Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vodkapundit's Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

I think it might be wise to add reading blogs about food to grocery shopping to the list of things not to do when you are hungry.

The Vodkapundit, Stephen Green, posted a list of components and detailed assembly instructions for constructing the Ultimate Turkey Sandwich right here. Of course, not one to leave a recipe unmolested alone, I had to add some thin-sliced Tillamook Special Reserve extra sharp cheddar. As he noted in an update, Science makes the claim that adding a layer of rare roast beef can't be done, a claim that has obviously not been peer-reviewed, as I have just successfully done it, along with a little horse radish too. I have photographic proof as well:

The photos are all that survive as the test article was subsequently destroyed devoured.

Update: Whoa! What's this? Not an Instalanche. A Vodkadeluge maybe? Thanks for the link, Steve. For anyone that's getting tired of turkey, you may want to check out my chili recipe too.

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Can You Say "Peer-Reviewed Studies?"

Mark Steyn certainly can. See just how many times in his weekly Orange County Register column.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" wondered Juvenal: Who watches the watchmen? But the beauty of the climate-change tree-ring circus is that you never need to ask "Who peer-reviews the peer-reviewers?" Mann peer-reviewed Jones, and Jones peer-reviewed Mann, and anyone who questioned their theories got exiled to the unwarmed wastes of Siberia. The "consensus" warm-mongers could have declared it only counts as "peer-reviewed" if it's published in Peer-Reviewed Studies published by Mann & Jones Publishing Inc. (Peermate of the Month: Al Gore, reclining naked, draped in dead polar bear fur, on a melting ice floe), and Ed Begley Jr. and "Andy" Revkin would still have wandered out, glassy-eyed, into the streets droning "Peer-reviewed studies. Cannot question. Peer-reviewed studies. The science is settled ... ."

Not sure I really needed that Al Gore visual but, as usual, Steyn makes the point (that it's peer-reviewed. Did we mention that already?) with humor. Read the whole thing.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

CRUdgate - A Handy Guide to the Argument From Devil's Kitchen

At the Devil's Kitchen (Via Samizdata) we have this entertaining as well as informative series of flow charts, with explanations, on the current state of the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming for those not as obsessed as I am with the whole thing) argument and Climategate/Climaquiddick and now CRUdgate. All great stuff. I urge you to go read the whole thing (click on the charts to embiggen).
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ayn Rand on the Lessons of History and Economic Crisis

The Wall Street Journal has a piece up from The Reason Foundation, a reprint of a 1962 essay by Ayn Rand. As with her novel, Atlas Shrugged, she could have been writing about the present day. It seems the politicians never learn. A couple of the key points:

Colbert, chief adviser of Louis XIV, was one of the early modern statists. He believed that government regulations can create national prosperity and that higher tax revenues can be obtained only from the country's "economic growth"; so he devoted himself to seeking "a general increase in wealth by the encouragement of industry." The encouragement consisted of imposing countless government controls and minute regulations that choked business activity; the result was dismal failure.


Regardless of the purpose for which one intends to use it, wealth must first be produced. As far as economics is concerned, there is no difference between the motives of Colbert and of President Johnson. Both wanted to achieve national prosperity. Whether the wealth extorted by taxation is drained for the unearned benefit of Louis XIV or for the unearned benefit of the "underprivileged" makes no difference to the economic productivity of a nation. Whether one is chained for a "noble" purpose or an ignoble one, for the benefit of the poor or the rich, for the sake of somebody's "need" or somebody's "greed"—when one is chained, one cannot produce.

There is no difference in the ultimate fate of all chained economies, regardless of any alleged justifications for the chains.

Read the whole thing.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It Just Keeps Coming - New Zealand Temperature Record Books Cooked

Via Intsapundit. The temperature records of New Zealand's official government climate advisory unit, NIWA, have been falsified to show warming where it doesn't exist. There are quite a few people, here and otherwise, that have rather a lot of explaining to do.
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Why the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight Can't Shoot Strait - Obama's Cabinet

The graph below (from Nick Schulz at The Enterprise Blog) is rather enlightening. Less than 10% of Obama's cabinet has any private sector experience. At. All. That means they have never run a business, met a payroll, made a product, provided a useful service or, well, anything. Everything they know, they learned from some fuck-witted Marxist tool professor equally clueless academic who was sucked into the maw of the university world right after high school and never left. Read it and weep.

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"Hide the Decline" - A New Entry On My Personal Top 40 List

I guess I'm not the only one enjoying a bit of schadenfreude over "Climaquiddick."

(via Instapundit)
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Left Wing Misogyny and The Wilding of Sarah Palin

The American Thinker has an article posted by "Robin of Berkeley" a psychotherapist who counsels young women in Berkeley, CA. Robin describes herself as a former liberal who has awakened to the misogyny of the left. What finally started to wake her up was the treatment Hillary Clinton received at the hands of her own side in the run up to last year's presidential elections but what really tipped the scales was the treatment of Sarah Palin. She refers to it as "the wilding of Sarah Palin." Wilding is a term that first came into the public consciousness in 1989 when a woman jogging through New York's Central Park was attacked, beaten, raped and left for dead by a gang of youths. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: "The action or practice by a gang of youths of going on a protracted and violent rampage in a street, park, or other public place, attacking or mugging people at random along the way; also, an instance of this."

Robin makes the case that Sarah Palin is the victim of a virtual wilding by the Democrats and their natural allies on the left.

What finally woke me up were the utterances of "bitch," "witch," and "monster" toward Hillary Clinton and her supporters early last year. I was shocked into reality: the trash-talk wasn't coming from conservatives, but from male and female liberals.

I finally beheld what my eyes had refused to see: that leftists are Mr. and Ms. Misogyny. Neither the males nor the females care a whit about women.

Women are continually sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. If under radical Islam women are enshrouded and stoned and beheaded, so be it.

My other epiphanies: those ponytailed guys were marching for abortion rights not because they cherished women's reproductive freedom, but to keep women available for free and easy sex.

And the eagerness for women to make good money? If women work hard, leftist men don't have to.

Then along came Sarah, and the attacks became particularly heinous. And I realized something even more chilling about the Left. Leftists not only sacrifice and disrespect women, but it's far worse: many are perpetuators.

The Left's behavior towards Palin is not politics as usual. By their laser-focus on her body and her sexuality, leftists are defiling her.

They are wilding her. And they do this with the full knowledge and complicity of the White House.

The Left has declared war on Palin because she threatens their existence. Liberals need women dependent and scared so that women, like blacks, will vote Democrat.

Read the whole thing.

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Climategate - What Does It Portend for the Future of the AGW Debate?

Brian Mickelthwaite has a lengthy post over at Samizdata on what the implications are for the Global Warming debate in the wake of "Climategate." He is, like me, encouraged that the fog of BS surrounding the subject might finally lift. Here is a key point:

"Why the fuss is because of the vast, globe-spanning policy conclusions that have been plucked from these in themselves rather minor deceptions. The fraud revealed isn't just in the fiddling of some numbers. There is also the faking of that precious scientific consensus that has so dominated public and official thinking about climate and climate policy during the last decade. The world is being sold a gigantic economic and political upheaval, backed by the claim that all this scientific rough-and-tumble, this slightly dodgy infighting, was in fact a blandly uniform scientific consensus. And the "scientists" (who more and more now look like politicos who have barged their way into science) are the engineers of this political fraud, not just the contrivers of the scientific opinions around which they have assembled their bogus consensus."

It's worth the time to read the whole thing.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are the Wheels Finally Going to Come Off the Global Warming Gravy Train?

For the past 24 hours or so I've been following the story of the server hack at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. It seems someone has downloaded about 62 MB worth of data including 1,000+ emails and other documents. What they appear to show is an effort by some of the best known names on the Global Warmenist side of the climate change debate (and no, Al, it isn't "settled") to fudge, if not outright falsify, data that would cast doubt on their findings or not lead to the "right" conclusion.

If all this proves out, the AGW crowd are going to have a much harder time defending their position that massive interventions in and regulation of the World economy are necessary to fend off some putative future climate catastrophe. As we've seen before, this isn't really about The EnvironmentTM or climate. It's about control. Environmentalism has become the favored vehicle of the statists for imposing ever more control over the economy and intruding further and further into our lives.

There are some good posts on this developing story. Take a look at this and this at Powerline, this by Richard Fernandez and this by the Daily Telegraph's James Delingpole. All of them have lots of further links which should keep you busy for a while.

