Archive for November, 2012

Links for Friday, 30 November 2012

Some post election thoughts, albeit a bit late.

They ran out of undies on Staten Island (despite the promises from a “Presidential” looking Obama)
From Fox,

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro says the people of his community are in desperate need of fresh underwear.

“It’s like a third-world nation,” Molinaro said in a phone interview on Tuesday’s Good Day New York.

If you reference my March 2011 post on being prepared for a disaster level emergency, you’ll note that I recommend you set aside extra underwear and socks in the “Shelter” section.


Is it the end of conservatism in America?
From a commenter at The Belmont Club,

I still have hope, but it is in the states and local communities. The governors and state legislatures must step up and stop acting like subsidiaries of Washington. Those that do will thrive; those that don’t will slouch toward their demise.

So let me be perfectly clear: we must restore self-governance. That was true before this election, and it remains true.

I want to encourage everyone to keep trying to preserve the republic. We have been blessed to be a part of this great American experiment, and we owe it to those who have paid in blood and treasure to not give up. It is a duty we should not fear, but relish. And if you don’t think you can do that where you live, come on down to Texas. We may be the last, best hope of the last, best hope on earth.


No! Your argument ignores reality.
For clarification, try a simple term substitution – as shown by the strikeout and italics below. From the “Dear Republicans” post, (FYI, the post degrades into juvenile level vulgarity),

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, mention abortion the intentional killing of innocent unborn children again. It will never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, be illegal in this country.

Whether or not the truth claim of the second assertion is valid does not mandate the abdication from morality as indicated by the first assertion.

Further reference, The SLED Test.


Even Obama, Presidential-looking though he may be, cannot cut through red tape.


The Gods of the Copybook Headings, by Kipling

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


Things Heard: e238v5

Good morning.

  1. Climate not cooperating. Is spin required?
  2. Gun law growsing in Illinois.
  3. I’m sorry that headline makes no sense. The president cannot sustain any “serious” blows to a thing which he has lost long ago. Oh, wait, perhaps they meant Mr Geithner’s credibility.
  4. Various Physics grails, err, quests.
  5. Yes, it was common in the past to view Islam as a Christian heresy … I’m thinking today’s Muslims would take a dim view of that approach.
  6. Of course they’re going to go after the 401k’s … it’s where the only money is left.
  7. That was somewhat unexpected I venture.
  8. Ethics and hell.
  9. Dr Strangelove and Obamacare.
  10. Feel good about that yet?
  11. The other Libyan question.
  12. Jail? Seems a bit light.
  13. New Orleans and the rebuilt levees.

Things Heard: e238v4

Good morning. Well, yesterday I was driving to and from a job site … and then I got busy. Ah well.

  1. Deceit, war and trust.
  2. Homophobia recognized “officially” as a meaningless word.
  3. The missing why? or not?
  4. Oooh, liberal bigot finds a home. This certainly identifies as “you are that of which you speak” very well.
  5. Of abortion, information access and trisonomy 21.
  6. So, higher taxes on the rich will make barely a ripple of difference in the deficit, so why is it important?
  7. Heh.
  8. Here’s the dumbest post on the net in a long while. “Thanks?” Seriously … that’s your flowchart? Let’s see “Yah, honey … I got the flowchart and followed it … I’m getting Suzy a quart of Schnapps and a chainsaw, for Billy a carton of cigars and a bag of Vicodin, and a 12 gauge and a basket of shells for little Sammy. It’s all OK on your chart right?” Alas, that would be fine according to Mz Jender. I’m hazarding a guess that the author of that chart isn’t actually a parent.
  9. Better than that aforementioned 12 gauge perhaps. In which better means better, not better suited.
  10. Not exactly PEDs … (note googling indicates actual studies show small performance gains for endurance athletes above 12,000 feet … which includes basically no baseball, football or body sculptors on the planet …. on the other hand it does lead to lots of good bad football jokes).
  11. Student loans and Duff beer.
  12. An amazing “do not assume” sentence.
  13. Star Wars “force”  … not a religion. Sorry.
  14. OK then.
  15. State department amateur hour continues.
  16. Racism and Ms Rice.
  17. Some prayers for ya to use (or try).
  18. Actually most SCADA systems installed that I’ve seen depend on the intra-net security, i.e., VPN layer is the security. One of the best is a PPP via dial up modem with the modem turned off by the plant when they don’t need support. It’s really really hard to remotely hack through a modem that’s turned off.
  19. Oh shush. Really. Shush.

