July 26, 2012

Gary Johnson 2012 & Ralph Nader 2000

I wondered about that here and here. Recent polls are consistent with my concern (HT: Althouse). Johnson would likely hurt Romney, but I did not foresee the possibility that he might hurt Obama.

Johnson was treated badly during the primaries. A successful two-term governor of a swing state was not accepted as a serious candidate. His third-party run is understandable. Hopefully it won't reelect Obama.

Racial Differences?

John Derbyshire thinks they exist and that research will reveal them. He also thinks the research will be done in Asia because the West is too screwed up to do it. As befits a working scientist, Steve Hsu, a very gifted guy who is actually doing such research, is much more tentative than Derbyshire:
An astute commenter asks why we should oppose race-based decision making, if there is real correlational information to be had from ethnicity. I offer two reasons: 1. this country has a bad record on race, and striving towards a race-blind society is worth some small sacrifices, 2. the evidence for genetic group differences is not conclusive and should be treated with great caution.
(Boldface mine.)

For political and quasi-Marxist (oppressed minority = oppressed class) reasons, US anti-discrimination policy is formulated in terms of groups. Differences in group outcomes are attributed to discrimination. The finding of outcome-affecting genetic differences (if they exist) between groups would be mitigated were social policy focused on treating individuals fairly.

July 20, 2012

The Fizzies are Doing Well

Is Instapundit realizing that the STEM "shortage" is BS?

He's correct that quality, not quantity, is the issue.

(I'm not surprised that the unemployment rate for physicians is below 2%, but physicists too?)

Geithner's Plans

Huffington Post reports that Geithner gave his IG a hard time, and concludes with:
The Treasury Department was not immediately available for comment about the episode, or about the more-damning allegations of the book: that Geithner's Treasury Department repeatedly tried to undermine Barofsky's authority, ignoring his warnings about the risk of fraud in TARP programs and generally carrying water for the banking industry.
Of course he carried water! He intended to make big bucks running one of those institutions. At the very least, he was laying the groundwork for a much better sinecure than Phil Gramm enjoys.

Obama and Romney: Liars by Omission

In the 'you didn't build that' kerfluffle, neither of them acknowledges that entrepreneurs and businesses have competitors. Competition implies the existence of losers, and neither candidate wants to admit that into his happy-talk messaging.

Obama is a bigger liar than Romney because his happy communitarian babble ignores the fact that government-impelled actions are mandatory.

July 18, 2012

Destroying the American Social Contract

US News headline:
For the First Time, Canadians Now Richer Than Americans
The deal with living in America is that things are tougher here than in other democracies, but the payoff is that the standard of living is higher for those who cope.

Instead, Chimpy and Chumpy and their cohorts, especially Chumpy, have given us a society that is more stressful and poorer.

I suspect that the ruling class has made out just fine.

July 13, 2012

Pessimism and Optimism

Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
Nor yet disproven: wherefore thou be wise,
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith.
She reels not in the storm of warring words,
She brightens at the clash of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’,
She sees the Best that glimmers thro’ the Worst,
She feels the Sun is hid but for a night,
She spies the summer through the winter bud,
She tastes the fruit before the blossom falls,
She hears the lark within the songless egg,
She finds the fountain where they wailed ‘Mirage’!
On Friday the 13th.

Obama's College Transcripts

Maybe he's not hiding his grades, but his courses, i.e. a de facto major in Marxist Anticolonial Studies.

Just a thought.

July 10, 2012

The Little Blue Book

Appalling. Deliberate rejection of the concept of debate. Review here. There really are people who think that 1984 was a how-to manual.

The review focuses on the book's emphasis on propagandistic repetition. I wish the review had given more attention to the deliberate distortion of the language.

July 8, 2012

Great White Sharks Are Cute and Harmless

This report is framed so as to dispel concern about the sighting(s).

Summary: The government has opened a wildlife sanctuary for Atlantic seals at Cape Cod. The seals are attracting predators. The predators are venturing near beaches where humans swim. So far they have not killed a human. No worries!

(Could human swimmers be easier than seals for sharks to catch? Nah! Besides, it's their ocean, not ours, isn't it?)

Addendum 20120715. Sure enough: Australian surfer bitten in half by shark. The astounding thing is the people who swarm the comments in defense of the shark. Astroturfing by animal-"rights" crazies, or the general population really that nuts?

More here.
After the last fatal attack in March, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett ruled (out?) a culling programme, saying it was impossible to protect all people at all times.

"While it's still a rare occurrence, the ocean is the domain of the shark and we go there with a risk always," he said at the time.
The culling is coming, you moron, and, I fear, not just for the sharks.

July 5, 2012

Drug War Cartoon

Spot on. I commented:
This is what I’ve been thinking. Crime makes strange bedfellows. (Would pro-legalization legislators get threats if the issue came to a vote?)

This cartoon deserves wide circulation.

You haven’t even mentioned the prosecutors, police, correctional officers, prison corporations, social workers, therapists, probation officers, etc. who get paid for waging the idiotic Drug War.
Hopefully cartoons like this will spread into the major media.