Friday, January 30, 2009

Yakkity yak don't talk back.

Iowahawk has some cultural gems from around the world
as obama brings his multiculti background to the usa.

“Do not curse the crow who has stolen you chili; tomorrow his rectum will curse the dawn.”

“The happy man has two chickens; the wise man shares one with the man who has none. The prudent man reports the happy man to the authorities, so they can wise him up.”

“The tawny kitten writhes before the white snake.”

“Do not waste your time talking to the yak. Because yakkity yak don’t talk back.”

“Remember that the egg of power will drop if held too loosely; and an egg cannot break a rock. Okay, maybe if it’s some sort of crazy unbreakable super-duper-power egg. But then you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs, and neither can you make an omelet with broken rocks. It would taste like crap, and be hella hard on your teeth enamel. That is why you should probably just order the waffles.”

“Even the wisest turtle cannot understand the sea. Get real dude, he’s a fucking turtle.”

“Beware the Bwana in khaki who hires you for the crew of his TV wildlife documentary, for he is often a lousy tipper.”

“The camel has journeyed a thousand miles to reach the oasis palm, and yet he cannot get a date. Not smelling like that, anyway.”

“Working together, two men can do the work of three. The trick is convincing those two other suckers to work together.”

Since the Mulleti tribe was dominant when I was in school, those are my favs. lots more at the link.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A line in the sand

I really don't like socialized medicine. Here in Italy everyone
has health care, but the health care is of the level of the public
health hospital in New Orleans that we went to when the Navy
closed down the hebert medical center in the 1970's. Crappy.

The worst part of nationalized health care here is the need to
prove that you are a legal resident requires a mountain of paperwork
and bureaucracy before one can get a health card. Visa, permisso de
soggiorno, that should be enough to get us health care cards, but no,
we also needed residency here in Ravenna, plus a crapload more forms.

After all that we now have health cards that entitle us to crappy health
care. I don't want this system in the US, and I'll allow a lot of stuff
out of the current administration without complaint, there's a crises, yada
yada, but nationalized health care is where I draw the line.

As Rush Limbaugh recently said on his show:

I think the only thing that's going to turn people around will be time, and that will require the failure of Obama policies to work. That will happen, and I think 2010, 2012 will both provide pretty good opportunities for significant Republican gains in the House and Senate, maybe even the White House back, but limiting the damage between now and then so that even after Republicans win in 2010 or 2012, that there's still something left to fix, that's not so far gone.

Like if they get national health care, I mean that's a tipping point. We may have had it in terms of the structure of the country being a republic and founded on the notion of individual liberty, democracy, and all that.
You can give out trillions in wellfare in the form of tax rebates to those that don't pay taxes, give even bigger piles
of cash to failed banks, but if the health care system is nationalized, it will also require a similar
bureaucratization of every aspect of american life. Freedom of speech, Freedom of religion and
freedom of the overlordship of petty bureacrats are the best things about america and we shouldn't give
them up without a fight.

[my idea for the healthcare system would be for the federal government to pay for
catastrophic health insurance after requiring that everyone that can afford it should
buy it, even those that are perfectly healthy. The problem is that people confuse health
insurance with health care. Insurance works great when it's millions of people insured
and only thousands of people that need coverage every year and for catastrophic health
care, that's how it works if everyone is in the pool. To insure people for day to day visits
to the doctor it works poorly.

Maybe medical savings accounts for people with decent incomes plus medicaid for
everone else would be the answer for the normal doctor visits.]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another historic day, like 43 other times

I made it home from the office in time to watch obama take the
oath and make his speech. I thought it was a good speech, I could support
every thing he says up to a point.

He did say we're a young country and I take issue with that. The USA has
the oldest continuous government in the world. [You might say, but what about
England? England's government in 1787 looked more like ours does now,
with a king and a bicameral congress. No king now.] The really amazing
thing is how the USA has passed power from president to president without
violence for 220 years.

An even more amazing thing is even with idiots squaking to arrest george
bush, he gave up power. That says a lot to me about the kind of person GWB
is, he's taken the insults and problems, and even with threats to his person
he became a private citizen again. When Julius Ceaser faced the same problem,
he marched on Rome.

Good Job Mr. Bush. Good luck Mr. President.

Obama takes over the helm

Bush only has a few more hours to pull off a coup if he's going to do it. Maybe right now
tanks are stuck in traffic all over washington as angry fists are shaken out of windows,
"get out of my way you piece of crap rebuilt tank, I'm late for work!" Somehow, I doubt it.
Bush may be seen as an idiot around the world, but he looks to me like the most relieved
person in the country, and the people that think he would use force to stay in power
have to be the stupidest, blindest on the planet. I don't think he'd submit to a reverse coup where
someone would hold a gun to his head to make him stay president.

I'd like to think that long term history will be kind to Bush, but the people that write history
are 10:1 the same people that use the NYtimes as their number one resource. The things that
go well in Iraq will be now attributed to obama as he waves his magic life-giving hands over the globe
and the angry waters retreat, all the bad things that have happened over the past 8 years and the next
8 years will be packaged up as "due to bush". Levees in New Orleans mismanaged over 40 years,
bush did it. Congress requiring banks to lend to poor people, then banks repackaging those loans
into bonds over the past 20 years, bush did it. The usa shipping off it's manufacturing base since the
70's and importing too much plastic crep from china, you guessed it. bush did it.

Bush could have done a better job, less delegation and more followup could have limited the bad
results in Iraq and Katrina. If his administration had made an effort to sell what they were trying to do, instead of depending on the kindness of strangers to report the truth, the results would have been better. On the other hand, 75% of the hatred for bush was formed in the last 2 months of 2000, and he could have personnaly shot bin laden and
used his body to plug a hole in the levee in New Orleans, and he would still be disliked.

Now it's the new guy's turn in the barrel. I wish him all the luck in the world and I hope he is as good as
some people say he is. Before the election I might have said that I thought he was a commie bastard,
but now he's my commie bastard president and I don't want any foreigner to say anything bad about him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Piazza de Popolo by Moonlight

Last night had a perigee
moon that should be the
brightest all year. I wanted
to get a shot of the big
fat moon rising right between
the church on the left and
the clock tower, but I waited
too late.

This view is from right at the
base of bishop's pedestal. (ravenna
was ruled by venice in the 15th
century, there are the same two
columns that you see in st mark's
square, but the locals changed out the venetian lion for a statue of the local saint.
I think st appolinare, but i don't have my rick steves guidebook with me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

iPhone blogging

I managed to post the title of this post from my iphone, but it
wouldn't let me type in the body portion of the post which means
I'm typing this from my laptop. dang.

The good news however is that my iphone is finally functioning
as a phone. I got it for christmas 2007 from my lovely wife but
since at&t's service in Colombia is spotty I didn't turn it on officially,
I had to jailbreak it. I didn't take it the last step and turn it on as
a cell phone in colombia because I was supposed to be a gringo on the
down-low, not a gringo with a $600 phone. I just used it sporadically
for wifi surfing and as and ipod.

Here in italy I'm just another poor american who gulps every time I
do the conversion from euros to dollars. I'z can has a nice phones.
I spent a couple of days upgrading it to 2.2, ibricking it, unbricking it
jailbraking it then activating it as a cell. It's pretty cool. It knows where
I am even though I have no gps. I downloaded a free ebook reader and
I've got about 2 months worth of reading material for free. It's so cool
even reading 'anne of green gables' looks cool.

With a single click I can track my stocks as they circle the drain. I'll know
in real-time when I'm officially poor again. Beat that great depression I!
The bread lines for this depression will be much more interesting, with people
twittering and texting. you might be shuffling and downtrodden, but the world
will know you are shuffling and downtrodden.

Gas crises

ROMA - "E' una crisi difficile ma garantiremo gas e energia alle imprese e alle famiglie". Il ministro per lo sviluppo economico, Claudio Scajola, intervistato a Panorama del giorno su Canale 5, parla della guerra del gas e assicura che - anche nell'ipotesi peggiore di blocco delle forniture dalla Russia - "abbiamo riserve per 2 mesi". Intanto, la via diplomatica incentivata dalla Ue va avanti: a Bruxelles sono in corso i colloqui tra l'Autorità Ue, la Commissione e i massimi responsabili di Gazprom e Naftogaz, le società energetiche russa e ucraina. "Abbiamo una ragionevole speranza di un ritorno alla normalità nelle forniture dalla russia via ucraina", ha dichiarato il ministro degli esteri e vicepremier ceco Alexandr Vondra.

the key statment in there is "abbiamo riserve per 2 mesi". we have reserves for 2 months.
If this thing isn't settled by february 1st I'll buy some tickets out of here to beat the rush.
It's one thing to have no heat in houston, but no heat here we'd freeze.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cold reality and the Batman problem

Over at redstate there's a great post discussing the left's problems
as they take power:

As inauguration day moves closer, one detects an unusual air of anxiety among the chattering classes of the left. Even though the election is over and their man won it handily, they are hypersensitive to any criticism of him.

What gives? Could it be that they sense that their era of cheap grace is over? During the presidency of George W Bush, the nutroots and their spokespersons in the leftward precincts of the Democratic party enjoyed the freedom of being one of the most irresponsible oppositions in this nation’s history. In a time of war (9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq) and natural disaster (Katrina), they could blow every mistake way out of proportion and get their echo chamber in the MSM to trumpet it 24/7. They exuberantly attributed every misstep to some dark night of the soul of GWB- he’s a racist, hates black people, a tool of Dick Cheney and the neocon Zionist conspiracy, yada, yada, yada.

I agree totally, the shrill excoriation of the president will have to change to "that's a sensible
solution to the problem of terrorists captured on the battlefield". There's not an infinite range of solutions to most problems, it's either this, that or the third thing. doing 'that' isn't indicative of
an evil conspiracy to conquer the world, it was just a decision taken in a meeting. Doing nothing isn't an option when the press and the left will immediately jump on doing nothing as evil.

We watched "the dark knight" finally last night. i got it for christmas but I put off watching it for a couple of weeks so that it would get lost in the hubub of christmas. Batman has the problem that he's the good guy and can't just put a bullet in the bad guy, even when that would have saved his girlfriend's life. We have a similar problem with the terrorists, we can't live with them and if they are captives we can't kill them. What will Obama's solution finally be, the world wonders?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The amazing Lou Karnac

Lou Minatti has his
predictions for 2009.
I think they are all pretty
good, predicting that oil
will go to $10 to $15 is
probably right, we're in a
race right now to see
if production will slow
down enough to prevent
all storage and tankers
filling up. When that happens
the oil industry will crash
one more time. It hasn't
crashed yet, it's sort of
limping along with the hope
that things will pop up above
$50 again. Because the rig
rates have gone up so high
over the past 3 years, a deepwater
rig is above $500k per day now. It's not unusual for a deepwater well to
cost $50 million now, so we need $50 oil at a bare minimum or else all that
work will shut down this year.

The question is what will happen after this crash, will things bounce back quickly
or will things drift along like the 2nd half of the 80's.

here's what I wrote back in May:

If the price of oil can stay high for another 5 years, then the US will be radically
different at the end of that time power-wise. The more likely outcome will be
that the economy will continue to slow, we'll stop buying plastic chinese crap, then
they'll slow down, and the price of oil will head back to 12 dollars, resetting the
system again at 1980.