Friday, June 28, 2013

Do Great Minds Think Alike, Or...

Here is me on June 13:

Obama Just Slipped the Economy a Mickey

This is where and how the Obama administration is so dangerous...stealth maneuvers that dictated from on high based that go against the public will and interest.

Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the U.S. government’s accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline.
and here is the WSJ opinion writers today:
President Obama unveiled his vast new anticarbon-energy agenda this week, which he plans to impose by executive fiat. Crucial to pulling off this exercise is a decision the federal bureaucracy made last month to change the way it accounts for carbon emissions—a decision that received almost no media attention.
In late May the Administration slipped this mickey into a new rule about efficiency standards for microwaves...
and here is me on June 12 on the recently deceased Nobel laureate economist Robert Fogel:
Robert Fogel has died. I have read many books on economics, but few were as affecting, thought-provoking and challenging as Time on the Cross. Fogel was a great mind, and thankfully was recognized for it during his lifetime. God speed.
 UPDATE: Not one of the many economics blogs that I read regularly has seen fit to mention, let alone laud, Fogel. Such is the climate of anti-intellectualism that pervades the modern politically correct academic world that the author of Time on the Cross is verboten.
and here is the WSJ on the very next day
A favorite parlor game of intellectuals today is overturning conventional wisdom—arguing that what everyone always thought is wrong. The results are often fun and more often trivial. Robert Fogel, the Nobel Prize winning economist who died in Chicago Tuesday at 86, was among the first to impose analytical rigor to popular belief. But he wasn't in it for the fun.
After an initial study which showed that America's early railroad system was barely more productive than alternative means of transportation, Fogel turned to slavery in the American south. Written with Stanley Engerman, the two-volume "Time on the Cross" will not get adequate description in this space. Suffice to say his conclusion that slavery was a relatively productive economic system and that it collapsed mainly for political reasons produced a backlash against his work, with accusations that he was defending slavery. Fogel's point was that no matter the economic efficiency of an odious system like slavery, it will eventually fail if its participants are denied political freedom. This is a truth as relevant to our times as it should have been in the 19th century.
This kind of thing has happened many times before (here here and here).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Was Obama Being Helpful Or Freudian Slipping His Dictatorial Inner Desires?

“How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions.  Nothing about this decision — which applies only to civil marriages — changes that.”

While the headline is a bit over the top - "Obama: I won't make churches to perform gay marraiges" - it does follow slightly from the Lightworker's very curious statement quoted above. Maybe the publication made a hash of the Lightworker's intended meaning. Maybe, the former constitutional law lecturer (not professor) was benignly explicating for his fellow Americans that the ruling in Windsor was actually very narrow, that it was essentially a ruling on denial/allowance of benefits rather than rights. Justice Kennedy The Court (simplifying) said that since New York has granted same-sex couples status to be married and claim benefits from being married, the federal government cannot deny those benefits. Despite Kennedy's lofty and moralistic tone, this ruling does not mandate certain rights, it can be looked at as a rather narrow states vs. federal government case. Maybe that is what the Lightworker meant, as if to say "Don't get all excited here folks..."

Somehow I doubt it. The Lightworker has not been shy about forcing religious institutions to do what they cannot and will not do for doctrinal reasons - provide birth control to employees who work in church institutions. And he has embroiled his administration in a large and nasty fight over it. Perhaps he now feels, after this ruling, that he can force religious institutions to do what they cannot and will not do for doctrinal reasons - perform same sex marriages. If that is the case, he is both woefully ignorant of the law at hand and he indeed has the inner authoritarian impulse that his most vibrant detractors have long claimed he has. This ruling doesn't come anywhere near addressing religious institutions and doesn't come anywhere near even the faintest notion that religious institutions ought to perform same sex marriages. In fact it doesn't even say that other states have to recognize same sex marriage. Voters and legislators in any state that has heretofore not legalized same sex marriage are free to do what they will, change or retain the status quo. How Obama got to churches from this ruling is truly puzzling. If he wasn't helpfully clarifying and if he even had a remote understanding of the ruling, he would have never have made the leap to churches if he wasn't somehow fixated on imposing his liberal secular orthodoxy upon religious institutions.


Lightworker Charges Ahead on Fading Issue

Obama doesn't want to waste time debating with "flat-Earthers"?  Um, you mean like the New York Times
But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system and The Economist?  What, does he not read these august publications..?
or The Economist.
the case for particular policies is often significantly weaker than the overall case that climate change is under way
What? Doesn't our President read these august publications?

Reminder: The Economy Still Sucks

Hey, I know there is alot going on, wot with all the SCOTUS decisions, Snowden, etc. But in case you were wondering, the economy still sucks.

Who Knew?

Justices Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan are big states' rights advocates! Except when they aren't.

