Thursday, July 30, 2015
In short, the researchers found that environment prevails. For children who were raised by their biological parents, the correlation between parents’ wealth and a child’s eventual wealth was strong—calculated to be 0.33. (A correlation of 0 would mean parents’ wealth has no bearing on children’s wealth, and a correlation of 1 would mean they are identical.) For children who were adopted, the correlations were much different: Between adopted children and their birth parents, it was weaker (only about 0.13), while between children and their adoptive parents, it was in the middle (about 0.23). These numbers suggest that children who are raised wealthy owe their future financial success more to the household they grew up in than any inherent ability they possess.
I don't quite follow this. A correlation of .23 shows that the household you grew up in is more relevant than ability?
Anti-abortion activists on Thursday released a fourth undercover video exposé of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program, this one containing its most gruesome footage to date of aborted fetuses.
The video contains extremely graphic footage of aborted fetuses from inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. The group, the Center for Medical Progress, obtained access to the clinic by posing as buyers for a fake medical company.
I'm not watching the video.
As the Politico piece details, Stewart dutifully went on air after the meeting and used Vladimir Putin as a punchline. There was also a State Department campaign around the Twitter slogan #UnitedforUkraine. Remarkably, the Russian president was unbowed by either effort. It’s almost as if the Kremlin wasn’t regularly refreshing BuzzFeed.
Those Americans who’d prefer their presidents to exercise a measure of forbearance in order to preserve some of the dignity of the office are likely out of luck. We’re becoming a less-serious nation, and we’re going to get less-serious presidents.
Thync is a crazy-sounding product that's going to sound too kooky for some customers. But if you can open your mind enough to try brain-zapping, you may find that it changes your life as much as any gadget you've ever bought. It's not only useful right now, but it also conjures images of a future where we use all sorts of (presumably safer) electrical drugs in place of chemical ones.
... and that may not be too far off the mark. Thync co-founder and CSO Dr. Jamie Tyler says the calm and energy vibes in this first-generation model are "just scratching the surface." The future could be very, very interesting.
But I'm an android user.
While taking place at the state level, this one could be very big for the Right to Work movement. The state supreme court in Michigan has dealt a double blow to the unions and the state government apparatus which is essentially owned by them. The Justices ruled yesterday that not only is Right to Work the law of the land for private industry, but it applies to public sector workers as well, and they can’t be forced to participate in unions against their wishes. (Detroit Free Press)
“The choices are: “male; female; trans male/trans man; trans female/trans woman; gender queer/gender non-conforming; and different identity.””
“The application also asks “what sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?” and the two choices are: male or female.””
What about furries?
The cynical might note that this move will likely increase the student body, and tuition revenues. GWU has been facing significant budget cuts, up to 5% across the board, and experienced the sudden resignation of its chief fundraising officer during a $1 billion fundraising campaign. That campaign has raised at least half of that amount, with the end date of 2018. Also, their newly-constructed science and engineering building’s original financing plan was not met, meaning that the school will raise the rent prices at their commercial properties near the campus to make up $250 million of the original $275 million price tag.
4th Shock Video Catches Planned Parenthood VP Breaking the Law to Sell Aborted Babies | LifeNews.com
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Vice President and Medical Director, Dr. Savita Ginde, negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.
I'm not an expert on this stuff, but this video strikes me as the most legally problematic for PP.
Australians' transgender journeys continue as Caitlyn Jenner media storm subsides - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"What lion?" acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil, who was at that moment topping global news bulletins and generating reams of abuse for his killer on websites in the United States and Europe.
In a study evaluating 1,445 people, scientists found that consistently drinking one to two cups of coffee each day is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) -- a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer's -- compared to those who never or rarely consumed coffee. That supports previous work, published in 2010, that showed that caffeine may have a neuroprotective effect.
The surprise was that participants who increased their consumption over time saw their risk of mild cognitive impairment shoot up significantly. Those who went from one cup to more than one cup had twice the rate of MCI as those who reduced their drinking to less than one cup and 1.5 times the rate of MCI as those who continued to drink one cup a day.
Well, my mom drank 20 cups of coffee a day, lived into her 90s and only had no short term memory toward the end. So there. Also, she did not come from Italy. Could be Italians don't tolerate coffee all that well.
13 demonstrators hang from Portland bridge to block Shell ship | Local & Regional | KATU.com - Portland News, Sports, Traffic Weather and Breaking News - Portland, Oregon
"They are creating a human barricade so that the Shell icebreaker cannot get through," said Annie Leonard, the executive director of Greenpeace U.S. "They are prepared to stay up there for days because that's what it is going to take to save the arctic."
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar. This past year, the Insta-Daughter quit putting sugar in her coffee, following my advice: Just stop and after a couple of weeks you won’t miss it any more. That works for lots of things. And once you get used to that, the sugary stuff tastes icky-sweet.
Sugar, sure. Try giving up the coffee. This morning, I had two Venti whole milk quad lattes. Two. I'm sorry.
