Thursday, March 29, 2007

Brady Bunch Is Hyperventilating 

Protect Our Gun Laws?

A month or so ago, I filled out some survey about gun control. Somehow, it got me on a mailing list from the Gun Grabber Lobby. I almost deleted myself from the list, but then I thought about being kept in the loop any time these bastards were starting something up, I'd know about it.

They're up to something.

Their current pantie wad is being caused by the recent court decision to overturn the unconstitutional Washington DC gun laws. The people of DC have had the most repressive gun laws in our country (you basically can't get a gun unless you're a cop or a politician). During the ban (about 25 years now) the DC murder rate has skyrocketed to 35 murders per 100,000 citizens. The national average is 5.5/100K. Only 7 cities in the US have higher rates.

Why are they all a-twitter?
In a 2-1 decision in Parker v. District of Columbia, right-wing activist judges on a Federal Appeals Court recently overturned Washington D.C.'s long-standing restrictions on handguns based on their twisted view of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution while ignoring more than 60 years of precedent — a decision that endangers America's gun laws coast-to-coast.
Uhm, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't our Constitution a little older than some supposed 60 year precedent?

Anyways, their position is that DC should have the ability to enforce their, "long-standing restrictions on handguns." Constitution be damned, I guess. See, simply because some governmental body - a city - wants to do something, does not mean you get to do it.

In the 1950's, I'm sure you could have found a lot of cities in the south that would have gladly passed local ordinances restricting the rights of blacks. Oh wait, they did have those laws, and they were found unconstitutional because they restricted the rights of blacks simply because of their skin color. There was a lot more precedence than 60 years in those cases.

These cities have been restricting your rights simply because of where you live. And this is a right that has been protected since the very first days of our nation. But that's OK with the Gun Grabbers, 'cause they know what's best for you. How insane is that?

This could be a major turning point in our country's history if the Supreme Court were to affirm that the Second Amendment is an individual right. We could start dismantling some of these fascist laws - such as those present here in the People's Republic of California - and bring some sanity and self-protection back into our lives.

Question: Does anyone know which guns-rights group was representing the plaintiffs? I'd like to send them some money for their fight.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Dead Sailors 

Sadly, they would be under my watch

Most folks have heard about the 15 British sailors that were snatched up by the Iranian patrol boats last Friday. British Prime Minister Tony Blair forcefully stated, "Stop being so mean. Can we have our guys back? Pretty please?"

WTF is going on? How in the hell can a nuclear nation such as Great Britain allow these pukes to jerk their chain? Are they getting their machismo from Spain by securely tucking their tail between their legs and looking for a breast to suckle?

Here's the speech Blair should deliver:
Today at 12 noon London time, I instructed our Foreign Office to contact each of our embassies in any Middle East country. They have been instructed to notify all British citizens in those countries to return home immediately. The reason for this notice is our recent communications with the government of Iran regarding our 15 captive sailors. We have alerted the Iranians that unless all 15 are returned unharmed to British hands by Friday, the 30th of March, 2007, we will commence with the violent assault on numerous Iranian targets. We have forewarned the Iranians that this response will be grotesquely out of proportion to the act which they have committed, but will be sent as a warning to others, "Don't mess with the Union Jack." May God have mercy on the souls of our 15 brave sailors.
Of course, this will never happen. Britain, and the west in general, does not have the balls to stand up to anyone anymore. We're too busy worrying about hurt feelings.

Fuck that. These bastards understand the tip of the sword, and not much else. We cannot even consider constructive discussions unless they know we are willing to drop the hammer.

If Great Britain allows this to continue, they will be a laughing-stock. There will be no fear in pissing on them at every available opportunity. And the opportunity will present itself again.



Monday, March 19, 2007

My Friend Adam 

Mr. Global Warming is not happy with me....

I recently posted about how I thought the whole Carbon Credits and Carbon Offsets thing was a scam. More importantly, it did not appear to me that either of these things actually did anything of consequence to reduce the dreaded Global Warming or help with Greenhouse Gasses. I've been reading the information on a number of sites that deal in Credits and Offsets, but nothing they say they do seems to do anything more than make the people that are giving them money feel better about themselves. Oh, and these sites make a bunch of money, too.

In my post, I used the information I found from a company named TerraPass. Their process, at least from the outside, seemed the same as any of a dozen or more companies I reviewed after doing a Google search for Carbon Credits. Imagine my surprise when one of the co-founders, Adam Stein, didn't simply reply to my email message to his company. No, he actually graced these very pages with his presence to bestow his words of wisdom upon us all.

Oh, and he's pissed off, too.

To keep some sort of order here, I'm going to cut-and-paste from his reply, then add my own comments based upon the information I found on his own site, as well as other sources.

Let the games begin!

Item 1 (aka The Misdirection):

[Original Post] Hmm. Here's what's going through my head when I read these guys sites, "So, you want me to send you money, which you will invest in a non-polluting energy company. In return for my money, I will get a bumper sticker saying I'm a good, clean person. You will now have stock certificates. Am I missing something here?

[Adam Stein] Yes! You're missing everything! TerraPass buys carbon offsets, which are not a form of equity. These purchases are not an investment at all. In fact, they are a free-market, completely voluntary mechanism for reducing carbon emissions, which should be right up your alley.

[NoNannyState] Hold on there, cupcake! The example I was giving was for Carbon Credits. In fact, I gave a specific example from your site where you discuss purchasing credits.
In the last year TerraPass has purchased credits for nearly 1,800 tons of CO2 from the McNeilus Wind Farm alone. That's equivalent to the amount carbon emitted by about 400 mid-size cars in a year. We think that's definitely driving in the right direction.
Right here, right now, tell me how purchasing credits from a wind farm that is already in existance, does anything to further reduce the amount of CO2 going into the environment. Tell me how my statement above is wrong. Tell me how purchasing Methane Credits (sorry, Methane Carbon Financial Instruments) does anything more to cleanse the environment. I want to learn: Teach me.

Oh, and stay on topic: If you don't have an answer about Carbon Credits, just say so. Don't try and change the subject to Carbon Offsets.

Item 2 (aka The Little Dodge):

[Original Post] Why shouldn't I just invest in the non-polluting company myself?

[Adam Stein] See above. If you're wondering why you shouldn't just buy carbon offsets on your own, on the other hand, it's for the same reason that you buy any product from a retailer: wholesalers don't sell to individuals.

[NoNannyState] Hey, Cupcake, YOU see above. Stay on topic, and that would be Carbon Credits. So, what you're saying is that you are simply an Offset broker? You still didn't answer the question YOU cited: Why shouldn't I just invest in a non-polluting company myself? At least they are actually doing something to reduce emissions, right?

Item 3 (aka The Big Dodge):

[Original Post] What happened as a result of you buying these credits that would not have otherwise happened?

[Adam Stein] You're not the first blogger to think that you're the first blogger to hit upon this question. In fact, there's a piece of industry jargon that refers to just this notion. It's called "additionality." If you google it, I'm sure you'll find all sorts of interesting information.

[NoNannyState] [crickets chirping] If I'm not the first to ask this question, why is there not an answer? Or at least an answer that would let us non-believers scratch our collective heads and say, "Hmm. He might have something there." Instead, you ask me to look up, "additionality". OK, I did, and here's what I found at The Climate Trust:
Additionality is the criteria used to define a carbon offset project. The term comes from describing carbon offset emission reductions as those that occur in addition to business-as-usual.
Now Cupcake, that wasn't so tough, was it? So it refers to the incremental reduction in emissions that result from some efforts of an eco group on an existing project, or their input that would make a planned project more efficient. It's really not that difficult of a concept, and one that I would whole-heartedly support, so long as the project did not place American jobs at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of the world. I don't want dirty air, soil or water any more than the next guy.

Regardless of that, what is the answer to my question? It cuts straight to the core of Additionality. By your actions, what is your incremental contribution?

Item 4 (aka Boo Hoo!):

[Original Post] Their site didn't give me that answer, so I shot them off an email. Don't barf. Like "method" acting, I'm trying to "get into" my character:

[Adam Stein] No offense, but this is really kind of pathetic. It's also dishonest.

[NoNannyState] Well spank my bottom! I'm so very sorry that you caught me trying to get a straight answer out of your site. What is pathetic is your attempt to jump on the Global Warming bandwagon and bilk money out of well-intentioned people with your scams. Prove you're not a scam site by answering my questions.

Item 5 (aka The Parting Shot):

[Adam Stein] P.S. The whole "Molon Labe" is kind of lame. You're a guy with a keyboard, not a Spartan.

[NoNannyState] Listen up, Cupcake: I know your company, and apparently your life, are grounded in whatever the current CNN or Headline News story might be. If you want to start a company founded upon the belief that man is the main contributing factor to climate warming, go right ahead. Free country and all.

You might better serve your shareholders and employees if you read some history and science, though. You know history, right? It tells all about things that happened way before you or I were alive. It will tell you that the earth has gone through cycle after cycle of Global Warming and Global Cooling. The vast majority of them before man was little more than a fart in the wind.

As I'm sure you're aware - but probably don't talk about around the water cooler - in the mid-1970's, Newsweek Magazine wrote of the impending doom of Global Cooling. That was just 30 years ago. Did we do something to start the cooling? Or did we fix it, and just go a little too far? Probably neither, sport. Stop playing on the hysteria.

Hey, while you've got those history books out, read up on Molon Labe. This may be hard for you to believe, but it has been around well before the recent movie, The 300, was released. Shocking, I know. It has been taken as a rallying cry favored by Second Amendment supporters such as myself. It's much like the, "Use Arms to Hug A Tree" or "Better Red than Dead" rally cries you favor.

I look forward to your reply. Cupcake.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Eco Credits 

Your investigative reporter hard at work...

Recently, we've seen a big stir about Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases as a result of the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Just after the Academy Awards, information started leaking out about how Al Gore was the Chairman of some company that offered "Carbon Offsets" or "Carbon Credits". WTF is that? So I started snooping around.

My understanding of these offsets or credits were that it was a big scam and did virtually nothing to actually clean the air or help repair the environment. The way they work is, an industry is allowed X tons of crap to enter the air each year. Somehow, this gets divided up between all of the people in the industry that is producing the crap. Let's say that the allotment per company is 500 tons per year. Company A only produces 300 tons a year. Company B produces 600 tons. Company A can sell 100 tons of "credits" to Company B so that they don't get fined by the EPA or some other unconstitutional government agency. You've literally made money out of thin air, and the amount of crap being pumped into the air is exactly the same as before! But everyone feels so much better...

The offsets are a little different. We pin-headed, polluting consumers can buy credits to offset the amount of carbon we pump into the air. From our cars, home utilities, airplane flights, you name it. These offset companies say they invest in, or participate with companies that produce energy that is non-polluting.

Hmm. Here's what's going through my head when I read these guys sites, "So, you want me to send you money, which you will invest in a non-polluting energy company. In return for my money, I will get a bumper sticker saying I'm a good, clean person. You will now have stock certificates. Am I missing something here? Why shouldn't I just invest in the non-polluting company myself?"

Here's a link to one of these "projects" from a company named, TerraPass. Nice.

You read the site, and it all sounds so good. I'm surprised they don't have an MP3 file of birds playfully chirping in the background:
In the last year TerraPass has purchased credits for nearly 1,800 tons of CO2 from the McNeilus Wind Farm alone. That's equivalent to the amount carbon emitted by about 400 mid-size cars in a year. We think that's definitely driving in the right direction.
What does that mean? What happened as a result of you buying these credits that would not have otherwise happened?

Their site didn't give me that answer, so I shot them off an email. Don't barf. Like "method" acting, I'm trying to "get into" my character:
Hey folks!

Love your site and am a very satisfied recipient of your newsletter. Much thanks!

I want to do my part to help, but I need to understand more about credits and offsets. It's probably me just being thick (duh!), but help me out if you can. Please!

I was looking at one of your project pages. The one about the Nebraska project. In your page, you say that you purchased credits for 1,800 tons of CO2 from this wind farm alone. Wow! It sounds great, but what is my purchase doing? What I don't get is how my purchase makes a difference.

You know, I think of things like planting trees to suck up CO2, but that seems like it would take too long.

Thanks for the help!
Like I said, this seems like a scam. As of yet, I have not been shaken from that perspective. I'll post the reply to my email if I get one.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


Hogs to the trough

Warning! Take your blood pressure medicine, maybe a Valium and perhaps a cocktail before proceeding. Your brain will explode. You've been warned.

Every year, Citizens Against Government Waste publishes their Pig Book. This is a list of the pork project our federal representatives have pushed through in the past year. Pork that we're paying for.

Ah, irony, Thy Name Is Porker
According to the Chinese calendar, 2007 is the Year of the Pig.
There was actually some good news this year
This year’s Pig Book breaks a run of seven consecutive years of record dollar amounts of pork, culminating in $29 billion in the 2006 Congressional Pig Book. This lesser barrel of pork can be attributed to the efforts of Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who prevented the enactment of nine appropriations bills in December, 2006, and the subsequent moratorium on earmarks announced and enforced by the House and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairmen David Obey (D-Wis.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) in H. J. Res. 20, the bill that funds the government for the remainder of fiscal 2007.
There's still plenty of pork to go around, though...
There is still enough pork to cause concern for taxpayers, as 2,658 projects were stuffed into the Defense and Homeland Security Appropriations Acts, at a cost of $13.2 billion.
Yeah, those pussies in both houses of congress hide their shit in defense and homeland security bills, knowing that no one will vote against them. Draw and quarter every fucking one of them.

Click the link above, and see some of the shit we're paying for. Here's just one of the chunks o' pork hidden in a defense bill.
The Northern Line Extension will provide a direct route from North Pole (pop. 1,778 in 2005) to Delta Junction (pop. 840 in 2000), which is a whopping 82.1 mile drive on one highway between the two villages according to MapQuest. The Alaska Railroad Corporation said, “The proposed rail line would provide freight and potentially passenger rail services serving commercial interests and communities in or near the project corridor.”
Freight and passenger service. In a defense bill. Hey, I wonder if this railroad will connect with the Bridge To Nowhere that Senator Stevens pushed through...



Monday, March 05, 2007

Nice, Depressing Start To The Week 

Why do I even open my email messages???

I'm on Ron Paul's weekly email list. He sends out a small email message each week talking about how our government is doing stuff that is clearly unconstitutional, or spending money like they're printing it (which they are). I wanted to vomit after seeing today's little missive.

I think most Americans pretty well figured we all got fisted when Bush put together the Medicare Prescription plan. Here's the plan: Pay for all of the bills, but don't let the government negotiate for the best prices. Hey, YOU dumbasses voted for this clown twice, not me (sorry, just had to get that in!).

Anyways, they lied through their asses (shocking, I know) and it will run closer to a trillion dollars over the first ten years, not the publicised $400 million. And of course, as we baby boomers age, that number will climb.

This is what made me vomit:
Don’t believe for a second that we can grow our way out of the problem through a prosperous economy that yields higher future tax revenues. If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare alone. The only options for balancing the budget would be cutting total federal spending by about 60%, or doubling federal taxes. To close the long-term entitlement gap, the U.S. economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.
Yeah, that's gonna happen. What kind of a mess have we gotten ourselves into? How do you protect yourself against being taxed out of existence?

I already do my retirement projections without Social Security in the mix. I figured out a long time ago that it would not be providing me with shit. But what about my earnings being taxed into oblivion? Man, more and more, it seems that the answer is to pick up your stakes, and get out of the country.

Think about what Paul is saying: Get taxed the same amount, but get 60% fewer services, or pay twice as much to get the same services. Some options, huh?
The answer to these critical financial realities is simple, but not easy: We must rethink the very role of government in our society. Anything less, any tinkering or “reform,” won’t cut it. A good start would be for Congress to repeal the Medicare prescription drug bill.
Send this guy money, people. He is one of the few, if not the only, federal representative that actually walks-the-walk when it comes to following the Constitution and understanding the supposed limitations of Congress and the Executive Branch.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wrong, Wrong and Wrong 

Three little mini-rants...

Rant 1.

The ever-loving retards running my state - The People's Republic of California - are busting their ass to find more ways to spend my money. It's not enough that we piss it away on a shit-hole school system. It's not enough that it's thrown down the gutter paying for some government teat-sucker to live in subsidised housing. No, now the blithering idiots are going to open savings accounts for kids, AND WILL FUND IT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS! Here's the "money quote":
The state's $500-per-baby investment would be seed money for a long-term, tax-free account that would encourage family contributions.
Investment? INVESTMENT?! That's not an investment, it's fucking robbery (AKA "Income Redistribution").

As kind of an aside to this, in my post a couple days ago about my PC going tits-up, I mentioned that I was writing an economic report for work. One of the interesting tidbits of information I presented was that California will be broke in two years - despite authorizing bonds of $15 billion to help pay for shit when Arnold became the governor - even if all of our payments are reduced to the bare minimum. And now these fucks want to hand out another $270 million. Yeah, dats a plan...

Rant 2.

I believe that all Americans must be treated equally by our government. No preference due to color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, et al. I have only one exception: Military service. I believe that if someone has volunteered to militarily serve our country, and something happens to that person while serving, this country owes that person assistance for the rest of their life. Period.

I see that the general in charge of the Walter Reed hospital has been relieved of command. He should be court martialed, then dragged out into a courtyard and shot in the back of the head. These men and women are coming back with half faces, missing limbs, fucked-up minds, horrific burns. They deserve the absolute very best care this country can provide. The shit-holes these guys were sent to at Walter Reed are disgusting. This embarrasses me as an American.

Rant 3.

I was listening to a re-run of Michael Savage last night, and he was having a conversation with communist Charles Rangel, the chairman of the Ways and Means committee. They were talking about reinstating the draft. Rangel has floated the idea for a while, for various political reasons. Savage agreed with him, but for other political reasons. They're both wrong.

A very wise and insightful man once said, "Any country which must force its citizens to defend itself, is not worth defending." I believe that in my bones.

I heard Rangel's reasons, I heard Savage's reasons. I just don't buy either of them. If we're at risk, the American people will come to our common defense. If a government can convince enough of its populous of a threat from afar, it will get volunteers. If we, as a people chose not to defend ourselves, we do not deserve to be a country. A draft simply gives the government unmotivated canon fodder.


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