Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Arrogance

Offered without comment, from today's PostSecret:

Blogroll Additions

Candide has a new blog over at Nails on Blackboards, and tells the story of how the local authorities saved their community from a sociopath:
Maria Fife, Julie's mom, said her daughter wanted to open a lemonade stand after seeing a cartoon character open one. She was selling Kool-Aid lemonade for 50 cents a cup when an inspector approached and asked for her license - which costs $120 - at the fair. The other vendors reportedly rallied around Julie, and her "business" started booming.

According to KOIN, two inspectors then threatened Julie with a $500 fine, and she left in tears.
Well done to the Oregon Ruling Class for introducing a little girl to the hob-nailed boot early!  Another member of the coming Popular Front rebellion, no doubt.  Perhaps Candide can tell them the passage from his namesake's tale: Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres. (In this country it is considered wise to kill an Admiral every now and then, to encourage the others).


Cybrus is another tech (security?) geek, with little tolerance for Teh Stupid:
What planet does Richard C. Grove live on? I have no idea how old Mr. Grove is, but I'm in my mid-30s and I have no expectation of receiving anything from Social Security by the time I retire at 62 65 66 67 - assuming that age doesn't go up again in the next 30-40 years
And The Miller brings the Ronald Reagan, which is as relevant to our day as it was back in 1964.

Welcome to the blogroll, guys! 

But what do we mean by "what do we mean"?


Every year I carve pumpkins on Halloween.  I might not this year - I'm still not quite done with the improvements to the Chez Borepatch secure perimeter.  I am in sight of the end, though, and so if I'm done by mid-afternoon, I'll put some pix up.

My favorite pumpkins from days gone by was the box score to the final game of the 2004 World Series.  The lovely and not-at-all-scary-unless-she-wants-to-be Mrs. Borepatch wants me to do one of the spaceship from Firefly.  We'll see how I do on the construction.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Repeal the Hyde Hughes Amendment, why don't 'cha?

But I'm in, too.

 I added a permanent gadget on the right hand side.  We could all use some more freedom.

But srlsy, how about getting rid of the Hyde Hughes Amendment?  There are both practical and moral grounds for this:

Practical: It seems that there have maybe been no crimes at all committed ever with legally owned automatic weapons.  Certainly not since the Hyde Amendment was enacted in 1986 (unless you call "getting your guns stolen from your car" a "crime")*.

Moral: It sure would have been something 2 years ago when everyone was buying AR-15s, if instead they had been buying M4s.  The Government and their running dog lackeys in the MSM would have had to change their pants.  That's the moral argument in its entirety, courtesy of Tho. Jefferson and company.

Hey Tea Party - if you really want to make a statement about the relative power of citizen and government, here you go.

* Probably is, here in Massachusetts.

UPDATE 30 October 2010 18:42:  Ben C leaves me a comment telling me of Epic Carelessness on my part.  The Hughes Amendment, not the Hyde Amendment (Abortion funding).  Mea Culpa, and fixed.

All I can plead is that I'm plumb wore out from fixing the Tank Traps at the Chez Borepatch secure perimeter.  In future, I shall endeavor to better proofread my posts.

Media Bias, episode MDMLVII

The Guardian is a leftie UK newspaper, so there's no big surprise here.  However, they pat themselves on the back for claiming the moral high ground*, so this one is pretty revealing:
"You have to be aware that whatever you do can be undone by outside forces," [California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger] told the San Jose Mercury News. "It's a great battle between good and evil – it's like a movie. You have the villain dressed in dark black, and the good guys in white and green."

His comments at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara were even more brutal, rejecting the Texas firms' claims they were trying to protect jobs in California. "This is like Eva Braun selling a kosher cookbook. It's not about jobs at all. It's about their ability to pollute and protect their profits," he said.
Let me just point out what our moral betters at The Guardian write about in such an approving tone: An Austrian absolutely knows the history behind Eva Braun, her beau, and their view of kosher.  Arnold knew very well what he was saying.

Opposing Arnold's dopey job losing eco-boondoggle is the same as death camps.  You really have to RTWT to get the tone of approval.  And Arnold's quote was only mentioned in paragraph nine.  But opposing his crackpot scheme means that you're a villain dressed in dark black black.  No doubt one of these.

Can you imagine what The Guardian's reaction would be if Sarah Palin had made a reference to her opponents like this?  Actually, you don't have to imagine, because they've already written about it:
Sarah Palin is calling for civilised discussion about Barack Obama's proposal for healthcare reform after saying the president's plan is "downright evil".
Click through to read a very different tone than the first one.

Sigh.  It's all so very tedious.  I must confess that I long for an intellectually honest and vigorous left, one that can argue clearly and logically for their positions.  One that take the attitude of "Well, we lost fair and square, but we'll try again with better arguments."  And a press that reported both sides of things honestly.  Instead, we have this.  The Long March Through The Institutions has destroyed the institutions.

* Note that I'm not claiming that they occupy the morla high ground.  I'm claiming that they claim to.

Hat tip: The Daily Bayonet.

Dwight Yoakam - Blame the Vain

What do you get when you combine one part Elvis and one part Roy Orbison?  You get Johnny Cash's favorite country singer, Dwight Yoakam.  With 25 million albums sold, Johnny wasn't alone.

He had six platinum albums between 1986 and 1993.  His blend of Orbison-style country-swing-honky tonk combined with Elvis' rockabilly tight jeans and (ahem) leg work made him just about the hottest thing going. Vanity Fair (I know, I  know) correctly said he "strides the divide between rock's lust and country's lament."  Hard to argue with that.

It was his song Guitars, Cadillacs playing in the Terminator 2 bar scene: "I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle."  And his tight jeans have been a source of (ahem) interest up to the present day.

#1 Son never listens to country, but he suggested today's song.  Yoakam has branched out into film, which is where #1 Son ran across him.  But the music keeps coming, too.  Blame The Vain was from Yoakam's 2005 album of the same name.  It's the old recipe, but it still delivers.



Blame The Vain (Songwriter: Dwight Yoakam)
I blame the vain for what we wear
And I blame the blind when we can't see
I blame it all on someone else
Till there's nobody left, then I just blame me

I blame her mind for the thoughts we share
And I blame her heart for every time we cared
I blame it all on how we used to be
Till she's finally gone, then I'll just blame me

So go ahead and blame anything that you want
Cause it all ends up the same
When everything that you've been claiming is wrong

Oh and don't you know that blame is always never enough
t just keeps you in a game
Till you've only got yourself left to bluff

So I blame the vain for what we wear
Yeah, and I'll blame the blind when we can't see
I'll blame it all on someone else
Till there's nobody left, then I'll just blame me
Till she's finally gone, then I'll just blame me

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apokélypse Now

This is a fan film, but is very well made indeed.




