October 29, 2010

Republicans Kind of Suck … Which Is Why They Will Win Huge in November

Republicans Kind of Suck … Which Is Why They Will Win Huge in November (Original link)

Because in the Democratic land of epic, mega, ultra, apocalyptic levels of sucking, those who kinda suck are king.
October 20, 2010 - by Frank J. Fleming

This election season has been hard on pundits. The Democrats are going to get massacred in November, and it’s really obvious to pretty much everyone exactly why — which makes writing political commentary like trying to come up with a long-winded explanation for why two plus two equals four.

Here’s my attempt.

Doesn’t it suck when you have a dog that barks all night? Everyone hates that. It’s annoying. It can even drive you pretty crazy if it goes on long enough. People hate that.

Know what also sucks? A zombie apocalypse. That’s when society collapses due to some spreading zombie virus, and most of your friends and family are dead, and you have to scrounge for food to survive while the walking dead threaten you around every corner. People also hate that.

So, we’re all agreed that a barking dog and a zombie apocalypse both suck. Everyone following so far?

Now let’s look at what led us to the political situation we’re in. During the second term of the Bush presidency people just got fed up with Republicans. They were idiots, they were no good at the whole fiscal conservatism thing (which is sort of the whole point of them), we had these wars that seemed to be going nowhere, and the economy was beginning to fail. They sucked, and people were sick and tired of them.

Thus people turned to the Democrats. And Obama.

Let’s just say they also sucked.

AMERICANS: “So, the economy is pretty bad and there’s high employment. You think you can do something about that?”

DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA: “We can spend a trillion dollars we don’t have on pork and stuff.”

AMERICANS: “No … that’s not what we want. We’d really like you not to do that.”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re stupid. We’re doing it anyway.”

AMERICANS: “That’s not going to help us get jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “Sure it will; millions of them … though they may be invisible. You’ll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we’ll do: We’ll create a giant new government program to take over health care.”

AMERICANS: “That has nothing to do with jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “We don’t care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We’re sure you’ll love it.”

AMERICANS: “Don’t pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill.”

DEMOCRATS: “Believe me; you’ll love it. It has … well, I don’t know what exactly is in the bill, but we’re sure it’s great.”

AMERICANS: “Listen to me: DO. NOT. PASS. THAT. BILL.”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re not the boss of me! We’re doing it anyway!”

AMERICANS: “Look what you did! Now the economy is way worse, we’re even deeper in debt, and we have a bunch of new laws we don’t want!”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re racist.”

AMERICANS: “Wha … How is that racist?”

DEMOCRATS: “Now you’re getting violent! Stop being violent and racist, you ignorant hillbillies! And remember to vote Democrat in November.”

So the Democrats sucked. But not just plain old, usual politician sucked, but epic levels of suck where it’s hard to find an analogue in human history that conveys the same level of suckitude. It was sheer incompetence plus arrogance — and those things do not complement each other well. We’re talking sucking that distorts time and space like a black hole.

It’s Godzilla-smashing-through-a-city level of suck — but a really patronizing Godzilla who says you’re just too stupid and hateful to see all the buildings he’s saved or created as he smashes everything apart. Or, to use Obama’s favorite analogy, you have a car stuck in ditch, so you call the mechanic, but the only tool he brings with him is a sledgehammer. And then he smashes your car to pieces and charges you $100,000 for his service. Finally, he calls you racist for complaining. Obama and the Democrats have been so awful, it’s hard for the human brain to even comprehend.

But the Democrats will counter that the Republicans also suck. And while this is true, it’s not really going to help them. As I pointed out before, both a dog incessantly barking and a zombie apocalypse are things that everyone would agree suck. Yet no one during a zombie apocalypse, while hiding out in a boarded up mall, would turn to the other survivors and say, “We don’t want to kill all the zombies; then we’d have to go back to being woken up at night by that annoying dog next door.” But this is the best argument the Democrats can come up with. “Remember how awful the Republicans and Bush were? You hated them. You don’t want to go back to that.” Yes, why would people want to go back to when 6% unemployment was considered high?

People do remember how much the Republicans suck, and they know where it tops out … and that is nowhere near as bad as the Democrats are today. Like with the barking dog, it’s annoying, but you know it’s not going to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it. Not so with the zombie apocalypse; who knows how bad that could get if left to continue? Same with the Democrats and Obama; people have never dealt with anything this horrible their entire lives, and they aren’t that curious to see how much worse it can be.

So the Republicans kinda suck, and that’s why they’re going to win huge this November. Because in the land of epic, mega, ultra, apocalyptic levels of sucking, those who kinda suck are king. Or at least are going to win in a landslide.

Because once the zombie apocalypse is over, the annoying neighbor dog is going to be music to your ears.

For a little while, at least.

October 28, 2010

Sounderwordisms.

Once upon a time I noted that sugar does not have an H, yet is pronounced as such. So I took to pronouncing it as Sue-gar. Just because it appealed to my sense of humor, I guess I could say it was my rebeller nature of not bowing the THE MAN. But, really it just tickles my fancy.

Along the weary road I travel there have been several such pronunciations that I have mangled to my dastardly purposes as well. Just as there are words my family has developed as well as inherited.

For instance the rubber spatula used to scrape bowls was commonly referred to as Kiddie-Cheater, when I grew up. Whipped desert topping is Fru-fru.

The Parmesan cheese that you purchase for dumping onto Italianish food is Shakey-Cheese. Something that Connor coined and Diana's Girl Scout troop adopted. So it is in the wild...

One of our family favorite internet cartoons, Strong Bad, gave us the phrase "No-Probalo" and "I aprekiate it"

A sieve in our house is called the Germanic Siep (read Zeep).

Some Cowboys from Calgary provided me with the wonderful phase "Usta-could." And the equally useful elimination of answer choices "Yes-No?" Added to the end of a question?

"So if I take that road I will make it to Sutherlin, Yes-No?"
"Usta-could, now its a dead end at the river."

Marvelous!

My kids had equally interesting pronunciations for the name Tobias (toby-us) and ambulance (am-bue-lense), and the colonel (Col-o-nell).

Some time ago I noted that wife, could be mis-pronounced weef. Without a thought to correctness last night, I introduced Tina to a co-worker using my dialect. Tina corrected me and the co-worker found it cute.

I'm sure every family has unique sounderwordisms like this. I am not sure they all have as much fun with them.

October 22, 2010

cant shut up...?

When Shoo suggested blogging, I was unsure if I could come up with stuff to write about.

Turns out that "stuff" is not really an issue. I can apparently blog something at any given moment. Quality? probably cringe worthy at best.

At any rate it does give me some idea what my mind was doing at some point in the past.

What a strange trip its been...

October 21, 2010

I hate exercising but I love exercise.

I hate exercising but I love exercise.

Five days a week I start the morning with 20 hindu pushups. Even with regular sets I find that increasing the number is a challenge. In my mind I would like to do 50 per set.

Next exercise I like to call, riding my bike to work. I have two hill climbs that required me to get off the bike and walk initially. Now the first one gets my cardio up and I can cruise up without down shifting from my initial hill climb gear (front 2 and back 4). The next hill is more taxing a 4% grade for a half mile. I need to down-shift, the same amount but later in the climb. My goal is to keep consistent pedaling speed. This really targets my glutes, which I feel protest near the top. For the rest of the trip to work it is pretty much a rolling uphill and downhill course.

At work the exercise changes day to day. Most of the time it consists of 7.5 hours standing and walking with an occasional short running and lifting of an object up to 200 pounds. Sometimes there is a four hour period of lifting and pulling heavy objects.

Followed by a ride home that has another two hill climbs (or a longer route and one less climb).

Once a week I like to spend skating. This is for around 60 to 90 minutes and involves a surprisingly large amount of muscle groups.

When I go to a gym I find myself unmotivated and bored quickly. If I have someone with me I do better. Still, it is way down on my list of things I want to do. I think it is the open ended nature and a feeling that I am actually preparing myself for... well... nothing...

There is a lot of satisfaction with my current exercises. Every gas station I ride by gives me a little thrill that my money is staying away. Even the colder mornings now are more bracing then miserable. I am wondering about the occasional icy morning.


October 17, 2010

So what to invest in?

Along with my 90 day probation period I get benefits including a 401k with matching funds. In looking at the various funds history's one thing is apparent. They have preformed poorly over the last three to five years.

So, getting to invest in something that looses money really does not sound all that great...

October 15, 2010

Science .vs. Funding (The truth is suppressed...)

US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.
Anthony Watts describes it thus:

This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.

It’s so utterly damning that I’m going to run it in full without further comment. (H/T GWPF, Richard Brearley).

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

October 13, 2010

More about Werk.


On Sunday I will hit the 90 day mark of my employment. Meaning I will cease to be in my Probationary period. Seeing as my reviews have been stellar it was, to me, waiting for the planet to spin then worry. This is a very different employment situation for me. Since moving to Oregon I have had jobs that I enjoyed and some not so much.

The first one I enjoyed, then left for a better opportunity. That job was equally challenging and enjoyable. Due to a downturn in the economy I was laid off.

That lead to a job I was not that crazy about, but it paid the bills, the stress of making quota was horrid. The same company moved me to a position that was much more suited to my skill set. Then to a position that I was enjoying. They closed down that division suddenly one Wednesday. I fully understand from a business standpoint, personally it was a harsh time.

The next job I found challenging, then felt quite used as it became apparently they used me instead of hiring a contractor (Salary is so much cheaper you know). Only to be kicked to the curb with a "Job well done, goodbye!"

This lead to a long unemployed stint that, in retrospect, I could have utilized some grants for collage education. I was able to be active with my Daughters TV episode.

Next came another Full Time job at a good time for a pay cut. I was low man on the totem pole and immediately above me there was some frustration with knowledge crossovers, I adapted and there was some good opportunities available. It was with our local government so the benefits were pretty good as well. Things were tight but, manageable. Then they cut me back in hours and tight became, count the pennies tight. Just about the time they were going to cut me back to 20 hours I landed a full time at my current position.

With 90 days I get to enjoy the many benefits and I am really enjoying the job. The entire experience falls so well into my mindset and skill-set one could almost think it came about through "intelligent design". My supervisor delegates a laundry list of tasks with a high level of trust. The management has tapped me for various assignments above and beyond. They have also been quite generous with accolades. In any given day I get to field questions about electronics, troubleshoot problems with our various displays, move products to better locations and make executive level decisions, with a near rubber stamp from those in charge.

Mentally there is no Monday morning dread of the work week starting. Rather, it is a giddy anticipation. I get to ride a bike into work, wear shorts and during busy times the hours tick by at an amazingly fast pace. Best of all, work stays at work.

Have you ever had a job were the management did not seem to have a clue, yet presented themselves as all knowing? I see every manager on the floor every day in every conceivable position. Stocking shelves, sweeping up messes, driving fork lifts and planning moves for the next shipment. It is quite inspiring to have a boss who keeps pace (sometimes out paces) you.

I really feel I have fallen into something great.

October 11, 2010

Werking at the Company of Costs.

For the last 11 weeks I have been gainfully employed full time. It is still a lot of fun. My title is Major Sales. I will greet people as they enter, field questions about electronics and diamonds, and give my best directions as to where a given item might be located. Our store is a warehouse in name and nature. Things are moved to make room for other things every single day. It is a treasure hunt atmosphere. Luckily my brain is wired well for recalling where items are located.

I have become quite versed on HD televisions, blu-ray adding to my knowledge on computers. Thanks to my sister in law Connie I got a laymen level of information on jewelry which I am supplementing. My goal in talking to our members (read customers) is to make sure they get the product that fits the need. They should be able to explain why they chose that computer or that Television. "Zero returns" is my personal sales motto.

I was able to fix the Gordian knot of component cables that run our Televisions. In general I am become the go-to guy for fixing frustrations.

Also, I passed the safety test on forklift driving, which will allow me to start training on them (woot!). Further the marketing folks have tapped me to do the front board pictures. This is a rather fun assignment with some frustrations on the slowness of our intranet printing (4 min 23 sec a page).

Then comes the unexpected new projects. Where they need to squeeze six pallets worth of new items into an area that has one pallet worth of room. It is a challenge and requires some creative solutions.

In the past I have worked at places where the management would sit in offices, hand down expectations with a vagueness that would set one up for failure. Or they would come out of their hovel, bark orders for seemingly no purpose then to display alpha dominance then walk away not caring about the outcome. This is not the case currently. I see management running forklifts, restocking product and sweating it out like the rest of us. Most of them have been with the company in nearly every position. It is VERY common to see them manning cash registers, sweeping up messes and pitching in during heavy times. This, to me, is inspiring.

What I find I enjoy is showing up, doing the job then heading home. When I hop on that bike I might have a thing or two about work to consider, but as the miles roll on those too fade.

Life is good.

October 05, 2010

Dick Blumenthal Stumped On How To Create A Job


LINDA McMAHON: A follow-up, Mr. Blumenthal. You've talked about you want to incentivize small businesses. Tell me something, how do you create a job?

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: A job is created, and it can be in a variety of ways, by... a variety of people, but principally by people and businesses in response to demand for products and services. And the main point about jobs in Connecticut is we can and we should create more of them by creative policies. And that's the kind of approach that I want to bring to Washington.

I have stood up for jobs when they've been at stake. I stood up for jobs at Alderman Motors when GM wanted to shut down that automobile dealership. I stood up for jobs at Pratt & Whitney when that company wanted to ship them out of state and overseas. I stood up for jobs at Stanley Works when it was threatened with a hostile takeover.

I know about how government can help preserve jobs. And I want programs that provide more capital for small businesses, better tax policies that will promote creation of jobs, stronger intervention by government to make sure that we use the 'Made in America' policies and 'Buy America' policies to keep jobs here rather than buying products that are manufactured overseas, as WWE has done.

McMAHON: Government, government government.

Government does not create jobs. It's very simple how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes a risk. He or she believes that he creates goods or service that is sold for more than it costs to make it. If an entrepreneur believes he can do that, he creates a job.

October 04, 2010

Skating In Eugene

Diana, Trevor and I went to our local rink many times over the summer. Skating is one of those activities that I really enjoy (as previously stated ad nauseam). The fact my kids enjoy skating makes it a great family outing.

Last night, I was off early enough from work to go up and skate with Diana at the Eugene roller rink. I sort of recall being there before. But with my sieve-like memory that may or may not be factual as many rinks look the same.

The rink is nicely put together and probably dates back to the early 70's. It was 80's night which means way too much Michael Jackson and a lack of groups like, Ultravox, Dead Kennedys etc. There was an older crowd (no speed bumps as Trevor put it).

The local derby team was in force as well. I enjoy skating with the music and the style I enjoyed most was a fancy footing dance. Suddenly, a gentleman appeared who was a blast from my past. He had all the moves and style that I remember and I pointed out to my kids the skating style to which I aspire. The kids seemed impressed and dutifully said I was really close and had my own style as well.

So I did kick it up a notch. Today I am thankful for the pain relief provided by Ibuprofen. Its not the years, it's the milage.