Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A Quick Thought in the Wake of the Oregon Mass Shooting...

Someone posted to Facebook the following clip from the 60's TV Show Dragnet. You can click on the link to watch it. It is interesting that 60's Televison was doing a much better job of defending the institutions that made this country great, rather than spend all of their time tearing at the fabric of this country with cynical derision, but that is a discussion for another day.

Anyway, One thing stuck out to me. Joe Friday, in his rant, asks if 50,000 death's as a result of traffic accidents were somehow more moral than the # of soldiers who died each year in Vietnam. So it got me thinking, and i looked up the current statistics. The best number I could find was from 2013. In that year just over 35,000 people died in traffic accidents. About 32,000 people die as a result of guns.  But this is all gun deaths.  Comparing apples to apples, accidental gun deaths are not near as high as car accidents.

My point is.  More people die as a result of car accidents than guns.  Yet there is no politician screaming about mores stringent traffic control laws.  Consider. Both guns and cars kill people.  And in fact, if the government were to outlaw driving, because traffic deaths were totally preventable, then would not such a law be way way more effective in stopping deaths than proposed gun confiscation laws (BTW, confiscation is the only way to stop accidental gun deaths, that is of course if people all do give up their guns.)?  But no one is calling for this.  More than 150,000 people die each year due to doctor's negligence or mistakes.  Again many of these deaths were preventable, but no one is calling for the outlawing of doctors as a medical profession.

Do you see my point?  While gun deaths are tragic.  They are no more tragic than other types of untimely deaths.  The constitution, however protects citizens from government trying to take guns away.  They put it there on purpose.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Great Food Truck Race Season 6 Finale.....The Fix Was in.

I am not one to ever comment about reality TV, and other than CBS's the Amazing Race and Top Chef on Bravo, I do not really watch much of it at all, but I did get into the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network with host Tyler Florence this season. The main reason I got interested is because a local food truck here in Utah called Waffle Love was on it.  I had never eaten their food before watching this show, (I have since and I must say that they make the best waffle I have ever tasted) so other than the fact they were local to me I did not care all that much.

I think to everyone's surprise outside of Utah Waffle Love just killed it each week. They were either #1 or #2 on every episode and never were at the bottom and in fear of being eliminated.  Regardless, Tyler Florence clearly started to show his bias against Waffle Love.  He at least three times criticized their cooking chops but had earlier praised their challenge food.  But the finale, in my opinion, was the most egrigeous example of favoritism I have ever seen.  First some more background.

The GFTR usually gives aspiring food trucks a chance to realize their culinary dream by giving the winning team a new food truck at the end of the season. Season 6, however gave established food trucks the opportunity to go after $50K and the right to be called the greatest food truck in America.  Each week basically went the same way. The trucks were given a challenge to cook something. The winning truck for the challenge would then be given some type of advantage, usually in the form of cash added to their till.  (I remember one week a team getting an extra $1000).

To make a long story short, it came down to Waffle Love and Phonomenal Dumplings.  Each week teams were eliminated because they had the lowest amount sold for the week.  But in the finale it was not about how much sold but rather an Amazing Race type of finish where they had to do basically three challenges in Chicago, after completing the cooking challenge in St. Louis.  This is where the fix, to me became obvious.

The challenge was fair. The two teams were given the same ingredients (Pork Steak, Chicken, and Hamburger) and had to create three dishes that would be judged independently.  During the cooking Tyler Florence visited each truck and asked them what they were doing. When PHO explained they were making a mushroom stuffed hamburger, Tyler gave them a suggestion to stuff it with more than just mushrooms and to add cheese as well (might have said other ingredients too).  When he spoke to Waffle Love he gave no help to them.

During the tasting the pork steak went to Pho and the chicken went to Waffle Love so it came down to the hamburger.  And of course Pho won this part and were given the advantage (which I will explain in a second). But it must be noted that the judges said that the stuffing in the hamburger was delicious and can then be assumed that it was the stuffing that won them the challenge. So in other words it was basically Tyler Florence's dish that won the challenge.

Now the advantage was not cash in their till. No, this race came down to who could sell ethnic inspired dishes in the different ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago.  The two teams had to go to Chinatown, Little Italy and Little Greece(?) and sell 50 dishes of ethnically inspired food at each stop. Once the finished selling their food at their three stops, they just had get in their truck and race to a finish line. Pho, for winning, the challenge only had to sell 20 dishes at their first stop.  This is like holding 200 meter dash, but giving one of the competitors a 50 meter lead.

Needless to say Pho won.

I went through Wikipedia's entries and found that it looks like this was the only season finale that did not come down to who sold the most.  I have no proof, but I think they changed the rules of the game to give Pho an unfair advantage.  It was the only way to even make it close. Consider that Waffle Love was first or second in sales in every other week.

Now I was rooting for Waffle Love but did not care all that much and wanted to see a good finale.  This was a joke. Tyler Florence helped and was rooting for Pho the whole time.  He made it clear when he told Pho that they were not in the right neighborhood in Greek town and had to go back and resell their food.  He told them, "Come on. You can do this."  Even with the fact that they had to go back and resell, their advantage was so great that there was basically no way they would lose.

What a waste of my time. I will not be watching this noise ever again. #epicfail #greatfoodtruckrace

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Obama's new CO2 regs prove that he does not care about the poor.

Democrats and liberals have been given credit for being for the little guy.  My mother, who is a life-long democrat, has said as much to me. Never mind that the party platform has embraced infanticide, gay marriage and all other LGBT issues, rejected God, and pretty much does not stand for anything that mainstream America does.

But yesterday, Obama in essence jettisoned the poor by announcing that all power plants in the US must reduce carbon emissions by 32% by 2030.  Pretty much every major projection on these regulations will cause energy prices to skyrocket.  Who is this going to affect the most? The poor and middle class, or in other words the little people that the Democrat party says they represent.  Oh, and what will this supposedly do for the environment? It will reduce global temperatures by .028 degrees? Why is the impact not greater? Because the US is not even close to the biggest polluter in the world.

But make no mistake.  This will hurt the poor and middle class the most?  It will not just cause energy costs to increase but it will cause inflation in other areas, since all companies use energy.  If a rich person's electric bill goes up 20%, they just pay it with no trouble. But when lower and middle class people's energy costs go up, they will have a much harder time paying those bills.  Gas will cost more. Food will cost more and the average American will less cash in their pockets.

Finally, since when is CO2 a pollutant?  I leave you with this excellent video from Prager University made by one of the co-founder's of Greenpeace.

No, there is no anti-Israel Bias at the NY Times.

Recently the New York Times published an Op-Ed of a Palestinian who describes the deplorable conditions that he says exist in Israeli prison...