Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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29 April 2005

New Global Warming Study Demonstrates That Climate Change Studies Are Hard to Understand

This new study, the latest "smoking gun" on climate change, purports to show that the earth is absorbing more heat than it loses and that this imbalance is higher than it's ever been and they measured this using new techniques like little sea-diving robots.
Ok - but wouldn't the earth have to absorb more heat than it gives off, because the earth doesn't actually create any heat of its own, and we're in the middle of space which is a vacuum so don't we need to accumulate heat? And how do they know the "imbalance" is high by historical standards when they needed some fancy technology to measure what it is today - so how the heck can they be so confident about what it was in the past? No doubt they've got all this covered in the study, but if they are right it's too bad because it's too confusing for people to understand it.
But let's assume the planet is warming dangerously - there's an easy solution. Nuclear power. We could replace all our coal fired plants, tear down those massive dams that cause so much water controversy, and charge up electric cars over night if we spent a few hundred billion dollars building nuke plants all over the place. But no-o-o-o - nuclear energy has radiation, and radiation is b-a-a-a-d, which I know because Jane Fonda told me so, so we can't do that - so the hell with it.

27 April 2005

What Do Liberals Want?

Following on his silly Moderate Party daydreaming, Kevin Drum gets serious about being a liberal...and wonders what it's all about. "What do liberals stand for?" he asks. Conservatives have seem to taken all the good bumper stickers - liberals end up being just against what conservatives are for. Of course liberals do stand for a lot, but unfortunately most of it is Marxist oriented and thus not very appealing. He asks his readers for help - a quick, though painful skimming of the 170+ comments (Drum has a lot of readers - even more than me) revealed only one worth stopping for.
There seem to be some very obvious targets for liberals to win on, such as grossly excessive executive compensation, outsourcing, military adventurism, high price of oil. But Democrats have a difficult time convincing the biggest voting bloc - middle class whites - that they're on their side. Steve Sailer links to and explains this report on the Sodexho case where the company agreed to shell out $80 million in blackmail based on their "only" having blacks in 2% of their upper management positions. While Republican leaders do little to fight this - they've had congress and the presidency for three years now - it's the Democrats who get the bigger blame - as well they should, since they passed the odious quota bill. So until the Democrats can convince the vast white middle class that they're on their side, all the new ideas in the world ain't gonna help.

25 April 2005

The Deluded Moderate

Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly pines for the great Moderate Messiah who will sweep away the extremist wings of both parties and give birth to a new era of sweet moderation. Trouble is the concept of The Moderate is a myth. There is an opportunity to break free from the Democrat/Republican shackles and start a new movement, but it won't be moderate in the sense Drum conceives it. All one would have to do is take the following positions:
Strong opposition to illegal immigration
Opposition to imported labor
Opposition to outsourcing
Opposition to racial preferences
Opposition to homosexual marriage
Support for the death penalty
Support for increases in the minimum wage

These are some winner issues based on polling. Some of them, such as ending racial preferences and outlawing homosexual marriage have already been proven to be big winners at the polls. But a quick glance also shows these cut across party lines - neither party is behind all of them, and neither party is behind some of them. They also don't fit the "moderate" label too well. Sorry all you moderates out there - there's just very little constituency for a fiscally-conservative, socially-progressive, free-trade minded National Health Insurance supporting centrist.

DeLay Troubles Continue

It appears that Majority Leader DeLay might have gotten a free trip to Britain to see the Lion King and play golf at St. Andrews by strong-arming casino lobbyists to pay for it. What the lobbyists were after (and got) was DeLay's opposition to a bill outlawing gambling over the Intenet. There's a lot worse things a lawmaker can do for a bribe than decline to outlaw on-line gambling.
After all, if it takes a $12,789.73 trip to Europe to convince a guy to vote against an Internet gambling bill on technical grounds, what must it take to convince lawmakers to vote against the health, safety, and livelihoods of American citizens just so businesses can hire illegal aliens at slave wages? There must be lots of bribing going on there. So all any enterprizing investigative reporter needs to do is start looking into the boondoggles/perks enjoyed by the likes of John McCain. McCain suffered torture in Vietnam rather than betray his countrymen (although there is a maverick group of Vets who beg to differ). So what could possibly be compelling him to betray them now?

24 April 2005

Healthcare Redux

Alert reader Bob sent along the above link to Canada's National Post indicating widespread frustration with their National Healthcare. Apparently brokers are arranging for Canadian's to cross the border to get service in the U.S. There's no doubt that if you've got good health insurance, the USA is the place to be for healthcare. The number of uninsured Americans is around 45 million. Not surprisingly, blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be uninsured than whites. There's no basis for change, then - healthcare is not going to influence elections. Democrats can't make a good campaign issue out of reforming it because anyone who wants it changed is already voting Democrat.

22 April 2005

NYT Columnists - Is This the Best They Could Get?

Brooks' last column was excellent, but he's pretty weak normally. Krugman is a brilliant economist, but a partisan hack as a political writer (though his latest column, on health care, is also excellent - but of course he also misses the real issue behind the health care debate as do so many others). Dowd - well, she can be clever, but the bitterness is just over the top. And then there's Friedman. If his writing has always bothered you but you weren't sure why, Steve Sailer links to an absolutely hilarious review of Friedman's new book that will explain why. You will laugh out loud - so if you're not alone be prepared for some annoyed looks from people around you.

Whatever You Do, Don't Mention the War!

Uh-oh. The Brits are pissing off the Germans. Since WWII, Deutschland has remained an emasculated, contrite nation content to produce high-quality cars and run financial systems. But now British tabloids are treating the new Pope like he was a member of the royal family, and Germans have had enough! Rrrrrr.

21 April 2005

Big Easy Bars a Little Hard on Blacks

New Orleans is about the most integrated, non-race conscious place I've ever been, at least in the bars, where a continuous we-are-the-world party atmosphere seems to prevail at every stop. So I was a bit shocked to see this accusation. Apparently a "study" (the disdainful quotes are used because I could not find a link to the study itself that explained its methodology, so I have my doubts) found discriminatory behavior in bars. The most common cited violation according to the study was charging black patrons more for drinks (40% of bars). Only 10% of bars were more insistent on reminding black patrons of drink limits, while 7% of bars were more insistent on enforcing dress codes.
These hardly sound like shocking figures. Even the charging more for drinks, assuming the study is reliable, is probably due to blacks tending to drink less than whites and so the bars might be trying to get a little more per drink (not that there's nothing wrong with that). This is discrimination, but hardly rises to the level of racism. The most amusing part is that one of the recommendations is to set up sensitivity workshops for bartenders. That would be an amusing scene to witness. There's also the usual dose of hyperbole and hysteria ("This is 2005, not 1964!" intoned one opportunist).
The real shame is that this study was apparently inspired by the tragic death a couple months ago in a Bourbon Street bar of a patron, who was black, at the hands of bouncers. But you certainly don't need to be the victim of racism to be the tragic victim of a bouncer - bouncers kill all kinds of people all over the world.

20 April 2005

The Dope on the Pope

Read all you want about the new Pope in the MSM, but Steve Sailer has the straight scoop.

19 April 2005

Typically Shoddy Logic from the Times

Adam Cohen, guest editorialist, says "You're looking in the mirror" to Justice Scalia regarding complaints of judicial activism. But his use of examples fails to hold up this playground ploy.
  • Scalia shot down the federal Violence Against Women act and the Gun Free Schools acts. These were gross violations of federalism and his decision was perfectly in keeping with his philosophy.
  • Cohen states that "In [Scalia's] view, the 14th Amendment prohibits Michigan from using affirmative action in college admissions but lets Texas make gay sex a crime". Uh, yeah - the 14th amendment was written to prevent unequal treatment of people based on race, which is precisely what Michigan was doing. Does Cohen seriously believe that the ratifiers of the 14th amendment were intent on legalizing sodomy throughout the land? Jeez, that's weak.
  • Cohen goes on: "[Scalia] is dismissive when inmates invoke the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment to challenge prison conditions...but he is supportive when wealthy people try to expand the "takings clause" to block the government from regulating their property." Expand the takings clause? The idea that the federal government could prevent someone from building a home on their property in order to preserve swampland without compensating the owner would really have thrown the founders for a loop. When does Cohen think the Bill of Rights was written? 1978? Is he unaware that Penn Central v City of New York was a landmark case throwing out 200 years of property rights? Does Cohen really think that the founders intended the 8th amendment as a tool for federal courts to micromanage state penal systems?
  • Cohen brings up the obligatory Bush v Gore trampling-on-states-rights argument. He quotes Scalia in a New Yorker profile that is not on-line, but based on his signing Rehnquist's concurrence, Scalia objected to the over-reaching of the Florida Supreme Court in overturning the legislature's constitutional role in appointing electors, so again this is quite consistent with his views.
  • The only place Cohen might have a point is on Scalia's broad interpretation of the 11th amendment immunity of states to lawsuits. But this interpretation goes back at least to 1890 and an inconsistent take on the 11th amendment is hardly a worthy basis for a diatribe.

I'm not arguing that Cohen and others cannot fairly disagree with Scalia's philosophy and decisions, but that doesn't make them inconsistent. Scalia has consistently argued for a simple, straightforward and faithful reading of the constitution, as Adam Cohen unintentionally demonstrates.

Is John Bolton a Dick?

It's hard to believe that President Bush could not find in all of Washington a single hard-line, tough-minded, cynical conservative to pick for UN Ambassador who wouldn't have his nomination put into jeopardy. Is this just sheer incompetence, or a willful desire to rub his power into his opponents' noses? A little of both, no doubt. But he makes life difficult for Republican senators who need to put themselves on the line to defend this guy. He's already alienated Republican congressmen with his willful defiance of their constituents' desire to prevent wholesale displacement by illegal immigrants. His Social Security privatization plan may or may not be a good idea, but it is surely a lower priority than other concerns - but again his party is on the spot having to support it. And we Republicans laugh at the Democrats' leader.

18 April 2005

East Africans Win Big in Boston

East Africans dominate distance racing every bit as much as West Africans dominate short races. Those who refuse to believe their own lying eyes will concoct all sorts of convoluted explanations to avoid the obvious - these groups simply have a genetic edge in these events. Other ethnic groups dominate in other arenas (Icelanders in "strong-men" competitions, Turks and other north-west-Asia-Minor groups in weightlifting, East Asians in gymnastics - the great Steve Sailer has a nice summary in this old article and in other spots on his blog). Of course the only reason people run away in horror from the obvious genetic explanation is that this invites the blood-curdling suggestion that genetics could be behind other observed differences in ethnic/racial groups as well. And that just can't - no, it couldn't possibly - no, never - it must be "stereotype threat" - yeah, that's the ticket!

Still No Outrage in Cape Cod

The police are busy providing excuses for their pathetic attempt at a murder investigation, but no one seems to mind too much. The investigation consisted of taking DNA samples when convenient, sending them off to a lab, and waiting around for results. In the interim there was apparently some pointless harassment of former boyfriends based on the astonishing revelations that an attractive single woman in her 40's was having sex. I fired off the following letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, but I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for it to be published.

"I have been following the Worthington case in your on-line edition as your coverage has been the most complete. Still, I am astonished that I have not seen any questions regarding the failure to identify the killer as being of West African ancestry at the outset. There are numerous commercial labs that will, for less than $500, provide an ethnic profile based on a DNA sample. While not 100% accurate, it would seem to be a rather piddling investment to have been able to narrow down the list of suspects. Surely this would have saved dozens of people needless anguish for the several years this investigation dragged on aimlessly. I would think there would be more outrage over the poor detective work evidenced in this case. But so far, the outrage seems rather muted."

16 April 2005

UC Berkely to Voters: F-You

The new chancellor of UC Berkeley is not happy that the voters of California do not agree with him, and he appears determined that his views prevail. It seems that at Berkeley, one of the top colleges in the country, "only" 1 in 6 incoming freshmen is black or Hispanic. He doesn't believe that when Californians voted to end affirmative action their intention was that the number of minorities admitted to their most prestigious college would go down from more than 1-in-5 to 1-in-6.
I'd imagine that these voters would still be rather upset to find that Berkeley is still admitting that many minorities. SAT Scores of black/latino freshmen at Berkeley are still substantially below average (you can run your own stats at the link yourself). So I'd suggest the new Chancellor not rock the boat too much - unlike him, California voters still are willing to believe their own Lying Eyes.

