Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A nasty side effect.....

....of publishing soft-core porn appears to be mental deficiency.  How do I know this?

Well, former "Playboy" Chair-woman Christie Hefner is claiming that the surge of murders in Chicago is due to global warming.   No kidding. 

Now, exactly how this is hitting Chicago and not even warmer cities like Miami, Houston, Dallas, Knoxville, Birmingham, and the like is beyond me, if excessive heat is the problem.  If it's warming, one would figure that you'd also see the problem in New York, Minneapolis, and definitely Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

But no, it's just Chicago, which has the dual disabilities of strict gun control laws and being the hometown of President Obama.

So what can we conclude?  Well, apparently publishing pictures of naked women destroys one's mental abilities, even if one isn't attracted to those images.  So take this as a warning to those who would; if you do this, you're far more likely to fall for junk science and overall lose your ability to think.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Leading from way, way, way behind

Apparently, the new government in Egypt includes at least one prominent official who denies the Holocaust.  Now I'll grant that picking sides in the Middle East isn't easy, but when one of our "allies" has key officials denying the Holocaust, is it too much to ask that we not ship F-16s to them?

On the light side, one of the taunts thrown at Jews by these "allies" of ours is that Jews are "the descendants of apes and pigs."  OK, so that means that Abraham was one or the why are Arabs, the descendants of Abraham's son Ishmael, saying this?

Qu'ranic scholarship has taken a dive since the days of Scheherazade, I guess.

Immigration reform and border security, RIP

Apparently, the Obama administration's plan for immigration reform does not include improved border security.   So, let's see; we provide a path for lawful immigration to those who break our laws.  What incentive is being created here?

My take here is that even if the relatively saner Rubio plan, which does include border security, is adopted, there will be no improvement in border security because the executive will simply ignore, as much as possible, the need for improved border security.  So with one fell swoop, both border security and immigration reform will die a slow, ignominious death.

And as a result, thousands more Mexicans caught in the crossfire of the drug trade will needlessly die.  Keep in mind here that meaningful border security doesn't just reduce illegal immigration; it also makes it more difficult to carry on the drug trade.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lonelier by far than the Maytag repairman

My local quality engineering society has, apparently oblivious to the fact that many people have plans for that night, scheduled its next meeting for February 14.  One would think that QEs might be aware that abandoning one's spouse that night might be a bad plan for increasing the quality of one's relationship, but apparently not.

Although my wife and I aren't big on Valentine's Day--if it matters that much how well you do it, your relationship is in trouble to begin with--but I think I'll be skipping this meeting.

About those "assault rifles"

Dianne Feinstein's bill to ban semi-automatic low-power rifles with scary looking features to liberals assault rifles documents how many people have died since the ban on such weapons was lifted in 2004.


Out of about 120,000 murders overall.  In other words, Mrs. Feinstein is spending all this time and effort for about 0.3% of murders.

If she wants to reduce the murder rate--and that by about 350 murders annually or more--she might do well to work to end gun bans in Chicago and Washington, DC and work for "shall issue concealed carry" there.  Maybe someday, our nation's capital could be as safe as neighboring Alexandria, Virginia.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Burns Day!

Today marks the 254th birthday of Scotland's great poet, so make sure that you celebrate properly.


Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
You pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’need
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reeking, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an’ strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive
Bethankit hums

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash
His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle

Ye pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
An’ dish them out their bill o’fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r,
Gie her a Haggis!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Military Intelligence and Foggy Bottom

Proving that the term "Military Intelligence" is, as the wags note, all too often a contradiction in terms, the Pentagon is responding to sky-high rates of pregnancy and rape of female soldiers, sailors, and airmen by opening up combat roles to women.  Lessee.....let's put a few women into platoons where the men are lonely, scared, and bored.  What could possibly go wrong?

Update: it turns out that Panetta's/Obama's move comes only months after the first two female lieutenants allowed to attempt Marine Corps infantry training washed out, one on the first day and the other before the third week of the 13 week course was out.

In response, they're (sigh) pushing for "gender neutral" physical standards.  Because it's not like infantrymen carry 100 lb. packs and march 20 miles in a day, or fight hand to hand, or need the strength to pull a wounded comrade out of the line of fire or anything like that.

Along the same lines, it appears that intelligence is scarce in the State Department and Congress as well.  Confronted with a situation where four Americans were killed, no one asked the obvious question; faced with a shortage of funds for dedicated security staff, wouldn't an obvious and cheap alternative have been to send a courier with a few guns for the SEALS who were killed that tragic day? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Protesting, but letting nature take its course

.....appears to be occurring in the Department of Defense, as officials are wondering why 30% of senior commander firings are for sexual misconduct, and why there were 796 cases of sexual assault in the Air Force last year.  For comparison's sake, the overall rate of rape in the United States is about 40 per hundred thousand, which would be an expected number of about 25 rapes among the 68,000 women in the Air Force.   It appears that the Air Force has a far higher rate of sexual assault than the nation as a whole.

