Happy B-Day Les Paul

Les Paul would have been 99 years old today.

A few months ago, I made a day trip to the Rock and Roll hall of fame and I spent more time at the (surprisingly extensive) Les Paul display then anywhere else. Not only was the man a technological genius, he was a fantastic musician and great entertainer.

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s Les Paul with Chet Atkins.

YouTube Preview Image

And this beer commercial

YouTube Preview Image

“What’s your name?”… “It’s on your guitar.”

Too cool.

Treehuggers whine it’s not a ‘car lane’ or a ‘truck lane’ or a ‘stroller lane’ or a ‘jogging lane’

bike basket 3 feet please

Being a lib / treehugger / Democrat must take a lot of energy. It seems they are in a constant state of agitation. If they aren’t protesting global warming or childhood obesity, they are screeching about getting everyone to ride bikes rather than drive cars. And, to get everyone to give up their cars and start peddling, they need to chip away at road space designated for cars and trucks and set them aside for everyone’s favorite green mode of transportation (who’s engine emits CO2 by the way) the bicycle.

Today, after much haranguing by the green warriors, many cities have designated ‘bicycle’ lanes that seem to have more pedestrian and vehicular traffic than actual bicycle traffic, and our green warriors are not happy. Not one bit:

Every time there is a discussion about bike lanes or making room for cyclists, there are a thousand Dorothy Rabinowitz clones rising up to protest “when cyclists follow the rules and stop at stop signs, then we might consider giving them space.” However when cyclists finally do get a bit of space, their bit of paint on the pavement, it’s another story. In New York, Eben Weiss, AKA the Bike Snob NYC is fed up. Everybody complains about the “killer cyclists” and then just take over the bike lane. He shows a few dozen photos of how you can barely find the bike lane under all the cars and pedestrians, and notes:

None of this is to begrudge pedestrians their lebenstraum. We are animals after all, and as such we should be permitted to roam, like free range chickens. I merely point this out because: 1) It’s fun to take pictures of strangers; and 2) It totally undermines the false premise that cyclists are a problem in New York City. If anything, we’re treated like guests in our own home, and unwanted ones at that.

Too funny…

walikng in the bike lane

And this little rant is cute:

The first tip off is the name: “bike lane.” It’s not a “car lane” or a “truck lane” or a “stroller lane” or a “jogging lane.” It’s not a “Purolator lane” or a “trucker-needs a-coffee-lane.” It’s not a “waiting-for-your-spouse-lane” or a “small-right-hand-passing-lane.” It’s a bike lane.

It’s a lane that cyclists use to move about. It separates automobile and bicycle traffic, so that each can flow. The theory is that if we have all these lovely inviting bike lanes then more people will cycle and this will alleviate congestion. It’s all about the flow. It’s all about the commuter feng shui.

Awww….

Fields of Schemes: Brazil’s Nonexistent World Cup Economic Boost

Who could have possibly seen stadium building and hosting a major sporting event not living up to its promise?

Via WSJ:

The explanation goes beyond sports. For many Brazilians, the Cup has become a symbol of the unfulfilled promise of an economic boom for this South American nation. But the boom has fizzled. And now the World Cup’s $11.5 billion price tag—the most expensive ever—and a list of unfinished construction projects have become reminders of the shortcomings that many believe keep Brazil poor: overwhelming bureaucracy, corruption and shortsighted policy-making that prioritizes grand projects over needs like education and health care.

Why people put their faith in government to deliver complicated and critical things such as ‘education’ and ‘healthcare’ when they can’t even deliver a straightforward building projects is baffling.

**** Side-note: Can’t post a “soccer” story without a soccer dive video ****

YouTube Preview Image

If you are interested in non-dives, click here.

Let this statistic sink in, nearly 1 of 3 pregnancies in Detroit end in an abortion

“While I am very pleased that this year’s outcome document endorses sexual and reproductive health and universal access to family planning, to reach our goals in sustainable development we also have to ensure women’s reproductive rights,”

Hillary Clinton, Rio+20 United Nations conference, June 22nd, 2012

This morning as I perused the internet before setting off on my daily slog to work, my jaw hit my desk as I read this statistic:

Of an estimated 18,360 pregnancies among Detroit residents in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 5,693 ended in abortion, or 31 percent.

Let that number sink in. Nearly 1 of 3 pregnancies in Detroit end in an abortion.
The Detroit News (our supposedly more conservative paper) helpfully explains why so many abortions happen here.

Nearly one-third of all pregnancies in the city of Detroit end in abortion, a statistic public health officials blame on rising poverty and dwindling access to affordable contraception.

If the staggeringly high abortion rate in Detroit is due to the lack of ‘affordable’ contraception (as if a box of condoms is prohibitively expensive) as the unnamed public health official says, then isn’t it true that abortion is being used as a substitute for actual contraception?

Redefining the ‘mobile ad’: Get ready for Google ad’s where you least expect them

Here’s something to look forward to from your friendly neighborhood Google-bot:

A newly disclosed letter Google sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December sheds light on new plans to put ads on Google-made gadgets such as the Nest smart thermostat, Google Glass, and other places you wouldn’t think of at first.

According to the SEC letter, Google proclaims the term “mobile” as a shifting definition that no longer encompasses just smartphones and tablets. Google wants the term to be redefined so that it can put advertising in more places without having to create a new category. Here’s the stinger (bolded for emphasis):

“In a short period of time, the meaning of “mobile” at Google has shifted dramatically to “handset” from “tablet + handset”. We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”

Google has glasses (Google Glass), thermostat (Nest) and car dashboards (Open Automotive Alliance) and watches (Android Wear) are on the way. You didn’t think Google wouldn’t want a way to monetize its products, did you? Riiight.

Although Google has a foot in many fields (I’ve already lost count!), its core business is still online advertising. Its bread and butter is online advertising. Expecting its products to come sans ads in some form is silly.

Won’t it be great when you get into your car for your daily slog to work and see a Dunkin’ Donut ad displayed prominently on your LCD dashboard?

ad on car dashboard

Apparently as this information spread across the intra-web, Google issued this helpful ‘clarification.’

The Wall Street Journal provided an updated statement from Google: “We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”

Keep in mind “does not have” and “never had any such plans” doesn’t mean their won’t be such plans in the future..

Take that Twitter Hashtag: Armed Nigerian villagers strike back against Boko Haram

The only way to stop bad guys with guns is good guys with guns:

Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the militant group who have held more than 270 schoolgirls captive since last month.

In Kalabalge, a village about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, residents said they were taking matters into their own hands because the Nigerian military is not doing enough to stem Boko Haram attacks.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack by militants, locals ambushed two trucks with a gunmen, a security official told The Associated Press. At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give interviews to journalists. It was not immediately clear where the detainees were being held.

Oh… BTW, Nigeria has very onerous gun laws. However, when the rubber meets the road, and people need to defend their homes and families they were able to scrounge up the necessary firearms to fight back. Imagine if the citizens of Nigeria had an actual, guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.

*** H/T TTAG ***

Liberalism run amok: University bans fencing due to zero tolerance “weapons” policy

fencing

Seriously, lib’s need to get a grip:

The newly formed fencing club at North Dakota State University (NDSU) cannot practice on campus thanks to the university’s weapons policy.

“The current interpretation of the non-weapon policy in NDSU…understands our fencing equipment as weapons,” Enrique Alvarez, the club’s coach, told Valley News Live.

The swords the club uses have no sharp points or blades. The tips are flat and spring-loaded. Still, the university deems them weapons; as such, possession or use of the swords is prohibited on university owned or controlled property.

Liberals have descended into absurdity.

Venezuelan Olympian, Gabriela Franco explains why our Second Amendment rights are important


Gabriela-Franco-with AR compressed

If you don’t know Gabriela Franco story:

As a child She was very active and practiced different sports like swimming, gymnastics, running, etc. Until one day her Dad took her to the shooting range when she was only 11 years old. Since day one she knew she wanted to know more about the Shooting Sport.

Gabby became a Olympic Pistol shooter, and she used to train 6 days a week 4-5 hours a day after school.

At the age of 16 after a few years of training Gabby became part of the Venezuelan Olympic Team and won her first International Silver Medal at the Bolivarian Games in Peru (1997). Since then Gabby became one of favorite pistol shooter of the Venezuelan Team competing in 14 different countries in 5 years and earning at least a dozen of International titles. Gabby became Venezuelan National Champion for several years.

Gabby moved to the United States in 2002 shortly after her last match in Brazil (South American Games) where She won 3 Gold medals. In USA Gabby started working in the Firearms Industry becoming more involved in the USPSA and Tactical shooting.

Currently Gabby is FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR and an active competitor in USPSA.

This is what she has to say about our Second Amendment rights (and touches on Hugo Chavez and Socialism failures in Venezuela):

YouTube Preview Image

Gun confiscation couldn’t happen here, right?

Oh, if  Gabriela looks familiar, she was a contestant on History Chanel’s Top Shot.

***h/t NRA Blog ***

Robin Hood Tax: Another bad European idea that will find its way here

obama hood

Does this remind you of a developing Democrat election campaign?

At its best, the financial services sector provides important services to people across the income spectrum. But in its current guise, it is failing to do so. In fact, it has become a powerful driver of inequality. The huge increase in speculation in the financial markets has pushed the volume of financial transactions to more than 70 times the size of the world economy. And we are all still suffering from the irresponsibility of this sector, which led to the global financial crash.

Lord Turner, former chair of the Financial Services Authority, described much of the financial services sector as “socially useless” and said it had grown too big. Calculating the difference between what people take out of the economy in terms of their pay, and what they put in in terms of the value to society of their work, the New Economics Foundation estimated that many people in the financial services sector were a burden on the rest of us.

If you really want to look at the difference in what people take out of the economy versus what they put in, look no further than the worlds third largest economy, the United States Federal Government.

**** h/t Timmy ****

Saginaw County Sheriff says “we’re constantly outgunned” as he gladly receives Army surplus MRAP

The MRAP:

At “no cost to taxpayers?” …B.S….. Taxpayers already paid for these machines when the military purchased them for war fighting in the first place.

Anyhow, getting a little closer to home, in Saginaw County, Michigan the county Sheriff has recently received a MRAP for his department:

“We’re constantly outgunned,” he said, noting criminals could be carrying silencers, assault rifles and other heavy duty weapons, adding, “I need every tool I can get.”

The vehicle, which is the Maxx Pro (For maximum protection) version of the MRAP, was given to the department at no cost, and there is no maintenance budget for the truck, Federspiel said. The department can obtain parts for free from the military, he said, and he plans to use drug forfeiture funds to pay for any repairs, though he expects to use the truck rarely.

Seriously…. The Saginaw County Sheriff says “we’re constantly outgunned?”  Naturally, to counteract his perception of being “outgunned”, the Saginaw Co. Sheriff gladly accepts an Army surplus MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle to protect his deputies from IED’s ,.50 cal. sniper rifles and chemical weapon attacks occurring regularly on the mean streets of Frankenmuth.

frankenmuth fountian

covered-bridge-in-Frankenmuth

Saginaw County Sheriff Federspiel explains his rationale in accepting a military vehicle such as an MRAP for his department::

“As sheriff of the county, I have to put ourselves in the best position to protect our citizens and protect our property,” he said. “I have to prepare for something disastrous.”

The MRAP could be used in a situation of an armored gunman with high-powered weapons, Federspiel said.

“They can go ahead and fire at that with a .50-caliber weapon and they’re still protected,” he said.

“I don’t think of myself as a ‘doomsdayer,’ someone who worries about the end of the world — I don’t,” he said. “But I have to think about what-ifs when I’m the sheriff.”

He said the vehicle is part of that plan to be prepared for the worst. Such an incident has not happened since he was elected sheriff.

“But that doesn’t mean we won’t have one,” he said.

For those who don’t know, Saginaw county, Michigan is lightly populated, with 196,542 people (2013 estimate) inhabiting 815.78 sq mi. and is known more as a ‘touristy’ area as opposed to a hotbed of IED’s explosions, chemical weapon attacks or random .50 cal gun fire.

In short, Peace Officers in the United States don’t need military hardware to do their jobs.