31 May 2007
30 May 2007
Upgrading subspecies into species simultaneously increases the number of rare species (by fragmenting populations) and augments the biodiversity of a piece of habitat and thus its claim for protection.however, one wonders just how much science is being manipulated on the non-Bush end to justify policy changes. i have no doubt that all scienticians in this debate have some ax to grind.
29 May 2007
the current farm bill helps commodity farmers by cutting them a check based on how many bushels they can grow, rather than, say, by supporting prices and limiting production, as farm bills once did. The result? A food system awash in added sugars (derived from corn) and added fats (derived mainly from soy), as well as dirt-cheap meat and milk (derived from both). By comparison, the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing fresh produce. A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.rather than attack the "obesity epidemic" at its source, our leaders are searching for more artificial means of controlling the economy. that's good news for the high-fructose corn industry. just read a few of the labels in your pantry; that shiz is everywhere, even in some of the "healthful" bread you've bought.
Pollan also links immigration issues and international farming issues to subsidies in the US. farmers here are able to sell their products cheaper across borders than the cost of production, driving foreign farmers out of business and contributing to increased immigration.
i have concerns about property rights, too, since agri-policy largely controls what happens on private land. there doesn't appear to be a limit to the lengths my neighbors will go to in order to control each other.
Americans may tell themselves they don’t have a national land-use policy, that the market by and large decides what happens on private property in America, but that’s not exactly true. The smorgasbord of incentives and disincentives built into the farm bill helps decide what happens on nearly half of the private land in America: whether it will be farmed or left wild, whether it will be managed to maximize productivity (and therefore doused with chemicals) or to promote environmental stewardship. The health of the American soil, the purity of its water, the biodiversity and the very look of its landscape owe in no small part to impenetrable titles, programs and formulae buried deep in the farm bill.ignoring the fact that corn-based ethanol is a complete crock, increased demand on corn drives up prices on corn itself, corn-based meat (beef, chicken...), fuel, etc. corn chemistry has worked its way into so many crannies of the US economy, we should fear a collapse. growing corn for ethanol also eliminates land usable for growing real food, which could drive up costs for other foods.
26 May 2007
25 May 2007
Paul said it was irresponsible of Giuliani and other leaders to not examine [sic] the motivations of al Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups.
23 May 2007
i'm also hoping for a crisper image. now that i'm officially old, i need to save my eyes for more important things, like TV.
any recommendations for a new monitor?
I’m proud that our country continues to build universities and a culture of learning that attract the world’s best minds. My complaint — why I also wanted to cry — was that there wasn’t someone from the Immigration and Naturalization Service standing next to President Jackson stapling green cards to the diplomas of each of these foreign-born Ph.D.’s. I want them all to stay, become Americans and do their research and innovation here. If we can’t educate enough of our own kids to compete at this level, we’d better make sure we can import someone else’s, otherwise we will not maintain our standard of living.our borders should be as open as possible to bring in people who are willing to work, especially begeniuses.
Not only do our companies need them now, because we’re not training enough engineers, but they will, over time, start many more companies and create many more good jobs than they would possibly displace. Silicon Valley is living proof of that — and where innovation happens matters. It’s still where the best jobs will be located.
it's one of the downsides of Ron Paul that he is so anti-immigration. don't even talk to me about Lou Dobbs.
22 May 2007
going forward, management speak should be forgotten along with big design up front and java web development.
- I've never given my children an "action item".
- Finishing your meal is not a "deliverable".
- Dessert is not a "value add".
- Mashed potatoes and gravy do not have "synergy".
16 May 2007
15 May 2007
11 May 2007
06 May 2007
they still don't have a version of itunes for linux.
03 May 2007
we see car bombings in the news almost every day, but mass shootings are so rare that we remember them all. We remember the Columbine shooting, and we will remember the Virginia Tech shooting. We remember 9/11 and we remember Pearl Harbor. Why do we remember these things? Because they are so rare! However, we don't remember how many people were killed in Iraq this week, or last week, or the week before. Why not? Because there are so many car bombings that we are nearly immune to news of them. Mass shootings are extremely rare, which makes them news.Kjar doesn't even argue in terms of liberty; the argument centers on the fact that gun control simply is not a good solution for preventing mass murders. i admit it might put a crimp in crimes of passion, but i doubt that, too.
So however much some people might yearn for gun control, it seems unlikely that it would have prevented Cho from achieving his ends. He had substitutes available, he had more than one means available to achieve his ends, and he plotted long enough to hit upon other means — especially since those other means are described in detail on TV, in the newspapers, and on the internet every day.
Economists recognize the relationship between means and ends, including the role played by substitutes. Economists understand that when government restricts one market, consumers merely move into another market, and when government tries to foreclose one means, individuals will simply shift into other means to achieve the same ends.
However horrendous we might find the mass shootings at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and other places, the fact is that when disaffected people start planning mass mayhem, the lack of a gun will not stop them. The 1927 Bath Township School bombing, in which 45 people were killed by a school board member, shows that guns are neither necessary nor sufficient for the commission of mass murder at schools.
Economists call for a re-thinking of the issue using economic reasoning. As Henry Hazlitt pointed out in his great book Economics in One Lesson, good analysis requires people to look past the obvious and short-term effects on some people, and to focus on the longer-term effects to all people. After all, those longer-term economic realities will arise regardless of the good intentions of people who call for market restrictions.
02 May 2007
based on my experience in writing java web apps, i'm not surprised.
IBM's seminal contribution was to create the PureEdge software package to handle the grant forms. If you try to run the program on a Mac under OS 10.4.9, the program pops into the dock and then disappears immediately -- thus giving an early indication of the likely success of your grant proposal. Getting the program to work requires hacks that the company has thoughtfully not provided. Users had to figure it out for themselves -- a useful test of whether they deserve to continue doing research. IBM did, in an uncharacteristic moment of compassion for its customers, admit that its software is prone to "occasional crashes and subsequent loss of any unsaved data."
To take such an unstable piece of software and base people's livelihoods on it -- now, that is genius that only the federal government could exhibit. The even greater genius was to shut down the grants.gov website for maintenance on the weekend prior to the proposal deadline.