Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Way to Choose a President - Interview

National Review Online

Most interesting quote:
The result is that the Democratic party — which was founded by Andrew Jackson to protect the people against the powerful — now represents everything it once opposed: government for its privileged clients at the expense of everybody else.


He was pretty negative about everything, as one might expect from the title.  He doesn't like the debates, but how else do you get to know the candidates?  He may be a bit too much of an insider type, as the above quote indicates.  He wants to choose candidates like in the old days before primaries.  Party bosses chose the candidates.  But they still do in a way.  The opinion leaders tend to herd the sheep in the way that they want.

By the way, Cain drops out.   If he drops out, it should have been like the time that Gary Hart dropped out- by catching him in the act.  Or like Clinton- actually getting some proof of wrongdoing, not just mere accusations.  Cain drops out, but he shouldn't have, unless he's guilty, or he wants to appear to be.

Over the years, it seemed to me that Republicans just fold their cards too soon.  Palin did it, now Cain.  But prior to that Gingrich did it in the nineties.  Compare that to the Democrats.  Clinton didn't give in nor will Pelosi.  She wants to be speaker again and with that kind of determination, she just might.  Looking at the Republicans, it would be a big help if they showed such determination.  But they don't and they won't win like they should until they do.

Gingrich likely nominee - not politics just horse race numbers and predictions

Next Big Future


Boy did he hit the jackpot for reactions.  There are a lot of comments on that post and a lot of passion on all sides.

My impression is that people let other people influence them too much.  Do your own thinking.

Making Muons - Backstage Science

Uploaded by on May 3, 2011

It wasn't stated in this video, but muons can be useful for fusion reactions.  If enough can be made at a low enough energy cost, you just might get to break even or better for fusion energy production.


I'm looking for a way that may have been found to produce muons in quantity, which would appear to be necessary for energy production via muon catalyzed fusion.   Perhaps Stephen Horvath has found a way to do that.


From Wikipedia:
As of 2011, no practical method of producing energy through this means has been published, although some discoveries using "hall effect" show promise

If a collider were used, how much energy for each particle?  I wonder if some other means of fusion which is not at break even can be used in order to obtain a relatively low cost source of alpha particles.

Pushing the envelope

Most people who follow the space program have heard of the term "the right stuff".  There was a movie made by that name, which I've had for awhile, but watched again just recently.  The movie setting begins in 1947 and that's about the time that the sound barrier was being challenged.  At the time, nobody knew for certain what would happen when the sound barrier was reached.  There were those who believed that this was impossible.  Over history, many things that were said to be impossible weren't impossible after all. 

The Wright Brothers' feat of heavier than air flight was once considered impossible too.   But less than a half century after doing that impossible feat, the sound barrier was next.   The men challenging the sound barrier were test pilots and it was in their spirit to push the envelope.  After seeing this spirit just the other night, I was wondering, what happened?   Less than a half century after the Wright Brothers the envelope was still being pushed, but nearly a half century after walking on the moon, why isn't the envelope being pushed today?

Perhaps it's because we have become something of a risk averse society.  Pushing the envelope is dangerous.  Many test pilots lost their lives pushing that envelope.  But the rewards were great.  If the envelope wasn't pushed by men like these, we may still be on the ground.  You could even say that without pushing the envelope throughout history, we may alll be living in caves.  Pushing the envelope is necessary to progress, playing it safe comes at a cost.  Even if lives are saved by playing it safe, the safety may impose a much greater cost in the future.

With respect to progress, there are more barriers that need to be overcome that do not necessarily mean the risk to life.  What about the risks to one's career or to one's financial well being?  In such cases, a risky move could be one that advocates an untried method or system which may or may not work.  I am thinking of cold fusion.  Many scientists pushed that envelope and some paid a heavy price for their refusal to back down to the dangers of researching that field.  It was a real risk because look what happened to Fleischmann and Pons, who were a bit too bold for their own good.  They claimed that the heat anomaly that they observed was due to a new and unknown process which came to be known as cold fusion.  They were accused of being frauds and incompetents and their careers were ruined.  Yet, in spite of this, research continued.  Now, with Rossi's E-cat, there may be a commercial product on the horizon.  But the catcalls continue.  The disbelief in this new form of energy seems to form a real barrier to progress.  Some boldness is required in order to overcome the latest barrier.

Maybe we don't need astronauts nor test pilots for this, but we do need that sort of courage.  Playing it safe just won't do.  The envelope must be pushed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Methanol Wins - Robert Zubrin

Robert Zubrin - National Review Online

Comment:  I've been sold on methanol for a long time now.  At least since 2005 or so.  It is also handy in making hydrogen for fuel cell cars, if anyone ever gets around to building one of these on a mass production basis.  Curious that there seems to be a glacial pace in making a flex fuel standard.

Australian Star Scientific is probably the claimant of the 1 megawatt nuclear fusion device

Next Big Future

Comment:  Muon catalyzed fusion is cold fusion.  The trouble is the muons can't be produced easily, so it is impractical.  But these guys claim otherwise.

