Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Most Important Phone Number of All (for Americans)

See if you can remember this phone number 10-4-3-4-1-1-1. (yes I know 10 isn't a typical phone number).

I was having a conversation with a high school kid and was appalled that she barely knew the US Constitution, even though she was taking a "Constitution" course. She knew about robber barons and Jim Crow but close to nothing about the Constitution. I explained how easy it was to grasp. It's in 7 parts: the first deals with the power of the legislature (that's the Congress), the second with the executive (the President), third the judicial branch (the Courts). What else would the framers need to consider? The States and their relation with the Federal Government; the fifth Article deals with how to make changes to the Constitution (the Amendments); the sixth Article is about pre-existing debts and obligations owed by the states and clearly states that the US Constitution is supreme over all state laws. Finally the seventh and last Article deals with how the existing states were to ratify this constitution.

Do you remember the phone number?

It's a mnemonic to help remember the US Constitution. There are seven Articles in the US Constitution and each Article in the Constitution is made up of Sections. Ten in the first and so on.

What's the phone number again?

If you want to challenge Socialists, and their gentler breathrens Progressives and Liberals you need to know the Constitution.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wall Street Bonuses Up 17%

Don't you love the media trumpeting the 17% increase in bonuses? Greedy Wall Street, while Main Street suffers Wall Street lives high on the hog. Of course our media commentators conveniently forget that the previous year Wall Street took a 40% hit.

Deepening financial crisis has hit hard the employees of Wall Street, whose yearly bonuses were down 44 per cent in 2008, and that in turn hit the New York state, which would lose USD one billion in tax revenues.

A report issued by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Wednesday showed that New York City employees' bonuses last year were USD 18.4 billion, down from USD 33 billion in 2007.

The decline will cost New York City USD 275 million, he said.
Wall Street employees’ bonus dips 40%

A 17% increase from 18.4 billion means that Wall Street bonuses for this past year was roughly 21.5 billion. This means that over a two year period Wall Street bonuses are down roughly 35%. And of course NYC tax revenues are still down over 200 million.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Franz Klammer, He was gonna win or die trying.

Love skiing, love the Winter Olympics (except for figure skating and curling). Here's what I think is one of the best downhills ever.

Science-Media Complex

I just googled Science-Media Complex, and in the back of my mind I was thinking "of course I'm the only one who ever thought of this phrase." Lo and behold, not only have other people come up with it but they also based it on the same idea: that Anthrogenic Global Warming is a hoax.

How to Speak Arabic

I'm reading The Arab Mind by Raphael Patia. There are numerous wonderful quotes. Here's one:

[A] simple assent [saying yes] from an Arab can be, for him, nothing more than a polite form of evasion, while the same word may mean for his English interlocutor a definite, positive commitment....

A simple "Yes" or "No" is, for the English speaker, a definitive statement. His Arabic interlocutor, however, conditioned as he is by the exaggeration and overassertion that are the rule in his own mother tongue, is simply incapable or understanding such brief and simple statements in the same sense. For him, "Yes" only means "Perhaps." ("No" has for the Arab a similarly indefinite meaning.)

Only if the English speaker had said: "Yes, I am telling you definately, yes; I assure you positively and emphatically, yes; my answer is irrevocably and permanently yes!" would the Arab have got the point that what the English speaker really meant was "Yes."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tea Party Movement, Cato and Publius

I’ve had discussions with several left-leaning historians who are appalled with the Tea Party Movement. A pet peeve is the very name “Tea-Party.”  The original Tea Party, they say, was opposed to “Taxation without Representation” and today’s Tea Party people, as we all know, are ignorant crazies led by demagogues. Today’s taxes were voted in by elected representatives: therefore how could these people (the modern Tea Party) possibly be compared to the 18th Century version?

My first response is why were there pen names in the 18th Century movement? After all how close to the Classical originals were the 18th Century Cato and Publius?

They weren’t. Nor was the point to be exactly the same. It was to identify with an agreed upon heroic past and emulate these heroic figures. Today’s Tea Party may not be arguing against Taxation without Representation but they are combating a political establishment that has deviated greatly from the original intent of the Constitution (as they see it). They also see today’s United States to have fallen into one of the great traps warned of by de Tocqueville and others. For instance:

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville”

The Tea Party is an apt name as it brings discussion back to the US Constitution and what it means. Do we look at rights the way it was thought of during the 18th Enlightenment or the way it was perverted in the early 19th C by the anti-enlightenment Romantics or later by the Socialists?

If you’re unfamiliar with this look up Positive versus Negative Rights.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Global Warming, Scientific Hoaxes

Here's some more BS about Global Warming data which I wasn't aware before this article, World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists :

The doubts of Christy [ professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a former lead author on the IPCC ] and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

For instance:

Some [data collection stations] are next to air-conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous shows a weather station next to a waste incinerator. ...

[There are other examples such as a] weather station at Rome airport, which catches the hot exhaust fumes emitted by taxiing jets.

In Britain, a weather station at Manchester airport was built when the surrounding land was mainly fields but is now surrounded by heat-generating buildings.

If anthropogenic global warming was true there wouldn't be all this bullshit. The scientists who included this data, knowing it was compromised, make a mockery of themselves and taint the reputations of scientists everywhere.

