He May Be Hearing Us NOW

White House orders Justice Department to look for other places to hold 9/11 terror trial

“The White House ordered the Justice Department to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.

The White House took the action hours after Mayor Bloomberg called Attorney General Eric Holder to say he would “prefer that they did it elsewhere.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/01/28/2010-01-28_white_house_orders_justice_department_to_look_for_other_places_to_hold_911_terro.html#ixzz0dxqSjkDR

Comment: Think the Scott Brown election isn’t having an impact?

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The President Was “Imprecise”

Perhaps some of you remember Linda Greenhouse – a brilliant lawyer (now a real Yale Professor of Law)  who once covered the Supreme Court for the McNeil-Lehrer Report and  covered SCOTUS for the NY Times 1978-2008, and won a Pulitzer in 1998 ..

Today she writes an opinion piece in the NT Times (a medium for which she is far more suited than TV), and she says the President was “imprecise” in his criticism of the SCOTUS decision.

(Imprecise” is what liberals call other liberals – when it is conservatives they analyze, they say “lied!” – but even “imprecise” is a slap when referring to a “Constitutional Lawyer.”)

“Indeed, Mr. Obama’s description of the holding of the case was imprecise. He said the court had “reversed a century of law.”

The law that Congress enacted in the populist days of the early 20th century prohibited direct corporate contributions to political campaigns. That law was not at issue in the Citizens United case, and is still on the books. Rather, the court struck down a more complicated statute that barred corporations and unions from spending money directly from their treasuries — as opposed to their political action committees — on television advertising to urge a vote for or against a federal candidate in the period immediately before the election.”

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/justice-alitos-reaction/?scp=5&sq=supreme%20court&st=cse

The State of What?

There is some public discussion about the kerfuffle between the President and the Supreme Court decision, and the reaction to it in his speech.

It is simply untoward to publically criticize someone who cannot respond (either immediately, or ever!) – either the Supremes or the military brass.

Actually, I don’t believe either the brass or the Supremes should attend the event, because they are not permitted by tradition to show any political bias – cannot even politely clap.

They should stay home and watch on TV, or not.

(I did not – I just watched the CNN, MSNBC reactions. It doesn’t matter what a president says, it only matters what the listeners believe the president says.)

Kudos to Ford

Kudos to Ford for turning a profit, restoring their union profit-sharing and re-hiring 1,200 new workers – in the middle of a recession. They predict that this year will be an entire profitable year.

Ford is at a competitive disadvantage against Government Motors which has government money in unlimited amounts behind it, but they win anyway – and at least some of the Ford popularity can be attributed at least in part to popular disgust with bailing out GM and Chrysler. People look down on welfare recipients who show no sign of progress.

People voting with their pocketbooks.

I thought as a young engineer touring the Rolls plant that I could divine the “secret” of their product.

(The hubris of youth.)

I finally decided that if a Ford owner treated their Ford (or almost any other car) like a Rolls owner treated their Rolls (as an INVESTMENT), a Ford would last almost as long as a Rolls.

Cars are much like watches. People don’t change watches because the old one no longer tells them the correct time, they buy new watches because their old watches bore their owner.

Consumers Reports has long suggested that the best economy is to buy a 2 year old car and drive the wheels off – and for most modern cars that means 150,000 – 250,000 miles, if you pay attention to the fluid details.

I’ll admit to looking at new cars, and my new favorites are the Ford Taurus SHO and the Lexus 350C. I’ll also admit to not needing a new car – my current cars cannot get 150,000 miles before my son takes my keys.

I’m just glad that a Ford is in my mix of finalists – owned an SHO for 10 years when it had a Yamaha-built engine. Terrific engine, back when Ford could not build that engine – but I’ll bet they now can.

A great read is “Go Like Hell” — an eye-opening book on American automobile technology (Ford) vs Ferrari. I’ll give away the ending — it took many years, but Ford eventually beat Ferrari at Le Mans 

We have the ability – we have lacked the will, because we have not demanded better. As consumers we have been easily satisfied.

(As voters we have also been easily satisfied, and not demanded better.)

California Dreaming

I am having my share of difficulty getting my mind around some facts

The state is $20 billion in deficit. (So far.)

But the state has 12% of the nation’s population, and 36% of the nation’s welfare cases. Those welfare cases did not move to California – California ELECTED not to accept the rules of the national Welfare Reform that requires workfare, so California has not diminished its welfare load as have the other states.. (Self-inflicted wound.)

Additionally we have a crises in our prisons, and must reduce our population by releasing felons onto the population, without requiring parole. We either have too many prisoners or too few facilities to hold them – whichever is the case, our prison guards make 40% more than the next highest state, and it costs almost $40,000 a year to house a prisoner – while Florida and Texas can do it for less than half that amount. (Another California self-inflicted wound.)

Our Governor seems to think that the nation’s taxpayers should cough up $6 billion to offset California’s historically bad, and continuing poor fiscal practices.

Banks

I am a bit non-plussed by the attack on banks – except that they compete “unfairly” with government.

Both entities take money from the rich, and give to the poor. Both are middle-men – except banks require repayment. In effect banks require responsibility: They require that the poor pay the money back!

Government thinks this is just terrible: Banks must be punished.

GI=GO

I am not questioning the validity of Global Warming. I have written at LEAST five times that I accept Global Warming, and what I question is Global Catastrophe.

In the previous posts, I have questioned, (and still question) the validity of reading tree rings accurately, or at least as accurately as current measurements. When you combine gross approximations (ice cores, tree rings) with accurate measurements (as in a trend line or a computer program) you get accuracy somewhere between the accurate measurements and the gross approximations.

THEN when you put the combined information into a computer program with a predictive ability, you are working with flawed initial data and if you are using an “artificial intelligence” model – that has something called an “INFERENCE ENGINE.”

Note the word “Inference.” That is an accurate description of the model. It infers, by definition. My prior knowledge if inference engines was that they were excellent in making fast predictions of quickly moving events, and the example we used was determining what runways to shut down at La Guardia when a thunderstorm approached. Looking at the path and speed the AI program could determine what was the best series of runways to close, and at what times in order to keep the traffic moving in the most efficient manner. The speed of thunderstorms permitted a rapid feed-back correction loop.

We have seen that the data is questionable (see the e-mails from East Anglia) and that the computer scientist assigned to do the East Anglia work thought the data was bad BEFORE he put them into his program.

GI=GO

When we look at previous predictions from IPCC sources, we see that they DO NOT match reality (in temperature rise, sea rise or glacier melt), and the IPCC DOES make the necessary corrections. Those corrections are ALWAYS lower, indicating that the computer program has a warm bias.

Congratulations to the IPCC for making the necessary corrections. Demerits for their initial predictions. And an absolute “BOO!” for Al Gore and other catastrophe peddlers for trying to scare all of us into giving them our money and our political power.