Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Views from the Solar System (35)



SPACE WATCH

Horizon
NASA – Flying at an altitude of about 240 miles over the eastern North Atlantic, the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station photographed this nighttime scene. This view looks northeastward. Center point coordinates are 46.8 degrees north latitude and 14.3 degrees west longitude. The night lights of the cities of Ireland, in the foreground, and the United Kingdom, in the back and to the right, are contrasted by the bright sunrise in the background. The greens and purples of the Aurora Borealis are seen along the rest of the horizon.

This image was taken on March 28, 2012.

Homo Politicus: Why Washington Never Learns


Cover of "On Aggression"

Cover of On Aggression

BOOK REVIEW

On Aggression, Author: Konrad Lorenz.

By Ralph Benko – Washington is awash with brains. Here are Think Tanks galore. Here are entire departments of federal agencies given over to nothing but research and analysis of how to solve our national (and local, and world) problems. PhD’s from every college in the land, perhaps world, are more than happy to drop everything to advise Washington “how to.” Brains galore.

Yes, here is inevitable partisanship. And yes, some Think Tanks were doomed at birth to the role of propagandist instead of rigorous analyst.

Chimpanzees, animals well known to be capable of learning by imitation, copy only higher-ranking members of their species. From a group of these apes, a low-ranking individual was taken and taught to remove bananas from a specially constructed feeding apparatus by very complicated manipulations. When this ape, together with his feeding apparatus, was brought back to the group, the higher-ranking animals tried to take away the bananas which he had acquired for himself, but none of them thought of watching their inferior at work and learning something from him. Then the higher-ranking chimpanzee was removed and taught to use the apparatus in the same way, and when he was put back in the group the other members watched him with great interest and soon learned to imitate him.

Washington is all about social dominance, not competence. more> http://is.gd/ItawTp

Pathway to prosperity: Prosperity for whom?


Spending on U.S. healthcare as a percentage of...

Spending on U.S. healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Donna Butts – Congressman Paul Ryan recently released his latest budget proposal, which he called the “Pathway to Prosperity.” But if you look at the budget—even though it lacks specifics—you have to wonder, whose pathway to prosperity?

It’s doubtful he’s referring to the majority of Americans who fall in the infamous 99 percent income bracket. For those individuals, this budget could lead to even greater financial insecurity.

Two areas of particular concern are Social Security and Medicare, which could change radically if the “Pathway to Prosperity” is adopted. more> http://is.gd/6iDwHj

No NBN fate but what NBN Co makes


By David Braue – [Australia] No matter how you feel about the NBN, you have to give it to Labor: they know how to make it look like they’re doing something. And yet, as the NBN kicks into overdrive with this week’s announcement of the company’s three-year plan, the ambitious targets the party has announced seem almost destined to make liars out of it.

To install 1.17 million services per year, NBN Co will need to connect 3196 NBN services per day, every day of the year including weekends. Excluding weekends will mean installing 4648 services per day, day in and day out.

The Liberals now have to sit back and — as I suggested they do way back in late 2010 — let the NBN sink or swim on its own power. There is no indication yet that it may end up drowning, but whether it can power into the election with its head well above water now rests squarely on the shoulders of Mike Quigley and his merry band of NBN installers — who will, hopefully, be coming soon to a neighbourhood near you. more> http://is.gd/yxGoDu

Sen. Paul looks to limit FTC’s authority to enforce antitrust laws


Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal T...

Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal Trade Commission.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Pete Kasperowicz – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced legislation that would limit the authority of the federal government to identify and block business activity it deems to be anti-competitive.

The Anti-Trust Freedom Act, S. 2269 (pdf), is a response to what Paul says is the overreach of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as it seeks to enforce key antitrust laws — the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act.

Paul argues that under these laws, the FTC has too much leeway to define what business activities are legal, as it can define “unfair methods of competition,” “markets” and “price discrimination.” This leeway has led the FTC to ban some activities that Paul believes should be permitted. more> http://is.gd/292Tey

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CONGRESS WATCH The Supreme Court and Obamacare, US Congress

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CONGRESS WATCH Cardin, Ruppersberger Announce First Hotel Partners in Military Program, Urge Others to Participate, US Congress Dutch Announces 1st Hotel Partners in Military Program, YouTube [VIDEO 2:05] Co-sponsors Top 100 for the Rogers-Ruppersberger Bipartisan Cyber Bill, US Congress Dutch … Continue reading