Thursday, February 28, 2013

Can I Get an Amen on this, People?

"The greatest evils are poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, disease and hunger, all the conditions that deprive people of opportunities and limit their freedoms. The humanist ethic accepts an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a small price to pay, if world-wide industrial development can alleviate the miseries of the poorer half of humanity."......Freeman Dyson, physics professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.............So there it is, people. Folks from the developing world wanting their piece of the pie, just like we've been having our piece of the pie (gorging on it even). And the only real way that they can achieve this is via access to abundant and affordable energy (this, as opposed to putting some solar panels on their huts simply because an individual from Alexandria Virginia, or Pacific Palisades California, or Marblehead Neck Massachusetts, or West Palm Beach Florida, or Newport Rhode Island, or the Upper East Side of Manhattan tells them to)....I mean, it certainly worked out well for us, no?

On the actor, Dale Robertson, Dying Today

I had half forgot that the dude ever existed.

On the Assertion that Mises and Cato are "Right-Wing" Entities

It really kind of misses the point, I think. I mean, yes, they do have some traditionally conservative viewpoints but both of these well-respected think-tanks are libertarian organizations (Mises representing large L libertarianism and Cato small) that deviate markedly from Republican style conservatism on a myriad of issues, both foreign and domestic. I cite, specifically here; gay-marriage, abortion (most libertarians are pro-choice for at least the first two trimesters), civil-liberties, military spending, foreign intervention, drug legalization, torture and enhanced interrogation, the FED, etc.. That, and I would also really stress hard here the fact that libertarians are significantly less crony that either the Democrats OR the Republicans are. No special favors for G.E., Halliburton, or Goldman Sachs if these fellows ever take the reins. Hell no.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On "Pawn Stars" Being Up Against "Hardcore Pawn" Last Night

Really, America? REALLY? This is what we've degenerated into? I'm finally starting to understand why the rest of the world refers to us as Dumbfuckistan.

Probably When that Idiot, Vanilla Ice, Sampled the David Bowie-Queen Classic, "Under Pressure"

What would be my answer to the question, "So, what, in your opinion, represents the lowest point in pop-music history?"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Iowa Senators, Grassley and Harkin

These two fellows should be shamed. More than anybody else in Washington, these two Senators were responsible for the American voters having to fork over TENS OF BILLIONS of dollars in what was probably one of the greatest scams in American history. Yeah, I'm talking about ethanol and, even though the subsidies themselves have ended, we're still paying through the nose at the pump because of that moronic 10% mandate. You want to know what the real face of crony capitalism looks like? There it is, folks, smiling at the camera for you, times two.

The Planet's Green Economies?

Hm, let's see.......Well, I guess that if you based it strictly on per capita, per annum carbon emissions, you really couldn't do a heck of a lot better than Cuba (2.36 tons), North Korea (3.18 tons), and Syria (2.65 tons).......Gee, I wonder if those peeps would ever come here and share their true green secrets with us.

On Ethanol and Other Such Food-Based Bio-Fuels

They will never, ever, EVER, EVER, replace gasoline, diesel-fuel, or jet-fuel, EVER. a) The power density is pathetic (you would literally have to cover entire states with crops). b) The stuff is absolutely brutal on engines. And c) the stuff is every bit as bad for the environment as petroleum products (this, to the point where Al Gore doesn't even support ethanol anymore). I think that we just have to face it here, people. We are all going to be driving our vehicles on fossil fuels for the rest of our lives.

Monday, February 25, 2013

On the Ludicrous Notion that Wind Energy is Green

a) It cuts down trees. b) It slaughters endangered species (you want to know what it does to the Indiana bat - it, via massive changes in air pressure, basically causes their lungs to explode). c) It takes up copious amounts of land. d) It is exceedingly resource intensive (if an energy source cannot replicate itself, then it is worthless). And e) it's unreliable/intermittent nature necessitates that it always have a fossil fuel backup (in the case of coal that must be run continuously) - duh!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

On This

A continuous diet of it into the future and we're screwed. What do you say that we all start electing some serious people for a change?...I mean, just look at these clowns.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

On Obama's Appointment of Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary 2

This is the way that I see it here. If President Obama was really serious about the budget deficit, he would have nominated Erskine Bowles for Treasury Secretary. If he was even moderately interested in it, he would have appointed Mark Zandi or Kent Conrad. The fact that he nominated Jack Lew for the post leads me to think that he isn't very interested in all, and probably never will be.


