Saturday, February 28, 2009


Shaking the Paradigm

There are times when you are so wrong, that not only do you doubt your apparent lapse of judgment, but also the paradigm of belief under which you were operating. One such episode was guessing the Oscars earlier this month. I was so sure that Mickey Rourke was going to take best actor. He had made a comeback and a reasonably good movie after years in the B and strange movie wastelands. Hollywood usually eats that up with a spoon. Besides Sean Penn had won one a few years ago for the remarkably depressing Mystic River. I have to doubt now 'the comeback' versus 'earlier winner' components to my prediction system. I have to raise the 'politically active' and 'the gay pride' components even higher than they were. It was a harsh blow but not quite a shattering of my belief system vis a vis the Oscars.

Then there's this. President Obama has gained popularity after a month of horrible decisions and lifting the moderate mask off his socialist dream he has for America. And he gets more popular.
OK now I have to raise the 'fool all the people some of the time' component and reiterate my firm belief that American education peaked in 1964 and it has been a long, long slide since then, past a tipping point where we can rely on an informed electorate rather than on the semi-morons Jay Leno and Sean Hannity find wandering around the streets of our larger cities. OK, the majority of people are much less informed than I had previously imagined. Lesson learned.

Not that I'm bitter, of course.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


President Obama's Renewable Energy Fantasy

Here is the 2007 piece of the energy consumption pie so called renewable energy filled--7%. Big Wup. Let's look at some of the categories. What the heck is Biomass? It is wood and wood waste, municipal solid waste, landfill and biogas, ethanol, and biodiesel. These all put out CO2. Wouldn't their use be counterproductive to preventing the 'ravages of climate change' (a phrase our President used just last night)? Why, yes, they would, and their only real virtue is that they are not fossil fuel. Therefore, they are renewable, but not 'green.' And look how large a part of the 7% they are, the bulk of it. Take those out and green energy is but 3.5% of the energy consumption. That's not so good.

The next biggest is hydroelectric--big dams with water turbines producing electricity. No green- house gasses generated, but they are hell on rivers and the fish in them, especially salmon. Is there a real possibility of substantial increase in the amount of electricity they produce in the next decade. No. There are no big dams being built in America and if any ones were planned they would probably be killed by the tree huggers and snail darters. Indeed, nearly 500 American dams have been removed in the past 4 decades. We're stuck with just over a third of our renewable electricity (2.5% of all our energy consumption) being generated by dams, probably forever.

That leaves the big three green sources, geothermal, wind and solar (which together are 11% of the renewable (at least on paper) and therefore .77% of all our energy consumption). Geothermal is difficult to get and maintain and only exists in certain places so its growth is pretty limited unless there is a technological breakthrough. Wind and Solar have had a lot of growth lately and the sky is the limit (as long as the government subsidies hold out).

Here is what President Obama said last night: Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.

What? We will have by early 2012 a full 14% of our energy consumption supplied by renewables?

Transparently untrue. Here is what the United States Energy Department now predicts for 2030 (21 years away, not three)--Hydroelectric-3%; Biomass-5.51%; all other renewable energy-2.45%. That totals 10.96% not 14%.

Does the President know that we can look up the energy figures on the government website?



Some People Are Hard to Fool

Before the 'not the state of the union' speech President Obama made last night, I watched a bit of Matt Welch and (singularly unsexy looking) Anna Marie Cox agreeing that Obama can say "transparently untrue" things without blinking an eye. True. Primed with that phrase, I found it difficult to watch the President without either laughing or wanting to cry in frustration. Tucker Carlson felt the same way, as did John Hawkins (who noticed the blatantly obvious fantasy), as did Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei at the Politico (who translated the rhetoric usually to mean the opposite of what the President said).

The President continues to sink in the polls, he plans to spend a freakin' ton of money and he lies to us about how he will fund this additional spending (new tax on just 5% of the population. Yeah, right). I have noticed nine presidents now make their first speech to Congress after taking office and every one of them has said they will end waste in government spending. Yet the spending increases every year and the waste is somehow never discovered. Only a complete fool would believe that old lie now.

My father worked for a prestigious but now fallen stock broker firm in the '60s when it tried and failed, at no small cost, to go paperless. Computers are much better now, but there are still no savings to be had by putting all the information on a computer rather than on paper in individual files.

John Stossel has a lot of good sense to say about the fantasy promise speech last night, very little of it complimentary.

It's important to remember that government has no resources it hasn't first commandeered from the private economy. Anything it does to stimulate economic activity necessarily preempts private activity. Where is the gain?
Worse: Since monopoly bureaucracies are not as efficient as competitive businesses,
government efforts won't get as much bang for the buck as private efforts. They will likely destroy wealth.

Here is an official text of the speech, in case you didn't see it.

Transparently untrue. Obama is already in the bubble some presidents get into later when they have lost the ability to see that we are no longer buying their bullshit. And we're just 35 days (and a trillion more in deficit spending) into his administration. Now I'm really depressed.

Worst fantasy blunder:

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.

Good bye, $2.00/gal. gas, it was fun. We're turning to pixie dust for our future energy needs, in order to waste Trillions to forestall a threat that doesn't exist. Where's that bottle of Makers' Mark?

UPDATE: The market is down about 150 two hours in. I guess it's possible the investors didn't like the speech too much either.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Advertising California

Have you noticed the commercials in the past half year showing the wonderful things in California and ending with the Governator grinning and asking, "well, when can you start?" Start moving to California, that is. You have to wonder what they are doing wrong in the Golden State to have to entice people to move to California with glitzy advertising? Other states ask you to visit for a while, California wants you to join permanently the tax bases.

I have never loved California, despite living there for four years in the '70s when things were good. So I notice the abandonment, by the competent, of the mess California has become with Democratic leadership (mainly in the statehouse, but lately a feckless, girlyman Republican in the governor's mansion has made little difference) not with schadenfreude, but with a grim realization that at least there are other states to emigrate to and then, sadly, what the immigration of dissatisfied Californians (about 90,000 of them) has done to our state, Colorado, which has gone from reddish purple to a bluish purple as the state has filled up with members of the center left middle class who can't stand California any more (but don't seem to mind putting into the Colorado statehouse and governor's mansion the same sort of people who screwed up their last state).

Then I read the very wise Thomas Sowell today, read John Hawkin's long list of Obama shortcomings, and see that President Obama is spending like California Democrats and plans on going after the "undertaxed" rich to move towards balancing the budget. (Yeah, sure.) Despair follows, because the only place to go now is away from our beloved, once and future (we hope) great country. Most of the rest of the world sucks to move to for good.



Take 'Em to the Bank Oscar Predictions

Sorry that this is a little late. I guessed seven of the top 10 and 18 of the total 24, which is pretty good, but I'm sure it would have been more impressive had I managed to post the list BEFORE the Oscars. I missed Leading Actor (Mickey Rourke should demand a recount); Best Foreign Language Film (I picked the actual best one--my mistake--The Class from France); Best Original Song (I'm still a Peter Gabriel fan despite his total lack of good songs since So); Sound Mixing (I picked WALL-E over the Dark Knight--so sue me); and documentary and animated short film (those are always difficult).

I like Hugh Jackman OK, but I think it takes a comic first, song and dance man second, like Billy Crystal. I hated the five person "got-nothin'-but-love-for-ya'" presentations but loved presenters doubling or tripling up on related categories. The clips sections were OK, but put them on the screen. A camera shot of the clips being shown on a screen at the Oscars is no good.

A little on minor actor Sean Penn's speech. It is not, repeat, NOT brave to portray a gay man or make a film about a gay man. It is about as brave as making an anti-Nazi or pro-dog film. Second, only if you think that it is a civil right for a man to be able to work as a Hooters waitress do you think that it is a civil rights matter regarding marriage for other than one man and one woman. The people who want to retain marriage's millennia long definition are not generally anti-gay, they just know that if you knock out the original definition and replace it with "you can marry whomever or whatever you love," you cannot rationally prevent marriages which are actually detrimental to society--to your sister or brother, to your dog or horse, to your favorite automobile, to the 7 year old girl who just drives you wild. That Penn can't see this (or that the anti-Prop 8 people have been the real hate-mongers here) makes him a fool who can play act.

And sorry Hugh, the musical is not back, as your second number varied between boring and cringe inducing, Beyonce notwithstanding.

I wonder if many people watched them this year?


