Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Paris: Beautiful, Babies, Bad Taste and A Reflection of Life...

What makes something beautiful? Let take Bill's taste in chairs. The high tech black lacquer chair, with the ipod docking station and spindle legs, struck me as unpleasant, unattractive and ugly because it was not symmetrical. It lacked proportion. The high chair was weird, but the baby was beautiful. I responded positively to the high chair, because of the beautiful baby; not an entirely fair demonstration, due to the 'cute-baby effect'.

The dowel chair was cool and interesting. I appreciated it's form, and it's comparative harmonious proportion. Although not something I'd purchase, or choose to have pattern-imprinted on my backside, the natural grain of the wood and the chair's balance was appealing and demonstrated symmetry, art and style.

What is beauty? Beauty is the reflection of what we appreciate; what we value. There must be harmony, equilibrium and balance, all uniquely interpreted by the eyes of the beholder.

Some of these would have been saved if the Gov’t got the vaccine out when they said

CDC now says 4,000 swine flu deaths in USA...

Hand of Death

Newborns cry with an accent

Newborn babies start learning language in the womb—and are born with what you might call accents, a new study of crying babies says.newborn baby picture for crying-with-accents story


For the new study, a team led by Kathleen Wermke at the Center for Prespeech Development and Developmental Disorders at W├╝rzburg University in Germany studied the cry "melodies" of 60 healthy newborns—30 French and 30 German.


The researchers knew that French speakers typically raise their pitch at the ends of words and phrases, while German speakers typically do the opposite.

The melodies of the newborn babies' cries followed the same intonations of the languages the babies had heard in the womb. The French babies' cries, for example, tended to end on a rising note.

What works.

Fox should be criticized. They did combine tape of two events. Not good journalism. Well done Jon Stewart.

Uh-oh: Jon Stewart catches Fox News’ creative editing

Book Jon Stewart, Speaker at ... 

Fox keeps this up and they will end up like CNN

CNN's average prime-time audience was third behind Fox and MSNBC during October, and it was even eclipsed by sister network HLN among younger viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. Perhaps more ominous, CNN finished well behind Fox when big news was breaking—Election Night and the Fort Hood massacre. Big stories usually sent viewers flocking to CNN

A Cornell Prof explains the real reason behind ObamaCare

Jacobson: 100%+ Implicit Marginal Tax Rates Will Create Permanent Democratic Majority

William A. Jacobson (Cornell), 100% Plus Taxation Key To Permanent Dem Majority:

Net sales tax help tax ...

Is it possible to pay more than 100% of your last dollar of income in taxes? And if it were, would you bother to earn that last dollar?
Herein lies the key to how Democrats will obtain a permanent, economically-enslaved majority if universal income-based health care subsidies are enacted. ... 
The key distinction is between marginal tax rate and implicit marginal tax rate. The marginal tax rate is the rate we all talk about - what absolute percentage of your last dollar earned will be taken by the government.
The implicit marginal tax rate is the absolute percentage of your last dollar taken by the government plus the loss of government benefits resulting from that last dollar. This implicit marginal tax rate can, and does, exceed 100% for the lower-middle and middle classes., and will expand under Democratic health care proposals.
Here's an explanation, plus a chart, from an article titled The Dead Zone: The Implicit Marginal Tax Rate (h/t The Right Coast):

... Old Cripple: ObamaCare

To say that antipoverty programs in the United States are perverted may be an understatement. When you take into account the loss of means-tested benefits (e.g., cash assistance, food stamps, housing subsidies, and health insurance), and the taxes that people pay on earned income, the return to working is essentially zero for those in the lower two quintiles of the income distribution.
For many of the working poor, the implicit marginal tax rate is greater than 100%. The long-run consequence of undermining the positive incentive to work is, of course, the creation of an underclass acclimated to not working; the supplement of cash and noncash benefits with income from crime and the underground economy; and the government resorting to negative incentives such as mandatory work programs....
This situation will only get worse as Obama implements universal income-based health care subsidies and other goodies which will phase out as income rises. ...

