Friday, February 5, 2016

Solution To Migrant Problems

The Russians are not known so much for things like nuance. They tend toward the direct approach. There's less confusion that way. Also less need for clever signs.

D.C. Moves Closer To Ankh-Morpork

D.C. is considering legislation to pay criminals not to commit crime in their bailiwick. One supposes that if the proposed payment was equal to or greater than the amount a criminal could expect to net from his crime, this might work. Something like this has been suggested, in Terry Pratchetts Diskworld books in the legendary metropolis of Ankh-Morpork.

In A-M, the crime rate is very low. Criminals are organized into a guild which looks out for itself jealously. You want to be a criminal, you first join the guild. They dictate how much you can steal, and what percentage you have to kick back to the guild. The guild takes a percentage off the top and uses the rest to buy politicians and cops, pay retirements to those who actually live long enough to collect one, and other worthy endeavors. If you don't wish to be accosted and robbed, you buy insurance from the guild and upon presentation of the card, any attack will stop immediately. Persons working outside the guild or caught violating the rules are punished severely. Sometimes the bodies are found.

Paying a thief not to steal has a certain logic to it, up there with paying a worker not to work or a farmer not to grow strawberries. I have to wonder about some of the other crimes. Do you compensate a rapist for not raping by giving him a coupon to a "gentlemens' club" good for similar services? Commensurate with gun buybacks, do they offer to buy a drug dealers wares at the going retail rate, no questions asked?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Buying Politicians

The codger fight in New Hamster continues with Hill protesting that Bernie is suggesting she could be bought by certain Wall St. interests:
Sanders fired back by going on a tear about how special interests buy off politicians all the time. Clinton said that no one has been more targeted by those special interests than her.
I don't see why anyone on the left should be complaining as Jimmy Carter has endorsed Don Trump as being more amenable to compromising his positions. For him, this is a selling point.

The old saw about an honest politician being one who, once bought stays bought is really only applicable to places like Chicago or New Jersey where being bought by the local mob had darn well better mean staying bought. On Wall St the interpretation is a bit different as financial types don't normally have kneecappers on the payroll or even the speed dial.

In the better parts of town you don't buy politicians. You rent them, by the issue.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Economics Of Green Energy

Had this headline passed on to me by a friend.

Green energy fact: if we put all green energy subsidies together in
one-dollar bills and burn them, we could generate more electricity
than has been produced by subsidized green energy.
 
It's a fascinating fact and you have to admit once you hear how much money has been spent on green energy, that it has an air of plausibility about it. The only problem is the source, Peoples Cube also has a hint of a credibility issue. Still, there's enough truth to this....

Existential Threats

Existential Threats in America are clearly defined as things that threaten the comfort and well-being of the residents of Washington D.C. In Europe the range is limited to certain gated communities in Brussels I suppose, but here comes the possibility of one now.

With the influx of downtrodden refugees from the lower latitudes bearing only the credit cards and iPhones they could slip into their pockets, we are now discovering that they also bring a long list of diseases, many of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Not so much a problem in winter, but in summer, the little bloodsuckers pop up even in the best neighborhoods. Additionally it seems things like Zika can be transmitted sexually adding a new element to the casual affair with the pool boy.

When Malaria, Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever, and who knows what all else begins to pop up in the tonier parts of town, then you'll begin to hear the cries to have another look at DDT. Back in '71 it was determined that it posed no real threat to anything with less than 6 legs, but got banned anyway mostly to win the green vote.  Since then it's been banned pretty much worldwide with threats to places still afflicted with the aforementioned diseases and more to cut off trade if any traces are found in anything being shipped from those countries. The death toll from otherwise preventable diseases is estimated to be between 50 and 100 million since the ban went into effect putting Rachael Carson up there between Joe Stalin and Chairman Mao in terms of the absolute number of people they've killed.

Numismatist Alert!

I'm looking for one of those new Iowa quarters that have heads on both sides.

Endorsement - Plastic For Hobbyists

For all you Mad Scientists out there looking for a chunk of plastic to finish your Cosmic Infindibulum with here's Colorado Plastic Products.

All the usual plastics in all the usual forms, plus several bins of leftovers which go on sale the end of every month at half or more off. You probably don't need a 4 x 8 ft slab of Delrin, and couldn't afford it anyway, but chunks measured in inches instead of feet and available in Delrin, Nylon, HDPE, PVC etc. are there. Odd lots are also available. Ask.

Click the link and sign up for notifications of their monthly leftover sales.

Monday, February 1, 2016

3-Way Races

A statistical study at one point determined that the most likely outcome of a 3-way electoral race was a victory by the least popular candidate. This happens when the 2 most popular candidates split their party majority into pieces individually smaller that the least popular candidate. This applies to larger races as well.

So here we go again, only this time in the primaries in Iowa with Cruz and Rubio splitting their 38% of the vote against Trumps 28% and giving the win to Trump. One more chapter in the ongoing policy of the Republicans letting the New York Times select their candidates.

A republican party ruthlessly intent on occupying the White House would be leaning on the remaining dwarfs to drop out and throw their support to either Rubio or Cruz in an effort to get an electable candidate to lead the party but internal politics intervenes and none of the wannabes is willing to admit that he or she really has no chance at this point.

