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Invoking the Fifth Amendment Should Have Consequences June 29, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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This has probably been said elsewhere, but I haven’t seen it:

I just wanted to opine that any government employee who chooses to invoke the Fifth Amendment for activities conducted in the course of their duties should be automatically fired and divested of any residual benefits.


Maybe the Internet Has Too Much Content June 28, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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You’re asking yourself “why?” but you can’t not watch:

Pony: A Horse Ahead of His Time June 27, 2013

Posted by daveintexas in Economics, Law, Philosophy, Sports, WTF?.
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A Wisconsin man who was caught last year having sex with a couch pleaded guilty to public lewdness Monday.

Gerard Streator, 47, was sentenced to five months in jail for the furniture fornication, according to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun.

s-COUCH-SEX-largeGerard Streator –  Upholstery refinisher, Lover

He seems, normal I guess.

via Instapundit

UPDATE: story says it’s not a couch, it’s a love seat.

So he’s just unclear on the concept.

Rove Sacrifices Principles for Imaginary Votes June 27, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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Karl Rove, he who totally whiffed on his election predictions last time (making a fool of himself on national TV in the process), presumes to lecture us on voting demographics:

If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle—not overnight, but over years and decades.

Immigration reform is a top issue for Latinos as it is being debated in Washington, according to a March Latino Decisions poll. But their other major concerns—the economy and jobs, and education reform—are the same as the rest of America.

Nor will support for immigration reform solve all of the GOP’s challenges in appealing to Hispanic voters. Republicans also need compelling messages on jobs, economic growth, social mobility and education. They also must show up. GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen’s focus groups found a major Latino complaint is that they never see Republicans in their communities to make the GOP’s case.

That’s great, Karl. But there’s these things called principles? Maybe you’ve heard of them? It doesn’t really do us any good to win elections if we’ve compromised those principles in the process.

And it doesn’t do us any good to compromise those principles if we alienate the GOP’s base – a consequence that seems to completely elude Mr. Rove, who has starry-eyed visions of somehow increasing the numbers of both base and minority voters. Our turnout wasn’t great in the last election because the base was tired of voting for GOP-lite candidates. In the next election the GOP could lose far more votes than it can possibly gain by pandering to minority voters (at least in the near term).

The GOP is doing a great job of convincing its base that their opinions, and thus their votes, don’t matter. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that support is weakening. With the GOP worrying more about their power than their platform, my support surely is.

When Life Imitates The Fifth Element June 26, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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Wouldn’t you know that among all the cool things that 15-year-old science fiction movie depicted, they would first develop remote-controlled cockroaches:

Researchers at NC State have figured out how to put cockroaches on autopilot using video game software and a small computer attached to the roach’s back. They are able to steer the bugs on a path that has been plotted out digitally, and they use a Microsoft software called Kinect to sense the insects’ movements.


Here’s The Fifth Element’s version:

Daily Mail a Little Unclear on That Whole Presidential Thing June 26, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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I thought this inset from the Daily Mail was funny:


Reminds me of the old Firesign Theater line: “Benjamin Franklin: The only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.” [from the album Everything You Know is Wrong]

Climate Researchers are Teh Suck June 23, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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I’ve always been an agnostic concerning global warming – I’m professionally close enough to the subject that I don’t want to form an opinion without doing a lot of data-mining and modeling. Which I’m not funded to do, so the heck with it.

But I have always been critical of the politicization of the subject, and of the over-reach in claims of the fidelity of climate models. Don’t get me wrong – I think getting any solution at all for a highly non-linear problem like climate response is a huge triumph in itself. Those models tend to diverge (i.e., blow up) very easily, even when a lot of important phenomena are ignored.

Unfortunately, getting a solution is not the same as getting the right solution, and the climate modelers have, in my opinion, irresponsibly promoted their unverified models as sufficiently accurate to serve as a reliable basis for economic and environmental policy. The subsequent failure of those models has tarnished their reputation with the public, who have become justifiably skeptical of climatologists’ dire pronouncements.

