Under the heading of “politicians are funny, some funnier than others and some not in a ‘ha-ha’ funny kind of way,” our girl Sara responds to John Kerry’s Sanford/Palin joke.
The WSJ has an interesting post up about the Capping Trade legislation being pushed through Congress. The tide seems to be shifting:
The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.
Credit for Australia’s own era of renewed enlightenment goes to Dr. Ian Plimer, a well-known Australian geologist. Earlier this year he published “Heaven and Earth,” a damning critique of the “evidence” underpinning man-made global warming. The book is already in its fifth printing. So compelling is it that Paul Sheehan, a noted Australian columnist — and ardent global warming believer — in April humbly pronounced it “an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.”
If the pols are going to get on with hamstringing the economy and placing US productivity at a competitive disadvantage for arguable scientific reasons, they’d better hurry up.
Diversity musings – I was going to put up a separate post on this, but am simply to worn out over it. I’ve been around the block long enough to know when a train has left the station. But anyway.
Professor Shawn Bediako, professor of English at the academic powerhouse University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus responds to USNA Professor Bruce Fleming’s Annapolis Capital op-ed. In short, he says that “you owe us this,” and whatever impact differential applicant scoring has on officer corps quality is just tough. Suck it up:
If we assume that 35 percent of next fall’s Naval Academy class is comprised of seats that should have gone to qualified, deserving whites, then that is simply the price we all have to pay in order to move toward an egalitarian society where people will eventually be judged by their merits – and not by the privileges they have received based on the color of their skin.
I hope that, in due course. Professor Bediako will inform us when we have moved sufficiently towards the egalitarian social ideal that we can, in to paraphrase that noted civil rights obstructionist Martin Luther King, judge people by the content of their characters rather than the accidents of their birth.
Still, the Navy’s effort seem to be bearing fruit, as the service has been named one of the top 20 government agencies to work for by career publications Minority Engineer and Woman Engineer. So we’ve got that going four us.
Which is nice.
Because diversity makes us stronger. Except, you know: Where it doesn’t.
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, is very nervous about the release of his new work. Understandably so. His five-year study shows that immigration and ethnic diversity have a devastating impact on social capital, the fabric of associations, trust and neighborliness that create and sustain communities. In the short to medium range, that is, because in the long run, new communities and new ties are formed, Putnam says. What he fears – correctly – is that his work on the surprisingly negative impact of diversity will become part of the immigration debate.
His study found that immigration and diversity not only reduce social capital between ethnic groups, but also within the groups. Trust, even of one’s own race, is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. The problem is not ethnic conflict or worse racial relations, but withdrawal and isolation. Putnam writes: “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down,’ – that is, to pull in like a turtle…”
Diversity does not produce “bad race relations,” he says. Rather, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.” Putnam adds a crushing footnote: his findings “may underestimate the real effect of diversity on social withdrawal.”
Well, we can all afford to be patient. Wait for the long run, and its likely benefits.
In the meantime, please embrace the orthodoxy.
File this one under, “kinda creepy no matter what you attribute it to,” but an 11-year old boy claims to have settled things with man he was 65 years ago.
Reincarnation does not happen to fit in with my own world view, but my recommendation to future generations is avoid coming back as Lex if you can at all manage it.
So, with the window closing on a health reimbursement arrangement sponsored by his employer, your host took the plunge and got his eyes looked at last week, with the intent of purchasing for his use a pair of Scheyden spectacles. They are ret pricey, but a benefit is a benefit until it’s gone, and then it’s just another lost opportunity to stimulate the economy. And, having lost the ability to focus on things close to hand – while retaining 20/17 eyesight at a distance – I thought it’d be nifty to have flip up shades that’d allow me to see without squinting on a sunny day of flying, and retain the option to read checklists and approach plates and so on in a shaded cockpit. Because flying an airplane while fumbling around between sunglasses and reading glasses is not more than I can bear, but rather more than I’d like to.
So, down to the local, where they’ve got it down to a science. The frames are thus and such, the inspection a little more. Coatings and cuttings and the bill became breathtaking. Especially when you consider that all I really needed was reading glasses, with a sunshade.
I got neither, since the only solution the local offered were these magnetic clip-ons that I could see causing a problem in the plane. Playing the fool among the rudder pedals, or throttle quadrant or some such. Even if they hadn’t been polarized – which they were – and so unsuitable for duties involving actual control of aircraft, at least to the FAA.
An attractive professional woman of a certain age nevertheless steered me through the process, knocking down nascent objections as they arose, ensuring me with authentic-sounding “oohs,” that one particular frame was exactly right for my face and also matched my skin coloring. I swallowed it hook, line and sinker of course.
I’m only a man, after all.
She talked me into “progressive” glasses, softly emphasizing the phrase “progressive” over and over again, and singing the merits of eyeglasses that will help me read things close at hand, focus clearly on things in the intermediate distance and view with eagle-like clarity things at range. “Progressive,” she would breathe to me, as though it was some kind of incantation that would lead me to a higher spiritual plane.
Picked ‘em up yesterday, she fitted them to my face with every semblance of admiration, explained how the “progressive” thing works and how it would take me time to get used to them. You look through the top of the lens to see at a distance, the middle for the intermediate and the very lowest bit for up-close reading. You have to turn your head to see things clearly rather than your eyes. Everything on the border of your peripheral vision is hazy, swimming out of focus in a way I found slightly nauseating. When I read with them, I’m forced to tilt my chin in the air, taking on, I suspect, a rather pedantic air of superiority. I lower my head like a pugilist to see things on the horizon. Only in the middle distance, where the consequences are non-immediate can I relax.
I wore them for the better part of four hours yesterday, and they sit on the desk beside me now, unused, unloved and in fact cordially despised. Suitable for niche use such as driving to work and checking your watch, but not at all the thing for serious work. They cost a great deal of other people’s money, force you look at the world in a restricted way and perform much more poorly than I had been led to believe.
Probably because they’re progressive.
Well, that’s it for now. More later, maybe. Scribble, scribble and that.