"Consider This!", Episode 23: Government Programs, 2016 Presidential Picks, Poverty in California and the Fiscal Cliff

Back with more topics than I’ve ever squeezed into 10 minutes or less, “Consider This!” is back with a new episode.

A friend of mine posted a graphic of Sen. Bernie Sanders with a  quote from him extolling the results of Social Security, with the tag, “Social Security has done exactly what it was designed to do.” Well sure, in the short term, big government social programs always look good. Think of how Social Security looked in the first 5 or 10 years. People who had paid little or nothing into it got monthly checks from the government. Wonderful.

John Hawkins at the blog Right Wing News polled conservative bloggers on who the GOP should choose at their 2016 nominee. The short answer? Marco Rubio was the clear winner. He was followed by Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan. The two who topped the list of those they least wanted to see on the ticket were Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Then John asked, want to see something scary?

The government recently modified its determination of which states have the worst poverty rates. The new measure incorporates a controversial calculation of relative equality that demotes states that have wide gaps between wealthy people and people with less than one-third of state residents’ average income. This income gap is something that liberals have spoken out against, and believe they have an answer to. But with this new measure included, it’s interesting to see what state dropped to the rock bottom of the survey; California.

A government report released Monday warned that a sudden increase in taxes would result in lower consumer spending next year, and some analysts wondered if the concerns about what could happen might crimp spending throughout the rest of the holiday season. Um, yeah. The Obama administration is just now figuring out what conservatives have been saying, well, pretty much for a generation. In other news, the sky is indeed blue, and math still works.

Click here for show notes, feedback options, ways to subscribe to the podcast, or just listen to it on the web page itself.

Things Heard: e238v2

Good morning. Brevity?

  1. Wind.
  2. Spies.
  3. Why redistribute?
  4. Debt.
  5. Narcissism.
  6. Extremophiles.
  7. So … a B?
  8. So … a bike?
  9. Darwin award?
  10. Preferred for durability yet banned.
  11. Sexism.
  12. list?
  13. Simming mideast nukes.
  14. Syria.
  15. State Dept amateur hour.
  16. Questions questions.
  17. book.

The War on Religion

(Hey, if Democrats can invent a war, so can I.)

Hobby Lobby had filed suit to block the ObamaCare contraception mandate. They lost round 1.

As a “secular” corporation, they have no rights to use the religious beliefs of their ownership as a justification not to abide by the contraception mandate. This decision is inconsistent with the Tyndale House one you may have heard about. So apparently being a Bible publisher does make you religious, but being a Bible seller doesn’t.

The argument the administration advanced successfully in the Hobby Lobby case is a particularly troublesome one for believers of all faiths who operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money. According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s "free exercise" clause because “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.”

Hobby Lobby is an all-American success story if there ever was one. Read the whole thing for their history. But now, with ObamaCare breathing down our collective necks, you lose your religious freedom the minute you start a company.

The company remained all privately owned, with no franchising. Their statement of purposes and various commitments all begin with Bible verses, commitments to honor the Lord. The Hobby Lobby folks pay well above minimum wage and have increased salaries four years in a row despite the recession. They are teetotalers of the old Oral Roberts variety, refusing to stock shot glasses, don’t sell any of their store locations with liquor stores, don’t allow backhauling of beer shipments – all things that could make them money, but they just bear the costs. Every Christmas and Easter, the Hobby Lobby folks advertise a free Bible and spiritual counseling. They are closed every Sunday. The family also signed the giving pledge, committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

So: I doubt this is the type of company to spend one dime on this contraception mandate. They will just drop coverage, and pay employees the difference, shifting them onto the exchanges or the taxpayer, rather than compromise their beliefs. It’s logical, it’s more predictable as a budgeting choice, and it will save them tens of millions in the long run versus retaining coverage and paying the fine.

I have to wonder if this wasn’t part of the plan all along; a self-fulfilling prophesy of the need for state insurance exchanges by forcing, in part, religious people who happened to have started a business to join them. That’s a little cynical, I’ll agree, but it’s tough to understand this blatant contravening of freedoms in the very first Amendment.

Arguing that a corporation isn’t a person is one thing. Arguing that you stop being one when you create one is another one entirely.

Things Heard: e238v1

Good morning. Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving!

