Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Smoking is good for you

I started watching this video (thanks Instapundit!), and had to laugh when Gutfeld talked about being in Berkeley and becoming a Conservative because he was hanging out with Liberals. Had to laugh, because that is the same thing that happened to me, and in the same place. Okay, Rockridge is just south of Berkeley, and I was not in school there, but otherwise the same.

Apparently I have not spent enough time with Conservatives to become a Libertarian as he has, or maybe I just don't drink enough.

Why the title? When Gutfeld was at Men's Health magazine he actually put out an article on the health benefits of cigarets. Something to do with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's apparently. I won't be adding much to my two or three annual cigars though.

Lots more at the link, including how people who claim to be the most tolerant are actually the least, and so on.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Got a ticket to see Obama at Rio Ranch High School last Thursday. Big crowd, most of whom seemed to be bigger fans of the President than I am. A few times during his speech I was muttering "that's not true" to myself.

At one point he was talking about the deficit, and how earmarks are not a big deal because they are only one percent of the budget. I thought:
1) 1% is equal to the entire foreign aid budget, so it is not that small.
2) since most of the budget is non-discretionary, i.e. medicare, social security, and interest on the debt, earmarks are a lot more than 1% of what Congress can actually choose to spend,

And most importantly:
3) With earmarks it is not just a matter of the amount of money as the appearance (and in many cases I believe the actuality) of corruption.

Look at the ugly triangle of PMA, Congressman Murtha, and the earmarks. Lobbyist raises huge money for a Congressman, who in turn funnels no-bid contracts to the lobbyist's clients. Of course it is hard for a Prosecutor to prove the existence of a quid pro quo, but the implication that there is one is irresistable.

A few other notes:

The woman who introduced Obama had a sad story, but there were a few details that seemed odd. First, she complained that her card company authorized a charge that put her over her limit. Now I can see other cases where this would be exactly what was desired, but she was angry about it. On her next point, she had more to go on, since they did raise her interest rate from about 10 to 30 percent. 30 is awful high, we can all agree on that, but she was getting a pretty good deal before that. In fact, she was paying less for her unsecured debt than GE has too!

When Obama came up, he sort of bounced up the three steps to the stage, as if just walking up them was too ordinary. Looked good though.

I had prepared a question, but Obama skipped over me to another fellow, who asked Obama to institute martial law. Actually, the fellow mentioned that there were some problems with Congress, and asked if something could be done, I interpreted that as mentioned.

My question was:
Mister President, given the bullying of Chrysler bondholders to give up their rights to benefit the UAW, are you concerned that private investors will avoid situations with the potential for government interference, such as lending to industries with powerful unions?

I still don't know the answer.

Telsa to the Crest

Last week I took the Tesla up to the Crest and back. Thought I would go at night, so there would be fewer other folks on the road. Advantage: fewer other folks on the road. Disadvantage: it was really dark. The regular lights are pretty useless at night, but I thought the brights were good, until this run. Maybe it is just the nature of a twisty road in a forest, but every curve was frightening. The lights covered the asphalt straight ahead quite well, and I could see the reflectors in front of me, and had no problem telling if I needed to turn right or left. The problem was that it felt like every turn was into total darkness.

Perhaps eating more carrots would help?

There was another novelty to the drive, a new warning. The motor got too hot on the way up, and just a bit before getting to the Crest the computer put the car into low power mode. If you are not heavily on the throttle, you will not notice this, but I did let up a bit for the last quarter mile or so. After cooling off in the parking lot for a few minutes it was back to normal.

Of course on the way down there was no repeat of the problem, since the motor had to work nowhere near as hard. From the valley to the peak and back, plus an extra six miles since I missed the exit (didn't see it coming, there was construction) and the Tesla still reported a further 80 miles of range. Nice!