Category Archives: Business

California’s Bullet-Train Boondoggle

continues to collapse:

A lawyer familiar with the case mocked this argument as amounting to, “Damn the legal niceties, this mean judge is getting in our way.” – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/04/22/gov-browns-legal-strategy-to-prop-up-bullet-train-faltering/#sthash.Na3IFURm.dpuf

This is a problem that won’t be solved until California gets an intelligent electorate.

The Climate Abolitionists

Chris Hayes is going down a dangerous road:

“It’s a bit tricky to put an exact price tag on how much money all that unexcavated carbon would be worth, but one financial analyst puts the price at somewhere in the ballpark of $20 trillion,” Hayes writes. “So in order to preserve a roughly habitable planet, we somehow need to convince or coerce the world’s most profitable corporations and the nations that partner with them to walk away from $20 trillion of wealth.”

Note the phrase: “convince or coerce.” If persuasion were to fail, coercion — presumably by the federal government or some very, very powerful entity — could be pretty rough. Certainly by writing that the “climate justice movement” should be known as the “new abolitionism,” Hayes makes an uneasy comparison to a 19th century conflict over slavery that was settled only by a huge and costly war — a real war, not a metaphorical one. Is that how environmentalists plan to save the planet from warming?

They have to destroy humanity to save the planet.

The Pacific Salmon Are Back

…and of course, the environmentalists hate it:

The point deserves emphasis. The advent of higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere has been a great boon for the terrestrial biosphere, accelerating the rate of growth of both wild and domestic plants and thereby expanding the food base supporting humans and land animals of every type. Ignoring this, the carbophobes point to the ocean instead, saying that increased levels of carbon dioxide not exploited by biology could lead to acidification. By making the currently barren oceans fertile, however, mariculture would transform this putative problem into an extraordinary opportunity.

Which is precisely why those demanding restraints on carbon emissions and restrictions on fisheries hate mariculture. They hate it for the same reason those demanding constraints in the name of allegedly limited energy resources hate nuclear power. They hate it because it solves a problem they need unsolved.

I hope this means a lot of cheap fresh wild salmon in the stores this summer.

The Middle Class

Stop favoring speculators and investors over them.

That applies to both parties. The Republicans could make this an electorally popular strategy, but too many of their donors would object.

I would note, though, that if you’re going to tax capital gains more, you need to provide a way to factor out inflation, because a devaluation of the currency doesn’t provide a true capital “gain.”

Happy Berth Day To Dragon

It was launched on Good Friday, and now the Dragon has berthed with the ISS early in the morning on Easter Sunday, over the region of the world in which Christ was reportedly born, died, and resurrected. That wasn’t planned, though. They’d have preferred to have it up weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, no word from SpaceX about recovering the first stage. I’m going to interpret that as bad news, for now.

SpaceX Flight

Looks like another perfect flight of the Falcon 9 and Dragon. Press conference is scheduled at 1700 EDT, when they’ll presumably tell us how the recovery attempt went. They did report a successful entry burn.

[Update about 5 PM PDT]

Elon has some news:

[Another update about twenty minutes later]

[Update an hour or so later]

I should add that while this is great news, it will still be disappointing if the rough seas prevent recovery, or break up the vehicle, because they’ll lose data they’d like to have to see how the stage handled the flight. That’s critical to understanding turnaround. The good news is that they’ll be able to do this every flight (that doesn’t need a lot of performance, like their earlier GEO missions) to get it right, and finally start to understand that.

Climate Change

What we don’t know:

We shouldn’t worry, we should just accept that this will happen and we should adapt to it and regard it as a business opportunity.

Its arrogant to assume that climate will remain static.

The whole language of climate change is designed to confuse the public and policy makers

Bob Carter says the IPCC has accomplished the inversion of the null hypothesis, where the onus is now on disproving dangerous anthropogenic climate change

We should focus on protecting people from natural hazards, and not worrying about what is causing them

It makes sense to encourage alternative energy and see what happens.

Bob Carter closed with this: no scientist can tell you whether it will be warmer or cooler in 2020, so we should prepare for both.

Yes. We don’t know much more than we do know.

And as she notes, the people speaking sensibly are independent or retired, not those receiving government funding.

Idiot Education Administrators

This time, it’s not a public school, but college.
And as Glenn Reynolds notes, these morons now outnumber faculty on campus:

I’d sue all of these people personally, and make their lives a living hell until they left or were fired. And they should have to go through a forced psychiatric evaluation, too, to look at their tendency to abuse power and trust.

Yes.

The Washington Post

Some questions for its management, and its new owner:

Jeff Bezos, this is for you: I have no idea what your political views are, but I assume you are a Democrat, like most rich people. Maybe you knew, when you bought the Washington Post, that it is nothing but a corrupt mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. If so, nothing about the Post/Keystone scandal will surprise you; on the contrary, you will probably applaud the Post’s latest effort to fool its readers so as to promote the Democratic Party’s interests.

But on the off chance that you thought you were buying a real newspaper, you should be shocked to learn that the Post cannot respond to a simple question: does the Post coordinate its reporting with Congressional Democrats, or does it not? If the Post were an honest paper–a real newspaper, part of an actual free and independent press–that would be an easy question to answer. That the Post is unable to respond speaks volumes. If this isn’t what you thought you were buying, you should clean house.

