Saturday, March 31, 2012

GOP Presidential Candidates Campaign in Wisconsin


Three of the four candidates for the GOP nomination for President spoke.  I don't think Paul was there as I stopped watching near the end.  It is nearly a two hour video.

The Real Signficance of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution

Is understood from this quote attributed to Frederick Douglass:

In a speech delivered on November 15, 1867, Douglass said "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex".

Douglass was a former slave, who escaped and became a leading Abolitionist.

Remember this when some modern day agitators want to grab your gun.

Douglass said Lincoln was America's greatest President.  It was Lincoln who said of the Dred Scott decision that the power of the Supreme Court is not supreme after all.

“If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”

The cartridge box guarantees your access to the ballot box, which, via the vote, can nullify anything the Supreme Court wants to say one way or the other.

Swingin’ Kennedy

National Review Online-  Mark Steyn


It’s not just that the legislators who legislate it don’t know what’s in it, nor that the citizens on the receiving end can never hope to understand it, but that even the nation’s most eminent judges acknowledge that it is beyond individual human comprehension. A 2,700-page law is, by definition, an affront to self-government.


The law should be scrapped in its entirety.  Hopefully, the members of the court will not be intimidated into doing the wrong thing.

Earth Hour 2012 – A dissent and poll

Watts Up With That?

quote:  ( from an essay by Ross McKitrick)

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Instead of demonizing electrical power, let's celebrate human achievement, as this video encourages:

Catalytic Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide to Formic Acid

Green Car Congress

This article was posted in 2009.  Now, compare with what I linked to today on a similar subject.

Thought for the Day – Health Care and Education

Coyote Blog


The most frequent justification I see from the Left for increasing government involvement and control of the health care system is that the US spends more per capita on health care than any other country but apparently gets little extra benefit from the spending in terms of health outcomes**.

Intriguingly, the exact same statement can be made of the American education system, which is already nearly fully nationalized. We spend more per capita than any other country and get only middling results. I wonder why those who use high spending with modest results as a justification for rethinking the health care system do not come to the same conclusion for the public education system?

Why America's Education Isn't Worth the Money


That last point, 40 years ago, coincided with the last lunar landing of the Apollo Era. Nuff said!

The Best Damn Argument For The Unconstitutionality of ObamaCare


Won't repeat it here, you have to read it.  According to Rush's show recently, they've already decided.  Now, they are going to write it up and then release it in June.  The justices may have made up their minds before the arguments.  A lot of this is just venting.

The Plot to Get Rush

By Jeffrey Lord on 3.27.12 @ 6:12AM

The Political Police are out there. Commissar Carusone is keeping his lists. The Media Matters secret donors, carefully operating in the shadows, have the bucks to enforce the Commissar.

Is this still America?

Only if we fight back.


Just one more of example of "shut up".

Simply Red - Holding Back The Years

Uploaded by simplyredvideo on Apr 26, 2009

This was a big hit in the eighties, I remember it well. It reminds me of myself, frankly. I keep holding on.

ABC Not Sure Whether Death Threats In Trayvon Martin Aftermath 'Going Too Far'



So, whatever happened to civility?

Young and Restless

Charlie Cook -  h/t  Transterrestrial Musings

The piece is about how Obama's hold on the youth vote is shaky.

“I see victims” [Darleen Click]


In an exchange on Twitter, one young female sneered at me that her taxes and insurance premiums had “paid for your births” (somehow obligating me to SHUTUP about the 1st amendment and birth control). I told her that, no, when my husband and I had our kids, medical insurance was for catastrophic events and that a normal birth was paid for out-of-pocket. (IIRC that was $1500 in 1978)


"Shut up" rears its head again.

Kardashevian Aspirations: 30 Minutes with Andrea Rossi

Kardashevian Aspirations: 30 Minutes with Andrea Rossi: Uploaded by ColdFusionNow on Mar 11, 2012

Modified microbes turn carbon dioxide to liquid fuel

An integrated electromicrobial process to convert CO2 to gasoline substitutes.

