Arnold Kling’s Handy Predictor

From the Econlog[*1] blog:

For quite a while, but especially over the last nine months, the best way to predict developments in politics and finance has been to ask: what will do the most to increase the concentration of power? Every headline, from the Geithner regulatory plan to the proposed cap on the charitable deduction, to the resignation of the General Motors CEO, should be viewed in that light.

Is this the CHANGE you voted for? More power concentrated in even fewer hands? If so, “mission accomplished . . . heckofa job.”

20 Silly travel gripes

From the Telegraph [*1] via Fark[*2] . The first one:

A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel “inadequate”.

Stupidity is Human.


Seen at Tigerhawk[*1] :


Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

But I thought it was OUR fault!

University of Wisconsin[*1] :

In the new study, they combined satellite data of dust and other particles with existing climate models to evaluate the effect on ocean temperature. They calculated how much of the Atlantic warming observed during the last 26 years can be accounted for by concurrent changes in African dust storms and tropical volcanic activity, primarily the eruptions of . . . in Mexico in 1982 and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991.

In fact, it is a surprisingly large amount, Evan says. “A lot of this upward trend in the long-term pattern can be explained just by dust storms and volcanoes,” he says. “About 70 percent of it is just being forced by the combination of dust and volcanoes, and about a quarter of it is just from the dust storms themselves.”

The result suggests that only about 30 percent of the observed Atlantic temperature increases are due to other factors, such as a warming climate. While not discounting the importance of global warming, Evan says this adjustment brings the estimate of global warming impact on Atlantic more into line with the smaller degree of ocean warming seen elsewhere, such as the Pacific.

Emphasis mine. It would seem to me that saying that 70% of the observed warming of a feature as large as the Atlantic Ocean, given the carbon-phobia gripping large swaths of the public discourse, goes a long way towards “discounting” the so-called anthropogenic global warming hysteria.

If you voted for Obama . . .

You voted for this:

From the [*1] Heritage Foundation

The graph represents Washington Post numbers, not “biased” Heritage Foundation numbers.

So, Obama voter, you voted for the largest budget deficits in American history . . . possibly, the largest budget deficits in world history.

That’s the change you gave us all. You will not be quickly forgiven.

On the rise of tyrants

From renowned science fiction author Jerry Pournelle[*1] , words written in 1983:

The truth is that no nation is safe. Tyrants seldom come openly, their hands dripping with blood, their eyes blazing with hate. More often they come as friends of the people, tireless workers for the public good, heroes who will save the nation; who will cut the Gordian knot of parliamentary babble; who will carry out the people’s will.

They come with promises. If we will disarm ourselves, they will provide professionals to protect us. If we give over our property they will assure us jobs. Crime will be abolished. Poverty will vanish. Together we will build a nation worthy of the future.

The temptation is large, because we all, at one time or another, have longed to have an end to striving; to create the future and have done with it. Can we not, by one supreme act, solve all human problems? The way will be hard, but after heroic effort the struggle will be over. War on poverty; war on ignorance; war on illness; war on cancer, mental illness; one supreme act of war, and then eternal triumph. The strife will cease . . .

We know better, of course. We all know the price of liberty; eternal vigilance. Jefferson said it well: “the tree of liberty is a delicate plant. It must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

Sound familiar? I can hear the response now: “Oh, you can’t be talking about Obama. He’s better than that. He’s genuine.”

Really? Really, really?

Obama and the New Fascist Democrat Party need to be defeated politically, before it’s too late for free men and women to do anything politically.

Moose on roof

North Dakota.[*1]

Capistrano has its swallows. Minot has its moose.

(Posting is light. It’s college basketball tournament/playoffs time. As in the South Dakota State University[*2] women’s basketball team. Go Rabbits!