Thursday, July 8, 2010
A former congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations pleaded guilty in federal court today to obstruction of justice and to acting as an unregistered foreign agent related to his work for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism, announced Beth Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Mark Deli Siljander, 59, of Great Falls, Va., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to one charge contained in an Oct. 21, 2008, federal indictment, and an additional charge filed today, involving his work for the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) of Columbia, Mo. Siljander was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan and was a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations General Assembly.
Protons are 0.00000000000000003 meters smaller than we thought. That sounds like nothing, but it means one of these things must be true: Undiscovered particles are lurking, quantum mechanics needs recalculating...or the universe is impossible. (Here's hoping it's the first two.)
The measurements find that the proton is actually about 4% smaller than what decades of previous experiments had found. This new data, the result of years of testing by a team of European physicists, has left scientists baffled. The mathematics of quantum mechanics rely on some fairly finely tuned values for the measurements of various particles, and unless this discrepancy can be explained the entire discipline is in danger of falling apart.
Why the MSM will not cover O’s direction to NASA that their number one mission is raising Muslim self-esteem.
As Scott points out in the post immediately below, the news that President Obama tasked NASA head Bolden, as his foremost mission, with raising Muslim self-esteem is entirely absent from the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as the nightly newscasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS. Why? Bill Otis argues, persuasively I think, that it's because this news is potentially devastating to Obama:
The reason the MSM has the lid on NASA's new "mission" to snuggle up to Islam (in between decapitations and floggings) is that it would be devastating to Obama if it became known. On the surface, the new NASA "mission" seems merely screwball, and thus a small story. But I think it's a good deal more than that. It shows that Obama's thinking is unrecognizable to the average person. It also shows that he's unserious -- frivolous, really -- about something that made a generation of Baby Boomers take pride in their country. How many millions of people sat in their junior high auditoriums and watched the Alan Shepherd and John Glenn launches? How many millions more were up at midnight on July 20, 1969 to watch the first human being, an American, put his foot on the moon?
When the domestic roots of skepticism about America (and sometimes flat-out anti-Americanism) were being laid -- in the 60's assassinations, the Vietnam War, and the exposure of the country's treatment of blacks -- the one thing in which we all took pride was the space program. So for Obama, it's now one thing that needs to be perverted. Making it a dumbed-down PR front for Islam is, in its way, a genius move for this purpose. But as the MSM recognizes by its silence, it's a bridge too far.
... or a light rail system or a streetcar boondoggle that just makes people (well, pols and their civilian enablers) wet their pants over the prospect of tossing 19th-century technology and 21st century debt obligations at cities and states and countries that are already dead broke.
And so witness the spectacle of Cincinnati, a city that is down on its luck and its population, faces a $50 million deficit next year, and is home to the worst mascot in the history of professional sports (see right), anxiously awaiting signs that the feds will shovel some money their way in a ridiculous plot to build a streetcar system in the Queen City:
Social engineering takes priority over economic stability.
And this is the partial result.
When I was a student, in the 1970s, the world was coming to an end. The adults told me so. They said the population explosion was unstoppable, mass famine was imminent, a cancer epidemic caused by chemicals in the environment was beginning, the Sahara desert was advancing by a mile a year, the ice age was retuning, oil was running out, air pollution was choking us and nuclear winter would finish us off. There did not seem to be much point in planning for the future. I remember a fantasy I had – that I would make my way to the Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, and live off the land so I could survive these holocausts at least till the cancer got me.
I am not making this up. By the time I was 21 years old I realized that nobody had ever said anything optimistic to me – in a lecture, a television program or even a conversation in a bar – about the future of the planet and its people, at least not that I could recall. Doom was certain.
The next two decades were just as bad: acid rain was going to devastate forests, the loss of the ozone layer was going to fry us, gender-bending chemicals were going to decimate sperm counts, swine flu, bird flu and Ebola virus were going to wipe us all out. In 1992, the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro opened its agenda for the twenty-first century with the words `Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being.’
By then I had begun to notice that this terrible future was not all that bad. In fact every single one of the dooms I had been threatened with had proved either false or exaggerated. The population explosion was slowing down, famine had largely been conquered (except in war-torn tyrannies), India was exporting food, cancer rates were falling not rising (adjusted for age), the Sahel was greening, the climate was warming, oil was abundant, air pollution was falling fast, nuclear disarmament was proceeding apace, forests were thriving, sperm counts had not fallen. And above all, prosperity and freedom were advancing at the expense of poverty and tyranny.