The only criticism I have at all is when Team Rocket say "Prepare for trouble ... Make it double", one of them should rack the slide of a shotgun.

Via #1 Son, who's all growed up now.  Our first game console was a Nintendo 64, with Star Wars: Pod Racer and the most amazing game ever made for families with small children, Pokemon Snap.



It sounds stupid - take photographs of a bunch of Pokemon,  But we played this for hours as a family.  #1 Son was 7 and #2 Son was 3, and we kept finding ourselves, evening after evening, handing the controller from person to person.  Even the lovely and doesn't game (ever) Mrs. Borepatch was thoroughly charmed.

Those of you with small children and a Wii can play it in emulation.  We tried it a few times on the Wii, but alas, #1 Son is no longer 7 and #2 Son is more interested in Rugers than in Pokemon.

Sigh.  But it was a magical part of our family life, for a while.

Now that's a guitar riff

This guy plays crazy guitar.



(via)

Don't stay at the Vilu Reef Beach and Spa Resort in the Maldives

Their employees humiliated a wedding couple.  Good grief.

The hotel has suspended the employees involved, but this sort of thing is absolute death for a tourism industry.  Google makes this sort of thing high up in its search results, and seems to maintain that ranking for quite a while.  Hotel managers everywhere need to make sure that their employees all know this.

And that this sort of behavior is a firing offense.

Via The Drawn Cutlass, who knows the hotel business.  He also relates the infuriating story of some UK firemen who let a man drown because they hadn't been "trained in water rescue" and so saving his life would be against policy.  Cowards.

Thoughts on wookies and elections

Last night's BB&G (with the lovely and talented guest host, JayG) talked about the coming election.  I'm increasingly pessimistic, because I'm increasingly convinced that the Stupid Party leadership is, well, stupid.

JayG left a comment in the chat to the effect that we might not vote ourselves out of this.  Unc said (jokingly) that he was getting his Wookie Suit on.

Well, I think it was Newbius who commented soap, ballot, jury, cartridge.

And so, let's look where we are:
Soapbox:  Check.  The Elites hate this, but can't stop the signal.

Ballot box: We shall see. There are all sorts of stories coming out about fraud, on top of what we saw in 2008, 2006, and 2004.

Jury box: We've seen a few - very few - convictions for voter fraud. The worry is that the Stupid Party will learn Stupid Tricks from the Contemptible Party here.

Cartridge box: Not yet. But a reader left a comment that when people think that elections no longer can change things, that's when the shooting starts. I sure hope we're not there yet.
And so, as a tip o' the hat to Unc, here's my current Best Guess on the outcome of this election cycle:


I do think that the AK is a great TEOTWAWKI rifle.

I sure hope it doesn't come to that.  I sure wish I had more confidence in the political elites.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh please, Br'er Fox Rove ...

... don't throw me into that briar patch:

Karl Rove, the former senior adviser to George W Bush, has cast doubt on Sarah Palin’s viability as a White House candidate, questioning if the American people thought she had the “gravitas” for the “most demanding job in the world”.
Seems he doesn't like her use of alternate media channels, or something.  And the definition of "gravitas" is "Stuff Ruling Elite People Like" (SREPL).  Maybe we can coin a new term?

The Dinosaurs sniff a change on the wind, and roar their defiance.

Disaster is not left to chance

New Jovian Thunderbolt muses on Keynesian economics as a cargo cult, which got me thinking about the incompetence of our "elites".  That incompetence is both practically and theoretically demonstrable, and the elites are ignorant to this sad fact.

First, let's deal with the practical aspect.  The Elites claim the privilege of social and economic planning, due to their education and intelligence.  So let's think about planning: imagine that you're the very first city planner.  This is thousands of years ago, before anyone had thought of it before.  You think up a Cartesian grid layout for your city, with numbered streets going north-south, and lettered avenues going east-west.  Now anybody can find any location, with just an address.  This is a huge win.

OK, imagine that you're the second city planner.  The grid pattern has already been created.  What do you do?  Maybe diagonal grand avenues like in Paris or Washington DC, but this isn't as helpful as the grid pattern.  Now imagine that you're the 426th city planner.  What can you do that compares with what's come before?

The big gains are always at the beginning.  Always. Keynes' heyday was the 1930s and 1940s.  It was a LOT easier to find productive infrastructure projects back then that made a visible difference:
  • The TVA and other hydro-electric and water management  projects (like the Hoover and Grand Coolee dams)
  • Rural electrification
  • The Interstate Highway system
You could probably go pure libertarian and say that the gubmint shouldn't have done any of these, but at least at the end of these "shovel ready" projects we had some great hydro power, super highway, and electric lighting infrastructure.  As Mythbusters would say about 1930s Keynesianism, "plausible".

Fast forward to now (or to 1972 and Nixon's "we're all keynsians now").  Name me a project that would match Hoover and Grand Coolee, that the EPA and enviro whackos would let start.  Diminishing returns, anyone?

And so you get the Big Dig - a $2 Billion tunnel project that ends up costing $14 Billion and kills people.  But Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says the stimulus was too small.

And thus we're at the Q.E.D. point on the practical demonstration of the Elite's incompetence.  Ah, they say, the necessity of elite planning is justified by theory.  Look at the Enlightenment philosophers, they say.  Rousseau spoke eloquently of the need for the elite.

As did Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Nietzsche, Mussolini, and Hitler.  How'd that work out?  But none of these were original thinkers, in our city-planner sense.  All spring from the intellectual tree that has Plato at its root.  Plato was the first to state that society should be ruled by Philosopher-Kings (that seductive flattery to academics everywhere).  He laid out the structure of this in The Republic, which survived from antiquity due to its great influence.

This theoretical justification used by the elites, though, was demonstrably wrong.  Bertrand Russell wrote of this in his A History of Western Philosophy (Allen and Unwin, 1946, p. 114):
To understand Plato, and indeed many later philosophers, it is necessary to know something of Sparta.  Sparta had a double effect on Greek thought: through the reality, and through the myth.  Each is important.  The reality enabled the Spartans to defeat Athens in war; the myth influenced Plato's political theory, and that of countless writers.
Plato based the governmental structures of The Republic on the system of Sparta.  This was a brutal, rigid system, perhaps more easily recognized in a time when National Socialism had just been defeated in a terrible war, and a new Cold War was breaking out with International Socialism.  But Sparta was already collapsing when Plato wrote, and he was ignorant of or ignored the work of contemporaries that saw the Spartan system more clearly.  Plato was wrong.  Russell again (p. 118-119)
Apart from war, the reality of Sparta was never quite the same as the theory.  Herodotus, who lived in its great period, remarks, surprisingly, that no Spartan could resist a bribe.  This was in spite of the fact that contempt for riches and love of the simple life was one of the main things inculcated in Spartan education. ... We ar told that the Spartans were inflexibly patriotic, yet the king Pausanias, the victor of Platea, ended as a traitor in the pay of Xerxes.

