Tuesday, June 30, 2009
  Trice-cream

A few minutes ago I heard the familiar fake-calliope tune of the ice-cream vendor, always a sure sign of summer. The tune sounded different this year, so I peeked out the door and saw that the ice-cream man is pedaling a tricycle! Has a big cooler box on the back, presumably unrefrigerated. This wouldn't work in seriously hot places but it's probably OK in Spokane where the typical July day hits 85 degrees.

I'll bet he has an edge over the Cushman-driving competition because his overhead will be much lower: no insurance, no gasoline, no engine repairs.

Adds a nice old-timey feel to the neighborhood. Hope he succeeds!
 
  "Methane first" proposed

Interesting change of viewpoint in the latest issue of New Superstitionist mag.

In an editorial article, Kirk Smith (Prof of "Global Environmental Health" at Berkeley) proposes tackling methane before CO2. He makes most of the usual wildly false assumptions, but skips the false assumption that CO2 is the sole representative of Satan.

Only about half the warming that has occurred up to now is due to CO2. The rest is caused by other greenhouse gases, particularly methane, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and black carbon particles (soot). Similarly, less than half of the total warming expected over the next 20 years will be caused by CO2. ... Recent modeling shows the way to have the biggest impact ... is to immediately reduce emission of these gases. ... Another important consideration is the impact on human health. Of all the greenhouse gases, CO2 is one of the least damaging.


Yes, idiot, it's the major nutrient for plants in case you hadn't noticed, and humans need plants.

Why, then, are methane and [others] not more prominent in discussions over global warming? One reason is that the official weighting scheme is out of date.


Polistra doubts that this change will happen, because the carbon ball is already rolling too fast to stop; also because the Wall Street Mafia stands to make zillions and quillions of dollars from the next bubble in "offset derivatives"; also because the real money driver behind Gaia is the natural gas industry. And what is natural gas? Methane.

Still, this change would be a vast improvement. Given that the government is bound and determined to do something big to sate the blood fetish of the Gaians, I'd much rather have them working on methane. Much better to reduce an actual poison that really does kill people, instead of reducing a molecule that keeps the earth alive. Best of all, it would force governments to work harder to eliminate termites, since termites are the greatest source of methane!


 
Monday, June 29, 2009
  RIP Var

Lots of celebrities dying this week.

This is the most important one. None of those other celebrities saved lives.
 
  Madoff goes down

NRO has a good discussion of deterrence in the Madoff sentence. Jonah Goldberg says:

The minds of very smart criminals are probably very complex, if for no other reason than the fact that crime is generally a stupid thing to get caught up in (which is why you very rarely see guys with perfect SAT scores screaming at the camera on "COPS"). Conveying a sense that the system will have no respect for you and your station, that if you get caught the system will be cold to your plight, seems to me a worthwhile message to send, even if it's of only marginal utility. It's also a good message to send to people further down the socioeconomic station who believe that the system is rigged against them.


The last point is important, but the rest shows inadequate understanding of the criminal mind.

Length of sentence is not the major factor in deterrence. Professional criminals, whether white-collar or plain old robbers, have a solid sense of their odds of being caught. The ones who arrogantly believe they're too smart to get caught don't last long. Successful crooks know how to estimate the competence and crookedness of the police, and know how to find the blind spots.

In this case the odds of being caught are still extremely low, because the SEC and other supposed watchdogs are still asleep. Obama hasn't followed FDR's example, hasn't cleaned out the old system from top to bottom. The supposed watchdogs had decades of warnings about Madoff and did nothing. We don't know at this point if they were just asleep, or if Madoff was feeding them tasty treats to keep them sweet. In either case, the same tranquilized hounds are still in place.

= = = = =

Later: I see another NRO commenter finally reached the same point.
 
Sunday, June 28, 2009
  No green bark

Always harder to notice something that's missing, the dog that doesn't bark. As I'm listening to innumerable political ads from both sides of health care reform, the usual type that ends with "call your congressman", I realized there were NO ADS FROM EITHER SIDE on the cap-n-trade bill. It's the largest government power-grab in decades, and the most atrocious government action in this century; surely the various pressure groups understood its importance. So why no ads?

I have to conclude that the fix was completely predetermined. Wall Street wants cap-n-trade, and China wants cap-n-trade. Thus the entire ruling class of this unfortunate land wants it. All present and accounted for. Thus no need for even the pretense of discussion.
 
Saturday, June 27, 2009
  May Ear, My Ear

Professor Polistra wonders why everyone is pronouncing Sotomayor as "soh-toh-may-ear" or "soh-toh-my-ear".

Dumb pronunciations are forgivable in the case of obscure languages, but most Americans are familiar enough with Spanish to know that O is always pronounced O.

Is this Ear leaking through from a memory of Golda Meir? Unlikely. Meir has been dead and gone for a long time.

= = = = =

Later: The mystery is solved. The last syllable of Sotomayor has traded places with the first syllable of Iran. The "ear" that belongs at the start of Iran is now on the end of Sotomayor, and the "or" that belongs on the end of Sotomayor is now on the start of Iran, making it "Oran". As usual this weirdness appears to be starting at CNN.
 
