September 21, 2006

Obviously, Facts or the Lack of Evidence Don’t Matter

The 527 Media continues to spread the ficition that oil prices are being manipulated lower as an election-year ploy. This time it’s Brian Williams of NBC’s Nightly News:

Williams then raised wild speculation about oil executives, with the ability to open a “big spigot,” manipulating prices for political advantage, “Now Anne, as you know there are skeptics and there are cynics out there who say there’s nothing to make voters happier than paying less for gasoline and they’re going to wonder: Did somebody just open a big spigot?” Thompson rejected his premise: “No, that’s not true…”

Zheesh. At least reporter Anne Thompson rejected the premise, but the premise is so ignorant that it’s not even deserving of mention.

And what’s with the graphic behind Williams at the NewsBusters post showing a gas price of $3.21, when almost no one (perhaps absolutely no one) is paying that now?

Carnival Barking (092106)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:48 am

Newshound’s 40th Carnival of Ohio Politics is here.

The 13th weekly installment of Boring Made Dull’s Economics and Social Policy roundup is here.

Advocacy Press Indeed

There’s no point in having a post on another topic this morning when Michelle Malkin has the post of the day, if not the year, on The Associated Press’s incredibly weak response to her column about Bilal Hussein.

The AP’s response (mostly a non-response), which is carried in full at Malkin’s post, has everything that’s wrong with the 21st century journalistic mindset right there for all to see. As I noted in two different posts this week (here and here), besides deceiving and shortchanging readers and viewers, it’s a recipe for business suicide. I’ll add that this would be true even if the bad guys win.

The bottom line, as Michelle notes, is that:

With its non-response response to my column, the AP has made its priorities crystal clear. AP stands for Advocacy Press. Its reporting on military detentions and interrogations of enemy combatants and security detainees–and its coverage of the accompanying legislative and legal debates–cannot be trusted as fair and impartial as it lobbies aggressively for the military to subjugate its security concerns and intelligence-gathering mission in favor of what AP exec Tom Curley calls “justice.”

Because of the press’s clearly corrupt financial arrangements with Arab-state paymasters, yours truly reached a similar conclusion about any coverage coming out of the Middle East about a month ago.

And talk about “serendipitous” — If you don’t think the press has been working at cross-purposes against the Free World for a long time, this obituary, especially its fawning tone, should disabuse you of that naive notion.

CBS — “Coordinated Blood-spilling plus Sensationalism”

Coordinated Blood-spilling plus Sensationalism.

Austin Bay explains.

This works because Arab-state paymasters are paying big bucks to ensure that their side gets better play in worldwide press reports.

Adult Stem Cell News The 527 Media Thinks You Can’t Use

Filed under: Marvels — Tom @ 8:04 am

Ask yourself why the 527 Media devoted barrels of ink and bundles of bandwidth to a company’s very misleading announcement about a virtual non-development in embryonic stem cell research, but could find no room for yet another achievement involving adult stem cells.

From Life News:

Adult Stem Cell Researchers: We Can Do More With Adult Stem Cells
September 14, 2006

San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — At a American Chemical Society this week, teams of stem cell researchers told participants that they can get more out of adult stem cells than previously thought. The scientists said that adult stem cells can become any cell in the body with a little bit of coaxing.

If so, then one of the big reasons given for embryonic stem cell research is no longer valid and human life doesn’t need to be destroyed for stem cells.

Three presentations at the ACS conference touched on the possibility, according to a WebMD report. The papers used different studies by showed similar findings.

The papers all found that adult stem cells taken from bone marrow ordinarily would have become blood cells but can be persuaded to become organ or even nerve cells. The changes occurred when the scientists altered the physical environment in which the cells grew.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley used a workout of sorts to prompt adult stem cells to become blood vessel cells. They attached the bone marrow cells to an elastic membrane that stretched and relaxed over the course of several days to get them to grow.

Eventually the adult stem cells turned into smooth muscle cells.

Berkeley scientist Kyle Kurpinski told WebMD, “If a cell cannot flex its muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it cannot build its muscles.”

“Gov. Schwarzenegger got big biceps by lifting dumbbells … It works the same way for stem cells to become smooth muscle cells. They have to sit in culture day in and day out lifting weights,” he added.

In a second report, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania told the ACS meeting about a discovery LifeNews.com previously covered. They discussed new data showing adult stem cells changing into most any environment in which they’re inserted.

If adult stem cells can indeed “become any cell in the body with a little bit of coaxing,” what need is there for life-destroying embryonic stem cell research? Answer: NONE.

Quote of the Day: Anne Applebaum on Free Speech and the Islamofascists

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:59 am

From her Washington Post op-ed Tuesday:

But if stray comments by Western leaders — not to mention Western films, books, cartoons, traditions and values — are going to inspire regular violence, I don’t feel that it’s asking too much for the West to quit saying sorry and unite, occasionally, in its own defense. The fanatics attacking the pope already limit the right to free speech among their own followers. I don’t see why we should allow them to limit our right to free speech, too.

For this to happen, The 527 Media, timid governments, and most people would have to cast aside their moral equivalence paradigm. It shouldn’t have to come to this, but it may take more direct attacks on our own before we shake out of our stupor. Theo Van Gogh’s murder obviously didn’t do the trick. Neither did Daniel Pearl’s. And the reaction on the part of some that the Fox News reporters who were kidnapped a few weeks ago somehow deserved it (scroll down to the comments — WARNING – strong and offensive language) does not bode well for the propsects of a collective return to sanity.

Andrew Sullivan Has a New Book

Filed under: Business Moves,News from Other Sites — Tom @ 7:54 am

It’s called “The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back” (HT Instapundit).

Uh, Andrew, what’s this “we” crap?

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Previous Post:
Oct. 17, 2005 — One Cheer, Two Boos for Andrew Sullivan; Put Up or Shut Up Time for the GOP

Positivity: U-Va’s One-Year Wonder

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:02 am

David Bohn graduated from high school at age 17. At age 18, he has graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major (math and physics; the excerpt is about half the full article; read the whole thing):

And you thought your kid was smart.

David Banh, an 18-year-old from Annandale, just graduated from the University of Virginia in one year. With a double major.

His college education, almost entirely covered by a patchwork of scholarships, cost him about $200. And he sold back textbooks for more than that. Now he’s starting graduate study at U-Va. with a research grant.

So at this point, he’s technically running a profit.

He’s upending two trends: Most students take longer to graduate than you might think — about two-thirds of freshmen at four-year colleges in Virginia manage to finish within six years. And tuition gets more expensive every year.

He was helped by the fact that U-Va., as a public school, costs a lot less than most private colleges. And that the university accepted many of his Advanced Placement credits from high school; many of the most selective private schools wouldn’t. As it was, he doubled up on course credits and took more physics over the summer to finish his second major.

….. “I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said Donald Ramirez, professor and associate chairman of mathematics at U-Va.

“He’s one of a kind,” said Vicki Doff, his counselor at the competitive magnet Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County. “Absolutely amazing kid academically, incredibly persistent, bright, focused and determined. His academic record was second to none. I’ve been here over 20 years, and I’ve never had a student take the course load he did in his years here.”

She used to worry he was doing too much. “And he usually proved me wrong.”

Banh was born and grew up in Fairfax, the eldest son of parents who came to the United States from Vietnam in the 1980s.

Even in elementary school, he was trying to get ahead. His bus driver in kindergarten told his mom that the boy would do problems or talk about lessons on the bus with the other children, Kim Banh said. In second grade, he told her he was bored and wanted harder math problems.

His parents pushed him. He liked learning new things rather than repeating what he already knew. He had a sort of low-key competition with a smart girl at his school. His uncle helped tutor him. “It was nice to be a year ahead” in math, he said. “It made me feel special when I was little.”

By eighth grade, he said, most of the motivation came from himself, not his parents. By his second year in high school, he was taking three AP classes.

“I sort of got a little addicted to it,” he said. At TJ, he was taking more AP classes than any other sophomore that year, so, he figured, why not do it again next year? “I took six the year after that and figured I may as well take a bunch of exams the next year as well.”

Meanwhile, he had mastered bridge — yes, the card game — competed in tournaments all over and ran the school club, which doubled in size.

“I loosened my schedule up senior year a lot,” he said, meaning he took fewer classes.

What? Why?

“So I could maximize the amount of time I had to attempt five or six AP exams outside of the ones I was taking.”