Thursday, April 30, 2009

Real men of genius

Word has it that Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn is in line for an appointment to the board of directors of GM by President Obama. Why so?

Well, he's apparently rejecting the advice of the attorney general of Wisconsin, and has instructed his officers to "take down" anyone found carrying a pistol openly (which is perfectly legal there), disarm them, and only THEN figure out if they're carrying legally.

Now think about this one for a minute; he's telling his officers to attack armed men without provocation, a deed that really ought to provoke, you know, an armed response. It's the kind of brilliant thinking that could land a lot of officers and citizens in the morgue, and fits perfectly with the kind of "thinking" President Blago wants to enshrine at General Motors.

Seriously, I hope and pray that this ends without someone being killed, and that it also ends with Mr. Flynn's firing. Even apart from his unconstitutional views on gun control, he's demonstrated that he has no clue about responsible police tactics.

H/T Northern Muckraker

Some consolation about the GM takeover

At least you'll finally be able to buy that Trabant you always wanted, at least if you're willing to wait ten to fifteen years for it. Pray that Geithner doesn't do anything to help the bicycle or motorcycle industry, or we'll all be walking.

Seriously, if the government wanted to do something horrible to General Motors, they could hardly have done better. Government and the UAW controlling 90% of the board of directors? The guys who can't figure out that hybrid cars are a money loser are running the business? Gettelfinger, who can't figure out that labor at twice the cost of what Toyota and Honda are paying is NOT cost effective, is going to be working the numbers for GM?

My prediction; tens of billions of dollars more down the rathole in subsidies, and at least one of the "Detroit 3" goes through Chapter 7 bankruptcy within five years.

I am holding out hope that stockholders will vote this one down, allowing GM to go through Chapter 11, but that hope is pretty dim.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Complying with a possible Obama appointee

Apparently, a prospective "regulatory czar" for Czar Obama has come up with the idea that whatever ideas someone puts on the Internet, he's got to link to a contrary position.

Here, of course, is the contrary position. Not that I expect Czar Blagojevich to catch on to the principles in that document any time soon, but per his nominee's request, there it is.

And what is it with people in government naming a prestigious position after the despotic rulers of old Russia?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A letter I'd love to see

Dear Miss Perez Hilton

I heard your comments about my daughter on YouTube. Let's step outside.

Mr. Prejean

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've been reading through the books of history in the Scriptures, and here's (as far as I can tell) a very interesting set of statistics about Solomon.

700 wives, 300 concubines, one child (Rehoboam) named.

One son indicates he wasn't totally sterile. What happened to others that ought to have been conceived? Did Solomon mimic Onan to prevent further alliances, or did he do the same to prevent the offering of his children to Molech, or....were some children born, but sacrificed to Molech?

Solomon also seems to have (see Ecclesiastes) dreaded handing over his estate to Rehoboam. One might guess that in all his (pagan) attentions to his wives, he neglected to raise up his own son in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

We won't know this side of Heaven, but the questions raised here should be very sobering to us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some suggestions for reducing carbon dioxide emissions

Many are complaining, and rightly so, about the fact that the EPA is claiming the right (in a legally dubious manner) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, water, and methane. While I am of course leery of the prospect of government control of energy use, there are some very real things that the goverment could do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

1. Abandon NAFTA and GATT (they aren't about free trade anyways), implement a 10% duty on all goods entering the country, and slash income taxes. Let people see the cost of government in what they buy instead of what they earn, and see what happens to consumption--and fuel used to consume.

2. Enforce border laws. All those illegal immigrants burn a lot of fuel, you know.

3. End daycare subsidies and tax breaks and see how many middle class moms stop commuting.

4. Allow oil exploration off our coasts and in ANWR and eliminate much Middle Eastern fuel. It takes a lot less fuel to get a tanker to go 1000 miles than it does for the same tanker to go 10,000 miles.

5. End transit subsidies. The most efficient means, the diesel bus, pollutes just as much as if you'd bought a Powerstroke F250 for every rider.

6. End urban "redevelopment" schemes and let people commute to where they actually want to work.

7. Stop subsidizing grain and ethanol, and let farmers use all that land for its best use; pasture. Watch exports soar as the world realizes that U.S. cattle are not eating genetically modified corn and chicken manure anymore.

8. Stop subsidizing air travel and Amtrak. Watch the executive looking at a much larger travel cost to China or elsewhere consider a facility closer to home.

9. Stop federally guaranteed student loans and watch colleges close energy-inefficient dorms. Also watch as methane emissions from students plastered on "Milwaukee's Beast" decline drastically.

10. Force Congress and the President to ride in CAFE compliant cars and ride coach.

I won't be holding my breath, but I can dream, can't I?

Bare feet for the Pelosi/Obama Depression

Mark directed my eyes to a very interesting article about how all those very expensive running (and "comfort") shoes may not be doing much for foot health. As much as I enjoy good shoes (and distrust cheap ones), I decided to give bare feet a try today--OK, slipper-shod--while I walked my dog.

