Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Now Want To Chop Down Trees And Then Burn Them

Here's why. Here's the video:

A Terrific Description Of The Latest Developments In Greece

... can be found in this Time article by Michael Schulman. Before I give the tidbit, here are some things you need to know.
  1. In order for the EU to bailout a country, there has to be a unanimous vote by all to do the bailout. Any country voting "no" stops the bailout.
  2. The Finns have become very hard to convince. They're even more fiscally conservative than the Germans and have lost all faith in the Greeks.
  3. Greece is now paying credit card interest rates on its debt. I didn't look up the numbers this morning, but it's in the 20-30% range.
  4. The Greek economy is contracting. That means while debt servicing payments are going up and tax revenues are going down.
  5. The Finns are literate and read the financial newspapers.
Here's the tidbit.
The case of Finland best shows us how flawed governance in the zone really is. The government in Helsinki, which leans against continued European bailouts, agreed to the second Greek rescue on the condition that it receive collateral for renewed financial support. Subsequently, the Finns and the Greeks worked out a special side deal in which Athens would deposit a chunk of cash in an escrow account for Finland to ensure Helsinki's support for the bailout. (If that arrangement – Greece putting up cash to get more cash – doesn't make any sense to you, that's because it doesn't.) But that bilateral deal quickly fell apart. Germany opposed it, while other euro zone nations, including Austria and the Netherlands, understandably demanded the same privilege as Finland. The Finns won't back down on their demand, and euro zone finance ministries are still haggling over what to do.
Michael goes on to talk about bailouts that might work or bailouts that might not, overcomplicating a problem the Finns properly recognize as very simple.

The Greeks owe more than they can repay. The Greeks can't service their debts. They are both bankrupt and insolvent. Lending money to someone who is bankrupt and insolvent is stupid. The Finns aren't stupid. Right about now, I'll bet lots and lots of Finns are wondering why they chained themselves to this particular toad of an idea, the EU.

A toad, photographed by Aurélien Miralles.

Mornings In The Catican

... remind me of the George Harrison song below. Our Maximum Leader greets me at the door, we give each other some affection and then she gets breakfast. After crunching her noms, she hops up on the desk and buries her head in my right hand and we give each other affection for a while until she lies down next to me.

Love and peace.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nature Beats Coffee

I thought this video was pretty helpful. It comes from this WSJ article. Enjoy!

Rick Perry Is Stupid

Dig this.
Speaking to a crowd in Iowa this weekend, the Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful doubled down on statements he made in his book, Fed Up!, that Social Security is essentially a pyramid scheme.

“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people,” Perry said. “The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them."
It's a good thing Rick Perry is so stupid, otherwise there might be a problem responding to this. Imagine how you'd have to counter it if you were Obama. You'd have to claim SS wasn't a Ponzi scheme. That would be a tough sell. It's one thing to use scare tactics to say Rick Perry wants to eat poor people, it's quite another to deal with a specific charge that Gen X and Gen Y know to be true.

Yep, it's a good thing Rick Perry is stupid.

H/T: Rob Long at Ricochet.

Cornell Gets Too Much Of My Money

I don't care if it's two cents, it's too much. Dig this foretaste of Hell:

Please, just kill me now. I can't bear the thought that someday I might accidentally click on a link and end up watching another video where two chatbots argue with each other.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene Is More Evidence Of Global Warming Climate Change

... I mean it is, isn't it? Isn't everything?

Thankfully, Irene turned out to be pretty mild. Had it gone the other way and become a Category 3 storm, we'd be hearing "experts" yell at us that it was a harbinger of future doom because we weren't driving Chevy Volts and using Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. Since it was kind of a dud, there's no linkage between Irene and Global Warming Climate Change in the cultists' house organs like CNN and the NYT.

Meanwhile, we can all have some fun at the expense of the doom-mongers.
For the television reporter, clad in his red cagoule emblazoned with the CNN logo, it was a dramatic on-air moment, broadcasting live from Long Island, New York during a hurricane that also threatened Manhattan.

“We are in, right, now…the right eye wall, no doubt about that…there you see the surf,” he said breathlessly. “That tells a story right there.”

Stumbling and apparently buffeted by ferocious gusts, he took shelter next to a building. “This is our protection from the wind,” he explained. “It’s been truly remarkable to watch the power of the ocean here.”

The surf may have told a story but so too did the sight behind the reporter of people chatting and ambling along the sea front and just goofing around. There was a man in a t-shirt, a woman waving her arms and then walking backwards. Then someone on a bicycle glided past.
LOL! Dig this:

Here we see the desperate situation as a reporter wearing safety goggles that make him look like he just stepped off the set of Radar Men of the Moon becomes a laughingstock as normal people cavort in the rain.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Working On The B

I finally got down to working on my MGB's wiring today. I pulled the hood off and took the wiring diagrams from my Clymer manual to a printer and had them blown up to make referencing them easier. I'm measuring and listing the wiring and hope to have all the wire I need bought by tonight. It being a British car, the wiring coloring is both perfectly logical and hopelessly complicated.

So, Charles, Who Would You Like To See Dead?

Charles is unhappy. He is unhappy that more babies haven't been slaughtered.
We have a growing crisis among the nation’s children, yet our policies ignore that reality at best and exacerbate it at worst.

According to a report issued this week by the Guttmacher Institute, the unintended pregnancy rate has jumped 50 percent since 1994, yet a July report from the institute points out that politicians are setting records passing laws to restrict abortion...Add to this the assault by conservatives on Planned Parenthood, and what are we saying?

This is what we’re saying: actions have consequences. If you didn’t want a child, you shouldn’t have had sex...

This is insane.
Which babies, Charles? Can you point them out? Would you like to sit down with each one and explain How Things Should Be to them?

Link Of The Day

Mark Steyn's superior prose points out how "impoverished" rioting youths in England ... well, read it yourself. I can't do it justice. Here's a tidbit.
In fact, these feral youth live better than 90 percent of the population of the planet. They certainly live better than their fellow youths halfway around the world who go to work each day in factories across China and India to make the cool electronic toys young Westerners expect to enjoy as their birthright. In Britain, as in America and Europe, the young take it for granted that this agreeable division of responsibilities is as permanent a feature of life as the earth and sky: Rajiv and Suresh in Bangalore make the state-of-the-art gizmo, Kevin and Ron in Birmingham get to play with it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing All The Warning Signs

Watch it to the end.

Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs Are The Worst

Our master bath has a sconce with a bunch of 60W bulbs in it. If you leave the lights on and the doors closed for a while, the place heats up like an Easy Bake Oven. We decided to swap out the incandescents in the sconce for some CFLs, figuring it would solve the heat problem. I swapped one bulb and checked it out. The thing stuck out like a colostomy bag out of the light fixture.

The CFL has some kind of ballast on the fixture end that makes it longer than the normal bulb. It wrecks the aesthetics of the sconce. If we used them, we'd have to completely replace the sconce.

On the CFL package, there's a warning that the things contain mercury and you can't just throw them out when they die. You have to recycle them properly by taking them to a CFL collection center. Awesome. Now when the light bulbs die, I have to make a special trip to a recycling center.

CFLs are supposed to help stop Global Warming Climate Change. I'll need to throw out my existing sconce and buy a new one and then burn gas driving around disposing of the dead CFLs later. Yay! We're saving the planet!

Meanwhile, the cultists who scream at us about Global Warming Climate Change are taking multiple private jets to vacations and living in huge mansions. At the same time, nations with populations much larger than ours are not doing anything to prevent Global Warming Climate Change. Finally, recent data is showing that the sun has a lot more to do with Global Warming Climate Change than previously thought.

The sun?!? Who knew?

So, to recap:

I need to replace my light sconce and use lightbulbs I need to recycle because they contain deadly poisons at the behest of people who burn energy like there's no tomorrow to stop something caused by the sun while for every one of us doing these things there are 7-10 others around the world doing the exact opposite.

Sounds good to me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Income Inequality Is Bad Because ...

... because if we don't give money to the people who don't have it, they will burn everything down.

Der Spiegel has a front page editorial on why the rich need to be taxed more. We need to buy off the barbarians.
We know how the death of our society will look from the recent riots in London. We are threatened by social instability, which could lead to societal collapse and anarchy -- our own private Somalia. To avoid that will require a serious effort by the powerful. Our system needs a complete change of course. A politics of inequality got us into this crisis. If we keep going down that road, it will cause our downfall.
Nowhere in the article is any recognition that behavior has an impact on wealth and income. We're not trying to achieve any of the old goals of the War on Poverty back in the 60s and 70s, we're just keeping our cities from burning down.

Back in the day, we talked about the poor as people who just needed an opportunity, a chance to make something of themselves. Now they're unreasoning, feral animals that are so stupid that they will destroy everything if they don't get another $100 a week.

