There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.
A blog about living, hunting, and whatever else I want.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I'm glad you asked because as a matter of fact I do. I spent almost 5 minutes on google and found this profile on the American Bar Association website.
This was in 2000, so she may well have dropped her membership. If so it was probably in the last 24 hours.
I also saved a copy of the webpage and did a print screen of it in case they pull that page down or edit it.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Here is your link.
Isn't this a lovely and expensive bunch of nonsense?
Where exactly in the Constitution does it authorize the census to include questions about how much you pay for your mortgage, what fuel you use to heat your home, what kind of education you have, how many times you've been married, if you have a mental condition that causes you serious difficulty remembering, what time to you leave for work, what time do you get to work, how much money you made last year, when was your house built, your race, or any of the other stuff on this "mandatory" survey?
A question asks if you have any trouble bathing (I wonder about some people) but there is no question about difficulty emptying your bowels or flushing the toilet. They probably just don't want to hear from people saddled with post-ban algore toilets.
Note that it does not comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act.
I know this thing isn't new. It's just so ridiculous that I get upset over it every time I see it.
How much money is being wasted on this?
I'll offer a deal on this issue: Repeal the 16th amendment to the United States Constitution and do away with the IRS. After that, I'd support a national sales tax. Not a VAT tax, but a sales tax. We can argue about whether health care or food should be taxed later, when we are arguing about whether all current employees of the IRS should be blacklisted so they can never work for the federal government again.
Heck, I might even go for the VAT tax if the 16th Amendment could be repealed and the IRS disbanded.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
According to the drivel I have to watch there were over 82,000 claims of harassment turned in to the EEOC in 2007 and there may be another record number for 2008. I don't know if the numbers are out of date or if they just haven't finished counting yet. I do suspect that a huge number of those are made up cases from jilted lovers, disgruntled employees that were passed over for a promotion, racists that want to make some point that nobody else can understand, and other forms of silliness too numerous to mention.
The best part is that the "training" is not intended to reduce harassment. It is intended to reduce the companies liability if there is an accusation of harassment.
I also found out that "retaliation" is "revengeful behavior in response to a complaint" - not a complaint that is determined to be true, just any complaint. This is illegal and "retaliation" can include "giving the employee a cold shoulder". As I read the rules in this training, if some bozo makes a false claim against you and you aren't nice to them in return, then you have broken the law. That sounds about right for anything that the federal government is involved in.
Another funny thing I've found out over the years is that body odor is a right. If management is careful they can suggest hygiene improvements to the offender but in the end, if someone wants to smell bad or wants to save time and money by bathing once a week or wants to "save the planet" by never bathing, then there is nothing the company or the coworkers can do about it. It might be considered harassment if you say anything about how bad they smell because their religion might prohibit bathing.
It gets better. If someone physically assaults you and you defend yourself, that is physical harassment. If I read the rules correctly it seems to only apply to other employees, so if some bum off the street walks in and starts assaulting people, the bum better watch out.
From the article:
If you were going to have open heart surgery, would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was chosen because he had to struggle to get where he is or by the best surgeon you could find-- even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had every advantage that money and social position could offer?
Read the article. It is well worth the time it takes.
The only upside to this is that if (when) she is confirmed, she will be replacing another liberal, "living document" justice.
When Sotomayor is on the Supreme Court you can expect to discover a lot of new "penumbras, formed by emanations" in the Constitution.
In my house if income goes down then spending goes down.
I've got a great idea for the federal government - why don't you just raise taxes?
If the revenue went down by 34% then just raise everyone's taxes by the same percentage. It will work. I know it will.
What you do not have is the right to use the force of government to make someone else pay for it!!
When someone says "I have the right to quality healthcare" what they mean is "I want to make someone else pay for it".
If you point that out to them they will almost always deny it.
If you are going to try to use the government to steal from others, at least admit that's what you are doing.
I think retirement as people used to think about it is about dead. If you depend on someone else to take care of your future then you will probably be disappointed. Too bad for folks who are pushing 65 and have been depending on others. I think a lot of them were lulled into a feeling that they could retire without any worries. The economy has overall been good and people made a lot of money in the stock market and in real estate. I guess they thought it would be that way forever. Add to that the fact that people are living longer while the retirement age has not been rising as fast.
If you can come up with the wealth to retire at 65, or 55, or even 40, then by all means do it and enjoy yourself, but don't think of retirement as a right.
Here is a good rule:
Look out for number one.
In other words, you need to make the decisions on what will be best for you and your family. If you work for a company that has a retirement/savings plan then take a long, hard look at it and decide if it will give you the kind of living you want later in life. If you don't think it will, then do some investing on the side, or find another company, or do something to fix the situation. Complaining about it probably won't help. Please don't lobby congress to pass some new rule requiring my children to pay for your retirement.
Here is another good rule:
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
This means don't have just one plan on how you will get by. Diversify your investments and diversify your sources of income.
Once again, I thought everyone knew that. I can remember my grandmother saying that many years ago. I remember my second grade school teacher saying that as well.
Here is one more rule:
Nothing is guaranteed.
Just because you put money into the companies stock doesn't mean you are guaranteed a good and easy retirement. The same goes for social security. Plan on those not being there and provide for yourself. If the company is still in business or social security pays you anything then it's gravy.
I hope the younger people in this country look at this situation and plan for their own retirement instead of planning to let someone else provide for them or just hoping it will be alright.
That says a lot about someone.
Here is the link.
From the article:
China has warned a top member of the US Federal Reserve that it is increasingly disturbed by the Fed's direct purchase of US Treasury bonds.
The Chinese aren't the only one's "increasingly disturbed" by the Fed's direct purchase of US Treasury bonds. Of course I'm disturbed by most things the fed and this government do.
Here is another scary tidbit hidden near the end of the article, in case you missed it:
The Oxford-educated Mr Fisher, an outspoken free-marketer and believer in the Schumpeterian process of "creative destruction", has been running a fervent campaign to alert Americans to the "very big hole" in unfunded pension and health-care liabilities built up by a careless political class over the years.
"We at the Dallas Fed believe the total is over $99 trillion," he said in February.
And don't forget this part:
His warning comes amid growing fears that America could lose its AAA sovereign rating.No kidding. I think there is enough here for all of us to worry about.
It turns out that she ran over a soccer ball and it stuck between the blades and the deck. I forced the blades backwards and the remains of the ball fell out. I guess it was an old one that was flat and it must have been hidden in the high grass.
At least I have the parts on hand for when that last set of mandrel bearings goes out.
Now we find that her decisions were reversed 60% of the time. I guess putting her on the Supreme Court would fix that.
Is this the best he can come up with?
. . . a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation's government-run and private computer networks . . .
I wonder if this guy will also be in charge of checking PCs that were used in top secret research to make sure they don't contain any sensitive information before we transfer them to the Chinese?
I like this part:
The document will not resolve the politically charged issue of what role the National Security Agency, the premier electronic surveillance agency, will have in protecting private-sector networks.I'm sure the NSA would be happy to help provide security for private networks, as long as it is given free and easy access to all the information on them.
From the article:
When McLucas came to work Friday, her boss told her another supervisor had found her flag offensive.
I don't recall the Constitution including a right to not be offended. For that matter, I find the supervisor that complained to be offensive. If I worked there and complained, would that get rid of the offensive supervisor? No, they would probably get rid of me, instead.
The offensive supervisor was originally from Africa, but the article doens't state if the offender is a citizen, or even if he is here legally.
Also from the article:
"The flag and the pole had been placed on the floor," McLucas said.
There was a time in this country when that would have been considered justification for violence.
I'm sure that Kindred Hospital would love to hear from you about this. Please be civil, but let them know what you think.
Here is the contact info for Mansfield, TX:
Kindred Hospital - Mansfield
1802 Highway 157 North
Mansfield, TX 76063
Phone: (817) 473-6101
TX TDD/TTY# 800-735-2988
Fax: (817) 473-5538
They don't want to give out their email address but you can go here to send them an email through their website.
Here is contact info for the corporate headquarters in KY:
680 South Fourth Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
I know this is just one small bit of ridiculousness in a sea of nonsense, but the story just irritated me.
I wouldn't want to be in South Korea right now. I don't much like the view from here right now.
On the bright side, North Korea using it's nukes in South Korea would probably keep terrorists from bringing them into this country. If nuclear weapons are going off I'd prefer that they went off on the other side of the world.
Maybe a fallout shelter should be on your list of things-to-do if you don't already have one.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
From the article:
President Barack Obama named federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.
What does "compassion" have to do with the Constitution?
Seems to me that the process for rendering decisions should go like this:
Does the Constitution authorize congress to do ________________?
If yes, then ___________________ is Constitutional. If no, then __________________ is not Constitutional.
How the justice feels about the issue is irrelevant. Compassion leads people to ignore the rule of law. That is a luxury we dare not allow.
My better half said she wanted to learn to use some tools so I let her do most of the work on this. It's pretty simple and not terribly expensive. Some PT 2x6s and 2x4s, a couple of 16' cattle panels and it's about done. She built a doorframe from 2x4x and used the little triangles of wood at the bottom center of the pic to brace the corners of the door. Some hinges and a bolt completed that. I used 48" wide 2"x4" welded wire to make the front and back and regular chicken wire over the top. She also made corner braces from some scraps I had so it will hold it's shape better when we move it.
I'm going to cut a square hole in the front so we can put one of the free dog houses I got off craigslist up against it to make a nest box and shelter from bad weather. The dog house will have a door in the back to get the eggs out and I'll put a hinged door above the opening so I can move the dog house separately from the chicken cage. I'm going to add a roost pole to it as well.
When that is done I've got some wheels off an old tricycle I'm going to mount on it so it will be easier to move around and make it like a giant chicken tractor.
I found this idea on a DIY forum. The original idea was for a greenhouse. The original had a base made from 4x4s, which made it easier to build a regular doorframe. The advantage of the 2x6s is that I didn't have to use big bolts to hold it together. Large fence staples hold the cattle panels in the base. The corner braces go over the ends of the panels and help hold them in.
If you have the materials on hand and you can work without interruption you could easily finish one of these in less than a day.
They should never sell women's shorts larger than size Small with words printed on the butt. Unless they say 'WIDE LOAD'.
Monday, May 25, 2009
So hussein wants a plan to lock up people that are terrorist suspects that cannot be tried. What exactly does that mean?
From the article:
The other participant said Mr. Obama did not seem to be thinking about preventive detention for terrorism suspects now held at Guantánamo Bay, but rather for those captured in the future, in settings other than a legitimate battlefield like Afghanistan.
The participants were "outsiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the session was intended to be off the record".
"Future settings other than a legitamate battlefield" sounds like the kind of ambiguous and ever expanding definition that power hungry people love. I wonder if right wing extremists might be "terrorist suspects that cannot be tried".
This could end up concerning lots of graves. What are the chances that NK would transfer one or more of those babies to terrorists for use in the US? Hopefully small, but nobody knows what might be going on inside the heads of those leaders. With our open boarders it would be fairly easy to get one inside the US. It would be even easier if they had access to a ship.
Blowing a nuke in a city in the US would be a disaster just about beyond imagining.
