Saturday, May 31, 2014

#please knock it off



The drawbacks to a foreign policy of speak softly but carry a big hashtag are becoming evident re China:

Using unusually strong language, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took aim at Beijing's handling of territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors.

"In recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea," Hagel said.

He warned Beijing that the United States was committed to its geopolitical rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and "will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged".

Hagel said the United States took no position on the merits of rival territorial claims in the region, but added: "We firmly oppose any nation's use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims."
 Of course Hagel has to take this position. And the Chinese now have to bruster (a typo but I found it so funny that I can't correct it now) and protest, but would they have even expanded their ADIZ if they feared a tough response from the US?

This is a president who wouldn't send rescue to Benghazi because a botched response would have hurt his chances for reelection. He won't send real help to Ukraine because he fears Putin. Heck, he couldn't even stop an interview to deal with a fly on his face.

Yes the Chinese protest this strong language, but they don't fear it. And if they've been paying attention to this president, they know that strong language and devastating hashtags is as far as this is going to go. 

No, I'm not advocating escalation on our part. I'm saying we might not be at this point if we had shown a strong commitment to our allies for the last 5 years. I just hope China's neighbors don't escalate. There it is "hope". 

Isn't hope and change what we were promised? Well I just hope we can limp along until 2016. Mark  balance of power in the "changed" column.


Grandpa Speaks


BABA from joel kefali on Vimeo.

Substitute Loot-a-ran for Muslim, Porta-goose for English, and sticky buns for handmade sausage rolls and this could have been my grandpa.

h/t: laughing squid

Friday, May 30, 2014

Accomplishments Listed




This was drudged because the reporters did laugh at one point. But listen to the brag: the president deserves credit for engagement in issues like Iran, what we've done on Ukraine, and efforts to dive in and engage around the world. Diving in an engaging! Kinda makes you proud to be an American, no?


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Space




Big Bang Theory is missing the boat if they don't have Koothrappali explain this to Penny. Why, the episode writes itself.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Probably Nothing




This is a departure from the main mission of this blog, which most of you know is to raise awareness of lumberjack fashion and to emphasize how fetching most women look in plaid... But anyway, listen to the president in this clip. Notice that he's making a click before several of his sentences? Like he's got negative pressure in his mouth before he opens it. And it creates a click. This seems like something I've heard before, back in the 80's it was. Recognize it? Care to hazard a guess?




News of the Weird


Kidney Disease Patients Not Part of "Diversity": Among the entities rushing to condemn Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in April was the UCLA Medical School, where researchers returned a $425,000 check from the Sterling Foundation to study "structural properties of key proteins in the kidney" to aid development of drugs to treat kidney disease -- and rejected the rest of Sterling's $3 million pledge. A UCLA spokesman said the school must emphasize its "core values" of "diversity, inclusion and respect." [KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), 4-29-2014]
Amazing. We'll only accept money from people who meet our criteria. As if accepting money somehow indicates approval of bad behavior.

from: NotW

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Camelopardalids Meteor Shower Disappoints


Like so many other things under this president.

Capital Weather Gang’s Kevin Ambrose 

The Camelopardalids meteor shower was a total bust. I did not see one shooting star last night. I did photograph a jet leaving Dulles Airport that looks a lot like a shooting star...
 Ok, so maybe president Obama isn't responsible. Maybe he didn't promise a spectacular show. But I wanted to get this explanation of the shower's failure out there before John Kerry and Al Gore get a chance to blame it on global warming.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ethics and the Man from Hawaii


Victor Davis Hanson has a new article on The Obama Administration’s Ethics Problem. The Hillary Clinton section  alone is worth the price of admission:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton left office with American foreign policy in shambles. She has been unable to make the argument that a single initiative — reset with Russia, lead from behind in Libya, red lines on Syria, deadlines to Iran, complete withdrawal from Iraq, pressure on the Israelis, outreach to radical Islam and Latin American Communist dictatorships — had met with success.

Clinton infamously dismissed the lingering mysteries surrounding the Benghazi deaths with “What difference at this point does it make?” She also refused, despite numerous entreaties, to place the now-infamous Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram on a State Department terrorist watch list.
He touches on most of the Obamethics incidents. It's a pretty impressive list when you read it all in one place.

If I had to pick, I'd say the IRS scandal is the most egregious . Using the government to punish political "enemies" should bring special shame. But these are the guys who proudly locked WWII vets out of their memorial; like Cartman, they do what they want.

Is it any wonder Democrats are playing the race card? They have no shame and they have precious few accomplishments, but they've always got that race card.  Look for them to discover another Republican "war on women" as the election gets closer and the race card gets stale.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finally, My Vegetable in the Spotlight




I've just got 3 words to add: Oil and season with salt and spices, these are good, and pan roast at 350. Keep an eye on them to turn color but be diligent because they can turn from golden to fire sticks of death in the blink of an eye.


Monday, May 19, 2014

No More Tests!



Just got back from Grove City College, where Lumberkid graduated with high honors this weekend. Heard Jeb Bush give the commencement address, and packed a room full of stuff into a car full of space.  The weather wasn't great but everyone we met this weekend was.

It was sad saying goodbye to her campus and friends, but Lumberkid is ready to take on the world now. I couldn't be prouder.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Unintended Consequences


From News of the Weird:

-- While Medicare continues to be among the most costly federal services, and U.S. doctors continue to drop out of the program because of paltry fees for some procedures, other specialists are rewarded with such outsized compensation that almost 4,000 physicians were paid $1 million or more for 2012 and about 350 of those totaled nearly $1.5 billion, according to Medicare records released in April 2014. Ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen of West Palm Beach, Fla., took in more than $20 million and treated 645 Medicare patients with a total of 37,000 injectable doses of Lucentis (a much more expensive drug than the popularly regarded equivalent, Avastin), according to Business Insider. (In fact, taxpayers could have saved more than $11 million with Avastin on Melgen's billings alone, according to an April Washington Post analysis.) [Washington Post, 4-9-2014; Business Insider, 4-9-2014]
Here's something that's been bugging me since way back when HMOs were the new trick to reign in healthcare costs: if you slap limits on high earners, won't they immediately start looking for ways to get their income back up?

HMOs looked at the doctor who billed $100.00 to treat my sore throat and decided that to be part of the system, that doctor would only be paid $55.00 for the job. The doctor realizes that with office expenses, insurance, and supply costs unchanging; he'll have to make some changes to keep from going broke at those prices.

So he cuts my 20 minute visit down to 15 minutes. He also orders an extra blood test for which he will get some form of referral fee. He has an arrangement with the radiology firm down the hall, so he sends me for an x-ray to rule out Ethiopian throat spiders... see where I'm going with this?

And when all is said and done, my sore throat cost much more than before we decided to punish the high earning doctor. He isn't getting as much money as before but the cost of healthcare hasn't gone down; it's gone up.

Doctors offer a very valuable commodity, and they deserve to be well paid for it. Sure, there are crooks in any profession. Seems some people aren't happy unless they're "getting over" in some way. But Punish-the-Rich hasn't worked with doctors, and (here's my point) it won't work anywhere else you try it.


Giant Spaceman Runs Amok


Those that weren't eaten were driven insane by 
the hours of constant nom-nom-nomming.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dog Doing His Best




You also have to consider that since his people find this adorable, Dog is doing exactly the right thing.

h/t: jeans

I've Got Three Words For Alec Baldwin



Get in the car, perpetrator.


Why Doesn't Warren Buffett Retire?


Buffett's "tenderfoot treats"

I've often wondered why Warren Buffett didn't retire thirty years ago. I mean, even back then he had more money than he could ever spend.

Well, now we find out he's given $ 1,200,000,000.00 to abortion groups since 2001. That's mind boggling:

That’s equal to the cost of roughly 2.7 million first-trimester abortions – more than twice the number of abortions that occur in an entire year in the United States. Unlike Gosnell, however, everything Buffett has done has been entirely legal. But Buffett does share something else in common with the abortionist. Both their stories have been largely unreported....
... we get grandfatherly Buffett, tax-hiking Buffett, investor Buffett. As a reliable liberal businessman, journalists turn to him as a source for almost any commentary.

It’s easy to understand. If you give $1,000 to a ballot initiative to defend traditional marriage, that’s controversial. If you give $1.25 billion to promote abortion, journalists, who are wildly pro-abortion, don’t dare see any controversy.

But now the information is out there. Watch as the supposedly “neutral” news media does its best to hide it.
 I don't have, want, or need Buffett's money. (ok, so I could use a few dollars from time to time) But I have something he may be covetous of one day: on my death bed I won't have to look back on my accomplishments and see the ghosts of 2.7 million babies staring back at me. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spurious Correlations


US spending on science, space, and technology
correlates with
Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation




19992000200120022003200420052006200720082009
US spending on science, space, and technology
Millions of todays dollars (US OMB)
18,07918,59419,75320,73420,83123,02923,59723,58425,52527,73129,449
Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation
Deaths (US) (CDC)
5,4275,6886,1986,4626,6357,3367,2487,4918,1618,5789,000
Correlation: 0.992082
Discover your own here.

It's true; correlation does not imply causation. I believe CO2 does have some affect on temperature. Some. But the fact is, global average temperature correlates much more closely with the number of pirates extant. And if you want to save the world, well, we're gonna need a bigger boat. (more pirates)


(no need to point out, this graph has several problems, but still, wouldn't it be best to err on the safe side?)

I've Seen the Same Three Women





Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Tommy Lasorda Says




I always liked this guy. About Sterling Lasorda says:
"It doesn't surprise me that he said those things. And he shouldn't have said it."
 and concerning Sterling's estranged babe Stiviano:
 
"I don't wish that girl any bad luck, but I hope she gets hit with a car."



Obama Disappointed in the World




And the world feels much the same about him.

His disappointment stems from the fact that he has a sophomoric idea of what the world should be.  If we talk to the bad guys, they'll eventually see that we're not so bad.  If we spread the wealth around, everyone will be more happy in the end.  If everybody (other than me) quits using carbon there will be frolicking puppies with  butterflies coming out their butts.

The world's disappointment in him stems from the same thing. He pulls upon that which needs pushing, and pushes against things that clearly require a pull. 

He doesn't get the fact that the world is often counter-intuitive. Bullies take advantage of nice guys who just want to talk, they check their behavior when nice guys bully back.  When you pay people to sit at home you'll find people prefer that option over working, and aren't grateful.  When you tax the pants off the wealthy, you'll find them creating less for you to tax.

Nothing seems to work the way the sophomores demand it should.  And seeing this, the sophomores blame the world, not their inability to interact with it.


Monday, May 05, 2014

See, This is What's Wrong with Soccer


I understand enthusiasm, but:

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian soccer fan was killed when he was struck in the head by a toilet bowl hurled from stadium stands as supporters of rival clubs clashed in the northeastern World Cup host city of Recife, police said.

Also this past weekend, authorities detained more than 40 people because of fan fighting outside the stadium...
Mock if you like but you'll never find this kind of behavior at the belt-sander races.


Saturday, May 03, 2014

Caught Eating at Desk



I'll not judge you, but could I interest you in...

some dessert?


photos via

Job Security


Get a job writing environmental impact statements for the Obama administration. All you have to do is come into work each day and announce "We're still working on it."



Accidents happen:

A CSX train carrying tankers of crude oil derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday afternoon, according to city officials, exploding into flames and spilling oil into the James River.

In a statement, CSX said that 15 cars had derailed as the train traveled from Chicago to Virginia. "An initial assessment that three of the cars were on fire," said the statement, "and we have been advised by fire officials that the fire has been extinguished."
This isn't a huge ecological catastrophe.

But it's worth noting that a pipeline has never gone off the tracks.



Thursday, May 01, 2014

Rock Paper Scissors



Darn, now the Chinese will beat us at rock-paper-scissors too:
It turns out that the best strategy is to choose your weapon at random. Over the long run, that makes it equally likely that you will win, tie, or lose. This is known as the mixed strategy Nash equilibrium in which every player chooses the three actions with equal probability in each round.

And that’s how the game is usually played. Various small-scale experiments that record the way real people play Rock-Paper-Scissors show that this is indeed the strategy that eventually evolves.

Or so game theorists had thought. Today, Zhijian Wang at Zhejiang University in China and a couple of pals say that there is more to Rock-Paper-Scissors than anyone imagined. Their work shows that the strategy of real players looks random on average but actually consists of predictable patterns that a wily opponent could exploit to gain a vital edge...

fighting101s.jpg