Friday, September 07, 2012


"Sounds like legal services should be getting much more affordable soon."

Croc feeding
Reading your e-books before bed? You might want to rethink that. Back-lit screens such as the Kindle have been demonstrated to make sleep more difficult to achieve. Carolyn Kellog writes int the New York Times:
“Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent," said Mariana Figueiro, the lead researcher. “Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.”
The study wasn't very large, but it is interesting to consider. Some readers are front-lit and that seems to be less problematic. Even less of a problem: read a real book.

Thankfully, both major US party conventions are over, and we're entering the home stretch for the presidential election which each year gets painfully longer and more tedious. Although at least some in the press are depressed and weary of this election cycle, some found President Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention almost unspeakably glorious. Ace at his HQ compiled some of the more extreme samples. These are all real, verbatim quotes:
Throughout Clinton's 49-minute address, at turns both masterful and meandering, the intensity of the love affair grew. At times, it was almost too much to watch. One woman on whom the cameras lingered for a moment was so close to a swoon that I thought she would topple over at any minute and that, in any event, she would never again look at her husband or lover again in the same away. They would always be second best.
-David Rothkopf, CNN

"this speech was a living, breathing organism. the crowd, the hall, the speech, one. #DNC2012"
-Rick Klein, ABC News

"It's at times like this, I find it bafflingly self-defeating that America insists on its 8-year rule for Presidents, If he can't be President again, can he be British Prime Minister? This is a serious proposition."
-Piers Morgan, CNN

Obama surprises audience and appears on stage with Clinton. Clinton bows to Obama, and they embrace. The passing of the torch. #DNC2012
-Suzanne Malveaux, CNN

"I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars. He would know how to do it with them. He would know how to reproduce”
–Chis Matthews, MSNBC (eew?)
Given that the speech was often about how evil, lying, underhanded, and hateful Republicans are, this last one tweet particularly bizarre:
"This is the speech that intransigent, warring Washington (on both sides) has needed to hear for years. He was the compromise King."
-Piers Morgan again
We get it, you love Clinton. Clinton loves himself too. But that didn't really help President Obama's reelection bid, did it? Mostly I think they were glad to be distracted from how badly the race is going for their side.

And at the DNC there were quite a few members of the National Education Association present as delegates. 350 in fact (30 were delegates at the Republican convention). The Democrats do love them some unions, and the love is reciprocated. Meanwhile, union membership is on the decline.

Unemployment is down, according to the official White House report this month. It has slipped from 8.3% to 8.1% (if you add in all the people looking but unable to ever find work and people who've given up, its almost 15%). NBC managed to avoid the "unexpected" line this time, mentioning that the 96,000 jobs added last month was 'below expectations' and for another month was less than the number of workers added to the labor force. While a drop in the rate of unemployment is good, Jeff Cox at CNBC explains why that's not all good news:
The decline in the jobless rate, from 8.3 percent in July, came primarily because the labor force participation rate fell to 63.5 percent, its worst level in more than 30 years. The civilian labor force contracted by 368,000.

A more encompassing measure of unemployment, which counts those not looking for jobs, fell to 14.7 percent from 15.0 percent in July.
Last month, 368,000 people stopped looking for work. You need about 180,000 new jobs a month to keep up with the labor force, and they expected 150,000. To get real growth, 300,000 new jobs a month are really needed in the USA. Still, expect the official unemployment rate to continue to drop through October, even if the White House has to cook things a bit. What was unemployment supposed to be like back when the "stimulus" package was being pushed by President Obama? Well, if it didn't pass, it was going to be about 5.9%, the predicted. If it did pass, they promised it would be around 5.6.

Microsoft is trying to get people to use Bing instead of Google. Given Google's work with China to restrict information and some of their political leanings, I sympathise with wanting to use a competitor but Microsoft isn't really any better as a business. Still, if you want, you can compare the two search engines on a website Microsoft has whipped up called Bing It On. Its a sort of Coke/Pepsi blind taste test that shows you side-by-side results without any indication of which side is what browser until you reveal. According to CNet, Bing tends to win, sometimes in almost unnerving accuracy.

