Monday, March 31, 2008
  Bye, Newt

Rush just mentioned that Newt is helping Algore with a new promotional movie for the greatest nastiest deadliest fraud in human history.

Bye, Newt. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, and don't let me hit you either. I'll try to get in a swat, though. Asshole.

More seriously, I've been worrying about the condition of Newt's mind lately. In the last few speeches on C-Span, he seems to be losing focus, listing some genuinely major problems and genuine solutions along with some strangely trivial problems. Is it really productive to focus on Detroit? Or to focus on the number of suicides on the Rosebud Reservation? Are we supposed to gasp in horror when you tell us that the population of Detroit has dropped? Those are indeed problems, but they're not top-shelf problems, and they're not convincing centerpieces for a new vision of America.

From most politicians and commentators this wouldn't be a symptom of decline; he's still better than most. But Newt used to have a supremely fine-honed talent for persuasion, an unparalleled ability to hit the sweet spot of any subject, to strike just the right nerve in the audience. He's lost that ability.
 
Sunday, March 30, 2008
  Bravo Fox

Amid all the celebrity crap, every now and then Fox News gets off a good one.

Today's special "Jihad, USA" is definitely a good one ... pulling together all the publicly known small attacks and failed attacks. Gives the lie to Bush's perpetual claim that "we haven't been attacked since 9/11." It's undoubtedly true that we haven't suffered a single wholesale attack, but we've had a steady pounding of retail attacks, killing a few people at a time.

I'm especially and pleasantly surprised that Fox included, without the usual weasely FBI disclaimers, the OU attack by Joel Hinrichs in 10/05. They stated flatly and clearly that Hinrichs was a Mohammedan, and that he fully intended to bomb the entire football crowd. Because he couldn't get in, he simply bombed himself. This clear summary was never given by the media in the aftermath of the event; he was always given the FBI's idiotic standard description, the "crazy lone gunman with no apparent motive".
 
  Gusher!!!! But why is nobody gushing?

NRO mentioned a new oilfield in North Dakota and Montana, which has been worked for a year now, and promises to be just as good as the old Oklahoma fields. If it continues expanding at current rates, the Bakken field could serve America's oil needs for decades to come.

This is the best news of the year, and Polistra celebrates in her usual way...




But Polistra is puzzled. First, why hasn't George W. Gore stopped this development? His main job is to insure that we remain totally and abjectly dependent on the Saudi enemy. Does he know something that we don't? Will this field peter out soon? Second, why hasn't this been mentioned in any national media? Why did I first hear about it via a single sentence on NRO? Third, why aren't the oil companies proudly telling us about this field? They run lots of ads stupidly declaring their Greenness, which leads us to think they are going out of the oil bidness; and many facts also point to the latter conclusion. Several drilling and development firms, and Marathon Oil, are growing as a result of the Bakken field. If it continues to grow, it will give most oil firms a good reason to stay in their original line of work. Fourth, why does the "price" of oil remain high? This "price" represents the betting of a few elite hedgers, rather than any honest reckoning of supply and demand, but even so, I thought the whole point of the FUTURES market was to account for likely FUTURE development.

Is our entire system so completely fucked up that it can't even respond normally to a positive development? Are the major media, the government, the oil "market", and the major oil companies, so slavishly loyal to the Saudi royal family that they see a huge new oil field on American territory as a shameful piece of dirty gossip, best ignored?

= = = = =

Later: Breaking out of my sardonic and paranoid tone, here's the question in more sober form. Are all of the elites - media, oil companies, government - so totally and incestuously locked into the internationalist mindset that they can't begin to fathom the concept of "America's interests"? Are they completely unaware that people in one particular nation might want to see that particular nation succeed, might want to see that particular nation become self-sufficient? And therefore unaware that they could gain commercial and political benefits by appealing to the people's desires?
 
Saturday, March 29, 2008
  It's Earth Hour!



Nuff said.
 
  Almost as good as French

A new old idea for medical care is spreading in this state. A company with the clumsy name of Qliance is implementing the idea, which comes pretty damn close to the French flavor of medical care. I call it 'new old' because it's based on the ancient Chinese tradition of paying the doctor when you're well, not when you're sick. (Actually I'm not sure if this was ever a real Chinese tradition, but it's often cited as such!)

Qliance works like this: you pay a standard monthly fee, which runs from $39 to $79 according to age. For this fee, you get to use the Qliance clinic and doctors as often as you need, and the doctor promises to be available when you need him. Clinical services like blood tests and X-rays are part of the package, but some services incur extra charges. These extra charges are strictly at cost, unlike the $100 aspirin you get at the hospital. Major surgery is still done elsewhere, under the existing system.

What's the key to the cheapness? Half is "French", half is "Chinese". The French half: Qliance doesn't handle insurance at all. If you can get your insurance to pay you, that's fine, but you have to do the paperwork. The Chinese half: If the Qliance doctor does the human side of his job properly ... advising, counseling, providing common sense, helping you control your diet, stress and exercise ... then you won't have to use the costly part of the service nearly as much or as often. Not precisely the same as the legendary method; but Qliance has to work harder for the same payment when you get sick, so their incentive is to keep you well.

The head of Qliance, Dr Garrison Bliss, is a great explainer. In this presentation, he describes exactly how and why the current system fails, and how Qliance breaks out of the failure. His conclusion: The current system serves nobody but the insurance companies. Doctors and hospitals spend most of their time and money doing paperwork to "confuse and confound" the insurance companies, because that's the only way they can get any payment at all. The insurance companies are "running blind", so they can't figure out how to make things better.

The Qliance model still doesn't solve the litigation problem, though I suspect patients who feel that the doc is actually listening to their needs and serving their purposes will be less likely to sue.

= = = = =

Footnote: Found the ancient Chinese tradition, and it's even closer to the Qliance idea than I thought. From here:
Historically in China, each village was under the care of one doctor. In return, they took care of him (fed him, clothed him, etc.). What's so different about this from the exchange that goes on in modern healthcare? The traditional Chinese doctor's job was to keep the village from getting sick in the first place. Once people got sick, they were unable to support the doctor. It made more sense for him to keep them well than to wait until they were sick.

 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
  Blank page

I couldn't leave Polistra outside amid all that dishonest warmth. She deserves to thaw out her frostbitten tootsies.



= = = = =

Update Friday: We now have three more inches of Global Warming on the ground.

= = = = =

Update Sat morning: Six inches of Global Warming. Must have been near blizzard conditions ... ooops, I mean dust storm conditions ... sometime during the night, because I can see Global Warming piled up in corners and crevices where it never reached before.

Update Sun morning: Two more inches of Global Warming.
 
  Ah! Warmth!



For the purposes of this cartoon, Polistra is being a Good Citizen. She is assuming that the Government Always Tells The Truth, that the Churches Always Tell The Truth, and above all that Responsible Scientists Always Tell The Truth. Since all of those groups fervently agree that Global Warming is Spiraling Out Of Control and that the Icecaps Are Melting and Spring Is Coming A Month Earlier Every Year and that We Will All Burn To A Crisp Tomorrow, she decided that she might as well bask in the new Summery Warmth.

Spokane is especially blessed by this Early Summer and Crispy Warmth. We've received two inches of Global Warming yesterday and another inch of Global Warming today, and the thermometer says 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is obviously false, because it must actually be 120.

After thirty minutes of basking in these Tropical Rays, Polistra notices that her toes are turning blue. Oh No! It must be a Third Degree Sunburn!!! Too much Warming!
 
  Just what we need, Comrade McGreen.

Via Derbyshire at NRO:

McCain said the United States’ goal in fighting Islamic extremists should be “to win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of moderate Muslims who do not want their future controlled by a minority of violent extremists.

“In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs.”


Yes, that's just exactly what we need to do. Create more Arabs like Sayyid Qutb, the grandfather of al-Qaeda, who acquired his hatred of the West when he studied at Colorado State in Greeley back in 1947. He was appalled at the "immodesty" of American boys and girls.

And remember, American college girls looked like this in 1947:



Shocking! Shocking! I can see an ankle!

Yessir, if 1947's immodesty turned Qutb into the founder of modern terrorism, we certainly need to expose more Arabs to Britney Spears-level immodesty, vulgarity, and idiocy. We need to create exponentially stronger hatred. That's just the right prescription, Doc McGreen!

= = = = =

Later: Polistra beat Mark Steyn to the punch on this point!! This has never happened before. Wonder if the cognitive dissonance of pretending to support Comrade McCain, the appointed and anointed brand-R candidate, is wearing down the minds of the beltway conservatives?
 
  I take it back

A week ago I called Rush a "party hack" when it comes to discussing candidates.

I humbly take it back. In response to Comrade McCain's foreign policy speech this morning, Rush hit every nail on the head.

This speech was truly frightening. McCain is not only more loyal to Gaia than the other two candidates, he's more loyal to the UN. McCain criticized Bush for giving too little obedience to the United Nations. Since Bush has crafted every piece of his foreign policy to please the United Nations and plunder the United States, I can't even try to imagine more obedience. But Comrade McGreen obviously imagines it, and is eager to implement it.
 
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
  Are protesters radicals?

Listening to Laura Ingraham interviewing some WW2 vets. She does a good job of bringing out the basics.

Lots of repetition of the pat phrase "These soldiers died so today's protesters would have the right to protest."

No, they didn't.

Laura enjoys the irony or paradox of this notion, but it isn't ironic or paradoxical, it's just plain false. Our soldiers didn't die to open the streets to Code Pink. Nor was that the intention or purpose of the Framers when they laid out the Bill of Rights. Those old common-law rights were designed to allow a free flow of CIVILIZED discussion, so that problems could be fixed by the government or by others BEFORE matters could get so bad that HONEST people had to take to the streets.

Our Leninist masters, mainly since 1950, have turned this upside down. They have subverted and perverted the concept of rights, so that civilized discussion is subject to severe censorship while the "rights" of their fellow Communists to sabotage the system are fully celebrated and carefully guarded.

Sabotage, in its original and literal sense, meant to throw a wooden shoe or clog (sabot) into the workings of a mill or machine to destroy its gears and shafts.

And that's what protesters do.

Think about the verbal contents of a typical protest sign. Have you ever seen the word "START" on a protest sign? No, it's always "STOP". Protesters are never agitating for a new idea; they are attempting to STOP an existing process or idea.

Thus, by the (generally useless) dictionary definitions of Conservative and Liberal, protesters are the Conservatives or reactionaries.

They want to STOP civilization and return to savagery.

Granted, some parts of modern civilization deserve to be stopped or at least "rewound", but the protest signs never refer to the parts that really need to be stopped; they want to clog up the useful parts.
 
Monday, March 24, 2008
  Mirror universe

Rather astonishing admission in the latest issue of New Science-ist mag.


Climate skeptics are right.

Temperature increases do precede rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide - the opposite of what you'd expect if changes in CO2 levels were really driving climate change. That's the verdict of leading atmospheric modeller Peter Cox, a climate expert at the University of Exeter. Yet far from dismissing the threat of global warming, Cox says this means things are worse than we thought. Events in the Little Ice Age, 400 years ago, prove the point, he says. "In climate change, we have been in denial about how temperature changes CO2. ... People on both sides want a one-way link, but the historical record shows that causality goes both ways." Embarrassingly for climate modellers, Cox added, "Actually, CO2 is more sensitive to temperature than the other way round."


At the risk of sounding like the standard leftist caller to talk radio, "I have a thousand things to say about this."

And the host inevitably says "Well, pick one......"



Okay, I'll pick one.

TOLD YA SO.

Now I'll pick another.

IF YOU WERE REALLY SCIENTISTS, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE LOOKED AT THE DAMN DATA BACKWARDS FOR 30 YEARS.

Now another.

WHY IS PETER COX ENTITLED TO SAY THIS WHILE FRED SINGER IS NOT?

Now another.

I WOULDN'T ***EXPECT*** CO2 TO CONTROL TEMPERATURE UNLESS I HAD ***OBSERVED*** CO2 CONTROLLING TEMPERATURE. THE ONLY THING WE CAN ***OBSERVE*** IN THE ***ACTUAL DATA*** IS THAT TEMPERATURE CONTROLS CO2.

Now another.

YOU GODDAMN SCIENCE-ISTS ARE ALWAYS SCREECHING ABOUT THE CONTRADICTIONS OF CHRISTIANITY, ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN TENDENCY TO TREAT SUFFERING AS EVIDENCE OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD. NOW YOU FINALLY ADMIT REALITY, BUT YOU TREAT THE REALITY AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR FALSE THEORY.

Now another.

THOMAS KUHN OBSERVED THAT THE ONLY WAY A SCIENTIFIC THEORY EVER DIES IS WHEN ALL OF ITS ADHERENTS DIE. QUICKLY, PLEASE.

= = = = =

Meanwhile back at the ranch, our media, candidates, formerly Christian churches, and bureaucrats, are all roaring toward Kyoto with turbocharged intensity.

Perhaps this sea-change in American politics and culture is the real reason why the science-ists now feel free to start admitting a tiny piece of fact. They have accomplished their purpose; they have finished imposing Stalinism on the western world; the movement is now unstoppable, given the inertia of media, politics, and churches. So now they can afford to salve whatever microsmidgen remains of their professional pride by admitting a fact or two.
 
Saturday, March 22, 2008
  Godsbot is not risen.

Someone has used the old "Eliza" style of question-answering technology to build a Gods Bot. It's cute, with a blinking Flash animation of Jesus, but it needs a little work, to put it mildly.

I tried a short session with the GodBot:


Human: Mormons think Satan is your half-brother.

godsbot: How do you know so much about me.


Human: Is Osama bin Laden your friend?

godsbot: I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask Jesus if it is.


Human: What do you think of Maurice Strong?

godsbot: The aspects of a thing that are most important to us are hidden to us because of their simplicity and familiarity.


Human: Is Gaia your equal?

godsbot: Signs point to yes. Ask Jesus if it is.


Human: Do you believe in the Earth Goddess Gaia?

godsbot: Knowledge is superior to belief.


Human: Did you rise from the grave?

godsbot: No I didn't rise from the grave. What's it like?


Human: Were you resurrected?

godsbot: No, I was not.



In short, it's just a fancy version of the old Magic 8-ball.
 
Thursday, March 20, 2008
  Self-explanatory sentences

I've always enjoyed spotting self-explanatory sentences, short utterances that tell you all you need to know about the speaker. Such sentences aren't the same as Freudian slips (eg Comrade McCain's "I'm a liberal conservative Republican") because the words are all fully intended, but nevertheless they tell you a lot more than the speaker meant to say.

===

My favorite, overheard on a bus from a biker-type young woman:
"My fucking friends always stop me from fighting whenever I'm fucking pregnant."

Tells you all you need to know about her life.

===

A few months ago, Baba Walters on "The View" said that she had received a Christmas card from Bush. Baba said "I'm shocked that he sent a RELIGIOUS Christmas card."

Tells you all you need to know about Baba's worldview: the concept of religion is utterly and completely alien and external, and she can't begin to imagine why anyone could possibly associate "religion" with a Christmas card.

===

Recently in a PBS report about the power of 'micro-loans' in the third world:
"...she lives in a hut made of dung."

Encapsulates REAL poverty in a few words.

===

Now to the current point:

A conference on the future of journalism, shown last night on C-Span, featured a Self-Explanatory Sentence that tells you all you need to know about the establishment media, though the speaker clearly didn't have any idea of the revelation.

Near the end of the conference, a large humorless biped of indeterminate gender (possibly female by birth) stood up, announced that it represented a Finnish newspaper, and asked: "Why is the demand for quality news going down while the level of education in most places is going up?" It then continued to discuss OECD and UN education ratings for several minutes, though it didn't even realize that the moderator had stopped listening to it.

Answering the question wouldn't help, because the question is invalid. (And interestingly the moderator didn't even try to answer the question, perhaps because he comprehended the true problem!) But unraveling and deleting some of the stupid assumptions behind the question would actually help to improve both the quality and sales of newspapers.

First assumption: That the content of high-class newspapers like the NYTimes and the Guardian is actually "quality news". In fact the content of such newspapers is a weird mix of true but irrelevant celebrity gossip and criminally fraudulent lies about economics, international trade, global warming, political candidates, etc. If such papers were treated the same as other companies, they would have been shut down years ago for fraud and organized crime.

Second assumption: That educated people are the only ones who can appreciate "quality news". Polistra has specialized in knocking down this myth by offering samples of radio news and entertainment of the '30s and '40s: entertainment full of elegant humor, literary references, poetry, Shakespeare and classical music; entertainment that unquestionably appealed to mass audiences as shown by steady corporate sponsorship and high ratings.


Third assumption: That education levels as measured by OECD or UN have any connection with intelligence, or with a hunger for learning and quality. I'm thinking of my grandfather and other men of that generation I've known through the years, who quit school around 4th grade because they needed to work on the farm. Their education level wouldn't even register on the OECD ratings. But they made a point of keeping good books around the house, they enjoyed reading books and newspapers, and they liked the high-quality radio programs mentioned above. Why? Not because they already knew all that stuff; because they DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW ALL THAT STUFF AND WANTED TO IMPROVE THEIR MINDS. They also wanted to be sure their children learned about the world.

Today's Well-Educated People are divided into two distinct groups. One group is the hard-working professionals who finished a PhD in order to practice their specialized talents. These folks consume "news" only to advance their professional abilities: to gather the latest research or find out what the competition is doing. You won't [and shouldn't] find this level of data in newspapers of any quality, so these type-A superachievers don't have time for papers. The other group is less-talented folks who picked up a liberal arts degree for credentials, because they didn't have anything intrinsic to offer. These people have steaming piles of self-esteem; unlike my grandfather, they are perfectly certain that they know everything in the world. Unfortunately, their liberal arts education was the exact opposite of learning. In some areas such as college history courses, the negative learning has actually been measured: students know less after graduation than they did at the start. In English, they may possess more "facts", but the "facts" are pure Derrida-style Leninism, not any sort of actual info about the history and function of literature and language.

Fourth assumption: That humorless bipeds of indeterminate gender but solidly orthodox Marxist faith are capable of determining the nature of "quality news" in a way that makes sense to normal humans. Such bipeds are certainly capable of infinite arrogance and infinitely unjustified snobbishness. Unfortunately, snobbery and arrogance do not constitute "added value" in entertainment or information. People know when they're being treated with disdain, and they run away from the source of contempt as fast as possible.

Putting those together: the falseness of Assumption 1 means that the rest of the question hasn't been fully tested. It's quite possible that even today's "educated" people would enjoy and pay for quality news and entertainment, IF it were made available. Since it's NOT available through today's newspapers, radio, and TV, we simply don't know if they would buy it.
 
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
  One scholar

Nearly all discussion of Obama, Wright, the Great Speech, etc, is done in a post-modern style. Fox is the worst with its Frank Luntz focus groups and Asshole O'Reilly doing the body language thing. But all the commentators operate in a content-free style of nonlinear textual analysis, where you never ask basic questions about facts; you only ask if the text is internally consistent.

The only exception I've found is Steve Sailer, who has been digging into Obama's biography via Obama's own memoirs. Sailer has done the basic work of good scholarship, looking up the connections and motives of the people involved.

Consider Obama's use of his grandmother, who was bothered by a bum who happened to be black. All the other commentators are happy to acknowledge the "truth" that Grandma Is A Racist Who Deserves To Be Interned, and all the other commentators congratulate Obama for his Christlike forgiveness. They understand that by all rights she should be lynched for saying the wrong words, but Barack has absolved her from the Eternal Fires.

Not Sailer. He reads the actual memoir and finds that the grandparents were solid Soviets, not just "Kansans"; that the grandmother had a good reason to feel uncomfortable around this particular bum; and that the grandfather insisted on putting ideology before marriage. A normal husband, especially of that generation, would instantly decide to drive his wife to work; but Barack's Soviet grandpa refused. He required his wife to continue taking the bus, not because the bus was more efficient, but because her unease about the bum who had persistently bothered her was Politically Incorrect in the strict narrow original sense of the term. If the bum had been white, no problem; but because the bum was black, the Correct Leninist Line required her to Celebrate His Diversity. The incident was not an opportunity to show his love for the missus; it was an obligation to Re-Educate the Deviationist-Roader Female Unit.

Since Barack is following Grandpa in refusing to protect the honor (and perhaps the life) of Grandma, we know which side he's on. Orthodox ideology comes before the basic function of marriage.

Despite the herculean efforts of the delightfully deceased Betty Fried[m]an, most people still instinctively sense that the purpose of lifelong monogamy is to protect women from the depredations of solitary men, and to protect men from becoming predatory bums.
 
  Infidels allowed?

This is an interesting story! Apparently Rome is negotiating with the Saudi royals to get a Catholic church built in Arabia. Not at all clear how serious this is, or whether the Saudis really intend it to happen. Arabs are very good at taqiyya, strategic lying. If it does happen in a straightforward way, it would give Osama one more reason to dislike the Saudi royals. More likely it would give the Army of Allah one more way to penetrate and subvert the Christian world. After all, Benedict likes to use Francis of Assisi as a model. Francis, a rich playboy, joined the Crusades to kill him some Mohammedans, and ended up as a confused pro-Mohammedan.
 