In addition to all the other problems with highly subsidized, income-tested health care benefits, will come an even more permanent underclass which, being economically rational, will choose not to earn another dollar rather than lose more than a dollar of benefits.
Conservatives often speak of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis as seeking to create a permanent Democratic majority through big government handouts. This implicit marginal tax analysis shows that it is much worse than it seems; the permanent big-government majority will not be there by choice, but by government-created economic necessity.
Lower income voters, who pay no federal taxes and who are very voters facing this government-benefits trap, voted for Obama overwhelmingly, as this chart from the Tax Prof shows:

A permanent, Democratic-voting majority living off government benefits with no way out. It really is that bad, and this really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the Democrats to achieve a permanent, economically-enslaved majority.

This is so Star Trek

Electron beam freeform fabrication process.

Star Trek-like Replicator? Electron Beam Device Makes Metal Parts, One Layer At A Time

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2009) — A group of engineers working on a novel manufacturing technique at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., have come up with a new twist on the popular old saying about dreaming and doing: "If you can slice it, we can build it."

That's because layers mean everything to the environmentally-friendly construction process called Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication, or EBF3, and its operation sounds like something straight out of science fiction.

"You start with a drawing of the part you want to build, you push a button, and out comes the part," said Karen Taminger, the technology lead for the Virginia-based research project that is part of NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program.

Liberals – Wow. He writes for Salon

Greenwald: Yelling “Allahu Akbar” During a Shooting Rampage Is Not Suggestive of Terrorism, and It’s Repellent of You to Claim Otherwise

glenn greenwald.jpg

I couldn’t make up something this stupid if I tried. Glenn Greenwald:

Isn’t it fairly clear that the term “terrorism” is being applied to what Hasan did due to his religion rather than the acts themselves?

It’s about as clear as your prose, Greenwald.

Put another way, as ThinkProgress’ Matt Duss put it: “the definition of terrorism is not ‘any violence by any Muslim anywhere at any time for any reason’.” But that — along with the repellent claim that saying “Allahu Akbar” is “suggestive of terrorism,” rather than suggestive of someone who is Muslim (obviously the same thing in the minds of the people claiming that) — is exactly what seems to be driving discussions of this attack.

Hold up. Hold it just one second there.

It’s a “repellent claim” to note that yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is “suggestive of terrorism”? Yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is merely suggestive of someone being Muslim — and not terrorism?

muslim terrorist

WH still not “jumping to conclusions”

Ft. Hood Cleric Awlaki Urged Muslims to "Fight Against Government Armies" in July '09

aulaqi.jpgThe NEFA Foundation has obtained a copy of an English-language online blog post from just this past summer by Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki -- the Yemeni cleric suspected of influencing Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Malik Hasan -- titled, "Fighting Against Government Armies in the Muslim World."

In his message, dated July 14, 2009, al-Awlaki openly admonished his supporters, "there can be no Islam with the presence of these armies... These armies are the defenders of apostasy in the Muslim world. They fight against Sharia and kill the Muslims who attempt to bring it back. They are fighting on behalf of America against the mujahideen in Pakistan, Somalia and the Maghrib. If this is the case with these armies how could anyone place the blame on the ones who fight them, accusing them of fighting against Muslims?! What kind of twisted fiqh is this? The blame should be placed on the soldier who is willing to follow orders whether the order is to kill Muslims as in Swat, bomb Masjids as with the Red Masjid, or kill women and children as they do in Somalia... Blessed are those who fight against them and blessed are those shuhada [martyrs] who are killed by them."

How to get around in space

The Best Sub-Light Propulsion System This Side of Luyten 726-8B Today, we use ion thrusters to correct satellite orbits and visit asteroids. In 100 years, we might be using them to propel massive generation ships that send colonists to a different part of the galaxy.

