Posts tagged ‘OMG’

OMG -- More Smoke!

Kudos to a reader who pointed this one out to me from the Mail online.  It is a favorite topic of mine, the use by the more-scientific-than-thou media of steam to illustrate articles on smoke and pollution.

Check out the captions - smoke is billowing out.  Of course, what they are likely referring to -- the white plumes from the 8 funnel-shaped towers -- is almost certainly pure water.  These are cooling towers, which cool water through evaporative cooling.  These towers are often associated with nuclear plants (you can see that in the comments) but are used for fossil fuel plants as well.  There does appear to be a bit of smoke in the picture, but you have to look all the way in the upper left from the two tall thin towers, and one can see a hint of emissions.  Even in this case, the plume from the nearer and smaller of the two stacks appears to contain a lot of water vapor as well.  My guess is the nasty stuff, to the extent it exists, is coming from the tallest stack, and it is barely in the picture and surely not the focus of the caption.

The article itself is worth a read, arguing that figures from the UK Met office show there has not been any global warming for 16 years.  This is not an insight for most folks who follow the field, so I did not make a big deal about it, but it is interesting that a government body would admit it.

OMG, Austerity!

via here

The UK line is particularly interesting, since that is the country that Krugman has declared is austerity-izing itself into a depression. As I have pointed out before, real government spending in UK has been and is still rising.  The percent of GDP of this spending has fallen a bit, but there is nothing about Keynesian stimulus theory that says changes in the percentage of government spending is stimulative, only its absolute value.

Here is one thing I would love to here Krugman et. al. opine on -- at what percentage of government debt to GDP does additional deficit spending become counter-stimulative.   I imagine there is an inverse relationship for deficit-funded stimulus, such that it has a larger effect at lower debt levels with a zero to negative effect at higher interest levels.

Update:  From another source, here is the UK in real $

OMG

Presented without comment, via WUWT:

OMG, We Have Really Hit Bottom - Young People Forced to Work to Support Themselves

Back when he was blogging, TJIC had a nice little animated gif with people running around yelling "Oh Noz."

 [update:  sent to me by by the folks at finem respice]

I wish I had it for this chart and the accompanying text  (via Kevin Drum)

Many young adults have felt the impact of the recession and sluggish recovery in tangible ways. Fully half (49%) of those ages 18 to 34 say that because of economic conditions over the past few years, they have taken a job they didn’t really want just to pay the bills. More than a third (35%) say they have gone back to school because of the bad economy. And one-in-four (24%) say they have taken an unpaid job to gain work experience.

First, this study is great evidence of my "what is normal" fail.  There is no baseline.  OK, 24% moved back in with their parents.  How many did this in good times?  How much worse is this?

But the real eye-catcher to me is that somehow I am supposed to be shocked that people have to find a job to pay the bills.  Even a job that, gasp, they really didn't want.  I have a clue for you.  A lot of jobs 22-year-olds have to take are not that compelling.  Mine were not.  Despite what colleges seem to be telling them, the world does not offer up a lot of really cool jobs to inexperienced young adults.  Long before you are closing deals with CEO's, you are probably writing sales literature in some cubicle.

And by the way, I am struck by how wealthy our society is when I look at this chart.  Look at answers two and three.   In both cases, people are saying that in tough times, they chose to forego income and build their skills, even perhaps paying for the privilege.  What other time in history would people have this luxury?  How many countries today would have so many people with this luxury in hard times?  Even in the Great Depression in this country I don't think we saw the same phenomenon.  Obviously the economy sucks and it would be great for everyone for it to improve, but in most other times and even in many other countries in the world today, a significant bar in bad times would have been "I starved to death."

Liberal vs. Libertarian

Often we libertarians think of making common cause with liberals on social and civil rights issues while making common cause with conservatives on fiscal and regulatory issues.

But these are rules of thumb, as often those we think of as allies on a certain issue abandon us in favor of statism.  Certain conservatives do when they give up capitalism for corporatism.  And Ken at Popehat has a fabulous example of a situation -- protection of defendant's rights in a trial -- where expected liberal support does not materialize.   He discusses the case of an accused child pornography creator

In real life, the accused has the right to review the evidence against him. But how you feel about that scenario can help to determine whether you lean liberal orlibertarian — whether you are suspicious of state power in all instances, or whether you trust the state and look to its firm hand when it comes to hot-button issues, like OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

We’ve been conditioned by the culture to expect that “liberal” and “supportive of due process and fundamental fairness to all people accused of crimes” go hand-in-hand. It’s a lie.

I think the same holds true in other circumstances, like rape trials.  Rights liberals would normally fight for, say, in the case of an accused black murderer in Mississippi were totally tossed aside for white college students accused of rape at Duke.

OMG, Best Thing I Have Seen For A While

OMG, This Is Different

A Bug or a Feature?

