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    Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    The Rantings of a Mad Man

    Why does the LGBTQ lobby insist in bashing the religious whenever they trot out their "equal rights" memes?

    The Constitution guarantees equal rights under the law for all Americans. Then, the SCOTUS added a right of "dignity" to justify same-sex marriage across the land. It would have happened anyway, state-by-state, but ok, they cut to the chase. 

    We were told by this lobby that was all they wanted - the right to marry and most of us were just fine with that and really saw this as a great opportunity to remove the state's monopoly on the marriage business. After all, why should some county clerk be the person who approves of my marriage?

    But, as so often happens with the Left, they lied. 

    They're interested in marriage equality, to be sure, but a good number of this lobby seem interested in retribution.

    Even the mildest of attempts to provide legal protections to the religious - in Indiana, NC, Georgia were either  watered down to useless or defeated altogether because just making it illegal for states to deny marriage to same sex couples isn't enough. Church's must allow their clergy to officiate, they must allow their property to be used in these ceremonies, or risk fines, jail time, or greater monetary damages at the hands of the police power of the state.

    I unfriended someone yesterday because a post on her timeline equated the religious to nazi's. This is the nature of debate with doctrinaire liberals. You'd think after 25 years of engaging them, I'd just laugh when the Nazi comparisons start. Want to see modern day Nazi's? Just travel to the Middle East and see what they do with women and gays.  Oh wait, the unfollowed one did this and came back impressed at how much the Saudi's respect women! By cracky, they keep them separated from men and veiled to protect them. Listen, honey, I didn't comment then, but that is serious Kool-Aid right there. The person who believes this is a huge gay rights person here, in the safety of her Constitutionally protected free speech zone. Call me when you or your brother are defending gay rights in Iran, ok? That's when I'll remove my block. 

    But, I digress. 

    I am sick and tired of this crap from this group. You will not win over the hearts and minds of the majority of people with these hateful tactics. 

    Like Trumpkins, I am convinced you can't be reasoned with. Your hatred of religion and/or those who don't share your pieties is palpable . It disgusts me. Therefore YOU disgust me and I have no need of disgusting people. 

    Except to bash them as the Freedom hating fascists they are, or hope to be. Call it cathartic. 

    YOU need to consider that the desire for vengeance that these groups have is unhealthy for you and for this country. 

    It will be the end of us and Trump is only the first giant symptom screaming "we want our country back." He may be beaten back, because many of his natural supporters (like me) find him so unacceptable.  Unlike you liberal fascists, we don't think the answer to Fascism is our own Fascist leader. It would be ideal to return the nation to First Principles. And soon. 

    But keep down this path, and there will come a leader who is acceptable to this mass of people who are also, like me, sick and tired, and that leader may be able to seduce enough of us to win.

    Either that is going to happen or this country is simply going to divide. And the American experiment will have died with it. 

    I take no pleasure in that statement.  It saddens me that for many reasons we are seeing the end of the country.  We were the indispensable country and I am proud to have been part of it that defeated communism and freed so many across the globe from the tyranny of despots. It should be no surprise that the freest today are the former Eastern European countries, as they know best the iron fist of totalarianism.

    Sunday, April 3, 2016

    Where did some prominent journalists go to school

    Journos and schools
    Lester holt - California state university

    Scott Pelley - Texas Tech

    David Muir - Ithaca college

    Bret Baier - Depauw

    Brit Hume - Virginia

    Woodward- Yale

    Gene Roberts - classmate of my father at UNC

    Ben Bradlee - Harvard

    Carl Bernstein - Maryland

    Steve Kroft -Syracuse and Columbia 

    Lara Logan - University of Natal (S Africa)

    Morley Safer - U of Western Ontario

    Leslie Stahl - Wheaton

    Bill Whitaker - Hobart College

    Anderson Cooper - Yale

    Sanjay Gupta - Michigan

    Norah o'Donnell - Georgetown

    Charlie Rose - Duke

    Sharon Alfonsi - Mississippi

    Howard Kurtz - University of Buffalo/Columbia

    Wolf Blitzer - Buffalo/JHU

    Chuck Todd - GW

    Snuffuloppulus - Columbia

    Raddatz - drop out Utah

    Brian Williams - GW (better check that)

    Fineman - Colgate (Columbia)

    O'Reilly - Marist/Boston U/Harvard

    Maddow - Stanford 

    Megyn Kelly - Syracuse

    Friedman - Minnesota

    Maureen Dowd - Catholic U

    George Will - Trinity College (Princeton)

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    Scalia: A Big Fat Giant Racist

    Oh, I meant Michael Moore.
    Seems the Internet is abuzz a little about statements Antonin Scalia made during a recent Supreme Court hearing on the University of Texas' use of race as a factor in admissions. 
    From the LA Times:
    Scalia was addressing Gregory Garre, a lawyer for the University of Texas, who was defending the university’s policy of counting race as one factor in a “holistic” review of applicants (which also includes factors such as extracurricular activities, socioeconomic background and “hardships overcome”).
    “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to -- to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less -- a slower-track school where they do well.”
    You can read that entire editorial, here, as it attempts to explain to the terminally lazy, what was actually being discussed here.

    Those (a lot of them black kids who have done quite well at very hard schools) have taken on Scalia’s questioning (in an annoying hashtag campaign, ugh!) in an effort to point out (correctly) 1)that many black and disadvantaged kids do quite well at tough schools, while being an (incorrect) participant in the Progressive meme that 2)Scalia is a racist and 3)that affirmative action is the only remedy keeping blacks from beign relegated to awful, predominantly black universities.

    The first part of that is laudably correct and I applaud these smart, successful children of color for going to bat for their race and for also being role models for others in their community.  Those voices are needed and if they inspire anyone to stick it to “the man” (represented by Scalia, if that’s what they want to do), then I applaud them.  Trotting out the exceptions to the rule, however, forgets that WE.ARE.NOT.TALKING.ABOUT.THEM. 

    We’re talking about the average and below average kids.  More later.

    The second part (racist Scalia!) is truly unknowable.  Unless you KNOW Antonin Scalia, you really can’t judge his heart and whether he’s racist.  This line of questioning, being as it is, a lawyerly effort to seek out answers to the questions that will be debated in this case, is not evidence of racism.  SO sorry, Progs, but it isn’t.  I know how much you hate Scalia and Thomas, but, just STOP.
    Item 3 is really what we should be discussing. 
    There is a school of thought, the “Mismatch Theory” and you can read more about this elsewhere, but friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed in this case in support of the Mismatch Theory.  In a nutshell, it contends that generally, African-American kids admitted to schools under race-based quotas and admission requirements, tend to have less successful outcomes than those not admitted under those circumstances and that kids with similar academic backgrounds who attend lower-tier schools have better outcomes.

    Without getting too much into what the Progressive Left considers a wildly controversial subject, let’s consider for a moment that if a kid admitted this way enters Georgia Tech and wants to be an Aeronautical Engineer, but because Tech does a highly effective job in weeding out the week from its Engineering programs (mainly through Freshman Calculus and Physics as I recall), and that kid decides after a year of stress and bad grades, to transfer over to UGA and become a Sociology major, that certainly doesn’t serve the cause of having a minority pursue a career in STEM, does it?  As sciency as sociology is, the world needs more Physics majors, not more social workers.  Mismatch Theory would suggest that if that kid had gone to say, Southern Poly (or Auburn or Clemson) and studied AE there, he would do just fine at those lower tier schools and exit with an AE degree and not just pursue his actual dream, but be given the full chance of success at it.  And, also do it in a reasonable amount of time, saving himself, or the taxpayers, or granters, or whoever is paying the bills.


    So, if you Progs want to debate that theory, and the implications of it, then let’s have that debate.  But leave the personal attacks out of it.  IK know that’ll be hard for you, since personal attacks are part of the Alinsky (and thus, your) playbook, but I’ll stop you when you devolve to that.

    Sunday, November 29, 2015

    Michael Moore - Poster Boy of Progressivism

    My bride showed me a Facebook link that one of the women I dared to unfriend me on Facebook posted from fat load Michael Moore over Thanksgiving.  

    If you asked me to create a caricature of the modern day Progressive, I suppose it'd be a toss up between Michael Moore and Al Gore, 2 fat cats who made their fortunes pushing their failure of an ideology on the gullible. Both got rich, and apparently, obese, at the expense of others.  In his defense, Moore came by his incredible wealth and position in the top half of one percent somewhat honestly.  He's a gifted documentarian, willing to bend the truth to suit his agenda, and he's made millions of dollars.  Good for him, I don't begrudge him one cent of it.

    Al Gore, a little less so.  As Ann Richards (God bless her soul) might say, Al was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has parlayed his incoherent environmental advocacy into a cottage industry that is making him rich - and will make him richer if the climate mullahs win.

    I choose Moore as the progressive caricature.  First, there's the fat thing.  I love that this big giant, obese, lardass is lecturing Americans in the bottom 99.5% about their excesses.  Seriously.

    Then, there's the several homes that he owns.  How many of you guys have 7 homes, and a primary residence worth over $2M?  I think it's great that he's a homeowner, but come on, is this the height of liberal hypocrisy?

    No, because Moore is also a huge gun control guy.  Except, of course, when it comes to him.  http://www.examiner.com/article/anti-gun-crusader-michael-moore-s-bodyguard-carries-a-gun

    He's entitled to armed security and to even carry himself.  He's an American citizen and a target.  I recommend to him that he take appropriate measures to protect himself.  But, Mikey, STFU telling an inner city single mom, who might be threatened by her ex boyfriend that she can't carry a gun to protect herself because you don't like guns.

    These are just a few, I could go on.  He's created completely dishonest documentaries on the Iraq War, Cuba, even Roger and Me, that started it all, is patently dishonest.  His methods, fine. But let's stipulate that much of what Moore "documents" is fiction.

    I do have some caution for any of you who listened to his thanksgiving message.  If you believe Progressivism is winning because there's a black president, gay marriage is legal, and marijuana is legal, and according to Moore 81% of the electorate will be women, minorities or people 18-34 (which are incorrect figures, but whatever) you need to look at some more objective data.

    How about this:
    In the age of Obama, Republicans hold 30 governorships, the majority of statehouses, and have won literally hundreds more down ballot races.
    The US house is in a period what will remain dominant republican control for years (sorry, Rachel Maddown fans, it's not gerrymandering, it's the country), and Obama's awesomeness led to an historic wipe out for Dem senators in 2014.

    Gay marriage was won because you convinced a single robed idiot that there's some new right of "dignity."

    Marijuana legalization has been a libertarian item for longer than Moore has been fat.  That bulwark of modern liberalism, National Review was calling for legalization before Bill Buckley could be grossed out by Michael Moore and back when Al Gore's dad was voting against the Civil Rights Act.

    You climate change agenda is laughed at. Abortions are actually in decline, and your coalition of interest groups is eating themselves.

    Your presumed presidential nominee is a brain damaged, old geezer, drunkard crony capitalist who's husband takes in $500k per speech from whatever Middle Eastern potentate will fork it over for influence peddling.

    We may not have beaten Obama in 2008/2012, but our party is the one with a black man, a white woman, two Latino candidates in our presidential pool, and 2 Indian-American Governors, one Latina governor, the single black senator, and we didn't have to buy these people with cash from the federal teat.

    Some of my more strident friends may find me a little too establishment, but, I like where the GOP sits. At least there are some principled politicians within it unwilling to sell out their souls to keep their hands in the levers of power.

    That, my friends, is what progressives do.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Ben Carson: No Muslims in WH

    Ben Carson says:

    "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
    And the AP adds, "He did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles."

    This is what we used to describe in nuclear power school as "intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer."
    .

    The problem with Bernie...

    Kirsten Powers says Bernie Sanders is going to have problems expanding his appeal once the Democratic primaries move from the predominantly "white, liberal" areas to the South.

    And that, folks, is the problem with Socialism, the only people who can afford it are white liberals.

    Carly on FNS today

    Just watched Chris Wallace's short segment with Carly Fiorina on FNS.

    I make no secret, she and Rubio are my current two choices for the GOP nomination (with the fading Walker as my 3rd choice), but today I wasn't thrilled with 2 of her answers to Wallace.

    On the question about the "fact checking" of the CMP planned parenthood videos, I think her answer is fine for a low information voter, but I don't think she's harmed by saying:

    "I stand it.  The video is clear in what is described and what is shown, and I challenge anyone, especially Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to watch the actual video to defend these practices. Period."

    When confronted with the "PP does all these other wonderful things, do you NOT want women to get these essential services?" or some-such gibberish, I'd just like this simple answer:

    "There are thousands of women health services across this country who can, and do, perform these services.  What I would like to see is the $500 million of taxpayer money that goes to Planned Parenthood, and, make no mistake, allows them to remain the nation's largest abortion mill, instead go to those other women's health services who provide only services that serve the woman's health and doesn't murder an unborn son or daughter."

    Much more difficult for her is going to be the defense of her record at HP.  Everyone wants to point to Romney and say that even acknowledged outstanding business leaders (and there can be no doubt that Romney was this) can't be elected because the Dems will use their tenure as a cudgel against them.  This line of thinking would eliminate every businessperson who has ever made any tough decisions from pursuing public office, and is wrong headed and should be resisted.  I actually think this is the entire political class (not just Dems) likes this lien of reasoning, for obvious reasons.

    I think Romney was so dumbfounded by it that he let the attacks against him stand.  The Romney campaign did many things to lose the election, but his business experience had less to do with it than the 47% remark and trying to coast after he cleaned Obama's clock in debate #1.

    That aside, Carly has to make a more spirited defense of her record as CEO of HP.  The core charge seems to be that HP's stock lost value, and she responds, correctly, that most tech companies stock lost value in the tech bust that wasn't recovered for 15 years.  Then they point to the firing, and she needs to turn this into a positive.

    One thing the business world does that the public world does not, is hold people accountable when they don't live up to expectations.  I'd like to see Carly just flat out say tat she fought the board at HP and the board won and showed her the door.  That's the way it works in the business world.  Even if you do great things, where she can weave in her standard awesome growth things she did for HP,  if you don't satisfy your management, you get fired.

    That's incredibly different from the  government, where incompetence seems to get you promoted, or at least protected, in the case of say...Hillary Clinton.

    Say that having experienced this, she would bring that worldview to a Fiorina Administration.  Unlike President Obama, if you fail to deliver services to Veterans, if 4 Americans, including an Ambassador, are murdered on your watch, if you're using the tax power of the United States to harass opposition in a Fiorina administration, you are going to be called to answer for that by President Fiorina and you are going to be fired, just like she was.

    Now, get me my bumper sticker before I switch to Rubio.

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Grover Norquist's Influence on Department of Education Spending

    Someone mentioned in a Fecesbook thread I was on that Grover Norquist once famously declared he'd like to cut the federal budget in half and cut it again, so that it could be strangled in a bathtub.

    This was said in relaton to a discussion about education, implying that conservatives want to cut education spending via this method, and somehow deny everyone in the country a chance at a K-12 education.

    In that context, there are many things wrong with equating anything Grover Norquist says to education spending, with just a couple of them being:

    1. He was talking Federal spending, not at the state and local level where the vast. vast. vast majority of spending on education occurs.
    2. The statement, as inviting as it may be as red meat to conservatives, just doesn't pass the historical reality test.

    Let's use just one, relevant to the discussion, test.  That will be federal outlays to the Department of Education.  Since that's the only Federal spending that Norquist could realistically hope to cut in the education realm, how have conservatives been doing on the quest to cut this spending by half, then by half again?

    I mean, to listen to liberals, we must be gutting the Department, since teacher pay is so low and student outcomes are so bad. That's the only explanation, isn't it? Dastardly Republicans, cutting education spending on the backs of teachers and well meaning administrators country wide?  That's got to be it, right????

    Right?????

    So, just for fun, the US Department of Education publishes every year a history of their budgets, conveniently (for me) in Excel and PDF format!

    In 1980 (this would have been Carter's last year), the DOE appropriated budget was $14.01B.  The next 8 budgets would have been that bastard Reagan, who we all knew hated poor people, was a dunce (and felt education was unnecessary) and gave all those Rich People tax cuts.  What did DOE's budget look like in say, 1989, Reagan's last budget year?

    It was $22.9B. What?  That's more than a 50% increase from when he entered office.  What happened, was Reagan possessed by some crazy Liberal demon?  What would Gorver Norquist say?  Was Reagan an apostate to Norquist for this increase?  I don't know, we can actually say that in 2 of Reagan's budget years the DOE budget decreased, but...there is an explanation for these.

    The 1982 budget saw a very tiny decrease, and that was at the height of the 1979-1982 recession.  1986 saw a slight reduction, and that was a result of the Gramm-Hollings-Rudman budget control act, which instituted mandatory cuts.  The bottom line is in 1989, federal spending at DOE had increased over 50% in Reagan's time.

    If you're a conservative who was this sell-out?

    What happened in Bush 1's term?

    By 1993, Bush 1 had increased DOE to $32.5B.  Holy shit, in just 4 years, Bush 1 had increased DOE's budget another 50%.  I guess viewed in this light, Reagan really was a budget cutter!

    Clinton, 94-01 budget years.  What happened?  In 1994, Clinton's first full budget year, and a year before the Gingrich congressional takeover, DOE spending decreased!  Yes, down to $27B.  An almost 20% reduction, under Clinton.  Amazingly, after that (and I think it's with the GOP Congress to help with this) during the next few years, DOE's budget grew, but at a much slower pace than the Reagan/Bush years  In 2000, if was $38.5B, which was only about a 20% growth rate in the next 6 years.  However, in his final budget, and with a chastened GOP, the 2001 budget was $42.1B, so Clinton increased it by only 30%.  So, compared to Reagan and Bush 1, Clinton was a draconian education cutter.

    Now, Bush 2.  What did the guy who came in as the Education President, who gave us "no Child Left behind" with Tedy Kennedy, do?

    Take a guess the increase just from Clinton's last budget of 2001 of $42.1B to 2002, Bush 2's first.

    Go ahead, guess, just guess.

    Ok, you ready for this, in ONE YEAR, DOE's spend went up to $56.2B.  Got that?  The horrible Repiglican, education-hating W, INCREASED DOE's budget by 34% IN ONE YEAR.

    He wasn't done yet.  By FY2008, his next to last year, it was up to $64.9B.  So, in W's tenure, we saw DOE's budget increase 54%.

    From here, it's a little complicated.

    Reality hit and with the 2009 recession, we got a Congressional appropriation for the DOE of just $40M, so a significant cut.  In fact, a cut down to the 2002 level.  However, the 2009 Recovery Act came to the rescue, and we saw an additional appropriation of $98.2B to the DOE.  Ok, so get that - in a recession year, Obama and the Dems in Congress allocated a total of $138B to DOE, a more than 100% increase from the year before, which represented an historic spend itself.

    Interestingly, in this time the states were actually reducing their education budgets, since in the recession they were forced to meet state constituional reaquirements for balanced budgets, and they couldn't deficit spend to keep their bloated education budgets aflot.

    But, at the federal level, it was an education spendfest.

    Where is Grover Norquist at this time?  The guy probably was contemplating suicide.

    Anyway, in 2010, we returned to just normal excess and the 2010 budget went to $63B, which was slightly less than the last real Bush budget in 2008.

    After 2010, though, we elected a Republican Congress, and you may recall the Tea Party was focused on fiscal concerns, and we had Harry Reid governing us by continuing resolution, so, now, we got some fiscal reality handed to DOE.  In nearly every year prior to this, the DOE had received from Congress an amount close to what the president had requested, but in 2011, Congress cut DOE significantly, from the 2010 level (Pelosi's last year as Speaker) to $44B.  That's an unheard of cut, and you can thank the GOP Congress for that, it's nearly 30%. And that level of cutting continued, through 2013, when DOE got just $40B.

    Grover Norquist would be proud.  He had gotten, finally, the first half of that strangling, at least at DOE.

    All good things, though, must end, and in 2014, the profligacy continued, as the appropriation went back to $55.3B.  And in 2015, our current budget year, the DOE is getting...$87.4B.  And guess what, even with a Reublican controlled Congress, that's more than Obama even asked for ($82.3B)!

    In the 2016 budget, Obama has "only" requested $73.8B, so, we'll see what the new GOP congress does with that.  If they give Obama every penny he wants, it will be about a 12% reduction.  I doubt it, though, with these clowns, I expect we'll see a $100B DOE budget for FY2016.

    So, in the 35 years of the department of education, it's budget has grown from $14B to $87.4B, a 625% growth.  To put it into perspective, that's double the inflation rate.

    So, are the Republicans gutting the DOE to cut the size of government?

    Demonstrably, with the exception of a couple of years during DEMOCRAT presidencies, they have been woefully, horribly, terribly unsuccesful at such a thing.

    It makes one think Grover Norquist's ability as a shaper of Repulican party politics is the thing of myth, and Liberal talking points, not of reality.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    "Managing" is not "Leading:" a small case study from everyday business

    Here's a little story that illustrates to me the difference between leading and managing.  I will say up front it is told from my perspective, so I may not have some of the information that was available to the decision maker in this, but I can say unequivically, that this leader did not seek out additional information I possessed, so that is a strike against him.

    The story...

    I lead an effort across our company to replace users' PCs.  We have about 6000 to be replaced over a 3-4 year period and the replaced machines are very old.  We struggle financially, so this was delayed and the machines have become quite aged.  But, everyone is in the same boat, and when we did get some money in 2015 to start large scale updates, we started from oldest to newest.  It's fair, and given the age, the old ones had to go first.

    We also have over 100 locations throughout the US, so those replacements are scattered, so that entire offices do not get replaced en masse.  Therefore, you could get a new PC and be working next to a guy with a 3 year old machine.  I am sure this is common across companies with 5000+ employees.

    In all companies, you have people with PC envy.  Ours is no different, and we have a particular pair of managers, who shall remain nameless, who at the very beginning of this effort made every effort to get included at the beginning, despite their machines being among the newest of the old.  Their machines were not slated for replacement until 2016 and to move them ahead of about 2500 people was patently unfair, not to mention pulling 2016 budget into 2015, a technical no-no, though something that would be no big deal for a couple of people. My manager and I resisted and these manager's VP even agreed and helped provide cover for us and this ceased after a while as they accepted their lot in life.

    Note that in this, never did these guys express much concern for their 20 or so direct reports, suffering along with similarly aged equipment.  No, it was always about them personally.  So, I won't say what I think of these two as leaders in this case.

    Fast forward now a few months.

    Our team has moved into a new organization, with a new VP and C level ourselves and lo and behold if these guys haven't found the correct pressure point. Within a week of this occurring, we're told to provide these 2 and 4 other managers new PCs.  When we resist, the rationale is that they're ahead of quota and this can be looked at as a reward and not special treatment of these people.

    Ok, whatever.  This is where my problem with my VP/C level begins.

    You were handed a leadership opportunity here, and you managed instead.

    You could have contacted the two people with the years (yes, years) of experience with this group and talked to us, gotten some deeper understanding and developed a course of action that would represent leading, instead of just managing to close a problem.

    We could have asked the questions, if the team is doing so well, why just reward the 6 managers in this team?  The other 24 people are in the same boat, and arguably, they have more to do with the results than these 6 managers.  Why is it fair for these people to walk in with brand new PCs and the others to be told they're continung to wait until 2016?  Perhaps you could have challenged these managers and proposed replacing the other 24 first, that it would be a great leadership example to say, "You did a great job, lool what we're doing with our IT partners, getting YOU the new hardware you deserve, and when you're done, then we managers will take our turn."

    You could have done that, or even lobbied for the entire group.

    Instead you bowed to the pressure provided and caved,  Instantly.

    Then justified it based on the reasoning they provided.

    In any organization, not just the military, leaders have to be responsive and accepting of forceful backup, willingly provided.  But first, they have to seek it and consider it.

    That was not done in this case, and I find it's really rarely done at all.

    It's sad.

    This was a lost opportunity at leadership, and albeit a relatively small one, but, it speaks volumes to me.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Pope Francis Deserves a Revisit

    I'm not Catholic, and I have been a little harsh with Pope Francis and his latest encyclical.

    I think unfairly.

    Spend a little time at the Ace of Spades HQ group blog, and you'll discover all kinds of right of center thought, I highly recommend the site to be on your list of go-to places for your libertarian/conservative thought leadership.

    Today, I was reading Sean Bannion's open post on the Pope's Encyclical and it is well worth the read.  My eyes have been opened.   Kathryn Lopez over at NR has been a big Francis fan, and I understand what he's trying to do (I think) is draw many more into the Catholic Church's fold.  But, like Bannion, I would prefer the Pope have stayed away from this one.  Anyone who has read my Facebook rants on this or even here knows I am of the mind that regardless of the causes of climate change, the proscriptions being suggested will result in the continued impoverishment of billions who need electricity and clean water and safe eating supplies more than we need to prevent a few inches in sea level rise or a couple degress F temperature rise...even if we could stop those things from happening.

    Which we can't.

    So, I find it dangerous that a Pope who is making the cause of The Poor the center of his Papacy would take or endorse a position that will have the net impact of damning so many of them to continued poverty.

    Anyway, Bannion points out there is really much more in this encyclical that the Left would never get behind (well, like everything else in it).  If you're looking for a great place to start on this, with lots of links and reasoned thought, this article is a great one.

    On those lines, while you should check some of the links in the post, 11 Things You Probably Won't Hear About Pope Francis' Encyclical should be among them.  After you read them, you'll understand why the left's own media won't report them, instead focusing on the Pope's newfound status as a climate expert.  These alone may inspire you to give some thought to readng the entire thing (or seeking some trusted experts to interpret it for you), and help you explain to your friends why Caitlyn Jenner is so....icky (and wrong), but you can still ask me why I am not terribly bothered by what Jenner is up to, even though I accept it as an affront to God, and really more about what it says about Bruce Jenner.

    But, I digress.


    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Global Warming and the Military - Just Say No

    It was suggested in a post on The Stupid Shall Be Punished​ group that former RADML Titley was an honorable scientific mind who buys into the AGW story and we should bow to his will.  Since I had no knowledge of the admiral, I found this TedTalk he gave while still in uniform (he's now a Professor in the Met department at Penn State - more thoughts on that later)

    The tease on this Ted Talk was that he had been a AGW skeptic and had some massive epiphany and this was going to explain it.  So, since I am a skeptic, and I tend to give great deference to submariner's opinions, I decided to give the Admiral 22 minutes of my time and see what compelling evidence led him to convert.

    I must admit, I was underwhelmed.

    Titley goes through a litany of items that he claims don't explain the warming of the 20th Century.  He notes that we took on particulate emissions as part of the revision of the clean air act, and jokingly explains that an unintended consequence of this is that it actually contributes to global warming.  If he intends it to be ironic that this great accomplishment leads to more global warming AND it was unintended, in a speech where he's trying to convice you the science is immutable, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

    He even has the chutzpah to suggest that the models are part of what convinced him to change his stripes.  At the same time he admits ocean acidification is not really significant, he is touting the unproven, and unlikely party line that all the heat has gone into the oceans.  Huh?  If there's one thing the Global Warmists should stop doing, it is making predictions. These are not helping their case.

    Anyway, I don't find his reasoning that interesting, ground breaking, or compelling.  Like many in the Warmist camp, he exaggerates things and relies on the extreme case scenarios when discussing possible outcomes (things like a 21st Century prediction of a 6 foot rise in Global Sea Levels).  I'd refer him back to the models, that don't seem too great now after a 20 year pause.

    I also find his allegiance to Penn State an issue.  This is the group of scientists implicated in the ClimateGate emails as willing to fudge data and smear their opponents.  I am sure that were it me, and I wanted to be seen as a purely objective scientist on this issue, I might stay away from PSU.  I don't begrudge the guy his job there, but, I wonder how much a former skeptic, looking at retirement from the Navy after 32 years, and seeking to join academia, would be willing to reconsider his beliefs if he felt they might affect future employment opportunities.

    On this point, let's be clear.  Spending on Climate Change by the Warmists dwarfs that done by skeptics.  The biggest spender on AGW research is not Exxon/Mobil/Shell/BP/Etc.but the US Government.  The AGW crowd is involved in an industry that must have these research dollars to survive.  Like Claude Raines in Casablanca, they are happy to blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind is with the Warmists right now.

    Finally, let me address a couple of areas that concern me about the Navy in the last 25 years.  Back in 1992, the Navy decided to conduct a witch hunt in the turbulence of the Tailhook scandal.  Navy leadership has since then determined that being the most PC of the services was an effective means of securing and currying favor with Congress and Democratic administrations.  I can't say that, looking at the prevailing winds in 1991/1992 that this wouldn't have been a prudent, post-Cold War move for a service about to lose its primary reason for existence, the Soviet Navy.

    So, the Navy decided it would push hard on integrating women into the service.  This came at the expense of much of the male-centered culture that so dominated the service.  After 25 years of continual sexual assualt/harassment training and pushes to get more female sailors, I think it's largely a success in its broad goals - addressing manning issues and responding to the pressures brought by lawmakers on the Hill and 2 liberal democratic administrations.  That has come at a cost.  I'd just like people to acknowledge that the Navy really hasn't embraced this out of some actual desire to forge societal change, but really out of political self-presevation motives.

    The other area that not just the Navy, but all the services have decided to bow to political whim is the Global Climate Change cause.  If any Navy leader can look me  in the eye and say with all seriousness that Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing mankind, I would have to laugh at them (inwardly, if they outrank me).  I think this one is an even more cynical self-preservation tactic. I think it's particularly cynical for the Navy.

    Let's face it, what could be better for the Navy than 6 more feet of water on the planet and more choke-points and oceans to protect.  Hell, we may get our 600 ship Navy this way.  We'll need more submarines to prowl the Arctic and track the Russians operating there, as well as conduct GW research missions.  We'll need more ships and aircraft to patrol the world's new chokepoints, and we'll (ostensibly) need to retoool our bases that Titley reminds us will (I guess?) be submerged in more water.

    Of course, when the models that have failed today don't track on 2030 either, we'll need to re-evaluate this whole climate change thing, but, having gotten out front in 2015, the services, especially the Navy, will be well on the way to nirvana.

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Easy Household Repairs

    If you're struggling with a repair for an appliance in your home, there's a great company I have used, Repair Clinic, who mainly provides parts for these jobs, but also shows you how to do the work.

    The main thing that seems to break in our house are washing machines, and this is an incredibly simple device, so there is NO reason you should pay someone to come into your home and repair a washing machine.

    Between Repair Clinic's troubleshooting guides, videos, pictures, and YouTube, you should be able to repair pretty much any household appliance.  I mention this now, because our washing machine stopped moving from one part of the cycle to the next, and the obvious first conclusion is that the timer is bad.  That would be wrong.

    Had I not had two things:
    1. The wherewithal to use their troubleshooting guide and 
    2. A multimeter (get one - you can find them at Wal-mart, Lowes, Ace, etc, for less than $40)
    I would have spent a ton more money on this than I needed to.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, it was the door switch, which was #1 on the list of things to check and about $100 less than a new timer. 

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    ISIS and Marie Harf

    from Facebook:

    These guys don't kill because they need good jobs, only Liberals could convince themselves of that.

    As Mark Steyn puts it: "Like thousands of other Islamic State volunteers from the western world, like the Copenhagen killer (a graduate of a fast-track high school) and the Ottawa killer (the son of a super-senior Canadian bureaucrat), these guys had all the "job opportunities" they could dream of in the most advanced economies on earth - and they gave it all up to go head-chopping. Because they found jihad - whoops, sorry, "religion" - more appealing than being the sort of fey western metrosexual eunuch who hung around Marie Harf in college."

    via IFTTT

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    Stopping Obama's Illegality on Immigration

    The House sent to the Senate a bill funding DHS, except for the parts that fund Obama's amnesty plan for 5-11 million illegals.

    Mitch McConnell does not believe the bill can be sent to the president's desk due to inability to get cloture on a Dem filibuster.  Even if he were to invoke some senate reconciliation rules or get past this, it will be vetoed by Obama.

    Most think at this point, the GOP caves, funds Obamamnesty because they must fund DHS.  They fear Obama will paint them as opposing funding for antiterrorism measures at a time when attacks like Charlie Hebdo are fresh in people's minds.

    We didn't elect a GOP Congress for this.

    When Obama invariably says he can't sign a bill that doesn't fund DHS "fully," he's counting on the stupidity of the American people to understand he's talking about funding the unconstitutional parts.  

    So, the GOP needs to send the hill up there, with the same amount of funding, just reallocate it so that the money that would have funded amnesty goes instead to more critical anti-terror measures.  Then they can say that DHS is "fully-funded" we've just reallocated the unconstitutional parts to more critical, legal priorities.

    But that's just me.

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    14 Facts, Part 3: The Stock Market Run-Up Myth

    In the "14 Facts" series today, I'll take on another.

    4. The stock market continues to set new records since President Obama has been in office.

    This is indeed true, and it's a good thing for investors that stocks are performing well.  As an investor myself, there is actually an historical trend of the stock market performing pretty well during Dem administrations. If there was one single thing I agree that Dems should have done during this cycle that they didn't do, it's trumpet the stock market.

    Why didn't they? 

    Well, when a large part of your commercial appeal is income inequality and class envy, do you really want to run on the fact that you are the party bought and paid for by Wall Street and investment bankers?

    But, the stock market does not exist in a vacuum, and the president's policies are not the only thing that impacts it.  Since the crash, the Fed has pursued an easy money policy that has investors (a lot of them institutional) looking for places to spend that easy money, and in an era where corporations are not spending capital dollars, that money is finding it's way into stocks.

    So, yes, the stock market has done very well, but, to say it's all due to Obama and his policies ignores the more important impact from the Fed.  

    Time Magazine, no right wing mouthpiece, explains the Fed's role in this very recent article, and cautions that sell-offs have occurred the last 2 times the Fed has eased off on the accelerator.  so, maybe it's time to sell? 

    See: http://time.com/money/3545780/federal-reserve-ends-quantitative-easing/


    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    14 Facts, Part 2

    Part 2 of the 14 "Facts" will actually cover several of the points.

    Point 2 is: "We are currently enjoying the longest period of private sector job creation in American history."

    You only have to follow the link to the Washington Post article to see that this is technically true, but as I pointed out in Part 1, job creation during the Obama recovery has been woeful compared to Reagan, and, as the post notes, compared to Bill Clinton as well:

    "The average number of jobs created in this period is significantly lower than in either the Clinton or Reagan period, as shown in this Tableau interactive chart created by Wall Street Journal reporter Matt Stiles. As he noted, the average monthly gain during this period is in the bottom half of the 17 jobs recoveries lasting 12 months or more in the past 75 years..."

    Furthermore, as the Post points out, except for a single month, Bill Clinton had 84 months of private sector job growth and Reagan  71.  Add to that the much higher numbers of jobs for each, and you can now see why Americans are not idiots for knowing that this recovery is subpar.

    Point 3 is: "Unemployment has dropped from 10.1% in October of 2009 to 5.9% and projected to reach 5.4% by summer of 2015."

    This was discussed in my Part 1 article.  The rate drop is largely due to drops in the labor participation rate.  It's good that it has dropped, but as noted by me in Part 1, and WaPo fact checkers in Part 2, the actual job creation has been anemic under Obama.







    14 Facts About The Obama Presidency - Debunked - PART 1

    I saw this posted to my Facebook timeline, and decided that it needed to be debunked. This is part 1 of a 14 part series on it.

    But, I want to thank the Left for finally acknowledging that Reagan's economic record is the benchmark against which all others should be judged.  After arguing with them for 30 years about it, it's nice to see them coming aboard.

    On to the analysis:

    "1. We've now had 63 straight months of economic expansion."

    This would cover the period June 2009 - September 2014, when this article was written, and is in fact, wrong.  Contraction and Growth in the economy is measured by GDP, which is reported quarterly.  In the 63 months preceding September 2014, Q2 of 2010 and Q12014 both experienced negative growth.  Thus, by a technical definition of expansion/contraction, the statement is false.  Perhaps the author is conflating economic expansion to a not being in a recession.  Economists consider a recession to be when there are at least 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth, and that, indeed, has not happened since this recovery began.  However, the statement does not say we've had a 63 month recovery, which would be true.  It says, instead, we've had 63 months of economic expansion, which is a falsehood. Later in the article, Hartung uses another measure to claim the 63 month expansion, but, it's really not the classical definition, and represents cherry picking.

    "That’s right, for 63 consecutive months the US economy has gotten progressively better. That includes 54 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Forbes magazine, no fan of President Obama, crunched the numbers and demonstrated how the economic recovery under President Obama has been better in just about every measurable way than the recovery under President Reagan."

    The author is not a Forbes writer.  It is penned by Adam Hartung, a Forbes online contributor.  Forbes caveats: "Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own."  Thus, Forbes magazine does not give Mr. Hartung's analysis their imprimatur, therefore, it is also false to claim that Forbes magazine says this.  Adam Hartung, a Forbes Contributor, is making this case, not Forbes.  It's kind of like saying if I get my letter to the editor published in the Greensboro News & Record, it reflects their views, or, because my Dad worked there for 30 years, anythign I say reflects the editorial view of the paper.  That would be lying.  No different than this group passing this off as Forbes' work.

    But, even though I have demonstrated that the statement in the posting is false, let's still give the analysis a look and see what it says.

    The headline is "Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing" but the article really focuses on jobs.  I am going to stipulate that taken from the incredible shellacking the stock market took in the wake of the financial crisis, DJIA/S&P500 growth has been extremely good in this recovery, as it also was in the Reagan recovery.  I'll concede the point that stocks performed very well in both, and that $1 invested at the beginning of this recovery has returned a (slightly) better return than $1 at the beginning of the Reagan recovery.

    But, not everyone is an investor, and while I appreciate Hartung's argument for privatizing social security, the reason the Dems just got killed is the jobs situation, and here, his analysis is off base.

    Let's look at it.

    On the surface, we have a similar, and typical unemployment curve in both cases, and, indeed, measured solely by the unemployment rate, which is that top line number we all see, the Obama graph looks pretty good, even outpacing Reagan's recovery.

    But that's not the entire story.  And Hartung knows this. Unfortunately, his explanation lays the entire decrease in labor force participation at the hands of demographics.  However, many economists peg that number as explaining about 25% of it.  The rest is due to people in school, people on disability (in fact, today there are a record number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits), and people who have simply dropped out of the workforce.

    This article is a detailed discussion on the factors driving decreases in labor participation and is worth a read.

    The point here is that there really is no doubt that a focus on the larger labor participation decline may actually help explain why, despite these good top line numbers, people don't feel good about this recovery, and it may explain why they voted as they did Tuesday last.  While the numbers look good, a deeper analysis reveals flaws with them, and people actually feel that.

    Let's look at jobs from another angle, because Hartung is all aflutter over the awesome 200k/month increases averaged during the Obama recovery.  Some number of new jobs are required just to keep the unemployment rate steady  due to population growth and new people entering the workforce.

    These numbers vary widely based on the actual population and economic conditions, but somewhere between 100k-180k/month.

    I will make two points from here:


    1. There are about 7M more people working today than June 2009, the last month of the recession.  That's an average, per month increase of 110k.  
    2. During the Reagan Recovery (Nov 1982 - Jan 1989), the economy added 15M jobs, for an average of 214k/month.  Keep in mind the workforce population was about 50M (about 20% less people) than today.  

    Obama has quite a bit of work to do in the next 2 years to approach this job creating record.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Get Your Birth Control Here

    The Progressives want to argue that the Hobby Lobby case is somehow about "access" to birth control.

    As most reasonable observers have pointed out, this case was about abortion, not birth control.  The Hobby Lobby owners are not Catholic, and have no religious objections to birth control.  They object to abortion, and in the requirements as drafted by HHS (not Congress, mind you), were four "birth control" methods which are either abortion inducing (such as Plan B) or that prevented implantation of a fertilized egg.  16 other methods of birth control would remain in the HL provided insurance plan.  

    So, there is absolutely NO attempt to deny women access to birth control by HL, nor the SCOTUS in their decision.  That is an outright lie promulgated by the Left.

    Plus, I don't know if you spend any time at the pharmacy in your local Walgreens, but right there is usually, sold over the counter, Plan B and others of these methods.  To act as though the SCOTUS, HL, or any other of the conservative patriarchy is using this decision to deny easy access in a broader sense to even these methods of birth control is fatuous and another lie.

    These are easily available.  

    But I'll go so far as to say, even if HL's owners were devout Catholics and wanted to keep all methods of birth control out of their plan, they'd still have a winning case under RFRA. The hysterical Left would be out of control, but you'd still have the same answers as above - no one being denied their access to any of these means of preventing/ending pregnancy.

    UPDATE: SCOTUS included this in their decision: http://news.yahoo.com/justices-act-other-health-law-mandate-cases-133633160--politics.html;_ylt=A0LEV0_Jw7JTfGsAwEJXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0aTRxYjk3BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQ2NF8x

    Why, because you can still buy the stuff, and you always will be able to.

    So, what's the final argument that has any merit whatsoever come to?

    Who pays for it.  And that's what is even more subversive about Obamacare and the government takeover of the medical system.  As Justice Alito pointed out the conservatives want your employer and our government OUT of your vagina.  We want your decisions about birth control to be between you and your doctor, and we'd love it if you paid for it yourself.

    What does the Progressive want?  They want to tell you every little thing you can do to and with your body, down to what BCP you use.

    Quite honestly, Progressives will not be satisfied until every woman in America is using the birth control method they prescribe and has had at least one abortion.

    Maybe you like that world.  If so, you're one of them.  

    Enjoy!


    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Hobby Lobby Wins. Is it pyrrhic?

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby today in their case against the government to protect the owner's relgious freedom.  I am saddened that the ruling was won on a 5-4 count.  I find it amazing none of the 4 liberal judges could see their way to protect religious freedom and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  A law passed with vast bipartisan majorities in both Houses of Congress and signed into law by the notorious #warrioronwomyn, Bill Clinton. Apparently, the liberal judges feel it's more important to play politics with religion than it is to protect it.

    So, Democrats will try to make hay of this decision by claiming it's furthering a Republican #waronwomyn by denying the women who work for Hobby Lobby contraception, and they'll go on to claim that this decision denies all women the right to birth control, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THE GOP IS AGAINST BIRTH CONTROL AND JUST WANTS WOMEN TO HAVE BABIES AND STAY HOME AND COOK FOR THE PATRIARCHS.

    You do know that, right?

    What, you say, the decision doesn't actually do that?  That doesn't matter to the Liberals.  They were unable to read the Arizona RFRA changes that did nothing to promote discrimination against gays, and lied about that law until Jan Brewer vetoed it, and they won't speak the truth of this decision, either.  I can't blame them, because if people knew the truth, they'd really wonder why we were here in the first place.

    The truth is this law permits Hobby Lobby to not include 4 abortifacients in their health plan, while still providing a benefit for birth control methods more commonly (much more commonly) used by women.  It is the abortifacients that the religious nuts at Hobby Lobby object to, and that's all.

    But, as Mark Steyn points out today, the Left really pushes these things (like the Arizona law) because they are opposed to religious liberty.  Steyn correctly describes the administration's (and most Liberal's) view on this:

    "In Obama's view, "religion" is fine for a once-a-week hymn-sing with a couple of scripture readings but it cannot inform your life. Leave it in the umbrella stand by the front door as you head off to work on Monday morning. There is literally no point to "religion" under this shrunken definition, as the Europeans have begun to figure out. Eventually, even that Sunday-morning private members' club gets opened up to the Bureau of Compliance. Breaking news from our friends across the pond:
    Denmark Forces Churches To Conduct Gay Marriages
    It would be interesting to read the headline "Denmark Forces Mosques To Conduct Gay Marriages", but that's probably what it's going to take to bring a halt to the shriveling space for religion in the public sphere."

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    IRS Hearings Today: Their Email Sucks

    The IRS Comissioner, John Koskinen is up on the Hill tonight, testifying as to why they lost some thousands of Lois Lerner's emails.

    Tonight I have learned that the government has some pretty screwed up information retention requirements, and that the IRS in general is about where the rest of America is in IT maturity.  Democrats want to make it clear that the IRS's email problems are not anything a few hundred million bucks couldn't fix.

    I can empathize with the IRS's data retention problems.  They have massive volumes of email and like most businesses and organizations they have to manage that volume.  Server capacity and storage capacity is always a limited resource, so, they force their end users to save email locally (on their hard drives), which, apparently, in Lois Lerner's case, is what she did.

    This, of course, coupled with users who do not back up their hard drives regularly, leads to crashes and loss of data.  That's what conviently happened to Lois Lerner.  Of course, the IRS is attempting to find all her emails by going through the email of those she may have sent them to, or been included on, and, with luck, they'll find most of them.

    I have some questions:
    1. Did Lois Lerner routinely back up her hard drive, which would have included the impacted emails?
    2. What was IRS policy regarding the back-up of hard drives at the IRS?
    3. If Lois Lerner's hard drive was backed up, what has become of that back-up, and why hasn't it been restored? What are the retention requirements for these back-ups? Are back up tapes re-used (as is common), or are they archived?
    4. What exact efforts were made to retrieve the data off Ms. Lerner's hard drive, including forensic activity after it was not restored using traditional means?
    While Dems mostly preened (although some pointed out the IRS largely followed their rules here), there were some other good points brought up:

    1. Why did Mr. Koskinen not inform Congress immediately when emails under subpoena were learned to be lost?
    2. Who informed Mr. Koskinen that the hard drive was dead and the emails lost? How was this communicated? It is completely unbelievable to me, and obviously to Republican members of the panel, that he could possibly not know the answer to this question.  He seems to have lost his memory on this and on the next question:
    3. When did you learn the emails were lost? He claims it was "April"

    It's not unreasonable to believe that Lois Lerner's hard drive failed and that it took email with it.  It's convenient timing, but it happens.  The response to it is a typical IT response and a typical user wanting all their crap back from a drive they know they shouldn't have been relying on.  I really see no fault there on the IRS's part,  except this is a particular agency we'd expect to be a little more careful in their data management.  

    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Al Gore - Dumber than Facebook Posters (you know who you are)

    I admit, many years ago, I was enamored of Al Gore.  He seemed cool yet nerdy, and scientifically literate, and as a young, nascent engineer, it was refreshing to have a Senator of national prominence who could speak the language of science.

    (He was also married to the music hating Tipper, and was pro-life, but that was before he had to appeal to national Democrats).

    But, that was before I attempted to read Gore's "Earth in the Balance."

    My first impression of Gore's pseudo-scientific tome was that it was unfootnoted, and my second impression was that it was unreadable drivel, filled with nonsensical science and conclusions.

    It didn't help that Al rode a submarine to the Arctic with B-1 Bob Dornan and one of my best froends at the time, and the report was "Gore is the stupidest man alive, and B1 Bob was on him relentlessly."

    Anyway, Al's out doing his usual schtick, blaming everything, including the Syrian civil war, on global warming.  

    I kid you not:   See: http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/06/19/gore-blames-syria-civil-war-global-warming

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    The Goreacle, Full of Contradictions

    In Al Gore's essay in Rolling Stone (no link, you can work for it), he says:

    "Enough raw energy reaches the Earth from the sun in one hour to equal all of the energy used by the entire world in a full year."

    Yet, this big, glowing energy ball has less impact on the climate than Mann's carbon burning.

    Right.

    But wait, there's more. Touting the awesomeness of solar power and how the costs have come down:

    "Germany, Europe's industrial powerhouse, where renewable subsidies have been especially high, now generates 37 percent of its daily electricity from wind and solar."

    So, he admits that solar is only competitive where subsidies are "especially high" as some sort of victory for solar?

    Remarking on the closing of coal plants, he understates:

    "To be sure, some of these closings have been due to the substitution of gas for coal."

    Sure, Al, that would be most, or nearly all.  That, and the prohibitive cost to run coal plants due to government meddling.

    These are just in the first few paragraphs of an essay as tedious to read as "Earth in the Balance."  Irony of ironies is Rolling Stone dared to link to an article about the "10 Dumbest Things Said Abiut Climate Change" in the midst of this stupidity and obfuscation.

    It would be awesome if solar, wind, and nuclear (all carbon free energy sources) could safely replace fossil fuels in the electric grid.  Maybe they can,  I'd just like to see the government stop subsidizing the first two and lessen the restrictions on the latter (and more promising).

    Meanwhile, it'd be great if Al Gore would just exit the stage.  

    Please.

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    The Obama Crack-Up

    Is the Obama administration less competent than even Jimmy Carter's?  

    At least Carter negotiated the Camp David peace accord, which brought a semi-lasting peace to the Middle East, while the primary foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama admin would seem to be plunging areas of the world formerly secure into bloody civil wars (Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Australia). 

    I guess we can always hope that Obama will see a crazed rabbit on the golf course.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Coldest January Ever? Not in California...

    So where does Obama go to push his bogus "climate change" agenda?

    Certainly not to any of the states east of the Mississippi who are suffering through some of the coldest January's in the last 120 years (http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/noaa-usa-january-67-januarys-were-warmer/).   

    That wouldn't serve the purpose of "climate change."

    Instead, he scurries off to California to decry the cyclical drought (see http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/drought-in-california-cool-pdo-and-warm-amo/) as caused by climate change (that means you and your dastardly SUV).  This despite the fact that California's water problems are also brought on by land use policies and water use policies designed to protect a tiny fish, the Delta Smelt, see http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/61219.  Obama himself vetoed legislation that could have spared California's Central Valley this problem.

    Nothing like using climate change as a bogeyman for problems liberals created.

    When these people tell you they are just trying to save the planet, tell them to stop.

    Climate Change Fascism Redux. Or how i learned Bill Nye is a fake scientist.

    I am so sick of the "climate change" religionists.  Their latest tactic is rolling out the decaying carcass of Bill Nye (the "Science Guy"), as though having a cartoonish buffoon who's legacy is explaining science to toddlers, is going to win the day for them.

    See Nye taken down on the links here.

    I have posted all over this blog, and there are links galore to articles debunking both the correlations and the strength of the correlations between man and "climate change."

    A lot bothers me about those who hold this religious (and I mean that in the most derogatory sense possible) view that Man is responsible for all climate activity on this planet, but, in no particular order here are some:

    1. Their claim that the science is "settled."  That, my friends, depends on what you mean by the "science."  If you mean is CO2 increasing, and is Man a contributor to that, then yes, that is settled.  If you mean, is CO2 a greenhouse gas, then, yes, the science is settled.  But, that's science on the order of "water is chemically H2O" level stuff.  This argument from the CC Religionists attempts to paint you as a bumpkin who believes the Earth is 5000 years old and Man roamed it with the dinosaurs.  In other words, they want you to think you're stupid, (and they're smart and enlightened).  

    For most CC'ers, their knowledge of the "science" ends here.  That's because that's all they hear from AlGore or MSNBC or the MSM, and it's about all they can comprehend.  They don't understand that the Church of Climate Change typically ignores important things that also impact the science, like other greenhouse gases (um, water vapor, for example), natural events (volcanic eruptions, for example), natural climate variability, or that big ball of heat in the sky we call the Sun.

    They don't understand (or willingly ignore) that the Church of Climate Change is built on models developed by "scientists" who often have a vested financial interest in the Church's future.

    2. The "consensus" of scientists means you "deniers" need to shut up.  Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Joe Bastardi and the thousands of others who don't ascribe to the man-caused fear mongering theories of the religionists don't count, as they're not in the consensus.  Well, the consensus is not as great as they want you to believe, and I would encourage you to root around the Internet, and you find a lot of people who find the science problematic, and not so settled at all.  If you have an engineering, science, or math background, some of the crap the religionists are passing off as science should seriously concern you.

    3.  Even if you cite experts in the field who produce research that contradicts the party line, and even if it's peer reviewed and well documented and truthful, well, they'll attempt to smear it was "funded by big oil."  This is where Bill Nye devolved to on MTP today.  

    4. Extreme weather events are caused by "climate change" and are proof of "climate change."  This is the absolute most maddening claim.  No responsible climate scientist, and not even the most rabid in the "consensus" category will even touch an attempt to tie a specific weather event to "climate change."  The fact is these links can not be proven, not least of all because there is no link.  All you'll really get from them is that extreme weather is a possible result of climate change.  

    This is clearly an attempt to influence public opinion,  but when everything is caused by climate change, nothing is.  The new religion's name, "climate change," is even used to be as expansive as possible.  Is there someone alive who thinks the climate hasn't always changed?  The Earth has survived through numerous periods of warming and cooling.  The climate has ALWAYS changed.  This is the very nature of things.  Don't fall for this tactic.  This is entirely meant to distract from the incontrovertible fact that global temperatures have remained the same/fallen slightly since 1998, and their models can not explain "The Pause."  This occurring despite global CO2 emissions continuing to increase.  

    Us skeptics say this is because something else is going in here.  These people built their careers (I don't blame anyone for wanting a steady job, but in academia, it's important to be right) on this religion.  Their models were designed to make the most of Man's activities.  Why? Because if you can't say the sky is falling, why should any policy maker fork over the nation's treasury to you to study it more?

    That's one group of the believers.  Those are the cash hounds, who need this charade to continue to keep the money flowing.  The harder group are those who know this is a charade, but see it as an opportunity to bring down Western Civilization,  something they've been trying to do for generations.  These were the communist fellow-travelers and the same people who 40 years ago were whining about a new ice and the population explosion.  

    Regardless of the cause of the man-caused catastrophe, their proscriptions are all the same - it's the West's fault, stop development, and you people in the 3rd world who'd like to be rich - get back to your caves.

    Opposing these people is both a Pro-Science and Moral obligation for me.  That's why I am so passionate about it and find this group to be so dangerous to not just what the West has accomplished but to mankind and what our friends in Brazil and India, and other developing nations may accomplish.  

    Plug-in Hybrids Are Not Rotten

    If you drive around Atlanta, you see a lot of Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) around this place.

    The Leaf is really the first truly usable purely electric car.  Unlike the Chevy Volt, which uses a gas engine as a range extended to keep its electric powertrain running, and the Toyota Prius, which uses the battery really to take over tasks from the gas engine and extend range (i.e. mileage), the Leaf relies solely on it batteries for locomotion.

    Unlike the Volt, it has roughly an 80 mile range before requiring a recharge (the Volt is good for 37).

