Friday, October 30, 2009

Why the Environuts Annoy the Crap out of Me

It has become tiresome that any discussion at all of an undertaking that might use the tiniest bit of electricity or other form of energy is instantly dismissed or discussed in terms of its environmental impact. I am a huge fan of all things Freakonomics and post at the Freakonomics blog regularly.  Today, there is one of their usually provocative headlines, “What’s More Likely: That Your Vote Will Matter or That You’ll Help Discover Extraterrestrial Life?” 

The first damn comment was this one:

“What about the power usage of a computer running SETI? Those costs are not negligible, especially when compared with the chances of finding life via SETI.”

Killjoy. Instead of discussion on the topic, this knucklehead instantly tries to derail the conversation into his own narrow view of the world.  As if power usage is the Single Most Important Thing in the world for every single aspect of our lives.  So I answered:

"Exploration, by its nature, carries with it the risk of absolutely zero real benefit. So are you, Jason@1&@6, Dan J@2, saying that there should be no exploration without knowing ahead of time that there will be an adequate payoff? Columbus had no assurances that he would find the West Indies or that he wouldn't die at sea, but he went ahead and killed a bunch of trees to build his ships anyway. And then we enslaved the Indians, blah, blah, blah--we're evil, etc., etc., ad infinitum. The SETI Project is taking advantage of otherwise idle resources, the very definition of responsible stewardship. Doesn't matter whether or not the payoff is there, if it does no harm, it's worth doing on the off chance that something good may come of it."

Sometimes, a thing is worth doing for the sheer sake of doing it.  SETI is not likely to produce anything of value in the near future, if ever, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it.  The people behind SETI have enough interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life to raise money, write code, ask for help and generally do whatever they think they need to do to satisfy their quest for knowledge, quixotic or not.  And all these knucklehead environuts can think about is whether or not Mother Earth is being harmed a little.  By their standards, we should try nothing that cannot immediately show a return that satisfies THEIR standards for usefulness.  Assholes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

When is a 10-foot shark just a snack?

When you are a 20 foot shark:

I am of the generation that stood in very long lines to see "Jaws".  For that reason, I never go in the ocean much over knee deep.  Silly, I know, but there it is.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Voting Present

From the Wall Street Journal, via The Weekly Standard and to me via Hot Air.  Both the Weekly Standard and Hot Air rightly focus on this quote:

“People familiar with the internal debates say Mr. Obama rejected a strictly counter-terror approach during White House deliberations in early October. One official said Pentagon strategists were asked to draft brief written arguments making the best case for each strategy, but the strategists had difficulties writing out a credible case for the counter-terror approach — prompting members of Mr. Biden’s staff to step in and write the document themselves.”

But as I read the Journal piece, another passage caught my eye:

"Signs the White House is moving towards Gen. McChrystal's view of the conflict mounted Friday as the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers endorsed the commander's counterinsurgency strategy and signaled they might be open to modestly increasing their military and civilian contributions to the war effort.
Gen. McChrystal made a surprise visit to the NATO meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, to personally brief the defense chiefs on his strategic thinking. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters after the closed-door session that he had heard "broad support from all ministers of this overall counterinsurgency approach," though he cautioned that the NATO members hadn't taken a position on Gen. McChrystal's request for more than 40,000 new U.S. troops.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also publicly backed Gen. McChrystal, and people familiar with the matter said the endorsements from Mr. Brown and NATO were likely part of a coordinated effort to lay the groundwork for Mr. Obama's eventual decision.
"This may be part of an effort by the Obama administration to have the suggestion come from Europe first before the president makes a public commitment," said one person who has discussed Afghan strategy with senior U.S. officials."

Emphasis added.  Our president has once again chosen to outsource the hard work and hard decisions to someone else.  He voted present in the Illinois statehouse, he was barely present in the US Senate and, amazingly, he is continuing that trend in the desk that Harry S. Truman once designated as the place where the buck stops.  Now the president is in the process of passing on the devalued buck to Europe.  While the Journal piece provides us with encouragement that our nobel peace prize* winner is coming to take General McChrystal's view of the long war, it only provides further evidence that our president is an empty suit.

*never again to be capitalized here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Won't Work and Nuclear Will

This is maybe the best explanation I have seen yet for why nuclear power is our best bet to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.  Careful now, it involves some actual science, but is absolutely understandable by anyone with a high school education, or at least what a high school education used to be.

We can stop building the windmill farms now.  Maybe keep building solar, but it is only part of the solution at best.  And people will have to let go of some highly irrational fears over nuclear energy.  By the way, I live within an hour of a nuclear power facility and it is clean as a whistle.  A nuclear-powered whistle.

And "Nuclear Powered Whistle" is a good name for a band.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thought this was an Onion headline...

"Music Stars Demand Records On Bush Administration's Use of Music For Torture"

...but nope, it's a real headline.

What are they gonna do, demand royalties?

Hint to "artists":  if your music is suitable for torture, you might want to tone it down a little.

And "Music for Torture" would be a good name for an album.

"Why do they always give nobel peace prizes* to pussies?"

Haven't seen these guys in a while and had forgotten how funny they can be:

Before all you Obama lovers get torqued up, remember this:  it's a joke!

*I will never capitalize those words again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gonna regret that last post

Because I have now been quoted in the New York Times in the Freakonomics blog in a post on global warming or climate change or whatever they are calling it now.  (Hmmm, how about "apocalyogenesis"--man-caused apocalypse because we all hate Gaia?  Climaticide?  I digress.)

Article is here.

There have been a series of posts at Freakonomics over the last week or so and they have flared up into a real full-on pogrom against any one who expresses anything other than unequivocal belief in man-caused climaticide.

It all began when Steven Dubner wrote about this article from the BBC titled, "What Happened to Global Warming?"  Dubner's article is here, with the prophetic headline, "A Headline That Will Make Global Warming Activists Apoplectic".  Boy, did it, and they unloaded on Mr. Dubner and Steven Levitt of Freakonomics.  Typically, the attacks got personal and histrionic very quickly.

Mr. Levitt followed up with this article, which seemed to only stoke the flames, thus adding to global warming.

And then today's post from Mr. Myhrvold, as referenced above.

I hope that this whole series of articles, appearing as it does in the New York Times and thus in front of the Upper East Siders, will provoke some actual thought processes about the not-so-imminent death of our planet as opposed to the current reflexive reactions it now provokes.  Live frugally, don't be wasteful, drive an SUV if it suits you and quit fretting over whether or not it is green to flush your toilet more than once a day.  We're not running out of oil, water, air or anything else any time soon.

Good Names for Bands

Sometimes, usually when I am talking to my kid, I will utter a phrase that I recognize immediately as being a good name for a band.  If I tweeted, I would post these there, but since I don't here begins a recurring feature, "Good Names for Bands".  This feature will recur as they come up.  The very first entry:

"Crop of Snot"

Don't ask.

Monday, October 19, 2009


You really gotta wonder what goes through people's minds:

At least it's not scrambling a couple of hundred rescue personnel the way Richard Heene did.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proving the lapdoggedness of the media

The first four minutes of this are a primer on how to manipulate the media, and it would appear that they grumbled about it, but went along with it.  She nails herself right around the 5:30 mark.  Yes, Anita, you made it onto YouTube with this little session:

I continue to be amazed by the media's complete abdication of its role as a watchdog. The only watching the media does any more is the watching of the lips of whatever administration official is telling them what to report.

The Smartest People in the World

God save us from these smart people.  They would tell you that they mitigated their loss and that they did a great job keeping it to only $500 million or as their CFO was quoted,  "In evaluating our liquidity position, we wanted to get some stability and some safety."  Which is the over-diploma'ed way of saying, "Jesus H. Christ, we can't pay the bills if we get tagged for this!  Quick, buy our way the hell out of the deal!"

Herd mentality took them into the swaps in the first place as the article points out that Yale and Georgetown, among others, also got caught.

These smart people are running our financial markets, our government, our media and most of our businesses.  Smart is useless if it is not coupled with both common sense and integrity; without those two things it leads us to where we are now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More on the Little Bastard

Apparently, they are not pussified and proud of it:

Actually, good for them that they are active kids.  Bad for them that their parents are nut jobs who think it's cute to have a 6 year old kid sing, "Shut the fuck up!"  Starting to emerge now that maybe this was a publicity stunt that got a little too much pub.  They'll be on Oprah and all the morning shows and shortly afterwards, Dad will go to jail and the kids will go to Family Services.

And now for some full grown bastards.....

Just announced; the Dems have cleared the way to pass the health care bill via budget reconciliation.  In other words, after a summer of shouting at them and telling them we don't want it, they are going to ram it down our throats anyway.  This is not the way that a representative democracy is supposed to work.  The bastards work for us, not for themselves.

The Face of a Little Bastard

Little bastard, just spent thousands of dollars just so he wouldn't get in trouble.  Did the parents know where he was the whole time?  Just wonderin'...

Heene family talks about balloon incident

Anyway, glad he's safe.

Hey y'all, watch this!

Who said that rednecks only live in the south?

Hope everything turns out OK with this.  If it doesn't, this post will disappear.

UPDATE: The kid wasn't in the balloon. They're still looking for him. Jeez, I hope he didn't fall out. Possible prank may be afoot here.

More Smart Diplomacy

If our diplomacy gets any smarter, we're gonna have global thermonuclear war.

Supposedly, the Russkies never believed that we could pull off SDI, or the "Star Wars" defense.  So why have they always been so adamant that we stop developing/deploying it?

Because they know we can do it and they can't.

"Obama says he's looking at any way to create jobs"

Except lowering business taxes.

Or personal taxes.

Or the cost of hiring someone.

Or lowering minimum wage.

Or minimizing regulations.

Or simplifying the tax code.

Or keeping the Bush tax cuts in effect.

Or actually spending the ridiculous "stimulus" money.

But other than that, He's hard at work looking for ways to create jobs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Man, I love me some smart diplomacy!

Well done, Ms. Secretary.  We all feel much safer now.

Ms. Secretary, you have him eating out of the palm of your pudgy little hand.

Any day now, the Norks will hand over the keys to their enrichment facilities.  The Iranians, too.

The smartest woman in the world, hard at work for all of us.


Uh, no to this.

A Public Option Airline would be a nightmare when coupled with our antiquated public option air traffic control system.  We'd all be flying in biplanes, with one ticket counter for the whole airport.

"Public Option Airlines".  Fly POA, otherwise known as "Piece Of Assness" airlines.

Real World Results Don't Matter

Politicians in general and Obama in particular don't let real world results affect their decisions.  In fact, the Left seems to believe that they can somehow centralize and handle our needs better than the Soviets did or better than the European socialist countries have just as the Right is convinced that unfettered free markets will always produce the desired results.  (And I am in the unfettered category; it's never been tried, though and never will be.)

Case in point:  Wendy Button, and her experience with attempting to obtain health insurance after relocation from Washington DC to Massachusetts.   The so-called "free" health insurance that she must purchase as required by RomneyCare is far more expensive than what she paid in DC.  And this is the problem that Obama's requirements for reform will cause.  He insists that pre-existing conditions not be allowed.  This means that the insurance companies have no choice but to price for the recurrence of possibly high cost health problems.  Price goes up.  Obama wants there to be no caps on coverage.  Price goes up.  Obama wants every single person covered but makes no changes to tort law or to break down competitive barriers across state lines.  Price goes up.

So we can have everything that The One wants to "give" us.  We just need to be prepared to pay more for our "gift".  He's not creating competition, He's driving costs up with one set of actions and attempting to lower them with another set of actions.  We should expect nothing more from a man who has spent his entire life in the Ivory Tower and has little real-world understanding of what it takes to run a business.

Mad Dog Madoff

Bernie Madoff actually paid a "prison consultant" to coach him on how to survive in prison.  Not a bad idea for Mad Dog and evidently it paid off for him, as now the other prisoners are afraid the skinny-but-in-a-wiry-sort-of-way Madoff will now go all gangsta on them.

I can just see the former Upper East Sider, realizing that he is about to be in an altercation and stopping to call his consultant:

Madoff:  "RayRay, this Bernie.  This guy is calling me a skinny dumbass motherfucker, saying I don't know shit about the MACD and how to use it and getting all up in my grill.  What do I do?"

RayRay:  "Shit, man, knock him on his ass and glower at him in a menacing way.  Why I gotta tell you ever little thang, dog?  Be a damn man, bitch!  I'll send you my bill next week.  Out."

Walking and Chewing Gum

Heh.  So the hair crew is gonna have to do the equivalent of walking and chewing gum?

"Instead of orchestrating coverage, fact-checking, handling breaking news, paying attention to the [newscast], engaging reporters, questioning authorities, covering bad writing and technical mistakes, anchors will now spend most of their time" running the prompter..."

Waaaaaahhhhh!  Next thing you know they will actually have to understand what they are reading into the metal box in front of them.

