Monday, December 29, 2008

Why isn't this a recall?

I am kind worked up at the moment. The speedometer on our '04 Suburban has become unreliable. Regularly it will read 30 mph faster (or even way more) than actual. Now, that speed difference is enough to tell you things are wrong, but then you do not know how to compensate until you can come to a stop and even then I have seen the speedometer reset its zero in mid drive.

I can correct the speedometer temporarily by turning the engine on & off. This causes the Suburban's systems to reset itself and eventually the speedometer finds true zero again. However, we have had an incident where the speedometer did not work at ALL, that is it stayed stuck on zero. In any event, eventually the speedometer goes haywire again. Fortunately, I have my handheld GPS device in the truck and am getting into the habit of turning it on and then having that as a backup.

Still, this is wrong wrong and wrong. Apparently Chevrolet has a warranty campaign on this seven years & 70,000 miles, but our Suburban is outside the mile range (was so since we bought it). My uncle reports his 2004 truck had the same problem, but since he bought his truck new he had no problems with the warranty.

I just called a Chevrolet shop and they informed me of the customary $70 fee to lift a finger on it and then approximately $450 cost to replace it (I am guessing that does not include labor probably add another $200.00 on top of that so we are talking about $800.00).

I checked with the The Federal Government's Office of Defects Investigation to see if there was a recall on, but nope, as I state earlier it is a manufacturer's limited warranty fix. NOT SATISFACTORY! So, I filed a complaint starting here. If you have a similar problem with your Chevrolet (or GMC) truck I urge you to file a similar complaint!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Few Things

I have always meant to note this but never did get to it, well now I do.

First, Merry Christmas to all!

Now, after the elections one thing I heard Jim Doyle say more than once was that how now the Democrats controlled the legislature they could pass a smoking ban. Silly me, I thought it was Russ Decker a Democrat who bottled up the smoking ban? A Democrat buddy of mine from Wausau was awfully disappointed with Russ over that. Seems to me if the Democrats had been able to keep their own legislators in line, the smoking ban would have been in place. I can not say there is any Republican resistance to a statewide smoking ban that amounts to anything real.

Just like that silly notion that W killed Kyoto. Why didn't Bill Clinton sign it & present it to the Senate? Kyoto is nothing more than a flaming bag of poop.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frank Rosenthal is Dead

Did you know that? Do you know who Frank Rosenthal is? If so, comment away.

A hint, I am doing a little research on the Mob & Chicago (hmmm, now why could that be?) and stumbled across the fact Frank Rosenthal is dead as of October 13, 2008. What actor played him in what movie?

The Burning Ring of Oil


OPEC announces oil production cuts of 2 million barrels/day on oil and what happens? The NYMEX CL future price drops more than 10%. The chair of OPEC says "SURPRISE" and look what happens it perhaps manages to stave off a 20% drop (for now). According to the USEIA total oil storage dropped by less than 3,000 barrels in the past week, I do not know what analysts were expecting.

In addition, the USEIA reports:
EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) is forecasting increasing 2009 oil production for the United States (December 2008 STEO). Most of this increase will come from three Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico platforms. The Thunder Horse, Atlantis, and Tahiti platforms will account for two-thirds of the total national increase in 2009.
Source: US Energy Information Adminstration This Week in Petroleum — Large Production Increases in Store for the Gulf of Mexico
Now, in terms of the overall petroleum market this is probably not going to be very significant, but the USEIA states By early 2010, the three platforms should reach their combined designed production capacity of 575 thousand barrels per day. which would be 25% of the cut OPEC is hoping to make.

Also, does anyone believe all OPEC nations will honor their quotas?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Byron York from National Review has been doing a lot of reporting on the Blagojevich scandal as it relates to the incoming Obama administration.

I wonder if the press-Obama wedding is over or if we are looking at a temporary spat? I think the later, but it is interesting watching what we thought was an administration adulated by the MSM is now taking some tough shots from the press.

I think it at best a temporary lover's spat. In fact, the reporting on the Blogojevich scandal is not really focusing on connections between president-elect Obama and Blagojevich anymore than the MSM looked into candidate Obama's ties to Chicago style politics.

However, Byron reports on an interesting exchange:
Until then, don’t ask Obama anything even related to the matter. “Let me just cut you off, because I don’t want you to waste your question,” Obama told Tribune reporter John McCormick Tuesday, after McCormick attempted to ask whether Emanuel’s reportedly extensive communications with the Blagojevich administration on the Senate-seat question contradicted Obama’s earlier claims to be taking a hands-off approach to the issue. “I don’t want to get into the details at this point,” Obama answered.

McCormick got the message. As Obama, standing by education-secretary-designate and basketball buddy Arne Duncan, continued to avoid answering the question, McCormick moved on to a more acceptable topic. “Do you or Duncan have a better jump shot?” he asked.

Obama smiled. At least for now. But he knows, or should know, that Fitzgerald and his prosecutors won’t be nearly as accommodating as the press.
Source: National Review Online — Could the Blago Scandal Ensnare Team Obama? (You Betcha. If you don’t think it can, you don’t know prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.) by Byron York
Of course, this is low-level stuff, we are unlikely to hear the likes of Keith Olbermann, Katie Couric, et. al. report on the snide question and its circumstances.

I believe, some members of the Obama transition team are going to get caught up in the mess and end up trapped in either the underlying offense or by charges of perjury. I do not believe President-Elect Obama will find himself directly tied into this mess. The question then is Rahm Emmanuel.

How about Rahm? I can understand why Rahm would be talking to Blagojevich, he and I am quite sure president-elect Obama have preferences as to who should fill the vacant senate seat. This does not automatically mean they were involved in corrupt activities, it means they were lobbying.

I strongly suspect Rahm Emmanuel will not get caught up in this and here is why. It is reported Blagojevich was going on about how president-Elect Obama had better not expect something for nothing. That is, Emmanuel at most had a list of suggestions but no quid for the pro-quo. At most, Rahm will get pinched with something akin to what Fitzgerald pinched Libby with however, I suspect only the press will pinch Rahm.

As this unfolds I expect a number of my right-wing brethren will get caught up in giddy anticipation of major charges against the Obama administration and will pass on as fact any rumor fed to them.

Can this scandal potentially cause great harm to the Obama administration? Yes it can, but will it? I do not think so, but in the end at the moment very few of us know.

Monday, December 15, 2008

How Has It Been Reported?

The MSM was frequently describing Palin/McCain rallies as hatefests and filled with seething crowds ready to inflict violence on others.

Hmmm, I wonder if the press and other Palin bashers are going to take responsibility for the burning down of the church Sarah Palin attends in Wasilla Alaska. They should not nor should anyone attempt to affix blame there, but it seems if they followed their own standards they should affix blame to themselves, after all, who did President Clinton blame for the Oklahoma City bombing?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Packer Frustrations!


Wow, this is getting old. The Packers eke out a lead, then the first play their opponents have from scrimmage (regardless from where they start) is a 50 or so yard pass play and then from there it is at most two plays and the Packers are back behind. Once again, it happens according to that script and at the end of the game. It is like the Packers are auditioning for a role in a Goundhog Day remake.

Hey, Packers, next weekend how about just a rebroadcast, I can't imaging things being all that much different from the way the last, what is it, four games have played out.

That said, don't put blame on Aaron Rodgers. How many times a game do we expect him to have to lead the offense back from defensive failure?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Commentary on Yesterday's Guest Commentary

Yesterday, I attempted some humor with a spoof guest commentary. Yeah, it fell short of the mark, but one tries.

In all seriousness now, here was the point of it. Essentially, it is to show how stupid those who are trying to say they are "more conservative than thou" are. They are just as foolish as those who are trying to paint the social conservatives as a bunch of inbred know-nothing snake-handling hicks too stupid to be involved in politics. Both attitudes are little more than ugly elitism.

What set this off is an article by Jonah Goldberg in particular:
It's like when you watch "Cops" and the idiot burglar tries to hide beside a tree in the dark, even though he's wearing light-up sneakers. It's like when Dan Rather dares the world to prove he's a clueless ass-clown. It's just good stuff. There's no tragedy here. No wasted potential. No undeserving victims. No profound and complicated symbolic issues (I somewhat doubt the Serbian-American lobby is going to cry racism). This is the sort of criminality we want the Feds to find, particularly in Chicago. Everyone gets what they deserve — at least so far — and all of the guilty parties are all the more deserving of punishment because they don't quite understand what the big deal is. I love it.
Source: The Blithesome Banality of Blago's Blunders — The Corner (Jonah Goldber)
Even more particularly what set Dan Riehl off was the comment about "undeserving victims". Riehl cries elitism and him and the discussion in the comment general start chanting we are more conservative than thou.

With no apologiesto [sic] Goldberg whatsoever, some of us are not so jaded as to dismiss the profound tragedy a Blogojevich represents. But then we're the victims - the taxpayers. And as for wasted potential? Read the Constitution or contemplate that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, you insulated, to use your word, "ass-clown," a word which shouldn't even be on NRO imo.
Source: NRO: We're Just An Elitist Waste Of Time — Riehl World View

Nice play guys now we can put you up with the likes of Dan Rather and other scions of the MSM in your ability to quote and take out of context another's words. The whole point of Jonah's Corner post is to note how utterly uncontroversial Blagojevich's guilt is (I am not the state I can presume anyone's guilt or innocence as I like), just like that guy on Cops who is caught on camera doing something criminal and then proceeds to do even more stupid things in the evasion of arrest.

Blagojevich is not going to be painted as a victim of some overzealous prosecutor or a racist system (ala the OJ Simpson murder trial). Surveys show there is even less approval of Blagojevich than of Congress.

If you don't like the comment relating to the absence of victims, then point it out and refrain from the "I am more conservative than thou" crap we are not going to start winning elections again until we stop subdividing ourselves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Guest Commentary

This guest commentary is written by Chester Roderick Umudgeon.

Greetings to you all conservative and otherwise. There has been an awful trend of late, non-conservatives are infecting the conservative movement. I do not know when it exactly started, but I suspect it was back in the 60s or so with that darned National Review and that all too urbane William F. Buckley Jr. Geeze, the RINO stampede was on after that, let me tell you. The list is non-stop RINOS such as Goldwater and Reagen, they were not conservatives — but closet leftists. I bet they read The Nation before turning out the lights.

Its about time we kick out the RINOs from the party and the movement, if they do not agree with everyone of my positions they are nothing but no-good and need to be run out of town. I do not care how the American Conservative Union rates them, the ACU is nothing but a hotbed of RINOism too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Different Starting Points In Life

In the struggle to put as much distance between hardship and ourselves we all have different starting points — starting points we can not choose for ourselves.

Our parents are responsible for putting us on the field and to impart into us a good game plan. Then, we take the ball and run with it. There is no guarantee being put one yard from the opponent's end-zone means you are going to get a touchdown or even a score and so too with life. Just because you have all sorts of advantages and a good starting position does not mean you will improve your position, in fact it is easy to see a diminishment of position.

Do not take this to mean we have no affect on our success, we do, it depends on the quality of our character and drive. Both of those factors are, however, greatly influenced by others, namely parents and other mentors and by those we surround ourselves with. There is the old saying that it is hard to soar like an eagle when surrounded by (domestic) turkeys is not just for t-shirts there is a fair amount of truth to it. Similarly, when we surround ourselves (or are surrounded by) with smart & capable people our abilities carry us farther.

In societies that recognize and value liberty, people become much more responsible for their own success & welfare. We are free to form and break associations with others and we earn more credit for our successes and demerit for our failures than in societies that do not value liberty, as well as it being harder to form and break associations. However, the fact we may earn a lot more credit or discredit does not mean we are all self-built and start from scratch.

We constantly count on the support of others around us, whether we are attempting to get a mini-mart going in a rundown neighborhood or trying to get a $25 billion corporation to change its ways. In both instances the person involved may think they are self-made with no contributions from anyone else, but that is not the case and it does not diminish one's accomplishments to recognize that fact.

You need Threads to Spin

Very quickly here, no links.

Rush Limbaugh is trying to spin a dark conspiracy with respect to the termination of the Blagojevich investigation. He insinuates representatives from the Obama may have leaned on the DOJ to bring the investigation to an end.

