Maybe the world is ThreeSources -- add a #3src hashtag to post your tweets
October 8, 2015
Driverless Cars - Oh the Inhumanity
James Lileks takes to NRO to vent about idiot millennials who "want to ban human drivers ASAP." It is a steak and potato dinner dripping with awesome sauce that you should read start to end, but I'll give you an appetizer.
It is not enough to welcome the possibilities and opportunities of self-driving cars. The old order must be swept away, because go f*** a tailpipe. The pleasures of driving must be dumped in the dustbin with other pleasures of life that have fallen out of favor, like pie or a cigar, because go f*** a tailpipe. We need a BAN and we need Laws enforced by officers of the state with guns, and by the way, f*** the police and guns are bad, but we'll be fine with cops pulling black people over 24/7 because driving your own car is now probable cause, because go f*** a tailpipe.
And then tell me if you're still good with your car having a "Controls-that-I-can-use-ectomy."
I'm with Lileks. Besides, I'm addicted as it is to the awe and wonder on the faces of people who see that my car has a clutch pedal and a manual shifter; if I'm not surrendering those controls, I'm sure as heck not surrendering my steering wheel.
And I can parallel park in one pass. There are only two other Californians I know who can say that.
Cold, dead hands, my friends. Cold, dead hands.
Makeup of the HFC
The HFC or "House Freedom Caucus" of about 40 Republican U.S. Congressmen has been called "The Shutdown Caucus" by detractors.
They say their policy positions -- drastic reductions in the size of government and lower taxes -- are repeatedly undercut by the unwillingness of Republican leaders to contemplate using their ultimate weapon, the power of the purse, to force a government shutdown. Rather than trying to get past the paralysis, Mr. Stutzman and his allies want to use it to maximum effect.
But just who are these "hard-line" people? Who do they represent? Where do they come from? Must be from the deep south, right? Wrong. Or the wild, wild west, right? Wrong. Yes, there seems to be a high density in Arizona - California refugees, no doubt - but the density of known HFC members (there is no official membership list for this "shadowy" group) is much lower west of the Mississippi than to the east, and roughly equal between north and south.
Keep this in mind the next time someone calls them cowboys or hillbillies.
"It's easy to dismiss us as the knuckle-dragging, Cro-Magnon, Tea Party group," Mr. Mulvaney said. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
Several have Ivy League credentials, law degrees or were successful in business before winning elections.
Anybody labeled "Hard Line" by the NYT is a friend of mine! Worth repeating: Ken Buck (CO-4) is our contribution.
Interestingly, P. Mirgenoff of PowerLine does not see Paul Ryan [58%] as being a good candidate for speaker (not even mentioning Boehner's rumored urging):
he appeared at a pro-amnesty rally alongside liberal Democrat Luis Gutierrez, the most strident amnesty monger in the House. In addition, he pitched the alleged economic benefits of amnesty to his House colleagues.
The stumble party bumbles
I don't like calling the GOP the stupid party, especially while Biden, Boxer, DeGette, McDermott and Waters live, bloviate & regulate (alphabetically, not by IQ). Even if we consent to agree the Democrats be labeled the corrupt party, especially with their vaunted leader: Her Royal Corruptness.
Still, this week nearly made me give that up. So, I researched the news on McCarthy's gaffe on Hannity; which upon analysis appears to more a tool for Sturm und Drang agitators like Steinberg and Morris than a complete meltdown that requires the services of a "political strategist and analyst" like Steinberg to find a new speaker (nudge, nudge). Here's what the presumptive Speaker said:
... a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s un-trustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen.
Geraghty for once goes for understatement; "heck of a start." Even Gowdy stayed with "Just wrong, Kevin" while Politico tried to fan the flames with a splashy, "Gowdy Slams McCarthy" headline.
So, handing ammunition to the opposition is still going to be part of the Speaker's schtick... lovely. At least this unforced error took place during a time when the collateral effect was minimal; let's hope he learns and this leads impetus to the HFC's efforts to get a solid conservative [note: McCarthy's Heritage rating is 60%... pretty decent for a pretty-boy] into the leader's position.
That apparently is the thrust of the vote for Duncan Hunter [83%] for Speaker: to show the GOP caucus how many votes HFC commands, in order to build support for their choice for Majority Leader.
Let's hope... I still like McClintock [90%]
A cursory search of the ThreeSources archives finds comments from my humble self supporting Tom McClintock since... 2008. Were I sitting in Congress today, you would put up with me repeating "McClintock must be the Speaker" about as frequently as Cato the Elder announced that Carthage must be destroyed.
The fact that he holds a California seat - as does McCarthy, oddly enough - speaks to the fractured nature of California. Their similar last names may give rise to any number of "no true Scotsman" comments, but I can tell you which one is more of a Scottish temperment when it comes to budgetary concerns...
And now McCarthy has withdrawn his name! Appears to have stepped down for the good of the party.... but then Boehner slammed the door to end what was expected to be a long discussion (lunch had been provided, and many came out holding plates that hadn't been touched).
Clearly there's a power shift going on, and Boehner is keeping with his MO of not communicating very effectively.
Not to fuel the fires of gossip or anything, but McCarthy backed up very quickly after Rep. Jones announced that whoever runs for the speakership needs to be untainted by scandal, which rules out McCarthy. Speculation is that his ongoing relationship with a certain Congresswoman from NC might run afoul of that, and he's concerned that it may get revealed publicly.
I think there are maybe six people in the world who know McCarthy but don't know about his alleged intramural relationship, but apparently he was concerned about one of those six finding out.
I think the McCarthy withdrawal is simpler than that, KA. The royal guards told him to step aside when it became clear his gaffe was all of the ammunition the HFC needed to block his ascendency. And Boehner abruptly halted the proceedings until they can line up a new fair-haired boy to foist upon the House rabble.
It may not be a successful strategy, but it was better than their alternative.
As this was the first I'd heard of it, I went looking and good god, but the rumors are already flying fast, furious and ugly:
Internet address originating from the Department of Homeland Security was tied to entries made on the Wikipedia pages of North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, alleging that the two Republicans were having an affair.
Daily Caller is no Enquirer and this is spooky stuff... which can "come around" if you get my drift. Either way this is ugly: the presumptive speaker was having an extra-marital affair about which "everybody knew" or he was sneaking around a la John Edwards. I suppose the good is that this (and he) is now "out."
October 7, 2015
Boulder, Bernie: together at last!
Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders is holding a rally in Boulder on Saturday, his campaign announced.
The Vermont senator, an Independent who has attracted large crowds in Colorado and other states and who is popular among progressives, plans to hold the rally at Potts Field at the University of Colorado at 2 p.m.
All Hail Taranto!
You can tell me when I've posted too many.
UPDATE: If you have not read Reason's Plastic Bags are Good for You, do yourself a favor.
You can never over-quote Taranto in my book.
Imagine a Day Without Government
Seeds would not grow, food would not have nutrition, wood would be somehow radioactive or deadly, carpet would rip up our feet!
Hat-tip: Legal Insurrection, The Sierra Club vs. Ted Cruz (worth watching as well)
No, no, not "rip up our feet." It would have to be "ripped up as soon as it's put down." I'm glad that government is there to guarantee high quality carpeting!! Good carpet is a basic human right.
O'Reilly's Killing Them
I will not use the phrase "killing it" because that has a powerfully positive connotation, and, as you'll see, this review isn't that positive.
I read Killing Lincoln after it arrived from my Mom's house. It's OK, it really is, but it suffers from two structural problems, neither of which are related to the bombastic persona for which the author is known. Full disclosure is that I don't much care for O'Reilly and never would have spent my own lucre on any of his books, but I figure this is worth noting for the abundance of his titles, and how there is some good, for some readers.
First, the good.
It does an excellent job of setting the historical atmosphere, much of which is probably unknown to the vast majority of our populace who nevertheless responds, when queried, that Lincoln is one of our finest presidents. The book describes without dwelling on the awful devastation and slowly churning demise of the attempt of the southern states to secede from the union; it fairly notes successful military and political leaders (and those who weren't). I also enjoyed the stories of generals, captains and majors leading the final campaign of the American Civil War (aka, the running down and finishing off of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia following their defeat at Petersburg) were friends, colleagues and/or family prior to the war. I loved the detail expended on Grant and Lee, their one meeting prior to Appomattox, and Grant's magnanimity towards Lee and his men.
The book also does an excellent job of relating how this president was not universally liked, even in the North, yet continued to walk about - even in just-conquered Richmond, VA - mostly without escort and how the White House was, as well-filmed in Spielberg's movie, a bit of a mad house with ordinary folks often wandering about.
So, the background is well set, and the detail on the conspiracy and actual killing of POTUS/16 is terrific. Booth gets, as befitting the story, top billing and thorough description for all his positive (charming, resourceful, strong leadership) and negative (tempestuousness, incontinence, massive hatred of Lincoln) attributes. It enjoyably switches - like modern movies - between Grant's large, and narrowly-won campaign to finish off the ANV (with marvelous detail), the minute movements and mood of Lincoln (with few odd extrapolations), and the feverish maneuvers of Booth and those whom he could draw upon, right down to where they went to quaff a few and which choices he had and would make for his final "exit, stage left."
The chase of Booth was well done, even noting the good and bad of "Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective" (from the Amazon summary) who orchestrated the final capture. He relates without vectoring into the-conspiracy-within territory the curious actions and activities of the one high-cabinet member not targeted (odd, that) in the plot, War Secretary Stanton; and details in gruesome detail the assault on the elderly Secretary of State Seward.
Now, the bad.
1. It's clearly written for a "modern" audience, for which the assumption (sadly, probably quite accurate) is a short attention span and a thirst for salacious details. Chapters are short, sometimes only 2-3 pages, which I found off-putting, and the writing style quite simplistic. As such, it's solid reading for high school, but would hit somewhere between the belt and shins for TS'ers, IMO. Booth's affairs and conquests aren't deeply dwelt upon, and as his fiancee's contacts factor into the conspiracy, they were not merely thrown in for sex appeal.
2. The authors note in the forward that every historical fact was "meticulously researched and verified." So, while this is interesting and does add quite a bit of flavor (ex: only a few DC streets were even paved back then), it suffers a bit from what I call the overly-detailed syndrome, whereby deep details and the wide cast of characters begin to detract from the main narrative. The best example I have for this is the movie "The Tuskagee Airmen" which took an incredibly powerful story of grit, perseverance and bravery, as well as the admirable skills of a range of actors, and managed to mangle it all up into a disappointing damp kleenex-wad of new-age, touchy-feely dreck. Even the flying sequences sucked.... how can you mess up Mustangs vs. Messerschmidts? Still, for many the book's deep-detail and wide scope is probably a plus.
So, while it is billed as 'reading like a spy novel' I found it a fairly tepid, and slow-starting read which admittedly did have several moments that bordered on "thrilling." It is a solid historical effort which taught me more than a few things (who knew how many Booth had targeted? I didn't), and didn't waste a single word on new-age PC themes.
That all being said, a rating:
4 stars ... for high school students (tho' my daughters could handle it by middle school);
3.5 stars .... for family/friends of the low-information ilk who could use a dose of decent, gritty and non-PC history;
2.5 stars ... for me, my friends and other well-read freedom lovers.
October 6, 2015
Barack Obama was right
Islamic State really IS "the JV!"
"Headquarters of terrorist group and an arms depot were destroyed in the region of Ildib, as well as a militant three-level fortified command point in the region of Hama," Moscow's ministry of defense said.
It also said Su-24Ms and Su-25s, aircraft first put in service by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, made eight sorties against the IS targets, and succeeded in avoiding civilian casualties.
Meantime, the U.S. in over a year and three months can't make meaningful gains against IS.
It looks like Vladimir Putin has finally found a use for Secretary of State Clinton's "reset" button. That was easy!
None of this was imaginable before Barack Obama came on the scene. Russia, while clearly ambitious for more global power under Putin, had apparently permanently lost its standing as a global superpower.
It took a U.S. president committed to revolutionary change in America's role in the world to reawaken the Russian bear and provide an opening for Putin's aggression.
When the U.S. fulfills its role as leader in the world, we are criticized, even ridiculed. But we are respected. Putin's Russia is not about to be loved, but it may begin to be greatly respected if it starts doing things that the U.S. is supposed to do but won't.
My buddies at Reason and Cato are all onboard the Putin train: let them anger terrorists and disturb ISIS and it is unlikely that they will do a much worse job of picking winners and losers than will President Obama.
My conservative buddies are of course appalled at the lack of US leadership. To their point, I can certainly se this ending badly. But to the libertarians' point, things have occasionally not gone so well in the Middle East with US at the helm.
I'm willing to let them have the run of the place for 16 months. Once President Keith is inaugurated and throws 100% of US support to the Kurds, they'll have to move out or display good intentions.
I agree with you. No matter how many of Putin's Risk(TM) pieces he moves to Syria, he is still hamstrung by his moribund economy. I'm not terribly concerned about Russian global domination.
My point was more about how easy it is to defeat ISIS. Russia claims to have destroyed a "fortified command point" after a grand total of 8 sorties. Meanwhile, our 7000 sorties (per the linked editorial) have produced what, exactly?
