Teen Loses Stomach After Drinking Liquid Nitrogen

Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham, Lancashire, was celebrating her 18th birthday with friends at Oscar’s wine bar and bistro in Lancaster earlier this month when she drank two shots of the liqueur Jagermeister, which was laced with liquid nitrogen.  …

It was made popular by celebrity chefs, including Heston Blumenthal, and is completely harmless as a gas.  But if the nitrogen has not burned away fully, as a liquid it has the power to freeze objects in a matter of seconds.  Touching the liquid can give you severe cryogenic, or cold, burns.


Miss Scanlon said she felt fine after her first drink but suffered “excruciating pain” the moment she drank the second, offered to her by the bar man because it was her birthday.

via Business Insider.

From the UK.  But I’m still chalking this up to bad education.  Someone missed a very important lesson when she stayed home that day.  Had she seen the rose shatter maybe she would remember how dangerous this stuff really is.

Over $60,000 Spent Per Household in Poverty

“According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,” the Senate Budget Committee notes. “If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.”

via The Weekly Standard.

Yes, I know… it’s The Weekly Standard.  It’s biased.  But facts are facts.  It’s just math.  Someone crunch the numbers and prove this wrong.  One should note that the article points out that welfare spending includes money such as Pell Grants which are given to people in households above the poverty line.  So it’s honest that way.

But it’s just plain staggering to think about.  Where does all this money go?  Certainly a lot of bureaucrats pushing paper is part of the number.  But direct payments to the “poor” much be significant.  Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s fun to be poor… far from.  But we need to acknowledge that America has the richest poor people in the world.

The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau as taken from various government reports:

  • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
  • Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
  • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
  • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
  • Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.
  • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
  • 43 percent have Internet access.
  • One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
  • One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

via Heritage Foundation.

In America the poor receive food, shelter, medical care, even a cell phone.  The reality is a far cry from the perception many on the left would like you to believe whereby tens-of-thousands of starving children are dying in dirty streets because no one would give them a morsel of bread.  That’s just simply not the case.

TSA PreCheck System Flawed – No One Surprised

“Using a website I decoded my boarding pass for my upcoming trip.

“It’s all there PNR [passenger name record], seat assignment, flight number, name, etc. But what is interesting is the bolded three on the end. This is the TSA PreCheck information. The number means the number of beeps. 1 beep no PreCheck, 3 beeps yes PreCheck.”

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not respond to a BBC request for a statement, but has previously said: “TSA does not comment on specifics of the screening process, which contain measures both seen and unseen. In addition, TSA incorporates random and unpredictable security measures throughout the travelling process.”

via BBC News.

As usual the MSM is silent on the farce that is the TSA.

It’s amazing what a complete and udder failure the TSA has become.  From the millimeter machines that pounded you with radiation and made pictures of your naughty bits to the number of TSA employees who have been busted for everything from child porn to stealing laptops it seems that TSA is the symbol for irresponsible government run amok.

Perhaps the greater failure is that the Obama admin has done nothing to correct the issue.

TSA provides nothing but the illusion of security by harassing and abusing law abiding citizens.  It’s a national embarrassment.

More Dem on GOP Violence in WI

A story on the Daily Caller, a national conservative website, says Kyle Wood, a full-time volunteer for Lee, reported that he answered his door Wednesday morning and a man wrapped a ligature around his neck, slammed his head into the doorway, smashed his face into a mirror and kidney-punched him.

via Madison.com.

I wrote a little about this here.

No mention of either of these stories in the MSM.


CPD Brass Wasting Money Trying to Track Gunshots

The Police Department began using gunshot detection technology early last month in two 1.5-square-mile areas to try to better pinpoint the location of gunshots, Superintendent Garry McCarthy disclosed Thursday. The sensors sometimes give officers information before 911 calls are made, he said.

In the past decade, the city twice installed the devices but ultimately removed them because of their high price tags and ineffectiveness. Since then the technology has improved “dramatically,” McCarthy said.

“What we can do with this is overwhelming right now,” McCarthy said at a news conference. “It’s gotten a lot better, and obviously as it’s out there longer, it’s a lot cheaper also.”

The one-year contract for the ShotSpotter system costs about $200,000 — money that will come from drug forfeitures and other property seized by police, authorities said.

via Chicago Tribune.

So it didn’t work before and was too expensive.  Boy, that’s not what we were told last time.

Given the success of the pilot program, in September 2003, Mayor Daley announced that a new phase of PODs would be deployed throughout the City. Subsequently, the number of PODs increased from 30 to 80 by December 2003. Some of the new second generation PODs were also equipped with technology to detect gunfire. Using wireless technology, these units transmitted gunshot alerts, as well as the usual video images, directly to the City’s Emergency Management and Communications Center, thereby providing crucial intelligence on criminal incidents involving guns. Several of the 30 existing PODs were also upgraded with the same technology during that time period.
CPD Website, dated June 15, 2003


Chicago police plan to add 50 new remote-controlled cameras in city … The new cameras will be equipped with gunshot detectors….
Herald & Review, dated April 7, 2004


Chicago police have installed 30 surveillance units in high-crime locales. The system uses four microphones to zero in on firearm discharges.
USA Today, dated June 6, 2005

The USA Today article ends with:

Adding SENTRI to an existing surveillance camera is not cheap, however. The system costs between $4,000 and $10,000 per unit. In Chicago, money forfeited by criminals is used to pay for both it and the accompanying cameras.

As a result, Police Superintendent Phil Cline told a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, “the drug dealers are actually paying to surveil themselves.”

I guess everything old is new again.


Pension’s Rate of Return Plummets to 0.76%

This sounds like a problem:

The pension fund for most public school teachers in Illinois generated just 0.76 percent in fiscal 2012, a big drop from the 23.6 percent rate of return in the previous fiscal year, the Teachers’ Retirement System reported on Thursday.  …

It is the long-term results that matter and the system’s 20-year investment return at the end of June was 7.73 percent.”  …

Last month, the pension fund for teachers in all Illinois school districts with the exception of the Chicago Public Schools, lowered its long-term assumed investment rate of return to 8 percent from 8.5 percent.The move will depress TRS’ funded ratio to 42.5 percent and increase Illinois’ fiscal 2014 payment to the fund to $3.36 billion instead of $3.07 billion under the previous return rate.

via Crain’s Chicago Business.

Indeed a problem.  Consider …

A drop in the assumed rate of return from 8.5% to 8.0% meant that the state (that’s you and me, a/k/a the taxpayers) owed an extra $300,000,000.  Hummm….

TRS’s board members, appointed by The Machine, like to quote the 20-year ROR because it’s a respectable 7.73%.  That’s true.  But as I wrote about this before, the 10-year ROR is a pathetic 5.7%.

The fact remains that TRS is in some real trouble.  Everyone knows it.  And the longer we keep our head in the sand the more painful it’s going to be to fix.

CPD Brass Wants Tighter Gun Tracking

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said today that he would like to see gun owners in Illinois have to report when their weapons are stolen, lost or sold – steps he said would lower the number of firearms in the hands of criminals.  …

“We keep trying to pass comprehensive gun legislation,” he added. “And my recommendation is to really start small. The fact is that if there was a requirement to report the loss, transfer or theft of a firearm in the state of Illinois, that would significantly limit the number of firearms in the city of Chicago.”

via Chicago Tribune.

Media simply reports what the man says as gospel and doesn’t ask any questions.

Please tell us Mr. McCarthy how part one, a “requirement to report the loss, transfer or theft of a firearm” leads to part two, and “significantly limit the number of firearms in the city of Chicago?”

Person A has a gun.  Person A goes on vacation and while gone Gang-Banger B breaks into Person A’s house and steals Person A’s gun.  Person A reports to the police that the gun has been stolen.

First, Person A is going to file a report b/c guns are expensive and he or she is going to want to make the insurance claim that the gun was stolen.

Second, Person A is going to file a report b/c they don’t want the police knocking at their door when the gun is used in a crime.

But just in case that’s not enough…  let’s just say we do create a new law to force Person A to notify the police that the gun was stolen.  Now just exactly what is the police going to do with that information to keep the stolen firearm out of the city of Chicago?

I would really like to know.  Where is the nexus between knowledge of a stolen gun and action that keeps that gun out of the city?

Can someone please explain?

“Obama, Romney – Same Police State”

Johnson’s first point was that the US political system is in desperate need of transparency.  Whether Obama or Romney is elected next month, he told the audience, we will still have “a heightened police state in the US.”  And Obama and Romney are guaranteed to continue American military interventions abroad, he added.

via RT.

Indeed.  Obama and Romney are more alike than different when you consider the other ideas being bantered about.  Such as:

However, [Johnson] saw taxing marijuana as one alternative to outlawing it. “I have drank alcohol,” he said, “and I have smoked marijuana. … I can tell you that in no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol – yet we are arresting 1.8 million people a year on drug-related crimes.” He claimed that fully half of the US court and prison budget every year goes to drug-related offenses, and asked, rhetorically, “to what end?”

I would love a presidential candidate to come forward and tell the American people directly that the war on drugs has been an epic failure.

Johnson repeated throughout the debate that thanks to American wars abroad, the US has unnecessarily made millions of enemies around the world.  The use of the military, he said, is to defend the country, not invade other nations.

I would love a presidential candidate to come forward and tell the American people directly that our foreign policy of intervening in everyone else’s affairs has been an epic failure.

“The biggest threat to our national security is that we’re bankrupt,” he told the audience….

I would love a presidential candidate to come forward and tell the American people directly that our debt is a national security issue.

Kudos to Gary Johnson.  Such a shame that the GOP and Dem and MSM just ignore you.

30,000 Unfilled Jobs in Illinois

Say “skills gap” to any manufacturer, and invariably they’ll respond with the number 600,000. That’s the gaping hole of unfilled jobs at U.S. manufacturers — for Illinois, estimates point to 30,000 unfilled jobs. The talent shortfall carries serious consequences. In a Manufacturing Institute 2011 skills gap report surveying more than 1,100 U.S. manufacturers, 74 percent of respondents said a lack of skilled production workers was harming productivity or hindering their ability to expand operations.

That skills gap will widen. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, based in Dearborn, Mich., predicts the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs will reach 3 million by 2015.

via Crain’s Chicago Business.

Holy Cow!!

To be fair, the rest of the article talks about how wages for machinist have not kept pace with inflation; that may be true.  But isn’t taking a job at $13 or $14 an hour better than sitting home watching Judge Judy and playing xbox all day?

These jobs are fun too.  In a former life I used to work with a lot of machinist and injection molding operators and tool & die guys, and other people who I think had cool jobs.  You get to build things.  You get to play with equipment that costs more than your house.  At the end of the day you can go home and tell your family that you did something with your day.  You didn’t just move paper from one side of the desk to the other (like I do now.)

What we have here is evidence of the complete failing of our educational system.  Children not only don’t have the most rudimentary math skills necessary to become a machinist or CNC operator but they don’t have the intellectual curiosity and patience to solve complicated puzzles.  That’s what these jobs really are… puzzle solvers.  Figure our how to make something better than it’s being made today, faster, cheaper.

We have to turn this around.  Show kids that learning is fun and that building (and breaking) stuff can lead to a rewarding job that might not get you a house in Lake Forest but will certainly allow you to put food on the table, gas in the car, and take a decent vacation every year.

We will not survive as a nation if people will stay home rather than work for a living.