Sunday, August 31

Schaden Freude

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Saturday ordered an evacuation of the city starting early on Sunday to prepare for what he called "the mother of all storms."

"I must tell you, this is the mother of all storms," Nagin said. "You need to be concerned and you need to get your butts moving and out of New Orleans right now."
I generally take pity, but when I read about Ray Nagin while thinking of the prospect of an Obama presidency, I can't help but wonder how much better off this country would be dropping the pretension and allowing the leftist ninnies to make like a Burger King and have it their way. The sooner this happens the better the libertarians and constitutionalists will appear to anyone left with a modicum of sense, and then maybe we can get started with the Second War of Southron Independence.

Saturday, August 30

Enough weeping to go around

Oprah Winfrey is leaving Denver with the candidate she wanted, but reportedly without her eyelashes.

The talk-show host said she was moved to tears by Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. And those must've been some serious tears.

"I cried my eyelashes off," she said in the bowels of Invesco Field, moments after Obama accepted the nomination for president before an estimated 84,000 people.
If this guy gets elected there will be more than enough weeping to go around when people realize what's happened. This woman is sick, and another anecdote in a long line of what this season of politics means to women. A chance to hand over some personal liberties for the false security of putting someone else in control. It's the wrong reason to marry and the wrong reason to vote, but some just never learn.

Friday, August 29

Wisin' up

We just got a call from Devline Rossell, a charter captain based out of Venice, Louisiana. He was shopping in New Orleans to get some supplies before the arrival of Gustav (currently listed as a tropical storm that has left at least 22 dead in the Caribbean) and reported that the item most in demand was not food, clothing or shelter.

“I just left a sporting goods store and you would think that the number-one selling item would be plywood or potable water or gasoline right now,” he said. “Apparently it is AR-15s and .223 ammo. I watched at least 20 people buy AR-15s and cases of .223.”

Can’t say I’m surprised. After the nightmare that was Katrina I think it would be unwise for anyone to assume the state, local or federal government could guarantee his or her personal safety during a natural disaster. Of course, I think it is foolish to assume that under any circumstance.

The AR buying spree demonstrates that people don’t think of it as an “assault weapon” but rather an arm that is ideally suited for self-defense, which it is. I also suspect that for some of the folks this is their first firearm. Goes to show that not only is there no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole but that there is no such thing as a gun-control advocate in one either.
It might take a disaster or two, but eventually common sense comes into play and people, particularly those in South Louisiana who've been well acquainted with a disaster of the catastrophic sort, will take action. Sorry to say people assume government guarantees safety in calm times too. Indeed, as one commenter stated at this blog, "If guns are so bad, why do cops use them?" The right to defend oneself is a fundamental freedom.

Authorities issued the warning Friday as new forecasts made it increasingly clear that New Orleans will get some kind of hit — direct or indirect — as early as Monday.

And those among New Orleans' 310,000 residents who ignore orders to leave accept "all responsibility for themselves and their loved ones," said the city's emergency preparedness director, Jerry Sneed.
To which I respond, fine then, back away, don't repeat the unlawful police raids from Katrina and leave them and their guns alone.

Political Patois: Pleonexia



noun: Excessive or insatiable covetousness.

From Greek pleonektein (to be greedy), from pleion (more) + ekhein (have).

POLITICAL USAGE: The Magic Negro's pleonexia for the White House might only be exceeded by the Lizard Queen's.

Thursday, August 28

Yes, We Can

If Barack Obama has inspired anything among Americans it's dreaming of the possible possibilities and the change that can come about when believers believe.

Welcome to America

They'll fix the "mistake"

Bob Barr is slated to be the only presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas after Republicans and Democrats missed the Aug. 26 deadline to file in the state.

"Unless the state of Texas violates its own election laws, Congressman Barr will be the only presidential candidate on the ballot," says Russell Verney, campaign manager for the Barr Campaign and the former campaign manager for Ross Perot. "Texas law makes no exceptions for missing deadlines."

The Texas Secretary of State Web site shows only Bob Barr as the official candidate for president in Texas.
Democrat and Republican party bosses will get the party on the ballot in spite of rules. In this circumstance, they'll work together to do it, one without the other just wouldn't be fair. Which just goes to show how the one party system in the country is supposed to work.

Wednesday, August 27


Illinois passed when its turn in the order came up so it could yield to New York. The hall erupted in cheers as Clinton approached the microphone.

“With eyes firmly fixed on our future and in the spirit of unity ... let’s declare together in one voice, right here, right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president,” Clinton said, setting off a loud celebration as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the convention’s chairwoman, made Obama’s nomination official.
Eyes firmly fixed on our future, eh? She means toward 2012, when McCain reaches the end of his first term and Obamamania will have been an embarrassing part of that history making Democrats keep talking up. They're squandering a prime opportunity, but maybe he's supposed to be the sacrificial lamb this time around instead of McCain. In any event, She'll be the one telling the Democrat party elite, I told you so.

