Archive for Uncategorized - page 2

The Dream Is Over…

The Dream Is Over…

…”Six States” initiative fails to qualify for ballot.

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but according to the California Secretary of State, insufficient valid signatures were submitted to qualify the initiative for the 2016 ballot.  The initiative would have carved California up into six separate states.  You can read this for backgound.

I opined early on that this would never come to fruition because it would upset a very large apple cart for the Democratic Party and Public Sector Labor Unions that have a stranglehold on political power in this state.  They found this baby in it’s cradle and pressed the pillow hard.  Long Live the Status Quo!

Approximately 800,000 signatures were required for the initiative to qualify – nearly 1.4 million were submitted, a seemingly sufficent margin for error.  The SOS predicted that only 66 percent of the signatures were valid based on “random sampling”.  So fully 1/3 of the submited signatures were deemed “invalid”.  I’d like to see a little more in depth reporting on this.  The sponsors of the initiative have promised a review of the invalid signatures.

I’m certain that the Secretary of State did a careful and thorough job of verification.  Certain!

Now this:

Two drummers.  Awesome.  And Mike McDonald when he was still “Salt and Pepper Lightning”.

Sorry About The Unexplained Absence

Sorry About The Unexplained Absence

I have been away from home on a family matter.  I had expected to have time for some light blogging and that has proved not to be the case, in fact this is the first time I have had the computer out of the case.  I will have a few posts in the next day or so and be back up to speed in a few days.  In the meantime, watch this:

 

I always thought the Karmann Ghia was a cool enough little car even with the stock VW powerplant, but that a few extra horsepower would make it more interesting, and a sleeper version would be even better.  The fact that this one’s a hot rod is a little too obvious for my taste.  Mine would be more understated.

We know that Love makes the world go round…but what makes us go round?

We know that Love makes the world go round…but what makes us go round?

Scientists spend a lot of time studying human behavior, and one aspect of human behavior is human attraction.  That is, why are two people physically attracted to each other?  I believe that men and women are different, so different in fact, they are like two different species.  I am often surprised that men and women can even communicate much less have relationships and…*ahem*…relations.  Same sex attraction?  Not going there.  Unqualified to comment.  Well, the girl-girl thing I guess I understand because I like women.  So..what’s not to like?  Why wouldn’t some women like women too.  The dude-dude thing I do not get at all.  But then if men are just repulsive, why would any women like men?  Oh forget it.

Anyway, my point was going to be that scientists spend a lot of time studying human behaviors including physical attraction.  And as scientists are wont to do, they must break things down into quantifiable data.  This leads to theories like The Mathematics Of Physcial Attraction, which loosely means that we prefer our potential mates to have a symetrical appearance.  Then there are the Pheromone theories that odors so subtle we don’t even know that we can smell them govern our choice of a partner.  Presumably that partners “suitable for mating”  emit these attractive odors that we are drawn to.  Witness: Pheromone parties.  Then there are the statisticians who want to calculate the given odds of a chance meeting blooming into a realtionship.

 

what-is-love

It is undeniable that on one level, we are simply animals and as such our behavior will be instinctive, that is somewhat involuntary reactive behavior governed by our cerebral cortex where our basic “programming” resides.  Proviso:  I have no expertise or education in this area and what you are reading should be taken as my opinion rather than scientific fact.  Back to our story:  All the Scientific approaches to measuring attraction that were mentioned above study the basic or instinctive reactions.  But human beings are more than animals.  We have spiritual qualities that can’t be seen, measured and calculated and these qualities will influence our behaviors as well.

So there are some reason for attraction on an animal level, and there are reasons why two people will connect on a spiritual level.  Animals are attracted to one another.  Spirits love one another.  This is something which we cannot see or measure – yet.

 

Anti-gun Young People Go To The Range

Anti-gun Young People Go To The Range

This kind of goes hand in hand with the theme of people having strong opinions about things they have no actual knowledge of.  In this case. some young people who think “guns are bad”, “should be banned” and things like that.  They have never been up close to a gun, much less held or fired one.  So someone took them to the range:

That was borderline dangerous.  Anyway, I waded into the YouTube comments which was pretty entertaining.  And I was encouraged that the comments were overwhelmingly pro-gun.  You should take a look – the comments you see from Just Mike are mine. Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

Music Friday – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Edition

Music Friday – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Edition

Having just found a few John Lennon songs to share, I’m reminded of John’s oldest son Julian.  So here are a couple of my favorite Julian Lennon songs.  Enjoy!

