Sunlight

This article is interesting for its dispassionate and historical analysis of mass homicides.  It could help with an effort to organize and deploy stratagems for countering and preventing these events.  Guess what?  Control of inanimate objects will likely not be a part of successful ones.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/08/mass_shootings_the_elephant_in_the_room.html

2+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar

Bolsheviks, they Ain’t

The Democratic Socialists of America held their 2019 convention in Atlanta, Georgia between August 2nd and 4th, 2019.  Here is a 90 minute recording of a session from the second day of the convention.  Embedding of the video has been disabled by those who posted it; click the link below to watch in a separate tab/window. (The actual session starts around eight minutes in; I have set the video to start at that point.)

Democratic Socialists of America 2019 Convention Day 2, Session 1... [Read More]

8+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

Saturday Night Science: Skin in the Game

“Skin in the Game” by Nassim Nicholas TalebThis book is volume four in the author’s Incerto series, following Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, and Antifragile. In it, he continues to explore the topics of uncertainty, risk, decision making under such circumstances, and how both individuals and societies winnow out what works from what doesn’t in order to choose wisely among the myriad alternatives available.

The title, “Skin in the Game”, is an aphorism which refers to an individual’s sharing the risks and rewards of an undertaking in which they are involved. This is often applied to business and finance, but it is, as the author demonstrates, a very general and powerful concept. An airline pilot has skin in the game along with the passengers. If the plane crashes and kills everybody on board, the pilot will die along with them. This insures that the pilot shares the passengers’ desire for a safe, uneventful trip and inspires confidence among them. A government “expert” putting together a “food pyramid” to be vigorously promoted among the citizenry and enforced upon captive populations such as school children or members of the armed forces, has no skin in the game. If his or her recommendations create an epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, that probably won’t happen until after the “expert” has retired and, in any case, civil servants are not fired or demoted based upon the consequences of their recommendations.... [Read More]

8+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

The Dog that Did Not Bark

Debt bombIn one of Heinlein’s stories (I forget which one, and the search engines haven’t helped on this odd query) a character awakes after having been in suspended animation for many years and catches up on what he’s missed by spending a few hours reading a history book, then remarks on how much time he would have wasted had he read a newspaper every day for all that time, reading about matters too ephemeral to make the history books.

If you do follow the news (I try to spend as little time as possible doing so), keep in mind that the most important thing may be what’s not in the daily news.  Many of the things that end up in the history books were complete surprises to those embedded in the “news cycle” and to the “experts” who feed it.  For example, check the newspapers for early October 1929, November 1941, October 1989, the latter half of 1990, or August 2001: you’ll find little or nothing about the imminent stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union, or terrorist attacks in the U.S.  And yet, in retrospect, the circumstances which led to these “surprises” were in plain sight.  Thus, I’m always interested in the big story that none of the chattering classes are chattering about.  Which brings me to…... [Read More]

10+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

One Straw or Two?

Trump is not your average Republican. He uses judo on his adversaries. He gets them fighting against themselves. He reminds me of Phyllis Schlafly. She would talk at a Women’s Liberation event and start off with “I want to thank my husband for allowing me to come here tonight.” and heads would explode. In getting back to Trump, his campaign sold plastic straws and raised millions. This gave the campaign press coverage and caused the other side to froth at the mouth. Could you imagine serving a cold drink to your liberal friend with one or two of these in the glass?

When it came to this type of fighting where was Mitt Romney or the Bushes?

9+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

Peter Thiel: “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough”

On 2019-07-14 Peter Thiel gave the keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington.  Video of this speech and of some of the others from the conference is now available.

... [Read More]

3+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

The “Trump Heat Wave” of 2019 Falls Ten Degrees Short of the “FDR Heat Wave” of 1936

Think Progress beats the drums of climate change by warning of a “Trump Heat Wave:”

Most of the country is entering into the first few hours of a blistering heat wave that will extend well into the weekend.

Dangerous combinations of high temperatures and humidity will push the “heat index” (what the temperature “feels like”) past 100 degrees Fahrenheit from the Dakotas down to Texas and across to Maine and Florida, an area encompassing well over half of the country’s population.

But as countless studies have made clear, the kind of extreme heat waves this country, Europe, and elsewhere have been experiencing this summer and last have been made more intense and more likely thanks to human caused global warming.

Even worse, if we fail to significantly curb emissions of carbon pollution — which is the current plan put forth by President Donald Trump’s climate policies — then these severe and deadly heatwaves will become the normal summer weather over the next few decades.

What Think Progress conveniently forgets is that the “FDR Heat Waves” of the 1930s were far worse.

Continue reading “The “Trump Heat Wave” of 2019 Falls Ten Degrees Short of the “FDR Heat Wave” of 1936″

13+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

Book Review: What Has Government Done to Our Money?

“What Has Government Done to Our Money” by Murray N. RothbardThis slim book (just 119 pages of main text in this edition) was originally published in 1963 when the almighty gold-backed United States dollar was beginning to crack up under the pressure of relentless deficit spending and money printing by the Federal Reserve. Two years later, as the crumbling of the edifice accelerated, amidst a miasma of bafflegab about fantasies such as a “silver shortage” by Keynesian economists and other charlatans, the Coinage Act of 1965 would eliminate sliver from most U.S. coins, replacing them with counterfeit slugs craftily designed to fool vending machines into accepting them. (The little-used half dollar had its silver content reduced from 90% to 40%, and would be silverless after 1970.) In 1968, the U.S. Treasury would default upon its obligation to redeem paper silver certificates in silver coin or bullion, breaking the link between the U.S. currency and precious metal entirely.

All of this was precisely foreseen in this clear-as-light exposition of monetary theory and forty centuries of government folly by libertarian thinker and Austrian School economist Murray Rothbard. He explains the origin of money as societies progress from barter to indirect exchange, why most (but not all) cultures have settled on precious metals such as gold and silver as a medium of intermediate exchange (they do not deteriorate over time, can be subdivided into arbitrarily small units, and are relatively easy to check for authenticity). He then describes the sorry progression by which those in authority seize control over this free money and use it to fleece their subjects. First, they establish a monopoly over the ability to coin money, banning private mints and the use of any money other than their own coins (usually adorned with a graven image of some tyrant or another). They give this coin and its subdivisions a name, such as “dollar”, “franc”, “mark” or some such, which is originally defined as a unit of mass of some precious metal (for example, the U.S. dollar, prior to its debasement, was defined as 23.2 grains [1.5033 grams, or about 1/20 troy ounce] of pure gold). (Rothbard, as an economist rather than a physicist, and one working in English customary units, confuses mass with weight throughout the book. They aren’t the same thing, and the quantity of gold in a coin doesn’t vary depending on whether you weigh it at the North Pole or the summit of Chimborazo.)... [Read More]

12+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar