Tarry for the Nonce

January 30, 2009

A Novel Idea

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 8:10 pm

Government over-regulation is closing gas stations in California.

Dozens of gas stations around California are choosing to shut down rather than comply with a state mandate that would require owners to purchase new equipment to reduce vapor emissions at the pump.

The requirement, known as Phase II in the state’s Enhanced Vapor Recovery Program, is set to go into effect in April. It requires gas station owners to individually purchase tens of thousands of dollars of equipment designed to prevent harmful vapors from escaping into the air when gasoline is pumped.

But smaller retailers say that the requirement puts an unfair burden on businesses that don’t sell enough gasoline to offset the extra cost – and that don’t contribute much to the problem in the first place.

Because when small businesses can’t afford to stay in business, they cut costs or close. Outlandish.

As a point of comfort, the Pasadena Star News notes that “Many of those shutting down their pumps are in fact city facilities and businesses with their own dispensers, such as fire stations and construction companies.” I know I always feel warm fuzzies when I learn that fire trucks won’t have a ready source of fuel.

January 29, 2009

With Record-Low Temperatures Worldwide

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 9:29 pm

Honestly, I don’t pay that much attention to global warming mania (or soft science or whatever you want to call it), but John Coleman, San Diego weatherman, discusses the origin of global warming, which he calls the greatest scam in the history of public policy.

Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but he may have had a hand in the global warming “crisis.”

Revolution . . . Or Something

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 8:07 pm

I’ve had an increasing number of discussions with friends and acquaintances and discovered – with a fair amount of dismay, I admit – to how many of them identify themselves as Socialists. I spoke to one friend last night who advocates a world government. (I don’t think he realizes that he himself is in the top 10% of the world’s population in terms of wealth.) His grand scheme is to tax everything above $1,000,000 at 90% and then redistribute it to the poor, but I can’t quite follow the logic where small business owners are concerned. If an individual is limited to $1,000,000, what possible motivation do they have to enterprise and entrepreneur (and create jobs in the process)? Perhaps Socialists simply find the concept of small business initiative to be fundamentally flawed.

In any case, my confusion was only reinforced today by the French today. They left their jobs to take to the streets to protest their lack of job security.

Specific demands included better pay and conditions for public transport workers and the abandonment of plans to reform hospitals, cut 13,500 jobs in education this year and change the status of the state-owned post office.

Apparently, they would prefer to see their country bankrupt. Amusingly, they blame the United States:

“This crisis comes from the United States, it’s the financial bubble that is bursting. It’s not for the workers to pay for that,” he said as crowds gathered at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, birthplace of the French Revolution.

So – if I understand this correctly – our (theoretically) capitalist nation is responsible for the financial crisis in (socialist) France. Without dismissing the obvious impact that the United States economy downturn has on the world, why is it our fault that France has spent itself into a recession? We’ve got our own problems to worry about. And how do the French rationalize less production as a means of helping their own economy?

I Think of Annette Funicello

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 7:02 pm

Stem cells have been used to their best advantage . . . and in the proper way.

In clinical trials, a team of scientists led by Richard Burt of Northwestern University in Chicago essentially rebuilt the immune system of 21 adults — 11 women and 10 men — who had failed to respond to standard drug treatments.

First they removed defective white blood cells that, rather than protecting the body, attacks the fatty sheath, called myelin, that protects the nervous system.

The immune systems were then replenished with so-called haemopoeitic stem cells — extracted from the patient’s bone marrow — capable of giving rise to any form of mature blood cell.

The technique is not new. But this was the first time it had been applied to young and relatively health individuals in the early, so-called “relapsing-remitting” phase of the disease. Participants had had MS for roughly five years.

After an average follow-up period of three years, 17 of the 21 patients improved by at least one point on a standard disability scale, and none had a final score lower than before the stem cell transplant.

The procedure “not only seems to prevent neurological progression, but also appears to reverse neurological disability,” concluded the study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Cognitive functions and quality of life were improved, and the treatment had a low level of toxicity compared to other drug therapies.

I’m glad to hear some good news for a change.

January 26, 2009

Be Fruitful and Multiply

Filed under: Abortion, Politics — lmwalker @ 6:35 pm

The Japanese birthrate has plunged to a level where companies are scheduling procreative activities for their employees.

At 1.34, the birthrate is well below the 2.0 needed to maintain Japan’s population, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

I think ours was at 1.41 last year.

Liz Morris noted that she “was marching to protect her future Social Security” at the March for Life last week.

It’s funny because it’s true, but this basic economic concept of replacement population is lost on Nancy Pelosi, who fails to understand that all this proposed debt for future generations will never be repaid if those generations fail to be. But then again, Ms. Pelosi is an undeniably uninformed – one might almost say “obtuse” – woman.

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