Tuesday, August 26

A question of when

The French officials said the plane lost 26,200 feet of altitude in five minutes before the landing, which the pilot requested.

"I think it's fair to say there was muffled consternation in the first few seconds," passenger Pen Hadow told Sky News. "People were clearly suffering with the shock of it, but on the whole ... people had a stiff upper lip about it and they were resigned to their fate. They were properly terrified.

"They thought they were going to meet their maker. And that's not an exaggeration," Hadow added.
The saying goes that there are no atheists in foxholes; so long as there are exams there will be prayer in schools. Curious how people seem to give thought to a Creator, a Maker, when the future is fleeting. A pall covers His countenance of glory.

Foolish to believe that circumstances are always within control. The propinquity of death is never so far removed. Comfort and security belie the truth that no one knows the day or hour. The fate will be, but realized by some too late for motives sincere. To consider the end from the beginning is the life well lived. It is the borrowed time of life to live.

Thursday, August 21

Of relevance

The nation's largest greeting card company is rolling out same-sex wedding cards -- featuring two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with best wishes inside. "Two hearts. One promise," one says.

Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage. A handful of other states have recognized same-sex civil unions.

"It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can," Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell said.
Relevance is a word the American church seems to like to use too. I guess it puts "Jesus is my Home Boy" T-shirts, Jesus dolls and other Christian merchandising in perspective. The motive behind all of it is no high and lofty virtue. It's money.

Thursday, August 14

Lesser evils

There weren't any butchers or bakers or candlestick makers bathing at the Burger King in Xenia, Ohio.

Just a 25-year-old aspiring musician who thought fans would get a kick out of watching him take a bath in the restaurant's kitchen sink.

The fast-food chain fired everyone who appeared in the video.

"We have sanitized the sink and have disposed of all other kitchen tools and utensils that were used during the incident," Burger King spokeswoman Denise Wilson says in a statement to WDTN-TV. "We have also taken appropriate corrective action on the employees that were involved in this video."

Tackett tells WHIO-TV they spent more than an hour cleaning the sink. "It's not as nasty as it looks like," he tells WHIO-TV. "I would eat at the Xenia Burger King," he adds.

Would you?
Why not eat at the Burger King? It's not like the burgers are bad. I've eaten Burger King burgers before and they're tasty. What does any of this have to do with the burgers? I don't understand it.

It's McDonald's or Burger King. No other hamburger has a chance to win in the market. McDonald's and Burger King run fine election advertising campaigns (The Burger King does look a little spooky sometimes). The food is tasty and they each provide menu nutrition facts to inform the health conscious electorate, uh customer. Some want to take the choice away, but in this country people can choose between McCain McDonald's or Obama Burger King. Taste is all that counts, right? It's a great country.

Saturday, August 9

People are stupid

People are stupid. I'll admit I've been and still am. If I'm not so dull as the average it's because I know representatives of government, like this cop, take advantage of the stupid for their own gain. It is better to say nothing than something.

Several months ago I got a rather large envelope in the mail from the American Community Survey. The ACS asks for such personal things as employment information of those in the household and even commuting distances, as if the IRS doesn't already know such things. After opening and scanning the material I ripped it up and threw it away. As I recall, a non-response on my part constituted a follow-up submission by them of another package of the same material within three weeks of the first. It arrived. I trashed it as well. Later I got a call from one of these people, a woman, to carry out their toothless threat.

Another month is coming, and another 250,000 forms are being mailed out in the U.S. Census Bureau's perpetual American Community Survey, which demands responses to personal questions about a family's lifestyle, housing accommodations, work schedules, physical and mental disabilities, income and the like.

That means roughly 250,000 times recipients will see the warning that participation is required by law, and there are penalties including fines for not answering each question. But, in fact, U.S. Census Bureau officials say they've never had anyone prosecuted for refusing to provide those intimate details to the government.
Ultimately, I answered the questions to satisfy. They may not have been thoroughly accurate answers, one man's dream is another man's reality after all, but since when are they interested in the truth anyway, as the cop in this video attests. If I had known of this piece in WND I would've called their bluff and waited for the next shoe to drop at my front door, which I've seen wouldn't have happened anyway.

It has taken me some time to recover from the delusion that agents and officers of government are honest and sincere. The system isn't made to work that way. Laws aren't made to punish the bad. Laws are made to make more criminals out of the stupid.

Friday, August 8

Being obtuse

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton asked the question herself, on the last night of the primaries in June: "What does Hillary want?"
Everyone knows what she wants, especially the Obama camp of staffers, unless they're just plain stupid. The media is just being obtuse, they know too.

It's the same thing she wanted before all this campaigning started. Allowing her name to be put in nomination is grandstanding to the superdelegates. She's pandering to her supporters giving them the impression she's allowing them a catharsis.

The convention will be interesting, and certainly more interesting than anything Bret Farve or the Olympics can bring.

Thursday, August 7

2005 Ford Focus alternator R&R: Part 3

Yes this is what the heat shield looked like after it was bent out of the way to allow me to remove the alternator. Not a pretty sight but there just didn't seem to be another way to do it. If anyone else has a better idea I'll listen. Being careful to bend it without weakening or tearing it too badly to bend it back into shape once the alternator was replaced was a primary concern.An overview of the engine compartment after the alternator was removed. What used to be a minor operation for cars years ago has become something of a nightmare. I was undaunted.A closer view of the empty cavity where the alternator fits. Removing it from above is really the only option as the left axle half would have to be removed to extract it below.While it was in this state I took the occasion to heat shield the A/C hoses by covering them in aluminum tape. Poor Ford design results in these hoses being exposed to excess heat from the exhaust manifold, even with the manifold heat sheild in place.A before and after picture of the alternator. Auto Electric in Marietta, GA did a thorough job.Once the repaired alternator was replaced, the test meter shows the results with the engine running. Charging system working in the green OK range again. Even with a few scratches and wounds, a money savings of around $400 is worth it.

Wednesday, August 6

2005 Ford Focus alternator R&R: Part 2

8) While the car is still up and after the splash shield is removed, the drive belt can be removed by placing relief pressure on the belt tensioner with a pry bar and slipping it off the A/C pulley.
9) Remove the bottom motor mount bolt. Also remove the lower alternator stud nut and and bolt, then lower the car. Place a jack under this motor mount using a piece of 1x6 wood block to cushion as the engine is gently lifted to tilt it forward creating just enough space to complete the alternator removal.10) Remove the upper alternator mounting stud nut, then remove the upper mounting stud itself. A 1/4" socket seems to work well for this.You'll see in this image the removed alternator breather cap. Also notice the B+ and wiring harness connections on the alternator.

2005 Ford Focus alternator R&R: Part 1

A red Ford Focus was perfectly fine in every way. Every way except that once upon a day, as autos are wont to do, something broke. Yes, cars break from time to time and this one certainly being no exception to the general rule, wouldn't start. So after having the infernal contraption toted back to the house, began the arduous task of determining what when wrong. Leaving it up to a mechanic to resolve is one of the more uncomfortable decisions to make from a practical standpoint. One of the most dreaded answers is to the question, "How much will it cost?" Also, there's the quandary of wondering if the mechanic is being straight up.

For the one who has the ability and talent, there is the ambivalence of knowing how to diagnose and fix the problem. Ambivalence because while there is that gifting of being able to fix it, there is also the curse of being able to fix it. The pleasure of working on a car is inversely proportional to the need to work on a car. Although the savings in cost makes for reward enough.

So this fix began. Like others, it required some discovery. Generally all cars follow the same working principles, it's just that different manufacturers have their own ways of accomplishing them. Ford is different, and oh how their Focus was no exception. After understanding the symptoms and some testing it came down to a bad alternator. Troubleshooting is half the battle, or so I thought. Calls to local Advance Auto, Autozone, O'Reilly's and NAPA stores yielded unexpected responses. Either it was unavailable or at a price much higher than I had been used to finding car alternators in the past. In any case, no one had one on hand. Thankfully, I found Auto Electric, a local Marietta, GA shop, who repaired my alternator for $94 which was a far cry from the $340 dealer replacement price. Add that to a $100 an hour labor cost and the savings were steep.

I found so little help on Ford forums and the like for doing a repair like this that I decided to use the blog as a public service for any automasochists like myself out there who enjoy skinning a knuckle or three on a Saturday to save a few bucks. So I begin with what should be an obvious tip:

1) Disconnect the battery to prevent injury or possible electrical damage. I generally disconnect the negative post. This should go without saying on any car repair, but especially on a repair electrical in nature as this one. Late model cars are full of computer modules and can easily be damaged by voltage coming from inconvenient sources.2) Remove the coolant reservoir. Also remove the power steering reservoir. The alternator will be removed from above. I cable tied the attachments back to hold them out of the way.3) Remove the harness mounts to move them out of the way. Cable ties were used to hold them in position.
4) Remove the two bolts at the top of the manifold heat shield. This was the most difficult part of the job. AllData's instructions are, "Remove the engine heat shield attaching bolts. Remove the engine heat shield." It sounds easy enough, but nothing could be further from it. The way the heat shield is formed around the manifold makes it impossible to just remove it after detaching the bolts. I removed the bolts to free it and just let it hang. Then I got the alternator loose to move out of the way so that I could mangle the heat shield enough to clear a space to remove the alternator.
5) Remove left motor mount bolts to allow the engine to rock forward. Yes, it's ridiculous to think this is necessary for an alternator removal but the engine compartment is so tight that the extra inch or so really makes a difference.6) Jack the car up and remove the drive belt splash shield. As you can tell from this picture a scraped, bleeding knuckle has me wearing a partially ripped up glove.

7) Remove the alternator breather (indicated in the second picture below by white arrow). The extra space created is essential.

Up the creek without a paddle

Believing the beliefs that believers believe so that we can all do what we can to be able to do the things that we can because, yes, we can do them.

He makes love to us all.