Days of Change

Day 391 – Cherry Picking

November 30, 2009
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Environmentalism has been heating up, so to speak, as a topic lately. There is yet another global summit following two realities that put it in some question. First, the economic climate makes it unlikely that any major country will cripple its own economy just so that China and India can reap the benefits of industrialization. Then, there is the release of a series of e-mails that show a pattern of data manipulation in global warming analysis.

Two things have been going on. Global warming data has been sweetened to make it look more plausible while contrary data and experiments have been ignored. This method of determining outcomes is generally called cherry picking. Keep what you want and throw out the rest.

This is the difference between science and engineering. In engineering, the goal is the highest yield. To achieve the highest yield, you perform experiments, find the most relevant factors and determine the best levels to get the highest yield. Science is similar in that a theory is tested through experimentation. There is a predicted result.

The real problem is that while it is accepted practice to filter out irrelevant factors and contradictory conditions, it is too easy to discount significant factors because they are inconvenient. A scientific experiment is basically the same as an engineering experiment and if your yield does not serve the theory, the bias is toward the theory being right and the data being wrong.

Remember, these are studies of man-made global warming. We have to show that the earth is warming (a net increase in stored energy), that it is earth based (no sunspots or solar system effects are the cause) and that the earth centered energy increase is due to human industrialization (one could argue a three-fold increase in the human population in a century produces a significant increase just in body heat).

I’m sure a professional climatologist who is biased toward making money and appearing on TV will argue with me. As soon as they denounce someone like Al Gore, who says the oceans will rise 20 feet in the next 50 years (when even the UN says 2 inches in 100 years) and the earth has geothermal layers millions of degrees under he earth’s surface (5,000 degrees F), I might care what they say.

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Day 390

November 29, 2009
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Tomorrow, we get subjected to a new Jackass speech. At least the new TV season is over.  The whole thing has been leaked already. He’s going to put another 30,000 or so Americans in danger if he doesn’t have an actual strategy. The Democrats who sold their souls over the war have decided to distract the American public by yet again blaming Bush for Afghanistan.

This is getting really tired. The new statement is that Bush failed to catch bin Laden and that loss led to strengthened insurgency. Wait a sec. I though American victories over Islamists made them angry. American defeat makes them bold? Well, gee, it’s almost like we can’t reason with them. Maybe we should consider something radical like beating their asses with all of our real weapons instead of politically correcting them.

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Day 389 – Black Weekend

November 28, 2009
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The term “Black Friday” was more of an industry term than a media event in the past. While it could apply to the dread involved in fighting shopping crowds, it supposedly refers to the time in the year where retail gets into the black and will make profits from now until the end of the year. I have no idea how true that is now, but I do know what business is doing to affirm it.

Not even that long ago, when I was a kid, the massive mark downs were saved for the post-holiday season. Stores always had sales during Christmas time, but they would apply to regular shoppers. Lately, the concept of early morning Friday “door busters” became king. A one-time price reduction of 25-50% was applied to one or more big-ticket items (laptops, TVs, game systems) to encourage store loyalty. I took 4 years to decide on a $50 all-in-one printer, so I don’t go for these rush bargains. I work in the electronics industry. The price isn’t as important as the warranty, because all this stuff is crap made in China.

So, why have Black Friday sales? It’s a form of social conditioning. You’re only likely to get the discount prize at one store because of timing. Get it or not, you’re already in the store, so you’ll probably buy something. Why do this holiday shopping thing all over again?

The biggest shopping day is not Black Friday, it’s the day or two before Christmas. It makes sense. You’ll get 3 or 4 more paychecks before December 24 and one less credit card bill by waiting a month. There’s a month’s worth of sales flyers and price comparisons to do. That’s not the goal for retail.

I like electronic toys, but I have less of them than the average teenagers. I don’t buy much at all on impulse. I don’t buy other people’s gifts that way. If you look at the kinds of things that go on sale, they’re attractive as gifts to yourself as well as others. That’s another goal. Why buy that LCD TV for the Superbowl when you can buy it on sale in December? It’s better for the bottom line of the store right now. Forget about tomorrow.

Buy now, buy big, buy for yourself and do it before you can go to another store.

