February 27, 2015
Now we find out the truth to why representative Godzilla (D-tool) has targeted the barely-detectable donations that Dr's Soon and Pielke might have obtained: they weren't properly weighted (a NASA trademark) or processed... er, whatever....
This is actually against the law; 18 U.S.C. 209. and 5 CFR 6901.103(d) if anyone's keeping track, which I imagine the nefarious representative of shadowy interests and dubious causes isn't.
I'd always considered Dr. Hansen a piece of Mannly slime, and now we are getting the proof. I imagine he'll get a bit more than a suspension:
failures to report often elegant air and hotel/resort accommodations received on his SF278 as required by law (the amount of direct cash income received from the party providing him travel, as well, is in parentheses):
Blue Planet Prize ($500,000), travel for Hansen and his wife to Tokyo, Japan, 2010
Sophie Prize ($100,000), Oslo Norway, travel for Hansen and his wife, 2010
All Hail Jonah!
This is why the "Jobs for Jihadists" thing has been so dismaying. It works on the assumption that the Islamic State doesn't really believe what it believes -- it's just venting its frustrations with a bad job market, political corruption, and the cancellation of Firefly. -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
No Template Record for "Ebola"
I linked to Jeffrey Singer's WSJ Editorial on electronic records, highlighting stupidity and Public Choice theory.
Here's an intersting interview with Dr. Singer:
~14:00 Discusses the escape from concierge medicine and the coming two-tiered health care system.
Quote of the Day
This is especially true in disputes between the political branches; the judiciary thus provides the ultimate safeguard of the separation of powers. Or, as Justice Robert Jackson put it in the famous Youngstown case of 1952 that rebuked President Truman's unilateral seizure of steel mills: "With all its defects, delays and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations. Such institutions may be destined to pass away. But it is the duty of the Court to be last, not first, to give them up." -- Ilya SominNon-paywall link.
Move that State Line
I think we can safely say that Colorado's 51st State, secessionist movement has fizzled. A better metaphor is drowned -- 100 year floods both captured the media's attention and forced moderates to cling to existing security institutions.
Well, it was a good time and it highlighted the urban-rural divide in State politics. I had warm thoughts as I read a WSJ editorial reporting that 15 New York towns want to trade the Empire State for neighboring, fracking-friendly Pennsylvania.
That part of Pennsylvania is booming. Upstate New York, as anyone who drives through it can attest, is an economic bummer.
We might have to update the photo:
February 26, 2015
Wins the Internet
I am negotiating with the genius who created this to see if he prefers attribution or privacy. I'll let you know (I don't know him). But, in the meantime, bwaaahahahhahahaha!
And Now for an Opposing Viewpoint
If racial internment isn't enough to engender skepticism of government, I pretty much give up.
Will there be an Internet tomorrow?
Or will the 'net be neutered?
The American people deserve--and have requested--an open and transparent FCC process. Recent polls show that 73 percent of Americans want greater disclosure of the details of the FCC's proposal to regulate the Internet, and nearly eight in ten favor public disclosure of the exact wording and details of the proposal before the FCC votes on it. Indeed, Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly just today called for exactly this--the public release of the 332-page order and a temporary delay of the vote. Nonetheless, citing past Commission practice, you refused to publicly release the text of the 332-page draft order. In a past rulemaking of similar magnitude, however, the Chairman did publicly release the rule prior to a vote. This was done in response to congressional requests, including calls from then-Senator Barack Obama . -- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (HOSS - UT)
February 25, 2015
Votes for Walker
I'm not issuing my endorsement anytime soon, and neither is Noah Millman over at TAC, but he puts up a solid argument in the unfortunately titled "I Killed Latin: You?"
Scott Walker picked a high-profile battle over a core issue that both the establishment and more insurgent types care about -- the status and position of public sector unions. His opponents rose to the challenge, and threw everything they had into the battle to defeat him -- to the point of trying to get him recalled before the next scheduled election. The showdown went down in a purple-to-blue state. And Walker won, unequivocally.
This should warm some hearts here:
Jindal and Perry can point to very conservative things they did as governors -- but Louisiana and Texas are very conservative states. Could they do the same in Washington? Ted Cruz can tout his purism -- but he's accomplished literally less than nothing, with his antics having demonstrably backfired in multiple instances.
Certainly that Walker is taking Flak means he's over the target.
Otequay of the Ayday
"When 'witch hunts' are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics," Pielke wrote. "The result is a big loss for both science and politics."
University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke, on the news that Arizona U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Hypocrisy) has targeted him for congressional investigation into corporate funding of global warming research.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. Grijalva cited concerns over possible conflicts of interest involving scientists who have sought to influence the public debate on climate.
But these researchers, Pielke at least, are producing and citing peer reviewed papers that are published in the respected scientific journals. Does Rep. Grijalva suggest that the source of the funding might taint that established, objective process? If so he should also send a memo to his boss in the White House asking for a complete accounting of all of the federal money that has been spent on investigating climate. After all, nobody has a greater conflict of interest regarding climate taxes, regulations, mandates, etcetera, etcetera than does the federal government.
All Hail Paglia!
We really don't have a theology category? I'mma gonna start one.
It's not theology qua theology, but blog friend sugarchuck shared this jewel of an interview with Camille Paglia: "The Catholic Pagan: 10 Questions for Camille Paglia."
You'll want to read the whole thing, but here's a taste:
Identifying yourself as a "dissident feminist," you often seem more at home with classical Greek and Roman paganism than with postmodern academia. How has this reality affected your public and professional relationships?
She's not known for pulling punches and this is a superb overview. Now that we've lost Christopher Hitchens, Paglia is one of that last great iconoclasts.
Government Which was Wrong for 50 Years on Diet Might Not Be Completely Correct on E-Cigs
Bad Government advice? Harmful Unintended Consequences? I'll wait for y'all to put on your shocked faces.
Review Corner this Sunday will address Randy T. Simmons's "Beyond Politics." [Spoiler alert -- it will do pretty well...] Simmons provides a trenchant economic case for the superiority of market solutions to government, even into some areas generally considered "public goods." One of Brother Bryan's many reading groups is slated to read and discuss for Public Choice theory in general. I already posted this Simpson meme to his timeline with "Randy T. Simmons, Call your Office!"
I know it is not news to ThreeSourcers, but spending a few hours with Simmons makes you hyper aware of all the things government does badly that it should not do at all. Four out of five stories I read could be put on Bryan's timeline with the same tag.
To choose just one: Michael B. Siegel is an anti-smoking advocate. A big-time anti-smoker. He takes to the WSJ Ed Page today to suggest that attacks on E-cigs and vapers are misguided.
But as I talked to many e-cigarette users, known as “vapers,” conducted research (Journal of Public Health Policy, 2011) and reviewed a growing body of scientific evidence, I became convinced that e-cigarettes have dramatic potential for reducing disease and death caused by smoking.