I began to pay attention and a few years ago I started to research a book on the subject. I was astounded by what I discovered. Global per capita income, corrected for inflation, had trebled in my lifetime, life expectancy had increased by one third, child mortality had fallen by two-thirds, the population growth rate had halved. More people had got out of poverty than in all of human history before. When I was born, 36% of Americans had air conditioning. Today 79% of Americans below the poverty line had air conditioning. The emissions of pollutants from a car were down by 98%. The time you had to work on the average wage to buy an hour of artificial light to read by was down from 8 seconds to half a second.
Not only are human beings wealthier, they are also healthier, wiser, happier, more tolerant, less violent, more equal. Check it out – the data is clear.
YAHOO! FINANCE: HOW THE EXPIRING BUSH TAX CUTS AFFECT YOU. “You may have been led to believe that only individuals in the top two brackets will face higher federal income taxes when the Bush cuts go bye-bye. Not true! Unless Congress takes action and President Obama goes along, rates will go up for everyone — not just a sliver of the wealthiest Americans.”
FEDS TO TAKE CONTROL of BP leak website.
LLOYD GROVE: The Elite Turn Against Obama. “Even the Aspen Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of the country’s brightest lights, isn’t Obama country anymore.”
“The real problem we have,” Mort Zuckerman said, “are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.”
“If you’re asking if the United States is about to become a socialist state, I’d say it’s actually about to become a European state, with the expansiveness of the welfare system and the progressive tax system like what we’ve already experienced in Western Europe,” Harvard business and history professor Niall Ferguson declared during Monday’s kickoff session, offering a withering critique of Obama’s economic policies, which he claimed were encouraging laziness.
This was greeted by hearty applause from a crowd that included Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin. “Depressing, but fantastic,” Streisand told me afterward, rendering her verdict on the session. “So exciting. Wonderful!”
Brolin’s assessment: “Mind-blowing.”
Tax Court: Nonprofit Formed to Distribute Donor's Sperm Is Not a Qualified Charity or Nerds don’t get tax break for doing what they are already doing.
The Tax Court yesterday held that a nonprofit formed to provide the donor's sperm free of charge to applicants approved by the donor did not qualify for tax exempt status. Free Fertility Foundation v. Commissioner, 135 T.C. No. 2 (July 7. 2010):
William C. Naylor, Jr. (Naylor), is a software engineer who holds more than 10 patents on various inventions. On March 1, 2001, Naylor entered into a contract (2001 contract) with a Spokane, Washington, sperm bank to store and distribute his sperm to recipients of his choice. Pursuant to the 2001 contract, Naylor was required to pay annual storage fees and designate recipients.
On October 15, 2003, Naylor founded and incorporated petitioner in California as a nonprofit public benefit corporation. The purpose of the corporation is to provide sperm free of charge to women.
"The following is not a futuristic scenario. It is not science fiction. It is a demonstration of...an extremely* unlikely, yet intellectually fascinating query: What would happen if the earth stopped spinning?"
The explanation is that, without centrifugal force, the ocean water near the equator would migrate to where the Earth's gravity is the strongest, the poles, leaving us with dry land in the middle
Justice Department lawyer who once defended "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh is now leading the administration's case against the Arizona immigration law
Predicting Relationship Breakups With a Word-Association Task
ScienceDaily (July 7, 2010) — Here's a way to tell a romantic relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners. The researchers in a new study used a so-called implicit task, which shows how people automatically respond to words -- in this case, whether they find it easier to link words referring to their partner to words with pleasant or unpleasant meanings.
The 222 volunteers in their study were all involved in a romantic relationship. Each volunteer supplied the partner's first name and two other words that related to the partner, like a pet name or a distinctive characteristic. Then they watched a monitor as three types of words were presented one at a time -- good words (like peace, vacation, or sharing), bad words (such as death, tragedy, and criticizing), and partner-related words (names or traits). There were two different kinds of tests: one where the volunteer was supposed to press the space bar whenever they saw either good words or partner-related words, and one where the combination was bad words and partner words. The idea is to get at people's automatic reactions to the words -- if they have generally good associations with their partners, they should be able to do the first task more easily than the second.
The researchers found that volunteers who found it easy to associate their partner with bad things and difficult to associate the partner with good things were more likely to separate over the next year. The researchers also asked volunteers to report on the strength of their relationships at the start of the study -- and found that the new test did a much better job of predicting breakup