Friday, June 26, 2009
  Pray to Albertus Magnus



Polistra is praying to St Albertus Magnus, the patron saint of science. As our alleged "House of Representatives" goes through its alleged "debate" on the most destructive government action since Lincoln's War, only prayer will help.

Some commentators believe that common sense and economic self-interest will combine to defeat this vast destruction, this Final Solution, this Grand Sacrifice to the Planet Goddess Gaia. Seems highly unlikely, but miracles do sometimes happen.

When the elites of academia and the Wall Street Mafia conspire to create a system that will make both of them (and especially their Chinese masters) even more obscenely powerful and rich, such micro-trivial and hopelessly obsolete considerations as national survival and truth are trodden in the poisonous dust.

= = = = =

Later: BRAVO to John Linder of Georgia. Most of the wimp-ass sissy-ass fag-ass Repooflicans cowered and cringed, saying "Oh please, Marse Obama, don't hit us too hard! We worship Our Lord And Savior Al Gore just like you do, but we hope, for no particular reason except partisanship, that you will only smite us with 99.9% of your force instead of 100%! Please, marse, please!"

Linder showed guts, loudly and firmly declaring the FULL TRUTH about the utter corruption of science.

= = = = =

Later: Well, no miracles. The vote went as you'd expect, partly by geography, mostly by party. 44 courageous Dems voted against the Final Solution To America, and nine wimp-ass sissy-ass fag-ass Chinese-agent Repooflicans voted for the Final Solution To America.

What makes me deeply angry, though, is more than this particular bill. Obama campaigned on this promise, he and his party gained a solid majority, and now he's fulfilling the promise. That's how the system is meant to work.

No, the real heartbreaker (to use Gohmert's appropriate word) is that the Repunklicans had 5 years, from 2001 to 2006, with complete control of Congress and the Executive. During those 5 years they could have turned things around. Immediately after 9/11 there was plenty of momentum for energy independence. Bush could have changed laws to encourage and subsidize nuclear and hydro, could have opened up more offshore zones for drilling, could have repealed the Endangered Species Act, could have regulated speculators, could have imposed tariffs and quotas against China. Nope, none of that. Bush and his party did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING during those 5 years. NOTHING.

If those steps had been taken in 2002, we'd have cheaper and more abundant energy by now; manufacturing would be much stronger; quite possibly the financial collapse wouldn't have occurred because America would have turned back toward self-sufficiency. In that hypothetical universe, there would be no "jobs argument" and no "scarcity argument" for cap-n-trade by now. The only argument for cap-n-trade would be the pure zeal of the genocidal Gaia fanatics, which wouldn't be nearly so persuasive by itself.

And then we had no real choice in 2008. Manchurian Candidate McCain was actually a stronger Gaia nutcase than Obama. His version of cap-n-trade would have been even worse, with more gifts to the Wall Street Mafia and fewer exemptions for honest business ... and the Repooflican hacks would have gone along with him, giving cap-n-trade an easy majority.

This Final Solution is in fact the Triumph of McCain's Will far more than a triumph for Obama and Pelosi. McCain has been working on cap-n-trade for years, carefully laying the foundation of falsehoods and frauds that enabled Obama to claim the victory.
 
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
  Sanford

Well, at least we know he's heterosexual, which sharply differentiates him from all other Republican leaders. (Or should I call them Repooflicans?)

Seriously, I'm always puzzled by this type of scandal. I understand lookin' for love in all the wrong places; I did some of that before I soured on the whole mess of human relations. And I understand self-sabotage; I did a lot of that in adolescence, then grew out of it. What I don't understand is the high-stakes gambling drive, this compulsion to put yourself in situations where your own defects can bring down lots of other people when you fall. It's irresponsible, and the people who keep such a man afloat are also irresponsible.
 
  More edushit

Heard on CNN just now, in a feature on the cost of college education: "Keeping cost down is important because America needs to have XXX% more college graduates to compete with Korea and Japan."

I didn't catch the number, and the number doesn't matter. It could be 1% or 99999%, and the entire statement would still be absolute ratshit from start to finish.

How much ratshit? Let me count the turds.

1. Before the Communist takeover in 1973, America outproduced everyone else. In those years we had fewer college graduates than now. Europe and Russia out-educated us by a long shot, but we did better economically. Our strength in those days was not intelligence as such, but superior organizing ability. We knew how to run a business, how to satisfy customers and employees at the same time. We also knew how to develop a system. Telegraph, telephone, electric power, railroads, highways. That was our secret, not raw intelligence. We've lost the basic culture of business thanks to the dominance of feminists and feral litigation, and thanks to the total emphasis on share price instead of profit; and we've lost our system skills thanks to the deregulation trend which started in 1978.

2. Graduating more BA's and BS's doesn't mean more learning. It means less learning. Except for a few fields like engineering and medicine, the average baccalaureate represents a subtraction of common sense, displaced by huge piles of lunatic lies.

3. Even if all college courses gave positive learning, and even if math and science were really the important determinants, no amount of education would put us ahead of Orientals. They are smarter than we are.

