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w.heinlein 247 posts  |  Last Activity: 23 hours ago Member since: Oct 8, 2007
  • Reply to

    Bill O'Reilly and Lying

    by w.heinlein Feb 26, 2015 2:54 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 26, 2015 3:13 PM Flag

    Give it up. BOR didn't even arrive in El Salvador until a year after the nuns were shot, for example. No "video evidence" is going to magically transport him a year back in time.

  • w.heinlein by w.heinlein Feb 26, 2015 2:54 PM Flag

    OK, I will stipulate that every politician who achieves even a little bit of notoriety lies about his past.. I do that to forestall a blizzard of examples of lies told by Bill Clinton or other Democrats, as if that excuses the lies told by Bill O.

    O'Reilly is a special case, a man who--like Brian Williams--has built his whole career on presenting himself as a trustworthy truth-teller in a world of two-faced liars. Now it turns out that he's a liar. And not just a teller of little white lies: a liar on the grand scale. He saw nuns shot in El Salvador. No he didn't. He was present at the JFK assassination. No he wasn't. As with Bill Cosby, another serial liar, the more layers of the onion you peel back, the stinkier it becomes. {And just to be clear: it's far worse to be a serial rapist than a serial resume puffer. O'Reilly's lies have served to polish his image as an honest social critic but, so far as I'm aware, O'Reilly hasn't traded his fame for gain sexual favors from #$%$ women dazzled by his glamor.)

    But Bill O is Fox News' highest-rated personality. He brings in beaucoup advertising dollars to the Murdoch empire. And rather than lose those dollars, Fox engages in false outrage and character assassination, two actions onwhich it almost has a patent.

  • Reply to

    Who is more patriotic?

    by springer_1994 Feb 25, 2015 8:03 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 26, 2015 1:05 PM Flag

    You've brilliantly made the case that George W. Bush, who did all of those things and much much more, was not a patriot. .

    But I dgress. It's been well said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Never has that been truer than in the present moment, when those who wrap themselves in the flag and declare their undying love for the state are actualy maniuplating public opinoin into allowing them to bleed the economy for their own benefit. Example: The Keystone XL pipeline which will create a flurry of temporary construction jobs, perhaps as many as 40-50 thousand, but only 35 permanent US jobs.. We take an enormous environmental risk, TransCanada makes all the money, and we get 35 jobs. But according to the GOP sound machine, anyone who deoesn't support construction of the Keystone XL is "Unpatriotic".

    Oh and did I mention that Rudy Giuliani is spineless clot who hasn't got the cojones to stand up to the nuts in his own party?

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 20, 2015 5:09 PM Flag

    It looks as if the administration is going to file an interlocutory appeal after all (or so the news stories report). I imagine that the basis of the appeal is that Judge Hanen's ruling is so obviously in error in subjecting POTUS to the APA that there is no need to wait for his final decision.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 20, 2015 12:04 PM Flag

    The federal courts frown on so-called "interlocutory appeals" that is, appeals of a non-final judgment. Because Judge Hanen has not yet issued a final judgment, the President will wait for him to do so before filing an appeal. The rule makes sense because the appellate court doesn't have anything to review until the judge gives his reasons for his ultimate decision.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 9:45 PM Flag

    Thanks for the follow-up. It's a pleasure to read an informed comment.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 5:58 PM Flag

    Exactly. if we weren't afraid of nuclear power because of events like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukijima, we would be producing most of our electricity from nuclear powered plants, like France. where 90% of the electricity comes from nuclear plants. It is feasible and economical to build a nuclear plant that cannot melt down (a so-called pebble bed reactor) but the politics of the situation make that impossible. So we are stuck with a mix of fossil fuels and renewables. Coal is still the cheapest fossil fuel and so it continues to be burned in large quantities to produce electricity.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 5:48 PM Flag