Children's Television Out-of-Workshop

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, BIG BIRD WOULD GET THE AXE, AND THEY WERE RIGHT!! "Once again Sesame Workshop is handing out pink slips. Around 30 employees at the producers of Sesame Street were let go today. This comes just more than a year after a dozen employees were shown the door at the non-profit last May." (With apologies to Professor Reynolds for stealing his line.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"I Took It and I Didn't Cry" (and You Will Too)

New York News | NYC Breaking News

This is hard to watch.  It is a violent home invasion caught on tape, showing a massive man savagely beating a defenseless mother of a young child.  What is even more disturbing for me is that this took place in the town where I grew up, a town where this type of thing never happens.  This town is 15 miles due west of downtown Manhattan and is one of the richest and leafiest suburbs in the New York City area.  Sections of this town have some of the most valuable homes in America and some of the richest people in the whole country call this town home. Violent crime is unheard of.  This is precisely the type of town where you would think this sort of thing can't happen, and that is precisely how residents feel.  That is how I felt and everyone I knew growing up felt, this kind of stuff just doesn't happen here.  Well, it just did.  Thank God that it didn't turn out like another home invasion in a similarly leafy and "immune" town.

And this state's elected representatives are working furiously on legislation that would all but prevent this woman, or any woman, in the state of NJ from protecting herself and her home with the same means that millions of other Americans use to protect themselves and their homes from violent criminals. When those laws pass, and they will, future victims will have to take this victim's advice...
"I took it and I didn't cry the entire time"

Friday, June 21, 2013


This poor child is headed for a life of uniquely sad dysfunction that only 21st century American celebrity culture can attain.  She can write a memoir of her life and call it "North by North West".

Advice for Lebron James

If you happen to meet Vladimir Putin, keep your rings on your fingers.

The Orwell-Huxley Combinatorial Authoritarianism

Those Miller Lite commercials of the 1980s (Tastes great?  Less filling?) are apropos to an analysis of the differing visions of oppression and authoritarianism that two famous writers saw as our future - George Orwell versus Aldous Huxley.  Here is a brief primer titled Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression?  

Will we be brutally repressed or subtly anesthetized?  Will we succumb to physical domination or mental torpor?  Should we fear the NSA's Prism project and the FBI's drones or YouTube and Xbox?

Who was right, Orwell or Huxley?

Answer: Both

As Predicted: Obama's Weakness Is Begetting Chaos Around the World

Here is registered Democrat and Obama voter Walter Russell Mead
Could the Obama administration in its second term be making a series of Middle East policy mistakes even more expensive and destructive than those the Bush administration made in its first?
the Obama administration seems to be locked into a sterile, short-term policy approach driven by domestic considerations; it is following the path of least resistance to a place that in the end will please no one and is increasingly likely to lead to strategic disaster.
The combination of grave and growing dangers in the Middle East with a lightweight policy response in Washington is genuinely frightening.
Its poor handling of an escalating series of regional problems is increasing the chance that those problems will cascade into a major global crisis.
I bolded that last one, 'cause that's the kicker.  I provide no further comment except to say RTWT and quickly harken back to what all seven readers of this blog got to read in 2010:
Historians of a certain ilk understand and have made the case that American weakness begets chaos around the world. A strong America, girded with allies, focusing on commerce around the world dampens the desire for bad actors to violently usurp power and encourages peoples to support governments that allow for participation in global commercial activity. Nations and peoples follow and emulate a strong and prosperous America.
Elite pundits say America is on the decline and they are likely right, but we are not in an irreparable decline. We are in a decline of choice. We have chosen (or more accurately, been asleep and let certain factions of us choose) declinist policies. We have chosen weakness and opted for appeasement of usurpers and thugs. We have consciously built barriers to economic prospserity.
Chaos is on the march around the world. Eventually it will land here or force our invlovement in which we pay a heavy price. Which way will we go?

Sad Truth: We're Satisfied With Mere Window Dressing

Once in a while, a commentator makes, what seems to me, a pithy statement that truly distills our complex society down to a profound essence.  Over at Instapundit, the Good Professor has done just that in his trademark way.  I reproduce in full...
GOOD NEWS: NASA’s 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class Is Half Women.
Bad news: NASA doesn’t have any actual, you know, spaceships.
Reynolds has captured the core truth of the difference between what a complex society aims to achieve and what it actually has achieved.  And the results are not inspiring. 

We've prioritized and pursued the ideal of equal rights and opportunities regardless of race or gender, which is all to the good.  Ideally, of course, that openness ought to be overlayed onto a society ripe with opportunities and fruitful pursuits that can absorb the broader spectrum of human capital and benefit from it.  That's not what we've done.  We've meticulously and scrupulously engineered an arithmetical diversity into all walks of life but eroded the fundamental vitality and potential for progress that is the point of greater opportunity in the first place.  To wit, what good a bunch of female astronauts with no spaceships to fly? 

And having failed in achieving the ideal, we've retroactively redefined progress from the lack of barriers to opportunity to that feel-good arithmetical diversity.  Most will praise the fact of the good news and completely ignore the bad news.

Reynolds's example of a scrupulously gender-equal astronaut cadre with no spaceships is bracingly illustrative.  I might add another Reynoldsian sign of the times - a black man occupying the oval office with black unemployment at (an understated) 14%.  We display all the outer signs of openness and equality where everyone can flourish based on their abilities and yet we've destroyed the ability to flourish.

Bottom line: we've satisfied ourselves with window dressing, and it is a profoundly unhealthy society that is satisfied with that.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What a Doofus that Mitt Romney Is...

And Mitt Romney was supposedly too gaffetastic for not remembering doofus Ed Milliband's name, but the Lightworker...?  Nothing to see here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Very Very Bad Development

The media might be biased and corrupt but at least they were relatively in the know, since people talked to them.  Now, they are biased, corrupt the dark?
The CEO of the Associated Press told an audience Wednesday that the Department of Justice has succeeded in muzzling government employees from talking to AP reporters in the weeks since the seizure of AP phone records was revealed.
“What I learned from our journalists should alarm everyone in this room and I think should alarm everyone in this country. The actions of the DOJ against AP are already having an impact beyond the specifics of this particular case,” AP CEO Gary Pruitt told an audience at the National Press Club. “Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even about stories that aren’t about national security. In some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”
 This is very, very bad.  One of the fundamental foundations of our freedom in the US has been a vigorous investigative media, but if they are shut out, all manner of government corruption could go unreported, which is precisely how governments get more authoritarian, when there is no accountability via reputational cost and public scrutiny.  This is how the thugocracies of the world operate.  Hope and Change, Baby!!

Karen Lewis: Racialist Thug

Shorter Chicago School Union Big:  Our shitshow is all white people's fault so give us more money.  Alternative title is "How to Lose Friends and Repel People.  Check out this shameful diatribe...
CHICAGO (CBS) – A day before the first set of school closings was set to begin, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had some harsh words about how the Chicago Public Schools are funded and managed, blaming much of the district’s problems on racism.
WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, at a luncheon on education reform, Lewis told members of the City Club that Chicago is the most segregated city in America.
“When will there be an honest conversation about poverty and racism and inequality that hinders the delivery of an education product in our school system? When will we address the fact that rich white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African-Americans and Latinos, no matter what the parents’ income or education level?” she asked.
Lewis said minority neighborhoods are disproportionately disinvested by the city, and see more foreclosures and school closures.
“It’s as if there were a concerted effort to make sure that these are not walkable, thriving, healthy communities,” she said.
Lewis also blamed banks for driving people out of their homes through illegal foreclosures, resulting in underutilized schools and a smaller tax base.
“If the banks had not crashed our economy, the district would now have nearly $180 million more to invest in our classrooms,” she said.
As for efforts to reform schools, Lewis said CPS should work with teachers to improve schools, and not appointed board members who’ve never stepped foot in a classroom.
“When did all these venture capitalists get so interested in the lives of minority students in the first place? There’s something about these folks who love the kids, but hate their parents,” Lewis said. “As long as the status quo of elites continues to impress upon our district, these horrible policies that may work very well in corporate environments – but are simply not good for children – the Chicago Teachers Union will be portrayed as oppositionists.”
She said inequality has prevented people from embracing more revenue for schools through higher property taxes.
“If you look at the majority of the tax base for property taxes in Chicago, they’re mostly white, who don’t have a real interest in paying for the education of poor black and brown children,” she said.
She offered suggestions for school funding instead of more cuts and layoffs – pointing instead to TIF funds, taxes on commuters and financial trades, and what she called a more equitable tax system to bring in billions of dollars for schools.
When will these racialist thugs realize that this is not the way to get people on board and helping?  What's even more galling is that Chicago has been a one-party town - and her party - for decades.  Her clan has destroyed the system and now she pulls a thug act to guilt whites into ponying more money into a failed and broken system.  Has she never heard the phrase "let it burn"?  Keep it up Ms. Lewis and Chicago is Detroit.  You want an "honest conversation about racism and poverty"?  Here is your honest conversation - YOU created your own damn misery and we won't be suckers for your corrupt and inept management anymore.  We've thrown tens of billions of dollars down the swamp-hole of union-run inner city school systems for decades.  We're sick of the corruption, the incompetence and the fringe ideology.  We don't have these problems where I live.  Your want nice communities and nice schools?  Create them with what you have.

Venezuela Deepens Its Tyranny

You didn't think it could get any worse in Venezuela?  Think again.  True, raw tyranny is now in the cards - they are set to confiscate privately owned firearms.  Now, you will do what the government says, or else.

Bonus prediction:  the world chart topping crime wave in the Socialist Bolivarian Paradise won't subside one iota.

All That Sequester Talk Was for the Rubes

Who could have seen this coming? 

IRS to pay out $70 million in bonuses

Why do government employees even get bonuses?

Again, Stop Your Bitching Euro Tools

I've said it several times before, "Stop your bitching, Euro Dickheads, you helped foist this SOB on us (and you), so own it and admit you fucked up."

The Good Professor has the juxtaposition of Euro ridiculousness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bull Market In Riot Gear

Istanbul was just burning.  Sao Paolo is burning.  Who will burn next?  Paris? Cairo?  It's going to be a very hot summer.

Scanning the Barricades

Largest Tea Party rally since 2010 deployment of IRS and NSA facial recognition/surveillance software is tomorrow.

Is Ms. Magazine's "Guns Are Yucky" Article a Hoax?

Put aside for now the prospect that this story might be fake.  What a whimpering ninny this chick is. 
 It was obvious from the way I handled the gun that I knew nothing about firearms. Tony sold it to me anyway.
The whole thing [buying the gun] took  7 minutes. As a gratified consumer, I thought, “Well, that was easy.” Then the terrifying reality hit me, “Holy hell, that was EASY.”  Too easy. I still knew nothing about firearms.
 Tony told me a Glock doesn’t have an external safety feature, so when I got home and opened the box and saw the magazine in the gun I freaked. I was too scared to try and eject it as thoughts flooded my mind of me accidentally shooting the gun and a bullet hitting my son in the house or rupturing the gas tank of my car, followed by an earth-shaking explosion. This was the first time my hands shook from the adrenaline surge and the first time I questioned the wisdom of this 30-day experiment.
Little old ladies can be pretty bad drivers, but car salesmen sell them cars easy-peasy too. 

Anyway, I can only contrast this with 11-yr old Princess Baseball, who hit the Sporting Clays course this past weekend with yours truly for National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day.   Nary a ninnyish thought crossed PB's mind except for maybe the initial (modest) concern over how hard her new 20 gauge would kick (she shamed a 13 yr. old boy with a 28 gauge!).  After that it was a Clay Dusting-a-palooza - 30 hit clays out of 125 fired shots.  Not bad (actually quite good) for a first time out on the clays course.

Maybe PB will want to write a piece for Ms. Magazine showing off how a confident young gal can take up an intimidating endeavor.  It'd be an improvement over the whimpering tripe of Heidi Yewman.

Government At Work

This is just the latest installment of "Government Being Government".  This example is from Brazil.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chelsea Clinton Makes Asinine Statement


The office of President should always be occupied by the person best suited to serve the nation's interests as chief executive and commander in chief.  There is no valid case, at any time, for criteria other than substantive qualities and capabilities.  Superficial characteristics, such as race, gender, or ethnic heritage are not rational basis for determining fitness for office.  Nor is there a valid case that a set of prevailing circumstances or exigencies - a "right time" - require the abandonment of substantive criteria in favor of superficial criteria. 

The young Clinton is simply appealing to tribal instincts to secure political success and, ultimately, power for her caste.

As I said, asinine.

Shocking: Economist Applies Common Sense to Real World Challenges

While the Rumsfeldian "Old Europe" is looking for new excuses to do the same old things, new Europe is looking at breaking taboos and slaying sacred cows to add dynamism to their economies.
Joanna Tyrowicz takes action when she’s got a point to make.
Rather than writing scientific papers about the inefficiencies of the Polish government unemployment service, the assistant economics professor had her students send e-mails to 416 job centers across Poland. They purported to be from a company seeking to hire a driver, a warehouse cleaner, an accountant and a salesperson. 
Only nine of the employment offices posted the offer on their bulletin board or website, while about 300 didn’t reply. The rest asked for more detail.
The service is “a completely redundant institution,” said Tyrowicz, 31, in an interview at the central bank in Warsaw, where she also works preparing reports for the rate-setting Monetary Policy Council. “It doesn’t collect postings, it doesn’t give postings to the unemployed, it doesn’t broker jobs. This has to be fixed.”
As they say, RTWT.  Another real world experiment.  I'm betting on Poland over say France.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Keynesian Economic Theory Still Performing Miserably

I've chronicled how the real world economy has pummeled the Keynesian economic viewpoint these past few years.
These developments represent important wins versus competing viewpoints on the idealogical scoreboard. But it doesn't stop there, traditional, demand-side theory on economic growth, aka Keynesianism, is currently taking a beating in the real world laboratory. The blow could eventually prove fatal. If the US's economic torpor persists despite unprecedented "stimulus"
 Scott Grannis updates the miserable performance of modern Keynesianism in the real world.

