Monday, November 30, 2015

COMMON CENTS: Viral Video - Amazon Prime Air

"And balance is restored to the universe."

Pretty amazing technology.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crony Capitalism At Work——$29 Billion “Green Energy” Boondoggle Flops in Spain | David Stockman's Contra Corner

Solar energy has surely come a long way in recent years, as technological progress has undoubtedly improved its economics. Evidently though, the improvement isn't sufficient yet to make it actually viable. One would think that it makes sense to deploy it in places that are sunny most of the time (such as, well, Spain), but even there, it evidently depends on subsidies.
People often forget that it actually costs energy to produce solar panels. Whether they will in turn produce enough energy during their lifetime to make this investment viable remains questionable. It remains questionable precisely because so many companies in the sector depend both directly and indirectly on a vast variety of government subsidies (including the introduction of inane trade barriers to the detriment of consumers).
With the subsidization scam in Spain reaching its limit, it turns out that not even sunny climes can keep solar boondoggles afloat. In the current case, a cool $29 billion (€17.3 bn.) in liabilities have just been exposed to intense vaporization danger, as "green energy" company Abengoa has finally filed for bankruptcy.

"It remains questionable precisely because so many companies in the sector depend both directly and indirectly on a vast variety of government subsidies (including the introduction of inane trade barriers to the detriment of consumers)."  

Hmmmm.  So when the government intervenes in the free market, scams and bubbles and all sorts of nonsense seems to mysteriously and unexpectedly happen.  

What to Do About Guns and the Mentally Ill | PJ Media

From the article: 
What's lacking in the current system is not a faster way to declare citizens insane, but a functional method of assembling and disseminating the data regarding those who are truly dangerous. In too many cases that's simply not being done and it allows for holes in the already adequate background check system. If the states can manage to fix that problem, we might be willing to talk about tweaking it a bit in the future.
As with so many subjects when it comes to gun control, the remedy to the very real problem of gun violence would be achieved by simply enforcing the laws we currently have and putting smart people in charge of administering the system. But since we can't seem to manage that, Democrats will continue to conclude that more and "better" laws are needed, ignoring the fact that the worst violent crime rates in the nation remain stubbornly high in the places with the strictest gun laws. As for the crazy people… perhaps we need to examine those seeking elected office a bit more closely before we go chasing down the hoi polloi.

This seems to me a rather rational discussion.  We do need to be able to identify irrational folks and restrict their access to weapons.  This is not a bad idea per se.  But, who gets to judge their "irrationality"?  It always leads back to some kind of governmental control and systems that are rife for abuse.  How much uncertainty can we willingly accept in order to preserve our freedom?  Some recent articles suggest the homicide rate from weapons is declining even though we seem to have these high profile events in the news.  Are we being driven by the news cycle?  Can we find some acceptable balance that identifies most troublesome folks without overly restricting the freedom of everyone else?  

How does personal carry play into this?  "When seconds matter, the police are minutes away".  There was a time in the evolution of our society when most people carried and peace officers were few and far between.  People learned to live mostly reasonably with their neighbors and banded together when necessary to take on the bad guys.  While this was not a perfect solution, and posse's can get out of control, for the most part it tended to promote stability in our society and we functioned and flourished.  There was an old saying, from those times.  Something like - People learned to be courteous to each other when everyone carried.  There might be some truth in that old wisdom.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Safe spaces must be destroyed

From the article: 
No consequences for anyone. That's what a safe space is, and that's why all of them should be abolished.

This is really very good.  Go read the whole thing.

Obama's Green Initiatives Have Cost Us BILLIONS | The Federalist Papers

Think of Obama's failed energy policies, and Solyndra is probably the first to come to mind. The solar company went bankrupt a short two years following a $536 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. A high profile failure without a doubt, but hardly the only failed green energy project Obama's administration failed at propping up.
In total, taxpayers have been on the hook for over $2.2 billion in losses from other failed loan guarantees to supposedly "green" companies.
But that's hardly the tip of the iceberg.
It's not the losses from failed green energy subsidies that are shocking, but the losses from pressure Obama has put on the coal industry. Coal producers in West Virginia are expecting their costs of production to increase 40% under Obama's Clean Power Plan, which will have a devastating impact on the industry.

Do we need a better educated army?

Hope you all had a great Turkey Day.  We did.  I will be eating left-overs for days.  

But now, back to reality .......

This seems counter-intuitive: 
As shown previously, the higher an officer's cognitive ability, the lower that officer's chance at early promotion and battalion command selection.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

American public school system an expensive exercise in wasting youth, teaching ignorance...

American public school system an expensive exercise in wasting youth, teaching ignorance...:

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American public school system an expensive exercise in wasting youth, teaching ignorance says Arne Duncan…

State Dept. Admits That Iran Nuke Deal Was A Farce - Blur Brain

So, it was much ado about nothing. It's not a treaty or even binding agreement, but rather a set of "commitments." Just a wishlist if you will.
Never the less, our side of the commitment releases $100 billion of frozen Iranian assets while turning a blind eye to Iranian goals of creating a nuclear arsenal.
And for the Iranian's part, they promise they won't build that arsenal until well after Obama has left office so he can pretend to achieved some sort of victory.
Of course, none of that is set in stone. We give them everything upfront and hope that the Iranian's reciprocate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Strongest Retrograde Force in the World. | Wizbang

From the article: 
Face the Fire or be consumed by it, name your enemy or die a contemptible death.

The author only makes a few brief comments.  He quotes extensively from a very good article by Roger Kimball and brings out the pithy points.  Follow the link and read that entire article.  Kimball, in turn, quotes some prescient points from George Orwell and Winston Churchill.

I have seen this quoted several times recently.  Something like - "you can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality".  

Monday, November 23, 2015

$1 Billion U.S. Bio-Terror System is Busted, Can't Get Job Done

From the article: 
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the BioWatch system used to fight against bioterrorism is useless.
"You can't claim it works," Timothy Persons, GAO's chief scientist, told The Los Angeles Times.
The scientists often find "numerous false alarms" since they cannot "distinguish between harmless germs and the lethal pathogens that terrorists" would use in an attack. Despite the evidence, the Department of Homeland Security still shows off the alleged "effectiveness while seeking to upgrade it with new technology."

Great.  Another useless government project.  Another $1B, as in billion, pissed away.  No one will be held accountable.  

‘All the terrorists are migrants’ – POLITICO

From the article, an interview with Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary: 
In a wide-ranging 90-minute interview a week after the Paris terrorist attacks, Orb├ín lays out his prescriptions for Europe's ailments: An impenetrable external border to boost security and save the Schengen treaty on passport-less travel within the EU; a new EU constitutional convention that strengthens the power of nation states and weakens Brussels; and normalized relations with Russia.

Fascinating stuff here.  This guy gets it.  He aligns with Poland who also gets it.  Interestingly, these two cultures that have suffered greatly under former Russian control now see the World much differently, and to my mind, more realistically, than say some of the EU countries that have lived pretty fat, dumb and happy.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

BRUSSELS UNDER LOCKDOWN: Muslims Have Ruined This Once Great City, Police WARN Residents To ... ⋆ Doug Giles ⋆ #ClashDaily

This is what happens when Europe swings their doors wide open to a mess [mass] migration of Muslims.

Dear Liberals: ISLAM Is The Problem, Not Us | The Federalist Papers

Every single day, Islamic radicals throughout the world commit grievous acts of rape, torture and murder in the name of their religion. And every single day, liberal Islamic apologists try their hardest to divert attention from these atrocities and instead pin the blame on Western culture.
This foolishness stops TODAY!

Like John Hayward wrote for Breitbart, "Our culture as-is, our Constitution as written, makes ample room for every religious tradition, including some quite extreme ones … provided they keep their hands to themselves, refrain from imposing their views on others, and don't demand our system be rewritten to handle their special demands."
Radical Islam, on the other hand, seeks to impose its doctrines (Shariah law) on everybody else; anyone who fails to comply simply gets blown to smithereens.

Will the West now understand Israel?

Will the West now understand Israel?: Paris and the world have experienced a wake up call from the terrorists.

A real interim choice for Syria - Family Security Matters

From Walid Phaes. 
The development of a free Syria is the most viable option for the United States and Europe and the rest of the international community
In the northeastern part of Syria-contiguous to Iraq and Turkey-lies al Hasaka or the Triangle, also known as al Jazeera province.
As large as Lebanon, this area is inhabited by roughly four million Kurds, one million Christians and a half million Arabs. Assad forces have practically left the area, and Kurdish militias have set up patrols, stopping Al Qaeda militias trying to enter these districts.
This region should be the foundation for a free Syria. Here we should nurture a free zone inside Syria with the potential to grow rapidly and defeat both the Assad regime and the Jihadists.
With U.S. and western help, the Kurds, Christians and Arabs who populate this region can establish a liberated zone with its cities and rivers and expanded airports that should serve as the receiving area for aid.
The current FSA and other opposition groups can be invited to aggregate in this region. This pluralist "smaller Syria" would become the basis for liberation of the country-and the establishment of a pluralistic and peaceful society for all Syrians.

Very interesting ideas here.  This seems to make a lot of sense.  Why not allow these people to settle in a land they are familiar with and cultures they are familiar with.  Give them the opportunity to make free choices and work out their path to freedom.

It seems we could provide troops to help the Kurds establish a southern border that would be defensive in nature and not an aggressive force.  This may be more palatable to many than "boots on the ground".

Recent articles emphasize how costly it is for Western countries to bring in these refugees.  Just in dollars alone, the cost to provide support locally would be much less than what it costs us to bring them here.  In addition, it seems to alleviate many of the problems of being culturally assimilated into our societies.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Massive Russian blanket air bombardment is flattening Raqqa

Debka reports: 
Russia has launched a merciless blanket air campaign, backed by Kalibr cruise missiles fired from the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas, for the object of wiping the Islamic State's Syrian center of Raqqa off the map, DEBKAfile's military sources report.

Is this for real?  Are the Russians going to flatten Raqqa? 

Debka is an interesting Jewish news/intel website.  Occasionally they get a bit hyper so I would be a bit skeptical about this early news.  Although I do ask myself why we haven't done this already.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Report Exposes SHOCKING Truth About TSA and Airline Safety | The Federalist Papers

We already know the private sector to be vastly more efficient than the public sector, so why not privatize the TSA?
Such a model is already present in Israel and various European nations. Domestically, San Francisco International airport uses private screeners, and with much success. A 2007 study (by the TSA, by the way) found that private screeners were twice as effective at detecting fake bombs as TSA screeners. Private screeners also worked faster – processing 165 passengers for every 100 the TSA could.
The TSA isn't effective according to the DHS – and when the TSA's own studies from nearly nine years ago show that the private sector does a better job, privatizing the TSA is a necessary action that has been long overdue.

So, we have studies and tests that show the TSA is useless.  We know the private sector is more effective and efficient, yet, we persist in spending billions to maintain a charade.  Go figure.

In Fighting Radical Islam, Military Victory Is Necessary but Not Sufficient » Mosaic

From the article: 
Rather, it requires Muslims to examine the Islamists' core belief that they must somehow be forcibly united, and that they have a God-given right to lead the world.

This seems pretty true to me.  


Here is a taste from the article.  Do read the whole thing. 
The sad fact is that at the moment we actually need ISIS, because we have lost our ability to think as a society, as a collective with a defined positive identity, and as a civilization capable of defending itself. We have become a great "sucking hole," obsessed with our egos and "freedoms" and oblivious of our coming collective death. As it stands at the moment, the West is already effectively dead without a radical change of direction.
The worst thing would be if ISIS were to disappear and we got back to the taqiyyah and gradual "soft" infiltration of the West by the demographically more potent Third World, under the guise of the false, sheep-like humanism of globalism and "human rights."

The University of Practically Everywhere | Fred On Everything

Fred the curmudgeon opines on the current state of the University: 
You will not realize how degraded your schooling is here because you have no standard of comparison. The chain of civilization has been broken and, once broken, is not easily repaired. It is not even remembered. When the children are in charge of the kindergarten, no good comes of it.

WWLMD? » Cold Fury

What would Lemay Do?  

I'll tell you what war is about, you've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting.  Curtis Lemay

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Antarctica Isn’t Melting as Fast as We Thought

Once again, our climate models have betrayed us. Though scientists previously warned that melting Antarctic ice could raise global sea levels by a full meter by the end of the century, it seems those reports of our collective demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Latest #BlackLivesMatter Success – Baltimore Reaches All Time Homicide High | VDARE - premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform

Thanks to #BlackLivesMatter, the war on police, and the aftermath of the Freddie Gray case, Baltimore is slowly transforming into an urban dystopia straight out of a Death Wish movie.

Muslims Aren’t 70 Percent Of The Prison Population In France Because Of Something Wrong With France, But Because Of Something Wrong With Muslims | VDARE - premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform

These guys aren't an underclass because of French racism, but because they're like that. Allow them to emigrate to the US, and they'll be like that in your town.

152 Years Ago Today Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: 278 Words, Best Presidential Speech Ever

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Powerful words from our history, our legacy.  How do these words hold up today?  How many people today receive an appropriate education that teaches them the principles of the founding of our nation and the ideas of government of the people?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Culture of Coddling | The American Conservative

Comment from Rod Dreher in the article: 
So one of the best-known professors on the NYU campus cannot speak his mind out of fear that his students will drag him before a federal agency. That is terrifying.

The mob now runs the institutions of higher education backed and supported by a corrupt government.  

Mike Roark

Our Bitter and Graceless President | commentary

We all know people of towering arrogance and we all know people of staggering incompetence, but Barack Obama is quite possibly the perfect package. No one on the scene today combines these two qualities in quite the same way as Mr. Obama.

Suppression of Free Speech in Academia Is Out of Control | Cato Institute

Quoted from the article:
Hostility to the exercise of free speech on American college campuses is nothing new. But what happened at Yale University, the University of Missouri and other colleges over the past two weeks is something new and frightening. The suppression of speech in academia has begun to spiral out of control.

So, how did we arrive at this place where some people think they have a right to not being offended?  How did that happen?  When did we become so helpless that we are unable to properly engage in give and take of open discussion and require "safe zones"?  How did that happen?

Terrorism & This Religious Century | The American Conservative

Comments from Rod Dreher at the article: 
If the West is going to endure, it will have to return to its ancestral faith, Christianity, and do so in a serious, sustained way. I believe that it will, but not soon. The future of the West depends on the faithful, on those who really live the religious life, not just play at it. I believe that Orthodoxy will have a role to play in this revival. But the revival will come, one way or another.

Is this the fundamental answer to what is going on in the world today?  A return to or ancestral faith?  This seems correct to me.  Judeo/Christian principles have nurtured the civil societies of Western Man and promoted freedom.

The Unknowns - Guarding the Tomb

Good stuff here.  Some of this reminds me of my cadet days.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The West Has Lost the Will to Live - Freedom Outpost

From an article by Pam Gellar: 
The most basic, primitive honor a nation owes to its dead is to fight to defend itself—to defeat the enemy and win. And yet the West won't.
The West is hanging on by a thread and doesn't even know it. We are living off the fumes of the accomplishments of our forefathers and those who fought and died in the cause of freedom and individual rights. But the thread is wearing thin. Time is just about running out.

Have we really lost the will to live?  There seem to be a lot of indication that this is true.

Monday, November 16, 2015

War in the Absence of Strategic Clarity

This article was written in 2003 but still we do not listen.  

Here is a bit of the article: 
The war in Iraq was a war of sufficiency when what was needed was a war of surplus, for the proper objective should have been not merely to drive to Baghdad but to engage and impress the imagination of the Arab and Islamic worlds on the scale of the thousand-year war that is to them, if not to us, still ongoing. Had the United States delivered a coup de main soon after September 11 and, on an appropriate scale, had the president asked Congress on the 12th for a declaration of war and all he needed to wage war, and had this country risen to the occasion as it has done so often, the war on terrorism would now be largely over.
But the country did not rise to the occasion, and our enemies know that we fought them on the cheap. They know that we did not, would not, and will not tolerate the disruption of our normal way of life. They know that they did not seize our full attention. They know that we have hardly stirred. And as long as they have these things to know, they will neither stand down nor shrink back, and, for us, the sorrows that will come will be greater than the sorrows that have been.

Mike Roark

Flexible, Stretchable, Implantable LEDs Could Show Us Why We Feel Pain | MIT Technology Review

How America Failed to Keep the Republic

Articles: How America Failed to Keep the Republic:

"Cooper’s essay describes how America has failed to keep the republic because the constitutional structure created by Franklin and his fellow Founders is no longer the law of the land. The Administrative State “has become a sovereign power unto itself, an imperium in imperio regulating virtually every dimension of our lives. Its nearly 450 agencies are manned by legions of bureaucrats, now numbering almost 2.7 million,” writes Cooper.

Unlike the frequent violations of the Constitution through legislation or executive orders that may be reversed by future Congresses or presidents, the Administrative State has become an institutionalized violation of the constitutional structure itself.

Instead of the representative branch of government making laws, a separate executive branch enforcing laws, and a neutral judiciary adjudicating disputes -- and enforcing the rule of law on government itself -- the republican structure of government has been displaced by the Administrative State.  No longer are the powers of government separate.


'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Trump Just Won the Election

Trump Just Won the Election:

Because of those recent terrorist attacks in France, Trump just won the election.
by (Bob Wallace) via UncleBob's Treehouse

Interesting thought.  Is it true?  Does it bring immigration to the most important topic and will it cause most people to support more control of immigration and therefore support Trump?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Rape of Sweden

The Rape of Sweden:

Pat Condell is at his sharpest as he sounds the alarm on what the Muslim–moonbat alliance is doing to Sweden. It is no longer a safe place to be a woman. Unfortunately it is not only in Sweden that the news media consists almost entirely of traitors and reprehensible cowardly cockroaches. If people understood what was going on, they would stop it by literally any means necessary. But soon it will be too late.
Europe’s progressively correct ruling class is an infestation of parasites that is importing a second, more quickly lethal infestation of parasites. Both infestations have to be dealt with effectively and immediately if Europe is to survive.
by Dave Blount via Moonbattery

Oops! 95% of “Global Warming” Computer Models Are Wrong

Oops! 95% of “Global Warming” Computer Models Are Wrong:

President Obama is planning to go to the Paris Climate shindig this month to demand that the world’s nations response to his perceived threat of “Climate Change/Global Warming.”
But, there’s just one problem with Obama’s fear-mongering.  The computer models used to justify this scary scenario are almost completely wrong – 95% to be [...]
by Russ Hepler via The Federalist Papers