What I noticed; your feet really do "work" a lot more when they're not encased in rubber and cloth, and you "feel" everything in a way that you ordinarily don't. I also noticed that I really do have a habit of slamming my feet down and using my heels where I perhaps ought to be using my toes. Maybe I'll give it a longer term try and see what happens. Who knows? My next pair of "running shoes" could have Chuck Taylor's name on them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Here's a great point

Michael Barone warns us to beware of geeks carrying climate and healthcare formulas. Let me add some other ones; the actuarial formulas that told us that Social Security and Medicare couldn't help but be solvent--ignoring the fact that paying for someone's retirement will induce them to stop taking other measures for one's retirement. Little things like "having the babies that will grow up to pay FICA tax," for example.

God warns us about presuming on the future. Maybe we should listen to Him sometime.

Gotta love this one

Evidently, there is a brouhaha over a question that an openly homosexual judge posed to a Miss America contestant.

Now read that carefully. Isn't it hilarious that the guy was chosen to be a judge for this contest in the first place? Finding a worse judge for American femininity would take some doing, I think.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The Northern Muckraker clues me into something that, if it didn't affect all of our rights so badly, would be flat out hilarious. At the very least, it clues us in to the liberal, gun-banning mindset.

What am I getting at? Sarah Brady, a leader of the VPC/Brady Campaign/Handgun Control/whatever they're calling themselves this week, is a smoker.

How is this hilarious? Simple. Tobacco kills hundreds of thousands of people annually; pretty much about half of the people who use it. On the other hand, firearms kill (on an annualized/lifetime risk basis) about about 1% of those who come into contact with them.

So Sarah Brady is straining at a gnat and swallowing--or at least smoking--a Camel.

OK, this IS flat out hilarious. But it still ticks me off.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

About those five star safety ratings

Or, alternatively, Congress, the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute vs. Physics and Engineering, part ???

What do I mean? Evidently, all those five star safety ratings on compact and subcompact cars don't really mean much when they crash into something larger than they are--like a tree or 95% of cars on the road. Seems like Isaac Newton had it right four centuries ago when he formulated

F = M A

I keep dreaming that one day, Congress will listen to actual engineers before passing regulations, but since apparently they can't even be bothered to read the laws before voting on them, I'm guessing that understanding their implications is way above their pay grade, sad to say.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another book review

Wonder what poverty in the Depression might be like? A little hint is given by "Passing on the Comfort," by An Keuning-Tichelaar and Lynn Kaplanian-Buller. It's about how Mennonites provided enough quilts to the Netherlands to convince the Dutch (tongue in cheek) that most Americans were in fact Mennonites.

Of course, there is a bit of humor in an officially pacifist denomination being seen as "All Americans" by a nation that had just been liberated by a legion of decidedly non-pacifist Americans, but there is another delighful reality; these wonderful people had just come through the Depression and wartime rationing, and still managed to produce shiploads of quilts for the victims of war. We can complain about how bad things are, but let's be serious here; the nation's worst depression resulted in wonderful deeds of kindness like these. We ought to praise God that our version of poverty involves things like a closet full of leftover fabric and the struggle with obesity, no?

Friday, April 10, 2009


If you doubt that we have become a nation--really a world-- of "sheeple," take a look at a recent post by the "Northern Muckraker." One might accept the idea of shipowners being reluctant to invite a terrorist reprisal by arming their ships (though I don't), but apparently some ship lines are complaining about the cost of a night watch while sailing through Somali waters.

Let's think about this for a moment. The ship is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the cargo a similar amount, and they're complaining about a few thousand dollars to protect the ship from pirates--as if they don't pay that amount hundreds of times over in insurance, lost cargo, and such.

Penny wise, pound foolish--and coming very close to persuading me that their dog stayed home, and they went to the vet.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A real midlife crisis

No, I'm not needing a Mustang or Corvette (as if my 6' 1.5" frame would fit in those anyways) or looking for a trophy wife (the wife I have already is). However, I found out yesterday that when you multiply by five children and the wife, that adds up to 240 spankings.

Thankfully they weren't that hard, or I'd still be unable to sit down. Got a cool "pig over flames" barbeque apron, too. I've wanted one ever since the time I got to visit Big Bob's in Decatur.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Needs to learn more history?

In a recent interview, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton was apparently quoted as suggesting that President Obama needs to learn more history before he conducts foreign policy--saying in effect that his dangerous naivete results from a lack of knowledge.

Sorry, but I cannot believe that the son of a Ph.D. with two Ivy League degrees of his own (married to a woman with two more Ivy League sheepskins) suffers from a lack of knowledge of history. Rather I'd have to suggest that he knows, but just doesn't care about the consequences, because it's him eating the wagyu beef in the White House. Let's not forget for a minute that the man has been driving through Chicago's South Side for two decades without figuring out that all that government "help" isn't exactly helping the recipients.

He's simply bringing that willful blindness to a far greater arena, and we can only pray that he wakes up to the consequences before it's too late for too many Americans--and the rest of the world as well.

