Message from the management

Time for you to subscribe to CentsToChange!  It’s free.  And you will never miss a new post.  Ever.

Here’s what won’t happen…

1. Receive SPAM mail from me.

2. Sell your e-mail address.  Even for a microphone.

3. Politicians getting serious about the reduction of government spending.

4. Me going vegan.

5. You agreeing with everything the crack CentsToChange staff reporters write.

6. Rule 6

7. A CentsToChange sponsored trip to Disney

8. Boredom.

So go ahead and sign up.  I recommend you ask for immediate notification.  That way you only receive an e-mail when one of the many should-be Pulitizer Prize nominated reporters here in the CentsToChange newsroom in the bowels of the International Worldwide Headquarters (IWH) posts another brilliant missive.

Now for the threat…

If I don’t receive the minimum amount of subscriptions, I will post a photo of Nancy Pelosi in every post. I know this is in the 8th Amendment gray area, but so are a lot of things. Like the DMV, reality TV, WNBA, and anything relating to Justin Bieber.

*this is just for you Bieber-boy Daniel, and not the tall, bald Daniel

Unless of course it’s this: Epic Rap Battle of History

I think Beetohoven won.  Hands down.

So join CentsToChange.  It makes good sense….

 

Sex and lies

And now for something completely different…..

*needs no caption

San Francisco has a lot of problems. I spent a week there in January and saw a lot of them first hand.  Although I greatly enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge State Park.  Tolls are a problem.  I got tired of paying just to cross a bridge.  Of course I’ve also driven from Boston to Maine so I know tolls.  But still…  Why is it so stupid expensive just to cross a stupid bridge?

And then there is this problem:

*worse than pink nightmare

Sorry about that.  Mind Bleach is on aisle 8.  Get the name brand stuff, it works faster than the generic and only costs a few cents more per dose.  No, look further down the aisle…  On the right….  About knee high…  So you’re tall..  Knee high on an average height person…  5′-9″ is average…  There you go..  I don’t know how big of a bottle…  You can’t ever have too much… Just get a big one…  Besides, you will want to apply liberally.

Long way to go, but I got there…  Anyway…

Apparently San Francisco has a sexual problem as well. And not this guy…

*not on boat

San Francisco also has a truth problem.  That is to say, they can’t tell the truth. That’s pretty obvious as shown by their chosen Congress Person.  When you combine the two, you end up with lying about sex. Apparently that’s a pretty big problem in San Francisco.

So big, that in August of 2009, the Imperial Government included $1,260,717.00 in funding to the University of California, San Francisco to develop new and better ways of collecting sexual information during surveys.

That’s right…  Reliability of sexual data in surveys….

Let me quote from the grant abstract:

Research findings of sex surveys provide abundant empirical evidence that the reliability and validity of self-reported sexual behavior is a major problem, particularly when assessing behavior among those with multiple partners and sexually risky behaviors.

You can read the whole thing here….  Grant 1R01HD056950-01A2

In Other News of the Ironic, this grant was part of the Stimulus package.  I didn’t know Obama was literal when he was selling a package to stimulate.

Some interesting statistics, aside from the $1,260,717.00 price tag.

50%: As reported on Recovery.org (see oxymoron) the project is only half complete.  It’s been almost three years. I guess they just can’t finish properly…

.78: The number of jobs reported to have been created or saved.  So $1.2 million to compensate one person for 30 hours a week.  I would love that gig.

So there you have it.  $1.2 million to try and find ways of getting San Franciscans to tell the truth when participating in a sex survey.  Why in the world am I paying for this?  Why is this so important that it trumps the 10th Amendment?  Besides, how about a 6 pack of Zima or wine coolers?  Wouldn’t that be easier to get people to talk about sex? And a lot cheaper.

*Mike, thanks for the photo, hope you and your seven friends didn’t have a hangover

In a nutshell, the problem is that when people fill out a survey by themselves, they lie. The know-it-all college academics opine:

We propose to conduct an experiment to test an innovative method of administering a survey interview–conversational interviewing–that has shown remarkable improvements in respondents’ understanding of survey questions and in the accuracy of their responses when compared to administering it using the standardized interviewing method.

So they think that people will be ore honest when talking to a live person than on an anonymous survey form..  Hmm…

Regardless, I can still think of better ways to spend $1,2,260,717.00…  Can’t you?

 

I hope Santa can swim

This is a long one. CentsToChange is easy to read on a tablet or e-reader (The Kindle Fire is the single greatest piece of technology, ever) so cozy up on the couch, get a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Dire warnings from the Great White North.  To quote a NOAA Monthly Weather Review:

The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen [an island 12 degrees south of the North Pole – ed.] and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The warmth of the waters makes it probable that the favorable ice conditions will continue for some time.

Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended far into the sea they have entirely disappeared. The change in temperature has also brought about great change in the flora and fauna of the Arctic. There were few [white fish and] seal in Spitzbergen waters this year, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast. With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast. Shoals of smelt were also met with.

