Palin had a legal defense fund set up so other people could pay for her legal bills, but it has turned out that the fund was set up incorrectly and has been ruled illegal.
Now the administrator of the fund has to send the money back to donors, and hopefully set up a new one and get it back. Palin herself was found to have acted in good faith, trusting her legal team to do it properly although she didn't have the fund examined by an outside team to make sure it was set up properly. Like I've said before; I like her speeches, and I think Sarah Palin is a great voice for conservatism, she generates a lot of interest and excitement... but she's no good as a serious candidate for high office.Manly
men apparently can be discerned by voice alone. New Scientist
reports on a study recently done which indicated that people were able to guess general upper body strength of men based on their voice alone:
A team led by Aaron Sell at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recorded the voices of more than 200 men from the US, Argentina, Bolivia and Romania, who all repeated a short phrase in their native tongue. Sell's team also put the men through a battery of tests of upper body strength.
What aspects of voice we link with strength remain unknown, since there was no correlation between a man's strength and the pitch or timbre of his voice. That's surprising, says David Puts at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, since previous research showed deeper voices were rated as coming from stronger men.
Likely the strength, virility, and health is perceptible from someone with greater athletic ability and exercise. Note the unquestioned presupposition of evolutionary theory in the article, as usual.The New York Times
recently had an article by Hilary Stout all about the dangers of having a best friend:
...increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend?
Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.
At the Ricochet
blog where I first saw this, commenter Adam Freeman waxed satirical:
Now that you mention it, I'm not sure a child should be allowed to have a parent, either. Might weaken the bond between the individual and the State.
Oliver Stone continues his effort to be the communist Leni Riefenstahl with a recent movie about Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. The movie is not getting very good reviews, and even in Venezuela it has done lousy business
. The only place people seem to be going to see the film is in the more rural areas - where its being shown for free. At Big Hollywood
, Ann McElhinney explains one reason why:
Whilst I was there Hugo Chavez, the country’s president, did one of his regular Sunday broadcasts. These 4 hour homages to himself are a feature of life in Venezuela, that and shortages of things like milk, bottled water and toilet paper. During the broadcast Chavez is seen walking through an old part of Caracas with the local mayor. His red-shirted entourage surround him. He points to a jewelry shop and asks what it is. When he is told he immediately shouts, Expropriate! Expropriate! He goes on to repeat this action on a number of other small jewelry shops in the area before moving on and reminding his audience of how great he is.
They've seen glowing biopics of this man before; nearly every week in fact. After a while, even the most zealous supporter gets a bit tired of it. Unless you live in the sticks in a poor country and have no other real entertainment; why not watch something for free?Meanwhile
we find that Oliver Stone himself decided to smuggle some coca leaves into the country, according to an IFC article
. He chewed them to deal with the altitude, and thinks they are just great:
No, it's a mild, mild stimulus. You're at 12,000 feet, so you're nauseous and it's really hard to breathe. This opens the cells, you get better oxygen and you feel more relaxed. I was nauseous, and then I ended up playing soccer, that was sort of the point. They've been doing it for centuries down there. It's a normal thing to do. By the way, I brought coca leaves back. It's illegal in this country to have a coca leaf, but put it in a cup of tea and it's better for your health than coffee.
Sure, Oliver. We trust your judgment on drugs. Or dictators. Or really anything.President
Obama tried to push the "lend money to people who could not possibly pay it back" program even harder, in an effort to stimulate more home ownership among minorities and the poor. I like the idea of people owning homes too... if they can pay for them. The program is failing, however. Alan Ziebel at the Associated Press writes (courtesy Forbes
More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.
Last month alone,155,000 borrowers left the program - bringing the total to 436,000 who have dropped out since it began in March 2009.
Hard to predict that idea not working out, if you're a pointy headed academic type I guess.Deepwater
Horizon's collapse and explosion and the subsequent oil spill has generated a lot of finger pointing, but Nancy Pelosi really stands tall as a finger pointer when she blamed "Bush era holdouts" at the EPA for the disaster. Its all really President Bush's fault. It turns out that there were no Bush holdouts at the decision making level. Joel S. Gehrke jr writes in the Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner has obtained biographic information on the MMS officials responsible for overseeing BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig at the time it exploded, from the Gulf Region Director to the last inspector to set foot on the rig. Most of these federal employees started with the agency decades ago. Not one was a presidential appointment of George W. Bush, although one longtime MMS employee in question was promoted to his current position during the Bush Administration.
We need a new term like Godwin's law about Hitler for the people who continually bring up President Bush as the great satan. Maybe Obama's law or something. For the Obama administration, the buck stops... at the previous administration, apparently.During
a recent Arab Festival Christians were seized and taken away. The festival is declared "open to the public" but when converted Arabs - once Muslim, now Christian - set up a booth and talked to people who approached them about Christianity, the police were called, the men were cuffed and led off by police, and the crowd chanted "Allahu Akbar." Where was this, Syria? Iran? Indonesia? Pakistan? No: Michigan
. There's no indication that the men arrested and handcuffed were engaged in violence or disruption.
Seattle has made up new rules for the city hiring contractors. Prominent in their rules is one strongly discouraging hiring white males. Specifically. The spending in question is money from the "stimulus" package and it is specifically being targeted at women and minorities, as Carl Gipson at the Washington Policy Center blog
The city of Seattle recently hosted a pre-bid meeting to let contractors and subcontractors know how to comply with training requirements for minority apprentices. Apparently the current system is complex enough to merit extra explanatory meetings. On the PowerPoint presentation (slide 7) is the bullet point telling interested subcontractors that they "Must use under represented groups -- No white males w/o WSDOT approval and extensive good faith effort documentation."
