Friday, October 31, 2014

Facebook is a media company. A politically biased media company.

FB uses algorithms to determine which news items to present to you and how prominently and frequently they get presented.  It would be very easy to privilege political news items that had a certain ideological slant. After all, that's what the NY Times and Rush Limbaugh do. And FB has already admitted manipulating news feeds for its own ends.

Zuckerberg is a very actuve, engaged liberal. And like Gates and all the other techno nerds he's in search of meaning and significance in his life. Watch out.

A powerful state will inevitably seek to destroy those who threaten its power


WHAT DESPERATION LOOKS LIKE: FBI Announces Investigation of GOP Senate Candidate Days Before Election. Acknowledgement of investigation is contrary to decades-long FBI practice.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Here's what the housing cargo cult looks like historically

All of the post 80s increase in home ownership was driven by the belief that owning a mortgaged to the hilt residence was the key or at least a key to middle class status.  It of course wasn't any more than simply having a college degree is  now.  And colleges will pay in the same coin as homebuilders for their folly.


WPA bans Argon. Only problem is that Argon is the third most common substance constituting 1% of the atmosphere

Observers speculate that activists handed EPA a list and they rubber stamped without doing any thinking. Because Argon is a noble gas that like helium doesn't react with other elements making it a strange substance to be dangerous.  Not to mention we breath huge amounts if it every day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

USDA Hasn't gotten its own memo on antifat BS

Makes you wonder why we keep these overpaid clowns around. Details at the link.

The UN like governments everywhere helps the powerful at the expense of the people. WHO is focused on banning vaping for its pharma clients rather than fighting Ebola.

The state is a monster no matter where it is. Thieves. Criminals. Governments.

Is there a connection between ebola and e-cigarettes?I don’t mean to imply that vaping has caused the epidemic in west Africa. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) now has serious questions to answer about its months of complacency over ebola. WHO’s director-general, Margaret Chan, made a speech only two weeks ago implying that tobacco control and the fight against e-cigarettes is a more important issue.

On October 13 Dr Chan gave her apologies for not being able to attend a conference on ebola and made a speech instead at a WHO summit in Moscow on tobacco. This is what she said there: “Some people speculated that I would not attend this meeting because I am so busy with so many other outbreaks of communicable diseases [ebola was third on her list, after flu and Mers coronavirus].No. No. No. I will not cancel my attendance at this meeting because it is too important . . . Tobacco control unquestionably is our biggest, surest and best opportunity to save some millions of lives . . .The next challenge is that the tobacco industry is increasing its dominance over the market for electronic cigarettes.”

The $20 million Moscow meeting happened behind closed doors, with even accredited journalists excluded. High on the agenda was vaping. WHO has long been trying to define e-cigarettes as tobacco products, though they are not, so as to bring them under the aegis of its tobacco “framework convention”.
The outcome of the Moscow meeting was the suggestion that more countries should ban e-cigarettes, despite the lack of scientific evidence that they do harm and ignoring the growing evidence that they save lives. Such bans would be convenient for pharmaceutical companies, with which WHO has close links, whose sales of nicotine gum and patches have been in free fall because of e-cigarettes.

More Ridley at the link.

Good news on patents: frivolous suits way down since Supremes ruled against them

The key to our growth and prosperity is technological and social innovation:  a key to that is the freedom to innovate which lawyers had been strangling for decades.  The Supreme Court finally dialed their predation a bit.  More details here.

But Alex Tabarrok of George Mason says we have a ways to go:

The Tabarrok Curve:
Tabarrok Curve

Latest election fraud news

COLORADO ELECTION SHENANIGANS: GOP: Some Boulder County election judges are Democrats posing as Republicans.

There's always someone bitching about something. The key is to ignore them.

Look: often it's a good sign that you offend someone. If you don't you're not doing anything of value.  Just make sure the right people are angry. College whining killing good causes at the link

College increasingly sucks doesn't it?

Tom Sowell on the fatal conceit of statists everywhere

Oh yes indeed they do.

Too many intellectuals are too impressed with the fact that they know more than other people. Even if an intellectual knows more than anybody else, that is not the same as saying that he knows more than everybody else put together — which is what would be needed to justify substituting his judgment for that expressed by millions of others through the market or through the ballot box.

The problem David Brooks is that human capital does not result from getting a sheepskin but rather the sheepskin (and $58k) results from having human capital

College has become such a cargo cult. And apparently Dave Brooks is a high priest:

Today, too many people are focused on the top 1 percent. But, as economist David Autor has shown, if you took all the wealth gains the top 1 percent made between 1979 and 2012 and spread it to the bottom 99 percent, each household would get a payment of only $7,000. But if you take a two-earner, high-school-educated couple and get them college degrees, their income goes up by $58,000 per year. Inequality is mostly a human capital problem.

Hattie Carpe Diem

Red Cross disasters wouldn't be hidden so easily if it were a for profit public company

One of the problems with not for profits being large scale service providers is that lacking owners, no one scrutinzes their operational performance or use of capital carefully. Paradoxically the tax subsidies we give them result in less accountability and efficiency, not more.

Read more about hidden Red Cross blunders at the link.

The Rich get Richer - internship edition

The rich get richer department: students at elite colleges come from far more affluent families with far more connections. Their schools spend far more tax free money on their educations and do not ever require them to borrow money. They live and study in plush facilities in the most fashionable neighborhoods in the nation. They then meet, befriend and marry each other guaranteeing the cycle of privilege will continue to intensify. Now they even guarantee their students internships in their field of choice furather cementing the conveyor belt of privilege in place.

How is it that the most politically egalitarian institutions produce the most inequitable results? How is it that the loudest yelps for equity come from the richest, most elite places?

Is it time to stop subsidizing the finishing schools of the ruling class? Before our nation turns into a UK or France where all the elites know and are related to each other?

So MIT students are stupid after all: 67% of undergrads believe it is possible to "accidently rape" someone.

I doubt if two thirds of German college students ever even thought Jews were "dirty" under Hitler. The fascist brainwashing of college kids is getting out of hand.  They tell their insane lies simply to serve the Democrats "war on women" political campaign. This is tragic madness. Will No one stand up to academe's cynical, brutal fraud?

But students are confused about how alcohol and intoxication affect consent, which perhaps speaks to increasing progressive activism around the idea that drunk people can’t give consent. Only about three-quarters of respondents said they feel confident in their own ability to judge whether someone is too intoxicated to consent to sex. And more than half agreed that “rape and sexual assault can happen unintentionally, especially if alcohol is involved.”

I just want to repeat that one more time: Half of the MIT students surveyed think it’s possible to “accidently” rape someone. When you consider undergraduates alone, this rises to 67 percent.

If not we are really going to have to pare this collegiate monstrosity back lest it destroy our democracy with its agitprop.

College: no longer just venal but positively evil.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How can this be? Iraqi Peshmerga marching to rescue Khobani

Contrary to our national security hysterics the 20,000 untrained, poorly led and armed ISIS rabble rattling around the desert interior of Syria haven't conquered Baghdad or any other place that wasn't already filled with their Sunni cousins and as I've already predicted: never will.

It's time we stopped listening to the shrieking meemies of both parties who somehow derive their meaning from how deeply they involve us in pointless refereeing nightmares around the world. This world like our country is chock full of adults who can and should take care of themselves if we could only keep our self righteous nanny state paws off long enough for them to do so.

Self righteous and meddlesome is no way to go through life, gang

How state run monopolies coopt new entrants to keep fleecing consumers

Almost inevitably any regulation of a service ends up restricting competition and costing consumers. No matter what the usually oh so progressive and pro poor politicos say they are almost always working for entrenched commercial interests. This piece (link below) demonstrates how Uber has been let into the DC taxicab cartel only to draw the bridge up behind it.

Thus the bullshit of "commonsense" regulation disguises the real goal of allocating the right to fleece consumers among the politically powerful. It's just that Uber has some of that power now and so the others had to accommodate it.

Before the progressives came and infected our minds with this notion that state manipulation was benign - indeed moral - this sort of inside running would have been recognized for the crooked scam it is. Thus laws intended to protect against monopoly and the exploitation of consumers instead serve to facilitate it. They also further entrench the politically powerful in their power.

It's all so progressive.

Sneak and peek warrants billed as necessary for anti terror used overwhelmingly to escalate the drug war

Reason documents the real purpose of these Patriot act constitutional infringements. It turns out that National Security is the last refuge of statist scoundrels. The state's minions lie to us shamelessly and we keep falling for it. More at the link.

According to Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Law enforcement made 47 sneak-and-peek searches nationwide from September 2001 to April 2003. The 2010 report reveals 3,970 total requests were processed. Within three years that number jumped to 11,129."

But terrorism! And, in fact, there are a few terrorism cases mixed in there. A very few. Like, homeopathic dilution few.

Out of the 3,970 total requests from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, 3,034 were for narcotics cases and only 37 for terrorism cases (about .9%). Since then, the numbers get worse. The 2011 report reveals a total of 6,775 requests. 5,093 were used for drugs, while only 31 (or .5%) were used for terrorism cases. The 2012 report follows a similar pattern: Only .6%, or 58 requests, dealt with terrorism cases. The 2013 report confirms the incredibly low numbers. Out of 11,129 reports only 51, or .5%, of requests were used for terrorism. The majority of requests were overwhelmingly for narcotics cases, which tapped out at 9,401 requests.

How liberals got so illiberal

Robert Tracinski explains how the state's control over our economic lives inexorably extends into control over all our lives. This is why it is madness for social conservatives to think they can be economic liberals. Tracinski uses the example of The Hitching Post to illustrate why.

If you want to be socially free it is best that you stay economically free. For he who controls your livelihood controls your life. Simple but obvious point missed by so many social libertarians and conservatives alike. At the link.

Swiss direct democracy has created the most conservative and richest place in Europe

Remember that next time lefties talk about "the people this or that". The last thing the left wants is a Swiss style participatory democracy because they'd be crushed. Like the Bolsheviks who were never more than a vicious, tiny minority, the left wants to speak for the people not hear from them. Details here.

In six years Barack Obama has fundamentally transformed America

Into a Euro social democratic dystopia.

Thank God we have been saved by progressives. Imagine how horrible things would be if Reaganites were still in charge. Eek.

University of Chicago Horror Story: Or the day the innocence died.

This is the reading room of the William Rainey Harper library, the under-graduate library at the University of Chicago.  Kind of pretty huh – well we’ll see how pretty it looks to you after you’ve heard my tale. Because it was here, well just outside here, that I made one of the most shocking discoveries of my young life – one that would change me forever. I had just matriculated the U of C fully intending to get my Phd in Economics until - realizing that Phd meant you had to actually understand calculus rather than just pass the class - I settled for that "Gentleman's C" of degrees: the MBA.

As career and money minded harlots in the high temple of academe we MBAs were held in a certain amount of contempt.  Because while we were reasonably smart and hard working we were also terribly normal.  And of course there was that odd spot of bother that most of had with the calculus.  I realized that I wasn't in Kansas anymore the first day that I moved into my apartment just off campus.  I ran into my next door neighbor on the elevator and after introductions I asked him what he was studying and he said "linguistics" to which I replied "that's cool, which language?".  He reacted as if I had Ebola: he stepped back and his face turned bright red as he hissed "It's Ling-Guist-ics! Not languages!"

"Oh, ah, so I so what is the difference exactly?"

At that he fled towards his room muttering sinister imprecations about "fucking MBAs" or something to that effect. I never saw him again - I believe he asked to be transferred to another apartment because before I knew it he had been replaced by this nice evangelical Christian Japanese couple - or at least they strummed evangelical tunes with Japanese words which I assumed were Jesus oriented.  In other words: more freaks who disturbed the intensely secular and intellectual karma of all the other Maroons.

Because that was what we were: Maroons.  You see the U of C was founded with a huge check from John D. Rockefeller Junior.  Junior had a knack for giving away money that was at least as brilliant as his dad’s was for making it and it was the University’s good fortune to be standing directly underneath him when he gushed forth.  This is one of the reasons that the University of Chicago is tied with Cambridge University in England for the most Nobel Laureates associated with a University despite being one tenth as old.  Because when JD Jr. brassed up the other big name US universities were all busily climbing the social register – sneering, discriminating and oppressing while prioritizing the admission of callow white boys who had as they so quaintly put it: “sand”.  Although why they wanted so many beachcombers I do not know.  So for many years Chicago got all of the smart kids who hadn’t been to the beach resulting in a lot of the sort of prizes that smarty pants win. 

So what was I talking about again?  Ah, yes Maroons:  it turns out that at the time of the great Rockefeller Money Flood Harvard was considered the primo college brand and since they were called the Crimsons the branding geniuses at U of C HQ decided:  “hey, Maroon is a drab imitation of Crimson so let’s brand ourselves as a drab imitation of Harvard” – they might have been geniuses at calculus but they didn’t know squat about marketing. Nor had they ever seen a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  What a bunch of maroons.

So the other Maroons really looked down on us MBAs even more than they looked down on the budding shysters over in the law school - which hurt our feelings not at all because if all those flaky maroons thought lawyers were swell then we sure as hell didn’t want them to think we were. Which is probably one of the reasons we came up with the idea for “Liquidity Preference Functions” in the first place - the liquidity preference is a concept in financial economics that says ceteris paribus (not that it ever is) people would rather have a five spot in their pocket than an IOU from their loser brother in law because they can use the five spot to fulfill their real liquidity preference for alcohol while no one in their right mind would take the idiot B in L’s marker for love or money or more to the point for that alcohol - which of course was the point of our Liquidity Preference Functions.  And when the weather was nice we held them out of doors in the quadrangle in front of Stuart Hall which was the old neo Gothic pile where all of the B School’s lectures were held. It was also right below the undergraduate reading room of the William Rainey Harper library – command central for the strangest mob of undergraduate matriculants ever to matriculate with their pants on.

Imagine the scene:  It’s five pm on a Friday in September at least four weeks before midterms.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the beer is flowing.  The stereo system is pumping out the Rolling Stones Tattoo You album at collegiate decibel-age and the boy ‘n girl MBAs are starting to get their weekend college grooves on, something that at least half of us hadn’t experienced since the last time we were in college and had dreamed about almost every night since (OK, maybe it was just me but still). And what did we hear through Mick Jagger’s wails?  the shouts and curses of undergraduates from library windows far above us.  Shouting at us to turn the music down and go inside.  Naturally we thought this was just undergrads pulling our chain because they wanted some of our beer so we pointed out that any girl could come down and get beer for free and under duress said that any guy she was with could have some too (the business school was seriously short of women and none of the women we had were interested in undergraduate men, well…boys really) - but they didn’t come down, not even the chicks.  They didn’t want our beer, they didn’t want to meet a bunch of studs who were this close to making the big bucks.  They didn’t want us at all.  They wanted to study.  No, honest.  I am not making this up.  Ask anyone who was there.

And that’s not all because the story gets even darker.  Not only did they want to study, they wanted us, the noble, normal ones to go.  So they called the cops on us.  On a Friday at five thirty pm in September when the birds were singing and the sun was shining and the beer was flowing. And did I point out that the beer was free to almost all comers?  When the cops arrived we of course gave them a snootful which they happily quaffed as they explained sorrowfully that we would have to go.  We said “Aw C’mon” to which they responded with sheepish, outstretched arms as if to say “we agree with you brilliant MBAs and would prefer to drink beer, meet women and rock on with you and we do not understand the bizarre aliens jeering at us from upstairs any more than you do but we work for bizarre aliens just like them only worse so to keep our jobs we’ll just take your beer and make you go inside.” It was that bad.  Even the cops were trapped in the darkness.  Cops who wouldn’t – couldn’t hang with us and show the girls their cool guns or even make their sirens go.  Dark times I tell you, dark times.

And that searing experience has colored my perspective on life to this very day.  Because if undergraduates at an accredited college at five o’clock on a Friday a full four weeks before midterms when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the beer is flowing for free turn it down to study more (did I point out that it was Friday evening four weeks before midterms?) then the world is a much darker and less comprehensible place than I had believed possible.  It’s a place where Muslims can chop people’s heads off with kitchen knives and viruses can cross oceans and freak governors out.  It’s even a world where graduate shysters who’ve done nothing but teach other proto shysters how to shyst can become President.  My naïve, fraternal innocence died that day in Chicago amidst the free beer, Rolling Stones and hysterical jeering freshmen, never to return again.

May God have mercy on our Souls.

I like Joni Ernst and I hope she wins the open Iowa Senate seat but I am sick to death of the glorification of having a job in the military

Here's text from her latest ad:

“We’ve taken that oath to sacrifice everything, with nothing asked in return.”

First of all Ms. Ernst you were paid to take those risks. Paid so much in above market total comp that an enlisted heavy posting like Jacksonville NC is among the highest income per capita places in America. Second of all only a small proportion of our military ever see combat or even come near it. And if you're paid far above market rates for a government job that is no more dangerous than many civilian ones I am sorry: you are not a hero, you made no sacrifice and you are not special.

This glorification of the militry not to mention overpaid cops and firefighters for doing their jobs smacks of militarism and should stop. People strutting around in uniforms draped in flags should scare us all.

I their desperation Democrats are running "independents" rather than Democrats in South Dakota and Kansas.

And the actual Dem nominee on South Dakota is crying foul over Democrat ads that are driving his negatives up. In Kansas they forced the legally nominated Dem nominee to withdraw presumably with threats of the same sort. The "Independent", Gary Orman ran as a Dem  last time.
Desperation drives dishonesty.

First Illinois, now Maryland Voting machines that switch R votes to D

They call it a "calibration issue". I have never seen so many reports if Dem voter fraud before an election. Not close.

“When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” Donna Hamilton said.
“This happened multiple times with multiple selections. Every time my choice flipped from Republican to Democrat. Sometimes it required four or five tries to get the ‘x’ to stay on my real selection,” the Frederick, Md., resident said last week.

Dems have been thoroughly Chicagoed over the last six years. It's definitely change.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Press grandees decry Obama Administration's treatment of the press "most restrictive", "dangerous", "opaque"

The press' favoritism is biting them in the ass. Nobody respects a gutless shill, least of all those who you're shilling for. Read the Wapo link for the press shock and dismay.

Success and tragedy : the collapse of pharmacy innovation is saving us money but costing us lives

Medicare spent less per enrollee than it did last year. Yes you heard that right. 1% less but still. 60% of the reduction comes from declines in pharmacy spending via part D. This is because drugs are coming off patent and new drugs aren't replacing them so a larger and larger proportion of drugs become subject to price competition. In other words: less innovation, fewer new cures. Sigh.

What a turnaround!

This chart explains why geopolitics have changed so much.  The United States continuing dynamism in the face of catastrophic leadership continues to be the Stubborn Fact of the age. Imagine what we could do if we were competently governed. Hat tip Carpe Diem.

Paul Krugman Ex Nobelist

I thought this chart from Walter Williams was apt.  Pauley K is supposed to be a studmuffin of economics but he trims his views to win political battles.  Sad, really.  Not what the Nobel was meant to highlight.  Still, there's one in every generation.


The Feds are inflating the housing bubble and enticing vulnerable people into it once again

It is not a mercy to entice someone unprepared for home ownership to buy a home.  The result last time was foreclosure and a massive reduction in working class net worth.  I simply do not understand what the administration's logic is.  It  It's as if they don't really care about people who aren't home builders or mortgage bankers.  It seems so cruel to do this to people. Hattip Carpe Diem

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are planning to guarantee some loans with down payments of as little as 3%. That should help underwater homeowners. Let’s begin by saying that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are instances where loans should be available to borrowers without the means to place a down payment. It’s just that I can’t think of any.

Read about it here.

Date rape druggings hardly exist

Research in the UK and Australia found that of 1101 alleged cases where they could test blood and urine for substances, only 21 could even possibly be termed 'date rape druggings'.  Not of 1101 women but of 1101 women who went to the authorities claiming to have been victims which means that the prevalence must some tiny fraction of the 2 percent stat. Perhaps 2 one hundredths of a percent?  Who knows.

The researchers said in most cases that these alleged incidents were caused by excessive alcohol or illegal drug use.  But women sometimes prefer to claim victim status rather than admit that they got drunk out of their minds.  And our oh so hysterical feminists, egged on by the Democratic party's 'war on women' campaign has persuaded women to focus on a virtually nonexistent threat which of course means they are less focused on the real threat to their well being which is drinking too much.

Here's a video that summarizes the evidence.

They won't because in 1972 they were chasing Republican crime

Does anyone believe that had Dick Nixon been a Dem that WAPO would have given it's reporters free reign?  Or it and all other establishment papers featured the story on page one, top of fold day after day?  Sorry.  The reason that the IRS scandal isn't being pursued by the press is that the press is on the side of the IRS.  From

YEAH, BUT THEY’RE NOT JOURNALISTS NOW, THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Bob Woodward: Today’s Journalists Should Investigate The IRS Scandal Like Watergate.

Federal governance has become unjust governance

Fix it or dissolve the country.

 Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000. The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report. . . . “How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ex CBS reporter Cheryl Atkinson brutally takes down big media for bias

Hat tip to

Really eye opening:

Now that she’s no longer on the CBS payroll, this pit bull is off the leash and tearing flesh off the behinds of senior media and government officials. In her new memoir/exposé “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington” (Harper), Attkisson unloads on her colleagues in big-time TV news for their cowardice and cheerleading for the Obama administration while unmasking the corruption, misdirection and outright lying of today’s Washington political machine. . . .

Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts.

Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into “casting agents,” told “we need to find someone who will say . . .” that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,” she writes.

Reporting on the many green-energy firms such as Solyndra that went belly-up after burning through hundreds of millions in Washington handouts, Attkisson ran into increasing difficulty getting her stories on the air. A colleague told her about the following exchange: “[The stories] are pretty significant,” said a news exec. “Maybe we should be airing some of them on the ‘Evening News?’ ” Replied the program’s chief Pat Shevlin, “What’s the matter, don’t you support green energy?”

Says Attkisson: That’s like saying you’re anti-medicine if you point out pharmaceutical company fraud. . . .

“Many in the media,” she writes, “are wrestling with their own souls: They know that ObamaCare is in serious trouble, but they’re conflicted about reporting that. Some worry that the news coverage will hurt a cause that they personally believe in. They’re all too eager to dismiss damaging documentary evidence while embracing, sometimes unquestioningly, the Obama administration’s ever-evolving and unproven explanations.”

One of her bosses had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.” “And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way,” says Attkisson, “she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”

In mid-October 2012, with the presidential election coming up, Attkisson says CBS suddenly lost interest in airing her reporting on the Benghazi attacks. “The light switch turns off,” she writes. “Most of my Benghazi stories from that point on would be reported not on television, but on the Web.”

Two expressions that became especially popular with CBS News brass, she says, were “incremental” and “piling on.” These are code for “excuses for stories they really don’t want, even as we observe that developments on stories they like are aired in the tiniest of increments.”

US Israeli relations "In crisis"

Of course under the lazy doctrinaire left wing leadership of the administration it's very dangerous to be America's friend.,7340,L-4584052,00.html

How can this be? Vox said we were "all going to burn"

Smallest proportion of weather stations recording 90 degree readings in US history. 4 of five lowest proportions have happened after CO2 reached 350 PPM. While "explanatory" "journalists" like Ezra Klein were shrieking that "we're all gonna burn".

Ezra Klein journolisted to the left for so long that now now upside down with reality with his ducky little legs furiously paddling the air. It's his reputation that's burning, not the world. Ivy league dumbasses are the dumbest dumbasses.

VOX will be a black hole for investors and reputations. Source here.

Record numbers are renouncing their US citizenship

Of course who in their right mind would want to be citizen of a brutal globe spanning kleptocracy if they could be citizen of a civilized country?

I don't know, perhaps God failed him.

A story about boy who never found a home and was murdered at 18. Poignant.

The writer blames herself and the "system" but the "system" gave this boy chance after chance after chance and he still ended up dead outside a bar three years before he was old enough to drink. Perhaps God made him unlovable the same way he made Pharoah unpersuadable. Maybe God wanted us to see this lost boy and blame ourselves.

But of course we in our arrogance make an a priori assumption about God's perfection: that he's perfectly good in our sense of the word or what I call the Tri Perfecta God theory:  God is Perfect, Perfectly Good and Perfect for Us. But God is not required to please us to be perfect. Indeed for a transcendent God to be perfect he must please only himself.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What do you do when law enforcement takes sides in a political dispute?

The John Doe investigations in Wisconsin were a criminal travesty conducted by Dems with the express goal of intimidating conservative groups. This is the same thing as the IRS scandal except with battering rams and flash bang grenades.

It's not a free country if you're conservative.  Tragic. McCarthyite. And the press? Crickets. Except George Will. At the link.

Pot prohibitionists lie without consequence

They fabricate cannabis deaths to protect the tens of billions riding on prohibition. It's tragic when establishment rags like Bezos' Washington Post don't exercise more editorial quality control.

Reason has the sordid details.

Skink that you skinker

So I was walking one day when I was confronted by a skink.  You know, the little lizards - this one happened to be black.  The skink was boldly standing athwart the bike path, fully two inches in height and four long.  I raised an eyebrow, he raised his eye...fold, I raised my other eyebrow, he raised his.  Then realizing that we looked like bug eyed fools we lowered them.

I said "let me pass my good Spink!"
"Nay, none shall pass unless they defeat me in mortal combat. And it's Skink, not Spink". "
"You must be kidding."
"No, I swear, it's Skink, I'm a Skink"
"I know you're a Skink, I meant you must be kidding that you, a two by four inch Skink is going to stop me, a two by six foot man"
"You're not six foot"
"Am to"
"Are not"
"OK, five foot ten. Two inches, big deal"
"It is if you're a Skink"
"Ah, good point.  So what about it?"
"What about what?"
"Are you going to let me pass"

So anyway this Skink - who I'll call 'Little John' - and I went back and forth in this manner for quite some time as bikes whizzed by us - any one of which would have smashed this lingering little lizard had I not been there to divert them.  But give the Skink his due:  he had guts - about two cubic centimeters worth as a matter of fact - so instead of finding a tiny stave so that we could do battle on even terms I relented and walked into the grass and around him. He exulted:
"What ho craven knave! Hast thou been bested by a mere Skink?"
"You stink, Skink"

And to this very day I detour around badass Little John Skink's patch of bikepath.

'Cause I don't want no trouble.

Much more than State Farm, your family is always there

So there's a lot of talk about the postmodern 'family' replacing the actual blood and soil and DNA family.  Mixed families, ersaztz families, zero calorie families, you name it.  Jonah Goldberg reminds us that Families have been around a long time as the ultimate bulwark against chaos:

The whole point of certain institutions is that they are insurance policies against the unknown future (picture G. Gordon Liddy talking about gold, only replace it with “the family”). The phrase “you can always count on family” may not be literally true, but it is more true than “you can always count on your old college roommate.” When times are great, the demands of family (or religion, or good manners, or thriftiness, or a thousand other institutions, customs, and habits of the heart that we can throw under the bulwark of “tradition”) might often seem like too much unnecessary baggage to carry around. But when things hit the fan, family is there in a way that other people aren’t. Not because those other people are bad, but because your family is your family.

But it’s important to keep in mind that the family – or the Bill of Rights, or good manners, whatever – isn’t a catastrophic insurance policy. The value of these institutions is best understood during a time of crisis, but the influence of these institutions is constant, even in times of calm luxury. The fact that these institutions exist forecloses certain options and avenues for reformers who yearn for a blanker social slate.

The family, like marriage, is an institution that predates our Constitution and the very concept of democracy, never mind modernity. That is not to say that it hasn’t evolved and changed or that conservatives should never, ever contemplate further changes and greater evolution. It is simply to say that we should do so carefully, reservedly, humbly, in full knowledge that tomorrow may look as little like today as yesterday did.

I was partners with some Pakistanis.  They have very strong family ties to the extent that the Eldest son is expected to marry but stay at home and care for his parents.  My rich partner lived on the third floor of his parents house with his wife and kids.  He was married to his first cousin.  Family ties are so strong in Pakistan in part because the state and civil institutions are so weak.  You need a strong extended family to protect you against the outside.  We're safe right now in the west but you never know when the kimchi is going to hit the fan and even more than guns or gold, family is a last refuge. Invest in it.

And another reason I like Jonah Goldberg is because he quotes Chesterton and is that cool or what?:

“In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.’”

– G.K. Chesterton, The Thing

So what's wrong with fair trade? Aside from all the middlemen, monopsony and hostility to innovation and expansion, that is.

I've been seeing "Fair Trade" and "Ethical" coffee, chocolate and so on popping up in my Mom's church and on the web at other Christian organizations.  And being a real rat bastard contrarian it rubbed me the wrong way.  Particularly the words 'fair' and 'ethical'.  I've always held that anytime someone comes to you talking fair you know you're getting the snow job and if they add in ethical you'd better get the snow blower out before you get buried. But not wanting to prejudge I decided to
go to the (very trendy, very left wing) Guardian of London and see what the case for Fair Trade was.  Only to find that the Kumbaya left isn't particularly fond of this particular scam.

But first of all a definition:  at its simplest Fair Trade is defined as trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. Which in practice means a price above market clearing price.  Fair trade also refers to a whole combine of certifications, organizations and farming practices that are enforced on those developing country farmers who receive the 'fair' price. So what could be wrong with paying poor farmers a higher price for their products if they sign up with Fair Trade?

Well it turns out a lot, including:

1. By guaranteeing a minimum price above market clearing, Fairtrade encourages market oversupply, which depresses global commodity prices. This locks Fairtrade farmers into greater Fairtrade dependency and further impoverishes farmers outside the Fairtrade umbrella. Economist Tyler Cowen describes this as the "parallel exploitation coffee sector".

2. Fairtrade Coffee farms are limited to twelve acres and are not allowed to employ any full-time workers. This means that during harvest season migrant workers must be employed on short-term contracts. These rural poor are therefore expressly excluded from the stability of long-term employment by Fairtrade rules. And the size limit means farms never get to scale so the farmers remain poor and subsistence. Imagine how poor American farmers would be if they were limited to twelve acres vs. the 400 plus they average now.

Economist Paul Collier argues that Fairtrade effectively ensures that people "get charity as long as they stay producing the crops that have locked them into poverty". Fairtrade reduces the incentive to diversify crop production and encourages the utilisation of resources on marginal land that could be better employed for other produce. The organisation also appears wedded to an image of a notional anti-modernist rural idyll. Farm units must remain small and family run, while modern farming techniques (mechanisation, economies of scale, pesticides, genetic modification etc) are sidelined or even actively discouraged

3. Fairtrade commodities are middle income country products. Mexico is the biggest producer of Fairtrade coffee with about 23% market share. Indeed, as of 2002, 181 of the 300 Fairtrade coffee producers were located in South America and the Caribbean. As Marc Sidwell points out, while Mexico has 51 Fairtrade producers, Burundi has none, Ethiopia four and Rwanda just 10 – meaning that "Fairtrade pays to support relatively wealthy Mexican coffee farmers at the expense of poorer nations".

4. Almost all the incremental money goes to rich middlemen (Surprise, surprise!). The vast majority of the money from Fairtrade sales remains in the west – with only about 5% of the Fairtrade sale price actually making it back to the farmers. As Philip Oppenheim says, "any intelligent person will ask why I should pay 80p more for my bananas when only 5p will end up with the producer". Fundamental to the failure of wealth transfer are issues such as the fact that while 90% of the world's cocoa is produced in the developing world, only 4% of the chocolate is produced there. Developing countries remain locked in the primary sector commodities market, while the west cashes in on their value-added conversion.
5. Fairtrade is run by political organizations for political reasons.  Their incentives are not to minimize the cost of distribution but maximize the political effects.  The result is a high cost distribution model. Which of course hurt the farmers and consumers who use it. Colleen Berndt of George Mason University details how Fairtrade membership can also be high. The costs take in not just certification and annual inspections, but also the wider compliance with Fairtrade organisational structures. In Guatemala, an executive at Fedecocagua, the country's biggest Fairtrade co-operative, admitted that "after paying for the co-operative's employees and programmes, nothing remained of the Fairtrade premiums to be passed on to the individual farmers".

You see this expensive politicization when you examine the accounts of the independent charity Fairtrade Foundation, which licenses the use of the Fairtrade mark in the UK. In 2008, of a total income of £7.2m, the largest expenditure was on "public education and awareness" at more than £2.1m. Fairtrade is an expensive brand to maintain because it relies solely on consumer awareness campaigns, and these costs eat into the Fairtrade premiums that farmers can receive.
6. Fairtrade doesn't raise farmers out of poverty, it locks them into a genteel poverty preferred by the NGO-chiks that run the operation. Rich western liberals in essence say: "you stay poor and cute and photogenic and all and we'll throw you a few nickles here and there so we get to be 'charitable' and 'authentic'. Ultimately, Daniel Jaffee concludes [see footnote – Ed] that "Fairtrade ... does not bring the majority of participants out of poverty". He suggests the small increase in farmers' wages is at the expense of further entrenching the agrarian status quo, disadvantaging migrant workers and those outside the Fairtrade organisation. Steve Daily, of WorldWrite charity, condemns the movement for having horizons that are far too low, and for not focusing enough on actual agricultural reform. Berndt concludes that Fairtrade coffee can provide a useful short-term hedge against commodity volatility, but that in the long run it "represents at best a Band-Aid to the problems that coffee producing nations face".
After reading just how much informed lefty economists hated Fairtrade I concluded that it must be a GOOD THING or these mango chewing kumbaya yadda yadda-ers wouldn't hate it.  So I went over to my favorite thoughtful libertarian economics blog - Marginal Revolution and damned if they didn't say the same things.  They summed it all up by describing Fairtrade (and all the 'ethical' blather around it) as:  "A Marketing Gimmick"

Anyway, it's probably something that people who say they care about the poor should stay away from.  Although I would have to say that about many NGO's and most lefty proposals to 'save' this or 'rescue' that.  As I said before:  Fair and Ethical are in practice two of the most unfair and unethical concepts in the world today.  Consider.  Beware.  Try not to look stupid.

How colleges cornered the market on aptitude testing and rooked us out of trillions.

A lot of jobs that in 1970 were available to high school graduates who could pass an aptitude test are now only available to college graduates And you still need to pass the aptitude test but now it's  to get into college because practically speaking only colleges can legally administer aptitude tests.

You won't be surprised to discover that this system which emerged after business aptitude tests were banned by the Supremes due to "disparate racial impact" has the very same disparate racial impact plus a gender one to boot. Except now to get to the same place tens of millions must spend 125 to 250k an 4 to 5 years of their lives. Which is another 125 to 250k foregone.

I wonder how much of the juvenilization of American life is due to all these kids being forced to defer adulthood until well into their twenties? And then being too pounded by government debt to live like adults thereafter? And I wonder how much of the world leading college inflation is due to this state sponsored aptitude certification cartel?

Another ghost from the oh so progressive sixties and seventies. God bless our glorious Federal stupor state. Tragic details here.

Food has replaced sex as the great tabu

Which is odd since study after huge longitudinal study (not to mention common sense) show that humans thrive on a wide variety of diets, none of which can be characterized as ideal.

Unfortunately some humans also thrive on power and the coercion of others which has been shown to be destructive. Modern liberals are the new Puritans. And their comstockery has breached it's coastal fever swamp quarantines and is spreading inland.

There is no logical or philosophical limit to statist coercion once you buy in to the notion that the state's job is to make people "better". More Cotton Blathering here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

It is increasingly becoming parental Malpractice to send your to government schools

Keep em home so they won't be exposed to incompetent soviet style apoaratchiks.

Answering the important questions: chess piece survival rates.

Just in case you are considering a career as a chess piece.


Two new credible accusations of Federal abuse of power from yesterday

Hat tip Instapundit

SPYING: CIA Apparently ‘Impersonated’ Senate Staffers To Gain Access To Documents On Shared Drives.

SO IS THE IRS JUST ROTTEN ALL THE WAY THROUGH? Whistleblowers: IRS Officials Behind ‘Fraudulent’ Multi-Billion Dollar Corporate Tax Giveaways. “In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, IRS commissioner John A. Koskinen, and IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, Jane J. Kim, an attorney in the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel in New York, accused IRS executives of “deliberately” facilitating multi-billion dollar tax giveaways. The letter, dated October 19, will add further pressure on the agency, which is under fire for allegedly targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The police as enemy is now a mainstream conservative idea

Despite the many depredations of the police state, conservatives have long been reluctant to acknowledge that the police were in fact part and parcel of that oppressive machine.  Conservatives have traditionally been supporters of 'law and order' and 'cracking down'.  But they are increasingly coming to the realization that in a land where everything is against the law, the police are the enemy.  Indeed, they must be the enemy.  Here's a key signpost on that journey to reality from Kevin Williamson in National Review.  Meet the New Serfs:  You.

The United States a free country?  Not really.  At least for most of us.

They said fraud, I didn't.

From Instapundit:

MARGIN OF FRAUD: “For whatever reason, when statewide races are decided by less than 1 point, Democrats win almost three-quarters of the time. When the margin opens to 1-2 points, that advantage dissipates, and the Democrats win only half the races.”

Mega solar flares coming to a vulnerable electrical network near you

Dang. Hat tip Instapundit

MONSTER SOLAR FLARE: First of many? “AR 2192 has been pointing away from Earth, so its outbursts to date have not affected the planet much. But that could change soon; the sunspot is now rotating around toward Earth

Quote on the illusion of technocracy

From Ben Domanench:

We tend to believe modernity is proof against plague. But the fatal conceit of technocracy is the assumption that dynamic systems like human society are fundamentally controllable. Some people even take that to the next level of assuming that things which piggyback on these humans, like pathogens, are similarly controllable. Just roll out the next political operative – he did a heckuva job lobbying, after all.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Buzz off Nannie staters - there is no best diet

In addition the Stanford study of the long lived found that people who live a long time don't worry about their health or have special health regimens or diets. And:

Drinking alcohol increases longevity.

Being chubby in middle age is life extending.

Vitamin supplements don't do anything.

People who believe in one true diet are religious bigots and should get a life.

Ok, I made that last one up. But they are..

Calm down because we're not even half done yet. Despite all evidence to the contrary and our best efforts we're winning.

It was Bismarck some 115 years ago who acidly observed that "God protects idiots, children and the United States of America".  And today Conrad Black argues that despite a decade of inept and feckless leadership, the world's correlation of forces is aligning in the United State's favor and I agree. You should read his column - it's a rare optimistic take - though dripping with the same caustic cynicism that characterized the Iron Chancellor's remarks. But I think it also is an example of one of the most pernicious delusions of our ruling classes - whether right or left, interventionist or isolationist, kumbaya or bombaya.  To wit the fantasy that somehow through the judicious application of 'policy and politics' the United States and its allies can organize and tame the world.  A world that has never been more crowded, complex or richer.  This attitude has so many flaws that I'm surprised it hasn't undergone total existential collapse by now.  They include:

1. The US Constitutional form of government which guarantees division, conflict and lashing out followed by pouty isolation.  The only times the US has been able to pursue a consistent foreign policy is when there is a single existential threat or there are no serious threats.  A complicated, multi-threat world is very difficult for our political system to cope with.  We don't have the  concentration of power and authority in one person that a parliamentary system has.  Nor can a continental scale empire that is ever more diverse have the social consensus of a Japan or a Denmark. Never have, never will yet everyone expects us to behave that way.

2. The natural resilience of people defending their families and homes-China edition.  Our foreign policy geniuses panicked in the face of both the rise of China and ISIS yet both of these threats provoked healthy immune reactions from those threatened by them.  China's heavy handed, clod dish bullying has conjured into being a huge coalition almost without active US leadership.  Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Burma, India, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia,  and the Philippines have a huge interest in containing Chinese hegemony and are taking matters into their own hands.

3. The natural resilience of people defending their families and homes - Middle East Edition. Likewise the Kurds, Alawites, Shia and others have an existential interest in seeing off the twenty to thirty thousand bloodthirsty but largely untrained, undisciplined, poorly armed neo Mahdist rabble thrashing around the Syria and Iraqi Sunni heartland.  And since they are fighting for their homes and lives they constitute (as the panicked west learned in Khobani) a particularly tough nut to crack for such a modest and shoddy military enterprise.

4. The impact of the incredible creativity of the US economy and society.  At the end of the day the US wins not because of our political leadership but in spite of it.  The biggest changed reality in the world today is the looming self sufficiency of the US in oil and export leadership in natural gas.  The oil and gas industries use of massive computing and robotics to literally double the world's recoverable reserves of oil and gas has fundamentally changed the world's correlation of forces even more in the West's favor.  And along with a little Saudi supply liberality this creativity has cut Iranian and Russian adventurism down considerably.  Neither country's regime can long abide low oil prices and Russia in particular is vulnerable to seeing its financially and geopolitically lucrative European gas contracts rendered void by massive North American exports to Europe.and Japan.

The fantasy of all statists is that they are in control of events both foreign and domestic.  More often they are like huge toddlers stomping around a China shop.  Sometimes they break things for which they blame others and sometimes they don't for which they take credit.  But up until recently the political 'leaders' of Europe and the United States have been careful not to seriously undermine the economic and social power that is the true source of our long term success. Tragically leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have become so enamored with their own significance that they are busily ripping at the sinews and wiring of the greatest civilization that has ever existed.  When the historians look back on this era they will be astounded at how much domestic destruction our so called 'leaders' countenanced in exchange for what will be considered nothing but a mess of political pottage.

But for as long as it holds against the statist wreckers our society will somehow reign supreme in spite of the selfish and arrogant prats that purport to 'rule' us.  We're just too damn good to do otherwise.  So calm down.  Have a 'schmoke and a pancake' and let the outlanders flail and rage at man's most brilliant creation:  Western Civilization.

Do dems simply want it worse? Voter fraud once again.

Time and time again we find voter fraud being actively promoted by democrat supporting groups.  Here (below) in Colorado it's Greenpeace and a Super Pac group called Work for Progress.  In Chicago, the legislature monkeyed with early voting for just this election to help them win the governorship.  Here's another Chicago one.  And here's a public University in New York actively politicking for Dems.  And these were just ones I found in five minutes.  As with the IRS harassment and evidence destruction and the active Dem politicking and evidence destruction in the FEC, HHS, EPA and others, it seems the Dems will do a lot more to win.  Of course government is more important to the left, many of them seem to derive their meaning in life from coercing others.

When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.
The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing. He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.”
Colorado secretary of state Scott Gessler, along with several county election clerks, have raised warning flags that a new state law that automatically mails a ballot to everyone is an engraved invitation to commit fraud. “Sending ballots to people who did not even ask for them or have moved out of state is asking for trouble” he told me. For example, little can stop someone who collects discarded ballots from trash cans, fills out the ballots, and mails them in. Election workers are supposed to compare signatures on registration records with signed ballots. But if a person has a “witness” who signs the ballot on the witness line, then the signatures do not have to match and the vote is counted.
Secretary of State Gessler had futile arguments with Democratic state legislators last year who insisted on ramming a bill through that mandated Colorado become the only state in the nation with both all-mail balloting and same-day registration.

Barack Obama: Sexual Assaulter

He kisses woman without her consent in order to put her boyfriend in his place.  This contravenes the new Sexual Assault regulations his administration has foisted on colleges.  But I guess rules are for the little people. Althouse has the key point:

Did Obama get true verbalized consent before he kissed her? No. He did not. People are focusing on Obama's interplay with a man who said "Don't touch my girlfriend" as Obama was voting in Chicago, demonstrating howto vote.

But let's talk about the woman. Obama orders her to kiss him: "You're gonna kiss me. Give him something to talk about. Now, he's really jealous." As you see in the video, he makes that declarative statement and immediately grabs her and kisses and hugs her.

Why is that acceptable? He's using her in an effort to regain dignity and to humiliate the man who humiliated him. It might all be dismissed as play humiliation and play counter-humiliation. But the woman's body was used as an object of that play, a means of communication between men.

Entitled prat.

AEI discovers that people that take government jobs with lifetime employment are risk averse.

In other news it has been discovered that dogs bite men and also have fleas. Raise the career risk reward relationship and you'll get a different mix of people.  Better yet automate a bunch of it away. But don't waste time trying to please the suppliers. Spend time building a market for ed services that will send the right signals to market participants to serve customers better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well the truth is that most claimed science or economic findings are false...

...because false positives become endemic in any research that leverages huge datasets and effectively infinite processing power.  This tendency to throw every variable against every other variable to manufacture 'theory' is pernicious in the extreme.  It leads to false positive hell.  These 'cats say it's even worse than that because since in financial economics the data is standard and available to all any novel finding is likely a false positive so the statistical test for significance should be a T value exceeding 3.0 rather than the traditional 2.0.  I think a lot of biomedical research should face the same standard. Psychological and social research probably needs an even higher standard because most of it is absolute ideological (and I'll let you guess which one) goal driven crap.  Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein:  yeah, I'm lookin' at you - your days of blowing questionable statistical claims out your keisters and getting the gun toters to do your bidding are numbered.  Nudge that school boys.

The more our glorious stupor state has funded research the more dreckish it has become. Free money from bureaucracy corrupts everything it touches.  Everything.  Because free money has no valid human agent behind it demanding a return for the investment - you know, what we call in the private sector 'results'.  Read the whole damned thing. Here.

Welcome to the capital strike - extreme example but true

My God, my God why have you forsaken us?

B.B. writes:

In “National Income and the Price Level,” Martin Bailey discussed the issues of the liquidity trap and secular stagnation.

He observed that at a zero real interest rate, it would be profitable to level the Rocky Mountains and fill in the Gulf of Mexico. The land created would have a rate of return over zero. Also, replacing all steel with stainless steel would pay off.

The examples get to the problem. If someone wanted to level a mountain and fill in the Gulf, it would take a decade to get EPA approval, if it ever came. At negative real interest rates, there are plenty of profitable investments. Maybe in the medical sector, or energy, or finance, or banking, or education, or transportation….where government approval can block the investment for a decade. Secular stagnation is feasible in a world of heavy regulations and taxes, regardless of technological opportunities or the productivity of capital. Keystone Pipeline, anyone?

In a regulated state, easy Fed policy might boost the stock market and lower bond yields without boosting investment much at all. Sound familiar?

- See more at:

Schaumburg is in Cook county. The voting machine was rigged to vote for only Dems. Situation normal.

But we keep hearing that there's no voter fraud from the press lapdogs. Yip yip yip they yelp to the Dem  tune. Travesty at the link.

The new clerisy and why we can't escape it

Probably the most important book on the right since Goldberg Liberal Fascism. And Kotkin isn't even a conservative.  This is an article that summarizes his thesis.  The Cliff  notes version if you will. Makes for depressing reading I'm afraid.

Monday, October 20, 2014

#gamergate is democracy in action which is why the left hates it so much

Any time an identifiably non-leftist group gets together to protest state or establishment abuses it's immediately deemed 'racist' by the bien pensants that lord over such things.  If there are too many 'people of color' in the movement then it's deemed 'sexist'.  If too many women, then it's deemed 'homophobic'.  If too many gays:  it's deemed anti-trans.  To many trans, it's deemed anti-alien.  Anything that upsets the left establishment in this country must be dismissed.  It can't be addressed or even thought about.  Because to think would undermine the very foundations of left ascendance in this country:  empty minds.  Can't have that, not practical, won't work, because they would have to make arguments and that would require thinking.

More mocking Ezra Klein and the rest of the 'explanatory fraud' set here. They really are the kings of bullshit, gang.

If they pull this off the world changes. Completely.

Golf and other outdoor leisure activities become doubly huge and indoor malls die.  Hot weather ceases to be a distraction and snowy, icy places without hills decline.  Fascinating imagining the butterfly effect on this one:

HMM: MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete. “Why heat or cool a building when you could heat or cool a person?”

It turns out that Math is Hard for Harvard lawyers

We have a massive 'sex assault' witch hunt going on on our college campuses that has been driven by the Obama administration and a 'game changing' report published on Campus Sexual Assault last January.  In it the Ivy League Geniuses make two fundamental statements.  First that one in five women are sexually assaulted on a college campus.  The second is that only twelve percent of all sexual assaults on college campuses are reported.  The problem is that both of these numbers can't be true.  Math is HARD.  Particularly for Ivy League lawyers.  Particularly for the one of the "smartest lawyers at Harvard ever" because Our President has been repeating this obviously statistically inept but electorally useful claim over and over. And our Ivy League press has been lapping it up.  Particularly Ezra "Vox me baby, Vox me baby all night long" Klein who runs Vox which is supposedly dedicated to 'explanatory' journalism:  explaining 'what it all means'.  But of course if you can't do arithmetic it's pretty freaking hard to explain anything. From Carpe Diem:

In a January 2014 report titled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” (which led to the creation of the “Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault” headed by Biden), the White House made the following two statements:
White House Statement 1. Sexual assault is a particular problem on college campuses:1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college.
White House Statement 2. Reporting rates for campus sexual assault are also very low: on average only 12% of student victims report the assault to law enforcement.
There’s a huge, irreconcilable statistical problem here. Using actual reported crime statistics on sexual offenses at almost any US college and applying the White House claim that only 12% of campus sexual assaults actually get reported, we have to conclude that nowhere near 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college. Alternatively, if the “1 in 5 women” claim is true, the percentage of sexual assaults that don’t get reported to the campus police would have to be much lower than 12%. In other words, the claims that the White House uses don’t work together and they therefore both can’t be simultaneously correct.

Assuming that only 12% of campus sexual assaults at OSU are reported.
osuAssuming that 1 in 5 women at OSU are assaulted over 4 years.
Maroons, we are governed by Maroons.  Well actually they're Crimsons but I liked Bugs Bunny's formulation better. Go U of C!

Want to be a Cyborg?

Join the crowd.  Good summary of interesting developments including the first real breakthrough in enabling those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries to regain the use of their limbs.  Awesome stuff.  Includes the typical fol de rol about 'runaway cyborgs', 'grey goo' and even the pathetic mewling of nanny socialists about how we shouldn't do anything fun in technology because someone, somewhere hasn't eaten their peas.  Whiners.  Worth a gander.  Here.

Nigeria shows that you can beat Ebola

Of course Nigeria has competent leadership when compared to our great Federal Stupor State.  But if an impoverished third world kleptocracy can stop the disease in its tracks, there's hope that even a grossly obese, catastrophically led and totally politicized mob of stupor staters can blunder their way to safety.

We'll survive this but our government's reputation won't.

Oh how the mighty have fallen: Obama speaks at a campaign event and people leave

Another way to put it is:  "Oh how the shallow have dried up" - probably more accurate actually.

From hero to zero in six years.  But he's still got his golf game going for him.

In other news 64 percent of those polled said they considered the US to be "out of control"

What a drip.

Only one third of college students think it is safe to hold unpopular views on campus.

How did our colleges become the most intolerant left wing monoculture in our nation? The same way that German universities upon which our system was modeled on became a Nazi monoculture long before Hitler gained power.

University power relations are inherently  corporatist. This is how an entire category can be singled out for special punitive treatment and stripped of the rights that all others in the community have. In pre 1933 German universities they were called Jews. In Obama America they are called male students.

Saddest of all is the impact on students. Longtime civil libertarian Nat Hentoff notes a2010 survey of 24,000 college students, which found that barely a third thought it “safe to hold unpopular views on campus.” Recent years have seen the rise of such things as speech codes and the introduction of “trigger warnings” to alert students about what might be objectionable ideas or phrases, even in American classics.

Meritocratic  feudalism rules and you had better tug your forelock while aping the Tenured Lord who holds your fate in his clammy little hands.

Price transparency and ease of discovery is a good thing for consumers

Which is why our "caring", "charitable" sectors obfuscate so hard. Even persuading the Feds to ban price lists for Medicare providers. I'm starting to think that the more "greedy" an institution is characterized  the more honest it's likely to be simply because it likely faces lots of scrutiny whereas the "boni" get little because after all everyone "knows" that they're good. Like the 4X looters of higher education. Watch the boni try to put Keith Smith in jail. Hattip Carpe Diem.

Good things happen when healthcare buyers and sellers are in the same room? Dr. Keith Smith, founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, says that it is the “ethical and moral obligation of the healthcare services seller to provide the prospective buyer a price in advance of the provision of the service.” By posting prices and increasing transparency, The Surgery Center of Oklahoma have decreased prices to such a level that care is now accessible to his community. Dr. Smith notes that “Price-revealing actions have allowed people to purchase care they previously assumed was otherwise unaffordable, people who had neglected their health entirely, based on a lack of visible pricing.”

From the all animals are equal but some are more equal than others department

Why do Socialists always look so silly?

Socialist hypocrisy? The Freedom Socialist Party (owner of the website domain name routinely advocates that employers be forced to pay workers a minimum wage of either $15 an hour or $20 an hour. Yet when it comes to hiring a “graphic designer / web content manager” for its Seattle office, the organization is only willing to pay $13 an hour.

Ezra Klein's Vox is not so much a new breed of fact based journalism as an attempt by the left to corral the reality that all the new information represents in a Marxist analytical framework

How else to explain his willingness to accept persecution of young men as the necessary price for the enlightenment of the proletariat?

Either that or his fuck buddy is hard core feminist and she's cut him off until he toes the line.

I actually like the second explanation because in it at least Mr. Klein is human and not just a left wing ideological category.  More brutal Vox downs at the link.

The death of the liberal arts is not so much murder as a suicide

Who in their right minds would pay $250,000 to study the Founding Fathers or Plato or Shakespeare when they are dismissed as nothing but 'dead white males'?

Of course who in their right minds would pay that kind of money for left wing agitprop when you can get it free on the Internet 24x7?

I mean unless a lot if cute chick's are in the program...

Judging from all the ad hominems this piece is hitting it's target in academe. Check it out yourself at the link.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Criminal prosecutors are endemic to our stupor state

The case of the Sierra Pacific shakedown.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why do we need an Ebola czar? We already have one.

If you're a liberal and you want to understand why your dream of benevolent, maternalistic government is doomed read this. Of course if you're conservative and you want to have every prejudice you have against the stupor state confirmed you too should read this.

It has everything: apparatchiks blaming their failures on lack of money despite lavish funding, politicized contracting, "Offices" of "this and that" totally unprepared when "this and that" comes along. Replacement of the incompetent bureaucrat with an incompetent ivy league lawyer with nothing in his resume but absolute loyalty to the administration unto perjury. Add some serious corruption and a looming pandemic and you've got the perfect stupor state storm. At the link.

Why our politics are so polarized #99: social media cocooning

Mickey Kaus presents the NYT's laughably cocooned Twitter feeds. Perhaps that New Yorker cartoon is right: there is nothing but jungle west of the Hudson.

Of course I know righties who are just as isolated but they're not reporters for a leading newspaper living in what bills itself as the most dynamic, diverse city in the world. Like Ghandi when asked about liberal "diversity" I say "it would be a good idea".

Cruel but true on so many levels

Mark Andreesen is a little more independent than your typical silicon valley drone. At the link.

The great unequalization: Seattle shows the way to the past.

