Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Now, That's Succinct!

There is not a damn thing that public unions workers can do cheaper or better than private industry. Taxpayers foot the bill for the difference.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Moral Hazard

Nice and short, as good as an explanation of moral hazard as you're going to find.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's A Complete Mystery

A real puzzler:
JAMES TARANTO: The ‘Jim Crow’ Lie: How could asking for ID be discriminatory only when it comes to voting?
Today railroads and hotels, along with almost all providers of public accommodations in almost all circumstances, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race. So what happens when you ride on Amtrak, the government-subsidized railroad? You hear an announcement over the PA system advising you to be prepared to show your identification if the conductor asks to see it.

Likewise, these days there is a good chance you will be asked for identification when you check into a hotel. You need ID to board an airplane or to drive a car. Recently we visited a doctor whose office is in a hospital. Just to enter the premises, we needed to present ID to a security guard.

If black people have trouble producing identification, how come nobody ever claims that these requirements are discriminatory?

Another important aspect of civil rights is equal employment opportunity. Under the 1986 immigration law, when you are hired for a job, you are required to provide your employer with documents proving both your identity and your citizenship or legal residency. How come nobody ever claims these requirements discriminate against blacks?
Because ACORN isn’t involved in faking things up there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something To Keep In Mind

Michael Egnor:
Atheists are an amusing coterie. They are the least persecuted group in history; Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims have died in the thousands and millions for their beliefs. The 20th century is the most horrible century for Christian martyrs. The Holocaust is the paradigm of human evil. Buddhists have been persecuted systematically in many nations. Muslims were slaughtered in the Crusades.

Anti-atheist pogroms? Can you name one? Of course not. The reality is that atheists have rarely been the target of organized violence or supression. SInce the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, and Communism, atheism has been the most prolific perpetrator of violence in human history. No other ideoogy comes close. State atheism- from the Reign of Terror to Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Pol Pot to Kim Jung Il- killed more people each week of the past century than the Spanish Inquisition killed in 300 years.

When He's On, He's On

Some excellent Jon Stewart.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

There Can't Be Bias, Because The Deals Are Separate!

Google's idea of fairness:
Google: Built for Favoritism? While denying Google had offered the Obama campaign a special ad deal, company spokesman Jake Parrillo advanced this defense:
Parrillo told POLITICO that the Republican and the Democratic political ad sales teams at Google are kept separate and are unaware of the other side’s projects or deals.
How does that make the situation better? It seems to make it worse. Maybe one team give the Dems good deals and the other gives the GOP bad deals! But because they never talk to each other they never find out (and never have to consciously decide to favor one party over the other–or decide whether to blow the whistle on those who do). Maybe only the Obama supporters at the top of Google know, and they approve.

Chesterton Quote

Seen here:
“Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.” — G. K. Chesterton.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Vox Day:
I hope you all enjoyed the brief, but glorious Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change era, as it appears Science (ever to be praised, never to be doubted) has now changed her mind again and the Earth is going to be getting colder. But this time it's not Man's fault, but rather the Sun's.
What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.

But whether the Earth is headed for a mini Ice Age or a maxi Heat Age, we can be certain of one thing. The only possible solution recommended by Science will involve handing over more money and political power to whatever government authority pays the salaries of the scientists involved.

If They Weren't A Bunch Of Castrati, This Is What They Would Do

Jay Tea:
Finally, a lot of Democrats are calling for Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign his seat. On the other hand, a lot of them are calling for an "ethics investigation." (Which translates to "give us six months for this to die down, then we'll scold you and pretend it never happened.")

I hope he doesn't.

I hope he stays in office and completes his term.

Because I want to hang that SOB around their necks.

For years, the Democrats were proud as punch to have Weiner be one of their biggest mouths, their attack dog, their face of fierce, confrontational liberalism. He was their "loose cannon," their bomb-thrower, and they loved him for it.

But once he was caught, they still backed him. They bought into and parroted his lies and alibis and excuses. Then, when that started falling apart (thank you, Andrew Breitbart), they started hemming and hawing. They started wimping out, saying that "it's up to his constituents to judge" and "we think there should be an Ethics Committee invesigation."

Sorry, that game ain't gonna play out that way.

If I were advising Speaker Boehner, here's the game plan.

It's too late to oppose granting Weiner's request for a leave of absence so he can get treatment for being such an ass****. So, from this point, it's time to make certain that the Democrats own Weiner.

When the vote comes up for the Ethics Committee investigation, all Republicans vote "present." Then bring up an expulsion vote, and do the same damned thing. Explain that they want to give the Democrats the opportunity to take out their own trash.

