Thursday, February 26, 2009

The bottle Imp

There was a story I read when I was younger, a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story is about a working class native of Hawaii, Keawe, who buys a strange bottle from a sad, elderly gentleman who credits the bottle with his wealth and fortune, and promises the imp in the bottle will also grant Keawe his every wish and desire.

Of course, there is a catch — the bottle must be sold at a loss, i.e. for less than its owner originally paid, or else it will simply return to him. The currency used in the transaction must also be in coin (not paper currency or check). The bottle may not be thrown or given away. If an owner of the bottle dies without having sold it in the prescribed manner, that person's soul will burn for eternity in Hell.

The bottle was said to have been brought to Earth by the Devil and first purchased by Prester John for millions of dollars; it was owned by Napoleon and Captain James Cook but each sold it. At the time of the story the price has diminished to eighty dollars, and declines rapidly to a matter of pennies.

The problem here is that as the price approaches a penny, it will become harder and harder to sell the bottle, as the buyer will be in fear of being left holding the bag.

This tale reminds me of our current national debt. As our debt increases, the interest payments will balloon. They can only get so large before default is inevitable. At that point, anyone in possession of a US bond will be stuck with worthless paper. Because of this, the returns for these bonds will have to increase, so as to entice people in taking the risk of buying them, which will make the interest payments higher, thus making the end that much closer.

I wonder when the Imp will win...

Friday, February 20, 2009

On education

When I was a child, I failed the seventh grade. In order to keep me from repeating the 7th, my parents had to enroll me in a private school for the next three years. It was not that I was dumb, or unruly, or that I could not do the work- far from it. I was going through the papers in my mother's scrapbook, and found my papers from that year.

We were given a standardized test in March of the year I was in seventh grade. I maxed out the test in Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Language, Social Science, and Science. According to the test, I was functioning in those subjects at a college junior (15th grade) level. In math and spelling, I was functioning as a high school senior(12th grade). I scored in the 96th percentile. The total battery score showed that I was functioning at a 12th grade level.

Yet I was to be retained in the 7th grade. Why? I had an F in Social Studies, a D in Math. Both teachers told me that I had a poor attitude.

My social studies teacher gave me an F in the class project because I wrote a report on the Vietnam war in which I said that the United States abandoned its obligation to South Vietnam, and allowed the country to be overrun by communists. This action, I said, damaged U.S. credibility worldwide. The teacher told me I was wrong, and that it was the oppression of the US and South Vietnamese governments that caused them to lose face. I failed the class for that. (in part)

My D in math was because the teacher accused me of cheating. I was in an advanced placement algebra course, and I was not showing my work when solving equations. I told the teacher (in the parent-teacher conference) that the reason I showed no work was because I was solving the equations in my head. The teacher insisted that this was impossible, so my mother asked the teacher to give me 5 sample problems on the spot. I solved them in my head faster than the teacher could on paper. For that, my grade was changed from an F to a D.

My teachers would constantly argue with me because I refused to do homework. My thought was that I was in school to learn, and since I could consistently score 85-95% on exams, I did not need the practice, especially considering that the "homework" was a ditto where we were expected to color a picture of a Roman soldier- in the 7th grade, for crying out loud. Homework was 60% of our grade, the assignment on Vietnam was 20% of our grade, and our exams were the other 20%. In other words, it was possible to get a C in the class if you did your homework, but scored a zero on every test.

My son had similar problems, and I argued with one of his teachers, who insisted that Egypt was not in Africa. I assured her that I had actually been to Egypt, and that is exactly where it was when I was there. I even showed her a map. She still insisted that I was wrong.

I have no real point to this, except to say that our educational system is awful. Do your homework of coloring the pictures, get a zero on your tests, graduate from school. No wonder we have so many idiots in this country.

But hey, at least we can sit back and drink our Brawndo, because it has what we need- electrolytes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Public Records

A newspaper in Tennessee has seen fit to post a searchable database of concealed weapons permit holders, claiming that they are public record, and therefore the public has a "right to know." I agree, anything in public record should be publicized. Therefore, I give you the following public records, because it is your right to know.

The decision to create the database rests ultimately with the editor of the newspaper, Chris Peck. With that in mind, I am posting the following information that was taken from free, publicly-available Internet sites.,Chris.html

This is Chris Peck

Work Address:
The Commercial Appeal
495 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN, 38103
Work Phone: 901-529-2390
Work E-mail:

Home Address:
21 Belleair Dr
Memphis, TN 38104-2726
Home Phone: 901-276-8314
Date and place of birth: August 2, 1950, Lander, Wyoming

His father was Robert Arthur Peck (b. October 7, 1924, Riverton, Fremont County, Wyoming - d. March 6, 2007, at 12:51 p.m., Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming, of pneumonia and West Nile virus) He was a journalist and a senator, and does not appear to be as anti-gun as his son.

His mother was Cordelia Ruth Smith (b. April 19, 1926 - d. February 17, 1996, in a single vehicle auto accident)

He has two brothers, George and Steve.

Link to Map and Aerial Photos of Chris Peck's Home

Chris Peck's Facebook Page
Chris Peck's wife's (Kathleen Mary Duignan) Facebook Page
they were married September 10, 1977

Chris Peck's son's (Cody C. Peck) Facebook Page
Chris Peck's daughter's (Sarah Kathleen Peck) Facebook Page

Here is a picture of Chris Peck's house:

View Larger Map

4 bedrooms, 3 and a half baths.
4,505 square feet,
1.37 acre lot.
built in 1960
3 stories
detached garage
Mr Peck bought the home in 2002, and paid $583,500 for it
his 2008 property tax on the home was $9,278, the house was appraised at $496,600
here is a copy of the home's deed

Aren't public records great?

I am not a coward

Eric Holder says that we do not discuss race often enough in the United States. You ARE kidding me, right? It seems to me that we discuss race constantly. There are few other topics that are discussed in the public eye more often than racial issues.

He then goes on to say:

If we are to make progress in this area, we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us...If we're going to ever make progress, we're going to have to have the guts, we have to have the determination, to be honest with each other. It also means we have to be able to accept criticism where that is justified.
How can we have a frank discussion about race, when the minorities in this country sue and ostracize every person in this country who does not agree with the politics of blaming the white folks?

Speaking at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Cosby attacked poor black people for everything from bad speaking habits to getting shot by the police. Here are a few quotes:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids -- $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics."

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

Of course, you mention this fact, and you are told that you are turning Bill Cosby into one of the most useful tools a white supremacist could ever hope for in promoting your agenda. Nevermind that the race in question is avoiding the issue by attacking you and calling you a racist, instead of blaming the source of the problem.

A few years ago, I had a black man tell me that blacks were getting higher interest rates on loans than were whites, and this proved that the white bank executives were racists. I tried to point out to him that accusing whites of being racist as a group is just as racist as accusing all blacks of being ignorant, but that infuriated him.

I also pointed out to him that blacks commit 48% of the murders, but consist of only 13% of the population. Black women are 3 times more likely to likely to be unwed teen mothers than other races, 4 times more likely to commit murder, deal drugs, become prostitutes, or be murdered than any other race.

Asians are only 4% of the population, but make up 20% of the student body in Ivy League schools.

Blacks need to stop doing drugs, stop impregnating their young women and then walking out on them, they need to stay in school. Stop dealing drugs, stop calling the few blacks who DO become successful "Oreo", "Uncle Tom", or "Carlton" and encourage success in a profession other than Rapper, Athlete, or Drug Dealer.

How is that for a frank discussion?

Jury now confirms that Illegals can use your land

In yesterday's post, I talked about Roger Barnett, the Arizona rancher who had grown tired of illegal immigrants using his ranch as a highway to illegally enter this country. He was upset because they had done damage t0 his property, threatened his family, and killed his livestock. So, he started to catch them, and catch them he did. Mr Barnett caught over 12,000 illegal immigrants on his property in just 6 1/2 years.

A Tucson jury found that Mr Barnett didn't violate the civil rights of criminals when he detained them at gunpoint. The federal jury also found Roger Barnett wasn't liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment, but the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress.

The jurors ordered Barnett to pay nearly $78,000 in damages. The bulk of that, $60,000, is punitive. This means that the jury felt that Mr Barnett should be punished for defending himself and his property from people who had entered it illegally, intent on breaking the law.

Emotional distress- how is performing a citizen's arrest of a criminal emotional distress? What about the distress of having your property destroyed, and being threatened by criminals breaking into your property?

