Bank fires Man 50 Years after his Crime of Stealing a Dime’s Worth of Stuff

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

It’s tough working for a bank these days (see Wells Fargo Fires Iowa Worker for Minor 1963 Crime by The Associated Press posted 8/28/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFC) has fired a Des Moines worker over a 1963 incident at a Laundromat involving a fake dime in the wake of new employment guidelines.

Wow.  Guess the Democrats are right about banks.  They’re just a bunch of evil, heartless bastards.  This was a crime intended to steal $0.10 of stuff almost 50 years ago.  As far as crimes go this one sounds more like a kid doing something stupid than a criminal acting with malice aforethought.  Yet these evil, heatless bastards fired the guy.  I’d like to hear their excuse for such an incomprehensible act.

Big banks have been firing low-level employees like Eggers since new federal banking employment guidelines were enacted in May 2011 and new mortgage employment guidelines took hold in February, the newspaper said. The tougher standards are meant to clear out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes — such as identity theft and money laundering — but are being applied across the board because of possible fines for noncompliance.

Banks have fired thousands of workers nationally, said Natasha Buchanan, an attorney in Santa Ana, Calif., who has helped some of the workers regain their eligibility to be employed.

“Banks are afraid of the FDIC and the penalties they could face,” Buchanan said.

The regulatory rules forbid the employment of anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. Before the guidelines were changed, banks widely interpreted the rules to exclude minor traffic offenses and misdemeanors.

Oh.  It’s not the banks that are the evil, heartless bastards.  It’s our government.  Funny how they fire a man for trying to steal $0.10 approximately 50 years ago but Barney Frank and Chris Dodd get off scot-free after their part in facilitating the subprime mortgage crisis.  These men were responsible for the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  And they said everything was fine even though Fannie and Freddie were buying all those toxic subprime mortgages and unloading them on unsuspecting investors.

Steal a dime’s worth of stuff 50 years ago lose your job.  Cause a worldwide financial meltdown bordering on a depression you go on your way whistling a happy tune.  Keeping your full retirement benefits.  Funny how that works.  Proving once again what Ronald Reagan said.  Government is not the answer to our problems.  Government is the problem.

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Computer Models show Carbon where ‘Scientists’ wanted to find it in the Antarctic

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

We have new ‘scientific’ evidence that global warming will be worse than we thought possible.  Because of carbon we can’t see.  But know it is there.  Just waiting to unleash more global warming on us.  Oh, the humanity (see Antarctica’s Hidden Carbon Stores Pose Warming Risk in Study by Alex Morales posted 8/30/2012 on Bloomberg).

Antarctic researchers found as much as 400 billion metric tons of carbon hidden under the ice sheets, with the potential to seep out as methane and accelerate global warming…

“There’s a potentially large pool of methane hydrate in part of the Earth where we haven’t previously considered it,” Wadham said in a telephone interview. “Depending on where that hydrate is, and how much there is, if the ice thins in those regions, some of that hydrate could come out with a possible feedback on climate…”

“That hydrate is stable as long as you don’t change the temperature or pressure,” she said. “In Antarctica, though you might not have a big temperature change at the bed of the ice sheet, if the ice thins, the pressure drops and some of that hydrate could be converted into gas bubbles and then lost…”

Wadham’s team used computer models to predict how much methane might be trapped under the ice. They also tested sub- glacial soils from Antarctica and the Arctic in laboratory conditions to confirm organisms in the earth below the ice can produce methane. It isn’t yet possible to say over what period it may escape because of the “many uncertainties,” she said.

So there may be an enormous amount of carbon hidden where we can’t see it.  Based on computer models with “many uncertainties.”   So people who want to find carbon trapped under the ice to raise alarms about further global warming have programmed their computer models to show that there is carbon trapped under the ice.  Guess those “many uncertainties” come in handy.  To let you produce the data you want to find.

Okay, if there’s bad stuff under the ice we need to keep it under the ice.  Right?  I mean, that’s the danger of the melting ice sheets, yes?  It provides a pathway for this carbon to enter the atmosphere.  So what should we do right now?

“All these things throw up more questions than answers initially,” Wadham said. “That provides you with a reason to go to look to perhaps drill into sediments underneath the ice sheet to see if hydrates are there.”

Huh?  Wouldn’t drilling a hole through the ice provide a pathway for the carbon to enter the atmosphere?  Sort of like an oil well striking oil.  Only the gusher will be methane from the carbon we’ll release.  If this is the case then we can blame global warming on all these ‘scientists’ messing around where they shouldn’t be.  And not on manmade warming from our modern world.  For it does seem that all our global warming has been happening while these ‘scientists’ have been looking for it.  And these temperatures have been rising while we’ve never reduced our air pollution levels more.  Something just doesn’t add up.  And it all seems to go back to these ‘scientists’.  As if they’re creating global warming just to blame on the modern industrial economy.  And the businesses that create it.

A bit farfetched.  But it would definitely keep the government research money coming in.  Especially if the government can use their findings to enact further environmental regulations on businesses.  Such as impose a carbon tax.  Sell carbon permits.  Or initiate some carbon emissions trading scheme.  Which would bring enormous amounts of money into government coffers.  But that’s crazy talk.  The government would never do that.  It’s just a coincidence that this push for new carbon revenue coincides with all these government budget shortfalls throughout the world.

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Ontario to add Solar Power Plant to Electric Grid that will Power up to 180 Homes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

Ontario is going green.  They’re shutting down parts of one of the largest coal-fired power plants in North America.  Nanticoke Generating Station.  Refitting this plant to burn natural gas and biomass.  But the ‘feeling good’ doesn’t end there.  They are also installing solar power plants.  To feel even better about their part in saving the planet (see Canadian Solar sells solar power plant for $48 million posted 8/27/2012 on EDI).

Canadian Solar Inc. has sold a utility-scale solar power plant to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners for approximately $48 million. Canadian Solar was the developer, EPC and construction financier for the project. The solar power plant can provide enough renewable energy to power more than 1,200 homes in eastern Ontario near the town of Napanee.

Assuming each house has an electric service of 100 amps at 240 volts that comes to about 28.8 megawatts.  With a capacity factor (actual power output divided by nameplate rating over a period of time) of 15% for solar power that plant will produce only about 4.32 megawatts of useable power.  Which reduces the number of homes it will be able to power from 1,200 to 180.  For no matter how many solar modules you install in a power plant none of them will produce power when the sun doesn’t shine.  Such as during the night.  On cloudy days.  Rainy days.  Snowy days.  Or days with lots of birds pooping on the solar modules.

Now compare that to the Nanticoke Generating Station in Nanticoke, Ontario.  A coal-fired power plant that could produce 3,964 megawatts with all of its units fired.  With a capacity factor of about 90% for coal (they only shut down for periodic maintenance) that comes to 3,324.6 megawatts of useful, dependable power.  Power that will always be there to light your home.  Cook your food.  Run your air conditioner.  And power any of your home medical devices.

The 4.32 megawatts of solar power is but 0.13% of what the Nanticoke Generating Station can provide.  To match the useable output of the Nanticoke Generating Station you would need to build an additional 769 of these solar power plants.  Costing another $36.9 billion.  To equal the output of three Nanticoke Generating Stations would cost over $1 trillion.  Making solar power not an alternative to coal but a deep hole to throw money into.  Which is a strange thing to do just to feel good.

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Deadly Outbreak of the Hantavirus in Yosemite National Park during the Obama Administration

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

The Democrats’ constant refrain is that the Republicans want dirtier air, dirtier water, food that is less safe, sicker children, etc.  Over and over they bleat how the Republicans don’t care about anything other than rich people and big corporations.  Yet during President Obama’s administration something really nasty has broken out in one of our National Parks.  Something that could have been prevented.  If the president was serious about not exposing men, women and children to the deadly Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (see Up to 10,000 Yosemite visitors at risk of virus by TRACIE CONE posted 8/31/2012 on the Associated Press).

Up to 10,000 people who were guests in certain lodging cabins at Yosemite National Park might have been exposed to a deadly mouse-borne virus, park officials confirmed Friday as rangers handled a slew of calls from frightened visitors.

The cabins hold up to four people, and park spokesman Scott Gediman said Friday that means up to 7,000 more visitors might have been exposed to the virus that so far has killed two people and sickened four others…

All of the victims confirmed so far stayed in the high-end, insulated “Signature” tent cabins in the park’s historic Curry Village section between mid-June and early July.

Park officials worked quickly to disinfect all 400 of the Curry Village cabins when the outbreak first was detected earlier this month. When the outbreak was narrowed to the 91 double-walled insulated cabins, the California Department of Public Health ordered them shut down Tuesday.

