Thursday, December 31, 2009

[The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street] - C-SPAN Video Library

Our 2009 Chickens and Their 2010 Roost by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online

In the coming year, plenty of chickens will be coming home to roost.

Take foreign relations. In 2009, the new administration assumed that George W. Bush was largely responsible for global tensions. As a remedy, we loudly reached out to our foes and those with whom we had uneasy relationships.

But so far these leaders — like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — have only interpreted Barack Obama’s serial goodwill gestures as weaknesses to be exploited. They play the part of the pushy class bully, we the whiny nerd.

Dave Barry's year in review: 2009 - Dave Barry -

It was a year of Hope -- at first in the sense of "I feel hopeful!" and later in the sense of "I hope this year ends soon!"

It was also a year of Change, especially in Washington, where the tired old hacks of yesteryear finally yielded the reins of power to a group of fresh, young, idealistic, new-idea outsiders such as Nancy Pelosi. As a result Washington, rejecting "business as usual," finally stopped trying to solve every problem by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at it and instead started trying to solve every problem by throwing trillions of taxpayer dollars at it.

Obama's Security 'Breach' -

Their latest sanctuary lies in unruly Yemen, headquarters for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which last year pulled off a series of local bombings, including at the U.S. embassy in the capital Sana, killing 13. The al Qaeda chapter in Yemen has re-emerged under the leadership of a former secretary to Osama bin Laden.

Along with a dozen other al Qaeda members, he was allowed to escape from a Yemeni jail in 2006. His deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri, was a Saudi inmate at Gitmo who after his release "graduated" from that country's terrorist "rehabilitation" program before moving to Yemen last year. About a fifth of the so-called graduates have ended back on the Saudi terror most-wanted list, according to a GAO study this year.

Spitzer's AIG Emails -

Sensitive information about surviving institutions might argue against release, so perhaps a better place to start would be at the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York. That's where the destruction of AIG began in 2005, when AG Eliot Spitzer forced the dismissal of the company's CEO, Hank Greenberg.

Ivana Trump Escorted Off Plane: Napolitano Declares 'The System Worked' - HUMAN EVENTS

The government is like the drunk looking for his keys under a lamppost. Someone stops to help, and asks, "Is this where you lost them?" No, the drunk answers, but the light's better here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dr. Helen: Is cable worth it?

Every six months I have to get into it with Comcast, my cable company who doubles or this month almost tripled my bill when a "promotion" ran out. I have been calling and getting the promotions for over 4 years now but this time pretty much ran into a brick wall when the customer service representative just kind of shrugged and gave me simply a ridiculous number instead of an over-the-top one.

In answer to the question: NO!

Nice to read that so many people have dumped cable in recognition of it's poor cost/benefit ratio. Hopefully a trend will get some people's attention.

I've been without cable for quite a few years now and can't imagine wanting it back... ever.

No More Visas for the State Department by Elliott Abrams on National Review Online

The mishandling of the would-be airplane bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab’s visa is only the latest piece of evidence that the granting of visas should be taken away from the State Department. Doing so would improve our national security — and actually help the State Department itself.

Not an unexpected reaction.

Global Warming Science and Public Policy - Climate Change, William Happer testimony to Senate Energy Committee on February 25, 2009

I remember being forced to read Voltaire’s novel, Candide, when I was young. You recall that Dr. Pangloss repeatedly assured young Candide that he was living in “the best of all possible worlds,” presumably also with the best of all CO2 concentrations. That we are (or were) living at the best of all CO2 concentrations seems to be a tacit assumption of the IPCC executive summaries for policy makers. Enormous effort and imagination have gone into showing that increasing concentrations of CO2 will be catastrophic , cities will be flooded by sea-level rises that are ten or more times bigger than even IPCC predicts, there will be mass extinctions of species, billions of people will die, tipping points will render the planet a desert. A few months ago I read that global warming will soon bring on a devastating epidemic of kidney stones. If you write down all the ills attributed to global warming you fill up a very thick book.

