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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, October 21, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"One of my aunties in Kenya told me I'd be mad to return to Korea"

Stanford University looked at almost 200 major business websites and found that 61% of them were sharing user IDs and names with third party vendors. That's why when you sign up for some big online site, you start getting spam emails. Always use a junk email account to sign up for anything on the internet; you can create a free one at Yahoo or Hotmail for that use.

According to Homeland Security head Janet Neapolitano, the organization is okaying some illegals to stay in the US and work. And as she points out, that's been happening since 1986, under a succession of presidents using "prosiecutorial discretion" to ignore the crimes of some people because the government decides they're useful.

Remember the Hockey Stick graph? There's a new one out, but this one isn't very kind to Michael "Piltdown" Mann. Steven Hayward at Powerline explains the new one:

Nature magazine this week offers a new graph of interest: the rising trend of retractions of scientific research papers (see blow). Lo and behold, it looks like a hockey stick! (Heh.)

There’s a lot more here to ponder, such as the essentially hollow and meaningless nature of modern peer review, and the increasingly tribal and ideological drift of much of the academic scientific establishment.
If there's one thing I wish everyone would understand, its this: you can't trust science like the word of God.

Speaking of graphs, alarmists are frustrated because the world climate refuses to go along with their models and predictions. Like Dr Hanson of NASA who doctored climate data from the 30s to make it seem less hot, Steven Goddard points out USHCN's doctoring of Baltimore climate data over the last century to make it seem like its been getting warmer.

Now that Khadaffi is dead, groups are calling for the UN to apologize. The problem is that the United Nations kept honoring Khadaffi, such as a human rights prize (!) and put Libya on high profile, admirable positions despite being under a murderous thug and promoting terrorism worldwide. The inability of (or even disinterest in) the UN to make moral distinctions in member countries is its biggest, fatal flaw.

America is often portrayed as a racist, horrible place around the world, and bigotry is presumed by people outside the nation when they discuss the USA. Most of that is due to the earnest, continuous efforts by the entertainment and academic community to promote this myth. The truth is, though, many other nations on earth are insanely more racist, particularly in the far east. Take Korea, for example, where this apparently took place:
One fine morning, pandemonium broke out in a South Korean supermarket, and customers and shop stewards alike scampered for safety.

Babies strapped on their mothers' backs, others in prams screamed as their parents sought the nearest exits.

And it wasn't a terrorist attack, neither was it a band of robbers who had raided the convenience store. No, it wasn't a fire alert either. One Kenyan woman had just walked in to make a purchase.

"It was terrible!" recalls the woman, Everlyne Nyambegera. "Children were crying, their mothers dashing for the exits and all this made me also break down and start crying too."
Japan isn't much different, or China, for that matter, when it comes to blacks. America has a black president.

Occupy Wall Street. This carefully planned "spontaneity" has spread all around the world, with people "occupying" various locations. They've managed to gather a great deal of attention and respect from the media (and Democrats in office) but nothing positive. Here are a few stories about them from this week:
  • Apparently redistribution is for thee, not the occupiers, who are angry at their stuff being stolen
  • A sex offender has registered his address as Occupy Portland
  • A fugitive man who repeatedly exposed himself to children was caught at Occupy Seattle
  • Violence has risen its ugly head at various Occupy events
  • Homeless are using the occasion to find shelter and free food, upsetting the occupiers who complain "they don’t bring anything to the table at all. It gets really frustrating." Yeah, they should hold a sign up and crap on a cop car.
  • A woman was raped at Occupy Cleveland.
  • Other crimes and assaults are taking place, such as threatening with knives
  • But the occupiers don't want to call the cops, voting with jazz hands down to law enforcement. Occupy Baltimore did put out a pamphlet noting that they'd try to find good counseling for these offenders, though.
  • And now they're starting to "occupy" businesses they don't like.
  • Businesses aren't happy with the cops basically ignoring trespassing, gathering, and occupation laws out of fears of youtube videos and bad press (and city government sympathy toward the leftist scheme).
Perhaps these occupiers should look at President Obama, who has taken more Wall Street and fat cat money than all the GOP candidates combined - even when you add in Senator McCain from 2008. Occupy the White House? How about those NBA players who are demanding more money because the millions they make already isn't sufficient.

Meanwhile, the OWS-media connection continues to expand. Not only did emails demonstrate efforts by legacy media types to coordinate and shape the occupier narrative, but an NPR anchor named Lisa Simeone is working with and staying at the Occupy DC group helping them as a spokeswoman. Defund them. Now.

NASA is less and less about space exploration and science and more about its bloated bureaucracy, jobs, and global warming these days. The organization has been suppressing information about a plan to set up fuel depots in space that would save millions and encourage space travel and competition because it gets in the way of their other projects. NASA might have been useful, once, but they should be cut far back and reduced to a space version of the FAA.