And when that fails, then start up the campaign literature. Every single Democrat who campaigned with Weiner, gave him money or took money from him, who made any kind of joint appearance with the guy, gets Weinered. Run pictures of Weiner with the Democrat, then a few selections from Weiner's self-portraits. Turn every race into an art gallery showing, with the theme of "Democrats' Pride."

And, if Weiner had the slightest sense of integrity (a very doubtful proposition), he'd admit that it's exactly the kind of thing he would do if he had the chance.

Welcome To South Africa

Phi Beta Cons:
Disgusting Little Boxes

If you want to be disgusted, take a look at the front-page story in today’s New York Times, “On College Forms, a Question of Race, or Races, Can Perplex.” It’s about how selective colleges and universities are wrestling with the problem of how to deal with applicants who check more than one box for race and ethnicity: which mixes are to be most favored, whether it’s better to be mixed or pure, what do to about students who refuse to check any box, and how to tell if a student is really sincere in his or her self-identification or is just “gaming” the system. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I think a lot of people will find it really sickening to read about how these politically correct educrats sit around and give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to an 18-year-old based on his racial and ethnic mix. As for “gaming” the system, were we supposed to lament the fact that a black applicant 100 years ago might try to pass for white? I think our condemnation then and now should be more concentrated on the racially discriminatory system itself rather than on those who tried or try to game it.

What Color Is The Sky On Neptune, Axelrod?

If he really believes this he's a sorry creature, if he doesn't then woe to him:
As I pointed out in a post earlier today, when on John King’s CNN show yesterday, Obama strategist David Axelrod offered up this whopper, “This president was scrutinized, more perhaps than any candidate ever had been.”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dark Humor

Mark Shea:
Why Euthanasia is Coming

It wasn't enough for Generation Narcissus to slaughter it's young in vast numbers. Now, with all those missing wage earners, you serfs in Gen X and Y must be sentenced to perpetual servitude to pay for us to continue to live in the manner we've become accustomed. Respect your elders, slaves!

Wait! Why are you looking at me that way? Stop stepping on my air hose!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I stopped trying to debate Libs, and now I just go straight for the jugular.

The conversations usually goes something like this:

“I can’t quantify how stupid Palin is. I can to a reasonable degree quantify how stupid Obama is.

He thinks there are 57 states (plus 2 more), and that the “P” is enunciated in the word “Corpsman “. But lest I seem too petty, he also thought giving 1 Trillion dollars to cash starved state and local governments, and widening roads in front of empty shops would stimulate the economy.

I can also most certainly quantify how stupid Obama supporters are.

They voted for a candidate that had: No executive experience, no management experience, no diplomatic experience, no military experience, no private sector business experience,

He never stayed up late trying to figure out how to meet payroll, and he never closed out the register at the end of the night shift.

He has no published academic works, and his litigation experience consisted of a handfull of cases in small claims court.

His true claim to fame consisted of working for an organization that pressured banks into giving stuff to consumers who could not afford it...

And you voted for him…. Who's the idiot again?!?!?

At that point, I calmly walk away under a barrage of F-Bombs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Great White Hope To Great White Father To Great White Elephant To Great White Shark

This is outstanding. The lifecycle of progressivism.

A Principle Unequally Applied Is Not A Principle

More hi-jinks:
BLOG COMMENT OF THE DAY: “The Washington Post thinks it’s ‘harassment’ to request Michael Mann’s files from the University of Virginia (their Memorial Day editorial) but it’s cool with requesting and obtaining and asking for citizen-journalists to go through 24,000 of the State of Alaska’s emails involving Sarah Palin.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

He Absolutely Nails It

I don’t understand why natural selection is a help when trying to acquire targets of high specific function. All natural selection does is end pathways; it doesn’t create them and it has no knowledge of where such targets might exist, nor any knowledge of the best path to get there.

Since many pathways that lead to highly functioning macroevolutionary targets might in fact go down roads that natural selection would prevent, it seems to me that adding natural selection to the system can’t do anything but decrease the chances of acquiring the targets.

Often people use strings of letters to represent the evolutionary process, as if the best pathway from random letters to “Methinks it is a weasel” is to simply change letter slots randomly until one locks in the sentence; but that’s not a valid way of looking at it, when those letters generate real-world, 3-D designs that can cause the organism to be selected against.

If there are X amount of pathways to achieve a macro-evolutionary feature, all natural selection can do is remove a set of those pathways from being operable. Those left may or may not even be able to reach the goal; the only availabe pathway might in fact be through an area censored by natural selection – IOW, “you can’t get there from here”.

If there was unlimited room, and unlimited resources, it seems to me that a random walk unhindered by natural selection would have a better chance at gaining macroevolutionary outcomes when one doesn’t know whether or not that outcome is even possible via steps that natural selection would allow.

Sure, we might have a bunch of organisms with malformed, dysfunction,non-functional wings that make it really hard for them to survive, but we’d at least have a better shot at acquiring “working wings” if evolution allowed every step to succeed,instead of only those that could be locally and immediately justified in survival terms.

He expresses this much better than the comments I left:
Meleagar (at comment 6),

You have nailed it precisely. The materialists would have us believe that natural selection is a probability enhancer, when, in fact (since all it is is death), it is a probability reducer.

After all, an ensemble of monkeys isn’t going to reach Hamlet faster if you continually machine-gun some substantial fraction of them.

It should be blindingly obvious, but there are many who do not want to see it.


Differential reproduction equates to differential destruction. Destruction is not construction.

The point is this: if one were to calculate probabilities of reaching a particular function via random variation based on no constraints of competition and no natural selection, where organisms are free to breed and reproduce their heart’s content, with no culling of the herd, those probabilities are going to be better, not worse, than if natural selection (i.e. death, i.e. differential destruction) were operating.

Again: obvious.

Well Stated

Cliche thought it may be, in this case it’s really not about the sex. (It may end up being about the sex depending upon Patterico’s next post(s) in this series, but it isn’t yet.) What it’s about is a guy in a position of power having a grip on reality so weak that he thought he might be elected mayor of America’s biggest city despite tweeting photos of his rod to random women around the country. When the average politician is unfaithful, as sleazy and shameful as his behavior may be, there’s usually at least some rational precaution taken to keep from being found out. With Weiner, it’s the opposite — photographic evidence, perfectly preserved and duplicable via the Internet, generated by him without so much as the minimal precaution of making sure that his face isn’t captured in any of the photos. You don’t have to find his behavior immoral to think, “Gee, maybe this guy, who’s clearly willing to do almost anything to impress his admirers, shouldn’t be trusted with sensitive government responsibilities.” Even now, after two weeks of saturation coverage, some of his Democratic colleagues are marveling that “I don’t think he understands how bad this is.” Of course he doesn’t. Name one fact adduced about him over the past two weeks that would make you think he has a realistic sense of anything that relates to his own ambition. For cripes sake, we’ve reached the point where Bill Clinton is allegedly frustrated that he won’t step down.

I do like the implication from this morning’s Post story, though, that Weiner needs to stick around in Congress because he has no marketable job skills to make it in the real world. That’s a perfect microcosm of our political class these days — clammy, corrupt, removed from its subjects to the point that it couldn’t survive among them if it had to, and yet somehow entitled to govern them. What a unique skill set Weiner has, huh? He’s incapable of doing anything except (a) peppering liberal talking points with soundbite-worthy wisecracks and (b) crafting the laws everyone else has to live by. Oh, and (c) snapping photos of his bare ass and e-mailing them out.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Moral Of The Saga

AJ Strata:
The moral of the saga hit home when I watched a schizoid Democrat mouth piece on one of the evening shows start with sanity and end in the gutter. She started by admitting she was of two minds on the matter. She recognized the obvious discomfort of parents. Parents don’t want people in power using that power for self indulgence purposes, especially when that power comes from the people in a government leadership position. Even more so when the indulgence borders on the edge of sexual predator type behavior. Sending porn through email is just not something I want Congress doing to my daughters – I don’t care what the age. At this point she was making sense.

From this obvious and honorable perch, our Democrat operative pivoted to then admire Wiener. As a Democrat Party apparatchik, she felt his actions were minor and he did not need to pay any penalties. She was more worried his actions would undermine the fiction that only good emanates from the government – sullying the white knights fighting the private sector (i.e., the rest of the country).

And herein lies the problem for the Democrats. It seems we have been expecting the paragons of virtue and salvation in the government to be better than those evil corporate leaders. But they aren’t. Not only are they as greedy, corrupt and clearly distracted with personal indulgences which take priority over the needs of the nation, we cannot even object when they abuse their responsibility. Wiener says he did nothing wrong, which is laughable. He did so many things that were wrong it is mind boggling. But the protectors of the left’s flank claim it is wrong for us to require a standard of conduct. How conveniently confused.

But he did do one thing right – he tore apart the facade that government bureaucracies are run by wise saints, obsessed with doing for others. That is so laughable now, it is amazing the left has not seen how ridiculous their claims of bureaucrat solutions have become. Government is 80% incompetent. It wastes money by the mountain and produces failure. It experiments with societal balances (like who can responsibly own a home) and wipes out the savings of a generation. There are too few good jobs in America, and too many senior citizens working to stay afloat – all because liberals played God with home ownership (while lining their pockets with loan fees and bailouts). With their power over every aspect of society, the self absorbed and arrogant bureaucrat can do more damage than most private sector managers could ever do. Bernie Madoff was bad, but the left’s ponzi schemes like Medicare and Expanded Home Ownership destroyed millions of lives.

Wiener is the poster child for why Obamacare is going to destroy this nation’s healthcare. He is a leading voice in government run solutions. He is a leader in the government. He embodies the idea of government over the private sector. And look what he did with his time and energy. He was a sexual predator who destroyed his new marriage and clearly had little time for much else. He is mouthy and arrogant – not self sacrificing and able to produce a service or good of value.
The Democrat talking head also did us a favor. She showed us that she was willing to sacrifice her motherly concerns for the party’s power. She was willing to throw all of it away to help Anthony “the Package” stay in office. A choice almost no one else I would wager would be willing to make. Sorry, if it comes down to the health of my children, keeping them away from sex obsessed older men and women, or some pol’s job – the pol takes a hike into the dustbin of history.

We have seen not only the results of liberal policies run amok (deep and broad fiscal disaster, illegal wars, oppressive and intrusive government ‘authorities’), we have also seen their motivations. And these people are not saints – far from it. Neither are the people in the private sector evil incarnate.

These wildly exaggerated constructs from the left are what is required to sustain their delusion. They cannot be equals to the free market types – equally flawed, equally weak, equally morally handicapped. If this were true, then there is no reason to believe their world view, based on indulgence and handouts, is way better than hard work and sacrifice.

Because when you get down to it, that sounds like a bunch of immature nonsense. Only the idea that they sit at the right hand of goodness, and that corporations are equal to the Nazis, can over shadow such dribble. Which is why they continue to become unbalanced in their obsession with government running everything.

A truly eye opening and momentum changing epiphany – and the moral of the Wiener saga.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Absolutely Refusing To Be Pinned Down

The commenter Meleagar/William J. Murray (he's using both handles in the discussion) does an absolutely masterful job of arguing with some good natured pro-Darwinists in this thread.

As summed up by another commenter:
A Darwinist (D) having a conversation with an ID proponent (ID)

D: Naturalistic forces are sufficient for producing biodiversity.

ID: Can you provide any evidence to support your claim?

D: It’s all over the place.

ID: Could you point me to one of those places?

D: Well, sure if you insist. Here is the evidence for Macro Evolution.

ID: Please try to focus. We are not talking about Macro Evolution. The issue is whether or not naturalistic forces are “sufficient” to produce it.

D: Please tell me why you think an intelligent agent was responsible.

ID: Again, I must ask you to stay on topic. We are discussing your claim, not mine.

D: I believe that my neo-Darwinistic theory is adequate. Eventually, matter in motion will produce life and leave the appearance of design, even though that design is not real.

ID: I understand that you believe in the neo-Darwinism paradigm, but I am asking you if you have any good reasons for believing in it.

D: ID is not a rigorous science.

ID: ID is rigorous enough that its proponents can produce empirical evidence that lends itself to scientific measurement. Do you have any empirical, measurable evidence to support your position?

D: Please define “information.”

ID: I will be happy to do that at another time, but I am, at the moment, interested in finding out if you can make a rational case for your argument.

D: I think evolutionary processes resemble intentional intelligent processes very closely.

ID. That is an interesting claim, but I am still hoping that you will defend your original claim, which you seem to have forgotten.

D: Well, if you must know, I find the Darwinistic explanation more parsimonious?

ID: But do you have any reason to believe that this parsimonious explanation reflects reality or is consistent with the evidence?

D: Yes, thousands of scientists believe it.

ID: But that is precisely what all the fuss in about. Those scientists, like you, cannot support their beliefs, which is why we are having this discussion.

D: Well, I’ve been busy, and I’ve slightly lost track of the challenge. But yes, I do think that unintelligent processes can generate intelligent ones. I don’t see any good a priori reason to think they couldn’t.

ID: But do you have any evidentially-based reasons for believing that?

D: I have already presented the evidence?

ID: Again, you have presented summaries of arguments on behalf of Common Descent? You have not, in any way, presented an argument to support the proposition that naturalistic forces can take life through all the taxonomic levels or produce even one new body plan.

D: Please define “naturalistic forces.”

ID: They are what you thought they were when you said they were “sufficient.”

Darwinists are fun. You have to love it!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

90 Pound Weaklings Throwing Their Weight Around

Very astute and entertaining analysis of the modern union menace.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011


A most excellent Charles Hugh Smith piece.