Update: A summary/chronology of the leaked documents can be found here.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walter Williams on the Rule of Law

Writing at The Freeman, Walter E. Williams talks about free societies and the importance of the rule of law. You should read the whole thing of course but this part stands out:

"Sir Henry Maine, probably the greatest legal historian, said, “The greatest movement of progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from status to contract.” In nonprogressive societies the rule of law is absent. Laws are not general. They’re applied according to a person’s status or group membership. There’s rule, not by legis, the Latin word for law, but by privilegium, the Latin term for private law. What’s lacking is the principle summarized by English jurist A. V. Dicey: “Every man, whatever be his rank or condition, is subject to the ordinary law of the realm and amenable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals.”


Just about every law that Congress enacts violates all the requirements for the rule of law. How do we determine violations of the rule of law? It’s easy. See if the law applies to particular Americans as opposed to all Americans. See if the law exempts public officials from its application. See if the law is known in advance. See if the law takes action against a person who has taken no aggressive action against another. If you conduct such a test, you will conclude that it is difficult to find many acts of Congress that adhere to the principles of the rule of law."

(h/t Frank. Thanks!)
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Windows 7 Upgrade Report One Month In

I upgraded my computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7 the day it was released, October 22. I didn't have any particular complaints about Vista, except that it tended to be a bit on the bossy side. Windows 7 promised to be a bit less bossy as well as slimmer, hopefully resulting in quicker boot times as well as faster program launches and operation in general.

Windows 7 also has some neat usability features and I'm pretty happy with the upgrade in general. But (you knew there had to be one, didn't you?), there is one feature of Vista that Microsoft saw fit to take away and for the life of me, I can't understand why. They eliminated the Windows Sidebar. It was incredibly useful to me. I used it to place the Calendar, Clock, Weatherbug and CPU/Memory usage meters where I could always see them while I worked. Windows 7 still supports gadgets, but they can't be docked on the Sidebar any more and if you want to have them visible, i.e. on-top all the time, they sit on top of your work. I like to work in full screen mode for most of the programs I use. With the Vista Sidebar, you could set that to be always on top and when you launched Word, for example, it automatically opened to fill the entire screen to the sidebar. Now it is necessary to manually resize the application window to avoid having it either cover the gadgets, or else the gadgets very annoyingly sit on top of the application window, frequently covering parts of the ribbon menus.

Microsoft, if you see this, can I please have my sidebar back?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

America's Great Awakening Part Two

Powerline has posted an article by Hillsdale College professor Paul Rahe that is more than worth a few minutes of your time to read. No quotes this time. It's all good.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Many AP Fact Checkers Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Over at The Corner, Mark Steyn thoroughly eviscerates 11 AP "fact checkers" assigned to fact-check Sarah Palin's new book,Going Rogue: An American Life. How many errors did the AP posse turn up? Six, even counting the one where they seem to agree with her. And Mark spots a bonus error they missed:

"Coming next:

PALIN: How many AP fact-checkers does it take to change a lightbulb?

FACT: Palin has gone seriously "rogue" in her facts here. AP fact-checkers are prevented per union regulations from changing lightbulbs. "
UPDATE: Powerline has more.
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Friday, November 06, 2009

Democrats Interested In Self-Preservation: Maybe It's Time to Start Shopping for a New Speaker

In The Washington Examiner today, Byron York talks about the space between a rock and a hard place many Democrat congressmen find themselves in ahead of a probable vote on their Speaker's health bill tomorrow: Pelosi's wrath or contsituents anger. They would do well to remember this point:

'It's a bad choice. But in the end, Pelosi can't fire them. The voters can. "As the old saying goes, cross thin ice at your own peril," said 77 year-old Herbert Rosser, who came to the rally from Raleigh, N.C. "The American people are going to make them pay a price for it."

It seems to me as if none of them is looking at a third option. If their Speaker keeps putting them in no-win situations like this, maybe she is not the leader they need. Perhaps it's time for a vote of no-confidence in Nancy Pelosi and her iron-fisted, my-way-and-your-constituents-be-damned, autocratic rule. To be more succinct, throw the malevolent bitch out before she takes down both you and your party.
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