Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Light Camera Controversy Grows. regularly has articles about local controversy involving red light cameras, but for a good concise summary of the status of the controversy nationally, check out this link to an article at It appears to me that the camera trend has peaked and it is going the other way. People are refusing to drink the Kool-aid spewed out by the redlight operators. The cameras don't make intersections safer, and they can make them less safe when they reduce the yellow light time to generate more revenue (as has happened repeatedly.) If you live in a locality that is thinking about installing red light cameras, there are a lot of resources on the web with studies and other ammunition that you can use in a public hearing process to oppose the cameras.

The marginally relevant video: A yummy, yummy, yummy track from the 1910 Fruit Gum Company.

Ron Paul and Barney Frank Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

If you ever need a reminder that libertarians and liberals share common ground on certain personal privacy issues, look no further than the bill just introduced in Congress to end federal prohibition on marijuana. This bill was introduced by Barney Frank and Ron Paul. I will pause now so you can form a mental image of these two legislators celebrating 420 together.

A marginally relevant video? of course.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Using Animation to Fix the World

Robert Reich used animation to fix the economy. Economist Dan Pink uses animation to fix the world. This is pretty cool.

Why Need an NFL Contract NOW

If we don't get a contract soon, the players will start doing other things, and it won't be pretty. Example #1: Football Cops.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's wrong with the Economy?

In this video from, Robert Reich explains in 2 minutes and 15 seconds what's wrong with the economy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Supreme Court Rules for Wal-Mart
No Class Action for Sex Discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that women who wanted to sue Wal-Mart for pervasive sex-discrimination could not do so in a class action lawsuit. The Court ruled that where a company has a stated policy against discrimination, individual acts of discrimiantion alleged by individual employees lack sufficient commonality to justify a class action suit. This just underscores the need for companies to have policies against gender discrimination and sexual harassment. I expect we will be seeing more training videos like the one below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New 550 Horsepower Camaro ZL-1

Here's a picture of the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1. It has a version of the Corvette 6.2 liter V-8 engine with 550 horsepower. It comes with a slick-shifting manual transmission or an automatic. I understand that LeBron James will be getting an automatic version, because the clutch is not his strong suit.

Photo and news item via

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Did I Cost the Democrats a Senate Seat?
Worrying about an "Evan Bayh is an Alien" remark

Recently I was at the gym reading Indianapolis Monthly magazine while half-assedly pedaling the exercise bike. The magazines were kind of old. This one was from January 2011, and the cover story was a post-retirement interview with Senator Evan Bayh.

If you don't remember the political follies of last year, I'll give you a refresher. In February of last year, (nominally) Democratic senator Evan Bayh abruptly and surprisingly announced that he would not run for re-election in November of that year. Bayh had millions of dollars in his campaign chest, and nobody was planning on opposing him in the May primary. Long story short, the Democrats didn't have time to field an fund a top tier candidate for the race, and they lost the Senate seat in November.

Why did I think that I was responsible? In the Indianapolis Monthly article, which is not available online, Bayh talks about various reasons that he decided not to run. He mentions mean posts about him in blogs including one post that he is actually an alien from another planet. When I read that, I paused. I remembered that I had mentioned the possibility that Evan Bayh is an alien in my blog. Specifically, "Has he always been a spy from the planet Mediocrity sent here to take up space until his identity is discovered? "

Did my outing Bayh as an alien cause him not to run? I got so anxiety-filled that I had to dash home to go online and look for my blog entry. Much to my relief, I posted AFTER he had decided not to run, so I didn't cause his brave Sir Robin election-avoidance maneuver. Apparently, somebody else discovered that Bayh was an alien. I was just a good guesser.

Today Bayh's back in the news again. He's going to work for the Chamber of Commerce, campaigning against "excessive regulation". He's not lobbying, you understand. Evan Bayh hasn't learned anything. His pro-financial industry votes in Congress helped create the financial collapse that we're still having problems digging out from under. he fought health care reform while his wife was taking countless dollars as a board member for Wellpoint. The Senate is better off without him, but he should have done the honorable thing and either gotten out of the way earlier or run, won and resigned. Thank God that President Obama picked good ol' "Uncle Joe" Biden as his Vice-President.

Time for a marginally related video:

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Happy Birthday Ford Pinto
Ford's "other" Pony car turns 40

The Ford Pinto is 40 years old, 10 years younger than me - but I still have more hair. Granted, most of it is on my back, but I digress. (Pause for "Eeewwww".) Anyway, According to Autoblog, Pinto enthusiasts are crossing the country in their painted stallions to celebrate the 40th birthday of their esteemed car. With the hundreds of thousands of Pintos that were built, there must be thousands of survivors that are crossing the country for this celebration, right? What's the number up to now? 32.

If you were 16 years old in 1977, then you remember Charlie's Angels and Sabrina Duncan's Pinto. Yes, Sabrina drove a Pinto, and she was the SMART one.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Some Good Days for Chrysler (and Fiat)

This week has been a stream of good news for Chrysler. First came May sales results, Chrysler was the only domestic manufacturer up for the month and, get this, for the first time in years, Chrysler was back in the top 3 manufacturers in sales. In fact, thanks to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, GM, Ford and Chrysler were returned to their traditional "Big 3" rankings.

In other news, Sergio Marchionne announced that Chrysler has paid off its loans from the US government and bought out all of the government share of the company, thereby rendering Fiat the majority owner and in complete control of Chrysler. The US government ended up recouping the vast majority of the money that it invested in the Chrysler bailout. At this point, Chrysler is owned by Fiat with a minority share (47%) owned by the UAW Veba.

President Obama, most likely taking a victory lap after the successful bailout, visited Chrysler's Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio today. I suspect he's not staying over night tonight and tomorrow because you know what they say about Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio. . . .

More Signs of Double-Dip Recession
House Prices Fall, Unemployment UP

Yesterday the news was that home prices are continuing to fall. Today, we hear that job growth in May was 1/3 the expected amount, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.3%.

These are signs of the dreaded double-dip recession. In honor of the double-dip recession, I will post a double-header of ice-cream themed marginally related videos.

Jack Kevorkian is Dead

Next time you get sick and go to the hospital, you can breathe a little easier that the next doctor that comes in the room won't be Dr. Jack.

MSNBC ran this picture. I'd seen it before, but I never really looked at the machine. I think it would be a great practical joke to buy his death machine at his estate sale, have your kid take it to the science fair and start explaining it. Some "F"s are just worth it.