Take a look at this graph:

Spending vs Results
That's comparing money spent per pupil with test scores of pupils in various age groups. The test scores are pretty much flat, while money spent is skyrocketing year to year, far in excess of inflation. The math scores are pretty much the same. I bet self esteem, multiculturalism, and awareness of gay activist complaints went up pretty well, though. Money can't buy me education.

According to the US Census, the wealthiest part of the US is... Washington DC. This comes as a surprise to the thousands of poor blacks living in the city, I'm sure, but DC residents averaged $84,523 in 2010, as compared to $50,046 average nationwide. This is largely driven by federal workers, who get an average $126,369 a year in total compensation.

Although not very many people watched it, Al Gore's 24 hour show featured Bill Nye the Science Guy doing an experiment involving CO2 and thermometers, trying to prove that it was basic science to claim global warming is caused by increased CO2. The problem is, both he and Gore failed to remember a basic scientific principle: ordinary glass blocks IR heat. Anthony Watts explains (greenhouses work by short waves heating the floor and objects, which generates IR inside, and that is trapped in the glass). Its not that CO2 doesn't help trap heat, its that their "basic high school experiment" was faked and bad science. How unusual for global warming alarmists.

Also at Watt's Up With That, he demonstrated how easy it is to become part of the Union of Concerned Scientists, by signing up his dog. All it takes is money, not status, learning, or even being human.

Related is this post at The Intersection which notes that most high profile science writers and reporters are not scientists at all. In fact, most of them have only minor science training, and are instead journalism and English majors. Which probably explains why they keep getting basic details of science so wrong and fall for the dumbest stories. Check his comments for many more people noting their non-science degrees.

President Obama is trying to control what schools offer as food, following his wife's "all a y'all are too fat, don't even look at me" campaign. The US Senate voted to block part of this scheme by protecting schools' ability to serve as many potatos (usually french fries) as they choose. I suspect this stance has less to do with liberty than the potato lobby, but its still a good move.

There's a new experimental Malaria vaccine that is showing tremendous promise. This could save thousand of lives a year and prevent the misery and recurring illness that malaria can incur. The vaccine appears to protect from Malaria, something previously impossible. This is terrific news to most people.

However, to some, its bad news, which brings together divergent leftist crackpot groups into one evil whole. Consider Roger Pielke Jr, alarmist, and his blog entry about the news:
The consequences of the eradication of malaria should be received as great news, but such a discovery has the potential to send scenario authors back to the drawing board as it could add to existing scenarios as much as 5 Chinas (! in 2011) worth of emissions in 2050.
He claims he wants to celebrate, but his tone is one of fret that we're dooming the world by saving children's lives from a horrible disease. Better those dark-skinned people die so that the oceans don't rise.

According to the Canadian Supreme Court, hyperlinks (those things you click on to go to another site on the internet) are not "publications" and hence cannot be defamatory. How on earth would this even come up? Well lawyers are great at finding absurd things and arguing them as if they are reasonable.
The case involves Wayne Crookes, the president and sole shareholder of West Coast Title Search Ltd., who brought a series of lawsuits against those he claimed were responsible for a “smear campaign” against him and other members of the Green Party of Canada in articles published on a number of web sites in 2006.

Jon Newton has a B.C.-based web site containing commentary about various issues, including free speech and the Internet. One of the articles he posted on it was called “Free Speech in Canada,” which contained hyperlinks to other web sites, which in turn contained information about Crookes.
Honestly, the way things go in Canada I'm amazed the decision went this way. Perhaps they're beginning to move away from the PC insanity that infested the country for decades.

Weeks ago I wrote a little bit about the "adult baby" who was getting Social Security checks for his "disability" of pretending he's still an infant. I know a woman who has epilepsy, polyneuropathy, a damaged thyroid, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a mitral valve prolapse but she was denied social security disability while this guy could? Well his case was examined and... they said he can keep getting disability. That's right, he's not defrauding the US Government by pretending to be a baby and claiming it as a disability, according to the review board. And he's demanding Senator Coburn (R-OK) who brought this to light apologize. Strangely, he seems to be able to function as an adult when in court and in front of an interviewer.

Bats. That's what it took to shut down a wind farm in Pennsylvania. Apparently one got killed by a wind turbine and it was a rare, endangered bat, so by court order the wind generators stop at night. The future of energy.

American Enterprise Institute has a post up on their blog that shows some data behind "income inequity." This data pokes holes in the left's favorite narrative: that the rich constantly get richer while the poor get poorer. They have five points:
  1. Between 1979 and 2007, gains between all wealth categories were shared within .16% of each other, virtually equal.
  2. Between 1976 and 2006, inflation-adjusted median household income for most household types is seen to have increased by 44 percent to 62 percent from 1976 to 2006.” In addition, research shows that median hourly wages (including fringe benefits) rose by 28 percent from 1975 to 2005.
  3. Inflation has actually hit higher income houses harder than low income, about 4% higher over the last fifteen years.
  4. When taxation is included in the calculation the gap between various income strata is even more reduced.
  5. And over the last 40 years America has seen immense growth and increase in standard of living, technology, and comfort, particularly in lower income levels.
For the life of me I can't understand why people find it so shocking that rich people have more money than poor people. That's what makes them rich, you know.

Student loans debt will total more than one trillion dollars this year, that's over $1,000,000,000,000. And loan defaults are on the rise as well. It took me more than 2 decades to pay off my loans and I didn't even go 4 years let alone 6 or 8. College just isn't worth it any more.

More than 900. That's how many days have gone by without a budget, thanks to the Democrats in congress. The US Constitution requires a new budget be submitted and passed each year, but the Democrats in control of congress (and now one house, blocking any budget), have simply passed a resolution continuing the previous budget (with specific changes) instead. They won't do their job. Fire them.

Professor Goldstein at Protein Wisdom brings up something that GOP candidates would be very wise to heed about the Occupy stunts:
To be clear: these “grievances” on parade are not the point of the protests, at least, not to those who are orchestrating all this. Instead, the point of the protests is to con weak-willed pragmatic panders like Romney, or weak-willed and frightened “leaders” like Eric Cantor and John Boehner, to allow for the grievances, to sympathize with them, to begin speaking in the language of the left’s carefully crafted narrative, and to make concessions while remaining constantly on the defensive.

That Romney has been so easily manipulated, concerned as he is over optics and ever willing to try to align himself with the side he perceives is carrying cultural dominance, even momentarily, is a testament to both the aims of this “movement” and the weakness of Romney as a candidate. That the establishment GOP is backing such a weak-willed squish rushing to make concessions to the rabble-rousers and their artificially inflated movement, is a testament both to the cynical predations of Alinsky and his acolytes, and to the absent ideological center of our current party leadership.
He also points out that these are basically communist in nature, which is not a shock to anyone who has been paying attention - that would be why they have been endorsed by both the US Communist and Nazi parties.

Another voice of caution for the Republican Party is Carrie Severino (via Volokh Conspiracy) who points out that federalism doesn't stop at cronies:
Unfortunately, the bill would also enact S.197, “The Medical Care Access Protection Act.” Among other things, S.197 sets a statute of limitations for claims, caps damages and creates standards for expert witnesses. These may sound like great ideas, but they are not within the constitutional powers granted to the federal government for the very same reasons Obamacare is not.

The law’s own justification for its constitutional authority should be chilling to anyone committed to limited federal power. The bill’s findings state that health care and health insurance are industries that “affect interstate commerce,” and conclude that Congress therefore has Commerce Clause power to regulate them — even when it involves an in-state transaction between a doctor and patient, governed by in-state medical malpractice laws. Is there any industry that couldn’t be found to have an effect on interstate commerce? The agriculture and manufacturing industries, long considered the paradigmatic areas not covered by the Commerce Clause, certainly fall under federal power under this broad analysis.
Republicans aren't as often guilty of violating the constitution in this way as Democrats - but only by a small margin. They have to straighten up, too.

California is falling to pieces and its once-vast economy is collapsing under the weight of pensions and absurd overspending. Businesses are fleeing, the state is going bankrupt, and the legislature is taking swift, decisive action:
  1. Minors in the state of California will no longer be allowed to use tanning beds after Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sunday prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from using ultraviolet tanning devices.
  2. In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be banned in California.
Good thing they elected Jerry Brown and all those idiot leftist legislators. They're working tirelessly to fix the economy.

Funding is tough to come by in Michigan, whose economy is even worse than California's. The city of Ann Arbor has centers to help the homeless stay warm and alive in the incredibly cold winters that state suffers under. But the money is tight and they might have to shut these places down. I just can't imagine why anyone would stay in Ann Arbor or Michigan period in the winter, even if you're homeless you can walk and hitch hike, get somewhere warmer for crying out loud.

Not to be outdone, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants lower speed limits... to save the lives of bicyclists. Given that aggressive, radical cyclists deliberately block off traffic and cut it off, swarming the streets and demanding bigger bike lanes and so on, maybe that's why they get hit more often.

For years, there's been a factoid going around about law enforcement: the average life expectancy of a cop is 59 years old. It turns out that this is a true factoid: something passed around and believed to be true, but actually is false. There's nothing conclusive that says any such thing.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote something that's been on a lot of our minds lately: every single last prediction and warning about President Obama that conservatives gave was totally accurate. He was unready, arrogant, radically leftist, lying about his intentions, hostile to business, and so on. Its not like you weren't told. Next time, maybe you voters could listen instead of just being swept along by emotion and slogans.

And that's the Word Around the Net for October 21, 2011

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

all this #OWS stuff seems to be devolving into Lord of the Flies

2:38 PM, October 21, 2011  

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