Friday, December 31, 2010

Intellect, intelligence and wisdom

"The capacity to grasp and manipulate complex ideas is enough to define intellect but not enough to encompass intelligence, which involves combining intellect with judgment and care in selecting relevant explanatory factors and in establishing empirical tests of any theory that emerges. Intelligence minus judgment equals intellect. Wisdom is the rarest quality of all — the ability to combine intellect, knowledge, experience, and judgment in a way to produce a coherent understanding." (Thomas Sowell, "Intellectuals and Society")
A must read for the New Year. "Intellectuals and Society", by Thomas Sowell.

From Barbara Kay's recommendation:

... Illumination on what makes intellectuals commit to ideas too stupid for ordinary people to believe, and the effect of these ideas on our culture, can be found in the pellucid prose and crisply coherent analysis of conservative sage Thomas Sowell in his book...

The New Year is near

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What makes Obama tick?

In his recent book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” Dinesh D’Souza proposes a theory that explains Barack Obama’s often perplexing behaviour. Based on Obama’s own words as published in his books, mainly “Dreams from My Father”, and his public speeches as well as the writings of his father and mentors, D’Souza concludes that what drives Obama is an anti-colonial ideology derived from his socialist, anti-colonial Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr.

...Think about what this means. The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s ...
D’Souza shows how Obama’s anti-colonialism accounts for his many apologies for America’s past foreign policies, his Muslim outreach, his bowing and scraping before Saudi royalty, his rudeness towards allies like Britain and France, his deference to America haters like Hugo Chavez, and ........

Mr. D’Souza argues that on balance colonialism has benefitted the world, particularly British colonialism. Furthermore, contrary to Obama’s apparent beliefs, anti-colonialism solves nothing and worse, it is counterproductive - it has been a near complete disaster for most African nations that are indulging in it.

He maintains that Obama, driven by his anti-colonial mentality, is intent on weakening America as a world power and that if he succeeds, America and the world will be much the worse for it:
... I understand Obama, but I don’t sympathize with him. In fact his warped ideology really scares me. His vision for America may be therapeutic for his psyche, but it is a ridiculous one for America in the twenty-first century. The dream of the two Obamas .... is actually an American nightmare.
It’s a highly compelling read.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"... challenging times for climate jihadists"

Gerald Warner: Weathering the true lies of global warming Newspeak:

... The ex cathedra dogma that weather is not climate has the authoritative resonance of similar Orwellian Newspeak maxims such as "War is peace".

... These are challenging times for climate jihadists. Last week the Met Office was forced to issue a press release stating it "categorically denies forecasting a 'mild winter' ". In fact, in October, its long-range probability map predicted an 80 per cent probability of warmer than average temperatures from November to January in Scotland. It claimed Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, the eastern half of England and Cornwall, would experience temperatures above the 3.7°C average, more than 2°C higher than last winter.

... The notorious 2007 [IPCC] report ... claimed up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could be drastically reduced by even a slight decrease in rainfall caused by global warming, replacing trees with tropical grassland. This year a study funded, ironically, by Nasa completely discredited that theory.
... The suggestion of a connection between "man-made" global warming and hurricanes has now been rejected by the scientist who first advanced it,...
... When Lewis Pugh tried to paddle a kayak to the "ice-free" North Pole he had to stop 600 miles south of his destination and 100 miles short of where a canoeist had reached a century before.
Even the IPCC has been forced to revise its forecasts of rises in sea level dramatically downwards.
Our MSPs - mostly people who give cretinism a bad name - have gone overboard for a world-leading role in climate crusading. How much energy did Scotland's ice-bound wind turbines generate this month? The regulation director at ScottishPower Renewables has stated: "Thirty gigawatts of wind maybe requires 25 GW of backup." Few Scottish windfarms attain even 28 per cent of capacity. Cutting-edge technology, eh?

But who cares? Hey, this isn't about science - it's about cash. Specifically, $130bn from Western taxpayers ... It will take more than a few tax hikes and power cuts to deflect Civic Scotland from embracing the latest leftist fantasy.

The science is done, the debate is over

Nope and nope ...

Recent paper: On the recovery from the Little Ice Age
Author: Syun-Ichi Akasofu - International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

... published papers and openly available data on sea level changes, glacier retreat, freezing/break-up dates of rivers, sea ice retreat, tree-ring observations, ice cores and changes of the cosmic-ray intensity, from the year 1000 to the present, are studied ...
... the recovery from the LIA has proceeded continuously, roughly in a linear manner, from 1800-1850 to the present.
... the Earth is still in the process of recovery from the LIA; there is no sign to indicate the end of the recovery before 1900.
... The multi-decadal oscillation of a period of 50 to 60 years was superposed on the linear change; it peaked in 1940 and 2000, causing the halting of warming temporarily after 2000.
... These changes are natural changes, and in order to determine the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect, there is an urgent need to identify them correctly and accurately and re-move them from the present global warming/cooling trend.
Sea level data, for example:

[Via FOS]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Tis the season ... to pity non-believers

Ian Hunter penned a column this week that was full of pity for those unhappy agnostics:

... Many such people will describe themselves as "religious" or, better, "spiritual"; they are, they will say, "seekers", pilgrims who journey hopefully but somehow never arrive.

...By and large, the appeal of agnosticism is to the spiritually timid. Its attraction is that it gives the illusion of a safe harbour in a roiling sea when, in fact, it offers no harbour, only more seasickness.
... etc.
And today Chris Selley replied ... bollocks.  I'm with Selley on this one, a happy "seeker".

Response to ClimateGate Inquiries

From Friends of Science a summary of Ross McKitrick's report "Understanding The ClimateGate Inquiries":
None of these inquiries were independent and none investigated the allegations or interviewed critics of the CRU or the IPCC. In summarizing, McKitrick says that the evidence shows that scientists manipulated IPCC reports with the effect of misleading readers, deleted emails to prevent disclosure of information in apparent violation of freedom of information laws, privately expressed doubts about the science, and took steps to block access to data or methodologies. 
One of the most notorious email revelations was the trick to hide the decline of proxy temperature data presented in WMO and IPCC reports for policy makers. The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee concluded that this trick was not dishonest because Phil Jones of the CRU had discussed the decline relative to instrument data (the divergence problem) in a journal article. McKitrick writes “The fact that Jones had acknowledged the divergence in journal articles makes it worse that he hid the decline in official reports, as it proves that the deception was not inadvertent.” The divergence of proxy data from instrument data would prove to reasonable readers that the proxy data are not good temperature proxies, so the claim that the 20th century temperature increase is unprecedented cannot be supported. This destroys the foundation of the IPCC climate science.
Donate to Friends of Science.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

‘Tis the season ... to be sanctimonious

It’s Christmas and Peter Foster reflects on those annoying, self-righteous scolds intent on sucking the joy out of the season:

It is a time for tolerance. I have to confess, however, that I have a problem being tolerant with one group that tends to surface around Christmas: the no-cakes-and-ale brigade, who invariably castigate shallow materialism and berate us for daring to be happy amidst so much global wretchedness.
Two groaning examples have appeared recently — ... I shall not use the full names of the authors. Let’s just call them Jerry and Larry.
Jerry and Larry want to take all the joy out of Christmas, not just by nagging us for buying too much “stuff,” and for the fact that there are poor people about, but by thrusting their own conspicuous virtue down our chimneys.

Jerry wrote a piece with the product warning headline “Consumer Overload,” in which he bemoaned the volume of product fliers in his mailbox, but also let us know that he sponsors a 12-year-old Nicaraguan boy.
... instead of seriously examining the roots of poverty, Jerry wants to indulge his lack of understanding by guilt-tripping the rest of us....
[But] Jerry’s moral self-inflation is as a mere balloon when set against Larry’s towering blimp.
... Larry wants a lot more Communist Manifesto in our lives, or, as it is now called, “social justice.”
One cannot argue with Larry that charity is a great way to feel “valued and connected,” but he doesn’t seem to have grasped that there is a big difference between giving of your own time and money, and extorting the time and money of others.
Good one, Peter! Made my day :-)

Jokers incarnate


(No makeup needed)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blundering along with the UK Met

The UK Met Office gets it wrong, YET AGAIN. Peter Foster reviews the litany of blunders:

The British deep freeze of recent weeks (which has also immobilized much of continental Europe) is profoundly embarrassing for the official forecaster. Just two months ago it projected a milder than usual winter. ... the price tag on the country’s unpreparedness for this winter could reach $15-billion.

