Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Lightbulb Goes On

So I was reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism today, and the I finally figured out my root problem with popular support for Global Warming. No, I don't think the supporters are inherently Fascist. Let's not go Godwin's Law, here.

However, I do think that the Global Warming lobby is just another tool with which the collectivist relativists beat those of us who are both individualist and deeply skeptical of a Greatest Good. The key for me is Goldberg's extensive discussion of the Progressives' key traits of activism and social unity. I have no dog in the Fascism fight, per se, but I do see the AGW crowd trying to beat all dissenters into submission with these terrible dystopian futures that can only be solved by:
i. Submitting Capitalism to a Higher Power
ii. A Unified Society Acting Heroically Together
iii. Doing it 'For the Children'
iv. Demonizing All who Dare Question the AGW crowd's Moral Authority
v. Questioning the Authenticity of any Scientist/Skeptic

Personally, I see his book as a watershed moment in which fascism (be it Italian Fascism, Nazism, or whatever) as just another branch of the collectivism that has systematically opposed the West's, specifically Lockean, Christian Liberalism since the end of the 18th Century.

It seems like all of the anti-Republican arguments advanced during the Constitutional Convention took a century to come to fruition, but have been steadily advancing ever since.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nice of Blogger to Let Me Back In...

Yesterday Blogger was sure that I was spyware. Apparently, something about the way I hit this site caused Google to reject my requests. How dare they, don't they know who I am?

This would never happen to the Puppy Blender.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Too sick to blog...

Alternating b/t Nyquil haze and vertigo.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Now I'll buy this guy's Solar Power

Interesting article here about the applicability of Moore's Law to silicon-based Solar Power. Because the guy running this company doesn't have a dog in the greener-than-thou fight, it gives him great credibility. I will be trying to find out more about the company SunPower.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Pendulum Swings

Proving that climatology moves in 30 year cycles, even if we have no idea about the full effect of climate cycles, IBD debuts the New Ice Age v2.0. Now with Data!

Cynically, one might think that competition for funding has gotten too competitive on the Complimentary side, so it must be time to switch to the Contrarian approach.

Less cynically, at least this theory is testable within a lifetime. By 2020 we should know for sure whether Canadians are more in danger of habitat loss than polar bears.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Signs You Might be a Little Early in the Marketing Dept.

Amazon sent this to me today.

Dear Customer,
As someone who has purchased or rated books by Robert Crais, you might like to know that Untitled Crais: An Elvis Cole Novel will be released on February 26, 2008.

You can pre-order yours at a savings of $11.88 by following the link below
Now, I love me some Elvis Cole. I think he's as good as Marlowe. I'll own the book the day it comes out. But. I'm not pre-ordering until it gets named. And to be clear, I'm not blaming Mr. Crais, who I'm sure has zero to do with how markets his book. I know what I'll be reading 4th of July weekend, just not the name.

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Keep Starving the Beast

It appears that the Republican dominated Tax & Budget Reform Committee have decided that the best time to put spending caps in place is during a recession. I think its brilliant. The TBRC passed the resolution unanimously, which I believe puts it on the slate for the coming session, or maybe guarantees it a ballot slot as an amendment in November. As Grover Norquist said, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

Speaker of the House Marco Rubio is also reportedly pursuing similar legislation.

Text of the resolution.

The St. Pete Times Buzz blog has been leading this issue.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Me & the WSJ Editorial Board Disagree...

On open borders. The Mexican Army conducted an operation against drug cartel personnel. Strategy Page link here:

The army conducted an operation in Tamaulipas state that led to the capture
of five men and a large weapons cache. The cache was found on a ranch and
included plastic explosive, hand grenades, bullet-proof protective vests, 80
sets of military uniforms, 89 rifles and 83,000 rounds of ammunition. The
army also found nine tons of marijuana on the ranch and several vehicles, one
equipped with bullet-proof glass. The troops found what amounts to a supply dump
for a company-sized unit capable of launching limited mobile operations.

This is not the first time I've read about cartel agents with military hardware. Lots of bad stuff happens on the border. And it ain't just Mexico. Look at MS-13. I grew up in Houston, and live in Florida. The people I see working on Sunday are more likely to be from Central America than Middle America, but there's got to be a middle way.

I think we need an Ellis Island setup for the 21st Century. Surely, with remittances making up such a huge part of the Central American economy, we can get some cooperation on a fingerprinting db for felons and people with wants/warrants.


Why VP Crist Makes Me Nervous

Some friends of mine from out of state asked me about Gov. Crist, as his name has been mentioned on the short list for Vice-Presidential candidates. I would gladly promote Mr. Crist out of my hair if Sen. McCain were not going to be 72 on the day he would take office. So here's the deal for you out of staters:

