March 30, 2014

Hyphenated "rights" usually trample the rights of others

A right cannot be violated except by physical force. One man cannot deprive another of his life, nor enslave him, nor forbid him to pursue his happiness, except by using force against him. Whenever a man is made to act without his own free, personal, individual, voluntary consent—his right has been violated. -Ayn Rand, 'Textbook of Americanism'

Minority-rights, women's-rights, gay-rights are generally slogans used to promote a usurpation of someone else's rights. They represent the principle of group or "collective rights" and are therefore invalid with respect to the only true right, the right of an individual. As Rand explained in "The Virtue of Selfishness:"

Man holds these rights, not from the Collective nor for the Collective, but against the Collective—as a barrier which the Collective cannot cross; . . . these rights are man’s protection against all other men.

Thus inspiring a new ThreeSources bumper sticker:

freedom-not-free-stuff.png


Thucydi-who?

Like Bono, who as he ages seems to salute the machinery of capitalism that made him wealthy. In mixed company no less. But his social conscience couldn’t be better established if he were Bishop Tutu doing an anti-fracking interpretive dance. With Tina Fey. On an Indian reservation.
I was quite ill last weekend. In my weakened state, I could not really dive into The Peloponnesian War. I had just seen Greg Gutfeld on "The Independents" and his new book, Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You, looked interesting. So, I left the siege of Pylos (they're not really going anywhere...) for the hipsters' siege on all that is good and true.

I never have occasion to watch Gutfeld shows, their being early and late, but when he is a guest I do enjoy his humor. The book reflects this; if you can traverse its covers without LOL-ing several times, you are a humorless scold who is unlikely to be reading "Review Corner."

I bother, because we're now watching a false morality replacing a real one. I'm not a religious person. I’m half atheist , half agnostic (and all sexy). Meaning, in the daytime , I don't believe in God . But at night, alone with my thoughts, facing that gaping, terrifying maw without a rail to hold on to, I drift toward something less certain than nothing . Especially in a contract year.

And the book makes a valid and important point. We elected the cool guy to be president last couple (or dozen) times, we pay attention to Hollywood several standard deviations above its mean IQ, the faux rebellion of academia holds sway -- life is high school, claims Gutfeld, and we're letting the cool kids run things to our peril.
For cool to exist, it must ignore all the boring stuff that made cool possible. We forget all the hard work that made our leisure time possible. We forget that our ability to go places, buy things, and listen to cool stuff is predicated on a population’s ability to produce, to create , and to sell cool stuff. To gain that ability takes years of studying and hours spent not doing ecstasy at clubs or sucking on bongs in a basement, but alone, thinking, building, and working. Sometimes its boring, sometimes fruitless.
[...]
If you didn’t understand how far superior it was to mountain-bike in really expensive clothes and munch on organic buckwheat flapjacks with artisanal pomegranate syrup instead of scrambled eggs, then you weren't one of us. And that’s the essence of organic cool , really: exclusion. The organic health movement really is about excluding you and saying, "I am better than you because I care." And can afford to care. The cool are united by their hidden bank accounts and the rhythmic regularity of their colons.

Between the depths of philosophy and the mindless shallowness of politics, I think it easy to overlook both the power of "cool" and its record for steering humanity off course. There's a lengthy section on the Boston Bomber's Rolling Stone cover: a Che for our time, the soft brown eyes that placed a bomb next to an eight year old.

For his love of death-metal and comfort with explicit language, the Fox News libertarian (I think I am correct with that characterization but will accept advice) is surprisingly (or not) conservative. There's little of Penn Jillette's libertine-libertarianism. His list of "Free Radicals" in the last chapter includes a fine homage to Penn, but also to Governor Mike Huckabee. He sees the social conservative lifestyle as the antidote to government dependency. I'm not criticizing or completely disagreeing, just remarking. I am taking substantive blows from libertarian Facebook friends of late for being insufficiently purist and too conservative. They might want to stay away.

But its a great time reading, laugh out loud funny book. If it is not new territory it is a new spin. I think any ThreeSourcer would dig it, Four stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Wow, what a really COOL review! Seriously, I'm a Gutfeld fan and am now even more inclined to read his new title.

This notion of "cool" as a perverting motivation upon our culture is reinforced by a line I read in a story on the Colorado Obamacare Exchange today:

"We still have lots of people who are uninsured. We know that," [Connect for Health Colorado executive director Patty] Fontneau said. "We'll reach them over time - through cultural influence, through peer pressure and, ultimately, though penalties."
Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2014 3:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Just reading it because all the cool kids are . . .

Posted by: jk at April 1, 2014 3:53 PM

March 29, 2014

But The Science is Settled.

Why are these nimrod Clovis-deniers still practicing archeology? I understand 97% of the peer-reviewed research shows humans crossing from Asia 13,000 years ago...

</snark>: It is an interesting story:

But it is in South America, thousands of miles from the New Mexico site where the Clovis spear points were discovered, where archaeologists are putting forward some of the most profound challenges to the Clovis-first theory.

Paleontologists in Uruguay published findings in November suggesting that humans hunted giant sloths there about 30,000 years ago. All the way in southern Chile, Tom D. Dillehay, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt University, has shown that humans lived at a coastal site called Monte Verde as early as 14,800 years ago.

And here in Brazil's caatinga, a semi-arid region of mesas and canyons, European and Brazilian archaeologists building on decades of earlier excavations said last year that they had found artifacts at a rock shelter showing that humans had arrived in South America almost 10,000 years before Clovis hunters began appearing in North America.

"The Clovis paradigm is finally buried," said Eric Boëda, the French archaeologist leading the excavations here.


Science Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 28, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

Only weeks after leaving office, Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come out and fix it. Joe drives to Obama's new house, which is located in a very exclusive gated community where all the residents make more than $250,000 per year. how much it will cost. Joe checks his rate chart and says, "$9,500." "What?! $9,500?" Obama asks, stunned,

Joe says, "Yes, but what I do is charge those who make $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free," explains Joe. "This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It's known as 'Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014.' I’m Surprised you haven't heard of it

A comment by "Ricky" to a Fiscal Times article, "Obamacare is a 'Haves and Have Nots' Health System"

HT: My darling dagny.


QOTD III

On the Next Episode of Undercover Boss

Okay, I know it really seemed like I was about to stop there, but I just had a great idea. They should do a show where Rich Lowry goes undercover to work with the guys and gals in the trenches at NRO. Returning from his "research villa" on the Aegean, Lowry could toil with the associate editors, chained to their drafting tables like so many Korean animators. He could spend a day in the editorial hot box, where such miserable wretches as Stephen Spruiell and Kevin Williamson are locked away until they almost literally sweat out another editorial on debt reduction or steel tariffs. For once Lowry would have to tie Ponnuru's shoes and hand-crush each cube of ice for Kathryn's margaritas. Potemra could swing by Lowry's desk instead of poor Helen Rittelmeyer's and drop some 500-page tome in the original Greek in Lowry's lap with the order "Summarize this by morning." -- Jonah Goldberg

Alert readers have surmised from three QsOTD by 11AM Mountain that a) I have a very important work project; b) I am now on critical path; c) it is late; and d) I am finding it difficult to devote my full attention.

But johngalt thinks:

More than 48 hours after his last post on this site, it seems that br'er jk finally found his dedication.

It's been oddly quiet, has it not?

Welfare check in 10.............................9........

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2014 2:48 PM

Quote of the Day II

But Larry [Kudlow]'s friendship has been far better for me as a person. Larry taught me how to disagree without being disagreeable. He taught me about the value of indefatigable optimism. Most importantly, he taught me that when life puts your butt on the mat, you need to get back up. That's the true measure. Oh, and when you're climbing back to your feet, it sure helps to have a few good friends around to lend a helping hand. Those friends you never forget. -- James Pethokoukis
But johngalt thinks:

"Indefatigable optimism." Yup.
"Disagree without being disagreeable." Yup.
"Get back up" and "helps to have a few good friends." Yup.

Good stuff!

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2014 1:01 PM
But jk thinks:

The final week's shows feature small homages to Kudlow from frequent guests, colleagues and contributors. It is heart-warming in the extreme to see the esteem in which he is held. Traders, journalists, politicians and pundits of all stripes respect, admire, and love that man. Very touching.

Last show tonight with Steve Forbes -- set DVRs to "stun."

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2014 1:11 PM

Quote of the Day

The new ThreeSources Entertainment and Celebrity Channel: 3!

[Gwynth Paltrow] added, "I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you're shooting a movie, they're like, 'We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,' and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it's not like being on set." -- Lily Harrison E!

I, like, never considered that. And what is this E! Network? It sounds like a direct rip-off of 3!

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty's J! Morning Celebrity newsletter [very selective subscription list -- not providing a link because you'd be disappointed when not accepted...]


March 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

Liberals say they believe in a living Constitution, and apparently they think the Affordable Care Act is a living document too. Amid one more last-minute regulatory delay, number 38 at last count, the mandate forcing nuns to sponsor birth control is more or less the only part of ObamaCare that is still intact. -- WSJ Ed Page

CFR: Puppeteers behind "the establishment?"

With the presidency of George W. Bush, American constitutionalists and other liberty advocates learned that even Republican policies can promote big-government liberalism, central planning, and other ideals previously thought the exclusive domain of Progressives, Marxists and others of that ilk. With the TEA Party movement of 2010 came the identification of "the establishment" as the source of such anti-capitalist, redistributionist, mercantilist tendencies in the party we all had believed was the only real counterweight to Democratic socialism in America - the GOP.

Such talk has been dismissed as conspiracy theorizing, tut tutting it's speakers with dismissive rejoinders like, "Just who exactly is this great 'establishment' of power brokers who control the Republican party?" I can't answer that question definitively but I will nominate a prime suspect: CFR, or the Council on Foreign Relations. Their fingerprints can be traced to, among many others, Egypt, Benghazi, Cuba, and now, Ukraine.

Employing the indispensible insight and analysis provided by Golitsyn and the detailed information in his books, it is difficult to view the orchestrated chaos that has been unfolding in Ukraine without recognizing unmistakable evidence that it is being directed along a pre-planned path toward EU-U.S.-Ukraine-Russian convergence. Putin’s role is to rattle the sabers menacingly enough to frighten reluctant Ukraine to join the EU, while also convincing American and EU taxpayers to be forthcoming with the foreign aid and IMF funding that will “rescue” Ukraine and avert a war.

And, after the hyperventilating CFR policy “experts” move on to their next project and things settle down, we will look around to find Putin and his oligarchs carrying on business as usual with the new Ukrainian government and its oligarchs — as well as with the Obama administration and “our” oligarchs.

What does this have to do with the GOP, you might ask?

During the Bush administration, Nuland was the principal foreign policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney (CFR), a committed “Republican” globalist who boasted at a CFR luncheon that he had successfully kept his CFR membership secret while a congressman so that his conservative constituents in Wyoming wouldn’t find out. Cheney has joined John McCain (CFR) and other interventionist Republicans in stirring the Ukrainian pot. Prior to serving under Kerry, Nuland served Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is not herself, formally, a CFR member (although her husband, Bill, and daughter, Chelsea, both are), but who in a speech to the CFR infamously referred to the CFR as the State Department’s “mother ship” and confessed that the State Department looks to the CFR “to be told what we should be doing and how we should think.”

Which gives substantial support to the popular notion that "there's no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans." On the level of foreign relations and federal government, it seems more true than not.

But johngalt thinks:

I clearly bit off a very large bite here. I see the outlines of a web that connects many issues that have at times seemed perplexing and I floated it here as a combination early warning, breaking news, and sanity check. The first return appears to be, I'm insane. It deserved much more care than I was able to give at the time so I'll work on developing it into, as Jasper wrote in a pre-9/11 article, "bites of the elephant." Yes, he does have a John Birch air about him. But just because he's paranoid...

I took the "Republican" scare quotes to mean that Cheney believed his party bonafides were threatened by his CFR membership.

It's true that a degree of dot-connecting is required here since CFR has not, to my knowledge, issued a press statement that they are covertly working to establish a world government of hoi oligoi that can manage the lives of the hoi polloi, and conveniently enrich themselves in the process. But let me complete the alternative picture that you find to be a more simple explanation:

CFR is nothing but a social club composed of retired world leaders and high-level bureaucrats with nothing but the purest of intentions and no desire to influence government policy in America or any other nation, nor any desire to inflate their collective individual bank balances. Transitioning from an office of power and influence back to a position of near irrelevance is effortless for every single one of them. And Hillary Clinton didn't actually suggest that CFR tells the State Department what to do and how to think.

I may be lost in the wilderness in this line of inquiry, and honestly hope to find that I am. But too much of it is so imminently plausible to dismiss it out-of-hand.

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2014 3:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just finished the Weekly Standard piece on the Condi speech and will note that the associations listed for her included NRCC (not the Senate Conservatives Fund) Mitt Romney (not Ron Paul) Mitch McConnell (not Rand Paul) and a Karl Rove GOP primary candidate, although Sarah Palin has not yet made an endorsement and the 2010 primary winner Joe Miller lost his last statewide bid. These are not proof of a CFR plot but they are all establishment figures.

Now, I do agree with Condi that America's defense budget should be large enough to support a strong and well supplied military force but I do wonder what that has to do with Ukraine? When she says, "What are we signaling when we say that America is no longer ready to stand in the defense of freedom" what is she speaking of, exactly? Ukraine? Iraq?

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2014 3:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I'd never call you insane. There is indeed a lot going on here.

