Interesting article here, in Wired Magazine, about a 70 year-old concept car prototype being built by Rob Ida Concepts, a custom car designer outfit of Morganville, NJ. The prototype was the brainchild of Preston Tucker, who was best known for the advanced but ultimately unsuccessful Tucker 48 (image below, courtesy of Wikipedia).
Apparently, the concept prototype was never built, so the Idas (father and son), are reconstructing it on the basis of pictures and whatever information they can scrape up.
A Times of Israel headline screams: US Anger at Netanyahu Said “Red-hot’ as Ties Hit New Low.
Not exactly accurate, is it? It should say: “Obama Administration Anger at Netanyahu…..” The US, that is, the American people, certainly are not angry at the Israeli Prime Minister. By and large, Americans stand by Israel and support its right to exist as a Jewish state. The anger comes from an infantile administration, led by an infantile ideologist, who are all in a narcissistic snit because an adult stands in the way of their agenda.
An article on the net worth of prostitution in Britain’s Significance magazine – a very readable exposition of matters statistical – tickled my funny bone. The following quote pretty much pins it down:
The EU has demanded rapid payment of £1.7 billion from the UK because our economy has done better than predicted, and some of this is due to the prostitution market now being considered as part of our National Accounts and contributing an extra £5.3 billion to GDP at 2009 prices, which is 0.35% of GDP, half that of agriculture.
This, on the basis of some pretty torturous calculations by EU bureaucrats. Problem: in order to yield that kind of income, British light women had to have averaged about £100,000 per year. In other words:
- Number of prostitutes in UK: 61,000
– Average cost per visit: £67
– Clients per prostitute per week: 25
– Number of weeks worked per year: 52
This works out to a nice, round figure of 1,300 tricks per annum, per sex worker. (I really distrust nice, round figures, but okay.) Needless to say, this figure is being disputed, with alternative ones pointing in every direction.
My main issue here is the apparent ease with which distant bureaucrats decide how much is owed them. I heartily agree with the writer’s conclusion that “…[a]lthough this is a big statistical challenge, such an important contribution to the economy deserves a more robust analysis.” All I can add is that any kind of statistical calculation that affects the lives of human beings should be on a firm empirical basis.
Posted in free market economy, science, European Union, bureaucracy, empirical evidence, Britain, unrestrained greed
Tagged Britain, European Union, UK, bureaucracy, sex workers, EU, statistics
Quite recently, we had been treated to the disreputable (and illegal) spectacle of the Obamite administration clandestinely shipping busloads (or planeloads) of newly arrived illegal aliens to various unnamed locations in the USA. One possible explanation, I suppose, is to make them less noticeable by spreading them around. But I wonder if anyone had done a correlation between the destinations of such shipments and places where Dummycrats might have a hard time hanging on to office. A few extra votes in enough places just might make enough of a difference to allow Nancy Pelosi’s dream of a
dictatorship permanent Democratic majority come true.
Posted in community organizers, democracy, Democrats, dictatorship, Obama administration, unelected bureaucrats, USA
Tagged illegal aliens, Nancy Pelosi, Obama administration, Pelosi, shipments, voting Democratic
Bought a used 2010 Honda CR-V recently. New ones came with two master keys and a valet key, but in this case, the valet key had gone missing. Thought we ought to have a third key in reserve, just in case. Problem: these keys have a chip in it, so your neighborhood key cutter cannot reproduce it.
Took my troubles to Hall Honda (Virginia Beach). Started at the express service desk, got sent to the cashier, who told me a new valet key costs $36.42 and sent me to the service desk to make an appointment (to make a key).
Sigh. Came back at the appointed time, was told I have to pull the car into the service bay before they can make a valet key. Went out, got the car, drove into the service bay, checked in. Was floored by a bill for $108.56, the labor for programming a valet key being $69.95. Finally had the thing an hour later, was glad to leave.
Crazy; and all because of the “progress” of having the chip implanted in the key. Just to make sure the world was still sane, went to my neighborhood key cutter and had a spare key made for my 2000 Dodge Dakota. Total bill: $2.96, and the key fits neatly into my wallet.
Imagine what other “advances” in automotive electronics can do for us (and how much it will cost).
A fledgling on our lawn, demanding parental attention.
This is actually very simple.
The people most affected by the system should run the system.
- Each Veterans Administration location is assigned a strike force of veteran volunteers (VETSTRIKEFOR) who are answerable to no one in the bureaucracy. The size of the VETSTRIKEFOR contingent varies based on the size of the VA location.
- VETSTRIKEFOR monitors all incoming calls and follow-on actions by the VA. Each time a call comes in, the clock starts ticking. If the caller does not get full satisfaction that he/she would have gotten from a competent private physician within the timeframe that the caller’s condition demands, each and every VA bureaucrat, from the appointment taker all the way up to the facility head honcho, gets docked $100. All VA personnel above the facility director, all the way up to the VA Secretary, get docked $500.
- Any member of the VA behemoth who attempts to evade or subvert VETSTRIKEFOR supervision, by any means whatsoever (including false accusations of racism, sexism, insensitivity, microaggression, whatever) is subject to an immediate $10,000 fine, for the first offense. The same applies to everyone in this person’s chain of command, all the way up to the VA Secretary. A second attempt results in (1) immediate termination with loss of all benefits, (2) being put on a blacklist so that she/he can never be rehired by any governmental agency, and (3) becoming the target of a class action suit by all affected veterans and veteran organizations.
- VETSTRIKEFOR will collect the funds thus generated, and will hold them in escrow for support of veterans who need services outside the VA system.
Once this system is implemented, the following will occur:
- About $12 billion per year will flow into the VETSTRIKEFOR escrow fund during the first three years.
- About 75% of VA personnel will be fired and replaced with competent people, primarily veterans. To make things fair, the fired bureaucrats will be offered fulfilling manual work on shovel-ready projects.
- Within three years, the system will have magically fixed itself. Appointments will be kept, professional services will be provided, prompt referrals outside the system will be made any time the VA system does not have sufficient resources or capacity.
I can see tens of thousands of volunteers flooding in to answer their country’s call.
I’d go too, in a heartbeat.
If Obama wants to use his pen and his phone, here is his chance.
Posted in bloated government, bureaucracy, corruption, Obama, Obama administration, organized crime, presidential incompetence, unelected bureaucrats, USA
Tagged bureaucracy, efficiency, incompetence, Obama, Obama administration, shovel-ready projects, VA, veteran care, Veterans Administration