Daily Archives: December 18, 2013

I thought he was kidding

Is that a lump of coal in your stocking or are you just glad to see me?

Is that a lump of coal in your stocking or are you just glad to see me?

Cobra sent along this picture, and I assumed it was some sort of put-on, a parody dreamed up by wicked conservatives. But no it’s not – it’s part of the official Obamacare campaign, designed to appeal to gays. (I thought that the cocoa-sipping  Obama Douche in his PJs was aimed at that crowd but apparently not; that nerd was supposed to stir up heterosexual freshmen – go figure).

The most encouraging thing about this poster butt boy is that he was dreamed up by John Podesta, the “genius” who’s been brought into the White House to try to salvage the remaining years of the Obama term. So far, Podesta’s called Republican opponents “Jim Jones cultists”  and has now insulted the intelligence and taste of gays everywhere. If this is the best Obama has up his sleeve, I’ll sleep well tonight.

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Obama better hurry up and get us into a war

There are Democrats facing elections next fall, and this won’t make them happy, because they’re next.

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That’s why they get the big bucks

I went to Harvard

I went to Harvard

Goldman Sachs, December 16, 2013: “Why the Fed won’t taper this month. Maybe $10 billion in March.”

U.S. Treasury, December 18th, 2013 (2:00 pm). “Tapering to start now, $10 billion a month.”

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Yes of course it’s fiction, but I don’t think Common Core should avoid scrutiny because of that

learnwell_lgCommon Core curriculum warns students that the world will be destroyed by global warming.

“Fifth grade students at Fremont Elementary School in Colorado were assigned a reading passage that describes global warming as a dangerous, man-made phenomenon that will destroy civilization in a few hundred years.

The reading assignment was found inside a workbook aligned with the controversial national Common Core curriculum guidelines, and was titled “Homework from the Future.” It tells the fictional story of a visitor to the year 2512 who discovers that the eastern United States is under water and the country’s population greatly reduced, all thanks to man-made global warming:

By the early 21st century, people knew that the massive use of fossil fuels was heating up the planet. But people didn’t stop their destructive lifestyles. They just kept using up Earth’s resources. The ice sheets melted, and Earth’s crust shifted. ..

In 2130. the oceans began to rise over farmland and cities. In 300 years, most of the eastern United States was covered with water.

After reading the text, students were expected to answer several questions, including: “What caused all the problems on Earth?” and “How could the problems have been avoided?”

The district …  told Complete Colorado that the assignment is suitable for children, despite its political implications, since the text is technically a fiction story.

“I think the topic of global warming would be considered controversial,” said Priscilla Straughn, a curriculum expert for the school district, in a statement. “That was not the intent of this assignment. This assignment was around comprehension, with the science fiction genre.”

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How about background checks and interviews for potential parents, school teachers and politicians?

What's in it for you?

What’s in it for you?

Ohio Democrat wants to require background checks and social worker interviews before allowing parents to home school their children.

I’d settle for:

(a) proof of ability to support children before people are allowed to breed; and

(b) IQ tests for teachers and politicians (and, in the case of presidential candidates, proof that they attended college).

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In rainy Oregon, I suppose it was just a drop in the bucket

After a $21 million ad campaign, Oregon dumps its ObamaCare ad campaign.

Bruce Goldberg, Executive Director of Cover Oregon, told FWIW, “we’re dropping the campaign in order to spend more time with our families.”

“Each logger and lawyer and stay at home dad”? How could it have failed to appeal to every Oregon hipster? Of course, maybe they pissed off the African American community with their racist depictions.

Little Black Sambo

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.54.34 AM

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But it’s an outstanding success

"Okay, just one so far, but that guy's working on a couple of his friends."

“Okay, just one so far, but that guy’s working on a couple of his friends.”

White House spokesman: “We have no idea how many young people have signed up for ObamaCare.” The entire program depends on convincing the young to agree to subsidize their elders, yet the WH appears to concede that few are doing so:

[Carney]  attempted to justify the lack of records by saying that young people will most likely “wait until the last minute to get their paperwork done or their online applications done.”

Sounds to me that they know exactly how many have signed up, and they aren’t happy admitting it.

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Harvard student phoned in bomb scares to avoid exams

Harvard IIThey may be the best and the brightest, but they sure are dumb.

A student at Harvard University made bomb threats to try and get out of a final exam, according to prosecutors.

Four campus buildings were evacuated after Eldo Kim allegedly sent hoax emails saying bombs were at the sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The buildings were shut down for several hours on Monday morning while searches were carried out before investigators deemed there were no explosives.

The messages were sent to Harvard police, two university officials and the president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper.

Kim, 20, allegedly told an agent he had acted alone and posted messages to five or six Harvard email addresses he picked at random.

The emails said shrapnel bombs would go off in two of the four buildings, including one where Kim was supposed to take an exam at 9am on Monday, prosecutors said.

A poll of 2013 Harvard freshmen revealed that 50% had cheated to get into the school, and that number reflected only those honest enough to admit to cheating.

Last week we asked why anyone would hire a Harvard grad when they had just demonstrated an inability to engage in independent thought. Let’s ask it again: dullards, cheats and smug little bastards – what a winning combination.

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Yes. Next question.

Holman Jenkins: “Will tort law kill driverless cars?”

Those lusting after the self-driving car ought to pay attention to the Toyota litigation, which suggests that Software Sammy is not about to become everyman’s personal chauffeur anytime soon.

Toyota had been vigorously fighting hundreds of complaints that its cars are prone to unintended acceleration. Now it’s moving toward a global settlement as a consequence of a single Oklahoma lawsuit that appears to establish that Toyota can’t prevail if it can’t prove a negative—that its software didn’t go haywire in some untraceable and unreplicable manner.

A Toyota Camry after crashing off Interstate 80 in Wendover, Utah, 2010. Associated Press

Attorneys for Jean Bookout didn’t mess around with suspect floor mats, a sticky gas pedal or imprecise hits that Toyotas are unsafe due to a pattern of “other similar incidents.” They went right after a defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control that nobody can find or replicate.

The Bookout jury was apparently impressed by the testimony of software expert Michael Barr. He said a single “bit flip” (the smallest instance of data corruption) could cause uncontrolled acceleration when the driver had been using cruise control, stopped using cruise control, then resumed using cruise control to let the car accelerate back to its selected speed.

The car would just keep accelerating due to stoppage of a set of software functions and safety checks dubbed “Task X.” The only way to restart Task X, Mr. Barr said, was to turn the car off and on again. In the meantime, the driver would have to remove his foot from the brake and then step on the brake again to engage a safety feature unrelated to Task X to close the throttle.

The connection to Ms. Bookout’s crash, which didn’t involve cruise control and took place on an exit ramp? None, except Mr. Barr claimed that “software failure is consistent with the description of the [Bookout] accident” and “more likely than not” a factor.

The Bookout case ended on Oct. 24 with a jury finding fault with Toyota’s electronic throttle control. Toyota rushed to settle on undisclosed terms before the jury could assess punitive damages. Until that point, Toyota’s defense had been driver error.

For good reason, judges handling hundreds of Toyota cases have led with several involving elderly female drivers like Ms. Bookout, who was 76 at the time of her accident, which injured her and killed a passenger. Older women are known to be disproportionately prone to “pedal misapplication”—stepping on the gas instead of the brake. In November, an elderly female driving a Toyota Camry crashed into a Trader Joe’s supermarket in suburban New York, injuring an employee. Three weeks later, an elderly woman driving a Buick crashed through the front window of a different Trader Joe’s in suburban New York, injuring 15 shoppers.

A government study last year looking into Toyota’s troubles failed to locate an electronic gremlin but noted that 62% of unexplained Toyota incidents involved drivers 65 and older and 41% involved drivers 75 and older. A software bug would be unlikely to discriminate against the aged, although it’s possible older drivers simply respond less effectively to software-related misbehavior in their vehicles. What nobody can answer, though, is how a car maker is supposed to defend itself when it can’t prove that its software behaves safely under all circumstances.

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Well how can you be happy UNLESS you’re right?

Admit it: you're not happy - you should do something about that!

Admit it: you’re not happy – you should do something about that!

Scientists test hypothesis that it’s better to be happy than to be right, discover that the former is dependent on the latter.

As part of an unusual experiment, [a] husband was instructed to “agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint,” and to continue doing so “even if he believed the female participant was wrong,” according to a report on the research that was published Tuesday by the British Medical Journal.

The husband and wife were helping a trio of doctors test their theory that pride and stubbornness get in the way of good mental health. In their own medical practices in New Zealand, they had observed patients leading “unnecessarily stressful lives by wanting to be right rather than happy.” If these patients could just let go of the need to prove to others that they were right, would greater happiness be the result?

Enter the intrepid husband. Based on the assumption that men would rather be happy than be right, he was told to agree with his wife in all cases. However, based on the assumption that women would rather be right than be happy, the doctors decided not to tell the wife why her husband was suddenly so agreeable.

Both spouses were asked to rate their quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the happiest) at the start of the experiment and again on Day 6. It’s not clear how long the experiment was intended to last, but it came to an abrupt halt on Day 12.

“By then the male participant found the female participant to be increasingly critical of everything he did,” the researchers reported. The husband couldn’t take it anymore, so he made his wife a cup of tea and told her what had been going on.

That led the researchers to terminate the study.

Over the 12 days of the experiment, the husband’s quality of life plummeted from a baseline score of 7 all the way down to 3. The wife started out at 8 and rose to 8.5 by Day 6. She had no desire to share her quality of life with the researchers on Day 12, according to the report.

Still, the team was able to draw some preliminary conclusions.

“It seems that being right, however, is a cause of happiness, and agreeing with what one disagrees with is a cause of unhappiness,” they wrote. They also noted that “the availability of unbridled power adversely affects the quality of life of those on the receiving end.”

The three doctors think they might be on to something, and they wrote that they would like to see the work continue: “More research is needed to see whether our results hold if it is the male who is always right.”

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Well why not? Why should Al Gore and his Wall Street pals have all the fun?

Integration now!

Integration now!

NAACP wants more space for the colored at the “renewable energy” trough.

In 2009, black Americans held 1.1% of energy jobs, Jacqueline Patterson, NAACP environmental and climate justice program director, said during a conference call with news reporters Tuesday.

She called on states to institute changes that would reduce energy costs and bring more minorities and low-income people into the industry. Among the changes:

– Get at least 25% of its energy from renewable sources

[no suggestions how she’d achieve two contradictory goals: reduced energy costs and expensive renewable energy, but this is prime time, honey, not Logic 101 – Ed]

– Set a 2% annual reduction target from previous year retail electricity sales

– Set up provisions that would make it easier for local residents to find out about potential jobs and apply for them; provide opportunities for locally owned businesses and minority owned businesses

The civil rights organization singled out Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi for lack of such measures.

Alabama, for instance, has the highest proportion of energy bills compared to average income, Bernard Simelson, president of the Alabama State NAACP, said during the conference call.

Simelton made reference to last month’s announcement that the Tenneessee Valley Authority will close six coal-fired power plants in Alabama.

“That’s a step in the right direction…” Simelton said.

[It is? How? Ed]

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Because you can’t drink it before it’s fermented, silly

You got a problem with that?

You got a problem with that?

Florida: Bum catches alligator, tries to trade it for a 12-pack of beer. Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jorge Pino is befuddled:

‘This is absolutely bizarre,’ Pino told WTVJ-TV.

‘I can’t imagine somebody wanting to barter a live four-foot alligator for a 12 pack of beer, it makes no sense to me.’

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The Church of Holy Gaia fakes its icons

Coyote Blog debunks the latest warmists’ chart:

Readers will know that as a lukewarmer, I have as little patience with outright CO2 warming deniers as I do with those declaring a catastrophe  (for my views read this and this).  But if you are going to simply be thunderstruck that some people don’t trust climate scientists, then don’t post a chart that is a great example of why people think that a lot of global warming science is garbage.  Here is [Kevin] Drum’s chart:

la-sci-climate-warming

 

The problem is that his chart is a splice of multiple data series with very different time resolutions.  The series up to about 1850 has data points taken at best every 50 years and likely at 100-200 year or more intervals.  It is smoothed so that temperature shifts less than 200 years or so in length won’t show up and are smoothed out.

In contrast, the data series after 1850 has data sampled every day or even hour.  It has a sampling interval 6 orders of magnitude (over a million times) more frequent.  It by definition is smoothed on a time scale substantially shorter than the rest of the data.

In addition, these two data sets use entirely different measurement techniques.  The modern data comes from thermometers and satellites, measurement approaches that we understand fairly well.  The earlier data comes from some sort of proxy analysis (ice cores, tree rings, sediments, etc.)  While we know these proxies generally change with temperature, there are still a lot of questions as to their accuracy and, perhaps more importantly for us here, whether they vary linearly or have any sort of attenuation of the peaks.  For example, recent warming has not shown up as strongly in tree ring proxies, raising the question of whether they may also be missing rapid temperature changes or peaks in earlier data for which we don’t have thermometers to back-check them (this is an oft-discussed problem called proxy divergence).

The problem is not the accuracy of the data for the last 100 years, though we could quibble this it is perhaps exaggerated by a few tenths of a degree.  The problem is with the historic data and using it as a valid comparison to recent data.  Even a 100 year increase of about a degree would, in the data series before 1850, be at most a single data point.  If the sampling is on 200 year intervals, there is a 50-50 chance a 100 year spike would be missed entirely in the historic data.  And even if it were in the data as a single data point, it would be smoothed out at this data scale.

Do you really think that there was never a 100-year period in those last 10,000 years where the temperatures varied by more than 0.1F, as implied by this chart?  This chart has a data set that is smoothed to signals no finer than about 200 years and compares it to recent data with no such filter.  It is like comparing the annualized GDP increase for the last quarter to the average annual GDP increase for the entire 19th century.   It is easy to demonstrate how silly this is.  If you cut the chart off at say 1950, before much anthropogenic effect will have occurred, it would still look like this, with an anomalous spike at the right (just a bit shorter).  If you believe this analysis, you have to believe that there is an unprecedented spike at the end even without anthropogenic effects.

 

Update:  Kevin Drum posted a defense of this chart on Twitter.  Here it is:  “It was published in Science.”   Well folks, there is climate debate in a nutshell.   An 1000-word dissection of what appears to be wrong with a particular analysis retorted by a five-word appeal to authority.

 

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This is what happens when you live with Mom and Dad, can’t get laid and your shih tzu has crawled under the Christmas tree and died

You get coal in your stocking, sent directly from your man in the White House

Obama Douche  Christmas, 2013

Obama Douche
Christmas, 2013

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