Friday, February 20, 2009


It's Not Aliens, It's Us

I have posted recently about problems with the measurement of sea ice in the Arctic. At the Cryosphere Today, things didn't add up and the photos showed areas of vast, one day melting in the Northern Ocean, including a ring around the North Pole. After a few days of at least problematic data, the ring is back along with new unreliable data in the Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas. The other site, Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis put out by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO, has recently given up the ghost and admitted that its satellite data is junk recently. They showed a sea ice extent of just over 14 million square kilometers, and they now believe that it is just under 15 mil. That revised figure is actually slightly above the 'normal' one would expect, at least the 21 year normal of 1979 to 2000, not the winter melting and disappointing sea ice recovery the site has been talking up since the satellite sea ice sensor went bad in mid-December.

I'll report again when they have their act together


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Nameste, Ritter and the Pixie Dust Energy Plan

My old friend, Governor Bill Ritter, introduced Vice President Joe Biden, who introduced the president of Namaste solar panel installers with all of, count 'em, 55 employees, who introduced the President of the United States. As you can see, a lot of emphasis during the ceremony of the signing of the worst bill in modern American history, was on the New Energy Economy. Bill mentioned it in his opening remarks:

There’s no better place for this signing ceremony than right here in Colorado – home of the New Energy Economy.
Two years ago, Colorado started building a New Energy Economy – creating new jobs, building new wind farms in wheat fields, and making our universities research leaders in renewable and alternative energy.
The New Energy Economy is very much about creating a new energy future. But it’s also about creating new economic opportunities. It’s about creating sustainable jobs so parents can keep food on the table, so they can send their kids to college, so they can afford health care. It’s about creating a new economic future for all.
Companies like Namaste Solar are at the heart of the New Energy Economy. When Colorado voters became the first in the country to pass a Renewable Energy Standard in 2004, Namaste didn’t even exist.
Today, Namaste has 55 employees. They built the solar array on top of this museum, and they installed solar on the Governor’s Residence.
There are hundreds of New Energy Economy businesses like Namaste employing thousands of people all across Colorado.
The president’s recovery package will drive the New Energy Economy forward not just in this state, but all across America –creating jobs, reducing the cost of energy for families, and moving our nation closer to energy independence.
This is how we rebuild America.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Too bad it's near complete hooey. Windmills and solar arrays only exist because of government payments to citizens to buy them. However, because the baseload of electrical power in this state is supplied almost exclusively by coal fired plants, the little bit of power generated by solar arrays on rooftops and in fields near the Federal Center and the airport, and from the much ballyhooed wind farms north and west of here, has not saved even a carload of coal, as the baseload power is produced without regard to the unreliable little bit more of power that comes onto the grid when the wind blows and the sun shines. Thus, the windmills and solar arrays are merely ostentatious trinkets on the grid, shrines to those who worship at the altar of anthropogenic global warming. Those who believe we have sources of energy other than fossil coal, gas and oil (nuclear, which could supply reliable power without CO2 generation, is inexplicably off the menu) must necessarily believe in pixie dust as an energy source, because wind and sunshine aren't going to get us to 1920's usage much less to the power demands of the 21st Century. Read this levelheaded study, if you dare. I shake my head that good guy Bill Ritter has been sold this bill of goods, or, worse, has been bought.

The president’s recovery package will drive the New Energy Economy forward not just in this state, but all across America –creating jobs, reducing the cost of energy for families, and moving our nation closer to energy independence.

The Pixie Dust Energy Economy may create a few thousand jobs, while the government subsidies last, but if the oil, kerogen and gas industries cannot develop sites and bring their product to market, many more actual jobs will be lost. The idea the hideously expensive and unreliable wind and sun generated power will be more affordable is delusional. Using our oil, kerogen, and gas deposits to supply our energy needs is energy independence. I feel like Brandon De Wilde in Shane calling for Bill Ritter to come back, come back to the real world. The governor rides on into the fantasy that we have the time, money and ability to replace fossil fuel with 'green' renewable energy. Come back, Bill.



Denver Anti-'Stimulus' Rally

Here are some pictures from the brief rally on the west state house steps by people who are as dismayed as I am by the bill which was signed into law today a few miles east at the Natural History Museum here in Denver.

I didn't do too well with identification of the lesser names speakers before my camera quit working. Below, bald with a beard is night talk radio host John Caldera, who was the ad hoc MC.
There was a guy with a sign with a swastika inside the O in Obama. He was the darling of the media after the rally ended. I asked him if he knew about Godwin's law. He did not, but wanted to know what it was. I told him 'the first guy to mention the Nazis has lost the argument.' He nodded and smiled but thought he was right to point out the lefty/fascist connection. There could be a connection.

There were lots of big checks in the amount of $30,000. I never learned where that figure came from.

The problem with getting a lot of people who will be negatively affected by the bill to gather and complain is that most of those people have jobs. Thus, there were only about 500 people there. I went on to get a record from the Court of Appeals for a brief due in about a week and when I get back, the thing was over. I didn't even get any of Michelle Malkin's roast pig.


Friday, February 13, 2009


As Emily Latella Says

Remember all the stink I was making about who was responsible for the mid-September, 2008 raid on America's banking system? Never mind. My fault for crediting a Democrat politician's sense of history. Sorry.



Thought of the Day

The beauty of free markets is that firms learn from their mistakes or they lose money, shrink and then go out of business. Governments, meanwhile, grow from their mistakes and learn to make money from them.

Jonah Goldberg


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Good to See I'm Not the Only One Wondering

Here is another curious soul wondering who waged economic war against this country mid-September of last year. Because the media seem either uninterested or corrupt, I fear we may never find out. Damn.

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A Valid Subject of Investigation

Rush Limbaugh and a few blogs have discussed Rep. Paul Kanjorski's (D-PA) chilling story of what happened to our banking system just past mid-September of last year. I want to know what entity or entities led the raid. Is that too much to ask? It changed the course of the Presidential race and brought about a terrible crisis/opportunity for the winner of that race. I strongly suspect Soros, but it would be so much better to know.



Whew--That Was Close

It turns out that the sea ice around the North Pole is not melting as was shown yesterday at the Warmie site, the Cryosphere Today. Nor are aliens coming to eat our brains, at least not out from under the sea ice in the Northern Ocean. Now I can sleep better.

Even Hudson Bay is once again ice covered.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


OK This is Just Weird

I've heard of recent discoveries of underwater volcanoes in the Arctic which could have accounted for some of the excess Summer sea ice melting lately, but what is this ring of melting around the North Pole? It wasn't there the day before. I hope it's not aliens melting their way out from under the Winter sea ice to decimate us.
I don't hold the guys and girls putting up the web site of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the highest esteem, so it's possible it's not there at all but is some sort of computer glitch. There's something wrong in western Hudson Bay too. More as this develops or disappears.


Monday, February 09, 2009


Thought of the Day

Never before has so much been squandered for so many by so few.

Carol Platt Liebau (talking about pre-Stimulus spending)


Sunday, February 08, 2009


Taken--Hollywood Myths Reign

I finally got to a movie after what seems like months and took in the new Liam Neeson vehicle, Taken, which is sort of a cross between Frantic and Death Wish. Here are some of the media myths it apparently proudly displays:

This month's international bad guys, the Albanians, in Paris are hugely brave but horrible bad shots, which is the key to all movie bad guy organization. They instantly respond to any gunshot with overwhelming force, or what would be overwhelming force if they could hit the broad side of a barn with their pistols and HK MP5s. The good guy mows them down, but no one takes cover, they just keep coming, until they are all dead, the energizer bunnies of ineffectual evil.

Once the good guy is in a normal car, he's slower than Christmas if chased (faster than the wind if chasing) and is impervious to bullets. The actual protection of safety glass and a 1/16th inch of steel is nil to even pistol ammunition. The bad guys can drive up next to the hero, spray the hero with automatic fire and nothing at all happens other than holes in the car doors and windows.

No matter how well you hide your personal gun in your home, the good guy will find it and disarm it (and you will not check the clip and chamber) until the good guy splashes your cartridges on the table in front of you. Even though you know your pistol is empty, you will click on the empty chamber (and often will throw the empty gun, although that did not happen this time).

Any former American spy is impervious to arrest; apparently, the local police go blind or the hero becomes invisible just after committing a crime out in the open in front of many witnesses.

If the bad guys want to kill someone, they would be well served to use the mafia method and put two in the back of the head. Putting it off to drowning, asphyxiation, or any method which requires close personal contact only allows the good guy to survive, get his hands on you, and catastrophically turn the tables.

If there is one piece of equipment which, if it fails, will free the hero, that one piece of equipment will fail, at the worst possible time for the bad guys.

You cannot hide from a former spy.

And here are some truths lefties love to ignore, which the movie unconsciously reveals:

Children are fatuous, careless, deceitful beings whose affection can be bought by expensive baubles.

