W.O.O.D. – 24 December 2017

This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/category/w-o-o-d/

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

For this week, THE biggie is that it’s Christmas Eve. I’m meeting with family and friends in a few hours and then tomorrow is the at home Christmas. A good time to remind folks in your life that they are important to you.

Trump gave us a great Christmas Present in a tax bill. The Left, or course, is going BSC (Bat Shit Crazy) over it as it pillories a few of their favorite scams, like letting States gain control of money that would have gone to The Feds by making it a State Tax instead of a Federal Tax via the State Tax Deduction. While I lose out on that one, I’m glad to see it. IF a State whishes a 50% combined tax rate on their citizens, let them feel the full bite of it. That Trump knows to “Follow the Money” is all good.

We’ve just past the Winter Solstice. From here on out, sunshine returns. In about 2 months, the warmth starts returning too. Hooray for Warmth!

I’ve gotten lax about financial oriented postings. I’m still hopeful I’ll find enough discipline in the coming year to do better. But time is just so limited… and with not much to say about the markets, repeatedly saying “It is looking a bit long in the tooth but the Wall Of Worry can go on a long time” gets old. It won’t change until it changes… and I’ve already told folks a hundred times how to spot that point.

Similarly, I’m being light on Climate postings. Others are doing a good job on news and weather stuff, political angles too. So I’m doing the harder lifting of reading and test-porting GCMs (Global Climate Models). That tends to lots of long hours on technical trivia without much that makes a good posting. So thin at times.

For now, it is time to check the wine rack, start a fire in the fire place, be with family and friends; and remember that Spring and Summer are favored because they are warm, while “cruel winter” is not folks favorite season because it is cold. Warm is good. CO2 is your friend.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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77 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 24 December 2017

  1. tucsonaustrian says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I am looking forward to the 2018 news about the FBI. The slow exposure development prevents the MSM to do a quick denial and “move on”.

  2. llanfar says:

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

    Hoping the talk going on about cabal action this evening and counter in play is sidelined/minimized…

  3. jim2 says:

    Merry Christmas All!

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Merry Christmas all!

    If this is for real, Merry Christmas to the UN as well!

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, it’s a start… but only $285 million out of $5.4 Billion… or about 5%. Within the increase from the strong dollar in other currencies…

    Put the UN budget in Bolivars or Zimbabwe Dollars and limit it to 5% per year “growth”, then I’ll grin from ear to ear 8-)

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    A quarter of a billion dollars here a quarter of a billion dollars there – before you know it you’re talking about some real money.

  7. corev says:

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, everyone.

  8. H.R. says:

    ╚»★«╝ Merry Christmas to all! ╚»★«╝

    Been reading here but not commenting.
    Bought a travel trailer and a truck and have been OTR.
    Headed to Winter Haven FL in mid-January. Then elsewhere
    in FL and then probably a few weeks in Texas to visit relatives.
    Plan to be back in mid-March. Then Michigan for salmon
    fishing and Canada for Northern Pike.

    Trailer is a 2017 Shasta Revere 29RK. It sleeps two adults,
    two dogs, and two cats. I modified it for the pets by removing
    the dining area and installing dog crates, a cat tree, and an
    enclosed, dog-proof kitty litter console.

    I am doing my part to produce as much plant food as possible.
    My tow vehicle is a 2005 F-250 Lariat Crew cab 4×4 with the gas V10.
    It has the factory Boss tow package with integrated brake controller.
    It gets 8-9 miles per gallon when towing the trailer. Needless
    to say, it is NOT my daily driver when I’m home.

    My best to all.

  9. Gail Combs says:

    H.R. just had a major overhaul of my 1992 Dodge 3/4 ton Pk-up. She went from 9mpg back up to 22 mpg (14 mpg hauling trailer full of gear and ponies.)

    Merry Christmas ALL and a MAGA New Year!!!

    (Make sure you vote in the PRIMARIES this year to kick the SOBs out)

  10. pouncer says:

    Merry Christmas all, and grateful regards to our genial host.

  11. Gail Combs says:


    This is a great twitter:

  12. Gail Combs says:

    OOOOoooooh, this could be an interesting Christmas present.

