Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Killing the P.I.G.

The slaughtering was done by the chief cook himself – a former army cook, middle-aged and tough as iron – while Vasily Petrovich helped. It turned out to be not so easy. The enormous, immobile Mashka, who had been overfed on warm greasy kitchen slops till she weighed over 400 pounds, took to flight like a bird when the slaughterers crossed the threshold of her pen. She had evidently guessed what they had come for, even though the chef hid the knife behind his back.

They had a terrible time throwing her. First in turn and then together Vasily Petrovich and the chef sprawled out on the dirty floor boards, trying to get hold of Mashka’s legs. But with an agility inspired by her fear of death, the heavy sow, almost blinded by fat, kept slipping out of their clutching hands and dashing about the pen with heartrending squeals.

Finally they managed to throw her onto her back. The chef took the long knife and, with a neatly calculated movement, plunged the thin, narrow blade under the sow’s left leg and pulled the knife sharply toward himself. - Yury Nagibin

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Assertion and Documentation

From the critical thinking of the right:

How our Marxist faculties got that way: In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon ended the war and Congress ended military conscription. So the Marxist anti-war activists -- activism is now a full-time profession -- had to do something else. Most of them went to work in the real world. But a meaningful number remained in school and opted for academia, especially the humanities and the social sciences. If they got a Ph.D., they might even become university teachers, and many of them did. They then climbed academia's ladder, rising from instructor to assistant professor, from assistant professor to associate professor, and from associate professor to full professor. These last two ranks usually carry tenure, which means a guaranteed job until one decides to retire or is fired for raping little children in the streets.

From the critical thinking of the left:

UW Madison Havens Center: Michael Burawoy has studied industrial workplaces in different parts of the world -- Zambia, Chicago, Hungary and Russia -- through participant observation. … No longer able to work in factories, most recently he has turned to the study of his own workplace – the university – to consider the way sociology itself is produced and then disseminated to diverse publics. Over the course of his research and teaching, he has developed theoretically driven methodologies that allow broad conclusions to be drawn from ethnographic research and case studies. These methodologies are represented in Global Ethnography a book coauthored with 9 graduate students, which shows how globalization can be studied "from below" through participation in the lives of those who experience it. Throughout his sociological career he has engaged with Marxism, seeking to reconstruct it in the light of his research and more broadly in the light of historical challenges of the late 20th and early 21st. centuries.

Monday, June 16, 2008

El cambio verdadero requiere el cambio verdadero

Usar la misma gente y contar con diversos resultados es insano.

El cambio verdadero requiere el cambio verdadero.

El cambio verdadero requiere dolor verdadero.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flooded with Lies

Man made global warming is absolutely wrong. That won’t stop the special interest groups from claiming that every weather event is evidence (not proof) of man made global warming.

Environmental group ties floods to global warming: The disastrous floods that ravaged southern Wisconsin this week are consistent with global warming predictions by Clean Wisconsin in a January 2007 report.

The report, "Global Warming Arrives in Wisconsin," forecast that global warming would lead to increased instances of severe droughts, more intense floods and increased snowfall, Clean Wisconsin said in a news release.

Balony. Anthropogenic global warming is predicated on the fact that carbon dioxide can absorb heat. Now is it is true that carbon dioxide can absorb the portion of infrared radiation in the wavelengths of 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µm). This, however, is a very small portion of the “heat” the Earth radiates back int0 space from the energy received from the sun each day.

More importantly, retention of heat energy does not contribute anything getting colder. Anytime someone claims that the ability of carbon dioxide to temporarily absorb the infrared wavelengths of 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µm) leads to more snowfall and flooding, ask them for the source data. When they can’t provide it, explain to them politely that you don’t believe their undocumented paranoia.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Professor Reid Bryson

Professor Emeritus Reid Bryson dies today at age 88. Professor Reid Bryson founded the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1948. This is before politics corrupts the practice of science. Two quotes to remember an intelligent and honest man.

‘You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.’

“If Global warming is a 100 story building, the human influence is equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor” - Dr. Bryson

Truth always wins in the end.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Economic Experimentation

I’ve observed that people will pick up a loose quarter while leaving twenty six pennies alone. Please feel free to replicate this experiment and formulate and defend your conclusions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Elitist Entitlement Whining

As I’ve said before, money is putting three quarters and a nickel into a vending machine and getting back a pack of peanuts. Getting Goldman Sachs to lend you $600 million dollars to buy a company that “has never posted an annual profit and has lost a total of $194.6 million since it was founded” is finance.

Cash flow through the modern economy is a complex journey through the fusion of market exchange and non-market gifting. What concerns many of us is the size of the grant economy distributing our tax dollars around. Wisconsin is firmly committed to creating a biotechnology economy so it is worth noticing how entitlement mentality develops when government grants prime the pump.

California Scientists Sound Alarms: The California Healthcare Institute (CHI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today released a report, "The National Institutes of Health: Fueling Healthcare Innovation in California," urging legislators to support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — the backbone of the biomedical industry in California, which employs more than 267,000 people in high wage jobs. Without a sustained commitment of funding, scientists, academicians and leaders in the biomedical industry in California profiled in the report fear the biomedical ecosystem in California, made up of universities, research institutions and industry, will lose its capacity to produce the next generation of inventions to treat and cure disease.

However, as the federal deficit soars and legislators pare back discretionary spending, the NIH has come under intense pressure. In the first true budgeted reduction in NIH funding since 1970, the 2007 budget represented a 0.1 percent decrease from 2006

According to the … Supplement Survey, … the competition for peer-reviewed grants is rising and investigators must revise proposals several times in order to receive grants that are oftentimes lower in amount and shorter in duration than requested. Funding constraints prohibit faculty from maintaining sufficiently staffed labs and limit them from hiring qualified younger researchers.

I can imagine the indignant conversions as researchers sip on fine Merlot and sample award winning California cheese. It strikes me that the purpose of taxpayer financing is ultimately not to sustain 267,000 people in high wage jobs until some product emerges that can be sold to Wall Street. It’s also hard to work up tears just because finances get tight and you can’t have every toy you desire and all the minions you want. There are too many people struggling with unnecessarily expensive gasoline and punitive regulatory restrictions to empathize when academic lifestyles are asked to share the social pain.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Third Wave Technologies Purchase Offer

Madison based Third Wave Technologies, Inc. (TWTI) has agreed to be acquired in whole by Bedford, MA based Hologic Inc. (HOLX) for $580 million dollars. The 180 employees in Wisconsin should be unaffected by the ownership change.

GEN News: Third Wave develops and markets molecular diagnostic reagents for DNA and RNA analysis based on its Invader® chemistry. … The company recently submitted to the FDA PMA applications for two HPV tests.

“Hologic has an established sales and distribution network for women's health as well as extensive relationships with clinical labs and OB/GYN channels,” according to Jack Cumming, chairman and CEO of Hologic. “If and when Third Wave's HPV tests receive FDA approval, which we hope will be in the first half of calendar 2009, we will be well-positioned to take these products quickly and effectively to market.”

Both companies are operating at a loss and Hologic intends to borrow $600 million to finance the acquisition. Because the current market for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing to find the four types of the virus associated with disease is only $200 million annually, someone is convinced this market is going to expand considerably in the very near future. I suspect now that drug giant Merck has an approved vaccine in Gardasil they will continue to market their concern about the need for universal testing. Once you have a preventive treatment, the task becomes finding as many people as possible “at risk”.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton Suspends Her Campaign

Obama and McCain consider their plans for the United States economy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The World Can Be Changed

Using the same people and expecting different results is insane.

Real Change Requires Real Change.

Real Change Requires Real Pain.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

“It’s burdensome”

Because “progressive” government requires "smart" growth.
Madison grapples with green
Because it takes time for the smart few to outthink the many.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The “Army” Blames the Sun

There is some internet kvetching going on because someone with The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is claiming the temperature of the earth has to do with the sun. Here is a bit of the pdf file with the comments on Global Climate Models (GCM) and total solar irradiance (TSI).

Is climate sensitive to solar variability?: Modeling TSI variability: Earth’s atmosphere, landmasses, and oceans absorb and redistribute the total solar irradiance (TSI) by means of coupled nonlinear hydrothermal, geochemical, and radiative dynamic processes that produce Earth’s globally averaged temperature at a given time.

The variations in TSI are indicative of the Sun’s turbulent dynamics, as evidenced by changes in the number, duration, and intensity of solar flares and sunspots, and by the intermittency in the time intervals between dark spots and bright faculae. That time variation in TSI induces similar changes in Earth’s average temperature and produces trends that move the global temperature up and down for tens or even hundreds of years. Our conclusions depart from those of the GCM simulations. We maintain that the variations in Earth’s temperature are not noise, but contain substantial information about the source of variability, in particular the variations in TSI.

The true believers that mankind is creating unnatural and dangerous changes are in frenzy because he is not a climate scientist. Well, no. Dr. West is a mathematical physicist. In his own words.

