Dollars for the DoD

One of the little known functions of the DoD (Department of Defense) is their observation of objects in orbit around earth. The U.S. DoD monitors every object floating in orbit above 2 inches in size. The reason for this extreme attention is quite simple… As chronicled in National Geographic magazine (January 2007), even a speck of paint can pit the windshield on the space shuttle when it’s traveling at 17,500 mph.

Another value of this military service was made apparent in February of 2008, when the US Navy shot down a bus-sized “chunk of metal” that could have leaked highly hazardous hydrazine fuel on re-entry. With the increasing number of satellites of civilian, scientific, military, and foreign manufacture in orbit (over 13,000 man-made objects), it will become increasingly vital that someone possess the technical ability to avert disastrous re-entries and help traffic safely navigate our backyard.

So next time someone suggests military spending is evil, and the armed forces should “have to hold a bake sale” to fund their projects, point out that military spending is responsible for safe space travel, satellite communication (and therefore our entire digital and cell phone society), several types of science (from astronomy to climatology and oceanography), and safety from space debris.


I’ve Always Wanted to Kill a Car with a Crossbow.

That’s what makes the new Domino’s 4,4,4 commercial so wicked.  Too cool for the internet, in fact.  

It’s Just Like a Jackass…

…to propose instituting a universal healthcare system, when the federal budget (and deficit) is out of control, economic recession is looming (if not here), and annual reports constantly point out the incredible waste and inadequacy of current government healthcare (whether Medicare or Veterans Affairs hospitals). Remember the reports of poor treatment offered to stateside Iraqi war veterans? And then there’s the recent spread in the April 20th, 2008 issue of Parade magazine. Entitled, “The Looting of Medicare,” the article estimates $70 billion of Medicare’s $400 billion budget for 2008 will be lost due to mismanagement and fraud.

Hot on the heels of this report on Medicare’s sterling record, the Clinton campaign quietly informed the public this week that instituting Hillary’s healthcare plan will require a tax hike that will take “5-10% of the average taxpayer’s annual income”. The consequence of Hillary or Obama’s healthcare idiocy is perhaps best illustrated in visual terms:

Universal healthcare might seem like a good thing on the surface. Americans like to think of themselves as compassionate people, and compassionate people do not deny medical care to others. But “universal healthcare” (which I would distinguish from universal emergency care–which we currently do have in this country), is a good example of the old adage about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Good intentions have to be wed to sound policy, science, and economics. Those who suggest a government mandated universal healthcare system are in fact advocating something that is the surest way to guarantee inadequate healthcare for all (and send the country, and perhaps the rest of the world–based as it is on the American economy–spiraling into economic depression).

I saw firsthand the criminal inhumanity of government healthcare during the years I volunteered at the Truman Restorative Center (a state run elderly care facility). Government excels at waste, because it is practically immune from numerous mechanisms of accountability that are present in the private (capitalist) sector. Government programs are, for all intents and purposes, protected monopolies. Monopolies are never good, for they allow stagnation, squelch innovation, and make efficient allocation of resources unnecessary. Capitalism has allowed such rapid technological and economic progress because it thrives on the adaptation that comes from competition.

In the private sector, if you’re not profitable and can’t do things efficiently, you go bankrupt, and can lose your house, credit rating, and possessions. Not so with government. Elected officials can spend money that isn’t theirs, and suffer no personal fiscal loss or consequence when their schemes destroy lives or fail miserably. Which of course is one reason we have so much pork-barrel spending and ceaseless government scandals. It is far more difficult to fire an incompetent, federally employed worker than someone in the private sector. It’s not irrational to suggest more people will die from medical malpractice under a callous, unaccountable government system.

Capitalism, not government socialism, has provided more prosperity, security, and more beneficial healthcare than any other system in the world. Some sort of healthcare reform is necessary, but it must be driven by innovation more than regulation.

The founders of this nation believed in limited government, because they knew the propensity of government for tyranny and waste. Read the Federalist Papers and other works of the founding fathers, and you begin to understand the brilliance of this nation grew out of a belief in the ingenuity and hard-work of individuals, and the freedom of those individuals from significant government regulations and mandates. Government was only intended to do what individuals and local communities absolutely could not do for themselves (such as negotiate with foreign powers and defend the nation militarily). I believe the founders would have heard Obama and Clinton’s plans for universal healthcare, and understood the economic disaster (and therefore disastrous level of healthcare) that would result from implementing such a proposal.

BumBot 5000

Is that a water cannon on your half-track or are you just happy to see me?  

Seems ex-marine and environmental engineer Rufus Terrill has peeved people off by crafting a robot vigilante to patrol his hood.  I’ve linked the full story, and am totally going to contact this guy to find out what I need to build one to patrol schoolgrounds.  

Of course, my robot will naturally be bigger than those of normal men…

The Genius of Croutons

It’s stale bread…with garlic on it.  Honestly, there’s a total marketing coup behind those unassuming chunks of wastebread.  I can imagine how this conversation went:

Anonymous Baker:  “So at the end of the day I’ve got all this bread left over, and its going stale.  And it’s not like I can be making more bread when people aren’t buying all of what I am making, so I sit in the shop all day cutting up the stale stuff for fun.”

Advertising Genius:  “I’m sorry, what did you say you do with all this leftover bread?”

Baker: “Well I just bag it and take it out to the trash.  My garbage guy wants to charge extra for it too…”

Genius:  “Tell you what, I’ll take it off your hands for a small fee–less than what your trashdude is asking.”

Feckless Baker: “You’d do that for me?!  You’re a true pal…”

So the genius is making dough on the front end (pun painfully intended), and decides to box the old bread with a picture of some fresh salad greens.  Does he mix the croutons in with real, fresh salad?  No, he’s a total cheapskate, he puts the pretty picture on the front (to distract you from the fact that it’s stale bread!), but he makes you go to the trouble of getting the salad.  Then he gives it a snooty, French name, and makes a killing. 

Thus, the crouton was born, and the thinking that spawned it went on to give us another equally idiotic (yet brilliant) idea: bottled water.   Of course, that brings us to the article’s picture of the day, which will display what was the true inspiration for the crouton.  Without its picture, and judged solely by its name, the “Big Warm Original” might easily be mistaken for a pile of steaming poo, which brings us aptly to manure. 

“Hey, I’ve got a giant pile of shit here, and it looks like your field could use some.  Why don’t I move some of my shit over to your place?  And you can pay me a few bucks too.”

“Really!?  You mean I’ll be able to enjoy the fragrant, earthy smell of last night’s dinner?  Thanks!”

Truly, a sucker is born every minute…


The Yips

So I have a case of “the Yips”.  Coined by Barney from How I Met Your Mother, the term “Yips” describes an otherwise awesome individual’s inexplicable and sudden inability to “execute”.  To wit, I find myself unable to ask attractive girls for their phone numbers, even when they’ve initiated the conversations with me.  It happened twice last week, once in a waiting room at the city courts, and then again at the grocery store. 

It’s like in Top Gun, after Goose dies, and Tom Skeritt’s character says, “Keep sending him up.”

And Michael Ironside replies, “It’s no use, he won’t engage.”

*Sigh*  Damn Yips… 

Gross is Awesome!!

Though it’s not always attractive, as I discovered when doing google searches for “nose-picking”.

Three of us were cooking dinner tonight at the house (four of us live in Christian community), and we got to discussing puberty.  As there were two of us males to one female, it quickly elicited the comment, “Gross!” from our lone lady.

Frankly, aside from the whole farting thing (nothing is worse than being farted upon by a girl), I like the girls who can be every bit as “gross” (read that, “down-to-earth”) as the guys.  Most ladies make like they can’t be gross, but it’s just a front.


Gross is totally awesome…