Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scientists are human, especially medical/pharmacological scientists

Daniele Fanelli of the University of Edinburgh finds that 2% to 14% of scientists have "fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once":
The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy. Many surveys have asked scientists directly whether they have committed or know of a colleague who committed research misconduct, but their results appeared difficult to compare and synthesize. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys. ....

A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.91–19.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices.
The problem varied by discipline with reports of misconduct appearing most frequently among "medical/pharmacological researchers."

I suspect that, when all the results are in, it will also be found that global warming has an exception amount of scientific fraud.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Biased research

"Racism is real," claims Yvette Cozier, an epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center at BU who just published a stiudy of more than 43,000 women enrolled in the long-running Black Women's Health Study. Racism might be real but her study does not show it.

Gay marriage advocates and changing polls

Gallup reports that support for gay marriage has dropped to 40% from a high of 47% two years ago. (57% are currently opposed.) Why the drop? I suppose that it mostly has to due with the behavior of those supporting gay marriage, such as the demonizing of Mormons following the passage of California's proposition 8 or the outbursts (as illustrated by Steve Benson) of Perez Hilton after Miss California adopted the majority position on gay marriage and the same position that Pres. Obama holds:

PREVIOUSLY:
Politicizing the Miss USA contest
The bullying of Carrie Prejean

Obama's philosophy, illustrated

Chip Bok explains President Obama's approach to politics in two frames:

More Chip Bok cartoons here.

Eco-hypocrite of the day


Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke today at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China
"I do see this opportunity for climate change to be ... a game-changer," she said at Tsinghua. .... "Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory ... of how we are taking responsibility."
This is the same Nancy Pelosi who insists on flying military jets and then complains that the jets are not large enough for her.

RELATED: Michelle Malkin sees this as just one example of our weird times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama nominates a racist


Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, explains how Latina judges are "better" than white males:
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life. [Emph. added]
She is modest enough to acknowledge that she is unsure whether her superiority as a Latina is due to "experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences."

RELATED on the subject of racism:
"That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama
Stanford finds Democrats are racist
Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist
Democrat justifies race hatred
A Web Browser for Racial Separatists
He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line
NAACP defends racism in education

RELATED on the subject of Judge Sotomayer:
Michelle Malkin has a round-up Pam at RightVoices notes that NBC is asking "Would Republicans dare vote against first Hispanic?" Did NBC ever ask about Democrats opposing the first Hispanic Attorney General? Probably not. Feddie at Southern Appeal thinks this nomination is not worth a fight. Bookworm Room has an extensive round-up.

UPDATE: Newt Gingrich explains the issue as follows: "Imagine a judicial nominee said, 'My experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.' New racism is no better than old racism."

Since when did the left become pro-nuke?

Last Wednesday, John Bolton wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal discussing US policy, North Korea, nuclear containment, presciently entitled Get Ready for Another North Korean Nuke Test.  This prompted Allison Kilkenny of the Huffington Post to respond:
A dictator only has a few options to show he's still hot shit, and one of those is to blast a missile into the ocean. But it's not a threat to the United States. It's actually just pathetic. Call it the official countdown of Kim. He's also sick, weak, and may have had a stroke.

And yet all of these facts couldn't soothe the nerves of our mustachioed maverick, John Bolton. Get Ready for Another North Korean Nuke Test he hollers at the top of the page.

Notice the left-liberal reasoning: a nuclear bomb in the hands on North Korea is nothing to worry about because their current leader is "sick, weak, and may have had a stroke"  and, besides, their missiles currently only reach Japan!  How is the health of North Korean's current leader relevant?  It wont' stop his nukes from exploding.  There is no reason to think his successor would renounce nukes.  So, what is the point?   Also note how lightly the Huffington Post takes a possible nuking Japan, considering it to be "pathetic."  If North Korea can threaten Japan with nukes, doesn't that change things?  Granted that North Korea has not yet demonstrated an ICBM capable of reaching the US.  So, today, "it's not a theat": but, is a shortsighted view like that a sensible way to run foreign policy?  Leave it to the left to make irresponsibility into a virtue.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden and Legal Insurrection.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friendly part of brain identified

According to a University of Cambridge press release, scientists have identified two parts of the brain that are associated with warm and social people:

The volunteers underwent a brain scan using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). They also completed a questionnaire that asked them to rate themselves on items such as 'I make a warm personal connection with most people', or 'I like to please other people as much as I can'. The answers to the questionnaire provide an overall measure of emotional warmth and sociability called social reward dependence.