Between North Korea and Pakistan there are plenty of bad scenarios to imagine. I hope that the President's foreign policy moves go better than his policies at home do.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Here is the link.
Here is the article from The Drudge Report:
Sat May 23 2009 10:32:18 ET
In a sobering holiday interview with C-SPAN, President Obama boldly told Americans: "We are out of money."
C-SPAN host Steve Scully broke from a meek Washington press corps with probing questions for the new president.
SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?
OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we've seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.
So we've got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it's putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.
So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.
Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything...
SCULLY: When you see GM though as “Government Motors,” you're reaction?
OBAMA: Well, you know – look we are trying to help an auto industry that is going through a combination of bad decision making over many years and an unprecedented crisis or at least a crisis we haven't seen since the 1930's. And you know the economy is going to bounce back and we want to get out of the business of helping auto companies as quickly as we can. I have got more enough to do without that. In the same way that I want to get out of the business of helping banks, but we have to make some strategic decisions about strategic industries...
SCULLY: States like California in desperate financial situation, will you be forced to bail out the states?
OBAMA: No. I think that what you're seeing in states is that anytime you got a severe recession like this, as I said before, their demands on services are higher. So, they are sending more money out. At the same time, they're bringing less tax revenue in. And that's a painful adjustment, what we're going end up seeing is lot of states making very difficult choices there...
SCULLY: William Howard Taft served on the court after his presidency, would you have any interest in being on the Supreme Court?
OBAMA: You know, I am not sure that I could get through Senate confirmation...
Friday, May 22, 2009
I'll bet the gang members are just hard working, law abiding people that want a better life for themselves and their families. Just assaulting the people that American's won't assault.
I wonder how many of the victims were involved in the drug trade? No mention in the article, but it seems likely to me that the gang might have been trying to eliminate the competition.
Regardless, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that area.
Are things serious but not critical, or are they critical but not serious?
I believe nobody knows for sure which way this will go. On one hand everyone needs to be prepared. On the other hand you don't want to panic the sheeple. If everyone in this country would just make some basic preps then there wouldn't be a panic. If you have a couple of month's worth of food in your house at all times then the idea that the flu could mutate into something really nasty and could take 6 weeks to run it's course through society wouldn't seem nearly as frightening.
The downside of that preparation, from the government's point of view, is that people might start to get ideas about having less dependence on government.
Here is your link.
From the article:
“The economy may be at greater risk of inflation than the conventional wisdom indicates,” Plosser said in a speech yesterday in New York. “While inflation expectations appear to remain anchored, we should not become sanguine about our credibility. It can be easily lost.”Did he just say that it's going to be worse than the conventional wisdom indicates!!? If so then we are doomed!! I thought conventional wisdom said we were going to have really bad inflation. You'd better hold on to your wallet. You know it will be bad when the Fed President admits that things aren't going peachy.
Did he just say that our credibility can be easily lost!!? Do we have any credibility left? Did I miss something? I thought I just read about India and China wanting a different reserve currency. Doesn't that mean we have a slight credibility problem, or are we talking about something else?
From the article:
The economy is probably not strong enough and not ready for increasing interest rates? Are you serious? Who could have guessed?
Fed officials will need to raise the U.S. benchmark interest rate and reduce the central bank’s balance sheet when financial and housing markets improve, Plosser said. The Federal Open Market Committee is committed to price stability and will act in a “prompt way” to ensure it, he said.
“The economy is probably not strong enough and not ready for increasing” the main rate, Plosser said after his speech.
Minutes of policy makers’ April 28-29 meeting in Washington suggest they’re not convinced that recent signs of economic stabilization will remain in place. Plosser echoed that uncertainty yesterday, saying the U.S. may grow below potential “for some time” as unemployment rises and the shock to financial markets persists.
The U.S. may grow below potential "for some time"!!?
Policy makers left open the possibility of increasing the amount of assets they’ll purchase to revive the economy, beyond the $1.75 trillion already committedI like the term "committed". It sounds like someone is starting to recognize just how criminal the "bailouts" really are.
They are also forecasting a deeper U.S. contraction than they expected three months earlier, with a 9 percent or higher unemployment rate through the end of 2010That "9 percent or higher unemployment rate" means a real unemployment rate of what, 20% or higher?
Things don't look good to me. I'll admit to being a pessimist on this. I don't think we're on the way to recovery, yet. I think the stock market is going to go down again. We'll see more and bigger layoffs and more companies going out of business.
I think the worst of all this is that the federal government will not want to let "a serious crisis go to waste" and they will use this as an opportunity to create more and bigger and more expensive wealth transfer programs to saddle our grandchildren with. If they can pass enough stuff that costs enough they might just convince foreign debt holders that the USA can't or won't pay it's debts. Then we'll really be in trouble.
Like I said before, hold on tight to your wallets. Better yet, hide them.
"Everyone will pay" and all that sort of stuff. Just think about the possibilities.
With socialized car insurance all the illegals that drive without insurance or a DL would be covered.
Drunks wouldn't have to pay high insurance rates. That would stimulate the economy.
Young guys (and girls) with 4 wreckless driving tickets would have to pay for high risk insurance. That would stimulate the economy.
All those nasty insurance people would be out of work. That wouldn't stimulate the economy, but it would make a lot of people feel better.
Why stop with auto insurance? How about socialized home owners insurance? The government will end up owning the banks and making the home loans so why not have the government insure the risk on the homes as well?
Isn't this a great idea? The government could hire a whole army of new employees (in the government employees union, no doubt) to do stuff like examine your car or home for damage, make estimates on the value and the cost of repairs, and handle disputes.
Disputes would go something like this:
Homeowner: A storm came through last night and blew the roof off my house. I need a new roof.
Government Adjuster: I see that your roof is gone. However, your house isn't very energy efficient. You don't have enough insulation or a radiant barrier. Your heating and A/C units are 5 years old. You are wasting too much energy in your home. We can't put a new roof on it until you fix these issues.
You can bet the farm that the guy down the street that also works for the government would have that same problem. The same goes for the guy that contributes enough to the campaign fund of the right elected official.
Another great possibility for more government interference in your life: The government could refuse to pay for a new bumper because your car is too old and makes too much pollution. What if you have one of those right wing extremist bumper stickers? Forget it, you caused the wreck, you need to pay up.
The more I write about this the more I scare myself. Sure as death and taxes some idiot in congress will think this is actually a great idea.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Now we are facing the looming threat of a "sweeping climate bill" that will hit all of us. Republican's are threatening to force the reading of the entire bill (all 946 pages) plus all the amendments which run another several hundred pages.
That's a lot of nonsense compressed into that package.
So the Democrats are going to hire a speed reader so they can fly through it and hope everyone misses all the bad stuff.
Why don't they just put the electronic copy into an electronic voice synthesizer, set the speed on "sounds like a mosquito"? They could finish listening to it in 3 minutes and spend the rest of the day on the golf course. Except for Teddy Kennedy. He could go get drunk and reminisce about drowning young women and getting away with it.
Seriously, it's not like anyone is going to hear something while the bill is being read and change their vote. The problem is not that people don't read the bills so much as it is that the bills are so insanely long that nobody could read them.
Forget term limits for the moment. How about a limit on the length of a bill?
The maximum number of words in English that shall be allowed for any bill is 25.
Let's see how that would work.
"You shall not commit murder. Murder is defined as the unjustified killing of another person."
That one is within the limit.
Let's try again.
"Taking any object or property from another person without their permission is forbidden."
That is within the limit, too.
Let's try one more.
"To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases, and for other purposes.
That looks much better than the original.
While I'm making rules for bills in congress let me add one more:
No bill that contains the phrase " . . . and for other purposes" will be allowed.
I guess I missed the part of the Constitution that gives that authority to the government. The federal government is so good at managing things, let's just have them run private businesses.
This has to come under the heading "If you think things are bad now, just look at how bad they could be."
I wonder how many people would lose their jobs over this bit of nonsense?
From the article:
Rep. Idiot (I'd rather not even repeat this loser's name) was standing in the middle of Disney World when it hit him: What Americans really need is a week of paid vacation.More from the article:
The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.Seems to me that if you don't like the vacation policy of the company you work for you should either try to get the company to change the policy or find a different job. I would like the company I work for to give me 10 weeks of vacation every year. Why stop there? Why not 26 weeks? Why not just have the government force the company to pay me for not working?
The idea: More vacation will stimulate the economy through fewer sick days, better productivity and happier employees.
Here is the link.
I'm glad these creeps are off the street.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I don't know what will finally happen to these guys but I hope they don't end up on US soil again. Of course even if we dropped them by parachute into the middle of the Sahara they would probably end up walking across the southern border into the US.
Maybe we could work out something with the drug cartels to solve that issue.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
From the article:
Obama said the agreement that once would have been "considered impossible" was what he termed a "harbinger of a change in the way business is done in Washington."
Harbinger of Doom is more like it. Don't you love how people in power always want to demand things in the future so that the costs and problems associated with them will be paid by others after they are out of power? Not like the President will ever have to worry about his family commuting in a beer can. Not him. His family gets the armored limo for life.
This is all a wonderful side effect of the government now controlling the auto industry. When the government is the boss, nobody in the industry will lobby against new rules and regulations. Hey, they've discovered a new way to do away with lobbyists. I like my way better.
Also from the article:
While the new fuel and emission standards for cars and trucks will save billions of barrels of oil, they are expected to cost consumers an extra $1,300 per vehicle by the time the plan is complete in 2016. Obama said the fuel cost savings would offset the higher price of vehicles in three years.
Is it just me, or does anyone else doubt that the money savings will offset the other costs? I doubt it will work out that way just from the standpoint of money, but how about driver safety?
What will they have to do to get a fleet average of 39mpg? Will there be any minivans at all, and if so, what will they be like? I've got four little ones so I have a little experience hauling a crew around. I'm glad I won't have to squeeze my family into whatever they make in 2016, but I worry about my grandchildren.
How about this wonderful little item that nobody seems to be mentioning. Are there going to be new emissions test requirements to with this? I live in a county that is still rural enough to not have emissions tests, but that will probably change. I can just see counties with 2000 people living in 1000 square miles having to drive to some central location for an emissions test. Won't that be fun.
As usual, any time there is a crisis, the first place you should look for the cause is the government.
Thomas Sowell wrote about this more than once. Here is a link to one of his articles. I'm sure you can find more if you are interested.
Here is another article from City Journal.
Of course governments can't do this alone. It requires individuals as well. Individuals that banks wouldn't make loans to if the government weren't pushing them to.
Another example of a "crisis" that was created by government which only the government can "solve".
Remember the words of Rahm Emanuel: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
Especially one of your own making.
Monday, May 18, 2009
In her opinion the caller didn't know anything about the position or what was typically involved. It isn't unusual for an HR person to make those calls and they often don't know a lot about the positions, but this one seemed to be an ignorance overachiever.
Then comes the part that made this into an obvious scam. The caller said that before they could go any farther they would have to do a background check and there was a $70 fee associated with doing the check and they needed her SSN, etc. So they wanted to steal her money and her identity. A two-for-one so to speak.
Sorry. No way. I've worked for a few places and they never had a background check before an interview. They would make an offer contingent upon a clear background check. I've never heard of any company making the applicant pay for a background check.
