Archive | August, 2008

>Happy But Not Handspringing

31 Aug

>…Over Sarah Palin as the GOP’s VP candidate.

She’s pretty darned good in many ways and at least her position’s no different to Ronald Reagan’s on the things about which I look askance.* I suspect her of being able to think on her feet, to not be especially boring or colorless, to be able to spell and a pretty safe shooter. This sets her way above most Veeps in my lifetime.

One of the things I’ve been hearing is that if Senator McCain wins, Governor Palin is a shoo-in for the 2012 Presidential nomination; it’s there that my “srsly?” alarm goes off. The GOP has a history of chewing up their best conservatives, the ones who believe government is best kept small and out of your peaceable private life, in favor of big-tent compromisers or leaders who want to meddle just as much as the Other Side does, only along different lines. How many runs did Ronald Reagan make at the White House, and how did his party treat him? Have you read up on the nasty infighting Nelson Rockefeller did against Barry Goldwater, leaving the Democrats with plenty of ready-made openings to use?

I’ve been let down frequently by the Republicans. Gun-owners in general are the battered spouse of the GOP, getting plenty of bruises but always coming back when they tell us they love us as elections loom, especially at the Federal level — here in Indiana, we’ve got gun-friendly motorcyclist Mitch Daniels in the Governor’s office, not my ideal choice but a pretty good guy; but in the Senate, our one (1) elephant man is smirking Dick Lugar, in no way an ally of the individual citizen gun-owner. They take us for granted.

So when they hand us a really great choice for V.P., man, that’s fantastic and no snarkin’. But they’re not making any promises.

Let us not build castles in the air. Is she a good choice? Yes. Does she make the McCain ticket more appealing to me? Somewhat. If she was running against Bob Barr, I’d be hard-pressed to make up my mind. But she’s not. She’s not even running against Senator Obama.

I’m leaning McCain-Palin. But it’s not November and my homework’s far from done. I refuse to limit my choices to Party Right or Party Left just because they’re the only ones from which a possible winner can come: both of them are fronting Presidential candidates who have acted and spoken against the Bill of Rights, an act of treason for which, in a better world, they would be duly charged, tried, convicted and sentenced. (Along with most of the House and Senate. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

…Of course, if that happened after the election and the GOP had won, we’d get Sarah Palin in the Oval Office. H’mmm, Palin or Biden? Like I’d have to think twice?

Damn, that elephant’s lookin’ better again.
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* And wouldn’t you just like to know? Probably not hardly but in any case, tough luck.

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>Bell Labs: We Don’t Need No Stinking Physics

30 Aug

>Nope. No more basic physics research at Bell Labs. Management says they need to stick to things that will pay off in the short-term — after all, that wretched dead end, the transistor, didn’t do them any good….

It’s official. The inmates run the asylum.

Why bother to care?

>Kinda Happy

30 Aug

>(UPDATE: Neaderpundit Og argues cogently in favor of voting within the two major parties. I do not agree but he makes good points for his take on things. Go, read!)

…With news of Senator’s McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick. It’s a wise move.

Will it get me to vote for him? I don’t know. Still doing my homework — and it’s not like the V.P. can actually do anything.

Still, that’s one hell of a good label to put on the box of soap flakes* and the implied promise it holds for the future is appealing. Not ‘cos she’s, you know, a gurrrl, but because she’s got decent small-gov cred, she shoots, and she appears to actually be of some worth as a person. All very good things. Wonderful traits in a candidate for Federal office!

…Alas, she’s ridin’ second to a man who thinks the First Amendment is something to toss if it gets in the way of his own personal idea of “clean government.” People are apt to pick up their boss’s habits. This is something of a minus.

What about the threat posed by the other guy? Look, if I find myself fixin’ to vote against, I’ll vote third-party for sure rather than settle for half an oaf because of fear.

Still…McCain-Palin. I dunno; it does have a bit of a ring to it. It’s brought a real wave of relief and joy to the gun-blogosphere and that counts for quite a bit all by itself!

Update: some Lefty commentators have remarked on Ms. Palin as “Governor of a tiny state.” Let’s assume they’re countin’ snotty noses rather than area (since nobody, not even a Democrat, could be so stupid as to call our physically largest State “tiny,” right?) and do the math, shall we?

