Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Cause and Effect

After closing thousands of square miles in northern Minnesota to mining, Biden was in Canada to hand out grants for mining the same resources in Canada that he shut down in Minnesota. He did the same thing in Japan as well. So after banning the mining of these resources in his own country by his own workers, Biden is paying Japanese and Canadian workers to mine them, and will then purchase the resources from those foreign countries.

The Biden administration is paying Japan and Canada to do something for us that we are entirely capable of doing for ourselves, that we need done, but which we consider politically inconvenient, even evil. So we simply pay someone else to do it for us and claim credit for “saving the planet.”

We are dealing with a government which never listens to itself when it speaks and does not consider the consequences of its own actions.

The government, for instance, promotes a policy of “land acknowledgements,” which consists of beginning a meeting by reminding local native tribes that we are holding the meeting on land that was stolen from them and which will not be returned to them. This is supposed to make the native tribes feel better because we are “honoring them.” I suspect that many of the native tribes do not see it that way.

The government thrives on reminding black people (entirely inaccurately, of course) that they are so incompetent that they cannot help but continue to allow white people to oppress them and cannot make the oppression stop unless the federal government does it for them.

The government hosts a military that historically derives its enlistment 50% or more from southern states, so they proceed to tell southerners that their culture and heritage is evil and that all traces of it will be purged from the military. Statues of southern heroes will be removed, and bases honoring southerners will be renamed. They then wonder why they are unable to fill their enlistment requirements.

Banning mining was nominally done for the purpose of “saving the planet,” but in reality was done to secure the “green vote.” No thought was given to the effect that such action would have on the supply of vital resources, and so they outsource the banned mining (and the employment) to other nations.

They are perfectly happy to have other nations pillage the earth and pollute, because pillaging and polluting is not why they banned mining. They banned mining to get votes, and allowing other nations to do what they banned in the US does not lose them those votes.

The members of our government have one and only one guiding principle, which is securing and maintaining power.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Embarrassing

A balloon, which the Chinese did not hesitate to say is theirs, wandered into US territory, unmolested because NORAD saw it coming and evaluated it as a weather balloon which posed no threat. The news media became aware of it when it when it got to Montana and surmised that, while China claimed it to be measuring weather, it might also be a spy balloon and be sending sensitive military information along with, or instead of, weather data.

The military, NORAD, apparently had not thought of that, because they had not used balloons for intelligence gathering since the Civil War, what with satellites and supersonic aircraft being so much efficient. Among other things, you can steer those puppies, and you can’t steer balloons, making them rather seriously inefficient at taking pictures of targets that are 6000 miles away. NORAD, not unreasonably, assumed that the Chinese are living in the 21st Century.

The US Executive branch, which routinely ignores our military, but which never ignores the media, decides that the balloon is such a dire threat that it must be destroyed before it can reveal all of this nation’s vital secrets. The ones, that is which have not already been revealed by all of the secret documents hidden in Trump’s basement. Um, and the ones in Biden’s basement.

So the Teleprompter Reader in Chief tells the military to shoot the balloon down. They do so, using a missile no less. To shoot down a balloon. They may have sent all of their bullets to Ukraine.

They wait to do so, however, until the balloon has left US territory and is out over the Atlantic. This is not like the metaphorical locking the barn door. This is more like ignoring the barn door and shooting the horse after it has been stolen.

The military is recovering the dead corpse wreckage, and NBC news is excitedly telling us that is has lots of antennas, so that it could have been sending information back to China. They don’t mention that it might have nothing more than weather data, or that a weather balloon that could not send data to the organization that launched it would not make much sense. Of course it has antennas.

You’d think that the story was sufficiently embarrassing, but no, there’s more.

Another flying object appeared over Alaska and we did not know what it was so what did we do? We shot it down. Yep. If you don’t know what it is destroy it.

Like a bunch of nasty little kids moseying through the woods who come across a little creature rooting around in the undergrowth. They cannot identify what it is. Their response? “We don’t know what it, so let’s kill it.” The US in a nutshell.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Why Russia?

I have been trying for some time to imagine why Russia is portrayed as a threat to the United States in the 21st Century, as an enemy who we think wants to “undermine our democracy,” and I have been able to come up with no reason that makes any sense.

It’s not about the Cold War and a reawakening of hatred of the Soviet Union as some pundits claim. That might be the issue if the hostility had persisted since the Iron Curtain days, but such is not the case. The two nations were getting along very well as recently as the Obama administration.

Remember Obama sitting next to the Russian President at an international conference and getting caught saying to him that they could work together after Obama’s reelection was complete?

Some, many today, attribute it to the “fact” that Putin “invaded and occupied Crimea,” but that is not the cause either, because the concept of Russia as our enemy preceded the overthrow of the Crimean government in 2014. Whatever led to Crimea becoming part of Russia, it was after the Crimean government was overthrown by whomever overthrew it.

Then I watched a podcast on a website called “The Saker.” The discussions and podcasts on that site vary quite a lot as to quality, but some of them are very worthwhile. This one was a discussion with Douglas Macgregor, formerly of the US Army, and he seems to know what he is talking about. It’s about 20 minutes long and is, in my opinion, worth listening to.

It’s a discussion centered around the war in Ukraine, and is mostly about NATO’s role in that conflict. The part that interested me was toward the end where he gets into the nature and the basic role of NATO. He quite properly describes it as a defensive alliance and goes into the futility of employing it in an offensive manner, since it is simply not created or structured to fulfill that role.

The part that rang the bell for me was when he referred to NATO as a “sacred cow” and cited the aphorism that, “Sacred cows are seldom slain, they usually simply disappear.” He went on to say that since NATO refused to disappear, that the war in Ukraine would probably be the cause of NATO being slain. Brilliant.

That led me to think that Russia as an enemy was the cause of NATO refusing to disappear. NATO was formed as a mutual defense against the Soviet Union, and when that enemy dissolved, NATO either needed a new threat or it needed to disappear. It was only a few years before Russia was the new threat, solely to preserve NATO.

Monday, January 30, 2023

In the face of hardship

 36% of the starting lineup:

L’Jarius Sneed CB - injured, didn’t return.
Kadarius Toney WR - injured, didn’t return.
Juju Smith-Schuster WR - injured, didn’t return.
Mecole Hardman RB - injured, did not start.
Willie Gay LB injured - didn’t return.
Justin Watson S - injured, did not start.
Patrick Mahomes QB - injured, played through
Travis Kelce TE - injured, played through

They led most of the game and won in the last minute anyway.

Friday, January 27, 2023

How Did I Miss This?

Given the known link between corporations and government, it should not have been possible for me to write about two events and not notice the connection between them. Not sure just how serious I am about the connection, but for what it's worth...

Friday before last I wrote about San Diego & Electric giving us notification that our heating bill would increase in January due to a massive increase in the cost of natural gas. Sure enough, we got a notice that our bill, which was $247 in December, would be between $560 and $600 for January. Wow.

Then last Friday I wrote about the city of San Diego planning to mandate that all residential properties within the city would be required to convert from gas appliances to electric ones in the very near future. 

I failed to notice that SDG&E is preparing the way for city government, making us willing for the city to do something to us that we would not otherwise stand for. Isn't it nice that the city is going to help us save all that money?

Oh wait, it's going to cost me $30,000 to make the conversion. So, based on saving about $1500 per year by using electricity instead of gas (since San Diego also has the most expensive electric power in the nation), I will have to live to the age of 101 in order to recoup my investment. Odds are heavily against that.

Not to mention that I would have to spend those years cooking on an electric range, which would be somewhat like living in the Southwest corner of Hell.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Insanity Reigns

Even assuming that all claims made about climate change are valid, San Diego is leading the way as to engaging in insane responses to solving the problem.

The city Council has decided that our gas stoves, water heaters and furnaces are a contributor to climate change to a degree that warrants the citizens of this city spending $18 Billion to reduce (not eliminate) the issue. That’s $18,000,000,000.00.

The council has already passed an ordinance that all new construction commercial and residential, single family and multi-family,  must be built without natural gas hookups, effective immediately.

