Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things For Sale (and an FJ or Two)

OK, i found some Things on craigslist that I wanted to share:

poster wants 4500, I'd offer 2500 for  starters.
It's back, for $3600, a much more reasonable price!

this one is asking 4250, for comparison. (SOLD, it appears)

Here we have a price and quality match, I think, 2800  (someone agreed, SOLD) (here's a $4000 one in the same town better than the green and white one above)

Now, i looked for Toyota FJs for fun, too, and found these:
2000 will get you this (or someone else, the listing is expired)

or 5500 will get you this (or would have, the listing is expired)

Nice items for today's perusal!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Millard F. Caldwell?

I was reading today about the CBS Political Director's blatant partisanship when in the comments appeared this quote:

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."
Marcus Tullius Cicero

This is excellent, it's historically accurate, and I fully support it's use in modern times, but I had to investigate, of course. In the web search results I came upon this writing from 1965 (my birth year) that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. published in 1996 and has made available at the link already given.  There are so many gems that I would end up pasting the whole thing into this blog if I tried to discuss the thing, but what I first want to say is that the author, Millard F. Caldwell was a Democrat.  Now, times have changed and I know some modern Libs and progs will say "well, the segregationists were D, but now they're R" but what is much more interesting to me is that what was true in Rome and discussed by our Founders was observed by a Democrat in 1965 whose words resonate today.

And if I were a left-wing newspaperman wedded to socialism, hating wealth and the wealthy, I would do my writing behind America's constitutional guaranty of free speech. I would emulate the feist dog and bark mightily, but from behind the strong fence of constitutional protection. I would remember only too well how freedom of the press and freedom of those who write for the press have been curtailed in those countries where man has risen above the law. Each morning I would remind myself to remind all my left-wing doctor, preacher, teacher, and racist friends that only under a constitutional form of government, where the rights of the individuals are protected, can we live and breathe and preach and write our thoughts; that under centralized power our only free choice will be to write and preach and teach as Big Brother tells us or to go dig salt in the mines.

But what would you do if your aim is for a dictatorship or a communistic takeover? How would you go about weakening the fiber of the country? You would know that, given a fair choice between a representative Republic and a dictatorship, the vast majority of the people in this country would vote against centralization.

No, your road to successful takeover would involve beguiling the people with handouts, creating false sense of security and, step by step, the dishing out of benefits with one hand and the lifting of liberties with the other. You would encourage the issuance of invalid executive orders, all in the name of humanity to please large segments of the voters. You would persuade the judiciary to ignore constitutional restraint and, in the beginning at least, issue invalid decisions in favor of the so-called downtrodden of our population and, of course, contemporarily, you would have the do-gooders demonstrate and create strife and, in every way possible, debunk and belittle the principles upon which the country grew and prospered and became the first nation of the earth. This prescription, faithfully followed, is likely of success under all conditions and, absent intelligent opposition, can be guaranteed.
These are not just theoretical abstractions - that's the way it's been done throughout history, beginning with Greece and Rome, on down through Russia, Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Peron's Argentina.

But there's a great difference in the composition of nationalities. Three or four hundred years ago the English, pushed to the wall by the power-spawned rule of the Star Chamber courts, pushed back and recaptured their rights. The Russian people, in sheep-like docility, have submitted. The melting pot of America seems content and complacent. Its sycophantic Congress, reflecting public acquiescence, is grovelling at the feet of the President. Its Democratic party has been captured, and its Republican party is without policy or guidance. We appear to be drunk on benefits and slogans, rushing lightheartedly along to self-destruction.

But perhaps all this is in keeping with natural law. The children of Hamlin followed the Pied Piper to ruin, the people of Germany and Italy followed Hitler and Mussolini, the lemmings of Norway rush to the sea to drown, and the grunions of the West Coast rush from the sea to flop on the beach and die. The Roman Republic was destroyed when the urban leaders pampered its populace with free handouts...Perhaps Benjamin Franklin knew what he was talking about when he told the young nation, after it had adopted its Constitution, in substance, that they had gained a free and independent nation but did not have the common sense to keep it.

Isn't history fascinating?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how people will fall for rhetorical tricks and manipulations as long as it's used by someone they already agree with. Are there so very few folks that can listen to all sides in our political cultural landscape and use the skills they were taught to decode? Oh, wait, that's right, RHETORIC ISN'T TAUGHT.

What am I talking about?

Well, how about the President saying the trite, tired line "if we save even one life,.. blah blah blah?" Pretty much every speech he has made about this is so filled with junk that any 9th grader should be able to catch, but we live in the age of the "low information voter."

A friend on Facebook shared this WSJ article about Lincoln's use of rhetoric. When will someone decode Obama's? Oh wait, it happens all the time. Unfortunately, my Facebook friends that think he's so wonderful don't read those stories.

Also, two separate posts over on that social network really got my hackles up: one was based on the premise that if a bunch of slave owning, women-right-denying white founders said we should have guns, well, obviously they were wrong. The other was crap history that the 2nd amendment was all about keeping slaves and protecting the slave patrols' status as "militia." I couldn't even compose a sentence in reply, nor would I, because if you believe that, you are beyond reason.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Not me!

The US temperature data. Thanks to Joe Bastardi's twitter stream for this one, and feel free to go to his site for all kids of weather data.

From the report:

"During the past few years I recruited a team of more than 650 volunteers to visually inspect and photographically document more than 860 of these temperature stations. We were shocked by what we found.

We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable."