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Thought Mesh



Congeries of cross connected concepts



Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:19:50 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2015
 



Harnessing the evil of Old Media

Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:19:50 -0600

Seems to me that the solution about how to publicize the plight of the endangered Yezidi refugees on that mountaintop and to save them, is for Benjamin Netanyahu to order the IDF to fire 1 missile at them.

Immediately Israel will be condemned and hundreds of reporters will arrive on the mountain-top location to film dead Yezidi children, callously murdered by unfeeling Jews, and in their train will follow the UN, Doctors without Borders, food, money, supplies, protection, and all the rest.

daddy




I met a man who wasn't there

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:31:32 -0600

This article does a reasonable job of laying out how President Obama has basically stopped worrying and learned to love the benefits of the Presidency. Fancy parties, meeting celebrities, golfing, sumptuous vacations, all on someone else’s bill. Some people “why would he be such an active failure?” but I ask “why not?”. What’s depressing is that it doesn’t seem to make any difference that Obama has “retired in place”, his job approval rating still remains around 40%, even though he isn’t actually doing it (and, really, never has). It’s as if there is this vast gulf between Obama as President and the real world of governance. But I suppose when the majority political party is based on the idea that actions don’t have consequences, it makes sense.




Santa - IN SPACE!

Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:16:51 -0600

I have been seeing many advertisements for local Santa Claus’ for the kids and I couldn’t help but wonder how that will work once we have interplanetary / interstellar colonies. Vacuum and hyperspace capable reindeer? Or is that likely to have passed away culturally before then?




Surprise! Words are not always sufficient

Sun, 17 Nov 2013 06:35:38 -0600

“Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.” — President Obama sums up the Modern American Left in one sentence. This is precisely what I mean by “Logo-Realism” and it is, I think, a Kinsley gaffe. As we look back at a government effort which failed primarily because political considerations were far more important than technical ones to conceal the actual details of the program, some wonder about Obama’s credibility. I don’t see why, Obama has never depended on credibility in the normal sense. For his supports, he was a miracle figure who status did not depend on accomplishment of any sort. This isn’t much difference than the Obama quote at the start — his supporters thought electing Obama was the hard part, all Good Things would simply happen as natural consequence of that. Yet Democratic Party Congressmen wonder “I don’t know how he [Obama] f—-ed this up so badly”. Um, because he, like you, thought only the politics of it mattered, and that implementation was not a serious concern? UPDATE It is important to note that POR-care is an entire onion patch of failure. That is, multiple independent failures each of which is itself a nested set of failures. The IT project failure for healthcare.gov is but one layer in all of that. For parallel IT failures, let us consider Oregon — Cover Oregon director resigns after health insurance website fails to enroll anyone at all. Maryland — the director of its exchange resigned after continuing technical problems. Hawaii — Health Insurance Executive director resigns after spending about $778,000 in federal funds for each individual who successfully signed up for healthcare California — doctors are refusing to cooperate with POR-care, California style. Currently 70% of the doctors in the state are refusing to provide services purchased through the California local POR-care exchange. Connecticut — For the first month every individual plan was misstated. Oddly, misstated to appear much better than reality, and then this was touted by the Obama Administration as a success because more people were signing up. Any other situation, that would be called “bait and switch consumer fraud”. Minnesota — Executive Director resigns after taking a vacation in Costa Rica during the state exchange rollout. In the onion we have other disasters waiting to be peeled off for POR-care including unsustainable Medicaid expansion and adverse selection problems, probably leading to a massive bailout for insurance companies. This is without even considering the security problems which make the website a target rich environment for black hat hackers, and the failure to vet the “navigators” who will have access to sensitive and private information about consumers. We can start with how the self-employed losing their insurance is just the start. Even the Obama Administration admits that even people in group health plans will be reeducated forced in to insurance plans the federal government likes, rather than what the consumers or their employers want. This will be followed by the ever growing sticker shock. But perhaps there is hope — HHS Secretary Sebelius wants an investigation in to the failure of healthcare.gov. Presumably so someone else can explain to her why she’s incompetent. And of course, to defend the President the race card must be played because it can never, ever, be the fault of the hero. Meanwhile, illustrating one of my other points, the Obama Administration thinks a blizzard of words can fix all of these problems, in a clap your hands if you believe style of governing. But, it seems, young people increasingly don’t believe and don’t want to join the White House Youth. Maybe due to the massive prevarications needed to fool the public into not punishing the political party that created it. Yet the[...]



