Friday, November 27, 2015

The World Isn't Worried

It appears the world has other things to worry about besides climate change:
According to Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

“People have given up on climate hysteria. They don’t want to pay for it and they’re concerned that if they sign up to any binding commitments they will be hurt.”

Peiser believes there are two main reasons for this loss of faith in the green religion.

“First, people are becoming aware that the international community is incapable of reaching any meaningful deal. They think: ‘Well if our governments aren’t taking this problem seriously it can’t be that big a problem.”

Secondly, he says, people are increasingly well informed.

“Twenty years ago, when you had a programme on the BBC about melting ice caps people sat up and noticed. Now they’re so used to these scare stories they’ve become totally cynical. Especially when they read elsewhere that in the first nine months of this year alone, 500 new coal fire power stations were built in Asia…”
Scare tactics are sometimes just that...

Viva What Revolution?

The ghost of Hugo Chavez is fading rapidly:
Over a decade of increasingly dysfunctional state controls and the end of an oil bonanza have triggered one of the OPEC nation's most severe economic crises.

Just blocks from where Chavez grew up and sold his grandmother's papaya sweets to make ends meet, Venezuelans now line up for hours hoping a truck will make its way across the palm tree-sprinkled flatlands to deliver scarce rice or toilet paper.

Rampant inflation and the near-collapse of the bolivar currency have destroyed salaries, while violent crime leads many to barricade themselves inside when the region's vast sky turns dark.

"We were 'Chavistas'," said Julio Coromoto, 57, a workman next to a queue of dozens at a shabby supermarket.

"But they destroyed this town."
The failure of socialism is often a hard lesson...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blue Debt Blues

Guess which party owes more?
Figures show the Republicans now have over $20 million cash on hand, with only $1.8 million in debts owed. The RNC has raised a total of $89.3 million to date in the current election cycle.

The figures stand in stark contrast to the DNC, that has only $4.7 million cash in hand, with $6.9 million in debts owed, putting the DNC in the red, according to FEC figures. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Democrats have so far raised $53.2 million this election cycle, significantly less than their Republican counterparts.

The DNC raised just shy of $4.5 million in October, but spent approximately $5.2 million.

The nearly $7 million in debt the DNC now has was in part due to a $2 million loan from union-owned Amalgamated Bank, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Remember, this is also their model for government spending...

Man Without A Plan

Some people do have better ideas, but he's not listening:

Live Forever, Or Upload Trying

Who wants to be online forever?
Creating an imprint of people to remain after they go , Humai is using artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to store data of conversational styles, behavioral patterns, thought processes and information about how bodies function.

This data will be coded into multiple sensor technologies, which will be built into an artificial body with the brain of a deceased human.

The science as they explain it means using cloning technology, they will be able to restore the brain as it matures.

Their website explains: "Humai is an AI company with a mission to reinvent the afterlife. We want to bring you back to life after you die."
Just because you're dead, doesn't mean you can't still see your in-laws during the holidays...

How Not To Do It

Hopefully none of these happen to you on this year's Turkey Day:

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Robot Safety Dance

We were warned:
The robots they have created follow verbal instructions such as 'stand up' and 'sit down' from a human operator.

However, when they are asked to walk into an obstacle or off the end of a table, for example, the robots politely decline to do so.

When asked to walk forward on a table, the robots refuse to budge, telling their creator: 'Sorry, I cannot do this as there is no support ahead.'

Upon a second command to walk forward, the robot replies: 'But, it is unsafe.'
Now die, human...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Apotheosis Of William F. Buckley

Remembering America's intellectual conservative:
Over the years Buckley wrote over 50 books. I particularly enjoyed the four books on crossing the oceans in a sailboat with friends. They were about navigating the oceans to be sure, but also about life.

In 1973 he wrote Four Reforms, A Program For The 70’s. His proposals on Welfare, Taxes, Education and Crime seemed revolutionary at the time, but are mainstream now.

Four Reforms was my first exposure to the flat tax. That issue has been part of the general debate now for 30 years. Dick Armey introduced it in Congress and wrote a book about it. Steve Forbes ran for president on it.

In the end it doesn’t really matter whether we agreed entirely with Buckley’s ideas. What matters is that they became part of the debate and we had to deal with them.
Unfortunately, many on the left are now no longer interested in having the debate. But here is something from a time when it was still possible:

Granny State Games

You've really got to watch 'em:
“This is ridiculous,” King said. “We haven’t played in the clubhouse for weeks! We have to go to each other’s homes to play and not everyone lives in Escondido. It is an international game and we are being crucified!”

The 87-year-old said the game is good for the elderly and that even her doctor has told her that it can delay dementia. The women suggested they could “just play for fun” without money, but the property manager said they should “lay low,” until things were resolved.