It is possible for white males to get into the program and get contract work, but they need a special waiver. That's actually written into law in the "stimulus" package, because the money is intended to help "disadvantaged business enterprises." The idea is to pick the most diverse, regardless of skill, experience, or even the capacity to do the job. Diversity uber alles - except white men, they aren't diverse.One
of the primary selling points of red light cameras when they are promoted is that they will increase safety by reducing traffic accidents. A recent study in Chicago suggests that is not necessarily true. At theNewspaper.com
, we learn:
Shah's analyzed Illinois Department of Transportation data obtained by the Chicago Tribune which showed that although accidents dropped seven percent at intersections citywide, fifty camera-monitored intersections saw a five-percent increase in accidents. The city used its own, much narrower dataset to claim a significant decrease in accidents. The city only had ten usable intersections and defined "accident" in a way that limits reporting of rear end collisions that take place farther from the intersection. Shah recrunched the numbers and found a net safety benefit of just 1.5 percent.
"The goal was not to do a comprehensive study of red light cameras, but only to ask whether the benefits of red light cameras are obvious," the study concluded. "A more comprehensive study would include control groups. In sum, our findings show that red light cameras have, at best, a marginal positive impact on accidents. It's clear that the benefits claimed by the city are hyperbole and that there is no evidence that the red light camera have had a significant safety benefit."
1.5% is well within the margin of error of any statistical study. In other words, there's no evidence these cameras help reduce traffic accidents. They do accomplish their primary goal however: revenue enhancement. You just can't sell a community on that idea.Seth
Borenstein has a great article at the Associated Press
helping put the Deepwater Horizon oil leak into perspective:
For every gallon of oil that BP's well has gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, there is more than 5 billion gallons of water already in it. And the mighty Mississippi adds another billion gallons every five minutes or so, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
So BP chief executive officer Tony Hayward was factually correct last month when he said the spill was "relatively tiny" compared to what he mischaracterized as a "very big ocean."
More not-so-dreadful context: The amount of oil spilled so far could only fill the cavernous New Orleans Superdome about one-seventh of the way up. On the other hand, it could fill 15 Washington Monuments and two-thirds of the way up a 16th. If the oil were poured on a football field - complete with endzones - it would measure nearly 100 yards high.
He also points out that scientists estimate that the leak will, at the current rate, continue for another two years unless capped. The oil is covering a very large area, but its not very thick, because its oil on top of water. Most of us should have a pretty good idea how that works, oil is less dense than water, and moves to the top, distributing as evenly as possible in a very thin layer. The leak is bad, but not as ghastly as some seem to believe.Democrats
in the US Congress have admitted that they are putting the budget on hold until after the election. They did the same thing in 2008-2009, stalling the budget until President Obama was in office. Why? Its useful to keep voters from having hard numbers, earmarks, spending increases, and pork available to see and that information out of the hands of opponents to sitting congressmen. As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air
“Saving their own necks” is what this is all about. The Democrats in Congress believe what Rep. Gerry Connolly told the LA Times, which is that no member of Congress ever lost an election because of a failure to pass a budget.
As the Hot Air article points out, four years ago, John Spratt (D-SC) condemned Republicans for doing the same thing, saying "if you can't budget, you can't govern," which I can't argue with. Passing a budget is one of the fairly few things the US Congress is actually ordered to do in the US Constitution.Loyola
law school is in hot water right now for a plan to across the board inflate grades. Catherine Rampell writes in the New York Times
The school is retroactively inflating its grades, tacking on 0.333 to every grade recorded in the last few years. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.
In the last two years, at least 10 law schools have deliberately changed their grading systems to make them more lenient. These include law schools like New York University and Georgetown, as well as Golden Gate University and Tulane University, which just announced the change this month.
There's a lot of people trying to get into law schools, so competition is fierce. If you can sell your school as graduating more people who get jobs in the legal profession than your competition, you have an edge. There are other options such as paying for internships and counseling but this is really pushing the ethical boundaries by colleges and universities.Arab
"youths" threw rocks and shouted ethnic slurs at a Jewish dance group
performance, forcing it to shut down. This happened in Germany earlier today. The youths were eventually identified as Muslims, as if no one could guess, halfway through the story. Six were arrested, the other three are being sought after. Germans aren't much at fighting wars these days, but I'd be terrified of their police still. The attacks began as soon as the group was announced, indicating the group came clearly prepared to stop the hated Joo.And finally
, Christopher Horner is reporting at Pajamas Media
that the man who did the study showing how wasteful, pointless, and failed the Spanish "green" energy economy is was mailed a bomb. Dr. Gabriel Calzada received a package from solar energy company Thermotechnic as Horner reports:
Before opening it, I called [Thermotechnic] to know what was inside … they answered, it was their answer to my energy pieces.Dr. Calzada contacted a terrorism expert to handle the package. The expert first performed a scan of the package, then opened it in front of a journalist, Dr. Calzada, and a private security expert.
The terrorism consultant said he had seen this before:
This time you receive unconnected pieces. Next time it can explode in your hands.Dr. Calzada added:
[The terrorism expert] told me that this was a warning.
Calzada has gotten a lot of hate since his report, not because it was false or fraudulent but because it is so inconvenient and costly for leftist causes and "green" companies. Meanwhile President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) are pushing the same thing in the US based on Spain's experiment. Ace of Spades
where I saw this first (and where you can find an excellent article about it and the lies of the green economy) calls this "pretendustrial terrorism"
And that's the Word Around the Net, June 25, 2010. We, too, are on a mission from God.