There's also no recognition of the improved lot of the poor over the past several decades. Bradley Wright's new book, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World, details this quite nicely. Data like his is ignored. The mere existence of inequality is the cause for rioting, no matter how much anyone already has.

Talk about intellectually bankrupt, these guys have totally thrown in the towel on trying to make a rational argument.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Time To Tax The Super Rich

... super rich students, that is.

The Value Of Written Goals

I've blogged in the past about my use of Brian Tracy's Goals book:

At the end of each chapter are a series of questions that lead you through the process of setting goals, from general and vague directions for your life in the first chapters to concrete steps by the end. I've been using it for about a year and a half and have reviewed my goals by going through the process four or five times.

It works.

In my most recent pass through the process, I deleted a lot of the goals I had originally written, not because I was no longer interested in them, but because I had achieved them. These weren't minor things, but major, life-changing goals I had wrestled with for over a decade.

I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Tea Party Isn't Running For Office

... so demonize them all you want. Meanwhile, bringing attention to the fact that borrowing your way to prosperity doesn't work seems to be having an effect.

More people strongly disapprove of President Obama's performance than approve of it in any way, weak or strong.

H/T: Boker tov, Boulder!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Economy Will Improve If We All Spend More Time Filling Out Forms

... which is the essence of the concept behind stimulus packages.

Banks are now regulated to the point of being in straightjackets. Dittos for corporate financial operations. And the auto industry. And the medical industry. There are mountains of regulations dealing with each*.

They're pikers and need to stop complaining.

Government employees operate under more regulations than any of them. If you don't believe me, stop by any government agency and check out their contracts department. That's where the money gets distributed to businesses to do work. That's where stimulus meets employment.

Welcome to the Land of Inertia. Spend a little time clicking around this site, just for fun. Take a look at how much work is entailed in getting, say, a $30,000 contract out the door to buy some IT services. Now consider how much work it would be if you owned your own business. You'd just go out and buy the thing, right? Oh, you'd shop around a bit and ask colleagues for recommendations, but in the end, you'd write a check and the job would get done.

Increased government intervention means, at the micro level, more people will spend more time following the rules like the ones laid out in the Department of Interior site linked above. That time is completely unproductive. In short, government intervention reduces the amount of productive labor being done in the economy. If you're following "The procedures set forth in the Federal Supply Schedule for Governmentwide Commercial Credit Card Services, Treasury Financial Manual, TFM 4-4500, and "U.S. Department of Interior Handbook for Utilization of Government Wide Commercial Credit Card" issued by PAM contain guidance on the utilization of Governmentwide purchase card services," you're not laying tile, repairing bicycles or baking bread.

The progressive faith in government is built entirely on a foundation of ignorance. It sounds like a good idea to intervene, but in real life it fails because the government wastes people's time. Wasted time reduces economic output. It's as simple as that.

* - Before you spaz out and cry that they're not regulated, you need to distinguish between regulations on the books and regulations that are enforced. If some of them go off the reservation from time to time, it's a good bet that they've violated current regulations, but there are so many current regulations that it's impossible to enforce them all. Enforcing regulations becomes like pushing a rope.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Looking For Tips On Blocking Out Distractions

My daughter is having to deal with a teammate who reflexively criticizes mistakes and it pulls her mind away from what she needs to do on the field. Got any suggestions?

The Best Analysis Of The British Riots Yet

... comes from Janet Daley at the Telegraph. Here's a snippet.
What real people know – and have known for quite a long time – is that the great tacit agreement which once held civic life together has been deliberately blown apart. There was a time within living memory when all reasonable grown-ups were considered to be on the same side. Parents, teachers, police, judges, politicians – decent citizens of every station and calling – formed an unspoken confederacy to uphold standards of behaviour within their own communities. But their shared values and expectations about human conduct were systematically undermined by a post-Sixties political ideology that preached wholesale disrespect for authority, and legitimised anti-social activity in the name of protest...

So hugely influential was this (moral equivalence) view in education and social policy that it almost succeeded in extinguishing the truths that arise from experience: people (especially young ones) will behave badly just because they can, because no one is stopping them, or has ever inculcated in them the conscientious discipline that would make them stop themselves.

The capacity for self-control, and the willingness to suppress one’s innate selfishness or cruelty, is something that adults must consciously instil in children and reinforce in other adults by their attitudes to them. The indispensable tools of social stigma and moral judgment that communities used to have at their disposal for this purpose have been stripped away, and the result – the fearless defiance of helpless authority – is what we saw in its terrifying logical conclusion on the streets.
Amen, sister. Read the whole thing.

Here, you can see it all. The wanton, aggressive police brutality, the innocence of the rioters as they strive to make a reasonable political point, the straw and peat hovels the poor are forced to live in, the burlap shifts they have to wear due to extreme poverty, the scrawny, malnourished poor, the lack of indoor plumbing and electricity that led Karl Marx to write the treatises that influenced the intellectual giants of the 60s, the ...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Visa Black Card - For Those Who Demand Only The Best Of What Life Has To Offer

... is the invitation I just received.

Amazing. Do they have any idea who they're talking to? This is someone who likes to shop at thrift stores and buy odds and ends to make wacky contraptions like the Hobo's Coffee Can Rock Tumbler Mark I.

The card has a $495 annual fee and it costs $195 a year for each additional card. The interest rate is close to 15%. It says it gives you all kinds of VIP rewards, but I don't know about that. I wonder if my local Baras Thrift Shop will accept it.


Overcoming Performance Anxiety

My daughter's been working on her soccer skills, but she still struggles to perform during games. Recently, she told me she gets really nervous and tightens up while playing. I spent a little time wandering through YouTube and came up with this gem on performance anxiety. Enjoy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Der Spiegel On The British Riots

It's because there wasn't enough government wealth redistribution.
The riots in London are a social Fukushima for the Western world. Should we really be suprised that an increase in wealth for just a few, accompanied by simultaneous impoverishment of the masses, could not continue unabated?
It's the fault of the bankers and media.
The blazing infernos which took hold in the UK's biggest cities have shocked British society. It wasn't a desire to protest that drove the brutal looters onto the streets, but pure consumer greed. Bankers, politicians and media moguls have made this greed socially acceptable.
Personally, I blame the Smurfs.

This makes me want to smash things and then burn them.

CNBC Has The Right Idea, But Misses In Execution

In doing my morning clickery through the Interweb Tubes today, I came across this post on CNBC describing how concerns over the solvency of European banks are affecting US stock prices, particularly in the banking sector. Within that piece are links to video definitions of terms such as Federal Reserve, hedge funds and short selling. What a great idea! We hear these things so many times, but lots of us don't know what they mean.

Here's a sample from their text, links included, emphasis in the original.
There’s also the problem with hedge funds (explain this) trying to hedge exposure to European banks. The short-selling (explain this) ban on European banks makes hedging exposure more difficult. One response by some hedge funds will be to short U.S. banks as a proxy.
It's a great idea, but poorly executed. I was hoping that the video would come up in a little lightbox over the page, but instead it takes you to a different page and begins playing an ad. Yuck!

First, if you're going to explain something to me, don't make it how Defenulax can cure my Obstructive Bowel Disorder, but there is a chance of side effects including bad breath and an unnatural attraction to marsupials. I feel like I've just been bamboozled into watching an ad.

Second, don't take me away from your page! I felt like I'd been washed out to sea. I was being involuntarily swept away from what I was interested in reading just to see an ad for Defenulax, or whatever it was. (I don't know what the ad was about, I clicked back immediately because I was so annoyed.)

It's a great idea and I'm going to bring it to work, but in this case, it was handled so badly that I never want to visit a CNBC site again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I got an email advertisement for a grammar class being held nearby. In the ad was this:
But, boy, was she S-L-O-W ...
Gail would sweat over every sentence, pore over grammar guides to get everything right, and stay late to proof her projects. (What a toll it took on Gail!)
Emphasis mine. Pore over grammar guides? Gaaaahhhhh! It's pour, not pore.

Ouch. Talk about embarassing!

Update: In the comments, Tim points out that I'm the one who has been wrong all this time and it really is pore and not pour. Hahahaha! What a dufus! Oh well, now I know the right word to use.

Anonymous Commenting Is Driving Me Crazy

Blogger FAIL! Recently, I've had a couple people tell me they've had problems leaving comments without signing in to Blogger and then last night I got two emails into my comment folder that never showed up on the blog. Both were anons. Gaaahhh!!! Blogger's been around for more than a decade. How can this be screwed up?

Very unhappy. Looking for a substitute. Disqus, perhaps?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Link of the Day

Secular Apostate has a great post on ... well, you'll just have to see. Here's a tidbit.
Anyway, Mr Duong ... wanted to be a Certified Air Leak Sealer. Hm. I didn’t know there was a certification for Air Leak Sealers. I know it’s real complicated and everything, what with using advanced, state-of-the-art, spring-loaded tools like caulking guns and… caulking guns, but I wasn’t aware of the certificate.

Something Just Occurred To Me

Tires are flexible and they give. When you put air into them, they swell up as the pressure builds. The swelling also slows down the build up of pressure.

PVC is not flexible. Maybe using an air hose from a filling station is not such a good idea. The results could be explosive if the pressure builds up too fast. I think I'll use a bicycle pump to put air into my Playsport Pressure Tester. I should be able to get to 3 ATM and not kill myself with PVC shrapnel.

The Kodak Playsport Pressure Test Kit (Unassembled)

Our Maximum Leader has inspected the kit. She approves of our choices.

Left to right: plumber's tape, 4" black PVC male to threaded cleanout drain connector, 4" black PVC end cap, Weld-On 704 PVC cement and 4" black PVC threaded cleanout drain cap.

Not shown: The Gorilla Automotive VS401C tire valve stem. It should arrive today. Assembly of the kit will occur tonight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheezburger of the Day

Plans To Depth Test The Kodak Playsport

After our last diving trip, I've begun to wonder if I can depth-proof my little Kodak Playsport camera. The Playsport delivers terrific underwater videos, but is only rated to 10'. As far as I can tell, it only has two ways water could push its way past the seals, those being the ports on either side of the camera, shown below*.

These ports have coverings with internal seals. I'm thinking that the seals are what give out at depths greater than 10'. I think a layer of silicone sealant over these ports will protect them down to 30-45'. Once back at the surface with videos stored on the little guy, I can just peel the silicone off and voila! the camera is back to normal. What we need now is a test rig.

Enter the Gorilla Automotive VS401C tire valve stem and a bit of PVC pipe.

I think I can make a pressure chamber large enough for the camera out of PVC pipe, using a threaded end cap with plumber's tape on one end and a glued end cap on the other. I'll drill a hole in the threaded end and attach the VS401C there. Then I take the silicone-sealed camera, put it in the pipe, cover it well with water and seal up the pipe. I take the pipe to a gas station and put compressed air in it until it's at 3 ATM, which is equivalent to 60' of depth**. There's a simple PSI to ATM conversion, so the reading on the gas station air pump can be used to figure out where I'm at.

1 ATM = 14.7 PSI.

I let the thing marinate in the high-pressure water for an hour or two, check the pressure with a tire gauge before releasing and then I take it out and see how it worked. If it leaks, all I let in was fresh water. If it holds, then it's time to dive!

* - Our Maximum Leader provided the background on these photos. In the second one, you can see a little of the texture of her fur.

** - I might start smaller, say 2 ATM, but it kills me to have to spend another $0.50 at the gas station to run another test at 3 ATM.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dove La Jolla Cove Again, Now I Want A Camera

This morning, my son and I dove La Jolla Cove again. We went out to the kelp beds and slowly cruised around. We didn't go any deeper than 30' and saw some cool stuff, including a small lobster hiding out in a crevasse.

My Kodak Playsport is rated to 10', but I'm wondering how it will do down at 30'. I think the next time I do, I'm going to take it in a ziplock bag and bring it out once we get to about 10-15' There were plenty of interesting things to record as we came back to shore and things got shallower.

The manual says that if the seals leak and water gets in, all you need to do is open it up and let the thing dry. It doesn't sound like it will be too damaged by the water ...

The Last Step Before Hitting The Road

... is completely rewiring the car.

I brought home my little MGB from the guy who was finishing the restoration yesterday afternoon. The fellow had done everything else, but got stuck on the wiring. The entire wiring harness had to be replaced and the one we got from Moss Motors wasn't a perfect 1-1 match for the one that had rotted away in the car.

Instead of using the not-quite-so-perfect harness, I'm going to rewire the thing using the concepts outlined here.

I've got my work cut out for me!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Collapse In Confidence Is A Good Thing, Not A Bad Thing

Instaglenn links to this post with verbiage suggesting it's a sign of a problem. Here's a tidbit from the original.
Both the turmoil in the financial markets and a procession of dismal new poll results point toward the same unmistakable conclusion: All of the leading figures and institutions in Washington are facing a collapse in public confidence probably unmatched since late in Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

President Obama’s approval ratings are now frequently running at 45 percent or lower—not enough to win a second term. Two recent national polls placed the approval rating for Congress near its all-time low. Consumer confidence measures are scraping lows comparable to 1992 and 1980, years that produced electoral earthquakes (and independent presidential challengers).
Admitting you have a problem is halfway to solving it, so this collapse in confidence is a good thing. The concept of centralized management of the nation is a failure. People are losing faith in Washington because they are beginning to admit there is a problem with the concept of government as savior.

