Saturday, 25 October 2014

Dems will rewrite history to get rid of love affair with Barack Obama.

  Ramirez cartoon.  "Hello? Tattoo removal service?"




Easter Island discovered America

A genetic study shows Easter Islanders have 8% American Indian ancestry and the DNA was picked up in the AD1300-1500 period before the Spanish and English got their licks or dicks in. (The genomic tally also shows 16% of European origin.)   Easter Island was reached about AD 1200 and it is easy to imagine some settlers continuing on to find America because if they explored to the east, they couldn't miss.  A few must have made it back.

Reported in Science Daily News.
Something else interesting about the 900 statues they built:  Most of the carved statue is sunk below grade.

To be fair, the first reported European on Easter island  is neither Spanish nor English.  In 1722  Dutchman, Jacob Roggeveen, landed there.

Is fatal cancer setting Putin's schedule of accelerated aggressions?

The New York Post publishes rumours pointing to spinal or pancreatic cancer that gives Vladimir Putin a short time to leave a legacy of strong borders and respect for Russia.   You may not like Russia but it does have hard-to-defend borders on the west, and impaired ocean access through the Black and Baltic seas.
If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in Ukraine in the wake of last week’s downing of a Malaysia Air jet in rebel-held territory, he risks becoming an international outcast, say Russian billionaires.
From the Financial Post


This can explain the brass balls threat of using nuclear weapons, expropriation of the Crimea, the pardon of Khodorkovsky, repeated air incursions into Japanese,  Nato  and American airspace and threats to the Baltic states. Is his face a little puffy from steroid treatments, the Post asks?

Rumours should be mistrusted but not ignored.   h/t HotAir for the link.

Karate chop-the-block GIF in slo-mo.


Dust flies off the block, the fingers are assels in the breeze.
Found at Ace of Spades
If you persist towards a goal
and give 100% against the odds,
what you accomplish may look impossible to others.

Courts hide behind "Judicial Restraint" to favour Big Government and its parasites.

A new book argues that right-leaning judges (you read that right) erode citizen protection from Big Government by invoking judicial restraint, which is  "a theory of judicial interpretation that encourages judges to limit the exercise of their own power. It asserts that judges should hesitate to strike down laws unless they are obviously unconstitutional".    h/t Instapundit.

From reviews of Neily's "Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution's Promise of Limited Government" at Amazon:

“Clark Neily’s elegant essay slays the idea that ‘judicial restraint’ is always a virtue. It often amounts to judicial abdication. Neily explains that judges must judge to defend the rights that government exists to secure.”
—George F. Will

“Through the use of compelling real-world cases and remarkably clear, accessible and accurate explanations of current law, Clark Neily exposes the legal charade by which, in the name of ‘restraint,’ judges have stacked the deck in favor of those who use laws and regulations to line their own pockets. Required reading for all who care about their liberties and the Constitution that is supposed to protect them.”
—Randy Barnett, Professor at Georgetown Law School


“Clark Neily weaves constitutional analysis with anecdotes in service of large principle. His basic principle is that a squishy policy of judicial deference disserves his clients, the public at large, and the critical role of judicial oversight in a democracy. He is right on all counts. A great read for lawyers and nonlawyers interested in the real-world consequences of judicial decision making.”
 Richard Epstein, Professor at the New York University School of Law

Friday, 24 October 2014

Data breach at the White House?

Developing story, reported at Powerlineblog.
"We have yet to hear from the White House press office in response to our request for a comment on our reader’s report that a major network problem has hit the computers used by staff in the Executive Office of the President. Our source, however, updated us with the latest on the issue overnight. He believes it is expected that news of the problem (whatever it is) will soon break publicly, if not today. Describing the problem as a “major data loss,” he believes that repair is expected to take weeks.   From what he understands, this is a serious problem. He asserts: “We are potentially talking OMB, USTR, ONDCP, OPM, and the White House itself(!). Top-line executive deliberations. Gone. Stolen? No idea.”


Cash for Trash

Don't get your pants in a knot about the attack of the killer landfills.  All the garbage ever generated in North America from day one to a hundred years in the future will fit in a hole less than three miles to a
side.  ( What if the U.S. put all its trash in one giant landfill?  Take the numbers and convert to cubic miles, top it up 10% for Canada and add a fudge factor for the first couple hundred start up years).

I wish I could live long enough to buy that landfill and turn it into gold, paper and fertilizer, steel and  fuel.  The technology is around to do this, it's just inconveniently expensive at the moment.  If you've ever watched a cream separator at work on a farm, you'll know what I mean.  Raw stuff goes in the top, and pure yummy cream and milk comes out the bottom spouts.
Cream on the left, skim on the right.
I used to have one of these.

How can you keep a straight face watching your neighbours dividing their little pile of debris into bottles and papers and light compostables and heavy compostables, stuff for the metal recycling depot and styrofoam to quarantine at a special corner of the regional dump.  To question this is to question their faith.   Maybe Christ didn't die on the cross to redeem them from sin but they sure as heck believe that paper goes in the paper box.

If you value your time at even the minimum wage and times it by the number of mostly wasted hours citizens spend with their garbage, you might get the idea that the money would be better spent learning how to mine junk.  Capital that should go into better, market-based landfill technology is replaced by hundreds of millions of hours from volunteer little "green" helpers with blue boxes.

Crazy.

Misfits for Mohammed

There will be more lone shooters creeping out of the slums of Mohammed.  Islam is an ideology willing to give status and licence to killers who tack the name of Allah to their predation.   Just be glad the Jihadi's flag-bearer, ISIS, doesn't have a seat in the UN.  Then Misfits for Mohammed will be replaced by Undercover Islamic Warriors.    ("Warriors" sounds better, doesn't it?  That's the whole idea).

At least we're not calling it road rage or political protest when Misfits for Mohammed kill people in Canada.  Thank you Stephen Harper for saying "Terrorism".

We know the response will be incremental like the response to Ebola, but the bad actor can  grow exponentially for a time.  A little more glory for ISIS and  home-grown crooks with Islamic names will quickly hoist the black flag to join the winning team, and will kill with "Allahu akbar" on their lips and a kaffiyeh on their shoulders.  (Add "loot and rape" to "murder" and you get the picture.)


Below excepted from "The Relgiion of Peace":

"The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.  Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.  Muslims who do not join the fight are called'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.
Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text.  They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.  
Quran (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves"  Islam is not about treating everyone equally.Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing...but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful.   And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)"  

I'm inexpert but have read the Quran through once slowly and a second time skimming looking for parallels with the Old and New Testaments, which I've also read several times.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Networks give up on US election: Crickets

A chart to warm the cockles:   ABC  CBS and NBC have stopped reporting on the midterms, a total turn-coat operation compared to 2006 when it looked like their beloved Democrats were making a comeback.  Convincing evidence this is turning into a surge election.

"According to an exhaustive study performed by Media Research Center analysts, between September 1 and October 20, the three major broadcast networks only bothered to mention the fact that there is a critical election coming up only 25 times. Of those mentions, only 16 of them were in the context of packaged report.
By contrast, in the same period in 2006, when Democrats were believed to be likely to take control of both the House and Senate, the three major networks mentioned the coming midterms 159 times with 91 of those mentions broadcast as part of detailed reports."

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Surge Election in the US

2014 feels like a surge election.  The  Republicans don't deserve it but feeling sorts out a lot of "undecided" votes.  I think polls understate the trend.

It's not a trend to the right but a trend away from stress about government.  My money's on Romney because Americans want a break from worrying about things like Ebola, ISIS and Ferguson.  "A rest is as good as a change".


I want a robot surgeon

Microsurgery by a robot sounds like it will be better than an experienced guy with a knife and a degree. Proof of concept had a titanium thread follow a curved path through the cheek into the base of the brain  while a dummy patient was in an MRI machine. The destination was accurate within a couple millimetres and could have been used for epilepsy repair on a real patient, the kind of repair you can stand up and walk home from.  Cadavers are next and real patients in ten years.  That "thread" had a couple inside layers capable of steering the outer shell and giving a pathway to deliver service.  Bring it on, but don't skip the practice stage.
Story at Science Daily News.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Russia's budget gets fracked hard

Fracking and a drop in oil demand will teach Russia manners.  Their economy has to have oil above $104/barrel.  Expect a little more cooperation with Europe and the Ukraine soon.  The little chart spells curtains for adventurism.  As a bonus, The American Interest shows the breakeven oil price for some trouble-maker countries that were blessed with oil and used the money to enrich the big shots and make the populace dependent on government redistribution.  The source article has detail.  Energy abundance bugs tyrants.
Russian deficit tied to price of oil.


Note: The red graph exaggerates the vertical scale to create drama but the message is important.

Hysteria in the Schools

Political correctness is the ancient hysteria that burnt witches and staked vampires.    A little kid in Alabama was used as a scapegoat offering by school officials who wanted to abjure Satan and all his works and bring back goodness to their community.   They got their holiness back after apprehending the five year kid who said "pew pew" with a crayon gun.    She was made to recant, sign a confession she didn't understand and evicted from the fellowship.  I don't see a difference between Iron Age hysteria and this magical behaviour to stave off harm.