It's almost as if the commander in chief has never intended to ultimately defeat, or even degrade, the bright shiny part of the Shiite Islamist adventurism. Meanwhile, the real activity continues apace in Iran - where POTUS makes concessions and subsidizes the Iranian nuke program with $150bn US of our tax dollars.
Yes, this is an awful muddle that Obama's 'not leading' created (aside: leading from behind is yet another bastardization of our language by the Progs that I refuse to even acknowledge), and now that it's so incredibly FUBAR'd I am _probably_ OK with Russia taking it's swing at things....
I am certainly willing and able to do the 'neener-neener' dance around BHO and hope that this new massively-amplified powerlessness continues to drag the Dem's down (and R's learn to avoid the "ahhh, if only Bush hadn't....").
The worry I have is that Putin succeeds, wildly boosting his sway in the gulf thereby boosting arms sales and gaining some control over oil prices, which would rescue Russian and Iranian economies, of which the immediate affect would be to further drive the Ukraine under his thumb.
October 5, 2015
While trolling around, looking for nothing in particular, I found Koch brothers, other 2016 mega donors warm to Carly Fiorina. Here are a few quotes from some of the "mega donors."
"We think she's pretty viable." -Broadcasting billionaire Stanley Hubbard, a member of the Koch brothers' network of conservative advocacy groups who donates heavily to political candidates.
"She's good in the room," said one participant at the event, who declined to be named.
"I think she's unflappable," said [Dallas philanthropist Elloine] Clark. "And she doesn't react like an adolescent."
"Can you imagine that face, the president of the United States?" Yes. Yes I can.
Charles and David Koch are also excellent public figures, and welcome the apparently nascent strategy to once-again attempt to make them the boogeyman, in true alinskyite fashion. Note that I don't prefer or encourage such a bogus and blatant attack, just if they gotta play that rule from the radical playbook, I'm glad they've chosen such a staunch and stout target.
Btw, CarlyforAmerica is now out...
October 2, 2015
92% is the new 97%
Fantastic article from the ever-reliable Watts Up With That website (THE go-to place for Climate realism).
An analysis of the U.S. Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) shows that only about 8%-1% (depending on the stage of processing) of the data survives in the climate record as unaltered/estimated data.
is the subtitle.
Author John Goetz carefully navigates a complex web of acronyms USHCN, GHCN, GISS, TOB, NOAA/NCDC (now NCEI) .... and thoroughly examines the ways that data has been adjusted, backfilled, estimated, extrapolated and how
that the U.S. Climate Reference Network, designed from the start to be free of the need for ANY adjustment of data, does not show any trend
NOAA/NCDC (now NCEI) never let this USCRN data see the light of day in a public press release or a State of the Climate report for media consumption, it is relegated to a backroom of their website mission and never mentioned.
I've got a long list of sites (each study is nearly as complex as this one) in a separate folder called "hide the data." Australia, Maine, New Zealand, Paraguy.... to polar bears and ice caps.
This image is the best summary I've found: all the warming is from "models" and now we see that all the past warming is from fudging...
This article as revisits the famous bet between Julian Simon (HOSS-Statistics) and Paul Ehrlich (Phoney - Stanford).
The comments from both this and the WUWT articles are very interesting. The "warmers" who show up are mostly respectful, but robustly doctrinaire and studiously distanced from real data or analysis.
Pre-review corner: I ended up reading Mark Steyn's A Disgrace to the Profession this weekend. Steyn collects 100 quotes from prestigious scientists -- most of who are climate change true believers -- discrediting Dr. Michael Mann and his "hockey stick" graph.
Strangely compelling. I got the Kindle sample to kill some time thinking I would just read a few. But, it's pretty difficult to put down. As noted by many of the quoted scientists, the chicanery and heavy-handed politics have badly discredited the branch.
Cue the Australia Success Stories
The antidote to your Facebook feed:
No, Australia is not an example of the effectiveness of gun control.
Did you hear about the concealed handgun carrier who was killed in the Roseburg shooting? That's because there wasn't one.
Renewable Energy vs. Real Energy
Courtesy of the "Boulder Valley & Northern Colorado Economic Profile & Market Facts" glossy mailer just arrived from BizWest.
On the Energy page, we find that Oil & Gas provided more than 110,000 jobs (5 year averaged trend 6.7% growth) to northern Colorado, whereas the Renewable industry (aka, Vestas) provided 3000 (4.1% growth). One wonders why they didn't include all the various, crunchy solar installation companies... couldn't have hurt the numbers...
Real Energy for real shiny people....