Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Could someone please 'splain to me

Why the hell the Department of Agriculture thinks it can regulate school lunches? Via Drudge, we see that
The Senate threw its support behind the potato Tuesday, voting to block an Obama administration proposal to limit the vegetable on school lunch lines.(source)
Ok, statists think they should keep kids from eating too many potatoes at school, so they don't get so fat. A stupid idea, a further intrusion in matters that should be kept local, but far from the worst thing the administration has tried to pull. 

Reading deeper into the article, we see that:

Agriculture Department rules proposed earlier this year aimed to reduce the amount of french fries in schools, limiting lunchrooms to two servings a week of potatoes and other starchy vegetables.

Umm, WTF? How the hell is this the business of the USDA? Do they really think they have the power to regulate anything that was ever grown on a farm? That's almost as far-reaching a power as Congress's post-Wickard v. Filburn Commerce Clause usurpations.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The brilliance of bureaucrats amazes me

Gary Alexander, secretary of public welfare for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has come up with a great idea on how to save money on Medicaid. He wants to steer Medicaid recipients to specific, lower-cost hospitals. How does he plan to do that, you ask? By handing them piles of taxpayer cash.
“We are looking at a model to save hundreds of millions of dollars by steering Medicaid beneficiaries to the most cost effective settings,” Alexander told about 300 health insurance executives last week at a meeting in Washington. “To reward beneficiaries we would give them some incentive… so if the state saves $1,000 on a medical procedure we may give the beneficiary $100 or $200 as a reward.”

"Advocates for the poor", of course, hate the idea:
“People on Medicaid should be able to go to the doctor or medical provider of their choice,”  said Michael Froehlich, an attorney with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. “We are all in favor of better quality health services but if it comes at the expense of restricted access to neighborhood doctors then I think we would want to take a closer look at it.”
All very nice, high-minded liberal buffoonery. Why don't these fine, upstanding idiots have any understanding of human nature? Have they never met the poor?

Ok, libs, here's how it works: If you subsidize something, you get more of it. Demand creates supply, and, by offering people a coupla hundred buck to go to a hospital, they're going to do it. $200 is a lot of cash to some people -- me included! -- and they'll be lining up to go to the hospital now.

As Whitecoat points out:
If Pennsylvania begins paying people to go to “better” hospitals, the cab voucher fiasco will occur in Pennsylvania, only on a much grander scale. Once Pennsylvania Medicaid recipients learn that they will be paid to go to a certain hospital for medical care, those hospitals will be deluged with patients. To those receiving public medical assistance, the medical care is free, the medical testing is free, and the medical procedures are free. Now, with a monetary incentive to have a procedure done at a given facility, what do you expect will happen? Patients get $200 if they get a cardiac catheterization at one hospital versus another? Twelve year olds will go to those emergency departments complaining of crushing chest pain. Patients get $50 if they go to one emergency department that provides “higher quality”? There will be lines out the door.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The science, it doesn't work the way you think it works.

They're quite concerned
Italian Scientists Go On Trial For Failing To Predict L'Aquila Earthquake

L'AQUILA, Italy - A group of Italian scientists went on trial Tuesday for failing to predict an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009 despite signs of increased seismic activity in the area.

The seven defendants -- six scientists and one government official -- are accused of manslaughter in a case that some see as an unfair indictment of science. (source)

Man, and I thought my job was stressful! So it's technically impossible (with current science) to predict an earthquake with any certainty -- but these poor bastards are on trial for frikkin' manslaughter?? Idiocy. If I were a geologist in Italy, I'd be publishing an earthquake warning every hour of every day, just to avoid prison.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yep, another Marine is a frikkin' liar

Dakota Meyer, Marine Medal of Honor Recipient, Says He’s No Hero

At a White House ceremony later today, Dakota Meyer will become the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Meyer becomes the tenth recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor in those conflicts; all but two have been presented posthumously.  Army soldiers Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry are the only other living recipients of the award.
The former Marine sergeant  insists he is not a hero for repeatedly rushing into heavy enemy fire in an attempt to rescue four missing U.S. servicemembers pinned down in an intense hours-long ambush in eastern Afghanistan.

from the Medal of Honor citation:
When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug-in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six hour fire fight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers. Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe. On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break-out. Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire he dismounted the vehicle and searched house to house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members.  

Disragarding your own safety and rushing into danger to save the lives of your brothers-in-arms? That's the very definition of being a hero, you frikkin' jarhead. HUAH!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

At last, Aeschylus is vindicated!

How can a rock-head get hurt like this?
It was a terrible tragedy. Aeschylus, first of the ancient Greek playwrights  was out bebopping along, and his buddy Euripides was like, "Hey! Look out!", and Sophacles said, "Yo! Is that a turtle?", and whammo! A  frikkin' turtle landed on his head (Aeschylus', not the turtle's).  History doesn't record the fate of the turtle, but we can assume it didn't do well. They rushed Aeschylus off to the local emergency room, conveniently next to the Parthenon.

The real tragedy, of course, was that once they got there the doctors had no concise way to document the diagnosis of turtlecrainiotomy, and while they were looking for one, Aeschylus assumed room temperature. You see, those ancient physicians were stuck using ICD-9 diagnosis codes to document patient problems. Those 18000-odd codes aren't granular enough to describe Aeschylus' injury, so they didn't know if his injury was 854.10 (Intracranial injury of other and unspecified nature, brain NOS, with open intracranial wound) or 934.19 (imbalance of humors, black bile, unspecified).

Well, believe it or not, but it took 2500 years or so before humankind could fix this problem. The kind-hearted bureaucrats at Medicare have decided that the country needs to switch to the newfangled ICD-10 codes. Now those 18000 inadequate diagnosis codes have been replaced with 155,000 codes that cover everything from L89000 (Pressure ulcer of unspecified elbow, unstageable) to Y92250 (Art Gallery as the place of occurrence of the external cause). And, thank God, there's not 1, but *9* separate codes that deal with turtles -- everything from bites to strikes to "other contact" (Gormogons, I'm sure you know what that means, wink wink). If only they had this in 500 BC Aeschylus could have survived!

This is all quite silly, of course, except for one minor issue: what good does it do, and what does it cost? The bureaucrats claim this is a cost-savings measure, of course, as if changing a few codes on a billing sheet will save money. Someone sat down and calculated how much this cost-savings would cost, and it's a doozy:

The total estimated cost for a 10-physician practice to move to ICD-10 would be more than $285,000. These expenses include:
  • Training expenditures are estimated to total $4,745
  • New claim form (superbill) software $9,990
  • Business process analysis $12,000
  • Practice management and billing system software upgrades $15,000
  • Increases in claim inquiries and reduction in cash flow of $65,000
  • Increased documentation costs $178,500
For a small, three-physician practice, the total cost to implement ICD-10 is estimated to be $83,290, for a large, 100-physician practice the estimated costs to implement ICD-10 is more than $2.7 million.

Yeah, that's going to save us a huge amount in healthcare costs. It's almost like Government bureaucrats aren't helping things!

Dr. Wes nails it on the head, as usual:
But lets not fool ourselves. This is exactly what the government wants: more complexity and bureaucracy in the name of lower "costs." One only needs to see how the government calculated their "cost" savings for justifying the massive increase in complexity to the coding scheme:
Benefit Assumption 2: Pended claims will be reduced by 0.28% (minimum) to 0.7% (maximum). Using the research and interviews, it was assumed that the pended claim percentage, currently 14% (Benefit Assumption 1), would be reduced through standardization.

Benefit Assumption 3: Reduced manual intervention will reduce the costs for providers by $3.20 per call and for plans by $1.60 per call. Manual intervention is required to resolve pended claims and both Healthcare providers and Health Plans incur these operational costs.

Benefit Assumption 2: Pended claims will be reduced by 0.28% (minimum) to 0.7% (maximum). Using the research and interviews, it was assumed that the pended claim percentage, currently 14% (Benefit Assumption 1), would be reduced through standardization.
Benefit Assumption 3: Reduced manual intervention will reduce the costs for providers by $3.20 per call and for plans by $1.60 per call. Manual intervention is required to resolve pended claims and both Healthcare providers and Health Plans incur these operational costs.

Benefit Assumption 3: Reduced manual intervention will reduce the costs for providers by $3.20 per call and for plans by $1.60 per call. Manual intervention is required to resolve pended claims and both Healthcare providers and Health Plans incur these operational costs.
Yep, there you have it. CMS has justified the most massive expansion of electronic coding so "providers" and massive health systems can get their money without having to pick up the phone.
Benefit Assumption 1: Based on the data provided in a recent AHIP report the percentage of pended claims was assumed to be 14% of total claims.
My friends, soon we will see that the Beast has won. Independent stand-alone physician practices will soon be a thing of the past, brought to their knees by overbearing electronic billing and prescribing regulatory requirements. In their place will be physician-employees of major health care systems that are capable of purchasing computers, personnel and electronic reimbursement software upgrades annually, while they are subject to data-mining algorithms to assure "efficiencies" and "effectiveness" and "quality," all in the name of cost-savings.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why doesn't this happen in shall-issue states?

This is an outrage: Longshoremen storm Wash. state port, damage RR
from the article:

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.
Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.
(emphasis mine).

So they invaded the port, damaged property, and frikkin' kidnapped some people -- and nobody was arrested? People were kidnapped -- where was the FBI?

Oh, and this was in defiance of a federal court order. The judge who issued the order was outraged -- OUTRAGED!! -- so he, umm, issued another order. Yay.

Scott Mason, president of the ILWU Local 23 in Tacoma, said some of his members have joined in the Longview effort, but he doesn't believe they were involved in illegal activity. He blamed the company for provoking the response and warned that more activity could be coming.(source)

Isn't this pretty close to open rebellion? Where's the outrage? Where are the cameras?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Why bother? We're not going to watch it either!"

Thankfully the caption is no longer correct.
Queen Nancy is peeved that Republicans have opted out of a rebuttal to Obama's speech tonight. I understand their feeling -- it's the same reason my wife doesn't nag me about my drinking too much these days.

From the article:
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said there will be "plenty" of response to the president's speech on Friday, but told Fox News he suspects the reason there's no formal response is "the speaker doesn't expect to hear much to respond to." 

In other news, Obama has his worst approval numbers yet. After his first year in office, Obama had 95 percent approval among blacks, 78 percent approval among Hispanics, and 53 percent approval among whites. Since then, his monthly approval has dropped 11 points among blacks, 30 points among Hispanics, and 20 points among whites. Ouch!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hospice or recovery?

The Hill reports that Obama has shelved a smog rule that's seen as a huge defeat for environmentalists. I actually agree with Obama on this one -- he admits that additional rules would be a problem in a weak economy. However, you have to dig the hubris with their comment:
In a statement, President Obama said that the rule is being shelved because he is wary of imposing regulatory burdens during the economic recovery.
Oh, of course, the recovery! Silly me! A recovery where job and GDP growth are stagnant is still a "recovery"? I guess a hospice patient who hasn't died yet is doing better then?

h/t: William Jacobson's Legal Insurrection

Our intellectual masters have spoken

The Editors of the Wall Street Journal
If you had your 'druthers, who would you choose to be the Republican nominee for president? Rick Perry? Michelle Bachman? Or maybe you like Herman Cain? In any event, if you're reading this blog, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't pick Jon Huntsman, right? He's far from conservative, no friend of the tea party, and has "I'm an elitist douchebag" hair like John Kerry and Mitt Romney's love child.

However, via Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom, we see that the "Conservative Intellectual Elite" seem to have anointed  Huntsman the "New Candidate of the Conservative Intellectual Elite". The WSJ's editorial board likes him because his economic growth plan includes some sort of weak tax reform.That's pretty much it.  Business Insider points out that he's getting Obamacare-before-it-was-cool Romney worried, so you know they're both going to try to out-liberal each other.

Is that really what we need now? Do we need more namby-pamby, career-politician, hail-fellow-well-met compromise? Or do we need someone with balls to step up and do the heavy lifting on entitlement reform, so our country might actually survive the next 50 years or so?

As Jeff G. writes, "That’s what the GOP ruling class is. That’s all it is. And it’s time we told them, in no uncertain terms, that we aren’t interested."

Or, as I like to put it, eff the elite d-bags.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh Tell My Baby Sister Not to Do What I Have Done

In 1961 Bob Dylan released his debut (and eponymous) album. On it was a song later made famous by the British group The Animals -- The House of the Rising Sun. It's a classic folk ballad, most likely dating back to the "Unfortunate Rake" ballads of the 18th century. The Animals took inspiration from Dylan's version, but theirs is widely viewed as the first folk-rock hit of the 1960's. 

There are a lot of theories about the "real" House of the Rising Sun -- or if it existed at all. In any event, tomorrow we're going to be in the neighborhood. The Boy™ -- my 18-year-old stepson -- is off to college in the Big Easy, and She Who Must Be Obeyed™ are taking him down. Should be a great time -- I've never been before. Unfortunately, work is so crazy that I can't spend too much time down there this time. Next trip is for parents' weekend at the end of September.

Anyhow, does anyone have any restaurant suggestions? Or places not to be missed? The Boy™ will be majoring in Jazz, so he'll take care of the music tours on our next trip. 

And, because I like the Dylan version, I present to you:

The House of the Rising Sun
Bob Dylan

There is a house down in New Orleans
They call the Risin' Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor girl
And me, oh God, I'm one.

My mother was a tailor
She sewed these new blue jeans
My sweetheart was a gambler, Lord
Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk

He fills his glasses up to the brim
And he'll pass the cards around
And the only pleasure he gets out of life
Is ramblin' from town to town

Oh tell my baby sister
Not to do what I have done
But shun that house in New Orleans
They call the Risin' Sun

Well, it's one foot on the platform
And the other foot on the train
I'm goin' back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain

I'm a-goin' back to New Orleans
My race is almost run
I'm goin' back to end my life
Down in the Risin' Sun

Jesus, '
I don't wanna be left alone.
Jesus, oh Jesus, 
Can you hear my last prayer?
I know I have sinned, 
But Lord I'm sufferin'
Jesus, oh Jesus, 
Can you hear my last prayer?

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Risin' Sun
It's been the ruin of many a poor girl
And Lord I know I'm one
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Reason I Moved to Florida

Guns are allowed:
The Florida State legislature has taken steps towards securing Second Amendment rights by eliminating restrictions on firearms. The measures, which will be enacted on October 1, will impose penalties on public officials who pass or enforce gun regulations at the state level. Violators face a $5,000 personal fine and may risk being removed from office by the governor. 
It seems that in 1987 the legislature passed a law saying that it was illegal to pass any gun laws outside of the state-level laws, but there was no enforcement mechanism. Because of that, towns and cities passed laws all willy-nilly, making the state a quilt of different gun laws. No longer!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Next Target of the Nanny State -- your TV?

Researchers in Australia reached far up their asses and pulled out a fascinating "fact": one hour of TV can shorten your life by 22 minutes. That makes one hour of TV as deadly as smoking 2 (gasp!) cigarettes! OMG!!!

It's just another case of post hoc not equaling propter hoc, of course -- correlation just isn't causation. They looked at  a cross-sectional survey of people 25 and up at the turn of the millennium, and asked them how much TV they watched. They then looked at national mortality rates for the year 2008, and attempted to correlate the two numbers. That's interesting, of course, but it means exactly nothing.

I'm interested in how this will be used by the nanny statists to screw with our freedoms. Will the Center for Science1 in the Public Interest2 wage a war on television, like they've done against salt? Will Mike Bloomberg mandate an age limit for TV watching? Whatever it is, you know someone's going to jump on this study  like your host on a 5-pound  bucket of bacon.

1: well, propaganda spun as science
2: umm, not in the public interest. In the interest of superannuatated hippies, maybe?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It smells like Democrat policies in here

I prefer 3 Crabs brand. 
We finally had our furniture delivered over the weekend. I learned a really important lesson: even if it's your favorite condiment in the world, don't pack a bottle of Vietnamese fish sauce in with your kitchen stuff. It will shatter and the rest of your property will smell like rotten fish. And She Who Must Be Obeyed™ will fail to see the humor in it.

And yeah, it amuses the hell out of me that my blogfather published a post entitled, "The Air Smells of Freedom" the same day I posted this. I have to disagree on you with this one, Daddy-o.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I think malaria must have bullied Bill Gates in middle school or something

another use for the device?
Bill Gates has a serious hard-on for malaria. He wants it killed like I want Salma Hayek. The only difference is, he has a decent shot at success. It's nice to see someone using real-world business acumen in philanthropy.

Via Gizmodo, we learn that scientists have developed a technique that may lead to curing malaria by putting people in giant microwaves. Yeah, you heard me -- the same device that heats up 7-11 burritos may be used to prevent the deaths of millions of people each year. That's pretty cool.

Basically, the parasites that cause malaria have extra iron in them. The microwave would be used to heat up that iron and make the parasites explode. How it keeps the patient from exploding I have no idea, but it sounds awesome.

Eponymous, they name is.

From back when REM didn't suck.
Here's a pretty good rule of thumb: If you're naming a piece of crime legislation after a crime victim, it's probably a bad law. It means you're legislating out of anger, or in reaction to public anger over a specific incident. That's generally not how good policy is made.--Radley Balko

The USA Patriot Act. Meghan's Law. The Adam Walsh Law. The (proposed, and blatantly unconstitutional) Caylee's Law.  What do they have in common? They're all shitty, frequently-abused laws that curtail our rights, but got passed because of a pleasant. This shit has to stop.

Are you having trouble getting your mandatory vivisection law to pass? Just rename it to the God and Babies Act (Gut our daughters and cut their eyes, breasts, intestines, ears, and skin Act) and presto! Who wouldn't vote for a cute baby? This is lawmaking as a marketing exercise.

When I am appointed emperor, my first* command will be forbid the naming of all laws. If you want to compromise our rights, at the very least  be honest about it. Oh, and GFY.

*my second will be to resign, of course. Well, after awarding myself a lifetime of free booze.

What is it about the UK?

The response by London police to the riots has been ineffective to the point of idiocy. They failed to respond quickly to the violence, and until recently have come off as pretty weak. Now, it seems, they're cracking down -- on the civilians who dare to stand up to the mob!

From the article:
They were particularly energetic in their confrontation with “vigilantes” in the predominantly white working class North London district of Enfield yesterday where a significant number of men, some of them allegedly members of the infamous fan club of the Millwall soccer team, had gathered to protect the community. Police in riot gear moved in force to disperse the crowd, displaying far more determination than they had shown against the rioters.

So the Brits have disarmed their law-abiding subjects. The cops have a monopoly on the lawful use of force, but have been loathe to use it. And now if their undefended subjects dare to defend themselves against the wogs they're threatening them? WTF??

Oh, and this is great, too: David Frum found this gem:
Senior police officers quickly made clear their anger with ministers. “David Cameron blamed the police for not having a crystal ball and not anticipating the most serious set of circumstances ever seen,” one senior police source said. “The confidence of the police leadership in the government is at an all-time low. Cameron dumps on the police when it suits him, to deflect blame from himself.

Oh, the arrogance. Jesus wept!

If my aunt had balls she's be my uncle

Evidently your author is a fat cat
Victor David Hanson makes excellent use of the subjunctive tense when he asks, "What if the President Liked Business People?" . He has a number of excellent quotes, among them
But imagine that the president had instead promoted profit-making -- by cutting red tape, praising entrepreneurs, promising no new taxes or burdens on businesses, and offering incentives to open new plants inside the U.S. In other words, what if small businesses and large corporations believed Obama to be a friend and partner, a leader who wanted them to make big profits, hire millions of workers and enrich the country in the process?

I'm an entrepreneur. I recently co-founded a startup company that is going to revolutionize the way young kids learn and develop intellectually. Among my co-founders are a neurologist from Yale School of Medicine, a serial entrepreneur and Harvard MBA who's grown and sold several multi-million-dollar companies, and an ex-Microsoft guy who helped build the platform upon which we're developing the product. In other words, aside from me they're pretty bright guys. And to a man we're terrified of what next financial hell Obama is going to inflict upon us. We're having a bitch of a time raising capital because of new restrictions on angel investors. We're terrified to hire people because God only knows what new rules the labor department will come up with. We're paying out the ass for medical coverage because of Obamacare mandates. This is the worst time in the world to start a business, and if it weren't for hubris and a lot of alcohol we wouldn't have bothered.

Screw dreaming about how nice it would be if the president liked business people. It'd just be nice if he'd stop being openly hostile to us!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Among the castrati, the one-balled man is king

The Kirpan (/kɪərˈpɑːn/; ਕਿਰਪਾਨ ) is a ceremonial sword or dagger
carried by orthodox Sikhs. According to a religious commandment
given by Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) at the
Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar (a religious ceremony that formally baptizes a Sikh)
in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs (Khalsa) must wear a kirpan at all times.
And it seems that Sikhs have two big brass ones. I've always admired Sikhs for their concept of "Sant-Sipahie" — their goal of being a saint-soldier. their Guru Granth Sahib taught that one must have control over one's internal vices, and must  have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of their color, caste or creed. Sikhism is one of the most tolerant religions in the world because of this.

