Monday, February 28, 2011

CEO of 3M asks Barry:"Who is John Galt?"

You know, when the head of one of the biggest companies in the entire USA starts talking like an Ayn Rand novel, people should perk up their ears.

[George Buckley, chief executive and chairman of 3M]  Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: "There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science."

He added: "Politicians forget that business has choice. We're not indentured servants and we will do business where it's good and friendly. If it's hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America."

The 3M chief also criticised US immigration policy, saying the difficulty of obtaining visas was forcing companies to move research and development overseas. "About 68 per cent of our science PhD candidates are from outside the US," he said. "Many want to stay here afterwards but we're not allowed as many visas as we would like."

"We are now exporting science overseas to China, India, Germany, building labs there. There's a good strategic reason for it, but we also have no choice – if we can't get the people here and we're competing with the people there, we have no choice but to do it locally."

That's some pretty straight freakin' talk there.  That's some "Smarten up or we are OUT of here, beatch!" kinda talk.
CEO of Intel said the same thing a couple years ago.  Their chip-fab was built in Arizona because there was literally no amount of money -in the world- that could get it built in California.  Couldn't be done.  And the reason was government.
Here at home, if the Liberal Party of Ontario and the federal Conservative Party of Canada had even an ounce of brains between them, they would be cutting regulations and taxes on manufacturing to all-time lows just to attract 3M and Intel and all these guys here to Canada.  They should lay out the Red Carpet and scatter pink rose petals on it.

What are they doing instead?  Windmills and tax increases, that's what.  Union/NDP/Liberal astroturf violence at the G-20.  Oh, and trying to strong arm the CPC into continuing the tax-and-spend toboggan ride.  Anybody remember Iggy threatening to overturn the government over the "stimulus" he demanded?  I remember.

Hey Dalton!  Hey Iggy!  Who is John Galt?!

The Phantom

Friday, February 25, 2011

Republicans win, Democrats freak out!

Its gonna be CIVIL WAR I tells ya!

Some residents, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer and even some Republican lawmakers say the bills are making Montana into a laughingstock. And, they say, the push to nullify federal laws could be dangerous.

"We are the United States of America," said Schweitzer. "This talk of nullifying is pretty toxic talk. That led to the Civil War."

Uh huh.  Whereas running the city, state and national debt up to over a hundred trillion will be all cake and ponies for everybody.  Article tries REALLY hard to portray the Tea Party as some bunch of insane people with no teeth, fails miserably.
Hey, Dems.  Just face it dudes, we all finally figured out what you've really been working towards since the 1930's. You are busted. Its over.

The Phantom

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crazy is not just an industry, its a growth industry.

From Kate's Small Dead Animals today, this sparkling gem of insanity that needs to be widely spread.

If Washington voters were to approve it, this measure would make it illegal for Washington farmers to raise egg-laying hens in cages. Additionally, regular eggs would be banned from grocery stores. (Unlike in California's "Proposition 2," there's no ambiguity about whether farmers can use "enriched" cages of the type that Temple Grandin and the American Humane Association endorse. They would also be banned.)

Signature-gathering animal rights activists will likely tell voters that the only way to ensure hens lead happy and healthy lives is to force every farmer to go cage-free.

Tell all your friends.  Or get used to the idea of eggs that cost a dollar each.

The Carnivorous Phantom

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Yorkers behaving badly. As usual.

Here's something I've never heard before, New Yorkers are frickin' rude assholes.

Study: 'Sidewalk Rage' Plagues New York City Streets

They needed a study for this? 

I remember walking with a friend in the rich snooty part of NYC, out in front of Bloomingdales or some such.  I turned my head to say something to my friend, and this well dressed older woman stiff-armed me.  And of course fell right on her ass, because stiff-arming The Phantom is like stiff-arming a Clydesdale.  The horse ain't going to be the one that moves.  She kinda bounced off me and measured herself on the pavement, I thought she'd broken a hip or something.  I bend over to see if she's ok, she starts yelling "YOU'RE IN MY WAY!!!".  I can't recall if I offered to kick her a couple times while she was down there, or if I just thought it really loud.  I do believe we helped her up though, good manners are firmly ingrained in Canadian boys pretty much at a reflex level.

