Thebastidge: 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Moving goalposts

    I breifly considered trading in my pickup in the cash for clunkers scheme, but tit turns out to not really make any sense for me. I had heard some talk that made me think mmy 96 F150 might be eligible, so I looked it up and indeed, it is. And there was supposedly a Chevy pickup that beats the minimum mileage.

    However, as of a couple days ago, there's not a single pickup in any configuration and very few SUVs that beat the 18 mpg combined mileage. It would seem the goalpost has been moved.

    This would seem to be incompetence, and doubtless will be explained away as a mistake. However, I think the mistake lies not in the actual evaluation of mileage, but more in the fact that the agenda is exposed; not really to be for the people, but against driving. They didn't make the barrier high enough, they didn't beat the horse dead enough, the first time around. So someone came in and changed the science by fiat, with the stroke of a pen. I dunno about you, but personally, I blame Bush. {/sarcasm}

    If you make the experience of driving miserable enough (say, in a Geo Metro) maybe people will do less of it. And damn the conomic and personal impact of that. Who cares, after all- it affects the rural rubes more than sophisticated city dwellers in highly dense urban settings.

    The F150 is not my daily driver, but it is VERY useful to me as a work vehicle, recreational vehicle(camping, jiking, biking) and in inclement weather (it's 4WD).

    My daily driver is a Tiburon, low to the ground, fun to drive, nice enough to display status as much as I care to, but utterly worthless is snow or a natural disaster. It has no cargo capacity to speak of, and while technically a four-seater, I can get 3 people into my pickup easier than I can get 3 into my car. My car is very low mileage and well-maintained; I don't need a second car.

    One of the avowed purposes of the cash for clunkers idea (aside from the environemental impact, which I won't touch for this post, or the debatable economic gains of incentivizing new car sales and manufacturing) is that low-income people would get help towards a vehicle that would help them with finding or maintaining work. In some cases, a tiny 2-door sedan might do that, for sure. However, wouldn't one think that a work vehicle, for example a truck or a sport utility vehicle might have great benefits for someone who istrying to , you know, work?

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Mullets and Camaros, oh my!

    Going to Cruefest this afternoon. And I might just take tomorrow off, being as it's my natal anniversary and all.

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    No holding back

    Ok, so I was with holding judgement pending further information, but I think I can safely say now that Henry Louis Gates is a race-baiting douche.

    It doesn't make his arrest anything other than an abuse of authority, as it is not (yet) illegal to be a race-baiting douchebag.

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    If you like PJTV...

    ... then join me in asking them to get their videos on Comcast On-Demand and Netflix Instant View....

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Letter to Murray and Cantwell


    I am deeply disappointed in your recent vote on the "Thune-Vitter amendment". I am basing this upon the article posted on MSNBC.

    As Washington state is one of the more permissive states in regard to issuance of concealed pistol licenses, your vote merely harms Washington residents' ability to exercise their civil rights and basic huiman right of self-defense. Your job as a senator is to look out for our State's interests, and you have abdicated that responsibility in this instance as in so many others.

    {Added to Senator Murray} It is revealing that on your list of issues in this automated format, you don't even list "civil rights" as an option.{/end addition}

    We have nothing to lose by allowing other states' law-abiding and licensed residents to carry their concealed pistols in our state, according to our laws, and much to gain from reciprocity, which is also a Constitutional issue, under Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

    As a CPL holder, I have been vetted and prodded to verify my clean legal record and law-abiding character. Yet I am still required to jump hoops through artifically high barriers in order to conform with arguably unconstitutional limits on my civil rights when I drive 2 miles south from my home.

    Please be aware that I am strenuously registering my objections to your policy in person, print, and online at every chance I get. My single voice does not sway much, but I believe that the majority opinion is on my side and suffers only from misinformation, and apathy induced by feelings of being disenfranchised. This can change.

    Washington Senators vote against our civil rights

    More on national health care- Feres doctrine

    Picked up on a line of inquiry from the Smallest Minority this morning:
    Feres Doctrine:
    How long do you think it will take before a similar limit is put on government-run healthcare?
    Anybody really happy with the Veterean's Administration provision of healthcare services?
    Cost containment is one of the main aims of Dutch health care policy (which is often held up to us as an example to us):
    I have made abundently clear to my relatives that I don't wish to be maintained on machinery in a vegetative state. I don't wish to live confined to a bed as a quadriplegic. But I want to have the best possible (not the cheapest, below-average) care until the last minute when hope is completely gone. And in the case of being in a vegetative state, simply take me off the machines: if the will to live wakes me up, even better, if not then I'll die. If I'm conscious, I'll make the decision and find some way to communicate it. If a monkey can control a joystick with his mind, you can find a way to communicate a yes/no question and answer with me.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009


    Daily email conversation- it seems like I have a lot of serious ones...

