Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just In Time For Valentine's Day

Tactical Assault Rock from CroMagnum Arms International, listed on eBay.

The questions about the product page is entertaining. I like this one:

Q: Two questions: 1) Can this rock be modified to inflict less harm? 2) Is this EPA compliant?

A: No, no, and screw the EPA.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today's Lesson

Ten Things You Should Know About Union Membership Numbers, from EIA, citing the annual Bureau of Labor Statistics report.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Music Selection


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daniel Hannan At The Occupy Wall Street Debate

Link via R. S. McCain.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Just In Time For Valentine's Day

Melting clock.


Snowball slingshot.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Global Warming And Cooked Books?

Meet the new climate temperature data, not the same as the old climate data.

Paul Homewood reports the decision of Dr. James Hanson, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), to rely on a different source for ocean surface temperatures - ERSST (NOAA's Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature) instead of the "Hadley/Reynolds" (evidently referring to Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and NOAA's Richard W. Reynolds).

Dr. Reto Ruedy responded to Homewood's inquiries, stating that the data changes "are well within [the] margin of error," and that "all our basic data (land and ocean) com[ing] from the same source...simplifies the description of what we are doing." Homewood states that GISS had "not given any reason for abandoning Hadley/Reynolds, or suggested there are errors or inaccuracies with it," and believes the change is outright data manipulation.

Homewood also discovered that original temperature records often do not match those recorded in the 2008 publication of the GISS historical data - meaning that there have been two sets of changes. Homewood also blogged on this at Watt's Up With That. Note that the graph shows the differences between GISS 2008 and GISS 2013 (brought about by the switch to ERSST), and not the differences between GISS 2008 and the original records.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Civil Rights Day!

(An annual blog tradition continues.)

In 2006 I mulled over the idea that instead of having a Martin Luther King Day we should have a Civil Rights Day, so that we can have a single holiday for all civil rights crusaders, and, for symbolic reasons, it shoudl be set on July 5, the day after we celebrate out nation's independence. As stated in that post, I had originally considered that Civil Rights Day replace Labor Day, but I have long since settled on the latter holiday giving way to Commerce Day, a day for celebrating all the contributors to our economy and not just labor.

A July 5 holiday for any reason is even a bigger pipe dream than Commerce Day, and the MLK Day tradition is already firmly entrenched, so from this day forward I will recognize the third Monday of January as Civil Rights Day. Dr. King will always get a little extra notice for being the one to inspire the holiday, but the table of honor will feature all civil rights leaders past and present.

Following is my original argument for the holiday:


For years I'd heard news stories about debates over whether or not to establish an official Martin Luther King holiday, and never did anyone report the arguments against. I always suspected that one was that we had way too many day-off-of-work holidays as it was. Having one three weeks after Christmas does seem a bit superfluous. MLK Day would be only the third national holiday named after a person, the others being Christmas and Columbus Day, commemorating the chief catalyst for Western culture and the chief catalyst for extending Western culture to the Americas. (In the case of the latter, make that Western cultures; English and Iberian influences were vastly different.) Some, I imagine, feel that only those rare individuals who have had such a radical impact should have holidays named for them. Dr. King isn't in that league; the only Americans who are are the Founders; their holiday is July 4.

Here's my argument against making January 15 [Update: MLK Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January, which happens to fall on the 15th in 2003] an official holiday: it's not fair to everyone else involved in the civil rights movement. Independence Day isn't just about one guy. We have a holiday for all those who made the Declaration of Independence happen. We should have a federal holiday called Civil Rights Day. It would be like Memorial Day, honoring leaders of past civil rights struggles instead of soldiers of past wars.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quote Of The Day

The quote addresses a legal concept known as "loser pays," formally known as the English Rule, which is:

[A] rule regarding assessment of attorneys' fees arising out of litigation. The English Rule provides that the party who loses in court pays the other party's attorney's fees. The English Rule contrasts with the American Rule, under which each party is generally responsible to pay its own attorneys' fees, unless a statute or contract provides for that assessment. The rationale for the English Rule is that a litigant (whether bringing a claim or defending a claim) is entitled to legal representation and, if successful, should not be left out of pocket by reason of his own legal fees. It should be borne in mind that in virtually all English civil litigation damages are merely compensatory.

At Overlawyered, commenter "boblipton" gives an excellent rationale for this practice:

Once upon a time the knightly castes of Europe would go out to war in their heavy armor. Foot soldiers might get slaughtered, but no knight ever died. Occasionally, one would be captured by the other side and ransomed back — there was a special tax on the peasants to raise the money. Because these prisoners would yield so much money and because the captors might be prisoners some day, prisoners were treated very well.

As you can imagine, these people would use any excuse to go to war. After all, only footsoldiers got killed.

What the English did to the French soldiers at Crecy and Poitiers had a chilling effect, too. It meant that the knights were actually at risk too. Trust me: it made things safer for peasants.

That’s why I am in favor of Loser Pays.

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New Technological Innovation, Or Gift For Tort Lawyers?

What Instapundit calls "The bastard offspring of a Segway and a unicycle."


The King Is A Fink

Obama's executive orders have been dished out. This is a useful (and snarky) summary. The "Being Conservative" Facebook group has Biden's number. Ed Morissey asks: abuse of power, or impotence?


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sign Of The Times

"The average time it takes an unemployed person to find his or her next job is almost twice as long as at any other time since World War II -- even before considering how many discouraged adults have dropped out of the workforce entirely."

Newsbusters story, Plight of Long-term Unemployed Rarely Reported in Obama Years, Was Media Fixation in George W. Bush Years

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Roll Tide!

BCS Title Game Final: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14


Monday, January 07, 2013

Sound Bite Of Economic Wisdom

From Samizdata.


The Envelope, Please

John Hawkins awards the 20 Most Annoying Liberals of 2012. Number One is Sandra Fluke.

And from Mike Antonucci, the 2012 EIA Public Education Quotes of the Year.

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Friday, January 04, 2013

If You're Into Gruesome Autopsies... can watch NCIS, or you can read Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2012.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A Little Late With This

The Dallas Cowboys lost their shot at the playoffs last Sunday.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Welcome To 2013


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