Lots of money and time and effort and smart people's careers were spent on the War on Poverty to no effect. Dittos for education. The same goes true for all kinds of things. That $14T+ deficit wasn't run up by lighting the money on fire, it was spent trying to solve problems through centralized control of the nation. That's why it's a Federal debt. Of course people are losing faith in the thing. It's not working.

Figuring this out is the first step towards dealing with the consequences of trying a bad idea. It's a good thing, not a bad one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How Can The American Dream Be Dead?

So I was clicking around the Interweb Tubes yesterday and I came across an interview of Mark Steyn by Sean Hannity. I'm not going to link to the video here because I think Sean Hannity is a creep. Mark's new book is an apocalyptic follow-up to America Alone. Sean started the interview by saying he was afraid the American Dream was dead.

What a dingbat. How is it possible for it to be dead?

America's greatness came from people building their lives through individual effort. No matter how badly our financial situation becomes, the people that crossed the Great Plains and settled the West had it worse than us. The American Dream isn't about guarantees and standards of living, it's about having the freedom to succeed or fail based on your own performance.

The American Dream is dead. Bah! What balderdash.

Here, an 1890s prospector is waiting for his Federal Green Energy Subsidy payments outside of the Sacramento Diversity Center's OSHA-approved Disabled Persons Labor Training Center. That kind of thing is what made America great, you know.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cheezburger of the Day

A Simple Explanation Of The Rioting

... and the racial attacks in Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

It was fun, all their friends were doing it and there was no reason to stop.

There. That's it. No need to bring in 19th century political philosophies or complicated rationales that date back to the days before indoor plumbing.

These were not the rioters in London or Milwaukee.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An Antidote For Market Crashes And Looting

I never get tired of seeing our Maximum Leader reclining on our hardwood floor. I love the contrast and the warm background colors around her.

Every Advantage Is On The Side Of The Looters

Looters: Missile weapons, numbers, aggression, lack of restraint, speed, agility.

Police: Body armor and shields.

This video is mind-blowing in it's total repudiation of what Australia's Herald Sun calls "a managerial, bureaucratic process-driven style of policing hatched in the rarefied confines of academia rather than on the harsh reality of the streets."

The looters are all offense and the police are all defense. Because the police have no missile weapons and are too weighed down with armor to pursue their enemy, the looters can engage and disengage at will with absolutely no risk to themselves. The psychology of the mob changes the instant they realize this - at about 0:30. The problem isn't that one mob figured this out, it's that they all did or all will in the very near future.

This is what happens when you won't aggressively defend your culture.

Who We Are

I found this awesome video over at Chesterton and Friends. Great stuff.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Spinelessly Excusing Evil

... begets more evil.

Another domino is falling in the progressive era as coddled youth take to the streets in London and elsewhere across Britain to loot and destroy while the progressives talk in long-outdated terms.



I spent some time last night perusing the BBC and Telegraph live blogs of the rampages and it struck me that the context was still that of 19th century class warfare, the staple of the left. The standard trope was that they were getting back at the bankers and the rich and the exploiters and all of the normal semi-Marxist rubbish.

Police brutality was the excuse for this wave of vandalism and violence as the cops shot and killed some guy during a police action. No serious person can cling to those explanations. These weren't factory workers whose comrades were being maimed in dangerous jobs as they worked 14-hour days for a pittance. They weren't subject to random arrest and police beatings. They weren't illiterate beggars who had been abandoned by society. There was no sign of oppression or poverty or a lack of education that is the foundation of modern, progressive theology. It was just looting for fun.

Some other, random thoughts.
  • In the first video, dig how the cops just stand by and let the rioters throw things at them and burn things. Confronted with evil, they back off.

  • I wonder how well the insurance companies will pay off. The insurance companies have lots of investments that aren't doing so well these days, thanks to the bankruptcy caused by the Eurosocialists who spent their money coddling these parasites. The underlying security blanket was that every other time they had stolen or smashed, their victims had magically repaired themselves. That's not going to go on forever as the magic behind the rebuilding is running out.

