Friday, March 30, 2012

Have conservatives lost faith in science? Or should the journal editor responsible for this paper resign?

Have conservatives lost faith in science? Many MSM outlets are reporting that. The LA Times, for example, writes:
As the Republican presidential race has shown, the conservatives who dominate the primaries are deeply skeptical of science — making Newt Gingrich, for one, regret he ever settled onto a couch with Nancy Pelosi to chat about global warming.
Is the story true? Instapundit reader Mary Ritenour researched the issue and reports:

I tracked back to the original paper ( to see what the exact survey question was.

“The GSS asked respondents the following question: “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them [the Scientific Community]?”(page 172)

The confidence in “people running these institutions” was being measured, not “Science” itself. Huge difference. HUGE!

After ClimateGate I, ClimateGate II, GlacierGate, and FakeGate, Ms. Ritenour is certainly correct: the difference is huge.

The misrepresentation of the paper's results started with the paper's author, Gordon Gauchat, a sociologist from the Univ. of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the abstract of his paper, he misrepresents the meaning of his survey as "trust in science" rather than, as the survey asked, the "people running [the] institutions" :
This study explores time trends in public trust in science in the United States from 1974 to 2010. More precisely, I test Mooney's (2005) claim that conservatives in the United States have become increasingly distrustful of science. Using data from the 1974 to 2010 General Social Survey, I examine group differences in trust in science and group-specific change in these attitudes over time. Results show that group differences in trust in science are largely stable over the period, except for respondents identifying as conservative. Conservatives began the period with the highest trust in science, relative to liberals and moderates, and ended the period with the lowest. [Emph. added]
If one gets to the small print in footnote 2 at the end of the paper, the author does explain that he uses the word "science" to refer to something other than science:
For purposes of clarity and consistency, this study uses science to refer to a group of people, the organizations they belong to, and the professional boundary that central institutions in society agree is a source of credible expertise (Gieryn 1999). Terms like scientific establishment or organized science might be more appropriate, but these ideas are often simply referred to as "science."
In other words, the author was well aware that he was using the wrong word. Abstracts are supposed to be a brief, honest, and accurate summary of the paper. No one who depended on the abstract alone would be aware of his false terminology.

Worse still, the wording in his definition in footnote 2 is not an exact match for the wording used in the GSS survey which was the source of all his quantitative data. Thus, far from clarifying the issue, his footnote 2 just adds to the confusion.

The paper was published in the American Sociological Review, a peer-reviewed journal. Everyone expects the social sciences work to be sloppy but how did the reviewers not catch the conflict between the actual study and its abstract? Didn't they also notice the internal inconsistency in the study's definition of "science"? Shouldn't the reviewers have insisted that the abstract provide an accurate representation of the paper's main result? Where were the journal's editors in this process? Shouldn't the journal publish a retraction? Who was the editor responsible for this paper's faulty review process? Shouldn't he resign?

Will this paper about loss of trust in "science" cause people to lose trust in social science?

Astroturf for Obamacare

SEIU pro-obamacare protesters at the March 27 Supreme Court hearings were caught on tape admitting that they were paid $20 to protest.

PREVIOUSLY on astroturf:
"Occupy CPAC" protesters paid $60/day

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's a paradox!

The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Despite calls for stricter guns laws in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, firearm stocks are soaring as gun companies struggle to keep up with high demand.
"Despite . . ."? As James Taranto points out, shouldn't that be "because of . . ."?

PARADOX FLASHBACK: From 10 years ago on Instapundit:
"GUN PERMITS SURGE, BUT NOT VIOLENCE," the Detroit News reports.
"That's really the surprise," said Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano. "There are no altercations or incidents I've seen that are at all attributable to the law change. We thought there might be some."
PARADOX FLASHBACK 2:  A BBC headline from 2001 reads:
Handgun crime 'up' despite ban
The report begins:
A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.
Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens emboldened criminals. What a surprise?

PREVIOUSLY on the paradoxes that vex liberal minds:
Paradox: student test scores improve despite school funding decrease
News report: Gun crime down "despite" increase in gun sales
It's a paradox: Congress unpopular "despite record"
"Ironically," conservatives and their children are happier
It's a paradox!: Crime down when criminals are in jail.
Paradox: crime is down (again)
Paradox: few fraudulent voters if voters are required to have IDs

Has a second front opened in the war for freedom?

Pres. Obama's attempt to use Obamacare to crush religious freedom is provoking a backlash even in San Francisco where Christians organized a massive rally on Friday against Obamacare's mandates (click to enlarge):

(Photo courtesy of Larry from SF)

(Photo courtesy of Larry from SF)
Up until now, the TEA party, a secular group, has been the central force defending freedom against Obama's governmental power grabs. If this rally is an indication, religious groups may form a second front in this war for freedom.

