Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Ad Age joins the anti-GamerGate harrassment

October 27, 2014

A response to some pathetic bullshit on Ad Age

“The now amorphous movement was formed by a group of gamers demanding better ethics in video game journalism (the bad journalism is the “gate” part) but was co-opted by a group hunting for any slight and quick to berate and threaten critics with anything from rape and murder to the exposure of private information.”

Thank you for demonstrating early in your article that you are yet another dishonest political hack.

The anti-GamerGate propaganda is that GamerGate has been “taken over” by all these bad things.  The reality is that vast majority of the doxing and personal attacks comes from the anti-GamerGaters.  If you’ve been following what’s happening, you know that, and are lying about it.  If you don’t know it, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention, and aren’t qualified to write an article on it.

Advise to brands: Your customers are watching you.  Do you side with the politically correct thugs who hate your customers, and routinely go out of their way to attack, and offend, your customers?  Then by all means, continue to associate with Gawker, and the other anti-gamer haters.

Do you value your customers?  Do you think your customers have the right to have their own hobbies without being attacked by totalitarian thugs who wish to force their “one true way” on everyone else?

Then whenever you see someone attacking GamerGate, run away from them as fast as you can.

My Comment on GamerGate

October 12, 2014

Response to this:

I found these quite interesting

  • They (gaming media) are outraged at being called corrupt
  • They (gaming media) are upset at the suggestion that the gaming media has some sort of organized conspiracy
  • They (general) believe gamers are inherently insular and want to shout down any attempts at reforming it.
  • They (general) believe gamers are entitled and thin-skinned, unable to show empathy or accept even mild criticism of their hobby.

I would like to think you are dishonestly presenting the anti-GG side, because if these are true, they are utterly damning.

1: The IndieCade and IGF imbroglios are prima facia cases of corruption.  You don’t get to judge products you have a financial interest in.  You don’t get to judge products represented by someone you have a romantic or sexual relationship with.  This can not actually be a surprise to anyone.  Any “game journalist” who hasn’t trashed the people involved is an accomplice to the corruption, and has no grounds to complain about being tarred with that brush.

2: I think the release of the GameJournosPros emails conclusively lays this one to rest.

Then there’s the other two.  The knock on the Puritans was “they were deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, was having fun.”  For these modern Puritans, the complaint is the same: “how dare you want to have fun playing games that we don’t like?”  “How dare you have a hobby that we don’t approve of?

You want to know what an indignant, whiny, entitled person looks like?  Check out the people who think they have the right to tell other people what hobbies those other people are allowed to have.  Check out the people who think that gaming companies should ignore their paying customers, and instead pay attention to whining SJWs and game “journalists” prancing about on their hobby horses.

What’s driving GamerGate?  Well, the fact that their opponents are utterly without a shred of legitmacy.

Comment on All Althouse’s Abortion Post

August 1, 2013

Ok, so let’s turn this around:

There’s this really rich woman, we’ll call here Opraheta, she’s a TV celebrity, and worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

She has a “harem” of men.  One of them gets her pregnant.  She decides to have an abortion.  The man who impregnated her doesn’t want her to get one.

Who should win?

How is this any different from Simon’s case?

He’s going to be on the hook for 18 years.  Opraheta will be on the hook for 18 years, nine months.  That’s a difference of 4%.  Big whoop!

“It’s her body, she can do what she wants”?  Fine, she did what she wanted, and she, with the help of that man, created another human being.  It’s no longer just her body.

Alternatively, “it’s his body and he can do what he wants.”  If Simon doesn’t want the kid, than he owes that child no more than Opraheta does.  So he should be able to her: I’ll pay for an abortion, but I won’t pay to support you and that child for 18 months.  If you don’t abort, you’re on your own.

You object to those options?  Then what you’re really pushing for is that men should be legally inferior to women.  And while you’re free to push for whatever you want, I can not see the slightest reason why your position deserves a shred more respect than the position that women should be legally inferior to men.

Visualize your reaction to a man arguing, with all seriousness, that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant, and of course never be allowed to vote.  That is your moral compatriot.  Because if it’s ok for a woman to screw around, get pregnant, and kill the baby if the baby is inconvenient to her, then it’s AT LEAST equally ok for a man to go out, screw around, and refuse to provide anything other than 1/2 the cost of the abortion if teh woman is willing to have one.

