the car. He got a gas receipt proving the installer had seen 96 mpg, nearly triple the original economy. We took the car straight back to that same EPA lab for another round of testing. It was followed shortly by a week's worth of road testing, dyno testing and general poking about to see what we could discover.
You can guess, right? The total improvement in fuel economy after $1800 plus of expenditure? Bupkis. Too small to measure. Nada. In fact, if you look at the EPA tests with the system switched on and then off, there's a tiny increase in fuel consumption when the system is turned on. I attribute this to the 15 amps or so of current the electrolysis cell consumes to produce hydrogen.
30 March 2009
A row has broken out at Queen Mary University, London about the use of its multi-faith centre. The National Hindu Students Forum (UK) claims that members of the Queen Mary’s Islamic Society have been physically preventing students of the university’s Hindu society from offering prayers at the multi-faith centre on the premises by standing 15 students at the door. The last Hindu prayer in the evenings is normally at 6pm, but the Muslim group who have a prayer session before the Hindus say that there is “no demand for the use of the multifaith centre by other faith communities” and they cannot therefore allow Hindus to use the premises even though they have a valid booking for its use.It'll be like this in the US soon enough.
28 March 2009
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Mike Connolly scored on a power play at 13:39 of overtime to give Minnesota Duluth a 5-4 comeback victory over Princeton on Friday night in the NCAA hockey West Regional.
The WCHA tournament champion Bulldogs (22-12-8) scored twice in the final 40 seconds of regulation to force overtime. Jack Connolly scored with 39.4 seconds left, and Evan Oberg tied it with 0.8 seconds to go.
THAT's a hockey game.
26 March 2009
Hearing no evidence to the contrary, board is dismissed.
25 March 2009
DETROIT—Detroit, a former industrial metropolis in southeastern Michigan with a population of just under 1 million, was sold at auction Tuesday to bulk scrap dealers and smelting foundries across the United States.
According to scrap dealers, Detroit is an aging city in fair-to-poor condition, with "substantial wear and tear." It also bears the marks of extensive fire and rust damage, and it may not comply with current U.S. safety and emissions standards.
21 March 2009
That homespun bowling crap on Jay Leno, followed by the turgid, teachy fiscal policy lecture, together with the hurt defensiveness (and bad script for it) that everybody in Washington "is Simon Cowell… Everybody's got an opinion," is pure I’m-in-over-my-head stuff. Even the idea of having to go on Jay Leno to rescue yourself from the AIG mess is lame. Be a man, man.
But now, at week 11, we’re face-to-face with the reality, the man can’t talk worth a damn.
It’s instructive and humorous to remember that Carter ran a brilliant campaign that succeeded largely because his voice was new. Simple, direct, basic, human. And then, of course, he turned into a sad-sack twit.
20 March 2009
At the time, some wondered whether North American DVDs will even play in European machines. But that seemed too wacky to be true. As Mark Steyn says, "at the back of my mind, I didn't quite believe that even the Obamateur Hour crowd at the White House could be that clueless."And the Best and the Brightest roll on . . .
Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem. The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen.
Can you imagine the Democrats' reaction if the Bush White House had given a European head of state a set of DVDs that can only be played on North American machines? It would have been conclusive proof of Bush's provincialism, lack of sensitivity to our allies' sensibilities, ignorance of the wider world, techno incompetence, failure to appreciate the superiority of European civilization, blah blah blah. That's how it would have been reported and editorialized on in every newspaper. So let's check tomorrow's papers and see whether that's how Obama's gaffe is covered. Or whether it's covered at all.
Let me translate for this abject criminal: "Geez, if I knew what I was ramming through the process, I mighta thought otherwise, especially if I knew how it'd be blowing up in my face!"
Mr. Dodd said that his staff revised the bill at the urging of Treasury officials, who he said were concerned that the compensation limits, which he had written in the original legislation, went too far and might invite lawsuits.
While he knew the language was being rewritten, the senator said he had no idea the revision would allow for the bonuses at A.I.G.
“Had I known at the time that there were any A.I.G. bonuses involved — that this was somehow going to assist in that matter — I would have rejected it completely,” he said.
How proud every fool in Connecticut must be for having this pantsload feeding at the trough.
19 March 2009
This week, you are soiling your shorts over the bonuses paid to folks who work/worked for AIG. Althouth the bonuses are only 9% of all the money you gave AIG, you, nation, scream, fret and cover yourself in the war paint of class envy and too little, too late outrage. You've whipped the sheep you've elected into an equally dysfunctional state, now they propose taking back what they themselves authorized only weeks ago in an equally pathetic display of Shoot First, Question Later.
Right now, east of here, the next straw man is being designed. He will become the temporary darling of Anderson Cooper, David Shuster, the pinheads on Comedy Central and others that tell you what to think. You have to resist what is plated and put before you and ask what is not on the menu.
Nation, you've had a very bad couple of weeks. Your eye is not on the ball. You've enthusiastically elected the bright shiny new thing, but now your attentions are wandering dangerously. Go out there, starting today, and get your act together.
15 March 2009
FREE HOUSING FOR ALL, NO HOUSEWORK - AND FREE TV!!! Everyone will have their own personal, comfortable, temperature-regulated "Happy Cube" with a Free Wide Screen Government TV with FREE Government Stations just for you, to keep you entertained and happy in your Free Government cube - including 24/hr/day Psychologist-designed scientific PORN!!! And with expert psychologist-sexologist performers!!! And there will be co-ed Happy-Hygiene Units on every floor!!! Plus no more housework!!! You won't own a house to bother with!!!Don't stop there, there are 13 legs to this stool. What modern American wouldn't love all that shit and more from Yes We Can Government?
WE'LL BE GREEN!!! No more cars!!! No-one will need cars except for Government Authorities and the Happy Thought Police forces. Everyone's Free Government Housing Home Sweet Home Happy Cube will be within healthy walking or biking distance - based on scientific calculations - of their assigned deeply satisfying job. That is what we are willing to do for The Environment!!! And your Free Government Bio-degradable Clothing will be specially designed for your outdoor needs, produced by happy workers with environmental values in their manufacture. And, because we will be Green, there will be No More Bad Weather!!!
FREE HEALTH!!! There will be no smoking, no alcohol, and no meat! These things will be reserved to console your over-stressed and sacrificial Leaders. Thus everyone will have free health, along with our expert-designed tofu-based diets and the daily exercise programs which will be required, for your convenience and health, at your deeply satisfying workplace. Those with genetic disorders will, as is rational, spare the people from the burden of their children. In this way, we will achieve a healthy, happy nation. One day's use of Soma or marijuana will be issued to workers at the end of each workday, to ensure happiness, a positive attitude, self-esteem, and a peaceful spirit. And, if you get sick, you just go to one of our Happy Health Control Centers, where you can peacefully unburden Society of your problem!!! No more guilt!!! And free sanitary crematorial services!
WORLD PEACE!!! Not to worry. We'll figure it all out, because We Love World Peace. World Peace is just Great!!! You can just be happy and we can do the thinking for you. If war is needed to create peace, our Swedish and Swiss mercenaries will take care of it for you. And you won't even need to know!!!
“By March of next year, my new $3.6 trillion budget will include a spending bill with more than 8,500 budget earmarks to target in-need constituents.And on it goes . . .
“In addition to the stimulus/borrowing plan, I intend to devote $634 billion to fund a new supplementary national health-care system. But that is not all. Unfortunately, the initial Bush bank bailout of some $700 billion also may well have to be augmented by an additional $750 billion.
”With state income taxes, federal income tax, Social Security and payroll taxes, along with new cutbacks in deductions, some of these rich will pay over 60 percent of their incomes in taxes. That is not an unreasonable rate in comparison with past levels - or the fact that well over 40 percent of Americans do not make enough to pay any federal income taxes.
“I expect that Wall Street may react negatively to these proposals. We may see the Dow fall an additional 2,000 to 3,000 points after I'm elected. It may descend to under 7,000 during my first weeks of office. And this may be the moment when the economy continues to cool and unemployment rises.
14 March 2009
More than six hundred scientists, economists, legislators, and journalists from around the world met in New York on March 8-10 for the second International Conference on Climate Change. Presentation after presentation documented the pseudoscience and dictatorial intentions behind the climate alarmism of the UN, EU, and Obama administration.
Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic and the European Union, described environmentalism as a new collectivist religion that doesn't want to change the climate but rather us.
Once the environmentalists and climate alarmists are able to ration our energy -- their present aim -- our freedom will be gone, Robinson said. They are preparing technological genocide. Their first run at this was the DDT ban, which resulted in tens of millions of children dying of preventable malaria. If the environmentalists are able to ration energy and shut down the existing best sources, hundreds of millions of people will die in the developing sector. Al Gore protege James Hansen wants to try "global warming deniers" -- the people at this conference -- of crimes against humanity. He should look instead in the mirror.
