Friday, July 27, 2012


"is it ‘false consciousness’ if liberals actually, in practice, favor an economy that, however prosperous, is filled with jobs where the booklearned get to boss around the unbooklearned?"

Lemonade Crime
Well I sent a copy of Old Habits to Instapundit, hopefully he'll plug it on his blog like he usually does when someone sends him a book. Since I'm a blogger he's linked and a reader, he might be more inclined to do so. I figure with 50-100,000 readers a day, this is the cheapest advertising money can buy at about $25, and maybe I can get a few more sales out of it. If you'd like to read the book, check the sidebar of my blog for the e-book and paperback versions.

TARP, that wonder of capitalism violating to save free market, as Bush put it. Even many right-leaning blogs screamed we had to have it to save the world. By now almost all of them have backed off admitting it was a colossal waste, but now we have even more evidence that it was stupid and wrong. Aaron Task writes at Yahoo's Daily Ticker:
Congress never would've passed TARP if not for programs included in the program to help homeowners facing foreclosure and generally spur bank lending. "TARP was an abysmal failure on those very important goals the reason why they got that money to give to the banks in the first place," Barofsky says.
"The bottom line is [the government] still expects tens of millions of losses on TARP," Barofsky says. "The losses are a lot less than originally anticipated but this resorting to trickery really shows you they're trying to cover up how badly TARP has failed in its other goals of helping homeowners and increasing lending to the economy."
And, Barofsky points out, the fed was almost obsequious to the big banks. Did TARP stave off financial armageddon? Maybe, but by now we could have been digging out of it and had far less debt. Too big to fail should have been political poison. So should bailing out huge stupid companies and letting the little guy dangle.

Stoners are the new fast food market group. From Jack In The Box to Taco Bell, new products and advertising are focused on munchies, trying to get stoners to eat there first. Some marketing guru decided there was big money to be made on potheads looking for a snack or late night meal and so we get the pizza flavored burrito with 420 calories and Cheech & Chong selling Fiber One cereal. This seems like a questionable money making effort given the low income and earning potential of stoners.

Mitt Romney was asked about the Olympics, which is like asking Henson about a puppet show: in his wheelhouse, they say in baseball. Romney probably should have said something bland and polite, but the guy does know his Olympics, so he pointed out what others have said:
“The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging”
The British press freaked out. London's mayor stirred up a mob so much they threw things at Romney. But what he said was pretty mild and on target, so much so even leftist CNN drone Piers Morgan defended Romney. The Washington Post claimed Romney had the "worst week in Washington" ignoring the humiliation and buffoonery displayed by Obama this week. Given how mild Romney's comment was - and his obvious experience - its hard to avoid the conclusion that this is all political theater.

America's USDA website recently had a piece encouraging "meatless mondays" one of those left activist schemes that was promoted and never went anywhere. The article was written by an unknown agency member and cited the ecological value of eating less meat - especially beef - from a UN report. It was subsequently taken down after the Daily Caller remarked on it. My problem isn't the silly idea, its that the atmosphere at the Obama White House is such that the agency thought it was reasonable and unremarkable to post something like that on a government website.

Desmond Lachman at the American Enterprise Institute remarked on something I've noted a few times: if Europe's teetering economy collapses (England's economy has contracted the last 3 quarters, for example) that will have consequences for the US election and the world economy. If Europe goes, so will America and China, we're all that precarious. But would that help Obama (fear drives you to the known factor) or Romney (reaction to a lousy economy hurts the sitting president)? Who knows these days.

Ric Locke wrote the science fiction e-book Temporary Duty and it was a pretty big hit online. Locke was in poor health and was having monetary problems so bad he asked people to help him buy an oxygen device, and donations flooded in. He has died of lung cancer with his follow up to the book unfinished. I've heard the book is quite good from all kinds of different people but haven't read it myself.

Another stem cell research triumph, again adult cells, this time for the heart. Essentially the doctors were able to de-age heart cells in elderly patients, reviving the muscles which they hope can be used to prevent heart failure.

Brendan Greene-Walsh and Leila Rathert-Knowles are part of a generation of parents who clung to both of their names, refusing to bow to the patriarchy and ask the woman to give up her name when she married. Now Greene-Walsh and Rathbert-Knowles want to marry but don't know what to do with their names. Should they keep four? This was instantly brought up when couples started this practice, but it was pretty well ignored: not their problem, after all.
"My names would probably be Leila Rathert-Knowles Greene-Walsh," Leila says, laughing.

Brendan smirks, too. "It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?"

Now, four years later, these hyphenated honeys are still in love — but also still stumped on what they would possibly do if they decide to get hitched.

"I just don't have any good answers," sighs Leila.
Or you could just drop all this nonsense and take his dad's name, for both of you. These days the hyphenated name trend is disappearing, for a variety of reasons, probably mostly because its no longer trendy, is viewed as pretentious and there's a resurgence of traditional ideas in marriage and child rearing.

Time thinks that humans bred with Neanderthals and the evidence is still in our DNA. The article is about a DNA study done at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and the lead scientist claims that DNA found in Neanderthals is also in that of humans. The obvious conclusion (maybe that's just part of being human) is avoided, and they look for some explanation that helps support the presumption that Neanderthals aren't actually just people.

Researchers at the University of Washington claim they've found a chemical that helps blind mice see. Maybe they won't lose their tails that way. If this work is valid, perhaps it will lead to a cure for blindness in humans some day. Lately it seems like a lot of the incurable ailments and problems we face such as deafness and so on have a cure on the horizon, and I think that's great. Lets hope they don't involve ghastly side effects.

Shell Oil was recently the target of a sophisticated environmentalist hoax using computer image manipulation and video capabilities. A video showing an alleged Shell corporate party celebrating their arctic facilities was posted on Youtube as if it was real, and it was picked up as real by news organizations around the world. Then, journalists were sent emails by someone claiming to be Shell Oil directing them to a sophisticated looking website which was also fake which had statements about "taking advantage" of climate change and filled with unflattering reports of Shell's activities. This would be hard to combat for the average journalist or blogger, without contacting Shell its self, and its something to be very careful and aware of.

Death by ten thousand cuts, is how I would put it. The Competitive Enterprise Institute calls it the Ten Thousand Commandments. They're referring to the burden of regulations and rules that the federal government alone imposes on businesses and how much it costs just to try to comply. A few facts from the site:
  • Estimated regulatory costs, while "off budget," are equivalent to over 48% the level of federal spending itself.
  • The 2011 Federal Register finished at 81,247 pages, just shy of 2010’s all-time record-high 81,405 pages.
  • Agencies issued 3,807 final rules in 2011, a 6.5 percent increase over 3,573 in 2010.
  • Of the 4,128 regulations in the works at year-end 2011, 212 were “economically significant,” meaning they generally wield at least $100 million in economic impact.
A handy chart comparing the cost of regulations vs other costs for business is attached. But those simply cannot be cut, reduced, or reconsidered, they are all totally critical for human existence if you ask a leftist.

Leaks about intelligence that shut down entire operations and threaten the lives of spies, leaks about the war on terror to help make a campaign ad movie about Bin Laden's death, leaks about military action, all of those have been pouring out of the Obama administration lately like a broken dam. Absurdly staged investigations were held to find out who is responsible for this outrage, when everyone knows already. The Pentagon was cleared, but nobody seriously suspected them to begin with. Even hard left California Democrat Diane Feinstein stated that it was clearly the White House leaking this information, and the Obama administration has gone from saying it wasn't the White House to saying it wasn't the President himself who personally handed out the information.

Remember back when just leaking an ex spy's name was a criminal offense so awful the Vice President was likely to go to prison?

