Mail 741 Tuesday, September 11, 2012
‘It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.’
It’s the little things that embarrass you most
Dr. Pournelle –
Perhaps you saw this. File under "Oops".
Navy Times: Russian ships displayed at DNC tribute to vets
"But the fact they are Russian ships is not in doubt. In addition to the ship’s radar arrays and hulls, which are dissimilar from U.S. warships, the photo features one more give-away: a large white flag with a blue ‘X’ at the ships’ sterns.
Polmar, who authored “The Naval Institute Guide to the Soviet Navy,” recognized the blue ‘X’-mark: “The X is the Cross of St. Andrew’s, which is a Russian Navy symbol,” Polmar said. (An anchored U.S. warship, by contrast, flies the American flag on its stern.)"
I’m thinking this is taking inclusivity and diversity a little too far.
I am not sure any comment is needed. Thanks.
CoDominium Is Here!
Not here yet, perhaps, but you can see the origin. See also Coming Apart by Murray. The elite no longer preach what they practive…
‘The U.S. is now on the verge of a symbolic threshold: the point at which more than half of all American households receive and accept transfer benefits from the government.’
See previous item…
Grievous bodily harm.
Guess the U.S. and Canada have bureaucracy in common – following is something a friend picked up
A lesson in irony..
The Food Bank Program, administered by Social Welfare Canada, is actually proud of the fact it is distributring the greatest amount of free meals and food vouchers ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, adminstered by the Canada Parks and Natural Resources, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals."
Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves
SUBJECT: The Assault on Reason
Commentary on current political discourse and (in Canada in particular) behavior of the government.
Reason is always under assault…
I found both the ramrodding of the Democrat voice vote, AND the fact that it was not unambiguously 2/3 in favor of the change, to be equally disturbing.
But there are a lot of religious conservative rural Democrats, and Catholics nationwide, who haven’t yet abandoned the party of their parents and grandparents (and in my case, to the fourth and fifth generation). The "abortion and contraception forever and free" aspect of the convention, combined with the widespread portrayal of that video without any spin other than the raw truth, is likely to shake a significant number of them out of the Democrat party.
Probably not my cousin the rural southern Baptist minister who has apparently proclaimed, "if Jesus Christ returned as a Republican, I’d still vote for the Democrats" (to the dismay of his family and parishioners, even the Democrats among them), but still…
I’ll also note that from my peripheral review of the subject, support for "choice" has shifted from a bare majority to a bare minority in the polls I’ve seen since 2008 and Sarah Palin’s familial choice of life for her young son and first grandson vs. the bitter attacks she suffered from the "pro-choice" fanatics for choosing life in those circumstances.
Meanwhile, another correspondent has brought to my attention that the 0.2 drop in unemployment announced this morning was accompanied by another decrease of 300,000 people from the labor pool. Thus continues the manipulation by mathematics…
Let me see, didn’t I read about planets like this…
…in a three-book series you wrote? (Fourth book coming Real Soon Now…):
"One of the unexpected revelations of planet hunting has been that many planets travel in very oblong, eccentric orbits that vary greatly in distance from their stars.
"’Planets like these may spend some, but not all of their time in the habitable zone,’ Kane said. ‘You might have a world that heats up for brief periods in between long, cold winters, or you might have brief spikes of very hot conditions.’"
Maybe they should name one of these planets "Tran"…not exactly the same mechanism (i.e., no dwarf companion for the main sun) but the same principle of cyclical climate.
Dr. Pournelle –
Fascinating – but creepy and scary, too. A scene in a new story, maybe?
Cyborg Cockroaches Could be Future Emergency Responders
"Researchers say they’ve figured out a way to create cyborg, remote-controlled cockroaches, hoping one day the resilient creatures could be steered into disaster zones to gather information and look for survivors.
Video footage from the experiments at North Carolina State University shows the part-robot raoches being directed along a curving path via remote control. The researchers say they attached a lightweight chip with a wireless receiver and transmitter onto Madagascar hissing cockroaches and wired a microcontroller to the insects’ antennae and cerci — the sensory organs on the bug’s abdomen that cause it to run away from danger."
- or new surveillance technique or, … . The real world gets stranger than fiction every day.
Another agency with armed agents.
Sent to you by BobK via Google Reader:
No, The Social Security Administration Is Not Arming for a Rebellion <http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheAtlanticWire/~3/_UgBNkYTsiA/story01.htm>
via The Atlantic Wire <http://www.theatlanticwire.com/> by Adam Martin on 9/4/12
As they often are, the conspiracy theories swirling around the Social Security Administration’s request for bids to provide 174,000 bullets <http://www.infowars.com/social-security-administration-to-purchase-174-thousand-rounds-of-hollow-point-bullets/> were so much more interesting than the explanation. The Associated Press brought the pedestrian news on Tuesday <http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gNYAOHYMsAaQaxuxegtPrcXrEC-Q?docId=775b212be3f64596b3cb3b81cebefedc> that the agency was buying the bullets to supply its Office of Inspector General, which employs 295 law enforcement agents, "who carry guns and make arrests." The agents investigate social security fraud, carrying out search warrants and responding to threats against the administration. They arrested 589 people last year, AP reports. "Agents carry .357 caliber pistols, [IG spokesman Jonathan L.] Lasher said. The bullets, which add up to about 590 per agent, are for the upcoming fiscal year. Most will be expended on the firing range."
Compare that commonplace explanation with Infowars’ suggestion <http://www.infowars.com/social-security-administration-to-purchase-174-thousand-rounds-of-hollow-point-bullets/> that "the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest," or the Daily Caller’s hyperventilating guess that SSA and other seemingly non-law-enforcement federal agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were arming themselves to put down a widespread uprising. Terrifying! And completely unfounded. Just to save everybody the trouble when the NOAA puts in its next request for supplies, let it be known that that agency, too, has a law enforcement wing <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/ole_about.html> . This is like a lesson in government agencies, one conspiracy theory at a time.
Obama’s 1995 mortgage discrimination lawsuit paved way for housing crisis
I had not heard this before. I knew the crisis was generated by government pressure to loan money to people who should not be borrowing it.
I’m pretty sure you have already seen this, but passing it on just in case.
Measurements indicating global warming is happening faster than expected
It’s interesting to me that frequently when an announcement disputing global warning comes in you are told about it, but seldom do you get told of events supporting GW.
Sometimes the article you are told about is pretty light on credibility – the ones attributing heating/cooling to cosmic rays affecting cloud formation are memorable here, as (a) the point at which infrared photons exit the earth is high above clouds in the stratosphere, (b) the exit level is controlled by CO2 et al., and (c) there have _been_ no measured fluctuation in cosmic rays. You assume the supplier has done good-old-fashioned fact-checking before sending it on to you, but I fear that’s sometimes missing.
Getting to the point, in the last few months there have been at least 3 independent, solid global observations that are solid evidence for GW, plus a set of pretty strong hints in US and global records, and yet not a single note has been sent on to you.
Case in point: one of the most incredible new stories (that didn’t hit the news) this month has been the blowing away of arctic ice, as illustrated here: https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/ . Ice volume, which we are just getting a handle on measuring well, is the most shocking: over the last 10 years or so we have been losing a pretty solid 900 cubic kilometers per year, (it is thought to have started out at about 13-15,000 in the Fifties) with the rate of loss increasing each year. This year the Arctic will possibly dropdown to a scant 3000 cubic km. (source: PIOMAS) If the same rate continues, we will be down to 0 cubic kilometers in 4, possibility 3 years, *certainly* in 6. http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/
It seems the climate scientists who forecast an ice-free arctic in 2100 were very wrong, but in the wrong direction.
What do you think of these observations and the projected effect on the jet-stream and US weather from the additional stored heat when this happens?
I think that there were dairy farms in Greenland in Viking times, and that the Northwest Passage has been open more than once in the past millennia. And I still think I would rather be too warm than under a kilometer of ice.
‘And then there’s the part of the story the Reuters piece doesn’t address: According to other reports, Zimmerman’s gun was loaded with hollow-point bullets — bullets that expand upon impact, maximizing internal damage and the chances of death. You don’t need hollow-point bullets to stop a pit bull. And you don’t need hollow-point bullets to stop a robber.’
Well, that’s illuminating…
Comment on "how real is science"
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
I thought I understood Mr. Harry M. when he begin his comment on the role of science being subverted by agendas other than the search for truth. Then Mr. M. went on to make comments that sounded like he was saying science is attempting to replace religion.
From what little I know of the scientific method, I know that it can only be used on things that can be tested in the physical world.
Given that understanding there is never going to be a possibility of science explaining things that can not be tested in the physical world.
Religion, whether you have one or not, and whether you believe in it or not, is largely concerned with things that can not be tested in the physical world.
Science can study the effects of religion on a society or an individual but it can not legitimately study whether the beliefs of those with a particular religion are true or false. This makes me think that anyone claiming science is trying to subvert religion is using that claim as a straw man and seeking to gain publicity by that claim.
I also noted the mention of book with the title of "The God Particle". It is my understanding that the book on the Higgs Boson was actually going to be named "The God Damned Particle" in reference to current particle accelerators inability to produce evidence of said particle.
I heard the name of the book was shortened to avoid offending those whose religion forbids certain combinations of words and letters. This is one example of several someones taking a book title completely out of context and building a straw man they can poke the stuffing out of.
The reference to how valid scientific papers are by the speaker Dr. John Patrick points out several valid points in regards to people not being truthful due to personal needs that are not met by the truth. Dr. Patrick makes some interesting points about the ability of religion to set a standard of moral values that can later guide people to do the right thing even if their personal needs do not get met. He also raises the idea of tacit awareness and its power to predict, in some cases, the outcome of an experiment. Dr. Patrick implies that without religious training that instills proper morals there are no checks or balances on the validity of scientific papers. For some reason I thought scientific papers had to be reviewed and their assertions tested by other members of the scientific community before they were accepted. Am I wrong in that thought?
People are, after all people. We all have our opinions and we all like to protect our world from invasions of thought that might make us have to work a little harder.
The scientific method is a tool to try and discern truth in the testable physical world. It is a valuable tool when used for its intended purposes. It is also like using a screwdriver to pound in a nail when used for purposes that it was never intended to be used for.
In short, I do not find the assertion that science is not real as valid. I do find people jousting at science and at religion using a number of straw men to try and garner publicity.
David P. Zimmerman
Harry M. requested commentary on his question: "How real is science?"
In his piece he noted that both climate scientists and Darwinists are noted for practicing ‘the politics of personal destruction’ when the axioms which pass for science in their fields are questioned.
I think that this would be a fine occasion for Harry to read Fred Reed’s column: "Fredwin on Evolution" , found here:
if he hasn’t already.
I think that he would enjoy it. I do. Every time I read it.
You asked, "Does grammar matter?"
This question was answered to my satisfaction by Richard Mitchell in his many books and essays.
In particular, Mitchell’s "Why Good Grammar"
"Good grammar," in the fullest sense of the term, is neither an embellishment nor an accessory to anything else. It is the Law by which meaning is found and made. It may be, of course, that a good "education" ought to provide something more, but it is preposterous, perhaps even wicked, to suggest that it can be had with anything less.
Mitchell’s theme quote is from Ben Johnson:
Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune,
whose words do jarre;
Nor his reason in frame,
whose sentence is preposterous;
- Ben Johnson, Discoveries, 1641
(This can be found in more complete form at http://www.molenda.com/under-grammar/full-quote.html <http://www.molenda.com/under-grammar/full-quote.html> )
Mitchell was widely known for his newsletter "The Underground Grammarian," which he published for many years when he was a professor at Glassboro State Teachers College, now Rowan University, in New Jersey. In it he quoted materials distributed by academics on his campus and others, and then he took apart those writings line by line and word by word.
Thus, besides being useful, his books are absolutely hilarious.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.