    My buddy forwarded me the following email, with a the following comment added:
    I too did not want to watch this film. I would like to support any efforts that bring a voice to those who cannot speak or defend themselves. I would like, one day, to see the same rights extended to unborn baby humans as well. Perhaps one of them may grow up, and like you become a freedom fighter for animal/human rights as well!

    This in response to the original well-intentioned citizen who writes:
    I pray that petitions like this will succeed, because if they don't, what hope is there for mankind. Oh yes, please don't forget to sign when you forward, like I did !

    If you want to act, press 'forward', add your name to the bottom and send on to as many as you like;

    To: all
    Please sign, don't watch video its just too painful but we have to try and stop this brutality. It's about animal rights. But if you must,watch there is a link below.

    I explain the process below:

    With a hidden camera, animals were filmed being SKINNED ALIVE. They say it's done to get a more perfect ''cut''. Afterwards the carcasses are tossed into a pile, still alive, and for up to 10 minutes you can see their hearts still beating, in agony, their eyes still blinking, and the puppies littlepaws still shaking.

    There was one pup that still lifted his head and gazed at the camera with bloodied eyes .
    If you don't care to see the video, please sign and forward to your friends. This monstrosity has to be stopped, we have to act!!

    Please scroll down and add your signature to the petition and send to everyone in your address book.

    Do not click on the link, you have been warned - it's just too gruesome to watch.

    Something needs to be done to stop it. Thanks for your support.

    There is no need to see the video, but if you must, be aware, it's full of excruciating violence. Its painful silence affects us all deeply.

    If we don't protect animals from this type of brutality, we become accomplices.
    PETA's "Chinese Fur Farm" Webpage

    When the list reaches 500 names, please forward to: Thank you.

    I reply:
    Sorry (Buddy),

    You know I love you man, and I hear you about the unborn baby issue, but....

    Before forwarding emails with these kinds of subjects, I would ask everyone to consider a few things:

    1. How likely is is that this is real? The video is lacking context, and is possibly even an outright fabrication (as in, somebody suggested or paid for footage that is outright cruel, as opposed to normal operating procedure. I grant that it probably has some element of truth as far as animal cruelty goes, but I personally would not take ANY propaganda from PETA at face value. That organization has thrown away any credibility they may have had, and are bordering on being a terrorist organization.

    If you don't believe me, do some quick google research. PETA claims to be an animal lover's organization, but it euthanizes more dogs and cats every year than all other animal control organizations combined. PETA members and the organization itself are regularly found guilty of inhumane euthanization and improper disposal of animal carcasses.

    PETA encourages criminal acts on the part of extremists who damage property and harm people- it's only a matter of time until an event large enough to legitimately classify PETA as a terrorist organization impinges on the public awareness.

    And anyone who has ever butchered an animal, much less skinned one, knows you don't do it while the animal is alive "to get perfect cuts": that is effing stupid. There are a few cultures in the world with remnant superstitions about (what we in the West would call) pain endorphins tenderizing and flavouring meat, especially from dogs, in my experience. Koreans and Filipinos of older generations, that I am personally aware of. This attitude is changing as cultures become more aware of prevailing attitudes towards animal cruelty in the West.

    2. What is this "petition" likely to accomplish? Who are you "petitioning"? If something is wrong in the world and you perceive a duty to act, how is adding your name to an email floating around the Internet going to change the real, actual circumstance in the world?

    We Americans have the right to petition for redress with our government. We have no such right with the Chinese government: hell, not even the Chinese people have that right, in practical terms. This email will bounce around the Internet until people lose interest and end up in a few thousand people's "junk mail" folder until it is deleted. There is no central person or group responsible for taking the "final" petition and presenting it to anyone. (I suppose PETA is the nominally responsible party; they want you to donate on their website. However, the Iron Law of Bureaucracy says that the goal of any organization will eventually become the survival of that organization over any notional purpose it originally had.) There is no standing for any of us to petition anyone, and it's not even sure beyond doubt that there is even an issue.

    Even if it is true, do you think it will make any difference to petition the Chinese government? Aren't they likely to say "go piss up a rope" much like we do when foreigners get all holier than thou and try to tell us what to do?

    If you want to make a difference in the world, the way to do it is with your time and your money. Poverty and the attendant barbaric lifestyles in the third world won't go away until they have a better alternative. Personally, I participate in a micro-loan program: A couple hundred bucks is not that much to me, but it's a year's income to some people, and you can open a business on it.

    Civilization is a lot thinner veneer than most of you realize. I didn't until I spent significant time overseas. Don't judge people too harshly until you have seen them struggle just to get enough daily calories to keep breathing.

    If the goal is just to raise awareness, I guess I can understand that, but then strip away the excess and get to the meat of the matter. If one's goal is simply to feel better about yourself as an enlightened person, then don't bother.

    Feel free to forward this rant to everyone in your address book. Consider it a public service announcement, a call to direct action against spam. :)

    He replies:
    Hey man ur dead on! I get these dang things even though I constantly ask peole not to send them. I hate them! Especially the religious ones. The originators are simply trying to get a list of functional email accounts and who knows what else.

    I am totally aware of PETA's euthanization of animals because it drains their coffers of their true purpose for propaganda. It just struck a nerve I guess.I find it all hypocritical. We seem to have placed so much more value and sanctity on animals and nature (Pantheism) than on humans, which to me is a good barometer of us as a people! As a Christian, no claims of being perfect, but as such, I struggle and contend to view the world from the prism of God's word, which through personal experiences and much study,have come to accept as holy.

    In doing so, I see why man is in many of the predicaments we find ourselves in. I am not trying to proselytize you, only explaining my position. We are dysfuctional from birth. The problems we face were never God's intentions but man has chosen his own course and receives his proper earned wages as the fruits of his labors.
    I know you have many rebuttals to this and truthfully I have always liked that about you Larry, you are not a yes man and I think God desires that quality in people most!

    John 3:3(Amplified bible)
    Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

    (O.K.,now i'm prostylitizing.):D

    Me again:
    I'm with you buddy. The perfectability of man is a communist doctrine, it's the underlying assumption that allows them to make decisions for you even when you disagree.

    Your Christian ethos of original sin doesn't match up exactly with mine: I don't say that we are born flawed in the sense of being broken, but I don't believe in perfection; perfection would require an unchanging circumstance, as perfection in one situation is by definition imperfect in other situations. I would also say we are not born dysfunctional- (that's a judgement that we are functioning improperly) but that we are born incomplete, and we grow and develop into our final selves through the choices we make.

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    RE: Nationalized Health Care - not all it's cracked up to be

    Another email conversation:
    What you don't realize is that the healthcare you're describing is a slippery slope to what you don't want.
    Employers offer subsidized health insurance because it gives them tax breaks. It's also why they like to hire temps or part time rather than full time in big companies: because they are pretty much mandated to provide such health insurance when the company is over a certain size.
    For every person that gets between your treatment and you, there is an increase in inefficient allocation of resources: your money being wasted. If mandatory subsidized health insurance weren't competing with single-payer point-of-service payment, it would be much cheaper to go to the doctor than it is now. Your doctor would be far more involved in discussing treatment options with you (yes, they are options.) Studies consistently find one of the single best predictors of successful medical treatment is patient involvement. The more we push off that responsibility for negotiating price to the insurance entity (I won't say "company" because we're increasingly going down the road of government making those payment decisions), the less people are involved in the decision making process of what treatment is best in their own, individual case. In fact, the moer the insurance entity is involved, the less say an individual has, even when they do try to take personal responsibility for themselves. Not to mention institutional practices so widespread as to be beyond the sway of any individual's ability to influence.
    On the other hand, paying out of pocket for routine expenses and pooling risk (through insurance) for those statistically but not personally predictable occasions when the financial burden is overwhelming; that needs no government interference or incentivization.
    Our current model is better than what is being proposed, but it's not nearly as good as the model we used 3 or 4 decades ago.

    On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:35 PM, my Bro-in-law wrote:

    And this is why I am so fucking happy with my healthcare....dammit I pay 80 bucks a month plus 300 dollars a year deductible for a 15 dollar copay on all visits with damn near no other costs....and I can get a bed at my nearby hospital within hours of going to the emergency room or urgent care.  This administration is a fucking joke and its stuff like this that lends credibility to our capitalist society.  Fuck socialism, we're the USA not the USSA.

    On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 10:48 AM, I pointed out to my Bro-in-law:
    "It's hard to say that the Canadian government guarantees health care, at least in the usual sense of the word "guarantee." In fact, what the government really guarantees is that if you get health care, you won't be allowed to pay for it, and it is this guarantee that makes you have to wait to get it. The government also guarantees something else: If health care providers try to set up their own clinics and charge willing patients for medical care, the government will shut them down. "


    Listen, don't just hear...

    If only people would pay attention. When you listen to a celebrity talking head don't just nod your head in time to the damn lyrics. Pay attention to what they are actually saying. And if you don't agree with it, don't buy it.
    I won't buy a Green Day album, for example. The ignorant bastards comment on things they haven't bothered to study, from a shallow and self-centered, not to mention self-indulgent perspective. And we, the American people, for some reason promote that shallow and self-centered point of view even in people we disagree with. Lots of people don't agree that America is the root of all evil, but they don't bother to bestir themselves enough to resist the meme even in small ways that would not inconvenience themselves- I believe it's because they're nodding their heads in time and not thinking at all.

