Monday, December 23, 2013

A New Varminter

I didn't intend to post anything, but the weather has been too cold for riding, and I am kind of keeping an eye on a project that is wrapping up.  My part should be done.  I'm just trying to make sure that nothing on my side holds up the rest of the team. 

While I'm waiting to get out on the bike, I loaded up some ammunition.  A while back I mentioned the versatility of the .44 Remington Magnum.  One of the loads to which I referred was using Hodgdon H110 and 180-grain hollow points, like the Sierras pictured below. 

The load data from Hodgdon lists a 29.0 grain load of H110 under a Hornady XTP 180-grain bullet at a little over 1700 feet per second.  It's fairly low pressure and gives the skittish loader such as myself a little breathing room.  It's a pretty full case which often suggests consistency and thus accuracy. 

So far, that seems to be working out.  H110 is not a terribly fast powder.  It lies closer to the median than the top in terms of relative burn rate, and Hodgdon classes it as a medium duty/magnum powder. 

REMEMBER:  Never trust anybody's load data, especially what you see on the internet.  This works fine in my revolver, but if you blow yourself or your weapon up, don't blame me.

Anyway, I loaded up some of those Sierra HPs and tried them out.  I have never used anything except 240-grain bullets in my Super Blackhawk because it has always shot them to point of aim, and, if something works amazingly well, I'm reluctant to change.  Obviously, adding 400 or so fps with a lighter bullet means flatter shooting. 

I have been loading Blue Dot and 2400 under my 240-grains.  The recoil is "sharper", I think, with the heavier charge.  I feel like I'm getting more muzzle lift, but, if that's the case, it comes later since the SBH is throwing the 180-grains low.  That's not unusual for handguns.  It gave an excellent 25-yard group.  I haven't had a chance to try longer ranges and side-by-side comparisons with my 240-grain loads, but it does look like I have a new varmint gun.

I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NSA Uncovers Plot to Destroy U.S Economy

They found out about Quantative Easing?  They realized we'll double the debt by the end of Obama term?  They read Paul Ryan's budget? 

No, this is a foreign plot -- possibly by the Chinese -- to attack the BIOS of computers.  So we're even outsourcing the destruction of our economy to China.  That's just great.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Stopping A Bad Man With A Gun

Early reports on any event are always to be taken with some skepticism.  However, Human Events discusses what may be some inconvenient facts about the little punk who shot an innocent girl in the face in Arapahoe High School last Friday. 

The cowardly and privileged leftist turned the gun on himself when he realized he was about to be confronted with an armed opponent.  The more good people we have who are armed, the fewer of these incidents we will have. 

It is worth noting that the original mass shooter, Charles Whitman of Texas Tower infamy, killed 17 people but would have killed many more had he not come under fire from armed civilians as well as police.  I use Whitman's name in opposition to my usual policy both because of the historical significance as well as the fact that Whitman suffered from a brain tumor which he tried to self-medicate.  He was still an inexcusable monster, but one can understand that his thinking and brain function were severely disrupted.

In this latest case at Arapahoe High School, an armed Arapahoe County Deputy Sheriff, serving as school resource officer ran to the scene, shouting for people to get down and identifying himself as a deputy.  The perpetrator knew he was coming and ended his brief, 80-second rampage by blowing off his own head with a Joe Biden-approved, legally-purchased shotgun. 

When the NRA suggested employing armed guards to curtail school shootings, we were subjected to rabid, irrational attacks and mockery.  We were right. 

In this case, the shooter was upset that he had been disciplined and/or removed from the high school debate team.  He was an argumentative person who, like many over-privileged, spoiled brats, had to triumph in every discussion.  He mocked Republicans, supported stricter gun control (except for himself, like most leftists), believed in Keynesian economics, and advocated for socialism.  A fellow student described the punk as a Marxist. 

Again, these are from early reports and gleanings from the wussy little pervert's Fakebook page. We may learn more or find contradictions as time passes.  Meanwhile, the lesson of having guns in the right hands is vindicated once more.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Philipp Bagus on Paper Money

Specifically, Bagus speculates on how the experiment may end.  He lists seven possibilities:  inflation, entitlement default, debt repudiation, financial repression (legislatively "encouraging" the purchase of bonds), paying off of debt, currency reform, and a "bail-in" where savers become bank shareholders as in Cyprus.

