Thursday, March 31, 2011

Intellectual Laziness

Micheal Moore was recently quote as saying some really silly stuff.  His point of view is consistently leftist, with a smattering of outright communism.  His films are shoddy propaganda, so much so, in fact, that Cuba banned his film that touted the Cuban health system.  The Cubans found it to be too biased, and were worried that the Cuban people would be upset by the depiction of a health care system they never have access to.

I am not making this up.  Micheal Moore is too leftist for the commies.

So now Moore is quoted with a factual error, claiming that we are the oldest democracy.

ROSEANNE BARR: Doesn’t it look like we’re all kind of really go to war against all Muslim people? I mean, it’s like five nations now. It’s scary.

MOORE: And I think if you live in the Muslim world, you’re scared by that too. That’s why I think our involvement in this has got to be of a different caliber than military. We can provide other things. I mean we’re the oldest democracy in the history of the world.

Since we are neither a democracy (we are representative constitutional republic) nor the oldest (I think Athens gets the honors here), people are mocking the fat man for getting his facts wrong.  This is a trivial mistake, but one that right wingers would be mocked and derided for making. 

But this is not new for Moore.  All of his facts are wrong or distorted. 

This is what happens when you think you are smarter than you really are, and no one ever challenges your assertions.

I am sure Michael Moore is a reasonably intelligent guy. He is able to make movies, speak in sentences, etc.
But he is convinced that he is smarter than he really is. He has high verbal intelligence, and that is often mistaken for being smart.  This particularly true in the media world where being able to speak well  is considered proof of intelligence. 

And no one ever challenges him on the facts. So he gets intellectually lazy.

Compare and contrast someone like Ann Coulter. Every fact, every comma, every word she says or writes is ‘fact checked’ by the Left. So Ann is careful to do research and back her assertions with facts.

Moore does not get fact checked. Ever. So he is free to be intellectually lazy (and by the look of him, lazy in a number of other ways as well).

So Moore is free to serve up a dog’s breakfast of feelings, illogical assertions, and incorrect facts as the The Truth. He is free to pontificate utter nonsense and communist talking points.  He is free to advocate the demise of the very system that allows him to exist in the first place.  (Name another place in the world where Moore could make the films that he makes and survive.)

And no one ever challenges him on it.

So he continues to stumble along, spouting propaganda and gibberish, all the while being adored by the Left.

Playing the Trump Card

The Birther movement is finally getting it's moment in the sun. 
For the past 3 years a number of people have been insisting that Obama must show his original, long form birth certificate.  Obama has refused to do so.  In fact, he has spent millions on lawyers in an effort to get such requests squashed. 

Donald Trump has now taken up the issue, and raised it on a number of high profile talk shows.  So now the issue is getting some attention from the MSM. 

Some pundits are dismissing this as a hate based witch hunt.  Others continue to ignore it or marginalize the 'birthers' as bunch of nut jobs.  But this is a serious issue.

The issue at hand is nothing less than the most profound Constitutional crisis in the history of our republic.
There is literally no precedent for this if it is found that Obama is not eligible to be President.

OK, so all the laws he passed are null and void. But then what:
  • Obama signed the Pigford agreement, paying black farmers for alleged past discrimination. Do they have to give the money back?
  • The takeover of GM is null and void. But what? Do the stockholders get their money back? Do the bond holders get a new deal?
  • What happens to all of the decisions of the judges that Obama appointed?  Are they null and void as well?  Do they all get re-tried?  And at whose expense?
  • What of the Czars and the cabinet officers? How do you actually undo all of the acts and regulations of people appointed by Obama?
This would get ugly really fast.