Sorry, Spartans fans

It wasn't my fault. I was walking out of the local recreation center after swimming with my daughters and the game was on. In my defense, they were already down 20 when I saw a minute of the game, and they closed by a few points while I watched.

But again, I'm sorry, and well done, Tar Heels.

Even more bummer news; the traditional post-loss riots in East Lansing once again failed to burn down Superfund site Cedar Village. Maybe next time, and thanks for a great year, Mr. Izzo.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Now this is encouraging....

Apparently, the White House is actively discouraging banks from repaying TARP money, and has at the very least failed to congratulate smaller banks which have returned it already. If the sources (anonymous, sigh) are accurate, I can hardly disagree with the idea that former ACORN lawyer Barack Blagojevich Obama is trying to conform the nation's banks to his will in the same way that he's done to (already too subservient) General Motors.

And while I cannot blame Mr. Varney's source for being reticent about being named, one can only wonder what might happen if he (or she) were brave enough to go public with the allegations. It might only take a few people doing so to cripple the Obama socialism machine.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A day well spent

I spent last Friday at the annual MACHE Homeschool Conference in the RiverCentre in Pig's Eye Landing, starting with a five hour (oh my legs, shoulders, and back!) stint working security at the entrance to the exhibition hall with two other people. It was a pleasure--except for standing for five hours, of course.

They asked that I wear a tie, so I wore a blue suit--and as I drove there, I reflected on the fact that I looked somewhat like a Secret Service agent. True to the look (though my suit isn't THAT nice), I got a lot of comments about looking intimidating, and even one "you look like you need a gun."

I didn't tell her that in fact, no, I didn't need a gun.

One of the coolest things about the day, apart from keeping order (it wasn't hard) at the conference, was that we were securing the entrance used by the Wild's players. Of course, we let them by when they mentioned this was their entrance, and we had a lot of fun telling the head of security that we let about 20 of the meanest, toughest looking guys we'd ever seen go right by. They aren't that big, but you can tell they're as tough as nails, and...their jaws are a dental surgeon's dream, if you catch my drift.

(and yes, we also joked about not exactly desiring to get in a confrontation with a hockey player)

Also very cool; I didn't have to avert my eyes from homeschooled children or their parents to prevent violating Job's contract with his eyes very often. Homeschoolers do seem to, by and large, have a well developed sense of modesty, and it's quite refreshing.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Here's a howler

In comments about this article by Liz Sidoti of the AP, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal lays this one out:

How far does America still have to go to bridge its centuries-old racial divide? Liz Sidoti answers the question:

Even in 2009, a black man cannot become president of the United States without some knuckleheads sending stupid emails about him.

To be sure, America has made some racial progress. But the dream of equality will not be truly and fully realized until President Obama's political detractors treat him with the same respect George W. Bush's detractors showed him.

With the same "respect" Bush's detractors showed him? You mean calling him "Chimpy McHalliburton" and "Bushitler", and that sort of thing?

Personally, I have the hope that, as much as I despise Obama's politics, Obama's detractors will treat him with a LOT more respect than Daily Kos and Huffington Post treated President Bush.

H/T SCSU Scholars

Book review: "You Can Farm," by Joel Salatin

I have been blessed to borrow a copy of You Can Farm, Joel Salatin's book telling prospective farm entrepreneurs how to make it work--and also how they can make a new business fail very quickly. The book as a whole is a mix of commentary on modern agribusiness (very good for dieting if you're eating their products), small scale farming, and entrepreneurship in general. He makes the case that you've got to count the cost, start small (generally without buying land), and keep the customer--and marketing--in mind. It's long, but a fairly easy read, and it goes into great detail why the chicken you buy at the store generally loses a lot of volume when you cook it.

Answer; up to 10% of the weight of the bird you buy at the store is liquid absorbed from the tank in which the bird carcasses are chilled. By the way, did you know that in 1994, poultry producers were fighting requirements that visible manure be removed from carcasses?

Mmmm....poop soup poultry! That might be why the broth from commercial birds is grey...

The book also makes the case that if you want good meat, you can do little better than to raise it on grass. To that effect, I did an experiment; I took 2 lbs of my father-in-law's pasture raised hamburger and 1 lb of 80/20 supermarket hamburger. I weighed both before and after cooking. The result?

Both packages lost about six ounces of weight in cooking, and the grain-fed supermarket beef was noticeably more fatty and noticeably less tasty. One could also tell that the pasture-fed beef was visibly more nutritious; it was a deep red, not pink.

The upshot; if supermarket hamburger (80/20) is worth $3/pound, the pasture fed beef is worth about $4/pound when you consider what you actually get to eat. It's not as expensive as one would think--in many ways, it's actually cheaper than what one can get at the supermarket.

(and then you can figure out what all that saturated fat in corn-fed beef is doing to your arteries and pancreas)

In a similar way, check out Mark's link to how to store eggs. Not surprisingly, homestead-grown eggs performed better than those raised in a poultry facility. Apparently, you can also store eggs for months in your fridge. Good to know for when those sales come around.