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27 January 2013



George, I'd be surprised if Gate's born again data collection doesn't have Windows phone sales at its heart, but in your focusing in on the silliness of treating measurement and evaluation as being anything new, you missed the focus Gates was taking:

Gates was talking about governmental enterprises. Public health. Education. It really is a new idea to measure outcomes and use quantitative tools to make decisions and allocating resources. If it gets traction it will exist until a politician has to make a decision that pits their reelection against doing what the numbers suggest.

George Rebane

Gregory 338pm - Sorry for being so obtuse, but the first paragraph was supposed to make the governmental connection quite clear. That is the only place, where governments deal with social issues, that we run into opposition from the Left in using quantitative utility and objective measurements. I repeat the government connection again in the second to the last paragraph. Apologies for not saying it clearly enough for you to understand.


Sorry, George, but I don't think "social issues" automatically connotes government action regarding social issues, and right wing politicians are just as bad, it's just that they have a different set of sacred cows.


If you can find Gates or his Foundation speaking candidly regarding how effective their educational social spending has been, please do share it.


Catch the latest? "O" claims to go skeet shooting all the time. Really?
I have yet to see a picture with a real gun in his hands.
Maybe VP Joe, will pipe up and claim he plucked and cleaned a full limit
of that "pidgin".
The lies never stop.

George Rebane

Gregory 402pm - be advised that when I write about dealing with social issues, I'm talking about the government doing that using tax dollars, not your local church or foundations using private monies. And my making that interpretation in reading other commentaries has yet to lead me astray in my understanding of what was being discussed.

404pm - Will do; and likewise share with us what you find.

Ben Emery

Bill Gates trying to take a populist position is as pathetic as trying to label him a humanitarian.

Three different stories about three different companies from three different papers on three different continents talking about the same exploitation of human beings. I say FU to all major large corporations who exploit their workers and those who profit most off of these immoral practices.

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Walmart heirs

George Rebane

BenE 549pm - I was hoping that you would weigh in on this posting. And readers may now evaluate how a hard leftwinger addresses the issue of using analytics as a reasonable basis for making public policy. Your dancing the progressive sidestep on this is a significant contribution to the record. Thank you.

Ben Emery

Well George,
In usual form your response sounds academic but really is nonsense. Yes, my analysis of the situation is those who can write off huge tax breaks at the same time market the economic action as humanitarian is disgusting. All of the above examples I gave could have kept factories in the US paying $30 an hour wages with good benefits and still have been billionaires. But that isn't the business model in America anymore, which by the way we have exported to the rest of the world large corporations in the farce of Free Trade/ Globalization.

George Rebane

BenE 622pm - Exactly. And none of this was the topic of my post or the cited Bill Gates' article.



Just what did Gates write that fits any definition whatsoever of "populist"?

Russ Steele


Did you even read about the programs that Bill Gates is sponsoring in third world nations? I think that you have let your hatred of corporations, which are made up of thousands of individual stock holders, blind you to the real nature of the Gates Foundations work in third world countries.

Steve Frisch

I seem to remember stating clearly here more than two years ago that I support performance based budgeting for governmental agencies including setting specific goals and targets, measuring results, and sunsetting programs, legislation, and agencies if they do not meet their goals. I even supported specific legislation and a ballot proposition that would have required that at the state level. So this is one person, who George would call a liberal, who supports measurement and a systems approach. The little nonprofit I work for uses just such project performance metrics to model outcomes in advance, measure against goals, and adaptively manage to meet desired results.

Ryan Mount

I like the idea of testing and measuring the effectiveness of government. But I think that's the easy part it seems. Well, easier part. We can just have one of the budgetary offices to hire some optimistic post-grad Millennials audit everything. The hard part is getting rid of deadweight programs and spending, especially as in California, when it's written into the State Constitution via the initiative process. I bring up the initiative process because I believe is really a bad idea to legislate somewhat whimsically from the ballot box. Call me a Conservative, I guess.

The other tricky issue is the first part of this process: the agenda setting. This leads to spending and then to the deadweight. In California, we have a Democrat majority and the electorate via the Initiative process pulling our government's fiscal marionette strings. So most (all?) of our State's financial wounds are self-inflicted by these factions. (Think Prop 13 followed by Prop 98 to "fix" that) So also call me cynical in that I betcha even if we test and attempt to retire deadweight, that we will find a way to make sure that our precious pet program can't go away.

Steve Frisch

Ryan, I agree with on the initiative process, although it would be admittedly hard to eliminate at this point without a statewide constitutional convention (which I also supported). The most likely scenario would be requiring that initiatives be pre-reviewed fro conflicts with other areas of the state constitution, that they be reviewed independently for budgetary consequences, and that any initiative that increases the cost of government be required to identify the funding source that will support that activity. This would probably eliminate more than 70% of initiatives, saving the process for the truly big policy decisions that were the original intent of the progressives when they amended the state constitution to create initiative, referendum and recall in the early 20th century.

To the difficulty of measuring progress: the process can be considerably simplified if the idea of creating measurable objectives is incorporated up front when crafting policies, programs, and legislation. There will still be some things that cannot be measured, and some process to identify and agree on those, but we could measure more than 80% of what government does in my opinion.

Re: agenda setting, of course these will still be political processes, as they should be--we are a democracy after all--but the performance review would create a level of transparency that is rarely seen now, and deadweight will be much harder to support if it can be shown, for example, that subsidizing water for cotton through the state water project actually creates little advantage for net agricultural exports, and the water could be better used for urban or manufacturing applications.

Finally, I would support an automatic sunset on every new policy, program, and governmental agency and a regular review process to measure them. Sunsets would vary of course, depending on the specifics.

Steve Frisch

Should read "I agree with you."


Should the metric for assessing the efficacy of restrictive gun laws be the gun homicide rate, or violent crime rates in general?

Steve Frisch

Greg, good question. Establishing metrics is certainly would not be easy. I would recommend that certain issues not be subject to these performance metrics, at least to begin with; since gun laws can be local, state or federal there are a number of externalities, which would need to be taken into account. Federal court cases would eventually predominate in cases where a constitutionally identified right is at stake, so a sober analysis of the current legal definition of that right would be necessary to establish metrics. I don't want to get diverted by the gun debate though.

Ryan Mount

Well, I guess my point is that due to legislative "overhead" we've created in this State especially since we implemented the Initiative process, it's going to be difficult to un-do the deadweight when we've written spending directly into the Constitution in many cases as entitlements or mandates.

Not to mention the metrics (not only for guns but a variety of topics) Greg mentions. That dovetails with my agenda observations. He who holds the conch, gets to speak which not necessarily congruent with the rights of minorities. (minorities in the general sense)

I guess in a nutshell, the incentive will be to hard-wire initiatives into the Constitution with no sunset date. So the first order of business, it would seem to me, is that we need to disband the initiative process. And I don't see that happening anytime soon. It's a pipe dream.

George Rebane

In the application of such a systems approach to policy making, I would think that its adherents would be the first to decry California's AB32, and the havoc that it is wreaking across the state. Could the attempt to rescind AB32 not be some low hanging fruit that would quickly demonstrate the benefits of this approach in concrete and quantitative ways? Maybe that could get the ball rolling with a twofer, getting rid of (ameliorating?) a bad law and effectively marketing the process.

Douglas Keachie

Apparently the "systems approach to things" involves picking and choosing what you will and won't measure, and thus use as factors in your analysis.

"Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything," ~Zorba the Greek~

As long as Group A says, "Use this, not that," and Group B says, "Use that, not this," you've simply added one more layer of BS to the discussion. "Piled Higher and Drier," comes to mind, and Walt, that's the long form of PhD in some circles, in case you didn't know.

It just might be that the efficacy of restrictive guns laws is zero, regardless of which rate is used. You may be altogether asking for the wrong solution, to a problem of stress and psychosis in our dog eat dog, no holds barred, kick them when they are down, capitalist free market society. Could it be that holding those values as core to the USA culture, is the real source of gun violence?

System analysis in simple and even somewhat complex engineering situations, where all is determined by physics, works most of the time, but the Japanese loosened their safety standards to get those batteries packs on through, and like the O rings on the shuttle, the desires of humans led to failures in the real world. The desire known as boundless greed, has short circuited the safety of the social fabric, and until you fix that, you are going to have your 10,000 plus murder rates via gunfire nationwide, forever. And with it, more Sandy Hooks.

Good luck, you'll need it.


George, a progressive who even hits at the enormity of the debt they have (immorally) saddled upon us would be an admission to their guilt in the scheme. Ain't gonna happen.

I wholeheartedly believe that bureaucrats need to have 'skin in the game' (thanks Taleb). Bureaucrats should have openly stated objectives and their jobs (and pensions) at risk based on the metrics used to 'grade' such objectives. Again, ain't gonna happen.

I love the 'sunset laws' concept. Again, ain't gonna happen.

BTW, Bill Gates did far more good for humans as an entrepreneur than he ever will as a philanthropist.

George Rebane

DougK 919am - Doug, you truly are a gem. As predictable as the sunrise.

Mikey 928am - Agreed on Gates, and won't bet against your prognostications. But what really is a remarkable ongoing circus is the progressives' claim to be the enlightened ones who promote everything scientific, when in truth they fear science like the plague because it continually goes crosswise to their ideology. As another nearby example, witness DougK's 919am.


We have a call to eschew rationality from the usual irrational poster; what a surprise.

I would think figuring out the metrics for any law purporting to benefit a public good, including reducing violent crime, should be front and center when touting any change. It's easy: is decreasing the rate of gun violence, or the overall violence rate, most important?

"During the offense that brought them to prison, 15% of State inmates and 13% of Federal inmates carried a handgun, and about 2%, a military-style semiautomatic gun."

In other words, 1 in 50 of inmates in the US possessed a "military-style" gun when they committed their crime.

Then there's the use of language.. The proponents of the Feinstein approach have been labeling "military-style" semiautomatic, one shot per trigger pull guns as battlefield weapons that, especially when equipped with magazines larger than 10 (7 in New York) are only good for killing lots of people in a short amount of time. At the same time, the *civilian* Department of Homeland Security has let a Request for Proposal for 7000 "Personal Defense Weapons" that are fully automatic machine guns that shoot the same ammo as the Shady Hook weapon, with 30 round magazines.

What is more destructive, a "Personal Defense Weapon" or a semiautomatic "Assault Weapon"? I'd say the PDW is more destructive, including to the language. A PDW is just a compact Assault Rifle, to use the military designation of a select fire machine gun.

I don't own any guns that are covered by any existing or proposed US 'assault weapons' legislation though, I must say, if it wasn't for the fact they've skyrocketed in price in the current buying frenzy, I might go out and buy one just to tick some people off. DiFi, Schumer, Obama and Biden have ignited a perfect storm in guns and ammo sales, with many guns and just about every type of ammunition currently being unavailable, flying off the shelves as quickly as it arrives.

Paul Emery

Since everyone is gooing about Bill Gates I thought it would be a good opportunity to review his solutions to global warming, which he believes is real Here you go:

"We don't really grasp the scale of the problem we're facing," Gates tells me in his office overlooking Lake Washington in Seattle. "The right goal is not to cut our carbon emissions in half. The right goal is zero."

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


"your argument does not address the notion that having such a gun is perhaps something of an incentive to commit a crime?"

That is a common unstated assumption of people who espouse restrictions on the ability of non-government employees to legally own guns: just "having" the gun is an incentive or inducement to commit a crime.

Ryan Mount

As a side note, I'm relatively convinced that our current (modern) pro-gun/2nd Amendment advocacy has it's genesis in the late 1960's Black Panther movement. I find this prospect both fascinating and ironic to some degree.

