Quote of the Day
|CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS|
Google I/O hadn’t even started when critics began unloading on how the developer conference was being run. A forward-thinking Google panel on how to get more women in tech became a flashpoint for whether the t-shirts handed out at Google I/O are patriarchal.Now, this is what leaps out to me here. If your primary or even high secondary interest is in science, computer programming, and technology you don't give a damn what the shirt you're wearing is. You don't care if it was a child's large, you don't even care what color it is most of the time.
“They gave me a t-shirt and it’s a size small, men’s,” said Alex Maier, a community manager and heavy user of Google’s products, during a Q&A session with the panel. “That makes me feel unwelcome. I don’t want to make this a big issue or confrontational thing…. But the thing is, I show up, and I want my shirt, and I don’t want to be told that I can sleep in it.”
What, Maier asked, was Google going to do about its one-gender-fits-all clothes in the future, given that women at Google I/O are already vastly outnumbered and prone to feeling excluded?
The audience of roughly 100 women applauded the question exuberantly.
The film, published by the European Commission, describes science as a "girl thing", and combines generic pictures of beakers and words like "hydrogen" with pictures of skinny models wearing designer sunglasses.Now, clearly they're missing the point as badly as the Wired article. This tries to turn science into a pillow-fighting jammy-wearing sleepover and acts like girls will like tech and scientific jobs if only they are pitched to boy-crazy 14-year-olds. At least its not as bizarrely racist and surreal as the Kill Bill ad the EU put out.
But its pink background, lipstick-style logo and techno music soundtrack appeared to have missed the mark with viewers who branded it as "offensive" and "insulting".
While the campaign's other films had drawn praise for featuring interesting and intelligent women discussing their careers in scientific research, the video took a different approach featuring three models giggling and blowing kisses against a bright neon backdrop.
Viewers said it contained no scientific content whatsoever, save for a handful of images of beakers, test tubes and formulas interspersed with pictures of lipstick and nail varnish.
Instead of grounding abortion in a “right to privacy,” which is never mentioned in the Constitution, Kennedy declared it to be part of the well-established right to liberty….He's not totally consistent, but Boaz sees a pattern here. On fiscal issues, Kennedy is right leaning. On social issues, he's left leaning. There's a political term for someone who is very keen on personal liberty and has these tendencies: libertarian.
[In the Texas sodomy case] Kennedy wrote broadly, “Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions” and “includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct.”…
And it’s not like the idea of Justice Kennedy’s libertarianism is a deep, dark secret. The writers might have consulted Helen Knowles’s book The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty. Or Frank Colucci’s book Justice Kennedy’s Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty. Or Randy Barnett’s Cato Supreme Court Review article on the Texas case, “Justice Kennedy’s Libertarian Revolution.”Justice Kennedy is probably the only libertarian judge on the panel. As I said, he isn't completely consistent but he's more so than any of the others.
A producer inside the courtroom, Bill Mears, communicated the information to a relatively junior reporter, Kate Bolduan, the face of the network's coverage outside on the courthouse steps.CNN had "individual mandate struck down" in text at the bottom of the screen for seven minutes, although the legislation wasn't actually thrown out by the court, it was ruled a tax instead. Of course the Buzzfeed piece focuses on how little experience and how pretty the reporter is and how MSNBC (andfoxnews) got it right.
Bolduan then reported, on air, that the invidual mandate was “not valid,” citing producer Mears.
“It appears as if the Supreme Court justices struck down the individual mandate, the centerpiece,” of the law, she said.
The time between planning a project and actually carrying it out stretches into decades. To those who bemoan the lack of “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects in America: this is why.Between bureaucratic delays, environmental studies, protests, lawsuits, and delaying tactics, planning, and corruption, it takes ages to get any major product started.
Even if you are a Keynesian and believe that deficit spending helps the economy to grow, infrastructure projects won’t do the trick anymore. By the time you’re actually actually able to get the project off the ground, the recession has been over for years.
