Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Study: Plastic bags better for environment

“Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all (reusable) bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 12% of the bags and a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags.”

Linked from

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Want to keep your Social Security

but opt out of Medicare?


“Per the judge’s ruling, senior citizens, over the age of 65, must now enroll in Medicare if they want their Social Security benefits.”

“’If it can be ruled that a so-called voluntary program can be forced upon a class of people, where does that leave other supposed entitlement programs?’

“Where? In government housing, riding high speed trains to our government jobs, is my guess.”

Judge Rosemary Collyer, DC District Court ruled:

"[r]equiring a mechanism for Plaintiffs and others in their situation to 'dis-enroll' would be contrary to congressional intent, which was to provide 'mandatory' benefits under Medicare Part A for those receiving Social Security Retirement benefits."

(I checked Americns for Limited Government -- source for the netright daily link. Said ALG is pilloried at several sites for its beliefs of property rights and individual freedom/responsibility.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A special place

For more than 30 years my wife’s Uncle Murray lived in a three-room cabin northeast of DeQueen, Ark. Murray built the cabin, from foundation to metal roof. The cabin had a living room/bedroom, kitchen/dining room and a small storage room. There was propane for the kitchen stove and a well in the front yard, with rope and pulley and bucket for drawing water. For heat, Murray had an old fashioned wood-burning stove.

One day when Murray was in his late 60s, two men drove up the oil-top driveway from the highway. One of the men said he noticed Murray’s driveway had some worn places and could use filling. The man said he and the other man had just finished working on somebody else’s driveway and had oil left from that work and could do Murray’s driveway for a certain price. Murray said that sounded like a good price. The two men went to work and Murray went back to his woodwork in the barn out back.

After a while, the two men told Murray they were finished, but it took more oil than they thought, so Murray owed them $200 more. Murray said that was not what he agreed to pay. The two men kind of moved in on him. Feeling threatened, Murray wrote a check for the amount the men demanded.

About an hour later, Murray got a call from a bank teller in town. The teller said the two men brought in the check and wanted cash. The teller said there was something just not right, so she told the two men the bank could not cash the check. She asked if Murray wanted to void the check. Murray had inspected the driveway and determined the two men had done nothing but pour motor oil in a couple of places. He told the teller to void the check.

A couple of years ago my mother-in-law went to the Ford place in Texarkana. She told a salesman she wanted to look at the Ford 500. My wife had bought a Mercury Montego and recommended it or the 500 to her mother. The salesman said to my mother-in-law, “Have you considered a Lincoln?” My mother-in-law said she had not, nor did she want a Lincoln. The salesman then began praising the Lincoln and all its advantages over a Ford 500. He most likely saw an elderly woman who could be talked into buying up. The more he talked, the more my mother-in-law said she didn’t want a Lincoln. The salesman was joined by his supervisor, and they double-teamed my mother-in-law. After a bit of that, she said, “Thank you,” and went to the Chevrolet place and bought an Impala. She wrote out a check for the full amount.

About five weeks ago, a man knocked on my mother-in-law’s door. He said he noticed the stone work at the front of her house was dirty, and he and his helper would be glad to clean it for a certain amount. My mother-in-law agreed. After the work was finished, the man said a couple of pieces of metal siding were loose, and he could glue them back. My mother-in-law agreed. When the man finished, he said the work took two tubes of special glue, and the tubes were $250 each. My mother-in-law gave the man a check for cleaning and gluing, $500 more than the cost of cleaning the rock.

Two days after that, my mother-in-law arrived home from her volunteer work and church and found the man and his helper on her roof. The man said he noticed her vents were loose, and he could tighten and caulk the vents. My mother-in-law agreed. That time, the man did not discover additional work needing the $250 glue.

The man gave my mother-in-law a receipt for both jobs. The next time I’m there, I think I’ll give the man a call, maybe a visit. My wife, when hearing of the repairs, told her mother to call the police if the man comes around again.

The Bible many times enjoins taking care of widows and orphans. There is a special place in Hell for those who bully and take advantage of old people.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Any questions?

“We know what is good for America and the world. It’s a future without fossil fuels. We can’t persuade the people’s representatives to support our agenda and turn it into law. Therefore, it is necessary for EPA to implement our agenda regardless of the defeat of cap-and-trade, the November 2011 elections, and the separation of powers. Our agenda is more important than any constitutional principle that might interfere with it.” – Reps. Waxman, Makey and Inslee in opposition to the Energy Tax Prevention Act.
linked from jammiewearingfool.

The missing revolution

“It makes no sense whatsoever to draw major evolutionary distinctions among humans based on skull shape unless we understand the underlying sources of cranial variation. There is no simple morphological dividing line among these fossil skulls.”

“If there ever were significant numbers of Homo sapiens individuals with cognitive limitations on their capacity for behavioral variability, natural selection by intraspecific competition and predation would have quickly and ruthlessly winnowed them out. In the unforgiving Pleistocene environments in which our species evolved, reproductive isolation was the penalty for stupidity, and lions and wolves were its cure. In other words: No villages, no village idiots.”

”We need to stop looking at artifacts as expressions of evolutionary states and start looking at them as byproducts of behavioral strategies.”

(Much of anthropological study has focused on making fossils fit a pattern, older to newer man. Once the presumed “high” and “low” were formulated, all other finds had to conveniently slide in somewhere.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


“What a piece of work is man,” not in the negative sense of Shakespeare through Hamlet, but in truth.

The mind of man truly is a piece of work. How was it that someone looked at a rock that had been chipped against another rock, maybe by rolling water or wind, and that someone decided he could bang two rocks together and make the same tool? Eventually, that man, and his counterpart in different areas of the world, looked for stones that were more easily chipped and which gave a sharper edge or point. Others decided that taking out part of a stone tool made a place for gripping by hand. Still others decided that fixing a sharp stone to a piece of wood produced a superior hunting tool than did a sharp stick or a better axe.

Of all those inventions, how was it that someone decided to make a spear thrower? How did an ancient human know that a curved stick placed against the butt end of a spear would give greater range and accuracy? To go from throwing a stick to using an aid in the throwing represents a process of thinking equal to discovery of math.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's be like England!

“Police roadblocks are being set up to catch drivers who are breaking the law – by smoking at the wheel of their company vehicle.

“Chris Kitchen, acting head of environmental services at Tendring District Council in Essex said: ‘Police together with council officers will be stopping business vehicles and public transport vehicles on the highway.

"’We have noticed that people are smoking in commercial vehicles where in fact it's banned and we will be looking for evidence that people have been smoking.’

“He added: ‘We will be looking for ashtrays and whether the vehicle smells of smoke.’

“Ian Wilkins, environmental officer at Tendring District Council, explained that the scheme was intended to raise awareness of the law.

“Anyone caught breaking the law faces a £50 fixed penalty fine or a possible court conviction, which carries a £200 fine.

“The culprits’ employers will also be informed and also be heavily fined.”

I stopped smoking on Aug. 15, 2010, from age 19, seven years of cigarettes and thirty-eight years of smoking a pipe. Anybody who wants to smoke and is of legal age to buy tobacco, go ahead on. It’s a right of decision and not against the law, beginning at a specific age set by individual states. Most cities and incorporated towns have laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, parks, municipal buildings and in many towns, all buildings within the city limits. Those laws exceed municipal authority, except in city buildings, vehicles and city-owned parks. Governments and anti-smoking groups, as well as most citizens, claim tobacco use is a health threat to all persons. The decision ought to be rather simple: If a business allows smoking, and you are opposed to smoking, don’t go there. The idea of police road blocks to check whether drivers and/or passengers have been smoking is rather startling.