The demise of NASCAR

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the Coca Cola 600 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is actually not even in Mecklenburg County. There are many reasons for the decline.

The actual race begins at 6:15 PM, which means the race will end well after dark, around 10 PM, assuming no rain delays or long race stoppages. I’ve never been to a race, but I can’t imagine many people getting out of the racetrack before midnight. NASCAR used to have fans that would go to every race, driving hours to get to the racetrack. It is incomprehensible that any responsible parent would take children to a night race.

The grandstands are smoke free, including prohibiting e-cigarettes. 41,000 seats have been torn down to install solar panels in order to be “green”. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in zones designated as non-alcohol areas. All coolers and backpacks will be searched.

NASCAR has lost its soul.

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What is the purpose of Voice of America?

Voice of America was created in 1942 as a media outlet targeted at Europe to provide propoganda to support the war effort. It is not intended to be a domestic news service, which was changed during the final term of the Obama Administration.

In 1976, the VOA redefined itself with a new charter that laid out the guiding principles – that the VOA would provide the world with reliable news, provide a comprehensive view of American thoughts and institutions, and most importantly “will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on those policies”.

President Trump sets the policies of the United States, not Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the State Department, the CIA or VOA staff. For the past month, I’ve received a daily list of VOA stories that could have been authored by the DNC. Almost all are anti-Trump or promoting issues that have nothing to do with Us government policies. You can see the list here

Today’s “Editor’s Picks” consist of:

  • Trump’s physical stamina called into question during overseas tour

    Was the 70-year-old president fatigued when he botched a critical line in his speech to Muslim leaders or was he being true to form?

  • Trump’s Russia difficulties make us think of past presidential scandals

    From Watergate to Iran-Contra and Bill Clinton’s impeachment, a look at recent presidential political scandals.

  • As if the threat from Boko Haram isn’t bad enough

    Communities in northeastern Nigeria are fighting hunger as many farmers are cut off from their farms. [What is the Trump policy on this?]

  • Chinese Student Criticized for Graduation Comments

    A Chinese student has apologized after she received heavy criticism for a graduation speech she gave in the American state of Maryland [VOA implicitly supporting Communist Chinese censorship

  • China might be losing its luster for foreign investors

    Foreign companies say Beijing has gone backwards, piling on more regulations, taxes and local company market share protectionism. [policy source quoted is a former Bill Clinton appointee]

  • Syrians running from IS camp out on roadsides

    Families escaped Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa ahead of a US-backed offensive there. [US Syria policy is as muddled as the headline]

  • Russia’s ‘party of pensioners’ aims to make communism cool again

    Looking to attract young members, Russia’s aging communist party is using pop culture images, including a leather-jacket-wearing Karl Marx.

The swamp still looks a bit soggy

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Our stalker Ex President

Guardian (.uk) coverage

During the eight years we had to endure President Obama, a day didn’t go by when he didn’t remind us that the world revlved aroind him, and that 300 million Americans would be helpless if not for his brilliance and his wife’s nutrition advice.

It is clear he intends to spend the next 8 years of his life underminng President Trump. While Trump is getting NATO on board for militarily confronting ISIL/ISIS, Obama is meeting with former East Germany’s Angela Merkel, a totally inappropriate action by Merkel, unless Trump requested them to meet.

Obama made an incredibly ignorant speech in Berlin, or if he did understand then he is a truly evil man. Standing at Brandenburg Gate, he made the statement that “We Can’t hide behind a wall”.

The Berlin Wall was built to keep well educated East Germans from leaving. It was built by the Russians to try to defend the failng Communist East German government. West Germans were not scaling the wall to get into East Germany. The razor wire and barbed wire were pointed inward, and the East German guards shot unarmed fleeing civilians in the back.

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Rhabdomyolysis

Clark Howard hospitalized

Clark Howard needed to have a chat with Don Imus. Imus has made warning the public about the overtreatment of benign prostate cancer his mission in life.

Rhabdomyolysis is the situation in which your kidneys are overwhelmed with the byproducts of muscle death, which can lead to kidney failure. The standard treatment is large quantities of IV fluids that flush out the products of the breakdown of muscle tissue.

There are many causes for this problem, but in the case of Clark Howard, it was apparently caused by the interaction of two medications for benign conditions. Clark Howard was already on the “harmless” drug Lipitor, a statin drug to suppress your liver from producing cholesterol into your bloodstream. While statins do lower total cholesterol, they don’t reduce the “bad” cholesterol nor is there evidence that lowering cholesterol using medications actually reduces morbidity or mortality.

Clark also was prescribed cipro (an antibiotic) following a biopsy of his prostate for non aggressive cancer. From diagnosis to death, the average time to die from prostate cancer is 20 years, which means most men will die of something else first. By age 80, almost all men have benign prostate cancer (known from autopsy results of men who died of other things like car accidents).

Rhabdomyolysis can cause permanent kidney damage, possibly resulting in needing dialysis. It sounds like the frugal Clark Howard delayed seeking treatment, which likely will cost him more than his money. In the AJC story, Clark mentions that he parked his car on a city street rather than paying to use a parking deck at the hospital, when he was almost unable to walk.

The Countess has been a long-term advocate of homeopathy, integrative medicine and reflexology. In our recent round of traditional (“allopathic”) doctors, when asked what medications I take, we get blank stares when I say “none” as if I’m concealing something.

Polypharmacy – the taking of 5 or more prescription medications at the same time affects over 1/3 of all seniors in the United States, and almost 2 of 3 Canadians where “free” health care encourages overprescribing and removing the patient objection of “I can’t pay for this” to be noncompliant with their doctor’s “orders”

Posted in Clark Howard, Talk Radio | 2 Comments

Getting ready for war

[Donning Alex Jones tin foil hat]

See if you can figure out the rationale behind this in a suburban shopping center with Walmart as the anchor tenant.

It’s lunch time and I did see two black women in camouflage military outfits walking in the area.

My first thought was that there might be a military recruitment center nearby – but are we really at the point that we are recruiting soldiers to whom walking an extra 50 feet between air conditioned buildings would influence their decision to serve the country?

* update *

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Countess gets the goat

The newest member of the Stiening family wanted to visit the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s market on Saturday, intrigued with the idea of buying fresh goat meat, which we did.

She followed the advice of the woman who was selling the meat to cook it very slowly and long and to not let it dry out. There was minimal spices involved – the woman said if we didn’t like the taste, you could always drown it in BBQ sauce.

It didn’t really taste like any other meat I’ve had. Even with the slow cooking, it was stringy. The taste was not unpleasant but also wasn’t prime rib of beef. If you’re trying to survive in a desert, it is probably quite good, however the Countess is ready to move on to more exotic foods like Stouffers Macaroni and Cheese.

Whew!

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The end of AM radio

It is painfully obvious now that the way the FCC is going to “save” AM radio is to destroy it. Part of the dowry that arrived with the Countess is a Bose wave radio. Other than infrequent use inside the car, I have not listened to over the air radio in a very long time.

WBT-AM is the big AM heritage station. We are less than three miles from the transmitter towers, so it booms in. The other news talk stations, not so much. WBCN-AM, the expanded band station doesn’t come in at all at night. While tuning the FM band, I found a news/talk “station” on FM that was not in the database. It turns out Beasley (who bought the CBS stations) switched an existing FM translator to be a simulcast of WBCN-AM, probably as a translator of the HD2 channel of an FM that was already simulcasting the AM station. Although only 250 watts, it was booming in.

WRHL-AM in Rock Hill has a scratchy fringe signal during the day, but an FM translator that booms in during the day. WGNC-AM also carries news/talk, but very sketchy reception. It has an FM translator that might not be hearable, but I didn’t check yet.

The latest FCC rules change relaxed the rules so FM translators can reach listeners beyond the protected contour of the original AM license. Translators are very inexpensive and easy to relocate.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want an AM license other than as a legality to operate an FM translator. The only AM stations in this area that aren’t already available on FM are Spanish language and prerecorded religious fund solicitations. Once a car radio switches to FM, it isn’t going back. And with the new options, it can’t be assumed that over the air AM/FM is even a reasonable choice.

Posted in Saving AM radio, The FCC | 12 Comments

“Being a felon means I’m disabled”

It’s great when a plan comes together. I proposed that we do the drivers license stuff out in an undisclosed rural DMV office, far from Charlotte.

After a few driving errors on my part, and an initial paperwork issue with insurance, we were quickly handed over to a woman DMV employee who recently moved here from New York. She was polite and helpful dealing with the complexity of changing her name and residency at the same time.

While we were doing our business, it was hard to ignore the man who came in about the same time. He was needing a state ID card. That requires a birth certificate and proof of address. All his worldly belongings seemed to be in a briefcase.

He indicated that he had an ID card about 10 years ago, and a driver’s license for a while before his license was revoked.

His story meandered on about how he didn’t get a new ID and something related to drug convictions. At this point, he volunteered for no particular reason that he thought Obama was a great President and how great it was that he gets his healthcare for free.

When it came time to pay for the state ID card, he offered up the information that since he is a felon, the people at DSS told him that qualifies him as “disabled” and he was supposed to get the ID card for free.

Here are the actual rules

Free ID cards

After the guy left, the employees were rolling their eyes. I would not be surprised if they had just issued a fake ID.

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Social “Security”

Yesterday was quite instructive. Mrs Stiening needed to complete her name change. The first step of the process was to pick up the certified copy of the marriage certificate at the Mecklenburg County office, which went off without a hitch and the woman was very pleasant.

Step two in the process was to go to the Social Security office to file the name change. The Marriage license bureau informed us the SSA office closes at noon on Wednesday, which I didn’t know, but it was 11:10 and the office was maybe 15 minutes away.

Charlotte, a city of 800,000 people has only one SSA office. When we arrived, I dropped off the better half at the door since time might be an issue. I walked in from the car and immediately was confronted with TSA type security – 3 security guards and a metal detector and hand wanding. The female security guard made sure that my iPhone was muted. The Countess indicated she was told to empty her pockets and was rebuffed for declaring she has no pockets, and they demanded to examine the contents of her purse.

The Mrs was sitting in the bullpen with probably seating for 150 people in metal benches that would have worked well in a prison cafeteria. She had been handed a piece of paper similar to the tabs you get at the deli.

While we were sitting, I asked her how many cameras she thought were currently recording her. There were two ceiling panels that were askew for no obvious reason, and perhaps 6 visible cameras in the ceiling. When our number was called, we went to seat number eight, in front of a bullet proof glass window, with no person on the other side.

Eventually he returned, and was handed the marriage certificate and he started typing into the computer. Even though he was told the address on the marriage certificate was correct, he asked to be told our address, which he managed to get wrong two times.

Today or tomorrow, we get to visit the DMV so Mrs Stone officially becomes a tarheel.

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Get your nose on

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