Friday, September 30, 2011


Under Pressure

It is the established, scientific consensus that the greenhouse gasses warm our fair planet by about 33 degrees C. These gasses are primarily H2O, as a vapor, but also the relatively important trace gas CO2 and the others, N2O, CH4, etc., that are not important at all and are in fact measured in parts per Billion. That 33 number was obtained many decades ago by scientists calculating the energy in from the sun and comparing it to the average ambient temperature that exists (at the surface) and noting that something must be heating up the atmosphere because it is 33 degrees hotter than it should be. (It should be -18, not the on the average 15 we now enjoy). They reasoned that the additional energy (heat) must be from the capture of outward going heat and the only thing that could possibly do that was greenhouse gasses. (And these gasses do have the ability to "capture" infrared energy, just not very much, especially given their tiny concentrations in the atmosphere). Thus the greenhouse effect must warm the planet 33 degrees. QED.

I had never doubted that consensus. I was a believer even when I learned that Venus was very hot (at the surface) not because of the CO2 (per se) in its atmosphere but because of the very weight of the atmosphere. (Rebuttal here). The dense Venusian atmosphere compressed itself at the surface and it was hot, like the air in a diesel cylinder gets hot enough to ignite fuel, or a bicycle pump gets hot enough to burn your hand, or refrigeration compressor, etc. These things get hot not from any captured energy but merely from mechanical compression. I learned the truth of the Venusian atmosphere (still used by ignorant Warmie propagandists as "proof" that CO2 can superheat an atmosphere) but I was still in the box. I did not apply that lesson to Earth's atmosphere.

It's time to.

Here is a careful and convincing tape on what really causes the 33 degree difference. Compare it to the junior mythbusters tape. Is the one degree difference in the latter, compared to the 6 degree difference in the former, because they have soft sided containers? I sure think so.

I don't compare it to the recent Al Gore experiment as that appears to be completely fabricated through editing alone.

So here is the executive summary: The High School experiment of two jars, one with air and one with added CO2, has the CO2 filled jar get hotter because of the pressure of the CO2 not because the CO2 itself captures heat. If the jars can't get pressurized when they heat (a simple hole in the jar top) then there is no difference in the temperatures of the two jars. As we know, it gets colder the higher up you go. That's why mountains remain snow capped well into the Summer. Our atmosphere (the liveable part, the Troposphere) is only about 10 km thick and it's warmest at the bottom (the surface) and coldest at the top. The scientists measuring the heat coming in made the mistake of measuring the heat of the atmosphere at the surface. They should have measured it at center mass, which is about 5 km up, to get the average heating of the atmosphere from the Sun. There the temperature of the atmosphere is almost precisely what it should be, -18 C. The warmer temperature of the atmosphere at the surface of the earth is, as on Venus, merely the product of air pressure. There is no 33 degrees of mysterious warming. There is no measurable greenhouse effect. QED.

How does it feel to remove the blinders?

If only the Warmie true believers would learn to question authority.



This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1938, Hitler, Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sign the Munich Pact, which seals the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace. Upon return to Britain, Chamberlain would declare that the meeting had achieved "peace in our time."

Although the agreement was to give into Hitler's hands only the Sudentenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived, it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia's coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power. It also left the Czech nation open to complete domination by Germany. In short, the Munich Pact sacrificed the autonomy of Czechoslovakia on the altar of short-term peace-very short term. The terrorized Czech government was eventually forced to surrender the western provinces of Bohemia and Moravia [the modern Czech Republic] (which became a protectorate of Germany) and finally Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine. In each of these partitioned regions, Germany set up puppet, pro-Nazi regimes that served the military and political ends of Adolf Hitler. By the time of the invasion of Poland in September 1939, the nation called "Czechoslovakia" no longer existed.

And by this last day of September a year later, with Poland conquered and carved up between the two socialist powers of Germany and the USSR, the real human suffering, the direct result of horrible decisions by the capitalist powers' leadership, had begun in earnest. France and then Great Britain were next for punishment.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Where I Don't Criticize Solar Power Generation

The feds just authorized a $737 Million loan guarantee for a (small) solar power plant in Tonopah, Nev. Oh great, you say, another Solyndra debacle. No, I say, this is a horse of another color. It's not worthless old intermittent photovoltaic power cells but a concentrating solar power (field of mirrors aimed at a central tower) outfit using the very latest in molten salt technology. So not intermittent at all. Seems a little pricey for 50 full time jobs, but I'm OK with this technology. (I'm particularly interested in the base power output, operating costs and longevity of the power plant, all things we don't fully know yet, despite other plants of this type around the world).

The criticism that Nancy Pelosi (not Speaker of the House, D--Haight Asbury)'s bro-in-law is connected to the project rolls off my back like water off a duck. Is there any evidence that her relationship to him got the solar collectors the loan or made it easier? I've heard none. Are companies who have some, any, connection to one of the 535 federal legislators forbidden from dealing with the government?

I like it that one of this sort of new energy economy plants is getting built. Deal with it, purists.

And I've been from Tuscon to Tucumcari, Tahachapi to Tonopah.



Roadblocks to Peace in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

From the Hamas Charter:

and even if the obstacles erected by those who revolve in the Zionist orbit, aiming at obstructing the road before the Jihad fighters, have rendered the pursuance of Jihad impossible; nevertheless, the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

Art. 7

There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game.

Art. 13

When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.


I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill

Art. 15


Monday, September 26, 2011


Pretentious, Moi?

A wannabe in the Matt Taibbi criticize-whatever-you-don't-understand school of political writing at the prestigious political commentary magazine Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell, has a rare form article online entitled: How the GOP is Using Solyndra to Kill Clean Energy. No paranoia in that headline.

Money quotes:

House Republicans have already got what they want – video images of the clean-tech entrepreneurs looking like crooks.

They know that most Americans are far too stupid about how Silicon Valley-style capitalism really works – that companies on the cutting edge of innovative new industries like solar (or, a generation ago, PCs or the internet) fail all the time.
For lefty elites, most Americans are stupid, except for the small percentage who reads Rolling Stone, of course. It's a telling attitude, but not the best way to convince your readers, who may not know how Silicon Valley-style capitalism really works. There's more:

More importantly, Solyndra didn’t fail because they are crooks, or because they were grossly incompetent. They failed because they bet on a business model that was dependent upon silicon prices remaining high.
Not incompetent to bet on silicon prices to remain high? Any guesses to how much of the Earth's crust is silicone? It is the second most abundant element of the Earth's core, comprising just over
28% of the reachable part of our planet. Who wouldn't bet against something as common as sand being a high priced commodity in perpetuity? Supply and demand? What's that?

There's even more:

In the coming weeks, you will hear a lot about how government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, and about how Solyndra was a prime example of the federal government pouring your hard-earned dollars into a half-assed technology that will never amount to more than a cute way for rich liberals to charge their iPads.

Of course, the truth is the clean tech industry gets a fraction of the federal subsidies that the fat cats in the fossil fuel and nuclear industries have enjoyed over the years.

Not my truth. Mr. Goodell bases his subsidy numbers on percentage of the federal budget. Here is a chart of subsidies based on megawatt hour of power produced.

Because the 'no energy economy/pixie dust energy' of the solar and wind generation ilk are such a tiny percentage of the energy we produce as a nation, their substantial subsidies are a tiny part of the budget; while the coal and nuclear power plants, which actually make the lights go on when you flip the switch, provide so much energy, the majority, in fact, that their tiny per watt subsidy is a big actual number. No, duh. I guess I'm too stupid to understand the proper perspective for viewing energy production vis a vis government subsidies.

But he's not finished:

In fact, what’s criminal is not starting a solar company and losing hundreds of millions of dollars. What's criminal is using that failure as an excuse to kill the promise of new jobs and cook the planet.
That's the Warmie true believer view. A half billion wasted is good, if the intent, but not the result, was to protect us from this decade's scientific alarmist fraud, while actually providing a kilowatt hour for about a nickle is bad.

We're not ready for wind and photovoltaics. They are horrible wastes of money (and the wind turbines kill birds and bats--federally protected birds and bats). What pitiful little electricity they produce is already being provided by coal, nuclear and hydroelectric outfits, which produce what they produce without any consideration of the feeble, intermittent power of wind and ray. Alternative energy now is merely make believe, feel good, kabuki theater for liberals. We can no longer afford make believe, feel good, kabuki theater for anyone.

Unless we have a stunning breakthrough in electrical storage (and none is on the horizon) wind and ray will always be half-assed technology that will never amount to more than a cute way for rich liberals to charge their iPads.

(h/t John Hinderaker for the graph)


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Not Very Deep Thought of the Day

Hey, where does the red brick road go?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This Decision Is Pretty Simple

Deciding who is in the right in the dispute regarding Israel vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza can have a simple Occam's Razor type solution. Here's the relevant dividing line.

About 20% of Israeli citizens are Muslim of Arab ethnic origin. They have all the rights of citizenship with one big difference. They don't have to serve in the IDF.

When Israel unilaterally withdrew from the formerly Egyptian territory known as Gaza several years ago, they had to remove all the Jews, both living and dead, and make the area Judenrein, a Nazi term meaning free of or clean of Jews. That's just what they propose for the formerly Jordanian territory called the West Bank. Judenrein for the area seeking statehood.

So, if you support Israel, you support a multicultural society where the Arabs and Muslims have full citizenship rights (but not full responsibilities) and many ethnic Arab Israeli citizens are active in all levels of all areas of government and commerce. If you support the ethnic Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, you side with them in the Nazi policy of forcibly removing all the Jews from those areas.

I support Israel, as I tend to hate everything the Nazis did regarding the Jews of Europe.

Perhaps you think differently.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Generally Matter Cannot Be Destroyed

If the general physical law--matter can neither be created nor destroyed--is true, then where is the water going?

The Warmie true believers tell us that Antarctica is melting away, a thousand gigatons of ice this past decade. They tell us that Greenland is melting away, the most it has ever just this past year. Now they tell us, based solely on computer models not observation, that the deep ocean is warming (which is where Kevin Trenberth's dagnabbit missing heat has supposedly been hiding).

OK, so if the deep oceans are thermally expanding, and tons and tons of melt water is pouring off Antarctica and Greenland into the ocean, shouldn't sea levels be rising?

They're not.

Hmmm. Usually when observations don't match the theory or computer models, real scientists re-examine the theories and models. Maybe the Warmies are completely wrong about this supposed melting and warming--a bunch of drowning men clutching at straws. Maybe their models and theories are deficient.

We have thousands of recording, 700 meter diving buoys all over the oceans. If the sun heats the ocean surface and the heat travels down, wouldn't they have recorded it?

Really, these tons and tons of melt water, where are they going?


Monday, September 19, 2011


Green Energy Math

Here is a fairly neutral story on the new drift in the solar cell business, that is, leasing solar panels rather than buying them. OK. (That way the leasing company does all the rent seeking). But in the story was this little tidbit:

Once a system is installed, the leasing company gets a monthly payment from the homeowner and, in areas served by Xcel, a payment from the utility of 16 cents for each kilowatt-hour generated.
OK. How does that compare with what Xcel charges the people for the power it produces? Well. Xcel charges 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (for the first 500 hours and then 9 cents thereafter) both are well below 16 cents. So, who actually pays for the 11.4 cent and 7 cent differential?

We do. Xcel customers pays nearly 4 times (or nearly two times) what the power is worth.


Because we passed laws (particularly House Bill 10-1001 which set a target of 30 percent of retail electricity sales by 2020 with a requirement that three percent of the renewables be from distributed generation, such as on-site solar) making this pricing madness real.