He explains the crux of the problem:

We are now in a situation that looks like a dead end for the paper money system. After the last cycle, governments have bailed out malinvestments in the private sector and boosted their public welfare spending. Deficits and debts skyrocketed. Central banks printed money to buy public debts (or accept them as collateral in loans to the banking system) in unprecedented amounts. Interest rates were cut close to zero. Deficits remain large. No substantial real growth is in sight. At the same time banking systems and other financial players sit on large piles of public debt. A public default would immediately trigger the bankruptcy of the banking sector. Raising interest rates to more realistic levels or selling the assets purchased by the central bank would put into jeopardy the solvency of the banking sector, highly indebted companies, and the government. It looks like even the slowing down of money printing (now called “QE tapering”) could trigger a bankruptcy spiral. A drastic reduction of government spending and deficits does not seem very likely either, given the incentives for politicians in democracies. 
Read the whole thing.

h/t The Circle Bastiat

Reality and Budgets

Denninger points out the lies of the politicians, supported by a complicit media

Over the long term, there is going to be a major financial crisis and a global economic breakdown.  This will have repercussions upon central governments of nations worldwide.  Some governments will fall apart.  Some may become or attempt to become more repressive.  Here in the States, we are in a fragile equilibrium based on the massive increases in the balance sheets of the Federal Reserve – whose greenish debt instruments are in our pockets – and the increasingly burdensome load of federal government debt and deficit spending. 

The bi-partisan budget deal that passed the House this week does nothing to address the impending threat, a threat significantly greater in terms of the impact on individual Americans than things that dominate the news like Islamic terrorism, Middle East wars, illegal drugs, or nuclear proliferation. 

Essentially the House budget deal restores cuts made to the budget through the sequestration process without doing anything to address the revenue gap.  There is supposed to be $43 billion in cuts in future years not covered by the budget.  Not only is that insignificant against a trillion dollar deficit, it is never going to happen because it is not actually in the budget.  It’s a “gentlemen’s agreement” to minimal reductions made by men and women without the slightest hint of integrity. 

Meanwhile, the media is busy pumping up animosity against anyone who opposes the agreement.  By accident, I happened to watch last night’s broadcast of NBC’s 30 minutes of propaganda with Brian Williams.  Speaker Boehner was allowed to express his frustration with the uncompromising conservatives of the Tea Party wing that can’t seem to understand how Washington works.  There was no counter-argument from anyone on the right giving what I think are very compelling reasons for criticizing the deal. 

Like Obama and the Democrats on Obamacare, Boehner and the establishment Republicans really do not care about the will of their constituents or the good of the country.  They want to stay in power.  And this is precisely why there will be a worldwide crisis with a myriad of unintended consequences.  Politicians, for the most part, are far less interested in doing what is right than in making sure they survive the next election cycle.  Entitlements, education funds, and bureaucracies can’t be cut because that would hurt sure votes for the Democrats.  Taxes can’t be raised, and there can be no cuts in defense spending, farm programs and other corporate welfare schemes because that would suppress Republican votes. 

I’m pretty well done with worrying about what these idiots do.  I’ll do what I can to educate, equip, and train my grandkids for the collapse that will certainly happen within their lifetimes. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Better Convictions Through Chemistry

Gina Luttrell at Townhall writes about the conviction of Massachusetts chemist Annie Dookhan:

Friday, former Massachusetts chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty to all 27 counts of falsifying nearly 40,000 criminal drug cases, effectively upending the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Dookhan admitted to filing false test results, mixing drug samples together, and lying under oath about her job qualifications. She claimed that she committed her crimes to boost her job performance and was sentenced on Friday to three to five years in prison, plus probation.

For all the trouble Dookhan caused, a five-year sentence seems pretty light.  I think of all the lives potentially ruined by her actions -- a modern triumph of personal ambition over truth and justice.  It seems clear that Dookhan is not an isolated case.  As Luttrell writes, the chemist had close ties with prosecutors and that state attorneys may have, in some cases, known the lab results were falsified. 

I really hope people begin to realize that government is not a benevolent, altruistic, selfless entity dedicated to righting wrongs and saving us from evil.  Here's the rule:  anything with people in it has the potential to be evil, unjust, and self-aggrandizing.

Some people in government, some police officers, some politicians, some judges, some bureaucrats are good, decent, freedom-loving Americans.  Shoot, some teachers are all right.  The good people may even be a majority, but, as a whole, all institutions must be regarded with some skepticism.  

The law has to apply to all, and when prosecutors or presidents step across the line, they must be held accountable.  Luttrell notes a step in the right direction, but it is not nearly enough.  A short rope and a tall tree would be more appropriate.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snowed In

Snow and cold we have here in abundance today.  Since I don't have to go out to get to work, we are in pretty good shape to wait it out.  Traffic was light down on the county road as it came in yesterday.  Today I haven't seen or heard anything going by. 

