Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cab Thoughts 12/15/12

The lottery is a tax on stupidity--Voltaire

It is unlikely that Yamamoto ever said “You cannot invade America. There is a rifle behind every blade of grass.” It is, like so many of the modern fictions-disguised-as-history, the other, illegitimate, mixture of fact and fiction, the obverse and perverse of the genius of Barnes or McCartney, in this instance just noble support of the notion that an armed citizen deters the would-be despot, foreign or domestic.
But this terrible event in Connecticut should give everyone pause. Certainly the damage that the despot can do is far greater than that of a madman in a school or mall. The entire modern world stands in awe of the bloody tableau of damage done by self proclaimed leaders and heroes in their effort to take or administer their power for whatever blood claim or philosophical claim they believed they represented.
But ours is a huge bell-shaped curve with all sorts or stragglers, outliers and exceptions at the ends. And the weapons become increasingly more powerful.
One thing is certain: Lunacy and /or stupidity are incompatible with freedom.
Maybe we, as a species, are just to damn stupid to be free.

The worst mass school murder in American history took place on May 18,1927 in Bath Township, Mich., when a former school board member set off three bombs that killed 45 people.

The Dept of Homeland Security is teaching first responders to fight flesh-eating ghouls according to a report written by Tom Coburn, M.D.
U.S. Senator. Don't worry; we have plenty of money.

California electric car company Coda Automotive quietly cut 15 percent of its workforce, approximately 50 employees, on Friday.

It is curious that Bob Costas did not blame the Belcher murder/suicide on alcohol.

Jacintha Saldanha's death has certainly disappeared from the news. Perhaps people who take themselves seriously, responsibility as a trust make the average person uncomfortable.
Is Obama asleep at the wheel but confident the GPS is on? You can do that, you know, when history has a dialectically determined direction.
Mormonism has in its biblical history, the separation of the good and the bad people into two groups. The bad have been colored red and brown by God. But, if the good err, they will be punished by the colored having victory over them. One wonders if the Romney loss means more to him than just an election defeat.

Another reason not to own cats: Recent investigations have shown that Toxoplasma gondii – a single-celled parasite – can pass from the human gut to the brain where it may cause behavioral changes. It is a common cat parasite.

About 70% of freight in the U.S. is moved by truck with revenue of about $660 billion. Class 8 trucks (big ones) make up 2.7% of trucks but consume 21% of the truck fuel. Average MPG for a Class 8 truck: 4.8. Trucks are second behind air transport in CO2 production. Compared to trains, there is 480 ton miles per gallon for railroads and 110 ton miles per gallon for heavy trucks.


In Goethe’s 1831 drama "Faust", the devil persuades a bankrupt emperor to print and spend vast quantities of paper money as a short-term fix for his country’s fiscal problems. As a consequence, the empire ultimately unravels and descends into chaos.

Electric vehicles (which include Plug-in Prius) constituted .7% of auto sales in November and .4% for 2012 overall. Last month Volt sales fell by 1,442 units but Ford C-MAX Energi sales increased by 1,115 units.
African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population, but according to the Justice Department, they comprise 39 percent of violent crime convictions. Thirty-six percent of all murders in America are committed by African-Americans, and 90 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks. Between 1976-2005, blacks committed 59% of felony murders. Overall, blacks are 9 times more likely to commit murder than whites.
Source: US DOJ
A study out purports to show that having children leads to a longer life. There are, of course, a zillion things wrong with the study, but there is no question that life seems longer to parents.

Michael D'Antuono's painting, "Truth," on display at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery (until December 15th so you have to hurry):
Truth Painting by Michael DAntuono Depicts Barack Obama as Jesus Christ With Crown of Thorns
About 1.5 million, or about 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree holders age 25 or younger – were unemployed or underemployed in 2011. For high school grads (age 17-20), the unemployment rate was 31.1 percent from April 2011-March 2012. According to new U.S. government projections, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings in the next eight years will require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Violence off the field in football is like the peace process in the Middle East; soon no one will notice.

Koichi Tanaka shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 for his work on protein-molecule analysis after his work was consistently cited by others who advanced it but he never received recognition in his own company until after he won the prize. The world is filled with these innovative people, most who left their parent company after their ideas went unappreciated. Sam Walton left Ben Franklin, Eugene Kleiner left William Shockley's Semiconductor Laboratory for Fairchild then Moore left Fairchild for Intel, Hal Sperlich took his rejected mini-van concept to Chrysler.

In 2008 for the first time in history there were more people living in cities than on the land. In 1950, there were two cities with a population of more than ten million. By 1975, there were three. As of 2007, there were nineteen, and by 2025, the United Nations estimates that there will be twenty-seven.
There are ninety cities in China alone that have a population of greater than one million. We are becoming a different people, whether we have the genes for it or not.

China is second behind the U.S. in oil consumption but China's per capita use is 1/10th of the U.S..

At the Battle of Nagashino in Japan in 1575, an army of 38,000 men, of whom 10,000 carried guns, defeated an army of sword-wielding samurai. It was a crisis for the warrior class; it was apparent that a farmer could kill a samurai knight with a gun and the whole system was threatened. In the early seventeenth century, Tokugawa Ieyasu and his descen­dants defeated their rivals and established a military dictatorship. In the 1630s, they began restricting the manufacture and sale of firearms. Only in two towns could gun makers practice their trade. Civilians were for­bidden to buy guns. Japan banned foreigners and travel by the Japanese. Isolated, they did fine until Perry showed up in 1853 with ships and foreigners....and guns. Lessons? Isolation can work. Guns are a great leveler. Technology is usually good for a culture but not always for the leaders of the culture. Banning guns--or any leveling weapon--is very good for the unreasonably powerful.

Question of the Day: What was the Brown Dog Affair?

Gas in Europe is 2 to 2.5 times the cost in the U.S..

Rural voters accounted for just 14 percent of the turnout in last month's election.

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