Were you to replace the nefarious CFR with "State Dept. Striped Pants Bureaucracy," we could probably sing Kumbaya and crack a couple of those German Pilsners. Yes, there is an entrenched apparatus -- I think it goes back to some John Quincy Adams appointees.

And of course Condi is establishment; I suggested her view as a coherent explanation of the CW, Muscular, Establishment, Republican position. Her particular field of expertise was Russia/Soviet policy.

I part with many of liberty friends by being sympathetic to this view, but I think the world needs American leadership and I think the globalization and wealth creation I champion require a bit of "pax Americana" to get those iPad parts between 42 countries.

If my grouchy meter got set off, it was your last paragraph. As a guy who hates war (it interferes with prosperity), I think it invited by weakness. I'm not calling for Slim Pickens to mount up and ride, but I think we could advocate for freedom and respect for sovereignty. I would permit drill sites and LNG export ports. And I would not have pulled missile defense sites out of Poland to begin with.

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2014 6:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for clarifying. And there is much room for clarification all around this subject.

I think we'd agree that CFR can be viewed, at the very least, as the SDSPB - Senior Tour. The extent of their fingerprints on policy is debatably somewhere between "advisory" and "puppet master." We'll not get into where, exactly, on that scale. At least for the moment.

Let me choose just one assertion to discuss further: "I think the world needs American leadership and I think the globalization and wealth creation I champion require a bit of "pax Americana"..." I think there is more than one way to lead. The best American leadership is the example of private industry and free trade on a worldwide basis. The worst American leadership is choosing sides in the affairs of other nations. Like the fifty states, some may choose to become democracies or totalitarian states and provide the world their example. Trying to build democracy from the outside is like trying to teach a pig to sing. I'm all for patrolling the high seas with an American navy, but can we stay on our side of international borders please?

The closest we have today to a Nazi death regime is in North Korea, yet I see nobody advocating an invasion there to "defend freedom."

Posted by: johngalt at March 29, 2014 5:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The more I find to complain about in our federal government, the more I am sympathetic to foreign nations complaints about same.

Posted by: johngalt at March 29, 2014 5:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Any objection to my "bumping" this post to give it more time? We haven't done foreign policy since that cowboy was in the White House.

I'm thinking my blog brother has gone "Full Rand Paul." And that is a coherent, rational, and defensible belief.

I see Russian incursion into Ukraine as a much closer cousin of "piracy on the high seas" to be opposed than the meddling and nation building which we have both grown to reject. When was the last time a sovereign nation was invaded, occupied and subsumed by into the conqueror's borders? That's not rhetorical -- I do not recall. But I suspect the last time it happened, I was too young to be drafted instead of too old.

You, me, and the Junior Senator from Kentucky agree on the power of freedom. I wish the President had whipped out his pen and approved the 24 LNG exporting stations awaiting certification, then fired up his phone and called Angela Merkel and David Cameron with promises of energy. I like that a lot better than some warships in the Black Sea.

But there is clearly a level where we do not find comity. I'd suggest that Poland redeploys missile defense.

I actually compliment the President (whoaaaa) on the sanctions and the general direction of his rhetoric. Reforming the G-7: well done, sir. I'd suggest not going to the World Cup, but that's 40% because it is boring, and 60% to punish Russia.

We're left with few good options -- I think Sec. Rice's point is that fecklessness and apathy bled the arsenal of options. Going forward, President Paul should trim the military of its obligations on the Korean Peninsula, Germany, and any theatre where we are not in actual hostilities. But -- as to shrinking inside our borders -- I think we invite aggression (cf., Atchison, Dean) and threaten global prosperity (cf. Lal, Deepak).

Posted by: jk at March 30, 2014 4:14 PM

Science Is Settled!

Butter is Back

Never mind, too, that the industry's idea of "low fat" became the emblematic SnackWell's and other highly processed "low-fat" carbs (a substitution that is probably the single most important factor in our overweight/obesity problem), as well as reduced fat and even fat-free dairy, on which it made billions of dollars. (How you could produce fat-free "sour cream" is something worth contemplating.)

But let's not cry over the chicharrones or even nicely buttered toast we passed up. And let's not think about the literally millions of people who are repelled by fat, not because it doesn't taste good (any chef will tell you that "fat is flavor") but because they have been brainwashed.


This is the NYTimes, mind you, so we can't leave without a little scolding.
So at this juncture it would be natural for a person who does not read volumes of material about agriculture, diet and health to ask, "If saturated fat isn't bad for me, why should I eat less meat?"
[...]
Even if large quantities of industrially produced animal products were safe to eat, the environmental costs are demonstrable and huge.

I ate a lot of SnackWell's on my way up to 270 pounds -- and a lot of bacon on my way down to 200.

Hat-tip: Insty who is right: "AND YET THE FOOD NAZIS WERE SO SURE OF THEMSELVES"

Science Posted by John Kranz at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

How about "sensible quantities of sustainable economically farmed FDA-approved meat products." Any word on those from the NYT?

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2014 4:59 PM

March 26, 2014

Mark Udall: "I'd do it again"

In his pending contest versus Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner for the senate seat he already holds, Mark Udall had finally picked his side. Despite canceling more insurance policies than it created, taking health care decisions away from patients and doctors and giving them to insurance companies directed by government bureaucrats, and throwing an industry representing one-sixth of the national economy into turmoil, Senator Mark Udall believes standing up for "Colorado values" means defending his deciding vote to implement the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Udall: "We had to fix a broken system. We now have a system that's far from perfect but my focus is on making it work for Coloradans, and that's the Colorado spirit. We can't go back to a time when if you were a woman the insurance companies could drop your coverage. Too many families went into bankruptcy because of health care costs. So in the end we did the right thing, the law is far from perfect, my focus is on making it work for Colorado."

Tubbs: "So you'd do it again?"

Udall: "I would do it again, yes. I would, I think, look, if I were there I would say here are some things we should have done differently. Here are some things that would make more sense. But we're on track. You're going to see some important numbers, new enrollees, you have many more people on Medicaid, and by the way the law allows you to cover your adult children until the age of 26, which is a big deal because a lot of young adults can't afford coverage."

!!

But you were there, senator. Why didn't you point out what made more sense instead of voting for this? It's "the right thing" to have this law that, so far at least, doesn't work for Colorado because, what, it was broken to begin with? Ask the roughly 335,000 Coloradans whose insurance was cancelled by your law if they believe this was "the right thing." Your best defense of the law is "more people are on Medicaid" and "a lot of young adults can't afford coverage?" Yeah, you really made things better didn't you?

Full audio here, courtesy of 850 KOA's interview by Steffan Tubbs. O'care discussion starts around 5 minute mark of the 7 minute interview.

In November jk commented, "The Democrats cannot back too far off -- repeat after me -- "the President's Signature initiative." Yet, they cannot get too close and be elected in any state less blue than Illinois."

"Pass the popcorn" indeed.

UPDATE: Colorado Peak Politics' coverage of this includes a partial enumeration of how the PPACA law doesn't work for Colorado.

But Terri thinks:

Apparently we have a new journolist working.

Buzzword is to add "women" or "female" into every working model of a paragraph so you show women how to vote.

Since when was this part different for women than for men?

"We can't go back to a time when if you were a woman the insurance companies could drop your coverage."

Posted by: Terri at March 27, 2014 8:34 AM
But jk thinks:

Delicate little flowers that women are, good thing there are Democrats to look after them.

Posted by: jk at March 27, 2014 10:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I noticed that too Terri. I think he crossed his talking points. After all, Hobby Lobby was in SCOTUS that day. But you're right, it's women this, women that. Except, of course, in mideast policy.

But the sad part is they wouldn't do it if it didn't work, and it has worked in the past. We can only hope that, as Udall himself said, "voters are smart enough to know who is lying to them" and that it won't work again this time.

A case can be made that it wasn't the so-called women's issues that cost Republicans last year, but a failure to campaign on distinctly different policies.

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2014 11:08 AM
But Terri thinks:

It's that passion thing. Just like most people don't know who the Koch's are, yet, when Dem's use their name in a fundraiser they magically raise a lot more money.

Women are fine, but if you throw in a potential insult, boom money and passion flows. I am embarrassed for us.

Posted by: Terri at March 27, 2014 11:16 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No need to be embarassed for women, Terri. If anything maybe they're just a little more trusting of what people tell them than are men.

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2014 5:02 PM

Lie of the Century!

We can spend money better than you!

The 2009 economic stimulus package promoted by President Obama included $5 billion to weatherize some 607,000 homes--with the goals of both spurring the economy and increasing energy efficiency. But the project was required to comply with a statute called the Davis-Bacon Act (signed into law by President Hoover in 1931), which provides that construction projects with federal funding must pay workers the "prevailing wage"--basically a union perk that costs taxpayers about 20 percent more than actual labor rates. This requirement comes with a mass of red tape; bureaucrats in the Labor Department must set wages, as a matter of law, for each category of construction worker in each of three thou- sand counties in America. There was no schedule for "weatherproofers." So the Labor Department began a slow trudge of determining how much weatherproofers should be paid in Merced County, California; Monmouth County, New Jersey; and several thousand other counties. The stimulus plan had projected that California would weatherproof twenty-five hundred homes per month. At the end of 2009, the actual total was twelve. -- Philip K. Howard

Stolen from the WSJ Ed Page


This Just in...

The President has decreed that ObamaCare now costs a nickel and comes with free ice cream!

Heritage:

"We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don't actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014." -- Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11

"Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently." -- HHS official Michael Hash, March 11

"March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You've heard us make that clear." -- Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21

"There is no delay beyond March 31." -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12


UPDATE: Video (and this lovely, flattering photo) at The Daily Caller

sebelius.jpg

I apologize to the sensitive for that graphic prurient content.

But johngalt thinks:

I tried to...

...file my taxes before April 15th.
...drive at or below the speed limit.
...eat less bacon.
...elect a better President of the United States.

Posted by: johngalt at March 26, 2014 12:54 PM
But jk thinks:

ALL YOUR HEALTH CARE ARE BELONG TO US!!!

Posted by: jk at March 26, 2014 1:53 PM

March 25, 2014

Have I told you the wonders of beer?

One of the most memorable stops during my 2001 trip to the Austria and Southern Germany was Andechs Monastery, not far from Munich. Occasionally I visit their web site and on a previous visit I found this page on the health benefits of beer. A few highlights:

According to studies in Finland and Italy, the moderate and regular consumption of beer (0.5 l/day) reduces the risk of kidney stones by 40%.

Beer, by the way, is not the cause of the so called beer belly. The beer’s constituents of hops, alcohol, and carbonic acid whet the appetite. Pils itself contains fewer calories than orange and other fruit juices.

Beer has also proved an effective preventive against osteoporosis.

Beer is also important in the fight against cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks).

Beer also has preventive effects on ischaemic strokes because alcohol, as described above, apparently thins the blood.

According to yearlong studies, moderate and regular beer consumption enhances life expectancy.

These studies have confirmed that a moderate beer consumption reduces the risk of senile dementia by up to 50%.

And of course there's the added benefit, it's delicious!

And, I learned something else this visit - several Andechs beers are now available in the U.S.! I'll be contacting S&H Independent Premium Brands soon to inquire about my favorite brew, Special Hell (basically the helles or pils.) They are, wait for it - on Wynkoop Street in Denver. Pinch me!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Prosst!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 25, 2014 6:02 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has a former colleague, an English gentleman some years his senior, who told the story of growing up in wartime England near a tire factory. About 20 years after the war, workers in tire factory experienced a high incidence of bladder cancer from exposure to some of the tire-making materials. However, they found that workers who had consumed 2+ pints of beer per day had a very low incidence of bladder cancer. Which mainly serves to tell wives to get off their husband's backs for stopping by the pub after work.

The Refugee is planning to conduct a similar experiment to ward off any potential harmful effects from long-term exposure to horse manure. He'll let you know in 20 years.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 25, 2014 6:13 PM
But jk thinks:

I remarked in the UK that one of my favorite things was everyone's bringing their dogs into the pub.

My host, incredulous, said "that's why everybody in England has a dog -- time for a walk!"

Posted by: jk at March 25, 2014 7:30 PM
But loni thinks:


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Posted by: loni at April 3, 2014 5:13 AM

In Boulder???

There's hope! I hate to share company stuff on ThreeSources -- trust me, my opinions do not represent those of the corporation with Boulder's 80301 zip code.

But, I gotta. Even the Tofu Crowd has better things:

smart.gif

But johngalt thinks:

Let's be precise: You're talking about the private sector Tofu Crowd. Government tofu munchers would show up, rain or shine, interest or non. After all, they do NOT have better things.

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2014 2:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What leads them to believe that interest will be greater later in the year?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 25, 2014 6:17 PM
But jk thinks:

They're also offering discounted Denver Nuggets tickets, br; their optimism knows no bounds.

Posted by: jk at March 26, 2014 1:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A better incentive this year would be, "If you participate, we won't make you go to a Nuggets game."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 26, 2014 4:29 PM

Lie of the Century

Here's your Koch Brothers folderol for the day. I don't like it either, but I get a $6000 monthly stipend from them as long as I post these and don't believe in catastrophic climate change. Dog food isn't free, y'know...

I got to thinking last night of a good series of commercials: Lie of the Year? Hell. it's the Lie of the Century!

Really, let us certainly remind the electorate that the Democrats all lied to them. But let us also voice an implicit "We Told You So." They say government will take over 1/6th of the economy -- and the good parts will stay just as good, the bad parts will become good -- and you'll probably save $2500! Where do I sign?