The facts of the Zimmerman case

July 20, 2013

Elizabeth Scalia, blogging as “The Anchoress”, made some sadly uninformed comments about the Zimmerman trial.  I wrote this, and decided to post here so I don’t have to write this up again.  All feedback of a factual nature, either positive or negative, is quite welcome:

I am very disappointed in you, Elizabeth. Because it appears you’ve decided to comment on the Zimmerman case without bothering to actually find out what happened in the Zimmerman case.

So let’s consider some facts you appear to have missed, and see if you can come to a more enlightened opinion:

1: A neighbor of Zimmerman’s was home alone with her infant, when someone tried to break in. 911 told her to grab a weapon and hide. She grabbed a screwdriver, and hid in her room with her baby. Someone jiggled the handle on her bedroom door, robbed her house, and escaped, all before the police arrived.

Zimmerman and his wife befriended the woman, helped her deal with her terror, and bought her a new deadbolt. Then Zimmerman started the Neighborhood Watch program for their area.

2: Relying on police reports about burglary suspects, Zimmerman made multiple calls to the police about teenaged boys engaging in suspicious behavior. The result of those calls was that a black male teenager who lived in the complex was caught with stolen goods from multiple houses in the neighborhood. In one little irony, the kid was convicted in Judge Nelson’s courtroom (and if you don’t know that Judge Nelson was the trier of this case, you’re not qualified to comment on the trial, and should be embarrassed in yourself if you have commented on it).

3: Trayvon Martin was suspended from school twice. Once because he was caught with stolen jewelry in his backpack, the second time (which was why he was in Sanford) because he was caught with a used marijuana pipe in his backpack. The school security officers followed their boss’s policy of rarely reporting criminals, in order to get their boss awards for “cutting the crime rate”. (This came out because of this case.) If they’d actually reported the crimes, instead of just suspending Martin, he probably would not have been in Sanford that night.

4: Trayvon Martin’s cell phone had, hidden in a password protected file, pictures of him with jewelry on his bed, texts about his street fighting, texts from his younger brother asking to be taught how to fight, texts about buying and selling guns, and pictures of naked underage females.

5: The toxicology report on Martin said that he had the active form of THC in hsi bloodstream the night he died.

In short, Trayvon Martin was a thug. He was a crook, and he was a drug user. If Zimmerman had not killed him, the only real question is “would Martin have killed someone else before he got himself killed?” Happily, that answer turns out to be no.

6: George Zimmerman called the cops to say he saw someone wandering around, looking into the windows of a house where he knew the person didn’t live, acting strange, almost as if he was drugged.

If you have a problem with him making that call, your problem is with the whole idea of the Neighborhood Watch, not with George Zimmerman. The behavior he reported SHOULD be reported, it doesn’t matter if the person doing it is white black old or young.

7: Zimmerman tried to keep this suspicious character in sight. Eventually the person disappeared from his view, even when he stopped his car and got out. The person on the other end of his non-emergency police call told Zimmerman they “don’t need him to do that” (try to follow on foot), so Zimmerman went back to his car.

None of the above facts are disputable. You could, I suppose, try to claim that Zimmerman lied in his call, and Martin wasn’t really looking into any windows. But you would have to make that claim with zero supporting evidence.

So, please, tell us where Zimmerman displayed “bad judgment” in any of the above.

8: Zimmerman says he walked around in the area around his car, trying to find a street sign so he could tell the police who were on their way exactly where he was. Neighbors who lived there testified during the trial that it was hard to see street signs in the area, and that the street name had recently changed. In any event, Zimmerman got off the phone with the police.

9: Four minutes after Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, Martin confronted Zimmerman less than 20 yards from where Zimmerman’s car was parked. (Time information taken from phone records entered at the trial. Location taken from where Martin’s dead body was found.) If Martin had been trying to go home, he would have been there, safe and sound. If I understand Jeantel (the girl who was on the phone with Martin), Martin DID get to his dad’s girlfriend’s place, and then turned around and went back. In any event, given the amount of time Martin had to get home, the ONLY reason for him to run into Zimmerman at the place where he did was because he chose to seek out Zimmerman.

10: Martin confronted Zimmerman, Zimmerman responded defensively (rather than going on the offense and saying “why are you looking into windows of other people’s homes?”). We got that from Jeantel’s testimony. Then she claimed the call ended.

11: Zimmerman was struck in the nose, his nose was damaged, and bleeding. The back of his head was damaged from being struck into a concrete sidewalk. The defense’s forensic expert testified that the damage done to Zimmerman was potentially life threatening, that the police should have sent Zimmerman to the ER, and that if Zimmerman had died from his injuries, the police would have been sued, and lost. The prosecution’s witness, John Good, testified that he heard the screaming, went outside, saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, pinning Zimmerman down, and striking down at Zimmerman (he could not testify that he heard the blows hit). Good told Martin to stop. When he didn’t, Good said he was calling 911. Martin’s attack continued.