*I practice catch-and-release when smelt fishing

This is bad news.  Maybe Al Gore was right.  Maybe by powering a 14,000 sf home where he rarely stays while flying private jets around the world and driving big SUV’s followed by flocks of Secret Service, he is saving us from the impending collapse of a climate catastrophe due to carbon pollution. Yes, Al Gore has the carbon footprint of Mt. Pinatubo.

*not Al Gore

Vocabulary lesson:

Open Minded: Having strong convictions or beliefs yet willing to seek out opposing viewpoints with the intellectual honesty to change your view should you encounter evidence to counter your conviction.

I consider myself a very open minded person.  I have changed my views, opinions, beliefs, or convictions without remorse when confronted with new and enlightening information.  Ask Mark about the whole red light camera thing.

For years I have studied, read, discussed, sought, explained, and meditated on the whole climate thing. In 2001, I actually read the entire Kyoto Treaty, you know the global climate tax that was defeated unanimously during the Bill Clinton and Al Gore administration? Regardless of what I find,  I keep arriving back at my original hypothesis:

The Earth exists to serve human beings.  It is our responsibility to be good stewards of our home. The Earth is much bigger and more resilient that we can ever imagine. Soccer mom’s driving SUV’s will not change our global climate.  Coal fired power plants will not destroy the environment.  I would like to see cleaner and cheaper ways of generating electricity as power (combined with clean water) is the fuel to bring any society out of huts and into prosperity. Finally, history shows that climate alarmists are social engineers that use dire and impossible to prove predictions to manipulate society into their form of utopia.

There is more science in Scientology than in climate science.

*an actual Scientologist

But maybe I am wrong.  The quote above is pretty damaging evidence to the shrinking polar cap and the onset of global heating that may be irreversible. We may have found the silver bullet to the climate debate.  Looks like the skeptics were wrong and all the people at the IPCC, East Anglia University, Michael Mann and his Hockey Stick Chart, were right….

*neither Al Gore nor a Scientologist.  I believe his name is Phil

Whoops. My bad…..  I just looked at the date of the NOAA report and it was November, 1922. A full 90 years ago this Fall. You can read the original report here on the NOAA site. So maybe I am still correct in my assessment of the climate movement.

The climate movement is so convinced of mankind’s effect on our atmosphere that they look for any and every possible way to connect the two.  Even when it doesn’t make any sense.  Like this story about tracking the carbon footprint of wasted milk.  Really.  Wasted milk.

In Other News of the Ironic, our crack reporters did exhaustive investigative research and discovered that  the same people worrying about the carbon footprint of wasted milk were, in fact, crying.

*not the actual spilled milk, this image is from a reenactment of the event for the purposes of this blog.

So there you have it.  1922 predicted the end of the polar ice caps and a global warming that would cripple civilization.  All before the onslaught of SUV’s and the evil soccer mom’s who drive them.  (For the record, well intended environmental supporters drive SUV’s because they have too and therefore don’t make as big of an impact as the people who chose to drive those evil monstrosities).

I think it’s time for all the world’s climate scientist to gather in Bali for another meeting about reducing everybody else’s carbon footprint.  Or Bangkok. Or Bonn. Or Accra.  I guess climate scientist have never heard of GoTo Meeting.  I wonder if there needs to be a panel to put together a report of the carbon footprint of the people traveling to talk about carbon footprints..  Much like the study study study study from earlier..  Hmmm….

It works like this.  The Earth is a lot older than us.  We can debate exactly how much older, but regardless it is older.  Does it have naturally occurring weather and climate patterns that shift over time?  Yes. Can we really stop the Earth from changing over time?  Not a chance.

In Other New of the Ironic Part Deux, the very same scientists who say that The Theory of Evolution is the only way the Earth, all life, and the entire universe was created argue against the Earth naturally changing over time.  And that any changes to the Earth are man made… So on one hand, everything ever created was the result of random chance and natural evolution (changing over time), but any changes here on Earth are the result of a greater being forcing the environment to be altered.  Makes perfect sense.

Back to my thought.

Does mankind have an effect on the environment.  Yes.  The very first caveman fart did that. *side note* Those in the Cents To Change newsroom deep in the bowels of the International Worldwide Headquarters (IWH) often accuse this author of having the single largest carbon footprint, due to flatulence.  This author opines that (a) he who smelt it, dealt it, and (b) everybody likes their own brand.

*still not as bad as pink nightmare from earlier in the week

All of this climate studying is extremely expensive.  And never ending.  Let’s look at Michael Mann, the chief propagandist.  For years he has toured the globe drumming up support for the global warming cooling climate catastrophe. He was the author of the 1999 report that debuted the famous Hockey Stick Chart showing global temperatures sharply rising in the 20th century.  Of course he has yet to release his source data or the computer code for the models he ran. He later became a pivotal figure with the IPCC and was responsible for reviewing the data included into the IPCC Climate Reports, including his own research.  No bias there.

