Thursday, April 14, 2011
Op-Ed: False Pretense for War in Libya?
Alan J. Kuperman
Evidence is now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a "bloodbath'' in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.
But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.
Misurata's population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people - including combatants - have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 - less than 3 percent - are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.
Obama insisted that prospects were grim without intervention. "If we waited one more day, Benghazi . . . could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.'' Thus, the president concluded, "preventing genocide'' justified US military action.
Rise largely down to Labour's "open door" immigration policy, under which three million foreigners were added to the population during the party's 13 years in power.
Underground Experiment Fails to Find Dark Matter
A sensitive Italian experiment has found no sign of dark matter in 100 days of searching for the invisible material that is believed to account for 80 percent of the mass of the cosmos. But even in the absence of a discovery, data collected by the XENON100 experiment may shed light on fundamental physics, team leader Elena Aprile of Columbia University and her collaborators say.
This Biodegradable Golf Ball Is Made From a Lobster
Lobsters! Not only do they have delicious meat, their shells have use too! Researchers at the University of Maine have developed a biodegradable golf ball from lobster shells. It's cheaper than the typical biodegradable ball ($0.19 vs $1) and can be hit straight into the ocean without the environment weighing down on your game.
NEW YORK (AP) — Discovery Communications Inc. is launching a television network for rich guys and their toys.
Called Velocity, the new network will replace the current network HD Theater in some 40 million homes on Sept. 25, Discovery officials said Thursday. The target audience is men with incomes of $150,000 a year and more.
“We just felt like this was a space missing in the marketplace,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.
On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube the following July. Since then, it has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.
The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.” And by “sugar,” Lustig means not only the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal — technically known as sucrose — but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become without Lustig’s help what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”
If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.
WAR AGAINST THE YOUNG (CONT’D): Teenage Wasteland: Jobless Rate For Young Is 25%—and Rising.
“A quarter of teenagers were jobless in March, representing a surprising increase from February, even as the unemployment rate for the rest of the population decreased. This figure may only get worse if budget-strapped states raise the minimum wage, and it could also be a sign of greater structural damage underlying our economy, analysts said.”
What Rep. Vito Marc Antonio was to World War II and the Cold War (a Communist tool), Rep. Keith Ellison is to the war on terrorism. One of Ellison's best friends is Nihad Awad, the head of the Hamas front group unindicted Holy Land Foundation co-conspirator CAIR, and Ellison never misses an opportunity to shill for CAIR.
Rep. Ellison is a Democrat and was of course the first Muslim elected to Congress. We await his identification of the branch of Islam that is aligned with Democratic Party doctrine on gay rights, abortion, feminism, and the other articles of the liberal faith.
Now comes the Investigative Project on Terrorism to bring us "Keith Ellison's slurs," reporting on what Keith Ellison had to say last month about the witnesses before Peter King's committee.
[T]wo days after a House committee hearing on Muslim radicalization, the Minnesota Democrat had a far more hostile tone. In a speech in Rochester Hills, Mich., Ellison made a series of personal attacks against three other witnesses who were on the opposite side of the issue.
- He seemed to blame Melvin Bledsoe for the actions of his son Carlos, who stands accused of shooting and killing an Army private after converting to Islam and becoming radicalized.
- A Somali-American who complained about interference from organized Islamist groups while trying to learn about a score of missing young men who turned up with a terrorist group in Somalia was there simply to "diss" the Muslim community in Minneapolis.
- Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix physician who challenges the Islamist narrative, simply is out to make a buck, Ellison said. . .
Roger L. Simon: "What is it about Barack Obama that caused his vice president Joe Biden to fall asleep during the president’s speech Tuesday? Did Biden, getting on in years, just need his afternoon nap? Well, maybe, but the television cameras showed a woman quite near the veep nodding out as well. No, I think it was a natural response. Biden and the woman were bored stiff. Barack Obama has become the most tedious president in my lifetime. He is like those college professors whose classes you did everything you could to avoid but, if you had to go, sat as far back as possible in order to get a little shut-eye yourself. But what is it about Obama that makes him so boring? I submit it is something quite simple — he has nothing to say."
Overall, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal debt increased by $3,646,116,554,704.36 between Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, and April 13, 2011, when he gave a major speech announcing a plan to deal with the debt.
Given that the Census Bureau estimated in March that there are 117,538,000 households in the United States, the $3.6461 trillion increase in the debt under Obama works out to $31,020 per household.
Obama has now been in office 27 months. The $31,020 per household increase in the federal debt under his watch thus equals a per-household increase of $1,148 per month.
We reported on this yesterday. Video is at the link. Amazing for how quite and how little he could see
The View From the World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle
Chip Yates! The name oozes "adrenaline freak," doesn't it? Or maybe "a capella group alumni chairman." Regardless, the SWIGZ team's driver recently pushed a 241HP electric bike to 190MPH from a standing start in under 30 seconds—and strapped a camera to his helmet to prove it. http://gizmodo.com/#!5791992/the-view-from-the-worlds-fastest-electric-motorcycle
Tomorrow’s release of the movie version of “Atlas Shrugged” is focusing attention on Ayn Rand’s 1957 opus and the free-market ideas it espouses. Book sales for “Atlas” have always been brisk—and all the more so in the past few years, as actual events have mirrored Rand’s nightmare vision of economic collapse amid massive government expansion. Conservatives are now hailing Rand as a tea party Nostradamus, hence the timing of the movie’s premiere on tax day.
When Rand created the character of Wesley Mouch, it’s as though she was anticipating Barney Frank (D., Mass). Mouch is the economic czar in “Atlas Shrugged” whose every move weakens the economy, which in turn gives him the excuse to demand broader powers. Mr. Frank steered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disaster with mandates for more lending to low-income borrowers. After Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of their subprime mortgage books, Mr. Frank proclaimed last year: “The way to cure that is to give us more authority.” Mouch couldn’t have said it better himself.
But it’s a misreading of “Atlas” to claim that it is simply an antigovernment tract or an uncritical celebration of big business. In fact, the real villain of “Atlas” is a big businessman, railroad CEO James Taggart, whose crony capitalism does more to bring down the economy than all of Mouch’s regulations. With Taggart, Rand was anticipating figures like Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, the subprime lender that proved to be a toxic mortgage factory. Like Taggart, Mr. Mozilo engineered government subsidies for his company in the name of noble-sounding virtues like home ownership for all.
Short-Term, High-Fat Diet May Initiate Protection During Heart Attack
ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) shows that short-term, high-fat "splurges" within one's diet could elicit cardioprotective properties during a heart attack.
For the study, researchers fed one group of mice a high-fat diet (60 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat) for two weeks or less. A second group received the high-fat diet for six weeks, and a control group received a regular, grain- and vegetable-based diet.
"We then induced heart attack in all groups and assessed the cardiac function and extent of injury to the tissue," Haar says. "Our results showed that injury in mice fed a high-fat diet acutely (two weeks or less) was reduced by 70 percent when compared to the groups fed on a high-fat diet for six weeks or fed on a control grain and vegetable based diet."
“I thought it was a disgrace,” he said. “I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor."
Coffee in capsules contains more furan than the rest, although the levels are still within safe health limits.
Espresso Makers: Coffee in Capsules Contains More Furan Than the Rest
ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — Coffee made in espresso makers, above all that made from capsules, contains more furan -- a toxic, carcinogenic compound -- than that made in traditional drip coffee makers, although the levels are still within safe health limits. These are the conclusions of a study carried out by researchers from the University of Barcelona (Spain).
The budget bill faces a contentious vote when it reaches the House floor as senior lawmakers from both parties start to lock arms with the rank-and-file against deal.