Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stuff You Didn't See On The News

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Heckling Romney Abroad
L. Brent Bozell III

Mitt Romney might have thought it was eminently sensible in an NBC interview in London to repeat exactly what the TV networks had already reported on security at the London Olympics, namely, that there was room for concern.  Romney succeeded only in demonstrating how unbelievably shameless and partisan our "objective" media can be. The networks and national newspapers aggressively declared Romney had committed a diplomatic fiasco overseas and repeated London tabloid headlines heckling Romney with insults, such as "Mitt the Twit."…….. Obama appeared in Berlin to a throng of an estimated 200,000 Germans four years ago.........Obama was presented by the media as "beyond successful" on a daily basis in 2008, and it's ridiculous for the Ruckers in the media to expect Romney to receive anything like the adulation they dumped on Hope and Change Man the last time around. Obama-loving journalists don't grade Romney on a curve. They flagrantly fail him before he can barely finish a sentence.

The Cult of Global Warming still has a huge amount of money and political influence, so no landmark on the steady unraveling of their con job should go unremarked. A big one arrived in the form of a study conducted by Anthony Watts and an army of volunteer assistants: the data assembled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and commonly cited for years in support of the global warming scare, is wildly inaccurate. It literally doubled the amount of actual warming that took place over the past half-century.

This occurred because most of the climate stations in the United States are located within the heat envelopes of major cities. They weren’t detecting any “global warming.” They were, in essence, detecting engine heat. The readings from accurate weather stations were actually adjusted upwards to agree with the inaccurate readings.
Global-warming skeptics couldn’t be any more vindicated if the entire climate change establishment cried “Never mind!” in unison, then scurried back to their labs to conjure up a new apocalyptic man-made threat they could blame on capitalist success. 

Maryland’s Unconstitutional School Discipline Quotas - Crimes and infractions are not evenly distributed across racial groups, as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996). As that 8-to-1 Supreme Court ruling noted, there is no legal “presumption that people of all races commit all types of crimes” at the same rate, since such a presumption is “contradicted by” real world data, in which “more than 90% of” convicted cocaine traffickers “were black” in 1994, and “93.4% of convicted LSD dealers were white.” But the Maryland Board of Education has chosen to ignore reality by proposing a rule that would require school systems to discipline and suspend students in numbers correlated to their race, and require school systems that currently don’t do so to implement plans to eliminate any racially “disproportionate impact” over a three-year period. Thus, it is imposing quotas in all but name.

Politics In A Nutshell - Peter Boettke describes Gordon Tullock’s public choice approach on p. 134 of his new book, Living Economics: Politics is about concentrating benefits on well-organized and well-informed interest groups, and dispersing costs on the unorganized and ill-informed masses.That’s precisely why non-political solutions to social problems are desirable wherever possible. When the universal human impulses of self-interest, rationality, and maximizing utility find themselves in an institutional environment like Congress or City Hall, corruption and special privilege are the results almost every time.  Markets respect no special interest. This is why failing companies swarm to Washington; government exists to cater to them.

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF: “The Problem With the NYPD’s Interstate Spy Squad - “The fact that the September 11 attacks targeted New York City, the ongoing threat of Islamic terrorism, and the fact that many hold the civil rights of Muslim Americans in lower regard than the rights of other citizens all contributed to the dearth of condemnation heaped on Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD for spying on countless innocent Muslims, sometimes far outside their jurisdiction. [...] Whether or not you think spying by the NYPD was desirable in this particular instance, think about the larger precedent that is being set when Bloomberg defends “the police department’s right to go anywhere in the country in search of terrorists without telling local police.” I can think of some other ways that precedent might be used.”

SAM KEAN: Blogging the Human Genome - “There are many things you might know about James Watson. That he co-discovered the double helix structure of DNA. That he was the first head of the Human Genome Project. That he kicked up a real shitstorm in 2007 for making nasty comments about the intelligence of Africans. That he has a tongue so sharp that one science historian called him ‘the Caligula of biology,’ someone ‘given license to say anything that came to his mind and expect to be taken seriously.’ You might not know that—according to his DNA sequence, published in Nature in 2008—Watson by all rights should have been blind, deaf, photophobic, prematurely decrepit, and possibly mentally retarded.”

MARK A. CALABRIA: Break Up the Banks? Be Careful of What You Ask For - “The most effective solution to risk-taking by big banks, as I’ve argued elsewhere, is to stop trying to micromanage what risk banks are taking and start pulling back their safety net. It is largely the moral hazard created by various government guarantees protecting “Too-Big-To-Fail” banks that caused the most recent crisis. It’s time to start reducing, if not eliminating, those guarantees. Ultimately, Too-Big-To-Fail is a political problem, not an economic one. The solution is to be found in limiting government, not the banks.”

