Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Centennial World Tour

If you are a 1911 fanboi as the proprietor of this here joint is, you might find this article worth reading. It really has nothing in it that most who worship at the altar of JMB (pbuh and a moment of silence, please) don't already know, but it's good readin' none the less.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The ubiquitous GM small block is approaching a rather significant milestone - the 100 millionth example will be produced sometime today:

WIXOM, Mich.– General Motors today will build its 100-millionth small-block engine – 56 years after the first production small block – representing an engineering legacy that continues to deliver greater performance and efficiency through advanced technology. 
Chevrolet introduced the small-block in 1955 and the production milestone comes in the same month the brand marked its 100th anniversary. The small-block engine has been used in GM vehicles around the world and is currently found in global Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, as well as Vauxhall in the United Kingdom and Holden in Australia.
“The small block is the engine that brought high-performance to the people,” said David Cole, founder and emeritus chairman of Center for Automotive Research – and whose father, the late Ed Cole, was the chief engineer at Chevrolet and oversaw development of the original small block engine. “There is an elegant simplicity in its design that made it instantly great when new enables it to thrive almost six decades later.” 
The milestone engine is a 638-horsepower supercharged LS9 small block – the power behind the 205-mph Corvette ZR1 – which is hand-built at GM’s Performance Build Center, northwest of Detroit. It represents the fourth generation of the small block and is the most powerful engine ever built by GM for a regular-production car. GM will preserve the engine as part of its historical collection. 
The small block has been adapted in almost innumerable ways throughout the auto industry and beyond. Updated versions of the original Gen I engine are still in production for marine and industrial applications, while “crate engine” versions offered by Chevrolet Performance are used by thousands of enthusiasts every year to build hot rods. The 4.3L V-6 used in some Chevrolet and GMC full-size trucks and vans is based on the small-block, too, but with two fewer cylinders. All of these versions contribute to the small block’s 100-million production milestone. 
“This tremendous achievement celebrates an engineering triumph that has reached around the globe and created an industrial icon,” said Sam Winegarden, executive director and group global functional leader - Engine Engineering. “And while the small-block’s enduring design has proven adaptable to meet performance, emissions and refinement challenges over the years, it has more importantly delivered them with greater efficiency.”

Current small blocks engines feature all-aluminum cylinder block and heads in car and many truck applications to help save weight and contribute to greater fuel economy. Many applications feature fuel-saving technologies such as Active Fuel Management – which shuts down four cylinders in certain light-load driving conditions – and camshaft phasing, which continuously alters valve timing to optimize performance, efficiency and emissions. 
The 430-horsepower (476 kW) LS3 version of the Gen-IV small-block helps the 2012 Corvette accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, run the quarter-mile in just over 12 seconds and achieve a top speed of more than 180 mph – all while achieving EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 26 mpg. That compares favorably against many sports and performance cars.


In the beginning
GM didn’t invent the V-8 engine, but interpreted it in a way that made performance accessible to millions of new customers. It got its start in the years following World War II, after Chief Engineer Ed Cole transferred to Chevrolet from Cadillac, where he oversaw the development of its premium V-8 engine. 
Cole’s team retained the basic overhead valve design that was a staple of Chevrolet’s inline-six engine – affectionately called the Stovebolt. It was seen as one of the Chevrolet car line’s selling points, reinforcing a message of simplicity and reliability. Cole challenged his engineers to tighten the new engine package to make it more compact, less costly and easier to manufacture.
Upon its debut in the 1955 Chevy lineup, the new V-8 engine was physically smaller, 50 pounds lighter and more powerful than the Stovebolt six. It was not only a better engine for Chevrolet cars, it represented a better way of building engines, with a minimalist design that took advantage of streamlined production techniques. 
After only two years on the market, the small-block began a steady march upward in displacement, power and technological advancement. In 1957, a version equipped with mechanical fuel injection was introduced, dubbed Ramjet. The only other high-volume manufacturer to offer fuel injection at the time was Mercedes-Benz. 
Mechanical fuel injection was discontinued in the mid-Sixties, but the small-block debuted electronically controlled fuel injection in the 1980s and established a benchmark with the 1985 launch of Tuned Port Injection. This electronically controlled port fuel injection system was advanced in its day and its basic design is still used on most passenger cars and light-duty trucks more than 25 years later. 
The small-block’s 4.4-inch bore centers – the distance from the center of one cylinder to the next – would come to symbolize the compact, balanced performance of the small-block. It was the dimension around which the Gen III small-block was designed in 1997. In 2011, the small-block is in its fourth generation, powering Chevrolet’s full-size trucks, SUVs and vans, midsize trucks and the Camaro and Corvette performance cars. 
The first 4.3L (265 cu. in.) engine in 1955 produced up to 195 hp with an optional four-barrel carburetor. Today, the LS9 6.2L (376 cu. in.) supercharged small-block in the Corvette ZR1 is rated at 638 hp (476 kW), making it the most powerful engine ever installed in a regular-production Chevrolet or GM vehicle.


Of course, this is straight from a GM press release, but the info is legit!

Just because - an illustration by the automotive industry's finest cutaway illustrators - David Kimble. This is the 1967 302 V8 (Z28) for the Camaro. This particular motor had a four inch bore and a three inch stroke, which was considered at the time to be the perfect ratio for a high winding high horsepower V8, considered "over square." It was actually inspired by hot rodders who were taking 283 cranks and dropping them into 327 blocks. On a side note, the 283 block with a 327 crank made the 307. It was "undersquare" without the high winding horsepower capabilities, however, it's strength was high torque at comparable lower rpms. It made a fine truck motor and found it's way into who knows how many GM built pickups. It just didn't have the power that the later big blocks set up for high torque had - like the 366. Performance didn't always mean high horsepower for the engine line.

A typical tricked out small block. Check out the tuned headers with the shorty collectors stuck on some Edelbrock heads - this baby is set up to breath pretty free. It does have a fairly low profile intake manifold, but it's got some other high performance goodies like the Edelbrock fuel pump and a performance ignition system. It sure looks like it's based on GM's HEI setup - still has vacuum advance, for instance. I like the braided fuel line running from the pump to the unknown carb - if there was ever a weak spot in a small block it was the way GM routed their steel fuel lines - when they kept it close to the block and heads you'd have vapor lock in the summer sure as hell. That chrome coolant inlet on the top probably helped make another hp or three (snork!).

I am clearly a fan. Yep, the ol' big block Hemi's would outrun a SBC. So would the Chrysler wedge heads with more cubes. The big block Chevys (BBC) would do the same, as well as the big Fords. But there never was an engine line with so many different options, bores, strokes and so on with interchangeable parts ever produced. Ever. So for a guy on a budget who just wanted to go faster, the SBC was (and still is) a perfect playground.

Plus, GM is still committed to the ancient platform and is derided for it quite often, mostly because it's still a pushrod motor instead of using overhead cams like everyone else. So what, I say. The Corvette is produced and sold far cheaper than about all of it's performance contemporaries with equal or nearly equal performance. Certainly they have cornered the bang for the buck department - the money it takes a Ferrari or Porsche to outrun a Vette is considerable. Might be higher tech, but it costs cubic dollars more.

I've had the pleasure of owning four SBC equipped vehicles, and I've enjoyed each and every one of them. Biased? Hell yes I am.

And just because nothing sounds like one tuned up and "on the cam," here ya go:


Oh, Baaaayyyy Beeeee!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Question of the Day

How did Sen. Feinstein get ATF gun trace data in violation of Tiahrt Amendment?

Senator Feinstein, who knows more about how guns are bad than you do, demonstrates how to violate Rule III at a press conference. Her extensive knowledge of guns and gun safety makes her an expert in the field.

H/T David Codrea

Oh, Dern It All, What Will We Do Now?

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat, Massachusetts, will not run for reelection. How will we survive. Oh, woe is me.

Well, not so much, really. No, really.

H/T Ace


Don't give 'em any ideas.....

Aaaand, edited to add:

With a genius like Dolly instructing him in the ways of the world, Jeffy is certain to be a success in life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


STOP! Driving Quiz Ahead!
Here is a question about driving in traffic.
If you miss it you may be too old to drive.

Q: You are driving along a narrow two lane road with a "NO PASSING FOR 5 MILES" sign posted, and you come upon a bicyclist. Do you:

Follow this slow-moving bicycle rider for the next 5 miles, or
(b) Do you pass the bicycle - as carefully as you can?
Which is the correct choice?
Note: Most men got this right!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

There's Something Not Quite Right With That Boy

Simple bathroom plumbing befuddles Jeffy?

Is he still in diapers or what?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Classic


"Oh, the humanity!"