But to Greg's point, when it comes down to language, that's all it gonna take to divide our citizens into those that have weapons, and those who don't by deliberately equivocating over the definition of what a gun(assault rifle) is. And with regards to the agenda, reflecting my concerns above, he that controls the agenda, controls the language and its terms. And then by extension, how we think and act about/on it.

Which is why these bureaucratic and legislative end-arounds on gun regulation are so misguided. Because the 2nd Amendment exists, we need to deal with that directly. And if we don't like it, we can change it or get rid of it. So why not do that? What's the hold up?

Douglas Keachie

Going into a liquor store with overwhelming firepower probably seems a safer bet than going in with the knife, hatchet, or hammer, so often recommended as the criminal's alternative to an military style rifle. That's what I would call an incentive to commit a crime with such a weapon. the more of them out there, the more will be stolen, and the more will be used. It's that simple.

Joe Koyote

Here are some numbers to crunch. What do these numbers tell us about what is going on in America? Between 1979 and 2011: the top 1% of wage earners saw their income increase 134%, the 95-99% a 57% increase, and the 90-95% a 36% increase. The other 90% of Americans saw their incomes increase 14.5%. During this same time period worker productivity increased by 69% while their wages increased only 6.5%. Compared to the 1950s, the wealthy have had their income increase by a factor of 20 while their taxes have gone down by a factor of 3. So we have increased productivity but virtually stagnant income for working folks coupled with a large increase in income and decrease in taxes for the wealthy. Between 2000 and 2008 half of the manufacturing jobs in America moved off shore. (income numbers based on US census data).


"Since everyone is gooing about Bill Gates"

Hardly, Paul. While Bill's Pretty Good Software Company has made a few, including Bill, rich beyond the dreams of Avarice, success at marketing Windows doesn't endow him with more insight into climate and atmospheric physics than anyone else.

His Foundation has a history of running with the causes du jour of the sorts of people who gravitate towards working in "non profit" philanthropies. Small schools was one that has apparently been abandoned...

Douglas Keachie

And George, you really shouldn't have to be persuaded by your advisers:

From "The Last king of Scotland"

Idi Amin I want you to tell me what to do!
Garrigan You want ME to tell YOU what to do?
Amin Yes, you are my advisor. You are the only one I can trust in here. You should have told me not to throw the Asians out, in the first place!
Garrigan I DID!
Amin But you did not persuade me, Nicholas. You did not persuade me!

Ben Emery

I posted a longer post and of course it didn't stick. So I will try and recover it or recreate it.

I did read the article and what the criminal Gates is proposing. Once again we are asking the wrong questions. It isn't up to the developed world to throw scraps in the guise of "humanitarian" aid to the nations that have been raped and plundered of their natural wealth by sociopath individuals and oppressive nations.

The fact Bill Gates published a solution to the world problems falsely puts him in the realm of a humanitarian. When criminal business minds put forward ideas on how to help the people that their whole business career exploited is an insult and should be viewed with great skepticism. Did either of you read the article? So lets ask the bigger question of imperialism and the long term affects of the practice on the continent of Africa. The poorest nations Mr. Gates is pretending to care about have had their natural resources plundered, their natural rights trampled, their water polluted, land stolen, and the ability to live a free life oppressed for centuries. I think to address these issues should be the first thing in "helping" the continent.

Africa is a perfect example "Creative Destruction". Destroying an intact system that has been evolving slowly for millions of years and replacing it with a system that doesn't replenish what was taken. That is theft in all other accounts except in the business world, why? Then that destruction creates waste that is invasive creating an entire new system. If creative destruction is allowed to go on long enough in free market economic system the society that is created should see a gradual rise in standard of living through a rise of productivity and better products, work hours shortened as wages increase, and less physical labor intense jobs. That isn't how it has worked because those who sit in the top economic/ political 1% have secured their wealth and power through a very lopsided redistribution of wealth off long-term exploitation of labor and raping of the land. The so called Makers or the biggest welfare kings and thieves among us, but they sit atop and make the laws so their immoral and natural right violating behavior is “legal” in this upside down system.

This act of creative destruction is nothing new; it has taken place since the first society came into being. That region is suffering the same type of destruction today as it did 6,000 years ago. Energy of Gilgamesh was wood and they devastated that resource. Today energy sources, oil and natural gas, are coveted so much so that the US along with other traditionally oppressive nations will put sanctions, illegal bombing campaigns, and illegally invade Iraq killing millions over a two-decade period. Please tell me how that is factored into your great Free Market model? The criminal Bill Gates should shut his trap and go learn about how to live without destruction of the natural environment from the very third world citizens he has exploited.

I have already posted about Microsoft immoral labor practices, since that isn't a concern at RR I will put legal actions against the company and its Chief Executive/ Chairperson. This should make your competition bones shiver but I doubt it will.

Microsoft has been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, but Bill Gates says he is confident that appeal courts will throw out the verdict.

Software giant Microsoft must pay a fine of 497m euros ($613m; £331m) for abusing its dominant market position, the European Commission has ordered.

Microsoft has appealed against a 899m euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m) fine given for defying sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour.

Microsoft Guilty in US
"Microsoft has illegally crushed innovative competitors and harmed consumers. The company has shown its contempt for any court-imposed changes in its conduct,"

I will stop there to let you digest or project all your insecurities at me personally instead of addressing the issues and concerns I have outlined.

Ben Emery

To finish the thought " It isn't up to the developed world to throw scraps in the guise of "humanitarian" aid to the nations that have been raped and plundered of their natural wealth by sociopath individuals and oppressive nations."

What makes the developed nations at all qualified to tell those regions how to get out of the miserable quality of life that we have created through our unsustainable and immoral practices? What we are seeing play itself out is the cancer stages of capitalism of running out of resources and places to steal wealth from to redistribute it to the same old global top 1%.

Douglas Keachie

On guns and causes and statistics, here's a nice image to sum up some of what we know, from a respected medical journal. MD's and PhD's abound on these pages:

Guns Are Safe, Aren't They?


