2008/12/25

20% better MPG from an electro-magnet? Must be a joke, right?

In the "are you kidding me" department, we find this report of a simple device consisting of an electrically charged tube that can be attached to the fuel line of a car’s engine near the fuel injector. Using power from the vehicle’s battery, the device creates an electric field that thins the fuel, reducing its viscosity, so that smaller droplets are injected into the engine. That leads to more efficient and cleaner combustion.

And who says so? Has to be a quack, a jerk, some backyard mechanic? Errr. no, actually, it's Temple University.

http://www.temple.edu/newsroom/2008_2009/09/stories/taofueldevice.htm

"Six months of road testing in a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz automobile showed that the device increased highway fuel from 32 miles per gallon to 38 mpg, a 20 percent boost"

"Temple has applied for a patent on this technology, which has been licensed to California-based Save The World Air Inc., an environmentally conscientious enterprise focused on the design, development, and commercialization of revolutionary technologies targeted at reducing emissions from internal combustion engines."

I believe the patent application is for number 20080190771 It seems to be for a device that uses the electric power from the battery to create a magnetic field around the fuel.

So do those con artists who sell the perminant magnet thing you put on the fuel line actually have something going on? Mythbusters, and many others, proved that they don't. So what gives?

The patent application says: "It has been surprisingly found that if the applied magnetic field is a short pulse, the induced dipolar interaction does not have enough time to affect particles at macroscopic distances apart, but forces nearby ones into small clusters. The assembled clusters are thus of limited size, for example of micrometer size. While the particle volume fraction remains the same, the average size of the "new particles" is increased. This may lead to the reduction in apparent viscosity because the value of the crowding factor k, is reduced. "

So it's a pulse, not a continuous application, that makes the difference.

Pulsing a magnetic coil with a specific, adjustable, duty cycle and pulse width is taylor made for microcontrollers like the PIC or MSP430, and pretty easy to do.

2008/12/18

A REALLY Different Christmas Poem.

A friend sent the "Different Christmas Poem" email that has been circulating the internet. You can read it in the snopes link below if you are an idiot. This was my response to it.

Nice poem. It would mean more to me if the war we are currently fighting had any actual basis in protecting our country from a threat. However… LCDR Jeff Giles didn’t write it
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/glurge/different.asp and the soldiers in Iraq are NOT protecting us from any real threat. No WMD’s, no Iraqi’s involved in 9/11, Osama bin Laden is not now, and never was, in Iraq… Not to mention the fact that we don’t seem to be actively looking for him anymore.

And from a purely humanitarian standpoint, while Saddam did apparently kill a lot of people (~600,000), we have now killed quite a few ourselves.
www.iraqbodycount.org/ says it’s around 90,000 at last count. And we have to wonder if we will leave the area (assuming we ever actual leave…) in a more or less stable state. It may just be that when working with a people who are insanely violent due to religious differences, an insane leader is the best possible match.

In fact, when you look at the deaths per day and compare days under Saddam’s rule with deaths during our occupation, the difference is less obvious. Saddam killed about 100 people per day (70-125), since we took over, it’s been about 40 or so per day (16-72). Just for comparison, on the average day in the USA, 119 people die in automobile accidents.

And even if (I say IF) our troops were protecting us from terrorists, the total death toll in the USA from terrorist action is less than 5,000… over ALL time. Less than 3000 in 9/11. Yet 9/11 was used to remove freedoms, change laws, justify torture, and send millions of our boys and girls into harms way.

In the USA, every single year, MORE than 60,000 people die in automobile accidents. Who at Firestone or Ford went to jail for knowingly putting inferior tires on a car with too high a center of gravity? Where was the service man protecting me from them? Where is the light rail line (Trains are THE safest way to travel, although airlines are safer than cars) for me to use going to work?

The point I’m trying to make here is that humans, and especially Americans, use emotion, rather than logic and statistics, to make decisions and justify actions. This poem, although lovely, plays to that fatal flaw. My logic and numbers may strike most as cold, and will never be repeated ad nauseam over the internet the way this poem WILL be, but they have a truth, clarity, and beauty that would better serve the USA.

http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/911.htm
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/member/jmn-efp-786/MyLovelyCommute.htm
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/USAenforcesOPECprices.htm

2008/12/12

John Stewart says it all on gay marrage.

John Stewart makes some really good points about gay marrage in this... It's amazing how far people will go to safe the definition of a word. As far as I can tell, not re-defining marrage is the only defendable point left for the 8ers.

2008/12/10

Bail out the WORKERS, not the companies.




All I want to ask the people who are crying about the loss of jobs in Detroit is this ONE question: How many mortgate payments, full tuition college educations, free health care insurance policies, and meals could that same bailout money provide to those workers?
Let the crappy car companies FAIL. Do not reward failure. Reward the companies who make good cars by providing them with a better trained, happy work force.

2008/12/02

How much are your kids worth?

Thanks to my friend Bill for sending me this in an email. This is a “nice” little wakeup call for civilians who don’t understand the point of Military R&D funding. Yes, it would be better to not go to war at all, but that isn’t the reality of life is it? As longs as we DO go to war (no matter how stupid and wrong the reasons are) I want MY kids and YOUR kids to have the best possible weapons technology on our side. This video shows a man firing mortar’s at our troops. Watch what happens.





I never like to see anyone die, but when it’s a choice between us or them, I pick them. There is no way to know how many Americans his mortars killed, but it’s good to know it won’t be any more. Of all the weapons systems I've seen, this has to be one of my favorites. It's morally ideal in that it is totally harmless except to the guy who starts shooting at you. "...if it shoots, shoot back."

http://www.syrres.com/stc/products_lcmr.htm The technology that stopped him is called the LCMR: Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar-Enhancement and is made by Syracuse Research Corporation, a non-profit whose mission is to “keep America safe and strong by protecting its people, environment, and way of life.” The Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar (LCMR) detects and locates mortar firing positions automatically by detecting and tracking the mortar shell and then backtracking to the weapon position.

http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=249992 Hillary got them $5M to improve that system for use inside the USA. It is being updated to track not only mortar shells but also small arms fire. So the local police will know in an instant when a gun is fired, and in a few shots, know exactly where.


