Category: News

Landis Gets Two Years

Floyd Landis was given a two year suspension, and will probably never cycle professionally again. While Floyd probably doped, his case against the doping regulatory agency was legitimate. Floyd’s test would be a non-positive in the US, and many other countries.

Cycling has very flawed testing procedures. Basically they take two samples, and if sample A tests positive, you are informed and given the right to have the B sample tested. Guess what? The B sample never contradicts the A sample, because there is way too much external pressure to not have any contradictory results. Plus, the tests are generally done by the same lab for both samples.

If they want to do doping tests right. Take the A sample and the B sample, and test them at the same time by random labs using different id codes sent to each lab. This way there is very little chance of a procedural error resulting in a false positive. People need to also realize, these tests are not black and white. Its not a pregnancy test with a + or -. There is a lot of deduction in determining the result for a lot of these doping tests.

Bush Threatens Veto of Child Health Bill

Bush is trying to stop the coverage of children under the extension of a federal health bill designed for working people who can’t afford to cover their whole family. Bush is basically acting for the HMO’s, which is obviously not a shocker. Bush has dedicated his entire political career to working on behalf of special interests.

The system of health care in the United States is completely broken. There is no reason why businesses should front the bill for health care. HMO’s are extorting the American people, as politicians like Bush do their bidding. The odd part is, every time Bush threatens to veto a bill he usually cites fiscal responsibility as the reason, yet he has been the most fiscally irresponsible president since Lyndon Johnson.

Today, Mr. Bush defended himself. “I respectfully disagree with Alan Greenspan when it comes to saying that this administration didn’t handle the fiscal — the fiscal issues we faced in good fashion,” he said, stopping for a moment mid-sentence. “As a matter of fact, we did.”

Lets see, Allen Greenspan or Bush Jr, whose opinion do you trust?

Apple is Evil, and getting Greedier

Apple’s role a content distributor has to lead to more restrictive device designs. Apple continues to screw over developers, with a pompous mentality when it comes to providing tools to develop software for its products. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. I think the days of Apple’s complete domination of digital media players and content distribution might be coming to a close.

Ed Rendell, the second term governor of Pennsylvania is at it again trying to gouge the citizens of Pennsylvania. You might remember his attempts to sell off the turnpike earlier this year. The sale of the turnpike is still on the table, but now Rendell is trying to turn I-80 in to the turnpike.

Apparently this was passed in July, but its caught most Pennsylvanians like me off guard. Any state politician who voted for Act 44 should be thrown out of office. Turning I-80 in to a toll road will be devastating to the economy of Northern PA. The measure was done ZERO study and NO input from the citizens of Pennsylvania.

There is simply no valid reason for creating new toll roads in Pennsylvania. Instead of expanding the realm of state government, maybe Rendell should try cost cutting for once in his life? Other states have more roads, maintained in better condition, with less money. If Rendell insists on creating a toll road, why not make the Schuylkill expressway a toll road? Especially considering that the main motivator behind this bill is to fund SEPTA. Why not have tolls to fund SEPTA, paid by people who might actually be able to use SEPTA?

Stealing money and killing the economy of central and northern PA to fund Philadelphia’s ineptly run mass transit system makes absolutely NO SENSE.

fedex dc10Whenever I’m asked to describe the political landscape of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I tell people to think of Turkmenistan. Think of a place where political corruption is so common, that its accepted by the people as the norm.

Local and County politicians are usually corrupt, and almost always incompetent. The judicial branch is not immune either, and sometimes judges work in partnership with the corrupt county politicians. The classic example is where a company built a private juvenile detention facility under no contract with the government. A corrupt judge ruled that the existing county run facility was unlivable, and surprise, they had a brand new private facility ready for the county to sign a long term contract. The county pays more per person on juvenile delinquents, than it costs to get a suite at the Waldorf.

Now some may ask, where is the media in this situation? Shouldn’t the media act as a watchdog? Northeastern Pennsylvania has one of the highest per capita newspaper readership rates in the county. Simply put, there are a lot of old people, and old people tend to read the newspaper. The Wilkes-Barre area is dominated by a paper called the “Times Leader,” which is run by a political hack named Richard Conner. Need some proof? Conner’s editorial on Sunday commended president Bush for showing “leadership and loyalty” by commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence. The local media, is very selective about what they report. They will put on a big show, and go really hard on some people, while often protecting others.

The state of Pennsylvania recently had a budget fiasco, which resulted in the shutdown of non-essential government services for a day, thanks to a political hack on the democratic side, Edward Rendell. When the budget was passed in Harrisburg it included money to “study” a proposed cargo airport in Hazleton. Some of the same corrupt players who brought you the juvenile detention center, are now pushing this cargo airport.

As a pilot, I love it when new airports are built, because it doesn’t happen that often. The number of airports in this country is dropping dramatically. However; in the case of the Hazleton cargo airport, I cannot approve of such a miscarriage of government.

The strategy for the cargo airport is taken right from the Field of Dreams play book. “If you build it, they will come.” The idea is that because of operating expenses and congestion outside the NYC metro area, we can use a boatload of government funds to build an airport for cargo planes setup by private developers, with no experience. Magically, after spending a billion+ dollars in public funds, with no major contracts before ground breaking, 747’s are going to start landing in Hazleton, bringing thousands of crappy low wage jobs to work the warehouses and move the cargo.

The cargo airport is simply a pipe dream. The developers don’t have any major carrier under contract, and the numbers floating around for the potential economic benefits are simply ludicrous. I don’t know how this story will end, but given the track record for Northeastern Pennsylvania state and county government, chances are that I will have a vacant 12,000ft runway to land on five years from now.

I’m not a Michael Moore fan, but I went and saw Sicko over the weekend, and I was pretty impressed. I’ve held the opinion for a long time that our health care system is completely broken, and we need to look across the pond to Europe for ways to fix it.

In the video below, Michael Moore does a great job sticking it to Wolf Blitzer. I haven’t watched cable news regularly for about five years, but its amazing how bad TV news has become. Its hard to believe, but a decade ago CNN had a lot of credibility. Today, CNN is no better than Fox News.

Anytime the subject of new firearms regulations comes up, there is one debating strategy that always seems to bubble to the surface. Any regulation, no matter how small or sensible, is always railed against with the “People will do it anyway” defense.

Like my personal view that their should be a graduated level of training, and a basic psychological test in order to posess firearms. The typical person arguing against such an idea will say, “People will do it anyway.” If someone is determined enough, they will get weapons legally or illegally.

It is a completely accurate statement, but its not a logical argument against a sensible training program and a psych screen. I’ve seen this argument from both camps of the gun debate. The NRA camp uses the “people will do it anyway” logic to say that any gun regulation is useless. The anti-gun camp uses the “people will do it anyway” to push for full complete handgun and assault weapon ban.

The “People will do it anyway,” logic is completely flawed. It could be used against anything. Why have laws against rape, people will rape anyway? Murder, people will do it anyway!