Friday, July 31, 2009

Why are SUVs Legal?

Do I really need to elaborate on this one?

Consumption is evil (global warming, geo-political, etc...). SUVs allow people to consumer more fuel while offering no benefit to society.

Sure SUVs are great for big families, hauling large items, and getting around in a Colorado winter. But are those things really worth the impact to the environment? Of course not. This is another case where individual freedoms put the collective at a disadvantage.

Think of all the money saved on gas that could be put to better use in the public sector! Like the "Cash for Clunkers" program (nevermind that the program allowed consumers to buy SUVs that get as little as 18MPG).

So if SUVs pose such a risk to the environment, and prohibit social and economic justice through consumption of fuel rather than centralization of household wealth, why are they legal?

What He Said!

From a story on the suspension of the "Cash for Clunkers" program...

"If they can't administer a program like this, I'd be a little concerned about my health insurance," car salesman Rob Bojaryn said.


Now one could argue that the program was underfunded to start with, which leads me to ask "how could the government not know it was underfunded?" It comes down to not understanding the x factor. x being demand in this case.

Project that kind of mismanagement to health care and you have chaos. Consider the fact that there are many x's in health care and you have a complete disaster.

Once you get beyond on the morality plays, you begin to see just how unsustainable government controlled heath care will be.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why is it Legal?

In this new age of nanny-state big government, I'm wondering why some things are still permitted. We suspend individual liberties in the name of "social and economic justice" or the "greater good" all the time when the elites can divine a compelling reason; health care, environment, poverty, etc... So why are there certain freedoms that are off limits?

This weekend, while getting my weekly groceries, I was behind a lady with a cart full of cat food and litter in the checkout line. While waiting she left the line momentarily to get more cat food (current selection wasn't enough?). And that got me thinking...

Why is pet ownership legal?

The world would be such a better place without pets which provide little or no value to society.

The cost of owning a pet can be over $1,000 the first year and $500 a year thereafter. That's $8,000 should a pet live 15 years! This is a conservative estimate. If a pet needs specialized surgery or care the costs could skyrocket. Most pet owners replace pets once they die and could end up spending $24,000 (in 2008 dollars) throughout their adult lifetime!!!

That money could be better spent providing social and economic justice (education, health care, food stamps/welfare) to the disadvantaged. Pet owners would never miss it as they've grown used to the recurring expenses.

Health Care
If we believe the current Democrat talking points too many Americans lack access to "affordable" health care. How many is "too many?" Still up for debate but any system that doesn't cover 100% of the people 100% of the time is politically inadequate.

Veterinary providers could be re-tooled and retrained to provide care and services for humans. This would create more capacity in the health care system thus lowering costs. The government run health care system of tomorrow won't allow legal claims for liability or malpractice anyway so the government risks no additional exposure.

A few Veterinarians would be still be necessary to provide services for zoos, but the vast majority could practice on humans with a little bit of training.

The Environment
How big of a carbon footprint does the pet food industry have? Don't know/don't care. But if it's more than nothing, it's too much. We can eliminate the environmental impact completely by eliminating pets altogether.

Mass transit will create a draw from the sparse suburbs to the dense urban areas around the country (after we outlaw private transport). This will put people in close living situations in which a barking dog or a cat house could be a problem.

Urban environments lack dog areas and dog waste would be a problem. Dogs have also been known to occasionally attack humans which, in a city, puts more people at risk.

We can further incentivize urban living by guaranteeing a person won't be listening to his neighbor's dog bark for eight hours while he's at work or getting bitten while talking a walk around the neighborhood.

Social Costs
All governments have pounds and animal control units. These could be scaled back or completely eliminated in some cases. That would free up funds for social programs or education. Tax cut? No, that money could be put to good use somewhere in the gov's budget to expand the size and control of said government--which we all know is a good thing and will serve a lot of people in only good ways.

All of this outlines a case, in the interest of the "greater good," to completely outlaw pet ownership. So why is it legal?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"No" Is an Easy Word

So why couldn't Gov Ritter just answer with "no?"

The conflict isn't unique to Colorado; anyone supporting Cap and Trade is supporting a reduction in economic growth which will cost Americans jobs and prosperity. Dem Governors are going to have to dance on the not so fine line between doing what's right for their state and the Democrat climate agenda.

This is precisely why I remarked earlier that Cap and Trade may end up being good for the free market. Leadership will be in a position to either support a far left (unsustainable) ideology or the free market which puts food on the table and a roof overhead. Politicians like Ritter, no matter how hard they squirm will own their decisions and the people will vote accordingly.

The interesting piece, that will likely never be reported, is what the Obama Admin is offering these Governors for their support.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Did We Learn Nothing?

Create military robots that kill and use dead bodies as fuel. Sounds like a great idea! I'm sure nothing could ever go wrong with that. Why not give them the ability to reproduce while we're at it?

