atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1805: When is a baby not a baby?

Well, according to those in charge of the European socialized medical systems, not every baby is a baby.

For example, in England, a baby born before 22 weeks when then dies is not counted as a dead baby. No; it's a "premature fetus" or some such nonsense, and it's not counted in Englands infant mortality statistics.

In the United States, any and all babies which are delivered and then die count towards the infant mortality rate, regardless of how viable said baby was before delivery. Even if it looks more like a hunk of raw beef than an immature human, it's a "baby" and its death counts.

Boortz reminds us of this fact. People who say that the US has a worse infant mortality rate than England and other countries with socialized medicine are apparently unaware of it...or hope that we are.

I have cited before the fact that--in England under socialized medicine--it was popular in the 1960s to have a midwife assist births at home, rather than subject mother and child to the vagaries of the socialized medical system, because the infant mortality rate was extremely high. It seems that England changed the way they figure those statistics, doesn't it?

* * *

While we're on the subject of socialized medicine, the White House is going to push to get ObamaCare passed using whatever means it can muster. I said yesterday that this abortion isn't dead just because it hit the Senate; the Democrats need this and they're not going to let silly little things like ethics get in the way.

* * *

All kinds of American liberals love Cuba. They think it's a wonderful, delightful place, where everyone has food and housing and health care.

But this is what happens to you if you try to speak your mind.

Liberals just don't understand that when totalitarianism strikes, it gets everyone who isn't actively involved in the government--and even many of the elite still have to be very careful about what they say and with whom they associate, less they attract suspicion.

In Cuba, Fidel and Raul are perhaps the only people who can say whatever they think and not have to worry about a visit from the secret police.

Woody Harrelson--a "useful" idiot if there ever was one--likes to smoke pot. In a totalitarian state, pot would not be legal; and if he was caught with the stuff he'd find out how things work: he'd be told, "We won't prosecute you for this...but from now on, you do what we tell you." And "what we tell you" would involve informing on his peers in the entertainment industry: so-and-so is a homosexual; what's-her-face said she thinks Glorious Leader is a moron; mr-big has a proclivity for little boys. And the State would then arrest those people, and some of them would disappear. Liking the State would not save them.

I would like to believe that those who admire the communist countries of the world are merely ignorant; but some of them otherwise seem to be fairly intelligent people. And so I have to conclude that they are actually, in fact, morons, because they're incapable of recognizing the facts.

* * *

I recall that one of the things which was so great about Barack Hussein Obama was that he was going to elevate the US in the eyes of the world.

Apparently "the world" thinks he's an egomaniac who skipped attending the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall because it wasn't about him.

Then there was his idiotic statement about how--at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall--no one would have believed that a black man would be President; WTF is that about? ( is where I heard this one.)

"Few would have foreseen on that day...that [Germany's] American ally would be led by a man of African descent." WTF, this guy is an ego with ears.

* * *

Fred Barnes: It's like Carter never left town.

I was saying that Obama was "Carter 2.0" more than a year ago.

* * *

When you think about recent property rights legal decisions in the US, you cannot help but consider Kelo vs New London, the case which opened the door for massive abuse of eminent domain.

The case decided that it was a legitimate use of eminent domain for a local government to seize property and turn it over to developers who would then build sites which garnered greater tax revenue for that local government. This was considered "public use".

But the land in the Kelo case now stands vacant, used only by weeds. Instead of having people living there and paying property taxes, now the area is a field. No one lives there; no one works there. Pfizer may be paying property taxes on the land, but it's for damn sure that the land is not valued as high as it was when there were people living there, and it certainly isn't garnering the extra tax revenue that the expanded Pfizer plant was supposed to bring in.

If I were the original plaintiffs in Kelo, I would now bring suit against Pfizer to force them to build the damn factory they were going to build there. I'd also bring a separate suit against the town of New London for whatever I could think of. This is horseshit.

* * *

Lately Og has been in some kind of internet kerfluffle over islam. Sorry, but I'm on Og's side of this.

All you need to do is read the koran. Muslims believe that the koran is the literal word of God and that all of it must be obeyed to the letter.

Eh? "The Bible is full of that kind of stuff"? Show me where, in the world today, the Jewish Law set forth in the Bible is actually practiced. The Jewish Law is part of the foundation of our society; but we do not practice it to the letter, and have not for centuries. Just to pick an example, we don't stone people for crimes, real or imagined; certainly we don't stone women because they were raped or didn't wear enough clothing.

In any event, while the Bible is considered to be the word of God it is also understood to be full of allegory and parable. When Jesus said, "If thine eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" it is not meant to be taken literally. Jesus isn't advocating self-mutilation; He's making a point about keeping yourself apart from sinful things.

Judging islam by its works, I see a lot of death, destruction, oppression, and murder going on. I don't see much to recommend it as "the religion of peace"...unless we're talking about the peace of the grave.

* * *

Ground effects are generally not structural:

epic fail pictures

The jack isn't under the frame rail; it's under the ground effect panel, which is plastic and held on with a few rivets. It's going to look like crap when the jack is removed but it can be fixed.

You'd think that the person would stop cranking the jack up when he saw the plastic begin to buckle, but plenty of people don't know the first damn thing about cars. I'd wager there's a nice big sticker in the trunk showing where the jack goes, and the owner's manual probably gives a detailed procedure, but this idiot clearly didn't bother to consult either.

* * *

Well, while LiveJournal was down and not letting me post today's bloviation, I went out to the driveway to try to make sense out of the Escort.

Step one: verify timing. The timing is dead-on perfect.

Step two: do a leakdown test. All I managed to do was to get the leakdown test adaptor stuck in the spark plug hole. I'm going to have to get it out of there before I can run the engine.

Step three: check the valvetrain.


I found that one of the lifters had failed: a spring clip holding the top on had broken, and when I removed the rocker arm the top just popped off the thing. Which lifter failed? Exhaust. On which cylinder? #1.

Coincidence that the #1 cylinder is the one that isn't working correctly? Not bloody likely.

By itself the clip is nothing important; the preload on the valvetrain is expected to be enough to hold it together. But the little bit provided by that clip is important; it keeps the little lid from popping up when the valve closes. It keeps the lid on against the oil pressure inside the lifter.

This is important because the Escort engine uses hydraulic lifters:
The hydraulic lifter consists of a hollow expanding piston situated between the camshaft and valve. It is operated either by a rocker mechanism, or in the case of one or more overhead camshafts, directly by the camshaft. The lifter is filled with engine oil intermittently from an oil galley via a small drilling. When the engine valve is closed, the lifter is free to fill with oil. When the valve is opening and the lifter is being operated by the camshaft, the oil feed is blocked and the lifter acts just as a solid one would, oil being incompressible.
But not if the oil can leak out via another path.

I'm confident this is the problem; I really am. At this point nothing else makes sense; if the exhaust gasses can't get out of a cylinder it's not going to work correctly and I've verified that everything else is working correctly. This has to be the problem; if it's not, then I am well and truly stumped and will have to call in reinforcements.

The only question before the house now is whether or not it's advisable to replace just one lifter, and not the whole schmeer. If I have to replace everything, I'm going to have to pull the cylinder head: you can't pull the cam with the head on the engine. *sigh*

Well, we'll see. As for right now, I don't feel like doing anything else; yesterday's chores took a lot out of me.

I cut the grass; and that necessitated raking an approximate fuck-ton of leaves, because the tractor was getting bogged down in them: they'd jam up behind the front wheels and I wouldn't be able to turn, so I realized I'd have to rake 'em to the curb and let the big leaf vacuum come take 'em. By the time I was done with all this nonsense I was fain to exhausted; but I went out to the garage and put all my engine-changing stuff away, leaving plenty of room for the Fiero.

Fiero: in the garage.

And I did all of this while in the process of recovering from a bout of gut malf on Sunday. I don't know where I got the willpower from; maybe the threat of rain today (which did not, in fact, materialize) was what did it. All I know is, I now have everything done which I wanted to get done yesterday; and since I'm going to have to research the lifter issue, I can safely retire for the day and play WoW or watch anime or both.

Still left to do this week are to rotate the tires, change the oil, and grease the suspension on the Jeep. And get a haircut. *sigh*

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