Monday, June 29, 2009

RGE - Paul Krugman: Betraying the Planet

RGE - Paul Krugman: Betraying the Planet
Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?
Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
Do you remember ... when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America,... [so] normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.

I invite my readers to investigate the precautionary principle

More Health Care Stuff

In Which Gred Mankiw Displays Alarming Ignorance about that Giant Glowing Red Triangle Across the River ~ Angry Bear
Claiming that there is currently a competitive market for health insurance in the USA is like claiming that they sky is green.

This is something that constantly amazes me. The health care insurance market in this country is a series of local monopolies or, at best, oligopolies. This is a sign either of profound market failure or a sign that it is a natural monopoly. If the former, then the government must step in to regulate the market so that it doesn't completely fail. If the latter, then the government should either provide the service or, as with utilities in many areas, set an allowed rate of return and closely regulate the behaviour of the providers of the service.


MSNBC Brings on Rudy Giuliani to Discuss Mark Sanford's Affair | Video Cafe

Just too funny

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chinese Tea Eggs

Recipe: Chinese Tea Eggs | Appetite for China
Tea eggs, stewed in a black tea/soy sauce/spice blend, are a ubiquitous and cheap snack sold all around China in snack stands and convenience stores. They're also easy to make at home. Getting the marbling effect is as simple as cracking the egg once it's partially cooked. You can use any black tea, though I use Pu'er for an earthier taste. (Green tea is too astringent to use for tea eggs.) The eggs can be simmered for 1 to 3 hours; longer simmering means a more intense flavor and color.
Once the eggs are cooked, you can eat them hot or cold as a snack. I've made lazy meals out of just 2 eggs over ramen and oyster sauce, or chopped up eggs over fried rice. Or serve them as appetizers at a party, cut in half with caviar on top. Or even take them on your next hiking trip.
A faithful reader (HEY I DO HAVE A COUPLE) sent along some pictures of this taste treat. I was skeptical too, but I think I might have to give them a try.

Congrats to CT native Joey Logano

Joey Logano becomes youngest winner in Sprint Cup history with New Hampshire victory - ESPN
Joey Logano came back from an early crash that put him a lap down to become the youngest victor in Sprint Cup history by winning a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire. It was the 19-year-old's first win in 20 career starts.

I am not originally from this area but it is still kind of cool when a local boy makes good.

Death of a Pitchman

Billy Mays, OxiClean pitchman, found dead -
Infomercial pitchman Billy Mays died at his Tampa, Florida, home Sunday morning, authorities told CNN.

I mention this because CNN thought it worthy of a Breaking News email. I offer my condolences to his family and friends but let's get serious here. Is it that slow a news day?

Medical isotopes: What are the alternatives?

Medical isotopes: What are the alternatives?
Think the medical isotope shortage of 2007 was bad? Just wait until the middle of July, 2009.
For the first time, the world's two main isotope-producing nuclear reactors will be out of service at the same time. The 52-year-old Chalk River reactor, down since the middle of May, will be joined by the slightly younger reactor in Petten, the Netherlands. The 48-year-old reactor is scheduled for four weeks of maintenance starting in mid-July.

This actually is big news. Medical Isotopes are used in some very effective, and cost effective methods of diagnosing disease. The alternatives tend to be very expensive (PET scans) or not as effective (CT scans)

No Canada Day in Toronto - An example in one sided reporting

Toronto's Canada Day celebrations cancelled
It's appears Canada Day is going to be a big fizzle in many parts of Toronto, with festivals, celebrations — even the city-sponsored fireworks display — cancelled.

City officials say they cancelled the festivities because of the continuing strike by municipal workers.
There is a nice quote from the city manager but they manage to blame it on the union without actually attempting to get a quote from a union official.

Really nice reporting CBC.

Magna buying Opel ... Or not

Magna deal for Opel stake could face problems: Russian report
Magna International Inc.'s plan to buy part of the European Opel car company with a Russian bank could face problems, executives with the bank said Friday.
Denis Bugrov of Sberbank, which is to take a 35 per cent stake in Opel, said at the bank's annual meeting that he 'did not exclude the possibility' the deal could fail, Russian media reported.

I have now given you roughly all the useful information that was in the story. There are no details on why there could be a problem. This isn't reporting.

Air Cargo Rate Fixing in Canada?

3 airlines fined $10M for fixing air-cargo rates
Three related international airlines have been fined a total of $10 million for fixing air cargo rates on some routes out of Canada, the Competition Bureau said Friday.
Air France, KLM and Martinair pleaded guilty to fixing surcharges on air cargo exported from Canada between April 2002 and February 2006, the bureau said in a news release.
KLM and Air France are separate brands operated by the same company, and KLM owns Martinair.

Someone make me understand this because I honestly do not see the crime and FSM knows that I am very much in favour of corporate criminals getting their just desserts.

Isn't this roughly the same as fining GM because there is price fixing between Buick, Saturn and Chevrolet?

Iran still interfering in Iraq, top Army general says -

Iran still interfering in Iraq, top Army general says -
Iran continues to 'interfere' in Iraq, including training insurgents and paying surrogates, the U.S. commander in Iraq told CNN on Sunday.

Irony is completely useless nowadays. That is the lede to the story.

Reality based?

'Gayby boom': Children of gay couples speak out -
It damages the children, says Dale O'Leary, author of "One Man, One Woman: A Catholics Guide to Defending Marriage." She says that all children have a natural desire for a parent of each gender.

...snip ...

O'Leary says she doesn't personally know any same-sex parents or their children. That's the problem, some children of same-sex children say. So many people are talking about them; not enough are talking to them, they say.

And in one article we see why the anti-same sex marriage jerks are going to lose. FSM forbid that they would actually TALK to the people that they are so willing to toss aside.