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
  If you can't innovate, inancienate!

This entry a year ago, where Polistra introduced her Law of Unthinkability, was mainly concerned with the unthinkableness of a border fence ... the conventional wisdom that "a 50-foot fence can always be scaled by a 51-foot ladder." I cited the glacis, a medieval construction method that prevented ladders from gaining a toehold on a wall. I suggested that engineers with a bit of imagination could invent a modern glacis.



Well, it appears that others are in fact thinking in medieval terms!

A Reuters article, caught via Vdare.com:

Faced with high-levels of crime and illegal immigration, authorities in Yuma are reaching back to a technique as old as a medieval castle to dig out a "security channel" on a crime-ridden stretch of the border and fill it with water.

"The moats that I've seen circled the castle and allowed you to protect yourself, and that's kind of what we're looking at here," said Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden, who is backing the project.

The proposal seeks to restore a stretch of the West's greatest waterway, the Colorado River, which has been largely sucked dry by demand from farms and sprawling subdivisions springing up across the parched southwest and in neighboring California.

The plan to revive the river, which drains from the Rocky Mountains through the Grand Canyon and runs for 23 miles (37 kilometres) along the border near Yuma, seeks to create a broad water barrier while also restoring a fragile wetland environment that once thrived in the area.


So it's a plan that not only protects the border but restores an important river. Sheriffs like it for the right reasons, environmentalists like it for the right reasons.

Hooray for old ideas!
 
  UCC true to form

Unsurprisingly the head of the United Communist Church is loudly defending Obama's pastor. I found the comments under his article, mainly from UCC members, more interesting than his predictable orthodoxy. Clearly the merged denominations are not comfortable together, and clearly the Dutch and German Reformed elements (ie Calvinists) don't like the "social gospel" (ie Alinsky's translation of Lenin's gospel) that the main Congregational branch has taken up since 1960. They should re-split.
 
Monday, March 17, 2008
  Universal health care needs better salesmen.

The advocates of single-payer systems are doing a poor job of advertising.

Listening to Tom Dashiell interviewed on Jerry Doyle's show. Doyle asked the basic 'conservative' question: Where will all the money come from?

The basic flaw in the question: John Q. Public forgets that he's already paying a sizable amount each month for health insurance because the amount is automatically deducted from his paycheck. He's also paying a sizable part of the bill for others, through costs added to doctor and hospital bills.

When John Q hears about a government system, he assumes correctly that the system will require new taxes but forgets that it will also relieve him from the other payments.

Dashiell missed this point entirely, which made his answer unconvincing.

Personal example: In the last few years before I semi-retired, say 1997-2002, my employer was deducting $300 a month for health insurance, which was about 9% of gross monthly pay. In addition, the employer deducted 6% for Medicare.

Thus I was paying 15% for mixed private-government health care. If my income had been smaller, the percent would have been larger because the $300 was constant, not a percentage. In other words, our health care tax is regressive.

In short, where would the money come from? The same place it's already coming from.

And would that require a lot more money to be snatched from my pocket?

No. If done properly, it would take a lot less.

Consider the French system.

The French government charges everyone 7% of their income for all health care at all ages; no separation between working-age and retirement-age care.

That's half of what I was paying, and it's a constant percentage. A flat tax, not regressive or progressive.

In return, they cover about 70% of routine expenses (checkups, prescriptions, treatments) and 100% of major surgery, which is similar to most American employer-based plans.

How do they charge half as much for similar coverage? I'd guess four major factors:

1. Because everyone is covered, there is no cost-shifting by hospitals, doctors, etc. You're not helping the hospital to cover its "charitable obligations".

2. Because the system is government owned, litigation can be stopped before it starts. (The principle of sovereign immunity. This should be obvious, but I haven't seen anyone except Polistra even mention it.) So doctors don't have to waste money on unnecessary treatments and tests; they can practice medicine instead of law.

3. Because the whole system runs the same way, administration and medical records can be centralized. It's not scattered among many insurance companies and many unrelated and uncooperative government branches as ours is.

4. For routine stuff, the patient pays the doctor directly, then files the claim to the gov't for 70% reimbursement. So doctors don't need to hire extra secretaries to spend all day negotiating with insurance companies, and don't need to hedge against the risk of non-payment.

= = = = =

The French way works. The American way doesn't. As usual.

Why can't our Dems simply xerox the French system and explain it as above?

Part of the reason, of course, is that the Dems are wholly owned by trial lawyers, so they can't do the "no litigation" part at all.

For the rest, I don't know. Maybe they're not really interested in universal health care at all, but just want to continue the fucking argument for another 600 fucking years while we die like fucking flies. Goddamn them all to the lowest circle of Hell.
 
Sunday, March 16, 2008
  No bark from Vicky?

I try to make note of non-barking dogs, if only for my own amusement. In the case of Spitzer, a whole lot of dogs who had cowered and showed their belly to him over the years are now barking loudly at him. It's safe to bark now that he's caged up in the dogcatcher's truck.

But the one dog who had been warning us about Spitzer and his ilk (warning is the basic purpose of a bark, after all!) is Victoria Toensing. About six months ago she took part in a discussion on C-Span in which she stated flatly that Criminal Nifong of Duke is not the "tiny handful of bad apples" but the NORMAL and TYPICAL prosecutor, and she detailed the blackmail tactics used by Spitzer and others.

If anyone has the absolute right to yap loudly and proudly at the supine Spitzer, it would be Toensing. Yet I haven't seen or heard her. Wonder why? Specifically I wonder if she has been blacklisted by both sides for her stubborn adherence to plain truth?

[Sidenote: I somehow had the impression that Toensing was about to release a book on the Duke case, but neither Amazon nor Google offer any hint of an upcoming book.]


= = = = =

Okay, one last thing on Spitzer. We're hearing all sorts of stupid and blatantly absurd explanations and justifications for why Spitzer's wife stands with him, or why she shouldn't stand with him, but we haven't heard the obvious and ordinary truth. Here's the truth in one sentence:

Alpha females cling to a position of power even more tenaciously than alpha males.

End of story.
 
Saturday, March 15, 2008
  Alleged Tornado?

The cable "news" channels have adopted a strange habit in the last year or so: treating tornados like arrested criminals. They insist on waiting until the Weather Bureau does its official assessment before labeling a tornado as a tornado. Until then, it's an "apparent tornado" or a "storm that could possibly turn out to be a tornado". After the official arraignment, the numerical rating of the tornado becomes important... the newscasters will actually tell us if the Weather Bureau decides to upgrade the rating from F2 to F3. In other words, the damage didn't really happen until we get a Trial By Jury with Due Process.

Do tornados have lawyers? Is there a Straight Wind Anti-Defamation League waiting to pounce on a report that mischaracterizes an ordinary wind? (No, there wouldn't be a Leninist organization supporting straight winds. Gay winds maybe.)

More likely this is just another aspect of the Death of Common Sense. The "news" channels no longer practice basic journalism, no longer ask what part of the information is truly needed by their viewers. They stick to official documents, regardless of whether the documents tell their viewers anything important.