4. Korea, Japan and China have two big advantages that we could replicate: they have public health care, and they are willing to use tariffs and import quotas. In other words, their governments exist to protect their own people, while our government exists to kill our own people.
 
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
  David Warren hits the mark

In his Father's Day editorial, David Warren of Ottawa says it all.

I am fortunate still to enjoy the love of my children, or think I do. But I am vividly aware of so many fathers who do not -- whether through their own fault, or from the fact that their children were turned against them by a calculating mother, working the family law system. So many fathers have been exchanged for cash, and now live alone and in squalor, their income impounded to top up the account of their worst enemy in the world.


Been there, done that, got the ragged T-shirt.

This is a great pity, for women as well as men, for a society in which one of the sexes is casually and consistently depreciated -- men in the West, often women in the East -- becomes a sick and unbalanced society. What has been quietly observed about radical Islam -- the psychopathic cave culture that has emerged in environments where women are not merely reduced to chattels, but made emblematic of sin and corruption -- now has its counterpart here.

...

Indeed, I would argue that men suffer most under Islamist regimes, that women suffer most under feminized ones. Outwardly, the "superior sex" obtains a tyrannical power, but inwardly, their souls are stripped of the moderation, and imaginative empathy, that can come only from respectful interaction between the sexes.

 
Friday, June 19, 2009
  Not so hard to understand

CNN, overall doing a wonderful job of boosting moral support for the Persian people, still misses the point at times. This morning they're trying to explain the role of the Supreme Ayatollah to Americans. One "expert" compared Khamenei to Jerry Falwell. That's just dumb, and shows that the "expert" has spent too much time talking to other academics and not enough time with actual Americans.

Falwell never had that kind of power, except in the delusional nightmares of academics. He had influence over a large set of Protestants, but most of the political elite hated him and reflexively disobeyed him. That's the exact opposite of the Ayatollah's influence.

In fact America does have a close equivalent of Khamenei, a man whose power is half-mystical and half-political, a man who is ALMOST ALWAYS OBEYED BY EVERY POLITICIAN, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT. And in fact his name is rather similar to Persia's Ayatollahs.

His name is Edouard Khennedi.
 
  Now thassa some spicy crash!

Spokane is going through some weird weather and (as the diplomats say) I'm not ruling out other weird influences. In the last two weeks we've had a Midwestern pattern of daily thunderstorms while Seattle stays dry. Highly unusual for June. We've also had a two-week run of really bizarre crimes, including an unprovoked machete attack by a berserk loony.

Early this morning a pair of dickheads (well, actually one of the dickheads was female, so we'll call them Dickhead and Cunthead) carjacked a 2001 Acura. Somewhat later the cops spotted Cunthead driving the car, and she led them on a high-speed chase. The chase ended with a spectacular crash: the car mowed down a power pole then split in half; one half ended up riding the splintered remainder of the flattened pole and the other half careened into a nearby house. Both halves then caught fire. The resulting wreckage looks like two random blobs of metal about 50 feet apart. Needless to say, the laws of physics convicted and executed Cunthead, thus sparing our so-called alleged "legal" system the trouble and expense of acquitting her. Fortunately no humans were involved.

Yay physics!

Video here.

Clear picture here.
 
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
  Bush III

Via NRO, an excellent critique of Obama's missed opportunity in Persia:

Among the specific recommendations by Senor and Whiton are these: (a) Mr. Obama should contact Mr. Mousavi to signal his interest in the situation and Mr. Mousavi's security; (b) the president should deliver another taped message to the Iranian people — only this time he should acknowledge the fundamental reality that the regime lacks the consent of its people to govern, which therefore necessitates a channel to the "other Iran"; (c) Obama should direct U.S. ambassadors in Europe and the Gulf to meet with local Iranian anti-regime expatriates; (d) additional funding should be provided immediately for Radio Farda, an effective Persian-language radio, Internet, and satellite property of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; and (e) the administration should take steps — for example, access to the Web and other means of communication — to give Iranian reformers and dissidents a level playing field with the regime in the battle of ideas.


These actions would be parallel to our decades-long campaign against the Soviet dictatorship, which finally paid off. Maintaining a cultural connection and moral support, providing information, steadily countering the dictatorship without direct interference. Obama is unfortunately continuing Bush's realpolitik, apparently following the Kissinger line, ignoring the dissidents and "respecting the election results" because our goal is Democracy.

= = = = =

Canada's David Warren offers a well-thought-out broad perspective. He reminds us that the original purpose of taking down Saddam was to show both Arabia and Persia that their dictators are breakable, that we can destroy you if you give us enough reason. Though Bush totally spoiled the result in Iraq by switching from this original strategic purpose to his Wilsonian Democracy shit, the original message did get through to the people of Persia. Dictators are not immortal; they survive by consent of the majority.

This is a point we have forgotten through our immersion in the fraudulent circus of Democracy. Stalin, Hitler and Saddam were not imposed forcibly on an unwilling people; all ruled with the loyalty and love of the majority, or at least the loyalty of the dominant ethnic group. If Ahmadinejad no longer has the loyalty of most Persians, his fake "election victory" won't help him.
 
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
  The author speaks



Note from the Author, who hasn't appeared lately....

Leaving aside politics and science for a moment and speaking as a plain male human:

CNN's Octavia Nasr is one fine-looking babe.

Smart, too. (Secondary consideration.)
 
Sunday, June 14, 2009
  Final nail in the carbon-cult coffin



Suppose you've bought a grab-bag of coins advertised to contain all denominations, and you're sorting them out with a sieve that has different-sized holes. After a whole lotta shakin, you see that nothing has come out of the penny slot. You'd then assume that someone had already sieved for pennies, and you'd decide not to waste more time looking for the elusive 1909 SVDB. No matter how much you filter this pile, you won't catch any pennies.



Now suppose you're sorting out the colors of sunlight. This is what you'd expect: an equal intensity of each color.



But if you found that one color was missing, you'd conclude that something between you and the sun was absorbing that color. And if the color was completely black, you'd know that there's no point in further filtering; no matter how much you try to filter out that color, it's already black. Can't get blacker.


A recent article by geophysicist Norm Kalmanovitch points out that the usual description of the greenhouse effect is too broad. Carbon dioxide doesn't just absorb light and emit heat; it is a fairly precise "pigment" that prefers to absorb one particular "color". And the infrared "colors" that emerge from the atmosphere are completely black in the range where CO2 does its absorption.

There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77 microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.

It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280 ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference [by IPCC], about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 had already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.


So: Even if the carbon cultists were basically right that carbon dioxide were the sole controller of our climate ... which of course they aren't, to put it mildly ... the concentration of CO2 before this century's sharp rise was already processing nearly all the energy it could take. And now we certainly have more CO2 in the atmosphere, but there's no way it can do more "greenhousing" than the pre-industrial level. And no matter how much it rises in the future, it still can't do any more "greenhousing", because it was already maxed out a hundred years ago.


 
  Definitions

The enemy-controlled media are "discussing" the three recent assassinations, as usual confusing and conflating all three under the rubric of "hate crimes".

First, there's no such thing as a "hate crime". The 14th Amendment was passed for the SPECIFIC AND EXPLICIT PURPOSE OF REMOVING "HATE CRIME" "LAWS". Any "law" that creates a greater or lesser penalty based on the race or other innate quality of the criminal or victim is prima facie unconstitutional and invalid. It is not a law.

More to the point, these three assassinations need to be treated separately. In an earlier and saner America, commentators would have distinguished them like this:

1. Killing George Tiller was a classic vigilante action. Tiller had been violating both moral and written laws for many years. Several months ago he was finally brought to trial for his mass murders, and the alleged so-called "legal" system failed completely. Thus Roeder was taking the law into his own hands because the law was not in the hands of the alleged so-called "legal" system.

2. The murder of an Army private by a black Mohammedan convert is an act of war by an enemy soldier. Not very large or significant, but still an act of war.

3. The killing of the security guard at the Holocaust Museum is an act of terrorism, intended to produce fear and make some kind of point, though the victim wasn't Jewish and the point is unclear. Needless to say, our enemy-controlled media are making a big splash out of this killing because the assassin is white and "right-wing". Our enemy-controlled media nearly ignored the much larger and much more purposeful slaughter in the Seattle Jewish Community Center two years ago, because the assassin in that case (Naveed Haq) was an actual enemy soldier, on the same side as our media. Incidentally, a retrial of Haq is in preparatory stages right now in Seattle.
 
  Mousavi's letter

Reproducing the letter from Mousavi, because it's worth preserving in as many places as possible. I suspect the Rectifiers will be busy; it sounds like our own enemy-controlled media are firmly on Ahmadinejad's side.

Copied from here.

= = = = =

Mousavi Letter

In the Name of God

Honorable people of Iran

The reported results of the 10th Iranians residential Election are appalling. The people who witnessed the mixture of votes in long lineups know who they have voted for and observe the wizardry of I.R.I.B (State run TV and Radio) and election officials. Now more than ever before they want to know how and by which officials this game plan has been designed. I object fully to the current procedures and obvious and abundant deviations from law on the day of election and alert people to not surrender to this dangerous plot. Dishonesty and corruption of officials as we have seen will only result in weakening the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran and empowers lies and dictatorships.

I am obliged, due to my religious and national duties, to expose this dangerous plot and to explain its devastating effects on the future of Iran. I am concerned that the continuation of the current situation will transform all key members of this regime into fabulists in confrontation with the nation and seriously jeopardize them in this world and the next.

I advise all officials to halt this agenda at once before it is too late, return to the rule of law and protect the nation’s vote and know that deviation from law renders them illegitimate. They are aware better than anyone else that this country has been through a grand Islamic revolution and the least message of this revolution is that our nation is alert and will oppose anyone who aims to seize the power against the law.

I use this chance to honor the emotions of the nation of Iran and remind them that Iran, this sacred being, belongs to them and not to the fraudulent. It is you who should stay alert. The traitors to the nation’s vote have no fear if this house of Persians burns in flames. We will continue with our green wave of rationality that is inspired by our religious learnings and our love for prophet Mohammad and will confront the rampage of lies that has appeared and marked the image of our nation. However we will not allow our movement to become blind one.