Since we are currently straining the limit of our existing power system, and are frequently directed to use appliances only at “off peak hours,” it is unclear where we are going to get the electric power to replace the gas appliances that will not be installed in all of this new construction. Probably by having the power company run backup generating stations which are powered by… Wait for it. Natural gas.

Not to mention the tens of thousands of electric cars that are mandated by new state laws at the same time.

The City Council is also intending to pass a directive that all existing buildings, commercial and residential, multi-family and single family, must be retro fitted to eliminated the use of natural gas. They have estimated the cost, which will be borne by the owners, to be $30,000 per unit, so this plan is proving to be highly unpopular. The groundswell of unpopularity is not deterring them in the least.

Since there are, by the Council’s estimate, 60,000 buildings in the city of 1.4 million people, that comes to a conversion cost of $18 Billion, or about $13,850 per San Diego resident.

And that is to reduce, not eliminate, an unknown amount of carbon emissions, (no one even claims that such emissions have never been measured) by an unknown degree, since we are not going to quit heating our houses and water, and cooking our dinners. We’ll be heating and cooking using electricity, which is generated in large part by… Wait for it. Fossil fuels.

And they are in a hurry. They plan to mandate that the conversion be 50% completed by 2030, just seven years from now, and that it be 90% complete by 2035. They seem to be realistic enough to acknowledge that it will never achieve perfection, as they have set no date for 100% completion.

We elected these people. The question is, why?

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Friday, January 06, 2023

Rational Narrative

We received notice from San Diego Gas & Electric this week that our heating costs will “more than double” in January over what we experienced in December. This is due, they told us, to price increases in natural gas, which is in turn caused by extremely cold weather being experienced throughout the United States this winter.

SDG&E does not produce any natural gas, but purchases it on the open market from campaniles which do produce it and, in some cases, from pipeline companies.

Notice that SDG&E did not attribute any of this cost increase to inflation. This is because the government has controlled inflation and because, in any case, the government has declared that natural gas and all other forms of energy are exempt from inflation.

(Okay, I was engaging in snark there. Of course inflation is far from being controlled and prices for energy increase at the same time that prices for everything else do. The government, however, does not include energy prices when calculating inflation because they are “too volatile.” What, government computers cannot keep up with the pace at which energy prices change? They must use very old computers. Maybe beads on strings.)

Nor, we are told, is the price increase due to availability issues caused by shipping American natural gas to Europe to replace Russian natural gas which we cut off by means of sanctions. (And, of course, by blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.)

Sending our allies in Europe into the dark ages because we don’t like Russia seems counterproductive to me, but at least we are making a lot of money out of the deal by selling gas to Europe at high prices to replace the low priced Russian gas that we won’t allow them to buy.

Why Europe doesn’t just tell us to pound sand and continue buying Russian gas is unclear. Maybe they are afraid we’ll “impound” (steal) their money the same way we “impounded” (stole) Russia’s money.

So with inflation and shortages due to export ruled out, we are left with an unusually cold winter as the reason for price increases. That cold winter, we are told, is caused by “climate change” along with warmer oceans and melting of the polar ice caps.

If you are having a hard time reconciling colder winters with warmer oceans and melting ice caps, you are not alone. You are insisting on what’s known as a “rational narrative,” which means you are definitely not a Democrat.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Not Surprised

Has anyone noticed that gasoline prices went down before the November elections? 

Has anyone noticed that now, less than a month after those elections, gasoline prices are rising again? Is anyone surprised by that?

I'm not. I predicted it.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Amusing Moments

My wife and I take care of each other, which is what old people (which we are) do when they love each other (which we do). That sometimes can get a little comical, which we won't go into, and sometimes involves our own private language.

Such as when I'm taking medication for back pain and she doesn't trust me to remember to take it as instructed, which results in her asking her recovering alcoholic husband, "Did you take some more drugs?"  Yes, I did, but I appreciated her asking.

Oh yes, and Russia ran out of missiles again last week, then fired 120 more missiles again yesterday. I have lost count of how many times Russia has run out of missiles. It's at least a couple of dozen times.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Football Highlight and Lowlight

The Chiefs have just taken the lead, 30-27, and there are 31 seconds left. The Chargers have one time out left. The Chiefs are going to line up with four players 25 yards deep, four players 15 yards deep, and will engage in a three-man pass rush, enabling the Chargers to complete a fifty yard pass.