Note to Keynesians: The massive increase in the deficit that occurred from late 2008 through 2009 was supposed to "jolt" the economy back to life, but instead we got the weakest recovery in history. If anything helped get the recovery started, it was the Fed's first Quantitative Easing program, which supplied the cash and cash equivalents that were so desperately needed in a world that had become suddenly very risk-averse. Similarly, the huge decline in the deficit that began in 2010 would have choked most Keynesian models, leading to a painful contraction of economic activity that never occurred. Massive fiscal stimulus was followed by excruciating fiscal contraction, yet the economy grew at a fairly steady and unimpressive pace of about 2% throughout—with surprisingly little variation, as the chart above shows.

This recovery has been a perfect laboratory test of the predictive powers of Keynesian economic models, and they have failed utterly. It's time to throw Keynesian economics into the dustbin of history.

More ObamaCare Fallout That I Predicted

You heard it here first...OK, maybe not first, but sufficiently long ago that it qualifies as a good call.  Doctors are bailing out of government-related healthcare insurance

Nobody, apparently, did the common sense test:  Hmm, so we're going to pay doctors less and make them do alot more paperwork...why would they agree to that?

Of course, the answer all along was, 'who says they have to agree, we'll make them take it.'  Doable, but you run the risk of blowing up the system.

I predicted this as well it corollary:  Want healthcare?  Whip out that Visa card.

Temp America...Get Used To It

Via Drudge we learn that Wal-Mart is only hiring temp workers.

I've covered this many times before.  I call it the "Robert Half Economy" (scroll).  It's not going away.  ObamaCare is a big driving force behind it.

Obama Just Slipped the Economy a Mickey

This is where and how the Obama administration is so dangerous...stealth maneuvers that dictated from on high based that go against the public will and interest.
Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the U.S. government’s accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The increase of the so-called social cost of carbon, to $38 a metric ton in 2015 from $23.80, adjusts the calculation the government uses to weigh costs and benefits of proposed regulations. The figure is meant to approximate losses from global warming such as flood damage and diminished crops.
 With the change, government actions that lead to cuts in emissions -- anything from new mileage standards to clean-energy loans -- will appear more valuable in its cost-benefit analyses. On the flip side, environmentalists urge that it be used to judge projects that could lead to more carbon pollution, such as TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone pipeline or coal-mining by companies such as Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) on public lands, which would be viewed as more costly.
And here is the kicker.
“As we learn that climate damage is worse and worse, there is no direction they could go but up,” Laurie Johnson, chief economist for climate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview. Johnson says the administration should go further; she estimates the carbon cost could be as much as $266 a ton.
Really?  As we learn damage is "worse and worse"?  Wait, global temperatures have remained stagnant for over a decade.  Even dyed-in-the-wool lefties at The Economist (they of the "fiddly bits") and the New York Times (they of the "important gaps") admit that we just know a damned thing about what's going on.  But this nimrod seems to know that things are worse and worse.

UPDATE:  Also, from IBD today and item that would be funny if it wasn't so depressing. Laugh, cry, your preference.

Sigh...You Knew It Had To Come to This

It's IBD so I trust this report and, of course, it fits with any logical person's understanding of the Orwellian farce that is the Obama administration.

So, they're build a massive technological architecture to sweep up all communications and browsing of average citizens in the name of fighting terrorism, but they won't touch mosques? 
 The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.
That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel's formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
Of course not, why would you do that?

Pollsters should question whether people not just whether they trust the government with such power and technology, but on what grounds they distrust the government:  rank incompetence and stupidity or power-mad dangerousness to our liberty

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Struggling to Keep the (Global Warming) Fires Burning

You've heard me say that Global Warming is dead.  I mean it, though not global warming as a scientific occurrence (although that might be dead too) but as a policy movement.  Check out this hilarious take-down of the left's sad not-quite-coming-to-terms with some rather inconvenient truths.

Times Struggles to Keep Climate Hope Alive

The latest chapter in our climate change endgame series comes courtesy of the New York Times, which struggled mightily on Sunday to cope with the inconvenient news that temperatures have been flat for more than a decade now.  In “What To Make of a Warming Plateau,” Times reporter Justin Gillis leads with the most compelling scientific argument yet: “luck.”
As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming.  The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
Keep in mind as you proceed here that climate science is “settled,” and that 97 percent of all scientists agree (even though a closer look at the study that produced this statistic sweeps up all the main “skeptics” who do not dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas).  Because what follows certainly undermines the narrative in ways that even a skilled Timesman has trouble obscuring:
The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.
But the science is settled!  Hand over your car keys now!
It gets better:
True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.
But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.  (Emphasis added.)
But the science is settled!
As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.
Gillis offers no citations or quotations from any of the leading skeptics that greenhouse gases do not cause warming.  The argument has been about the extent of warming that can be expected from a likely doubling of CO2 a century from now (as well as what would be sensible policy depending on the level).  And why would anyone be “dismissive” of alarmist climate claims in light of the flattening out of the temperature record?  Might it be because of the breathless coverage of the media, constantly crediting every crazy prediction and seldom reporting the weaknesses in the case?  Nah–couldn’t be that.

This is the face of a climate campaign desperate to keep what little momentum it has left.
Ah yes, more of those "fiddly bits" otherwise known as details that are normally important to science, but not in the case of the religion of global warming. 

Note the ridiculous argument that us deniers are claiming that warming has stopped.  It is the facts that are telling us that warming has stopped, and scientists can't explain why.  All we are saying, is let's not reorder the entire global economy over something that we know so little about.

Robert Fogel, Nobel Laureate, RIP

Robert Fogel has died.  I have read many books on economics, but few were as affecting, thought-provoking and challenging as Time on the Cross. Fogel was a great mind, and thankfully was recognized for it during his lifetime.  God speed.

UPDATE:  Not one of the many economics blogs that I read regularly has seen fit to mention, let alone laud, Fogel.  Such is the climate of anti-intellectualism that pervades the modern politically correct academic world that the author of Time on the Cross is verboten.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

If You Thought That Was Sumpin...

Regular old Barack Obama was a really really good gun salesman

Phone data collecting, massive Internet surveilling, IRS siccing, media intimidating Barack Obama is well...

14-year history of May FBI NICS checks (courtesy

He took an already torrid pace of performance and turbo-charged even that ... kinda like he did with the nation's debt.

NSA Surveillance Capability Is Monstrously Dangerous

The WSJ has written its second editorial lamenting all the hubbub over the NSA surveillance revelations.  We need to do this to fight terrorism, they say.  And they are correct, maybe.  However, even if we do need to do this to fight terrorism (and that is a dubious assumption because we couldn't even find the Tsarnaev brothers), the terrorism threat will wane and someday disappear.  What then? 

The surveillance architecture will have been built and a massive bureaucracy will have grown up around it that will be impossible to dislodge. That bureaucracy will eventually get corrupted and abuse its power to serve its own ends or the ends of its master, which will obviously be a large and intrusive government.  If anybody thinks that its surveillance capabilities won't be used in multiple nefarious ways - to paint a future Mitt Romney type candidate as evil incarnate, or to harass donors of said future candidate, or to suppress the legitimate political activities of grass-roots citizens' organizations, etc.  These are the tools of authoritarian governments.  This type of harassment is what Venezuela does, what Iran does, what Russia does.  If we build it, that's where we are going.  Some future president - either a messianic progressive like Obama or a moralistic conservative - will look at the NSA's capabilities and say "I've got this thing, and it's f**king golden."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spain Can't Even Muster Half Measures

I've outlined the sacred cows that need slaughtering if Europe is to make an economic comeback before, one of which was its massive subsidy regime for green energy.  Given its severe fiscal problems, Spain is, well, if not slaughtering this sacred cow, speaking in harsh tones towards it.
Under a broad energy-sector overhaul to be announced as early as June 21, Spain’s government will reduce subsidies to renewable-energy producers by 10% to 20%, people familiar with the plan said Thursday.
The move could drive tens of thousands of struggling solar-energy companies and individual investors like Mr. Cabrero into default at a time of deepening recession and eventually boost loan losses for banks that financed the projects. …
Bad cow!  Very bad, bad cow...

Friday, June 07, 2013

How To Tell When Europe Is Truly Desperate

Coming out of the global sub-prime mortgage crisis that they imported from the US, Europe engaged in a fit of (even crazier than normal) left-wing experimenting in policy and politics.  But then they found themselves in another crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis, and now their backs are really against the wall. 

So, what do lefties do when they are desperate?  Adopt "right-wing" economics.  Or at least reverse course on their own left-wing insanity.  So, that financial transactions tax that they proposed?  Gut it.  Those crazy Basel III banking rules?  Water them down.  And what could set a Euro-leftist's heart more aflutter than higher taxes on energy?  Whoops, not so fast.

Yep, I'd say they're truly desperate.

Canadian Math

I've shown you the Canadian job math before, i.e. here and here.

Santelli does the Canadian jobs math again today, which is pretty sensational.

Obama Ruining the Dems' Brand?

I have argued for many many moons now that Obama is doing enormous damage to the Democrats and there must be a debate raging in back-room circles as to how much damage the party is willing to take.  (Based on the evidence of the last two years, the answer seems to be ALOT.)  But that may be coming to an end as Obama has now ventured into territory that Dems should be militant in defending - their brand as the party of good government.  Of course, it is a total farce of a howler that Democrats own that brand, but there it is, such is life.  Ed Morrissey chronicles some of the disillusionment seeping in in this regard.  Is Obama trashing the Dems' claim to be the party of good and up-standing government?  I think so.  That's bad, because after that goes, all they have left is to be the party of "more free shit, paid for by rich white guys who we hate".

Despite winning in November, "How much pain is still?" is still a pressing question for the powers that be in the party. 

Somebody Put This Guy Out of His Misery

Wow, this guy is sort of a God.

Hey, let's see how fast or good the federales are at internet sleuthing with that title...visit by NSA or Secret Service (no Colombian hookers here fellas, sorry) in 3, 2, 1...

Always Look On the Bright Side GOP

For all the GOP's griping about Chris Christie's decisions in re the filling Lautenberg's Senate seat, at least we can be relatively sure Christie isn't on tape saying "I've got this thing, and it's fucking golden."

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Yet Again, Obamanomics' Remarkable Feat - Good for Owners, Bad for Workers

In two days, two powerhouse west coast economists have come out with some less than encouraging findings.  Yesterday, Ed Leamer came out with UCLA's Anderson Forecast and this summarizing tidbit was picked up on the newswires and blogosphere.
"It's not a recovery," he wrote. "It's not even normal growth. It's bad."
Today, Stanford's Ed Lazear hits the pages of the WSJ Op-ed section to tell us that a troubling break in a long-standing pattern is not good.
During the past three decades the relation between unemployment and employment has been almost perfectly inverse. (See the nearby chart.) When the employment-to-population ratio rises, the unemployment rate falls. When the unemployment rate rises, the employment-to-population ratio falls. Even the turning points are aligned. Consequently, the unemployment rate has been a very good proxy for the employment rate. But that relationship has completely broken down during the most recent recession.
The U.S. is not getting back many of the jobs that were lost during the recession. At the present slow pace of job growth, it will require more than a decade to get back to full employment defined by pre-recession standards.
Yet, as I write this, this piece of economic data is flashing across my screen:
Household net worth grew by about $3 trillion to a seasonally adjusted $70.3 trillion, helped by $1.5 trillion in gains from stocks and mutual funds and another $784 billion from rising house prices.
No new comment is needed, I have explained this all before in great detail - despite all the rhetoric and posturing, under Obamanomics being an owner of capital assets is your only refuge and not all that bad, but being a worker is extremely difficult.  This is the economy that Democratic economic policy has inevitably created.  It was thoroughly predictable because I predicted it.

They Deserve Each Other

Will Massachusetters realize that Ed Markey is an idiot and that they've been sending an idiot to Congress all these years?  Most likely no.  These are the people who overwhelmingly sent Fauxcahontas to the Senate. 

Snark: Why the Snooping Is OK

The Obama administration called government review of complete phone records of U.S. customers a "critical tool" in protecting the public from terrorists.
The information "allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States," a senior Obama administration official said Thursday. The official stopped short of confirming the practice.
They're snooping on all of us, demanding phone records by the tens of millions, but at least the oceans have stopped their rise and the planet has begun to heal.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Be careful what questions you ask.  The answer might hurt.

UPDATE:  The minute I clicked through and saw that it was Freidersdorf, I knew instantly that we would all be unsatisfied.  Freidersdorf is not the one to ask and answer the question properly.  This however...

American Higher Ed: Biting the Only Hand That Can One Day Feed You?

I was speaking with the wife of a social acquaintance the other day who is a mucky-muck at a prestigious graduate school at a prestigious university (hint, we have only one round these parts).  She was talking about the long term risk that universities face by admitting so many foreign students, particularly Chinese students.  (Just in case any readers are aching to make the phony racism charge here, the woman in question is Asian-American.*)  The lament stems from the apparently well-known fact that Asian students, particularly Chinese, do not have a culture of institutional loyalty, especially as it pertains to "giving back".  Basically, higher ed mucky-mucks are worried they are churning out all these grads who won't ever donate money later on in life as they become successful.  Maybe, I guess.  I really wouldn't know anything about it.

What I do know, is that higher ed mucky-mucks might want to worry about churning out a large group of graduates that might not ever donate later in life as they become successful.  I call this  The reason that men might get turned off of loyalty to their respective institutions could be the crappy treatment they receive at the hands of said institutions.  If you're viewed as a cretinous predator the moment you step on campus, are denied basic rights of due process, and are forced to sit for judgement by a bureaucracy dominated by radical, anti-male ideologues...are you gonna develop an affection for that institution that would lead you to support that institution with your hard-earned (and these days, harder to come by) dollars?  I'm inclined to say no.  Universities, however, don't seem to be worried.  If they were, they'd be fighting this tooth and nail.
In a letter dated May 9, the federal government dramatically expanded the definition of sexual harassment on campus. In the 31-page letter,  the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education, informed the president of the University of Montana, Royce Engstrom, that they were "pleased to confirm the resolution" of an investigation into how the University had handled allegations of sexual misconduct. The stately bureaucratic prose did not distract much from the main point: via this letter, the Executive Branch of the Federal Government was imposing a startling change.  Essentially it said that from now on the Feds would treat as "sexual harassment" any "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature." And it eliminated the requirement that actions or speech had to be "offensive" according to reasonable standards and objective evidence to be deemed actual "harassment."
Alas, they are not.  In fact, they probably welcome it.  I guess they feel the government will give them endless subsidies, who needs those male donors...?  This is both wrong and foolish.  Let's assume that the higher education establishment in America is just out to maximize future donations and is not concerned one iota with the fair treatment and due process rights of their male students (pretty darned good assumption based on the evidence), universities ought to be sucking up to their male students.  It seems that more and more educated American women are opting out of the the work force and the intense career paths that lead to outsized financial rewards.  Thus, on current course, it will be the men who will be making and controlling the bulk of the potentially charitably donable wealth.  (Note, this lack of long term thinking seems to be a trend.)
You would think that this basic level of strategic analysis would be achievable at the modern American university, however, you would be wrong.

*  More specifically the woman is Korean-American, which may mean that racism is at work here, given that we know of the raging ethnic animosities that pervade the Asian world, but that don't fit the Americanized victimologist paradigm of racism.

Never Forget, They Work for Us

This is the essence.  This is the truth.  Spread it far and wide.

Proof That Almost No One Will Work for Obama

The forcible resuscitation of the politically dead Susan Rice highlights a flaw in the Obama presidency that I identified early on - he has an incredibly shallow network where he can only choose from a small cadre of extreme loyalists.
Finally, and this is not a blunder but rather a fundamental flaw, Obama's legislative support is only as good as his public sheen. The reason he had to stack his administration with Clintonites is that he had no decent network to speak of. His limited experience in government, and life actually, has left him lacking in broad and deep connections to people who can achieve things and stand by him.

Why is this bad?  It means that the talent pool is small and limited.  The government's top posts are going to the worst brand of mediocrity or worse because the talent pool is so small.  Thus John Kerry, thus Jack Lew, thus Eric Holder stays and stays and stays.  Now, we have Susan Rice back from the dead.  This has been going on for awhile, causing Obama difficulty in filling key posts, especially security and intelligence posts as any sensible potential candidate would know that Obama cares not one iota about intelligence and security, so why take the job.  Or it could be joining an administration tainted by scandal.  Obama re-election notwithstanding, this analysis still seems to hold up well:

Is It the Boss Rather Than the Job?

A story at caught my eye with the lede "Obama Struggles to Fill Intelligence Job." When I clicked through I encountered the title "The Job Nobody Wants." Let me posit an alternative title based on what may be closer to reality: "The Boss Nobody Wants." Yes, I think that precious few people are clamoring to serve in an administration whose approval rating is setting land speed records in the southerly direction and that may be on the cusp of getting obliterated into lame-duckdom at the polls. Remember, Obama didn't have deep connections coming into his term so he resorted to ex-Clintonites and his academic cronies. Given the tax troubles of many, he has resorted to some pretty appalling B-Teamers, but it was the dawn of a new age for America and there was no shortage of true believers to fill posts under The One. Can the same be said now? I think any available Clintonites have been given the secret signal to stay away from the cratering Obama administration. So beyond this loyal party core, are there really people out there looking to sign up with an administration that could go down in history as so feckless as to bring the world into wars, an administration that encouraged the most crooked distortions of the legislation process to pass a 2,700 pack of lies that will ruin healthcare for the majority of Americans, an administration that is nothing remotely close to what it billed itself to the American people? Are there really those people out there? Maybe.
And then, of course, is the case of Samantha Power, an Obama administration hanger-on if there ever was one.  Memo to all the Jewish Americans who voted for Obama (which is pretty much all of you):  Samantha Power said we should invade and occupy Israel even if it upsets all of you rich and powerful Jooos...

Monday, June 03, 2013


Last Friday must have been a slow news day since the New York Post ran a full front page spread on this Earth-shattering news item:  "Woman Does Not Want to Live with Husband Who Was Banging Hookers".

Although, due to copy editing requirements, the Post rejiggered the wording a tad.

Are We Becoming More Risk Averse?

This isn't good.
Americans have long taken pride in their willingness to bet it all on a dream. But that risk-taking spirit appears to be fading.
Three long-running trends suggest the U.S. economy has turned soft on risk: Companies add jobs more slowly, even in good times. Investors put less money into new ventures. And, more broadly, Americans start fewer businesses and are less inclined to change jobs or move for new opportunities.
I wonder why this is.