Monday, October 5, 2015

Quote of the day: idiot leftists edition

Smartest guys in the room:
The idea that taxes cut into existing productive activity, and that as a cost, will be passed on to consumers (such as the financial transaction tax passing on costs to bank clients, shareholders, etc) doesn’t occur [to leftists]. No, taxes are part of that wonderful magic money tree. Why stop at a pathetic 50 per cent? Why not tax the lot? Give it all to the State, so those clever people can spray it around and make us richer, except of course the money has that odd way of disappearing from our paychecks……..Sorry, excuse me, time for my pills.

You do have to wonder what a century or more of compulsory education has wrought.
Actually, no you don't.

Seen inside the Camp Borepatch perimeter

Danaus plexippus.  Click to embiggen.

"I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"

It seems that this caption works for every cartoon published in The New Yorker.  For example:

There are lot more.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chet Baker & Paul Desmond - Autumn Leaves

I've been busy.  Life's been loud, but for once in a good way.  In the meantime, the leaves are falling at Camp Borepatch, so here's some autumn jazz for the occasion.

Friday, October 2, 2015


It's funny because it's sort of true.

Your thought for the day on gun control

The Usual Suspects™, led by our Divider-In-Chief are dancing in the blood of the victims again.  They don't know what the problem was, but they're convinced that the answer is more gun control.

Remember, sometimes it's easier not to do something stupid than it is to do something smart.  

The gun grabbers forget this every single time.  Every. Single. Time.

I'm not opposed to gun control, just to stupid and counterproductive gun control.  Like prohibitions on campus concealed carry, which prevented all of the victims from defending themselves.  Every gun control proposal should be immediately challenged - the proposer should have to explain why it's not stupid or counterproductive.

Armed or Not

When the wolf comes, make a stand.

When the police arrive, what do they bring? Guns. Lots of guns and men trained and prepared to use them. But the most important thing they bring is the will to act. Even without the guns, that's what makes them effective.

Know there are situations where you will be disarmed. (Airplanes, schools, courthouses, etc.) Plan accordingly. Find something that  makes sense to you. Train regularly. Plan. Armed or not, make a stand.

If someone says to you this week, "Never again", agree with them. Never again should healthy adults stand there and answer questions about their religion and wait to be shot in the head.

We should train our children, too. In a classroom full of people, one shooter should be buried in book bags, chairs, and desks, and neutralized as a threat by trained and motivated people. At the first sight of the weapon, everyone should respond. We train for fires, why not other threats?

Hack the Po-Po

Well, the cruiser, anyway:
A state trooper responding to a call starts his vehicle, but is unable to shift the gear from park to drive. The engine RPMs suddenly spike and the engine accelerates, no foot on the pedal. Then the engine cuts off on its own.
The unmarked 2012 Chevrolet Impala from the Virginia State Police's (VSP) fleet has been hacked -- but luckily, by good hackers.

This is what police officers could someday face in the age of car hacking. It's just one in a series of cyberattacks waged on the VSP's Impala and on one of its 2013 Ford Taurus marked patrol cars as part of an experiment by a public-private partnership to test how state trooper vehicles could be sabotaged via cyberattacks. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in May first announced the initiative, which was aimed at protecting the state's public safety agencies and citizens from vehicle-hacking.
Actually this is a very good thing.  I've had "White Hat" hackers do this sort of analysis in the past, and you always learn a lot that improves the security of the system.  More of this, please.

It's not often I say "Well done" to the government's security program, but well done indeed.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


The house is almost all done - a quick tidy of the detritus that settled during the last room clean ups and vacuuming and dusting.

Err, and #2 Son tidying his room up ...

But the house across the street just sold.  In 4 hours.  Confidence is high that Camp Borepatch will have new owners in the next little while.

But man I'm worn out.

Adjustments to climate data always add warming

Strangely, they never add cooling:
Note well that all corrections used by USHCN boil down to (apparently biased) thermometric errors, errors that can be compared to the recently discovered failure to correctly correct for thermal coupling between the actual measuring apparatus in intake valves in ocean vessels and the incoming seawater that just happened to raise global temperatures enough to eliminate the unsightly and embarrassing global anomaly “Pause” in the latest round of corrections to the major global anomalies; they are errors introduced by changing the kind of thermometric sensors used, errors introduced by moving observation sites around, errors introduced by changes in the time of day observations are made, and so on. In general one would expect measurement errors in any given thermometric time series, especially when they are from highly diverse causes, to be as likely to cool the past relative to the present as warm it, but somehow, that never happens.  Indeed, one would usually expect them to be random, unbiased over all causes, and hence best ignored in statistical analysis of the time series.

Note well that the total correction is huge. The range is almost the entire warming reported in the form of an anomaly from 1850 to the present.
Emphasis in the original.  This is a very interesting analysis of the adjustments made to the temperature data sets.

Donald Trump explained, 5 years ago

From a post here:
There's so much smart packed into this post that it's in danger of collapsing into a Black Hole of Smart:
Foseti said:
the root of the problem is democracy.
I disagree.

The root of the problem is:
Because the interests of the elite do not match the interests of the whole of society, the natural flow of governance is for elites to aggregate ever more power, and the populace to become ever more immiserated. Mandarin China, Louis XIV France, and Tsarist or Communist Russia is the rest-state for relations between government and subject. Government extracts as much as it can, subject lives in soul-crushing poverty.

The depressingly elegant thing about this is that the game theory is stable. Take the folks who make decisions, build as small a stable coalition as you can, and divide the spoils among the small coalition. It's as inexorable a solution as gravity, given power politics.

This is what governments do when they can. The core challenge of government is how to prevent that.
This is indeed how they roll, from the Forbidden City to Versailles to Washington D.C. to your local city council. Go read.

The secret, of course, if to vote incumbents out so that the remaining pols fear us more than they are encouraged by their rent-seeking cronies. Voltaire was right: In this country it is wise, from time to time, to kill an Admiral to encourage the others.
The Establishment has made it extremely difficult to vote them out, much more so that I had expected.  Even the elections of 2010 and 2014 did not provide the purge that the populace was looking for.

And so enter the outsiders.  Trump, a billionaire, doesn't need Establishment money to run.  The system has indeed been Game Theory stable, but things that cannot continue forever do not.  The moment was primed, and lacked only the right Man to step into the Arena.

Would Trump make a good president?  Who can say?  But what is now clear is that the situation is no longer Game Theory stable.

The hypocrisy of the left: Green "Non-Profits"

This is actually sickening:
Anyway, a couple of folks, including Roger Pielke, Jr. and Steve McIntyre, both folks who get accused of being oil industry funded but who in fact get little or no funding from any such source, wondered where  [Professor Jagadish] Shukla's funding comes from.   Shukla gets what looks like a very generous salary from George Mason University of $314,000 a year.  Power to him on that score.  However, the more interesting part is where he makes the rest of his money, because it turns out his university salary is well under half his total income.  The "non-profits" he controls pays him, his family, and his friends over $800,000 a year in compensation, all paid out of government grants that supposedly are to support science.
It's grifters and con artists all the way down.  But at least there's no "profit" motive to corrupt things.

The punch line?  Professor Shukla is the author of the letter to President Obama asking that climate skeptics be prosecuted under the RICO statute.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Otis Rush - I Can't Quit You Baby

Sunshine, kittens, and bacon

Boy, I've been grumpy lately.  Mustn't grumble.

Everyone likes sunshine, right?

And kittens.  You you don't like these, we can't be friends anymore.

Yo, dawg!  We heard you liked bacon, so we made Bacon out of bacon.  Because bacon.  Everyone likes that.

It's weird being an (almost) empty nester

When I got back from my trip to DC last Friday, #1 Son had moved out.  This was no surprise - he's in his 20s and so it's time, and he'd been planning this for a couple months.

But it was strange to come back to an empty room.  Well, a messy empty room, which seems like an oxymoron.

I feel quite torn by all this.  Not that I want him living in my basement into his 30s - after all, it was time for him to stretch his wings - but this is the first time since 1992 that he wasn't living under my roof.

Maybe I'll go through my whole life seeing him like this:

His first beer at the Hoffbrauhaus in 1996.

I must confess that I'm rather disappointed in myself - my sentimental reaction is so common as to be boring.  It's easy enough for me to be boring, so I shall endeavor to be less so in the future.

But one down and one more to go.  When Camp Borepatch gets sold, that will happen too.

The dangers of working in Internet security

Now includes fire bombs:
Russian ATM VXers have firebombed the research lab of an anti-virus firm after its researchers refused to retract reverse engineering analysis of their malware.
The attack followed email threats by the group calling itself the 'Syndicate' to the Moscow company which sold the Shield antivirus product that prevented the gang's malware running in ATMs.
Dr Web says it refused to comply with demands to remove references to ATM malware analysis.
Actual threat or PR stunt?  Explosives seem a little extreme for the marketing department.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brigid At Her Best

It is a privilege just to read this. 
But it's enough to know, that, which I've learned through the years, that seeing and hearing are both blind and deaf, but the well worn heart can see that which is absolute magic.
-- Brigid 



Thousands of medical devices reachable from the Internet

I'm shocked, shocked to find this:
Security researchers Scott Erven and Mark Collao found, for one example, a "very large" unnamed US healthcare organization exposing more than 68,000 medical systems. That US org has some 12,000 staff and 3,000 physicians.

Exposed were 21 anaesthesia, 488 cardiology, 67 nuclear medical, and 133 infusion systems, 31 pacemakers, 97 MRI scanners, and 323 picture archiving and communications gear.

The healthcare org was merely one of "thousands" with equipment discoverable through Shodan, a search engine for things on the public internet.
But fear not, no doubt these devices are all configured securely.  Oh, wait:
"[Medical devices] are all running Windows XP or XP service pack two … and probably don't have antivirus because they are critical systems."

Executing custom payloads, establishing shells, and lateral pivoting within a network, are all possible, he said.
You see, this is why we can't have nice things on the Internet ...

Yeah, this would work for Wolfgang

Monday, September 28, 2015

In a Moment

We go along, living our lives, not realizing how fast it can change. The spouse of a very good friend missed a step last night going outside to look at the eclipse. It caused her to roll her ankle, wrench her knee, and then as she fell, she badly broke her wrist. Recovery will take some time, the wrist will require surgery, and currently nothing is normal.

Borepatch's motorcycle tumble last year, my recent bicycle/car interaction, any one of us has stories to tell about how things can change in a moment.

Borepatch: predicting the future better than climate scientists

From your humble blogger, 9 December 2009:
Take away the adjustments [to the climate data], and all the warming from 1850 [in New Zealand] disappears. Change the data, and all the Climatologists will discover that the Earth is "warming". [because all climatologists use the same - adjusted- climate data sets]

Let me say this explicitly: I used to believe that the planet was warming, and that this was likely due to natural (as opposed to man made) causes. Now I'm not sure that the planet is warming.  The data do not show warming over the last 70 years, maybe longer.
27 September 2015:
The US accounts for 6.62% of the land area on Earth, but accounts for 39% of the data in the GHCN network. Overall, from 1880 to the present, approximately 99% of the temperature data in the USHCN homogenized output has been estimated (differs from the original raw data). Approximately 92% of the temperature data in the USHCN TOB output has been estimated. The GHCN adjustment models estimate approximately 92% of the US temperatures, but those estimates do not match either the USHCN TOB or homogenized estimates.
[My emphasis - Borepatch]

And one last little nugget, from a post here on 30 November 2009:
If you look closely at climate data, you will find that all the major data sets consist of two parts:

Raw Data, which is the instrument reading: satellite, thermometer, or proxy (tree ring, ice core, etc). This is data straight from the sensor.

Adjustments, which are corrections applied to raw data to adjust for inconsistencies. For example, it is important to read the thermometer temperature at the same time every day. If the hottest time of the day is, say, 2:30 PM, but you read the thermometer at 10:00 AM, then the day's reading will be low. Adjustments are also made when weather stations are re-sited, and for other reasons.

An interesting question is how much of the 20th Century's warming came from adjustments, rather than from raw data? A picture is worth a thousand words:
What you're looking at is the annual adjustment made to the raw temperature, for each year in the 20th Century. You'll notice that almost no adjustments are made to years up to 1960, and then a very interesting shape appears in the graph.

A hockey Stick.

This is not from the Hadley/CRU temperature data set, this is from the US HCN (Historical Climate Network)
So we know that 99% of the data has been adjusted, and we know that over 80% of the reported warming in the lower 48 States over the entire 20th Century was due to adjustments - the raw data simply do not show this warming.

And all of this is from the Fed.Gov's own published data.  Let me say it again:
Let me say this explicitly: I used to believe that the planet was warming, and that this was likely due to natural (as opposed to man made) causes. Now I'm not sure that the planet is warming.  The data do not show warming over the last 70 years, maybe longer.
Some of you may have noticed that I'm just not posting much of Global Warming issues.  It's because I've said pretty much all that I have to say, six years ago.

Dumbass of the week

Guy sees a spider on his gas tank as he goes to gas up his ride.  You or I would brush it off, the more squeamish perhaps grabbing a paper towel first.  Our hero?

He flicked his bic.  Hilarity ensued as the station went up in flames.

Well, at least we can wear kilts