Saturday, February 27, 2010

Like This

clipped from

They don't have any members in the UK Parliament but have a couple of seats in the European Parliament which they use to more or less harangue the Euro bureaucrats. Like this....

Disagreeable Consequences

Though the Telemark operations were some of the greatest spec-ops successes ever seen, they may not in fact have been all that critical. After the war, Heisenberg said that he and his colleagues had always been doubtful of the potential of nuclear fission as an explosive. Furthermore, they had taken good care not to big that aspect of the research up to their Nazi masters, for reasons of self-interest.

"We definitely did not want to get into this bomb business," said Heisenberg. "I wouldn't like to idealize this; we did this also for our personal safety. We thought that the probability that this would lead to atomic bombs during the War was nearly zero. If we had done otherwise, and if many thousand people had been put to work on it and then if nothing had been developed, this could have had extremely disagreeable consequences for us."

Ryan: Game Over -- As In $2.3T Over

clipped from

The Majority Leader said the bill scores as reducing deficit by $131 billion over the next 10 years.4 

First a little bit about CBO: I work with them every single day; very good people; great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is fill of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.

Now what do I mean when I say that?

First off, the bill has ten years of tax increases and ten years of Medicare cuts to pay for six years of spending. The true ten year cost when subsidies kick-in? $2.3 trillion.5

If You're A Warmist, Here's A Good Starting Point Now That Your Church Is Dead

Close passages of coronal mass ejections from the sun are signaled at the Earth’s surface by Forbush decreases in cosmic ray counts. We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases (FDs), and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) reaches a minimum around 7 days after the Forbush minimum in cosmic rays, and so does the fraction of low clouds seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and in the International Satellite Cloud Climate Project (ISCCP). Parallel observations by the aerosol robotic network AERONET reveal falls in the relative abundance of fine aerosol particles which, in normal circumstances, could have evolved into cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Thus a link between the sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale.

Physicists Are Flat Earthers

clipped from

The British Parliament has begun an investigation into the meaning of the East Anglia CRU e-mails, and part of that process is a form of peer review, in a sense.  Their Science and Technology committee has welcomed commentary from the scientific community, and among those members is the non-profit charity, the Institute of PhysicsIn their submission, the IoP says that the UEA CRU e-mails don’t just indict East Anglia, but the entire AGW industry — and that “science” wasn’t what they were doing at all (via Watts Up With That and Mike Ross, emphases mine):

This is a devastating critique from an objective scientific community.  It exposes as risible the notion that, as EPA Director Lisa Jackson attempted to insist, the UEA CRU e-mails only revealed a lack of interpersonal skills among AGW advocates.  As the IoP makes clear, the UEA CRU and its many partners in the AGW movement committed intellectual and scientific fraud — and their conclusions should be viewed as worthless.

Check out the first comment for my title


clipped from
Added Mr. Bush: "I have no desire to see myself on television. I don't want to be a panel of formers instructing the currents on what to do...I'm trying to regain a sense of anonymity. I didn't like it when a certain former president -- and it wasn't 41 or 42 -- made my life miserable."

Bluff And Bernanke

clipped from

HMM: Bernanke to Congress: You Are Going to Have to Cross That Fiscal Valley Yourself. “Ben Bernanke tells Congress the Federal Reserve won’t just make dollars to help the U.S. government pay off its debt.” Brian Doherty doesn’t think he really means it. I hope Brian is wrong.

More Government Genius

clipped from

The president would have the power to safeguard essential federal and private Web resources under draft Senate cybersecurity legislation.

According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack.

The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans to ensure key federal or private services did not go offline during a cyberattack of unprecedented scope, the aide said.

And it's all OK since the evil W isn't running it. But no problem handing it to our genius booger stuffer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Lawyer Who Can't Read A Contract

clipped from

That's because you didn't buy collision insurance you freaking dumbass! Of course they aren't going to pay a claim for an accident if your insurance is liability only.

I bet Sarah Palin knows the difference between liability-only insurance and collision/comprehensive insurance.

What. A. Freaking. Dumbass.

Chris Matthews, your boyfriend is a dumbass.

I'm no birther, but I really want to see those college transcripts the BEinC is hiding.

Advantage Asia

clipped from
For the frequent traveler, there is a stark dichotomy across the world. Almost
without exception, traveling with an Asian carrier to any Asian airport is a
pleasure. In contrast, using any airline domiciled in Europe or North America
with passage through airports in that part of the world is stunningly

Your plane for one - the Asian carriers' jet, like its European counterpart,
was assembled either in Seattle or in Toulouse, France, but it is a million
miles away from the aircraft you are used to flying within Europe or North
America. Plonk yourself down on a suspiciously comfortable seat and there is
the large television panel with an array of entertainment. Great food,
courteous service.

And that's about when you reconcile to the inevitable future - Asia with its
apparently permanent advantage on infrastructure and operating efficiency
leaving Europe and North America ever further behind. Nothing appears to have
the ability to reverse this trend.


clipped from

How to Start Up Up An F-16C
So if you're looking to boost an F-16, the good news is that there's no key. But that's also a down side since it means that you actually have to know what you're doing. So here's the minimum you need to know:

Start up of the F-16C is external APUs or other equipment is necessary. One switch turns on the battery and then another switch hits the Jet Fuel Starter. When you see the GREEN JFS light, unock the throttle and in less than a minute you're up to idle speed, and the only thing left to do is aligning the inertial navigation and perform pre-flight checks.
Full details are here.


clipped from

“In New York City at Central Park, there was 20.9 inches reported with this amazing storm. This was the 4th largest snowstorm in their long history that goes all the way back to 1869,” James Wilson, Lead Meteorologist, The Weather Channel, reported.

You’d also find out that there were 3-million people, plus 1-million horses. (No elevators, yet. So buildings that were 5-stories tall had the cheapest apartments on top. They were called “walk ups.” Anyway, you just couldn’t rid the streets of all the horse dung. In time a lot of it would just be trampled down, hard. But not when it rained. Then, it just floated on top of the rainwater. And, entered homes. First floors were often flooded. Which is when architects decided to make the second story the first floor. So the idea of brownstones was born.

You Can Pick Your Nose, And You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Can't Wipe Your Friends On The Couch

EXIT QUESTION: Did he stuff it in his ear? I think he did. That would explain why he doesn’t hear angry voices rising and rising and rising.

Strange Dayz

OBAMA: ... You know, when I was -- when I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car.
After about six months I got rear-ended, and I called up Acme and said, "You know, I'd like to see if I can get my car repaired." And they laughed at me over the phone.
I can think of three possible explanations for what happened to Obama, assuming his story wasn't a complete fabrication. First, he made a rational decision not to buy collision coverage on his vehicle. But in that case, he can hardly complain
Second, he could have bought auto insurance from a company that went bankrupt. But in that case, he wouldn't be out of luck
Third, he could have bought a high-deductible policy and the damage from being rear-ended was within his deductible.

The more we see of Barack Obama, the stranger he appears to be. Either that, or he is cynically making stuff up to play to an audience that is ignorant with respect to insurance, and much else.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lambs And Nazis

In bad times, of course, fissures appear. Thus today's news story: "Greek rescue in danger as deputy prime minister attacks 'Nazi' Germany." This is one of those headlines where you don't really need to read the article, but here goes. The context is the current Greek financial crisis, with Greece begging for a bailout from its fellow Europeans, which is to say, mostly, Germany:

Twisting the knife further, he said the current crop of EU leaders were of "very poor quality" and had botched this month's crisis summit in Brussels. "The people who are managing the fortunes of Europe were not up to the task," he said.

One banker said the situation was surreal. "How can they call the Germans incompetent Nazis and still expect a bail-out?"

Good question! Europe has been a source of cataclysmic conflict for a long time, and I don't think the continent has quite entered into the idyllic future where German lions lie down with Greek lambs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


clipped from
What these guys have in common is that they’re only marginally employable. What borderline mental illness has done to one, mediocre skills and the unintended consequences of anti-discrimination laws have done to the other.
When I look at these guys, though, I can’t buy the explanation most people would jump for, which is that they simply fell behind in an increasingly skill-intensive job market.
No. What I think is: These are the people who go to the wall when the cost of employing someone gets too high. We’ve spent the last seventy years increasing the hidden overhead and downside risks associated with hiring a worker — which meant the minimum revenue-per-employee threshold below which hiring doesn’t make sense has crept up and up and up, gradually.

it’s the marginal ones, the mediocre, and the mildly dysfunctional.

If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, you’re not paying attention. It’s a recipe for long-term structural unemployment at European levels of 10%, 15%, and up.

Bloom Box

clipped from

Start-up Bloom Energy says it can deliver a power plant in a box. What is it and how does it work?

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which is generating some serious buzz this week, will officially announce on Wednesday what it calls the "Bloom box." In an interview Sunday on CBS News' "60 Minutes," CEO K.R. Sridhar said the goal is to get businesses, and eventually consumers, off the transmission line grid and deliver power at a much lower cost with low emissions.

What is the Bloom box?
It's a fuel cell. (See photo.) While that's nothing new--as Greentech Media editor Michael Kanellos says, fuel cells have been around since the 1800s--it's Bloom Energy's secret sauce that makes it special. Kanellos said that the solid oxide fuel cell patents point to a "yttria stabilized zirconium" material. This formula is used to fabricate an ink-coated floppy-disk-size ceramic tile (with an ink-based anode and cathode) made from 'beach sand."

Inside the Bloom box

The Store Owner Arrives

clipped from

Want to know why states are going broke? Have a look at this Illinois State Board of Education pension chart:


That's nearly $1 BILLION in pension liability for the top 100 overpaid educrats in Illinois, where the overwhelmingly Democrat political system produced our current Taxer and Spender in Chief.

Entrusting Democrats to run government is like hiring a drunk as night watchman at a liquor store. We're coming to the part where the store owner arrives in the morning to find the drunk watchman and all his friends passed out on the floor amid broken bottles and sticky puddles, the shelves stripped bare.

Slave Docs

clipped from

It looks like a clever twist on the barter system has reared its head in the Western Hemisphere: slavery. And who are the slaves? The crown jewels of Cuba's highly-touted medical system: doctors and nurses.

Seven Cuban doctors and a nurse sued Cuba, Venezuela and the state-run oil company PetrĂ³leos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) for alleged conspiracy to force them to work in conditions of "modern slaves" in order to pay off the Cuban debt with the Venezuelan government for oil supply.

The defendants "intentionally and arbitrarily" held the health staff in "debt servitude" and the staff became "economic slaves" and "political advocates," according to the complaint filed in the United States, Efe reported.

But, isn't Cuba an absolute model for healthcare, not to mention, governance? That's certainly what Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, and other useful idiots in Hollywood would have us believe. Of course, every doctor enslaved to Venezuela is one fewer for the Cubans.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


clipped from

NEW YORK ( -- More bad news on the housing bust front: Nearly 25% of all mortgage borrowers were underwater, meaning they more on their loans than their homes are worth.

First American CoreLogic, the research firm that monitors housing equity, reported Tuesday that 11.3 million homeowners -- or 24% of all homes with mortgages -- were underwater as of the end of 2009. That's up from 23% and 10.7 million borrowers three month earlier.

Traditionally, being underwater was one of two main factors in determining a borrower's likelihood of foreclosure. The other is having sufficient income to pay bills. But, there's an increasingly important exception: strategic default. As equity gets more and more negative, some homeowners are choosing to quit paying and give the keys to the bank.

Miss Us Yet?

clipped from

NYeT! Carlos Slim Edition

clipped from

SLATE: The Story The New York Times Won’t Touch.

A little more than a year ago, when the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim increased his stake in the New York Times Company (NYT), I wrote “I pity the Times Mexico bureau chief who has to tiptoe through who is and isn’t out of favor with the paper’s new sugar daddy.” Now we have a very clear example of how the Times treats Slim within its pages; it’s not pretty, and the journalistic compromise can be seen well beyond Mexico.

All the news that fits our sponsors’ needs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tales O Graft

clipped from

If Hopey Change means anything, it's that Chicago-style politics have gone national. Let's see if the whole country really wants to live with the sort of government that entails. Via The American Spectactor:

"Whoever solicits or receives … any … thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
— 18 USC Sec. 211 — Bribery, Graft and Conflicts of Interest: Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office

"In the face of a White House denial, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak stuck to his story yesterday that the Obama administration offered him a "high-ranking" government post if he would not run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary."
— Philadelphia Inquirer, February 19, 2010

Apparently the post offered Sestak was Secretary of the Navy.

Back To The Sickness

What seems remarkable to me is that the Democrats have chosen to go back to the health care well. Their initial effort to enact a vast, transformative health care bill on a few hours notice, before the public knew what they were up to, was a disaster. Eventually, the Democrats gave up and President Obama promised to forget about health care for a while and focus "like a laser" on job creation. That promise lasted, perhaps, for a couple of weeks. Now the Democrats are back on health care, sort of like Napoleon returning to Waterloo.

Will the result be any different? I don't think so. Most Americans have decided, sensibly, that they don't want the federal government to take over their health care. Obama's proposal, which is basically a blend of the Democrats' House and Senate bills, will do nothing to change their minds.

Probably Faulty

clipped from

While probability theory is generally thought of as a branch of mathematics, its foundations are purely philosophic, and Richard von Mises, in his great work Probability, Statistics, and Truth, developed the correct, objective, or "frequency" theory of probability.

what the fraction means is this: if the die is not loaded, and if it is thrown a very large number of times, it will tend asymptotically to come up as a two one-sixth of the time. And the only way you can really make sure that the die is not loaded, i.e., that the two-spot will come up one-sixth of the time is to make the very large number of throws.

Hence, it is scientifically meaningless to say that the "probability of Jerry Ford being elected in 1976 is three-eighths," since elections are not homogeneous events repeated a large number of times. And yet a large amount of modern social science and of its mathematizing rests on this faulty view of probability theory.

Even If They Pretend Otherwise

Conceived as a way to unite Europe, the euro increasingly divides.

If other countries dump the euro, currency wars could ensue. The threat to the euro bloc ultimately stems from an overcommitted welfare state. Greece's situation is so difficult because a low birth rate and rapidly graying population automatically increase old-age assistance even as the government tries to cut its spending. At issue is the viability of its present welfare state.

Almost every advanced country -- the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Belgium and others -- faces some combination of huge budget deficits, high debts, aging populations and political paralysis. It's an unstable mix. Present deficits may aid economic recovery, but the persistence of those deficits threatens long-term prosperity. The same unpleasant choices confronting Greece await most wealthy nations, even if they pretend otherwise.

Broken II: Fairy Tales

Actually, there is one legitimate sense in which one could say that our government is broken. We are approaching a fiscal disaster because of out of control entitlements. Everyone in Washington knows it, but the government is unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Even here, though, the problem isn't a process issue. The problem is that most Americans aren't ready to face up to what needs to be done, and, when it comes to entitlements, prefer fairy tales to reality. So it isn't Washington that is somehow "broken," we are experiencing one of the perils of living in a democracy.


SENATOR EVAN BAYH, (D-IND.): I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is much too much partisanship

MORAN: Is he right, George?

GEORGE WILL: Well, it's hard to take a lecture on bipartisanship from a man who voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts, the confirmation of Justice Alito, the confirmation of Attorney General Ashcroft, the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State. Far from being a rebel against his Party's lockstep movement, Mr. Bayh voted for the Detroit bailout, for the stimulus, for the public option in the healthcare bill. I don't know quite what his complaint is, but, Terry, with metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments have one thing in common: The Left is having trouble enacting its agenda. No one when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security said, "Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two Templates

clipped from

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll: “Andrew Breitbart said at the Nashville Tea Party convention this month, the legacy media has two templates for coverage of Republicans and conservatives: Watergate and racism. Similarly, the MSM also has two templates for liberal presidents they wish to prop up: Camelot and gridlock.”

Culture Update


clipped from
FlyFire: This 3-D face (left) is built of a swarm of golf-ball-sized, LED-equipped helicopters (right).  MIT
Meet the next generation of art installations. Together, the SENSEable City and ARES Labs at MIT have created an adaptable, remote-controlled display comprised of dozens of robotic, flying "smart pixels."

The concept is simple: As with any digital image, the picture is made of groups of tiny dots of varying colors that, at the right scale, appear as one large image. Now imagine the pixels in a pointillist painting like a Georges Seurat aren't tiny flecks of paint, but thousands of miniature helicopters with varying color LEDs arranged as the image.

COTD: Too Big To Fail

clipped from

Charlie, it’s pretty clear at this point that the AGW scam is too big to fail.

A bailout by The Left Wing Media was, therefore, inevitable.


clipped from

It’s been called the “biggest scientific scandal in history.” It has everything to earn Pulitzer consideration: lies and misconduct in high places, political implications, even massive financial transactions that may or may not be legitimate or even legal. It’s big news … as long as you read the Telegraph, the Guardian, the London Times, or even major Indian papers.

It’s no news at all if you read the U.S. mainstream media.

But search the major U.S. papers.

What do they have to say about the biggest scientific scandal? The Post quotes U.N. Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth, whose nonprofit group has highlighted the work of the IPCC, saying that the pirated e-mails gave “an opening” to attack climate science, and that the scientific work “has to be defended just like evolution has to be defended.”

That would, by the way, be the same Timothy Wirth who was the original negotiator of the Kyoto Protocol.

Sooner Than You Think

The Israel Air Force on Sunday introduced a fleet of large unmanned planes it claims can fly as far as Iran.

Air force officials said the Heron TP drones have a wingspan of 26 meters, making them the size of passenger jets. They said the planes can fly 20 consecutive hours, and are primarily used for surveillance and carrying payloads.

The drones, built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, were first used during Israel's Gaza war last year.

At an inauguration ceremony Sunday, officials refused to say how large the new fleet is or whether the planes were designed for use against Iran.




Too Much To Ask

clipped from

Lying in the road is a young Iraqi woman. I run over to help. She’s caught a round just below her temple. Her stunning beauty has been ruined forever.

She cries, “Paper! Paper” over and over until the ambulance arrives to take her away. An old lady emerges from the schoolhouse-turned voting site, sheets of blue paper in hand. She gives one to the wounded girl, who clutches it to her like a prized possession even as the ambulance carries her away.

The ballot was her voice.

I came home in search of that woman’s spirit in the hearts of my fellow Americans.  I came home expecting to find the sacrifice of these brave patriots revered at every turn by those who overwhelmingly sent us to war from Washington.

I’m still looking.

If you can’t bring yourself to give the living the sense of accomplishment for winning a war that many claimed was endless, at least humor the dead.

Is that too much to ask for?

On Your Own

If you are of sub-par intelligence and need someone to micro-manage your life, we, like most other Western nations, have just the government for you. On the other hand, when it comes to dealing with hostile nuclear powers, you're on your own. Mark Steyn draws the contrast:

If you're minded to flip a pancake at speeds of more than four miles per hour, the state will step in and act decisively: It's for your own good. If you're a tourist from Moose Jaw, Washington will take pre-emptive action to shield you from the potential dangers of your patio in Arizona.

On the other hand, when it comes to "keeping you safe" from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing. There aren't going to be any sanctions, because China and Russia don't want them. ...