  13. Glenn999 says:

    Merry Christmas E.M. and all deplorables.
    Thanks again for this wonderful blog!

  14. jim2 says:

    Here’s a “company” that for over 25 years has been claiming a new source of energy with no hazardous waste – yet, no billionaires from it … but it is still “going.”


  15. Gail Combs says:

    For the Coffee Drinkers here is a great company: Black Rifle Coffee Company they employ veterans.

  16. Thanks to all here for a great year of thought-provoking comments, and to EMS who hosts it and provides the focus. Merry Christmas everyone!

  17. beththeserf says:

    To EM and denizens,
    Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you are celebrating at this time of year.
    Best Wishes from a serf.

  18. beththeserf says:

    The Goodies 5 Minute Instant Traveling Xmas.
    Humour, in defiance of the Nanny State, we laugh at some rigidity
    or other ‘the exaggerated, the absent minded, the fixed, applied to
    the mobility of life.’
    H/t Henri Bergson.

  19. Quail says:

    Merry Christmas and thank you for all the years of entertainment and insight.

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Very Interesting…. Sure sounds like something is afoot.

    The complication would be that while Sweden has dropped their charges, the UK still has a ‘dodging the law’ claim, so the USA would need to get the UK to back down. So a 3 cornered negotiation…

    I would guess it will depend on what “goods” J.A. has that could be used to leverage or buy off the UK folks as their cut of the action.

    I doubt J.A. would kill off wikileaks, but I could see a deal where he “retires” and leaves it for others to run. In general, the WikiLeaks method of getting info doesn’t keep fingerprints on the providers, so actually saying who sent him the goods is unlikely. Though a rough point of origin might be doable. (i.e. came from D.C. ip group and with good English skills…)

    I think a lot will depend on how much of the “dirt” involves the TLAs in DC… If too much, he could have difficulty in “retirement”… if too little, not enough juice to make it valuable… I could see him retiring to a nice non-extradition country with a nice little protection squad of his choosing… and The Donald having a nice big box of Christmas Cards to mine for data… ;-)

    Well, a fellow can dream ;-)

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    A fun little weather tidbit from twitter:


    30 minutes ago
    Erie Pennsylvania snowfall record was shattered in the past 24 hours where OVER 53 inches of snow has fallen
    53 inches
    ❄️let that sink in ❄️


  22. philjourdan says:

    Good to see you posting Gail! I am missed your posts. Hope your Christmas was merry and have a great new year (to all).

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    Paul Krugman definitely lives on a different planet than fly over America. His view of America is 180 degrees out of phase with normal working class non-intellectual people outside the coastal urban complexes, that just want to be able to pay their bills, get their kids an education in meaningful skills and have rational discussion of the nations problems.

    When view points of the two major political factions are so completely out of touch with each other is there any sane middle ground for them to converge on?

    If what you consider a disaster I consider a stunning success and what I consider a catastrophic failure you consider a win, where do we meet in the middle? How did the two major political factions get so far apart in their metrics of success?

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting take on why the “thinker class” tend to be liberal and the “doer class” tends to be conservative. In the sense that if the only tool you have is a hammer all problems appear to be nails – then if all you are good at, is advocating a position, but you can’t really “do” much in the sense of produce a product or solve a problem with a necessary mechanical skill (plumber) then you would gravitate to a world view where advocacy is prized and rewarded and “doing stuff” is a dirty but necessary skill for “those people” that make things work.


  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    The major news outlets are now starting to cover the lake effect snow in Erie Pa.


    Reminds me of the mega storms in that era in the 1980’s and late 1970’s

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the political front Sharyl Attkisson has a summary article on the casualties of the recent political events in Justice and the FBI.


  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    In cyber security we have the threat of Russi – – – Oh look squirrel


  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the DNC hack – Seems Stephen McIntyre has branched out a bit from climate investigations into political espionage investigations.


    Related security wise, it appears the Awan’s security clearance was not done in the normal manner and “pushed through” and possibly based on forged or tampered background information.


    Seems like we have a lot of rotting fish to clean up in the Federal Government.