Could there be another way around the coulomb barrier?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World's largest creepy crawler

This video is of one that is relatively small. The granddaddy of them all weighs 3 times the weight of a mouse. That tells you how big these things get.   Go here ( ) to see the really big one.

Will The EPA Choke Oil Shale Production? (h/t Al Fin Energy and Instapundit)

The Gulf Coast energy industry has never fully recovered from a similar moratorium and a new glacial permitting process.

Similarly, the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline project to bring Canadian tar sands oil to American refineries is stalled on environmental grounds.

So, this administration is all about jobs?  Or destroying jobs?  As long as it is a government job that costs billions, they are all for that.

Found this video on my second YouTube site

I never mentioned the second site because the first gets so few views. Not only that, I've promoted it and it still doesn't get views. Okay, so why bother promoting this other one. But wait. Here's somebody sending me a video to a channel which I don't promote. What a surprise. It's been there for a few weeks and I didn't know it because I don't expect to see anything there.

I checked it out. It's a pretty good job of a video. So, I'll put it up here. Not that it will get tremendous number of additional views, but it might help a little.

While I am promoting youngsters doing their youtube videos, here's one on my regular channel. It is about space junk.

Also, Rhett and Link did a video on space junk

Blogger is doing something to my embeds. I put in one embed and something else comes back out. What's with this people?

This is what people do when they read this blog

Can't get a response. You must be yawning out there.

The Latest Destination for Human Spaceflight (Venus)

The Once And Future Moon - Paul Spudis

Space advocates are desperately looking for something people can do and somewhere they can go in space on timescales of less than multiple decades at costs of less than hundreds of billions of dollars.  If only there where some place we could get to within a decade or so, for a cost that doesn’t bust the latest budget. 

Comment:  From a link within the post: (no magic beans)
Talismanic thinking is common in much of the current discussion about the new path for NASA.  Other talismans include cheap access to low Earth orbit, commercial transport replacing Orion, and an “exciting space goal” to engage the public.

 He's a little too pessimistic about future technologies.  Could his thinking be similar to the thinking that resulted in someone saying that "everything that could be invented was already invented"?  Somebody said that over 100 years ago.  It was wrong then, and is probably wrong now.  For if everything than can be invented has already been invented, we should give up space altogether as a waste to money.

Andrea Rossi On Defkalion ( h/t Free Republic)


I'm not really interested in arguing the matter.  I'm interested in ending the arguments for good.  One way or the other.  Decide the issue and get on with it.

We know who lost Egypt

  • Obama’s foolish policy of forcing Mubarak out of office precipitously without giving non-Islamist parties time to organize has resulted in Islamists achieving a sweeping victory in the first round of parliamentary elections.
  • This all was very predictable.  In fact, I predicted it while Obama was insisting that Mubarak leave ”yesterday,” NY Times columnists were writing delusional columns about the Arab Street and the Arab Spring, and venomous anti-Israeli pundits at Media Matters and elsewhere complained that the “Israel Lobby” was trying to stifle freedom.


I predicted that something worse would take its place, and now, it has.  I surprise myself once again.

There's a darker view of Obama than the one of mere incompetence.  Just remembering a few things about Obama's background is more than enough to give credence to the idea that this was not mistake by Obama.

What went wrong?  It is a long story.  It didn't begin in 2009 when Obama took office.  It has been building for a long time now.

In the 2000 election, Lamar Alexander complained about the nomination process.  It was hijacked by money and big media.  Something needs to get this turned around.

The Cain Scrutiny

Nice play on words- this reminds me of the movie in more ways than the sound of the words.  For example, let's look at the plot of the movie.  There's a mutiny onboard the USS Caine, which is being led by a mentally ill captain.  His officers and crew suspect that something is wrong when he makes a series of bizarre decisions.  Finally, they get into a typhoon and the captain appears indecisive and his first officer takes over.  The first officer justifies his decision based upon the captain's infirmities.  A trial ensues, due to the mutiny, and the officers are exonerated.

How does that compare with our situation today?  We are in a typhoon of sorts with a leadership who cannot agree upon a way to do anything about it.  In a year there will be an election which will decide upon keeping the "captain" or relieving him of duty.  Not exactly a mutiny, but analogous to it.  A mutiny is illegal, but justifiable if a captain is unable to continue. 

We have a black president who got there largely upon the basis of race.  We have a black candidate for the Republican nomination, who threatens to lessen the symbolic significance that the Obama presidency represents.  Cain is also a threat to the Democrat party, which has become dependent more and more upon the racial polarization that they need in order to continue to succeed electorally.

Our situation also entails risk.  If Cain isn't able, the risk is defeat when this becomes all too apparent.  There are those who claim that this is already apparent, but these folks are jumping to conclusions.  Let the voters decide.  But if the voters make a mistake and Cain is too flawed, and gets the nomination anyway, we are stuck with an ineffective and flawed president no matter what happens.  Hence the attempt to influence voters away from Cain and towards Gingrich.  But Gingrich can't address the issue of race the way the Cain can, so that opportunity could be lost.

So those of us who defend Cain are engaging in our own little mutiny.  Why do this mutiny?  Why not trust the establishment?  Well, the establishment hasn't been doing too well over the last decade or so.  It gave us a flawed presidency in Bush and a second flawed presidency in a row with Obama.  This doesn't even include Clinton, who had his own flaws.  Yet Clinton's flaws didn't seem to endanger the republic.  Bush's didn't either, but the voices got louder.  Now the voices are getting louder still.  The polls are saying consistently that we are on the wrong track.  Somebody needs to pay attention.  This can't be allowed to go on as it always has.  Somebody has to put their foot down and say enough.

Let the mutiny continue.

The FDA’s Unhealthy Salt Obsession

The Volokh Conspiracy (h/t Instapundit)


Is too much salt bad for you?  That used to be the conventional wisdom, but more recent scientific research has suggested the emphasis on salt is misplaced.
I am going to follow the thread from the links provided above.  Starting with the first link:

It's Time to End the War on Salt


  •  found no relationship between sodium intake and the prevalence of hypertension
  • The review concluded that "intensive interventions, unsuited to primary care or population prevention programs, provide only minimal reductions in blood pressure during long-term trials.
  • 2007 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology followed 1,500 older people for five years and found no association between urinary sodium levels and the risk of coronary vascular disease or death
  • Part of the problem is that individuals vary in how they respond to salt.
  • a small percentage of the population, including some African-Americans and elderly individuals, seem to be hypersensitive to salt
  • Hillel Cohen propose that the government sponsor a large, controlled clinical trial to see what happens to people who follow low-salt diets over time
Comment:  What does this mean for the average person?  What should you do?  It appears that you can't just change your habits based upon this alone.  It would seem that there needs to be a way to judge your sensitivity to salt.  Not everybody responds the same way, it says, so finding what your sensitivity is and acting accordingly appears to be the way to go.

The next link from the beginning of the post:

New review questions benefit of cutting down on salt


  • "I can't really see, if you look at the total evidence, that there is any reason to believe there is a net benefit of decreasing sodium intake in the general population," said Niels Graudal of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark
  • "The question is not 'should' we reduce salt intake, but 'how'," said Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and chairman of the World Action on Salt campaign group, who said he strongly disagreed with Graudal's findings.
  • MacGregor disputed Graudal's conclusion about the lack of a net benefit and said the review "clearly shows once again that decreasing salt intake lowers blood pressure."

Comment: Once again, we see the folly of following the latest fad. It is not a good idea to drastically change what you are doing provided that what you are doing is yielding a benefit. On the other hand, if there is not a benefit, one could look at a study like this and conclude that it may well have some merit. The point is not to overreact to everything.


I have decided to write more about health issues. The blog is about me and my life as much as anything. Although I write about public policies and such, it is within the framework of my own interests and concerns. Health is a concern to me, even more than before. Hence, I will write more about it. This will also be a sidebar entry, which purpose is to trace the history of the blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sometimes I surprise myself

It's looking more and more like its going to be Gingrich.  If that holds up, it may make this prediction look pretty good.

As for the general election, I'm not so sure about his chances.

Cain unable after all  By Michael Graham

h/t Instanpundit

  • Republicans also want a winner, not a grinner; a debater, not a deflater; and a butt-kicking vote grabber, not a butt-grabbing . . . well, you see where I’m going. [ Comment:  Very Funny.  He accuses Cain of not being serious and he writes this?]
  • Cain the clown is adding to the general population’s perception that the entire field is a joke. [ Comment: Jokes like the above do not help, if such be the case.  If you want the field to be taken seriously, try acting that way yourself.]
  • When a campaign says, as Cain’s attorney did, that the press should ignore “private, alleged consensual conduct between adults,” at some point the candidate wasn’t wearing any pants). [ Comment: This comment was from his attorney.  So the attorney uses legal language.  This is not an admission of guilt, but is being twisted into one by Michael Graham.]
  • Picking a presidential nominee via TV debates is like picking a husband based on a one-night stand: Anyone can be good for two minutes. [ Comment: Another joke.]
  • Fun time’s over. It’s time to get real. [ Comment: Who says it isn't?  Graham's the one cracking the jokes.  Why not look at all the candidates now, as opposed to being sorry later.]
Comment:  The problems isn't the nominating method, although I don't like some of the dumb questions that get asked by the moderators.  Debates are good, this is the way we can measure the candidates.  The more the better.  Gingrich and Cain had a long format debate.  Why not more of these?

We have a problem in this country and we need to look at doing things a bit differently than before.  The problem is not this series of debates.  I see the problem as a failure of the pundit class to be honest and fair towards the candidates.  This is to be expected from the MSM, but not from the blogosphere.  That's what is really disappointing to me.


This is why jumping on bandwagons is not such a good idea

Back to Bush’s Big-Government Conservatism - Michael Tanner - National Review Online

Gold Prices Soar

Leading story on Kitco, worth watching.

Politicians will risk inflation as opposed to high unemployment, which should be bullish for gold.

Mahablog: Majority Minority Democrats


As I said in the earlier post, for years at progressive conferences the question of how to reach these voters to explain reality to them comes up again and again, and no one has an answer. I think step one is to somehow gain their trust or sympathy so they are willing to listen, but that won’t happen overnight.

If you listen to "maha", all these right wing wackos just won't listen to reason.  Well, let me disabuse anyone of that thought with respect to yours truly.  I went to her site as well as others and got different points of view.  I still do that.  I even commented upon her blog- but eventually was banned because of what I'll refer to here as a pretty minor disagreement.   I think the truth of the matter is these people just aren't interested in white male voters, such as myself.   Not only that, the left thinks they are better than anyone else.  I've seen that on this lady's blog.  She really believes it.  But when something like this comes up, well it's all on the closed minded bigoted white man who just doesn't get it and never will.    Spare me.  The truth is not desired on that blog, nor anywhere else on the left, as far as I can tell.

One more thing:  Obama needs a white man as an opponent.  Therefore, the greatest effort possible will go into trashing anyone in the race who isn't a white man.  That means Bachmann and Cain, at this juncture.  Prior to that, it was Palin.     The identity politics will be played to the hilt.  The left needs conservatives to abandon Palin, Bachmann and Cain.  That's so they can make the accusation, and to continue playing their game.   They need the white man to demonize.  It's all they've got.

The Republicans need to get a clue on this one.   Anybody who doesn't see the identity politics here has definitely got their eyes wide shut.  That's why I am defending Cain vigorously.  Also, it is why I defended Palin.  Bachmann too, even though I don't think she gets the identity politics.  These three are not in conformity with the leftist model, and must not be allowed to succeed.  Otherwise, their game is over.


More about the demographics ( identity politics) that the left is pinning all their hopes on:
Obama's 2012 Chances and Democratic Demographic Dreaming

Space Based Solar Power Status

  • the progress status of SSPS in Japan
  • the advantages of Japan's SSPS technology
  • Other Space Based Solar Work
  • Solaren and other small companies that have made big Space Solar promises
  • Space Island Group, Orbital Power Corp
  • National Space Society tracks Space Solar Power Developments

It may be useful to start small and ramp it up if you can make it work.  Let's say you want to power something the size of the ISS, which uses about a quarter Megawatt of power.  That something could be a VASIMR.  Put four or more of these in geosynchoronous orbit and beam the power down to an orbiting VASIMR in order to allow it to get to various places in LEO or to a higher orbit.

Ultimately, you could have solar power device manufacturing on the moon and launch it from the moon.  The moon requires much less energy to get out the gravity well.  In addition to that, there's no atmosphere to contend with.

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Has Repeatable Power Pulses

Next Big Future


Sounds like great news.  By the way, I favor this concept for powering rockets.  I think it may be a perfect application for Dense Plasma Focus.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Obama’s Winning Election Strategy Revealed

Godfather Politics

Comment:  Another post on the topic of Democrats abandoning white working class.


This is getting some traction out there, at least among the punditry.

Here's a money quote for you
The Jammie-Wearing Fool: “Barack Obama 2008: Hope, change and bringing people together. Barack Obama 2012: Screw those stupid white people. Could you imagine the firestorm if Republicans explicitly stated they’re abandoning any effort at winning over minority voters?” [ emphasis added]

Didn't Michael Moore have a book out called Stupid White Men?

But isn't it the fact that the liberals just think that they are better than everybody else?  Even the black folks that they are keeping down in an underclass.  The left needs that underclass so that underclass will always be there to vote for them.

Hunter Bags UFO

JP Aerospace,

Video of an airship coming back down from a mission.  Evidently he never heard of JP Aerospace, so the thing looked pretty strange to him.  The airship had a camera on it and shows it coming down right in front of the man.  Amazing coincidence.

Hope, skepticism for cold fusion

Boston Globe  By D.C. Denison


  • The Italian scientist who says he has developed the world’s first cold fusion reactor ...visited the State House last week ...Andrea Rossi made the trip at the invitation of the Senate’s minority leader, Bruce Tarr
  • Tests have been scarce and secretive, perhaps because Rossi has said that his technology is still unpatented. [emphasis added]
  • Tarr, who is active in alternative energy legislation, said he invited Rossi to put the state in line for hosting any prospective development of cold fusion.
  • After the meeting, Rossi, who paid his own way to Massachusetts, was enthusiastic about a possible partnership with the state.
  • “I’m already planning to come back soon,’’ he said. “We are all hoping to get something started in a matter of weeks, not months.’’

Hard to assess, nobody in Massachussetts seems to willing to go out on a limb.  The sticking point could be the patent, which isn't forthcoming unless something unusual happens.

Visionary-- - What does that mean?

It must be one of those words that means different things to different people.  Ann Barnhardt says it's seeing a vision or hearing a voice.  Normally, this is considered insanity, and, as she says in her post, it is also like a religious experience.

I tend to rely upon a dictionary definition, as I have been described as a very literal person.  So, if that dictionary definition was applied to the header of this blog, would it be fitting? Let's look at the definition:
 Barnhardt's usage of the word tends to follow 2, 3, 4 for adjectives, and 8 for nouns.

I would tend to see it as 5 (sometimes for adjectives) and 7 or 9 for nouns.

It would appear that the word can be construed as an insult or high praise.  It largely depends upon the viewpoint of the person doing the labeling.  Well, come to think of it, people who label others say as much or more about themselves as the people they label.

Not only have I been described as a literal person, but also as a sensible and too practical type of person.  Does that go with the negative connotation of the word "visionary".  I'd also describe myself as a person who prefers reality.  I would consider being called a dreamer as a bit of an insult, or a derogatory label.

When I wrote on the header to this blog that space will bring peace and prosperity, I don't consider that to be a "dreamy"  proposition.  It may not be correct in way things turn out, but it is definitely doable type of project provided that the will exists to do it.   There is also a bit of logic to it as well.  If you want to know about it, I'm a bit like Spock on Star Trek.  Not that I want to be like Spock, it is kinda the way I'm wired.

It could turn out to be an impractical idea after all.  If it is, the world is in trouble.  But isn't that what so many people been saying lately?

I'll close with this quote:

Two men looked out from prison bars
One saw the mud
The other saw the stars.

Why not turn your gaze upward towards the stars?    Might not hurt, and it might actually help.

Who’s The Most Conservative of Them All?

Mona Charen - National Review Online


Mirror, mirror on the wall?

Perhaps not the best metaphor of all.   We need a better choice from the wordsmiths than this.

The war between useless and useful

Classical Values h/t Instapundit


More or less what I wrote about in an earlier post.   There's also a Jay Leno video that you can watch which has a bit of interesting information if you want to junk your useless degree and actually make some real money...

Be a welder-- it pays.  There's a glut of government workers and not enough of the productive class.  If Obama and his ilk get their way, we'll go bankrupt and even those types of jobs he pushes will have to go away because we can't afford it anymore.

The Greatness of Ronald Reagan

1980 Presidential nomination acceptance speech:  Reagan says of America's problems "not your fault".
But Carter thought otherwise, and so does Obama:
The problem with us Americans is that we have never quite measured up to our world-historical President. Lately, President Obama has been telling us that we’ve lost our edge; that we’ve gotten a little lazy; that we aren’t competing the way we used to; that we are suffering from a malaise. No, wait–that last one was his spiritual forebear Jimmy Carter.
If anyone wants to claim that Reagan couldn't get elected nor even nominated now have rocks in their head.  The problem today is that nobody measures up to this guy. 

A bit of a confession here:  I didn't vote for Reagan in 1980, but I could have.  No, I didn't vote for Carter either, but for Anderson.  It was a protest vote because I thought Reagan's tax cut proposals went too far without a corresponding spending cut.  I was right about that, but wrong in not making a basic choice.  The choice at that time was between what we had and a better alternative.  My choice could have led to the wrong alternative.  That was a mistake.  I freely admit it.

The naïveté of a liberal

Don Surber

  • What triggered the anger and ire of liberals was this from Bloomberg News: “no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates... Oh goodness, someone somewhere in the United States made a profit 
  • Now Kevin Drum wants to compound the unfairness by raising my taxes to pay for this unfairness and unsound policy.
  • But from the Conscience of a Liberal, we get Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman: "there has been no sense of urgency about dealing with unemployment..." Wait as second, wasn’t the bailout and the $787 billion stimulus supposed to take care of unemployment. What would I have done? Nothing.
[note: emphasis added for clarity]


You can get better results if you get more bang for the buck.  Thus, you save money and scarce resources which can be better utilized.

Also, you can focus on wealth generating policies as opposed to "spread the wealth" schemes.  It is interesting to note that liberals believe that they can win on spreading the wealth.  But where does wealth come from?  Shouldn't you be creating more wealth, rather than just spreading it around?  Someone should be pointing out that spreading out the wealth of a diminishing wealth base only makes everyone poorer.

If public policy is to assist in creating new jobs, why not develop space?  Not as a boondoggle, nor as a bread and circus pacification of the masses.  No, a genuine, bonafide way of generating entire new industries and wealth creation.

Obligatory Cain Affair Allegations


If she flew around the country and stayed with him in various hotels over a long period of time, presumably there would be records and witnesses.

Who cares?  Women?  How much did they care when Clinton got caught red handed?

This is not to explain away something or excuse it- provided that it is even true.  It is galling to see who is doing this and why.  Yet those on the conservative side are willing to let allegations alone be enough to disqualify Cain.  I suppose it is necessary to be consistent, but Emerson said that
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

The herding of the sheep continues... 


More of the same.  Somebody wants to thin out the field awfully bad.  But Barney Frank can't throw stones at anybody, neither Cain nor Goldwater.


Cain reassessing candidacy. He should only do this if he is guilty.   That's because it makes him look guilty.   In addition, even if he is guilty, he should stay in the race.  To get accused by hypocrites and to bow down in the face of their criticism isn't strong.  "If you can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen."  His candidacy should be a reproach to those who accuse.   Giving in to them only rewards them.

This may seem like supporting amoral behavior, but it isn't.  Those who accuse are probably no better morally even if he's guilty.   And what about it if he isn't?

People elected Barney Frank and Bill Clinton.  What do people really care about morals?  If people did care, why did they elect guys like that?

Republicans ... get smart.


Observation:  Here's a piece that is a good comparison and contrast with E J Dionne's supposed appeal to moderation on the Washington Post yesterday.

Question:  What does it tell us?  First, let's do a few excerpts from Boortz's piece:

  • It’s time for a little harsh dressing down.
  • We have a president who was not raised as an American.  He lived in Indonesia ... lived in Hawaii too, and I can tell you that as a student in Hawaiian schools you weren’t exactly saturated with American culture and history.
  • Our president thinks that American greatness comes from government.
  • Newt Gingrich ...suggested that we might not want to be rounding up people ...As soon as those words were out of his mouth Michelle Bachmann – desperate for a way to ignite voters – started screeching about “amnesty.”
  • a bit of realism needs to creep into this conversation. 
  • There’s a lot of anger on this issue. ...leaders who have steadfastly refused to do anything ...And when a state (like Arizona) does try to address the situation, our federal government sides with the Mexican officials
  • Shut off the water. Close the borders.
Comment:  There is a difference on the issues.  Dionne is talking about the deficit, Boortz is talking about immigration.  Boortz doesn't wrap himself in the flag as it were, of moderation.  He does appeal to reason, but to partisans in his own group.  Dionne is appealing to those on the fence who he believes may jump back to his side.  But the key is Dionne is pretending to be the voice of reason, while he is trying to shore up the base, as it were.  He doesn't want to appear partisan, but he is partisan.

There are similarities:  1) Dionne expresses his displeasure with those policies that disagrees with, and so does Boortz and 2) Both raise the spectre of the consequences of defeat - and why the opposition should be opposed- in short, the emotional aspect of an appeal.  Boortz like Dionne doesn't want to appear partisan either.

However, he is making an appeal for moderation on the basis of policy, which is not appealing to partisans.  Dionne just blames the opposition for not being reasonable.  Boortz doesn't go that far, but he does blame them for being indifferent.

I think Boortz is more honest than Dionne.  He's not putting on a halo and claiming innocence while demonizing the opposition.  He is critical of the opposition, but also of his own sides' excessive partisanship. So, I think this is a better appeal to reason than Dionne's, if that is what you are interested in.  If you are interested in a slick promotion of yourself as an imminently reasonable man while being totally unreasonable, Dionne takes the cake.

Too bad Boortz didn't do this in 2006.  He wanted the Republicans to lose back then so that they could be taught a lesson.  He didn't like their high spending ways back then and felt that a loss was necessary to put them back on track.  Boortz wasn't serious about winning in 2006, but he may be late too late to that cause.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Will Moderates Defeat Moderation?

E J Dionne, Washington Post

  • The deficit that should most worry us is a deficit of reasonableness. [Comment:  An appeal to reason?]
  • the problem we face isn't about structures or the party system. It's about ideology -- specifically a right-wing ideology that has temporarily taken over the Republican Party [Comment: The Colin Powell argument]
  • A centrist third party would divide the opposition to the right wing and ease its triumph[ Comment: A rift amongst Democrats?  I think this is an appeal to bring people back to Obama, who is losing the swing voters.]
  • However we manage it, in other words, government will be required to pay an ever larger share of our nation's health care bills. [ Comment: The crux of the problem.  Why is this bigger government inevitable?  Why must George be required to pay Paul's medical bills?]
  • Yet the only revenue conservatives on the supercommittee put on the table involved $300 billion from ill-defined tax reforms [ Comment:  He makes a claim here that is a bit questionable.  He claims that the Republicans wanted to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent.  However, that tax increase is already baked into the cake, so to speak.  By agreeing to nothing, taxes will go up anyway.  What's he complaining about?  He's already getting what he claims he wanted, but that's not enough.]
  • Progressives would propose fewer spending cuts in exchange for tax increases that would fall mainly on the wealthy [ Comment:  So he says that Democrats are being reasonable?]
  • We need moderation all right, but a moderate third party is the one way to guarantee we won't get it.

Everything Dionne says here is not going to be possible politically, unless the Republican or Tea Party caves in to their demands.  Why would Republicans cave in on taxes in exchange for nebulous spending cuts?  If history is any guide, the cuts will be illusory, but the tax increases won't be. Dionne admits that, too. The decision needed is one on ideology, just as Dionne suggests, but moderation is not an ideology.  Yet Dionne advocates his favored ideology at the expense of another he claims exists.  The "progressives" need a bogey man, and the opposition fulfills that requirement.  It is an argument not for moderation, but for more partisanship.

The Root Cause of Market Failure In Higher Education

Real Clear Markets

  • A little noticed Associated Press news story last week reported that China now plans to phase out college majors that consistently produce unemployable graduates.
  • Here in the U.S.... education policy is geared not toward maximizing the employability of graduates, but toward garnering votes for politicians.[ Comment:  Exactly.  You can extrapolate that over the entire government budget.]
  • Countless politicians now call college education a "right," alongside food, housing, and medical care. [Comment:  There's no such thing as a free lunch.  They still taught that in Economics 101 in my day, but who knows what they teach now.]
  • And just as the federal government was forced to nationalize Fannie Mae ...Uncle Sam has now nationalized the college loan business with an eye on disguising the coming tsunami of student loan defaults.
  • College participation rates will have to go back down to historical norms. 
  • This may seem like common sense to most people, but it strikes horror into the hearts of the liberal professoriate. [ Comment:  Good point.  Academia is a hotbed of leftism.  They know who signs their paychecks, and they also know who doesn't mind that they don't teach anything useful.]
Comment:  We were told that the Reagan Revolution failed.  However, the drift has been back towards the left with the usual bad outcomes.  Seems like we made a wrong turn back in the nineties.

The Future of the Obama Coalition

New York Times via Free Republic

  • For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. [Comment: This does not surprise me.  As far as I can see, the left is anti white.]
  • center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic [Comment: The presumption is that anyone else must be a stupid, ignorant "redneck"]
  • In the United States, Teixeira noted, “the Republican Party has become the party of the white working class,” [Comment:  Projection.  The Democrat party has played the race card.  If whites aren't voting for Democrats, it is because they are correctly perceiving the party is hostile to whites.]
  • In a 1995 memo to President Clinton, Greenberg wrote that whites without college degrees were “the principal obstacle” to Clinton’s re-election and that they needed to be brought back into the fold. [Comment:  How is this possible?  In academia, Western Civilization, which means "white man", is taught as a plague upon humanity.  You can't stab people in the back and try to pretend to be friends.]
  • A top priority of the less affluent wing of today’s left alliance is the strengthening of the safety net, including health care, food stamps, infant nutrition and unemployment compensation. [ Comment:  Bread and Circuses.  The well to do hope to buy off social unrest with what appears to be bribes.  This probably won't work any better for us than it did for the Romans.]
  • The better-off wing ...self-expression, the environment, demilitarization, and, importantly, freedom from repressive norms [ Comment:  Black folks are more religious than these people.  I know because I've talked with black folks about this very thing.  Buying off the black people is only a marriage of convenience.  If the liberals don't deliver, the black vote can be had.]
Final Comment:  The left is morally and ethically corrupt.  Their continued rule depends on what they can't deliver, which is economic prosperity.  The attempt to buy off unrest will only go so far.  The love for their corruption is skin deep.  If someone emerges who can: 1) expose them for the corruption and incompetence and, 2) really show a better way- that person can win big.  The left is on its last legs.  It is only a matter of time.


This quote is rather ironic, especially with respect to what is written above.

The usual liberal complaint against the conservative opposition to higher income taxes is greed and the better-offs’ self-serving reluctance to pay their “fair share.” 

So, the Republicans are blamed for protecting a group which doesn't vote them for them, and it is political.  And this gets said with a straight face.

Beam me up Scotty!

Missile Defense

This is another example of how the government continually gets it wrong.

Back in the sixties, a missile defense system was proposed and developed. It was finally operational in the seventies, but not for long. Actually, it was only for a day.

Some people have this fatalistic conception of nuclear weapons. If any ever go off, it will be the end of the world. But how deeply was this proposition ever studied? I would propose that if a small nuke went off in Houston, it would be really bad, but not as bad as people think. It would not be the end of the world. But that is what most people have been led to believe.

When I say small nuke, I mean like a suitcase nuke. It so happens that an anti missile missile design of the sixties and seventies would use a really small yield nuclear device to destroy an incoming nuclear warhead. It also so happens that the missile that does this job would not have to be all that big. This means several things: 1) you don't need to spend a lot of money on it and 2) it can be mobile and be placed anywhere you want it 3) it is fast 4) an enemy could not stop it nor defend against it 5) it would be almost 100% effective, in my estimation. So, why cancel it?

It must have been canceled because of an disinformation blitz that convinced the public of how "dangerous" it was. Naturally, because it used nuclear explosions, it must be horribly dangerous. It may have been the same type of scare campaign that caused the nuclear power industry to go into hibernation, if not a coma in this country. Fears were played up so greatly that people lost all sense of rationality on the subject of radioactivity and nuclear power. Consequently, we don't have all the benefits that we may have had if we had kept our missile defense. Moreover, the missile defense should have been expanded. Instead, it was bargained away first by the Nixon administration, then canceled altogether. How foolish can you get?

Now the big fear is of North Korea and Iran getting nuclear weapons. This fear would not exist if we had kept our missile defense. Not only that, but if we had expanded it, there would be little incentive for these countries to develop such weapons. It would be pointless because they would have virtually no chance of hitting their targets. The retaliation would destroy them.

I think people, even dangerous criminals, respond to incentives. If the incentive is to not attack because it is too dangerous, even a criminal will think twice. On the other hand, if you expose yourself to attack, a criminal may find it irresistible to attack. When asked about why they attacked us at Pearl Harbor in 1941, the former Imperial Japanese officials said they thought we would not fight. That should have been enough of a lesson to learn so that mistake would not be repeated again. If we look at the events of 9/11/2001, evidently somebody forgot their lessons. We were attacked then because we showed weakness, not because we showed strength.

Need I say what the Obama Administration did? Instead of improving our missile defense, Obama weakened it. There can be little doubt that the thinking that animates this administration and many on the left is that peace will come if we make ourselves weak. If history is any guide, the opposite will occur. The next time we are attacked, it may well be with nuclear weapons. By that time, it will be too late to correct the mistakes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jump, David, Jump

Legal Insurrection

The only reason, the only reason, the only reason anyone pays any attention to David Frum is that he is the mainstream media’s “useful conservative,” someone who screams about the crazy Republican Party and Tea Party movement.
Comment:  "Useful conservative" means the same as "useful idiot", a term used back in the old days of the Cold War.

There are plenty of other "useful conservatives" out there.  Consider Colin Powell, who isn't a conservative anyway.  Now he's saying the Tea Party is "extreme".   With respect to a deficit reduction deal, why compromise on principle in order to get a bad deal?  Phony budget cuts for real tax increases is not a compromise, it is a capitulation.

If that wasn't enough, consider this:
Given that Clinton wanted to run for reelection in 1996 against the Dole-Gingrich ticket — and spent a fair amount of money linking Dole to Gingrich — the former Speaker and his supporters might consider that Clinton’s latest praise may have a tinge of mischief. Clinton may well hope that Obama gets the chance to actually run against Newt, while Clinton had to make do with the illusion.
I was just thinking that the biggest problem out there is a lack of truth.  If somebody says something that somebody else doesn't like, regardless of whether or not it is truthful or not, too many people reject it out of hand.  The rejection is a knee jerk reaction.  The current times require some deeper thought about the conditions we face rather than to simply to react without thinking.

All the more reason to trust my own gut and stop listening to people who are trying to influence me for whatever reason.   It seems like these influential people are out there saying things in order to draw a reaction, not to get anyone to think.

One more example:
After learning that Ms Giffords, 41, and Mr Kelly, ‘were never contacted’ by Ms Palin following the fatal shooting, Mr Morgan is incredulous.

There is all kinds of evidence for anybody thoughtful enough to understand that Palin has no responsibility for what happened to Ms Giffords.   If I listened to what these people are saying, I'd be convinced that Palin ordered a hit and was personally responsible for the shooting.  Why should she apologize?  It is a monstrous accusation.  If anyone deserves an apology it is Palin.

Why problems don't get solved

It's simple:  the government doesn't want to solve problems.  The politicians want the problems in order to agitate for more power.

Here's some examples of relatively easy problems to solve from Instapundit stories this morning.

  1. Skilled jobs go begging.  The jobs are out there, but nobody knows how to do them.  Yet we spend billions on education that could have educated people who can do these jobs.  This is a systemic problem.  Millions of jobs like these could be filled if the government did their job better.  The excuse is that they don't have enough money, but with a deficit of well over a trillion dollars, that argument doesn't sell.
  2. Any effort to cut the budget runs into a brick wall.  This probably happens because there's a belief that more is better.  But if all the money that gets spent doesn't do the job, more debt can be worse.  See Europe for an example of where this leads.
  3. Look at the US Space Program.  It put a man on the moon in 1969, but has done nothing comparable since then.  Yet it continues to spend billions.  You could have had several more moon programs done from scratch for what the government has spent on space this last 40 years, but NASA can't put a man in orbit today.
Perhaps its not quantity of spending that's the problem.  It's quality of the spending.  The kind of spending that gets results.  The only results that politicians are interested in these days are the type of results that increase their budgets, not their accomplishments.  Especially the kind of accomplishments that solve problems.  But the government has definitely gotten bigger.   They've accomplished that.