President Obama said that the government built the internet, and he cited the existence of the defense DARPA net as its genesis. That's not entirely false, but it is greatly misleading. DARPA wasn't an internet, it was a network, a closed set of computers communicating and sharing data. The internet is a series of multiple networks communicating together, and that was invented by a scattered group of different independent and business employees. Government had nothing to do with their work. Some guys at Xerox, a Swedish researcher, and several others built all the different pieces such as HTML, links, and so on. Compuserve, Ethernet, and other services were the first to take advantage of this, and the full internet built on its own. Rush Limbaugh has a fairly good history of it all, except he is an Applehead so he gives Steve Jobs monstrously more credit than he deserves.

Ever wonder why sliced bread is the best thing others are compared to? Early on when the bread slicer was invented, bakeries didn't care for it. They figured the bread would go stale faster, that it was an unnecessary expense, and that consumers didn't want their bread sliced. Courtesy American Digest's sideboard (sort of a WATN that goes on all week) comes this piece by the improbably named Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg at The Atlantic which gives the whole history of sliced bread. Combine that with my history of margarine for a basic sandwich.

Hey, occupy, hey all you young people. Want to really fight the man? Look around you: the only one oppressing you is old people. The boomer generation is stealing your future, burdening you with impossible debt and requiring you take care of them more and more at your expense. Their endless need for welfare and benefits is why you can't find a job. Their demands for money and attention are why the economy is in such lousy shape. That's where the class warfare is: between generations. Boomers declared war on you and your future, and they fooled you into helping them out.

Joel Kotkin wrote a piece recently that I saw on Instapundit, in which he notes that the left's dream of an economy where the book learned command and control those who have no academic credentials. This entirely violates the "we're for the little guy" origins of the left and the Democratic Party, and when times get tight, it all falls apart. He notes that the energy boom in middle America is destroying this entire scheme. Most of the left's current ideas revolve around how effete, emasculated men and harpyish women with degrees get enough power to tell everyone else how to behave, think, and live.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection asks a simple question: is there any Obama fundraising parody you wouldn't believe could be true? My answer is that they're beyond the parody horizon. I'd be willing to believe any parody at this point could be true.

And that's the Word Around the Net for July 27, 2012


Eric said...

Good luck on your instapundit advertising!

A few comments:

-I thought Taco Bell already had the stoner market locked up... or at least I know they did in the early 90's!

- Regarding last names after marriage... it was never an issue with my wife (I don't think we ever even discussed it), but my cousin and her husband appeared to have a hard time coming to terms with the post-marriage last name change and they eventually came up with what I thought was a pretty cool solution: they picked a completely new (and normal sounding) last name they both liked and changed both their names to that.

- Regarding Neanderthals, I think the most interesting part of the new data was that they found no Neanderthal DNA in the two samples taken from currently living Africans, which would seem to lend credence to the theory that modern humans first appeared in Africa and then spilled out from there.

- Regarding sliced bread, I didn't know that about the history of sliced bread, but I did know that a guy from my little town in Oklahoma built the first industrial machine to put sliced bread in a bag and then tie off the end of the bag with a twisty tie. During WWII, all the young men here were off fighting the Nazis and it left nobody around to bail and haul hay for the cattle, so this inventive man built the first hay baling machine that lifted cut hay off the ground, packed it into a square mold and then tied wires around it to hold it in place. International Harvester loved the idea and bought up the rights for a tidy sum. He then thought there was another use for that technology on a smaller scale, and invented a machine that dumped loaves of bread in a bag and tied off the end. His name was Jim Burford, our high school football field is named after him, and his business, Burford Corporation is still in operation today.

Haile Tsada said...

Regarding your quote at the beginning: the booklearned and the unbooklearned.
Si Robertson of the Duck Commander saga said it best when he discerned that there is: the ejicated and the unjucated.

Dee Son said...

Did Obama really said that DARPA is the birth of internet? I don't think so. Where's your evidence?

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