[Aristotle] goes on to accuse the Spartans of avarice, which he attributes to the unequal distribution of property.
Let's see, a grand theoretical foundation of centralized, elite rule, justified by equality and fairness, but based on a romanticized system that fell apart during Plato's own lifetime.  That's the theoretical basis for the elite's claim to power.

The punch line, of course, is that those in the elite are almost certainly ignorant of all this.  Somehow, after all that time consuming and expensive education, this fact (which was well known to intellectuals fifty years ago) was left out.

But couldn't, argue the Elites, Plato's system work?  If you got the Right Sort of People to do it?

Because and Elite must find a use for itself, worthy of its own elevated sense of worth.  The answer is necessary, but brutal:

Couldn't the circle be squared?  Not by you.

Couldn't lead be transmuted into gold?  Not by you.

Couldn't a Progressive Utopia be implemented if you got the Right Sort of People to run it?  Not by you.

Their ignorance of both the practical and theoretical emptiness behind their theory is the really damning thing.  That ignorance is self imposed: seduced by the flattering thought that they are the very image of Philosopher Kings, they simply don't look at some (critically important) things that might dim the luster of that beautiful vision.

If it's true - as I believe - that the first responsibility of a true intellectual is to challenge your own first premise beliefs, then they fail miserably.  Some intellectual "elite".  Megan Mcardle says it differently, but it's the same thing:
Elites are often missing crucial knowledge, and unaware of it.  In some ways, that effect is more pronounced than it used to be, with more and more of the elites drawn from a narrow class of extremely well-educated people from a handful of metropolitan areas, few of whom have ever, say, been responsible for a profit and loss statement, or tried to bring a gas station into compliance with local and federal EPA regulations.  In a world where your primary output is words, it is easy to imagine a smoothly operating process based on really smart rule-making.
And so, back to Keynes.  There's a use for planning, but the early gains are always the greatest.  We've passed that point, and are now seeing the wasteful, destructive effects overwhelm any benefit.  As with the trillion dollar "stimulus" that didn't stimulate, our planners choose not to see that they are living proof of the old saying: Enough layers of management ensure that disaster is not left to chance.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ugh

The current Chez Borepatch security perimeter seems to need shoring up before we change details, and so I've been sandbagging and stringing razor wire (so to speak).

If I'm lucky, there will be a beer waiting for me in the PX when I'm off duty ...

It's always Mardi Gras at the Airport!



Heh.

Quote of the Day

From the International Man of Mystery, -, in a comment to my post on naming deadly weapons:
Don't underestimate the value of meditation and rememberance.

My grandad named his hunting rifle "Patience" as a reminder of and to encourage that virtue.

I jokingly refer to my AR-15 as "Johnny Cash" because 1: it's dressed in black, and 2: I brought it home "one piece at a time".
Johnny Cash FTW!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Battle for Camp Borepatch

It's over.  At the end of next month, we will take possession of Camp Borepatch, complete with Secure Perimeter and Arms Room.  The battle negotiations were fierce, but have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

I believe that Gen. Patton would have approved.  L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace.  While we will not be in snooty East Cobb, we will be within 2 miles of the all time greatest BBQ restaurant on the planet, Swallow in the Hollow.*  Admittedly, it isn't Le Poulet Grand, but it's not a KFC, either ...

I had said that we might be gone from Yankeeland before the first snow.  That's looking quite likely.  The lovely and seasonally affected Mrs. Borepatch is dancing a jog on the lawn right now.  I can't say I really blame her, especially with the Midwest fixin' to get hammered by a blizzard.  Srlsy, it's October.  What's with the snow?  I know, I know - Global Warming causes deep freezes. [rolls eyes]

This is another time to ask if anyone in the north Atlanta burbs has a gun store they really like, and trust, and like to do repeat business with, please email or leave a comment.  It appears that I will have an Arms Room to fill, and like doing business with people worth doing business with.  And #2 Son will be in desperate need of a Ruger 10/22.

* Those left behind in Yankeeland can do pretty well at Tennesee's BBQ in Framingham (and a few other locations).

This is what Saturday Morning sounded like

Back around 1963.



Dad emails to tell me that Alex Anderson - the cartoonist who created Rocky and Bullwinkle - is dead at the age of 90.

It took a long time to realize just how sophisticated the humor was on the show.  From the NYT obituary:
Steven Spielberg told The New York Times in 1989, “It was the first time that I can recall my parents watching a cartoon show over my shoulder and laughing in places I couldn’t comprehend.”
Boris Badinov?  I was probably in my teens before I realized just how funny that was.  And the WABAC ("Wayback") machine was a spoof of UNIVAC.

God Speed, Mr. Anderson, and thank you for many happy hours as a child. 

Heretics and Priests

Yesterday, I posted about how Scientific American had (seemingly inadvertently) shot itself in the foot by referring to Georgia Tech's Dr. Judith Curry as a "Climate Heretic".  Dr. Curry has responded in a takedown as elegant as it is brutal:
Use of the word “heretic” by Lemonick implies general acceptance by the “insiders” of the IPCC as dogma.  If the IPCC is dogma, then count me in as a heretic.  The story should not be about me, but about how and why the IPCC became dogma.

...

A big part of my visceral reaction to events unfolding after 11/19 was concern that I had been duped into supporting the IPCC, and substituting their judgment for my own in my public statements on the subject.

...

Let me ask [the warmists] this. So how are things going for you lately? A year ago, the climate establishment was on top of the world, masters of the universe. Now we have a situation where there have been major challenges to the reputations of a number of a number of scientists, the IPCC, professional societies, and other institutions of science. The spillover has been a loss of public trust in climate science and some have argued, even more broadly in science. The IPCC and the UNFCCC are regarded by many as impediments to sane and politically viable energy policies. The enviro advocacy groups are abandoning the climate change issue for more promising narratives.
This is as righteous a smackdown of the degraded state of the climate science establishment as I've seen anywhere.  Just to reinforce my statement from yesterday, Dr. Curry has been vocal in stating that she believes that our release of CO2 is changing the climate - she's not a "denier" like me.

But she is demanding that the scientific community stop hiding data, stop suppressing opposing viewpoints, and start doing science transparently, as it is supposed to be done.  And this demand comes from the "High Priestess of Global Warming".

Bravo.  With more scientists like Dr. Curry, I would not be so nasty and suspicious.

So what happens after the election?