So the big question is simple…  What would he (much less all the self appointed climate experts and Al Gore) do for a living without a catastrophic  global climate prediction? I took a recent poll and here are my findings:

1. Fry cook

2. Barista regaling customers with tales of the good ole’ days when he was king of the climate world

3. Set designer for the smash Broadway hit “River Dance on Ice”

4. Chuck E Cheese impersonator in an off-strip Vegas casino

5. Unemployable

Please remember, that Mann is considered the world’s foremost expert on climate.  Let’s look at his bio:

“Dr. Michael E. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University.”

<sarcasm> Lot’s of degrees dealing with the weather and atmospheric sciences. </sarcasm>   I’m sure his qualifications as a climate scientist stem from watching the news at 6 and 11.  They talk about weather.

So, in the often heard screams of the liberal environmental left, follow the money.  And it all leads back to the people who are claiming that something has to be done.  And by “something” they mean keep writing big checks to their research departments…

Really quick, back to the topic of volcanoes…  Read this, then come back.

NASA Volcano Report

*still not Al Gore

Two very interesting things jumped out.

1. According to Al Gore, the debate on man-caused climate change is over and done.  Without questions. Like here. Yet NASA reports that the effect of VOLCANOES on the climate:

“Volcanic eruptions [1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption] of this magnitude can impact global climate, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, lowering temperatures in the troposphere, and changing atmospheric circulation patterns. The extent to which this occurs is an ongoing debate.”

So, it is 100% science that soccer mom’s are destroying the atmosphere, but we’re not sure if volcanoes have any affect.

2. Later in the article we accidentally see the truth in the climate left research. Read this:

“Man-made, or “anthropogenic” emissions can make the consequences of volcanic eruptions on the global climate system more severe, Stenchikov says…

“While we have no observations, the 1963 Agung eruption on the island of Bali probably did not deplete ozone as there was little atmospheric chlorine in the stratosphere. In 1991 after the Pinatubo eruption, when the amount of CFCs in the stratosphere increased, the ozone content in the mid-latitudes decreased by 5 percent to 8 percent, affecting highly populated regions,” says Stenchikov.”

So they are claiming fact, man-made emissions make volcanic eruptions worse, and then use a 1963 eruption as the control in their testing.  Yet they admit that have no observations, records, calculations, data, or accounts of any kind, but assume that the eruption probably didn’t have an effect.

 

In 2011, the Imperial Government spent at least $2,481,000,000.00 on climate research in no less than seven different departments.  With no results.  Nothing to show for the effort.  Nada.  And there never will.  Think about this… IF there is an actual problem then a solution will need to be found.  Once that solution is enacted the problem will be solved.  As long as the problem continually changes, there can’t ever be a real solution.  Thus never ending research that nets the tax payers nothing at all.  At least the space race gave us velcro and Tang.

And by nothing, I mean Solyndra.  But you can read all about that in a soon to be published post.

What would you do with $2,,481,000,000.00?

Redaction.

I made an error with a quote and I am intellectually honest enough to publicly apologize and print a correction.

In a post a few days ago, I quoted Virgil as saying, “Nice plan.”  In reality Virgil says, “Good plan.”  While the correction does not change the context or meaning, I sincerely apologize to Virgil and the other person who complained about the misquote.

Someone please wake Virgil and let him know a Matlock marathon is on and that the Golden Corral will hold his usual “Estelle Getty Memorial Table” for him and still let him have the Early Bird Special even though he won’t be there until 4:15.

That is all.

A dog and his tail, NASCAR, and GAO-12-480R…

Question…  Name three things that will circle pointlessly unless stopped by an outside force.  For dogs, that outside source is either boredom of they forget what they are doing and do something else. For NASCAR, I don’t know.  Never watched a race all the way through. And for GAO-12-480R, it’s voters standing up and complaining about our elected officials wasting too much money and voting them out of office.

Quickly…

The GAO is the Government Accountability Office. By the name alone one has to chuckle.  ”Government” and “accountability” is oxymoronic and I don’t mean just the idiots in office now, I mean throughout time….  Interestingly enough, every single form of government or social grouping ever created since the dawn of time has failed.  Without exception. Furthermore, with the amount of “accountability” in our current elected officials and government departments, you would think that the GAO is staffed by two well meaning accounts constantly pointing out the stupid obvious only to be laughed at and sent back to their cubicle.

*example of an oxymoron, not to scale

This article is not about spending money on the GAO.  I actually think the GAO is good to have within the Imperial Government.  Unecessary if the government runs as it should, but “people” are involved so you can guarantee that the IG won’t run efficiently.  As a result, we do need the GAO.

This from the GAO “About” page:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. *AUTHOR NOTE* I would rather they work for American citizens and not Congress *END NOTE* Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

And for the most part, they do a yeoman’s job of pointing out waste, fraud, and opportunities.  I especially like report GAO-12-740T, “Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale Development.”  In this report, the GAO testifies that:

Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way toward satisfying the nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.

Wow. Enough in one deposit to equal proven global reserves?  Makes sense why we are doing everything we can to prevent this field from being developed. Makes even more sense why the administration has stonewalled attempts at a pipeline to bring any of this oil to market.  Perfect sense.

But I digress….

The GAO report GAO-12-480R was requested by brass at the Pentagon in May of  2010. Apparently the Secretary of Defense noticed that a large amount of money was spent, are you ready, writing reports. So they commissioned, are your ready again, a report on the amount of cost writing reports. For real.  You can read the findings here: GAO Study of Studies

So what does the DOD do about this problem?  They require people to generate a report of the estimated costs of performing a study.  So the study found that completing a cost study of a proposed study was necessary to save money.  I am not making this up.  In addition, read this quote from the GAO Study Study:

In September 2010, the CAPE office, in conjunction with the military services, established the Cost Guidance Group to implement the Secretary of Defense’s requirement to estimate the cost of preparing DOD reports and studies and publish that cost on the front cover.

How much did it cost to get the memo out to everyone that there was a new cover sheet for the reports?

Stranger that fiction.  You can’t make this up. Great movie, by the way.  Will Ferrell has a lot more range as an actor.  But he could never pull of Frightened Inmate #2.

So here we have the IG spending two years and untold tax dollars to write a report on how much money it costs to write reports only to arrive at the decision that a tool is necessary to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the proposed report and report that estimate on the new cover sheet when the other report is done.

I like this line in the findings report referencing the report cost estimator:

The tool, also referred to as a calculator…

Wow.  Just brilliant.

Here’s where I am really lost…  Where is the idiocy?

  1. The volume of reports generated by the DOD is so great that the Secretary of Defense recognized this as a way to reduce costs. Then commissioned a report to find out.
  2. The GAO for spending two years to identify that writing reports is expensive, and putting these findings in a report.
  3. The solution is to to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the report.
  4. Cost of a new report cover sheet.  Did you get the memo?
  5. The post implementation report on how effective the report estimating report generator of the study study was working.
  6. The energy I’ve expending writing a report of the report generator cost estimator report of the study study study report.
  7. All of the above.  Except for the new cover sheet.  I’ll get you another copy of the memo.

At this point I am afraid of finding out exactly how much all of this cost.  Suffice it to say, a lot of money.  As we know, nothing involving the DOD is reasonable.

*The $436 hammer. The Left-handed version was even more.

In Other News of the Ironic, a by-product discovery of the GAO report was an new invention called “the circle” (photo below).

*you know, for kids.

I’m done.

A very weighty issue….

Everything about our fine country is overweight.  Everything.  From the bloated and obese Imperial Government (IG) to the idiotic hype over so-called reality TV, to the average American’s BMI.  BMI being the Body Mass Index; a simple ratio to height and weight that gives you a rough indication of your level of obesity.  Go check you BMI.

Obesity is a huge problem here in the States.  People are just plain fat.  And I don’t mean a little beer belly or that last post-baby 10 pounds, I mean disgustingly obese. So much so that airlines have standard policies for what happens if you can’t fit in your seat. Standard policies….. The shear volume of morbidly obese people actually acts as a justification for being that fat.  It’s like this….  If you wear something like this (photo below) to a Rotary Meeting you may cause a few raised eyebrows.  Maybe a polite, “What are you doing here?” from the Rotary President-elect all the way to free bracelets courtesy of the local police department.

*DISCLAIMER* The author is not responsible for what happens if you click the photo for a closer look.  Don’t do it.  Just walk away…. There is not enough mind bleach….

Yet, the exact same outfit at Comic Con and you win awards and are the talk of the town.

So here’s my point.  It’s all relative. Not to be confused with a singles bar in Alabama. Einstein had it all figured out with his Theory of Relativity. The concept of relativity carries into societal issues with the phrase, “When in Rome….”

<tangent> The phrase, “When in Rome…” is the number one justification for doing stupid things.  Just because you are in Bangkok, away from your family, doesn’t mean you can live it up like a drunken sailor. Simply being in a different environment doesn’t give you a free pass to be someone other than yourself. Unless of course you are a drunken sailor, in which case carry on. </tangent>

Here’s how social relativity ties into obesity….

The woman pictured above was confident enough to choose that outfit, put it on, travel somewhere while wearing it, and stood like a fashion model for this photo (not taken by me) because she knew that she would fit in with the rest of the crowd.  So instead of being disgusted at the idea of wearing something so hideous, she was encouraged to be even more extreme due to her surrounding.

Fat people do the same thing. The more fat people you are around, the less you notice you own obesity.  Let me repeat this….

THE MORE FAT PEOPLE YOU ARE AROUND, THE LESS YOU NOTICE YOUR OWN OBESITY.

Then it becomes ok that your are so flippin’ fat.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not the model of physical perfection. Recently my BMI placed me in the obese category. Since early Spring I’ve shed a good amount of weight and I’m not that far from my goal.  So I understand this whole being obese thing. I know what I’m talking about. *END DISCLAIMER*

I’m not fat, I’m big boned.

Actually, you are both.  Big bones covered with immense layers of fat.

There are a lot of reasons why people are fat.  I get this.  Not everyone’s bodies are the same. I understand that everybody has a different metabolism.  Righto. I also understand that there are a million rationalizations for accepting your fat as something out of your control. I have friends that could live at the Golden Corral (The Trough) and never gain a pound and others that gain a pound simply looking at jelly donuts.  I get it.  It’s not fair.  And contrary to what our sitting president (I say sitting because that’s really all he does, sits and occupies space.  Hmm.. Occupy White House…..) LIFE IS NOT FAIR. There is no fair.  There is justice, but no fairness. So deal with it.

Your own weight is entirely under your control. And in reality, it’s not weight that is important, but physical fitness.  While I have lost a lot of fat, I’ve also gained muscle weight due to exercise. Even though my net loss isn’t as great as I would like it to be, my level of fitness is considerably higher.

If you really want to see just how fat Americans are, visit a foreign country.  Go spend a week in Argentina (visiting Tiendos Belgrano and having the beef medallions with a pitcher of Sangria) and just look around.  Even though I am close to my healthy target weight, I was one of the fattest people I saw in three weeks. You will see more obese people in 5 minutes walking through Wal-Mart than you will see in a month in Thailand. (Highly recommend the Phi Phi Island Resort. Simply stunning)

So how does this fit, or not fit, into my usual rant on government waste.

Enter the National Institute of Health.  They love spending money. In 2009 the NIH spent $30,096,000,000, 2010, $31,089,000,000, and 2011, $$32,089,000,000.

*TWEET* Flag on the play. Overuse of commas in a single sentence. Roll clock *TWEET*

Check it out yourself.  Page 78 if the 2011 IG Budget.

Of that $32 billion spent in 2011 was $830 million to study obesity.  I just did that for free.  Why did we spend $830 million to study the obvious.

Quote:

Results from NIH-funded obesity-related research include:

  • Finding effective lifestyle changes that can be implemented in communities to reduce weight, lower risk factors for heart disease, and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
  • Finding new targets and pathways for prevention and treatment of obesity, including the role of sleep, and how bacteria in the intestine may have an impact on obesity
  • Finding that exposure in the womb to maternal obesity or diabetes may increase the risk of obesity or diabetes in offspring, suggesting a critical period for intervention
  • Investigating genetic factors contributing to obesity and its complications.

End quote.

Let me boil this down…

1. Get off your butt. I don’t care how slim and sexy your World of Warcraft avatar is, you are still a fat pig.  Go outside.  Leave your parents basement.  Looking at a webcam of the great outdoors does not count.

2. Bacteria caused obesity? Really? How about, “Don’t eat so freakin’ much.  Worrying about bacteria caused obesity is like trying to sanitize Lake Huron with a gallon of bleach.  The easiest way to prevent obesity is to eat less, eat healthy, and exercise.

3. Maternal obesity? I would love to watch a snotty nose, academic from the NIH try and counsel a group of pregnant women about the potential risk to childhood obesity by being too fat during pregnancy. I would love to watch.  From a long way away.  Very, very, very, very long way away.

4. Genetic.  This is the vice grip of medical causes. You were born like this. Nothing you can do…  Sorry.  Or how about this…  Your parents are obese. Your parents made you.  There is a high chance of you being obese.  You will have to watch your food consumption and exercise more that kids from skinny parents.

*made in China

Yes, obesity is a big problem.  Any by big, I mean a lot of people have a BMI that looks more like the pollen count during Spring in Atlanta… But why did the IG feel the need to throw $830 million towards a study that is summed up in four bullet points that I could have done for free.  And did.

In Other News of the Ironic, Michelle Obama pushed for $4.5 BILLION in spending to feed more children because too many were “going to bed hungry.” Now their parents can spend more of their food stamps on Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s.

Whoops.

The only thing more bloated that the average American figure is the Imperial Government’s budget.

What would you do with $830 million?

Voting….

Let’s take a step back from government waste and talk about an interesting subject.  Since this is a general election year, voter rights/non-rights/eligibility issues will, as they always do, make headlines in the news.

Voting is an important privilege to those living in a representative republic. Quick civics lesson.  We do NOT live in a democracy.  We live in a representative republic. In a democracy, everything is put up for a general vote. Under a democracy, mob rule generally wins.  This is bad. When the mob (majority) rules, there is no place for the minority. And by minority, I mean any classification of people that is smaller than another.  When compared to checkers, chess players are in the minority. When compared to all scholars, Spelling Bee winners are in the minority.  According to the 2010 Census, women make up the majority of the US population. So men are the minority. Not that men have a voice anyway, now it would be even less…..

The USA is a representative republic.  That means that we elect people who we believe to be educated on the affairs of state and believe to have their constituents’ best interests in mind. At least that’s the plan. And like Virgil always says, “Nice plan.”

Every so often we, as the citizens, have an opportunity to decide whether or not the elected officials are acting in our best interest and the best interests of our city, state, and nation.  This is where voting comes into the conversation. If we don’t see an elected official acting in what we believe to be the best interests, we vote for another candidate. If enough people agree, then the old is tossed out and in comes the new.

So you can see that voting is critical to the check balance system established by the Founding Fathers. Voting is the citizens’ opportunity to fire elected officials who are not doing their job.

So now I get to the real point of this rant….  Voter eligibility.

In my state, Georgia, there are pretty specific rules and laws to voter eligibility.  You can find them here: Georgia Voter Eligibility

Here is a quick rundown of the highlights:

To register to vote in the state of Georgia, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • A legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you wish to vote.
  • At least 17 1/2 years of age.

Also, you may not register to vote if you are currently:

  • Serving any sentence imposed by the conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
  • Judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.
So. You have to be a citizen of the US and actually live in the precinct where the vote is taking place.   That’s the law. Pretty simple.  And important.  Important enough that you would think that ensuring voter laws would be important.
Well…  Not so much if you are on The Left.  See, they do everything to stifle the enforcement voter laws by opposing voter identification laws.
I really don’t understand why this is even an issue.  Valid identification is the easiest and simplest way to ensure that only eligible voters are voting. Yet the left continually fights against any form of voter identification other than saying, “I promise that’s me.”
And yes.  This is a problem.  Not too long ago and undercover reporter reported himself as Eric Holder, our current Attorney General, and was given a ballot.  No questions asked. Interestingly enough, neither Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton were eligible for the Indiana Democrat Primary.
So why oppose enforcement of voter standards?  The Left has several reasons why voter identification verification is wrong:
  • it’s racist
  • it’s discriminating against the poor
  • it’s discriminating against the elderly
  • voter fraud isn’t a problem
  • I thought Republicans were against government regulations.  Hypocrite.
  • This was a real comment I received from a usually intelligent friend: “I moved a while back, registered to vote in my new precinct, but have not updated my driver’s license.  I might be turned away.”
Really.  That was a reason my friend is 100% any voter identification verification. His vote might not count because the address on his driver’s license doesn’t match the address in the voter roll.
Let’s continue with the conversation:
Me: Then how did you register?
Friend: By bringing a utility bill when I registered.
Me: So take a utility bill with you to vote to prove you live in that precinct.
Friend: They may not accept that.
Me: Why?
Friend: Because voter id laws are meant to stifle the vote from non-Republicans.
Me: Makes a lot of sense to me.
In Other News of the Ironic, the statistics on low voter fraud quoted by The Left are low because there is little to no ability for poll workers to detect voter fraud since we don’t ask people to identify themselves.
And just in case you forgot and still don’t believe there is anything fraudulent with voting and voter registration, just remember ACORN.
So…..  I’ve compiled an interesting list of things that require you to present some form of identification.  Granted, id’s are not always checked in these situations, but they are required, in some cases by law,  to be checked.
  • Drive a car
  • Buy alcohol
  • Buy cigarettes
  • Enter a casino
  • Buy a lottery ticket
  • Cash a lottery ticket over $600 (two forms of ID required)
  • Compete in American Idol
  • Receive medical assistance at Planned Parenthood
  • Apply for government housing
  • Apply for Medicare
  • Buy spray paint
  • Cash a check
  • Apply for a job
  • Fly on an airplane
  • Go to a bar
  • Get a library card
  • Rent a car, bike, canoe, etc.
  • See an R rated movie
  • Get married
  • Rent a hotel room
  • Buy real estate
  • Rent a video game with an MA rating
  • Buy over the counter allergy medicine
  • Pick up your children from school
  • Buy a gun
  • Test drive a car
  • Pay a cable bill
  • Buy a cel phone
  • Pick up a package from FedEx or UPS

 

And this is a small list.

Yet, it’s racist, hate speak, anti-American, extremist Right-Wing, vote stifling when I simply want someone to identify themselves as an eligible voter when they choose the elected officials that determine the fate of my country. Why is that so difficult?  What is so wrong with enforcing the law?

And don’t even get me started with the whole “get out the vote” drives.  If someone doesn’t know that it’s important for them to vote and doesn’t take the initiative to get registered, nor finds a way to get to a polling precinct or cast an absentee ballot, then I don’t want them voting.  Chances are they are really stupid, uneducated, and incapable of making an intelligent decision based on the facts of which candidate to choose.  I’ll even go so far as to mentally categorize these people as lower on the human being food chain than my puppy lovin’ rednecks from Athens.

Yep.  That low.

Remember, it was in Chicago, home of our sitting President, that the phrase was coined, “Vote early and often.”

I’m just saying…….

 

Misfire….

 

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Thank you Founding Fathers.  It’s interesting how the right to bear arms is the second most important right in the eyes of the framers of the Constitution. Just to be clear, the right to bear arms is not so law abiding citizens can hunt, nor is it for personal protection.  The 2nd Amendment is part of the checks and balance system established by our Founding Fathers because, quite simply, an armed populous is difficult to dictate.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

As a firm believer in the check and balance system, you’d think that government spending relating to our 2nd Amendment Right would be something that I favor.  And normally that would be the case.