    They're kind of 2 sides of the same coin.  The Volt can be taken on a trip of some length, because it's gas engine will power an electric motor to continue to run the car.  You get about 400 miles before it's time to refill.  GM says this makes it the equivalent of a 37MPG car in this type of driving.

    I will point out that nearly all turbo diesels sold by VW and Audi beat this easily, pushing 45-50MPG in highway driving.  So, if you're interested in highway efficiency, with the Prius hybrid (which pushes 50MPG) or a TDI is a more efficient choice.

    If all you're doing is local driving, and you can suffer the 4-8 hour recharges required on these things using normal household current, then most people estimate you're looking at about $2 worth of electricity to restore to full charge.  Until gas/diesel is back at $2/gallon prices, that makes the plug-ins more efficient, but, you need to understand the other trade-offs with these, which include the dwell time while they charge, the loss of efficiency in the summer months, and the ultimate super charge when you replace your batteries at $8000 after 6-8 years.

    Top that off with the still real risk from fire with Lithium Ion batteries (google Chevy Volt fires and check out the 787 Dreamliner's problems with this same technology), and I still think people are buying these for vanity reasons, and not because they're either better cars, or even more fuel efficient over the long haul.

    As for me, I did choose a TDI, and I got a car I know will give me 38-50 MPG consistently, and will not require an engine replacement at the 100-150k mile mark.

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    Talking Points are not bad, I conclude.

    Because I have taken a take-no-prisoners approach to political debate on Facebook, it has been suggested that all I post is right-wing talking points, and, as such, these are not worthy of debate.

    Which brings me to this question.
    What's wrong with talking points?

    I mean, politicos like them so much there is a left wing website named after them (the liberal Talking Points Memo, or tpm.com).

    They are so useful that when Susan Rice was going around lying about Benghazi, she proudly declared that her talking points had been prepared by the State Department, and she really didn't know anything about them (note to future Dem voters, this is why Susan got this task, because Hillary wouldn't be able to claim the same thing).

    We all know they clutter vthe fax machines of liberals and conservatives alike.

    Heck, I'll admit it, I get about 10 email "newsletters" from various conservative organizations and writers, and more than a handful from military-friendly organizations, plus, I check Drudge multiple times a day for news.  It's basically his "talking points."

    So, what's wrong with talking points?  They're basically the PowerPoint view of the world, and all those newsletters I get include links to much more background information about the subject than you are getting in your standard, MSM-fed 90 second news report.

    So, I say talking points! Bring them on!

    Besides, if all I am is a TP spewer, wouldn't debating such an ill-prepared and stupid man be easy? 

    Because I knew you'd ask, here are some good places for your daily talking points:

    - Jim Gerety's daily newsletter from National Review Online - always topical, always funny, always filled with links to fun stuff.
    - Jonah Goldberg's weekly G-File.  Ok, it's not daily, but it is always funny. And in a world of humorless lefties who can't laughter at themselves (and think I'm always serious, too), it's a necessity.
    - Defense News' Early Bird - a necessity for those who work in, or care about, national defense.  Military Times does one, too (may be same content).
    - The Daily Caller has a daily blast which is sometimes useful, and also pithy.  

    I also get some private mailings (these are defense related) that are very specific, but if you're on the right, you might sign up for Erik Erickson's daily RedState briefing.  I find I disagree with the Tea party faction on tactics, but we're together in philosophy, so, good to know what your brethren are thinking.

    From the MSM, there's nothing I want to know, although I get a NYTimes daily email.  It's boring, though, as it's not all politics.

    Oh, and I have google alerts for things work related. That's something you should consider.

    Ok.  The end.

    Climate Change Fascists!!

    I am so sick of the "climate change" religionists.  Their latest tactic is rolling out the decaying carcass of Bill Nye (the "Science Guy"), as though having a cartoonish buffoon who's legacy is explaining science to toddlers, is going to win the day for them.

    He's soundly mocked. See links, here: http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/02/16/nye-goofs-holds-up-pic-of-arctic-while-talking-about-antarctic-watch-bill-nye-debate-gop-rep-marsha-blackburn-nye-hold-up-pic-of-arctic-and-then-asks-if-antarctic-has-less-ice-climate-depot-answ/

    I have posted all over this blog, and there are links galore to articles debunking both the correlations and the strength of the correlations between man and "climate change."

    A lot bothers me about those who hold this religious (and I mean that in the most derogatory sense possible) view that Man is responsible for all climate activity on this planet, but, in no particular order here are some:

    1. Their claim that the science is "settled."  That, my friends, depends on what you mean by the "science."  If you mean is CO2 increasing, and is Man a contributor to that, then yes, that is settled.  If you mean, is CO2 a greenhouse gas, then, yes, the science is settled.  But, that's science on the order of "water is chemically H2O" level stuff.  This argument from the CC Religionists attempts to paint you as a bumpkin who believes the Earth is 5000 years old and Man roamed it with the dinosaurs.  In other words, they want you to think you're stupid, (and they're smart and enlightened).  

    For most CC'ers, their knowledge of the "science" ends here.  That's because that's all they hear from AlGore or MSNBC or the MSM, and it's about all they can comprehend.  They don't understand that the Church of Climate Change typically ignores important things that also impact the science, like other greenhouse gases (um, water vapor, for example), natural events (volcanic eruptions, for example), natural climate variability, or that big ball of heat in the sky we call the Sun.

    They don't understand (or willingly ignore) that the Church of Climate Change is built on models developed by "scientists" who often have a vested financial interest in the Church's future.

    2. The "consensus" of scientists means you "deniers" need to shut up.  Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Joe Bastardi and the thousands of others who don't ascribe to the man-caused fear mongering theories of the religionists don't count, as they're not in the consensus.  Well, the consensus is not as great as they want you to believe, and I would encourage you to root around the Internet, and you find a lot of people who find the science problematic, and not so settled at all.  If you have an engineering, science, or math background, some of the crap the religionists are passing off as science should seriously concern you.

    3.  Even if you cite experts in the field who produce research that contradicts the party line, and even if it's peer reviewed and well documented and truthful, well, they'll attempt to smear it was "funded by big oil."  This is where Bill Nye devolved to on MTP today.  

    4. Extreme weather events are caused by "climate change" and are proof of "climate change."  This is the absolute most maddening claim.  No responsible climate scientist, and not even the most rabid in the "consensus" category will even touch an attempt to tie a specific weather event to "climate change."  The fact is these links can not be proven, not least of all because there is no link.  All you'll really get from them is that extreme weather is a possible result of climate change.  

    This is clearly an attempt to influence public opinion,  but when everything is caused by climate change, nothing is.  The new religion's name, "climate change," is even used to be as expansive as possible.  Is there someone alive who thinks the climate hasn't always changed?  The Earth has survived through numerous periods of warming and cooling.  The climate has ALWAYS changed.  This is the very nature of things.  Don't fall for this tactic.  This is entirely meant to distract from the incontrovertible fact that global temperatures have remained the same/fallen slightly since 1998, and their models can not explain "The Pause."  This occurring despite global CO2 emissions continuing to increase.  

    Us skeptics say this is because something else is going in here.  These people built their careers (I don't blame anyone for wanting a steady job, but in academia, it's important to be right) on this religion.  Their models were designed to make the most of Man's activities.  Why? Because if you can't say the sky is falling, why should any policy maker fork over the nation's treasury to you to study it more?

    That's one group of the believers.  Those are the cash hounds, who need this charade to continue to keep the money flowing.  The harder group are those who know this is a charade, but see it as an opportunity to bring down Western Civilization,  something they've been trying to do for generations.  These were the communist fellow-travelers and the same people who 40 years ago were whining about a new ice and the population explosion.  

    Regardless of the cause of the man-caused catastrophe, their proscriptions are all the same - it's the West's fault, stop development, and you people in the 3rd world who'd like to be rich - get back to your caves.

    Opposing these people is both a Pro-Science and Moral obligation for me.  That's why I am so passionate about it and find this group to be so dangerous to not just what the West has accomplished but to mankind and what our friends in Brazil and India, and other developing nations may accomplish.