    Actually, pretty much the opposite is true. Many of the things that those you listed would have occurred were it not for human ingenuity in postponing (not cancelling) the day of reckoning. Overpopulation is a serious problem and only the continuing "green revolution" has prevented mass starvation. But irreplacable natural resources such as fish are rapidly being depleted, a fact you can confirm simply by going to your local supermarket and seeing the price and variety of fish on offer. Peak oil has happened; the easy to get oil has pretty much all been found. What the prophets didn't imagine is the development of technology to get shale oil at a price that isn't ridiculous DDT had the effects on bird populations and other wildlife that Rachel Carson predicted; that's why it is banned everywhere. It also kept down the population of malaria mosquitos, so the cure may be worse than the disease. Ozone depletion is real but under control because of the ban on fleurocarbon aerosoles. I don't know why Sanger is on the list. I can't comment on the views you attribute to Michael Mann. Phil Jones was correct; urban heat islands don't affect calculations of planetary warming. Particulate pollution (e.g.,major volcano exploding) will lower earth's temp for years. We know that because the Krakatoa exkplosion did it. We are experiencing runaway global warming. For instance, this is actually an extremely warm winter in north America. While the east gets hid with record cold, the west has temps running 4-6 degrees above normal and, overall, 2014-15 is the 6th warmest winter on record here. The sea ice prediction is wrong, but the oceans are vast heat sinks that absorb about 80% of the warming.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 5:06 PM Flag

    Raders of your post might be interested to know exactly what Judge Hanen decided. They might conclude that the judge found the President's action in ordering "deferred action" on deportation for certain classes of illegal immigrants unconsitutional. But the reason that Judge Hanen is stopping Obama's actions actually isn't about the Constitution at all. Instead, Hanen's ruling is about a procedural law called the Administrative Procedures Act, and in particular the "notice and comment requirement" — which is the typical procedure for making federal regulations. According to Cecilia Wang, Director of the Immigrant Rights Project for the ACLU, Hanen's ruling says that "if (the government) wanted to do these things it should have provided notice in the Federal Register, with a period for comment." But because the Obama administration didn't do that for these actions, the ruling says, it violated the law.

    Furthermore, this isn't even Judge Hanen's final opinion on the matter. This ruling is an injunction: it means that while Judge Hanen hasn't decided whether or not the president's executive actions are unconstitutional or illegal, the government has to stop acting on them while the judge makes up his mind. In this type of case, the judge only issues an injunction if he thinks there's a good chance he'll side against the government when he makes a final ruling. So it's definitely not good news for the administration. But it's still possible that he'll ultimately decide that Obama's actions were lawful.

    It's also possible that the Obama administration could call Judge Hanen's bluff, and simply start going through the typical regulation process, including the "notice and comment" steps, to validate the executive orders.

  • Reply to

    Walmart and Hershey on CNBC

    by langosta_fla Feb 19, 2015 10:28 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 2:57 PM Flag

    Too early to tell if this is a blip or the beginning of a trend. I would point out that new claims for unemployment also came out today and are their lowest level in many years. I expect the number of people employed to keep rising pretty steadily over the next several years, accompanied by a decline in the unemployment rate. The UE rate decline will be slower than the rise in employment because the existence of plentiful jobs is pulling discouraged workers back into the labor force. The basic reason I think things are going to head in that direction is the continuing retirement of record numbers of baby boomers. The baby boom was followed by the baby bust, so as boomers retire, the job market for the busters tightens. That is the kind of long-term demographic trend that I think affects the economy much more than short term outlooks.

  • Reply to

    Walmart and Hershey on CNBC

    by langosta_fla Feb 19, 2015 10:28 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 19, 2015 12:17 PM Flag

    It's a good sign for the economy that Walmart has to raise wages. It means that there are enough job openings at other employers paying higher wages that Walmart employees have some choices. A while back I posted Labor Department stats showing that in the last quarter of 2014, median wages rose faster than inflation, the first time that has happened in years.

    America is still the economic engine of the world. While Europe tries to perform the impossible task of holding together a currency union in the absence of a political union, the American economy plows ahead, adding jobs at near-record rates and, increasingly, adding full-time, good-paying jobs.

    I wish that discussions of the economy didin't get so bogged down in political chatter. As I've many times posted, the economy is largely driven by forces that are long-term, demographic, and fundamental as opposed to the short term interventions of the current political regime, whether that intervention takes the form of tax cuts, tax increases, higher deficits, or lower deficits. Politicians love to take credit for good times and shift blame for bad times but the reality is that they are basically fleas on the capitalist dog. I think there is one significant exception to that proposition: the actions of the Federal Reserve can have very important short- and long-run consequences. A prinicpal reason the USA is growing and Europe is stagnating is the enlightened policies of the Fed compared with those of the ECB. Anyway, politics aside, the Walmart story is unmitigated good news.

  • Reply to

    As if illegal aliens aren't bad enough

    by springer_1994 Feb 18, 2015 8:17 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 18, 2015 2:26 PM Flag

    OK, time for a fact check.

    Four monoths ago, the Pew Research Center published a set of data about the current state of illigal immigration.

    Here are the two basic conclusions from that study:

    There were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2012, a total unchanged from 2009, and currently making up 3.5% of the nation’s population. (Preliminary estimates show the population was 11.3 million in 2013.) The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population.

    Mexicans make up about half of all unauthorized immigrants (52%), though their numbers have been declining in recent years. There were 5.9 million Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2012, down from 6.4 million in 2009, according to Pew Research Center estimates.
    In other words, illegal immigration is less of a problem now that it was when Obama took office and there are about 1 million fewer illegals living in the USA today than there were in 2007, just before Bush Left office.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 18, 2015 1:19 PM Flag

    I agree you are a one-man band with a one-note tune: anything and everything President Obama does is wrong.

    But how about if you stop blowing that particular horn long enough to put forth the concrete steps you think Obama should take right now. How should he deal with the collapse of Syria? the collapse of Yemen? the spread of ISIS? Since you are so certain that he's wrong, you must have a clear idea of what's right. So let's hear it.

  • Reply to

    As if illegal aliens aren't bad enough

    by springer_1994 Feb 18, 2015 8:17 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 18, 2015 1:12 PM Flag

    Obama MAY be letting terrorists in? What kind of weasel is that? We haven't let any of these people in. They want to come here but we aren't opening the doors. (Or maybe you have super-secret inside information that isn't known to the rest of the world.)

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 18, 2015 1:08 PM Flag

    So make up your mind: is Obama too aggressive or not aggressive enough? Is he a warmonger or an appeaser? You and your pal Springer should coordinate your stories. It's like when you used to call Obama a Muslim fundamentalist and a Communist. At some point you realized that he couldn't be both. Of course, the fact is he's neither but facts are hardly your stock-in-trade.

  • Reply to

    Explaining vs. Justifying

    by w.heinlein Feb 17, 2015 7:27 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 18, 2015 10:40 AM Flag

    I don't think you can back up any of those claims. He doesn't like Netanyahu but the idea that he's favored (unnamed) "Islamists" over Israel would come as a complete surprise to Bibi. Where do you get the idea that he hasn't called terrorists what they are? He's been blowing them up (and the people around them) with drones as fast as he can locate them. Or maybe you think calling them names would prove his sincerity more than killing them. Your freedom of speech point is simply idiotic. Obama may wish that people like you would stop mouthing stereotypes about Muslims, but he is certainly doing nothing to interfere with your right to shoot your mouth off. "Blatant favoring of Arab states"? You've got to be kidding. You think he favors Qatar or Saudia Arabia or Britain or France? You're nuts. The one point I might agree with is the idea that our meddling in the affairs of the middle-eastern states has been disastrous. But that meddling began a long long time before Obama became President. Back in the early 1950's the CIA engineered the overthrow of the government of Iran and installed the Shah on the Purple Throne, an event that came back to haunt us a quarter century later when the Iranians kicked out the Shah and put in the Mullahs. Eisenhower and Dulles messed around int he middle east, trying to depose Nasser, Reagan armed the Mujahadeen (later the Taliban) etc. But the messer-around-in-chef was G. W. Bush, as his own Defense Department recognized in the Task Force report I quoted from. Every current upheaval in the Middle East has roots in Bush's Iraq disaster.

