February 28, 2012

Ignorant masses, linked by blogs..

snowy bear

The Weidners have been most fascinated by the Peter Gleick affair. (Link.) I haven't blogged it, been too busy and tired. But this is worth a mention, because of the way warmists try to portray themselves as little Davids being bullied by Goliaths...

EU Referendum: Wither transparency?:

...While the warmists are successfully focusing attention on the minor-league operations of the Heartland Institute, with a total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, of around $4.4 million, their own funding arrangements, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, are largely evading scrutiny....


...The Climate Works Foundation, though, is of special interest as it was in 2008, awarded $460,800,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a grant-making organisation with assets of $7.2 billion, which disbursed $353,400,000 in grants in 2011. It has made another grant to Climate Works only last week of $100 million – bringing the total grants to this organisation to just short of $600 million.

Where such huge funding is devoted to global warming advocacy, and policy development, there must indeed be a distortion of the democratic process, especially where politicians are also being paid. These organisations must come clean about the sources of their money, and provide exact details of how much is paid to which organisations, for what purposes....

I've been thinking lately that a lot of the cult-like fervor of supporters of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) is because it is a sort of "Last Hurrah" of the Blue Model, of Industrial Age thinking. Even as Blue institutions crumble all around us, their crowd has found a way to once again be saviors-of-the-world by the application of massive government control.

If true, it is delicious that the very technologies that have propelled us into the Information Age have undermined the greatest-ever project of Industrial Age rule by-the-expert-few-over-the-ignorant-masses. The ignorant masses can now apply their vast aggregate brain power in a way that the credentialed few can't match. One of the interesting things in this Gleick affair is how bloggers and their commenters instantly began putting together clues as to who had fabricated the "secret memo" of the Elders of the Heartland Institute. They were focusing on Gleick within less than a day, as I recall. Perfect.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:04 AM | Comments (8)

February 21, 2012

I love seeing something really well done...

How to fold a suit and shirt, for packing...

(Thanks to chicagoboyz)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:39 AM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2012

What fun. Another SF GreenFAIL...

snowy bear

California Academy of Sciences pulls the plug on their climate change exhibit:

...Maybe it was the labeling of California as an "altered state" in their press release for it that did it in. The LA Times said at the opening that it was a Museum that Shouts Climate Change.

I guess maybe they shouted too loud, because now they plan to exhibit on something that Californians can really relate to: [Earthquakes]

When the über green California Academy of Sciences pulls the plug, you know "climate change" is a dead issue with the public....

The article is a hoot, for the pictures of the exhibits, and then them laying in pieces on the floor. Ha ha. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of totally dishonest frauds. Check out the one that reads: CLIMATE. IS AN. ANGRY. BEAST. AND WE ARE. POKING. AT IT WITH. STICKS. (My hatred of these animals is given especial venom because I loved the old museum building and its exhibits. They replaced it with a building that screams nihilism, that says there is no god except the lefty fad of the moment.)

When the glaciers have advanced south of Santa Rosa, we can start sacrificing liberals to the angry climate gods, to appease them. I will personally carve out their hearts with an obsidian knife---to reduce our carbon footprint, you understand. Who could object to that?

Posted by John Weidner at 10:12 PM

Prayer for Heretics & Schismatics

Prayer for Heretics & Schismatics:

...Oratio S. Francisci Xaverii

Aeterne rerum omnium effector Deus, memento abs te animas infidelium procreatas, easque ad imaginem et similitudinem tuam conditas. Memento Iesum, Filium tuum, pro illorum salute atrocissimam subiisse necem. Noli, quaeso, Domine, ultra permittere, ut Filius tuus ab infidelibus contemnatur, sed precibus sanctorum virorum et Ecclesiae, sanctissimi Filii tui Sponsae, placatus, recordare misericordiae tuae et, oblitus idololatriae et infidelitatis eorum, effice ut ipsi quoque agnoscant aliquando quem misisti Dominum Iesum Christum, qui est salus, vita et resurrectio nostra, per quem salvati et liberati sumus, cui sit gloria per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Prayer of St. Francis Xavier

O God, everlasting creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers were made by Thee and formed in Thine own image and likeness. Remember that Jesus, Thy Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy Son should be despised any longer by unbelievers, but do Thou graciously accept the prayers of holy men and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and be mindful of Thy mercy. Forget their idolatry and unbelief and grant that they too may some day know Him Thou hast sent, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Life and Resurrection, by whom we have been saved and delivered, to whom be glory for endless ages. Amen. ...
Posted by John Weidner at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2012

It doesn't scale in a linear fashion...

Richard Fernandez, The Life of Ants:

...The costs of running a society by detailed regulation do not scale in a linear fashion. Adding a single little thing requires committees to coordinate between committees; oversight and review functions; evaluation units and managers to manage everything. And that doesn't even count the cost of politically selling and defending each and every new mandate...

There's another thing that amplifies this. Running anything by "detailed regulation" is Industrial Age practice. We are now deep in the Information Age, and those who are hip to it can use much more effective management techniques. We are the Dinosaurs, they are the Thecodonts. They will be out-competed!

One of the earliest examples of the emergence of a new age was the Israeli victory in the Six-Day War, in 1967. We tend to take this sort of Israeli (and American) prowess for granted, but it was something that had never been seen before in history. Israel defeated three nations, with three armies, ten times her numbers, and with weapons of equal quality, in less than a week!

How did they do it? Israel had developed a new way of managing war. If division commander gave a task to one of his brigades, it was not accompanied with any sort of plan. The brigade was free to do the job however he thought best. The only proviso was that he had to keep headquarters informed about what was going on. Likewise, the Brigade would give its battalion commanders only general objectives, and they would make their own detailed plans. And so on down the line.

So they were harnessing the brainpower of far more people, and particularly, people who were much more motivated to succeed than staff drones. We see this kind of thing often now in successful young firms. (If you are hired by Dropbox, here in SF, YOU get to decide what you will work on! Wouldn't you give your best in such a situation?)

Israeli Dodge Power Wagon, during Six Day War period
(I have no special reason for putting this picture in, except for a love of the old Dodge Power Wagons. This one is Israeli, about the time of the Six-Day War. I think I got the pic here.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:51 PM

February 15, 2012

Ha ha. this one's close to home...

There are lots of stories like this now, as the global warming fraud unravels. Hardly worth blogging. But this one is about our Sierras, and in the liberal SF newspaper. So it gives me an extra bit of satisfaction...

The Science is Settled: “Dramatic Claims About Snow Disappearing in the Sierra Just are Not Verified” | Jammie Wearing Fools:

...Have you noticed lately how many stories that are reaching the "mainstream" media debunking the whole global warming/climate change scam? A sure sign this hoax is headed toward history's dustbin is the virtual irrelevance of chief scammer Al Gore and the growing evidence of data refuting the wild-eyed claims of Gore and his leftwing accomplices.

Well, there's another breakthrough today as the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting snowfall in the Sierras has remained consistent over a 130-year span despite the hysterical claims of those who've perpetrated this massive fraud on a gullible public....

Emigrant Wilderness

(A picture we took in the Emigrant Wilderness. A very cool bit of the Sierras.)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:45 PM | Comments (5)

February 14, 2012

Who could not be charmed?

Charlene often wanders the labyrinths of eBay. (Someone has to do it.) And often finds the language of the Empire used in odd ways by those on the periphery. Some Japanesian...

This is a tray of Japanese wooden ware. This was made about 40 years ago.
Such a tray is mainly used in green tea of middle grade SENCHA.
Social status is high and a SENCHA tool is very popular.
This is made very well and has a very good work. The shape is very good, too.
I do not know what wood this is. But this is hard and heavy quality wood anyway.
This is the high-class tea-thing tray seriously made by the specialist.
Please purchase at this opportunity, and add to your tea utensils collection.
Posted by John Weidner at 10:11 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2012

Arianism. Also called "dumbing down"

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Arianism Today:

...Arianism, simply defined, is the belief that Jesus Christ was not equal with God the Father, but was a created being. In the fourth century the Cappadocian fathers, St Basil and St Gregory of Nazianzus (along with Basil's brother Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom), fought against Arianism.

Because we celebrate the memorial of Basil and Gregory Nazianzen today it is worth examining the heresy of Arianism today. Heresies are like weeds. They keep coming back. The thing is, they come back in different guises. In the fourth century Arianism was part of the great debate over the divinity of Christ and therefore the definition of the Holy Trinity.

Today Arianism takes a different form, and comes to us in the guise of humanism. By 'humanism' I mean that belief system that takes man as the measure of all things. This humanism is a conglomeration of different modernistic beliefs, but the summary of it all is materialism-- that this physical world is all there is, human history is all that matters and the advancement of the human race in this physical realm is the only thing fighting for.

Arianism today is an interpretation of Christianity according to this whole materialistic, humanistic philosophy. Clearly, Jesus Christ as the Divine Son of God and the co-eternal second person of the Holy Trinity doesn't really fit. Instead Jesus is a good teacher, a wise rabbi, a beautiful example, a martyr for a noble cause. At most he is a human being who is "so fulfilled and self actualized that he has 'become divine'." To put it another way, "Jesus is so complete a human being that he reveals to us the divine image in which we were all created--and therefore shows us what God is like." There is a sense in which this "divinization" happened to Jesus as a result of the graces he received from God, the life he led and the sufferings he endured....

Christ in Majesty, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

Posted by John Weidner at 9:31 AM | Comments (2)

February 7, 2012

I remember the death of the last Civil War Veteran...

The Very Last World War I Veteran Has Died - Global - The Atlantic Wire:

A British woman who served with the Royal Air Force for the last two months of World War I was the last known veteran of the war when she died in her sleep Saturday night. Florence Green joined the RAF at the age of 17 and died just before her 111th birthday, which would have been Feb. 19. She had been a mess steward with the air force, the BBC reported, serving in two U.K. air bases after she joined up on Sept. 13 1918. The Allies signed the armistice with Germany on Nov. 11, 1918. Green follows Claude Choules, a Royal Navy sailor who was the last WWI combatant before he died in May 2011, and Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of the war, who died in February 2011. All were 110 years old.

The last Civil War vet, Albert H. Woolson, died in 1956. I remember my mother telling me.

I only remember, as a boy, personally knowing one person who fought in WWI. There were probably others around me, but I wasn't aware. This particular man's "fighting" was not combat, however. As he put it, "The first day I got to France, I got in a knife fight with another Southern boy." That was the end of his war.

In my youth the WWII vets were the upcoming men, with young families. The grey haired senior men, such as President Eisenhower, were in the WWI generation. I remember when it was a big deal that JFK was the first President of the WWII generation.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:44 PM | Comments (2)

February 6, 2012

Two cultures...

I'm a bitter, clinging, coastal urban sophisticate, and this made me laugh. It's so true.

Hillbuzz Conservative Politics, Analysis & Humor — Kevin DuJan Editor:

...The guy at the end who wants the duck replaced with "eggplant parmesan" reminds me of how frustrating it was to plan political events involving food back when I was a Democrat.  I hosted phone banks every night out of my apartment in Pittsburgh back in the 2004 Kerry campaign and I'd order pizza and soft drinks for the volunteers. I always had to spring for odd sizes of a half dozen different kinds of pizza — because this one person was a vegetarian and this other one couldn't have gluten and someone couldn't share slices from a normal pie and wanted his own personal pan pizza. It was ridiculous, since none of these people ever chipped in and just expected me to pay for everything since I allowed the campaign to use my apartment as a makeshift phone banking office in the evenings.

Now that I'm a Republican, it's completely different. If I have an event and order food, people either gratefully eat whatever's there without complaint or they don't eat if they don't like whatever it was. There's no "substitute eggplant parmesan for the duck and make sure the parmesan is really soy because I'm vegan and ask if the eggplant was cruelty-free and sustainably harvested because I only shop at Whole Foods and only eat vegetables and fruits that naturally of their own volition fell to the ground as Gaea commanded and were not picked by parasitic humans". Instead there's a pepperoni pizza, a Hawaiian, and a BBQ chicken one.  And if someone doesn't like that, there's a cell phone in his pocket for him to call Domino's for himself. People in Republican circles don't have an expectation that each event they go to was designed to cater explicitly to them the way Democrats do.

Oh, and Republicans always leave a few bucks hidden somewhere in the kitchen before they leave to chip in for the food they ate or pop they drank — though they never, ever will hand this to you directly, they'll always hide it so they don't embarrass you by trying to give you money (as if they'd imply they didn't think you could afford to spring for the spread). The only Democrats who would chip in and hide a five or ten somewhere were Hillary Democrats — the conservative Democrats that have been called Jacksonian, Clintonian, Reagan Democrats, and — according to Barack Obama — the "bitter, clinging, Midwesterners"....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:22 AM

February 4, 2012

Reverting to pagan sacrifice...

David Mamet: Israel, Isaac and the Return of Human Sacrifice - WSJ.com:

...What is the essence of the Torah? It is not the Ten Commandments, these were known, and the practice of most aspired to by every civilization. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner teaches they are merely a Calling Card; to wit: "remember me . . . ?"

The essence of the Torah is the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. The God of Hosts spoke to Abraham, as the various desert gods had spoken to the nomads for thousands of years: "If you wish me to relieve your anxiety, give me the most precious thing you have."

So God's call to Abraham was neither unusual nor, perhaps, unexpected. God had told Abraham to leave his people and his home, and go to the place which God would point out to him. And God told Abraham to take his son up the mountain and kill him, as humans had done for tens of thousands of years.

Now, however, for the first time in history, the narrative changed. The sacrifice, Isaac, spoke back. He asked his father, "Where is the Goat we are to sacrifice?" This was the voice of conscience, and Abraham's hand, as it descended with the knife, was stayed. This was the Birth of the West, and the birth of the West's burden, which is conscience.

Previously the anxiety and fear attendant upon all human life was understood as Fear of the Gods, and dealt with by propitiation, which is to say by sacrifice. Now, however, the human burden was not to give The Gods what one imagined, in one's fear, that they might want, but do, in conscience, those things one understood God to require.

In abandonment of the state of Israel, the West reverts to pagan sacrifice, once again, making a burnt offering not of that which one possesses, but of that which is another's. As Realpolitik, the Liberal West's anti-Semitism can be understood as like Chamberlain's offering of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, a sop thrown to terrorism. On the level of conscience, it is a renewal of the debate on human sacrifice....

Good stuff. And it makes sense to call the Akedah "the Birth of the West." But personally I don't think we are dealing with Realpolitik "sops thrown to terrorism." My suspicion is that the "liberal West" is really hardly aware of terrorism, at least consciously. It is unconsciously reacting to symbols, according to how they they affect their inner suffering--which is also unconscious. They have lost God and Truth, and that's a scary place to be. And so they try to kill God.

What symbolizes God? More than anything else, Jews. Anti-Semitism is, I think, more common now that it was in the 1930's. But it is mostly expressed by proxy. The so-called Palestinians are proxy Jew haters and Jew-killers. And the obsession of the liberal West with the Palestinians is utterly bizarre by any rational standard. One small oppressed group gets more attention than all the other oppressions and genocides of the whole planet. A million dead in Rawanda get far less attention than does some diplomatic wrangle about settlers on the West Bank, with no one even injured.

And we pay the Palestinians to hate Jews. They are economically better off than their brethren in Egypt or Syria or Jordan. Because of our 'foreign aid"--The US for instance gives them 600k a year. Of course they will never stop terrorism, it's their livelihood.

My guess is that the supporting of the Palestinians is a way for Western liberals to "kill God." It always makes me think of how the emperor Julian the Apostate undid his Christian Baptism by having himself "baptized" with bull's blood. It was totally illogical, unless you view it on the level of symbols.

I theorize (yes, yes, I know. I'm way out of the mainstream) that the other popular way to "kill God" is through abortion. If true, that might explain why support for abortion is higher among liberal American Jews than any other group. (The stats are stupefying. Something like 80%. And many more abortionists are Jewish than their numbers would indicate. )Why? Maybe because Jews are the ones who can't easily kill God by supporting Palestinians.

Mount of Olives, looking west over Kidron

Posted by John Weidner at 9:42 PM | Comments (5)

February 3, 2012

It's not unemployment, it's a lockout...

Spengler puts clearly what I'm sure you already know, Obama, the Great Divider — Literally:

...One one hand, we have nearly a fourth of working-age Americans without jobs, the worst proportion since the early 1980s. On the other, we have $2 trillion of cash sitting idle on corporate balance sheets, as President Obama complained in a February 2011 speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We have investors languishing for lack of returns, and unemployed people languishing for lack of work...


...To put this in perspective, $2 trillion of idle cash represents two years' worth of American investment in equipment and software. Why would corporations rather earn rounding-error levels of interest at the bank than put their money to work  in profitable ventures?

First, because U.S. corporate taxes are the highest in the industrial world, and Obama wants to keep them high; second, because trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits imply higher tax rates in the future, and Obama will do nothing to reduce the deficit; third, because ObamaCare sets a high threshold of labor costs for startups with more than 55 employees; fourth, because regulatory costs across the board make numerous projects uneconomical; and fifth, because the arbitrary intervention of the federal government in regulatory affairs multiplies the risk associated with any investment decision.

That's why the Keystone Pipeline cancellation was so devastating. High energy prices and vulnerable foreign supplies make North American energy alternatives a no-brainer investment, with high prospective returns (as opposed to the wind-and-solar boondoggles pushed by the Obama administration). If you arbitrarily cancel the flagship project, what message does that send to investors?

This isn't an investors' strike, but a lockout. This isn't unemployment, but a government shutout. If Republicans win the presidency and both houses of Congress in November, 2013 will be the hottest year the U.S. economy and stock market have had since 1994....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:24 AM