We probably have eight to ten inches of snow on the ground but drifts are impressive, and it is not going to get above 20 degree Fahrenheit today.  Our food and fuel supplies are good -- plenty of coffee and beans.  Lots of gas in the tank to run the generator if the power fails -- which I don't expect.  The ice is down in Arkansas.  The only thing I might be a little light on is food for the dog and cats.  There's more than enough for the next four or five days -- by which time travel should be less of a challenge, but I knew this was coming and I really should have stocked up. 

My wife has all the Christmas stuff out.  She made me pull the tree down off out of storage and is even threatening to make me put it up "one more time".  We'll see how that goes this weekend.  I may not have anything better to do. 

All that clean, white snow is pretty when you don't have to get out in it.  Of course, at some point I have to go out and look for tracks.  That's part of the fun, too. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Man I Cured

My wife buys "beauty supplies" at a "beauty supply store."  She is a beauty -- no air quotes needed.  But I'm sure they sell these things other places:

They are some kind of fingernail file.  My wife gives her old ones to me because, of course, I trim my nails that aren't broken, blackened nubs with a pocket knife.  The one in the picture has four different grit surfaces.  I'm sure the ladies don't refer to them as grit, but you know what I mean.

These are really handy for polishing up a knife edge.  You have a surface to strop on, and you can get a fine razor edge.  Plus you don't have to worry about water or oil and when it stops working you can pitch it.  It is nice and light and handy to carry in a Dopp kit or whatever.

If your wife, girlfriend, sister, or roofer, uses these things ask her to save them for you.  Or if you happen to be a gay, metrosexual, or merely genderly confused prepper yourself and like pretty nails, we're not here to judge you.  I'm just telling you, it's handy for touching up the cake knife as well.   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Josie the Outlaw

Josie the Outlaw has a message for the police.

Use the link above to go to the Youtube location, as I had to break the link to get it to show up in here.

Thank you, Mr. Van Der Leun

Visit Josie's website, where you can see a couple of other excellent videos she has made.

She seems like a really bright and well-informed young lady. 

I often post news and links pertaining to incidents where the police have acted inappropriately and without reasonable restraint. 

The bottom line, as Josie so clearly states, is that a badge and a uniform should not allow a person to do get away with an action that would be illegal without the badge.   

Make it viral.  Everybody needs to think about this.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Organizing For Agony

I have seen several reports of this:  Obama's propaganda brownshirts, Organizing For Action, are urging people to set up remembrance days for the Newtown tragedy on December 14 to push the gun control agenda.

If Congress wants to pass a law, they ought to pass one against politically exploiting the senseless deaths of children at the hands of mad men.  It would be rather like the law they have in Germany against denying the Holocaust. 

I'm really not for that either, since I prefer giving people the courtesy of using their own common sense.  It just ain't so common as I would like. 

What I think we ought to commemorate is the last time you could buy rimfire ammunition at Wal-Mart.  I have two batches back-ordered.  If the one ever comes in, I'll probably never need to buy .22LR again before my 100th birthday.  I'd try investing in Bitcoins if I thought they would feed through my 10/22.

The big-government types will never stop trying to limit the weaponry the serfs can possess.  They will come out like ghouls to dance their blood ballet every chance they get.  They will moan and cry for just a little "compromise", a little "reasonable" restriction.  And, if they get it, next time they will want more until you can't own a bean-flipper without their permission.  

Free people own weapons to defend themselves against criminals and tyrants, as if there is any difference.  When a government does not obey its own laws, it has stepped over the line into tyranny and has no more right to the allegiance of its citizenry than a burglar has to your television set.   

Even with the NRA and other pro-gun organizations, we are at a disadvantage against the funding and media coverage the hoplophobes can muster.  We can never afford to give an inch to the irrational demands of those who would disarm us.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beside the definition of the word "projection"

... in the dictionary is a picture of the Obama regime.  They call Benjamin Netanyahu "desperate and weak" for his opposition to the Iran deal.  Read the article and comments at the Treehouse.

IBD says that the Norks and Iranians are corroborating on a heavy-lift ICBM.  If these rogues can put a payload into orbit then everybody is vulnerable -- not just Israel and South Korea -- to a high-altitude EMP attack as well as direct attacks on cities.  If they decide to drop one on Washington, D.C., I hope they do it during the State of the Union speech, and I certainly hope all the fools that enabled it are in attendance.  Nuclear bombs are the ultimate non-partisan solution.

I remember back in the late '70s that Jimmy Carter caught some flak for approving or going along with the neutron bomb which was supposed to kill people but leave the infrastructure.  Too bad there isn't one that could kill the newsreaders and talking heads and leave the rest of us in peace. 

I suppose that's a little harsh, but, whatever one's view on biblical eschatology, I don't see where we can possibly benefit from offering Israel as a sacrificial lamb to the Islamic extremists. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Politics of the Armored Limousine

The ever brilliant Mr. Van der Leun posted in commemoration of the death of John Kennedy a reminder that a man was not all that died that day.  Kennedy rode through the streets of Dallas in an open convertible.  No president or other Important Person has done so recently.  Even the Pope had the bulletproof Popemobile after the attempt on John Paul II's life. 

Today, the President, whoever he is, and the Vice-President, cabinet members and other "vital" politicians ride in vehicles that are veritable tanks on wheels.  The Beast, as the President's ride is called, is resistant to bullets, bombs, and poison gas.  Its tires cannot be flattened.  It is vulnerable only to bad fuel or betrayal. 

I'm not suggesting that the security around our national leaders be lessened, but one is inclined to suspect that the sense of isolation and invulnerability could lead to bad policy.  As politicians found out during the Obamacare debate, for all their talk about "democracy", meetings with constituents can be uncomfortable if not intimidating.  Most of these politicians are wealthy and have private security for themselves and their families as well as arranging for the presence of local law enforcement when the Secret Service is not part of the equation. 

I suppose the question is whether they have armored cars because they think they are elite, or if they think they are elite because they have armored cars.  In any case, in my opinion, the political class -- the self-anointed ruling class in America would be well advised to make themselves more approachable -- even if it makes them more susceptible to attacks. 

I feel sorry for Gabrielle Giffords as she is a talking vegetable dragged around by her politically ambitious husband, just as I have pitied Jim Brady being used by his dreadful wife as a prop for Handgun Control Inc.  But the fact is that people choose this life.  Other people -- better people, in my view -- choose to become pilots, soldiers, sailors, and Marines and put their lives on the line at the behest of the man ensconced in the Beast with a lot less between them and death than the politicians have.  Law enforcement personnel are at greater risk for death and grievous injury than the President.  Though, as we have noted before, police officers are at number 10 on the top ten of hazardous occupations, far behind fishermen, loggers, pilots, and farmers.  I don't see politicians anywhere on the list.   

Not that I want to find out, but I have to wonder what kind of legislation we would get if the ruling class were really accountable to the serfs.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Report on Newtown to be Released

According to Fox News, the Connecticut State's Attorney will release a report on the school shooting in Newtown, CT last December.

The summary will deal mainly with the murderer's background and the police response.  Most information about the events of that day is still sealed and unavailable:

The report expected Monday afternoon will not include the full evidence file of Connecticut State Police, which is believed to total thousands of pages. The decision to continue withholding the bulk of the evidence is stirring new criticism of the secrecy surrounding the investigation.
Dan Klau, a Hartford attorney who specializes in First Amendment law, said the decision to release a summary report before the full evidence file is a reversal of standard practice and one of the most unusual elements of the investigation.
Klau suggests that, rather than representing the state of Connecticut, the state's attorney is acting as a private attorney for the families of the victims.

I suppose some of the evidence might be too painful and gruesome for the parents and those close to the victims to read.  Still, I have a hard time believe that is the bulk of the information.  All suppression of information accomplishes is to feed into various conspiracy theories and make the thoughtful wonder exactly what is being kept from the public.  

Fox follows the Bushmaster narrative:

[The murderer] killed his mother inside their Newtown home before driving to his former elementary school, where he fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle within five minutes. He killed himself with a handgun as police arrived.  (Name redacted by me.)

That's not true.  As my post about Obama's blood ballet from March of this year speculates, based on the available information at the time, not more than 105 of the spent shell casings could have come from the rifle.  The remainder -- at least -- 49 rounds would have been fired from a handgun. 

We would like to know the truth. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Government Schools -- They Own Your Children

They just rent them out to you at night in exchange for your tax dollars.

Down in the Greenest State in the Land of the Free, Jim Howe was arrested for picking up his son from school on foot instead of in a car

Jim Howe, father of two children enrolled in South Cumberland Elementary in Crossville, Tennessee, arrived at the school on foot at dismissal time: 2:00 PM. But a new school policy states that students may only leave at 2:00 PM if their parents are picking them up in cars. Walkers must wait until 2:35 PM.

Howe maintained that the policy was meant to apply to students walking home by themselves, not students walking home with their parents.

“You don’t need a reason as a parent to go get your children,” he told school officials.
The link includes a video shot by Howe's fiancee of the encounter between the father and a deputy sheriff/school resource officer, Avery Aytes.  I can only imagine the carnage which would have ensued had this been my father back in the good old days.  I'm not sure I would have been as nice as Mr. Howe if I had been in his place.  Fortunately, this being the age of the ubiquitous digital image and sound capture, Deputy Aytes and South Cumberland Elementary can be seen by the world for the petty despots they are. 

