American students assert supremacy:
CHESTNUT HILL, MA—According to an alarming new report published Wednesday by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, third-graders in China are beginning to lag behind U.S. high school students in math and science.
Worried Chinese leaders are debating sweeping educational reforms, possibly including longer school days and tightening standards for teachers.
Amid concerns over the fact that most people aren't concerned about "man-made global warming" and, in fact, have markedly reduced interest in environmental problems in general, professional alarmists in the environmeddlist community are struggling to craft new messages in order to scare people.
Climate concern dropped first in industrialised countries, but this year’s figures show that concern has now fallen in major developing economies such as Brazil and China as well.
The findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar annual tracking poll. A total of 22,812 people in 22 countries were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone during the second half of 2012.
The results are particularly worrisome for professional alarmists because GlobeScan is not an impartial or independent entity; it's oriented toward environmeddlist issues.
'Those who care about mobilising public opinion on the environment need to find new messages in order to reinvigorate a stalled debate.'
It seems clear that the older messages, involving as they have the critical need to throw trillions of dollars into so-called "green energy" programs in order to Save The Polar Bears - and continue to provide the professional alarmist class the means to live as their exalted status rightfully entitles them - isn't ringing on most people's bells any more, and many have grown tired of the same-old, same-old from the environmeddlist crowd. As one example:
People are beginning to recognize the idiocy of allowing professional alarmists from urban Portland, Oregon, to impede well-planned tree harvesting operations in the southern part of the state, especially when they knowingly misrepresent 60-year-old Douglas fir trees as "old growth". That old dog just don't hunt anymore; folks today are coming to understand that many in the environmeddlist movement simply hate the idea of honest work.
But a timber industry official notes that the area has been previously logged and suggests the opponents are using emotional rhetoric to create a "furor."
"I think it is a terrific project," said Dave Schott, executive vice president of the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association. "This is one of the land designations they (environmentalists) agreed almost 20 years ago to set aside for timber production."
Opponents, however, say the proposed project would destroy critical wildlife habitat and degrade water quality in river drainages. The Forest Service says it will improve forest health while reducing the threat of a catastrophic wildfire.
Professional alarmists hate honest work because they haven't done any, themselves - and the very thought of having to do something other than type up press releases is anathema to them. And so they "oppose" this, and they "oppose" that - and always with the same old refrains: it'll destroy critical wildlife habitat and degrade water quality. And the Spotted owl! Mustn't forget the Spotted owl.
They always claim to know more about forestry and resource management, from the comfort of their hip, Portland offices, than the people who spend their days out in the forests and actually are involved in day-to-day management of resources.
Since the old refrains have become markedly less effective, they need to find some new messages with which to scare people into submission - and keep those donations rolling in.
Multnomah County wants to build a new courthouse - at a cost of $667 per square foot. $200 million dollars. And of course, a million dollars to do a "feasibility study".
This is the same County that built a brand-new jail for some $50 million - which has never been used since they built it over a decade ago. It's never been used because they suddenly realized that they didn't have any money to operate it. Apparently, they're incapable of learning.
Portland City Council, yet another of our local brain-trusts, believes it's their civic duty to mandate that all small businesses in the city pay their employees one week for sick leave each year. Always generous with other people's money, the Council believes that this will improve the business climate at a time when businesses are fleeing the city, because it will provide a healthy work-force.
Actually, it'll throw low-skill employees out of work - and likely accelerate the trend of businesses opting to move out of Portland.
But it'll make the Council members feel good, which is really all that matters.
Apparently, people will buy almost anything - what recession? A relatively new startup has 600 customers in Austin, Texas, and yesterday began rolling out its expansion into (where else?) San Francisco. What's your $60 a year get? They send out folks to pick up mail that's been delivered to your postal box, drive it back to the warehouse (in a Prius, of course), then open it, scan it, and send it to your email in-box.
Using a mobile device or computer, Outbox customers can organize mail in files or forward them as e-mails, ask to be unsubscribed from junk mail, have unwanted items destroyed or request that important mail, such as a wedding invite or a postcard, be re-delivered to their home.
You'd think that the cash-strapped US Postal Service could save a bit of time and manpower by delivering subscribers' mail straight to the company's warehouse - or at least let the company pick it all up at the Post Office - but government agencies don't work that way; they insist on delivering it to an actual mailbox at the addressee's residence or place of business. No exceptions. Thus it is that company employees on occasion find themselves following the mail truck, undelivering the mail as soon as it's been delivered. Remarkable.
Now, you might think that this sort of business model doesn't seem especially likely to turn a profit, and you'd be right. But they don't plan to stop with undelivering, scanning, and emailing subscribers' snailmail; they also plan to note what sorts of catalogs subscribers receive - and they'll deliver targeted ads right along with the emails. That could help them turn the corner.
