Monday, December 5, 2016

Going Green

Money sense.  I just did an inventory.  In and around my house I have 74 light sockets.  39 of 41 have LED bulbs (two sockets empty because one 100W equivalent bulb replaced 60W incandescents in two fixtures); 26 incadescents; 7 traditional fluorescent fixtures.

Jaguar X-Type

I drove it today, because I wanted to make sure the new battery was fully charged.  I had forgotten what a nice car it is!  Inferior to the XF in acceleration, cornering, interior quiet, stereo, and seat comfort, but still a very nice semi-luxury car.  Of course, inferior is only relative.  It will do 0-60 in about 8 seconds (which was sports car territory when I was young), and with studded tires, even my driveway doing its glacier-in-training thing is not a problem.

I Hope There Are Some Adults in Charge of the Fort Worth Police Department

This recruitment ad is funny, but really inappropriate for its intended purpose.

Recount Heaven

Wisconsin is spending millions on a recount demanded by Jill Stein, who came in fourth.  The results so far buried in this 12/4/16 Fox channel 6 report:
In the 53 counties that had reported some results as of Sunday, President-elect Trump added to his lead by about 40 votes.

Learning the Right Lesson From Ohio State Mass Stabbing

Independent Journal Review (who?) reports:
In the wake of the horrific Ohio State University knife incident that left 11 people injured and the suspect killed, an OSU student organization is taking matters into its own hands— the students' right to self-defense, to be more specific.
Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus, a chapter of the national group, Students for Concealed Carry, posted a public statement on its Facebook page and created an online petition via Change.org asking the Ohio Senate body to revise HB 48.

Fake News

You may be aware that there is suddenly a lot of talk about "fake news": false news stories going around social media.  I see a lot of it distributed through email.  12/4/16 New York Post points out that this is being used by progressives as an excuse for censorship to protect progressive control of the conversation:
In October, President Obama complained that we need a “curating function” to deal with the “wild-wild-west-of-information flow.” Who would be doing this “curating” is unclear — but we can guess: “Obviously,” Noah Feldman writes at Bloomberg View, “it would be better if the market would fix the problem on its own . . . But if they can’t reliably do it — and that seems possible, since algorithms aren’t (yet) fact-checkers — there might be a need for the state to step in.”
In other words, censorship. And who might the government look to target in this crackdown? In an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone last week, Obama said again that the “The biggest challenge that I think we have right now in terms of this divide is that the country receives information from completely different sources.” Uh-oh.
Seemingly with a straight face, Obama then told Wenner: “Good journalism continues to this day. There’s great work done in Rolling Stone.” Rolling Stone, of course, ran a sensational, and false, story last year about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity that was thoroughly discredited. The magazine was forced to pay a university administrator it defamed $3 million in damages, and there may be more lawsuits in store. “Good journalism” and Rolling Stone do not go hand in hand.

Criminal Chutzpah

Libertarians have long argued for competition in government services.  I don't think this is what they had in mind.  12/4/16 Fox News:
An organized crime ring operated a “sham” U.S. embassy in Ghana that issued illegally obtained visas for about a decade, the State Department confirmed Sunday.
The building in Accra, Ghana, flew a U.S. flag every Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning. And inside the building was a picture of President Obama and signs suggesting visitors were indeed inside a real U.S. embassy, the agency said.
The purported organizers obtained blank documents to doctor and forge. The fake embassy was staffed by imposter consular officers who were in fact Turkish citizens who spoke English and Dutch.
The operation even advertised its services through fliers and billboards and charged customers as much as $6,000 -- with options to buy fake supporting documents such as phony birth certificates and bank records.
The fake embassy remained opened so long because “the criminals running the operation were able to pay off corrupt officials,” according to the State Department.
Here's the State Department page about it.  I can't believe that many customers thought this decrepit building was really the U.S. embassy, but considering how incompetently many of the West African scams are, perhaps standards for fraud there are very low.