The Republicans said "Balderdash. It will become more expensive, less flexible, you'll have fewer choices . . ." I was not prescient enough to realize how bad the web page would suck, but am I surprised?

Lie of the Century! It's a good line, and the Koch's can have it included in my monthly stipend.

UPDATE: LIE! The President's pen cannot give you a raise!

Obama's Overtime-Pay Boomerang
The new rule hurts the very managers climbing the ranks whom it claims to help.

President Obama on March 13 signed an order directing the Labor Department to expand the class of employees entitled to overtime pay. Currently, if a salaried employee makes more than $24,000 a year and is part of management--if he manages the business, directs the work of other employees, and has the authority to hire and fire--that employee is exempt from overtime coverage. The president wants to raise this salary threshold, perhaps as high as $50,000, demoting entry-level managers to glorified crew members by replacing their incentive to get results with an incentive to log more hours.


I could get into this . . .

But johngalt thinks:

Okay, so, "lie of the year." Which year? 2008? 2013? It was told in the former and revealed in the latter. I can think of worse lies in the last hundred years. I expect worse lies before 2099.

How about, simply, "It's the worst lie since they told you that the people who want to stop their healthcare disaster are waging a 'war on women."

"Or want to "throw granny off a cliff." Or tell people 'who they can love.' Are you beginning to see a pattern? Are none of these things happening because the great defenders of liberty in the Democratic Party are preventing them, or because they're just more lies?"

Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me over and over and over again?

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2014 2:25 PM

March 24, 2014

Only You Can Fix ObamaCare

Dude's in trouble:

obama_ineedyourhelp.gif

But johngalt thinks:

Heard on the radio some lefty suggest that they will reach the 7 million signups target "before the midterms." Wonder how that happens if enrollment "ends" on March 31, as the president himself has stated in writing?

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2014 2:11 PM

War on Women!

Ehrmigawd -- stop those wascally wepulicans!

Bennett_waronwomen.jpg


Quote of the Day

After Chief Justice John Roberts upheld ObamaCare, the refrain on the political left was "it's the law," but the last year has proven that the White House thinks the law is whatever it says it is. Mr. Obama has conceded that "obviously we didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law." The right and only lawful way to repair ObamaCare is through another act of Congress. In Halbig, the judiciary can remind the Obama Administration of this basic constitutional truth. -- WSJ Ed Page
From a superb editorial on Halbig v. Sebelius "The plaintiffs are merely asking the judges to tell the Administration to faithfully execute the plain language of the statute that Congress passed and President Obama signed."
But johngalt thinks:

Observe the irony wherein Republicans attempted to defeat or delay the Obamacare *snarkyvoice*[it's the Affordable Care Act... Affordable, Care, Act]*/snarkyvoice* law, one of them even staging an old-fashioned fillibuster in that effort and, having failed to delay it, now seek to prevent Obama delaying all or part of his own law.

Presidential loyalists may reflexively charge the Republicans with hypocrisy for he's only doing what they begged him to do in the first place. What they don't see, or don't admit, is that the Republicans. Were. Right.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2014 2:09 PM

Baghdad Harry

bb_bh.jpg

Uncle Jerry tells the story well.


There Must be Fifty Ways to Leave your Health Care...

One from each State:

But johngalt thinks:

But hey, at least birth control pills are still free and gay marriage is still legal, and will be unless you elect those folks who claim that all these racist lies are a bigger issue.

Sweet headline.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2014 11:50 AM
But jk thinks:

There was an enlightening exchange on "The Independents" last week. The Republican Shill on the Party Panel (the lovely and very-libertarian Julie Borowski) talked up some liberty-friendly GOP 2016 hopefuls: Rand Paul, Mike Lee ...

The Democrat Shill on the Party Panel said "Rand Paul is out of the mainstream -- people disagree with him on gay marriage!" [As he favors traditional, apparently...]

Kmele sez "But he's not talking about gay marriage"

Democrat shill says "he'll have to!"

I heard "yeah, but we're going to talk it about all the time. And our friends in media are going to talk about it all the tome. And sympathetic 527s will just fabricate crap, ex nihilo. And..."

I don't know.

Posted by: jk at March 24, 2014 1:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did lefties forget the formula in 2010, or did it just not work?

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2014 2:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't think they had fully developed it. Of course there were facets used, but the firehose we saw against Ken Buck in 2012 was -- I believe -- unprecedented.

I saw it used against Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia and Kim Strassel said: "That's the Democrat ad." As long as it works, why not?

I keep waiting to hear somebody say "Ken Buck."

Posted by: jk at March 24, 2014 2:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

How quickly they (I) forget.

But it seems the poll numbers are not behind the Democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2014 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

It's grip may loosen, but I fear it to be excessively successful in Colorado.

And mea maxima culpa, of course the Ken Buck race was 2010. I still stand by my point; as there were suddenly Tea Partiers to be painted as extreme, so was that word suddenly enough to discredit them. Ayn Rand's "Radicals for Capitalism" need not apply.

Posted by: jk at March 24, 2014 3:30 PM

Adam Smith

A Facebook Friend shared this story on collusion: big tech firms' agreeing not to recruit each others workers. There is much to discuss in this story, but my friend used it to call for more regulation and used the phrase "the invisible hand is bullshit."

I thought it funny that the story actually validates Adam Smith, and replied:

I'll defend Adam Smith if not Apple. Smith suggested the invisible hand in "Theory of Moral Sentiments." In "Wealth of Nations" he says "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

I once heard of an economics professor who offered an A to any student who could find pro-business sentiment in the nine hundred eleventy-two pages of Wealth of Nations.

But the invisible hand refers to the lack of planning required to get to produce the subordinate parts or materials of (in his case, breakfast). I don't see collusion as counter-example. (And while I'll admit it's wrong, wrong, wrong, I cannot engender great sympathy for the greatest treated workforce in the history of the world: tech workers in this time period did okay as I recall.)


Friend (okay, it's this blog's own "LatteSipper...") has a point that I am so used to defending capitalism from the Occupy crowd, I fall into the bad habit of defending businesses. Is this a crack in the heretofore unscathed "Bourgeois Dignity" theory of Deirdre McClosky? Not a direct contradiction -- but something to be considered.

Truth is, I thought it just some crazy Facebook, <earnest-sounding-phrase>.ORG story and was prepared to seek out cute puppies. Then, Insty linked. You know my appreciation and general agreement for "The Sage of Knoxville," but his comment was "You can see why they want a lot of temporary visas for cheap foreign workers." Oh, man, dude's been hanging out with Mickey Kaus too much -- we're going to have to seat them in different sides of the room.

I want justice for all, but these are the least sympathetic clients since the Westboro Morons had their free speech rights underscored in Snyder v Phelps. Poor Apple coder has to live with $165K, free lunches and an iridium health care plan -- the recruiter from Intuit can't call with an offer of $190! Boo-flippin'-hoo! Lawr is lawr and I wish them luck in court.

But the Insty accusation is a disconnect. They cannot find enough workers to continue -- neither can my firm. It's a great company, if some of you want to come write software for us, tell them I sent you and I get a cool five grand.

There are a lot of codified and assumed rules among partners and collaborators (I've broken a few of both) about not "sniping" each others' talent. I can accept this is different, but still want to call somebody a waaaaaahmbulance.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 22, 2014

"War on Women" 2014 Colorado Edition

While in full-blown gloat mode over the Affordable Care Act electoral distress facing Democrats in this midterm election, blog brother jk reminded [sixth comment] "There is a personhood amendment in his past" about GOP senate hopeful Cory Gardner. Gardner, on Friday, sought to disarm that line of attack. Lynn Bartels reports in the Denver Post.

He said that after learning more about the measures, which would have had the impact of outlawing abortion, he realized the proposals also could ban certain forms of contraception, a prohibition he does not support.

"This was a bad idea driven by good intentions," he told The Denver Post. "I was not right. I can't support personhood now. I can't support personhood going forward. To do it again would be a mistake."

The Udall campaign isn't buying it, of course, saying,

"Coloradans will see through this cheap election-year stunt," Harris said. "Gardner is showing a profound lack of respect for Colorado voters. Coloradans want a senator who always promotes and protects women's health, not one who simply pretends to during election years."

But Gardner cites the hypocrisy of that charge:

But he pointed to Udall, who in a 2012 opinion piece in Politico explained how his views had changed to the point where he supported marriage for same-sex couples.

"It was perhaps best said by Mark Udall, who said a good-faith re-examination of a position you've held in the past should be seen as a virtue, not a vice," Gardner said.

All told a fairly well balanced piece by Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, except that she closed with a detailed retelling of the "Personhood" history, including videotape.

Personally I support so-called Personhood laws for unborn babies, but only to criminalize harm done to them by individuals other than their mother, or her doctor. But the prohibition crowd will definitely try to expand them to include those cases.


March 21, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"A lot of people who were out of work during the recession are now working because of oil and gas, and energy in general," Hale said.

From Loveland (CO) Reporter-Herald - 'Oil and Gas Impact Loveland's Economy'

Last year, Hale counted up the number of jobs in Loveland directly tied to oil and gas in 2012.

She said 52 companies in Loveland employed 497 people who worked directly in the industry. The companies paid $37.4 million in gross wages, with an average salary of $75,232, according to Hale.

All this despite no drilling in city limits. All of this business is to support drilling in nearby Weld County.


Quote of the Day

WHY DEMOCRATS DON'T LIKE KOCH ADS: BECAUSE THEY WORK

The left likes to pretend that the free-market message promoted by industrialists Charles and David Koch represents a narrow special interest. But a New York Times report suggests that the message is increasingly resonating with voters in swing states. Citing improvements in advertising and field operations at Americans for Prosperity, the outfit supported by the Kochs and others that promotes limited government, the Times describes incumbent Senate Democrats under intense pressure. "Americans for Prosperity is now producing testimonial-style ads and carrying out an elaborate field effort, spending more than $30 million already in at least eight states with crucial Senate races and in some House districts as well." -- James Freeman Morning Editorial Report


I Have a Dream...

I would like to get together with my lefty friends -- I'll buy each a beer -- watch and discuss this:

Education, abortion, gay-rights, drugs, and welfare all engender powerful emotions in people. I was thinking that most of my friends could handle transportation and zoning with limited tears. And, yet, here is a (yet another even better) microcosm of what I believe. The planners are making things worse: worse for the poor, worse for the environment, worse for transportation. Some good old Hayekian spontaneous order would improve so much. But, as Insty would say, there are insufficient opportunities for graft.

Then, perhaps, if liberty gets a small foothold...

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:49 PM | What do you think? [9]
But jk thinks:

And yet, if I may be a bit mean, I have yet to hear a compelling argument. There is a decent libertarian argument against compulsion (this month's Reason cover), but even the people I respect say Don't vaccinate because mercury and corporations.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2014 3:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The mercury has, it seems, been removed. There's a new bogeyman now - aluminum. Before clicking the link you should know that "mcg" is micrograms, or 10-6 (.000001) grams.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2014 4:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A microgram here, a microgram there, pretty soon you're talking about milligrams. In fact, infant vaccinations can easily total up to 5mg!

The linked article explains that aluminum is dangerous:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues."

Does this mean we should not allow aluminum to come into contact with, say, our food? This dubious product is offered in sizes as large as 4,989,516,070 micrograms! How many licks does it take to ingest 5,000 micrograms?

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2014 4:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Ehrmigawd! I had, like a million micrograms of that wrapped around my burrito at lunch!!! I'm heading straight to the ER.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2014 4:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It is fair to observe that there's a difference between elemental aluminum or its alloys and the "salts of aluminum" and other aluminum compounds. But it's also fair to point out that Neil Z. Miller plays fast and loose with the distinction, repeatedly implicating "aluminum" itself.

But even aluminum compounds are widely used in other products, such as antacids and anti-perspirants. So far, it seems, the aluminum-haters haven't corrupted the Wikipedia page.

Despite its natural abundance, aluminium has no known function in biology. It is remarkably nontoxic, aluminium sulfate having an LD50 of 6207 mg/kg (oral, mouse), which corresponds to 500 grams for an 80 kg person.

So unless you're consuming half a kilo of aluminum, yer probably good.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2014 5:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Huh, even I bought in on some level to Alzheimers and Aluminum. Nope, that's a fraud.

The average human intake is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg per day. This intake comes primarily from foods, drinking water, and pharmaceuticals.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2014 5:56 PM

March 20, 2014

Other than that, not much

Hey there, who's for some progress? Maybe an 11-fold increase in average incomes, doubling global life expectancy, stuff like that? This IBD Editorial explains how Progressives ignore the real benefits when calculating government required cost-benefit analyses.

Hydrocarbons provide 81% of world energy. Most important, the positive relationship between fossil fuel, economic growth and CO2 emissions is strong — supporting $70 trillion per year in gross domestic product.

Under accepted benefit-cost analyses, proposed regulations would pass muster if the rules' benefits exceed their cost by a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. But employing the government's own carbon "cost" figures demonstrates that the ratios are dramatically reversed.

The benefits of using carbon-based fuel outweigh hypothesized "social carbon costs" by orders of magnitude: from 50-to-1 (using the inflated 2013 costs of carbon of $36/ton of CO2) to 500-to-1 (using the arbitrary 2010 $22/ton estimate). Any cost estimate is lost in the "statistical noise" of carbon and CO2 benefits.