But no! What's this? The Chiefs have 11 players on the line of scrimmage! It's a jailbreak! And they sack the Chargers quarterback!!!

Time for one more play, and they do it again!!! Interception!! Who knew? Eleven men on the line of scrimmage is actually a "prevent defense."

Update, Dec 17, 2022: Last week against Miami, the Chargers have 3rd and goal at the 17-yard line, which is less than a sterling accomplishment in itself. The Dolphins defensive alignment consists of three men at the line of scrimmage, three on the goal line, and the remaining five men in the end zone. Eight players 17 or more yards away from the line of scrimmage.

Oddly, the Chargers did not score! With the Dolphins giving them 17 yards of empty grass between them and the end zone, they did not score.

A completed pass was carried out of bounds 18" short of the goal line. The Chargers went for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Artificial Reasoning

I am most certainly not a scientist, but I grew up in an era when students were taught to think rationally, along the lines of, “regardless of who says it, if it doesn’t make any sense it isn’t true.” I therefor do not subscribe to the modern religion of blindly accepting as gospel anything that is spoken by a government official, journalist or putative scientist.

So when I read an article in Quantum Magazine which tells me that physicists have detected a stunning new, heretofore unknown “feature of the fundamental laws that operated during the Big Bang,” I am not necessarily or automatically awestruck by the genius of the parties involved. (Especially given that the Big Bang itself is an unproven theory, so discovering "features of fundamental laws" that operated during an unproven event is more than a bit questionable.)

The discovery has to do, the article tells us, with “a striking asymmetry in the arrangements of galaxies in the sky.” Why anyone would expect the galaxies in the universe to be symmetrically distributed escapes me, as it’s rather like expecting trees in a natural forest to be in nice neat rows like an apple orchard.

Given that the Big Bang Theory says that the universe was created when something exploded, scattering material in all directions, why did they think that the material would be scattered symmetrically? 

Well, let’s move on to how they discovered this asymmetry.
 
The article reports that, “…the researchers drew lines between sets of four galaxies, constructing four-cornered shapes called tetrahedra. When they had built every possible tetrahedron from a catalog of 1 million galaxies, they found that tetrahedra oriented one way outnumber their mirror images.”

You have to be kidding me. How long did it take these “researchers,” and how much did they get paid, to play “connect the dots” with one million fucking galaxies? Why did they choose to connect in sets of four? Why not three and make triangles? Or five and make pentagons?

How do they know that they started with the right four galaxies? What if they started with three of those four and included a different one as the fourth in the initial group? What if they stared with two of those four and included a different two? How did they determine how to select the other sets of four?

“If the observation withstands scrutiny,” the article goes on to say, using the term “observation” rather generously, “physicists think it must reflect an unknown, parity-violating ingredient in the primordial process,” which would rather seriously disparage the thinking capacity of physicists.

They do, finally, caution that with “such a blockbuster finding” that “experts say caution is warranted.” I would suggest that a little more than mere caution is warranted.

This is what “science” has deteriorated into; “researchers” playing connect the dots with star maps.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gaslighting

I sometimes watch NBC Evening News, typically until I am faced with a piece containing such virulent dishonesty that I vow never to watch it again. That usually doesn't not take long.

Last night they ran a piece on “Cyber Monday” holiday shopping, celebrating 5.8% increase in sales over last year and telling us that it constituted the “largest holiday shopping day in history” and that it was caused by “a mix of inflation and demand.”

It’s difficult to find what current inflation is, as the media is busy grinding axes and each outlet reports different segments depending on which point they are trying to make. Inflation is easing because gasoline prices are dropping, for instance, or it’s increasing because the price of spiral-cut ham went up.

The numbers that I can find for overall consumer goods ranges from 6.6% to 7.2% year-to-year, but no report claims as low as 5.8%. So a 5.8% increase in spending is not a “mix” of anything. It is caused entirely by inflation and represents a reduction of the actual amount of goods purchased, which makes the entire news story a lie.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Peak Insanity

The Department of Justice, increasingly a misnomer, has named a "Special Investigator" to pursue Donald Trump regarding the Jan 6th "insurrection," and in regard to papers which were stored in his home and which the FBI has revealed had no value other than as, um, sort of trophies.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Republicans have announced that as soon as they are sworn in and have control of the House they will commence an investigation of Joe Biden and his business dealings with various enemies of the United States.

So we now have both political parties investigating the heads of their opposing political parties and have become the Disunited States of Investigations, DSI, devolving from comedy into farce.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Football Sanity Question

Now that the Raiders, having been in the playoffs last season, have achieved the stellar record of 2-7, are they finally going to show the same good judgement that the Broncos did and fire Josh McDaniels? 

That is a sequel to the imponderable question of why in the hell did they hire him to begin with?

I watched as much of the Chargers vs. 49ers as I could stand. That was two sorry looking football teams. Looked like 22 drunks out on a field chasing each other.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

A Plethora of Rights

San Diego City Council is considering a resolution to declare that “housing is a human right” to go along with what seems to be an established policy that “health care is a human right.”

The policy would be accompanied by laws requiring landlords to pay the tenant three months rent if they decide to sell the property, or if they decide to renovate it, but the details don’t matter. At issue, for me, is the basic one of one person’s property or service being the basis for another person’s “right.”

If I own a home, which I built or am paying for with my money, what valid principle gives you a right to live in it? On the other side of that coin, why do you have a right to live in a home that you neither built or paid for? In order for this idea to hold, one has to discard the whole concept of the right to hold property.

Similarly, health care is a service provided by people who are providing that service in order to earn money to house and feed their families. What gives anyone a right to receive the fruit of those people’s labor? Is a doctor a de facto slave to anyone who has become sick?

If a physician decides that he/she no longer wishes to perform that service, but wants to work as an auto mechanic in the future, can that person be prosecuted by the federal government for denying his/her patients their civil rights, that is their right to receive health care?

It’s a reasonable conclusion, is it not. The premise is that those patients have a human right to health care, and the doctor is denying them their right.

In one news piece the reporter was referring to a “person’s right not to be offended.” This country is becoming a morass of “rights,” mostly imaginary, which are designed to make life comfortable. In doing so they make the nation weak.

Friday, October 28, 2022

More Irony

The United States weaponizes Ukraine to the hilt against Russia via an array of “consultants,” advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weapons, munitions, satellite intelligence, and electronic warfare. We don’t even deny this, we openly brag about it, and we are not selling these things to Ukraine, we are providing them as gifts.

Then, in yet another trademark boatload of hysteria loaded to the gunwales with irony, we accuse Iran of weaponizing the Russian Armed Forces by selling them drones.

I Love It

SportsScroll ran an article about the worst NFL coaches of all time and included Josh McDaniels, who was an assistant under Belichek for the Patriots before and after serving as head coach of the Denver Broncos.

One wonders how much he contributed to the Patriots, given that his first season with the Broncos their record was 8-8, and he was fired during his second season when the team was at 3-9.

The Raiders then come along and hire him as head coach, at $1 million per year, and currently have a record of 2-5 in his first year. Question. Why would the Raiders think that he would be any better in Las Vegas than he was in Denver?

Friday, October 21, 2022

Slanted Much?

When the stock market falls, the media always cites the drop in terms of how many dollars the drop was. "Dow dropped $439," it will tell us.

When it rises the media will tell us what the percentage of rise was. "Dow rose 1.39%," is the headline.

Would it surprise you to know that the huge drop of $439 and the miniscule rise of 1.39% are precisely the same amount?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Forecasting (Probably Accurate)

James Howard Kunstler speaks of, "...the magic moment when the necromancers of finance discover that the proverbial can they’ve been kicking is filled with Schrödinger’s cat food, and the road they’ve been kicking it down actually comes to a dead end."  He goes on to say that, "Economics will never be the same hereafter."

 You can read the whole thing. He is not an admirer of American governance.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Peter Principle

Just because one is good at participating in a sport does not mean they will become a success at officiating that sport, or will be very illuminating as announcer for it.

