Saturday, March 24, 2007

Goals of the Goracle

Ed Driscoll quotes a fair amount of Jonah Goldberg to get to "the key to making sense of the multiple hypocrisies of the Goracle: Al doesn't care about his growing electricity bill, because, ultimately, Gore cares about what all politicians on the left (and an inconveniently large number on the right) care about: growing big government."

And another from the firm of Driscoll and Goldberg: Consequences Are For The Little People.

Borscht Fascism, Part 3

Further regress toward dictatorship, or something very like:

Russia's next parliament is likely to have no genuine opposition after a court in Moscow yesterday banned a leading liberal party from standing in elections.

Russia's supreme court announced that it had liquidated the small Republican party, claiming that it had violated electoral law by having too few members. The party is one of very few left in Russia that criticises President Vladimir Putin.

Apparently (IANAL, Russian or otherwise) there is an avenue of appeal to the Collegium of the Supreme Court. Clearly this court is structured differently from what we have in the US.

This action raises a question: if a party cannot exist if it has "too few members," how could a new one possibly be started? You got to start somewhere.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Global warming quiz

I missed the first question on this because the quiz-writer didn't state a time frame. And that's the only hint I'll give you.

Rats laughing

John Tierney writes about a researcher who has used bat-boxes to listen to rats laughing when tickled. Tierney links to this video. From Glenn Reynolds. Laughing when tickled is not the same as laughing at jokes, though.

And speaking of animals, Clive Thompson links to an amazing video of the bioluminescent Dana octopus squid.

Coney Island of the mind

Not Ferlinghetti. Though he is mentioned.

Why does this make me think of Joni Mitchell? "The painted ponies go up and down." Is that it?


Essence of Gore: Dafydd and his commenters start with a good post by Dean Barnett and boil it down. I still think he'll announce, possibly at the last minute, after all the other candidates have shredded each other to bits. He could then step in as the (choke) non-political candidate, the Man With a Mission. Or, you might say, the Man on a White Horse. His horse would not be required to wear a diaper. Unlike mine or yours. If we are allowed horses at all. Oh, right—that's the horse offset. For each horse that I do not have, Al Gore can have another, and thus remain horse-neutral.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Music for anti-idiotarians

After suffering through parts of Al Gore's bloviations in front of members of Congress today (but I wouldn't have missed it!—except for work; and was disappointed that C-Span did not carry Bjørn Lomborg) it's a relief to find a song, from Jeff Stambovsky, that brings a little cheer to the proceedings. That link goes to Jeff's old site; his new one is here at Stambosongs. Apparently he is taking requests! By way of the Inconvenient Skeptic.

Mr. Gore goes to Washington

I don't have to write about Al Gore's testimony today, since Luboš Motl has already done the job. The following is a brief excerpt:

I used to think that America was kind of naturally immune against various crazy totalitarian intellectual streams and political movements, due to its mentality, history, and traditions. After seeing parts of Al Gore's testimony and the way how he was treated by some of the Democratic lawmakers, I no longer think so. This Gentleman is a mad megalomaniac and it is amazing what kind of a special treatment such an insane person can get in the Parliament of the most powerful and advanced country in the world.

Gore praised Europeans because "they're not talking about the science." If this were true, is it something to be proud about? "The Earth is shaking because of glacial earthquakes in Greenland," we learned. I haven't met or read a person who would have any idea what he talks about. The CO2 regulation is like the Marshall plan, he said - no clue where the similarity comes from. The Marshall plan was a plan that helped to spark the post-war boom in Europe. The Gore plan is a plan to create a worldwide recession.

The statement that the ten hottest years "ever" occurred since 1990 is repeated many times. Does he have any idea what "ever" means? It has become so normal to generate similar lies that it is no longer a problem to say these things under oath. Leftists often humiliate creationists who believe that the planet is 6000 years old - but the fact that according to the environmentalists' statements about eternity, the planet is at most 400 years old, doesn't disturb anyone.

Is Robert Bussard close to a fusion reaction?

Another from Jerry Pournelle's mail (scroll down):


Hi Jerry -

This article has a good explanation of Dr. Bussard's fusion reactor:

I don't understand why this isn't getting more attention.
Update: Much more on this at Power and Control.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More on Borscht Fascism

Excerpts from a forthcoming book by murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya. From Jerry Pournelle's mail, in Dr. Harry Erwin's regular letters from England.

December 8 [2003]

Were we seeing a crisis of Russian parliamentary democracy in the Putin era? No, we were witnessing its death. In the first place, the legislative and executive branches of government had merged and this had meant the rebirth of the Soviet system. The Duma was purely decorative, a forum for rubber-stamping Putin's decisions.

In the second place the Russian people gave its consent. There were no demonstrations. The electorate agreed to be treated like an idiot. The electorate said let's go back to the USSR - slightly retouched and slicked up, modernised, but the good old Soviet Union, now with bureaucratic capitalism where the state official is the main oligarch, vastly richer than any capitalist. The corollary was that, if we were going back to the USSR, Putin was going to win in March 2004. It was a foregone conclusion.
I earlier mentioned Borscht Fascism in As Russia goes.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Al Gore's zinc mine

This story ran in the Tennesseean on Sunday; today, Monday, that link does not work, and we have a new one. I wonder what happened? I wonder if this Monday's link will work on Tuesday? Question: if zinc mining merely creates a lot of old-fashioned toxic, poisonous, dirty pollution, but not CO2, does that make it OK?

Pinko Irish

is the the title of this from Moxie. I just love the first comment: "Commie Irish are the worst. They drink all the booze, and try to redistribute wealth to get more."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

So far wrong

Reynolds, again. When the linked post was new, it was nothing special. Someone posting elsewhere failed to understand what GR was talking about, did not see what was before their eyes, and went off on a critical tangent that is so far gone in arrogance and wrongness, so flawed at the base, that it is an example of something. So GR updated and linked. And — that post has comments, over a period of hours at this posting. None of the commenters has noticed anything wrong with the post. Astonishing. Reynolds mentions in his update only the flaw that the criticism begins with. The tangent is left as an exercise for the reader. A hint: it starts with the title (thanks to the poster over there for linking to the reference, which is obscure enough that I, for one, would not have recognized it as a reference without the cite) and involves projection.

Continuing Monday afternoon, the tempest in a teapot (it's a bumper sticker!) continues, with an unapologetic and arrogant update to the other post. Will GR update again? I can hardly wait to find out!

The Gospel of John and Yoko

Glenn Reynolds finds the creator of The People's Cube in a more serious mood:

In the “progressive” book of virtues, American values are the quintessence of evil. So if you are a “progressive” and you aren’t mad at this country, that just means you’re neither honest nor consistent. But then again, because living by this dead-end moral code is logically impossible, one has to resort to hypocrisy and seek compromises, forever balancing on the edge of madness.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

As Russia goes

I briefly mentioned trends towards authoritarianism in Russia in this earlier post. John Noonan of OPFOR, guest-blogging for Michelle Malkin, has a post with a number of links on this very subject: Borscht Fascism.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hair, today

The Smoking Gun: Profile of a Memphis Belle. The first page is the set-up; be sure to click through to the second page.

Progress on Biofuels

Via Jerry Pournelle:

State makes big fuss over local couple's vegetable oil car fuel. The article describes a visit to David and Eileen Wetzel by "special agents" of the Illinois Department of Revenue. It's too bizarre to summarize, read the whole thing. After several attempts to find logic in the state's attempt to tax salvaged cooking oil as if it were diesel fuel, and to make the Wetzels register and pay taxes as special fuel supplier and receiver, failure being a Class 3 felony … I give up. More recently, from The Newspaper:

Last week, the Illinois state Senate Revenue Committee unanimously voted to amend state law to allow motorists to use restaurant byproducts for personal, non-commercial use. The full state Senate and House must approve the measure before it could become law.

I think this is the amendment. It would exempt "the conversion of cooking oil, used restaurant fryer oil, or any other similar oil into motor fuel for ones personal, noncommercial use." Narrow, but better than nothing, and in light of the extent of Commerce Clause abuse since Wickard v Filburn, perhaps as much as could be hoped for. Though as Dr. Pournelle points out, this is, for a mercy, at State rather than Federal level.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's all so clear, now

An Inconvenient Skeptic leads us to this convergence:

A LEADING Muslim cleric has blamed the drought, climate change and pollution on Australians' lack of faith in Allah.

Radical sheik Mohammed Omran told followers at his Brunswick mosque that out-of-control secular scientific values had caused environmental disaster.

"The fear of Allah is not there. So we have now a polluted earth, a polluted water, a wasteland," he told a meeting this year.
This explains much. The Skeptic has a punchline, do click through.

Friday, March 9, 2007

A World Without America

would not be a better world. Documentary proof, from 18 Doughty Street, London:

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Deniers, the series

Oh, goody, a whole series of articles in the National Post. They are up to 13 instalments already. Via Rand Simberg.

Monday, March 5, 2007

And here's the reason

why I am "Hector". (The "about me" page.)

"Jim Bennett" is, apparently, someone else. And also a lot of other people.

I am a former dues-paying Libertarian party member. I felt that Harry Browne, and with him, the party, left me after 9-11. In my opinion, they misinterpreted the self-defense part of the non-aggression doctrine. Not to try to start yet another political party, but it seems like there are a fair number of libertarians who are strong on national security -- call them "self-defense libertarians," or "national-defense libertarians" -- where's our candidate?

When I discovered Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit site (then on Blogspot), shortly after 9-11, I realized I had found someone of similar political leanings: like him, I had voted Libertarian in elections before 9-11, gravitated to the Republicans after that, without agreeing with them on much besides the need for a strong national defense. "Social liberal, fiscal conservative," isn't that how it goes? Reynolds was a very active linker then as now; I began to explore the nascent blogosphere using Instapundit as a starting point.

I'm very fond of the Constitution, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson; not so fond of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and anyone else who thinks that the citizens, and their assets, are the property of the state. That would include Hillary! (evidence at the link), and too many more who fancy themselves leaders.

I am a musician [but as someone said in the '60's -- was it Billy Faier?: "Do you consider yourself an artist?" "Hell no, I'm a banjo player!"] and music teacher. I studied Latin for years, which probably accounts for my penchant for long, complex sentences. I am a long-time SF reader, but not an actifan. Member of Chicon III, 1962, non-attending. I attended Boskone a couple of years ago, and hope to get to another one or two cons before the Singularity arrives. Favorite authors/books in the genre: Tolkien, Heinlein, James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany, Vernor Vinge, John Crowley (Engine Summer in particular), Robert Anton Wilson, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Charles Stross. Buffy and Firefly. I like anchovies on my pizza, and any kind of fish on my plate.

My daughter is a better musician than I am, even though she doesn't actually play an instrument. Synthesizers are wonderful things. A couple more of her songs are here.

The full quote from the header: "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters — then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today."

Biofuel problems

Use of ethanol as fuel has in the US always been pork for Archer-Daniels-Midland. If we were serious about using more alcohol and less gas, we would not have a high tariff on imported ethanol. But there are more problems with this substitution than the porkiness of it and the corrosion of tanks, lines, and engine parts. The sheer amount of energy required to produce the fuel is a problem, then there's the amount of land needed. And the ethics of using arable land for fuel, rather than food, production. GR points to this from the (UK) Independent:

The American economist Lester R Brown, from the Earth Policy Institute, is leading the warning voices: "The competition for grain between the world's 800 million motorists who want to maintain their mobility and its two billion poorest people who are simply trying to stay alive is emerging as an epic issue."
Oil can be found in the desert, the ocean, the icy wastes. Crops need farmland.

Update: John Stossel on ethanol.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

New World Order a-comin'

Dan Riehl brings it together: the connection between Gore's carbon offsets firm, Generation Investment Management, and the Generation Foundation which it funds, Working Assets, George Soros, the Phoenix Group. It sounds like a conspiracy. At least the New York Times thought so: Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy (from 2004).

Update March 9 2007: Nice comment by Michael on that Dan Riehl post, connecting George Soros and Vladimir Putin. What happened to Russia, anyhow? With Yeltsin as President, they seemed headed in the freedom direction. But Putin seems to be moving back towards autocracy. In America, we are so accustomed to our liberties that we are inclined to view them as the natural state of humanity, but even a cursory study of history—or current events, for that matter—shows that any kind of freedom is a rare thing.

Coming soon on Channel 4

"The Great Global Warming Swindle." That's the British Channel 4.

Update: Now on Google Video, LGF (over 900 comments! but no video), Youtube, K/e/v/i/n S/t/a/n/c/h/f/i/e/l/d's L/i/n/k/s p/a/g/e, Power Line News (now links to another video on the topic), Google Video, Google Video, Google Video, and elsewhere. And see here for more.

A DVD is on the way.