28 January 2006

You couldn't inject errors like that without editors!

[source, source]

George Newton, the chairman of the US Arctic Research Commission, told delegates at the conference of business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, that temperatures in the Arctic were expected to rise 5.5C (41.9F) in the next 100 years, and that last year the Arctic ice sheet was smaller than ever.

Of course, a rise of 5.5°C is a rise of 9.2°F. I’ve never seen an actual paper that did the conversion to farenheit, so I think we can presume that it was the layers of editor and fact checking that generated this false information.

P.S. Thanks to David Rothman for pointing this out in the comment. My eyes glaze over these days when I tried to read this kind of article.

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27 January 2006

Hard to say which is worse

[source, source]

Bush was full of quips during the 45-minute news conference, poking fun at the media and deflecting some of the heat when questioning got intense.

Yes, Bush acknowledged, he had his picture taken with admitted criminal Jack Abramoff.

“Having my picture taken with someone doesn’t mean that I’m a friend with him or know him very well,” he said. “I’ve had my picture taken with you at holiday parties.”

Oooh, that’s gotta hurt.

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Obviously Cheney borrowed the satellites

[source, source]

Environmentalists have been caught off guard by South American leaders’ plans to build a massive natural gas pipeline through the Amazon rain forest from Venezuela to Argentina.

The plan, unveiled earlier this month by the region’s left-leaning leaders, was short on details, but one thing seemed certain: The $20 billion pipeline would destroy part of the environmentally sensitive Amazon, the world’s largest wilderness.

Environmentalists contend construction of the network of pipelines would pollute waterways, destroy trees and create roads through the jungle that could draw ranchers and loggers.

At a meeting in Brazil’s capital in mid-January, the presidents of Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil promised to prepare in-depth studies for the 10,000km pipeline by mid-year.

Somehow this is the imperialist Americans’ fault.

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26 January 2006

Barrel scraping watch


And about Bill Clinton . . . . You know, I really think he should have been impeached, but not for a blow job. His policies are responsible for killing more Iraqis that George Bush.

Cindy ‘absolute moral authority’ Sheehan

The Modern American Left would have a better time if they could find front men who weren’t complete moonbats.

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(via Junkyard Blog)

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22 January 2006

The NY Times, drop box for enemy propaganda

I’m a little late to the party, but I should make a note of the fake photograph given front page treatment by the NY Times. Here is a good summary of it. The gist is that the picture is alledgedly of part of the missile used in an attack in Pakistan.

Of course, it’s obvious to anyone with the slightest clue that the object is an artillery shell, not part of a missile at all (and particularly not part of a missile after it has hit a target). But the NY Times doesn’t fact check things that look bad for the USA.

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21 January 2006

Monochotomy watch

[source, source]

Though never mentioning President Bush by name, Clinton strongly criticized the current administration’s policy toward Iran. “I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations,” [Senator Hillary] Clinton said.

So it’s “unilateralism” if the USA leads and “outsourcing” when we let our putative allies take the lead. I think I need a word for this kind of thing, because it happens so often. Perhaps “monochotomy” because it turns a dichotomy into a single “you’re wrong” non-choice.

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20 January 2006


[source, source]

Palestinians fired eight Kassam rockets at the western Negev on Friday, all of which fell in open areas, causing no damage. In response, IDF artillery units intensively shelled northern Gaza sites identified as where the rockets originated.

This is precisely how the rocket attacks should be dealt with, even if launched from civilian areas. The message must be “you let the gunnies launch rockets from your neighborhood, expect return traffic”. This also makes it very difficult for the usual suspects to talk about “Israeli aggression” if the shelling is in direct response to attacks. Israel’s response to any request to stop the shelling should be “no rocket attacks, no shelling”. It’s not a policy that will immediately end the threat but one that I believe will pay off well in the long run.

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19 January 2006

Hudna thought it?

[source, source, source]

Al-Jazeera aired an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden on Thursday, saying al-Qaida is making preparations for attacks in the United States but offering a truce to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some seem to think this means let’s fight in your house, not mine but I agree with the assessment that if Al Qaeda actually did have any attacks in a likely to succeed state, they wouldn’ t be releasing audio tapes about it. Far more likely is that this is a hudna, a truce with the purpose of regrouping for a later attack.

Best Comment:

Interestingly enough, there’s almost no substantive difference between the Osama bin Laden truce offer and the John Murtha withdrawal plan. Wonder if the MSM will notice?

Mike Morley

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But I'm sure they'd clear with the UN Security Council first

[source, source]

France said on Thursday it would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state that carried out a terrorist attack against it, reaffirming the need for its nuclear deterrent.

I’m waiting for the outrage from the usual suspects about jingoism and bellicosity…still waiting…

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15 January 2006

Only politicians and Old Media can be trusted with such powers

[source, source]

If you think such fretting is silly, says Bradley Smith, consider the case of Bill Liles, who faced an FEC inquiry when Smith was commissioner. In 2000, a businessman in the little Texas town of Muleshoe, Harvey Bass, painted save our nation: vote democrat al gore for president on a beat-up box and plunked it on his furniture store’s porch. Sick of looking at it, Liles and a friend pasted a “bigger and better” poster praising W. on a trailer and parked it right across from Bass’s store. This was too much for another local, Don Dyer, who complained to the FEC that Liles’s sign lacked mandated disclosures about who paid for it and whether Bush had signed off on it.

