Birth of the Moore, Okla. F4 twister - stunning, go full screen for full effect:
"Charles Cook captured the six minutes of the 5-20-13 tornado's chilling beginnings from a mall parking lot on his cell phone camera."
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Birth of the Moore, Okla. F4 twister - stunning, go full screen for full effect:
Back in 1975, scientists blamed the previous year's huge tornado outbreak on global cooling.
The entire scanned article is at the link, but here is the key part:
I've always kind of suspected that underlying much of environmentalism is a desire for the impossible: stasis. For the earth will either get warmer or cooler, but it definitely won't stay the same.
It's interesting that "Climate Change" has become for the left just what the "enlightened" use to accuse theists for having - a "God of the gaps" ... no matter the empirical data, it is caused by "climate change".
There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible. [From, "The Question of Global Warming."] ...My pickup theme was this:
The common themes of both scriptural Judaism and Christianity deal with deity, the natural world (existing first in a purity state), a corruption of the purity state (Augustine: "fall from grace,"), redemption and liberation/salvation. Then follows paradise. A prominent, though not universal, strain in both Judaism and Christianity is a looming apocalypse that in potential or in fact destroys enormous swaths of humanity.
Modern environmentalism has all these elements, with an emphasis on apocalypticism. I'll examine these religious elements in turn.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Interesting insights from a retiring Morgan-Stanley investment strategist. In any given year, 60 percent of managed funds underperform their market segment (I have read other sources that say it is 70 percent).
But in fact, raw numberS reveal that half perform higher, half lower - before management fees are deducted.
It's the fees that drag many funds' overall performance below their index.
Long piece, worth the read:
The big technology-company news today is that Yahoo.com announced it will buy Tumblr.com for $1.1 billion.
Apparently this is getting a lot of attention because:
1. Tumblr is a blog platform, which means that Yahoo is now (potentially) able to go head to head against Google, which own Blogspot (the platform for this blog),
2. "Tumblr gets a bunch of traffic from porn and copyright-violating content. And that doesn't jibe well with any sensible advertiser" (from http://www.businessinsider.com/tumblr-porn-problem-2013-5).
I have a Tumblr blog that I used mainly to park links to read later, but I haven't used it in a long time.
Someone posted this well-known photo on FB, obviously to make a point (a good point, too), but I have always wondered two things:
1. How did they build the lighthouse to begin with?
2. Did the keeper get swept away as the enormous wave washed around?
Update: Thanks to Gerard Vanderleun for the history here (via email):
The lighthouse became well known in 1989, through a series of photographs taken by Jean Guichard during a storm and while the lighthouse keepers were stranded. The lighthouse keepers had been waiting for a rescue helicopter; upon hearing the sound of Guichard's own helicopter, one of them came out to investigate. As the enormous wave broke over the lighthouse, he was able to hastily retreat back inside (source).
And Reader Hal. D, emails, "I found this link which briefly talks about both the lighthouse and the famous photograph. http://celticcountries.com/magazine/culture/la-jument-brittany-most-famous-lighthouse/. No actual construction details though."
And this video's description says the lighthouse took 14 years to build and was automated in 1990.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer just hammered White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer on Face the Nation this morning when Pfeiffer,
... gave stock answers to questions about the three crises facing the President leading Schieffer to first accuse his guest of taking "exactly the approach that the Nixon administration took" and finally scolding him by asking, "Why are you here today? Why isn't the White House Chief of Staff here to tell us what happened?" (transcript and commentary):As one commenter at Newsbusters said, the IRS may now be calling Mr. Schieffer.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Talk about much ado about nothing, the Weekly Standard provides the latest example. During today's Rose Garden news conference with Turkey's prime minister, President Obama told US Marine Corps NCOs on the White House staff to hold umbrellas over his and the PM's head when rain fell.The laugh of the day goes to the Daily Caller:
This is truly stupid, sorry. The president in the commander in chief of the armed forces. His orders ALWAYS supersede a mere regulation. Heck, the Commandant of the Marine Corps can order any Marine to carry an umbrella – a pink one if he wants, since the Commandant’s authority overwhelms a mere regulation. I mean, what part of "commander in chief" do they not understand?Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.
The basic fact that must be considered here is that this was a state event and there are exacting protocols established by literally centuries of tradition. Prime Minister Erdogan was a peer visitor, head of state hosted by head of state.
So, those of you getting vapors over this, pick one of the following:
a. Obama just forgets about an umbrella and stands in the rain. Of course, the visiting head of state standing next to him also gets soaked. Yeah, that’s smart diplomacy!
b. Obama asks for an umbrella which he holds himself. A Marine hands one to the PM, too. More smart diplomacy! Help yourself, PM. I guarantee this would have ripped to shreds by domestic and Turkish media, and rightfully so.
c. Obama orders a Marine to hold an umbrella over the PM’s head but he does not use one himself. And that puts the PM on the spot – he will either have to refuse the umbrella or accept it and be shamed before his countrymen in Turkey’s media reporting.
d. Obama has a Marine hold an umbrella over the PM’s head but he holds his own umbrella. Not as bad a gaffe as (c) but still a gaffe.
ANY commentary on this event that fails to take into account that this event was alongside a visiting head of state is simply uninformed and unserious. In my first career I spent some time working with White House staff and I know there are protocols that are detailed. The PM was an equal-status visitor. When the rain began falling Obama could not treat the PM differently than himself.
(Although maybe the smartest move would have been for Obama to take an umbrella over the to PM's podium and personally hold it over both their heads.)
And Marines are not gods. Jeepers. But your hyperventilating sure does make them look fragile. OMG, a Marine is holding an umbrella! How can he stand it? I guess it’s now to onset of PTSD or something.
The whole non-issue is ridiculous.
And then there is this, sports fans:
Last word needs to be heeded:
And there are conservatives who just can’t understand why democrats and independent voters just don’t buy their narrative about how serious a scandal Benghazi/AP phones/IRS Target/Joe Slestak is. The funny thing is, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
When every waking moment of Obama’s life is an outrage, nothing is an outrage.Indeed.
Update: And just to inject a little humor into something that is almost beyond parody, perhaps there is a reason the Marines have to hold the umbrella, since Obama seems never to have mastered the skill:
But on this as so many other issues, Obama is merely continuing Bush's policies:
Another update: And that darn Ronald Reagan treated the military like crap:
Friday, May 17, 2013
Has President Nixon been replaced by Sergeant Schultz?
The “Smartest President Ever” has disappeared. The Barack Brain Trust long-touted by liberals is gone — replaced by hacks whose rallying cry is straight from Stalag 13—“I know nothing. Nothing!”You know, like this:
|I see nuttink! I hear nuttink! I know nuttink! |
I am only der president!
like President IDK:
A couple of headlines that seem self-explanatory:
Royal Oak Ordinance Requires $1 Million ‘Dangerous Dog’ Insurance Policy
D.C. Considers Mandatory $250K Insurance Policy for Gun Buyers
There is a difference other than the face amounts here - DC's proposed ordinance considers guns dangerous in themselves; to acquire or already own a gun would require immediate coverage. But the Royal Oak ordinance says,
[A] dog is deemed dangerous if it bites or attacks a person, or causes serious injury to another domestic animal. Exceptions include dogs protecting an owner or a homeowner’s property.So a dog must be proven dangerous before the mandatory-insurance ordinance kicks in, but an inanimate firearm is automatically dangerous.
Categories: Constitutional issues
Thursday, May 16, 2013
With "I don't know" video collage: "Eric Holder Just Doesn’t Know - The head of the DOJ is all like, 'idk, man.'”
You will note that the video is a collage of IDK clips from just one appearance before the Congressional committee.
Update: Over at American Digest, this video is juxtaposed with the "poetry" of Donald Rumsfeld, an actual quote from 2003:
The UnknownAs we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
Let's leave the last word to Jay Carney:
|"We didn't know anything about anything until |
we read it in the AP emails that we had wiretapped."
Obama Calls Over Marines to Shield Himself and Turkish PM from Rain | The Weekly Standard:
Talk about much ado about nothing, the Weekly Standard provides the latest example. During today's Rose Garden news conference with Turkey's prime minister, President Obama told US Marine Corps NCOs on the White House staff to hold umbrellas over his and the PM's head when rain fell.
Hate to break it to them, but that's their job (among many other things). And to fail to extend this courtesy to a visiting head of state would have been a major gaffe. As you know, I find near-countless things to fault this president for, but this isn't one of them. Indeed, I see this as a simple act of statesmanlike courtesy.
There are plenty of mountains out there, Obama critics. Don't whittle away your credibility by trying to make another one out of molehills like this.
class of 2009:
At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU's point by remarking, "I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."Here's the video:
No one is laughing now.
