Plus Ça Change …


It turns out that the data used to support the conclusions in French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been fudged. This undermines the credibility of yet another bit of “research” that bolstered a progressive political meme, increasing economic inequality.

I’m reminded of Michael Bellesiles’s Arming America.

plus c’est la même chose.

A Very Stupid “Smart Gun”


A German company called Armatix is trying to peddle a very stupidly designed “smart gun.” It’s a small .22 caliber pistol of the sort that might be useful for plinking at tin cans but is underpowered for any serious self-defense application. Strike one.

iP1The gun uses RFID technology to enable operation. The user must have a companion wrist watch, and the watch must be within 10 inches of the pistol in order for it to be fired.

As soon as the gun loses radio contact with the watch – e.g. if it is knocked out of the shooter’s hand or in case of loss, theft, etc. – it automatically deactivates itself.

Since most of us wear our watches on the left wrist, the pistol would have to be fired from the left hand (as shown in the Armatix picture above) or using a two-handed grip. While that wouldn’t be a problem for me, I’m ambidextrous, it’s could be a real issue for the roughly 90% of shooters who are right-handed and might not have both hands free in a self-defense situation. Strike two.

Using RFID means that the gun could be subject to jamming—and I don’t mean failure to feed the next round. Strike three.

I’ll believe that “smart guns” are a good idea when the security details of the politicians who want to force them on the public are carrying them—and no conventional firearms for backup.

Frankenfish!!!!111!!


Hank Campbell has a post at Science 2.0 about an effort in Washington state to require labeling of genetically modified fish. He points out that the anti-GMO crowd is really the left’s counterpoise to the right’s anti-science creationists.

When conservatives want to put a label on science textbooks because they might contain evolution, they are rightfully mocked for being anti-science. But when progressives want to put a label on food because it might contain GMOs, they are applauded as consumer activists. And science media criticizes the former, but enables the latter, by giving credence to claims it is instead about “not trusting corporations.”

Read the whole thing, and then go read this post by Michael Schulson about Whole Foods. The left does trust some corporations.

Brett Kimberlin and Vitamin A Deficiency


One of the most promising genetically engineered crops that has become available over the past decade or so is golden rice. It has been modified to produce beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. This is an important innovation for the third world where where vitamin A deficiency kills upwards of 600,000 children under 5 each year.

It is also a major bête noire of the anti-GMO food crowd.

Take a look at this:citizensagainstgmoThis is a page from the website citizensagainstgmo dot com. It lists golden rice as number 5 among the top 10 GMO food products.

This site is hosted on the same server as the sites for Justice Through Music Project, Velvet Revolution US, Breitbart Unmasked, NRAWatch, Pussy Riot Defense Fund, and other Kimberlin-related sites.

Hmmmmm.

UPDATE—There are 25 sites currently hosted at 184.171.169.170.

1. americancrossroadswatch.org
2. breitbartunmasked.com
3. breitbitnews.com
4. campaignaccountabilitywatch.org
5. citizensagainstgmo.com
6. exposedpolitics.com
7. groundswellexposed.com
8. huntonandwilliamswatch.org
9. indictbreitbart.org
10. issaoversight.org
11. jtmp.org
12. kochwatch.org
13. mccutcheonwatch.org
14. nrawatch.org
15. occupyforaccountability.org
16. op-critical.com
17. pressswarm.org
18. prosecutenewscorp.com
19. protectourelections.org
20. pussyriotdefensefund.org
21. serveroverlords.com
22. smartechwatch.org
23. soshanyuanhost.net
24. velvetrevolution.us
25. whoistedcruz.com

More Doctored Evidence


Not in any of the cases in which I’m a defendant. At least, not yet. No, this is about a fabricated quote used by warm monger Michael Mann in his defamation suit against Mark Steyn.

There’s no way I’m going to try to beat Mark Steyn at telling his own story. Go read it here, but what it has in common with the suits in which I’m a codefendant is a sharp-eyed person catching a seemingly minor discrepancy, in Steyn’s case, the difference between the British and American spellings of rigour/rigor.

Read the whole thing.

Everything You Know is Wrong!


And in the case of climate change, the Warm Mongers at The Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication say that it’s because Americans are too stupid to understand the complexities of the science involved according to a report by the Heartland Institute. (H/T, Stacy McCain).

If the Warm Mongers are right, we might wind up with the world as warm as it was around the year AD 1000 when it was possible to grow wine grape in England and wheat in Greenland. In the tropics during that warm era, the Mayan civilization peaked in America, and Great Zimbabwe was founded in Africa. So, yeah, we need to be running scared from that sort of climate.

ManBearPig


On this day when the furnace in the basement is running continuously, I found this post at The American Thinker with the following news:

Al Gore, the high priest of AGW theory, has closed all of his Alliance for Climate Protection field offices, and laid off 90% of his staff. Contributions have all but dried up since 2008.

Quote of the Day


But however mysterious is nature, however ignorant the doctor, however imperfect the present state of physical science, the patronage and the success of quacks and quackeries are infinitely more wonderful than those of honest and laborious men of science and their careful experiments.

—P. T. Barnum

Campaign Promises


… I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick … (X)ObamacareScreenHartWeb

… and good jobs to the jobless; (X)labor-force-participation

… this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; ( )global-temperature-vs-co2

… this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation … (X)100918-A-0846W-219

… and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. (X)G20 Leaders Meet In St. Petersburg For The Summit

Hmmmmmm.

So far, we’ve manage one goal in spite of him.

Quote of the Day


A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?

—C. P. Snow

Deja Voodoo


Ah, the politicization of Science … Both the Left and the Right do it, but the worst abuses of the past couple of decades have been on the Left. If asked to name an example of Progressive Pseudoscience, many conservative would point to the global warming scam. My pet peeve is something else, the alleged differences between the brains of Republicans and Democrats.

Supposedly, the difference is that Republicans are inherently more fearful, and the “scholars” behind the study used “science” in the form of MRIs to “prove” it. 

Hank Campbell has a post over at Science 2.0 that explores the defects in this bit of Pseudoscience. Their methodology was poor, and their interpretation of their data worse. As Campbell points out,

Prior papers said everyone is motivated by fear, not just Republicans, and a later one determined that liberals are just being politically correct – when they get drunk and lose their inhibitions, they become more conservative.

Read the whole thing.

And the next time you try to convince a Progressive of something rational, buy him a beer.