April 1st, 2010

#2006: I KNEW there was a catch.

I heard on the radio Wednesday morning that Obama wanted to enable offshore drilling for oil, and my mouth hung open in astonishment.

I mean...that makes sense, you know? Allow us to exploit our own natural resources, inrease the oil supply, decrease our dependence on foreign sources, etc, etc; all kinds of good stuff would come from this: good for the American people, good for American business, good for the economy.

Then I read this. Ah hah:
The President’s announcement today is a smokescreen. It will almost certainly delay any new offshore exploration until at least 2012 and include only a fraction of the offshore resources that the previous Administration included in its plan.
See, now that is the Barack Hussein Obama I have come (regretfully) to know. Rather than making drilling and producing easier and cheaper and faster, ol' Barry Soetoro is throwing up a roadblock.

John Kerry endorses it; what other proof do you need?

How about Sarah Palin's take on it?

That is about the saddest commentary I can make on our sitting President, isn't it? I knew there was something fishy about his proposal because it made too much sense. At least, the way the mainstream media were reporting it.

* * *

From energy policy to socialized medicine:

You don't say? ObamaCare is going to make a doctor shortage worse.

Oh yeah. Especially if the doctors who said they'd quit actually go ahead and quit. Forget a shortage of general practitioners; you're going to have a shortage of everyone.

The next stop on the socialized medicine train: rationing and cost-cutting. As everyone with a brain predicted. Thanks, Democrats.


It's also going to force the federal government to run unprecedented deficits. ObamaCare is coming into being just as the entire federal safety net is beginning to implode.


The Democrats are demeaning anyone who opposes ObamaCare without taking care to avoid pissing off the moderates.

* * *

That lets me seque quite nicely into "the states are out of money!"

And I have to wonder how much American debt the world economy can absorb before the whole thing tips over and capsizes.

The payout rate for US Treasuries went up last week, which is a sure sign that they are becoming less valuable. And guess what? "The trigger for last week's sell-off was poor demand at Treasury auctions, linked to the passage of the Obama health care reform."

The world market knows ObamaCare isn't going to reduce the US federal deficit by so much as a penny, and is reacting appropriately.

* * *

The American people are really angry at their government.

* * *

Here is an interesting take on Obama's mistreatment of Netanyahu.
Obama’s key move is always to fake brute force and power. Then, when he is challenged, he backs down. That’s why Putin isn’t afraid of Barry. It’s also why the Chinese, who actually took him to the woodshed in public over the weakening U.S. dollar, don’t fear him. Even the GOP isn’t afraid of Barry anymore.

In fact, nobody is afraid of Barry except the people who rely on American resolve and strength. They should realize clearly that ultimately they only have themselves to rely on. If the Israelis are reawakening to that elementary fact, then Barry’s “humiliating” moves may actually do some good.
I hadn't really thought of it that way.

* * *

Speaking of "tip over and capsize", at least one Democrat representative doesn't understand how an island works. This is one of the people who writes the laws you have to obey.

Just skip the first minute of the video to get to the money quote. Save your brain cells.

I admire that admiral for his self-restraint: "We don't anticipate that." I can see him smiling, but he's not laughing and he's not scoffing, which is more than I'd be able to manage.

My reaction would be more like:


...more or less. Imagine that being yelled in a jeering tone by a guy who's standing and pointing.

Hell, I think I just wrote a Saturday Night Live sketch, there.

Wait, no. It would only make SNL if a Republican had said something as idiotic as that. Never mind.

#2007: Cars are going to get a lot more expensive soon.

And smaller: Obama signed new CAFE regulations raising the requirement to 35.5 MPG by 2016.

I thought that BS had been accomplished in 2008? Or was I mis-remembering? Or has Obama in fact raised the requirement even further?

Regardless, let Obama and the Democrats own this one.

* * *

Flush with success over the passage of ObamaCare, President Tweek is pushing other items in his agenda. All of which, it must be said, will have at least as much negative impact on the American economy as ObamaCare will.
* Cap-and-Tax, which will drive energy costs into the stratosphere
* Amnesty for illegal immigrants, which will drive social spending into the Oort cloud, raise unemployment, and depress wages
* Education reform, which will cost a lot of money, thus driving up the deficit at a time when the feds are already spending almost $7 million per minute ($116,000 per second)
* Finance reform, which will almost certainly include a lot of profit disincentives and make it harder to earn and spend money
* Campaign finance reform, to give incumbents an easier time of retaining their seats
Very little of this is going to resonate with the American people. The more of these things Obama rams through, the more seats the Democrats will lose in November.

Hey, Tweek-a-troid? "Go for it."

* * *

Stuff I wondered about but didn't really care about enough actually to research:

I have wondered why all the lefties were so ga-ga over the Perons. Well, I wonder no more: Juan Peron socialized Argentina. There has never been a socialist moron the lefties didn't like; and the fact that Juan Peron's policies led to the utter ruination of the Argentine economy apparently doesn't matter to those who support socialism.

* * *

This is fine with me. Anything which gets people to obey the freaking speed limit is a good idea IMHO.

* * *

This made me drool. Specifically, this part:

The 2001 Cherokee's upgraded with a new Mopar-supplied 4.7-liter I-6 Stroker...

My 2000 Cherokee has a bone-stock 4 liter I6 engine. 0.7 liter may not sound like much extra displacement, but it's all coming from lengthening the stroke of the engine (hence the term "stroker") and any time you lengthen the stroke of an engine, you increase its torque.

The I6 is already a torque monster, generating 225 lb-ft of torque. It's a tractor motor. I have to wonder how much more the stroker generates.

* * *

No I don't intend to do another engine swap this year if I can possibly help it.

* * *

So yesterday, after getting home from running errands, I took my temperature, and guess what?

I was running 1.4° of fever.

My normal temperature is 97.6°, and the thermometer said 99.0°. (I'm not the only one in my family like this. My oldest sister runs a degree cooler, too.)

How the hell can I have a cold for nearly three weeks and still be running a fever? I think this blows.

...but at least it explains why I've been feeling so damn woozy and have had such trouble concentrating on things. I'm not losing my mind; it's just that I'm still sick. *sigh*

* * *

Perfect weather yesterday, warmer today. I've got car work to do, cold or no. That damn exhaust rattle is driving me insane, and I'm going to go get an O2 sensor and try putting it in to see if that solves the other problem.

And I have a host of other errands, including shopping. Well, that's how it goes, I guess.

#2008: NOT the O2 sensor.

Well, it was worth a shot.

See, here's why I thought the O2 sensor might need replacing. In 2002, when I got the 1985 Fiero, its O2 sensor looked like the left half of this image:


When I went to remove it, I put a screwdriver in the crack and gave a very slight twist and the thing came apart as you can see on the right. And yet the computer thought everything was hunky-dory, at least until I sprayed the thing with WD-40.

Well, replacing the O2 sensor on the Escort took about ten minutes and it didn't fix a damn thing. *sigh*

On the plus side, I didn't have to put the car up on jack stands to fix the exhaust rattle. I lay on the driveway on the passenger side and could reach the flex coupling with a wrench; the rear U-clamp had been snugged up but not fully tightened when I put the engine in. I tightened it down, and the rattle is gone.

+1, -1.

Since I've eliminated the O2 sensor as the source of my closed-loop stumble, now I have to look elsewhere for the source of the trouble. I'm not sure what that means yet.

I put another jug of the Techron fuel system cleaner in and filled the tank. I got 29.9 MPG in mostly city driving, which is not very good fuel economy for that car. I previously got 33-36 with the various Escorts I've had; with the old engine that car's personal best was 34.

But the most recent figure is, after all, almost entirely city driving. To avoid the stumble, I have to keep the engine speed over 1,800 RPM, which means avoiding 5th gear most of the time. It seems as if I've been doing a lot of standing in the car, too--like the drive through at McDonald's--and that doesn't help. Also, if I have a leaking fuel injector (which is a possibility I have not yet explored) that's certainly not going to help, either.

So the next thing to do is to pull the spark plugs and check the carbon deposits on them. If one is black, that's the fuel injector to replace. If all are the same, I'm going to suspect the fuel pressure regulator and try swapping it with the one from the other engine.

But not today. I'm still feverish and all I really want to do is go back to bed. I don't even have the energy for WoW or anime.

Yeah, I'm sick, all right.

#2009: Donorcycle moron

For a variety of reasons I hit McDonald's for dinner tonight. On the way home, I was confronted with Yet Another Example of testosterone-fueled idiocy.

I was in a 30 zone, driving five over the speed limit. Idiot on motorcycle zooms up to my rear bumper and hangs just off the left side of the car, intending to shine his headlight (adjusted for maximum brightness, naturally) into my left mirror.

The point? I was only going 35 in a 30 zone and he was in a hurry. (I've seen this behavior before; I could have been going 45 and he would have done the same thing.)

I habitually turn my outside mirror down at night, because I don't like having bright lights beamed directly into my eyes. I don't like the distraction. Seeing this, the moron slewed over so he was directly behind me. Despite having the rearview on its night setting, the git's headlight was too bright, so I adjusted the mirror to get the light out of my eyes. He moved farther over. I adjusted it again and let the car's speed bleed off to 30.

Finally the dickhead roared around me. (In a no passing zone.) No helmet. Cloth jacket. Blue jeans.

You know, what, asshat? I am neither intimidated nor impressed--not by you, your riding style, or your $10,000 penis extension. The only thing you managed to do with your stupidity was to self-identify as a huge douchebag with enough money to buy a Harley; and if you keep taking foolish and unnecessary risks like the ones I saw you take tonight, sooner or later you're going to end up in the hospital.

No helmet: do I need to elaborate what's wrong with this?

Cloth jacket: fall off that bike at any decent speed and you're going to wish you'd worn leather. Unless you like getting skin grafts.

Blue jeans: if you're wearing a leather jacket and helmet you can probably get away with this. But if you're wearing a thin cloth jacket and no helmet?

Tailgating: okay, a motorcycle can stop faster than a car. But what if your attention is away from that car's brake lights at a critical moment? The first sign you may have that the car is slowing down just might be your front wheel contacting his rear bumper.

One of two things then happens: either you fall down and slide, or you and your bike abruptly part company. In the latter case, you might even break the car's rear window. With your face. Meaning you're going to become intimately familiar with the medical procedures dealing with multiple facial fractures even if you do somehow avoid breaking your fool neck.

Either way, you're both at fault and at the hospital.

You know, you're out for a ride on a nice spring night because it's a nice spring night; why don't you relax and enjoy it?