30 June 2009

They knew what they were being paid for

Via Brothers Judd we have another idiot just not understanding President Obama —

A White House that is more interested in promotion than in product development has another great drawback: it squanders talent. Mr Obama has impeccable taste in advisers: he has scooped up many of the country’s pre-eminent experts in almost every area of public policy. One wonders why. On the main domestic issues, they are not designing policy; they are working the phones, drumming up support for bills they would be deploring if they were not in the administration. Apart from anything else, this seems cruel.

This isn’t an unfortunate result, this is precisely why Obama hired all those “top guns” in the first place. At best they become his paid supporters while he loots their credibility, at worst they are silenced so he has much less opposition. One might think it a bit expensive but Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that the concept of “too expensive” is not one that can ever apply to any of his actions. I don’t feel a bit of pity for any of these “experts” as if they weren’t smart enough to see this then they’re not smart enough to be experts. After all, even Judd Gregg figured it out and walked away, although right at the edge of the cliff.

Gaia über alles

How can I not take note of Paul Krugman’s preparation for the re-education camps for those who lack faith in AGW?

[A]s I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research. […]

[W]e’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

I agree, and I am acting to oppose the warmenist effort to destroy our way of life and perhaps even our civilization.

P.S. As Instapundit noted, wasn’t throwing a label like “traitor” around considered excessively gauche not so long ago by people like Krugman?

All Cretans are liars

Even the Obama Administration is now saying that you can’t believe anything President Obama says with regard to his policies. I assumed that Obama would end up as a failure because he’s an empty suited thug from Chicago, but I didn’t think he would unravel this far this fast to where his own spokesmen were nearly immediately disowning his statements.

Don't blame the victim

I have been meaning to write basically the same thing as this post with regard to the admissions scandal at the University of Illinois. I think the school administration were also victims because as you can see from President Obama, if you mess with the Chicago School of Politics, they will respond with vindictive fury. The voters in the state make going public on such threats a pointless exercise so what can the administrators do except go along? The alternative is to have the all of the students punished.

29 June 2009

Celebrating rocket freedom

“Green Rage 2” - PML AMRAAM 2.1” on a G40

Marketing the Obvious

Despite the putative credit crunch, I still get many unsolicited credit card offers, despite being effectively unemployed for the last three years. Some are more amusing than others, but I was tickled by one last week for the VISA Black Card (which advertises as “the world’s most exclusive card” which seems difficult to believe if they are trying to get me to have one). Anyway, it’s got a cool black theme going on (apparently taking design tips from this very website) but the best bit was this —

The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool. [emphasis added]

I hate to disillusion any prospective owners, but all plastic is made with carbon. It’s part of that whole “petro-chemical” thing. I am left wondering if any one in the advertising agency or the Black Card management knows that, or thinks no one else does.

P.S. It’s also not the “ultimate buying tool” — Bill Gates’ fortune, that is the ultimate tool. A credit card, not so much.

OJ does soccer?

Did I miss something or did Brothers Judd suddenly start covering soccer like it is a real sport? Did aliens trans-reverse his brain?

Moving manufacturing overseas

I was aghast that the House of Representatives passed the “cap and trade” legislation. It’s a measure of how corrupt and pathetic rule by the Democratic Party has become that the fact that no one had actually even read the legislation doesn’t seem the worst part. I am sure that the chattering classes consider this new way of legislating by ignorance represents Hope and Change™ from the evil Rethuglican way, but I am just too much of a reactionary to support it.

What I thought was, isn’t this really the “Please Export All Manufacturing Jobs Overseas” legislation? China and India are not going to put such financial burdens on manufacturers which will put enormous pressure on any USA based manufacturing company to go ahead and move out. Or perhaps move to Europe — one notes (but Democratic Party caucus in Congress doesn’t) how their cap and trade worked out. It made a lot of money for the government, then collapses as politicians traded additional carbon dioxide permits for political support, collapsing the price. If some lobbiest were clever and wanted to make some serious cash, he would have slipped in a provision for equivalency for European and American permits. It would be easy, since no one has read the legislation anyway. And why not? Carbon dioxide emissions are no respecter of borders, so why shouldn’t they all be equivalent? Then you could (for a while) make a lot of commissions on buying the extremely cheap European permits and Americanizing them.

It seems to me that the EUlite have once again made a profit on their hypocrisy, generating revenue and political favors while, in the end, imposing little long term burden on their industries. Meanwhile, they get the Europhilic Democratic Party to impose real burdens on their major competitor. Proper revenge for the Marshall Plan?


Transterrestial Musings writes

Of course, the real problem is the willingness of legislators to vote for bills that they haven’t read, or even given time to read. Once that became acceptable, it was inevitable that they would start voting on wills of the wisp. I would dearly love to see everyone one of these criminals punished at the polls next year. Especially the Republican capntr8trs.

