30 September 2012

Without a clue

Harry’s Place writes about a non-profit setting up a drive-in movie theater for the community. What is interesting about this is the article is about how it is anti-capitalist while utterly failing to recognize that it is precisely the free market environment which enables this non-profit to do this kind of thing. In the centrally planned socialist economy that the weblog lauds this would not not possible or very difficult, with permits and political action required. How one can think “it’s great for people to do this!” without ever thinking “it’s great that people can do this!” is the essence of the Tranzi apparently.

28 September 2012

The adults in the room

A couple of years ago, during the 2010 election cycle, there were numerous ponders about the Tea Parties and their ability to execute in a real and sustained way in our political system. The answer seems to be coming in and it’s better than the actual leaders.

Please may I have another, master?

Instapundit does this so well I’ll just quote —

CNN’S PIERS MORGAN: AHMADINEJAD IS CHARMING. But of course: From Castro and Hugo Chavez, to Kim Jong-il, to Arafat and “Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot,” to being in bed with Saddam Hussein, who are the overseas tyrants that CNN anchorpersons don’t find charming?

What aspects of modern journalism is so encouraging to those who swoon for brutal rulers? It shows in yet another way how Old Media makes a mockery of its claims to champion the common man instead of his oppressor.

27 September 2012

The Heart of Evil

Harvard seems to be the one thing in common with all that is wrong.

Threadkiller

26 September 2012

Don't results count?

Australia over the last decade or so has performed an experiment in gun control and the results are in

In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.

Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:

In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

So remember kids, when people claim we need more gun control laws, they are saying we should have this kind of crime increase.

There is also this data about economic recoveries which demonstrates how much worse the Obama Administration policies have been than the “just leave it alone and it will get better” style of Reagan. The only historical precedent, really, is the Great Depression which (I am sure completely coincidentally) featured the same sort of government intervention to “fix” things. Surely that increased poverty is also a coincidence.

Taxing

As part of French President Hollande’s economic “plan” he promised that he would raise tax rates to 75% on incomes larger than 1M€ per year. Bizarrely this has resulted in people with those incomes fleeing the country which is, of course, unexpected. The new tax rates will also hit the middle class which is probably also unexpected since Hollande campaigned on taxes for the rich. As noted it should be an interesting experiment.

On the path to the underside of the bus

When efforts don’t work out for the MAL but are well known1 the effort is fist disappeared and then converted to a “right wing” phenomenon. We can now see this process in action with regard to the Occupy Movement which has been a disaster for the MAL.


1 E.g. not the Coffee Party.

24 September 2012

20 September 2012

Old Media strikes down the blasphemers!

VIMH

Race to the bottom

It looks like California will be setting themselves up for a more massive government failure through getting the mob to vote to fleece the remaining productive elements. I think this will let Illinois win the race to collapse as such a measure will shore up government finances for a while in exchange for making the final collapse more thorough by draining every last bit of money available. I’m surprised that the grafters in Illinois didn’t think of it first.

19 September 2012

Unmatched

So I feel that I’ve been President for all Americans - the stupid Cambridge Police, the members of my security detail who wouldn’t think twice about shooting a black guy, doctors who perform unnecessary amputations out of greed; bankers and pitchfork-wielding mobs; Hispanics and their enemies, who I encouraged them to attack; the people who were entitled to money when GM went bankrupt, and the people who got money when GM went bankrupt; filmmakers critical of Islam who give me lots of money, and filmmakers critical of Islam who are invited to come downtown for routine questioning.

It’s on behalf of all of those people that I have worked as hard as I can. That’s what you’ve seen the past few years. Me, working as hard as I can. Barring only occasional moments of rest - a couple of rounds of golf each month, watching less than half of the college basketball that ESPN and ESPN2 televises, a bit of daily exercise, and the odd date night flight to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles or Paris or Rio or Casablanca or Majorca or Fiji or Maui or only a couple of dozen other places - I’m at work every waking moment.

I don’t think most Americans realize how much is involved in this job, probably because I make it look so easy, but I have to give a lot of speeches in front of a lot of admirers, and I feel like I owe it to them to make it the greatest experience of their lives. It’s not just speeches, either. There are a lot of dinners where I have to listen to other speeches, and campaign material to film, interviews to sit through, donation reports to review, photo shoots of me working to arrange, state dinners to host, just many different things. Tonight alone, Dave, I’m not just here talking to you, I have to go have dinner next to Beyonce later. Again.