My uncle, Prof. Rob Foy in Minnesota, died recently. A memorial was printed for him by his university, found online at "Please Remember Dr. Robert (Rob) C. Foy II in Your Prayers."
Rob was the husband of my mom's sister, Nancy. Rob was a "formidable landscape gardener," at which he labored with Nancy until her death in 2002:
The division of labor was simple: He did the work; his wife nodded her approval.Yeah, most of us married guys have that arrangement.
Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength.It's an interesting article, but there is a political theory that democracy developed as a means of the weak to restrain and control the strong. It's been a long time since I read of it, so I won't try to develop it any further here.
That theory is countermanded, though, by other hypotheses that democracy developed out of the "big man" more of tribal leadership in which the strong vied with one another for status based on how well they could provide staples such as food the for tribe as a whole. Anthropologist Marvin Harris described this in his book, Cannibals and Kings: The Origins of Cultures, although he does not tie it to the development of democracy.
Chris Matthews sours on Obama, saying this on the air:
"What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn't like dealing with other politicians -- that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn't particularly like the press.... He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft," Matthews said.
"So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere," Matthews continued. "But what part does he like? He doesn't like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn't like selling to the press. He doesn't like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn't seem to like being an executive.”This is proceeding along the lines of market economic theory, just as I described.
Here's the video:
I'm more convinced than ever that Chris Matthews is mentally ill. He opened his show yesterday advising the president to "...stop taking advice from sycophants who keep telling him that he's right..." Yes, Mr. Tingle up his leg had basically advised Obama to stop watching MSNBC.
Georgia Tech Takes MOOCs to the Next Level | Via Meadia:
Georgia Tech is going to offer a full graduate program in computer science for up to 10,000 students for only $7,000 each through MOOCs - Massively Open Online Courses, the internet, in other words.
At $7,000 per student and with these kinds of enrollment numbers, this may be not just a boon for students but a good way of significantly widening Georgia Tech’s student base: 10,000 is a lot of students, and the open nature of MOOCs makes it relatively simple to scale up without dramatically expanding staff or administrative costs.It's unclear from the article whether the 10,000-student figure is the maximum number per entering class or the maximum number that will be enrolled overall. Still, it's $70 million for the university with very little added overhead. That increases total student enrollment by almost 50 percent.
And of course, that's another 10,000 graduates added to the alumni-donor base. I wonder when other universities will figure that out.
A reporter states plainly the basis of the Obama bubble collapsing, in practice, which I explained here in theory.
Margery Eagan: Even Liberals Are Leaping Off The Bandwagon. “The same media types accused of covering Obama on bended knee — such as myself — are now turning our collective backs. And no wonder. What we’re learning about his administration has undermined our basic trust in government. Yet the president seems oblivious to how serious and unsettling these scandals are, and how much damage he’s done to his own agenda. And how he’s fed right into the fears of the tin-foil hat set who can point to these very scary power grabs and say, ‘See? He really is coming to get us.’”Courtesy Instapundit.
As I wrote then,
Of a sudden, media managers and reporters may be understanding that not only have they gotten nothing back in return that justifies their heavy investments, they almost certainly never will. So the investments have come to a scorching halt.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Image by the author - no rights reserved.|
trade in high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance with intrinsic values." It could also be described as a a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future.
Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.Of a sudden, media managers and reporters may be understanding that not only have they gotten nothing back in return that justifies their heavy investments, they almost certainly never will. So the investments have come to a scorching halt.
NBC News' reporter Lisa Myers says bluntly that the White House "has a history" of intimidation of reporters and their sources inside the administration "because there is such a focus on keeping the story line and the narrative the way the administration wants it. And sometimes these efforts can become excessive."
The President Barack Schultz meme is catching on. Now Dana Milbank take a shot:
President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency.
Late Monday came the breathtaking news of a full-frontal assault on the First Amendment by his administration: word that the Justice Department had gone on a fishing expedition through months of phone records of Associated Press reporters.
And yet President Obama reacted much as he did to the equally astonishing revelation on Friday that the IRS had targeted conservative groups based on their ideology: He responded as though he were just some bloke on a bar stool, getting his information from the evening news.
In the phone-snooping case, Obama didn’t even stir from his stool. Instead, he had his press secretary, former Time magazine journalist Jay Carney, go before an incensed press corps Tuesday afternoon and explain why the president will not be involving himself in his Justice Department’s trampling of press freedoms."President Passerby" does have a better alliterative ring to it.