The researchers then analysed the relationship between social reward dependence and the concentration of grey matter (brain-cell containing tissue) in different brain regions. They found that the greater the concentration of tissue in the orbitofrontal cortex (the outer strip of the brain just above the eyes), and in the ventral striatum (a deep structure in the centre of the brain), the higher they tended to score on the social reward dependence measure. The research is published in the European Journal of Neuroscience. ....

Interestingly, the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum have previously been shown to be important for the brain's processing of much simpler rewards like sweet tastes or sexual stimuli.

Wikipedia (source warning) has an image that shows the orbitofrontal cortex (green):


An image from NIH shows the ventral striatum below (purple):

The Obama disaster

Under the Bush-Obama "stimulus" plan, with deficits without precedents, this plot, from the Wall Street Journal, shows how the federal debt will grow:
In an interview with C-SPAN host Steve Scully, Pres. Obama said "[W]e are out of money now." The solution to this, as he is it, is to spend more (as per the above graph) and nationalize health care.

RELATED:
A graph of Obama's planned deficits.
EU finds Obama debt plan too extreme.
The inmates are running the asylum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

After years of howling, Dems still have no plan

The AP reports that Dems still have no plans for how to close Gitmo:

With debate looming on Obama's spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo's 241 detainees. ....

The administration has yet to develop a plan for what to do with the detainees, and Obama's promise to close the facility is facing strong GOP opposition.[emph. added]

Karl Marx wrotes endlessly on the evils of "capitalism" but wrote no more than a few cryptic paragraphs on how Marxism was supposed to work.  Similarly, Democrats have spent years writing (and shouting) about Gitmo but it is now obvious that they had put no thought into what would replace it.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Monday, May 18, 2009

CSI Fail

I had suspected that "bite-mark" matches were pseudo-science: Radley Balko has confirmation, complete with video of a respected bite-mark expert reaching a wrong result.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wolfram Alpha

According to the hype, Wolfram Alpha was supposed to changed the world:
New software making its debut this month is being heralded as a revolutionary development that could put Google to shame and represent a first step toward a global source of information that understands and responds to ordinary language. The system, called Wolfram Alpha, not only will be able to answer questions such as "How high is Mount Everest?" but it will be able to instantly calculate....
I tried a simple query:

Google, by contrast returned with many useful hits:

Hype isn't reality.

Wolfram Alpha is reportedly powered by "the world's 66th-fastest supercomputer." Maybe, 66th place isn't good enough.

Vaguely RELATED:
NASA doctor says Speaker Pelosi suffers from hysterical amnesia

Yet another New York Times scandal, or two

Maureen Dowd was caught plagiarizing Josh Marshall.  This is also another example of the merging of left-wing blogs and mainstream media.

In a separate New York Times scandal, reporter Stephanie Strom knew about allegedly illegal collaboration between the Obama campaign and ACORN but when her witness agreed to go on the record, Strom's editor, Suzanne Daley, killed the story because it was a "game-changer" that would make Obama look bad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Obamanomics visualized

John Cole explains President's Obama approach to budget planning:


RELATED: In the rush to spend, the Feds are sending "stimulus" checks to dead people, even some who have been dead for decades.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama and abuse of power

George Will reviews Obama's Chrysler/UAW and California/SEIU policies and concludes:
This is not gross, unambiguous lawlessness of the Nixonian sort -- burglaries, abuse of the IRS and FBI, etc. -- but it is uncomfortably close to an abuse of power that perhaps gave Nixon ideas: When in 1962 the steel industry raised prices, President John F. Kennedy had a tantrum and his administration leaked rumors that the IRS would conduct audits of steel executives, and sent FBI agents on predawn visits to the homes of journalists who covered the steel industry, ostensibly to further a legitimate investigation.
Hat tip: Celestial Junk

RELATED: As regards bullying banks, Obama policy is a continuation of the Bush/Paulson policy.