And then there’s the foreign affairs component - of course my opponents are new to diplomacy - but it’s a very important component of my job to meet with foreign leaders, smooth over damage that has been done to our relationship due to missteps by previous administrations, and explain to them what I have noticed about how they can fix various problems in their countries.

The truth is, I don’t think Mitt Romney is capable of doing what I’ve done over the past three and a half years, and frankly I think deep down he knows it.

bgates

Yes, it’s hard to see how Romney could do to the USA what President Obama has done.

Quo bono

As the TSA prepares to unionize one is left wondering — who does this benefit? Is the TSA a vital national security organization that should be run as well as possible, or just another industry? I have no doubt that all the costs (monetary and otherwise) will once again fall on the public while the TSA and its putative bosses pay no price at all, and union defenders will claim it’s a recipe for a well run organization when no one it has to care about cost or success.

Science!

The ruination by Tranzi occurs in various ways. One that’s come to my attention through some (to me) related articles is how science is being changed. It’s as if these people read cautionary tales like that of Lysenko as “how to” guides. Let’s check a few links —

First up is the fluffy Washington Post piece about gender differences in throwing. The key quote

Thomas1 points out that a biological explanation isn’t palatable to everyone. “If you say something is biological.” he says, “people think you should just give up and go home.” Janet Hyde agrees: “The more we argue for gender differences, the more we feed people’s stereotypes. A belief in large gender differences is incompatible with equal opportunity.” Still, Hyde2 readily acknowledges that there are some biological differences, and throwing is one of them. [emphasis added]

Why is a putative scientist worrying about a political issue when doing science? Science should determine facts and leave it to our political system to handle the politics. That this is just dropped in as a matter of course tells much about the current state of science.

In this same vein is the reaction to a study on gay parenting in which an actual scientist who did science is accused of scientific misconduct because his results are not politically acceptable.

Last is a demonstration of how a scientist responds to scientific criticism. That the “scientist” feels free to respond in this way (and will suffer no career damage from it) again is an indicator of how science works now.

Lysenko would be so proud.


1 Jerry Thomas, dean of the College of Education at the University of North Texas in Denton

2 Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

Mysteries

I don’t understand people who say “all politicians are dishonest incompetent selfish crooks” and “let’s give them control over X”. Do they never ask “why do I want dishonest incompetent selfish crooks in charge of that?”?

17 September 2012

Simulcrud

I was going to brutally snark on this article which is another in the long and tedious series of “are we in a simulation” but the first comment is so good at pithily capturing my point that I’ll just quote that —

You’re very clever young man, very clever, but it’s simulations all the way down!

Everyone has their breaking point

Any thoughts on Instapundit’s call for President Obama to resign due to un-Constitutional actions? I would note, as many have, how eager Old Media has been to help out the Caliphascist on this matter. At what point can I say “fellow traveler”?

"Shut up" he explained

The MAL style of argument — don’t debate policy, just yell “racist!”.

“When we said that Steve King … is pro-life and believes in cutting Social Security and voted for the Ryan budget, no one cared,” — this fits in with what I have thought for a long time, that MAList claims that their policies are actually popular, just not well explained, is delusional. The fact that MALists generally have to campaign on conservative themes (just review the Obama 2008 campaign) should settle that matter. But it’s interesting to see that some of the MALists are starting to realize this and accept that only by lie and smear can they will political contests in the USA.

15 September 2012

Not an 8er

Am I a luddite because I spent 5 minutes with Windows 8 and already hate it? I have 11 million pixels of display surface and I use it all. A stupid little tiled window that takes me back to Windows 386 is not really what I am looking for in a modern operating system. I don’t think I’ll be upgrading any time soon.

12 September 2012

It's the incompetence

I think it’s a problem that, while giving a tribute to our military, you show pictures of Russian warships. It’s indicative of both incompetence and indifference which, in my view, somewhat undercuts the putative concern and appreciation of our military.

In cases where Democratic party advertisements can’t even find actual examples of their subject you are left wondering - lazy incompetence or is the point so bogus that finding real life examples was not possible?

10 September 2012

The Narrative in action

Adam Nagourney writes about a speaker who didn’t speak at the Democratic Part National Convention. This is what I mean by the Narrative - Nagourney had obviously decided, before the speech occurred, how it would be received and wrote it that way. That the speaker, Representative Barney Frank, didn’t actually speak is irrelevant. Yet I am expected to become informed by people like this? I am in fact better informed for not having read him at all.

But informing people simply isn’t the goal of modern journalism, it is creating the Narrative and controlling the conversation. Why shouldn’t I, as someone who respects information, not despise these people?

Update: Let’s not forget this little incident where Brian Ross falsely accused a Tea Partier of being the shooter in Aurora, CO. The key question “how did such a weakly based story make it on the air?”. Because it fit the Narrative and so all those layers of fact checkers and editors let it on by, once again misinforming any viewers. This exact thing has a long history in Old Media yet, somehow, it keeps happening. At what point can I reasonably argue that for Old Media, politics trumps facts for their reporting?

06 September 2012

Wishing makes it so

Can I just mock people who claim that consumption or aggregate demand creates markets, products, and growth? I am reminded of this by an Instapundit post about hover bikes and flying cars. Why are there no flying cars on the market? There sure as heck is an aggregate demand for them! Yet, oddly, unexpectedly, they are not there. Clearly it’s a market failure that requires government intervention.

Paying the piper

Hot Air is finally catching up with me and getting the point about

the Democrats’ odd take on the “ownership society” and their refusal to talk about its costs

It’s unusual for a Tranzi to come right and and say that but it’s a logical implication or underpinning for much of their policy arguments.

The first rule of Government Club is that no one talks about the costs of Government Club — not in terms of dollars, and especially not in terms of liberty.

The costs are not just monetary

You can understand why Democrats don’t talk about the poor. With record-high poverty and an astronomical 46.7 million Americans on food stamps, the concern-for-the-little-guy party has nothing to say and no sympathy to express for these people.

[…]

It is not, of course, that Democrats want to increase the number of chronically underemployed and unemployed people who need food assistance.

I honestly wonder about that quite a bit. As Instapundit frequently quotes “they want to turn us in to beggars because they’re easier to please”. For some its the ability to control but for many (particularly the rank and file) the success of the poor is psychologically threatening because if the poor are not longer poor they don’t need the MALists help.

Let’s link to this post by a leftist website in the UK with a nice graph of income gains. As happens the data actually works against their policies as we can see the clear inflection point of the gains for the lowest 20% hit a wall right around 1967. Some one who cared about the poor might ask what policies were taking hold at that time …

03 September 2012

At least he didn't say "Chicago" or "golf"

An excellent Clarice’s Pieces yesterday which is worth reading. In my view the best quote from it is

41 voting members of the House of Representatives are black.

39 of them are Democrats. (Those numbers would be 42 and 40 save for the death of a Rep in March.)

Given that Democrats famously spurn color blindness to embrace affirmative action, how many of those 39 do you suppose come from majority-white districts?

Did you guess four?

Meanwhile, there are two black Republicans in the House. They were elected from districts that are 82% and 75% white, whiter than any district that sent a black Democrat to the 112th Congress. Apparently an overwhelmingly white electorate is no bar to a black candidate - so long as the overwhelmingly white electorate is also majority Republican.

I’m sure that observation is racist, somehow.

P.S. Links for the inside jokes in the tile - Chicago and golf.

Introspection Fail

Once again it’s amazing how the MAL is so incapable of applying their own talking points to themselves. Today’s instance is President Obama belatedly and awkwardly heading down to Louisiana, canceling fund raising events to do so. Meanwhile Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, head of the DNC, is going on about the callous Republicans having a convention in the face of all that suffering. The Obama campaign is scrambling to recover having once again been surprised by having their own talking points applied to them.

02 September 2012

Non-mainstream pluralities

When affiliation with the Republican party is at an all time high how valid is the Narrative that the Republican party is the party of extremists?

This is particularly amusing with interacting with foreign observers of American politics since it is a rare one of those who is not a hard core fan of President Obama. I regularly read comments from such people who simply cannot understand how the GOP gets any votes at all. What I want to know is, if there is in fact another GOP electoral surge in November, how will they react?

  1. Re-assess if they have an accurate view of GOP positions?
  2. Re-assess if GOP positions are in fact crazy / extreme?
  3. Dismiss the American Street as hopelessly insane?

I know which I would bet :-)