It's as old as the hills.  They are still digging up ancient corpses in Europe with stakes through the heart, stakes put there by a PC community of believers who found a ritual to keep their village safe from vampires.

A Mobile, Ala., mom says school officials forced her daughter to sign a contract promising not to commit suicide or harm others after the kindergartner "drew something that resembled a gun," then pointed a crayon at another kid and said "pew, pew!" 5-year-old Elizabeth was sent home after school officials made her take a questionnaire .. evaluating her for suicidal thoughts, then had her sign the safety contract promising to contact an adult if she was thinking of suicide or homicide. This all happened while her mom waited in the lobby to pick her up.   According to her mom, Elizabeth didn't know most of the words on the contract she signed. "Suicide," in particular, was a new one for her. "Mommy, daddy, what is suicide?" Elizabeth's mother says she asked.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Vinyl LP's and newspapers - Legacy Media


About 5% of our viewing goes to papers and magazines but advertisers still drop 20% of their bucks on them.  They will soon wise up that maybe four times too much goes into hard copy updating only once a day or once a month, says former Washington Post chief.   Subscribing to a magazine will be a novelty purchase, a legacy quirk like limited edition vinyl LP's.

Source



"Extra Extra Read All About It" is a ding on your twitter inbox, not a lad on the streets with arms full of paper.

This is good news.  More information is reaching you before it's mascaraed and  and corseted by the spinmeisters.  Papers need to move on to where there former customers are now congregating.

As Peter Drucker wrote, the first task of a business is to create a customer and the second is to keep him.  You go where he goes, and serve him well.

Added:  Getting unfiltered information won't make us smarter but it will improve the marketplace as more people bid for access to power.

The Highest Bidders Control The State

The chart shows who has the money.
The wealthy co-opt the political class.
The political class transfers payments to the voting class.
That's why socialism appeals to the very rich and the poor
if every adult gets a vote.

Chart and post title from Zero Hedge


 (They call it, "Self Serving Elites" and argue that any town, province or country run by such is the poorer for it.)

Trapped in a Coma.

 Scientists found some wide awake people in a brain survey of vegetative state patients.  32 "brain dead" people and some normal ones were asked to pretend they were playing tennis.  An EEG was taken. Graphics were added to show traffic between parts of the brain.  Some of the "vegetables" showed the same activity as normal people.  The image is stunning although the aura is a digital FX.
Vegetable on left, normal on right, miracle in the middle
after being told to pretend to play tennis.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Comet almost crashes Mars Sunday October 19th.

An Oort cloud comet, "Siding Spring"is missing Mars by a whisker on Sunday, by a mere 87,000 miles.  The planet will get a small dusting of carbon compounds and water vapour.  A little closer and it could have dumped enough stuff to restart a robust atmosphere..  Mars orbiters plan to duck and cover on the other side of the planet about an hour and a half after the nucleus passes to hide from the debris trail. Meanwhile both orbiting sun observatories and other devices will scoop data.
Science Daily News.
Artist's Imp;ression

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Flat Tax Is Progressive

"Any flat tax calibrated to earnings from labor and capital will necessarily redistribute income to the less well off, because an individual’s share from standard public services, such as access to public highways, does not increase proportionate to his income."
   Jay Epstein at Hoover.org 

 The rest of the article is pretty good.  A head tax is regressive because the same charge to rich and poor takes more of the poor's wealth away.  A flat tax targets those who are better off.  And even a fair tax can be corrupted by politicians if they take too much cream off the milk.  At least it reduces perverse incentives and any increase in tax will come out of the pols pockets too.

Remember, all those loopholes in tax law are a feature, not a bug, giving lawmakers the power to distribute favours to lobbies.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Waste is essential when your time is short.

Waste and death are necessary to renew the bodies politic, and familiar. The church of the three R's (reduce, re-use, recycle) wants to hang onto what we have in this life but has no doctrine of heaven or hell.  If we soon find a way to put off death entirely, it will be to protect the wealth and world-view of aged women and men, not to usher in a golden age.

Death is a great waster, throwing away property, wisdom, experience, networks, character and beauty. It's left to mewling and puking babes to start over and renew everything in a few decades, and it works.  With my mom's passing went encyclopaedic knowledge of plant taxonomy in the Ottawa Valley and pick-your-own wild blueberry pie parties.  Dad departed with the genealogy of several hundred years
and radioactive tracer knowhow about the ADP-ATP energy packing molecule.  The flight from death is behind the multitudinous rules to eliminate risk from the playground, the supermarket, and in fact from everywhere.

