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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, October 05, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Rich people are all for non-violence... they want to make sure no one takes their stuff..." -Senator Barack Hussein Obama, 2007

Unemployment data is out, and according to the Obama administration, unemployment has dropped to 7.8%, a drop of 8.1%.  Now, I'd love for that to be true, because it would mean movement in the right direction, but unfortunately it doesn't mesh with the data people had before the announcement, so there's a lot of cynicism out there.  Rush Limbaugh has been suggesting for months now that 8% is the new breakpoint, so a drop under that will somehow herald great news, when 5% unemployment was considered bad under President Bush.  Whatever the truth is (and real unemployment even by this announcement is nearly 15%), we still have a long ways to go.
Part of the reason people are skeptical of this unemployment rate drop (and the ones before it), is that manufacturing orders dropped 5.2% in August, and the EPA's regulations have cost the coal industry 13,000-15,000 jobs.  Yet the unemployment rate dropped?
Vice president Joe Biden is a bit demented (in the clinical, medical sense, I fear) and says idiotic stuff regularly, but he can also be relied on to tell the truth by accident, or as a trial balloon to try out ideas and see how the public reacts - hence, his statement on homosexual "marriage" before President Obama "evolved."  So we have the Vice President saying "yes, we want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars" and then repeating himself.  Why?  Well if this isn't met with horror and rage, then the president will work it into his stump speech and as a debt reduction plan.  If it is unpopular or hurts them, its just Joe being Joe.
Remember back when MSNBC deliberately edited the Zimmerman 911 recording to make it sound like he was racist?  Well a lawsuit against them is being filed, and while I don't care for lawsuits, this is exactly why the concept exists: to punish people for wrongdoing that isn't specifically illegal, but causes real damage.  The Zimmerman/Martin case was supposed to be the big rallying point to show racist evil and why people should vote for Obama but the Jewish-sounding Zimmerman turned out to be quite hispanic, and the waters were at best muddy and in reality he was fighting for his life.  You don't hear much about the case any more (as I predicted back when it was hot).
AARP is a leftist organization masquerading as an elderly advocacy group and insurance broker.  They take dues from old people and help hook them up with benefits, then use the money to promote Democrats and leftist causes.  They were a huge force pushing for Obamacare when the fight was on to pass the bill, but now suddenly want to be left out of it, despite being a major beneficiary of the legislation.
Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrerra won the triple crown in baseball: most RBI, best batting average, and most home runs for the league.  This is a very difficult achievement: in the history of baseball only 10 players have done it (Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams each doing it twice) and the last player to achieve this was Carl Yasterzemski in 1967.  Congrats Miguel and go Motor City Kitties?
Portland Oregon was the scene of a crazed knife attack.  A passenger on the bus system started yelling racial epithets and was told to leave the bus.  He got in a fight with a passenger outside the bus and forced himself onto the bus where he was jumped by the rest of the riders.  Three of them were hospitalized with various stab wounds and a bite, but the bad guy was hauled off.  That's how you respond to that kind of thing, not cowering and waiting to die.
Polling right now is in dire straits, and exit polls have long been essentially junk, but the announcement that the Associated Press has canceled exit polls in 19 states is surprising.  The states being dropped are sure-thing states (ones certain to vote for Obama or Romney), which will save money but also will skew the data even further.
Queen Elizabeth has only symbolic power and status, no true governmental power, but she still can wield a great deal of influence.  When she learned that a radical Muslim cleric was preaching violence, jihad, and government takeover, she contacted the police and asked them if there wasn't something that could be done about him?  Yes, its sad it took the Queen of England to get something done, but action was eventually taken, thanks to her efforts.
Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit, is a libertarian.  He doesn't like the Republican Party or Democratic Party any more than I do.  But he's voting for Romney and he makes his case as to why all libertarians ought to:
“Liberaltarians,” remember them? I’m not sure even if their charter member, Will Wilkinson, is still using the word. If you don’t remember, the Liberaltarians were hipper-than-thou libertarians who fell for Obama’s promise to protect civil liberties and cut the deficit in half, and if there are any of these people left after four years, they must be neck-deep in the Kool-Aid. Every policy we hated from George W. Bush, Obama has doubled down on, big-time.
See, those promises were just things Obama said to separate himself from the despised Chimpy McBushHitler. Fact is, Obama is fundamentally opposed to liberty, and he’s fundamentally opposed to the limitations placed on the federal government, and especially to the limitations placed on the executive branch.
I believe this makes Barack Obama a uniquely dangerous figure in American political history.
Essentially the argument is that while Romney is not a great libertarian pick, Obama is a nightmare and that means he has to be stopped, even if it means voting for Romney.
According to a new study, ten percent of online traffic is made up of "bots," programs which either are looking for data (such as ones that search engines use to find content) or which download items or post comments to advertise for a product or service.  The problem for advertisers is that these bots will "click" on links and move around through them to new sites to spam and steal from but do not represent real customers.  That means that web ads are even more useless than originally imagined.
Regulations have a terrible cost on business, but they also cause problems for science.  Patrick Richardson writes at PJ Media about how this plays out with a scientist who has to spend 3-4 hours a week with regulatory compliance and hours every year with the IRS making sure he's okay with tax law.  Then there are the classes, seminars, and various training courses he has to take each year as well.  All of this increases cost and damages productivity, reducing scientific effort.
Last week I wrote about how 3D printers are lowering in price and may soon be reasonable for home purchase.  Now it appears that companies are starting to take advantage of that possibility.  Teenage Engineering puts out electronic components and they now have the schematics for replacement parts in their devices available to customers so they can print their own repairs.  Instead of going to the store or getting a part shipped, you can just print it yourself.  Now, instead of junking an entire item because it costs more to get a part than buy a new one, perhaps we'll be able to print a replacement and fix it ourselves.  That's just one tiny part of the enormous potential these devices have.
Also in 3D printer news is some of the problems that might come up.  A customer of Stratsys, a 3D printer manufacturer, has seized its printer from a company that had just bought one.  Why?  Because the company Defense Distributed was working on printing out a gun.  Now, you can't print a complete gun with a 3D printer.  Well, that's not exactly true, you can but it would explode with the first shot.  What you can do is print the receiver and the case of a gun, all the parts other than the barrel, trigger mechanism, springs, and firing pin essentially.  You can print off all the parts that make it look like a gun, but none of them that make it work.  The company was concerned it would be a violation of federal gun manufacturing laws.
Michelle Obama praised her husband lately because, as she says, he's done a "phenomenal job working around congress." She's right, he has bypassed congress a lot and it has been phenomenal: noteworthy, unusual, and striking.  The problem is most of it has been a tyrannical usurpation of power in unconstitutional signing orders simply implementing law without being passed by representatives in the legislative branch.  That's not worthy of praise, its a serious problem.
Fact Checking is a fairly recent section of journalism, meant to counter blogs and internet commentary and control the narrative.  The problem is, these fact check columns in the legacy media are often quite off base, sometimes outrageously so.  They have worse spin and bias than actual news stories in some cases, and are basically worthless.  Tom Blumer examines how this works out and why its a serious problem in a recent PJ Media article, with many examples, saving me the time of writing the article myself.
Ever hear of the Wetlands Reserve Program?  Its a US Federal program which allows the USDA to seize lands from farmers to "restore, protect, and enhance" plants and animals of an area.  An expansion of this bill is in the new Farm Bill which the Republicans have been reluctant to simply rubber stamp and President Obama is demanding be passed.  Dana Gattuso writes in the Daily Caller about how the bill would add an estimated two million acres, turning them into federal land without the farmer's okay.
What does this have to do with farming?  Nothing, it is an environmentalist dream and gives the federal government even greater power over America, without constitutional basis (the federal government has no power to molest farmers in the states, even for good reason).  The biggest change in the new Farm Bill would be to make funding for this program permanent instead of needing to be renewed every year.
Oregon's Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is like most state public employee union systems: its killing the state.  The pension system is absurdly good, the benefits are outrageous, and the pay is quite good as well.  Recently, the Oregon PERS board has voted to give its self even more money from the budget, an increase of 45% to the retirement plan contribution from employers.  This will make pensions more secure, but the Oregon budget is already barely surviving as is.  Public employee unions do not care.
Remember the study that showed several dead polar bears in the water, concluding that lack of ice was killing them?  I wrote about this in the past, noting that the conclusion ignored the fact that a huge storm hit just before the study, and that was the most reasonable explanation for the drown bears since they are powerful swimmers.  The man responsible for that study has been busted releasing government documents to support his environmental cause.  Any means to an end.
