Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Term Limits for Congress

This is one time I agree with Al Gore:

"The person who has the most money to run the most ads usually wins."

I believe that our representative republic is perhaps crumbling because of the way campaigns are funded, and, to a larger degree, the roll of lobbyists. But, even though I agree with his contention, I disagree with his (probable) solution. Although he doesn't mention it, if it is along the same lines as other politician's proposed solution, like McCain or Feingold, I'll bet he would prefer to attack free speech. I can't agree with that at all. To me the preferred solution is not to worry about funding or free speech, but incumbency.

We need term limits for Congress!!

That would restore congress to what our Founding Fathers envisioned. Two terms for Senators, and three or four terms for Representatives in the House. That would solve the problem. Hey, we do it with the President, why not congress???

All too often it is the congressmen who stay the longest who acquire the most power, spend the most money on pork, and garner the most financing from inside the beltway lobbyists. Without change, someday the government will be completely in control of every single aspect of our lives, and with or without knowing it, we will be living under socialism: say goodbye to freedom and liberty. We are already on the road to our own demise.

Some might argue that short time representatives might not think about long term solutions, but that's not true. It works in the free market: for business there is plenty of turn over, yet businesses thrive in a free and open environment where there exists plenty of turnover of the stockholders and players. Long term solutions will take care of themselves, yet we really need to cut the graft and pork from the government payroll. We need to lose the entitlement mentality, both from within and without of Washington D. C.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Judging Pluto

Well, I'm told that I make sense, but I wonder.. I hope that by making sense, I am not being unwise :) After all, I'm slicing the world into pieces. My piece is logical, based on the classical 76 year old definition of Pluto, and by using the precise language definition of the word 'planet'. Yes, it is a nonluminous celestial body larger than an asteroid or comet, illuminated by light from a star, such as the sun, around which it revolves. By that definition Pluto is a planet. If there are other bodies that fit this definition, then I say, 'let's add them' to the list of planets.

I think it was Aristotle who was one of the first who concerned himself with the dividing of the world into slices. He would take his metaphorical knife (language and scientific description), and for every category or every group, he would try to form rules that would divide one group from another. Sometimes we humans do too much of this categorization. Perhaps the divisions can be more subtle. Who is to say these scientists are right or I and the dissenters are correct (Pluto vote 'hijacked' in revolt). It is fun to have the debate, but I must not get too carried away with my attempt to be precisely correct, lest I be wrong. Nature has it's own way of being omnipresent, subtle and constructed in her own manner; being what she is, she is there, and our models, language, descriptions, scientific or otherwise are only too imprecise, and break down again and again, yet we try to build them back up again; and when they break down, we ought not be surprised in our infinitesimal attempts to understand or model the ultimate world of nature, but we try. Our representations are to nature as an atom is to the sun, only very minute piece of the entire puzzle.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eight ain't great -- nine is divine.

"My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas."

Or how about:
"Many Vacuous Earthly Moonbats Just Subtracted Unary (from) Nine"

In most Numberology representations, the number 9 represents 'Completion' or the 'End of a Cycle'. For color representations, 9 is Gold and 8 is Silver, who wouldn't rather go for the gold, why be happy with silver? And now they want us to be satisfied with only eight planets. I won't do it. I revolt, I maintain that there are 9 planets: Pluto is number 9! I could have been happy if they added a few, but please, no subtraction.

Here's an idea, let's gather together all of the astronomers from the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and place them together with an insufferable set of middlemen, bureaucrats and hair dressers, on a spaceship headed for another Earth-like utopian planet, ostensibly to save them from the peril of the inevitable destruction of Earth by Global Warming. After all, the politicians, lawyers, IAU astronomers, movie stars, environmentalist leaders and hair dressers are the liberal chosen people; the really smart ones, so they ought to be saved... (we can add the astronomers to this list of bumbling fools that we will trick into leaving Earth). Good luck, and thanks for all the fish.

I'm told I am ignoring the most important issue!

What color should this spaceship be?

Well I'm sure I don't know what colour the spaceship should be, but I searched the internet for: hairdresser's favorite color
and the first colour I could see was 'Ocean Blue'. I guess dolphins would like that colour too.

Wind Power a great argument for Nuclear Energy

Here is another great argument for Nuclear Energy. Apparently, one of the alternatives is not yet ready for prime-time. Wind Power has many environmentalists all up in arms because of the down sides. I'm listing these 'downsides' to wind power in the reverse order that they were described to me. So I'm guessing that there may be an implied priority, who knows.
  • Well, one big negative impact is the visual blight left on what is arguably the finest of many natural landscapes in our state--the high ridges of Western Pennsylvania. To me this ought to be the highest priority 'negative', yet it was listed last.
  • Then there is the and untold injury and death to birds, bats, and other wildlife. Fair enough, but not scientifically proven.
  • Then listed was the maintenance of the turbines; I'm not sure why this is a downside..?
  • And then there is the significant loss and/or destruction of habitat to wildlife due to the large footprint left by the installation, but isn't this the same thing as the first bullet above, for which I agree.
  • Serious devaluation of surrounding properties; perhaps a concern for some, but what do they want in exchange for clean air..?
  • And, are you ready for this ... I was told that the #1 downside to wind power is -- the fact that there is a very high (up to 65%) taxpayer subsidy to the turbine companies through immediate and future tax breaks; well bowl me over, that is such a negative, I just can't take it. To think that some capitalist somewhere is going to profit, and not just from the economy (to which I could agree), but because of the tax break provided by congress. What a shame.
So chalk one up for Nuclear Energy, because it's downside is not as bad as this vast list. Yet I just don't get some of these so-called environmental leaders, they are for safe clean alternatives to oil and coal, yet they don't have any ideas ... of what the alternative is. Apparently their alternative is no energy at all. Go figure.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Economy continues to be strong

Lynn Swann and President Bush
"The foundation of our economy is solid, and it's strong. Because of the tax cuts we passed, American workers and families and small businesses are keeping more of the money they earn. And they're using that money to drive this economy of ours forward. ... The entrepreneurial spirit in the country is strong, and that's good for America." -- President Bush
Bush inherited an economic downturn and turned it around. The economy is percolating because of his tax cuts -- lets make them permanent!
On the low-tax economy, Bush has the story right ... Recent strong numbers for retail sales and industrial production suggest a 3.5 percent economic growth rate in the second half of 2006 -- By Lawrence Kudlow

Friday, August 18, 2006

More False Claims on Electric Vehicles

There are two outright falsehoods in a story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Gas was "only" $2 a gallon then. Now's it's $3. Who needs fuel efficiency, let alone fresh air?.....
'Who needs fresh air?' Ha! Well to those who just don't understand it, let them remain ignorant, but there will be no less pollution with electric cars, because most of the energy comes from coal-fired power plants, emitting stuff like SO2 and mercury, how does that give us less clean air; in fact, with all that stuff mandated for the cars, there is cleaner air coming from the cars. Unless they ramp up the nuclear, they are making a false claim. (and CO2 is not a pollutant, in the sense of 'fresh air').
90% demand.
No way. Forget it. People are in love with the ease of fill up. The only way they will get 90% demand is to put a 'quick-electric-fill-up' station on every corner. We are a long way from that. More like 10% The other factor is people love their SUVs (not me). Until they come up with the heavy SUVs that run on electric, well the demand will not be that high. Heavy, because folks don't want a light vehicle that tends to tip over on turns, or fairs badly when in a wreck with an 18 wheeler. You'll have to have separate roads for the 18 wheelers before you get your 90% demand.

There is some good news:
Smaller auto makers are largely behind the current revival. Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors Inc. last week began taking orders for its Tesla Roadster, a battery-powered electric sports car ($85,000 to about $110,000) that the company says can go up to approximately 135 miles per hour and run for 250 miles per charge. Similarly, Wrightspeed Inc. is developing a $100,000 electric sports car that it hopes will last 200 miles per charge and run up to about 120 mph. Another start-up, Phoenix Motorcars Inc., plans to begin selling two electric vehicles early next year that it says will be able to go up to 85 mph and last 120 miles per charge.
75 watt-hour/kilogram lithium ion polymer battery prototypes. Newer Li-poly cells provide up to 130 Wh/kg and last through thousands of charging cycles.

Spraying Chemicals and the Incredible Flying Surveyor's Stake

Apparently the roads are cut to provide for the safety of those traveling the roads. That's fair, but consider the following...

I've been told several stories by others concerning the cutting or spraying of roadsides. First, I guess I ought to at least be grateful that my local township doesn't spray chemicals, some do. That does more damage than the cutting, both to wildlife and to water wells. Yet I did hear a story of a chopped up surveyor's stake at the corner of one person's property. Apparently they use a chipper / weed whacker on a long arm and they take down small trees, along with branches from large trees, survey stakes and whatever gets in the way, including active bird's nests. I even heard that a weed whacker chopper once hit a metal fencepost, sliced pieces off of it which then flew through the air and into the neck of a Belgian draft horse, killing the horse. So if they cut the sides of roads for the sake of safety, then what definition of safety should we use..? To this day I buy bottled water.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Government won't put government in jail

I was driving with my daughter on country roads near home, and I thought how it was a shame for butterflies in particular, and perhaps birds too, like the common nighthawk, who depend on insects, that the township (and perhaps other townships too) cut the edges of all their roads in the first two weeks of August, rather than waiting until at least the middle of September when the birds perhaps will be beyond the peak of their migration. Then I mentioned to my 10 year old daughter that those who cut the edges of the road ought to wait a month. Right away she chimed in with "You know if there are endangered species of butterflies, and they are killed by whoever cut the sides of the roads, then they will go to jail." I, of course, agreed. But I tried to tell her that it was government that cut the roads, and government won't put government in jail for the endangered species act, only individuals. I did tell her, however, that it is a crying shame, even if the monarch butterflies are not endangered, that they won't even wait a month to do their cutting. She was adamant, however, that they would go to jail. I didn't argue further, I guess she learned that at school.

I asked a local supervisor if it was possible come up with a plan to wait until the middle of September to do the cutting of the edges of roads. We shall see what response I get, what kind of representation.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Government Schools

Here's a story from Neal Boortz. When I first read it I thought, wait a minute, is this isolated, or does this happen in most government schools these days? I suspect the latter. It's been a while since I've been to a government school, and my child goes to Catholic School, for all the right reasons. I wouldn't want them doing this to my child. When I was in 5th grade, I had a similar incident happen. They took away my recorder. I was flabbergasted. I had paid for it, but they said I did not. From that day forward I have been extremely skeptical of authority, any kind of authority. I knew then that they lie without reservation, and care little for the rights of the individual. So maybe it's not a bad thing that they take away the kids stuff in first grade right off the bat, that will teach the kids what the government is all about, they only want to take your stuff. This may be a good lesson after all!

The students are seated, the bill rings. As fast as you can say the Pledge of Allegiance without the "under God" part, the indoctrination begins.  The government teacher steps in front of her virtual hostages and promptly delivers the first raw lesson in the power of government.  The students are instructed to bring all of their precious school supplies -- their property -- to the front of the classroom and put them into a huge box.  They are told that the supplies belong to all of the class now, and the teacher will assume the responsibility of distributing the supplies as they are needed.

"Whoaa!  Hold on a minute here!  These are MY supplies.  My daddy bought them for me.  You can't have them!  They're mine!"

Nope.  Sorry!  They were yours.  Now all those supplies belong to -- guess who?  The government!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lieberman says it best

Joe Lieberman, running as an independent, says it best:
"We are at war with a brutal enemy," Lieberman said while visiting a pizza parlor. "How the heck can we be in a battle in which we are fighting as Democrats and Republicans against each other when these terrorists certainly don't distinguish based on party affiliation? They want to kill any and all of us."

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers -- Shakespeare

`` "The first thing we do," said the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI, is "kill all the lawyers." Contrary to popular belief, the proposal was not designed to restore sanity to commercial life. Rather, it was intended to eliminate those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution -- thus underscoring the important role that lawyers can play in society.''
Yet today, it might as well be the way most folks popularly believe that the lawyers are ruining society. Take for instance these facts...
Why do we have to worry about shortages of flu vaccine? Because only a handful of companies still make it. And why is that? Because when you vaccinate millions of people, some get sick and sue. Between 1980 and 1986, personal-injury lawyers demanded billions of dollars from vaccine manufacturers. That scared many American drug companies out of the business.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A defense of defense

This is a defense of defense. The terrorists attacked us first, and repeatedly, even before 9/11/2001. They are attacking everywhere in the west. Look at today's headlines in Britain ("British Police Thwart Aircraft Bomb Plot"). How does a world of civilized human beings defend their right to defend themselves. It seems the world has gone crazy, and some think we have not the right to defend ourselves. To them I say: wake up. We will defend ourselves with vigor.

Yes, the 'defense' (that would be us) has the right, the mandate to defend itself against nasty, vicious terrorists. Terrorists who do this not because we provoked them. WE DID NOT!! They are scum. They regularly and without remorse strap bombs on their own children, and brainwash them to blow themselves up in the midsts of innocent people. That is criminal lunacy. These terrorists have no homeland to defend. They are wandering vermin who attack the west simply because their minds are twisted. Civilized society has the obligation to squelch these inhuman slime, it is imperative that we do so. And we are under no obligation to use diplomacy. We shall not negotiate with criminals.

Some might ask why the 'diplomats' had not been able to prevent despots from rising to power. Ha! Diplomacy never works against despots. There is only one solution to despotism, revolution from within, or war waged from without.

George W. Bush is a sincere democratically elected leader who followed a mandate to rid the world of the despot Saddam Hussein. We won the war in Iraq, and now that Iraq is a democracy with their own internal security force, we remain simply as an aid against their own internal insurgency, they *WILL* eventually be independent. Our own people should not rail against Bush, least they be on the wrong side of what is right. At the very least, those who do not like Bush ought to drop the sour grapes (especially concerning the elections of 2000 and 2004) and rally behind our leader and our nation to uniformly tackle the biggest problem of the new century. Who's side are you on, anyway?

Do 'bombs' make things better: you bet your bippy they do, when used against the enemy, the terrorists. Peace talks don't work with criminal terrorists: They are simply crazy.

Has anyone noticed how many sophisticated rockets laden with bombs have been fired by the terrorists into Israel? They don't have the money for that, they are coming from Iran. Iran's leaders represent the greatest threat.

During a microphone check in 1984, Ronald Reagan, unaware that he was being broadcast, said the following: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Oh, if we only had Reagan back. Yet what we really need is the support of all the people of the west to halt the newest evil empire: Not the people of Iran, but their evil despots.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Independent Lieberman as Vice President

James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise go back in time to Earth in the year 2006. After McCoy inadvertently alters the future of the 2008 presidential election in the U.S. to the favor of Hillary Clinton, who then destroys Health Care and the U.S. economy; Kirk and Spock decide to right the course of history to its correct path. They realize using Spock's jury-rigged tricorder that Lieberman, the correct Vice President to John McCain, the rightful president in the 2008 election, that Lieberman must lose his Democratic primary bid in order to run as independent for senate in 2006. In lieu of that, he would never have been picked as the running mate for McCain, and McCain goes on to lose to Clinton.

The City on the Edge of Forever

Even Star Trek: The Original Series understood that you can't appease dictators, tyrants and terrorists...
``... With more work, Spock concludes that McCoy changed history by saving Edith Keeler's life. Keeler went on to organize a peace movement that delayed the United States' entry into the war -- and Germany was able to complete its heavy water experiments, and its rocket experiments. With atomic bombs, and rockets to carry them, the Nazis conquered the world.

Kirk admits that he is in love with Edith Keeler. Spock informs him, "Edith Keeler must die." ...

Edith, confused by the commotion, begins to cross the street. A large truck is heading her direction. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy look on to see the event that is about to take place. Kirk restrains McCoy and prevents him from rushing to Edith to save her life.

"Do you have any idea what you just did?" McCoy questions. Kirk, in agony, pushes him away. Spock responds, "He knows, Doctor. He knows."

Having corrected history, the three men return through the portal to their own time. The Guardian offers more opportunities to visit the past, but Kirk declines, saying only "Let's get the hell out of here."

A heartbroken Kirk and the rest of the landing party return to the Enterprise. History has been saved, but at a terrible personal cost.
Can anyone say ``Iran'', kiddies?

Sour note for cycling

I guess it looks bad for poor Floyd Landis. Too bad, because I really believe him when he says that he had not taken anything. And I still do. I think he really believes so too. Who knows, but this is not good for the sport of cycling. It figures, that it happened in France (that's the cynic in me speaking). They ought to give Floyd the benefit of the doubt, but in France, folks are not innocent until proven guilty.

``I don't know if it's somehow or some way I ingested something that caused the tests to be that way,'' the race winner said in last night's ``Tonight Show With Jay Leno'' on NBC.

The 30-year-old, who has denied wrongdoing, didn't say what he could have taken that would have caused the doping failures. Others have raised the possibility that he consumed something that affected the readings, he added.

He criticized the handling of his tests after previously denouncing the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency for releasing details of the results before providing them to him.

``The people doing the tests would like you to believe that the only possibility is that I essentially took some drugs and that's why the test is that way,'' said Landis, who has also said a natural occurrence in his body's levels of testosterone could have caused the failures.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Government recognizes no concept of scarcity of resources

Great article:
Quality is a Market Notion

"Successful entrepreneurs recognize this and direct scarce resources to the most pressing needs. Government, on the other hand, recognizes no concept of scarcity."

"Scarcity to Abundance Drives Everthing Tech"

Rumsfeld is Right

Rumsfeld is right, all-right, when he said that the free world is in a "global struggle against violent extremists." He should have called them criminals, perhaps that would stick. We are not creating these criminals, they have always hated us, and we are only now doing the right thing. We cannot cave in to the demands of these terrorists. They are criminals, and you don't negotiate with criminals.

Rumsfeld went on to say: "We can persevere in Iraq or we can withdraw prematurely, until they force us to make a stand nearer home. But make no mistake: They are not going to give up, whether we acquiesce in their immediate demands or not."

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Reuters Clone Tool Scandal

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut. ...

Reuters withdrew the doctored image on Sunday and replaced it with the unaltered photograph after several news blogs said it had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more smoke. Reuters has strict standards of accuracy that bar the manipulation of images in ways that mislead the viewer.

“The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under,” said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

“This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him,” Whittle said in a statement issued in London. Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Democrats to Constituents: "Drop Dead"

All but four Senators tell their constituents to "drop dead". The Death Tax will not be abated from its current $625,000 level (the bill would boost the exemption to 5 million bucks). It's been shown that amongst the people, this is a highly popular change. The "Death" Tax is killing family business. And the 4 Democratic Senators are all up for re-election from red states. Not only that, but the Dems kill the same bill which would have raised the U.S. minimum wage for the first time since 1997. So the Dems just don't care about poor people, and they don't care about family businesses, or farm families who own land, land that could be passed on to heirs, but not if it is worth more than $625,000.

What happens when families have to pay the death tax: their land is sold to developers. 350 acres a day are being paved over in Pennsylvania. This is one of the big culprits, the double taxation of the Federal Estate Tax!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Redeploy John Murtha from Congress

Murtha Condescends
"Redeploy John Murtha from Congress," -- Vietnam Veterans for Truth

Say no more, except that this is my district, and I'll be voting for Diana Irey:

"Today I have a simple question to ask Jack Murtha: Have you no decency, sir?"

Marine sues Marine for libel
Rep. John Murtha Hit with Defamation Lawsuit!

According to today's Washington Post, Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich "will file a lawsuit today in federal court in Washington, D.C. claiming that Congressman (and former Marine). John P. Murtha defamed him when the congressman made public comments about the incident earlier this year."
...they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.