Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I find it very disturbing that there is a one-woman play to glorify Rachel Carson and her radical approach of placing the "natural world" above all else, including human life ("Rachel Carson's voice heard in a play," Sept. 23). Writer Krista Ramsey stated that Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring," "changed the nation's thinking on pesticide use and started grassroots environmentalism." The most significant result of Carson's activism was the banning of DDT in the U.S. and, more critically, eliminating its availability in developing countries. DDT was a means to an end for Rachael Carson and the environmental activists expanding their power in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, they focused on a pesticide, with tragic results for millions of innocent people without a voice in their fate. Malaria in western countries had already been wiped out through the use of DDT, so only the developing countries were left to suffer. Africa suffered the most. Even now the innocent continue to suffer. The World Health Organization reported nearly a million malaria deaths, mostly children under 5 years, in 2006. It is widely accepted that Carson's science was flawed and slanted to promote her agenda. Reputable scientific evidence on the limited harmful effects of DDT was available to Carson but was ignored. The safe and necessary use of DDT is no longer debated among most of the environmental organizations. The Wall Street Journal said it best on Aug. 16, 2007: "Opponents of DDT are only ensuring more misery and death." Over 350 scientists, including Nobel laureates, have signed a letter arguing for the use of DDT. The loss of tens of millions of lives is a high price to pay for furthering Carson's agenda. I hope we don't celebrate it.Update. For those who haven't seen the data. Malaria kills, but DDT eradicates it. From Junk Science:
"In May 1955 the Eighth World Health Assembly adopted a Global Malaria Eradication Campaign based on the widespread use of DDT against mosquitos and of antimalarial drugs to treat malaria and to eliminate the parasite in humans. As a result of the Campaign, malaria was eradicated by 1967 from all developed countries where the disease was endemic and large areas of tropical Asia and Latin America were freed from the risk of infection. Source: [Bull World Health Organ 1998;76(1):11-6]Eradicated in all the developed countries! Eradicated. But then Rachel Carson's book caught the imagination. DDT was banned and the deaths mounted.
Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the "control"" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt's report that "control" pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs. Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, "Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing." Source: [Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]Hmmm... Too many people. DDT is ending deaths from malaria. IT's hard to believe, but some "experts" want people dead. Not themselves, of course. 10/7/08 Added. American Magazine on deaths due to banning DDT
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists. The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home. The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. ... In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC. CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down.This is not guilt by association, but guilt by participation.
Monday, September 22, 2008
For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted. Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.The link has extensive documentation.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Elderly people with dementia are 'wasting' the lives of those who have to care for them, one of the country's most influential experts on medical ethics said yesterday. Baroness Warnock said that for the old and sick who are contemplating dying, 'there is nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so'. Her remarks in an interview with a church journal were the first public suggestion from any expert with close links to Whitehall that euthanasia should not only be legal but that elderly people should be pressed towards death. Lady Warnock said: 'If you are demented, you are wasting people's lives, your family's lives, and you are wasting the resources of the National Health Service.'November 4: Reader Jaxon led me to this blog post by JAJoe that fisks* a survey that claims to show that 80,000 US physicians have changed from opposition to support of big-government health care. But his job is easy: they changed one of their two questions to get the result they wanted. * "to fisk" is to check a writer's logic and sources to see if they support what he is saying when he claims they do. It is named after British journalist Robert Fisk. The term is applied when the writer is misusing his sources. That's lying in any other context. Wikipedia
