Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Truck full of CFLs hijacked

WHITTIER, Calif. (AP) – The California Highway Patrol says three men hijacked a truck hauling energy-efficient light bulbs and left the driver tied up on the side of the road.

CHP Officer Joe Zizi says the hijacking happened early Wednesday in Whittier, about 25 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
He says the trucker had just picked up his cargo when a big rig and a smaller truck forced him to the right shoulder of Interstate 605. Zizi says three men got out, tied up the driver and left him. The driver was not hurt.

Zizi called the hijacking unusual and "very brazen."

CHP Officer Al Perez says the big rig tractor has been found but the container of light bulbs is still missing. The shipment's value has not been disclosed.

They are obviously very environmentally conscientious hijackers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DC House Seat

DC on verge of getting a vote in the US House

Washington DC is an interesting beast. It's not a state, and can be absolutely controlled by Congress alone, though they allow DC its own government. Yet it's thousands (or more) Americans who have no voice in Congress.

I'm not sure I'm very strongly against the idea of a seat in the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia.

I am absolutely opposed to this idea, however. They're trying to pass a law that is completely unconstitutional. The Constitution delineates that states alone have representatives.

This law will probably not pass. Even if it does, it probably will not survive a court challenge.

If they think this is important enough, there should be an amendment to the Constitution as there was to allow the district to vote for President. They're probably afraid this won't happen as this would dilute state power, which Congress already is trying to dilute as much as possible.

Climate damage "irreversible"?

Report: Some climate damage already irreversible - Yahoo! News

If there's any more reason why climatology is nothing but science turned politics this is it.

This researcher, Susan Solomon, claims that the damage we've caused is irreversible in such that nothing we can do will make the world any cooler.

In my mind, this further disables the argument that we can do anything about global warming. We

Friday, January 23, 2009

New fish from three

Scientists solve mystery: 3 fish are all the same - Yahoo! News

I'm a sucker for science.

Scientists have determined that three species of fish are actually one species. Their morphology is so extreme that scientists for decades were convinced they must have be different, albeit related, species; when they would find examples of each species, strangely, they could only find juveniles of one species, males of the second, and females of the third.

The juvenile form is also called tapetail fish and can grow a very long tail fin. These fish reside in the upper reaches of the ocean, above 600 feet, where food is plentiful.

When they grow up, they go down to the bottom of the ocean and change dramatically, depending on if they're male or female.

Females are called whalefish and develop a large mouth to better serve in eating where there's very little food available and you have to catch whatever you can.

Males are called bignose fish and as they develop, their jaws fuse shut, their stomachs wither, and their livers gets bigger to serve as an energy store and go out to find a female. You know the phrase about many more or less simple fish: all they do is swim, eat, and make babies? These guys don't even do the eating part anymore! Interesting form of efficiency.

Interesting free speech case

Mo. neo-Nazis join `Adopt-A-Highway' trash cleanup - Yahoo! News

Missouri has allowed a group called the "National Socialist Movement, Springfield Unit" to join the Adopt-a-Highway movement to clean up litter. As unsavory a group as it probably is, it should be as entitled to pick up trash as anyone.

At least they get their own sign. When my lodge was doing that along a road here, they wouldn't even put up a sign for us.

Crazy atheists lose another battle

Atheists want God stricken from inaugural oath - Yahoo! News
Judge won't order Obama not to use 'God' in oath - Yahoo! News

These guys aren't atheists, they're anti-theists.

They want the courts to prohibit something they really can't prohibit: free speech. They wanted to halt inaugural prayers and the traditional phrase "So help me God" from the presidential oath of office. Judge say no!

I don't know why Michael Newdow cares that much, but surely it's delusional.

First Amendment apparently doesn't apply to the courts

NJ rules against church group in gay rights case - Yahoo! News

A gay couple wanted to get married on church property. When they were denied, they sued and won.

I'm not a big proponent of a slippery slope theory, but this action starts to make me think that very soon, so-called "gay rights" groups are going to force churches to marry gay couples regardless of the churches' beliefs. I've even heard that there's a movement to have churches' tax-exempt status be revoked if they don't marry gay couples.

If what I heard is correct about Connecticut, apparently they refuse to accept a "civil union" status even if it is precisely the same as marriage. Apparently saying that it's discrimination that some can be married by law and some can't.

I'd just as soon see the legal idea of marriage be eliminated and everyone be in civil unions. The term marriage implies a religious ceremony and, in my mind, entails a violation of the First Amendment's prohibition against respecting an establishment of religion.

Prepare for another glut!

I've got a bunch of articles queued up ready for commenting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A brave new world ...

... where energy is plentiful but no one uses it.

Driving continues to decline as gas prices drop - Yahoo! News

It appears to me that Americans have felt the sting of energy shortages and are actually doing something about it. $4/gal gas has finally burned enough wallets that people are conserving. Luckily, even with the glut of energy we now have with the drop in the economy, people are still conserving energy.

Hopefully this trend will continue. We can avoid an energy crisis while advancing alternative fuel technology, avoiding the political quagmire that was offshore drilling.

We'll have to see what happens when the economy comes back up.

