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    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.  

    Monday, December 30, 2013

    Obamacare to kill small biz next

    Just returned from my eye doctor and he's one of these small businesses who extended their plans discussed in this NBC report (
    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

    American Hustle

    We don't do many movies in the theaters any more, so, our Christmas Day was spent at Golden Corral (yech) and a movie.

    American Hustle is already being pushed for Oscars, and has garnered something like a 94% favorable score on Rotten Tomatoes.

    It's got a 2013 all-star cast with Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams (mostly her B cups), Bradley Cooper, and a short appearance (taking a break from his bad movies) from Robert DeNiro.

    If you're old enough to remember The Sting, that's what this movie is, updated to the '70's with today's cast.  In fact, since none of these kids have seen that, I'm trying to find it online.  Any help?

    American Hustle is a little slow at first, sort of heavy with the love triangles, but satisfying in the end.

    If you're going to invest 2 hours in an outing, you'd do well with this one.

    Sunday, December 22, 2013

    Jonah Goldberg on Reality TV

    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: 

    http://nationalreview.com/article/366799/real-rednecks-jonah-goldberg 

    Gayest Obamacare Video Ever?

    There is barely 24 hours left for people to sign up for Obamacare and be covered by January 1.

    I hate to share this, but, your tax dollars and this administration is hard at work pushing Obamacare by trolling gay bars and via gay videos.

    If you have young kids around, or you're at work, hide the screen and turn the volume down, but, this is how the O Admin thinks they're hoping to get gays to "get covered."

    Friday, December 20, 2013

    Piers Morgan Will Decide What's Right & Wrong











    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

    I Stand With Phil

    Do I?

    Unless you live unepder a rock, you already know Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was "suspended" today by his employer, A&E for statements he made in a GQ interview echoing traditional Christian beliefs about homosexuals (and plenty of other sinners, but the prostitute, beastiality, slanderer, and swindler lobbies are thus far silent).

    This is a free country and Phil was only expressing his views, which are based in his religion (and mine, by the way).  A&E can do whatever they want, they owe him no platform, and he wasn't using the show directly as that platform.

    But, let's face it, to express traditional Christian views these days about homosexuality in particular puts you in the cross-hairs of the biggest grievance lobby extant.  Emboldened by their success in turning traditional marriage into something new, this lobby has decided that anyone who finds their behavior abhorrent and anti-God must be squelched.  You shall not know that a major religion considers homosexuality a sin, punishable by death!

    OOOOOOOPS!  Wrong religion there!  That's Islam which considers homosexuality a sin, punishable by death.  Christianity considers it a sin, but offers the sinner a path to redemption via God's amazing Grace.  That's Mr. Robertson's religion.  

    Were he a Muslim, would A&E had been so quick to suspend him?

    I'm guessing not.

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    JFK, blah, blah, blah

    Last week marked the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.

    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.
    That's all.

    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Debating Abortion

    One of my co-workers (a Mormon, no less) just discovered the existence of Peter Singer.

    You may remember Mr Singer.  He's the Princeton "Bioethicist" who argues that abortion should be legal due to sentience and thus, infanticide should also be legal.  You have to appreciate the chutzpah of people like Singer. At least they're honest that they think certain people have no right to live, and they're perfectly happy to choose which of us fall into that category. 

    I'll return to that later.

    This article is about how you argue with those who want to ensure that abortion remains "safe, legal, and rare." And by that, they mean, "available at any time, for any reason."

    Get them to agree with a central premise, that life begins at conception.  Leftists like to think of themselves as "science" followers, so throw a little science at them.  Ask them, in the last 40 years, in which direction has science been moving with respect to "life." I've got news for them, it's all towards conception, not the other way.  Eventually, these crazy scientists are going to be able to completely shepherd a baby from conception to "birth" outside the womb.  What are you going to argue as the beginning of that process then?  Get them to agree to that and all you're arguing about is timing. You'll ultimately win that argument.

    Most abortionists, even if they agree with the conception arguments are going to dismiss it as immaterial to the debate.  We call these people Godless, but, for fun, how do you debate those who have already crossed this Rubicon? 

    Leftists like to think they're superior to us because they're for Affirmative Action and standing up for minorities.  So, appeal to their better instincts.  Remind them that the initial proponents of abortion were eugenicists like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who saw abortion as a way to cleanse society of the less desirable among us.  People Sanger felt were inferior, like Blacks and other ethnic minorities.  It's people like Sanger who eventually morphed into Nazi's.  Ask your Leftist protagonist how it feels to run in that company?

    Are they still standing?

    Liberals hate evil corporations, right? Their entire lives are devoted to protecting the little guy from the ravages of capitalism. Give them a little education in the abortion industry.  This is a multi-billion dollar industry, protected by lobbyists and industry groups just like any other big business.  Furthermore, this industry is pushing to retain a system that promotes a completely unnatural act, all to line the pockets of big corporations and evil rich doctors who participate in this industry.  Do these people really care about that patient or do they only care about the paycheck? Ask your. Liberal friend.  Should our tax dollars be subsidizing this industry? Isn't this just more Corporate Welfare dressed up as something else?

    The next time you see some Planned Parenthood talking head wailing about protecting a woman's "right" to choose, remember that this person is a lobbyist for a big business who stands to lose millions of dollars each year if this industry fades away.

    My favorite argument with these nitwits is the "control" of a woman's body issue.  The caricature of the conservative is of some madman standing in your bedroom telling you what you can and can't do in there.  That's exactly what it is, a caricature.  They like to paint us as interested in preventing women from making this life changing choice because of male patriarchy or some crazy religious devotion.  Guilty on the latter.  Own it.

    Remind these people that their side is all about control of your body.  They want to tell you how much soda you can drink, how many trans fats you can eat, how much nicotine you can smoke, what additives go into your food, what radiation makes your food tastier and safer, what preservatives make your food last longer, what temperature your steak can be cooked to at your favorite steakhouse (for those who would allow you to consume red meat at all), and which drugs you are allowed to get high on.  They've taken control of the health care system now, I can't wait to see what else they're going to say we can and can't do to ourselves. The ONLY thing they don't want to regulate and control is a woman's womb.  Pretty much every other body part is in play for them.  But, DONT TOUCH MY VAGINA!

    Let's face it, you're largely debating idiots here.  Few of them will have the cojones to take the Singer position and admit that they believe certain people (as Randy Newman reminds us in "Short People") "got no reason to live." 

    At least with those, you can simply say they have a different moral compass, and while they'll rot in Hell for it, you can respect them on Earth.

    Climate Change God

    I am weary of Leftists who blame every single weather event on "climate change." 

    While some in the climate change industry clearly have something ($) to gain from attempts to link severe weather to long term climate trends, the typical Lefty instead has a cultish devotion to the Church of Climate Change.

    In that regard, are they really any different from the Religious, who find the Hand of God in every natural disaster? They're each looking for some order in the sea of randomness that is weather, and both have about the same chance of being able to prove their religion is correct while they live.

    At least the Religious person will be rewarded with an answer to their question upon their death, while the Lefty Cult member will have to trudge through his life dealing with being wrong with no reward at then end.

    Saturday, November 9, 2013

    Keith Law: hypocrite lefty

    If you're a hard core baseball stat head, you know Keith Law.  He's a former front office guy for Toronto, who now writes and does analysis on prospects (mostly) for ESPN.  He's entertaining, hosts a weekly podcast, and contributes to ESPN's baseball coverage.  I recommend his stuff to you, but you'll largely need an Insider account to access it.

    Law's also a lefty, which he revealed to me in his tweets during the 2012 election cycle.  For a brilliant guy, he made one tweet making fun of Romney using the MSNBC intelligence level comment about "women full of binders" to disparage Romney.  

    I unfollowed him at that time, because, quite honestly, I don't follow Keith Law to hear his political opinions.  A guy who has 400,000 followers on twitter, largely due to his baseball background, should probably stay away from politics, lest it instantly go to 200,000.

    But, I like Keith's baseball analysis and when the formerly great "Baseball Today" podcast went away, I switched to his weekly, "Behind the Dish" podcast, which I still commend to you.

    On a recent podcast, Law said he wanted to stay away from politics but wanted to get this one thing out there that he found offensive.  

    He related that after St. Louis beat LA in the NLCS, some people (Cardinal fans?) were enjoying the fact that St Louis won because they play "the right way," and hey tweeted that and, apparently disparaging things about Dodger players and Los Angeles.

    Now, I might point out to any idiot who attributed LA's loss to not playing "the right way" that you don't make it to the final 4 in any sport if you're playing the "wrong" way and that person should re-evaluate what they understand "right" and "wrong" to be and to shut up until they understand.

    But, instead of telling these idiots to buzz off, Law decided to ascribe motives to them which he couldn't possibly know, but which we typically see in liberals when they want to engage in some simple stereotyping of the right and reinforce their own inflated self-worth. Law decided they meant "The White Way" and let's face it, since they're from that Red enclave in Missouri which opposes gay marriage (unlike his former domicile of Massachusetts) they must be.......(you guessed it) RACISTS, who are just angry at the influx of Latin players into the American pastime. 

    Leftist Law thus neatly claims to be apolitical, gets in some trashing of an entire part of the country, while engaging in the same simple generalizations that he tells us he finds so distasteful. 
     



    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    WaPo: How OCare Website Failed

    Having been involved in large IT projects, this is a classic case of doing pretty much everything wrong. 

    In addition to a horrid policy and a premise that is doomed, it is being led by people incapable of managing it.

    Let's see, they can't lead this or the country,  sounds about right.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Obamacare horror stories (via Matt Walsh's blog)

    I encourage you all to read Matt Walsh's excerpts from people when he
    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.

    Read these:
    http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/10/21/the-definitive-guide-to-how-obamacare-is-destroying-american-lives/

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Practical (and MSM proof) defunding strategie



    Andrew C. McCarthy tweets today an article from Mike Cannon:

    Terrific @mfcannon piece says stop squabbling & get busy on these practical #DefundObamacare strategies tinyurl.com/lr5n5or




    Sent from my iPad

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    The GOP: A Fricking Disaster

    The national GOP is a disaster.  

    I am a conservative, and I have posted before that today, the home for Conservatism is the GOP.   I do appreciate the energy of the Tea Parth caucus and those who became active in politics because of it. Opposition to debt and Obamacare were the primary drivers for the tea party, so to go to the wall over these two things seemed a logical course of action for them.

    I get that.

    I also get that in order for there to be real, meaningful action on those two fronts, we will need a vast Senate majority and a Republican president.  It would behoove the Tea Partiers to understand this as well.  It would also be useful if they'd give their strategy some thought.  

    The kind of intellectual purity I get from these people reminds me of libertarians! and how many of them are there in any national office. Exactly zero.

    I appreciate the principles. I share them.

    Know what else I appreciate?  Winning elections.  Because when you win elections, you get to put your principles into practice.  I would like to remind my tea party friends of this.  Get smart, develop a strategy that enables us to chip away at the Left's horrible plans, and that puts us back on a path to electoral victory.  

    I wish the country were composed of 51% Tea Party advocates, but it isn't. Fortunately, most of the country shares many of the principles that birthed the Tea Party, but, they also want good government and competence in leadership.  This latest fiasco demonstrated none of that. Fortunately for us, both sides lived down to the occasion.

    I don't think the damage to the GOP will be lasting, but I do think the whole exercise was pointless and it cost us a week of actual news stories about the failure of the Obamacare rollout.  And for that, I am extremely disappointed in the way this was handled.

    NAPOLITANO: A rising torrent of debt and destruction - Washington Times

    Andrew Napolitano opines about the debt limit deal.

    SPOILER: It's bad.

    NAPOLITANO: A rising torrent of debt and destruction - Washington Times

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Shutdown, through MSNBC's eyes

    I get about 5 minutes per week of MSNBC told through Tony Kornheiser's radio show, where Tony spouts off something he heard on Morning Joe that fits in his worldview, and David Aldridge and Jeanne McManus parrot what they heard Rachel Maddow say or they read in the Post, the New York Times, or The New Yorker.

    Anyway, according to them, the open air memorials and parks around Washington (and the rest of the country) were barricaded because of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin.  Yes, that's right, in the MSNBC world, these two (one not even an elected representative) have somehow gotten the National Park Service to erect barricades and put up orange cones to keep these places closed.  Because the optics of Republicans shutting down memorials and keeping WW2 vets out is so good for the party.

    At the same time, they call us stupid.

    You can not make this crap up.

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    Bring out your dead...

    CBS is trolling for your "Shutdown Stories" on twitter (see https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/389362517031792642).

    Today's is a group who wanted to raft the Colorado, but can't because it's shut down.  The park entrance, not the actual river, which at last report was still flowing despite Barack Obama's promise to roll back the tides and lower the ocean levels.  You recall, he didn't actually promise to stop rivers from flowing, so, that's one campaign promise kept (are you scoring, fact checkers everywhere?).

    If anything, these stories should tell us the depth and breadth of the government has become so vast that we can't seem to do anything in our life, especially if it's risky, without the government there to guide us.

    Yesterday, Alyssa Milano tweeted the always scary link to a story about food inspections being shut down due to the FDA not having funding,

    To the Liberal mind, it makes perfect sense that these two events are a tragedy.  By God, do we all want to die, either in a horrible rafting accident, sans the briefings given by the Park Service, or via poisoned food? Surely only the Feds can save us from these horrible events?

    Apparently, all they really need the NPS to do is open the gates to the park, so this group seems to have considered the safety issues and taken them on themselves.  I wonder, can they put in at another spot, and when they cross Federal park land, will the NPS try to stop them?

    Anyway, on the FDA front, I know you're all thinking about the horrible things that happen to our food supply and that the only thing between us and a violent botchelism death is a bureaucrat inspecting a chicken plant in Alabama. 

    I would suggest that it is in food producers best interest to avoid making their customers sick or dead, and that the safety of our food supply could be reliably assured without an army of 2000 food inspectors.  After all, we did that for about 150 of the country's first years in existence, and, despite what you were taught in middle school, most of our ancestors survived long, fruitful lives without the scourge of bad food over their head.  Not to mention that food would be easier to produce, more plentiful, and, I am sure tastier.  


    Obamacare: Here to Stay (a while)

    In light of the recent "opening" of Obamacare's exchanges, I have much to say.

    Our personal experience with this law is one I think many across the nation will be feeling, and it's emblematic of the lies told personally by this president to get this POS law passed.  Of course, many people are discovering that "You can keep your doctor (or plan), if you like them," was an outright lie, and "The average American will see their premiums reduced by $2500" was an outright lie, and "Birth control will be free" is an outright lie (it's free under certain conditions),  

    Now that the law is written and the regulations are in place, and the exchanges (nominally) operating, the opposition's best strategy is to let this thing impact Americans.  While I appreciated Ted Cruz's attempts to force repeal of the law, it should have ended as an education effort with some CR to fund the government in place.  We are not going to repeal this law without a Republican president and Senate, and those who think we can are imbeciles.  During a week when we should have been issuing press releases solely about the horrible nature of the rollout and the negative consequences on Americans, we instead were subjected to the shutdown.  

    The Dems have done their own calculus on this one,  it should be obvious to anyone with a pulse that they have decided that while they are being hurt, the GOP is getting hurt worse, and the added benefit is that there is an internecine struggle between Tea Partiers and mainstream Republicans that threatens to impact Senate control in 2014.  I realize that the Tea Party created tremendous momentum in 2010 and returned the House to the GOP! but it also cost the GOP Senate control that year with choices like Sharon Angle, Cnristine O'Donnell, and Linda McMahon.  

    With that history in mind, let's accept that until at least the legislative branch is firmly in our control, no effort to repeal Obamacare will succeed.  It took anti-abortion foes 20 years to realize what the Left has always known - that you chip away at institutions, one stone at a time.  That strategy is leading to the gradual elimination of the abortion-on-demand industry and it will also need to be followed with Obamacare.  

    Making the chipping easier will be the law itself.  People are going to hate this law.  The rate increases, the bureaucratic bungling, the taxes, will all lead to widespread dissatisfaction.  The people will demand fixes, and when we're fixing it, vice killing it (usually portrayed as killing it with no alternative) the Left will have little choice but to go along.

    Which leads me to the awful performance of the exchanges.  I know a thing or two about the rollout of large IT projects.  This one has truly been awful.  No self-repecting company would have gone to market with this garbage.  However, the government has near unlimited financial resources to bear, so if Obamacare opponents think this will be the death knell for the program, they are wrong.  Eventually, the exchanges will work.  Yes,  their performance is emblematice of the scope of this thing and the administration's generall incompetence, and they make great objects of ridicule, but they will eventually work.

    What won't work is Obamacare if sufficient numbers of young people do not sign up and pay inflated premiums.  And, recall, anything will seem inflated when you had been paying $0.  This will be the true test, and it's the one I think will fail. 

    You can read older posts on my thoughts on what will work, but in general it involves decoupling insurance and employment.