Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On hold

The Australian government has seen the light?  It will now suspend its carbon reduction scheme until the end of 2012.  This will give them time to think things over.  They should.  Should have done so a long time ago.

Of course, it was a campaign promise.  But who keeps promises 100% in government? 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On epigenetic changes from IVF

Mary meets Dolly talks about how IVF could have adverse effects on the next generations, more particularly on disorders caused by epigenetic changes, from a UK Times Online article.

H/T:  Tweet by Jill

Scientists have discovered that the DNA of babies conceived through IVF differs from that of other children, putting them at greater risk of diseases such as diabetes and obesity later in life.

The new research could explain why IVF babies tend to be at higher risk of low birth weight, defects and rare metabolic disorders.

The changes are not in the genes themselves but in the mechanism that switches them on and off, the study of which is known as epigenetics.

“These epigenetic differences have the potential to affect embyronic development and foetal growth, as well as influencing long-term patterns of gene expression associated with increased risk of many human diseases,” said Professor Carmen Sapienza, a geneticist at Temple University in Philadelphia, who jointly led the research.
There is a possibility that such changes could be transmitted to the children of IVF babies, meaning they could spread through the human gene pool.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pawning off as science


It’s not the religious part of the belief that I mind. It’s the pawning it off as “science” on a public that is increasingly misinformed and under-educated about scientific issues. I have to wonder: Is Earth Day being used to teach our children the way the natural world works, or is it being used to indoctrinate them into performing rituals that will help absolve them of their eco-sins?

I am not opposed to cleaning things up. If there are things we can do that help reduce our impact on the environment without causing human suffering, then I am all for it. But it is that human-suffering part that those of us in more prosperous countries tend to forget about. For instance, there are no economically viable — or even practical — replacements for carbon-based fuels that can be deployed on a sufficient scale to substantially reduce our CO2 emissions. It will likely be decades before we do have such technology. And when we force people to use energy sources that are more expensive, it is the world’s poor who are hit the hardest.

As long as people are allowed the freedom to use and benefit from their creativity, we will eventually solve our energy problems. In contrast, it is the ineffective carbon-restricting policies being discussed today that we should fear the most. Such policies prevent the generation of the extra wealth needed for R&D, and they might actually delay the development of the new energy technologies we will eventually need.

Another challenge, IPCC?

Okay, maybe one report may not impact that much, they say. But the sloppy methods (how many are there?) have caused the hysteria that's driving people and governments into action that will be even more devastating than what climate change can do to us. So thick.

Scientists in Bangladesh posed a fresh challenge to the UN's top climate change panel Thursday, saying its doomsday forecasts for the country in the body's landmark 2007 report were overblown.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), already under fire for errors in the 2007 report, had said a one-metre (three-foot) rise in sea levels would flood 17 percent of Bangladesh and create 20 million refugees by 2050.

The claim helped create a widespread consensus that the low-lying country was on the "front line" of climate change, but a new study argues the IPCC ignored the role sediment plays in countering sea level rises.

On another note (from PlanetGore): How Russia Celebrates Lenin's Birthday

“Mommy’s SUV Kills Polar Bears”

“Mommy’s SUV Kills Polar Bears”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day redux

Since we are in Earth Hour today, here are some reminders about climate change.  

  1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant. CO2 is necessary for life on earth. Nothing would be green without it. Vegetation thrives on increased levels of CO2. CO2 amounts to approximately 0.04% [1] of the Earth’s atmosphere. Likewise, mankind’s contributions to annual atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions are tiny. 97% of the CO2 released into the air is from natural sources. Mankind is thus responsible for 3% of the 0.04% of the atmosphere that’s comprised of carbon dioxide (0.001% of the atmosphere). As a greenhouse gas, CO2 is a weak agent. The most powerful contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor, which is responsible for 95% of the Earth’s greenhouse effect [2].
  2. The Climate Changes. The Earth has constantly gone through periods of warming and cooling. The recent warming trend (which has now reversed – average world temperatures have been falling for the last decade) is not outside the natural variation that’s been observed in the geologic record. Mankind had nothing to do with the onset or end of any of the numerous past ice ages or warm periods.
  3. Garbage in, Garbage Out. Computer models used by UN IPCC scientists that project catastrophic global warming are based on flawed inputs. The models assume that when average global temperatures are rising, less solar radiation is escaping from the Earth’s atmosphere. A new study by MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, using 15 years of data collected from an orbiting satellite found that the exact opposite is true [3].
  4. Consensus. Science isn’t determined by consensus. Consensus is a mechanism of politics. We always hear that the debate is over, the science is settled and the scientific consensus is that we are facing a manmade global warming crisis. It’s a lie. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consists of hundreds of bureaucrats and only a handful of scientists. Only 50 IPCC scientists were responsible for the reports claiming catastrophic climate change is around the corner. 54 IPCC scientists dissented, but their remarks were excluded from the reports. Over 31,000 scientists from around the world, each holding a bachelor’s or higher degree (over 9,000 PhDs) have now signed a document stating that global warming is not a serious concern [4]. There is a consensus, but it’s not what we’ve been told.

The best way to celebrate Earth Day

H/T: Jill

Exercise those tear ducts

A post by Maryann.  H/T: Cassy.  He is just one of those who fight for the freedoms we enjoy.  He'll be back.

I move back to his side and he tries to say something, but his throat's raw and he can't talk. I lean in, apologizing because I can't understand.

"How much... how much... longer?"

I know these guys. He wants to know how much longer he has to stay here before he can go back downrange.

Exchanging glances with his nurse, and deliberately misunderstanding, I tell him he'll be out of the Intensive Care Unit in a couple of days. Even in his sedated state he knows exactly what I've done and gives me the dirtiest look imaginable.

Then, "fffff.... mmmm fffff.... "

He's saying, "Friends... my friends... "

I tell him everybody from the truck's ok. He did good, everybody's ok.

His face screws up like a child's as he breaks down and cries with relief.

I watch the tears roll down over the ointment covering his face, over the seared redness of his skin, over the blisters on his nose and lips.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

There you have it

They said before and early on in the campaign period that they had to do something like a "pass the hat" fundraising for the presidential campaign because they did not have much, and with the way that campaign is going, I would say that they have had a very successful "fundraising."   

When COMELEC said that it looks like they exceeded their airtime limits (whatever happened to this issue?),  even more did I believe how well they "begged" for funds.  But recently, I have heard talk (that means not at all backed by evidence) that the "yellow" campaign is awash in cash because of RH money.

Allow me to speculate (what, can I not have my own conspiracy theories?):  

It was in the news that "yanks" were in talks and meetings with Noy, according to Noy.

The "yanks" under the One, the most anti-life (pro-abort) President in the history of the US, in talks with Noy, who has clearly stated in no uncertain terms that he will push for the RH bill if he becomes President, and who is supporting the senatorial bids of Nereus Acosta and Rissa "RH Bill" Hontiveros, who have been in the original group of proponents of the RH bill.  

Can't we not see the link? 

This, appearing in Sunstar Cebu:
SOME supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill may support the candidacy of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for his being consistent in supporting measures that address population and development concerns of the country.
 There you have it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"BA" Marcus Luttrell

The shepherds were released to go about their business, and we're fairly certain that their business was to immediately go out and inform the warlord that there was a team of badass Navy SEALs running around the mountains with grenade launchers getting ready to pummel the fuck out of him and all of his buddies.  Armed with the knowledge of his impending doom, the warlord set a trap.  When SEAL Team 10 entered a particularly nasty ravine, they were ambushed and bombarded on three sides by a heavily-armed forces of somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 200 guys armed with machine guns, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.  I know that it's kind of a huge variable between fifty and two hundred, but when you've got four dudes in an exposed position flanked on both sides by fighters who have an elevation, position, and concealment advantage on you, it doesn't really make a huge difference if you're outnumbered twelve-to-one or fifty-to-one.  Either way, it ain't good. 

But these guys weren't just some chump mooks – they were United States Navy SEALs, and they weren't just going to throw down their weapons and start hyperventilating into paper bags simply because they were in a hopeless situation against an impossibly-huge enemy force.  In a tactical clusterfuck of a situation that would have seen lesser squads annihilated in about fifteen to twenty seconds, the SEALs immediately began a fighting withdrawal that would stretch out for over two hours.  Moving from rock to rock, attacking the horde of assailants, and laying down covering fire, the team moved deeper down the ravine, sometimes jumping down 20 or 30-foot cliffs to try to get out of the kill zone. 

Tragically, there was nothing that could be done to escape the gunfire.  The team leader, Lieutenant Michael Murphy, was heroically able to get to elevation (exposing himself in full view of the enemy to get a usable radio signal – an act of self-sacrifice that would earn him the Medal of Honor) and call for extraction, but the daring attempt to fly in a rescue chopper failed when a surface-to-air missile hit the bird, killing all 16 men on board.  After an epic battle the team was annihilated, and the SEALs suffered their bloodiest day of fighting since Vietnam.  Luttrell was shot in the leg, then hit with an RPG and blown off a cliff.

But amazingly, amidst all the chaos and destruction, Marcus Luttrell didn't die.  Concussed, bleeding, dehydrated, and exhausted, with three broken vertebrae, a bullet in one leg, and a shitload of burning-hot shrapnel in the other, the seemingly-unkillable SEAL awoke to find himself alone, in relatively-unfamiliar territory deep behind enemy lines, and without any hope of timely extraction, resupply, or medical attention. 

Not like that stopped him. 

 Oh, another BA, local hero Lapu-Lapu.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What gives?

What Michelle M. writes about is sad, but I take her word for it.  What has been happening there should make us Catholics wonder what the heck is happening there.  It is no surprise that some who are not even Catholics are so much against us because there are some of us Catholics who seem not to know which side we are on.  Pray for all of us!

Mimicking Planned Parenthood and the death lobby, the Chicago archdiocese defended late-term-abortion supporter Obama as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-abortion” this week — and did nothing in 2003 when Pfleger put radical-leftist actor Harry Belafonte on the St. Sabina pulpit to rail against former President George W. Bush’s pro-life policies.
Cardinal George did think it worthy of his time to condemn the “hate literature” of Illinois Catholic columnist Tom Roeser, who raised his voice against the church’s pedophilia scandal and criticized the willingness of Catholic Church leaders to sign on to the Obamacare sellout for the sake of “social justice.”
For years, the far-left Catholic Campaign for Human Development forked over funding to Chicago-based, Saul Alinsky-trained outfits that employed then-community organizer Obama. And the Chicago archdiocese has also lobbied aggressively alongsideopen-borders groups to undermine immigration enforcement, to halt homeland security raids against employers breaking immigration laws and to demand mass amnesty.
As if the massive global sex-abuse scandal that cost at least $3 billion in litigation and inflicted immeasurable pain and grief on Catholic molestation victims hasn’t done enough damage to its credibility, the Pfleger-ization of the Catholic Church goes on unabated. And the likes of Cardinal George are doing nothing to stop it.
This is not the Catholic Church I was raised in. It has left me.

"See Gore Run"

Latest: wattsupwiththat
See Gore Run: "I'm having lunch!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Haven't had enough

Just in case you did not know, reps of more than 150 countries tried to meet in Bonn to try to agree how they can waste their and our money on a world agreement meant to cut greenhouse gas emissions and supposedly help the poor countries deal with climate change.

Tried they did.  But they were successful at only one thing:  waste money.

Or were they actually only planning how they will enjoy themselves in Cancun.  In winter.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nice try

I cannot not link to George Neumayr's article in The Washington Times (Pope Benedicts' critics don't care about kids).

Here is how he started it:
Since when have secularists and dissenting Catholics been experts on the protection of children? These self-appointed reformers of the Catholic Church preside over a debased culture that abuses, aborts and corrupts children. That a reckless and depraved liberal elite would set itself up as moral tutor to Pope Benedict XVI is beyond satire.

Here we had on display during Holy Week the spectacle of the Vicar of Christ receiving moral instruction from Barabbas. Who turns orphans over to homosexual couples at adoption agencies? Who sends Planned Parenthood propagandists into schools? Who clears the streets of major cities for "gay-pride" parades with the North American Man/Boy Love Association in tow? It is the liberal elite who champion these child-corrupting practices. And wasn't it just last year that these enlightened protectors of children assembled at the golden coffin of Michael Jackson to pay their last respects? Where was the outrage about child corruption then?

In the end, it is clear that all these attacks at this time is a way for them to tell the Church to soften in its orthodoxy.
For all the opportunistic laments about "leniency" in recent days, their real hope for the church is not that it returns to her morally rigorous traditions but that it abolishes them. And it is precisely because Benedict stands in the way of this goal that they now go in for the kill.

That is like telling a person who wears a yellow and blue bawler band on his wrist to vote for Gibo.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pay for Play, Pay to Print

We have heard a lot about how some in media are in pay for play sometimes, the ACDC, the Attack-Collect, Defend-Collect.

Then there is the notion that in America, the press/media is tops. Not in so many years, it hasn't been.

Then comes this by Steve Clemons of Washington Note (H/T: ST).

The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. The reporter said, "They want 'blow jobs' first [in the press sense]. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access."
"Axe" and "Gibbs" know who needs access to get their books pushed forward.
They know who will pay for play -- and are taking notes on who has been naughty and nice in their reporting.

Could this happen in the Philippines with a new administration? Is it happening now? You tell me.

On Twitter @AlanShipnuck
Tom Watson picking up Ben Hogan award: "Obama said he was undeserving of Nobal peace prize. And I believe him." Laughter, cheers, boos.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Will Al impose restrictions? and the new color of AGW

When Al comes to the Philippines on April 30 for Part 3 of the Leadership Conference Series at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia Complex where he will present an Asian version of "An Inconvenient Truth", will he limit "media members ... to record video and audio of the first five minutes" of his talk in the same way he will "censor" his audience at Duke University on April 8? Will Philippine media and Filipinos in the audience at SM accept these restrictions, if indeed he will impose? It is known that Al has been censoring questions, so I am pretty sure April 30 in the Philippines would be no different. By the way, will he take a private jet? Just asking.

What is he so afraid of? If the recent "exonerations" of Michael Mann and Phil Jones are a plus to the AGW alarmists, what is Al so afraid of? Besides that we don't give a damn about global warming that much, that is.

Talking of "exonerations", I think the new color for environmentalists is now white. As in whitewash.

Update: when Al comes around, we will have rain and bad weather.