The climate models, by contrast, got scores ranging from 2.4 to 3.7, indicating a total failure to provide valid forecast information at the regional level, even on long time scales. The authors commented: “This implies that the current [climate] models are ill-suited to localized decadal predictions, even though they are used as inputs for policymaking.”then, climate change alarmism isn't the only failure when it comes to predictions. Political "science" second only to "sociology" as a false science, is lousy too. Jacqueline Stevens writes at the New York Times:
It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money.Because inelegant, messy complications such as grievances and inequalities are very difficult to quantify, they're just ignored. And the situations are too complicated, open ended and unpredictable to... predict.
How do we know that these examples aren’t atypical cherries picked by a political theorist munching sour grapes? Because in the 1980s, the political psychologist Philip E. Tetlock began systematically quizzing 284 political experts — most of whom were political science Ph.D.’s — on dozens of basic questions, like whether a country would go to war, leave NATO or change its boundaries or a political leader would remain in office. His book “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” won the A.P.S.A.’s prize for the best book published on government, politics or international affairs.
Professor Tetlock’s main finding? Chimps randomly throwing darts at the possible outcomes would have done almost as well as the experts.
As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles.Corruption and lying by Chinese officials? Never!
Record-setting mountains of excess coal have accumulated at the country’s biggest storage areas because power plants are burning less coal in the face of tumbling electricity demand. But local and provincial government officials have forced plant managers not to report to Beijing the full extent of the slowdown, power sector executives said.
...it grated on Hatch and other senators that Gates didn't want to want to play the Washington game. Former Microsoft employee Michael Kinsley, a liberal, wrote of Gates: "He didn't want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone."Lobby or we'll go after you. You must kiss the ring of congress. Its essentially a cost of doing business for big companies in America, but too many think it goes the other way, with corporations in charge and politicians cowering before them. Who is John Galt?
This was a mistake. One lobbyist fumed about Gates to author Gary Rivlin: "You look at a guy like Gates, who's been arrogant and cheap and incredibly naive about politics. He genuinely believed that because he was creating jobs or whatever, that'd be enough."
Gates was "cheap" because Microsoft spent only $2 million on lobbying in 1997, and its PAC contributed less than $50,000 during the 1996 election cycle.
"You can't say, 'We're better than that,' " a Microsoft lobbyist told me on Friday. "At some point, you get too big, and you can't just ignore Washington."
"You can sit there and say, 'We despise Washington and we don't want to have anything to do with them,' " the lobbyist said. "But guess what? We're going to have hearings about the [stuff] you do."
Indeed. Nor is the problem confined just to a few models. In a 2010 paper, a co-author and I looked at how well an average formed from all 23 climate models used for the 2007 IPCC report did at explaining the spatial pattern of temperature trends on land after 1979, compared with a rival model that all the experts keep telling me should have no explanatory power at all: the regional pattern of socioeconomic growth. Any effects from those factors, I have been told many times, are removed from the climate data before it is published. And yet I keep finding the socioeconomic patterns do a very good job of explaining the patterns of temperature trends over land. In our 2010 paper we showed that the climate models, averaged together, do very poorly, while the socioeconomic data does quite well.They're worthless, dealing with something far more massively complicated than the scientists are interested or able to model, all pushing for a specific outcome to get more of that sweet research cash, fit in with their alarmist friends, and help push a political outcome.
Head of news Helen Boaden admitted that her journalists got carried away with events and produced ‘over-excited’ reports.Excitement over the idea of the glorious revolution and the people overthrowing tyrants led many n news outlets into this kind of stupidity, but at least the BBC has come clean about it.
She told a BBC Trust report that in Libya, where reporters were ‘embedded’ with rebels, they may have failed to explore both sides of the story properly.
Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was among those criticised in the study into coverage of the uprisings, which found that ‘excitement’ did sometimes ‘infect’ the reporting, which some viewers described as ‘too emotive’ and ‘veering into opinion’.
The document, published yesterday, also raised concerns about the corporation’s use of footage filmed on mobile phones and other user-generated content. It noted that the BBC failed to warn viewers with ‘caveats’ about the ‘authenticity’ of such footage in 74 per cent of cases.
It also warned that the corporation ignored events in some countries as it concentrated on ‘big’ stories.
Fairfax sites theage.com.au and smh.com.au shared a monthly mean of around 97% of their content with at least one other metro, while at Brisbane Times mean sharing was 88% and at WAtoday, 95%. In comparison Melbourne’s heraldsun.com.au was the highest average news-sharing site studied in the News Digital network at 13.6% monthly. The couriermail.com.au was next highest at 7.2%, the dailytelegraph.com.au at 5.1%, and perthnow.com.au shared a mean of 3.5% of its stories in our two categories of top and national news.By total coincidence, the more left leaning the news source the more it simply uses wire reports.
Converting the Boardman plant to run on biomass could also change the way agriculture is done for 50 or even 100 miles around, PGE says, because growing enough giant cane to meet that demand around the clock would take more than 60,000 acres, triple the area of Manhattan and a substantial share of the irrigated farmland near Boardman.Why even bother? Well Oregon law mandates that utilities must also get 15% of their electricity from "renewable" sources by 2015, and up to 25% in 2025. Even if its stupid, inefficient, expensive, and ultimately can't be done.
The boiler would need to burn 8,000 tons of plant material each day to keep its water steaming and its turbine spinning.
VdK Social Association of Hesse-Thuringia is demanding social tariffs. VdK chairman Udo Schlitt says that without a price rebate, more and more people with low incomes are going to have their power shut off. He proposes:Brilliant! This can't possibly go wrong!
"Therefore all power producers must be mandated to offer binding social rates by law.”
So in summary, here’s Germany’s latest energy plan: 1) Force power companies to buy exorbitantly-priced, inefficient and intermittent-supply green energy on one side, and then force them to give it away, or sell it at a low price, on the sales side!
(1) The Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts overturned precedent decisions at an average rate of 2.7, 2.8 and 2.4 per term, respectively. By contrast, the Roberts Court overturned precedent only at an average rate of 1.6 per term.By the way, before the decision was announced yesterday, many on the left were wailing that a 5-4 decision showed how politicized and horrible the courts had become. Funny, you don't hear them saying that now about the 5-4 decision in their favor.
(2) The Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts overturned laws at an average rate of 7.9, 12.5, and 6.2 laws per term. By contrast, the Roberts Court struck down only 3 laws per term.
Companies will soon start implementing social media literacy training that would become as common as ethics training and diversity training.How could this possibly go wrong?
Some corporations, such as PepsiCo, have already allowed easy-sharing options in their company newsletters that encourage its staff to promote internal company news, thus, harnessing the social media power of over 300,000 employees.
Has the Supreme Court ever served as a bulwark of constitutional liberty when the chips were down?Expecting the Supreme Court to protect American citizens from outrageous or excessive legislation and defend their liberties is not just foolish, it is counterproductive.
The tactic, which was intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes, was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder scene.You get that? They were hoping to track the guns by finding them at crime scenes. Its just possible that the Obama administration instead of trying to back door gun control was just so unbelievably, inexcusably stupid as to think this was an effective, proper way to track guns. That they'd just be rounded up in raids and drug busts, not at murder scenes and mass slaughters by drug gangs.
With each passing month, death and suffering increased at a frightening rate. Scientists, researchers and health care professionals at every level expressed the need for funding. The response of the Reagan administration was indifference.Recently homosexual donors visited the Obama white house with their checkbooks and gleefully posed in front of the Ronald Reagan portrait there, flipping him off. It is generally understood, especially among the homosexual population, that Reagan hated homosexuals, didn't want to do anything about AIDS, and its all his fault that it spread so quickly and powerfully.
By Feb. 1, 1983, 1,025 AIDS cases were reported, and at least 394 had died in the United States. Reagan said nothing. On April 23, 1984, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 4,177 reported cases in America and 1,807 deaths. In San Francisco, the health department reported more than 500 cases. Again, Reagan said nothing. That same year, 1984, the Democratic National Convention convened in San Francisco. Hoping to focus attention on the need for AIDS research, education and treatment, more than 100,000 sympathizers marched from the Castro to Moscone Center.
With each diagnosis, the pain and suffering spread across America. Everyone seemed to now know someone infected with AIDS. At a White House state dinner, first lady Nancy Reagan expressed concern for a guest showing signs of significant weight loss. On July 25, 1985, the American Hospital in Paris announced that Rock Hudson had AIDS.
