Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Sunday's Stock Car Race

Dale Earnhardt Jr said that Sunday’s race at Charlotte, NC was a “good race” which he enjoyed watching.

I would like to know what his definition is of “bad racing.” There were 28 caution flags during the race, on average one every 14 laps, and 17 of 38 drivers (45%) failed to finish due to crashes.

Not sure how anyone could describe that as a “good race.”

Failure to Think

 Is building homes for the homeless really a solution?

You have a family member who is running a fever, with a temperature of 105 degrees. You take him to a doctor who says he will solve the problem by putting the person in a bathtub filled with ice water.

If you have any capacity for critical thinking, you know that the fever is not the problem. The fever is the result of an underlying illness, and you expect the doctor to discover that underlying illness and to treat it.

So why do we settle for politicians “solving the homeless problem” by simply building homes for the homeless?

When a politician sees a person living in squalor on the street, he tells us that we can take care of that person by saying that the person’s problem is that he/she is “homeless” and giving that person a free home.

But being homeless is not that person’s problem any more than the 105 degree temperature was your family member’s problem. Being homeless is the result of a problem that the person had before they became homeless. That problem might be any one of or a combination of many things; alcohol or drug addiction, mental health issues, family problems, employment problems and more.

To actually help that person it is necessary to look at her/him not as a member of a class (“homeless”), but to look at him/her as an individual and determine why that person lost their home to begin with, and to help them with that problem.

But that is hard to do, and politicians don’t do hard things.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

On "Rushing In"

I have an explanation, I suspect, for the cops in Uvalde who loitered outside the school. They were pretty sure that it would be necessary to shoot and kill the shooter inside, and that the shooter was a person of color. 

They also knew that if you take down a criminal who is a person of color, you will be put on trial for murder and will spend the rest of your life in prison.

Friday, May 27, 2022

On Banning Guns

A person becomes enraged and drives his car into a crowd of people, killing many. Not hypothetical. It has happened more than once. How many times has it resulted in calls to ban automobiles?

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Clarity of Thought

According the the latest Rasmussen poll, 44% of the American public approves of the job Biden is doing, while only 26% think America is heading in the right direction.

 How many people inhabit both the "performance approval" and "wrong direction" groups is not readily apparent from the poll, but clearly, even if 100% of the "right direction" group are Biden supporters, 41% (18% of the 44%) of Biden supporters approve of the manner in which he is leading this nation in the wrong direction.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Moon Soil?

"In a NASA-funded study, scientists at the University of Florida grew plants in soil collected from the moon, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Communications Biology." 

 I'm not sure why they're so excited about this. The best tomatoes I ever ate were grown at the University of Arizona Agricultural Extension using no soil at all.

Photographic Evidence, Not

I have found it interesting that so many news items lately, especially with respect to the “Special Military Action” in Ukraine, but not limited to that subject, are accompanied by photographs which actually seem to prove the content of the article to be inaccurate.

For instance, one article went on at great length about Russia digging trenches with bulldozers and committing mass burials of bodies in Ukraine. It was accompanied by an aerial photograph of a field filled with what are obviously neatly dug individual graves in precise rows, so clearly visible that the viewer can see that one row and part of another are still open and waiting to be used.

Another article was reporting the tale of a Ukrainian soldier who had observed the destruction by artillery of a Russian column attempting to cross a river which he said would require “about ten pontoon segments” to bridge. He went on to report that the artillery began when eight segments had been placed and that dozens of tanks were destroyed and about 3000 Russian soldiers were killed.

That article, too, was accompanied by an aerial photograph, showing four tanks, a river and some pontoons. One pontoon spanned halfway across the river so it would take two, or at most three, of them to facilitate the river crossing, and in any case only two pontoons were shown in the photo.

I really don’t get the media’s process of, “I’m going to show you a picture that illustrates the falsity of the story I just told.” Weird.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Government Speak

San Diego Gas & Electric paid $100 million for a franchise to deliver power to the city of San Diego just one year ago. It was the second such payment, agreed upon after the first franchise expired. There was only one bidder; which is quite understandable, since SDG&E already had the infrastructure in place and any other bidder would have to purchase that infrastructure from SDG&E if they were to assume the franchise.

The city then formed what it calls a "consumer cooperative," in which the city  purchases power from other producers and delivers it to SDG&E customers over SDG&E power lines, passing a law that forced SDG&E to accept the proposition and set the transmission rates that SDG&E could charge. They also made it automatic that all consumers in the city are automatically enrolled in the "cooperative."


Calling something that is owned and operated by the city government rather than by the membership who are consuming the product a "cooperative" is pretty weird. It's actually a form of socialism, but of course the city government didn't want to go down that rabbit hole.

This action, of course, made the franchise worth far less than SDG&E paid for it, but the city government considered that a feature, not a bug. Any time a government can screw a business, it will leap at the opportunity.

So the local newspaper carried a headline on May first, when the "cooperative" went into effect and the franchise was officially breached, "SDG&E Monopoly Ends Today." Monopoly, forsooth.