Park officials said the double-walled design of those particular cabins made it easy for mice to nest between the walls. The disease is carried in the feces, urine and saliva of deer mice and other rodents and carried on airborne aerosol particles and dust…

A National Park is typically outdoors.  And there is often wildlife outdoors.  Some of it is cute and cuddly-looking.  A lot of it, though, can be a health hazard.  Like a mouse that carries a virus that can kill people.  So if you’re building lodgings for people to live in an area full of wildlife that can kill people, and that will be warm and have food inside of them, you’d think they’d make sure those lodgings are not especially inviting to mice that can carry the Hantavirus.  I mean, if anyone should know it should be our experts in Washington in charge of these National Parks.  Or their agents in the parks.  Unless they’re for dirtier air, dirtier water, food that is less safe, sicker children and the Hantavirus.

But can we blame this on the Obama administration?  Was it just one of those out-of-the-blue, fluke things?

The hantavirus outbreak occurred despite park officials’ efforts to step up protections.

A 2010 report from the state health department warned park officials that rodent inspection efforts should be increased after a visitor to the Tuolumne Meadows area of the park fell ill.

The report revealed 18 percent of mice trapped for testing at various locations around the park were positive for hantavirus.

“Inspections for rodent infestations and appropriate exclusion efforts, particularly for buildings where people sleep, should be enhanced,” it said.

The park’s new hantavirus policy, enacted April 25, was designed to provide a safe place, “free from recognized hazards that may cause serious physical harm or death.”

No.  It wasn’t one of those out-of-the-blue, fluke things.  They’ve know about it for two years.  In fact the problem was so serious that they enacted a new Hantavirus policy about a year after a state health department report said there is a serious risk of the Hantavirus.  Especially where people sleep.  You got to hand it to the government in identifying a deadly health risk.  Pity it took the government a year to do anything about it.  And when they did their efforts were half-assed and ineffectual.  McDonald’s does a better job keeping their restaurants clean.  That’s right, one of those evil corporations does a better job in keeping their patrons safe than our federal government does.  And according to President Obama and the Democrats McDonald’s is just another evil corporation that votes Republican because they, too, want dirtier air, dirtier water, food that is less safe, sicker children, etc.  And they probably want the Hantavirus as well.  Even though the current scorecard shows the government ahead on that one.

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The Government would not provide for the Apollo 11 Astronauts’ Families in the event of their Deaths

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

President Obama told small business owners, the people who built their businesses, that they didn’t build their businesses.  His defenders say he was taken out of context.  That he was talking about the roads and bridges that made their success possible.  But he also said that these small business owners weren’t smarter than other people.  And that there were a lot of smart people.  Implying that these small owners either just had dumb luck.  Or it was the road and bridges that made everything possible.  For government is the great prime mover.  And the great nurturer.  Everything good happens because of good government.

They love to point to the space program.  Putting the first man on the moon.  How it was government that made that happen.  Even though private companies built it.  North American Aviation built the command/service module.  Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation built the Lunar Module.  Boeing, North American Aviation and Douglas Aircraft Company built the Saturn V launch vehicle.  NASA contracted this work out.  And paid these private contractors with our tax dollars.  But these private companies built it.  Interesting, the actual government part, the astronauts, the people the government hired, train and paid was also the government’s least impressive part.

This was where the government did not nurture very well.   Where the government truly failed to provide.  For our brave astronauts.  Who were doing something so dangerous that they couldn’t afford the cost of the life insurance policies to take care of their families.  Not on their meager government salaries (they were meager back then).  In case something went wrong.  So with the government choosing NOT to help their families in case something went wrong these brave men did what they could should their mission serving their country end in their deaths (see Neil Armstrong Couldn’t Afford Life Insurance, So He Used a Creative Way to Provide for His Family If He Died by Robert Johnson, Business Insider, posted 8/31/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

After all the danger, glory, and fame it’s easy to forget that at the end of the day astronauts are federal employees subject to the same General Schedule (GS) pay scale as everyone from typists to CIA agents.

Unfortunately, a federal salary wasn’t enough for Apollo 11 astronauts to purchase life insurance…

So about a month before they were set to go to the moon, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were locked into a Plexiglas room together and got busy providing for their families the only way they could — they signed hundreds of autographs.

In what would become a common practice, the guys signed their names on envelopes emblazoned with various space-related images. The ‘covers’ would, of course, become intensely valuable should the trio perish on the mission. They’re now often referred to as ” Apollo Insurance Covers.”

And to ensure the covers would hold maximum value, the crew put stamps on them, and sent them in a package to a friend, who dumped them all in the mail so they would be postmarked July 16, 1969 — the day of the mission’s success — or its failure.