Political Scoundrels, II

Victor Davis Hanson reports that, back in 2002, Eric Holder supported enhanced interrogation:
Here's what Eric Holder-set to examine whether or not to depose, indict, whatever Bush's legal advisors, told CNN in January 2002 about Guantanamo inmates:

"It seems to me you can think of these people as combatants and we are in the middle of a war. And it seems to me that you could probably say, looking at precedent, that you are going to detain these people until war is over, if that is ultimately what we wanted to do." Later in 2002 Holder elaborated, "One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located. Under the Geneva Convention, you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people...[They] are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war...

Now as US Attorney General, he is/was considering prosecuting/sanctioning those who did what he recommended.

Hat tip: Vocal Minority.

PREVIOUSLY on the topic of political scoundrels:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer flip flop on torture
NASA doctor says Speaker Pelosi suffers from hysterical amnesia

PREVIOUSLY on the general attitude of "that was then, this is now":
Broadcasters discover a duty to broadcast presidential speeches.
Al Gore blasted Bush for ignoring Saddam's connections to terrorism
Before advocating surrender, Senators Biden and Hagel advocated a 10-year Iraq campaign.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Political scoundrels

It's not just Speaker Pelosi who has flip-flopped on harsh interrogation (AKA "torture"). Ed Morrissey documents Sen. Chuck Schumer's support of harsh interrogation in 2004 followed by his current (2009) support for the DoJ prosecuting those who supported harsh interrogation.

I cannot predict what their position will be on the issue five years from now but I am sure that it will be whatever is politically convenient at that moment.

RELATED: what real torture looks like.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obamanomics and the test of science

In science, theories are tested by experiment.  In January, Obama's economic team predicted, using their Keynesian theories, how much better the economy would be if the economic "stimulus" package was passed than if it wasn't. It is May and there is enough data to compare: so far, according to their plots, the economy is worse, not better.

In economics, like in climate, a single test is not dispositive but it is informative.

Posner's ignorance

Richard Posner writes:

My theme is the intellectual decline of conservatism, and it is notable that the policies of the new conservatism are powered largely by emotion and religion and have for the most part weak intellectual groundings. .... Conservative intellectuals had no party.

And then came the financial crash last September and the ensuing depression. These unanticipated and shocking events have exposed significant analytical weaknesses in core beliefs of conservative economists concerning the business cycle and the macroeconomy generally. Friedmanite monetarism and the efficient-market theory of finance have taken some sharp hits, and there is renewed respect for the macroeconomic thought of John Maynard Kenyes, a conservatives' bĂȘte noire.

This displays shocking ignorance.  First, Friedman is part of the Austrian school of economics which regards business cycles as normal not "unanticipated."  Second, the mortgage and banking crisis were widely anticipated by conservatives and even Republicans, just not by Democrats.  Posner's claim that conservative economics lacks "intellectual groundings" is simply due to Posner failure to read.

Would a professional photographer have taken a photo that ugly?

Ann Althouse points out that the White House explanation of the Air Force-1 flight over NYC doesn't add up.  It would be helpful if, at a press briefing, an inquisitive reporter asked the obvious questions but, of course, that is not likely.

Related: A WH staffer takes the fall.

Monday, May 11, 2009

There is nothing funnier than a dead Republican!

The (UK) Telegraph reports:
Mr Obama [smiled] broadly when the comedienne Wanda Sykes excoriated the conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, comparing him to an al-Qaeda hijacker and wishing him dead. She said: "I hope his kidneys fail."
More here, here, and here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Time for a special prosecutor?

Two recent items, both of which seem to call for a special prosecutor:
  1. Paul Mirengoff makes the case that leaks attacking Jay Bybee and John Yoo from the Obama-Holder Justice Department are a "criminal offense under the Privacy Act. 5 U.S.C. section 552a(i)(1)."and suggests that it is time to consider the appointment of a Special Counsel.

  2. Chrysler's creditors report being threats and intimidation. Tim Oren says "If I Tried This, I'd Be On My Way To Prison."  But then, is it illegal when done by the President?

In liberal paradise, dissent will be a crime

Do disagreeable political opinions cause you "emotional distress"? Do you think people who publish such opinions on the web are engaging in "hostile behavior"? If so, then Rep. Sanchez (D-CA) has the answer. She has introduced a bill, H.R. 1966, to enable prosecution of such miscreants. Full text is here. The key section reads:
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
I know many liberals who believe Fox News to be "hostile" and a source of "emotional distress." Can prosecutions be far behind? If Fox has the "intent" of broadcasting "fair and balanced" news, is that the same thing as having the "intent" to cause "distress" among liberals? There are many potential jurors who would say yes.