Its the kind of thing that I've never seen happen anywhere else but Noo Yawk.  What a dump.

The Phantom Clydesdale.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Iran proudly joins the 20th Century!

Yes friends, the great nation of Iran has achieved a new milestone in computer technology!  Their mighty armies have achieved what pimply adolescent Americans have been doing in mum's basement since 1994.

Iranian computer hackers on Monday hijacked the website of the Voice of America, replacing its Internet home page with a banner bearing an Iranian flag and an image of an AK-47 assault rifle.

The group called on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to "hear the voice of oppressed nations."

The banner stated that "we have proven that we can."

Tremble before our power, O great Shaitan!

The Tremblin' Phantom

Remember drawing pictures of the teacher in your notebook when you were little?

Remember how she was always getting blown up, shot, stabbed, run over, nuked or had a flaming anvil dropping on her? Kinda like this?


An 11-year-old Arvada boy was arrested and hauled away in handcuffs for drawing stick figures in school, something his therapist told him to do.

His parents say they understand what he did was inappropriate, but are outraged by the way Arvada Police handled the case. The parents do not want their real names used.

They say "Tim" is being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder and his therapist told him to draw pictures when he got upset, rather than disrupt the class. So that's what he did.

Last October, he drew stick figures of himself with a gun, pointed at four other stick figures with the words "teacher must die."

He felt calmer and was throwing the picture away when the teacher saw it and sent him to the principal's office.

This must have been on one of the days the teacher was at work and not rioting in Wisconsin.

Well I hope young Tim has learned an important lesson. Where government employees are concerned you keep your head down, your mouth shut, and don't leave any evidence of impious thoughts lying around. That's what school is for, after all. Teaching people how to behave in public institutions.

The Sick Phantom Bastard

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nice article about Wisconsin union stickup.

Washington Examiner:
Taxpayers are becoming acutely aware of the have-yours as a class -- something like Angelo Codevilla's ruling class -- whose gains in salaries and benefits aren't associated with harder work and important innovations but political access. Public-sector unions rallying in Madison aren't even taking a hit for their political activism, given that their protest is made possible by paid sick days, negotiated for them by their collective bargaining units who, it must be said, donate to the very people with whom they negotiate.

This guy is SO making my point about these union clowns shooting themselves in the head with this.

This whole exercise in protesting isn't civil disobedience -- it's just another transaction, one in which the have-yours labor leaders are trying to reassert their authority over taxpayer resources by arguing that it's inhumane to ask government workers to pay more into their own health care and pensions, and that collective bargaining means only one side gets a bargain.

To distract from the sheer avarice of this position, the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and others are trying to get as many people as possible to protest and show some kind of consensus that Gov. Scott Walker's, R, position is unreasonable, even cruel. The numbers are impressive and the photos really do depict the us-vs-them drama, but not in the way union leaders and member hope because the chilling have yours subtext of every sign held aloft by a protesting union member is clear: We don't work for you, taxpayer. You work for us.

Yeah, we do.  Half of your total income goes to pay these assholes, Canada is no better off than Michigan.  Difference between now and last year?  This year there's a new sheriff in Wisconsin.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So, how much damage could two measly shoplifters do anyway?

Five. Million. Bucks.  From one chain. That they know of.

Safeway officials say they have proof that a local couple stole more than $5 million in merchandise from stores in the Portland Metro area over the past several years.

Police arrested Richard Lavern Remington, 52, and Angela Rose Evans, 32, on Tuesday and the couple was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court Wednesday.

The probable cause affidavit showed that Safeway began formally tracking the pair last November after suspicions surfaced they had been shoplifting.

Interesting to note Mr. Lavern there already had a parole violation, and should have been in jail the whole time he was stealing all this stuff.
That's a pile of money to lose, but just imagine how much the EMPLOYEES rack up in five finger discounts.

The Phantom

Friday, February 18, 2011

Astroturf? Oh yeah, it is.

This union protest thing just keeps getting better and better.  I knew Barry called Wisconsin's bill "an assault" but it turns out he's behind the astroturf too.

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to mobilize thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

Their efforts began to spread, as thousands of labor supporters turned out for a hearing in Columbus, Ohio, to protest a measure from Gov. John Kasich (R) that would cut collective-bargaining rights.

By the end of the day, Democratic Party officials were working to organize additional demonstrations in Ohio and Indiana, where an effort is underway to trim benefits for public workers. Some union activists predicted similar protests in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Barry is blowing his election budget on astroturf this year.  Oh baby!  Because if he waits until next year he won't have any public sector unions left to bankroll his sorry ass.
Anybody still wondering why the White House is so fragged up on Egypt?  Its because they don't give a crap about Egypt, they are fighting for their frickin' lives right here, right now. As these budget crunches start to REALLY bite down in socialist ruled states like California and Noo Yawk, you're going to see their populations FLEE to the less socialist states to escape the friggin' chaos and taxes that are going to come this year. 

Some of these places are going to loose school, police and fire service, and probably have the water and electricity fail.  If you live in a Blue state it would be wise to have your generators, water tanks and camp stoves cleaned, serviced and ready to rock.  Candles, lanterns and lots of FUEL are on the spring purchasing list.  Just think of it as a camping vacation at home.

This is it my friends, this is the place where the rubber finally meets the road.  We shall now see who's got traction and who's got nuthin' but tire smoke.

The Phantom

More helpful signs of FREAKING OUT on the Left.

Republicans are scoring all over the place!

When did demonstrating at the private homes of politicians or corporate executives become an acceptable way to voice one's political opinions?

Nearly two dozen activists from DC Vote swarmed House Speaker John Boehner's Capitol Hill residence at 7:30 Thursday morning, chanting "Don't tread of D.C." and "No taxation without representation" to protest congressional "meddling" in the District's local affairs, in particular a House continuing budget resolution that would cut $80 million in federal payments and prohibit the city from using local funds to pay for needle exchange programs and abortions.

"Speaker Boehner is coming to our home telling us how to spend our money," Ilir Zherka, the group's executive director, told his followers. "We decided to come to his house to tell him to leave D.C. alone."

After Capitol Police officers blocked their way by using bikes to erect a makeshift barricade, the protestors remained outside Boehner's home for more than an hour.

This is the same tactic used last month by protestors who don't want Wal-Mart to open a new store in D.C.

This time the cops actually showed up and got their job done, suspiciously different that when the SEIU invaded the grounds of Bank of America lawyer Greg Baer's house and scared the hell out of his kids. And no doubt the neighbor's kids. That time the cops stood around and didn't do anything. Interesting coincidence, cops are part of the SEIU.

When the Left starts in doing this, it is double plus good. First goodness, they only pull this crap when they are afraid of somebody. Second goodness, when the vast electorate sees these assholes mobbing the house of a guy they elected, who won his election fair and square, who was elected because of the public policy the idiots are protesting, which policy is simple, obvious common sense to save money and lower taxes, well then the vast electorate gets kinda pissed off! And the next election rolls around, the Left loses even harder, and the cycle repeats and repeats.

A couple more incidents like this one where union thugs mob a guy's house, and maybe they even invade the house and punch the guy out, that's going to be EXCELLENT. Among other things, it will forever kill the myth that the police can protect you from mobs, the myth that Republicans are violent racists, the myth that Democrats are loving and tolerant guardians of Da Liddle Guy, and the myth that more government is better government.

Among other positive outcomes will be a solidification of the Castle Doctrine in American law, the final stake through the heart of gun control, and an awakening to the fact that full-auto .308 is not overkill for home defense. You've got 25-30 guys kicking in your front door so they can kill/mangle/shred you and kill/mangle/shred your family, the old reliable coach gun just ain't going to cut it. Select-fire FN-FAL will start showing up over the mantle in every home in America, where it belongs. Short barrel, sound suppressed. Why not dream big? ~:D

The Full-Auto Phantom

Thug update already: Tire slashing and car vandalism in Idaho!
I friggin' LOVE the Internet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to tell when you just SCORED on the opposition.

