Friday, October 31, 2014
Wealth Inequality in America
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
'31 Egyptian Soldiers Are Killed as Militants Attack in Sinai'
'Cairo has raised the idea of a building an eight-mile barrier along its border with Gaza to deter Islamist terrorists from moving in and out of the Palestinian territory.
The terrorists are believed to be crossing via terror tunnels, even though Egypt has reportedly destroyed more than 1,800 underground passages in a bid to clamp down on Hamas and other terror groups operating there.
Monday, October 27, 2014
'The missteps and delays in diagnosis of the Liberian man prompted some states to impose or consider restrictions on travelers coming from the West African countries where the virus has killed nearly 5,000 people.
Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their "valor" and "compassion," while also protecting public safety at home.
"These people are extraordinary for their valor and their courage and their compassion," Cuomo said. "Anything we can do to encourage it, we want to do."
He added that New York was not changing the policy announced on Friday.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
'After weeks of protests that have shaken this financial hub of 7.2 million people, residents thought they had seen it all. Then, on Tuesday night, something even more extraordinary happened, on live television: a polite debate between earnest students wearing black "Freedom Now" T-shirts and top Hong Kong leaders over the future of democracy.
'A Palestinian driver plowed his car into a group of people waiting at a light rail station in northern Jerusalem on Wednesday, the police said, killing an Israeli baby and injuring eight other people. The driver was shot and seriously injured by police officers as he tried to flee, according to the police, in an episode that added to the escalating tensions in the city.'
"Nine people were injured, three seriously, including an American infant who died after sustaining critical injuries," he continued.
'McCaughey said future Ebola patients should be treated at the bio-containment centers in the way the two infected Dallas nurses are currently being treated.
She added that while the centers can currently only treat 11 patients at a time, expanding the capacity of those facilities would be easier than preparing hundreds of hospitals to treat Ebola.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
The Invisible Moderate - NYTimes.com
liberal Republican, who faces implacable opposition from a very hard
right. But Obama's moderation is hidden in plain sight, apparently
Plutocrats Against Democracy - NYTimes.com
this fear. Many on the right — and I'm not just talking about people
listening to Rush Limbaugh; I'm talking about members of the political
elite — live, at least part of the time, in an alternative universe in
which America has spent the past few decades marching rapidly down the
road to serfdom. Never mind the new Gilded Age that tax cuts and
financial deregulation have created; they're reading books with titles
like "A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic," asserting
that the big problem we have is runaway redistribution.
...Paul Krugman is always good for a laugh.
Thanks, Cuomo, Now We Have Ebola
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
'Dear Reader (including those of you under quarantine),
Well, this "news"letter usually begins one of two ways: serious or jocular. How about, just for a change of pace, we start off scary and see how that works out?
If I were in charge of overseas contingency operations at the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, I would send as many suicide-bomber types back to America (and France and Britain) with a new weapon: Ebola. Airport scanners don't pick it up. The incubation period is long enough to get the human biological weapons past screeners without detection. I'd tell them: Take as many connections as you can on the flight home. Help people with their luggage whenever possible. Leave a mess in the plane bathroom and a paper trail of your travels that will foment panic when ultimately revealed.
And, if you do get stopped by security officials en route, so be it. There's lots of gloveless manhandling of suspected jihadis, which brings ample opportunities to infect interrogators, guards, FBI agents, etc. And every one of those infected Americans or Westerners furthers the cause.
But assuming you make it to Cleveland or Spokane or Washington, D.C., the only order of the day is: Have fun for as long as you can and maybe share your spit, sweat, and other stuff in as many creative ways as you can. See a show. Go to a water park and just hang out in the lazy river all day. Eat at a nice restaurant, leave a messy napkin. Don't bother to wash your hands — and never flush (or if you do, make sure the toilet overflows!). Why, we'll even give you all the fatwas and cash you need to hit the strip clubs and see a hooker or two. It's all for the greater good. And when, alas, you start to feel really, really sick and you are at your most infectious, it'd be great if you could blow yourself up at a mall, or at least pass out at a McDonald's or maybe in the middle of the F-train. If you opt for blowing yourself up, great. If not, try to tell the EMS team that you have something other than Ebola. The aim here is to keep the responders from treating you and the scene as a biohazard for as long as possible. And if you blow yourself up, don't worry too much about killing a lot of bystanders, just make sure it's really messy and there's a lot of splatter.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The Same-Sex Marriage Fight Is Over - Atlantic Mobile
A quick explanation is in order: The Supreme Court does not have to take most cases. It has discretion over most of its jurisdiction. A party who lost a case below may petition the Court for review; the technical term is "writ of certiorari," or "cert." for short. It is hornbook law that a denial of cert. has no legal meaning. It doesn't mean the Court approves of the decision below. It just means the Court doesn't want to look at the issue now.
So the Court officially gave no hint as to how it would rule when—or, as of today if—the same-sex-marriage issue comes before it. Unofficially, I don't see how that can be true. I don't see how today's decision doesn't signal that even within the Court, the fight is over.http://m.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/10/The-Same-Sex-Marriage-Fight-Is-Over/381146/
GOP Figures See High Court as Cover on Gay Marriage
social conservatives, i.e., social conservatives who believe in using
the power of the state to tell people whom they can love or marry.
Instead, there is growing agreement, in an ever younger and
increasingly libertarian Republican party, that the role of the state
in prohibiting relationships should be minimized,"
Monday, October 6, 2014
The overwhelming American majority that favored foreign interventions after 9/11 has melted, yielding isolationism unseen since the 1930s. How did it come to this?
Somebody explain to me why we need to be the world's policeman?
Thursday, October 2, 2014
'The Obama administration is quietly dusting off an effort to impose new federal quarantine regulations, which were vigorously resisted by civil liberties organizations and the airline industry when the rules were first proposed by the Bush administration nearly four years ago.
White House officials aren't saying what their rules might ultimately require. But the previous administration proposed giving the federal government the authority to order a "provisional quarantine" of three business days — or up to six calendar days — for those suspected of having swine flu or other illnesses listed in a presidential executive order.
The Bush-era proposal would also have required airlines and cruise lines to store more information about domestic and international passengers, such as e-mail addresses, traveling companions and return flight information. The information would be subject to review by federal officials in a health emergency, though it would be voluntary for passengers to provide the data….
"Particularly for flu, the disease is transmitted very rapidly. Within a few days, it's all over the place," Nuzzo said.'
Two direct final rules were published on December 26, 2012, that amend the Interstate and Foreign Quarantine Regulations...
The updates enhance definitions related to control of communicable diseases and use current medical terminology where appropriate. The final rules are the first step in helping modernize the federal quarantine regulations.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
'Lay aside for now all of the arguments that can be made about the weaknesses of catastrophic climate change predictions. In fact, for purposes of discussion, let's assume that the worst-case scenario is likely to come true. The paradox of climate change is exactly this: the more serious the problem, the more implausible are the remedies of the environmental community. That's what ought to make the climate campaigners realize that last weekend's mega-march in New York City represents the dead-end for their cause. Truly we can invoke that overused cliché that climate change has "jumped the shark."
Here's why: From the beginning 25 years ago the arguments over climate science have dominated the scene and distracted us away from the fundamental problem: the prescribed method for preventing climate change is essentially replacing nearly all hydrocarbon energy, in the space of less than two generations. Climate orthodoxy calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide, by the year 2050, which would take the United States back to a level of hydrocarbon energy use last seen more than 100 years ago. For the developing world, it means remaining poor for several more decades.
There has been very little recognition and less candor about the sheer fantasy of the emissions target. Energy transitions, as the energy scholar Vaclav Smil has explained in great detail, are long-term affairs, even if a new superior technology exists to displace a current technology. But affordable large-scale, low- or non-carbon energy capable of replacing our current energy infrastructure simply doesn't exist at present, and there isn't much on the horizon. The developing world needs to triple its energy supply over the next generation if it is going to raise hundreds of millions out of abject poverty, and that means using abundant hydrocarbon energy, not expensive boutique energy popular with ever-preening rich Americans and Europeans. Just last week India's new environmental minister, Prakash Javadekar, reiterated that India is not willing to discuss limitations on its rapidly growing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. "India's first task is eradication of poverty," Javadekar told the New York Times; "Twenty percent of our population doesn't have access to electricity, and that's our top priority. We will grow faster, and our emissions will rise."
American and European climate change action advocates have ignored these realities, and have from the earliest engaged in relentless happy talk that a shift to renewable energy (chiefly solar, wind, and biofuels) would launch us down the golden road to a post-carbon energy future. The more economically illiterate among the climateers peddle the free-lunch argument that we'll all get richer by mandating investment in more expensive, low-yield energy sources. The relatively modest amounts of low-carbon energy developed over the last two decades have required enormous government subsidies and have delivered negligible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. (In some cases, like biofuels from palm oil and corn, the full environmental tradeoff is likely negative.) The bitter irony for the climateers is that the most significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have been achieved by the production of newly abundant cheap natural gas through fracking, which has been displacing coal at a rapid rate…
Which brings us back to last week's crazy-quilt climate march in New York. The most conspicuous aspect of the march was its open expression of discontent not so much with climate change, but with our current civilization generally. It coincided with a new Naomi Klein book, This Changes Everything, that is getting a lot of buzz on the left (and even in Vogue magazine). In case you've forgotten your show notes, Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine, a book ragingly popular with the far left that is so far gone into absurd conspiracizing and looney renderings of "neoliberalism" that it makes Lyndon LaRouche look positively staid by comparison.
What is the "this" that "changes everything" in Klein's new title? Why climate change, of course. And what does it "change"? Why capitalism, naturally. The argument of the book in one sentence is that only overthrowing capitalism can we solve climate change. Don't take my word for it. Here's how the progressive lefty site CommonDreams described it: "Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it's not about carbon—it's about capitalism." This view was well represented in the banners and posters at the climate march last week. If climate change disappeared, one suspects the capitalism haters would still find a reason to march and rage against civilization. For this bit of candor, we owe Klein and the climate marchers a debt of thanks.
Even more revealing was the rage of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who told reporters during the march last week that climate skeptics should be jailed, and that the Koch brothers are "war criminals." This is what passes for reasoning among environmental leaders?'
It should be pointed out that rather than reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere, there are economical ways to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. It should also be pointed out that CO2 by itself is not enough of a greenhouse to cause any serious global warming. Predictions of catastrophe depend upon as of yet unproven positive feedback models, i.e. water vapor is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. The skeptics say the feedback is negative and so far the evidence has supported this.
All the predictions that I could find, and I made a serious effort to look, predicted that the 21st century would experience 1 to 1.5 degree Fahrenheit warming. This is not enough to cause disaster, and it seems obvious that before the century is half way over we will have mastered nuclear fusion which will give us limitless emission free energy.
We are at most a few years away from new battery technology that increases capacity to the point of making electric cars practical and less expensive to operate. If done correctly, this would reduce emissions, or eliminate them altogether if we use nuclear power as our energy source.