WORD AROUND THE NET
Snowfall is a good piece of evidence of warming. If its too warm to snow, the climate has changed, and that's happened in the past. When its so cold it snows in places like Texas and Florida, you know something is up. Which is why when Dennis Avery writes at Right Wing News that snowfall in California overall has been unchanged for a century, that is something to consider:
Christy reconstructed snowfall records at Huntington Lake, CA, from 1916–2009. The station’s data since 1972 had been missing, but Christy found two nearby stations had very high correlations with Huntington Lake. That allowed him to assess southern Sierra snowfall over nearly the past century.One more piece of hard evidence for the alarmists to consider.
The station’s annual snowfall averaged 624 centimeters per year, with a non-significant trend of +0.5 cm per decade. He found similar positive-but-insignificant trends for spring snowfall, annual stream flow, and precipitation. Nor did he find any trend in the published regional temperatures.
Representative Barney Frank has been known for being corrupt, annoying, and reliably leftist, he's known for being one of the main forces behind blocking any work to prevent the housing and financial market meltdown from being prevented. But he's not known for being especially arrogant and stingy. The New York Post reports on a little incident:
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank caused a scene when he demanded a $1 senior discount on his ferry fare to Fire Island's popular gay haunt, The Pines, last Friday. Frank was turned down by ticket clerks at the dock in Sayville because he didn't have the required Suffolk County Senior Citizens ID.Sure, he's arrogant, condescending and stingy. Just not especially more so than the average congressman, I fear.
Sadly, Michigan continues to suffer economic distress, largely driven by Detroit's slow collapse. Still, events like this one in the capital do not help matters:
The debate in Ann Arbor, where firefighters are being laid off due to a multimillion dollar budget deficit, is over an $850,000 piece of art.Sure, the city set aside money for art in 2007 as part of an agreement to beautify the area. And sure, its only $850,000 for the new sculpture. While the sculpture will probably be some ugly art moderne piece of scrap, I'm all for art in public works. The problem is they're laying off firefighters and claiming poverty. Hey, maybe that art can be put on hold a while, maybe?
That’s how much the city has agreed to pay German artist Herbert Dreiseitl for a three-piece water sculpture that would go in front of the new police and courts building right by the City Hall.
Another Inspector General is making trouble for the federal government. This time its Neil Barofsky, special Inspector General for the Treasury Department. Daniel Wagner writes for AP:
...the program has not "put an appreciable dent in foreclosure filings," during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the $700 billion bank bailout. He also said the Treasury Department has ignored earlier demands that it set clearer goals for the program.Oh, and we don't have the money to spend on this program. Minor problem.
The homeownership program aims to reduce mortgage payments for millions of homeowners who can't afford their monthly bills. Recent data suggest it has helped about 400,000 households avoid foreclosure. About 530,000 have fallen out of the program.
Wireless is facing a crisis, according to some. There's just not enough space on the 30 MHz to 3000 MHz spectrum to handle the demand for wireless, particularly in very large, congested cities. The problem, however, isn't the lack of "space" on the airwaves, but rather the poor use of it. Christopher Mims writes at Technology Review:
A 2005 study by the NSF found that only 5.2% of the wireless spectrum from 30 MHz to 3000 MHz was in use at any one time. And yet a study from the same year of the wireless spectrum devoted to cell phone signals in New York City found that almost half of that spectrum was in use.The next generation of phones and technology is going to have to be able to hunt for free airwaves if we're going to keep expanding the use of wireless. Even then, eventually there will still be too much traffic. What then?
The problem is that we're all locked into the spectrum offered by a single cell phone carrier, and our phones can't even access most of the wifi hotspots that are in range, much less use them to make calls.
Its difficult to trust the word of a convicted mass murderer, but one of the DC Snipers, John Malvo, claims that there were more involved in the sniper shootings than just them. An Associated Press report at NPR notes:
"There was supposed to be three to four snipers with silenced weapons," said Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings. "In this way we could do a lot more damage along the entire Eastern Seaboard."While I wouldn't at all be surprised to find out this was true - nor that this was part of a larger effort by Muslim radicals or Middle Eastern governments (possibly Iran or even Saddam Hussein's Iraq), there's no apparent evidence for any of this, and its been long enough that I can't imagine any will be found.
Blumberg said Malvo told him Muhammad made him shoot two of the co-conspirators once they backed out of the plan. Malvo told Shatner only one of the men was killed, and that Muhammad did it.
