CHAOS MANOR MAIL
Mail 424 July 24 - 30, 2006
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July 24, 2006
There was a lot of mail over the weekend.
Harry Erwin's Letter From England
Some NHS and Middle East stories. The NHS is the biggest employer in Europe and seems a bit unwieldy. <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1826979,00.html> <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1827027,00.html> <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2090-2281964,00.html>
Israel is *not* getting European encouragement. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2281638,00.html> <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2281903,00.html> <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5207066.stm> <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2281776,00.html> <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1826969,00.html>
But neither is Hezbollah <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5207478.stm>
"The war on poverty is over. The poor lost." <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2281555,00.html>
I may have a follow-up on this story--it's too close for comfort. I just buried a good friend on Wednesday; I hope this isn't another funeral. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wear/5208460.stm>
Heat wave in England <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1827085,00.html>
Politics of UK education. <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,,1826994,00.html>
-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland. <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw> Weblog at: <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw/blog/index.php>
Or maybe that it needs to be one. Or something. Whichever it is, We're Doomed!
... I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology. ...=
And those buzzing noises you hear in the background are the revolutions-counters on Russell Kirk, John Adams and Edmund Burke, spinning in their graves.
I agree completely that conservatism is not an ideology. The proper word Mr. Buckley should have used was "principles". It is not often that one can suggest a better word to Mr. Buckley. My guess is that this was a mere slip of the tongue. See also my response to Buckley on Bush over the weekend.
Subject: Green Energy Investing
The latest orgy of spending by the government and investors is green technology. It is small but rapidly growing segment. Early stage investments are typically followed by much larger later stage investing in companies that get traction in the market.
Venture firms poured $12.97 billion into 1,213 companies in the first half of 2006, a 13% increase from the year-earlier period, according to data from Ernst & Young LLP and industry tracker VentureOne, a unit of Dow Jones & Co. By comparison, venture firms deployed $11.47 billion across 1,131 deals in the first half of 2005. ... Alternative energy and clean technology has been a small but growing market for venture investing. Venture capitalists put $315 million into 23 deals during the first half of this year, more than tripling the $90 million invested in 10 deals in the first half of 2005, according to VentureOne.
Subject: Energy Crisis - Made in USA
Points out something the politicos prefer to keep hidden, Dr. Pournelle. Much of our energy crisis is home made -- and it isn't just big pickups and SUVs.
"Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil and gas. "Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from both parties. "Florida's powerful tourism and booming real estate industries fear that oil spills could cost them business. Lawmakers from the state are so adamantly opposed to drilling that they have bid to extend the national ban on drilling activity from 100 miles to as far as 250 miles offshore, encompassing the island of Cuba."
I find it especially interesting that USA legislators want to ban drilling for oil in Cuban waters...
I think you are correct in observing that an important debate is not happening, as you describe. However, you should not imply that the debate that IS happening is unimportant. It has been framed because of the reason for the veto, and the misleading "facts" put forth as justification.
Take for instance the "snowflake" children. As Jon Stewart observed, they are called that because no two are alike and they are all white. Of course, there have been less than 1,000 such children "adopted," while thousands (hundreds of thousands) are discarded. The White House chief of staff was asked the important question on this part of the debate: "If the President thinks it's murder to use these for research, then why hasn't he criminalized it?" The next question is, if it's murder, then is creating ten, knowing you'll use just one no more or less a crime? The moral questions here are important, just not the be all and end all.
As for funding and its benefits...I'm all for it from any source. Research is good. Research can usually be better managed, more efficient, less prone to cronyism or politics, but fundamentally, research is good. Unintended consequences make most money spent on science well worth it in the long term. Note, in this paragraph, all the issues you raise are raised again...effeciency, politics, etc... Gee, maybe Federal stem cell research can be as efficient as NASA. Hrmf. Still, I wouldn't get rid of NASA, would you? Get rid of, not replace with something else? Aim high, I say. Shoot for cancer and Parkinson cures, even knowing all you may get are better treatments...aren't better treatments also worth the effort?
Take half the money of the Iraq war, invest half in stem cell research for those who suffered spinal cord injuries from IEDs, and half into energy independence. I'd be happy.
A matter of consent of the governed: with something this controversial, approaching a religious matter, the obvious remedy is the leave it to the states. Where there is little controversy about the research, it may be appropriate for federal funding, although much federal funding (what with earmarks) is not very effective. Whether state funding would be more so isn't the point.
When a large part of the population objects to non-essential projects, I think it is both wise and constitutional to leave those matters to the states, or to private funding. Of course I believe that criminalizing abortion is another matter to be left to the states.
And, YES, I WOULD get rid of NASA, or at least restructure it to the point of unrecognizability. It hasn't proved to be an efficient means of investing in space resource development. Prizes and X projects would work much better. But NASA isn't objected to on religious grounds by a large part of the population.
I take the establishment clause quite seriously -- when applied to the Feds. But the states are allowed to establish religions if they want to. They have, in their wisdom, decided not to, but I think it might have been a Good Thing had one state kept with approval of a majority of its citizens a tax-funded church and clergy.
-- Roland Dobbins
Do you think they can convince Carl Rove?
Subject: Early orchid
An out-of-phase orchid for www.hardocp.com for their system reviews. They are going way beyond mere benchmarking, buying various types of systems and evaluating the entire system from purchase through post-delivery tech support. They have reviews on systems built by several major and minor players, and their results are very informative. Definitely some lessons learned in their reviews for anyone in the market for a new PC of any type. www.maingear.com and www.overdrivepc.com have received high marks for excellent quality and support, and this is from a group of computer enthusiasts who demand some sort of added value when buying pre-built systems instead of simply piecing together one on your own.
Thanks! They go into the file for this year's awards...
July 25, 2006
Subject: News Story of Interest
It's illegal to fly a national flag from your house in the UK. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5211952.stm>
-- Harry Erwin, PhD
This from a while ago, but somehow I missed it. Still interesting:
Here's Fred, on his new home, the land of the Beggar Sitting On A Bag Of Gold
July 26, 2006
AT&T Labs vs. Google Labs: not your grandfather's R&D.
- Roland Dobbins
I still want Bell Labs back...
The White House Has Its Reasons for Tip-Toeing Past Iran’s Role in Lebanon.
-- Roland Dobbins
If the Empire decided to exert its power in one place, it probably can't add more enemies for a while. The US could fight World War II in two theaters by mobilizing the entire strength of the Republic. Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without. The consumer economy was on hold.
In our War on Terror there is none of this, and that means that Afghanistan and Iraq between them require all the strength we have. Empires are never as strong as Republics in their wrath. For more on this, see Machiavelli, who examined these matters in detail (at a time when high tech war was coming to be decisive).
Real Crime, Fake Justice.
-- Roland Dobbins
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide. Britons never ever shall be slaves -- except to their own government. Can you imagine King James II in these circumstances?
The Taliban’s Silent Partner.
But this was inevitable: one reason why invading Iraq was such a bad idea.
Air Power Won't Do It.
--- Roland Dobbins
Well -- yes. You can fly over the land, you can bomb the land, you can blow up the land, but you don't own it until you can stand a 17 year old with a rifle on it. (Ted Feherenbach's statement of a well known principle). The question is, will Israel be willing to pay the price?
Subject: Hizbollah thought as you did
"In the past, he said [a senior Hizbullah official], Israeli reponses to Hizbullah actions included sending in commandos into Lebanon and taking Hizbullah officials into custody or briefly targeting specific Hizbullah strongholds in southern Lebanon. He said his group had also anticipated negotiations to swap the soldiers with three Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges."
David B. Jacobs, Ph.D.
to which I replied:
Well I would never negotiate from the status quo. You take my troops, I go get a lot more of yours. Then I negotiate. When it's over you are still no better off than when we started, and generally you're worse.
What ever gave you the notion that I would advocate negotiation from status quo?
And launching that big a war implies an actual goal to be achieved from it. We'll see. Making any actual progress in that area will be damned costly, and as complicated as US operations in Iraq. Is Israel willing to pay that price with the years of occupation that it will take? If not the response was disproportionate and involved the Christian community who are not Hizbollah and don't support them.
The war has already pretty well cost Israel their former Christian allies. Now they've hit some Druze areas. Sunnis next? There had better be a goal worth all that cost.
Re: Hizbollah thought as you did
What struck me as odd in the article was Hizbollah's assumption that the Israelis would round up a bunch of their people to trade, so why would they think they would come out ahead in the bargain (history?).
With respect to Israel's action, my current thoughts tend to parallel your own -- while doing something certainly seems justified, I can't see this path being a net positive for Israel in the end. Of course, for similar reasons, I don't think our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be net positive either.
I remember living in Israel for 9 months in 1979. During that time the PLO would lob a few rockets a month onto the northern settlements and bombs on buses and in public places were regular occurrences. One of the daily rituals was for parents to sweep the playgrounds for button bombs (miniature land mines). This was all occurring during the peace talks with Egypt and the return of the Sinai. What many would consider one of Israel's quieter periods.
At this point, most of those who remember the British pull out of Palestine and the aftermath are quickly vanishing from the ranks of those in decision making positions. So the separate histories that most current decision makers were brought up on will further polarize the groups. There was a time before the intifada (when there were around 3 million Jews and 2 million Arabs) when I thought that annexing the occupied territories and giving all the Arabs in Israel full citizenship rights would eventually create a stable state (albeit not the "Jewish" state/sanctuary that many felt was necessary).
Today, I am at a complete loss. Every solution I can think of has at least one group willing to fight to the death to prevent it. Sigh...
I do find comfort that level headed thinkers such as yourself with much more experience than I are putting their thinking caps on for this problem.
Best wishes, David Jacobs
Thank you. As I have said: dismantling Hezbollah is a legitimate and just goal, and if the strategic operations so far are part of an operation to that end, then this is a just war. If this is just a spasm of retaliation, it's another story entirely.
The only end to matters over there is a form of ethnic cleansing, segregation, apartheid: I choose the ugliest terms because such operations are never pleasant. Lebanon might have survived as a diversity state had it been allowed to, but there were too many opposing interests.
I once again express regret that Israel did not take the opportunity to make common cause with the Christian groups in the area; but they did not, and while they have an alliance with the Druze, even that looks precarious now.
When I had my session with then-President Weizmann we quickly agreed that Israel wasn't giving sufficient forethought to many of its actions and policies; but there was nothing he could do. He was president because he had been the air marshal who made the 6-day War a success; and the politicians had not listened to him since.
Subject: "official" version of Swift story
http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24698Jerry <http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24698Jerry> :
Here's the navy.mil version of the story. Same quote from LCDR Pournelle.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ----Albert Einstein
The Sleazy Life and Nasty Death of Russia’s Spam King.
--- Roland Dobbins
July 27, 2006
-- Roland Dobbins
Heh. Years ago my long time friend and colleague Sir Fred Hoyle published an astonishing book called Evolution From Space. It attacked Darwinian evolution on scientific grounds: there were discontinuities not explainable by natural selection. Hoyle's explanation was that evolution had come about by mutations caused by molecules coming from outer space; he postulated that these may well have been sent -- broadcast -- by an intelligent designer. Note that Sir Fred's intelligent designer would horrify any of the fundamentalists who postulate intelligent design in furtherance of religious faith.
My friend and colleague The Honorable Adrian Berry (Adrian rarely uses the title, and now that the House of Lords is no more will not assume a seat in that House when Lord Berry vacates it; but I sometimes tease him with his formal position) -- anyway, Adrian commented on Hoyle's Evolution From Space thusly: "But Sir Fred is off his head, don't you agree?" I've told that story several times and thus Roland's subject title.
I knew Sir Fred too well and for too long to agree. I have had some people try to convince me that Sir Fred's mathematical analysis of Darwinian Evolution is wrong, but without complete success. Sir Fred didn't convince me, but he did present an interesting case, and I never thought he was simply off his head.
This is one more reason for paying attention to Sir Fred. Even when he was wrong he was extremely interesting.
Alone in the Universe?
--- Roland Dobbins
Which points out that you can make the Drake Equation come out any way you like by fiddling with the assumptions.
I've often written my own answers to Fermi's question "Where are they?" They include
I could include more. It's all speculation without data points. Unless, of course, you listen to Coast to Coast at night, in which case it's "They're here, and abducting citizens, and our government is conspiring with them to keep the rest of us from knowing about them; but they have big cities on Mars and on our Moon.
And of course I wrote the Janissaries stories in part because Isaac Asimov told me on the Susskind show that there was no possible explanation for why aliens might visit us, want to hide, and be unsuccessful in hiding...
Subject: More on Korea
A follow up on the US forces in Korea in the form of an article from the Chosun Daily in Seoul:
"A former high-ranking official in the Bush administration told Grand National Party lawmaker Park Jin last week that Rumsfeld wanted to bring the Korea-U.S. alliance down to a level similar to Washington's relationships with the Philippines or Thailand."
Cheer them on
Dear Dr. Pournelle:
I thought your reader's with an interest in the climate change controversy would find the following piece -- well, interesting. It appears that positions are firmly adopted, and then evidence sought (manipulated?) to fit, no matter what side the participants choose to assume. Not really surprising.
Thanks for maintaining this forum.
Brian McCormack London, Ontario
Novelists need plausibility; lawyers need evidence; scientists must account for all data or they are not scientists. Most of the "scientists" in this debate are in fact advocates, playing lawyers, not scientists. See my Voodoo Sciences.
Thanks for the kind words.
Subject: Green Border Pro
As you say, I tell you this three times. DO NOT USE THIS PROGRAM!!!!!!!
I can't be absolutely positive it is a rootkit but I can say this; I installed it, and registered it with a number they sent to me. The computer started acting a little weird - not anything I could replicate with any consistency. So I decided I would uninstall Green Border. It is impossible. You may use Add\Remove and it will tell you it is gone. But the directory is still there under Documents & Settings\All Users\Application Data\Green Border. The sub menu tree is so large,that you are unable to delete any of the subdirectories or files. I counted thirteen distinct levels. In one of the subdirectories, I discovered 28 virtual disk volumes. I wasn't able to even get into those files\directories.
So, I decided to reinstall it and look at the help files. There was no help there. So I uninstalled in Add\Remove once more. This time, I rebooted into a live Windows XP bootdisc in the cd-rom drive. I still had all of the green border folders and files. I tried using Eraser, WipeInfo and several other tools with no success. So I used Sysinternals Rootkit Reveler. It showed me that none of the GreenBorder files were recognized by Windows.
I am about to do a full format on C drive and quick formats on my other drives. I then will reinstall from a good image (thanks for preaching that sermon for so long!) and see what happens.
Hope this saves someone from going through this. Sure isn't anything I want to do again.
Subject: Green Energy as Protectionism
The real reason farmers love biofuels is a new source of protectionism. WTO ruled farm subsidies illegal except if they are for "energy crops." Gas prices in the midwest are about $.30 cheaper in the midwest. You can't transport the stuff by pipeline so gas prices only go down where its locally produced. With all we're spending on subsidizing corn ethanol for $.30 a gallon only in the midwest?
Would be interesting to know if the case for Cellulosic Ethanol can be made. Switchgrass can be grown all over the place. Corn ethanol is a net energy loser because of all the fertilizer generated from natural gas. Sugar beets work well in South America where they can drain the Amazon but sugar beets only work where there's lots of water.
Using plants to collect solar energy, then fermenting their carbohydrates, then buring that as fuel is a very inefficient way to use solar energy.
Better would be nuclear power plants to generate surplus kilowatts, then work on ways to use those for transportation: messenger cables on freeways? Fuel Cells? Better batteries? Two car families in the middle class, one an electric car with a 100 mile or so radius before recharging. Etc. It would still be better than burning alcohol I think. I've run the numbers several time and the inefficiencies are colossal.
Of course low cost to orbit makes Solar Power Satellites the right way to collect solar energy.
Subject: Why the NHS has a problem with budgets
-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland.
Subj: It's alien *graduate students* that are here...
... and hiding but often not very well, abducting some of us to experiment on, etc. etc.
Don't you remember proposing *that* theory a while ago? It's still *my* favorite! 8-)
That's what I said on the Susskind show. I told Isaac that he must not spend much time on campus, and clearly had never been around Cal Tech after exam day in the spring...
"This situation distinguishes the social sciences from the physical sciences in two notable ways. First, a higher proportion of empirical research in the social sciences is subject to legitimate -- oftentimes irresolvable -- dispute. Second, as a consequence, in the social sciences theoretical considerations inevitably play a larger role in navigating around these disputes and in forming judgments about desirable public policies."
Cut the Minimum Wage With Ockham's Razor By Donald Boudreaux on 28 Jul 2006 You can view it at http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=072806B
Subject: "official" version of Swift story
http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24698Jerry <http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24698Jerry> :
Here's the navy.mil version of the story. Same quote from LCDR Pournelle.
* “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ----Albert Einstein
Subject: Another article mentioning SWIFT -
Looks like they are shifting to delivering humanitarian aid:
Subject: Korea - CFC commander's last job
Please don't post this with my name.
If you want an interesting factoid, find out who the current korean combined forces command commander is, and what his last job was.
Here is an in-your-face challenge to Islam from MEMRI television.
The woman who is being interviewed speaking is Wafa Sultan.
Ms. Sultan is an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles.
Subject: The Dept of Education Report on Public vs. Private Schools
is the link to the report on NPR if it has not been posted here before. The trouble with this topic is encapsulated in the quote from Chester Finn as to whether the Bush DOE is downplaying this report. He thinks of course they are, because, "You don't make a big deal about data you don't like."
Huh. In real science, as opposed to the facade that we have in public education policy debates, you make the BIGGEST deal about "data you don't like" because that's the data that teaches you the most. Of course, every scientist knows this, of course, no public education policy analyst will pay any attention to this. I would suggest that the Bush administration is culpable on this, as was the Clinton administration, but with the polarity reversed.
One of my children is moving to a private school this year, and the interesting thing is that the people who run the school pay lots of attention to "data you don't like", because if they don't, they find themselves with an interesting type of "failing school"....one with no students.
Subject: Outer-space sex carries complications,
The Zero-G Club: Outer-space sex carries complications:
AT&T Labs vs. Google Labs: not your grandfather's R&D:
It explains to the younger set why you so mourn the old Bell Labs.
Subject: Someone else who thinks the Delta Clipper was a good idea
It seems that the new design will have some things in common with the DC-X/XA (a rocket I believe you're familiar with) - but some notable differences too.
They are planning to use HTP as oxidiser, rather than Lox. Also RP-1 will be their fuel instead of liquid hydrogen.
I wondered if you had an opinion about their plans.
Link to an article discussing their plans...
and their own web-page is...
Avoid Las Vegas...
-- "The data (or the marks when teaching) are sacrosanct--they tell us what actually happened."
Harry Erwin, PhD http://osiris.sunderland.ac.uk/~cs0her
I have always suspected this.
Very interesting story about nice rats and nasty rats. I'm glad they are taking such care to keep the nasty ones out of the sewers of Leipzig.
How many generations would it take to breed domesticated human beings?
Subject: South Lebanon report
One of the UN observers killed in South Lebanon sent a report to the CTV a few days before his death. The text of the report (an email message) is supplied in Canadian MP Garth Turner's weblog; scroll down about one page to "Our fallen hero in South Lebanon, in his own words":
Why humans have the best artificial intelligence.
- Roland Dobbins
Old axiom: you never appreciate how smart a moron is until you try to program a robot.
This is an important piece on NCLB by Charles Murray on the type of testing that is done to "validate" the program.
The central point is that, in my state (VA), Texas, and North Carolina, and possibly all the states, the standardized test used to measure compliance with NCLB uses pass rates (percentage of children exceeding a test score threshold) rather than scale scores (the actual score on the test). In simplified form, what this means is:
Take two kids and have them stand up, then draw a line on the floor between the them and call it the "pass level". They're on opposite sides of the line and that means....one is passing and one isn't; the distance between them represents an "achievement gap". Now have them each take one step to the side so that they are both on the same side of the line. Now they both "pass", but you'll note they are still the same distance apart. Imagine that these kids represent the centers of test score distributions for two groups and you have the whole picture. We can go from half the kids passing and half failing, to 100% "pass" while the distance between the two groups remains constant, ie, no achievement gap closure at all.
This WSJ piece also has a reference to La Griffe du Lion, which I first learned of via your site, and who analyzes this pass rate nonsense in quantitative detail, showing that the results mean nothing. Perhaps La Griffe is a reader?
Charles Murray refers to this process of using pass rates as "deceptive". He doesn't use the word "fraud" because that implies intent, which is a difficult thing to measure. However, I think the people running these testing programs know -exactly- what they're doing and that it's a knowing and planned deception.
More voodoo sciences. But see below
I get this strong feeling that the Dept. of Education is leaving the egalitarian aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act behind and emphasizing what might as well be called "All Children Pushed Ahead," namely by bragging that test scores are going up for everybody in today's globalizing world. It is just incidental that the "achievement gap" is being narrowed.
Rising test scores have very little to do with g. What school does to enable higher income potential, if it can't or at least so far doesn't change g is a mystery that won't be solved until g is taken seriously.
g correlates with income only about 0.50 (25% of the variance) anyhow. Besides the correlation between income and happiness is even lower.
The Left has long been captured by the teachers' unions and endorsed NCLB mostly for the money. Very few of them care about equality. Murray does not know that and is flogging a dead horse. Or maybe he *does* know but knows that the Right is still opposing the Left over a dead issue and wants to keep up his good credentials on the right.
The truest statement is that NCLB "holds good students hostage to the performance of the least talented, at a time when the economic future of the country depends more than ever on the performance of the most talented." I don't know about the more than ever part, actually.
The thing to watch is the declining passion for equality.
I find it interesting that THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has published an article with a "generic" link to La Griffe's web site, rather than a link to the specific article:
"Closing The Racial Learning Gap" http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/gap.htm
The link actually proffered,
exposes the reader to all *sorts* of interesting topics, such as:
"Politics, Imprisonment and Race" http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/prison.htm
"Sex Differences in Mathematical Aptitude" http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/math.htm
And perhaps most topically for the specific fight we are in on the Hill:
"Cognitive Decline: The Irreducible Legacy of Open Borders" http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/imm.htm
The "Money Quote" from this last:
And, of course, the linearity of this curve implies that, somehow, "governance" will not be affected by the cognitive decline. Alas, the lesson of Zimbabwe is that governance (rule of law, and all that), *is* affected, and things slide downhill much faster once it is.
As this situation develops, the children of the Permanently Disadvantaged will suffer the most the soonest, as the ever-smaller First World population of the nation is unable to maintain the supply of First World services to its Third World population.
Good to see Murray has smelled what ed reform is really about now.
The right is in on this too. They want schools to prove that students are achieving, and they aren't satisfied that "average is good enough either". The PC right also holds that students of all incomes and races can all achieve at higher levels.
Education reform has abandoned the progressive left when my jr High school teacher can give an F to a completed by project by my son, and A student when the original idea of project was to make it easier for A "D" student to pass, not make it easy for an "A" student to get an "F" grade. The google video "run silent, run deep" is still up there, it's doing 20 views a day and over 1000 total since spring. I got an appointment with the vice-superintendent over the grading, but my wife and son didn't want to risk the wrath of the teacher's union lawyers over getting a grade raised from an F to a D. I'm getting my sets together for the Sequel JFK and Gilligan take the PT 109 out for a 3 hour tour and get run over by a minivan by Bloody Mary "you cheap crummy GI Democrat!!"
From another conference:
From a member of your profession at a nearby institution:
From: NO MAN'S LAND: Men's Changing Commitments to Family and Work, by Kathleen Gerson (1993). Ms. Gerson is Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University.
Page 97 in the soft-cover edition in Part II "Paths Of Change", the chapter entitled, "Turning Towards Breadwinning" she writes:
"For better or worse, becoming a parent had a stabilizing effect on men's commitment to work. It had similar effects on their family ties, their personal goals, and their lives in general."
FOR BETTER OR WORSE????
>>"For better or worse, becoming a parent had a stabilizing effect on men's commitment to work. It had similar effects on their family ties, their personal goals, and their lives in general." FOR BETTER OR WORSE????<<
The "better" part refers to the fact that a man's becoming a parent (and living with the wife and child, I assume) results in more stable marriages, less poverty, a far better future for the kids, and more satisfaction with life..
The "worse" part refers to the fact that these results are discordant with the author's dopey ideological desire that women not live with men.
It's really quite simple when you know how to look at it.
Hope all is well.
And that's the way it is in Sociology and the V0odoo Sciences in this year of Grace 2006.
July 29, 2006
July 30, 2006
Please forgive the fact I have not written much lately. Things have been busy. Not too long ago were in the United Arab Emirates. When the recent conflict broke out, we were called to the Mediterranean. We quickly sailed and crossed through the Suez Canal. This is my first time in the Eastern Mediterranean, I'd like to do some sightseeing here.
You'll read in Reuters and other news services that HSV-2 SWIFT just completed a delivery of Humanitarian Assistance material to Beirut. We were the first United States Navy ship to visit Beirut in over 23 years. SWIFT has conducted logistics support Humanitarian Assistance for three major events, Tsunami Relief, Hurricane Katrina, and now Beirut.
Yesterday we pulled into the port of Limmasol Cyprus and began cargo onload. Once again my crew performed their magic. They moved three truck loads of blankets, tarps and medicine into the cargo bay in two hours. The forklift operators and cargo handlers made it all look easy. All I needed to do was keep the reporters and guest out of harms way.
We completed the onload around 10 pm, took in our lines and proceeded out to sea. Last night we met up with USS Barry (DDG 52) and proceeded to Beirut following the humanitarian assistance corridor worked out with the Israeli Defense Force. Given the incident with the missiles that struck an Israeli ship and an Egyptian merchant (sinking the latter), you can imagine that we were taking plenty of precautions.
Early this morning we could see the high rises and the breakwaters of Beirut. We took on a pilot and proceeded to our berthing assignment. The pilot was a very nice gentleman who's family has been serving as pilots and port personnel since the 1800s.
As we entered the channel and the sun rose I was able to see the city more clearly. Beirut struck me as a modern city with a large number of new high rises and office buildings. In many ways it reminded me of portions of New York, had it been built into the side of a mountain. It was hard to see any signs of an ongoing war, with the exception of the local military presence on the peir.
There is a grand Mosque with a number of blue Domes that is very striking looking. It has a very graceful architecture and is quite lovely.
Behind it was a large Christian Church. I was told the church and Mosque mark where the green line divided Christians and Muslims. I was told the Synagogue is no longer adjacent. Off in the distance I could see the Grand Hotel, nearby where the Lebanese Prime Minister was assassinated 600 days ago.
The city was very busy. Cars were on the move. People were walking around outside the port. I could see a café was open and folks were enjoying breakfast. Meanwhile the port was quite secure. There were Lebanese soldiers guarding the port. They were well equipped and very professional. This removed any doubts about safety, though we remained alert.
Out beyond the port I could see a lot of construction cranes at building sites where high rises were being built. It was quite apparent Beirut was growing rapidly and adding to a pretty dense housing made up of apartment buildings. There was quite a mix of old and new buildings. Many of the older buildings still had scars from previous conflicts including the old amphitheatre and another building with western architecture that I could not identify. You will have to forgive my ignorance of the city layout prior to arrival, my thoughts and interests were focused more on security.
After we tied up, my crew quickly started to work offloading the cargo. We were delivering the material provided by USAID to Mercy Corps.
Mercy Corps will deliver the material to those affected by the current conflict. While the offload was in progress a number of guests came aboard.
I greatly enjoy showing off SWIFT and was able to show her to folks from the State Department, Aid agencies and the local ship husbanding (handling) agency. The husbanding agents were local men very proud of their ancient, yet modern city. They spoke of her role as the gateway from the Mediterranean to Asia for thousands of years, back to the Phoenicians, etc.
They greatly wished that we could have spent more time visiting their city and exploring it. I said I hope we do get to visit one day in better circumstances. I would greatly enjoy exploring the regions history.
With one eye exploring as much of the city as I could and the other vigilant for any signs of trouble (there were none), I found the time to go by very quickly. My crew had once again performed their magic and had emptied the mission deck even more rapidly than they had filled it.
We started our engines and were ready to depart in fifteen minutes. While getting ready we watched an Indian Frigate pull in to a nearby slip. As the tugs twisted her in the harbor, we slide to port and headed out. We quickly departed port all under the watchful gaze of USS Barry (DDG52).
SWIFT is a very maneuverable ship and a lot of fun to drive. Using our steerable waterjet nozzles, we can move sideway and twist in place. This enables us to operate without tugs. Our shallow draft of 12 feet enables us to enter ports where most military ships may not. Our vehicle ramp enables us to go to an unimproved or austere port and operate using only our own forklifts. Our mission deck is able to take up to 500 tons of material.
Each of these capabilities on their own is not very unique, but together is very unique.
It is a challenge at times to explain to folks that we are more like a very low flying airplane than a ship. We can carry the equivalent of 17 sorties of an Air Force C-17 in one trip. We can load and deliver it all door to door and don't need a berth. These capabilities served us well to quickly deliver these supplies and depart. Of course technology is only as good as the people who use it. My crew performed flawlessly, but then they have a lot of experience at Humanitarian Assistance operations. They enjoy helping others and are ready to go when called.
This is a great ship with a great crew and I am always in awe of what they can do. I'll try and send pictures when I can, though I'm certain the press photographers onboard will have great shots in their news dispatches.
Good evening, Jerry,
I think that you and Steve McIntyre are of the same mind on the “science” of global warming. Steve sums up his recap of his testimony to Congress’ Energy and Commerce Committee here http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=761#more-761
His concluding paragraph: “I think that the most interesting outcome of the hearings was [Congressman] Barton’s interest in having the climate models looked at by a NAS panel from an engineering/applied statistics panel - a fresh and independent look, rather than climate modelers taking in one another’s laundry. If this happens - and I’m betting it will - and it’s done right, i.e. properly staffed with people commissioned to do independent due diligence with an actual and serious budget, and not just another literature review - I’m not so confident of this - then it might be more productive for climate policy than the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Scientists worried about climate should welcome Barton’s initiative and encourage him in this enterprise. What’s the over/under on the number of climate scientists who will publicly welcome such a look? Probably in single digits.”
Can you imagine what will happen to the house of cards erected by the proponents of global warming and their friends in the Gaia worshiper/anti-private property cabal if an unbiased panel reviews climate models from an engineering/applied statistics viewpoint? What next, the teachers unions cave and come out in support of school vouchers?
We can only dream.
All the best,
Jim Floyd Woodinville, WA
Or they will find that it's all very real, and we can begin looking for honest remedies. At least it will be actual science.
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