What makes ion thrusters truly shine is their specific impulse. Specific impulse is like the miles per gallon rating for a rocket or a jet (or an ion thruster). A high specific impulse means an engine can generate a lot of thrust for a small amount of fuel, and ion thrusters tend to have a really high specific impulse. You could run one continuously on a modest tank of xenon gas for years. However, you could probably out-thrust an ion thruster with a good hard shove.  But over the long haul, ion thrusters are capable of producing much higher speeds than chemical rockets.

Vancouver – or part of it


The Future of Vancouver Takes Shape

In the misty distance is the gleaming sphere of Science World, and in the foreground is Vancouver's ultra-green Olympic Village, which planners say will hold 16,000 people by 2020. They'll eat food grown on roofs and drink reclaimed rainwater.

Camille Paglia on ObamaCare. She is the most erudite feminist/liberal I have ever read.

... Institute - Camille Paglia

As for the actual content of the House healthcare bill, horrors! Where to begin?

That there are serious deficiencies and injustices in the U.S. healthcare system has been obvious for decades. To bring the poor and vulnerable into the fold has been a high ideal and an urgent goal for most Democrats. But this rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive bill is a nightmare.

Holy Hygeia, why can't my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators? Massively expanding the number of healthcare consumers without making due provision for the production of more healthcare providers means that we're hurtling toward a staggering logjam of de facto rationing. Steel yourself for the deafening screams from the careerist professional class of limousine liberals when they get stranded for hours in the jammed, jostling anterooms of doctors' offices. They'll probably try to hire Caribbean nannies as ringers to do the waiting for them.

He says that if Obamacare ...

A second issue souring me on this bill is its failure to include the most common-sense clause to increase competition and drive down prices: portability of health insurance across state lines. What covert business interests is the Democratic leadership protecting by stopping consumers from shopping for policies nationwide? Finally, no healthcare bill is worth the paper it's printed on when the authors ostentatiously exempt themselves from its rules. The solipsistic members of Congress want us peons to be ground up in the communal machine, while they themselves gambol on in the flowering meadow of their own lavish federal health plan. Hypocrites!

Al got it wrong. PS this is not a model but actual data. What will the true believers do?

Controversial New Climate Change Data: Is Earth's Capacity To Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2009) — New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.

The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.

Eyewitness Statement from a JAG Officer at Ft Hood. A lot of what is in the media is wrong.

Folks, this came to me from a friend who is a retired BG and still has close
friends at Ft. Hood. I asked him for permission to send it to those of you who I
knew would be interested.
Quite a more in-depth look than what we saw on TV and the print media.
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 10:05 AM FW: Fort Hood Account from JAG officer onsite
Subject: What happened
Since I don't know when I'll sleep (it's 4 am now), I'll write what happened (the abbreviated
version.....the long one is already part of the investigation with more to come). I'll not write
about any part of the investigation that I've learned about since (as a witness I know more than I
should since inevitably my JAG brothers and sisters are deeply involved in the investigation).
Don't assume that most of the current media accounts are very accurate. They're not. They'll
improve with time. Only those of us who were there really know what went down. But as they
collate our statements they'll get it right.
I did my SRP last week (Soldier Readiness Processing) but you're supposed to come back a
week later to have them look at the smallpox vaccination site (it's this big itchy growth on your
shoulder). I am probably alive because I pulled a ---------- and entered the wrong building first
(the main SRP building). The Medical SRP building is off to the side.
Realizing my mistake I left the main building and walked down the sidewalk to the medical SRP
building. As I'm walking up to it the gunshots start. Slow and methodical. But continuous. Two
ambulatory wounded came out. Then, two soldiers dragging a third who was covered in blood.
Hearing the shots but not seeing the shooter, along with a couple other soldiers I stood in the
street and yelled at everyone who came running that it was clear but to "RUN!". I kept
motioning people fast.
About 6-10 minutes later (the shooting continuous), two cops ran up. One male, one female.
We pointed in the direction of the shots. They headed that way (the medical SRP building was
about 50 meters away). Then a lot more gunfire. A couple minutes later a balding man in
ACU's came around the building carrying a pistol and holding it tactically.
He started shooting at us and we all dived back to the cars behind us. I don't think he hit the
couple other guys who were there. I did see the bullet holes later in the cars. First I went
behind a tire and then looked under the body of the car. I've been trained how to respond to
gunfire, but with my own weapon.
To have no weapon I don't know how to explain what that felt like. I hadn't run away and stayed
because I had thought about the consequences or anything like that. I wasn't thinking anything
through. Please understand, there was no intention. I was just staying there because I didn't
think about running. It never occurred to me that he might shoot me. Until he started shooting
in my direction and I realized I was unarmed.
Then the female cop comes around the corner. He shoots her. (According to the news
accounts she got a round into him. I believe it, I just didn't see it. He didn't go down.) She goes
down. He starts reloading. He's fiddling with his mags. Weirdly he hasn't dropped the one that
was in his weapon. He's holding the fresh one and the old one (you do that on the range when
time is not of the essence but in combat you would just let the old mag go).