12: The witness who claimed that Zimmerman was on top said she was sure that the bigger person was on top, and since the only images she’d seen of Martin were the pictures from when Martin was 12, she assumed Zimmerman was bigger. This was false, as the defense demonstrated when they had Zimmerman stand next to a life sized cutout of Martin.

13: Martin was killed by a single shot to the chest. His shirt was in contact with the gun, but the gun was shot from two inches away from Martin’s chest (as determined by the powder burns on Martin’s chest). The hole in the shirt and the hole in Martin’s chest lined up to show that Martin was leaning forward when he was shot.

In short: Trayvon Martin confronted Zimmerman, punched him in the face, tackled him to the ground, and spent 40 seconds beating on him, inflicting potentially deadly damage on him, and giving no indication that he was going to stop until he had killed, or at least crippled, Zimmerman. Zimmerman then got his gun out, and shot his attacker, killing him.

There can be no “duty to retreat” when you’re pinned to the ground. Every state in the nation allows you to use deadly force to defend yourself when you can’t retreat, and are in reasonable fear of death. Zimmerman could not retreat, and was in reasonable fear of death.If you still think Florida has “some laws that should probably be reviewed” because of this case, it’s because you are taking the utterly fringe position that self defense should never be allowed.

I hope you will take some time to get yourself actually informed on this issue before saying anything more. And I hope you will offer George Zimmerman the apology he so richly deserves after your ill-informed and utterly unjustified hostile comments about him.

No sympathy for “non-violent” drug offenders

December 12, 2012

By way of I found this article by John Tierney, the best writer at the NY Times.  Tierney is decrying the effects of mandatory sentencing on “non-violent offenders.”  I find myself entirely unmoved.

Let’s be clear here: I would be ecstatic to support ending the war on drugs, killing the FDA, and telling people: It’s your body, do whatever you want to it (just don’t expect us to pay for it).  But that’s not on the agenda.  What’s on the agenda is cutting the punishment of “non-violent offenders.”  And I’m opposed, because when it comes to drugs, there aren’t any “non-violent offenders.”

Those Mexican drug cartels that are murdering people and corrupting Mexican society?  They exist because, and only because, of those “non-violent offenders.”  Those teenage and twenty+ year old boys shooting each other (and the occasional innocent bystander) over “turf” for selling drugs?  Again, without the buyers pumping all that money into the system, those shootings wouldn’t be happening. So don’t tell me how sad it is that their life’s been “ruined”, because they are the ones ruining everyone else’s lives.

End the trade.  Make it all legal, sell heroine through drug stores, slash the prices so there’s nothing to fight over.  Great, got no problem with that.

But so long as those people are paying (and working, in the case of the “mules”) to destroy the US inner city, Mexico, Columbia, etc., they deserve the misery that mandatory sentencing brings them.

The Individual Mandate and Welfare drug testing

April 19, 2012

There’s been a lot of arguing recently about whether or not the Federal Government should have the power to force individuals to buy health “insurance” policies they don’t want, and don’t need (I don’t need a $5,000 / year “comprehensive health insurance” policy if I’m a 25 year old male with no health problems. Catastrophic coverage, maybe, “comprehensive” coverage? No). The Left is in favor, the right is opposed.

From Tom McGuire I just learned about a different fight.  In this one, the State of Florida has decided that it doesn’t want to give cash assistance to drug users, and so is requiring drug tests from anyone who wants to get cash assistance (it pays for the drug test, if you pass it).  The Left is outraged at this.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the mentality that approves of the first, but not the second.  The best I can come up with is that, to the Left, all money, everywhere, is theirs.  Not the government’s, most certainly not the property of the individual who made it, all money belongs to the Left.  Don’t want to spend your own money buying an unneeded “health insurance” policy?  Tough.  They want to cut costs for people they care about more than they care about you, so you have to pay.  Don’t want to give cash to drug users?  Tough.  They like drug users, esp. ones who’ve so screwed up their lives that they can’t survive without outside help, so the drug users get your money.

 

Any other justifications?