And then think of the legal repercussions:

  • Obama: is he put in jail? On what charge? Treason? How do you commit treason if you are not a citizen?  Impeachment, certainly. But then what? Deportation back to Kenya?
  • The people that signed election certifications: Each state requires a signed affidavit that they candidate is able to be on the ballot, etc.  Do you throw the election certifiers in jail in every state he was on the ballot?
  • Hawaii: They are refusing to release the document, and so presumably know it’s contents or the fact that it does not exists. Are they thrown in jail?
  • Civil unrest: The unions are threatening revolution over the issue of health care contributions. Imagine what they will do when their primary sponsor is impeached. I would predict rioting in the streets.
Fasten your seat belts, people. This could get really interesting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Let there be Light!

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed the single most important invention of the last 200 years.

No other invention has brought so much benefit to mankind at so little cost.   Yes, the incandescent light bulb, the source of light for billions of people, has been outlawed by congress.

For the vast majority of human history, we have lived in darkness.  And not just metaphorical darkness.  Actual darkness.  Light was a rare and expensive luxury.  People worshipped the sun and had great festivals to mark the longest and the shortest days of the year.  Many hours were spent in the darkness, huddled against the monsters of the long, dark night.  The only sources of useful light were candles or oil lamps, and both were luxury items that the masses could not afford.

Candles and oil lamps are also incredibly dangerous.  Fire was an ever present threat that killed many people.

The light bulb changes all of that. Now, we hardly notice the amount of light in the outside world, for we have the safe and trusty light bulb to banish the darkness. 

The light bulb has transformed human society.  People are freed from the shackles of sunlight, and can work or play around the clock.  This has led to a great leap in human productivity.  When we say that we are burning the midnight oil, what we really mean is that we are using a light bulb to vanquish the darkness.

This arrangement has worked incredibly well for a long time, with a few minor issues.  You see, it seems that the light bulb is not efficient.

Much of the energy consumed is wasted in the form of heat.  And the amount of power used to create light is much higher than in some of the alternative sources of light, like the big, bulky fluorescent bulbs. 

With the introduction of compact fluorescent bulbs, there came predictions that the reign of the incandescent bulb was over, and that we would all switch to these new, energy saving devices.  The second coming of light, so to speak.

But the switch over never came, and the CFL bulbs never captured a material share of the market.  People did not like them.  They were expensive, did not produce very good light, and a poor investment, costing ten times a regular light bulb. .

This lack of free market adoption is not good enough for the nanny staters and enviro-nazis.   They want to save the planet, and see the incandescent bulb as a threat to the environment.  So it must go, no matter the consequences.

So they gave up waiting for the masses to see the light on CFL's, and demanded that people be forced to buy them.  They argued that CFL's work just as well, last many times longer, and save large amounts of energy.

Incredibly, congress agreed, and banished the incandescent bulbs to the darkness.  Effective next year, we will no longer be able to purchase the good old light bulb.  Only CFL's are allowed.

Now there are some problems with CFL's. Namely, they suck.

They don't work: one of the great uses of light bulbs is instant light.  You walk into a room, flip a switch, and presto, you can see.  CFL's don't work that way.  Not only do they emit a harsh light, but it takes some 15 minutes for the bulb to reach full brightness.  This is a bad solution for bulbs in places like storage closets, garages, and any place where the light is not left on for a long time.

The Return on investment is bad:  The CFL's cost more.  A lot more.  Like 10 times as much as an incandescent bulb.  But they are supposed to last for years longer.  Except that they do not.  Breakage aside, the CFL's are not lasting as long as was promised. They tend to burn out faster in situations where they are turned on and off a lot.  All of which means you never get back the 10x cost for bulb.

They are a toxic waste hazard:  The CFL's contain mercury.  This is REALLY DANGEROUS chemical.  Unlike Alar and every other faux chemical scare the left has inflicted upon us over the past decade, this stuff is deadly.  The EPA published guidelines on how to clean up after a broken CFL bulb.  3 pages of instructions including opening doors and windows and turning off the heat. . So if your kids are horsing around in the bedroom and break a bulb, you have to cool off the entire house to the outside temperature in order to keep poisonous gases from spreading throughout your home.   How much energy am I saving when I open all my windows in January? 

See the Federal guidelines here:

How much are we saving here, exactly?

But none of this matters.  We must bow to the environmental gods and use these crappy bulbs to light our lives. 

And all of this data was available before the law was passed, so none of this is a surprise.

So it seems like this was deliberate.  The green movement has been accused of trying to move us back to the stone age.  In this case, however, they are merely regressing civilization to the Dark Agees.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Executive Appointments -- Stop the Madness

The executive branch, i.e., the President, has the power to appoint people to various offices, including the Supreme Court.

The Senate has oversight, and must consent to any appointment. 

From the Constitution:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Currently this system is being abused. 

The language is clear: the Senate must approve all appointments.  In reality, the Senate simply ignores its duties and does not bring candidates up for a vote.

The President is then forced to make appointments while the Senate is in recess, and these appointees never get confirmed by the Senate.

This creates majot dysfunction, and the final result is unconstitutional.

I proposed the following changes:

The Senate must vote on every executive appointment within 90 days. Failure to hold vote will be considered dereliction of duty, and will result in the automatic impeachment of all Senators of the party that control the Senate at that time.  Special elections will be held to fill these seats.

All recess appointments shall be subject to Senate confirmation within 30 days of congress being convened.  All officers appointed during a recess shall not remain in that office for more than 120 days.

This will return the process to the balance of power envisioned by the Constitution.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hannity is missing the point!

Sean Hannity is a great American.  But he completely missed the point in this debate.

He is talking with Michelle Bachman and Anthony Weiner about budget, taxes, and spending. 

Rep. Weiner is a left wing lunatic, who cackles mirthlessly and repeats the same statement: :we have a deficit because we gave tax cuts to the millionaires and billionaires and we have to pay for that".

Hannity proceed to argue on the details: Obama signed it, the rich pay enough now, we spend too much.

Weiner say in response "one of the ways we spend money is by giving to millionaires and billionaires.

Hannity continues on, and the never really reach a conclusion, other than Weiner laughing like a psychotic.

Sean misses the point completely by not rejecting the premise of the point: tax cuts are not "spending money".  When people keep their own hard earned money it is NOT federal spending. 

Weiner's premise is that all money belongs to the government, and through the tax code they allow us to have some of it to spend for ourselves.  And that when I keep money in my pocket, this counts as 'spending' by the Federal government.

This is not true.  At least in a free republic.

The only system of government in which Rep. Weiner's premise is true is in a communist state. 

So rather than accept the premise, then argue the details, Sean should have stopped the discussion and rejected the basic premise.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Global Warming causes......not much

Global Warming causes...less damage than the alternative.

The recent topic of melting glaciers got me thinking about the fact that not too long ago there were huge glaciers covering most of North America.

These glaciers pushed south while crushing the land below under immense weight and pressure.  They destroyed virtually all life before them, and scraped much of the terrain of the continent into the sea.   Bad, scary stuff.

On the plus side, we have been left with some charming geologic features like Long Island, Cape Cod, Glacier National Park, and the Kettle Moraine area.

Thirty years ago the press was sounding the alarm that the Ice Ages were returning.  They pointed out that glaciation occurred in cycles, and we were well overdue for the next one.   These claims were based on cooling trends and the long term changes in the climate.

Imagine for a moment what would happen to civilization if everything north of the Mason-Dixon line was crushed under a mile thick sheet of ice.  All of Canada, Chicago, New York, Boston, gone.  All of the wheat belt of the Dakotas, all of the lumber producing forest of the north, gone.  Northern Europe, all of Russia, most of China, covered in ice.

Some of the most productive regions on earth would be destroyed.  Human civilization would probably collapse, with food scarce and the entire planet subject to severe cold and short growing seasons.  Billions of people would perish.

Now the AGW crowd claims that we are all going to die from the effects of Climate Change. But not from the another Ice Age. They now claim the earth is warming and it is the fault of industrialized nations and the CO2 output.   They have made wildly exaggerated claims about the seas rising, deserts flourishing, and earthquakes running amok.  They have even made movies and documentaries about the effects of global warming.

We know that these effects are overstated because the earth has been warmer in the past, and these warm times coincide with times when man flourished.  In fact, the medieval warm period was once referred to as the 'climactic optimum' by the poor bastards that were freezing their butts off in Europe during the Little Ice Age that followed.

But even these hysterical warmist claims of climatic Armageddon are less severe than the known effects of another Ice Age.

If we had the power to choose (which we do not), we would choose warming over cooling.  Every time.  All of the supposed effects of AGW can be overcome with ease compared with the difficulty of stopping a glacier from crushing the life out of your civilization.

So here we are trying to combat the relatively minor and hypothetical damage that might occur if AGW is real, all the while increasing the risk that glaciers will wipe civilization off the face of the planet.

Now if you want absolute proof that colder weather is more damaging than warmer weather, here it is:

When they made the movie The Day After Tomorrow to highlight the dangers of global warming, they made COLD WEATHER the central dramatic problem of the film.  How strange is it that the biggest killer in a story about warmer temperatures is the cold, and the characters spend the entire film trying to stay warm in the face of a deep freeze.

They had to do this to make the film interesting.  A bunch of people sitting around in wife beater t-shirts saying "how 'bout  this heat" does not make for a dramatic blockbuster.   Humans instinctively know that cold is scarier than heat, and a drama based on people sweating would be boring (A Streetcar Named Desire notwithstanding).

So, AGW is likely a bunch of baloney, but even if it is not, it is better than the alternative of another Ice Age.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Global Warming causes......


That's right, folks.  When the temperature of the air warms up a few degrees, the effect on geologic faults that lie 6 miles below the surface of the earth is immediate and severe.  The huge tectonic plates begin to cavort wildly, and presto! Severe earthquakes.

OK, this is obviously silly.

But the actual claim by the Global Warming Mongers is not much more valid.

In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Japan, the media weave into the reports of earthquake damage the claim that increased seismic activity is one of the threats posed by Climate Change.  This, of course, is  part of the strategy to 'never let a good crisis go to waste'.

They must advance to mantra of Global Warming, no matter how absurd or in poor taste. (Thousands are dead, but never mind that.  We must advance the cause!)

The theory is as follows:  Huge glaciers sit atop the land, and the immense weight of the ice is pressing down on the rock.  As warming causes the ice to melt, the weight is released, causing the land to rise.  This rise will then trigger increased activity along seismic fault lines, and we will have more earthquakes.

The Facts:  The glaciers do, in fact, push down on the bedrock with enormous weight, pushing the land down.  When the weight of the ice is released, the land does spring back to it's previous level.  It does this on a geologic time scale, ie, over tens of thousands of years.

One place where we see this is the Canadian Shield.  Having been compressed during the last ice age, it is in the process of rebounding, rising a few centimeters per year.  It has been doing this for some 10,000 years, since the time when mile-thick glaciers covered the northern hemishpere.

There is no evidence that this effect causes earthquakes.  And since the last ice age ended over 10,000 years ago, if the rebound effect did cause earthquakes it would be causing what we consider the 'normal' amount of earthquakes, as we do not have records during a time when the earth was not rebounding.

But none of this matters, because these minor changes in the level of the plates are NOT what causes major earthquakes. (We will only consider major earthquakes here, as minor ones are of no consequence to human life. There are thousands of tiny earthquakes everyday, and they are picked up only on the most sensitive instruments.)

Earthquakes are cause by plate tectonics. This is the process by which the major land masses float around on the molten surface of the earth's core, colliding with one another and causing vibrations in the crust as they ride atop one another, or slip past each other.  The plates move at rates of several centimeters a year. They get stuck in certain spots where stress builds up.  When something breaks, the plates snap forward to release the stress.

When the movement is large (measured in meters) we get large earthquakes.

This only applies when motion of the plate is opposed by another plate. There is nothing to stop the upward movement of the land as it rebounds from the weight of the glaciers, so they don't get 'stuck' when moving like this.

So the idea that global warming causes earthquakes is stupid and has no basis in science. It is an example of the vast over reach of the GW crowd.  They are so desperate to scare people into supporting their ideas, they are wildly overplaying their hand. 

The next time you hear something is caused by global warming, don't believe it.

Hypocrite, thy name is the MSM

Ok, this is a fairly shopworn topic, but I can only take so much before I snap.

The Mainstream Media is so over-the-top hypocritical that even satire is no longer possible.

One example:

Several months ago a congresswoman from Arizona was shot.  The MSM immediately blamed Sara Palin and the 'angry tone' of the Tea Party right for inspiring the shooter.  The fact that the shooter was a statanist with no ties to anything remotely associated with either Palin or the Tea Party did not matter.  We were subjected to weeks of coverage demanding a 'new civility' and endless moralizing about the use of certain words and phrases. 

So without a single example of threats or any other connection to the right, we get endless coverage of the need to take the 'heated rhetoric' out of politics.

Now we have a little disagreement in Wisconsin over the rights of government Unions to collectively bargain.  The professional Left turns out in droves to protest, and the mobs turn angry.  There are pictures of Gov. Walker as Hitler, pictures with crosshairs, signs demanding violence, and actual death threats.  Yes.  Actual threats of bombs and murder from the Left.

And what do we hear from the MSM?  Nothing.  Calls for civility? Connections between the violence and the leaders of the Left? Nope. 

Instead, the MSM joins in with the linguistic violence.  This week in Time Magazine, they call the Govenor a deadman, with a headline calling him a 'deadman Walker".

So much for the new civility.

There is no longer even a pretense at fairness or balance.  In fact, there is not even an effort to make it News.  It is pure propaganda.

And it is so over the top biased as to defy parody.  How do you lampoon something that is already a joke?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My new man crush..... Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is in the middle of a well publicized breakdown.  His career is in a shambles, his smash hit television show is no longer in production, he is twice divorced, and has been sent into rehab. 

Yet my love for him knows no bounds.

This is a recent crush.  In fact, I have never seen an episode of the show that was netting him a few million bucks a show.  Nor have I seen many of his movies. 

Over the last few days, however, I have come to appreciate the man in full that is Charlie Sheen.   Oh, sure, he is drug addled and completely off the tracks.  And is prone to violent outbursts, prolonged drug binges, and porn star fueled orgies. 

But I am beginning to love him for one thing: completely unfiltered responses.  Here are the top ten quotes (so far) from the indominatable Mr. Sheen:

  1. "I got tiger blood, man. My brain...fires in a way that is - I don't know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm."
  2. "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."
  3. “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitchin’, a total freakin’ rock star from Mars.”
  4. "I'm bi-winning. I win here and I win there. Now what? If I'm bi-polar, aren't there moments where a guy like crashes in the corner like, 'Oh my God, it's all my mom's fault!' Shut up! Shut up! Stop! Move forward."
  5. I'm sorry, man, but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time — and this includes naps — I'm an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground."
  6. On his daily life: "It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view." "It's a polygamy story...All my guy friends are gonna like throw tomatoes at me. It's like an organic union of the hearts."
  7. "That's how I roll. And if it's too gnarly for people, then buh-bye."
  8. "I probably took more than anybody could survive. ... I was bangin' seven-gram rocks and finishing them because that's how I roll, because I have one speed, one gear. ... I'm different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying's for fools, dying's for amateurs."
  9. On his two girlfriends: "You've read about the goddesses, come on. They're an international sensation. These are my girlfriends. These are the women that I love that have completed the three parts of my heart. ... It's a polygamy story. All my guy friends are gonna like throw tomatoes at me. It's like an organic union of the hearts."
Pure Awesomeness.  Pure Win!