Extremism Means No Liberty

At least when the government decides you're an extremist, anyway. So if the government decides, based on some nebulous and ever changing set of standards, you are a possible threat, no 2nd Amendment for you!

If this doesn't disturb anyone, I'll just advise you to research how much fun it's been for people on the no fly list to find out WTF is going on.

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So, somebody at the NYT has written the most ironic sentence of the year, and possibly of the century.
There are cultural challenges, too. Can the government help turn around a company known for its bureaucratic approach to business?
The amount of clueless git involved in writing the paragraph is staggering, but magnets should attract the second sentence. I believe this is irony in the purest form around. Melt it down and use for pig iron, folks. It doesn't get any better than this.

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Short Week

You'd think that would mean less work related aggravation. Not so much, unfortunately.


I think that sums up my week already. I could discuss the newest Supreme Court nominee, but as she's already revealed herself to be temperamentally unsuited for the position, I don't see much need. Others have commented on her previous decisions. I'll just propose to you a simple experiment. Does this statement strike you as racist?
A wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina female who hasn't lived that life.
If it strikes you as racist, perhaps the racist nature doesn't change much no matter which skin and genitalia combinations you substitute into the phrase. Of course, if it strikes you as just peachy, perhaps we're farther away from that color-blind society we're supposedly striving towards than I thought we were.



Little Bits of News That I've Heard Today to Add to My Generally Pissy Mood...

Henry Waxman is trying to hold to his promise to pass this cap and trade Carbon Tax disaster by the end of day today and the Democrats are so desperate that they've maybe topped themselves. The Wall Street Journal reports that, due to the possibility that Republicans will require a formal reading of the 1,000+ page bill to slow its progress, the Democrats have a speed-reader waiting. So, now, apparently Evelyn Wood is now the most powerful force in government.

Our friends the Donks have also rejected an amendment that would stop the cap and trade tax if unemployment rises to 15% or gas reaches $5/gallon. I'm guessing that because there are still some of us left who haven't elected socialists to office to devastate our state economies, Congress has to make sure we're all equally punished and destroyed. One ring to rule them all and all that dreck.

I also heard a clip today where the infallible teleprompter of the Barackulous informed him that his Secretary of Defense is William Gates. Um, Mr. TOTUS, I think the man's name is Robert. William Gates would be one of the founders of Microsoft. Hmmm...maybe that was intentional after all.

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Penn Jillette points out what some of us have known all along and been saying for years.
Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered. If we’re compassionate, we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.
Remember, everybody: forced charity is not charity.




The search begins for the next member of the Supreme Court. Right off the bat, I can assure you someone who is willing to uphold the Constitution as the supreme law of the land is not really high on the priority list. I find this out from none other than David Axelrod.
"Fidelity to the Constitution is paramount, but..."
I could give you the rest of the sentence. I see no need. Once you've got the ever-popular buttmonkey in the phrase, the first half doesn't really matter.

So, given that the administration feels other issues are more important than the Constitution, let's have fun with it. I think we should make the selection of the next justice the subject of a reality TV show, with audience participation. If we're going to continue on the downhole slide away from the rule of law, let's grease that fucker and make it a race to the bottom.

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Hubble & Politics

This "breaking news":

The Hubble Space Telescope has found Nancy Pelosi's credibility. It is on the same planet as Joe Biden's common sense, about 3 million light years away. In future decades, they hope to be able to spot Obama's budget cuts.

Thank you, Fred Thompson, for brightening an otherwise glib day.




So the subject today is impractical but cool guns. Odd question, easy answer.

Any manually operated Gatling gun. Bonus points are given for examples in a historically accurate caliber like .45-70 or a scale model in .22 LR. Unless you really are one of the extremist wackos we've been warned about and have set up one to cover the entrance to your bunker, they just aren't all that useful for anything. They are, however, exceedingly cool and I want one.

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Did you know that a Google search for scary long necked canadian mutant doesn't return any references to Celine Dion in the first 3 pages?

At least not until this page gets indexed, I suppose.

Anyhow, I've been contemplating parallels in history. We currently have an elected President who has decided to subvert the bankruptcy process, long established in law, in order to confer extra-legal favors on his chosen cronies. So does this mean we're right about at the point where Julius Ceasar was appointed perpetual dictator? Or closer to the grant of powers to Octavian by the Senate? I am referring to events which can be considered the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Empire.

In any event, we are watching an attempt to change the country from a government of laws to a government of men. More depressingly, it looks like it might work.

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I Want A Challenger

Failing a Challenger, I'll take a Charger. SRT package on either one I receive, thanks. I figure it's the least the .gov and Chrysler owe me for involuntarily propping up the zombie of a corporation. Since Chrysler isn't giving the money back, we should be getting free cars. Oh, wait an 8% share of the revenant is supposed to adequately compensate the US Treasury for the $7,200,000,000 we pumped into the dying dreams of the UAW.

Let me see. Some quick math is necessary here. For 8% of the new improved undead automaker to be worth $7.2 billion, that implies the entity going forward is worth $90 billion. Fat fucking chance. GM's assets were barely worth that much at year-end, and they ain't now. Chrysler sure as hell doesn't have that much on the balance sheet. Alternatively, some schmuck is thinking there's a reasonable chance Chrysler will start making money again and that 8% will someday be worth the money we paid. Well, hell, that's easy math. It's a net present value proposition, right? How much money does Chrysler need to make for the UAW Employment Plan to be worth what we paid for it? Well, assuming a discount rate of 4.25% (the latest number for 30 year T-Bonds) we can just about break even if our 8% of the profits is $430 million a year for the next 30 years. Over a shorter time horizon, the number goes up. Of course, I've never seen a discount rate that low out here in corporate America, either. The number goes up if we assume a higher discount rate, too. Figure the odds of that happening. I'm not even going to try because I'm well aware of the computational limits of my machine and software.

Now, keep in mind I got my engineering and business degrees from state school here in Texas, so I might not be up to the minute on the fancy financial thinking emanating from DC. All I can see from out here in the sticks is we, as unwilling taxpayers, are getting shafted to benefit somebody else. If I can figure this out, surely your beneficient elected leaders in DC have someone around who has noticed as well. So they must not give a rat's ass. Yay!

Short answer: all the rest of us taxpayers just got screwed to benefit the UAW and some Italians. Hope and change my pasty white ass.

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Blowout, Denial