Monday, April 30, 2012

BO Ain't No SEAL

pObama encounters blowback from the SEALS | Power Line

Admittedly, he has to say SOMETHING on the stump, but come on. Mittens is exactly right on this one, .CARTER would have have given a green light to killing Osama!

Jimmuh WAS willing to defend himself against PAWs after all ...

TP, Modern Medieval Penance

Works and Days » It Was the Power, Stupid!

Victor Davis Hanson tends to think way too much like me -- having way too good a memory and loving irony just a bit too much. But this one was good enough that I could not resist.

I especially loved this paragraph -- the similarity of the MSM and the left to medieval catholicism is amazing. When I refer to "progressives" as "regressives", this is partially what I mean. The fetish to chant certain phrases "global warming", "fairness", "the 1%", "corporate greed",  "the reactionary Robert's court", etc ... but then the penance provided to go and be secure in your "sins" of being worth 100's of millions or billions of dollars, multiple houses, private jets, etc.

Two, the Left has always operated on the theory of medieval penance. We surely must assume that Warren Buffett has never had problems with the ethics of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. or had a company he controls sued by the IRS for back taxes. Why? Because he has confessed his sins, and accepted the faith and paid his tithe to the Church. Ditto a Bill Gates or a rich celebrity like Sean Penn or Oprah. In the relativism of the left, if the one-percenters will simply confess that their class is greedy and needs to pay their fair share—even if they are entirely cynical in the manner of GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and penance is written off as the cost of doing business—then they become exempt from the wages of them/us warfare and the “you want to kill the children” rhetoric.
He maybe ties together just a few too many things ... but I do so like how he things.

One Month, The End Of IBM

It has been one glorious month since my mandatory "retirement" from IBM ... it seems like a few days though. Revelations on my future?? Not so much, other than just to live a lot more free than the existence that being an IBM employee had become. While you are there, it is impossible to calculate how much of your mental space and life force is locked in servitude.

I've mostly kept up with Cringely for a long time -- He is the guy behind http://www.pbs.org/nerds/
he has a lot of connections and is usually a reasoned and worthy read. Is he right this time? Unfortunately it certainly seems so.

I really don't think there is anything in here of any real news for those of us currently or recently at IBM. Can the company keep paying some of our retirement after 2015? Bob isn't super clear on that ... Oracle is after all profitable -- but it is not a pretty outlook for IBM as a place to work.

Prelude

Part 1: A Terminal Diagnosis of IBM

Part 2: IBM As Off Shoring Middleware

Part 3: Silver Bullets of the Day at IBM

Part 4: Showing the emperor's nakedness

Part 5: Bob interacts with the IBM of Mythology in his youth

Conclusion: 2015 IBM As Oracle

Friday, April 27, 2012

Miami-Dade '06 New Car Fleet

Miami-Dade New Car Fleet Parked Since ’06 in Garage - ABC News

"Government Efficiency"

Crucify Them

EPA official blasted over 'crucify' oil and gas comments - CNN.com:

Apologize for the use of the word "crucify" and you STILL have an EPA trying to pick out oil and gas companies to "make and example of". We need energy MUCH more than we need the EPA!!

We have another case here of of the would be American Caesar in action. Remember the faux Roman/Grecian pillars at the Democrat convention in '08?? 

Weep for America

Churchill on the Buffett Rule | Power Line:

Read it to the end and weep for America.

A Lack of Will

While Syria Burns - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online

A very well reasoned and cogent column by Charles, worth the read.

Were a Republican in the WH, there is no doubt that Syria would be a crisis of the first order. Take your pick of the story lines -- lack of leadership, inability to work with allies, rhetoric vs action, etc.

The point is that reality doesn't change any with the party in the WH, only how reality is reported to the American people. Charles correctly points out that making the case that Syria is NOT in our interest to defend would be reasonable as well.

What Obama does is say the lofty words but accomplish nothing. His approach is the same as his approach on  the economy, energy and the deficit.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guns, The East of the Hudson View

Trayvon Martin and America’s Gun Laws : The New Yorker

The article is long, but this quote really tells you all you need to know -- there is nothing in the article that really relates to this quote ... for example "civilian life" is never defined.
When carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense is understood not as a failure of civil society, to be mourned, but as an act of citizenship, to be vaunted, there is little civilian life left.
In this article, a world is presented in which nobody in the US believed in anyone's right to use a gun in self defense until the NRA created the idea out of thin air in the '70s. The 2nd amendment is purely about a militia, and any other thought is "a fraud" created by lawyers paid for by the NRA. Must be the only case in history where lawyers working for money create documents in support of some view -- clearly a sinister concept. The alternative being? Well, he doesn't say ... something other than an adversarial legal system where all points are entitled to paid legal representation. 


I'm certain there is not a single anti-gun, environmental or labor organization that has EVER paid a single lawyer to write documents advocating their positions! How can the NRA think they can get away with such a thing??


The author does a "good" ... or "sinister" job depending on your views of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership, job of weaving a story that includes his personal trip to a gun shop, a lot of selected snippets of history supporting the "right of the militia to have guns" view of the 2nd Amendment, school shootings, Trayvon Martin and smearing the NRA. He shows his colors just a bit in this quote ... 
The walls are painted police blue up to the wainscoting, and then white to the ceiling, which is painted black. It feels like a clubhouse, except, if you’ve never been to a gun shop before, that part feels not quite licit, like a porn shop.
Having grown up in rural WI prior to "the gun wars" the "like a porn shop" is mind blowing -- although likely indicative of the Red - Blue State gap. In my youth, it was not uncommon at all for kids to take guns in to school shop class to work on, nor to have them in the car at HS age to go hunting in the afternoon. Nobody in the US had ever heard of a school shooting -- and it CERTAINLY wasn't due to a shortage of guns. I bought my first gun at a hardware store. All manner of stores loaded with guns were common -- if I had known what a "porn shop" was in those days, the idea that it would in any way be related to anything about guns in any sense would have been bark at the moon crazy. In fact, it still is -- and shows why the "Red/Blue" divide is so stark -- we live in the same country in different mental model universes. 

I would have thought that school shootings were a phenomenon of the late '90s ... Paducah, Jonesboro, Littleton, but Wikipedia at least manages to make it seem like "they have always been happening" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting/ a quick glance through their history shows a lot of the targets as being teachers or administrators -- targeted due to some sort of romantic issues by mostly adults, and occasionally by students. In general, prior to the late '90s it isn't just "go in and kill students indiscriminately" ... although I'm not going to claim that the quick scan was definitive  research. 

It would appear though that "school shootings" have very little to do with the prevalence of guns -- bolstered by the incidence in places like Finland, France, and Norway of similar phenomenon. All those lack an NRA and a "Right to Bear Arms", but folks bent on violence still get guns ... or bombs, etc and kill others. The problem is as old as Cain and Able. If one wanted to tie the "post late '90s" to something, violent video games, Quentin Tarantino, internet isolation, family breakup, massive prescriptions of anti-ADD, anti-depressants, etc to youth ... etc etc might all be more likely causes due to the historical timeline than devices that have been around for over 200 years.  

What does the author hope to achieve with this article? More liberal outrage against the NRA? Against the SCOTUS? Is it just "phooey on the other side" for the loyal liberal readers of the New Yorker?  Probably the old "dominant view" in action -- when you write for a conservative rag, you MUST address "the other side" -- because all of your readers live their lives steeped in the MSM dominant left culture. When you write for the New Yorker, it is safe to assume that the vast majority of your readers share your world view -- isn't it the ONLY reasonable view?

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Religion and Politics

The latest from Jonathan Haidt, and it is a great one. Extreme recommendation.

For people with a conservative bent, a lot of this book will be "didn't everyone know this already"? But for folks of the liberal bent -- like Haidt, although his research for this book migrated him to what he sees as "moderate", it will be something of a struggle.

Sadly, I'm sure that Haidt is due to discover that his observations about human nature may be hyper proven as the liberal establishment punishes him for his heresy of using actual science to point out some fairly obvious things about human nature that would seem to indicate that conservatives are not just "stupid and evil".

First, we are not rational beings, we are RATIONALIZING beings. The book carries on  the excellent rider/elephant analogy from "The Happiness Hypothesis" and builds off it. The Rider is best seen as the Press Secretary for the Elephant -- the Elephant does something or "leans" in some direction and the rider dutifully develops a case for the Elephant. Humans developed into "hive creatures" (like bees) that could specialize labor and cooperate without all having to be related. Morality is the "wetware" that we use to create and enforce the rules to do that -- our "Rider" (consciousness) was created so that our "Elephants" (subconscious) could operate this way.

The Six Moral Senses:
  1. Care/Harm
  2. Liberty/Oppression
  3. Fairness/Cheating
  4. Loyalty/Betrayal
  5. Authority/Subversion
  6. Sanctity/Degradation
Liberals tend to be very heavily focused on #1 ... although interestingly, conservatives seem to "care" almost as much, they just don't "care" to the exclusion of all other moral senses. On #2, liberals and libertarians are somewhat close -- although liberals see corporate power as much worse and "oppressive" than government power, which they have a hard time even equating with oppression.

On #3, liberals think of "equality" and completely forget about proportionality -- or Karma. One of the huge problems in cooperation is the "free rider problem". Haidt covers this and why it is impossible to have cooperation without "punishment" (sanctions) against free riders.

Liberals are nearly blind (or claim to be) on 4,5 and 6. It turns out that when tested, the "moral modules" for even Sanctity are there and working in the liberal brain just fine -- they just don't want to admit it because in their view it seems "less enlightened" to admit that degrading things are degrading.

I believe that this book is an EXCELLENT base to at least attempt to open some lines of communication between liberals and conservatives, but I suspect that Haidt is in for a shock -- maybe somewhat equivalent to the shock that Edward O Wilson wrote "Sociobiology" back in the '70s.

The "divine view" of liberals is that there is no God and man is an infinitely malleable blank slate. While proving that there is no god (or that there is) is not going to happen, it is already known that man is not a blank slate, and at least in the "next few millennia" not likely to be improved upon much. Wilson was trashed for stating the basic outline of what a "human nature" was likely to be, now here comes Haidt with some fairly solid research showing what it is.

As Wilson outlined in "Consilience", the more science moves forward, the more we begin to see the fact of an intricate and complex human that is no less difficult to mold to our desires than ecologists are realizing the ecology of the planet is. We are each little ecosystems honed by selection to interact within the the planetary and social constructs that we are born with and into.

Reality has never been very much of interest to the Progressive Project -- now about 100 years in, with all of the progressive nations facing economic demise, even the social sciences start to point out that reality is not in line with the progressive vision. My guess is that the response is not likely to be very reasoned, but rather very emotional.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Property Taxes Drop in WI

Review & Outlook: A Wisconsin Vindication - WSJ.com:

Seems like a great idea to recall a Governor that enabled property taxes to go down and the WI economy to improve in order to replace him with? A union marionette I guess.

Drinking Makes You Conservative!

Study: Dumb drunk people are more conservative | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner:

Here is some science you can believe in, getting drunk makes you more "conservative" -- uh, well, from a liberal viewpoint I guess, where "conservative = stupid".

But for those of a slightly less prejudice nature, the next time you see the drunk college girl on spring break dancing, think "drinking makes you conservative".

The next time you see a drunken frat boy come up to your door canvasing for Mitt, think "drinking makes people conservative".

When you are watching football and see a set of guys out in freezing temps with their teams colors and or symbols painted on their bodies while they hold up massive mugs of their favorite adult beverage, think "conservatives".

No doubt government grants paid for this study. We must ALL be "conservative" to be surprised at all that the government blew 500 BILLION on Solyndra.

If BO was drunk when he did that, at least he would have an excuse!

Axelrod Screws Up and Tells Truth!!

Axelrod Commits Gaffe of the Year - David Axelrod - Fox Nation

One would have a lot of respect for the guy -- except I'm sure it is just a screw up. This election is EXACTLY about changing course to opportunity vs trundling on down the road of European style decline!

It is Axelrod's guy that set the current course and wants to maintain it, so he better learn to cast it in a better light!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Liberal Humor Training

Come Back, Sarah Palin! - NYTimes.com

Being dominant media means you never really have to think of what you are saying. The fact that Maureen has let us in on the fact that her family is actually conservative -- including a brother that writes at least as well, adds just a tiny more proof that there is indeed a God in Heaven!

I loved this little insight:
The five Romney sons have also taken a ribbing. The hilarious Bill Hader, playing an Anthony Perkins in “Psycho” version of the Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, interviewed the “S.N.L.” sons, noting: “I like creepy things and I love these guys. ... Our thanks to Stephen King for creating those boys.”
and this one is just too much!

“S.N.L.” has always struggled with its Obama impersonation because Obama is “smooth without big handles,” as Downey puts it.

Yea, right. The reason that the Osmonds and the Jacksons were on television is the "creepiness factor" of a lot of seemingly perfect good looking boys in a family.

But no "handles" on Obama?? Wow, here we have a guy that writes two autobiographies before he is 50, accomplishes nothing in life but is suddenly President of the US, is a "known closet smoker" (I can't even IMAGINE how funny that would be if he were Republican), has a wife who makes Marie Antoinette seem like a populist, has step/half/etc this and that relations being deported and throwing out quotes about him being from Kenya, and the list just goes on and on.

He golfs constantly, and in the midst of all sorts crisis. ANY normal President, doing ANY recreation is ALWAYS food for humor -- Reagan at the Ranch, W at the Ranch, HW at Kennebunkport, Clinton at the Hampton's or Hyannis Port; all of the above were useful laughs. We Americans love to laugh at the person with the biggest job on the planet kicking back and taking it easy.

The media is GREAT at the creation of "handles" -- shockingly, there is very little evidence of any appreciable intellectual difference between  Reagan, Carter, Clinton, either Bush, Palin or Obama. But the media is certainly under no obligation to not make any of them out to be stupid whenever they like! If they can find ANY "evidence", that is just sauce for the goose. BO has provided plenty of "evidence".

Some of Palin's letters from when she was governor were academically analyzed and put her on the writing level of Lincoln and MLK http://thespeechatimeforchoosing.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/expert-analysis-sarah-palins-writing-scores-higher-than-that-of-most-educated-americans/

Obama however seems to be very numerically challenged "57 states so far, 1 more to go ... uh, plus AK and HW" 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTNqRreTwt4

and "10K people killed by a tornado in a small town in Kansas"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_WKBymCEY&feature=player_embedded.

Again, there is NO need to have any truth in order to create a "handle". Reagan never slept in a meeting for the simple reason that in the rare event he was sleepy, he cancelled it -- he was in charge, why sit there with your head nodding when you are the boss? Of course, that didn't mean that the media couldn't have skit after skit as if it was true!

Humor is in the eye of the beholder -- put EXACTLY the same speech, ears, cadence, etc in a black Republican President as BO has, and Ellen and the SNL writers would find the guy to be an absolute hoot!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Because He's a Democrat, FOOLS!

Barack Obama, Tax Avoider | Power Line

I do like the Power Line guys, and they are WAY smarter than I am -- but on this one I think they let their intelligence get ahead of reality.

 How on Earth does Obama think he can demonize Mitt Romney because Romney doesn’t pay ordinary income tax rates, when Obama himself paid only 20.5% in federal income taxes on an adjusted gross income of nearly $800,000? Lots of luck explaining that to the voters. 


THE WHOLE POINT of the sad state we are in ala the MSM is that 90% of people will ONLY hear from the MSM and when you only hear a single side, that side seems like truth. Besides, BO voters don't REALLY care about taxing the rich. They know that things like the Buffett rule are completely symbolic -- they just hope that the symbolism works and their guy gets elected. 

BO won't need any help demonizing Mitt -- Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, NPR, etc will do that just fine. BO can be "above the issues" running a "clean campaign".

Monday, April 09, 2012

414-0, B ZERO Strikes Again

Obama budget defeated 414-0 - Washington Times

"Radical" these days is proposing a budget that ANYONE votes for!!! The Democrats have proposed NO BUDGET AT ALL in the last 4 years, and the last two years, NONE OF THEM have voted for B0's proposal.

From the MSM POV, this is "Double Secret Confidential"  ... no story here, move along. Were a Republican president not able to get A SINGLE vote from his OWN PARTY, I'm completely certain the press would be ever bit as quiet!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Rational Optimist Summary

www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/reader's-digest.aspx

I loved Ridley's "Rational Optimist" book. Here is a nice short summary of some of his points.

It is a good day to be optimistic. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

BO's Wizard of Oz Strategy

Morning Jay: A Sorry Spectacle | The Weekly Standard

What we have seen in the past few weeks is BO testing his re-election strategy. He can't run on his record, so he is going to run on the Wizard of Oz strategy "Pay no attention to that man in the WH" ... see flying monkeys, wicked witch, SCOTUS, Paul Ryan, etc.

Sadly, it appears that it is working.

This strategy explicitly divides the country mostly into hating different fake bogeymen, but what difference does that make to BO if it gets him elected? None, he is an anti-colonialist Luo tribesman (by his own words, "Dreams From My Father").

If people can't get it  after the guy wrote TWO autobiographies before 50 and after 3+ LONG years of listening the narcissist in chief, then they plainly are never going to get it.

Friday, April 06, 2012

BO Attacks SCOTUS

Obama v. SCOTUS - The Washington Post

A good one from Charles. The obvious question of BOcare is if the government can force you to buy health insurance, what is the meaning of limited government?

The simple answer is the right answer -- there is no limit remaining. If BOcare is Constitutional, then our nation has has abandoned the principle that make us once an exceptional nation -- limited government.

Child Immunizations Unsafe

The Sliming of "Pink Slime" - Derek Hunter - Townhall Conservative Columnists - Page 1

Most of us know someone that has a child with some handicap that they blame on immunizations. All the science we have says that the immunizations are not the cause, yet these people fervently believe and do everything they can to get others to not immunize their children.

Many of the rest of us harbor or have harbored similar types of thoughts. "Wait an hour after eating before you swim" was the rule when I was young. So and so had a cousin that had died gotten a cramp and died ...

I listen to NPR, so I know "all about Pink Slime". They had a lot of coverage of it, how bad it made the meat, who used it, who didn't, when they were going to stop using it, etc. As with a lot of emotionally driven bandwagons, there wasn't a lot of concern for any "other side" --- reasons for it's use, positives of it being used, reasons it could be bad to do away with it. It was the typical NPR type of "no slant" journalism -- the story only had one real side, the NPR side -- the meat industry is flat out evil, everyone the listens to NPR knows that.

Turns out there IS a downside -- the whole article is short and worth the read. We have turned into SHEEP folks -- the MSM is FAR worse than "Pink Slime".
 Already, 3,000 jobs are lost, and more are on the way. Experts say we’ll need 150,000 more head of cattle per year to make up for the lost filler and that ground beef could go up 20 percent or more. All because a food snob from England whose kids are legally named – and I couldn’t possibly make this up – Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom and Buddy Bear, decided to bump the ratings with a misleading stunt.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Don't Compromise!!!

The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs - Harvard Business Review

When Jobs and his small team designed the original Macintosh, in the early 1980s, his injunction was to make it “insanely great.” He never spoke of profit maximization or cost trade-offs. “Don’t worry about price, just specify the computer’s abilities,” he told the original team leader. At his first retreat with the Macintosh team, he began by writing a maxim on his whiteboard: “Don’t compromise.” The machine that resulted cost too much and led to Jobs’s ouster from Apple. But the Macintosh also “put a dent in the universe,” as he said, by accelerating the home computer revolution. And in the long run he got the balance right: Focus on making the product great and the profits will follow.

DON'T compromise? Do we really look at our homes, cars, devices, faith, values, jobs, vacation selections, etc and say "compromise"?

I don't think so. It is very true that in the real world, there are "trade-offs" -- size, weight, power consumption, cost, complexity, time, distance, etc, but the essence of things we care about is that the sum of all those elements is creatively a whole that is greater than it's parts. It isn't "a compromise", it is perfect, righteous, lovely, etc.

We all understand this, we just forget we do. In '09, when the Democrats had both houses of congress, 60 votes in the Senate, and the Presidency, their and the MSM view was "We won!!". Now, having recently discovered that the SCOTUS exists and having to deal with evil Republicans in the House and less than 60 votes in the Senate, the holy writ of the day is COMPROMISE!!!

We are instinctively drawn to personalities like Steve Jobs, and to exceptional nations like the US was when we wrote that Constitution. It wasn't a blueprint for compromise, it was a blueprint for the greatest nation that the world had ever seen.

The US once "put a dent in the universe". Let's stop choosing safety over excellence before we have neither!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NBC Yells Fire on Trayvon

Trayvon Martin Tape Editing Prompts Internal Probe at NBC (Report) - Yahoo! TV

NBC edited the 911 tape to remove the 911 Dispatcher ASKING Zimmerman the race of the guy he was reporting so it sounded like Zimmerman was volunteering the race of the subject on his own.

Dispatcher: "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?"


To which Zimmerman replies:


Zimmerman: "He looks black."


Just when I thought I understood media bias, I get a shock. They apparently WANT to incite racial violence? or they at least believe that getting rid of "Stand your ground" or even Concealed Carry is worth some "collateral damage". 


These are the people that claim that a Republican congress has "divided our country"?


My opinion is that this is criminal on the part of NBC. This is "yelling fire in a crowded theatre". It is NOT "free speech", it is creating a fabrication simply to get the populace inflamed for whatever reason is running through their ideological addled brains.