Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I may not be questioned... Peons.

"I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes,"

HUBRIS: excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Apparently partisan questioning for political purposes extends to a long list of fellow democrats and members of the Israeli government.

Sen Barbara Boxer: "nonsensical and ridiculous", Rep Nita Lowey: "irresponsible, inaccurate, and counterproductive", Moshe Yaalon, the Israel Defense minister Kerry cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.”  In truth the outrage over Kerry's statement has been fairly bipartisan, with both Democrats and Republicans coming out against him.

Kerry's apology was ham-handed at best, at worse, detrimental. But what is he apologizing for?

“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens – or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

Kerry might be a stuck-up prick as illustrated by his "apology", but he did not call Israel an apartheid state. 



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's Okay to be Gay

Unless you oppose us.

You see, the problem with Carl De Maio isn't that he's gay, it's because he is a Republican

One false attack drew the attention of the San Diego Ethics Commission. An anonymous left-wing group funded a SuperPac and sent mailers of DeMaio Photoshopped next to a drag queen to neighborhoods with a majority of elderly and African-American voters, knowing that such a photo would depress support for DeMaio. FoxNews

"I've found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I'm a Republican who happens to be gay...versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican," DeMaio said

Monday, April 28, 2014

Got Some Work To Do!

On Human Rights

“I think the Prime Minister is the first to acknowledge that Malaysia’s still got some work to do. Just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do on these issues. Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government,” said the President.

So, What does the HRW have to say?

The enormous US prison population, the world's largest, partly reflects harsh sentencing practices contrary to international law, such as disproportionately long prison terms and mandatory sentencing without parole. Those behind bars include a growing number of elderly people, whom prisons are ill-equipped to handle, and youth under age 18 held in adult prisons. Unauthorized immigrants and their families in the United States are vulnerable to abuses stemming from an outdated, ineffective immigration system that deprives them of basic rights, and increasing numbers are held in detention facilities. A number of abusive counter-terrorism policies have continued under President Barack Obama, including detentions without charge at Guantanamo Bay. 

Who is HRW?

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year 

So, do you think Obama is going to do anything about it?

Left-wing critics of Soros and the Open Society Foundations argue that these institutions serve primarily to reinforce the existing social order. Nicolas Guilhot, writing in Critical Sociology, connects the Soros charities to the history of capitalist philanthropy maintained by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. 


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Well it's Sunday, May as well talk about Religion

Pope Francis on Sunday will preside over a pomp-filled ceremony to declare Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII saints—an event that commemorates the legacies of two of the Catholic Church's most popular popes, both instrumental in shaping the current pontiff's groundbreaking reign.

The Vatican has confirmed that retired Pope Benedict XVI is invited to the ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica.  If Benedict attends, "Rome will witness an event that has never happened in the Church's history: two living popes witnessing the canonization of two former popes,"


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Rush

Friday, April 25, 2014


No... That's not it...

Super-hydrophobic oleophobic nano-paint

Nissan is testing a dirt resistant paint in the UK on the Nissan Note.

The video illustrates it better than I could explain it

And believe it or not, it goes for about the same price as metallic paints.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Authoritarian Left

The whole barracks was in the state of filth and chaos to which the militia reduced every building they occupied and which seems to be one of the by-products of revolution. In every corner you came upon piles of smashed furniture, broken saddles, brass cavalry-helmets, empty sabre-scabbards, and decaying food. There was frightful wastage of food, especially bread.
-- George Orwell, describing communist destruction in Homage to Catalonia

I started blogging because I held out hope liberals and conservatives could at least find some common principles around which to conduct civil debates. I was wrong.

The collectivist, authoritarian left has taken over the Democrat party, and like the body snatchers, they've misappropriated the term liberal, and I know something about that. I come from a family of Democrats, on both sides. I voted for Al Gore in the 1988 Democrat Party primary. That was before he became unhinged, back when the party still had serious adults who kept the leftwing loonies on the fringes.

Protect the Hive

The reason I quit blogging is because trying to debate doctrinaire leftists is like running into an angry hive of bees.  They have replaced all thinking with ideological dogma which shall not be questioned. They don't want their gossamer world-view disturbed.  Like a defensive two-year old screaming 'don't touch me!'  They shriek 'racist!' 'tea bagger!' 'bigot!' at anyone who approaches and tries to engage them in a calm exploration of the issues of the day.

