Monosyllabic Pedantry

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back From the Future

My spies were able to obtain secret footage of Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

He Loves the Sea

Maybe because it's so easy to hide your mistress' body.

Was that a tribute to Teddy or to his brothers?

How can anyone, with a straight face, listen to any of the Kennedy clan talk about how they want to make things fair to all? Do the sycophants NOT know that Teddy's money is safely locked away in a tax-dodging trust? Sure, he wants to help with everybody else's money.

It's got to be cognitive dissonance. How else does he get cheers for showing him on his giant yacht, sailing freely through his own diesel fuel without the obstruction of those yucky wind turbines.


Queen Nancy's Strategy

I read this a while ago, but haven't had time to comment on it. Politico had an article out that outlines the democrats' strategy for making sure you keep paying more at the pumps.

Basically, it comes down to Nancy taking all the heat on no-drilling, while secretly telling at-risk democrats to scream like they want drilling, in order to get re-elected. All the while, Nancy will block the issue from coming to a vote and the rest of the democrats will tell their voters that they they are doing all they can.

Nancy doesn't have to worry about her job, since the dirty hippies that make up her district will only love her more for 'sticking it to Big Oil'. (cause they're dumb, that way).

Sadly, the rupublicans are dumb enough to play right into this. Notice that they had their big temper tantrum, bringing more attention and focus on Nancy, exactly as she wants.

Instead, they should be hammering the news with the point that the other democrats are in on this scam. Take the long view, republicans. Your first goal should be to get more seats in congress, so you can get rid of Nancy and Harry.

“There is no crisis on our side of the aisle,” a top House Democratic leadership aide said. “We have a plan, and we will stick to it.”

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beagle Crisis!

Tuesday, I got an hysterical call from Mrs Schwartz. Susan came into the room with huge problems with her eyes. They were red and swollen. She wouldn't open them. Mrs S tried to wash them, in case she had gotten some sort or irritant in them. Nothing was working.

Over the course of the day, Susan improved. By the time I got home from work, one of her eyes was fine. The other eye was still red, but she'd mostly keep it open. The freaky part was that is seemed like, unless she was very interested in something, her bad eye would not follow her good eye.

Yesterday, Mrs S said that if she didn't improve, she would go to the vet. Apparently she did, because when I got home from work, she was completely back to normal.

We still don't know what happened to her, but we found a new yellowjacket nest in the back yard. Maybe she got stung near her eyes.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

You Wonder What they were thinking

Our back door hasn't closed properly for years. It all started when I loosened one of the screws that holds down the threshold. When we bought the house, the gutters were in bad shape. Water had dripped on to the deck and splashed onto the wood around the door and rotted some of it. I couldn't tighten the screw and the threshold had a little rise to it. The door stuck horribly on it.
I tried to remove the old threshold a few weeks ago.

One of the large screws holding it down was totally stripped. I bought a 'screw-removal' tool. That's basically a hardened screw with the threads going the opposite way. I drill a hole into the center of the screw, and run the 'extractor' into it. Using the drill and a wrench, I'm slowly turning the screw, when the 'extractor' snaps off. Now, I have a screw with a hardened steel core. I try grinding it out. Nothing.
I go through about a dozen dremel cutting wheels before I get it out.

Now, with all the screws out, I try to remove the threshold and it's as solidly planted as ever. Out of desperation, I use the dremel cutting wheels to cut the aluminum threshold in half.

While prying it out, I discover that the builder had run screws through the door frame,into the sides of the threshold. What fuckhead would do that?

After a lot of prying,and undoubtedly damaging the frame, I finally get the pieces of it free.

So today,with my new threshold, I attempt the install. Half a day of frustration later, I think, "Maybe I just need a bigger hammer." I basically hammer the new threshold into place. To my surprise, it drops in and looks great.

The only downside is that I didn't add any wood glue before dropping it in, so it's basically just wedged into place with no screws, no glue.

I'll have to figure out a way to inject some glue under it. Some other day.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sentinels of Freedom

Last night, we went to a show in Duluth, where impersonators basically reenacted a Bob Hope USO show. It was great. While there, I was handed a flier for an organization, called Sentinels of Freedom.

Holy Shit.