  29. H.R. says:

    @Larry, re Steve McIntyre
    Now that was a good find!
    When Steve clamps on, he doesn’t let go and he has the mental acuity to make sense of the broken twigs and faint depressions in the earth he sees when following a trail.
    Thank you, sir.

  30. H.R. says:

    @Gail re: gas guzzlin’ trucks.
    I wanted a diesel, but my budget put me in the range of the 2003-2007 trucks, and those diesels had a lot of problems while the automakers were working out the bugs created by new emissions requirements. Except for the Cummins, those years sucked for diesels. The Ford V-10 gas was considered pretty much bullet proof, except for the odd spark plug blown out here and there.

    The 2005 I got had 73,900 miles on it, all the toys including leather, 6-way power seats, heated mirrors, remote start, etc., so Mrs. H.R. was happy. The only negative I read about was the crappy gas mileage.

    I saw online that there were various tunes available for the control module which could greatly improve mileage or horsepower in certain rpm bands. The consensus on online forums was that the factory settings were best for towing; don’t screw with the settings if you intend to tow.

    I’d be interested to hear the main replacements on your truck that brought the miles/gallon back up. I know you’ve got a lot of miles on that truck, so if it was some common mechanical fixes, e.g. new head gasket, valves, rings, camshaft, I got the truck at enough of a discount to spend some money on it for similar fixes if warranted. If your rejuvenation involved control module jiggery-pokery, then I’ll have to research the control module tunes a little further before messing with the factory settings.

  31. jim2 says:

    If only Steve’s work could be brought to the attention of the Congressional Committees investigating the Russia connection.

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting read on the efforts of the UAE to spool up a home grown modern intelligence organization comparable to the CIA using US contractors.


  33. Alexander K says:

    A very happy New Year to EMS and all who participate here from sub-tropical New Zealand.
    While we re in very different locations, the lunatic Left seem a universal bother to us all.
    Our recently-new Prime Minister is doing everything she can to make our country appear to be a banana republic. She is no Anglophobe, seems hell-bent on currying favor with the UN and its anti-Israel faction and is convinced that the global warming scam is an immediate danger to life and limb for which we must take immediate action by decarbonising our economy and by paying billions in climate tithes. I take comfort in the hope that her government will crash within one term.
    To keep myself entertained, I closely watch American politics and wish we could produce a politician as forthright as your President.
    As my wife and I are now semi-retired, driving something that adds much beneficial CO2 to the atmosphere is out of our price range as petrol in NZ is quite expensive. We drive a 1600cc Toyota Corolla Hatchback, something of a comedown from the pre-WWII Dodges, Chevrolets and Fords I learned to drive in and love during the 1950s. Despite daydreaming of big-inch vee-eights, I have to admit our little twin-cam Toyota is a minor engineering marvel with what would have once been sports car handling and performance and very is easy to drive long distances.
    Once again, my very best wishws to all.

  34. An amusing report on an electricity bill of $284 billion. Computers produce errors sometimes….
    The recipient of the bill thought she’d connected her Christmas lights wrongly.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting visual to associate common phrases with probabilities – what do most people really mean by phrases like “most likely” , “better than even chance” etc.


    Some interesting observations in the comments on twitter where I found this. Note the small contrarian bumps 180 degrees out in meaning on some of the phrases (perhaps folks accidentally checked the opposite box or inverted the probability in their heads (substituting 15% unlikely for 85% likely)

    It does show that most people have a consistent picture in their head about what the phrases mean, some imply more precision (narrower range or results) than others.
    The bottom three lines on the chart (slight, unlikely, no chance) should be reversed in order in which case you have a uniform trend from “almost no chance” to “almost certain”

  36. Larry Ledwick says:

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb is not a fan of the above chart, as the probabilities are only part of the equation and meaningless without associating them with the expected outcome.

    Slight chance of death is not the same as slight chance of finding a parking space near the door.

    Draft of his book “fooled by randomness” as pdf if you want to plow through a 459 page pdf on the topic of silent risk and how we get fooled by fat tail probabilities and how many real world problems are not Gaussian distributions and “unlikely outcomes” are far more likely than we expect if we assume they are Gaussian.