Apparently they don't realize that Reagan did more for gay rights than any other President. Moreover, Reagan campaigned on behalf of gay rights before he was President at great personal risk to his future political career. In 1978, conservative California state Senator John Briggs pushed an initiative onto the state ballot to prohibit the hiring of homosexuals as teachers. Keep in mind, this was the height of Anita Bryant's crusade against homosexuals and much of the conservative grass-roots were decidedly opposed to the concept of "gay rights." Reagan had been out of the governor's office for several years and was preparing to run again for President. Support for the initiative was very strong initially and every political calculus would have argued that Reagan stay out of the fight. But, Reagan wasn't a normal politician.The truths is, Ronald Reagan was not opposed to homosexuality, and was not a very socially conservative president, particularly for the times. True, he did have advisers who were strongly anti-homosexual, saying AIDS was "no more than they deserve," according to C. Everett Koop, who fought hard to raise awareness of how AIDS was transmitted and how to stop it.
Out of personal conviction that individuals should only be judged on their merits, Reagan campaigned against the initiative. He even went to so far as to pen on op-ed against it in the closing days of the campaign. The initiative was soundly defeated.
David Mixner, a leading gay rights advocate who organized opposition to the initiative was unequivocal in his credit to Reagan on the victory:
There is no doubt in my mind that the man who put us over the top was California Governor Ronald Reagan. His opposition to Proposition 6 killed it for sure.
Gay rights activists in government compounded the problem. Pat Norman was the Director of the Office of Lesbian and Gay Health in San Francisco’s health department. She was also the chair of the Coordinating Committee of Gay and Lesbian Services, which compared the screening of blood donors as “reminiscent of miscegenation blood laws that divided black blood from white.” They even compared it to the internment of Japanese during World War II.This became so politicized that even reasonable attempts to control the spread of the disease were opposed. Even diseases that cannot be spread like most forms of leprosy are quarantined or even denied entry into the United States, but AIDS, which is so easily spread, was given a pass, because it would seem like evil discrimination against homosexuals. In other words, political activism actually enhanced the spread of the disease because the cause trumped human life.
AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 – when the media started blaring headlines – from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. Reagan’s secretary of Health and Human Services in1983, Margaret Heckler, declared AIDS her department’s "number one priority." While the House of Representatives was Democrat-dominated throughout the 1980s, which Democrats would quickly explain was the source of that skyrocketing AIDS funding, Reagan clearly signed the spending bills that funded the war on AIDS.Could Ronald Reagan have done more? Sure, he could have made a speech in 1981 to tell everyone about a disease that had popped up in one area of America among a small community involving behavior 98% of the population didn't engage in. But why would he? And how do you end up blaming the president for what you're doing to yourself? That's like getting mad at the governor of your state for how you pulled a muscle lifting that refrigerator with your back.
Nobody looking at the plain language of the Constitution would say, "Ah, this obviously empowers Congress to force everyone in America to buy health insurance on the state-by-state individual market."Its how the Supreme Court could have decided that a bill largely silencing political speech right before an election is somehow not a violation of the first amendment (McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform). Its how a lot of bad judicial calls are made: precedent and legal decisions one by one moving steadily away from logic and common sense toward a direction that lawyers prefer.
But a permission structure has been built in the form of legal precedent -- including many bad decisions by liberal judges -- slowly making it possible for Washington to do what sounds absurd on its face: forcing us into intrastate commerce in the name of regulating interstate commerce.
Here is the crux of the question: The federal government does a lot of things the Constitution doesn't grant it power to do. It does so through the fiction of "state-federal partnership." The federal government can't do it, but the state can, so a "state-federal partnership" is created, permitting federal governments to act in ways they could not otherwise act.Now, from initial reports, supposedly the decision deliberately tries to avoid this entire debate, which isn't surprising. Supreme Courts are very, very careful to never, ever step on the toes of a previous court. If there's one thing every court agrees on, its how very important and sacred courts are, and they just do not like to bring into doubt the decisions and statements of their peers. To my knowledge, the Supreme Court has never, ever overturned a previous decision of its self, even though it is the only court in the land that can do so. And its made some horrendously bad decisions in the past.
Now, if this is not a partnership at all -- if the government can simply dictate to the states what they shall or shall not due, with the threat of withholding large amounts of federal money (collected from state citizens -- doesn't this expose the "partnership" for what it is, an end-run, a dodge, a pretext to hide an unconstitutional exertion of federal power?
Shouldn't that fail, too?
According to Chief Justice Roberts laughable decision, Obamacare is Constitutional because it's a tax. But even so anyone with half a brain can see through this ruse easily.Its just a mess any way you look at it. Roberts, in an attempt to avoid throwing out a law in a demented sense of judicial restraint, was being too clever and screwed it all up. It was simply shameful.
First, if it was a tax then the court had no jurisdiction to rule on it and none of the people bringing the case before the court would have standing to do so thanks to the Anti Injunction Act. You can't oppose a tax until it's actually opposed on someone. Since the "tax" doesn't go into effect until 2015, by law the Court would have had to set it aside until then.
It gets worse, of course. The 16th Amendment gives Congress the power to levy a tax "on income". Obviously this is not a tax on income.
It also cannot pass muster as either a direct or excise tax either. As an excise tax it would have to be the same for every state. It isn't, it varies by location. As a direct tax it would have to be appropriated to the states evenly. It isn't.
So even if you accept Robert's completely ridiculous assertion that this is a tax, Congress doesn't have the power to levy it. It's still unconstitutional.
The modern concept of world order arose in 1648 from the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War. In that conflict, competing dynasties sent armies across political borders to impose their conflicting religious norms. This 17th-century version of regime change killed perhaps a third of the population of Central Europe.Basically, the Treaty of Westphalia created nations as we now understand them. Instead of just being a kingdom or an area dominated by tribes, boundaries and borders were created where inside them they were sovereign and could decide their own destiny, and outside it was none of your business.
To prevent a repetition of this carnage, the Treaty of Westphalia separated international from domestic politics. States, built on national and cultural units, were deemed sovereign within their borders; international politics was confined to their interaction across established boundaries. For the founders, the new concepts of national interest and balance of power amounted to a limitation, not an expansion, of the role of force; it substituted the preservation of equilibrium for the forced conversion of populations.
The diplomacy generated by the Arab Spring replaces Westphalian principles of equilibrium with a generalized doctrine of humanitarian intervention. In this context, civil conflicts are viewed internationally through prisms of democratic or sectarian concerns. Outside powers demand that the incumbent government negotiate with its opponents for the purpose of transferring power. But because, for both sides, the issue is generally survival, these appeals usually fall on deaf ears. Where the parties are of comparable strength, some degree of outside intervention, including military force, is then invoked to break the deadlock.As Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club (where I saw the Kissinger piece) puts it, "Nations — and those who formerly controlled them through the vote in countries where they voted — ain’t what they used to be. They’re in the way now." Fernandez points out that the EU cannot survive without what people are calling "political union," or a single powerful government to control policy between the various states. Its sort of like having the United States without the federal government, it just doesn't work to pretend this is one body.
To those who say matters pertaining to America’s involvement in foreign wars are limited by a Congressional Declaration of War should note two things. First, the President didn’t think it was necessary to even ask Congress about the Libya operation, nor was it in the loop with the regard to the Arab Spring. Second, the President has in general been disinclined to require anything from Congress if his executive action, the reasons for which are protected by executive privilege, will do. For more on this subject, refer alas, to Pravda.All the structures and systems in place to sustain democracy, peace, and maintain order between nations are falling to pieces because they get in the way of ideology. And that's why the Treaty of Westphalia came about to begin with: chaos, death, and misery brought about by enforcing ideology at all costs. Instead of Roman Catholicism facing what it considered heresy, now we have Politically Correct leftists desiring to enforce their ideology on everyone, whatever the cost.
The next and obvious question is why anyone would need Congress any more than one needs a government in Madrid? Remember, it’s for the children.
1x9 = 09The first digit goes from 0 to 9, the second goes from 9 to 0. They swap at 5-6. Just remembering that made the pattern easier to figure. All of the multiplication tables are in patterns like this, although some are easier to pick out than others.
2x9 = 18
3x9 = 27
4x9 = 36
5x9 = 45
6x9 = 54
7x9 = 63
8x9 = 72
9x9 = 81