Gov. Palin’s Alaska, 2006 pop. per the Feds, 670,053. Senator Biden’s Delaware, same source, 853,476. But wait, there’s more: two Senators per state, so if we take the easy way out, Uncle Joe’s got 426,738 Delawary subj- citizens to his name. Sounds like a fair match either way you slice it, neither of them weilding the lash over, er, politicking at by and for even a million souls. In terms of the job they’re applying for, only one’s got Executive experience — and she ain’t Senator Biden.
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* Every product is soap flakes. You change the artwork on the box, write “New, Improved” on it, jack the price up, downsize the contents by 10% and start a new ad campaign. This has nothing at all — zlich! — to do with the quality of the soap.

>Not Happy

29 Aug

>So, I worked over to get some things done, got home with barely enough time to get in my bike ride, hit the market, pick up some utter essentials at Tar-jzhay, get home, make my salad while Tam did up her steak[1] and, good housekeeper that she is,[2] started up the dishwasher.

Which proceeded to fill up the kitchen sink with icky water.

The drain is (partially) old cast-iron and in need for replacement. With a $400.00 estimate, I was hoping to put that off as long as possible.[3] But the good drain cleaner (“Thrift”) hasn’t helped in the last three hours, so….

Of course my ham shack desk is — no, not under it, I avoided that! — but close enough to be at risk from splashing and to be in the way of burly men wrestling 60-year-old cast-iron drainpipe. So I’ll have to move it before the plumber comes by. Good thing I hadn’t put any ham gear on it.

Oh what fun.

UPDATE: The next morning, water was leaking from the sink, into the cabinet, onto the kitchen floor, and into the basement! We ended up having to move a lot of stuff — fragile little radios, most of my telegraph key collection, Tam’s less-used reference books and various odds and ends. That would be the third plumbing-induced basement rearrangement. Don’t you wish you were kewl like me?
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1. I would so have one, too. If I could. With fries.
2. No, really. Oh, I’ll grant taking spiders with a .177 bb gun is not the usual way but it’s surprsingly effective. And a nice compromise between the .25 ACP on one hand and the shooing them into a plastic pillbottle and taking them outside on the other!
3. Let me tell you a story about a young woman with big plans who spurned all those idiotic variable-rate and interest-only loans and selected a house that was (just barely) within a pessimistic estimate of her budget…right before they tripled the real-estate taxes. Better yet, I won’t. Seriously, if I have a cunning plan involving money? Lock me in a closet until the urge passes.

>September Blogmeet

29 Aug

>How does the 21st or the 28th work? Let me know here and we’ll set one of the other. Or something else.

>Two Immediate Futures

28 Aug

>These folks (or a related venture, the Center for Personal Protection and Safety) have produced a video covering usefully proactive responses to campus threats, up to and including loonies using weapons. According to a wire service, “hundreds of colleges” have bought it and the associated training program. It attempts to inculcate a survival mindset and points out that in a crowded classroom, the baddies are outnumbered and can be taken down by determined effort and then proceeds to practical examples.

Meanwhile, this guy, a cryptozoologist, sociologist and anthropologist* fears showin’ the poor impressionable kiddies (ages 18 and up!) and their professors such violent images might trigger PTSD — and that the techniques shown might inspire “troubled students.” ‘Cos, you know, there’s no other place they’d ever hear about or see such things (other than, say, the History Channel, CNN or local newspapers) and it’s a lot better to die innocent than to survive with a murderer’s blood on your hands.

Like hell it is.

Humans are not sheep, sir; and while our worst predators are members of our own species, so are our best protectors, ourselves. Good people outnumber crazies millions to one — but far too many of the good lack the basic mindset to prevail over the evil and/or deranged. As long as we line up meekly for the slaughter, crazy will look cool to other crazies. When the baddies start goin’ down before their little bloodfest gets well underway, the appeal will fade. It’s called “negative feedback.”
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* I can’t stop myself — does this mean when he finds Bigfoot, he’ll study the critters’ tribal structure an’ try to get ’em on Welfare?

>Freedom Of Expression: So Precious, It’s Rationed

28 Aug

>Especially during eejit-picking election season.

Seems some public-spirited lad has put together a nice little political ad for television highlighting the well-documented friendship between Weather Underground bomber William Ayers and Senator Barack Obama. All’s fair in love, war and politics? Not exactly; it would seem the Obama campaign is fighting back with litigation and threats and have kept it off the air.

First Amendment? C’mon, they don’t like that one any better than the Second! Besides, there’s a law. (And who put that knotty club in their hands? Why, Messrs. Feingold and McCain — John McCain. Karma, sir; karma).

NW Freethinker has the story, with links. And an embedded copy of the advertisement. Go take a look.

Can’t stop the signal!