Sunday, May 19, 2019

Is the EU Democratic? Does Your Vote Matter?

There is this false notion that without a powerful central authority, weak countries are raped by strong countries.

Giving the government too much power means that everybody is going to use the government to advance their own interest, i.e. steal from their neighbors. There is no guarantee that the powerful central government won't exploit people. We see it all the time in democratic nations, and the communist nations are worse.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rio Grand

BTW, I spent some time looking at the Rio Grand on the map. That river starts in Colorado. It is a hell of a long border. Imagine building a wall.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The NETFLIX Problem

My response:  

A free market means that you are free to make choices. If a company wants to give an exclusive license for their product, then that is their choice, and they would only do it if it was more profitable than having a non-exclusive license. The consumer is still free to make a choice. It becomes a question of which streaming service gives the best value.

The argument would be like saying videogame consoles cannot have exclusive titles. It would be nice to be able to play every videogame on every system, but exclusive titles are what sell videogame consoles. So the market trends in that direction.

It would be like saying that television networks can't have exclusive shows.

It is not the end of the world to have two streaming services or two videogame consoles. Streaming services are remarkably cheap, so it is just a question of whether the extra content is worth the extra cost.

Another choice the consumer can make is to not use any service if they feel that the services don't meet their needs.

You will see the merging of some companies to be more competitive with the top service, which likely will be Disney next year. Sometimes it is government laws that prevent such mergers, which would provide more value for the consumer.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday, March 30, 2019

AOC Flips Out 😂 - YouTube

Fwd: Executive orders can't be reversed by ed executive orders.... insanity!

On April 28, 2017, Trump issued an executive order reversing three memoranda and one executive order in 2015 and 2016 by then President Barack Obama withdrawing about 125 million acres of the Arctic Ocean from oil leasing. The Obama order also prevented drilling in certain parts of the Atlantic Ocean

Gleason ruled Friday that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act only allows a president to withdraw lands from consideration by the Interior Department for leasing -- not to revoke a prior withdrawal. She ruled Congress is the only institution that can reverse a president's decision with regard to this matter, saying Trump's executive order "is unlawful, as it exceeded the President's authority."
"The wording of President Obama's 2015 and 2016 withdrawals indicates that he intended them to extend indefinitely, and therefore be revocable only by an act of Congress," Gleason said.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Crisis of Perceived Poverty

Indeed, by some measurements, the American millennial is a member of the wealthiest and most comfortable generation of human beings to have ever lived on this planet.

This reality is not reflected in perception, though. According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, which has measured how Americans feel about their overall well-being since 2008, 2017 was the worst year on record. But unlike 2009, when financial worries put significant downward pressure on the average American's self-assessment, the factors driving down happiness are emotional and psychological today. Americans are lonelier. They are more political, and both of Americas two major parties feel like they are losing cultural and electoral ground relative to their adversaries. They are economically insecure, even though more Americans are employed and the number of Americans in the labor market is stable—defying the expectation that labor force participation rates would decline as the Baby Boomer generation retires. In the aggregate, Americans are not worse off than they were a decade ago, but many of them think they are.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


John Coffey3 minutes ago
I like your videos. This was predominantly rich liberals, or so I heard. For the most part, conservatives tend to believe that you can get a good education at any college.  

Painting all rich people as corrupt is painting with a broad brush.

The Situation As I See It

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Heard portions of this video on the Sean Hannity Show

It just shows how violent the political left can be.

Very strong language.

I'll be on Hannity radio today to discuss credible death threats against me by a black feminist who has accused me of racism. We'll also discuss the passage of the too-broad legislation against hate and bigotry and what it means for free speech and truth.

How Democrats Can Beat Trump in 2020 - The Atlantic

If Trump's only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn't play to type.

That's not to say Democrats should abandon our priorities. We should work hard to combat climate change. We should fight to expand health-care coverage and reduce costs. We should find ways to make the tax code more progressive. But we shouldn't fall for Trump's sucker punch.

Monday, March 4, 2019

How plastic from clothing gets into seafood

I am wondering how long it takes plastics to break down?  I always thought that anything organic small enough would be broken down by bacteria.

Also, some chemicals used to make plastics are carcinogenic.

I have seen in the past how ships would dump their garbage at sea, and I wonder if this is still a common practice?

Chelsea Manning

She was sentenced to serve a 35-year sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence to nearly seven years of confinement dating from her arrest on May 27, 2010. Manning now earns a living through speaking engagements.

Israeli settlements, explained | Settlements Part I

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The future of humanity

I see a danger to the future existence of the human race, and it is the kind of thing that people should think about and prepare for now. Sometime in the next 50 years machines will be smarter than people. There are major technical hurdles to overcome, such as the inevitable end of Moore's Law, which probably mean that it is not right around the corner or even within the next couple of decades, but it will happen, and easily within this century. And if for some reason it does happen within the next couple of decades then that means the results will be upon us that much sooner.

We can predict what will happen next and follow it to its logical conclusion, which is a future without people.

As machines become smarter, people will become increasingly reliant on technology. We can see that already with smartphones, which only have been with us for barely over a decade. Eventually machines will do all the heavy mental work, which will make our lives easier, but also make us more dependent.

And since we will be so dependent on the machines, we will start incorporating them into us. This will evolve over time until we are no longer purely human, but human machine hybrids. Perhaps when your biological brain dies, the machine part of you will be able to continue with all your memories intact. Maybe it would have an artificial body or maybe it will exist in a virtual world. It is likely that some would prefer to live in a virtual world where they can do more things than they could in the real world. Taken to the eventual extreme, our descendants would no longer bother with biological bodies and prefer to exist as machine intelligences either in the real world or in virtual ones.

The evolutionary pressure will be against purely biological people. Having machines incorporated into you will make you more productive, competitive, and increase your quality of life.

The future I describe might be long distant, but if it is not the future we want for the human race then we should start thinking about it now. Maybe we could have a Pure Human movement that would prohibit the merging of machine intelligence with human intelligence? This could be roughly analogous to the current legal ban on human cloning, because we very likely have the technology right now to clone humans, but countries ban it because they are uneasy about the implications of where that might take us.

However, we might not be able to prevent it. Linking machines with human intelligence is likely to happen in such small steps that we will easily adjust to it. It is sort of happening already with our dependence on computers. It could also start as a series of military applications where having the most effective soldiers determines who wins the wars. And once the genie is out of the bottle, we will never get it back in.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Bill Maher WANTS Trump to win in 2020

Friday, February 22, 2019

Double every year

More specifically, the study, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that the mortality rate from synthetic opioids in 28 states more than doubled every two years from 1999 to 2016. The District of Columbia saw the greatest increase in its opioid mortality rate, which more than tripled every year since 2013.

The Truth About the 'ISIS Bride' - YouTube

Trouble on the Horizon for Joe Biden

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hoda Muthana 'deeply regrets' joining Isis and wants to return home

From Art to Activism: What's happened to modern movies?

The new FRIENDSHIP between ISRAEL and the ARAB countries

Backing Away Slowly

Alexandria Ocasio-cortez humiliates herself in another blunder on Economy with Amazon snub

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led a successful campaign to prevent Amazon from coming to New York City, costing New York City 25,000 jobs.  She is so incredibly stupid that she thinks that the 3 billion dollar discount on 30 billion in taxes that Amazon would have paid New York is 3 billion that they otherwise could spend on teachers.  Never mind that they don't actually have the 3 billion dollars, and they just lost 27 billion in tax revenue, along with a bunch of jobs.

She has a degree in economics.

Originally Indianapolis tried to get those jobs, but the city was not successful in its bid.

The actual details are complicated ...

The Democratic mayor said: "And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue."

Mark Steyn Rips Ocasio-Cortez Over Amazon Pull-Out

Peace In The Middle East

Islam In Europe

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Climate change argument on Facebook

* My Facebook comment.
The numbers are not very impressive.  Since 1880, which is the measure most people use, on average the CO2 level has gone up less than 1 part per million per year and the temperature has gone up less than 1/100th of a degree celsius per year.  You could argue that since about 1970 things have accelerated a little, but a little less than double.  The temperature went up on average of 0.016 degrees celsius pear year.  It is going take a very long time to reach the five degrees needed to melt the polar ice caps, which are according to every source going to take 5,000 years to melt.  Meanwhile we will be out of most fossil fuels by the year 2100 and coal will be gone by the 2150.  The only thing that will save us from running out of energy will be nuclear fusion, which fortunately is not that far off.