"As God is my witness......."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I was on my way home from Sis's in OKC Monday, and decided to take a detour. I have no idea how many times I've driven by the entrance to The Big Basin and St. Jacob's Well - a state funded preserved area without stopping. The Big Basin is thought to be formed by a humongous salt deposit gradually eroding until the ground above it fell in - somewhat like a sinkhole. The well supposedly runs all the time and was a stopping point for cattle drives and travelers across the prairie. I'm sure the Indians knew all about it as well.

The location is south of Minneola, KS, east of Meade, KS and west NW of Ashland KS on US 283 on the east side of the highway. Access is primitive - it's a river rock covered two track lane, which for all the world looks very much like the oilfield access roads I traverse frequently. The tracks are somewhat rutted, so something with a little more than average ground clearance might be necessary to visit the area. There were a couple of forks and I kept bearing to the right. The first left would probably take you to the pens seen below. It was  also raining slightly, which really messed up my light. I took a ton of pics, but these are the best.

After driving in for well over a mile, I ran across a pullover area that overlooked a bluff. This is when I discovered the place kept buffalo. There are really quite a few herds scattered over Kansas and I've been meaning to get pictures if they'd cooperate and lounge near the fences near the highways I travel in the truck. There is a large herd north of Scott City on US 83, but they are kept on a huge tract of rough ground like this, and are usually a mile or better from the road. You can still see 'em, just not a good photo op.

At any rate, this fellow (and I'm assuming it was a fella watching over the herd, his bona fides were too far away to see) was the closest and wasn't particularly interested in me as a threat. I was facing the west for this pic.

Same spot, no zoom but pointed south. You can see the opposite side of the basin, as well as more buffs.

A picture of my buddy not zoomed, showing the high rock formation. This was hardly the high point in the joint.

Another couple miles of driving - one has to go east, then south and back to the west to get here is the actual well. To the left is the outline of a platform that hugs the edge of the bluff, and in front of the sign is the beginning of the trail down to the well. If you want to see pictures of the well, go here. There was far too much elevation change in too short an area for my fat butt, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.

This closeup of the sign shows the marker placed on the hill behind. THAT is the high spot, and the marker was placed so people could see it from a long distance and find the well for water.

At the edge of the platform looking down, the path winding it's way to the well surrounded by the trees. You really should go see the pictures in the link above, pretty impressive.

This is the marker with a spot for a long lost plaque. I'm sure some damned vandal stole it years ago, whatever was placed there.

The view from up high slightly WSW. Luckily a track led up to the "peak" that I could drive to, but I don't think some low slung sedan or sports car, or a lowered and tricked out slammer would want any part of that trip. I was considering using my four wheel drive, but I made it ok - the rocks embedded in the road really helped. If it was dirt, I'd have needed it.


Kansas might be the Bread Basket to the World, but it's not because all the ground is perfectly flat and is farmed. Nope, there is some pretty rough country hidden between the wheat fields, one just has to know where to look. Besides, where are we gonna put our cattle? They're always on pasture ground too rough for farming.

Calvin Says a Mouthful

He discovered Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and it impressed him, even changing his view on classical music. Pretty cool.

Just as a side note, I've blown a couple tweeters over the years playing this piece on the ol' home stereo. When the "guns" go off, there is a high frequency "crack" that will do 'em in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not At All

Star Wars Burlesque from Tenderloins on Vimeo.


These are not the wookie-suiters you are looking for.



At the Tomb of the Unknowns, one shows respect.


Monday, November 21, 2011

It Really Was A Tough Question

View Larger Map

Where in the world indeed! The picture of the sailboats was taken from the building with the red roof - Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen on the shores of Lake Hefner, which is located within the metro Oklahoma City, OK area. It serves as a reservoir and recreation area with a bunch of bike paths, picnic areas and such.

The entire area on that little point is very picturesque - behind the restaurant to the west are more restaurants and clubs, and to the south is the Oklahoma City Boat Club with even more mooring for sailboats.

When I saw the view while eating lunch with my sister, it occurred to me that no one would believe that was in OKC. Just looking at the picture on it's own certainly suggests a coastal location! So, it really wasn't a fair question - you'd just about have to familiar with the area. I am, and I sure didn't know all that was there.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

There Can Be Only One

Or, Things One Notices Right Off When In Oklahoma. It could be argued that The Daily Oklahoman, published in Oklahoma City, might be considered the state's paper of record (the other choice would be the Tulsa World).

At any rate, football is a very important part of Sooner society. There is no pro team - but most here root for the Dallas Cowboys. Oklahoma and Nebraska both share this situation, but Nebraska only has one major university team. You would barely know Oklahoma has two, however. Just look at the Sunday special college football wrap-up supplement:

OMG! OU lost to Baylor - the Bears. Unbearable? Get it? Page one.

Page 2. More OU coverage.

Page 3. Yep, more OU coverage. Must be the only game in the state, eh?

Page 4 - well, other teams did play around the country Friday and Saturday. Gotta cover them.

And OU is in the Big 12 (kinda iffy there long term, but for now.....), so we have some league coverage on page 5.

Page 6 - oh, hai, we duz haz 'nother team hyar in Oklahoma! Damn near fergot, dern it! Those Cowboys at OSU up the road at Stillwater lost, too!

In fairness, the Cowboys played on Friday, so any coverage on Sunday would be supplemental. But, the whole university is recovering from the unexpected deaths of their girls' basketball coach and one of his assistants in a plane crash earlier this week. And the paper had already covered the emotional human interest side of that tragedy. But I guarantee ya, it wouldn't have mattered if OSU played on Friday or Saturday, they'd have had only the back page!

This just blows me away, because in Kansas there are two division one universities with two mens' football and three division one mens' basketball teams. Of course the main rivalry is between KU and KSU - lately KSU has the football side sewed up and KU has had the basketball end pretty well covered for years. But, if ya look around Kansas, you'll see all kinds of "house divided" bumper tags and stickers with both the Jayhawk and the Power Cat on them. As you'd expect, the rural areas support the ag college and the dazzled urbanites follow KU. Nebraska? The Huskers get all the coverage, but they're really the only game in the state. In Oklahoma, in the furthest reaches of farm country you'll find farmers with outbuildings painted in orange and white with the OSU logo for support. That's about it! It's red country everywhere else.

I expect I'd better quit now, because I'm still in OKC at my sister's house, and the OU fans might wanna kick my hiney for dissing 'em.

Where In The World

Was this photo taken? Yep, I took it - I was there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The World's Most Precise Tape Measure

New tape measure - A must for anyone in construction.

Stanley has just released a new tape measure that will surely take the industry by storm!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Anybody Got a Quarter?


I'm ready to play!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tell Me Again


Why guns for self defense are bad, and why this woman shouldn't have had one.

H/T David Codrea

I'm Screwed


Hornady apparently doesn't make this in .45ACP. They'd better hurry, or I'm toast, dammit.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Part II

My grandfather, the doughboy. He passed before my parents married, so I never got to meet him. I'm the exception in the long line of those who have served in my family.

The best post I've seen about Veterans Day is by my blogging friend Earl of Just the Library Keeper. Go and read. I promise you it will be well worth your time.

