Thursday, September 04, 2014

Pivoting on his own petard

“[W]hat we’ve got to do is make sure that we are organizing the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world, along with the international community to isolate this cancer.”
-Barack Obama on ISIS
Not surprising, merely revelatory. First there’s the organizing part, as if our foreign policy should mirror that of ACORN registering illusory voters, or follow the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton model of shaking down a business over some imaginary racial transgression.

In a crisis, Obama relies on his experience.

There is a case to be made that our foreign policy - the president's apology for America in his Egyptian speech, abandoning the Iranian protestors, bombing Libya, releasing five top line terrorists in exchange for one soldier without informing Congress, lying about the causes of Benghazi, vilifying Israel, sabotaging a Status of Forces agreement with Iraq, setting dates certain for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, deposing Mubarak in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, drawing imaginary red lines for Bashar al-Assad, arming ISIS’ precursors in Syria, etc. - has been intended to disorganize, indeed to induce chaos in, the Middle East. So, organizing the Middle East would be a 180.

Just a few days ago, the president declared, “[W]e don’t have a strategy yet.” Now we do. Apparently, it’s the opposite of the strategy we’ve been following for the last five+ years. That’s why we haven’t already “organized” the Middle East. Unmentioned is the idea that had we even attempted it, ISIS likely wouldn’t have come into existence.

The fractious “community” that is the Middle East has now been set up to take the blame for Obama’s failures. It won’t be his fault if they refuse to get organized.

Finally, the choice of the word “isolate” is quite scary. Is that what you want to hear from your doctor if you have cancer? Sounds like, “We can give you a few more months, but the tumor is inoperable, and anyway, it metastasized.”

The word you want to hear is “eradicate.” It's the president who is isolated.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Facebook Über Alles

Let us not forget: Facebook's experiment in "social contagion" is what the NYT, MSNBC, et. al. do every day.

Look up C. M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants and the Milgram experiment. Reflect on how Reich propaganda minister Joeseph Goebbels would have regarded Facebook.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Remember

Dear Mr. President, the first President has a memo for you:
The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive how the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.
-George Washington November 10, 1781



Tuesday, April 08, 2014

An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women

In a decade, I've become tired of writing about the lie of the "wage gap." So, here's all the information you need to make an informed decision. Call it an appeal to the authority of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To do equal work, on average, women would have to toil 7 hours more per week, increase their exposure to job related injury and death by a factor of 13 and substantially increase their risk of being laid off during economic downturns.

The "wage gap" promoters ignore such relevant variables as industry, occupation, continuous years in the workforce, level of education, field of study and experience. No significant study has ever found that women with the same education and experience, who work the same number of hours, earn less than their male colleagues.

There is no wage gap.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Eppur si muove"

Did you turn off all your lights last night for “Earth Hour?”

If not, Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wants you arrested. In the spirit of Cardinal Bellarmine, he even invokes Italian courts as precedent.

Oh, he makes exceptions for “[Idiots,] ...too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth's atmosphere a little more with …[their] Mr. Pibb burps and …[their] F-150's gassy exhaust.” No, he won’t arrest those fools. At least not at first, but their crimes are the only ones he specifies.

I, for one, am happy I do not drink Mr. Pibb, and I'm putting off any purchase of an F-150.

Weinstein proposes arrest and punishment (inquisition goes unmentioned) only for “the body of purulent pundits, paid sponsors, and corporate grifters who exploit the smallest uncertainty at the edges of a settled science.” I suppose he will decide who those miscreants are by carefully identifying the most minuscule uncertainties in a science rife with uncertainty (just ask the IPCC). He doesn't mention any particular uncertainties, so we are left to wonder what might get us arrested. Maybe he will propose setting up a federal shibboleth panel to adjudicate.

He leaves unexplained why he exempts ‘idiots’ from his demand that “Those malcontents must be punished and stopped.” Ignorance of the law is typically no excuse.

He doesn't mention Chinese coal power plants. Surely, all involved there should be arrested.

