Friday, October 28, 2011

Stuff You Didn't See on the News

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"Some ideas seem so plausible that they can fail nine times in a row and still be believed the tenth time. Other ideas seem so implausible that they can succeed nine times in a row and still not be believed the tenth time. Government controls in the economy are among the first kinds of ideas and the operation of a free market is among the second kinds of ideas." Thomas Sowell 2005

I would like to draw your attention to a new site (at least new to me) that is part of Townhall.com. It is called Political Calculations and this site is devoted to assessing financial issues; what is true, false and misleading. I recommend going down through the archive. Good stuff there!   Here are the last two articles posted following the same story.

The Real Story Behind "Rising" U.S. Income Inequality
Why is income inequality rising for U.S. families and households, but not for individual Americans? Having now shown that there has been absolutely no significant change in

The Shocking Trend In U.S. Individual Income Inequality 1994-2010
Perhaps the most common measure of income inequality in a nation is the Gini Coefficient (aka the "Gini Ratio"), which ranks the amount of inequality there is in a country on a scale from 0, which represents perfect equality, where everyone would have an equal share of the nation's income, to a value of 1, which represents perfect inequality, where one person would have all the income, but everyone else has none.

FL: Court halts drug testing for welfare recipients
"A federal judge in Orlando on Monday temporarily blocked Florida’s controversial law requiring welfare applicants be drug tested in order to receive benefits. Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction against the state, writing in a 37-page order that the law could violate the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure." ….. ACLU attorney Maria Kayanan said she was thrilled with Scriven’s order, though she suspects the state will appeal. …….The ACLU says Florida was the first to enact such a law since Michigan tried more than a decade ago. Michigan’s random drug testing program for welfare recipients lasted five weeks in 1999 before it was halted by a judge, kicking off a four-year legal battle that ended with an appeals court ruling the law unconstitutional.

Hitler can happen here, and so can Stalin
When dictatorship comes to America it won't come from left or right, it will come from both, together, as a welfare/warfare corporatist state. We already have most of it in place. We have a financially ruinous social welfare state, created by the collectivist left. The right curses it even while extending it (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D prescription entitlement). We have a financially ruinous warfare state, created by the neocon right. The Left curses it even while extending it (Pakistan, Yemen, Iran any day now). And we do have a burgeoning secret police. Under the laughably oxymoronic "Patriot" Act, any of us can be disappeared at any time for any reason. What difference if it's called Gestapo or Stasi or Homeland Security? There's a reason why libertarians say there's little difference between left and right.

Modern algorithms crack 18th-century secret code
Statistical translation technique exposes rituals, political leanings of group obsessed with eyeballs.

My Take - I just stuck this in because I thought it was fascinating, especially since there are more texts to be translated that have baffled translators and cryptologists for a long time. However, I also had another motive. It does show that the final testing ground for everything is time. The question we have to ask ourselves about our actions and views is this; how will we stand the test of time? Many years ago I had an e-mail debate with an internationally prominent pest controller (who styles himself as “a world problem solver”, whose views are coming under attack) who asked me what future generations would think of my views? The reality is that those who jump on the latest philosophical flavor of the day are bound to be wrong more times than not! Why? Because the latest philosophical flavor of the day usually is an attack on traditional values. You know; the stuff that has worked for centuries. Time has a tendency to separate that which is factual versus that which is ….well…. stupid! At some point we will either be fools or heroes because of the stand we take today. That is a test that I am willing to face!

The Real Luddites
Have you noticed that any person who exhibits any skepticism about global warming alarmism will, sooner or later, be called a Luddite?

“Are you a Luddite, a troglodyte? Are you a part of ‘The Planet of the Apes’ that doesn’t want science? Where would you place yourself in this argument?” newscaster and anti-simian Chris Matthews “asked” a congressman a few years back. “Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the neo-Luddites who are turning the GOP into the anti-science party should pay attention,” warned columnist Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post this week. And so on and so forth. The Luddites, as you all know, were a 19th-century social movement that protested, often by violent means, the encroachment of the Industrial Revolution on their lives, fearing that it would leave them without their jobs and destroy their communities. But Luddites weren’t challenging the veracity of some scientific theory; they just weren’t crazy about the options progress offered them.

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