Big Ass Hornets

If you go back a few weeks on this blog, you will see a couple of entries about some big ass hornets that I've had buzzing around.  We had a few weeks of cool nights and I didn't see any more, then we had a couple of very warm nights late last week.  Sure enough, I came home one night to find two of them buzzing the light on my back porch.  I got past them and into the house and grabbed my handy can of Raid Wasp and Hornet killer and cut down on them.  Usually, when I hit 'em, they fly off somewhere to croak. Well, these two dropped like rocks onto the porch.  One of 'em was big enough that I thought it might be a queen.   Have a look:

Not the best picture, but I only had a cell phone camera available.  I figure that when all the bajillion leaves I have here drop I will be able to finally find the hive and kill it, although supposedly the queen dies each winter and the next round of queens find a new place to nest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Tale of Two Egos

The two egos being that of our Enchanted Leader, Barack Hussein Obama and that of the collective ego of the nobel peace prize* committee.

In the case of Obama, his hubris is well known and well documented.  He has so far shown an appropriate amount of humility in his comments about the award, stating that he didn't think that he was deserving.  He is right and good for him for saying so.  He appears to be somewhat chastened by the award, since it brought home to him what is obvious to many of us:  he is a lightweight and a man of little real accomplishment.  So plus points to Mr. Obama for finally showing some shred of humility.

Now to the nobel peace prize committee.  It takes a lot of ego to think that the mere awarding of an admittedly once-prestigious award will somehow alter world events.  The intent of the award has always been to highlight those true fighters for peace and freedom in this world who have actually either done something or are currently engaged in a struggle to overcome despotism of one flavor or another.  Obama has done neither.  He only offers the promise, as the committee said, that he will live up to the standards of the prize.

So what has the ego of the committee succeeded in doing?  It has pointed out, quite clearly, Obama's short resume.  The committee has also further debased the prestige of the award, if it had any left after being given to Yasser Arafat.  This is the second prize given to an American politician that was really a slap in the face of George W. Bush, the first being the one given to Jimmeh Cahteh.

The nobel committee has made a farce of Obama and themselves, and it was its ego that did it.

*I will never again capitalize those three words.

More Deserving

Here is a list of some of the people who were passed over for the nobel peace prize*.  To this I would add the thousands of Iranian freedom protestors and in particular, Neda, the young woman whose shooting was captured on video and had begun to resonate around the world until the death of the pervert Michael Jackson, which was of course far more important.  It is a measure of the lack of character of this world that Jackson's death pushed this story entirely off the front pages.  Our media is near useless.

*I refuse to ever again capitalize those three words.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel Specious Prize

Stephanopoulos posits that this will strengthen Obama's hand both at home and abroad.  No.  It further lessens the value of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Just as inexplicable as the fact that he won is that it was a unanimous decision.  Go to the link and listen to the interview with Geir Lundestadt, the Norwegian Nobel Institute Director blather about Obama and how Obama's ideals are so close to the Nobel's ideals.  I guess that among the ideals the Nobel organization wants to promote, actual results do not matter.  Apparently, one simply has to have good intentions.  In that case, you could just as well award the prize to any average 5 year old little girl.

The new theme song for the Nobel Peace Prize is now the Barney song.


When even the Associated Press asks why the Nobel Peace Prize was given to Obama, then you know the prize is a joke.  Of course, it's been a joke at least since Yasser Arafat was given the award.  And, as I sit here writing this, I'm listening to various radio reports all asking the same question:  WTF?

Most reports speculate that this is meant to be a slap in the face to George Bush.  I'm inclined to think that this may be a continuation of the inexplicable cult of personality that sprang up around the Obama candidacy.  He was, according to reports, nominated before he even took office.

Just when you think the world cannot get any stranger, a man who has merely voted "Present" for the majority of his career is awarded what was once the most prestigious international award.  WTF?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Iron Bars and Razor Wire"

There is an essay at Slate today about day care centers in ghettos wanting to know why they look like prisons. That's a useless question; the better question is why is living like that acceptable to those in the ghetto? Seriously, why do they put up with thugs, drugs and poverty? Why do they not get rid of that stuff? Why do they expect someone else to do it for them? Why do they glorify Tha Thug Life and ridicule getting an education as "acting white"? Why is there such a demand that those who better themselves "keep it real" and stay put? Every one has it within themselves the ability to improve their lot in life. If they continue to accept these conditions, there is absolutely no reason to believe that things will change for them. The life you live is a result of the choices you make. Or don't make.