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Day 388 – Carrie On

November 27, 2009

Conservatives are dismayed with the sex tape revelations about Carrie Prejean coming on the heels of her book release. In some ways they were played. Prejean was able to explain away her implants and nude photos, but not her half-truths about the “sex” tapes with no intercourse

Well, they were expecting too much from this 22-year-old. Sometimes conservatives get too wrapped up with the narrative they create. Carrie Prejean did not become a marriage advocate, she was a beauty pageant contestant who was embraced by the straight marriage community.

if Prejean was crowned Miss USA and then dethroned because of sex tapes and naked pictures, she’d be well on her way to a lucrative career in acting right now. This was always about the reaction to a question that was incongruous at best in a beauty contest. She is an example of going off the orthodoxy in the entertainment world. Miss America wasn’t sleazy enough for network TV anymore and moved to CMT. If Prejean were in that contest, a bottom-feeder like Perez Hilton would never had been a judge. If he had, her answer would have won her the contest.

I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Prejean, but I don’t have a low one, either. She traded on her looks to win contests. She traded on her opinions to win political friends. She used her sexuality to keep a boyfriend. None of these things makes her morally reprehensible. These things make her shallow. Someday, she won’t be so shallow. Until then, carry on, Carrie.

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Day 387

November 26, 2009
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Being thankful has started giving way to being grateful, since giving thanks probably implies that people are thanking God or something. Thanksgiving was originally about giving thanks to God for the bounty of nature at a time where food was scarce and subject to climate change (the real kind).

In America, we have very much conquered nature.  Even though we import an increasing amount of foreign food items, we could still feed this country with our own products. It is also a time to consider those who do not have enough to eat due to circumstance. Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful and mindful.

Despite constant attempts by the government, people in this country still go without food or shelter. The religious organizations frequently maligned by statists have provided help before the US existed and will after the US no longer exists. The want to help. The government want to fix the problem. Fixing rarely helps.

The question of why people go hungry is an offshoot of the question of why bad things happen to good people. In a nutshell, because we are free to have those things happen. Imagine if the government used the FDA to buy all produce, decide what foods were best for people to eat and then outlawed all but the approved list of foods. Imagine a Thanksgiving dinner where you could only chow down on a 200 gram block of turkey infused tofu with vitamin enhanced cranberry water on the side.

One organization cannot change the lives of every person. It takes a change in attitude by everyone. God help me, I’m channeling “It takes a Village.” In my case, I don’t think that change means anything if it’s enforced by the state. We have to connect to each other as human beings, because every other global entity seems to be acting against the human race.

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Day 386 – Doing Sex to America

November 25, 2009

On Saturday Night Live this week, the show president was berated by the show Chinese PM. Some of the TV shows (mostly on Fox) played the irony of spending money to prop up the economy when it just increases the debt. I liked the reaction of the Hu Jintao through the translator.

He said that the president was “doing sex” to him. That may be the perfect broken English euphemism for the way Jackass is screwing everyone over. And I do mean everyone. All the commie wannabees who think they’re getting the cowering, unremarkable America they always wanted will soon find out that America will not be able not allow people in ivory towers to live the lifestyle to which they are currently accustomed.

No, doing sex to America will lower the standard for the rest of the world. Only the most criminal element will stand to gain. They too, will discover that the poverty of their targets will impact them as well. Still, I hold out hope for this country. I believe there is American exceptionalism. I believe that we will not be toppled like some other top-heavy anachronistic regime. I look forward to the day when America turns to Soros and other internationalists and tells them to do sex to themselves.

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Day 385 – Glass Houses

November 24, 2009

I can destroy you.

Given enough time, resources and media attention, I can make you look like an awful human being. Most of the time I can do it by exaggerating the truth. Rarely will I have to resort to outright lying.

When I consider this, I don’t think about Joe the Plumber or Richard Jewell, I think of Herb Tarlek. An episode of WKRP was my first childhood lesson in character assassination. In an episode within an episode, Herb applied to be on a show called “Real Families.” Before tabloid TV or fame whoring, he wanted to be on a national TV program. That program, in turn, learned that getting ratings was a matter of digging into a family’s life and exposing the less desirable aspects.

It’s surprisingly easy to twist anything unseemly into a moral failure. I have things that could effectively discredit me. Jackass was largely free of this problem because of two things. He had very little in the way of a paper trail and a media that was unwilling to be labeled racist or do anything to disparage the man-child. No one has seen his medical records, college transcripts or birth certificate (yep, I wrote that. electrons do not equal paper). He has no friends or acquaintances with personal anecdotes. No one talks about the gay bars he went to as a state senator in Chicago while at the same time never attending a gay pride parade (I wrote that, too).

One blogger I read tends to take the moral high ground on people she doesn’t like. Christian conservatives who have affairs get rough treatment. Every politician is greedy or immoral. And if one does something she especially likes, they’re off the hook.

The fact is that politicians are cogs in a machine. They are not paragons of virtue. They are not gods. You hire them to do a job. If they don’t do it, you fire them. Right now, job #1 is stopping this Jackass. Any other complaint is like throwing stones in a glass house.

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Day 384 – The Lie

November 23, 2009
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I have to agree with Rush Limbaugh that the people drinking Jackass’ bathwater have now crossed over into being pathological liars. I was considering the idea of detailing the lies about health “reform,” but most of them are false assumptions. What we are dealing with now are lies.

Global warming is a lie. The arguments can be massaged and the science can be interpreted, but there has been an ongoing campaign to lie about global warming, The “scientific” community spent more time discrediting their critics than convincing others. As with this administration, it is a sure sign your ideas have no merit when you do this. Urgency is not an excuse to lie. Go back to the drawing board and shut up now.

MSNBC lies daily. A Republican told Chris “Tingles” Matthews that he would be against this health care bill if it were proposed by Republicans. Tingles lied twice. He said he would support it and that he liked Nixon’s attempt at health care reform, whatever the hell that was. At least claim to be for Clinton’s health care plan. There’s an outside chance I’d believe that.

The White House lied about Glenn Beck’s lack of credibility. If he were truly wrong, his red phone would be ringing off the hook. It doesn’t count to have data miners pour through the video and point out a misspelled word two days later. Sorry, Dobermann. Oh, and sorry that Anita Dunn had to go under the bus like that.

Liberals have been using phrases like “lying liars who lie” and calling individuals liars for years. I don’t have to resort to their method of lying. The lies are what’s important. The credit comes soon enough. Even the lies teach something about the person speaking them.

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Day 383

November 22, 2009
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Best Buy (who has problems in the past with service complaints and dubious marketing) had an interesting thing in their Thanksgiving Day ad today. Just above the Thanksgiving Day information was “Happy Eid al-Adha.” Are they serious?

I know there’s an obsession to cram interfaith holidays among the Christian ones in an attempt to be politically correct. Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Should we add Feast of the Ascension notices on the 4th of July ads?

There are about 8 holy days on the Roman Catholic calendar and we don’t celebrate them all nationally. The rest have been highly Americanized. The abject stupidity of putting a holiday celebrated by going on a pilgrimage into a local store ad is remarkable.

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Day 382 – The Plan

November 21, 2009
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Here we go.

Technically, there are three steps left to this tax plan disguised as health insurance reform. The Senate has to vote for this placeholder bill which means jack shit. Then, there’s a conference committee who has to organize all the bribes and add some more taxes to pay for them. Then, the House and Senate have to re-vote on a single bill that will be rubber-stamped by the jackass in the White House.

There is very little chance that those things won’t happen now. There are 220 persuadable Representatives and 60 persuadable Senators. That’s all it takes. Now, the one Republican of all of them says he won’t vote for it unless there are enough Democrats without him. Bill Owens may be removed from office depending on the vote and Bart Stupak threatens a reversal if his anti-abortion amendment is removed from the final bill.

Don’t believe it. They can all be bought. If any one of them drops out, it’s easy enough to purchase another. The Republicans may be steeling themselves for passage. They want to be the wall of no for when this shit hits the fan. I don’t trust them either.

Glenn Beck plays a clip of George Bush claiming to abandon free market principles to save the free market when he signed TARP. For one shining moment last year, Pelosi was defeated when every single Republican voted against TARP and not enough Democrats voted for it. John McCain used the power of his decades in the Senate to help negotiate the crap sandwich (h/t Michelle Malkin) filled with bipartisan pork.

Not only did that act lose McCain the election, but it cemented the idea that Republicans are just Democrats who are slightly less melodramatic. It will damage the party for years to come. If they bend on this bill, it’s over.

The aforementioned Beck announced a 100 year plan for revitalizing America. It’s an interesting idea and completely unworkable. In 1909, most Americans were farmers. Doctors had a limited number of remedies for ailments and old age was a result of the genetic lottery. Very few people had cars and they had their trip planned, because there were no gas stations. The telephone was non-existent in homes, radio was uncommon and TV was two generation in the future.

You can’t write rules for 2009 in 1909. You can’t write 2109 rules in 2009. What we can do is apply 2009 frustration to 2010 elections. We have to extricate ourselves from this mountainous debt immediately. Finances will bring down this country if left unchecked. My plan is still the same. Un-elect all Democrats. Un-elect all Republicans who vote like Democrats for that matter. In the next year we are going to take on another $3-4 trillion in debt. That can’t be helped. It may destroy us yet. Any other plan might as well be a 100 year plan. It will require starting from scratch.

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