  1. The 10 rules of mystery fiction … which apparently are not set in China, just don’t tell Master Li and #10 Ox.
  2. Darwinish awards.
  3. Society, progressivism and the brothel. What could go wrong?
  4. Of fasting and prayer.
  5. Mr Obama, Mr Morsi and the Coptic variant of the Arab Spring.
  6. The other side of the spectrum from the .22 LR.
  7. Dallas and communism’s fall.
  8. Considering Skyfall.
  9. Seriously?
  10. MOOCs here and here. Higher education gets you two things, credentials and skills.
  11. Drones.
  12. Abuse of the little man sometimes has consequences.
  13. game.
  14. The trailer piqued my (and my #2 daughter’s) interest. How about you?
  15. East/West and some theological considerations.
  16. A liberal attempts to understand the conservative point of view. Fails.

Things Heard: e237v3

Good morning.

  1. It almost sounds like someone has never heard of the charity vultures.
  2. Oh me, oh my.
  3. Somebody hasn’t understood Grand Torino.
  4. Hysterical cycles. Very heavy fog on the ride in this morning by the way.
  5. If you subsidize something you get more of it. Somebody somewhere will explain why making it easier to freeload on our healthcare industry will get less people to free load on the same. Kinda like the whole increasing demand without increasing supply will make it all cheaper.
  6. Or that part time labor is better than full time. Gosh, it’s all good. 1984 here we come.
  7. On liturgy.
  8. I have no idea what the word “lastaviglie” means, but “honey … don’t worry it won’t hurt your dishes and we won’t have road grease on our plates” is probably not the right translation.
  9. Or it’s because cricket races are crap on a stick.
  10. Market confidence.
  11. Some advice for Friday shoppers. Actually I heard at lunch a really good piece of advice, if you know what’s going to be on sale (and you think it will/might sell out) buy it today and go in to get the price correction only on Friday.
  12. Actually I’d go further, ignoring professional incompetence on account of race is not moral cowardice, it’s racism pure and simple.
  13. This makes no sense to me, Tyndale a religious book publisher gets the waiver … but others do not. It’s incomprehensible.
  14. The Rubio earth/age kerfuffle … well I didn’t get any time to make my own estimates … a co-worker offered that Mr Rubio should have asked the reporter what he thought the decay time of the neutron was, and when he got a huh? in response, should have said, well I don’t know either, how about we both talk about policy and politics instead of appeal to exterior authorities about stuff neither of us really has a clue about.
  15. Another guy who has no clue about what he’s talking about.
  16. Democrats against freedom.
  17. Syria.

Be wary of those who rag on that the Republican Party is primarily made up of old, rich, racist white men. Be wary because when faced with the prospect of a young Hispanic Republican, as in Marco Rubio, the media seems to think that a question of priority for said Republican is to ask him how old he thinks the Earth is. Let’s disregard how other issues were skipped over in lieu of that high priority age of the Earth question. Issues such as: immigration, the economy, healthcare, gun running into Mexico, a U.S. Ambassador being killed in a coordinated attack at a U.S. Embassy and, maybe, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, you know – low priority issues like that. Oh, and let’s also disregard the fact that Rubio probably-most-likely-maybe thinks that the laws of aerodynamics work consistently enough so that he believes that when he boards a jetliner it will actually fly through the air (as designed); or that he thinks that the laws of chemistry work consistently enough so that when he takes medication it will interact with his body the way it is supposed to; or that he thinks most of that – you know – “science stuff” really works.

Yes, since they can’t accuse him of being an old, rich, racist white man, they simply disregard all of the real issues and paint him out to be some sort of buffoon by asking him how old the Earth is because, when all is said and done, they’re not interested in tolerating a Hispanic Republican.

Be wary.

Things Heard: e237v2

Good morning. And I don’t know how old the earth is … I was taught (and believe) that every number stated in science needs units (unless it’s dimensionless) and error bars. But an interesting exercise for the  reader is to use make estimates based on things you know to estimate age and error … what do you get and how do you get it? If you can’t get the age, about about some bound like the Parker limit on monopoles? For example, the moon’s spin is synchronized with the earth’s spin. That’s a quadrupole coupling … that should give you a way to make a  lower bound estimate on how long the earth moon have been a system. Right?

  1. Union wages and Hostess.
  2. Of Mr Gailbraith and the twinkie.
  3. Kindergarten humor hits the beltway pressroom.
  4. Growsing justly about bad maths pedagogy.
  5. High control democracy.
  6. Yes, CPT is invariant. This is really nice, because nobody has the slightest idea how what a non-CPT invariant field theory would look like.
  7. Our Arab spring notion.
  8. Slack cutting and Benghazi.
  9. More thoughts on Benghazi here.
  10. Where the conflict lies.
  11. My guess is … no.
  12. Consequences of the victory of the possessors.
  13. Note to poster … blood sausage tastes really really good.
  14. Reverse the roles of the sexes in assault situations and do you get humor?
  15. Stuffers of stockings.
  16. Cross (angry?) stitching?

Things Heard: e237v1

Good morning.

  1. The war on terror and the crux of the problem.
  2. Brandon has links for meta-thinking (or I’m meta linking his thinks for linking or ( …)). Oh, what the heck just pop over and read away.
  3. First rule of bureaucracy, grow grow grow.
  4. Some economic considerations of North East corridor and the location (above/under) of power lines.
  5. Labor costs and Obamacare. Ooooh, higher labor costs … that will really do wonders for our global competitiveness in the the global labor marketplace.
  6. Stewardship.
  7. Not enough of the sackings.
  8. The other 47%.
  9. Two can play that game, no deal if entitlement spending isn’t cut either (and guess what? Only the spending cut will make any difference in budget shortfalls). It remains to be seen whether the GOP can actually play the game.
  10. Citizens United is not about corporations = people.
  11. Parenting done right.
  12. Architectural beauty or not?
  13. The Benghazi question (or is it “one of the B questions?).

Things Heard: e236v5

Good morning.

  1. Fighting nature.
  2. milestone.
  3. Thick fueled.
  4. Low altitude ultrasound in high pressure water.
  5. Closet Marxism in the GOP ranks.
  6. Drones and carriers. So, are you looking forward to armed drones monitoring your activities?
  7. Another note on drones.
  8. Wax muscles.
  9. Talking budgets.
  10. Well, it’s going to be on my Christmas list.
  11. A quaint quote, except for the it being all wrong part. If you think Christianity (for example) is there to make you comfortable and sleep easy … you’re getting it backwards.
  12. Where charity starts.
  13. book noted.
  14. Sorry, I prefer old and unaccountably cheerful.
  15. An honest player.
  16. Missed in the whole stimulus circus.

The Most Bibles

Which country produces the most Bibles? I thought this would be a simple question; the United States, the most capitalist country around. Lots of people, and a jillion different translations, paraphrases and parallel versions would make for a big market.

Not so. This may surprise you, until you think about it a bit.

When one thinks of China, Christianity and the Bible are likely two of the furthest things that come to mind. “Communism,” “forced abortions,” one-child policy” and other terms are, more generally, what’s the nation is known for. But now, a shocking new development has come to the forefront: China, a country that makes many products consumed in the U.S. and abroad, is now also the world’s largest Bible producer.

Amity Printing Company is the only outfit in China that is permitted to produce Christian Bibles. While the Chinese government doesn’t have the most stellar record when it comes to religious freedom, Amity Printing has been fast at work, with the company’s chairman, Qiu Zhonghui, announcing that the business published its 100 millionth Bible in July.

According to a report by Christian Today [Ed.: not "Christianity Today"], the Amity has printed 60 million Bibles, including nine ethnic minority editions in various languages. Additionally, 40 million copies were printed in more than 90 languages and sent to about 70 nations and regions across the globe.

Not bad for a printing company founded in 1988.

Things Heard: e246v4

Good morning.

  1. Remember the Roman priest sex scandals and mentions (and dismissals) of the elephant in the room. Data to back that up (Hat Tip).
  2. The real scandal.
  3. Photography and the bike.
  4. Of supersymmetry and hospitals. So, we’ll all have to knuckle down and become experts and super-Riemannian geometry after all.
  5. Before Photoshop … there was actual construction.
  6. Pictures to seal your assumptions.
  7. For the runner in your life (in the winter).
  8. This is stupid. Unsurprisingly the Democrat response was equally stupid.
  9. Meandering around austerity.

Things Heard: e246v3

Good morning.

  1. Guys with guns playing with dice.
  2. Natural selection and braaaaiiiinzzzzz.
  3. Some questions.
  4. To go to school.
  5. Collapse.
  6. Childhood dreams.
  7. Orthodoxy in America and its new hierarch.
  8. Meta-linking works.
  9. Those pretty miserables.
  10. That mythical consensus method of doing science needs some work (on that same topic here)
  11. Mr Kerry joins the fray.
  12. Sorry, mankind includes women, deal with it.
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