Now to be fair, the DOD is enhancing their efforts in ethics training and outreach to the victims, but absent is a very basic question; why did these crimes occur?  Are we allowing likely criminals into the services, or is nature taking its course as young men and women find themselves lonely and bored?  What is the cost of this to military preparedness?

Monday, January 21, 2013


Visit this:

Hello, I'm Barack, and I'm a spending addict.

Anyone who blows half a billion bucks on as obvious a fraud as Solyndra, or tens of billions to prop up the UAW, needs to come to grips with the obvious.  He's addicted to spending.

For that matter, it might explain why the man had no reportable interest or dividend income until his windfall profits from his autobiography.  Looks like his personal spending habits are being reflected in the nation's, and your kids and mine will be paying the price.  Unless, of course, they decide not to pay, and if they make that decision, I can't say that I'll blame them.

Addendum: at 3000 calories plus drinks, Obama's inaugural luncheon packs a punch both with budget and diet (where was Michelle when this plan was made?), and here's the result when you raise taxes too much to pay for that spending.  Look for states with great golf courses and no income tax (Florida, Texas, and Nevada) to benefit from California's foolishness.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Great moments in gun control, law, and journalism

Apparently, the new gun control law in New York state, which does not allow any magazine that holds more than seven rounds, does not have an exemption for law enforcement.

Round yourselves up, boys, and get back out there without your guns!

Seriously, I can hardly think of a better example of how gun control advocates are motivated not by logic and evidence, but by emotions. 

In other news, a Minnesota lawyer has been "working" to demonstrate what a lot of us had suspected all along; that "lawyer" often is simply a highfalutin' name for "prostitute."  How so?

The moron billed his client, a woman seeking a divorce, for time he spent having sex with her.  Other suspicions you might have about the legal profession are verified by his previous probation for purchasing and using cocaine, and other suspicions you might have about my fair state being soft on crime are verified by the fact that despite a string of citations for "lack of decorum", a probation, and a full suspension, this guy has not been disbarred.

Finally, some thoughts on the saga of the Notre Dame player who used the death of his imaginary girlfriend as a "point of interest" in his attempt to win the Heisman Trophy; did no sports journalist out there have the basic curiosity to see if he could Google the girl's obituary--and possibly get a wonderful human interest story if the young lady had actually existed?

On the other hand, the thought of this young man indulging in what turned out to be homosexual Mormon love notes for months over Twitter is simultaneously creepy and hilarious.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On the proposals for gun control

First of all, here's a list of all the proposals President Obama and Vice President Biden have made which would have prevented the atrocity at Sandy Hook.

(it's not even likely that the magazine size limit would have reduced casualties--see this demonstration from Mills Fleet Farm)

Now here's a list of proposals they rejected that would have helped:
  • Police in schools
  • Armed teachers

And for a bit of amusement, the excellent NRA commercial asking why President Obama's children are worthy of armed guards (but not the rest of our children) has been derided by the White House as "cowardly."   As if delegating the attack on the NRA to one's press secretary isn't cowardly.

(be a man, Barack, and do your dirty work yourself!)

Also in the "say what?" category is this "puff piece" about Mrs. Obama's fashion choices.  Not only does it suggest that it would be somehow surprising of someone can have substance and nice threads, but it also suggests that Mrs. Obama knows how to do it without spending a ton of money--despite abundant articles noting that she routinely wears garments costing thousands of dollars apiece.

I'm no antagonist of high end couture (except the really bizaaare stuff), but please, let's not pretend that Michelle Obama is a woman of the people. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Say what?

President Caesar Obama is wondering why gun rights groups are "ginning up fear".  Apparently, he's forgotten his promise to reinstate the "assault weapons" ban (is there a "peace and love weapon" out there for comparison?), his vote against the right of armed self-defense in 2004, his statement in favor of comprehensive gun bans in 2007 (?), his promise to ban high capacity magazines, his stonewalling of investigations into the "Fast and Furious" debacle that left hundreds of Mexicans dead, and his promise to ignore Article 1 of the Constitution and institute his plans via executive order.