The beginning of the End for the Euro

March 31, 2012

Bundesbank has announced that it’s killing the Euro.  No, they didn’t put it that way, they said the following:

The central bank of Germany will no longer accept bank bonds backed by Ireland, Greece and Portugal as collateral, becoming the first euro-zone central bank to exercise a new privilege to protect its balance sheet from the region’s debt crisis. The decision signals the determination of the Deutsche Bundesbank to limit risks from the nonstandard measures the European Central Bank has taken to combat market stress during the crisis.

the reason why Germany has been trying to keep Greece et. al from crashing is because German banks hold a lot of Greek, Spanish, etc. bonds.  This move by the Bundesbank makes no sense unless it’s only the start (or maybe even the middle).  Expect to see German banks doing their best to get rid of their exposure to “Club Med” bonds, because if they’re not good enough for the Bundesbank, clearly they’re not good enough for German banks that aren’t backed by the taxpayers.

Possibility 1: German banks significantly reduce their exposure to Club Med debt: At which point Germany tells the Greeks to stuff it, and either the Greeks get booted out of the Euro, or German leaves (sorry, but the idea that the Greeks will actually get their house in order is too silly to consider).

Possibility 2: This causes a run on Club Med debt, as everyone else decides that if it’s not good enough for the Bundesbank, it’s not good enough for them.  At which point the cost of new debt goes so high for the Greeks and other Club Med countries that they can no longer roll over their existing debt, let alone continue running their normal deficits.  At which point, the Club med countries get kicked out of the Euro, or else Germany goes back on the Deutsche Mark.

In any event, the German political class has accepted that their voters won’t let them subsidize the Euro any more.  Now that they’ve accepted that, the Euro in its present form is toast.

I wonder how much this has to do with Sarkozy’s upcoming defeat in the French elections?  My guess is “a lot”.  I think the German political class thought that with Sarkozy, they could get a deal that the German voters would accept.  With the Socialist, they know this isn’t the case, so now it’s time to mend fences with the German voters (who’ve been nothing but pissed about the bailouts), and let the rest of Europe go hang.

WWII is now over.  The Germans no longer feel guilty enough about it to pay to keep the Euro going.

Wait for commentary by William Russel Mead in 3 … 2 … 1 …

Being a real man

May 12, 2011

Ann Althouse wrote the following.  Since Blogger is refusing to let me comment there, I’ll comment here:

Let’s not insult men just because they don’t show up in the labor statistics. The government doesn’t have them officially linked up with a tax-withheld-from-wages-paid job, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t functioning members of the community.

As someone who used to be one of those men, yes it does. A real man has a job.

Some of those men might be independently wealthy, living off their trust funds. Some of those men might be students. A vanishingly same percentage might be stay at home husbands. Some may be trying to start a business, not yet making anything, and living off their savings. Some are probably working the “black market”.

But the vast majority of those men are failures, unemployed men who would rather be employed.

Now, David Brooks is an idiot. The main reason those men can’t find jobs is because too much government is screwing up the economy, and strangling the recovery. His prescription for the problem is totally bass ackwards.

But his diagnosis is correct. To be an adult man is to have a job, to do work that is valuable enough that people are willing to pay you for what you are doing.

Walker’s ObamaCare

March 13, 2011

A lot of lefties have been babbling about how the Republicans supposedly overreached in WI, and this will be Walker’s “ObamaCare” (a legislative act that pisses off teh public , and sparks a tremendous backlash).

While it’s a lovely fantasy for them, it misses out on reality.

1: ObamaCare harms most voters.  If you like your health savings account, if you like your current insurance, if you liked your Medicare Advantage, if you don’t want the government screwing up health care even more than it already is, then you are directly, personally, negatively affected by ObamaCare, and the harm will simply get worse as time goes on.

2: Repealing Government Union collective bargaining, and cutting off union access to workers paychecks, harms very few people, and hte vast majority of hte people it harms were consistent Democrat voters anyway.

Who’s harmed by the WI Republicans move?

  1. The unions that got to take money from the workers and spend it on Democrat campaigns have definitely been harmed.  However, these were enemies of the Republicans anyway, so it’s not like this is going to encourage them to be more anti-Republican.  And the law immediately costs them money, so they will have fewer resources to care out their anti-Republican jihads.
  2. The Democrat politicians who were on teh Union gravy train are harmed.  But it’s not like this will make them more eager to win elections.
  3. Union members will probably be getting worse deals now that they don’t have the union there.

So, we’ve got one group of people who are harmed by the Republican law, some of whom in the past have probably voted Republican.

However, those same union members now no long have the union taking $1,000+ out of their paychecks every year, and now get to re-certify the union every year, which means if the union isn’t responsive to their needs, they can get rid of it.

So, how many votes will this actually cost the Republicans?  Consider the characteristics of the voters they will lose:

  1. Strongly pro union (not necessarily a gov’t union worker), or a gov’t union member who feels like the changes in bargaining will hurt her or him
  2. Someone who routinely voted for Republicans in the past (if they were an automatic Democrat vote, there’s nothing they can change), or else didn’t vote at all
  3. Someone who values the union more than they value the money the union will no longer be able to take from them

How many votes is that?  My gues is “not many”.  And when you look at the cost to the Democrats of all those forced union dues they’re losing, I think that this will turn out to be a net positive for the Republicans.

State worker pay and the value of a college education

February 27, 2011

By way of the MinuteMan I came across this article in the NY Times comparing the pay of State workers to private sector workers.  Key grafs:

The clearest pattern to emerge is an educational divide: workers without college degrees tend to do better on state payrolls, while workers with college degrees tend to do worse. That divide has grown more pronounced in recent decades. Since 1990, the median wage of state workers without college degrees has come to surpass that of workers in the private sector. During the same period, though, college-educated state workers have seen their median pay lag further behind their peers in the private sector.

At the local level, the phenomenon is similar: the median wage for college-educated workers trails that of their private-sector counterparts by about 20 percent, while local workers without college degrees earn 10 percent more than their private-sector peers.

This is a clear example of “people unclear on the concept” (and I’m sad to say Tom appears to have missed this as well).  Allow me to break some new for the NY Times:

All college degrees are not equal.

Consider the folowing fields of “study”:

Sociology, Ethnic studies, Queer studies, History, Literature, Education, History of Consciousness, Political Science, Women’s Studies

What percentage of government employees have degrees in those fields?  What is the actual, real world value of the “education” received while attaining those degrees?  0?  Something negative?

higher education bubble, meet overpaid government workers.

Because while the private sector certainly suffers from too much credentialitis, it’s not nearly as bad there as it is in government, where people often get raises based solely on the fact that they’ve received a degree, no matter what that degree is.

You want to compare public and private sector?  Great, compare apples to apples.  Compare public school teacher salaries to private school teacher salaries.  Leave out the seniority, and whether they have an advanced degree, because that is irrelevant.  The only thing that is relevant is “how good is the teacher at teaching her / his students?”  And the “Teacher’s Unions” fight tooth and nail against any attempt to figure that out, let alone reward people based on it.

“Because the public sector is much more likely to be highly educated, we would fully expect them to earn more on average because of that, just like we would expect somebody with a master’s degree to earn more than somebody with a high school education,” said Keith A. Bender, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who has studied compensation in the public and private sectors.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  I would hope and expect that the average mechanic makes far more than does the average person with a Racist or Sexists Studies degree, be it BA, MA, or PH. D.  Certainly the mechanic has learned far more of value, and provides far more value, than does anyone with such a degree.

What would actually be interesting, valuable, and never actually happen, is a comparison of degrees.  Federal / State / Local Government Employees / Private sector workers v. actual degrees attained (Field and whether it’s a BA / BS / MA / MS / Ph. D.).  It will never happen, because the results would show that the “college educated” goverment “workers”, by and large, have a much higher percentage of joke degress than do people in the private sector.

Which would quite adequately explain why they “make less”.

Al Gore’s “massage”

June 25, 2010

Our favorite tree, former Vice President Al “Forrest” Gore is in the news, as a Portland Oregon massage therapist has accused him of soliciting sex during his massage.  (Note, I’ve been getting a lot of my information on this from Tom Maguire, and posted part of this as a comment on his site.)  In our latest twist, Gore’s defenders have admitted that he paid $540 (including a 20% tip) for a massage while at the Hotel Lucia.

This, IMHO, is a “game over” admission.

A $540 bill with a 20% gratuity is $450 for the massage, and a $90 tip.

This was at the Hotel Lucia, which has an associated spa, the Portland Spa and Boutique.

Looking at their price list, the most expensive massage they offer is $140 (90 minutes of either “warm stone” or “Table Thai” massage). Al paid over 3x that, plus a 20% tip.

Now, if you have someone coming to your room to give you a massage, you should expect to pay more than you would pay to go to their place.  But you don’t expect to pay an extra $310.

So, there are a couple of possibilities here:

  1. The Hotel told him that’s how much it would be.  In that case, the Hotel was pimping out the massage therapist, because for that kind of money, you’re expecting a medium to high class prostitute, not  massage therapist.  (It would be great for some enterprising reporter to try to find out if that is the price the Hotel routinely give to its customers.)  But, if Gore asked for a “massage” at that price, he was looking for a prostitute, not a massage therapist.
  2. The Hotel quoted a lower price, Gore paid more as hush money, or because they really did have sex.  If that’s the case, I do wonder why she submitted the bill through the Hotel, rather than just getting cash from Gore.

