Monday, January 11, 2010
As if having kick-ass burly sideburns and the skills to build carbon fiber composite space planes wasn't enough, there are still more reasons to worship Burt.
The guy who will help make space tourism a reality is also an active climate change skeptic (that is, a "climate denier" to coin a phrase).
Here are links to his material on Anthropogenic Global Warming: presentation slides, a planned report, and video of the presentation.
Having spent a lot of time staring at streams of numbers and scatter plots is not a bad background to have when looking at the IPCC's reports. This is something he, I, and thousands of other capable scientists and engineers have in common which gives us no reason to religiously accept "the consensus".
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
My friend Justin forwarded me an email recently about a German who lived through WWII and witnessed that country's move to Nazism from the inside, and how it relates to radical Islamists. I did some poking around and I think the essay originated here:
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.This reminds me of an op-ed that Onkar Ghate wrote for ARI back in 2002: Innocents in War?. He says that once it has been established that a nation's government is a tyrannical aggressor, and must be beaten by force, there are basically three types of civilians: Active supporters, passive supporters, and the active opposition (the truly innocent).
Many civilians in the Mid-East, for example, hate us and actively support, materially and/or spiritually, those plotting our deaths. Can one seriously maintain, for instance, that the individuals in the Mid-East who celebrated by dancing in the streets on September 11 are innocent?
Other civilians in enemy states are passive, unthinking followers. Their work and economic production, however meager, supports their terrorist governments and so they are in part responsible for the continued power of our enemies. They too are not innocent-and their deaths may be unavoidable in order for America to defend itself. (Remember too that today's civilian is tomorrow's soldier.)
The civilians in enemy territory who actually oppose their dictatorial, terrorist governments are usually their governments' first innocent victims. All such individuals who remain alive and outside of prison camps should try to flee their country or fight with us (as some did in Afghanistan).
War is terrible but sometimes necessary. To win the war on terrorism, we must not let a mistaken concern with "innocents" deter us. As a free nation, we have the moral right to defend ourselves, even if this requires mass civilian casualties in terrorist countries.How does this principle apply to the student protesters in Iran? Should we not act to support the REAL Green Revolution since there are so many innocents actively resisting oppression?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Dec 20, 2009
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Via Instapundit, I found a reason to be a little proud. Arizona May Abandon Speed Cameras on Highways. I definitely did my share of spreading the word.
Profits are far below expectations, a citizen effort to ban the cameras is gaining steam, the governor has said she does not like the program, and more and more drivers are ignoring the tickets they get in the mail after hearing from fellow speeders that there are often no consequences to doing so.
It starts out with a two-page summary of all the crap that happened in the 00's. Then on the third page it gets into the how's and why's. The description of the events leading up to 9/11 isn't too far off base, leading back to the Soviet-Afghan war, through the Bush-Clinton-Bush years, to the turn of the millennium.
But then there's the financial crises of the decade, and why those happened. Serwer's reasons for this are strikingly similar to an article that appeared in Rolling Stone a few months back, which was a hit job on anyone who dared to make a buck at anything. In both cases, the favorite scapegoat for our problems is "deregulation", and especially Phil Gramm's repeal of the Glass-Steagall act.
It's funny, because saying the financial crisis happened because we had too much of a free market is like saying Rosie O'Donnell would be more charming if only if it wasn't for that small mouth and skinny thighs.
Our banking industry is heavily regulated. Banks can't make a single move without checking with their lawyers and accountants. The implementation of the SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley, and many more government entities like them are things that ANY public company has to put up with. For banks, add in the creation of the Federal Reserve, HUD, and the FDIC and it's plain that banks aren't just wildcat cowboys operating in an "unsupervised free-market free-for-all" as Sewer, I mean, Serwer, calls it.
The most laughable parts are the passages on the internet. Leave it to an old media establishment like Time magazine to blame the internet as a contributor to scandals and to the financial crisis. Their motives for making these allegations are painfully transparent.
The rise of all manner of new media and the lack of barriers to criticism from the blogosphere seemed to intensify every scandal and left very few public figures unsullied.Later on...
Companies go belly-up all the time, but in this decade there were an inordinate number of bankruptcies. The creative destruction of the Internet had a part in this. While the Web opened up new worlds and created thousands of jobs at Amazon, Google and the like, it displaced workers at travel and government agencies, at newspapers and magazines and at stores like Circuit City and Tower Records — traditional distribution points for services, information and goods. Economists call that disintermediation.Hmmm. "Disintermediation" huh? It's probably a real word. I bet there really are economists who use it. I don't really know if that's even an applicable use of the term. I'm not even going to check up on that one. Because it's plain this is a cry for help.
Others who shredded Serwer:
Ed Driscoll at PJM: Which Time Magazine Journalist Is That On The Cover?
Gene Healy at Cato Institute: "Holy hyperbole, hackman."