On the other side of the world, I can see all these oil countries panicking right now. Consider Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Their entire economies are based solely on oil and they can't make any money off of it. They've been trying desperately to raise the price of oil by cutting production, but all they manage to do is spike the price temporarily and it continues to fall. I wonder what will happen in those countries as they lose this vast wealth. Soon, they'll be nothing but dust pots once more. Except for Venezuela, which will just kinda rot. They'll see Chavez' true colors soon.

Charity linked to Mumbai attacks

Pakistan turns screw on charity linked to Mumbai attacks - Yahoo! News

Yet another "Muslim charity" that serves as a front for terrorist activities. I think we should start looking at those politicians who defend these charities and start charging them with conspiring with terrorists.

War on Terrorism Update

6 alleged Islamic extremists charged in Belgium - Yahoo! News

Another victory in the War on Terror, another terrorist off the streets.

Hopefully, the Belgian authorities won't be coyed into thinking she's harmless because she's a woman, or be coerced into releasing her by terrorist sympathizers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's cold

Bitterly cold air hits much of nation - Yahoo! News

I guess it gives me a small amount of comfort that other people agree with me. It's cold. Very cold. Usually, my apartment is rather toasty, even with the thermostat set to about 65°F. It even tends to get very warm when it's cold out and I open the blinds.

Not this morning.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Playstation Home update

Penny Arcade! - A Penetrating Look

Tycho seems to hate it much. I wonder how much hate is deserved.

Perhaps I'm too masochistic.

Microsoft and Open Source, not versus?

Microsoft Revising 'us vs. Them' Attitude Toward Open Source (PC World) by PC World: Yahoo! Tech

This is the most surprising thing I've heard out of Microsoft in a long time.

When I heard they were including an RSS feeder in IE7 and they asked Firefox how they did it because they wanted to MATCH behavior, I was shocked. They apparently did that because they did NOT want to play the "well, it works in IE" game anymore. Other things about IE7, including the enhanced standards support, and especially IE8, which will BREAK certain IE specific code because it either relied on bugs or incorrect standards implementation, are starting to make me think that Microsoft is becoming far more amenable to the idea of fairly competing with rivals.

But this nearly blows everything out of the water! If they fully embrace this point of view, they may release many of their patents and make more of their systems interoperable in open source. Can we say IE for Linux? I don't think that's too far a bad thing.

Of course, they will always tout their software. As well they should. They're putting a lot of time, effort, and resources into developing these products. But now, with the inspiration of open source, it seems that they might actually be trying to develop something that actually helps people rather than selling crap because there was no other choice in the world.

Microsoft is evolving. And it will succeed in its new form.

Playstation Home

The Blagojevich Senate Scandal

This is a juicy one, make no mistake. It's absolutely incredible how in the 21st century, we can have '20s-style political maneuvering.

Ill. governor arrested in corruption scandal

Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois, arrested on corruption charges related to his constitutional authority to appoint a new Senator upon the seat being vacated by President-elect Barak Obama. Incredibly, he was apparently trying to either get paid for the appointee, or get political favors by appointing someone. In addition, he was trying to force Tribune Co. to fire editorial writers who were criticizing him.

Probably the most amazing thing about it are the conversations. He did absolutely nothing to hide the fact that he was literally selling Obama's seat! A quote from the above article, "'I've got this thing and it's (expletive) golden,' he said of his authority to appoint Obama's replacement, 'and I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I'm not gonna do it.'"

Probably one of the most comical things, though, is that he knew that it wasn't safe to use the telephones, even warning some of his people against using them, but he used them himself to discuss all these other things. He must have literally believed in "Do as I say, not as I do."

I like some of the comments the pundits here say: Illinois governor's arrest stuns politicos, like Don Rose, "I think this is beyond ordinary sanity. We're talking about something clinical here."

And poor Obama. He's not exactly in the middle of this mess, but he is a product of the same Chicago machine. This article discusses some of that: Big risks for Obama in Blago scandal. I think it's very likely that the media are going to take a microscope to the Chicago political machine and all its corruption, personified by Gov. Blagojevich, and it will be extremely difficult for Obama to differentiate from that, especially since he made it a point during the campaign to mention his involvement in Chicago politics as an example why he's ready to lead. About the only thing he can do now is call on him to resign, which he has. He can't really even pardon him of the crime, either. Leastaways, not until he's a lame duck.

The group that obviously has the most to gain from this would be the Republican Party. Not only would they have something to be able to keep Obama's feet over the fire a little bit, they would also be able to gain a seat in the Senate at the same time. There are calls out—from Democrats—to have Obama's seat up for special election rather than by gubernatorial appointment. With a special election comes the (sidelong) possibility of another Republican in the Senate. I have no party affiliation and intend on keeping it that way for a very long time, but the concept of ANY party having nearly a stranglehold on government is an abberation. More discussion: Special election could give GOP hope.

Be Aware!!!

I'm going to have another glut of posts! Hold onto your seats!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Royal Pomp

No sign of hard times as Queen opens Parliament - Yahoo! News

This is one of the coolest things I've ever read about. It's such a dramatic event in England just to open up Parliament.