It's not enough to help, you must punish success and prudence too

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 13:13:36 -0600

Other people are starting to notice that not only does POR-care raise insurance rates, it also negatively affects coverage with regard to deductibles.

My question for anyone who support POR-care is, why is it necessary to control how I spend my health care insurance premiums? How does that benefit anyone except the power grubbing appartchiks that populate the State? Given how few additional uninsured will now get insurance, what is the putative point of POR-care? Is it just because the State can’t tolerate success by others and must destroy it?

Finally, can any one help me understand all the people who deeply distrust the government and politicians yet consistently support giving them ever more control over our lives? “Yeah, those guys are corrupt, childish, selfish, and out of touch — let’s have them control our health care too!”. How can that seem like a reasonable thing to so many people?




To ban something, ban it

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 13:09:59 -0600

The Supreme Court will be deciding another “affirmative action” case, again in Michigan regarding race based admission policies. I am on the side of “no race based admission policies in public schools”. The plaintiffs, however, simply “don’t believe in the colorblind Constitution”. As through history, the Republicans are opposing race based law, while the Democratic Party and its supporters favor such things. The only difference between now and then is which specific races are to benefit, but the essentialist racist view remains.




Austerity in action

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:29:11 -0600

Look at that, Wisconsin cut taxes and spending and now they are improving economically and getting more tax revenue. Another one the austerity promoters got wrong, I suppose.




The joys of the market

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 22:30:55 -0600

In much more important news, Blizzard is removing the online auction house from Diablo III. Although I played endless hours of Diablo and Diablo II, I only played about the first half of the first act of Diablo III primarily because it was online only. Therefore this isn’t much of a personal issue with me, although based on my game design experience I think the critics have it mostly right.

What I find interesting, though is this quote —

Many players supposedly spend more time in the Auction House than they do the actual campaign

I could have told them that before they started. I used to play a multiplayer online dungeon games1 back in the late 1970s In fact, I knew the guy who first sold virtual gaming gear for real money. Although that was unusual, I knew a number of gamers who, having mostly mastered the game, still spent hours and hours playing but just trading items, not actually playing the game as intended. They did it mainly because they enjoyed the social interaction and trading, but if you have a game where particular types of gear are a status marker, you will have players who spend all their time trading to get it. Those will soon be followed by gamer sweatshops of people grinding the game to generate in game resources.

Successful multiplayer games also tend to have the same (if much simpler) economic problems as real world economies. In this case due to early mover advantage and grinder bots, the system was hit with massive inflation, stifling the ability of new players to succeed. While I think Blizzard handled this poorly without, apparently, thinking it through, it is not in fact an easy problem. I think it would do wonders for economists to have to manage such things before being allowed to experiment in the real world.


1 One of them, “avatar”, was clearly the inspiration for the successful Wizardry series.




Toddlers with machine guns

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 22:24:18 -0600

Time for another dip in the pool of Old Media bias and incompetence. Today’s edition will also touch on cowardice and how the “truth to power” meme is just a poser’s tale told by comfortably ensconced appartchiks.

Let’s start with fear and a report on how the press corp fears Obama. It is interesting to me how these same journalists had no fear of former President Bush, because they knew (despite what they wrote) that he wouldn’t really use the power of his administration to punish them. Obama, however, is clearly different and this certainly gets results and quite a lot of Sargent Schultz dereliction. It also means that when something that fits the Narrative comes along, it gets reported without any actual fact checking because Obama!

But, let me be clear - it’s not always cowardice matched with stalker level obsession, sometimes it’s just rank incompetence of people who simply have no clue about the subject of their writing.

Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you “all I read in the New York Times”.

P.S. The hits just keep coming —




Comrade, they buy the rope for us!