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In a move modeled after the Vatican’s apology to Galileo, the Church of England will apologize to the author of the theory of evolution on its website marking the scientist’s 200th birthday: ‘Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.” Although the action has been ridiculed by many, including his great-great-grandson, the Church is hoping to distance itself from fundamentalist organizations that continue to argue against the theory. One descendent more in favor of the move explains that he believes “…this apology would have pleased him,” in light of Darwin’s fear of offending as well as his wife’s own Christian devotion. Thanks. Really. Wanna send a memo to this side of the pond?It is very easy to prove that Darwin was a racist. The full title of Origin of Species is: The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The newspaper said unnamed aides initially explained that Palin had visited a "military outpost" inside Iraq. The Globe said campaign aides and members of the Alaska National Guard subsequently explained that she did not venture beyond the Iraq/Kuwait border when she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing on July 25, 2007. Lt. Col. Dave Osborn, commander of the 3d Battalion, 207th Infantry of the Alaska National Guard, who was in charge of the 570 local troops serving in Kuwait and Iraq, said Palin did not cross in Iraq.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In February, the Iranian government showed a fictionalized video on the dangers of foreign plots against the state. One of its stars: a mysterious American named Gene Sharp. In June 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez publicly accused Mr. Sharp of stirring unrest in Venezuela. Last year in Vietnam, authorities arrested several opposition activists who were distributing a book written by Mr. Sharp. In 2005, fires destroyed two Moscow bookstores selling Russian translations of the same book. The target of all this intrigue and animosity is 80 years old and slightly stooped. He walks with a cane. Working from a modest house in East Boston, Mr. Sharp is nearly unknown to the U.S. public. But he is despised by many authoritarian regimes and respected by opposition activists around the globe. Mr. Sharp has had broad influence on international events over the past two decades, helping to advance a global democratic awakening. An aging academic, Mr. Sharp says he has no links with the government or any intelligence agency. He responded to Mr. Chavez's speech with an open letter suggesting that if the president is concerned about being overthrown, he should read "The Anti-Coup," a booklet Mr. Sharp co-authored. Spread via the Internet, word-of-mouth and seminars, Mr. Sharp's writings on nonviolent resistance have been studied by opposition activists in Zimbabwe, Burma, Russia, Venezuela and Iran, among others. His 1993 guide to unseating despots, "From Dictatorship to Democracy," has been translated into at least 28 languages and was used by movements that toppled governments in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.Wikipedia says his prime interest was nonviolence.
Friday, September 12, 2008
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.In a similar vein I guess it's an outrage that the blind governor of New York David Patterson doesn't know how to drive a car. After all, transportation issues are pretty important. How dare he serve as governor while being ignorant of what it's like to navigate New York's highways.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Embattled Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel is facing possible ouster from his powerful committee chairmanship as he scrambles to file new tax returns in a desperate bid to hold on to his job. The amended returns will reflect years of income he never bothered reporting from renting out his beachfront Caribbean villa, his lawyer said yesterday. House Republicans yesterday pushed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to dump Rangel as head of the Ways & Means Committee, which writes the nation's tax laws. "Given Chairman Rangel's continuing ethical lapses, he cannot effectively carry out his duties," nine GOPers wrote to Pelosi. "It is in the best interest of the public and this representative institution for Rep. Rangel to step down from his chairmanship until his ethical issues have been resolved." Rangel, a 19-term Democrat, plans a news conference today to announce he'll submit amended federal, state and city tax returns, according to lawyer Lanny Davis.With Lanny Davis is his corner you know he is one of the most partisan Demos. And crimes are defended by leadership, of course:
Pelosi defended Rangel. "The American people would be better served if Republicans would stop playing politics and allow the bipartisan Ethics Committee to do its job," said her spokesman, Brendan Daly.We also want to hear more about his four (4) rent-controlled apartments.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The Democrats are in trouble. Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign. Period. Palin's speech to the GOP National Convention on Wednesday has set it up so that the Republicans are now on offense and Democrats are on defense. And we don't do well on defense. Suddenly, Palin and John McCain are the mavericks and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the status quo, in a year when you don't want to be seen as defending the status quo. From taxes to oil drilling, Democrats are now going to have to start explaining their positions. Whenever you start having to explain things, you're on defense. I actually went back and watched Palin's speech a second time. I didn't go to sleep until 1:30 a.m. I had to make sure I got the lines right. Her timing was exquisite. She didn't linger with applause, but instead launched into line after line of attack, slipping the knives in with every smile and joke. And she delivered it like she was just BS-ing on the street with the meter maid. She didn't have to prove she was "of the people." She really is the people.
Monday, September 08, 2008
... Democrats had only to maintain their composure and the White House would be theirs. During the 1997 British general election, the late Lord Jenkins said that Tony Blair was like a man walking down a shiny corridor carrying a precious vase. He was the favourite and held his fate in his hands. If he could just reach the end of the hall without a slip, a Labour victory was assured. The same could have been said of the American Democrats last week. But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska. ... And everything that could go wrong with the campaign against Palin did. American liberals forgot that the public did not know her. By the time she spoke at the Republican convention, journalists had so lowered expectations that a run-of-the-mill speech would have been enough to win the evening. As it was, her family appeared on stage without a goitre or a club foot between them, and Palin made a fighting speech that appealed over the heads of reporters to the public we claim to represent. 'I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion,' she said as she deftly detached journalists from their readers and viewers. 'I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.' English leftists made the same mistake of allowing their hatred to override their judgment after the Iraq war. If they had confined themselves to charging Tony Blair with failing to find the weapons of mass destruction he promised were in Iraq, and sending British troops into a quagmire, they might have forced him out. They were so consumed by loathing, however, they insisted that he had lied, which he clearly had not. They set the bar too low and Blair jumped it with ease. 'When a man believes that any stick will do, he at once picks up a boomerang,' said GK Chesterton, and when the politically committed go on a berserker you should listen for the sound of their own principles smacking them in the face.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Amid the talk of enrollment needs and budget requests the UW's Board of Regents paused Thursday to acknowledge the culmination of an eight-year fundraising campaign that has bolstered the university's endowment to $2.68 billion.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
September 3, 2008 - Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November. Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years. "If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC. "[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."There is are ways to hold the president accountable - elections and impeachment. You are way off base, Joe.
For generations, the French have fiercely guarded their language against the horreurs anglais. But France's education minister yesterday admitted for the first time that the secret to success is speaking better English. Xavier Darcos claimed poor English is now a 'handicap' because all international business is conducted in the language, and said French schools would offer extra lessons during the holidays. He also admitted that, because of globalisation, very few people outside France will being able to speak French in the future. Mr Darcos said he wanted to make it easier for all French students to learn English, saying that 'while well-off families pay for study sessions abroad, I'm offering them to everyone right here.'
“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.Note that he compares his experience to when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Why not when she was governor? Because he loses big time. With her years of executive experience she is running for #2. Innocent Obama is running to be president.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
State and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike. State statute establishes no specific penalties for unlawful public employee strikes; in some cases, courts may grant injunctive relief to prevent or end unlawful strikes. The Legislature could enact laws establishing penalties for unlawful public employee strikes, provided that such laws are consistent with protected free speech and other state and federal constitutional rights. Washington Attorney General Rob McKennalBut there is one large problem. There is no cost to the striking teachers. They still get full pay, because the school year must be 180 days. They lose some of their summer, but none of their pay.
Monday, September 01, 2008
A mammoth-sized glacier is dangerously on the move in remote northwestern B.C., threatening to seal off the Alsek River and create a lake that would ultimately burst and pose a flood hazard to rafters and anyone else downstream. Glaciers are supposed to be receding in this era of global warming. But a buildup of water beneath the Tweedsmuir Glacier is causing it to surge ahead at a rate of several metres a day. It is now midway across the Alsek River. "There is a reasonable chance this glacier will seal off the route of the Alsek," Garry Clarke, a professor of glaciology at the University of B.C., confirmed in an interview. "The end result has got to be a big flood. It would render the whole river downstream quite dangerous." Clarke visited the site as recently as Aug. 1 and said the glacier's 65-metre-high face is calving off pieces of ice which are being carried downstream to the Tatshenshini River. He figures it's just a matter of time before the volume of ice exceeds the river's ability to carry it away, creating a temporary lake upstream. Because ice floats, the lake would eventually tunnel underneath the glacier with a giant rush of water, known as a jökulhlaup to Icelanders. River rafters already must watch out for floating ice, and would have to get off the river entirely once a reservoir is formed. About 350 rafters, both private and commercial, travel the river system every year. Federal NDP leader Jack Layton took a guided trip in July. The Tatshenshini River flows into Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, where authorities are developing an emergency plan to ensure notification of about 50 rafters, hunters, fishermen, and park staff who could be at risk from a sudden flood.