Apple computing has just received a patent for a new technique that enables them to disable camera phones. Politicians, cops, and celebrities are all likely happy with this development but you shouldn't be. The device lets the controller shut off all camera phones in an area through a signal, which means either people will get used to having areas blacked out... or find a way to bypass that particular device. Bet on the latter.

Ethics standards and professional contracts prevent reporters from being overtly political, such as donating to a political campaign or buying swag at a convention. However, at least one booth claims they are doing it anyway. Hunter Walker writes at Politicker:
The woman working at the souvenir stand told us she hadn’t been “too busy” during the day, but had seen business pick up in the past half hour or so. She then asked us whether we wanted to buy anything. When we informed her that our status as a reporter means we don’t buy campaign gear, she suggested a strategy other members of the media have apparently used to pick up their Obama swag.

“Have you ever thought of making up a fake name? That’s what the other guys do,” she said.
I suspect that wasn't an issue at the Republican convention.

Considering going to law school? You might want to rethink that. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, they expect only 218,000 new legal jobs to open up in the next ten years in the US. Meanwhile, about 450,000 people are going through law school to become a lawyer right now.

Reason Magazine has a video of someone going around and talking to DNC delegates about liberty, inclusion, and choices, and their responses are disturbing, to say the least. But that's Reason, you'd expect them to find bad responses to make a point. But when The Daily Show's Jon Stewart does the same thing and gets the same kind of results? That is something to consider.

According to a new report by the Institute of Medicine, the US federal government wastes $750 billion dollars each year in medicare and medicaid departments. Yet any calls to cut or slim down the waste are met with screams of how that's going to kill granny and push wheelchairs off a cliff.

Five Occupy members plotted to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, Ohio this year. Four of them have pled guilty so far and one is being evaluated to see if he's even sane enough to stand trial. but its the Tea Party Movement that's crazy and dangerous. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Donny Ray Williams Jr has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting several women while working in the Senate as an aide. Williams worked for panels chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and was on the staff of worked for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

Food prices are up by 10% due to drought (and higher gas prices) but don't expect to see that in any official reports on inflation; they ignore food and energy prices as being "too volatile" and not a true representation of overall inflation.

Phil Jones of the ACU (now disgraced and out of his leadership position) announced that the year 1850 in the Southern Hemisphere was 1.182 degrees below "normal" whatever that metric is supposed to mean. How did he come to this conclusion? ONE weather station south of the equator.

Once again, the very people who claim it is evil racism to require ID to vote are requiring picture ID. This time its a requirement of photo ID to get near the Democratic National Convention, three times. I'm fine with the security, it makes sense. I don't have a problem with showing photo ID to vote, either.

You know what's unpatriotic? Adding $4 trillion dollars to the US deficit, according to President Obama. At least, that's what he said in 2008 about President Bush. Adding more in less than half the time? Apparently that's incredibly bold leadership and very patriotic, because that's what he did in the office.

Following allegations and a lawsuit against the department and her specifically, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief of staff Suzanne Barr has resigned, still claiming innocence. Maybe she is innocent but it takes an awful lot to get a guy so upset he'll go public about sexual harassment at the workplace.

Clint Eastwood's chair bit at the Republican National Convention is still upsetting Democrats and will likely be the lasting image of this election cycle, at least from the Republican convention. The latest example is AFSCME union president Lee Saunders angrily kicking an empty chair on the stage in a rant.
"He's been sitting here listening to all the speakers before me, he's been listening to me, I want you to give Clint Eastwood a round of applause," Saunders said. "I brought him with me to learn some things, OK? To teach him, to educate him." The audience murmured and laughed.

Saunders asked the chair questions, then joked, "He doesn't have anything to say."

"Mitt Romney doesn't have anything to say," Saunders continued. "Paul Ryan doesn't have anything to say."

Suddenly, the tone changed: Saunders, finishing his speech, began to kick the chair, threw it, and yelled "Dirty Harry, make my day! We're gonna kick ass in November!"
They don't really seem to be getting the point though. Once more, Obama was supposed to be in the chair, not Clint. He was the older gentleman standing next to the chair talking to it.

Gas prices hit a record high of average $3.83 a gallon across America on Labor Day. The previous high was $3.60 in 2008. Meanwhile, the White House is pushing a new requirement that all car manufacturers in America get 54.5 miles a gallon average across all their models by 2025.

According to a report at CNN, 58% of the new jobs created in America are low-income jobs. Well, better than no job at all, I suppose, but this is exactly how the legacy media used to criticize the growth and low employment years under President Bush. Of course, their definition of "low wage" is a bit high to me: $13.83 an hour or less.

One Democratic Party delegate at the convention declared she'd like to kill Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney. Whether she'd been drinking at the time or not isn't reported, but imagine how this would be covered by the legacy media if some RNC delegate said that about President Obama?

How old are people getting married these days? Well the median age of marriage for men in 2010 was 28.2, and for women 26.1. The thing is, that's varied over the years, but the widest difference is in 1950-60, where the median age for men and women was 22.8 and 20.3. Back in 1890, the average age was just a couple below what it was in 2010, which surprises me, I always figured people were marrying much younger then. It appears the boomer parents were the ones getting hitched young and unusually so.

Although it got no press recognition and had virtually no advertising, the film 2016: Obama's America by Dinesh D'Souza has done very well in theaters. By all accounts it is a mild look at Obama's life and ties to anti-colonialism and radicals, and gives a glimpse into the man's past that the press didn't bother reporting on in 2008. Coming in the top five movies for weeks at a time, the film has pulled in $20 million, five times the nearest competing documentary this year, Bully which has gotten significant press and discussion.

However, the overall box office numbers for this year have been disappointing, again. Despite higher cost, ticket sales compared to last year over the summer declined by 3 percent, about $4.28 billion total. And that's even with huge movies Avengers and Dark Knight Rises showing this year.

Rahm Emmanuel has declared President Obama a "once-in-a-generation president." I think he's right: we only get one guy like this a generation like Carter; then we go "not again" until the next generation and they try a hard left idealist again and regret it.

Riverside California has a union problem, the police union. To get its way, it is feared for intimidation, including hiring a PI to investigate city councilmen they don't like, faking calls about drunkenness, and pulling them over to test them for sobriety. Cops shouldn't be unionized to begin with.

Antisemitism is still a serious problem in Europe, but the latest display of it resulted in thousands of Berliners from all walks of life donning a Kippot and taking to the streets in support of the Jews of the town and against the people attacking them.

hilarious event at the DNC: an Obama fundraising bundler and the guy primarily behind funding Solyndra was approached by a reporter. His response: to turn away and run literally taking to his heels to avoid the press. The reporter wasn't from Fox or The Blaze or something, the reporter was from ABC.

All production on the Chevy Volt has been suspended, as they have enough of the cars produced and don't need to keep the lines rolling to meet demand. At Instapundit a discussion of readers occurred, with one noting that Volt is selling well (2831 in August) compared to 18 other Chevy models. However, as other readers noted, most of those models were either discontinued or less popular versions of GM models and that this doesn't speak well of Chevy's sales as a whole. However, most of those "sold" Volt models were sold to dealerships as part of a system to pack them for a better sales report this quarter. Again, unlike most auto sales, the Volt requires dealerships to buy the models rather than hold them and return when they don't sell.

to someone with a different political perspective than you? Careful with absentee ballots. Isaac Pollack found out that his wife was so unhappy with his vote for Romney that she destroyed his ballot instead of mailing it. Seems like there may be trust and communication issues in that relationship. But when partisanship goes that far, something is deeply wrong. Totally unrelated: all voting in Oregon is by mail.

Federal law prohibits federal employees from engaging in any political activity or electioneering on the job. That didn't stop Federal Aviation Administration supervisors from warning employees that if Republicans are elected, they will lose work. While the FAA is at least constitutionally defensible, I'm sure it has waste, fraud, bloat, and misuse of funds and could do with some cuts. But I only wish the Republican Party was the party to slash and cut government. They only grow it by slightly slower than Democrats, historically.

Gallup polling is ostensibly an independent polling organization that claims to try to stay objective and as scientific as possible - there is some reason to question that, such as their oversampling Democrats pretty heavily this year, but they do better than other polling groups such as PPP. However, their polling has annoyed the Obama team by reporting him doing poorly as of late, and Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod leaned on them to change their methodology and report things more favorably, according to a new lawsuit filed by the Gallup group.

One of the more bizarre moments of the Democratic Convention was when after various news organizations noted that the words "God" and "Jerusalem" were deleted from the latest draft of the Democratic Party Platform. In response, a motion was brought up to put them back, but it took 3 votes to get it done. If you listen to the audio voting, the tally is about 50/50 each time - with boos when people vote yes to putting the words back in - and finally, the chair simply gavels it as passed and claims it was a 2/3rds majority. Overheard in the audio is an adviser telling chair and Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa that he has to "just tell them what to do."

Bizarrely, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) was on the Colbert Report and claimed that Dutch people practiced slavery in Brooklyn as late as 1898.
"Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City 'The Great Mistake of 1898,' " Colbert said. "If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?"

"I would say to them, 'Set me free,' " Clarke said.

Pressed by Colbert what she would be free from, the black congresswoman responded, "Slavery."

"Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert responded, seemingly looking to give the lawmaker a chance to catch her error.

"I’m pretty sure there was," Clarke responded.

"It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898," the late-night comedian then quipped.

Colbert pressed on, asking, "Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?"

At that point, Clarke responded, "The Dutch."
Slavery was outlawed in the US in 1865, and ended in New York years before that in any case. Representative Clarke claimed later that she had been joking, but I have to give her credit for knowing the Dutch actually owned the area at one point... in the 1600s. I have an idea: stop voting for ill-informed loons like this, huh? If you bash on Aiken for poorly wording a statement what do you do with this crank?

Final note on the DNC: It was originally going to be held outside in Bank Of America Stadium, but was moved indoors to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Bank of America Stadium (which they called "Panthers Stadium" to avoid the connection with a big bank) holds 73,000 people. The arena holds 20,000. The Democrats swore rain or shine they'd be outside with the sand statue of Obama, but then suddenly moved indoors... because they were barely able to fill a quarter of the place. They didn't fill much of the arena, either. Well who'd want to go to a political convention anyway?

Lego put out a special set aimed at getting girls interested in building things, working with their hands, engineering, and designing. You'd think that leftists, who've been trying to get more girls into these areas to shore up the quotas would like this but no.
The loudest protest against the range came from the US, where the Spark movement against the sexualisation of girls and young women organised a petition with more than 50,000 signatures calling on Lego to change its marketing strategy. Eating disorder specialists have also criticised the line, which has slim figurines called Stephanie, Andrea and Olivia who represent a significant change to Lego's typical square-set characters.
You see, they think girls should not be "forced" into specific "gender roles" so everything should be neutral until they choose their role. But somehow girls should be encouraged to do traditionally male things, too. Or something.

President Obama is a poor CEO, according to Jodi Kantor at the New York Times. He focuses on trivialities, overestimates his personal abilities, is unfocused, lost and poor at the job. Maybe Clint had a point about firing the guy who can't do his job, eh?

Tom Blumer at PJ Media has examined the cost to the American taxpayer and the economy that results from cronyism in government. He runs down the numbers of just the last few years and shows that when big business and government collude to benefit each other, the cost is high and painful for the citizens of that country and the economy as a result. He also points out that while this has been going on a long time (in all countries, but especially America -- even in the 1800s with big shots like JP Morgan), its been particularly bad and shameless during the Obama administration. Just don't call it "capitalism" because it has nothing to do with the free market.

Finally, a woman in Thailand committed suicide by leaping into a crocodile pit at a farm. The crocs obligingly ate her, which seems like an especially horrible way to die. This seems really odd but as Weird Universe notes, this is actually not as unique as you'd think. They list four previous news reports of similar suicides over the last two decades. I can think of better ways to go than practicing for Olympic Being Eaten By a Crocodile.

And that's the Word Around the Net for September 7, 2012.

Incidentally, if you see colors above, that's on purpose. Blue posts = convention news. Green posts = alarmist/warming news. Brown posts = Occupy movement news. Its so you can skip or specifically pick out that news if you want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ed in texas
The only problem with there being an excess of lawyers, is that they're NOT going to be taking your order at McDonald's or hanging drywall.
A litigator will take things to court, and if he can't find one, he'll make one. Or had you not noticed the commercials on TV?