Democrat operatives with bylines.

The Civil War On The Left

Couldn’t happen to a nastier political movement:

the better evidence of how the Democratic Party could come to blows comes from California, which right now rivals China for one-party control. Never mind the three Democratic state senators all heading for the hoosegow for corruption: the bigger story is how Democratic ethnic factions are viciously turning on one another.

So it’s a race war! What a surprise (not really, considering what racists these people are).

Plus, for lagniappe, there’s their war against tech, even when it’s leftie tech.

I guess some people tip cows, others tip cars. When they’re not p00ping on them.

Space Tourism

Six reasons it matters.

As I often point out, people who complain about “joy rides for the wealthy” shouldn’t watch media devices like Blu-Ray players, because they were once just “toys for the wealthy.” As were the computers on which they type such complaints. I do think that, that some people, and particularly Virgin, overhype point to point. And it’s not clear what Virgin’s path is to either that or orbit with their current vehicle design. It doesn’t scale well with velocity.

Rethinking Fat

Even NPR is starting to figure it out.

But note, that, as with climate “science,” dissenters have trouble getting published when they have actual science in opposition to the “settled” science in nutrition:

“Fat was really the villain,” says Walter Willett, who is chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. And, by default, people “had to load up on carbohydrates.”

But, by the mid-1990s, Willett says, there were already signs that the high-carb, low-fat approach might not lead to fewer heart attacks and strokes. He had a long-term study underway that was aimed at evaluating the effects of diet and lifestyle on health.

“We were finding that if people seemed to replace saturated fat — the kind of fat found in cheese, eggs, meat, butter — with carbohydrate, there was no reduction in heart disease,” Willett says.

Willett submitted his data to a top medical journal, but he says the editors would not publish his findings. His paper was turned down.

“There was a lot of resistance to anything that would question the low-fat guidelines,” Willett says, especially the guidelines on saturated fat.

Willett’s paper was eventually published by a British medical journal, the BMJ, in 1996.

And that was almost twenty years ago, and the junk-science FDA guidelines that probably killed my father in the seventies remain pretty much in place.

Steve Goddard Explains

Why I do this”:

I have been an active environmentalist for almost my entire life. At age 16 I testified before a Congressional hearing in support of a proposed wilderness area in Utah. I worked to get the Clean Air Act passed, and worked for two summers as a wilderness ranger in New Mexico. I do all of my local transport and shopping by bicycle, and buy almost exclusively organic and free range food.

The reason I blog is because catastrophic global warming is junk science, used by unscrupulous people for unscrupulous political and financial purposes. It keeps environmentalists from doing anything useful, and provides progressives an excuse to push toward totalitarianism.

The global warming scam needs to be stopped. It has spiraled completely out of control, and no longer has any pretense of science behind the lies.

Pretty much, yeah.

What Keeps Women Out Of STEM

Among other things, they don’t like the dating pool. I wonder if The Big Bang Theory helps, or hurts with that perception?

[Update a few minutes later]

This seems vaguely related: Redefining boyhood. As a disease to be treated.

I guess you could say it’s a pre-existing condition.

The Seven Million Bigots

Purge them all:

But why stop there? According to Wikipedia, 7,001,084 people voted for Prop 8. Why do any of those people still have jobs? Shouldn’t they all be forced to resign? And why should they have the privilege of living in California at all? I say round them up and move them someplace where they won’t do any harm.

Oh, and let’s find every media figure, writer or actor or musician, who voted for Prop 8. Surely they’re a special danger. Someone should start an investigation — form a committee to investigate un-American activities like that, expose the malefactors, and make them identify anyone else they know who was involved. Let’s make it clear that differing on these opinions is unacceptable. Like Eich, they should be blacklisted and never allowed to work again.

Damn straight.

[Update a while later]

Glenn has a lot more. Apparently Mozilla is getting a lot of negative feedback, but as he points out, OK Cupid should be taking a lot of heat, too, particularly considering their hypocrisy.

[Update mid morning]

The “liberal” mob claims another scalp.

People who behave this way are many things, but liberal is not one of them.

[Early afternoon update]

“The Internet just cut off its nose to spite its Facebook.”

I would never defend a homophobe—but does “pure hate” homophobia include dedicating oneself to outreach to “marginalized” LGBT developers, as Eich did almost immediately? Does Mozilla further its cause-privacy uber alles and the free flow of information—by making its pioneers into pariahs in social media, while issuing blatantly hypocritical statements which claim to treasure “religious diversity” at Mozilla? (And did anyone flinch when Mark Zuckerberg held GOP fundraisers?) Is what we want ”politically correct web browsing” where the Twittersphere and “socially conscious corporations” determine whose ideas are disseminated? Is this the open internet, or shall the open-source web be verboten to those “on the wrong side of history”?

This is a very very ugly precedent.

[Update a while later]

Andrew Sullivan continues to fight the good fight on this issue:

There is not a scintilla of evidence that he has ever discriminated against a single gay person at Mozilla; he was dedicated to continuing Mozilla’s inclusive policies; he was prepared to prove that the accusations against him were unfair, and that his political views would not affect his performance as CEO. But this was not enough. He had to be publicly punished for supporting a Proposition that is no longer in effect. This is absolutely McCarthyism from an increasingly McCarthyite left.

The only problem the Left ever had with McCarthyism was that they were McCarthy’s target.