I thank every citizen who took part in spreading this green message by becoming a campaigner and all official and self organized campaigns, I insist that their presence is essential until we achieve results deserving of our country.

[ verse from in Quran: Why not trust in God, who has shown us our ways. We are patient in face of what disturbs us. Our resilience is in god. ]

Mir Hossein Mousavi
 
Saturday, June 13, 2009
  Eastaugh: the right argument for once!

This guy, Dr Steven Eastaugh, does know how to sell nationalized health care. He lays out the facts and uses effective arguments, all presented in a lively fashion.

He's an adviser to Obama, which is a positive indicator... but why isn't he speaking to a wider audience?

If I were in Obama's position I'd call a Special Joint Session of Congress in prime time, have Eastaugh give the same lecture he gives in the video linked above, and require each member of Congress to take notes and recite the main points of the speech afterward. Any idiot who doesn't pick up the main points would then be publicly named as Persona Non Grata, never to receive any pork or favors. Idiots would still be free to vote against the proposal, but the people would know who's an idiot.
 
  Sidekicks

The late-night TV shows have been in the news lately, what with Conan taking over from Jay, and Dave making crude jokes about Palin's kids. I started thinking about these shows in general, comparing them with their radio ancestors, and noticed something.



Nearly all the radio variety shows in the '30s and '40s were husband-wife teams. Fibber & Molly, Jack Benny & Mary Livingston, George & Gracie, Fred Allen & Portland Hoffa. Their on-air characters weren't always married, but the real people were. And those shows pivoted on the bond of man and woman. Wouldn't have worked without it.

All the modern TV variety shows are ALL-MALE. It's been that way since the start of TV. No female sidekicks at all. The shows pivot on a male-male connection, which often takes on a homosexual flavor.

And the same happens in talk radio. The sidekick isn't always well-defined -- some shows have a set of anonymous assistants -- but in each case where you can name a single sidekick, he's male.

Think about the influence on the host. When your wife is part of the act, you're less likely to tell crude locker-room jokes. And think about the influence on the audience. Modern entertainment gives us no illustrations, no role models, of healthy and humorous conversation between man and woman.
 
  Same old edushit

Obama's Education Secretary gave a brief interview on CNN just now. Supposedly the interview was a sort of progress report on how the stimulus money is helping education. Pretty good idea for a news piece, but that isn't how it went. The interview actually went like this:

Interviewer: Do we need to pay teachers more?

Duncan: Oh yes, we need to pay teachers much more.

Interviewer: How much more?

Duncan: Oh, lots and lots and lots.

Interviewer: Six figures?

Duncan: Oh yes, six figures. Especially the math and science teachers.

[Rinse and repeat 5 times]

= = = = =

Okay, so I'm stretching it a little. Still, the CNN guy never asked any meaningful questions and Duncan never gave any meaningful answers. Nothing about charter schools, nothing about changing the curriculum or teaching methods. Nothing about giving teachers more authority and less fear of lawsuits. Nothing about relieving federal special-ed requirements that completely distort the whole system. Nope, just the same old shit about more more more more more more money money money money.

The statistics have been obvious for 30 years. Money makes education worse. It's that simple. Admittedly there was a time, say before 1970, when improving school buildings and increasing teacher pay actually helped the kids learn better. But since that minimum threshold was reached, more money just adds more administrators, who then make more idiotic rules, requiring more money to work around the idiotic rules.

Labels:

 
Friday, June 12, 2009
  Mousavi

Watch this VOA story on the main opposition candidate in Persia's election. Listen to the list of Mousavi's sharp and well-reasoned differences with current policy. Then try to remember McCain's sharp and well-reasoned differences with Obama. (Other than the phony question of abortion, which Republicans always talk against but never do anything about, I can't remember even one real difference.)

Then ask yourself: How in the hell do we justify lecturing these people on the benefits of democracy? And: When in the hell are we going to get the benefits of democracy?


= = = = =

Update 6/12: Well, I take it back. Persia's "democracy" is identical to ours. Election results are determined in advance, and the "voters" are allowed to make cute little marks on "ballots" which are then discarded. So neither country is in any position to lecture the other.
 
  Wrong arguments

Polistra often wonders why both of our alleged political "parties" are thoroughly inept at basic communication. Obama is a huge exception to this rule, but his assistants and the Dems in Congress are emphatically not exceptions.

Yesterday's hearings on single-payer medical care show the problem. There is a clear way to argue for nationalized health: simply describe how it works in France and argue for adoption of the French system. Nope, they can't do that for some idiotic reason. The Dems have to re-invent a clumsily compromised wheel when the good wheel stands right there waiting to be copied.

= = = = =

Another missed selling point:



Public transportation gives FREEDOM to poor people.
(And to disabled, elderly and youngsters.)

This has always been true, and Americans explicitly understood this point 100 years ago. Towns of all sizes eagerly built streetcar systems in order to provide opportunity for everyone to work and buy things. Good public transit was a point of pride.

And the argument is even stronger now, because maintaining a car has become an expensive proposition. Not so much the cost of gas; except for brief bursts caused by criminal speculation, gas prices now are about the same as they were in the '20s or '30s. The real problem is maintenance and insurance. Before 1980 you could fix a car yourself or find a competent friend to do the job, and you could afford most replacement parts. Now, thanks to the state-sponsored terrorist organization EPA, repairs must be done by licensed professionals and parts are wildly expensive.