As Portland-area "planners" and politicians push for ever-expanded light rail lines, claiming that it will reduce traffic congestion by "encouraging more people to leave their cars", a new study indicates that what many of us have long asserted is, in fact, the case:
Growing rail shares in the light rail corridors have mainly come from buses and the evidence for light rail reducing car use is less clear. This latter finding is of particular significance, given that a major justification for investment in light rail rather than bus schemes is their presumed ability to bring about major modal shift by attracting substantial numbers of car users.
All told, the researchers had a hard time concluding that the light rail systems, taken together, produced much of a shift away from car commuting. In some corridors car share declined, but it didn't always decline as much as the control areas — pointing to a general trend in the region. In the case of Midland, car commute share actually increased 5 percent into the city center, a figure that exceeded the increase in its control area.
Clearly, they're going to need to come up with another way to pee away billions of dollars that taxpayers don't have, because people simply aren't giving up their cars to ride trains - despite the prognostications advanced by regressive "planners" and politicians. All they're doing is throwing buses under the train.
Posted by Max on February 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM in "Sustainable", "Green", Control, Economy, Environmeddlism, Feral Government, Government Waste/Fraud, Manufactured issues, National Politics, Portland/Oregon Politics and Schticks, Science, Taxation, Under The Bus | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Tags: bus transit, light rail, traffic congestion
Two members of the House Financial Services Committee are offended - offended - by a real-time display of the national debt clock during their deliberations. It's time to play Name That Party!
If you guessed Democratics, step right up and collect your prize:
Apparently, they don't like to be reminded of the impacts of their actions. Ms."What Ethics Problem?" Waters asked that display of the updates be turned off during Democrat speaking times.
And Barky's FDA is going after Diamond Foods for making claims, supported by some 35 peer-reviewed scientific papers, that eating walnuts improves vascular health and may therefore reduce heart attack risk. FDA sent Diamond a letter stating that their walnut products are "new drugs and may not be legally marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application."
The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.
Walnuts are apparently an insidious new tactic by Republicans to poison unsuspecting Americans.
As with the debt clock, it seems that Republicans are hell-bent on providing information to citizens in direct contravention to Democrat policies aimed at expanding the pool of low-information voters.
Or perhaps il gatto fuori della borsa. In any case, as the saying goes, the bag no longer holds the cat. If you're like many folks, you may have been wondering why Barky has been shoveling billions of dollars - that we don't have - into wind and solar companies.
Is he really that "green"? Obviously not, when you consider the enormous "carbon footprint" he generates as he jets around the country on his endless campaigns - to say nothing of the elaborate vacations that he and Mooch so frequently enjoy. Nope, there has to be another angle. And by George, we may have found it:
Italian law enforcement has recently uncovered deep links between the Cosa Nostra and wind and solar power companies, seizing around 30 percent of the wind farms built in Sicily and freezing more than $2 billion in various assets. A dozen crime bosses have been carted off in handcuffs, along with corrupt officials and business people. But is that the end of the story?
It's doubtful. This recent sting operation is similar to a 2010 police operation that involved the seizing of over 40 companies, hundreds of parcels of land, buildings, factories, bank accounts, stocks, cars and yachts from Sicilian businessman Vito Nicastri, 54, also known as "Lord of the Wind" because of his investments in alternative energy businesses, mostly wind farms and solar panel factories.
And here we find the smoking broadhead (in deference to any lurking gun-paranoics out here): we know through his actions that Barky Obama has complete disdain for law; actively moving to cover up Holder's gun-running operations in Mexico, using his agencies as proxies through which to drain funds from his various enemies (EPA, DOJ, and others), and forcing cuts to essential services while maintaining a steady flow of cash to his pet projects all serve to illustrate the man's penchant for mendacity. Given the above, it's hardly a stretch to suggest that he may harbor ulterior motives in his efforts to ensure a steady supply of cash to various wind, solar, and battery companies - many of whom promptly declare bankruptcy and leave ordinary Americans holding the bag.
Recent revelations regarding the depth and breadth of Mafia penetration into these "green" operations, together with the discovery that Barky's EPA head and others within the administration of that agency have long used "alias" e-mail accounts in order to conduct government business while avoiding Freedom of Information Act compliance and evading Congressional oversight, suggest patterns of corruption within the Barky administration that are completely congruent with complicity in Mafia activities. Barky, after all, learned from some of the best in Chicago. And we all know how expensive Mooch's tastes are.
Under the scary sequestration, Barky reports, the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million out of its budget, or slightly under 1/10 of its total. There's just one tiny problem with this: the Center no longer exists. In any case, he has the authority to decide where cuts - if any (under sequestration, government would still spend more this year than it did last year) - should be made. In true Democrat fashion, he's decided to cut vital services in order to continue funding his pet programs - and to make clear to Americans that those dastardly Republicans are perfectly happy to kick Grandma into a snowbank.
It may come as no surprise: this president lies.
And if he was really concerned, as he claims to be, he'd quit campaigning and call Harry Reid over to the White House: