Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Republic If You Can OKeep It

clipped from hotair.com

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
- Thomas Jefferson

His entire power base is dependent (right now) on people with an attention span of less than 30 seconds (and that’s 30 seconds if it’s something they care about like the new American Idol premier).

The Permanent Emergency

clipped from www.ocregister.com

In just about his last act as president, George W. Bush has declared Washington, D.C., a federal disaster area.

"I don't know if anybody's ever done that," said Dana Perino, the White House press secretary.

Indeed. One reason why nobody's ever done that before is because a presidential inauguration is not (to be boringly technical about it) an "emergency." It's penciled in well in advance – in this case, so well in advance that for years Democrats have been driving around with "1-20-09" bumper stickers on the back of their Priuses.

The metastasization of FEMA teaches several lessons
Thus, an itsy-bitsy bit of inconsequential government tinkering on the periphery of the mortgage market expanded to the point where federally mandated home loans to the uncreditworthy came close to collapsing not just the U.S. property market but the global financial system.
RTWT

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rock Bottom

Politicians and bureaucrats have already done their fair share to ensure that jobs in the private sector are prohibitively complicated and expensive to create.

I am left with these questions - who is going to be left standing to tax in the private sector to pay for all these public sector make-work jobs? Is Washington really to be considered some sort of savior for creating unproductive jobs in place of the productive jobs they eliminated?

We are at an economic dead-end and those in power are in denial. The truth is our economic problems are due to loose monetary policy, central economic planning, and the parasitic expenses of government. Unless we assess these problems honestly, we unfortunately have a long way to go until, like the junkie, we hit rock bottom.

Women's Rights Update

One thing for certain, he won't act like a couple of other senators who are beloved by the news media, two senators who made the famous cocktail waitress sandwich years ago.



According to news reports, those two liberal Democratic lions and champions of women's rights, Sen. Ted Kennedy, the noted midnight swimmer from Massachusetts, and his buddy Christopher Dodd of Connecticut were out one night drinking at La Brasserie, a Capitol Hill restaurant.



Dodd had so much to drink he slumped in a chair. Kennedy decided to liven things up. So he threw a waitress on top of Dodd. Then Kennedy jumped on the astonished woman.



"She was said to have run screaming from the room," according to a lengthy 1991 profile on Dodd in the Hartford Courant.

I Do

How many days have passed since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, vowed that he'd never, ever, ever seat anyone touched by the leprous hand of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich?



And how many days since Reid's ripe second banana, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Big Jim), scoffed that the appointment of Roland Burris was "an act of political defiance that will lead nowhere"?



Actually, it was only 17 days ago Friday, but does it matter anymore, really?



It stopped mattering the moment President-elect Barack Obama privately told Reid—with a metaphorical slap in the mouth the Chicago Way—to stop stalling and seat the guy from Illinois and get his home state's political corruption out of the news and away from his inauguration festivities.



So on Thursday afternoon in Washington, Roland "Tombstone" Burris raised his right hand and was asked if he would uphold the Constitution. "I do," Tombstone said.

"We"?

clipped from www.qando.net
"Gosh, those Bush guys weren't so dumb afterall":
Barack Obama suggested last night that removing Osama bin Laden from the battlefield was no longer essential and that America's security goals could be achieved merely by keeping al-Qaeda "on the run".

"My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him," he said. "But if we have so tightened the noose that he's in a cave somewhere and can't even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America."
Who is "we" Mr. Obama?

All Of A Sudden

clipped from www.qando.net
In this case, Hamas's best turned out to be less than advertised.
The so-called "Iranian Unit" of Hamas has been destroyed, according to Gaza sources cited Thursday by the Haaretz daily. The sources said most of the unit's 100 members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood of Gaza City.
Apparently the Israeli response caught these so-called fighters off-guard and unprepared. They became cannon fodder for the IDF.

It's called underestimating your enemy and not being prepared for the fight. A rookie mistake for a supposed hard-core militant organization. Said one of the captured Hamas terrorists:
"Hamas took a gamble. We thought, at worst Israel will come and do something from the air - something superficial. They'll come in and go out. We never thought that we would reach the point where fear will swallow the heart and the feet will want to flee. You [Israel] are fighting like you fought in '48. What got into you all of a sudden?"

If There Were Any Justice, He Would Be The Next Senator From New York

JANUARY 15--Meet Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III, the US Airways pilot who today amazingly crash-landed a US Airways jet in New York's Hudson River without any apparent fatalities. The heroic Sullenberger, 57, has worked for US Airways since 1980, and before that spent more than six years as a U.S. Air Force F-4 fighter pilot. Sullenberger, who now must be considered the front runner to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's junior United States Senator, is also the founder of Safety Reliability Methods. The firm describes itself as providing "technical expertise and strategic vision and direction to improve safety and reliability in a variety of high risk industries." Business should soon be booming. Click here to revel in Sullenberger's brilliance and professionalism, as detailed in the veteran pilot's resume. Expect his "executive career highlights" to be updated shortly.

It's Not OTorture If He Doesn't Say It Is

Barack Obama preens, and garners this sort of headline: "Sources: Obama ready to ban harsh interrogations":


President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to prohibit the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques by ordering the CIA to follow military rules for questioning prisoners, according to two U.S. officials familiar with drafts of the plans.


Of course, there is one very big catch:


However, Obama's changes may not be absolute. His advisers are considering adding a classified loophole to the rules that could allow the CIA to use some interrogation methods not specifically authorized by the Pentagon, the officials said. ...

When McCain was asked what he would do in the "ticking time bomb" situation,
his response was that in that case, he would expect the President to do whatever was necessary. That is exactly the position Obama is now taking: we won't torture detainees. Unless, of course, we need to!
Note to the stupid: no change.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And Very Brave

In the wake of the events of 1-15, in which a wedge of Geese brought down a US Airways aircraft, here’s what you won’t be hearing about from the so-called “Mainstream Media”: We brought this on ourselves.

After an event such as this one, it’s important to look at the root causes: Why did the Geese attack us? Well, the truth is, for years we have been oppressing the Geese, using them for the fuel they provide for our bodies.

In the moments right after 1-15, many have been quick to praise the actions of the US Airways pilot. But the TRUTH is that our pilots have been instruments of the BUSHITLER illegal war against the Geese. I know the Repuglicans will attack me for saying this, but speaking TRUTH TO POWER of course makes me a true PATRIOT. And very brave.

A Projection Not For The Faint Of Heart

clipped from www.usnews.com

Mummification

clipped from www.salon.com

And let me take this opportunity to say that of all the innumerable print and broadcast journalists who have interviewed me in the U.S. and abroad since I arrived on the scene nearly 20 years ago, Katie Couric was definitively the stupidest. As a guest on NBC's "Today" show during my 1992 book tour, I was astounded by Couric's small, humorless, agenda-ridden mind, still registered in that pinched, tinny monotone that makes me rush across the room to change stations whenever her banal mini-editorials blare out at 5 p.m. on the CBS radio network. And of course I would never spoil my dinner by tuning into Couric's TV evening news show. That sallow, wizened, drum-tight, cosmetic mummification look is not an appetite enhancer outside of Manhattan or L.A. There's many a moose in Alaska with greater charm and pizazz.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Smelly Chiselers

clipped from pajamasmedia.com

I’m sorry but if you do your own taxes and don’t use one of simple, cheap and easy programs available then you are too ignorant to be the Treasury Secretary. And if you did use one it would have prompted you to calculate those SS and Medicare contributions. Only by ignoring them could you have “forgotten” to pay them … for 4 years in a row. Doesn’t pass the smell test. These are not complicated calculations like actual income tax, they are straight percentages.


Yeah, he could have saved himself a world of embarrassment for a mere $42.99. And Jim Treacher is right to note the discrepancy between the press’s ho-hum treatment of Geithner’s unpaid tax problems and its very different treatment of Joe The Plumber’s.

And Donald Hertzmark writes: “I know a lot of yanks working at the Bank/Fund. The personnel department makes a VERY BIG DEAL about making sure that you understand to pay your FICA. This does not wash. Just another chiseler, like Rangel.”

Yawn

When you call out Obama during a rope line, the Media jumps into your history, and finds a tax lien you didn't know you had.

If you are nominated for Treasury Secretary, and have four years of taxes you knew you owed, but didn't pay, the Media yawns.

Double standard?

Nice Start

clipped from www.qando.net
This may come as a surprise to Obama supporters, href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123187503629378119.html" target=new>but
I'm not sure why:

Timothy Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for
several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he
employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work
papers.

Those issues, and a series of other tax matters, caused the
postponement Tuesday of Mr. Geithner's confirmation hearing as Treasury
secretary. They were instead the subject of a closed-door meeting between the
nominee, currently president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and
members of the Senate Finance Committee, in whose hands his confirmation
lies.
What would have landed you in a tax court at a minimum will land this yahoo in
the Treasury Secretary's seat where he will be the chief tax enforcement
officer. Because he's a "very competent guy".
Because, you know, this administration and Congress are going to live up the the
highest of ethical standards.

Nice start.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Better Luck Than Last Time

clipped from online.wsj.com
Keynesians were banished in the 1980s by Reaganomics but made a comeback years ago and again control U.S. levers of power. They argue that massive deficit spending by the federal government is the right policy for these times. Paul Krugman of the New York Times has asserted that the Great Depression lasted 10 years because the New Deal didn't spend enough. Japan tried to spend its way out of its postbubble malaise in the 1990s but ended up with a mountain of debt and a "lost decade" of little or no economic growth. Nevertheless, the incoming Obama administration is promising close to a trillion dollars in fiscal stimulus, and the Bernanke Fed seems to believe the way to deal with a collapsed bubble is to reinflate it. That of course takes no account of how we got the bubble in the first place.
All that can be said to the Keynesians is, "better luck than last time."

$1.7 Trillion -- With A "T"

clipped from bloomberg.com

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- We are in the midst of a crisis
caused by so many financial institutions borrowing too much
money. Somehow, a critical mass of policy makers now believes
that the correct response is for the U.S. government to borrow
too much money.

Make no mistake, the CBO forecast is the lowest of lowball
estimates. It excludes President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed
stimulus package and understates the likely costs of the Iraq
war, among other things. A comprehensive estimate that accounts
for all “known knowns,” as Donald Rumsfeld might say, would be
higher by about half a trillion dollars. If the stimulus bill
passes, the deficit next year will be $1.7 trillion.

Perhaps the most disturbing comparison is this one: When
President George W. Bush was first elected, total federal
government spending was about $1.7 trillion. In other words, the
difference between federal outlays and federal revenue this year
will be bigger than the entire government was as recently as
2000.

Strings

clipped from online.wsj.com

In 1935, six years after the 1929 Crash, the U.S. remained mired in the Great Depression -- as it would be for five years more. At a congressional hearing, then Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner Eccles told Rep. Thomas Alan Goldsborough (D., Md.) that there was very little the Fed could do beyond what it was already doing to pull the country out of the doldrums.

"You mean you cannot push on a string," said the congressman.

As the Japanese demonstrated in 1990, real-estate crashes cause far more collateral damage than mere stock-market slumps. It's amazing that the U.S. policy makers chose to ignore the danger, despite repeated warnings from these pages.

Between 2002 and the fall of 2007, funds raised in U.S. credit markets nearly doubled. Talk about a credit explosion! Easy money, much beloved by politicians and Wall Street, is a sure recipe for an asset bubble.

So the Fed is again in the position of "pushing on a string" and finding that nothing happens.

Is It Scrappleface Or Is It Reality?

Insiders said nearly all Democrat governors have checked in, vying for their “fair share” of Gitmo detainees with offers of government jobs, usually in the state capitol, Medicaid coverage, and low-interest mortgage loans or even HUD Section 8 vouchers to cover the cost of renting a new home in a nice suburban neighborhood. Some have sweetened the deal with small business loans or grants, and cheap rent in “business incubators” allowing the former the enemy combatants to return to their former trades. Others offered to help these deeply-religious men to construct new places of worship, and to use government-owned public address systems to issue their calls to prayer five times daily.

The Destruction OAdministration

clipped from www.redstate.com

So while the CBO projects that current policies will yield deficits of roughly 1 percent of GDP by 2019, Orszag anticipates they will be 5 times higher. And that’s after Obama scrubs the federal budget line by line to cut our waste, after he restores economic growth, after he introduces extraordinary new efficiencies to health care, after he restores the solvency of our entitlement programs, and after he fixes the educational system and America’s crumbling infrastructure.

In other words, once Obama has delivered us a better world, the budget will look far, far worse than we think possible today.

Hopefully Orszag, Larry Summers, Christina Romer, and the rest of the economic team is asked whether they’re playing fast and loose with the data, or whether they really believe Obama has a plan to destroy our economy.

Human Shields 101

Sunday, January 11, 2009

RRAM

clipped from arxivblog.com

The four passive components of electronics are the resistor, capacitor, inductor and the memristor, which was discovered only a few months ago.

Now Tom Driscoll and buddies at the University of California, San Diego have shown how memristors could work as low cost, high density memory.

It turns out that a thin film of vanadium oxide acts like a memrister when a current is passed through it. At a certain critical temperature, the current triggers a phase change in the film, turning it from an insulator to a metal-like conductor. And that significantly changes it’s resistance in a way that can be measured for hours afterwards. In effect, the resistor stores a singe bit of information.

Driscoll calls it resistive random access memory or RRAM, in which information is stored in the form of material resistance, which can be changed by an applied voltage .

In Which It Is Revealed...

Sreekumar told TOI that that the six Apollo landing sites
which were mapped related to those of Apollo 11, 12, 14 15 and 17. The process
began on January 7 and ended on January 10. "Our purpose of carrying out this
exercise was to validate and confirm the data through global mapping about the
moon's surface and rocks which had been obtained by these Apollo flights," he
said. It may be recalled that Apollo 11 placed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on
the moon, which became historical because they were the first humans to step on
the lunar surface.


He said that the mapping of the Apollo landing
zones were done by six of the 11 scientific payloads on Chandrayaan which
included the indigenous Terrain Mapping Camera which was first activated on
October 29, 1995, the Hyper Spectal Imaging Camera also from Isro, Nasa's Moon
Minerology Mapper, Radom from Bulgaria and the Near Infra-Red Spectrometer
(Sir-2) of Germany.
... that the Indian government is apparently part of the "Moon Landing Conspiracy". So "Mooners", it's even worse than you thought .. LOL

Government-Sponsored Asphalt

clipped from uk.reuters.com

Some analysts questioned Obama's ability to boost spending on higher-cost renewable fuels during a recession.

SOLAR EQUIPMENT STOCKS SOAR ON SPEECH


Solar stocks climbed after Obama said his economic recovery plan would result in more jobs building solar panels.


First Solar Inc rose 4.6 percent to $155.36, LDK Solar closed 5.2 percent higher at $14.50, and SunTech Power was up 6.3 percent at $12.75. The shares outpaced the broad S&P 500 index, which climbed only 0.3 percent.

Not everyone cheered Obama's plan. Private companies could use domestic energy resources like oil and coal to create jobs without the hefty price tag for taxpayers, said Thomas Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research, in a statement.


"The road to economic recovery will be paved with private sector investment, not government-sponsored asphalt," he said.

Stopped Clock Watch: It Isn't Often That Pravda Is Actually Right

clipped from english.pravda.ru

The earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.

The Vostok ice core data graph reveals that global CO2 levels regularly rose and fell in a direct response to the natural cycle of Ice Age minimums and maximums during the past four hundred and twenty thousand years. Within that natural cycle, about every 110,000 years global temperatures, followed by global CO2 levels, have peaked at approximately the same levels which they are at today.

The AGW theory is based on data that is drawn from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates a wanton disregard for the ‘big picture’ of long-term climate change.

Shoe Service

clipped from blogs.abcnews.com

Colin Powell held a press conference in Washington, D.C., Friday, touting the launch of Barack Obama's new Web site, USAService.org, which allows Americans to find -- and to promote -- local service opportunities that are searchable by zip code.

But here's betting that Powell didn't have time to go through all of the events on it.

Wanting to see how the Web site works, I typed in my hometown zip code in Los Angeles to find events within a 10-mile radius.

It pointed me to several events, including a blood drive, a graffiti cleanup, and an "Obama Celebration and Bush Shoe Toss."

The event, which was listed as a "Day of Service -- January 19," is taking place at the soon-to-open Carnivale CafĂ© on the corner of Vermont and Normal. 

The Madness Manufacturers

It is commonly said that by storing weapons in mosques and firing rockets and mortars from residential areas and school yards, Hamas is using human shields in Gaza, a war crime. But the truth is really worse than that. Hamas doesn't endanger civilians in hopes that it will deter retaliation; it does so in the hope and expectation that civilians will be killed and wounded.

Again, it is useful to consider the circumstances under which this photo was taken.
One can only imagine what an American nurse would do to a photographer who tried to pull a stunt like this. Apart from interfering with the treatment itself, photographing injured people in this manner would be viewed as a gross invasion of their privacy. But in Gaza, even the exigencies of medical care yield to the overriding need to serve Gaza's one successful industry: the production of death and disaster, and the reproduction of images of that death and disaster for world-wide consumption.

The Cosmic Duck

clipped from www.sciencebits.com

Just recently, Sloan and Wolfendale published a paper in Environmental Research Letters, called "Testing the proposed causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover". In the Institute of Physics Press Release, it said, "New research has deal a blow to the skeptics who argue that climate change is all due to cosmic rays rather than man made greenhouse gases". Did it really?




First, we should note that so called "skeptics" like myself or my serious colleagues never claimed that cosmic rays explain all the climate change, it does however explain most of the solar-climate link and a large fraction (perhaps 2/3's of the temperature increase over the 20th century).

Two arguments are based on the expectation for effects which are much larger than should actually be present. In the third argument, they expect to see no phase lag, where one should actually be present.
Sloan and Wolfendale did not raise any argument which bares any implications to the validity or invalidity of the link.