  • Some of the videos resembled those from the Blitz in 1940. London firefighters hosing down burned out buildings. Where was the modern-day RAF chasing away and defeating the enemy? Grounded for sensitivity training, no doubt.

  • Can you remain a progressive after these parasites burn down your home or business? When do you grow a backbone and call this what it is?

  • What did the rioters learn from this? I didn't see much in the way of deterrence to prevent another one of these.

  • In the live blogs I read, there were cases where Muslim shops were spared because gangs of Muslim youths stood guard. Hmmm. Someone's got a spine.

  • When do the vigilante gangs start forming?
This moral bankruptcy will stop when it can't go on any longer. That day might just coincide with fiscal bankruptcy.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Link(s) of the Day

Why I love Newcastle football. I had to link to this video because it disabled embedding. It's hilarious and worth a watch.

A great rundown on how to choose your English Premiere League team. It's a few years out of date, but Newcastle comes in 3rd in the guy's analysis with these tidbits included:
Unintentional Comedy: During a 2005 game, two Newcastle teammates famously got into a fistfight during a game and both got red-carded. Now THAT, my friends, is a dysfunctional franchise....

Can't Decide if This is a Bonus Reason For or Against: According to the readers, "They have a rabid fan base from a depressed former industrial town where the accent makes fans' speech absolutely incomprehensible," which they call "Geordie" (like it's a real language).

Out of Ideas

Last night's short post about the ECB buying potentially hundreds of billions of Euros worth of Spanish and Italian debt illustrates yet another step towards the end of the modern progressive era. The Euros, our models in socialist capitalism have now failed to the point where they aren't even bothering to come up with a theory upon which to base their actions. They are simply printing money on a "large scale" to cover their spending.

I'm really not sure what else to say about that or the US debt downgrade. There's no hint of a plan or an idea any more, there's just ranting and raving on the side of the progressives. Our Monks of Miscellaneous Musings have summarized it quite nicely. My favorite is the part where Senator Kerry demands that the media stop reporting the Tea Party point of view.

Tell me that's not a sign of total panic.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Whoa, Nellie!

FRANKFURT—The European Central Bank signaled it would purchase government bonds of Italy and Spain on a large scale, in the most dramatic and controversial escalation of its nearly two-year effort to stem Europe's unfolding debt crisis.

Dove the Kelp Beds Today

... off of La Jolla Cove. It looked a lot like this.

It was our first dive without an instructor and it went well. We learned a lot - particularly that we need to know our hand signals. There were a couple of clearings in the kelp where it would have been nice to just stop and take a look around. Since we'd all agreed ahead of time on a direction to swim, we just kept going in that direction. While we saw lots of cool things, we didn't see as much as we would have had we spent 10 minutes nosing around in one spot.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cheezburger of the Day

A lot of this kind of thing happens at our house. People who don't understand cats say they're aloof, but they really aren't. They just love you in their own way.

Say Hello To QE III

In Quantitative Easing (QE) I, the Fed printed hundreds of billions of meaningless dollars and used them to buy government debt. In QE II, the Fed printed hundreds of billions more and bought still more government debt. Now that S&P has downgraded the US for the first time in history*, expect QE III.

QE III was on its way anyway because the insane terrorist extremist Jihadi Tea Party debt reduction deal that was just reached didn't actually reduce spending, it just slowed down the increase. Imagine the adjectives that would have been used had they actually cut the budget! I digress.

We need to borrow gobs and gobs and gobs of cash to finance our ongoing bender and if it was going to be hard to find it in Europe or Japan before the downgrade, it's going to be even harder now. Add to that the fact that with a $15T debt, even the tiniest uptick in interest rates on our bonds results in massive additional debt servicing costs and you've got a distinct need for QE III.

The only place to find the money we want to borrow and the only way to keep interest rates low is to run the printing presses at top speed.

Pelosi is gone and the only one slopping the trough is Ben Bernanke. Change you can believe in!

* - Barack Obama is truly a historic president.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Owl Yoga

Mark Steyn, Please Call Your Office

German birth rates continue to fall.
For Germany, the figures are the warning signs of a demographic time bomb in a fast-graying society. The number of children under the age of 18 in Germany sank to 13.1 million in 2010, down 14 percent from 2000, the German Federal Statistical Office reported Wednesday. The drop came despite considerable efforts by the German government to reverse the declining birthrate through subsidies made directly to parents and for their childcare.
Things are pretty much the same all over with regards to the benefits of prudiciousness.
Among other things, the report found that:
  • Fifteen percent of children in Germany live in poverty.
  • Children raised by single parents are especially at risk. About 37 percent of them are considered in danger of falling below the poverty line.
  • About one-third of children with single parents are living in households that receive social welfare benefits for the long-term unemployed, or Germany's so-called "Hartz IV" benefits.
This was something I'd been saving for another blog post, but I'll ask it in short form here - knowing these stats, how can you be both progressive and libertine? How is it possible to care about the poor and yet not vigorously support objective morality?