A little pathetic if you ask me Dougy.
Don't you have some photo shop work to do?
There is not ONE photo of "O" with a shotgun
in his hands skeet shooting, that he claims " he
does all the time."

So just which Libby nitwit staged that photo?
She holds the rifle RIGHT handed, with her pistol
holstered Lefty style. ( never mind the stats are as trumped up
as the NLRB) Leftys like yourself just hate it when news leaks out
when a person defends themselves with a gun. Lefty news is real good at NOT reporting those stories.


Dougy,, Hear the Father of one of the slain children today?
He blames the lunatic NOT the gun. He even said "there are more than enough gun laws on the books."
I'm sure the likes of MSNBC and CNN will NOT run that story.
Just like the blackout on Sen. "(D) Perv ". And like I figured, that news
would be buried deeper since it came out Friday. A LIB news reporter had
the chance. But not ONE question to Sen. Perv on the FBI investigation of him.
But if a low level repub got caught with an unloaded gun, and even dismantled,
encased in military grade Lucite in his checked baggage, that would overshadow
Sen "Perv".


I see the Keachie is hitting the fan again.

Ben, one of my favorite Microsoft quotes was recounted by Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, which used to be a major player in networking before it disappeared. At one time, they were partnered with Microsoft providing a networked operating system (OS2 Lan Manager). One day, 3Com woke up and found Microsoft was doing networking software, and took most of 3Com's customer base with it.

The money quote from Metcalfe was from someone he wouldn't identify at the time (and maybe since), but it was from someone at Microsoft, I assume either Gates or Steve Ballmer: "You made a fatal error, you trusted us."



The peasants are fighting back in Vermont,and our own DIFI
is fibbing.( and will get away with it as usual)

Ben Emery

Exactly. That is one of my points with Gates talking about how to help the poor around the world. My guess he some how other than good marketing and public relations will get financial gain from his proposals. Off topic but a another example is Chertoff and the 4th amendment violating radiation scanners used by TSA.

I know Truthout is a lefty organization but this is the only place I really saw anything about the connection between Chertoff and the profits he gets by the scanners being used in airports. Another classic case of crony capitalism, capturing, and public/ private revolving door?

Your quote is referred to about 3/4 of the way through the article.
"You made a fatal error, you trusted us"

George Rebane

JoeK 1047am – Thanks for the cited data. Your data, however, does not include or support the needed information here to evaluate your point. The fraction of federal taxes paid by the upper percentiles has continued to grow. Now I understand that by progressive standards that is neither important nor enough, but it is what it is. Your discussion should branch to the topic of ‘social justice’ under which we could establish your criteria for fairness in how the wealthier pay taxes.

What also appears to still elude is how to treat and understand productivity data. In the aggregate, worker productivity has gone up, but that hides the skewness of the distribution of workers who are actually the high producers. Most workers are being ‘left behind’ by technology when it comes to production. And to abet the point, it is the wealthier classes who invest in technology development that makes it harder for less skilled workers to compete for jobs then wages. In the last aspect, the wealthy are indeed guilty, should you so wish to charge them.

But all of that goes to provide more/better goods/services to the consumer at lower prices. And again in the aggregate, the quality of life has been steadily improving for all income quintiles, especially the poorest. However, I do agree that class warfare is a complex undertaking, and I harbor little hope that any of this will stick.

George Rebane

BenE 1056am - "It isn't up to the developed world to throw scraps in the guise of "humanitarian" aid to the nations that have been raped and plundered of their natural wealth by sociopath individuals and oppressive nations."

Since only the developed world, whom you dismiss, has "scraps" to throw, who would you have help the less developed countries?

BTW, I do agree that the way the developed world helps the less developed is in the large hurtful - it feeds them fish without teaching them how to fish. I have posted much on this.


Krauthammer: We have ‘a Statue of Liberty — it’s not a Statue of Equality’
“I would just caution you about using the word, ‘socialism,’” Krauthammer said. “The reason is it is too broad a term. It encompasses all kinds of socialism, including the nasty totalitarian examples — the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, Cuba,Korea."
“I just would caution you to use the word ‘social democrat’ because that is what he is. … He is not an acolyte of the ‘Communist Manifesto.’ He is in the tradition of the, you know, the quite remarkable and respectable social democrats in Europe. [The] Labor Party, I think, would be a good example, a good counterpart.”

"The United States is different fundamentally from Europe — historically and culturally and politically. That we put much more emphasis on the individual, on liberty versus equality. There is a reason that in the New York Harbor there’s a Statue of Liberty — it’s not a Statue of Equality.”


Ben, you're forgetting one of the great truths of our age: under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it's the other way around.

I have a choice to buy or not to buy a Microsoft product, and that's more choice than I'd have if the Ben Emery's of the world had more power. The last time I directly purchased software from MS was a Win2K disk about 12 years ago, before that, Windows 2.0 circa 1989. A notebook computer came with Win XP five years ago.

There are opensource packages that work just fine for every application MS publishes that I need. There are a number of ready for primetime linux operating system distributions that are equally free; I don't know what others use, but Ubuntu makes sense for personal workstations for all but the most lame, and is the place to get an industrial strength RedHat-ish distro that is well supported by geeks at CERN and Fermilab.

The Windows/286 purchase in '89 was for one and only one feature: it was the only OS that seamlessly handled proportionally spaced word processing and printing, with a best effort to show the same result on the screen.

Douglas Keachie

I see Greg still can't control certain muscles, they've grown much weaker of late, not helped at all by Dr. Rebane's lax restrictions on obsessive compulsive activities.

For Walt, are you saying the President of the United States is a liar?

Here are his own words on the subject, as found in the New Republic:

"FF: Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

FF: The whole family?

Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that.

So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

FF: Sticking with the culture of violence, but on a much less dramatic scale: I'm wondering if you, as a fan, take less pleasure in watching football, knowing the impact that the game takes on its players.

I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.

I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about."

Ben Emery

We agree on how the developed world "helps" the undeveloped world. I will expand on your teaching them to fish analogy and this is one of the many conservative ideas that I agree with; Through many NGO's or even government programs the intent is good but what happens is the end behavior learned is a dependence on the organization or materials that are not readily available. Thus leaving the targeted population in an even worse predicament than before where they were very poor but more self reliant. My brothers NGO is challenging the philosophy I just mentioned and is having great success. The problem they will face is when they strengthen enough local rural communities to return the power of being self reliant by organizing cooperative farming communities they will be threatened or challenged by the middle men whose profits are diminishing. Right now in Cambodia a massive land grab is taking place by banks and those who abuse the good name of micro loans.
I was there when Obama and US diplomats were in country. The Cambodian government tried unsuccessfully to evicted a whole urban neighborhood for security reasons. There were some very large protests and with the international media there they government backed down temporarily. I saw the cordoned off neighborhoods and some of the protests. I took some pictures (not very good) of the armed security presence in the streets.

Douglas Keachie

Obviously Walt, you've never seen the Tomb Raiders movies. One gun for each hand:

"She holds the rifle RIGHT handed, with her pistol
holstered Lefty style." ~Walt~

Ben Emery

I guess you didn't quite grasp the theme of the lost court cases for Microsoft. If it goes unchallenged you don't have another option. As for man exploits man, what are you talking about when you say the other way around? If reversed it still reads man exploits man.

So once again Greg and many who hold conservative beliefs reduce every idea to a single individuals ability, that individual is yourself. If you look back at most of my argument if not virtually all of my positions aren't about my ability but equal ability for all people. The problem of reducing it down to a single individual is the mistake of believing your life is the center of the universe, which creates a bubble of not being able to see the world outside of it.
"If you've stayed with friends who live in European cities, you've probably had an experience like this: You hop onto their WiFi or wired internet connection and realize it's really fast. Way faster than the one that you have at home. It might even make your own DSL or cable connection feel as sluggish as dialup.

You ask them how much they pay for broadband.

"Oh, forty Euros." That's about $56.

"A week?" you ask.

"No," they might say. "Per month. And that includes phone and TV."


Leave it to Dougy to reference a fantasy flick to support his "claim". You hold a pistola gangsta style too? We see that in the flicks too.
So you cut and paste "O"'s lame attempt to identify with gun owners? LOL!
Where is the photo evidence? The ONLY " gun" to be found in his hand is an
"assault" water pistol.
Your sinkn' fast Dougy. But continue with the comic relief. We are taking bets
to see how long it takes ya' to run out of straws.


I guess Doug doesn't realize that, if he doesn't like a company, and he can avoid it, he can and should avoid it.

Let go of your envy, Keach. Gates being wealthy doesn't make you poor.

George Rebane

BenE various - So you witnessed less developed country governments screwing their citizens, what else is new? How would you recommend that that wrong be righted?

I have proclaimed my indelible rule of capitalism - the good part is that it games the system, and the bad part is that it games the system. Ergo, maintain a system in which such gaming is of benefit to all? many? most? Pareto optimal? (here comes that nasty utility function again).

The socialist alternative is to create a system on an elitist basis that is totally arbitrary. Guess what the Lorenz curve (see Gini Index) for such a country looks like.

The only thing that is undeniable, as shown by the record (also see 'Death by Government'), is that collectivist autocracies are the greatest killers of their own citizens, far outdoing wars and plagues. And the common denominator is always, 'First we take their guns (e.g. by talking a lot about skeet shooting)', for as Chairman Mao said "ALL power grows out of the barrel of a gun." And power to the people? - No, No, No!

Douglas Keachie

Where is Walt's evidence that negates the text in the poster? Nope, he hasn't got any.


Oh,,, Lets see.... The same BS that DIFI referenced?
Facts don't hold up to the claim. ( FBI data)
If you cared to read the link I posted, you would know that.

And you wonder why the masses don't buy the Libby boogyman,
and select scare tactics.( like yours)

Still waiting for that photo with "O" skeet shooting. (The LIB press
is counting on you! LOL!)


One thing is for sure. We know Doug likes movies. ( since he like to reference them as "fact" sometimes.) Are you allowed back in the local movie houses yet?
( darn those irritating copyright regulations. is that why all you photos are "watermarked"?)

Jesus Betterman

Keep it simple, Walt, in Nevada County, how many intruders shot, vs how many suicides and family members shot, over the last five years. Check with The Union and the sheriff's dept and get back to me.


Ben, as RR's resident politician can you offer a 'solution' to the ills presented in your above (lengthy) comments? (in under 1 hundred words).

My solution: Less Government, More personal liberty.

George Rebane

JesusB (aka DougK) 246pm - Yes, let's keep it simple. No matter the numbers of other people's gun casualties, what does it matter? (to quote a famous SecState) Why can't the progressive allow responsible adults to take care of their own family affairs, especially as it involves guns? The purpose of the 2nd Amend is not to minimize family casualties, but to minimize national casualties perpetrated by a rogue government (see my 154pm). Everything else about gun ownership is a diversion, albeit an important one for progressives who want to dictate how we should all live, and what are the proper risks that citizens are allowed to undertake in leading their private lives.

Paul Emery

Rebane 28 January 2013 at 01:54 PM
"collectivist autocracies are the greatest killers of their own citizens, far outdoing wars and plagues. And the common denominator is always, 'First we take their guns (e.g. by talking a lot about skeet shooting)', for as Chairman Mao said "ALL power grows out of the barrel of a gun." And power to the people? - No, No, No! "

So perhaps Mario Savio was right after all.

“There's a time when the
operation of the machine becomes
so odious—makes you so sick at
heart—that you can't take part.
You can't even passively take
part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon
the wheels, upon the levers, upon
all the apparatus, and you've
got to make it stop. And you've
got to indicate to the people who
run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the
machine will be prevented from
working at all”
― Mario Savio

Douglas Keachie

Ah ha, I'd asked before, but didn't have an answer. So George is squarely in the let's take down rogue government camp of the 2nd amendment, and is not attempting to repel foreign invaders. Greg is in the, "I can have a gun, screw what I use it for, it's my precious" camp. Let's see which side the rest of Rebane's Regulars take?

George Rebane

PaulE 302pm - Exactly Paul, but please don't prevent my machines from working. Do that to someone else's (perhaps your own) machines, those who would like to see your body draped over its gears, levers, and wheels. Your propensity to mess with other people's things is what makes living together so difficult.

George Rebane

DougK 309pm - Ah ha, you haven't been paying attention for the last seven years. Fortunately, as our Founders advised us, resisting a government gone rogue and repelling invaders uses the same toolset.

Jesus Betterman

George, Mario Savio was talking about the University of California, as an educational machine, designed to crank out servile workers for industry, not an actual physical piece of machinery. I know, I was there and heard the speech in person.

Douglas Keachie

And where did they remind us of that, is there an invisible an invisible amendment that covers that?


Adjust by the number of intruders who didn't even try because they expected the inhabitants might shoot them. Or the intruders held at gunpoint without a shot fired until law enforcement arrives.

The simplistic approach Keachie and other propagandists take assumes the criminal or mentally ill elements of the area won't harm themselves or the people around them if some or all classes of firearms are banned, but that works if what you are trying to do is demonize the gun. Dead is dead, whether by firearm (by ones own hand or the truly horrible 'suicide by cop'), rope, jumping, pills, drowning. If there's a will, there's a way.


" take way guns because someone might get hurt" Lib philosophy in a nutshell.
Then why stop there? ya got Obummercaretax in the works. Soon the great government overlord will start saying," we are paying for your health care, so WE get to have a say in your personal activities. Rock climbing? Nope,, your not doing that any more. Your blatantly trying to break the laws of gravity. One day that rope will fail. ( like a gun safety)Sorry no more climbing. UNLESS you fork over an extra 30% as a hazard fee.
Pick your favorite activity. Someone, somewhere, will find a reason to regulate it, and tax you for it. ( if it isn't totally outlawed first.)
That includes eating your favorite foods. That war is already on.

Ben Emery

Easy, get private special interest money out of government and the political parties that control our government. A government that is representative of the people, it is called self determination.

Where we part, in my opinion, I don't think of our government as a separate entity but rather an extension of the people. We don't have anything close to that at the moment but that is the fault of the people and the corrupt Democratic and Republican Parties for perpetuating such a corrupted political system.

George Rebane

JesusB (aka DougK) 319pm - You'd better tell PaulE that, he meant it in the symbolic new technology way, otherwise his comment would make no sense. But then again ...

Doug, how about we cut out this 'Jesus Betterman' crap? You are just confusing readers who don't track your sock puppets. I'll just delete future JB comments. Please save your good words so you can put them up over your own name.

Paul Emery

George Rebane | 28 January 2013 at 03:13 PM

"but please don't prevent my machines from workin"

So George under your view of our Constitution who then can call the shots and pull the trigger on using protest or 2nd amendment remedies to "stop the machine"?


We all have heard that the SR71 fleet is part of history now.( none flying)
If that is the case, we must have a new fuel guzzler down at Beale.( just a wild guess) A familiar " fight pattern" that I haven't seen since the birds got their wings clipped went out the other night. ( two tankers go out, one keeps a Northern path, and the other heads East.(ish)
Maybe one is back in use? (or did it go to China as a tribute payment?)

George Rebane

BenE 344pm - Getting money out of government to you means to start regulating lobbying and putting in place all the apparatus and apparatchiks to enforce that (another spurt in growing government). To me that is messing with my 1st Amend rights.

The proper solution solution is to reduce the scope of government involvement in the private sector so that it has little/no power to grant favors to those with a checkbook, thereby forcing them to make do in the marketplace or the ballot box.

PaulE 357pm - We went around that barn enough times to dig a furrow. Either your or my Alzheimer's is kicking in.

Paul Emery

So then George it's a free for all for anyone who thinks government has gone too far either left or right or in between.


"Greg is in the, "I can have a gun, screw what I use it for, it's my precious" camp." - Douglas Keachie

What a jerk. I can have a gun, like I can have a computer, a book, or a pen and paper.

Hasn't Doug described his home as being akin to a small fortress, with fencing, cameras, lights and guns? Sounds paranoid to me, though that North San Juan neighborhood may be conducive to such behaviors.

George Rebane

PaulE 407pm - You got it. And if you make that decision alone or with a small group that no one agrees with, then the local SWAT will getcha, and that's that. But on the other hand ... .


Gregory. Dougy is one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" Leftists.
He demands the return of extremely low snow ( anti GW) but will one of the first to complain the power is out, and the road isn't plowed.
is in favor of heavy gun restrictions, as long as he has ways to keep his in hiding. ( Hell... he probably buys ammo on line too, with the attitude,, "it's still legal to do so")
He loves those CARB restrictions, but thinks he has a way around that too.
Again,, those regs are for "the other guy".

He's a lot like "O" actually.


"So then George it's a free for all for anyone who thinks government has gone too far either left or right or in between."

Free for all? Of course not. Ask Tim McVeigh, good Scottish stock there. Oh, wait, you can't. His sorry ass was "put to sleep" for mass murder. If you can't convince at least one juror you ain't guilty because of the need for a revolution, you deserve to follow Tim's path.


Mass killings with books? "Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie" and "Quotations" from Chairman Mao come to mind.

Bill Tozer

Numbers, numbers. Just by the current numbers we will not have a balanced budget 10 years from now. We could have a balanced budget in 10 years with come simple adjustments. We could even get the deficit down to 2.5% of GNP in ten years if we go by the numbers. Therein lies the problem.

The Republicans need to concede that we won't solve our fiscal problem with spending cuts alone. The liberals who control the White House and the Senate need to concede that we need to cut more spending than raising taxes, i.e., its more of a spending problem than a revenue side problem. Probably never happen. They consider such a concept as blasphemy if not treasonous to libby base.

Numbers mean more to the likes of Paul Ryan than Nancy or Joe or Barry any day of the week. We are all to familiar with the broken records Maxine Waters, Barney, Chuck Shuemer and Harry Palms bring out every time a logical objective solution is even talked about in back room. "Them Right Wing Extremists are going to throw Granny from the train (after they yank out her gold teeth)!!!" How many times can we throw the same Granny over the cliff? Granny must be one tough bird.

Without the political will to do what is best for our children and children's children, we will just keep bailing out water from the sinking cruise liner with a rusty coffee can. No hope.

Its useless to talk numbers as a number oriented policy will not see the light of day. No political will. It is quite frustrating for those who use the right side of their brain.


Lots of JB posts waiting for the other shoo to drop.


How many 30 round mags do ya got Dougy?
You can ALWAYS claim they are "pre ban".
You turned them in you say? ( yaaa,,,, right)

Doug.. Just why do you have guns? You don't hunt.
And on the side of safety, you have admitted to
having C.S.S. ( can' see sh**) So you must be
incapable of firing a gun safely. So to keep the
public safe, you should turn over your guns for destruction.
George, Gregory, and myself will split your ammo hoard into
equal quantities. " here,, you take the 5.56, and I will take half of the .308. You take the .44 and I need the .357" You get the picture....
Sorry Doug, as a veteran gun owner ( and a VET) I feel your not capable,
for numerous reasons, of possessing firearms. I'm sure I can find others to 2ND that motion. ( you are known to have broken the law in the past.( local police blotter)
And FOR THE RECORD,,, I have none. Speeding tickey you may say? ( ya' got me.. it was only 23 years ago.)


LWW??? LOL!!! I haven't lived there in two years. ( your sources suck)
And being a "green guy" your "carbon footprint" is Sasquatch rated.
Keep throwing those tires on the fire here. ( ya' make it SOOO easy)
You have so many skeletons, you need a walk in closet.
It's sure fun now and then "shak'n dem bones".


@ Bill T.
Sort of like the unemployment numbers they choose to use to make things
look better than they really are. Using the "U" system from 1 through 6
they monkey with things till they think it's palatable to the masses.
" We will count these people, but NOT these."
(Just like messing with the data to make GW look real)


They tossed you out on your ear attempting copyright infringement.
So they dropped the charges.. Big deal. So that's what you call "justification"? ( was that you snapping away during The Hobbit the other night?)
Our cops drop the charges on tweekers on a daily basis.
They get their cars back too.

( the excuses continue. And No.. your little orange tractor is not exempt, no matter what your excuse is. There is no "size" limitation. That includes your lawn mower. and you know it.)

George Rebane

Administrivia - per my 357pm, all Doug Keachie's 'Jesus Betterman' comments in the interval have been deleted. If this creates a problem for other commenters, just stop responding to Doug's sock puppet. I trust the man will adapt.


OH Goody. The green crew is suing the Army corps.of Eng.s
The taxpayers get hosed again. ( we are paying for the greenie's attorneys
fees) Not like that's new, just never reported. Just for once, I would like
to see these ECO groups foot their own legal bills.

George Rebane

Walt 557pm - Where do you get that we taxpayers foot the legal bills for the econuts - I thought everyone paid for their own condiments ;-)

Douglas Keachie

It's your blog George, and if you choose to treat me as a second class citizen, I will spend less time here, which I guess will be pleasing to you. You've made your double standards pretty clear at this point, and I can make my standards clear as well. Any time I bring up inconvenient truths, from Calif Ed Content standards which Greg misrepresented, to the core science that is not being done in any systematic way by either side in GW, or even a simple explanation of why some folks in Norcal just might happen to believe that Pomona College might be in Pomona, you are a very fussy baby.

Allowing Greg to exhibit abnormal psychology in his posts, and refusing to allow me to call attention to it, also is now par for your course, and your greens are turning brown as a result.

I hope Walt didn't lose his house, you'd make a great banker, George.

Douglas Keachie

How about requiring Walt, Greg, L, MikeyMcD, etc use their full names? More double standards?

George Rebane

DougK 640pm - Communication with you is hard at best. I don't care if you use Jesus or Doug, but stay consistent so that readers know that there is only one person commenting (I prefer Doug Keachie). But that apparently is beyond liberal logic. So you can hang out your lower lip and pretend I'm treating you as a "second class citizen".

Jesus Betterman

Greg's special privileges allows me no choice other than to be Jesus Betterman.

Joe Koyote

Whenever wealth and philanthropy or investment is talked about we must remember that money is a relative thing.. it's all about the zeros. If you had a hundred grand to blow you could spend $274 a day for a year. If you had a million bucks to blow you could spend $2740 a day for a year. But if you had a billion bucks you could spend $274,000 a day for a year. Big difference between a millionaire and a billionaire, not to mention someone who makes around double the national average. So when folks cheer about Bill Gates donating a quarter of a billion dollars it is no more of a grand gesture than your average American donating a couple of hundred bucks.

George Rebane

JoeK 724pm - Not sure what you're on about Joe, but you can be sure that it is indeed "more of a grand gesture" - $274K can move a mountain while $274 struggles with a molehill.

JesusB 718pm - As you wish.


Special privileges? Do tell.

When Dougie introduced Hayzeus, he explained the thrill he'd get when I'd write that he was the B*****M**, and I've avoided giving him that false pleasure. Besides, I find it offensive, despite not being a practicing Christian.

I didn't create this sign in for blog use. I filled out a yahoo form years ago, it asked for name, I gave it the one I use. When the logins got weird here, I found this worked, and so kept it. That it pissed off Keachie, who had been working for years to make be look bad, I decided that had advantages.

Keachie probably doesn't have a clue how many different socks he's created over the years. I can count mine on one finger, and Keach can guess which finger that is.

George, your original choice to axe JB was the superior idea.