Since Christianity values charity, many Christians have supported Democrats and their government welfare state. Obama has demonstrated however the danger in this ill-conceived alliance. The massive power of a Federal welfare state is a threat to religion and religious values. It is not just the outrage of the government requiring Catholics to pay for abortifacients and the possibility that this may force the nationwide network of Catholic charity hospitals to close. Obama's stated goal of giving old people aspirins instead of medical care is also a clear violation of Christian conscience:

(Photo courtesy of Larry from SF)

This rally took place at Noon on Friday at the Federal Building in San Francisco. Although some media reported the crowd size at 500, Larry from SF estimates the attendance at 1,000. This rally was part of a nationally organized Stand Up for Religious Freedom protests.

One of the groups represented at the rally was Couples for Christ, a Catholic organization, with a newly discovered mission to oppose Obama:

(Photo courtesy of Larry from SF)

Some in the crowd had a good time:
(Photo courtesy of Larry from SF)
[Update: these two have been identified as infiltrators]
There was a large religious contingent at the last San Francisco TEA party protest against Obama in San Francisco (story and photos). This rally takes that opposition to a new and higher level. One can hope that this represents an awakening on the part of Churches to the idea that their survival depends not just on changing the language of one mandate among many in the Obamacare regulations but recognizing what the founding fathers understood: our government should not have had to power to make such mandates in the first place.

Thanks to Larry for an advance peak at his photos. Expect more commentary on this rally with photos to appear soon at Larry's blog: Fund47. [Update: Larry's post is here.]

WELCOME to readers from GatewayPundit, Frugal Café, and Extreme Conservatives.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obama celebrates a free lunch

In today's email from the Obama campaign:
Let everyone know: "I like Obamacare."

What's not to like? Obamacare means you won't have to pay out of pocket for preventive care like cancer screenings and birth control, insurance companies can no longer drop people when they get sick or refuse coverage for "pre-existing conditions," and women won't have to pay more just for being women.

Yes, if Obama wills it, then everything is free. At least, that is what Democrats believe.

It is frustrating and, at times, frightening that TINSTAAFL (there is no such thing as a free lunch) is not obvious to everyone.

RELATED on nomenclature hypocrisy: at Hot Air, Rob Bluey remembers the previous spin on the use of the word 'Obamacare':
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said last July, “I take great offense when I hear the word ‘Obamacare.’ There is no such thing.” His colleague, Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), called the word “purposefully provocative,” “misleading” and “unfair.”
For Democrats, it is always important to be outraged.

PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
Preview of Obamacare: Medicare loses $375 million to fraudulent billings by a single physician
Obama Admin defunds a piece of Obamacare
Government health care is something to die for
AP: Obamacare increasingly unpopular
Obamacare forcing Boeing to cut back employee healthcare coverage
Special privileges: McDonald's and 29 other companies get waivers from Obamacare
Obamacare threatens health coverage for fast-food workers
ObamaCare threatens child-only insurance
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Obamacare endangers student health
Obama's health care and economic policies explained
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
The dawning of the reality of Obamacare
Consumers outsmart Massachusetts' version of Obamacare
Obamacare threatens high tech jobs
Obamacare and trillions of dollars of unfunded mandates
The fraud of Obamacare, as seen from the left
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics

Thursday, March 22, 2012

By 69 to 19, Americans support common sense. Obama not listening

Rasmussen reports that surprisingly few Americans support Obama's mortgage bailout ideas:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that just 19% believe the government should assist those struggling homeowners in making their mortgage payments. Sixty-nine percent (69%) think someone who can’t afford to make increased mortgage payments should sell their home and find a less expensive one.
PREVIOUSLY on mortgages:
Rep. Barney Frank's fantasies: the mortgage crisis was caused by "conservatives"
Democrats demand banks give mortgages to people who cannot afford them
In 2003, Bush's attempts to fix mortgage problems were blocked by Democrats
How we got into the mortgage mess

Obama explains social justice to a schoolgirl

PREVIOUSLY on social justice:
Thomas Sowell defines "social justice"
Obama as superhero in the service of social justice
When "social justice" leads to mass starvation

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can't concentrate? That might be a good thing.

The UK Telegraph reports:
Daniel Levinson, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, said that those with higher working memory capacity reported “more mind wandering during these simple tasks”, but their performance did not suffer.

The results, published online in the journal Psychological Science, appear to confirm previous research that found working memory allows humans to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously.

Dr Jonathan Smallwood, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, Germany, said: “What this study seems to suggest is that, when circumstances for the task aren’t very difficult, people who have additional working memory resources deploy them to think about things other than what they’re doing.”

Working memory capacity is also associated with general measures of intelligence, such as reading comprehension and IQ scores, and also offers a window into the widespread, but not well understood, realm of internally driven thoughts.

Conversely, for the many important and often dangerous activities which require concentration, a high working memory capacity would, after a while, likely be a liability.  People should use their natural gifts to do what they are good at.

Diversity of identity groups is an overrated virtue.  Diversity of the skills of individuals, by contrast, makes advanced civilization possible.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In Obama's America, some religions are more equal than others

According to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the Director of Media Relations, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The Amish are exempt from the entire health care reform law. So are members of Medi-Share, a program of Christian Care Ministry. Yet, when the Catholic Church asks for a religious exemption from just one regulation issued under the law -- the mandate that all employers, including religious institutions, must pay for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs -- the Administration balks.
Hat tip: GatewayPundit.

Study: liberals are clueless about what conservatives think

At The Atlantic, Katherine Mangu-Ward discusses (hat tip: Instapundit) some interesting psychology research from the University of Virginia:
In an effort to figure out why conversations across the aisle so often degenerate into shouting matches, [psychologist Jonathan] Haidt (along with colleagues Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek) asked liberals and conservatives to try on each others' ideological shoes, answering a series of questions as they thought their opponents would:
The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the care and fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives. When faced with statements such as "one of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal" or "justice is the most important requirement for a society," liberals assumed that conservatives would disagree. [Emph. added]
Haidt theorizes that this kind of blindness to the real motivations of others is driving discord in Washington and around the country.
I say this is part of a more general proposition: liberals live in a self-created fantasy in which they are the heroes. This is of course a pleasant fantasy. The need to protect that fantasy is why liberals tend to be so hostile to any information which threatens their status as heroes. For example, while conservatives accept the existence of CNN and MSNBC, liberals are in constant battle to banish Rush and Fox News through fair means or foul. Even if they don't listen to either, liberals know the information both present is a threat to their fantasy world.

RELATED: Instapundit has more on the same theme:

JEFF GOLDSTEIN RESPONDS TO STANLEY FISH: Progressivism And The Authoritarian Impulse. “Fish’s single standard, distilled and properly understood, is that liberals are (they’ll claim) morally superior by virtue of their very belief in their own political identities — which identity is tied to an ideology that, manifested politically, privileges governmental theft, sanctioned inequality as a function of tribal identity, and a giant foundational question beg: namely, that moral superiority comes from being on the left, so therefore being on the left means you can really do no fundamental moral wrong.” Progressivism is a religion that preaches salvation by faith, and utter damnation for the nonbelievers.

UPDATE: An illustration: “You and I are not racists. I just gave my imaginary child’s college fund to Barack Obama, and your mother is Nancy Pelosi. So of all the people in the world — we are not out to fuck black people.” Democrats can’t be racist. Just ask Bull Connor.

The last illustration above is Bill Maher, who just donated $1M to Obama, talking to videographer Alexandra Pelosi. Again, in their fantasy world, liberals are virtuous just because they are liberals.

PREVIOUSLY on liberals and their fantasy worlds:
Obama's rich fantasy life
Liberal talk show hosts and their paranoid fantasies
Rep. Pete Stark fantasizes about Pres. Bush's motives
Hate crime fantasies
Real or fantasy: Obama's core value is "unity"?
Salon Magazine and its sexual fantasies involving Sarah Palin
Michelle Obama fantasizes that she is the first White House resident to care about military families
Feminist imagines that all men are pro-rape and pro-domestic violence
Rep. Barney Frank's fantasies: the mortgage crisis was caused by "conservatives"
How reporters avoid addressing reality
If only hate could change false to true

Saturday, March 17, 2012

San Francisco anti-war rally attracts 15 people

A.N.S.W.E.R., Code Pink, and OccupySF joined forces for an "emergency protest" of the Afghan War. Larry from SF was there, took photos, and he reports that 15 people showed up, not counting the fawning news media. He watched as the KTVU Channel 2 "news" crew took instructions from Code Pink on where to set up and what to photograph.

Tim Hawkins: The Government Can

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reluctant California bureaucrats are shamed into saying the Pledge of Allegiance

California is creating regional governments that have much power yet are largely unaccountable to the voters. The regional government for the San Francisco Bay Area is called the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). During the public comment portion of the March 15 meeting of ABAG's executive committee, Debbie Bacigalupi shamed the assembled bureaucrats into saying the Pledge of Allegiance:

Not all of the assembled officials and bureaucrats rose to recite the Pledge. Below you can see a table of four government employees only one of whom is rising to say the Pledge. The one furthest to the left is smirking at the exercise. Her name is Patricia Jones. She is the Assistant Executive Director of ABAG:

A moment later, I took another photo. Three of the bureaucrats are still sitting. Ms. Jones, having noticed that she is on camera, has turned her head away:

Ms. Bacigalupi, the instigator of the Pledge, is an advocate of property rights and is currently running for Congress in California's 12th district against incumbent Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Charges against spotted owl scientists may go Federal

In a case that has left environmentalists in shock, two "widely respected" environmental researchers are accused of fraudulent research on spotted owls and currently face state charges. The Times Standard reports that state proceedings have been temporarily postponed as the US Attorney's Office is now considering filing Federal charges. The two scientists specialized in endangered species studies and had been paid $870,00 by the Yurok Tribe using Federal funds for spotted owl research that is now alleged never to have been done. The Times Standard reports:
Mad River Biologists' senior biologist Ron LeValley, 65 [picture at right], and associate biologist Sean McAllister, 45, have pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime stemming from their alleged roles in a scheme carried out by former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond, 49, to defraud the tribe of more than $870,000 over the course of more than one year by billing for surveying work that was never done.
Raymond remains at large, wanted on a $1 million arrest warrant. He was last seen the morning of Feb. 23, hours before law enforcement officials arrived at his home with search and arrest warrants, according to Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander.
The case began as the tribe noticed that equipment was missing.
[Del Norte County District Attorney's Office investigator A.C.] Field said the investigation started in October when the Yurok Tribe came to the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office with information about Raymond. He said the district attorney's office has had the full cooperation of the tribe during the investigation.
”The Yurok Tribe discovered missing items during an inventory search, and it spilled out from there,” Field said. “They couldn't find the equipment (Raymond) supposedly bought.”
Alexander said the alleged embezzlement is related to spotted owl research by Mad River Biologists and other incidents, including charging the tribe for the cost of putting tires on a personal vehicle and paying for new shower doors. He said at least $870,000 of the embezzled funds are specifically related to the spotted owl project. [Emph. added]
The spotted owl has been in the news recently after the Obama administration decided to start killing barred owls in an attempt to favor the spotted owl. Previously, much of the Oregon lumber industry was shut down after the spotted owl was given endangered species status.

Windfarms have been killing endangered species of birds but that seems not to bother environmentalists very much.

This case comes in the wake of "respected" climate scientist Peter Gleick's admission of using identify theft against the Heartland Institute (Gleick still claims not to be the source of the fake document) as well as the investigation of Charles Monnett, the environmental scientist whose questionable work led to the classification of polar bears as "endangered." It makes one wonder how much of "environmental science" is actually real.

Hat tip: Leonard

PREVIOUSLY on the failures of environmental science:
Whistleblower exposes Obama junk science Politicized Science, the delta smelt, and California farmers
EPA uses phony peer review
Environmentalism inspires more murders National Academy of Sciences warns EPA on junk science
The failed science of environmentalism
Federal Judge rejects Federal enviromental "science" as "arbititrary and capricious"
2 more examples of politicized science: Gulf oiil spill and California's air regulations
Bee colony collapse disorder: the cause is whatever your politics say it is
Ozone hole and politics

Liberal icon, Charlie Rose, sued after failing to pay minimum wage

The NY Daily News reports that an unpaid former intern is suing PBS's Charlie Rose for back pay:
Lucy Bickerton, a Wesleyan University graduate, sued the hightone chatterbox on Wednesday, claiming she worked like a dog, but got stiffed on the pay.

She says she toiled away 25 hours a week from June to August 2007, researching for the host, putting press packets together, escorting the guests and cleaning up after the show.

Bickerton, who went into documentary filmmaking after she graduated in 2008, did everything an employee does except collect a paycheck, she says in the suit.

State law prohibits unpaid interns unless they are being trained and not performing in place of paid employees.

“The practice of classifying employees as ‘interns’ to avoid paying wages runs afoul of state wage and hour laws,” her lawyer Rachel Bien wrote in the complaint.

“Central to the show’s lean production are the substantial number of unpaid interns who work on The Charlie Rose Show each day, but are paid no wages,” Bickerton charges in the suit.

As a liberal, Mr. Rose should not merely pay employees a minimum wage, he should pay them a fully "livable wage."  That is what liberalism teaches, isn't?

I do enjoy watching as sanctimonious liberals, such as Rose, are exposed for what they are.

PREVIOUSLY on wages:
The hypocrisy of ACORN and others on minimum wage
Why is it that wages rise over time?: an economist explains
Despite having the highest minimum wage in the country, the poor flee San Francisco
What if the minimum wage were $500/hour?

PREVIOUSLY on the general subject of liberal hypocrisy:
Racism hypocrisy at the New York Times
Phony theology hypocrisy
Chimichanga and racism hypocrisy
A liberal's core beliefs are surprisingly malleable
Private equity firm hypocrisy at the Obama campaign
Occupy Portland and Michael Moore's hypocrisy
President Obama preaches Tolerance
Dem attack against lobbyists is led by a Dem lobbyist
Minimum wage and hypocrisy
UN humanitarian hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy at the UN Climate Change conference
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrite of the day: movie director James Cameron
Liberal gay bashing
Poster child hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy: Supermodel Gisele and Prince Charles
Eco-hypocrisy: Barack Obama
Eco-hypocrisy: Nancy Pelosi
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming
Edwards' hypocrisy on the poor
HuffPost blogger projects enviro-hypocrisy

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liberals lack self-awareness, II

Despite having doublecrossed the Republican party, Sen. Specter was shocked when his new allies, the Democrats, double-crossed him. As James Taranto writes:
Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) writes in a new book that President Obama ditched him in the 2010 election after he helped Obama win the biggest legislative victory of his term by passing healthcare reform," the Hill reports:
Specter also claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not uphold his promise to grant him seniority accrued over 28 years of service in the Senate as a Republican.
Specter, who rocked Washington's political establishment and made headlines around the country when he left the Republican Party to join Democrats in April of 2009, has kept quiet about these slights until now.
Awful, isn't it? Specter trusted these guys, and they just stabbed him in the back! It must have shaken him to the core to realize just how disloyal distinguished elected officials were capable of being.
Specter voted for Obama's porkulus bill and provided also the deciding 60th vote for Obamacare.

PREVIOUSLY on the issue of insufficient self-awareness:
Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers accuses Andrew Breitbart of being "a bombthrower"
Liberals intolerantly accuse others of intolerance

Liberals lack self-awareness

Bill Ayers, a co-founder of the Weather Underground, a 1960s era terrorist organization, accuses Andrew Breitbart of being a "bombthrower."  Details here and here.

Giving credit when undue

The LA Times story on US domestic oil production reaching a new high features a photo of a smiling Pres. Obama under the headling "Oil imports down, domestic production highest since 2003":
The visual composition would lead a casual reader to think that increased domestic production was the result of Pres. Obama's kind and caring policies implemented with the goal of helping cash-strapped consumers as they struggle to pay for a tank of gas. To its credit, the LA Times does admit, if you read to the eighth paragraph, that maybe Obama shouldn't get the credit:
But independent analysts attribute much of the fall in oil imports to slack U.S. demand in a still-anemic economy. And to a certain degree, they say, the boost in domestic oil and gas production is the result of decisions energy companies made during the George W. Bush administration to develop key reservoirs.
A more honest article would point out the Obama administration's hostility to oil develop, fracking, and the Keystone pipeline, as well as a general intransigence on oil exploration permits. But, the paragraph above is the most one can expect from the liberals at the LA Times.

News reporter hypocrisy on gas pump prices
Federal judge finds Obama administration contemptible
The Keystone pipeline: Obama sows economic chaos
Instead of permitting oil exploration, Obama supports "green" failures
"Expert": By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’
Obama ignores oil, supports "green" energy
Obama only pretended to lift ban on deepwater oil exploration
Obama uses faked science to ban oil drilling
Obama subsidizes Brazil's offshore drilling
Study: gas savings from driving a hybrid failed to make up for the higher initial price:
While Obama bans US exploration, Russia, China negotiate with Cuba to drill for oil off Florida coast
Ethanol subsidies are more expensive than BP oil spill
"Peak oil" theory discredited.

Don't lose your smartphone!

What happens to lost cell phones? Security specialist Symantec did a study (PDF):
The Symantec Smartphone Honey Stick Project is an experiment involving 50 "lost" smartphones. Before the smartphones were intentionally lost, a collection of simulated corporate and personal data was placed on them, along with the capability to remotely monitor what happened to them once they were found.
Here is what they found:
1. 96 percent of lost smartphones were accessed by the finders of the devices
2. 89 percent of devices were accessed for personal related apps and information
3. 83 percent of devices were accessed for corporate related apps and information
4. 70 percent of devices were accessed for both business and personal related apps
   and information
5. 50 percent of smartphone finders contacted the owner and provided contact information
My conclusion: if you have valuable information, such as your bank account password, do not put it on you cell phone. The convenience is not worth it.

Hat tip: The LA Times.

Christians who want to save souls face off against Occupy protesters in San Francisco

Obama still supporting vote fraud

You cannot drive without a government ID.  You cannot board a plane or cash a check without one.  In many places you cannot buy nasal decongestant or drain cleaner without one.  Yet, Pres. Obama's Justice Dept. has issued a letter objecting to Texas' law requiring voters to show ID. AP reports:
The Justice Department's civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification. . . . .

In a letter to Texas officials that was also filed in the court case in Washington, the Justice Department said Hispanic voters in Texas are more than twice as likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver's license or personal state-issued photo ID. The department said that even the lowest estimates showed about half of Hispanic registered voters lack such identification.

Really?  Half of the Hispanic population does not drive, does not take planes, and does not cash checks?  Half?  Or, is the voter registration list half-filled with people who don't really exist?

The Obama Administration is also opposing South Carolina's voter ID law.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of vote fraud:
Is it racist to require a photo ID to buy drain cleaner?
2 Democrats plead guilty in vote fraud case
Who counts ballots: SEIU union members
How vote fraud is done in New Jersey
Obama DoJ: vote fraud helps "increase turnout"
More vote fraud: New York State
How to buy a vote
NJ Dems demand equal rights for fraudulent voters
Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies
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

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Study: Hollywood is to blame for illegal piracy

A joint study (full text available) by Wellesley College and the University of Minnesota found that the sales that Hollywood loses to piracy are largely the fault of Hollywood's distribution policies.  They studied how viewership varied by country and that country's release date.  Typically, movies are released first in the US and then later in other countries.  They conclude that piracy costs Hollywood at least 7% of the international box office.  However, their study indicated that piracy is used primarily by viewers who would pay to see the movie if it had been released in their country.  They pirate only if there is no legal way to view the film at that time in their country.  Consequently, the sooner after the movie is released in their country, the lower the piracy in that country. 

This is consistent with much of Hollywood's business model which seems as if it is intended to annoy its viewers.  A typical TV series, for example, is available online but not in any simple way.  If you want to watch the show from the beginning, you likely need Netflix.  To see the most recent episodes, you may need Hulu or Xfinity or similar.  However, there is often a gap between the two so you miss part of the story.  To add insult, while streaming current season shows, there will be ads telling when the show is broadcast live as if people who know how to stream a show are going to sit through the inconvenience of live TV.

Contrast the standard Hollywood approach with Netflix which now has original programming without the hassles.  Success in the entertainment business will go to those, such as Netflix, who see that the old business model is dead and replace it.

PREVIOUSLY on Hollywood marketing policies:
Even though you pay for Hulu plus, they still have ads and non-skippable ones at that

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How profitable is it to be an illegal?

Very. In Kenner, Louisiana, police uncovered a scam in which illegals file tax returns with fake W-2s in order to collect unearned tax refunds. The AP reports:

Police say [illegal immigrant Marvin] Baca was arrested and confessed to a scam, saying he has been selling fictitious W-2 forms for $1,500 to other Hispanics who are in the country illegally.

Police say illegal Hispanics purchase fictitious W-2 forms and file false tax returns with the government to receive a refund.

Baca was charged with one count of identity theft and two counts of forgery.
The joke is on honest citizens who live on what's left of our hard-earned income after we pay the taxes while illegals don't work have to work at all and yet the IRS gives them a "refund."

Could the IRS be more incompetent? Nearly all employers now file W-2s electronically. Yet, the IRS writes checks to people who shouldn't be in this country based on W-2s that they don't bother to match to employer submitted forms?

PREVIOUSLY on illegal immigration:
Obama administration is supporting immigration fraud
Obama policy: give citizenship to convicted terrorists
Illegal immigration in Asia
Feds cede border to smugglers. Warn citizens to stay away
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
Pro-illegal immigration protesters confront Minutemen in San Francisco
Amazing: NY Times editors thought illegal immigration was legal
California pays for schooling of Mexicans who live in Mexico and only cross the border to go to school
Political bias on Spanish-language TV network Univision
British pop star denied visa to US. Should she have tried to get in illegally instead?
Sex slave ring arrested. Pro-illegal advocates object.

California's war on private property

The video below has several personal stories of the damage caused by California's now-defunct "redevelopment agencies." Let's hope that they stay defunct:

Hat tip: Leonard.

Private property rights are key to why the US economy flourished over the past two centuries while the USSR collapsed. The Democrats running California have no idea how destructive their actions are.

PREVIOUSLY on the loss of property rights in California:
The Klamath river dams: whistleblower exposes Obama junk science
San Franciscans protest loss of property rights
California 2nd worst state for business climate

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

In Netflix's Lilyhammer, the joke is on liberalism

Lilyhammer is Netflix's first original scripted series and it comes with an interesting political twist. The series is a comedy starring Steve Van Zandt (of The Sopranos) as an ex-New York mobster, Frank Tagliano, who is in the witness protection program and hiding out in Lillehammer, Norway. Most of the humor comes at the expense of Norway's dysfunctionally liberal government. To find a job, Frank has to go to a government bureaucrat who cannot find him a job but does assign him to unhelpful training classes. He wants to open a nightclub but the same bureaucrat tells him that the paperwork makes it nearly impossible. When his new girlfriend injures herself skating, Frank finds that the hospital emergency room admitting staff gets itself lost in its forms. When he does find a doctor, the doctor refuses to treat the injured woman because he is "on lunch break." Frank meets a local farmer who is losing livestock to a wolf but, because of zealously enforced animal rights laws, cannot shoot it. Using his skills as wiseguy, Frank solves each problem in turn.

I have found the series funny. It would, however, be easier to laugh if its depiction of Norway's socialist bureaucracy did not so closely resemble Obama's vision for the future of America.

If you are an HBO subscriber and don't like your monthly fees supporting Bill Maher and other left-wing programming, Prof. Reynolds suggests switching to Amazon or Netflix. Lilyhammer is one more reason to make the switch.

This review is based on the first two episodes. In North America, Lilyhammer is available exclusively through Netflix. In Norway, it is broadcast on NRK. In Britain, it will be available on BBC4.

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Misogynist Left Mash-up

This is just a reminder, if any was needed, that liberal complaints about Rush's language should not be taken seriously.

Via GatewayPundit.

PREVIOUSLY on the issue of Sandra Fluke demanding that others pay for her to have sex:
Liberal hypocrisy (illustrated)
I will buy no more from Carbonite, ProFlowers, Citrix, QuickenLoans, or LegalZoom

Liberal hypocrisy

Via Instapundit:For more on the liberal campaign against Rush's advertisers, see below.

MORE: Kirsten Powers reviews some of the left's misogyny:

During the 2008 election Ed Schultz said on his radio show that Sarah Palin set off a “bimbo alert.” He called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” (He later apologized.) He once even took to his blog to call yours truly a “bimbo” for the offense of quoting him accurately in a New York Post column.

Keith Olbermann has said that conservative commentator S.E. Cupp should have been aborted by her parents, apparently because he finds her having opinions offensive. He called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.” He found it newsworthy to discuss Carrie Prejean’s breasts on his MSNBC show. His solution for dealing with Hillary Clinton, who he thought should drop out of the presidential race, was to find “somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” Olbermann now works for über-leftist and former Democratic vice president Al Gore at Current TV.

Left-wing darling Matt Taibbi wrote on his blog in 2009, “When I read [Malkin’s] stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth.” In a Rolling Stone article about Secretary of State Clinton, he referred to her “flabby arms.” When feminist writer Erica Jong criticized him for it, he responded by referring to Jong as an “800-year old sex novelist.” (Jong is almost 70, which apparently makes her an irrelevant human being.) In Taibbi’s profile of Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann he labeled her “batshit crazy.” (Oh, those “crazy” women with their hormones and all.)

Chris Matthews’s sickening misogyny was made famous in 2008, when he obsessively tore down Hillary Clinton for standing between Barack Obama and the presidency, something that Matthews could not abide. Over the years he has referred to the former first lady, senator and presidential candidate and current secretary of state as a “she-devil,” “Nurse Ratched,” and “Madame Defarge.” Matthews has also called Clinton “witchy,” “anti-male,” and “uppity” and once claimed she won her Senate seat only because her “husband messed around.” He asked a guest if “being surrounded by women” makes “a case for commander in chief—or does it make a case against it?” At some point Matthews was shamed into sort of half apologizing to Clinton, but then just picked up again with his sexist ramblings.

Matthews has wondered aloud whether Sarah Palin is even “capable of thinking” and has called Bachmann a “balloon head” and said she was “lucky we still don’t have literacy tests out there.” Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene, who is the former president of the Women’s Media Center, told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in 2011 that Matthews
“is a bully, and his favorite target is women.” So why does he still have a show? What if his favorite target was Jews? Or African-Americans?

