I'm on Twitter! More Must Reads
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
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
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
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:
- The wherewithal to use their troubleshooting guide and
- A multimeter (get one - you can find them at Wal-mart, Lowes, Ace, etc, for less than $40)
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
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."
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Sunday, November 9, 2014
4. The stock market continues to set new records since President Obama has been in office.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Point 2 is: "We are currently enjoying the longest period of private sector job creation in American history."
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."
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:
- 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.
- 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
Monday, June 30, 2014
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
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:
- Did Lois Lerner routinely back up her hard drive, which would have included the impacted emails?
- What was IRS policy regarding the back-up of hard drives at the IRS?
- 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?
- 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?
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
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
See Nye taken down on the links here.
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
Monday, December 30, 2013
Workers at auto dealership come face to face with Obamacare trade-offs).
They won't be impacted until 2014, like many of us in the employer provided market.
As many of us on the Right told you, Obamacare would result in increased costs for most, and worse coverage for nearly everyone already covered.
That is exactly what is happening to those in the individual market and those in the small group market. Yes, there will be "winners" amongst the previously uninsured and underinsured, at the low end of the spectrum, due to subsidies. The problem is that people who had health insurance, the vast majority of whom liked their plans and doctors, are being displaced.
We told you so.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
I think Jonah Goldberg sums up the Phil Robertson mess the best:
"Maybe the best way to avoid such problems in the future is to demand that all reality-show casts be made up of professional actors. That way, reality will never disappoint us."
Read the whole thing:
Friday, December 20, 2013
This is Piers Morgan's entry into the Phil Robertson kerfuffle.
I like it, because it gets so much wrong about our Constitution, describes Liberalism to a tee, and even brings some clarity to those who may wonder why 2nd Amendment defenders are so serious about that one.
What Morgan and Liberals in general fail to understand is that the First Amendment exists specifically to protect vile speech, and the "bigots" (with "bigot" being a term wholly defined by the user) who utter it. Yes, the Founders were primarily concerned with political speech, but, this protection extended to anyone, saying essentially anything.
You can see the problem for the mythical Everyman here - if we don't have such protections, then WHO will be the arbiter of speech? WHO will define what's vile? WHO will point to the bigots?
Leftists are none to happy to stand up and say, gleefully, "We will!!!!!"
And that's the problem, and that's why we have a First Amendment, and that's also why the Founders gave us the Second Amendment. Because they had lived through a world where their weapons were threatened, and they lived at a time when the only thing standing between them and an oppressive government were their rifles. So, the Second Amendment should, and does, protect assault rifle devotees. The Left has had far more success in limiting that Amendment, but those who defend it are doing God's work just as much as those who defend the First.
To my left-leaning friends - if you don't like the Constitution, the Founders gave us a process to change it. Instead of judge shopping, or electing presidents willing to ignore it, try to change it. If your ideas are so damn great, can't you convince people on the merits?
BTW - this is my first post using ifttt.com to simultaneously post to Facebook an Twitter. Let's see how it works...
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Yes, it was a big deal that an American president was murdered.
But, 50 years out, do we still have to persist in the mythology that surrounds this event?
The Left (who might have a hard time accepting JFK as a Democrat these days) has even tried to re-write history to claim that the right wing element in Dallas was responsible for JFK's death (although an avowed Communist killed him), but, of more annoyance to me are the people who try to say ridiculous stuff like:
- "America lost its 'innocence' that day." We were only 18 years removed from the end of WW2, and 10 from Korea. Had the brushes with Hitler and the action in Korea not erased our innocence by 1963?
- "It changed the course of events." Exactly how? I wish the people who say this (who usually want to act like JFK's death led directly to the Civil Rights movement) would explain. Seems the three biggest things to happen in the 60's were the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the Moon Landing. I'd posit that ALL of these had their die cast before November 1963, and LBJ was being forced by politics (not JFK's death) to carry through on all of them.
- "He was such a great president." His legacy is helped by his death, since he never had to actually fight for anything, or serve as a lame duck. In all honesty, his term was just too short. You really need to judge him and LBJ together, and when we go there, I thing we find it's a little more average.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
asked how is Obamacare hurting them personally.
Link at bottom, but first, my rant:
I realize the Left loves to deal in these personal tragedy, anecdotal
vignettes to sell their latest attempt at expanding the modern welfare
state, but, read these (and this is a
loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong post) and talk to your
self-employed friends, or your friends who work for small businesses,
and discover for yourself what is happening beyond the faux government
shutdown and the disastrous, incompetence-laden Obamacare rollout.
It'd be nice if reporters who cover, perhaps, the insurance industry,
would explain how it's the lower and middle, middle-class who are
going to get hosed the most from this piece of crap legislation.
Those of us who work for Fortune 500 companies, I expect we'll get to
keep the health insurance we like (though I lost the insurance I
"liked" last season, so we'll see what Obama has in store for me Nov 1
when we have open enrollment for 2014).
Since the Obama administration is nothing if not Fascist (in the
traditional sense of the word, not the modern, incorrect pejorative
sense), so if you work in Corporate America, consider yourself amongst
the privileged few.
Those who choose security over freedom shall have neither.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Sent from my iPad
Friday, October 18, 2013
SPOILER: It's bad.
NAPOLITANO: A rising torrent of debt and destruction - Washington Times