Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Internet, No Time

Don't have regular internet access at the new home.

Don't have time to hang out looking for free WiFi.

But I will be back eventually.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Folks Throwing in Towel on Greek Debt.

Greece default ‘virtually 100 percent’ With the US Debt hanging in the political balance, the financial markets can't catch a break.
The ratings service said the plan does improve Greece’s financial prospects for the next few years and probably will stop the problems in that country from undermining confidence in weaker nations such as Ireland and Portugal — diminishing the risk that Europe’s financial troubles will spiral into a broader crisis.

But the fact that Greece is likely to default on one or more of its outstanding bonds sets a “negative precedent” that will diminish faith in other nations.
Why anyone had faith in Greece to begin with is beyond me. They have been in default on loans something like 50% of the time over the last 2 centuries. Why do you think they would get it right now?

And faith in other nations? Like faith that Democrats and Republicans can actually do something that makes sense? Right. They haven't done anything in 40 years but spend more money and create more "unfunded liabilities," but you have faith that they will fix it between now and the next election. If you have that faith, then there is probably a bridge that you can buy somewhere.

As if I didn't have enough to do

I am taking on a couple of new projects. So my time for blogging will be limited.

Friday, July 22, 2011

For Those Interested in Motorcycles...

Go live vicariously through my friend Matt, over at the Tie Me Loose Adventures blog. He is in the middle (well front end) of a Tampa Bay to Prudhoe Bay motorcycle ride. (He estimates about 14,000 miles when all is done.)

Currently he's in British Columbia. Freezing in sleet and rain. (So while you're complaining about the heat, remember, it could be worse.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Homeowner Did His Part, Too Bad Police Didn't Do Theirs

Burglar Shot by Taney Co. Homeowner Walks Away From Hospital, Eludes Police - KSPR 33

So the homeowner stops a crime in process, by shooting the would-be bad-guy. Police come and haul the bad guy off to the hospital and don't guard him. Because they never actually got around to arresting him.
Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell says Waggoner was charged with three felonies. There was a warrant for his arrest, but he was never arrested.

Unless a patient has actually been arrested by law enforcement and therefore has an officer outside his or her room, according to staff at St. John's he or she is not a prisoner and is free to walk away, either against medical advice or with an official discharge.
The sheriff is blaming the hospital and their security. ("He did it!") because they didn't arrest the guy.

And he isn't a nice guy. As described by the homeowner...
"He said, 'I got a gun. I'm going to kill you.' I said, 'that's fine, I've got a gun too,'" [Peggy Melton] told KSPR in late June.

Melton used it. [24-year-old Danny Waggoner Jr.] was air-lifted to a Springfield hospital; our sources say it was st. john's. That was June 22nd; June 30th Waggoner left, a free man.
So the homeowner handed the cops an air-tight case, and they let it deflate. Your tax dollars at work.

And While You Can't Have Hip, Knee or Cataract Surgery...

They are going try and take better care of the elderly. NHS and council leaders investigate 'industry problem' in elderly care - Telegraph

It seems that universal health care isn't applied to old folks.
Earlier this year the Health Service Ombudsman condemned the inhumane treatment of 10 elderly and vulnerable patients in a report that accused staff of showing a “casual indifference” to their needs.

The industry watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, released the results of spot checks on geriatric wards that found some elderly patients are being prescribed water after nurses left them without anything to drink for more than 10 hours.

Evidence has accumulated this year suggesting that the NHS is “ageist” as elderly people are far less likely to receive high-quality cancer treatment.
So who do you think needs that hip replacement, or cataract surgery? Thirty-somethings? But aside from not letting them walk or see, they are going to try and treat them better. Right.

Can't wait until we have socialized medicine.

The Joy of Socialized Medicine - You Don't Need to be Able to Walk or See

Hip and knee surgery is 'low priority' - Telegraph Knee and hip replacement, and cataract surgery. Not important.

And if you smoke, or are over weight, forget it.
GPs in Hertfordshire have agreed to bar smokers and those who are obese - with a body mass index over 30 - from routine joint replacement surgery.
So how long before they deny all health care to people who they believe don't deserve it?

Wasn't socialized medicine supposed to ensure universal care? Only if you toe the line. (How about motorcycle riders, or rock climbers, or sky divers or anybody who does anything they don't like?)

I can hardly wait for socialized medicine to come to America.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Well, one did get away... Police: Two Robbers Shot In Second Home Invasion Attempt - Oklahoma City News Story - KOCO Oklahoma City

Break into homes, and eventually you will find an armed homeowner. The results are predictable.
According to police, the homeowner said he came home Wednesday night to his security alarm going off. Investigators said his arrival startled three robbers, who took off on foot.

Almost two hours later the trio of robbers returned, but this time the homeowner was armed. The owner told police he fired at the intruders several times.
Two got shot - and were taken to the hospital. The third thug ran away. The homeowner was hospitalized briefly for chest pains, but was not arrested.
Police said this is an ongoing investigation, but at this time it appears the case fall's under Oklahoma's "Make My Day" law. The law allows homeowners to use deadly force to protect their property.
Self-defense is a human right.

Camp Perry Opens

Shots open National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry | The News-Messenger | thenews-messenger.com Established because contrary to myth, Americans can't shoot worth a damn. Teddy Roosevelt established a competition in order to help change that. (Is it working?) [Hat tip to Buckeye Firearms.]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On The Road, or The End of An Era

Am moving out of Florida - where the economy is probably worse than it is in your state. Will be out of touch and off-line for a good long while. But I will be back.

Do We Really Need a 21st Century Mad Max?

Another relaunch. Not part 4. Ford displays two Mad Max Interceptor Concepts in Australia [w/video] — Autoblog I'm not sure the cars even fit (aside from being very modern.)

The whole point of the Max universe was that things were falling apart. That Main Force Patrol didn't have the best stuff, but made do with brave, yet insane, defenders of the status quo. Or something.

The cars are cool, though. (Interceptor pictured.)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Now that's an electric car

Who says green can't be cool?
Renault's latest concept is the DeZir. With swoopy styling and a 150hp electric motor the French car maker says that it proves electric cars and a love of vehicles are not incompatible
See more crazy concepts at this link.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Don't Disrespect Their Authority

Chicago cops sued again. Suit claims Chicago police punch first 'and ask questions later' - chicagotribune.com

The video isn't great, but it does seem to show a group of cops walking away from the house where they arrested 3 people to accost a small group that was protesting the action. It is hard to believe that group was up to no good, since they seem to be just standing around - probably had a bit to say, however.

And the fact that the lead cop is seen putting on some leather gloves, just before he walks up to someone and punches them... well, I'm sure that was just a coincidence.

The guy who got punched, got arrested and charged with a bunch of felonies. He was acquitted on all counts in April. Now he is suing.

The complaints he filed with the civilian review board? Still under investigation. So what course is left but to file a suit?

Someday, the police in Chicago will be a professional, trustworthy, law enforcement organization. But not today.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Are You a Real Country Once You Hire Lobbyists?

Libyan Rebels Hire Patton Boggs For no more than $50,000 per month.

So will adding a bunch of lawyers to the mix make things better?

Piracy is a Growing Concern

Brace for a surge in Southeast Asian piracy | The Japan Times Online
China's aggressive claims to parts of the South China Sea contested by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei is damaging regional cooperation against piracy, allowing more attacks — 41 so far this year after 30 last year.
Still doesn't come close to the disaster that is Somalia, but 30 percent of the oil shipped by sea passes through the Strait of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, so there is a great deal of potential profit.

China, the Philippines and Vietnam are disputing ownership of some islands, so the hopes for a unified, regional response isn't too good.

The Greeks May Not Get That Bailout After All

Since the German courts MIGHT decide they are illegal. Germany's judges hold the euro's fate in their hands - Telegraph
The judges have distilled a plethora challenges to the Greek, Irish, and Portuguese bail-outs into three complaints. These include one by a group of professors who argue that the Greek loans subvert the Bundestag, violate the "no bail-out" clause of the Lisbon Treaty, and amount to the creation of a fiscal transfer union, by stealth, without the requisite changes in the German Grundgesetz, and "strike a blow at the constitutional foundations of our state and our society".
What do you know, people in other countries ARE worried about constitutional law.

And the politics might take a back seat. (I said "might.")
Andreas Vosskuhle, the court's president, noted acidly that the hearings were not about the "future of Europe or the handling of the debt crisis". They are a matter of law.
And as someone or another pointed out, the bailouts are all about saving the European Welfare State, in all its excesses.

Just So the Greeks Don't Feel Alone...

Moody's downgrades Portuguese debt to junk - Telegraph.
Moody's slashed Portugal's debt four notches to Ba2, saying that the country was likely to need a second bail-out before it could raise money in the capital markets.

Based on the conditions imposed on Greece, it was likely that "private sector participation would be required as a precondition" to a second cash injection, said Moody's.
So, is Ireland or Spain next?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Blagojevich Just a Chip Off the Old Illinois Block

Blago makes 4 of the last 5 Illinois governors to be convicted on some charges. Though to be fair, one of them was convicted for something he did AFTER he got out of office. (Security fraud, or insider trading, or some banking irregularities or something.)

Anyway, I have to agree with this: Blagojevich verdict won't kill Illinois corruption, some fear
For more than a century, political corruption in Illinois has touched even the lowest government post, Democrats and Republicans alike. By one university's count, 1,000 public officials and businessmen have been convicted of public corruption since 1970. So, even as Blagojevich (the fourth Illinois governor in recent memory to face prison) awaited his sentence, some — including leaders of the deluge of reform efforts that had followed his arrest in late 2008 — say that, in the end, they are not convinced Blagojevich's conviction will drastically change the pattern of corruption in Illinois.
Change we can believe in? Not in Illinois.