Well, those Saint-Soldiers have their work cut out for them in London. With the wogs rioting and threatening everything, hundreds of Sikhs  have taken to the streets to defend their Gudawara (shrine). Nice that some Brits seem to still have cojones!

via Fatale Attraction

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

With unpleasantness popping up just about everywhere these days, Uncle Jay brings the smart with his post on his personal Rules of Engagement. Go read, now.

H/T: Blogfather (pbuh)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm back, and have a question

Hey Folks,

Sorry for the long break -- the move and new job have taken a lot more effort than I had expected. I'll be back to my posting goodness soon.

I have a question, though. There's some serious rioting going on in London right now -- scary stuff. Similar (though smaller scale) riots are occurring in Milwaukee and  Philadelphia. All seem to have a racial component (though, granted, the press has been forgetting to mention it).

Anyhow, why would there be racial riots in such liberal areas? Aren't liberals the ones who are the real friends of minorities? After decades of "progressive" rule shouldn't everyone be holding hands and singing kumbya?

Also, 2 of those 3 cities have really repressive Progressive gun laws -- pretty much only the police are allowed to carry guns, don'tcha know. Why don't people riot in areas with less restrictive carry permits? I mean, you hardly ever hear of riots in Florida or Texas, right? Coincidence?

Friday, July 8, 2011

How Would You Do It?

The founders of our fine republic didn't like government all that much, so they structured the constitution to limit its powers. They did a damned good job of it overall -- the government stayed limited for, oh, 150 years or so. However, since the new deal the government has grown faster than my man parts when I see a pic of Salma Hayek. Not a good thing.

That's made me wonder: did the founders miss something when writing the constitution? Is there something they should have put in there to make their goal of limited government more explicit? Could they have prevented the growth of the leviathan somehow?

If there were a revolution tomorrow and you were put in charge, what would you do to make sure that down the road we wouldn't be in the same pickle that we are now?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why I Am Not a Vegan

- Neaderpundit's bacon-wrapped deer tenderloin medallions. Oh my those look good.

- the self-righteous tone of this vegan's passive-aggressive note enrages me.

- The Porkgasm. 'Nuff said.

I Have to Concur with Jennifer (language NSFW)

Jennifer from In Jennifer's Head writes:

Dear Cancer,
Fuck you!
You know, I’ve seen quite enough of you in my circle of friends, family, and co-workers.  Some nerve you’ve got showing up around here again.
If only I knew the right caliber to use on you, I would hunt you down.  Instead, I’ll trust the doctors to help her out.
But you?  I wish you’d die in a fire already.  Fuck you.

Hear hear! Fuck cancer.

Saturday morning we bury my wife's aunt, who passed at age 58 after a 2-year fight with ovarian cancer. Today I got an email from my father saying that my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 liver and pancreatic cancer, and has around 6 months to live.

Yeah, fuck cancer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Over at the Castle Gormogon the wise and mighty 'Puter has hit one out of the park. An excerpt:
We are sick and tired of working long and hard, whether laying brick or writing briefs, and sending a significant and ever-rising chunk of our pay to Washington and our state capitals where it is squandered.
We are sick of overweening government bureaucrats who think they know how to live our lives better than we do. We can't have 100 watt light bulbs because they use too much electricity. We can't have trans-fats because you've decided they are bad for us. We can't have a toilet that will efficiently dispose of a normal-sized crap because too many people moved to California and sucked all the water out of the ground. We can't be trusted to use fireworks or firearms responsibly. We have to buy health insurance, because you've decided it's for our own good. Garbage. You can't even run your own lives, I'll be damned if you'll run mine.
We are sick of being told by elites what to think and how to think it. We are racist or backwards if we disagree with elites. We are not morons. Many of us are well educated, and darn near all of us possess common sense, the least common of all gifts. Your Ivy League degree means crap to us when your policies have bankrupted our country. Try eating that sheepskin when you find you can't get a job in the real world.
We are truly enraged by the lifestyles others are living on our dime, be they poor who refuse to work or congressmen who do likewise. We are told that we must subsidize these folks. It is our duty. Yet there is no duty from our wards back to us. No duty to learn a skill. No duty to find a job. No duty to behave responsibly. No duty not to get carelessly and needlessly knocked up, locking another innocent into a lifetime of poverty. No duty to abide by basic human societal norms. It's all taking and no giving. This, as Sen. Moynihan sagely noted, is a recipe for societal disintegration, and that's what we're seeing right now.

Go RTWT right now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm Going Where the Sun Keeps Shining

After six years of planning, we're finally moving from Connecticut to Florida. The Boy™ has finally graduated high school, and we've married off* The Girl™, so we can put New England in our rear view mirror and go to where the weather suits our clothes. Now that Connecticut is fully in the hands of the Democrats Kleptocrats, it looks like we're leaving just in time.

For the last 20 years CT has had a Republican governor -- since the Democrats instituted an income tax. The legislature has always been filled with dems, but at least they were tempered by a Republican governor. In fact, John Rowland (2 governors ago) was consistently rated the most fiscally responsible governor in the country (until, of course, he was convicted of corruption, but you'll have that).

Anyhow, that all ended last November. The wise people of Connecticut elected Democrat "Dannel" Malloy, a career politician (except for a brief stint as a prosecutor, natch), to be our new Governor.  Since then, the government has done everything possible to drive the state into a ditch.

They started with higher taxes, of course. Higher income taxes, and sales tax increases from 6 to 6.35%. Higher taxes on gasoline, hotel rooms, cigarettes, alcohol and rental cars. In addition, scores of now-exempt services and products would be subject to sales taxes, including haircuts, car washes, luxury goods, yoga studios, pet grooming, cosmetic surgery and hazardous waste removal.1

The sales tax increase took place on July 1st, and that morning I had to stop by my local garage to check on my car. As I arrived I saw a woman scurry out, and the owner of the garage said that was the local tax collector. Evidently they were going around to every business in the area and assessing a tax on all current inventory -- to make sure not a penny of the sales tax was missed. Lovely!

In addition to the taxes, they've also mandated paid sick leave for all companies with more than 50 employees. Now, most companies of that size already offer sick leave as part of a benefits package, but the rest of them (mostly restaurants, stores, and other low-end service businesses) have to pay up as well. It already costs more to operate a business in CT than almost any other state in the country, and this just makes it worse. It's like CT is trying to drive as many companies out of the state as possible.

They also passed another interesting bill, dubbed the "Bathroom Bill". In short, that bill requires that transexual and transgendered individuals be given access to women's facilities, including public and private women's restrooms, locker rooms and showers.

On the surface, this bill appears perfectly legitimate: “An Act Concerning Discrimination”. It prevents “Discrimination” in the title, what could be wrong with that?I have no problems at all with gay or transgendered/transsexual people -- who cares how someone dresses or with whom they have sex? However, this new law opens the door for a sexual predator to claim transgendered status, and gain access to   victims' showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms. That just doesn't seem like a great idea to me. 

There is one decent law they passed, believe it or not. They've decriminalized small amounts of pot, which is a good thing. Now you can have up to 1/2 pound of cannabis -- a significant amount! -- and only get a $150 ticket. Finally a sane drug law in the state -- and the first law the assembly passed that'll actually save the state money!

Of course, in the same session the senate voted to make posession of *synthetic* cannabis a crime punishable by a $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. So, in short, you can have good weed in the state, but none of the crappy stuff. It must be a quality assurance plan for pot! Next up: a ban on ditch weed. Only high-quality hydro for CT!

So yeah, CT is a mess. The Democrats in the state are acting like the Democrats in Washington -- they're trying to do as much damage as possible before the grownups get back in power. I'm so glad to be moving somewhere a bit more civilized.

* well, they're moving down with us, but at least she's married now, right?

Friday, July 1, 2011

If you're seeing this through RSS, this post has very NSFW language

And, to protect my fair readers, a paragraph of lorem ipsum to keep bad words off their homepages:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent eget nisi quis est laoreet condimentum. Nulla facilisi. Donec dolor erat, gravida consectetur sollicitudin a, ultricies sed lectus. Nullam at viverra ligula. Cras magna eros, ultricies ornare consectetur non, varius eu risus. Sed nunc mi, aliquet vel congue eu, aliquam a odio. Sed tempor nulla nec est tempus et consequat magna convallis. Suspendisse sagittis, est non pharetra vulputate, tortor enim tristique orci, vel pretium lectus turpis vel nunc. Sed ut nulla erat. Pellentesque aliquam vulputate sem sit amet dignissim. Aliquam neque turpis, vulputate nec dapibus at, feugiat vitae elit. Vestibulum ac eros erat, eget elementum felis. Duis in consequat mauris. Nunc tincidunt, turpis consectetur laoreet sagittis, sapien lacus convallis dui, vitae gravida lorem justo ut justo. Quisque bibendum tempus nibh sed facilisis. Cras vel risus vitae est scelerisque sollicitudin in a orci. Mauris tortor metus, dapibus at imperdiet sed, congue vel mi.

And now, to the news:
“Any changes to Medicare must strengthen the Medicare system and improve the health of our seniors,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It is unfair to ask seniors to get less in benefits and wait longer to get onto Medicare — all while Republicans back tax breaks for Big Oil and corporations that ship American jobs overseas.”
-- Nancy Pelosi

AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Drown in a bucket of cum, you malevolent whote! The sooner someone shoves a stake through what used to be your heart the sooner this country can become unfucked. I hope you die of ass cancer while suffering from full-body burns, you ascerbic cunt!


I apologize to my less wine-besotted readers for my foul language, but that just irked me a little bit.

Let Freedom Ring! Let the White Dove Sing! (previously: Holy Crap! Cory Maye is to be Released!)

If you don't know about Cory Maye, then read the summary here. If you do, then you know what a travesty of justice it is that he was ever convicted in the first place (let alone sentenced to death). It's a travesty that he had to plead guilty to manslaughter, but hell, he'll be free.

Radley Balko deserves a lot of credit for this. He's been on the case for years, and brought a lot of attention (and evidence) to the case.

edit: I concur with #33: July 1st shall henceforth be known as Radley Balko Day!

edit #2: I agree with #40: What a great way to kick off independence day!
I read a lot of medical blogs. I find the topic of medicine interesting, and they're frequently rather funny. Of course, having such an interest means you'll occasionally have topics like "Can cunnilingus cause intraabdominal free air?" screaming its way across your RSS reader! (incidentally, the answer is yes1)

Anyhow, that's not the purpose of this post. One of the doc bloggers I follow is Doctor Wes, a cardiac electrophysiologist out of Illinois. He points out that doctors aren't allowed to own hospitals, because there's a risk of self-referring. However, insurance companies are allowed to, and indeed are starting to buy up whole hospital chains.