Though the FEC in the end let Liles and his fellow activists off, the men had in fact broken not just disclosure rules but any number of other regulations, too, recalls Smith. They had clearly spent a bit more than $250 on their makeshift sign, for example, but hadn’t reported it, as required, to the FEC. “Total statutory penalties could have easily exceeded $25,000,” Smith observes. How different is Liles’s praiseworthy activism from that of many political bloggers? The medium differs, but Liles, like a blogger, is simply voicing his opinion. And this was pre-McCain-Feingold.

This isn’t an aberration, this is the goal of the campaign finance “reform” factions.

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There you go with that oppressive patriarchal logic again

Al Gore Plans to Rail Against Bush‘s “Police State”

Yet, oddly enough, he won’t spend a second in jail afterward. And he knows it.

Junkyard Blog

Because Modern American Leftists like Gore have long since abandoned any meaning to words, relying instead completey on connotations.

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Powers for me but not for thee


[…] But the fact of the Congressional subpoena power does not make Teddy Kennedy any less a hypocrite in demanding the coercive extraction of the records of a political organization. We need to say it again: Senator Kennedy took the scary position that it was just and appropriate for the Congress to extract by coercion the private, internal records of a political advocacy group just because it was considering the nomination of a person who had once been a member of that organization.

To understand how weird this is, consider the following “thought experiment”: If the next Democratic SCOTUS nominee once belonged to the American Civil Liberties Union(as Ruth Bader Ginsburg actually did) and, say, Sam Brownback proposed issuing a subpoena for the “records” of the ACLU to help him “understand” the nominee’s testimony, what do you imagine the reaction of the mainstream media might be? The implications of Senator Kennedy’s demand for freedom of speech and association are appalling. Where’s the outrage?

It’s hardly unusual for the Democratic Party to demand powers for the federal government on the presumption that such powers would be used only by the Democratic Party. Sadly, they are often correct about this, which just encourages such power grabbing.

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11 January 2006

Another glorious revolution

[source, source]

An attempt by Venezuela’s leftwing president, Hugo Chávez, to double the price that coffee producers pay farmers for a sack of beans has led to empty shelves in supermarkets throughout the country and fears of shortages of other basic foodstuffs.


As coffee disappeared first from the supermarkets and then from the streets, the National Guard was sent out to confiscate coffee that had been stockpiled at private warehouses. [emphasis added]

Sending out the troops to round up supplies from “hoarders”. At least Chavez has read his history books.

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06 January 2006

I meant to do that

[source, source]

It’s no surprise that progressives at the turn of the twentieth century supported minimum wages and restrictions on working hours and conditions. Isn’t this what it means to be a progressive? Indeed, but what is more surprising is why the progressives advocated these laws. A first clue is that many advocated labor legislation “for women and for women only.”

Progressives, including Richard Ely, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, the Webbs in England etc., were interested not in protecting women but in protecting men and the race. Their goal was to get women back into the home, where they belonged, instead of abandoning their eugenic duties and competing with men for work.

I always wonder, “couldn’t the people back then have foreseen the bad results of their policies?” and frequently I found out that, yes, they did understand it and what we now consider a “bad” result was the intention.

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Or O'Logan's Run

[source, source]

SCOTLAND’S demographic time-bomb will explode in three years, when the number of pensioners north of the Border overtakes the number of children in school, the Executive has been warned.

Seems like you could fix this by revoking the pensions.

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Shortages can mean hoarding as well

[source, source]

The adult sex ratio (ASR) is a key parameter of the demography of human and other animal populations, yet the causes of variation in ASR, how individuals respond to this variation, and how their response feeds back into population dynamics remain poorly understood. A prevalent hypothesis is that ASR is regulated by intrasexual competition, which would cause more mortality or emigration in the sex of increasing frequency. Our experimental manipulation of populations of the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) shows the opposite effect. Male mortality and emigration are not higher under male-biased ASR. Rather, an excess of adult males begets aggression toward adult females, whose survival and fecundity drop, along with their emigration rate. The ensuing prediction that adult male skew should be amplified and total population size should decline is supported by long-term data. Numerical projections show that this amplifying effect causes a major risk of population extinction. In general, such an “evolutionary trap” toward extinction threatens populations in which there is a substantial mating cost for females, and environmental changes or management practices skew the ASR toward males.

Of course, one can’t always extrapolate the behavior of humans from other vertebrates, but I do think this indicates that a shortage of women doesn’t necessarily mean improved conditions for women.

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04 January 2006

I want my friends to handle it

[source, source]

D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry yesterday urged two young men who robbed him at gunpoint Monday night to turn themselves in to police, promising that he would urge authorities not to prosecute them.

“I have no animosities,” Barry declared. “I don’t even want you prosecuted, really. I love you. Give yourself up. Call the police.… I will do all I can to advocate non-prosecution.”…

“There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend,” Barry (D-Ward 8) said … “I was a little hurt that this betrayal did happen.”…

Why does Barry want the robbers to turn themsevles in, if he doesn’t want them prosecuted? Wouldn’t evading arrest achieve that? Does he just want to know who they are so he can have his friends “in the underworld” and the hustlers and other guys to take care of things instead of the courts?

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