I'd be surprised if Howe's phone is not swamped with messages from ambulance-chasers who can smell the settlement money like a shark smells blood. 

Folks need to pull their kids out of these government indoctrination centers. 

As far as Deputy Aytes goes, I know his kind.  They aren't bad guys; they just never pass up a rare opportunity to get a little spurt of testosterone.  He is an idiot. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Might Be Time for a Good War

So, Obama's approval numbers drop under 40%.  Big deal.  We're still stuck with him and his systematic destruction of private health insurance.  However, it is interesting to see that despite the Dow playing tag with 16,000, the economy is not helping the White House Occupant.  Partly, of course, because, apart from the runaway train that is the markets in which we are burning the furniture for fuel, the economy isn't doing that well.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics seems to have published Bogus Lying Statistics last year to get a dramatic and inexplicable drop in the unemployment rate.   

I've known a lot of good, solid, intelligent people who are or were government workers.  It's not the majority.  We don't have to assume malicious intent.  Wait, actually we do: 

Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.

Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.

Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.

Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.

“It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.

Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.

Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.

Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.

Today's consumer spending report says October 2013 spending was up nearly four percent over October 2012.  The market seems to like that -- well, except for the fact that it came from the Census Bureau.  What a surprise that we might be a little bit leery of their numbers.

For a few days there it looked like the certain appointment of Janet Yellen as Fed Chair with her undying devotion to QE would check the pressure on bond rates.  Looks like they are creeping back up. 

It's a little known fact about Yellen that she play the dwarf Doc in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".  George Carlin had a bit long ago about the drugs each dwarf used (emphasis added): 

The seven dwarfs were each on different little trips. Happy was into grass and grass alone … Happy, that's all he did. Sleepy was into reds. Grumpy, too much speed. Sneezy was a full blown coke freak. Doc was a connection. Dopey was into everything. Any old orifice will do for Dopey. He's always got his arm out and his leg up. And then, the one we always forget, because he was Bashful. Bashful didn't use drugs. He was paranoid on his own. Didn't need any help on that ladder.
You have to keep the boys supplied.

Sorry I got off track what I meant to talk about was Obama's polling.  Yes, he is at 37% approval and 57% disapproval in the CBS poll used by Townhall.  Obamacare is disapproved by 61% to 31% approved.  Forget a fix.  Repeal this monster.

The one I still can't believe is that 60% of the people in this country ever thought Obama was honest and trustworthy.  That's what the polls showed during the 2012 campaign -- and that's why the liar won.  In this latest poll, the number who think he is honest has dropped to 49%.  That's still ridiculously high.  Some may attribute his misleading "assurances" about the ACA to ignorance.  But the fact is that he lied repeatedly and blatantly, about insurance, about the economy, and about Benghazi, among other things.  If he had told the truth, his "signature" legislation, Biden's BFD, would never have gotten a vote in the Senate or the House. 

Meanwhile, beware, as always, of distractions.  The propaganda wing huddles in newrooms in Washington, New York and LA at this moment polishing shiny objects to pull across our screens, and nothing is as effective as a "Good War". 

Monday, November 18, 2013

What We Are Up Against

Know your enemy.  To that end, P.J. Comix of the DUmmie FUnnies, has long delved in the dark but shallow end of the intellectual pool at the Democrat[ic] Underground forum.  This week, a DU regular criticized the Obamacare rollout. 

Most of the responses are predictable.  A couple, you might find enlightening -- including P.J.'s bracketed response:

We all knew this is what would happen because it needed to happen. Healthy people will have to pay more to more equally share the burden. Single men would have to purchase pregnancy coverage to more equally share the burden. Young people would have to pay more to more equally share the burden. The ENTIRE plan was based on this logic.

[And this DUmmie says this like this is a good thing.]

I'd rather people with sh*t plans pay 10x more for new policies...than give the Republicans a win.

[The people who will now be paying 10x more for their policies--come next November, THEY are the ones who will be giving the Republicans a win. Bank it. And THAT is the realization that is giving Mr. Pitt the angst. He knows that this ObamaCare "fix-up" will NOT redound to the glory of the Democrat Partyin 2014. Will the Shill is, and always will be, a loyal party hack, and if that means having to throw Team Obama under the bus, he will do it.]

There are some other good ones.  Follow the link and read the whole thing, if you haven't seen it. 