Edited to add:

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) is one of the leaders in the anti-American movement. MALDEF is a supposed grass-roots organization that receives almost none of its money from the people it claims to support. In reality, they are funded by the Ford Foundation and take guidance from the National Lawyers Guild. Among other things, they promote free college tuition for illegal immigrants, the lowering of educational standards to accommodate Hispanics, refusal to defend American borders, and the right of criminals to vote in U.S. elections. This is all from an organizational that proudly proclaims itself “the premiere Latino civil rights organization in the United States.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

A trillion dollars

President George W Bush borrowed his first trillion dollars in two and a half years. He borrowed his second trillion a year and a half later. Another two years, another $1 trillion. All told, President Bush borrowed $5 trillion in 8 years, increasing the national debt by 187%.

It took President Clinton 3 and a half years to borrow his first trillion dollars. All told, he borrowed $1.2 trillion in his first term, and $600 billion in his second. He increased the national debt by 140% in eight years.

George HW Bush borrowed his first trillion in 3 years, and he increased the National debt by 170% in four years.

Reagan borrowed his first trillion in 6 years, and doubled the National debt during his eight years in the White House.

Carter increased the National debt by 150%, but "only" borrowed $300 billion in 4 years. I guess that was when $1 Billion was real money.

Ford increased the debt by 147% in 3 years., Nixon by 135% in 5 years, Johnson by 116% in 6 years, Kennedy by 106% in 2 years, Eisenhower by 108% in eight years.

Democrats, and Republicans, both in a contest to see who can spend the most in our society of "how much can you give me if I vote for you."

President Obama borrowed $175B in his first month, which translates to $2.1 trillion in his first year. Considering that he pushed through the stimulus bill at a cost of $825 billion, and we have a very real possibility of $3 trillion being added to the national debt in Obama's first year. This means that President Obama will borrow more money in his first year than all Presidents did from 1776 to 1990.

Illegal immigrants have rights to your land

At least, that is how THEY see it. Illegal immigrants are now suing American property owners when those owners hold them for the cops when they trespass on the property owners' land while illegally entering the country.

I have said for the last two years, that it is only a matter of time before the border conflict between illegals and residents erupts into open warfare. If you think it is bad now, wait until the Mexican government falls, and Mexico slips into anarchy. What do you think the Mexican military units are going to do when they are no longer under the nominal control of the Mexican government?

Psychological manipulation

I read this news story yesterday, the comments of one reader named "Los Angeleno" made me think about how the press can influence the thoughts of the reader without seeming to, simply by using psychological factors that the reader is not even aware of:

The Obama branding has been masterful. But the media won’t catch on becuase they are part of it. Notice that virtually every photograph of Obama was taken from the “heroic” angel: an upward looking angle that can’t help but cast the subject in a demi-god like position. McCain, on the other hand, was photographed from straight ahead angles. A subtle difference, but if you look, you will see that most pictures of The One really make him look like, well, The One.

Take, for example, the picture of President Obama that was released this morning:

and then compare that to a stock photo of President Bush:

In the case of President Obama, the imagery is not so subtle, but looking at the President Bush photo, notice how the photo's point of view is much closer to the President's eye line, and also how the expressions on the faces of the two differ. You are looking up at Obama, who has a pious expression and is surrounded by a halo, while in the second photo, you are looking down at Bush, who is caught with an unflattering look on his face.

How does each picture make you feel about the subject? This is how you influence the thoughts and feelings of the viewer without that viewer even realizing that he is being manipulated.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This just in...

All of you who claimed that Ambulance Driver was telling tales as a heartless bastard when he claimed your fibromyalgia was an excuse to get the pharmaceutical candy of your choice- AD is now vindicated:

Key components of the industry-funded buzz over the pain-and-fatigue ailment fibromyalgia are grants — more than $6 million donated by drugmakers Eli Lilly and Pfizer in the first three quarters of 2008 — to nonprofit groups for medical conferences and educational campaigns, an Associated Press analysis found.

That's more than they gave for more accepted ailments such as diabetes and Alzheimer's. Among grants tied to specific diseases, fibromyalgia ranked third for each company, behind only cancer and AIDS for Pfizer and cancer and depression for Lilly.

Win/win- drug seekers get the drugs they want while getting to cling to the sympathy from having an "illness," drug companies make money, the paramedics see a lot of patients who are not really sick, and the taxpayers get to pay for it all. What isn't to like?

Friday, February 6, 2009

You can't negotiate with people like this

I have been reading articles like this one, and listening to politicians talk about negotiating with hard line Muslims, and I just do not think it can be done. All this man did was translate the Quran from Arabic into a language locals could understand, and for this he is condemned to death. From the link:

There is no law in Afghanistan prohibiting the translation of the Quran. But Zalmai is accused of violating Islamic Shariah law by modifying the Quran. The courts in Afghanistan, an Islamic state, are empowered to apply Shariah law when there are no applicable existing statutes.