In either event, unless it was a four hour massage, there’s no way that Gore paid that much for just a massage.

I don’t know whether or not former Vice President Al Gore had sex with a massage therapist in Portland Oregon.  But I do know that that is what he intended to have happen.  Nothing else justifies the amount he paid for his “massage”.

Death Panels

August 19, 2009

There’s been a lot of blathering about this, so I want to throw my two cents in:

Short version:

It is not possible to have a government run / controlled / funded /managed health care system without having death panels. That is one of the many reasons why government health care is a bad idea.

Longer version:

Any and every health care system must have ways of deciding who will get what care. In a totally private system, it’s decided by money: if you’re willing and able to pay, you get the service, if you aren’t / can’t, you don’t. In our current system, if you have health insurance, your insurance company makes decisions about what it’s willing to cover, and may you have to fight with it / jump through its hoops in order to get the treatment you want. Or you can sue it, or you can just pay for it yourself, or you can not get the treatment, and continue to suffer through the problem (or just die).

As someone (who I can’t remember) pointed out: in this system , the government serves as “umpire”, deciding who should win each argument. The other “umpire” is “the market”: if a company’s insurance provider is routinely stiffing its employees, the company is likely to drop that provider, and switch to a different one.

In a government health care system, the government will have to decide what treatments are covered, and what aren’t. Which conditions justify the expensive red pill, which ones only get the cheaper (but less effective) blue pill, and which ones get you a trip to the hospice, or an aspirin and a call back in two weeks (if you’re still alive then). And since our political representatives are chickenshits who do their best to avoid having to make decisions, there will be a “panel” to decide what gets covered, and what doesn’t. In Britain, that panel is called NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence: “NICE is an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health”) President Obama is pushing for IMAC, (“Yesterday, a group of some of the most distinguished health economists in the country sent a letter to the President and Congress in support of the Administration’s proposal for the establishment of an independent board of doctors and health experts to guide Medicare policy. This Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) would make recommendations on Medicare reimbursement policy and other reforms – playing a critical role in allowing health care policy to adjust flexibly to a dynamic health care market, thereby helping contain costs and improve quality over time. As the authors note, ‘a properly structured Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC), with a congressional mandate and authority to do so, can reduce the rate of growth of health expenditures substantially.‘”) He already had the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research added to Porkulus. Both of those, by any reasonale definition of the term, are “death panels”. Panels that will decide whether you are worth treating, or if you should be left to die.

Will they decide it for you, personally? No. Will they “send death squads out to round up Trig Palin“? No. Might they decide it’s not worth the effort to fund “extreme” health care for people with Down’s Syndrome? Yes. Might they decide that your grandma doesn’t need that hip replacement, or pacemaker? Oh Hell yes!

Now, if you’re really rich, you can fly someplace else and get treatment, or, if your government allows it, you can pay for it yourself in your country (if, of course, your country has the ability to provide what you want. After all, the main way of government rationing will be to simply not provide the capability, or not provide enough of it, in the first place). But for the rest of us, those government panels will be deciding whether or not we get treated. Not the market, not an insurance company that can be dumped if we don’t like it’s choices, the government.

You know, the same government that has to pay for the care if it decides it’s “appropriate”.

Would you like to play baseball when all the umpires have been hired, and paid, by the other team? If not, then you don’t want those government death panels deciding when it’s not longer “cost effective” to keep you alive.

Will Wilkinson gets his wish

June 23, 2009

Jonah Goldberg brought this babble to our attention

Will Wilkinson on why he won’t color his Twitter avatar green in solidarity with the opposition:

…Here’s what I do worry about. When people feel pressure to signal, and it’s free, they’ll signal. But sending the signal creates a small emotional investment in the overt message of the signal — solidarity with opponents of the ruling Iranian regime. As every salesman knows, getting someone to make a big, costly commitment is best achieved by getting them to first make a tiny, costless commitment. The tiny, costless commitment of turning Twitter avatars green is thin edge of the persuasive edge for the neocons who would like to sell the public a war in Iran. Since I would rather not be Bill Kristol’s useful idiot, I will conspicuously leave my avatar as is, and continue hoping for the best.

Shorter Will: Hey, I like to pretend that I care about the iranians, but when push comes to shove I’d much rather see them beaten, murdered, and enslaved, than have to reassess all the idiocies I’ve spewed over the last 8 years.