There was a song on the Simpsons once:

Most people won't never shoot off their toes
but then again some folks'll
Meet the man with just 3 toes
It's Cletus the slack-jawed yokel.

Cletus is a close adviser to Reince Priebus.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Guns And Pot And Confiscations

A fellow came by our table at the gun show today asking about recommendations for a lawyer. It seems that his home in unincorporated Jefferson County was raided by officers of the Denver police department who searched his house and confiscated all the guns there, some of which belonged to his wife. The explanation he was given was that since he has a "red card" for medical marijuana, his second amendment rights are forfeit.

There is an ongoing problem with Colorado's experiment legalizing MJ in that the form 4473 asks if the applicant is a user of illegal drugs. While MJ is legal at the state level, the feds still consider it to be an illegal drug so answering the question  in the negative would be construed by the feds as a false answer. Answering in the positive would of course result in a rejection for purchase of a firearm.

As he explained it the Denver cops took all the guns in the house including his wife's guns although she does not use medical MJ, and some guns which he has had since before the introduction of background checks. Some months have passed, and no charges have been filed but the DPD refuses to return the guns.

We recommended him to a first rate attorney who even if they can't afford him will send them to someone more economical who can competently assist them.

I'll see if I can get any more information on this.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gun Rights - Much Needed Legislation

Rep. Patrick Meehan  (R-PA) Rep. Katherine Clark  (D-MA) recently introduced the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act.
 
Found the reference here with highlights  
H.R. 1041.
 
False communications with the intent to cause an emergency response.
(a)
Criminal violation
Whoever, with the intent to cause an emergency response by any law enforcement agency, in the absence of circumstances requiring such a response, uses a telecommunications system, the mails, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly transmit false or misleading information indicating that conduct has taken, is taking, or will take place that may reasonably be believed to constitute a violation of any State or Federal criminal law, or endanger public health or safety, shall—
(1)
if an emergency response results, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;
(2)
if serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) results, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both;
(3)
if death results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for any number of years or for life, or both; and
(4)
in any other case, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
 
It gets better. RTWT for the details and imagine an anti-gunner being frog-marched out of the Wal Mart where they hoped the police would gun down one of their enemies for them.
 
This sort of approach is over due and badly needed. We need to explain* to the grabbers that murder-by-proxy is a non-trivial offense against everyone.

The proposed piece here is Federal legislation which means it won't get passed and certainly won't get signed. This being an election year, we should all cut and paste the summary of the bill and send it to our state and local politicians for possible offering at that level.

*O.K. for these folks explaining involves a 2x4 applied to the side of the head, but the proposed legislation should work nearly as well.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Debate Summary

Trump was right.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Attention Song Writers

Here's everything you need except the melody.

All the critical elements for a real heart breaker here.

Festivities

The 25th was the birthday of Robert Burns, so off we went to celebrate with traditional Scottish fare:
Haggis and tattie. That's a table serving, not the main course. You take a pie wedge and see if your table mates want the rest. If they're not quick about it, you get another. The rest of the course includes Scotch which is brought in with a piper and served to the leaders of the fest in a two-handed cup which is fortunately not completely full. The drill is that you drink your dram from the cup then signify that you've downed it by turning the cup upside down over your head so it's drink it or wear it.
No Scotch was wasted in the ceremony. The piper on the right had to suffer the indignity of someone over 21 filling in for her. There were several volunteers.

Toasts were made and poetry read. The toast to the president was quite brief which avoided any big embarrassments and frankly I still think mine would have been more warmly greeted, but oh well.

For more Scottish poetry try The Haggis of Private McPhee.

FWIW, not only was there leftover Haggis, but I got a nice chunk of it. Re heated with hash brown potatoes and topped with an egg over easy it makes a fine breakfast.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Obama Inches Away From Hillary

She's not under the bus yet, but the bus seems to be heading her way and O'Bungler at least seems to see it coming and is slowly inching out of the traffic lane.
It means that she can govern and she can start here, [on] day one, more experienced than any non-vice president*(1) has ever been who aspires to this office. Her strengths, in terms of the ability to debate, the ability to, I think, project genuine concern in smaller groups*(2) and to interact with people, where folks realize she’s really warm and funny and engaging—
I'm thinking that the word is getting out that the case against her is good enough that having Loretta Lynch simply ignore it isn't going to work. I would also not be terribly surprised to hear about a White House meeting involving Mike Bloomberg to discuss "something".

*1: Take a hint Joe.
*2: Small groups. The people she can talk to in the adjacent cells.

Gasoline At $149/gallon

Not at the corner gas station where you have the option of going somewhere else, but at the military motor pool where gas is supplied by people with political connections.
One of the companies that got a lucrative biofuel contract from the military was the San Francisco–based Solazyme Inc. According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2009, Solazyme got a $223,000 contract for 1,500 gallons of algae-based motor fuel. That works out to $149 per gallon.
I suppose the good news is that this fuel didn't take anything from the national food supply. Still seems a bit pricey.

RTWT: This wasn't even the worst of it.