= = = = =

Another peculiar bit of self-censorship: Referring to Rev. Wright's fiery Fascist speeches as "controversial comments" or "controversial remarks". Reminds me of old literary jokes like

"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!", he remarked.

"I'M GONNA TEAR YOUR GODDAMN HEAD OFF, YOU MISERABLE BASTARD!!!", he commented.

In earlier and more commonsensical times, wild Fascist speakers like Father Coughlin or George Lincoln Rockwell were described accurately by newscasters as wild Fascist speakers. This doesn't prevent the listener from making up his own mind about the appropriateness or validity of the speeches; it's just a factual description of the speeches!
 
Friday, March 14, 2008
  Wright again

Continuing from here.

Listening to Rev. Wright's tirades, one thing strikes me: he obviously thinks we were wrong to bomb Japan at the end of WW2. Well then, we know which side of that war he's on, don't we?

Perhaps these other nice progressive Congressional members of UCC should be asked why their denomination pays and honors a minister who spouts such obvious and plain Nazi propaganda, and who takes the Fascist side in both WW2 and the current war:

Senate (aside from Obama himself):

Max Baucus (D) Montana
Judd Gregg (R) New Hampshire
Daniel Akaka (D) Hawaii

House:

Mark Kirk (R) Illinois
Thelma Drake (R) Virginia
 
Thursday, March 13, 2008
  Q and A

Q: What's the exact opposite of Eliot Spitzer?

A: Mary Dague.
 
  Wright, Obama, TUCC, UCC, CC, etc

The brand-R talking pointheads are covering this heavily, and it does deserve to be covered heavily. But they are missing half the story, either through ignorance or self-censorship. For instance, Rush pointed out that Wright was not connected to the "Churches of Christ" at all. Well, of course. The "Church of Christ" is a branch of the Campbellites, pure innocent bare-bones fundamentalists whose trademark is a refusal to use instrumental music. Probably the closest thing in modern times to C.S. Lewis's 'mere Christianity', and absolutely unconnected to ANY leftish tendency. The other Campbellite group, the "Disciples of Christ", is larger, looser, and closer to elite mainstream churches, often mixing with Methodists in theology.

The "United Church of Christ", basically formed from the Congregationalists plus a couple of smaller mergers, is an entirely different matter from the "Church of Christ". Steve Sailer covers the hard-left connections of Wright's individual church, but not the whole denomination. In fact the UCC has been a clearinghouse for Communist and revolutionary activities since the '60s. When I was doing hippie peace stuff, we often stayed at UCC churches and used their organizing abilities. More obscurely, UCC (along with the World Council of Churches, which is explicitly Commie) ran an international cult for intellectual lefties called the Ecumenical Institute. This was something like a post-modern re-invention of the Jesuits, except that it was spreading Lenin instead of Christ. One of my close hippie friends joined this order and spent most of the 1970's working in various parts of the Third World, doing mysterious and secret things while often begging for money from friends. As far as I can tell from Googling, the EI faded out or changed its name after the '70s; I don't see any recent evidence of activity.

Since the American Left joined forces with Mohammed in the '60s, it's not surprising that Wright's Farrakhan-style ideas are treated with deference by the national UCC.
 
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
  Legislating morality

In connection with the Spitzer mess, Rush is answering the standard liberal complaint about "conservatives imposing your morality on my bedroom" and "you can't legislate morality". As usual with basic matters of human nature, Rush is doing a splendid job... he's the best public advisor in those areas. (He's a party hack on questions directly involving candidates.)

Still, he's missing a fresh opportunity to make a point. Now that all the formerly Christian denominations have officially switched from Jehovah to Gaia, from Jesus to Maurice Strong, environmentalism is a purely religious question.

The predictable liberal line: Separation of church and state. Rome says abortion is a sin, therefore we can't legislate against abortion.

Well, now that Rome says pollution is a sin, we can't legislate against pollution, because that would "impose Catholic morality on the rest of us."

It's an unbreakable argument.

Of course the reality, outside of liberal cliches, is that we have good secular reasons to prohibit abortion, just as we have good secular reasons to control pollution. "Life begins at conception" is a scientific fact, just as "Drinking contaminated water makes you ill" is a scientific fact.
 
Monday, March 10, 2008
  Spitzer gespitzt



This has been a hard week for Polistra. Now hearing about the gloriously abundantly richly deserved crash of Comrade Eliot Spitzer makes it all worthwhile.

Singing: "Client, client number nine, pumping down the whorehouse line ....."

= = = = =

Incidentally, here are the first two verses of that old Roger Miller song:

ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER NINE
(Roger Miller)

Engine, engine number nine
Coming down the railroad line
How much farther back did she get off.
Old brown suitcase that she carried.
I've looked for it ev'rywhere.
It just ain't here among the rest
And I'm a little upset, yes... tell me

Engine, engine number nine,
Coming down the railroad line,
I know she got on in Baltimore.
A hundred and ten miles ain't much distance
But it sure do make a diff'rence;
I don't think she loves me anymore.

= = = = =

Where's Paul Shanklin on this one? It's just too perfect.
 
  Osama on bleeding

I mentioned here that Osama wanted to bleed us into bankruptcy. Is he that clever? That much of an economist? Yep.

Quote from 'Messages to the World', written in 2003:

Mujahidin, be patient and think of the hereafter, for this path in life requires sacrifices, maybe with your life. You scare the enemy but they do not scare you, and you are well aware that the burning issues of the umma today are the jihads in Palestine and in Iraq. So be very sure to help them, be sure to know that there is a rare and golden opportunity today to make America bleed in Iraq, in economic, human, and psychological terms. So don't waste this opportunity and regret it afterwards. Remember too that the biggest reason for our enemies' control over our lands is to steal our oil, so give everything you can to stop the greatest theft of oil in history ... They are taking this oil for a paltry price in the knowledge that the prices of all commodities have multiplied many times. But oil, which is the basis of all industry, has gone down in price many times. After it was going for $40 a barrel two decades ago, in the last decade it went for as little as $9, while its price today should be $100 [ahem] at the very least. So keep on struggling, do not make it easy for them, and focus your operations on it, especially in Iraq and the Gulf, for that will be the death of them.


So, when Comrade McCain insists that we will stay there for 100 years, you now know which side he's on. He wants to bleed, and wants us to bleed along with him. Sort of like the Cutter-in-Chief.
 
Sunday, March 09, 2008
  Antichrist takes over. Poor, minorities hardest hit.

09:35 PM CDT on Sunday, March 9, 2008

Associated Press

NEW YORK – In a major shift, a group of Southern Baptist leaders said their denomination has been "too timid" on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming.

The declaration, signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention among others and released today, shows a growing urgency about climate change even within groups that once dismissed claims of an overheating planet as a liberal ruse.

The conservative denomination has 16.3 million members and is the largest Protestant group in the U.S.

The signers of "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change" acknowledged that not all Christians accept the science behind global warming. They said they do not expect fellow believers to back any proposed solutions that would violate Scripture, such as advocating population control through abortion.


Well, that's all she wrote. The other Protestant denominations long ago took the Baptism By Shit [pbuh], and swore full allegiance to Antichrist Maurice Strong [pbuh].

The Southern Baptists were the last holdouts for Jehovah and Jesus. Their statement contains a slight qualifying note in the last paragraph, but I'm sure that will disappear soon as the conversion takes full hold.

And fear not: the poor and minorities in the US will be hardest hit. The poor in China and Russia will benefit slightly, but the rich in all three countries will be rolling in even more money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money money as a result of the fraudulent cap-and-trade scams.

Oddly enough, Rome may turn out to be the last hope; after coming perilously close to declaring for Gaia, the Roman hierarchy has backed off just a hair in recent months, perhaps beginning to recognize the genuine facts of the matter.

=========================

Edit: Fuck it all. Just 8 hours after I wrote that last paragraph, this appears in the news:

Posted Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:00am PDT

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of "new" sins such as causing environmental blight. ... Fr. Girotti, in an interview headlined "New Forms of Social Sin," also listed "ecological" offences as modern evils.


Wasn't this one of the supposed main signs of the Antichrist? That all Christians would fall in line behind him without even understanding that they were losing their own souls thereby?



[Tech note: this picture isn't especially meaningful, but I had to take Polistra out of her alarming predicament in the previous entry!]
 
  Polistra takes a cold Scheuer

Polistra has started reading Michael Scheuer's new book, Marching Toward Hell.

Scheuer, the man who calls everyone Sir, has been making some of these points publicly, and the book ties it all together neatly with heapin helpins of documented information and unbreakable logic.

Just in the last six months without even knowing, Polistra has written 35 entries that conform with Scheuer's viewpoint and disagree with standard brand-R and brand-D parrots.

These seven are the best of the lot.

So the new book is splendid validation .... with one overwhelming exception.

Strictly speaking Sir doesn't have a viewpoint, which is exactly why his book is so compelling. He simply takes history and current facts, including some facts not generally discussed in public, and uses strict logic to reach conclusions. In short, he is an intelligence analyst as his job description says.

In most ways Scheuer ends up in the position typically described as Isolationist. He says we should stop trying to make the world safe for democracy; people who can handle democracy will find it on their own, and the attempt to impose it on those who can't handle it is wasteful and counterproductive.

So far so good; Polistra has been saying this.

Sir says that Osama's main goal is to bleed America into bankruptcy, just as Reagan bled Russia into bankruptcy. Bush is happily helping Osama to reach this goal, which leads us to seriously doubt which side Bush is on.

So far so good; Polistra has been saying this.

Sir says we should recognize and understand our enemies, and stop funding both sides of the war; we should take actual steps toward energy independence so we won't be blackmailed by Saudi oil, which directly funds al-Qaeda.

So far so good; Polistra is enthusiastically running with Sir up to here.

Sir also says we should stop funding both Israel and Palestine.




Clang clang clang clang! The Unthinkable Alarm is sounding internally!!!

SCREECH! Pop! Snap! Zzzzztttt! Those are the sounds of Polistra's neurons being fried by Cognitive Dissonance.

Cold hard fact collides with sentiment.

Here's how Sir reaches this discomfiting conclusion:

To win a non-state war, you convince the enemy that his efforts are futile, and you also convince the enemy's potential recruits that his goals are absurd. The first action is shared with a conventional war between nations. Fierce and shocking response to every enemy move, unimaginably harsh attacks on civilian targets. Indiscriminate rage, unstoppable slaughter. We did that in WW2, especially in the last year, and it worked perfectly. We haven't even approached it in this war. The second goal, peculiar to non-state wars, requires changes in our policy to drop the enemy's recruitment potential. (We did some of that before WW2, and it helped to avoid internal sabotage, but it wasn't a critical element then.)

Before we can even think of either goal, we need to know strictly and accurately WHO IS THE ENEMY? Which states and organizations genuinely menace the survival of America, which states and organizations are threats-in-waiting, and which entities are only threats to our friends or threats to our sentimental images?

And when you answer the last question coldly and dispassionately, you must shorten the list of threats to eliminate the states that only threaten Israel. This means that Ahmadinejad and Saddam don't belong on the list of top-level threats; both of them are/were threats to Israel but not to the people of America.

This is a difficult pill to swallow, but it must be swallowed if the rest of the treatment is going to work.

Toward the end of the book, Scheuer sums up like this:

U.S foreign policies are not addenda to the Ten Commandments; changing our policies is a sign of common sense, not weakness; and protecting America is infinitely more important than seeking to avoid driving Europeans and Arab royals into a snit. Foreign policy success can be measured only by the extent to which it preserves and expands freedom and liberty domestically. ... Nonintervention is not isolationism; the former is a policy, the latter is a slur used by America's governing elite to quiet any voice that asks, for example, why are you dropping thousands of tons of bombs on Serbs who never attacked or even threatened the United States? To ask such a commonplace question is to be labeled by the elite and the media, right and left, as a Luddite isolationist, who thinks America can hide behind its oceanic frontiers and have no truck with the outside world. ... To respond by saying "Be gone, you ignorant isolationist" is not an answer, it is an arrogance that says "We know so much more than you about the complexity of world affairs and - here it is again - the ballet of international politics, and in this case the nuances of Balkan politics, that you must accept our analysis." ... ... This [pat answer] ought not to wash with Americans, but it does far too frequently, and our elites are today running a foreign policy in the Muslim world that has left the United States with no options in the ongoing war and that, if left as is, will ultimately destroy America. US foreign policy neither protects Americans at home nor brings much benefit, let alone democracy to anyone abroad.

 
  Security questions

Bit of a random peeve. Many banks, credit card outfits, other companies, use some form of security question as a supposedly unforgettable password. It's a very old trick: Western Union used it 100 years ago as a way to verify money orders.

The old standard is "mother's maiden name", which is nicely unique and memorable. If you know anything about your family, you know this, and it's not going to change over time. In the last year or so, most companies seem to have abandoned good old MMN. Wonder why? Hackers using public records to find it, or idiotic multicultural concerns about "diverse family types"? If Heather has two daddies, she will be embarrassed by the question about her mother.

In any case, none of the security questions that I set up in previous years seem to work now. Part may be my own peculiarity, but part is sloppiness on the part of companies. Example of the former: One online ISP gave a choice of questions, presumably easy and definite for most people, but none of which I could answer with any certainty. Favorite movie? Don't like any movies. First girlfriend? Depends on definition: first crush, first kiss, first sex. First pet? Again depends on whether you count pets known in childhood or first pet I actually owned. Favorite rock band? All of them should be consigned to Hell as quickly as possible. I couldn't answer any of those questions in a unique and obvious way.

Example of pure sloppiness: A couple years ago AOL gave the chance to enter your own question, which I seized gladly as a way to form a really definite and unique combination. I remembered attending a classical concert with a friend named Jim who was a serious musician. After the concert, Jim asked "Did you hear the p'doos?" By which he meant a trick used by cello players, plucking a string then fingering down, which gives an unmistakable p'doo sound. So I entered the question "Who says pdoo" and the answer "Jim". Well, the next time I had to use a security question with AOL, this question had completely disappeared from their records, and we were back to good old "favorite movie", which I had never answered at all.
 
Thursday, March 06, 2008
  Small victory for science

AP story:

Idaho Senators voted 20-13 not to adopt a resolution requesting the Department of Environmental Quality and the Office of Energy Resources compile a report on the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Shirley McKague, a Meridian Republican, said one big reason she and her colleagues voted against the plan is they aren't convinced humans are actually contributing to climate change.

Senator Mike Burkett, a Boise Democrat, says the resolution wasn't about the science, it was about what the state was going to do about climate change.


It's just a resolution, but it's still a small move in the right direction in one state.

Won't matter in the big picture, because Comrade Bush, Comrade McCain, Comrade Hillary and Comrade Obama are all solidly committed to serving Gaia and Her High Prophet Maurice Strong. Or in more practical political terms, all the Comrades are 100% loyal to China and 100% disloyal to America.
 
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
  The Toto Plan

The one good thing about a wildly and bizarrely incompetent and corrupt Federal level is that state governors are forced to take over - or take back - many of the tasks that Feds had been doing fairly well before Putin's Soulmate decided to crash the system.

Oddly enough, true federalism is returning. States have been working together for many years to deal with organized crime, since the FBI (originally founded to deal with organized crime) has been getting its jollies from burning Christians and solving Kold Klan Kases. States have taken back disaster management after FEMA collapsed in Katrina. When 9/11 showed the absolute pointlessness (or worse) of CIA, New York City quickly set up its own foreign intelligence service, which seems to be functioning well. States and cities are taking over the control of the border and the checking of immigrants. Yesterday I noted that states are organizing to build new dams, which was a great Federal achievement in previous years.

Polistra offers a modest proposal. What would happen if nearly all of the governors formed an organization and effectively seceded from DC? What would happen if they simply skipped the Federal redistribution in areas like medical care and education? I'll bet the reduction in paperwork and idiotic mandates would more than pay for the loss of central funding. What would happen if they refused to obey insane and treasonous Federal "judges"?

If all, or nearly all, of the governors stayed together long enough to pull back the Magic Curtain, the nasty little man behind the curtain would melt.

And we'd have a functional government again.

In this as in all else, France provides a good example. France doesn't consider its form of government to be frozen for all time. The Vichy regime was corrupted into serving the Krauts in WW2, so France simply started over. Then in 1958 when Algerian independence created untenable splits within the govt and people, they started over again. France is now on its Fifth Republic. Why can't we do the same? Our 'Second Republic' (the Constitution) has been completely fictitious since 1962, maybe even since 1803. It's long past time for our Third Republic, which should return to the approximate form of the First Republic.
 
  It's official: Lenin owns us now.

Now that Huck is officially out (though the distinction doesn't really matter) we're left with three candidates tied closely to Saul Alinsky, the man who translated Lenin into American politics.

Comrade Hillary is the closest: She entered politics in Chicago as a direct personal protege of Alinsky.

Comrade Obama is once removed: He entered politics in Chicago through the very same ACORN, the 'community organizing' group founded by Alinsky.

Comrade McCain is twice removed: He set up the Reform Institute specifically to launder money from Comrade George Soros and from Comrade Teresa Heinz Kerry. Teresa is explicitly connected to ACORN, and Soros works in the same direction.
 
  Huck out




= = = = =

Update: As a contributor, Polistra received a form e-mail from the Huck campaign today. The letter has a warm tone that you don't often get in such form letters, and it sounds like Huck is thinking about forming a "shadow party" to build toward the next election:

We will keep our website up and as we transition, will want to create a way to keep in touch and continue the battle for our families, our freedom, and our future. We will also focus on assisting conservative Senate and House candidates, in places where we know our investment of time and energy can make a real difference. You can expect us to be active online as we do this and to regularly solicit your opinions and support. Too many big issues are at stake for us to sit on the sidelines.

 
Monday, March 03, 2008
  Good news, sorta maybe halfway almost.

Long quote from an AP news article.

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Western states' era of massive dam construction -- which tamed rivers, swallowed towns, and created irrigated agriculture, cheap hydropower and environmental problems -- effectively ended in 1966 with the completion of Glen Canyon Dam.


But the region's booming population and growing fears about climate change have governments once again studying construction of dams to capture more winter rain and spring snowmelt for use in dry summer months.

"The West and the Northwest are increasing in population growth like never before," said John Redding, regional spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Boise. "How do you quench the thirst of the hungry masses?"


Ironically, consideration of new dams comes even as older ones are being torn down across the country because of environmental concerns -- worries that will likely pose big obstacles to new construction. In Oregon, a deal has been struck to remove four dams on the Klamath River to restore struggling salmon runs.

There are lots of other ideas for increasing water supplies in the West. They include conservation, storing water in natural underground aquifers, pipelines to carry water from the mountains, desalination plants to make drinking water from the ocean, small dams to serve local areas.

Most of those ideas are much more popular than big new dams.

Washington's Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire put together a coalition of business, government and environmental groups to create the Columbia River Management Plan, which calls for spending $200 million to study various proposals for finding more water for arid eastern Washington.

Jay Manning, director of the Washington state Department of Ecology, believes that huge new dams on the main stems of rivers are unlikely. But it is quite possible that tributaries will be dammed.

"It is inevitable we will take steps to increase water supply," Manning said. "Storage is part of that solution."

With demand for water already high, pressure is being increased by fears that climate change will produce rain instead of snow in winter, reducing the slow-melting snowpack that provides water in dry summer months.

Gregoire's plan drew the support of many environmentalists by including many ideas they prefer, including conservation measures and metering more uses of water.

But the state also is studying dams, drawing opposition from some environmentalists, particularly a group called the Center for Environmental Law and Policy.

"Our water future doesn't lie with new dams," said Dr. John Osborn, a Spokane physician and chairman of the Sierra Club chapter in Spokane. "It's water conservation."


Three notes:

1. This could be a good thing if the NET number of dams actually increases.... if the construction to serve humans outpaces the terrorism to serve salmon. (Terrorism? Yes. Breaching dams is an act of war, whether it's done by an enemy power speaking a foreign language or by "our own" government. The worst irony of all is that we have National Guard personnel guarding dams against breaching by foreign-language-speaking terrorists. What are the soldiers supposed to do when the dam is bombed by "our own" government?)

2. The article makes no mention of adding generators to the new dams. I assume this is because hydropower has been defined by the Earth Goddess as "non-renewable", in order to guarantee our continued dependence on "clean and renewable" Russian and Venezuelan oil.

3. Note the dateline is Spokane, even though none of the major players are in Spokane. The article is discussing plans made by four state governments, and Spokane is not the capital of any of them. Hmmmmmmm. Wonder who the AP reporter was talking to? Wonder why the reporter was writing the article in Spokane? Can't begin to guess. Total mystery.
 
Sunday, March 02, 2008
  Thevenin

Thinking about the distinction between promise and action in evaluating the greenness of the three likely candidates .... Leads me to a good tool for thinking about politics in general.

Thevenin's method is a foundation of practical electronics. When you hook up your stereo system, you may notice indications like "1 volt 8 ohms" on an output plug. This tells you that the output could provide one volt of potential under ideal circumstances, and that the output has an impedance of eight ohms. The impedance describes how the ideal potential drops when you connect a speaker or other load to take energy from the amplifier.

Obviously this tells you nothing about how the internal circuitry is arranged. It does tell you all you need to know about connecting this plug to a speaker.

Similarly when designing or repairing a device, Thevenin helps to reduce various parts or main modules to simple terms, so you can build or check the next part in line without having to think about the fine details of the previous one.

There is a similar pair of 'black box' measurements for cars, which doesn't show up as a label on the car but is useful in road tests: How fast can it go under ideal conditions, and how much of a hill can it climb without stalling?

That's the key to Thevenizing a device. You reduce the thousands of internal components down to two basic measurements for an output:

How much potential difference can it provide in ideal load-free circumstances,

and

How susceptible is the device to stalling? How much opposition or impedance can it stand before the potential drops to zero?

Then, after connecting the load and using or enjoying the result, you ask the most important question:

How much actual work gets done?

This can be predicted from the potential and the impedance.

Applying this to politics, we have plenty of discussion on the potential side of the formula. We have endless shouting and screeching about the promises and the principles, but we have almost no discussion of the susceptibility to opposition. Experience comes close, but isn't really the same thing.

That's why the New Scientist editorial is highly useful even if their goals are genocidal. They actually analyzed the susceptibility of the three candidates and concluded that McCain was most likely to deliver their desired potential difference to America, given the characteristics of the actual loads on the political system.

= = = = =

The real political system, at least until recent times, had a vastly important extra component which made this type of two-figure analysis hard or impossible. The extra element, intended to be the MAIN element, was feedback. Our original designers, familiar with steam engines, understood the notion of self-government perfectly.

They built this system to function like a living organism, with thousands of independent feedback loops running between the people and their representatives at various layers. Each layer of government has a mechanism for watching how the people respond to its actions. This doesn't mean "government by the people"; somehow Lincoln's Big Gettysburg Lie has metastasized into the silly idea that we are meant to run the place. Feedback doesn't work that way, and the Constitution wasn't meant to work that way either.

Nevertheless, the constant monitoring of popular response was meant to keep the government in line with the people's needs. If the people show too much impedance to an idea, the government is supposed to try a different idea.


Well, where did the loops go?

In the last twenty years, our system has been taken over by electoral engineers like Karl Rove and Dick Morris, who have accomplished something new and disastrous.

Instead of simplifying the analysis, they have simplified the system.

With the help of Comrade McCain's assault on political speech, they have rigged the system so that it no longer needs to monitor the people's response. Using cynical advertising techniques and shit-quality candidates, they have repelled the flexible voters out of the election process, leaving only the rigid ones.

The flexible voters, those who respond rationally on the basis of their vested interests, the voters whose varying response could give politicians an indication of success, no longer bother to vote, because they are smart enough to understand that it makes no difference.

Only the "broken-glass" voters are still casting ballots; only the mindless voters who could be perfectly replaced by automatic R-marking machines or D-marking machines.

This allows the electoral engineer to calculate with remarkable precision how much money it will take to bring his particular brand of machines into the polling place.

Joe Trippi in a discussion on C-Span last week [sorry, can't find it online] observed that the Rove-Morris approach may finally be breaking down, and Obama is the breaker.

Trippi talks about top-down (Rove-Morris) politics versus bottom-up politics; he describes the bottom-up method as new, but actually it's the old and original technique. Because so many of our intermediate feedback loops have been broken, it can't work the same way now, but the essential principle is the same. Trippi says that Obama is winning because he is riding on the people's shoulders.

As long as Obama continues to listen, he will be able to accomplish actual work. The voters who are moving in parallel with Obama will apply so much voltage to the terminals of Congress that even Congress will have to jump a couple of inches.

Though Trippi was only discussing Dems, I know that Huckabee has the same bottom-up quality. Why didn't he exert the same force on the R side of the circuit that Obama exerted on the D side?

Not clear to me. Could be that the right side of the McCainstream Media is more unified and reliable than the left side, as I observed here and here. Or it could be that the brand-R establishment is so thoroughly and unredeemably corrupt, so totally devoted to maintaining its numerical advantage while giving up 100% of its principles, that it simply had to delete the outsider by pure blind instinct. The elite response to Huck certainly has a hissy reptilian lower-brainstem quality.


= = = = =

Tech note: Yes, I'm aware that I'm using impedance and susceptance very, very loosely! The proper meanings would require too much explanation in this context.
 
  If ya got it,

If ya got it, ya ain't gotta say it.

Watching the PBS hour on the Philharmonic in NoKo, with some excellent footage of people and places in Pyongyang. Truly a 1984 kind of place, with constant propaganda booming from speakers everywhere, and all the elite youngsters perfectly trained to believe that Dear Leader Kim is the Son of God, and that North Korea is Heaven On Earth.

We don't have that problem here ..... or do we?

Click on the picture for animation.




Point: Back in the '50s when America truly was the greatest and most free and most prosperous country, we didn't say it.
 
Saturday, March 01, 2008
  Green, green, he's green they say........

Why do I call him Comrade McCain?

Here's why. And it's worse than I thought.

From an article in the latest New Scientist mag, the house organ for Gaia:

Climate change is the biggest science issue in the world, and the biggest science issue in the upcoming US election. Who is the front runner? If you look at the parties, it's a no-brainer: the Dems snatched control of both houses of Congress on 2006, and have so far made good on their promises to fight climate change. The Republicans under GW Bush have a lousy record. ..... Among the three leading candidates, you might assume that one of the Democrats ... is the most environmentally friendly. Both senators have made big promises to cut emissions and fund clean energy research. Republican front runner John McCain has a set of climate credentials that arguably eclipses them both. He has railed against inaction on the issue since long before it was fashionable. ...

Of the three, who is best placed to implement an aggressive policy to curtail global warming? The surprising answer may be McCain. Clinton and Obama's big promises could bring other large emitters like China and India into line behind the US. That's important ... but McCain is the only candidate battle-hardened by years of defending his climate-change bills on the Senate floor. ...

In short then, McCain has the greenest credentials; the Democrats the greenest promises.


The worst thing about this: McCain will have no meaningful opposition. Because he bears the "R" brand, the idiotic team members in Congress along with Fox News and other pundits will mindlessly follow him into criminal fraud. If Obama pushes the very same policies, at least a handful of the "R" team will speak against him, though I'm not real sure about that.

We've already had two terms of a hard-left President bearing the "R" label, which gave us two terms of amazingly fast movement toward the left, quietly cheered by the "D" team and unopposed by the "R" team.

Polistra pleads above all else for honest labels and honest measurements. Without honest calibration and valid data, we are absolutely lost. We are doomed.




And yes, that's a Gaia-ger Counter she's using to measure Comrade McCain's criminality and fraudulence.
 

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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And some leftovers here.

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March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 /


Major tags or subjects:

Aberree
Carbon Cult
Constants and variables
Defensible spaces
Experiential education
Grand Blueprint
Гром победы
Heimatkunde
Language updates
Metrology
Natural law = Sharia law
Patient things
Skill-estate
Switchover

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