  • I'm getting tired of the posts that blame the President for attempting to put the current situation in the Middle East in some historical perspective. Explaining the origins of ISIS or Al Qaeda is not the same thing as justifying their behavior.

    There's no better way to illustrate this point than by quoting from a 2004 DOD white paper on the causes of Islamic fundamentalism. In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld directed the Defense Science Board Task Force to review the impact which the administration’s policies — specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — were having on terrorism and Islamic radicalism.

    The Task Force began by noting what are the “underlying sources of threats to America’s national security“: namely, the “negative attitudes” towards the U.S. in the Muslim world and “the conditions that create them.” And what most exacerbates anti-American sentiment, and therefore the threat of terrorism? “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” — through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan,“ which people in the region believe “to be motivated by ulterior motives and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim self-determination.”
    Let me repeat: this analysis—very much in the spirit of what President Obama has been saying in recent days—was the product of Donald Rumsfeld’s Defense Department.

    If you think this shows that Rumsfeld and Bush were apologizing for terrorism, raise your hand.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 17, 2015 4:44 PM Flag

    So don't get glib about it.

    What would you do that Obama isn't doing? Virtually every state in the region that has a funtioning government is now attacking ISIS. He's asking Congress for authorization to carry the fight to ISIS. What more is there to do??

    The middle east is a hornet's nest that the USA should never have stepped in, but we're there and we have to make the best of it. Pretending that the President is somehow responsble for the rise of this brand of Islamic fundamentalism is loathsome. Do you think George W. Bush was responsible for the rise of Al Qaeda?

    ISIS is a version of militant Islam that has roots in the 7th century and has surfaced repeatedly ever since then.

  • Reply to

    Politics and Science

    by w.heinlein Feb 15, 2015 1:06 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 16, 2015 12:45 PM Flag

    I am only following God's example; What we refer to as a "miscarriage" is technically a spontaneous abortion. If, as you seem to believe, there is a person present in a cell the size of the period at the end of this sentence, then God is killing tens of millions of innocent unborn children every year. Presumably they are being sacrificed to some higher purpose but not being privy to the mind of God, I can't really say. What I can say is that by any measure, God is the greatest abortionist the world has ever known.

  • Reply to

    Politics and Science

    by w.heinlein Feb 15, 2015 1:06 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 16, 2015 11:39 AM Flag

    Bush's stem cell decision is precisely the kind of thing that I have in mind. It was not based on scientific evidence; it was based on appeasing the pro-lifers in the GOP. It may turn out that non-embryonic stem cells can be substituted for embryonic stem cells for many lines of research. But if that's true--and I think the issue is far from settled--it's an after-the-fact coincidence rather than a before-the-fact reason to limit embryonic stem cell research.

    On an issue that's dear to your heart, climate change and its ramifications, all future Presidents are going to need a fairly sophisticated understanding of basic math, chemistry and physics to intelligently weigh the costs and benefits of alternative policy choices. If, for instance, we are gong to place heavy costs on the current generation to avoid placing crushing costs on a future generation, the President has to be absolutely clear in his own mind that such an action is justified. And the only justification is scientific conviction about the certainty and magnitude of those future costs.

    Richard Muller has written two excellent books that I highly recommend to anyone thinking about this issue: "Physics and Technology for Future Presidents" and "Energy for Future Presidents: the Science Behind the Headlines"

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