But in this case, I have 15,680,000 reasons not to like this venture…..

*not the actual dirt pile referenced in this article.  Enlarged to show texture.

In 2010, the Clark County Shooting Range opened 25 miles north of Las Vegas, NV.  The initial construction cost $15.68 million.  That’s right.  Almost $16 million for dirt mounds for people to use as range backstops.

True, there are some structures.  Like pictured below:

and

and

and

You get the drift. Pretty heavy construction.  For the bulldozer guy.  Well maybe it was the cost of the land being near Las Vegas.  You tell me….

Can’t be the land…  No clue why it cost so much….  Regardless, it gets even worse.

Even when you factor out the cost to develop and construct, the shooting range expenses totaled $1.4 million per year and only takes in around $400,000 per year.  Simple math that even a Bulldawg can do leaves the taxpayers on the hook for a cool million per year to just to keep the doors open.

Let me be clear…  I like shooting ranges.  I like them a lot.  It’s a ton of fun to get out there and blow up some things.  I particularly like to go Office Space on malfunctioning office equipment.

I just don’t understand why the government feels responsible to engage in opening a shooting range.  That should be the responsibility of private citizens who recognize a need and pool resources to bring the business to market.  If the range is financially viable, then it can grow as revenue and patronage demands.

For those of you who have not been to an outdoor shooting range let me describe them to you.

Open field.

Dirt berm on one end. Maybe 20′ tall.

Tables at the other end on which to set your firearms.  Like this:

Someone to raise the “Range Hot” flag, declare when firing can commence, and when to cease firing. Of course anyone on the range can shout cease fire, but you still need a certified range officer.

And that’s it…. You don’t have to spend $15.68 million and $1.4 million per year to keep one open.

You see, here is the stark difference between government and private industry.  Government spends money as if it is an endless supply. Private industry spends money as it makes sense. If I owned that range, I would open up a few shooting areas since it’s dirt and tables.  As my business grew, I may open a small store with ammo and cold drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks.  Then maybe a shotgun range.  But only as it made sense with the business.  The government on the other hand thinks of everything that they could possible spend money on, and buys two of everything.

The real world is not the Field of Dreams.  Just because it’s been built doesn’t mean people will come.  Ask the umpteen investors in Underground Atlanta.  I think it made a profit for a week, once 12 years ago.

In Other News of the Ironic, the Clark County Parks and Recreation Department had to close some swimming pools in densely populate areas due to budget shortfalls of roughly $1 million. Fortunately it doesn’t get that hot in Las Vegas during the summer.  Only 100-107 degrees. But it’s a dry heat.

What would you do with $15.68 million?

 

If you can’t take the heat….

For this post I’ll go ahead and let you know that I have no clue how much money was wasted on this specific government project.  I really don’t.  And in some ways, I don’t want to know. I want to remain blissful…

*BREAKING NEWS*

PEACHTREE CITY, GA (AP) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Peachtree City, GA, has issued a dire report that once again, “Summer” is approaching. Recognized by many as the hottest time of the year, Summer is the result of Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation.

The NWS predicts the beginning of Summer to occur on June 20 of this year.

“We were surprised at the occurrence of Summer this year. Yet not totally shocked. Some of our computer models predicted that Summer would happen again,” said Ms. Lane E. Ous, PhD of the NWS.

Historically speaking, Summer has happened every year in recent memory, mostly due to soccer moms driving SUV’s.

Ms. Ous said in a press release yesterday, “Summer will continue to occur unless drastic measures are taken.”

Summer is widely regarded as the leading cause of higher temperatures that can fluctuate based on specific geographic locations. In other words, it may be hotter in some regions than others.  Interestingly enough, on the bottom of the globe thingy, it actually gets colder.

The downside to Summer is that it can get hot if you are not in a conditioned environment. Tens of people throughout the country die as a result of this extreme and unpredictable heat resulting from Summer. To combat these catastrophic and pandemic possibilities, the United States Department of Labor has spent untold amounts of money through their subsidiary department, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) warning people who spend time outdoors of the imminent dangers of Summer. Link to life saving information.

Undocumented worker Manuel was quoted as saying, “El gobierno federal salvó mi vida diciéndome que podría ser caliente afuera.” A quick translation says, “Buster? I’m not sure I know who you are.” But we at the AP believe he may have been saying something out how hot something is because an intern recognized the word “caliente.” This is neither confirmed nor denied by anyone nearby.

While the entire respected global scientific community are in 100% agreement that GWACCCAR is the absolute cause of Summer, two self-appoint climate scientists, know as Skeptics, living in Bangladesh, opine that the “Sun,” the continuous nuclear reactor at the center of our solar system with a mass of 1.989e+30 that releases 5 million tons of pure energy each second by collapsing four hydrogen molecules into a single helium molecule, combined with the so-called predictable tilt of the Earth is more the cause of “Summer.”

No one in particular with some random, unnamed UN agency says, “Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation will not go away on its own.  We must act now by taking all the money from rich nations and giving them to poor nations.  That is the only way to determine if Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation can be stopped.”

This reporter painstakingly interviewed Dan Rather for the facts contained within and Dan swears that it’s all true.

*END BREAKING NEWS*

So there you have it.  Our Imperial Government felt so inclined to warn migrant workers, illegal aliens, and others that it can get hot during summer. That the cure is water, rest, and shade.

Awesome.

When is OSHA going to build a website on breathing? Oh wait…  They did:

“Human beings must breathe oxygen . . . to survive, and begin to suffer adverse health effects when the oxygen level of their breathing air drops…” For real…

In Other News of the Ironic, I love the blatant disrespect for farm workers on the main page of the OSHA website: “The work can’t get done without them”

Wow.

Notice every single photo is of a Latino. Even the foreman with the cowboy hat and giant belt buckle in the background. So in other words, only Latinos work outside during the summer. This accordingly to the Department of Labor.

In case you can’t tell if it’s hot outside, the DOL has also spent a stupid amount of money on a mobile app. Heat Safety Tool

And by stupid amount, I mean $643,997.60. 

Congratulations!  The free republic that our fore fathers created by standing up against the largest global power of that era has been relegated to telling us when it’s hot and what to do in case someone outside overheats.

How much of our tax dollars are spent on describing the obvious?

Author’s note: Any reference to people named “Summer” is completely coincidental. Including, but not limited to,  family members who are incredibly adorable and otherwise too cute for words.

 

The Emperor’s new low-income housing

Florida and land deals go way back.  Historically, very few investments have been as solid as real estate in Florida.  Now, with the housing market crash that is not as much the case anymore, but there are still great and easy ways to make a ton of money in Florida.

Take Crest Capital, LLC for example. Located in the Tampa area, they offered to build low-income town houses on an 18 acre tract of land. Since the project was dubbed “low income” that means, of course, free government stuff….  So the partners at Crest Capital contacted Anthony Jones, the Director, Pinellas County Community Development Department. Mr. Jones thought this was a great idea and quickly gave Crest $3.4 million.

Speaking of huge tracts of land, I still am amazed that Walt Disney was able to make the land grab he did to build Disney World. That is one huge tract of land. 47 square miles….

monty_python_holy_grail_script_130_lancelot_father_herb

But I digress….

That was 2004 when Mr. Jones approved the $3.4 million. Now, I personally know how slow developers can be.  I know how long it takes for a construction project to to be completed.  Once you have a site, there are geological tests, environmental impact studies, land use permits, land disturbance permits, neighbor disturbance permits, disturbed neighbor permits, and the list goes on.

Random sidetrack.  How long would it take to construct the Pentagon today with all of the regulations and red-tape bureaucrats in the way?  The Pentagon is 6.5 million square feet.  Whereas the average home is 2,000. Funds were released August 14, 1941 and ground breaking was September 11, 1941. It was dedicated January 15, 1943.  Almost 16 months to the day…

Back to our story of how a caring and socially responsible development company, Crest Capital, is “doing the right thing” and building low-income housing for unfortunate Tampa area residents.

So here we are in 2012 and how does the project look? Let’s look at some recent photos….

And…

And…

Awesome.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

In 2011 the Pinellas County’s Division of Inspector General investigated the deal and found that Anthony Jones chose Crest Capital who had “no assets and little to no experience in construction.”

Wow.

Nick Kotaiche of the former Crest Capital (After an exhaustive search I can’t find a website or other information on Crest at this time. And by “exhaustive search” I mean a half dozen Google searches while watching an Epic Rap Battle of History on the YouTubes in another browser window and drinking a cup of coffee) blames the failure on the bad economy.

But it was low income housing…..  There are plenty of government subsidies to pay the rent.  And there are plenty of low income people DUE to the bad economy.  Luckily Crest Capital was able to give Pinellas County and Anthony Jones their money back since the project went bust. Oh wait, they didn’t.  The money is gone.  Forever. Vanished. Never to be seen again.

The Pinellas County Commissioner Nancy Bostock stated that Anthony Jones didn’t properly do his due diligence.  Really?  Let’s role play this initial sales pitch…

Mr. Kotaiche: Anthony, I have a great idea for that 18 acres.  Build low-income housing.

Mr. Jones: Great idea! What do you need.

Mr. Kotaiche: How about $3.4 million to get started.

Mr. Jones: Sure, but I have to ask you a few questions.

Mr.Kotaiche: Shoot.

Mr. Jones: What assets do you have to back this project and how much construction experience does Crest Capital or yourself have?

Mr. Kotaiche: None and none.

Mr. Jones: No big deal.  You’re doing this for the right social reasons, which is the most important thing.  Who do I make the check out to?

And that’s how Crest Capital made $3.4 million in a terrible real estate market. I sure could think of a lot of things I could do with $3.4 million.