This is the same point made recently by a German meteorologist:

During an interview with a German news publication, von Stroch said that, scientists are bewildered by the 15-year standstill in global warming if this inclination continues their models could be “fundamentally wrong.” He said : “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models, a 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

He explained that: “There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us,” according to Storch. “The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn’t mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed.”

“It’s not a bad thing to make mistakes and have to correct them,” Storch stated. “The only thing that was bad was acting beforehand as if we were infallible. By doing so, we have gambled away the most important asset we have as scientists: the public’s trust. Certainly the greatest mistake of climate researchers has been giving the impression that they are declaring the definitive truth,” explained Storch.

I think that whether you’re an anthropogenic global warming believer or not, the academic behavior of climate researchers has been an embarrassment to the physical sciences.

Firey Speech June 22, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in News.
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I stole this from the Mothership:

If the Department of Homeland Security Was in Charge of Lifeguards June 20, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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…we’d be drowning in regulations and higher costs.

I’ve spent the past 2 weeks on vacation, watching the waves roll in from our room in the Outer Banks. One of the local rags (the Outer Banks Milepost) had a little story about lifeguarding, where I found them admitting to a policy of profiling based on skin color:

…we do a whole training session on analyzing everything from attire to pallor to what they carry as they come over the dunes. If a bodyboarder is super-tan and fit and walking with swim-fins they probably know what they’re doing. But if they’re wearing a life jacket and nose plugs and are super pale, they probably can’t do the most efficient stroke.”

I’m outraged at this blatant violation of the tenets of diversity and political correctness. I insist that all swimmers be surveyed equally, regardless of their outer appearance, and that lifeguards receive diversity training that emphasizes the acceptance of all skin colors and swimming accessories over secondary safety concerns.

I realize that this will undoubtedly require increasing the number of lifeguards, adding swimming regulations, introducing swimming licenses and tests, and regulating the number of beach goers. But if that’s what it takes to be politically correct, so be it.

Graham Sells His Party Down the River June 17, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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Lindsay Graham tells us that Republicans are doomed if we don’t pass the immigration reform bill:

Republicans are “in a demographic death spiral” and will fail in their effort to win the presidency if the party blocks an immigration overhaul, a leading GOP senator said Sunday.

I refer the Senator to this chart from the Pew Hispanic Research Center:


Now, I may not be a squishy GOP senator who presumably knows a thing or two about elections, but I think I can read a graph. And that there graph says that the best we’ve ever done with Hispanic voters is 2 out of 5 votes, while the average is more like 2 out of 6 votes.

In the last election we got 2 out of 8 votes.

Let’s assume that half of the 11 million-strong illegal immigrant population is eligible for citizenship under the proposed law. If you take the average voting percentage, the Democrats accrue a 1.8 million vote advantage. If it’s anything like the last election, it’s a 2.4 million vote advantage.

The last four elections were settled by an average of 4.5 million votes (yeah, I know that’s the popular vote and not the electoral college results). That makes the 2 million votes Graham wants to hand to the Dems look pretty significant.

We may well be in a “demographic death spiral,” but I see no reason to accelerate it.

Santorum Goes Commie June 17, 2013

Posted by geoff in News.
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Allahpundit posted an excerpt of Rick Santorum’s remonstration of the GOP’s strategy:

“One after another, [business owners who were invited to speak] talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”…

“When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are ‘Type As’ who want to succeed economically, we’re talking to a very small group of people,” he said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them.”

Allahpundit goes on to agree in part, noting that the GOP’s convention and election strategy weren’t well-suited for reaching the Low Information Voter. I can appreciate that, but I have two objections to Santorum’s statement.

  1. The entrepreneur is fundamentally different than the employee in the level of risk and commitment to the enterprise. The employees generally didn’t “build that,” they worked there. Santorum’s loose phrasing is basically Marxist.
  2. The point of the American system is that anybody – janitors, waitresses, or employees – can become an entrepreneur. When Romney’s campaign reached out to entrepreneurs, an admittedly small subset of the population, they were hopefully reaching out to all of our dreams as well.

And I’m starting to think that Santorum is a Grade A tool.

Portrait of a Warrior June 15, 2013

Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes, Honor.
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I don’t remember seeing this before so I’ll post it.

(Throat Restriction Warning)