  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    A shorter discussion of fat tailed distributions and how they must be treated differently that many in science treat them. Or how scientists get it wrong by building theories on data that is not statistically significant.


  38. Gail Combs says:

    On the front Sharyl Attkisson, a VERY interesting twitter thread on the FBI hack of her computer.

  39. Gail Combs says:

    S Attkisson, Journalist Targeted By Obama Admin, Laptop Forensics Shows Hack Originated From FBI from The_Donald — https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/7mcqmd/yuuuge_s_attkisson_journalist_targeted_by_obama/?ref_source=embed&ref=share
    Sharyl Attkisson on Twitter: “It was the FBI and company. https://t.co/1NDeXvcyRY”

  40. Glenn999 says:

    How about explaining how to respond to progressives concerning the tax cut, deficits and supply side economics.

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the tax plan, you can start with their probable attack that almost half of workers are getting no tax cut with explaining to them that since 48% of tax payers do not pay any net Federal Income Tax, it is really really really hard to cut their taxes.

    All their complaints are based on “statistics and percentages for idiots”, people stating technically accurate statements, which are carefully crafted to sound bad but which are perfectly reasonable and even obvious if you turn on a couple brain cells and look at what is really going on.

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    More from N Talab on asserting a verbal expression maps to a probability.

    You may need to magnify this image a bit to read it.


    He shows how a change in conditions like snow fall at a ski resort may be beneficial in small increments but at some point it becomes dramatically negative when it closes down travel or is too deep to be groomed and properly prepare the slopes. That gives you a snow vs sales graph that ramps up and then rapidly dives to strongly negative.

  43. pouncer says:

    Our family listens to NPR (The U.S. public radio network) which I infer stands for Numerically Perplexed Radio. It’s not just “statistics and percentages for idiots” cherry picking numbers. It’s an apparent inability or style preference for mixing types of quantities in confused and confusing ways. Part of it is just using speech without a chalk board in support. When they speak of infant deaths and say X in increasing, and X might be “Incidents” (plural of singular events) or “Incidence” (a ratio of observatons versus samples) the news leaves you negatively informed. Similarly when an economic measure is reported to have changed by Y “percent”. Often, but not always, it should be taken to mean “percentage points” — a drop from 4 percent to 3 percent is reported as a change of 1 percent NOT a 25 percent drop. There are dozens of other things that make me berserk and arise not even from political bias, but the bias of those who mouth words instead of think quantities.

    When the political bias combines with the cognitive bias, it forces me out of the room. What does it even mean when we are told that the “Bulk” of the “Cuts” benefit “The wealthiest percentage” ?

    It would take a deal of work to interpret the reports in the variety of possible, rational, fashions in order to be able to determine that ALL such possibilities are, after all, “Fake News”.

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    A fun little summary of allegations that HRC and DNC along with mega donors were intentionally involved in a massive money laundering and illegal political donation scheme.


  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    Quick summary of key provisions of the Trump tax cut plan.


  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    Filed under AI

  47. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, Krugman is a typical American Socialist trying to pretend he is really just smarter than everyone else so sees what the rest can’t see, so just “trust him”…


    It’s interesting to watch the attempts to still claim record heat, all while trying to ignore the massive snow piling up all over the northern hemisphere. I’m getting dizzy from all the spinning ;-)

    Southern Hemisphere had a lot of snow last S.H. winter, but it was barely heard of…

    @Alexander K:

    As Socialism is rooted in the belief that the entire world will end up in one International Socialism, it operates with a global agenda.

    I have wonderful memories of my one trip to New Zealand. Didn’t want to leave ;-) Still have fantasies of moving there, but know I’m too old to be accepted as I’d be seen as burden not productive. I’ve kept my “how to immigrate to New Zealand” brochure from the early 80s when they were looking for teachers and computer guys… to remind me of my mistake in not following through ;-)


    Gee…. why am I not surprised that the Obama FBI was being used as political tool…

    I find myself reacting rather like I’d react to news that they had discovered that firemen drive firetrucks or that Privates take orders from Generals…


    I can explain it, but not to Progressives ;-)

    Larry did a good start on it. Now you just need to get progressives to:
    1) Understand statistics.
    2) Understand that lying with statistics is bad (for those that do understand stats)
    3) Admit that obvious truths are true.
    4) Not filter “truth” through the ideological “I want it” filter.
    5) Realize Propaganda is a bad thing.
    etc. etc. etc…


    Ah, you must keep a Tidy Mind! I have, after first noticing such Bafflegab at about age 5?, built a very effective detection and rejection process on my input… I can now shunt such crap off into the “Admire The Propaganda” process and it no longer bothers me so much. I.e. don’t get angry or frustrated at The Stupid It Burns, but instead go analytical on the Propaganda Methods…


    Thanks! (Now I’m scared too ;-)

  48. E.M.Smith says:


    There are problems with making an effective explanation. I’m going to admire a couple of them here (but there are many many more).

    1) Taxes – good or bad? Progressives / Socialists see taxes as a Very Good Thing, since that is the mechanism by which “wealth redistribution” is done. It lets them fund “good works” and feel all warm and fuzzy about themselves. So, by their definition, anything that reduces taxes Is A Very Bad Thing. (They never see the harm done by taxation as they don’t notice the loss of jobs, reduction of wealth production overall, higher prices, loss of liberty, etc. etc.) This makes it very very hard to ever get the notion of a ‘good’ tax cut across.

    2) Control – Taxes let THEM, the moneyed governing class, have control. To let the mere peasants have “control” just means they would do stupid things with the money, like buy dinner out at Taco Bell instead of doing Good Works with it… (Typified by that time Bill Clinton let slip a line like ~”What, if we let you keep your money you would just spend it wrong.” or something like that.) So again, ANY reduction in taxes is a Very Bad Thing from their POV. You are now trying to sell a double bad thing…

    3) Wealth Distribution – a foundational pillar of the Good Socialist. It is simply axiomatic that The Rich have too much money and the ONLY answer is to take it away from them and distribute the wealth to the proletariat. (Read your Marx… it is foundational.) So ANYTHING that leaves more of the money with the rich, even “their own” money (which a good socialist would dispute is really even “their” money as it is a “social good”…) is by definition evil and anti-social. Thus ANY “tax cut” that leaves more money in the hands of anyone not in poverty is evil. Now add in the point from the comment above about tax rates…

    4) Our “progressive” tax system is close to having 1/2 the population paying no Federal Income Tax at all. This means that, by definition, any significant tax cut will ONLY be cutting taxes for “the rich” (i.e. anyone above the bottom quartile of wealth and income) and that simply MUST be at the expense of the Poor (who can’t get as many goodies given to them by Progressive Government Sociocrats if the money is reduced). Clearly that’s just an evil wealth redistribution to The Rich (via NOT giving as much to the poor taken from the rich…)

    So how can you possibly cut through all that mental fog and prejudice? I can’t think of a way to do it. You can soft of nibble on #4 with a reasoned argument about inability to cut taxes for the poor as they don’t pay any, but unless coupled with some way to address the lack of “Social Programs” caused by the tax reduction you are missing their main mental block. #3 is fundamental ideological so attempting to get agreement that wealth distribution is a Bad Thing isn’t going to cut it. Nobody in power wants to give up control, so good luck on #2. Oh, and they can’t possibly believe that something that makes them feel so good is really bad, just like a drug addict, so again, good luck with that. (Even ignoring the ones who are cynically in it for the personal gain via “doing well by doing good”…) That leaves us with #1. How can it ever be a good thing to reduce taxes and all the good and joy they provide… You are fighting a fundamental value structure. That usually takes a personal epiphany moment… and not so much an external argument.

    IMHO, it is essential to avoid the indoctrination into those broken belief structures in the first place. Unfortunately, they have been inserted into the Schools and Churches to subvert the traditional values and understandings (again, read your Marx – he lists public education as one of the essentials in his manifesto, and for a reason…) Once they are in place, displacing them is vastly harder.

    Have I mentioned lately that Economics is called The Dismal Science for a reason? I can admire the issues, but rarely can they be fixed.

