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Another model of doom

Ars TechnicaThe latest IPCC report estimated our remaining “carbon budget” that would give us a chance of reaching the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius this century. That estimate was created using a simpler class of climate model that can crank out long or repeated simulations without tying up a supercomputer for a week. A new study using one of the most complex models, however, suggests that the simpler models get a key issue wrong: they overestimate how much carbon we can emit if we actually want to stay below 2 degrees Celsius over the centuries that follow.

I'll start paying attention when their models can correctly predict future temperatures and they stop faking the temperature record.

But if you read the article, guess what it says? It says we must cut carbon emissions even more if we want to survive thermogeddon. In other words, we must destroy industrial civilization and return to living in grass huts.

No thanks. I'd rather make the north and south pole bikini territory than give up industry. Especially since the earth is prone to regular ice ages that are a bit harder to deal with than a few extra degrees.

2015-08-29 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A primary opponent for Boehner: JD Winteregg

Gateway PunditALIPAC is formally endorsing J.D. Winteregg who is running again against John Boehner in Ohio’s 8th District. In 2014, Winteregg ran against John Boehner who is a top target on ALIPAC’s “Cantor List” due to his overt and covert support for Obama’s illegal immigrant amnesty executive actions that 26 states are suing to stop. Americans concerned about illegal immigration and immigration reform amnesty that further undermines America’s border and laws are encouraged to volunteer, vote for, donate to, and support J.D. Winteregg for Congress at www.jdwinteregg.com.

We need to get Boehner out of the House Speakership. This is one way to do it.

2015-08-28 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Great Unlearning

2015-08-27 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So, Lerner's secret email account was named after her dog.

Lerner's secret email account "Toby Miles" was named after her dog. So was Lisa Jackson's secret account ("Richard Windsor"). It sounds almost systematic, doesn't it? Like someone handed out a tip sheet to mid-level officials that said "Create a secret email account using a name that is unlikely to be connected with you, such as the name of a pet, and use it for government-related but unofficial correspondence so it is protected from FOIA requests." Only Hillary didn't get the memo because she was being kept Outside even though she was officially Inside, and implemented her own solution.

Anyways, according to that article, the address was previously discovered by the House investigation, so presumably it has already been searched as much as the IRS was willing and able to search. By which I mean it has been thoroughly shredded, degaussed, scratched, and erased.

2015-08-26 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lois Lerner had private email account under fake name

The IRS is now admitting, via a status report filed in one of the FOIA lawsuits by Judicial Watch, that Lois Lerner had a private email address under the name Toby Miles which may contain emails that have not yet been searched.

The name seems vaguely familiar to me, but I can't remember for sure if this address was revealed in any of the hearings so far or not.

If this address wasn't searched when Congress inquired, it could be a big deal. Or it might explain why email addresses were sometimes redacted from the released documents (IIRC). More later when I get a chance to catch up on the reports.

2015-08-25 14:13:05.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Not the ideal gun rights case...

Gateway PunditPolice have arrested a 32-year-old city man for allegedly firing at the vehicle in last week’s drive-by shooting at the Boys & Girls club on Genesee Street.

He shot in self-defense, and isn't accused of hitting anyone in the crowd. But he's a felon in possession, so he got arrested.

2015-08-24 11:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The stupid, it burns...

So someone -- probably instapundit, but I forget exactly -- linked to this piece about losing internet freedom. It makes some good points, particularly about government control of content and surveillance of users. But it also says some absolutely, staggeringly stupid things, things that have basically zero to do with internet freedom.

The End of the Internet DreamRacism and sexism have proven resilient enough to thrive in the digital world. There are many, many examples of this, but let me use statistics, and anecdotes to make the point.

Statistically: At Google, women make up 30 percent of the company’s overall workforce, but hold only 17 percent of the company’s tech jobs. At Facebook, 15 percent of tech roles are staffed by women. At Twitter, 10 percent.

Anecdotally: Look around you at your fellow audience members. How very male and white this field is.

Taking her statistical claims at face value, let's stop and consider. All of these companies are left-leaning. It is unlikely they are run by people who want to exclude women from tech roles. It is, in fact, precisely the opposite. Google would like very much to improve their diversity statistics. But Google's 17% of women in tech jobs is matched by the percentage of women who took degrees in computer science -- 18%. That doesn't sound like Google, or anyone else for that matter, is excluding women; it sounds like women don't want to study computer science.

So, to put it kindly, what the fuck is this innumerate politicized feminist propaganda doing in a lecture about internet freedom?

(Read More...)

2015-08-24 10:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPA was warned about blowout risk for mine contamination

Yep, they were warned of the risk ahead of time and chose to go ahead with the operation anyway -- with the results we have seen.

2015-08-24 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Not my usual beat, but...

USA TodayThe tech industry threatens to cannibalize itself, forcing its talented and young workforce to pursue work over life with the inevitable end result being compromised results and miserable employees.

The truth is that working in IT is a high-stress, high-skill, and high-demand job that is coupled with decades of flat wage growth and the constant threat of replacement by H1-B or outright foreign outsourcing companies. Employees are expected to exercise a combination of creative and technical problem-solving skills while wrapped in management-dictated "process" requirements designed, literally, to make it harder to make changes to the products being worked on. I have worked in organizations where making a one line change to a text file can take all day. Literally. And on top of that, every few years a new industry buzzword gets popular with the people who stopped writing code years ago and all the people who are still writing code waste even more time changing HOW they work instead of DOING the work.

People burn out, and they do it mostly because the people managing the businesses in the industry don't have a clue what they are doing.

I don't know what the right answer is, but I can tell when something hurts, and I know that when it hurts you should stop doing it.

2015-08-22 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPA caused second toxic chemical spill this year

Yeah, the one in Colorado wasn't the first such disaster this year. The argument that these are deliberate disasters intended to open the door for EPA regulatory activity and larger cleanup budgets is beginning to take on significant weight. The alternative, simple incompetence, is hardly better for the agency.

2015-08-21 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama sending letters to foreign governments promising no penalties for dropping Iran sanctions

Free BeaconTwo leading U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to release secret letters to foreign governments assuring them that they will not be legally penalized for doing business with the Iranian government, according to a copy of a letter sent Wednesday to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

He really is on the other side. He's keeping these letters, which are being sent out on the purported behalf of a sovereign people, secret from the people -- because he knows the people would oppose them if they knew.

2015-08-20 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

2016: Why I don't support Kasich for President

He's running to split the vote and make it easier for Jeb Bush to buy the Republican primary. No thanks.

2015-08-19 12:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What, with a cloth or something?


That's a prepared line, it's not spontaneous. She knew she would be asked this, and someone gave her a joke about it to deflect the question. Just like the snapchat joke.

2015-08-19 11:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Seattle passes lost-and-stolen law, gun and bullet tax

Some details here.

The major provisions appear to be:
1) $25/gun tax
2) $0.05/bullet tax
3) Mandatory reporting of lost-and-stolen guns

I think this is likely to violate Washington State preemption laws, but it's useful to analyze anyway, because it's pretty revealing about the anti-gun motivations.

In particular, the tax on bullets is a tax targeted at those ordinary people who are involved in the shooting sports and like to shoot frequently for practice. Hunters don't need to shoot often. People interested in armed self-defense usually practice at least monthly. People interested in target shooting often do so with .22lr ammunition, a common and very cheap type of practice ammunition. A $0.05/bullet tax on that ammunition will nearly double the price. Criminals, on the other hand, don't generally bother to practice shooting much. For a criminal, getting caught at a range with a gun is itself a crime. And you don't need a lot of ammunition to hold up a store. Really, you don't need any ammunition or even a real gun; a realistic toy gun will be enough in most cases.

So the bullet tax is targeted at people who shoot a lot, and the gun tax is targeted at people who buy a lot of guns through legal sources. Neither of those groups are composed of criminals. They are, however, the people who are likely to push for gun rights. In my opinion, this is a political targeting operation disguised as a tax.

The same applies to the lost-and-stolen law. It's not going to solve any crimes, it's just going to get innocent people whose guns were stolen charged with crimes for being victimized by a criminal. More importantly to politicians, though, it closes the last "registration loophole"; if you buy a gun in Seattle you need to pass a background check or the sale is illegal (including private sales now), and you can be charged with a crime if you don't have a gun that you are bought (with background check) and haven't sold (with background check) and haven't reported lost or stolen.

And for people who bought and then sold guns before the lost-and-stolen rule came into effect, they are now in a catch-22. When they sold the gun without a background check, before *that* rule was in place, it was legal. But they can now be charged with a crime if they can't prove the same took place before the background check requirement for private sales, under either the background check law or the lost and stolen reporting law.

The simplest solution is probably to leave Seattle, which I'm sure the Seattle politicians would be quite happy with.

2015-08-18 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

If it weren't for double standards...

Rachael MaddowJINDAL: Well, a couple of things. Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election, because I guarantee under President Jindal, January 2017, the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government will be going in to Planned Parenthood.

This generated no real follow-up, which is a shame because it was an amazing answer. According to Jindal, his administration would dispatch the Internal Revenue Service to target Planned Parenthood because, well, Bobby Jindal doesn’t like Planned Parenthood.

But there’s a small problem with idea: it’s brazenly illegal.

Funny how the Dems get all angry about this idea when a Republican candidate proposes it and don't blink an eye when their president actually does it. If it weren't for double standards, the Democrats would have no standards at all.

That said, Jindal was probably in the wrong to suggest it, just like Obama was wrong to do it.

2015-08-17 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I wonder where they got that idea?

Lerner Email“Every time they get some email they see as incriminating, they roil up their base and get lots of contributions and spread their hateful message about how the government is out to get people,” [Lerner] wrote.

I wonder where people might get the idea that government was out to get them? was it when they were audited for their political views? Was it when their applications for tax exempt status were delayed indefinitely through three full election cycles? Perhaps it was when a certain Lois Lerner pled the 5th before Congress? Maybe they read the Inspector General's report on IRS targeting? Or perhaps just hearing Lerner apologize publicly for the targeting was enough to give them the impression that the government was out to get them?

Lerner Email"I was never a political person," she wrote in the email dated June 26, 2014, adding that the controversy "has only made me lose all respect [for] politics and politicians."

And we know that is a lie. Remember that Lerner has a political history of obstructing groups she disagreed with even before joining the IRS; when she worked for the FEC she was infamous for demanding to know the content of prayers held by a particular group she was regulating, among many other improper and intrusive questions.

Investor's Business Daily"Due to the circuitous process implemented by Lerner, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax-exempt status between February 2009 and May 2012," said the report, which also uncovered the IRS' bullying of Bristol Palin.

"Lerner's bias against these applicants unquestionably led to these delays and is particularly evident when compared to the IRS' treatment of other applications...

Lerner might honestly think she is apolitical, but if so, her self-image bears little resemblance to reality.

2015-08-15 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary turns over wiped server to FBI

NewsmaxBarbara Wells, an attorney for Denver-based computer services firm Platte River Networks, which took control of Clinton's server after their private email network was updated in 2013, told The Washington Post that federal agents picked up the server from a data center in New Jersey on Wednesday.

But Wells told the paper that the server "was blank" and did not contain any useful information.

This doesn't tell us much about what was actually done to wipe the server. We know (because Hillary's lawyers admitted it) that they deleted her emails from the server. That is only the first step, though; a simple deleted file can often be recovered. The fact that the server "was blank" indicates that someone actually made a deliberate effort to clear off the data. Their motives for doing so are unknown, as is their actual competence. But the chances of recovering data from a still-running server with just some files deleted are much higher than from a server where data has been deliberately wiped. The FBI should still recover what they can, but I am not optimistic, especially when Hillary has had so much time to think about this issue and make sure the server really was cleaned.

The thumb drive her lawyers had may be more interesting, especially if it was not itself cleaned.

2015-08-14 12:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Investors Business Daily makes the case for jailing the IRS

Investor's Business DailyUsing legal technicalities to silence and repress political dissent under the color of the nation's most feared enforcement agency isn't mismanagement. It's a crime.

It's incompatible with democracy and it shatters public confidence in the rule of law. It's the very crime the State Department is now condemning in Venezuela: the use of legal technicalities to halt popular opposition candidates from running for office. Until now, this kind of activity has had no precedent in our country, and it must be stopped before it becomes the standard.

This is far from mere incompetence or gross mismanagement. It was a highly competent operation to silence dissent. Yet no one has been sanctioned or punished, despite there being laws on the books dating back to the beginning of a professional civil service, that forbid and punish partisan motives in what should be impartial law. Already some observers believe the IRS swung the last election for the Democrats with these activities.

Let's not forget that there is a whole pile of problems with politicizing the audit process for private individuals as well as the openly-admitted and apologized for (but still unpunished) abuse of the tax exempt application process for political purposes.

2015-08-14 11:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Security Fail

Ars TechnicaWindows 8 and Windows 10 contain a surprising feature that many users will find unwelcome: PC OEMs can embed a Windows executable in their system firmware. Windows 8 and 10 will then extract this executable during boot time and run it automatically. In this way, the OEM can inject software onto a Windows machine even if the operating system was cleanly installed.

A clean install should be a clean install. This is a perfect vector for viruses, trojans, and hacking tools to survive a clean install of your computer system, and it's completely insane.

2015-08-14 10:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An uncomfortable analysis of the IRS problem

ForbesSo what we have is a reflexive anit-conservative appointed to head the IRS Exempt Group during the Bush administration by an IRS Commissioner appointed by Bush. Is it possible that the big money Republicans figured that they had the IRS exempt group outgunned, but that a reflexive anti-conservative in that position would be tough on the more conservative part of the party. The other thing that the report mentions is that during the whole period of the scandal no audits of exempts were initiated over the political spending issue. So the established dark money organizations were let off scot-free. All the grief went to the Tea Party insurgents who were least able to cope with it.

