Monday, February 12, 2007

Angry White Dixie Chicks

You ever wonder how messed up the three Dixie Chicks must be these days?

They won a ton of Grammy's last night. I didn't watch, of course, but the news has all sorts of gloating stories about "vindication," etc.

The news is a product of the press.

The Grammy's are a product of the Music Industry.

Both of these, as you well know, are in a near free-fall. Why? Because they aren't credible, likeable, or believable. The Dixie Chicks getting recognition and cover time by the Grammy's and the Press is akin to Ted Nugent getting "Hunter of the Year" from the NRA. It means everything, if you care about the group that's recognizing you, and absolutely nothing to anyone else.

The Dixie Chicks had to cancel whole swaths of their 2005/6 tour. Big chunks of the USA spoke with the only voice that matters - their wallets - and told them "what you did was wrong, and how you're responding is only more wrong."

We've come to learn that their nemesis, Toby Keith, is about as liberal as I am conservative. He's a democrat. The difference is: contrary to the image he likes to project, Toby Keith is a gentleman. He learned early on that you don't mix work and politics. He has, in basic terms, class.

Would I vote for him, were he to run for office? Depends upon the office. Probably not, but that's based wholly on issues. Would I let him watch my kids, or take care of my dogs, and would I do the same for him? Based on what I know of him now, I'd say "yes." He seems like the kind of guy you could have a meal with and actually enjoy the conversation.

The Dixie Chicks? Not a chance. And there is zero chance that I'd let them watch the dogs, either.

In general, you don't let children watch children, and how these girls continue to behave is childish. When a child acts childish, that's expected. When an adult acts childish, it's uncomfortable at best, and deeply unsettling at worst. The Chicks' behavior falls somewhere on that continuum.

So have your laugh, girls, and enjoy the fact that your comrades have recognized you. Perhaps for a day or two it will hide the fact that you really did have what Toby Keith still has - people listening to his music - and you threw it away.

"Hollywood," to coin a term for the establishment that you are basically now a part of, doesn't really like Country Music. Don't believe me? Look how they treat their own. They throw cheap statues at an album that sold so poorly that the tour had to be canceled.

Maybe instead of birds feet, the chicks can tatoo little flags on their feet for this. It would represent how they ignored reality and instead just planted the flag and declared victory...


Carbon, for Morons

I read an article over the weekend about how breathing did NOT account for any global warming. In this moronic article, the author indicated that "since you're breathing oxygen that plants have given off, and only putting in carbon that you have consumed, it's zero sum."

Next time you hear someone say something favorable about a "liberal arts education," laugh right at their face. Perhaps these people can tell you all about James Joyce, but they don't understand even High School chemistry.

Global Warming, we are told, is being caused by a spike in CO2, Methane, and quite a few other "greenhouse gasses." Obviously that's true. We're also being told that the planet is getting warmer because of measurable solar activity. This is also true, and documentable, although for some bizarre reason people want to believe one or the other, but not both.

Humans, unlike any other animal that has ever lived on this planet, build things. We farm, we build, we invent, etc. And these activities take carbon that is in the ground, and put it into the air.

What's not true, however, is that this human *activity* is the only human impact on the greenhouse gasses. Just our *being here* is moving a lot of carbon that would have stayed in the ground into the air. How this is passed off as "a closed cycle" is completely beyond me, and it should be beyond anyone with brains.

Let's talk about a closed system that consists of a tree a living human, and a human in a space suit. The tree breathes in CO2 and breathes out O2. The human does exactly the opposite. Let's presume perfect balance - the tree breathes in 100% of what the human breathes out, and vice versa. As for the human in the space suit, his carbon is 100% represented in this system, but he is breathing into a space suit so his breathing is not.

Now let's turn off the space suit, open the mask, and let the spaceman breathe into our closed system.

The human breathes in the O2. So does the spaceman. They both breathe out CO2. The tree breathes it in - but only to its capacity, which is 1 human's worth. We've added zero carbon to the equation, but suddenly there's twice as much CO2 being produced - more than the tree can handle, in fact.

