Daily Archives: January 1, 2016

It’s almost as bad as politicians who support ethanol because the Iowan corn farmers hold an early primary


Just think how much great ethanol we can make with this fruit!

Stanford grad Carly Fiorina tweets that she’s rooting for Iowa against her old school in the Rose Bowl today.

The ***y waffles on ethanol, probably because she thinks its some kind of fructose.


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Dual purpose Tesla

Burning Tesla Norway

Don’t let it burn, Norwegian woods

Nah, not a hover board, but close: A space heater!

The Norwegian owner of a Tesla Model S found an unexpected f(i)ringe benefit during a cold Friday afternoon when shortly after he had parked his luxury electric car at a supercharging station in Gjerstad, and left, he realized the car could serve as a very quick and efficient, if quite toxic, source of heating for the cold Scandinavian country, after the Model S spontaneously burst into flames.




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Greenwich Democrats to host Harry Reid, Hillary at the Bruce

Reid, Clinton

Your worst nightmare is on its way

At least I assume that’s what Greenwich Time intends.

January 12, 7:00 PM. Bring sticks.



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Opposite directions

As Obama plots in Hawaii to come up with still more gun owner harassment schemes, the Swiss are heeding the advice of their Army chief and stocking up on weapons.

Back in 1972 I spent some time in Zurich and was surprised to see civilian businessmen in suits carrying true “assault weapons” on their shoulders as they took the tram to, I suppose, their reserve exercises. Initially surprised, just because it was an uncommon sight to this American, but never once the least bit afraid; to the contrary.

Nowadays, I’d cheer them.

swiss at internet cafe

Swiss citizen at the Internet Cafe



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A reader was just wondering how working Muslims manage to pray 5X a day


There’d be more room to accommodate them this way

Turns out, they won’t, so a Cargill plant just pulled the rug out from under 200 of them.

A Cargill beef processing plant in Fort Morgan, Colo. has fired nearly 200 Somali Muslims who walked off the job last week in a dispute over the company’s accommodations of their prayer rituals.

The workers’ complaints were vague, but seemed to center on the amount of space and time that Cargill had made available for them to pray at the meat plant, which is located in northeast Colorado. Devout Muslims pray five times a day.

[Cargill insists that its policies have not changed] But Hussein maintained that the workers believed that the policy regarding prayer had effectively changed.

“To these employees, that is what it is, [he said]. “Maybe Cargill never changed its policy, but to these employees, they feel whatever the policy is, or how it is implemented, there was a change put in place.” [emphasis added]


I suspect the towel-heads will win this one because, after all, feelings trump facts these days, every time.


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As oil prices plummet, Arabs lose their heads

There goes their labor supply


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Glenn Reynolds has a modest proposal for how the Republicans should respond to Democrats’ refusal to tax the middle-rich

Tax them back to the Stone Age

Tax them back to the Stone Age: pre-iPhone

Advocate a “Yuppie-Tax”, and force the Democrats to defend the rich. 

First, Megan McArdle: Sander’s and Clinton’s fake middle class 

That sort of income [$250,000] puts a family in the top 5 percent of American earners, which seems like an overgenerous definition of “middle class.” Why, then, are Democrats so allergic to raising taxes on people who make less than this fabled cutoff? Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to spend money on a lot of stuff: single-payer health care, more generous Social Security benefits, universal preschool, free college, worker training. They are probably not going to be able to pay for it with the piddly sums one can raise from even large tax hikes on the very highest earners. Yet both of them seem wedded to the idea that taxes should not rise significantly for anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year.

One answer [to why?] is that they get a lot of their support in high-cost states where, say, $125,000 a year does not feel like riches beyond dreams of avarice. Over the past five years or so, the commentariat has been periodically convulsed by arguments over whether high earners have any right to feel pinched because their “basics” — a decently sized home in a good school district, a diet filled with lean protein and fresh produce, and an amenity-filled coastal city nearby in which to enjoy their hard-won socioeconomic status — are very expensive.

Living in a coastal city is actually not a civil right; it is a consumption good, and therefore, yes, you are still very affluent if you make $250,000 a year and choose to spend it on living near Manhattan.


Heh. If I were a GOP candidate, I’d ride the populist wave by going after these folks, and call it a “Yuppie tax,” because everybody hates yuppies. And then I’d go farther and target all the well-off Democratic constituencies: Push an outright ban on private jets — they’re bad for the planet! — an excise tax on homes over 4000 square feet, a punitive tariff on imported automobiles, and so on.  You want class warfare, baby? You got it! Make the Democrats defend the rich!

This was in fact what I wanted to see our local Republicans do with CT’s gun control law while it was being drafted: go all out for the confiscation of  guns, tax bullets at a buck apiece, require personal inspection by the police, once a year, of each individual’s guns, and so on. Then let the Democrats argue against those provisions, which they’d have had to, if they were to come up with a constitutionally defendable law. Scott Franz instead took the usual, milquetoast Republican approach and tried negotiation, with the usual result: he got rolled.

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I’ll bet he gets under $4, and possibly under $3.

Rheinbeck house

215 Mill Road, Rheinbeck, NY

A headline in Greenwich Time caught my eye, “New York Mansion on top of a 60-foot waterfall going for almost $9 million.” Almost always in reports like these, the quoted price is the asking, not the actual selling price, and when I looked it up, sure enough, that’s what the owner, not the market thinks it’s worth. Hmmm.

First off, 1,462 square feet does not make a mansion, even in the mid-state weekend communities of New York. Second, while it’s an incredibly beautiful house, to my eye, and one I’d love to live in, I used the internet to poke around the inventory up there and found just one house asking $4.5 million, which has been sitting for  long time, a couple at $2.5, and then, the abyss. Being out there at the head of the pack at a price that’s twice that of the next one behind is usually not a successful strategy for selling.

Land looks to run around $150,000 an acre up here, in lots of 20 ares or more, so there’s your $3, plus, maybe, a $1 million for the cottage, if someone really, really likes it. And if the land is just woods, which the limited pictures indicate it is, then drop that $150,000 figure.

Architects do like to dream, especially when they’re trying to sell their own creations, eh? Still, it’s a nice house.

One aside: be careful of that dam on the property. Great grandfather John Caldwell was a member of the South Fork Hunting and Fishing Club, outside of Pittsburgh, and when the club’s dam broke in 1889, American history was enriched by the  Johnstown Flood. Back in 1889, the legal system was kinder to powerful industrialists and their friends, and not a single one of the resulting meritless suits brought by angry, undeserving victims was successful. These days, you probably won’t be so lucky.

(And one more aside: the official list of Club members notes that the documentation on the identity of John Caldwell is unclear, so they settled on a John Caldwell Jr. of Philadelphia; wrong one – our Caldwell was Westinghouse, Pittsburgh – but shhh! Someone might still sue.)


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Just a reminder: all those scientific articles “proving” global warming are “peer-reviewed” before being published in scientific journals.


Oops! I did it again.

Efficacy of Mommy-Boo Boo-kisses  confirmed. In a reprise of the medical journal Lancet retracting, 12 years after publication, the infamous study proving a link between vaccinations and autism, comes another fraud:

In their study, the authors claim to be members of the Study of Maternal and Child Kissing (SMACK) Working Group, which they say is a subsidiary of Procter and Johnson, Inc., the maker of “Bac-Be-Gone ointment and Steri-Aids self-adhesive bandages.” Procter and Johnson, which is not a real consumer goods company, is an obvious mash-up of Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, two consumer packaged goods companies which sell health care items like bandages and ointments. The only contact information for the study’s authors disclosed in the research paper is a Gmail address. Bac-Be-Gone ointment and Steri-Aids also do not appear to be actual products available for sale. Additionally, many of the academic research references listed at the end of the study–including one article entitled “So what the hell is going on here?”–also appear to be fake.

The research article was published online on December 29, 2015. A manuscript of the paper was accepted by the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, a real publication owned by John Wiley & Sons, on December 10. John Wiley & Sons is a well-respected publisher of multiple academic and medical research journals.

After reading an abstract of the study on the website of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federal health agency that funds academic and medical research, The Federalist purchased a full copy of the study from the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice in order to confirm that it was actually published by a peer-reviewed academic journal. According to the journal’s website, articles that are published online prior to being published in a full edition of the journal “have been fully copy-edited and peer reviewed[.]”

In fact, fraudulent articles, and not those intended as a test of the peer-review system, as this one was are so prevalent that scientists are calling it a crisis. It wouldn’t matter as much if government policy weren’t so often based on this garbage, but it is.


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