Now, even Greeley Colorado -- the County seat for liberty-lovin' Weld -- a ban was passed, shutting down an existing business. (John Caldara did a great show but a link escapes me at present [see update]).
In short, people will not be allowed to choose whether this alternative is better for them -- government is. What could possible go wrong?
February 24, 2015
Quote of the Day
(So did Balz or Costa tell Walker "Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith"? When either one said that, were they thinking of Obama's 2008 declaration to Rick Warren at Saddleback Church that "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix"? Because all that seemingly devout profession of faith was, we now know, BS . . . told to a pastor . . . in a church. So the notion that some of Obama's public comments about his faith might really be vote-chasing showmanship and spin really isn't the most unthinkable conclusion, fellas.) -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Health Care Freedom
Dr. Keith Smith puts his prices on the website and his patients are generally paying cash. Using this newfangled free-market thingy that I don't entirely understand, SCO is charging half to a third of neighboring non-profit hospitals for the same procedures. One guy traveled from New Hampshire and rented a house for six months -- and still came out way ahead.
He tells a compelling story of free market medicine through short video blogs.
I Felt a Great Disturbance in The Smug...
That is my best line of the year, and I intend to beat it into the ground a bit. When I read that the smarterest man in the world, Jon Stewart, was stepping down from the Daily Show, I commented "I felt a great disturbance in The Smug -- as if millions cried out and were suddenly silenced." I used it a couple times on Facebook.
In a Reason article, Ira Stoll invokes The Smug if not by name. The New Yorker just assumes, in articles on grammar and technology, that all readers share their lefty politics.
And who is the "us" in the New Yorker's "many of us suspected"? The New Yorker editor's colleagues at the magazine? The readers of the article? The community of intelligent people who might subscribe to the New Yorker? Reagan, by defeating the evil Soviet Communist empire and igniting economic growth in America, did more for the world, more for freedom and prosperity, than any of them ever did.
A commenter says "right-wingers do the exact same thing. It's a two-way street. Pretending one is guilty of it and not the other is absolute lunacy." But I would push back. Yes, Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly might make assumptions about the reader/viewer, but The New Yorker -- while never mistaken for The Weekly Standard -- is assumed to be "fair" in articles about technology and commas.
February 23, 2015
We may need an All Hail [Sheldon] Richman if this keeps up, He's on Reason.com taking on a sportswriter who blithely intones that "health insurance for all is a noble idea." Richman advises Mike Trupica that "Health insurance does not grow wild and abundant in nature or fall from the sky like manna." And drops a great riff (yer gonna havta click...) from Murray Rothbard on those who would dictate the ends and leave it to other to dictate the means.
And and and (which was the rejected band name in Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments") he hits a favorite trope of mine: whatever happened to the idea of real insurance?
Aside from the fact that whatever the government gives it must first take from someone else, there is also the manner in which the government gives it. Thanks to government policy, the word insurance has been fatally corrupted in the health care industry. Insurance arose as a way for groups of individuals to protect themselves against insolvency by pooling their risk of unlikely but highly costly happenings. Today, private and government health insurance is merely a scheme to have others--the taxpayers or other policyholders--pay one's bills not only for rare but catastrophic events, but also for predictable and likely, that is, uninsurable, events--and even for goods and services used in freely chosen activities.
Quote of the Day
As with everything about [President Obama], there's no there there, just a series of convenient projections on fog, like the monster in a Scooby Doo episode. -- Insty
An LOTR-F friend shares a great article on his Facebook feed today.
Sheldon Richman takes to Reason to ask Are Libertarians Looking for Results or Self-Congratulation? It spills out of research he's doing on Nathaniel Branden.
At any rate, the talk, "What Happens When the Libertarian Movement Begins to Succeed?," is remarkable in more than one respect. For one thing, Branden was commenting on all the attention libertarianism was getting--in 1979!
I'll let that one lay, but the Branden talk is superb -- and Richman even gets a "People's Front of Judea" reference in. I liked it and thanked him for posting. What I really want is to bludgeon a couple mutual friends with shares until they promise to read it.
So, one of the signs that we want to look out for, and one of the most important signs, happens in how we approach communication. Are we really out to reach human beings? Are we really out to build a bridge to somebody whose context may be very different from our own? Do we still remember that a lot of what we now regard as self-evident once upon a time wasn't self-evident? Or do we walk into a conversation on the premise: I'll give you one chance, after which you're irredeemably evil?
I'll not pile on; Richman and Branden get the job done without me help.
By The Way, another LOTR-F regular was a personal friend of Branden. I shared my favorite quote with him:
For books like Ellis's, Nathaniel Branden had a response: Rarely do Rand's attackers deign "publicly to name the essential ideas of Atlas Shrugged and attempt to refute them. No one has been willing to declare: 'Ayn Rand holds that man must choose his values and actions exclusively by reason, that man has the right to exist for his own sake, that no one has the right to seek values from others by physical force--and I consider such ideas wrong, evil and socially dangerous.'"
February 22, 2015
Near the end of his life, [John Singleton] Mosby was visited by a well-meaning clergyman who wanted to inquire about his spiritual future. Students of Mosby know that he rarely attended church even though he married Pauline Clarke, "a faithful Roman Catholic." Their conversation was overheard by Mosby's grandson, Beverly, who would one day become an attorney and Navy rear admiral. At one point, the clergyman asked, "Colonel, do you believe in hell?" Mosby, according to the story, simply replied, "Oh, yes. Hell is being a Republican in Virginia." It was a true and honest statement, spoken by a man whose moral compass always steered him toward Truth.I spilled upon the author, David Goetz, touting his book in a Q & A on CSPAN on Sunday Night. (Yes, dweeby even for me.) It plays into a storyline for which I am ever the sucker: former enemies/opponents united for a common cause. David Boies and Ted Olsen coming together for gay rights always cheered me, and my favorite photo of all times is likely this one of Keith Plessy and Phoebe Furguson, grandchildren of the famed litigants.
Hell is being Republican in Virginia tells the tale of Ulysses S. Grant and John Singleton Mosby. Both men shared a warrior ethos and an officer's love of country. But they did not share the same side in the War Between the States. (heh -- I'll abjure the term "Civil War" but not quite join Brother Keith in referring to "The War of Northern Aggression").
After the war, Mosby petitioned President Grant for better treatment for the men in his company and provided a southern view of reconstruction. Grant complied and the two men who had spent years trying to kill the other become lifelong friends. Each was criticized for the friendship -- but Grant was President of the United States and the "victor'd" hero. Mosby lost it all for supporting Grant's reelection against Horace Greeley.
Mosby's name evoked a certain toxicity in the air. His law practice fell off by more than 80 percent, from $6,000 in 1871 to $1,100 in 1876. People who knew Mosby crossed the street to avoid having to speak to him; and his children were frequently harassed by other children. By the third week of November, he had moved his law office to Washington and shut up the house, taking the children to live with his mother. On court days, he returned to Warrenton by train, armed with a revolver in a holster on his hip.
Mosby had correctly identified General Grant's hand in the final terms.
At a later point in the debate, Mosby remarked that he supported Grant because of his terms to Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865: "Surely no conqueror ever bore himself more magnanimously to a vanquished foe than did Grant when he returned his sword to Lee and bade him go in peace, Mosby observed. "The covenant made that day has been sacredly kept . . . (Grant) was no Achilles to drag the body of his enemy around the walls of the conquered city."
When things get impossible for Mosby in the States, Grant gets him an ambassadorship to Hong Kong. Mosby brings some rare honor to the Asian foreign service.
The opium monopoly was openly sold by the governor of Hong Kong from time to time and the "Opium Farm," as it was known, had recently been outbid by a rival. Rather than abandon their business, they simply moved their boilers from Hong Kong to Macao, a Portuguese colony to the west, and continued producing opium. Bailey had been charging $10,000 a year to sign the opium invoices, and Mosby was offered the same. Instead, he signed for the required $2.50.
The book is told in anecdotes and incidents. Most of the chapters are just a few pages, but the integral of the stories is a solid understanding of two American Heroes. There are appendices with more traditional biographies. The main part of the book is well worth having on a Kindle to read when you have a few minutes. Four stars.
February 20, 2015
Did You Know the Website is Still Busted?
Obamacare's broken federal exchange system is yet another reminder of the remarkable, outrageously expensive mismanagement that went into the project.
Quote of the Day
It isn't about getting a job. They have a job: waging jihad. -- Peggy Noonan
February 19, 2015
Single Best Argument for Libertarianism
If I could sell one single idea, I would think it might be: "Government has no valid role in diet and nutrition."
You can attack it with consequentialist arguments: "they suck!" Or you can attack it with first principles: there is a very vibrant market in literature and ideas in the nutrition and exercise space; government is not needed.
But the Feds have fallen on their face, repeatedly, from the
But the broadminded approach extends a little too far; now everything from environmental sustainability to helping immigrants adjust to a new food culture falls under the DGAC's purview. And the committee hasn't really abandoned its tendency to single out specific nutrients as special diet dangers, suggesting that drinks with added sugars are a good candidate for targeted taxation:
For all those who did not DIE (all caps and ****-ed out swear words, damn, this is a rant) from the previous Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recommendations, you now have to be hectored on environmental concerns as well:
In addition to recommending particularly dietary patterns based on their ability to promote health, the report for the first time notes the advantages of "sustainable diets"
All this for an industry with a most vibrant private-sector discussion. Walmart* does not wait ten years -- they offer low-carb dieters a marvelous bucket of meat and cheese and cheese wrapped with meat. Capitalism rules!
You're All Unique!!
Review Corner on Diamandis's "Bold" went in several directions and I did not want to add another. But there is one quote that struck me as painfully true.
This is one of the most telling features of the web-- the somewhat humbling fact that no matter what oddball notion you're deeply passionate about , well, there are plenty of folks who share the same passion. "The ability for entrepreneurs to nimbly find and serve niche interests-- and to produce platforms that allow those groups to address their needs en masse-- is better than ever before," explains Joshua Klein.
That's a feature not a bug to Diamandis -- your potential Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing operations have a better chance of finding like minded partners than you expect.
But he is right about the humbling bit. Many things I thought to be pretty original are common on the Intertubes. My favorite example was that I took a year off guitar playing (a few years back) to "start from scratch" and relearn music on the mandolin. How unusual. How different. I joined some jazz mandolin forums and they were populated with a bald bevy of 50-something guitar players (you are Forum Member #6,691,277 -- welcome!)
My precious snowflakeness was crushed, but on net it is a huge plus. I'm in some very nice guitar groups on Facebook, and the lovely bride connects with practitioners of rare crafts all over the world.
February 18, 2015
At the risk of spoiling humor, I tripped over this reading a link my biological brother sent. James Carroll defends President Obama's remarks at the prayer breakfast. Some ThreeSourcers might enjoy it. Or enjoy refuting it.
February 17, 2015
Eye-may Ucking-fay Oney-May!
Colorado has been buffered from bad government by the Taxpayer Bill Of Rights (or TABOR after a local landmark): spending increases beyond inflation/population growth must be voted upon, and surpluses . . . say from whopping weed sales . . . must be returned unless they can convince the electorate to let them keep it.
Democrat Rep. Joe Salazar says your money is his -- look it's printed right on there!
Hat-tip: Revealing Politics Facebook Page
Schadenfreude is a dish best served cold
Fossil Free Yale, a group pushing the university to divest itself from fossil fuels, told the Yale Daily News that frigid, snowy weather set for this weekend will mean their global warming protest will have to be postponed. -- Michael Bastach, Daily Caller
Comment HTML Stylesheet
Comment HTML is a black art. Here are a few pointers:
-- You can include hyperlinks like this.
More than two links in a comment will kick it into "junk purgatory." A blog author can publish it (it ain't lost) but it will not show until then.
-- You can set italics <em></em>
-- You can indent as blockquote <blockquote></blockquote>
To limit users' potential mischief, both of these tags are closed at the end of a paragraph. So if you want multiple paragraphs indented or italicized, you can tag each individually. But the pro trick is to insert line breaks <blockquote>Paragraph one.<br /><br />Paragraph two.</blockquote>
Lastly, to give the examples or to insert a bogus, snarky tag like <bozo voice>whohoo!</bozo voice>, you can use HTML special characters. The open character is < (less than) and the close, you guessed it is > So, the above example is <bozo voice>whohoo!&lt;/bozo voice&gt;
Posts have all the same capabilities (and then some) but not the limitations.
UPDATE: A link to this has been added onto the left nav bar right under the outdated bios that nobody reads...
UPDATE II: Here's a table of special HTML characters, in case you need a £ (&pound;) or € (€) or wish to be an überkøder™ (überkøder™). And, at the risk going too-meta, you get the ampersand with & (which I had to write &amp;).
Quote of the Day
So it was that, hours after the U.S. confirmed the murder of Kayla Jean Mueller at the hands of Islamic State, Mr. Obama filmed a short video for BuzzFeed, striking poses in a mirror, donning aviator shades, filming himself with a selfie stick and otherwise inhabiting a role that a chaster version of Miley Cyrus might have played had Hannah Montana been stuck in the White House after a sleepover with the Obama girls. -- Bret Stephens WSJ Ed Page
FA Hayek, Call your Office!
Here's one column to understand the Knowledge Problem (and a good look at The Fatal Conceit): Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer's guest WSJ Editorial, ObamaCare's Electronic-Records Debacle
Starting this year, physicians like myself who treat Medicare patients must adopt electronic health records, known as EHRs, which are digital versions of a patient's paper charts. If doctors do not comply, our reimbursement rates will be cut by 1%, rising to a maximum of 5% by the end of the decade.
I remember discussing health care with blog friend Silence Dogood, well before the PPACAo2010 was drafted or run through Congress. Two engineers, sitting over some good barbecue, found it obvious that some digital standards of medical records was a good idea. I believe one of Colorado's senators was pushing a standard that would bring a little bacon home. "Surely, jk, you can see the benefits of this?"
Buddy, let me provide an unequivocal "I told you so!" I answered that it was obviously a good idea, but who really believed that the US Senate would pick the right one? Or implement it properly? And are you going to eat that last rib? I believe I mentioned Hayek by name.
I am told the best way around the paywall is to Google® the article by title and click through, but holler if I can help somehow. Because it is all in here. They take a standard that worked for Kaiser, set up a five year plan to test whether it would work nationally -- and then mandated it one year in.
Many articles have been written about the craziness that ensued. Your valuable physician time is now devoted to filling out the form and not discussing your health. It wastes time, costs money, and forces independent physicians to sell out and join a hospital to acquire the required infrastructure. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
Not surprisingly, a recent study in Perspectives in Health Information Management found that electronic health records encourage errors that can "endanger patient safety or decrease the quality of care." America saw a real-life example during the recent Ebola crisis, when "patient zero" in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, received a delayed diagnosis due in part to problems with EHRs.
Top-down, command-and-control government at its finest.
February 16, 2015
A Better Way to Teach Economics?
Arnold Kling -- popular 'round these parts -- has a great column on teaching economics.
Economic education gets off on the wrong foot by defining the subject in terms of scarcity and choice, or what I call camping-trip economics.
Prosperitarians will appreciate the Adam Smith, "woolen coat" emphasis on wealth creation to the Samuelson, zero-sum, "camping trip" emphasis on distribution.
Matt Ridley found his way into yesterday's Review Corner.
Brother Bryan sent me a link to his TED Talk:
Purdy good stuff...
February 15, 2015
27. The world's most precious resource is the persistent and passionate human mind.Number 27 of Peter [H. Diamandis]'s Laws as recounted in Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World, which Diamandis coauthored with Steven Kotler.
I enjoyed the same Authors' "Abundance" [Review Corner] a few years ago. I pre-ordered this and eagerly awaited its release. This Review Corner was going to mention the difficulty in a sophomore work. While Bold is good, I was going to suggest that a reader would probably be better with the first book.
I'll stick by that. But I looked up the old review and was surprised how qualified it was. Abundance, remembered so fondly, received four stars (pretty much "panned" on the jk scale) and I closed with "I would still recommend it -- just have some pain killing medication available."
Ow. Medication? I don't remember saying that. But I did and both books share the same gifts and the same flaws. The gifts include an unabashed embrace of modernity. Diamandis has started a company to mine asteroids. He sees exponential Moore's Law style power curves in many applications. As such, it is a great book to share with your favorite neo-Malthusian: "Hey, we run outta stuff, we'll just go mine it from asteroids!"
It is a great positive vision and one that is powered with reason and human capacity. Much to love.
What helps [Google panjandrum Larry] Page imagine the impossible is a fervent belief in rational optimism. 38 The term, borrowed from author Matt Ridley, refers to the exact kind of optimism we advocated for in Abundance. It does not mean pie-in-the-sky daydreaming. It means rather a sober review of the facts, which include the fact that technology is accelerating exponentially and transforming scarcity into abundance, that the tools of tomorrow are giving us ever-increasing problem-solving leverage, that the world--based on dozens of metrics (see the Abundance appendix)-- is also getting exponentially better, and finally, as a result, that small teams are now more empowered to solve grand challenges than ever before. And it's these reasons that make rational optimism such an important strategy for thinking at scale.
Ridley, check. Optimism, check. Human potential, check. He includes micro-biographies of several of our time's great visionaries with very inspirational methods for motivation and behavior. Just as a self help book, it gets three stars.
As Burt Rutan, winner of the Ansari XPRIZE, once taught me: "The day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea."
One of the great visionaries -- of course -- is wunderkind Elon Musk. On this hill I will plan my critical flag. Diamandis's progress is Muskian progress. "Let's change the world with 'lectric cars!" Never mind the WSJ Editorial this week that wondered about building what Musk purports will be a $700 Bllion company someday on subsidies and cheap government loans.
Diamandis spends a decade fighting bureaucrats to offer his sub-orbital space flights; then he has a new fight to offer one to a famous passenger.
I decided that the world's foremost expert on gravity deserved the opportunity to experience zero gravity, so I offered professor Stephen Hawking a parabolic flight. He accepted, and we issued a press release. This is when our friends at the FAA-- whose unofficial motto is clearly "we're not happy until you're not happy"-- reminded us that our operating license permitted us to fly only "able-bodied" passengers, and Hawking, being totally paralyzed and wheelchair bound, did not qualify.
Spoiler alert: Hawking gets his ride. But government intrusion does not get another mention in this shiny new world we are going to create. My review from 2012 stands. So buy the family size bottle of pain-killers and read both Abundance (four stars) and Bold (three-point-five).
February 13, 2015
Let us ask ourselves, "Why do they hate us?"
Is this not the Progressive prescription when atrocities are committed in the name of religious faith? When, more than 14 years after Muslims celebrated in the street the 9/11 atrocity, an American man allegedly murders three Muslim students because they are Muslim, is it not just as advisable for Muslims to contemplate why some may feel anger toward them?
Koos Mohammed opines in Morocco World News:
We have Iraq, where the ‘war on terror’ has been terrorising civilians for over a decade now. First raped by the CIA, children in Iraq are now raped by ISIS. What were once safe countries for the average civilian have been turned into something from apocalyptic films in Libya and Syria. The Western media won’t report it, but the freedom the West exported to Libya has manifested itself in a chaos that makes one think, if hell had a jungle, this would be it.
I must have missed the reports of rapes and other atrocities by the CIA. Perhaps they were overshadowed by Abu Graib. And it's difficult to tell what Koos values more - freedom or dictatorial leadership of "safe countries for the average civilian." But I really must ask, Is it so difficult to publicly state "I am a Muslim and I reject those who kill innocents in the name of my faith?" Or how about, "I treasure the freedom and safety and individual rights inherent in the western nations, and I condemn anyone who threatens those rights for any reason, including religious fundamentalism?"
And oh by the way, those rapes being perpetrated in Iraq... by ISIS... are the acts of Muslims. People in glass houses.
So What's the Deal with Obama's AUMF Anyway?
Well, you could read this article from The Hill, or you can just let me explain it to you:
President Obama, under intense public pressure to respond to Islamist State atrocities that have been splashed across American televisions off and on for many months, announced a campaign to "degrade and defeat ISIL" using air strikes and foreign troops trained by American soldiers. He claimed that a congressional resolution from 2001 (you know, after 9/11 when even Democrats were willing to deploy our military) gave him the legal authorization for this new campaign.
Since that half-hearted plan isn't succeeding, congressional Republicans have been critical of the President. To shut them up he has asked them to vote for a new authorization, that he's said he doesn't need, to keep doing the same thing he's already doing. If they approve it, they own his strategy. If they defeat it, they are to blame when the thing he's already doing doesn't work because, he will say, "I asked for authorization to confront ISIL directly and Republicans in congress said 'no.'"
So essentially, it's a complete waste of time for everyone except Obama, who needs a political cover strategy. And it scares the crap out of congressional Democrats who, like Nancy Pelosi, "would hope that we could find common ground to have bipartisan support for how we protect and defend the American people" while at the same time contending that "a provision to bar 'enduring offensive ground combat operations' is too vague and could allow for U.S. troops to be sent into the field." Sure wouldn't want to risk war in the service of "defend[ing] the American people" would we? Nosirree.
Some guys can't catch a break. Now that it's over, Ruchir Sharma comes out on the prestigious WSJ Ed Page in fulsome support of Stealthflation, which I vigorously opposed.
While there are many reasons behind the decline in the price of oil, one of them is the end of QE, which has reduced speculation in commodities and strengthened the dollar. The price of oil and the dollar have long been known to move in opposite directions. Now, the sharp decline in the price of oil and other commodities like food is putting more money in the pockets of the middle class.
I think I still put more weight on other "many reasons," but let it not be said that I do not play fair.
February 12, 2015
Quote of the Day
I would add that I don't think you'll ever hear an atheist say, "He can't be a true atheist if he did this." -- The Friendly Atheist, hailing Harsanyi
The threat of climate change is "real"
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama declared, "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." "His statement was met with scattered, muted applause," writes CNN's Madison Park. Almost as if the assembled audience were skeptical of his claim.
But they, and we, would be wise to consider what the Investors' Editorial Page says is the "real reason behind the warming scare," as revealed by a U.N. official.
At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
Intentionally change the economic development model of the last 150 years? The period with the greatest advance in health, welfare, safety, prosperity, peace and happiness in the history of mankind? Destroy capitalism, the mean by which man trades peacefully rather than looting and pillaging in the manner of Genghis Khan and the prophet of Islam?
No, I think I'll have to agree with President Obama on this one. The plans of the U.N. are no hoax.
February 11, 2015
U Chicago's Syllabus for the Constitution
Dr. Larry Arndt swears this is a powerfully useful sight.
From the advisory:
this collection may be engaged at any number of points. The oversharp distinction between theoretical reflection and practical activity was alien to the leading members of the Founders' generation. They usually thought and acted as though theory and practice should inform each other rather than remain in separate compartments. The arrangement of this collection is meant to foster that kind of free movement and interchange.
February 10, 2015
All Hail Taranto!
To which Slate's Phil Plait, a doctrinaire global warmist, offers this Orwellian rejoinder: "This is nonsense. The claim is wrong. The scientists didn't manipulate the data, they processed it." -- James Taranto
Quote of the Day
Speaking of Obama, [Monday] he presented a $4 trillion budget that he says would help the middle class. And then the middle class said, "You know what, how about just giving us $4 trillion? That will help us. We will figure it out. We'll figure out what to do with it." -- Jimmy Fallon
February 9, 2015
A Conduit for Bad Ideas
We need more gay-friendly voices on the right.
Takei has 8,384,811 likes (followers). And when I clicked to see the exact number, I see 40 of my friends among them -- and the five pictures up top show a mad lefty, a few moderates, and a libertarian-leaning righty. Dave already believes this nonsense with all his heart. Jocelyn will not be swayed. The other three are very bright but over time are at risk for accepting the "Takei-ian seen" against the "Bastiat-ian unseen."
I bade a fond farewell to Andrew Sullivan's blog last month. Sullivan was as out a gay man as one can be without hiring skywriters. But he embraced free market principles and understood the infringement of liberty presented by GLAAD and their ilk. He endured unimaginable hatred for that. While I don't know what finally made him snap, that cannot have been helpful. I've watched in silent distress as a thoughtful friend has been driven to conformity by leftwing academic participation.
Beyond Solicitor General Ted Olson (HOSS!), every gay-friendly voice one is likely to encounter will be anti-market and anti property rights, because the advocates for Prosperitarianism are associated stringly with either explicit anti-gay bias or the nuanced "well you shouldn't have to bake a cake" that contravenes their agenda.
I do not know the answer. Righties can understandably be skeptical of "special rights" and dismantling of Burkean/Chestertonian tradition. But conceding the field to Takei does not serve the cause of liberty.
Quote of the Day
Whether you're an elderly couple in mid-Wales who have just had 20 per cent knocked off the value of your retirement cottage by the new wind farm on the hill opposite, or you're a tribesman in the South East Asian jungle whose virgin forest home has been trashed to make way for a palm oil plantation to grow eco-friendly biofuels, or you're a scientist in New Zealand who has been hounded out of your job because your research doesn't fit the "global warming" narrative, or you're a science teacher in Ohio who is obliged, whether you like it or not, to lecture your charges on the dread perils of climate change, or you're a Republican senatorial candidate who has been targeted as a "denier" in a green attack dog campaign financed by Tom Steyer, you're all victims of the same global scam: a scam perpetrated by a tiny handful of individuals whose junk statistical manipulation of the global climate records have transformed routine weather patterns into the world's biggest and most influential ever science scare story. -- James DelingpoleVery uncomfortable with the word "scam." It implies a mens rea that I suspect does not exist for most of the warmies -- but I love the enumeration -- though far from complete -- of the costs.
One of my favorite authors, Amity Schlaes, talks up Coolidge, her books, Millennials' work ethics, and limited government on Glen Meakem' podcast (just a hair over 15 minut5es).
Review Corner contribution
Not having much time to read - I will finish Krauthammer's outstanding Things that Matter, and post a review... someday - I think this CRB review of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind will be of interest to TS'ers, whereby Liberal media bias is qualified, quantified and measured for effect.
A PowerLine post alerted me to this part:
Professor Groseclose devotes chapters 18-20 of Left Turn to his analysis of the effects of media bias. In his preface he briefly states the conclusion of his analysis of the effects: “The effects of media bias are real and significant. My results suggest that media bias aids Democratic candidates by about 8-10 percentage points in a typical election.
I especially like the quotient derived by the author, The Slant Quotient or SQ. Here, our reviewer summarizes nicely things like:
papers are 20 to 40% more likely to print a negative headline if a Republican is in the White House than if a Democrat is there.
For instance, if I had time for a FB column on politics, I would offer a prediction that media would "suddenly" discover the U6 category for measuring un/underemployment when/if the GOP takes the white house.
economists, Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro, programmed a computer to construct a list of "politically loaded phrases"—ones not merely descriptive but also connotative—uttered by members of Congress. On the basis of these phrases, Gentzkow and Shapiro counted the use of these phrases by 400 daily newspapers. They assigned the equivalent of a S.Q. to each paper. [detail about key phrases deleted - nb] The most liberal newspapers were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. The most conservative papers were the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal.
I bear witness to what Mike Rosen says about the WSJ, which is fairly liberal in it's news section, but has a conservative editorial section, and the review notes that different predictive models give slightly different SQ values for the WSJ, but the other ODT sources are solidly liberal.
No surprise, but the SQ analysis and results are something that Brietbart should pick up to help it's creds (and ideally, circulation). Make no mistake, Shrillary is coming, and every inch lost will be hard to regain (note how hard it is to ditch Lyin' Brian).
February 8, 2015
What about the wrenching social changes brought on by capitalism and the Industrial Revolution? Is it your conviction that small-town life, centered on church, tradition, and fear of God, is our best bulwark against murder and mayhem? Well, think again. As Europe became more urban, cosmopolitan, commercial, industrialized, and secular, it got safer and safer.I had always considered Steven Pinker to be a pointy-head Harvard Professor, but his Wikipedia entry says "He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind." Remarkably devoid of phrenology.
But his The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined is a masterful work. He collects, analyzes, and communicates voluminous amounts of data from wide-ranging sources and varying disciplines to assemble a comprehensive look at violence from cavemen to 21st Century city dwellers. It does the whole concept of scholarship proud.
The graph stunned almost everyone who saw it (including me-- as I mentioned in the preface, it was the seed that grew into this book). The discovery confounds every stereotype about the idyllic past and the degenerate present. When I surveyed perceptions of violence in an Internet questionnaire, people guessed that 20th-century England was about 14 percent more violent than 14th-century England. In fact it was 95 percent less violent.
It ranges broadly through history, anthropology, economics, genetics, and philosophy -- but there is always a foundation of supporting data. The first and longest portion on the book is dedicated to convincing the skeptical that the world you see on CNN every night (every night you're stuck in a n airport anyway) is less violent than the pastoral settings of indigenous peoples or pre-industrial country life. He describes an illustration from "the 15th -century German manuscript The Medieval Housebook, a depiction of daily life as seen through the eyes of a knight."
In the detail shown in figure 3-5, a peasant disembowels a horse as a pig sniffs his exposed buttocks. In a nearby cave a man and a woman sit in the stocks. Above them a man is being led to the gallows, where a corpse is already hanging, and next to it is a man who has been broken on the wheel, his shattered body pecked by a crow. The wheel and gibbet are not the focal point of the drawing, but a part of the landscape, like the trees and hills.
Ah, the good old days. And this was a huge step up from the hunter-gather societies. The city of Boulder is thick with those who wish we could return to those peaceful days when indigenous Americans roamed an unspoiled land to hunt buffalo and worship mother Gaia. Trouble is they had 100x the murder rate. In some pre-historical societies studied a member had a 50-50 chance of meeting death at the hands of another human as from natural causes -- all before discoveries in hygiene and medicine reduced natural causes.
The same kind of long division has deflated the peaceful reputation of the !Kung, the subject of a book called The Harmless People, and of the Central Arctic Inuit (Eskimos), who inspired a book called Never in Anger. 72 Not only do these harmless, nonviolent, anger-free people murder each other at rates far greater than Americans or Europeans do, but the murder rate among the !Kung went down by a third after their territory had been brought under the control of the Botswana government, as the Leviathan theory would predict. 73
In the concluding chapters, Pinker offers several reasons for the downward slope of the violence curve. I think most ThreeSourcers would agree with most of the reasons; enlightenment values score highly.
The largest reduction comes from Hobbs's Leviathan and is bad news for our Anarchist friends. The Sheriff and courts clean up Dodge. Murder rates fall by magnitudes, but not without cost.
When it came to violence, then, the first Leviathans solved one problem but created another. People were less likely to become victims of homicide or casualties of war, but they were now under the thumbs of tyrants, clerics, and kleptocrats.
The book is not political. Prof. Pinker takes a couple gratuitous swipes at President Bush, but I assume that is in his contract at Harvard.
Pinker does not spike the football, but one could easily use this as a celebration of Progressivism. The greatest gains have been made in Western Europe. The U.S. South (and West) were slower to drop and still lag behind. The sphere of protection and empathy was expanded from tribe to race to all races to homosexuals to animals. Are we all heading to Denmark and just at different locations on the path?
The North is an extension of Europe and continued the court- and commerce-driven Civilizing Process that had been gathering momentum since the Middle Ages. The South and West preserved the culture of honor that sprang up in the anarchic parts of the growing country, balanced by their own civilizing forces of churches, families, and temperance.
That is a difficult consideration for me but I want to repeat that that is not an explicit thesis. Halfway through, I read a Denver Post article on coyote-killing competition. You don't have to be on the PETA board to be discomfited by that. Is there an optimal level of civilization (and homicide?) Most accept liberty's requiring trade-offs in safety. Perhaps that is part.
More appreciated 'round these parts, the second act of the Civilizing and Pacifying process was what the economist Samuel Ricard called "Gentle Commerce."
You have an incentive, moreover, to anticipate what he wants, the better to supply it to him in exchange for what you want. Though many intellectuals, following in the footsteps of Saints Augustine and Jerome, hold businesspeople in contempt for their selfishness and greed, in fact a free market puts a premium on empathy. 38 A good businessperson has to keep the customers satisfied or a competitor will woo them away, and the more customers he attracts, the richer he will be.
Pinker is a Psychologist, and the last chapters evaluate his theories experimentally. Many of the studies make very interesting reading: student/paid guinea pigs who were told to skip a meal given two radishes and having to sit in front of a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and try solve unsolvable puzzles. Sadism has just moved from the fields to the Ivory Tower.
The data in the final chapter comes mostly from studies like these and fMRI scans. I found it interesting but am skeptical of both processes. There's a bit of Jonathan Haidt style, more real world data (and Pinker quotes Haidt extensively). But my skepticism led me to find that a weak finish to a strong -- and important book.
Five stars -- its small flaws are overwhelmed by its important contributions.
UPDATE: Pinker has the lead story on Cato Letters. Hat-tip Facebook friend Brad.
February 6, 2015
All Hail Jonah!
Germane to recent posts:
Obama can't help himself. He just can't give a full-throated denunciation of Islamic extremism, or even a tepid one, without doing his creased-pants Niehbur schtick. But look: This isn't complicated. It's really not. If you have to clear your throat for five minutes about the skeletons in our closet before you can feel comfortable denouncing barbarians who bury little boys alive and then go on to rape their little sisters, that is your hang-up, man. I've got my faults, all reasonable people can agree, but I don't feel compelled to list them before I denounce rapists and murderers; "Hey man, I know, I drink too much scotch and I'm sometimes needlessly sarcastic, but you really shouldn't rape little girls or set people on fire." -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]
Quote of the Day
I have read this tweet several times now and cannot help being amazed. Clinton not only omits her own flirtation in 2008 with anti-vaccine politics, she also breaks the unstated rule of limiting oneself to a single hashtag per tweet. And she is, less surprisingly, remarkably condescending and clichéd--blue skies, spherical earths, it's all about the children. Gag me. -- Matthew ContinettiYou don't have to read the whole thing, but ThreeSources is not responsible for your lack of mirth.
Three Cheers for Sen. Mitch McConnell
Interesting factoid for my big-L friends.
After a committee hearing, the Keystone bill spent three weeks on the Senate floor, where it was debated at length and amended by senators of both parties. In all, the Senate voted on 41 amendments--almost three times as many amendment roll call votes as the Democrat-led Senate conducted in all of 2014. -- Sen. John Thune (Better Than Dashle - SD)
It is not liberty in its own right, but the return to regular order is a return to following the Constitution.
February 5, 2015
Can't Make This Stuff Up
Yes, you could make this stuff up. But probably not fast enough or as good as Congress.
Did Congress Lie About Key Facts to Obtain Obamacare Exemption?
It's so good it's mandatory! For other people.
All Hail Taranto!
It's an All Hail Taranto! No, it's a Rant!
It is both. I have accused others of tendentious comparison, but I confess that as the video of the Jordanian pilot's being burned alive in a cage went viral, my thoughts turned to Abu Ghraib for the first time in a long time. I elected not to watch the video but am blessed with enough imagine to feel the horror. "Yeah," I thought, "we put some panties on a guy's head..." And apologized and had an investigation and fired some people.
Certainly not suggesting we lower our standards the height of a crushed K-cup, but I also caution folks to remember our moral plane is 10,000 steps up from theirs.
Quote of the Day
Maybe it's time for the Republicans to tell the Obama Democrats that if they want to own the issue of promising to bring the American people federal government goodness, they can have it. The Republicans should claim as their own what's left, which is to say the entire private sector.
An idea so crazy -- it just might work!
Yes, vagabonds, there is a strategy
Michael Doran magnificently and at great length argues that BHO has an iranian strategy, and is following it.
Lee Smith supports and greatly summarizes this, tracing what they think is the origin, namely the disastrous Iraq Study Group's report, led by the well-meaning (but doddering, I think) James Baker:
panel urged "Bush to take four major steps: withdraw American troops from Iraq; surge American troops in Afghanistan; reinvigorate the Arab-Israeli 'peace process;' and, last but far from least, launch a diplomatic engagement of the Islamic Republic"
Smith quotes Doran in saying "The Baker-Hamilton report became the blueprint for the foreign policy of the Obama administration" I don't have time to read it all, but it appears that Obama intends detente with Iran to be his Foreign Policy signature achievement. Figures a lazy faculty lounge lizard would grasp on all the wrong, but faddish ideas....
If this compelling argument is true, it again reinforces what the thinkers have long postulated about the Alinskyite players who are out of the lounges and trying to run the country: they certainly have beliefs, which they dare not disclose!
If, in Bushland, America had behaved like a sheriff, assembling a posse ("a coalition of the willing") to go in search of monsters, in Obamaworld America would disarm its rivals by ensnaring them in a web of cooperation. To rid the world of rogues and tyrants, one must embrace and soften them.quoth Doran (my emphasis).
NOW, he is starting to make sense. Startling, and horrifying sense, but sensical nonetheless. Someone tell Boehner!
Hat tip: The Hugh Hewitt Show, on whose show Smith said that he informally collaborated with Doran, and pretty much agreed with wholeheartedly.
February 4, 2015
The most ridiculous thing I have seen all year
It's early February, but Wow. Is It Time To Kill The K-Cup, Before It Kills Our Planet?
Click through for the most inane, over the top, dystopian video of all time. "[M]ade by Canadian production company Egg Studios takes a look at the environmental impact our coffee addiction has created. Titled 'Kill The K-Cup,' the short showcases a dystopian future where a single-use coffee pod monster destroys everything in its path."
I was very disappointed to see someone whom I respect a great deal post something like this on Facebook.
Surely there is some fancy Latinate term for the fallacy, but people just cannot comprehend how big the world and the economy is: 8.3 billion K-Cups, like LA's "13 Million plastic bags" sounds as if it would break the system. But I don't hear any landfills cracking. I live near a big one -- and they could double or quadruple it without much concern.
The other link I saw said "our oceans are drowning in plastic." That is both overwrought and non-germane. That problem, to the extent it is one, is about litter; I don't see K-Cups rolling down the street. They are used in kitchens and offices and most all find there way into the waste stream.
I'll leave the "but there not recyclable" argument to a good viewing of Penn & Teller. The same show answers this, but "where are we gonna put 8,300,000,000 used K-Cups?
A friendly shopper on Amazon shares the dimensions of an intact K-Cup: 2" top diameter. 1.75" tall (with no bulging of top or bottom). 1.43" bottom diameter approx. 5cm x 4.5cm close enough for Government work? The cube root of 8.3 Billion is 2025, so we're talking a regular structure 101 meters square and 89m deep.
Remind me to buy stock in GMCR.
And yet, eco-warriors, that is non-schmooshed and treats it as a containing cube -- I think a modern landfill could easily reduce that to 20% of its theoretical size. So, we have an American football field 109.7 m by 48.8 m piled 35 m high. Damn that's still a lot, but I suggest my local landfill -- as featured on TopGear -- could handle it. But we don't have to. There are 1,908 landfills in the US alone (as of 2009) and 560,000 acres of the US are active landfills.
At 4046.9 m2/ acre, that is -- 3.66 K-cups in every square meter. And it is full of delicious and aromatic coffee! No heavy metals. I'm a Senseo™ man myself and would love to see the format bolstered by its biodegradable pods. But really, people, we can handle this. Set panties to "unbunched."
According to the Free Dictionary there are 196 different meanings for the acronym "PMS." The two most popular, pre-menstrual syndrome and pantone matching system, are not the topic of this post. I refer to a 197th meaning: Politically Motivated Science
State senator Doug Whitsett, in Oregon of all places, named this enemy of the common man in his commencement speech to last year's graduating class of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine:
But, Vermont Does It
UK demand hit 52.54 gigawatts (GW) between 5pm and 5.30pm on Monday, according to official data from the National Grid. But wind contributed just 0.573GW during the same time, just over 1pc of the total.
It adds up plenty good for me -- commercial wind power is a complete waste, providing 1% of the energy needs at substantive cost.
You'll save millions of gallons of gasoline as people no longer want to drive to view the fall foliage!
From US Uncut, shared by a Facebook Friend. And, yes, they are both serious.
UPDATE: PBS News Hour link
The WSJ Ed Page slams Sen. Rand Paul (R - Jenny McCarthy) in VaccineGate®
He pitched all this as an "obvious" question of "freedom": "The state doesn't own your children. The parents own the children." Oh, my.
I stand foursquare with Gigot Pharmaceuticals in support of all the current vaccines. But I stand with Senator Paul in defense of "our inalienable right to property in our own persons" and would extend that to minor children.
Circumspection of state power is always a good idea; I do not find these positions irreconcilable.
Yes, let's discard the Junk Science Lancet study that Measles vaccine causes autism. But what about when President Hillary Clinton wants us all inoculated against Tea Party membership? And one of her donors comes up with a shot (or sizable and rough coated suppository)?
I'll call anybody an idiot for not vaccinating their kids, but I am not marching up the Capitol steps to demand enforcement.
All Hail Harsanyi
The New York Times claims that this insane "presidential vaccine controversy" we're all taking about raises important questions about "how to approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives."
The whole piece is superb.
February 3, 2015
I am already guilty of starting brother jg's discussion down a side road with my first comment. Even I cold not torture it further.
But allow me a quick rant which may or may not fit in. You can call it jk's law if you'd like:
Half of what you are taught in school is absolute crap.
My progressive friends equate the teaching of Creationism with poison. We must seek out any place in this great nation where that happens, expose it, ridicule them, fine them, lock people up, and put it all on the Daily Show.
Now, I do not subscribe to Creationism and would vote against its being taught to my imaginary offspring. But I accept that the time they are not being taught that, they will simply use the additional time to reiterate the benefits of recycling. I was taught many things that were absolute lies, or drivel and I -- well, my classmates came out okay.
It is part of critical thinking skills. The suggestion that 12 years (15 after pre-K and Community College are free) will be filled with absolute truth is naïve. So, the rush to purge a curriculum of a bad definition of liberty, or the easy way to add six and nine -- or underestimating the efficacy of carbon dating, seems over-pursued.
Tell your precious snowflakes that half of what teacher says is absolute crap and that they need learn to distinguish which is which. Then buy them pizza.
Practical Common Core
We've all read many pro and con opinions on the Common Core educational curriculum, both in concept and in practice, but it has been generic and cherry picked and sensationalized, among other things. Today I present a real-world example of "a Colorado social studies curriculum aligned with Colorado's 4th Grade Social Studies Standards and the Common Core Standards." It is called Do Colorado!
If you click on the Preview Book link you will find, right after a respectable treatment of "Freedom" and "Citizenship" the page (one page) on "Economy." [p.44 pdf, p.77 in text]
Economy is a word used to describe the way people make money. No matter where you live, you must be involved in some activity that provides a way for you and your family to survive. Food, clothing and shelter are basic needs in your family and every community throughout the world. These things are usually not given away for free. People must trade their time and labor for money.
I'm very interested in ThreeSourcers' opinions of this, as well as the paragraph on Entrepreneurs that follows - but first, just this. Fire away in the comments.
A Politico article blasts former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. I know -- stop the presses! What are the odds? Alert Taranto's "Bottom Story of the Day" department.
I clicked on "Jeb Put Me Through Hell" to laugh at an unseemly Politico hack attack from some third grade classmate of the Governor who traded a peanut butter sandwich for applesauce or something...
Yet that is not it. The author is Michael Shiavo. I bet most ThreeSourcers remember the name and the story. It is the day I left the conservatives and joined the libertarians.
But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer--confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it's the Jebbest thing Jeb's ever done.
Curiously and morbidly, my wife had a life-threatening medical event several weeks after, and our conversations about Terri and Michael Sciavo left me knowing her exact stance. But before that case -- most notably the Supreme Court visit, I was a Bill Bennett, Robert Bork, John Kasich conservative Republican.
But this is one more reminder (an d I am willing to discount it for its source) that the Establishment GOP does not want government out of your life. Weave this with his indefatigable support for Common Core and let us say the Gov is not my choice in 2016.
Caught Off Guard
Yes, I missed the confluence of my two favorite topics: politics and junk science. The Internet Segue Machine™ surely requires an overhaul. Brother nb surprised me with his QOTD yesterday, causing me to ask that internet-question: "Is This a Thing?"
Vaccines are the media's new "Birth Control Pills" question for the GOP -- injecting an out-of-nowhere wedge issue question into the debate just because it hurts the GOP.
Clearly, the nation will turn to the strict scientific rationality of Sec Hillary Clinton in 2016. I laugh to keep from crying.
UPDATE: The Facebook group Friends of Best of the Web is generally a very un-libertarian bunch, but a fellow member hits it out of the park:
UPDATE II: A new record for updates on Insty's post about this.
February 2, 2015
Sorry all you rat bags misunderstood me...
And, I was sick!
What I was expressing with this comment is the people paid to come into our community were not presenting their message and petition from an Erie point of view. They did not understand the issue from an Erie point of view. In other words they did not sound like Erie. They did not look like Erie because their effort was not an Erie based effort. It was not a comment on something superficial. It was a comment on their message and its lack of being Erie centered. I should have said it that way, instead of shortening it to what I did.
Quote of the Day
Daniel Foster comments on the C. Christie quotes in reference to vaccinations, with this most memorable:
[T]his is the next two years. New York Times reporters following around GOP aspirants with gotcha questions designed to make them look like yokels and kooks. . . .There's not much we can do to stop it, but we don't have to actively encourage it, do we?
Yes, I declare a moratorium on the tactic of fratricide. Let the Left with it's POTUS posterchild (shoot, I can't double emphasize a compound word!) digging it deeper everyday, have this tantrum.
Room on the Patriots' Bandwagon.
Robert Kraft supports Israel.
And, Darth Hoodie -- closet Tea Partier?
Tweet of the Day
February 1, 2015
Blast From the Past (Meta Version)
It's always fun to get a new comment on an old post that has been delivered to some unsuspecting person by a search engine. Well, unless it is Viagra spam or links in Cyrillic.
But it was fun to hear from somebody who added facts and color to our discussion of Strings & Things Music and the Voxmobile.
Bob from CodeZeroRadio found the post and left this:
I worked for a short time at Strings and Things and Go For Baroque music ( Bill started after a particularly nasty fight with his wife). I even traveled with Baker to California to sell a van full of Moog synthesizers. I landed here in a search for the Vox Mobile. My son is now on a quest to find it. Anyhow, yeah I got some stories about working there. Like the time Bill finished off his first fifth of Old Grandad and told two guys that a pair of monitors they were looking at were junk. He then said "Piss on 'em!" And he did. Whipped it out and peed all over the speakers. Good times.
I traded a couple emails with Bob and he retuned This jewel of a link: The Voxmobile has been found and has its own site at www.thevoxmobile.com. I remember sitting in it but I had no idea of its impressive musical and mechanical specs. I think ThreeSourcers will enjoy a gander.
UPDATE: HOLY COW! UPDATE OF ALL UPDATES! It is FOR SALE!