I hate to say it but some of Obama's presentations have essentially been those of a prop-comic (not that the bone-headed Boehner is appreciably better, obviously). The man just cannot go up to the podium by himself and give it to the American people straight. He has to have children, first responders, Lily Ledbetter and it's really gotten to the point where I half expect him to come on stage with a sledgehammer and watermelon. WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE that $85 billion out of a $3.7 trillion budget is somehow going to cause absolute lawlessness/defenselessness and mass starvation. I mean, come on here/damn it all. It's like, "Yes, Mr. President, this sequestration, as is, is going to cause us some pain. But you're the frigging President! Show the country some leadership and put on the damned chopping-block something else (like, I don't know, maybe some of those bogus green energy boondoggles that a) aren't necessarily all that green and b) represent a massive misallocation of resources), and dare the Republicans to match you. Hell, Mr. President, you might even be able to shame them at that point (an activity that you seemingly enjoy and they seemingly enjoy doing to you) and I say go for it."

On Oscar Pistorius's Story

Yeah, no I'm not buying it. The only thing that I'm trying to figure out here is if it's premeditated.

Watt the....

The wind industry is one of the most heavily subsidized sectors in U.S. history. But in spite of this massive and crony infusion of billions and billions of dollars, the total amount of megawatt hours that we secure from wind energy is but a paltry 120,000,000 a year, an amount that is STILL less than 3% of our total electricity consumption of 4,138,000,000 megawatt hours. I mean, what are we going to do here, people, cover the entire country side with these 480 foot behemoths?................................................................................Oh, and then there's solar, yet another highly subsidized sector. You want to know how much electricity that we get from this sucker? Try 1,800,000 megawatt hours a year, a paltry .04% of our total electricity consumption. I mean, it would be hilarious if it wasn't so damned expensive...................................................................................P.S. And, no, this doesn't even take into account all of the massive horsepower that we're going to be needing for transport. Like Governor Romney said (albeit quite awkwardly), you can't really strap a windmill on your auto.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On the Flat-Tax

There is a certain appeal to it; one flat rate, no deductions, and a tax form small enough to fit on a postcard. I mean, I know that the left probably wouldn't like it because it isn't progressive enough but if you did it in conjunction with a beefing up of the earned income tax credit for the poor and maybe a second rate (say, 20% for the $300,000 and then 25-30% on everything over it), I think that you could possibly sell it - especially if you could convince them that it'll probably raise more revenue than this Byzantine piece of garbage that our current tax system represents.

On Plutocrats

Well, I certainly don't think that they should ever be bailed out. That much I know.

Epithelially Challenged

Now that Olbermann has apparently dropped off the face of the earth, the person with the thinnest skin on cable now probably would have to be (to actually borrow a phase FROM Olbermann) Billo. I saw an episode recently in which the dude practically had a temper tantrum simply because Howard Kurtz (who I consider - along with the Baltimore Sun's, David Zurawick - the Holy Grail of media criticism) had the audacity to correct him on something...............................................................................The whole thing went down something like this: Mr. O'Reilly started making some huge deal over the fact that the mainstream media (NBC News, especially) wasn't holding the President's feet to the fire on his kill-list, his targeting of U.S. citizens, etc., accusing them of rank hypocrisy because they absolutely eviscerated Bush for water-boarding. It actually wasn't a bad point BUT, as Mr. Kurtz clearly pointed out, it was in fact NBC News that first broke the kill-list story........................................................................................Well, you you would have thought that Kurtz had accused him of child-abuse or something (he "went after me", O'Reilly said). That much Billo went off on him. And the fact that even Bernie Goldberg essentially agreed with Kurtz says to me that this guy really needs to get over himself - and soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On the Minimum Wage

1) Forcing an employer to pay a worker $9 an hour (and, really, why be so damned miserly about it - $15 an hour would obviously be better and much more "stimulative", no?) when that worker only produces $7.25 an hour is nonsensical economics. We really need to get off of this price-fixing bullshit and focus a hell of a lot more on economic growth. I mean, just look at Hong Kong and Singapore. Those countries didn't minimum wage themselves to prosperity, now did they?............2) As for all of these studies that supposedly support the minimum wage, the one that most liberal politicians seem to point to as the gold-standard is the one from the '90s by Alan Krueger and David Card that studies fast-food restaurants in New Jersey....Yeah, well, guess what, folks, it's flawed, majorly flawed. It seems as if these two authors (as devastatingly pointed out by David Neumark, William Wascher, Mark Schweitzer, and may other economists) never actually drew their data from the payroll records of the restaurants that they claimed to have studied. Nope, what they did instead was to get their data strictly from interviewing the managers and even with this technique they ended up getting a third of their data points wrong. Needless to say, their conclusion were way off and the minimum wage (increase) actually did increase unemployment when compared to the control state (Pennsylvania).............3) And then of course you have clowns like Jared Bernstein and Paul Krugman going around saying that the minimum wage doesn't even hurt teenagers, this despite the fact that teenage unemployment has consistently been double to triple that of adults. Easily batting this one away, economist Robert Murphy did a quick comparison of the teenage unemployment rates between those states that had a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage and those states that did not. His findings were thus: Those states that had a higher minimum wage than that of the federal government (there was a grand total of 19 of them) had an overall teenage unemployment rate of 25.2% while those that did not have a higher minimum wage than that of the federal government had an overall teenage unemployment rate of 21.5%....So, there it is, folks. Those states that jacked up the minimum wage had a 17% HIGHER teenage unemployment rate than those states which did not. Not that this is any sort of scientific proof of causality, mind you, but you gotta know that if the results had gone the other way the pro minimum wage folks would be singing it from the mountain tops.............4) Murphy ( also looked at the distribution of these states and found that a) six of the top eight states in terms of teenage unemployment were precisely those that had a higher minimum wage than the federal rate and b) only two of the bottom (i.e., those states that had the lowest teenage unemployment rate) 18 states in terms of teenage unemployment had a higher minimum wage than the federal rate. Again, it doesn't look all that good for the pro minimum wage advocates here.

On Chicago Bulls Power-Forward, Carlos Boozer

Not enough tattoos.

On Why I Voted For Obama in 2008

There were two reasons, basically. a) I didn't think that Mr. McCain was fit/stable enough to be commander in chief and b) I had truly thought by then that Mr. Obama was much more of a Truman/Kennedy/Clinton Democrat than he was a Wilson/Roosevelt/Johnson Democrat. Looking back on it with hindsight, I stand by the former but, yeah, on the latter I was majorly off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Cato Institute's, Scott Lincicome, On Solyndra Continued

"Indeed, a very quick search of "polysilicon" on DOE's website reveals the following examples - each bragging about how federal subsidies helped bring new polysilicon capacity online:

  • $44.85 million to Pennsylvania's AE Polysilicon via the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (aka "Section 48C");
  • $154 million to Washington's REC Silicon via the same Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit — "the highest amount awarded to a recipient under the Recovery Act" (woo hoo!);
  • $275 million loan guarantee to California's Calisolar Inc. (which also apparently benefited from millions of dollars worth of R&D subsidies through UC Berkeley);
The 2010 IRS factseet on the $2.3 billion in Section 48C tax credits also shows a $128 million subsidy to Wacker Polysilicon and another $51.6 million to Calisolar.  (These are just the ones I could quickly pinpoint with "polysilicon" in their names; no doubt there are other producers who received 48C tax credits and/or one of the many other state and federal subsidies available to green energy producers.).".....................................................................There it is again, people. This time Mr. Lincicome is taking his data DIRECTLY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S WEB-SITE. The federal government was putting hundreds of millions of dollars into subsidizing silicon and it was this that directly went against the Solydra business model (which ostensibly somebody in the federal government knew about) of making solar panels that consumed significantly less of it. Unbefrigginglievable.....................................................................................As for Mr. Lincicome working for Cato, I have yet to come across a single person from Cato who wasn't significantly smarter than Paul Krugman or any of those other idiots. And they're a libertarian think tank that is relatively nonpartisan (they think highly of Reagan and Clinton and poorly of Hoover and FDR), not a Republican talking-point machine. To try and tar them is utterly low-ball, in my opinion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Cato Institute's, Scott Lincicome, On Solyndra