But the grand pooh-bah of media misogyny is without a doubt Bill Maher—who also happens to be a favorite of liberals—who has given $1 million to President Obama’s super PAC. Maher has called Palin a “dumb twat” and dropped the C-word in describing the former Alaska governor. He called Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann “boobs” and “two bimbos.” He said of the former vice-presidential candidate, “She is not a mean girl. She is a crazy girl with mean ideas.” He recently made a joke about Rick Santorum’s wife using a vibrator. Imagine now the same joke during the 2008 primary with Michelle Obama’s name in it, and tell me that he would still have a job.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of liberal hypocrisy:
Racism hypocrisy at the New York Times
Phony theology hypocrisy
Chimichanga and racism hypocrisy
A liberal's core beliefs are surprisingly malleable
Private equity firm hypocrisy at the Obama campaign
Occupy Portland and Michael Moore's hypocrisy
President Obama preaches Tolerance
Dem attack against lobbyists is led by a Dem lobbyist
Minimum wage and hypocrisy
UN humanitarian hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy at the UN Climate Change conference
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrite of the day: movie director James Cameron
Liberal gay bashing
Poster child hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy: Supermodel Gisele and Prince Charles
Eco-hypocrisy: Barack Obama
Eco-hypocrisy: Nancy Pelosi
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming
Edwards' hypocrisy on the poor
HuffPost blogger projects enviro-hypocrisy

Sunday, March 04, 2012

How global warmists view the world

For global warming's true believers, truth is optional:
  • “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.” -Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
  • “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” -Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
  •  “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
  •  “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC
  • “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” -Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment
(These quotes were collected by Prof. S. Fred Singer. Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.)

I will buy no more from Carbonite, ProFlowers, Citrix, QuickenLoans, or LegalZoom

I am pro-free speech. If MSNBC or DailyKos or whoever wants to spew hate, that is their right. The left, however, also uses the tactic of targeted boycotts to suppress speech and, on Sunday, they succeeded in getting Carbonite and ProFlowers to suspend their advertising on Rush Limbaugh's radio show. They both continue to advertise on left-wing outlets whose hate-speech far exceeds Limbaugh's joke at the expense of the 31-year political advocate who wants other people to pay for her to have sex. As Prof. Jacobson wrote (before the ProFlowers announcement):

We need to send a message that we will not acquiesce in the new left-wing tactic of trying to force conservatives off the air by targeting advertisers.

Carbonite is the place to start.

I will not buy from either company in the future.

According to PC Magazine, users rate Carbonite as "poor" anyway. Some of Carbonite's many competitors are listed here. MORE: Some top Carbonite competitors are:
(source )

For flowers, try 1-800-flowers, which has worked well for me, or FTD instead.

UPDATE: LegalZoom is also pulling its ads from Rush. Try instead.

Citrix Systems has "discontinued" advertising on Rush.

QuickenLoans has "suspended" advertising on Rush.

LifeLock has not caved.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The absurdity of modern newspapers

From the (New York) Amsterdam News:

Calling Andrew Breitbart "anti-black" is hateful and wrong. The body of the article is so sloppy that it even (since corrected) confused Mr. Breitbart with James O'Keefe.

Liberal journalists can also be just downright ridiculous as this headline from Adelaide Now (since modified) shows:
They seem to have lost track of the meaning of words.

Hat tips to NewsBusters and WattUpWithThat.

The Indians stole America from the European settlers?

My oikophobic liberal friends talk endlessly about how we colonialists "stole" America from the "native" American-Indian population.  It is, of course, well-known that the "native" Indians came from Asia.  Newly discovered artifacts, however, raise the possibility that America was first populated by Europeans. The Washington Post reports:
At the height of the last ice age, [Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Dennis] Stanford says, mysterious Stone Age European people known as the Solutreans paddled along an ice cap jutting into the North Atlantic. They lived like Inuits, harvesting seals and seabirds.

The Solutreans eventually spread across North America, Stanford says, hauling their distinctive blades with them and giving birth to the later Clovis culture, which emerged some 13,000 years ago.

When Stanford proposed this “Solutrean hypothesis” in 1999, colleagues roundly rejected it. One prominent archaeologist suggested that Stanford was throwing his career away.

But now, 13 years later, Stanford and Bruce Bradley, an archaeologist at England’s University of Exeter, lay out a detailed case — bolstered by the curious blade and other stone tools recently found in the mid-Atlantic — in a new book, “Across Atlantic Ice.”

Hat tip: Instapundit.
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