F:\IV\MISC\20091107-Ft Hood Witness.Doc Page 2 of 3 11/7/2009 15:52
I see the male cop around the left corner of the building. (I'm about 15-20 meters from the
shooter.) I yell at the cop, "He's reloading, he's reloading. Shoot him! Shoot him!” You have to
understand, everything was quiet at this point. The cop appears to hear me and comes around
the corner and shoots the shooter. He goes down. The cop kicks his weapon further away.
I sprint up to the downed female cop. Another captain (I think he was with me behind the cars)
comes up as well. She's bleeding profusely out of her thigh. We take our belts off and
tourniquet her just like we've been trained. (I hope we did it right...we didn't have any CLS
[combat lifesaver] bags with their awesome tourniquets on us, so we worked with what we had).
Meanwhile, in the most bizarre moment of the day, a photographer was standing over us taking
pictures. I suppose I'll be seeing those tomorrow.
Then a soldier came up and identified himself as a medic. I then realized her weapon was lying
there unsecured (and on "fire"). I stood over it and when I saw a cop yelled for him to come
over and secure her weapon (I would have done so but I was worried someone would mistake
me for a bad guy). I then went over to the shooter. He was unconscious. A Lt Colonel was
there and had secured his primary weapon for the time being.
He also had a revolver. I couldn't believe he was one of ours. I didn't want to believe it. Then I
saw his name and rank and realized this wasn't just some specialist with mental issues. At this
point there was a guy there from CID and I asked him if he knew he was the shooter and had
him secured. He said he did.
I then went over the slaughter house, the medical SRP building. No human should ever have to
see what that looked like, and I won't tell you. Just believe me. Please. There was nothing to
be done there. Someone then said there was someone critically wounded around the corner. I
ran around (while seeing this floor to ceiling window that someone had jumped through movie
style) and saw a large African-American soldier lying on his back with two or three soldiers
I ran up and identified two entrance wounds on the right side of his stomach, one exit wound on
the left side and one head wound. He was not bleeding externally from the stomach wounds
(though almost certainly internally) but was bleeding from the head wound. A soldier was using
a shirt to try and stop the head bleeding. He was conscious so I began talking to him to keep
him so. He was 42, from North Carolina, he was named something Jr., his son was named
something III and he had a daughter as well. His children lived with him. He was divorced. I
told him the blubber on his stomach saved his life. He smiled. A young soldier in civvies
showed up and identified himself as a combat medic. We debated whether to put him on the
back of a pickup truck. A doctor (well, an audiologist) showed up and said you can't move him,
he has a head wound. We finally sat tight.
I went back to the slaughterhouse. They weren't letting anyone in there, not even medics.
Finally, after about 45 minutes had elapsed some cops showed up in tactical vests. Someone
said the TBI building was unsecured. They headed into there. All of a sudden a couple more
shots were fired. People shouted there was a second shooter. A half hour later the SWAT
showed up. There was no second shooter. That had been an impetuous cop apparently, but
that confused things for a while.