The electrochemical formate production and the biological CO2 fixation and higher alcohol synthesis now open up the possibility of electricity-driven bioconversion of CO2 to a variety of chemicals. In addition, the transformation of formate into liquid fuel will also play an important role in the biomass refinery process, according to Liao.

"We've demonstrated the principle, and now we think we can scale up," he said. "That's our next step."


This may be a big deal.   If you can reliably recapture carbon dioxide, then reprocess it into liquid fuels using this method, you can close the carbon dioxide loop.

h/t Instapundit

Why the Supreme Court may rule against ObamaCare

You can call this a prediction.  It is a plausible way to strike down ObamaCare without causing too much of a controversy.  It may even get some votes from liberal justices.  How?

The method of enforcement, that's how.  The individual mandate may be deemed legal, but the way the penalty is enforced is not.  Some of the justices pointed out that this is not a tax.  That's a clue to their thinking.  If it is not a tax, then what is it?  But maybe that doesn't even matter.  It, whatever it is, will be enforced through the IRS even though it isn't an income tax.  The enforcement mechanism is inappropriate.  Therefore it violates one part of the "elastic clause" in the Constitution, which is
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

It isn't necessary either for ObamaCare to be enforced through this improper mechanism.  What justification is to made for it being necessary?  If funds are needed, simply raise the tax rates.  If certain individuals need to be brought into compliance, simply put deductions or credits into the code.

Normally, penalties are levied for failure to follow the tax law.  ObamaCare is not a tax and a penalty for not following it is not in violation of the tax law.  Therefore, it is unconstitutional.

In a rational world, this is what could happen.  But it may not happen this way.  We shall see.

Glenn Reynolds interviews Walter Russell Mead

Uploaded by Pajamasmedia on Mar 28, 2012

The Blue social model is collapsing says Mead.  Mead is a Democrat who voted for Obama in 2008.  Mead defines the Blue social model in the video.  Look for that at about 7 minute mark.


More on a specific failure of the Blue social model from Mead here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wickard must go

For those who aren't familiar, Wickard v. Filburn was a Supreme Court case that is being cited as a defense of ObamaCare.  I wasn't familiar at all with the Wickard case.  What I've learned was enough to convince me of its wickedness.

What Wickard was about:  To put it simply, Wickard said that the government can tell a farmer what he could grow on his own farm.  The government claimed that Filburn, the farmer, was engaged in interstate commerce, even though his wheat wasn't being sold on the market- the wheat Filburn grew was just for his own purposes.   Since it is supposedly interstate commerce, the Congress has to power to regulate this the theory goes.

On the face of this, it is mind boggling that the people of the time accepted this.  It is totalitarian.  In a free society, it shouldn't be any of the government's business what the man grew on his own farm.  But that's been the law since 1942.  Perhaps too many people just didn't know nor care about this.  If you weren't a farmer, it wouldn't matter as much to you, I suppose.

Now its 2012 and the government is once again claiming for itself the power to tell people that they have to buy medical insurance, or pay a fine, which is being defended as a tax.  It is being defended as a tax because it can be claimed that there can be no court case until the tax is collected.  In the meantime, the private insurance business is being wiped out and people will have no choice but do what the government demands.

The tax, if it is a tax, is itself is a capitation tax, which according to the Constitution, is itself illegal.  It isn't an income tax, which itself was illegal until the Constitution was amended.  If it is a penalty, it is a penalty for not doing something.  It seems that you should do something wrong before you are penalized.  Just breathing and minding your own business shouldn't earn you a penalty, but the government says otherwise.

This looks like one abuse of power stacked up on top of another abuse of power.  If there were no Wickard, there would be no ObamaCare as it is now constructed.

If people are passive as in 1942, there will be even more things like this in the future.  Wickard must go.

MILLOY: GOP is MIA on EPA overreach

Washington Times

Though the proposed standards leave alone existing coal-fired power plants, they effectively prohibit the construction of new plants by establishing an impossible-to-meet emissions standard.

So he takes credit for more oil being produced?  He is hostile towards fossil fuels, so why would anybody believe this guy when he takes credit for increased oil production?

Iowahawk: Why I Am a Democrat


I sometimes hear the question, "Why are you a Democrat?" and frankly, I have to laugh. Laugh and laugh, because perhaps this person may tire of my laughing, and he will eventually wander off. Sometimes I ponder seriously when I hear this question, because I'll look around and around and there's nobody there asking the question. Why am I a Democrat?
 Written in 2003, I see.  The more things change...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

“Obama Campaign: Republicans ‘Politicizing’ Trayvon Martin’s Death”


I think the word for that is called "projection".  Or maybe it is just agitprop again.

Arpaio Investigation Brings Up Compelling Questions About Obama's Birth Certificate and Eligibility



Indeed, an Adobe Illustrator pro and video game writer in Atlanta, who goes by the YouTube handle orangegold1, downloaded the document from and quickly exposed it as fraudulent. Orangegold1's initial 7-minute YouTube video depicts a step-by-step forensic deconstruction of the document. This video has had nearly 1.3 million hits thus far and its detractors' criticisms have been thoroughly answered in Orangegold1's follow-up videos.


So, why put out a birth certificate that can easily be shown as a forgery?  It was meant to stir up the controversy, not to quell it.

This may be a type of agitprop, I speculate.

The Browns: Forgerygate is provoking us to outrage


We have found the presidency of Barack Obama provoking us to outrage in unexplainable ways. Does he do this on purpose? We believe he does. He and his team single out Christians and conservatives by provoking them and then mocking their response to the provocations.


The opinion expressed here is similar to my own.  If Obama was born in Hawaii, this should be easily determined.  This is still controversial because Obama and Co. want it to be controversial.  As long as it is controversial, they can use it politically.

Politics doesn't generate light, but heat.  Emotions are more useful politically than facts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Earth’s Other Moons

Earth usually has more than one moon, according to a team of astronomers from the University of Helsinki, the Paris Observatory and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

It appears that the Earth captures a small asteroid ( or more than one) each year.  Either the asteroid enters the atmosphere and burns up, or it resumes an orbit around the sun.

The article cites this paper, which can be purchased as a pdf.  A quote from the abstract:
The average temporarily-captured orbiter (TCO; an object that makes at least one revolution around the Earth in a co-rotating coordinate system) completes (2.88 ± 0.82) rev around the Earth during a capture event that lasts (286 ± 18) d. We find a small preference for capture events starting in either January or July.
So, I speculated in a previous post about these things being captured and mined.   A certain percentage of them will be class M asteroids, which would be rich in PGM ( platinum group metals).  Also, there would be carbonaceous asteroids, which could also hold water.  In other words, a lot of good, useful stuff could be mined off these things, but not if they burn up in the atmosphere, or go back to a solar orbit.

If you're looking for a economic justification for space, this could be it.  Or cleaning up space junk.  Or both.

h/t Behind the Black

Drilling IS The Answer!

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Morris says "Yes, we can!" , while Obama says "No, we can't."

Sign of the times

Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?

This week, the New York Times pulled back the curtain on General Motors' recent, slightly bewildered efforts to connect with the Millennials -- that giant generational cohort born in the 1980s and 1990s whose growing consumer power is reshaping the way corporate America markets its wares. Unfortunately for car companies, today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're not even particularly keen on driving.


It seems that the cards are stacked against young people.  Now that ObamaCare has been passed, the young will be even more constrained.  If the Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare, it will be just one more nail in the coffin, as a manner of speaking.  Why should a youngster buy a car?  No job, no money, and the government is making things harder, not easier.

It is really a curious thing that so many youngsters vote for Democrats.   Talking about voting against your interests.  That's what the left likes to say about voting for the right, but look at what they themselves are doing to the people who vote for them.

h/t Free Republic

The Heart of the Matter

With respect to the ObamaCare arguments before the Supreme Court, the following quote hits the bullseye exactly, as far as I'm concerned:
JUSTICE ALITO: But isn't that a very small part of what the mandate is doing? You can correct me if these figures are wrong, but it appears to me that the CBO has estimated that the average premium for a single insurance policy in the non-group market would be roughly $5,800 in -- in 2016.

Respondents -- the economists have supported -- the Respondents estimate that a young, healthy individual targeted by the mandate on average consumes about $854 in health services each year. So the mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies for other purposes that the act wishes to serve, but isn't -- if those figures are right, isn't it the case that what this mandate is really doing is not requiring the people who are subject to it to pay for the services that they are going to consume? It is requiring them to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else. [emphasis added]

What we have here is a solution seeking a problem. The "solution" being that everybody pays for what somebody else gets. But if everybody paid for their own, we'd have a system that wouldn't need fixing. In other words, this law is breaking something in order to "fix it". What's the hell is wrong with just paying for your own stuff?

The New Dismal Science: Are Environmentalists Trying to Rid the Earth of Surplus People?

Uploaded by Pajamasmedia on Mar 21, 2012


It's not about helping people or the planet. It's about power.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Containerization Shaped the Modern World

Uploaded by TEDEducation on Mar 11, 2012  h/t Ace of Spades


Moving stuff from one place to another- that's what I've done for a living for the past 28 years. So this little video is interesting on that aspect alone.

But more than that. The concept of what wealth actually is and where it comes from is perfectly illustrated here. What is wealth? I've seen a definition of it as availability of goods. The video points out that containerization of cargo makes goods available to everybody, not just the very rich. This is wealth and how it is produced. Goods that weren't available prior to this idea being implemented are now commonplace. The world and everyone in it is wealthier as a result.

Secondly, the idea was considered crazy by naysayers at the time of its introduction. That pattern is repeated again and again for every new idea that comes along. Somebody thinks it's crazy, but it turns out to be a great thing. The moral of that story is this: for every new idea, check it out. There may be something of great value right under your nose.

The four best legal arguments against Obamacare.


  1. The Individual Mandate Threatens the Foundations of Contract Law
  2. The individual mandate cannot be justified under existing Supreme Court precedent.
  3. The individual mandate rests on an unbounded and unprincipled assertion of federal power.
  4. The individual mandate violates the original meaning of the Constitution.

As Marco Rubio dismisses VP chatter, he looks to be preparing for job

Tampa Bay Times  h/t Free Republic


"He is the best orator of American politics today, a good family man. He is not only a consistent conservative, but he has managed to find a way to communicate a conservative message full of hope and optimism," Jeb Bush told a Pittsburgh reporter last week, calling Rubio the best pick for vice president.

Also, from Wikipedia on Marco Rubio:
Rubio was born in Miami, Florida,[5] the second son and third child of Mario Rubio (1927–2010)[6] and Oria Garcia (born 1931). His parents were Cubans who had emigrated to the United States in 1956 and were later naturalized as U.S. citizens in 1975

The complaint against Rubio is even stronger than Obama in terms of natural born citizen.  To recap, that definition by some entails that both parents should be at least naturalized citizens at birth, and the birth should be in the US.  Rubio passes the latter test, but not the former.

Wouldn't we be in uncharted waters if this happens?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Won’t They Listen?

New York Times book review of ‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt

Traits we evolved in a dispersed world, like tribalism and righteousness, have become dangerously maladaptive in an era of rapid globalization.


This appears to be an interesting book.

h/t Transterrestrial Musings

Newt Gingrich Addresses the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

Why no breakthroughs in energy?

Some of the top minds discuss the question on a Wall Street Journal Online video. h/t Instapundit



There's no mention of the Thorium fuel cycle. Nuclear power is assumed to be always bad. The three people on the stage are today's superstars. But yesterday's superstars advocated the Thorium fuel cycle in a molten salt reactor.

I am reminded of a story I once read in "Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude". The story was of a man who had an invention that could discover oil. He became discouraged and gave up right on the verge of a great discovery. He set up his machine in Oklahoma City and the machine said that there was a lot of oil. He didn't believe it.  It was "too good to be true".  That phrase was on this video.

Everybody's heard that phrase before. But sometimes a good thing is a good thing and it is right under your own nose. You should check it out. Jumping to conclusions is a bad idea.

Putting things together

This blog is an intellectual exercise, if nothing else.  It hasn't been a commercial enterprise, but that would be nice if it could support itself.  But it doesn't, alas.

There are over 3100 posts now and the blog is reasonably organized.  If anyone wanted an answer to a question, it could be found, I would hope.

I do this myself in order to test that.  For example, I remember reading about envy.  So, I wanted to find this again.  How to do that?  I put the word "envy" in the search box at the top of the page and the top post from the search produced this post.   This post was fascinating for me to read.  I hope that others may have had the same experience.  Now, if you wanted to, you could do the counterpart to that with "Tiberius" as the search word.  This produced another concept which I think is important if one wants to understand where we are, meaning the human race.

There's a theory percolating that I want to explore further: so I put in "Us v Them" in the search box.  It returned this post at the top.   I fear that this mentality could destroy us all.  It's part of what I wanted to communicate with this blog.  There are solutions to problems, but I suspect that the Us v Them approach is not a constructive way to solve problems.  It's not the 99% v the 1%.  There's plenty of blame to go around.  I figure that envy is a problem for the 99%, while the Tiberius syndrone is a problem for the 1%.  The refusal to recognize each one's part in the problem will not get us to a solution.  Instead it will lead to strife and an unsatisfactory outcome.

There's a question that pops up from time to time when a new technology is being discussed.  The question goes something like this:  "If it is so good, why isn't it being done?"  I think the answer to that question has been provided here in this blog, provided that an answer is really desired.  I suspect that the question is being posed as a way to discredit new ideas.  A sort of Tiberius syndrome attitude.  The question presumes that we live in a perfect world   It should be obvious that this isn't the case.

This blog isn't about despair, but at times, it can be discouraging.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Incredible Pliability of Fact and Statistics



Lord Monckton's reply was moving. Gently, and sadly, he said, "We shall lose the West unless we can restore the use of reason to pre-eminence in our institutions of what was once learning. It was the age of reason that built the West and made it prosperous and free. The age of reason gave you your great Constitution of liberty. It is the power of reason, the second of the three great powers of the soul in Christian theology, that marks our species out from the rest of the visible creation, and makes us closest to the image and likeness of our Creator. I cannot stand by and let the forces of darkness drive us unprotesting into a new Dark Age."


My sentiments exactly.

Would you eat a test tube burger?

Nearly three fourths of those who responded to the online poll said "no".   But it is good for the environment, it is said.
Mass-producing beef, pork, chicken and lamb in the lab could satisfy the growing global demand for meat - forecast to double within the next 40 years - and dramatically reduce the harm that farming does to the environment.
It would seem that the environmentalist movement has its limits.   h/t Transterrestrial Musings

Does ObamaCare have a captitation tax?

This question was addressed by a RedState post in 2010.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT of 2010 requires all individuals – whom it inconveniently refers to as “taxpayers” – to pay a “penalty” on their failure to act, i.e., on their failure to purchase proper health insurance or to enroll in a proper plan. I know of no case describing inactivity as the type of transaction or action which can be the subject of an excise tax; indeed, I doubt such a case exists.

I agree with the state sovereignty and commerce clause attacks; however, I have concerns about them being winnable. In contrast, I’ve not yet see a colorable flaw in the capitation attack. It should succeed.  [emphasis added]


 It seems like a capitation tax to me.  Will this be one of the arguments against it in the pending Supreme Court case?


More here.