This is a pretty good sign.

As ever-growing throngs of protesters filled the Capitol for a third day, the 14 Democrats disappeared around noon, just as the Senate was about to begin debating the measure, which would end a half-century of collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

Hours later, one member of the group told The Associated Press that they had left Wisconsin.

When they run away screaming like little girls, you hit 'em. They left Wisconsin altogether and booked it to the nearest commie friendly place, Illinois.
You can run but you cain't hide, sumbitch.

Then there's the "sea of humanity" protesting in Madison.
The drama in Wisconsin unfolded in a jam-packed Capitol. Madison police and the State Department of Administration estimated the crowd at 25,000 protesters, the largest number yet.

When the union blows their "demonstrating" budget on one last ditch freak-out, complete with beatings and all kindsa violent shit going on, you know you pinked 'em. Twenty five thousand is the most astroturf the union wankers could pay to show up. Nice signage too.

I've seen car shows bigger than that. Tea Party events have 100,000 people, and they don't even leave any garbage behind. How much for cleanup on this one you figure, half a mil?

Wisconsin Republicans, x-ring hit boys and girls. Good shooting, change mags and resume!

The Phantom

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

And now, some gun porn. ~:)

From Small Dead Animals, news about NEW MANUFACTURED Lee-Enfield rifles in 7.62 NATO from the Land of Oz.

Australian International Arms keep building Lee-Enfields--completely new. Some photos, more here (7.62mm M43 Russian rimless versions also available, banana clip):

My comment was:

Oh, I -like- the one with the Picatinny rail. That's got some possibilities. Previously the only Enfield available in 7.62x51 was the Ishapore model, which frankly was kinda crappy compared to WWII vintage .303s Big ugly forgings, nasty machine work.

But put a muzzle brake on that model M10-B2, you'd have a suhWEET piece there. Ten round mag, stripper clips, quickest slickest bolt action ever made... oh yeah.

As it happens, I know the guy who makes the best integral muzzle brake in the universe. Tom Aston, works with Tim Sheehan out of Goshen Enterprises in Arizona. They can port your pistol or rifle, and it will be -awesome-. Main advantage is recoil reduction, I've shot one of Tom's .300 WinMags with the Keeper porting system on it, kicked like a .223. An eleven year old boy shot it too, smile a mile wide.

Here's a link to a little blurb and some pictures.

Goshen Enterprises website here:

The HexSight is the real deal too. Effortless target acquisition in low light or bright sun, just the thing for combat shooting or IPSC with pistol or shotgun, maybe less than ideal for driving tacks. I've shot with it, it rocks.

Tom and Tim are quality guys, I did business with them when I lived in AZ and they treated me right. Americans can just go right on ahead and get your kit ported. Canadians may be SOL, unless you can figure out a way to do the import/export paperwork. Maybe take it across the line (legally, need I say) and have an American gun shop send it down to AZ. Alternatively, it might be possible to import a bare ported barrel, which counts as a "part" as far as I know.

Just some guys I know who do some of the best work I've seen. Drop a line to The Soapbox if you want to jaw about it.

So anybody who wants to jaw, comments are open. Don't spill any beer on the carpet. ~:D

The Phantom

Found: Republican Party's spine.

Now THAT is what I'm talking about.

The House of Representatives will vote to block funding for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul when it takes up a budget plan it will consider next week, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said on Tuesday.

"I expect to see one way or other the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for that," Cantor said at a news conference, referring to an effort to block implementation of the health-care law.

See, you frickin' Rinos?  This here is what a fully calcified spinal column looks like. Senate doesn't want to get with the program?  DE-FUND THEM.
Open warfare between tax-and-spend pinkos and F- YOU! Tea Partiers.  Yeah!
A thing like this could get to be habit forming, I hope. Conservative Party of Canada, pay attention dudes.  This here is the future.

The Phantom!  Woohoo!

Water to the fish: Update!

Couple days ago I was saying that Neil Stephenson can't tell shit from shinola because he's a liberal. Here's some more piling on I just spotted:
European technology firm Astrium is teaming up with US company Alliant to make a "low-cost" space rocket launcher that could one day take tourists into orbit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

It said the companies plan a 300-foot (91-metre) launcher dubbed "Liberty" to take astronauts and scientific payloads into space for about $180 million (132 million euros) a time, 40 percent cheaper than some current launches.

What's the driving force behind this effort? Tourism.
The newspaper said the project's backers hope to gain funding from US space agency NASA for the project, which they say could lead eventually to commercial projects such as orbiting hotels for space tourists.
NASA is not going to get humanity into space on a large scale on their "multi-national" multi-zillion megabuck International Space Station. But a space hotel chain? That could work.

Best part? Filthy capitalistic consumerism succeeds where high-minded "scientific" socialism fails horribly. Liberals are going to freak. I'm going to love watching them.

Update update: It must be rocket day today, here's an announcement that SpaceX has a moon rocket, and a ride booked. Private moonshot by 2013? Wowser!
Time will tell if Neil Stephenson is right or I am of course, because an announcement is not the same as a successful launch, but things are looking up for space travel. Yay!

More proof of the Peter Principle, as if more were needed...

The Peter Principle:  "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence".  Proposed by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their  book The Peter Principle, which was meant as a joke.

But its true.  Here be the proof:

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – AOL Inc will buy Arianna Huffington's influential website for $315 million, looking to the high-profile liberal pundit to rescue it from the dustbin of Internet history.

The move, announced Monday, comes at a hefty premium. AOL is estimated to be paying 32 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for The Huffington Post, said Benchmark Co analyst Clayton Moran.

Yes friends, in corporate America even the least gifted can rise to command great power.  A seat on the Board of Directors does not necessarily require great business acumen, at AOL even a functioning brain apparently is not required.  AOL's stock price reflects the esteem in which this decision is held in the greater community, down double digits since yesterday and still headed south.

This, in a nutshell, is why I am a supporter of free markets over government. It isn't that management of private industry is more moral, more intelligent, more diligent or more effective than government.  Its just that when they screw up, bad things happen to them.

The Phantom

Monday, February 07, 2011

Testing, testing, This is Big Brother Radio... psst, hey is this thing on?

Check one teww...

Everybody has heard the national Emergency Alert System (EAS). Those familiar "duck calls" that reassure listeners "THIS is a test...this is ONLY a test..."

The FCC is planning an upgrade to the tests by including presidential announcements in the system.

Lisa Fowlkes, deputy chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC, explained to the Federal Drive the Presidential Alert isn't new.

"The primary goal is to provide the President with a mechanism to communicate with the American public during times of national emergency," said Fowlkes. The change, she said, is that prior to last week's order there was no rule in place to call for or allow a test from top to bottom.

Fowlkes said, "There's never been a test from top to bottom where it's issued by FEMA and it goes straight down to all the different levels of EAS to the American public. So this is a way for us to glean, okay, if there were an actual emergency and the federal government needed to activate the Presidential EAS, making sure that it actually works the way it's designed to."

Its funny, even with 9/11 and the Iraq war and Afghanistan, in 8 years George Bush never seemed to find a need to issue instructions directly to the American people, from his own mouth.  Barry's been in power two years, there's no emergency, and he's going to use the Emergency Broadcast System to have Presidential Alerts.

Just sayin'.

The Phantom

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Canadian government policy: defense of property, life and limb is now officially illegal.

They've finally got there.  According to the crown, self defense and defense of property is now illegal.  Oh, and you are now guilty until proven innocent.  You're welcome.

"If the public are wondering can you run out of your house and [fire a handgun at an intruder], the bottom line is, according to the laws of Canada, no, you can't," said Constable Nilan Dave of the Niagara Regional Police Service, which charged Mr. Thomson. "That's why the courts are there, to give a person an opportunity to explain their actions."

How about if there's three of them, they are masked like bandits in a cowboy movie, and they are firebombing your house with you in it?  Oh, and you have video of them doing it too, how about then?

Mr. Thomson, a former firearms instructor, grabbed one of his Smith & Wesson revolvers from his safe, loaded it and headed outside dressed in only his underwear. "He exited his house and fired his revolver two, maybe three times, we're not sure. Then these firebombing culprits, they ran off," said his lawyer, Edward Burlew.

His surveillance cameras caught the attackers lobbing at least six Molotov cocktails at his house and bombing his doghouse, singeing one of his Siberian Huskies. But when Mr. Thomson handed the video footage to Niagara Regional Police, he found himself charged with careless use of a firearm.

The local Crown attorney's office later laid a charge of pointing a firearm, along with two counts of careless storage of a firearm. The Crown has recommended Mr. Thomson go to jail, his lawyer said.

His collection of seven guns, five pistols and two rifles was seized, along with his firearms licence. Mr. Thomson said he lives in fear that his attackers will return and has taken to arming himself with a fire extinguisher.

Watch the video, it'll drive this home for you like you wouldn't believe.  Remember, Thompson was inside the house when that was occurring.  And remember too, Thompson didn't shoot anybody, although he obviously could have shot them all dead on the spot.  Wouldn't be hard, for sure.

So, after you're done watching the video, be sure to forward your reactions to your MP, and your MPP, and anybody else you think might benefit from a smack with a cluebat.  Remind them there is an -election- on the way.

The Phantom.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Water to the fish.

American liberals just can't seem to grasp that Reality(TM) is not always well captured by their world view. Their liberal, anti-capitalist philosphy makes them blind and deaf. Case in point today, Neil Stephenson trying to be clever about rockets.

He postulates that the development of space-launch rockets was amazingly unlikely, and gives this as evidence:
There is no way, of course, to guess how rockets might have developed, or failed to, were it not for the fact that, during the 1940s, the world's most technically sophisticated nation was under the absolute control of a crazy dictator who decreed that vast physical and intellectual resources should be hurled into the project of creating rockets of hitherto unimagined size.

These rockets, which were known as V-2s, were worse than useless from a military standpoint, in the sense that the same resources would have produced a much greater effect had they been devoted instead to the production of U-boats or Messerschmitts. Accordingly, the victorious nations showed only modest interest in their development immediately following the war. It is reasonable to suppose that little more would have been done with them, had it not been for another event, happening at the same time, even more bizarre and incredible than the seizure of absolute control over a modern nation-state by a genocidal madman. I refer, of course, to the sudden and completely unexpected development of nuclear weapons, undertaken over the course of a very few years by a top-secret crash program atop a mesa in New Mexico.

Stephenson thinks Hitler was a "bizarre and incredible" aberration, something far outside the norm. Sadly, most nation-states historically have been under the absolute control of crazy monarchs, dictators, or priest/kings with war on their minds. The United States of America is in fact the first one I can think of where that wasn't the case. Even today a majority of nations outside Europe have dictators running them. Military action has been driving technology since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Stephenson carries on in like vein for three pages, bemoaning the present situation in which unspecified new space launch tech can't get a leg-up because the darn capitalists won't insure it. If only vast sums of money were available to pursue other launch ideas, maybe stupid rockets would become yesterday's news.

He's probably thinking about space elevators or Verne guns. Space elevators will remain science fiction until somebody figures a way to make either carbon nanotubes or iron whisker crystals that are measured in feet instead of the current millimeters. Another crazy dictator, Saddam Hussein, very nearly built a Verne gun in Iraq. He was going to use it to shell Tel Aviv, but presumably it or its big brother could have been used to chuck small payloads into orbit. Really tough small payloads. It still could, if anybody could figure out a way to make money out of pop-can sized machines in low orbit. Going to be pretty hard to launch the Hubble Telescope out of a Verne gun.

