Monthly Archives: November 2009

To All Advocates

OF POSITIONS both radical and moderate:

Dishonesty in your presentation vitiates your argument.

And, no, you won’t get away with it.

No Progress

COYOTE (Warren Meyer) TAKES NOTE of a post by one Violet at Reclusive Leftist, “Dreaming of Diocletian.”

Meyer rightfully castigates “Violet” for her idiocy and points out that, far from being a paragon of liberty and small-r republican virtue, Diocletian was a despicable tyrant, who instituted many practices that carried over the fall of the Roman Empire and into what we now see as the worst of the Dark Ages.

Me, I find the behavior quite typical of the Left, which is constantly engaged in inversions of the truth and projection and transferrance.

From its very beginning, the so-called Progressive movement appears to have been nothing so much as the expression of a desire to crawl out of the brave new world of individual liberty and back into the womb provided by that fuedal social organization so recently shed and so widely (and rightly) condemned as not being conducive to true human progress. Although Progressives have hollowed out the Democrat party and parasitized its constituents, neither their public policy prescriptions nor their practices in running their party organizations are democratic in nature. That Progressives engage in wistful fantasies of kingly power is readily apparent from the nature of what they propose for the rest of us and how they intend to avoid the worst of their strictures in their own lives.

No one should find anything surprising in “Violet”‘s post, including the little codicil added after she received some criticism for the witlessness of her maunderings that she was just kidding. (Can’t you take a joke?) Scratch a liberal, find a fascist.

The Weekly Deep Think Piece

OK… NOT SO much with the deep thing; just a note about the so-called “global warming” panic.

In this invaluable video, Warren Meyer (a.k.a. Climate Skeptic, a.k.a. Coyote) makes the point that, although the hoax has been rebranded — formerly global warming, now (NEW! and IMPROVED!) climate change — the mendacity of the new brand name does not change the fact that, in order for “climate change” to be a matter for concern, it must be preceded by (or include as a first step), warming. Not that cooling is of no concern, but that the warmiasts themselves have taken it off the table.

Now, I disagree with Meyer on this next particular point, because he professes ecumenity with the warmiasts and allows as how there probably is, has been, and will be warming — just not so much.

Sort of like the Republicans want socialism like the Democrats — only not so fast or so big.

And, yes, I realize that science is not like politics: there is no win in the topic, and — even if there were — you don’t win by automatically gainsaying your opponent.

But when your opponent is WRONG on all points — and deliberately (and tendentiously) mendacious about it, too — then there’s no point in pretending ecumenical good fellowship just for the sake of comity. The enemy has pretty much thrown that on the ground and stomped that sucker flat. And there’s especially no point in go-along-to-get-along when the whole matter you’re opposing has been made up of a whole cloth.

In a post over the holiday weekend, Meyer notes that the apparent warming over the 20th Century, as measured (where we’ve looked when we’ve looked) in the “official” record — the so-called RAW data… (How trustworthy is data that has to be cooked? Shouldn’t it all be eaten raw?) … that apparent warming has been a whopping one-tenth of a degree Celsius.

And that the sixth-tenths of a degree that everybody talks about is actually an artifact of the cooking. Dunnit just make your heart go pittipat? Make you just want to run off and marry these paragons of virtue, who can cook the books to produce FIVE TIMES the warming as the instruments ACTUALLY SHOW?

Oh, come on, Alger! You know that raw data can often resemble noise!

Fine. Filter out the noise. But, when they cook all the virtue out of the data, or put words in its mouth, they shouldn’t be allowed to pretend boiled-to-death from a can is as nutritious as steamed fresh from the garden.

Sort of like the notion that |this| (holds fingers four inches apart) is actually nine inches.

Remember that figure: one tenth of one degree Celsius.

Meantime, over at Surface Stations (dot) Org, Anthony Watts’ volunteer initiative to survey and gather meta data on the surface stations in the United States Climatologican Historical Network, has surveyed 82% of the stations and has determined that only 10% of the stations fit a CRN standard of level 1 or 2, with a bias of less than one degree. The other 90% show siting bias that should result in an error of greater than one degree. ONE WHOLE DEGREE or TEN TIMES THE OBSERVED “WARMING”. And the vast majority 61% show a bias of greater than TWO degrees.

Please note that there ARE no designations for cooling biases. Yes, temperatures may register hotter than reality, but it’s not likely they’ll register colder. And, if you think about it, this matches up with reality as we know it. Unless there are major man-made sources of cold air floating around out there… it ain’t happening.

Now, there’s a whole lot of disclaimers here. Just because a station shows bad siting that does not mean that it’s record is all biased. Yeah, it’s pretty unlikely that the sensor placed in an asphalt parking lot next to air conditioner heat vents is going to record accurate temperatures, but the likelihood isn’t a perfect zero. Yeah, even with a greater-than-two-degree bias in 61% of the sites, that doesn’t mean that their records will be uniformly two degrees (plus) higher than you might otherwise get from a properly-sited station. Yes, ALL of the RAW data is composed of a good deal more than just the US network, but — let’s be honest, here — the US network is the BEST of the lot. Anywhere else, the siting, instrumentation, reporting, and data reliability is going to be WORSE, not better.

Nevertheless, the difference in the values is so great that those ameliorating factors can be considered nil.

And the point? Well, if you have a temperature record that reports one tenth of a degree of warming over a century, and 90% of the instruments whose product makes up that record show a siting bias of greather than ten times that, how in the world can you claim, with a straight face, that there has been any warming at all?

Which is the conclusion I came to years ago when I first came in contact with the raw data myself, even before the surface stations initiative.

(Cross-posted at Eternity Road.)

WInding Down a Busy

DAY, TIRED, STUFFED not nearly as buzzed from all that Amaretto as I’d hoped…

I’m thankful for this day and the bounty it brings.

I’m thankful for my wife, life companion, best friend.

I’m thankful for the grandchildren, all healthy and happy, (Albeit a bit rambunctious at times — and you know who you are, Maliha).

I’m thankful for their parents, too.

I’m thankful for our sweet kittehs, Belle, Loki, Oliver, Aqua, Sky, and Jazz. Long may they reign over this house.

I’m thankful for friends new and old, for family near and far, and for good hearted strangers. God bless and keep you every one.

I’m thankful for the job I have, the career I’ve had, as much as both vex me at times. Not many folks have had the chances I’ve had.

I’m thankful for the roof over my head and the comfort it affords me.

I’m thankful I am alive in this time and place, to enjoy all these blessings.

Our father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come; thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom
And the power
And the glory,
Forever.
Amen

–Jeshua ben Yusef

Just Ran Across Something

INTERESTING IN an old post at Watt’s Up With That (the blog by Andrew Watts, a meteorologist who has been in the forefront of debunking the CAGW fraud).

“Unless temperature sensors are regularly calibrated I think it is unreasonable to expect accuracy of greater than a couple of degrees,” writes Lon Glazner, a blogger and electronics engineer with some special expertise in temperature measurement instruments.

Using the clock analogy, if you and your friend’s watches are off by 1 minute how do you know which one is correct? You might call “Time” … which is essentially calibrating your clock. That might make both watches accurate today, but which one is more accurate in 10 years? Now what if you wanted to make sure your watch had been accurate 50 years ago? How would you calibrate your watch to be accurate to half a second if you knew calling “Time” was accurate, but only had a resolution of 10 seconds?

–Glazer in comments to the linked post

RTWT.

In comments to Our Curmudgeon’s post here, it appears I may have been to charitable attributing +/- .5°C accuracy to the thermometers used at USCHN surface stations. Glazner’s statement doesn’t make it clear if he means +/- 2° or a total range of 2°, (+/-1°), but either way, it doesn’t convey much authority to results supposedly based on the record of such instruments when they try to claim to have been able to derive a delta of 0.2°C per century. (Or more.)

Remember Yourself and Remind All

YOUR FRIENDS that tomorrow — Friday (The day after Thanksgiving: gee you don’t think they planned THAT, do you?) is the last day for comments on the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding relating to greenhouse gasses — including carbon dioxide. (That is: your breath.)

You’re always wanting to know, “What can one person do?” Well… here’s one. Go to the EPA’s web site and leave a comment. You never know. Millions of us slagging the idea might have some salutary effect.

If you don’t, I want you to promise never again to bitch about anything the government does or doesn’t do to suit you. Remember I said so.

“Out of Context”

EH? Chew on this awhile.

; Uses “corrected” MXD — but shouldn’t usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.

Shouting “Fire!” on a Crowded Planet

AN OFT-VOICED CANARD of the neo-fascist, soi-disant — scorn quotes — “progressive” Left is that the right to free speech is not absolute, that you cannot shout “fire!” in a crowded theater.

Like most of the shibboleths of the Left, it’s not so — not by half.

If there really is a fire, you not only have the right, you have the obligation to inform the crowd that they should vacate the premises.

And here’s the part the Left misses because, well, they think all behavior should be consequence-free.

If what you say is not true, or your manner of telling the truth causes panic, resulting in death or injury (or even damage to property), then you’re liable for those consequences.

That should illustrate the line between rights and responsibilities — show where the concept of a right properly ends for one person and is met with the reciprocal right (to life or property) of the next person over.

As leftists have boundary issues (always sticking their noses in other people’s business, for instance), this fact somehow escapes them.

Can’t Say I

DISAGREE — the flat part, that is.

If You Thought Everybody

WHO TRIED TO RESIST the murder of Terry Schiavo were nuts, statist, would-be theocrats, and so-forth, I wish to remind you that the prime rejoinder of the Universe is, “Not so fast.” Don’t assume you know what you think you know. Don’t throw away time-tested values just because they prove inconvenient. You might be doing serious damage to your soul.

Karma. Whatever.

Rom Houben, trapped in his paralysed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them — but could make no sound.

“I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,” said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegatative state.

The Daily Mail

There’s a reason the default choice has to be for life. There’s a reason the Hippocratic Oath starts out “First: do no harm” and never gets into “You can kill your patient if it becomes too emotionally difficult for you to keep them alive.” There is a reason that every living thing will fight tooth and nail for life to its last breath.

Remember Where and When

YOU FIRST READ THIS. I want credit if I’m the first, and I’d like to know if there was anybody before me to come up with this idea, with specific cites as to date, time, and venute.

On Friday, a caller to the Glenn Beck show asked Pat Gray, the guest host, why had not some of the palpably unconstitutional acts of Congress been challenged on behalf of We the Little People by some sharp conlaw hotshot out to make a name for himself. In particular, the so-called “health care reform” bill presently before Congress being an egregious example of the breed, was there a possibility it could be killed aborning, so to speak?

Gray allowed as how it might happen, but didn’t sound to hopeful — knowing, as he no doubt does, that most courts in the land would deny standing. Which ignores the fact that any citizen ought to have standing to “petition the government for redress of grievances” in constitutional matters, as any violation of that document does injury to us all. The tendency to deny standing in most cases also turns the whole notion of a constitutionally-limited government on its head. After all, how can it be proper for the government to rule as to what is or is not reasonable in terms of limitations on its own power? Built-in conflict of interest, right there. BUT… that appears to be how roll the statists in black silk robes.

We are faced with the odious possibility that the dog’s breakfast now before the Senate may actually pass. And, while there are many hurdles to be overcome, the Democrats appear to be ready to lower the bars, brace the hurdles, hobble the other runners, and even stop the clock if necessary to get the win.

What?! Alger! Democrats cheat? How can you say such a thing!

Careful, Dolly. You could put somebody’s eye out with that sarcasm.

::titter::

So here’s the thing I want you-all to remember. And, if there’s a hot-shot constitutional lawyer within eyeshot of my dancing fingertips, please take this ball and run with it.

The Preamble to the Constitution reads in full:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

For decades, the so-called Progressive Left has been perverting the general welfare clause to read “provide the general welfare,” in aid of such abominations as the Great Society and even FDR’s New Deal. (Not to mention Bill Clinton’s Raw Deal — a little Rush humor fer ya, there.)

And they’ve been getting away with it because corrupt judges in the court system have backed them up.

Alger! Corrupt! That’s harsh!

Look at what they’ve done to the country and tell me they’re not.

Point taken.

So it’s petard-hoisting-on time. There’s another clause in there: “…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” Sounds an awful lot like a civil right to me.

But what are you going to do? File suit against the government? Well, yeah. Envirowackos do it all the time on more specious grounds. But… No. Not exactly.

I am proposing to file complaints against Members of Congress specifically for their votes. There’s a civil-rights law, 18 USC 241:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;…

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Now, folks might say that Congress is immune from prosecution — constitutionally. Except… 18 USC 242 modifies that somewhat (without, I think, actually stepping on the meaning of the immunity provision):

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Seems to me that the opening clause seems to militate against the whole concept of “sovereign immunity.” (And how has that concept gotten twisted around in a country where the People are supposed to be sovereign, not the state?)

Now, I submit to you that the mandate to buy health insurance at all, let alone a policy approved by vague dicktat from the secretary of HHS (whose office is in and of itself unconstitutional, I should point out), is a serious infringement on individual liberty — and on specious grounds at best. And I should also point out that it is nearly inevitable that death will result from the proposed law, which makes this not only a Federal case, but a CAPITAL Federal case.

And, between the Preamble and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, it would seem to me that Liberty is a constitutionally-protected right. Right?

Would it be possible to get a sympathetic (and possibly near-retirement) judge to sign arrest warrants on these grounds, and to have them served by U.S. Marshalls ON THE CAPITOL GROUNDS WHILE CONGRESS IS IN SESSION? Failing that, can we get a cease-and-desist? A TRO? After all, liberty — like property — is unique and requires special protections. As American liberty is about to be irrevocably destroyed, can the People not force a stay of Congress’ hand?

Somehow?

(Cross-posted at Eternity Road.)

Dear Senator Landrieu

WELL DONE! I hear $100million is a pretty high price for whore. Good on ya!

Update: The Lousiana Purchase, as they’re calling it, now. A promise to spend the taxpayer’s money in order to win over a single vote on a bill the overwhelming majority of the country thinks is a stinker. And that’s just the cloture vote — not the actual passage of the bill.

Two things occur to me:

First, that the Democrats really don’t care about the appearance of impropriety, and this vote buy ought to be thrown back in their faces and and every time they try to fly that old canard. At least (so far) Mary Landrieu is an honest politician in that, once bought, she stays bought. So far: it never pays to underestimate the perfidy of a Democrat politician.

Second, that the Democrats — at least the leadership — think a) America’s loyalty can be bought cheap and b) we have a short memory. They must not really fear the ballot box next November all that much. Or they undersestimate the current groundswell of public opinion against them, because they have never seen the like. It never pays to underestimate the stupidity of any politician, Democrat or not.

I Suppose I Should

HAVE SOMETHING TO say about the hack-in at HadCRU, which is all over the news. Me bein’ all monomaniacal about the big fraud that CAGW is and all, but… I can’t really see why it’s big news.

I mean: yeah… But. It’s big news and all, sure, because it’s a sharp stick in the eye of the watermelon envirowackos who keep trying to foist socialism on the rest of us in the name of the planet.

And trust me, when Gaia says, “Not in MY name, Buster!” you’ll frakkin’ hear it.

But I suspected something the like of what’s being revealed in the liberated data.

After all, the HadCRU is muy sympatico with the crew at GISS — Hansen and that lot. They’re all buddy-buddy and singing from the same charts on the topic of gobal warming. And, if you look at either or both the data and the meta data on the U.S. record, the USHCN, you discover that the original data itself is spotty, inconsistent (at best), biased, and of too short a time line and at FAR too low a resolution for the results to be anything more than “when we looked where we looked.” So why would you expect a system that’s been run by a government far more collectivist than ours (yes, that’s relevant, as collectivist governments have no trouble suborning junk science) to be any different?

And HadCRU has been mighty chary about providing its data to peer review. Downright tight-fisted, as a matter of fact. So much so that you HAD to suspect they were hiding something, and it was only a matter of time until the data did get released, and we’d find out what that something was. Is.

Interesting times.

Dear Senator Durbin

ARE YOU LYING, OR are you simply incompetent? You have been sound-bitten today as saying “I have searched in vain for a Republican bill” (or words to that effect). A Bing search on the terms “gop health care bill” turned up the link below in about a tenth of a second.

GOP Health Care Bill

I would suggest that, instead of searching in vain, you look in the real world.

Sincerely, but with disgust,

Mark Alger

Of course, thank Grid, the Tick is not my senator, and I am not one of his constituents. That does not stop his perfidy from threatening my life, liberty, and property, though.

SOME People

WENT REAL FAST FROM “What’s NCIS?” to recognizing Cote de Pablo’s character Ziva David on sight.

Quote of the Day

Anarchy once savoured tends to lose its enchantment

–Giles St. Aubyn
The Year of Three Kings 1483
1983 Atheneum, New York

Remember: the proper conditions for liberty are informed by the least necessary government, not the least possible.

Well Said

ROBERTA X handily encapsulating a hard, home truth.

When they say, “A country as rich as this one…” translate that to, “A person as rich as YOU…” for surely they are after your money.

Tell ’em to put up their own money, if their cause is that urgent.

Under A Blackened Sky

OG LIKES RAINY DAYS. Me, too.

I never really got the whole “Rainy Days and Mondays” thing. Well, Mondays, OK. But rainy days — so long as I’m not Out In It in wet clothes (in dry clothes, OK, but not wet) — are some of my favorite kind.

Rain cleanses the sky. Under the cloud deck, it’s easier to see farther and more clearly than you can on a haze-blinded sunny day. The air smells cleaner, and the added burden of moisture is a balm to skin, nose, and eyes.

With the filtering of sunlight by clouds, the light is cleaner, permitting more-saturated colors, both to vision and to cameras. If you like color, shoot on a cloudy day.

Rain makes everything glisten, like precious metals and jewels encrust the landscape. God’s bling.

Rain enhances the mystery of night. The lights of the city gleam in mirroring puddles, adding a visual depth to any scene, whether stood before and contemplated like a painterly masterpiece, or glimpsed quickly in passing.

My favorite rainy night song is Sarah McLachlan’s Wait. I’ve been trying for years to write a passage in a Dolly story that captures the feel of the song.

Under a blackened sky
Far beyond the glaring streetlights
Sleeping on empty dreams
The vultures lie in wait
You lay down beside me then
You were with me every waking hour
So close I could feel your breath…

Insert Princess

BRIDE QUOTE here.*

Charles (Chucky/Chuck-you) Schumer (D-NY) was heard to opine that there was a loophole in federal gun laws that — you know — allowed law-abiding citizens to buy handguns.

Tisk-tisk. Can’t have that.

*”I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

I Can’t Help Wondering

IF THE RIGGED KANGAROO court being set up in New York to try the 9/11 prisoners doesn’t in itself constitute a war crime.

KSH and the others are unlawful combatants, having been taken out of uniform under arms on the field of battle, having admitted complicity in an atrocity perpetrated against a peaceful civilian population (indeed, boated of it). As such, they are, under the Geneva Conventions (we are told) subject to summary execution upon capture.

I thought KSM was taken from his bed in a safe house in Peshawar or some place like that.

Whatever. I suspect the forms have been satisfied in that regard. If not, it can be taken up as a separate case.

The purpose of the Conventions (we are told) is to protect the innocent and non-involved in times of war.

The trial of KSM and his colleagues exceeds the lawful authority in the case. He should have been executed upon capture in Pakistan (and one presumes the others were taken similarly). Keeping him alive provides opportunity for mischief which surely will not redound to the benefit of innocents around the world, some of whose governments will inevitably be signatories to the Geneva Conventions.

If violations of the Conventions are to be seen as war crimes, how can this trial not be?

I suspect a good many high government figures are in for some unpleasant suprises when their favorite patsy decides to up on his hind legs and mount a vigorous defense.

Yeah… maybe. They might also pretend embarrassment while secretly high-fiving each other in private.

Like they intended this farago to come off so badly?

You think they don’t?

Yeah. Like people been sayin’ since this guy started his runup to the campaign: never ascribe to conspiracy what can be put down to stupidity. Or incompetence. Or both.

Yeah. Trouble is, like I said the other day, teh stooped is tocksikk.

Dear Senator Graham

I JUST HEARD you speaking on the question of climate change on the Sean Hannity show and was piqued to shout at my radio.

Senator: There IS no such thing as carbon dioxide pollution. It is a chimera, a stalking horse, a fraud perpetrated on the general public in order to advance a left-wing agenda.

If you are concerned with the power (not right, governments don’t have rights; only individuals do) the EPA has arrogated to itself to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, THEN SHUT THE AGENCY DOWN! Its very existence is unconstitutional in the first place.

I understand you feel yourself on the right side in this, but please God, man! Don’t surrender the premises to the enemy at the first shot.

Regards,
Mark Alger

Welcome to Bizarro

WORLD. HERE’S your towel.

Always know where your towel is.

Just Want to Remind Y’All

WHEN YOU’RE ARGUING over how much medicine’s going to cost and what the coverage will be and how crappy the service is gonna get…

…all you’re doing is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and ignoring iceberg looming over the starboard rail:

Congress doesn’t have the authority to even comment on this matter, let alone reign over it like so many latter-day Caesars.

Just. Say. No.

Marko Tees Off On

THE WHOLE DICHOTOMY between the Our Bodies Our Selvs crowd and…

…the significant overlap between the “My Body, My Choice” crowd, and the folks who think we should tax fast food out the wazoo and ban smoking…and that carrying a gun to protect the body’s physical integrity is a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Thing.

RTWT.

And it occurs to me, as it does so often, that the same crowd which likes to mock believers in creation (whether they follow Bishop Usher’s dating system or Radio Carbon’s), asserting that “evolution is a proven fact” (no argument here, mind, just sayin’), always seems to miss just how much natural selection resembles the natural formation of a free market.

The mouth fairly quirks in a smirk.

Hadda Read This

IF ONLY FOR THE CHANCE to take the mickey out of my brother-in-law. Ozzies suck at grills.

Full disclaimer: I don’t do grills, so a lot of what they’re talking about goes over my head, but…

Gotta love the way those okkers go at each other in the comments. Wish our comments trolls had half the sense of humor. Ozzies may suck at grillls, but Americans (on the Internet anyway) suck at piss-taking.

Hey! That’s an unfair generalization — not to mention fallacious!

Fellacious, you say? Is that a term of art of ::mphrwrmmph!::?

Ah-aah! Watch yourself, there, buddy-boy. OUCH! You bit me!

You were try’n’a suffocate me!

Naw. Just a little stifle’s all. Just wanted to stop you from going there.

Yeah. Well. The readers already have.

::wobbita:: ::looks through the fourth wall:: Did they? Damn!

Thanks for the Heads-up

REMIND ME TO NEVER buy anything from Apple. Here’s why.

Any device which takes control of a machine from the user should earn its inventor the bastinado. At the Patch Factory, we call this Stupid Engineer Tricks.

There oughtta be a law, eh?

I’m sure there is, Dolly. One of Murphy’s.

There’s a Phrase In Science Fiction

FANDOM WHICH REFERS to a certain subset of humanity seemingly born to cluelessness — them what ain’t never gonna get it.

Charity compels one to ascribe to strawman fallacies a general cluelessness, or perhaps an emotional reaction to stimuli, rather than to malice. The first time. One might even take as a first hypothesis that, in the heat of the moment, someone may have missed key details, thus leaping to an incorrect conclusion.

After awhile, though, you really have to just face up and admit it: this person is operating in full self-immolation mode, doesn’t care how much of a fool he’s making of himself, is laying about himself with whatever bludgeon comes to hand, not caring who gets hurt. It’s not a sensible reaction. It’s illogical and/or irrational — imaginary, perhaps. (A little math humor for ya, there.)

But, unless you’re bent on his destructions, you just have to kind of shrug and say, “I’m not escalating any more, here. This is at DefCon Ridiculous now, and if I just lay back, maybe he’ll actually HEAR what I’m saying, instead of taking counsel of his own fears, and maybe things can settle down.

And you hope the other guy is NOT one of those who ain’t never gonna get it.

Can You Say

“CHICAGO SEVEN TRIAL?” Sher ya can. Immediately on hearing Maha Rushie quoting this Andy McCarthy piece on Friday…

So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America.

…the first place my mind went was to the Chicago Seven Trial (q.v.) and how corrosive that single incident was to American jurisprudence. And here we have not spoiled rotten American middle-class teenagers, but hard-core enemy terrorists.

Yeah. Nothing but good can come of that.

They say you should never ascribe to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity. With this administration, that seems more and more apparent to be the case.

Trouble is: the stupid is malicious.

Bobbi X Has a Bee

IN HER BONNET about a [debate|argument|food fight] that’s been going on in her comments and at Og’s Blog (and maybe elsewhere I haven’t yet been) over the question… Resolved: Islam is evil and Muslims can’t be trusted to live civilly in a civil society.

Or something like that.

In her most recent post, she makes it sound as though she doesn’t really want the debate to drag on in her comments. Me, if certain comments bugged me that much, I’d delete ’em, but different strokes and all that. Her house, her rules, and as I bear the lady some small affection and mondo respect, I’ll refrain from mouthing off on her dime on this subject.

BUT… (You knew there was a “but…”, dincha?)

But, of course, Dolly. Or, perhaps, of course, but…

I think I detect the distinct pong of the straw man in some arguments. Perhaps not intended that way, but motives are sometimes hard to discern, and the argument seems to me to be … mis-focused.

Ms X accuses those who don’t toe her party line of being “…amateur fascists or hobby socialists” “…junior Mussolinis or junior Stalins.” In an earlier posts, she asserts, “…[T]here are too damn many people out there who would happily volunteer to work the guard towers if Congress decided Monday to lock up all the Muslims in the U.S. behind barbed wire.”

For myself, having publicly made statements more-or-less in agreement with the resolved above, I must demur. While I do think that Islam presents a problem for our times, I am not at all comfortable with the “solutions”
thus far presented — in a continuum from unrestrained live-and-let-live (mistakenly assuming reciprocation) to orders given to the troops to shoot on sight on the streets of Dearborn any person spotted wearing Muslim
mufti.* For me, the point of the debate is not the resolution above, but WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT? Given, as I say, that the solutions thus far proposed are unsatisfactory.

I would also disagree with Bobbi’s argument:

No bunch of ignorant goat-herders and tactical illiterates can destroy this country. I’m not sure why some people on the Right and Left think this nation is so weak, so decadent that unAmerican measures are necessary to prop up some horrible star-spangled shell of what we used to be but I am not playing along with it and I won’t pretend it’s okay.

First off, Demonization of The Other aside, we are not fighting ignorant goat-herders and tactical illiterates. We are fighting STATE-SPONSORED proxy guerilla armies, well-trained and equipped, students of assymetrical warfare par excellence who, while their view of our weaknesses and points of instability may be prejudiced by a poor understanding of the nature of America, are not a negligible threat.

Unless you think that the trillions of dollars in wealth just … gone — poof! — in the aftermath of 9/11 is negligible.

Second, America is not their sole target. There are myriad places around the world that are also under the threat from the jihad, many of which are nowhere near as resilient as America, many of which are the homes of our trading partners. if you think that Europe, Southeast Asia, Central America, and the Caribean are well-enough innoculated to fight the forces of jihad and win, you have greater faith in the structural integrity of societies than I have. If you think we can pull in the drawbridges and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world without consequence, well… hit the snooze button and dream that one again. For me, it is on this one point that I do consider party-line libertarians to be “batshit crazy.”

Nor do I see small-l libertarianism as another name for anarchy. Libertarianism acknowledges and accepts those conditions necessary for the preservation of liberty. And, in this real world, here and now, isolationism is not conducive with the maintenance of a free state.

Despite our strength and resilience, America is not invulnerable. Nor do I consider it sane to allow the country to degrade in strength or resilience, or to allow its citizens to have their wealth — indeed their sustenance — destroyed by mad dog nihilists.

If I were on a ship and encountered a man preparing to drill a hole in the bottom of the hull, surrounded by a small group of armed thugs and a larger group of putative non-combatants, seven of ten of whom are hostile to me and the other three willing shields, if not actively complicit in the crime, am I supposed to refrain from lethal force in the prevention of this atrocity on the grounds that it hasn’t yet done any measurable damage to the hull, and that — anyway — it will only be a small hole — only killing one or two of my fellow passenger at a time — and this is a mighty ship that surely can sustain such small injury?

In what way is this sane?

Jefferson disregarded his constitutional doubts, signed the proposed treaty [The Louisiana Purchase –mpa], and sent it to the Senate for ratification. In justifying his actions, he later wrote: “[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”

Wikipedia

The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

Or, as Winston Churchill put it when confronted with the witless assertion that it’s better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, I prefer to be a live lion.

Which still does not make me ready to permit, countenance, or advocate breaches of the Bill of Rights in solution of this problem. I understand all too well that prior restraint and guilt by association are not done in civilized societies.

And yet…

The agreement to accept immigrants to any society is predicated on the immigrant’s accession to assimilation. All first generations have resisted this — more out of a human discomfort with change than for any particular ideological reason. And all second generations have adopted American ways, while simultaneously imprinting their mother cultures on America.

But previous waves of immigration have not seen daughters murdered out of hand for assimilating. Previous waves of immigration have not nearly universally preached sedition and treason from the pulpits of their churches, or send charitable contributions to foreign terrorists arming against America. Yes, the Irish famously supported Sinn Fein. But, in the words of the 1960s-era shaggy dog joke, not so damned shaggy. And even as it was going on, there were congregants in the churches and customers in the pubs — and priests in the parishes — who spoke out against the practice and moved to stamp it out. They didn’t (for the most part) dance in the streets when their Boyos struck a blow against the Sassenach.

And they didn’t conspire, collude, or acquiesce in treason against America.

No. Prior generations may have chaffered in the streets and the workshops and kept to themselves in ethnic eneclaves (say rather, clung together for mutual support), but not any more. I’m here to represent, as some one baptised in Boston’s Old North Church and raised in one Calvinist tradition or another, and who fell in love in his youth with a number of Catholic girls and a couple of Jewish girls, and married one of the latter — and everyone involved (including the older generation) was pretty much, “M’eh!” on the subject of what church I attended, when I did. They were far more interested in the length of my hair and the music I listened to than my religion. That’s what America does. We’re the most religious country in the world, but we tolerate each other’s faith.

Except the followers of Mohammed.

What are we supposed to do about that?

*Yes, I know that is a misnomer. It works; sue me.

I’ve Capped on the Brinks

COMMERCIALS (or whatever their name is this week) for their stupid scenarios. So have others. Now, Kevin Baker is moved to put together an illustrated post on the subject.

When running away isn’t an option.

Indeed.

Oh, looky here

FRIDAY XIII comed on a Friday this month.

Heard on Country Radio

Brooks & Dunn’s I Believe.

When I raise my hands, bow my head
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what i can see
I believe
Oh, I
I believe

Brought a tear to my eye, sitting there in rush-hour traffic, right out in front of God and everybody.

You’re turning into a sentimental old softie in your advancing years, Alger.

Afraid it’s not a new condition, Dolly.

Do You Really Want to Go There? Dept

HEARD ON THE RADIO Thursday that A.C.O.R.N. is trying to challenge their defunding by Congress on the grounds that the move is unconstitutional.

Can I file an amicus brief to the effect that they’re right? Because the funding was unconstitutional in the first place? Not to mention evidence of corruption?

Print Out This Guy’s

BULLET POINTS list, laminate it, and carry it around for when you have to argue with idiots about so-called global warming.

Dr. John Christy, skeptic

So, to Whoever Rattted Me Out

TO STEVEN GREEN on the George Soros snark (which made #1 in his PJTV’s Week In Blogs

Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!

PJ-lanched (sortof) and I never even noticed until GM Roper said something nice in comments to the post. (Thanks, George. Your no-prize is in the mail. And when you open it up, you, too, will exclaim, “THAT’S NO PRIZE!”) And even that took me three days to notice.

Does the Bloggies have a category for the Most Pathetic Blogger of the Year?

Quote of the Day II

…I saw the probe going into the woman’s uterus. And at that moment, I saw the baby moving and trying to get away from the probe.

And I thought, “It’s fighting for its life.” And I thought, “It’s life, I mean, it’s alive.”

Abby Johnson

RTWT.

Quote of the Day

Obama believes in “the fierce urgency of now,” and fierce it is. That’s where all the poor befuddled sober centrists who can’t understand why the Democrats keep passing incoherent 1,200-page bills every week are missing the point. If “health care” were about health care, the devil would be in the details. But it’s not about health or costs or coverage; it’s about getting over the river and burning the bridge. It doesn’t matter what form of governmentalized health care gets passed as long as it passes. Once it’s in place, it will be “reformed,” endlessly, but it will never be undone.

Mark Steyn at NRO

We’d better hope it can be repealed.

Intolerable Act

I LOVE IT! Spread the word. Make it go viral. Hang it on the damned thing and make the would-be Little Hitlers live with it.

From The Dutchman at Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Also loving it: the neo-acronym, AINO — Americans in Name Only, referring to anyone who supports the Intolerable Act.

— From Daniel J. Almond, a reader, at Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Dear Senators Brown & Voinovich

DEAR SENATOR;

I am writing to urge you in the strongest possible terms to not support any of the bills currently being bruited about by the majority leadership as being for “health care reform.”

The first — and most dispositive — argument against the bill(s) is that there is no constitutional mandate for Congress to address the issue at all. And, as the Tenth Amendment instructs, what is not mandatory is forbidden.

But second, the reforms as proposed utterly fail to address the real issues at hand and — indeed — exacerbate the problems they feign to address.

There is a bill being written about (I have not seen the actual text yet myself) that does offer promise of real, substantive and positive reform. It was written about Thursday in Investors Business Daily, but I’m sure that the GOP House leadership can provide you with a copy — if they haven’t already.

THIS appears to be the program which should have been pursued all along. I urge you to do everything in your power to block the bill passed in the House on Saturday (and anything like it), and support the bill the Republicans in the House have put forth.

Warmest regards,

Mark Alger

@#$)(*%@#(*+^#@$_*)!!!!

CONGRESS PASSED the Obamacare crime 220-215. Apparently working the weekend to try to beat out the news cycle. Apparently, the heat gets to be too much during the week.

Every one of the 220 who voted for the abortion…

I thought they knocked abortion out of the bill.

Yeah, they did. I mean the bill itself is an abortion. A dog’s breakfast. In the immortal words of Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park: One big pile of shit.

But…

Every one of the 220 is a criminal; in violation of his oath of office; a traitor for making war on the Constitution. This country should be made ungovernable until the usurpers in DC are made to understand that they must justify themselves to US — not the other way around.

Is there no hope? Can we not defend our nation against the depredations of this horrible monster? Will no-one rid us of thus turbulent thief?

Quote of the Week

A new study in the journal Science has just shown that all of the climate modeling results of the past are erroneous. The IPCC’s modeling cronies have just been told that the figures used for greenhouse gas forcings are incorrect, meaning none of the model results from prior IPCC reports can be considered valid.

(The IPCC is the Inter-government Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. organization mostly responsible for the spread of this risible fraud.)

From Our How Wrong Can You Be? Department

THE REPUBLICANS’ RESPONSE TO EVERYTHING IS “NO.” How wrong can the Left be?

You mean: aside from every single question of public policy to come up since the term “Left Wing” was first printed on a t-shirt?

That’s what I mean, Dolly.

First: the GOP health bill.

Second: On so-called Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Do the research. You will find that, confronted with the Gore-Hansen juggernaut, the only sane response is to, in the words of Bill Buckley, “Stand athwart history shouting, ‘STOP!'”

Third: On national defense — the present administration was handed a viable plan that it turned right around and proceeded to break.

Fourth: On the economy — everything the Democrats have proposed is wrong. Destructive. Counter-factual AND counter-intuitive. When you see somebody setting fire to your house, is not “NO!” an appropriate response? But the Right (a larger set than just the Republican party) has had the proven-effective solutions: individual liberty, free markets, lower taxes, smaller government.

It actually seems to me that this canard is just like all the others: projection and transferrence. In truth, it delineates the Left’s responses to these issues. The sensible desiderata are met with ever-louder, ever-shriller “NO!” from tantrum-throwing Democrats.

Funny How All the Egalitarians

ON THE “LIBERAL” — (scorn quotes) — Left don’t have a problem with Al Gore getting ever richer on the back of his global warming scam, while the policies he urges will make them as ain’t got poorer.

They told me that, if I supported liberty and individual rights, that the rich would get richer while the poor would get poorer. And they were right!

The Left Tries To

BRUIT IT ABOUT that the Republican Party is/ought to be the party of The Big Tent. They tug on the beard and scratch their wooden heads and wonder how the GOP thinks it can win without moderates and centrists. They urge this strategy on the Right — Trust us, they seem to be saying, You’ll win more elections this way.

Totally ignoring the fact that the greatest Republican triumphs have come at the moments when this advice was totally left in the ditch, when the party catered to what Peter Jennings called The Angry White Man. (As though that anger had no legitimate cause or source.)

And yet… Show me where there are moderates in the Democrats’ Big Tent. Show me the right wing of the party of Jefferson and Jackson.

Would Somebody Please

GO OUT AND arrest the Code Pink harridans on charges of Treason?

Eh? For urging the kidnapping of the ex-President?

No. For, during the war, interfering with the execution of the express will of the People. (Congress DID declare war, bitches, albeit in a cowardly and weaselly way.) For acting as a fifth column in favor of the enemy in wartime.

That was then, this is now.

I don’t recall there being a statute of limitations on treason.

Quote of the Day

I hate “Daylight Saving Time” and regard it as a totally bogus excuse to screw up everyone’s life in the quest for one more hour of daylight during the wintertime. This end-of-October ritual and its “spring forward” counterpart is idiotic.

The fact is the daylight or lack of it will be there no matter what the clocks say. You do not “gain” anything by having to change all your clocks and other time pieces. The day remains 24 hours. If you are too stupid to know that it is light or dark outside, nothing this government mandate does will be of much help.

Alan Caruba

While I agree that DST is silly, useless evenn, YA exercise in fascistic power grabs, I do like the chance to malinger twice annually.

I get that. You can sleep in. But… Both ways?

Sure. Whichever way is appropriate, you just… get the extra time by sleeping in until the “real” time to get up. The other one, you just claim you forgot. Or went the wrong direction. Or whatever. Being a lazy S.O.B., I welcome all chances to goldbrick.

Gotta Love It When

LEFTOIDS, SUCH AS Joe “Gaffe-o-matic” Biden (The Stupidest Man in the Senate) aver and avow that the views of those of us in the Right are somehow outside the mainstream (“alien,” the chia-pet Veep said on Monday). Of course, the Left is collectively innumerate so the notion of 60-70-80% self-identification with the concepts and ideals of America’s founding and greatness might not penetrate their idea of “mainstream.”

Aw, come ON, Alger! You know better’n ‘at! They do, too. They’re just lying to see, as Maha Rushi keeps sayin’, “How can we fool ’em today?”

Oh, sure. But it’s more fun to take a liar at face value and watch him sputter when you… when you do the math for them.

Huh?

Sure. It’s Alinsky. Make your enemy live up to his own values. Words. Writings. Rules.

Ah! I see.

Insty Quotes Goldberg

(IS THAT TWO LEGS of a latter-day political Tinker-to-Evans-to-Chance?)

Insty quotes Goldberg saying this:

A lot of conservatives today are too quick to think that because liberals have some affinity for Marxist sentiments that they are actual Marxists. Liberals often make the same mistakes as Marxists, but they’re not Marxists. In the 1960s, the distinctions between Marxists and liberals was much more apparent and it’s worth remembering that the radicals often hated the liberals more than they hated the conservatives.

Me, I must demur. Not that Jonah is wrong on the intellectual point, but that said point is immaterial. Liberals are used by Marxists — even while they are despised by them — as cannon fodder and stalking horses for their terrible ideas. That liberals bring about Marxist ends, despite the Marxists’ despite, is the real point.

“By their fruits shall ye know them.” That’s all she wrote.

Quote of the Day

Why are all of these people treating the putative Leader of the Free World as if he’s a puling infant? Oh wait. He is.

Baldilocks