For me, it was “that’s a compassionate and good liberal policy” becomes “that’s a policy of destructive collectivism and government overreach.” Nothing brought this more clearly to light for me than observing the destructive practices and policies implemented at our public schools and in our inner cities. Policies that claim to help but almost always cause irreparable harm: welfare that destroys the black family, school busing that ruins a once-thriving school system that often served even the poorest students well, taxation and regulation that drives out business which take with them jobs that provided a decent living even for not-well-educated citizens, middle- and working-class neighborhoods that become rat-ridden slums. Everyone loses.
Once I started to see, I realized that I was never really a liberal, but always a conservative, a believer in self-reliance, individual freedom, small government, and individual equality of opportunity. Once I started to see, I could not go back. I could not un-see.
This is a good 'un.
"Publicizing secret video footage of a woman's abortion process is a grossly offensive act that should be rejected by all regardless of political perspective," said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, in the statement. "We are doing all that we can to upgrade our extensive security systems and to foster an environment in our country where providers of essential women's health care and their patients are not subject to threats, harassment and intimidation."
LOS ANGELES – A temporary restraining order has been issued preventing an anti-abortion group from releasing any video of leaders of a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers. The group is the same one that previously shot viral covert video of a Planned Parenthood leader discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research.
Seems like a prior restraint to me, but I would have to ask Eugene.
What’s going on? On Twitter yesterday, I likened Trump to the band Nickelback: disliked by most people but with a few very passionate admirers. The best contrast to Trump is Marco Rubio: like a “lite rock” radio station, he’s broadly acceptable but few people’s favorite. Rubio’s favorable ratings are much higher (56 percent) than The Donald’s, and his unfavorable ratings are much lower (16 percent). But only 6 percent of Republicans list Rubio as their first choice.
Nickleback's first album was good, then something happened.
During the a status hearing today, Sullivan warned that the failure to follow his order was serious and the IRS and Justice Department’s excuses for not following his July 1 order were “indefensible, ridiculous, and absurd.” He asked the IRS’ Justice Department lawyer Geoffrey Klimas, “Why didn’t the IRS comply” with his court order and “why shouldn’t the Court hold the Commissioner of the IRS in contempt.” Judge Sullivan referenced his contempt findings against Justice Department prosecutors in the prosecution of late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and reminded the Justice Department attorney he had the ability to detain him for contempt. Warning he would tolerate no further disregard of his orders, Judge Sullivan said, “I will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally into contempt.”
Are the nation’s Ivy League schools giving short shrift to conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices when they confer honorary degrees? A survey by one law professor suggests the answer is yes, and that the reason is ideology.
It's because they're not as honorable as the left wing justices.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch released 906 pages of newly recovered Lois Lerner emails from the IRS that are believed to recently have been recovered by the IRS’ internal watchdog – the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The IRS released the emails under a court order by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. The new documents show that Lois Lerner and other top officials in the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations. The documents also show that at least one group received an inquiry from the IRS in order to buy time and keep the organization from contacting Congress.
Camille Paglia takes on Jon Stewart, Trump, Sanders: “Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!” - Salon.com
I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark. Comedy, to me, is one of the major modern genres, and the big influences on my generation were Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. Then Joan Rivers had an enormous impact on me–she’s one of my major role models. It’s the old caustic, confrontational style of Jewish comedy. It was Jewish comedians who turned stand-up from the old gag-meister shtick of vaudeville into a biting analysis of current social issues, and they really pushed the envelope. Lenny Bruce used stand-up to produce gasps and silence from the audience. And that’s my standard–a comedy of personal risk. And by that standard, I’m sorry, but Jon Stewart is not a major figure. He’s certainly a highly successful T.V. personality, but I think he has debased political discourse. I find nothing incisive in his work. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States.
New Mexico dispatcher Matthew Sanchez resigns after telling 911 caller: "Deal with it yourself' - CBS News
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico dispatcher has resigned after telling a panicked 911 caller who was trying to save the life of a shooting victim to "deal with it yourself."
At least she got through.
A reported two-month gap in emails from Hillary Clinton's private account during 2012 coincides with a period of escalating violence in Libya and the obtaining of a special exemption by her top aide, Huma Abedin, to work for both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.
The Daily Beast reported late Tuesday that no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff for the months of May and June 2012 are among the estimated 2,000 messages that have been released from the Democratic presidential frontrunner's account.
“The problem is that the same staff responsible for creating the reports about the climate . . . and running some of the greenhouse models that project the scary scenarios . . . are also responsible for the databases that validate the forecasts. . . . There is a lot of control available for modelers to predict a desired result, and data source inconsistencies allow NOAA to be creative – and the result is a hybrid of data and models (with their adjustments like TOA, infilling and homogenization) to show whatever the puppet-masters in government require. It may be that some really believe in their science and work hard to mine the data, achieving a form of bias confirmation. In other cases it is ideologically or politically driven or a matter of job security.”
They're blinding me with Science!
It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our . . . Jay Carney. Don’t count on future generations knowing Stewart’s name any more than they will know Carney’s.