Back to my main point. If you haven't read it, you might want to give it a try:

Thursday, August 04, 2011

What Is Borrowing?

It's just taking profits and opportunities from tomorrow. In reading that little bit from Der Spiegel I posted yesterday, it hit me harder than ever - "They need a new economic stimulus package in order to fight the high levels of unemployment" just means solving today's unemployment problem with still more unemployment tomorrow.

Personal example: When you borrow money buy a house, it may be a wise investment, but it still represents a commitment of future funds that could have been used doing something else. The money I pay on my mortgage isn't available to use for education or charity or even the hallowed "transportation infrastructure improvement" like replacing my car.

There's nothing magic in any of this. It's all just basic arithmetic. If you spend it today, you won't have it tomorrow. If you commit tomorrow's money today, you won't have it tomorrow, either.

Historic LOL of the Day

funny pictures history - where doth be the ''wet floor'' sign?And lo there shall be a lawsuit.
see more Historic LOL

This Is All The Fault Of The Terrorist Taliban Extremist Hostage-Taking Tea Partiers

Uh oh.
Former Bank of England policy maker Willem Buiter said the European Central Bank will revive its bond-buying program to safeguard this week’s auction of Italian bonds.

“The ECB will intervene on whatever scale is necessary to allow Italy to conduct its auction on Thursday,” Buiter, now chief economist at Citigroup Inc., told reporters in London today. “If the ECB doesn’t come in, the Italian bond auction is likely to fail.”
If only the Italians were allowed to increase their debt ceiling without conditions! Then they could go on spending and spending and spending!

Err, that is the problem, isn't it? It's not something else, right?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Link of the Day - Inside North Korea

Great photos. Click here.

Advice From Europe

Der Spiegel summarizes German reactions to the debt ceiling deal with this little tidbit included, taken from Die Tageszeitung:
"Nevertheless, the American savings package is very problematic in the long-term. The US should not have made puny cuts, but rather have made extravagant spending increases. They need a new economic stimulus package in order to fight the high levels of unemployment."
Extravagant spending increases are necessary. Das ist gut, mein herr!

Hmm, on second thought, tell you what - you guys do it first and let us know how that all works out.

Cheezburger of the Day

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Solution, Of Course, Was To Simply Increase Our Debt Ceiling

... or maybe not.

Personally, I blame the terrorist lunatic Taliban extremist Tea Partiers for blocking our path into Europaradise.

Aside: Italy?!? Spain?!? Uh oh.


Opinion: The Tea Party Crazies are wrecking the country by slashing budgets!
These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took.
Fact: Spain and Italy's interest rates are rising precipitously as investors question their ability to service their debts.
The yield for the Spanish 10-year bond rose as far as 6.45 percent, the highest since the euro was created. The rate is near the levels seen in Greece, Ireland and Portugal before they were forced to ask for rescue loans, and prompted Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to delay his vacation to monitor the situation.

Italy's equivalent bond yield jumped to 6.18 percent, above where it was before July 21, when the EU announced its latest debt crisis plan, including a second Greek bailout, to calm and contain market jitters.

Spain's main stock index was down 1.3 percent in late afternoon trading after plunging 3.2 percent a day earlier, while Italy's fell another 1.4 percent.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A Small Complaint About Audible

First off, I love I rarely listen to radio or music any more, I'm a complete Audible addict. However, when I go and search for a title (I'm currently working my way through P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves series), it doesn't filter the search results based on my library. Instead, I get the full list of Jeeves books, including the six or so titles I already own. What's the point of that? I'm not going to buy what I've already got and it just clutters up the search results, making it harder to find what I'm looking for and even making it harder for me to make an impulse buy.


Cheezburger of the Day

Link Of The Day

Our Monks of Miscellaneous Musings have got some juicy smack for your viewing pleasure. Mmmm. Smack.

Obama Surrenders To Crazy Extremist Taliban Tea Partiers

... and I'm having Costco's generic brand of Frosted Mini-Wheats for breakfast. It doesn't look like to world ended to me.