Sunday, March 31, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

It's Easter Sunday. Arguably the most significant holiday of the Christian faith. Christians make up 33% of the world population, larger than the next nearest, Muslims at 21%.

Google has traditionally changed the logo on their main search page for various holidays and anniversaries. They're called "Google Doodles". Of course, I didn't expect to see, "He is risen!" emblazoned across their home page on Easter morning (although I probably would have as recently as the 1980s, if Google existed then). No, this is it:

Google Doodle, Easter 2013: Celebrating Caesar Chavez 80th Birthday
That's Caesar Chavez. It's his 80th birthday. Now, my politics do not make me a big supporter of a socialist union activist, and I know it's presumptuous of me to expect everyone in our 'progressive' culture to buy into the whole virgin birth/resurrection thingy, but I figured that maybe we'd get Easter eggs, or a bunny. This was from 2000:

Google Doodle, Easter 2000: Observing the holiday with some harmless secular baubles, at least.
Maybe the wizards at Google could figure out how to make the image switch every minute or so, when you hit "refresh". Now that would be diversity! I'm just a little disappointed.

Happy Easter, Anti-Kakistocrats!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where's The Helmet?

I was out riding my bike today, and a driver yelled out, "Where's the helmet?" I only had time to scream back, "I don't use one!" before he was out of earshot.

I resent the inference that I must comply with the collective "wisdom" that all bicycle riders need helmets. They're expensive (compared to what I'm using now), they're uncomfortable (if your head itches or gets sweaty - especially if you're a chrome-dome like me), and they only provide limited protection in any event.

I am capable of performing the risk-benefit analysis, and my analysis lands on the side of no helmet. I'm willing to accept the risk that I might leave my wife and kids penniless wards of the state*, because I think that risk is minimal, given my riding style.

I would wear a motorcycle helmet (actually, I would not ride a motorcycle. I think they're too dangerous. If I crashed, a motorcycle helmet would be pathetically inadequate.)

If I die riding my bicycle, it will much more likely be due to a stroke or a heart attack. However, I would wear a helmet if I were shredding downhill on a mountain bike. But again, if I hit a tree trunk, I doubt the helmet would make more than a marginal reduction in my risk of a broken neck, concussion or aneurysm.

Seriously, bicycle helmets work on the placebo principle. The risk reduction for impact injuries is marginal at best. They're slightly better at preventing abrasions, but I don't ride fast enough to grind off a skull's thickness of bone. Sorry.

Update: nanny statism WTH?

*Actually, my family have too much self-respect to ever become wards of the state.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Dummy Speaks -- Bill of Rights

This dummy knows his stuff. All the parts of the Bill of Rights are intertwined, and they all matter. Break one, and they all fall down.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Am Not a Dictator II

Not a Dick-Tater
In a previous post, I reported on a kerfuffle in which President Obama said, "I am not a dictator." It turns out it was all a big misunderstanding.

It has now been learned privately that Obama said in a follow up statement, "I do not approve of people using vulgar street language and slang to describe The President of the United States. It demeans the office, and even more importantly, it demeans me." The President continued, "I don't think people should be calling me a 'dick-tater', or a 'pud-spud', or any other crude epithet when they know perfectly well that the proper English term is 'penis-potato'."

I'm glad we have that cleared up.

Monday, March 11, 2013

DST -- Living the Dream

Actually, my dream was cut short this morning. I used to think morning and evening shifted position together in the same direction with the seasons, more or less, making Daylight Saving Time defensible. But I printed out a local solar noon calendar, and it ranges from 12:24:32 on Feb. 11 to 11:53:51 on Nov. 3. That’s approximately a 30 minute difference around an average noon of about 12:10.

According to the red and orange lines on this graph, sunrise and sunset move in opposite directions with the seasons. The glitch you see in the curve is the rather insignificant effect of DST compared to the physical daylight available each day (the blue line). What a waste of time and effort. Year round standard time would be just fine.

Research is very conflicted as to whether DST saves any energy, or even wastes more. I’m sure the cost of DST switching twice a year wastes far more energy and capital than any imagined savings. It's just more unscientific government meddling. It certainly saves no daylight. It’s like making a blanket longer by cutting a foot off one end, and sewing it onto the other.

Ben Franklin is credited/blamed for DST. He proposed it as a joke! He had his shortcomings, but I think he was smarter than most people today. It is disturbing how often ridiculous ideas have a way of becoming public policy generations later. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Urgent! Action Needed -- Protect Your Inalienable Rights

Breaking news:
OLYMPIA — Gun-control advocates are launching a weekend lobbying blitz on seven members of the state House who may control the fate of a contentious bill to require background checks for all gun purchases. 
State Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a Seattle Democrat organizing the push for universal background checks, said Friday that his bill now has 47 supporters — 46 Democrats and Lake Stevens Republican Mike Hope. 
It needs 50 to pass. (Continue reading...)
“I fully believe in the Second Amendment, but our top priority needs to be children’s safety,” said Kochmar, one of the seven key lawmakers.

What the hell kind of thinking is that? Those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither. This simply adds one more burden on us (an infringement), while having zero effect on the already lawless criminals. I can't believe it -- I'm losing to a rug!

Action Item: Phone calls should be focused on speaker of the House Frank Chopp, 360-786-7920, and all pro-1588 legislators in this article (contact info...). Please act now. More contact info:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Andrew Breitbart, RIP -- One Year Later

This is the first anniversary of Andrew Breitbart's death. I'm sure it was by natural causes. Still, read this.
Andrew Breitbart was the best political debunkifier of my lifetime. His legacy lives on, but I wish he was still around, because he debunkified better than anyone. After they made him, they broke the mold. We certainly could have used him during the 2012 election. Andrew Breitbart, RIP.

Some conspiracy theorists claim that Breitbart's death was "induced" by the Obama regime. I think that's pretty far-fetched, but the kind of intimidation that this regime invokes on the media (at least those who don't drool and get all tingly over Teh Won), is real, and arguably just as bad.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gun Control: Come And Get It (μολὼν λαβέ)

Little did I know that this song would be so appropriate when I first heard it in 1970. I'm sure Paul McCartney didn't have gun control in mind when he wrote it, but hey, I will repurpose anything.


This is actually a pretty good live performance by Badfinger (I can't tell if it's lip-sync - Mike is hammering pretty hard on the drums to be faking).

μολὼν λαβέ
Okay, one of my cohorts tells me that "come and get it" isn't as provocative as "come and take it". I'll grant you that. But until we raise a generation of good classical liberal songwriters, we have to repurpose and make do. Ray Stevens is good, but he isn't exactly tearing up the airwaves these days. 

Don't Take The Law Into Your Own Hands

We have to get rid of that stupid statement, "taking the law into your own hands". Of course, you can't walk up and down main street, arresting people at gun point, willy-nilly. But you can't rely on the police to be everywhere at once, either.

When seconds count, the police can be there in minutes – and it doesn't matter if you live in the city or the country. There is no law between the time you call 911 and when help finally arrives. If you don’t take responsibility for yourself, you're going to have a chalk outline drawn around you, or your kid's dead body. Of course you have to take the law into your own hands. It's called, "responsibility".

I keep a loaded fire extinguisher under my kitchen sink, in case a fire starts in my home, because I know that it would be most likely out of control by the time the fire department arrives. I don't consider the use of a concealed fire extinguisher to be "taking fire prevention into my own hands". I consider it taking responsibility for my own family, our lives and our property.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I Am Not a Dictator

The last president I heard deny something like that was Richard Nixon saying, "I am not a crook". Now Barack Obama says, "I am not a dictator". The fact that he feels the need to deny it is pretty damning in itself. It's an odd coincidence that I noticed this parallel with Nixon; just this week, Bob Woodward compared Obama with Nixon, and was threatened for it. That's kinda dictatorial.