Many of the frightening scenarios about global warming come from large computer calculations, “general circulation models,” that try to mimic the behavior of the earth’s climate as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere. It is true that climate models use increasingly capable and increasingly expensive computers. But their predictions have not been very good. For example, none of them predicted the lack of warming that we have experienced during the past ten years. All the models assume the water feedback is positive, while satellite observations suggest that the feedback is zero or negative.

Modelers have been wrong before. One of the most famous modeling disputes involved the physicist William Thompson, later Lord Kelvin, and the naturalist Charles Darwin. Lord Kelvin was a great believer in models and differential equations.

Charles Darwin was not particularly facile with mathematics, but he took observations very seriously. For evolution to produce the variety of living and fossil species that Darwin had observed, the earth needed to have spent hundreds of millions of years with conditions not very different from now. With his mathematical models, Kelvin rather pompously demonstrated that the earth must have been a hellish ball of molten rock only a few tens of millions of years ago, and that the sun could not have been shining for more than about 30 million years. Kelvin was actually modeling what he thought was global and solar cooling. I am sorry to say that a majority of his fellow physicists supported Kelvin. Poor Darwin removed any reference to the age of the earth in later editions of the “Origin of the Species.” But Darwin was right the first time, and Kelvin was wrong. Kelvin thought he knew everything but he did not know about the atomic nucleus, radioactivity and nuclear reactions, all of which invalidated his elegant modeling calculations.

This brings up the frequent assertion that there is a consensus behind the idea that there is an impending disaster from climate change, and that it may already be too late to avert this catastrophe, even if we stop burning fossil fuels now. We are told that only a few flat-earthers still have any doubt about the calamitous effects of continued CO2 emissions. There are a number of answers to this assertion.

First, what is correct in science is not determined by consensus but by experiment and observations. Historically, the consensus is often wrong, and I just mentioned the incorrect consensus of modelers about the age of the earth and the sun. During the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia the medical consensus was that you could cure almost anything by bleeding the patient. Benjamin Rush, George Washington’s Surgeon General during the War of Independence, and a brave man, stayed in Philadelphia throughout the yellow fever epidemic. He worked tirelessly to save the stricken by bleeding them, the consensus treatment of the day. A few cautious observers noticed that you were more likely to survive the yellow fever without the services of the great man. But Dr. Rush had plenty of high level-friends and he was backed up by the self-evident consensus, so he went ahead with his ministrations. In summary, a consensus is often wrong.

Secondly, I do not think there is a consensus about an impending climate crisis. I personally certainly don’t believe we are facing a crisis unless we create one for ourselves, as Benjamin Rush did by bleeding his patients. Many others, wiser than I am, share my view. The number of those with the courage to speak out is growing. There may be an illusion of consensus. Like the temperance movement one hundred years ago the climate-catastrophe movement has enlisted the mass media, the leadership of scientific societies, the trustees of charitable foundations, and many other influential people to their cause. Just as editorials used to fulminate about the slippery path to hell behind the tavern door, hysterical op-ed’s lecture us today about the impending end of the planet and the need to stop climate change with bold political action. Many distinguished scientific journals now have editors who further the agenda of climate-change alarmism. Research papers with scientific findings contrary to the dogma of climate calamity are rejected by reviewers, many of whom fear that their research funding will be cut if any doubt is cast on the coming climate catastrophe.

Speaking of the Romans, then invading Scotland in the year 83, the great Scottish chieftain Calgacus is quoted as saying “They make a desert and call it peace.” If you have the power to stifle dissent, you can indeed create the illusion of peace or consensus. The Romans have made impressive inroads into climate science. Certainly, it is a bit unnerving to read statements of Dr. James Hansen in the Congressional Record that climate skeptics are guilty of “high crimes against humanity and nature.”

Even elementary school teachers and writers of children’s books are enlisted to terrify our children and to promote the idea of impending climate doom. Having observed the education of many children, including my own, I am not sure how effective the effort will be. Many children seem to do just the opposite of what they are taught. Nevertheless, children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science. Many of you may know that in 2007 a British Court ruled that if Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was used in public schools, the children had to be told of eleven particularly troubling inaccuracies. You can easily find a list of the inaccuracies on the internet, but I will mention one. The court ruled that it was not possible to attribute hurricane Katrina to CO2. Indeed, had we taken a few of the many billions of dollars we have been spending on climate change research and propaganda and fixed the dykes and pumps around the New Orleans, most of the damage from Hurricane Katrina could have been avoided.

