Daily Archives: October 6, 2013

The real value of attending an Ivy is the lifetime connections you’ll make


Boola Boola to you, babe

Boola Boola to you, babe

Up at Yale, for instance, a student is bonding with his peers by smearing their laundry with his feces and urine.

Probably somebody’s next congressman.


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Reminder: the School Superintendent is an employee, not a member of the ruling political class

And I'll be sending a copy of this enemies list to the IRS

And I’ll be sending a copy of this enemies list to the IRS

McKersie unloads on  BOE member and candidate Peter Sherr. Bob Horton’s got the story.

School Superintendent William McKersie has landed himself in the middle of a divisive Republican political battle just as the school board campaign enters its last weeks before Election Day.

At issue is McKersie’s characterization of Republican school board member Peter Sherr as a divisive force and the only member intent on holding back progress on important school issues. Sherr is in a pitched battle to retain his seat on the Board of Education after local GOP leaders vowed to crush him (their words) because he refused to support the party’s candidate for school board chairman two years ago.

McKersie’s less-than-flattering portrait of Sherr came in a mid-August email response to the North Mianus Republican’s request for case histories from a consulting firm the superintendent hired to develop magnet programs to help correct racially imbalanced student populations in certain town schools. That seemingly benign request generated a pretty explosive response from McKersie.

The school chief’s vitriol might have disappeared into the internet vapor except that the superintendent copied senior school administrators, virtually guaranteeing that his remarks would receive much broader circulation, and they did. They landed in the email inbox of Edward Dadakis, local GOP leader and a very vocal Sherr critic who used the McKersie’s statements this week to attack Sherr in his regular column published by the Greenwich Post.

For Dadakis, the emails were a gift from the political gods. Quoting selectively only from McKersie’s response and not from Sherr’s original email, which was a simple request for information, Dadakis launched into a rant about Sherr’s “bad behavior” and reminding his readers of Sherr’s “alliance” in 2011 with then GOP school board member MariannaPonns Cohen. Students of local politics will remember that the GOP leadership led the successful campaign to defeat Ms. Ponns Cohen by claiming she was a constant thorn in the side of then School Superintendent Sidney Freund. Dadakis obviously thinks the same charges will keep Sherr from winning re-election this time around.

Chipping away at the Republican hierarchy isn’t as satisfying as just taking a firehose to their Augean stables, but it’s a start, and making sure that the clowns who have brought us so many decades of misrule don’t succeed in crushing the lone voice of dissent on the BOE seems like a most excellent idea.

So a month from now, I intend to cast just one vote in the entire election (all the rest of the “contests” have been predetermined by Repubulican and Democrat party leaders): I’ll vote for Peter Sherr. If enough of us “bullet vote” – cast just one vote for Sherr and none for the other BOE Republicans, he can beat out at least one of the anointed designees and retain his seat.

And if Sherr retaining his seat will annoy William McKersie and his masters, Peter Tesei and Ed Dadakis, that’ll count as a bonus.


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As predicted, and as already disproved

Math is hard!

Math is hard!

Obama: our servers failed because of unexpected volume.

The government website launched this week to sell health insurance was overwhelmed by up to five times as many users as it was designed to handle, President Obama’s top technology adviser said Saturday in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said the government expected HealthCare.gov to draw 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users, but instead it has drawn as many as 250,000 at a time since it launched Oct. 1.

I couldn’t find an exact count of how many concurrent users Amazon serves (millions and millions) but here’s an article from 2010 (!) on My Space’s using Amazon to test their own ability to handle 1,000,000 concurrent users. One million is not only a bigger number than the ObamKare’s 250,000, but MySpace tested before they went live, rather than just put it up and see what happened. Amateurs in D.C., coming to run your health care.

If you manage the infrastructure that sits behind a high traffic application you don’t want any surprises.  You want to understand your breaking points, define your capacity thresholds, and know how to react when those thresholds are exceeded.  Testing the production infrastructure with actual anticipated load levels is the only way to understand how things will behave when peak traffic arrives.

For MySpace, the goal was to test an additional 1 million concurrent users on their live site stressing the new video features.  The key word here is ‘concurrent’.  Not over the course of an hour or day… 1 million users concurrently active on the site. It should be noted that 1 million virtual users are only a portion of what MySpace typically has on the site during its peaks.  They wanted to supplement the live traffic with test traffic to get an idea of the overall performance impact of the new launch on the entire infrastructure.  This requires a massive amount of load generation capability, which is where cloud computing comes into play. To do this testing, MySpace worked with SOASTA to use the cloud as a load generation platform.


