Thursday, March 29, 2007

The "most ethical congress in history" strikes again

Market Watch
Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband was a major beneficiary of military appropriations blessed by a subcommittee that she headed, Metro Newspapers reports this week.
Feinstein (D-Calif.) acted in apparent conflict of interest while approving billions of dollars in military construction expenditures, according to an investigative story by award-winning journalist Peter Byrne. The story was published jointly in the North Bay Bohemian and Metro Silicon Valley weekly newspapers this week[...]

Billions baby, billions! Gotta think big. Randy Cunningham was a piker - he didn't think big enough.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pacified: Saddam's home town of Tikrit

File this one under: all the news the MSM feels fit to embargo.

You know that Tikrit place we all heard so much about right? Hotbed of insurgency, rabidly anti-American and pro-Saddam, right? Heart of the Sunni Triangle, right?

Not so much anymore it would seem.
[...]In which province are you currently deployed (if you can tell)?

I am deployed in the Saladin Province. The area that my unit operates in is relatively calm but there is still a threat. There are people that are taking advantage of the situation for personal gain, but the Iraqi Police in this area are stepping up to that challenge more and more every day.
(NOTE: Salah ad-Din includes Tikrit and Samarra - two formerly very anti-American areas.)

How do the Iraqi civilians view/treat you and your soldiers?

We are generally well received by the civilians in this area. Coalition Forces do not have as large a presence in this area as in some other places in Iraq, but the locals are used to seeing us and treat us well[...]
H/T Black Five

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A $4,000 MP3 player

The $300 ones grow legs and walk away on their own with regularity, so why would anyone in their right mind buy one of these? Its like walking around with a big "rob me" sign on your back.

I just bought a little FM radio at the dollar store for a buck that I can take out into the swamp and not lose any sleep if it gets destroyed. I'd rather have that $1 Chinese radio than one of these goofy things.

[...]Four Symphonia models will be released in Q2, 2007, being made from Blackwood and White Gold, Blackwood and Pink Gold, White Gold and Pink Gold respectively, with the same ancient blackwood and 18 carat gold in each case, with prices ranging from EUR 3000 (US$4000) to EUR 5000 (US$6500)[...]

Dutch company offers free postage

This would be a smashing success if offered in the US. I certainly would use it since it kills two birds with one stone.

1) You get something free
2) It costs people you despise money.

Its a complete win/win for the public.

For Dutch consumers who wish to save 44 euro cents ($0.59) on posting a letter, there is a solution: an advertisement on the back of the envelope.

Dutch advertising company will begin offering consumers a pack of five envelopes with free stamps next month that they can use for standard letters up to 20 grams.

The envelopes carry advertisements on the back, and the person requesting them also has to agree to receive advertising by mail or email from the participating companies, a company spokesman said.

The company says the offer is unique in Europe.

After a hard day at the jihad a jihadi needs to unwind...

...with some high quality BOOZE.

Has there been a recent revision of the Koran I'm not aware of?

Just saying...

Iran help wanted: propaganda minister, position immediate

When you have rank amateurs whipping out really crude stuff like this, it becomes clear that Iran is desperately in need of a proper propaganda minister who can orchestrate a better show.

Seriously, trotting out several years old pictures of "hostages" and trying to pawn them off as fresh lacks a certain level of...ummm...shall we say creativity.

The viewing public demands a certain level of quality in its propaganda. Last year's model simply will not do anymore. The public is much more discerning in this electronic age. Old propaganda is like fish, one its been around for a while it starts to stink.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A "cheap tool" that provided good value

Occasionally I'll make a tool recommendation. Its time for another one.

Walmart is selling a Black and Decker 14.4V cordless drill in a kit that comes with two batteries+charger for about $40. I bought one of these a while ago just to get the two batteries because I've got a B&D 14.4V sawzall and wanted some spare batteries and the whole drill kit was cheaper than buying the batteries separately.

I didn't expect much from the drill, but it has turned out to be OK. Not as powerful my expensive 14.4V Milwaukee, but its powerful enough to be useful, and light enough to not make you arm weary as heavier 18/24V units are.

I have quite a number of different cordless drills ranging from 7.2V up to 18V and they all serve a purpose depending on the task. Sometimes you need the raw power of an 18V hammer drill for drilling concrete, but that drill makes you arm weary wielding it.

This cheap B&D 14.4V unit has enough guts to do a lot of household tasks, and the batteries last long enough to get real work done with it. It would be quite suitable for a home woodworking shop, putting together shelving, screwing up curtain/drape/picture hangers, etc.

The only weak point of the kit is its charger. Its a "slow" charger that isn't smart enough to turn itself off when the battery is done. Most of the cheaper drills suffer from this same affliction. It takes about 6 hours to recharge using the charger that ships with it. B&D does however sell a smart "fast" charger for about $30 that is a useful addition for someone who wants to do production with with the thing. That recharges'em in about 1.5 hours.

If you want something that's not complete junk and won't set you back a lot of money, take a look at the B&D 14.4V stuff.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

NYT: war lowered Army desertion numbers

I don't think the NYT really intended Col. Hilferty's quote to be included in that article ;->

[...]Colonel Hilferty said in an interview.