Nah, it's not like we have an out of control executive whose pledge to uphold the Constitution ends with the first sentence of Article 1.  Except, of course, that we do, and history teaches us a few things about nations headed by the lawless, none of them good.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What I've been saying for a while

Peter Morici points out what is wrong with higher education--far too high a price for far too little actual education--and points out that if loans are made by private lenders and are dischargeable in bankruptcy, a lot of the shenanigans in higher education would end.

In other words, as I've noted a few times before, bring back the green eyeshades guys to ask people "now how do you propose to pay back a quarter million dollars in loans with your Ph.D. in ethnic studies?"  (real example of someone I met)  It is beyond time to get the government out of the business of making student loans.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book review: the Medici Effect

I had the opportunity through work to read a business book, I think, called The Medici Effect by a gentleman named Frans Johansson.  Being something of a history buff, I thought it would have been interesting to read a book applying the lessons learned by the Tuscan "Royal Family" of bankers and assassins to business.

The verdict?  One star, and I'm being generous.  The ideas there are nothing new--restrain the accountants to actually allow your "artists" to shine and the like--and the author makes no attempt to actually connect the Medicis to the business cases he discusses.  In other words, the entire book is a gigantic, trite, bait and switch, and the Harvard Business Press let him get away with it.  The fact that this book got published is not exactly an endorsement of an Ivy League education, to put it mildly.

The only really good things I can say about this book are that it only took a couple hours to read, that he at least doesn't recommend hiring assassins to improve one's business, and that at least he didn't (as did another business book I picked up recently) get an endorsement from Ken Lay of Enron.  I won't be reading--or reviewing--that one. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Shaking my head....

at a few things today, starting with the fact that apparently some people thought that someone who participated in a beauty pageant--Miss Alabama, apparently--would be offended at being called beautiful.  Whatever one thinks of beauty pageants, isn't the point supposed to be that some people are declared beautiful?  You might as well say that a Corvette is insulted by being called a fast car.

In the political world, President Obama and Vice President "Slow Joe" Biden are apparently of the opinion that they are going to get more gun control, control over the subject matter of movies and video games, and they're going to do it by executive order.  So they're declaring not only the 2nd Amendment to be a dead letter, but also the 1st Amendment and Article 1 of the Constitution.

If they do it, it's time to impeach both of them.  This has gone on long enough.

Also on the guns front, an article on CNN argued for guns that are smart enough to figure out whether others are carrying a gun, are an adult or a child or government official.  One would have hoped that this person would have figured out that if this technology existed, we might better use it to protect our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, but apparently the anti-gun mindset (mindless-set?) isn't up to speed on this.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Money for nothin'

....apparently is the mantra of the Democrats in Washington, who infamously argued years ago that the Health Insurance Deform Act would reduce premiums.  Sadly, they did not listen to those who pointed out that profits in health insurance and health care were not high enough to extract large concessions, and to no sound economist's surprise, premiums are up, not down.

In a just world, Mr. Obama and his cronies would be writing "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" about three hundred million times on the chalkboard--once for every victim of his health insurance deform efforts.

Ode to the king of vehicles

....with all due respect, and many apologies, to ZZ Top.  Though really, it does seem to be the logical follow-on to their hit song.  No?

Hatchback, sliding doors

Pass out the books in case the kids are bored

V6, sun shades

And she’s a-thinkin’ that she’s got it made

She comes a runnin’ just as fast as she can

‘cause every mom’s crazy ‘bout a minivan

Loose jeans, Diamond ring

And she’s a-missin’ not a single thing

Diaper bag, running shoes

Don’t tick her off or you’re a-gonna lose

She comes a-runnin’ just as fast as she can

‘cause every mom’s crazy in a minivan

Six kids, in six seats

600 miles in the snow and sleet

Black tires, driving gloves

Lookin’ sharp with the products of love

She comes a runnin’ just as fast as she can

‘cause every mom loves her little minivan

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A couple of fun thoughts

First, yet another analysis of "Why Most Published Research Findings are False."   Now I don't know exactly how good--or otherwise--this research is, but it at least corresponds with something I've argued for years: nobody gets tenure or otherwise promoted by consistently finding insufficient evidence to accept the alternative hypothesis.

Next, a bit from Vox Day; "We will not pay."  Now you can approach this in Denninger's way of saying that we will refuse to pay for a social contract which we did not sign, and that is fair.  But perhaps a better way of illustrating the issue is that the interest alone on the unfunded liabilities of the next fifty years is in the trillions, and thus those of us at middle age and below have only two choices; we can attempt to pay this social contract and live in poverty, or we can renege on the social contract we didn't sign and spread the misery around to include those whose votes caused the problem.

Or, at a more basic level, if deprived of the fruits of their labor by excessive taxation, good luck getting people to work for a living.  See "Greece" for an example of what happens.