Note the impressively wide scope: this bill would apply to all communications "dependent on electrical power." This obviously includes TV, radio, websites, and blogs. Even modern newspaper publishing depends on electricity.

The nominal purpose of the bill is to prevent "cyberbullying" of children. I am not a lawyer but I see nothing in the text that in any way limits this to that purpose.

Eugene Volokh has more.

RELATED:
When co-workers behave like junior brown-shirts.
Obama vs. the rule of law.
DailyKos opposes fairness for Hillary.
Is it fascist to oppose fascism?
Fascists and atheists
To rise to power, 20th century fascists depended on liberal do-gooders.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The unbiased left

Katie Couric and Brian Williams blog on the Huffington Post. When CNN wants a "truthful" analysis, they ask for it from Media Matters for America. This video details the merging of the MSM and left-wing blogs:


Hat tip: DPGI

Newsweek wants Star Trek politicized

In a review of the new Star Trek prequel, Newsweek complains that the show isn't liberal ("progressive") enough:
All the character quirks are there, and the Enterprise is rendered more realistically than ever, but what's missing are the typically progressive politics and moral dilemmas that made the original "Trek" more than a space-age adventure show and helped earn it legions of ardent fans. [emph. added]
Liberal movies, however, tend to be unpopular at the box office.

Also, the original series was not left-wing. In one episode, a peace activist is the cause for the Nazi's winning World War II. In another, nitwit ambassador, filled with rhetoric about diplomacy and understanding, nearly causes the deaths of everyone on board the enterprise: by the end of the episode, though, he sees the light, picks up a phaser, and starts defending the crew. In another, naive hippies, following a loony leader who promises them "Eden," nearly die when Eden turns out to be poisonous. Liberal, not.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden and Protein Wisdom.

PREVIOUSLY:
Liberals politicize a Christmas concert.
Liberals have a long history of politicizing science.
Miss USA contest decided by politics

RELATED (10/2009): Jay Nordlinger reviews the politicization of sports in "Safe-Zone Violation!"

Needing to hate

GayPatriot, who listened to Andrew Breitbart address the Republican Jewish Coalition in Santa Monica last night, writes:

Breitbart contended that the left’s bullying of people like Carrie Prejean is a strategy to intimidate and discredit such adversaries. Leah pointed out that even after the Democrats swept to power last fall and have taken office this past January, their supporters on the blogs (and in the comments sections to conservative blogs) and sometimes even in the corridors of Congress and halls of the White House have become even more mean-spirited, more antagonistic, more vindictive than they were when they were out of power.

They do seem to have this “need” to hate, to attack conservatives. In victory, they have shown no magnanimity.

So, I’m wondering, is this hatred a strategy to discredit us and more easily maintain their power or a neurosis, a psychological “need” to attack others so they feel better about themselves?

In my opinion, since it does not appear to be under rational control or guidance, I'd say the hate is a neurosis.

On the other hand, BlueCrabBoulevard finds evidence of some coordination and control.

PREVIOUSLY, on the subject of liberal hatred:
Nora Ephron says the election will be about "hate"
Democrats projecting hate onto other Democrats
Hating Bush and Cheney more than Saddam
Liberal logic: "What's irrational about hating George W. Bush?"
Hating those who might own a gas-guzzlers except if they're Democrats
Congressional hater accuses Pres. Bush of killing for his own "amusement"
Imaging that the "right-wing hate machine" is mugging liberal talk show hosts
Anti-semitism
And, speaking of out of control emotions, there is nothing like a "peace" protester:
Peace protester confesses to murder
Three peace protesters arrested for 3rd degree assault

Top Dem fundraiser pleads guilty

The AP reports that Norman Hsu has pleaded guilty to bilking investors (10 counts of wire and mail fraud) and is awaiting trial for violating campaign-finance laws:
Former top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to charges he cheated investors out of at least $20 million in a massive Ponzi scheme. ....

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Lemire told Marrero that the government will seek to prove that Hsu made political donations "to fuel" the Ponzi scheme and pressured victims of his fraud to contribute to political candidates. ....

[Hsu's lawyer Alan] Seidler said Hsu considered Hillary Rodham Clinton his biggest prize among political candidates. ....

Hsu was accused of raising more than $1.2 million for Clinton and other Democratic candidates. His donations became an embarrassment for Clinton's presidential campaign. ....

Hsu was indicted in 2007 on charges of swindling $20 million from victims in what the government described as a $60 million Ponzi scheme that lasted from 2000 until August 2007. ....

He posted $2 million bail and missed a court appearance a week after his initial arrest. He fled by train and was arrested at a Colorado hospital after attempting suicide. He has remained imprisoned since.

In January 2008, he was sentenced to three years in prison after a judge refused to toss out his 1992 plea to the fraud charge.

UPDATE: Hsu has been convicted of violating campaign finance laws. The AP reports what he did and the praise he received from Hillary:

During the trial that began May 12, television actress Susan Chilman testified that she given nearly $42,000 to Clinton and other Democratic candidates. Once she took out her checkbook, Hsu would simply give her a name and an amount, then later reimburse her, said Chilman, who's had roles in "Brothers & Sisters," "CSI Miami" and "ER" under the stage name Susan Pari.

Jurors also heard testimony from several other investors who recounted how Hsu showed off his political connections by decorating his home with photos of himself with marquee Democrats. One witness testified she met President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island at fundraisers she attended with him. Prosecutors played a voicemail recording of Clinton, then a senator, effusively praising Hsu for his loyal support.

"I've never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective and really just having greater success supporting someone than you," she told him. "Everywhere I go, you're there. If you're not, you're sending people to be part of my events. You know, we're going to win this campaign, Norman, because you single-handedly are going to make that happen."

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Ponzi schemes, there was Bernie Madoff who was also a major donor to left/liberal causes. R. Allan Stanford is charged with scamming his clients out of $8 billion and, though not as partisan as Madoff or Hsu, "a lot of [Stanford's] money went - straight into the coffers of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)."


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Money for nothing: your government at work

The LA school district pays $10 million each year in salaries to teachers who are not allowed to show up at work, let alone teach. These teachers have been accused of something, such as theft or harassment, and may receive full pay and benefits for years while the school district contemplates their cases. Meanwhile, financial shortfalls may force the district to lay off teachers who actually teach.

New York City public schools also have teachers paid not to teach. However, NYC requires them to show up at a school district building. Once there, they are permitted to do crossword puzzles.

Don't you wish that our health care was run by the government?

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of education:
For 17 years, no one noticed that a California high school teacher was illiterate.
A Teacher's view of government schools
Schools set priorities
Swedish government schools regulate birthday party invitations
The curriculum at teacher's colleges
Does the teaching of "self-esteem" backfire?

Kerry supporter pleads guilty

Wade Sanders, a veteran well-known for his defense of Sen. Kerry in 2004 against charges from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Obama supports "torture"

The Obama administration has rejected accused Nazi John Demjanjuk's claim that his extradition to Germany would subject him to torture:
"All of Demjanjuk's submissions should be denied, as they are based on speculation, erroneous assumptions, and frivolous claims that legitimate German legal proceedings against him are designed to cause him suffering and would subject him to torture," the Office of Special Investigations said in a statement on Friday. "He cannot meet his burden of proving that it is more likely than not that he would face torture if removed to Germany and his motions and application therefore must fail.‬"
The Obama administration, however, has declared that sleep deprivation, practiced by evil Bush, is "torture." (or should I write it as "Torture!!!!!!")  Extradition to Germany would require an intercontinental flight.  Few people find such flights conducive to sleep.  So, clearly such a flight is likely to inflict sleep deprivation and therefore "torture."  Demjanjuk claims poor health which, if true, would make the "torture" even worse.

Furthermore, has Obama's DoJ investigated German prisons sufficiently to assure us that they are quiet, peaceful, and conducive to a good night's sleep?  No such claim is made.  Therefore, confinement to German prisons is, in all likelihood,"torture."

Will anyone stop Pres. Obama's cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies

From the AP:
Nevada's attorney general on Monday filed criminal charges accusing liberal community activist group ACORN and two of its employees of facilitating voter registration fraud in November's election by requiring canvassers to submit 20 applications each day or face termination. ....

ACORN became a flashpoint last fall when Republican presidential candidate John McCain said during a debate with Barack Obama that the group "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history." ....

The Nevada complaint alleges 26 counts of "Compensation for Registration of Voters," which it called a felony under state law.

"By structuring employment and compensation around a quota system, ACORN facilitated voter registration fraud in this state," Attorney General Masto said. She alleged that the group's training manuals "clearly detail, condone and, indeed, require illegal acts."

The complaint accuses Christopher Edwards, former field director for ACORN's Las Vegas office, of creating a "Blackjack" or "21+" system that awarded a $5 bonus to low-paid canvassers who brought in 21 or more completed registration forms in a day. It alleges that Amy Busefink, ACORN's deputy regional director, approved the scheme.
In addition to those 26 counts of "Compensation for Registration of Voters," Nevada also charges 13 counts (PDF) of "Principle to the Crime of Compensation for Registration of Voters," also a felony.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of election fraud or ACORN:
Three Obama supporters plead guilty
Another ex-ACORN worker pleads guilty
An insider's guide to vote fraud
Vote fraud update
Absentee ballot and dishonest elections
Fraud and Deceit in 2004
The hypocrisy of ACORN and others on minimum wage

The end of the rule of law

As a candidate for President, Obama explained how he will choose a nominee for supreme court justice:
"I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book, it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living, and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes, and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with peoples hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes."
He repeated similar ideas Friday in response to Justice Souter's retirement.

His concept turns our democratic system on its head.  It is the job of elected representatives to write laws that reflect "daily realities" etc.  This is because they are accountable to the people through elections.  Judges and justices should use their understanding of legal theory and casebooks merely to interpret the laws as written.  By selecting judges who are willing, on personal whim, to re-write laws as they see fit, we citizens lose our only protection against arbitrary and politicized court rulings.

Stalinists cheer Obama

In 1941, the Hitler-Stalin pact caused American left split into two groups. One group thought Nazism so evil that the pact required them to break from Stalin. The other group continued supporting Stalin and, because of the pact, so it as their duty to side with Nazi Germany against the democracies. Singer Pete Seeger, the Hollywood ten, and Alger Hiss were in the latter group. Last night, Pete Seeger was honored at Madison Square Garden and a funny thing happened: everyone cheered for Obama:

On Sunday night Pete Seeger's 90th birthday was celebrated with a concert at Madison Square Garden.....

But here's the amazing thing. In my life, I have never been to a concert (let alone a lefty concert) at which the name of the President of the United States was cheered. At previous concerts I've been to over the decades, the names of Kennedy, Johnson, Carter or Clinton were no more likely to be cheered than those of Reagan or Bush.

I mean, who cheers Presidents at concerts? Traditionally, names of Presidents go unmentioned. Or they are booed.

Springsteen said that he never saw Seeger more happy than at Obama's inauguration, noting that Seeger saw Obama's ascendancy as proof that he, Seeger, had "outlived the bastards."

To complete the circle, Obama is reportedly using Nazi tactics to extract money from US banks for the benefit of Democratic campaign contributors.

More fraud in Global Warmist research?

One of the debates in the global warming field is whether the temperature increases seen near the center of cities is due to global warming or merely to local heat-island effects.  Prof. W. C. Wang of SUNY-Buffalo has published papers claiming (PDF) that the heat-island effect is small:
The results show that the urbanization influence in two of the most widely used hemispheric data sets is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale.
Upon questioning, it turns out that this conclusion is based on data that cannot be found.  You can read about the official fraud investigation here and here

PREVIOUSLY, fraudulent data at NASA was discussed here.  Falsehoods in Al Gore's inconvenient truth were discussed here.  The emotional appeal of global warming to the left was discussed here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Obama's Source for the claimed Churchill quote

One persistent question about this administration is how Pres. Obama can be so ill-informed about the world and its history.  One answer to this may be that he reads Andrew Sullivan.

Speaker Pelosi, the Democratic Party, and hysterical amnesia

Speaker Pelosi has been claiming that she doesn't remember being briefed on waterboarding and other "torture" of Al Qaeda operatives. DrSanity, an M.D. in Psychiatry/Aerospace Medicine), suggests (see her post for the full diagnosis):
[M]aybe the hapless and forgetful Democrats are suffering from... hysterical amnesia.

Hysteria is a concept characterized by a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms that result from dissociating one's cognitive functioning from one's emotions and/or behavior. The psychological defense that makes this happen is known as dissociation.

For the hysteric, emotions are primary and are not subject to objective reality.