Kevin Drum shows this chart as evidence we need government health care like the rest of the "civilized" world:

Blog_OECD_Healthcare_2007_0

I write back in the comments:

I wonder if the graph you show is a bug or a feature.  My guess is that you could draw the same chart in the same shape with the US on the far left for consumption of items as diverse as "big screen TVs" and "pro sports tickets."  We would chalk up spending in any other area as simply a result of wealth.  Why not on health care?  Why is it so bad that we spend more money on something like health care which is arguably less frivolous and more critical than TV's or baseball games?

I would understand it if the argument was that we are not getting our money's worth, but that meme is just about dead.  The evidence is pretty clear that though life expectancy in the US is lower than some of these other countries, this is due to issues unrelated to health care (specifically murders and auto accidents).  When the cause of death is limited to things amenable to the health care system, the US ranks #1 in the world in life expectancy.  This is not even to mention the customer experience in accessing the health care system, which for all its irritations, is still ranked the best in the world.  We pay the most, and get the best results, because we can afford the best.

It makes me nervous that you think this is a problem.

PS- I certainly think there are efficiencies that could be wrung out from the health care system if people actually shopped with their own money for their own health care, as they do for every other product and service they buy.  This is proved out in the falling prices for non-insurance covered health procedures, such as laser eye surgery.  But it is a laugh to think the government will wring these savings out.  The government has never, ever, ever made a process more efficient.  All it can do to cut costs is a) institute price controls on suppliers, which eventually lead to shortages and reduced R&D and/or b)  Eliminate services.

Update: OMG, we need government take over of the automotive sector, because we spend more money on cars than any other country, and by the left's logic that is a sign of failure of the status quo.

autos

OMG

I have lived a lot of places that featured beautiful women who liked to display themselves in public to good effect.  But I have been sitting in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel for about 15 minutes and in that time I have seen the most magnificent display of beautiful women in small dresses I ever expect to see.  Wow.

OMG

I have lived a lot of places that featured beautiful women who liked to display themselves in public to good effect.  But I have been sitting in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel for about 15 minutes and in that time I have seen the most magnificent display of beautiful women in small dresses I ever expect to see.  Wow.

OMG

Wow- a video of Jimmy Page in 1957.  For you younger folks, Page was lead guitarist for the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, among others.

Paybacks are Hell, John McCain

I really try not to be vindictive, but I cannot tell you how happy this story, rife with irony, makes me:

John McCain has a campaign finance problem.
When his campaign was down and out, he agreed to take public funding
for the primaries. Public funding comes with spending limits overall
and by state. Also, a candidate who accepts funding cannot raise money
from private sources. Now that it is possible he will be the
nominee, McCain will want to be free of those fundraising and spending
limits, but he cannot withdraw from the public system. Or perhaps he
could but only with the approval of the FEC, which is not operating
because of a struggle over its nominees. The FEC does not now have a
quorum to meet and regulate. (The lack of a quorum was caused by Barack
Obama's hold on a nominee to the FEC, but never mind).

McCain will want out of the public system because he is probably
close to hitting the limit, and he could not get more money for his
campaign until he received public funding after the GOP convention
during the summer.  His "dark period" would thus be a period without
campaign funding that would run from spring until after the GOP
convention. During that "dark period" Obama or Hillary, both of whom
have not accepted public funding for the primaries, would be able to
continue spending money; some of that spending would be directed
against McCain after Obama or Hillary have secured their party's
nomination.

HAHAHAHAHA.  OMG that is great.  Read it and weep, Mr. McCain-Feingold.  McCain has argued for years that money and speech are not the same thing, and that limiting campaign money is not equivalent to limiting speech.  He can comfort himself with that thought as he goes silent for three or four [update: seven?] months  while his opposition yaps away.

OMG

Interstate bridge collapses during rush hour near Minneapolis.  Though the death toll so far of 6 is tragic, it is pretty amazing when you think of 50-100 cars on a collapsing bridge.
Bridge1

Update:  The guy in the van must have a story to tell.

OMG -- Wash. State Sales Taxes

Just pulled out the new Washington State sales tax forms to do my September taxes. The form is now 8 (dense)pages long! This is really getting out of control. In contrast, the sales tax forms for Florida (which has other problems, but we will talk about those later) fit on one side of a 3x5 card.

Washington is the worst offender I have seen in at adding jillions of new small targeted sales based taxes. They have become even more complicated than California. The basic sales tax rate varies by industry and by location - and I am not talking about just by county or city but by town. Each of something like 350 towns have their own tax rate. Then there are add-on taxes that don't follow any recognized borders, such as convention taxes and transit district taxes. Then there are lodging taxes, that vary by town but also depend on the number of sites we have in a campground, but of course that threshold number of sites changes by town as well. I have spent litterally hours with maps trying to figure out what rate we collect at for each of our locations. The Washington State tax return takes longer to prepare than any 4-5 other returns we have.