Before WW2 when 75% of all Americans lived below the poverty line boarding houses and dorms for working adults were common. Today rich and oh so hip cities like Seattle are going back to poverty housing in a big way. Except the poverty housing in Seattle is seriously expensive.  And what's cool is that the real estate owners whose monopolistic, rent seeking "smart growth" practices have driven the cost of housing sky high have conned their children into thinking that depression Era  squalor at $822 a month represents a (as the benighted dear in this piece puts it) "sweet deal". And no Seattle is not the fastest growing city or metro area in America no matter what this credulous "journalist" says. And it will grow progressively slower as it continues down its "smart" growth (really no growth) path.

But mom 'n dad are getting rich off their real estate so it's all good. Right? I mean screw the kids - if they want to rip somebody off they should get their own kids. 

Of course I have no idea how they're going to fit them into their "sweet" dorm room.

More travesty at the link.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Last night I shocked my smart phone

Last night I was trying to write a blog post but my phone kept changing the word I typed into another word that meant something altogether different.  I think this is because the word that I wanted to use was naughty and the phone is programmed to censor such words and replace them with words that make no sense.  I've had this problem with my smart phone ever since I got it and last night I finally snapped. I threatened my phone with the most terrifying fate that can befall a silicon based life form and she (my phone's a girl) was so shocked that she immediately rebooted. But I'm serious: if she doesn't stop screwing with my cussing it's the cat video server farm for her.

But she deserved it.  I am sick to death of her censoring perfectly serviceable obscenities.  I think it must be Google's doing because my smart phone is an Android - the Rum Raisin release I think. And I have no difficulty believing that a selfish tycoon like Larry Page would configure his software to censor potty words.  After all he looks like a direct descendant of Cotton Mather. Prissy Larry "Prudence" Page is probably just implementing his Puritan ancestors Prime Directive:  take absolutely all of the fun out of everything everywhere all the time.  After all he lives in Northern California which is now the Plymouth Bay Colony of America, filled to the brim with new, oh so hip puritans.  In neo puritan California you can't even touch your date's boob without filling out forms in triplicate, getting them notarized and filed with the Ministry of Canoodling in Sacramento.  Which stinks because most of the excitement of dating centers on imagining how the party of the first part is going to counteract the party of the second part's 'forward' moves.

So if you're on a date in San Jose with some loser who's telling you that World of Warcraft is really just a metaphor for life what do you do?  I mean it's obvious that the guy's a flushee but if you haven't executed the right paperwork then what is going to occupy your mind until he picks up the check and you can leg it? Video games?  Now if you're sitting across from me in someplace that isn't California you'd better be focused on what countermeasures you're going to employ to neutralize my world class moves.  Because I guarantee you that while you're explaining why cat videos are an under-appreciated art form I'll be deep into battle planning.  As a matter of fact I always let my date do a lot of talking so that I have time to review my strategic options in relation to her body language.  Are her gestures tightly focused?  That could mean that she intends to defend her strategic center which I counter like Hannibal at Cannae with a double envelopment targeting her rear.  If she's wildly gesturing from side to side it indicates that she fears a flank attack which means a Guderian Blitzkrieg that directly punches  through her defenses is called for.  But you never want to Foch it up by launching a suicidal frontal attack against prepared positions because you'll get slaughtered after gaining a few measly yards of what by the time you get there will be No Man's Land.  But I digress.

Because I want to spend some serious time focusing on this Pagean Puritan Language Police Problem. Let me start by stipulating that I don't think it's Sergei Brin's fault because he's Russian and Russians say fuck all the time. No, this is an American problem and it's interfering with my God given right to express myself as crudely as I want.  I am a serious writer:  I struggle with phrasing and voice and all that other literary crap and it takes me literally seconds of word wrangling to come up with the 'most just', no, no, no! you idiot phone, I typed 'mot juste', not most just! Now this is another problem I have:  I try to be clever  and spice up my writing with Frenchified Anglo Norman bits and my phone screws with them too.  One would think that an immigrant such as Mr. Brin would take a strong stand against the ethnocentric excision of foreign words because Brin comes from Russia and everyone knows that Russians hate xenophobia almost as much as they hate foreigners.

But back to my smart phone's fucked up fucking with words like fuck: I did a little experiment with George Carlin's famous Seven Banned Words.  I typed them using my smart phone and this is what came out.  "Such shot poss can't duck as hole and cook suckered" which admittedly sounds vaguely dirty but it doesn't have the same zing as the traditional Carlin 7: Fuck, Shit, Piss, Cunt, Dick, Asshole and Cocksucker. So you can see why it's a huge problem for me.  What?  You say you're shocked by my vulgar language?  Au contraire madame bleu stocking, I am simply expressing myself in my culture's dialect.  You see, I am a member of the west Texas band of the Oilfield Trash tribe.  And while we speak Texas Saxon it is a specific and highly specialized dialect that has developed in parallel with mainstream Texan.  For example Ofts (that's what they call us, Ofts) have dozens of phrases for "getting the hell out of town before the landlord realizes we've all gone" such as "skedaddle", "scoot", "get the hell outta Dodge", "bug out", "skip out" and so on. And Anglo Saxon obscenities are some of the most commonly used words in our culture. Shit, if you can't say shit in the West Texas oil patch then you are shit outta luck.

See what I mean?  Indeed we use almost all of the really good dirty words with the exception of those that take the Lord's name in vain or refer to the principal ladypart.  We don't say those words because we're particularly pious but because West Texas is filled with churches and as any self respecting West Texas pastor's wife will tell you they "don't appreciate assholes that spout that bullshit".

Now I know what you're thinking: "This Bill Reeves chap is full of crap, he's putting us on, what a jerk."  But I swear that I'm not and here's the proof:  Christopher Meyer was "Her Majesty's Ambassador to the United States" which is just a limeyfied way of saying "British Ambassador".  In in his book:  DC Confidential, he recounts an exchange he had with the First Lady Laura Bush. Now I think everyone would agree that Mrs. Bush is a classy lady?  Right?  After all she comes from Midland which is as hoity toity as it gets in West Texas. On top of that she's a Methodist and Librarian - two bywords for prissy the world over yet this is what happened at an exclusive State Barbecue for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his staff in Crawford:

According to Sir Christopher Meyer's gossipy memoirs, DC Confidential, Laura Bush cheerfully informed the dumbstruck British contingent that she was a fan of Friedman and his song 'Proud to be an Asshole from El Paso'.

That would be Kinky Friedman and His Texas Jew Boys performing Asshole from El Paso. So if this super high class West Texas lady and Methodist to boot who was at the absolute pinnacle of the social register at a formal Texas State Barbecue said asshole to the Ambassador from the fucking Queen of England and then said El Paso (which is simply another way that Texans say asshole.  And if you've ever been to El Paso you know why.) you can imagine what the lower orders like us Ofts talk like.

That being said there are generational differences in West Texas Oft obscenity.  For example, the older set emphasize the scatological.  My Aunt Barb in Odessa manages to source at least one new and creative use for shit, poo, piss or crap every single week.  She's a true connoisseur of scat.  She then takes what she's learned, mimeographs it and painstakingly mails it to dozens of fellow Ofts to preserve our fragile tribal culture.  Clearly she's much sharper with shit than email systems. I think the geezers focus on the scatological because back in the day a lot of them had to do their business in holes in the ground so the wonders of indoor plumbing loom extra large in their pantheon of really swell things.

By contrast we young-uns always had porcelain thrones.  We also had the dubious benefits of extensive sex education and excessive sexual stimulation so we tend more towards the sexually obscene (without, of course, pissing off Pastor's wives) so words like prick and tits flit off of our tongues and keyboards much easier than they do for our parents who are still hung up on their latrines.  It makes for some interesting tribal reunions as the generations cuss past each other in an orgy (if you're young) or crapload (if you're old) of mutually incomprehensible invective.

But the important thing is that we're all cussing.  Because frequent and florid obscenity is one of the few things that all Ofts have in common.  Just like the Sioux have to sue and the Masai must sigh (I guess), we Ofts need to cuss.  It sustains and enriches our culture and keeps it distinct from all those shit eating sons a bitches that are always trying to screw us over.

God bless the Ofts.  God bless cussing. And to hell with Larry Page.