The feral cats usually beat the fox to the food, but the fox does check in once or twice a week. And one night this week his timing was almost just right, and there was a confrontation.
The feral cats usually beat the fox to the food, but the fox does check in once or twice a week. And one night this week his timing was almost just right, and there was a confrontation.
One thing the 2012 presidential campaign taught us was that honesty, decency, smarts and clear vision were not as important as style and coolness.
When Romney flagged Russia as a geopolitical threat during one of the debates, Obama mocked him. The media had Obama's back, and they were all wrong. But Obama won anyway.
Even the lefty websites are now admitting that Romney was right. But it's too late now, and it doesn't make any difference.
Matt K. Lewis makes that point quite nicely at DailyCaller.com. And he provides this refresher from Obama in the debate:
“I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Here's more from Lewis:
Romney was telling the truth, while Obama was reflecting back the worries and immediate concerns of the people in “the cheap seats.” Advantage Obama.
"The cheap seats." That would be the low information voter. Clearly it was more advantageous to be wrong if that's what they wanted to hear: Very depressing.
By the way, Obama, the 80s called. They want to tell you that America had a great president while you were in Choomland.
I once thought the League of Women Voters was a non-partisan organization, and that their only mission was providing newspaper supplements with information about candidates. Boy, was I wrong.
My eyes were opened back when voter photo ID laws were becoming popular. The only people who would oppose that, in my opinion, were those who either didn't mind a little voter fraud in close elections; or (b) needed the votes of the very, very low information voter. The League of Women Voters was right in there swinging in a fight to prevent photo ID requirements.
And now, if you look at their website, you'll see support for all sorts of lefty political stuff, such as trying to undo the Supreme Court ruling on the Voter Rights Act, unleashing the EPA on carbon emissions, and support for amnesty for illegal immigrants, just to pinpoint a few.
Let's not forget this one found at Center for Competitive Politics: They oppose any laws that will stop the IRS from targeting Tea Party groups.
And you know what? LWV is a 501(c )(4) organization. Sigh. If only the IRS weren't so blatantly partisan in the way they dole out those classifications.
Gay marriage is here, not that there's anything wrong with that. But you know, it wasn't too long ago that it was still OK to joke about being gay -- see Seinfeld reruns. Now the subject of homosexuality is OK only so long as one speaks approvingly of it. Got a problem with gay marriage? If so, look out. The purveyors of political correctness will blow you over.
The gay rights movement is in such a stampede that it is trying to trample everything in its path. Even our president seems more interested in promoting world wide gay rights than genuine freedom.
Is a bully any less of a bully because he's pushing a cause that the majority views as correct? Watch out, there's a slippery patch up there on that high moral ground.
So here's the tip. As the community organizer in chief once said, "punch back twice as hard." So instead of trying to stop gay marriages, let them get married but don't let them get divorced. I don't know how to go about doing that, but oh, the humanity!
Editor's note: "Will blow you over"? Geez! Might as well say they're trying to cram it down our throats! -- Robo-ed.
A federal judge ripped executioners a new one in his dissent in a death penalty case because the pharmacy that whipped up the lethal dose of phenobarbital had no experience in that particular process. See US judge attacks states' lethal injection methods as 'high school chemistry' in which the judge asserted that the condemned's right to a pain free death might be violated.
So, with drug companies halting the production of lethal injection drugs, executioners are looking for alternatives. Don't even think about bringing back old sparky. If phenobarbital is too barbaric, the electric chair wouldn't stand a chance.
Here's the tip. Use carbon monoxide. It's lethal and painless. In fact, many innocent victims of CO exposure sleep through the whole experience. From what first had survivors say, you just go to sleep without even realizing what's happening. And if there is no intervention, death ensues.
It seems that when a person breathes in too much carbon dioxide, he/she gasps for breath and has the feeling of suffocation. But carbon monoxide has a different effect. The body is fooled into thinking its getting good air and doesn't realize what's happening. It's sleep, sleep, sleep, death - in that order.
Here's another tip. They could use an ethanol fueled internal combustion engine to produce the carbon monoxide and save the planet at the same time!
Hey, I'm just trying to be helpful.
It has to be more than politics. And if they've done any research at all they know concealed carry license holders are very safe. So why do some stores, businesses, malls etc., have no-gun policies?