Veterans Day

I really can't add to what I said back in 2007:
For me, Veteran's Day always brings memories of local veterans who I know (or in most cases these days – knew). I've spoken of my “Uncle Ted” before, but I also had an “Uncle Nate” as well. He and “Aunt Edna” lived about a mile north of Ted's place, and I spent many a happy hour in their basement house. Uncle Nate was a small man, and he had a son who was considerable larger. The younger and larger Nate was known as “Little Nate” and the smaller but older Nate was “Big Nate.” Which is why - while I'm a Jr I'm nicknamed Jeff and my Dad (Robert for both of us) was known as Bob. My parents didn't want me hung with the sobriquet “Little Bob.”
Anyways, being a veteran was a large part of Nate's life. Every year his unit had a reunion, which found he and Edna in various places across the nation. Nate was in the Battle of the Bulge. I'm pretty sure he was involved in D-Day as well. Nate was like most veterans – he just didn't talk about what he'd seen or where he'd been. He and a cousin (another veteran) went on regular fishing trips that involved a lot of Old Charter. There was always a pint or two stashed in the garage – I spotted them nosing around playing as a child. As long as I can remember, Nate wore hearing aids. Edna would harangue Nate about something, and Nate would shut them off. Then, Edna would harangue him about that, and turn to me and wink. Nate would surreptitiously wink at me when Edna wasn't looking. Nate passed away a few years back, and Edna is in the local nursing home. She is the last of my elderly neighbors.
One of my longtime friends (Steve) father was in the Battle of the Bulge as well. He also liberated Hitler's Eagles Nest. This apparently involved drinking the liberated wines stored there. Needless to say, one of Steve's favorite DVD sets is “Band of Brothers” since his father lived that life. Gene was a paratrooper. He even scored some trophies – one is an officer's sidearm. Sadly, Gene is no longer with us. Steve is the repository for much of his father's experiences.
Another neighbor was in the Korean War. Jim's prize possession was a Garand he purchased after he got out, because he considered it to be the finest rifle he'd ever used. He wanted one just like the one he was issued, so he got one. He used it, too. Many a varmint fell to that rifle over the years. Jim is gone, too.
My uncle in Denver was in the Navy during the Korean War. He was in the Reserves for a long time after the war was over. He served aboard the USS Cronin (DEC 704).
My own father was stationed at Okinawa during the Korean conflict. He didn't see any action. He was a lineman. Nowadays, I fear Dad painted a pretty pure picture of his activities. He enjoyed building and flying control line model aircraft, and most of his pictures reflect that. He got to go to Japan several times on leave – somewhere I've got some yen from those trips. However, according to him, he must have lived a very boring life, because I never heard about any sort of mamasans, cathouses or otherwise. Either Dad was as pure as the driven snow, or he sort of neglected to tell his son about any “good times” he might have had.
All these men were involved with the local chapter of the VFW. I can remember Dad dressing in his khakis for funerals on a regular basis. The neighbors did the same. They didn't expect anything back other than they wanted the same at their funerals. They didn't look at their service to their country or to the VFW as anything other than it was the thing to do. There were no questions of self doubt about a mission, or the political ramifications, or any other sort of distraction. They served their country. They ate and took breaths. They raised families when they got home. They saluted the flag. It was their duty, but there was more to it than just simply doing their duty – they loved their country, their way of life, and felt they had to defend it when called.
These are the men who are my heroes. They became the backbone of our country – in areas requiring morals and courage, and just the simple day to day existences. I grew up in the era when the draft had been dropped, and registration wasn't required. I sometimes regret not having served, but the Armed Services weren't a great place to be at that particular time. Am I the equal of the men of the past? I honestly don't know, as I've never been tested. I am heartened at the bravery and fiber of our soldiers serving now, and hope that as they come back into our society, they will have the long term effects my heroes had.

So, I remember. I think that I am incapable of forgetting.

Might be a rerun, but it still says what I wanna say. Thank you for your sacrifices, ladies and gentlemen who have served.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Still Stuffed

I had to go to Arkansas City today to appear in court due to my expired DL. Apparently, if you do something above and beyond a simple speeding ticket with a CDL - that is automatic. Yer gonna appear in court.

And that went better than I thought it would, so having some free time, I decided to tour some pawn shops in Wichita. Ya just never know what you'll find in those things. Anyhoo, it was well after noon and I asked the guys at the last shop where a good bbq place would be. They directed me to the Fire It Up Pit BBQ on S Seneca - there were others closer, but they said this little place piled on the food, everything was great, and it was well worth the trip over there. So, I went.

This is the combination platter - three meats, two sides, Texas toast and a drink - with tax I got change back from eleven bucks. I had brisket, turkey, pulled pork, potato salad and baked beans.

After I ate the sides - then you can see just how much meat is piled on there. And it was delicious - the plastic hardware was all ya need to handle this stuff - moist and falling apart tender. There is a roll of paper towels on each table along with three kinds of sauce in dispensers - mild, hot and Memphis. The mild and hot are variations on typical KC style sauces, and the Memphis is more Southern with apple cider vinegar. A far hotter sauce for those who find the "normal" stuff too tame is available, too. I was happy with the Memphis.

Everything is homemade - the sauces, the sides, the dry rubs - all of it except for "what gets dropped into the fryer." So the breaded stuff - okra and pickles, and the fries are from a supplier, but all the rest they make right there. And it tastes like it, too. Fresh. Of course, they didn't slaughter the meat or make the Texas toast, either, but there you go. Heh.

And you may have gathered they treated me pretty well while I was there. They went out of their way to make me feel at home and welcome, and answered any questions I might have. I was curious, so I asked about all this stuff.

So, when people talk about how the best bbq comes from some little hole in the wall place - this place is tiny, and there is nothing fancy about it. All the quality is in the food. Boy is it ever.

I just don't do reviews of restaurants - not sure why, but not too many jump right out and make and impression like this little joint did.

So, if you are ever in Wichita, you simply have to go. It's in the SW part, mostly south. Southbound on I235 - get off on Seneca and go south. On I135 catch 47th St South - its the last free exit - and head west til Seneca, hang a right and it's just up the block on right side. If you were coming up I35 on the turnpike, get off at the I135 exit and immediately after paying your toll look for 47th. I've got their webpage linked with their name up above, but here it is again anyways.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In Memoriam

Bil Keane 1922-2011.

FILE - In this June 21, 2006 file photo, cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip "Family Circus," poses in his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz. A spokeswoman for King Features Syndicate, the comic strip's distributor, says Keane died Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. He was 89. (AP Photo/East Valley Tribune, Paul O'Neill)

Read more:

Bil had retired and was in relative comfort for many years. Jeff Keane (53), the inspiration for Jeffy - has been writing and drawing the strip for quite some time and will continue to do so.

While the strip is far too saccharine for my tastes, the fact remains that the gentle, slightly nostalgic and innocent tone that Family Circus has embodied over the years is a consistent comfort for many. Au revoir, Bil Keane, and thank you.

I will, however, continue mocking the strip. So sorry.

Well, maybe not so much.

H/T LeeAnn

Math? Math?!?!? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Math!


The term Hell in a Handbasket comes to mind.

Actually this is a spoof. I got it in an email purported to be for real, but it's not. The original video it is parodying is here. The subject? Should evolution be taught in schools.

H/ T Nunkle Kim

Quiz Time

How much do you know about the Second Amendment?

I got 11 out of 12, and I vehemently disagree with the answer they have for number ten.

H/T SayUncle

Monday, November 07, 2011

Why We Win


We owe our freedom to men like this.

H/T Nunkle Kim

I Tell Ya, These Just Fall In My Lap

Jeffy, Jeffy, Jeffy. It's a good thing. Nerd implies you are smart.

Gawd y'all got that right. Perfect example of decline in quality of the comics? Funky Winkerbean.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Yeah, This is Pretty Sad

As I was watching Platoon for the 297th time last night, the background music finally prompted me to find out more about it. Turns out it's Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I wanted to hear it again, so a video search brought up this video as the top result:


Wow. The background of this piece is that it was performed by the BBC Orchestra on September 15, 2001 at The Last Night of the Proms at The Royal Albert Hall in memoriam for the terrorist attacks on the eleventh. This selection was unusual because it replaced normally upbeat and patriotic songs.

The author of the video mixed shots from the performance with visuals from ABC's Report from Ground Zero. I know we've all been through the anniversary of 9/11 earlier, and this is kinda late as far as that's concerned, but I challenge you to watch this video and remain unmoved.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

No Reason

No reason at all. I just wanted to.

More Christina Hendricks pictures here.

H/T Ace of Spades

Friday, November 04, 2011

"Yoooouuuuu Sneaky Mom!"


It's the end of the world as we know it! And no, I don't think those kids thought they felt fine. Heh.

H/T Tina

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Normally, Ted Rall and I are polar opposites on whatever issue he covers. Not this time. "Too Big To Fail" BOA just has to charge fees for debit cards on money sitting in their accounts that rarely draw interest. Boo hoo. They just have to charge more in other areas because the .gov got after them for usurious fees charged to merchants for card usage, and made them quit. In order to pay the huge bonuses for exceptionally bad job performances, BOA (they're not alone in this) has to make it up somewhere!!! Our bailout money was just the ticket to add to the ol' profit side.

The sad bankers had to withdraw their plan to charge for debit card usage. Sad, sad, sad. See them cry sad tears. See them charge more hidden fees to accomplish the same thing. Happy bankers at bonus time! Yay!

Maybe this makes me a hypocrite as far as staying true to the principles of libertarianism and free markets. Let 'em charge what they want, and let the marketplace sort it out, right? Isn't that what happened here? The backlash made BOA back off right? Well, if it was a free market, yeah. It is not. The banking industry is tightly regulated, ostensibly to protect consumers. Yeah. That's why banks aren't putting their deposited money back into small business loans and growing the economy, but rather investing in very shaky ventures and basically gambling through loopholes, a practice that grows nothing but profit and actually hurts the economy.. The last TARP fiasco was to cover for the banks losing their asses in speculative investing and hiding their losses until it was too late. Regulated? Yeah. Who owns the elected people who initiate the laws? The wealthy banks or you and me? The dice are loaded.