Another DU participant says put everyone should be forced onto Medicare, which will be bankrupt soon.  In fact, Obamacare is an attempt to take some of the pressure off Medicare and Medicaid.  It fails in that, too, as most of the people who have "enrolled" so far have been referred to Medicaid.

The posters at DU, like those at Free Republic on the Republican side, tend to be Political True Believers and party loyalists.  Some, as noted by the second quote, are focused only on The Enemy and his destruction -- this is the case at Free Republic as well.  They seem to think that if the other party could be eradicated, we would instantly enter a new golden age.

There is no hope in politics.

The first quote illustrates another problem.  Yes, all of us who can understand a balance sheet and have any inkling of the rules of economics or grade-school arithmetic did know what the ACA would eliminate lower cost policies that did not include unnecessary coverage.  That's true on both sides of the issue.  Those of us opposed to the law said this repeatedly, and those who supported it denied it repeatedly AT THE TIME.  In order to get the law passed, it's supporters -- to be blunt -- lied.  Over and over again.  They lied -- they would say -- for the greater good.

Of course, they will fail.  The penalty -- which John Roberts traitorously called a tax -- is what the young and healthy, the single male who does not need maternity coverage, will pay.  It's cheaper.  Other people will be forced to drop their suddenly more expensive coverage.  Emergency rooms and Medicaid will become more burdened.  The insurers will not be able to cover the additional costs of pre-existing conditions.  I wonder if maternity is now a pre-existing condition? 

"The pregnancy test is positive." 

"We should go buy insurance for the next year."

Friday, November 15, 2013

No Gloating

Really, I don't know if Obamacare is going to be Obama's Katrina, Stained Blue Dress, No New Taxes, Iran-Contra, Iranian Embassy, Nixon Pardon, Watergate, Tet Offensive, or what.  It doesn't matter.  Those of us who have opposed the ACA and Obama's policies in general would certainly be glad to see this Frankencare monstrosity die an ignominious and fiery death.  But I still think it is wrong to gloat.

At American Thinker, Thomas Lifson suggests "Obama's fallen and he can't get up".

Meanwhile, Fouad Ajami offers a WSJ editorial:  When the Obama Magic Died.  

There is a lot of truth to what is being said.  Obama's blatant lies have been exposed.  I am not sorry, but I am not celebrating.  Correspondence from our Democrat Senator, Claire "Ma Hogg" McCaskill indicates that the left is still trying to focus on the "website glitch".  The same can be gleaned from Obama's non-apology during his press conference.  His subsequent speech in Cleveland yesterday was defiant.  He will veto any bill that would offer a permanent fix, defund, or repeal the ACA. 

Obama's solution is to make an executive change to the law to allow current policies to continue through 2014.  Constitutionally, he has zero authority or standing to do this.  This is legislation passed by Congress.  It is, unfortunately, the law of the land, upheld by a Supreme Court decision.  It is in effect.  There is nothing he can legally do about it.  If his "solution" is allowed to go forward, the rule of law in this country is not just dead but rotted and stinking.  We might as well bury it, disband Congress, and accept Teh Won as Dear Reader. 

It is hard to say whether Obama and his team are malicious or simply abominably stupid.  Not that is necessarily an either-or choice.  Surely no one in this country who has ever taken a class on the U.S. Constitution would be that purely ignorant.  It looks like maliciousness with desperation a la cart.     

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gasoline And Alcohol Do Not Mix

Here is an anti-ethanol Sacramento Bee article from the enviro-weenie perspective

It's not too bad.  I am against the idea of the CRP program and payments from the government for fallow ground.  We had very little tillable crop land on rough ground with thin soil.  We grew hay and grazed beef and dairy, and raised a few hogs.  It was commonsense.  A government program was not necessary.

I am opposed to ethanol in fuel, in general.  Despite the claims of many, ethanol is potentially damaging to engines, especially smaller engines.  For my bikes, gasoline mowers, trimmer, and tiller, I buy premium with no ethanol which is available only at one station in the immediate vicinity.  There are others at varying distances of fifteen to thirty miles.  I am fortunate in the we have a drag strip nearby, and this station caters to the specialized fuel needs of the gearheads. 

I am no expert, but I have talked to the mechanics who actually work on these engines.  Every one of them hates ethanol in fuel. 

Ethanol from corn is merely the stupidest of all stupid renewable "fuels".  There is little if any net energy gain from corn ethanol because corn is so petroleum-intensive to produce.  I suppose the leftover mash can still be used as a protein supplement in livestock feed.  Producing ethanol is also a water-intensive process, and the waste water is considered a pollutant.  At least that is what I heard when an ethanol plant was being talked about locally a few years back.  There was a good chance that some of the shallower farm wells in the vicinity would have been ruined by the deep wells needed by the plant.  Not all of the ground on this part of the old plateau has good hardpan so you could easily get ground water contamination down to the shale layer.   Some older wells may not be cased through the shale, and just one such could allow the aquifer to be contaminated. 