So why don't we hear this appealing argument for freedom and opportunity? Traditionally this should have been the Democrat argument for public transport, while the Republicans daintily clutched their perfumed lace handkerchiefs and sniffed haughtily at the downtrodden hoi polloi.

The only argument we hear now is the Green Lie, which both parties suicidally agree on. "We must bear the awful burden of public transportation because cars emit carbon." Even if the premise were true, the statistics aren't very good; buses are not much more efficient than cars per passenger-mile. So public transit is hard to justify by raw mathematics, but easy to justify on a quality-of-life basis.
 
  The whole tape and nothing but the tape

Our enemy-controlled media have made a typically sensational splash with the 72-year-old lady getting tasered by a cop. As always our enemy-controlled media have carefully cut the tape to make the cop look evil, and as always the full tape shows that the cop was absolutely justified in using force.

The subject came up on one of the graphics forums I visit daily, and the discussion was highly illuminating. Nearly all of the commenters saw the TV tape first, and thought the cop was horribly abusive; nearly all of the commenters then found a longer version of the tape, and came back to reverse their comments. "Edit: The cop was fully justified."

Proof (not that we needed it) that our enemy-controlled media know EXACTLY what they're destroying.
 
Thursday, June 11, 2009
  A new self-explanatory sentence.

First a clarifying note on the title, because I'm getting a whole lot of links lately via the term "explanatory sentence". When Professor Polistra lists self-explanatory sentences, this is a special and distinct category that has nothing to do with the ordinary meanings of "explanatory sentence". A self-explanatory sentence sums up an entire life or worldview in a few words, usually without conscious intent. Thus the sentence is a "self-explainer".

With that out of the way, here's a new one.

Israelis are offended by a photo of Obama talking to Netanyahu on the phone. Obama has his feet up on the desk, with shoes facing the camera. In America it's a normal executive pose, with no meaning except "My feet are tired." But in the Middle East where everything and anything can start a war, it's an insult.

From the AOL article about this silly kerfuffle:
Netanyahu was told Tuesday by an "American official" in Jerusalem that, "We are going to change the world. Please, don't interfere."

And that's the new SES. It may be a mistranslation or a misquote, but still it encapsulates the Obama administration so far.

Actually it's not all that different from the Bush foreign policy, except that Obama has smartly omitted Bush's stupid emphasis on Democracy as the key ingredient of the changed world.

Shoes or no shoes, both Israelis and Arabs have good reason to feel threatened by this constant American Utopianism-Imperialism. Changing the world is truly impossible, but we keep trying. And we keep asking the "changees" to please stand aside while we destroy our own country in a fruitless attempt to change theirs.
 
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
  Good legislation on energy

Rep McMorris from Spokane has been advocating for hydropower, which is the cleanest available source of electric power. Several years ago the Gaians (with no opposition from Sultan Bush) defined hydropower as dirty and "non-renewable", because it makes life more difficult for the fucking fish.

McMorris has fixed this, and helped to fix some other things. From her press release today:

In light of a Portland judge’s recent ruling threatening our dams, we must do everything we can to protect them. Classifying hydropower as renewable is a step in the right direction. I recently wrote about that judge's decision in this Spokesman-Review column.

I am working to promote the important role of hydropower in meeting our national renewable energy goals. Right now, hydropower represents 75% of our country’s current renewable energy production. Hydropower currently produces 6% of our nation’s electricity. We could double our use of this clean, renewable resource without building a new dam.

In addition to promoting clean, renewable sources of energy like hydropower and nuclear energy, the American Energy Act:

* Allows for the responsible exploration of energy on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Arctic Coastal Plain and in areas where oil shale exists

* Streamlines the legal process for developing new energy sources and new refineries

* Encourages homeowners and businesses through tax credits to improve energy efficiency and offers a $500 million prize for the first U.S. carmaker that sells 50,000 vehicles that get 100 miles per gallon


This is part of a larger positive pattern. Earlier this year HR 146 was passed and signed, making it easier to prevent fires in national forests by cutting and using excess timber. During the Bush years this process was hopelessly tied up in litigation, leading to total waste of wood and unnecessary deaths.

I'm not sure why these (comparatively!) good laws are finally being passed under a supposedly Green Democrat administration. It may be influenced by those pro-American western Democrats who were brought in by Howard Dean. Or it may be that Bush talked a good pro-American game but really didn't give a flying fuck about Americans, while Obama actually understands the purpose of his job.
 
  Ecclesiastes

Perusing a Korean church website, ran across this quote.

= = = = =

내 가 또 본즉 사람이 모든 수고와 여러 가지 교묘한 일로 인하여 이웃에게 시기를 받으니 이것도 헛되어 바람을 잡으려는 것이로다 우매자는 손을 거두고 자기 살을 먹느니라 한 손에만 가득하고 평온함이 두 손에 가득하고 수고하며 바람을 잡으려는 것보다 나으니라 (전도서 4:4-6)

And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:4-6, NIV)



Wisdom proved by 5000 years of experience, and Americans still refuse to catch on.

Sidenote: Bach had something to say about this.
 
  New approach

Barbara Kay in Canada's National Post provides an nicely objective and original approach to the abortion question.

There's a third side to the debate that gets short media shrift: emerging knowledge about medical risks surrounding induced abortion. Throughout 40 years of highly publicized ideological squabbling, researchers in the field of human reproduction have been quietly beavering away on mounting epidemiological data around induced abortion and its link to preterm birth in a future pregnancy. Recent findings in their research remind us of a "right" generally observed in the breach: the right of women seeking safe abortions to informed consent.

Approximately 100,000 abortions are performed annually in Canada (30 per 100 live births), about a million in the U. S. and some 14 million worldwide, a significant percentage of them repeats (in the U. S. 46%).

...

In 2007 Dr. Greg Alexander of the U. S. Institutes of Medicine (a branch of the National Academy of Sciences) identified a "prior first trimester induced abortion" as an "immutable medical risk factor associated with [a later] preterm birth."


And nobody doubts that premature births pose a significant risk to the child, often leading to various forms of brain damage.

In a 2007 article in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Byron Calhoun et al estimated there were 1,096 annual excess cases of Cerebral Palsy in US newborns under 3.5 lbs that can be directly traced to a prior induced abortion.


Frankly, I'm not sure that this new approach would make a difference, since the US "legal" system is sworn to uphold, preserve and defend the Gaian Sacrament of abortion above all other considerations in the universe. Nothing may ever interfere with the Sacrament of Death.

If our elites don't care about the survival of children, they aren't likely to care about permanent damage to children ... except for the large medical and educational costs involved with a brain-damaged child. And that's where a political wedge might be applied. Consider the medical cost arguments made for anti-smoking laws, motorcycle helmet laws, etc.

Well, at any rate, Tiller is gone and his clinic is closed. Many other abortionists are still operating, but very few perform the late-term and partial birth killings that Tiller specialized in. So we can assume that some lives have already been saved by the removal of Tiller, and more will be saved in the future. That is absolutely good, no matter what our "legal" system says about it, and no matter how many squeamish qualifications we hear from allegedly pro-life commentators.
 
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
  Ginger-ich

Newt continues to say sensible and necessary things, even when he's speaking to an audience with the intelligence of termites. (i.e. Congressmen.)

With apologies to the late great Gary Larson......

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

Newt says:


They hear:


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

Newt says:


They hear:


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

Newt says:


They hear:

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

 
Monday, June 08, 2009
  Dumb criminal

From the Spokesman-Review:
A Spokane man got some good news and some bad news this weekend from police.

The good news: Ziggy’s employees found the item he apparently lost while shopping at the building supply store Sunday.

The bad news: It was a baggie of methamphetamine, and Ziggy’s called Spokane police.

Christopher C. Wilson, 34, gave employees his name and number after asking about a lost item. That information helped police arrest him after employees checked video footage and saw him dropping the bag by the counter. They found it just minutes before Wilson returned.

 
  Tough titties

The media are all atwitter (or is that atwatter?) about the two Al Gore employees who invaded North Korea and now are "unjustly" sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Too fucking bad. Everyone knows that North Korea is a closed totalitarian country with inch-by-inch surveillance. Everyone knows what will happen when you walk into a place like that with the intention of gathering information. No surprises whatsoever.

Not everyone knows, but it's generally understood, that CIA agents often use journalism as a cover, and CIA sometimes uses the services of real journalists. (As in "we'll help you get in if you'll brief us afterward.")

So the charge of spying is not unreasonable and might even be true.

Quit whining, assholes.

= = = = =

Actually I'm more worried by our failure to capture the two Americans who have been spying for Cuba for 30 years. Sounds like they were sloppy and incautious; should have been fairly easy to detect their shortwave transmissions. (Going out on a limb: I wouldn't be surprised if some nearby ham operators did detect and report the transmissions, but the gov't wasn't interested.)

Capturing people who may be enemy spies is healthy and normal behavior for a nation. Failing to capture apparent enemy spies (for 30 years!!) is unhealthy and self-destructive.

= = = = =

Later and less grumpy note... It's interesting that the Cuban spies were finally picked up under Obama. We can safely assume that FBI had some degree of info about them for a while, and there doesn't appear to be any imminent or sudden threat.

The talking point heads on both sides want us to believe that Obama is pro-Cuban, and his rhetoric has certainly been softer than Bush's rhetoric. But it's Obama who finally pulled the chain on these spies.

My conclusion is that Obama is setting policy, paying attention, holding the reins. The Bushes, Sr and Jr, never tried to control the bureaucracy, always allowed it to run rogue. So the FBI was content to follow its natural urges, which include bombing Christians and keeping foreign agents under surveillance forever.

Obama is different. He has a policy in mind and intends to use the bureaucrats as tools to implement the policy. What's the policy? Something like: "Speak softly and carry a big carrot and a big stick."
 
Sunday, June 07, 2009
  Bravo Bernero

Kudos to CNN for giving frequent airtime to Virg Bernero, mayor of Lansing. While both so-called parties, all so-called economists, and all so-called journalists, work day and night to rip America from its roots and hand the goodies to China, Bernero wants to defend what little we have left.