 

In Case You’re New Here

In Case You’re New Here

In case you’re new here, welcome!  And here are a few ins and outs of how my blog operates.  First off, I’m Mike, the sole proprietor.  Pleased to meet you.  This blog is my peronal communication platform, and posts here reflect only my personal opinions.  I claim no expertise in anything.  In other words, if I write about Law, do not use that as legal advice.  If I write about medicine, do not take that as medical advice.  Get the picture?  OK, good.  Since there is no “official” theme to this blog, you will find posts about many different subjects here which may (or may not) fall loosely into one of several “categories” which you will find listed in the right hand sidebar just under the “recent posts”.  If you want the unfiltered blog, that is to see all posts regardless of category, simply start at the top and keep scrolling down.  Newest posts are at the top, and as you scroll down you go back in time.  If you wish to view only posts in a certain category, then find the category you want in the sidebar and click on it.  Voila!  Only posts in that category will be displayed.  Also in the sidebar are listed “popular posts” and “recent posts”.  Popular posts are those most viewed – not neccessarily the best, but most viewed.  For whatever reason.  And recent posts are just that…the most recent posts.  At any time you can click on the “home” button at the top right to bring you back to the top of the front page.

Within each post I will embed links for additional information – whenever you see red text like this you can click on it, and it will open the link in a new tab.  Try it.  Back? OK, good.  Many of the graphics such as pictures, graphs or cartoons may be enlarged simply by clicking on them.  Some of these graphics are mine, others are not. Embedded youTube videos can bel viewed by clicking on the “play” arrow at the bottom left or in the center of the YouTube frame.  Easy.

driving dog

Finally – comments.  To the left of the post title, under the red date box you will see a grey box that says “comments” with a number in it (usually a zero, unfortunately).  If you wish to leave a comment on a post, click on that box and a dialogue box will appear – type your comment and click “submit”.  If you don’t want to enter your e-mail adress just use a fake one.  I do not work for the NSA.  Comments can be simple – “I like this” or “you are an idiot”.  My favorite one so far is “ha ha ha this”.  I guess he thought the post was funny.  I think that’s about it.  If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments.  Enjoy.

Our “American Way of Life” Rests on the Edge of a Knife

Our “American Way of Life” Rests on the Edge of a Knife

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled on two cases.  I won’t go into details here – I may at a later date, but I don’t think readers of this blog want to wade that deep into the law.  If you do feel like wading, here are a couple good places to do so:   SCOTUSblog     and     The Volokh Conspiracy. My intention here is to make a broader observation, especially in light of the fact that Independence Day is just a few days away. Begin Observation:  The U.S. Supreme Court consists of nine Justices and is the people’s last line of defense against an overreaching Congress or President or in this case, both.  Often, as today, cases are decided with a one justice majority, i.e. 5-4.  In my informed opinion, four of the Justices are reliably pro-government and believe in essentially unlimited government power, regardless of Constitutional text.  Since I cannot see into their hearts to divine their true intentions, I give them benefit of the doubt and assume their motives are benevolent, and their goal is to build a utopian society where all forms of entitelments are “rights”, certain favored classes have more rights than others and the government is the source and sole provider of those rights.  Should a fifth Justice join them to form a pro-government majority, we can kiss our free country goodbye since individual liberty would be impossible in such a society.  I find the prospect of their benevolence frightening, especially in light of the fact that any means they choose to achieve their ends would be done with the blessing of their conscience.

click on the picture to enlarge

click on the picture to enlarge

No matter your ideaology, remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want can also take from you everything you have.  And take it will…because Government has nothing to give anyone that it hasn’t first taken from someone else.

The Queen of the Skies Still Reigns

The Queen of the Skies Still Reigns

The Boeing 747, one of the world’s most recognizable aircraft, was the first wide body jet built and revolutionized air transportion.  When it was introduced in 1970, it carried twice as many passengers as then current airliners.  It’s cavernous cargo capacity brought airfreight into the realm of financial feasability.  During it’s development it was designed to be easily converted to cargo hauling because the conventional wisdom of the day was that subsonic aircraft like the 747 would soon be rendered obsolete as passenger liners due to the imminent introduction of supersonic airliners.  The predicted proliferation of the supersonics never materialized – the lone SST, the Concorde, has come and gone.  Boeing expected to sell 400;  As of April 2014, 1487 have been built with another 51 on order.  The “Queen of the Skies” still reigns.

I am awed by the fact that a machine this large can fly – it can have a takeoff weight nearly one million pounds, and a range of over 9,000 miles!  Amazing!  Click here for tons of pictures.  Here are some clips of the bird in action – enjoy!