And Afghanistan's court system appears to be stacked against those accused of religious crimes. Judges don't want to seem soft on potential heretics and lawyers don't want to be seen defending them, said Afzal Shurmach Nooristani, whose Afghan Legal Aid group is defending Zalmai.

Others are mentioned as having been sentenced to death for heinous crimes like asking questions about women's rights under Islam, or converting to Christianity. A Muslim lawyer who defends the accused in these cases said, "The mullahs in the mosques have said whoever defends an infidel is an infidel."

This is the religion that calls itself the religion of peace, but straps bombs to their own children to kill infidels:

Just how do you negotiate with a religion that believes that their god wants you to die, and they believe it so strongly that they are willing to strap a bomb to their own children, in the hopes that when the bomb detonates that a few of you will die with their child? The simple fact is that many in the Muslim world believe that anyone who is not a true Muslim by their definition must die. The only way to stop the killing is for one side or the other to be eliminated.

Images found here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

EMS is getting busier and busier.

The problem:

EMS systems are being overrun by frequent flyers, people with non-emergent complaints, and prank calls. The reporters in the above video suggest that cities adopt a system where non-emergent calls are offered transportation to other services or doctors. I do not think this system will work for two main reasons:

1 The frequent flyers will figure out how to game the system, and will claim to have a life threatening complaint so they can get to the ER, the the reduction in ER runs will be minimal.

2 The first time a patient dies because an emergent patient was sent a cab instead of an ambulance, there will be a huge lawsuit.

The problem is that with our current legal system, there is no way for any ER or EMS system to refuse service to anyone without legal repercussions, and there will always be people who take advantage of the system. There is one patient that I see frequently, let's call her Jenny, that I have run on as many as 5 times on a single day. Other patients are just as bad. There are 10 patients in my area who are alone responsible for nearly 5% of our call load. That's right- 10 people are being run on over 1,000 times a year. Add in the 10 nursing homes that give us another 5,000 calls a year, and you see that 30% of our time is being used up by a very small minority.

I would say that less than 15% of our runs are true medical emergencies. Our collection rates run at about 40%, with most of those being Medicaid and Medicare. Some of our most ardent frequent flyers are carriers of the Medicaid 'gold card' and call us because they know they can do so without having to worry about paying.

Our medical system is only going to deteriorate as more and more people realize that today's house calls are made by Paramedics, and help is just a phone call away. What is the solution? I have no idea, but I do know that the nation's EMS systems are only going to get busier. At least that gives me job security.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Security theater

I just returned from a two week vacation in the Caribbean. For obvious reasons, I kept the number of people who knew I would be gone to a minimum, but now that I have returned, I would like to share a few of my observations.

On the day that I left, I had to fly to Puerto Rico to catch the cruise ship that would carry me for the journey. I try not to fly, but the fact that Puerto Rico is an island over 1,100 miles from my home made flying a necessity.

We arrived at the airport two hours early, so that we could deal with the effects of the security theater put in place by our government. The ticketing procedures were efficient: the ticket agent asked for my ID and credit card, weighed in our bags, and issued our boarding passes. We then proceeded to the security gates, and that is where things took a turn for the worse.

The first thing you notice is the long lines. After waiting in line for about 5 minutes, you come to the first security post. At this station, the TSA official examines your papers to make sure of what, I do not know. She looked over my boarding pass and my Photo Identification and, deciding that I was worthy of flying, allowed me to pass on to the next line.

This line requried me to remove my shoes, and place all of my belongings in a plastic tote. This tote was x-rayed, and inspected for contraband. Mrs Street Pharmacist was also required to remove her belt, and had to submit to a frisking. I felt so incredibly violated being searched in such a fashion. I was afraid to make eye contact with any of the security personnel, for fear that they would somehow deem me a troublemaker or miscreant, and place me on some sort of a list that would forever brand me to be a terrorist. Once on this government list, who knows what other liberties I will have taken from me?

To those who think that these searches are needed in order to keep us safe, I would point this out: the 9/11 hijackings were carried out by a handful of determined men who carried nothing more than a few small knives. Have you ever seen these before?

Completely undetectable, and they can be bought for less than $10 on websites like this one. Our Government cannot even keep weapons and drugs out of the prisons, so what makes you think that they can do any better with any other venue?

What has happened here is that our Fourth Amendment has been totally destroyed. The rest of our Bill of Rights are soon to follow.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.