February 27, 2015

Friday Musical Interlude - Thunderstruck, made hillbilly

Steve N' Seagulls rendition of AC/DC's Thunderstruck. An excellent cover version.

February 26, 2015

Thursday Hillary Bash - The War on Women

Surprising news about Hillary Clinton's own female staff, via PJMedia:

February 25, 2015

Nonsensible Quote

A true optimist is someone who can see the glass as half empty when in reality it is completely empty.

February 22, 2015

Sunday Verse

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
~Matthew 6:19-21

February 21, 2015

Saturday Learning Series - The Infinite Hotel Paradox

A thought experiment on infinity. Warning - there's math.

February 20, 2015

Friday Musical Interlude - No Diggity, made better

Chet Faker's jazzy rendition of No Diggity improves on the 1990's original.  Well done.

February 19, 2015

Thursday Hillary Bash - A loser's campaign

It appears some people are already seeing cracks in Hillary's 2016 armor.  Her campaign resembles that of a loser rather than a winner:
It’s early days yet, but Hillary Clinton is already running what looks like the classic campaign of a loser — in contrast to those once run by her husband — in two different and critical ways. Bill’s campaigns resembled those waged by his fellow winners — Carter, Reagan, Bush 43 and Obama. Hillary’s recall those of what we can call the loser group — Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.

One thing the winners had in common is that they headed teams of fanatically loyal home-grown advisors who understood, knew, and loved them, and stayed loyal to them when things became thorny — as things quickly did in each case...

In contrast, each member of the loser group employed hired guns with big names and huge egos, who used them to pay for vacations in Tuscany, waged vicious turf wars with professional rivals, and sometimes turned on their former employers if and when things went south.
Hillary's campaign for 2016 appears to resemble the latter sort of campaign. And it gets worse:
...right now, Hillary Clinton looks a lot more like this kind of candidate than like Reagan, Bush, or Obama (who cleverly ran as a kind of messiah), or even her own husband, Bill.

Bill ran with and on his DLC platform, but Hillary never bought into that concept. What's more, she lives as if she's been told all her life she was so special that she deserved to have and be anything. Her problem has been getting voters as enthused about herself as she is...
Am I worried about a Clinton presidency? Absolutely.  But she should be worried about her candidacy, and if she isn't, maybe she'll take care of my worry in the process, all the while validating the reason for my worry.  If she can't run an election campaign, how the heck is she supposed to run a country?

February 17, 2015

Obama Restrained

It looks like, at least temporarily, the president's executive actions on immigration have been stalled.

Via Fox:
A federal judge has granted a request by 26 states to temporarily block President Obama's executive action on illegal immigration, allowing a lawsuit aimed at permanently stopping the orders to make its way through the courts.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen granted the preliminary injunction Monday after hearing arguments in Brownsville, Texas last month. He wrote in a memorandum accompanying his order that the lawsuit should go forward and that without a preliminary injunction the states will "suffer irreparable harm in this case."

"The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle," he wrote, adding that he agreed with the plaintiffs' argument that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a "virtually irreversible" action.
The president didn't see this coming?

Cheap oil?

There are so many factors that indicate lower oil prices for the short to mid term.  This is worth reading. The Bloomberg article indicates a potential floor of $10! While I'm sure everyone, including the writer of the story don't expect to see it quite that low, there are plenty of reasons it could go south of $40.

At the end of the article Gary Shilling indicates his next article will discuss the winners and losers from lower oil prices.  Here are some off-the-cuff educated guesses on who some of those winners and losers might be.

-consumers (not just of gasoline, but of any goods that require transportation)
-manufacturing entities and manufacturing-based economies
-bearish oil speculators
-any transportation industry
-America's trade deficit (i.e. it will shrink due to oil but that may be offset if imported manufacturing is boosted by demand)

-solar energy manufacturers like Solyndra (the ones that haven't already tanked)
-OPEC's smaller players who have been cheating on production quotas
-the Canadian dollar and economy
-bullish oil speculators

February 16, 2015

Staging Brian Williams triumphant return

In 6 months less a little,  Nice will be staging the triumphant return of the lying broadcaster Brian Williams. Watch for it. It is as predictable as the moon. It is not a liberal thing. There are plenty of untarnished (as of yet) liberal talking heads to take his place. It's about ratings. And a return will get ratings. Whether they stick is another thing. But there will be a return,  with a little bit of buzz preceding it. Just watch for it.

February 15, 2015

In Copenhagen, shots fired were at Western democracy

At a freedom of speech gathering in Copenhagen, Denmark, early today this happened:
A debate over free speech in an age of terrorism took a dark turn in Copenhagen. A volley of gunfire ripped through a cafe where an artist from the 2007 controversy over drawings of Mohammed spoke. Early reports say Lars Vilks was not injured, but at least two others were...
The shots that were fired were not aimed at individuals. Nominally they were, but the bigger picture is a radical Muslim assault on free speech. All of these recent attacks are not attacks on Westerners, but an attack on our values. This was an attack on free speech. Liberty requires free speech. Free speech can be insulting. But free speech is such a fundamental western value that to attack it is to attack at the heart of Western civilization.

To not defend it forcefully and with everything at our disposable, is to show we do not believe in our civilization and that we do not believe in ourselves.

February 12, 2015

Jon Stewart quitting The Daily Show and I think...

Well, good. I think it will benefit America. I googled Jon Stewart and the sidebar had this description of The Daily Show:
Accused by some of misinforming its core audience of young adults about international news, this series doesn't hide the fact that it's not a news program and only uses newsworthy stories as a jumping-off point to satire. In addition to celebrity and politician interviews, Stewart and his staff perform skits to get their points across.
"Doesn't hide the fact that it's not a news program"???? It tries to hide the fact that it's a comedy program because the MAIN POINT of the show is to promote liberal viewpoints. The comedy is the palatable vehicle of delivery that makes it's young, impressionable audience continue to tune in. It's a news program for the gullible. The description above goes on to use the phrase "perform skits to get their points across."

That's because they have a point to get across, a liberal viewpoint of the news they claim not to be covering! Apparently a lot of people still don't realize that.  Certainly whoever wrote that info blur didn't see the irony of contracting him or herself in a single paragraph.

Not only are they liberal at the Daily Show, they are hiding behind comedy instead of facing the very real criticism directed their way. Mock conservatism, trumpet liberalism and then claim to be a comedy show when confronted on the issues. That's weak.

Jon Stewart gone? Good.

Brian Williams' 6 months suspension from NBC is silly

So 6 months is the shelf life for a reporter's punishment for lying to the public.  That's how long NBC is suspending Brian Williams for doing just that.  They say he deserves a second chance.  That's pretty magnanimous for someone who did the ONE THING you're not supposed to do in their job. He lied.

Okay, I get giving him a second chance. That's arguably the noble thing to do.  And NBC can make the case for it.  But letting return to the same prestigious post?  Is that fair to all the journalists at NBC who are honest?  After all, if this were at Meryll Lynch or Lehman Brothers, there would be howls of outrage over letting the wolves back into the chicken coop.  So why is liberal NBC exempt from the same standard?  It's especially galling when they are titularly responsible for informing the public what's going on and instead they're lying.

Make him earn his way back. I bet he couldn't do it if he had to do so.  Not because he wouldn't have learned his lesson, but because his brand would be too tarnished with a longer wait until his return.  That's the real calculus at NBC. 

NBC, not your source for truth in new reporting. 

February 11, 2015

Recovery? What recovery?

When it comes to the economic situation in the U.S. and indeed worldwide, over the last decade I have been a glass-half-empty guy. That runs counter to my normal view but there's just so many underlying problems that seeing this, I have to say I'm glad someone is pointing these issues out.

Mizuho's Steve Ricchiuto on CNBC:

Wednesday Warren Warning - Out of left field

Pardon the "left field" pun, but how does this happen?
Populist groups cheering "Run Warren Run," today released 2016 election polls from Iowa and New Hampshire showing Sen. Elizabeth Warren ahead of dominant Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The YouGov poll of likely Democratic voters for MoveOn.org and Democracy for America also found that 79 percent want Warren and majorities support her anti-Wall Street positions.

Warren has said she doesn't plan to challenge Clinton, though several others have indicated that they are looking at a bid, including Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
I'd dropped the frequency on the Wednesday Warren Warnings because it looked like she wasn't in the race. This may change her mind. If anyone on the Democratic side can beat Hillary Clinton, it's her.

Yes, the poll was conducted by friendlies, but it may be enough to get her to reconsider., especially with Hillary playing it safe right now.

February 9, 2015

Catching up, some pop culture observations

I am so far behind on posting I believe I've slipped back a decade.  There's so much to talk about and I've had very little time to try to keep up.  So let me try to hit the highlights quickly.

The Patriots won the Superbowl. I'm happy about that and not just because I'm not a fan of the Seahawks.  There's something deliciously ironic about a team named Patriots winning in the same season as the GOP taking the Senate and building their lead in the House and state houses as well.  Or put another way, the Democrats were defeated by Patriots the same way the Seahawks were defeated by Patriots.

The Grammy Awards happened yesterday.  Sam Smith won 3 awards (I think) because his musical talent but the other underlying factor was his return to more fundamental musicality and traditional musical style.  Musical conservatism.  

And of course related to the Grammys, there was Kanye West ranting about Beck needing to give his Grammy to Beyonce. Just like he did with Taylor Swift a couple of years ago.  (1) Does Kanye West have a crush on Beyonce? Seriously, does he? (2) He said something along the lines of people not appreciating different types of musicality.  Does he not see the irony of disrespecting Beck's music by making asinine statements like that? (3) This is the guy who claimed on TV, during a fundraiser for Katrina victims, that president Bush was racist. Does anyone take him seriously at all anymore besides Kanye himself?

Brian Williams made up crap about being under fire in Iraq.  Excusable?  Maybe if he was talking in a bar with some friends.  But to lie as a journalist is even worse than twisting the news to fit your own political narrative.  It's making up news to fit your own narrative. Inexcusable, but it will be excused nonetheless.  He's kept NBC's Nightly News at the top of the ratings. As we all know now, truth is not secondary to ratings.  For liberal networks and ratings hungry executive, truth doesn't even make the list.  Maybe we could get Kanye West to deliver the 'news' from now on.

February 7, 2015

Saturday Spotlight - Critical Thinking

To think critically, you have to be able to question what you see.  That's exactly the opposite of how progressive liberals want you to think.  They want you to accept that they are the enlightened critical thinkers and therefore simply agree with them.  That sort of approach is a recipe for failure not only for the nation, but for the progressive movement.  That movement will continue to whittle down individual thought and critical analysis until there are no new ideas anymore.  That spells doom. I will not be shedding a tear.

Saturday Learning Series - Learning in America (or anywhere)

One man's view of the problem, and the skills needed to succeed in the future. That man happens to be Dr. Tony Wagner, co-director of Harvard's Change Leadership Group.

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