When we speak of someone becoming "hysterical" (a more recent term is "histrionic"), we are talking about behavior that exhibits overwhelming or unmanageable emotional excess.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Feelings, nothing more than feelings (cue music); where there really is nothing more than feelings at play. This is a world where there is no objective reality or truth; a world where, if you believe something is true, then it is. A world where it is always acceptable to "forget" what you said or did yesterday, because that was then and this is now; and consistency, honesty, or integrity are for losers who believe in reason, truth and reality.
After eight years of bizarre non-stop BDS, the diagnosis of hysteria seems apt.  The amnesia part is also interesting. Amnesia, whether induced by hysteria or otherwise, has some consequences.  For one:
Another general effect of amnesia (of any etiology) is the inability to imagine the future.
The explanation for this seems to be that our imagination uses our memories of the past.  Any memories that amnesiacs lack can therefore not be used to help imagine new experiences.  This seems, to me, to explain many of Obama's policies.  For one, Pres. Obama's foreign policy is based on the idea that other countries will respect us and grant us concessions if we adopt a posture of weakness.  This has not worked in the past but amnesiacs would not know that.  For another, consider his and the left's enthusiastic advocacy of socialized ("single-payer") medicine.  History, whether of the USSR or of Canada, shows that government-rationed health care can be quite cruel.  But, an amnesiac, of course, would not know that.  DrSanity may be on to something here.

PREVIOUSLY: Rep. Barney Frank suffers amnesia regarding housing policy.

Global Warming and the test of science II

The scientific method demands that theories be tested.  The UK Meteorological Office is an advocate of global warming and they use their computer models to predict weather.  Steven Goddard reviews how well their models have passed the test of experiment:
The UK Met Office famously forecast this past winter to be “milder than average.

25 September 2008

The Met Office forecast for the coming winter suggests it is, once again,
likely to be milder than average.

Seasonal forecasts from the Met Office are used by many agencies across government, private and third sectors to help their long-term planning.

The meteorological winter is over, and the official results are in :

The UK had its coldest winter for 13 years, bucking a recent trend of mild temperatures, the Met Office has said.

The average mean temperature across December, January and February was 3.1C - the lowest since the winter beginning in 1995, which averaged 2.5C.

This missed forecast falls on the heels of two consecutive incorrect summer forecasts , both of which were forecast to be warm but turned out to be complete washouts.
So far, it appears that the predictions made by global warming skeptics have been more reliable.

PREVIOUSLY, the US NSIDC's predicted a 50/50 chance of an ice-free North Pole and that did not happen.  Some basics of the global warming controversy were addressed by Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu here where he addresses the failure of IPCC predictions.  (The limited science expertise on the UN IPCC panel was discussed here.  In contrast with the failures of global warming models, experiments testing the influence of solar and cosmic effects on weather have shown positive results.

CNN criticizes Obama not


With Pres. Obama in office and not facing an election for years, the "unbiased" media feels the situation is safe enough to criticize him. Their criticisms, however, remain ever so tame. In CNN's "top ten faux pas" list (they cannot bring themselves to call a gaffe list), there are such insignificant, irrelevant, and forgettable actions as Obama's hitting his head entering a helicopter mixed in with lots of rhetoric about Republicans being worse. Omri Ceren compares what CNN omits with what it includes:

Nothing about the tragicomic Gordon Brown DVD fiasco or on getting the Queen an iPod, both of which kept getting better and better as the DVDs turned out to be the wrong format and the iPod gift was megalomanical even by this President's standards.

Nothing about insisting to Austrians that they speak a language that exists only in Obama's mind. Nothing about visibly demonstrating to Iraqi troops that he has no idea what the different units in Iraq are. They might even have included the Freeman nomination and the Durban II trainwreck, though I can see how those were less "amateur hour gaffes" and more "shots across the neoconservative bow."

Oh - and then there was that $328,000 Manhattan photo op that the White House signed off on after being told it "might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay?" It happened a day before this list came out yet somehow never came up.

But tender clips of the First Daughters? Check. A montage of the the White House puppy? Check. 10 seconds of shamelessly goofing on Bush before delivering the list in a skeptical "these are what count as gaffes now" tone? Checkity ... check. Because even when The One deigns to mingle among mere mortals, his human bumbling merely makes his divinity more pronounced. More like an allegorical Bacchus than a Christ figure, but still thoroughly worthy of worship.

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