Thursday, July 31, 2014
Head of NSA retires and instantly launches new cybersecurity tech innovation at a million a month a pop
It's a pity that O'care is dragging our healthcare system in exactly the opposite direction: further away from consumer friendly, clear and concise market based medicine. And we're going to pay through our noses for their cynical blunder. Rest of the story here.
We see this all around us as the state picks up roles formerly handled by neighbors or voluntary associations. Here are a few examples from this outstanding article by Gracy Olmstead who wrote the above paragraph as well:
Man faces six months in jail because his son ditched Sunday School.
In each of these cases the 'Samaritan' in question percieved the child as threatened and instead of doing something constructive like finding their mother or in the case of the Sunday School desperado taking the child home because they knew his father, they called the police who promptly criminalized behavior that was utterly normal a generation ago when violent crime and other risks to life and limb were much more prevalent. Indeed, I used to walk four blocks to Kindergarten every day even in midwinter when it was dark. Mom walked me the first day, introduced me to my teacher and after that I was on my own. She would probably do prison time if the authorities caught wind of that today.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
One of my biggest problems with the health care debate is that most debaters make a category error when characterizing the problem. Let me explain what I mean by category error: in philosophy one makes a category error when one puts things in a category for which it cannot belong. In the case of health care, the category error being made is assuming that the 'health care problem' is a technical one, subject to a technical answer when in fact, the 'health care problem' is not a problem so much as a condition.
The desperate need by enviros to rationalize the stunning environmental and economic damage of Big Wind has now entered the realm of parody. From James Delingpole at Breitbart.
Maroons. The press are a bunch of Bugs Bunny maroons.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Publicly, President Obama loves to demonize insurance companies. But behind the scenes, Big Government and Big Insurance maintain a cozy alliance that the Obama administration actively nourishes, often at taxpayer expense. Indeed, as emails recently obtained by the House Oversight Committee show, Big Government and Big Insurance have worked together to promote Obamacare. They’ve also worked together to make sure taxpayers will help bail out insurance companies who lose money selling insurance under Obamacare — that is, unless Republicans stop this from happening. Moreover, Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is among the prominent White House officials who’ve been in the middle of this collaboration between insurers and the administration — between those driven by the profit motive and those driven by the power motive.
The end game will be when the dollar collapses and our 'saviors' denounce the 'thieving' insurers and expropriate their customers for the new 'efficient' national health insurance scheme (led by the people who brought us the O'care website) that will make things ever so worse. But hey! At least the statists will have finally gotten complete power over what will then in all likelihood be an empire of dirt.
In it Fogel demonstrates why the left can no longer milk solicitude for the poor to get power and wealth because in America at least, real poverty is virtually nonexistent. Indeed a decade ago the American poor already in physical terms lived lives equivalent to the middle class in 1970. Their physical circumstances with higher life expectancy, ever cheaper basic commodities, much greater access to information and entertainment and cleaner air and water are even better today. In these respects, the poor have never lived so much like the rich.. What they lack is morality and purpose. (This is my surmise via Murray, not Fogel's conclusion) Their lives are impoverished of meaning and autonomy not things. And meaning and autonomy are the things the omni(in)competent stupor state reserves to itself.
So with nothing real to campaign against the left howls it's not fair because fairness, unlike destitution, is an infinitely malleable post modern concept. No matter what the society achieves it will never be "fair". It's the perfect issue for the professionally aggrieved that dominate our left. Indeed our nation is rapidly bifurcating into states with falling median standards of living dominated by the professionally aggrieved and elitists (CA, NY ) and those (now much richer in real terms such as TX and UT) still hewing to the American dream. Expect the standard of living picture to continue to widen even as the left attacks the remaining pockets of capitalist prosperity. Because the left, lacking legitimate accomplishments for nigh on half a century has no record to run on as it must destroy "the other" to retain power. Hence the IRS, FEC, and EPA electoral scandals and the Dems proposed gutting of the First Amendment. They cannot survive in an environment of prosperity and liberty so it must go.
Allen had been robbed twice in 2013, so she bought a handgun legally in Pennsylvania and obtained a concealed-carry permit. She didn’t realize the permit wasn’t valid in every state and was driving in New Jersey when she was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. She informed the officer she had a weapon and provided her permit, thinking she was within the law.
But she wasn’t. New Jersey’s stringent gun laws don’t recognize Pennsylvania’s concealed-carry permits.
National Review Online noted last week that the prosecutor in Allen’s case, Jim McClain, could have been lenient on Allen. . . . But McClain didn’t. He sought maximum punishment for Allen — three years for firearm possession and an additional year for the ammunition
Had Dinner Twice With Parents Just After, But Still Found Guilty
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 28, 2014): In a bizarre twist on the famous movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a complaint in federal court charges that a coed invited a male student to have dinner with her and her parents twice – and then, shortly afterwards, and only after learning that he had not been faithful to her, charged that an act of intercourse they admittedly engaged in just before the first dinner was really a rape.
Monday, July 28, 2014
I particularly am struggling with the "get dad to gain weight diet" which has totally bombed with him but has made me the bomb - Fat Boy that is. I have about 15 pounds of excess uranium or plutonium or something really nasty for me wrapped around my midriff. I mean how many different flavors of premium ice cream and M&Ms and pies and half gallons of half and half for the Frosted Mini Wheats do they have to parade in front of me? I'm not made of stone!
Of course when I waddle with Dad down to MD Anderson they draw so much blood from him that I question whether the founder, Mr. Anderson isn't in fact still kicking if not alive in some crypt in the basements near the radiation oncology death rays. Speaking of death rays, I can say with certainty that radiation oncologists have absolutely no sense of humor. All of my Dr. Evil and secret Volcano Basement Lair jokes fell completely flat. Must be a side effect of all that radiation. Because I don't care what looks they gave me, I was funny.
Dad also got a new high tech chemotherapy infusion pump so that they could slowly poison him 24 hours a day. There is really nothing quite so creepy is sitting in a waiting room with a bunch of pumpers, their little poisoners that could going screet, schroink, whoosh, rrrnk in complete disjoint cacophony. With everybody just sooo damn happy to be there.
I consider myself to be pretty tough, really - Ok, knock it off wise guys - but I can't take the kids. The bald, half starved toddlers with deep circles under their eyes and the exhausted, frightened looks of their parents. I have several long walk routines that I do to cope with all of the waiting - I think some of the staff think me demented because I pace and pace and pace - but I've had to stop going by the Children's Oncology Center - I actually go upstairs and then back downstairs again. I just can't take it.
So much for the poor pitiful meing. I've been trying to get out more to get to a lower stress environment so I went to my international high school class reunion. And I was struck by how old all my old friends looked. I concluded that they must have taken a lot more drugs than me because, damn! Then I looked in the mirror. I mean really looked. And damn! If I keep decaying at my current pace there is no way I'm going to be able to survive the Octogenarian Lifestyle.
If today’s immigrant wave were likely to vote Republican, all right-thinking people would be demanding deportations and a mile-wide belt of barbed wire and minefields along the border.
I think, though, that the “Pilgrims = Illegal Aliens” equation illustrates the exact opposite. The whites immigrated to America — and took over the place. (I’m glad they did, but I can surely understand why the Indians might have disagreed.) Likewise, Jews immigrated to Palestine (adding vastly to the numbers already present), sometimes illegally — and eventually there were more Jews in some parts than Arabs, so Jews started running the place. Now Israelis are sensibly objecting to Palestinians’ asserted “right of return” to their and their parents’ homes, because if enough Palestinians are allowed to immigrate into Israel, they’ll start running the place.
The bottom line is that for all the good that immigration can do (and I’m an immigrant to the U.S., who is very glad that America let me in, and who generally supports immigration), unregulated immigration can dramatically change the nature of the target society. It makes a lot of sense for those who live there to think hard about how those changes can be managed, and in some situations to restrict the flow of immigrants — who, after all, will soon be entitled to affect their new countrymen’s rights and lives, through the vote if not through force.
I sometimes pose for my liberal friends a stylized thought experiment. Say that they live in a country of 3 million people (the size of New Zealand) where 55% of the citizens are pro-choice and 45% are pro-life (1.65 million vs. 1.35 million). Now the country is facing an influx of 1 million devoutly Catholic immigrants, who are 90% pro-life. If these immigrants are let in and become citizens, the balance will flip to 2.25 million pro-life to 1.75 million pro-choice (56% to 44% pro-choice); and what my friends might see as their fundamental human right to abortion may well vanish, perfectly peacefully and democratically.
It’s unlikely that any constitutional protection will stand in the way: Even constitutions can be amended, and new judges can be appointed. Nor can one rely on “education” or “assimilation” — what if the immigrants simply conclude that their views on abortion are just better than the domestic majority’s? I think many of the current residents may rightly say “We have nothing against Catholics; but we don’t want our rights changed by the arrival of people who have a different perspective on the world than we do.”
Letting in immigrants means letting in your future rulers.
I also find it interesting that a political persuasion that believes that the state should manage and regulate (and this is just a few minutes of the As) Automobile safety, automobile emissions, airplane design, AM radio, ambulatory care centers, automobile fuel efficiency, adolescent esteem, advertising content, automobile propulsion technology, airplane safety, ambergris distribution, airline operation, airport access, airport fees, adenoid removal reimbursement, American flag usage, anti-coagulants, anti-histamines, armor piercing bullets, air conditioner coolant, air conditioner efficiency and air quality (both indoor and outdoor) with a brutality in terms of prosecutorial resources, swingeing fines and disproportionate prison sentences that would astound our founders literally throws it's hands up at the border saying "weuns cain't do nothin' 'bout thiiyas, its justa happenin' y'know?".
Regardless, the data doesn't back up the hysterical (Ezra "VOX me baby, VOX me baby all night long" Klein's) "we are all going to burn" narrative (you stay crazy, Ezra). Climate science: lying liars in pursuit of billions in science swag.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
That'll put them on their heels.
He's not arguing the details of these issue areas, instead he uses them to show where the science leaves off and scientists begin traversing the swamps and quicksand of politics. While I don't agree with his final recommendations, I think his lecture is definitely worth your while. The lecture is called "Aliens Cause Global Warming". Here he is on the concept of "consensus":
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.
In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no. In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no. In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.
There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra. The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor—southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result—despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.
Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology—until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.
And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy? The list of consensus errors goes on and on.
Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
President Obama's unilateral ban on trade in beef led to massive increase in the number of beef cattle in America
Which of course is what is happening in the Ivory ban His Ignoramusness just promulgaged. This from my friend in the antiques business.
Obama's unilateral ban on the trade of ALL ivory is having a devastating impact on the antiques industry, not to mention vast swathes of the African economy, and will do nothing to save a single elephant. The Art and Antiques Dealers League of America has been working very hard with members of Congress to reign in the presidential overreach. Please read the email below and contact your congressman before the August recess.
Leftist Ideology is a terrible thing to inflict on a young, fatherless boy and here is the proof.
Last week, Putin's wholly owned guerrilla subsidiary in Ukraine blew 298 civilians out of the sky, looted the belongings of the victims, let their cadavers rot for days in the hot summer sun, then violently obstructed OSCE monitors from inspecting the carnage. Talk of a forensic "investigation" at this point is just that -- talk. Furthermore, according to U.S. intelligence, the Kremlin was evidently so pleased with this performance that it has dispatched more materiel to the culprits in eastern Ukraine. This new hardware includes rocket launchers, light arms, and tanks -- only adding to the sophisticated weapons already sent in to aid the rebel cause. There are "indications," U.S. officials say, that advanced Russian anti-aircraft systems -- such as vehicle-mounted Buk (or SA-11) missile launchers, which defense and aviation analysts agree were responsible for downing MH17 -- had been moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia and then back to the Motherland following the immolation of the airliner. The West has lately discovered something about Putin that Marina Litvinenko did eight years ago: his penchant for covering up his worst crimes.
"Without a doubt, the state over whose territory this happened bears the responsibility for this frightful tragedy," Putin said, neglecting to mention that he considers the relevant territory part of Novorossiya, his revanchist concept of Russia's "near abroad" brought even nearer. At a meeting of Russia's Security Council on July 22, the first words out of Putin's mouth after "Good morning, colleagues" were: "Today we will consider the fundamental issues of maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country" -- the same two fundamental issues he has so thoroughly trampled in his next-door neighbor by annexing Crimea and invading Luhansk and Donetsk.
He also laughably denies that he is master and patron of the anti-Kiev insurgency, even when faced with overwhelming evidence. It was further disclosed by U.S. intelligence that Russian, not Ukrainian, territory is being used to host the separatists' very own Fort Bragg. Satellite imagery released by the United States has located what the Washington Post has termed a "sprawling Russian military installation near the city of Rostov," which acts as both the training ground and munitions clearinghouse for the irredentists. If Russia had satellite footage showing the Pentagon instructing Quebecois on how to steer an Abrams tank at a U.S. military installation in northern Maine, I am sure Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia Today would be the first to let us know about it.
Friday, July 25, 2014
More Krauthammering here.
The ugliest thing in an otherwise beautiful neighborhood is a communal letter box provided by our bankrupt postal service.
Wasn't it PJ O'Rourke who argued that the public toilet was the metaphor for anything state provided? Dirty , dangerous and best avoided ?
This ugly, poorly designed and shoddily manufactured tribute to decaying service works just as well.