Daily Archives: January 10, 2010

Economics Chavez style

Chavez cuts value of the Bolivar in half, threatens to seize businesses that raise prices. Venezuela imports almost everything its citizens consume, so this may cause difficulties. You wouldn’t expect an illiterate peasant like Chavez to understand such things but surely he has at least one grade school graduate on his staff? I don’t mean Sean Penn, either.


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Well, what do they know?

Accuweather:most meteorologists skeptical about global warming.

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Mini Ice Age Coming

National Geographic warned of this in 2005

Now it’s here.

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in
summer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

Among the most prominent of the scientists is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been pushing the issue of man-made global warming on to the international political agenda since it was formed 22 years ago.

Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz  Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.

He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.

Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent.

‘They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.

‘The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.’

As Europe, Asia and North America froze last week, conventional wisdom insisted that this was merely a ‘blip’ of no long-term significance.

Though record lows were experienced as far south as Cuba, where the daily maximum on beaches normally used for winter bathing was just 4.5C, the BBC assured viewers that the big chill was merely short-term ‘weather’ that had nothing to do with ‘climate’, which was still warming.

The work of Prof Latif and the other scientists refutes that view.


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Are skeptics of global warming Kulaks?

Of course not – at least, 23 million of us haven’t been rounded up and exterminated yet. But a reader questioned why I even included them in the same paragraph with a list of Stalin’s victims – I was thinking of this post, and the final solution proposed by certain warmists for dealing with us.

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Getting up to speed on drone data

Military turning to television industry for help analyzing video streams from drones.

A group of young analysts already watch every second of the footage live as it is streamed to Langley Air Force Base here and to other intelligence centers, and they quickly pass warnings about insurgents and roadside bombs to troops in the field.

But military officials also see big potential in using the archives of video collected by the drones for later analysis, like searching for patterns of insurgent activity. To date, only a small fraction of the stored video has been retrieved for such intelligence purposes.

So the Air Force and other military units — mindful of the post-9/11 criticism that government agencies focused too heavily on collecting data without enough tools to spot patterns — are turning to the television industry to learn how to quickly share video clips, like the highlight plays in a football game, and display a mix of data in ways that make analysis faster and easier.

They are even testing some of the splashier techniques used by broadcasters, like the telestrator that John Madden popularized for scrawling football plays. It could be used to warn troops about a threatening vehicle or circle a compound that a drone should attack.

“Imagine you are tuning into a football game without all the graphics,” said Lucius Stone, an executive as Harris Broadcast Communications, a provider of commercial technology that is working with the military. “You don’t know what the score is. You don’t know what the down is. It’s just raw video. And that’s how the guys in the military have been using it.”

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This is what I’ve been thinking, but I’m not the Boston Consulting Group

Battery costs won’t come down enough in ten years to make electric cars viable.

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Fannie Mae – fraud from inception

We’ve been set up, for years.

If the previous statement seems extreme, consider this shocking revelation carried in the Wall Street Journal last week — a tidbit that also, strangely enough, has barely gotten any notice in the rest of the establishment media:

New research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae and a housing expert, has found that from the time Fannie and Freddie began buying risky loans as early as 1993, they routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring, reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that made them clearly subprime or Alt-A.

I doubt that the folks at Fannie were the only ones in on this scam, don’t you?

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Clinton: depends on what your definition of “coffee” is

Did I say that? My bad!

Book: Teddy Kennedy angered when Clinton said of Obama, “a few years ago, this guy would have been fetching us our coffee.” There is certainly room to doubt the veracity of the author, but the purported quote fits in quite well with the Democrat’s history of condescending bigotry towards blacks.


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That Hitler: boy, what a dancer!

Coming to a public school near you

Oliver Stone making new film showing “the other side” of Stalin, Hitler.

“Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy — these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,” Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena. 

“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII … I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view. We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”

Stone eventually hopes to send “Secret History” to schools as a teaching curriculum.

“It would be a very different counterweight to what they’re learning,” Stone said.

Stone obviously hasn’t stepped foot in an American high school in a long while – it’s already been done, Ollie.


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Abu Dhabi Justice

A member of the royal family has been aquitted of all charges despite a video showing him raping and sodomizing an Afghan male.

[A] lawyer for the sheikh, a son of UAE founder Sheikh Zayed, said his client was found to have “diminished liability” because two former business associates had drugged him beforehand then taken the video to extort money from him.

The two men, Lebanese-American brothers Bassam and Ghassan Nabulsi, were sentenced to five years in absentia and fined 10,000 dirhams ($2,723) for what the judge said was drugging, recording and publishing a video, and blackmail.

Sheikh Issa, who arrived in court with a large smile, kissed his lawyer on the head in thanks after sentencing was announced but made no comment.

The lawyer, Habib al-Mulla, said the UAE had demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law. “The fact that this trial is taking place is a sign that the UAE is showing that everyone in this country can be put in front of law and judged,” he said.


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