Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Our Oil Comes From

Where the U.S. gets its oil from | Randal S. Olson:

We now produce 60% of our own oil. Of the 40% we import, over half of it comes from the Western Hemisphere, the bulk from Canada.

Thanks to the magic of media bias, Americans believe that most of what we import comes from Saudi Arabia.

The media doesn't care very much about Americans complete lack of understanding of this CURRENT statistic, but they are VERY concerned that ONLY 63% "believe" that Global Warming is happening, and "only" 51% are significantly worried about it

We have a media very concerned about getting a large majority to buy into a narrative that they see as important, while being completely fine with a large majority of Americans being  being totally clueless on current facts.

I see this as a large problem for a people that we assume want to be self-governing. The majority political party, the media, and the American education system have a completely different view.

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The Balanced Media Diet Challenge

Is Media Slanted?:

The book is excellent, I highly recommend it.

In looking at these lists, the following points come to mind:
  • In a "perfect media market", all points from 0-100 would be relatively equally represented, they are not. 
  • If a "perfect 50" existed, it would STILL not be "truth", only "the middle".
  • Given what exists, you MUST seek multiple sources -- always a good idea, but required in the existing market.
  • Even if you have a completely balanced media diet, know your OWN bias -- always the hardest, and understand how difficult it is to make "unbiased" choices -- difficult to impossible. 
The bottom line is humility. As a singular human, or as a large group of humans in a given time (a party, a company, a country, a religion, etc), we operate with a "model" or "world view" that biases the data points that we see. Being aware of that is as hard as a fish understanding that it is "all wet" and that it's view is not the "privileged view". All individuals and groups see their own world view / model as "privileged / correct".

The more you associate only with those of your world view and observe inputs (media sources / "facts") from those that share the majority of your model / world view, the harder it is to assimilate data points that fall outside of that view and may force the view to be modified.

We ALL share this problem. The leading problem of any time in history however is the degree to which "the standard model" ... the model that I talk about as held by "The Party" becomes so dominant it is able to being to suppress data and thought outside of it's model.

This happened close to 100% in Nazi Germany, the USSR, and Islamic States today (on the 0 side). You can look at these charts and realize we are between "60-70%" of it happening here in the US. At some point on that slippery slope -- "80%"??? the opposing models are forcibly assimilated (or imprisoned / killed).

My goal is to see America move back toward 50, and ideally to "40" or so -- a "center right nation". With a bias to individual rights and freedom, but a LONG way from "zero".

If we hit "40", I will be pushing to stop our rightward slide. A problem I would LOVE to have, but one we are a LONG way from having -- if we hit "30", I will try my best to be as adamant against the rise of conservative power as I am now against the rise of The Party!

Since I too am human, I can only imagine how hard it would be with my biases to take that position. My guess is that it would be exactly has hard as it is for those on the left to be willing to understand and appreciate the conservative point of view today!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good News! Michael Brown and I are NOT Burly!

Michael Brown: Too Burly for the New York Times | Power Line:

OK, this is GREAT news, and I learned something today thanks to the NYTs! "Burly" is racially charged!

I really like the idea that folks of Brown's particular physical dimensions be described as "Svelte" as in "Svelte Moose".

I mean really folks, if a person can choose their sex, certainly they can choose what their physical dimensions ought be described as!

We need a law!

'via Blog this'

Rule Over Ruins, Bill Whittle

I am begging you to watch Bill Whittle’s take on Michael Brown and Ferguson |:

I'll beg you too, it is worth it.

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Russian Tanks, Girl With Uzi

U.S. official says 1,000 Russian troops enter Ukraine -

Every time I think I have a bead on the insanity of the the anti-gun crowd, they surprise me again.

Russian tanks in Ukraine is running neck and neck with "girl with Uzi" for top spot on a lot of net "news" outlets.

So, yes, it was completely irresponsible for the instructor to allow the 9-year old to shoot the weapon without his hands ON or very hear on her arm to prevent what happened. OK, end of story.

Now lets look at reality. We REGULARLY let 9-year olds drive bikes on city streets, swim -- back when I was a kid, without lifeguards, run ATVs, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, farm equipment (I drove hay baler at 9), usually that is when you get your own BB gun, etc.

WITH AN INSTRUCTOR, many a 9-year old has taken the controls of an aircraft, boats of all sizes, and no doubt all manner of vehicle -- in at least rural areas when I was young, kids MUCH younger than 9 were driving cars, trucks, tractors, you name it on the laps of fathers -- but then that was a much different America, no doubt that never happens anymore.

Yes, many media people hate guns, and "automatic" is pretty much "bogie man" to many, but REALLY!

I looked up just bicycle deaths for kids and found this:

Between January 1999 and December 2010, there were 1,612 bicycle-related deaths among children younger than 16 years old, the researchers found.
So a little over 100 per year.  How many of those made national news? It was THE INSTRUCTOR that died, not the girl -- if it had been the girl, I'd understand the level of coverage a bit more, but as it is it is just yet another anti-gun media feeding frenzy.

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Walker, Hypothesis or Law of the Jungle?

Scott Walker and Mary Burke are running a tight race: The Wisconsin governor’s theories for winning aren’t 


Slate is crowing that what Scott Walker believed appears to be wrong:

But the biggest national test taking place in Wisconsin is a test of the Walker Hypothesis, which held that a politician who enacted conservative policies and didn’t shrink from the resulting controversy would be rewarded by a wide range of voters—
This is obviously the kind of thing that THE PARTY can't allow to happen.

A reminder, Walker managed to break a public worker stranglehold that forced employers to buy insurance from a union owned company, and forced the state to be the bay man for the union -- collecting the dues from the members checks before they got them. The result was that school districts across the state saved 10's of millions of dollars, and many union members -- some figures had it as high as 70%, stopped paying their now voluntary dues ... causing TP great pain.

Walter was somewhat rewarded -- he survived a hugely expensive recall election with national media and full union power arrayed against him. The first US  to survive a recall, but that was two years ago, and THE PARTY has been BUSY!

As is their current policy, they have been filing lawsuits and using some of the donation lists so obtained to harass Walker supporters with tax audits or other legal / political system irritants. There is no way TP could let Walker survive -- his doctrine is DEATH to them, their "hypothesis" being "If you support TP you will rewarded, if you oppose it you will be punished".

But worse is the "conservative problem":
But the latest poll shows Burke with 89 percent support among Democrats, roughly where that number has been for the last several months. Democrats are also more enthusiastic about the contest. Eighty-two percent say they will certainly vote, whereas only 77 percent of Republicans say the same.
Mary Burke is running as a "non-ideological candidate" and made her fortune in Trek bicycles which as done extensive off-shoreing, supposedly a terrible thing to TP. Remember CONSISTENCY IS NOT AN ISSUE! Wealth and how you made it are NO PROBLEM if you swear allegiance to TP! Nor even is really any political experience or positions -- the purpose of this election is to make certain that nobody believes the Walker Hypothesis, and everyone is reminded of the LAW of TP ("reward your friends, punish your enemies") The MSM totally gets that, so the media is as always part of the TP campaign -- this time trying the "we are only supporting the underdog" tact in WI, while the national outlets like Salon hint at what is really at stake.

This is a very bad problem, and the exact reason why our Founders were so adamant to LIMIT GOVERNMENT and why Reagan famously said "Man is not free where government is not limited". Unless the government is limited by LAW ... the Constitution, human nature and the nature of evil guarantee the end of earthy human political freedom.

"Reward your friends, punish your enemies" is not just the lead law of TP, it is "the law of the jungle", it is what humans and all life on the planet naturally does. Christ came with "do unto others" and "love your neighbor as yourself", but those have ALWAYS been very UNnatural laws ... indeed often followed by Christians and occasionally by non-Christians when they felt doing such was in their best interest, but NEVER something that could be counted on for general human behavior.

So even if Walker wins by a whisker, the idea that "doing good can be recognized and will be rewarded by good people"  has taken a big hit. It would be nice to believe it, but our Founders knew it to not be true. Human's tilt to the wrong side, and while in the SHORT TERM (like the recall), it is POSSIBLE for good to triumph, it is at best temporary.

Like gravity, age, entropy and TP, the game is stacked against the good in this sorry world.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lightning From High Places -- “Baraq Bamah.”

Did The Bible Actually Reveal The Name Of The Antichrist? // Mr. Conservative:

Oh, it's probably just a coincidence -- but then again, we have to remember that as much as 30% of Democrats believed that 9-11 was "an inside job" at the peak of the "Truther" popularity. AFAIK, Jesse Ventura still does.  They had complicated theories about thermite being attached to the beams of the WTC during maintenance and everything!

It shows what happens when you can pick your texts, pick your languages, data, interpretations that only support your favorite theory. Global Warming is a good example -- ignore 100's of K of ice core data, ignore the fact that ice has been advancing and receding on this planet for on the order of 2.5 million years "as far as we know", which is actually pretty darned speculative. Oh, and you have to convert a complex global climate system affected by solar output, axis tilt, orbital mechanics, water vapor, vulcanism ... and who knows what else into a univariable system with CO2 being the only determinant of climate. Man is the cause ... lots of folks say they believe that today.

Naturally, we all operate in somewhat this way. We have no choice -- we are humans who are drawn to "narratives", stories that "make sense" given our world view. Try as we might, we are not rational, but rationalizing -- we work extremely hard to fit incoming information into our model, and MUCH harder to not change our model!

So the two basic current models still operating in the western world are the "Judeo-Christian-Historical" (JCH)  and the "progressive/The Party" (TP) ... or "conservative / liberal" if you will.

JCH believes there is a plan, decreed by God, at best dimly understood by man, and that man is inherently lost/incomplete/"bad". TP believes that man is infinitely perfectible and that "history" is pretty much anything man decides it to be -- if TP gets enough power, it will ALL be "settled science / history / politics". JCH is  further blessed (saddled?) with a drive to attempt consistency in thought -- a fools errand for humans, but for JCH thinkers a goal to  to be sought after. TP has no such stricture -- "all's fair in getting to ultimate power".

So we disagree.

'via Blog this'

Warren Buffett, Do As I Say

Warren Buffett's Tax Whopper - WSJ:

Yet again, the Oracle of Omaha is in the news for the old "do as I say, not as I do" problem endemic to humanity in general, but pretty much the rule for those of The Party that make over say "$150K".

In this case, Buffett is going to profit handsomely from financing a merger between Burger King and Tim Horton's of Canada. The primary reason for moving the HQ to Canada is that the company wants to expand internationally and the US not only has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, but it is the only major nation that ALSO double taxes income earned outside the US for US based corporations -- a very hefty penalty for a multinational corporation for being based in the US. One wonders how management with a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders can justify being US based given such a strong anti-business sanction.

In the past, Buffett has run up HUGE credentials with the easily led and the uniformed by saying "I pay a lower rate than my secretary" ... and even having BO, the prevaricator in chief, pick that up. This article points out the obvious fallicy in this claim -- if one wants to assume it is true at all, which is at least somewhat doubtful:

The big subterfuge in Buffetts claim is the rate he primarily pays is CAPTIAL GAINS ... a rate that less than 50% of Americans are used to dealing with since they have no financial assets which would qualify them. So the low information voter hears Warren or BO bray about "my secretary pays a lower rate than I do" and assumes some strange "benefit to billionaires" in the tax code making it to be "unfair", when in fact the rate is the same for all -- you just have to sell assets held for certain periods of time to use it.

Insofar as Buffett (like Mitt Romney) earns income primarily from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent (and according to Obama need to be raised for reasons of fairness), we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay her  tax rate. This is easy to do within ranges.
Buffett has enough non-capital gains income to bring his claimed rate up to 17.4% and claims that his staff pays 34%  ... so it is just a matter of looking at the tax tables to see what amount of income his secretary has to make to hit that figure  ... as the linked article points out, something north of $200K.

Now I'm sure that to a man with $60 Billion in assets, $200K a year is a paltry sum -- virtual impoverishment. No doubt he feels some guilt at being involved with the scourge of "income inequality" on a level that there are only a few hundred men in America that can even come remotely close to imagining.

For the rest of us however -- and indeed BO, $200K+ is actually wealthy ... if you run it through, you find it is the top 6%, so 94% of the population makes less.  This is PRIME territory for BO to fleece even harder than the current 34% rate.Already, if Warren's "poor" secretary made $450K, she would be saddled with a 39.6% rate! I'm sure Warren would feel especially bad about this!

The moral of all this is that Warren is a smart man -- sidling up to The Party is just a sign of knowing where your bread is buttered. His opposition to the Keystone Pipeline is brilliant -- makes him a friend to The Party while he profits handsomely through his rail interests moving the oil that the pipeline would move -- all be it more expensively and dangerously. You don't get to be worth $60B by being stupid.

The other moral OUGHT to be that our Founders were right when they put the equal protection clause into the Constitution -- all OUGHT to be treated equally under the law, and the "progressive" income tax ought to be ILLEGAL. Pick a rate, and make ALL AMERICANS pay it!!!

With what we currently do, it allows the vast majority of Americans to believe that they can get goodies and "someone else" will pay for it. Meanwhile, the super wealthy -- like Buffett make expert use of whatever system is put in place to maximize their benefit, and those that were formerly "the middle class" -- those that are striving to pull themselves up a class or two from their birth, are the ones that get the shaft.

And of course that isn't enough either -- so we go after the corporations, chasing them and their jobs from our shores. We disincent people from trying to improve their station with taxes, regulations, and the general idea that somehow improving your position is always at the expense of someone else -- we kill the idea of economic growth benefiting all.

So we continue to slide -- those with wealth siding with The Party because they know it is where the power is, and The Party being happy to have them and give them cover -- even if they have $60B, because they never were actually about "fairness" -- they are about POWER, and they know that the actual country that they are shepherding us to is like the old USSR or some Central American republic -- a very very few wealthy, directly connected with the government, and vast heaps of impoverished humanity, hopeless, seeking greater hand outs from the elite. A country where BO could preen and posture as Presidente for life!

Liberal Heaven.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Non-Person Non-Patriotic

Whopper Donut Cheeseburgers, Eh? | Power Line:

Liberals assert as holy writ that when it comes to speech, corporations are NOT people -- as in they have no right to fund speech, which in a country of 300 million +, means they really have no 1st amendment rights. Thus the hue and cry over Citizens United.

It appears that corporations do however  react to incentives and disincentives just like people -- Canada has a MUCH friendlier business climate than the US, so doing a merger with a Canadian company and moving the HQ there is a smart tax move.

Naturally, liberals are aghast -- actual choice? How horrible! Companies ought sit still and pay the highest corporate taxes in the world because -- well, because it is PATRIOTIC! Got that? NON PERSONS with NO RIGHTS according to the left ought to still be "patriotic". Did patriotic become a synonym for stupid somewhere along the line?

Liberals HATE it when their policies result in what any sane person would expect their policies to result in -- tax something and you get less of it, subsidize it and you get more ... so liberals tax productivity, thrift, success, and get less of it. They subsidize broken homes, poverty and sloth and get more of it.

and they are SHOCKED and ANGRY!

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The Infatuation of 2008

The Madness of 2008 | National Review Online:

Well written article covering the fact that there was no reason at all to expect BO to be anything but what we now know him to be -- feckless, disengaged, self-centered, incompetent, hyper partisan,  a liar. He was all of those things in 2008 and demonstrated them right before the eyes of the fawning media and masses -- but their blindness was as bad as the idiocy of many "star crossed lovers" who awake when the spell  of infatuation wears off to wonder what they were thinking.

This paragraph covers the mood of "the elite" in '08 quite well I think:

Pundits vied for superlatives. On little evidence, Christopher Buckley assured us that Obama possessed “a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect.” For some, proof of Obama’s godhead became almost physical — a “perfectly creased pant” for David Brooks, a tingling leg for Chris Matthews. For Evan Thomas he was a “sort of God”; for one blue-chip historian he was the smartest man with the highest IQ ever running for the presidency. And on and on, as huge crowds acted as if they were watching Paul McCartney on tour in 1966. After the election, there was real apprehension that the country might not make it for the two and a half months until an elected Obama could take power.

For myself and readers of this blog, the article is primarily walking over ground well known, but there were a couple things that I was not aware of or had forgotten ... National Journal rated then Senator BO as the absolute most partisan of the 100 US Senators  -- this being quite amazing for the guy running as "post-partisan", but naturally, since doing things like going over the voting record of a one term Senator running for President would have been seen as "racist" in '08, that story was covered very little.

It seems that the beheading followed by golf has been enough for another cohort of former BO lovers to awaken, as a large majority of the country apparently finally has (his current approval rating is 43% ... he has been down to 38%). Much like the aftermath of a messy divorce however, this is not to be a quick fix -- in the words of our Secretary of Defense, "the world is exploding all over", our economy is at best sputtering, our debt is following suit with the world and exploding, our borders are open, and the only real growth areas are food stamps and public assistance of one sort or another.

We will be a very long time paying for the infatuation of '08.

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hating Government Transparency, Only Dictatorship Is REALLY "Liberal"

The Transparency Trap - David Frum - The Atlantic:

The author never actually specifies how to "fix" what he calls the transparency trap -- probably because he suspects his readership isn't ready for the call for dictatorship yet.

My favorite paragraph:

By the International Monetary Fund’s reckoning, American government spent about 40.65 percent of the national output in 2012. That’s somewhat, but not radically, less than what Germany’s government spent (44.93 percent), only slightly less than what Canada’s spent (42.02 percent), and more than either Australia (36.4 percent) or New Zealand (34.24 percent) spent. These raw numbers overstate the difference between the United States and other countries, however. The U.S. government tends to route its subsidies through the tax code—with child tax credits and deductions for state and local taxes—rather than by issuing mother’s allowances and aid to local governments, as other countries do. This mode of doing business makes both spending and taxes look lower in the United States, even when the country is doing nearly the exact same thing as its European counterparts.

I can say it over and over, and naturally only a very few people will read this Atlantic column -- the US **IS** spending money at European levels and beyond -- we are close to them in actual spending and when you add in our various tax "credits" (like "earned income credit" ... fill out your taxes and get a giant payment that is called a "refund" even when you paid in little or nothing) we largely EXCEED THEM!
So "liberals" actually loathe transparency -- especially when they are in power. We are spending like drunken sailors but not getting the "results" they somehow "expect", so the best solution is to hide the poor results!
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Blue State Diaspora

The Growing Blue-State Diaspora -

The article documents the reality, but doesn't say why.

My guess is that it is the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks "That's where the money is" ... in this case, it is "That is where the jobs are".

So is it REALLY true that even after all the blue-state policies have killed the jobs in their home states, when they move to states with policies that allow them to have a job there, they still don't get the connection?

I suppose, one should never underestimate human stupidity.

'via Blog this'

JV Mission Accomplished?

An Earnest clarification | Power Line:

When W spoke on the Carrier Abraham Lincoln at the end of major combat operations in Iraq -- meaning the end of fighting Saddam Hussien's forces, the ship had a large banner displayed behind him indicating "Mission Accomplished" FOR THE SHIP -- the longest deployment by a US carrier.

Naturally, the media arm of "The Party" (Democrat) did all it could do to smear the sitting president in wartime by claiming that landing on the carrier was "a stunt", the administration erroneously put up the banner indicating "the war was over", etc.

In the unlikely event that I would ever be president I can guarantee I will do all I can to maximize my opportunities to ride in, drive, fly, etc any and all cool hardware that I can get my hands on! The media would hate me anyway, why not give them more interesting stuff to talk about? I'd definitely carry a 3 round auto burst,   double stack modified Desert Eagle .50 with  HEIAP rounds (High Explosive Incendiary Armor Piercing -- just to give anybody that got by the SS a special surprise.  Rather than golf I'd prefer to waste my time unwinding with the Fat Moose version of special ops training .. but I digress.

So BO released the current leader of ISIS in '09 and then declared them to be "Junior Varsity" earlier this year, and THIS is "the explanation".

We know how this works. How many times did we see the bogus "Mission Accomplished" meme repeated endlessly? Very few will even know of either the release or the JV remarks -- thanks to the way The Party and it's media arm operates, we really don't have "bias", we have a ministry of information and total control of the narrative that the masses are fed.

'via Blog this'

Dowd, Golf, Artists

The Golf Address -

Alas, poor Maureen has been jilted yet again by a supposedly wonderful progressive male leader. Her column is rather devastatingly funny, an example of what even a "junior varsity wit" on the left is capable of. We had Buckley, PJ O'Rourke is damned good, and I like Jonah Goldberg pretty well too, but in general, the artistic gifts for writing, humor and art are far more lavish on the left of the political spectrum.

Which makes it easy to understand why the media, education and most of the country is in thrall to "The Party" ... as PJ once put it, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat -- With the Democrats, the ONLY bad thing you can do is be a Republican! There are no limits on how much wealth you have (Gates, Buffet, the Kennedys, Mark Dayton, John Kerry, John Edwards, every movie and sports star ...  etc etc.). Behavior? Hell, there are NO standards ... child rape? Roman Polanski is still at large. Murder? See Ted Kennedy ... all manner of violence, drugs, sexual deviance, etc are celebrated as long as you worship at the alter of The Party and approve the sacraments of abortion, gay "marriage" and "something happening to the global climate that we are not longer sure about, but we are SURE that it is the OIL COMPANIES FAULT!" ...

Hell, if it wasn't that God is real and Santa isn't, it would certainly be more fun to be a Democrat -- it is that damned reality thing that always gets in the way of the kind of party that would be possible if the world was as imagined by Democrats!

Anyway, the column is pretty darned funny. I keep wondering what part of NO PRINCIPLES and CONSISTENCY IS NOT AN ISSUE it is that folks like Maureen just can't seem to get?

'via Blog this'

Political Gridlock, Socialism Works as Expected, France

As feud grows, French premier dissolves government:

The EU seems a bit closer to the end of socialism ( the point where they run out of other people's money) than the US, and France is "one of the leaders" (to the bottom) ....

The end of socialism isn't always all that good though ... Fascism, Communism, Dictatorship are common ways that it ends ... or the GOOD way! Complete economic collapse, depression, and people realizing that there is no free lunch and something like 80-90% of the population has to work to have a successful economy!

It appears that the world needs another solid lesson on this front before it realizes this rather simple fact yet again.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weapons of Mass Cultural Destruction

What Are Your Kids Learning In School? [Updated] | Power Line:

Literature can be one of the bulwarks of culture, or in this case it can be used as the equivalent of a bucket of cement to tie culture to and throw it in the river. Republicans are often accused of wanting a government so small they could "drown it in a bathtub", but it is obvious that the education arm of our government has and is drowning the intellectual and spiritual future of the nation in a cesspool of post modern, marxist, and just plain old insane thought.

It's hard to even read what proudly hails from literature curriculum IN THE TWIN CITIES, but it is important to know.

I will need to pray for forgiveness for my envy of Hinderacker for his daughters essay answer:
When my youngest daughter was, as I recall, in fourth grade, she was given an assignment to relate how she, personally, would combat global warming. She wrote that she would never live in a house bigger than John Edwards’ or fly on more private airplanes than Al Gore. 

That is American spunk! I fear that the numbers of youth with that kind of independent thinking brilliance is far to small to save us however.

 via Blog this'

Friday, August 22, 2014

NY Times Getting Concerned on Christian Slaughter?

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? -

It appears that at least one columnist at the NY Times is getting a little alarmed a the slaughter of Christians.
Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?
I suppose the beheading is disconcerting and the liberals are having less luck getting videos of it banned than they have had with various abortion videos -- "Silent Scream" comes to mind. I suspect a partial-birth abortion video might make beheading seem a little tame.

Yet again, we have a great example of "Christ is the issue". "Liberals" are move than fine with Buddhism, Hinduism and amazingly Islam ... the latter being incredibly sometimes called "the Religion of Peace".

For a Christian, the lack of concern is easy to understand. Christ is truly the great divider -- he even divides history into BC and AD. His doctrine is so radical that it defies human understanding, and is often converted by un-believers and even supposedly those attempting to believe into another "follow these rules" religion as are all the others on the planet.

Free, life changing salvation by Grace, available to all -- the scandal that rent history in two, and continues to do so to this day. It created what was once Western Civilization -- levels of prosperity, justice, peace, technology and economic success not dreamed of in history. The most Christian Nation on the planet, the US was so blessed it was able to land a man on the moon.

Much as in the Garden however, even the moon was not enough. Could there not be complete sexual license for pleasure with no more old tired restraining mores? Why must we work? Could there not be a full welfare state where each received all they desired without any requirement to earn it? Why is this Christian religion so oppressive? Can't we force it out of our schools and the public square so we can be god of our own lives?

So the very goose that layed the golden egg of the work ethic, restraining morals, dedication to career and craft as being in Gods service, the desire to treat even enemies with justice, etc became the enemy! The core values that built the success that was Western Civilization and especially the US were cast away, and ANY other religion or complete lack thereof became to be considered superior.

In world organizations like the UN and NATO, Christianity and Judaism were remindes of "colonial injustice
 ... and not worthy of assistance, and CERTAINLY not protection.

and so it goes -- and as the civilization declines, my guess is that very much as in the Roman Empire at the time of Augustine, the Christians will be blamed for the decline.

'via Blog this'

Saddam, Osama, Baghdadi, Hello?

‘Range of options’ under discussion to combat Islamic State - The Washington Post:

I must have read a hundred articles, columns, references in books, etc, etc on how "Reagan  made Saddam and Osama". The US wanted to contain Iran in the '80s, so we at least turned the other cheek relative to Saddam and probably gave him some aid, even though he was a nasty guy. Likewise, we supported the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against Soviet forces, and Osama Bin Ladin was one of their fighters.

One of the books I read on the topic was called "Blowback", and there was article after article on how "naive" Reagan was, and how he "created the whole terrorist problem". As I read those books and articles I always marvelled at the intelligence of the authors. I'm such a stupid guy I could have swore that the USSR was an ally of ours during WWII -- but naturally that can't be true, or FDR and Churchill would have been castigated just like Reagan, right?

Now we have a certain Baghdadi, released by the US in '09  ... my guess is that this piece of history will become even harder to find and may likely be re-written, because one could almost perceive BO as having some responsibility for major terrorists released on his watch. The way history is written though, I'm guessing this will "all be W's fault" ... if he had "done the right thing either after 9-11, or somehow "prevented it" ... or maybe it all goes back to Reagan. If he had never challenged the USSR, tben they would have kept the lid on ...

Oh, but wait, if you listen to the left on the re-write of the end of the USSR, it was "inevitable" -- Reagan maybe slowed it down!

It is clear that "Republicans are stupid and at fault", and "Democrats are brilliant and responsible for good things" .... so it's easy. Current ISIS rise has to be W's fault. So now BO and company are valiantly working to correct this wrong ... we just need to support them.

Back when 9-11 hit us, the left was (and mostly still is) certain it was W's fault for "failing to heed warnings" -- they had a big special investigation and there were a series of books on how W failed to protect the nation ("Your Government Failed You" by Richard Clarke was one). Of course it was only about 2/3 of the Democrats that believed W was incompetent in not protecting the country -- the OTHER 1/3 were certain that 9-11 was an "inside job" ... the "truthers", certain that Cheney and his minions, possibly with Jewish help planned and executed the whole thing as a pretext to war.

We listened to 20 years of stories about "Blowback" relative to Saddam and Osama, now, "strangely", even though the leader of our new dangerous foe was released by the US in '09, don't expect to hear much about it.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

ISIL, Ferguson, Kareem

Sound Diagnosis, Pathetic Prescription | Power Line:

The linked post / video shows our Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs stating the obvious ... call them ISIS or ISIL, they have surpassed Al Qaeda as the #1 terrorist threat and they are on the march. The US may have decided that the "War on Terror" was a bad idea and is over, but the enemy gets a vote, and their vote is WIN BABY, WIN!

Brilliant social commentator Abdul Jabbar has  written a column  calling for a "class war" in the US.

He is not alone ... as I blogged here

How long will it be before the disaffected blacks connect with the likes of ISIS to seek to forcibly  redress the perceived injustice of America? I remain surprised that we are not already regularly visited by suicide bombers at sporting events, on elevators or public transportation.

The ingredients are being mixed before our eyes, it is a genie not easily returned to the bottle once it is released.

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Life, Space Travel, Artificial Intelligence, Peak Oil and Perfect Bourbon More Complicated Than Thought

Atlantic Ocean current could be responsible for slowing global temperature increase | Science Recorder:

In the '60s, we were all pretty certain that we would have bases on the moon, travel to mars, and maybe farther by now. The US can no longer put a person in orbit.

HAL from "2001 A Space Odyssey" seemed very doable to a lot of AI researches even up into the '80s ... hopefully without the murderous insanity. Somehow, that objective seems to have moved a lot farther away. Might be nice to focus on easy phone configuration and less crashes before we take on sentience.

When I was in college, biology was "pretty sure" that life was "simply" mixing some proteins, perhaps a little laboratory "lightning", and "wallah" man would create life ... no big deal. The wait goes on ... probably gladly, when we humans bite some "fruit", the results are often not as positive as we imagine.

We've been at "peak oil" for pretty much my whole life if you like to believe "the experts" -- even with constant efforts to stop exploration and hamstring those that bring us the lifeblood of our current technology, it keeps moving into the future.

Somehow I think efforts will continue on the perfect bourbon, let alone craft beer, long after I've gone to my eternal reward.

In the linked article, scientists believe they have found a pesky Atlantic current that MAY be responsible for "slowing the warming" ... or as I posted earlier this week, maybe it is solar activity. or? Could it be that there are other things about the planet and it's climate that we are yet to figure out?

Human kind is frequently certain, most often very wrong -- but given the species "we've got it THIS time" design, and specifically the highly optimistic nature of each succeeding generation of youth, I believe that I can point to the continued leaps to "certain conclusions" with much more certainly than any of those conclusions.

Wisdom will remain far harder to attain than theories and data that appears to support such theories in some locations and time.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Holy Sunstroke Batman! Sun Influences Climate!

Sun’s activity shown to influence natural climate change:

The article is a very well written scientific discourse undeserving of my juvenile title, but really, how obvious is this? Stooges like Al Gore would like us to believe that the climate of the earth is uni-variable based on level of CO2 alone -- put more in, it gets warmer, put less in it gets colder. I continue to be simply floored that ANYONE with greater than 20 years of life on the planet and education beyond 8th grade would be so foolish as to give that thesis a moments notice!

If you think that only a single variable is affecting almost anything you are looking at in the real world, it is a pretty ironclad rule to LOOK HARDER. Let's not talk about the times we were trying to start something -- choking, checking spark, etc and discovered it was OUT OF GAS. Humans have a remarkable tendency to ASSUME (thus making an ass out of you and me) as well as jump to a conclusion -- "this explains EVERYTHING"!

We also love to believe "it's us"! We did it, we are the center, it is all about US! The earth has had 4 large ice advance/declines in the last 500K years, plus numerous smaller fluctuations, and man is only conceivably a factor in the last 10K years, there MAY be something else involved!

In this case, along with water vapor, methane, dust and no doubt a number of other things, we have THE SUN. Yes, that very large quite close star that at least those of us in the higher latitudes notice has a pretty darned significant impact on climate every year, appears to not be an absolute flat output candle -- and of course there are axis wobble and orbital variations that get thrown in there as well.

The article is worth a read -- the authors judiciously avoid questioning C02 based Warmist orthodoxy -- they probably need government funding, but they at least seem willing to consider something beyond CO2.
The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level," said Dr Muscheler. "Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions." 
The upshot of all this is that the team claims that these results provide a testable theory for an alteration of current orbital sun/climate hypotheses, as the position and strength of the eddy driven jet is, along with other influences, proven to be related to orbital forcing (the effect on climate of slow changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis and shape of the orbit).

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BO Calls Baghdadi on Beheading

Islamic State claims beheading of American journalist - Chicago Tribune:

This is W's fault.  We have a Nobel PEACE  Prize winner as President. I can imagine the call to ISIS now ...
Hey, Bro, this is Barack man ... I know you guys, I'm one of you. Hey Baghdadi man, gotta say that I LOVE the name! Could be a rappah! Like BAG  Daddy! Sweeeet! 

Say, I had you released back in '09, and I think we understand each other. I went to a Muslim school, I'm down with the Koran, Muhammad and all that. Check out the "church" I went to for 20 years, hell, God DAMN America! You gotta dig that, right?!!! FUCK these stupid Honkeys! You are kicking ASS over there and I'm your biggest fan! Kill a couple Christians for me man!

Hey, I'm a Luo Tribesman myself -- screw this US gig, lots of white shit, lots of racism -- we should smoke some blunt sometime! Where are you on that Muhammad 9 year old chicks thing? Let's talk that out in the NEAR future!

Anyway, I can dig some beheading for a good cause -- say John Boehner ( "Boner" as I call him) ...

So anyway, I'm not sure I can get you Boner right away, but consider it a future swap. I'll skate on this in any case -- I always do, but there are a lot of "tidy whitey" folks here in the US that just don't see the righteousness in a good beheading. I can help you more if you let this one slide and give me a shot at getting you close to some better heads -- say the Boner!

Anyway, T TIME! I gotta go -- just give my cell a ring and we will git it done! Nice chattin, Praise to Allah and all that! Later Bro  ...

... but perhaps the links called too early or our "citizen of the world" couldn't get a good connection.

Anyway, it is Ws fault, I'm certain of that.

'via Blog this'

Hating Government Transparency, Only Dictatorship Is REALLY "Liberal"

The Transparency Trap - David Frum - The Atlantic:

The author never actually specifies how to "fix" what he calls the transparency trap -- probably because he suspects his readership isn't ready for the call for dictatorship yet.

My favorite paragraph:

By the International Monetary Fund’s reckoning, American government spent about 40.65 percent of the national output in 2012. That’s somewhat, but not radically, less than what Germany’s government spent (44.93 percent), only slightly less than what Canada’s spent (42.02 percent), and more than either Australia (36.4 percent) or New Zealand (34.24 percent) spent. These raw numbers overstate the difference between the United States and other countries, however. The U.S. government tends to route its subsidies through the tax code—with child tax credits and deductions for state and local taxes—rather than by issuing mother’s allowances and aid to local governments, as other countries do. This mode of doing business makes both spending and taxes look lower in the United States, even when the country is doing nearly the exact same thing as its European counterparts.
I can say it over and over, and naturally only a very few people will read this Atlantic column -- the US **IS** spending money at European levels and beyond -- we are close to them in actual spending and when you add in our various tax "credits" (like "earned income credit" ... fill out your taxes and get a giant payment that is called a "refund" even when you paid in little or nothing) we largely EXCEED THEM!

So "liberals" actually loathe transparency -- especially when they are in power. We are spending like drunken sailors but not getting the "results" they want because government isn't "efficient enough" (now THERE is an oxymoron!) ... want efficient government? Get a dictator.

'via Blog this'

The Slaughter Bench Of History

Reparations for Ferguson - Atlantic Mobile:

I wonder what percentage of the black population thinks as this man? The Atlantic seems to find him representative enough to be "not a kook".

There have been young people fighting outside my window for as long as I can remember. I was no older than five sitting on the steps of my parents' home on Woodbrook Avenue watching the older boys knock shoulders in the street—"bucking" as we called it then—daring each other to fire off. From that point on I knew that among my people fisticuffs had their own ritual and script. The script was in effect that evening: show cause "some niggas jumped me in the park" "I ain't no punk" "wait right here son, I'm bout to get my shit"

"My people" . There is always going to be scripted violence among "my people". I'll admit to ignorance on "get my shit" ... too cultural for me, but maybe gun? After all, 10's of young black men die by gunfire at each other each month in Chicago alone, and nobody is writing lamentations in the Atlantic for them. That is acceptable scripted cultural violence I guess -- better to call out the extremely exceptional cases of white on black killing.

Then we come to the money quote -- the idea that maybe we could escape "the slaughter-bench of history", soon to be rebutted,
We know that America is exceptional in one key respect—we came to democracy without much bloodshed. Around the world, from Hungary and Russia to Iraq and Nigeria, we see the dream of peaceful democratization dragged again and again to what the philosopher Hegel called the slaughter-bench of history. Racial strife and murderous governments, not liberty and democracy, are the rule in history, the established pattern. We know that, mercifully, democratization scourged us only once in ferociously modern style: during the Civil War.
This is a quote from another author, James Poulos -- and the author if the column is not in the mood to accept that a mere 600K dead is sufficient blood to cover the sin of slavery.

So he ends with the not subtle at all threat that "his people" are going to visit "the slaughter bench of history" onto the US at some point -- at which I assume we will have the same sort of "justice" found in vast swaths of Africa today. His position seems to be that such is proudly part of the legacy of "his people".

This is not the singular, special fault of the police. The police are but the tip of the sword wielded by American society itself. Something bigger than Stand Your Ground, the drug war, mass incarceration or any other policy is haunting us. And as long we cower from it, the events of this week are as certain as math. The question is not "if," but "when."

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Big Money In Politics, D $104M R $76M

Senate Democrats have $8M July, have $32M banked - SFGate:

You will read and hear quite a lot about Citizens United, the Koch brothers and the evils of "big money in politics".

What you don't hear is that in pretty much every case the Democrats have something around a 25-35% advantage -- union, government, education, legal, finance, telecommunications, medical, etc ... buried in this article are the figures in title -- Democrat Senate fund raising vs Republican. It's from SF, they can afford to lift the curtain and let the masses chat with Oz a bit.

The Ds  pretty much have to have a fundraising advantage, they are the dominant party and basically everyone has to curry some level of favor with them if they want to prosper -- the unions need laws to allow them to force membership, education needs grants, subsidies, new rules to force more required degrees and certifications, lawyers need more laws for them to both charge and defend various people -- the lawyer winning on both sides financially ... and so it goes.

When over 50% of the economy is either government spending, tax breaks or credits, or government DIRECTED spending (you have to put a scrubber on your smokestack, you have to keep this kind of medical record), it is no wonder the dominant party dominantes in political fundraising and spending.

I suppose that given the amount of time they have been dominant -- since the 1930's, it is also not surprising that they are dominant in the media, so we hear very little about their political spending dominance, and are instead fed myths about "big corporate money" and "the Koch brothers".

The game is to really have a token opposition in name only .., a few left leaning Rs that can be trotted out and demonized while letting the masses think they are not under one party rule.

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 18, 2014

PGI 2014, Blow Away Fireworks

We took in the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) convention finale at Mason City IA this past Friday evening. As I say, the video is so misleading that I hesitate to put in in, but MAYBE along with some words it will give a TINY clue.

The video is nigh on useless -- like "getting" a space shuttle launch, an iceberg calving in Glacier Bay, mountains, or a zillion other things that fall similarly short on pictures and video, but MAYBE it gives SOME idea. My favorite part is at 5 min in, set to Pink Floyd "On the Turning Away" -- I like the tune and that was the first one they did the giant "flame flashes"on which I thought were especially impressive.

What they do is essentially create a "virtual screen", roughly 300yards wide and like 1K' high plus something like 30 yards deep, with computer controlled launching equipment and TONS of fireworks. In front of that screen are big speakers for the music.

If you have seen "Illuminations" at Epcot in Florida, that is the idea -- in some ways that is maybe "better" in some abstract sense, since their "stage" is the whole lake, huge water fountains, fireworks launchers around the lake, lasers, video projections on the water screens, etc --- BUT, you give up the sense of immediacy. "Illuminations" is "stadium full orchestra" ... PGI finale is ZZ Top live in your living room -- you are RIGHT there.

I sat with my mouth agape for most of the show -- the scope is incredible, the immediacy is simply riveting. $20 per ticket, no parking cover -- the bargain of a lifetime for unforgettable entertainment.

Next year Gillette WY

If you have never seen Illuminations, do. If you get a chance to see PGI anywhere close to you ... WELL worth the trouble!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ferguson, Brown, Wilson, Good Summary

Thoughts on the Ritual Now Taking Place in Ferguson, Missouri | Power Line:

Short, well thought, well written.

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How The Party Uses Legal System to Suppress Opposition

Rick Perry is latest 2016 GOP hopeful to face legal trouble - The Denver Post:

See any pattern here? Christie, Walker, Perry -- all with "legal trouble", and one doesn't have to look very deeply at all to find that various left wing groups have taken to filing lawsuits and supposed "criminal" investigations on matters political.

This is not new. Tom Delay was pushed from politics over a bogus case relative to his transferring of political money to other Republicans in a "supposedly illegal" manner -- he won the case ... eventually, and too late.

Ted Stevens of Alaska lost his seat due to a corruption case that was later thrown out as bogus ... the 60 vote Senate that allowed BOcare to pass would never have happened without Stevens being forced out and Franken "winning" by less than 300 votes in Minnesota. Note that 6K of MN same day registration ballots, heavily weighted to Franken, turned out to not be verifiable -- no such address, no such person there, etc.

I'm sure some on the left will complain that "Republicans in Congress are pressing a legal case against BO".

Yes indeed -- CONGRESS, not some right wing advocacy group. Over specific CURRENT and ONGOING policy questions -- re-writing major laws like BOcare on the fly, usurping specific congressional powers via executive order. CONSTITUTIONAL questions that are to be handled in the courts.

Rick Perry is facing his "indictment" over a dispute as to providing more funds to an Austin DA convicted of drunk driving

See, if you are a member of THE PARTY, you ought to get off from whatever offence you may commit ... murder in the case of Ted Kennedy, sexual harassment in the case of Slick Willie -- if you are a member of the THE PARTY in good standing, you are to be completely protected!

THE PARTY is heavily composed of and funded by lawyers While it is not yet directly illegal to oppose THE PARTY, we see clear pattern of legal system attacks against those who are brave enough to oppose THE PARTY -- out and out illegality of opposition is the path we are on.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Terminating Abortion

Stop calling abortion a ‘difficult decision’ - The Washington Post:

It is hard for me to imagine that the woman writing this exists -- and if she does, it is positively chilling. I'd like to believe that she is just making up bluster because she knows that is what she is supposed to do -- maybe some woman's studies class or other left wing cheering section has shamed her into acting the part of a creature more fearsome than the mother of the "Alien" in that popular move -- at least that creature had maternal instinct.  I'll forget any Christian perspective, since she definitely never mentions any higher power. 
This was in the mid-1980s, when abortion was about women having control not just over their bodies but over their destinies. An unwanted pregnancy would have derailed my future, making it difficult for me to finish college and have the independent, productive life that I’d envisioned.
So she believes that billions of years of evolution left the human female with absolutely no attachment to the idea of carrying the child within her to term. Our species evolved to a form where there is no maternal instinct to be dealt with -- the death of a new life within her is absolutely devoid of moral and emotional content. Her own life is ALL that is of importance. Like some form of Lemming, the human race reached a place where species suicide became an evolutionary mandate.

OTOH, I'll bet she is passionate about Global Warming. If we asked her about the morality of some oil company that cared only about profits so they could be "independent and productive", rather than the idea that the planetary temperature might rise a few 10ths of a degree in 100 years, she would most likely be outraged!

The left would like us to believe that evil does not exist and that humans are "basically good". How are we to believe this?

A typical leftist human female is trained to be 100% selfish next to what those without God would assume to be the prime function of the species -- reproduction. From an atheistic evolutionary perspective, it is indeed ALL that counts -- we are the product of what atheist evolutionist Richard Dawkins called "Selfish Genes", end of story, full stop. How could those genes create this woman?

Western Civilization is proof that such non-genetic selfishness can happen -- we have aborted or controlled away so much of our future generations that our populations are in decline. The "White European descent" population has found itself too guilty, narcissistic or just clueless to bother itself with continuation of it's particular strain of the species. The Muslims, Indians, Africans, Hispanics and a few others will inherit the earth.

While the article is chilling in the sense of the moral and emotional black hole that now sucks in 100's of millions  of innocent lives in the decaying west, it does give us a glimpse of God's Wisdom.

Modern secular thinking is self-terminating! 

Christ's Kingdom is growing in Africa and South America -- some of which is washing over the borders into the declining America. This article gives us a little glimpse into the soulless abyss that we allowed to become the fruit of a once-great Western civilization.

It will surely die ... and God is obviously just!

'via Blog this'

Our Cities, Our Future

Who Lost the Cities? | National Review Online:

Well done article that covers the costs of wishful thinking in key American cities -- and gives some good hints as to what we can expect for the country as a whole in the coming decades.

The following paragraph is what has happened to our cities, but they are only in the lead, the most "progressive" -- the pathology is well at work across the nation:
  1. Higher Taxes (on the productive) -- we are actively taxing work and subsidizing sloth with predictable result. 
  2. Defective Schools -- with active measures to limit school choice and private schools. 
  3. Crime -- Less outside the cities, but back on the rise everywhere. 
  4. Declining economic opportunity -- With the exception of a few bright spots, North Dakota, Texas , Oklahoma, we are in steep decline -- where we are not, the federal government is seeking to damage the progress.
For years, our major cities were undermined by a confluence of four unhappy factors: 1. higher taxes; 2. defective schools; 3. crime; 4. declining economic opportunity. Together, these weighed much more heavily upon the middle class than upon the very wealthy and the very poor. In the case of Philadelphia, the five counties in the metropolitan area have had a mostly stable population, but the city itself lost more than a quarter of its population between 1950 and 2000 as some 550,000 people fled to the suburbs or beyond. How many people matters, but which people matters, too: They were the ones with the means and the strongest incentive to relocate. Over the same period of time, Chicago lost a fifth of its population, Baltimore nearly a third. Philadelphia is one of the few U.S. cities to impose a municipal income tax (one of the taxes Mayor Rizzo raised), creating very strong incentives to move across the line into Delaware County or Bucks County. This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer: In Detroit, the white middle class got out as quickly as it could — and the black middle class was hot on its heels. Upwardly mobile people and those who expect to be — i.e., those with an investment in the future — care a great deal about schools, economic opportunity, and safety. And they know where the city limits are.
The cities are the vanguard of the "progressive" movement -- expect those results to swallow our once great nation, soon to be the equivalent of Detroit.

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shooting, Robbery, Looting, Race

Police: Brown suspect in robbery before shooting -

The "standard model" of "white" -- or rather "non-black" as in George Zimmerman, and in the case of some of the officers in the Rodney King case, "not truly black" -- shooting, beating, sometimes killing of a young or younger black man has repeated yet again.

The first portrayal of the "assumed victim" is always complete innocence, almost beautification. Then, inevitably we find a little robbery, a little gangsta activity, some drugs, some booze, some whatever -- and the equally inevitable charge from the black community that whatever the previous history -- or even the actual facts of the incident, "it doesn't matter, it is an attempt to blame the victim".

Then we have the looting. For some cultural reason, black communities always need to do some looting. Somehow a few flat panel TVs, jewelry and maybe some custom rims are a good way to show your solidarity with the victim dejour.

This is a major cultural difference that I'm quite certain that sociologists have fully explained, but it never seems to happen in white, Jewish, Korean or even very much in Hispanic communities. Some white kid can take a wrong turn and end up beaten, shot, raped or otherwise damaged or dead in some altercation with blacks and nobody ever seems to say "Hey, let's go loot the neighborhood Best Buy".

I have this backward idea that culture drives human behavior far more than race, economic status or even education. I don't believe that soccer hooliganism in certain stadiums in Britain or the wearing of the cheese in certain stadiums in WI are racial at all -- I believe they are cultural. But then I'm so foolish as to be a conservative, so what do I know.

So we will have another standard scripted "discussion" made up largely of talking past each other. The cops are racist, circumstances are beside the point, the kid is dead.

Am I the only one that finds it all way way too predictable? I have no idea what happened between the cop and the kid, hopefully some obvious evidence will show up. I CAN imagine that determining someone is armed or not in an encounter where physical pushing and shoving ensues with an officer is not as easy as even reading an NFL defense with a 300lb lineman bearing down on you. Robbery or not, if he was unarmed, it is a tragedy he is dead -- as it is that the guy that Tony Stewart hit is dead, or a friend guy from IBM I knew is dead because someone failed to see him and made a left turn in front of him when he was on his Harley.

Tragedy, bad decisions, death -- they all happen with way too much regularity, and sometimes we can even do something to reduce future ones -- like NASCAR deciding that there should be a rule on the obvious, stay in your car. Left turns in front of nearby oncoming motorcycles are already illegal -- maybe look twice?

I wonder if getting in any kind of physical altercation with an armed police officer will ever be perceived as a bad idea?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Siberian Craters, Methane, CO2, Vostok, Profit

Siberian craters are worrisome (Opinion) -

The chart is from the Vostok ice core data drilled from Antarctica. It goes back no farther because the ice melted there between 400-500K years ago.

The last time there was this much atmospheric CO2 was 3 million years ago, when seas were 80 to 100 feet higher. Since the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric methane has more than doubled, and the amount now gushing from the seas alone is 34 times what we thought just seven years ago.
The top squiggle on the chart is temp, the next one is CO2, the bottom is methane. So the article from CNN is either misinformed or lying on C02 ... it was higher 120K years ago, not 3 million, and there is an obvious pattern. Carbon dioxide and methane both rise as we hit peak temperature prior to the onset of the new big cooling cycle. It has happened 4 previous times in the last 500K years and we are clearly rising to the 5th.

Second, we admit that this loop began with us. By now, the link between fuel that jet-propels our industrialized civilization and excess CO2 and methane in the atmosphere is challenged only by those who profit obscenely from it.
Did the previous 4 rises in Co2 and methane "begin with us"? Can you look at this chart and say that this link is ONLY challenged by those that "profit obscenely from it"? I can't believe that the purveyors of the climate scare are not aware of this data. I believe that they saw these patterns and were smart enough to profit from what they knew was a natural phenomenon -- but they miscalculated how close we were to the peak -- I suspect we are now on the cooling side of the peak.

WHY do we continue to see article after article like this when the information that I have posted is publicly available on the web, easily accessible by a simple Google ... published by NOAA and other government organizations?

My view is that the reason is just as simple as the motives applied to those who "profit obscenely" -- the climate change industry has also profited obscenely -- giant fields of subsidized wind turbines and solar cells, 100's of billions in subsidies for "green energy" and countless studies, grants, offsets, etc. People like Al Gore becoming worth 100's of millions of dollars and more by not producing a blessed thing but text equivalent to the linked article.

Anyone who had basic science in school knows that this planet cycles through climate changes with or without humans and that the normal state is much colder than what we have seen in the last 10K years. I believe we are in the early stages of being rudely (and very coldly) reminded of this fact.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Bit Of Chill Reporting

The Big Chill | National Review Online:

There has been no actual Global Warming in nearly 18 years and record cool temps continue to be broken all across the US.

I report this because the MSM doesn't. We have seen the reverse -- have a good hot spell or two, a mild winter, a streak of storms, and the MSM is chocked full of headlines breathlessly reporting the "proof of warming" -- when you report only night, it might seem to a media believer that the world has gone dark.

Does a cool summer and a very cold winter "prove" there is no warming or that there is cooling? No, but then neither does the opposite! Does it cast some doubt? Well certainly, which is exactly why it is not reported!

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 11, 2014

No Victor, No Vanquished - Ignorance Aligned With Power

Obama’s map of misreading: A comment | Power Line:

If you can stomach reading the linked BO discussion with  sycophant automaton Tom Friedman, the main thing you will get out of it is "no victor no vanquished". BO apparently read a book or got the phrase got stuck in his head somewhere else and keeps repeating it in the interview like he is high or something. Perhaps he is hoping that the rest of the world buys into the self-esteem movement, no grades, prizes for everyone,  and potentially even all the sports teams will go to no keeping score in any of the games and everyone getting a trophy at the end of the year. I guess Vikings fans would be for it -- they would finally get a Lombardi Trophy!

I find the following paragraph to summarize not just BO, but a lot of a generation of Americans to come of age around the millenium :
This was allied with a personal drive for High Moralism, the felt need to build a castle around yourself behind a moat of 12-foot thick walls from behind which you could shoot moral arrows at everyone else to demonstrate your superiority and quickly destroy any emerging criticism of yourself. So from this position of invincible ignorance allied with moral perfection and then allied with power, you could become able to cross a line in history to reach a new world shaped by your conviction of your perfected sensibility.
Certainly there have always been smug people, and many Christians were and still are more smug than they ought to be, however this PERSONAL drive for "high moralism" is largely a very recent phenomenon that I find to be very related to the post-Christian world.
I grew up in a very "fundamentalist" Baptist sect where "goodness" was a game of one-upmanship along the lines of "What is it that you DON'T do" ... no smoking or drinking were mandatory, but no dancing, no movies, no TV, no rock music -- etc, etc were all on the list of potential "moral winners".

Today it is environmentalism, recycling, vegetarian, vegan, no plastic bags, etc, etc -- the kind of moralzing that used to be confined to a few fairly obscure sects has broken out into the general public as a plague a zealotry -- in the ignorant hope that people can PERSONALLY effect a "world shaped by your conviction of your perfected sensibility".

Both "the enemy" in the case of foreign policy, and more commonly considering the current level of ignorance involved, simple reality, definitely get a vote ... no matter how smug someone is.

As I've observed since '08, when the smugly ignorant person is president, we are all in grave danger -- a fact which at least more people are now developing increasing awareness of.

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Not BO's Fault We Left Iraq

Obama: Hey, it wasn’t my idea to leave Iraq « Hot Air:
The Jews have the right term -- "Chutzpa". Just go ahead and say whatever, and if there is a D next to your name, people will buy it! Leaving Iraq was almost as much of a BO promise as "if you like your healthcare you can keep it" ... but truth has never gotten in the way of any BO position in the past, so why start now? The lapdog media will buy anything.

So BO couldn't get a deal with Malaki, tsk, tsk. I'm betting a "negotiation" with Putin and Malaki would have been extremely short ... something along the lines of "Here is what the agreement is, any questions?

We know the real answer -- BO was getting out of Iraq and could care less about the consequences. Then the consequences started looking bad, so he no longer accepts responsibility for his action. Hopefully the term "feckless" now just as a picture of BO under it.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saving The World, Hating Your Dad, The Humanist Bootstraps

Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole | Village Voice:

This is an excellent article by someone that has a lot of wonderful sentiments but I fear has not studied much of human history and has therefore a naive view of what is humanly possible. It is the ultimate division -- humanities perpetual hope that it can think itself to heaven on earth -- in this case by a "will to love", but no matter, the concept is that man unaided by any transcendent entity or factor can pull itself "up" (assuming man even has a clue as to which way that is) by his own bootstraps.

The basic pulling by bootstraps argument is old and common -- for Nietzsche it was "the will to power", for William James, "the will to believe".  For all our basic problems with human frailty including even getting up, procrastination, organization, weight, drugs, alcohol, etc, we humans really really want to believe in our "will".
The world isn't being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist -- the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they're truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.
The mechanism that has moved masses of humanity in unison and at least for large groups of people converted masses to a common goal historically is religion. There is one world religion that comes very close to the paragraph above, although the author is loathe to mention it.  Christianity. The rest of them answer this basically as follows:

Buddhism -- Ignore the world, don't be attached
Hinduism - It's a big cycle, do good and it will get better eventually
Judaism - God has a plan, follow his rules and it will work out.
Islam - Win Baby win -- convert or kill everyone else and Sharia will be superb.
Secular Humanism -- Essentially the view espoused in this column. We are asserted to be very capable of loving one another (they may have to redefine "love" for you a bit)  ON OUR OWN if we just pay a lot of attention and focus on "love is the answer", "walk a mile in your oppositions shoes", or maybe John Lennon's "imagine".

Or to use the column authors words ...
So we must protect and respect each other, no matter how hard it feels. No matter how wrong someone else may seem to us, they are still human. No matter how bad someone may appear, they are truly no worse than us. Our beliefs and behavior don't make us fundamentally better than others, no matter how satisfying it is to believe otherwise. We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it's nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it. And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures.
The basic flaw in the authors wishful view aside from the insufficiency of "will"  is the existence of evil. Really? ISIS is "just as fully human as you are"? Hitler? Pol Pot? Your favorite serial killer? The authors view requires that man is "basically good". Christianity asserts we ARE all equivalent to ISIS, Hitler, etc -- equivalently evil at heart and 100% in need of a Savior to fix our broken condition.

Rejection of that Savior condemns the world to the condition that the columnist seems to abhor -- but he is clearly not willing to accept that, and instead fervently hopes that SOMEHOW the obvious result of what he recognizes as the characteristics of humanity -- the need for simple answers, the need to be on the "winning side", the apocalyptic view of the world engendered by our own mortality,  the oft proven insufficiency of our "will", our nature to each see our own personal views as "special",  etc can be modified by "will, thought and love".

He fervently wishes and hopes that somehow, good words and intellect can rise above the human condition with no transcendent God or religious practice/framework and manufacture "love".  It would be an interesting trick since we don't  have a handle on consciousness, and one hopes that the authors definition of "love" would require consciousness. We certainly can't manufacture consciousness.

I too fervently wish that children could manage to love their parents even if the parents were so backward to hold differing political, religious, economic or other views, but aside from Christ, it is simply not to be. I've seen it time and time again and way too personally -- children reject God, and very quickly they reject their parents in all but the most shallow of connection. "Honor your Father and your Mother" is just one more tired old doctrine to be rejected.

No, there is one division that counts. Christ. Those that have Christ have love, those that do not will always both hate Christ and his followers -- no matter how much they may claim to have "open minds", "love", "enlightenment", or some other high sounding thought or emotion, the reality of their relationship to those with Christ will always be something along the lines of hatred, avoidance, condescension, discomfort, etc, while those with Christ will continue to fervently love, hope and pray -- with a deep sorrow for those that they love that have been lost.

The world isn't BEING destroyed -- it WAS destroyed, by sin, and Christ and Christians have been trying to save as much of it as possible for two thousand years. There have  been long periods with a lot of success, and there are periods such as now when darkness seems to be ascendant, but ultimately the end will be according to plan -- not our plan, but Gods. Thanks be to God.

The author of the column would likely protest, "See, there is the problem" -- which is what humanists have been protesting for at least a few hundred years. The 20th century was a century of extreme optimism in the secular community. Their perceived historic foe of religion was seen to have been finally vanquished -- "God is dead" as Nietzsche shouted (although he was well aware of the terror involved in that phrase).

Communism, Fascism and Socialism were all seen as related and nearly certain to be successful utopian plans by the elite. Hopes were high -- human confidence for social and political science was as high as engineering confidence was in the early century for the unsinkable Titanic. By mid-century it was obvious to all but the most doctrinaire peddlers of "isms" that after 100's of millions dead, the project was at least going to be much more expensive in lives and treasure than any had imagined. The fall of the USSR near the end of the century might have given some social science alchemists pause in their plans to turn human nature into the embodiment of love -- but as we see in the column, such is not the case.

Secular Humanism, the religion ashamed to claim it's faith, continues as optimistic as ever in spite of the cosmic body count.

Humans WILL cleave to a religion -- one that explains their universe and transcends the day to day informational noise that seeks to pound all meaning from their existence. As we see above, it will be a religion like the great world religions listed (or some thinly updated variant), or it will be the modern biggie -- some variation of Secular Humanism  -- man as god, earth as heaven, with only a little more fervent wishing and appropriate education (or sometimes RE-education) required to close the deal. Let's call it "love".

Christianity begins from the other side -- with humility. "The Fear of God" -- acknowledgement that what the author of the column believes that we "ought to do" -- love those that hate us, realize that the world is WAY to complex to be understood by man, and accept there may well be more that exists than what we can even perceive  -- is just not possible without something that transcends our existence. Pulling ourselves by our bootstraps is futile, so God humbled himself to human form, died on a cross and rose as the first fruits of a life that is what the columnist dreams of. We ALL dream of it -- we are homesick for heaven, and many -- politicians, media people, self-help charlatans, and even the columnist in his own way -- prey on our souls yearning with false promises.

Christ is the side of love. Christ is the side of the ultimate open mind -- of belief in more than this mortal coil, which is the only way to rise above the constant noise of thousands of viewpoints demanding equal attention -- the authors desires for man are reachable, but not by man without Christ.

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

BOcare, Get Poor, ASAP!

Articles: More Bad News for the Middle Class and Their Health Care:

Good article that explains what I've explained a few times. The primary purpose of BOcare is to move more middle class, and even "rich" ( if you make $120K, you are RICH!) into either the real or just income based "poor".

In the new world of BOcare, if you are not "poor" (something around $40K or less), then you have to pay for a now more  expensive insurance plan, PLUS a $5 - $10K deductible. Often a swing of well over $10K a year from what the "middle class" had prior to BOcare.

BO doesn't much care if he succeeds in destroying middle class Americans just financially, or if they die trying to avoid paying deductibles. If they are destroyed financially, they will likely vote D -- if they are dead, due to the magic of "The Chicago Way", they will vote D as well! The BO version of "win win"!

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Haiti, Poverty, Corruption, Culture, Voodoo

Why Is Haiti Poor? [With comment by Paul] | Power Line:

I've always been struck by the stark difference between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the very same island, and naturally wonder "why". This is a rather academic little column that doesn't reach a real conclusion -- to the extent it does, it is "corruption' and possibly "early exit from colonialism".

I'm not going to go do the research this AM on specifics, but I believe that the history of Haiti is French Pirates, French overlords, lots of slaves, Voodoo, and being the first black republic at like 1800.

I'm a big believer in CULTURE being the big determinant, with RELIGION being the main determinant of that. I'm of the opinion that Voodoo is a poor base for a culture!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Welcome Back Vietnam, Can We Way-back to 1775?

Consider the magnitude of a U.S. general killed in a war zone | Dallas Morning News:

BO is on new ground now, beyond even Jimmuh in the '70s -- even then we never had a General KIA in a war zone!

Democrats always accuse Republicans of "wanting to turn the clock back", but Democrats are the Mr Peabody of politics with the Way-back machine!

We are back in the '70s on work force participation, back to prior to May 5, 1961 when Alan Shepard made it into space -- no longer able to put a human in space, back to WWII on national debt, soon to be back to pre-WWII as in no longer the worlds largest economy -- if we can leave Democrats in charge we will likely be back to prior to 1776 in a decade or so and a colony of the Chinese!

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Trek, Politics, Truth, Hypocrisy

In the middle of political firestorm, Trek Bicycle rolls on:

Mary Burke is running neck and neck with Scott Walker in the WI Governor race.

The Burke family is Trek, Mary has been involved and has benefited from the success of Trek. Have to applaud that! A Democrat that at least has had SOME experience in business! (rather than just inheriting the money, as in Dayton, Kerry (through wife), the Kennedys, etc, etc)

Richard Burke, the brother that is the real business guy sounds like a stand-up guy. Voted for W, so clearly not a doctrinaire D. His comments seem generally reasonable except for this one very large whopper that is never the less the kind of rationalization that is very human.

"I make my decisions on what is in the best interest of the employees," he said.
No, he does what is best for the BUSINESS -- because keeping that going is in even the medium term what is going to provide ANY jobs for any employees at all. Moving the jobs off-shore, or even moving some between communities in WI often stinks for SOME employees, but it is in the interest of the business, so it is the right thing to do.

One us stuck of what the world might be like if media outlets treated Romney in the same way as they are treating Burke here. The article is a study in being seemingly even handed but subtle. Specific numbers are used for how many employees are in WI, how long, payroll growth, etc, but while the "charge" that Trek manufactures 99% is listed as if it COULD be refuted, it never is. It is also softened with the statements that they "build bikes in Germany and Holland ...".

The article is a nice little microcosm of business, truth and hypocrisy in politics.

It is a global business world. It is absolutely impossible to compete in many many areas without using "The China Price" for at least some of your production. This article is very kind in making that soothingly clear. When it was Mitt Romney, there was no explanation, merely the in your face "he shipped jobs to China", with a few ex-employees to explain their pain and no soothing discussion of how everything is global and if you let the business die, then NOBODY in the US has jobs ...

Republicans are not against outsourcing to keep your business alive, or even to make it thrive,  but the calculation of politics is that you have to hypocritically define the hypocrisy of your opponent -- something like BO decrying "the 1%" at a $30K a plate fundraiser. It would be nice if the media would do it for you, but if you are a Republican, they are not, so you better do it yourself.

Democrats constantly make blanket claims against ALL outsourcing, so it is certainly fair game to call them on it when one of their own is connected to it -- it is one of the reasons that Democrat candidates tend to have no association with business at all, which is counterproductive to their side having any sensible position on business issues! Such problems are rife in the world of politics -- which is in many ways the definition of hypocrisy itself, which is one reason that our founders wanted to LIMIT government. On balance, truth is a far better basis for dealing with reality than hypocrisy.

The article is an excellent example of how media bias operates. For Romney, just never do any article at all -- let the opposition hammer away at him on outsourcing and maybe even pile on with some specific stories about workers hurt or poor conditions in China. As close as this article comes is "$2 an hour". For Mary, have the nice vision of the "Red Barn", busy workers and lots of accolades about her work, coupled with hard numbers of "all the good employment in WI", while nothing very specific about the validity of the "99% of bikes overseas" -- one can tell that neither Mary, Rochard nor the Journal Sentinel like the charge, but they are clearly not going to show us "total Trek Bikes manufactured, number manufactured offshore".

And so it goes. Business requires real hard decisions to be made correctly with limited information. Politics and the media are like blood brothers -- it can all be smoothed out with the proper wording and visuals, we don't REALLY need to get all specific like the real world. So the deficits build, the political trumps the real, the businesses die or flee, and eventually it all tumbles down because we refuse to see.

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