This story touches on an interesting subject though. We are quickly developing military tech to the point that wars of the future may be fought by self-aware (sentient) robots with the ability to replace the "boots on the ground." At some level, they will also have to make the same decisions as soldiers/Marines in the battle area.

I believe the use of these machines against humans would be unethical.

Our current technology requires a human to pull a trigger in order to end the life of an enemy. Even the new generation of UAVs still require a remote human operator. This means a human must determine if his actions are within the rules of warfare. Soldiers, no matter what they claim at a war crimes trial, never blindly follow orders. Robots do. War isn't perfect today and removing the inherit checks and balances of the chain of command is certain to make it less perfect tomorrow.

This quickly evolving technology could also someday place a lot of power in the hands of a select few. Soldiers are part of a collective, but are also individuals from society that share our values and ideas--they weren't built in a factory. Violating Posse Comitatus would be a problem for most soldiers. Not so for robots who will lack the ability to check the orders they have been issued against an ethical code. Combine this power with the trend towards totalitarian big government and you have a recipe for disaster.

I fully support the idea of using technology to save US lives on the battlefield, but it should never replace the role of the warrior.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

I've had a free hotmail account for about 10 years now and I like having the same address so friends/family always know where to e-mail.

About a month ago I got an announcement from MSN that hotmail would no longer support POP3 which I was using to access hotmail via Outlook 2003--which enables me to to get important e-mails off the hotmail server and into my local personal folders so I can hang onto messages and organize them.

Instead of just being told I was S.O.L., Microsoft created the Outlook Connector which is free to download and use. I've been using it now for about three weeks and find it far superior to POP3. E-mails download faster and Outlook doesn't freeze up like it did with POP3.

Moral of the story: Instead of aggravating existing users, MS found a superior solution and made it available free of charge.

MS has gotten a lot of criticism throughout years, some of it justified, but it's important to point out the good as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

KLR650 Oil Leak

For the past two/three weeks I've been fighting with a very slow persistent oil leak emanating from the left side of the oil filter cap.

I did my annual oil change in May and didn't have any problems until late June so I'm really confused as to what could have caused it. The bike is a 1995 (A9) with just under 7k miles.

When it started, I noticed the bike was leaving about a half dollar sized drop on the ground. I've got it down to about a dime now. Seems to start after the motor warms up and starts dripping after being parked (motor off).

Things I have tried...

- Rubber oil filter o-rings (three of them from two different shops)
- New oil filter
- Emptying some oil to middle on window
- New oil filter cap
- New oil filter cap screws

Next step is to cut one of the rubber o-rings down and mash it in there with another full o-ring to create some additional pressure on the seal. Gasket maker is out of the question! Other than that, it's off to Vickery's service department.

Nothing more annoying that not being able to ride with an otherwise perfectly good bike sitting in the garage!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Too Cool for Social Networking?

I've become aware there are very tech savvy people who claim they are too cool to be caught on social networking sites. Very rare, but very curious.

I can understand not wanting to post personal info and not wanting your entire day to revolve around checking in with friends, posting updates, managing photos, etc... When you consider that a lot of people have accounts with different sites, this can become overwhelming. And if you're social person, why not actually get out and actually see your friends? For this reason I have limited myself to one account and check it rather infrequently--usually while at work waiting for processes/queries to return.

No matter how cool you say you are, here are two reasons you are most certainly using social networking sites...

1. Bands

Bands/artists aren't just using social networking to promote themselves but are offering access to themselves in ways never before possible. Some will write blogs and open them up for comment (i.e. interaction). Some will post updates on tours and new releases.

But the biggest advantage of having your fav artists as friends is the streaming audio player.

Just heard of a new band you want to check out? Yeah, you can sample on Amazon or iTunes. But the band's MySpace player will give you an entire track v. 15-20 seconds. You can see which tracks in the player are the most popular by play count.

Sometimes artists will post new tracks for streaming before they are even released!

If you love music you are on MySpace so stop denying it already!

2. Cyberstalking

Now let me clarify, when I say "cyberstalking" I don't mean anything nefarious or illegal. I'm talking about those little checks we all do on people from our past.

Want to see what your high school sweetheart looks like 12 years later? One profile pic and you know.

Got a crazy girlfriend from months ago? Want to see if she's moved on (i.e. will stop calling you after having three too-many at 1:30AM)?

A quick check of her MySpace/Facebook page and you'll know. Yes, some people make their profiles, or certain pages private. But it's more information than you had 30 seconds ago and it cost you nothing. Nada. Zilch.

No uncomfortable silences on the phone. No mixed signals when you make contact. No paid background checks to see if she really has moved to Fayetteville Arkansas and lives in a trailer.

Twitter may be able to give you even more information: real-time locations/plans/etc... Have some mutual friends with said nutcase? Want to know if she's going to the house party you're planning on going to? Twitter can be a life saver.

So keep lying all you you want to. I know you're on social networking sites and you know you're on social networking sites.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I had no idea.

Now I don't want to know.