Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting It (Good And Hard Edition)

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Put him in the classroom instead.  Because he’s the stereotypical American undergrad at a stereotypical Ivy League college in the age of political correctness.

He doesn’t much like America or Americans, or the “former colonial powers” like Britain.  Like so many would-be intellectuals, he admires lefty writers and screenwriters and actors and actresses.  He likes the downtrodden, like the Palestinians, but he’s overcome with awe for the occasional cool (non-Western) monarch or emperor (whether Arab or Chinese).  He probably has a Che tee shirt tucked away in a drawer, don’t you think?

He doesn’t know much history (he thinks Muslims invented printing), geography (his America has 57 states), or economics (he believes you can reduce health care costs by adding millions to the public rolls).

That’s the sort we’ve been graduating for a generation or more, isn’t it?  Did you really think we’d never get one as president?

Here It Comes...

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Kabuki Serfdom Theatre

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Of course this is all kabuki theater. Meanwhile the campaign contributions for O Duce continue to pour in from the Wall Street scolded who frankly aren't even bright enough to have read Hayek's "Road To Serfdom" where the previous dress rehearsal for this farce was vivisected. (What, they didn't tell you that Wall Street contributed 4-1 in favor of Obama? Now why would that not be mentioned? Down the memory hole it goes.)

Even sadder, only the "one bomb state" Jews in Israel seem to now get it. Not in time I fear. Useless as I am, I continue to stand in solidarity with them.

And yes, W was probably at least a contender to the kabuki throne. So let's turn the amp up to 11 and march forward, shall we?

Oh, and BTW. Of course the big banks as well as many small ones should have been allowed to go "bankrupt". Somehow folks seem to have been so extensively "retrained" that they are unable to even recognize root words!

The fact that neither W nor Obama allowed it tells you exactly where their bread is buttered.

UPDATE: Did you know that there was a Reader's Digest version done of the Road To Serfdom back in the 40s? And that it sold over 5 MILLION copies back then? My how the world forgets. The IEA download I just linked even has a cartoon version of the Road To Serfdom.

O Soiled Pants

Foreign Policy interviewed Former Czech President, political prisoner and playwright Vaclav Havel on Barack Obama and the costs of moral compromise.

I had a press conference with this minister of foreign affairs. And he said, “It was wonderful, meeting, because we were speaking openly. Mr. Havel gave me his opinion, and I explained the opinion of our government. I gave him this book, and he thanked me for it.”

This was unbelievable! Why did they feel the need to explain their point of view to the leader of such a small nation? Because they respect it when someone is standing his ground, when someone is not afraid of them. When someone soils his pants prematurely, then they do not respect you more for it.


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As Ajami points out, the real pros in the region, the ones whose lives literally depend on reading the tea leaves and navigating the competing power centers, aren't impressed with Obama's straddle. They see the writing on the wall and are acting accordingly...they can't count on the US so they will make deals with our enemies, nations that are in it for the long run.

This is typical of Obama's 'above it all', passive-aggressive crap. By not fully committing to the effort, he forces others to walk away from us. He will then use that 'abandonment' or 'lack of progress' as his excuse to pull out. He'll pretend it was forced on him, nothing he could have done about it. The fact is by his actions and inaction, he will have set the stage and manipulated the outcome.

Band Aid

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Do massive donations of cash as aid to poor nations allow them to focus on structural improvements and increased spending on health? 

“When an aid official thinks he is helping a low-income African patient avoid charges at a health clinic, in reality, he is paying for a shopping trip to Paris for a government minister and his wife,” said Philip Stevens, of the London-based think tank International Policy Network. He was not linked to the study.

What can we learn from this study that we really should have already known?

  1. Money is fungible – Giving block grants to a state for one purpose doesn’t mean that the purpose gets more money.  It allows the state to divert its already-committed resources to other purposes.  We’ve learned that here in the US with Porkulus block grants to states.  Without accountability, that money can go anywhere and either directly or indirectly feed the corruption at the heart of Africa’s problems.

  2. Corruption is the root cause of nationwide poverty


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The original theoretical work done by Mr. Chua was laid out in a 1971 paper titled “Memristor — The Missing Circuit Element.” The paper argued that basic electronic theory required that in addition to the three basic circuit elements — resistors, capacitors, and inductors — a fourth element should exist.

The H.P. research team titled their paper, “The Missing Memristor Found.”

The H.P. team has successfully created working circuits based on memristors that are as small as 15 nanometers (the diameter of an atom is roughly about a tenth of a nanometer.) Ultimately, it will be possible to make memristors as small as about four nanometers, Mr. Williams said. In contrast the smallest components in today’s semiconductors are 45 nanometers, and the industry currently does not see away to shrink those devices below about 20 nanometers.

Ah, But The Catholic Church Has Deep Pockets Now Doesn't It?

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a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll found that 64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests "frequently'' abused children.

Yet experts say there's simply no data to support the claim at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. "We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others."

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fun While We Lasted

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When America shows weakness, the rest of the world pounces, like sharks smelling blood in the water. Case in point: the price for flying to space with the Russians will soon double.

NASA on Tuesday signed a contract to pay $55.8 million per astronaut for six Americans to fly into space on Russian Soyuz capsules in 2013 and 2014. NASA needs to get rides on Russian rockets to the International Space Station because it plans to retire the space shuttle fleet later this year.

NASA now pays half as much, about $26.3 million per astronaut, when it uses Russian ships. NASA spokesman John Yembrick said the cost is going up because Russia has to build more capsules for the extra flights. NASA had already agreed to pay as much as $51 million a seat for flights in 2011 and 2012, before the latest increase.

Good thing we're not using all of that saved NASA funding to do something productive, like investing in the next generation of spaceflight or even paying off our national debt.

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Stopped Clock Watch

CNN's decision to embed with the Tea Party Express as it traveled toward D.C. -- Fox News did the same thing last year, in the run-up to the Sept. 12 taxpayer march on Washington -- befuddled the right and left alike. Mediaite's Tommy Christopher speculated that the network was out for "nuggets of gold," video and photos of tea partyers waving racist signs.

That's not how CNN's Shannon Travis describes his embed experience.

[H]ere's what you don't often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper. ... It is important to show the colorful anger Americans might have against elected leaders and Washington. But people should also see the orange-vested Tea Party hospitality handlers who welcome you with colorful smiles.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Commie Tunes

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Lorraine Does Not Exist

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The eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earths orbit  vary in several patterns, resulting in 100,000-year ice age cycles

The eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit vary in several patterns, resulting in 100,000-year ice age cycles. Image: wikimedia

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– In an analysis of the past 1.2 million years, UC Santa Barbara geologist Lorraine Lisiecki discovered a pattern that connects the regular changes of the Earth’s orbital cycle to changes in the Earth’s climate. The finding is reported in this week’s issue of the scientific journal Nature Geoscience.

Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found a surprising correlation. She discovered that the largest glacial cycles occurred during the weakest changes in the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit –– and vice versa. She found that the stronger changes in the Earth’s orbit correlated to weaker changes in climate. “This may mean that the Earth’s climate has internal instability in addition to sensitivity to changes in the orbit,” said Lisiecki.

Lorraine Lisiecki
Lorraine Lisiecki
Move along now...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Strike In Bubble Town

Trust: The Facts

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In 1943 nearly half of those surveyed, 48%, told interviewers in a poll conducted by the National Opinion Research Center that it was almost impossible for a man to stay honest if he goes into politics. Has anything changed?

Well the people's trust in politicians has deteriorated further. More than 50 years later, in a poll taken in 1997 by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics, 55% agreed that people who go into politics cannot remain honest. A 2006 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a bare majority, 52%, said most members of Congress had about the same amount of honesty as most people, but 44% said they were more dishonest.

In 2010 55% told Gallup interviewers that the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress were low or very low, the only time a majority has given that response since the question was asked first in 1976. Only 9% described them as high.

Enron Lives

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Jefferson County is an example of what happens after the party’s over. Even government jobs proved to be no safe haven. When the bottle’s dry that feeling on the tip of your tongue isn’t the last drop of gin trickling down the neck. It’s the glass itself. Now what? Taibbi writes:

As public services in and around Birmingham were stripped to the bone, Pack struggled to support her family on a weekly unemployment check of $260. Nearly a fourth of that went to pay for her health insurance, which the county no longer covered. She also fielded calls from laid-off co-workers who had it even tougher. “I’d be on the phone sometimes until two in the morning,” she says. “I had to talk more than one person out of suicide. For some of the men supporting families, it was so hard — foreclosure, bankruptcy. I’d go to bed at night, and I’d be in tears.”

Well, at least the new sewer system saved the earth. The County probably won’t be hearing from environmentalists for a while. Or maybe not.


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The US Federal Reserve has completed its purchase of $1.7 trillion (£1.1bn) of
mortgage securities, agency debt and US Treasuries, the conjuring trick of "credit
easing" that allowed Ben Bernanke to create stimulus equal to 12pc of

The Fed's money creation has been more or less the size of Washington's
borrowing needs for the last year, as Beijing notes with suspicion.

I Want

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Exploding Talking Heads

Gallup is reporting that more than half of Tea Party supporters are NOT Republican, but they tend to be much more conservative than the general population.  Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more male and less likely to be lower-income. Keep in mind, that the $50,000 bracket shown as the highest income bracket below is actually the average US Household income, so it cannot be discerned whether these people are upscale, or around average.


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Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Fraud This Time

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Clearly written and honestly enforced regulation is not easy to come by, these days. To understand why, imagine that two football teams assemble for a game, under the supervision of a single referee.

As the first play begins, one of the players complains that the referee has made illegal movements across the field. The referee laughs and explains he cannot be bound by the same rules that constrain the players, or he wouldn’t be able to do his job properly. He must be able to move up and down the field at will, in ways that would earn penalties for the players. Common sense supports his assertion, and the game continues.

The referee begins calling all sorts of penalties, invoking rules he has created on the fly. The players object, saying the rulebook accepted at the beginning of the game should be used without alterations. The referee mocks this notion.

More complex rules are needed to ensure a good game!
The idea of a large, and yet scrupulously honest State is fraudulent to its core.


I haven't spoken to my friend in many months, probably since the fall or summer. So I was pleased when his name showed up as an incoming call on my cell phone, although I wondered how we would dance around the subject of Him.

The first sentence out of his mouth was, "Let's get it out of the way, you were right about Obama."

Not being satisfied with mere contrition, I asked him whether he was bs-ing me, and he said no, he meant it.

My friend spends half the year in Florida along with his similarly ancient friends. He's predicting a "Republican sweep" in November, although his dissatisfaction with Obama is not the result of a conversion to conservatism. He feels that Obama broke so many promises, and "he's just another politician."

If Obama has lost my friend, the Frank Rich-loving, Sarah Palin-hating greedy Democratic geezer that he is, the Democrats are in deep electoral trouble.

And More Adams

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A government of laws, and not of men.

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense.

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Fear is the foundation of most governments.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

More Adams

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Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.

Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

Forgiveness Lost

Politico begins its story about the rough reception two New Hampshire Democrats who voted for Obamacare have received from their constituents this way:

If the experience of this state's two Democratic House members is any indication, the raw emotion and mistrust emanating from last summer's congressional town halls never really went away.

I'm not sure why anyone thought it might have. All that has changed since last summer's town hall is (1) the Democrats enacted legislation disfavored by a clear majority of Americans and (2) they did so with the help of a series of unsavory back room deals. Under these circumstances, one would expect that, if anything, voters would be more angry and mistrustful now.

Three Or More Is A Congress

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.

John Adams
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

And a Happy Easter to John Adams!

Modern Belief

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The history of secularization can be understood not as a replacement of belief by reason, but an exchange of one belief for another. The traditional monotheisms were hustled out of the way so that they could sell Lenin in the place left vacant by Jesus. Perhaps no other century has seen more god-men than the 20th. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, Nicolae Ceau┼čescu, Saparmurat Niyazov, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-Sung, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sukarno, and Kim Jong-Il promoted a cult of personality.  And there’s a reason for that. The dictators could only sell the box of matches with their likeness on the cover if they could darken the sun of faith. “During the peak of their regimes, these leaders were presented as god-like and infallible. Their portraits were hung in homes and public buildings
Maybe Chesterton was right when he predicted that “the first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.”