In yesterday morning's segment, he smacked down the opposing economist so convincingly that even the moderator seemed dazed.
 
Friday, June 05, 2009
  That's more like it.



Polistra sees Roger Penske's purchase of GM's Saturn division as a major turning point. Finally a real car man is getting involved.

What makes this a truly historical moment is that an American capitalist is creating the first independent American car company since AMC faded in 1983.

Calling a spinoff 'independent' might seem wrong, but in fact all successful American car companies since 1914 began this way. Pick up a failing or bankrupt firm for a song, restart with new ideas and new money. So this arrangement is quite typical.

Who knows, maybe other American capitalists will look at Penske and try to figure out what he's doing? Nah, that's too much to expect. Making things that people can buy?????? Too weird and radical. Incomprehensible and alien. Leave all that dubious stuff to the Chinese. We'll just stick to our good old basic homespun American business methods: options on puts on bets on futures on derivatives on indexes on credit default swaps on packages of computer models based inversely on naked short calls. Much easier to understand.
 
  Strange shakeup

KHQ, Spokane's NBC affiliate, is pulling a classically stupid TV move, probably following the orders of some expensive "format consultant". They fired the most competent weathercaster in town, Brian Albrecht, and hired the least competent one from another station. The least competent one is a pretty blonde, which presumably gives her the ratings advantage. Trouble is, she can't read the radars and teleprompters correctly let alone predict anything. She literally can't tell north from south.

Meanwhile, Albrecht seems to be thoroughly disgusted with broadcasting in general; instead of moving to another station as usually happens in these cases, he's become an assistant pastor at a Lutheran church!

So we're going to be stuck with the Weather Bureau's halfassed predictions. They do well enough on the slow-moving changes, but they never catch the surprises.
 
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
  Language update



Professor Polistra has accumulated another set of overused or new phrases.......

Company / Country: During the TARP crime, newscasters were having a lot of trouble with these two words, switching them both ways. Nice Freudian indication that criminal syndicates such as AIG are more countries than companies, and territorial entities such as USA are more companies than countries.

Piracy / Privacy: During the Mærsk Alabama story, piracy turned into privacy more often than not. Nothing Freudian here; just a very rare word sliding over into a very common word of similar sound. (Possibly influenced by the arcane and literary word privateer, which means roughly the same as pirate?) A more annoying and less justifiable error was pronouncing Mærsk as Mursk and referring to the ship as the Mursk. Mærsk is a huge company that owns many ships, one of which is the Mærsk Alabama. This shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp. Calling the ship "the Mursk" is like living at 412 Grandview Terrace and giving your address as simply "The Turrace".

Whole host: Obama's favorite phrase, spreading through a whole host of his acolytes in the media.

Anecdata: Nice new portmanteau word for anecdotal data.

Infodemic: Wonderful coinage by Peter Greenberg, for the spread of idiotic panic (eg Mexican Flu) through the media.

Turbine: British pronunciation (rhyming with turpentine) has taken over. No reason for this, except to sound British. Might make sense if we needed to distinguish turbine from turban, but the latter is so rare that a separate pronunciation is unnecessary.

Somehow: Introducing somehow into a sentence tells us that you are a cool Progressive who knows the truth, unlike those uncool Fascists. Examples: "The conservatives somehow believe that the Constitution somehow has a literal meaning which judges can somehow read and somehow apply." "Yeah, right, like somehow a fetus is somehow a baby or something." "These deniers think the sun somehow influences the climate on our Planet."

Unvirtuous circle: When a new thing or idea comes along, it needs an extra adjective to describe it. After the new thing replaces the old, we use the plain default word for the new, and we have to add something extra to describe the old. Common examples of retronyms: acoustic guitar, film camera, biological parent, covenant marriage, landline phone. In this case, the old term for a positive feedback loop is vicious circle. This is accurate and appropriate because positive feedback (each increase triggers even more increase) is always bad. Negative feedback (each increase is countered by an opposite compensation) is always good. When your car is going too fast, hitting the gas pedal is positive feedback and hitting the brake is negative feedback. In recent years the bubble mentality, the assumption of infinite increase, became so pervasive that we insanely declared positive feedback to be a virtuous circle. Now that the party is over, a few sobered-up commentators are trying to recover the old accurate idea, but they've lost the term vicious circle, requiring the invention of the weird semi-retronym unvirtuous circle.

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Monday, June 01, 2009
  Sometimes ...


The rosebush that was flattened by winter-hell started blooming today.


(A cynic might attribute this more to the power of pruning than the power of miracles, but I'm not a cynic at the moment.)
 
  GM down


Polistra has said before that a well-organized bankruptcy would be a good thing for GM. Remains to be seen whether this particular bankruptcy will be more like Studebaker (competent car men took over, company thrived) or more like Willys (idiot bean-counters took over, company failed).

One big question remains: If the bankruptcy was going to happen anyway, why did we pour 20 Billion into a black hole? Wouldn't the same 20 Bil have done more good in the form of a "defense contract" to build high-speed rail equipment?
 

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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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