If you know anyone looking for a job, especially younger people that may not have been around the block, yet, you might mention the possibility of a caller being a scammer. I'll give them an A+ for creative approach. Monster, Dice, etc. are a great place to pick up people's phone numbers and addresses and allow the scammer a more time to work out something more closely targeted to their intended victim. Our resumes have a P.O. Box address on them so at least creeps can't find our home address so easily. It can still be done but it requires a little more effort.
Be careful out there, especially when you are posting your resume while looking for a job.
Shameless attempt to get more people to read my drivel.
Actually, I've been reading this for a while, so I'm not posting this just for the traffic.
Enjoy and learn.
Here is your link.
From the article:
Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Not like military aid from the USA has ever been diverted before.
Obama administration officials said that they had communicated to Congress that their intent was to assure that military aid to Pakistan was directed toward counterterrorism and not diverted.
I feel so much better knowing that the Obama administration is on this issue. I'm sure that the virtual wall they plan on using to secure the border will keep wackos from bringing these weapons into the US after Pakistan changes it's name to "Terrorist Supply Central".
Of course there is a plan.
From the article:
The United States has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads if it appears the country is about to fall under the control of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other Islamic extremists.
Somehow, I think it will be a little more difficult than just " . . . infiltrating Pakistan and securing it's mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads . . . "
That article is not very reassuring.
Another quote from the article:
What makes the Pakistan mission especially difficult is that the military has its missiles on Soviet-style mobile launchers and rail lines.
Maybe we could get the Pakistanis to tell Joe Biden the codes to where the nukes will be at any given time if he promises not to tell anyone. Then we could have the info in about 2 minutes.
This one is a real winner.
Here's a quote just for him:
It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.Not that there was any doubt about him being a fool before the election. Given the quality of the President I guess it's not a surprise that he would have this guy as his VP.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I've been using standoffs that use a concrete bolt in the slab to hold them in place, so I use the old hammer drill to make the hole. (My dad bought that drill for $5 at a flea market back when he had a bunch of rent houses. Not a bad deal for $5. I wish he'd bought 20 of them.)
Then I start the anchor bolt. I'm using a socket wrench with about a 10" handle on it. I don't think there is any way I could overtorque the bolt so I must have gotten the wrench off at an angle. At any rate I broke the bolt off just below flush with the concrete. Great. Not fun.
I figure I'll try to use my easy-outs. I get a small bit out of the cheapest set I've got and try it out to see if I can drill it. YES!! The old, cheap bit drills it nicely. I get the hole in fairly deep and go look for the easy-outs.
I cannot find them. Not in any of my toolboxes or any of the drawers that sometimes collect odd tools and hardware. No big deal. My better half went to the hardware store and picked up a set. Great!! Now I can get the thing out and finish the first column.
The only problem now is that the hole isn't big enough for the smallest easy-out to fit in. I get a larger bit and go to work making the hole bigger.
The only problem is that I broke the bit off down in the hole. It was at the perfect depth to keep the easy-out from working and of course drilling out a drill bit isn't going to work. I tried using a concrete nail as a hardened punch to shatter the bit,but the bit was too deep in the hole to reach.
I ended up drilling a hole right next to the first bolt so I could install another anchor bolt next to the first one. Everything went fine until I got it almost far enough in to fit the standoff over when I broke the head off that bolt, too. Fortunately, enough of the bolt was sticking out of the concrete for the standoff to work.
Is it any wonder I was afraid to go to the bathroom for the rest of the day?
Friday, May 15, 2009
People don't seem to understand that corruption goes hand in hand with power. The more power that the government has and the more laws that are passed then the more corruption there will be.
The same goes for lobbyists. Folks complain about lobbyists like they are a plague or something. Then they'll turn around and say "I want the government to pay for ______________________" or "I want the government to require _______________________."
Well, buddy, the "green" cars that you want the government to mandate have a ton of lobbyists attached to them.
Socialized medicine? Another ton of lobbyists.
Every new thing that government at any level gets involved in brings more lobbyists. If you want to reduce the number of lobbyists then reduce the size and power of the government. If you want to reduce corruption then reduce the size and power of government.
Can you imagine the level of corruption and the number of lobbyists that we have today if the government was the size it was back in 1800? Both existed then, but not at the levels we have today. Why? Because POWER is the payoff. Lobbyists are there because of POWER. Corruption exists because people want POWER.
Reduce the power of government and you will reduce the number of people trying to control that power and get benefits from it.
All of this ignores the media and the attempts of those in the media to wield power. The way you present the news is a form of lobbying that many people deny even exists. I hope the loss of circulation and financial problems newspapers are having is because more people are starting to recognize that influence and react to it. The same goes for CNN.
Anyone that thinks government can do a good job of administering anything should go stand in line at the DMV.
The reason government agencies and government sponsored businesses do a bad job is because there is no cost to them if they do.
If you don't like standing in line at the DMV then you know what your other option is, right? Don't get your driver's license.
If you don't like dealing with the IRS then you know what your other option is, right? Nothing. There is no other option.
If you don't like dealing with Dell, then you know what your other option is, right? I can't list all the other options because I don't have enough space here.
The problem with government is that you have no choice.
Think about that the next time you want more of it.
From the article:
A report Friday said federal officials are pressuring Bank of America Corp. to revamp its board and bring in directors with more banking experience.
I guess they want someone with more experience, like maybe the President? How about the Sec. State?
Interference from the federal government is what caused the problems we are now having in the banking industry. More government interference will make things better?
Why don't we just have government do what it does best, which is waste money?
The best part is that she dug the hole herself. If she hadn't made such a big deal about waterboarding and "torture" this issue wouldn't even exist.
Sometimes it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Here is your link.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I've never seen this kind of chick before. They look like little penguins.
We ordered from Cackle Hatchery. Their minimum order is 15 while most online places require a minimum of 25. They claim they ship the chicks when they are 1 day old but these little ones already had some wing feathers on them. I would buy from them again if, especially if we didn't want a 25 bird minimum like the other places I shopped. They emailed an order confirmation that said they would email us again when the chicks shipped, but we never received the shipping notice. The post office called at 7:00am to let us know they were in.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
You can read the specs and see that they are fairly heavy at 36oz. and rubber armored like a lot of binos these days. That helps keep things quiet when you bump them while hunting.
They have a fairly high magnification and a reasonable sized exit pupil. The exit pupil is the objective lens diameter divided by the magnification and it gives a measure of how much light it is possible to pass through the binocular. The higher the number the better the bino will perform in low light if all else is equal. All else is never equal and good quality lenses with good coatings make a lot of difference. The pupil in the human eye can open up to about 6mm maximum and this generally goes down with age, so if the exit pupil is much over 6mm then it doesn't help. The 10x50 has an exit pupil of 5mm which isn't bad. BTW rifle scopes can be compared using the same method.
As far as I'm concerned these binos have good clarity but I haven't taken the time to do any sort of technical focus test. I also don't have really top end binos to compare them with.
More interesting is what Steiner describes as "high depth of field". That means that when they are focused at a distant object you don't have to adjust the focus from about 25 yards out to infinity. Every object you look at will be in focus at the same time.
There is no center adjustment on these binos. Both eyepiece lenses have an individual focus on them. Close one eye, focus the other, then repeat with the other eye closed. You will probably have to adjust them from time to time because the adjustment will sometimes move due to contact with your face or glasses.
The great depth of focus is good because if you adjusted them for your eyes you can pick them up and look at any object past about 25 yards and it will be in focus. You can study every limb, leaf, rock, bush, and whatever without having to mess with focusing.
However, there is a disadvantage to that as well. There always is. The disadvantage is that you can't really use them to look through brush like you can with a center focus bino that has a shorter depth of focus. With a shorter depth you can start focusing in close and gradually move the focus out. Objects will be blurry when you are focused too close, then they will become crisp, then they will get blurry again and more distant objects will come into focus. You can look at brush and move the focus from near to far and back and a lot of times if there is a deer in the brush you can pick it out easily as it comes into clear focus while the brush in front of and behind it is blurry. This helps you determine the relative distance to different objects and give you some idea of where the animal went when it moved. The Steiner takes a little getting used to in this regard. It's a compromise, like everything else. What did you expect?
The Military/Marine binos come with covers for the objective and eyepiece lenses which you can attach to the bino body so you won't lose them. The eyepiece covers fit on the neck strap. They don't fit tightly so dust could get under the covers. I didn't like the way the covers fit on the strap because you couldn't get the cover far enough out of the way and if you let the binos hang from the strap for a second the covers would fall back over the eyepieces and you would have to move them out of the way again. I took the cover off the neck strap and attached it to one side of the strap with a shoe lace to get a little extra clearance between the cover and the bino. It looks white in the pick due to the flash, but in reality it is far more tactical being approximately Flat Dark Earth (FDE) in color. While I was at it I attached a small red LED Inova Microlight to the strap. It costs about $5 at Academy and is great for use inside a blind.
Here you can see the extra clearance.
The objective covers fit snuggly and they attach to the front of the center pivot. They aren't perfect either. Of course nothing is. I'm not beating up on Steiner. They provided covers that are attached to the binos so you can't lose them. I just want them to be a little different. When you pull the objective lens covers off the bino they covers hang down in front. If you then hang the binos from the neck strap then the covers will sometimes get pushed up in front of the lenses when the bino rests against your chest. The next time you look through the binos one cover will hang up in front of the lens and you will have to move it out of the way. One solution is to remove the covers, which I don't like. I think what I'll try is to pull the covers off the body and then tie them back to that center anchor point with some paracord so the covers will hang down an extra inch or so and won't get pushed back onto the lenses accidently.
(Sorry for the hole in the couch cover. That piece of furniture is a real veteran.)
Overall I like the 10x50 Military/Marine.
My biggest complaintwith the 10x50 is the weight. I actually saw it advertised on a website as being "light weight"!! I'd hate to see their idea of heavy!
My solution was to buy a bino harness like this. Overall it works pretty well. It is comfortable and holds heavy binos securely while allowing you to raise them easily to look through them. You can wear heavy binos like the 10x50s all day witout getting tired.
The harness comes with two little metal rings like tiny keyrings that you attach to the binos. Then the harness has little locking hooks that go through the rings and lock in place to attach the binos to the harness. Due to the design of the Military/Marine body I couldn't attach the rings directly to the body. My solution was to leave the Steiner neck strap attached to the binos and thread the little rings onto the strap. This way when I unhook the harness I still have the neck strap holding the binos. The little rings seem sturdy enough but the locking hooks look flimsy. They haven't broken if 3 years of use so they must be tougher than they look. I recommend a bino harness for your binos. They are especially useful with heavy binos but I would want something like them even on compact binos to keep them from swinging around and knocking against my rifle or other objects.
However, like everything else in life it is a compromise.
Most of the downsides to it revolve around the fact that it is a harness. You have to put it on and take it off. When you are bundled up in 14 layers of clothes it can be a hassle to get it on and get the straps straight. If you hunt or hike with someone that is perpetually leaving their gear somewhere and wants to borrow yours it is a hassle to let anyone else use them. That can be good or bad depending on who it is.
When you are layering your clothes you have to decide at what point to put it on. I put at least one layer over the harness so that if it gets warm I can take the outer layer off without having to take off the harness while I'm out in the woods. In cold weather I put on my inner layers, then my insulated coveralls, then the harness, then my heavy outer coat. The disadvantage to this is that the harness prevents me from zipping my heavy outer coat up all the way to the top. A scarf helps take care of that problem.
The harness doens't interfere with using a rifle for the most part although it can get in the way if you are using a cramped or improvised position in the field. Squatting or "rice paddy prone" can cause problems. When you sling your rifle sometimes you will get the sling over the bino strap and you'll have to move it to lift the binos. That isn't a big problem but it can happen. Using the harness with a handgun in a belt holster is no problem, but a bandoleer or shoulder holster can be another matter. If you put the bandoleer holster on first and the bino harness over it then you may restrict your access to your handgun. If you put the bino harness on first and the bandoleer holster over it then you will probably interfere the bino straps. I found that I could use a bandoleer holster by putting it on first and lengthening the shoulder strap on the holster so that it would ride down lower than normal. This put the holster below all the bino harness straps and kept it out of the way.
The Steiner Military/Marine 10x50 is a good set of binoculars and I like having a harness to carry them.
Here is your link.
From the article:
Obama doesn't have authority to close schools himself. That power rests with local school districts and states.
At least the article noticed that. Here is the catch:
But the president will have unprecedented money to offer schools from a federal school-turnaround fund. And states have an incentive to act in the federal economic stimulus law, because they must help failing schools improve to be eligible for the dollars.
Combined with the budget plan released last week, Obama could have as much as $5 billion to facilitate school turnarounds, which could translate to $1 million for every school that is closed and reopened.
The federal government has an amazing ability to screw up anything that comes under it's power. Do you really think this will help?
Our children and grandchildren will be paying for this for a long time.
Everyone needs to have a tube of Shoe Goo. It works great for fixing shoes when the sole starts to pull off. It also has lots of other uses.
I use it to patch holes in the pockets of pants. Pull the pocket up out of the pants and set it on a piece of paper or cardboard in case you drip. Squirt a little Goo on the hole and spread it out with a tooth pick or other small implement. Let it dry. I've worn new holes in pockets but I haven't had a hole I fixed this way come open again.
It will patch tears and holes in rain coats, jackets, windbreakers, etc. The repairs are not the prettiest but they are fine for items where appearance doesn't matter.
I use it to repair work gloves. The seam on the thumb always seems to wear out for me. A little bit of Shoe Goo will keep them serviceable for a long time.
Shoe Goo is right there with duct tape, bailing wire, tie wraps, JB Weld, and Gorilla Glue for it's versatility. One warning: the smell when you first apply it is kind of strong. Fortunately, it does not seem to smell after it has dried.
May 12, 2009
Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care
By Janet Adamy
Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system.
Here is another good part:
The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans and would face strong opposition from the beverage industry. They also could spark a backlash from consumers who would have to pay several cents more for a soft drink.You can count on the "early estimates" to be WAY low.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee is set to hear proposals from about a dozen experts about how to pay for the comprehensive health-care overhaul that President Barack Obama wants to enact this year. Early estimates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 trillion. The administration has so far only earmarked funds for about half of that amount.
Monday, May 11, 2009
It was getting on towards sundown and they hadn't seen any deer so James said "Why don't you shoot one of those turkeys so you don't have to go home empty handed."
His son-in-law said "Ok" and resting his rifle over the hood of the truck he aimed and fired.
James said he was rather impressed when a big old tom fell over dead, about 300 yards away.
They went and got the bird and cleaned it and headed for home. On the way James started thinking about what a great shot that was and told his son-in-law how impressed he was.
The younger man looked sheepish and said "You know, that wasn't the bird I was shooting at."
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowances for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or being lied about, not deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor too wise;
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breath a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings–not lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And–which is more–you'll be a Man, my son!
Friday, May 8, 2009
If you have a quality optic that is set up on the rifle correctly to fit you then it is very, very fast and easy to use.
The keys are "quality optic" and "set up on the rifle correctly to fit". If either key is wrong then the system will be slow and difficult to use.
The quality part should be obvious. I won't get into a discussion of brands, but I recommend you avoid the $29 scopes from Walmart and lots of places online. They will probably not satisfy you. A midrange scope from any of the decent name brands will probably be fine. It may not work correctly after you drive a nail into a 4"x4" with it like some of the really high end optics claim, but that is sort of an extreme situation.
The scope has two critical parts to it's position:
1. How well your eye is centered in the scope i.e. too high or too low relative to the center axis of the scope.
2. Eye relief i.e. how far your eye has to be from the eyepiece lens to work correctly. Or, to put it another way, where the scope is mounted front to rear on the rifle.
For number 1, most of the problems are with mounting the rifle too high or too low. People typically mount their scope too high on bolt guns and lever guns. They use the really high "see-thru" rings and end up having a hard time consistantly getting a good cheek weld. OTOH I often see scopes mounted far too low on AR type rifles. I see lots of pics in gun magazines where some hunting writer is having his first go round with an EBR and he mounts the scope on the lowest rings he can find that will let the scope clear the handguard. The comb of the rifle ends up on his temple when he tries to sight through the scope.
Scope and scope ring manufacturers aggravate this problem by recommending ring heights based solely on the diameter of the objective lens without taking into account differences in stock shapes and rifle designs. Obviously a scope with a 50mm objective will have to be mounted higher than one with a 33mm objective, but if you do mount that big scope on a typical bolt action sporter then the center axis of the scope will be higher than the stock was designed for and you will probably have to add some height to the comb of the stock. Flat top AR type rifles seldom have trouble clearing a big objective lens because the stock is in a straight line with the bore. The scopes on these rifles have to be mounted up high for you to get a normal cheek weld. different shape gun, different mounting solution.