Energy should be used liberally wherever abundant.  That means waste it, floor the pedal, dump the excess, enjoy it.   Remember e=mc2.     The bomb on Hiroshima released as much energy as is bound in a single blob of snot.  There is no shortage of energy, and never has been, or will be.  Reducing, Re-using and Re-cycling is a patchwork policy until access to abundant energy is improved.  Think cold fusion with a box buried in the back yard that can run your town for a hundred years.
New Yorker

Since I"m involved with the housing industry, I see a lot of plans including one this week for an expensive  cottage with triple exterior walls.  People are afraid to waste energy and go to great expense avoiding it.  They won't be getting that money back.   For half a million dollars, childless couples build 2500 square foot houses with R40 insulation values while old timers in the Chilcotin would leave the door of their two room un-insulated cabin open in winter because the wood stove was making them sweat.

Hindu belief has Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva  - Creator/Sustainer/Destroyer.  You've seen statues of the Kali version of the latter, ugly with many arms and the heads of its victims dangling. The three aspects of life are always present.  Our p.c. culture has been retreating onto an island of sustainability, nursing scarce resources, while outlawing risk and danger. Creativity and renewal through destruction of the old come from off island.

Faced with an abundance of stuff and a shortage of time, you must waste stuff to get value from your time.




U.S.Governed by Dead Men

Author P.K. Howard writes:
America is now run by dead people—by political leaders from the past who enacted mandatory programs that churn ahead regardless of waste, irrelevance, or new priorities.
Rules have replaced leadership in America. ... Nobody asks, “What’s the right thing to do here?” Instead, they wonder, “What does the rule book say?”
Public paralysis is the inevitable result of the steady accretion of detailed rules.

From the forward to The Rule Of Nobody.
Related:
Clear law is the ruin of a nation.
Obsession with writing excessively detailed laws had made it impossible for real people to get anything done".

Give us rule of law but with renewal, not accretion.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Bring back disorganized sports

I was stunned at this plea for cash at Canadian Tire.   Two out of three families actually send their kids to organized sports.  What's wrong with everybody?

We grew up playing disorganized sports.  Football with about three to the side.  500 with a bat and ball in the middle of the street.  Hide and seek in the bushes and garage.  Tree climbing.  Forts in trees, forts underground, igloos made of drifted snow chunks.  All this was built using unofficially borrowed shovels, axes and matches to light candles.  Hikes upriver on the frozen ice, miles from parental scrutiny, and back with frostbitten toes. We took off after breakfast with terse remarks like "I"m going fishing to Rocky" and weren't seen for hours.  I still regret the time I knocked out power to some cottages when the tree for my new log cabin hung up on a second tree and then a third tree before breaking loose in a cascade of sparks onto the power line.  This is normal.  I knew of a couple kids who played on a hockey team but never saw the inside of an arena.

There was the copper wire across the road and through the neighbours trees so Alan and I could talk in morse code when our parents thought we were asleep.  And the time the cops stopped us cycling in our pajamas on the way back from a midnight dew worm hunt.

This week I talked to a guy about twenty years older than me.  He and his buddies got into a coal mine near Lethbridge on weekends, got helmets with lamps and rode coal carts into the mine, taking hay with them to feed the ponies underground.  Other times they crossed the half mile long railway trestle, hiding inside the beams if they misjudged the next train.

This thirst for organized sports puts parents forever in control of their kids,  The kids deserve better. Bring back disorganized sport.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Misbehaving spouses in power: Left and Right differ.

Corrupt people are not particularly drawn to politics and high position.  Power itself creates corruption. Once there, something decent is often turned off in the brain.  I'm tired of reading about leaders who cheat on their spouses.  The Americans have had a few pretty straight guys in power like Bushes, Nixon, Reagan and perhaps Obama but even Ford, Eisenhower and Roosevelt had their sidelines.   Clinton, Johnson, and the Kennedys are a sad self-excusing lot.  Somehow more left than right politicians seem to excuse their infidelity.  Is it situational ethics versus principle?

Some references:
Here
Here
Here
There's a report that Reagan had a short fling with Elizabeth Taylor before his presidenting days. If you keep reading, you'll find eventually find a rumour about everyone.

And a Clinton sex joke:
Clinton and the Pope died on the same day and, due to some administrative foul up, Clinton gets sent to heaven and the Pope gets sent to hell.
The Pope explains the situation to the hell administration, they check their paperwork, and the error is acknowledged. They explain, however, that it will take about 24 hours to make the switch. The next day, the Pope is called in and the hell administration bids him farewell and he heads for heaven.
On the way up, he meets Clinton on the way down, and they stop to chat.
Pope: Sorry about the mix up.
Clinton: No problem.
Pope: Well, I'm really excited about going to heaven.
Clinton: Why's that?
Pope: All my life I've wanted to meet the Virgin Mary.
Clinton: You're a day late.