 "This cursory review makes clear that the Obama administration, and especially the 2009 Stimulus Bill, gave hundreds of millions of dollars in direct subsidies to domestic polysilicon producers.  These subsidies inevitably - and totally unsurprising - helped cause polysilicon prices to drop (and led to a Chinese investigation of U.S. exports which targets the aforementioned tax subsidies and several other state-level programs).  Moreover, all the state and federal subsidies to downstream solar manufacturers like Solyndra and to US solar energy consumers further stoked US polysilicon investment and production and further reduced prices.  
  And down goes Solyndra
 So to recap: the Obama administration gave a $500 million dollar loan guarantee to a company that was dependent on sky-high polysilicon prices, but simultaneously threw hundreds of millions of dollars at domestic polysilicon producers. The latter subsidies - when combined with billions in indirect subsidies to solar producers and consumers - inevitably helped stoke overcapacity in the domestic and global polysilicon markets and a resulting collapse in polysilicon prices that - wait for it - eviscerated Solyndra's business plan and ultimately killed the company.  And when Solyndra declared bankruptcy, the Obama administration immediately blamed China. You cannot make this stuff up.".........................................................................................So, there it is, people. Subsidies in fact DID kill Solyndra. But they weren't so much Chinese subsidies as U.S. subsidies. Youza, huh? Talk about the left hand not knowing what the other hand is doing.

The Saudis of Green...and Green

Everybody makes a big fat hairy deal over the fact that Saudi Arabia possesses 10% of the world's known oil reserves. Yeah, well guess what. Our good old buddies, the Chinese - those individuals are sitting on 95-99% of the world's known rare-earth elements also known as the lanthanides (praseodymium and neodymium, especially). So, why is this important, you ask? It's important because these are the key elements that go into a lot of the new green energy technologies (neodymium-iron-boron magnets, for example, are critical for wind turbines) that the U.S. government is currently pushing on us (via crony capitalism). How in the hell does it make sense for a country to go from 10% dependency on a questionable source to 95% dependency on an even more questionable source? I mean, it's not as if these wind turbines accomplish anything or anything.

On Darryl Hannah (And, Yes, I was Nice Enough to Include a Picture Prior to Her Lip-Job)

Look, she's probably a nice enough gal, and her environmentalism sincere. But if she thinks that we are going to be able to run the United States transportation system on ethanol and other such food-based items, then she is an idiot. Corn ethanol has roughly 1/540th the power density of an average 10 barrel a day oil stripper well and for us to be able to run our automobiles on it we would literally have to cover entire states with corn fields (this while the world price of corn skyrockets and people frigging starve). It's insane.................................................................................And this whole opposition to the Keystone pipeline is ridiculous, too. We already have tons of pipelines and, what, this one more project is somehow going to put us over the top? Please. And the fact that if the Canadians don't make a deal with us, they're just going to make a deal with China instead. Zero reductions in world-wide CO2. Duh!...................................................................................Oh, and, yeah, all of those windmills that Ms. Hannah wants to put up, those are going to necessitate thousands and thousands of new transmission lines that will probably impact on endangered species, too. Zero free lunch, Ms. Hannah. Sorry to have to educate you here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

On Global-Warming Deviant/Zealot, Michael Mann

This guy is the bottom of the barrel. He hid the Medieval warming period. He hid the Maunder Minimum (which plainly displayed that we were coming out of a little ice age prior to the industrial revolution and that the man-made CO2 more than likely had NOTHING to do with the increases in surface temperatures). And he hid the fact that temperatures have actually been coming down since 1998 (the apex of his now thoroughly discredited "hockey-stick" graph). The fact that anybody would still give credence to this low-life (who also tried to discredit dissenters and squelch dissent - even going as far to sue somebody who had the audacity to do spoof on him) is beyond astonishing, in my opinion, and an outrage.

Toward a Geneology of Gun-Nuttery (Apologies to Nietzsche)

I think that it basically boils down to three elements; a) having them (potentially a great many), b) loving them to the point of preoccupation, and c) opposing any restrictions or laws pertaining to them. As for me personally being a "gun nut", I think that it is patently clear that I am 0 for 3 and, HENCE, way unworthy of this prestigious title. And I thank you for your time.

A Quick Undressing of Another Myth

Another talking point that the hard left likes to throw around is the one about the cost of living going up. They're constantly saying it and the clear implication here is that the middle-class is falling further and further behind. Yeah, well, guess what, this one is even more BS than the one about the poor are getting poorer.......................................................................................Please, follow me. In 1973, the average hourly wage was $4.12 an hour and, because of that, it took 75.2 hours to earn an average dishwasher ($310), 70.4 hours to earn an average stove ($290), 6.1 hours to earn an average toaster ($25), and 89.8 hours to earn an average refrigerator ($370). Compare that to 2009 when the average wage was $18.72 an hour and these very same items took only 30.4 , 34.7, 1.6, and 22.7 hours respectively to earn ($570, $650, $30, and $425). People are MUCH better off than they were 40 years ago and this doesn't even take into account the huge increases in quality, efficiency, and variety. People really need to stop their whining, I think.

Toward Reducing Income-Inequality

1) Allow the rich to fail. 2) Allow the poor to become rich (by eliminating crony capitalism and reducing the barriers to entrepreneurship).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

On Government Regulation

a) It disproportionately hurts the working class. In many localities it costs thousands of dollars to start a food cart and in others hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a cab business.............b) It fosters an incestuous relationship between businesses and government. As regulations have gone up, so, too, has crony capitalism. Rent seeking - the attempt by businesses to bring about uncompensated economic gains as the result of lobbying for favorable public policy (again, something that is well beyond the capability of the average American).......Regulatory capture - the end-result of regulators being "captured" by the very industry that they regulate, a process that often has the industry itself crafting the regulation/legislation (Philip Morris with the Tobacco bill, the washing machine manufacturers setting efficiency standards in order to move their more expensive products, etc.).............c) There are currently 81,000 pages in the directory of federal regulation. Thud!............d) Legislating prices/wages isn't the same thing as legislating value. Everything is scarce and everything is rationed. The only question here is who does the rationing and how do they do it. When the government puts a cap on borrowing rates (for example), the lenders respond by rationing by risk and this de facto disproportionately impacts upon the poor. The same logic can also be applied to the minimum wage. As wages go up, skills are rationed and it is the lower skilled worker who always gets excluded (if a person only brings in $8.50 an hour and the minimum wage goes up to $9 an hour, that person is no longer profitable to the company and he will more than likely be terminated).............e) According to the Small Business Administration, it costs small businesses more than $230 billion a year to comply with government regulation. If you were even able to cut that in half, the economic benefit would be palpable.............f) The Wall Street Journal currently has the U.S. as the 10th most economically free country in the world. That's not bad except for the fact that we were previously ranked as high as 3rd in the decades prior to Bush and Obama (both of whose administrations added thousands of new and often petty regulations).............g) Oh, and if you don't think that economic freedom is important, just compare Chile, which has a lot of it, to Venezuela, which has precious little. Chile has a 15% poverty rate, a life-expectancy of 77, and 2% inflation while Venezuela has a 28% poverty rate, a life expectancy of 73, and 22% inflation (and, yes, other examples exist in which the discrepancy is even more pronounced). Me, I would much rather live in Chile.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Are You Listening, Obama, The Ghosts of Hoover and FDR?

Economist Antony Davies from Duquesne University did a regression analysis (from 1950 to today) on the relationship between the top marginal income tax rate and federal revenues. What he found was that the higher the marginal tax rate is, the less that the government collects per person. So, for instance, when the top tax rates were 91% and 77% in 1954 and 1964, respectively, the average amount of revenue collected by the federal government was $2,600 per person, and when the top tax rate was 50% in 1984, that amount had grown all the way to $5,700 per person, a 119% increase.............................................................................................Now, there's obviously a point of diminishing returns involved. You can't lower the top tax rate to something like 2% and get additional revenue that way (as the Laffer Curve purely points out). But it does show that this whole "we gotta tax the rich" mentality isn't necessarily the most optimal method of raising revenues............................................................................................P.S. He also examined the relationship between revenue and other forms of taxation. His findings here were that capital gains and corporate taxes also have a negative relationship but that payroll taxes DO have a positive relationship (i.e., the higher the rates, the more the revenue - this, though there could be a modest uptick in unemployment; a couple tenths of a percent).

More on the Krugman Lie that Hoover was a Laissez Faire President

According to, the federal budget in 1929 was $3,127,000,000. By 1932, that number had grown to $4,659,000,000, a 49% increase in just three years!!...What about revenues? According to this same web-site, federal tax revenues went in the exact opposite direction. They plummeted from $3,862,000,000 in 1929 to $1,924,000,000 in 1932 - this despite the fact that Hoover increased the top marginal rate by 152%!!! I think that we just have to face it here, people, Hoover was a Keynesian (yeah, I know, the General Theory" wasn't written until 1936 but Keynes was clealy working toward it prior to that) and Keynesianism doesn't work....As for Mr. Krugman, that dude really needs to open a history book...................................................................................P.S. And let's not forget, either, that Hoover also passed Smoot-Hawley, an act that, while it certainly didn't cause the Great Depression, probably added some fuel to the fire.

Friday, February 15, 2013

On Dr. Benjamin Carson

So, you want to start a pool; the first ignorant leftist on the radio and/or cable who calls this fellow an "Uncle Tom"?......Me, I'm predicting Mike Malloy (with Ed Schultz nibbling at his heels, of course).