Maybe he’s just temporarily waiving the 'individual incarcerate' until the new regime is up and running, and can persecute a few good examples. Perhaps he wants to be sure there’s an exception to punishing thought crimes and free speech of which he can avail himself when the next IPCC report admits the climate change models are garbage, and the previously predicted extinctions are neither happening, nor likely to.

If true to his prejudices, Mr. Weinstein will have celebrated “Earth Hour” last night. Perhaps he lit a candle, a part of the ritual for many.

If so, he negated his intent to reduce CO2 emissions. Worse, when the ceremony ended, he contributed to the ensuing power surge: Another good way to produce more CO2 than would have been the case without the obeisance to the Church of Environmentalism.

Like carbon credits, observing “Earth Hour” is a means of obtaining a “feel good” indulgence from the Church. As Cardinal Bellarmine instructed Galileo, Mr. Weinstein says we cannot "hold or defend" views contrary to those of the Church.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Power on Hour

Tonight is "Earth Hour," when environmental extremists and useful idiots invite us to sit quietly in the dark and share the guilt of being human. This ritual of shame promotes original sin as doctrinized by the Church of Environmentalism.

So, be sure to turn all your electric lights on between 8:30 and 9:30 to celebrate the ingenuity of man and the blessing of electricity.

A great, short article on this by Canadian professor Ross McKitrick can be found here. Recommended reading.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

One man's 'flexibility' is another man's 'tractable'

Unfortunately, our President is practicing that "more flexibility after I'm re-elected" he told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about. It's not that President Obama shouldn't be grateful for Putin's 'help' with Syrian red lines, but, in the matter of Ukraine, he need not bend over backwards to kiss Putin's jackboots.

If you are serious, you don't threaten a boycott of a G8 Summit - you mount a campaign to throw the Russians out of the G8, you withdraw an ambassador, you threaten to freeze Russian assets, you put the anti-missile missiles in Poland. Since Russia is an oil-revenue dependent kleptocracy, maybe you start offshore drilling and approve the Keystone pipeline.

SecState and POTUS say Putin is "on the wrong side of history," and prattle about "19th century behavior." If that's their best shot, they display an ignorance of certain major military events in the 20th century, and think Georgia is only the place where peanuts come from.

In the case of Kerry, who has claimed intimate familiarity with the actions of Ghengis Khan, it's too small an insult by far. Perhaps he reserves his best for his compatriots.

In the case of the President, someone should ask him (when he's not adjacent to a teleprompter) for just one example from the 19th century. Or maybe if he knows who Édouard Daladier was.

When Chamberlain returned from Munich, Winston Churchill said, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

In the present case, I do not think WE will have war. I am quite unconvinced that War over the Ukraine is a passable idea in any event. But we need not prevaricate and whine and hedge and appear to be clueless wimps about it.

As to dishonor and war, I bet Chamberlain understood Churchill's insult. The President? He just remembers he sent back a bust of some English guy. Kerry? He still has the hat: To this day there's nothing in it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Citizens for Enervating Michigan's Economy

"Citizens for Energizing Michigan's Economy" opposes competition among Michigan's electricity suppliers. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has some thoughts on CEME's recent misleading ad campaign. (The ad can be viewed from that link, if you aren't aware of it.)
A new commercial is attempting to make Michigan residents fear electricity deregulation.

It claims that Texas "decided to experiment with deregulating their electricity," and subsequently, prices "shot through the roof" and "blackouts threatened communities." It then tells that a proposed bill in this state that would "deregulate Michigan's electricity."
Not exactly...
For starters, state policymakers are not considering electricity deregulation. The cited legislation — Rep. Mike Shirkey's House Bill 5184 — merely lifts the cap on the portion of consumers who would be able to choose an alternative electricity provider (other than the one assigned to them by Michigan's current monopoly system). The electricity market in Michigan would remain just as regulated as it is now. The state would still control which utilities could operate and would continue to regulate rates, among other things...

[T]he average residential retail price of electricity in Michigan increased faster than Texas's over the last decade and remains significantly higher. Texas's rates were about eight cents per kilowatt hour in 2000 and about 11 cents in 2013. Michigan's rates were about 11 cents per kilowatt hour in 2000 and increased to almost 15 cents in 2013, the highest in the Midwest region and 11th highest in the nation.
Where has CEME been for the last 10 years, when we needed them?

Ask yourself who benefits from the 10% Michigan cap on electricity competition: You, or DTE and Consumers Energy?

According to a National Association of Broadcaster's form indicating who placed the ad (NAB Form PB-18), "Citizens for Energizing Michigan's Economy" consists of three individuals:

John Truscott
President/Principal at Truscott Rossman:
John Truscott is one of the foremost experts in public relations and politics in Michigan. When you need to develop a message, assemble a strategy, generate publicity or make a new connection, nobody does it better.
Howard Edelson:
[I]s campaign manager for the CARE for Michigan coalition and founder of The Edelson Group. In addition, Edelson is the past president of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and was campaign manager for the 2006 Granholm for Governor Campaign.
Formerly, Edelson was Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs CMS Energy Corporation (1995-2005); Chief of Staff U.S. Representative Bob Carr (1992-1995) and Field Director MI Democratic Party (1983-1984).

Rhoda Tinkham appears to be a retiree from Consumers Energy.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Celebrating "Stimulus"

Today is the 5th anniversary of the President's monetary stimulus, but at TOC we're celebrating the only Obama stimulus that actually worked.

It created jobs, boosted private sector manufacturing and encouraged people to appreciate the Bill of Rights. Of course, none of that was intentional.

It's tapering now, but the results are still far above pre-stimulus levels. CNN would have you believe otherwise in their headline, Gun sales are plunging, but the real story is a bit different:
Gun sales are dropping this year, according to FBI stats, but they still exceed sales from before Obama's reelection and the Newtown massacre…

Though gun sales have dropped from their peak last year, they're still outperforming monthly sales that preceded Obama's reelection, said Lawrence Keane, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry group based in Newtown.

For example, the tally of 1.66 million gun sales in January, 2014 is significantly higher than the 1.38 million sold in January, 2012.

"So we have come down from the peak but the valley floor is higher than before Nov 2012," said Keane, in an email to CNNMoney. "The consumer base has grown. This is because for the past few years, retailers tell us that about 25% of customers at the checkout counter are first-time buyers.”
There are only so many first time buyers, but I’m guessing many of them will eventually want another gun.

Ammo sales have also tapered off:
"Customers shifted away from ammunition more sharply than we expected," said Cabela's Chief Executive Officer Tommy Millner…
Maybe the prices will fall back, too.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Charlie Christ invokes the Young Defense

Florida Democrat pretending for years to be Republican publicly hugs the most prominent and powerful Democrat, inadvertently revealing his true allegiance.  Some Florida Republicans cause an uproar, resulting in a defeat at the polls for the faux Republican, who is forced by pragmatism to tacitly admit his mendacity.

“Racism!"

It worked for Colman Young and it still works.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The deep slumber of a decided opinion

Time to wake up.

Mark Steyn has put more on the line more to protect the fundamental principle of free speech than any other living writer. In Canada, his long battle over an article published in Maclean's magazine greatly increased Canadians' freedom by contributing to the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Now, Mr. Steyn is going to court in the United States, having been sued by warmist poster-child Dr. Michael Mann, over an article Steyn wrote in National Review. Dr. Mann created the debunked "hockey stick" (see also), and was one recipient of the "hide the decline" email in the Climategate email scandal.

Forbes had this to say about Dr. Mann:
Mann’s career is dependent on taxpayer handouts. He draws his salary from a public university, Penn State. He solicits government grant money to carry out special research projects. Government officials, who are accountable to voters for how they spend the tax money they collect, occasionally follow up on taxpayer concerns that government funding recipients appear to be misusing government funds. This, apparently, makes Mann furious.
Steyn's legal expenses are, naturally, large. You could help defray them and score some of Steyn's writings at the same time. However you may feel about prevaricating climate 'scientists' who decline to share their methods, or account for their expenditures, it's your freedom of speech, too.
"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties."
-John Milton

"...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered."
-John Stuart Mill

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Tale of Two Seizures

You might think from these stories that the American system of child protection is superior to the German. In one case children are protected from thuggish parents, in the other they are whisked away from loving parents by jackbooted thugs. However, that's not quite the whole story. There's something to detest in either case.

First, to Germany:
Meanwhile, Back in the Fatherland...

Because they were home-schooled, the German judge was concerned that “the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.” So, he ordered the State to seize well adjusted children from caring parents, because at some indeterminate future date, and based on a moronic hypothetical, they might not have been properly assimilated by the State.

If you accept the German judge's definition of child abuse, you'll be in agreement with the Progressive tyrants in this country who vilify home-schooling and want to criminalize it. He just stated their case succinctly. They think it's your child's job to help civilize the teenager the toddler in our next story is going to become.

Here's a "parallel society" in the United States from which children were forcibly removed:
Cursing toddler: See why this 'thug' video is shocking the nation

The twist is, after this video was posted on the internet, some people called it racist. Not the activity in the video, the act of posting it. Think about that, who thought it was a good idea to make the video in the first place?

No, the video itself is not racist, but some Americans consider exposing child abuse to be racist based on the melanin content of the participants. Those people are the actual racists. They'd have been cheering former MSNBC host Martin Bashir on were he to have shown a similar video of Jews or Japanese.

In America revealing a 2 minute home video of black family dysfunction is cited as evidence of racism, but if you have hours of white dysfunction you make it into a television series and call it Honey Boo Boo.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Protection racket

I don't remember where I found the link to the ThinkProgress post entitled Republicans Reject Obamacare ‘Fix’ Because It Includes Too Many Consumer Protections, and I am certainly not going to risk sending them any traffic by providing it here. Still, the hypocrisy should be noted for its humor. The post castigates House Republicans for rejecting a Democrat bill that allowed insurance companies to provide consumers with the plans Obama promised them they could keep.

The Democrat version differed from the bill the Republicans (along with 39 Democrats) did pass in that the Democrat version:

1- Did not allow new policyholders to buy the plans
2- Mandated that insurers notify policyholders of exchange options
3- Mandated that existing rate review processes apply to renewed plans

In other words, it put further burdens on insurance companies - making it unlikely they could even offer the plans in the new few weeks. Both "fixes" allow the plans to be sold and, therefore, equally violate consumer protection by offering the plans the Democrats call "substandard" "junk."

There is a more humorous aspect, however. The consumer protection laws ThinkProgress finds so important absolutely prohibit false advertising and fraud. Those are crimes the President committed when he repeatedly lied about Obamacare. What consumers need is protection from the President.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Progressive poisoning of liberty

"The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"
-James Madison The Federalist No. 62

Progressives, of course, reject this. They regard the Constitution as a "living document," whose legal constraints on government may be dispensed with in the fashion of Barack Obama suspending politically inexpedient parts of Obamacare. Progressives may prattle about "the law of the land," but they desire a nation ruled by men, not by law.

Of course, it has to be the right men. A primary tenet of centrally planned economies is that having the "right people" in charge - the best and brightest, the brain-trust, the dollar-a-year men, the "czars" - improves everyone's lives. The right men can direct the economy from their offices in Washington. They know if a sparrow falls, and why. If there is failure, the utopian visions are never at fault: It was the wrong men. The argument is still heard, for example, that Stalin and Mao failed because they were the "wrong" people: Communism would work with the right men in charge. Still, Progressives never come to wonder why the wrong people are always the ones who lead in Communist countries.

So, if the democratically elected head of the richest nation on earth, the brilliant and charismatic Barack Obama, isn't the "right person" to usher in a statist utopia, who ever could be?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The "law of the land" is whatever Obama says it is

president Obama today issued an imperial edict administrative order not to enforce some parts of Obamacare that have recently embarrassed him and his party. When the Congressional Republicans suggested doing this by actually passing legislation, the Democrats said Republicans were a bunch of "hostage takers," "extortionists" and "political terrorists" who wanted to suspend "the law of the land." As if anyone can tell what that is any longer.

The president has routinely abrogated the law: He suspended Obamacare's employer mandate, refused to enforce the defense of marriage act, arbitrarily cancelled contracts held by auto-company bondholders, ordered American citizens killed without due process, conducted war in Libya without even Congressional input and instructed his minions to cease enforcing immigration laws. When this president unconstitutionally seizes the power of the legislature, Democrats don't see any hostages, extortion, or terrorism.

The president's latest arbitrary whim is bad news for insurance companies. Because insurers do not have time to arrange to violate the law he has just waived, the president undoubtedly will blame them for having complied with it.

Update, 5:20PM:

Two Democrat insurance commissioners reject Obama's Obamacare fix:

State [Washington] rebuts Obama plan to allow old health insurance policies

Oregon insurance commissioner says state won't delay 2013 health coverage cancellations

They know the Obama decree can't work. In fact, Oregon's state exchange doesn't work at all, and has enrolled zero people thus far. The president's about face would just make it worse. Everybody except our pathologically narcissist president knows it.

His organizing has gone a community too far.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This is what happens in third world countries, part 2

In Venezuela, the government thinks electronics retailers have been charging too much, so:
[Venezuela's] President Nicolas Maduro ... sent soldiers to "occupy" one chain of electronics stores and inspectors into scores of others to check for price-gouging.

Thousands of Venezuelans have been flocking to electronics stores, hoping to take advantage of new "fair prices" the government is imposing, sometimes half the previous cost.
If you read the linked article, you'll find "flocking to electronics stores" translates into English as "looting."

In first world countries, like the United States, we don't have these problems. Here, we force people to buy things they don't want and can't use, then we redistribute that money to people so they can buy flat screen TVs and iPhones. For example, all males under age 65 are forced to buy insurance coverage for children's dental and vision care.

Our way of looting is much better organized. For example, we have seen neither "flocking" to the government health insurance website to be disadvantaged by "unfair prices" nor looting of Best Buy.

(Part 1 of "what happens in third world countries" is here.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Liberty is not inevitable. Freedom isn't free.

In some places, a moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that is when the guns went silent for the armistice that ended World War I. I observe this ritual recognition of the price of peace and freedom. I commend it to you.

This day is Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day. The silence should resound throughout the countries who observe it under those different names.

This pittance of time pays respect to those who gave their lives in our defense. Our remembrance of their gift is not important to them. They don't know they won. Were they with us still, they would minimize their contribution. If they would discuss it at all.

Remembering these heroes' values is vitally important to us, lest we gradually come to think that things had to be the way they are, and not some other way. We could become convinced that our present advantages were owed to us, destined and easy: The "natural order of things."

This is an exceedingly dangerous belief, appropriate to no one: Held only by those who believe the natural order of things guarantees their personal safety and well-being - regardless of their effort, despite their unexamined ideals.

In reality, things are the way they are because some people were - and are - so committed to liberty as to give their own lives in its defense.

They died defending your right to choose to observe a minute of silence.

It is your choice.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Period.

The president apologizes for cancelled insurance policies. Sort of:
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me."
Sorry, mr. president, people do not find themselves in this situation based on your "assurances." They find themselves there because of your actions and despite your lies. Period.

In a twisted way, though, you have a point: I'll concede that without those lies (and IRS crimes), you might not be President now, but blaming the assurances is just another way of saying, "It's not my fault."

And, by the way, does this mean the "junk insurance policies" from "bad apple" insurers are NOT the problem you said they were last week? If those things are still true this week, why are you sorry? Isn't everyone still better off?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Maybe you should have read it first

And maybe Americans should have been told what was in it rather than being told we had to pass it to find out.

From Whitehouse.gov
“We got [Obamacare] done. Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.”
-Barack Obama
Yep, they supposed deconstructing 1/6 of the American economy would be as easy as convincing Nancy Pelosi to say something stupid. Hell, they assumed she needed convincing to say something stupid. I'm pretty sure she volunteered.

Of course passing the law was the easy part. Unfortunately, just waving your hands and saying, "Make it so." doesn't work when your minions have zero experience in actually building anything and are economically ignorant.

So, Barack, You did build that.

Monday, November 04, 2013

"I am not going to have sex with that woman. Period!"

What "Death Panels" means is - The government decides who delivers care, what care is allowed, where it can be delivered and what you pay for it.

There may not yet be official "Death Panels," but the Obama Administration has no moral or philosophical objection. Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) Tweeted this:
The Real Reason That The Cancer Patient Writing In Today’s Wall Street Journal Lost Her Insurance thkpr.gs/1hHgZjp via @TPHealth—Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) November 04, 2013
Pfeiffer is Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications. The Tweet was from his official White House account.

Already, Democrats are calling for doctors to be forced to deliver the health care the government permits you to have, at the price the government wants to pay. That was the point all along. First, though, individual access to health insurance would have to be destroyed.

The spin is just making it worse, guys. It's as if Bill Clinton had said, "I'm not going to have sex with that woman. Period!" Then, (after having sex with that woman) he would say "And the sex I did not have was better sex and vastly more affordable sex than Hillary any American has ever delivered experienced!"

Then, the Progressives would chant in unison that fellatio is not having sex, and seek to redefine the meaning of "is."

Oh, wait. That's exactly what they are doing, again, just with different nouns and verbs.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oxymoron of the day: "Qualified honesty."

MSNBC idiot says:
[T]hey [the Clintons] represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now. And that's reflected in the numbers.
Well, of course! I know I crave a more profound debate.

For example, parsing the meaning of "is," is much deeper than interpreting what is meant by "You can keep your plan." The "style of honesty," though, is the same: It's looking Americans straight in the eye and saying something the speaker knows to be untrue. I'd call that a style of lying.

Public preference for a "style of honesty" (whatever that means) isn't why Clinton is preferable to Obama. For one thing, Clinton's lies didn't involve actually destroying one-sixth of the economy while screwing millions of people: Clinton was content with screwing just a few and lying about it afterwards instead of beforehand.

In any case, the question is substance, not style.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Imagine

You are a CEO from whom a senior manager keeps secret the fact that a very expensive and crucial project is failing miserably, allowing you to talk about how great the results will be right up until it launches.

Do you 1) express confidence in the senior manager, 2) minimize the catastrophe as "glitches" and "kinks," 3) double down on how great the product is in a public speech, 4) blame the competition AND the customers, 5) all of the above?

If you picked number 5, you are the Leader of the "Free" World.

Next, imagine you are a Director on the Board of the company by which the CEO is employed. The CEO explains to the Board that he did not know about any problems until he read about them in the newspaper, and that he's working hard on the issues. He has used this excuse before to explain illegal actions taken by the company involving shipments of firearms, the death of four company employees who were not provided with security guards in a dangerous country and when the accounting department deliberately leaked customers' financial information in order to influence his election as CEO.

Do you, 1) reaffirm your confidence in the CEO, 2) tell him you know technology is hard and ask him to keep the product, such as it is, live, 3) give him more money to work on it, 4) blame the competition AND the customers, 5) all of the above.

If you picked number 5, you're a member of the Main Stream Media and/or a "Progressive."

Peregruzka

It looks like more people are going to lose health care insurance (300,000 in FL and 160,000 in CA so far) than will sign up for Obamacare .

So, where is Hillary's "reset" button (she presented it to Russia’s foreign minister in 2009) when you need it? You'll recall that the State Department mistranslated "reset" into Russian as "overcharge."

Perfect fit for Obamacare.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The settled scientific consensus

Summary of IPCC AR5 Summary: One man's best estimate is that same man's refusal to believe his own data. Emphasis mine:
No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies. (page 11)
Translation: Our climate models have failed to even approximate the key element for which they were designed.
It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period. (page 12)
Translation: In spite of the failure of our models, our best estimate (we're 95% confident) is that humanity is going to fry if we don't spend trillions to stop this horrible catastrophe. Stop Keystone, destroy the coal industry, increase "green" subsidies and fund my study, or we all die.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

This is what happens in third world countries:

Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory

In first world countries, like the United States, we have the common sense to give the toilet paper printing franchise to the Central Bank in the first place.

Venezuela is ahead in one sense, however. They have an official government agency "called Sundecop, which enforces price controls," Sundecop "said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa." In the US we have to depend on hygenically challenged hippies to occupy businesses.

The cost of our independent contractors is lower though.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Don't join in the narcissistic tantrum

Generally, I find I agree with Walter Russell Mead. In this case, I do not. Mr. Mead:
It is precisely the President’s credibility as a spokesman for the “international community” (whatever that is) and for US foreign policy that is glaringly and horribly on the line. An effective leader would have consulted with key people in Congress and made sure of his backing before making explicit threats of force. Now the President is twisting lonesomely in the wind, and the question is whether Congress will ride to the rescue. If it doesn’t, it will be the closest thing the American system has to a parliamentary vote of “no confidence”, where Congress explicitly declares to the world that the President of the United States does not speak for the country.
The clear implication of not issuing a "vote of no confidence" is a vote of confidence. Should Congress have confidence Mr. Obama will not waste a vote of confidence? Mr. Obama's confidence in, and respect for, Congress has been demonstrated by his insistence that the vote is actually unnecessary, and that he feels free to ignore it. Given that, he can fix his own problem. Mr. Mead acknowledges (see below) that President Clinton did just that, but does not explain why president Obama cannot.

Congressional approval of the President's fecklessness will neither improve his credibility nor enhance the reputation of Congress. If Congress is railroaded into supporting the president based on a mistake he refuses to acknowledge, what message does that send?

Bombs falling on Syria will only rescue the president's credibility if they fall to some purpose, some strategic objective. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can't name one. Congress should support military intervention that has no strategic point solely because not doing so would embarrass the president? That's the message? How does that not embarrass the United States?

Even if you accept "he's incompetent, but he's OUR incompetent" as the best message we can send under the circumstances, the credibility enhancement will disappear when Obama next goes off teleprompter. What about the next time he fails to make "sure of his backing before making explicit threats of force?" What if he draws a red-line on Russian warships in proximity to Syria?
That would be very dangerous. Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.
This argument is logical only if you assume foreigners now know whether to take anything the president says seriously. Even if you are credulous enough to accept that, it only supports voting for Obama's Syria resolution if giving free rein to his future off the cuff remarks is less dangerous than the alternative.
If Congress declines to support what even proponents of a Syria strike must agree is a massively screwed up policy, then the President will face another choice. He can do a “Clinton” (President Clinton bombed Serbia in the teeth of congressional disapproval), or he can fold like a cheap suit. If he chooses the latter course, Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” stunt at the 2012 GOP convention will look eerily prophetic.
Because of the president's loose tongue and disregard for the rule of law, the choice is between the Clinton cheap suit and the emperor's lack of clothes. It is not a choice the Congress of United States can fix on behalf of a president who cannot be trusted to execute a coherent policy. Mr. Mead does not explain how a vote to assuage the president's narcissistic panic can restore presidential credibility. He seems to assume that Obama will learn and change. I have little hope.

"Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” stunt" is now conventional wisdom. Congress can't change that, either.
Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.
Can Barack "I didn't draw a red-line" Obama suddenly become credible because he wins a vote he says he doesn't need and might reject? Is the United States suddenly a credible ally because Congress shows it will support presidential incompetence?

Or is such a vote more likely to reduce our allies confidence and increase the danger of a wider conflagration?

Implausible deniability, or crossing the credibility red-line

More from James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal on Obama's attempt to implicate Congress in a decision over which Obama says they have no control, including a quote from yours truly.