He claims to be 'The People's Governor', and her certainly does seem to be on the popular side of every issue. Which is part of my problem with the guy. He's only consistent on being on the popular side.
  • He campaigned vigorously for Amendment 1, which would limit property taxes, squeezing county and local governments in a down year for taxes (Not that I'm crying for them.)
  • He also proposed a budget that 're-allocated' fees and one-time money to General Revenue. More than 3% of his budget was 're-allocated' money, which violates the State Constitution.
    • While revenues are off huge amounts -- State Universities are rumbling about having to cancel their Summer Sessions, and reduce admissions, local schools aren't sure how to keep operating under the class size amendment -- Gov. Crist wants to increase Dental Reimbursment by $20 Million
  • In the meantime, Gov. Crist is hosting Environmental Summits, and proposing to give away big money [$50 Million] for energy subsidies. I should note that Gov. Crist has opposed (and therefore made impossible) the permitting of Clean Coal and Nuclear plants. Oh, and there's $200 Million for CLIMATE CHANGE PREVENTION!!! in his budget. Sorry, my head almost exploded. What are we California, now? Didn't you get your Ah-nold autograph yet, Governor?
  • Crist put the State of Florida on the hook for $12 Billion in catastrophic Hurricane Insurance last year. And, while it makes me a little nervous, I'm okay with that. The insurance markets, especially since the re-insurance markets seemed to have bought the Global Warming crap about catastrophic hurricanes every year in 2006 & 2007. I'll note, however, that the Wall Street Journal has meticulously documented Mr. Crist's attempts to pass the buck to the Federal Government, or the taxpayer in Butte, Montana. I'll further note that the State CFO, Alex Sink, has suggested that the re-insurance market has calmed to the point where the state could off-load $3 Billion in risk this year for a 3-4% rise in At-Risk homeowner premiums.
    • N.B. -- Just to give a sense of scale, the Governor's proposed budget this year for the State of Florida is $70 Billion. That will include tapping the 'Rainy Day Fund', tobacco money, and re-appropriating fees. So, yeah, $3 Billion in risk off-loaded would be a good deal.
I can go on like this for days, and may, but the point is that no matter how Republican Lite people think John McCain is, the man has principles. I disagree with lots of the expression of said principles, see: McCain-Feingold, but I don't doubt he's doing what he believes is best for the country. Charlie Crist, as best I can tell, does what's best for Charlie Crist's polls.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hello... IPCC? Irony for you on Line 2

John Tierney in the NYT has a writeup an interesting study from the Cato Institute. Apparently, the warmest, but richest forecasts of the (Nobel Peace Prize Winning) UN IPCC Group would be significantly better for the world, especially the developing world, than the draconian solutions advocated by the Stern Report, which in turn has been flogged by every yahoo with a Prius.

I've heard such admissions before, that warmer temperatures and milder winters would be a net good for humanity. Still, its good to see there are some numbers.

Actually, now that I went and RTFP, the numbers are pretty darn rosy. Time to start burning car tires and used oil in the yard.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Taking a Bow

Y'all can take comfort in knowing that I was right about bio-fuels being a non-beneficial alternative to the Petroleum-based economy. It appears that Global Warming may also be non-Anthropic as well. Let this be a lesson to RTFS, (That would be RTF Study) rather than believing the pop-press' message.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Feria de San Fermin

Party in Pamplona. Today is the first day of The Running of the Bulls. Enjoy. And just remember, no matter how bad it is, you didn't get gored by a bull during your morning run!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Getting the Blog Back Together...

Not sure that I'm on a "mission from Gad", but thought I'd crank it up and see if I couldn't get on a regular posting schedule again, er, for once. So here's the new and improved plan for The Lobby:
  • More local blogging
  • More tech blogging
  • Continued enviroskeptic blogging
  • Less angry political blogging

I'm optimistic that there will be a post in each of the first three categories up this evening. We'll see...


Monday, July 17, 2006

AP Global Warming: Dog Bites Man

Americans try to cope with oppressive heat
Tony Godel, working on a remodeling project at a hotel in downtown Cleveland, was already sweating through his brown Corona Extra T-shirt by 10 a.m. He planned to drink a lot of water to cope.

"You get used to it after a while," Godel said. "You know what you're getting into. You're paid to deal with it."


"It's not bad in the shade," said construction worker Alan Reynolds. "We got our briefing in the morning to take more breaks and drink more liquids. You just have to pace yourself."


Temperature-wise, New York City's record for the day was set in 1953, when Central Park recorded 100 degrees, said John Cristantello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. On Monday, the mercury reached 90 before noon.
Shaffer, who studies how corporations deal with environmental issues, decided to buy her lunch at a fast-food restaurant before heading into work so she didn't have to come back outside.

"I think that it's a precursor of what we could be experiencing on a daily basis if we don't do something about global warming," she said near Pennsylvania Station.

Talk about the ultimate non-news, news story. Unless the story is that construction workers aren't whiners, but environmentalists are.

Also, note to our global warming believing friends: Seasons are governed by the tilt of the Earth on its axis. Unless carbon emissions are going to cause the Earth to shift upright on her axis, it will not be hot on a daily basis on the island of Manhattan. Rio will be colder, however.

Ubiquitous Surveillance Draws Nigh

Perhaps I've been reading too much sci-fi lately, but HP's new Memory Spot technology seems awfully close to the localizers in Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. [I originally mis-cited this as A Fire Upon the Deep.-BL]
Note that these chips can:
1) Be charged by a distributed field
2) Read and write information

With little modification, then such chips could also:
1) Execute stored instructions (run a program)
2) Record sensor information (they are powered after all)

All those second two require is a different chip. Just how small can you make a GPS chip? Actually, if these were transmitting wirelessly to even a pair of devices (although 3+ would be preferrable) you would be able to "localize" or identify where each one was. Even if the signals were being relayed by other Memory Spots. Triangulation of tagged electromagnetic signals is the basis of radar.

Now, if each of these tagged signals was transmitting information (temperature, pressure, chemical makeup of current environment) you would have smart dust.

If anyone needs me, I'll be working on my Faraday cage.