I think the above explains quite a bit about the situation, but not everything. Remember that the Tea Party targeting didn't start until around 2010. Lerner was appointed Director of Exempt Organizations in 2006. So for four years, under two Presidents of different parties, Lerner had some personal animosity for conservatives (particularly the anti-establishment types) but did not have any major impact. Referring the occasional org for potential audit inappropriately is wrong but it's hardly a system-wide impact.

It seems likely to me that something changed in 2010. Something happened that took Lerner from a gadfly with a personal chip on her shoulder to someone willing to mobilize her entire organization on a semi-official project to be the thumb on the political scale.

I'm still betting on orders from the White House for that.

2015-08-13 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPA chemical spill predicted a week in advance

Gateway PunditLast Wednesday, a small EPA-supervised work crew inspecting the Gold King mine accidentally knocked a hole in a waste pit, releasing at least three million gallons of acidic liquid laden with toxic heavy metals. (ABC)

This letter to editor, posted below, was published in The Silverton Standard and The Miner local newspaper, authored by a retired geologist, one week before EPA mine spill. The letter detailed verbatim, how EPA officials would foul up the Animas River on purpose in order to secure superfund money. It the Gold King mine was declared a superfund site it would essentially kill future development for the mining industry. The Obama EPA is vehemently opposed to mining and development.

Create a crisis, and then don't let it go to waste. If they are willing to do this, and smuggle guns to criminals in Fast and Furious, what else have they been doing to create crises to "respond" to?

UPDATE: Accusations of unfair dealings with the victims, too.

2015-08-12 12:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why do universities need grenade launchers?

Minnesota DailyThe University of Minnesota announced in October it was returning military-grade weapons that it acquired through a federal program — but it failed to mention a few.

The campus group Students United Against Police Brutality obtained documents that show the University neglected to disclose ownership of three M79 grenade launchers it received through the federal Law Enforcement Support Office established by the Department of Defense, whose 1033 program allows police departments to obtain surplus military weapons for free.

They also had several M-16 rifles -- that's the military, full-auto version, if you believe the model number. If it was just grenade launchers, I would guess riot control (with tear gas rounds), but attached to full-auto rifles isn't exactly non-lethal.

2015-08-12 11:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary to turn over email server...

Sharyl AttkissonIn a statement issued tonight, the chairman of the House Benghazi Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., indicated Hillary Clinton has turned over her private email server and several thumb drives to the Justice Department.

Remember, she's already admitted to deleting all the emails she didn't turn over, and she also admitted to filtering the emails she did turn over for being "work-related" -- and Benghazi-related at least as I read her attorney's letter. So turning over the server is almost meaningless.

If, by some chance, Hillary didn't actually wipe the physical drives, maybe the data could be recovered, with some IT work. But the odds are that everything politically sensitive and not about Benghazi is gone, and anything about Benghazi that has been left in place is legally kosher, at least in Hillary's eyes, or kosher enough for a Clinton to get away with.

I would be very surprised indeed if we get anything more than headlines out of this supposed server seizure... unless someone in DOJ is willing to play hardball, get the server, and compare what's on the server to what Hillary turned over and what Hillary's aides turned over from their accounts, or put in the IT work and hope the real server drives aren't at the bottom of the nearest lake. I said at the time that the procedure Hillary's lawyers described would not be sufficient to clear the email data from the server, and with physical possession of the server, recovering the emails Clinton was so eager to hide is at least on the table.

I'm not really optimistic about getting criminal charges out of this whole mess, but the pieces are there if someone is willing to put them together. And I can't help but think that they will go back into pieces as soon as Hillary bows out of the race in favor of Obama's chosen successor.

UPDATE:
Instapundit quoting someone else“Washington sources say Vice President Joe Biden is waiting in the wings for the Obama administration to run her over so he can step in and run for president.”

Yeah, pretty much.

UPDATE 2: Remember when Hillary staffers had a document cleaning party in the basement of the State Department?

2015-08-12 10:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun control advocates want gun control because they lack self control

Fox NewsA White House staffer was arrested late Friday after allegedly shooting a gun at her boyfriend, an officer with the U.S. Capitol Police, during a heated argument, authorities said.

She's acting like her own stereotype of a gun owner with anger control issues.

2015-08-12 09:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How very helpful...

ReasonThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that a cleanup team was working with heavy equipment Wednesday to secure an entrance to the Gold King Mine. Workers instead released an estimated 1 million gallons of mine waste into Cement Creek.

An updated estimate: now 3 million gallons.

Some people argue that the government needs to be in charge of environmental matters, because private corporations will inevitably pollute by mistake or malice. Well, government agencies will also inevitably pollute by mistake or malice, too. Government is not magic.

2015-08-11 10:13:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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