Attempting to debate such people is not worth my time.  They are closed minded.  Discussion with them is futile.  It's red flag-blue flag team sport politics.  Red State bad, Blue State good.  Got it?

As a bonus, they defend the destruction of civil liberties by the state, so long as one of their progressive heroes is at the helm.  Ideology replaces thought.

They turn our founding principles on their heads:
Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.  (George Will)
Here's more from Will:
“In Europe,” wrote James Madison, “charters of liberty have been granted by power,” but America has “charters of power granted by liberty.” 
Samantha Powers (a true liberal I often disagree with) talks about the left's very illiberal view of Hirsi Ali:
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been a vocal critic of women's oppression under Islamic law. She's blasted arranged marriage, legally sanctioned domestic violence, genital mutilation, and the killing of adulteresses and rape victims. Despite being a supporter of abortion rights, an atheist, and an advocate of gay and women's rights, she is despised by many who claim to be defenders of women's rights. Over the years, they have worked to delegitimize her in the hopes that she will be silenced.
Comments like the following, flowing from the sanctimonious pens of castrated liberal males, safely swaddled in the luxurious liberal salons of the US, really piss me off:
In reviewing her book, Nomad, Nicholas Kristof lamented that, "Hirsi Ali denounces Islam with a ferocity that I find strident. … Her memoir suggests that she never quite outgrew her rebellious teenager phase." 
Yeah, haha, those teenage girls really get rebellious when their genitals are cut off and they're sold like chattel into marriage to a dirty old man.  I would pay to see Kristof and his putrid ilk have his ribs broken by a club-wielding imam, among other things.  I doubt Chrisophe the lamebrained liberal would be so sanguine if his genitals were mutilated by muslim butchers.

Same goes for this stupid bitch:
Guardian columnist Emma Brockes complained that in criticizing Islam, Hirsi Ali "is startlingly direct" and is "deliberately, almost narcissistically provocative."
I'd love for Brockes to don a burka and do some field reporting from Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Afghanistan.  We'd see if she could hold her 'provocative narcissism' at bay after being raped by a stinking misogynist and then having her friend butchered in the street like a hog by an islamist screaming Allahu Akbar who leaves a note telling her she's next.

See, Ali is the wrong kind of black woman.  New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is the wrong kind of Latina.  They don't fit in the clustered-up smelting pot that is modern-day liberalism, where privileged groups enjoy special status, so long as they observe the pecking order and don't rock the boat with any freethinking. 

There is no nuance to their thought; everything is an indoctrinated reflex.  No shades of gray.  None dare thoughtfully consider anything proffered by a conservative.  If someone expresses sympathy for an ideal they hate, that person is beyond the pale, they are an illegitimate debater, and everything they say is wrong.  The American left is shot through with category errors and ad hominem.  It is a gloaming cluster of logical fallacies too dense to penetrate.

Some worry that the leftwing progressives will destroy the country, but I think that a coalition that harvests votes from both islamists and gays is doomed to collapse.  And our nation is stronger than that.  If there is a God in heaven, and if human nature bears itself out, as it always does, they will end up destroying themselves first. Know-nothing obscurantists always do.

Progressives are wrong about the Essence of the Constitution
Liberals Attack Female Fighting Misogyny 

Mark Steyn - The Slow Death of Free Speech

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Destroy the Middle Class

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then. Median incomes in Western European countries still trail those in the United States, but the gap in several — including Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden — is much smaller than it was a decade ago.

New York Times

Ever the faithful servant of the progressive left, to what does the New York Times attribute this fall from grace?

governments in Canada and Western Europe take more aggressive steps to raise the take-home pay of low- and middle-income households by redistributing income

Yeah right.  The system that routinely trounced the redistributionist states of Europe is suddenly losing ground for failing to redistribute wealth.  Is it that? Or are we just becoming more like Europe, stifling growth through the same policies that accomplished the same for our soft-socialistic brethren?

So, How's all that Hope and Change working out for yah?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Shut up," the 'Progressives' Explained

The apocryphal Sinclair Lewis quote has been proven wrong:

Fascism has arrived in America, and it isn't wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. It is a false-flag operation wrapped in Progressive PC Speech Codes of "Tolerance" and "Diversity" and carrying a Rainbow flag, the sword of islam and the Democrat party logo.

In saying this, I do not indict all muslims, all gay people, or all Democrats. Instead, I indict the small-in-number, large-in-mouth leftwing fasci (predominately guilty white latte leftists) in this country who brilliantly manipulate symbols and emotion to mau-mau ordinary Americans into sitting down and shutting up.  Normal people detest how this agenda-driven outrage kabuki has trashed our public discourse, but the leftwing cray cray's march on.

The regressive Progs are out in the open now with their hostility to our God-given liberties. They've abandoned reasoned argument and now are all about harnessing government's coercive power to tell you to sit down and shut up.  When that doesn't work, community organizers and professional indignation coordinators take to twitter and other social media to crowd-source outraged mobs.

I quote copiously from Mark Steyn, because he has written an especially brilliant article on the subject.

Academic Earplugs

A ditzy dingbat from Swarthmore really did say this:
‘What really bothered me is the whole idea that at a liberal arts college we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion.’
Mark Steyn's response:
Yeah, who needs that? There speaks the voice of a generation: celebrate diversity by enforcing conformity.

In theory, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is everything the identity-group fetishists dig: female, atheist, black, immigrant. If conservative white males were to silence a secular women’s rights campaigner from Somalia, it would be proof of the Republican party’s ‘war on women’, or the encroaching Christian fundamentalist theocracy, or just plain old Andrew Boltian racism breaking free of its redoubt at the Herald Sun to rampage as far as the eye can see. But when the snivelling white male who purports to be president of Brandeis (one Frederick Lawrence) does it out of deference to Islam, Miss Hirsi Ali’s blackness washes off her like a bad dye job on a telly news anchor.
He decries Britain's aging performing arts community's lust for shutting people up, when they themselves stormed the censor's barricades back in the 60's:
This is the aging of the dawn of Aquarius: new blasphemy laws for progressive pieties. [...] But, once you get a taste for shutting people up, it’s hard to stop. Why bother winning the debate when it’s easier to close it down?
Steyn explains the importance of free speech in a democratic society:
Nick Lowles defined the ‘No Platform’ philosophy as ‘the position where we refuse to allow fascists an opportunity to act like normal political parties’. But free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out. Free speech, wrote the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson last week, ‘buttresses the political system’s legitimacy. It helps losers, in the struggle for public opinion and electoral success, to accept their fates. It helps keep them loyal to the system, even though it has disappointed them. They will accept the outcomes, because they believe they’ve had a fair opportunity to express and advance their views. There’s always the next election. Free speech underpins our larger concept of freedom.’
"The (Fill in the Blank) is Settled!" 
Young Erin Ching at Swarthmore College has grasped the essential idea: it is not merely that, as the Big Climate enforcers say, ‘the science is settled’, but so is everything else, from abortion to gay marriage.
So what’s to talk about?
Universities are no longer institutions of inquiry but ‘safe spaces’ where delicate flowers of diversity of race, sex, orientation, ‘gender fluidity’ and everything else except diversity of thought have to be protected from exposure to any unsafe ideas.
"Progressives:"  Bringing Middle East-Style Obscurantism to the West!
As it happens, the biggest ‘safe space’ on the planet is the Muslim world. For a millennium, Islamic scholars have insisted, as firmly as a climate scientist or an American sophomore, that there’s nothing to debate. And what happened? As the United Nations Human Development Programme’s famous 2002 report blandly noted, more books are translated in Spain in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years. Free speech and a dynamic, innovative society are intimately connected: a culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast.

As American universities, British playwrights and Australian judges once understood, the ‘safe space’ is where cultures go to die.
Illiberal Regressives

There in nothing more intolerant in this country than today's mis-named, self-proclaimed 'liberals.' At least some of them have dropped 'liberal' and taken up the old school authoritarian monicker of progressive, but even that is a lie. They are dragging society backwards to the bad old days when dissent was punished by the state or mob violence.

Mark Steyn - The Slow Death of Free Speech

See also:
Progressives are wrong about the Essence of the Constitution
Liberals Attack Female Fighting Misogyny

Monday, April 21, 2014

The 37%

The 37%


37% of voters fear the federal government, another 17% are suspicious.

54% consider the federal government a threat to individual liberty, another 24% are unsure.  Only 22% think the government protects their rights.

67% think the government only looks out for it own interests.

Only 20% trust the government to do the right thing, 80% of their fellow citizens disagree with them, 44% that think it will do the right thing only some of the time and 36% that think it rarely does the right thing.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter




Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Government Can

Friday, April 18, 2014

Free The West

Last week more than 200 armed federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other agencies, many decked out in camouflage uniforms, descended on the area around Bunkerville, a small town 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas, near Nevada’s borders with Arizona and Utah.

a show of force is necessary to remove Cliven Bundy’s cattle from “public lands” where they are, allegedly, damaging the “fragile” habitat of the protected desert tortoise.

More than 50 other ranchers have been bankrupted, intimidated, and forced to give up their land and legal property rights. 

Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada issued a blistering decision that charged officials of the BLM and other agencies with malicious and criminal conduct, and actually engaging in a decades-long “conspiracy”

New American

The root of the Cliven Bundy affair.


A simple glance at the map above illustrates the unequal treatment given to states along and west of the front range of the Rocky Mountains.

Federal government’s ownership of the lands in the Western states:

Nevada: 84.5 percent
Alaska: 69.1 percent
Utah: 57.4 percent
Oregon: 53.1 percent
Idaho: 50.2 percent
Arizona: 48.1 percent
California: 45.3 percent
Wyoming: 42.4 percent
New Mexico: 41.8 percent
Colorado: 36.6 percent
Washington: 30.3 percent
Montana: 29.9 percent

Federal ownership of land in states east of the Front Range is mostly in the single digits with the exception of South Carolina and New Hampshire which barely make it into the teens. 

The people of states east of the Rockies have a democratic say in land use for the majority of the land area of their states, those in the west do not.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Wait! That's just the cover... here's the rest of it:


Photo: Sen Mike Lee R-UT
 “Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register, It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”

As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.

Washington set a new record in 2013 by issuing final rules consuming 26,417 pages in the Federal Register. 

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest total in history. That didn't match President Obama's 2010 all-time record of 81,405 pages. But Mr. Obama can console himself by noting that of the five highest Federal Register page counts, four have occurred on his watch. The other was 79,435 pages under President  Bush in 2008.


Ah... Bureaucracy, or is that Bureaucrazy?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pockets Picked?

Henry Holiday, Rework by DL5MDA

Tax Freedom Day is April 21st

It's the day when the nation has earned enough money to pay its bills, not counting the annual budget deficit. April 21st is the 111th day of the year, or 30.41% to be precise.

If you throw in the amount borrowed each year, Tax Freedom day advances to the 6th of May, 34.5% of the year gone by, the great beast Leviathan devouring a third of everything in sight.

Slaving Away

If I worked every day it would take me 67 days to pay off my tax bill, since I don't work every day that works out to my personal day of freedom being April 9th, so I'M A FREE MAN!!! Well at least until next year.  There are 251 workdays this year and and 27% of mine will be used to pay the piper.

Or maybe not. Throw in the state and you can add another 20 days to that total. 35% of all work I will accomplish will fill another's coffers. I won't be free until the 7th of May after over four months of servitude.

In counter-revolutionary France every man had to give three days labor or its monetary equivalent to be allowed to vote.  In Colonial Madagascar every free male commoner had to pay 25 Francs or give fifty days of labor (for which he was paid 25 centimes a day for food).  In the Spanish Philippines it was forty days for each male between 16 and 60, although in 1884 it was reduced to 15 days. In Romania prior to 1864 it was fourteen days. In 1797 Paul I of Russia declared 3 days to be normal and sufficient.

Bellatores, Labores, and Oratores


 Here below, some pray, others fight, still others work . . .

from the beginning, mankind has been divided into three parts,
among men of prayer, farmers, and men of war . . .