Known for her outlandish costumes and geometric polygon hair, the criminal madwoman made a daring escape from Arkham Asylum last week and has been taunting authorities by interrupting television broadcasts ever since. "If you ever want to see Commissioner Gordon again, you'll do exactly as I say," Lady Gaga said from her secret lair, adjusting her angular yellow Tyvek and spandex dress as henchmen danced menacingly around the bound commissioner.OK fine, that's Onion news and not real but still... you gotta wonder, in a slightly different universe. There really is something Batman-villainesque about Lady Gaga.
Amnesty. That's the theme of a memo released on National Review Online by Robert VerBruggen. Someone or some people at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is trying to find a way to extend amnesty to illegals without the trouble of going through congress and the law. VerBruggen writes:
Many of the memo’s proposals are technical and fine-grained; for example, it suggests clarifying the immigration laws for “unaccompanied minors, and for victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other criminal activities.” It also proposes extending the “grace period” H-1B visa holders have between the expiration of their visa and the date they’re expected to leave the country.A link to actual text of the memo is available in the NRO article. Well if there's one thing you can rely on at the Obama administration: if they can't get congress to do something, they'll try to find a way to do it through bureaucracy and executive order.
With other ideas, however, USCIS is aiming big. Perhaps the most egregious suggestion is to “Increase the Use of Deferred Action.” “Deferred action,” as the memo defines it, “is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to pursue removal from the U.S. of a particular individual for a specific period of time.” For example, after Hurricane Katrina, the government decided not to remove illegal immigrants who’d been affected by the disaster.
Classes on the US Constitution are becoming more popular - and I can attest that hits on my essays about the constitution are higher lately than they've ever been. The Washington Post is apparently dismayed at this trend, and Krissah Thompson writes:
Since the nation’s earliest years, some Americans have revered the Constitution as a bulwark against government expansion. In George Washington’s Cabinet, the debate played out between Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. In the mid-1960s, conservatives pushed for a return to limited government and a literal interpretation of the Constitution amid Barry Goldwater’s failed run for president.She goes out of her way to note that all the people at this class were white and mostly men - horrors - mostly middle aged, and none of them Democrats. That is not a good sign, from my perspective; shouldn't Democrats want to know more about the constitution, too? Or does that simply not factor into their ideology and concerns for the future? Bill Dupray at LibertyPundits writes":
Today, reverence for the Constitution and the Founding Fathers is an important part of the militia movement.
The other point is her statement that reverence for the Constitution is an important part of the militia movement. You see, Tim McVeigh probably took a class on the Constitution, and look how he turned out. Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to faux-journalist Krissah Thompson that every single last elected official in Washington swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, it is not only important to militias, it is important to all politicians and, through them, to the rest of the American people.Too bad none of them seem to take it seriously.
Writer Anne Rice, who inflicted hip, day walking, sexy vampires on the public and started a sad trend claimed to have become a Christian a few years back. Coincidentally, she began writing a series of books about the life of Jesus Christ based almost exclusively upon her imagination. Relying little on the only actual biographical accounts of Jesus (the Bible), she wrote 3 books in the series. Now, she's writing books about angels with only slight, incidental Biblical content, and says she's not a Christian any longer. Her problem with the faith? Its anti secular-humanist, among other things such as "anti-Democrat" (which would come as news to the Christian Democrats out there). She still claims to love Jesus and follow him, just not the one actually in the Bible. Well I guess when you create your own version. At least she's not worshipping Lestat.
Democrat Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claims that the Democrats won't let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, and in a curious attempt at spin blames Republicans for the vast tax increase that would happen if they did. His logic is that since the GOP could only pass the tax cuts with Democrat support by putting an expiration date on them, then the failure of Democrats to stop that is a Republican tax increase. However, he was careful to define who he meant by the tax cuts not expiring: only for the middle class.
After canceling the voucher program which allowed some poor families in Washington DC to send their kids to better schools, President Obama made a speech about his dedication to better education for poor students. In the place of the very successful voucher program, President Obama is offering another spending program that is supposed to help schools teach better by giving them money. Fred Lucas writes at CNS News:
On Thursday, Obama said education reform is a top priority for his administration because the “status quo is morally inexcusable, it’s economically indefensible, and all of us are going to have to roll up our sleeves to change it.”Obama told an emotionally manipulative story about kids in Chicago who'd never make it to their dreams, then blamed a lack of funding while not even mentioning the huge demand of poor and minority parents for a voucher system. Well, let's be honest: they'll probably vote for him anyway and he needs that sweet teacher's union money.
The administration ended funding for the District of Columbia’s Opportunity Scholarship Program in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget. But, after protests from parents and school choice advocates, the administration eventually relented, agreeing to let children already receiving scholarships continue to do so until they graduate from high school.
And that's the Word Around The Net for July 30, 2010