January 24, 2014

Comments January 2014

• On Geithner and the S&P prosecution (gs Jan 23, 2014 @ 13:49:27):
Moody’s, which like S&P was up to its nose in the mortgage disaster, is not getting sued by the government. Maybe it’s coincidental that Moody’s has not downgraded the USA’s AAA credit rating. Maybe it’s a coincidence that Obama ally Warren Buffett is a major Moody’s shareholder.

Looking for crony capitalism? Move along, nothing to see here…
To be fair, Moody's just downgraded health insurers' outlook, citing Obamacare.

• On Wendy Davis:
2. Afaic Davis’s character should disqualify her from responsible office. Nevertheless, turning the campaign into a messaging contest about character may benefit her. It distracts from the fact that Republican policies have succeeded in TX whereas Democrat policies have failed in other big states.

Democrats don’t like to compare records with Republicans. Their strategy is to make Republicans run against utopia.

3. Ever since Betty Warren claimed she’s not running for POTUS, the people who bankrolled her are looking for someone to run against Hillary from the left. IMO Wendy Davis is running for governor with the intention of running for President in 2016.

• On climate:
... 2. The polar vortex, taken in isolation, seems plausible enough. However, I don’t recall seeing the shiver-inducing Polar Vortex of Dread being predicted before the current outbreak of cold. (Speaking of currents, there indeed have been warnings that the Gulf Stream might get impaired. However, the Gulf Stream is water. The Polar Vortex is air.)

My prejudice remains that the plethora of parameters and processes in the big climate models is so complex that almost anything can be rendered plausible by cherry picking. That’s not a reason for What me worry?; it’s a reason for more research by smarter, better, more objective researchers.

3. Professor Curry writes:

Is global warming causing the polar vortex?
Posted on January 7, 2014 | 311 Comments

by Judith Curry

In a word, no.

And now for the 2nd question: Does the massive cold air outbreak blanketing much of the U.S. disprove global warming?

Same word: no.

The media are mostly in stupid mode over this one.

I think I’m in love, but the lass is out of my league…
Afterthought here.

• On cheating, in college and later:
In one way it’s worse today, since the powers that be are so deeply dishonest.

I doubt that the cheating problems at our power elite’s prestigious almae matres began with the current generation of students. I doubt that the members of our power elite who cheated in college abandoned that mindset once they graduated.

• On online mobbing:
From one of our host’s links:
Slick and omnipresent television ads from the group’s early years, produced by the same agency that made the Geico Auto Insurance gecko famous, have been replaced by smaller web-based programs. One ongoing effort, “Reality Drop,” helps activists post boilerplate comments to blog entries written by climate change skeptics.

Outside the trainings, the Gore group focuses on the digital world, trying to tell the story of climate change and shame skeptics online. The “Reality Drop” program, still in beta phase, allows users to post prewritten comments on articles the group says distort the facts about climate change.
Worth keeping in mind, IMHO.

• On the creative impulse (gs January 9, 2014 at 8:33 am):
1. I suspect that the Muse is largely indifferent to me as an individual. She views me as an instrument for her purposes. Heaven and earth are not humane, Lao Tzu cautioned.

2. Is the Muse sometimes a Siren? We don’t hear much from people whose alluring creative vision turned out to be a life-blighting illusion, but I suspect they’re out there. While some of them were defeated by Resistance, I’m pretty sure that some of them should have taken the road more traveled by. (Yes, in part I am expressing my own self-doubt, and, yes, I remember that Steven has written that self-doubt is a good sign.)

• On Rich Lowry (okay, this one was posted December 31st):
In 2012 Rich Lowry canned John Derbyshire for writing PC-unpalatable things about race relations. Afaic this decision severely damages Lowry’s standing as a cultural dissenter.

Standing athwart history, pleading Not so fast.
Worthwhile writers remain at National Review, but afaic Lowry has done a terrible job overall.

January 19, 2014

The Fallen Mighty: Little Green Footballs

In 2004 the blog influenced the course of the Presidential election by helping to debunk the forgery of debunk Bush's National Guard evaluations. Subsequently Charles Johnson changed his political orientation, which is his prerogative, whereupon he banned many (most?) of his commenters in a way that led to long-term rancor.

Where did this get him? He is now posting exposés of...Minnesota state senators.

January 13, 2014


Imagine that Roberts had voted to find Obamacare unconstitutional. To this day, the media would be saturated with fury and anguish about Utopia Denied. Roberts may have done the GOP a medium-term favor.

Another situation in which good politics is the opposite of good policy.

Bello's Bellows

Actress-"activist" Maria Bello recently announced she is lesbian "whatever". Her ex and 12-year-old son, "with a wisdom beyond his years", approve. Hurray!

Afaic many changes are continuing to ensue from technology and prosperity, and my overall attitude is wait-and-see. However, I'm surprised that Bello's parents, according toher anyway, didn't at least speak up for traditional mores.

Above all, I'm seriously uneasy about the Nemesis-summoning smugness that spews of Bello's piece and its spinoffs.

January 11, 2014

Sports Team Names Deemed Racist

The race card crossed my mind when the Florida State Seminoles won the national championship in football, and sure enough... (HT: LI)

Honor a defeated enemy and he'll do all he can to validate your respect. Case in point: the military service of Southern whites. Do the opposite and you'll get the opposite. Case in point: all the prattle about diversity and tolerance.

But progressives purport that American Indians are victims and America is the oppressor. When the mainstream culture honors them, it undermines the Narrative, and must be quashed remorselessly.

January 10, 2014

Sustainability of Apartheid and "Apartheid"

Iirc apartheid South Africa claimed a right to their territory because whites supposedly arrived on the land just before southward-migrating blacks did. Sounds dubious, but whatever.

Could they have maintained apartheid if they'd created a more or less fully whites-only society, with whites doing the grunt work instead of becoming an ultimately unsustainable privileged caste? Probably not, given the international boycott.

What about Israel and other advanced societies? Does the emergence of robotics change the equation? As for boycotts, an advanced society has more to offer than boycotted South Africa did. For example, while the decadent West turns against Israel to varying degrees, Israel and a rising China are cooing at each other.

Added 20140221:
This example of Israeli pride does not overlook the implications.

Caveat: Hubris is not a Hebrew word, but maybe it should be.

January 3, 2014

The Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

It's self-evident that Big Business and the regulatory state have created a predatory arrangement against the consumer. Even so, it's expressed well here and here. (HT: Instapundit.)

January 1, 2014

Internal Developments in China

25 years ago Deng Hsiao-ping ended struggle sessions. Chinese citizens are allowed to travel abroad as tourists. "Reeducation" labor camps are being eliminated. The Chinese president serves a fixed term.

Maybe China's elite recognizes that an advanced technological society requires a degree of openness. Time will tell.

Afterthought 20140206. Otoh, I've seen reports that China denies entry to foreign journalists who report critically. And there are periodic crackdowns on dissidence and dissent. Per the original post, time will tell.

Applause for Mugabe?!

At the Mandela memorial service.

He wrecked his country, but, hey, he stood up to the West by wrecking his country. Huzzah!!

Addendum 20140103: A milder variant of this kind of behavior is shaping up in the US: with the same kind of heedlessness they picked Obama with, a country which acknowledges the failure of his Presidency may well elect Hillary Clinton as his successor.