(former U.S. senator and NASA astronaut Harrison) Schmidt pointed out that by cancelling the Nevada waste storage facility the Obama administration has deliberately killed nuclear power plants being built in the U.S. Asked about the relation between energy restriction and population control, Senator Schmidt replied that the only moral way to reduce developing sector population pressures is by increasing the standard of living, just as was done in the advanced sector.
Nigel, the wayward Iditarod dog who took off into the Alaska wilderness after its North Dakota musher crashed her sled during the famous race, showed up for breakfast at an Alaska lodge on Friday.
Nigel was well-hydrated and was in very good condition, considering he'd been roughing it for three days.
12 March 2009
In the old Soviet Union, the ruling elite shopped at different stores, lived in different areas, and enjoyed a life apart, one very different from the lives of ordinary citizens. America is all too rapidly going down the same path. We are at a peculiar moment in history where the top American political leadership excoriates the perquisites of private wealth and power -- the luxury retreats, the private jets -- while shamelessly helping themselves to unprecedented levels of the same levels of consumption, or more.
At the top, while America tightens its belt, President Obama jets off on his presidential 747 to take his bride out for Valentine's Day at a favorite Chicago restaurant. Executives may be scampering to cancel contracts for future private jets, but the 89th Airlift wing at Andrews Air Force Base, in charge of ferrying around political bigwigs, is as busy as a Vegas casino during the bubble.
Life at the top used to be good for everyone. These days, it pays to be what we still laughingly call a public servant.
So much for all that "This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land" bullshit.
BOSTON (AP) -- More than one out of every five dollars of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks from a $410 billion federal spending package is going to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys.
The bill includes $5.8 million for the planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The funding may also help support an endowment for the institute. The bill also includes $22 million to expand facilities at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and $5 million more for a new gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park system in downtown Boston named after Kennedy's mother and built on land opened up by the Big Dig highway project.
10 March 2009
The President needs to focus all his energies on restoring credit flows and national and international confidence in the American economy and its private capital markets. Now is not the time to tackle health care reform or attempt to impose the huge inefficiencies of a carbon cap-and-trade system on the US economy, never mind the illusory promise of so-called "green jobs". Obama's sort of stressed out, all over the shop sort of urgency does not inspire the feeling that the US has a confident, inspiring captain at the helm for the difficult times to come.
09 March 2009
"You agree that your work is to tape a full committee hearing, and not individual members," which evidently presumes that the hearings must only be released in complete, unedited form. [It also suggests that individual members aren't to be taped, thus perhaps they should be blurred out, like alleged criminals on COPS?]Nothing like a Politburo full of Democrats to straighten out all us little people and keep the secrets of the People's Central Committee.
Second, "You agree that you are not videotaping audience members." While it's indeed worth addressing that there's sort of an expectation that you won't get taped much in the audience, we're watching live TPT-MN coverage in the PIM office right now and we can certainly see audience members behind the speakers. With the geometry of the rooms, it's quite difficult, if not impossible, to get angles without any audience in the background.
UPDATE: Maybe enough people found out about this jive shit late today that those who know NOTHING of the law may not be allowed to pathetically twist it further.
I was trying to take a photo of Rep. Paul Marquart of Dilworth presenting a bill to a House committee. A page approached and asked to see my credentials before she would allow me to take photos. Recalling Wittenborg's assurances that no credentials were needed, I told her that I had just been told I did not need to present credentials (which, by the way, hung in plain sight from a lanyard around my neck) and I continued to photograph Marquart.This DFL hocus pocus isn't over by a long shot, son.
Soon after I returned to my seat in the back of the room, two state troopers approached me after the page had called them, apparently to kick out this photographer.
This is one of those inside stories we often don't report, but the public should know because whatever is going on could affect what Minnesotans know about legislative business. And it is a story in progress since we still don't know why the rules were proposed, who proposed them or what their future may be. Stay tuned.
08 March 2009
The only thing that might be scarier than this cocktail of failure is the ham-fisted and overly-politicized way it'll be 'fixed' by the flunkies you voted for.
Many borrowers are defaulting as quickly as they take out the loans. In the past year alone, the number of borrowers who failed to make more than a single payment before defaulting on FHA-backed mortgages has nearly tripled, far outpacing the agency's overall growth in new loans, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data.
