Ken's Project Blog

August 30, 2011

Bull Connor found – in Denmark?

Filed under: In The News — Ken @ 9:48 am

As noted in the above video, Al Gore, Jr. has equated so-called “climate change deniers” to Bull Connor racists, but who is this Bull Connor?

…we should remember Bull Connor for what he was, and what he was not.

Bull Connor was a Democrat. As the public safety commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama, it was at his command that civil rights protestors were attacked by dogs and beaten back by high-powered streams from fire hoses. One did not have to fabricate evidence that he was a racist.

Bull Connor was also a member of the Democratic National Committee. That’s the governing board of the national Democratic Party,

Source: dailycaller.com

The Daily Caller goes on, putting Bull Connor in context with the predominant thinking in the south and among elected Democrats at the time:

It bears noting as well that Bull Connor was not only a member of the Democratic National Committee, but also of the Ku Klux Klan. And when Klansmen attacked Freedom Riders in Birmingham with bats and metal pipes, Connor allowed the beating to go on for 15 minutes without police interference. No arrests were made at the scene, but the pain and hurt inflicted were real.

Connor was active in the Democratic Party at the same time that Senators Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Albert Gore, Sr. of Tennessee were leading the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. [emphasis added]

Source: dailycaller.com

(Somehow I find it hard to imagine a young Al Gore, Jr. questioning his dad, a U.S. Senator helping to lead the fight against the 1964 Civil Rights Act bill in the Senate about his views on racial issues, but I digress…)

Well, it seems a group of fringe scientists in Scandinavia believe they have identified a major contributor to what was once called Global Cooling, then Global Warming, and now goes by the much more inclusive (and harder to mock) moniker “Climate Change” – Cosmic Rays. Using that silly old Scientific Method this group of scientists in Denmark put forth a hypothosis in 1996, designed a series of experiments, defined expected results and then performed the tests to prove or disprove their hypothesis – as opposed to the “new” scientific method whereby the conclusions are written by unnamed bureaucrats and published in advance of the supporting documentation, as best exemplified by the process that produced the U.N.’s IPCC report on climate change – but don’t worry, scientists would never suppress or restrict access to the underlying data supporting their claims, right?

Anyway, back to those fringe scientists – they work for little organization known as CERN, the birthplace of the world wide web, the Large Hadron Collider, and now “a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere”, but to what end?

In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth. [emphasis added]

Source: telegraph.co.uk

While the mainstream media and science advocates at best ignore, and at worst actively suppress these “fringe” scientists and their findings, I thought it was important to share the results of these scientists and let you decide if they are the moral equivalent of those Klansmen Democrats (like Bull Connor) who turned the fire hoses and attack dogs on the Freedom Riders in Birmingham, Al.

Sources:

youtube.com: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/17/remembering-bull-connor-accurately/

dailycaller.com: Remembering Bull Connor Accurately

telegraph.co.uk: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

realclimate.org: Independent Summary for Policymakers
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
(annotated)

wattsupwiththat.com: Mann’s Hockey Stick, Climategate, and FOI – in a nutshell

wikipedia.com: Freedom Riders, Birmingham Campaign

learntoquestion.com: Birmingham firemen used high-pressure hoses to disperse demonstrators, May 1963

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This heat is driving me crazy – literally

Filed under: In The News — Ken @ 12:54 am

An organization known as The Climate Institute has released a report wherein they conclude that climate change will lead to a marked increase in mental health issues.

The Climate Institute video (above) considers two events they consider “severe weather events” as examples that have caused mental health issues – the Black Saturday bushfires that occurred around February 7, 2009 in Victoria, Australia, and the Queensland Floods of 2010-2011.

With the Queensland Floods a reasonable argument can be made that climate change might have contributed to the severity of the flooding (despite similar, if not as devastating, flooding that occurred in 1893 and 1974), but the Black Saturday brushfires had numerous non-climate change causes, like fallen power lines, arson, and several other causes. And like the Queensland Floods, the Black Saturday brushfires also had historical precedent – the similarly named Black Sunday brushfires, part of the 1925-1926 Victorian brushfire season. Having ignored similar historical events which pre-date man-made global warming, the authors of the report assert that these events are related to global warming and then arrive at the following dire conclusion:

Following a severe weather event, as many as 1 in 5 people will suffer the debilitating effects of extreme stress, emotional injury and despair

Source: youtube.com

Apparently, this group thinks that they can convince those who dismiss the man-made global warming threat of global Armageddon by stressing the psychological and economic impact of severe weather events:

Scientists warn that a failure to reverse rising carbon pollution levels will see Australia’s inherently moody climate become even more volatile. With inaction or delay on pollution comes a sharp rise in the frequency, intensity and extent of heatwaves, bushfires and drought, as well as more torrential downpours, and tropical storms with increasing ferocity.

The damage caused by a changing climate is not just physical. Recent experience shows extreme weather events also pose a serious risk to public health, including mental health and community wellbeing, with serious flow-on consequences for the economy and wider society.

Source: Report Summary

So not only will man-made global warming doom all life on this planet, it will hurt the economy AND increase mental health issues…

Sources:

youtube.com: A Climate of Suffering: The Real Costs of Living with Inaction on Climate Change

website: The Climate Institute report – A Climate of Suffering: The Real Costs of Living with Inaction on Climate Change

wikipedia.com: Black Saturday bushfires, 2010-2011 Queesnland Floods, 1893 Brisbane Flood, 1974 Brisbane Flood

bbc.co.uk: Global warming is ‘irreversible’

August 24, 2011

Job for life?

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 7:51 pm


Gabrielle Giffords, the Congresswoman from Arizona who was shot back in January, 2011, may have a primary challenger – a special education teacher named Anthony Prowell from Tucson. The local Democrats are livid, insinuating that to even hint that Rep. Giffords may not be able to perform her duties because of injuries she suffered during the shooting is simply outrageous. Critics point out she has only participated in one vote since the shooting – she voted in support of the debt ceiling increase.

Some constituents will admit (privately) that they feel unrepresented, but are unwilling to discuss their feelings for fear of appearing insensitive to her situation, but let me ask the question – what would it take to admit she may not be the best representative for their district? Or is the job simply her’s for as long as she wants it, making it, effectively, a ‘job for life?’

Sources:

youtube.com: Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Vote

Dailycaller.com: Arizona Democrats ‘furious’ at special-ed teacher considering a run against Giffords

A King’s Ransom

Filed under: History,In The News — Ken @ 11:05 am


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is currently open, but I think it’s worth a moment to take a look back and remember one of the controversies around it – the licensing fee the organizers had to pay the Martin Luther King, Jr. estate to employ his likeness and words in the memorial to him:

“The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family has charged the foundation building a monument to the civil-rights leader on the National Mall about $800,000 to use his words and image — and at least one scholar thinks that Dr. King would find such an arrangement offensive.”

and

“Financial documents revealed that the foundation paid $761,160 in 2007 to Intellectual Properties Management Inc., an entity run by the King family. They also showed that a $71,700 “management” fee was paid to the family estate in 2003.”

Source: nypost.com

For confirmation, I went to the website of the organizers that put the memorial together, found the following:

“”License granted by Intellectual Properties Management, Inc. as Manager of the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Source: mlkmemorial.org

But, just to be doubly sure, I sought out another report on the topic:

“According to financial documents reviewed by The Associated Press, the foundation paid $761,160 in 2007 to Intellectual Properties Management Inc., an entity run by King’s family. Documents also show a “management” fee of $71,700 was paid to the family estate in 2003.

In a statement to the AP, Intellectual Properties Management said proceeds from the licensing agreement go to the King Center in Atlanta, where King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are entombed. The statement said the arrangement was made out of concern that fundraising for the monument would undercut donations to the King Center.”

and

“For years, King’s family has fiercely protected his legacy, suing for a share of the proceeds from the use of his words and images in merchandise and publications. In the 1990s, the family reached settlements with USA Today and CBS over their use of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech without permission. A federal appeals court ruled in 1999 during the CBS case that the speech was not in the public domain.”

