Archive for February, 2013

Things Heard: e250v3

Good morning.

  1. So what are the Supremes up to?
  2. Massachusetts lawmakers have no clue. If you can’t imagine how teenage kids might abuse that law … your ignorance is historic.
  3. On the Pontiff’s retirement.
  4. Heroism noted.
  5. A critic of statistics not noticing that many of the new gun laws proposed also call out rifles so the statistics is apter than he pretends, cf “assault” rifle bans which don’t actually ban assault rifles which are already illegal but just ordinary semi-automatic rifles. Reminder to Mr Darrel, an actual assault rifle as defined is an automatic (not semi-automatic) carbine.
  6. Playing with automatic translator fixed points.
  7. Absolute legal immunity? Sounds like a recipe for abuse, kind of like giving free reign to young teenagers in showers and bathrooms.
  8. History and the “Great White Fleet.”
  9. More details on the kill list mechanicsSimilarities to this are of course accidental.
  10. Sequestration and the TSA … whose “cuts” amount to a 11% increase in budget. Wow. Radical deep horrible cuts. Not.
  11. Remember the promises the President made about lobbying and money? One wonders about the silence of the lambs on the left?
  12. Crises and Church considered.
  13. A view from the sidelines on the GOP sequester thinking. I would add to #1 that “massively wasteful” is missing the point, it’s massive spending on things outside of what the government’s purview that is the problem. Healthcare for example, is not a thing the federal government has a call to address at all.

Things Heard: e250v1n2

Good morning, and sorry about not posting links yesterday.

  1. To be or not to be.
  2. Hear hear.
  3. The dangers of spell check on an unfettered US budget.
  4. Debt and out of control spending. Money supply and created value are unconnected, who knew?
  5. Gosh, cut 1-2% out of the budget and what sorts of screaming do we get. You’d think that the Administration would realize they have control over what spending gets cut and what doesn’t so that actual critical things wouldn’t have to be cut. Apparently air traffic control and defense are not critical. And look at how savage those cuts are. Another view.
  6. In a word, no.
  7. Golly, why just kill the unborn and the elderly. Let’s move on the inconvenient as well.
  8. The fate of Cassandra.
  9. From the Oscars.

That Was Then, This Is Now: Sequester Edition

The President is distancing himself from the sequester bill that will trigger automatic budget cuts. He’s trying to push the blame on Republicans for not coming up with a way to avoid it.

But this is now. Here’s what he was saying then:

"Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No," Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. "I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending."

Click on the link for the video. Then, he signed the bill and would now allow anyone to tinker with it. Now, he’s blaming Republicans for not tinkering with it.


Oh, and those "cuts"? Yeah, they’re "Washington Cuts"; just a reduction in the rate of growth. And not much at that.

Click on the picture for the accompanying article from George Mason University. This is much ado about very little.

Things Heard: e249v5

Good morning.

  1. Drone tactics.
  2. On going into that sweet night.
  3. Speaking of which.
  4. Fiber filled diet advice.
  5. Gun discussion advice.
  6. To power your electric car?
  7. To be honest, for myself, I never understood paying more than nominal “speaker fees” and why you would ever want to pay anything more than a reasonable hourly wage to anyone, much less the person suggested in this link.
  8. The way to counter the “imagination fallacy”, which is a more common rhetorical method than one might suggest.
  9. A flashlight with a little more.
  10. Coming soon to your phone.
  11. Ooooh. That’s really really not going to be in my price range. Rats.

Things Heard: e249v4

Rrrrr. Top of the morning to all!

  1. Possibly my wife’s future runabout, you know for us non-anthro global warming activists.
  2. Pretty as a picture, come to think of it … it is actually a picture.
  3. Siris, err Brandon, talks guns.
  4. Interesting new product for ya.
  5. Why is the US 2nd world regarding phone tech? Oh, wait … dy’a think it might be regulatory strangulation? Gosh.
  6. Conservative views on racism.
  7. I wonder (historically speaking) what “court” meant. Court as a thing to me doesn’t sound like great fun.
  8. Never give up hope.
  9. An economist talks about Obamacare.
  10. Privacy and file deletion.
  11. Budget cuts and numbers noted.
  12. Mr Biden’s ill considered advice.
  13. Those large ammo purchases by the government … just graft … never mind. See, always the Chicago way.
  14. Is this about the relationship to the left with the arts?
  15. Somebody needs to remind this author that the great majority of scouts are 11-14  … and kids that age are not exactly “already are” anything in particular regarding sex.

Things Heard: e249v3

Hello all.