What a great idea, a great organization. It makes so much sense. Rather than spread their resources across the board, basically shadowing the VA, the Sentinels of freedom is a grass roots organization. Community-based, they sponsor individual veterans coming home wounded. They don't just throw money at them. They sponsor the veterans for 4 Years. They provide them with a vehicle, help them get a house, take them through job training. They help the veteran re-acclimate to civilian life.

Follow the link to see if there is a chapter in your community. You can also donate on their website.

Because Blogger sucks so bad, I can't embed their video. Follow this LINK to see it.


Want Lower Gas Prices Now?

The left has been fighting the idea of domestic drilling with the argument that it will not give immediate relief to high gas prices. While it's true that the oil wouldn't hit the market immediately, that's not a reason not to do it.

If the country had ignored them when the tree huggers were saying that in the 80's, we'd have it now. Besides, it's not like the internal combustion engine is going to disappear anytime soon. But there are other reasons.

When Bush retracted the ban on offshore drilling, gas prices dropped a nickel. This is because of oil speculators. If the US began domestic drilling, the market would respond in two ways. First, the speculators, as before. Second, the market would respond to the fact that we are seeking other sources. We would have leverage in the market. Opec has shown in the past that, when we pursue other sources for energy, they suddenly decide to pump more oil and prices drop. The want to keep us on the teat.

But there is a more direct way to drop prices. Eliminate the tariff on imported ethanol. Currently, there is a 54 cents/gallon tariff on ethanol imported from places like Brazil. We could drop the price of gas overnight.

Why don't we do it? Blame your local corn farmer. Even though it is not feasible to make ethanol from corn, the farmers have got enough Midwestern congressmen in their pockets that there will not be a change that effectively puts those farmers out of the ethanol subsidy business.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

She has her moments

Mrs Schwartz and I were driving to Stone Mountain park this morning. NPR had a story about Alzheimer's disease.
As we talked about ways to fight it, treatments, etc, she says this:

"I'm just going to leave a revolver lying next to the phone. The day I get confused as to which one is which, that'll be the day I treat it."

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Cuban Healthcare Report

(Full Disclosure: I'm going to have to trust Int Part on this, since the original Civita report is in Norwegian)

A scathing report on the health care system in Cuba was smuggled out of the country and published on the Norwegian website, Civita. The report was written by distinguished Dr. Hilda Molina, formerly of the Cuban National Assembly, and it describes a system of apartheid where foreign medical tourists receive quality care that is denied to Cubans. (cough!) Michael Moore (cough!)

Beginning in 1989, the entire Cuban health care system was directed to established mechanisms to turn the medical system into a profit-making enterprise for the government. Cuban government representatives traveled worldwide marketing "health tourism" to attract foreign currency. For motivation, a kickback system of payments was developed for foreign associates, recruited to steer patients to Cuba. Hospitals were urged to accept foreign patients with payments going to the government.

From Civita:
There are several significant flaws in this new Cuban medical system. Foreign patients are routinely inadequately or falsely informed about their medical conditions to increase their medical bills or to hide the fact that Cuba often advertises medical services it is unable to provide. Patients are often forced to pay intermediaries fees in excess of the 10 to 20 percent benchmark established by the Cuban government. There is also a deficiency of medical attention for both foreign patients and Cubans.

The lack of adequate professional qualifications, the absence of medical ethics, and the drive toward financial enrichment also characterize Cuba's medical system and often yield unfortunate results.

At present, all the medical institutions that government leaders believe are minimally equipped to treat foreign patients have been informed that the government will no longer provide financial support. Instead, they are expected to support themselves by selling their services.
A priority system was established to define who gets treated and how. The highest priority rests with foreigners, followed by government officials/military, athletes with good performance records, dancers, and lastly, ordinary Cuban citizens.

Even with high priority, though, foreigners may actually have their health jeopardized by the system. They are frequently pressured to have unnecessary treatments or operations, often by doctors without prerequisite qualifications. Foreign patients are also forced into paying for overpriced and frequently unnecessary Cuban-made pharmaceuticals, many of indeterminate, sometimes even hazardous, value.

Dr. Molina's moderately-long report is not marred by hysteria or revenge. Therefore, I believe the report is an honest assessment which belies intimate knowledge of Cuba, communism, and how the health care system has been turned into a fraudulent, albeit appealing, postcard designed specifically to attract foreigners and their currency.

Hat tip to Interested Participent

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