Cliff's Notes version: nothing good.

The Democratic Party is cheating.  Voter fraud, intimidation by union thugs, "false front" "Tea Party" candidates to split the anti-Democrat vote, campaign cash from every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Abdul.  A greater hive of scum and villainy you will never find.  Fully Clintonized, drunk with power, they'll never give it up.

The Republican Party is fracturing.  The establishment is clueless, drunk on power, and have learned nothing in the last 18 months:

We were standing outside the Continental Lounge in Rosslyn, Va., while the young Republican operative explained it to me.

“All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don’t care how they get there,” said the operative. “They don’t want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder.”

“They” are Republican senators, and what my friend was explaining was the otherwise inexplicable decision of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to endorse Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race — 15 months before the primary!
This hasn't changed, and we hear multiple senior Republicans echoing Rush Limbaugh's warning that 2010 is their last chance:
MORE STILL: Reader James S. Taylor writes:

I was a delegate to the Utah state Republican convention, one of those who voted to retire Bob Bennett. I’m willing to give Orrin Hatch six months or so to get with the program. Most of my friends aren’t, but then I’ve only been in Utah for ten years, so I don’t know him as well as they. I quit the Ohio Republican party, where I was a county committeeman, when they controlled the governor’s office and both houses, because the good of the state was not among their priorities. I was in a very small minority then. By 2012 people like me won’t be a minority any more.
Probably not.
The rot runs deep.  So, when faced with a choice between the good of the country, or their existing perks, how will they choose?  I think we all know the answer to that - they'll make like the Democrats and start wholesaling voter fraud, intimidation, and the lot.

Mark Steyn has me worried, in a way that I had not been.  It's not about collapsing demographics, it's about collapsing legitimacy:
This is really the last chance for the unloved Republicans. If the party establishment is sufficiently dimwitted to see November 2nd as the restoration of the 2004-2006 GOP, they will be setting up the conditions (as Rush has already argued) for a serious third-force challenge in 2012. That would be less convulsive than a remoter though still possible scenario: If the Democrats manage to hold onto power by openly funding spoiler candidates, they would be discrediting the entire electoral process, and setting up pre-revolutionary conditions. In other words, it would be very easy for both parties to confirm the suspicion of a very disenchanted electorate – that the system no longer allows for serious course correction.
It's not just a plurality, it's a majority who think that the country is on the wrong track.  It's not yet a majority, but it is a plurality that holds both parties in contempt.  When that changes into a majority - about 9 months from now, given how things are looking, then the population of this country will get very ugly indeed.

And I don't see the Republicans wising up.  Lord Acton said it well - power corrupts.  Pournelle's Iron Law explains the inertia holding the Party in chains of venality:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.
Think on what the candidates say when they're running, and think on who controls the Party, and tremble.  The result, as they say, is over determined.

So both parties are lost to us, as is the media, and the Academy.  The "Long March through the Institutions" has destroyed the institutions.  Suspicious minds pin this on Soviet agit-prop, but intentional or not, the collapse is complete.

I've received many comments here from people objecting to my advice to vote them out, including the Republicans.  Remember the Iron Law, and think on how to break the party to our will.  If this election does not chastize the Republican establishment, then our future may hold Show Trials of corrupt Democratic and Republican apparachicks.

And I for one don't know whether I'd mind.  I might mind what comes after.

So if the name on the list is an incumbent, vote for the other loser.  Vote them out.  All of them.


UPDATE 26 October 2010 11:22: It seems that electronic voting machines in Nevada default to a vote for Harry Reid:
 Some voters in Boulder City said they are concerned about fraud at the electronic ballot box.

Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."

I'm sorry, the Registrar's "don't worry, no fraud here" noises have absolutely no credibility, since all the Legitimacy has evaporated already.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Holy Motor Madness, Batman!

You can get yourself a brand new, street legal Batmobile.


American company Fiberglass Freaks is producing officially licensed, road-legal 1966 Batmobiles. And yes, the flamethrower works.

Each car costs $149,999 (£95,000), takes six months to build and features an array of working gadgets, including a red flashing beacon, a radar screen called ‘Detect-a-scope’, a retractable, gold-coloured ‘Batbeam’ and a dashboard DVD player.
JayG could not be reached for comment, but might suggest that the Flamethrower needs to be mounted facing forward.

Via Coyote, who asks precisely the right question.

Poopyheads

For centuries we've known about logical fallacies: breakdowns in logic where the wheels come off and you spin out of control.  These are well known, and in a less degraded age were taught at the University to generations of intellectuals.

Perhaps the most famous of these is the argumentum ad hominem, the argument against the person, not against his argument.  The easiest way to demonstrate this is by an example that we all learned before we even got to the school ground:
Child 1: It's my turn to play on the swing.

Child 2: You're a poopyhead!
Child 2 has lost the argument, at least by the recognized rules of logic.

The best argument that the left has lost its way - that there are no longer any competent thinkers among their ranks - is the resort to ad hominem argument.  Juan Williams just learned this the hard way, as he says in those exact words:



Most telling in the entire exchange is the CEO of NPR not saying that he's wrong, but that he needs therapy.  Juan's a poopyhead!

What I find striking about this is how similar it is to what we see in the "scientific" debate about Global Warming.  You're a denier!

Scientific American just ran an article that appears to be an attempt to step back a bit from the edge of the cliff, back towards scientific objectivity.  It appears to be, but in their attempt, they manage to insult Judy Curry, one of the most respected scientists in the field:

I was very disappointed to read erroneous information, in an otherwise very informative article, in the Scientific American by Michael D. Lemonick titled

Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues

which seeks to isolate Judy Curry as being an outlier from her climate science colleagues [the article, of course, is useful in that it does expose the attempt by some to marginalize anyone who differs from the IPCC viewpoint, and Michael Lemonick is commended for doing that].
The text in his article, however, includes the header of one of its sections which implies she is gone
Over to the Dark Side“.
Mind you, this is in an article that appears to be striving for objectivity.  Dr. Curry is not one of those "deniers" - she's been clear that she thinks that we are warming the planet substantially via greenhouse gases.  The article excerpted is by Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., who also believes that we are warming the planet.  However, both Pielke and Curry have been vocal in demanding better, more transparent science from the IPCC in particular.

The response? They've gone over to the Dark Side.  In other words, they're poopyheads.

If NPR were confident in its positions, they wouldn't have felt the need to argue ad hominem against Williams.  If the climate science community were confident in its results and conclusions, they wouldn't argue ad hominem against scientists that fundamentally agree with the conclusions but think that the science is shoddy.

And there's the rub, and the rationale for the ad hominem.  Williams explicitly says that liberals think that a Black man can only be a down-the-line liberal.  Curry must have been corrupted by evil forces, because she "used to be one of the climate establishment."

Heresy is different from slander.  Slanderers are jailed; heretics are burned.

Just lucky, I guess


Heh.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A confession

I like sausage and sausage like things made out of the "leftover bits".  Tam talks about Tofu Haggis "to save the Planet from Thermageddon", but I quite like the real thing.  It's hard to find good ones, but they taste good, and I just don't care that it's bits that went into it.  And they get a bagpiper to play it in to the dining room on Burns' Night and serve it with scotch, so what's not to like?

I like a good Blood Sausage (the French, of course, can make just about anything taste good, and have raised boudin to an art form).  I recall a layover at Paris/CDG airport (probably the Hilton or something) where the charcuterie plate had one that was better than a steak.  Seriously.  And it's made out of what we turn into garden fertilizer.

Not sure if you can get it outside of the Mid-Atlantic states, but scrapple  is to die for.  Sliced thin and fried, I'd serve it with my greasy breakfast I make on weekends instead of bacon.  It's that good, even if it is made with pork snouts.

It's probably just me - the rest of the crew looks at me like I'm from Mars, but I guess my rural farmer roots are shining through.  Hold the tofu, mince the bits fine and season them well, and you've got some mighty fine eating.  All I can say is that if you're killing the Planet, don't waste the tasty bits!

P.S. Hog jowls are pretty tasty, too.  Bacony, but more meat.  Yum!

Observe the Power of this fully operational Internet!

What is most striking about the Internet is the community aspect.  It's not broadcast, it's a conversation, even in my little corner of it.

A few days ago, I pointed out a non-leftist critique of Adam Smith.  Reader John Kelleher emails with an information-rich update that this actually isn't particularly unusual.  I post it here with his permission:
Don't have a google or blogger account. I tried commenting to this effect at Foseti's site; apparently he wasn't interested.

Financial analyst John D. Mueller has a highly-developed non-leftist critique of Adam Smith, and of modern economics. Brief summary (source: http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.3939/pub_detail.asp ):

===
"...what is economics about? The short answer is production, exchange, distribution, and consumption. Scholastic economics (c.1250-1776) began when Thomas Aquinas integrated these four elements, all drawn from Aristotle and Augustine, at the individual, domestic and political levels. This "AAA" outline was taught by Catholics and Protestants (after the Reformation) for more than five centuries. (Lutheran Samuel Pufendorf's version was widely known in the American colonies and cited by Alexander Hamilton among other founders.)

"Classical economics (1776-1871) began when Adam Smith cut these four elements to two, trying to explain what he called "division of labor" (specialized production) by production and exchange alone. When three economists (W.S. Jevons, Carl Menger, and Leon Walras) simultaneously but independently reinvented Augustine's theory of utility, reintegrating consumption with production and exchange, "neoclassical" economics (1871-c.2000) was born.

"Adam Smith's significance is therefore not what he added to, but rather subtracted from economics. The necessity of describing all four facets of any economic event with at most three equations has condemned classical and neoclassical economists frequently to resort to circular logic and/or empirically false assumptions."
===

Mueller's book-length treatment is here:

http://www.isi.org/books/bookdetail.aspx?id=60260279-5db7-4061-9549-71356eb6c530

Best wishes,
And because that wasn't information-rich enough, he follows up again:
Forgot to point out the obvious in my previous: Mr. Mueller is not so much making his own non-leftist critique of Adam Smith as pointing out that there was, in effect, FIVE CENTURIES of non-leftist critique of Adam Smith prior to him and his ideas (and that nobody now notices this fact, but we should).
Huh.  I'm smarter now that I was a few days ago, thanks to the Internet and an interested reader.  Cool.

Getting ready for hunting season?

New rifle with spendy glass?  Check.

Out to the range to sight it in?  Check.

Remember to remove the bore sighting device before pressing the LOUD switch?  Oops:


This must have been simply spectacular.


And this was the device that our hero forgot to remove.


Everyone's been talking about whether we need Four Rules, or Two, or Five or something.  I think that this one violated Tam's Rule Zero: Don't be an idiot.

Boy, that must have been something, though.

Thanks to reader Andrew, who emailed this.

UPDATE 24 October 2010 13:55: Jeffersonian leaves a comment that he was the guy who took the pictures, and has the actual story about what happened that day (back in 2006 - I'm clearly behind the times):
There were no injuries. The boresighter was found most of the way to the 100yd target holders. These pictures are being sent to several appropriate persons - the club's newsletter director, R/O director, club president, etc. The weapon was a fairly ordinary Savage, and I believe it was in .30-06 or a related cartridge. It is hoped that the barrel will be purchased for or donated to the club's hunter education program. Pay attention folks!
Plus, he has a simply outstanding rant about idjits who ignore basic range safety rules.  RTWT.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quote of the Day - "Shovel Ready" edition

Sonic Charmer absolutely eviscerates the "Smart Set" and their dreams of "shovel ready" stimulus jobs.  Evicerates:
The ‘shovel-ready’ story is and always was a seductive one, for precisely the reason that it was a case where openly puerile fantasies (of peasant armies doing labor for you, but being paid with other peoples’ money) could masquerade as concern for the poor and unemployed. And it’s precisely because the story was so seductive that we are now seeing the hissy fit that results when these peoples’ pied piper admits it was all a craven crock of shit. The wonder is not why these people are now reacting the way they are; the wonder is that their arguments were ever taken seriously in the first place.
That's just the summing up; the rest of the post is even better.

The Sword of Mercy

Tam ponders why some people name (and decorate) their guns.  Brigid writes an outstanding piece filled with history and psychology, about the power of names.  All I can add is that this idea of naming deadly weapons is very, very old.

The picture shows three of the five swords used during the coronation of British Monarchs.  The one in the middle is The Sword of Mercy, symbolizing the necessity for a sovereign to possess the quality of mercy.

The sword is very, very old.  It was Edward The Confessor's sword; he was the last of the House of Wessex, the son of Ethelred the Unready, and the penultimate Anglo-Saxon monarch.

He named the sword, and called it Curtana, which hearkens back to an even older sword, possessed by one of Charlemagne's companions, Ogier the Dane.  It is said that Ogier - maddened with grief and rage when his son was killed - sought out Charlemagne's son to kill him in revenge.  When Ogier swung his sword at the youth, the sword was broken at Heaven's command.  Show mercy.

Ogier had decorated the sword, engraving it with the words My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durendal.  Joyeuse was Charlemagne's sword, and Durendal was Roland's, of Le Chanson de Roland fame.  Dark Ages marketing, if you want to think about it that way.

The naming of swords is much older than this, of course, and seems to have occurred in many cultures: the Prophet Mohamed named his sword Zulfiquar, the ancient Japanese Emperess Jingu possessed the Seven Branched Sword, Julius Caesar had his sword Crocea Mors.

Names contain power, both a prayer for the future and remembrance of the past.  Brigid writes:
Just north of my home is a small, very old, graveyard. As I've passed by on foot, I've observed people there, kneeling by a stone, tracing the carved name of their loved one with their fingers, lost in their grief, yet comforted in the remembrance. The feel of the words, the soft utterance of the name, bringing back so much of what was lost.
That remembrance to me perfectly captures the sense of the name applied to the Sword of Mercy.  It's a meditation.  Other, more warlike names are also meditations.  Joyeuse.  Think on that, and what that meant to Charlemagne.  It speaks volumes in a single word, about the man and his day.  Was the name a prayer or a remembrance?

Some people - like Tam - don't need to name their weapon, which is fine.  Some people like the idea of naming and decorating, but don't ponder the mystery of the meditation.  They're psychologically "bubba-ing" their weapon.  If you have a worthy weapon, give it a worthy name, or none at all.

Kathy Mattea - Where've You Been?

Via Don Surber, we find the UK's oldest married couple, together now for 77 years:



This reminded me of Kathy Mattea's song about another long-married couple.  This song always struck me as flirting with the "maudlin" side of sentimental, but there are some good reasons to consider it for Mr. and Mrs. Tarrant's story:
  • The song won Mattea a Grammy in 1990, so it seems that there's a critical acceptance for songs flirting with "maudlin".
  • Her voice is simply haunting, and it's worth the journey (or at least the detour) just for that.
  • The song was written by her husband, so the sentiment seems entirely genuine.
Once of the great story topics down through the ages is the Great Love.  Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus and Eurydice, Helen and Paris.  To this we can add the Tarrants, with their story sung by one of the great voices of our time.



Where've You Been? (Songwriters: Don Henry, Jon Vezner)
Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief she sighed and said
In many dreams I've held you near
Now at last you're really here

Where have you been?
I've looked for you for ever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

He asked her for her hand for life
Then she became a salesman's wife
He was home each night by 8
But one stormy evening he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door

They'd never spent a night apart
For 60 yrs she heard him snore
Now they're in a hospital
In seperate beds on different floors

Claire soon lost her memory, forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her hair
In a fragile voice she said

Where have you been
Ive searched for you forever and a day
Where have you been
I'm just not myself when your away
I'm just not myself when your away

Image of Mattea is from here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

If we criminalize everybody, we'll need more police

The Austin, TX police chief has a nifty idea to increase the size of his department increase the number of fines for the city "reduce" drunk driving: lower the legal limit for blood alcohol to below what it takes to be drunk:

A campaign to create a new category of driving while intoxicated is being promoted at the Capitol as one way to curb growing problems in Texas’ system of punishing drunken drivers.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, among the supporters of the change, said the idea behind a new offense of “driving while ability impaired” — DWAI — would cover drivers whose blood-alcohol content is between 0.05 and 0.07.
Of course, this is half the old limit (0.10).  It seems that lowering it didn't solve the problem, so he wants to lower it again.  Heck, why not save yourself another round of this game, and lower it to 0.00?  The punch line, of course, is that nobody knows if the law would even work at all:
Bill Lewis, the legislative director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which has led the charge in recent years to toughen Texas DWI laws, said the group has not reviewed or endorsed the proposed new charge of DWAI. He added, “I don’t see how it would hurt.”
And that's someone on the Chief's side.  Damning with faint praise, right there.  So what's driving this?  It seems that the current laws aren't working:
The reason is that thousands of drivers arrested for DWI are being allowed to plead guilty to lesser crimes such as reckless driving or obstructing a roadway. Such plea deals allow them to escape alcohol counseling and driver’s license restrictions, according to testimony before the Senate panel in July by police officials, prosecutors and judges.
People aren't being prosecuted under the existing laws, so how about a whole new law that will criminalize more people?  I guess that this makes some sort of sense in Austin.

Really, this is so much like gun control laws that you'd laugh, except a lot of folks are going to find themselves in handcuffs for driving while impared in Austin.

Idiots.

"All the Virtues of Man without his Vices"

Paladin has lost his dog, his long time friend and companion, Angus.  Reading his post, it made me think on my Jack, gone these 17 years.


That's my first picture of him, back around Christmastime, 1981.  He was so small that when I took him on a walk that was too long and he got completely tuckered out, I put him in the pocket of my winter coat and carried him home.

But soon he was getting bigger, and "helping" me shovel snow.


By the next winter, he was full grown.  He still loved snow, especially when I threw snowballs he could chase.


He, too, was my long time friend and companion.  He was the smartest dog I've ever seen: he would open doors, repeatedly.  We had some friends with a dog lady-friend, and we would dog sit for each other when one of us went on vacation.  Once when he was at their house, they put him (and their dogs) in the basement before leaving for work.  Jack opened the door, and all the dogs got out into the upstairs.  The next day, their dogs went into the basement, and Jack went into the garage, with the door locked.  When they came back, Jack was nowhere to be seen.  They started calling him, and up popped his head.

Behind the driver's seat of their other car.  He'd opened the car door and got in.  I guess he figured that he wouldn't get left behind if he was in the car.

But all good things must come to an end, and unlike Paladin, I wasn't home when it was Jack's time.  He died alone in a kennel, while I was away on vacation.  It was in the days before cell phones were cheap, and the people at the kennel couldn't reach me.  He deserved better, and to this day this memory makes me sad.

Lord Byron said it best, about his Newfie, Botswain:
When some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe And storied urns record who rest below: When all is done, upon the tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been: But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his master's own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth-- Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth: While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven.

Oh Man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power, Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust!

Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!

By nature vile, ennobled but by name, Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.

Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn, Pass on--it honours none you wish to mourn: To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise; I never knew but one,--and here he lies.
He opens with what is perhaps the most famous words ever penned about Man's Best Friend:
Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
God speed, Angus.  I know full well - to mingled joy and sadness - the pain your master is going through.    I hope that time will ease the pain, leaving the joy undimmed.  I fear that it will not.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

HAHAHAHAHA

Via email from #1 Son.  The Security Snark is stong in him.

(sniff) I'm so proud.

And yes, that's exactly how it works.  It reminds me of the time (prolly back in '94 for all you young whippersnappers) when we were doing a security test.  One of the Unix servers we were testing showed as having "World readable filesystem".

"Hmmm," said I, "what file would be a good one to read?"  Presto - down came the password file, which we ran through crack.  Crack was the shiznit dictionary password cracker* back then, and it cracked something like 200 accounts on the system (most of which had never been set to anything other than the default).  The IT guy with me almost had a heart attack.