After a bit of investigating, officials came to the conclusion that there is no ordinance prohibiting mahjong gambling of the nature.
It's definitely a criminal enterprise when grandmothers get together...

Dear Leader Welcomes You

North Korea welcomes its first tourists:
Nicholas Gibbins, an 18-year-old high school student from Sydney, Australia, told NBC News after the flight over Pyongyang that what struck him the most was the amount of construction in the city and surrounding countryside.

"The country seems to be pulling itself together," he said in a telephone interview with NBC News after leaving North Korea.

It had taken years to gain the permission necessary to run the trips, according to Simon Cockerell, director of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based company specializing in North Korea.
You can look, but don't touch or ask questions...

Mock Wars

The Force is with her:
“I have never had any interest in watching space nerds poke each other with their little space nerd sticks, and I’m not going to start now,” Timpf shared on the original broadcast. “You people are crazy. You Star Wars people are crazy. Yesterday I tweeted something, and all I said was that I wasn’t familiar with Star Wars because I’ve been too busy liking cool things and being attractive — people threatened my life. You’re not really branding yourself in a way that makes me want to join your life-threatening club.”

On Tuesday, Timpf wrote a piece published by the National Review, sharing her thoughts on online bullying and noting that she wouldn’t back down in the face of threats.

“A lot of people are clearly a lot of upset. But guess what? I’m not apologizing,” Timpf wrote. “Why? Because the all-too-common knee-jerk reaction of apologizing for harmless jokes after overblown hysteria is ruining our culture. This political-correctness obsession threatens free speech, and I absolutely refuse to be a part of it.”
Lead to the dark side, fan obsession does...

Pillow Fight Club

No more pillows for them:
First-year students, or "plebes," organize the annual fight to help the group bond after a summer of intense training.

The event, which appears to have been held almost every year since 2001, was particularly violent this time. In one case, a cadet was hit from behind and knocked unconscious, according to a West Report report of the incident. He was given first aid by a cadet who was a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Other injuries included a broken nose and a fractured cheek. A photograph posted on Twitter showed a cadet wearing a helmet and body armor with blood pouring from his nose and mouth.
This is Pillow Dome...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Climate Chump Change

Those who live in green glass houses:
Cause of Action, a government watchdog group, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, filed a joint IRS complaint Tuesday against the Institute of Global Environment and Society to have the organization stripped of its tax-exempt status.

The complaint alleges that IGES, run by George Mason University climate dynamics professor Jagadish Shukla, has received more than $60 million in federal grants for the stated purpose of climate research but that the funds have actually gone to benefit Shukla and his family.

“It’s incredibly ironic that while Dr. Shukla accuses global warming skeptics of deceiving the public, his own environmental organization has been pulling a fast one at taxpayer expense,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman. “His attempt to use RICO to silence public debate is groundless, and so is his organization’s tax-exempt status.”
So why is the IRS wasting its time going after actual nonprofits?

That'll Show 'Em

The only thing we have to fear is climate change:
“I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader, to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business, and that Paris … is not going to be cowered by the violent, demented actions of a few,” Obama said about the upcoming climate conference.
Obama and other administration officials have been criticized for their insistence that climate change is a threat to national security on par with terrorism.
Obama and dozens of other international leaders will participate in an event at the conference Monday, but he will leave Tuesday, and the conference will continue until at least Dec. 11.
Be not afraid, green warriors...

Duck And Run For Cover

War, or no war?
"World War III" was trending on Twitter Tuesday as the world waited to see how Russia would respond to Turkey shooting down one of its warplanes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the incident as "stab in the back by terrorist helpers," as NATO held what it described as an "extraordinary meeting" Tuesday afternoon just hours after the incident.

Russia denies its warplane was violating Turkish airspace, while Turkey — a NATO member — said it warned the aircraft 10 times before shooting it down.

Putin said Russia would "never tolerate such atrocities" and called for the international community to "fight this evil."

"Do they want to have NATO serve ISIS? I understand that every state has regional interests, and we respect that, but we would never tolerate crime like today's," Putin added.
So, what now? Another reset?

A Clone Of Your Own

Who wants a clone?
The centre may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations.
But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns.
“Let me ask one question. Was this ban based on scientific rationale or ethical rationale or political agenda?” Mr Xu told The Telegraph.
“Legislation is always behind science. But in the area of cloning, I think we are going the wrong way and starting to kill the technology.”
Is it Spot, or is it Memorex?

The Switch

A Native American Senator changes sides:
Begay, appointed as a Democrat in 2013 and re-elected in 2014, recently cited his colleague’s reaction to his decision to cross party lines to pass the current budget as a “tipping point.”

In a video released on Monday, Begay said it has been the Republicans who have worked with him to “improve education, jobs and infrastructure.”

Begay said families living within the rural and Arizona tribal communities are in a “crisis” with unemployment as high as 80 percent in some instances. The Republican Party, he said, is more equipped to address the issues.

“With an open mind and heart, I clearly see the Republican Party as a party of progress, the party of opportunity, and moving forward, my party,” he added.
Progress matters!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost And Found In Stereo

President Obama, the sample:
The album, which is set for release on Friday, will use a clip of Obama singing the hymn as an “interlude,” The Sun reported.

“We have a tiny clip of the president singing Amazing Grace at that church,” Coldplay frontman Chris Martin told The Sun. “Because of the historical significance of what he did and also that that song being about, ‘I’m lost but now I’m found.’”
Sorry, but it doesn't have a beat and you can't dance to it...

The Yoga Police

Yoga is now officially offensive:
The center suggested that some practices involved in the routine “are being taken from” some cultures that ”have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy.”

Thus, the center contends, “we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practicing yoga.”

Acting student federation president Romeo Ahimakin said that as a result, student leaders are looking at ways to make students aware of where the spiritual and cultural aspects of yoga come from, ”so that these sessions are done in a respectful manner.”

Meanwhile, yoga classes have been put on hiatus. It was not clear when or if they might resume.
No meditation for you...

Campus Correction

Not all students are happy with the direction their school (and too many others) have taken:
Students with the Princeton Open Campus Coalition expressed concern with the events and asked for a meeting with Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber.

“Academic discourse consists of reasoned arguments. We simply wish to present our own reasoned arguments and engage you and other senior administrators in dialogue. We will not occupy your office, and, though we respectfully request a minimum of an hour of your time, we will only stay for as long as you wish. We will conduct ourselves in the civil manner that it is our hope to maintain and reinforce as the norm at Princeton,” a letter published to Facebook said.

It continued, “This dialogue is necessary because many students have shared with us that they are afraid to state publicly their opinions on recent events for fear of being vilified, slandered, and subjected to hatred, either by fellow students or faculty. Many who questioned the protest were labeled racist, and black students who expressed disagreement with the protesters were called ‘white sympathizers’ and were told they were ‘not black.’ We, the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, refuse to let our peers be intimidated or bullied into silence on these–or any–important matters.”
Sanity is a dirty word these days...

Court Time

Never let a fake clock go to waste:
The attorneys have sent letters to both the City of Irving and Irving ISD (read below), demanding $10 million and $5 million respectively, for the way the incident was handled earlier this year. They claim 14-year-old Ahmed has suffered severe damages as a result of his interrogation and arrest at the school. They also point the finger at Irving’s Police Chief and Mayor for the way they portrayed Ahmed to the media once the story gained international interest.

The attorneys claim that both the school district and the police department violated Ahmed’s rights, which led to a chain of events that ultimately forced the family to move out of the country to Doha, Qatar. The family wants to return to Irving, Texas, when they feel safe again, according to the letters.

Several hardships are spelled out in the nine-page letter to the school district, which states, “Ahmed’s reputation in the global community is permanently scarred.” Among the damages his attorney’s claim include: Ahmed’s face being super-imposed onto a famous image of Osama bin Laden, Ahmed being portrayed as a clock boy on a Halloween costume website, and Ahmed’s address being tweeted out, which forced his family to leave their home.
Fifteen million would buy a lot of therapy, and clocks...

The Smell Of Sweden

No cleanliness for you:
King Carl XVI Gustaf, who once had a reputation as a lothario and is now a staunch environmentalist, said he realised how much water and energy they used when he was recently staying somewhere without a shower.

The 69-year-old ‘green king’ told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: ‘It hit me how much water and energy it used.

‘I thought “I can’t believe I’m having to do this”. I felt quite ashamed.’

Apparently in jest, he added: ‘We should ban all baths.’
Unfortunately, there are people who would actually want this. Smell ya later, Sweden...

Blogging In The Years: 1941

Did warm weather give the world a hothead?
Increasingly warmer temperatures throughout the world may produce a trend toward dictatorial governments, in the opinion of Dr. Clarence A. Mills, professor of experimental medicine at the University of Cincinnati.
In fact, Dr. Mills believes that the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in German and Benito Mussolini in Italy may be due in part to the gradually warming temperature of the world. People are more docile and easily led in warm weather than in cold, Dr. Mills insists.
Maybe Mother Nature is just getting Hitler and his followers ready for the place they will eventually end up in...

Creative Clinton Accounting

They really do mean private:
According to its corporate records, Fondo Acceso is registered in Colombia as a “simplified stock corporation,” which legal experts said precludes it from doing business as a private equity fund.

Fondo Acceso’s website was also removed from the internet this week, shortly after the Washington Free Beacon reported that the $20 million investment firm was owned by the Clinton Foundation and was run out of the foundation’s office in Bogota.