  1. How to reign in the Norks. China?
  2. Polycarp.
  3. Is this another response the “to bad I’m not Emperor” meme?
  4. This seems to be a straw man argument … I mean, who is arguing otherwise?
  5. This link was down earlier, but will hopefully be back … why women at the frontlines might not be wise.
  6. 10 billion insuring 10 trillion … innumeracy at large in finance.
  7. A better “it’s for the children” thing. OK OK. I don’t like the word “thing” there. What might be better?
  8. Ice.
  9. Cheese is a problem there … but there are two kinds of people out there, those who eat anchovies and those who don’t. Most people, unlike myself, are in the second category.
  10. Liberals don’t want people with training. Apparently.
  11. Mental exercise for today, recast that short essay as minimum productivity limits not as a wage limit.
  12. What evidence? Seriously. Evidence? Where?
  13. Obama’s personal view on guns.
  14. Yikes.

Things Heard: e249v2

Good morning ty’all.

  1. Dating, faith, and global warming.
  2. For you cuda users … (with spare cash).
  3. Gun talk.
  4. More here.
  5. B&P talk about raising the minimum productivity floor here and here.
  6. More here.
  7. How many takes was that dya think?
  8. Pining for ARexx without knowing it (wiki here).
  9. Act now … before the gig is up.
  10. What’s your explanation?
  11. Raising taxes … leads to moving on out.
  12. Evolution and EDAR.

The Science is … Settled?

If it is, it may not be in the way  you’ve been told.

Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

Is this some sort of sea change? Again, not necessarily.

Another interesting aspect of this new survey is that it reports on the beliefs of scientists themselves rather than bureaucrats who often publish alarmist statements without polling their member scientists. We now have meteorologists, geoscientists and engineers all reporting that they are skeptics of an asserted global warming crisis, yet the bureaucrats of these organizations frequently suck up to the media and suck up to government grant providers by trying to tell us the opposite of what their scientist members actually believe.

An inconvenient truth, to be sure.

Things Heard: e249v1

Good morning.

  1. Duh. It doesn’t matter, carbon taxes are an indulgence offering and a way to keep the poor down … the effect on climate is not relevant to its fans.
  2. Looking at spin and Mr Holder.
  3. For y’all who think that government isn’t good at anything, a counterexample.
  4. Ct-thinking about Cthulhu.
  5. From China, here and here.
  6. Bayes theorem and sitting on the can vacillating for half a year.
  7. Death and the blogger.
  8. Yankee independence is apparently not the way to go reading the tea leaves from the state of the onion speech.
  9. No. We don’t say that. We just tiredly remark that “not an Emperor” is a feature not a bug.
  10. Stereotyping.
  11. “Greater” … nope. Greater than one? Probably not.
  12. Drones. Not unrelated.
  13. After Mr Chu.
  14. On guns. Grist for the mill.
  15. Good idea or not?

Dealing Fairly With Pat Robertson

I’ve had my issues with what Pat Robertson has said in the past, and expressed them here. But the news media seems to love to just toss out items from him, even items that may be 6 years old, to keep piling on.

The wonderful Get Religion blog, which I recommend to any Christian, or religious person in general, covers how the press covers religion, both the good and the bad. Yesterday they had a blog post on the Pat Robertson issue, highlighting an article in The Huffington Post that has Robertson saying something he’s always been saying, and calling it news.

After noting that he’s not examining Robertson’s claims, only the reporting thereof, George Conger takes apart the article, noting that when Robertson said that Islam wasn’t a real religion but an economic system in 2007 (and in stronger terms back then), few cared. The Huffington Post calls the 2013 remarks "inflammatory", but if that’s so, why was nothing inflamed 6 years ago?

How many times can you make “inflammatory” comments before they no longer become “inflammatory” — do they become combustible, explosive, or after the passage of time — and when no fire ensues — do they simply become rude?

That’s a fair question.

And what of the actual opinion expressed? If it is incorrect, surely it could be explained why. But the Post doesn’t go into this at all.

The tone of offended outrage adopted by the article, that Pat Robertson has said a terrible thing, is not explored. The Huffington Post believes these sentiments are outrageous, but it does not say why. A long time ago I studied Arabic and Farsi as an undergraduate and took a number of courses in Islam. I have not kept up my studies and have lost my facilities in these languages, but I do recall the academic debates over Islam — whether it was a religion in the sense that Christianity or Judaism understood itself to be a religion, or whether it was a religio-political movement that did not bear a one to one comparison with the other Abrahamic faiths. I offer no answer to these questions. But given the unlimited space available to a Huffington Post author for an article, to denounce him without substantiation is sloppy reporting.