Here’s a clue, Will: When violent thugs want to keep you down, either you have to use violence against them, or you have to get someone else to use it, or at least threaten to use it.

Wishing doesn’t work.  Neither do words.  Little Rock schools didn’t get integrated because the Supreme Court said they had to be, they got integrated because President Eisenhower sent in the Army.

If you want the Iranian people to only have as much freedom as the “Supreme Leader” is willing to give them, then you want them to be slaves.

At least be man enough to stop lying about what you support.

In any event, congratulations: You’re not a useful idiot.

Too bad it’s because you’re not the least bit useful for anyone who cares about freedom.

More Global Warming fantasies

June 20, 2009

Some useful information from John Tierney

The new federal report on climate change gets a withering critique from Roger Pielke Jr., who says that it misrepresents his own research and that it wrongly concludes that climate change is already responsible for an increase in damages from natural disasters. Dr. Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, asks:

[Why] is a report characterized by [White House] Science Advisor John Holdren as being the “most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis relying on a secondary, non-peer source citing another non-peer reviewed source from 2000 to support a claim that a large amount of uncited and more recent peer-reviewed literature says the opposite about?

You can check out Dr. Pielke’s blog for a detailed rebuttal of how the report presents science in his area of expertise, the study of trends in natural disasters and their relation to climate change. While the new federal report (prepared by 13 agencies and the White House) paints a dire picture of climate change’s impacts, Dr. Pielke says that the authors of this new report, like those of previous reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Stern Review, cherrypick weak evidence that fits their own policy preferences. He faults all these reports for all relying on “non-peer reviewed, unsupportable studies rather than the relevant peer-reviewed literature” and for “featuring non-peer-reviewed work conducted by the authors.”

Dr. Pielke contrasts these reports’ conclusions about trends in natural disasters with the some quite different findings last year by the federal Climate Change Science Program. Dr. Pielke summarizes some of its less sensational conclusions:

1. Over the long-term, U.S. hurricane landfalls have been declining.
2. Nationwide there have been no long-term increases in drought.
3. Despite increases in some measures of precipitation . . . there have not been corresponding increases in peak streamflows (high flows above 90th percentile).
4. There have been no observed changes in the occurrence of tornadoes or thunderstorms
5. There have been no long-term increases in strong East Coast winter storms (ECWS), called Nor’easters.
6. There are no long-term trends in either heat waves or cold spells, though there are trends within shorter time periods in the overall record.

I am shocked, shocked, to discover that the Obama Administration’s Angencies are committing fraud in order to advance their political / fantasy agenda of anthropogenic global warming!

More from Tim Blair.

The Joys of Socialized Medicine

May 3, 2009

From England comes the following heart warming story

YouTube helped father deliver baby

A proud father has explained how watching video clips on YouTube helped him deliver his baby son.

Marc Stephens said he had to act quickly when his wife Jo went into labour three weeks early as she had a history of fast births with her previous three children.

The 28-year-old Royal Navy air engineer, from Redruth, Cornwall, searched “how to deliver a baby” on the internet and after viewing a few clips said he was ready to help deliver healthy baby Gabriel.

Mr Stephens said: “I didn’t even have time to panic. She started complaining of pain around 10.30pm. I went on Google and watched a couple of clips on YouTube.

“At 2.30am she woke me up, but when I rang the midwife to come out she said they were busy at the hospital.

Woman with a history of fast births goes into labor three weeks early.  She started having pains, and four hours later labor began.  What would an American do with those four hours?  Go to the hospital.  What did the Brits do?  Stay at home, because going to the hospital wasn’t worth it.  Instead the husband went on YouTube to find some clips on how to deliver a baby.

Labor starts.  They call the midwife.  Sorry, too busy.  So he delivers the baby.

Try to imagine this happening to someone in the US who has health insurance.  Because in Great Britain, they all have health insurance.  That have “Universal Coverage.”  Which means, the care they got is the care that everyone gets (unless they’re politically connected, or rich enough to be able to avoid the system).  (Note: this guy’s a Royal Navy air engineer.  His equvalent in the US would certainly have health insurance.  And I don’t believe that even the VA is this bad).

Missing the point on PPIP

April 24, 2009

By way of Megan, we get this

Potential buyers of assets complain that, a month after Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, unveiled the public-private investment programme, the authorities have yet to reassure them they would not be subjected to draconian Congressional scrutiny.

Megan, mising the point, has this to say

I think it’s very clear what the implications are:  if you take the King’s Shilling, the King gets to micromanage your life.  Nor do I see what good it will do to have Treasury clarify its statement.  The government is no longer capable of making a credible committment to keep its hands of firms that participate.  If the voters decide that you make too much money, Congress will move heaven and earth to take that money away from you, plus some extra money, and maybe they’ll deny you permission to build that bathroom addition, too.  They also reserve the right to tell you how to run your company.

And in general, I am not against having strings attached to government money.

The problem isn’t that “strings come with government money.”  Of course they do, and of course they should.

The problem is that the idiots running this Democrat Congress are attaching brand new strings after the money’s been taken.  That is dishonest, wrong, and the problem.  When teh strings are up front, you can look at them, and decide whether the deal is worth it.  When they’re after the fact, no rational person would want to get involved.

And that’s what the Democrats who Megan supported in the last election have given us.

The difference between Bush and Obama on spending

April 17, 2009

I think this graphic really says it all. Of course, when you add in the fact that Bush accumulated his deficits fighting and winning two wars against foreign enemies, and Obama’s accumulating his by making the Federal Government bigger, for no better purpose than that he wants the US Government to control more of our lives, it makes the comparison even worse.

Obama Deficit v Bush Deficit

Obama Deficit v Bush Deficit

I really hope this is a parody site

April 14, 2009

Because the depth of stupidity required to set up something like this for real is just too scary to imagine.

AMERICAN NETWORK MONITORING ANTI-OBAMA ACTIVITIES

A site dedicated for American citizens monitoring and reporting all anti-obama activities taking place on the world wide web.

A site dedicated to the preservation of truth, justice and the American way. Where true American citizens can monitor and report all anti-obama activities taking place on the world wide web.
This is a place where one can post and report on all activities, web sites and or blogs that would be considered erroneous, slanderous or detrimental to the newly elected President of the United States.

If it’s not a parody site, I hope they really grow to hate me.

So now we know: Obama does not believe “Climate Change” is a problem

April 14, 2009

There’s one thing that’s going to be true about anybody who thinks that human activities are screwing up the planet: they’re not going to do the things that they think are screwing up the planet.  With this news report, we now know that President obama does not, in fact, believe that “excessive” carbon-based energy usage is a threat to the planet.  because if he did, he would ahve had the White house Cook make the damn pizza.

Obamas fly in chef 860 miles… just to make pizza

When you’re the president of the United States, only the best pizza will do – even if that means flying a chef  860 miles.

Chris Sommers, 33, jetted into Washington from St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday with a suitcase of dough, cheese and pans to to prepare food for the Obamas and their staff.

He had apparently been handpicked after the President had tasted his pizzas on the campaign trail last autumn.

‘It’s surreal, it’s a huge honour,’ said Mr Sommers, who owns Pi restaurant in St Louis.

‘It will be a casual lunch and hopefully we’ll have a chance to say hello to the president.’

Mr Somers was accompanied by this business parnter Ryan Mangilardo who will help prepare the dinner for 140 this evening.

Why Unions are Evil

April 12, 2009

I loathe unions.  The Federal Government unions are demonstrating why that’s the only appropriate feeling for those vile organizations:

Last month the Pentagon announced it would “review” a pay-for-performance system that now covers some 200,000 of its civilian employees, delaying any new entrants to the system. In short, merit pay for work well done.

Fugettaboutit. House Democrats are now pushing to freeze pay for performance across the entire federal government.

That’s the upshot of a letter sent by eight House Democratic barons to White House budget chief Peter Orszag asking for a halt on expansion of merit pay. “A well-designed performance management system can recognize and reward high performance without a linkage to compensation,” they wrote. Gosh, why didn’t the private sector think of that?

As the biggest merit plan in the government, the National Security Personnel System has been a prime target of federal employee unions since it was launched in 2006. Originally intended to cover three times as many employees, the merit system was whittled down to exclude blue-collar bargaining-unit workers. For the remaining segment, a nine-union coalition took the issue to court in 2007 arguing that the plan illegally limited collective bargaining. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave them no support.

According to figures released by the Pentagon in February, almost all of the employees in the merit system got raises or bonuses in 2009, with the average total reward of 8.35%. That dwarfs the 2.9% to 4.8% hike that most of the federal government’s General Schedule employees got for the same time period. Unions prefer a return to a universal General Schedule system, which compensates employees based on time served.

Decent human beings believe you should be rewarded based on the value of your work.  Unions are based upon the premise that individuals have no worth.  That doing good shouldn’t be rewarded, and doing bad shouldn’t be punished.

Vile, evil, scum.