Monday, September 30, 2013
Half of these people have never run so much as a bath for themselves, and now they want to run the entire country. If it wasn't so damned scary (Harry Reid and Mitch "the bitch" McConnell - yeah, I really want those 2 calling the shots, NOT!), it'd be damned hilarious.
I got an idea for you guys. How 'bout instead of voting for the 42nd (or is it the 43rd, I'm kind of losing track here?) time to get rid of Obamacare (not to mention grandstanding/waste of time filibusters), you put your frigging thinking caps on and put forward a feasible alternative to it?.......................................................................................I mean, it isn't as if you folks don't have some decent ideas, for Christ; tort reform, health savings accounts, buying insurance across state lines, etc.. But a) you've got to put 'em all together, b) you've got to take your plan to the American people, and c) you've got to find some moderate partners on the other side of the aisle (folks like Manchin, Warner, McCaskill, Pryor, Wyden, etc.) and get their input (which, yes, may possibly include such items as catastrophic care, premium support, the re-importation of drugs from Canada, etc.). Yes, the President himself is a fairly committed leftist when it comes to domestic policy but the man is also a pragmatist, and if he sees a way in which his signature achievement can be salvaged, he just might relent a tad. Kind of like he did with Syria....Hey, it's worth a try.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Alright, let's have a little fun with this. The predicted global warming (according to the IPCC) over the coming decade is .17 degree C. For the world to somehow be able to stop that (extrapolating from the previous post to include all countries and to actually achieve this goal), the total cost would be approximately $540 trillion, or 80% of global GDP. Does anybody out there really think that this constitutes a good investment?.....................................................................P.S. And, yes, I ask you to compare that to the cost of doing nothing now and adapting to global warming if necessary. The Stern Report (a rabidly pro-AGW document) - according to this analysis, the cost of climate change would run anywhere from 1-3% of global GDP. So, even if we take the higher end of this projected cost, that would only be approximately $20 trillion, 96% less (or, if you prefer a ratio, 27:1), 96% LESS!!! I mean, are you starting to see the craziness here?
The Australian carbon tax, the aim of which is to reduce the country's emissions by 5%, is slated to cost the taxpayers of that country $160 billion. Being that Australia only produces 1.2% of the world's total CO2 emissions, the tax would only cut global CO2 emissions by .06%, and so instead of the atmospheric CO2 level being 410 ppm by the end of the decade it will only be 409.988 ppm, and instead of the temperature being X it'll be X - .00005 of a degree C. Yeah, that's a real huge "greening". LOL
How he refrained from going upside her head was truly astonishing - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AS6rQtiEh8 (I personally only made it to the 16 minute mark).
Friday, September 27, 2013
I predicted it, folks; a) that Iraq would eventually descend back in to chaos and b) that Obama would be blamed for it. The latest partisan ramrod to jump on the bandwagon is Ann Coulter, articulating that Obama "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory (injecting also her opinion that Iraq was a 'smashing success')."............................................................................Of course Ms. Coulter uttered this idiot phrase while a guest on the equally cartoonish Sean Hannity show, and so, no, she really didn't have to defend that comment from questions such as, "So, how frigging long did we have to keep that finger in the dike and did you know that we had to leave via an agreement that Bush himself frigging signed (Obama actually wanted to keep a residual force of 10,000 troops but the Iraqis said, 'nada'), bitch?" Not that the lady ever really answers questions honestly, mind you.
Not the pot calling the kettle black/damned ironic enough.
Wow, talk about scary neoconservative BS (the fact that Obama surged in Afghanistan, sextupled the drone attacks in Pakistan, continued with Bush's policy of rendition, etc.).
