Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Further Adventures From The Technological Fringe, or, How I Became A Country Gentleman

Behold the latest addition to the fleet.

It is a mid nineties (I think) Snapper self propelled electric start mower that came out of a garage where it had unaccountably taken early retirement. It was festooned with cobwebs, covered in dried up baked on schmutz, and it cost me a cool twenty bucks. For me it was a high stakes gamble.

After a short ride to the casa de Dougloid, in short order it had had what passed for engine oil drained. There is a school of thought that this stuff had escaped from the La Brea Tar Pits but nevermind. After a refill with the tag ends of several quarts of miscellaneous engine oils, it was time for the official test run.

I dumped a quart of Mr. Phillips' finest in the tank, selected the choke, reached out not really expecting anything, but it sprang to life on the very first pull.

After a half hour run and some inspection I shut it down, disassembled the rear wheel drive, and headed over to Bruce's for fifteen bucks worth of parts-a rubber tire and a ball bearing. On the return trip I picked up a quart of O'Reilly's best quality 10W30 engine oil and gave it another drain and change and treated it to a comprehensive scrub down and reassembly of the power train.

Since then we have mowed the back lawn twice, I sold the other mower to the neighbor for $25, and it has proved a tractable and efficient piece of machinery that is worth several hundred bucks, or so I'm told. Nowadays, mowing the lawn is about equivalent to going out for a nice walk with some good company, rather than a contest of wills. The electric start feature remains to be reassembled, but we will see if the battery can hold a charge long enough to do its work.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Birthers Punked

It seems that an article appeared on WorldNet, a birther website, seeming to have uncovered a Kenyan birth certificate demonstrating that President Obama was actually born in Kenya.

Aside from the problem of how do you fake local newspapers from 1961 in Hawaii that have sat in library archives since then, it turns out that the entire project was a prank that has made the birthers look foolish and credible which has the birthers busily parsing and examining effort to validate their copies of the Hitler Diaries and the Salamander Letter.

The whole thing is starting to appear laughable-which means we need to keep it going.

The only question I have is what sanctions will be applied to Attorney Orly Taitz when she files this fraudulent document in court as she's threatening to do.

When someone like Ann Coulter says you're a crank, you've got serious issues.

Memo to Mitch Stewart at BarackObama.com

I received the following email yesterday,

"Robert --

Members of Congress have been home for just a few days, and they're already facing increased pressure from insurance companies, special interests, and partisan attack organizations that are spending millions to block health insurance reform.

These groups are using scare tactics and spreading smears about the President's plan for reform, trying to incite constituents into lashing out at their representatives and disrupting their events.

The goal of these disruptions is for a few people to get a lot of media attention and hijack the entire public discourse. If they succeed, all Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- will continue to struggle under the broken status quo.

It's up to us to show Congress that those loudly opposing reform are a tiny minority being stirred up by special interests, and that a huge majority strongly supports enacting real health insurance reform in 2009.

Your representative, Leonard Boswell, has been fighting hard for real health insurance reform. Can you call the local office in Des Moines? Let the person who answers know that you're a constituent. Then tell them: "Thanks for working to enact real health insurance reform this year. Voters like me support your efforts."

According to our records, you live in Iowa's 3rd congressional district. Please call:

Rep. Leonard Boswell at 515-282-1909.

Once you've made your call, click here to report it.

(Not your representative? Click here to look yours up.)

Calling should only take a few minutes, but it's a huge help. These local offices serve as the main connection between a member of Congress and voters in the district. And with representatives home on recess, the staff there are in daily contact with your member, keeping them updated on how many calls they receive that are for or against reform.

Once you've called, please tell us. Knowing how many calls are coming in from all around the country will help us better plan our campaign -- and help us show that the American people overwhelmingly want health insurance reform this year. Let us know you called:




Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America"

After ruminating on the subject for a day or so, here's what I've got to say on the general subject here and over at FB.

I received a communicade from Obama HQ saying that I should call my Congressman and tell him I want health care reform. My Congressman's Lenny Boswell, and I have no worries about where he stands.

What's needed, Mitch from Obama Central, is not for people to call Democrats who are already on board, but people who will speak out and refute the specious, silly cant and tribal superstition of the Limbaugh-Palin wing of the Republican Party and its fellow travelers at every opportunity.

What does that mean? In practice, speaking out on the internet and blogging at every opportunity. The handlers of these people are waging a savvy media war with their scorched earth positions on every conceivable area of social reform-perhaps they fear the Evil Negro hisself will sneak into their homes and screw their daughters with an impossibly huge manhood all the while looting the refrigerator only to slink off to the slave quarters leaving armies of clones...

We've simply got to argue, speak out forcefully and agitate at every opportunity. We've got facts and logic on our side.

Every time we have a discussion in print with one of these people they look inarticulate, superstitious, paranoid, vengeful, racist and foolish, because that's the very nature of what they believe. They don't have the facts at hand.

I'm still trying to get ONE of Senator Grassley's Facebook nazis to tell me they've read a single god-damned Sotomayor decision and none of them have. They're not into facts, they're into themselves and the bullshit inside their empty heads.

The puppet masters who have had such success lining up armies of dupes to run interference for them have done well thus far muddying the water hole by shouting us down in public, and I will be surprised whether health care reform with a public option survives unless we reach back to our radical roots of the sixties and shout back and shout them down for a change.


Interestingly enough, when you get into a verbal slugfest with one of these people and you start challenging their assumptions the first thing that happens is they say "Wull, you're intelligent and overeducated and far smarter than I am, we're just good christians who hate babykillers and homos so yer just picking the fly shit out of pepper here, by the way where in hell is Obamma's Certificate of Live Birth?"

Then when you ask them "Why didn't you make the effort to learn how to think your way out of a brown paper bag? You can't blame me, for making you look like a horse's ass-it was easy."

Then they clam up and find some fellow traveler to commiserate with.