“I had the dream of, if we give people the right information, it’ll make a difference”


I often think it’s all a waste of time. People think what they think, whether they think it or not.

Arguments are a waste of time.

Sometimes I think the Internet has only aggravated the problem. As I know I’ve said countless times, I’m almost as tired of partisan arguments I agree with as with those I disagree with. (I was warned that it would only get worse with time.)


I will defend to the death your right to say whatever I agree with!

Writing in the (conservative) National Review, Katherine Timpf argues that conservatives ought to distance themselves from Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame:

Phil Robertson is an ignorant buffoon, and that many of his comments — despite the fact that he does have every right to make them — are not ones that anyone should ever want to be associated with.

Now, before you start composing your hate mail — think about it. Do you really want a dude who is going to publicly ruminate about the gruesome rape, murder, and castration of a man and his “little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters” to be an official face of your #brand?

And he is an official face. He spoke at this year’s CPAC, where he also received a free-speech award named after conservative legend Andrew Breitbart.As for his most recent controversial comments, he made them during a speech at a prayer breakfast, and the very fact that he was given the role of “speaker” suggests that he’s viewed as a model of the Christian faith. He’s an icon — but why?

Simple. Far too many people think that if someone is persecuted for his passionately held beliefs, those beliefs must be right.

Defending the right to say something does NOT mean defending the merits of what was said, but many people seem to conflate the two. Similarly, the fact that someone is unfairly persecuted for his opinions does not make his opinions right.


I know I have pointed this out countless times, but it’s a stubborn problem that will not go away.

I suspect an additional problem here is that many of Robertson’s defenders agree with his views, and are therefore delighted to defend them. If they disagreed, why, that would be another matter, wouldn’t it?

HT, Sarah Hoyt.


Was that German co-pilot a Muslim convert?

I don’t know how reliable this report will turn out to be:

All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of “radical”, ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

Converts are the most important weapon of Islam. Because their resume do not suggests that they often are particularly violent Muslims.

The problem is that if it is true, I have a feeling it will be ferociously covered up.

I sincerely hope it isn’t true, but recent converts to anything tend to worry me, as they have a way of being fanatics in order to prove themselves, like this son of a bitch. Hell, even when the “conversion” involves petty, non-religious matters like quitting smoking or booze — or becoming a vegan — the newly converted can be extremely annoying. (But at least radical vegans don’t commit mass murder… only an occasional assassination.)

MORE: If this report is correct, I think it is highly unlikely that Lubitz was a Muslim:

“It is not known why they split but it has been claimed their relationship broke down because he was secretly gay and was suffering torment over hiding his homosexuality. 

One report claimed he was taunted by fellow pilots for previously being a ‘trolley dolly’ airline steward and dubbed ‘Tomato Andy’ – a derogatory gay slur – by colleagues.”
Trolley dolly? 
Now, that’s a new one. And so is “Tomato Andy.”

Jazz Clapping

The subject of Jazz Clapping came up at Samizdata. So I thought some REAL jazz clapping was in order.

Ramsey Lewis Trio The ‘In’ Crowd.


The Most Misinformed

I made an uncontroversial comment on a science blog to the effect that cannabis grows brain cells. To which I got this reply:

Weed grows brain matter?? Oh my, what a silly post!

So I posted this ten year old Science Daily link along with this reply:
There seems to be as much misinformation about cannabis as there is about climate. As per usual it seems that it is the people who want the government to “do something” who are most misinformed.


Not Even Wrong

The climate wars are cooling down. And it looks like the “consensus” is in error. Take that Jerry Brown. Let us start with the oceans. The oceans are huge and the atmosphere is small. Thermal mass wise. Once the heat from the sun or the atmosphere goes into the 4°C ocean it is not coming out. At least not until the ocean is warmer than the bottom of the atmosphere. That will take a while. At current rates of net energy input it will take about 700 years to heat the whole ocean by 1°C.

Climate change theory and entropy law show the correct model of the atmosphere. It is nothing like the climate modelers use. The models are in a state of “not even wrong”. Very bad indeed.

CO2? Good for plants. It will not affect planetary temperatures. Well some cooling is possible. Read the links.

Short version: what do the models leave out? The exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy as you go from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom. That exchange drives convection. That convection along with the thermodynamic properties of water cools things. Really well. Without that cooling the atmosphere would be like a greenhouse. As I said – not even wrong.


The Reputation Of Our Police Has Never Been Higher

Some police officers seem to have been drinking at a strip club and then crashed while going the wrong way on a highway. Two of the four officers in the vehicle were killed. No breathalyzers or blood samples have been taken from the officers. Yeah. It looks like they are not treated the same way civilians are in similar circumstances. But that is not the interesting point. The interesting point is the first ten comments I came across.


No. No. No. Not POLICE OFFICERS. They wouldn’t do that. What a travesty.