The sea level is indeed rising, just as it has for the past 20,000 years since the end of the last ice age. Fairly accurate measurements of sea level have been available since about 1800. These measurements show no sign of any acceleration. The rising sea level can be a serious local problem for heavily-populated, low-lying areas like New Orleans, where land subsidence compounds the problem. But to think that limiting CO2 emissions will stop sea level rise is a dangerous illusion. It is also possible that the warming seas around Antarctica will cause more snowfall over the continent and will counteract the sea-level rise. In any case, the rising sea level is a problem that needs quick local action for locations like New Orleans rather than slow action globally.

In closing, let me say again that we should provide adequate support to the many brilliant scientists, some at my own institution of Princeton University, who are trying to better understand the earth’s climate, now, in the past, and what it may be in the future. I regret that the climate-change issue has become confused with serious problems like secure energy supplies , protecting our environment, and figuring out where future generations will get energy supplies after we have burned all the fossil fuel we can find. We should not confuse these laudable goals with hysterics about carbon footprints.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

0x1fff: 35 Google open-source projects that you probably don't know

Google is one of the biggest companies supporting OpenSource movement, they released more than 500 open source projects(most of them are samples showing how to use their API). In this article I will try to write about most interesting and free releases from Google, some of them might be abandoned.

Friday, December 25, 2009

National Snow Analyses - NOHRSC - The ultimate source for snow information

Automated Model Discussion:
December 25, 2009
Area Covered By Snow: 63.0%
Area Covered Last Month: 10.4%
Snow Depth
Average: 5.0 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 889.2 in
Std. Dev.: 7.0 in
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 0.9 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 437.5 in
Std. Dev.: 1.5 in


*Exhaling as much CO2 as I can to remedy the situation.*

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

As attacks increase, U.S. struggles to recruit computer security experts -

The lack of trained defenders for these networks is leading to serious gaps in protection and significant losses of intelligence, national security experts said

Can intelligence be expressed as a negative number now?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wolverton: Google Phone rumors tap consumer longing - San Jose Mercury News

Regardless of whether the Nexus One is indeed the Google phone or just the latest model in an evolution of Android phones, I'm interested in why people are excited by a Google Phone. Many consumers seem to be using the idea to project their ideal of what a smart-phone should be or how the mobile phone industry should work.

The first comment on the Journal's article was from a reader declaring, "I want one," despite the article's sketchy details about it. Another reader expressed hope that the phone would be a "disruptive move in the rotten phone industry."

Tom Woods Website

Good stuff.

Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man's best friend - Yahoo! News

Sylvie Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs -- the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars -- says defiantly, "Our animals give us so much that I don't feel like a polluter at all.

"I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations."

To the left, only they have feelings and needs. If you are not among them, you don't exist. Solipsism.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Climate Hypocrites by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

So just to recap: The Prince of Wales, a man who has never drawn his own curtains, ramps up a carbon footprint of 2,601 tons while telling us that Western capitalist excess is destroying the planet. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the railroad engineer who heads the International Panel on Climate Change and has demanded that “hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying,” flew 443,226 miles on “IPCC business” in the year and a half before the Copenhagen summit. And Al Gore is a carbon billionaire: He makes more money buying offsets from himself than his dad did from investing in Occidental Petroleum.

There'll be nowhere to run from the new world government - Telegraph

The dangerous idea that the democratic accountability of national governments should simply be dispensed with in favour of "global agreements" reached after closed negotiations between world leaders never, so far as I recall, entered into the arena of public discussion. Except in the United States, where it became a very contentious talking point, the US still holding firmly to the 18th-century idea that power should lie with the will of the people.

The Anatomy Of A Bad Search Result

So who created this fake blog? It could have been Consumersearch, or a “black hat” SEO consultant, or someone in an affiliate program that Consumersearch doesn’t even know. I’m not trying to imply that Consumersearch did anything wrong. The problem is systematic. When you have a multibillion dollar economy built around keywords and links, the ultimate “products” optimize for just that: keywords and links. The incentive to create quality content diminishes.