Orion is of course a non-starter until it becomes acceptable to set off atomic bombs in the atmosphere again. Orion is a gigantic metal plate launched by setting off a nuke under it. The payload is protected by shock absorbers. For acceleration you just keep setting off nukes under the plate. Good way to get a really BIG load into orbit, like an aircraft carrier, a little tough on the environment. Always a favorite in SF, because what's not to like about a spacecraft as big as an aircraft carrier that runs by atomic bombs?

Laser launch systems, again a non-starter because its really frickin' hard to build a laser that can provide as much thrust energy as a plain-vanilla rocket. Its not efficient in atmosphere, and outside the atmosphere you still have to provide propellant, which equals weight, which is the one thing a laser launch system is supposed to eliminate. And if the laser wiggles just a wee little bit, ZAP!!! your spacecraft just got a big hole burnt in its butt.

He also ignores Rutan and Branson's space tourist bid, Virgin Galactic. If they make any money at all, those guys will be upgrading their launch machinery to low-orbit status before the end of this decade. Private launch facilities using recoverable space craft are where its going to pop, you ask me. Pretty soon NASA and the Euro space guys are going to be begging rides on Rutan's spacecraft.

Lock-in it seems is in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Does Tony Clement not have a phone or what?

Oh look, the Conservative Party just woke up and fired a gray cell.  Amazing, they finally noticed they'd been shot in the ass by the CRTC.
The Harper government is stepping into a contentious debate over just how much Canadians should pay for Internet service, as Industry Minister Tony Clement says he will review a federal regulator's decision that will raise prices [MASSIVELY] for consumers and businesses.
For the Liberal Party, regulating the Internet downward this way is advantageous, because they 100% own the mainstream media in this country.  There is not a Canadian newspaper, radio or TV station in existence that doesn't carry water for the Liberals.
The Conservatives get their word out 100% by INTERNET.  They live or die by blogs, YouTube, social network.  For them the CRTC decision is a two-by-four to the head.  Where the hell was Tony Clement last week before the decision was given?  He couldn't call up the CRTC and have a quiet word?  Even the frickin' Liberal guy is saying its a bad idea!

Liberal industry critic Marc Garneau, who said he will pressure Mr. Clement to throw the decision back to the regulator, said he doesn't buy the large providers' arguments about Internet network traffic and congestion.

"There's more and more use," Mr. Garneau said. "But to some extent, it's also self-serving as well. And in this case, the ruling of the CRTC has gone too much in favour of the arguments presented by the big players."

Yeah, no duh!

This country just kills me sometimes, I swear.  WTF are these people doing every day?

The Phantom

From our bulging, tearing open "California is F-ed" file...

You can't make stuff like this up.

Citing the pro-democracy unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Gov. Jerry Brown called it "unconscionable" that GOP legislators are vowing to block his attempt to ask voters to extend tax hikes to balance the budget.  

"When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can't say now is the time to block a vote of the people," Brown said in his first State of the State address in nearly 30 years.

He said the budget has tough choices but that the people "have a right to vote" on the package.

Actually what he's asking for are tax hikes to pay for California state employee retirement benefits.  They are the single largest cost that is un-balancing his budget.

And they thought Schwarzenegger was bad. Bwaha!

The Phantom

Mayor Bloomberg, no lie too heinous to tell.

Yes friends, in the world of New York City politics there is no rock too scummy to turn over, no shite-pile too rank to dig into for a cheap stunt, no lie so heinous it shouldn't be told, no wounded woman you can't step on to get a leg up..

Weeks after the shooting in Tucson, sellers at an Arizona gun show allowed undercover investigators hired by New York City to buy semiautomatic pistols even after they said they probably couldn't pass a background check, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

"After Tucson, you would think that people, particularly at a gun show in Arizona, would have been much more careful in enforcing the law," he said. "That unfortunately in some cases wasn't the case."

Bloomberg has authorized similar sting operations around the country as part of a push for tougher federal laws to help keep guns off the streets of New York.

 The lie here is that you can buy a gun at a gun show in Arizona without going through the background check.  Nuh uh.  Not happening.  Those "investigators" got checked, they filled out the paperwork, the works.

Just thought you should know.

The Phantom