Good times, good times.

Original image here.

* Yes that's a technical term.  It basically ran the dictionary through the password encryption routine, and then did uber-fast lookups against the actual encrypted password entries.  Anyone who used a word as their password was pwned.  If you have a word (that's in a dictionary) as your password, go change it now.  Because you're probably pwned**.

** No, I'm not joking.  And "1337" is a really, really bad password.  Just sayin' ...

Linky, not thinky

Here are some links well worth your while.

I always sort of though there was something slightly wrong about the idea of a Japanese Pickup truck.  Isegoria looks at the Toyota Hylinx (sold here as the Tundra Tacoma) and pronounces it indestructible.  He offers proof.  Boy, howdy.

Foseti finds a critical but non-leftist review of Adam Smith.  Didn't know that there were any of those.

Bruce Schneier looks at how a celebrity (Denver Bronco's quarterback John Elway) goes incognito.  HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Now he's let the cat out of the bag, and will have to come up with a new plan. This, of course,is why Intelligence Agencies so jealously guard what they call "sources and methods".

What happens when the government subsidizes Solar Power to ruinous levels?  You get way more solar power than you need, of course.  What happens when the government realizes that they can't afford all those subsidies?  All the people who took the government at its word get screwed, and go out of business.  [Otter] You f@#$ed up ... you trusted us! [/Otter]

And the comments to Tam's riff on TJIC's riff are simply superb.  Quote of the Day goes to Shootin' Buddy there, who muses on Anarchists, and pronounces his verdict:
Anarchy works great when we are mad at mommy and daddy and want to pout in our room of dad's French Colonial in the 'burbs, color our hair and smoke clove cigarettes and paint our fingernails black, but outside the cul-de-sac it is unworkable because of the asshole factor.
Heh.  Man, I love Teh Intarwebz.

UPDATE 21 October 2010 16:26: Err, "Tacoma", not "Tundra".  Thanks to Dirtcrashr in the comments for pointing that out.

You can't stop the next Stuxnet worm

Austin Bay has a very good article up, over at Strategy Page.  They headline, though - Stopping The Next Stuxnet - is misleading.  You can't.  Bay even says why:
Computer experts understand and respect its threat. StrategyPage.com, on Oct. 3, described Stuxnet as "the first piece of malware to damage the computer systems which control industrial plants," and its emergence should serve as "a wake-up call to the world." StrategyPage compared Stuxnet's strategic military implications to the introduction of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1950s -- weapons that could strike global targets.
ICBM technology changed the game, because it meant that nowhere was safe.  Before that, an attacker had to send ground troops (later bombers) to destroy assets behind the front lines.  ICBMs changed all that.  All you needed was a missle, and you could target anything, anywhere.  There was no defense.

Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") tried to change that.  They jury's still out on how effective it will be.  Hopefully, we'll never find out.

Stuxnet is like that.  You can target whatever you'd like - power generation, refining, transport - all you need is time, and expertise, and money.  State actors have all of these, in sufficient quantity (at least, major state actors do).

What the War on Terror has taught us is that the world is filled with soft targets.  While it would be nice to defend everything, everywhere, that's not realistic.

However.

A lot of soft targets are soft because people haven't thought security was an issue before.  We've gotten the benefit of automation without paying the cost of reasonable hardening.  The entire software industry is sadly negligent here (that's a post for later).  Business leaders, however, understand cost/benefit analysis.  There's a lot that can be done to make targets harder software targets.  It's not glamorous work, but neither is building bridges in a way that they don't fall down.  The head of computer security for the UK government said it well:
Iain Lobban, the director of the signals intelligence and information security organisation, said if government departments observed basic network security disciplines, such as "keeping patches up to date", combined with the necessary attention to personnel security, their online networks would be much safer.
Setting minimum standards is something that the government can, and should do.  A lot of industries won't like doing it, because it will raise their costs, but the risk is real.  Quite frankly, we're a lot more likely to see more of this target Information Warfare than we are to see an ICBM strike.  There's a lot of plausible deniability in a worm, there's none at all in a missile launch.

The Intellectual Elite and the Peter Principle

There are two very interesting events happening now, that show the inner workings of the "Elite" progressives.  Christine O'Donnell has been widely mocked for saying in a debate that the First Amendment does not discuss separation of church and state, and Sarah Palin has been widely mocked for saying that the original Tea Party occurred in 1773, not 1776.

It appears that both O'Donnell and Palin are entirely correct, and their critics have exposed themselves as ignorant of history and the Constitution, not to mention foolish and ill mannered.

Remember, these critics are supposed to be the "Best And Brightest", at least that's what we're told.  We shoud bow to the superior intelligent of our would-be overlords, whether they're right or wrong.

Oooooooh kaaaaay.

This got be thinking, because it looks like a failure this big doesn't happen by accident.  The common thread linking the critics is that they are highly-credentialed products of an extremely hierarchical, bureaucratic institution (the US education system).  There are well known principles for analyzing how these institutions function, the most important of which is the Peter Principle:
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.
Tenure ensures that the Peter Principle is deeply embedded throughout the credentialing institutions.  We need to be careful with out definitions here: most members who have reached their level of incompetence are in fact pretty competent in a narrow field of expertise.  The problem is everything else outside that field, particularly when you apply the dynamic of tenure.

The Professorate is essentially a Medieval Guild, and an applicant typically can be black-balled by any current member in good standing, for any reason at all.  As politics has taken an increasing importance in these decisions over the last half century, you have a selection for a very particular set of political beliefs acting in a Darwinian manner at Universities across the land.

But remember, these political beliefs are not the professor's special area of expertise (unless he's a professor of political science), and so he's unlikely to be able to call on any great insight or knowledge.  Indeed, as more extreme left ideas become the norm in the Academy, the views are likely to be much goofier than normal.

This is what an aspiring young accademic finds.  And so if he's ambitious, he learns to parot a set of astonishingly stupid ideas (which are entirely unrelated to his field of expertise but which are absolutely critical to his getting tenure).  The Peter Principle strikes him before he lands his first paying job.

Most never get tenure, of course, and find themselves in the educated professions (like the media).  They carry all the baggage with them, and what we're seeing with the O'Donnel and Palin episodes is that they're letting us see that ignorance, as the Internet (hello Twitter) allows them to serve up a heaping display of that ignorance to the rest of us.

It's really quite astonishing, that they'd do this to themselves.  But they never really had to show that they were smart.  Just compliant.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Camp Borepatch

The lovely and knows-what-she-likes Mrs. Borepatch and #1 Son are house hunting in Georgia.  She tells me that her favorite house not only has an honest-to-goodness Secure Perimeter (I joked about it here), but a built-in locking rifle closet Arms Room.