On the Viagra - Birth Control Analogy

I've never understood it. Viagra is for a medical condition and birth control is something that you take to avoid pregnancy (which is only a medical condition ONCE IT OCCURS). A much better analogy would have been to compare Viagra to something that makes it easier for a woman to have an orgasm or even to a fertility drug....Now, if the birth control in question is something that a woman needs to treat a medical condition, that in fact WOULD make it an appropriate analogy and something that the insurance should cover.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Quick Undressing of a Myth Continued

The assertion again - that the United States economy is rigged and that only certain people can benefit from it. The refutation - a) According to, the mean household income for the bottom quintile of households (not including transfer payments) in 1967 was $8,984. In 2009, the mean (adjusted for inflation) for that same quintile was $11,552, an increase of 25% (no, that's not a lot for 42 years but it fully refutes the notion that the poor are getting poorer).............b) And these numbers are static. They DO NOT figure in to the equation income mobility. As I pointed out in the previous post on this issue, 58% of the people in the bottom quintile in 1996 were out of it by 2005 and a fair number of these folks had actually gone up two quintiles or more.............c) According to the Brookings Institution (hardly a bastion of conservative thinking), those children from the lowest quintile who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s - 82% of them ended up having a higher income than that of their parents and the mean income of this group was double (adjusted for inflation) that of their parents. This plainly shows that, not only is there income mobility within a person's lifetime, there is also a great deal of intergenerational mobility and therefore the system couldn't possibly be "rigged". Dismissed.

On Last Night's UConn 66-58 Victory Over Syracuse

Consider it a going away present, Orangemen. But don't worry, we'll be in the ACC in a few years, too, and we'll beat you again....and again....and again..........and again.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Note to Senator Inhofe

Word about town is that you're considering a filibuster on Senator Hagel's nomination. Please don't. There's more than enough ill-will in Washington already and you'd also be setting a very bad precedent (what, you don't think that the Democrats will do the same when they're out of power?). Obama won the election and he should get the people that he wants. And, besides, the Pentagon does need a little trimming and auditing and who would better at it than an actual soldier, for Christ? My suggestion is that you simply fall on your sword on this one/quit to politic another day.

Something to Chew On

O'Reilly actually posed an interesting question to his viewers the other day. He wanted them to think of the top three people that they would like to sit down and share a meal with (three separate meals). His personal choices were Christ, Mohammed, and Benjamin Franklin....................................................................................Me, I had to think about this one for quite some time. I obviously wanted somebody who was smart and interesting but also somebody who was accessible/tangible (people like Einstein and Popper being far too lofty, people like Nietzsche and Kierkegaard being far too paradoxical). I ultimately decided on David Hume, Frederic Bastiat, and Greta Garbo (the stipulation here being that I could get her to talk) - the first two because of the clarity of their thought and Garbo because who in their right mind wouldn't want to talk to her (her alleged affair with Dietrich, legendary performances in "Camille", "Grand Hotel", etc.)?...So, anybody else out there want to take a stab at this?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sister, Can You Spare a Condom?

According to the Daily Caller (for some strange reason the mainstream media is avoiding this), the Catholic charity, the Little Sisters of the Poor, is strongly considering ending its operations here in America. The issue involved is the healthcare mandate in general and the birth control provisions specifically. Surely, SURELY, my progressive colleagues here will side with the Little Sisters of the Poor over Obama on this (especially since the President has already granted over 1,700 exemptions to unions, etc. AND the fact that there are  numerous clinics already handing out birth-control for free AND the fact that you can still get birth-control for $9 at Walmart and Target). I mean, we are talking frigging nuns here, for Christ.

On Chuck Hagel Versus Dick Cheney

While I'll admit that Mr. Hagel didn't exactly hit it out of the park last week (at his confirmation hearings), I would gladly still take him and his two Purple Hearts over Cheney and his five deferments any day. Any day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Silence of the Lefts

Bush launches some drone strikes - universal condemnation. Obama sextuples the number of drone strikes - crickets.......Bush institutes the Patriot Act - universal condemnation. Obama extends the Patriot Act - crickets.......Bush engages in the (admittedly loathsome) practices of unlimited detention and rendition - universal condemnation. Obama continues with both of these policies - crickets.......Bush institutes water-boarding (a tactic that Democrats in Congress were seemingly briefed on) - universal condemnation. Obama manufactures a kill-list (replete with American citizens) - crickets. Hm, I'm beginning to think here that the left wasn't so much anti-war as anti-Bush.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Economist Steve Horwitz on Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan

"Arsonists disguised as fire-fighters."

On Wind Energy and Cost

Barring some major technological advance, wind energy will never be cheaper than fossil fuels. The fact of the matter is that wind energy is intermittent and inefficient (the best wind turbines operate at about a 35% capacity and the worst ones are under 10%) and, because of that, it will always need a back-up source and that back-up source will unfortunately probably a coal-fired plant (and it isn't as if these suckers can be turned on and off in that that frequently burns MORE CO2). Add to that the fact that it takes a massive amount of energy and raw material to even make a wind farm (never mind the environmental impact of cutting down trees and harming endangered species) AND the thousands and thousands of miles of new power lines that are necessary and the costs involved are even more exorbitant. I'm sorry, folks, but the more that I look at this wind power, the less that I like it..............................................................................................P.S. Here's a little "back-up" for me......."Wind power is more expensive than conventional power generation in part because the wind's intermittent production patterns need to be augmented with dispatchable generators to match power demand.......In order to provide reliable capacity throughout the year, every megawatt of wind capacity needs to be matched up with a megawatt of dispatchable capacity." Cambridge Energy Research Associates (2008)............."Because wind cannot be called up on demand, especially at the time of peak demand, installed wind generation capacity does not reduce the amount of installed conventional generating capacity required. So wind cannot contribute to reducing the capital investment in generating plants. Wind is simply an additional capital investment." Peter Lang (2009), energy engineer............."China's ambition to create 'green cities' powered by huge wind farms comes with a dirty little secret: Dozens of new coal-fired plants need to be installed as well for use when the winds aren't favorable." Jing Yang, The Wall Street Journal (September, 2009).............According to the The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the wind grid in Texas is currently operating at an 8.7% efficiency rate there (I guess that not everything in Texas is big). That translates into wind providing only 1.2% of Texas's total electricity.............According to the Danish Energy Agency, from 1999 to 2008, Denmark increased the amount of electricity that they were deriving from wind by a whopping 139%....So, what was the effect of this policy on cost? Try a 73% increase from 22 cents per kilowatt hour in 1999 to 38 cents per kilowatt hour in 2008. Yep, that's a lot of green indeed.

Friday, February 8, 2013

On the Former Soviet Union and the Current United States

The former imploded because they eliminated reward. The latter IS imploding because we're now eliminating risk.

R.I.P. (Belatedly), A True American Original

Ed Koch, one of the greatest big city mayors in American history (and the perfect antidote to his predecessor, the mealy-mouth douche, Abe Beam).

The Green Lobby's Alternative to Jet-Fuel

Sugar beets? Alfalfa? Pond-scum? Dill-pickle juice? Smugness and arrogance (yeah, I kinda stole that one from "South Park")?

On Pilos Driver

He pronounces it, PEE'-losh.

Rating the Kennedys 0-10

JFK - 9, RFK - 9, Teddy - 5, Joe Sr. - 1, JFK Jr. - 8, RFK Jr. - 2, Teddy Jr. - 4, Caroline - 7.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On Power Density

Here are the stats (from Robert Bryce's book, "Power Hungry"), folks. A large nuclear power facility - 56 Watts per square meter.......An average sized American natural gas well - 53 Watts per square meter.......An oil stripper well producing approximately 10 barrels per day - 27 Watts per square meter.......Solar PV - 6.7 Watts per square meter.......An average sized wind turbine - 1.2 Watts per square meter.......A biomass-fueled power plant - 0.4 Watts per square meter.......Corn ethanol - 0.05 Watts per square meter. To say that these so-called green forms of energy are somehow going to be major players any time soon is a delusion (solar easily being the best of the sorry lot)......................................................................................And this doesn't even take into account the element of resource intensity; the raw materials and energy that are required in order to get these power sources up and functioning. According to Per Peterson, a professor in the nuclear engineering department at Cal Berkeley, when you take into account the capacity factor of wind turbines (all of which require coal-fired backup), each megawatt of wind power requires 870 cubic meters of concrete and 460 tons of steel. Contrast that to a nuclear power plant which requires 90 cubic meters of concrete and 40 tons of steel (90% less and 89% less, respectively). That's a massive difference................................................................................So, the bottom-line here is that wind turbines are a low power density source of energy that a) take up copious amounts of land and b) require a massive amount of material (the vast majority of which will be created by coal-fired plants!) in order to get started. Green shmeen.

On Governor Perry's Adamant Opposition to Gays Being Able to Serve in the Boy Scouts

He's probably deep-down majorly gay himself.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On Wind Turbines and Birds

Yes, house-cats kill far more birds than windmills (there are a hell of a lot more cats than windmills for one thing). But cats do not kill eagles, hawks, falcons, condors. owls and other raptors (many of which are included among endangered species). The fact that the wind industry is presently killing thousands of these types of birds and skating is an outrage (especially after the oil industry got fined exorbitantly for killing 85), I think.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The French Academy of Medicine on Exposure to Wind Turbines

"Chronic invasive sound involves neurobiological reactions with an increased frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The sounds emitted by the blades being low frequency constitutes a permanent health risk to the people exposed to them."............And this doesn't even involve the visual strobing effects, the distraction to drivers, the consistent possibility of blade throw, and the fact that the California Forestry Service has reported that 90% of forest fires are now caused by windmills. Yeah, I definitely want one of these 400 footers in my community, NOT.

Monday, February 4, 2013

On Wind-Farms and Turbines

I think that every politician who voted for these suckers should have a bunch of them constructed in THEIR communities. That way they could also secure the "benefits" of noise (and, hence, disrupted sleep), lights, odor, dust, vibration, obstructed view, and property devaluation that the rest of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind property owners have had to deal with for years now. It's only fair, no?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tweedles Dumb and D

I agree with Governor Jindal that the Republicans have to stop being the stupid party; especially when it comes to social issues and policing the planet. But the Democrats have to stop being a stupid party, too. These whole notions that a) we can balance the budget simply by taxing rich people, b) we can save the planet solely by reinstituting a 16th century energy-diffuse power system, c) simply by throwing more and more money at an inefficient/corrupt public-school system the results will somehow improve, and d) more and more regulations are invariably the answer are hardly the types of ideas that you're liable to hear at a MENSA meeting, either. The bottom-line here is that BOTH parties (hey, they both supported ethanol, correct?) need to get their acts together, think outside the box, and enough is enough with the platitudes and simple solutions already.

Friday, February 1, 2013

People Who I Currently Have Zero (As Opposed to Even a Little) Use For

Not in office - Rush Limbaugh (the asshole/douche who started this whole media food-fight), Sean Hannity, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Mike Malloy, Michelle Malkin, Monica Crowley, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann (he makes Bill O'Reilly seem thoughtful), Sarah (I'm so bad that even Fox won't retain me) Palin, Fox and Friends, Markos Moulitsas, Oliver North, Laura Ingraham (shut up and listen), Melanie Morgan, Martin Bashir, Toure, Van Jones, Al Gore, Alex Jones, Newt Gingrich, Paul Krugman, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Linda McMahon, Vince McMahon, Al (watch me as I make the I-Man grovel) Sharpton, Rick Santorum, Wayne LaPierre, Richard Trumka, Joy Behar, Nancy Grace, John Bolton, Barney (I lied on national television repeatedly) Frank, Karl Rove, Bill Maher, Bill Cunningham, Haley Barbour (a national disgrace), Sandra Fluke, Joe Walsh (the former Congressman, not the former Eagle), Eric Bolling.............In office - Michelle Bachmann, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alan Grayson, Louie (terrorist babies) Gohmert, Steve King, Virginia Foxx, Harry Reid, Mitch (the bitch) McConnell, Eric Cantor.....................................................................................What, no Ann Coulter, You ask? Nah, the woman makes me laugh and I gotta give her credit for it. Ditto, Mark Levin.

Note to Senator McCain

Dude, I have to tell you. I'm not entirely certain that I could have answered your yes-no question (as to whether or not the surge was "effective"), either. I mean, yeah, whenever you add more checkpoints to an unruly area, militarily or via a police action, there's a decent chance that the mayhem will be suppressed. But in my opinion, the more critical components of this outcome had a hell of a lot more to due with a) the fact that we apparently had to cut a deal with some of the more unsavory elements of the Sunni resistance and b) the fact that the country had already largely been ethnically cleansed and all that had to happen afterwards was mop-up.................................................................................................And don't you think that maybe it's still a little too early to say with definitude that ANYTHING has worked? I mean, I don't know about you, but I seriously doubt that the final chapter has been written on this and it wouldn't surprise me one iota if the whole damn thing fell back into chaos, the fact that those idiots seemingly haven't gotten along for centuries, etc. ("They're worse than the Jews" is what one Sunni recently said about a Shia - case in point).