Spank your kids when they misbehave?  You can get arrested for it in Delaware, now.  Laws against child abuse have been redefined so broadly that any act which causes your child "pain" is now outlawed, which necessarily would include a spanking.  For a long time now some activists have claimed a paddling is child abuse, but I argue not disciplining your children as they need is worse abuse by far.
Harrison Hickman worked for the John Edwards campaign in 2004 and 2008, and the Gore campaign in 2000.  He's a pollster, and he would collect data to show the campaign to help them plan strategy and spending.  When faced with disaster in the Edwards presidential attempts, he testified under oath that he would pick and manipulate data to make things seem better than they really are, showing polls that were false to help keep morale up.  But I'm sure he's the only pollster who has ever done that before.
What on earth does the song title "25 or 6 to Four" mean?  Is it some obscure drug reference?  Is it some long-lost hippie slang?  Actually its about songwriter Robert Lamm trying to think of a song to write for Chicago and finally getting it done at... 25 to 4, or 26 to 4 in the morning (3:34 or 3:35 AM).  Cracked has the stories behind four obscure song titles of this kind.  Eight Miles High by the Byrds isn't about getting stoned, either, its about flying in a jet at that altitude.
Child soldiers are young people compelled to fight for an army, something President Obama condemns as "child abuse" and demands be stopped - and I agree.  The problem is, most of the countries that do this are in North Africa, and while the US used to apply sanctions to these nations for the practice, the Obama administration has lifted all of those ever since taking office.  Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen are all nations that had the sanctions lifted, for "strategic" reasons by the Obama administration, and human rights groups have been trying in vain not just to get that reversed but to get the slightest shred of notice from the legacy media.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea ice around Antarctica reached record levels this year, more ice than at any time in their recorded history.  And, in fact, 11 of the 15 highest recorded ice levels were this year.  Strangely, that hasn't been getting much attention.
Planned Parenthood is spending some of the tax dollars funneled to them to campaign against Mitt Romney.  As a non-profit they aren't supposed to do any politicking but its long been known that left-leaning organizations are largely immune to this particular law.  PP has spent almost $4 million so far, likely because Mitt Romney would sign a bill to end their federal gravy train.
Surprising no one, soldiers are having a hard time getting absentee ballots in time to vote, something that coincidentally seems to happen every time a Democrat is president.  Kenric Ward writes for the Virgina Watchdog:
With only 1,746 military voters in Virginia requesting absentee ballots so far this year — out of 126,251 service members in the state —the Military Voter Protection Project says the system has broken down.
And it’s not just in the Old Dominion. MVPP Executive Director Eric Eversole reports significant declines in absentee-ballot requests by service members across the nation.
Compiling data from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada, Eversole’s organization found that military families have requested 55,510 absentee ballots so far this year. That’s a sharp decline from the 166,252 sought in those states in 2008.
Its unlikely the soldiers have suddenly decided not to vote, but the people in charge of sending requests out?  That might be a different story.
Following the shooting of several soldiers by demented Jihadi Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood in 2009, the army did a study on finding and identifying radicalism before it breaks loose.  Conspicuously missing from that list?  All the blatant signs that Major Hasan was a problem, such as contacting radical clerics, spewing extremist Muslim cant, and being fixated on Muslim casualties and hating Israel.
Among the various noted new technologies and ideas praised at Popular Mechanics is a new tire which continually adjusts its pressure to adapt to heat and road conditions.  As a bike rider I can tell you quite clearly that tire pressure definitely affects how much energy it takes to go anywhere, and poorly inflated tires affects your gas mileage.  These new tires can help maintain the proper level and help your fuel economy.  I expect initially at least they'll cost much more per tire than you'd save in fuel over the life of your car, though.
According to data from the new Mars Rover, NASA is reporting that the days on Mars aren't awful, around 43 degrees Fahrenheit.  The problem is at night it gets a bit chilly: -94 degrees.  Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kid.
Tired of girls dressing in cocktail napkins and lace doilies for the prom, Tooele Utah High School barred girls with too-skimpy dresses from getting in to a dance.  They were given a dress code before the dance, but either they didn't understand or didn't care and figured they'd get in anyway.  Girls, this isn't slut walk night.  Dress modestly.
Wikileaks' latest information indicates that the US Federal Government allowed tons of drugs to be shipped across the US border to cities such as Chicago during the Obama administration.  This appears to be a continuation of the "Operation Divide and Conquer" started during the Bush administration to pit Mexican drug cartels against each other, but the drug smuggling seems to be a new aspect, timed with Operation Fast & Furious.  The media is amazingly disinterested in this story, too.  I bet the war on drugs would be more successful without these kind of shenanigans.