Remember when, under a Republican president, it was the duty of all comedians to be the loyal opposition, to speak truth to power? Stewart does the opposite.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
But now that Trump holds the lead in national polls, as well as polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s time to take his campaign seriously. Media outlets like Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal, which are covering Trump’s run as an entertainment story, not a news story, are making a mistake. If Trump wants to be a serious candidate for president, and has the numbers to back it up, he must be vetted like a serious candidate for president. A good place to start is to take a hard look at Trump’s ties to Philadelphia and New York organized-crime families.
We have reason to believe our case will proceed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in 1991 that a private plaintiff may bring a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act to require an agency head and the national archivist to initiate legal action for the recovery of records that were either destroyed or removed in violation of an agency’s guidelines and directives.
Before the court can rule on that question, however, it must first determine whether Mrs. Clinton’s emails are federal records—as defined by the Federal Records Act of 1950 and its amendments—and whether her exclusive use of a private email server constitutes an illegal removal of those records from the State Department’s official record-keeping system.
The good old DC Circuit. And the good old APA. It'll get you in the end.
Hamsters can experience happiness, optimism, sadness and depression much the way that we do, suggests a new study that describes a method for determining the feelings of these cute and cuddly popular pets.
Dear lord. It will be cats next.
An unresolved question in ecology is whether the structure of ecological communities can be stable over very long timescales. Here we describe a wealth of new amber fossils for an ancient radiation of Hispaniolan lizards that, until now, has had a very poor fossil record. These fossils provide an important and previously unavailable perspective on an ecologically well-studied group and indicate that anole lizard communities occurring on Hispaniola 20 Mya were made up of the same types of habitat specialists present in this group today. These data indicate that the ecological processes important in extant anole communities have been operative over long periods of time.
Not a lot goin' on in the Caribbean if you're a lizard.
University Roma Tre's Professor Andrea Di Giulio and his team of co-authors set the scene remarkably well in their paper recently published to PLoS ONE. The focus of that paper? A group of conniving beetles that somehow manages to infiltrate ant colonies and parasitize the ants without eliciting any retaliation whatsoever. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the ant nest beetle.
And there are human analogs I'm sure.
Cotard's syndrome was something that was first identified by a French doctor in the late 1800s. His name was Jules Cotard, and it's named after him. It's a constellation of symptoms ... and the most characteristic symptom is the situation where people say that they don't exist. This is a perception that they have, and you cannot rationalize, you cannot really give them evidence to the contrary and expect them to change their mind. It is a complete conviction that they have that they don't exist. ... It's very, very paradoxical. It poses a great philosophical challenge to people who are trying to understand what it means to say "I exist" or "I don't exist." It also makes you wonder about all the other things that we are certain about, like you and I probably are very certain that we exist, well, these people are just as certain that they don't. So it makes you question about perceptions that arise in the brain and somehow, in this case, the delusion is so complete and so convincing that you really cannot shake their conviction that they are dead.
Palmer is thought to have lured Cecil about a mile out of the park on the night of July 1, and the injured lion was discovered roughly 40 hours later by Palmer’s hunting team, who had Cecil shot and killed. Cecil was ultimately beheaded and skinned. The hunters also removed his collar, which is against the park’s rules.
Dean of Admissions Karen Stroud Felton said in a statement Monday that university administrators were concerned that below-average test scores were leading some otherwise strong students to not apply to the school.
This will enable them to admit students who are more qualified, in a pecuniary sense, to make the most of the opportunities that GW offers.
Just a day after allegations re-emerged that Donald Trump raped his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, the bombastic billionaire’s former spouse played down the controversy — and endorsed his presidential run — saying that the two are still “the best of friends.”
We've already established that rape doesn't disqualify you from being president.
Listen, Mayor: the first job of government is to keep the people safe in their homes and in the streets. If you can’t do that as a municipal chief executive, you are a flop. Equality is not the job of government, unless you are a Communist, in which case equality usually comes at the barrel of a gun or the end of a noose. And voters of New York, please learn this lesson too, despite your attachment to FDR and the New Deal or your seductive professor of race-class-and-gender studies at Brown or Wesleyan. New York needs a realistic mayor. We don’t have one.
The problem, however, lies not in chronicling the successes of the movement, but in explaining how something so improbable became possible. The explanations so often given for its rise—the anger of Sunni communities, the logistical support provided by other states and groups, the movement’s social media campaigns, its leadership, its tactics, its governance, its revenue streams, and its ability to attract tens of thousands of foreign fighters—fall far short of a convincing theory of the movement’s success.
I go with a combination of they're nuts, they're power-hungry, and they're blood thirsty, but this one looks worth reading.
The Shanghai Composite index fell 8.5pc despite emergency measures to shore up the market, with a roster of the biggest blue-chip companies down by the maximum daily limit of 10pc. The mood was further soured by news that corporated profits in China are now contracting in absolute terms, falling 0.3pc over the past year.
The violence of the moves unnerved investors worldwide, stirring fears that the Communist Party may be losing control after stoking a series of epic bubbles in property, corporate investment and equities to keep up the blistering pace of economic growth.