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HuffPo Libs Stunned To Find Corn Isn’t Grown Magically For Ethanol

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

The party of science.

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.

Part of the feel-good response (this one courtesy of the Bush administration) to the Church of Climate Hysteria preaching is to mandate more ethanol be added to gasoline. That requires more corn to be planted. Which brings about consequences.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

Why should the president back off? It’s policy that’s based on the fact that the Iowa caucuses play a disproportionate role in presidential elections and the iffy science claiming that man is largely driving the climate change that has always happened. When you’re winging it to begin with there is no reason to adjust to reality.

Even if it’s killing people.

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Sanders: U.S. Needs to Declare ‘Planetary Crisis’ on Climate Change

Monday, November 11th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said this morning that the U.S. needs to declare a “planetary crisis” on climate change and added that the CIA is stressing about it.

Sanders was asked on MSNBC about Republican lawmakers’ comments that the science is far from settled. Organizing for America gathered some of these into a video to slam the GOP over the issue, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) saying “I understand that people say there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.”

“I think it’s very clear that the scientific community, the people who have most studied this issue, overwhelmingly believe that, (A), global warming is real; (B), that it is caused by human activities; (C), that it is already causing severe damage in the United States on all — and all over the world. And (D), when we’re talking about the possibility — and this is what the predictions are — that by the year 2100 this planet may have a temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is right now. What we’re looking at is real catastrophe unless we begin to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Sanders said.

“It saddens me very much, and I know people are totally frustrated with what goes on in Congress right now for 100 different reasons. But the idea that you have a major political party that is rejecting — rejecting all of the science out there, and it’s preventing us from going forward in the kind of ways that we have got to go forward to save this planet, is enormously distressing.”

Sanders recently told Playboy in an interview that global warming is a more serious threat than al-Qaeda.

He says he doesn’t expect much to come out of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, staring today  in Warsaw, Poland, and running through Nov. 22. “The United States will also host more than 40 side events for the nearly 10,000 attendees to learn more about U.S. leadership to curb climate change and participate in discussions with leading experts,” the State Department said of the convention.

“What we need to do as a nation is say, ‘Look, we have a planetary crisis.’ We’ve got to break our dependence on fossil fuel. We have to invest significantly in energy efficiency and sustainable energy. We have to work with China, India, and the rest of the world to make this transformation as soon as possible,” Sanders said.

“We’ve spent — just the federal government — spent $60 billion helping New Jersey and the other states impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars helping Vermont and other states hit by Hurricane Irene. You’re talking about forest fires. You’re talking about drought. A recent report came out recently from the scientific community worrying very much about food production because of drought in years to come,” he continued. “The rising price of food, hunger, political dislocation, because countries and people are fighting over limited resources. Ask the CIA. They worry very much about the long-term implications from a national security perspective about global warming.”

“So, all over the world, the evidence is very clear, we have got to act. It is literally beyond comprehension how little we are doing and that you have — again, I don’t mean to be overly political here, but when you have a major political party rejecting what the overwhelming scientific evidence is, it is pretty scary.”

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Antarctic Sea Ice Growing, Unexpectedly!

Monday, November 11th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

This is some lead, Washington Post:

Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.

The world hasn’t actually been “warming” for the past 15 years or so. But let’s not let reality intrude into “settled” science.

On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site.  That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.

The growth doesn’t fit the models, yet no one is ready to junk or change the models…

“This modeled Antarctic sea ice decrease in the last three decades is at odds with observations, which show a small yet statistically significant increase in sea ice extent,”says the study, led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes.

recent study by Lorenzo Polvani and Karen Smith of Columbia University says the model-defying sea ice increase may just reflect natural variability.

If the increase in ice is due to natural variability, Zhang says, warming from manmade greenhouse gases should eventually overcome it and cause the ice to begin retreating.

“If the warming continues, at some point the trend will reverse,” Zhang said.

Keep the faith!

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Open Thread: How A Real TARDIS Would Work

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Building, er, growing, mine now.

“Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains in Spacetime” is the name of a scientific paper written by physicists Dr. Ben Tippett and Dr. Dave Tsang. Yes, not only do they study black holes and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but they deliberately named theorized spacetime bubbles TARDIS. We want to be their best friends.

Basically, the proposed real life TARDIS is a bubble of spacetime capable of moving backward and forward along a loop of time. If several of these loops could be spliced together, it would allow the TARDIS to travel between any point in space and time.

Of course, though the theory is sound, building such a thing would step outside of the bounds of normal matter. Presumably, that’s why the Gallifreyans had to grow them.

YouTube Preview Image

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A Reminder Of The Havoc Big Government Republicans Wreak

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Self fulfilling prophecy policy.

California will fall short of its goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury unless it adopts aggressive policies to fight climate change, a new report says.

The state is still on track to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

But reducing those emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, as required under a 2005 executive order by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will not be possible without new policies and technological innovations, the report said.

Set an improbable target, fail to meet it and use that as an excuse for even more onerous regulation. All that from an executive order.

Remember that the next time somebody tries to give you the “as long as he/she has an ‘R’ after his/her name’ argument.

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HHS to Ask DEA to Put Vicodin in the Same Category as Cocaine

Friday, October 25th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

The Food and Drug Administration has forwarded a recommendation to the Department of Health and Human Services to reclassify hydrocodone combo drugs such as Vicodin as a Schedule II controlled substance.

After HHS forwards its expected approval to the Drug Enforcement Administration, that would put the common prescription pain reliever in the same category as cocaine, amphetamines, opium and morphine.

Janet Woodcock, M.D., director for the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said the decision came about because of the government’s concern “about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States.”

“While the value of and access to these drugs has been a consistent source of public debate, the FDA has been challenged with determining how to balance the need to ensure continued access to those patients who rely on continuous pain relief while addressing the ongoing concerns about abuse and misuse,” Woodstock said.

“Going forward, the agency will continue working with professional organizations, consumer and patient groups, and industry to ensure that prescriber and patient education tools are readily available so that these products are properly prescribed and appropriately used by the patients who need them most.”

No Schedule II prescription can be refilled without another written prescription from the doctor.

Currently, hydrocodone compounds such as Vicodin and Tylenol 3 can be filled with a written or phone prescription and refilled up to five times.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) had been pressing for the reclassification because of hydrocodone abuse “that has ravaged West Virginia and our country.”

“Rescheduling hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug will help prevent these highly addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands and devastating families and communities,” said Manchin, noting he’d been informed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the change. “…I am also extremely grateful that the Food and Drug Administration has finally implemented its own advisory committee’s recommendations to reclassify these addictive drugs. The agency has just saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Back in 2012, Manchin first introduced an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act to reschedule hydrocodone. It passed by unanimous consent but was pulled out in the version passed by the House.