Maybe their liability insurance premiums are cheaper if they post the signs. Or maybe the company lawyer advised them to do it. Here's the scenario. A crazy person goes into a mall, starts shooting, and kills some customers. The mall owner's defense would be that the incident was unforeseeable, and they thought their security system was adequate. So the mall owner's liability would be minimal.
However, in that same scenario, if a sane person with a concealed carry license pulled his/her weapon and neutralized the crazy person but also accidentally shot a bystander, then the liability would arise because the mall owner could have prevented that bystander from getting shot if they only had put up some 30.06 signs.
OK, I know. That theory is so weak I can't even convince myself. It has to be political.
Meanwhile, 30.06 refers to the Texas Penal Code statute which provides that a business may post a notice at its entrances, which if honored by concealed carry license holders, would prevent them from carrying a weapon into the establishment. And we're talking about this because the morning paper seems to be trying to gin up news stories about the recent posting of 30.06 signs at Midland Park Mall here in Midland, Texas. (See a thumb of the mall sign on the right.)
Most concealed carry license holders will honor the sign, and that presents another problem. Vehicle burglars will know that many of the license holders will leave their guns in their vehicles in the parking lot. An ordinary break-in might yield a $600 gun. So the mall parking lot becomes a prime target.
The gun owner has a dilemma. Does he/she risk becoming a Class A misdemeanant or risk losing a gun?
A friend has a solution. He uses a cable lock to secure his gun to the structure under the vehicle seat. Smart. A burglar with a bolt cutter could get it. But it's a game of odds, and odds are the typical smash and grab artist won't be carrying one.
Link: Texas DPS concealed carry PAMPHLET.
The English language is constantly evolving, and often new words and usages eventually catch on to the point that they become mainstream. The word "like" as a way to communicate the speaker's inner thoughts while relaying a story hasn't yet caught on with everyone. But often new word usage has to await the passing of a generation of old timers. But they were all so L7 anyway.
There are linguists who study this stuff. Alexandra D’Arcy is one of them, although officially she's a sociolinguist. Michael Bourne cites her work in Like, OMG! ‘Like’ Is, Like, Totally Cool, Linguist Says. Bourne says the following:
“In writing, there’s a huge range of verbs that you can use and each of those evoke a different mood,” D’Arcy explains. “You can say: ‘she whispered,’ ‘she yelled,’ ‘she murmured.’ In speech, when you look at what people have been doing historically, really all you quoted was speech — ‘she said’ — and every once in a while you got a ‘think.’ What’s happened over the past 150 years is that we can quote so much more now. We can quote thought, or something that looks more like attitude. We can quote writing. We can quote sound. We can quote gesture. There’s a huge panoply of things we can quote and incorporate into our storytelling.”
Now the word "like" is used to help convey the story teller's own reaction to the scene being described. Here's Bourne quoting D'Arcy:
There used to be a time when my story might have been: ‘I saw her enter the room and I was terrified that she would recognize me and so I crouched down.’ Which is actually sort of boring. But now you can tell that as: ‘I saw her, and I was like, oh my god! I was like, what if she sees me? I was like, oh my god, I’ve gotta hide. I was like, what am I supposed to say to her?’ And it can go on. I’ve seen it where you have eight quotes in a row of strictly first-person internal monologue where that monologue becomes action. That’s new.
Well, if that's not the bee's knees!
The nightly fox bait has consisted of a single raw frozen chicken drumstick. But there is the dilemma of how to lure the fox but not the cats, because so far the feral cats usually out fox the fox and get to the food first. The Fox Cam has been capturing lots and lots of cat photos and occasionally a fox photo. Fortunately for us, the fox comes back once or twice a week to check the area.
There were so many cat photos I may as well show some. (Clidk on the thumbnail for the big picture.) This set looks like the cat was positioning for the camera.
A couple of nights later the star attraction finally showed up.
Last week two days in a row the morning paper had front page headlines about police malfeasance they learned about through their open records requests.
The state gives sworn officers a tremendous amount of power over citizens, and we rightly hold them to the highest standard. For that the morning paper here in Midland, Texas, is doing its job.