Oh and by the way…

And please note, Pat Robertson is not an “elder statesman of the evangelical movement. ” He is a Pentecostal Christian. There is a difference.

Pat Robertson has much more weekly air time than most on his own show, and thus has loads of time to speak. During those many hours of speaking, he’s bound to say something worth disagreeing with. I’ve done some disagreeing with him myself. But if a journalistic endeavor like the Huffington Post is going to do so, they need to do a far better job than this.

Things Heard: e248v5

Good morning.

  1. So, selling to oligarchs I guess. Seems to me the small town gun store in the US is slightly, err, more prosaic.
  2. Hayek and Obamacare.
  3. This brings up a (slightly) more serious question. Saltpeter, as every pirate knows, was fed by Captain Treach to his sailors as a anti-viagra agent so they would just get drunk in port and he could get his ship back out. The question is … if you favor the background check thing for guns … why do you not also favor background checks before guys could have saltpeter-free food so prevent rapes (which are far far far more common than the occasional mass shooter).
  4. Everybody’s seen videos of the near-to-Moscow meteor. If you haven’t, go here for 5.
  5. More attempts to tamper with your freedom of association.
  6. Yikes.
  7. Advertising.
  8. NYTimes and standards of reporting accuracy.

Have a good weekend!

Things Heard: e248v4

Good morning.

  1. The President’s 2nd Amendment remarks noted.
  2. Education and results.
  3. Rotten to the core.
  4. So, what is liturgy?
  5. And speaking of churchly things, how about why Lent?
  6. Zeitgeist = angst?
  7. Whatever your notion of abortion and birth control, uhm, any sane view of goverment as limited puts this as a thing government should not pay for or do.
  8. Speaking of ethical dilemmas … here’s one for ya.
  9. Let’s see we have a President who in school specifically notes that he sought out Communist and Socialist teachers … seems to me the speaker is wrong, Mr Obama called himself that first.
  10. Some more discussion of raising the minimum productivity floor. When I asked for explanation how the President feels this is a “middle class” offering … I got nada. Gosh, that’s a surprise.

Things Heard: e248v3

Good morning.

  1. Well, I had PBJ today because it’s Wednesday (normal time Wed/Fri fast) .. Lent doesn’t start for me until Cheesefare on the evening of March 10.  So … why does the East begin Lent on a Monday and the West on a Wednesday and both count 40 days to Pascha/Easter. Well, because the West doesn’t count Sundays as part of Lent but the East does … but the East doesn’t count Holy week as part of Lent. Got it? What I forget is whether the East includes Lazarus Saturday (before Palm Sunday) as part of Lent or not … and one might note that the Lenten fast for the Orthodox continues (of course) through Holy Week.
  2. Fer the Ms Palin fans.
  3. Doctor or not … for myself I could not really care less if you call me Mr or Dr (and yes, I do have a PhD thing in Physics)
  4. That Chicago way.
  5. Awe noted. Hmm, anything like the Psalmist noted the fear of God as the beginning of wisdom? How much modern man has learned, eh?
  6. Fear or the lack thereof.
  7. Notes for future gang wars.
  8. Shame and armor.
  9. So, why on earth does our President think the “middle class” has any relevance to the minimum wage? And that’s an interesting take on min-wage, not as a wage limiter but a productivity minimum.
  10. Debunking (most of) some silliness around the alleged dearth of geniuses.
  11. What you don’t want to see in the morning when you go out to your car.
  12. Demographic shifts that you don’t hear much about.
  13. So much fun might be had coming up with geekish instead of macho handles, so Maverick  and Goose becomes pocket protector-ized and pencil-necked?
  14. What will be needed for when revolution hits.
  15. Duh. Truth to power becomes Stating the obvious to power.

"Children, Obey Your Parents." But What If…

I believe that, generally speaking, parents have both the right and responsibility to determine the health care of their minor children. The case of abortion, however, adds a additional life to the equation and makes it more difficult.

A pregnant teenager in Houston, Texas, is suing her parents, claiming that they are trying to coerce her to have an abortion. The 16-year-old, who is reportedly two months pregnant, is being represented by the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), a pro-life legal organization. For now, the girl and her unborn child are protected by a temporary restraining order, but the battle is far from over.

Here’s a poser: The Bible exhorts children to obey their parents. The parents are telling the child to have a legal medical procedure. As the child, you want to obey your parents, and yet don’t want to abort your baby, both Biblically-based beliefs. There are times when we disobey the civil law to follow the moral law, but these are two moral laws.

Tough decision, but I think I support the 16-year-old. What do you think?

When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

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