Scott Walker

Democrats are terrified of him, and they should be:

Obama and the Democrats asked for a class war and it’s a class war they got: they sowed the seeds, and now they’re reaping the whirlwind in the form of blue-collar conservative, union busting, arch-nemesis Scott Walker.

Imagine winning three elections (one being a recall election that public sector unions poured thousands upon thousands of dollars into) in four years in the deeply divided blue-collar progressive Utopia of Wisconsin. Imagine breaking the back of the organized heart and soul of the Democrat party and dispatching AFL-CIO leader Richard “Morrie The Wig Salesman” Trumka back to the White House to show the President the “W” shaped scar carved into his forehead as a warning to anyone else who stepped foot in the state.

Imagine doing all this after Democratic state legislators fled for the safe harbor of Illinois to avoid voting on your legislation. Imagine having woken up every day to phone calls relating tales unionized shock-troops on your parents’ front lawn and threats not only on your life but the lives of your kids. Now imagine having the real heroes, the brave national media, mock and ridicule you over this. Imagine accomplishing all of this while a partisan Milwaukee District Attorney authorizes the illegal invasion of the homes of your friends, supporters and aides, lawlessly confiscating private property, all while colluding with Lois Lerner and the IRS.

Now. Having gone through all of that, imagine still having the desire to face down and defeat that kind of contumacious Alinskyism on a national scale.

…On Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David, invoking the spirit of Henry Clay, quipped “a good compromise leaves everybody dissatisfied.” Compromise is the sort of talking point constantly pushed by moderates that pleases absolutely no one beyond the Beltway journalists feeding it to them. Conservatives–not even just the true-red hardcore ones, but the moderates as well who are tired of losing–don’t want a President who will reach across the aisle and work with Democrats. They want someone who will steamroll them like Obama did during his first two years, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. And Scott Walker? He’s certainly not going to be touting his record of working with Democrats in Wisconsin, not after signing Act 10, concealed carry, and Right-To-Work legislation into law…and that’s exactly why he’s enormously popular. Conservatives dream of someone who will break what’s left of the tired and aged Democratic minority in Congress, and leave them on an ash heap, barely able to comprehend how old and outdated their party faces have become while wallowing in the mess left for them to clean up as their own demi-god strolls out of office singing “Amazing Grace” to himself. There can be no compromise this election.

Yes.

How To Stop A Centralized Bureaucracy

Math:

The only thing that will upend the carefully crafted apple cart the political bosses have set up is math. The math that Mark talks about in the Soundcloud clip I posted is rapidly becoming a reality in states like Illinois. The answer from Democratic politicians has been to look for ways to increase taxes and fees to keep the shell game going. None of them have cut the size and scope of government. None of them have deregulated anything to allow more choice and freedom for people. Interestingly, the United States federal budget allocates 62% of all spending to entitlements, and the number will rise dramatically with Obamacare. It’s totally unsustainable but the crony capitalists in Washington don’t care about it. They’ll be fine.

They were told there would be no math.

Science

Is it ever “settled”?

As things stand today, Darwin’s notion of evolution, especially when we extend it with the things we’ve learned in the intervening 160 or so years, has stood up very well to attempts to falsify it.

That’s what science as a process really is: that process of observing, proposing explanations, and then trying to knock those explanations down. Eventually, you have only a few explanations left standing: our best explanations for what we observe in the real world. It’s that collection of best explanations that we call “science.”

What isn’t science is (e.g.) climate models, particularly when they can’t even hindcast.

“Settled science” is a newspeak phrase that the Left has come up with to impose their policy preferences on us.

[Update a few minutes later]

Why biology students have misconceptions about science.

I think there’s more of a crisis in science education (as with all education) than most people realize.

Birds Of A Feather

The Wisconsin thug who helped target Scott Walker and his associates was close friends with Lois Lerner:

After Walker’s victory in a recall election, Lerner’s long time friend Kennedy helped Milwaukee County prosecutors conduct an onerous, several-year investigation into Walker’s political allies, complete with secret subpoenas for phone, text message and email records and armed, middle of the night raids on Walker associates’ homes.

I know! I’m shocked, too!

Suburbia

Countering the Left’s assault on it:

…if the American Dream is not dead among the citizens, is trying to kill it good politics? It’s clear that Democratic constituencies, notably millennials, immigrants and minorities, and increasingly gays—particularly gay couples—are flocking to suburbs. This is true even in metropolitan San Francisco, where 40 percent of same-sex couples live outside the city limits.

One has to wonder how enthusiastic these constituents will be when their new communities are “transformed” by federal social engineers. One particularly troubling group may be affluent liberals in strongholds such as Marin County, north of San Francisco, long a reliable bastion of progressive ideology.

Forced densification–the ultimate goal of the “smart growth” movement—also has inspired opposition in Los Angeles, where densification is being opposed in many neighborhoods, as well as traditionally more conservative Orange Country. Similar opposition has arisen in Northern Virginia suburbs, another key Democratic stronghold.

If Republicans were smart, they’d make this a major campaign issue. So they probably won’t.

[Update a while later]

Hey, Obama, want to force communities to integrate? Start with Chappaqua.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Democrats turn hard Left.

I think they may find that they had bad timing. I certainly hope so.

Still On The Road

We started heading back from Denver yesterday. Spent the night in Durango (where we had what seems to be a new Colorado cuisine — Nepalese), and heading down through Monument Valley this morning, with plans to end up for the night at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Not sure what connectivity will be like there.

[Sunday-morning update]

I had connectivity in the park via my phone, but decided to just relax. If you have only been to the south rim, I highly recommend the north. It’s more spectacular, in my opinion, and much less crowded, due to the fact that it’s much more remote, and can’t just be driven through. In Phoenix this morning, and headed back to LA a little later. Back to business as usual then, except I’ll be headed up to the New Space conference on Wednesday.

SpaceX’s Path To Reliability

Doug Messier has a long but useful piece on the current state of affairs.

We’ve been trapped in a moribund, high-cost space-transportation industry for decades because the cost of each flight is so high that it doesn’t allow for anything resembling real flight test. That has traditionally meant that much verification of design is by analysis, rather than test, and design changes are careful and rare. Working on more of a software model with frequent upgrades, SpaceX has broken that mold, with probably every vehicle slightly different, continuously improving the system, but walking a fine line with risk of failure from something new and untested. But a software change rarely has unrecoverable catastrophic consequences, as a rocket launch can. I suspect that ultimately the finding will be that such a change had an unanticipated effect that caused the recent loss.

ULA can’t (or at least traditionally hasn’t been able to follow) the same philosophy because of the conservatism of its customer, which values reliability above all else for its expensive, critical payloads. This makes it difficult to quickly evolve its own designs (one of the reasons, no doubt, that Tory Bruno wants a new rocket, rather than a re-engined Atlas that he knows won’t be competitive with SpaceX). One of the challenges they will have is how to break out of that mode.

All But Dissertation

…and happy with it:

Grad school became a financial burden after I took my full-time job in industry. Although my salary tripled and I’m a frugal and financially responsible person, my school expenses became too much for me to handle without taking on student loans, something I hadn’t done since undergrad. I managed to avoid student loans by depleting my savings.

After I left my university department’s employment as a graduate research assistant, I was responsible for my tuition payments. I was only enrolled in 3 credits per semester for a doctoral research course, basically, a symbolic class for the privilege of calling myself a doctoral student. Unfortunately, once I left my department’s protection, the university saw me as a dollar sign instead of a person. They used a loophole to unfairly charge me over triple the tuition rate, and even my protest to the university president landed on deaf ears because universities are all about profit (and I attended a public university!).

Had I been charged a fair tuition rate, I would have been able to afford to stay enrolled in grad school indefinitely and may have eventually finished. The greed of the university forced me to make my decision to quit when I did, which may have been a good thing in the long run because I didn’t drag it out too long. To this day, I regret paying that last semester’s tuition, as that money would have served me much better in my savings account.

The current higher-educational system, fueled by the student-loan system, has become, with exceptions, a massive scam.

The New Puritans

The “sexual consent” brigades get more whack by the day:

The contract states in big red letters: “YES! We agree to have SEX!” (emphasis original), and asks participants to take a photo together holding the contract. If a camera can’t be found, then the participants would need to fill out the form included on the back of the contract.

The group provided the Washington Examiner with an image of the form, which simply states that on this date (fill-in-the-blank) “We agree to have consensual sex with one another.” The form also provides spaces for two parties to sign and print their names.

Even that probably wouldn’t be enough of a defense against an accusation, when all an accuser has to do is say she was too drunk to consent to the photo or the sexual activity. And remember, if the handwriting on the back is noticeably slurred by both parties (meaning the accused was also too drunk to consent) it doesn’t matter, only the accuser’s word matters.

Also, the word “sex” seems far too vague to me. It seems like they’ll need specific subforms for oral (him on her, her on him, him on him), anal, rough stuff, etc.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!