  49. p.g.sharrow says:

    I did “fix” a Liberal Progressive one evening.in a bar. A socialist lawyer was expounding about how “Rich” people had to be heavily taxed. I was just about to launch into him and got an Idea.
    Says I “You are right!” “They must be heavily taxed, anything over $24,000 per year should be confiscated, as that was 5 times what I was living on and I could not imagine how anyone could need that kind of money” he shut up and walked away!
    I knew he and his wife both made over $60,000 each as higher level local government employees.
    Rich is not a number but a point of view. Very few people think that they are rich, no matter how much their income….pg

  50. Glenn999 says:

    the balance.dot.com presented the tax cuts as an example of trickle-down economics, something that is similar to supply side economics. The website implied that the tax cuts probably won’t work to stimulate the economy, because the Laffer Curve isn’t very effective when tax rates are already low in the upper 30s, versus at 70 percent for the highest bracket when Reagan cut taxes. They also said there is no proof the economic boom during the 80s was caused by the tax cuts, but could have been because of reduction in the federal funds rate.

    I think Trump is doing a lot more to stimulate the economy that just cutting taxes, so it will be interesting to see what happens if it gets to play out.

    It is my understanding that the stock market boom reflects expectations that tomorrow will be better. If that changes, value will be lost. Therefore to keep it going, Trump must continue to make things more business friendly.

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    Since Trump has been a life long businessman, he understands I think that no one change in government will turn business around. Business profitability is the sum of many things like regulations, taxes, general national mood, foreign competition.

    It is sort of like a chemical reaction, you need to have all the ingredients present in the mixture at the appropriate time along with the proper reaction environment (temperature, pressure, agitation etc.) to get the intended result. Leave out a reactant or fail to achieve proper pressure and temperature conditions and it just sits there in the beaker and stares at you.

    Business is the same sort of mixture of pressures, forces and ingredients, good tax policy fails if regulatory landscape makes taking advantage of the tax policy illegal or prohibitively expensive.

    Bottom line businesses do things to increase their profit, capture market or resource share or prepare the business environment for a future move, not because it is “nice”.

    I strongly suspect that the recent rash of pay backs to employees for the tax cuts was a behind the scenes scripted response and message from the Trump Administration to the business community “give me some immediate public pay back for the tax cut so I can sell this wagon!”

    They realize that “the salesman” needs a “feature” to sell the package, so they gave the public payback and cut the Democrats off at the knees as far as their favorite anti tax cut rhetoric.

    As far as the stock market as I recall the conventional wisdom is that the current behavior of the stock market is the general consensus of the expected behavior of the economy in 6-18 months.
    (I am sure EM can refine that time window a bit as I do not recall the exact number).

  52. J Martin says:

    The stock market changes in sync with planetary alignment. Pre dates Landscheidt.


  53. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting bit on twitter.

    From twitter (Perhaps something to keep an eye on – also keep an eye out for graffiti that uses the abreviation MLM which stands for Marxist, Leninist, Maoist ):
    Far Left Watch

    8 minutes ago

    In the 1960’s, Communist Red Guard units organized to assist Mao in purging all bourgeois elements of the government and ultimately killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    Today, militant Red Guard units are mobilizing domestically and our media is silent. Why?

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well finally got status on that police action in my local area.

    DC Sheriff (Douglas County Colorado)
    ‏Verified account
    5 minutes ago

    **Copper Canyon OIS Update**- Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance resulting in shots fired. 5 deputies shot by suspect. 1 deputy confirmed deceased. 2 civilians also shot by suspect. Suspect shot & believed to be dead & no longer a threat. #CopperCanyonOIS

  55. Larry Ledwick says:

    And on a lighter note – 2017 in five second video clip

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    Apparently word press does not want to allow it to play, but the link works if you can go to it directly – you may have to be on twitter to see it though.

  57. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like Venezuela wants to hurry up the implosion of their economy.
    Maduro announces a 40% increase in the minimum wage starting in January.


  58. Larry Ledwick says:

    It is now 2018 in mountain time zone – coming your way EM!

    Happy New Year to all of you – in many ways you folks are an extended family and your time and comments are much appreciated.

    I hope your new year is better than you expect in every way!

  59. llanfar says:

    Happy New Year! Exciting times.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Local weather guy posted this on twitter this morning:

    Matt Makens‏Verified account

    Denver finished 2017 as 8th warmest on record. Here’s the top 10 list out of 146 years.

    Clearly no warming trend when the top ten warmest years are scattered randomly across 93 out of 146 years (not to mention that the new reporting location favors higher summer temperatures over the older reporting sites)

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    Here is the full climate series for Denver

  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    I put this data:
    1934 54.8
    1981 54.1
    2012 53.9
    1954 54.5
    1933 54.5
    1994 53.3
    1939 52.9
    2017 52.8
    1946 52.7
    1910 52.7

    into a scatter plot and inserted a trend line – the trend is -0.1 deg F every 70 years

    By they way EM I am reading a book by Nassim Nicholas Talab called “Fooled by Randomness” You would like it! He discusses how people are wired to misinterpret data with lots of noise in it and misunderstand how to properly process data with lots of random noise (weather stock market plots etc.) He has a great background for that since he spent years as a trader trying to avoid the black swan event that wipes out a traders portfolio.

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oops misspelled his name:
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    When I finish this one will start another of his books “Anti-Fragile”

    In fooled by randomness he also discusses some false assumptions people apply to Darwin’s theory. For one it actually applies to fitness for reproduction and passing on genes in the current environment, not necessarily for survival of a suddenly changed environment.

    Genetic mutations that do not affect reproduction fitness, but are negative to the general fitness to survive may actually accumulate, especially if conditions have not changed much for a long time.
    (for example a long stock market bull market can reinforce company decisions and practices that actually make them less likely to survive a stock market down turn when it finally comes)

  64. jim2 says:

    @Larry Ledwick – I just got three of his books. Reading Antifragile first – so far, so good.

  65. jim2 says:

    Taleb mentions in Antifragile that the US-backed Shah made Iran fragile. It’s ironic we now see the same effect from the radical Islamists who now squash the country under their collective thumb.

  66. David A says:

    During the Shah’s time Iran’s economy was the envy of the Arab world. This was due to the US decision to force the UK ( who had developed Iranian reserves, give a far larger percentage of the profit to Iran. This allowed the U.S. to deal with cold war without M.E. distractions. The 1950s U.S. solution was widely successful, for Iran, until Carter policy.

  67. philjourdan says:

    Maduro announces a 40% increase in the minimum wage starting in January.

    40% more of nothing is still nothing.

  68. gallopingcamel says:

    This is a wonderful blog. I am in awe of Chiefio and his ability to dig out important information, I am also in awe of folks like p.g,, Simon Derricutt, Lionel Griffith, Adrian Ashfield, cdquarles and many more who comment here.

    Given the huge intellectual horse power here we should be able to put forward proposals that will change our country and the world.

    The Communist Manifesto changed the world. In its simplicity and clarity it comes close to the power of the US Constitution. Here the Manifesto of the Communist Party:

    The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.

    Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.

    These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.
    Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
    Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 1848

    Most of these ideas have been adopted in the USA. Should we continue to follow Karl Marx or should we take take another path?

  69. cdquarles says:

    We should definitely take another path. All of that sounds good superficially; but, as history has shown, it simply does not and cannot work due to human nature. Markets, being self-regulating real-time systems however, do work.

    The truth shall set you free. If you want production, and particularly innovative production, you must set capital free. Capital being human ingenuity or creativity. This will be destructive of old ways, to a point; but people make the trade-off because the people do the cost/benefit analysis for themselves and will make better decisions under uncertainty than any ‘collective’ ever could. If you want misery, especially avoidable misery, follow that tyrannical manifesto.

  70. Another Ian says:

    “Delingpole: The Great Global Warming Scam Began with the Nazis…”


    “German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing”


    As one comment has it

    “Now that’s a graph that tells a story, No effort needed to interpret.”

  71. jim2 says:

    This isn’t merely sweet, it’s EFFIN’ SWEET!

    “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has sued special counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the U.S. Department of Justice.”


  72. philjourdan says:

    SWEET – Not sure if it will have legs (suing the government is next to impossible), but perhaps he knows something – like how Obama ran the EPA (get sued, cave and write a regulation).

  73. Pingback: W.O.O.D. – 3 January 2018 | Musings from the Chiefio

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