I think that this may be a sign from the Almighty that this should be the future home of the Borepatch clan.

A question for folks out there: what are the pros and cons of a locking rifle closet vs. a gun safe?  The fire/water protection on the safe is pretty obvious.  It's harder for a Bad Guy to get into the safe, unless the closet is built from something stronger than drywall.  It seems this closet has a transparent lexan door, which is very cool for viewing the contents, but is a dead giveaway to burglars.

Thoughts on the need for a gun safe, if you had one of these?

The "Science" is "settled"

Not feeling well, so I will leave you some incredibly important links that do an outstanding job of turning people into climate skeptics.  They're quite long, but you're here so you're used to that ...

Al Fin breaks down the meaning of Professor Lewis' spectacular resignation letter, and shows not just that the science is wrong (in general), but why the science is wrong.  There are forces at work that are really pretty easy to understand, if you'll look:
Medical science is often biased at all stages by the desire of researchers and biomedical corporations for monetary gain. But the sheer amount of money at stake in climate science -- $trillions, as mentioned earlier -- dwarfs any profits ever to be gained by drug companies, medical insurance companies, or medical device companies. The gargantuan political influence combined with the relative tiny size of the climate science community, combines to provide the public with a thoroughly corrupted, biased, and unreliable look at global climate.

How many other areas of science share the same weaknesses? Follow the money. Big money interests (including governments) that get too deeply involved in the funding and publication process for any science, will introduce a corrupting influence on that science.
He has a number of links that are worth your while.  Consider this the prosecution's opening statement.

Jo Nova brings the individual indictments, and they're entirely damning.  They're also entirely specific.  She has eight (!) posts on major issues, where she positively eviscerates the Global Warming thesis.  There's far too much to excerpt, so I'll just put up links - but the common theme (and her tag line) is one that we should all remember when talking to someone that you'd like to turn into a thinking skeptic is The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating.

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part I: Thermometer Placement Tricks

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 2: Air Temperatures

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 3: Ocean Temperatures

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 4: Past Temperatures

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 5: CO2 Emissions Versus Temperature

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 6: The Hockey Stick

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 7: Other Climate Establishments Disagree

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 8: Do Most Western Climate Scientists Believe Global Warming is Man-Made?

As you read her excellent summaries on how the science has gone sour, think on Al Fin's musings on how the scientific establishment has gone sour.

UPDATE 20 October 2010 12:45: Not thinking straight, I see.  I've been talking about how the scientific establishment has been captured by the political establishment for quite some time now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Average" does not mean "evenly distributed"

One of the things that sort of stood out when I went back through my archives for the Borepatch 101 thing was that my blog production varies to a huge degree.  May was a really good month - a bunch of entries in the "Best Posts" category.  Reading these was a pleasure: insightful analysis (well, as much as I do, at least), good writing (ditto), passionate and on point.

Other months?  Not so much.  At all.

I know that we can't all be Faulkner all the time, but is it too much to ask for me to be me all the time?

Of course, you could compare this to golf, or shooting, where "best day" rapidly becomes "this should be your typical day".

Musings on Information Warfare, and how to stop an Armored Division with a Computer Worm

I've put together some musings on State-vs-State Information Warfare, thinking about the implications of the recent Stuxnet worm.  This isn't technical, and doesn't go very deep (and won't go very deep).  But it feels like we've crossed over a threshold.

I also suspect that I have a regular reader in one of the .MIL domains that may be in logistics or transportation.  If so, this is something that I hope people are thinking about.

Port Security                                                            

And this is a really good time to roll out the disclaimer: Your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, do not remove tag under penalty of law.

The moral imperative of profit

Progressives are (grudgingly) willing to tolerate a market society of sorts, but keep stumbling over the "problem" of profit.  Excess Profit taxes, steeply progressive tax rates, the frequent demonizing of "cowboy capitalism" (particularly in Europe) all point to a deep discomfort with the morality of profit.

Most Progressives, sadly, are very poorly educated.  What's astonishing is just how far back in time the case for profit has been made.  Not just an argument from effectiveness - West Germany vs. East Germany, for example.  The moral case for profit, as a superior system to planning and control by an elite, has been common knowledge to educated people for decades.  Hayek, of course, was explicit in his arguments:



Milton Friedman starts with effectiveness, but ends up stating the moral case quite eloquently:



And Margret Thatcher take on the elite view head on, and unleashes a righteous can of moral whoop-ass:



Of course, she was clearly a "political whore" ...

In a less degraded age, the Academy would teach this to each incoming freshman.  Of course, you'd first have to grant tenure to some Chicago School economists ...

UPDATE 19 October 2010 12:13: MadMedic brings some thoughts from Calvin Coolidge.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Barney Frank is toast

Insty links to Jim Treacher, who has video of Barney Frnak's boyfriend heckling  Barney's opponent.

Err, had.

The video has been pulled from Youtube, due to a copyright claim by the Boston Harald, Boston's second newspaper.  The Herald is big here, and if they're staking out turf here, it's a Bad Moon Rising for Barney.

Hang on to your hats, folks - things are fixin' to get interesting.  Even here in the Boston suburbs.  The Dinosaurs smell a change of the air, and roar their defiance.

Margaret Thatcher on the Tea Party movement

This video from 1975 is quite astonishing in its anticipation of today's struggle against the Moloch-State.  Margaret Thatcher lays it out, especially in the last few seconds.



I love her hair, but I love her attitude more.  Sort of like someone else we could talk about ...

That's quite a comparison, but if you look past the trivial differences (hair styles), and mostly trivial differences (oratory styles), and look at their views towards freedom, you've got something interesting.  And Maggie herself described this, back in the day:

Cartoon of the day


The back story is that this isn't an exageration:

The president of the National Organization for Women may have said it's wrong for anyone to call a woman a "whore," but the head of the California NOW affiliate says Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is one.

California NOW President Parry Bellasalma told the TPM blog on Thursday that the description of the Republican candidate for governor of California is accurate.

"Meg Whitman could be described as 'a political whore.' Yes, that's an accurate statement," Bellasalma said after a TPM blogger called to ask her about a story that appeared on the Daily Caller website.
Not, of course, that this is a surprise.  The "feminist" movement removed all doubt as to whether their primary goal is supporting women, or whether it's electing Democrats, back in 1998.  I expect that this is why most young women these days do not self-identify as feminists.

And oh by the way, the lack of attention this is getting in the Dinosaur Media is all the proof you need for their bias.  Every time you see a Republican "Family Values" pol caught cheating on his wife, you see them roll out the "it's not the act, it's the hypocrisy" justification for their saturation campaign.  So what are we hearing from them now?

(crickets)

Via Theo Spark.