Chocolate might have its health benefits, but it also can be very troubling for some people.  A new study confirms previous data which shows that for some people chocolate has effects that are very similar to drugs.
A new brain study suggests an opium-like chemical may drive the urge to gorge on chocolate candy and similar fatty and sweet treats.
Researchers discovered this when they gave rats an artificial boost with a drug that went straight to a brain region called the neostriatum: it caused the animals to eat twice the amount of M&Ms they would otherwise have eaten.
The team also found that when the rats began to eat the chocolate-coated candies, there was a surge in enkephalin, a natural opium-like substance that is produced in the same region of the brain.
The reaction isn't so much a love of chocolate as a chemically driven urge.  If you're one of those people, its probably best to just do without.
Foreign Aid is very questionable from a constitutional standpoint already but when the US is so far in debt it eclipses the nation's GDP, there's just no money to be handing out to other countries, for any reason.  At the very least, nations who hate the US should be cut off.  But instead, the Obama administration has increased foreign aid, by 80% more than the Bush administration.
Free speech is a right given us by God and an "inalieable" or innate and impossible to remove part of human beings, according to the Declaration of Independence.  The United Nations disagrees.  Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson says that freedom of speech is a "gift" from the UN, due to their human rights treaties, and as such should be restrained so as to not annoy... well Muslims, but he doesn't come right out and say it.
Data indicating growth of GDP over the last few years is pretty dismal.  The United States under President Obama is at 1.7% for the last year, ranking the US at 149 out of 185 worldwide.  Greece is last, Qatar is first. 
Dress sizes have long been known to have shrunk over the years to absurd degrees (Size zero?  Really?  You're so itty you cannot be measured??).  Its all vanity, so women can feel small even when they aren't necessarily - or wouldn't have been considered that small in the past.  And apparently the same thing is happening with bra sizes, according to Tamara Abraham at the Daily Mail:
Branding the system 'a scam', New York boutique owner Linda Becker said that modern bras are labelled with smaller back sizes and larger cup sizes so that the wearer thinks she is not only slimmer, but more buxom.
Describing the scale of the problem, she says that what was once a 36D is now labelled a 32G.
She said that in order to ensure a good fit, every woman should be fitted by a professional, and replace their bras every six months.
Apparently shops like Victoria's Secret are the worst at this.  Maybe that explains why every woman online claims to have 36DD breasts, but its not clear why they all seem to say they have red hair.
Iran is very close to finishing a nuclear weapon, but that's no cause for alarm, according to Reuters.  They are years away from an ICBM, they say.  So no big deal, right?  The problem is that Iran has official state doctrine of executing their foreign policy through terrorism in groups like Hezbollah.  The world isn't so much worried about an ICBM (especially a Russian-built one) but they do worry about a shipping container with a nuke in it pulling up to Tokyo, Amsterdam, or New York City.
Union membership in the private sector (business) continues to fall as workers realize they are paying dues to people for no good reason, and further that the dues are going to make union bosses rich and help political causes they might not even agree with.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public sector (government) unions are heavily concentrated in a few areas.  Public sector union membership outnumbers private by 5:1 right now, and is mostly in New York, Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Washington State.
Several times in the past I've written about fraud and misconduct in scientific studies.  While fairly rare, it still is occurring and is a problem, and according to a recent study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, its getting more common.  Its not Republicans that are at war with science, its scientists themselves, and the way funding is done.
Gas prices high?  They sure are in Oregon, where they've shot past $4.50 a gallon and were the highest in the nation last I heard.  The problem is a shortage at refineries, so bad that in California rationing and gas station shut downs have begun.  Why the shortage?  That's less clear, but as seasons change, the Clean Air Act requires fuel blends to be changed, which means refineries and pipelines have to be shifted and fuel in gas station tanks replaced, all of which costs money and takes time.
And that's the Word Around the Net for October 5, 2012.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ed in texas
It's not just gasoline that's spiking big on the west coast. JP4 (jet fuel, aviation kerosene) is currently so high in California that airliners flying into Cal are loading up, as opposed to getting an efficient load, because it's cheaper to fly the fuel in than buy it when they arrive.
Ask yourself about the economics of THAT.

4:47 AM, October 06, 2012  

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