Unions are bad, bad, super bad!
River Visual 13 KLGA
“Money Talks – Bullshit Walks” This was a common phrase we’d use around my motorcycle dealership in the 1980s, Airport Honda Kawasaki, 63rd and Kolmar on Chicago’s South Side. May it rest in peace. It was a tough retail sales location. At least one shyster per day during the riding season. Like everyplace, lots of tire-kickers wanting to know the lowest price so that they could go price shop at another store. So we’d play games.
So it is with the enthusiasm to argue “political climate change” rather than “scientific climate change.” Science and math are hard. That’s why students avoid them and take political science instead. Costless talk is easy. Now here’s a scientist who has put up $10,000 which was matched by another $20,000, to offer a reward of $30,000 to the winner of this climate science competition:
It’s created a great big dialog at Dialogues On Global Warming. Here is the challenge:
The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge!
I have heard global warming skeptics make all sorts of statements about how the science doesn’t support claims of man-made climate change. I have found all of those statements to be empty and without any kind of supporting evidence. I have, in turn, stated that it is not possible for the skeptics to prove their claims. And, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.
I am announcing the start of the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. The rules are easy:
1. I will award $10,000 of my own money to anyone that can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made global climate change is not occurring;
2. There is no entry fee;
3. You must be 18 years old or older to enter;
4. Entries do not have to be original, they only need to be first;
5. I am the final judge of all entries but will provide my comments on why any entry fails to prove the point.
That’s it! I know you are not going to get rich with $10,000. But, tell me, wouldn’t you like to have a spare $10,000? After all, the skeptics all claim it is a simple matter, and it doesn’t even have to be original. If it is so easy, just cut and paste the proof from somewhere. Provide the scientific evidence and prove your point and the $10,000 is yours!
This is no joke. If someone can provide a proof that I can’t refute, using scientific evidence, then I will write them a check.
But, I am sure I will never have to because it can’t be proven. The scientific evidence for global warming is overwhelming and no one can prove otherwise.
The great thing about conveniently forgetting history is that we don’t have to compare conditions of the present to conditions of the past. We make the old conditions “conversationally illegal”, because historical facts are inconvenient. They’re easily disputable and time consuming to verify. Usually shifting the whole discussion away from the target idea into fact checking mode. Far easier and politically expedient to just bitch about what is at present.
Compared to what? Strike up the cowbell:
For example, reminisce about these health care issues that were addressed by the Affordable Care Act:
- projecting double digit health insurance rate increases into the distant future, transitioning the entire US economy to health care and its financing,
- six month waiting periods for coverage with new employers,
- being excluded from insurance due to pre-existing conditions,
- annually renewable individual policies that were essentially fake, especially after being needed,
- college grads with poor job prospects but poorer health insurance prospects,
- employment entrapment for fear of losing health care, and
- being continually one slip away from the risk of bankruptcy.
We can remember the past, or we can just bitch about how the new system isn’t perfect out of the box and isn’t free of costs. It’s disingenuous, but that’s politics. God forbid that the Democrats led by a black man roll out a successful health care plan that puts 28 million new people into the health system. We’ll have to keep them from voting.
Given what you know, imagine that you were posed with the following proposition in 2002. Reference the then recent economic collapse of the 2000 Internet Recession, the coincident general lack of available employment opportunities, reduced tax revenues from reduced economic activity plus major tax rate reductions, budget cutbacks, the ongoing outsourcing of jobs to Asia and Mexico, and the raging success of capital management against unions in reducing wage rates and benefits across the economy. Quite a complex brew.
“We think Saddam Hussain might have had something to do with 9/11, and that he might have weapons of mass destruction of some kind. But the evidence is secret because there is disagreement between disparate departments of the government.
So we’d like to take this opportunity to launch two completely discretionary simultaneous wars against both the Taliban and Saddam Hussain with the purpose of transforming the center of the Middle East into a USA friendly capitalist democracy with a thriving economy, good education, and freedom for women. Plus, there’s the oil.
We expect it will cost $4-$6 trillion of borrowed money, take at least ten years till completion, massively transition the USA to a war-footing economy, cost the lives of more than 250,000 people including 6,000 US servicemen, and maim or otherwise psychologically impair an additional third of a million US servicemen.”
So what do you think? Would it have been a go for you?
[Click image for larger version.]
My readings on the subject:
- Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion, BY ERNESTO LONDOÑO, Washington Post, March 28, 2013
- “The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets.” Bilmes, Linda J., Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP13-006, March 2013.
- New estimate of U.S. war costs: $4 trillion, Jason Ukman, Washington Post Checkpoint Washington Blog, 06/29/2011
- False Pretenses, By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, The Center for Public Integrity, May 19, 2014
- Brooks, Wieseltier: Cries of American Weakness by the People Who Weakened America, Jim Sleeper, The Washington Monthly, May 4, 2014
- Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq – Mushroom clouds, duct tape, Judy Miller, Curveball. Recalling how Americans were sold a bogus case for invasion. By Jonathan Stein and Tim Dickinson, Mother Jones
- Casualties of the Iraq War from Wikipedia.
Natalie Tran’s The Community Channel background music for Porno Music Slash Comment Time. This reminds me of some theme music used by CNN International in the mid-1990s when I was in not-so-nice places in Asia for long stretches and CNN International was the only connection that I had with the world back home.
Fifty billion estimated galaxies in the universe, each with tens of billions of stars, each reasonably averaging some half-dozen planets, with some large planets having up to ten moons.
All of this is largely extraneous so that here on Earth the various religious tribes can fight and kill each other over the name of the prime maker(s) and sacraments required thereof.
Just to be clear, the 2nd Amendment does NOT have to be changed. Ever. What has to be changed is the currently accepted notion for the related costs of gun use to be socialized across the entire population. The costs of the right to own and bear arms should be attributed exclusively to gun users through a combination of insurance, surtaxes, licensing, and registration. The rest of the population should be free of that financial encumbrance.
Just because it’s a “right” doesn’t mean it’s free. For example, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are “unalienable rights”. What if they were also free?
Change will require the Roberts court to recognize their life-costly discontinuity with reality, and then backpedaling with a single decision. Attributing social costs to those responsible will be the only way to tamp down the man-toy revolutionary mania.
[Click image for a larger size.]
Hubble has returned to the intriguing V838 Monocerotis many times since its initial outburst in 2002 to follow the evolution of its light echo. Two new images provide the most astonishing views of V838 to date.
The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular “light echo” in the history of astronomy.
As light from the eruption propagates outward into the dust, it is scattered by the dust and travels to the Earth. The scattered light has travelled an extra distance in comparison to light that reaches Earth directly from the stellar outburst. Such a light echo is the optical analogue of the sound echo produced when an Alpine yodel is reflected from the surrounding mountainsides.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been observing the V838 Mon light echo since 2002. Each new observation of the light echo reveals a new and unique “thin-section” through the interstellar dust around the star. This release shows new images of the light echo from the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys taken in November 2005 (left) and again in September 2006 (right). The numerous whorls and eddies in the interstellar dust are particularly noticeable. Possibly they have been produced by the effects of magnetic fields in the space between the stars.
The Hubble observations have been used to determine the distance to V838 Mon, using a technique based on the polarisation of the reflected light. Hubble has polarising filters that only pass light that vibrates at certain angles. This method yields a distance of 20,000 light-years for V838 Mon, suggesting that, during its outburst, V838 Mon was one of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way. Although the reason for the eruption is still unclear, some astronomers have suggested it might have resulted from the collision of two stars.
Modern conservative strategy is an effort to spin hysteria out of imagination and then justify large friendly expenditures to vaingloriously destroy the straw man.