Fort Hood Account – From a JAG Officer On Site
F:\IV\MISC\20091107-Ft Hood Witness.Doc Page 3 of 3 11/7/2009 15:52
Meanwhile I went back to the shooter. The female cop had been taken away. A medic was
pumping plasma into the shooter. I'm not proud of this but I went up to her and said, "This is the
shooter. Is there anyone else who needs attention; do them first". She indicated everyone else
living was attended to. I still hadn't seen any EMTs or ambulances. I had so much blood on
me that people kept asking me if I was ok. But that was all other people's blood.
Eventually (an hour and a half to two hours after the shootings) they started landing choppers.
They took out the big African American guy and the shooter. I guess the ambulatory wounded
were all at the SRP building. Everyone else in my area was dead.
I suppose the emergency responders were told there were multiple shooters. I heard that was
the delay with the choppers (they were all civilian helicopters). They needed a secure LZ. But
other than the initial cops who did everything right, I didn’t' see a lot of them for a while. I did
see many a soldier rush out to help their fellows/sisters. There was one female soldier; I don’t'
know her name or rank, but I would recognize her anywhere, who was everywhere helping
people. A couple people, mainly civilians, were hysterical, but only a couple. One civilian
freaked out when I tried to comfort her when she saw my uniform. I guess she had seen the
shooter up close. A lot of soldiers were rushing out to help even when we thought there was
another gunman out there. This Army is not broken no matter what the pundits say; not the
Army I saw.
And then they kept me for a long time to come. Oh, and perhaps the most surreal thing: at 1500
(the end of the workday on Thursdays) when the bugle sounded we all came to attention and
saluted the flag, in the middle of it all.
This is what I saw. It can't have been real, but this is my small corner of what happened.

Until about year ago I thought the FBI had really done a great job on terrorist. Than we started hearing about items like this. Federal Judges don’t suggest “politically motivated” prosecutions lightly



A couple of months ago I put up a post about federal prosecutors’ pursuit of Dr. Roger Weiner, an outspoken Mississippi cardiologist who was charged with Mann Act violations for using a Memphis-based website

dating website layout

while in Mississippi to meet and date adult women. FBI agents posting as prostitutes repeatedly tried to get Weiner to agree to for money for sex.

... for To Love a Hooker

Each time, he explcitly turned them down, at one point writing to one in a chat room, “I’m not interested in a hooker.” They arrested him and charged him anyway.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. dismissed all charges against Weiner, ruling that the federal courts didn’t have jurisdiction in the case. Biggers’ opinion strongly suggested the case against Weiner was politically motivated, and came down hard on federal prosecutors.

... was 1946's The Verdict


to nominate Erroll Southers ...

“The Obama Administration’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, Erroll Southers, was censured by the FBI for asking law enforcement personnel to conduct a background check on his ex-wife’s boyfriend.”

There are none more blind than those who choose not to see


From Paris: Hoppin' on the PC Train. ALL Aboard!

Just when you think things can NOT possibly get any more politically correct, the WashPost drives the PC train up a notch. In a WashPost article about 'adapting to changes in care giving':

"When Adam Laviana started medical school at Georgetown U in 2007, he dissected a cadaver in his first week. Today, classes such as 'Physician-Patient Communication' and 'Social and Cultural Issues in Health Care', come first. Dissection doesn't begin until month four at Georgetown. Anatomy class no longer exists."

This is wonderful news, to all of us who need physicians like Dr Phil.

Wait a minute. Dr Phil isn't a physician. Oh well. Soon, we won't be able to differentiate a psychologist from a physician.

All aboard!