Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Noted by Ed Driscoll: In The Future, Everyone Will Be Emmanuel Goldstein For 15 Minutes. The idiom is in the video linked at the end. NSFW, though captured from TV.
Update: In the funnies.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Received in email from Dean, an amazing display of virtuosity.
That's Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando Lima, also known as Duo Siqueira Lima. If your first thought after seeing and hearing this is "What could they do with two guitars?" you might want to check out their website.
Dean sent a link to the video of this performance at wimp dot com, a video site I had not seen before. Fun videos, "suitable for all ages," it says.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Some sharp comments at this post by Neo-neocon, The WaPo goes rogue …, mentioning Sarah Palin's op-ed on Climategate. Commenter rickl suggests mailing this around: Hockey stick observed in NOAA ice core data. One of several striking graphs:
Those are years B.C. to A.D. across the bottom. Mann's hockey stick is visible on the far right. Or,
over the period of recorded history, the average temperature was about equal to the height of the MWP. Rises not only as high, but as rapid, as the current hockey stick blade have been the rule, not the exception.Nice interglacial we have going here. Let's not mess it up.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Pull back from the brink? Not jump off the bridge?
Joel Kotkin discusses Copenhagen, what's happening, who benefits. Capping Emissions, Trading On The Future: The West's goals in Copenhagen are tantamount to suicide. Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Althouse posted an R.I.P. for Liam Clancy. I heard him a few years ago at the Mystic Sea Music Festival. Of course, he was very good indeed. Althouse linked to his obit at the Irish Times; here are obits from the Telegraph and the NY Times. His website is Liam Clancy dot com, naturally. Music begins right away when you enter the site, so be prepared.
For a while, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem personified Irish folk music in the States, and sold an enormous number of records in Ireland as well. I bought my first Clancy Brothers record back around 1962. It was this one:
(That's Tom on the left, Paddy in the middle, Liam on the right with the guitar, and Tommy Makem down in front with the whistle.)
I learned every song on it, and sing most of them still.
[Update: Amba posted an R.I.P. with two videos, one of them "The Parting Glass." Liam's spoken closing line in that holds a resonance now that it did not, then.]
Althouse's post includes a video of Liam Clancy singing "Those Were the Days." Commenter rcocean links to a video of Helmut Lotti singing "Dorogoy Dlinnoyu," the Russian song from which the music was taken. There is a discussion of the song at Languagehat, in which Languagehat links to this translation of the lyrics. Here is another translation, with some commentary, and here is a singable one. Languagehat quotes from a Russian page which says that, in October 1917, "'Endless road' became one of the biggest 'hits' in Russia." The singer whose performance made it famous was Alexander Vertinsky. And here it is (with subtitles in Polish).
Another Sunday afternoon concert.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
ESR has been looking at the emails and at the code, in a series of posts:
- Hiding the Decline: Prologue
- Open-Sourcing the Global Warming Debate
- Hiding the Decline: Part 1 – The Adventure Begins
- Facts to fit the theory
- AGW fraud unravels at an accelerating pace
- Facts to fit the theory? Actually, no facts at all!
- "The scientists have been tied up and gagged in the back room"
Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, poppies more potent, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, Air France crash, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Al Qaeda and Taliban Being Helped, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks,Each item is a link. It goes on.
Recent stories about Climategate in the WaPo (and not-so-recent stories about global warming) written by Juliet Eilperin are written from the slant that AGW is incontrovertibly proven, and that "The e-mails don't say that: They don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle."
Oh, OK then. That statement begs the question in a couple of ways, by assuming that "climate change" is happening and that it is human-caused. Shoddy logic.
The conflict of interest appears when we note that Juliet Eilperin is married to Andrew Light. Andrew Light is, among other things, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, specializing in climate, energy, and science policy. A look around the CAP website shows that it is committed to all the worst ideas of the "progressive" left, including, of course, the notion that AGW is real and that therefore the world must be turned upside down to fight it. Oh, and overpopulation is a menace. They are right there with Holdren and Ehrlich.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Lots of Real LifeTM to deal with, lately, so I am just trying to follow developments, not doing much blogging. As you might have noticed.
Watts Up With That is staying on top of it, with a big accumulator page, and plenty of regular posting.
Such as: Lord Monckton’s summary of Climategate and its issues: "The Whistle Blows for Truth." Most recently: Now it’s serious, Daily Show’s Jon Stewart mocks Gore and Global Warming. As I said quite a while ago, more jokes, please!
Not exactly a musical instrument, but I want one.
Today, doctors in Japan use the $40 Lung Flute as a tool to collect sputum from patients suspected of carrying tuberculosis, and in Europe and Canada it’s used to help test phlegm for lung cancer. Clinical trials in the U.S. have shown that it is at least as effective as current COPD treatments. At press time, Hawkins expected the device to receive FDA approval any day, and says the reusable device could also provide home relief for patients with cystic fibrosis, influenza and asthma.I suppose you'll need a prescription. Via Reynolds.
Update: keep up with current developments at Medical Acoustics.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I have not mentioned the Minnesotans for Global Warming for a while. They have not been hibernating, however. Here's a new song to go with the new scandal.
Don Surber has this, with the original, and some other items.
At Hillbuzz, The Global Warming fraud is an excellent chance to drive a wedge between the MSM and American public. "We tend to view everything that happens in terms of how it could impact the 2010 and 2012 races, in which we want to see as many Liberals driven from office as possible. So, today we’re thinking less about the Cap & Tax measures (which were going to fail before these emails were released) and more about what needs to be done to convince regular, non-political Americans that they were victims of an enormous scam the MSM helped facilitate."
Lorrie Goldstein at the Toronto Sun: Why 'climategate' won't stop greens. "This was never about saving the planet. This is about money and power. Your money. Their power." (via Reynolds.)
Aj Strata has been on a roll with this, lots of posts, starting on Nov 20.
At the WSJ, How to Forge a Consensus. "The impression left by the Climategate emails is that the global warming game has been rigged from the start." Nice pun in the title. (via Reynolds.)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Still looking for mainstream media to notice that there is a scandal revealed here. In the NYT:
Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, says he believes the release of the CRU data will ultimately do little to influence public opinion.
"Based on what we have here, I don't believe it's going to affect public opinion at all," he said. "Most people will never hear about this. Within a month, probably within a couple of weeks, this story will have basically died as a mainstream media story, unless it turns out to be the beginning of some grander, bigger scandal."
Under the rug, or the bus, is where the Powers That Be would like this to go.
WSJ is better, in Global Warming With the Lid Off:
we do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.Meanwhile, at PJ Media, Iain Murray offers Three Things You Absolutely Must Know About Climategate. "First, the scientists discuss manipulating data to get their preferred results.… Secondly, scientists on several occasions discussed methods of subverting the scientific peer review process to ensure that skeptical papers had no access to publication.… Finally, the scientists worked to circumvent the Freedom of Information process of the United Kingdom."
Also at PJ Media, Charlie Martin says that the Climategate Computer Codes Are the Real Story. This one is not just infuriating, but close to funny, as Charlie looks through a read_me file describing the frustration of a programmer trying to make sense of chaotic stuff that does not deserve to be called "data," and code that works just as well upside down — or was it the other way round?
Declan McCullagh says that Congress May Probe Leaked Global Warming E-Mails. Sen. Inhofe appears to see the problem.
Glenn Reynolds and a reader discuss the False Claims Act. Discovery would be interesting.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, is about a hundred years old, and eternal.
Spring and Fall:
to a Young Child
Márgarét, áre you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's springs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
(Photo by Ann Althouse, used under Creative Commons licence.)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Updated and bumped.
This could be
if it gets coverage.
Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has been keeping up with this. I'll post some links here, for reference.
ClimateDepot has a roundup post that's being updated.
Bishop Hill's concise list of summaries of emails is also available at Watts Up With That.
Slashdot: Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked.
Searchable database of the emails. Does not appear to include code or data.
Another searchable database that does include documents other than mail.
James Delingpole at the Telegraph: Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?
Andrew Bolt: Warmist conspiracy exposed? And: The warmist conspiracy: the emails that most damn Jones.
Andrew C. Revkin at NYT: Hacked E-Mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics. (Revkin has changed the title since I posted this; I do not know if he has also changed the text.) No comments on this one. But Revkin has blogged it, and comments are there: Private Climate Conversations on Display. He seems more offended by the hacking than by the conspiracy. Whistleblowing is a great thing when one agrees with the whistleblower. If not, then not so much.
Watts Up With That: Breaking News Story: CRU has apparently been hacked – hundreds of files released
Follow-up at Watts Up With That (mirrored from ClimateAudit.org): Mike's Nature Trick
Luboš Motl: Hacked: Hadley CRU FOI2009 Files
John Hinderaker: a lawyer examines some evidence. The Alarmists Do "Science": A Case Study. Revkin is mentioned.
Richard Fernandez at PJ Media: The CRU Hack.
Big roundup and a nifty graphic (ad for "Al Gore's Corn Ethanol Based Global Warming Vodka: Preferred drink of progressive elites") at American Power: Global Warming Hoax Breaks Wide Open as Hackers Target East Anglia Climate Research Unit!
Gotta link Althouse, just because: Climategate. And: "Fellow scientists who disagreed with orthodox views on climate change were variously referred to as 'prats' and 'utter prats.'"
Charlie Martin, at PJ Media, lines out the big picture of three different scandals at the same time: Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean?
Another piece at PJ Media, by Rand Simberg: Global WarmingGate: When Scientists Become Politicians, has a comment linking to someone looking at the code, who says, "This isn't science, it's gradeschool for people with big data sets."
Monckton weighs in: Viscount Monckton on Global WarmingGate: ‘They Are Criminals’
From way back in August, but related, Frank J. Tipler at PJ Media: Climate Data: Top Secret!
Here earlier: Climate Money.
More to come, no doubt.
"Environmentalism" used to be called "conservationism." I wonder what happened to that? "Conservationist" sounds a little too much like "conservative." Liberals live and die by the labels in their heads, so the name had to be changed.
Warren Meyer says that global warming hysteria is "sucking the oxygen out of the environmental movement." Well, yeah. For instance, cyanide, used in gold mining, is definitely a poisonous pollutant. But carbon dioxide is an essential component of life. It's plant food. Yet we now have the EPA, the Supreme Court, and the President referring to carbon, meaning carbon dioxide, as a pollutant!
Washington (April 17, 2009) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Lisa Jackson made an historic announcement today to move forward with the ruling that the carbon pollution that causes global warming is a danger to public health and welfare. This action will finally enable the EPA to begin implementing the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that carbon pollution can be curbed under the Clean Air Act.We are carbon-based life forms, here on Earth. Honest, we are! There's a reason why "organic" chemistry is all about the carbon compounds.
Meyer's post links to some pictures from China that show what real pollution is about. For those who have forgotten.
Friday, November 20, 2009
One of the comments on the Slashdot item linked in the Climategate post is an elegant description of what I just said in the title, there: (A)GW and the response to it considered as a game matrix. It's the one that begins,
You can have billions of data points over several millenia and the only thing you can hope to prove is a strong correlation between A=CO2 levels and B=global temperature.Go read it, it's not very long.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Ron Bailey takes a quick look back at an early round in the war of environmentalism against energy production: the breeder reactor.
I was recently at a conference on global warming where I had to read James Gustave Speth's environmentalist manifesto Red Sky at Morning: America and the Global Environmental Crisis. It's an amazingly reactionary and incoherent book. One passage that particularly irritated me dealt with fast breeder reactors. These are nuclear power plants that can produce more fuel (about 30 percent more) than they use. We would never have to mine a single pound more of uranium to produce electricity.…Read the whole thing, it's short. Comments are worthwhile also. I like what Oldcrow has to say about the true foundation of environmentalism.
in an alternative universe in which 200 reactors come online, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would be about 35 percent lower than they currently are. In other words, the reactors that Speth opposed could have been a huge part of the solution to what Speth claims is humanity's "biggest threat." Like I said, really annoying.
Just the kind of British comedy based on word-play I like. A taste:
Another: Beautiful Food.
Thanks to Althouse commenter peter hoh, who recommended the paella*. Look for David Tennant in this one, along with the giant prawns.
* Should one attempt to pronounce foreign words with a feigned foreign accent? Always good for a mild dispute. Pie-yella or pie-eighya ("eigh" as in eight)? Simon Marchmont has his opinion, in that Posh Nosh episode. Toby Young has a paella episode to relate (via). It's not just Americans, Toby Young. Here previously: When in Roma …
Numbers with dollar signs attached.
With other numbers, not so good.
Millions of degrees at the Earth's core, indeed. John Derbyshire checks the numbers. He's a climate con artist, that's all. It would make sense to follow his lead on investments … just as it would to invest along with George Soros, they are the same, after all … provided that you took the Louis XV attitude towards the future: "Après moi, le déluge." Does he imagine that the millions that he is amassing from his climate con game will protect his grandchildren from the apocalypse that he predicts?
It's a good thing to be rich. It's not a good thing to get rich by scaring people about the ManBearPig that's coming to get you!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Just a few.
The bow to Abdullah. The bow to Akihito.
A new General Theory of Obama, with emphasis on Afghanistan and chaos. W.B. Yeats and Steely Dan are mentioned. Follow-up to the General Theory, with zombies.
The Mao jacket and the crotch salute.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Peter Robinson's five-part interview with Václav Klaus is now complete.
Part 1: on the events of 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down.
Part 2: "Are there parallels to be drawn between a united Europe and the late, unlamented Warsaw Pact? Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus makes a case."
Part 3: "Al Gore is wrong about global warming."
Part 4: "Klaus describes how he became an advocate of free-market principles."
Part 5: "Have we drifted from the decisive victories for freedom achieved in 1989?"
He never seems to have any good ideas.
NY Times: 9/11 Trial Poses Unparalleled Legal Obstacles for Both Sides
Althouse: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the alleged 9/11 mastermind — and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — the alleged planner of the USS Cole bombing — will go to trial in federal court in NYC
Neo-neocon: The trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: a 9/10 approach to 9/11 justice
Drew at Ace of Spades has video of Rudy Giuliani commenting on this: Rudy Goes Off Over Decision To Try KSM In Civilian Court In NYC. "It comes right from the top."
Allahpundit has video of Charles Krauthammer: "Mr. Holder has honored mass murder by treating it like any other crime."
Shannon Love: "How Obama is Bringing Martial Law to America."
Jerry Pournelle, passim: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide."
There is always a sunny side.
Though "sunny" implies warmth. Warmth is necessary for life. So the 2009 Miss Earth competition, or pageant, is being held in the Philippines, where it's naturally warm.
The photos in the "Press Presentation" are better at the Telegraph.
I've heard nice things about Slovenia, as a place to live. Miss Greece looks like a character from the Iliad:
Penelope, perhaps; though the red hair would seem to imply Circe; one would hope, not Briseis or Iphigenia.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have mentioned Joseph Romm here before, not favorably. Now at Breakthrough Blog, a series about this blowhard. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Possibly more to come?
Via Jonathan H. Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy, who also links to Ron Bailey at Reason, who also links to … and the Web goes on.
I did not actually plan to call Joe Romm a moron in the headline. That was sheer serendipitous felicity.
This is illegible as seen here, so click it to get a better view.
That subtitle is likely to be going away pretty soon, but it seems worthy of preservation. It's a testimonial to Althouse's sense of humor.
Related: Pointed, pointless questions.
Sarah Palin is Dumb.