The First Amendment & Net Neutrality: Be Careful What You Wish For — Technology Liberation Front

As I noted here a few days ago, the Federal Communications Commission held a workshop on Tuesday about “Speech, Democratic Engagement, and the Open Internet.” It was a shockingly one-sided affair with the deck being stacked almost entirely in favor of advocates of Net neutrality regulation. Worse yet, those advocates shamelessly made up spooky stories about a future of “private censorship” that could only be remedied by using the First Amendment as a club to beat private players into submission.

Why not? Apocryphal stories work to promote government run health care, government control of energy production and use, and many other things.

For some reason apocryphal stories of government screw-ups (in addition to real every-day fully-documented headlines of such) don't have the same impact, since a "quick-fix" to whatever the problem exemplified by the story is isn't easily summarized by a sound bite that a politician or activist can utter in order to stir up "grass roots" (maybe "weed roots" would be a better term) support.

When government first steps in to an area, the natural and wild flora and fauna of competition start to die off and what are left are a few mutant-strain species with natural resistance (or worse, resistance produced by favoritism) and you end up with the Intels, Microsofts, GMs and Goldman Sachs of the world, companies who's continued existence and success can't be questioned (even with the existence of limp wristed FTC probes from time to time).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I, Cringely - The Day AT&T Learned Moore’s Law (it’s not when you think it was)

Apple and Steve Jobs (they are one and the same) feel a tremendous need to control stories about them. No other computer company I know of has sued its own customers to silence them, yet Apple did just that a couple years ago. Steve Jobs now reportedly controls most of the copyrighted photos ever taken of him, which is why editors and TV producers keep using the same few shots over and over again. The company, too, imposes on its commercial partners a virtual gag order. That’s the case here with AT&T, which apparently isn’t allowed to refute Verizon’s network performance claims even if AT&T has contrary data.

Howard Bloom: Climate Change Is Nature's Way -

We've been deceived by a stroke of luck. In the two million years during which we climbed from stone-tool wielding Homo erectus with sloping brows to high-foreheaded Homo urbanis, man the inventor of the city, we underwent 60 glaciations, 60 ice ages. And in the 120,000 years since we emerged in our current physiological shape as Homo sapiens, we've lived through 20 sudden global warmings. In most of those, temperatures have shot up by as much as 18 degrees within a mere 20 years.

All this took place without smokestacks and tailpipes. All this took place without the desecration of nature by modern man.

Why radiocarbon measurements are not true calendar ages

Blizzard Dumps Snow on Copenhagen as Leaders Battle Warming -

Denmark has a maritime climate and milder winters than its Scandinavian neighbors. It hasn’t had a white Christmas for 14 years, under the DMI’s definition, and only had seven last century. Temperatures today fell as low as minus 4 Celsius (25 Fahrenheit).

U.S. Treasury Runs Into Theories on Irrational Investing - Real Time Economics - WSJ

Say you have two traders. One buys a stock when it’s at $90 per share and another buys it when it’s at $110. If today the stock is at $100 per share, the person who bought at $90 is much more willing to sell than the person who bought at $110.

Mr. Kahneman’s insight helped to make a broader point –- individuals often act in emotional or irrational ways, counter to the view that individuals act purely out of self-interest. He won a Nobel prize in economics for the insight.

I didn't know they had a Nobel prize for common sense. But that beats the ones they've been giving out lately for nonsense.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dan DiMicco: A Nation That 'Builds Things' -

Here are three steps we can take that will move the economy forward without increasing the federal budget deficit. These steps will also dramatically reduce our trade deficit, promote genuine rules-based free trade, and position us to remain the world's leader.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Planning the Next Bubble by Kling & Schulz on National Review Online

When the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, our government geniuses “solved” the problem of the resulting recession by creating a housing bubble. Now that this plan has exploded to disastrous effect, the planners have come up with their next great project — creating a “green” economy.

Socialism in Stages by Dan Oliver Jr. on National Review Online

If the hard socialism of Communism produces economic and societal collapse quickly, Mises theorized, the soft, incremental socialism of the West — popularized again recently as the “Third Way” by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton — would produce poverty in stages. Every bureaucratic intervention in the market reduces long-term wealth creation, even if it provides a temporary boost to the economy. In time, this reduction of wealth is blamed on the inefficiencies of the remaining “unfettered” market, which provokes calls for greater intervention, ad infinitum.

Daily Express | UK News :: Climate change is natural: 100 reasons why

Soros Wants IMF To Subsidize His Green Investments

George Soros, owner, Democratic Party

Deficits are Bad, but the Real Problem is Spending

Microsoft's Windows Mobile Operating System Falls Behind | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

And now, with the official release of Windows Mobile 7 reportedly delayed until late 2010, you’ve got to wonder if the company hasn’t already blown its last chance at a comeback in the mobile space. As Strategic News Service analyst Mark Anderson recently told the New York Times, “It’s time to declare Microsoft a loser in phones. Just get out of Dodge.”

Red, White, & Sacrebleu: How American wines shocked the world

Monday, December 14, 2009

Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don't add up - Times Online

Science: D

Dear Mrs. Gore

Albert will have to start devoting more time to his studies and less time trying to bully the other children with how important his daddy is.

I hope you can get through to him, heaven knows we have tried.

D.C. hands out $15M in bonuses despite recession, budget gaps | Washington Examiner

"Fenty, Rhee and [police Chief Cathy] Lanier have tried to tell everybody in the city we don't have enough police officers, firefighters and teachers because they don't have any money. But at the same time they're lining the pockets of their favorites," police union Chairman Kris Baumann said. "If you put this in a movie, people wouldn't believe it. It would be too far-fetched."

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Why the City of Los Angeles chose Google

By ITA estimates, Google Apps will save the city of Los Angeles millions of dollars by allowing us to shift resources currently dedicated to email to other purposes. For example, moving to Google will free up nearly 100 servers that were used for our existing email system, which will lower our electricity bills by almost $750,000 over five years. In short, this decision helps us to get the most out of the city's IT budget.

The End Of Hand Crafted Content

The best end-to-end description of "the problem" that I've seen and by someone I'm not sure I particularly like.

And to make sure my two readers see the whole thing, not even my typical paragraph quote!

Microsoft Rips Off Twitter Ripoff (MSFT)

Vested MS employees, pretending to work, actually rip off someone else's design. In other news, world ends.

News at 11.

Apropos of Everything

Our modern sense of entitlement is devouring us. From the largest institution down to the most inconsequential individuals we dream of someone or something bigger than ourselves to swoop down and provide us with a comfortable rest from our toil. We've done all these great things, trust us, and let us be.

At the individual level a check from Uncle Sam replaces the kids who stayed on the farm and tended to grandpa when he was too sick to walk behind the plow.

At the institutional level we now have entities that are "too big to fail", even when we can't quite place our finger on what it is they are doing for the rest of us that is of such great value.

Big companies, big unions, big media, big government. I have a nagging sensation that they all have something in common that is inherently evil. I wonder what it is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Crisis? Asian Tech Companies Are Ready To Expand And Eat The Competition's Lunch

Consulting firm Deloitte just released this year's list of Asia's fastest growing 500 technology companies and it paints a picture of Asian tech leaders who actually view the global crisis as an opportunity -- because it weakened the competition.

Rob Pegoraro - A review of three disappointing netbook computers -

Why would manufacturers deprive their customers of something as cheap as memory?

Blame Microsoft and its passive-aggressive rules governing Win 7 Starter. The Redmond, Wash., company will license this edition for sale only on computers with 1 GB or less of memory and a screen no larger than 10.2 inches.

Microsoft won't explain those and other restrictions or even confirm outside reports of them, although computer vendors had no problem reciting the details.

It's Microsoft. No further explanation necessary.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

No Jobs, No Housing, No Bull

This White House event was a sham, a photo opp meant solely to influence public opinion without actually doing anything, according to attendees. This can be seen, for example, in the coverage by USA Today, which proudly quoted statements by the President about what had been accomplished in the sessions, yet USA Today said their interview took place two hours before the event even started.

UN Security Stops Journalist’s Questions About ClimateGate

A Stanford Professor has used United Nation security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book.

Google to Start Selling Own Phone Next Year -

Google Inc. has designed a cellphone it plans to sell directly to consumers as soon as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The phone is called the Nexus One and is being manufactured for Google by HTC Corp., these people said. It runs Android, the operating system for mobile phones that Google developed, they added.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

George F. Will - The Fed's war of independence

Before the recent downward tick in unemployment from 10.2 percent to 10 percent, Democrats said: The absence of downward movement proves the urgent need for more stimulus spending. After the downward tick they said: The improvement proves the urgent need for more stimulus spending lest the momentum stall. For such people, "more spending" is a verbal tic. Let such people begin managing the Fed and they will mandate low interest rates, regardless of circumstances. The currency will fail as a store of value.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Nobel peace prize: Norwegians incensed over Barack Obama's snubs | World news |

Barack Obama's trip to Oslo to pick up his Nobel peace award is in danger of being overshadowed by a row over the cancellation of a series of events normally attended by the prizewinner.

Norwegians are incensed over what they view as his shabby response to the prize by cutting short his visit.

Even Obama has lost respect for the prize now that he's won it.

Al Gore thinks the Earth is actually hotter than the Sun

O'BRIEN: create energy, and it sounds to me like an evil plan by Lex Luthor to defeat Superman. Can you, can you tell me, is this a viable solution, geothermal energy?

GORE: It definitely is, and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy - when they think about it at all - in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …”

The only thing this idiot has ever invented are his facts. Sometimes the grades you make in college do mean something.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for them

And so what is CNN doing? They are now spending a gazillion of their shareholder money to run delusional ads that they are somehow number one and somehow do it better than everyone else - apparently convincing only themselves because they have fallen into last place - 4th? - with the viewers.

Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak | Environment |

Hill continued: "It proposes a green fund to be run by a board but the big risk is that it will run by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility [a partnership of 10 agencies including the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme] and not the UN. That would be a step backwards, and it tries to put constraints on developing countries when none were negotiated in earlier UN climate talks."

Q: Who can we get who is even less trustworthy than the UN?

A: HEY! How about the World Bank?! Yeah, that's the ticket.

Media Firms to Unveil Joint Venture for Digital Devices -

The aim is to create a common set of technology standards for how magazines and other publications look on e-readers and other digital devices, some of which haven't been invented yet. The participants also want to ensure they have a common standard for advertising and a digital "store" through which consumers can buy multiple publishers' titles, according to people familiar with the matter.


I hope it works.

American Thinker: Tiger, Barack, and the Law of Transitivity

We are staring because we've been had. Betrayed. We see now that the image was all a fraud. The talent was real. But the things that made the public like Tiger personally -- the low-key demeanor, manners, and sweet smile of countless sports-page photos, magazine covers, political analogies, and most important, product endorsements, was an act. That would be betrayal enough. But it wasn't just Woods' act. The larger lesson here is about how much artifice -- sustained, deliberate deception -- goes into the construction of a public persona when there is profit to be made or power to be had.


But enough about Tiger the man, who is, after all, only a golfer. Let's move on to Tiger the metaphor. Because anyone with four functioning brain cells gets that if this comprehensive a charade can be sustained for a decade as Woods and those around him amassed billions, it can happen elsewhere. It can happen right in front of our eyes.

If I were watching the public's disgust with the newly revealed Tiger Woods from an office in the West Wing, I'd be concerned. Because Barack Obama is about as completely manufactured a political character as this nation has seen. His meteoric rise, without the inconvenience of a public record or accomplishments, and the public's willing suspension of critical evaluation of his résumé allowed his handlers and the media to project whatever they wanted to on his unfurrowed brow.

Rupert Murdoch: Journalism and Freedom - companies need to give people the news they want. I can't tell you how many papers I have visited where they have a wall of journalism prizes—and a rapidly declining circulation. This tells me the editors are producing news for themselves—instead of news that is relevant to their customers. A news organization's most important asset is the trust it has with its readers, a bond that reflects the readers' confidence that editors are looking out for their needs and interests.