If the world is serious about economic growth, living standards and affordable energy, fossil fuel is essential. Restrictions on hydrocarbon energy and faulty carbon cost analyses will only undermine progress in these areas.



Otequay of the Ayday

"This issue is one of common sense and fairness - if a community decides to ignore all the science and all the facts and ban responsible energy development, those communities shouldn’t be able to line up at the trough and benefit from responsible oil and gas development occurring in other parts of the State. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Boulders and Ft. Collins of the world to benefit from oil and gas taxes so long as they have an oil and gas ban in place." [the Peak emphasis]

FRAC YEAH! Where do I sign?

From Colorado Peak Politics - No Fracking Dollars for No Frack Communities Headed to Voters


Tweet of the Day

Poor Ezra Klein got so sick of telling us how horrible ObamaCare would be in "The Debate We Had..."


The Taxes are Too Damn High

There may finally be a reason for big-government, redistributionist tax-and-spend liberals to stop supporting ever higher tax rates:

Because they can interfere with the campaigns to re-elect big-government, redistributionist tax-and-spend liberals to office.

From Colorado Peak Politics, who informs that the attached image represents a tax lien on the campaign.


Got Yer Microcosm Right Here..

Insty nails it: "Putin was changing the map while Europe was saving the climate."

Liz Peek, The Fiscal Times:

Europe has had nearly a decade -- since Moscow cut off gas supplies to the region for the first time -- to ready itself for renewed Russian misbehavior, but has been caught as flatfooted as Obama. Instead of reducing their dependence on gas from Ukraine and Russia, the leaders of Western Europe have chosen to combat climate change. Instead of investing in secure energy, the EU has invested in green energy, driving up energy costs, reducing competitiveness, and allowing Putin to remain in the driver's seat.

By "Europe" we can certainly throw in Sec. John Kerry who still calls Climate Change the greatest threat. The Administration could permit LNG exports, approve the Keystone Pipeline, permit fracking on Federal Lands and tell the free world that America has your back.

I'm not calling for Destroyers in the Black Sea or missiles in Poland, just actions that are in our interest whatever Iran, Russia, or Saudi Arabia chooses.

And I call it a microcosm because I don't think my Facebook friends would argue with how I've laid out the board. Most would be very comfortable arguing that Sec. Kerry and the Administration are doing the right thing and that the German Greens have a longer world view than we goofy Cold Warriors.

UPDATE: In completely unrelated news, Jim Geraghty brings us the President's Thursday Schedule: President Obama to make first appearance on 'Ellen'

But Terri thinks:

JK for President 2016! (except for the vetting....)

Posted by: Terri at March 20, 2014 11:15 AM
But jk thinks:

You're too kind. I'll just zip up all my ThreeSources blog posts so that I can email them to oppo research.

Posted by: jk at March 20, 2014 12:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What. Are. You. Talking. About?

Don't they have wind and solar power in Ukraine already? If they aren't prepared for the end of the black energy economy it's their own stupid fault! @#(7ing green-energy grasshoppers.

Threesources: More like Facebook every day!

Posted by: johngalt at March 20, 2014 12:49 PM
But jk thinks:

That should really be our official tagline.

Posted by: jk at March 20, 2014 1:22 PM
But jk thinks:

That or dagny's RAH quote: "Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."

Posted by: jk at March 20, 2014 1:24 PM

March 19, 2014

But . . . I thought the Science was settled

burger.jpg

One of my heterodox beliefs had a very very good week:

For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.

But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.


This is important to me both as childish retort to "science is settled" and as an anti-government rant. The Food Pyramid -- and its devil spawn MyPlate.gov did a lot of real damage, pushing people toward the carbohydrates that this story suggests to be the real heart disease culprits.

Granted, this study could be upended. But there is a vibrant market out there for nutritional advice. Our government has short-circuited the process multiple times in my life (I am old enough to remember the Four Food Groups as a non-punch line).

Science Posted by John Kranz at 5:26 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

How can they claim to predict the weather in one hundred years when they can't even tell whether a bacon cheeseburger royale is good or bad for human health?

Seriously though, those are the only two reasons why the new finding is important to you? I can think of at least one more.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2014 6:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What would the world do without health officials?

"The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat."

The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that...

...and will continue the debate about...

They say this as though continued debate is "bad for you" or something.

Next week: 'Study Questions CO2 and Climate Link'

Damn Koch brothers.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2014 6:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Okay, four reasons:

-- Science is Settled;
-- Food Pyramid;
-- Jimmy Buffett;
-- Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories [Review Corner] is more an epistemology book than a diet book. (I made the climate comparison in December 2011; I am some combination of consistent and repetitively tiresome...)

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 7:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

R.A.H. (of course)

Posted by: dagny at March 19, 2014 7:06 PM

Harvey Slivergate, Call your Office!

the difference between us and Venezuela? Shorter bread lines here . . .

Infuriating.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:41 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Not seeing any content in this post.

Posted by: johngalt at March 21, 2014 11:16 AM
But jk thinks:

Try this.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2014 12:27 PM
But jk thinks:

People say that about my writing all the time. Oh, the embed...

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2014 12:37 PM

Stealthflation Update

I was argumentative with blog friend sc yesterday on Facebook (continued grousing on my part at Pope-onomics). I don't want to give ThreeSources short shift on my bellicosity and general bad temper.

Insty linked this piece. And I was prepared to magnanimously present it as intelligent commentary bolstering blog brother jg's position.

Inflation is starting to really mean something when it comes to food and energy. The government stats on inflation conveniently omit food and energy when reporting things like the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Let's see what Janet Yellen has to say this week. I bet she isn't worried about inflation in the least.

I agree that she, whom Kudlow calls "Queen of the Doves," is not worried about inflation. But, nor am I.

What about food jk? Not like you're a dainty eater! Well, I quote -- the very same blog post. This is clearly NOT a monetary phenomenon.

The recent farm bill that passed was chock full of subsidies for corporate farmers. A goody bag of money from the government that influences what farmers plant, and how much of each crop gets produced. An economist once told me that every jar of peanut butter we buy is .50 higher than it should be because of farm subsidies.

Grain crop prices ($ZC_F, $ZW_F, $ZS_F) have gone higher in past years because of rising demand, but also because of drought. No rain, no grain. Farmers are planting fencepost to fencepost. Still, a lot of land is idle because of CRP. The cost to farm has gone up with the cost of energy. Successful farmers look at cost/benefit analysis just like a factory. Innovations like Farmlogs help them manage their cropland better.

Meat ($LC_F) has seen a tremendous upsurge in prices. Part of that has been scare. Remember the pink slime scare over a year ago? Because of it, beef prices have to go up because not using pink slime decreases supply. The cost of feed has gone up too (drought) so cattle ranchers thinned their herds. Animal gestation isn't automatic, and the cost to bring a steer to market hasn't gone down, so the nation's cattle herd isn't being rebuilt on higher prices.

Hogs ($HE_F) have seen an exponential price move higher in recent weeks. A virus, PEDv hit the nation's hog herd last May. At first, it was controlled. Since the spread, US pig farmers have seen 5,000,000 pigs die, mostly piglets. The crisis is so severe, the largest hog processing plant in the country, Tarheel in North Carolina, is shutting down a few days during the week because it cannot source enough pork to butcher. Oh, and yes, the price of bacon is going to skyrocket.


Poor government policy, drought, junk science, a virus. None of those are monetary. Bacon in Bitcoin is going to go up when five million pigs die.

Monetary Policy Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

This does feel like familiar territory: I posit that government policies, including but not limited to increasing the money supply, cause the cost of everything to rise. In return, you lecture, yeahbut, it's not because of the money supply.

Without conceding the last point I fulsomely agree that other government policies cause prices to rise artificially. Is there an economist's name for that phenomenon? I can only call it what it is - theft.

Perhaps you can help me construct an illustrative scheme to show consumers how badly they are being ripped off? I solicited the President of the Tax Foundation with my idea, prompted by the California restaurant that added a "health care surcharge" to diner's checks, where retailers might show how the actual prices they charge are made up of a long list of government-caused surcharges added to a hidden "free-market cost" for the item. The *ahem* "inflators" listed in your post contribute new line items to the "cost of government surcharge," i.e. the Farm Subsidy surcharge, the Junk Science surcharge, etc. (Drought and virus are natural causes, usually, and simply cause natural price fluctuation affecting the entire market equally.) But there is another - the "drought because government shut off the water to protect insignificant critters" surcharge.

I put all of this in terms to which the Tax Foundation could relate: Tax Freedom Day.

"If it may be fairly estimated that the average income could be higher by a factor of 365/Tax Freedom Day, may it also be fairly estimated that the average price of a good or service could be lower by a factor of 365/Corporate Tax Freedom Day?"
Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2014 2:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps our ploughs have crossed this verdant field in the past, but it is because I find the distinction incredibly important.

The Ron Paulites of the world will want to attack the Fed when bacon prices rise. I would like them to consider a nominal ire distribution among the EPA, FDA, USDA, US Fish & Game, Jenny McCarthy and the Designated Hitter.

If you will not specifically name the problem, you are not likely to solve it. I appeal to your substantial reservoir of reason to see this.

For this same reason I am hooked on books about "the Panic of oh-eight." You can say "it's the goddam gub'mint!" to both the housing and bacon crises and be correct. I think it worthwhile to be more specific. And, contra the Paul crowd, I think over the last decade or so, the Federal Reserve deserves less obloquy and some others more.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 3:12 PM

Sen. Daschle Sleeps with the Fishes

The Journal also quotes former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle saying "there's a fatigue and a physical demand that [Sec. Hillary Clinton] has to consider. She's much older than she was 20 years ago, when her husband first started, so there are a lot of personal considerations to take into account." -- WSJ
2016 Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, he didn't actually divulge her age. Aren't all of us "much older" than we were 20 years ago? And who can fault Daschle merely for articulating something that, in Hillary's case, is so glaringly obvious?

I do wonder what happened to the bangs, though. They took 20 years off by themselves.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2014 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Were I the former first lady (impossible as my lovely bride was born in Manila Bay), were I Sec. Clinton, I might try to find an unflattering recent photo of the former Senate Leader.

But -- subjunctive aside -- I am not Sec Clinton and I think a more Vince Fosterish approach likely...

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Pierre -- We were saddened and disappointed today to hear that former US Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashle (Insulted Hillary - SD) was found today. He had apparently slashed his throat, shot himself 11 times, driven over himself in a car and thrown himself down a canyon in the Black Hills.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 3:28 PM

March 18, 2014

But johngalt thinks:

From the press release:

"It's not just an education program," Colby said. "Most of us already know how to be healthy. (The campaign) is about helping us make those choices."

Hell yeah, five million dollars of Other People's Money would help me make some choices.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 5:59 PM
But jk thinks:

This is great stuff though -- clearly worth the money. Or is this just to make the ObamaCare marketing efforts look less lame by comparison?

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2014 6:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I support spending $5M taxpayer dollars on a PSA explaining how government spending takes money out of "cups" preventing them from "running over" into the cups of "those in need."

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 7:07 PM

Stealthflation Update

(Remaining stealthy, at 1.1%) WSJ:

LOW INFLATION, EXCEPT AT THE DINNER TABLE

Tuesday's report on U.S. inflation is expected to show modest price increases. Economists polled by the Journal expect February data to show an annual increase of just 1.1%. But thanks to drought conditions in various regions, food prices are surging.

The Journal reports that "in California, the biggest U.S. producer of agricultural products, about 95% of the state is suffering from drought conditions, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. This has led to water shortages that are hampering crop and livestock production."

But don't give Mother Nature all the blame. Allysia Finley recently explained in these pages how environmental regulations allegedly intended to protect fish like the tiny smelt are diverting water from California agriculture.

Now the federal government expects U.S. retail food prices to rise up to 3.5% this year. This would be the largest annual increase in three years, and would continue a decade-long trend of food prices rising faster than general inflation. Sounds like a war on the middle class.

Drill, baby drill -- and (potentially) irrigate, baby, irrigate. And soi-disant inflation suddenly disappears.

Monetary Policy Posted by John Kranz at 10:24 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

"in core prices, which exclude food and energy..."

And it's not a news flash that the official measure of inflation is gerrymandered to the low side.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 2:36 PM
But jk thinks:

I consider that "basket-of-goods" deflators skew to the overestimate inflation as a 2014 Toyota Camry is considered the equivalent of a 1972 Pinto and Google and GPS outside of calculations.

Excluding food (prices higher due to government irrigation policy) and energy (basically a public utility for pricing purposes).

Carry on...

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2014 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

But I am glad I can still pick comment bait. :)

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2014 3:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And today's hamburger is as delicious as yesteryear's steak too, I suppose?

Your logic appears to be: It is appropriate to eliminate one-fourth of the consumer budget from the government gerrymandered statistic because the prices of those items are, gerrymandered by government.

No wonder it's called "the dismal science."

I understand - you post these in lieu of sending a St. Bernard to check my welfare.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 4:52 PM

March 17, 2014

OBAMA MOST AWESOMEST EVER!!

The good folks at The Denver Post are thrilled!

Headline-DP-AP-270x300.jpg

But...

The Denver Post's top headline today reminds us more than a little of George W. Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner. In huge letters across the top of the physical newspaper that scream "we don't know what context is" "UNINSURED RATE DROPS", The Post goes full hyperbole on a rather limp article on Obamacare from The Associated Press.
[...]
Too bad the AP didn't look back to, say, 2008 when the rate was a significantly lower 13.9%. As we can see from U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate under W never got higher than 15.8%, and, for the most, part hung around 14%, going as low as 13.7% in 2000.

Hat-tip: Terri


Quote of the Day

All Hail:

His slogans were vapid even by the standards of political sloganeering: "Yes, we can." "Hope and change." "We are the ones we've been waiting for." He was often called a "rock star"--a celeb, not a cause. It's as if the Beatles came to America in 1964 to run for president rather than to sell records, and got elected on slogans like "Let it be," "Please please me" and "I want to hold your hand." Half a century later, the Beatles' tunes have an enduring appeal to their once-youthful, now-elderly fans. Had they been forced to face the exigencies of governing, it's unlikely a Lennon-McCartney administration would be remembered much more fondly than Johnson-Humphrey is. -- James Taranto

But johngalt thinks:

"Roll up, roll up, for the Obamacare Mystery Tour!"

We've got everything you need.
Satisfaction guaranteed.
We'll delay it when we please.

Dying to take you away, take you away.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 2:44 PM

Heinlein on Management

This blog post would be a great book.

I've enjoyed books like Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant by Al Kaltman. I think there is both a large market and a plethora of material for a similar book based on Heinlein.

Not to undersell the blog post:

Heinlein's recurring character, Lazarus Long, certainly offers plenty of management advice. In Long's first appearance in Methusaleh's Children, in which another character asks what Long expects a meeting resolution to be, he says, "A committee is the only known form of life with a hundred bellies and no brain." That's an oft-quoted quip, but too often it leaves off the next line: "But presently somebody with a mind of his own will bulldoze them into accepting his plan. I don't know what it will be." It was an important thing for me to learn: The plan that is adopted often is not "the best" but the brain-child of the most persistent communicator.

However, the best example of leadership in Methusaleh's Children is the government official Slayton Ford, who demonstrates a willingness to make hard decisions and to commit to them. During a crisis, "Ford knew that this would end his career," writes Heinlein. "He would leave office in disgrace, perhaps be sent to Coventry, but he gave it no thought; he was so constituted as to be unable to weigh his personal welfare against his concept of his public duty."


Posted by John Kranz at 2:04 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Fun read. This is good fodder for some rare dagny commentary.

P.S. I added an example of my own in the comments on the linked blog post.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 3:06 PM
But dagny thinks:

Instead of commentary can I just write JK's suggested book and get rich? Could be a series of books:

Management lessons from Heinlein
Life lessons from Heinlein
Love lessons from Heinlein
Political advice from Heinlein
Travel advice from Heinlein
Weight loss tips from Heinlein

Posted by: dagny at March 18, 2014 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Absolutely! You can finance our coffee-maker venture with your royalties.

We have our fun, but I am serious as a heart attack -- you should write these. I think the management one has a huge base market, I'd lead with that one.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2014 10:31 AM

March 16, 2014

Classics Corner

"Let neither winds o'erset, nor waves intomb The floating forests of the sacred pine; But let it be their safety to be mine." Then thus replied her awful son, who rolls The radiant stars, and heav'n and earth controls: "How dare you, mother, endless date demand For vessels molded by a mortal hand? What then is fate? Shall bold Aeneas ride, Of safety certain, on th' uncertain tide?"

Virgil (2013-04-22). Works of Virgil (Kindle Locations 7467-7474). The Perfect Library. Kindle Edition.


Well, I am glad somebody noticed. I will finish the Aeneid after I finish up here. But Book X (they hadn't invented chapters back then, or Arabic Numerals) disturbed me a bit. Mortimer Adler did challenge me to read more difficult books, but I cruised through books I - IX pretty well. The names are difficult and I suggest a modern translation with the characters named Bob, Joe and Steve would help a modern reader who struggles to remember Lagus, Anchises, and Anchemolus.

Book X moves back and forth between the Gods' Polytheistic Committee Roundtable meeting and the mortals' massacring each other on the Latian fields below. Not knowing all the names, I spent much of the section in Purgatory. I'll be suspected of Penn Jillette or Richard Dawkins -ism, but all the earthly valors seem to be for naught as the gods tilt the table capriciously. The entire navy is penned in by a brilliant tactical martial stroke. But some god who feels kinship with the lumber turns the ships into nymphs so they can swim to safety.

Man, don't you just hate it when that happens?

It's a ripping good yarn, and Mister Virgil can expect some stars in spite of my quibble. There's love and yeaning, lots of blood and gore, and -- nobody tell George Takei but:

Then wretched Cydon had receiv'd his doom, Who courted Clytius in his beardless bloom, And sought with lust obscene polluted joys: The Trojan sword had curd his love of boys,

Huh? What was that again?

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 12:11 PM | What do you think? [1]
But T. Greer thinks:

I am always rather amazed with folks who can translate works like the Iliad and the Aeneid into rhyming verse. Translating both meter and meaning is very, very hard.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 20, 2014 3:22 PM

March 15, 2014

War on Reason -- a Victory!

An aside [Goldbergesque throat-clearing? -- The Couch] to begin: I'd take my lumps from the Neil deGrasse Tyson crowd for my heterodox position on the Earth's sensitivity to CO2 -- were they not coming from folks who likely don't vaccinate their kids and seek to ban fracking and GMO crops. "Oh yes, I'm anti-science."

The GMO opposition burns the lovely bride and I with exceptional pain. Her grandfather was a pioneer in the field. He held two doctorates and is famous in family lore both for giving a cow a bamboo udder and developing a small pit avocado (eaten by the Japanese in their occupation).

His great-grandchildren have made a vocation of taking to Facebook to unwind all the incredible gains for which he laid the foundation. I guess some of the Fords aren't the best advocates for automobiles, but it still saddens me and angers my lovely bride.

It seems the forces of goodness and light have won a small victory in the Aloha State.

"For the locals, the islands have always been a place of high tech agriculture," writes [Author Rachel] Laudan. "Many of them worked on the big sugar and pineapple plantations. They saved to buy small plots of land. Those who farm these plots know that the papaya growers have survived thanks to genetically modified varieties that have been safely used since the 1990s."

The South Park episode with all the very white mainlanders who bought property five years ago fighting the incursion of mainlanders and tourists (and reduction of benefits to their "Mahalo Rewards Card") is particularly beloved as two pair of the Facebook cadre also fit into this group.

Grandpa saw people starve because of the challenges of tropical agriculture and devoted his sadly short, war-abbreviated life to improving it. Let's hope Ayn Rand is right and he is not looking down on his progeny's opposition now that the science has come so far.

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Who complains most loudly about the evils of GMO foods? The urban micro farmers struggling to yield more than 10 bushels of produce from a season's effort tending "organic" seed plots. The mechanized farmer driving hybrid veggies to market by the truckload "isn't fair."

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2014 2:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah but. It is a perfect storm between a general fear of modernity and a relationship to food that is emotional and easily exploited. Cf: agricultural subsidies and Willie Nelson Farm Aid concerts.

Comparative advantage would dictate that we import all our food from Africa and turn farmland into theme parks or something. The locavore and organic movements touch an atavistic chord.

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2014 12:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I do not purport to judge the relative merits of factory farmed fennel versus backyard broccoli, but merely suggest they be allowed to compete side-by-side in the marketplace.

The GMO-haters seek to defeat their "unfair" competitor by force, at the hands of government.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2014 2:50 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

This is a hot button issue here in Hawaii right now. Some of the counties (read: Islands) have banned GMOs altogether, so even if the state level ban fails, half the state cannot have them.


From my impression, most of the opposition is not driven by the urban, micro-garden types (which we really don't have), but the (always white) hyper environmentalist transplant types who have the money to buy big houses by the beach side and like to reminisce about their past as hippies.

This New York Times article is actually a really good description of how things go down here and why. A sad read.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 20, 2014 3:31 PM
But jk thinks:

That was my "South Park" allusion. That's exactly whom I expect to oppose it.

The linked article is superb. Of course the NYTimes is surprised at to find anti-science in the left.

Scientists, who have come to rely on liberals in political battles over stem-cell research, climate change and the teaching of evolution, have been dismayed to find themselves at odds with their traditional allies on this issue. Some compare the hostility to G.M.O.s to the rejection of climate-change science, except with liberal opponents instead of conservative ones.

Then in two paragraphs "what about DDT?" By which, the quoted skeptic and the Times mean "they said it was safe" rather than "Rachel Carson said it wasn't."

Posted by: jk at March 20, 2014 5:48 PM

March 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics. -- Godfrey Harold Hardy
Hat-tip:

Hat-tip to hat-tip: Blog Brother AlexC on Facebook. Happy Half-Tau Day, Yall!

But johngalt thinks:

Next I suppose they'll be saying Pluto shouldn't be called a planet.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2014 1:32 PM

War on Reason

Gotta give some points for Chutzpah:

Benneet__chutzpah.jpg

Click here to sign.

This is why I despair. With a straight face, the creators of ObamaCare claim they are preserving women "making their own health care decisions." Democracy has some famous structural defects, but I don't see self rule's working in any form without some underpinnings of objective truth.

But johngalt thinks:

This is taking advantage of the decline in Americans' ability to use reason, not an attack on reason itself. It can't exist in the presence of reason. The argument doesn't defeat reason, but rather dances on its grave.

Bill O'Reilly did something comparable last night, and I paraphrase:

I support a rise in the minimum wage. People should earn $10 per hour, but I'm opposed to overtime laws because government just shouldn't try to micromanage the private economy.

Hypocrisy much?

Facepalm.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2014 11:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Just followed the link, hoping there was a comment section where I could write, "Is 'women should make their own health care decisions' the reason why President Obama keeps delaying the implementation of Obamacare?"

Instead, all I found was the line:

Women in America do not need the government, or their employers, making their health care decisions for them.

What about the eevil health insurance companies whom the Obamacare "exchange" website is a front for?

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2014 12:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not know how many ThreeSourcers have heard the grisly news, but Larry Kudlow will be retiring at the end of this month. He will stay on CNBC as a Senior Advisor or such, but his nine year run (and the fabulous Kudlow & Cramer before) is coming to an end.

I guess I have The Independents, but I really do not know where I will replace the news and business news input I get from Larry. Neil Cavuto on FOX Business is a fellow-MS patient and right-of-center guy in a similar aegis. While there is only one Larry, I might try Neil for a bit.

. . . and wait for the segue . . . one thing I do like about Cavuto is an almost constant torqueing of O'Reilly at his sister network. He has a very funny ongoing schtick "what are you gonna do? Watch O'Reilly?" That may tide me over.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2014 12:58 PM

War on Women

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I am still concerned that War on Women and Too Extreme for Colorado will move low information voters.

OTOH, this is pretty good:

Don't know if everybody saw this story, but "Fact Checkers" came after Ms. Boonstra. I guess that's what the WaPo does now: lines up with an insurance company against a cancer patient.

But johngalt thinks:

Alex Sink must've forgotten to use those strategies in FL-13. Or not.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2014 12:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Takes one to know one.

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2014 12:32 PM

March 13, 2014

Movin' to California

So I can vote for Neel Kashkari:

UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page notes some "Rookie Mistakes:

We doubt that hailing the bank bailout as a profit-maker will pay dividends with Democratic or Republican constituencies. He'd do better sidestepping the issue by noting that many California Democrats in Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, voted for TARP because they believed it was necessary at the time to save the economy.

While doing conservative outreach on the Hugh Hewitt radio show earlier this week, the Republican slighted the governor for his wealthy upbringing. "Nobody was born into a life of privilege like Jerry Brown," Mr. Kashkari said. He also challenged Mr. Brown to release his tax returns and made hay of a financial disclosure statement that showed $1 million in stock in Jack in the Box. "Jerry Brown owns a million dollars of Jack in the Box stock," the Republican quipped. "I eat at Jack in the Box."

Derision of wealth--inherited or otherwise attained--may be typical of Democratic campaigns, but it seems beneath Mr. Kashkari. While it might be tempting to try to neutralize his personal fortune by smearing his opponent with the same marker, the Republican merely comes across as petty. What's more, such lines detract from his anti-poverty and jobs message.


UPDATE II: Huh? Tax troubles in California? One-third marginal rate against Texas's one-fourth.

California Posted by John Kranz at 4:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

Colorado Democrats' Anti-Frac Front is, well, Fracturing

Valerie Richardson in The Colorado Observer:

"You look at the kind of Democrats who have been elected in the last few election cycles, and they are to the left, way to the left of center in Colorado, and they'll support this fracking ban," said Wadhams.

The Democratic Party's ability to keep its far left in line and avoid fractious battles on issues has helped it win the support of the business community, which values political stability. That could change if business leaders suspect Democrats are aligned with the anti-fracking forces.

"So you're watching the fracturing of the base, but also as important, they’re going to alienate the business community and [even] the progressive business community," said Ciruli. "I don't think those people won't give to Hickenlooper, but they might not give to these Democratic Senate campaigns."

So Hick might still get donations but his base will not be behind him.


Veto-proof

Politico's Jake Sherman and Burgess Everett caution against "overanalyz[ing] the results of a special election" but I can't contain my enthusiasm over the way the PPACA debacle has boomeranged on the President and his party.

Republicans seem to think they've struck political gold, but Democrats aren't even sure how to interpret the loss. A veteran Democratic fundraiser called the loss a "double whammy," hurting the party with major donors and energizing Republicans.

Democrats naturally put a positive spin on the health care law, the increasingly unpopular President's signature achievement, but the depth and breadth of its stupidity, economic impossibilities, widespread personal dislocations and unmitigated incompetence combine into a self-inflicted wound so great that even Republicans can't screw up their good fortune. And Democrats, privately, seem to be admitting it.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for her part, didn't discuss changing health care messaging at a closed party meeting. One Democratic source at the meeting said members were privately "angry and disgruntled."

So veto-proof might be a bridge too far, as 22 seats would have to switch from D to R in the Senate and I'm pretty sure there aren't that many D terms expiring this year. But the House? Who knows?

But jk thinks:

And I thought I was excited.

It's a great win and one of my favorite aspects is that it will make Democratic legislators distance themselves from the President to self-preserve. I'm not quite looking for supermajority in either chamber but the GOP has a great chance to get a majority in the Senate.

But, help me, brothers & sisters: is there yet an answer to "War on Women?" Or my favorite: "<Candidate> is TOO EXTREME for <state>." That is all we're going to see against Cory Gardner for the next eight months. Sen. Udall has already started it on his Facebook Page with a petition to get Gardner removed from the ballot (don't remember candidates' being allowed to pick their opponents even if Daddy was a Senator, but I might have missed something...)

It sucks rags but it works. I think it works very well in Colorado. The forces of goodness and light will say "Obamacare,Obamacare,Obamacare" and the others will say "personhood,personhood,personhood." The media will be on Sen Udall's side and he will win.

Disabuse me my lacking confidence after a great victory (I worry about the Avs as well).

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2014 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dagny's on your side bro. She thinks I'm way too optimistic to which I can only say, better than being a pessimist, Ira.

How about this-

"My opponent thinks government should give you everything you need, no matter what impact his policies have on the American birthright of liberty, but here's my question: Would you rather starve on your feet, or grow obese on your knees? I'm for more iPhone and less Obamaphone; more job choices and less unemployment insurance; more paycheck and less payola; more health care and less Obamacare. Ya feel me?"
Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2014 5:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I wonder if an R would dare say-

Am I anti-abortion? You bet I am. Unborn children should be protected as much as any other child, but the mother has rights too and I will never support forcing mothers to give birth against their will, or deny them the medical care of their choice.
Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2014 5:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, iiiii like it but I'm not the target demographic...

Starve or fatten? Why, Senator Udall is for "good, wholesome, nutritional food for all children -- with no Palm, Oil!" (Sorry for the digression, but the Palm Oil / orangutan contretemps on Facebook has me despairing of Reason's ever being effective in debate.)

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2014 6:01 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


JK, answer to answer to "War on Women?" is a gentle smile, hinting at a roll of the eyes and to say "do you have a question for me?"

Hugh Hewitt mentioned this a while back: "I'm not a crook" is the worst sort of reply (and Dem's under BHO's clueless tutelage have been saying things like this, too). Barely acknowledge the accuser, just enough to haughtily dismiss the accusation with misdirection.

Same goes for "Too Extreme for CO" is a set of counter-ads showing Udall defending Obamacare, supporting Fracking bans, defining a BLT as an assault weapon, voting to play kiss-kiss with Assad or Morsy, etc....

I'm cautiously optimistic... just recall all the "mean" screams thrown at Reagan. Ken Buck and certainly Tancredo would have shown vulnerability to this tack, Gardner, no way.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 14, 2014 12:07 AM
But jk thinks:

I like it, nb, but you and I are not always there to apply the gentle eye roll. What I have seen -- and the Koch Brothers may rescue us this time -- is that Democrat 527s buy up tons of TV time in the relatively cheap Denver market and blanket coverage. Nothing else gets out.

Agree as well on Gardner's style. There is a personhood amendment in his past. I don't know any details, but that is a tough sell to Colorado moderates.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2014 10:14 AM

Our Sad Addiction to Fossil Fuels

Don't tell blog friend JC, but SUVs for paramecia are on their way

Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine

Getting an engine that small isn't easy. As the researchers, led by the Netherlands' University of Twente's Vitaly Svetovoy, explain in their Nature paper, even the mechanism by which they've managed to get combustion happening is debatable.

"It is not obvious that the reaction in nanobubbles and performance of the microscopic actuator are related. Nevertheless, we speculate that the gas combustion in the chamber happens via combustion in transitional nanobubbles," they write.

The search for a Liliputian V8 might sound silly, but the researchers say "a fast and strong actuator ... can be applied in microfluidics, micro/nano positioning, or in compact sound/ultrasound emitters".

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [0]

Taranto Quote of The Day

"To put it another way, it's quite possible that the uninsured rate has inched downward in spite of, rather than because of, ObamaCare's central "reforms." Further, shouldn't the number of uninsured have declined a lot more after five months of heavily subsidized or free coverage?"

and now, drum roll please:

The Democrats have never managed to sell ObamaCare to voters, but the administration can't even give it away. wuh-hoo-hoo!

He starts off with the title drawn from the FL-13 special election:

Sink Sank Sunk
Noting: Young wasn't, Sink did, and Jolly is.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:02 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

All hail!

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2014 6:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"As seen on TV... The Affordable Care Act. Get yours today! Call before midnight March 31st."

Just remember though, "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2014 11:44 AM

March 11, 2014

Morphogenesis Deniers Dealt Difficult Blow

Testing a theory by experimentation -- would that this could catch on!

Now, 60 years after [Alan] Turing's death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory in cell-like structures.

The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, March 10.

Turing was the first to offer an explanation of morphogenesis through chemistry. He theorized that identical biological cells differentiate, change shape and create patterns through a process called intercellular reaction-diffusion. In this model, a system of chemicals react with each other and diffuse across a space--say between cells in an embryo. These chemical reactions need an inhibitory agent, to suppress the reaction, and an excitatory agent, to activate the reaction. This chemical reaction, diffused across an embryo, will create patterns of chemically different cells.


SUCK IT DENIERS!

Science Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | What do you think? [0]

Plunder Thy Neighbor II

. . . or. "Blog Brother, will you loan me a headline?"

Brother jg connected the timeless quest for other people's money to present day government. I'll raise him the "Google Bus Attacks:"

The class warriors [in Silicon Valley] have a lot to learn from Washington: So far, their main target has been the sleek buses that shuttle programmers and other workers from San Francisco to their offices at Apple, Google and a constellation of startups in the Valley. Dubbed "Google buses," the shuttles remove thousands of cars from San Francisco's madcap streets and allow coders to continue building the enterprises that help to keep the city's jobless rate at 4.8%.

But leftists in San Francisco see daggers in Google buses, which they insist are symbols of growing inequality. In December, Oakland protesters broke the windows on a Google bus, and last spring a few dozen street demonstrators in San Francisco's Mission District smacked piñata buses. Local writer-activist Rebecca Solnit summed up the populist perspective about the buses when she wrote recently in the London Review of Books that "some days I think of them as the spaceships on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us."


Spoiler alert: Ms. Solnit sold her apartment to a Goggle Engineer last year. That's the thing about overlords -- their checks tend to clear!

The whole piece is superb. This group keeps the city alive and vibrant, minting millionaires, billionaires, and useful products along the way. For this -- and the environmental carpooling -- they get metaphorical and corporeal whacks to their buses.

But johngalt thinks:

Maybe it'd be more "socially acceptable" if they were "Google Light Rail Trains?"

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2014 12:25 PM

Post to Polis: Frack Off

Pinch me!

Still, the more gas is available worldwide, the less leverage Putin will have in bullying neighbors and in talks with European powers such as Germany, which also depends on Russian gas.

That's the Denver Post Editorial Board speaking. And if that doesn't sound enough like the words of Republicans Cory Gardner and Rand Paul [starting at 5:00], among many others, the Post continues:

Not everyone agrees, of course. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., was among 20 House Democrats last fall who wrote to the energy secretary expressing concern LNG exports "would lead to greater hydraulic fracturing activity," which is probably true. But we would hope most members of Congress appreciate that fracking can be done safely, and that America's new energy bounty offers a huge opportunity to assist pro-Western governments abroad.

Read more: Liquefied natural gas as a geopolitical tool - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_25314888/liquefied-natural-gas-geopolitical-tool
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

Take that, Democrat.

But jk thinks:

What do you expect from a party that would nominate an "anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality" troglodyte to the Federal Bench?

Polis was on "The Independants" last night (Libertario Delenda Est has its own TV show and it is Purdy good). The topic was Bitcoin and he gets a sympathetic audience on the show. He can point to great libertarian bona fides.

Yet he gets a pass on his reliable votes for dirigisme because he pens the occasional liberty-friendly OpEd.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2014 11:56 AM

Knuckle Draggers!

I'm as surprised and outraged as you are to be fighting an anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality nominee put forward by Obama's White House to serve on the federal bench in my home state in Georgia...We can turn this train around, but the Senate needs to know that the American people aren't willing to put the future of our courts in the hands of someone whose values should have been left behind in the 1950s. -- Rep. David Scott, D-Ga
Hat-tip: Instapundit

March 10, 2014

Plunder Thy Neighbor

Plundering the wealth of one's neighbor is a mean of survival as old as time, or at least as old as ancient Athens.

And, as the Romans learned, it is not merely a vocation for individuals. It can be done, legally and effectively, by government.

Many people believe the "rich" can afford to pay higher taxes since they command a disproportionate share of the nation's income. However, the current amount of redistribution already takes 21% of the top quintile's income. That would have to soar to 74% to make every family in America "average."

These are the missing pieces of the current inequality debate. To recap: Current federal tax-and-spending policies combine to redistribute $1.5 trillion each year from the top 40% of Americans to the bottom 60%. To close the income gap to zero would require $4 trillion.

The questions to those who say we should do more to narrow the income gap are: Where on that continuum should we aim, and what policies would achieve these goals without bringing the economy to its knees?

So writes Scott Hodge, President of the inestimable Tax Foundation, which plays these issues non-partisan. As for "what policies would achieve these goals without bringing the economy to its knees," Art Laffer, call your office. As for "where on that continuum should we aim," paging Hank Rearden and Ragnar Danneskjold. (And Jefferson, Madison, Franklin ...)


March 9, 2014

Classics Corner

Know, gentle youth, in Libyan lands you are A people rude in peace, and rough in war. The rising city, which from far you see, Is Carthage, and a Tyrian colony. Phoenician Dido rules the growing state, Who fled from Tyre, to shun her brother's hate.

Virgil (2013-04-22). Works of Virgil (Kindle Locations 419-424). The Perfect Library. Kindle Edition.


I do not want to leave ThreeSourcers lonely on Sunday with no Review Corner up with which to curl. But I'll be occupied with the Aeneid and The Peloponnesian War for a spell.

I'm not above sharing some quotes and first impressions.

My favorite morsel in the banquets of Buffy literary criticism I have consumed is one professor's suggestion that the slayer's three boyfriends represent the three heroes of antiquity: Spike the quick-tongued and well travelled warrior with Mommy issues is Odysseus, Angel as the taciturn Achilles whose single vulnerability is found and exploited at the end of Season Two, and Riley as Aeneas who abandons the happy comforts of romantic love to pursue his quest.

You don't have to wait too long. In Book IV of the Aeneid, our brave hero after coming out the bad side of all that Greeks and wooden horse business finds Dido on the Libyan coast. All is swell but the Gods have been pretty clear that his ticket is punched through all the way to Italy. He splits in the dead of night (Men!) and she doesn't take it well.

Great stuff! A few books later, he enters hell and crosses the Stygian flood to get some advice from the ghost of his father, Anchises. The shade confides that the only time he feared for Aeneas's mission was "when he found love on the Libyan coast."

Riley, you dog!

Meanwhile, Thucydides relates the realignment of alliances and enmities that led to the Peloponnesian War. He opens with a diatribe against piracy that presages Professor Deepak Lal by a couple millennia. Industry and capital formation require a belief that the next group of marauders won't just take your acquired wealth.

The narrative proceeds by a mix of exposition and 141 speeches. There is no shortage of academic discussion about the accuracy of either. But the speeches provide the viewpoint of a faction, while entertaining the reader. All but the illiterate of Thomas Jefferson's peers knew these speeches well, and it strikes me that the Declaration of Independence borrowed heavily from the very first speech. As Jefferson addressed France, he invokes the Corcyraeans delegation to Athens

"Athenians! when a people that have not rendered any important service or support to their neighbours in times past, for which they might claim to be repaid, appear before them as we now appear before you to solicit their assistance, they may fairly be required to satisfy certain preliminary conditions. They should show, first, that it is expedient or at least safe to grant their request; next, that they will retain a lasting sense of the kindness.

Thucydides (2012-05-12). The History of the Peloponnesian War (pp. 13-14). . Kindle Edition.


I thank Blog friend TGreer for his suggestion of the Landmark Edition with maps and commentary. I picked it up on Kindle and enjoyed Professor Victor Davis Hansen's introductory essay. I will keep it handy, but Mortimer Adler suggests that a difficult book be tackled first by reading it cover to cover. In our youth, blog friend sc and I once made late night plans to go skiing the next day, which neither of us knew how, "Ernest Hemmingway style:" put skis on and figure it out. By morning, bravado and alcohol had dissipated enough that the voyage did not commence. But I am going to do Thucydides without training wheels. Y'all can visit me in the hospital.