Isn't a truly wonderful thing to be free of feudalism?
Cheer up peasants the corvée is almost paid.

On a more positive note, I guess I have arrived.  The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent. Both yours truly and the president pay the same effective tax rate.  Funny, that doesn't feel like any sort of achievement, maybe I should find out who his accountant is.  NPR

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blood Moon Rising

The first of four blood moons of the current tetrad will be visible tonight, Tuesday 1:58-5:33 AMThe next will be October 8th, followed by April 4th and September 28th, 2015.

So sit back and enjoy the music of the Celestial Spheres, or Credence Clearwater Revival, whichever you prefer:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Things that make you go hmm?

Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, decorating choices.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Hugh Laurie

Not bad for a bloke from Oxfordshire.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Palace Intrigue?

Niccolo Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

40 and 50 members of the House have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won't have the votes to be reelected in January.

The masterminds of this mutiny are trying to stay in the shadows for as long as possible to avoid putting a target on their backs. But one Republican said the "nucleus"of the rebellion can be found inside the House Liberty Caucus, of which he and his comrades are members.

National Journal

Republican Liberty Caucus

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Lets spend 2 Billion to update a label that appears to do little good.

Face it, this is not the magic pill to cure the American obesity problem.  60% of Americans read food labels, roughly 40% of us are obese... coincidence?

And is that 60% an accurate number? It is based on self-reported behavior in polls.  A University of Minnesota study using eye tracking discovered the following: 

Researchers found a big difference between what the eye tracker said people looked at and what the participants self-reported they typically looked at while shopping. Thirty-three percent of participants said they “almost always” looked at a product’s calorie content on the Nutrition Facts label; 31% said they almost always looked at total fat content (20% said they looked at trans fats); 24% said they studied products’ sugar content and 26% said they paid close attention to serving size.

What the eye-tracking data showed: only 9% looked at calorie count for almost all the items in the experiment; 1% looked at each of the other components, including fat, trans fat, sugar and serving size, for almost all of the products. Time Magazine
 In 1990 at the introduction of mandatory food nutrition labeling the obesity rate in the US was 12%, today after more than 20 years that rate stands at 27.2%.

Now I'm not complaining about food nutrition labeling, I often look at the nutrition label especially on products I haven't previously consumed, but to be honest, I like the old label better than the new ones. 

What I take exception to is the rationale behind making the changes, the idea that these label changes are going to make a damn bit of difference is naive at best.  Few pay any attention at all to the serving size on the package, If you buy a muffin, you eat a muffin, most generally don't eat half a muffin. How many times have you eaten 11 Doritos Chips (140 calories)?

A very enlightening experience is keeping a food log, which I had to do as an assignment in a nutrition class I took.  I used to drink coffee all the time, pretty much whenever I was awake.  A cup of coffee has 1 calorie... until you add 2 TBSP of fat-free half & half (20 calories) and two teaspoons of sugar (32 calories).

But if you ask me, the problem isn't the calories we consume but the sedentary lifestyle we lead.  Sure you can lose weight by cutting calories, but you can also lose weight by increasing activity, which do you think is the healthier option? 

So what do you think of the proposed new labels? Waste of time or the greatest thing since sliced bread (67 calories)?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

And the Hubris Award goes to...

Gustave Doré
You don't want to go there, buddy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

An 800 Pound Mozilla

The Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary the Mozilla Corporation is most widely known for its free and open source browser: Firefox.  You may recognize it's logo below:


Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and the creator of the Java Script programming language was appointed as CEO about a week ago and has since stepped down amid a swirl of controversy.

In 2008 Brendan Eich donated $1000 in support of California Proposition 8 to add "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.", a measure I might add that passed with 52.8% of the vote. Mr. Eich was forced to step down after news of his donation became public.

"It is clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting"... “That was shocking to me, because I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness”
~Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla

Mozilla has since released a statement on the controversy:

...Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard.


 Yeah, right. 

You know you've gone beyond left-wing lunacy when even Bill Maher comes out against you

So does this mean I can fire anyone stupid enough to have donated to the Obama campaign?  If not, Why? What's the difference?

Might be time for me to switch to Google's Chrome.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Right of the Government to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed?