In other words, for once, for whatever reason, I agree with the enviro-weenies.  It's time to end the ethanol mandate. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Water Rights

I voted for Richard Nixon.  Nixon started the EPA.  Of all the stupid things he did, including floating the dollar, his establishment of the EPA and his declaration of the War on Drugs have been two of the most devastating in terms of their impact on personal freedom and private property rights.

According to PJ Media's Bridget Johnson, the enviro-nazis may be planning to use water to seize control of private land.  

The proposed rule, obtained by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in advance of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s testimony at a Thursday oversight hearing, widely broadens the definition of waterways over which the federal government has jurisdiction to as little as a water ditch in a backyard.

The Clean Water Act redefinition of “waters of the United States” would include all ponds, lakes, wetlands and natural or manmade streams that have any effect on downstream navigable waters — whether on public lands or private property.

There was a rumor a while back that our state Department of Natural Resources was considering putting meters on private wells. 

Forget oil.  One of these days there is liable to be a war over water, unless some reasonable means of desalinization is developed.

Seriously, I don't think the big-government types understand.  When I get really thirsty, I get a little crazy.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Do Not Have A Wall Street Address

Every time someone wants to defend the Obama regime in the face of a low and possibly still declining rate of employment, a massive rise in food stamp participation, significant inflation -- especially in terms of food, and, of course, the expansion of government, they like to point to things like "35 record highs for the Dow" this year.

Artificially low interest rates and massive expansion of the money supply are ignored.  Wall Street is prospering.  We should "feel" rich.

This is another bubble, blown, in this case, mostly by the Fed's buying of government debt instruments with money that does not exist.  Eighty-five billion a month is going to keep the government churning and the economy at a standstill.  Despite their best efforts, bonds rose over the last week.  Here's the chart from Yahoo as mid-afternoon on 11/12/13:

Debt service is still manageable, but if you want to look at it this way, you could say that about half of the deficit is a result of the interest payments.  That means the higher the rate goes, the higher the deficit goes, and the faster we accumulate new debt that has to be serviced.

Just for fun:

Predictions are never right.  I predicted skyrocketing inflation for March 2011.  It didn't happen as dramatically as I expected because, I suppose, the overall weakness of the economy and the high unemployment rate.  But we have had significant food inflation both in terms of the actual prices and in quantity reduction -- smaller packages costing as much or more than the larger sizes available previously.

So I'll make another ridiculous and undoubtedly wrong prediction:  there will be a correction in the markets in January 2014.  Initially I think the Dow drops back under 14,000 and the S&P goes under 1600 early in the year, rebounds a little going into summer and crashes more significantly to start the fall.  This is not investment advice and should be ignored by anyone seeking to actually make money.  Keep listening to the experts and ignore cranks like me.  I know nothing.  I'm just writing this down now, so I can look back in a few months and mock my own naiveté.   


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Specialization Is For Insects

It's a great a line from Heinlein. I don't know if he got it from someone else, but I got "Anyone Can Learn To Be A Polymath" from Vanderleun's sidebar.

There are several points to be gleaned from Robert Twigger's article, but this falls near the heart of the matter for me: 
Invention fights specialisation at every turn. Human nature and human progress are polymathic at root. And life itself is various — you need many skills to be able to live it. In traditional cultures, everyone can do a little of everything. Though one man might be the best hunter or archer or trapper, he doesn’t do only that.
By all means, read the whole thing.

A family friend and neighbor flew submariner hunters in the Cold War/Vietnam era.  He's a pretty smart man and had a high rank with SHAPE in Belgium when he was done flying.  My father completed the 8th grade.  One day, our friend, observing Dad at some task there on the farm, remarked with admiration, that Dad was "a man of many talents."  Of course, we thought that was funny.  It is just what you have to do.  Our friend has been retired for a number of years and running a livestock operation of his own.  I'm sure he is now a man of many talents himself. 

One of the nice things about the internet is that you can get information and instruction about how to do almost anything.  So, now and then, it's maybe a good idea to take a break from the funny cat videos, and learn how to forge a big knife from a lawnmower blade.  How about how to program in Python?  Brush up on geometry?  Somebody has to pick the slack for the Breaking Bad guy.