Last year, five pharmacy groups sent a letter to Manchin and his supporters opposing the reclassification: the American Pharmacists Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

“Moving all of these hydrocodone products to Schedule II will result in significant barriers for patients who have a legitimate need for these products, and it will result in adding to the nation’s healthcare costs with no assurance of a reduction in diversion and abuse,” they wrote.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists has said such a proposal would “make it difficult for long-term care (LTC) residents to receive adequate pain treatment in a timely manner by exacerbating existing barriers to pain medication access.”

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Scientists Pull Meteorite from Russian Lake, Immediately Break It

Thursday, October 17th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Oops?

Eight months after a meteorite screamed out of the skies over the Ural mountains and shattered — leading to about 1,200 injuries from the shockwave it created — Russian divers pulled a hefty chunk of the space rock from a murky lake.

As shown on live TV in Russia, divers entered lake Chebarkul on Wednesday and pulled a 5-foot long, 1,255-pound hunk of the rock from the water, AFP reported — and promptly broke it.

“The rock had a fracture when we found it,” one unnamed scientist said during the live video feed. As the scientists pulled it from the lake, using levers and ropes, the fracture expanded, splitting it into at least three pieces.

“It weighed [1,255-pounds] before the pieces fell off. And then the scale broke,” he reportedly said.

Did he blame it on the rock? I think he just blamed it on the rock.

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Video: The Problems with Skill-less Government Involving Itself in Everything Requiring Skills

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 - by Seton Motley

With the cataclysmic debut of the ObamaCare website, and the explosions at the National Security Administration (NSA) $1.2 billion spy-data storage facility – which they hid – and on and on, the federal government is proving itself just as technologically savvy as they are at, say, handling money.

($17 trillion federal debt; Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare facing $84 trillion in looming liabilities – and on, and on….)

So should the government insert itself further into the technologically sophisticated world of cell phones and the Internet?  Probably not.

As we discuss in the accompanying video.  Please enjoy.

An Agency (FCC) Has Got to Know Its Limits, with Seton Motley from Mike Wendy on Vimeo.

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We’re About To Be Able To Reduce Malaria, Which We’ve Always Been Able To Reduce

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

SCIENCE!

British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is set to seek regulatory approval for the world’s first malaria vaccine after trials with the drug caused a 50 percent drop in the number of malaria cases in African children.

The vaccine is called RTS,S and was developed by GSK along with the non-profit Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The vaccine has been in development by GSK for three decades and the trial was the largest-ever clinical trial conducted in Africa, involving almost 15,500 children across seven countries, the BBC reports.

The nearly 50 percent drop in childhood malaria cases, while dramatic, traditionally wouldn’t make a vaccine a sure thing, as most childhood vaccines provide at least 90 percent protection, according to NBC News.

Hmmm…I wonder if there is anything out there that does have a 90 percent success rate fighting this killer?

The enviro whackos have been willing to let over half a million kids-and a million people total-die annually for fifty years to save a few birds.

But don’t call them fanatics.

These are the same people who say that all anthropogenic global warming skeptics are “anti-science” although they’ve been eschewing science in favor of 4th Century BC netting technology.

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EPA: ‘Yeah, Our New Onerous Regs Really Won’t Do Much To Curb Emissions’

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

I wrote about this here last week.

EPA director Gina McCarthy went with the usual “for the children” spiel to justify plowing ahead with regulations even though the agency’s own analysis admits it won’t accomplish much.

The EPA anticipates that the proposed EGU New Source GHG Standards will result in negligible CO2 emission changes, energy impacts, quantified benefits, costs, and economic impacts by 2022. Accordingly, the EPA also does not anticipate this rule will have any impacts on the price of electricity, employment or labor markets, or the US economy.

The impacts on price, labor and the economy are never quite as rosy as what a federal agency reporting on itself projects, of course.

Apparently, this isn’t being done to help the environment, it is all about trying to make an infeasible technology feasible.

If this proposed regulation will have little effect, why press for it? The answer is because it will improve the prospects of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology, according to EPA.

Wait, didn’t EPA administrator McCarthy tell the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week that CCS is already “feasible.” She has more confidence in the technology than her agency. The RIA states that because “CCS technologies have had limited application to date,” the proposed regulation would “incentivize innovation” leading to performance improvement and cost reductions.

You have to love EPA’s circular logic. Through the regulatory process, it wants to push a technology that is supposedly “feasible” in order to incentivize its innovation in order to make it feasible.

The federal government is trying to artificially create a marketplace with tech that can’t yet sustain itself.

Because that’s worked out so well in recent years.

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Left Logic: Earth Not Getting Warmer So It’s ‘Time To Act On Climate Change’

Friday, September 20th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Contrast this with this.

Two things worth noting here: the Climate Church long ago ceased caring about the science or the evidence and this administration is plowing ahead with its Executive overreach agenda based on this zealotry while we’re distracted by looming war and the Obamacare monstrosity.

So there’s that to look forward to.

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Cool Pic Of Soyuz Space Capsule At Precise Moment Of Landing Yesterday

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

(h/t Business Insider)

This shot captures the firing of the landing rockets just as the capsule is touching down. On a sadder note, remember when our space station astronauts didn’t have to hitch a ride home?

(click to enlarge)

souyz-1

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Science: Games People Play are Good for the Brain

Friday, September 6th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

I don’t know about you, but I’d like a diversion from the looming conflagration in the Middle East. So how about a little justification for messing around with video games?

Brain scientists have discovered that swerving around cars while simultaneously picking out road signs in a video game can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults. Some people as old as 80, the researchers say, begin to show neurological patterns of people in their 20s.

Cognitive scientists say the findings, to be published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature, are a significant development in understanding how to strengthen older brains. That is because the improvements in brain performance did not come just within the game but were shown outside the game in other cognitive tasks.

Further supporting the findings, the researchers were able to measure and show changes in brain wave activity, suggesting that this research could help understand what neurological mechanisms should and could be tinkered with to improve memory and attention.

It sounds like they were playing Crazy Taxi. Or maybe something like Sleeping Dogs or GTA in this four year, $300,000 study.

The field is young, the research is raw, more needs to be done, and so forth and so on. The bottom line, though, is if you want to train your brain and keep it young, then game on. It may take your mind off the possibility that Obama is risking war with Russia…as winter approaches.

That always works out well.

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IPCC Report: Bloviating Gore Gases Biggest Threat To Planet

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well, it should have said that.

In case you’ve forgotten, “Al Gore was vice president of the United States from 1993-2001.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein delivers that news in setting up an interview with Gore, who is known these days mostly as an alarmist advocate of global warmism.

