"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Science is Settled

I think it's time to move on.



To a gifted diagnostician, the patient's symptoms speak. But seldom do they do so with such eloquence.

As Jonah Goldberg observes:
Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he’s lecturing us about how America’s gone “soft”? Really?


Thursday, September 29, 2011

I think we're done here . . .

. . . I'd appreciate it if the last one to leave would turn off the lights.


What is THIS about?

THIS is very strange.

So police and DEA agents in New Mexico plan and execute a massive drug raid, targeting "dozens" of suspects. In one particular instance, "multiple officers in raid gear with guns drawn" bang on the door of a citizen's home, demanding entry.

So far, so good.

But when the homeowner stands his ground, and demands to see a search warrant, the agents confess they don't have one, and leave.

Is this just some embarrassing administrative screw-up? If there's some actual reason to think a wanted fugitive is holing up at a particular place, then getting a warrant should take about 15 minutes. And this was not some spur-of-the-moment action, but a coordinated, city-wide operation.

Or are we instead to think that sometimes the police don't have a legally sufficient reason to bust down your door, but they send a goon squad anyway, counting on the likelihood that you'll be intimidated and let them in?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Physics

Researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara say they’ve built the first working quantum computer chip.

Researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara say they’ve failed to build the first working quantum computer chip.

Or it's possible that they did both.

More HERE.


"He was a hero with women's reproductive rights."

A compassionate progressive, making the hard choices necessary to improve the race.

The Charlotte [N.C.] Observer reports:
Compassionate. Visionary. A champion of women and the poor.

That's the reputation that Wallace Kuralt built as Mecklenburg County's welfare director from 1945 to 1972. Today, the building where Charlotte's poor come for help bears his name - a name made even more prominent when his newscaster son, Charles Kuralt, rose to fame.

But as architect of Mecklenburg's program of eugenic sterilization - state-ordered surgery to stop the poor and disabled from bearing children - Kuralt helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history.

The Charlotte Observer has obtained records sealed by the state that tell the stories of 403 Mecklenburg residents ordered sterilized by the N.C. Eugenics Board at the behest of Kuralt's welfare department.

It's a number that dwarfs the total from any other county, in a state that ran one of the nation's most active efforts to sterilize the mentally ill, mentally retarded and epileptic.


Monday, September 26, 2011

And she'll bitch about not getting free napkins . . . .


Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Discovery Shakes Foundations of Physics

First we learned that CERN may have detected a particle moving faster than the speed of light.

Now this:


There's no accounting for taste

Today a bunch of Canadians will apparently play a professional ice hockey game in Fort Lauderdale, where the weatherman is predicting a high of 88 degrees, with thunderstorms. It's impossible not to know that despite the fact that it's barely Autumn on the calendar, the NFL is playing games. And it's hard to avoid hearing about basketball, if only to hear that there won't be any, come Winter.

But, as it happens, it's baseball season, and the funnest part of the season at that:
Over the decades, teams falling apart during a pennant race have always made for darkly compelling viewing. Yes, watching champions spraying each other with Champagne is nice. But seeing teams — good ones, even great ones, losing night after improbable night when the games matter most — can be ghoulishly riveting.

If the Red Sox and the Braves continue their descents, this September could produce two historic collapses. No team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, has ever squandered what Boston and Atlanta are close to giving up: leads of eight or more games in the race for a spot in baseball’s postseason in the final month of the season.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Wherein David Brooks asks, "What is truth?"

David Brooks, the faux conservative New York Times columnist, wrote last week about a study of the moral lives and values of American 18- to 23-year-olds. He sounds surprised:
It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.

The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, which Smith and company recount in a new book, “Lost in Transition,” you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.

When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.

“Not many of them have previously given much or any thought to many of the kinds of questions about morality that we asked,” Smith and his co-authors write. When asked about wrong or evil, they could generally agree that rape and murder are wrong. But, aside from these extreme cases, moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner. “I don’t really deal with right and wrong that often,” is how one interviewee put it.

The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. “It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. “It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?”

Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme: “I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.”
It would be interesting to press these young people for the reasoning that leads them to "generally agree that rape and murder are wrong." We suspect that as soon as a little context is provided, we'd find the same deadly relativism regarding abortion, euthanasia, and drunk party girls.

If the Universe is simply the consequence of a long series of happy, random accidents, then there exist no objective principles to which you can resort to persuade me that your morality is preferable to my morality. In a Godless world, "morality" is no more than an invention of the weak intended to persuade the strong not to kill them.


Monday, September 19, 2011

This must be the "change" part

August, 2009:

September, 2011:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a blunt rejoinder to congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday . . . .


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reforming Social Security

Way back in 1997, there were some very smart people around talking sense about the Social Security program: that individual accounts might be a good idea; that the whole thing was a redistributionist Ponzi scheme that couldn't last:
I like [the] idea of providing each individual with a trust fund when young rather than retirement benefits when old, but we had better realize that this is a significant change in the character of the social insurance system. Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today's young may well get less than they put in).
How very far Paul Krugman has come in the intervening 14 years.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Once upon a time . . . . .

Later this month, this fellow will be 60. Recognize him? No? How about THIS GUY? Yeah. That's him.


". . . one of the most highly subsidized businesses in the United States . . . ."

Video games.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

A memorial tribute by Donald Sensing. Best viewed full screen.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Wherein we confess to reading The New York Times

On page A31 of the print edition, Paul Krugman opines:
First things first: I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.
Meanwhile, on it's website, the Times reports:
Stocks on Wall Street declined sharply on Friday and bond prices soared after a speech by President Obama on jobs added to the uncertainty already weighing on financial markets over European sovereign debt and the weak economic recovery.
We think there's an opportunity here for a real-world test: Monday morning, the White House should announce that the President is doubling the size of his "jobs" plan, from $440 billion to $880 billion. If the market tanks by 600 points (right now, it's down a bit over 300), then Krugman will shut up. If it rises, then I'll shut up.


Today's Quiz

Today, we call upon you to identify the "she" in the following passage, which appears in today's New York Times:
. . . she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.
Read the whole thing.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

In case you missed it . . . .

. . . . here's the President's speech stripped down to its essentials.


"Authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor"

No! Really! Would I make this up? Nope.

From the Oldtimer, who has recently shown a disturbing interest in "alcohol may have been a factor" stories.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Paleontologists publish new findings

"Human consumption of alcohol, long thought to have begun in the neolithic era (about 10,000 B.C.), shown to have commenced much earlier."


Monday, September 05, 2011

Presented as a public service


Buy Gold



Saturday, September 03, 2011

After we tax the rich, then who do we tax?

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Billionaire Warren Buffett may not seem to have much in common with angry laborers at town hall meetings or armies of California nurses protesting in the streets.

But these days, the executive celebrity in his boardroom and working folks on the front lines have found a common mantra as the economy continues to sputter and the 2012 election approaches: "Tax the rich."

They are joining Democratic politicians, such as U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, who pounded the issue of making "millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share" nearly a dozen times at a recent event in Oakland.

The calls have become louder as President Obama plans to unveil his jobs plan next Thursday in a highly anticipated speech that they hope will provide a counterpoint to conservative grassroots GOP groups pressing lawmakers to slash government programs to stimulate the economy - without raising taxes.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Ditch the girl, grind your own beans -- problem solved.

Apparently, this was a big problem in the 1950s.


Why NOT own a fully-automatic rifle?

That's the Question of the Day at The Truth About Guns.

Whatever you do, don't miss the comments:

"Full Auto is great for turning money into noise."
"Robb Allen once said that if you wanted to get the experience of shooting full-auto, shoot 3 rounds downrange, take a pencil and poke 27 holes in the ceiling and then burn a 20 dollar bill."

And my favorite: "I just don’t have a use for a full auto rifle because, mainly, I don’t need to lay covering fire for anyone." You don't know that, buddy; you don't know that.