Once again, thousands of borrowers are getting loans they do not stand a chance of repaying. Only now, unlike in the subprime meltdown, Congress would have to bail out the lenders if the FHA cannot make good on guarantees from its existing reserves.
Congress has substantially increased the amount a homeowner can borrow on an FHA loan in pricey areas, thrusting the agency into markets it was previously shut out of, such as California, where plunging home prices have made people more vulnerable to foreclosure.
06 March 2009
Being the cynical clod I am, my thought was that it's often the "smartest guys in the room" that have the least wisdom; I wonder if anyone on the uber-elite Oval Office staff knows anything about video standards and region coding, since video DVDs purchased in the United States will not work on DVD players in the UK.
As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment. Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.
Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown. But it didn't really compare to the thoughtful presents he had brought along with him.
Maybe we'll find out, maybe we won't, but I wonder still.
Organic certification allows companies to market products as organically grown or produced. Processors must meet standards set by the U.S. Department of agriculture and are monitored by a USDA-accredited entity. The Texas Department of Agriculture has served as a certifying agency since 2002. If the Plainview plant hadn't been undergoing organic certification, the state agriculture department wouldn't have inspected it.Nice.
"While we do not expect organic inspectors to be able to detect salmonella or other pathogens, their potential sources should be obvious from such evidence as bird, rodent and other animal feces or other pest infestations," the directive stated.
General Dynamics said plummeting sales of business and personal jets have forced it to cut production of the luxury planes, leading to layoffs of 1,200 workers and a reduction in company profit guidance for the year. The Falls Church company blamed a shrinking backlog at its Gulfstream Aerospace unit as a drop in demand accelerated in February as the broader economic picture grew bleaker.Another factor in the decline - Washington Elites' condemnation of anyone ever seen boarding a private jet. Except themselves. And except for their friends. And except for their power brokers.
Business jets are mostly used to ferry corporate executives or wealthy individuals in plush cabins with cushy seats and wood-paneled interiors. Many models are pricey -- General Dynamics' new G650 will sell for around $60 million. But demand has hit a wall in recent months, and the planes face a public relations challenge after becoming equated with corporate excess.It is exactly like the "good old days" when Capitol Hill Democrats tried to soak the rich by slapping a luxury tax on yachts which, without surprise, resulted in about 25,000 people who built the yachts losing their jobs.
04 March 2009
I wonder if, 40 years later, President Obama is having a similar feeling today; the part of Walter Cronkite is now played by soon-to-be-lost(?) Maureen Dowd:
Maureen Dowd is showing classic symptoms of buyer's remorse. So are we in for four to eight years of lying or what?
Team Obama sounds hollow, chanting that “the status quo is not acceptable,” even while conceding that the president is accepting the status quo by signing a budget festooned with pork.
Obama spinners insist it was “a leftover budget.” But Iraq was leftover, too, and the president’s trying to end that. This is the first pork-filled budget from a new president who promised to go through the budget “line by line” and cut pork.
It includes $38.4 million of earmarks sponsored or co-sponsored by President Obama’s labor secretary, Hilda Solis; $109 million Hillary Clinton signed on to; and $31.2 million in earmarks sought by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with colleagues. (Even Barack Obama was listed as one of the co-sponsors of a $7.7 million pet project for Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational Institutions until he got his name taken off last week.)
And then there are the 16 earmarks worth $8.5 million that Emanuel put into the bill when he was a congressman, including money for streets in Chicago suburbs and a Chicago planetarium.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama promised he would not sign any spending or budget bill with "pork barrel" earmarks -- the Congressional pet projects that bloat virtually every spending bill that emerges from the House and Senate. That was then. This is now and now administration officials say Obama will sign a budget bill packed with pork.
So much for change.
In his speech to Congress last week, President Obama promised to "go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs." Although the process was not completed yet, he said, "we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade." But it turns out that tax increases account for half of those "savings." From Obama's perspective, it seems, letting people keep their own money qualifies as a "wasteful and ineffective program."
In response to nonprofit organizations worried that limiting the deduction for charitable contributions will reduce donations, The Washington Times reports, Orszag "said Mr. Obama took care of that by giving charities government money to make up part of the difference." Orszag noted that "in the recovery act, there's $100 million to support nonprofits and charities." In essence, then, Obama plans to take money people otherwise would have given to the charities of their choice and give it to the charities of his choice.