... Significantly, the Met Office is closely associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, home of Climategate. Both organizations are deeply involved with the IPCC. When it comes to the CRU’s crystal ball, one of its official declared a decade ago: “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” No danger of that for little Britons this year.
... The Met’s blunder follows similar cockups last year and the year before. In February, Met Office scientist Peter Stott declared that 2009 was an anomaly, and that milder and wetter winters were now — for sure — to be expected. He suggested that exceptionally cold British winters such as the one that occurred in 1962-63 were now expected to occur “about once every 1,000 years or more, compared with approximately every 100 to 200 years before 1850.” Now, the Met Office is admitting that the current December may be the coldest in Britain in the past 100 years.
Also, significantly:

... Yesterday, the British-based Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the U.K. government to set up an independent inquiry into the Met Office’s failures. It also wants an examination of the institution’s politicization. [FYI: Peter's column has been posted at the GWPF web-site.]
Noted also are the predictable reactions of AGW true believers:

... No doubt the warmist crowd will be quick to express outrage at this blatant confusion of global climate with local weather, but that won’t wash. The Met makes its short-term forecasts on the basis of the same brand of massive computer power and Rube Goldberg modelling used to project the global climate. ...
With their usual contradictions:

... Confusing weather with climate isn’t always condemned by alarmists. In March, Al Gore deemed it disgraceful that “deniers” dared to suggest that North America’s East Coast Snowmageddon in any way undermined the Inconvenient Truth of man-made global warming. More snow was obviously due to man. The very next day, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell declared that the lack of snow at the Vancouver Olympics was due to … man-made global warming.
Update: An excellent video via a reader at FPComment:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nicholas Kristof: Sanctimonious NYT dhimmi liberal Islamo-enabler

Nicholas Kristof’s column, “Heroic, Female and Muslim” appeared in today’s National Post. His piece is full of the usual sanctimonious NYT dhimmi liberal Islamo-enabler pap (“Islamophobia in the United States” and sentiments of the “not all Muslims are bad people” variety). Along with this nonsense (which seems to be his main point) he gives an account of Somali MD Hawa Abdi’s excellent work and enormous courage in the face of intimidation by local Islamothugs. There’s little doubt she deserves great praise. However, Kristof presents her as “another side of Islam”, the side that proves, naturally, not all Muslims are horrible.

But Hawa Abdi is not “another side of Islam”. In fact, nearly everything of merit she does flies in the face of Islam and Sharia law in large parts of the Muslim world not to mention the local interpretation of Islam (ie. “... generally not favourable to women's rights, and include the almost universal practice of female genital mutilation”). Kristof might want to consult Ayan Hirsi Ali for his next column. Like Hirsi Ali’s her accomplishments are in spite of Islam. But while Hirsi Ali had to run from Somalia to escape a life of Hell, Hawa Abdi apparently gets away with it because she’s connected. She’s “a member of Somalia’s elite”.

So, Hawa Abdi is not “another side of Islam”, she’s an exception and pretty much the opposite. In many, if not most, Islamic nations she’s be stoned to death for what she does and says. While she may claim to be Muslim there's little evidence that Islam motivates her - in fact she works in direct opposition to the local interpretation of Islam. And good for her. But Kristof’s partisan blinkered Islamo-apologetics only encourage more obfuscation and whining from the so-called Muslim “moderates”.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Global warming scare over? Don't bet on it.

Harris and Leyland: Global warming ideology still on top

There have been many recent setbacks suffered by the “climate change” alarmists:

... Climategate. ... the [failure of] the Copenhagen conference... followed quickly by Glaciergate, Amazongate, Kiwigate and serious challenges to the credibility of Rajendra K. Pachauri, [IPCC] chairman....
... some say that the climate scare is over:

... Some commentators tell us that this is the beginning of the end of the climate scare. More likely, it is just the end of the beginning.
It would be foolhardy to relax:

... While it is appropriate for realists to revel in their late-period success, it is vastly premature to celebrate.
The alarmists are solidly entrenched, well funded and their propaganda machine runs full-time:
... Through the tireless work of hundreds of thousands of mostly unpaid activists, aided by unquestioning journalists, grant-seeking scientists, pandering politicians, opportunistic or naive industries and well-meaning but misinformed citizens, climate campaigners made "stopping global warming" a cause celebre....
... As a result, massive donations from left-wing foundations poured in to groups focused on promoting alarm.

... climate alarmism is de rigueur "science" in virtually all public schools, colleges and universities.
Most mainstream media, corporations, even churches and essentially all environmental organizations promote the now politically correct view of human-caused climate change.

There simply is too much money and political capital, and too many reputations are at stake for alarmists to back down. ...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A socialist's memoir

Peter Foster has reviewed former Brit PM Gordon Brown's new book.  It's "a fairy tale":

... a memoir of the recent crisis and modest proposals about What Is To Be Done.

... What Mr. Brown brought to those myriad meetings in 2008 and 2009 was three mental traits essential to good socialists: moral superiority, historical amnesia and economic fantasy.

... I can absolutely guarantee that this book will not reach even the lowest rung of bestsellerdom.
Peter Foster, doing the hard work of reading crappy books so that we don't have to.  We owe him a debt of gratitude.

A book bloggers will appreciate

Scott Rosenberg’s recent book, “say everything” is a fine read that most bloggers will greatly appreciate. Rosenberg, a cofounder of, has written an engaging, entertaining account of how blogging got started, it’s rapid rise, where it’s been and where he believes it’s headed.  He provides many, many interesting insights.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Liberals duped into backing American agenda?

Another excellent article by Vivian Krause posits the thesis that American charitable foundations have been donating funds, under the guise of environmentalism, towards activities which, if successful, will effectively shut down the shipment of Canadian oil via the West coast to Asia.  The effect will be to landlock Alberta oil thereby ensuring it can only be sold to the U.S.A.

A short synopsis of Krause's article from FOS:
US foundations, including the Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, have spent more than $300 million since 2000 on "reform" of resource industries in Canada. Since 2004 foundations have spent $18 million specifically for "demarketing" (reducing demand for or shifting demand away from) Alberta oil.

Their current campaign, supported by the Liberal opposition in Ottawa, is to legislate a ban on tanker traffic along the British Columbia coast to prevent construction of a new pipeline to export Alberta's oil to Asian markets. Though marine conservation is an ostensible issue in the campaign, the foundations have no apparent objection to tanker traffic along the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and the Gulf of Mexico.
Krause notes that the US Foundations have been routing funding to Canadian agitators such as the Suzuki Foundation and key Indian bands:
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund granted $105,000 specifically to the First Nations at the Kitimat village, which is right at the mouth of the Douglas Channel. That's precisely where export-bound oil tankers would need to load. That included $70,000 for an anniversary celebration in 2004 and $35,000 for a ceremonial event in 2006. Of all the aboriginal people in the world, why is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund giving money to the First Nations at Kitimat Village?
Good question.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cancun was a bust

Lorne Gunter:
...there was no overall emissions target set, no worldwide quota on how much CO2 humans can pump into the atmosphere. Each country will be allowed to set its own limit and there will be no determination of whether or not any country’s emission targets are adequate to stop climate change. All talk of legally binding limits was punted until at least next year’s summit in South Africa....
...The new focus all but abandons any meaningful effort to restrict human activity in the name of saving the planet. So it surprises me that enviro activists seem to have bought into the new approach with such joyous satisfaction. But I guess it lets them keep jetting around the world to lavish conferences, so it’s all good.

Peter Foster zaps Mark Carney

Peter Foster:

On Monday, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney issued another “stern warning” about record levels of household debt. But isn’t that a bit like Eliot Spitzer giving a stern warning about public morality?

... Mr. Carney did a nice job ... of trying to slough off the blame. “The responsibility,” he said, “obviously starts with the individual, it extends to the financial institutions, and then we as policymakers need to ensure that a suite of policies are appropriate to ensure sustainable growth.”

... That has it upside down. What actually happens is that government policy interferes with markets and imposes regulations that control the behaviour of the financial institutions, which in turn influence the conditions under which borrowers act.

... with all due respect to Mr. Carney, while he likes to talk as if he is an aspiring coach of Economic Team Canada, his actual job equates neither to coaching nor managing, nor dashing down the ice scoring goals, nor even being ... goalie ... . Although the economy is not a game of hockey, if it were, Mr. Carney would be the Zamboni -driver. His official job of keeping inflation in check equates to keeping the ice flat so the economic players can do their thing. Leave the economic policy to Don Cherry.
Ouch! I bet that smarts!

Hilarious, but too true. Read it all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

US Congress to investigate Climategate


Ralph Hall is poised to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee after fending off a challenge from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

... Hall told POLITICO in a recent interview he’s not a climate skeptic. “... [but].. I want some proof,” he said. “If I get the chair and have the gavel, I'm going to subpoena people from both sides and try to put them under oath and try to find out what the real facts are.”

But he said he does want to question all sides of the issue, including the scientists at the center of the so-called “Climategate” ...

Climate Deal in Cancún

From FOS:
At 4:00 am on December 11, delegates adopted the Cancún Agreements ... ... Under these agreements: (1) rich countries "shall aim to complete" further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012; (2) parties set a goal to hold global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels; (3) parties will "work towards identifying a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050" for consideration at the next meeting in Durban; (4) parties dropped the shared vision that global greenhouse gases should peak by 2015; (5) parties set up a process for accounting and monitoring of greenhouse gases; (6) developing countries undertaking mitigation actions supported by outside money will be subject to international auditing; (7) parties will establish a Green Climate Fund with a 24-member board of directors, half from developed and half from developing countries.

Environment Minister John Baird refused to commit Canada to taking on new obligations under Kyoto, preferring the more flexible Copenhagen approach.
More from UNFCC and G&M.

Glenn Beck demands apology from Forbes Magazine

Just watched Glenn's show today where he demanded an apology from Forbes for saying Glenn "falsely vilified George Soros".   Glenn was at his funny (but serious) best.

More from Glenn here and here.

Banned by Boing Boing

My previous post, on the death of Richard Dawkins' father, credits the blog Boing Boing.  I had signed up for commenting privileges at Boing Boing where I wrote the "... May God rest [his] soul ..." remark. Within half an hour my comment had been deleted and attempts to sign-in again were greeted with "You do not have permission to leave comments on this blog":).  Man! That's pretty fierce gate-keeping. OK, I admit there was an element of snark in my comment. But it was pretty mild snark given that (1) Mr. Dawkins senior was an Anglican, and (2) it was, mostly, a sincere wish on my part (and Boing Boing's comment Nazis couldn't have known otherwise.)

Conclusion: The Boing Boing comments section is an echo chamber run by some apparently extremely thin-skinned people, whose idea of intolerable commentary, like many lefty scolds, is anything that doesn't precisely fit their idea of how the world should be.

Who/what is Boing Boing? I hadn't heard of it until recently while reading a book on the history of blogging, "say everything" by Scott Rosenberg.  Rosenberg presents Boing Boing's story as an example of blogging pioneers who have become wildly successful.  It's kitschy, a little kinky with a taste that runs to the oddball in stories, graphics and videos posted mostly by four individuals. There's some interesting stuff. 
[By the way, Rosenberg also holds up Daily Kos as another leading example (which maybe says something about Rosenberg). Full disclosure: A few years ago, I lasted longer (a couple of days) at Daily Kos before being banned for some comments surrounding Lloyd Axworthy's anti-Americanism.]

Anyway, Boing Boing is a top rated blog with, according to Rosenberg, millions of 'customers' and revenues in the multi-millions.   Given their success presumably they know what they're doing.  And if a comments policy requiring milquetoast pc blandness attractive to products of the schools of self-esteem is part of that success then I suppose good for Boing Boing.  But in the long run ....?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Richard Dawkins' father passes

Obituary written by Richard:

My father, (Clinton) John Dawkins, who has died peacefully of old age, packed an enormous amount into his 95 years. ...
Condolences, Richard and may God rest your father's soul.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ted Turner = Idiot + hypocrite

Peter Foster:

Ted Turner, the billionaire philanthropist ...  urged world leaders to institute a Chinese-style global one-child policy to save the Earth from catastrophic climate change.

... Previously, Mr. Turner, who has five children and owns two million acres of land on which he raises bison, has recommended tax penalties for those having more than one child.

... Like his old buddy Maurice Strong, a key advisor on setting up the UN Foundation, Mr. Turner appears to see people as a blight on the earth. In 1996 he suggested that his “ideal” population would involve 95% of humanity disappearing. Since then he has opined that population might be chopped by a more modest five billion....
Another billionaire squandering his time and cash on dumb, if not dangerous, ideas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Canuckistani marketing boards in a nutshell

Everything you need to know:


Sea levels rising ... and falling

A complex phenomenon:
Climate change is expected to cause sea levels to rise -- at least in some parts of the world. Elsewhere, the level of the ocean will actually fall. Scientists are trying to get a better picture of the complex phenomenon, which also depends on a host of natural factors.

... "In reality, the water in the oceans wobbles all over the place," says oceanographer Detlef Stammer. He isn't talking about waves, but large-scale bulges and bumps in the sea level.

... the simple message of rising waters is greatly oversimplified. The process behind it is highly complex, and one that will produce winners and losers. Scientists are only gradually beginning to understand [just as for climate in general] ...

... If the Greenland ice sheet  ... were to melt completely, sea levels would rise by 7 meters on average. It would take many centuries .... But people living near Germany's North Sea coast would hardly even notice, because the sea level there would remain virtually unchanged. The water would even subside off the coast of Norway. "And, purely theoretically, the sea level would actually fall by several meters off the coast of Greenland," Stammer explains. ...
... Because the massive weight of the Ice Age glaciers is no longer pushing down on Scandinavia, the land there is rising. Farther south -- just like on the opposite end of a child's seesaw -- the land is sinking.

Cancún: Japan, Canada, Russia, Australia reject Kyoto extension

The Hindu:
With Japan's forthright statement on Monday and reluctance on the part of the other countries such as Russia, Canada and Australia to commit to a second phase, the entire negotiation is fraught with uncertainty....
Globe & Mail:
... The chair of the Cancun summit, Christiana Figueres, named Canada and Russia as other countries that are resisting making new commitments under the Kyoto agreement. Canada is on track to dramatically miss its 2012 Kyoto target of cutting GHGs by 6 per cent below 1990 levels.
... As the first week of talks ended Saturday, Canada was voted "fossil of the day" by 500 international environmental groups for its stand on Kyoto.... [Yay, Canada!]
All good news!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bill Gates' "dangerous pile of cash"

Peter Foster, on the mark, as usual:

Milton Friedman once noted that most businessmen are anti-capitalists. However, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are moving into a category all their own, putting their vast fortunes behind support for everything from philanthro­statism to just plain statism.

... Mr. Gates has in the meantime become a full-blown Global Salvationist, dedicated to solving the problems of the world’s poor by not merely doling out his own money but by “leveraging” that of hapless taxpayers, muscling pharmaceutical companies, and bugging the entire corporate sector to divert its attention from making money to solving social problems. Indeed, there is a danger that the Saviour from Seattle may do as much damage in the process of giving away his fortune (and that of Mr. Buffett) as he did good in building it.

'Tis the season ...

... for people of faith to squabble.  Kelly McParland complains about proselytizing, faithful atheists, while atheist John Moore complains about McParland and all God's faithful ... and the debate spills over into the comments.

... Fa la la la lah la la .. la.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Uncle Sam Sucker

Warren Buffett wrote a letter thanking Uncle Sam for saving America (and Warren) from financial disaster:

... all of corporate America’s dominoes were lined up, ready to topple at lightning speed. My own company, Berkshire Hathaway, might have been the last to fall, ...
... So, again, Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. ... you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.  Your grateful nephew, Warren
Today, Peter Foster responded to "Dear Uncle Warren":
... if you were to follow the collapsed dominoes back to the person who pushed the first one, wouldn’t it be Uncle Sam?

... I liked the Cinderella reference. It fitted nicely with your economic fairy-tale theme, but, again, the question is: Who unleashed that destructive force?

... How much courage does it take to dispatch hundreds of billions of other peoples’ dollars? And isn’t it a bit embarrassing that all this “courage” saved your own investment bacon when it came to Goldman Sachs and Moody’s?

Your skeptical Canadian nephew, Peter
And here's a much more caustic revision - "Dear Uncle Sam Sucker":

I was about to send you a thank you note for bailing out the economy . . . but then some nice men dressed in Ninja outfits came in and shot me full of truth serum.

... I suddenly recalled who it was who allowed the banks to run wild in the first place: You.

... Before I get to the bailouts, I have to remind you: ... [the litany of government flops]
... You were the grand enabler of the finance sector’s misbehavior. Hence, you helped create the mess
... I would be remiss if I failed to mention my personal positions in this: I made a killing in Goldman Sachs and GE. My investments in Wells Fargo would have been a disaster if not for you. Don’t even get me started with me being the largest shareholder in Moody’s – that was some clusterf#*k.
... So I must say thanks to you, Uncle Sam, and your aides. In this extraordinary emergency, you came through for me — and my world looks far different than if you had not.  Your grateful but wide-eyed nephew, Warren