Gore uses the interview to claim vindication for his 2006 “documentary,” “An Inconvenient Truth”: “You mentioned my movie back in the day. The single most common criticism from skeptics when the film came out focused on the animation showing ocean water flowing into the World Trade Center memorial site. Skeptics called that demagogic and absurd and irresponsible. It happened last October 29th, years ahead of schedule, and the impact of that and many, many other similar events here and around the world has really begun to create a profound shift.”

The reference is to Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 storm when it struck the Northeastern U.S., flooding parts of New York and New Jersey, including downtown Manhattan. (Sandy peaked in the Caribbean as a Category 3 storm. By comparison, 2005′s Hurricane Katrina went as high as Category 5 and made landfall at Category 3.)

But if we roll the film–which is less than scintillating, but the clip lasts less than 2½ minutes–we find that what Gore predicted in “An Inconvenient Truth” was something far direr than a storm and a flood. He predicted that lower Manhattan–along with vast and heavily populated swaths of Florida, California, the Netherlands, China, India and Bangladesh–would be permanently submerged owing to higher sea levels.

Gore has become filthy rich by lying about the causes of climate change and overstating, well, everything. He has been a little upset during the Obama years because the focus has been more on health care than the Climate Cult and not enough of those green “investment” dollars from the government ended up in his bank account. In fact, it’s been kind of rough all around for the professional alarmists lately, so Bloato is focused on being even more disingenuous in the hopes of getting those dollars flowing from the faithful again.

Leftist media celebrates Gore as a visionary and an intellectual. At first glance, this seems absurd. Relative to the rest of the brain trust over there, however, it becomes more plausible.

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Open Thread: New Carnivore Discovered In Cloud Forests Of Ecuador Hiding From PETA And Michelle Obama

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

You would too.

For all of modern history, a small, carnivorous South American mammal in the raccoon family has evaded the scientific community. Untold thousands of these red, furry creatures scampered through the trees of the Andean cloud forests, but they did so at night, hidden by dense fog. Nearly two dozen preserved samples—mostly skulls or furs— were mislabeled in museum collections across the United States. There’s even evidence that one individual lived in several American zoos during the 1960s—its keepers were mystified as to why it refused to breed with its peers.

Now, the discovery of the olinguito has solved the mystery. At an announcement today in Washington, D.C., Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, presented anatomical and DNA evidence that establish the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe) as a living species distinct from other known olingos, carnivorous tree-dwelling mammals native to Central and South America. His team’s work, also published today in the journal ZooKeys, represents the first discovery of a new carnivorous mammal species in the American continents in more than three decades.

Although new species of insects and amphibians are discovered fairly regularly, new mammals are rare, and new carnivorous mammals especially rare.

I’m out…suddenly craving a burger or three.

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Telegraph UK: Obama ‘Driving A Green Dagger Into The Heart Of The American Dream’

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Perspective.

When it comes to pinpointing the nadir of the Obama administration, future historians are going to suffer a serious case of option paralysis. Was it Benghazi? The NSA? His use of the IRS to harass the Tea party? The various scandals involving his black ops department, the EPA? Obamacare?

Personally, though, I think the one they will eventually plump for is Obama’s Climate Action Plan of June 25 2013. The economy, after all, is everything. Without an economy you can’t afford a domestic policy, let alone a foreign policy. So you’d think the very last thing any president would do as his country began to show the first vague signs of slow – and quite possibly illusory – recovery after a long recession would be to jeopardise it with a whole new raft of utterly pointless regulation and wasteful government expenditure. Why it would be like seeing a man drowning and, instead of throwing him a life line tossing him a lead weight.

But that’s just what President Obama has done with today’s Climate Action Plan whose gory details you can read here.

I certainly wouldn’t want to be tasked with ascertaining the low point of The Lightbringer’s reign after this is all over but, as of now, this would be the best place to start. If we cobble together the occasional weak but positive economic signs from the past few months and ignore the stagnant ones we can at least pretend we’re moving in the right direction.

Until daddy decided to drive home drunk.

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Think Progress Upset That Major Spewer Of Noxious Emissions Ignored By Cable News Today

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

The invisible SQUIRREL!

This was a super important speech, after all, as evidenced by the fact that The Idiot King was sans jacket, rolled up his sleeves and let us know that he wanted to be clear.

How upset were they about this oversight? The got one of their graphics people on it (click to enlarge):

Climate-Coverage

Meanwhile, the real world kept on turning.

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New Study: Tax Policies Are A ‘Poor Tool’ For Addressing Climate Change

Friday, June 21st, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya don’t say.

As America’s debt rises to unsustainable levels, the U.S. government is losing billions every year on energy tax subsidies that do little to combat climate change.

That’s according to a tough report released this week by the National Research Council. The non-partisan academic report concluded that current tax policies are a “poor tool” for addressing climate change — and a costly one.

It found energy subsidies in 2011 and 2012 cost $48 billion, with limited results.

Let’s toss aside the discussion of whether there is any approach that will achieve good results because maybe, just maybe, it isn’t a man-made problem in the first place. It is obvious that this course of action is not working and is an even worse idea in the context of our current economic situation. Yet, as I pointed out yesterday, that matters little to this president.

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EPA: ‘Nah, We Don’t Need To Double Check Findings On This Fracking Study’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Science!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is dropping its longstanding plan to have independent scientists review its finding that hydraulic fracturing may be linked to groundwater pollution in central Wyoming.

The EPA is standing by its findings, but state officials will lead further investigation into the pollution in the Pavillion area. The area has been a focus of the debate over whether fracking can pollute groundwater ever since the EPA’s initial report came out in late 2011.

“We stand behind our work and the data, but EPA recognizes the state’s commitment to further investigation,” said agency spokesman Tom Reynolds in Washington, D.C. The EPA will let state officials carry on the investigation with the federal agency’s support, he said.

Wyoming officials have been skeptical about the theory that fracking played a role in the pollution at Pavillion, but Reynolds expressed confidence the state could lead the work from here. He described the shift as the best way to ensure Pavillion-area residents have a clean source of drinking water.

They’ve also been down this road before.

But in fact, the fracking-poisons-groundwater complaint has largely proven to be overblown. The reality is that many places around the U.S. have naturally occurring methane, and if water wells aren’t properly constructed and sealed, or have aged and become damaged, gas can seep into groundwater. But there is no evidence of a direct link between shale gas drilling and groundwater contamination. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency has lately had to retreat from several investigations against energy companies operating in Pennsylvania and Texas, where the agency had alleged that drilling caused groundwater contamination. And EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has recently admitted that there is no evidence that fracking has ever directly polluted groundwater. States such as Pennsylvania, meanwhile, have worked hard in developing regulations to prevent any future contamination by mandating properly sealed drilling wells and proper cement-casing standards for those wells. The Times reports about “radioactive” fracking wastewater were studied by state regulators and other experts, who concluded that the trace amounts of radioactive particles were so small as to be insignificant.