Ann Althouse Is Dumb
"Oh...did I mention Althouse is a dirty libtard pirate whore?"
"Sirs, the smiles will leave your faces when the walls come tumbling in..."
There may be more to come.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
In the WSJ.
The damage caused by high taxation during the Great Depression is the real lesson we should learn. A government simply cannot tax a country into prosperity. If there were one warning I'd give to all who will listen, it is that U.S. federal and state tax policies are on an economic crash trajectory today just as they were in the 1930s. Net legislated state-tax increases as a percentage of previous year tax receipts are at 3.1%, their highest level since 1991; the Bush tax cuts are set to expire in 2011; and additional taxes to pay for health-care and the proposed cap-and-trade scheme are on the horizon.…Depends on whether "the people who are running our economy" have prosperity as a goal.
My hope is that the people who are running our economy do look to the Great Depression as an object lesson. My fear is that they will misinterpret the evidence and attribute high unemployment and the initial decline in prices to tight money, while increasing taxes to combat budget deficits.
So the professor of community organizing at one of Obama's old schools (almae matres?) was discussing race relations with a woman in a bar. (It's not a joke.) His eloquence failed to persuade her to his point of view, so he gave her a poke in the eye.
The NY Post story calls McIntyre an "architecture professor." They jumped to a conclusion. He is "Nancy and George Rupp Associate Professor in the Practice of Community Development and the Founding Director of the Urban Technical Assistance Project at Columbia University." Not an architect or architecture professor, but a community organizer. Columbia, Chicago, they both start with "C" and Obama spent time in both places. I wonder if McIntyre was one of the President's teachers?
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds, who credits JammieWearingFool, whose post I should have read before writing this one, as it covers the same ground and a little more.
How to write about legislation that is not really there? The Democrats' health reform bills will not have a definite form until after they are passed in both houses and go through reconciliation. But one has to try.
How an Insurance Mandate Could Leave Many Worse OffThe Times does not see fit to link to Prof. Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution.
AMERICANS seem to like the idea of broadening health insurance coverage, but they may not want to be forced to buy it. With health care costs high and rising, such government mandates would make many people worse off.
The proposals now before Congress would require just about everyone to buy health insurance or to get it through their employers — which would generally result in lower wages. In other words, millions of people would be compelled to spend lots of money on something they previously did not want, at least not at prevailing prices.
Estimates of this burden vary, but for a family of four it could range up to $14,000 a year over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Right now, many Americans take the gamble of going without insurance, just as many of us take our chances with how much we drive or how little we exercise.The paradox is this: Reform advocates start with anecdotes about the underprivileged who are uninsured, then turn around and propose something that would hurt at least some members of that group.
8 Phrases That Don't Mean What You Think They Mean
Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be a truthful speaker.
"Truthful speakers" are characters in a novel. Don't look for them in Washington.
The BBC's Gavin Lee interviews 'Duane' at the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen the day after the killings at Fort Hood.How many more of these traitors are living here?
Duane : I'm not going to condemn him for what he did. I don't know why he did it. I will not, absolutely not, condemn him for what he had done though. If he had done it for selfish reasons I still will not condemn him. He's my brother in the end. I will never condemn him.
Gavin Lee : There might be a lot of people shocked to hear you say that.
Duane: Well, that's the way it is. I don't speak for the community here but me personally I will not condemn him.
Gavin Lee : What are your thoughts towards those that were victims in this?
Duane : They were, in the end, they were troops who were going to Afghanistan and Iraq to kill Muslims. I honestly have no pity for them. It's just like the majority of the people that will hear this, after five or six minutes they'll be shocked, after that they'll forget about them and go on their day.
He sounds like a nice enough American young man. But he is a fifth columnist.
Isn't this Obama's secret for success? Speak nicely, while concealing horrors in the heart. It's another form of taqqiya.
Because these people should get a lot of exposure.
Includes Barney Frank on "safety and soundness." What did Franklin Raines do to earn close to $90 million in bonus pay? If he's that good, he ought to be President now.
We (who is that?) don't have to let everything go to heck. No, we (for limited values of "we") are choosing to slide down the slippery slope into the tar pit of socialism.
Krauthammer: Decline is a choice.
Sowell: Dismantling America.
Yeats: The Second Coming.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
Robin of Berkeley asks. Her argument seems persuasive. If we wipe away our memories of evil, in the name of political correctness, how will we recognize it? By the mustache?
Thanks to Morgan Freeberg, who has more to say, for the tip.
I keep hearing Democrats saying that Republicans are engaging in "the politics of fear." Phooey. Democrats can't tell fear from vigilance. Rather than blow a thousand words, here is one of Zombie's pictures, that says a lot.
A puppy is not feared, but is not respected much, either. Obama's foreign policy = U.S. as puppy. The Cairo speech made me think of a puppy or kitten showing its belly in that "please don't hurt me" gesture. Not what I want to see from the President of the United States.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Possibly relevant to Obama's recent decision to allow state laws on medical marijuana to have some force. Adrian Gaty brought this essay, "Don't Legalize Drugs," by Theodore Dalrymple, to my attention a couple of years ago. I thought it needed to be taken apart in detail. It's much too long for the front page, so, after the jump …
Never mind. I can't bear the nagging feeling of copyright violation any more. Just go read Milton Friedman.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I caught a bit of Jim Vicevich's radio show this morning. He seemed perturbed by, among other things, this interview with the House Majority Leader. Here, Hoyer
said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”This seems to me to be a willful misreading of the General Welfare clause. Vicevich's law prof contributor SoundOffSister thinks so too.