Source: usatoday.com

Here’s the speech that not only fueled a Civil Rights struggle, but also created a valuable franchise that needs to be protected:

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

Source: youtube.com – Part 1 of 2 and Part 2 of 2

Sources

youtube.com: MLK Memorial Opens on National Mall, August 28, 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream Speech – 1 of 2 and August 28, 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream Speech – 2 of 2

nypost.com: King ‘Monument to Greed’

mlkmemorial.org: License Agreement

usatoday.com: King family draws fees from DC memorial project

August 23, 2011

Apparently there’s no need

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 6:59 pm

According to the nolabels.org organization, less than one-half of all congressmen and women are planning to hold town hall meetings during this August recess, and based on a cursory review of their listing, the apathy/dis-interest spans both parties, including many notable Democrats and Republicans.

I’d like to hear the defense from that oddly uninquisitive group of representatives why, exactly, they don’t feel the need to reach out and hear from their constituents, find out what their concerns are – I’d think they’d be interested… But apparently, there’s no need.

One silver-lining in this sea of ennui, is that members of Congress won’t be able to regale us with tales from their town hall meetings – the downside is a lack of videos of yelling and screaming citizens trying to advocate for their position on the issues of the day.

Thankfully, Rep. Maxine Waters felt compelled to meet with “the people” and share her views of those across the aisle in Washington – the “Tea Party” – as did Rep. Frederica Wilson.

Sources:

nolabels.org: 60% of Congress Not Holding Town Halls and their listing of every member of Congress

youtube.com: Maxine Waters Tells Tea Party To Go To Hell and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) says “The Real Enemy Is The Ron Paul Tea Party”

August 20, 2011

Coal Power Plant Closings

Filed under: In The News — Ken @ 2:13 pm
Tags:

Over at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein has a piece that seeks to allay concerns about coal-fired power generation plant closing by regurgitating a significant portion of the facts contained in a Congressional Research Report entitled: “EPA’s Regulation of Coal-Fired Power: Is a “Train Wreck” Coming?”

This is the crux of the argument, from Mr. Klein’s regurgitation of pages 28 and 29 of the CRS report:

CRS notes that many of the plants most affected by the new EPA rules were facing extinction anyway: “Many of these plants are inefficient and are being replaced by more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants, a development likely to be encouraged if the price of competing fuel—natural gas—continues to be low, almost regardless of EPA rules.”

Still, that’s a lot of plants. Won’t this wreak havoc on the grid? Not necessarily, the CRS report says, although the transition won’t be simple. For one, most of these plants don’t provide as much base load power as it appears on first glance — pre-1970 coal plants operating without emissions controls are in use, on average, only about 41 percent of the time. Second, the report notes that “there is a substantial amount of excess generation capacity at present,” caused by the recession and the boom in natural gas plants. Many of those plants can pitch in to satisfy peak demand. Third, electric utilities can add capacity fairly quickly if needed — from 2000 to 2003, utilities added more than 200 gigawatts of new capacity, far, far more than the amount that will be lost between now and 2017. [emphasis added]
Source: washingtonpost.com

So, let’s review, these older plants, the ones that will be shut down are in-efficient and are only used 41% of the time, but there is excess generation capacity at more efficient, cost-effective power generation plants already in place and besides, if industry wanted to, they could replace the plants slated top be shut down in advance of their being taken off-line. Got it?

So, the question I have is very simple – why are the utility companies EVER bringing their more expensive, less efficient, pre-1970 coal-fired power generators on-line IF, as claimed there already exists sufficient capacity in other, lower-cost, more efficient power generators already in-place? The obvious answer is “peak demand.” Peak demand is when these utilities choose to resort to their old coal-fired plants to meet the peak demands that exceed the generating capacity of the more cost-effective power generators.