The Alabama quarterback was sacked in his own endzone. He lost the ball after going down, which rolled out of bounds in the end zone. Texas was celebrating a safety until they noticed a flag on the play.

The official announced “roughing the passer with targeting” and that there would be a review. So far, so good, but the Texas player barely hit the quarterback, and did not come anywhere near his head, so the first part of the call was a stretch, and the second was pure fiction. Targeting requires a review, but roughing the passer is not reviewable, so the two-point safety was out and Alabama was going to get a first down just based on the roughing part of the call.

Not so fast. The review established that there was no targeting, but it also made it very clear that the roughing call was ridiculous. Problem was, however, that roughing is not reviewable. The official then gave a complicated explanation about the call having been explained to him wrong and that roughing had never been called, only the targeting had and that there was no targeting. (And no roughing, not because it was overturned, but because that penalty had never been called.)

He did not explain how targeting, hitting the quarterback in the head, can be called without also calling roughing the passer. It would seem impossible, but… So there was no penalty. That would make it a sack, and two points for Texas.

He wasn’t done yet. He said that the quarterback was out of the pocket and had not fumbled the ball but had thrown it, and it was therefor an incomplete pass, third down Alabama at the one yard line.

If the quarterback had thrown, rather than fumbled, the ball, which he did not, the ball did not reach the line of scrimmage, which means it was “intentional grounding.” That would be a penalty committed in the end zone, which is by definition, wait for it... A safety.

So the official’s ignorance, abetted by the announcers’ ignorance, was a gift of two points to Alabama, which won the game by one point.

On to Indycar, and the season ending race at Laguna Seca. Will Power was leading in the championship by 21 points and was starting on the pole. Joseph Newgarten, second place in the points, was starting at the rear, in 26th place.

As Newgarten worked his way up in the field, the announcers, both former Indycar drivers, got all excited, implying, and even saying that all Newgarten had to do was pass Power to win the championship. I knew different, and was becoming increasingly annoyed, as it was increasingly unlikely that Newgarten was even going to take the lead in the race, let alone pass Power for the championship.

Finally one of the announcers calmed down as he said that, “We have been informed that because of the way that race points are awarded if Will Power finishes fifth or better he will win the championship.”

I knew that before the race started, as did a million other people. Why did they not?

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Burying The Lede

It tends to amuse me when the media promote social causes by using stories which “bury the lede,” that is, which ignore points within the story which utterly refute the point which they are trying to make.

“This is the worst drought in 200 years.” To suggest that it is caused by current human activity raising CO2 levels ignores that the worse drought 200 years ago was not caused by current human activity and happened when CO2 levels were lower. Why do we suppose that, not having caused that drought, we did cause this one? The planet has been having droughts for many centuries.

The Anazazi people, who built amazing cities in the cliffs of the Southwest, disappeared somewhere around the 14th century. According to Britannica, “The Great Drought (1276–99) probably caused massive crop failure; rainfall continued to be sparse and unpredictable until approximately 1450,” which contributed to their disappearance. Did the Anazazi people cause that drought, too?

The most recent is the appearance of “Hunger Stones” in the rivers of Europe. These stones have been exposed by river levels dropping to the lowest levels that they have been in centuries. Back then, people carved notes on the stones recording the severe conditions prevailing when the rivers became that dry. One stone dates from the year 1616 and others from the 19th century.

We were probably burning some fossil fuels in the 19th century, but not a hell of a lot. How much fossil fuel were we burning in the year 1616? And yet when the rivers drop to the same level that they did when we were not burning fossil fuel, we blame the drop on the fact that we are burning fossil fuel.

The rivers dry up when the CO2 level is 280ppm, and when they dry up now we claim that they did so because the CO2 level is 420ppm.

To bemoan that something is “the worst it has been since…” is an admission that it has happened before now, that the condition is not unique. It says that the condition existed when your purported cause did not yet exist. For statement of actual systemic disaster attributable to your purported cause one needs, “this is the worst it has ever been,” which we virtually never see.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Big Weekend Upcoming

Big, big weekend coming up. To start with, Formula 1 goes to Holland (Netherlands). Dutch Grand Prix. Max Verstappen's home course. This is a downforce course, so he won't dominate like he did in Belgium, but Zandvoort is a really cool curcuit.