I am also concerned, and here's where the oath of office comes in, by this part of the interview:
CNSNews.com also asked Hoyer if there is a limit to what Congress can mandate that Americans purchase and whether there is anything that specifically could not be mandated to purchase. Hoyer said that eventually the Supreme Court would find a limit to Congress’ power, adding that mandates that unfairly favored one person or company over another would obviously be unconstitutional.Do you see what he did there? He is assigning the Supreme Court to review the Constitutionality of all legislation. He is saying, in effect, that Congress can go ahead and pass anything at all, without concern about the Constitution, because the Supreme Court will find the limits. He is asking the Supreme Court to act as a review board.
“I’m sure the [Supreme] Court will find a limit,” Hoyer said. “For instance, if we mandated that you buy General Motors’ automobiles, I believe that would be far beyond our constitutional responsibility and indeed would violate the Due Process Clause as well – in terms of equal treatment to automobile manufacturers.”
The Representatives' Oath of Office:
"I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."It's not, "I'll write any laws I like, and if I go too far, the Supreme Court will stop me." Members of Congress have a duty to consider the Constitutionality of legislation before they propose it, never mind vote on it.
Speaking at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN, on the upcoming Copenhagen conference. "Is Obama poised to cede US sovereignty?" Looks like it. To do so would fit right in with everything else, including Al Gore's call for "global governance."
Michelle Malkin has an excerpt from the speech, and a link to the PowerPoint.
The full speech is here, about an hour and a half.
Global Climate Scam has a draft copy of the proposed treaty. The most recent revision appears to be this one. I found it on this page, by searching for "framework convention." They don't make it easy.
Minnesota Majority has an interview with Monckton, Part 1, Part 2. These are bigger at YouTube, Part 1, Part 2.
Lord Monckton does not seem to know that a treaty needs Senate ratification before it becomes binding. (He's English, after all, and so can be given a pass on fine points of American law.) One man's signature does not make a treaty, which is how it happened that President Clinton was able to sign the Kyoto Protocol, yet it never had any force in the US. It would be like the current government, though, for Obama to sign the treaty, fail to get ratification, and then proceed as if it had been ratified.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
You never know who might be looking in the window.
Coffee-making naked guy rebuffed by exposure charge
It happened at 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Channel 5 reports the woman and 7-year-old boy who saw him naked apparently had cut through Williamson's front yard from a nearby path.
Williamson, 29, says he didn't know anyone could see him.
"If I stood and seemed comfortable in my kitchen, it's natural. It's my kitchen," Williamson tells Channel 5.
Williamson says his roommates were not home when he came into the kitchen and made his coffee.
Fairfax County Police say they believed Williamson wanted to be seen naked by the public.
Williamson, a father of a 5-year old girl, said he plans to fight the charge.
Maybe a countercharge of trespassing or unlawful entry would be in order.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
And the verdict: Convicted! Wrongly, IMHO, FWIW.
I hope the final update, April 7, 2010: Not guilty! Story, via Althouse. Looks like it cost him plenty, though: his lawyer "said Williamson's legal bills would probably wind up being between $10,000 and $15,000."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
That was disappointing. I tuned in to hear what John Stossel had to say, and heard much more of Bill O'Reilly's bloviating and interruptions. It seemed like a waste of time for Stossel, and for me. When Stossel switched from ABC to Fox, the announcement was that he would do some one-hour specials on Fox Business, and some shorter segments on Fox News. I liked Stossel's one-hour shows on ABC, so I would watch those, but don't get Fox Business.
I would have more respect for Fox if they would replace Geraldo Rivera with Stossel. If all we are going to see of Stossel on Fox News is segments like this, then he is being wasted, or deliberately suppressed. Let the Libertarian speak!
We keep hearing in defense of ACORN that the fraudulent registrations did not produce fraudulent votes. Here are some fraudulent votes, in Troy, N.Y., that look to have made the difference in a local election. Fraudulent registrations were not involved, just(!) identity theft.
Note that this alleged fraud has only come to light because of an internal dispute within the Working Families Party. If Republicans had the stomach to look more closely at elections nationwide, what might they find?
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Barney Frank, Predatory LenderWanna bet they can't have it both ways? That's logic. The Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis don't use that old-fashioned stuff any more. They'll have it any way they want it.
Almost two-thirds of all bad mortgages in our financial system were bought by government agencies or required by government regulations.
The left cannot have it both ways, blaming the private sector for subprime lending while absolving the government policies that created the demand for subprime loans. If the financial crisis was caused by subprime mortgages and predatory lending, the government's own policies made it happen.
Seriously, read the whole thing. And don't blame the banks, or "deregulation."
And speaking of Democrats and mortgages: here's a video that would be funny if it weren't so sick. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee left the room to avoid voting on a subpoena for Countrywide Mortage records.
Bank of America, which has acquired Countrywide, has said it will release the information about the “Friends of Angelo” program as soon as it receives a subpoena. But that would require a majority vote by the House Oversight Committee, something that is very hard to achieve when the majority party walks out on the vote, as Hodes and his colleagues did on Thursday.No shame, no oversight. None so blind.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
3 pm in Connecticut, 38°, snow mixed with rain and freezing rain, all falling at once. It seems a little early for this.
4 pm and it's all snow now. The report at Weather Underground dot com from a nearby weather station says "Rain Mist," but I know snow when I see it.
Who is going to have the last laugh after the US bankrupts itself trying to cut CO2 emissions to 1875 levels? (England looks like taking a stab at this too.) What nations are paying the least attention to this pseudo-scientific power grab? Who benefits?
Since more than half the world (Russia, China, India, Africa, Muslim nations in general) are ignoring the panic that is making Al Gore rich and looks like making most Americans poorer, at least we need not worry about the possibility that taking radical measures to avoid warming, if there is an actual cooling trend going on, could lead to another Ice Age. The whole US could revert to the Paleolithic (without the fire, of course) and it would make no discernible difference to the climate or temperature if we were the only ones doing it.
More nukes now! Humanity needs energy! (That's a chant.) Repeat ad lib.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
That new search widget is not working, now, either, so I've put in a home-brew version based on the Google site search. In the sidebar.
Sam Spade and Charlie Chan got nothin' on me. Oh, wait, if they got nothin' — does that mean they searched and got no results? I'm so confused.
Update, Oct. 13: "Search Blog" in the navbar is fixed, now. I'll leave the home-brew search in the sidebar for a while, in case it reverts. Oct 19: It's reverting.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
How are you feeling this week? Weak, you say? Somewhat undermined?
Let's see what Jeff Jarvis has to say about this idea that the FTC should start regulating what bloggers have to say.
The Federal Trade Commission just released rules to regulate product endorsements not just in advertisements but also on blogs. (PDF here; the regs don’t start until page 55.)
It is a monument to unintended consequence, hidden dangers, and dangerous assumptions.
Mind you, I hate one of its apparent targets: Pay Per Post and its ilk, which attempt to co-opt the voice of bloggers. But I hate government regulation of speech more.
And mind you, I am all in favor of transparency; I disclose to a comic fault here. I think that openness is the best fix for questions of trust and advise companies and politicians and certainly governments to become transparent by default as enlightened self-interest. But mandating this for anyone who dares speak online? Foolish.
There are so many bad assumptions inherent in the FTC’s rules.
First, Pay Per Post et al, as I realized late to the game, are not aimed at fooling consumers. Who would read the boring, sycophantic drivel its people write? No, they are aimed at fooling Google and its algorithms. It’s human spam. And it’s Google’s job to regulate that.
Second, the FTC assumes – as media people do – that the internet is a medium. It’s not. It’s a place where people talk. Most people who blog, as Pew found in a survey a few years ago, don’t think they are doing anything remotely connected to journalism. I imagine that virtually no one on Facebook thinks they’re making media. They’re connecting. They’re talking. So for the FTC to go after bloggers and social media – as they explicitly do – is the same as sending a government goon into Denny’s to listen to the conversations in the corner booth and demand that you disclose that your Uncle Vinnie owns the pizzeria whose product you just endorsed.
Insanity and inanity. And danger.
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Hector Owen! Danger, Glenn Reynolds, and everybody else.
It's not just bloggers, either: This will also apply to Facebook pages and even Twitter.
All this unregulated speech is a danger to someone who would rather it were silenced. Didn't you ever think to yourself, "How long will 'they' let this go on? All this freedom of speech on the Internet?" Lefties have their hands on the levers of power in Washington, now. So hold on to your hats, and think about scrubbing your archives. Like this, see: Acorn Scrubs Its Website to Eliminate SEIU Links. <sarcasm>That worked really well for them.</sarcasm> So don't imagine it will work any better for you, Miss Blogger Grrl, Mister Blogman.
Here earlier: Federal Marshals will be coming in to clean up this town. Or, Yes we can stop the signal. A recent comment here.
Or, Why there ought not to be a law about anything or everything that bothers someone.
The conservative takes the "tragic view" of the human condition. We are all just people, all imperfect, all incapable of achieving perfection, not because we're failures, but because we're human. The "New Soviet Man" is not in the house. The best of intentions never go far. Russell Kirk referrred to this notion as "the principle of imperfectability."
David Mamet wrote a long essay about this. Could it be expressed more concisely? Why, yes, and here it is in one of those emails that gets forwarded around. Bookworm posted it, and some of her commenters have additions. A sample:
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.
More at the link.
Start here, with a random airport encounter.
Go on to this, about a new book.
See if you have the stamina for this video, it's a little on the long side, about an hour. An interview with Jack Cashill, who has been looking into this for some time.
Do it while you can, while we still have some freedom of speech and reading, while this here Internet thing still works.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Steven Hart writes about Vance, and about this book, This Is Me, Jack Vance (Or, More Properly, This Is "I").
Too many favorite Jack Vance stories to name them all.
There is some more discussion here. The Vance Integral Edition has already become a rare item.
IF Iran and North Korea are aligned on the Axis of Evil, AND they are working on nuclear weapons, THEN this old song takes on new relevance.
From 1947, the Golden Gate Quartet, "Atom and Evil:"
An encore at the Sunday free concert.
Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin in "Every Sunday," from 1936. This short is Deanna Durbin's first movie. Judy Garland had previously appeared in a few shorts, "Bubbles" (1929), "A Holiday In Storyland" (1930), "The Wedding of Jack and Jill" (1930), and "La Fiesta de Santa Barbara" (1935), as one of The Three Gumm Sisters.
Let's not get into where the funding for the "free" concerts came from. It's just as likely, more likely, they were sponsored by a civic group or an individual wealthy music lover, with the money routed through the city council, as that the orchestra was paid for out of the city's general fund.
Thanks to Helen at Your Freedom and Ours.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
"Search Blog" in the navbar, up top, is not working. So I have added a search widget in the sidebar. Results from this are unreliable, but I suppose it's better than no search at all. The best for now is to use Google directly, with site:hectorowen.blogspot.com followed by the search term, e.g., site:hectorowen.blogspot.com antikythera. FWIW. Other Blogspot sites are afflicted by this, as well. It's not just me.
Update: But see above.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Or, Why I have not listened to "Prairie Home Companion" for years. I'm old and grumpy, and far from charming, but Keillor's got me beat all hollow. (Would they say "all hollow" in Lake Wobegon? I dunno.)
When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn't be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order."If we cut off health care to them." We? Them? Cut off? Health care isn't run by the government yet. He's a little ahead of schedule with this wish-fulfillment fantasy.
It's time to dump the dead-end issues that have wasted too much time already. Old men shouldn't be allowed to doze off at the switch and muck up the works for the young who will have to repair the damage. Get over yourselves. Your replacements have arrived, and you should think about them now and then. Enough with the shrieking. Pass health-care reform.
He is five years older than I am. Check back with me five years from now, and see if I am advocating that 32% of the population be cut off from health care. So that there will be more left for me. Yet this old grump is trying to identify himself with "the young." "Your replacements have arrived …" What's this, but Bob Dylan from 1964.
I have to wonder how well he would have recovered from his recent stroke if it had occurred in some other country. One with government health care. How nice for him that he was able to be transferred from United Hospital in St. Paul to the Mayo Clinic's St. Mary's Hospital, "simply because they know so much more about me down there." <sarcasm>The fact that he is a wealthy celebrity could not have had anything to do with that</sarcasm>.
This gets a "humor" tag only because Keillor is widely regarded as a humorist. For a while, I thought he might be capable of taking up the mantle of Jean Shepherd as a humorous Midwest memoirist. But to be bittersweet, you need to use care in mixing the bitter with the sweet. Keillor's all bitter, now.
Via Surber, via Reynolds. Reynolds says, "with this gang in charge who would be surprised to find that under ObamaCare your chances of a liver transplant really will depend on your politics? Not me." It's the Chicago Way.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"Archaeologists yesterday unveiled the largest and most valuable hoard of Saxon gold in history."
The discovery took place on July 5. I haven't heard about it till now, but I'll link it anyway. Why is this back in the news? Some artifacts will be going on exhibit at the Birmingham Museum, starting tomorrow.
A couple of links that have pictures:
Pensioner strikes ancient gold.
Largest hoard of Saxon gold unearthed.
Oh, wait, look: there's a website! The Staffordshire Hoard.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Those of us who are "aware of all Internet traditions" have seen trolling before, on plenty of websites. What does it look like in Real LifeTM? What did this fool expect, that the group gathered to express their opposition to the message on his banner would ask him to take the stage and speak?
Charles Johnson is channeling Maureen Dowd here, when he says, "He had a police escort, and obviously needed them. Imagine what would have happened if the police weren’t there." Imagine, indeed. Let the imagination run wild. As the video shows, there was considerable jeering, but no violence, nor anything close to an attempt at violence.
Nobody bit his finger off.
This could be huge.
U.S. charges Obama fund-raiser in $290 million fraudIf it gets coverage, if the DOJ does not suppress the investigation.
By Grant McCool
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hassan Nemazee, a fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, has been indicted for defrauding Bank of America, HSBC and Citigroup Inc out of more than $290 million in loan proceeds, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.
Thanks again to Glenn Reynolds.
And see Questions about Obama's fundraising, here earlier.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Neo-Neocon links to Fausta.
Reynolds links to La Gringa, on the spot in La Ceiba.
Obama's continuing support of Zelaya shows, among other things, his contempt for the law. ("You, a law professor!" Lecturer, actually.) He learned the rules in order to be able to game the system.
Update: More, from Jennifer Rubin, who quotes the WSJ.
From the NY Post:
Sowing the seeds of destruction.A story that should have been written years ago, but better late than never.
ACORN's shady tactics made headlines last week. But their shocking radicalism is nothing new.
"Every time you turn over an ACORN rock, something ugly crawls out," said Scott St. Clair, of the nonpartisan Evergreen Freedom Foundation based in Washington.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
... is what the newspapers will look like if this happens.
Obama open to newspaper bailout billThat reference to fact-checking sounds like a joke, considering the way the mainstream press has treated the Van Jones story, and, indeed, Obama himself. Where are his college transcripts? What did he study at Columbia? Have we heard anything from Tony Rezko lately? Many more questions, unanswered and never asked.
The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.
"I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).…
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," [Obama] said.