As Twigger's piece points out, the more varied our experience and knowledge, the more likely we are to come up with innovative solutions to problems.  Fiddling around with tractors and other equipment has probably made me a better software developer, and my experience with software has undoubtedly helped me solve some mechanical problems.  Don't be afraid to learn something new and totally useless.  You never know when it will come in handy. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Art of the Lie

Do you wonder sometimes how leftists can get away with serial lying? 

Let’s look at Benghazi.  Whatever the Obama Regime was trying to do and cover up, they were clearly involved in something they shouldn’t have been – likely trying to recover arms they had smuggled to Al-Qaeda linked rebels to transfer to more Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels.  To cover both that fiasco and maintain the fiction of an “Arab Spring”, they blamed a video.  When that lie was exposed, it became “old news” and after all, we just had to do a better job of defending the embassies.  Hillary was resigning.  Forget it.

With Obamacare, we see a similar pattern.  The lie was told over and over and over.  People were convinced that they would somehow get free government health insurance – which was never part of the plan.  The vast majority of Americans – eighty percent – were assured their health insurance would not be touched.  Now that that lie has been exposed, they go into the mode of trying to focus outrage on the deployment rather than the nature of the actual problem.  Policies are being cancelled, but let’s all talk about the problems with the site. 

Now the lie becomes how much better things will be for people.  Those who were cancelled had substandard policies.  That’s what Obama meant.  You don’t want those “bad” policies.  We know what you want.  Very soon this lie will be exposed, and the focus will go to the Republicans who won’t fund all the things needed in order to make it work.  The original lie is now “old news”. 

And so it goes. 

It’s a lot like that old saying about sin:  Sin will take you farther that you meant to go; keep you longer than you meant to stay; cost you more than you meant to pay.

Eventually what happens is that the electorate forgets what caused the problem to begin with.  We were doing all right until Obamacare.  That messed everything up.  Now we have to have more government intervention to fix what was caused by government intervention. 

The lie is always about getting the focus off the cause and onto an effect or some peripheral issue. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Prosecutors Who Should Be Prosecuted

I remember this very well.  On Halloween night, 2001, the sport editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune (Columbia, Missouri) was murdered in the Tribune's parking lot.  Two men were convicted of the crime under Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane -- a good law and order Republican. 

One of the men, Charles Erickson, confessed to the crime, and, likely in exchange for a lighter sentence, implicated a friend, Ryan Ferguson.  Ferguson, who maintained his innocence, was sentenced in 2005 to 40 years in prison.  Erickson got 25 years. 

Part of the case against Ferguson was based on testimony from alleged eyewitness, Jerry Trump.  Trump was in prison at the time he identified Ferguson:

At the evidentiary hearing, Trump said Kevin Crane, then chief prosecutor and now a 13th Circuit Judge, called him while in prison and said it would be "helpful" for him to identify Ferguson and Erickson.

Crane's investigator Bill Haws talked to Trump while he was still in prison and also interviewed Barbara Trump. The prosecution is legally obligated to disclose all interviews to the defense attorneys. Haws did not file a report on these interviews and therefore Crane didn't necessarily know they took place, according to the opinion.

I would guarantee Crane knew all about it.  As prosecutor, Crane was quite ambitious and wanted convictions at any cost.  I had a little personal experience with Crane's office, so maybe I'm not too objective.  I come near to hating those bastards.  Because of the misconduct by Crane and his team and because there was no real evidence to link Ferguson to the killing, his conviction has, at long last, been overturned.  This sounds fairly typical:

Chuck Erickson and Jerry Trump are the two witnesses who recanted their testimonies.

Erickson had been partying with Ryan Ferguson the night of the murder and in 2004 started having dreams that the two committed the killing. They were underage but had been drinking at a local club. Erickson also admitted to using cocaine, Adderall and marijuana that night.

Erickson received a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

In 2009, Erickson taped a sworn statement that he committed the robbery and murder alone. Erickson testified at the 2012 evidentiary hearing that he had no memory of the killing whatsoever.
Trump, a janitor at the Columbia Daily Tribune at the time, saw two men the night of the killing and testified at the original trial that one of them was Ryan Ferguson. He recanted his testimony at the evidentiary hearing, stating he only identified Ryan Ferguson because he thought it was what the prosecutor, Kevin Crane, wanted. (Links are from the original.  Emphasis added by me.

I suspect that is what Kevin Crane wanted, maybe because he is a despicable SOB.  

An innocent man -- a kid, really -- has lost nearly a decade of his life to a prosecutor who just wanted one more scalp on his belt.  I am confident that Kevin Crane and the other attorneys in his office at the time will never suffer much in this world for what they have done.  I am also confident that some bright day all these creeps who think nothing of ruining a few innocent lives in their quest for position and power will have to face a righteous Judge who has all the evidence in hand.