Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Henry Waxman's War on Accounting.

Accounting basics: when a company experiences what accountants call "a material adverse impact" on its expected future earnings, and those changes affect an item that is already on the balance sheet, the company is required to record the negative impact--"to take the charge against earnings"--as soon as it knows that the change is reasonably likely to occur.

This makes good accounting sense. The asset on the balance sheet is now less valuable, so you should record a charge. Otherwise, you'd be misleading investors.

The Democrats, however, seem to believe that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are some sort of conspiracy against Obamacare, and all that is good and right in America.


I Wish My Elementary School Had Done A Production Of Scarface.

EMBED-Scarface School Play - Watch more free videos

Monday, March 22, 2010

Climate Change Round-Up.

The IPCC has been called to the principal's office. Given that the principal is the U.N., I expect the response in AR5 will be a preface indicating that "boys will be boys" followed by a proclamation that despite the many errors in citing non-peer-reviewed & even non-scientific papers as evidence, the underlying science of AGW is settled as evidenced by the CRU GISS & GHCN data.

Remember, they say, it's not just the CRU -- all the worldwide data showed the same thing. Funny thing about that though. The released NASA emails (via FOIA) reveal NASA/GISS scientists doubted their own data, and placed more trust in the CRU and GHCN data.

Ace has the rest.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 25 in G minor

Fat Boy Slim: Weapon of Choice

I never get tired of this.

Toyota Hybrid Horror Hoax.

"On the very day Toyota was making a high-profile defense of its cars, one of them was speeding out of control," said CBS News--and a vast number of other media outlets worldwide. The driver of a 2008 Toyota Prius, James Sikes, called 911 to say his accelerator was stuck, he was zooming faster than 90 miles per hour and absolutely couldn't slow down.

It got far more dramatic, though. The California Highway Patrol responded and "To get the runaway car to stop, they actually had to put their patrol car in front of the Prius and step on the brakes." During over 20 harrowing minutes, according to NBC's report, Sikes "did everything he could to try to slow down that Prius." Others said, "Radio traffic indicated the driver was unable to turn off the engine or shift the car into neutral."

In fact, almost none of this was true.

The article is here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Holy Cow.

Fun With Firearms.

Accidental Shooting Prank - JustForLaughs.TV
Uploaded by JustForLaughs.

Denial...It's More Than Just A River In Egypt.

The climate campaign is a movement unable to hide its decline. Skeptics and critics of climate alarmism have long been called “deniers,” with the comparison to Holocaust denial made explicit, but the denier label now more accurately fits the climate campaigners. Their first line of defense was that the acknowledged errors amount to a few isolated and inconsequential points in the report of the IPCC’s Working Group II, which studies the effects of global warming, and not the more important report of the IPCC’s Working Group I, which is about the science of global warming. Working Group I, this argument goes, is where the real action is, as it deals with the computer models and temperature data on which the “consensus” conclusion is based that the Earth has warmed by about 0.8 degrees Celsius over the last century, that human-generated greenhouse gases are overwhelmingly responsible for this rise, and that we may expect up to 4 degrees Celsius of further warming if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t stopped by mid-century. As Gore put it in his February 28 Times article, “the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged.” I note in passing that the 2007 Working Group I report uses the terms “uncertain” or “uncertainty” more than 1,300 times in its 987 pages, including what it identified as 54 “key uncertainties” limiting our mastery of climate prediction.

This central pillar of the climate campaign is unlikely to survive much longer, and each repetition of the “science-is-settled” mantra inflicts more damage on the credibility of the climate science community. The scientist at the center of the Climategate scandal at East Anglia University, Phil (“hide the decline”) Jones dealt the science-is-settled narrative a huge blow with his candid admission in a BBC interview that his surface temperature data are in such disarray they probably cannot be verified or replicated, that the medieval warm period may have been as warm as today, and that he agrees that there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 15 years—all three points that climate campaigners have been bitterly contesting.


Times of London: Live Aid Donatiions Were Diverted to Rebel Groups.

Although millions of people were saved by the Western aid that poured into Ethiopia after Live Aid, the evidence from the BBC investigation suggests that not all of it went to the most needy.

With much of Ethiopia in rebel hands, aid agencies had to bring in food and funds for those areas from Sudan, accompanied by rebel fighters.

Aregawi Berhe, the former military commander of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), claimed that of the $100 million that went through the rebels’ hands, 95 per cent was diverted to buy weapons or recruit Ethiopians to their cause. He said the rebels put on a "drama" to get their hands on the relief money. "The aid workers were fooled," he said.


The Grim Future of American Airpower?

F-35 Lightning II

The news is roiling an ongoing debate over the future of U.S. warplanes: The F-35 (developed under the Joint Strike Fighter program and still in development) is on one side. The F-22 Raptor, currently flying in the Air Force fleet, is on the other.

But why? These airplanes are built for different roles, and have different strengths. The Raptor is built to gain air superiority, while the Lightning II is being created primarily to provide close air support and conduct precision air strikes. But both are staggeringly expensive, and with the Obama administration looking at belt-tightening within the Pentagon, the two marquee warplanes have been dueling for funds. In April 2009 the Pentagon announced it was stopping F-22 production, and some quickly said that the cost overruns of the F-35 were crowding out the expensive Raptor, the world’s best radar evader and dogfighter.

Now that the F-22 is canceled (freezing the fleet at 186 airplanes), the F-35 program faces even more scrutiny. Aerospace analysts, press and the discussion-board community frequently ask why a superior airplane like the F-22 is being axed while the problematic F-35 limps along during development. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said this week that the F-35 would not be ready until 2015, rather than 2013.


Previously undiscovered ancient city found on Caribbean sea floor

WASHINGTON, DC (Herald de Paris) - EXCLUSIVE - Researchers have revealed the first images from the Caribbean sea floor of what they believe are the archaeological remains of an ancient civilization. Guarding the location’s coordinates carefully, the project’s leader, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, says the city could be thousands of years old; possibly even pre-dating the ancient Egyptian pyramids, at Giza.

No word yet on the possible presence of Aquaman and/or mermaids.

The article is here.

Global Warming and Media Failure.

The Australian and British press have eaten the American media’s lunch on the collapse of credibility at the IPCC and in the anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) movement. In the past four months, media outlets like the Times of London, the Telegraph, the Australian Herald-Sun, and even the Left-leaning paper The Guardian have broken important stories (along with bloggers) exposing the fraud, mismanagement, and unscientific behavior of the core group of AGW advocates, such as:

None of these — none — were exposed by a major American media outlet.

And they wonder why they are losing their audience to the Internet.

More Here.

Nancy Pelosi on Health Care: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

A truly sad state of affairs.


Broken Government?

A lot of people are saying government is broken. They’re mainly saying it because the Democratic health care bill isn’t going to pass in a form that gives most Democrats what they wanted. The argument, in its general form, goes like this: There is this huge problem! My team’s favored solution to the problem is politically infeasible. So, politics is broken! When you put it like that, it’s evidently a pretty silly argument.

More Here.

21st Century Snake Oil.

[G]reen jobs have become the ginseng of progressive politics: a sort of broad-spectrum snake oil that cures whatever happens to ail you. They are the antidote to economic malaise, an underskilled labor force, the inherent unwillingness of the public to suffer any significant economic and personal dislocation in order to save the environment. They enhance nationalistic vigor. (If we don't act now, the Chinese will steal all of our green jobs!) They stave off aging of stale political platforms. And I'm pretty sure they're good for bunions, too.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Wish I had WrittenThis.

Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it.


New Beginings

From it's inception Diminished Expectations has been a California based blog...but I've never been a Californian-not in my heart-of-hearts. I'm originally from the Mid-West (the western suburbs of Chicago to be precise) and I've longed to go back there. Not to knock Los Angeles, but the culture is different, the people are different. It's not...home I guess.

Anyway to my surprise and delight the wife got a job offer in Chicago. The move went without major mishaps but we're still up to our eyes in boxes needing to be unpacked. Between that and my laptop dying I haven't been online much until now. Sorry for the lack of updates.

It's good to be home.