Bourgeois Deviant

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How I roll...

A while back, I posted on the quandary of getting a second car. The choice was between the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. After a long process of research and test-driving, we bought the Prius. We've driven 3,000 miles in it so far and have been pleased with every mile we've driven in it.

In the time that we've owned it, we've gotten a few questions about it and I've found our answers surprise people. As does the car, itself, when they see it first hand. So, right now we're averaging over 48 mpg. The official statistic is 47 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway. At the end of the day, it all depends on how you drive. Our area is sort of hilly and as there are a fair number of aggressive drivers in northern Jersey, so stomping on the gas pedal is a frequent requirement.

Last point on mpg; you have to factor the load and the season. I've noticed that when its really cold out and you are running the heat, the real time mpg average takes a while to get to where it ought to be. I would guess that the same is applicable in the summer with air conditioning running. And naturally, if you are carrying more than just yourself, your averages drop slightly. That being said, the car has great pick up, regardless of these factors. Its no sports car, but it gets the job done.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Obama post PA

Andrew Sullivan sums it up pretty well. Here.

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Mark your calendars

All In This Tea
April 29th, 9:35 p.m. Sundance Channel. Season 2 of 'the Green'

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Friday, April 18, 2008

From the National Defense University by Joseph Collins, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations in the Pentagon, April 2008:
Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle. As of fall 2007, this conflict has cost the United States over 3,800 dead and over 28,000 wounded. Allied casualties accounted for another 300 dead. Iraqi civilian deaths--mostly at the hands of other Iraqis--may number as high as 82,000. Over 7,500 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have also been killed. Fifteen percent of the Iraqi population has become refugees or displaced persons. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the United States now spends over $10 billion per month on the war, and that the total, direct U.S. costs from March 2003 to July 2007 have exceeded $450 billion, all of which has been covered by deficit spending. No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans' benefits or the total impact on Service personnel and materiel.

The war's political impact also has been great. Globally, U.S. standing among friends and allies has fallen.2 Our status as a moral leader has been damaged by the war, the subsequent occupation of a Muslim nation, and various issues concerning the treatment of detainees. At the same time, operations in Iraq have had a negative impact on all other efforts in the war on terror, which must bow to the priority of Iraq when it comes to manpower, materiel, and the attention of decisionmakers. Our Armed Forces-- especially the Army and Marine Corps--have been severely strained by the war in Iraq. Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East.

As this case study is being written, despite impressive progress in security during the surge, the outcome of the war is in doubt. Strong majorities of both Iraqis and Americans favor some sort of U.S. withdrawal. Intelligence analysts, however, remind us that the only thing worse than an Iraq with an American army may be an Iraq after the rapid withdrawal of that army.... No one has calculated the psychopolitical impact of a perceived defeat on the U.S. reputation for power or the future of the overall war on terror. For many analysts (including this one), Iraq remains a "must win," but for many others, despite the obvious progress under General David Petraeus and the surge, it now looks like a "can't win."

Via TPM. Full document: (PDF).

Update: And Bumpa Deviant responds: "and all of that was predicted by people in the know before we started the war...and it was ignored by those who wanted to start the war regardless of the facts."

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Teh Popah!

He's coming to NY and I can't not totally wait!

Ta to teh DCeiver.

Now, note that his Holy See-ness is talking up a storm re: pedophilia abuses and the Church. Talk is one thing. Action is another. When he acts in some palpable papal way to sort out the sick individuals who abused kids hiding under the cassock of the church, then I'll listen. Gladly. Until then, Joey Ratz will remain purely symbolic and, for the most part, empty.

Is he even going to Boston?

Update: Nod to Checkypantz - Papapalpable –adjective [pay-puh-pal-puh-bull]: Definitive, appreciable action on the Pontiff's part as a follow-through to statements made in efforts to address abhorrent problems. (alternative spelling - popapalpable)

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good Read

From Roger Cohen in today's NYT:
The world is weary of the narrative of American exceptionalism. Something’s the matter with something. Guns and God, Hillary’s latest mantra, won’t set America right. Nor will 100 years in Iraq.
Nod to Mr. Biglin for tipping me to it.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What's wrong with America?

A ripe example would be Rep. Monique Davis and people who agree with her.

See why.

I wonder if she recalls this:

The Constitution of the United States

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Update: Surfing around teh intairwebs, I stumbled upon this article by Sam Harris that is very much in line with the story above. While it is an antecedent, it follows nicely

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