Thursday, October 30, 2008


This Day in the History of the Deaths of Good Looking Guys

On this day in 130, A. D., Antinous, friend and perhaps lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, died before his 21st birthday when he drowned in the Nile. Whether it was an accident, suicide, murder or religious sacrifice is a fact lost to history. Hadrian responded by deifying Antinous, which is one reason there are about 20 busts and statues of the lad still extant.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This Day in the History of Market Corrections

On this day in 1929, Black Tuesday, (following Black Monday and the Black Thursday of the week before) prices of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell precipitously for a third day with 13,000,000 shares being traded and the decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the peak in September at just over 381 to the close on this day, at 230, reaching nearly 40%. The market would continue its steady decline to the nadir on July 8, 1932 at just over 41, a three year decline of nearly 89%. Of course, by that time, the world was in a major economic mess called the Great Depression, which was made worse and prolonged here by the ineffectual fiscal leadership first of Republican Herbert Hoover and then of FDR.
Happy days are here again...

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Report on the Northern Sea Ice

The recovery from the second largest Summer ice melt (since 1979) has been dramatic. We are now, according to the University of Illinois's website, about a million and a half square kilometers above where we were at this time last year, actually at about 6.7 million square kilometers in ice area right now. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has the extent of the ice even higher, at about 8.7 million square kilometers.

Further, there was a report last year that the number of polar bears (whom you may recall have been declared endangered because of the global warming scare) in the western Hudson Bay area were down (by 22%), and the bears in horrible shape. What a difference a year makes. According to this site, the annual aerial count revealed the most bears ever so counted and the ones seen near Churchill are in great shape. The Inuit were skeptical at the time the official numbers were released last year, saying there were more bears around then than their people could remember; and it looks now like the natives were right and the scientists wrong. It happens.



This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1922, the Italian Fascist Blackshirts began a march on Rome. Two days later a new government was formed under the leadership of Benito Mussolini.

A black day in Italian history.


Monday, October 27, 2008


This Day in the History of Fatuous Chickens Coming Home to Roost

On this day in 43 B.C., Marcus Junius Brutus commits suicide in the wake of the defeat at Philippi. The leader of the conspiracy to kill his father figure, Julius Caesar, Brutus always fancied himself a great warrior and leader. Ha. Some warrior. It is just as likely that he was killed in the fighting but no one important noticed.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008


Well, Here's Your Problem, Right There.

That's a mountain in the eastern part of the San Juans. It's over 11,000 feet tall. Heck, I was taking the picture on a mountain about 13,000 feet tall and I was at 12,000. Notice anything missing, for late fall? Like white, glistening stuff all over the ground?

There was no snow, and therefore no pressure to bring the elk down to lower elevations. So they were hanging out way up high on the mountainsides and we got tired of going up again and again not to see them. So we came back empty.

Every hunter has his excuse ready by the time he hits home and I'm no exception. I never fired a shot the entire trip. Not that I'm complaining. It really is beautiful up there.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Chart of the Reliable Satellite World Temperature Data

During this same period, according to the CO2 data from the Mauna Loa Observatory, the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere went from 337 to 385, a substantial 14% increase. If increased CO2 in the atmosphere invariably causes warming, why is it getting colder?
The article this chart accompanies is well worth reading.



Thought of the Day

Man-made global warming is junk science... [manmade CO2 emission each year] equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.

Michael J. Myers



Mid Hunt Report

To say the first part of the elk hunt, up in the deep woods of the Roosevelt Forest west of Fort Collins, was a disaster would be too kind. First, although it's pretty country, ambush hunting in the deep woods without snow to show fresh prints is a model for frustration. But I get ahead of myself. Gary, my hunting bud, and brilliant biochemist, eschewed bringing water from the taps of Denver and filled the 5 gallon jerry can with water from a ditch, no, to be fair, from the East Fork of Sheep Creek (where it flowed into a ditch) with his magic pump/filter. Apparently the filter malfunctioned and we were deathly ill the first day of the hunt. Gary stayed in his tent and puked. I walked around the beautiful deep woods, puking, but not seeing anything but a moose, and that for about a quarter second. That's the only living large game animal I saw. I had lost my valuable watch the day before reconnoitring, so the trip started with a bad omen. And then got worse.

That night, in the VW Eurovan, I had a sort of anxiety attack. It's hard to explain, maybe a little claustrophobia too, but I couldn't get to sleep, a recurring weird thought would cause me to open my eyes in near panic. It was too cold to go outside for a refreshing walk. So, about 4 am, I got to sleep sitting up with the sleeping bag over my head. Not the best night ever.

The next day hunting was more fortunate. Gary saw and shot dead the last deer in the area, a beautiful young four pointer. He did all the gutting and carrying by himself as I had my radio off by mistake. Sorry, man. That night, I pulled the dead deer out of the back of his Toyota pickup, wiped up the blood, and slept there, a lot better, I might add.

We were entirely bummed by the lack of fresh sign and sightings (Gary too saw a moose and cows--but that's it) so we decided to leave but our enthusiasm took a big turn for the better when it started to snow. Unfortunately, the snow stopped after a useless quarter inch and we fled. I plan to work today and then we'll go to Antonito and try our luck in the deep woods there. Most of our success has been in the unlovely sage country north of Craig, where you can actually see the game. I'm trying to work on the reason we abandoned Craig. I have no idea at present.
UPDATE: I have sprinkled in some photos--the deep woods, the medusa trees, the successful hunter, the peaks and the frozen elk wallow. Foothills of the San Juans just north of New Mexico starting tomorrow early. Could be fun.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Weak Light Posting Excuse

I'm busy preparing to do my civic duty and hunt in a few days. I made 90 cartridges last night and had no idea how tiring it was to trim the cartridge length. Tomorrow, I'll sight in and then silence here will descend unless my fellow contributors actually deign to post something or other.
It could happen.


The beautiful rifle (Colt Saur in 300 Win Mag) is rededicated to eradicating split hoofed herbivores with replacement of the apparently worthless Weaver telescopic sight with a Leupold. It was moving its tight, covered with a quarter, groups of three from down and left five each time I adjusted the sight and after about 21 rounds, was an inch high but dead on at 200 yards. Three inches high at 100. Except for the fact that I can't actually hunt elk in the south until my bud gets his cow elk in the north, I feel positively bad ass. The gift Remington 721 in 300 Weatherby Mag is also making tight groups at a distance. If the right don't get ya' then the left one will.
UPDATE: The photo is of the gift gun's first group at 100. Not bad for a 60 year old gun that has seen a lot of use.



This Day in the History of Muslim Failure

On this day in 1529, Muslim Turks of the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, abandoned the siege of Vienna. This is different from the failure of the Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683 (See Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle) but just as important. When European nations initiated Crusades in the Holy Land, the Muslims were kept out of Europe by having to fight the Europeans at home. When the Crusades ended, the Muslims were free to try to expand into Europe and convert by the sword. The European forces in and around Vienna stopped them, twice. The history of the World is much different, and worse, I believe, if Muslims take over more of Europe just as the Renaissance gets going.



Thought of the Day

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where 'decades of putting Israel's interests first' would end ... although 'Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades' remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Jesse Jackson

[To my Jewish readers, I know that it's not Obama speaking, but Jackson states a truth about Democrats in general and an Obama administration in particular. You can support Israel or you can vote for Obama, but you can't do both]


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This Day in the History of Nazi First Steps

On this day in 1933, the new National Socialist government in Germany announced that the country was withdrawing from the League of Nations and would take no further part in the Geneva Disarmament Conference. We were never stupid enough to join the League of Nations, which was a complete failure (just as the primary purpose of the United Nations has failed, completely). When Germany withdrew from the Conference, it fell apart. Why would anyone still talk disarmament when Germany was gearing up for a re-armament? Not a great day for the idealists.

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Monday, October 13, 2008


More on Melting Northern Sea Ice

I sent an e-mail containing my posting about the October 2, 2008 press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center to Stephanie Renfrow, who works up there, and she was kind enough to write me back and answer the questions I had. I'm still digesting the information she gave about multi-year ice, but I can report on why the NSIDC has a much different measurement of sea ice in the Northern Ocean than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (The Cryosphere Today). As of today, the NSIDC measurement of sea ice extent is about 6.33 million square kilometers while The Cryosphere Today has the sea ice area at about 4.33 million square kilometers. To me that's a substantial difference.

Here's the explanation from the horses mouth:

The difference in numbers reported between Cryosphere Today and NSIDC is not a difference in data, but a reflection of a completely different type of measurement drawn from the same data. Cryosphere Today reports sea ice area, while NSIDC reports sea ice extent. Both measurements agree in the larger story: a negative trend in Arctic sea ice over the satellite record. For more details, please read below.
Area and extent are different measures that give scientists slightly different information. Some organizations report ice area; NSIDC primarily reports ice extent. Extent is always a larger number than area, and there are pros and cons associated with each method.

Extent defines a region as "ice-covered" or "not ice-covered." For each satellite data cell, either the cell is said to either have ice or no ice, based on a threshold. The most common threshold (and the one NSIDC uses) is 15 percent, meaning that if the data cell has greater than 15 percent ice concentration, the cell is considered "ice-covered;" less than that and it is said to be ice free. Example: let's say you have three 25 km x 25 km grid cells covered by 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice. Two of the three cells would be considered "ice covered," or 100% ice. Multiply the grid cell are by 100% sea ice and you would get a total extent of 1,250 square kilometers.

Area takes the percentages of sea ice within data cells and adds them up to report how much of the Arctic is covered by ice; area typically uses a threshold of 15%. So in the same example, with three 25 km x 25 km grid cells of 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice, multiply the grid cell area by the percent of sea ice and add it up. You'd have a total area of 562.5 square kilometers.

Scientists at NSIDC prefer to report extent because they are cautious about summertime values of ice concentration and area taken from satellite sensors. To the sensor, surface melt appears to be open water rather than water on top of sea ice. So, while reliable for measuring area most of the year, the microwave sensor is prone to underestimating the actual ice concentration and area when the surface is melting. To account for that potential inaccuracy, NSIDC scientists rely primarily on extent when analyzing melt-season conditions and reporting them to the public. That said, analyzing ice area is still valuable. Given the right circumstances, background knowledge, and scientific information on current conditions, it can potentially provide a better sense of how much ice there really is "on the ground."

So if I understand that properly, 'extent' measurement is better in Summer because the microwave measurer in the satellite has trouble telling melt water on top of sea ice from plain old sea; and the extent numbers used by the NSIDC give one a better 'big picture' then. Likewise, it might be better to use the University's 'area' numbers in Winter to be more precise.

Very interesting.

I am very grateful that Ms. Renfrow and the unnamed scientist she refers to took the time to respond to my questions. Thank you all.

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In Praise of Older Women

Halle Berry, 42. Nicollette Sheridan, 44. Lena Horne, 91 (she was 74 in the photo) and Tina Turner, 68 (she was 56 in the photo).



This Day in the Long History of Romans Poisoned by their Wives

On this day in 54, the Emperor Titus Claudius Nero Germanicus, Claudius, died after being twice poisoned by his fourth wife (and his niece) Agrippina (Caligula's sister) who was mother to his successor, the horrible Nero. The amazing life of this Emperor is the subject of an extraordinary historical novel, I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God by Robert Graves, as well as a very well received BBC series based on the first novel.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


Thought of the Day

Today’s liberals seem to be taking their marching orders from other quarters. Specifically, from the college and university campuses where administrators, armed with speech codes, have for years been disciplining and subjecting to sensitivity training any students who dare to utter thoughts that liberals find offensive. The campuses that used to pride themselves as zones of free expression are now the least free part of our society.

Michael Barone


Friday, October 10, 2008


Horrible News From Canada

Macleans Magazine was acquitted of hate speech human rights code violation by the British Columbia Tribunal. Mark Steyn is free of the Kafkaesque prosecution. So why do I call it horrible news? Because the otherwise good result was merely a matter of proof not of constitutionally (or is it Charterly?) protected right to freedom of expression. The offended Muslims could have won had they hired a sociologist to testify about the objective hatred contained in Mark Steyn's telling the truth about Muslims, some of them at least. It's still dangerous (in a government tribunal is going to get you way) to voice an unpopular or even non politically correct opinion in Canada's loveliest province. Or so I believe after propping my eyelids open through the 37 pages of the opinion of the Tribunal.

It's not all their fault, the Tribunal is statutorily prohibited from deciding the constitutional questions. Which is precisely why the decision is a disaster. There will be no further review by a court which can decide the constitutional questions.

In a nutshell, it seems that the Canadian and Provincial governments take seriously the right not to be offended. There is no such right in Canada. They existence of such a right is anathema to the right to free expression. They cannot coexist and the ability of a tribunal to punish one for offending someone else with true facts and opinions is an unconstitutional ability which needs to be quickly taken away.

Not bloody likely.



Is Mullah Omar Destined to Be the New Muqtada al Sadr?

Although I do not doubt the guys who are there in Afghanistan, like Michael Yon, who say we are losing in the same way we were losing in Iraq before the Surge change in tactics there, I look to the changes in Pakistan with a real sense of relief and hope. It makes sense that the new leaders in Pakistan want to crush the fundamentalist extremists in the ungovernable border provinces just to protect their jobs and, uh, backsides. It also makes sense that, if there is no sanctuary for the Taliban in Pakistan, the sole non suicidal option left to the Taliban is to join in the non (mainly) violent political fray they are being invited to join. Stranger things have happened. Such a path has been trod before.

If the Taliban gives up violent overthrow and joins in the non bean bag of politics in Afghanistan, al Qaeda is horribly exposed to the wrath of American, NATO and Pakistan forces. Sucks to be them, then.



Liberal Fascism

The reason this photoshop creation has such a creepy sense of plausibility is that the concept behind it has such a creepy sense of plausibility.

Almost all of the state sponsored political murder in the past 100 years was by socialists in dictatorships, the National Socialists of Germany and the international socialists, the Communists of the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam and North Korea. The totalitarian states responsible for all these murders were generally cults of personality behind a far left, charismatic leader.
The thin end of the totalitarian wedge is almost always related to controlling the media. Look to whether the Orwellian named 'fairness doctrine' is imposed again. First clue.



Photoshop of the Day

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I Feel So Good....

I have to admit that I'm feeling pretty good, in an angel of death looked at the mark on the door frame and left sort of way. The evil Spock goatee is driving me nuts, though. Three weeks or less and it's gone. I guess it's because I'm insulated, sort of, from whatever is coming so I'm kind of an above it all, disinterested observer. Also, future brother in law Gary and I took first in Geeks who Drink trivia on the doorstep of the University of Denver. Take that, undergrads. We were literally the old guys (the smart old guys, that is).



This Day in the European Colonization of North America

On this day in 1003, according to the Greenlanders Saga, Leifr hinn heppni (known as Leif--pronounced Lafe, long 'a'--the Lucky to Europeans and Leif--pronounced Leaf, like on a tree--Erickson to Americans) landed in Vinland, probably modern Newfoundland, to establish the first European settlement there since the stone age. The American Indians, whom he called Skraelings, eventually drove the Vikings out, and back to Greenland, which because of favorable climate change, like now, could support the Norsemen/farmers in a style of life to which they had become accustomed.
That's our statue of Leif, a gift to the Icelanders, dramatically displayed in Reykjavík. Nice axe. Notice also the lack of horns on Leif's helmet. No horned helmets for Vikings in the 11th Century.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The Deadly Dreadfully Dull Second Debate

Who won? Not us, we all lost about 84 minutes of irretrievable time to recycled stump speeches. I'm going to talk about just one or two things Obama said. If our ally Pakistan (and they have been our ally, they lost about as many guys fighting al Qaeda/Taliban types in the ungovernable border provinces as we did in Iraq) cannot or will not attack Osama bin Laden, when located (I'm almost sure he's dead but no matter), then President Obama will attack him in Pakistan, borders be damned. "Of course you know," to paraphrase Buggs Bunny, echoing Groucho in Duck Soup, "that would mean war." A new one. With our former ally, nuclear weapon armed Pakistan. If we believed Obama for a second, this position, alone, would be sufficient to disqualify him for the Presidency. He wasn't finished being butch.

We can't allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. OK, how are you going to stop them? To paraphrase Frost in Aliens, "What do you want us to use, harsh language?"

I actually don't endorse an airstrike on Iran, not just now at least. Nor should we help Israel do it, just yet. For an oil rich nation, Iran is ridiculously vulnerable to attack on its oil refining industry, which is bunched up and creaky. Indeed, a single cellulose housed bomb could bring the whole house of cards down with only a remote chance of detection. But my point is getting away from me. Israel, if it has the nerve (a very big question lately) will have to concentrate eventually on another part of the Iranian energy industry and not just bomb, but occupy the sites and search, like they did with the 'whatever it was' in Syria a few months ago. That will be difficult and very risky. We ought to think about helping them when the time, eventually, comes. Just not now.

McCain's point about not telegraphing your punch was good, sound and lost on the great majority, I fear.

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This Day in the History of Births of Weird, Forgotten Romans

On this day in 15 BC, Nero Claudius Drusus, also known to historians as Drusus II and Drusus Minor, was born. He was the only child of the Emperor Tiberius and first wife Vipsania Agripinna. Don't pretend you know who he is; he's not the Emperor Nero. Here are bits from wikipedia about Drusus Minor, who was poisoned at age 37 by his cheating wife Livillia.

By 23 it looked as if Drusus, who made no secret of his antipathy towards Sejanus, would succeed Tiberius as emperor. For reasons of self-survival, but also because he may have had designs on the supreme power, Sejanus needed to remove Drusus. Ancient sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio) concur that with Livilla as his accomplice he poisoned her husband.

Sejanus fell in 31 (October 18). A few days later (October 26) Sejanus' former wife Apicata committed suicide, but not before addressing a letter to Tiberius claiming that Drusus had been poisoned, with the complicity of Livilla. Drusus’ cupbearer Lygdus and Livilla's physician Eudemus were now tortured, and seemed to confirm Apicata’s accusation. By the end of the year Livilla too had perished, supposedly forcibly starved to death by her own mother, Antonia

We have no real concept of how utterly depraved the Romans at the height of the Empire were--no idea despite the great but short series Rome.



Thought of the Day

So this financial Ragnarok may be in part attributable to the fact Barney Frank dated a Fannie Mae exec when he was ranking member on the Banking committee from 1991-1998? The incredible thing is that just a few years prior to hopping in bed with Fannie Mae (literally), Frank was dating a guy who ran a prostitution ring out of his apartment. Who knew the pimp would turn out to be the more ethical boyfriend?

Mark Hemingway


Monday, October 06, 2008


Report on the American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

The news is still interesting rather than good. A total of 52 American servicemen died in Iraq and Afghanistan last month, split equally between those two countries, according to Department of Defense news releases. 26 died in Afghanistan and 26 died in Iraq, the same as in July and September. It seems I skipped this monthly blog post in August. Here are the further breakdowns.

In Iraq, only four servicemen died from IEDs. That's very low. Either we have made a breakthrough in IED detection or we really have won in Iraq, in that the enemy has abandoned its former primary weapon. Kind of good news at least for me. Five were killed by small arms and none in combat operations. That doesn't indicate much toe to toe combat. Eight died from non combat or non hostile causes--one from an illness. Nine died in accidents, seven in a single helicopter crash about which cause I have learned nothing.

In Afghanistan, 14 were killed by IEDs (way up) and five were killed in combat operations. Six were killed by small arms, and one died from non combat causes No one with a feminine first name was killed. It was a rough month for officers, however; they were about a third of the total.

The officers lost were: Capt. Jesse Melton III, 29, Randallstown, MD (Combat operations in Afghanistan); 1st Lt. Nicholas Madrazo, 25, Bothell, WA. (Combat operations in Afghanistan); Lt. Col. Ralph Marino, 46, Houston, PA (Non-combat cause in Iraq); Capt. Darrick Wright, 37, Nashville, TN (Non-combat cause in Iraq); Lt. Col. James Wiley, 46 North Bend, OR (Non-combat cause in Afghanistan); 1st Lt. Robert Vallejo II, 28, Richland Hills, TX (Accident in Iraq); Maj. Rodolfo Rodriguez, 34, El Paso, TX (IED in Afghanistan): 1st Lt. Nohsin A. Naqui, 26, Newburgh, NY (IED in Afghanistan); Capt. Bruce Hays, 42, Cheyenne, WY (Small Arms in Iraq); Capt. Bruno Desolenni, 32, Crescent City, CA (IED in Afghanistan); Col. Sidney Marceaux, Jr. 69, Beaumont, TX (Non-combat cause, Iraq); 1st Lt. Thomas Brown, 26, Burke, VA (Small Arms in Iraq); Capt. Mchael Medders, 25, Ohio (IED-suicide vest--in Iraq); and, Capt. Richard Cliff, Jr. 29, Mt. Pleasant, SC (IED in Afghanistan).

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our brave warriors and their families.



This Day in the History of Americans Being Convicted of Treason

On this day in 1949, Japanese-American, Iva Toguri D'Aquino (one of several women we called Tokyo Rose), was sentenced to 10-years in prison and fined $10,000 for treason. This one needs a little explanation. Iva Toguri was nisei, born in Los Angeles, graduated from UCLA with a BS in zoology, and was a Republican. She sailed to Japan in July, 1941, to help an ailing relative and look at Medical Schools; and was stranded there by the attack on Pearl Harbor and declarations of war in December. She refused to renounce her citizenship and was denied a ration card as punishment. Finally, in 1943, assured that she would not have to broadcast anti-American propaganda, she began to be a DJ under the name Ann. She knew all the American slang and the music the Americans in uniform liked. Most people thought she helped morale rather than hurt it. Although she was paid next to nothing, she used some of her wages to buy food for starving GIs to whom she smuggled the food. Still, with almost no evidence of her helping the Japanese, she was convicted. Friends of mine at Stanford were involved in the mid '70s in getting her a pardon and were successful in 1977, obtaining one from President Ford. Iva died in 2006.



Thought of the Day

Mrs. Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at least most of what she knows is true.

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board


Saturday, October 04, 2008


Justice Delayed is Justice Denied--Usually

OJ Simpson, who got away with a double murder years and years ago, was found guilty of robbery and kidnapping yesterday in Las Vegas. He could go to jail for the rest of his life, but I predict only a few years, perhaps a few as two, but more probably 10, although if I were the sentencing judge I would give him the maximum because of his previous crimes. Colorado allows a sentencing judge to consider crimes of which the prisoner was acquitted, why not in Nevada?

The photo is of my favorite part of the trial, when the jailers put the cuffs on to take the guy away for processing into the Department of Corrections. Sweet. And all the more sweet for how rarely I got to see it in my less than stellar career as a prosecutor.

Jailed at last, jailed at last, thank God Almighty he's jailed at last.


Friday, October 03, 2008


A Cuppa Joe With Ol Joe

God, I've missed Mark Steyn. The prosecution he faced for accurately quoting Muslims about Muslims which POed other Muslims (hypersensitive ones) in a nation, our polite neighbor to the North, which once defended freedom of speech, put him in a fit of pique and silent for a while.

But he's back in a pretty big way with a review of the recent Vice Presidential debate, with a focus on Biden, and it was very good, as usual, and insightful but the second to last paragraph made me laugh out loud, twice. Here's a taste from another paragraph or two.

By contrast, Biden was glib and fluent and in command of the facts – if by "in command of the facts" you mean "talks complete blithering balderdash and hogwash." He flatly declared that Obama never said he would meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But, on Debate Night, the official Obama Web site was still boasting that he would meet Ahmadinejad "without preconditions." He said America spends more in a month in Iraq than it's spent in seven years in Afghanistan. Er, America has spent over $700 billion in Afghanistan since 2001. It's spending about $10 billion a month in Iraq. But no matter. To demonstrate his command of the "facts," Sen. Biden sportingly offered up his own instant replays:

"My friend John McCain voted 422 times against tax cuts for the middle classes. Let me repeat that so the American people are clear on this. My friend John McCain voted 673 times against tax cuts for the middle classes."



A Target Rich Envirornment

Some people think Senator Joe Biden did OK in the vice presidential debate last night. Getting basic facts wrong again and again and again is not doing OK in my book. Let's look at one of the many:

Biden said that "...two years ago Barack Obama warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis." I didn't remember any such warning in 2006. So I googled the phrase and this is all I got, a March 22, 2007 letter from Senator Obama to Bernanke and Paulson. So not actually 2 years ago. But rather than a warning about the CRA mandated risky mortgages, which is the crux and source of most of our finance troubles lately, and the reason for the 'bailouts,' the letter was about protecting the end users of the financial market, the mortgagors. See for yourself:

There is grave concern in low-income communities about a potential coming wave of foreclosures. Because regulators are partly responsible for creating the environment that is leading to rising rates of home foreclosure in the subprime mortgage market, I urge you immediately to convene a homeownership preservation summit with leading mortgage lenders, investors, loan servicing organizations, consumer advocates, federal regulators and housing-related agencies to assess options for private sector responses to the challenge.

We cannot sit on the sidelines while increasing numbers of American families face the risk of losing their homes.

Let's compare that milktoasty, 'jumping late on the bandwagon' letter to the legislation Senator John McCain co-sponsored in 2005 and the speech he gave in support of it on May 25, 2006:

Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's former chief executive officer, OFHEO's report shows that over half of Mr. Raines' compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.


I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation. (Emphasis added).

So what Biden said was not an actual lie, but it was far, far from the truth, particularly in light of the clear warning about what has just happened which McCain voiced and sought to remedy a full 3 2 years ago.

Oh, so what happened to the bill? The Democrats killed it.

UPDATE: More on the subject here.

UPDATE II: Michael Totten throws in his two cents (and the first part, at least, is funny) here.

CORRECTION: The legislation to rein in Fan and Fred, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, was 2005 but McCain became a co-sponsor in 2006.



They Think You're Stupid

Here is a leaked, confidential Democrat memorandum listing activists and providing assignments regarding what the activists in the party need to do to win the elections here in Colorado and generally advance the party policies. Here is my favorite part:

The document outlines specific tasks for various members of the state's liberal infrastructure, including a campaign to "educate the idiots," assigned to the state's AFL-CIO union. Among the operation's intended targets: "minorities, GED's, drop-outs." (Emphasis added).

Gee, I wonder who they mean? Our fellow citizens?


Thursday, October 02, 2008


Lights Out in 2009?

Here is a report by the Management Information Services, Inc. and the NextGen Energy Council which is very bleak about the future of electricity production and delivery in the United States, particularly in the West (where I live) beginning as early as 2009. Who the heck are the Management Information Services, Inc. and the NextGen Energy Council? Anyway here are some highlights.

Among its other findings were these:

The U.S. will require more than 14,500 miles of new electricity transmission lines by 2016. Regions represented by the Florida Reliability Coordination Council (FRCC) and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) may require less than 400 miles of new transmission lines, while the Southeast Reliability Council (SERC) may require nearly 2,300 miles. The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) may require nearly 7,000 miles.

Substantial increases in wind turbine orders, and new wind capacity, has been slowed by a worldwide turbine shortage and local opposition to wind projects. Since wind generation is expected to grow substantially throughout the U.S., the integration of intermittent resources into the bulk power system is becoming increasingly complex and difficult.

While renewable energy proponents, and some elected officials, are saying that the U.S. needs to only add renewable power facilities such as wind farms, the annual capacity factor of wind generators is typically about 25 - 35 percent. However, the probability that wind generators are available at their rated value during annual peak periods is only between 5 - 20 percent and varies greatly from year to year and region to region. Wind cannot be considered a reliable baseload capacity resource.

Rapidly increasing demand for steel and copper has caused spot scarcity of the resources required to manufacture key electrical components, and this commodity demand has increased the theft of critical system components. Manufacturers have attempted to eliminate excess inventories and capacity to increase productivity of their assets, but they are reluctant to add more capacity until they can be certain about future industry investments.

The study also presented a survey of political developments and trends that amount to "structural political barriers being erected to system reliability." It pointed to the fact that "environmental activist groups" are now:

Suing to block the construction of virtually every single baseload coal-fired power plant, in spite of advanced environmental technologies these plants would deploy.

Gearing up to block construction of any baseload nuclear power plants across the West.

Suing or protesting virtually every proposed lease on public lands in the Rocky Mountains for natural gas drilling.

Working to slow or stop the completion of the two main multi-year, stakeholder-based transmission corridor processes that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress approved as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Pushing for additional endangered species designations, which will make siting and construction of both power plants and transmission lines difficult.

Pressuring government leaders to limit access by larger, baseload technologies to the region's high-voltage transmission grid and, instead proposing to artificially favor non-baseload, intermittent power facilities that will (at some point) further stress the reliability of the entire Western grid.

I know the suits to block every single natural gas drilling lease is true (even rigs in the middle of dozens of completed wells), so that makes it easier to believe the rest.

Hot, over-taxed, in the dark, with gasoline at $5.00 per gallon. Welcome to America under new Democrat leadership.



A Reader's E-Mail to Andrew McCarthy

From the Corner at NRO. Andy is so smart that he seems to attract very smart readers too. What he or she complains about is what has been bugging me for the past week or so. Read it and weep.

The Ifill issue is front and center. Last night on Brit Hume's program, the consensus was that they all knew Gwen and she is a swell person, and of course she wouldn't do anything partisan. Just where the hell are these people coming from?

Day in and day out, out here in the real world we see obvious bias, obvious double standards and yet the Republicans and a lot of the "conservative" media either don't see it, or if they do, they let it slide.

A few examples. Obviously the current flap of Gwen Ifill, Tom Brokaw, Jim Lehrer as moderators for presidential debates but never an O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh or Brit Hume. Why not?

A special prosecutor is appointed to investigate firings of 9 prosecutors but none was or will ever be appointed to find out why Clinton fired EVERY single prosecutor when he took office?? Republicans stand mute on this and it is infuriating.

Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Waters and the entire Black Caucus defend the running of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and prevent the very reforms which might have avoided the mess we are in today. Yet the MSM and Republicans are silent. Why aren't these guys investigated, forced to step down and prosecuted as was Tom Delay?? Again silence from the White House, McCain and other Republicans.

These are just a few of the things that infuriate conservatives outside the beltway and New York City. We have the Republican Party asking us for money, yet I haven't seen a single penny spent on demanding the Democrats adhere to the same standard Republicans are required to meet. Being a punching bag for liberals who constantly lie about you, constantly use inflammatory language (hate speech in some cases) and use any means necessary to gain power is no way to win elections. Yet this is the path the Republican Party takes time and time again. To say I am mad as hell about the Dems and the response of the Republicans to these liberal attacks is an understatement.

O’Reilly has an article on his web site that says “Conservative group drops Ayers, Rezko and Wright from their ad.” Why I ask?? These guys are terrorists, crooks and as anti-American as they come, yet those in a position to speak out remain mute!!

Enough. I don’t give a damn if the Fox media folk know Gwen and say she is a swell person. I don’t care if McCain thinks the Dems in the Senate and congress are his “good friends”, they sure as hell aren’t my good friends. In fact they work day in and day out to destroy all I hold dear, and tax me to pay for those in society who are too lazy and/or stupid to care for themselves....



NSIDC Report Questions

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has announced today that the Arctic sea ice melted this Summer more than ever before (well, except for last year). In fact, the sea ice area recovered by 9% from the record low last year, but for one scientist, Mark Serreze, that's "no recovery at all." Some scientist; I hope his wife handles the finances in his household.

I have a question. The big news is that in volume, they suspect the amount of ice, as opposed to the area covered, is the lowest ever (even including last year). But if the ice stops melting mid September (and then starts to spread) and it increases for the next 6 months and only begins to melt again in March next year, why wouldn't 100% of the ice that survives the Summer melting be at least second year ice by the time it starts to melt the next year or at least on the second anniversary of its formation? Not so, according to the NSIDC. For example, a huge area of second year ice (in orange--about halfway between the lables for Russia and Greenland) in 2007, didn't melt back then but is now called first year ice and not third year ice as one might expect. I can't imagine an explanation other than Winter melting but, again, according to the chart provided, only some of the third year ice that remained in September 2007 is still third year ice now in early Fall, 2008. It don't add up. Perhaps they are just judging thickness, but why not say so then?

I caution against running around with figurative heads cut off in panic about the 'disappearing' ice. We have only had a comprehensive idea of the ice extent at the poles since 1979, a mere eye blink in time. We have no idea of the extent of the Arctic sea ice in, say, 1150, during the Medieval Warm Period, nor in 220 BC. Was it more or less? No one knows. Further, the cooling we have seen in the past 8 years, which cooling has been predicted by many scientists to continue for another decade or two, might bring things back to more normal at least as compared to the period 1979 to 2000.

But the most dismaying to us skeptics is the instant blaming of human generated CO2 as the cause of the melting. Who says there's no room for religion in science?

Finally, the NSIDC has the sea ice today at just over 5 million square kilometers while the University of Illinois site, The Cryosphere Today, has it at just over 3.5 million square kilometers yesterday. That's a huge difference. What's up with that?


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1942, the German 6th Army took over the bulk of Stalingrad in what is called the greatest battle ever. Parts of the city on the western bank of the Volga remained in Soviet hands throughout the battle. The Germans never really tried to take the part of the city on the eastern bank. The Soviets lost more killed in just this battle than we lost during all of WWII. It all ended in tears for the Germans.



Paul Campos--Typical Elitist

I've noticed in my long life that the guys and girls who went to first tier schools, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the like, usually don't denigrate others who attended schools without the reputation their schools enjoy. However, the second tier school attendees, of, for example, the very good state universities, almost always look down on people who didn't attend first or second tier schools. Paul Campos, in an article which at least touches on such fatuous elitism, criticizes Sarah Palin for her life and her school choices. He looks down on Sarah Palin, one of the fifty people, out of 300 million, who are the chief executives of a state, something Campos couldn't do if he put a gun to his own head.

Campos writes of Alaska's Governor.

Palin has spent almost her whole life in a very small town in a sparsely populated and extremely isolated state. For reasons that remain obscure, she attended five colleges in six years where, if her public performance to date is any indication, she seems to have learned nothing.

Let's test my theory from experience. Where did Campos go to school? University of Michigan-- good school, but not Harvard or Yale (Michigan Law School, which Campos attended, a classmate of Ann Coulter, is absolutely first rate).

Yep, true to form. Extremely isolated Alaska? Well it's not the sophisticated well spring of culture the upper peninsula is, but it's such a high standard.

Governor Palin is to the snobby elitists some sort of near frozen hillbilly. I've not yet heard her say there are 57 states or that the President in 1929 was Franklin Roosevelt appearing on TV, but of course Obama is Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law (two out of three ain't bad) and Biden is University of Delaware, Syracuse Law so in Campos' and other nabob's eyes they are OK. They're smart. They have what Campos thinks is necessary for the office, that is, they are "vastly more educated and knowledgeable than the average American."

Palin is the only one running for high office with any executive experience. That doesn't matter to the elites. She's from a small town in a state with more square miles than people, and she went to third (or lower) tier schools. She's an idiot. QED.

It is a little funny that President Bush (Andover, Yale, Harvard Business School) is supposedly the same sort of dunce as Palin, at least compared to such intellectual giants as Al Gore (flunked out of Divinity School) and John Kerry (who had a lower grade point average at Yale than our President).

Every time I write about Campos it's because he's crossed a line from his usual dull and uninformative to stupid and/or hate filled and each time I write about him, he's worse than the time before. I try follow Christian teachings and not hate people, but isn't there an exception to that rule for hateful people? There ought to be.


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