Drink, drive, people die but if it’s a cop then it is “just boys will be boys”…

that reckless behavior by those cops is very unlike the many “honest” and “law abiding” policemen we keep hearing about who love to murder black kids over victimless crimes. notice how quick the police chief and their cop buddies were to defend those drunk driving cops, saying it’s too premature to speculate on what caused the accident. it’s pretty clear on the cause: drunk cops. if there is a black guy involved, they’re very fast to blame him. when a cop is the cause of a crime, it’s “too early to speculate”. b s.

Three cops in the car could not tell they were going against traffic? How stoned were they?

“…Investigators have applied for a warrant for a blood test for the driver…” I have never heard of the police applying for warrants for civilians in similar circumstances.. Seems like a delay tactic so that the driver can sober up. Cops take care of their own.

by the way, did the police put the cuff’s on these guys as they lay on the ground bleeding?? they do this when they shoot unarmed suspects dead…..you know, just in case he comes back to life and “TRIES” to go after the cops gun……..i wonder if even they will lose their drivers licenses???? the “union’ lawyer will step in…how friggin stupid can you be…and how can these guys be cops when they can’t hold their booze and drive against traffic??? how stupid is that…

If the policeman who was driving goes to jail like a common citizen, will he need special protection? Or will he talk the same tough guy talk in the jail as he did on the street as a cop?

Gee they couldn’t take a cab? and why a warrant to test the drivers blood. the blood test is required by law, unless they want to let him off for the dui.

“2 officers in critical condition after fatal wrong-way crash” Is there a right way to crash fatally?

In the time-honored tradition of law enforcement, watch the cops claim injury and PTSD, and retire tax-free on taxpayers’ money.


What this country needs is a good Inquisition!

There’s an emerging national inquisition over the issue of race:

Workers at the U.S. government’s Forest Service have been asked to use online tests to check whether they are secretly racist, or harboring other biases.

The federal employees were asked to use work time to take tests, lasting some 15 minutes each, to see whether they have unconscious biases based on sexuality, nationalist, race and whether somebody is disabled.

The practice was reported on by the Washington Times, which said the directive to take the Harvard quizzes came from Forest Management Director Bryan Rice.

He also reportedly asked bosses at other federal agencies to spread links to the Harvard tests, hosted at implicit.harvard.edu.

The tests are a kind of word association game, which flashes up emotions or qualities such as ‘happy’, ‘agony’ and ‘laughter’, which users must sort into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories.

These are then mixed with elements of the category being tested – for example the race test flashes up pictures of black and white faces.

Participants complete several rounds of testing, first being instructed to associate all the ‘good’ words with one race, then the other.

The more quickly and accurately they make each association – good or bad – the stronger their underlying bias is said to be.

Lovely. No doubt the idea will spread to (or be forced upon) employees everywhere. After all, if we test employees for drugs, shouldn’t we also test them for racism?

Anyone who doesn’t like the idea of being tested for racism is obviously guilty of racism, and is certainly committing microagressions.


Pay No Attention To The War On Black People – Obama

Pay no attention to the War On Black People says Obama. What does he have against Black People?

Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow – says Retired Police Detective Howard Wooldridge – Citizens Opposing Prohibition


Logan Act Violator – Guilty Of Treason?

We have all heard about the treason petition against the 47 Senators who signed a letter about their Constitutional authority to advise and consent on treaties.

Which reminded me of John Kerry.

Kerry began his political career by leaving Vietnam after only 91 days to go back to work with a Massachusetts Senator.

While a Naval Reserve officer, he negotiated as a private citizen AGAINST the United States president and AGAINST the Secretary of State in Paris to defeat the US forces still fighting for that country.

Then, as a democrat Senator, he directly negotiated with the communist Noriega against Reagan in Nicaragua. Then he worked with Kennedy as Ted Kennedy worked with the KGB to defeat Reagan, and with Pelosi as she traveled overseas to oppose Bush in the Muslim world ….

Now, when the half the sitting Senators oppose HIS negotiations to arm the world’s enemies with nuclear weapons, “he” gets upset?

I guess he was just anticipating being Secretary of State. All is forgiven.

And Reagan? He was part of Iran Contra which imported kilos of cocaine to pay for the arms that were distributed in that deal

As my grandpappy always used to say, “They are all crooks.”


Victims Of

Reason has an article about the latest search for victims in order to justify a police state. So I left a comment:

Going after dopers is getting less popular every day. “Victims of dope” just doesn’t have the effect it once did. So look for some other “victims of…” to arise. We do have all those police. They need victims in order to keep policing.

The one thing that might possibly help: “victims of police”.


Some things are simply beyond the pale!

Is anyone allowed to crack jokes about Michelle Obama?

Apparently not. Not even if the joke was a wisecrack about a bad makeup job by an actor made up to look like her.

And not even if the joke was made by a biracial presenter on Hispanic TV who is also “openly gay and an activist for causes that favor minorities.” Nor did it help that the man wrote a profuse, even groveling apology to Michelle Obama:

I am the first presenter on Hispanic TV that is openly gay and I am an activist for causes that favor minorities, that have been discriminated against just like me. I openly voted twice for your husband Barack Obama, because I consider him a great man that respects minorities, like me, in this country.

I worked on two Univision shows where I commented about celebrity style, including the real family and Latin first ladies and I have never offended anybody because of their skin color, sexual orientation or nationality. I am a decent person, but a human in the end that makes mistakes like this one. 

Although the comment was unpleasant and out of line I do not deserved being called a racist and I have to defend myself for respect and love to my family, my father, my fans and my community. 

I was notified verbally that due to a complaint from your office I was fired. An information leak from Univision executives, I was condemend in social media, trying to destroy my career in an unfair manner, without letting me know personally and without an investigation that would allow to clear up the situation. 

Again, I offer my humble forgiveness for the misinterpreation and I assume the responsibility. 

Yours respectfully,

Rodner Figueroa

The lesson is that there’s zero tolerance for making fun of Michelle Obama! 

OTOH, making George Bush into a chimpanzee is perfectly OK.


The War On Black People

Yahoo is discussing White Racism. Yeah. it is white people all right.

What I want to know is why Obama hasn’t ended the War on Black People aka the War On Drugs? Maybe he doesn’t like Black people.


Relative danger

Quick question.

Can anyone tell me why e-cigarettes are so much worse than marijuana?

I mean other than “BECAUSE THEY ARE”?

Not to be judgmental or anything (as I don’t believe in substance regulation), but I’d just like to know…


Too early for Clinton nostalgia?

Just received an interesting email from a friend:


We don’t even have an election yet, but (and as M. Simon reminded me) it looks as if it’s heating up.

Considering the substantial New York Times coverage of the email scandal, I’d say Hillary’s enemies are hardly limited to Republicans.

But regardless of who her enemies are, whether it’s wise to knock her out of the water now is a good question.

MORE: Writing at Reason, David Harsanyi has a good question:

Why Won’t Anyone Challenge Hillary?

The answer I’ve heard around here is that it’s now her turn (except that’s what they said the last time she ran, which didn’t work out that well….)


And if we make it harder to buy guns, it will be a lot easier to buy vegetables, right?

President Obama recently made some disingenuous remarks that shed light on the thinking of those who think prohibitory laws actually work.

During an event in South Carolina, President Obama told students that he was disappointed that Congress refused to pass gun restrictions after the Sandy Hook elementary massacre.


He explained that he was still trying to do what he could to “crack down” on the availability of guns, but that it was difficult.

In some neighborhoods, he said, it was “easier for you to buy a firearm than it is to buy a book.”

“There are neighborhoods that it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is to for you to buy a fresh vegetable,” he said. “As long as that’s the case than we’re going to continue to see unnecessary violence.”

Stripped of the obvious emotional contrast between that which is “evil” (guns) with that which is “good” (vegetables), what is he really saying? That there might be places where it is easier to buy a gun than a carrot? Well, if you live next to a gun or sporting goods store and the nearest grocery store is many blocks away, that would be true. But so what? How is that an indictment of anything?

And is it really “easier” to buy a handgun than a carrot? How? Not only are handguns a lot more expensive than vegetables, but there are forms to be filled out and signed under penalty of perjury, a criminal background check has to be passed, etc. None of that applies to vegetables.

Well, maybe to some vegetable products. Like marijuana, opium, peyote, etc. But never mind that. He obviously means “good” vegetables. The kind his wife Michelle thinks children should be eating. Besides, the “bad” kind of vegetable products are already highly illegal according to federal law. Naturally, that means that they can’t be sold anywhere, and of course, because the laws work, they are not. So no one in his right mind would say, “There are neighborhoods that it’s easier for you to buy a joint than it is to for you to buy a fresh vegetable.” Thank God we have laws preventing illegal drugs. If only the same could be true about guns.

Hey wait! I just thought of something else. When President Obama complains about how it’s “easier” to buy handguns than vegetables, might he be talking about illegal guns as opposed to those sold in stores by licensed dealers? If that is the case, how on earth are more laws going to work, any more than they have worked with drugs?

If I were a cynical person, I might even be inclined to think that he knows more laws haven’t worked and won’t work (because criminals don’t obey them), but he wants them anyway.


The Hillary Clinton E-Mails

Proof positive that a Clinton Administration will be the most transparent ever.


Scheduled To Arrive Shortly

Now that Net Neutrality is Government Insured.


Extracted from the comments at Samizdata.
Protect Internet Freedom


The Essence Of Stalinism

Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

“Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.


The real issue?

Earlier today I watched Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech about the danger of Iranian nukes. Not only did I agree with him, but I think the Obama administration is engaged in Neville Chamberlain style appeasement.

I don’t watch the news all that much, but I sometimes like to contrast Fox and CNN coverage.

Fox is seeing Iranian nukes as the important issue of the day, which it clearly is.

As to CNN, the focus right now is on the police in Ferguson, Missouri.

And why not? After all, the lefties see a clear link between Ferguson and Palestine.