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 18:16:46 -0600

This article makes a point that occurred to me after I read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s editorial in the New York Times. That is, Putin’s writers clearly have read the works of the MAL and cleverly served up their own tropes to smash President Obama. This puts Obama and his supporters in a bind, because to argue against Putin’s agitprop they would have to disown their own well recorded oikophobia which would be more hurtful than taking the hit from Putin. It is a measure of the MAL’s parochialism and lack of thoughtfulness that enables brutes like Putin to get away with being brutes will styming any reponse from the USA as long as it has a MAList government.

But of course, for the MAL, there are no foreign enemies, only domestic ones. That’s why Obama will eagerly (if not pathetically) grasp any negotiating straw from place like Iran, but won’t talk to the Congressional GOP. One can’t help but laugh, though, at Obama cancelling his Asian trip so he can sit in the White House and not negotiate. Surely he could have done that in Asia too, or would it have been too much for him to talk with foreign leaders and not talk to domestic ones at the same time?




Warmenists hit by reality

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 08:44:28 -0600

Now that the agitprop phase has passed, the actual IPCC AR5 is being released and so far it looks like it basically retracts the “catastrophic” part of global warmening. It would be interesting to compare that with the NASA “we’re all doomed! DOOMED!” chart…

P.S. Regulators and activists hardest hit.




Bureaucrats are people too

Sun, 06 Oct 2013 13:39:34 -0600

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

— James Madison Federalist Paper #51

This is the key point that the regulators always forget — they look at stupid things people do and want to stop them from doing such things, without ever considering how giving people power and money makes them better people.




The spiteful wrath of the ruling class

Wed, 02 Oct 2013 14:12:24 -0600

We have the amazing spectacle of the National Park Service shutting down open air mall sites that do not require any staff so that WWII veterans are denied access. Let it be clear that these sites have never been closed until now but suddenly, in the midst of a government slimdown, the NPS has the staff and time to put up barrycades. Can some one explain this as other than in effect, hostage taking by the Obama Administration?

In the same vein we have other parks being shutdown that have no dependency whatsoever on the NPS and indeed, in some cases being net revenue generators for the federal government. That means the Obama Administration, in the midst of the upcoming debt ceiling limit, is willing to forgo revenue in order to punish the public for not getting his way. Yet people claim Obama has the best interests of the citizenry at heart…

P.S. Meanwhile The New Republic is apparently calling for using tanks against the Republicans in the House of Representatives, while former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommends bypassing Congress. And schools show “I pledge to serve Barak Obama” videos. Where did all the civility go? Perhaps it’s never been there.




Borrowing money to pay back borrowed money

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 14:12:22 -0600

I see this kind of statement made frequently with regard to the federal debt ceiling —

A failure to raise the debt ceiling to pay for bills that Congress has already contracted could lead to a worldwide recession or worse.

No! How can any one be that clueless? You don’t borrow money to pay off previously borrowed money. The term for doing that is “bankruptcy”. You pay off debts by using your revenue stream and the federal government revenues are not dependent in any way on the debt ceiling.

Of course, we have President Obama who is dumb enough to say in public “raising the debt ceiling does not increase our debt […] All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress”. That’s pathetic, even for a guy who regularly muffs his facts.

Meanwhile we are having an actual issue with passing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded (which could actually impact debt payments), which is primarily because the Democratic Party, particularly those in the Senate, have been massively derelict in their duties while the GOP in the House has at least made an effort. Yet I am confident Old Media will hold the former blameless, because Obama!

P.S. The story of legislation trying to express the Constitutional requirements in law but blocked, of course, by the Democratic Party, which has no interest in Constitutionality and fiscal responsibility.




Bringing back unions

Mon, 30 Sep 2013 16:02:50 -0600

I saw this article on the desperate plight of private sector unions in the USA (although public unions have their problems as well) which details how the AFL-CIO is attempting to expand its membership base. I thought, you know, if a union could get an exemption from POR-care for its members, it could massively expand itself by providing that exemption to new members. Start a shell company that hires people for, say, $100 / year, unionize the “employees”, merge that with the original union and boom! Massive membership win!

P.S. This is an illustration of this point.