The reality is that the big money climate cultists all put their money on wind and solar, hoping to reap financial rewards from government subsidies to companies that can’t be self-sustaining in the marketplace. They have to be anti-fracking and natural gas because evil capitalists are making money the good old fashioned way: supplying a demand.

And that drives Leftists crazy.

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Perhaps The Dumbest Thing You’ll See This Year From Progressive Climate Cultists

Thursday, June 20th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

And it’s part of the immigration bill!

Senator Brian Schatz’s (sic) (D-HI) filed an amendment for the immigration bill Wednesday that would allow stateless people in the U.S. to seek conditional lawful status if their nations have been made uninhabitable by climate change.

The Senate’s immigration bill currently recognizes that people who come to the U.S. may have no country to return to for a variety of reasons and allows them to come forward to apply for legal status as a stateless person. But one cause for displacement that is overlooked in current law is how climate change has caused people to lose their homes and their nationality.

Noting that climate change is not some “abstract challenge,” but is already displacing people across the world, Schatz explained:

The amendment I am proposing is quite simple. If enacted, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may designate individuals or a group of individuals displaced permanently by climate change as stateless persons.
Again, let me be clear about what this amendment does. It simply recognizes that climate change, like war, is one of the most significant contributors to homelessness in the world. And like with states torn apart and made uninhabitable by war, we have an obligation not to deport people back to a country made uninhabitable by sea level rise and other extreme environmental changes that render these states desolate. It does not grant any individual or group of individuals outside the United States with any new status or avenue for seeking asylum in the United States.

Last year alone, more than 32 million people fled their homes around the world because of climate-related disasters. Africa and Asia saw the worst impacts, and the highest number of people displaced last year.

Yes, this is from an adult who is in a position to make laws governing the United States of America.

People who have been displaced by natural disasters have not been victims of climate change. They have been victims of forces that have plagued and displaced mankind since the beginning of time.

These climate freaks aren’t just religious zealots, they’re anti-science, anti-American sovereignty and anti-economic principles.

And a lot of them are in charge.

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‘Pay No Attention to That Overreaching Regulatory Agency Behind the Scandal Curtain’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

While everyone is losing their minds over whatever Marco Rubio is doing at the moment

President Barack Obama will target carbon emissions from power plants as part of a second-term climate change agenda expected to be rolled out in the next few weeks, his top energy and climate adviser said on Wednesday.

Obama will take several steps to make tackling climate change a “second-term priority” that builds on first-term policies, said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change.

This president is, and always has been, a disturbingly focused ideologue. On most issues, he occupies the fringe of the fringe of American politics. Thanks to a press corps that has functioned mostly as a propaganda agency for him, the average voter in America is under the impression that he’s some sort of centrist. So, even while seemingly under siege from a zillion things going wrong at once, he is moving ahead with his nonsensical and economically idiotic green agenda.

While one hand is publicly about to hit you over the head with new bad ideas, you have to pay attention to what the other one is doing.

Remember, the carbon/green frenzy isn’t policy for Leftists, it’s their religion.

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Senate Dems are All Over the Sunscreen War

Friday, May 31st, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

Democrats are concerned this week that Americans are going to burned — on the beach, at least.

“As we go into the summer beach season, consumers must have access to clear and consistent information about their sunscreen purchases,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said at a press conference yesterday at the UConn Health Center to urge the Food and Drug Administration to take additional measures to protect consumers and require better accuracy regarding sun protection factor labeling.

The FDA recently enacted new rules requiring sunscreen with an SPF lower than 15 to warn that it won’t protect against skin cancer and all sunscreens must say “water resistant” with a time limit noted rather than “water resistant.”

“It is alarming and appalling that sunscreen makers have been allowed for years to make misleading claims about the protection they offer, and I applaud the FDA for finally taking action to stop this abuse,” Blumenthal said.

“While recent actions by the FDA are a major step forward, and will undoubtedly improve health and save lives, there are still improvements that must be made, particularly regarding the accuracy of sun protection factor labeling.”

Democrats submitted four bills in the last Congress trying to crack down on sunscreen abuse.

Last week Senate Dems urged the FDA to require further labeling accuracy with regards to “sun protection factors.”

“When Americans purchase and use over-the-counter sunscreen products they assume they are protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but the current protection that they are afforded could be misleading or worse inaccurate. For example, aerosol-based products are becoming more popular among consumers, but may not provide the same level of protection from the sun as lotion-based products. In addition, there are some sunscreen lotions and sprays that continue to use increasingly higher SPF numbers even though researchers have found higher numbers do not always correlate with proportionately stronger protection. For instance, one product with an SPF of 30 was found to protect against 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, while a product labeled with a SPF of 100 may protect against 99 percent of the sun’s rays. Lastly, it is our understanding that the FDA has yet to approve, let alone review, new ingredients for sunscreen that may offer stronger protection against the sun’s rays,” they wrote.

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House Science Committee Wants More Planets

Thursday, May 9th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

Apparently there isn’t enough intelligent life on Planet Congress.

Today the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittees on Space and Research explored current efforts to search for life-sustaining planets.

“The search for exoplanets and Earth-like planets is a relatively new but inspiring area of space exploration. Scientists are discovering new kinds of solar systems in our own galaxy that we never knew existed,” said Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “In the universe, is there another place like home? Because of NASA’s Kepler mission, we know the likely answer is yes. Imagine how the discovery of life outside our solar system would alter our priorities for space exploration and how we view our place in the universe.”

Witnesses discussed the recent discovery by NASA’s Kepler space telescope of three super-Earth sized planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

“Scientists do not know whether life could exist on the newfound planets, but their discovery signals we are another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth around a star like our sun,” NASA said in an April 18 press release.

Witnesses talked about coordinating government and external partner research to use both space- and ground-based telescopes to help categorize and characterize candidate planets.

“As we strive to do more with less, I hope we will get a better understanding of how exoplanet research should adapt to the fiscal realities we face today. Is the current portfolio of missions and research still the ideal path under constrained budgets?” said Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.). “How can we build upon recent inspirational discoveries in the most efficient manner? These are key questions we must answer as we work to draft a NASA Authorization Bill and a Reauthorization of COMPETES Act.”

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Is the World’s First Fully Printed Gun Here?

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

According to Forbes, yes. Cody Wilson has succeeded, more or less on schedule.

Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun.

Now he has.

Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls “the Liberator,” pictured in its initial form above. He’s agreed to let me document the process of the gun’s creation, so long as I don’t publish details of its mechanics or its testing until it’s been proven to work reliably and the file has been uploaded to Defense Distributed’s online collection of printable gun blueprints at Defcad.org.

The Liberator does include two metal pieces, a nail to act as the firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel to make it detectable by metal detectors. The other 16 parts were printed in ABS plastic and according to Wilson, will be available online at Defcad.org next week. It has interchangeable barrels so that it can fire multiple calibers of standard handgun ammunition. Wilson has his federal firearms license, and added the steel to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act, so everything he has done to date complies with firearms law.

And yet, the printed gun may change everything.

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Lawmakers Want to Nudge Admin on Moon Mission

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

A bipartisan group in Congress want to force the administration’s hand on the lagging space program, reintroducing a bill to direct NASA to put man back on the moon.

The RE-asserting American Leadership in Space Act, or REAL Space Act, is sponsored by Reps. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), John Culberson (R-Texas), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Ted Poe (R-Texas).

“It’s going to be next to impossible to maintain our preeminence in the exploration of space if we are having to hitch rides from other countries,” Bishop said. “Going back to the moon has always been an essential stepping stone for technology development for manned exploration to other parts of the galaxy. This legislation restores and clarifies NASA’s role in human space flight and sets the U.S. back on course to lead exploration of the cosmos.”

“Space is the world’s ultimate high ground, returning to the Moon and reinvigorating our human space flight program is a matter of national security,” said Jackson Lee.

Wolf noted a National Research Council committee finding last year that there was no support within NASA or from our international partners for the administration’s proposed asteroid mission, but there is a for a moon mission.

“So the U.S. can either lead that effort, or another country will step up and lead that effort in our absence — which would be very unfortunate,” said Wolf, chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee.

The bill directs NASA to plan to return to the Moon by 2022 and develop a sustained human presence there as a stepping stone for the future exploration of Mars and other destinations within our solar system. It underscores the necessity of preserving America’s independent access to space.

“The REAL Space Act clarifies NASA’s mission, something it has been lacking in recent years,” Olson said. “Human space exploration is critically important to America’s global future.”

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The Strange Jujitsu of the Liberal Mind

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

A week ago, former comedian Jim Carrey publicly advocated for restricting the law-abiding citizen’s access to firearms. He was militating against a right plainly spelled out in the Constitution.

This week, Jim Carrey has put his name to a letter advocating relaxing drug laws and clemency for drug offenders. The letter also hints at restoring voting rights to felons at the federal level, which up to now has been a state issue. These same people fight against voter ID, which protects the voting rights of Americans who have broken no laws.

Whatever you may think of the drug war, and I question the growing militarization of ordinary police forces, Carrey’s two positions are common on the left: Against the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms, simultaneously for the law breaker whose actions make the law-abiding citizen’s self-defense necessary. “Free Mumia” goes with universities hiring domestic terrorists goes with “gun free zones” that help killers plan massacres.

Carrey and other liberals do not see the contradiction here. Your right to bear arms, written into the Constitution, does not count. Yet they will find shadows and penumbras to create rights that are not written there.

On issues of life, liberals tend to favor the most radical policies on abortion, while they oppose the death penalty for our worst criminals. In court this week they won a victory allowing people of any age to purchase a powerful abortifacient drug, meaning children will end up buying, using, and probably being harmed by this drug. When a girl is harmed and sues the manufacturer, the same liberals will stand up and denounce “Big Pharma.” Liberals are literally turning a blind eye now to the ongoing trial in Pennsylvania, in which the details of an abortion mill/charnel house are being laid bare. Kermit Gosnell’s trial is among the most grisly in American history. But the lives of those children he and his employees callously snuffed and snipped out do not matter to liberals, at all. Their silence says all that needs to be said. Liberals who favor the death of the thousands of children killed at Gosnell’s slaughter house will oppose meting out the death penalty to the doctor who systematically killed them.

On the other hand, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other liberals incessantly claim that their policies are — sing along if you’d like — “for the children.” MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry advocates for the collective against the family in an ad, yet pushes against any collective disgust or restrictions when it comes to abortion. She says children matter to all of us, yet if a child is born while a doctor is trying to kill her, that child does not matter at all. Gosnell is free to keep her feet in a jar, as he did with many of his victims.

Liberals also claim to be be voices for the powerless against the powerful. If they really cared about the children, and were really advocates of the powerless against the powerful, would they not see in the Gosnell trial a chance to side with both? Likewise, they claim to be women’s advocates, yet women were victims at Gosnell’s horror lab. He employed a person with no medical education at all to anesthetize patients. Women were injured and died due to his unsafe and unsanitary practices, practices government ignored for years.

Liberals have nothing at all to say about any of this. Nothing.

And they apparently see no contradiction between their rhetoric and their true policies. If liberals have a conscience, even the alleged crimes of Kermit Gosnell does not sear it.

The mental jujitsu that it takes to be a modern liberal doesn’t stop there. If you’re a law-abiding Christian church leader in America, the Obama administration wants to dictate to you, tell you whom to hire and what products you will pay for through insurance. But if you’re a drug cartel operative in Mexico with designs on expanding your business in the US, liberals want to make sure your path across the border is smooth. Liberals create “free speech zones” on university campuses that explicitly restrict free speech that liberals don’t like. Liberals claim to be for education, yet always side with unions that oppose firing incompetent teachers. Liberals claim to be racially tolerant, yet routinely launch racist attacks against minorities who disagree with them, as Clarence Thomas, Ted Cruz and our own Allen West can testify. Liberals claim to be pro-woman, yet demonize women leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Sarah Palin and Condoleezza Rice. Liberals claim to be pro-science, yet ignore the science on the beginning of life and on climate and everything else that contradicts their political point of view. They claim to be lovers of reason, yet get into a discussion with one and if it doesn’t go their way, liberals tend to become the most hysterical shriekers on earth. Despite their claims to be open-minded and free-thinkers, the America that liberals are trying to create has no room at all for anyone who disagrees with them, on anything. Their America would consist of endless purges as political correctness evolves and metastasizes, a movie we’ve seen before in France and Cambodia. Liberals claim to stand for freedom, yet consistently expand the power of a less and less accountable bureaucratic state. They’re for due process for foreign terrorists, against due process for the American farmer on whose land an endangered species resides. They’re pro-choice, as long as you choose what they want you to choose. Choose to go to church, listen to Rush Limbaugh, hunt, or vote Republican and watch how tolerant and pro-choice they really are.

Take it all in, and it leaves little room for the existence of a well-meaning liberal. There must be some, but the vast majority must be either dupes who do not really understand the effects of their beliefs, they have succumbed to bullying or are liberals just to be seen as cool, or they know exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who stands in their way and must therefore be destroyed.

 

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Doctors Save Unborn Baby’s Life by Operating On Her Lung

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Barack Obama voted against protections for infants born alive during the process of aborting them. If he were a man of thoughts deeper than his rigid ideology, and if he had a conscience when it came to protecting the most innocent and vulnerable among us, what would he make of this?

Lake Annabelle Hall wouldn’t be alive today if doctors at Children’s Hospital of Colorado hadn’t operated on a cyst on her left lung before she was born.

Doctors pulled her halfway out of her mother’s womb, leaving her connected to her the umbilical cord and placenta, which served as life support for her while a team of 43 doctors and nurses operated on her.

She is now 5 months old after the medical procedure for a rare condition that saved her life.

Dr. Timothy Crombleholme performed the astounding surgery, which had to be done to remove a cyst and clear the baby’s airway before she drew her first breath. Today, Lake is a healthy little girl and should not require any additional surgery.

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Holy Moly: Scientists are Printing Stem Cells Now

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Printing a working gun will be amazing. But printing functioning stem cells? Off the charts.

Scientists developed an 3D printing system that can place living human embryonic stem cells, which was first proven to work last month, and are now conducting first tests with the system.

The system was developed by a team of researchers from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, led by Dr. Will Wenmiao Shu. A liquid with human stem cells can be three-dimensionally placed by an ink-jet like device which will allow the production of various forms of human tissue.

The innovative machine was built by bioengineer Alan Faulkner-Jones, using parts from an old 3D printer and works by placing whole cells onto a surface via a valve-based procedure. The scientists deposited droplets of the cell ink and after testing, found that 90 percent of them were alive and viable for replication.

So where is this going? Eventually, and by eventually I mean a couple of years from right now, printing working organs.

“In the longer term, we envisage the technology being further developed to create viable 3D organs for medical implantation from a patient’s own cells, eliminating the need for organ donation, immune suppression and the problem of transplant rejection,” explained Shu last month. Until now the system is “accurate enough to produce 3D micro-tissue.”

The team of scientists aims to create a human liver by 2015 and then go on to produce other individual organs shortly after using their stem cell printer.

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‘One Small Step for a Man…’ and then Stick out Your Thumb

Sunday, April 7th, 2013 - by Rick Moran

As late as 2010, NASA was planning a return to the moon by 2020. But budget cuts led to the cancellation of those plans, while NASA continued to design and build hardware associated with a lunar mission.

The question was always, why are they building hardware for a mission that doesn’t exist? Indeed, the Ares rocket — a heavy lift booster necessary to ferry the crew exploration vehicle, lander, and command module into space — continues to be built at the cost of several billion a year despite not having any purpose. It was hoped that eventually, NASA would come up with some alternate plans for a moon mission.

But those hopes have been dashed by NASA administrator Charles Bolden:

NASA administrator Charles Bolden has dismissed the idea that the space agency will attempt another manned Moon mission. Speaking with contemporaries, Bolden said “NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission… probably in my lifetime.” Bolden added that if the next administration reverses NASA’s decision it would set back the manned space program in its entirety. He warned that, should we divert resources towards a manned moon mission in the future, we would probably never “see Americans on the Moon, on Mars, near an asteroid, or anywhere” in our lifetimes, explaining that “we cannot continue to change the course of human exploration.”

The agency will instead focus on a manned research mission to a nearby Asteroid, as it announced three weeks ago. That’s not to say that we won’t see another human on the Moon — there are multiple companies planning commercial space flights, and Golden Spike last December committed to take people to the Moon by 2020.

Bolden’s statements echo the words of President Obama who, while making a speech at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, acknowledged there was a desire among some to return to the Moon before exploring the further reaches of space. “I just have to say pretty bluntly here: we’ve been there before,” said Obama back in 2010, “There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do.”

“We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard,” said John Kennedy. Apparently, today’s NASA only wants to do the “easy” stuff — and take our own sweet time doing it too. Now we have plans to “lasso” a small asteroid and drag it into orbit around the moon:

The asteroid retrieval mission is based on a scenario set out last year by a study group at the Keck Institute for Space Studies. NASA’s revised scenario would launch a robotic probe toward a 500-ton, 7- to 10-meter-wide (25- to 33-foot-wide) asteroid in 2017 or so. The probe would capture the space rock in a bag in 2019, and then pull it to a stable orbit in the vicinity of the moon, using a next-generation solar electric propulsion system. That would reduce the travel time for asteroid-bound astronauts from a matter of months to just a few days.

The Keck study estimated the total mission cost at $2.6 billion — but the administration official said the price tag could be reduced to $1 billion, or roughly $100 million a year, if the mission took advantage of an already-planned test flight for NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew exploration vehicle. That flight would send astronauts around the moon and back in 2021.

“This mission would combine the best of NASA’s asteroid identification, technology development, and human exploration efforts to capture and redirect a small asteroid to just beyond the moon to set up a human mission using existing resources and equipment, including the heavy-lift rocket and deep-space capsule that have been under development for several years,” the official said in an email.

The 2014 budget would set aside $78 million for planning the asteroid retrieval mission, plus $27 million to accelerate NASA’s efforts to detect and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids. The federal government currently spends $20 million annually on asteroid detection.

Some may mourn the loss of a government moon mission, but the reality is we don’t have the money. We may not even have the money for the asteroid mission, given the direction of budget cuts.

But the chances are a private company will get to the moon sooner than NASA ever could. And they won’t go just to plant a flag and gather a few rocks. They will build mining towns and perhaps even construct a space center where missions to the outer solar system will originate, using the 1/5th gravity compared to earth that is found on the moon as a way to save hundreds of millions of dollars.

NASA plans a manned Mars mission by the mid 2030′s. I think by that time, it will be a moot point as private space companies will have preceded them by a decade.

America will maintain a lead in space exploration. But it won’t be government that will be running the show. In the next decade, American private industry (with the assistance of NASA) will be where the action is for manned space flight.

Perhaps NASA will be able to hitch a ride back to the moon with one of them.

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Bioshock Infinite Calls On Players to ‘Shoot the Patriot in the back to do more damage’

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Taken out of context, it may look like video game Bioshock Infinite is an attack on American history, patriotism and the Tea Party. In fact, for the first few hours of play the game does feel like that. You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton officer who has a massive debt he can only repay by fulfilling a mission to rescue a teenage girl from a tower prison. There its resemblance to fairy tales ends and its horror story begins.

The game is set in 1912, in a city called Columbia up in the sky. It’s a city of separatists who see themselves as true patriots and their leader as a true savior. A few hours into the game, and I’ll try not to spoil anything until page two, you run into these mechanized boss characters.

If this is an attack on the American founders, it isn’t subtle. Notice the sign behind the beast. Called a Motorized Patriot, it’s a combat robot George Washington wielding a crank gun against the protagonists while he spews phrases that sound vaguely Biblical. During chapter loads, the developers offer a helpful hint for killing them: You should shoot them in the back. How nice.

So is this game, then, an attack on patriotism?

I haven’t played it all the way to the end yet (but I’m very very close), but the answer has to be no. Bioshock Infinite is first and foremost a first-person shooter’s science fiction take on the multiverse theory, with some color taken from the mess that is American politics.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away to those who have not played it yet, so if you’re playing the game and don’t want anything spoiled, don’t click on the next page.

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Obama Gets Three Pinocchios for Claiming that 40% of Gun Sales Happen Without Background Checks

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Last week and in just about every speech he delivers on the subject of gun control, President Barack tells two key untruths. The first is that the public is behind him. Public support for new gun laws is dropping fast, and skepticism that new gun laws will stop any determined mass killer is always justifiably high. By definition, criminals do not respect laws. The second untruth is that 40% of gun sales happen without any background checks. The president says this line, his bots at OFA tweet this line, it’s part of his schtick and one of his central arguments as he pushes to get some kind of gun law through a hostile House and a skeptical Senate.

The Washington Post’s fact checker takes up the second untruth today.

As we noted before, the White House said the figure comes from a 1997 Institute of Justice report, written by Philip Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago.

This study was based on data collected from a survey in 1994, the same year that the Brady Act requirements for background checks came into effect. In fact, the questions concerned purchases in 1993 and 1994, and the Brady Act went into effect in early 1994 — meaning that some, if not many, of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady environment.

Those dates alone render the data suspect. Much has changed since 1994. If it hadn’t, we’d hear the Family Research Council rely on polls to argue against gay marriage. We’re not hearing that, and we shouldn’t be hearing Democrats from Obama on down using miniscule poll data from 1994 to argue about any current reality.

Did I say “miniscule data?” Well, here’s why I said that.

Digging deeper, we found that the survey sample was just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus six percentage points.

251 people surveyed nearly 20 years ago is still a valid enough statistic for the president to base one of his key arguments on it? Not in any sane world it isn’t.

Once you drill down into the wording of the questions and the size of the sample, the margin of error increases. The real number from that small, old survey is that between 30 and 40% of gun transactions happen without a background check. Transactions is an important word, because many of those are gifts — father gives son a rifle, that sort of thing. Do we really need a background check for that? The Obama administration doesn’t think so, as it has exempted such transactions from its own background check bill. even while it disingenuously conflates transactions with sales.

But it hasn’t stopped lying about the numbers, and the president himself uses “gun sales” in connection with the bogus 40% statistic. Either he or his speechwriters have to be aware of how weak a foundation they’re standing on, but the evidence is that they don’t care. The number is too useful to leave aside.

The Post’s bottom line: It’s a big lie.

Two months ago, we were willing to cut the White House some slack, given the paucity of recent data. But the president’s failure to acknowledge the significant questions about these old data, or his slippery phrasing, leaves us little choice but to downgrade this claim to Three Pinocchios.

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Just In Time for Easter, Burial Cloth of Jesus is Proven NOT to be a Medieval Forgery

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 - by Myra Adams

What many believe is the burial cloth of Jesus, better known as the Shroud of Turin, is back in the news and not just because it is the start of Easter weekend.

new book released today based on an extensive scientific study by Professor Giulio Fanti and journalist Saverio Gaeta, dates the Shroud of Turin to around the time when Jesus was crucified, which was thought to be 30 AD. These experiments were conducted at the University of Padua in Italy and debunk carbon dating experiments in 1988 that dated the Shroud to around 1500 AD.

However, the carbon dating has been questioned by many in the scientific community for decades since it was an outer piece of the Shroud that was tested — a piece that was added later after the Shroud survived a cathedral fire in the 1500’s. This same fire scorched the Shroud and left the distinctive burn marks on the outer edges as seen on the Shroud image above.

Here are scientific details about these new findings in the book as reported by the Vatican Insider:

What’s new about this book are Fanti’s recent findings, which are also about to be published in a specialist magazine and assessed by a scientific committee. The research includes three new tests, two chemical ones and one mechanical one. The first two were carried out with an FT-IR system, so using infra-red light, and the other using Raman spectroscopy. The third was a multi-parametric mechanical test based on five different mechanical parameters linked to the voltage of the wire. The machine used to examine the Shroud’s fibres and test traction, allowed researchers to examine tiny fibres alongside about twenty samples of cloth dated between 3000 BC and 2000 AD.

The new tests carried out in the Universityof Padua labs were carried out by a number of university professors from various Italian universities and agree that the Shroud dates back to the period when Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. Final results show that the Shroud fibres examined produced the following dates, all of which are 95% certain and centuries away from the medieval dating obtained with Carbon-14 testing in 1988: the dates given to the Shroud after FT-IR testing, is 300 BC ±400, 200 BC ±500 after Raman testing and 400 AD ±400 after multi-parametric mechanical testing. The average of all three dates is 33 BC  ±250 years. The book’s authors observed that the uncertainty of this date is less than the single uncertainties and the date is compatible with the historic date of Jesus’ death on the cross, which historians claim occurred in 30 AD.

Stay tuned because this could be a major breakthrough providing more proof that the Shroud of Turin really is the burial cloth of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

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In Obama’s America You Can’t Tour the White House, but You Can Learn All There Is To Know About Snail Sex

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

They take it slow. What more do we really need to know about the private lives of snails?

The National Science Foundation awarded a grantfor $876,752 to the University of Iowa to study whether there is any benefit to sex among New Zealand mud snails and whether that explains why any organism has sex.

The study, first funded in 2011 and continuing until 2015, will study the New Zealand snails to see if it is better that they reproduce sexually or asexually – the snail can do both – hoping to gain insight on why so many organisms practice sexual reproduction.

So they’re not even studying good ol’ American snails?

The funds from this study would have funded nearly three full months of White House tours, supposing those tours cost about $74,000 per week.

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Gutenberg’s Rifle: The Downloadable Firearm Is Almost Real

Monday, March 25th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

It’s an oppressive spring afternoon in Austin, Texas. Low clouds threaten to unleash a gullywasher. After a couple of emails and phone calls I’m at an apartment complex off to the west of the University of Texas campus. A pair of young men pull up and pop the lid on the trunk of their car. One pulls a flat metal case from the trunk and I jokingly ask, “Is that a gun or a guitar?”

The lead man could blend in with the musicians and hipsters all over Austin who recently dominated the city during SXSW, but he isn’t one and what he has in the case is an instrument, but it’s not musical.

He lays the case on the parking lot pavement and opens it up. Inside are several of the objects for which he has become famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view. The dark parts are a conventional AR-15 rifle. Sen. Dianne Feinstein would ban them from personal ownership if she could, based not on their collective firepower, but on what they look like. The white parts are plastic. Wilson printed them and has test fired them at his range near Austin.

As he pulls the firearm from the case to show it to me, a woman walks by with her dog. I hope that we’re not alarming her. She didn’t seem to be surprised in the least. This is Texas, and guns are everywhere from the local Walmart to the state capitol building, every day.

The man with the strange rifle is Cody Wilson, 25, the co-director of Defense Distributed. That’s the group that in the past year has gone from not even existing to being on the verge of changing everything.

Or nothing. The fact is, neither Wilson nor anyone else knows what effect realizing his idea will have. But we’re very close to finding out.

Defense Distributed is about to create the world’s first fully functional, fully printed gun. The wikiweapon will be real.

We go into his apartment and he shows me around. It’s a typical male college student’s place — he’s a law student at UT — a bit messy and unkempt. Up in his bedroom he has a huge American flag on one wall and the famous “Come and Take It” flag opposite. It’s a replica of the flag that flew at Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835 when Texians dared the Mexican army to retrieve a cannon. Wilson is from Arkansas, but the Gonzales spirit of defiance is evident in nearly everything he says and does. The American flag is ironic. He bought it to be his bedspread, but it didn’t work for that, so up on the wall it went.

Over the next hour, we converse about everything from the methods and mechanics of printing a gun, to the why of it, to the philosophy of Democratic politicians like Dianne Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Schumer, and Steve Israel, who believe that there is a legislative solution to everything, and that they have those solutions or are smart enough to come up with them.

Wilson is no fan of any of them. And they may not be smart enough to come up with a legislative solution to Defense Distributed. Distributing printed firearms via download may be a case of politics failing to stop the signal.

He is also no conservative in the typical sense. He’s either a libertarian or an anarchist or believes in “socialism from below,” but mostly he’s just a young man who “wants to remain a human being” by realizing an idea that up to now has only lived in the mind. That idea is printing a gun, not for hunting or for self-defense against criminals, but to defend himself against government.

Wilson has just obtained his federal firearms license. He underwent a process that normally takes about 60 days, but his took 6 months. He showed me his FFL like a “proud papa.”

“I don’t know why I got it,” he allows, “other than this is still supposedly a country of laws and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have gotten it.” The process took so long, he says, partly because Defense Distributed lost its manufacturing locations a couple of times during the process. Printer manufacturers became nervous when they found out what he was up to. He says that one, Stratasys, referred him criminally to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That referral has been resolved in his favor.

“There’s no reason for us not to get it,” Wilson continues. “I have no criminal record, my intent is to make money with the license, so okay, you can’t not give it to me. Even knowing that like, yes, I helm a project whose goal is to basically one day explode the need, or destroy the need, for something like the ATF in the first place.”

The license allows Wilson’s group to deal firearms, but more importantly to him, it allows the company to build and test prototypes in materials other than metals, as firearms manufacturers. Private individuals would face stiff penalties for engaging in activities that Defense Distributed needs to do to build the printed weapon.

It’s hard but not impossible to see how the government might eventually come to regard the printed gun. At least one law already on the books is relevant, the Undetectable Firearms Act. Others could follow. It takes a license from the state to cut hair anymore. Licensing of some sort may eventually come to play in the 3D printing realm.

Or not. The push for industry licensing frequently comes from the industry itself, as a means of using government as gatekeeper against competition. At this point, no complete firearm has ever been printed. Many parts have, but never the whole. Gun manufacturers so far have not reacted to Defense Distributed. Wilson’s group has printed a slew of magazines and lowers. They’re using a combination of standard firearms parts and common household hardware to make their printed parts function with traditionally manufactured stocks, receivers, and barrels. The 3D printing industry is new and diffuse, more a novelty than an actual industry other than among the few companies that develop and build the printers. Most 3D printers are being used to print rapid prototypes of toys, or candy molds, or even bicycles. Advocates of 3D printing as an industry have long hailed the creation of such mundane objects as “revolutionary,” only to turn around in shock and fear when Wilson turned up to do something unexpected and truly revolutionary.

“You’re printing guns for a set of specific reasons,” I say to Wilson. “What are they?”

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Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson: Rebel. Cause. Some Assembly Required.

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

There are two basic ways to view government. One, it’s a collection and concentration of force and power for the purpose of providing safety and a basis of interaction and commerce for the peaceful, and a means of curtailing and penalizing the predatory. Two, it’s a protection racket designed to enable the wealthy and powerful to concentrate and maintain their power and wealth.

Both views are true, and often not in competition with each other. The latter view of government is embodied by the likes of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who uses government to busybody and ban everything he doesn’t like (while exempting major corporations from his bans when he can) and Austin city councilman Mike Martinez. Martinez is trying to crack down on an app, SideCar. SideCar lets people who need a ride connect with people who can give them a ride, across town, across the country, whatever. If I’m going somewhere and so are you, SideCar makes it easier to share the ride. Martinez wants to regulate Sidecar users, and he appeared on local radio KLBJ late last week to explain why: If one private citizen gives another private citizen a ride and any money changes hands, it may push wages for cab drivers downward. Cab companies got together and basically bought Martinez’s support one way or another, so he is lobbying on their behalf to crack down on an app, which is really a crackdown on one person’s ability to transact with another without government interfering. His lobbying created a stir ahead of the massive SXSW conference, during which Austin’s downtown traffic becomes a nightmare, and SideCar may serve as an open source relief valve.

What we may need against such government busybodying is a good, old-fashioned rebellion. Cody Wilson is stepping into that role.

Wilson, a University of Texas law student, is quickly becoming one of the most notorious people on the planet. He is the man behind Defense Distributed. That group is behind the recent push to print firearm parts via 3D printers. You’ve heard of Wikipedia and Wikileaks. Wilson’s big idea is the wikiweapon.

Wilson gave a talk at SXSW Monday afternoon. He cuts a contradictory figure, apologizing repeatedly for getting too technical while explaining Defense Distributed’s history, and the modeling and printing of working firearms components, but not apologizing at all for pushing a technology in directions that its inventors probably never intended.

He opens his talk with a joke — a picture of a garden gnome.

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