One of the posters replying to the article wrote this hilarious spoof:
I have a theory. This could possibly happen sometime in the future. A large majority, sat 3/4's of all automobiles on earth, are pointed in the same direction, say east for example, when they simultaneously accelerate! This could cause the earth's rotation to increase suddenly and offset the natural timing of earths clocks causing chaos among the animal kingdom thereby turning night into day and summer into winter! This must not be allowed to happen! I will be accepting grants and donations and maybe even a Nobel Prize so I may quit my job and dedicate myself fulltime to do more research into this earth destroying disaster that may or may not be happen. No applause , please just cash or checks thank you.

Thank you Gregory Levitzki. That was an excellent comment.

How about this scenario? Some status hungry, multi-billionaire decides to build the biggest building in the world. In doing so he puts so much weight in one small area of the planet that he knocks the earth out of its orbit causing the Earth to plummet into the sun.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carbs Will Help You Loose Weight

For those of you in the sciences, especially those in academia, who are wondering why there seems to be an anti-academic and anti-scientific sentiment in the air you need to look no further than the media.

In big bold letters it is pronounced that scientific studies show that "Coffee is bad." A few years later it is pronounced that
Coffee is good." Eggs are declared bad. Then good. Studies show that carbs are the cause of weight gain. Then studies show that carbs are good.

If you want science to be respected again then you have to take on the media and their sensationalizing isolated studies. Yes it's nice when they promote your cause but when they do it stupidly -- as communication majors who don't know F=MA from mitochondria are wont to do -- then your position gets lost in all the bullshit.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dopes in Chains, was Hope and Change

Here's a rant by a clear-minded Democrat.

What’s become obvious is that the Democrats are unfit to rule this country. America, as it is today, needs a leader that reflects the people. Fat. greedy, lazy, under-educated, racist, bigoted, culturally unaware, hateful of other countries and subject to mind-erasing by Rush, Glen and a few carefully planted, Rovian jingoistic phrases. Good job America. Hope and Change are dead. We now return you to your monster truck program. Republicans, it’s your show again. Dumb ‘er down.

Because I'm for free minds, free bodies and free markets and refuse to bow down either to socialists or islamists I must be "racist, bigoted" and "culturally unaware". Thanks for pointing that out to me.

Terrorist or Soldiers

Part of our problem in this war is our terminology. Our war isn't against "terror" per se. Our war is against men with a particular ideology, a virulant version of Islam. We are incensed with their attacking civilians and non-combatants.

In the past terrorism was used to describe criminal acts that were more political than criminal, for example kidnappings and hijackings. The word was coined to distinguish the acts from ordinary crime. It wasn't an ordinary crime nor was it war.

The world has changed. This is no longer the case. We are now at war. The "terrorists" are soldiers. And the suicide bombers are one of their versions of special forces going on brave missions to disrupt the ability of their enemy to fight them.

I'm certainly not condoning nor legitimizing the actions of the Christmas Day bomber nor others of his ilk. I want this war to be prosecuted as the war it is. The people trying to kill us need to be hunted down and killed before they kill us. Such is the nature of war.

One way to combat the vileness of mirandizing enemy soldiers is by actually calling these men soldiers. They're still the same vile scumbags who think that killing innocent people going home after a day's work are legitimate targets but let's call them what they are: men fighting for their cause the best way they know how. The fact that we despise their cause and have contempt for their methods does not change the fact.

Unproven Missile Defense Systems

Remember when Obama promised to defund Reagan's unproven Star Wars program?

Well, here's more example Obama being wrong and one more example of the Star Wars program not being an example of corporate welfare:

Here's Obama talking about missile defense:

"I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning. And as president I will end it. Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems ...."

Well, guess what. There was just another successful test of this "unproven missile defense system."

Airborne Laser Testbed Successful in Lethal Intercept Experiment
The Missile Defense Agency demonstrated the potential use of directed energy to defend against ballistic missiles when the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile. The experiment, conducted at Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off the central California coast, serves as a proof-of-concept demonstration for directed energy technology. The ALTB is a pathfinder for the nation’s directed energy program and its potential application for missile defense technology.

At 8:44 p.m. (PST), February 11, 2010, a short-range threat-representative ballistic missile was launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform. Within seconds, the ALTB used onboard sensors to detect the boosting missile and used a low-energy laser to track the target. The ALTB then fired a second low-energy laser to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbance. Finally, the ALTB fired its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure. The entire engagement occurred within two minutes of the target missile launch, while its rocket motors were still thrusting.

This was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform. The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for missile defense, with the potential to attack multiple targets at the speed of light, at a range of hundreds of kilometers, and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies.

Less than one hour later, a second solid fuel short-range missile was launched from a ground location on San Nicolas Island, Calif. and the ALTB successfully engaged the boosting target with its High Energy Laser, met all its test criteria, and terminated lasing prior to destroying the second target. The ALTB destroyed a solid fuel missile, identical to the second target, in flight on February 3, 2010.

Three cheers for the Community Organizer-in-Chief

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Great Videos on Evolution

If you haven't seen ZOMGitscriss you'll have some fun. The first video explains evolution, the second gives you another taste of her ideas and sense of humor.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Arianna Huffington v Glenn Beck

Thank God for these film makers to expose the lies of Glenn Beck. Let's see how the filthy Glenn Beck is able to respond.

Whether you like Glenn Beck or not -- only an idiot of the first rank would take this quote as evidence of violent or inflammatory rhetoric. Or, perhaps it does inspire violence? Perhaps Arianna Huffington and others are incensed when they hear Glenn Beck, after all who possibly can say bad things about about universal health care and miranda rights to foreign soldiers attacking the US? Surely any such talk is nothing less than incitement to violence.