An Outrage in Cape Cod

A woman is raped and murdered in Cape Cod by the garbage man with a long criminal record. They have the killer's DNA. It takes two years for a sample of the killer's DNA to be collected and another year to find a match. In the meantime, the victim's reputation is dragged through the mud and a veil of suspicion hangs over innocent men. Just last month, the police decided they would ask every man in the town for a DNA sample!
It's disgraceful how incompetent detectives can be. What's more amazing is that the killer's DNA would have told them he was of West African descent. My God for $219 they could have gotten a detailed ethnic profile of the killer. Even the most cursory look at the garbage man would have found a history of break-ins and domestic violence. Are the police watching too much of the Lifetime channel to think that a woman could be raped and murdered by anyone other than men she had past affairs with? We'll see if there are any repurcussions. Don't hold your breath.

15 April 2005

Deterrence in Action

Last night Gary Sheffield was about to clock a Red Sox fan (or, to put it in the vernacular, clawk a sawx fa-an) when he pulled back and decided to jaw at him instead. What held him back? A sense that doing so would be wrong? That he felt taking care of this situation was a job for Fenway security, not him? No - he remembered what happened to Artest and the bunch. He was deterred by the "consequences," as he put it. So here's another very simple rule of thumb we can apply to real-life. Any questions now whether sociological forces or more aggressive punishment is behind the drop in crime over the last 10 years?

Britain Has Free Healthcare - Why Not Us?

The Washington Monthly Kevin Drum expresses frustration with those who claim socialized health care in Britain is bad, figuring it can't possibly be much worse than here, and it's free, so what's the problem. There follows 198 comments of various levels of cluelessness of the "is not/is too" variety.
What Drum and apparently all his readers (left and right) are incapable of seeing is the obvious reason National Health Care will never be adopted in this country. White Americans don't like the idea of supporting non-White Americans, and most whites are fairly certain that non-whites will not be paying their weight. Since non-whites make up about 30% of the population but earn about 15% of the income, this is not an entirely irrational concern. But the problem is we're so segregated. Thus the idea of universal healthcare typically invokes visions of everyone's local GP's office suddenly morphing into a South Central methadone clinic.
You can make all the comparisons to British healthcare you want. Everyone knows that Britain has a small number of non-South Asian minorities (who of course don't count as real minorities) and, being an island, doesn't have 250 million Mexicans on the other side of a 3-foot roll of barbed wire ready to scoot over for some TLC.

14 April 2005

Bad News From the Front

Our auto industry continues its sad decline. The dollar is getting near peso levels and we still can't compete with Europe and Japan. Apparently our styling sucks, our engineering sucks - it all sucks. If I had to make a wild-ass guess of where to pin the blame, I'd look at our competetive corporate environment being inimicable to long-term investment. Management is not interested in profits 5-10 years out. But you need to plan ahead about 5-10 years to come out with an attractive, well-designed car. So they come out with a new model and throw in some piece of shit engine - like no one's gonna notice.
But my favorite part of the article is about two thirds of the way down: "'You want to put money into something you'll get return back from,' said Nathaniel Nix, a 37-year-old pastor at a church in the Detroit suburb of Ypsilanti, in an interview this week at a Toyota dealership. Mr. Nix, who was a car salesman for both Ford and Toyota more than a decade ago, said..." now there's a nice career segue - selling cars in the 90's and Jesus in the 00's. Hope he's not doing as much lying in his new job.

Federal Judge Reinstates Ephedra

At a minimum tens of thousands die each year of obesity while a total of 155 (that's one-five-five-period) deaths have been attributed to ephedra, a very effective weight loss supplement. We don't need integral calculus to figure that one out.

How much water is enough; or Your Lying Throat

Researchers have found that many athletes drink way too much water and some have died as a result. This is after years of them telling us we should drink as much water as possible. A couple years ago the leading kidney expert in the country did a study of the literature and found there is no basis whatsoever for the rule that you should drink 8 cups of water a day. How do you know if you've drunk enough water? You feel thirsty!! If you don't feel thirsty, then you don't need water! How about juices, soft drinks, tea and coffee, surely that's no good - you need pure water, don't you? Actually, those other drinks are over 99% water, so they're perfectly up to the task of quenching your thirst.
Another interesting aspect of the story is that the problem doesn't afflict "fast" runners because they have no time to drink that much water. Another way of putting is that only people who don't belong in the marathon to begin with are going to drink that much water.
It has always amazed me that people will force themselves to drink water. It seems so obviously stupid - like eating when you're not hungry, cooling yourself when you're not hot, warming up when you're not cold, sleeping when you're not tired. How could it be a worthwhile thing to do? Do they really think we've managed to have 6 billion of us walking around without a reliable mechanism to tell us when to drink fluids? Do they ever wonder how we made it this far without a bottle of water handy, or any potable water anywhere?

The Decline and Fall of Western Civ

Via NuSapiens - an interesting article for the narcophobic (it's long). Looks at Civilization from an evolutionary perspective and suggests that the Western Civ "organism" could be vulnerable to other competing civs that might act as a kind of flesh-eating bacteria (that last is my own spin, but "flesh-eating bacteria" is always a head-turner).

13 April 2005

Only The Loathsome

Big Bill is resorting to the old "self-loathing" attack to defend his wife against an upcoming book. Follow me now - a gay man just wrote a book that will come out in September attacking Hillary for God knows what. The gay man also incidentally just got married in Massachusetts (to a guy, naturally). It's all laid out in Drudge. So why is he "self-loathing"? I guess because a gay man who opposes Hillary is a supporter of people who hate him - so he must hate himself! It's liberal code for "right-wing fag." My favorite recent "self-loathing" attack was by the loathsome Keith Olbermann. He referred to Michelle Malkin's book defending the WWII Japanese internment as "self-loathing." You see, Malkin is "Asian", the Japanese are "Asian", the internment was mean to Japanese, therefore Malkin wrote a book about how she hates herself! The dope has no clue that Malkin is Phillipino, a people who were raped and murdered by the Japanese en masse. Now if Olbermann had referred to the book as "anti-Japanese" or "Nippanophobic" he might have had a point. At least it's plausible Malkin's book reflects an animus against her people's persecutors as much as any political argument. Instead, by calling her self-loathing, Olbermann used liberal code for "right-wing gook." But, as I said, only the loathsome.

A Genealogy of Humankind

The great Nicholas Wade writes in the Times that a joint venture by the National Geographic Society and IBM will undertake to create a genealogy of the world's populations. This will involve taking 100,000 blood samples from indigenous populations throughout the world. They expect to be able to trace the pathways of humanity's expansions throughout the ages. Even now, with the limited amount of genetic studies extant, one's ancestry can be traced pretty reliably by a DNA test. With a sample size this great, most mysteries of modern human origins should be lifted. While you haven't heard any whining about this like you do about embryonic stem cells, Wade reports that the "project ran into a political furor that prevented it from receiving substantial government support. It was denounced by some cultural anthropologists, who said that looking for genetic differences among populations was tantamount to racism." Fortunately, private funds will be making up the difference. You'll notice that private funds are not similarly stepping up for embryonic stem cell research. The obvious reason is that ESC's are a pipedream. No dollars were mentioned in the article, but I'm guessing it will be quite a bit less than the bankrupt State of California will be "investing" in embryonic stem cells.

A Kinder, Gentler Dowd

The always unintenionally hilarious Maureen Dowd is taking her demotion (Sundays to Tuesdays) in stride. She has inaugurated her new slot with a little puff piece on baby-boomer aging and her mother's incapacitation. Russel Baker she ain't. Even her little Schiavo allusion ("noisy debate over assisted suicide" - assisted suicide!? Paging Dr. Freud...) is pathetically tame. It's amazing what a two-day schedule shift can do for one's sense of humility.

Sharon Asks U.S. to Pressure Iran

A day after he nearly busted a gut laughing in Bush's face over the President's request that Israel stop expanding into Arab territory (it's not clear whether Bush winked when he asked), the shameless Sharon asked the President to bomb Iran. Sure, the term is "pressure," but without the clear threat of violence there is no "pressure." Sharon is quite right to have zero confidence in the European "powers" - not just because they're impotent militarily, but they have no real reason to fear Iranian nuclear power - the ayatollahs aren't going to bomb Lyon. Our interest in keeping Iran nuke-free is in limiting its leverage. Having a bomb will give Iran quite a diplomatic boost. But we have no real reason to fear them - they can't hurt us with a bomb, and even if they could, they know that doing so would be absolute suicide. And they probably know that using it against Israel would be suicide as well. So let us hope that Bush takes Sharon's request no more seriously than Sharon did Bush's.