MotoGP is on television. In case you don't know, this is motorcycles on Formula 1 race courses. They go as fast as 200 mph, and in the turns lean over at 70 degrees. Exciting stuff. Those riders are nuts. They're on NBC Sunday afternoon.

Indycar is on the road course at Portland. It's a really nice circuit and usually provides for interesting competition.

Finally, college football opens with two games featuring what I consider home teams. San Diego State plays in their new stadium against Arizona Saturday, and LSU plays Florida State on Sunday. Both should be fun games to watch.

I have the best wife in the world. She is happy for me to have all these sports to watch and makes her plans around me doing so.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Why do they do things like this?

Mark Wahlberg said he spent 12 hours naked on a pier while filming his latest movie "Me Time." Well, he wasted his time. The movie was probably the worst movie in several decades. I watched about 12 minutes and turned it off. Utter garbage.

Friday, August 26, 2022

A Non-sentient Race

The human race was living in North America 15,000 years ago. The area was still in the throes of the last Ice Age, which would not end for another 3000 years. The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere was 46 degrees, some 11 degrees cooler than it is today.

The human race is still living in North America. Or I think it’s the human race. Sometimes I’m not sure.

Anyway, the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has risen 11 degrees, a process which not only has the human race survived, but during which it has thrived and multiplied, but we are told that we will be catastrophically destroyed if the temperature rises another 2 degrees.

To repeat a bit; we survived an 11 degree rise, but we will not survive a 2 degree rise. Does that sound a little bit stupid to you? Did we lose our ability to adapt? Or did we merely lose our intelligence?

Since we, apparently, no longer can change ourselves or the way we have been doing things for the past 100 years or so (other than by using electricity to do it instead of “fossil” fuels), we propose to change the way the planet has been doing things for more than 15,000 years.

Sea levels are rising, we are told. I have seen no observable evidence of that in the more than fifty years that I have been going to the beach, but let’s assume that sea levels are rising and will drown our big cities.

Perhaps we should be talking about moving our big cities inland and to higher ground, away from those rising seas. We’re not doing that. Not one person is suggesting that. We are, instead, talking about stopping the seas from rising. I spent time in the Navy. News flash. The oceans are really big.

There was a king named Canute tried what we are proposing. He was a powerful guy, being king of England and Denmark, and Norway and Sweden. He got wet.

Temperatures are rising, we are told, so maybe we should be talking about moving our populations farther north and/or to higher altitudes where it is cooler. Adapting. We’re not talking about that either. Instead we’re talking about stopping the temperature from rising, stopping the entire freaking planet from doing something that it has been doing for more than 15,000 years.

Sorry for being so blunt, but that is just plain stupid.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Government Accuracy

The "Employment Survey" produced by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy produced well over 500,000 new jobs last month, which was hailed by the media as proof that there is no recession and that the economy is growing like mad. The stock marked soared.

The "Household Survey," also produced by the BLS, reported that there were only 150,000 newly employed persons filling those newly created jobs. That should have created some suspicion about the jobs report, but it was ignored.

Do economists think that each of the newly employed persons filled 3.33 new jobs?

Friday, July 29, 2022

Redefining Reality

After a report saying that the nation has experienced a second quarter of negative growth in GDP, which has been the definition of a recession for more than fifty years, the White House is denying that we are in a recession because two quarters of negative growth is not the definition of a recession as everyone has thought for the past half century.

Just like we thought that a vaccine was a product that prevented the spread of an infectious pathogen. We were set straight on that one by the Biden White House. A vaccine does not stop the spread of a disease, like the smallpox vaccine did, it merely “reduces the risk of hospitalization or death.”

So we are now told that a recession is not defined by negative GDP, but is defined by “a much broader spectrum of data points,” which for some reason they cannot list for us. Probably because they have not made them up them yet. After all, the second negative GDP quarter was only announced yesterday.