Bruce J. West: I have worked on the applications of discontinuous statistical processes (Levy distributions) to all manner of phenomena including quantum chaos, non-equilibrium statistical physics and the statistics of biomedical time series. Most recently I have worked on the development of the fractional calculus for the study of stochastic processes for which the evolution of the probability density cannot be described by a partial differential equation, but requires a fractional propagation-transport equation.

This is not hard to understand. When a mathematician says the math in the Global Climate Models is wrong, it may be reasonable to doubt the programmed conclusions. CO2 does not equal heat so more CO2 does not mean more heat. Make sense?

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Municipal Socialism Fusion

Two intriguing articles which combined suggest that the ascension of Barack Hussein Obama to the leadership of the far left is the fruition of his long term plan to end run the established patronage based urban Democratic political structures. Ascension made possible by an alliance with the Academic left coveting the voting bloc he brings to the game.

Stanley Kurtz: While in his years as a Chicago organizer and attorney, Obama took care to maintain friendly ties to the Daley administration, in Obama’s campaign for state senate, he specifically avoided asking the mayor or the mayor’s closest allies for support. Obama’s plan was to make an end-run around Chicago’s governing Democratic political network, by building a coalition of left-leaning black churches and radical secular organizations like Acorn (perhaps with de facto help from liberal foundation money as well). This coalition would provide Obama with the flexibility to play out a political career some distance to the left of conventional Illinois democratic politics. And sure enough, Obama’s extremely liberal record in Illinois vindicated his strategy.

Thomas F. Roeser: The Democratic Party elders cannot…and will not…risk the certainty that there will be wholesale defections of blacks-the most predictably massive voting bloc ever to serve in any political party-if Obama is denied. Defections that would not just lose it the presidency (Democrats are inured to that possibility having lost it in 2004, 2000, 1988, 1984 and 1980), but would reduce the Democrats to a minority party in city after city by shrinking the black vote to a tiny margin. Consider what it would do to Chicago and Cook County: these areas would revert to a two-party status again, disastrous for politicians who don’t need the presidency ever to root their snouts in the patronage troughs. --- (h/t Dad29)

I find it highly probable that Academic Marxism, fully aware of the failures of the international and nation state experiments, have intellectually regrouped around the idea that municipal socialism is the ideal operative level. The focus on controlling municipal governments and metropolitan populations {for their own good} fits well with both environmentalist New Urbanism and Black Liberation theory. It’s an alliance with the potential to seize significant nationwide power through a coordinated network of “city-states”. It’s actually a valid historical model and I expect the Academics are quite pleased with the progress thus far.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bable Rebuilt

Since I’m not sure that the American Revolution overthrowing British rule is being taught as a positive these days, it is occasionally worth taking a moment to remind people that America was created to be something different from Europe. Taking a hard look at the Old Country in general and Britain is specific is a great way to test whether we American citizen want to continue to reshape ourselves in their image.

A Confusion of Tongues: London is now the most ethnically diverse city in the world—more so, according to United Nations reports, even than New York. And this is not just a matter of a sprinkling of a few people of every race and nation, or of the fructifying cultural effect of foreigners. … A third of London’s residents were born outside Britain, a higher percentage of newcomers than in any other city in the world except Miami, and the percentage continues to rise. Likewise, migration figures for the country as a whole—emigration and immigration—suggest that its population is undergoing swift replacement. Many of the newcomers are from Pakistan, India, and Africa; others are from Eastern Europe and China. If present trends continue, experts predict, in 20 years’ time, between a quarter and a third of the British population will have been born outside it, and at least a fifth of the native population will have emigrated.

But we did not conclude that it was best, then, to have no national, religious, or cultural identity at all. The institutions that allow one to live in peace, freedom, and security require loyalty (not necessarily of a blind variety); and loyalty in turn requires a sense of identification. In a world in which sovereignty must exist, some kind of identification with that sovereignty is also necessary: too rigid a national identity has its dangers, but so does too loose a one. The first results in aggression toward and denigration of others; the second in society’s disintegration from within, which can then provoke authoritarian attempts at repair.

Theodore Dalrymple writing this article for the City Journal wraps some examples within the framework of the plausible truism that the answers to immigration will not be found on the extremes. That’s all well and nice, perhaps even a tad cliché in that optimal is nearly always somewhere in the middle. The problem Dalrymple sees in not in shared values of commerce, but unshared values in terms of violence (e.g. honor killings), family (e.g. polygamy and forced marriage) and multiple bodies of law in a larger sovereignty that recognizes validity in the identity politics of sub-groups.