Ex-wives are cold, vindictive shrews who seek to place the blame for all failure on you yet who will quickly turn to you for help when something they championed goes wrong.

The replacement husband is more successful than you but worthless in a crisis.

The world is a dangerous place, especially for fatuous, careless, deceitful beings whose affection can be bought by expensive baubles, or a pretty face.

Criminals always ignore with impunity the gun restrictions of the country they live in.

CIA operatives, with the exception of Valerie Plame, who flutters her faux victimhood as helplessly as any 19th Century damsel in distress fluttered her handkerchief, are pretty dangerous people.

Torture always works to get valid, important information.

Execution of truly bad people seems more like justice than revenge.

Take the head shot; it always works.

Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori.


Saturday, February 07, 2009


You Have Another Think Coming

This [stimulus bill-the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009] is probably the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s. I don't know what to say. I mean it's wasting a tremendous amount of money. It has some simplistic theory that I don't think will work, so I don't think the expenditure stuff is going to have the intended effect. I don't think it will expand the economy. And the tax cutting isn't really geared toward incentives. It's not really geared to lowering tax rates; it's more along the lines of throwing money at people. On both sides I think it's garbage. So in terms of balance between the two it doesn't really matter that much.

Harvard Economics Professor Robert Barro, who has another article on the general subject here



Thought of the Day

The tragedy of the Obama stimulus is that we are getting so little for all that money.

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board


Friday, February 06, 2009


Thought of the Day turns out that our moral, intellectual, and environmental superiors, the Swedes, really aren’t going to get off the nuclear stuff, after all. They’ve once again renewed their promise to phase out their critical fleet (critical to them as well as to the equally active posturers, the Danes, to whom Sweden ships the atom-smashed juice, by the way) at some other, later-than-promised time in the future. Their argument this time is “climate concerns,” which again means they’ve looked all over and discovered there actually is no pixie dust energy source to meet their public’s needs.

Chris Horner



More on CO2 Storage in the Oceans

Here is a long study on the effect of more trace CO2 being dissolved in the Oceans and making the water less alkaline. The effect on the corals appears to be quite minimal. Executive summary:

One of the long-recognized potential consequences of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is CO2-induced global warming, which has been predicted to pose a number of problems for both natural and managed ecosystems in the years ahead. Of newer concern, in this regard, are the effects that the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content may have on coral reefs. It has been suggested, for example, that CO2-induced global warming will do great damage to corals by magnifying the intensity, frequency, and duration of a number of environmental stresses to which they are exposed. The predicted consequences of such phenomena include ever more cases of coral disease, bleaching, and death.

Increases in the atmosphere's CO2 content have also been postulated to possess the potential to harm coral reefs directly. By inducing changes in ocean water chemistry that can lead to reductions in the calcium carbonate saturation state of seawater, it has been predicted that elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 may reduce rates of coral calcification, possibly leading to slower-growing – and, therefore, weaker -coral skeletons, and in some cases, death.

Because of these many concerns, and the logical desire of individuals and governments to do something about what they perceive to be bona fide threats to the well-being of the biosphere, it is important to have a correct understanding of the scientific basis for the potential problems that have been predicted. Hence, in the following pages we review the scientific literature on CO2, global warming and coral reefs, in an effort to determine if the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content does indeed pose a threat to these incomparable underwater ecosystems. The key findings of this review are as follows:

 There is no simple linkage between high temperatures and coral bleaching.
 As living entities, corals are not only acted upon by the various elements of their environment, they also react or respond to them. And when changes in environmental factors pose a challenge to their continued existence, they sometimes take major defensive or adaptive actions to insure their survival.
 A particularly ingenious way by which almost any adaptive response to any type of environmental stress may be enhanced in the face of the occurrence of that stress would be to replace the zooxanthellae expelled by the coral host during a stress-induced bleaching episode by one or more varieties of zooxanthellae that are more tolerant of the stress that caused the bleaching.
 The persistence of coral reefs through geologic time – when temperatures were as much as 10-15°C warmer than at present, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were 2 to 7 times higher than they are currently – provides substantive evidence that these marine entities can successfully adapt to a dramatically changing global environment. Thus, the recent die-off of many corals cannot be due solely, or even mostly, to global warming or the modest rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the course of the Industrial Revolution.
 The 18- to 59-cm warming-induced sea level rise that is predicted for the coming century by the IPCC – which could be greatly exaggerated if predictions of CO2- induced global warming are wrong – falls well within the range (2 to 6 mm per year) of typical coral vertical extension rates, which exhibited a modal value of 7 to 8 mm per year during the Holocene and can be more than double that value in certain branching corals. Rising sea levels should therefore present no difficulties for coral reefs. In fact, rising sea levels may actually have a positive effect on reefs, permitting increased coral growth in areas that have already reached the upward limit imposed by current sea levels.
 The rising CO2 content of the atmosphere may induce changes in ocean chemistry (pH) that could slightly reduce coral calcification rates; but potential positive effects of hydrospheric CO2 enrichment may more than compensate for this modest negative phenomenon.
 Theoretical predictions indicate that coral calcification rates should decline as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations by as much as 40% by 2100. However, real-world observations indicate that elevated CO2 and elevated temperatures are having just the opposite effect.

In light of the above observations, and in conjunction with all of the material presented in this review, it is clear that climate-alarmist claims of impending marine species extinctions due to increases in both temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration are not only not supported by real-world evidence, they are actually refuted by it.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009


More Women than Wine

I have to admit that I have no idea who Katie Price is, but anyone can see she has, er, talents.



Simply Brilliant

In a time of huge federal deficit spending the ever sharp Obama administration has decided to take in less money and cancel the approximate $6,000,000 in oil and gas leases in middle of nowhere Utah, because the areas of exploration are 'too close' to Utah parks, Arches and Canyonland, Dinosaur Monument and Nine Mile Canyon, each and every one a near Eden of natural beauty.

On the bright side, well know political economist/philosopher Robert Redford is pleased, saying:

I see this announcement as a sign that after eight long years of rapacious greed and backdoor dealings, our government is returning a sense of balance to the way it manages our lands.

Funny, I see it as a stabbing oil companies and the citizens who use their products in the back, an increasing of our dependence on foreign oil, and a hard blow to the already hard pressed economies of middle of nowhere Utah. I'm obviously not as smart as Robert Redford, however.

If I can find photos of the area in question, I'll post them.



Shower the People With Love

The ever less popular Stimulus Bill should be titled, Political Payback for Democrats Which Even the Clintonistas Weren't Crazy Enough to Enact. The Republicans and 11 sane Democrats in the House did the right thing and just voted no. Not so for the Republican Senators, who have a chance to stop it or at least amend it to the better. Under their sharp negotiations the bill for the Bill has grown, but not in a good way. Michelle Malkin is banging her head again and soon so will we all.

As an aside, Victor Davis Hanson wins the 'say the Emperor is naked' award for clear sighted criticism, long overdue. The bad spending and bad behavior of the Democrats was a given, but the terribly dangerous foreign policy being pursued by our President is worse, in less than three weeks, than I would have imagined. Very scary, kids.

Money quote:

At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution. [Extreme wishful thinking that].

Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama's world view of "Bush did it/but I am the world": The North Koreans are readying their missiles; the Iranians are calling us passive, bragging on nukes and satellites; Russia is declaring missile defense is over and the Euros in real need of iffy Russian gas; Pakistanis say no more drone attacks (and then our friends the Indians say "shut up" about Kashmir and the Euros order no more "buy American").



Why I'm Predicting 20% Inflation in 2010

It's my idea that inflation is caused by too much money chasing too few goods and is almost exclusively caused by monetary policy--a combination of the amount of printed money in circulation and the prime rate. However, keep in mind I've never taken a single economics class or read anything on economics other than Karl Marx.

Besides, the tricky part is deciding what to do to avoid having your life savings become worthless. I have nothing to say on that.



Thought of the Day

Any more of these [Democrats not paying taxes] stories and we will be on very dangerous ground, since the message is a terrible one to the American people: You pay your full amount, but our elites not only do not, but won’t unless they get caught.

Victor Davis Hanson


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Wine, Women and Song

Readers have suggested as topics for this blog the subjects sex and drugs and rock and roll a la the Ian Dury song from 1977. OK, but first let's look at that grouping of subjects. Is it not just a repetition of the more famous 'wine, women and song' with alternating more and less specific items? The idea of wine, women and song as a trio of wonderful things has been around for a long time.

Who does not love wine, women and song / Remains a fool his whole life long.

Heinrich Voss (1751-1826)

Omar Khayyám (1048-1131) a mathematician as well as a poet wrote:

"Two sweethearts,
Two flasks of old wine,
A book of verse
And a cosy corner in the garden." (Quatrain xii of the Rubaiyyat--which means quatrain)

which verse has more of the three way fantasy going for it in the original, but which was rendered less racy, less alky and more mainstream by Professor Fitzgerald as follows:

"A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!"

Which reminds me of a story I read years ago; I'm sorry that the name has escaped me, but the gist is an alien is studying humans for classification in the alien's natural history paradigm and after years and years the alien announces that he is ready to classify humankind. He says that humans are symbiotes What? his human hosts ask startled. Yes, the alien replies, you are symbiotic with the grape, because, without red wine, there would not be enough sex to keep the race going. It could be true. Except for the alien part.

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It's not a huge intellectual leap to refer to James Hansen as a Cicken Little, as I did a short while ago.

Still, there is a saying about great minds thinking alike. Perhaps.



Thought of the Day

What's the difference from the Republican Party and the Boy Scouts of America?

The Boy Scouts have adult leadership.


Monday, February 02, 2009


John Martyn - May You Never

Here's a video of the man himself, at age 25, more than 35 years ago. Beautiful song.


John Martyn - Solid Air - Visuals National Geographic

Not at all synched up, but nice visuals none the lessl. Could have done without the air shredding, though. Nick Drake would have dug this in his floridly psychotic 'normal' state. I don't know what's going on in your mind, indeed.


Thoughts on the Ocean Getting Less Alkaline

This has been a concern with fides lector, T, for a few years now, so I thought, what the heck, might as well link to an article about it. My questions, still unanswered, are: If the added CO2 helps the algae which is symbiotic with the coral but the lessened alkalinity hurts the shell building capacity, is it still a bad thing? Where does the carbon in calcite and calcium carbonate (which make up the inner structure of coral and sea shells) come from? Obviously more to learn.

Money quote:

There seems to be no shortage of theories about how rising CO2 levels will destroy the planet, yet the geological record shows that life flourished for hundreds of millions of years with much higher CO2 levels and temperatures. This is a primary reason why there are so many skeptics in the geological community. At some point the theorists will have to start paying attention to empirical data.

Someday, indeed.



Photos From the Front

Here are some of America's finest seeming to be firing a hand held small (50mm?) mortar. Note the glove on the left hand of the firer and the apparent total lack of sights. Looks like a lot of fun. The near lunar like landscape is of Afghanistan where these Marines are, Camp Bastion, to be exact. Credit for the photo goes to Cpl. Pete Thibodeau.

The weapon being used looks like the 2 inch mortar the Brits used in WWII (see photo below) but I have to admit that I have no idea what it is.



Thought of the Day is impossible to reason a person out of positions they have not been reasoned into.

Walter Cunningham (former astronaut)


Sunday, February 01, 2009


Report on American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

It was yet another month when non combat caused more deaths than combat in Iraq. Things seem to be heating up what some left wing sources are calling President Obama's Vietnam, Afghanistan, where more Americans in uniform died in combat than otherwise.

According to Department of Defense releases for the month of December, 16 American servicemen died in Iraq, 5 in combat and 11 from non combat causes. This is continued evidence of our military success against Muslim extremistst in Iraq. The non violence in the heavily atended provincial elections is near final proof. I'll just say it, we've won against al Qaeda in Iraq and against the insurgency in Iraq. Things, as even President Obama acknowledges, are not going as well in Afghanistan and more troops are headed there and more fighting will certainly occur this Spring.

Here is a further breakdown. In Iraq, 16 American servicemen died. Three were killed by IEDs, one died from small arms fire, and one was killed in a hard landing of a helicopter during combat. Six died in accidents, inclulding a mid air collision of two Kiowa helicopters and four died from non combat causes and one died in Kuwait and no other information was given. In Afghanistan, six died from an IED (which is a big increase from last month and a telling statistic), five from combat operations and three from non combat causes, one of which was in Dijbouti. The total in Afghanistan is 14, and the total for the wars being waged against us is 30, less than one per day.

One officer was killed: Major Brian Mescall, 33, of Hopkinton, Mass, who died of an IED blast in Afghanistan.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and loved ones of these fallen warriors, and all our hopes for their continued success goes to our men and women, mainly men, fighting overseas.


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