Three years ago I wrote this:

The amount of carbon on planet Earth by definition remains pretty much the same. Man has been burning fossil fuels, which puts carbon into the atmosphere. Where did the carbon in the fossil fuels come from? It mostly came from plants and bacteria that got buried underground due to geological processes. Over millions of years natural processes turned the plants and bacteria into fossil fuels. Where did the plants and bacteria get their carbon from? They got it from the atmosphere. The carbon that we are now putting into the atmosphere originally came from the atmosphere.

To better understand this, we have to understand the complete history of atmospheric carbon dioxide on planet Earth. The original earth atmosphere was an amazing 43% carbon dioxide compared with the roughly .04% that we have now. That original atmosphere had so much pressure that it could crush a man flat. About 2.5 billion years ago, cyanobacteria began using photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into free oxygen, which lead to the creation of our oxygen rich "third atmosphere" 2.3 billion years ago. At that time the carbon dioxide levels were about 7,000 parts per million, but it went into a somewhat steady but uneven decline because geological processes would sequester carbon underground. The decline was uneven because as part of the "carbon dioxide cycle", sometimes geological processes like volcanoes would cause massive amounts of carbon dioxide to be released back into the atmosphere.

Thirty million years ago during the Oligocene Epoch, the average temperature of the earth was about 7 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now. There was no ice on the poles, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was in rapid decline during this epoch. About 23 million years ago, at the beginning of the Neogene period, ice began to form on the poles. About ten million years ago, a series of intermittent ice ages began that continue to this day. I found one source that said that we are still technically in an ice age because we still have ice at the poles.

These ice ages helped create human evolution. The ice ages caused Africa to dry up which lead to some deforestation. This forced some arboreal (tree dwelling) apes to venture onto land. About 7 million years ago, the first apes that could comfortably walk upright appeared. They had evolved a new type of pelvis that allowed upright locomotion, which is about three times more efficient when trying to cross land.

The first tool making ape that resembled modern humans, Homo habilis, arose 2.5 million years ago. It would be soon followed by Homo erectus, and then about 200,000 years ago, modern humans, Homo sapiens would arise. However, Homo sapiens almost died out. About 50,000 years ago an ice age in Europe had caused Africa to almost completely dry up. The total human population had dropped to 7,000 individuals living on the southern coast of Africa. During this period humans learned how to fish, make new tools, and create permanent dwellings. When the ice age abated, these humans with their new tools spread out to rest of the world at a pace of about a mile per year. This was the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic (Late Stone Age) period.

More ice ages would follow, and during each ice age human population would decline. It is no coincidence that all of human civilization (i.e. agriculture, use of metals) would arise during a "brief" warm period between two ice ages starting about 10,000 years ago. I have heard that no matter what we do, we will enter a new ice age in about 10,000 years from now, but I have also heard speculation that the next ice age will be delayed by global warming. This actually should be our goal, since humans have always declined during the ice ages and always prospered during the intermittent warm periods.

During the geological time period of the earth, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been on an uneven decline and mostly disappeared. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is necessary for plant growth, and I have read that we were running dangerously low on atmospheric carbon dioxide, about 00.02%, before mankind at least temporarily reversed the trend. I just read a wikipedia article that said that atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually get so low that all plants and animals will die off. What mankind has done is put carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere that was previously there, thus possibly delaying the next ice age. Currently the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 00.04%.

Carbon dioxide by itself cannot cause significant global warming. There are diminished returns. Carbon dioxide has to double again to produce the same effect as the last doubling. The effect is not linear but logarithmic. What the alarmists are worried about, and they could be correct, is positive feedback. The warming of the earth causes more water vapor to enter the atmosphere, and water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, thus causing more warming. If this were true, however, the last warming period around the year 2000 should caused a continuous positive feedback, a runaway greenhouse, which didn't happen. Instead temperatures went into a major decline and hit a really big low point in the year 2007.

The skeptics believe that increased cloud cover reflects sunlight back into space thus causing a negative feedback. The skeptics are not "global warming deniers", which is a pejorative phrase used by global warming theorists to make the skeptics sound like holocaust deniers. These skeptics actually believe in global warming. At least, the legitimate skeptical scientists do. They just think that global warming is happening at a rate slower than predicted by the theorists. I can point you to an article that shows that the positive feedback models have been contradicted by the actual temperature data, which in reality has been closer to the negative feedback models.