While, yes, there are clearly many scientists who strongly believe in God, and who therefore believe in creationism in that sense, there are simply no reputable scientists who still believe that the earth is less than billions of years old. I'm sorry, but there just aren't.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
According to multiple sources ("Science" 2000, Kukla, "Science" 2006, Otto-Bliesner, et al, "Nature" 2000, Cuffey and Marshall), the previous interglacial period (130,000 to 116,000 years ago) was significantly warmer than what we're presently experiencing (2 degrees C warmer at the equator, 6 degrees C warmer at the poles) AND THERE WAS NO MASS EXTINCTION (this, despite the fact that seas levels were 4-6 meters higher) OR RUNAWAY GREENHOUSE EFFECT (CO2 levels were actually quite modest)!!! Nope, just the frigging opposite happened. Tree lines advanced (both in terms of latitude and altitude), vegetation bloomed, and animal life flourished.......................................................................................Of course the most noteworthy event of all that happened during those 14,000 years is staring at us now; a little something called homo sapiens. Yeah, that's right, folks, we were evolving in Eastern Africa....right about that time!!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Back in 2009, President Obama said that he would NOT use scarce Department of Justice resources to crackdown on medical marijuana facilities. Yeah, well, guess what, according to sources ranging from The Young Turks and The Huffington Post to Reason TV, the Obama justice department has conducted twice as many raids (reports of even senior citizens and AIDS patients in handcuffs - reminiscent of the Brits in 1946 beating Holocaust survivors with the butts of their rifles) in 4 years as the Bush administration did in 8. So much for this individual being "pro-choice".
Some of these global warming alarmists are just plain stupid. Gavin Schmidt (the guy who got eviscerated by Michael Crichton and Richard Lindzen in that Intelligence Squared debate on PBS), for example, while, yes, he has admitted that there have been episodes of global warming in the past (thank the Lord for small favors, huh?), one of the causes that he's cited for these episodes, volcanoes, doesn't cause warming!! I mean, yes, volcanoes do in fact emit tremendous quantities of CO2 but they also emit massive amounts of particulate matter which, when it reaches the upper parts of the atmosphere, significantly blocks the sun. In fact, folks, one of the possible explanations for the warming in the latter '90s (in addition to the PDO) was the fact that we DIDN'T have a major volcanic eruption (one that exceeds 6 on the VEI) for a significant period of time. Hello!
I hate to say it but they're probably right - at least from a political point of view (the fact that the American voters don't seem to care much about 'em).
On wd Saying that He's "Not going to bother composing a serious comment if it isn't going to be published" Over at Les's Site
Being that he's written literally hundreds of comments here that he KNOWS aren't going to be published, the man is either a liar or he's admitting that the comments that he does leave here aren't serious (and more along the lines of harassment). Either way, he's showing himself to be the unemployable mooching little true-believing lowlife that we already knew about.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
After the fact explanations as to why your theory is crashing and burning (satellite data clearly shows that 1998 was the warming year on record) doesn't validate your theory (you didn't say that if a,b,c and d then e, you said e, and e isn't happening) in the least. I mean, are you guys simply unaware of the Enlightenment?.............................................................................Here, let me give you a quick refresher course. The Enlightenment instructed us that whenever there is a discrepancy between our theory and the facts, it is the theory that needs to be either modified or rejected AND NOT THE FACTS!!! The fact that you clowns have continuously "adjusted" (or, as I would prefer to say, tortured) and cherry-picked the data and moved the damn goal posts (George Monbiot saying that IF you removed the El Nino, for instance) is disgusting and a sign that we are moving ever so closer to a post post Enlightenment era in which advocacy and government/official science trumps the real McCoy. Ya' proud?
Monday, September 23, 2013
As a science, it is quite literally in its infancy. a) The climate models - they could not have been more wrong (placing almost their entire emphasis on CO2, man-made CO2 at that, they hugely overestimated the temperatures, inaccurately predicted a hot-spot in the upper troposphere, and said that the earth's escaping radiation was going to decrease when it has measurably increased). And b) the myriad of other climatic factors that have yet to be factored in (a large chunk of which they haven't even been discovered yet, I would proffer); bacteria, underwater volcanoes, land volcanoes (the fact that we haven't had an eruption over 5 on the VEI in over 20 years), plate tectonics, the PDA (which itself wasn't even discovered until the mid-1990s!), solar flares, sunspots, cosmic rays, planetary perturbations, peat fires, etc.. How anybody could say that anything in this discipline is "settled" is mind-boggling.
On Conrad Murray's Lawyer Saying that He, Murray, Was in No Way Culpable for Michael Jackson's Death
Astonishing. Not only did Dr. Murray give Mr. Jackson a drug (propofol) that he shouldn't have (in an improper setting and without the appropriate monitoring equipment), HE LEFT THE MAN UNATTENDED!!!! To say that he is in no way culpable here is quite possibly the most idiotic statement that this blogger (who's frankly heard a bevy) has ever heard. In no way culpable my ass.
Acidify - To make or become acid; convert into an acid.......Please, explain to me how the making of something slightly less alkaline/slightly more neutral is in any way acidifying it. This is absurd. At the very most we are talking about a change in the ocean's pH of 8.2 to 8.0, and the fact of the matter is that even if we burned every cubic foot of fossil fuel on the planet we STILL couldn't make the oceans acidic (the fact that seawater is buffered to the point that it can take up massive amounts of dissolved inorganic carbon and its pH level not be hugely affected). This is nothing but yet another attempt (being that the warming hypothesis has so thoroughly crashed and burned) to demonize CO2, technology, capitalism, etc. and to frigging slap another tax upon us............................................................................P.S. A few additional points. a) There is nothing even remotely alarming about the present-day CO2 levels and, if anything, we are at a relatively low ebb pertaining to them and b) CO2 is beneficial to ocean life in that it generally helps plants to grow and shellfish to develop.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
The present-day interglaciation started in the late 17th century (approximately 1680). Human CO2 emissions, on the other hand - they didn't start on a massive scale until 1945 (followed, ironically, by a 30 year period of relative cooling and that iconic 1975 Newsweek cover). Something other than human activity OBVIOUSLY started the warming trend (at least as far as I know, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon didn't drive Hummers), people. Maybe a little research money toward THAT?
But ocean acidification is largely just another scare tactic (acid is such a scary/Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde term) by the global warming alarmist crowd. First of all, the ocean hasn't been acid for over 600 million years and it obviously isn't acid now (the pH level is well over 7 and the limestone isn't dissolving). And, secondly, the ocean already has far, far, far, far, MORE CO2 than the atmosphere and this has historically been a good thing (marine organisms and coral reefs both need CO2 in order to flourish - the former for skeletal and shell growth, the latter for photosynthesis) for oceans/ocean-life...................................................................................Now, this isn't to say that the oceans are in tip-top shape. They obviously aren't. But to try and blame it on atmospheric CO2 going from 270 ppm to 390 ppm (yes, some of which is due to human activity) and not on garbage, waste, chemicals, tailings, plastics, etc. is almost comical if you truly think about it................................................................................Oh, and, get this. What the AGW people are advocating here (i.e., a reduction in atmospheric temperatures) would probably cause MORE "acidification". This, in that the oceans actually hold more CO2 when they're cold and would in fact probably get more cold if we were to reduce atmospheric temps. I mean, hello!
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Back in the late '80s and early '90s, James Hansen and his side-kick, Ben Santer, made a series of temperature predictions based upon their models. They basically put forth three possible scenarios; a) if the world made no corrective measures relative to CO2 (in which case there would be a massive increase in global temperatures), b) if the world make modest corrective measures relative to CO2 (in which case there would be a moderate increase in global temperatures), and c) if the world made draconian measures relative to CO2 (in which case there would only be a slight increase in global temperatures)....And guess what, people - THEY WERE WRONG!!!! Yeah, that's right, the true temperature increases have actually come in UNDER what these two fellows predicted WITH the draconian cuts in CO2! I mean, talk about an embarrassing situation.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Richard Lindzen's areas of expertise - ozone photochemistry, atmospheric tides, the quasi biennial oscillation, the super rotation of Venus, the aerodynamics of the middle atmosphere, climate sensitivity/feedbacks, atmospheric Rossby waves, atmospheric Kelvin waves, gravity waves, the Hadley Cell, and the effects of tropical cirrus clouds on atmospheric CO2 and temperature.............Al Gore's areas of expertise - $, $ ,$, $, $, $, $, $, $, $, and $.
Yeah, I'm probably going to have to go with, complete and total BS, on that one.
Chestnut Street in Salem MA, High Street (Rt. 113) in Newburyport MA, Middle Street in Portsmouth NH, and North/South Street in Litchfield CT.......The best of the bunch? If pressed, I would probably have to go with High Street in Newburyport. Not only are the houses utterly exquisite, there are literally dozens of dwellings to choose from (covering approximately 2 miles). Definitely bring your camera if you go.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
"The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal for anyone to kill a protected bird (including eagles and other raptors) by any means without first obtaining a permit."......U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release, 2009..............................................................................So, how well is the U.S. wind industry doing in regards to this law? Well, if you listen to the Alameda County Community Development Agency's report on the matter, the Altamont wind farm alone is responsible for the deaths of 2,400 raptors (eagles, hawks, burrowing owls, etc.) EVERY YEAR (not to mention thousands and thousands from other protected species)!! Every damn year. That certainly doesn't appear like compliance to me...............................................................................P.S. And, yes, cats and cars kill a lot more birds than wind turbines. But when was the last time that your tabby left an American bald eagle, a hawk, a falcon, or a burrowing owl at your your doorstep? If it's anything like mine is, the answer would be never.
The dude is a real piece of work. As a professor at Australian National University and the author of the Garnaut Report on climate change and emissions trading, the man has been a consistent critic of industry and a self-described champion of fighting carbon "pollution". Unfortunately, and as is all too often the case, the deeds of his personal life are an altogether different story. The fellow not only owns a cattle farm in which massive amounts of methane are being added to the atmosphere, he also presides over not one but two mining companies (Lihir Gold Ldt. and Ok Tedi Mining Ltd.) that are both dumping millions of tonnes of waste and tailings into the ocean....A true champion of environmentalism? Yeah, right.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
On the Assertion that Employers Always have the Advantage Over Eployees When it Comes to Negotiating Wages
It's a false one. I mean, yeah, if you're a high-school dropout with zero skills, a sense of entitlement, and a singularly stinking attitude, then obviously your options are going to be limited BUT if you happen to be a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech and language specialist, a software engineer, an electrical engineer, a pharmacist, a nurse practitioner, a physician's assistant, a mechanical engineer, a financial adviser, a computer systems analyst, a math teacher, a computer systems administrator, a veterinarian, etc., etc., YOU at that point will probably have the advantage..........................................................................And, no, it isn't just people with advanced degrees that can eventually command a premium position in the market-place. Individuals who have strong experience and/or a certification in such varied careers as manicure, dental hygiene, pharmacy technology, plumbing and pipe-fitting, medical assisting, and makeup artistry can also be very picky in terms of who they give their services to. I mean, I know that the left likes to portray the individual as this helpless little victim amongst these corporate behemoths (which is in and of itself off the mark in that 70% of the new jobs being created are being created by SMALL businesses) and all but you really gotta look at the entire picture here, I think.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
You can't have it both ways, dude. You can't on the one hand claim that Austrian economics is a marginal field and therefore unworthy of sharing a debate stage with you, and on the other hand constantly write about the thing (mostly via a litany of mischaracterizations). You either have to pick one or the other. My suggestion is that you simply be a man and take Robert Murphy up on his challenge (a decision that will provide to the New York food bank over $100,000) and debate him. 'Cause if you don't, you're just going to continue to look like a fucking turd.
Monday, September 16, 2013
You could tax everything over $100,000 at 100% and it wouldn't even come close to funding the trillions in unfunded liability. That, and it would only be a one-shot deal in that nobody in his right mind would ever want to work for $500,000 a year if $400,000 of it was going to skimmed off immediately. The fact of the matter is that Medicare needs to be reformed COMPLETELY (via the insertion of strong market forces) and, until it is, it will literally be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
Yeah, I'm thinking that Teddy Bridgewater might have a pretty decent outing.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
The latter has a D in front of his name and believes in Keynesian economics and man-made global warming (this, despite the fact that temperatures have actually been going down while CO2 emissions have risen by 28%).
I've asked you on more than several occasions to cease and desist with the comments and yet you continue to spam me with your partisan and knee-jerk idiocy. If I have to tell you again, I will file a complaint with the server on grounds of harassment. You have your own blog-site and so use it. There, now have a pleasant (albeit marginal) existence and vanish.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
1) If the President ultimately decides to launch missiles toward Syria, he will be doing so with zero international/U.N. support, zero support from N.A.T.O., zero support from the Congress (his own party has rejected this notion), and zero support from the American public. If a Republican President were on the cusp of doing something similarly, the American left would be crucifying him and the American left would be justified.............2) Yes, the utilization of chemical weapons is a violation of international law/the Geneva Protocol of 1925. But international law is being violated every day on this globe. Why in the hell are we (i.e., the President, Secretary Kerry, etc.) picking this as the singular atrocity to which we're going to respond militarily to?...And in the middle of a frigging civil war (a civil war in which there have obviously been atrocities on BOTH sides), too, for Christ. It makes no sense!............3) My suspicion is that when the President laid down that ridiculous little red-line of his, he never once thought that the Syrians would challenge him on it. But they apparently did (this, though I still haven't ruled out the possibility that the rebels did it in that the Assad forces were winning and really didn't need to go this route) and we are where we are because of it. Thank you, Mr. President (Mr. Clinton would have never shown this level of incompetence).............4) Saddam Hussein killed and tortured infinitely more civilians than Assad and his father, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, the Saudi royal family, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and Hamas combined. All of these hard-core stooges who are now advocating action on humanitarian grounds but who were utterly silent during Hussein's ugly reign of terror really need to be shamed, in my opinion.............5) And to be fair, there are obviously some hypocrites on the right as well. A lot of these Senators (such as Mitch "the bitch" McConnell) who were so petrified about Hussein having WMD and wanting to disarm him and who now acting as if they were isolationists are pretty darn shameful, too, me-buckos.
You're largely incorrect. According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S carbon intensity fell by 43.6% from 1980 to 2006 (a 40% BETTER reduction than that of the E.U.), its energy intensity (the amount of energy needed to produce $1 of GDP) fell by about 42%, and its per capita energy consumption fell by 2.5% (better than Canada, the Netherlands, France, Norway, Japan, Australia, and Brazil - all of which showed a per capita INCREASE and all of which exceeded the global average). Yes, we're still using more in terms of energy than other countries but that is principally because we're far more prosperous (that and the fact that we often have to travel greater distances) and how many of us truly want that to go away?
Friday, September 13, 2013
"Engineers build things. Lawyers sue people who build things. One of the greatest challenges in the making of a smart, forward-looking, no-regrets energy policy in America is the paucity of knowledgeable people in positions of power on Capitol Hill and in Washington who truly understand energy (in 2007, there were 60 lawyers in the Senate and only 3 people with engineering degrees)."......Robert Bryce, energy journalist/expert 2010.
Well it's about damn time.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
On President Bush Once Having Said that Both "Sides" of the Evolution "Controversy" Should be Taught in Schools
How embarrassing that the leader of the free world would say something that anti-intellectual. Intelligent design isn't even remotely scientific (the mere fact that it is untestable) in nature and for the President to have placed it on an equal footing with evolution was an abomination. The fellow obviously didn't listen to his fine science adviser, John Marburger.