Talk about a conflict of interest! Dr. Wes points out that that this will eventually mean the end of independant private practices -- that because of that and the Accountable Care Act doctors will end up working directly for hospitals.

I really like my primary care doc, and trust him to make decisions in my best interest. That's the nice thing about independence, right? I don't know how much I'll trust him if he's working directly for the insurance company.

More important, however, is that this further increases the power that bureaucrats have over our healthcare decisions. They already have a financial motivation to deny us care; how much more will they have once they own the hospital too?

Then again, isn't denial of care that the whole purpose of Obamacare?

1 No blowjob jokes, ok?

Yeah, What He Said

I had hoped to avoid posts that merely link to another's blog post, but man, I can't improve on Mark Randazza's takedown of shrieking harpy Jessica Valenti. Randazza, if you didn't know, is one of the most prominent First Amendment attorneys in the country.

In short, Jessica the C-Word Valenti doesn't like the fact that there's a site like is allowed to exist. is a wiki that documents wrongs such as murder, false rape accusations, and pedophilia, and I guess we're not allowed to point out that women can be as evil as men. Men's rights? Phsaw.

Anyhow, RTWT

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TheOnesDay™ Post

A Democrat told a Republican, "I just got a great new hearing aid, thanks to ObamaCare."
The Republican asked, "What kind is it?"
The Democrat replied, "A quarter after two o'clock."

Who Needs Jobs When We Have Class Warfare Instead?

If Obama cares so much about jobs, why does everything he proposes destroy them? Isn't that kinda, well, counterproductive?

His latest brilliant idea was to raise revenues by increasing taxes on corporate jets. Sure, Barry, it sounds like a great way to put the screws to our class enemies. But what about the mechanics, pilots, and flight attendants? Or the noble workers who manufacture the planes? They're the proletariat, the good people -- why are you hurting them?

Oh, and as the Mandarin points out, the new tax would raise a pittance. Hey, as long as it punishes the fat cats it'll be worth it, right?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Snap Beans Aren't Salty

This past Friday my stepson graduated high school. His older sister got married a few months back, but his graduation makes me feel older somehow. Maybe it's because he was only 4 when I started dating the kind and beatiful She Who Must Be Obeyed™?

As we discussed him going off to college, I pointed out to him that college students frequently come home as complete strangers to their parents, having changed religion, sexual preferences, and the like. I told him that we'd love and welcome him no matter how he changed, but if he came back a liberal or a vegetarian I would have to kick his ass. I hope he took that message to heart.

I can't call Borepatch my blogfather without offering up the occasional musical post. The Boy™ will be attending school in New Orleans, where he'll be studying jazz performance. One style of Jazz that I particulary enjoy is Zydeco, which grew out of a combination of Creole, Cajun, and African musical traditions. Indeed, the genre got it's name from the French phrase "The Snap Beans Aren't Salty" ( Les haricots ne sont pas salés, pronounced "leh-zy-dee-co sohn...", a colloqual expressing meaning "times are hard".

Times were (and still are) hard in New Orleans, but this performance by Buckwheat Zydeco must have raised the mood back in 1997.

Congrats, Jonathan -- we're very proud of you, and look forward to the great things you'll accomplish.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hippies Kill Even More People -- News (not) at Eleven!

Via I Hate the Media: it seems that the organic veggie meltdown in Europe has killed more people than Fukushima and the Gulf oil spill combined. Yes, I realize that the former is an immediate threat, while the latter are long-term issues. However, it's a good opportunity to remind my readers* that the things the mass media pay attention to are not necessarily all that important. I mean, FFS! The earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima disaster killed ~4 cubic shitloads of people -- many times more than the radiation ever will. The media, of course, prefers to focus on the (really, really scary!!one!!11) radiation.

Here's the deal, hippies: If you eschew technologies that improve crop yield and safety, then you have to expect people to die. Yes, organic brussel sprouts are 100% natural -- but so is e. coli, you dumb bastards. "Natural" doesn't necessarily mean "good", ok? As Borepatch (pbuh) would, say:  Grownups are talking here -- why don't you go to your room ?

* both of you.

I Can See the Light!

Texas has joined South Carolina and Arizona in legalizing incandescent light bulbs -- you know, the non-poisonous bulbs we've all used for years. Of course, it only legalizes bulbs made in the state (thanks, commerce-clause-befucking-SCOTUS!), but it's a start.

She Who Must Be Obeyed™ and I will be moving to Florida in approximately 18 days, 20 hours, 44 minutes, and 48 seconds. Florida is a great place, but the more I think about it, the more I wish I could have convinced her to move to Texas. Ah, well -- perhaps once The Boy™ graduates college.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Breaking News! Cantor and Kyl Pull out of Budget Talks with Dems!

Bipartisan budget talks led by Vice President Biden collapsed Thursday after the top two Republican negotiators pulled out, complaining Democrats won't drop their push for tax increases and calling on the president to get involved.

Read more:

Republicans growing a pair all of a sudden? Nah, it'll never happen!

Progressives are, for the most part, extremely technocratic. They truly believe that the elite, because they are so well educated, can build a top-down system that works "the right" way this time. They want to tear down the old system, appoint philosopher kings to rule us, and all will be well. It's not a new idea -- Plato, Constantine, and Thomas Moore all wrote about it. And you know what? It didn't work back in the old days, and it won't work now. Over the long term people can be counted on to work in their own interests, and even the most brilliant engineer cannot build a system that goes against human nature.

In a A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote,

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"

I think the current progressives are a lot like the little old lady in this story. Socialism, Communism, and Statism have never succeeded in the past, but next time they'll get it right. We haven't found the right philosopher king to rule us yet, but the next one -- Boy will he be great! And thus we get mediocre statists all the way down.

Great Rejoicing!

I'm over 40, and had my physical this morning. Needless to say, I was dreading it. But miracle of miracles, the doc didn't give me the finger!

If he had told me he wasn't going to early in the exam my blood pressure would have been lower.

Reframing the argument? Rebranding liberalism? Or just out of touch lefties?

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her colleagues aren't a screaming, died-in-the-wool liberal/progressive. I didn't realize they were moderates!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four moderates on the court, dissented from Justice Scalia’s broader analysis and sought a much narrower holding.
– the New York Times , in an editorial about Wal-Mart v. Dukes entitled Wal-Mart Wins, Workers Lose.

The judges who signed dissent were, of course,  Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan -- so the four "moderates" are the four most liberal SCOTUS justices.

What do you think, folks? People don't use the word "liberal" any more because the American people realize it's a bad thing. The left then switched to "progressive" for the last few years. Is "moderate" the new  term for the hard left? Or is it just that the NYT editorial board is such a home of the looney left that the liberal justices are to their right?

H/T David Lat at Above the Law 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First OnesDay® Post!

Per Borepatch (pbuh), Wednesday is a good day to mock The One™.

Q. What is the difference between God and Obama?
A. God does not think he is Obama!

Fred Thompson Agrees with Me

Over at the Corner on NRO, Fred Thompson says elegantly what I said poorly: that we're screwed if our "representatives" don't stop putting short-term political interests ahead of the good of the country. Quoth Senator Thompson:
Suppose Republicans win next year because we are “not the other guys.” Then what? Winning is necessary but not sufficient to save our country from fiscal disaster. Two years later the Democrats will still be offering free stuff and the postponement of pain. We can’t win the several subsequent elections that will be necessary to put us on the right path unless we win the war of ideas and develop the ability to explain why restraint and reform are necessary and that fostering a nation of free people, free markets, and the rule of law is not only morally just and right but is the only way to sustainable growth and prosperity. Otherwise, we become participants in our own demise, for the sake of short-term political expedience.

H/t: Darlene at Popehat

The Greeks Are Revolting!

I am quite amused when I look at what's happening over in Greece. As you know, Greece had massive social programs that eventually caused their economy to collapse. The European Union stepped in to help them, but required significant spending cutbacks as a condition of the aid. In the US if you declare bankruptcy your creditors will make you cut back on your spending -- it's the same thing.

What's amusing, of course, is that there are thousands of people holding violent protests of these austerity measures. They think the Government should reneg on the agreements and continue the runaway social programs. I can understand their emotions -- they like their socialist system, and losing their benefits will be truly painful. However, that doesn't change the fact that the country out of frikkin' money. They're broke. They cannot possibly continue the way things are.

This is, of course, little different than what's going on in Washington. We're spending at an unsustainable rate, but our "representatives" refuse to do anything about it. The only way to save the country is to cut spending dramatically, and soon -- but doing so could cost a politician his job, so it's not going to happen. In short, they're trading away our future so they can hold on to power just a bit longer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are You There, Blogosphere? It's Me, Dan*.

On my way home from work today I noticed that the car in front of me was a pizza delivery vehicle -- and it was covered with Mensa stickers. It quite amused me -- looks like high intelligence doesn't necessarily correlate to career success. That explains our current president, methinks.

Intelligence -- even brilliance -- can be quite a cool thing. It can also suck big, hairy goat balls if you expect too much from it. And from this observance comes the title of my humble blog.

Our country, and our culture, is in the grasp of the control of an ineffective, misguided elite: people with the 'right' education, job history, and connections who seem to think they know better than the rest of us how our lives should be lived and our country governed. For much of our history it has been so and that hasn't been a problem. Now, however, it's become unacceptable and,quite frankly, pretty frikkin' annoying. I have started this blog in an attempt to address these technocratic bastages.

I'm not a great writer, so please forgive me if I sound stupid from time to time. I'd love to write as eloquently as Borepatch, but you're not going to read anything from me referencing both ancient Roman history and the need to vote out our "Representatives" . However, I hope to post thoughts that are occasionally amusing, and perhaps once in a white amusing.

Borepatch (pbuh) is fond of using the phrase "blogfather", so I have appropriated that to describe my relationship with him. If you don't read him on a daily basis you are dead to me.

Oh yeah, commenting: I like comments. Please feel free to post any comments you like. Also please understand that if you're too dickulent I'll have to ban you.

In closing, Obama delenda est.

*yes, I realize that quoting Judy Bloom requires me to surrender my e-peen. Alas, my wife confiscated it a long time ago. At best I can allow the confiscation of the sad, empty area where it once lived.