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The voice of Greenwich Democrats is heard from under the dungheap

I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday

I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today

Reader Balzac brings up a Greenwich Time opinion piece by Old Greenwich Democrat David Rafferty, who begs us to put a Democrat in charge of the Board of Estimate and Taxation so that his fellow pols can expand our debt. Balzac has a fine response, but here’s my take as well – Rafferty writes:

[W] hile the party-endorsed candidates have actually already won the election, there are two differing philosophies competing for supremacy: austerity vs. growth. Whichever political party receives the most total votes gets the board chairmanship, and in effect, gets to decide between the two philosophies.

Well, you might say, how does this affect me? Start with what’s on your municipal shopping list.

To a Democrat, each year of tax revenue should fund a new shopping list, just as profligate spenders see each new paycheck as a reason to examine what else they may need in their closet to balance that new pair of Manolo Blahniks. Borrowing money to buy (a depreciating asset) now doesn’t signify as money spent now plus more money to pay back the loan; Democrats don’t believe in lay-away plans:they prefer the immediate gratification  offered by payday lenders.

A new pool, MISA, maybe a fire station or two? How about a new civic center? …  This stuff costs money. And unfortunately too many Greenwichites seem allergic to raising revenues, ill-informed as to how we spend the money we do have, and are willing to let ideology trump sound business decisions.

I read an idiotic statement in this paper recently that implied it was somehow nobler to save up and pay for big-ticket items as you need them. Ahh, the traditional pay-as-you-go mantra utilized by the deficit scolds and “run your government like your household” folks who forget that your household is not and should never be anything like your government. The pay/go concept is like playing spin the bottle, except when the spinning stops and it’s pointing at you, something bad happens. It’s patently unfair to tell today’s taxpayers that they have to pay for construction of say, a fire station that will benefit multiple generations

No, Rafferty’s “best business practices” dictate that we borrow the money now and stick it to the next generation of taxpayers to foot the bill. After all, current residents didn’t have to pay for our existing infrastructure or Tod’s Point or our schools, so why should we start now? Keep the ride on the gravy train alive for another fifteen years or so; enough time for Rafferty to skip out.

If you don’t, no current generation including ours, will ever feel an obligation to do big things, if the alternative means avoiding paying for them.

I have no idea what he means by this and I doubt he does either, but let’s parse it: according to Rafferty, the alternative to doing “big things” is to avoid paying for them. So if we must pay for them, we will do big things, if we don’t have to pay for them, we won’t. That sounds like an appeal to the Puritan work effort rather than the usual Rafferty progressivism and so I don’t believe he means this; if he does, then the rest of his screed is self-contradictory and not worth reading.

 I live here and pay taxes now, so according to current BET leadership philosophy, I have to pay for the sewers regardless of future usage.

Again with the “why should I have to pay for sewers that will last 100 years [sic] just because I’m benefitting from the sewers built by the people who came before me? This is the Baby Boomer at his most selfish, entitled worse. Funny how most of that cohort are Democrats.

Growth vs. austerity. One says spend the money, spread out the payments and put into place the facilities and infrastructure we need for now, and later. The other says keep socking money away, and don’t spend unless something needs immediate attention.

Actually, the latter says, don’t spend money we don’t have; if we have the money, we can indeed spend it on things Rafferty feels “we need for now, and later.” Rafferty’s complaint is that we’re not spending as much as he’d like to see spent, especially if it’s the next generation who’ll be stuck with the bill. Sort of like a pair of empty nesters throwing a huge going away party the night before they flee and charging the catering and liquor bills to their children. “But the kids would want us to have a great time, certainly; they won’t mind.”

Austerity types love the run your government like your household analogy, but I say the two are not analogous. Upgrade your kitchen and that doesn’t increase your spending power. But a new civic center will attract new residents who’ll buy your home with the fancy new kitchen, pay taxes, shop in town, and increase our town’s bottom line. Austerity is a trap used by politicians to justify not paying for things we need.

So a new civic center will pay for itself by increasing property values? That’s fine for those empty-nesters described above who can sell their house to one of Rafferty’s hypothetical newcomers attracted by a new gymnasium, but what happens to those left behind? They’re the ones who’ll be paying the higher property taxes, not Biff and Cal (we have a modern family here), who are long gone to Key West. People on fixed incomes, people searching for homes in Greenwich that they can afford, will be forced from town by Rafferty’s new taxes.

 [T] he Republicans on the BET represent austerity while the Democrats represent growth.

Spending our way to growth and prosperity? By Rafferty’s logic, the Soviet Union should have been the richest nation on earth. Semi-rational liberals who looked at the actual results of 80 years of communist rule at least paused to consider whether there was something wrong with that idea; the Raffertys can’t do that. Indeed, as recently as his last run for Congress, Rafferty was proposing eliminating the “for-profit” CL&P and having each town set up its own power company (paid for with borrowed money) which would serve the needs of the people at an affordable rate.