If the Declaration of Independence "rhymes" with Thucydides, so perhaps does the Cadillac commercial's view of America nod to the Corinthians speech comparing Athenians to Lacedaemonians:

The Athenians are addicted to innovation, and their designs are characterized by swiftness alike in conception and execution; you have a genius for keeping what you have got, accompanied by a total want of invention, and when forced to act you never go far enough. Again, they are adventurous beyond their power, and daring beyond their judgment, and in danger they are sanguine; your wont is to attempt less than is justified by your power, to mistrust even what is sanctioned by your judgment, and to fancy that from danger there is no release. Further, there is promptitude on their side against procrastination on yours; they are never at home, you are never from it: for they hope by their absence to extend their acquisitions, you fear by your advance to endanger what you have left behind.

If you want me. I'll be on the couch.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Love it! "There is nothing new under the sun, Horatio..." Many thanks for sharing some high points.

And who says the Lacedaemonians have no spirit of invention or innovation - their ilk eventually came to invent a plausible theory they called "Global Warming" with which to plunder their more industrious neighbors, all without leaving their own couches or requiring said neighbors leave theirs.

Not to mention taxation. More on that later.

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2014 11:35 AM
But jk thinks:

OTOH the Lacedaemonians exemplified a "live and let live" foreign policy, eschewing entangling alliances. In any case, it is too early to for me pick favorites; the General and I have a long way to travel.

Indeed, there are more eternal human truths than we figure. A couple thousand years separate me from these two authors, but much seems common. The polytheism and constant need of animal sacrifice seem thankfully outside even my Facebook friends. But love and war have not made a lot of progress.

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2014 4:08 PM

March 7, 2014

Glad that Stoopid Cowboy is Gone...

R-S-P-E-C-T!


Doing the Work ThreeSourcers Won't Do

Mollie Zieglar Hemingway has a guest editorial in the WSJ that might warm the cold, unfeeling hearts of ThreeSourcers. She takes to task one Dalai Lama. "The longtime Marxist doesn't seem to realize markets are the best way to 'take care of others.'"

She mentions the AEI visit and his admission that he has come to better respect Capitalism. "But that respect seems grudging. He also criticized 'the capitalist country, United States,' as 'the richest, but you also see a big gap between rich and poor.' And he said of capitalism that it 'only takes the money, then exploitation.'"

While the Dalai Lama was bringing his critique of capitalism to Washington, Venezuelans were continuing their sustained protests against a Marxist government that they blame for high inflation, rampant crime and the imprisonment of opposition leaders. Then there are the Communist regimes in China, Cuba and North Korea, which remain far more repressive and unequal than any capitalist democracy. Yet the Dalai Lama didn't mention Communist oppression.

The fact that Marxism has achieved the opposite of what it promises hasn't seemed to move the Dalai Lama. On this trip, the Dalai Lama told a Vanity Fair reporter that the issue is not Marxist ideology, just its practitioners: "I think the Marxist economics is right. But gradually Lenin, [though he was] supposed to apply that concept, he sacrificed individual rights, individual freedom."


Yeah, Lenin was swell before he turned away from his dedication to individual rights and individual freedom.

Holler if you want this mailed over Rupert's pay wall -- I'm, like, totally prepared to "fight the man" today.

But johngalt thinks:

How did this post do with your FB friends? HAHA.

While searching for a favorite Rand quote to use in commenting on this article I found another one I wanted to also share. It fits nicely right here, in support of Hemmingway's profound observation.

"Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups—workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers—exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society—the symbol of America. If and when they perish, civilization will perish. But if you wish to fight for freedom, you must begin by fighting for its unrewarded, unrecognized, unacknowledged, yet best representatives—the American businessmen." -Ayn Rand, 'Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal'
Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2014 3:28 PM
But Terri thinks:

"How can a wise man fail to see this connection? Jonathan Haidt, " (regarding the virtuousness of Instagram used by the Dalai Lama)

If one could explain how the creator of Reavers can be pro-Obama, he would have his answer.

Posted by: Terri at March 7, 2014 5:36 PM

Meet the Children!

"These are the 194 Harlem children who have been kicked out of their beloved school by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:"

charterswork.jpg

The 194 children attend Harlem Central Middle School, a charter school in the Success Academy network of 22 high-performing New York City public schools founded by de Blasio's longtime nemesis, Eva Moskowitz, a fellow Democrat who served with him on the City Council a decade ago. The mayor last month revoked the previous administration’s approval of the school's plan to "co-locate" using excess space inside an ordinary public school on West 118th Street. The charter-school students must vacate their current building at the end of the school year and so are rendered educationally homeless by de Blasio's decision

Hat-tip: Jim, Geraghty

UPDATE: Riding to the rescue! Gov. Andrew Cuomo?

UPDATE II: The problem with those damn charter schools:

On Thursday Mr. de Blasio went on a sympathetic radio station and couldn't have been clearer about what is driving his actions. Charter schools may help the poor and those just starting out in America, they may give options to kids who've floundered elsewhere, but a lot of them are supported by rich people. There is a "strong private-sector element" in their funding, he said. The mayor agreed with host Ebro Darden that "a lot" of charter schools are funded by big business: "Oh yeah, a lot of them are funded by very wealthy Wall Street folks and others." When Mr. Darden and co-host Peter Rosenberg suggested that a "campaign" to portray the mayor as anti-charter-school was also funded by big business, Mr. de Blasio, as the New York Post noted, didn't disagree. "I think you're providing a keen political analysis there." -- Peggy Noonan

Education Posted by John Kranz at 11:06 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The donations to get Comrade BlahBlahsio elected came from the New York State United Teachers union, after all, not the united parents or students. "Them charter schools done make us look bad!"

Posted by: johngalt at March 7, 2014 11:38 AM

March 6, 2014

Colorado GOP Straw Poll Results

To its discredit, Colorado's Republican Party chose to NOT conduct a statewide straw poll on any of the primary races in 2014. What are they afraid of, I wonder? To their credit, however, many counties chose to conduct straw polls independently. My county of Weld was one of them as was Douglas County, whose website has conveniently aggregated all of the county by county straw polls from:

Douglas, Broomfield, Pueblo (partial), Yuma, Larimer (partial), Adams (partial) Montrose, Weld, Teller (governor only), and Boulder.

Cory Gardner ran away with the US Senate preference poll with 83.6 percent to Hill and Baumgardner's 8.4 and 5.2, respectively.

The Governor's contest was, a contest:

Gessler - 30.3%
Beauprez - 22.5%
Tancredo - 15.7%
Kopp - 14.0%
Brophy - 11.9%
House - 3.6%

Others - 2%

My county seems to prefer Beauprez with 23.2%, followed by Gessler at 20.3%, Tancredo at 19.9%, Kopp at 15.7% and Brophy with 13.6%. House fared very poorly in Weld coming in behind Roni Bell Sylvester, who's 77 multi-county votes included 42 in Weld County.

But johngalt thinks:

Here are my gut feelings about this race:

Tancredo is running for two reasons. First, to reestablish himself as a Republican after the 2012 train wreck and second, to put himself in a position to endorse another candidate when he withdraws. The Power Broker play.

Brophy is running because RMGO hand picked him and offered to bankroll his campaign. His statement that "If I get 30% at State Assembly I'll go on to the primary, if I don't I'll go home and spend time with my family - either way I win" tells me he's not as committed as Gessler has proven to be.

House is running to establish statewide name ID, perhaps for a future campaign.

Beauprez polled so well here, as a write-in on most ballots I suspect, that he may decide to "volunteer" as a candidate at State Assembly. He may well boost his showing in the binding vote by delegates to 30 percent, from the 22.5 percent write-in by general caucus goers.

There are four names on the 2014 Primary Election Candidate Petition List: Tancredo, House, Sylvester and Beauprez. Sylvester has a snowball's chance. As does, I believe, House. So at worst, it will be a 3-way race. Gessler, Beauprez, Tancredo. I expect Tancredo to withdraw and endorse Beauprez.

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2014 11:25 AM

SHAMELESS!

Big day! I'm officially going live with my boxed set website: www,jkboxed.com.

boxset_home.jpg

I've been working on this in the background for a year. I have digitized and edited a giant tub of disks, cds, vinyl, and tapes of many formats, Recently a friend of mine returned to this great nation of ours and she helped me finish the site design. And today is go-live.

I have added the website address to the blogroll, and there is also a Facebook Page where I will highlight videos and pictures on occasion.

But johngalt thinks:

Does the back-end work yet, or is it even written? Can it handle more than 10 visitors at a time? And does it infect my computer when I visit because of a Trojan left there by the Belarusian subcontractor? Jus' kiddin' bro, this is awesome. An A for initiative, then and now. Just starting to sample some tracks. 'No Friend of Mine' is pretty cool. One question though... never forgiven him? Adequately thanked?

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2014 12:17 PM
But Terri thinks:

LIKE!

Posted by: Terri at March 6, 2014 1:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the kind words!

(Had to look up "never forgiven," but yes, I felt somehow violated that he did that sax solo in one take. Just Not. Right.)

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2014 2:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ah, now I understand.

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2014 4:10 PM

March 5, 2014

Caucus Report

Midterm caucuses are sleepy affairs after the quadrennials. I thought all the churn in Centennial State races would supercharge the political atmosphere. But . . . nah.

Eleven souls from my precinct showed up in pretty good weather. There was none of the Ron Paul, Tea Party vibe that permeated 2010 and 2012. A bunch of nice folks who completed all their tasks by 8:30.

Our straw poll results:
Governor: Tancredo 4, Beauprez 3, Brophy 2, Gessler 1, Kopp 1
Senate: Cory Garner 10, Owen Hill 1 (Ten write-in votes, he was not on the ballot).

If the libertarian revolution is going to sweep the GOP. It does not appear it will start in precinct 34.

UPDATE: The highlight may have been Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer's announcing for CO4. She made a rousing, energetic speech about "bringing some Weld County to Washington." Challenging DA Ken Buck, I could not help but notice she was wearing high heels.

UPDATE II: I had the new Nokia Lumina 1020 on me:




BarbaraKirmeyer.jpg

LoriSaine.jpg
Barbara KirmeyerLori Saine

Curiously, none of the candidates played the vibraphone . . .

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

You have a 1020? I'm jealous! Doesn't work on T-Mobile though, at least not easily. I went for the $125 Nokia 571 (572?) that doesn't give me heart palpitations every time I drop it or let a kid use it. Still 5MP and has expansion slot for memory that I might use some day.

We had 8 folks in our precinct, and more than that in the other two at our location. Weather started good but a pending snow threat was widely publicized. You are right - these were the "regulars." But I still made a vocal defense of gay marriage, legal marijuana, legal abortion (we had the whole menu) and was well received by most who saw those issues as important mostly to media voices, as a cudgel against every "TEA Party extremist" with an R after her name.

You picture two of my representatives here. I like them both very much. It came as a surprise last night that Barb is running for congress. Clearly there's no "coronation" mechanism in the Colo. GOP.

Our straw poll totals were similar to yours except that Beauprez was the leader with 3 and Tancredo had, I think, just 1. I wanted to tally all three of my precincts but didn't have time before sending the packets back to Greeley. Still looking for straw poll results from Weld but have seen some from DougCo, where Gessler was the top vote getter. (Can't find that same data again this morning.) Also found, in this story, results from Broomfield:

Gessler - 46%
Beauprez - 29%
Brophy - 6%
Kopp - 4%
House - 2%

Gardner - 87%
Hill - 7%
Baumgardner - 5%

Apparently they had some hootin' and hollerin' there, too.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2014 12:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. The 1020 is a bit indulgent, but the one non-communications function that I really use is the camera. I do our HOA newsletter and the occasional blog need -- this baby does quite well. The pix above are zoomed substantially from the nosebleed seats.

I was changing plans and inquired about upgrading and got to comparing a gooberload of different combinations. Ended up scoring two of these on the AT&T NEXT plan. When the dust settles, I realized I'd basically just financed two expensive phones, thus spending my savings on the new plan. (One born every minute I tell ya..)

After a brief buyer's remorse period, I am very pleased with the phone.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2014 1:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, 41 MP! Drool. Does it have a mega memory to save every pic in full resolution, or does it prompt you to crop or compress or something?

Like the Audi Q7 V-10 TDI I believe I'll own a 1020 one day, but after the bleeding edge pricing comes down, or maybe a refurbished one. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2014 12:21 PM

N'est ce Pas?

Oh, yes:

Hat-tip Jim Geraghty [if you haven't subscribed yet...] who puts this in context with the RAM Truck "God Made a Farmer" and the Coke multicultural milieu ad as "we want to feel good about America again."

The farmer in the Ram Trucks ad is what we think we once were, and want to still be: hard-working, reliable, honest, filled with determination and integrity. The Coke ad actually begins with a cowboy who would fit in the Ram Truck ad, but moves on to breakdancing kids, a family visiting the Grand Canyon, a big (Hispanic?) family settling in for dinner, folks wobbling at a roller rink and laughing at themselves. That ad shows that we're warm and welcoming, close to our families, spending quality time with our kids who aren't sitting in front of a video game console or staring at the screen of their phone.

And then Neal McDonough -- "Hey, it's that guy from Band of Brothers and Captain America!" -- comes along and stabs a needle of adrenaline and confidence into our heart. He chuckles about other countries sitting at cafes and taking August off. He walks past his kids, who are doing their homework, with one appearing to working on a model of DNA. He explains that "we're crazy, driven hard-working believers," and high-fives his younger child, who obviously has already absorbed this cheerful, confident philosophy. He's got a gorgeous house with a pool, happy, bright kids, a good-looking wife who reads the Wall Street Journal after he does, and he looks good in a suit. He's got spring in his step. The world is his oyster, and he says it's America's oyster, too, because "you work hard, you create your own luck, and you've got to believe anything is possible."