    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    New website for listing "For Sale" and "For Rent" properties

    A close friend is launching a new side business. Please take a look:

    Hello to everyone. I am launching a new website that I hope is an easy and inexpensive way for people to advertise their homes online.I need help in getting an initial database of homes. In my effort to attract people to list on my website, I am giving ALL new listings a free 1 year subscription. If you have a rental property or you are selling a home, PLEASE go post your home on my website, WWW.MYEASYLISTINGS.COM. If you have friends that have a house; please, forward to them and anyone else you know. Sorry for the spam. It would be greatly appreciated if you forward to as many people as you can.

    Please visit, check it out and tell everyone you know about it.

     Some of the features that set our site apart from the rest are:

    If you are posting listings:

    1.       You are able to edit your listing at anytime.

    2.        You can add and remove Open Houses at anytime.

    3.       You can manage all your listings from one central Dashboard.

    4.       You are able to remove your listing from the public eye without deleting it and then republish it at a later time.

    5.       You can create, view, and save as many listings as you would like without paying a thing.

    6.       You pay for listings (or use the FREE TRIAL) when you are ready to publish.


    If you are searching listings:

    1.       Searching is easy and intuitive.

    2.       You can easily save a listing to your favorites, viewable in your Dashboard.

    3.       You can be notified when listings get posted based on search criteria that you define in "I'm Looking for".

    4.       All Favorites and Matches get saved to your Dashboard for easy reference.


    It's very easy to get started, just go to and create an account, from there you can list as many homes as you like.  As a "Grand Opening" special, we are offering a 1 year free trial on all listings for a limited time. There is no risk to give it a try.  There is no credit card required for the free trial. There is nothing installed on your computer and the only information we get from you, is what you put in your profile and listings.

    We are always looking for feedback so we would appreciate your communication. If there is something you would like to see or find helpful about this listing site please let us know.


    Thank you,


    Wednesday, July 08, 2009

    Becky's right usual. She's even work safe this time, although all the crap she has on her blog seems to making it slow to load.


    This ( is why I will never buy a property with an HOA.

    Sunday, July 05, 2009

    By way of thanks

    Here's a list of gratuitous links to my friends and blog-buddies who have referred someone to me in the last week. May it drive up your standing in Google, if ever so slightly:

  • Roberta X

  • Ace of Spades HQ

  • Breda

  • Kid Velvet

  • Cosmic Babe

  • Clue Meter

  • Cowboy Blob

  • Neptunus Lex

  • No Man's Blog

  • Anarchangel

  • Hit Coffee
  • Just basic healthcare

    Had a good conversation with friends this weekend. Good-hearted people, all well enough off to have health insurance, mostly as a work benefit, still on the upswing of our careers, and unlikely to ever be left without health insurance or other options for very long.

    They're all in favour of basic coverage for everybody, without really being invested in discovering what that would take. Emotionally, they are simply compassionate enough to want everybody to have "the basics" covered.

    I think we may have opened a couple minds to the economic realities of the situation as it stands. These are not dumb people (you know who you all are lol) but I get the impression they simply haven't looked into the system deeply enough to understand how it works.

    Well, here's how it works from an end-user perspective, and if you can wrap your heads around that, I'll feel like I have at least gotten "the basics" covered.

    Some more resources:

    Despite the increases, Canada, with 12 CT scanners and 6 MRI machines per million population, falls below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) median

    Here we see some of the trade-offs of the patient not being the one directly responsible for payment. Would more testing help or hurt? It's something that should be negotiated between the doctor and patient, depending upon the individual facts of the individual's illness, but our system increasingly encourages us to go for the maximum because we don't pay for it.

    Here we see that even when people are waiting too long for treatment, Government-run healthcare monopolies care moe about punishing the private operators who do provide a timely service, than actually providing the necessary service. This is because of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureacracy:

    In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

    Also stated as: any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

    Which means, in the end, any organization will eventually come to serve the purpose of its own existence, over any purported mission it was originally designed for. It's social evolution, and it responds to the same survival imperative to which individual organisms are subject. The 'best' way to do that is to increase the scope of the stated mission, to consolidate power, eliminate competition, etc.

    But competition is what drives prices down, and causes innovation (evolution). So a bureacracy will ALWAYS stagnate the economic ecosystem, until one of them dies.

    Independence Day

    I hope you all had a happy and safe Independence Day. Personally I found the explosions caused me a little more stress than I expected.

    I hope you all took the opportunity to tell your kids what the "4th of July" is all about. Such a memorable event is a great tie-in to valuable lessons in liberty. Sadly, most kids can't even give you the proper name for the event, much less tell you what it is about.

    Wednesday, July 01, 2009

    Helluva week

    Just gotta get thru tomorrow, and then spend a couple days camping to throw off the scent of civilization.