The satellite and radiosonde balloon data (instruments that haven't been contaminated by factors such as urbanization) are unimpeachably clear on this, people. The warmest year of the 20th Century was 1998. Yes, you do have lying sacks of doodoo such as Skeptical Science and James Hansen who are trying to tell us otherwise, via land thermometers and "adjustments" of the data, but the facts are the facts are the facts here. I mean, I know that this is difficult for people who have staked their entire reputation on this theory being true and all but when you have CO2 emissions going up by 28% over the past 15 years and the temperatures actually going DOWN, it just might be time for a reassessment or two....or three.......And I thank you for your time.
On Obama Being a Warrior (and in a Very Bad Way) and People Like Bruce Springsteen and Tim Robbins Seemingly Not Giving a Rat's-Ass About it
It's shameless, absolutely shameless. These people could obviously give a flying frig about war. It's politics. Period, end of discussion, and as long as it's their guy who doing the killing, silence is golden..............................................................................P.S. I will give kudos to Ed Asner (a veteran leftist), though. The man has come out exceedingly hard on Obama (on Syria) and has even castigated his Hollywood brethren for their reticence. Bully for him. I guess that when you're bearing down hard on your 84th birthday you really don't care all that much what people think of you.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Speeding vehicle, intoxicated driver, no safety-belt.
According to a recent study by the Cascade Policy Institute, countries (165 of them were analyzed) that scored higher in terms of economic freedom (as measured by the Heritage Economic Freedom score) not only had cleaner environments, they also did much better in terms of energy efficiency and carbon intensity (they specifically found that countries which intervened less in economic activities actually used less energy and produced fewer carbon emissions per unit of production)...................................................................................But we really kinda already knew this, right, the fact that East Germany was significantly more polluted than West Germany, the fact that North Korea is significantly more polluted than South Korea, the fact that countries like Indonesia with their burning of cow dung, charcoal, and palm oil are some of the worst polluters on the planet, etc.?.........................................................................................And neither does it take a MENSA grad to understand the reasons for this. In a free market system, competitive forces are constantly at work and the end result is that businesses are constantly being prodded to produce more with less and that one of the main mechanisms for this is the utilization of denser forms of energy. Of course these businesses also want to please their customers and for the most part consumers also demand that the products themselves be more energy efficient......................................................................................The moral of the story here? I would probably go with, think before you regulate.
Hurricane Katrina and the Bhola Cyclone that hit Bangladesh in 1970 were both highly destructive category 3 hurricanes. But while our Hurricane Katrina was responsible for less than 2,000 deaths on the Gulf Coast of America, the Bhola Cyclone killed somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000. Why the difference? I would strongly submit here that it was the prosperity of America that created a) a superior (albeit far, far from perfect) infrastructure and b) a superior (again, albeit far, far from perfect) response to the tragedy. I would also strongly submit that it is prosperity and economic development which give us the much better chance of dealing with climate change (long term) than those crazy types of crony capitalism and deficit spending spree approaches and discredited prevention measures such as the Stern and Gore proposals. The only thing that those two latter strategies will accomplish is make us poor, very poor.
Monday, September 9, 2013
We now know that 99% of the genes in mice are exceedingly similar to those which are found in humans. We also know that 96% of the genes in both mice and men are present in exactly the same sequence under different genomes. I'm telling you, folks, if there is an intelligent designer or designers out there, I'm afraid that I'm just going to have to give them an F when it comes to originality and creativity at least.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
a) Yes, I was against the Iraq War and, yes, I continue to think that it was a stupid idea, especially considering the boneheaded implementation of it; deBaathifying the government, disbanding the military, nation-building, making deals with the extremists, etc..............b) You're the one, wd, who introduced the variable of humanitarianism (spinning for the current occupant of the White House simply because he's got a D in front of his name). My only point was to say that if humanitarianism was the rationale for this episode, then a much, Much, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH stronger humanitarian case could have been forth against Saddam Hussein who routinely raped, murdered, and tortured his people and who actually tried to eradicate the Kurds. I still probably would have opposed the intervention (fearing that it would strengthen Iran and possibly cause a civil war within Iraq) but we'll never know, now will we, because that's not what Mr. Bush emphasized.............There, does that clear it up for you?......Oh, and this constant defense of mine for Bush centered around 2 rather rudimentary things; a) that he isn't a war criminal (especially given that you're so quick to defend the equally questionable tactics of FDR, LBJ, and Obama) and b) that the dude doesn't hate poor people (the fact that entitlement and social spending both skyrocketed under the man). It would have been nice if you had included this in your post but neither is it surprising that you didn't.
"I know that the decision to use force is not one that any of us takes lightly. It is no less than an act of war." General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
In 1665 Sir Isaac Newton went into isolation to avoid contracting the plague which was then running rampant in England. During that year AND BY HIMSELF, Mr. Newton invented integral and differential calculus, discovered the laws of universal gravitation and motion, and set the field of optics on a brand new course. Luckily for him, the consensus back then was ultimately overcome.
1) Diary of a Madman - Nikolai Gogol. 2) The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky. 3) The True Believer - Eric Hoffer. 4) Escape From Freedom - Erich Fromm. 5) The Troll Garden - Willa Cather. 6) The Clown - Heinrich Boll. 7) The Child and Reality - Jean Piaget. 8) Irrational Man - William Barret. 9) One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 10) The Peter Principle - Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull. 11) American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis. 12) Notes From Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky. 13) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey. 14) Description of a Struggle - Franz Kafka. 15) Fear and Trembling - Soren Kierkegaard. 16) The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan. 17) Untimely Meditations - Friedrich Nietzsche. 18) Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy - Sigmund Freud. 19) The Lame Shall Enter First - Flannery O'Connor. 20) Welcome to the Monkey House - Kurt Vonnegut.
The most beautiful shot in contemporary tennis. Yeah, he's playing Nadal today and he'll probably lose, but fully expect the guy to look good while doing so.
Friday, September 6, 2013
You can almost set your watch by it, folks.
One of the main criticisms of Bush was that he took us to war in Iraq without a U.N. resolution. The "numbers guy" in fact used it as his main argument that George Bush was a war criminal. Well, guess what, it now appears that President Obama is going to lob God only knows how many missiles over into Syria and he ain't getting squat/authorization from the U.N. or even from N.A.T.O.. I'd like to think that at least some of the people who castigated Bush (Bruce Springsteen, Janeane Garofalo, Jackson Browne, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, etc.) will show a little courage and moral consistency and do the same thing to their fellow but I kinda doubt it, folks. I do.
One area in which Mr. Obama has gotten a bum-rap in my opinion is Israel. Yes, the man did a) stiff Netanyahu and b) make that comment about the '67 borders with land swaps but I have to ask you here, taken in the broader historical context, are either of these two things really THAT BAD?...............................................................................For example, is what the President did to Netanyahu any stiffer of a rebuke than what the then Secretary of State, Jimmy Baker, did to Yitzhak Shamir during the first Bush administration? And the whole '67 border thing arguably isn't all that different from either the Barak concrete proposal of 2000 or even the Ehud Olmert framework of several years later. Yes, I will grant you that the President does on occasion come across as condescending and detached but on this specific situation, a hell of a lot more has been made of it than warranted, I think.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
"Our scriptures were written by people who by virtue of their placement in history had less access to scientific information and facts and basic common sense than any person in this room.............We are dealing with some subset of the Muslim world that believes in principles of jihad and martyrdom which are really deal-breakers when it comes time to organize a global civilization. There is no possible future in which aspiring martyrs can make good neighbors. And until Muslims themselves start to acknowledge that and start to marginalize this death cult that is growing in their midst we have a tremendous problem."
Mr. Harris also asks a very critical question. Namely, why is religion the only aspect of human life that we seemingly cannot apply a rational analysis to? People blow themselves to smithereens and somehow believe that this is going to give them an eternal happiness/hard-on and we, Mr. Harris correctly underscores, aren't allowed to utilize reason to critique this for fear of being called a bigot. It is utterly bizarre the entirety of it; crazy-assed beliefs (and, yes, Mr. Harris does in fact hammer away at much of Christianity, too - ergo relax) AND our acceptance of them.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
"The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam.............The truth is that Islam is quite a bit scarier and more culpable for needless human misery at this moment than Christianity has been for a very long time. And we have to point this out.............The refrain that all religions have their extremists is bullshit. All religions don't have these extremists. Some religions have never had these extremists.............There are very few of us who lie awake at night worrying about the Amish. This is not an accident.............We have this single book (the Quran) which is imagined to be the best book on any subject ever written, never to be superseded by any human effort at any point in the future. Now this is a problem because this is a profoundly mediocre book.............Extremism isn't a problem as long as your core beliefs are truly nonviolent.............Was all of this pious mayhem (in response to the Danish cartoon); the burning of embassies, the killing of nuns - was all that some sort of great flowering of spiritual and ethical intelligence? Or was it egregious medieval stupidity? Come to think of it, it was egregious medieval stupidity."
The first computers were the size of a small house and cost a million dollars. Today you can fit them in the palm of your hand and they only cost about a couple hundred. This is the private sector at work, folks, and I would really like you to compare that to the track record of the federal government here..............................................................................I mean, just take a look at Medicare, for Christ sakes. The original projection for that program was $12 billion dollars by 1990 and the actual cost was approximately $100 billion. The imbeciles were off by more than 800% and it is currently the biggest driver of all future debt with tens of TRILLIONS in unfunded liability..............................................................................Oh, and if you happen not to like the computer analogy, I could just as readily point you in the direction of those areas of healthcare in which the free market IS allowed to function; lasik eye surgery and cosmetic surgery. In both of those areas the costs have actually been coming down and the quality improving dramatically. We're just going to have to change our mindset on these programs, folks. Free markets - they're the only way to bend the cost curve other than rationing.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
As I've stated before, more than 50% of the people in the top 1% were out of that category by 2005. This does NOT mean that everybody gets a turn at being in the top 1% (yes, we all have the potential if we're willing to do the right education and lengthy hours commensurate to it but it's far from a certainty). Nope, it only means that approximately .5% of that bottom 99% was able to assert itself into the demographic within that particular decade. That's it, and hopefully I've cleared this up a it.
Near the tail end of the Bush Presidency, Mr. Bush did a fair amount of sabre-rattling toward Iran. Disturbed by this display of bravado, a then Senator Biden took to the airwaves and said that if Bush didn't get an authorization from the Congress, it could potentially be an impeachable offense. Funny how we didn't hear a peep out of him when it looked like Mr. Obama was contemplating similarly. Funny hypocritically, I'm saying.
More overspending, more overleveraging, and another bubble................................................................................P.S. In a saner society, people with these types of thoughts would be marginalized and possibly institutionalized but, no, in our crazy world they're actually given column space in the New York Times.
Monday, September 2, 2013
It is a life-saving value that we shamelessly and moronically take for granted. I mean, just take a look at the way that our lives were PRIOR to fossil fuels, hydro power, and nuclear (these 3 sources combining to give the world 96% of its energy). It was abject misery; famine, starvation, lawlessness, back-breaking work, deaths from the heat, deaths from the cold (up to 40 cords of wood were needed just to get through the winter), diseases up the ying-yang. Of course it is still very much like that for over a billion people on the planet and the solution from all of these environmentalists is what exactly; solar panels on huts, windmills, keeping away from these starving people valuable biotechnology that could largely eradicate starvation, blindness, malaria, and soil erosion? Yeah, that sounds like an excellent plan.