He added, “We are looking at the rise in desertions, but the numbers remain below prewar levels, and retention remains high. So the force is healthy.”[...]

Chinese hospitals fake test results to drive business

Heh, if its happening in the workers paradise, you don't suppose it might be happening here in the capitalist gulag?

A group of Chinese reporters came up with a novel idea to test how greedy local hospitals were -- pass off tea as urine samples and submit the drink for tests.

The results: six out of 10 hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of the rich coastal province of Zhejiang, visited by the reporters over a two-day period this month concluded that the patients' urinal tracts were infected[...]

Driver psychology - what makes them do it?

What makes people feel compelled to lurch out from a side street right in front of you nearly causing a crash and making you slam on the brakes when there's no cars behind you for as far as the eye can see?

This happened to me 3 times yesterday and I confess I'm at a loss to explain it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Airbus A-380: premier terrorist target

Seriously, what self respecting jihadi wouldn't want to nail one of these things? Over 500 fatalities in one shot for the price of a Stinger.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Americans understand Iraq better than the media

Democrats, as usual, misread the public sentiment and believe their own propaganda. Dissatisfaction with something does not necessarily imply one wants to abandon it. This is the mistake the democrats have made.

[...]But do Americans really want to "cut and run" and leave the Iraqis to their own devices? Are they as selfish and shortsighted as that might suggest? Not by a long shot.

According to the latest IBD/TIPP poll, a majority of Americans recognize that the U.S. still has a lot of work left to do in Iraq. For example, the vast majority (82%) believe it's important for the U.S. and coalition countries to continue training Iraqi security and police forces.

Beyond showing common sense, these findings also show that ordinary Americans are concerned about the security not only of our troops but also of Iraqis — people who, for the most part, they have little relation to or interaction with[...]
H/T Jules

Climate denier, climate criminal - burn the witch!

As Scooby Do would say ruh rho. Let the death threats begin! Start constructing the gallows. Bjarne Andresen is toast.

A Danish scientist said the idea of a "global temperature" and global warming is more political than scientific[...]

[...]He says the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Palm Beach elections still screwed up


When you've got software displaying bogus numbers, THAT. IS. A. SOFTWARE. ERROR. Mr. Fratello. Who are you trying to shit here? You shipped Palm Beach County untested crap, and being the morons they are, they didn't bother to do their own limits testing on your untested crap. This class of BUG, and the fact that it made it to the field, is so bush league and amateur that your lame ass company should be summarily fired. You are incompetent, period.

Pravda in Paradise
The company that designed the Palm Beach County Elections Web site took the blame Wednesday for a glitch that led to inaccurate results being displayed for some municipal races Tuesday night.

In an effort to give the Web site a "more crisp" appearance, a column for vote totals was inadvertently made too narrow to handle four-digit numbers and cut off the crucial digit in the thousands place, said Marc Fratello, chief executive officer of SOE Software Corp.

"It was a human error, not a software error
," Fratello said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Dalack Effect

A few miles north of me is the ordinarily sleepy little FL town of Tequesta, population approx 6,000. However, these days the Tequestians are fired up and itching for an election fight.

It seems moonbat extraordinaire, and now beclowned all around jaggoff, Basil Dalack, won a village councilman seat running unopposed. Nothing out of the ordinary there, lots of positions of this sort are won unopposed. Curiously though, in Dalack's case he refused to take the oath of office after his default win claiming a bunch of anti-war nonsense. Locals are less than impressed with Basil these days...
[...]Dalack - councilman-elect and councilman-unsworn - sued in federal court to have the oath declared unconstitutional.

His principled stand earned him face time on cable news channels, made him the subject of political Internet blogs and got him several radio interviews.

A federal judge ruled against Dalack in May. He appealed. Oral arguments before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals are set April 17 in Miami. Rumor is that Dalack will take it to the U.S. Supreme Court if he loses.

Left behind in the swirling political backwash, Tequesta suffers from the Dalack Effect: notoriety it didn't want, $102,017 in legal fees so far and, for lack of a fifth voting member, a tie vote on a half-dozen council issues including the annual budget and a union contract.

"He's gotten us a lot of publicity. Bad publicity," said Vice Mayor Tom Paterno, who is running for Seat 4. "Not very many people like him in this town."[...]

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Federal Judge Karen Henderson - undercutting the anti-war left

What you say? She was the dissenting vote in the appeals court ruling to strike down the Washington D.C. gun ban. How could a nice lefty like that undercut the left?


Atom splitting mind fissionist Henderson bases her dissent on the (extremely wobbly and highly novel) notion that the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution DOES NOT APPLY to Washington D.C. because its "not a state".

I'm sure the residents of D.C., and certain notable press members, like the Washington Post for example, might be very surprised to discover there exist Federal Judges who don't believe the U.S. Constitution applies to them, yet this is exactly what Henderson said.

Naturally, if the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply to actual U.S. citizens living on actual land inside the territorial boundaries of the USA, then by logical extension, it can't possibly apply to NON-citizens OUTSIDE the territorial boundaries of the USA itself. The constitution and BOR isn't a Chinese menu - you don't get to pick and choose what parts you like and don't.

Henderson's novel opinion has completely undercut the left's assertion that vacationers at Club Gitmo should have the full protections of the U.S. Constitution.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

300 review

This testosterone soaked farce flaunts male dominated society and mocks the alternative GLBT lifestyles of the Persian hoards. The Persians resemblance to modern day liberal anti-war protesters can't go unmentioned either. A definite slap in the face to the Code Pink and Answer crowd.

Seriously, any society that needs to depend on actual warriors for its survival doesn't deserve to survive. If your hoards of pierced mutant leather clad freaks can't subdue any threats, then there's no excuse for surviving.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Government "efficiency" - $10,000 to shoot one elk

$16M divided by 1,500 animals is just over $10,000/animal to be eliminated. This is even worse than sodding the swamps.

Washington Times
[...]Officials at the park 60 miles northwest of Denver want to trim the herd to about 1,200 to 1,700 elk from an estimated 3,000. The solution recommended in a preliminary plan calls for employees or contractors to shoot elk at night or dawn with silencers, in part to keep the culling out of the public eye.

The estimated cost of the plan is $16 million to $18 million over 20 years and includes herding, fencing and monitoring the elk to prevent overgrazing.[...]

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rosie being treated for depression

Normally, I don't comment too much about celebrity nonsense since so many others do, and would do it better, but this story about Rosie O'Donnell being treated for depression just struck me odd.

Seriously, if you woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror and realized, "OMG, I'm Rosie freaking O'Donnell!" wouldn't you be depressed too? Probably even suicidal? The woman is a loon of the first order.

If I looked in a mirror and saw Rosie staring back at me, I'd probably smoke a .38 right on the spot.

Your tax dollars turfing the swamp with dead sod

Some genius just decided to turf some of the bare spots along the levees in the swamp where I've been working for the last week. The sod contractor installed obviously burned and brown dead sods.

Ordinary weeds would be a much better choice, since the levees aren't really dirt, they're just crushed/compacted coral so there's nothing there for the grass to actually grow on and since the levees sit about 8' above the water line, they're going to drain fast and not hold enough water for the grass to really take hold. Weeds will grow almost anywhere on little water and are "native", but nooooooo, we had to buy dead lawn grass for a swamp.

I'm sure the alligators and ducks were impressed ;->

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"Freedom of speech does not cover obscenities"

Could spell rough times for California lefty bloggers ;->

Orange County Register
[...]A Riverside woman who faces a criminal charge of swearing at John Wayne Airport is suing the county, Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona and two sheriff's deputies, alleging infringement of her free-speech rights[...]

[...]John Eastman, a constitutional law professor at Chapman University in Orange, said Venable's federal lawsuit may not hold muster.

"Freedom of speech does not cover obscenities," he said.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

US Greenbacks no good in Connecticut

When a state won't accept US dollars, I'm not sure what to think...

Hartford Courant
This week's customer service award goes to the Connecticut State Police, where the U.S. dollar is not recognized legal tender[...]

Friday, March 02, 2007

Florida will become a "blue state" for 08'

Florida is one of a handful of states that doesn't grant automatic "restoration of civil rights" (which includes voting, professional business licenses, etc) to released felons. Florida felons currently apply to the governor for this restoration which apparently is a lengthy process that can take some years.

There is a serious effort afoot to make this restoration automatic and it has governor Crist's support. I've seen numbers tossed around in the press saying roughly 500,000 people would be affected by such an automatic restoration scheme.

Do the math. Florida swings solidly to the democrats in 08' if this goes through.

US Postal Service - "improves" by "managing perception"

We have this bizarre story about how the post office has decided in their infinite wisdom to remove all the clocks from post offices.

Clocks of course, allow people to note how slowly lines are actually moving and then they start grumbling about same. The cure for this perceived poor performance of removing the clocks would be pure brilliance were it not for the fact of cell phones and watches ;->

I've spent a fair amount of time in post offices in the past shipping stuff I've sold on eBay, and I'm somewhat sympathetic with the post office's performance perception problems. The vast majority of issues are caused by egregiously incompetent customers who came unprepared. Packages unwrapped, not addressed, wrapped using the wrong materials (the PO doesn't like masking tape because it tends to peel off and screw up the machinery), customs declarations not filled out etc. Postal customers, as a general statement, simply don't have their shit together at all.

McCain's touching bedside manner with injured troops

I'm not going to ruin the best part, but here's a taste of how torqued up the writer is...

Carren's experience
[...]Senator is not a word I would use for McCain. JERK (or asshat, as Chuck usually says) is more like it. When Chuck was in the hospital, Jerk came to "visit" us. A quick story before I tell you what happened[...]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How did this crap ever pass an inspection?

One of the pump/gate stations we looked at today had one of the funkiest electrical setups I've ever seen that was installed by supposed electricians.

The conduit work looked like spaghetti thrown all over the wall, and the actual service panel was totally hokey. The service entrance neutral (which was green wire rather than white) wasn't connected to the panel's neutral bar, it was connected to a ground bar and they were using the panel itself to carry current.

Damn. Pretty lame shit.