The website had previously described Acceso as “a Private Equity Fund that seeks investment opportunities in small and medium Colombian compan[ies] with the purpose of obtaining economic and social returns.”

Its website also included a contract for companies seeking investment to fill out, which authorized the release of financial and other internal information to Fondo Acceso and the Clinton Foundation.
Every little bit helps as long as you think you can get away with it...

We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Washington

Americans are not big fans of the Federal government:
More than a third (35 percent) of Republicans believe the federal government is the enemy, while 34 percent of Independents believe the same. The poll found that half of all Democrats (50 percent) view the government as a friend and only 12 percent see it as the enemy.

Other findings include that few think the government is run for the benefit of all the people and that it is viewed as wasteful and inefficient. About 3 in 4 Americans say the federal government is “run by a few big interests” and 57 percent say the “government is almost always wasteful and inefficient.”
It hasn't given a good accounting of itself, at that...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Don't Cry for Kirchner, Argentina

There's a new kid in town:
Macri, the outgoing mayor of Buenos Aires, hails from one of the country's richest families. On the campaign trail, he sometimes talked about being kidnapped in the early 1990s, an experience he said helped him understand the needs of others and he credits with pushing him into politics.

As mayor of Argentina's most important city, he was known for a technocrat manner that stressed efficiency over style.

He campaigned for president on promises to reform and jumpstart the South American country's sagging economy. He also pledged to lead by "listening more and speaking less" than Fernandez, something he frequently said on the campaign trail.

"I'm so happy," said Julia Juarez, a 66-year-old retired teacher who was one of thousands watching the returns at Macri's bunker. "Argentines are tired of this government. Tired of the corruption. We are ready for something new."
Let the free marketer decide!

First Amendment Responders

College professors try to stand up for free speech:
A recent wave of campus protests nationwide has brought new attention to the issue, with some civil liberties advocates fretting that it will erode free speech. The protests, including those that led to the ouster of the University of Missouri's president, also have added to the pressure on presidents to be responsive to students' demands.

But institution leaders say it is nothing new for them to navigate First Amendment conflicts, with more cropping up with this generation in particular on campuses that are generally far more diverse than their communities at home.

Wesleyan's president, Michael Roth, wrote a piece defending free speech in September after the student government moved to cut funding for the student newspaper over an op-ed piece on the Black Lives Matter movement. In an interview, he said the fact that some do not value free speech above all things is not a sign of a problem, but rather reflects one of many continuing debates on a diverse campus.

"As a president, I think it's pretty simple," Roth said. "You want to keep the conversation going so that you can learn from other people's views, but you also want to make sure you're learning and not just spinning your wheels."

Still, Roth said he was asked this week by students how he could defend both the student newspaper and students protesting racism.
Because, that whole free speech thing?

No Explanations Necessary

So how does the Obama administration expect to explain its climate change policy? They won't:
Stephen D. Eule, vice president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, a Chamber affiliate, appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and told lawmakers that it is “difficult to see how the administration proposes to sell such an unrealistic, bare-bones plan” given the unresolved questions and the lawsuits filed to halt implementation.

“The legal limbo the administration’s actions have created will have real consequences for business as it tries to plan for the future,” Eule said.

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have set a goal to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from established 2005 emission levels by 2025. The plan, Eule said, “raises more questions than it answers.”

“Nowhere does it explain how the administration intends to achieve the unrealistic goals it has set out,” he said. “In the absence of a detailed explanation of how the administration intends to meet the goal, the Congress, foreign governments and stakeholders here and abroad have no basis on which to assess its cost or achievability.”
Unicorns still need an explanation...

The War On Tweets

You've got to get them where it hurts:
Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech Thursday wasn’t exactly packed with specific strategies to defeat the Islamic State. But the Democratic presidential front-runner did offer this highly targeted approach:

“Social media companies can also do their part by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts, so they’re not used to plan, provoke or celebrate violence,” she said.

Boom. Just shut it down. And do it swiftly.

On the surface, this sounds like a common-sense proposal. Social media is an important part of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine. When the group claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks on Paris, it did so on Twitter. Islamic State members routinely use social media to exchange instructions and recruit new members.
It's a war of words out there...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Subsides In The Wind

Britain cuts down on wind and solar subsidies:
The moves have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies. Britain has long been in the vanguard of efforts to combat global warming. It has been expected to play a leading role — alongside the Obama administration — in efforts to secure a package of tough reforms at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, which kicks off at the end of this month.

But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home, with a planned 87 percent reduction in subsidies for solar power, threatens to undermine Britain’s international authority, while showing just how difficult it can be for a developed nation to break a centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels.
Or maybe they figured out that supporting unreliable, bird-killing tech isn't such a great idea after all...

Big Ben

Ben Shapiro takes on the culture of micro aggression: