Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Mr Paterno as confused grandpa … and why be confused about Mr McQuery? Do you think that generations of teaching moral relativism to replace “do the right thing” has no consequences?
  2. Lag times in production consequences and data to prep you for Mr Obama’s campaign upcoming lies regarding oil production in his tenure.
  3. Apple and OWS.
  4. Grist for the education debates.
  5. Some post Sanctity of Life Sunday thoughts offered. More here.
  6. More Democrats misbehaving.
  7. Links for the philosophically minded.
  8. Hashing out Antisemitism.
  9. “Fast and Furious” one of 10 (?!) similar operations.
  10. The Slavery Question and the early church.
  11. When  is a default not a default?
  12. Going green and the oops factor.

16 responses to “Monday Highlights

  1. 2.Lag times in production consequences and data to prep you for Mr Obama’s campaign upcoming lies regarding oil production in his tenure.

    Speaking of lies about oil production, didn’t you promise us that the cause of the BP oil well leak in the Gulf was going to be the gov’t forcing the company to do something unsafe against its will. I must have missed when that came out as the cause.

    Lags in production time, though, are a cause for thought regarding the recent attempt to give the Canadian pipeline special rules as ‘shovel ready stimulus’. Do the estimates of job creation limit themselves only to the immediate period of 12-18 months after approval or are they more geared towards the life of the project? The life of the project is not useful as stimulus.

  2. 4.Grist for the education debates.

    I think his conclusion, that classroom training is largely a waste of time, is a bit misleading as he is only focusing on exceptional talent. To use a rough analogy, standard school gym class was probably ‘largely a waste of time’ for NBA and NFL players. These players largely become the elite of their field by going far beyond regular gym class….playing on teams in school, attending summer camps devoted tot he sport, maybe even direct one-on-one coaching. But while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that gym itself is a waste of time for the vaste numbers of students who will not go onto professional or even college sports.

    Likewise while the greatest mathematical minds may not have found school math classes very helpful, our concern isn’t so much about finding star mathmeticians from HS geometry classes but creating a general awareness of higher mathematics.

  3. Boonton,
    On #2, I haven’t seen any results from the committee. Have you? Do you have a link?

    On #4,

    I think his conclusion, that classroom training is largely a waste of time, is a bit misleading as he is only focusing on exceptional talent.

    I didn’t read that as the conclusion. And seeing that our exceptional talent is where we’re going to get our technical and scientific advancement … moving the best and brightest out of classrooms to more individualized “coaching” would seem a priority … for not just our star Olympic athletes.

    our concern isn’t so much about finding star mathmeticians from HS geometry classes but creating a general awareness of higher mathematics.

    I disagree. Why do you feel general awareness is more important than making sure the next Ramanujan gets star treatment?

  4. David,
    I should clarify. I sincerely doubt (since you’ve never in my memory cited a DNC “resolution”) that resolutions by both parties are not “the main point of either the Party or the resolutions. The “main” point of them is to provide coverage for pols to cite them to pander to special interests … and not for the reason you suppose. That would be the putative reason given for them. But as you likely realize, being older than 6, the motivations people state in public are rarely their real motivation.

  5. Mr Paterno as confused grandpa … and why be confused about Mr McQuery? Do you think that generations of teaching moral relativism to replace “do the right thing” has no consequences?

    Oh please, Paterno was an old-school conservative. This has nothing to do with your straw man moral relativism.

    Hashing out Antisemitism.

    Trying to deflect any criticism of Israel or it’s supporters by calling criticism or factual statements “anti-semitic.” Double LOLs for accusing Jews of being antisemitic. I guess you’re not a “real” Jew unless you’re an “Israel-firster” conservative.

  6. I didn’t read that as the conclusion. And seeing that our exceptional talent is where we’re going to get our technical and scientific advancement … moving the best and brightest out of classrooms to more individualized “coaching” would seem a priority

    I don’t think this follows. The USSR produced many great scientists, many great mathematicians, and many great chess players. Yet I can’t really think of anything they invented. Rockets (both for nukes and the space program) were largely applied engineering. The hydrogen bomb was likewise applying engineering, not really inventing something new. I think nearly all major ‘inventions’ came from waiting for the West to invent something then stealing the idea.

    I think you’re being fooled by the fact that ‘exceptional talent’ is very noticeable. Steve Jobs was really easy to observe, but it would be a fallacy to conclude that non-Jobsian talent is therefore wasted effort. A rather unexceptional knowledge of some basic principles of logic and symbolic manipulation allows millions of people to create, manipulate and use an uncountable number of Excel spreadsheets, for example. These have uncountable tasks and detected and stopped an uncountable number of errors. Yet because these benfits are spread out among thousand of companies and millions of individuals, they don’t look very impressive. Yet if half of that benefit was contained in the earnings of a single company, I bet it would dwarft any Apple, IBM, Microsoft or Buffet in the market.

    On #2, I haven’t seen any results from the committee. Have you? Do you have a link?

    Excellent, you’re saying you cannot know what you’re talking about at this time. That’s great, then you should stop talking until the time comes when you know what you’re talking about. I love it when we can agree on great ideas!

    JA

    Oh please, Paterno was an old-school conservative. This has nothing to do with your straw man moral relativism.

    Yea, beat me to it. Who exactly ‘teaches moral relativism’? Where exactly is this taught at Penn State or elsewhere? This is just a right wing sterotype….’education is about moral relativism these days’ so we can invoke it whenever we want without regards to facts. Notice this sloppy habit of thought had bad results in older narratives…for example imagine a politician or pundit tossng out a line like “Yea Bernie Madoff went to jail today for stealing millions….that’s what you get when society let’s craven materialistic money hungry Jews into the financial system”

    Trying to deflect any criticism of Israel or it’s supporters by calling criticism or factual statements “anti-semitic.” Double LOLs for accusing Jews of being antisemitic. I guess you’re not a “real” Jew unless you’re an “Israel-firster” conservative.

    Hate to play turnabout on you but consider the recent spat we had over bullying being defined to include a student quoting the Bible in a debate on SSM. The pro-Isreal partisans seek to exclude their critics by defining them as anti-semitic no matter what…doing so is an attempt to put them outside the circle of acceptable discussion rather than confront their ideas. Likewise the bullying lable tried to do the same with the student taking the anti-SSM stance (and maybe worse if the school had a punishment policy for ‘bullying’)

  7. Lag times in production consequences and data to prep you for Mr Obama’s campaign upcoming lies regarding oil production in his tenure.

    But the facts are that oil rig use and oil production both increased dramatically in the Obama term, more than twice as fast as any time during the Bush years — not as a result of any Bush policy, by the way. Most of the increase in production came from domestic, on-shore wells, much of it not subject to any federal regulation other than safety and cleanliness, neither of which provides any significant opportunity for delay in drilling and production. I was alerted to this trend by a paper presented by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank a few weeks ago, and I wrote about it in November: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/obama-unchained-oil-and-gas-exploration-in-the-u-s/

    My concern then was the usual Republican cant that Obama’s administration has been disastrous for oil and gas production — the opposite is true. The U.S. became an oil exporting nation again in 2011. Clearly Obama’s regulatory schemes, whatever they are, have not significantly curtailed oil production and search, considering the good results.

    Now, that production increase is NOT due to an Alaska pipeline from the Bush administration — but neither was it choked off by Obama, as Republicans keep claiming.

    I thought it was interesting for Mark’s source to claim that oil production takes four years or so to come on line. Very much true. But there was no Bush action that prompted the increase in drilling, and oil exploration continued to decline through the entire Bush administration, and rebounded dramatically under Obama.

    Pick your metric, oil and gas exploration or oil and gas production — either way, Obama’s clearly provided no serious detriment. If it is true that the Obama administration has curtailed oil exploration in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (probably so), let’s give him credit for having loosed the hounds of oil exploration and production everywhere else.

    Obama’s environmental record leaves something to be desired, I think — but it’s a crass lie to claim Obama’s been bad for oil and gas exploration, development and/or production. The production figures show a much different story.

  8. Ed,

    It would seem that Mark’s theory is that the Republicans and President Bush spent their first 4 years harming production, then after Democrats won congress the groundwork was laid for new oil production projects that materialized 4 years later as Obama took office!

    More likely, oil production does not ‘take 4 years’. Perhaps a new well drilled from scratch will take a full 4 years but old wells can be turned on again if the price of oil goes up or new technologies can be applied to existing wells and fields in time periods much shorter than 4 years. Fact is there’s been no war on oil production in the US by the Obama administration using regulation, instead oil production and oil production jobs have flourished under Obama.

  9. The pro-Isreal partisans seek to exclude their critics by defining them as anti-semitic no matter what…doing so is an attempt to put them outside the circle of acceptable discussion rather than confront their ideas. Likewise the bullying lable tried to do the same with the student taking the anti-SSM stance (and maybe worse if the school had a punishment policy for ‘bullying’)

    The pro-Israel partisans in question are accusing their opponents of anti-semitism when none was visible. The verse quoted by the anti-SSM writer was *explicitly* anti-gay. It says a man who has sex with a man is an abomination and should be killed. There’s really no comparison.

  10. There is a comparison, in both cases the critic seeks to avoid confronting the argument by labelling the speaker as belonging to a set of ‘bad people’, implying arguments from that category of persons can be disregarded without any consideration.

    A person who asserts the view that man-man sex is an abomination and should result in death may indeed be a bad person. His argument, however, should be confronted. A very easy way to confront such an argument would be to assert that people should not be killed by other people.

    Likewise, that a person might be antisemitic has no bearing on an anti-Israel argument they may make. A neonazi skinhead who thinks all Jews should be killed may say “Israel is pushing the Palestinians out of their land”. That the speaker is a ‘bad person’ is undeniable, however that doesn’t automatically make Israel 100% innocent! Imagine if the same guy said “Bernie Madoff is a rotten thief”. Well sure his motivation may be from his ugly anti-semitism but that doesn’t alter the fact that in regards to Madoff he is correct, the guy is a thief!

  11. Arguing against a bullying position is not mutually exclusive with labeling it bullying. Similarly, one could point out that an actual antisemitic argument is antisemitic and also wrong at the same time.

  12. Boonton,

    Fact is there’s been no war on oil production in the US by the Obama administration using regulation, instead oil production and oil production jobs have flourished under Obama.

    Well, that depends on what “war” means. Licenses have been revoked in the Gulf and Alaska. That seems to me a thing that hampers production and a hampering by means of regulation.

  13. Too bad the numbers disprove you. What you’re doing is like citing the fact that someone got a ticket last monday as proof that the gov’t is launching a ‘war on cars’ and will soon be making us all ride bikes to work!

  14. Licenses have been revoked in the Gulf and Alaska.

    I don’t think any lease has been revoked. In the case of the Gulf, permits to drill were suspended pending review of the government’s permitting program, and pending demonstrations that drilling can be done safely. Surely you do not mean that you think unsafe drilling should proceed. You’re not arguing that poisoning the Gulf is necessary and desirable, I hope.

    What actions are you talking about in Alaska?

  15. There simply is no war on oil in the Obama administration. During the Bush years oil exploration and production both declined from the day Bush was inaugurated — I think it was partly because oil people expected Bush to simply kill all regulation, though my friends in oil tell me it was that they were simply completely incompetent at figuring out how to grant leases, a story which is borne out in the frantic, almost-midnight massive lease auctions the Bushies held, which were subject to corruption and manipulation, evidenced at least in part by the ability of a college kid to walk into the auction in Salt Lake City and by bidding for lands, shut the whole thing down. (Obama’s administration put that kid in jail, by the way.)

    Partly it may be chance that plays in Montana, New York, Pennsylvania and the Dakotas came when they did — there is precious little federal land involved in any of those plays at the moment. More likely, the “war on oil” notion is just a complete fiction of Republican and conservative campaigners. There is no evidence at any point to back it up. Oil leasing on federal lands is up, oil rig count is up, both for exploration and reopening, oil production is up, oil refining is up, exports of oil FROM the U.S. are up, use of gasoline and other fuels in the U.S. is down about 16% from two years ago (conservation works!). Out of more than a thousand new rig operations, there are fewer than ten leases in the Gulf of Mexico on hold.

    Once again, it’s not what we don’t know that gets us into difficulty, but what we know that ain’t so: Claims of an Obama regulatory war on any form of energy are completely false.

  16. Interesting. My previous post shows my avatar (to me; to others?); but my name is shown as “undefined.” Hope that glitch works itself out.

    Ed Darrell

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