Sunday, May 14, 2006

Odds 'N' Ends

Lots of things to pontificate on, but covered everywhere (and mostly better than my musings).

For a little humor there's Delftman's The Guys' Rules.

rightwingprof has a tale of Feminists and chicken breasts.

Barking Moonbat Early Warning System hits The Perils Of Socialized Medicine.

The Dread Pundit Bluto leaks some information on NSA Datamining.

Sig94 has a piece on how absolutely depraved some in our society can be Testicles. Rope. Tree. Some Assembly Required. Caution: this post is on child abuse and could cause you to break things. This bastard is just evil.

And of course over at the Rott, Misha and the gang are conversing about the Seattle Publik Skools that have dictated that it was officially impossible for a protected minority to be “racist”


UPDATE: I read this Friday and should have included it above. If you would like a very good explaination of how massive databases like the NSA's are used go to The Other Side of Kim and read Database ClueBat.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

California High School Diploma Now Worthless

The great state of Kalifornia in it's effort to make all people equal has made a High School diploma from here worth less than the paper it is printed on.
Judge suspends exit exam
Thousands of high school seniors who have failed the state'’s exit exam could be eligible for diplomas anyway after an Alameda County Superior Court Judge on Friday suspended the test's requirements for the Class of 2006.

So as not to hurt their little feelings by depriving them of something they haven't earned, the state is going to make sure that any moron who managed to at least show up on campus enough days will graduate. You needn't have learned anything, just have been there.

The exit exam is a real ball breaker too. You only have five tries over three years to get 50% right. I know I'm an old fart, but the pass/fail line use to be 60%, and you only got one shot. Oh, and the test is geared to an8th grade level, so you only had five years to achieve this lofty level.
Starting this year, passing the language-arts and math test was to be a requirement for earning a high school diploma. But a lawsuit filed in February charged that the requirement is unfair to poor students and to those learning English who might not have received equal preparation.

What is the state of our schools that they cannot teach to an 8th grade level over five years, even in the poorer school districts? We spend around $10,000 per student per year. I would like to know what the money gets spent on. If they would stop the BS of teaching kids in their native language and put them in an immersion program there wouldn't be this inadequate preparation for learning in English.

I watched kids on the news protesting yesterday (a school day) that without a diploma, they wouldn't be able to get jobs or go on to college. I have news for these children, with this piece of paper that signifies nothing, they still won't be able to get a job or go to college (outside of our fine UC system that will be forced to honor these pseudo-documents).

The sad thing is that now all graduates from Kalifornia will be suspect. Did this kid really apply themselves and learn at least enough to pass the 8th grade, or is this one of those who got passed on so they wouldn't suffer the shame of not qualifying?

People might as well pull their kid out of school and enroll them in a commercial GED school. A diploma from them would be worth more.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Job

This post is purely self pity and I apologize right now. I haven't posted here or at the other sites I visit much in the last week because I have reached one of those points in life where you feel you have just been beat down to the point that you have no energy left.

I am an Operator for an Independent Oil Company. I have worked in oil for over 30 years, starting as idiot, and moving though Rig Operator, Field Supervisor. Operations Manager (till the new owners bankrupted the company), then to a different company as a Site Operator.

The company I started with, Manley Oil Company in 1979 as a job till I figured out what I wanted to do. It was a family run business going into the 4th generation. The rules were simple. Treat your employees well, pay your debts, and prepare for the worst.

Oil, historically, has been a cyclical business. Bust periods, followed by short Booms. There were times where there weren't enough dollars coming in, even though production hadn't changed, that payroll couldn't be met. That goes back to the Manley rules. You kept your employees because in time things will turn, and you paid your debts to your customers, because it's their money and you took on the responsibility. The prepare for the worse was covered by a massive "War Chest". The Manley's set aside a large amount of monies during the good times, invested, but liquid to cover the busts.

All the Manley's passed on, the last way to young at 42, and we were bought by a small "investment" company. They listened to overly paid consultants rather than the people who had worked the field for decades and in less than 4 years managed to destroy a 116 year old company, thirty years of those were shared with me so to watch it go under was like a death in the family.

Shifting money to other parts of the company, overpayment of know-nothing consultants, and insisting the inadequate equipment recommended could be made to work, somehow, on top of record LOW OIL PRICES dried up all assets and killed us.

Which brings me to the reason for my malaise.

The company I now work for, is a little bigger and pays better. The problem is that after three years I am seeing the same pattern that wiped out my last company. Maintenance has be deferred for years, basic regulation requirements have been fudged, and even when the price of oil was at $60/bbl. we were told there wasn't money to buy needed minor equipment.

Two months ago the sh*t hit the fan and we had an injection well go bad. You may have heard it on the news "The Blob That Ate L.A.". That was my company. "deferred maintenance" had caught up to us and we started pumping water and mud up in the middle of a street in downtown Los Angeles.

We haven't produced a drop of oil from my site since, and the workover crew (@ about $18K/day x 6 days/week) don't know if they can fix the problem.

Moral sucks. Of the 6 guys that work at my site, the new foreman is struggling to deal with the problem, the guy who got passed over for foreman is pissed and looking for a new job, the guy who's in his 70's is going to retire in June, the guy who had a new job 6 months ago and was convinced to stay is now wondering why, I'm working with a bunch of dissatified people, and the guy under me is an ass with no experience and argues about every step of every project.

I actually love working in the industry, I enjoy fixing things and making them work the way they are suppose to. But losing my old company and then watching this one rapidly disintegrate has worn me to a nub. I am looking to make a big change in my life. I need to go to a company that wants to do things right and I feel this is my chance to get the heck out of Kalifornia. I've had it with the PC crap, the taxes and living in what is becoming more and more a Socialist over-regulated society.

I want to live in the land of the free, and with my business Texas looks like the place to go. I have started perusing the industry sites for an Operator's position around Dallas (I'm a little leery of the Gulf coast and hurricanes). If anyone knows someone in the oil biz, I'm a dedicated worker with 2 sick days in the last 5 years and I usually have to be told to take my vacation or lose it.

I fell better getting this down, but I gotta go back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Iran Threatens to Pull Out of Nuke Treaty

TEHRAN, Iran -
Iran renewed its threats to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Sunday, with its president saying sanctions would be "meaningless" and its parliament seeking to put a final end to unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities.
Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it? Wasn't it about 4 years ago we were going through the same thing just a few hundred miles to the west of Iran?

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said:
"If a signature on an international treaty causes the rights of a nation be violated, that nation will reconsider its decision and that treaty will be invalid,"

In this case, I guess unilateralism is OK. I certainly don't heard any hue and cry about the "cowboy" in Iran not abiding by the wishes of a majority of nations and endangering the world, even though his expressed goals are the destruction of Israel, the United States and the establishment of the Caliphate. Maybe it's just me, or does someone have the answer of how he plans to do this with just the development of electricity.

The Western nations want to invoke Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter that would allow economic sanctions or military action, if necessary, to force Iran's compliance. Russia and China, the other two permanent Security Council members — all of whom have veto power — oppose such moves.

Once again proving that the U.N. is going to prove to be a toothless entity. Any time someone with economic ties with a rogue state sees there profits threatened, the whole house of cards comes crashing down into a bunch of weak and meaninless resolutions that threaten that we'll hold our breath until we turn blue if you don't do mind us.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again:
"It's clear that any action by the U.N. Security Council will leave a negative impact on our cooperation with the IAEA," he said, adding that such action would "change the path of cooperation to confrontation."

In other words, if you don't let us do what we were going to do, we'll just do it anyway.

Unless someone takes the threats made by this madman seriously, right now, the Middle East is going to be the not so Cold War of the 21st century. Mutually Assured Destruction is not factor considered by someone who beleives dying for Allah (piss be upon him)is going to get him a ticket to Paradise.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hawaiian Gas Cap Pops Off

Back in September just when the price of gas was starting to heat up, the state of Hawaii decided to head off the problem by taking control of prices by regulating with a price cap. After eight months with the government dictating how much to charge, what do you suppose happened?

With the average price for regular in Hawaii rising above $3.38 per gallon Friday, lawmakers have sent to Gov. Linda Lingle a law to suspend the cap that sought to keep the oil companies in check and give a fair price to customers.

Whoops, who would have thought that the government would end up costing the people more that if they had kept their hands off?

"It's ridiculous. Prices jumped up 20 cents in the last couple of days," said Calvin Reddick, who paid $15 for just over four gallons of gas for his Volkswagon Beetle. "Usually when you have a cap, it's supposed to freeze prices off. Obviously, their idea of a cap is different from mine."

Obviously, they have no idea how the market works.

One study by an economics professor showed the gas cap cost consumers 5 cents more per gallon.

An analysis by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism estimated that island motorists paid $54.9 million more than they otherwise would have in the first five months under the cap.

Hi. We're from the government and we're here to help. Is there any other group on the face of the earth that can take a bad situation and make it worse (well, yeah, the U.N.). Of course if they hadn't tried it in Hawaii, then how would we know how lucky we were it didn't happen to us?

But research by cap supporter Rep. Marcus Oshiro indicated the limits saved drivers $33 million.

You just have to know which numbers to use and which to ignore. Please note that these numbers are $87.9 million apart. Somebody's pulling numbers out of their ass, and being the people are screaming and the program was stopped, I think it might be Rep. Oshiro, who now has to defend his position on this.

Rather than forcing down gas prices with a lower price ceiling, the state's mostly Democratic Legislature suspended the cap and gave Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who had opposed any regulation of gas prices, the power to bring it back if she decides fuel has gotten too expensive.

That way, legislators passed on responsibility for any price control to the governor.

They take the chicken's way out. They have just suspended the cap and dumped responsibility on the governor. They don't have to admit they were wrong, and if prices still stay high, they blame the governor for not reimpossing the cap.

At the same time, the law provides for computation of a hypothetical gas cap using a new formula expected to be about 16 cents a gallon lower than the current one. The revised calculation will include prices from low-cost Singapore, and it will disqualify the highest-priced market from the average of the four regions.

If at first you don't succeed....Just rewrite the rules and try again. Government always thinks they could run business better than the actual people who do, it never works, but they'll keep trying til they bankrupt us all.

Friday, May 05, 2006

An Alternative to Cinco de Mayo

While I have usually enjoyed celebrating Cinco di Mayo in the past, with the demands for rights from the border crashers this year I am not in the mood to hoist a Carona in honor of the Mexican's defeating the French this year.

For a good reason to hoist a Tuborg or Carlsberg in honor of this day, head on over to the Rott for a good reason to honor this day. Happy “Den Femte Maj”