Retracting a Plug For Meatless Mondays - “[A]mid outraged Twitter messages by livestock producers and at least one member of Congress, the agency’s ‘Greening Headquarters Update’ had been removed. ‘U.S.D.A. does not endorse Meatless Monday,’ a spokeswoman said in a statement. The newsletter, which covered topics like the installation of energy-efficient lights on the Ag Promenade and recycling goals, ‘was posted without proper clearance,’ the statement said.

Amazon’s Founder Pledges $2.5 Million in Support of Same-Sex Marriage - “Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, and his wife, MacKenzie, have agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State, instantly becoming among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country.

Facebook Shares Sink to New Low After 2Q Results - “Facebook’s stock hit a new low Friday after it reported second-quarter results that disappointed investors.”

Leviathan on a fishing expedition - The huge humpback whale whose friendliness precipitated a surreal seven-year — so far — federal hunt for criminality surely did not feel put upon. Nevertheless, our unhinged government, with an obsession like that of Melville’s Ahab, has crippled Nancy Black’s scientific career, cost her more than $100,000 in legal fees — so far — and might sentence her to 20 years in prison……By showing that Kafka was a realist, Black’s misfortune may improve the nation: The more Americans learn about their government’s abuse of criminal law for capricious bullying, the more likely they are to recoil in a libertarian direction and put Leviathan on a short leash.

By Mark Tapson
 In the latest in a series of 48-page broadsides from Encounter Books, writer Michael Walsh puts the Democratic Party on trial and presents the case for abolishing what is nothing more than “a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.”
Michael Walsh is an American Book Award-winning novelist, music critic, screenwriter, and media critic. Formerly the editor of Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism.com, he writes political commentary for the New York Post and also for the National Review under both his own name and that of his alter ego David Kahane, whose Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at its Own Game to Take Back America is a must-read guide for waging political warfare. Now Walsh brings his erudition, humor, and political killer instinct to his Encounter pamphlet, The People v. The Democratic Party.
 
Stubborn Ignorance  - Academic intelligentsia, their media, government and corporate enthusiasts worship at the altar of diversity. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as director of diversity and inclusion, manager of diversity recruitment, associate dean for diversity, vice president of diversity and perhaps minister of diversity. This is all part of a quest to get college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to “look like America.”

For them, part of looking like America means race proportionality. For example, if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees. Law professors, courts and social scientists have long held that gross statistical disparities are evidence of a pattern and practice of discrimination. Behind this vision is the stupid notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we’d be distributed proportionately by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There’s no evidence from anywhere on earth or any time in human history that shows that but for discrimination, there would be proportional representation and an absence of gross statistical disparities, by race, sex, height or any other human characteristic. Nonetheless, much of our thinking, legislation and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let’s run a few gross disparities by you, and you decide whether they represent what the courts call a pattern and practice of discrimination and, if so, what corrective action you would propose.

By Eric Kurhi and Mark Gomez
Amid inspirational talk, chanted mantras and shouts of victory at a late-night firewalking event attended by thousands Thursday came agonized shrieks from followers whose soles were scorched by the superheated coals, witnesses said.  At least 21 people were treated for burn injuries after taking part in the crowning event of the first day of a Tony Robbins function downtown, including at least three who went to the hospital, a San Jose fire captain said.

It was Saturday night. The air was hot and sticky, and my husband was covered with sawdust and sweat after a long day of working in our wood shop. It’s the busy season for our home woodcraft business, and putting in 70-hour work weeks isn’t unusual.
That kind of work schedule is why he became spitting mad at something he heard on the radio. “President Obama made a speech in which he said, ‘If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. … If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen’!”

I think it’s a sport for President Obama to make outrageous statements like “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” – which he said in a recent campaign stop in Roanoke, Va. – and then watch Republicans go predictably bananas. Certainly the multimillionaire business supporters of the president on Wall Street and in Hollywood know this is absurd. Anyone with the mildest understanding of business and capitalism knows this is absurd.

Yet the president struck at the heart of what makes capitalism tick – individual freedom and personal responsibility – without his polling numbers in the week that followed budging and his re-election probability on Intrade.com actually ticked up two and half points. We are reaching dangerous critical mass of those in our country who have enough stake in big government – whether they are employed by it, collecting benefits from it, or businesses getting favors from it – that political protection is commanding a higher premium than freedom.

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