There are six billion humans on the planet. If you map CO2 to human population growth, the slopes are virtually identical.

Part of this, of course, is because those humans take carbon from the ground (Oil, coal, etc.) and burn it into CO2. Part of it is because those humans eat chicken and beef and pigs, which also generate CO2. But a lot of it is simply because those humans breathe.

They take carbon that was in the ground, eat it, and breathe/burp/fart it out as CO2. Human CO2 is identical to automobile CO2, and coal burning to CO2, and natural gas burned to CO2. It's CO2, and it's in the atmosphere, and whatever trees and plankton are there to absorb it have to absorb it - or not.

To presume that humans don't *directly* contribute to global warming is simply asinine.

Moreover, do you know what the largest greenhouse "gas" is? Water vapor. That's right, steam (technically it's vapor, but it's very similar). As the planet gets warmer, even slightly, the amount of vapor coming off the oceans spikes and creates a massive layer of insulation. It's also a layer of potential energy, which is why we see things like Oswego's killer snowstorm today, but I digress.

Tell me, what other animal "mines" for water? Deer? Bears? Monkeys? Nope, only us. Only humans have the ability to drill deep into the Oglala aquifer and release water that has been there for millions of years, pulling it to the surface and releasing it into the environment. For every cup of carbon (oil, etc.) that a human uses in a day, how many gallons of water does that same human use? One or two showers a day, three cups of coffee, a big pot of pasta boiling, running the dishwasher, running the washing machine, washing the car, etc.

Those aquifers out in the dessert aren't replenishing. They can't. They are too deep and too ancient. Surface water can't percolate that deep. And to the degree that some water *is* getting in to them, it's hardly enough. Oglala, for example, is being drained 100X faster than it's replenishing.

Nationally it's like we're pulling a new Lake Erie out of the ground every year, and just flinging it into our lawns, showers, toilets, etc. - largely to evaporate.

Yes, people cause global warming, but it's not from where you think. Just being here and being civilized is all that it takes.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Electronic Voting Comes to New Jersey - ppphhhtt.

Ah, voting day. No more phone calls. No more ADS. Blessed relief...

Today is the first day my New Jersey town used electronic voting, and I cast the first electronic ballot in my little village Why? Two reasons:

1. I was one of the five people there at 6:00AM, and

2. I was the only one who could figure out how to make the machine work.

A year ago we used paper/computer ballots. You walked up to a counter, told them who you were, signed your name, received a paper ballot, and filled it in with a #2 pencil. It was then sucked into an old pencil-reader unit and tallied. Technically speaking, this WAS a computerized operation. The only part that wasn't electronic was the actual ballot, which was paper.

It also allowed something like 20 people to vote at the very same time. All you needed was a stretch of counter where you were alone and observed (so you wouldn't cheat). Take your time. Read the ballot 20 times. Nobody cared, because there were plenty of places there in the fire hall to cast your ballot. There was never a line.

NOW we have "improvements." You walk up, as before, give your name and sign. Then you're given another piece of paper to sign, from which your "chit" is torn. You walk this over to a new station, where they activate your "voting card," which is an inference reader. Before they activate this card, however, they take your "chit," sign it, and stick it through with a big needle and thread - the chits are kept on the thread. To activate the card for each vote they take the card and move it to a magnetic activator. Then, and only then, are you ready to vote. Are you with me so far? No? Neither was anyone else. The people manning the polls were walking around with actual FEAR in their eyes, and I don't blame them. This "system" had to have been designed from retired "process experts" from the Massachusett's Registry of Motor Vehicles. It was absolutely Byzantine...

Old system: sign name, get ballot, vote.

New system: sign name, sign chit receipt, get chit, hand over chit for voting card, voting card activated, receive voting card, vote.

So, we're at the "activate voting card" step at this point. This took the nice woman I was dealing with about 5 minutes. She finally let me help her when she realized there was no way she could figure it out, so I showed her how to do it (thus, I'm the first vote - nobody else knew how to reset an inference card).

And there I was, with the first truly active electronic voting card in my little town. HISTORY was being made...

I walked into into the booth. I put my inference card in. Because it's proximity based, it sort of flops in the slot. I'm sure it was designed that way to prevent it from wearing out - it doesn't have to be in contact with the reader, unlike a credit card, so it just sort of hangs there in the slot. But it doesn't feel "right" to a generation who is now used to ATM readers, so this is the first area where people wig-out. As I was leaving I was hearing:

"Hey, this card doesn't fit in the slot right. It's flopping around." Etc.

I let everyone know "I'm pretty sure it's fine - as long as it's in the slot, even upside down (no such thing with an inference card, but why explain that?), it works fine."

But I digress. First, my experience "in the booth." Up comes the touch screen. What a cluster-youknowwhat. Rows and columns all over the place. Initiative Questions off to the right in no apparent order. "Soft buttons" all over the place. Plus, the screen is canted upwards. I'm about 6' tall in my work shoes, and I had to tilt my head upwards to read the top row.

Did I figure it out? Sure. Would my 72 year old neighbor? Not in an hour. Maybe not three.

What did this gain us? We already had votes tallied electronically in near-real time. The ballot was easy to read and use. 20 people could vote at once, without any line. It was cheap, too. I have to think that this "modern voting machine" cost us tens of thousands of dollars.

What an ill-advised, poorly designed "improvement." I can't think of a stronger DIS-incentive to voters.

Your government at work...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word...

This Just In: Kim Jong Il did NOT Apologize, and he "reserves the right to take further actions."

I, for one, am stunned. How can this BE? I mean, CHINA talked to him, right?

See below for details, if you want them. In the meantime, continue sleeping well knowing that Nancy Pelosi is just *dying* to get her hands on the funding for the Missile Defense System...

Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan was told during meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and other officials in Pyongyang last week that the North has no plans currently to carry out a second nuclear test, said Liu Jianchao.

"But if it faces pressure, North Korea reserves the right to take further actions," Liu said, citing Tang.

Despite the apparently conciliatory tone of the meeting, Liu said that Kim did not apologize for his regime's nuclear test, as some South Korean media had reported.

"These reports are certainly not accurate," Liu said. "We haven't heard any information that Kim Jong Il apologized for the test."

Monday, October 23, 2006

How to Nuke Seattle

Last week North Korea apologized for detonating a nuclear blast. They did this after a Chinese envoy visited them. Note that UN Sanctions made them declare war on the world, but a Chinse envoy "made" them apologize.

Today, not a week later, the Associated Press is reporting that China is pessimistic about Pyongyang actually stopping their testing. In other words "you can't put the genie back in the bottle."

If only Broadway did theater this well.

In spite of what your liberal press (Newsweek, NYT, etc.) tell you, a nuclear North Korea is a best-case scenario for our friends in China. The country that should be terrified is the USA. Unfortunately we're too busy watching TV to care.

If you accept that North Korea is a puppet of China - and if you don't, you're in for a really big surprise in about 2 years - consider this scenario:

For the next 18 months we don't hear much from North Korea. Perhaps another missile test here and there, followed by special envoys and apologies, but we really don't hear much.

Two years from now Kim Jong Il declares that North Korea is deploying 30 ICBM's. Maybe 20, maybe 50, but significantly more than 10.

Although no details are given about the missiles, there's a good guess that they have the range to reach the western and northern USA. Say, an arc drawn from Minneapolis down to San Diego. Maybe Phoenix, maybe Chicago, but probably not.

The world goes apoplectic, calls North Korea all sorts of bad names, etc.

Something triggers North Korea to launch 20 missiles. 3 at Japan, 2 at South Korea, and 15 at the USA. And by "something," I mean "that Rapscallion, Kim Jong Illinthehead finally snaps at the shadows he believes surround him..."

About 1/3 of the missiles fail in some way, but 15 of them launch. Nancy Pelosi hasn't allowed us to fund our Missile Defense much beyond where it is today, so nothing stops the hits on Oahu, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, etc. The missiles are rather inaccurate and the warheads are small, but they still detonate, leveling a square mile or two, lighting a lot of fires, and irradiating about a million Americans.

And the USA responds by... what? What, exactly, do we do?

We nuke Pyongyang. OK,

We nuke the launch sites, covering them with a few warheads.

We nuke... what else?

You see, there are three major problems that make this situation a worst-case for us.

One: We cannot simply drop 100 warheads on North Korea. There's that small issue of the country they share their largest border with: no, not South Korea... their largest border is actually with China. Do you believe China is going to just sit there while we drop 100 warheads next door? Would we stand there if someone nuked Mexico - even if it was "justified?" Probably not. China would allow us a few retaliations, but that's as far as their patience would stretch, I daresay - and their missiles can reach DC.

Two: There's also the issue of a rather significant country just to the east of North Korea. Japan. Japan is less than 1,000 miles off of the NK coast - DOWNWIND. Fallout from a couple of bombs would be bothersome but tolerable, particularly if Japan itself had been nuked. They'll want retaliation, even if it means they live in their basements for a week while the fallout from 7 or 8 warheads dusts their country. Not a great scenario, but tolerable if they are angry enough. But 80 or 100 warheads? Now we're talking about serious fallout, even given the distance. It would destroy too much.

Plus, Kamchatka and Vladivostok are also quite possibly going to be hit with fallout - nothing like nuking Russia in retaliation for an attack by North Korea.

Three: After Pyongyang and some nuclear sites, what targets do we have? North Korea doesn't have an infrastructure to destroy. Their people live in perpetual famine, without the aid of so much as flush toilets. What do we gain from nuking essentially empty mountains?

So there we are: five, ten, maybe fifteen cities badly damaged (I don't believe the North Korean nukes will be large enough to completely level any US city). Their warheads are probably lousy, so we'll get some fizzles - good in terms of blast (it's lessened) but really bad in terms of radiation (a fizzle is, by it's very nature, "dirty.") Think about the aftermath of Katrina AND 9/11. And then multiply it by 20 or 30. We'll lose tens - perhaps hundreds - of thousands of people through direct effects. Fallout will reach all the way to the East Coast.

We will have societal issues like looting, emergency health assistance, housing for refugees, etc. At the same time we will be economically devastated. This wouldn't cause a "hiccup." This would cause a complete gutting of the US Economy. We would crash, and crash big.

Think about it... do you think our Congress would "rise to the challenge?" Look at how they flubbed up Katrina. Now imagine five or ten Katrina's. Now imagine that the "storm doesn't pass." Instead, the area is irradiated and people are PANICKING and fleeing.

I'm pretty sure Consumer Confidence would ebb a bit. Just a bit.

And if Tokyo and Seoul have been hit, too? The global economy takes a nasty shock.

So what happens then?

Well, first off China will "invade" North Korea, overthrow the Kim regime, etc. They won't find Kim, of course - he died in the nuking of Pyongyang, with his leaders. Nothing like "disappearing" to keep the conspiracy theorists going.

But, of course, if Kim *were* to end up living in a lovely area of China, incognito, wanting for nothing... well, who'd know?

For at least four or five years the global economy continues to reel. At some point, however, things begin improving. Europe is untouched by this, presuming Iran stays calm (a BIG *if*, since a gutted USA could lead to massive issues in the Mideast). China is untouched. India is untouched. There are a lot of large economies that have access to resources, the means of production, and consumers to consume the output. They will recover first.

In other words, the Chinese economy would have "the inside track" on the post-war economic horizon. While the USA, South Korea and Japan struggle to rebuild, China comes out unscathed.

You want "means, motive, and alibi?" You got it. North Korea provides China with the means. Their quest for economic and political hegemony is more than motive enough. The cherry on top? Plausible deniability, that old Cold War Chestnut. An atomic attack from North Korea is deniable by China. "We didn't do it" will be legally true.

Tell that to Seattle.

China is not some benevolent nation on the other side of the ocean, struggling to maintain order. It's a puppet master who now has atomic weapons at the end of the strings.

Sleep well.

Monday, October 16, 2006

North Korea is already China's Puppet

No coy title for this one. I'm hoping that I might get a hit or two with the direct approach.

For the 100 million Americans out there who refuse to smell the coffee, allow me to make this simple for you: North Korea is already a puppet state of China. This isn't a threat of danger, it's a fate accompli.

Fifty some-odd years ago the Chinese sent approximately two million of their soldiers to fight for North Korea. About 1/4 of them - 500,000 or so - were killed. That's more than the United States lost in WWII, on all fronts combined - and we STILL remind the French "hey, you owe us."

How do you think China views that deal? Do you really believe that they pulled out of North Korea completely back in 1960 or thereabouts? Really? Who made them? Russia? The USA? Really?

China has controlled approximately 30% of the planet's population for the last 100 years. They might not have been able to project their power, but they are the one country that nobody has been able to conquer. Japan tried and failed (more on that later). Russia new better than to try. You simply can't conquer 1.3 Billion (in today's numbers) people.

So, instead, we pretend that they are "nice guys." We offer them Most Favored Nation trading status only minutes after Tianenmen Square. We declare them part of the "great nations" even while they actively oppress their people, threaten Taiwan with assimilation or annihilation, and harvest organs from prisoners.

Tell me, have you seen any native Chinese tell you "I'm the middle of three kids" recently? No?

Fascinating. Such self-control those Chinese have over their libidos. It must be their superior diet, or something like that. Perhaps their amazing Eastern Religions allow them to focus on the true meaning of life (fear of torture and death), instead of crass commercialism and propagation, like we Americans.

China hasn't been a "nice guy" in your lifetime. I don't care who you are, or how old you are, nobody living has ever seen a "nice" China. Not before Mao, and certainly not after.

China has an agenda, and controlling North Korea fits nicely into it.

China has some serious grudges, too, and controlling North Korea fits nicely into that one, too.

My next post will outline what's really going on. In the meantime, wake up, pull your head out, and realize that the world just changed dramatically - and NOT for the better...

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Clinnedy's

Nice to see another "star" Demoncrat remind us of all that's good with their party.

Corruption knows no political lines. We've certainly seen our share of corruption on the conservative side of the aisle. The difference, of course, is that when true conservatives see corruption, they throw the bums out - or in jail. Ask "Duke" Cunningham how we treat corrupt politicians, even when they're War Heroes. I didn't hear a single person defending him, conservative or otherwise.

Contrast that to the Clinton's and the Kennedy's.

-Sexual predation is common to both families.
-Insider trading? Sure.
-Substance abuse? Gotcha covered.
-Callous disregard for human life? (i.e. "manslaughter") No problem.
-Driving while impaired? That's entertainment.
-Lying under oath? C'est magnifique!

And what's best about the whole thing is that it shows how well representative democracy works. From where I stand these two families - heck, they're so similar we might as well merge them and just call them "Clinnedy's" - well mirror the people who vote for them.

Not because they are so obviously vile, because as I said you don't have to go too far to find corruption on either side of the aisle. No, what makes the Clinnedy's so uniquely qualified to represent the people who vote for them is:

The voters who keep re-electing them don't seem to mind.

In fact, they *rejoice* whenever one of the Clinnedy's gets away with murder, rape, driving while impaired, etc. They think it's JUSTICE that their guys keep playing the privelege card, even as they call for trumped up charges to be leveled at Bush, Cheney, etc.

Which is why liberalism, as practiced here in the good'ol USA, is such a pestilence. To think that we can survive as a culture, let alone as a nation, while allowing such deviance is folly.

But I'm guessing that the latest Clinnedy fiasco will not only mutate away from the criminal who purveyed it, but will actually become a witch hunt against Big Business. Of course, the issue here wasn't with a Clinnedy driving drunk... No, it was the Ambien! Clinnedy was Ambien Driving!

He was a victim, and justice demands that we go after the REAL perp here: Sanofi-Aventis.

Mark my words, this is how the MSM is going to spin this...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

To paraphrase Nurse Ratchet: "Deportation Time."

Round'em up.
Throw'em out.
Lock the door behind'em.
Shoot'em if they come back.

I'm pretty sure that would solve the problem.