These developments mean increased competition, and that is good for consumers. But just as businesses are adapting to new realities, the government needs to adapt too. In this new and more globally competitive news world, restricting cross-ownership between television and newspapers makes as little sense as would banning newspapers from having Web sites.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Shocking!! Report Paid For By ACORN Exonerates Them

“At a joint Oversight-Judiciary Committee forum last week, we heard from state government officials and an ACORN whistleblower about the fraudulent and deceptive tactics ACORN uses to manipulate the same people it purports to serve. The more we have learned about the inner-working of ACORN and its affiliates, the more apparent it becomes that this organization is intentionally structured to deceive and mislead the American people.”

Max Baucus, Girlfriends and Double Standards -

As Senate Finance Chairman, Mr. Baucus is a crucial player in health-care reform, and our guess is that neither Democrats nor their media allies will want to explore this nepotistic near-miss lest it interfere with that greater political goal. But if they don't, we will learn a good deal about workplace ethics and political double standards.

I learned a new word: kakistocracy

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges - Telegraph

Sunday, December 06, 2009

PROMISES, PROMISES: A closed meeting on openness

People who routinely request government records said they don't see much progress on Obama's transparency pledge.

"It's either smoke and mirrors or it was done for the media," said Jeff Stachewicz, founder of Washington-based FOIA Group Inc., which files hundreds of requests every month across the government on behalf of companies, law firms and news organizations. "This administration, when it wants something done, there are no excuses. You just don't see a big movement toward transparency."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Obama’s Jobs Summit: The Invisible Hand of SEIU and ACORN

As President Obama concludes his first jobs summit, almost a year into his presidency, the nature of the guest list hints at a deliberate initiative that’s been underway for over 15 years – and it’s not one of the obvious presumptions that most would make. Notice that of the list of leaders invited, the majority are labor union leaders, leaders of businesses with government contracts, or leaders of businesses that operate on partial public funding. There is a common element across most of the businesses represented: in one capacity or another, even if they are private sector businesses, most on the list benefit from some form of public money.

The $50 Billion New Socialist Media

WILL Radio AM 580, affiliated with National Public Radio and sponsored by the University of Illinois, received $1.2 million from the University of Illinois and almost $1.6 million in federal grants, including from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in 2008.

Under the law, 47 U.S. Code, Section 396(g)(1)(A), programs funded by the CPB are supposed to be objective and balanced. But McChesney openly flouts the law and does not even seem to be familiar with the legal obligations that are supposed to apply to his show and others.

McChesney told AIM that his program "is very popular in our community" and that "The free market has spoken." But his show is not dependent on the free market. Rather, it is supported by tax dollars and on-air fundraisers hosted by McChesney and guests such as Noam Chomsky of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a Communist Party spin-off.

Obama's Exit Strategy - HUMAN EVENTS

Let us put that in perspective.

During the Korean War, we had a third of a million men fighting. In 1969, we had half a million troops in Vietnam. But in Afghanistan, where the security of the world is at stake, Obama is topping out at 100,000 troops and will start drawing them down in July 2011.

"Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is not just America's war," said Obama. But if the burden is not ours alone to bear, where is everybody else?

As usual, taking their 5-week a year vacations and harping to us about the advantages of European style socialism. By the time they react to what is happening to them they will be the western province of Iran, and it will be far too late for us to help them. Made their bed, etc. Backlash won't be pretty (again).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Official Google Blog: Introducing Google Public DNS

Today, as part of our ongoing effort to make the web faster, we're launching our own public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS, and we invite you to try it out.

I wonder what took them so long.

The Washington Times is laying off 40 percent of its staff -

In what amounts to a bid for survival, the company said the print edition will focus on its core strengths: politics, national security, investigative reporting and "cultural coverage based on traditional values." That means the Times will end its run as a full-service newspaper, slashing its coverage of local news, sports and features.

Much of stimulus funding going to Washington area contractors -

Reports from stimulus recipients show that a sizable sum has gone to federal contractors in the Washington area who are helping implement the initiative -- in effect, they are being paid a hefty slice of the money to help spend the rest of it.

The contractors' work hardly differs from the basic operations of the federal departments hiring them. The Energy Department is paying Technology & Management Services, a Gaithersburg firm, $6.9 million to review applications for renewable energy loan guarantees. The Department of Homeland Security awarded Deloitte Consulting's Arlington branch $8.6 million to provide "program management and support" for the stimulus plan's $1 billion airport security initiative, and gave McKing Consulting, a Fairfax firm, a $1.5 million contract to review applications for fire department construction funding.

Our commander in chief's Christmas crisis

We should either unleash the full potential of the U.S. military on Afghanistan to complete the mission as quickly as we can or pull out completely and bring our service men and women home to U.S. soil and their families.

Most tragically, the real aftermath of the White House
delay has been a record number of U.S. casualties – the highest in the eight years of war: 44 in July, 51 in August, 37 in September, 59 in October and 17 more in November.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Opinion: Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond "enthusiastically" to the speech. But it didn't help: The soldiers' reception was cool.

One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan -- and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war -- and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.

What are those mysterious bX-codes? - Blogger Help

Long ago, people who worked with the major computer operating system in the universe ("IBM" mainframe) would maintain a library of reference manuals (yes, paper - and a lot of paper). A significant quantity of these manuals would be incredibly large glossaries of system termination codes. Each code would have a special significance, such as attempting to enter a date containing an alphabetic character. Seeing a given code for a specific database entry, a database engineer would look up the code in the reference manual, then patch the record in error accordingly, and the problem would be solved.

The bX- codes have no similar significance. They are simply unique codes, which identify each individual point of abnormal termination. There's no secret glossary assigning the cause for any single code, just a pointer to the individual termination point in the Blogger codebase. When enough bloggers report a given code, a Blogger employee simply examines the termination point, and using the diagnostic information hopefully provided by the bloggers problem reports, makes a diagnosis of the problem cause. Rarely, the code will be added to a small database (which may or may not be active) which lists uniquely significant codes.

While checking to see why I was getting these "bx" codes myself, I found this wonderful tutorial on how things are done differently these days (and not necessarily for the better). I couldn't have said it better, so copied!

Climategate: it’s all unravelling now – Telegraph Blogs

Danes caught fiddling their carbon credits. (Hat tip: Philip Stott) Carbon trading is the Emperor’s New Clothes of international finance. It was invented by none other than Ken Lay, whose Enron would currently be one of the prime beneficiaries in the global alternative energy market, if it hadn’t been shown to be (nearly) as fraudulent as the current AGW scam. It is a licence to fleece, cheat and rob.

This and more at link.

Google: Zeitgeist 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The United States Of Wusses

The airwaves (and pipes) were clogged by a steady stream of pundits declaring that there was no way Abu Dhabi would let Dubai go bust.

Why not?

Because if Dubai went bust, then... well... then the stock market might go down for a while! Then the idiots who loaned Dubai World money to build huge islands and buildings in the desert would have to pay for their stupidity! Then the buildings' ownership would change in a debt restructuring--the kind that happens every day in a normally functioning capitalist economy!

INCONCEIVABLE!!! » Howard Dean Declares Debate Between Capitalism and Socialism to Be Over


'Overexposed' Obama begins to duck the WH press corps - Washington Times

The president, whose job-approval ratings have been on a steady slide, hasn't held a formal news conference in 19 weeks, since July 22. That one ended badly, when Mr. Obama waded into a racial controversy by saying a white police officer "acted stupidly" when he arrested a black Harvard professor.

"It can't be a total coincidence that the last time he faced the press corps, we ended with beers in the Rose Garden with Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley, when the focus was supposed to be health care," said Julie Mason, a White House reporter for the Washington Examiner who also covered the Bush administration for the Houston Chronicle.

A Bravo Contract Delivered White House Gatecrashers to the Today Show - Gatecrashersgate - Gawker

It's an open secret that morning news shows will pay money to land interviews — they are just very clever about it, never cutting a check directly for an interview. The spurned rival saluted former Today honcho and present NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker's creativity in securing the biggest get of, well, the month so far.

Still, Lauer insisted this morning that NBC News hadn't paid the Salahis

Matt Liar.