One of the justifications for socializing the electric company, according to Rafferty, is “Jobs: If a town takes back the business of distributing electricity, it will be hiring a well-paid local workforce.” Think about that, even if Rafferty can’t. He would remove employees from a corporation’s payroll and put them on a municipality’s and count that shifted burden as new jobs. The man is, simply put, delusional.

And an idiot.


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What’s the difference between Al Gore, Prince Charles and Bob Geldof? About ten years


Dead Aid

Dead Aid

“World will end in 2030”, says Geldof. The noted climatologist Gloomy Prince Charlie predicted irreversible doom by 2011, and climate profiteer Gore says whatever date comes to mind as best suits his business ventures. The all deserve exactly the same credence and respect.

Meanwhile, just last week the UN’s IPCC called off the planetary emergency.  “I don’t have time to read that kind of nonsense,” Gore told FWIW. “Not when the science is settled.”


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Government to the people

Revenge of Obama

Revenge of Obama

A couple of readers have sent links to this story, but I’d hate to see it buried in the comments:

National Parks Service blocks tourists from taking pictures of Mt. Rushmore.

Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore.

The National Park Service placed cones along highway viewing areas outside Mount Rushmore this week, barring visitors from pulling over and taking pictures of the famed monument.

The cones first went up Oct. 1, said Dusty Johnson, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff. The state asked that they be taken down, and federal officials did so with some of them. The state was told the cones were a safety precaution to help channel cars into viewing areas rather than to bar their entrance.

“I think reasonable people can disagree about that,” Johnson said.


Like the story cited here yesterday, the NPS is seeking to punish us – these closures involve no services previously provided, no expenses whatsoever, except to the bureaucrat’s sense of job security.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”


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Ted Cruz, Dutchman

Netherlands at a standstill over budget fight. I blame Bush.

A row over budget cuts last year brought down the government in the Netherlands, the euro zone’s fifth-largest economy and one of the bloc’s core members. And although this cabinet is expected to survive the impasse, it faces a tough challenge to secure support for another round of austerity when the economy is in recession and consumption is weak.


A coalition of the center-right Liberal Party and leftist Labor Party, the government lacks a majority in the senate and needs the backing from the opposition to pass its budget for 2014, which includes €6 billion ($8.17 billion) in extra tax increases and spending cuts, as well as proposed reforms in the pension system and labor market.

Talks suffered a big blow Thursday, after an unpromising start last week, when a key opposition party, the centrist Christian Democrats, pulled out, saying it disagreed with the government’s planned tax increases. “It doesn’t create jobs, it will only make the crisis worse. So we won’t participate,” said the party’s leader, Sybrand van Haersma Buma.

The move angered some cabinet members. Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the Christian Democrats were behaving irresponsibly and he accused them of raising “the middle finger” to the cabinet, a comment for which he later apologized.

Just this past Friday Harry Reid apologized for his own nasty remarks about his Senate colleagues. I imagine his remorse is as genuine as Foreign Minister Timmerman’s.


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Coming our way

The triumph of the proletariat: East Germany, 1975  (Photo, Uncylopedia)

The triumph of the proletariat: East Germany, 1975
(Photo, Uncylopedia)

A reader writes,

“Hey, didnt Obama say, “don’t worry, you’ll be able to keep your current plan.” Ha! Just got a letter from Anthem dumping me, after 10 years…because I can find someone else to insure my family through the Affordable Care Act. Funny, think it has anything to do with my daughter’s ~250k surgery for scoliosis at the Hospital for Special Surgery with famous pediatric spine doc this past summer? Who told me, next year, he’s not taking insurance. FYI, she’s great, able to go back to athletics, etc. Amazingly successful surgery. So far, Obamacare sucks for me.”

The Dollar Bills of the world welcome developments like these – the reader’s child wasn’t entitled to care that another child can’t have, so the takeover of medical care by the central government will either (a) ensure that every child gets the same care. or, (b) that no child does. Either alternative is acceptable, to them.

Of course what DB misses is alternative (c): only the children of the politically connected will receive the best care and sadly for Bill, his family won’t be in the class of apparatchiks.

Another thing they don’t grasp is this: the standard of medical care will gradually decline, as new operations aren’t discovered, new medical devises aren’t invented and wonder drugs disappear. Just like businesses that never started because of the 10,000 new regulations promulgated each year, energy sources not discovered and the innovations not created, how does one notice the absence of what never existed? It will take decades before Bill’s children, looking around at the grey, shabby world they live in, will wonder how their parents had it so good.


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Rube Awakening, Part XXXIV

NYT reporter discovers that Obama lied to him and his peers. The man who promised the most transparent, open administration in the history of the world since the beginning of time has instead run something different:

“This is most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

The end of cognitive dissonance.


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