Welcome to the new no energy economy.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Taking a Bold Stand

I may not have the science background of such Giants of all things medical as Jenny McCarthy and Michele Bachmann, and cracked-voice, environmentalist maroon Robert Kennedy, Jr., but I believe there has been no greater medical benefit to mankind than the development of several vaccines against viral diseases. Would that there were more. Indeed, the vaccine which teaches your body to defend itself against the virus is the only treatment there is against viral infection. Once you get the disease, there's generally nothing the doctor can do but make you comfortable (hydrated) while the disease takes its course. The Lancet study that seemed to call vaccines unsafe vis a vis autism turns out to be a sham and the perpetrators of the hoax it engendered should be tried for first degree (extreme indifference) murder for each child that did not get vaccinated, got the otherwise easily preventable disease, and died.

Strong enough for you?

I am well aware of the dangers of the vaccines. I have represented some of those victims in front of the US Court of Federal Claims. The danger of the vaccine is real but it is also really small. The general benefit from not facing small pox or rubella or polio as general outbreaks justifies making those vaccines mandatory, even with the knowledge that a small part of the population forced to get the vaccines will be hurt (very few will even die).

The anti-science Luddites who say that vaccines are bad and you should not let your children get vaccinated are idiots and should be considered for child abuse prosecution if their kids are injured by getting any disease vaccination would have avoided.

Strong enough for you?

Michele Bachmann is like Fredo to me now.


Friday, September 09, 2011


Agreeing with James Hanson

I know this is a dangerous path to start agreeing with the Ur-Father of Warmie true believers, but if he's right...

Here's James Hanson about a month ago on the possibility that renewable energy will power the future. He's about as optimistic as I am, even using disparaging terms for belief in the fantasy. You think I'm kidding? See for yourself:

Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

This Easter Bunny fable is the basis of ‘policy’ thinking of many liberal politicians...

There's more:

Because they realize that renewable energies are grossly inadequate for our energy needs now and in the foreseeable future and they have no real plan. They pay homage to the Easter Bunny fantasy, because it is the easy thing to do in politics. They are reluctant to explain what is actually needed to phase out our need for fossil fuels.
He's even sane in the footnotes:

Renewable energy such as windmills and commercial scale solar power are not entirely “soft”, in the view of many people, i.e., they have an environmental footprint. Also, because of their intermittency, they require dispatchable back-up power, which is commonly provided by gas, thus degrading the ability to reduce carbon emissions.
But his big finish is to believe in the chimera of anthropogenic, CO2 forced, Armageddon producing, global warming by pretending that CO2 has a hidden cost, when it has none to speak of. No one is right all the time.



Thought of the Day

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.



Thursday, September 08, 2011


Ann Coulter on Non-DNA Evidence Against Amanda Knox

Here is Ann Coulter yesterday on the other than DNA evidence that helped put Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend in jail for murder. Coulter calls Knox the new Mumia. Here is my favorite evidence:

Knox's first-of-several alibis for the night of the murder was that she was at her boyfriend (and co-defendant) Sollecito's house all night, sound asleep until 10 a.m. the next morning.

A few days later, when that was proved false by telephone records, eyewitnesses and Sollecito's admission that it was a lie, Knox claimed she was in the house during Meredith's murder ... and she knew who the murderer was!

She said it was her boss, Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a popular bar in town:

"He wanted her. ... Raffaele and I went into another room and then I heard screams. ... Patrick and Meredith were in Meredith's bedroom while I think I stayed in the kitchen. ... I can't remember how long they were together in the bedroom, but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I remember hearing Meredith's screams and I covered my ears. ... I can't remember if Meredith was screaming and if I heard thuds but I could imagine what was going on."

Now she's back to I was with Sollecito in his apartment the night of the murder (but he could have sneaked out of the bedroom, got the knife he owned with victim Meredith Kercher's blood on it and put my DNA on it without me knowing). Oops, I strayed into DNA territory. Sorry.

There are huge numbers of people who believe she is innocent. She is the new Mumia



Curiousier and Curiousier

It was all fun and games when Solyndra, a "green" energy outfit (photovoltaic panel manufacturer), was visited and touted by President Obama as the wave of the future (for which our estimable Department of Energy guaranteed nearly half a billion in loans so Solyndra could build a manufacturing plant). It was vicious but pleasurable schadenfreude when Solyndra declared bankruptcy last week and closed up shop, adding 1100 to the unemployed, unexpectedly, of course. There were hints of crony capitalism and nefarious dealings but just hints. Now this. Solyndra raided by the FBI. Ohhh. Not quite so fun anymore.

Solyndra's business plan was to manufacture solar panels at $6 per unit cost and then try to sell them for $3, but that plan proved unworkable when China could sell them for $2. The plans of mice and men, eh?

I don't hate photovoltaics the same way I hate wind turbines, but they're still too costly to make economic sense, they're necessarily intermittent and therefore useless to the real power producers and they only last about 20 years and never produce what they're rated for. Even China's business plan of making them for $1 and selling them for $2 is probably not sustainable. I could be wrong.

There might be unicorns and fairy dust.

UPDATE: The GAO doesn't name many names but Solyndra just might be the start of a chain of "green" energy barkruptcies.

(h/t Say Anything blog)



How Does One Fact Check Insanity?

Here's Warmie true believer Gernot Wagner today in The New York Times with a signed opinion piece about global warming.

Let's start with the scientific fact that there are no poisonous substances, only toxic levels of all substances. Plutonium, for example, can be deadly in tiny amounts, so can most nerve gasses and famous poisons like ricin and cyanide (although I've been exposed to cyanide gas and lived to tell the tale). Other things, like the necessary for terrestrial animal life oxygen, is beneficial at a certain concentration but deadly at a higher concentration. Likewise water, absolutely necessary to both plants and animals, can kill if too much is ingested (and we've all read the news stories of water drinking contests or stunts with tragic results).

Carbon dioxide is necessary for plant life and therefore necessary for animal life here on earth. Too much carbon dioxide, say, 10% concentration, can kill you and indeed most people who suffocate in a closed room or abandoned ice box die from too much carbon dioxide before they succumb to too little oxygen. 10% is 100,000 parts per million and right now our atmospheric concentration is 395 ppm so we're a long, long way from toxic concentrations.

Here is a definition of 'pollute': To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter. Despite the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court (Massachusetts v. EPA and more recently American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut) about CO2, at the current and foreseeable levels we should experience over the next 500 years or so, CO2 is not in any way a pollutant. Indeed, increased CO2 makes plants grow better so it's the opposite of a pollutant.

Now to Mr. Wagner opinion. So if the CO2 in the atmosphere makes plants grow more and has no effect on our general health because it is in a tiny, non toxic concentration, how is it a pollutant? Gernot says:

Leading scientific groups and most climate scientists say we need to decrease global annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least half of current levels by 2050 and much further by the end of the century. And that will still mean rising temperatures and sea levels for generations.

Ah, CO2 is bad because it causes global warming and global warming causes the sea levels to rise. Got it. Except the sea level is not rising now (even with a specious .3 mm/yr "correction" upwards), although the sea level always rises during an interglacial period, that's one way to know it is an interglacial period. Nor is it getting warmer recently, like during the past 13 years. See below.

His statement above is normal WTB stuff. But he actually quantifies the "damage" CO2 causes. I'm not kidding.

Every ton of carbon dioxide pollution causes around $20 of damage to economies, ecosystems and human health. That sum times 20 implies $400 worth of damage per American per year. That’s not damage you’re going to do in the distant future; that’s damage each of us is doing right now.

CO2 in .o38% concentration causes dollars of damage right now? Where? How? Sadly, the details of the "damage" and the calculation of the dollar amount is not part of the article.

Sad, really, I mean that.

He's calling for taxes on carbon saying, "High school science tells us that global warming is real." Show me some. He also is calling not paying a tax on carbon dioxide production socialism. That's not the definition I use. And regarding getting cap and trade or a carbon tax because of "real" global warming, good luck with that.

(h/t The Hockey Schtick for the image and quotes to the left)



Thought of the Day

I just don't believe this guy [President Obama] anymore, and it's become almost painful to listen to him.

Matt Taibbi


Wednesday, September 07, 2011


The New York Times Finds Our Lack of Faith Disturbing

Today in an unsigned opinion piece the NYT calls the Republican Presidential candidates "in denial" for being sceptical of alarmist Warmie true believers' claims of a CO2 Armageddon just around the corner.

The single out Gov. Rick Perry for the major rebuke, saying:

Never mind that nearly all the world’s scientists regard global warming as a serious threat to the planet, with human activities like the burning of fossil fuels a major cause. Never mind that multiple investigations have found no evidence of scientific manipulation.

Then they praise non-entity candidate Gov. Jon Huntsman for swallowing one of the greatest scientific hoaxes ever perpetrated.

The investigations referenced were largely shams (You can't pull Mike's Nature trick to hide the decline and then claim to be an honest scientist) and the scientific consensus is not nearly as solid as the NYT supposes. But consensus is all it touts as a reason to call sceptics "in denial." Behold:

With one exception — make that one-and-one-half — the rest of the Republican presidential field also rejects the scientific consensus.
Consensus in science is worth exactly nothing. It was the consensus of the world's scientists that the Earth was the center of the universe around which all the planets, the sun, stars and moon all revolved. In my lifetime, I have watched the scientific consensus change so that floating continents went from dead wrong to dead right in about a decade. The recent CERN experiments have started a similar process regarding cosmic rays and clouds.

Your theory or explanation is either right or wrong--that a million people, even those with some knowledge, believe it does not change a wrong thing into a right thing. Indeed, the very essence of the scientific approach to the universe is scepticism. Show me why what you say is right; don't just repeat 'most scientists believe this' and fail completely to provide any proof. The Warmie true believers won't debate. They say "It is known." and revert to ad hominem attacks. To me at least that is not at all convincing.

As the sham of alarming anthropogenic global warming becomes ever more apparent, the NYT seems the one entity involved in its article to be actually in denial.



Thought of the Day

Somehow bloggers and op-ed writers have established by their selective outrage a narrative that it was immoral of Cheney to approve the waterboarding of three confessed terrorists like KSM, but quite moral of Obama to expand fivefold the Predator targeted-assassination program that served as judge, jury, and executioner of suspected terrorists — and of any living thing in their vicinity when the Hellfire missiles obliterated their compounds. It is apparently the nature of a therapeutic culture to demonize one of the architects of the present anti-terrorism policy of renditions, tribunals, Guantanamo, etc. only to apotheosize one of its chief critics — while quietly assuming that Cheney so convinced Obama of the utility of these protocols that the latter adopted nearly all of what he inherited.

Victor Davis Hanson



Point and Counterpoint

Here is DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:

The Republicans who think the Recovery Act (stimulus) didn't work are simply wrong. The Recovery Act, as of the beginning of this year, created an additional 3.6 million jobs. We have -- the Recovery Act had a direct impact on making sure the teachers, firefighters, police officers were able to remain in their jobs. It begun -- it helped begin to turn the economy around. 50% of it was tax breaks to small businesses and to the middle class. So every economist you would talk to that is worth their salt acknowledges that without the Recovery Act we would not be continuing on the upswing. We would still be either stuck or spiraling downward.

Here is what really has happened
We have 2.5 fewer Americans working today than we did when Obama was inaugurated. We have an unemployment rate that sits at 9.1%, while it was 7.6% when Obama was inaugurated. The real unemployment rate, by the way, is an astounding 16.2%. The federal government has borrowed an additional $29,660 per household since Obama signed his precious “recovery” bill. There are 14 million more Americans on food stamps today than there was when Obama was inaugurated. Our national debt has increased $3.7 trillion since Obama took office. In August we had zero job growth, the first time since 1945. Barack Obama may be the first president since WWII to never see a quarter of economic growth above 4%. Our freaking credit rating has been downgraded. When Obama was inaugurated, 2.6 million Americans were considered “long-term unemployed.” Now that figure is 6.2 million Americans.

I just have one question for Ms. Wasserman-Schultz: What upswing?

By the way, the jobs created or saved figure is not based on any counting of jobs but merely is a result of multiplying a made up out of whole Keynesian cloth multiplier by the amount of stimulus money wasted spent. It's as real a number of jobs as the computer projections of what the average world temperature will be in 2100.

(h/t Neal Boortz)


Thursday, September 01, 2011


Identify the Weapon

Here are some Libyan irregulars celebrating their recent successes in Tripoli. (Let's hope the Libyan revolution goes the way of the American rather than the French). OK what are the guns three of the front four hold? Any scifi geek knows the one to the extreme left. It's the Belgian made FN P90, made famous by it being the go to weapon of the Stargate crews in later episodes. I find it to be less useful than its cool, futuristic design. The problem is in its cartridge. It uses a 5.7 x 28mm. Think of the intermediate round we use in our assault rifles and then take away about half of the propellant. It underpowers the underpowered .223. Words cannot describe how absolutely lame that is.

The one next appears to be a AKS-74. Good weapon. I could be wrong about that. And the last one, safely pointed to the ground, is not detailed enough for me to tell. I'd guess SKS. Anyone?



Wait Til She Gores Your Ox

I was stunned by Ann Coulter's attack on evolution in her earlier book, Godless. My faith in Darwin's general rightness abides. She repeats the attack in her most recent column here. She goes a bridge too far here and there.

Example 1:

Darwin's theory was that a process of random mutation, sex and death, allowing the "fittest" to survive and reproduce, and the less fit to die without reproducing, would, over the course of billions of years, produce millions of species out of inert, primordial goo.
No, not from goo but from other plants and animals. Darwin, like Ann Coulter, believed that God created all life, and his theory merely sought to explain the origin of the species, not the origin of life. This is a lazy conflation on her part.

Example 2:

We also ought to find a colossal number of transitional organisms in the fossil record -- for example, a squirrel on its way to becoming a bat, or a bear becoming a whale. (Those are actual Darwinian claims.)

But that's not what the fossil record shows. We don't have fossils for any intermediate creatures in the process of evolving into something better.
Only if you still believe in gradualism would you expect to find a 'colossal' number of transitional fossils. If you believe, as I do, in punctuated equilibrium, then the number of expected transitional fossils falls to a much lower level. Is it one that paleontologists are meeting with discoveries? I don't know. But to attack Darwinism in the 21st Century for problems with gradualist theory is again a rhetorical sleight-of-hand unworthy of someone as intellectually rigorous as Ms. Coulter. Just as plants and animals are capable of evolving, so too can theories evolve and Darwin's have. It's in all the books.

There is a fairly good fossil record of the evolution of whales from terrestrial mammals contained in the Tethys Sea floor, which includes intermediate or transitional species. There is still the singularly good refutation to Intelligent Design contained in the Panda's Thumb.

I'll give Ann, whom I really like and admire, more credit here when she takes on these two examples. I'm not actually holding my breath.



This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1939, the usual end product of appeasement came to fruition with Germany's invasion of Poland. Hitler had done the smart thing by previously signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, the only nation that could actually have come to the aid of Poland. However, Germany was hopelessly unprepared for a long, major war and the stunning successes before el Alamein and Stalingrad only made the later decline all the more precipitous. The two stupidest things Hitler did after defeating Poland and France was to waste the political triumph of the non-aggression pact with invasion of the USSR and then to compound that stupidity six months later by declaring war on America. Thus Hitler took on the only two countries who could have defeated his forces. As Buggs would say, "What a maroon!"

Oh, and the war in Europe probably cost 40 million lives. It's tough to tell how many Russians died. It's difficult for most, including me, to get one's mind around that statistic.

The photo shows the BMW R75 motorcycle with sidecar and trucks but the primary methods of moving German troops and guns was by foot and by horses, respectively, throughout the war.


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