Mail 765 Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Drone Strikes On US Soil Possible
The Obama administration just keeps getting more interesting, with the US Attorney General telling Congress that drone strikes could be ordered against Americans on American soil. http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/politics/obama-drones-cia/index.html?hpt=us_c1
Will it read your Miranda rights first? Or is this strictly a shoot first and ask questions later thing?
Kevin L. Keegan
Senator Rand Paul (R, Kentucky) has been conducting a one-man filibuster to draw attention to this. He says his goal is to get a statement from the President on the subject. Proscription lists were a major part of the downfall of the Roman Republic, and the cause of the death of Cicero, whose head was displayed in the Forum.
[Apologies: I earlier said ‘conscription’ which is an entirely different discussion. Mr. Heinlein always said that a nation that needed conscripts to defend it wasn’t worth defending. Machiavelli believed that Republics that did not employ conscription probably would not survive. Having the children of rich and poor alike involved in war affects whether or not a republic goes to war. The US ‘solution’ to this for most of its lifetime was to keep the Marines a voluntary organization and employ the Marines when it was an operation short of war. The Corps was kept rather small. Marines and the Navy belonged to the President, but if you needed to involve the Army that was the Department of War and required Congressional action. Conscription was needed in preparation for actual wars, as in the leadup to WW II. But it’s another discussion.
Senator Paul was discussing drones and proscription lists, and unlike most filibusters, what I heard in random trips to the live broadcast was relevant to the subject.]
Auschwitz – This is fascinating
How’s this for controversy…
The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe – and possibly to the rest of the world.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ — IT WAS IN A SPANISH PAPER
Date: Tue. 15 January 2008
ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez
I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz … We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of these people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.
Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.
The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world’s population. They have received the following NobelPrizes:
1988 – Najib Mahfooz
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 – Elias James Corey
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1999 – Ahmed Zewai
1960 – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad
TOTAL: 7 SEVEN
The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world’s population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Mi chae l Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger
1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Mi chae l Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis
1996 – Lu RoseIacovino
The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims. The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church. There is NOTa single Jew who protests by killing people.
The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.
Perhaps they should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.
Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they demand that humankind respects them.
Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel’s part, the following two sentences really says it all:
"If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel ." Benjamin Netanyahu
General Eisenhower warned us it is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead. He did this because he said in words to this effect:
‘Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the road of history someone will get up and say that this never happened’
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as of yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated while the German people looked the other way.
Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the United States? Do not just delete this message; it will take only a minute to pass this along.
I was not fully in favor of building the Holocaust Museum on the Washington Mall, but now I wonder if there will not be pressure to close it.
I thought you might enjoy this piece of security theatre reported in the Washington Post:
The best part of the article:
………Burlingame suspects the TSA decided to allow folding knives because they are hard to spot. She said the agency’s employees “have a difficult time seeing these knives on X-ray screening, which lowers their performance testing rates.”
P.S. please don’t publish my name/email with this article as I fly a lot and would prefer not to incur the wrath of the TSA.
The TSA says it cannot hire new gropers to harass travelers at the airports and will have fewer gropers working at any given time; therefore, we will have delays at airports while we wait to be groped. This is all blamed on the "sequester crisis" that was Obama’s brainchild, but this President blames the GOP. However, we note — once again — more activities at TSA that do not pass the common sense test.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.
I don’t think I need to delve too deeply into that point; I’ll say that I think it may become a fund raiser for TSA. What I mean is, allowing these items increases the likelihood of an "incident", which will result in much crying by certain sections of the general public. The mother figure or father figure bureaucrats will come in and request more funding to deal with the new bogey men.
The impending sequester did not prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from acting in late February to seal a $50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents–uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.
So the TSA managed to arrange a bailout for the Mexican gropers’ garment industry to save the TSA from unfashionable uniforms. But, I realize that point will not mean much to most people; so let’s add some context and put this into perspective, shall we?
Under their new collective bargaining agreement, Transportation Security Administration officers get to spend more taxpayer money on their uniforms every year than a United States Marine Corps lieutenant can spend in a lifetime.
One has to ask just what leverage the employees at TSA have to secure such nonsensical agreements? I took a course in labor relations — specifically on bargaining and negotiation — and I’m wondering what these employees offer that warrants such an expense by the management? After all, we’re talking about people who could not get a job at Starbucks or Walmart, that have no law enforcement training, and are, basically, unskilled workers who grope people and rummage through their undergarments while harassing a number of people they may meet in the course of the day. What value could they possibly bring that we cannot just hire someone else with fewer benefits and lower salaries?
While writing this email, another thought struck me. We have unions for several federal entities; what would happen if we had unions in the military? 😉
Joshua Jordan, KSC
: Probably not funny, but…
I suppose there is a logical reason that TSA settled on 2.36 inches as the dividing point for allowable and unallowable carry-on knives. However, NBC didn’t report why this precise-to-two-decimal-places measurement was chosen, and that makes it seem rather silly. You or your knife-savvy readers may be able to explain — is this just a conversion from metric length (where the metric number is nice and round)? Or an industry standard blade in some respect?
It’s not the most helpful newswriting, that’s for sure.
According to the TSA, passengers will be able to carry-on knives that are less than 2.36 inches long and less than one-half inch wide. Larger knives, and those with locking blades and molding handles, will continue to be prohibited, as will razor blades and box cutters.
We have a number of comments on correlation and causation. Here are some of them:
From the time (long ago!) when I studied at the Helsinki University of Technology (now part of the Aalto University) I remember an even better (because simpler) example of point 3 in ‘The Causes of Correlation’: At least in Finland, there’s a clear correlation between ice cream consumption and deaths through drowning, with both peaking in summer. So which causes which? Neither; what happens is that warm weather makes people eat more ice cream and also go swimming and boating much more, increasing their opportunities to drown.
Correlation and causation
Thanks for publishing the essay on statistics, and to the author. I’m convinced (again) that I should have spent more time on the subject in school.
I think that the lesson I might take is that global temperatures seem to correlate more with volcanic activity than to anthropogenic release of CO2. But it would be very important to pay attention to the details of the case studies before making such a conclusion.
Subject: Postscript on correlation
This is too good. By sheer coincidence today’s Dilbert (6 Mar 2013) addresses the problem of causation vs. correlation:
Here is a paper by Brian Joiner on lurking variables in correlation, anent the comment that to develop a causal hypothesis from a correlation, one needs information from outside the correlation.
Correlation and Causation
In the strict logical sense, correlation does not imply causation. I admit that in general parlance the word "imply" has a looser meaning than that.
To use correlation as a starting point for causation, one needs two things; the correlation (finding of which can be done statistically) and a plausible mechanism by which the causation could be achieved. Ideally, the proposed mechanism should be testable. Testability is not the case for the correlation between CO2 and global warming, at least in a practical sense and at current CO2 levels. IMHO neither is the case for the correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease. Testing this in humans is impractical due to ethical considerations and far too high time cost, and there is no plausible mechanism so the hypothesis (high fat ruins your heart) fails on both grounds.
I’ve used an imperfect and somewhat silly/OTT example of the "correlation implies causation" fallacy: There is a strong correlation between the number of men in American shopping malls (at least in the northern parts) wearing white-and-red suits, big belts, big boots, fat suits underneath the red, long white wigs and fake beards – and the amount of snowfall outside. Do the men in red suits cause the snow?
The Professors’ Big Stage – NYTimes.com
Tom Friedman’s NYT article on Massively Open Online Courses. Friedman tends to always be very excited by technology and the changes it affords us. Some quotes I like from the article:
Institutions of higher learning must move, as the historian Walter Russell Mead puts it, from a model of “time served” to a model of “stuff learned.” Because increasingly the world does not care what you know. Everything is on Google. The world only cares, and will only pay for, what you can do with what you know.
We have to get beyond the current system of information and delivery — the professorial “sage on the stage” and students taking notes, followed by a superficial assessment, to one in which students are asked and empowered to master more basic material online at their own pace, and the classroom becomes a place where the application of that knowledge can be honed through lab experiments and discussions with the professor.
and my favorite…
We demand that plumbers and kindergarten teachers be certified to do what they do, but there is no requirement that college professors know how to teach.
Having matriculated at a post-secondary school that is chartered as a research institution I can attest to the fact that a goodly portion of the professors I encountered could not teach.
The original California higher education master plan – I worked on it as a consultant – understood this and mandated that the California State Colleges be teaching institutions and not be able to grant advanced degrees. The University of California would have a limited number of campuses – Berkeley, UCLA, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz – and be primarily graduate schools although they would have limited undergraduate classes. Naturally the professor unions got the State Golleges first the right to give master’s, then PhD, then call themselves Universities… With the result that few of them can teach well, and they are generally lousy at research also. The big name UC campuses do have good grad schools but as they begin offering ethnicity and diversity higher degrees they sink into the muck of having undergraduate classes taught by uninterested grad students, and research degrees in subjects that have no market. And the beat goes on.
One can get a decent education without the awful classes with their crippling debts, but the universities still have the credentials monopolies.
"North Korea is a major threat because of the massed artillery along the border. The location of most of the guns is well known and plotted by both US and South Korean gunners and pilots."
A couple of sentences, while both true, are juxtaposed in such a way that would seem the threat of the artillery is mitigated by the knowledge of their location for counter-battery/attack. This would be foolhardy to accept at face value. The NK artillery placement is sophisticated with all of the locations hardened and dug in – mostly in tunnels with multiple firing positions (not to mention deceptive false positions/guns). The guns can be run out, fired, and retired back into to the tunnels and behind blast doors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way indicating that these positions are impervious to US & SK counter activities. However, there is no possible way to stop a NK first strike, nor any way to successfully insure a 100% neutralization of the NK artillery/rocket/mortar capability quickly (i.e. initial counter-battery/attack). At best, incremental reduction of the NK capabilities would require some hours, maybe as long as 96 (my own semi-educated guess). In the meantime, significant death and destruction will be dealt civilians and infrastructure to Seoul and surrounding areas. Make no mistake, the NKs will lose the complete military exchange but the first sentence of the above quote stands.
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work
Of course, which is why deterrence is the strategy; when the time comes one expects China and South Korea to arrange the denouement. It’s not really a US affair.
Re: _Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War_.
On Mar 4, 2013, at 9:11 PM, Roland Dobbins wrote: