26 May 2009

Asking for it

The impending financial collapse of the state of California has drawn a lot of weblogging attention. I am firmly in the “blame the voters” camp.

One can look at Governover Schwarzenegger’s political trajectory to see this. The Governator tried to get some reforms enacted in 2004 but was crushed at the polls. The voters made a clear statement that they had no interest in accepting any of the downsides of maintaining the fiscal health of the state and the Governator (understandably, but not to his credit) gave the voters what they wanted, good and hard.

Even the putative “voter revolt” in the rejection of the recent ballot initiatives is much less than it has been portrayed. The turnout was, to the best of my knowledge, less than 25%. So it could easily be that a majority still favors high spending and intrusive government. It’s easily possible that every single “no” vote was from someone who also voted against then candidate Obama and nothing, really, has changed.

I also want to dismiss the complaints of “jerrymandering”. I certainly think jerrrymandering is a Bad Thing and should be avoided as much as possible, but ultimately it’s just an excuse. People still vote, the elected still get the majority of votes of voters in their actual district, and the districts must contain roughly equal numbers of citizens. In a state where a legislastive majority is held by a thin margin, jerrymandering can mean frustrating the actual will of the voters. But given California’s massive party imbalance, that’s clearly not the case in that state.

As far as I can see, California is still checked in to the Hotel, the voters still suffering from reality dysfunction, wanting low taxes with high spending, extensive government economic intervention without affecting business, and strong public labor unions with effecient government services. Good luck with that!

Cut off from civilization

SWIPIAW cut our internet connection cable over the weekend, digging up the yard to put in some new plants. However, after several trips to buy parts and some splicing effort, she has the household back online, at least well enough to get by until the official repair people arrive.


Plants


For erp

21 May 2009

20 May 2009

What precisely is the problem?

I was thinking about President Obama’s travail in dealing with the inmates at Camp X-Ray. One thing that occurred to me is the massive double-think required of the standard opponents of keeping the inmates there. Supposedly this detention is a horrible stain on our national honor because the conditions are so horrible and unjustified. Yet when Obama tries to shut it down, we find that other nations (those supposedly horrified by Camp X-Ray) either refuse to accept the inmates or would treat them so badly that we can’t send the inmates there. The latter is a particularly large effort in double-think. How much of a stain can our treatment of them be if it would be an even greater stain to turn them over to various other nations? Believing both of those at the same time — that’s impressive.

18 May 2009

Is our long national nightmare over?

According to the NAR

Since the BATFE has not appealed the decision of the Federal District Court of March 16, 2009, which ordered the agency to vacate their classification of APCP as an explosive, and the period for their ability to do so has expired as of May 16, 2009, on advice of counsel, the judgment is considered final although we have not received confirmation from BATFE. Accordingly, members may operate under the understanding that APCP rocket motors are no longer regulated as an explosive material by BATFE, and no longer require the permits formerly required by the agency to buy, sell, or possess such motors.

Woo hoo!

Collapse of the Attention Wave State

cjm wants to know how many universes can dance on the head of a pin which reminded me of a philosophical point that nags at me. I apologize in advance for throwing out a non-political post.

In that previous thread the collapse of the quantum wave function problem came up and the “many worlds” theory to explain it. A thought occurred to me and I did a bit of research on that and found out that my thought wasn’t a new variant on the problem but the actual essence of it and that I had been misunderstanding the many worlds theory for years.

What I was thinking was “how do we know that the wave function actually collapses?”. Consider quantum computing. You can, with just a bit of hand waving, consider that to be a micro version of the multiple universe theory. In effect, quantum computing works by splitting a small region of our universe in to little micro parallel universes. The computation in question proceeds in all possible ways in these microverses and at the end, the one with the answer is “picked”, the rest disappear in a wave function collapse and voila, you have done a massive calcuation in a very small time. But — if you were in one of these little microverses it would seem to you that the wave function had already collapsed to your specific facet of the overall computation.

Why, then, can’t we take the same view, that our reality is simply one eigenstate of a much larger quantum wave function and what we see as wave function collapse isn’t anything of the sort? That view, it turns out, is the actual multiple universe theory. The use of the term “parallel universe” is actually misleading, it’s really quantum wave eigenstates, but that doesn’t sound as cool to non-geeks. How plausible this is depends on what you think the fundamental nature of reality is. In the multiple universes view, our “reality” isn’t the physical structure of the universe, but just an information encoding imposed upon it. The fundamental reality is like a co-axial cable, and our reality just a cable channel transmitted on it. You can add as many more channels as you like, each channel thinking it’s the “real” thing.

As someone once noted, “reality may not only be stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine”.

P.S. Just as an aside, related to the final quote, a problem for we materialists is believing that randomly evolved biological intelligence is capable of comprehending the fundamental nature of reality. Why would that be the case? Yet so many materialists simply assume that. A bit hubristic, wouldn’t you say?

We'll fill in the protest signs later

This is from the New York Times (via Brothers Judd) so it may well bear no relationship with reality, but

While there is growing anticipation that the summer will bring the spectacle of a pitched Supreme Court confirmation battle, some Senate Republicans are lowering expectations that they are planning any major political fight.

That’s Stupid. How can you plan on whether to have a political fight before you know who the nominee is? Doesn’t the value of such a fight depend, just a bit, on who exactly President Obama nominates? Or is this an admission that’s its all Kabuki and the details that affect the lives of we peasants irrelevant?

14 May 2009

It's good to be the Prez

The new Chrysler-Fiat partnership will get around U.S. restrictions on executive pay by having its top officers deemed Fiat employees.

Detroit Free Press

Given that the same government has both created those restrictions and obtained a controlling interest in Chrysler, we can reasonably presume that this avoidance meets with the approval of that government. Anything for a friend, eh?

Notes from the War on Prosperity

How’s that economic recovery going?

Well, it seems that the “stimulus” package has had, if anything, negative effects if one correlates Obama Administration predictions with actual results or current predicitons from the same source that there will be no job growth for the rest of the year. Gosh, who could have forseen that?

But it’s not just a failure to win, but a miasma of corruption as well. And shades of Smoot-Hawley — wouldn’t want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Plus, let’s massively raise the cost of doing business just to be sure that no pocket of private prosperity is left.

Oh, and Fannie Mae is still burning money like it’s Nero in Rome but that’s not important enough for the White House or Congress to waste their time on, nor is there any point to investigating on how the finanical statements comfing from the FMs managed to get so out disconnected from reality — we know it was those Evil Money People and Hedge Funds.

The truly sad part is, despite the Tea Parties, I expect that the architects of this burning the lifeboats to keep the Titanic passengers warm project will get re-elected, and that’s all that matters, because they will do fine regardless of what the American Street endures.

Carbon is people!

Orrin Judd is off an another anti-carbon jaunt, which is initially amusing because people are made of carbon, so a good way to get less carbon is to have less people, which is probably not quite what OJ wants.

But it’s bogus on a more serious level, which is that if there is one thing immigration from the third world to the USA does, it is greatly increase the “carbon footprint” of the immigrants. On that basis, it is quite reasonable for the “anti-carbon” crusaders to vigorously oppose immigration. Such a regime would also make it reasonable for ordinary people to oppose immigration, because it makes every immigrant a direct drain on their own standard of living. If the immigrant’s carbon footprint goes up, the native’s must go down, if we are to hold the overall level constant or declining.

13 May 2009

Blame the VRWC first

I read things like this and can’t help but think that if some Caliphascist loon manages to assassinate President Obama, it will be blamed on domestic “right wing extremists” somehow, just like the Kennedy assassinations.

Comprehensive failure

What do people mean when they refer to our political class as “dysfunctional”? Maybe this

MOE LANE: Rasmussen and the quietly rusting Democratic advantage. Nothing takes the shine off a political party like giving its politicians a free hand …

Don't look a gift share in the carburetor?

It’s not unreasonable to view President Obama’s massive overturning of the rule of law for a favor constituency as a gift from him to the UAW, but I wonder how much of a gift it really is. There’s the issue of labor negotiations once the UAW is on the board of directors which is a not a trivial one. We already know that modern American union leadership never hesistates to sacrifice the well being of its members for the benefit of that union leadership, What kind of internecine strife and union thuggery will be necessary once those union leaders can line their own pockets with cash from their member’s employer? Seems like it might be the UAW leadership going one more step along the path of a parasite destroying its host.

09 May 2009

Yin and Yang

Jonah Goldberg writes that President Obama’s arrogance will be his undoing, a “pride before the fall” kind of thing. Certainly that’s going to be a factor — Obama just doesn’t seem to understand the concept that people can honestly and publically disagree with him. After all, everyone who has done that in the past has been ignominously crushed by Obama’s partisans.

But I also agree with Indianna Governor Mitch Daniels (via Brothers Judd) that it is a strategic mistake to depend on your opponent failing. Clearly one should account for that, and use it, but it is not of itself sufficient. But for various reasons, the GOP has over the last decade or so lost what little will it once had to embrace its party’s putative principles. If the approach to the elections in 2010 is just “Obama is a putz!” then I don’t see much of a comeback in store for the GOP.

Good enough for the little people files

Harry’s Place is lamenting Senator Arlen Specter’s failure to also switch to supporting removing the secret ballot from unionization elections. To paraphrase Instapundit, I will believe that such people believe it’s good for the workers when they support the same concept for Parlimentary elections. Otherwise, it’s about achieving union goals at the expense of the workers.

08 May 2009

Pounding the Table Files

Let’s drop in a link to this little rant about Keith Olbermann and his very progressive reaction to Carrie Prejean being against legalizing homosexual marriage.

As many readers already know, this whole thing started when Prejean was asked to state her view on same-sex marriage. She stated a view slightly to the left of Barack Obama’s (and Al Gore’s, and Hillary Clinton’s). She therefore had to be trashed on the progressive TV shows which endlessly kiss that president’s keister. Thereby attracting the demo, of course, which these programs exist to stalk.

But uh-oh! Suddenly, it had been revealed that the lady in question has breast implants! As a major TV progressive, Olbermann sensed that he had to act. (Executive producer Bill Wolff may have been called in to help with his thinking.) But the topic was too challenging for one actor alone. And since you can’t spell “Musto” without the word “smut,” Michael Musto, Village Voice seer, was rushed to a nearby studio.

I am not going to re-cite what these two abusive personalities said, you can click through if you want to know. But hey — as we all know, if you are promoting a failed ideology you have to go with misdirection and ad hominem, even if it makes a total mockery of your putative ideology.

Thanks for the memories

I just ordered a memory upgrade for my secondary computer and I want to state that Crucial has the best online ordering system I have ever seen. Every order has been exactly what I wanted and expected.

But they're just too dumb to understand

Via Tim Blair we see that the New York Times reports

The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Is there not some point at which people like this ask themselves, “if we’re so obviously correct, why do we have to lie about ourselves and our policies?”. That to me is probably the biggest differences between the current American strains of statism and conservatism — the former finds it necessary to obsfucate, like, and misdirect in order to succeed (cf. President Obama).

07 May 2009

Fad Science

What I thought of when I read that cosmology was in crisis again (via Brothers Judd) was how Anthropogenic Global Warming is “settled science”, but Newton’s Theory of Gravitation is not.

What did you ex-Specter?

Via Hot Air is this report that the Democratic Party Senators rejected Senator Specter’s bid to keep his Senatorial seniority after his party switch. The promise of an uncontested primary seems to be going non-operative as well.

Of course, who could have expected differently? Arlen Specter apparently, even after the same group shafted him on the “stimulus” bill. Maybe we were all wrong, and Specter really is a Republican. He’s got all the Stupid he needs to qualify.

What's years of torture and permanent disablity compared to the horror of waterboarding?

Orrin Judd posted an excerpt from this article

brave men and women. If captured by the enemy, do I want him water boarded? Do I want his captors to strip him naked, to throw freezing water on him, to slap his face or to slam him repeatedly against a wall?

When I think about torture, I’m reminded of the story told in almost every Roman Catholic Church. Hanging on the walls are the Stations of the Cross. They tell how the Romans tortured and then murdered Jesus.

If my son joins the military and is captured, I would be estatic if, in contrast to the sorts of things generally done to captured American soldiers, this was the worst he suffered. I am in awe of this writer’s ability to be worry about possible bad outcomes that are far less terrible than those in the historical record.

Importing the superior culture

I read things like this about the California state government disappearing into a self-created black hole of out of control spending and regulation and think of Orrin Judd. After all, doesn’t California have the highest influx of Mexican immigrants? Should it not, therefore, be at the forefront of a conservative resurgence? Not, say, an example of everything that’s wrong with modern American liberalism? I am sure that superior culture California is importing will kick in Real Soon Now.

P.S. Let’s not forget to kick the other voters, who continue to vote for the people ruining their state. They just don’t learn, do they?

04 May 2009

Only fit for foreign enemies

For all of the administration’s anguish that terrorist interrogation techniques ignored the rule of law, Obama’s administration shows precious little respect for the rule of law when it subverts Bank of America stockholders by misrepresenting Merrill Lynch, strong arms employees who signed retention contracts with investment firms, and cheats those whose precious savings were invested in Chrysler bonds.

sbw

Yes, that’s quite an interesting point, isn’t it? The Obama Administration is denying these latest threats, but after the pitchforks remark how believable is that?

What I find most intersting, though, is the lack of comment from the White House Press Corps. Apparently the idea that they are simply tools to be used by Obama’s crew is not something they find objectionable or concealed. But we knew that, didn’t we?

Sorry for the absence

Sorry for being MIA these last few days. I am off to a trade show this evening and spent last week desperately trying to get some web technology operational. It’s not quite as polished as I would like, but it basically works and for once, I am not desperately hacking until the second I have to physical leave. So I may try to get a few quick hits in today. Or not.

01 May 2009

Notes from the War on Prosperity

All Ahmadinejad is doing is trying to develop a nuke so he can destroy Israel. Maybe if he opened a hedge fund Obama would get tough on him.

Tom Maguire