But the worst police officer offense they uncovered was the confiscation of panhandlers' signs and not turning them into the evidence room. The citizens were left thinking: "If that's all they could find, the cops must be pretty well behaved." No beatings, no blatant abuse of authority, just confiscation of panhandler signs.
Now it's true that with sky high home prices and hotel room shortages there could be quite a few residents living in a van down by the river. But equating panhandling with homelessness is an assumption that may not be accurate.
In fact, there are rumors about people who do it because they make more money than they would at a job. It makes sense, especially if the individual is on public assistance that would vanish if he/she were officially employed.
There was also apparently one police officer who kept a set of brass knuckles for himself. That's not too good, but the Internal Affairs office dispensed its own punishment to the officer. And best of all, the other officers weren't afraid to report misdeeds they observed in the department.
In any case, it looks like we've got a pretty good police department. If you don't believe me, just ask the oil companies that are hiring away the experienced officers.
Democrats plan to recycle that mythical war-on-women for the next campaign season. That's according to Politico. See Democrats resurrect War on Women messaging.
It is a myth that will take some truth bending to make it believable. But that never stopped them before. Unfortunately, it requires women to see themselves a victims, and it just goes to show that the self-esteem movement that we hear the schools have pushed on students was a useless gesture. If women need some lessons on self esteem they need to look at women who have really been victimized and who persevered. Sarah Palin comes to mind.
Then there's the myth about pay inequality with men. Excerpt from Politico:
The DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are preparing to mount efforts focused on pay equity as the centerpiece of a larger economic argument targeting women.
The only way to find pay inequity is to compare the paychecks of large groups of women with large groups of men without regard to the type of work, skill requirement, hours worked, physical risk, or how dirty the worker gets. If there is any woman doing the same work as a man but getting paid less she should see a lawyer. There have been laws against that sort of discrimination for decades. In fact there's a taxpayer funded federal bureaucracy in place to do all the work.
Unfortunately, the truth is the real victim here.
The other day the Midland Reporter Telegram was patting itself on the back for doing some investigative work in the form of open records requests aimed at our local government.
While it's tempting to say, "better late than never," we won't go there. Instead let's congratulate them and encourage them to keep it up. We've needed a watchdog to keep an eye on the goings on behind the government doors for a long time. And now that we've got a mayor who beat the newspaper endorsed candidate, maybe we'll get one.
While they're at it, may I suggest doing a few open records requests about that proposed skyscraper that's planned for the old court house square? Many citizens were amazed at how that project seemed to come out of the blue, however all the elected officials seemed to have already made up their minds. Were there any secret meetings that should have be subject to the open meetings laws?
Were there any emails or other correspondence among the elected officials or between the elected officials and the building promoters that the public should see? By the way, if some elected official discussed the project on his private email account it was still city business and should be subject to an open records request.
Make us proud, MRT.com, make us proud.
Voters in Midland, Texas, gave a silent cheer when the Midland Reporter Telegram announced that they would no longer endorse candidates for election. But that didn't stop them from doing the things they've always done to help incumbents stay in office.
Name recognition is possibly the most important thing a politician needs for election, especially in this era of the low information voter. The U.S. Representative for Texas District 11, Mike Conaway, has told audiences that he has a person whose full time job is getting him in the news. Hopefully, that person is paid from the huge campaign contributions he gets from the industries that lobby the committees he's on and not by taxpayers. In any event, that person is doing his/her job.
And in the case of the local paper it probably wasn't necessary. See, for example, this space filler photo in a recent edition. There was no news there. The newspaper just wanted us to see the incumbent politician at the podium, and to make sure we knew who he was, they identified him by name. That's how the newspaper helps incumbents. No endorsement necessary.
Here are some interesting stats from ATF.gov. First, the number of pistols manufactured in 2011 equaled 2,598,133 ( source).
Second, the number of pistols manufactured in 2012 equaled 3,487,883 ( source). That was a 34% increase over 2011, and if sales followed the production trend, times have been very good for gun manufacturers. (The increase was 37% for rifles.)
This trend, as everyone knows, is a result of gun control phobia implanted by the leftie anti-gun movement and the re-election of Barack Obama. Never want let a crisis go to waste. As to why the left is so keen on gun control, one has to surmise the objective is to control the opposition with the desire for safety trailing far behind.
Finally, scroll down the 2012 page and note how many manufacturers there were. It's rather astonishing to learn that the list of rifle manufacturers takes 36 pages. That includes over 100 in Texas, although some of those manufacturers appear to be mom and pop operations that made only one rifle all year. But the big guys really cranked them out.
As for America's favorite rifle, Daily Caller published a NRA press release which said "Production of the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America, more than doubled in 2012 ...".
Now, if only the supply would exceed the demand we might see some discounts.
It was a week ago today in the early morning hours. That was the last fox photo captured on the critter cam. As you can see on the photo, he scampered through the scene and didn't stop. Black cat got the bait, and the fox went elsewhere. Hopefully, he's getting enough to eat.
Two feral cats have been eating all the food and photobombing my critter cam every night. Anyone who watched Mythbusters last week saw how a bunch of cats gave a border collie the hiss and high back when he tried to herd them proving that a small canine all alone isn't much of a threat to felines. And the feral cats here won't let the fox near the free lunch.
Anyway, Fox Friday at this blog may have to go on hiatus unless the environment changes in this urban wildlife arena. I suppose I could try to trap the cats and relocate them, but that runs the risk of changing the eco-balance. They may actually be serving some beneficial purpose -- keeping the rodent population in check, for example -- so who knows what might happen?
The Advanced Medical Technology Association released a survey on 02/19/2014 titled Impact of the Medical Device Excise Tax which showed some interesting results, unintended though they may be. Via WashingtonTimes.com.
Some of the key findings:
The tax has resulted in employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and forgone hiring of 19,000 workers. The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.
Independent estimates of the relationship between direct employment in the industry and indirect employment among suppliers and in the general economy found a ratio of four indirect jobs for each direct job.1
Applying this ratio to jobs lost or foregone suggests that the impact of the tax on indirect employment would be approximately 132,000 jobs, for a total job loss due to the tax of as many as 165,000 jobs.
Almost one-third of respondents (30.6%) said they had reduced R&D as the result of the tax.
MOVED JOBS ABROAD
Almost 10 percent of respondents said they had relocated manufacturing outside of the U.S. or expanded manufacturing abroad rather than in the U.S. because of the tax.
OTHER NEGATIVE IMPACTS
Three-quarters of respondents said they had taken one or more of the following actions in response to the tax: deferred or cancelled capital investments; deferred or cancelled plans to open new facilities; reduced investment in start-up companies; found it more difficult to raise capital (among start-up companies); reduced or deferred increases in employee compensation.
While the focus of the survey was on effects of the tax in its first year, several questions were future-oriented and suggest that the tax will have additional negative impacts over time if not repealed.
58% of respondents said they would consider reducing employment if the device tax were not repealed.
50% said they would consider reducing R&D investment if the device tax were not repealed.
There was one aspect of these survey results that could have had a bearing on how the questions were answered: "Sixty percent of the respondents were currently operating at a profit, while 40% were not." A company in the red may be planning on cutbacks anyway.
Nevertheless, logic tells us that any company facing a tax on its products will make adjustments to compensate for the expense of that tax, whether it be raising prices if the marketplace will allow it, or cutting costs elsewhere.
Fortunately for the human race, this Obamacare tax only affects American companies. The creative powerhouses elsewhere may take up the slack. President Obama has always seemed uneasy with America's role as world leader, and here's one area which might provide him some comfort.
A year ago we got word that Carl and Elisabeth Crum were going to make a "One Square Mile" documentary to air on PBS featuring our humble community of Midland, Texas.
Well, they did it. And it came out quite nice. It's supposed to be broadcast on February 27th at 7:30pm on Basin PBS in Midland/Odessa. But why wait? Watch a sneak preview right now right here!
Here's a quote from one of the interviewees who summed up Midland rather succinctly.
I heard a report not too long ago that Midland has the lowest unemployment rate in the whole nation. But there's really not a lot to see. Pretty deserty. Uh, pretty dry. Really windy. I can't imagine anyone coming here other than work. I really enjoy it here; this is where I call home.
Well, we have a very large beach but without the inconvenience of an ocean.
George Soros has come to be known as a political powerhouse of the left. Maybe he was indoctrinated early on to the myths of socialism, and as an adult he has used his immense wealth to help elect Democrats and defeat Republicans.