 

 

Genetically Modified Bananas are set to Undergo Trials

Genetically Modified Bananas are set to Undergo Trials

Genectically modified bananas are set to undergo trials in the US.  This will consist of human consumption and then testing to see how well the bananas raise the Vitamin A levels of the participants.  The bananas are modifed to contain higher levels of alpha and beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A.  The so-called “super banana” was developed at the Queensland University of Technology with a $10 Million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the goal being to aid Central African countries where bananas are already a dietary staple, but populations suffer from Vitamin A deficiencies.

“Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food,” said project leader Professor James Dale of The Queensland University of Technology.  

As I have written before, the populations most likely to benefit from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the worlds poorest.  And those opposed to GMOs are the worlds richest… and most ill-informed.  In this Yahoo News article on the subject, the comments of concern among the readership are just inane.  Why can’t the Africans just eat sustainably farmed fair trade arugala?  It has vitamin A.  

Beware!  It's coming to get you!!

Beware! It’s coming to get you!!

There are NO studies or evidence that GMOs are harmful to those consuming them. GMOs have been in the marketplace for decades now without a single incident of ill effect.  The movement against GMOs is at it’s heart simply an anti-corporate movement, and guess who invented GMOs?  Monsanto (allegedly).  That’s right.  A Corporation!!!  Corporate greed is starving the planet!!!1!!  Oh wait.  And I don’t think the Queensland University of Technology qualifies as a corporation.  Bill Gates (Microsoft) is so greedy he has created a foundation tasked with giving away most of his money.  And they’re feeding the planet.

There may be many problems in our imperfect world – but GMOs ain’t one of ’em.

Cross posted at Men Out Of Work Blog

People Behaving Badly – What’s Good About That?

People Behaving Badly – What’s Good About That?

The news is full of stories about people behaving badly – what’s good about that?  Well, nothing on the face of it.  We have all heard that two wrongs don’t make a right, but sometimes I’m not sure that is universally true.

A few weeks ago, the internet and news media in general were abuzz with a story about a 3 year old little girl with disfiguring facial scars who was asked by employees to leave a Jackson, Mississippi KFC because her face was “disrupting their customers”.  That’s bad behavior.  The story went viral immediately – KFC was roundly condemned on social media;  employees and managers at two Jackson KFC locations have faced constant verbal harrassment, death threats and have had drinks thrown at them.  That’s more bad behavior.  To KFC’s credit, they immediately launched an investigation and donated $30,000 toward the girl’s ongoing medical expenses from the incident that caused her disfigurement.  More on that in a minute.

So, where to begin?  Believing the story is one thing.  But to go take physical action – go to  a KFC restaurant, not knowing if it is the one in question (the original story and facebook post did not specify the location) and berate and/or assault someone over it?  That’s…crazy.  Anyone who would see this story then go and threaten or assault a random person over it is simply bat-shit crazy.  Did anyone take a moment and think whether this story of boorish behavior by KFC employees might not be exactly true?  Certainly the news media did not before reporting this incident.  That’s also bad (or irresponsible) behavior.

But KFC did think about it, after all it was their reputation on the line.  I mentioned that they launched an investigation, and the investigation now has found that the incident never happened.

Without assigning malice toward the girl’s family, there would have been immediate reason to doubt the story if anyone had thought to look for a motive.  The young girl was horribly injured when she was mauled by her grandfather’s pitbulls, and the family either had no insurance or very little.  They have  a facebook page and were attempting to raise funds online for the child’s medical expenses, attempts that yielded meager results:  only $595 prior to the KFC incident.  After the story went viral, donations have soared to approximately $135,000, including $30,000 from KFC.  Intentional, or happy accident?  I don’t know – or care that much.  It’s obvious this little girl is going to need surgeries, medical care, etc. that the family probably cannot afford, insurance or not.  I do hope that somehow this money is put into a trust so that it will be used exclusively for those ends, and not hijacked by the family who had a record of at least marginally responsible behavior.

Let’s do the math:  grandfather’s pitbulls maul child (bad) + KFC employees disrespect child (if true bad) + girls family fabricates incident (if true bad) + media casues firestorm without fact checking (bad) + public goes bat-shit on KFC (bad) = child gets needed treatment (good).  That’s four bads (plus another two possible bads) equals a good.

Math is hard and my question still stands:  can two wrongs make a right?  It is wrong for a three year old child to be mauled by her grandfather’s dogs.  It is also wrong for random people to be threatened or assaulted by bat-shit crazy people for no reason.  It is wrong for the news media to jump on a sensational story and put people at risk thereby.  But it is right that the child will be getting the treatment she needs.  And in that context, I suspect any of the parties taken in by the hoax will be OK with it.  I know I am.

Page 2 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Get Bonus from William Hill the UK bookamker.