Byron York has a better explanation. The investigation details made it to the Chicago Tribune notifying Blagojevich of the investigation and therefore Blagojevich would (at least something most rational people conclude) cease engaging in his corrupt behavior or at least become much more circumspect about it.

Some caller also noted this investigation was not started until after the election of President-elect Obama to the presidency, obviously trying to imply the investigation was held up to not diminish Obama's electoral chances. Well, duh! The seat did not open up until that day — there was nothing to trade away for self-gain until after the election.

There is going to be much for us to criticize Obama on, this is not one of them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There Goes the Toll

I think those of us who drive in & through Illinois on occasion (or better) had better brace ourselves. With Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the can and likely to lose his job, I figure with all of the signs along the road with his name, it will cost at least another quarter per stop to pay for the replacement of those signs.

What an arrogant jerk.

Oooohhh-ooooooooooohhhh-oooooh that smell! Can't you smell that smell? Oooohhh-ooooooooooohhhh-oooooh that smell! Can't you smell that smell?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ooogggaaa Booooggggaaaa Part I

Jonah Goldberg revisits the Philosophy of Oogedy-Boogedy-ism and the nature of religious thought in conservatism. Jonah outlines his thoughts based on the notion many seem to believe Conservatism and religion have only very recently been fused together and that is driving much of the angst against social conservatives. Jonah reaches back into the history books to find a discussion from 1962 that basically assumes much religious thought as part and parcel of conservatism, in addition Jonah notes that National Review in its early days was often nearly indistinguishable from a religious publication, whereas that is hardly the case now-a-days.

In the wake of all the Sarah Palin mishigas, it occurs to me that lots of people seem to believe that modern conservatism was, until the day before yesterday, a purely urbane, secular, affair with perhaps a good deal of pro-forma nodding to religion but little spiritual devotion. According to this storyline, the religious yahoos have "taken over the party" and places like National Review have become infected with their St. Vitus' dance.
Source: The Corner — Religion and the Right (Jonah Goldberg)
Jonah then goes onto discuss the notion of compelled vs. freely chosen virtue and excerpts a discussion of that debate from 1962. That is an interesting line of thought in and of itself, but that is not my purpose here.

The point is that religion in conservative circles is hardly a new phenomena.

I have noted this before in this venue, but what has changed is the makeup of what I generally call the socially conservative voter. The part of the conservative base that votes based more on their faith than on other considerations is different.

Back before the days of McGovern the Democratic Party was every bit as comfortable with religion in the public square as the Republicans are today, and neither party held an advantage with the religious voter. The religious voter with economically liberal or populist preferences could feel very comfortable in voting for a Democrat. That voter did not feel torn between a candidate they viewed as being hostile towards the bedrock of their world view but in line with their economic values. This is what Mike Huckabee captured:
Mike Huckabee represents something that is either tremendously encouraging or deeply disturbing, depending on your point of view: a marriage of Christian fundamentalism with economic populism. Rather than employing the ­patented Bush-Rove tactic of using abortion and gay rights to hoodwink low-­income Christians into supporting patrician, pro-corporate policies, Huckabee is a bigger-government Republican who emphasizes prison reform and poverty relief. In the world of GOP politics, he represents something entirely new — a cross between John Edwards and Jerry Falwell, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher who actually seems to give a shit about the working poor.
Source: Rolling Stone — Matt Taibbi on Mike Huckabee, Our Favorite Right-Wing Nut Job (Matt Taibbi)

Get over Taibbi's deranged language and you note the only thing standing in way of him liking a former Republican presidential nominee contender is the "G thing". That in a nutshell is what we are going through here.

Ramesh Ponnurru in an National Review article talking about religion in politics noted today's Democrats approach the religious voter as an anthropologist would approach a newly found tribe of humans in the Amazon jungle and this has driven many of those voters to the GOP.

Along with those voters come impulses contrary to conservatism. Sometime ago I read an article warning the GOP of getting too cozy with fundamentalists noting fundamentalists could be just as enthusiastic for big and intrusive government. However, these voters are key in the GOP's ability to win national elections.

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