But being wrong headed about socialism doesn't mean he's wrong about everything. He has always been a very shrewd and successful investor. And he has the big buck to show for it.
So this news that his fund management company was holding put options on 7,090,000 shares of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) at the end of Q4 is telling. Source: REVEALED: George Soros Doubled His Bet That The Stock Market Is Going Down.
The present tense of that Business Insider headline was a little bit misleading, but that's the price we pay in these days of website hit seeking missives.
Back to the point, by the end of last year Soros was betting that the market would go down. The S&P did take a dip in January, and he may have cashed out then. And what he's doing now isn't revealed. But it is interesting that this old socialist still has the timing touch.
First the good news: The IRS paid out $1.6 billion less in fraudulent refunds in 2012 than in 2011. The bad news is that in 2012 it was still $3.6 billion. For purposes of this blog post, "fraudulent refunds" refers to tax refunds to people using stolen social security numbers.
(I had my own experience with this when I tried to file my 2011 return online only to find out someone else had already filed one seeking a refund to me in another city. I have a sneaking suspicion that they paid it even though I reported it in plenty of time to stop it.)
It appears to be quite easy for thieves to buy someone's most personal information. Now that each of our medical histories is going into some healthcare provider's database which will be shared with who knows whom, it won't be long before it's all available for purchase.
So far Obamacare has been a miserable failure, and only the most loyal Obamaphile would try to deny that. Maybe it will get better. Or maybe Republicans can repeal it.
But the IRS is a troubled agency. They've used their power to thwart political opposition to Obama. And they've paid out way too much money to ID thieves. And now they are requiring businesses to swear Obamacare doesn't affect their staffing decisions. If we didn't know it before, we certainly know now that getting them into the business of our medical insurance was a very bad idea.
Voter ID and Gun Rights is the title of the article. Mr. Cooke begins by pointing out how difficult it is for some to get a photo ID. Quite true.
I've had some experience with that myself in trying to help someone get a photo ID. If a certified copy of a birth certificate had not surfaced it might have been a fruitless effort. In Texas an applicant has a huge burden to overcome to obtain a photo ID if he/she doesn't already have a photo ID.
Back to Mr. Cooke. He presents both sides of the argument for requiring a photo ID to vote. Then he addresses the right to bear arms. Federal law requires a prospective gun buyer to present an ID and undergo a background check before buying a gun from a licensed dealer.
Then to obtain a concealed carry license an applicant not only has to present valid identification and undergo another background check, he/she must take a class, pass a test on the law, and prove proficiency with firearms. Here's Mr. Cooke:
This is to say that progressives who rail against similar requirements at the voting booth spend much of the rest of their time doing their level best to expand the use of identification requirements within the Second Amendment’s sphere and attempt to complicate the system of private sales — including between family members. Could we not fairly make the case here, as opponents make the case against voter ID, that these rules are going to limit — unfairly and disproportionately — poor, minority, and immigrant Americans’ access to what is an enumerated and recognized constitutional right? Could one not make the case, further, that this is particularly worrying given that the poor are more likely to be in need of the means of self-protection than are the rich? I rather think that we can.
If ID requirements for gun ownership are justified for that constitutional right, they should be justified for voting rights as well. Good point, Mr. Cooke.
It's a speaker system owned by the European Space Agency and which is used to subject spacecraft to the pressure and vibration of a real launch.
But it can do more than shake out loose nuts or bolts, it could kill a person. From European Space Agency Has A Sound System That Can Kill You Easily:
When nitrogen is pumped through the horn, it is capable of producing sound over 154 decibels. The resulting sound is similar to standing close to several jets as they take off and is more than enough to permanently deafen someone. Sounds this loud can be harmful to humans and have been used in lower intensities to control crowds, as burglar-deterrents and in the battlefield. Sound grenades produce sound levels between 120 and 190 decibels and are enough to take a person’s life. A recent German research found that sounds up to 210 decibels loud could permanently damage internal organs.
We've all heard music blaring from a car at a red light and wondered how the occupants survived. It probably wasn't loud enough to do damage to anything other than eardrums. But suppose one of those car hackers came up with a way to turn up the volume remotely. Wouldn't that be devious? Well yes, but most of us would probably use it to turn the volume down.