Thursday, August 08, 2002

So's yer old man

From Chris Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal here in St. Louis, we learn that the Saudi press says "...Christian fundamentalism was no less dangerous to international peace and security than other forms of religious extremism..."

I'm trying to picture an Episcopalian terrorist. It isn't working.

It's the economy, stupid

Via C-Log we have this:
Did the federal government join Enron and WorldCom in cooking the books?
Gosh, would Bill Clinton have tolerated such a thing?

Six months ago in NWA...

Glenn Reynolds notes the asymmetry between men's and women's rights with regard to child support and abortion. Been there, done that, way back here in a No Watermelons Allowed Classic.

Stay ahead of the curve with NWA...

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Nixon without the decency

Bill Clinton is again trying to rewrite history - this time about Somalia.
That force asked for heavy armor--in the form of Abrams tanks and Bradley armored vehicles--as well as the AC-130 gunship, but the Clinton Administration denied those requests. On October 3 on a mission to pick up Aidid, two Black Hawks were unexpectedly shot down; in the ensuing urban gun battle, 18 American soldiers were killed and another 73 injured.

Many military experts believe that if the U.S. forces had had armor, fewer would have died. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin resigned two months after Somalia, having acknowledged that his decision on the armor had been an error. A 1994 Senate Armed Services Committee investigation reached the same conclusion. But perhaps the most poignant statement came from retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Joyce, father of Sergeant Casey Joyce, a Ranger killed in Mogadishu: "Had there been armor . . . I contend that my son would probably be alive today."
But Bill Clinton was Commander in Chief and had to make weighty decisions. Among a CinC's responsibilities is to decide what to hold in reserve - who could know where armor might be needed next? For instance, how about here?

An honest mistake...

One of several strange items from here

Woman Mistakenly Adjusts Wrong Man's 'Package'

From the NORTHWEST FLORIDA Daily News comes this story of a Crestview couple who drove their car to Walmart only to have their car break down in the parking lot. The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car there in the lot.

The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection she saw a pair of male legs protruding from under the chassis. Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned private parts into glaringly public ones.

Unable to stand the embarrassment she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts and tucked everything back into place. On regaining her feet she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by.

The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his head.

Strange crime

Right here.

Monday, August 05, 2002

Read at your own risk

Look here and check out the list of disclaimers on the lower right side of the page. Do you think he left anything out?

Photoshop contest

Ya gotta see this. It's too late to vote, but the right one won.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Interesting environmental sites

Once in a while I find a decent environmental technology resource that has a high practicality to politics ratio. This one,, is about the best I've ever seen.

And through them I found Here you'll find references for simple practical technologies that you could put to work on your farm or in the most godforsaken Third World countries. They're based in the UK, so prices are in pounds and delivery will take some time.

If those packs of elitist jerks like the Sierra Club or joyriding adolescents like Greenpox were worth the powder it would take to blow them up, this is what they'd be promoting.

God - the evidence

Donald Sensing doesn't have a comments section on his blog, but I do. So I'll point to three interesting posts of his:
God - the evidence
Scientism is not science, it is faith in science
Some feedback on God and creation

Charles Ponzi's big mistake

Silly guy, didn't he know that only Congressmen can create financial schemes like that?

Now we get to see Congressmen preaching fiscal responsibility to businesses. It's enough to cause projectile vomiting. Link via Todd LaClair.

Fuel cells - future?

You can't have fuel cells without fuel. Producing, storing and transporting those will be severe bottlenecks, particularly with hydrogen, even if the price is right.

I don't think this is the answer. If it is, don't we look silly - the answer was behind us all along.

On a more serious note, I'm keeping an eye on biotechnology for this problem. Yo, Gene Expression crew - it's time you guys whipped us up a germ that'll excrete hydrogen...

Even if they did so, there's still the question of where all the hydrogen is going to come from. Yeah, we have plenty of water, but it's not easy to get the hydrogen from that. Making it from fossil fuels is possible, but there are probably better alternative uses for those.

I'm not sure what's the next most prevalent, but off the top of my head I suspect it's animal and vegetable fats. This sounds like something a Greg Hlatky would know about. We hydrogenate fats all the time - can we dehydrogenate them and make it worth our while?

Fuel cells...

I went looking for new info on fuel cells and spotted this. Then I read it. Ugh.

Maybe the errors don't matter to most people, but it was still pretty bad. The most innocent one was a sentence that said "Fuel cells produce electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen", Some fuel cells do, but the technology can be applied with other fuels too. H2 is attractive because the emissions are nothing but water. It's not a real big deal, but it's misleading.

Then came this:
The automaker wants to tap the lucrative "premium power" market, such as data communications companies and hospitals that are willing to pay as much as $1,000 per kilowatt hour for reliable power.

Such power is interrupted an average of just more than three seconds a year, compared with an average of 8.76 hours a year for electricity provided to most residential and commercial customers who pay $1 a kilowatt hour.
That's premium power alright. A dime per kWH is about right, which is a tenth of the lower number they cited. Sheesh, at $1000/kWh I'd quit my day job, buy a treadmill and start generating power myself.

But there was something to be salvaged from the article - most people probably wouldn't remember the numbers anyway. It's good to see some progress, even if this isn't likely to pay off for a while.

Shut up, Al

Remember the 2000 election with Al Gore on the cover of the Rolling Stone? We heard all this fuss about his "package". They were on the right track.

Now Gore says as a result of President Bush's economic policies, "What has been put at risk is nothing less than the future of democratic capitalism."

To which I can only say, "What an ass!"

Too cynical?

One of Lily Tomlin's better quotes is "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.".

Back in the 80's we saw televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker go down in flames. Bakker in particular, with his overpainted wife Tammy Faye and his PTL Club, got in trouble for financial shenanigans. (Nominally "PTL" stood for "Praise the Lord", but a popular alternative was "Pass the Loot").

Steven Den Beste notes that Bill Clinton's misadventures with Afghanistan turned out to have strengthened al-Qaeda. Hmm.

We've heard all sorts of explanations for the attacks by al-Qaeda, in terms of religion, culture, etc. But maybe we're not cynical enough. What if it's all about some mullahs and their fundraising?