For number 2, the eye relief, I think many people mount their scopes too far to the rear. I've handled lot's of scoped rifles and I've never, ever had one with the scope mounted too far forward. I've had trouble more than once where the scope was as far forward as the normal mount would go and it was still too far back. Different mounts, like an extended Picatinny rail, or maybe extended rings are required in that case. Adding to the length of pull would theoretically solve the problem but most rifles already have a LOP that is too long.
How long should the LOP be? Easy test: Put the butt of your rifle in the crook of your elbow on your strong side, with your elbow bent. You should be able to reach the trigger with the first joint of your trigger finger without difficulty. Reaching the trigger with your second joint would be better. BTW do this with the normal clothes you wear when using the rifle. If you are going to be wearing a heavy coat then perform the test with the same heavy coat on. I recommned you deal witht he LOP issue before you mess with your scope.
The "set up on the rifle correctly to fit" is fairly easy to test, but not always easy to achieve.
Here is your basic test to see if you have your scope set up properly for YOU on YOUR rifle. I will assume that you have a place where you can safely handle and mount your rifle without getting a visit from your local LEOs. No ammo is needed for this, but you may want to try this with and without your normal ear and eye protection and hat, just to see if there are any issues with your gear.
1. Always follow the Four Rules.
2. Pick a "target". This can be any reasonable sized, fixed object. I like one at least 25 yards away. It should not be something tiny. Something about a foot across is a good size at 25 yards. A boulder or a tree stump will work. If you are at a shooting range then the target holder will probably be about right.
3. Stand with your rifle at low ready and face the target as if you were going to shoot at it. Normally your "strong" side will be angled back away from the target a little and your "weak" side foot will be a little ahead of your "strong" side foot.
4. Close your eyes. Keep them closed.
5. Mount your rifle as if you were going to shoot at your target.
6. Open your eyes and look at what you see in the eyepiece lens of the scope. Don't adjust anything, just look.
Do you see the full field of view? Are you looking through the center of the scope?
If you have to make ANY adjustments then the scope/rifle system is not set up correctly for you.
If you have to make any adjustments then note how you have to move to get the full field of view. The scope will have to go the opposite direction to compensate. How much? I don't have a good answer for that. I have a box of old scope rings in different heights that I've picked up over the years so I have samples in different heights. If you don't have that then you may end up buying a couple of inexpensive sets of rings just to get the actual height you need when you buy your good rings.
A couple of other thoughts on this.
Variable power scopes can be a problem. The eye relief and the eye relief range changes as the magnification changes. For example, if you have a 2x to 7x scope, the eye relief on 2x might run from 3 to 5 inches, while on 7x it might run 2 to 3.5 inches. There range changes and the whole range moves. I just made up those numbers, but you get the idea. You will need to run this test at the high end and low end. If it works at both extremes it will probably work in the middle.
Your face ends up in a different spot on the rifle when you shoot from different positions. After you make your first adjustments and are satisfied with how things work when offhand, then try it again from braced kneeling, cross-leg sitting, open-leg sitting, squatiing, prone, and from improvised field rests. You may end up having to make more changes to the setup.
Combining the variable power scope with different field positions will make for a lot of test runs. You may find that you don't have enough eye relief range on the scope or mounts/rings. After playing around with this you will probably look at the eye relief numbers on scopes a little closer. I've found that it is often difficult to get the eye relief numbers on variable power scopes. Manufacturers often just publish the max eye relief number from the lowest magnification and the minimum eye relief number from the highest power setting. You won't get the full range on the highest magnification setting, I can tell you that.
Fixing scope mounting issues may cost you some time and money, but the results will be worth it.
Well, if they are so ineffective, why don't we just tear down the fence around the White House and set up an electronic "virtual fence" there? The President said that physical fences are ineffective, right?
Why don't we just take down all the fences that are around prisons? They are ineffective, right? We could just replace them with an electronic "virtual fence" and everything would be great. Better yet, forget the "virtual fence" and just put an electronic monitoring ankle band on all the violent felons currently in prison.
I don't have a link for this. I heard it being discussed on the radio while I was in the car this morning. I'm sure you'll hear more about it as the day goes on.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Gov. Deval Patrick’s free wheels for welfare recipients program is revving up despite the stalled economy, as the keys to donated cars loaded with state-funded insurance, repairs and even AAA membership are handed out to get them to work.
But the program - fueled by a funding boost despite the state’s fiscal crash - allows those who end up back on welfare to keep the cars anyway.
The state pays for the car’s insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for one year at a total cost of roughly $6,000 per car.At least this is only MA. I hope the President doesn't hear about this. I'll bet he could get a federal program going for the measly sum of $150 billion or so.
If we had a national program of cars for welfare people the possibilities for this are endless. Would loud stereos and fancy gold rims be included? You can't expect welfare people to drive to a job without those can you? Maybe the package should include a cell phone with unlimited minutes so they can call AAA. Seeing as this is in Massachusetts maybe they should include a life preserver in the package in case an ambitious future senator is on the program.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
What exactly is this for?
What is the reason we are spending $700 million on this?
What will we get from it except for another government database?
"Because we can" is probably the real reason. I'm sure the government will think of some great use for it at some point.
I'm the kind of person that doesn't like the government wasting my money for nonsense, especially when I can only think of bad uses for the information.
I am also the kind of person that would like to mess this system up just to see if I can. I think I'll try to create an EMP generator stout enough to take out those handheld GPS units. I'll bet I could sell one or two if I can get it on the market in the next few days.
Living in a teepee in a national forrest looks pretty good sometimes.
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