But AndyN thinks:

I doubt I'll ever buy a GM but I loved this spot the only time I saw it on TV, especially the line "Got a car up there and we left the keys in it, do you know why? Because we're the only ones going back up there, that's why."

It's an unfortunate coincidence that I'm seeing this here the same morning that I'm seeing an article in Popular Mechanics questioning whether the Russians will still be nice enough to fly our people into space if we keep sending them sternly worded condemnations over their invasion of Ukraine.

Posted by: AndyN at March 5, 2014 10:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I don't think I'm in the Cadillac Prius Demographic either, but this is good stuff.

Like ex-Ford pitchman Mike Rowe, it celebrates work. Rah-rah 'Merica, I suppose, but I had development teams in Europe and the distain for our ethos is alarming. This is a great answer for them, and a lot of whiny American workers who find anything less than five weeks barbaric.

The suggestion that that labor has emotional and economic value.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2014 11:31 AM

March 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers' articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the "Flat Earth Society."

A movement with confidence in its scientific theories would be able to admit there are many climate factors beyond carbon dioxide that are not yet well understood, and that some climate models have been shown to be unreliable. Such a movement would not downplay or whitewash leaked emails evincing the possibility of massaged data. When it criticizes its skeptics as hired guns of the fossil-fuel industry who are influenced by money, it would be willing to acknowledge that it thrives on government and private funding that would shrink if its research did not continue to say warming is here and getting worse. And there would be more confessions such as Al Gore's belated acknowledgment that his support for ethanol was misguided. -- Pete du Pont

But jk thinks:

It strikes me that an actual flat-earther would be treated to far more scientific inquiry: "Well, how do you account for ..." Nobody would say "97% of geologists have concluded ..."

Posted by: jk at March 4, 2014 7:29 PM

Let's all quit our jobs!

I have a dream. I have seen the future. There is a home appliance that will bring its developer a huge fortune.

The device uses all existing technology, it just requires smart design and integration: a single serve coffeemaker that takes whole beans on one side and serves one cup of hot and fresh coffee on the other. I love my Senseo® machine; it is the Betamax® of single serve -- great, but losing market share to Keurig. The flaw in both is the expense, waste, and lack-of-freshness in the pods or cups.

I want the convenience and freshness of of single serve with the freshness and diversity of whole beans.Is that too much to ask? In America?

Today, Insty brings word of the perfect opportunity to roll ours out. It seems Keurig will require proprietary K-cups.

"Lame and tacky" says the sage of Knoxville. I could not agree more. Let's leapfrog all those dissatisfied customers into our machine. Just a cool design to facilitate cleaning, and a little miniaturization of current technology. Who's in?

Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

ME!

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2014 5:22 PM
But AndyN thinks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL4NzvYqr7E

And it even cleans itself.

Posted by: AndyN at March 5, 2014 8:26 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, the home version of that; the espresso drinks are cool and I thank you for sharing. It proves that the technology is indeed all there (no idea of patents, that may be the death knell).

But our customers want to move their Keurig to the garage or give it to charity and replace it on the kitchen counter with our shiny new unit. Plug it in, fill with water, pour some beans in one of the hoppers and go. $299 no plumber.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2014 10:17 AM

CO Gov Candidate Op Eds

Complete Colorado dot com has solicited 700 word op eds from the governor's candidates. My prior post linked the one penned by the Losertarian, Matthew Hess. Here are the ones submitted by Republicans:

Mike Kopp (excellent)

Steve House (excellent)

Tom Tancredo (off-topic, rhetorical and tilting at windmills)

If and when I see others posted, I'll link and micro-review them too.

But jk thinks:

An embarrassment of riches. I'll agree with all of your assessments. Like the debate, all the non-Tancredo candidates were very good.

I suspect that Rep. Beauprez is not jumping in because the others were not libertarian enough on marijuana and gay marriage...

To caucus! You at the school in Frederick?

Posted by: jk at March 4, 2014 5:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not Frederick, Fort Lupton. Actually my district is split since our 8 precincts won't all fit in the school. I'll be at the "satellite caucus" at a Brighton church.

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2014 5:17 PM

Speaking of "Throat Clearing"

As was raised by JK and Jonah Goldberg last week, one really shouldn't bloviate as a way of opening an essay, particularly when one has a 700 word limit. This illustrative specimen comes from Matthew Hess who, I hope you don't know, is the Libertario delenda est candidate for Colorado governor.

But jk thinks:

Hate to name drop, but I met Mr. Hess at LOTR-F one night. I gave the most polite version of "Libertario Delenda Est." He was polite in kind, and we both moved on.

He was better in person. I agree that spending 350 words on "I can't say it in 700" seems a poor value.

Posted by: jk at March 4, 2014 4:25 PM

And He's In!

Rep. Bob Beauprez announces.

Former Congressman Bob Beauprez on Monday filed his paperwork to run for governor, saying Coloradans for weeks have urged him to get into the GOP primary.

In an interview with the Denver Post, the 65-year-old Boulder County native blasted Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's style of leadership, talked about defeat of the education tax-hike measure Amendment 66, and explained why he got into a race where six Republicans already have announced.

"I want to get Colorado moving again and be the envy of the whole country," he said.


Losing to Bill Ritter by 17 is disconcerting. But despite what you may have read on the Internet, I've no great, fundamental objection.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

So "both-ways Bob" became the seventh entrant to the race because he wants to "give voters an option of somebody who has the vision, the credibility, the experience to get the job done."

I guess I can see some advantages there. Still, why wait until Caucus Eve to get in? The Convention bid stuff is a canard. I think there's just a sense that there may never be a consensus around any of the other guys. Maybe true. Like I've said on Facebook, I'll support whichever nominee wins the primary. (I just haven't said on FB that I hope it's not Tom.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2014 12:27 PM

March 3, 2014

The real reason Putin wants Ukraine

Much has been made of the Russian naval base in the Crimea region of Ukraine, which Russia has a long-term lease upon. Why send troops to protect other troops? So the cover story is "to protect ethnic Russians" an excuse at least as old as the start of World War II. Sudetenland, anyone?

But what hasn't been reported, until this morning, is the vast network of natural gas pipelines in Ukraine, where about 80% of her neighbors get their natural gas, sourced from Russia. But the stakes are even higher for Ukraine herself, as she gets 65% of her own natural gas from Russia, who has not been shy in reminding them who's boss. Consequently, Ukraine has been working toward construction of compressed natural gas (CNG) terminals in Odessa, Ukraine, for the purpose of free trade consumption on world markets. Perhaps this taste of freedom is something Putin can not stomach.

Commander Victor Vescovo, USN retired, writes in Real Clear Defense:

The key to Ukraine’s energy independence from Russia and, therefore, its ability to determine its own political future lies in Odessa -- the city, its port area and energy infrastructure, and the access to Black Sea it provides. Crimea is likely lost. But if Ukraine is to survive, all of its current focus should be on Odessa and preventing any Russian movements against this vital region from Crimea, Transnistria, or Russian territory.

Cdr. Vescovo outlines a fairly simple strategy to protect Odessa but also explains, with the help of a map, that Odessa, like Crimea and eastern Ukraine, is majority native Russian speaking.

russianspeakers.jpg


UPDATE: From Investor's - Seven Energy Policies to Make Putin Pay Over Ukraine, Crimea

1. Start fracking in Europe
2. Expand fracking in the US
3. Promote LNG exports
4. Allow U.S. petroleum exports
5. OK Keystone XL
6. Expand, not contract, nuclear power in Ukraine
7. Unify Cypress and build a new pipeline

"Finally, smart energy policies also would undermine other energy autocrats around the world, including Venezuela." And Iran.


Colorado 2014: Caucus Prep

HOLY COW! Caucus in tomorrow! I am ill-prepared and need to lean on ThreeSourcers.

A: Are we showing up with platform planks? This seems a great opportunity to sneak a bit of liberty into the Colorado GOP when they're not looking :)

B: What is the strategy for the gubernatorial nomination? I enjoyed the debate on Sunday and both the lovely bride and I came out choosing Greg Brophy. He is a Republican Hickenlooper -- and I mean that in a very good way -- drives a Prius, rides a bike, bla, bla, bla. He was also the most friendly to liberty in the drug and gay marriage debate. That was a low bar, but he crossed it.

I would be happy to line up for any of the participants. I mentioned two unsurprising areas of disagreement, but they all were good. The guy I am not certain I could support is Rep, Tancredo. He did not bother to show up at the debate, but I figured it was for Republicans as he ran against the Republican nominee last time.

So how do we nominate one of the Anybody But Tancredos? I asked Steve House that very question at LOTR-F. I am worried that the ABT vote will split and open the field for the toxic interloper.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 1:03 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

A: I had planned to take only the RMGO plank, mostly due to not thinking about others. Having seen how the resolution process works first hand, single resolution suggestions are essentially discarded in the aggregation process. Only the ones with multiple precincts behind them will filter through to state convention, where most of them will pass and then be negotiated at the national convention, which won't happen this off-year cycle.

B: I have been considering Brophy also, as well as House, but the latter is not participating in caucus. Ultimately I decided, last week, to stick with Gessler. His gesslerforcolorado website issues page lists only the issues I think are important to Colorado, and I agree with him on all positions. He's got the best organization and the most fundraising support, and needs to get 30% to appear on the primary ballot. I don't want to weaken his support before the coming battle with Tancredo. Gessler has also proven his electability, having won the statewide election for Secretary of State. None of the others has won a statewide contest.

For the record, I'm also caucusing for Gardner for senate, Buck for CD4, Lori Saine for HD63 Steve Reams for Weld Sheriff, Carly Koppes for Clerk and Recorder, undecided on Attorney General but leaning Mark Waller, undecided on County Commissioner at large, leaning Lyle Achziger. Complete list of candidates here.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 2:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A panel of political appointees found Gessler "guilty" of "ethics violations" and the CO Springs Gazette thinks that is a fatal flaw in his campaign. But then, there is this conflict of interest.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 3:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I recall the headline that said Gessler's "ethics violations" were essentially a political hit job. Now, I've read the whole article. What a joke.

If we shy away from candidates who are victims of tactics like this we may as well just let registered Democrats start voting in our primaries.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here is a "what to expect" video about the caucus process from Scott Gessler.

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2014 3:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here is a story with a range of interesting resolutions the author found being proposed at one or more precinct caucus. We had opposition to common core and a few others, but some of these are way beyond the scope of our 8 members who came out in sloppy weather to talk about issues and candidates.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2014 3:24 AM

March 2, 2014

Coffeehouse in lieu of Review Corner

Send this out to all the ThreeSourcers in Real Estate or the Title business... "'Deed I Do."

Fred Rose & Walter Hirsh ©1926

Permalink


March 1, 2014

Something of worth from the DAWG Crusade?

HAV-304_2837234b.jpg

A hybrid aircraft, this goofy looking vehicle is capable of heavy lifting and long flight times thanks to the buoyancy of helium gas. The UK Telegraph article that describes it touts its "low carbon" and "green" attributes. I call it a possibly cost-effective vehicle for heavy transport and other specialized uses - provided it is economical in its use of the non-renewable commodity, helium gas.

But jk thinks:

Mmmmmkay, but am I alone in thinking all the "Green" accomplishments always harken back to centuries-old technology repurposed?

All the things we gave up are suddenly brand new. My buddy, JC, gets angry every time I bring up Karl Poppers "back to the caves," but green tech always seems more "Downton Abbey" than Star Trek TNG.

Posted by: jk at March 2, 2014 1:56 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If the whole heavy-haul thing doesn't pan out, they can always use it to drop promo coupons over arenas.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 3, 2014 10:22 AM
But AndyN thinks:

You have a point, JK, but it's also true that there are perfectly good uses for old technology that were set aside in favor of something more flashy but no more effective.

When I saw someone trying to push renewed use of lighter than air craft it reminded me that at least as recently as the mid-80s the British Army was teaching young paratroopers to fall out of the sky by putting them in a balloon tethered to a winch, unwinding a few hundred feet of cable, and ushering them out the door. At the same point in the training cycle, the US Army was fueling up a C-130 and flying new paratroopers from Georgia to Alabama, then loading them in deuce and a halfs and driving them back.

I don't think markets necessarily have the patience to wait for that new hybrid aircraft to make deliveries, but I'd be surprised if there weren't commercial uses for something that just needs to go more-or-less straight up and come straight back down. Does a local traffic reporter really need to burn helicopter fuel, or would sitting in a balloon with a big lens work? How close together would the border patrol have to put balloons to monitor the entire US/Mexico border (assuming an alternate universe where the US border patrol actually wanted to monitor the border)?

And of course, let's not forget that while they're pushing all sorts of centuries-old technology that doesn't really work all that well, but from which political contributions can be wrung, they're banning the centuries-old use of wood, coal and tungsten to effectively create heat, electricity and light.

Posted by: AndyN at March 3, 2014 11:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Good commentary all around. I liked it mostly as an engineering achievement. The application of hauling goods into Canada's Northern Territories and taking away some Ice Road Trucker business, I thought was a good one.

As long as its development is privately funded it is likely to meet market needs. To the extent it is government funded, it is doomed to be an expensive failure.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 2:56 PM

Quote of the Day

Some people say that I tend to write absolute gibberish as throat-clearing before I get to the point because vests have no sleeves. I say to them: Trieste belongs to the Italians! -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
But johngalt thinks:

Ah-huh-huh-huh-HEM.

I agree.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 2:57 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)