I have a favorite place in downtown Richmond, VA, where I like to take pictures near sunset. The floodwall walk on the south side of the James River is a perfect spot for getting the downtown buildings, their reflections on the water in the James, and reflections of the setting sun on the facades of the buildings. Here are a few that I took just recently. You can see more of this set, and my other photos, on Flickr
I perform in a production called Glorious Christmas Nights every year with hundreds of other people. It’s a broadway-style production with original music and custom-built sets, lighting and choreography. We do 18 2-hour shows in the first two weeks of December, but start rehearsing at the end of September. Check out the website if you get a chance. Anyway, I like to take candid photos of all the cast members, from the time we start doing auditions in September until the last performance and striking of the set in December. I’ve taken a bunch so far; you can check them out on our Facebook page
Or, right here, from my Flickr set.
Mark Steyn has a guest piece on Climate Change Dispatch about the ineptocrats in our government spending time and energy focusing on an issue that continues to be disproven statistically. Why is John Kerry talking about climate change when ISIS continues to gobble up the Middle East unabated? Why is the Secretary of Defense even talking about
global warming climate change global cooling? Don’t we still have troops actively involved in conflicts overseas? Shouldn’t winning those be his first priority? Shouldn’t they leave the fear-mongering on “climate change” to some other government functionary, like our useless president?
Judith Curry had an excellent piece in The Wall Street Journal the other day called “The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown (subscription required)”:
A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.
Just so. With every month, the alarmist thesis seems more obviously insufficient, and the recent, very belated explanation for the 18-year-old warming “pause” – that the heat is merely hiding Godzilla-like in the ocean depths, biding its time – isn’t holding up too well either.
The science may be increasingly unsettled, but the politics permits no doubts. Last week, John Kerry gave a speech on “climate change” at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and dismissed the skeptics:
What happens if they’re wrong? If they’re wrong – catastrophe. Life as you know it on Earth ends.
John Kerry is America’s Secretary of State. That’s to say, he presides over a department whose abandoned diplomatic compound in Tripoli is currently a playground for Libyan jihadists, whose consular officials facilitated the entry into the United States of an Ebola-bearing Liberian, whose continued occupation of the most expensive embassy in the history of the planet is dependent on ISIS stopping its annexation of Iraq at the gates of the Green Zone …but John Kerry is focused like a laser on climate change.
So too is Chuck Hagel:
Drastic weather, rising seas and changing storm patterns could become “threat multipliers” for the United States, vastly complicating security challenges faced by American forces, the Pentagon said in a new report on the impact of climate change released Monday…
In remarks released alongside the 20-page report, Hagel said the Pentagon is nearly done with a survey that will assess the vulnerability of its military installations to climate change. He cited the Hampton Roads region of Virginia as an example of an area that has both military bases and recurrent flooding, adding that defense officials are developing plans to address a projected sea-level rise of about 1.5 feet in the next 20 to 50 years.
Chuck Hagel is America’s Secretary of Defense. That’s to say, he presides over a department whose desultory air strikes can’t prevent ISIS taking Kobani and slaughtering thousands …but he’s focused like a laser on “developing plans” to address sea-level rise in the Hampton Roads area circa 2050.
And the truth is, there were no budget cuts – only a slight decrease in the rate of perpetual spending increases. John Hayward, always right on target with his assessment, correctly identifies the problem with Ebola and lots of other things in our country: the government is an ineptocracy, and the consequence of failure in an ineptocracy is MORE MONEY to spend on stupid stuff that has nothing to do with what they’re supposed to be doing.
Case in point: the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health. Swimming in funding, they find money to study why lesbians are obese, but can’t seem to come up with a cogent strategy to stop the spread of a disease that the Chief Ineptocrat said would “likely never come here.” Right. I’m thinking minor epidemic, at least.
And it’s not just nutjob progressive groups or loony cable-TV hosts spreading this nonsense; last week, Hillary Clinton also blamed the Left’s all-purpose failure demon, the sequestration “cuts” actually mild reductions in the rates of spending growth from the 2011 Budget Control Act for any problems that might arise in the government’s response to Ebola. “They’re working heroically, but they don’t have the resources they used to have,” Mrs. Clinton sniffed.
Thus is the one and only example of spending restraint from the hilariously misnamed “Budget Control Act” – a tiny tap on the spending brakes, which has since been largely rescinded – blamed for every blunder of the $3.5 trillion super-sized government worshiped by the Left as the best doctor, investor, builder, business manager, charity, and employer in human history. Every dollar the State does not receive is the one dollar that causes the whole damn operation to unravel. The sort of actual, honest-to-God spending cut that most private-sector businesses deal with on a regular basis would reduce Washington to rubble. And if people like Hillary Clinton are going to keep blaming sequestration for everything, should we pause for a refresher course on the history of that ill-fated bit of automated fiscal restraint, and remember exactly whose idea it was? Hint: his initials are “BHO,” and the reason he came up with the idea was to terrorize Republicans into accepting tax increases by threatening them with mandatory cuts to defense spending. That would be the same “BHO” who is currently losing a war in the Middle East against a threat he refused to see until it was far too late).
In truth, the CDC and NIH are swimming in money, just like every other appendage of this ridiculously overpriced, painfully mis-managed government. Like every other agency, they fritter away their money on silly distractions and naked attempts to extend their power. They put more effort into “mission creep” than their actual mission. When confronted with a crisis that exposes an inability to handle core functions, the agency curls into a defensive crouch and begins whining that it’s under-funded. If that works – and until now, it often has – the result is growth through failure. Instead of being torn to bits by enraged taxpayers, the agency gets more money than ever before, and promptly begins wasting it on robot-squirrel studies to cite one of the more memorable examples of madcap spending from Senator Tom Coburn’s epic “Wastebook” series.The NIH makes an appearance in the most recent edition of the Wastebook, for spending $325,525 on a study to determine if marriages are happier when angry wives calm down quickly. The answer, you will be shocked to learn, is “yes,” although the Wastebook archly advises, “Regardless, men who want a happy marriage are probably wise to avoid telling their wives the government’s advice to resolving marital conflicts is for her to calm down.”The 2014 edition of the Wastebook hasn’t been released yet, but it’s a fair bet that the NIH’s $1.5 million study of “biological and social factors” to determine why lesbians tend toward obesity more than homosexual males will make the cut.