Armed Agencies

We'll skip the routine law enforcement and military agencies that one expects to be armed and highlight some interesting other agencies that maintain their own armed law enforcement.

National Institute of Standards
Defense Logistics Agency
Department of Education
National Institute of Health
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Veteran's Affairs
US Government Printing Office
US Supreme Court
Office of Personnel Management
Railroad Retirement Board
Smithsonian Institute Office of Protective Services

And that is just to name a few.  Do you think there is budgetary cost savings to be realized by having one branch of federal law enforcement?  Do you think we may be overdoing it a bit when the Smithsonian has its own police force?

Here is an interesting story of a raid conducted by the Department of Education in the Washington Post

Po Po it's RR5-0! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

No degree required?

Photo: Toby Ord

A leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia criticized a fellow primary opponent for having only a high school degree. David Perdue, a businessman and first-time candidate for office, was touting his experience and education to a group of voters in January when he made a reference to "a high school graduate in this race."

The Perdue campaign told the AJC in a statement that "David was simply making the case that he is the most qualified person in this race to help get our economy back on track so that we can start paying down the massive federal debt. His comment was based on facts that are a matter of public record.

Weekly Standard

Now David Perdue has a Bachelor's in Industrial Engineering and a Master's in Operations Research from Georgia Tech.  The question then, is would that make him a better politician?  I've met idiots and morons with advanced degrees, and brilliant and intelligent people without them.

Is a degree even required to be an effective politician? There have been 11 presidents without one, including Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Golden Earring

And believe it or not, they're still around.  

Their last album "Tits 'n Ass" was released in 2012, here is a song from it:

And besides, I like nose art.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Kessler Syndrome


If you haven't seen the movie yet, you ought to, it's not the best move ever made, it is entertaining, and it explores an interesting phenomenon known as the Kessler Syndrome.  The syndrome is named after Donald Kessler a NASA scientist who first speculated on the possibility of an ablative cascade in orbit, and it turns out the possibilities are not all that remote.


Imagine if you would a game of pool in which every time the balls struck each other the broke into a number of smaller balls based on the speed of the impact.  The opening break may very well leave the table covered with marbles, put enough energy into it and you may wind up with the felt covered with BB's.

In 2007 the Chinese took out one of their own Fengyun weather satellites in the test of kinetic kill vehicle.  The impact turned a 750 kg satellite into roughly 2,300 pieces from the size of a golf ball on up, and 150,000 pieces smaller than a golf ball.

In 2009 a fourteen year old derelict Russian satellite known as Kosmos-2251 collided with a working Iridium (communications) satellite known as Iridium 33. The collision produced over 1,000 pieces four inches or larger, by 2011 as capabilities improved an additional 1,000 objects from the collision were added to the space catalog. 

It's not a matter of if another catastrophic collision occurs but when.  Satellite operators have to balance a limited on-board fuel supply against the probability of conjunction. In the Kosmos-Iridium case a conjunction of +/- 584 meters was predicted and either Iridium didn't get warning, or balanced the warning against the level of risk and chose not to maneuver.  In the end Iridium lost a $5M satellite.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back on the Road Again: The Supremes

The Supremes overturned aggregate campaign finance limits Wednesday, freeing wealthy Americans to give to as many federal candidates as they want — though the justices left in place the cap on how much can be given to any one person.

“Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects,” the chief justice wrote. “If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades — despite the profound offense such spectacles cause — it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All Atheists are Terrorists

Apologists take note

Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.  Article one of the new provisions defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based"


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hilaria: Roman Festival of Jokes


The festival of Hilaria was dedicated to the goddess Cybele, also known as the Magna Comici or Great Comedian.  In Cybele's mythographic narratives she is most closely associated with her relationship to Attis:


Attis is described by ancient Greek and Roman sources as her young consort and a great Phrygian straight man.

The Romans celebrated Hilaria starting on March 25th as a feria stativa, or free day in which the people, especially the slaves were not obliged to work.  It was the first day after the vernal equinox, the first day that was longer than the night. Winter with its gloom had departed and the day was spent in rejoicings and pranks. The festival ran for eight days ending in a culmination of festivities on April 1st.

During Hilaria, Everyone gets in on the act