The government didn’t build it.  And they paid our astronauts poorly.  Refusing even to take care of their families if the government killed them in their space program.  Yet this is the example the Left likes to point to about how great and wonderful the government is.  What a disservice to the private contractors that actually built it.  And those brave astronauts who flew in what they built.  No.  Government should be ashamed of itself for making these brave astronauts sign collectibles that would only gain sufficient value if they died on the job.  Their celebrity in death would have been the only way they could have provided for their families.  Because the government wouldn’t.  How sad.  And macabre.  And this is what the government points proudly to today as a government success?  Cold, cruel detachment?  No, this was not government’s finest hour.  It may have been NASA’s.  The private contractors.  And the astronauts.  But it wasn’t government’s.  Because the government didn’t build it.

God bless Neil Armstrong.  May his spirit soar through space.  Back to where he first set foot on the moon.  Where he can look upon the earth and see it as so few have seen it before.  And smile.  Like it was 1969 once again.

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Teens who Smoke a lot of Marijuana suffer Permanent Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

A new study is in.  And the conclusion is that marijuana use is bad.  Especially if you’re a teen (see Teen pot use linked to later declines in IQ by MALCOLM RITTER and NICK PERRY posted 8/27/2012 on the Associated Press).

Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests…

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18…

Pot is the most popular illegal drug in the world, with somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users between the ages of 15 and 64 as of 2010, the United Nations reported. Within the United States, 23 percent of high school students said they’d recently smoked marijuana, making it more popular than cigarettes, the federal government reported in June.

More popular than cigarettes?  Funny thing about a marijuana joint.  It doesn’t have a filter.  Smoking a joint is like smoking a Camel unfiltered cigarette.  Like people smoked once upon a time.  When smokers were smokers.  And smoked hardcore.  But now there is a war on smoking.  Something the Left endorses.  Yet those on the Left are generally in favor of decriminalizing drugs.  Especially marijuana.  The Left took Joe Camel off cigarette advertising because it was encouraging kids to start smoking.  So they got addicted to cigarettes.  They even sued Big tobacco.  But kids smoke more marijuana than cigarettes.  Getting more cancer-causing smoke in their lungs from illegal marijuana than from legal tobacco.  So while the Left plays nanny by trying to get cigarettes away from us they are trying to put kids at more risk.  For if marijuana is decriminalized it will be much easier for kids to smoke it.  Putting them at greater risk of lung cancer.  As well as that mental decline.  Guess the Left doesn’t like kids.

Young people “don’t think it’s risky,” said Staci Gruber, a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Gruber, who didn’t participate in the new work, said the idea that marijuana harms the adolescent brain is “something we believe is very likely,” and the new finding of IQ declines warrants further investigation…

The study drew on survey data from more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, everybody born in the town of Dunedin during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, they were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions related to their marijuana use.

At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age.

Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18…

Among participants who’d been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn’t remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they’d largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38, analysis showed…

The researchers also surveyed people who knew the study participants well at age 38. They found that the more often participants were rated as marijuana-dependent in the surveys over their lifetimes, the more memory and attention problems were noticed by their acquaintances over the previous year.

I think we all know someone who was dependent on marijuana when he or she was a kid.  One of my best friends was your classic stoner in junior high school.  He smoked and partied through junior high and part way through high school.  When he had the first of five kids.  And then dropped out.  Got a job.  Became a Republican.  And a responsible parent.  Both he and his wife.  Who remained together to raise all five kids.  And struggled to counteract the liberal education of their children when they got home from school.

Sometimes during a conversation my friend would stop mid-conversation, cock his head and stare blankly as he tried to remember what he was saying.  Then he laughed and joked about all the brain cells he destroyed when he was a kid.  Wishing he could have them back.  I didn’t know him before the brain damage.  But he sure was a good guy after the brain damage.  I always wonder what he might have done if he and cannabis never crossed paths.  Engineer?  Physicist?  Doctor?  President?  Who knows what he may have contributed had it not been for his introduction to cannabis.  I never asked but I wonder about that first time.  Was it peer pressure?  Was it a funny movie with a lovable stoner character?  Or did he have a friend with a dad who smoked pot?  It was something.  And whatever it was it changed his life forever.

And I wonder what might have been with all those other stoners out there.  What they might have done had they not descended into drug use.  Which makes the drug debate a difficult one.  Much violent crime traces back to illegal drug trafficking.  So decriminalizing drugs would go a long way to reduce that crime.  However, this isn’t the same as repealing prohibition.  Sure, if you drink enough you can kill yourself.  And abuse your family.  You can even get a liver transplant.  But you can never recover your damaged brain cells.  Once they’re gone they’re gone.  And there’s no going back to who you were.

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