The Analytic Atavar

Idiosyncratic Musings of a Retrograde Technophile

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

The 10 worst warming predictions, Andrew Bolt, Friday, December 19, 2008.

Lesson: Something is wrong with warming models that predict warming in a cooling world, especially when we’re each year pumping out even more greenhouse gases. Be sceptical.
Per Bertrand Russell, when expert opinion is divided it is best to suspend judgement. However, when the very models being used to predict disaster have been consistently wrong, perhaps even non-experts have the right to to conclude something is simply false.

Hey 'John Boy', Just Fade Away

McCain against the bailout, Ben Smith, December 19, 2008.

I regret the President’s decision to give away over $17 billion to the domestic automakers. Just last week, the Senate rejected a bailout plan because it failed to provide assurances that the domestic manufacturers would fundamentally change the way they do business to ensure their long-term viability. I find it unacceptable that we would leave the American taxpayer with a tab of tens of billions of dollars while failing to receive any serious concessions from the industry.
Johnnie Boy 'Maverick' McVain, I find it unacceptable that we would leave the American taxpayer with a tab of hundreds of billions of dollars ($850B, in point of fact), while failing to receive any serious concessions or oversight from the banking industry. You rushed back to Washington to save Henry Paulson's banking buddies without any controls, but now object to a $17B loan, which is Federal chump-change, on the order of our foreign aid budget (Not that I support this bailout, only that it is insignificant). I get it now — you were against puny earmarks and pork-barrel spending, but first in line, suspending your campaign and rushing back to Washington, when it comes to mega-handouts. God am I sorry I held my nose (to quote your Mother) and voted for you ! I only hope the voters of Arizona have the wisdom to put you out to pasture in 2010, so you can retire to the late-night network shows.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

Rush Responds to General Powell

And you might even say that the Republican Party is in the situation it's in precisely because of the people like Colin Powell and John McCain and others who have devised this new definition and identity of the party which is responsible for electing Democrats all over this country. … So if we try to understand Powell's thinking, which is difficult since it's incoherent, we should have all voted for McCain in the primaries, and once he was nominated, we should have voted for Obama for president. -- Rush Limbaugh, December 15, 2008.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

On the Value of Scepticism, Bertrand Russell, from The Will To Doubt

The scepticism that I advocate amounts only to this: (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Man Has to Know When to Stop Bailing & Abandon Ship

Senate Republicans kill auto bailout bill , Jim Puzzanghera , L.A. Times, Dec. 12, 2008.

Republican opposition killed a $14-billion auto industry bailout plan in the Senate on Thursday night, putting the future of U.S. automakers in doubt and threatening to deliver another blow to the economy.

But attempts to craft a deal fell apart after Democrats would not agree to force the union to accept wages on par with U.S. employees of foreign automakers by a specific date.

Senate Democrats couldn't bring the measure up for a vote without the support of at least 10 Republicans. Ultimately, they were seven votes short.
(h/t Patterico)
Could it be that the reason newspapers (especially the L.A. Times) are failing is that they have ceased reporting and fact checking, and have instead become hacks for the daily Democrat propaganda. A simple check at the Senate website vote tabulation, Cloture Motion on H.R. 7005 (Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008), shows that the final vote was 52 yeas, 35 nays, and 12 not voting, so they were 8 votes short of invoking cloture; that, in fact, 10 Republicans did vote for cloture:
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
(all the usual suspects); that 8 Democrats (enough to invoke cloture) either voted nay or did not vote:
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Wyden (D-OR).
Note the vaunted professionalism, objectivity, research, and multi-layer editorial review that journalists are so proud of made apparent in this article, whose basic premise and material facts are all wrong. The White House apparently delivered the 10 Republican votes they were told was required — it was the Democrats who failed to deliver because they were afraid to require any concessions from the UAW.

Megan McArdle has it exactly right in Just desserts at her blog Asymmetrical Information:

I'm hearing the truly bizarre argument that the UAW didn't scuttle the negotiations; it was the Republicans unreasonable insistence that they cut their wages to levels comparable to that of their competition. After all, the UAW was perfectly willing to negotiate their compensation package -- in 2011, when their current contract expires.

And I think that's perfectly reasonable. We'll just wait until 2011 to give them the money, then.

If you know why that's stupid, then you know why the other argument is stupid, too. GM is losing money now. It needs to cut its labor costs (and its other costs) now, not in 2011.
The real question is whether the union believes the White House will find some emergency stop-gap and they can come back in January and get the money they truly need, or whether they believe they will get "Card-Check" from the new Congress and can force the same type of onerous labor contracts on the profitable auto companies, or some combination of the two.

He.Said.What ?

"Today is December 7, the day that this government killed over 80,000 Japanese civilians at Hiroshima in 1941, two days before giving [sic] an additional 64,000 Japanese civilians at Nagasaki by dropping nuclear bombs on innocent people." -- Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Trinity United Church, Dec. 7, 2008.

Rarely is one treated to such a public display of historic ignorance, America loathing, and poor grammar from an unsane leftist -- it is so outrageous that it could have come from The Onion. That The One [i.e., Barack Obama] considered this man his spiritual mentor for 20 years is a sad commentary on his judgement.

For those who fail to understand the scope of stupidity illustrated by this statement:

  • Dec. 7, 1941 was the day Japan committed an unprovoked surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. "The overall death toll reached 2,350, including 68 civilians, and 1,178 injured."
  • "On Monday, August 6, 1945, the nuclear weapon Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima by the crew of the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people."
  • "On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the world's second atomic bomb attack at 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were killed."
  • These two attacks were no surprise. "On July 26, 1945, Truman and other allied leaders issued The Potsdam Declaration outlining terms of surrender for Japan. It was presented as an ultimatum and stated that without a surrender, the Allies would attack Japan, resulting in 'the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland' ...". The governement of Japan rejected this ultimatum, and the Emperor called for the defense of Japan "at all costs."
  • "After the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman announced, 'If they do not accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth.' On August 8, 1945, leaflets were dropped and warnings were given to Japan by Radio Saipan. The area of Nagasaki did not receive warning leaflets until August 10, though the leaflet campaign covering the whole country was over a month into its operations, probably to avoid 'broadcasting' the site of the next bomb."
  • "U.S. President Truman stated after the war that he had been advised that American casualties [in an invasion of Japan] could range from 250,000 to one million men. Other sources put the highest estimates at 30,000 to 50,000. Millions of Japanese military and civilian casualties were expected. An Air Force Association history says, 'Millions of women, old men, and boys and girls had been trained to resist by such means as attacking with bamboo spears and strapping explosives to their bodies and throwing themselves under advancing tanks,' and also that '[t]he Japanese cabinet had approved a measure extending the draft to include men from ages fifteen to sixty and women from seventeen to forty-five (an additional 28 million people).' Supporters [of the bombings] also point to an order given by the Japanese War Ministry on 1 August 1944, ordering the disposal and execution of all Allied prisoners of war, numbering over 100,000, if an invasion of the Japanese mainland took place."
  • The high casualty estimates were based on the American experience earlier that year in the invasion of Okinawa. "The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The 82 day battle lasted from late March through June 1945. ... The battle has one of the highest number of casualties of any World War Two engagement: the Japanese lost over 100,000 troops, and the Allies (mostly United States) suffered more than 50,000 casualties, with over 12,000 killed in action. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, wounded or attempted suicide. Approximately one-fourth of the civilian population died due to the invasion."
(NOTE: All quotations are from articles on Wikipedia.)