And that 41% number is interesting to me – it may be a coincidence, but if we were to calculate the percentage fo the year that represents “on-peak” (1 PM to 9 PM, weekdays) and “mid-peak” (7 AM to 1 PM, weekdays) for power consumption as defined by one utility company we arrive at 41% (14 hours x 5 weekdays x 52 weeks divided by 24 hours/day x 365 days). In other words, it appears that these less-efficient, more expensive coal-fired plants that were built before 1970 are only to meet the consistent, predictable power demands during the hours of 7 AM to 9 PM on weekdays, yet we are expected to believe that there is enough generation capacity “int he system” to offset the need for these plants?

I dont’ think so – power company executives are not stupid – they wouldn’t choose to keep old coal-fired generation plants on-line if they didn’t have to – these plants, more correctly, the on-demand power they supply, are a necessary component of our daily power needs, and to take them off-line will require a massive investment on the part of the power companies to invest in replacement plants in advance of the coal-fired plant shutdown just to meet the normal, weekday power needs of their customers. The issue is that you can’t (as a practical matter) store electricity generated during off-peak hours for use during peak demand hours, and as inefficient as these old, coal-fired generators are, they are likely cheaper than scaling up the other, more efficient power generation plants to meet not only the baseline needs of their consumers, but also their peak demand needs since they will have too much generation capacity 59% of the time.

Sources:

washingtonpost.com: Getting ready for a wave of coal-plant shutdowns

lawandenvironment.com: EPA’s Regulation of Coal-Fired Power: Is a “Train Wreck” Coming?

idahopower.com: Time-of-Day Program

yale.edu: The Challenge for Green Energy: How to Store Excess Electricity

August 18, 2011

Doorbell

Filed under: Politics,Taxation — Ken @ 3:47 pm

This video was shared with me on Facebook, and it quickly makes an excellent point, in a way many people never think about.

Source:

youtube: Doorbell

The Tenth Amendment – Reserved Powers

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 3:16 pm

I’ve begun to identify a few topics that will be very important in the next few years – the difference between deficit and debt, Andrew Jackson, and the Tenth Amendment. The issue with deficit and debt has already been explored here and here, but I’m sure, as time goes on, current events will compel me to revisit them again and again, since politicians like to use those two terms interchangeably. I mention Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, because among many other noteworthy acts, Jackson is the only president to every pay down the national debt to zero. When Andrew Jackson left office, this country had no debt. In addition to that unusual interest in fiscal responsibility, he also “broke” the U.S. Bank, viewing it as unconstitutional – I’ll have more on him when I get a chance to finish my research… And finally, on my list of important topics for the next few years, is the Tenth Amendment – the topic of this posting.

The Amendment is very straight-forward, unambiguous, and is, in the eyes of many, among the most important elements of our Constitution. It reads as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Source: The Constitution of the United States

At the time of the ratification of the Constitution many were wary about certain omissions of the document and what emerged as the various colonies ratified the Constitution was the creation of what are now referred to as the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote – in a letter to Madison, Jefferson indicated what he did not like about the proposed Constitution:

‘‘First the omission of a bill of rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction against monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of the fact triable by the laws of the land and not by the law of Nations. . . . Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.’’ [emphasis added]

Source: Private correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison

and in a letter to Archibald Stuart:

It is important to strengthen the State governments, and as this cannot be done by change in the Federal Constitution (for the preservation of that is all we need contend for), it must be done by States themselves, erecting such barriers at the constitutional line as cannot be surmounted either by themselves or by the General Government. The only barrier in their power is a wise government. A weak one will lose ground in every contest. [emphasis added]

Source: Private correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Archibald Stuart, 1791

The concern that led to the creation of the Tenth Amendment in particular was the concern that the colonies in creating a federal government could be made subject to that very government. The Tenth amendment defines the disposition of all rights not assigned to the Federal government by the Constitution.

So, as various federal laws, regulations, and polices are enacted, when you hear people refer to a “Tenth Amendment Challenge” they are discussing the idea that the proposal is outside the scope of the powers the states granted the federal government…

Note: I included the Youtube clip from The Young Turks to show you how some like to twist, pull, contort and mis-interpret the Tenth Amendment. The wording is plain, the intent is clear, yet this fellow insists that because the Congress has the responsibility to “provide for…the general welfare OF THE UNITED STATES” that anything that helps a citizen is a federal responsibility, ignoring the clear language that syas Congress is responsible for the welfare of the NATION, not each individual citizen…

Sources:

YouTube Video: Idiot Right Wing On 10th Amendment

Ken’s Project Blog: Debt, Deficit and Lunch and POTUS 2012 Budget Plan Video Dissected

Government Printing Office: The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence, Pocket Edition, Analysis and Interpretation of the Constitution, 2002 Edition and Amendments to the Constitution, First through Tenth Amendments, Bill of Rights

University of Chicago Press: The Founders’ Constitution Volume 1, Chapter 8, Document 42 – James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions

Tenthammendmentcenter.com: Is the Repeal Amendment What We Need?

usconstitution.net: U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 8

Central Falls Teachers and President Obama

Filed under: Education,In The News — Ken @ 2:48 pm
Tags:

While researching my previous posting Providence Teacher Dismissals I was reminded of the President’s reaction to the reports about a year and a half ago regarding the planned mass termination of teachers at the failing Central Falls high school in Rhode Island:

“If a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn’t show signs of improvement, then there’s got to be a sense of accountability,” he said. “And that’s what happened in Rhode Island last week at a chronically troubled school, when just 7 percent of 11th-graders passed state math tests — 7 percent.”

Source: washingtonpost.com

The school was failing its students – there is no other way to put it. With only 7% of the eleventh graders at Central Falls High School passing the state math test, to call what was going on at that school, year after year, “education” is an insult to teachers everywhere. When twelve out of every thirteen students in the eleventh grade can’t pass the math test, it’s time for a dramatic change.

Unfortunately, that change didn’t happen – it seems the teacher’s union successfully negotiated the return of all the teachers and agreed to strict reforms that were put in place, and, shockingly, by most measures things got worse, not better.

I wonder what the Central Falls school district has planned for the coming school year…

Sources:

YouTube video: gist cf teachers won’t be retained

Ken’s Project Blog: Providence Teacher Dismissals

Washington Post: Rhode Island school nears compromise on mass teacher firings and Obama angers union officials with remarks in support of R.I. teacher firings

npr.org: Changes At R.I. School Fail To Produce Results

Broadcast News

Filed under: media — Ken @ 2:27 pm
Tags:

A friend recently decided to point out a mistake that Fox News made playing a tape of Ron Paul at CPAC from 2010 instead of from 2011, so it got me thinking, I bet every network has its share of mistakes, so I’ll share a few here:

Who was it that rigged pick-up trucks to explode to demonstrate how easy it is for a Chevy pick-up to explode when you stuff explosives in the gas tank?

Oh yeah, NBC in 1993

Who rigged an Audi to unexpectedly accelerate when you blew compressed air into a sealed transmission?

Oh yeah, CBS in 1986

Who rigged a Toyota Avalon with a short-circuit to cause unintended acceleration?

Why ABC in 2010

Who used Actors to Demonstrate imaginary ‘Racism’ Surrounding AZ Immigration Law?

Why, ABC in 2011

Which newspaper had a reporter that made up stories either out of whole cloth OR plagiarized them from other papers?

Why, The New York Times

What are your favorite “fake” news stories?

And in case you ever wanted to get in on the act and create your own “fake news,” here’s a website for just that purpose – The The Newspaper Clipping Generator” at fodey.com (see example at right).

Sources:

Wikipedia: Dateline NBC, GM vs. NBC, 60 Minutes, Unintended Acceleration entries

Autoblog.com: Video: Smoking Gun? ABC News expert recreates sudden acceleration without CPU error code *UPDATED w/Toyota response

The Blaze: ABC News Uses Actors to Demonstrate ‘Racism’ Surrounding AZ Immigration Law

Slate.com: The Jayson Blair Project

fodey.com: The Newspaper Clipping Generator

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