Both of those Senators are from Baltimore. Their sponsorship makes sense to anyone who has picked up a copy of the Baltimore Sun lately. The paper of Mencken has become a shadow of what it was a few years ago. It used to be as fat as the Washington Post. Now it's thinner than the Washington Times, and has less content. I remember when there were two Sunpapers, the Sun in the morning and the Evening Sun in, naturally, the evening. The Evening Sun set on September 15, 1995. The idea of saving the paper by restructuring it as a nonprofit is mentioned in Baltimore Magazine's current issue: Stop the Presses. The article places the blame for the paper's declining revenue on, guess what, the Internet. David Simon, the genius who created "The Wire," suggests charging subscription fees for access to online content. Nowhere in the Baltimore Magazine article is it mentioned that the Sun is a far-left paper. Maybe people just don't want to read the content that they are offering. If that's the case then trying to charge for it on line would simply be a repeat of the Times Select experience.(Baltimore Magazine, by the way, seems to be doing fine. It's fat and glossy and loaded with advertising. Maybe the newspaper could learn something from the magazine.)
But getting away from Baltimore: Tax breaks? Would all non-profit newspapers receive the same tax breaks? What government agency would determine which newspapers would receive which tax breaks? Would Cass Sunstein, who favors policing the Web for "falsehoods," be involved? As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, it seems only natural that he would be.
Government is already in the auto business and in banking. The press, next? The profit motive has never looked better.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.
Update: Kim Priestap has something to say about this, at Wizbang.
So conservatives should STFU. That's what Eric Boehlert appears to be saying in this post at Media Matters:: "A President was killed the last time right-wing hatred ran wild like this." Oswald was a Communist, as you know, Bob. Or Eric.
Althouse calls this "Cahrayzee! Crazy... and desperate."
Mark Hemingway says "The Reality-Based Community's Having a Breakdown." Jonah Goldberg quotes an apposite passage from his book. And Hemingway follows up.
In a somewhat related post, Neo-neocon says that
we are suffering from a generalized national false memory syndrome about our history and the history of the world, aided and abetted by the press and academia. After all, these two institutions are tremendously instrumental in giving us the bulk of our information as to what’s happening as it occurs (the so-called “first draft of history”), and then in further filtering, explaining, analyzing, and therefore shaping and ultimately defining our memories of historic events, even events that we ourselves have lived though. And these two institutions have in recent decades been ever more strongly taken over by liberals and the Left.It's Gramsci all over again.
Ric Locke has some thoughts on alternate histories, and mentions Jack Vance.
Also, it's another step towards Media Matters losing all credibility. Keep the crazy coming, MM.
Update: Neo-neocon has another post addressing this directly, in which she quotes from the first Hemingway link above.
Andrea Harris says "This is what Orwell meant," and links indirectly to this post by Kathy Shaidle.
It would have been a short one, something of a hiatus in the ineluctable course of anthropogenic global warming.
Zombie has found another Holdren-Ehrlich collaboration, Global Ecology: Readings Toward a Rational Strategy for Man. The post at Zomblog includes scans and quotes. Zombie says:
My personal opinion is that Holdren is a “doom peddler” who latches onto the nightmare-scenario-du-jour — overpopulation, nuclear holocaust, global cooling, global warming (all of which he’s trumpeted at various points in his career) — and then wildly exaggerates it in order to scare the public into adopting his politicized “solutions.”That seems accurate.
The "science" in the chapter in question, titled "Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide," reminds me of the bafflegab used in space opera. Got to repolarize the dilithium crystals, or all heck's going to bust loose.
Here earlier: Let's take a closer look at that book …, referring to Zombie's take on a different Holdren-Ehrlich collaboration, Ecoscience. Thanks, Zombie, for doing the heavy lifting on this stuff. Also, more on fear of ice in the '70's: Newsweek: The Cooling World. How times change, yet remain the same: always something to fear, something that's such a screaming emergency that only much more government can deal with it. <sarcasm>Better put the scientists in charge, and give them lots of money</sarcasm>.
Click the "Deep Greens" label for far too much more of this claptrap, including the pulsating maggots.
Update: John Tierney links to Zombie: Holdren's Ice Age Tidal Wave.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Instapundit reader Kevin O’Brien writes:
It’s a typical these-voters-are-such-rubes stunt; the House and Senate voted to defund ACORN on different bills. The Senate bill is a housing bill, the House bill the federal takeover of student loans. Each bill will wind up in conference committee where the ACORN ban can be quietly stripped out, behind closed doors and secure from prying eyes. Then the org can keep on doing its important work of voter fraud and pandering to presumed pedophiles.You'd be right more often than wrong.
The most useful principle to hold close when considering members of Congress: they’re all crooks.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Let's start with a song, "It Ain't Obama's Business If I Do."
Misterdregs has more of these on his Youtube channel. Nice work, Misterdregs. For the inquisitive, that's a parody of a song by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, recorded by Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and many more. It later gave rise to another song, by Eric von Schmidt, called "Champagne Don't Hurt Me, Baby," and a book, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, by Peter McWilliams, who died a casualty of the War on Drugs. Some people with badges thought it was their business what he did.
Doug Ross asks if Obama is Smarter than a fifth grader?
Roger Kimball links to Thomas Sowell and quotes a lot of Shikha Dalmia, in the course of envisioning Obama as Tony Soprano, or, flipping America the bird.