No, the problem is ultimately the voters, who are happy to re-elect representatives who vote on “Mad-Lib” legislation. We may also blame Old Media, who don’t want to investigate and report on this if it’s a government run by the Democratic Party.

It's the doing, not the wanting

I read this at McCabism and my first thought was — how does someone who is a non-attractive geek even for a group of high powered physicists manage to do that? I can understand why he would want to have an open marriage, and maybe why his wife would (initially) put up with it, but how in the world did he convince the majority of his co-workers’ wives to do so as well? I think about the work places I have been in, filled with similar geeks, and I just can’t imagine any of the wives having an affair with one of the other husbands in the group. I would guess the ony reason any of the wives slept with any of us was because of the marriage. I might believe that one or two of them might have an affair with some empty headed hunk or sensitive artist type, but another geek? And most of them? Is this view just a resut of my staid MidWestern life experience, or does it strike other people as odd too?

05 June 2009

Cool non-savings

Via Brothers Judd is an article on Secretary of Energy Chu’s call to paint roofs white to which Judd responds

Sure, it wouldn’t do bupkus for warming … but if it cuts consumers’ bills why not do it?

I would be very surprised if this cut costs for consumers. Any one suggesting this has very likely not actually priced what it costs to paint a roof. I would bet money that painting your roof white is a money loser because you don’t recoup the painting cost before you have to paint it again. And what does all that paint do for the environment?

Semi-off-topic — we’re looking at new air cooling systems for our house. The cost is something on the order of 5-10 times our annual energy costs to cool the house. So even if it made cooling free, it would be the better part of a decade before we had a net economic benefit. At the 20% cost savings claimed, that’s 50-100 years. That’s even with manufacturer rebates and government subsidies tax credits. It frankly just doesn’t make economic sense, we’re only looking at it because the current units are old and may fail at any time, and just do not have the cooling power needed for the house.

UPDATE: It’s even worse than I wrote here. Suppose it costs $5000 for the cooling units and $1000/year for cooling (these are ballpark numbers for my house). If the upgrade saves 20%, that’s $200/year. But 10 year T-bills have popped up to 3.8%, which means I could get $190/year by buying $5000 worth of them. So I would be netting $10/year, which means the payoff time is five hundred years. Another bump in T-bill rates and I am better off buying them and using that to pay the cooling costs. Double the energy savings and it is still a multi-century payoff.

Gone to Texas

I am heading out to Texas tomorrow, with sporadic network contact (and for some reason the family will expect a larger amount of personal interaction). But before I depart, here is a quite cutting post on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Her celebration of “indefiniteness” in the application of law by the judiciary is to me absolutely stunningly bad for some one nominated to the Supreme Court.

01 June 2009

Time for a bit of mockery

Perhaps I am just a bit narrow minded, but when I read this article in The Atlantic all I could think about was how embarassingly incorrectly the author used the terms “irrational numbers” and “real numbers”. It was like going to a Harry Potter movie and having your three year old daughter void her bladder on your lap. Suddenly you can no longer think about the movie, only about where the nearest towel selling store is1. Except in this case, it was if the script writer had sent the child.

Sometimes I am just not as tolerant of non-geeks as I should be.

1 This is why I have never seen a complete Harry Potter movie.

Maybe if you sprayed some more "nuance" on it

A quote to enjoy

[US Representative Pete] Hoekstra said he could not see a clear moral distinction between denying the due process of the American justice system to terrorist combatants on the one hand, and the administration’s covert activities in Pakistan (which Hoekstra said he supports) on the other. In war, he said, it is acceptable to hold enemy combatants until hostilities are concluded, and if we’re at war then that’s what we ought to do. “If this isn’t a war, then what are we doing assassinating people with no due process?” he asked. “Morally, where does that stand in comparison with waterboarding?”

(via hit and run)

Smash the State

I have been following the claims that closures of Chrysler dealerships have been politically motivated and wondering if the evidence was strong enough to justify a post. I didn’t wonder a bit, though, at Old Media’s strong lack of interest in investigating the issue.

But what did occur to me while reading this is how much easier it is to close dealerships now than it was before Chrysler was purchased by the Obama Administration. Car dealerships are generally strongly protected, in an almost guild like fashion, by state and local law, which prevented the Big Three from adjusting their dealer networks to suit reality. The Obama Administration, however, can simply ignore those laws as it goes about its business. A classic case of government creating a problem and then claiming it requires government to fix it, rather than say removing the government cause that created the problem in the first place.

Paying for your mistakes

According to the Obama Administration, we must close Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo because, despite the facilities being excellent, its reputation is tainted. Well, why is that? It’s basically an invention of American Old Media, so why not drop a special tax on them to pay for the closure, since they caused the problem? The Obama Administration clearly has no moral or practical issue with such taxes of attainder, so it seems a good solution to me.