Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Futility of it All

How can we not be disgusted by these systems, totally out of control, as we watch the political class talk about "transformation" or so other meaningless gibberish.  Government employees holding us hostage to absurd federal rules about pay, transfers and moving expenses.

We know we needed get upset about this kind of absurdity because no matter the outrage, it will only get worse.

Despite all of the dark whispering the NRA and “dark money,” the right-wing bogeymen mostly are minor players. The two major teachers’ unions are between them the biggest political spender in Washington, with the NEA and the ATF spending a combined $50 million in the 2014 cycle. AFSCME, the government-employees’ union, spent $11 million that cycle, and was the twelfth-largest overall political spender. The NRA, which barely cracks the top-300 list, spent less than $1 million. Beyond spending on (overwhelmingly Democratic) political campaigns, government workers and their unions also show up to vote, to knock on doors, and to bully, harass, and threaten nonconformists. They are the backbone of the Democratic party — and they are thieving, lazy, grasping, thieving, dishonest, thieving, pervy, thieving, detestable, despicable, thieving, thieving thieves with a minor sideline in violence and intimidation.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

"What A Muldoon"

In January, 2006 — when promoting his Oscar-winning (yes, Oscar-winning) documentary, An Inconvenient Truth — Gore declared that unless we took “drastic measures” to reduce greenhouse gasses, the world would reach a “point of no return” in a mere ten years. He called it a “true planetary emergency.” Well, the ten years passed today, we’re still here, and the climate activists have postponed the apocalypse. Again.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trust? Or Subjugation?

But none of that will quickly repair the deep, pervasive damage to the public’s trust in government, say experts and others involved in the crisis.
“People have realized they’ve been lied to, and EPA knew about this, and the state knew about this,” said Virginia Tech engineering professor Marc Edwards, a national authority on municipal water quality whose tests exposed the extent of Flint’s lead contamination. “What you really have as it spun out of control is a total loss of trust in government, which failed [residents] miserably. They don’t believe a word that anyone tells them.”

The whole mess occurred because Flint decided against renewing its 30-year contract with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) and switched instead to Karengondi Water Authority (KWA). KWA was planning to build its own hugely expensive pipeline, parallel to DWSD's, to harness water from Lake Huron and service the Genesee County area where Flint is located. This left the city in the lurch for a few years when its contract with DWSD ended but the new facility had not yet gone online, prompting it to reopen a local mothballed facility that relied on the toxic Flint River as its source (more on the rank stupidity of this decision later).
The rationale for the original decision to switch Flint's water providers was that, in the long run, KWA would generate substantial savings for the cash-strapped city. Not only was this false but Snyder had very good reasons at that time to believe that this was false.

Monday, January 25, 2016

WSJ: Climate Snow Job

"Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.
"Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. "

Just keep changing the parameters until the stats say what you want them to say.  In other words, figure lie and liars figure.  Or, "liars, damned liars and statistics".

For Us, Truly Unbelievable

For those of us that did our jobs within the rules, it's truly galling to see the pigs that are a little more equal than others violating the laws they held us accountable to.  But of course, they are more equal than we are ...

"To work around the closed, classified systems, which are accessible only by secure desktop workstations whose hard drives must be removed and stored overnight in a safe, Clinton’s staff would have simply retyped classified information from the systems into the non-classified system or taken a screen shot of the classified document, Fournier said. “Either way, it’s totally illegal.”
"FBI agents are zeroing in on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the Clinton emails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff Cheryl Mills or deputy chiefs Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.
‘It takes a very conscious effort to move a classified email or cable from the classified systems over to the unsecured open system and then send it to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account.’
 - Raymond Fournier, veteran Diplomatic Security Service special agent
In one email, Clinton pressured Sullivan to declassify cabled remarks by a foreign leader.
“Just email it,” Clinton snapped, to which Sullivan replied: “Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it.”
In another recently released email, Clinton instructed Sullivan to convert a classified document into an unclassified email attachment by scanning it into an unsecured computer and sending it to her without any classified markings. “Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” she ordered."

The HC Alternative: Less Government, More Care

"While America’s health-care system has long needed reform, President Obamaunfortunately made many parts of it worse. His Affordable Care Act is based on more federal spending, regulation and coercion—and Americans are now experiencing the many unhappy consequences. 
These include millions forced out of their previous insurance plans and into new ones with higher costs and more-restricted access to physicians; premiums increasing by double digits, even for the lowest-price silver plans offered in states using the website; and insurance companies losing billions of dollars because many healthy, middle-class families want no part of ObamaCare. And those not-for-profit “co-ops” established by the law? More than half have failed."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Outrage. Even Mine Is Waning

"And this comes as President Obama’s own former defense secretary, Robert Gates, admitted, “the odds are pretty high” that her home server was accessed by one or more hostile foreign governments.
"Governments like China or Iran — or Russia, notwithstanding the famous “reset” button Hillary gave to Vladimir Putin.
"Meanwhile, ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey writes in The Wall Street Journal that it’s now “nearly impossible to draw any conclusion other than that she knew enough to support a [criminal] conviction at the least for mishandling classified information.”
"But will she ever even be charged?"