Saturday, October 30, 2010

Got This In The Mail

I received all of these political ads in the mail just today.  I haven't made up my mind on all of the issues or candidates yet, but I do know that I don't plan on using any of this information. If I did, I wouldn't have anyone or anything to vote for.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are You Psychic?

I have a list of ideas for politically oriented postings, but since you and I are both sick of the political blitzkrieg going on before the election, I decided to pick a non-political topic.

Researchers at Cornell University claim to have demonstrated that our brains can "see into the future".  The researcher, Dr. Bem, showed college students a list of words then gave them a memory test.  After the test, the students practiced the words.  The results showed that practicing after the test improved the score on the test they already took.

Your reaction is either:
  • You ignore the results or explain them away.
  • You are willing to believe that this is actually possible.
  • You don't get it (A link to the original article is at the end of this post).
I happen to be one of those that believes the results.  There's some pretty crazy counter intuitive stuff from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics that has proven to be right.  

So why can't we be affected now by events that happen in the future?  I think we can.

The problem is that I don't know how to find a practical application for this.  For example, how long can someone wait after taking a test to study and still get a benefit? Minutes? Hours? Days?  Should I encourage my son to postpone his cramming for a test until it's over?  When does studying give you the most benefit?  Before, after or both?

So are we psychic?  I recommend reading the original article here. (It's short).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CNN takes on Fox News - "She should submit to me"

So it seems that CNN's falling ratings have made them go back to the drawing board.  Yesterday I spent about 5 minutes watching Rachel Maddow campaign for the Democrats then I channel surfed to the Anderson Cooper AC 360 show. 

I was quite surprised.  Anderson Cooper said that they want to hold candidates responsible for false campaign advertising, whether they were Republican or Democrat.  The only person they could get was some random Democrat candidate (Rep. Alan Grayson).  Anderson Cooper then did a good job pointing out the problems with his "Taliban Dan" ad about his opponent Daniel Webster.  The worse part of the ad is including a playing a short video clip of Mr Webster saying "she should submit to me" over and over again.  Mr. Grayson defended this, even after the original video was played in context.

The original video showed Mr. Webster saying (see min 3:10 in video below) "we should write in our Journals and pick a scripture for our wives.  DON'T pick 'she should submit to me'".  A pretty blatant out-of-context editing. 

It was funny seeing how awkward it was for Anderson to drill a Democrat, but I do give him credit for acting non-partisan and holding this guy accountable.  I also give credit to CNN for trying out responsible journalism.  I'll be anxous to see what happens when Piers Morgan (from America's Got Talent and Celebrity Apprentice) takes over for Larry King.  He sounds like he wants to aggressively challenge Fox.  I hope the competition gets us better content.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rachel Maddow's Spin

I find it important to listen to different viewpoints, so while channel surfing tonight I stopped to watch the Rachel Maddow show.  Rachel made some compelling points:
  • While many people were against the TARP, it officially expired this weekend and Rachel claims that the $700 billion only really cost us $50 billion and if AIG pays us back, we'll actually make money.  Our financial markets are sound and it was the right thing to do.
  • The $787 Billion stimulus was designed to save 3.5 million jobs, which it did.
  • The Health Care Bill has provided various advantages (I actually was about to enjoy one benefit - restoring my son to my employer provided health insurance, but it doesn't kick in until next year and my son just got a job with benefits.  While Obamacare may not have helped, you could argue that his new job is one of the stimulus jobs).
  • Here's the real kicker:  the growth in GDP was on a steady decline (thanks to the evil Republicans) from January 2008 until Obama was sworn in office in January 2009.  It went from shrinking by 6% to growing by 5%.  Rachel basically showed this chart. 

I was quite impressed with this story but I was curious why her story ended in 2009.  I decided to look up the data for 2010.  Here's the whole chart.  Why did Rachel exclude the downward trend in GDP growth for 2010?  Was she doing that with her other information?  Are we potentially going to make money on TARP?  Did the Stimulus really create 3.5 million jobs?  Why can't people who claim to report the news provide objective truth?

I continued watching MSNBC compelled to hear Barney Frank dispel Republican lies. He claims that he and the Democrats were trying to stop predatory lending way back in 2004. Here's some info from my September 24, 2008 post:
In 2003, Bush attempted to overhaul the finance industry but his proposal was rejected along party lines. Ron Paul introduced "FREE HOUSING MARKET ENHANCEMENT ACT".

In a related New York Times article on Sept. 11, 2003, there is a quote from Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is Meg Whitman a Witch?

Is Meg Whitman a Witch?

According to the current witch trial initiated by Gloria Allred, the answer is "YES!!!!".  At first there was no proof that Meg Whitman lied about knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper, but then the smoking gun came out:  the LETTER.   I found a copy of the "incriminating" letter from the Social Security Administration here.  It's surprisingly straightforward and easy to read.  Basically, it shows that the Whitman's complied with the law in every way (Although they were given the false SSN by the housekeeper).  It does not prove, however that Meg Whitman does not practice witchcraft, so the trial continues.  Read it for yourself (or just read the bold sections):
"We are writing to you about your Wage and Tax Statement (W-2) for the employee shown below... We can't put these earnings on the employee's Social Security record until the name and Social Security number you reported agree with our records....

"The reasons the reported information doesn't agree with our records may include, but are not limited to:
  • Record transcription or typographical errors
  • Incomplete or blank name reported
  • Incomplete or blank SSN reported
  • Name Changes
This letter does not imply that you or your employee intentionally provided incorrect information about the employee's name or SSN. It is not a basis, in and of itself, for you to take any adverse action against the employee, such as a laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against the individual. Any employer that uses the information in this letter to justify taking adverse action against an employee may violate state or federal law and be subject to legal consequences. Moreover, this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status."