The worst case scenario is that the polar ice caps will melt. If that happens we will lose some coastlines and all of Florida due to sea level rise. However, according to what I just read, it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt. In other words, these are processes that take a very long time to happen. In this century we are only looking at modest temperature increases. In the meantime, humans are very adaptable. We are only five to ten years away from creating the first workable prototypes of nuclear fusion. It might take 25 years for this to be practical, but at that point if we wanted to get rid of fossil fuels altogether, we could. I think that we will also see advances in solar power, which is already happening, and battery technology to store the energy created by solar. In other words, we have it within our means to avoid any possible disasters that might be coming.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

P.S. Figure 4 here is interesting:

* How people responded
Hank Mayo Gish:  gallop of nonsense by a Facebook nobody looking for attention.

Joey Jordan:  John Coffey where to begin?  Let's just begin and end with the notion that CO2 levels haven't spiked dramatically as a result of human activity and that the global temperature rise is insignificant. 

The significance of even a half a degree of warming when an additional 1,1-2,6 under the most optimistic of models. 

Hank Mayo:  Joey Jordan ...just WOW!  You took on this utter nonsense and started unpacking it.

Ralph Philips John Coffey ...Can you just stick to one lie at a time?

* My Response
People throwing out insults shows what jerks they can be.  Let's talk about facts.

I didn't deny a spike in CO2 nor did I a deny human cause.  You try to counter my claim that the rise in temperature is not significant, but you don't give any temperature data.  Here is what we know:

The temperature rise since 1880 is about 1 degree celsius.  I have seen different figures that range from .8 to 1.1, so for now I will just say 1 degree.  Over the 139 year period, that is still less than 1/100th of a degree per year.  According to what I have read, the temperature increase since 1970 has been on average 0.16 degrees per decade, or 0.016 degrees per year.

Your graph shows the current CO2 level at 400 PPM, which if correct would be an increase of 120 PPM over 139 years.  However, the last time I had checked this, we were around 408, but a google search shows it to now be 412 PPM, and the same google search shows this is 3 PPM higher than this time last year.  Although the average increase since 1880 is still about 1 PPM per year, I am concerned about whether this trend of 3 PPM increase per year will continue.  

Whether or not this is significant depends upon where you draw the endpoints of your graph.  I should point out that your graph shows that during previous periods of glaciation the CO2 level got down to 180 PPM, which is just 30 PPM above the level where all the plants die off.  Plants have been starved for CO2 and the increase that we have made has been very beneficial for crop yields.  However, if you look at the graph that I gave a link to, you will see that the the CO2 level has been in a nosedive for the last 30 million years or so.

Now somebody might say it doesn't matter what the CO2 level was 30 million years ago, we like where it is right now.  However, a lot more people die from cold than from heat.  Given a choice of living in a colder climate or a warmer climate, most people would choose a warmer climate. During the Medieval Warm Period, people were able to grow crops far further north than they could otherwise.  People talk about corn crops dying, but it just means that area where corn can be grown will be further north.  

Besides, the numbers we are talking about (so far) aren't that significant, and that's my point.  I feel like people keep moving the goalposts.  There has been much debate and disagreement over what the Climate Sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is.   Some people were saying it is 12 degrees, with others saying it is 5 or 6 degrees, which is still terrible because that is enough to melt the polar ice caps and all our coasts are going to get flooded.  However, if you calculate Climate Sensitivity from existing CO2 and temperature data you only get about 2.3 degrees.   The IPCC gives a predicted range of 1.5 to 4.5 claiming an average of 3.  As part of this, the IPCC accepted a paper where 20nth century data showed the Climate Sensitivity to only be about 1.5 degrees celsius.  

The reason why I think that people are moving the goalposts is not only has the IPCC over time lowered the numbers they give for Climate Sensitivity, but now people are claiming that we should be worried about the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees celsius.  I have heard some climate scientists scoff at this, because they say that in a typical day we will see a 30 degree range and people are making a fuss over a couple of degrees.

These changes are happening at a glacial pace, excuse the pun.  Some changes will happen between now and the year 2100 and people will adapt.  Not all these changes are bad.  Slightly warmer climates will have some benefits.  

But long term, over geological time periods, the trend is much more ominous, and not for reasons you think.  We will be running out of fossil fuels in 100 years and headed for another ice age in 10,000 years.  Natural processes will continue to cause a decline in atmospheric CO2.  At some point in the long distant future will have to find a way to put CO2 back into the atmosphere to survive.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How is this a Thing? 12th of February 2019

John Dowd calls Russia probe 'terrible waste of time,' predicts Mueller won't issue report

"I know exactly what Mr. Mueller has," Mr. Dowd said. "I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is. There's no basis. There's no exposure. It's been a terrible waste of time."

Monday, February 11, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fwd: China weapons tech

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: utahtrout

An unclassified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency says Beijing has made enormous military strides in recent years, thanks partly to domestic laws forcing foreign partners to divulge technical secrets in exchange for access to China's vast market.

As a result of "acquiring technology by any means available," China now is at the leading edge on a range of technologies, including with its naval designs, with medium- and intermediate-range missiles, and with hypersonic weapons -- where missiles can fly at many times the speed of sound and dodge missile-defense systems.

"The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA (People's Liberation Army) on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world," states the report, entitled "China Military Power."

"In some areas, it already leads the world."

Beijing has said it will not hesitate to use force if Taipei formally declares independence, or in the case of external intervention -- including by the United States, the island's most powerful unofficial ally.

"The biggest concern is that as a lot of these technologies mature... (China) will reach a point where internally within their decision-making they will decide that using military force for a regional conflict is something that is more imminent," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)

The new Gillette ad is an attack on toxic masculinity.  

Oh man, the backlash has been enormous.  Nobody likes bullying.  Nobody thinks that people should be bullies.  Do we want to stand up against things that are wrong?  Sure, but Gillette is insulting their customers by saying that being male somehow makes you a bully and/or a sexist.  Like it is in our nature because we have too much testosterone.  They are painting with too broad of a brush.  

Implying that people are a certain way because of their gender is also sexism.

I've met women who were bullies.  I've met women who were mean to other women, and women who were mean to men.  This is not necessarily a male female issue.  It is about people having decency toward other people.

New Amsterdam/New York

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rashida Tlaib's profanity-laced declaration about Trump impeachment

"And when your son looks at you and says, 'Mama, look. You won. Bullies don't win.'

"And I said, 'Baby, they don't,' because we're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherf----

End of the world 1948 made

From: utahtrout 

1948 saw the creation of Israel; the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention; the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; the Berlin airlift and the desegregation of the U.S. military.

Taken together, these decisions  of 1948 yielded the building blocks of an international order arranged, on the Western side of the Iron Curtain and that bloc's allies, by nation-states organized along the lines of national, ethnic and religious identities, where goods trade freely across borders, basic norms safeguard the well-being of minority groups, and of individuals, irrespective of their group identity or whether they belonged to any group at all. While not every state adhered to this model, those that did were committed to enforcing it; when necessary by force.

That, in outline, is the essential worldview emerging from the anniversaries of 1948 and the argument for that vision's preservation. This is what we mean when we talk about the liberal international order now so desperately under siege

The whole article is a must read for everyone. But i have come to many of its conclusions over the years...

But we also need to ask something else, and ask it hard: What is it that we failed to understand, what are the realities to which we blinded ourselves? It's a question that will take decades to answer but I think we can point to several sets of errors. This list is not exhaustive, but you have to start somewhere.

First, we assumed that people all over the world want the same things; that mix of individual, civil and political freedom plus regulated free market capitalism characteristic of America and the states of Western Europe. Relatedly, we believed that when pressed to choose between prosperity and freedom, people everywhere would choose freedom. Moreover, we thought that one couldn't go without the other, an error that China is proving more and more wrong with each passing day.

Second, we thought human rights and nationalism were antithetical and that promoting the former meant pushing back on the latter. The architects of the world of 1948 understood better. As historian James Loeffler has shown in his remarkable new book, Rooted Cosmopolitans, so many key figures in the human rights revolution of midcentury were not only Jews but Zionists. For them, an international regime of protecting individual human rights as well as nation-states for persecuted minorities were both necessary to overcome the Holocaust's ghastly trauma of statelessness. The deep structural suspicion of the idea of state sovereignty woven into the human rights framework, it seems, has unwittingly fostered the legalistic abstraction and airy disregard for political realities that has made that framework such a supple tool in the hands of dictators who couldn't care less.

Third, we assumed that with proper incentives greed and competition could be channeled towards the common good. Not that human nature could be changed, as Marx thought, but that human nature's darker sides could themselves serve society, per the ideas of Adam Smith. The exuberant celebrants of free market capitalism conveniently forgot Smith's addendum that the invisible hand of capitalism will run amok without the equally invisible but no less important heart of beneficence and justice. The darker angels of our nature are real and need to be reckoned with.