From Politico we learn that the “National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee can determine whether the U.S. economy is in a recession, based on a multitude of factors that can only be found several months or up to a year after a recession actually begins.” And, presumably after the current election cycle has passed as well.

Economist Ben White provided a tweet reading, “Yeah I did a bad tweet a while ago referring to two negative q’s in a row as  a recession. Should have known better at the time but it had been a while since I’d studied recession criteria and that’s not it.” Right. It had, "been a while since I’d studied recession criteria."

That was not particularly illuminating, so he amplified that the actual definition is “NBER and lots of data points beyond GDP.” He, too, does not elaborate on the “lots of data points.”

Wikipedia, which cannot be used for toilet paper because it is a virtual source, admits that its article, “may be affected by the following current event: Increased political debate in the United States.” No shit.

Anyway, it says that a recession, “In the United States, a recession is defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) as ‘a significant decline in economic activity spread across the market, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales’."

Wikipedia follows that with the statement that, “In the United Kingdom and most other countries, it is defined as negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters,” which is basically saying that the NBER, and the White House, are full of shit, which is kind of awesome.

Note that, despite its name, the NBER cited repeatedly above is a private economic research organization.

I don’t really care what the “lots of data points” are, two quarters of negative GDP growth tells me we are in a recession, and my observation and common sense told me that several months ago.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Say What?

A military expert is challenged with respect to his predictions on the war in Ukraine. "You have been predicting that the Russians will soon run out of missiles, ammo and men since mid-March. And yet as predictions go it never seems to come to pass." 

The expert responds, "It is an ongoing process." 

And we keep paying attention to these oracles of wisdom, seeking their "wisdom"  and publishing their opinions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Echoing Obama

It was only a matter of time before Biden was parroting Obama with, "If Congress won't act, then I will," by means of imperial executive order.

Because we don't need no stinking constitution.

Friday, July 01, 2022

When in Doubt, Overreact

I love the hyperbolic overreaction to many of the recent Supreme Court decisions.

"Omigod, the government is not allowed to regulate carbon emissions any more!" 

Well, yes it is,  only the Supreme Court says it has to be done by elected legislators, not by unelected bureaucrats.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Roe v. Wade

Polling regarding the most recent Supreme Court decision is almost entirely stupid, because is seeks opinion on the legality of abortion, and the Supreme Court made no decision on that issue whatever. What it decided was simply that it is not a federal issue, is not an issue to be decided by the constitution, and that it must be decided by each state rather than by a federal court.

Each state is perfectly free to rule that abortion is entirely or partially legal within its borders, and many have done so. That includes California, which is experiencing rioting over the supposition that the Supreme Court outlawed abortion. Actually, the Supreme Court's decision had no effect whatever in this state, where abortion remains available to precisely the same degree that it did before the ruling. 

The media has not helped. Robert Kuttner, of The American Prospect, said of the ruling that, "the Court’s ruling today does a lot more than criminalize abortion." It did nothing of the sort, of course, let alone "a lot more." The Wall Street Journal referred to the decision as "eliminating a constitutional right to an abortion," which is another fiction. There was never a "constitutional right to an abortion," and this decision merely eliminated the fiction perpetrated by an earlier court.

What the Supreme Court even said in its ruling is that if the people of this nation want a nationwide legal right to abortion, then they can prevail upon their legislators to pass a federal law to that effect. Such a law would not be struck down because, while the constitution does not contain a provision guaranteeing abortion, it does not contain one prohibiting abortion either. The Court said explicitly they would have no problem with such a federal law should Congress decide to pass one.

Will Congress hear what was said and pass a law reflecting public opinion? Not only no but, "Oh, hell no." That would require a level of courage far above that which is possessed by Congress. They want no part of any decision on which the nation is anywhere near to being evenly divided. They punt such decisions to courts, and the executive branch. That's why they leave it to the President on all matters affecting the use of military force. That's why they will not pass a budget until the President proposes one, so that the media will endlessly prate about "the Bush tax cuts," even though Congress passed them. That's why "Obamacare" is called "Obamacare" even though Obama had almost nothing to do with any of the few good parts.

They won't pass an abortion law either; won't even allow the media to let the voters know that such a thing is possible.