George. In reff to the eco comment, It's my understanding, and I have heard this form more than once reputable source. ( No, I didn't go dig myself this time as I usually do.) That when these ecos sue in the name of nature
(and other things) their legal fees are "reimbursed" (by some obscure law)
That's how come they never seem to run out of money no matter how shaky the org. is that brought the issue up. Yes. This is the dirty little secret.

I will delve deeper into this tomorrow and get to the bottom of it.
If things are a little diff. than I recall, I will be the first to say so.

I was thinking you may have heard of this, and was old news.


"Any time I bring up inconvenient truths, from Calif Ed Content standards which Greg misrepresented"

False to the core. The excellent but now defunct Content standards have in any case been replaced with the Federalized "Common Core", which dumbs down math in California, just not as bad as it was before the Content Standards were created. However, one of the prime movers of the Frameworks that begat the fuzzy math of '95 the Content Standards demolished (not because fuzzy was allowed but because none of the fuzzy programs contained much math) also the prime mover of Common Core, and there are already complaints that the curriculums being rolled out to meet Common Core are moving back to the fuzzy past rather than the more traditional, deductive approaches that are given lip service in the Common Core documents. It's downhill.

"to the core science that is not being done in any systematic way by either side in GW"

The idea that Doug Keachie has divined what needs to be done in climate research despite having less than a high school understanding of math, chemistry and physics, and veritable armies of math, chemistry and physics Ph.D.'s are working overtime to soak up research grant money have missed it, is beyond silly. The problem was, Doug, that you didn't really have a clue what a "calorie" was or where it might and might not be used, didn't realize it wasn't a favored unit for such research, and don't have a clue about what you don't know. The IPCC AR's are all online; you could have read them at any time and you'd not find "calorie" in many places; gigajoule (GJ) is more common.

"even a simple explanation of why some folks in Norcal just might happen to believe that Pomona College might be in Pomona you are a very fussy baby"

When everything in a paragraph you're using to try to insult me with is wretchedly incorrect, it's hard not to point and laugh, especially since Pomona College hasn't been in Pomona for something like 125 years, and I didn't go to Pomona College. Besides, you knew about the Claremont Colleges... did you really not realize Claremont wasn't Pomona?


Me? lose my house? No way.
It's been fun giving Dougy the " hippy in a cage, on a log landing" treatment
today. ( just poking at'm with a pointy stick)
Now go fire up that bong Doug, the mental floss will do ya' good.
I'll tune in tomorrow for more fun and games.

And speaking of changing identities, no one can accuse me of that. LOL

Jesus Betterman

I have a separate email for each sock used at The Union, back when virtually everyone had at least one, sometimes more, like myself. I was particularly fond of Sir Thomas Tom of Appledore, it went well with the Good Knight theme Greg brought to the play. I think all of them are still in my mail program. Greg has been Greg, Gregory, and Gregory Goodknight, not sure why he switches around.

Basically since Greg took to insulting any ID I came up with, I think the last one was Tom Kenworth, before Hayzeus, I thought I stick him in the awkward position of having the laboriously rewrite both the sock and my real name, and thus even then setting up some doubt in readers mind.

Special privileges? Your spinnaker* comments are still standing,mine, posted in response to yours, were removed.

*spinnaker, a substitute word for another which Greg is fond of, and all kinds of related materials he loves to dash into fans, etc. It seems to be an underlying theme with him, and I am not the only target of his ad hominem potty mouth attacks.

AdHominem copy

Ben Emery

You said "Getting money out of government to you means to start regulating lobbying and putting in place all the apparatus and apparatchiks to enforce that (another spurt in growing government). To me that is messing with my 1st Amend rights."

How is that messing with your first amendment rights?

I say if we have private funding of political parties and candidates at all $100 maximum per candidate and party per citizen. That isn't that complicated. One person one vote to use a suffrage quote. Why should Bill Gates/ Microsoft have more freedom of speech and access to our government officials than the residential plumber or family farmer? What you are supporting is a FOR SALE sign on the capital lawn, government to the highest bidder.

Account Deleted

re: Ben's 10:06 - The point is that there will always be a FOR SALE sign on the govt's lawn (as long as folks keep electing whores). We need to make sure they have very little to sell. It does 'mess' with our 1st amendment rights when you start limiting how much we can spend. Under your plan, the unions' candidates will have an instant lock on the election as they won't be hobbled by the 100 clam limit. The unions will be free to spend what they want as they aren't a "party". The cost of such an un-American system to regulate and supervise would be enormous. How in the world would you figure out exactly who gave what? Are you planing to ban cash contributions? Notice once again, the lefties want to 'fix' things by having govt curtail, control and limit our behavior. I'll spend what I damn well please, thank you very much. If you want a better govt, then elect better people.


Ben, if you say I can't spend $101 on a newspaper spread getting my political message out, that's infringing on my right to free speech. In fact, for $100 you can't get your message out to hardly anyone.

It's settled law from SCOTUS, and no one of any consequence disagrees; you can't forbid people from spending their own money to get their message to whomever they want to speak to. Free speech and freedom of the press, which, even in the 18th century cost a lot of money, relatively speaking. No one made presses and gave them away to every George, Thomas and Ben who wanted one.

Keachie, LOL. It isn't ad hominem when you're demolishing their arguments, and it IS extremely funny you think that, if only the world would listen to Doug Keachie, that a blind spot would be lifted from the entire world community of geoscientists who are missing the essential research that must be done to make people like Doug Keachie stand up and take climate research seriously.

What does that sound like?

Thank you, Keach. I think this latest pet theory of yours might just be what I need to innoculate the web from your slimeballs in my direction.

Ben Emery

Sorry Scott,
Under my plan each individual citizen has the ability to donate $100 to a candidate and their political party of choice. No union money, no PAC money, no bundlers, no corporate money, no black money, and a short election season where the incentive for the media isn't to create a horse race but to actually cover the election. At the moment the media tells us who the front runners are by the size of their coffers in which 80% of it will be spent in the media. There are certain aspects of our society that shouldn't be driven by the profit motive, the news media is one of them.

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