Monthly Archives: December 2010

Ragin’ Has a Comment

ON THE EURO-US map thing Darling Rachel linked to awhile back here.

Dave describe the Europeans’ cluelessness about how big America is. (Really big, when you combine the U.S. and Canada, who — someday — will just have to merge in a de jure recognition of the de facto unity between our two peoples.)

And I have to agree. Playing with that map, I find that:

Cincinnati to Saginaw is the same distance as London to Edinburgh.

Cincinnati to Indianapolis is roughly the same as London to Cardiff.

(And both UK trips are — it should be noted — international, with very different languages and cultures at either end.)

Cincinnati to St. Louis is roughly equivalent to a trip from London to Land’s End — essentially the full width of the country.

And, for our Western compatriots, who routinely travel much longer distances on their daily commutes, the distance from Sandpoint, Idaho, to Lewiston-Clarkston (in the Washington-Oregon-Idaho tristate.) is about the same as from Hamburg to Frankfurt. Take it to Boise and you’ve made it to Munich. Salt Lake to Denver is roughly the distance between Munich and Paris. The area that WWI was fought in, in northern France and Belgium, might almost fit within DC’s famous Beltway.

But my point is that this same failure of the imagination is to be found in a vast number of Americans.

Even though it takes five hours and forty-five minutes to flyover Flyover Country, for some reason, your average bicoastalist thinks that, somewhere in the wildest of eastern Pennsylvania, they flip a switch and miles are worth a tenth or a hundredth of what they are in the megalopolis.

Megacephalopolis.

Eh?

Only thinks it’s a really big city. Mostly it’s just an overcrowded hive.

O. IC.

I maintain that you could induce a sort of a catatonia in your typical fashionable Upper East Side liberal by plunking him or her down in the front passenger seat of an SUV trekking across Montana on a bright spring day. The sky alone would oppress.

And yet, these consider themselves fit to rule.

I Get So Frustrated

WHEN PEOPLE — LAWYERS — who have gone through so much schooling can’t read what’s in front of their noses!

With reference to: this thread at Volokh Conspiracy.

I also get really exercised when people who ought to know better — as above — start arguing the minutiae of unlawful impositions. It’s like arguing whether the Titanic was sunk from a single puncture or a tear down its entire side; not relevant — the relevant fault is that the ship was steered too close to the iceberg. So many political arguments are not about fundamentals — is the state permitted to do this at all — but over whether this detail or that is represented more accurately in the media. To whit:

The Federal Constitution, in the Second Amendment thereto, reads in relevant part, “The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Yeah, there’s commas in there, but they don’t change the meaning.

Unlike the First Amendment, which lays a proscription specifically on Congress (and no other), the Second makes a categorical statement about a right inhering to every American citizen — regardless of what polity he may inhabit. NO actor — public or private — may prohibit a free citizen from the exercise of this right, which right, in wording the Amendment, the framers recognize, predates the formation of the United States and the ratification of the Constitution.

Therefor, the Cleveland laws under discussion in the above-linked article are in violation of the Federal Constitution. Seven no-trump, doubled and redoubled. Game, rubber, match.

How stupid does a lawyer have to be, despite all indoctrination to the contrary, not to recognize this fact which is crystal-clear to the least among We the (Little) People?

Og Beminded Me

ABOUT THIS, SO thanks, Og.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve, the night when many amateur drunks are tempted — and give in to the temptation — to tie one on. To tie several on.

And the price, generally accepted, is a mouth full of rabbit fur, mouse turds, and sand, and a head as big as all outdoors and as delicate as a paper orchid. Or an orchid sculpted from an eggshell, maybe.

I am here to tell you it doesn’t need to be so.

In the novel Oath of Fealty Larry Niven describes a character (Tony Rand) taking a dose of a B vitamin in anticipation of a hangover. (Yes, Pournelle also authored this novel, but Niven wrote on this topic elsewhere, so I’m on pretty firm ground attributing this contribution to him here.) Rand muses that he’s amazed that more people don’t know about this.

It’s simple, really. B vitamins support liver health. It’s your liver that filters all the crap out of your bloodstream from adult beverages, the same crap that contributes to your hangover. You boost liver function by taking vitamin B — eh viola! — no hangover.

Here’s the what. Get a bottle of a B-100 formula. They have it at Kroger, Walgreen, CVS — anywhere they sell vitamins. I’m not sure if it’s niacin or folic acid or what that actually does the deed, so the complex is the sure shot. Take enough so you pee yellow. Usually, one dose (mine shows 6667% of the RDA of Thiamin) will keep you for 12 hours or so. Do that right before you go drinking. When you get home, before you go to bed, take another dose. Five grains of acetylsalicilic acid (ASA: aspirin) wouldn’t hurt, either. Just stay away from stuff produced by those war criminals at I.G. Farben a.k.a. Bayer.

If you feel the least bit queasy in the morning, take another dose of B. Your favorite caffeinated beverage wouldn’t hurt, either. The vasodilator effect lowers your blood pressure, which can help with headaches.

And that’s your New Year’s drinking tip. I have done this for decades and never get hangovers, except when I forget.

And I ain’t no amateur drunk.

Quote of the Day

THE 1911 PISTOL remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair.

–Jeff Cooper

In honor of this thread.

Although I admit I have an unreasoning prejudice against ugly, plastic guns, and I willingly accept the assertion that it is unreasoning, I really don’t have a dog in this fight. However, I also have a somewhat more-reasoned prejudice against people who piss on my leg and try to tell me it’s raining. And somebody who deliberately starts a flame war over objects, trying to present emotional preferences as being logically based and well-reasoned is sidling up to me with his dick running.

But also…

My uncle was in the First Marine Division in WWII. It was he who informed me that Marines who took basic at Parris Island referred to those who took basic at Pendleton variously as Hollywood Marines or Candy-Ass Marines. Having said that, though, I think it should be clear to all and sundry that nearly any Marine, even REMFs (with the possible exception of John Murtha, PBUH), can kick any non-Marine’s ass any day including Sunday. Deriding Col. Cooper because he wasn’t a rifle-toting grunt in one major battle is just plain stupid. I understand that the author of the post was only referring to Cooper’s qualifications as a gunfighting instructor, and will weasel out of the rest on that score, but it’s still stupid.

Here’s a Thought

INSTEAD OF CUTTING the pensions of unionized government workers who, however naively, negotiated their contracts in somewhat good faith — or, rather, BEFORE we cut those pensions…

How about we cut the pensions of legislators who 1) permitted the unionization of government workers, against all sense and reason, 2) negotiated in bad faith, knowing full well (or should-have-knowing full well) that the benefits they negotiated would be underfunded, (When did it become sane for any benefit to be funded at less than 100%?), and 3) kicked the can down the road past their terms in office, giving cover to their successors who now by all rights ought to prosecuting their predecessors?

How about that? Cut their pensions, throw ’em in jail. What say you?

Apocrypha News

WRITER’S BLOCK IS up at the Apocrypha site. As the disclaimer notes, it’s not really a part of the Apocrypha proper, but it’s otherwise unsaleable because of shared tropes I don’t have exclusive right to. Nevertheless…

The process of posting stories is relatively easy, so I can foresee myself getting more of them up in rather short order. I will probably post my favorites first.

You’re not supposed to admit you have favorites.

You mean like children? But you know there’s always one Mom liked best.

But it’s not PC to admit it.

Not PC? All the more reason TO do it.

The Caturday Post

MERRY CHRISTMAS, KITTIES! Baby kitty is still busy. Busy-busy-can-be. I can’t recall a kitten who has been as active — or a cat for that matter, other than Belle — as Karma. She’s always curious, always investigating, always looking for new prey to capture and kill. Lately, she’s taken to stalking Toni’s cell phone — one of those really tiny flip phones about half the size of a pack of cigarettes…

Ew! Cigarettes.

I hear you, Dolly. But the size comparison comes readily to hand, and there’s precious few objects with such universal familiarity.

Easy! There’s … Or… Hmmm. This is harder than I thought.

Right. So you see my problem.

Anyway… Toni’s cell phone is Karma’s newest most favoritest prey. Coming in even ahead of Aqua.

Toni will put the phone down someplace handy and step away — sometimes in the next room, but most often not — only to come back and find it on the floor being stalked by one tabbico kitten with the most intent expression. This evening, Toni put the phone down on my dresser-chest — about four feet off the ground — and took two steps. Turned around, and there was Karma, getting ready to knock it off onto the floor.

Having your phone next to you on the nightstand suddenly becomes a challenge.

As she grows, Karma also discovers new things she couldn’t do when she was smaller.

Our cats have a cat tree by the back window in the living room. It’s about five feet or so tall, and is topped out by a carpeted crows nest supported on about a two-foot column wrapped in sisal rope. This stands on a platform covered in short, looped-pile carpet. (Not quite shag, but not cut-pile, either.) Karma has discovered that she can lie on her side at the base of this thing and swing herself around it like a… Like a feline tether ball, I guess is the best way to describe it. We interrupted a viewing of Holmes on Homes this afternoon to watch her at this exercise for a good… oh, couple of minutes at least.

Holmes on Homes! I can tell you were serious!

Dolly? Stifle.

Stifling!

This increased tempo of operations means that the youngster has less time to snuggle with humans, now. Whereas before she would curl up and nap on my chest, now she’ll stop in for fifteen seconds of petting and behind-the-ear-scratching before scampering off (she’s too lanky to badoop-badoop any more, although she does still do the kitten butt-wiggle) on another adventure.

The busiest baby kitty in town.

A Very Dolly XMas

AS A CHRISTMAS tradition around here at BTB, we offer the re-telling of a story now eleven years old, a Dolly XMas. In previous years, the story has been posted in parts here on BTB, as blog posts. However, I have for some time been planning to rebuild the Apocrypha site. That rebuild is now in-progress, with A Very Dolly Xmas being the first offering.

You can find the story directly here. The Apocrypha site entire is here, although there is only the one story for the nonce. And the base site, markphilipalger.com, will someday (I hope) contain a good deal more than just this slug of juvenalia.

Juvenalia written in your 40s!

Well, Dolly, you’re only as old as you feel.

Yah-yah-yah. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you, Dolly. And to you, Gentle Readers!

You Know, It Occurs to Me Department

THAT THE WHOLE “weather is not climate” argument the warmistas retail to debunk the notion that record cold temperatures disprove the notion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. (But not, you’ll notice, that by the same token, record warm temperatures should not be taken as proof of the contention.)…

That this argument pretty much disposes of the notion that global warming is a problem.

After all, if local weather variations don’t change the overall trend, what significance does the trend have to local weather?

Hmmm?

Heard In Passing on Radio News

AND SO AM NOT entirely certain I could have heard correctly, but I coulda swored that the radio news anchor said that inflation at the grocery store has only amounted to one or two percent over the last however many months and/or years.

Can you just imagine the Chuck Jones cartoon effect of the right hand of God zooming into the face of the radio dial in the car, through the aether in a lightning bolt cross-fade, and out of the microphone at ABS Broadcasting, to grab the announcer by the scruff and shake her silly?

::wobbitawobbitawobbitawobbitawobbitawobbitawobbitawobbita::

Right. Wobbita.

Two fer pucking cent? In what alternate universe is this and how do I get there?

We here at Casa d’Alger live pretty high on the hog. Still, there are only two of us (plus seven cats) with rather pedestrian tastes. (Us, not the cats.) Our “normal” spend at the groceries (we shop two stores in an attempt to get the best deals, with occasional buys at a third) has gone from around $250 every two weeks to, now it seems almost normal, frequent totals in excess of $400.00. No matter how I scrimp and save.

Two percent my achey-breaky ass!

OK. I Guess It Had To Be

IN A NEARLY-COMPLETE turnaround, I must admit that this current rump session of Congress can no longer be termed a lame duck Congress, but must be recast as a lame-ass Congress.

Looking for the silver lining department, I suppose it must be seen as a partial good that the Democrats are revealed before the world as being the scorched-earth well-poisoners we in the Right have known them to be all along.

You Really Should Know Better

I’M TOTALLY AMAZED (or not) by the incredible flood of spam. Not kidding. I got 5,000 spam messages over the weekend at my patch factory address. Over a thousand a day here lately. Well over. At a time when I might get a dozen legitimate messages — if that many.

Can’t help wondering if anybody buys anything from these bottom-feeders, or if the only one making money is the guy selling those lists of “millions of email addresses”.

And Tuesday, we’re greeted with the spectre of the FCC (Whose constitutional authority is, again…?) making a power grab for the Internet called (typical false flag) Net Neutrality.

Well, it’s true, if you accept that the government is neutral.

Yeah. Right.

Pssst! Little girl. Wanna buy a bridge?

::ROTFL::: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah! Stop! I can’t stop laughing!

And nobody should be surprised. Government invariably gets it — whatever “it” may be — 180° wrong. Like not even trying to stop frauds and cheats…

(tee-hee) Professional courtesy! (hee-hee-hee)

…right, and chasing off like a bunch of hounds rabbitting off on the wrong scent after a solution in need of a problem. What could be more typical?

Baby Kitteh

IS BUSY. As busy as a spotted or herbaceous backson.

Remind Me Again

WHAT PROVISION OF the Constitution it is that gives this odious agency the authority to even exist, let alone regulate the Internet?

This Thought Occurred to Me

FULLY FORMED FROM the forehead of Zeus — sort of an ideoparthenogenesis, if you get my drift.

How is mandatory reporting to a government agency of the occurrance and conditions of the transfer of arms from one private entity to another not a violation of Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search. The record being reported, after all, is not an effect solely of the gun store. It is also that of a private citizen. Taken not only without informed consent, but also taken without probable cause, and without a warrant. How can this be seen to be reasonable from the perspective of the injured party?

And all of this before breakfast, as it were, without mention of the slope of ice with grease smeared over it that is the government keeping records of who has sold firearms to whom. I don’t care if the government asserts we can trust it. Common sense dictates that you cannot trust the government, you should not trust the government, you must not trust the government, and it is a chump’s error to trust the government. That is the entire purpose of our nation’s fundamental document — to shackle the government to our lack of trust in its good intentions. We — in effect — know better.

How can We the (Little) People rid ourselves of the impertinent and insufferable (not to mention unlawful) regime that seeks to enslave us all?

Note to Self

GERMAN-STYLE bierhalle. Not only are they great places for staging putschen, but they also work pretty good for office Christmas parties.

Hofbrau Haus, Newport, Kentucky.

Keep it in mind next time you get strong-armed into going to one.

Ruptured Duck Session

INSTY KEEPS POSTING notes about how the lame duck session in Congress is actually a whole lot better than anybody ever expected. And, for the most part, I don’t disagree.

But it brings me around to the inevitable next question: if they can do all this good stuff in a last-minute, abbreviated rump session, how come they couldn’t manage to do their constitutional duty in a whole frigging year?

How do We the (Little) People make Congress attend to the stuff it’s supposed to do FIRST, before it gets into meddling in business where it’s got no business? Or even without that latter part?

Karma, When Black Friday Came

BABY KITTY on the floor of the study, Casa d’Alger, the Lane, Cincinnati, November 26, 2010.

GM Is Quoting da Doll

LITTLE OLD MOI! Da Doll is blushing from under her hair to the soles of her feet. I’m so thrilled and excited, my nipples are hard.

GM Roper is quoting moi on his masthead. Just goes to show ya, the guy is a class act.

Rush Was Ranting Thursday

ABOUT BICYCLES ON the street, special bike lanes, and the rest. He asserted that the roads were made for cars — well, horses first, then cars.
I think he’s wrong; roads were and are made for vehicular traffic. And a skateboard qualifies as a vehicle, so long as it can follow the rules of the road.

Same for bicycles: follow the rules of the road, or stay on the sidewalk.

Pat Gray, Sitting in For

GLENN BECK ON FRIDAY asks, “How does Nancy Pelosi get away with the lie?”

Rhetorically, I suspect.

I suppose. But there is an answer. Congress isn’t Parliament. Listen to Prime Minister’s Question Time, for instance. Listen to the opposition MPs reacting to the PM’s speech. The Democrats in Congress can get away with lying as they do because the rules of each house demand decorum and prohibit things like Joe Wilson’s (entirely apposite and truthful) outburst during the State of the Union Show.

I notice, though, that the risk of being called on their bullshit hasn’t stopped British leftists from lying.

Possibly. But the wider point is that the Democrats get no questions, no opposition, no throwing of the bullshit flag, no being brought up on charges. So, of course, they keep it up. Why shouldn’t they?

Would Somebody Please

TELL AL SHARPTON to shut the fuck up?

And make it stick?

You’d be doing the nation a service.

And… Um, Al…? May I have the honor of offending you? You ignorant, slimey, race-husling pissant! Fuck off! Eat shit and die!

Rush Asks, “What’s Smart?”

PEOPLE ARE CALLED SMART in the Northeast Liberal Establishment bubble by stupid people who mistake glibness for intelligence.

For example, Obama isn’t smart. Obama is — all offense intended — a trained monkey. He has the patter down. But, as demonstrated by his teleprompter dependency, take him off-script, and his glibness breaks down. The same is true of most of those on the Left who are called smart. If a person believes that collectivism can work, he is, ipso facto, a moron.

It’s not hard to cipher.

Stenny Hoyer (D-MD) Wants You To Believe

THAT KEEPING THE TAX rates the same as they’ve been for the last — what? seven? — years is going to add almost $900 billion to the deficit.

Really? ‘Splain to me how that works.

Stenny Hoyer (D-MD), for those not following along all that closely at home is the majority leader — second in command after Nancy Pelosi — in the House.

Stenny Hoyer (D-MD) is either economically ignorant that it is not stable income, but rather increasing spending that contribute to the deficit, or he is a liar.

Either way he’s unqualified for office. Voters of Maryland should take note.

With the Example of Chuck Schumer Before You

WOULD YOU PLEASE now believe folks such as the Real King of France when they tell you virtually all elected Democrats are traitors and liars? Schumer wants you to believe that the whole Tea Party thing was about denying tax breaks to the rich. Do you believe that? Review the bidding in your mind. Have you ever heard Schumer say anything that wasn’t demonstrably false-to-fact? Thank you!

Good DAY, sir!

‘Bout All I Got Right Now

AMUSE YOURSELVES

Woo! And then: Hoo!

OBAMACARE unconstitutional. Like we didn’t know that all along.

Nor can the one provision reasonably be severed from the rest. Still, I’d be more comfortable with a ruling stating the basic fact: Congress does not have the authority to rule on the matter at all. All laws regarding health care and insurance, and especially the tax code meddling in the matter, are unconstitutional and should be stricken down.

Funday Sunnies

OK. YOU GOTTA go read this. The morning starts at Roseholme Cottage, and hilarity ensues. Nothing unusual there. But this time… it’s more-so. Check it out.

The Caturday Post

UR DOON IT RONG department. Worked for an hour or so after breakfast, then took a nap.

Where can I get this gig!?

Work at home.

I do! You keep me chained to this rowing bench 24/7.

And yet, you still manage to pipe up with irrelevancies!

How am I being irrelevant?

This is The Caturday Post.

And…?

Are you a cat?

::chuckles:: ‘Pends who ya ask.

But for this: no.

No.

So pipe down.

Piping…

ANY way… I lay down for the nap amidst a mega-catpile. I think the whole herd was on the bed except for Belle, who kept watch from atop my dresser. (Well, atop Toni’s sewing box atop my dressers — the greater height being all-important.)

In arranging pillows and covers, I displaced Karma, who went over and snuggled up next to Aqua. They’re turning into best buds, except Aqua doesn’t seem to agree in that assessment; she looks on Karma more like an annoying kid sister, right now. And, to illustrate that point, Karma grabbed Aqua by the neck and started chewing/sucking on her ear.

Kid needs lessons in catpiling. Aqua threw her off the bed.

Not that she stayed off very long.

Who Is Anonymous

THE HEADLINE ASKS. The article goes on to rationalize cyber attacks on private organizations, Amazon and PayPal, which have decided to sever ties to Wikileaks.

Attacks on private businesses. In effect, terrorism.

This is comparable to an occupant of a fully-loaded lifeboat drilling holes in the bottom. At some point, the motive becomes irrelevant. The very act itself is so beyond the pale as to place the actor beyond the law. By chosing these methods, he (“Anonymous” — a “collective” of cowards who hide their faces), has forfeited any claim on the protection of the law. This anonymity is the modern-day equivalent to hiding one’s face behind a bandana while robbing a bank.

Col. Cooper asserted the viewpoint that a masked man is a target. I think the same applies here. Let every man’s hand be raised against them.

Is It Constitutional for the President

TO ABDICATE? Can the word “abdicate” even be applied to such an unseemly flight from republican office?

I know what it is. The tax deal is Obama’s version of the killer rabbit.

With Clinton playing Al Haig? Do we expect him to start saying, “I’m in charge, here,” any minute now?

Different crisis.

Isn’t that kinda the point? This really isn’t a crisis, for all it handily illustrates Obama’s definite lack of grace under pressure.

Rush.

No. I don’t think he said that.

No, dummy! Not el Rushbo! The band! They had an album, Grace Under Pressure?

Oh. Right. My bad. I should known that. Sorry.

What. EVerrr.

As They Say, Every Once in Awhile, a Blind Pig

WILL FIND AN A.C.O.R.N. … e.g.: Jesse Jackson, when he said, “Get out the Bushes!”

The Public Value Test

FCC COMMISH Copps wants radio stations to meet a “Public Value Test.” By which, one presumes, he means his values. Because otherwise, when you think of it, commercial radio stations (also some public or non-profit stations as well) already are meeting a real public value test by staying commercially viable. Whether by donations, subscriptions, or advertiser support, they are drawing sufficient audience to keep the lights on and juice going to the transmitter.

It’s long past time for the FCC to go the way of the dodo and the passenger pigeon. Buh-bye, now. Don’t let the door pat down your ass on the way out.

By the way, we’re told as schoolchildren here in southwest Ohio that the last of the passenger pigeons — name of Heather or Ashley or Shaniqua or something — died in the Cincinnati zoo before you were born. Just thought you should know.

Apropos of absolutely nothing at all.

What’s Really Dumb About

THE RIOTING YOBS getting all up in Prince Charles’ grille about tuition rate hikes is… What the hell does the Prince have to do with it? It was Commons and the Prime Minister — elected officials, not royals — who instituted the hikes. (And for what sound to me like good reasons — albeit too little, too late, most likely.) Piquing the royals for it is like kicking the neighbors’ dog when your boss tears you a new one, just because the dog is handy. Stupid and childish.

But then — check it out — they’re rioting over having a gummint gimme taken away, so WTF do you expect?

Well, yeah, Dolly. That’s me: a genius for the obvious.

I Get My Cardio Workout

YELLING AT THE RADIO in afternoon drivetime traffic.

Well, at any rate, you raise your blood pressure.

Yeah. There is that, too.

Thursday, Hannity was chatting with Bob Beckl — manager of Walter “Fritz” (49 states, did anybody get the number of that rocket that hit me) Mondale’s campaign, which makes me wonder why anybody listens to anything he ever says, but whatever — when Beckl went off on the notion of retaining the tax rates at the levels set by the so-called “Bush tax cuts.” He said it is outrageous that the richest two percent of American wage earners should get to keep what pittance the government deigns acceptable.

And I just wanted to reach through the radio…

You and ten million other Americans.

…really… through the radio, grab the idiot by the scruff and give him a good shaking.

We really need to pound this meme.

What is outrageous — despicable and flat-out un-American — is this invidious attack on various parts of the population, this setting some Americans against other Americans. We won’t stand for it on any other basis, but for some reason Democrats and other leftist criminals think it’s perfectly OK to start a civil war. And what for? To increase the percentage of all income taxes the top 2% pays from 50% to 80%? Or whatever the numbers are? No. The purpose of this is to divide Americans and hobble the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the country proof against the risky schemes of collectivists. No red-blooded American should stand for it. If your Congresscritter is a Democrat, flood the zone: tie up his phone line, crash his email server, burn out his fax machine, knock down his office door. Let him know you don’t approve of the representatives of Americans trying to start a war between Americans.

I Should Just Start a Department

HEADLINED JHQOTD for Joe Huffman’s Quote of the Day. If you don’t get why, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Tuesday’s JHQOTD focuses on a gun-banning idiot, one Karen Anrtzen, who drools:

They say that they are law abiding citizens but there’s no way of knowing that. There’s no accountability for this group.

Seems to me there’s even less accountabilty for her group, a one-issue gang going around spouting lies, urging the infringement and abridgement of civil rights. Woman really needs to have her speech license revoked.

What!?!!

The Fundamental Mendacity

OF THE MILITANT — scorn quotes — “Center” should by now be apparent to all self-aware sophonts.

And yet, href="http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/254517/david-frum-speech-policeman-stanley-kurtz" target="_blank">disingenuous pseudo-conservative David Frum insists that, by policing political speech, his nascent organization, No Labels (no links), will open up vast vistas of political discourse hitherto untravelled in the History of the Republic. </scorn>

The organization, as described by the asymptotically witless Kathleen Parker here, seeks to:

…[A]ttract both politicians who feel they’ve lost elections for being too moderate, and voters who feel homeless.

Now, given that Parker has had a bad case of cranial-rectal impaction for some time, one may find it charitable to excuse the utter witlessness of her formulation. Liberal Republicans, not realizing — or accepting — that it is precisely their willingness to compromise with palpable evil — apparently purely for the sake of compromise itself — that has brought the nation to this low estate.

The politicians who were voted out in November were voted out for being too LEFTIST, not for moderation. (That most were self-styled moderates had more to do with the ability of the majority to reach them in gerrymandered districts; the real extreme leftists have carved themselves out niches where they feel themselves safe. And they are — for now.) Moderation had nothing to do with it. They were voted out for being liberals, albeit self-deceptive, soft, and squishy ones.

The voters who have felt homeless for — oh, I don’t know — fifty, sixty, seventy years, now, are those Nixon attempted to gull with his appeal to the “Silent Majority,” the people who — in the words of el Rushbo — make the country work, who only want to be left alone to live their own lives untrammeled to the best of their own ability with no help or interference from the outside. Does that sound moderate? Not by the definitions used in the Northeast Liberal Establishment Media Echo Chamber Bubble. No, that sounds Extreme Right Wing Fringe Wingnut Wacko by the terms of the Left-dominated Governing Class.

As Rush puts it, the volume “Great Achievements of American Moderates” is the slimmest book on the shelf. A rush to the middle is a headlong plunge into mediocrity. There is nothing to recommend it and a great deal to condemn it. A case where safre sane (sic) does not apply.

Years ago, the late science fiction author Jack Chalker, whom I would type as a tendentious left-progressive, tried to sell me on his moderatism. He claimed he was a guy camped out in the middle of the road with a pair of Uzis, taking shots at the traffic in both the left and right lanes. I thought it was precious then, and find it tiresome now. I allowed as how, as far as I could see, all you find in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead skunks.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road

See? This is Why

I SHOULDN’T POST like not feeding Gremlins, after midnight. Even if it’s a repost.

Here’s why I pulled up that blast from the past last night. Over at Watt’s Up With That (WUWT), there was this post about a “proof” of CAGW called the Four-Legged Table.

And it occurred to me I’d already done my own 4-legged table on how, in order for CAGW to be born out as an issue requiring action, four distinct criteria had to be met.

Sorry. I should have posted this note with all that.

We All Drop Things Upon

OCCASION, INCLUDING words. Something in us insists that we take verbal shortcuts. Nicknames. Abbreviations. Shorthand of extended phrasing. Take global warming.

The full descriptive phrase for the topic on everyone’s lips these days is Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). This is a very specific subset of a broader concept, also called (confusingly enough), Global Warming. The generic Global Warming (GW) is a pretty well-established fact that the earth is warmer today than it was a various specific times and in general epochs in the past. Most folks probably think of the subject, if they do at all, in terms of: there is “now”, and before “now” there was “The Ice Age.” “Now” takes on the elastic characteristic of consisting of any time from now-now back to “a long time ago” when ice sheets had recently covered the earth to miles thick. Describing this period, it seems witless to assert that the earth has not warmed in general. It would be equally witless to insist that all locations on the globe have forever and uniformly warmed since that earlier epoch. The atmosphere is nowhere that uniform.

But the topic of our muttons is the former concept (and this is essential): Catastrophic warming. Anthropogenic warming. And Global warming. In order to meet the tautological definition of its terms, the phenomenon must rest on all four legs of the stool.

It must be catastrophic in that it must cause, on balance, more harm than good, and a great harm — a harm that could conceivably mean the death or thrusting into misery of millions, perhaps the entire population of the world. If not that, then to whom or what is as yet undefined. Humanity, it appears, must be on the hook for the continued well-being and survival of no less entity than the whole planet. Burdened with such a weight, indeed might Atlas shrug.

Agronomists assure us that average increases in both CO2 and temperature most definitely will lead to increases in the vitality of plant life, including crops. Life would seem to become more-pleasant in warmer climes. Rarely does someone from the Carribean retire to the Yukon. Rather, the traffic is far greater the other direction — north-to-south. Myriad other benefits may be predicted to attend.

Against this, we are forewarned of various phenomena: rising sea levels, increased storm activities, the spread of tropical disease vectors (mostly mosquitos, it appears) to temperate zones, drought, death from dehydration and starvation, massive migrations and social disruption. I may be straw-manning this argument a tad. These are what I have heard to be those threats argued to be the major threats facing mankind from CAGW. If my understanding is accurate, then the threats are largely chimerical. They are highly unlikely to eventuate. It’s particularly amusing that urban sophisticates pushing this nonsense seem unaware of the ironic fact that most polities north of about the 45th parallel claim as their “state bird” the lowly mosquito. If the spread of mosquitos is a major threat of global warming — sorry, too late. And so-forth. There are other arguments in the warmists’ argumentarium, but I have not heard them voiced very often.

In order to match the predictions, the warming must be anthropogenic. This relies on the knowledge that humanity’s activities do, indeed, “spill” carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also on ignorance as to the minuscule amount in comparison to the whole this represents, the limits on the process (the greater the CO2 concentration, the less the incremental effect on warming — in the laboratory, at least), and on the nature of natural feedback, which governs complex systems. Indeed, the warmistas have to go through incredible contortions, assume grand effects which are evident nowhere in nature (the catch phrase: Name three positive feedback systems in nature. Get back to me on that when you’re done.), and assume the worst-case scenario in any given set of circumstancs. Only the last should not be seen as prima facie evidence of intent to defraud, but only when it stands alone. In train to the others, well… It can in no way be demonstrated that mankind is the primary or only driver of warming.

But even so … so what? (See “catastrophic” above.)

And, in order to match the predictions, the warming must be global. It does no good — and a great deal of mischief — to claim on the basis of suspect instrument readings (ably explained by Dr. Pournelle here) that the average of readings shows a warming trend. First, it commits the common category error in confusing the map with the ground it purports to represent. The best map is still only a guide. To claim that a map is an accurate depiction of its subject is purest sophistry. We know for a fact that there are vast swathes of the earth’s surface where there is no temperature record at all, and that the rest of the record is rife with siting bias, observation errors, and the simple fact that the “network” of reporting stations was intended as neither a network nor a record of climate — and, as such, is so close to useless for the purpose as to obviate the whole question.

Therefor, we cannot say with any reasonable degree of certitude that the earth has warmed or cooled to any degree (pun int) of precision. We cannot even honestly say what the earth’s temperature is. If you don’t know where you are or where you’ve been, how in hell are you abe to say where you’re going?

Which brings us to the last leg of the stool: warming. In order for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming to prove true, the planet must definitely be shown to be warming. It’s a pretty safe bet, but it is far from a surety. The only way that it can be shown at all is by way of some pretty suspect statistical tricks. Depending on the end points you pick, over the last 150 years, the actual instrument record shows either warming or cooling of less than the amount the “trick” referred to in the ClimateGate emails imposes on that record. Less than, if memory serves, one fifth as much. The cooling apparently evident in satellite records (which are somewhat more reliable in their coverage and lack of bias, but less so in that they are calibrated by the same surface record we find so lacking) over the last decade is, it would seem, greater than the claimed warming over the previous century. So… if, when the phenomenon was first brought to public attention in the 1908’s, the warming thus putatively observed were true, it would now seem to have gone away. And by no correlation with human activity whatsoever, let alone with CO2 concentrations, which have steadily risen over the same period. (at least, as far as we can tell from observations downwind of volcanoes — any one of which can swamp human exhalations with CO2 in a single eruption).

For the topic at hand to justify of all the sturm und drang, all of the proposed theft of wealth from helpless citizens in richer nations, to be showered on tin-pot dictators and other kleptocrats, the total dislocation and disruption of the world economy, the death, starvation and disease that will surely result from it, it must demonstrate clearly and unequivocally: Catastrophic. Anthropogenic. Global. Warming.

It has not been demonstrated that the phenomenon exists. It is not incumbent upon those who defend themselves, their lives, their families, their wallets from predatory statists to prove that this is so. It is required of the warmists that they prove their contention. They. Have. Not.

At this point in the discussion, in fact, it should be incumbent upon the warmists to demonstrate why they should not be held liable for criminal prosecution for their attempts to defraud the nations of the world, induce panic, and pull off the most colossal scam of all time — and to hell with proving global warming.

Cross-posted to Eternity Road.

Originally appeared December 14, 2009.

The Caturday Post

THEY SAY YOU CAN’T train a cat. Not true. It’s just that most people aren’t willing to put forth the effort to manipulate a cat’s incentives with the monomania it requires. Nevertheless, you can condition one, if you’re persistent and consistent about it. For example, if you accept that cats have no sense of boundaries, you can condition them to stay off of the kitchen counter … whenever you’re around. The second you go into another room, they’re up there checking it out. But that’s about the best you can expect. So, if you make sure there’s nothing on the counter they can hurt or can hurt them, (and you realize that there are NO limits to a cat’s curiosity — thus the old saw about its killing them), you might keep your roast safe from predation.

Just understand that, by forbidding them access while there are interesting smells going on, you’re maintaining what they call in the law an attractive nuisance.

We’ve been going through this with our cats seriatim since God was a little boy. Of our current batch, Loki is the most tendentious. He hops up ontop of the step-on garbage can, which puts him maybe ten inches below the countertop, over by the dish-drainer, on the other side of the (double-bowl stainless) sink from the food prep area, which is what he’sreally interested in. And he has learned, over his two-plus years (almost three, now, isn’t it?) that, when he moves to step up on the counter, he’s going to get yelled at and the human is going to move toward him, and he’ll get dumped unceremoniously on the floor if he doesn’t get down on his own.

Karma, being the youngest, is the one who gets into the most trouble with us. So it’s not unusual for dinnertime conversation to be interrupted by KARMA! GET OFF THE COUNTER!

And you can almost hear the little beepy-squee like the Plymouth Neon in the old ads:

Me?

YES, I’M TALKING TO YOU. GET! DOWN!

And she’ll push it, of course, like any terrible two-year-old. She’ll hang up there until the last possible moment, when you’re JUST out of arm’s reach. When she can no longer avoid being picked up and put on the floor, she’ll jump down on her own.

And, once you’ve settled back into your chair, she’ll come around and try to cute her way out of it. Puts up a paw to tap your finger or your knee.

You’re not really mad at me, are you, Daddy?

And 30 seconds later, both of you have forgotten the whole thing.

We lost a favorite wine glass the other day. I considered it too fragile to scrum with the Fiestaware in the dish drainer, so set it upside-down on a paper towel on the counter to drain after washing. The other morning, Toni discovered it in shards all over the kitchen floor.

Karma loves to knock things off surfaces to see whether or not they’d be fun the play with: drink coasters, the TV remotes, Toni’s pill case, my backscratcher. She has neither any notion of property — all objects are fair game for toys — nor of fragility — thus a crystal wine glass gets the same treatment as a wood-and-cork drink coaster.

When you have a kitten in the house, conditioned or not, you have to accept that losses to this type of play are your fault. If it’s not toy-worthy, keep it out of reach of the toddler. Like entropy, the kitten will inevitably test any system or device to destruction. It’s up to the human to seal objects against the force of nature in that little furry body.

As I was writing that last ‘graph, came a clanking noise from the bedroom. I got up and went to see. It was Karma, perched atop a pair of plastic containers, batting at a bit of dangly jewelry Toni had hanging on the closet door. No matter how careful you are, like water, the kitten will discover the crooks and nannies and flow into them, finding her amusement in the places you least expect — or want.

Unions. Heh

GLENN BECK IS GOING OFF on the imbecility of union work rules (in the context of teachers’ unions in New Jersey and the battles Chris Christie is having with them). And he mentioned the stagehands union (IATSE — the International Association of Theatrical Stage (and motion picture) Employees).

I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school when I relate to my readers that union stagehands are viewed with great scorn within the pop music industry. There are countless jokes out there, such as this one:

Q: How can you tell the union stagehands’ kids on the playground?

A: They’re the ones standing off to the side eating donuts and drinking coffee and not doing any work.

Which is even funnier when you learn that IATSE has a very strong legacy streak — sons (and daughters) of union members get great preference in hiring and advancement.

That is all.

Bela Pelosi Hyperventilates

ABOUT HOW UNJUST it is that Wall Streeters are getting billions — with a B — in bonuses, “Despite all that they’ve put us through.”

And yet, Pelosi herself is still at liberty and not doing time on death row for her part in the debacle.

How unJUST the world is!

I Suppose Somebody Had to Do It

BUT JOHN HINDERAKER expends a great deal of effort and a good many pixels taking down a Democrat talking points memo claiming that Republicans are newly engaging in “Politics as Warfare” against the odious, treasonous, unlawful, and indefensible tactics and public policy prescriptions of the Left. And does an excellent job of it, do I say so myself. If only it were necessary.

All one really needs to say in response to such a “really big pile of shit”* is that it is tendentiously leftist to accuse one’s enemies of doing what one is, indeed, doing, in an effort to innoculate onesself against the same accusation. Once the meme has achieved penetration of the public mindspace, it becomes possible, in the leftist mindset, to aver and avow that “Everybody does it,” so it’s OK for the left to do it.

Even though everybody does not do it.

Right.

So the lesson — which I suspect, after decades of exposure to this shopworn trope, is becoming second nature to thinking human beings, thus the diminution of the Left’s political mind share — is that, on hearing one of these hysterical screeds from the Left, one should simply assume that the Left is engaged in the putative behavior, watch for it, and move to counter it.

It becomes, in effect, an intelligence tool in — yes — politics as warfare.

Hey! They started it!

*Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park.

While I Applaud

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL spirit evinced by Cmp.ly, I must vigorously protest that their approach is all wrong. One must not bring oneself into compliance with FTC blogger regulations. The FTC has no constitutional basis to exist, and certainly no mandate for the regulation of private expression or public journalism — in short, freedom of speech or the press. Its eructations, therefor, contradict the clear text of the Constitution and, as such, are null and void. (Per Chief Justice John Marshall in the landmark Marbury v. Madison.)

Instead, one should, if braced by these would-be tyrants, charge them under 18USC242, as, under color of law, conspiring to deny the free exercise of constitutionally-protected rights.

Give no ground.

Easy for you to say. You don’t get any stuff — free or otherwise — for blogging.

True enough. But it’s the approach I’d take if I did. There is no other acceptable response to tyrants. I can hope, if I urge resistance often enough, someone will take hold and engage these enemies of the people.

Dear Congressman

IN COMMENTS to a constituent (?) at a townhall meeting, Rep. Cantor revealed a deep misunderstanding of what was afoot on November 2. We don’t want repeal of merely the most odious provisions of Obamacare. We want the whole thing ripped out, root and branch, and the earth sown with salt. If necessary, a constitutional amendment forbidding Congress from EVER meddling in medicine again. No. Half. Measures. Congress does not have the authority to deal with the matter, and such must be recognized, or there will be yet more blood on the ballots.

Mark my words.

Later in the day, Cantor’s office issued a denial, stating that the Republican position remains full repeal, which mends half of the fault. There still needs to be a recognition, and acknowledgement, and a foundation in principle that the reason the act was unconstitutional in the first place was not a matter of this detail or that, but of the basic concept: Congress does not have the lawful authority to legislate in the matter.

Until that happens, the Republican leadership remains in the wrong, and there remains further pruning work to be done in Congress.

But we knew that all along, didn’t we?