$5 million of the federal funding will go to the Syracuse Research Corporation for the development of Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar-Enhancement (LCMR). The
funding will create new opportunities to improve and enhance national security. The radar, developed for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and currently in theater, provides the capability to automatically locate mortar-firing positions by detecting and tracking the mortar shell, then backtracking to the weapon position. Accordingly, this technology will allow soldiers in combat to more effectively take cover from mortar fire, locate its origin, and respond. LCMR systems have already been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Funding in this legislation would upgrade these systems. SRC received $2.5 million of federal funding for the LCMR in FY 05.


Support our troops: First, BRING THEM HOME, but failing that, give them the best possible tools to keep them alive while they are in harms way.

2008/11/24

Silly 8rs, you need 2/3rds to revise.

Thanks to Blanca for sending me this news from the ACLU:

In an order issued Wednesday, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal challenges to Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would end marriage for same-sex couples in California. It passed narrowly on November 4th.

On November 5th, the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California. The City of San Francisco, joined by the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and Santa Clara County, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles.

The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title -- which was "Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples" -- the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority.

If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take away an existing right only for a particular group. Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights. According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of the state constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote but must first be approved by two-thirds of the legislature.

Ok, my "Yes on 8" neighbors, if you are going to change the law, learn how the law can and can not be legally changed. In the end, the will of the people will be done, but the people of today must follow the rules set down by our founders. If you really want to descriminate against a minority, do it legally.

Lets see, 2 divided by 3 is 0.666... OMG: It's the work of the devil!

2008/11/21

We. Do. Not. Need. To. Invade. Iran.

There is another "invade Iran" eamil going around. It says:

"While Iran's low-enriched uranium is not quite weapons-grade, the Institute for Science and International Security, after reviewing the IAEA report, estimated that the further enrichment necessary could be done "within a few months."

That would give Iran a nuke right around Inauguration Day. "

Although the email provides no references, it seem to be quoting this report:
http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/ISIS_analysis_Nov-IAEA-Report.pdf

My response:

No references. Hear-say. Fear mongering. I smell FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. The standard means of manipulating the public into an action that benefits the authors).

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along, whether it is democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country" -- Hermann Goering, Hitlers Reich-Marshal at Nuremburg after WWII. (This is true: check snopes: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.htm )

As it happens, every country with about a square mile of dirt has “enough fissionable material to develop a nuclear weapon”. That isn’t the question. The question is: do they have the technology to extract and purify the fissionable material from that dirt to the point that it would actually fission… err… go boom. And then, do they have a way of delivering that bomb to a target. What they have now is LEU or Low Enrichment Uranium. It’s good for nuke power plants, useless for A-Bombs. Moving it to weapons grade material is quite the trick.

These links are as close as I could find to the stuff they say in the email,

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/ISIS_analysis_Nov-IAEA-Report.pdf seems to be what this email is referencing at the end. And what they say IS scary. But who are “they”? I couldn’t find anything about their funding on their actual site, but I did find this:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Institute_for_Science_and_International_Security and for the most part, that funding looks pretty good. A lot of it does, however, have ties to the dreaded "Military Industrial Complex"... The people who scare us into paying them to build better weapons, and then into sacrificing our kids into using those weapons so they can get paid to build more.

http://www.isisnucleariran.org/nuclear-faq/ is a very informative document from the same I.S.I.S. outfit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran is an even better document that tells both sides of the history. Very much worth the read.

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/index.shtml is the International Atomic Energy Agency but I couldn’t find any mention of 630 Kilograms of ANYTHING on their site:
http://www.iaea.org/googleResult.html?cx=004828748078731094376%3Am_jpm98tdns&cof=FORID%3A11&q=IRAN+%22630+kg%22+OR+%22630+kilograms%22+&sitesearch=IAEA.org#241

I did, eventually find a document at I.S.I.S. that says it is from the IAEA and quotes the 630 KG figure:
http://www.isisnucleariran.org/assets/pdf/Iran_Report_11-19-08.pdf Note that just after that figure it says “All nuclear material at FEP, as well as all installed cascades, remain under Agency containment and surveillance.” So the IAEA is right there watching and holding on to that material. If Iran starts trying to turn it into weapons grade material, the IAEA will know.

And if we wanted to, our Tomahawks could easily hit the processing facility and remove that threat. In any case, and this is the important part, there is NO need for us to invade Iran as we did with Iraq. WE, and not they, have the technology for war at a distance. There is NO NEED for our boys to risk life and limb in Iran… other than to justify the increased funding of the Military industrial complex.

We own the air. We own space. We own the planet. There is NO NEED for us to set foot on every part of it. We have the aircraft carriers, the ICBM’s, the F117’s, the Patriots, and so on and so on. We already paid for all that. Asking us to pay with our children is monstrous.

In the end, the key point is that there is NOTHING wrong with Iran having nuke power and having LEU to run it. The fact that they now have enough LEU to make the weapons grade material for one bomb does not mean that they will. They don’t even have the equipment to do it, as far as I can tell. If they did pull all their LEU and put it into a new facility for making weapons grade material, we would know in advance and could easily stop it. Even if we didn’t stop it and they did make a bomb, there is no evidence that they would use it. Iran has never committed any terrorist act against US or our allies. The idea that they would hand over a bomb to a terrorist or allow a terrorist to steal it is… unlikely. If terrorists wanted a bomb, there are lots of other places to steal one; security in Russia isn’t exactly stellar right now. On one seems to be freaked out that Pakistan, another militant Islamic country, already has the A-Bomb. If we are going to invade Iran, why didn’t we invade Pakistan? They have more ties to terrorists than Iran ever has. And again, even if all the very worst is true. We can just blow up their enrichment facility. It isn’t like you can hide that sort of a plant…


We. Do. Not. Need. To. Invade. Iran.

2008/11/20

Half Baked Idea: Cleaning the Homeless

I'm proud to say that my Half Baked Idea:
http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Cleaning_20the_20homeless for Cleaning the Homeless: "Offer secure, private, single person showers at low or no cost." has made it to the second page on the list of all time best ideas at the Half Bakery. It's one of the few somewhat political ideas that have been allowed to stay on the site (the owner doesn't allow politics). Other best ideas on the site from other authors include "Preformed Cream Cheese Rings for Bagels " and a "Tumbleweed Dispenser: For when idiots talk" so you can see that it's one of the few "best" ideas that isn't sort of tongue in cheek. There are serious ideas on the best list, such as "A Google 'minus' button for each listed result. " so humor isn't a requirement, but funny ideas usually do better in the voting results.

A word of warning about the Half Bakery: You can loose hours of your life, reading and laughing and thinking about the great ideas posted here.

2008/11/18

My buddy is afraid he might accidentally marry a guy.

There are apparently a large number of people in California, who are so unsure of themselves that they believe they need to government to keep them from accidentally marrying people they don’t want to marry. I have a neighbor, a man, (not the brightest bulb, but a nice guy) who is a Christian and feels that it would be wrong to marry another guy. So he voted YES on this prop 8 amendment to the state constitution that would prevent him from accidentally marrying another man. It’s amazing to me how people want the government to protect them from themselves…

He is a really nice guy and never tried to convert me to his religion, so I know that he isn't worried about OTHER people who might feel it is OK for a man to marry a man or a women to marry a women; he wouldn't be so pushy as to try to force his morals on another when it does him NO damage at all if a gay marriage happens.

His kids are all grown and out of school, so what they teach in school can’t be bothering him… and even if it was, the California Educational Code section 51240 specifically states that a student will be excused from teachings in conflict with the religious or moral code the parents. Any public school that failed to follow that directive is breaking the law.

And although he isn't all that smart, he does understand the separation of church and state guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution and agrees that having the government enforce religious ideals could be a real problem. After all we are one nation under whose God? I mean the Christians wouldn't want the government telling people they have to confess their sins on a regular basis. And the Catholics wouldn't want the government selecting only married men to lead their services. No, I’m sure he didn't vote for it as a way to make the government get into the business of religion.

My best guess is that he is worried about transgendered or hermaphroditic people. He might meet someone who he thinks is a women and then have it turn out that this is actually a man or someone who has both male and female organs. Like Thomas Beatie, the pregnant man. If my friend had a sister, and she happened to fall in love with Thomas, wouldn't it be horrible if the state didn't stop them from getting married, since he happens to have a womb and has given birth… twice… I mean, how would she know? He looks like a man, hairy chest and all. Of course, a background check would reveal that he used to be a she and was surgically altered to become man looking… so does that mean my male friend COULD marry him? Err… her… Or will the church/state decide that no one can marry Thomas since s/he brought all this on his/her self?

But then what about Lynn Edward Harris who was born with both sets of sexual organs. No surgery, no drugs, but today appears to be a man, after appearing to be a really cute girl (beauty pageant contestant at 18) through high school. If my friend had married her would the church/state annul the marriage when she turned into a he?

Anyway, the state law is now being tied in knots. Legal experts are expecting millions of dollars and years of lawsuits. The attorney general of the state of California has said that this proposition has pushed the state into a constitutional crisis with one part of the state constitution saying you can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, and another part saying that only those of heterosexual orientation are allowed to marry.

I don’t think the government is going to do a very good job of protecting my buddy from accidentally falling in love and marrying a guy…

2008/11/15

M.A.S.H.

I've cried, and laughed, and cried for 2 hours tonight. There was a show on about M.A.S.H. (the TV series about a medical unit in the Korean war, but really just about all war) that reminded me of so many things.

- The most important is that our boys are still going through that hell. They are ALL coming back wounded, if they come back at all. Either dead, wounded in body, wounded in their minds, or wounded in spirit. Another generation with scars instead of innocence.

- I grew up watching that show, 30 years ago. I watched them talking about the insanity. How everyone was wounded. How Hawkey encouraged the strangling of a child who wouldn't stop crying when the enemy was near and he was afraid they would be heard and found. How, when it was cold, the surgeons would cut open the soldiers at the start of the operation and steam would escape and they would warm their hands over it. How so many innocents were lost. And I still joined the Navy and helped to kill people in the Gulf. I hope you and your children and young friends are smarter, better able to learn.

- There are so many examples, in the show, in real life, in war, and in peace where you don't understand what you are doing until it is done. So many times when we forget to thing about the consequences of our actions. I don't mean the times when we couldn't possibly know. I'm talking about the times when we figure out that if we had just pulled our head out of our own ego for a few seconds and thought about what the things we were doing was going to screw up the rest of the world. And then it's done. And it can't be taken back. And it can't be made right. That's where we are right now. They 9/11 terrorists were Saudi, not Iraqi. No WMDs in Iraq. No ties to terror. They used our fear to get us to put our boys and girls in harms way.

I would trade all that stupidity for the answer to this one: How do we avoid those times when we just aren't sure and it eats at us. When we are thinking, learning, knowing, and we still aren't sure. What if? If only I had, then maybe?

I can accept that a soldiers lot is, well, not very good. I can accept that I'm apparently incapable of learning from the examples of others (and therefor doomed to repeat their mistakes) and I can accept that I get so wrapped up in myself that I forget what I'm doing to others.

What I can't accept is that there isn't anything else I could have done. All the people I've talked to, the letters to my congress people, the politicians I've voted for, the web pages I've written, the pictures I've collected... the signs I put on my car... the T-Shirt I designed.

Could I have done something else to stop this war?

Please?

2008/11/14

A friend of mine sent me one of those emails that circulate every veterans day where they show pictures of our boys and talk about how good we have it and how they are suffering to ensure our freedom.

I was totally with it until this one:

"You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting."


And that is a total load of crap.

1. While war does solve problems (in the least competent, most violent, way) I strongly question what the hell this war was supposed to solve. It SURE as hell wasn’t about preventing the torture and killing of innocents. All we did was trade our own boys lives for the lives of forigners. No WMD’s, No Nukes, No terrorist support. We were, at best, missinformed, and at worse, LIED to. And if we are all about preventing torture and killing of innocents, why did we do nothing in Darfur? Sudan? Congo?

2. Anyone who tells me I should criticize my government needs to pull their head out of there ass. And using our boys to justify that should be a crime. The American Sheeple have been manipulated into giving over more power to the government than ever before by shear terror mongering on the part of the American Wolverment. Go check this out:
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/war-machine.htm Really worth hearing. The USA is using the same tactics the Nazis (and every other government) used on it’s people. Hearing it from Hitlers Reich-Marshal has an impact, though.

3. Yeah, those boys need an excuse to keep going everyday. I used that excuse in the first Gulf War:
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/incompetence.htm It was a lie. I lie I told to myself. There should have been better solutions. We are part of the problem.

4. If you just really get off on war pictures, see this:
http://techref.massmind.org/images/member/jmn-efp-786/war/index.htm

Damn it… Send this to the people you sent those pictures too…

And how about this last thought?

SUPPORT OUR TROUPS!
BRING… THEM… HOME!

2008/11/03

Google being evil and hateful ...and poor business people! I SAY NO ON 8/HATE

My web sites use adsense ads from Google to generate a few extra dollars, but yesterday and today I noticed a serious drop in income. After checking it out, I found that they were running political ads (which pay next to nothing and no one clicks because they are sick of the mud slinging) all over the place.

Thats one issue... But the other is that I am very strongly in favor of the government NOT restricting the rights of it's people, especially according to sexual preference. And prop 8 would take away the right to marry from gays and lesbians. Which makes it wrong, period, no matter how one feels about them (us).

And Google was running "Yes on 8" ads on MY sites!

I about had a fit. I've pulled all the ads down and lodged a complaint. It's evil, and it's hateful, and it's not even good business.

I'm keeping the ads running on this blog because VERY few people read this, and it's a way for me to see how long they keep those ads comming... as I write this, there is a "Yes on hate" ad above my blog. People who know me understand that this is not my position.

Everyone...

I truly believe this:

2008/10/31

My Unca Glen runs the Roseville Big Band (how many guys can say they've run a big band these days?) and this is him singing his big band version of "Monster Mash." Although we can certainly act as silly as the next bunch, in general, we Newtons don't dance (my wife's genetics have apparently spared my kids since they are both in ballet) but Glen does a pretty good monster here... And "Igor" nails the voice... And the band is great of course; over all it's a fun bit for the big band crowd.


2008/10/22

Well, he got ONE right....

I do not support Brian Bilbray for congress... He has voted on the WRONG side of so many things: His racist attacks on the boarder issues and constant pandering to big oil make me sick. Which makes it all the harder to admit that on the bank bailout, he.. um... did the right thing. I was blown away when megavote emailed me that he had voted AGAINST the bailout. I wrote him an email asking why? This is part of his reply:

While I am in agreement with the Secretary that the state of the financial markets called for some form of government involvement, I held two serious concerns with his approach. First, I believe this plan would undermine the free market from promoting economic growth. Today, our system rewards innovators and entrepreneurs, but Paulson's plan subsidizes poorly managed companies at the expense of more responsible and competitive companies and the taxpayer. In so doing, this bill represents one of the greatest intrusions of the government into the free market in our history and it is a precedent I fear will be exploited to justify even greater federal intrusion into our own lives. Second, our government does not have the expertise or incentive to run Secretary Paulson's plan effectively or efficiently. Under the terms of the plan, our government would purchase thousands of mortgages and hold them for five years, or more, until the market improves. As it stands now we have neither the manpower nor the knowledge base to purchase, administer and sell mortgages on such a scale. For proof, we have to look no farther than the Recovery Trust Corporation from the Savings and Loan bailout of the 1980's which ultimately cost the taxpayer dearly because of mismanagement and private manipulation. Far too often in recent years people have looked to the
government for answers only to be met with waste and incompetence. We cannot allow that to happen again.

Ultimately, when the bill came before the House of Representatives on September 29, 2008, I joined with the majority of my colleagues to defeat the bill and it failed by a vote of 205-228. While I did not support the bill, I fervently believe that government should take some action to help restore accountability and stabilize our financial market. Not doing so would potentially risk that our credit markets would dry up and middle class Americans would be unable to receive car or home loans and small businesses would not have access to the loans they need to operate. To address these issues, I advocated for a mandatory insurance plan where banks would be required to insure their toxic debt with the government, which would have Wall Street foot the bill for much of their own bailout and greatly reduce the risk to the taxpayer. I also strongly supported raising the FDIC insurance limits to $250,000 to better protect the middle class from bank runs. Additionally, I fought to eliminate
mark-to-market mortgage pricing regulations for banks. This allows homes to be priced based on their long term value and not on recently imposed fair market accounting regulations that have turned mortgages whose owners have never missed a payment into toxic debt because the home is no longer worth the buying price. Moreover, I believe we need to update and more stringently enforce our financial oversight laws to reflect a twenty-first century economy and ensure that crises like this one cannot happen again.

Following the House's failed vote, the Senate passed the same measure, but only after adding more than $110 billion in pork to draw in additional support. These riders are laden with the type of wasteful pork-barrel spending Americans have come to expect, and fear, from Washington, including $192 million for Puerto Rico
and Virgin Islands rum producers, $128 million for auto-racetracks and $148 million for wool producers. Rather than working to forge a compromise that myself and many of my colleagues could accept the Congressional leadership added billions of handouts to Members of Congress as a way to buy their support. I believe that is a betrayal of the citizens we represent. As a result, when the Senate proposal came before the House on October 3rd I voted against the bill. Unfortunately, the bill did pass by a vote of 263-171 and President Bush has signed it into law.


Well, he nailed that one. Both the dems voted FOR it, Boxer doesn't get them all right.


from XKCD.COM

2008/10/16

Face it: This election is, in part, a race war.

First, let me say that I'm no fan of Howard Stern. Although I would never seek to censor him, he is crude, self serving, and generally does our culture great harm. I blame the people who listen to him more than I do him. He is just serving their lack of taste.

However, there is some value in his lack of restraint: At times, he reports the cold honest truth when no one else would dare to. This is a good example:

Howard Stern Show - 1/10/2008 - Sal Interviews "Obama Supporters" in Harlem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5p3OB6roAg

In this clip, "Sal" asks a series of black people if they support Obama just because he is black or because of his stance on the issues. They all reply that it doesn't matter to him that he is black. Sal then asks them to confirm that they support the issues by reading a few, but he actually reads off points from the McCain campaign platform which Obama directly opposes. He even asks if they have any concern that Sarah Palin will become the vice president under Obama. They all report being perfectly happy supporting "Obamas" "right to life", "stay the course in Iraq" and "Sarah Palin" platform.

Not only are they supporting Obama only because he is black, they are also totally unaware of the issues and which candidate supports which issue. Black racism against whites, however it may be justified, is very real. I don't blame them. But not knowing the issues is inexcusable.

Was it racist of Stern to report this and of me to mention it here? Perhaps. Probably even. But in my mind the point is this: The blue blood, blue hair, little old ladies would do exactly the same thing if you asked them why they supported McCain; "oh no, not because he's white and Obama is black, I strongly feel that women should have the right to choose, we should get out of Iraq, and Joe Biden will make a great Vice President"

We've already seen this sort of disconnection in the women who called Obama an Arab and those who shouted "Kill Obama" and racial slurs at McCain rallies. The whites are scared to death of a black man in the white house. Who will protect the interns?

Sad huh?

The difference in this election will be who votes. If the blacks actually go out and vote, Obama will win. If the young white people, who were not raised with the same hatred and fears now carried by most older people, actually go and vote, Obama will win. If the progressives and liberals, young or old, like myself, who actively try to suppress racism, actually go and vote, Obama will win. The problem is that few of those people have bothered to vote historically. Young people, "minorities" (not so minor), and mild liberals quite often don't bother.

The blue hair set ALWAYS votes. They are just as racist, just as unaware of the issues, and just as incapable of making a good decision, but they always vote.

Despite the polls, and despite my most fervent wishes and hopes, I'm still predicting McCain will win.

2008/10/06

Sick, sad, world. Shaved legs molest girls.

Women abhor pedophiles, and rightfully so, yet they continue to shave their legs and wear lipstick, blush, and false eyelashes.

*pause for a moment to let the apparent disconnect in that statement settle in with the confused reader*

The average age where a young woman's leg hair becomes visible is between 12 and 18 depending on hair color, genetics, etc...

What other reason is there for shaving ones legs, besides wanting to appear to be jail bait?

*pause to really allow the increasingly shocked reader to think hard about that*

Take your average 13 year old girl and stand her next to a 30 year old women while neither is wearing makeup. Notice that the 13 year old has ruby red lips, blushed cheeks, and strong dark eyelashes. The 30 year old has pale lips, sallow cheeks and thinning eyelashes. Now ask the 30 year old to go put on her make up. Compare again and feel slightly sick to your stomach. Don't take my word for it. Go see for yourself. 

*hurries on to reassure the now outraged reader of the limits of my insanity* 

Please note, I am not blaming women for this, I am trying to point out how sick our society is. I am not saying that women are knowingly encouraging men to look at jail bait, nor am I saying that men are knowingly pressuring women to look like jail bait in order to be attractive. I am also not attempting to excuse the actions of your local neighborhood child molester. We are all responsible for our actions, and must pay the consequences, no matter to what bad influences we are exposed. I am also NOT saying that I am sexually attracted to girls, just on the off chance that someone is getting worried here... I'm all about the MILF and specifically, my wife.

But something is wrong here. Very, very wrong. In Europe, or at least in the non-westernized parts of Europe, women do not feel a compulsion to do these things.

It may be that the problem is an unintended consequence of the advertising engine that must needs accompany each industry in our consumer driven economy. I once saw an interview where an experienced older man who had lived through the 60's and remembered it was asked why "blonds have more fun?" His answer was surprising to me: He said "Well, originally it was to sell hair care products." Apparently that saying was started by ads placed for a company that had come up with a new non-bleach hair coloring product and who wanted to create a greater demand. By convincing women that they would have more fun as a blond, they created a feedback loop where the women who wanted more fun, perhaps unknowingly advertised the fact by dying their hair. Men then saw dark eyebrows and blond hair, knew that the woman wanted to have "more fun" and so were more likely to ask her out. It was a self fulfilling prophecy.

I think the same sort of thing may have happened in the makeup industry. Makeup has several functions, including accentuating the difference between men and women, or sending that same "I want to have fun" signal, but mostly it is designed to mask the effects of aging. When an older lady caked on the powder to hid a few wrinkles or age spots, she was perhaps returning her appearance to that of a healthy 30 year old. No problem there. But how to sell lipstick, for instance, when the lips of a 30 year old are really no more red than those of a 50 year old? And why sell only to 50 year olds? 

By presenting the women of the USA with an idealized, sexuallized, version of a younger than legal Brooke Shields or Kate Moss, companies could then push the sale of more lipstick. And so enlist the women who buy it in the consequence of training the men to be pedophiles.

Face it, or tell my why I'm wrong in an unemotional, rational, and logical argument backed up with references and facts. Hysterical rants, unsupported denials, and blame deflecting accusations will be deleted. 

I'm tired of just accepting the sickness.

2008/10/03

If we don't laugh about Palin, we would cry...

"She does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska, right next door to Russia." –FOX News Channel's Steve Doocy, gushing over Palin's qualifications, to which Jon Stewart quipped, "When you think about it, Alaska is also near the North Pole, so she must also be friends with Santa."

"President Bush met with John McCain and Barack Obama. John McCain showed up without running mate Sarah Palin, which is a shame because she actually has a lot of experience with financial matters. You know, she lives right next to a bank." --Jimmy Kimmel (I had to think about that one for a second before I got it, but it's funny as heck...)

"Political experts are saying that to succeed in the vice presidential debate, Sarah Palin needs to show that she has the same concerns as everyday Americans. For instance, Palin planned to start the debate by saying she's really troubled by John McCain's choice for vice president." –Conan O'Brien

"Have you been watching the Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric on the 'CBS Evening News'? Pretty interesting. Sarah Palin could not remember the name of a newspaper or a magazine that she reads. And I was thinking, wow, we could possibly have a leader of the country who doesn't read. And then I thought, well, hell it's worked pretty good for George Bush." --David Letterman

"Sarah Palin, you know, was at the U.N. yesterday, and she was a big hit. She's over there meeting all of the world leaders. She's still learning who the world leaders are. Right now, she thinks that Warren Buffett is the head of Margaritaville." --David Letterman

"Speaking of Sarah Palin, she said she's a life-long member of the National Rifle Association. Which may explain why she's in favor of shotgun weddings." --Conan O'Brien

"Everybody is trying to find out more about Sarah Palin. Someone was able to hack into Sarah Palin's Yahoo! email account because she hadn't taken the proper security measures. Yeah. So, folks, it's official. No one in the Palin family uses protection." --Conan O'Brien

Ok, not stop laughing and go check out the hard cold (and documented) facts:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-kurtzman/sarah-palin-by-the-number_b_127355.html

My pesonal "favorites" are:

0: the actual amount of time Palin spent in Iraq during a 2007 visit to the region, despite the McCain campaign's claim she had visited the Iraq battle zone. She never made it beyond the Khabari Alawazem Crossing in Kuwait. (Source)

2006: the year in which Palin declared she favors abstinence-only education and that "the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support" (Source)

2008: the year in which Palin's 17-year-old daughter was impregnated by a self-described "f***ing redneck," who wrote on his MySpace page "I don't want kids" and "ya f*** with me I'll kick ass" (Source)

2008/09/26

Bail-out WHO?

So let me get this straight: The banks wrongly loaned money to people who purchased houses and could just barely make their house payment... When the economy sagged a bit (due to high fuel prices?) they suddenly couldn't make those mortgage payments and defaulted on their loans. 

Now the banks are in trouble because so many people stoped paying their mortgage payments. 

So... Gee Whiz... the solution is to forgive the bankers the bad debt and forget about the home owners.

Why not pay off part of the mortgage of those home owners so that they can continue to make their (now lower) payments and move back into those abandoned houses?

What I asked my representatives is this: "Why is welfare for people wrong, while welfare for the banking industry is right?"

2008/09/25

Bilbray voted AGAINST the war on terror

Here is the voting records for H.R. 1 Implementing "Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007".


Brian Bilbray voted AGAINST the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

2008/09/23

Imagine Sheeple without loans.

Imagine a country; a fine country with more than enough land for all it's people to have a place to live, more than enough sun for everyone to have electricity and more than enough water for everyone to grow all the food they would need to eat, if only they would work a few hours a day in their gardens.

But, imagine the people of this country are addicted to power. Cheap power. Lots of power.

The people work for those few who have the power, instead of working for themselves.

Imagine a very intelligent young woman who attended university and became very educated as well as very intelligent. Imagine that she found a way to make power for everyone, or rather that she invented a machine that would allow each person to make their own power.

She built a prototype, and wanted to start a company to build these machines, so that all the people could buy one, then stop working for the people who had the power and go back to their gardens for exercise and food, instead of health clubs and fast food restaurants.

To build so many machines, she would need money to build a factory; so she applied for a loan from a bank. But the banks in this country were all owned or regulated by the government. And the president of the government was working for the people who had the power. They had paid for him to come to power though something called an "election" in which the people pick who ever they see on TV the most. And he picked up his phone, and made a call, and set a policy, and the bank would not loan money for anyone working on alternative power.

It wasn't always like that. Once, the banks could decide for themselves to whom they would loan. But the bankers were also addicted to power, and they made foolish loans to people who could not really pay them back. Instead of letting the bankers pay the price for their mistake, the government took over the banks. They told the people that if the bankers were allowed to suffer, it would create a "financial crisis" and the people would suffer. Even though the vast majority of the people had next to no money in the bank, and only the richest people would really have lost anything, and even though all they would have lost was money, not food or land; still the people believed in the terrible "crisis". So the people, or the sheeple, allowed the government to take over the banks.

Before that, the sheeple had allowed the government to shut down a country that was a source of power, which had lowered the price of power^, because the government lied to the people, telling them that source was planning to make war on them with something called "weapons of mass destruction" which, it turned out, didn't really exist in that country. And even though some of the people realized the government was lying, when the "financial crisis" was announced, they didn't remember that their government was a government of liars, they just didn't want to face the crisis. They ran and hid and let the government take over the banks.

Stupid, stupid, sheeple.

Every year they worked harder for the power, which cost more and more every year, and the people with the power got richer and richer while the sheeple got poorer and poorer. The sheeple lost their homes, because even though the government told them it was O.K. to help the bankers, the government would not help the people keep their homes.

The sheeple could never see that they were surrounded by empty land, with water and sun and seeds and tools and enough power to work the land to make food and trees to make homes and knowledge and talent to learn and be entertained because they were blinded by power, too stupid to question thier government, and too frightened to make a stand.

2008/09/20

I sing, you just suffer.

My dear uncle Glen sent me a song list he had reciently played as a DJ at a company funciton and asked if I and his daughter had performed any of them: I thought my answer was amusing enough to share. Professional music, or rather the reaction people have to those who are not professionals, has been a sore point with me for years. I long for the days of the entire pub singing along with the one guy who can play the piano. Everyone "sings"; thats the way it should be.

The only songs on that list that I’ve “performed” are “Dancing Queen” (the ABBA version, ‘cause I’m in touch with my feminine side) and “Rock around the clock” ‘cause I’m a big enough dork to think I can pull that off. And by “performed” I mean sang along with the radio or CD. And by “sang” I mean croaked.

What I’ve performed in front of people, other than with the church choir (which the entire family is now in: S.A.T.B. Allie, Maria, Remy, Me) includes “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” and “Power to the People” (aka “Bomb the World to Peaces”) both of which were recorded and both recordings will remain mercifully hidden.

There was also “Country Roads” with two other guys and ukes; another guy playing one he made and me on the one I inherited from dad, We lost our place about ¾ of the way through. I mean, how do you loose your place in “Country Roads”?

And I sang “Morning has Broken” with a nice older lady from the church and I’m fairly sure I didn’t break it, but there was no recording so I can keep fooling myself.

4 of us did a arrangement by a 5th of the barbershop classic “On the Banks of the Wabash”; we worked on it so hard we almost quit, we got to the point that we hated it. But we sang it _perfectly_ several times. Then when we performed it, our bass got off on the wrong note and it sucked all the way through. We haven’t been able to find a new bass. We were nice; he doesn’t want to do it anymore.

In the near future, I hope to again embarrass myself, by singing something well beyond my technical ability; and enjoy the heck out of it. Because that is my terrible secret: No matter how totally incompetent I am, I truly love singing. I just love it.

Y’all can just suffer. 

2008/09/18

Are the conservatives really wrong? Or just different?

As the end of my prior post says, I'm not so sure I know all the answers. The following video really does a great job of pointing that out. It also includes heard a brilliant quote, which I'm not sure it true; it is brilliant in the sense that it really makes one think.


"Sports is to war, as pornography is to sex"


In light of prior readings about porn making ones expectations of sex unrealistic, it sort of makes sense...


...I've always had a distaste for sports, and perhaps now I can understand why.


Perhaps this also explains why so few women enjoy sports.


Anyway, the video is about the difference between liberals and conservatives. You may not agree with everything that is said, and it goes by very quickly. But I think it is worth the time to watch it.



2008/09/16

"Why not vote for McCain and just drill the coast and in ANWR for oil?"

Drilling is a great idea. Just like giving the crack-addict another rock to tie him over until he has a chance to get down to the rehab center.

I’ve got no problem with more drilling, even in ANWR (Alaskan Native Wildlife Refuge) because honestly the liberals have very much overstated the value of that area to wildlife.

But the oil is going to run out sometime. You can argue that it will run out next year or in 200 years, but it’s going to run out. For the USA, it ran out a long time ago, except for ANWR.

It’s a question of crushed ice in your drink or block ice.

With a crushed ice drink (slurpie, shake, etc…) you never really notice any difference until you are totally out. You can just suck on it and it tastes just the same until suddenly you get that first rattle of an empty hole. And then there is very little left… the end is near. With a block ice drink (lemonade, ice tea, iced coffee, etc…) as you sip, the ice melts and the drink is diluted until you are drinking basically water. It’s a gradual change and you know about where you are in the drink by how strong it is.

Sweet light crude is a crushed ice drink. When a country is pumping up the last bit of oil, it doesn’t cost them any more than it did when they drilled the first well. And then it runs out. Ask the UAE. They are in transition from oil exporter to oil importer. They have been converting their economy to investment, real estate, and entertainment for years now.

http://www.ameinfo.com/71519.html Wow... good thing Kuwait has that oil from Iraq to process now that the Iraqi system is blown all to hell.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HF07Ak01.html (really worth reading)

Mexico is on the edge of running out and has no plan to offset the hit their economy is going to take. As usual, in Mexico, the people will bear the brunt of that failure. Talk about sheeple.

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/46360

Saudi Arabia is going to run out in the next 10 or 15 years. They desperately need to keep their prices up in order to make the profit necessary to transition their economy.

http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/USAenforcesOPECprices.htm

The USA, of course, ran out years ago… except for our reserves… Like ANWR… I wonder why our government decided to “protect the wildlife” that doesn’t need protecting up there, instead of just letting the oil companies drill till we sucked up the last drop? Could it be that they were thinking ahead to the possibility of the Middle East being so screwed up that we would no longer be able to buy oil from them?

The long story short is that if the costs of crack… err… I mean oil… doesn’t go up, if the crack… oil… isn’t hard to get, the American capitalist economy will never transition to anything else until the very last second. This would make that transition painful; horrible in fact. Rent the documentary “Oil Storm” if you want a “best case” idea of what that would mean for us.

The Pickens plan is great… It will keep American dollars in American so we can afford to buy CCC (cheap Chinese crap). It puts in place PART of what we need in the long term for alternative energy (the wind farms in the central USA) although that does not really work all that well for the coasts where most of the power is consumed since power transmission lines are very costly and inefficient. I would go with floating nukes on the coasts, and wind inland but that’s just ‘cause I’m a mad scientist. Heck, no one is bothered by that H bomb they lost off the coast of Georgia, why worry about an air craft carrier with a few high tension lines?
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/09/13/lost.bomb/index.html
<http://books.google.com/books?id=svfKD4-MMT8C&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=aircraft+carrier+"generates+enough+electricity"&source=web&ots=mxnLS9n9jD&sig=kpgyMEGTzLGS_Jr6vsXcYAFtV9k&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result>

Anyway, NG for the cars, wind (or nuke) for trons and keep working on that Hydrogen infrastructure. Oh, and something to make the hydrogen with… The worst part of the Pickens plan is that we will just move from smoking oil to mainlining NG until the NG starts to run out; thereby solving the problem once and for all. But wont… ONCE AND FOR ALL!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqPjxsAuUxk 

There is nothing wrong with a corporation making a profit. But when that profit is at the cost of an unquestioning public, it just encourages further exploitation… *cough* I mean, “profit taking” which must eventually lead to a separation of the rich and the poor, which eventually leads to a revolution. A population of sheep must beget a leadership of wolves. And yet the American Sheeple buy Hummers, and fail to take a pay cut so they can telecommute, or pay extra for organic food (avoiding the use of oil based fertilizers and pesticides). They don’t see that the weak front of wolves on the left and right are herding them into the narrow valley where it will be easy for the pack to pick off as many juicy little lambs as they like. As the price of oil goes up, and the profit is taken, a few Sheeple are jumping about, trying to find an exit; buying the Prius or electric car (which, due to its higher cost of production, uses just as much oil to make as they will recover over the life of the car).

Obama is backed by “BIG COAL” and so he will push laws that remove environmental air quality protections from around coal fired plants. But at least it will be American coal instead of Saudi Oil. McCain will win points with the greenies by pushing laws that increase air quality requirements and cause more power plants to switch to NG (a byproduct of oil drilling which we still have volumes of in the USA). The bulk of the money for oil goes to the Saudis. A people who hate the USA to a man. A vote for McCain, is a vote for Oil, is a vote for the Saudi royal family, is a vote for Saudi peoples, is a vote for…

POP QUIZ: What nationality were the 9/11 hijackers? A) Iraqi? B) Afghan? C) French? D) None of the above. See below for the answer which is printed upside down.

Summery: We need a slow transition from Saudi oil to American NG + wind/nuke then to fusion? Solar? Something? Keeping the price low, in a free market economy, makes that transition happen very suddenly about the time the oil runs out. Bad. Forcing the price high by artificially restricting demand (keep ANWR closed, bomb Iran, invade Iraq) allows for the “free” market to adjust. Adjusting to a resource we have lots of in the USA (NG, coal, nuke) keeps our dollars here and out of the hands of the devils playthings. Adjusting away from oil makes oil companies very, very sad. Oil companies will ask McCain (and to a lesser degree Obama) to help them maintain a cheap supply of crack… err… oil. Vote for the lying pig bastard politician who isn’t supported by big oil.

Or maybe big oil is taking the long view and helping us to ease the transition to new fuels? Naw... couldn't be.

 

 

ıpnɐS ǝɹǝʍ sɹǝʞɐɥ tt\6 ǝɥ+ `ǝʌoqɐ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuoU (| :ɹǝʍsuV

More NeoCon lies about Obama...

Email from the neocons:

Do you know how I can find the following Obama stuff?

1. Occidental College records -- Not released
2.
Columbia College records -- Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper -- 'not available'
4.
Harvard College records -- Not released
5. Selective Service Registration -- Not released
6. Medical records -- Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule -- 'not available'
8. Law practice client list -- Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate -- Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth -- Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published -- None
12.
University of Chicago scholarly articles -- None

13. Your Record of baptism-- Not released or 'not available'

14. Your Illinois State Senate records--'not available'

15. And why did you place your hand on the Koran when you were sworn in as senator if you are a Christian?


My response.

This is so completely stupid that it would be funny if people weren’t actually dumb (and hate filled) enough to believe it.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/obama.asp in general... This is a list of the LIES and distortions the NeoCons have propagated against Obama. Even the ones that show as true are not as damaging as they seem. E.g. the flag was removed from the /tail/ of the aircraft but not from the side, and the tail still shows red white and blue in a flag like pattern.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/50lies.asp college records, law practice, etc…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp Birth cert is public. You don’t think the DNC checks these things?

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/ellison.asp It wasn’t Obama with the Quran and bibles are not used anyway.

 

Some of the items in this list have not (yet) been refuted by snopes, but they don’t mater. 

- Why do we care what his medical records say? The neocons are just trying to cover for McCain being the oldest candidate ever.

- Has McCain released his schedule? Why do we need to see Obamas?

http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/07/24/1219454.aspx Columbia didn’t require a thesis at the time… He never wrote one. 

 

McCain is buying the election. 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121988099541678063.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

And who is loaning him the cash?
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/sectors.php?sector=E “Energy/Natural Resources” which consists of Coal, Utilities, Waste, and…

 

…BIG OIL!

 

I wonder why he supports drilling off the coast of California? (even though it is true the inflating your tires properly will make as much of a difference in the price of gas as will screwing up our coat line) 

I wonder how he feels about Exxon never having paid for the Valdese incident and turning the greatest profit EVER for a single quarter? (they made $1,500 each and every SECOND the first quarter of the year, while we paid $4/gallon at the pump).

2008/08/19

Buy a Prius, kill the earth?

The cost of anything, when you break it down and break that down and so on, turns out to be the total cost of the energy required to make it.

To make a Prius you need about $28,000 of energy. For example, the metal parts have to be machined (coal for electricity for the mill/lath/cnc and everything it takes to support the worker including fertilizer, pesticides and so on used to grow and transport his or her food) but first the metal must be transported (diesel) and before that smelted (electricity or NG) and before that the ore is hauled (diesel) and mined (diesel, etc...) and so on. The metal doesn't cost anything, it's just sitting in the ground as ore waiting for us to take it. ALL of the costs to make that metal part are the energy required to transform it from the base ore.

The point I'm trying to make is that the COST of the car is the ENERGY used to make the car.

We expect cars to last about 5 years. On the bleeding edge, one tends to bleed. Hybrid cars are not well tested, although they do seem to be holding up well in fleets and as rentals. Let's give it the benifit of the doubt: This thing is going to cost you $28000 / 5 (years) / 52 (weeks per year) / 7 (days per week) or about $15.38 per day no matter how much you drive it. That is how much oil, diesel, coal, fertilizer, pesticide, etc... you will consume with this car each day without driving it at all. If you drive it 40 miles a day (which is about the national average) then you will be spending 38 cents per mile, NOT including the gas.

At 47 to the gallon and gas at $4 (for now) that is $3.40 more or 8 and a half cents per mile. Add some regular maintenance, you are looking at about 49 or 50 cents or per mile.

That is the bottom line: A Prius costs you, and mother earth, about 50 cents per mile.

A Hummer, by the way, costs about a buck a mile.

My $10,500 used 2001 Camry, purchased in 2007, given that it has one of the highest reliability ratings in the world, will very probably last 4 years MORE or 10 years total. It has a proven track record. The mfgr warranty for most of the car is actually 8 years, for pity sake.

$10,500 / 5 (years I plan to own it) / 52 / 7 = $5.77 per day. It gets 23MPG (25 estimated, 23 actual) and I drive about 50 miles per day so add 2.18 gallons of gas at, say $4 dollars per gallon. That is $8.72 per day in gasoline for a daily total of $14.49. I have almost $5 a day more than you to put towards maintenance and repairs.

But that is with my crazy commute. In terms of cost per mile, I pay less than 12 cents a mile to own the car and less than 18 cents a mile to drive it at $4/gal. So that is 30 cents a mile!

If gas stays at $4 I save 20 cents a mile over you!

38 - 12 is 26 cents a mile allowance I have for gas more than you do just because of the base price of our cars. Gas would have to be around $6 a gallon to justify my purchasing a Prius.

At $6 a gallon, there are a LOT of sources for fossil fuels that start making economic sense and so will become available. Oil shale extraction in West Virginia, algae bio fuel, etc...

Maybe they will come out with a lower cost version of some of these hybrids in the next few years and all of this will change, but for now, driving an old beater is the most ecological thing any of us can do.

And then there is the crash test ratings...

P.S.
www.truedelta.com is a fantastic resource for reliability information. You can compare Prius reliability with Hummers for example.