Lefties won't ask those question.  They will say that these people don't know how or that they have been oppressed, blah, blah, blah.  The most oppressive force in their lives is their own culture.  If a culture accepts and glorifies continued penury, then that is a debased and sick culture.  Period.  Change your culture, change your life.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

We Kinda Expected Something Like This, Didn't We?

The New York Times has an article about the art that the Obamas now have hanging at the White House.  Here is one of the pieces of artwork currently hanging in the home of our new Decider:

The caption at the Times reads, ""I think I'll ... " by the California artist Ed Ruscha. It deals with the subject of indecision."

Duh.  There just really isn't much left to say, is there?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Trying to keep an open mind...

So, I try to keep an open mind and since I didn't have any boils to lance, I watched this clip of Michael Moore making his opening remarks to the American Film Institute just prior to the premiere showing of the movie:

He comes up with a business idea for a chain of AFI theatres while making his remarks!  And then, at the end, he asks his audience to put away any recording devices they may have.  Why?  Because were someone to record it, a bootleg copy of the film would cut into his earnings.  He would have medical providers work for free, but will not allow his work to be copied without compensation.  I wonder if this hypocrite realizes that he lives in a country that would allow and even reward him were he to start such a chain?  And that this same country would gladly help him to enforce his copyright?  Luh-hoo-ser!

Friday, October 02, 2009

It's Official

Obama didn't fail to bring the O-lympics back home.  The rest of the world is racist for denying Him.

I would tweet that if I were a twitterer.

Jumping the Shark, Obama-style

He did it; he just dealt his own Presidency a severe blow.

Ours is a celebrity-obsessed culture and right now, there are no bigger celebrities in the US than Barack and Michelle Obama and Oprah.  And they just failed and in so doing embarrass themselves, their city and their country.  Without question, Obama's involvement in this effort was test of his popularity on the world stage and he lost big.  Which means we lost big.  I care not one whit for the loss that Chicago has sustained, in terms of money.  I care greatly for the loss of prestige for that great city, for the loss of prestige of the Office of the President and for the loss of prestige for our country.

More to the point for Obama, this diminishes his celebrity-hood.  And it was that celebritiness that got him elected in the first place.  When the 52 percent begins to come to the realization that he ain't all that (and that is happening as I write this), his popularity will drop to Bushian levels.  At least Bush has the comfort of knowing that he held to his own moral compass.  Obama can only reflect that he has failed more often than not, especially in the international arena.  Just embarrassing for us all.

I cannot for the life of me fathom what he was doing.  He is a trained lawyer, fer cryin' out loud!  First rule of being a lawyer is never ask a question you don't know the answer to.  First rule of being President is never risk loss of face in foreign matters without already having the deal done.

We have a naive, unworldly, suit-wearing, smooth-talking, shark jumper for a President.

Never Mind how the White House spins it...

...look at how the media is already spinning it; Not Obama's Fault:

BBC News' Adam Brookes in Chicago: "The shock of Chicago's elimination was greater for the fact that it came in the first round. And greater for the fact that President Obama had taken valuable hours from his packed and tense political schedule to travel to Copenhagen. His legendary powers of persuasion will be said to have failed him, though in reality it will be Chicago's bid that failed him. Nonetheless, this is a moment which allows the president's detractors to allege waning prestige on the part of his presidency. And it will raise questions about the political advice that he is receiving."

Amazing, they just can't admit that we have an empty suit in the White House.

What the hell was He thinking?

"Chicago Out in First Round"

That's Drudge's headline as of about 30 seconds ago.  What the hell was Obama thinking?  He stood to gain almost nothing by going to Copenhagen to stump for the Olympics and had a much bigger potential for an embarassment.  Now the naive Obama has not only managed to embarrass himself, he has embarassed the office of the President and he has embarrassed the country.  By getting personally involved in this effort, he gave the IOC the chance to embarrass the US and, by golly, they took it.

Our preening, insufferably egotistical President seems to truly believe that his mere presence is enough to sway all who would dare oppose him.  From what I heard, Rio put on a spirited, upbeat presentation and Obama's was somber and downbeat and, amazingly, all about Him.

We are well and truly screwed, folks.  If you are a Bush hater and you thought Bush was a poor President, you ain't seen nothing yet.  Bush at least had the courage of his convictions.  His biggest sin was that he actually did the things that he said he was going to do.  He followed through.  Obama, on the other hand, puts on his suit, lines up his teleprompter, drops in and says a few things in that wonderful voice of his and leaves.  Not gonna be bothered with the details or the results.

I just can't wait to hear how the White House spins this utter embarrassment.