Reason Morning Links: Ft. Hood Hearing Today, China Retaliates for Nobel, Americans Love/Hate Their Government


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    1. The Prominent Scientists disagree.

    2. One down, thousands to go!

      1. Someone has to be the first.

    3. An amazing letter. One that explains the problem far better than I ever could.

    4. I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

      Would that it were so easy to resign from other “organizations”.

    5. Don’t count on this getting any coverage in the mainstream media.

      1. James, the link provided was for the Telegraph’s web page. Not exactly a mimeographed newsletter.

        1. I should have said the mainstream media in the United States.

    6. wow, rentseeking + science = no more science. This professor joined APS 67 years ago? I truly doubt there is any political motivation behind this guy. He has nothign to gain here, well, or lose either.

    7. Sounds like he is more pissed at the American Physical Society for not following its bureaucratic protocol, than at a global warming hoax.

      1. There are two or three complaints depending upon how you want to count them:

        1) AGW is a hoax

        2) Money has corrupted the APS

        3) Working within the system no longer works (see 2), so I quit……

        1. 3) Working within the system no longer works (see 2), so I quit……

          I feel bad that he came that realization so late in life.

          1. I feel bad that he came that realization so late in life.

            He was an active member of the Society for many of those year and served on the panels that investigated sciencey-related issues such as the kinds and levels of actual threat posed by nuclear reactor technology.

            He knows first hand that the process was doing something right n years past because he was part of the process.

            This is also why he’s ticked about the Society ignoring its own rules: because those rules worked in the past.

            1. The APS Constitution is a living document. You wouldn’t want something composed by old white guys of the past to remain uninterpreted for modern needs just because it, you know, worked.

        2. I was expecting something different, perhaps an alternative theory, and not 1000 words as to why the APS are bunch of douchenozzles.

          1. I like how douchnozzle is pretty much a showerhead, and thus is perfectly appropos for civil discourse.

            1. We must maintain some level of decorum.

              Musn’t we?

    8. That was well put, but sadly not surprising. 10 minutes at any academic meeting discussing grant money and you quickly realize it’s about the money stupid, and not the science or profession.

      1. Even if you accept most or all of the claims of AGW proponents, there’s no question that the science has been significantly corrupted by politics and cash flow.

        That’s true of other in-vogue research areas. We see it all the time in medicine, where politically favored diseases of lower overall risk get multiples of the dollars given to less politically favored, but more dangerous, diseases. Or, even in physics, research is skewed so heavily towards string theory that other, possibly more legitimate, research areas are suffering mightily.

        1. Big ups on the string theory comment. It became the hot and trendy field to study for physicists, but it’s basically impossible to test, unlike some other ideas.

          1. It’s not that that line of research should be cut off, as it may end up somewhere useful, but there are other deserving areas of research that are being virtually ignored. I think the lack of results is beginning to break the stranglehold, but inertia is a tough thing to overcome.

            1. Right. It’s just sucking up all the oxygen.

    9. Oooh, Chad’s not gonna like this…

      1. Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety; Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

        You need someone with real credentials if you’re going to get anyhwere with Chad.

        1. You need someone with real credentials if you’re going to get anyhwere with Chad.

          Yeah, i didn’t see the words “Democratic”, “People’s”, “Liberal”, or “Obama” in there anywhere. Dude needs to stop wasting his time.

  1. Americans continue to see major areas of government spending as essential. Whether it is Medicare, Social Security, national defense, food stamps, education, unemployment benefits or environmental protection, about nine in 10 call these programs at least somewhat important.

    That paragraph is extremely disingenuous. There’s a huge difference between “somewhat important” and “essential”. Of course, I’m perfectly aware of the fact that many Tea Partiers are hypocrites when it comes to spending. Down here in Houston near the Johnson Space Center, the local Tea Party is a big supporter of NASA.

    1. Once again, WAPO’s supposed “random sampling of voters” ended up sampling more Dems than Repugs/Independents. 51 percent lean Democrat, over 38% Repugs and only 7%(!) independent.

      Guess the WAPO needs to stop using Democratic party call lists for their supposedly random samples.

      1. More FUD from this survey: More people surveyed oppose the Tea Party than support it! That’s right – they found out these stunning contradictions by asking people who are opposed to the Tea Party if they support government programs or not, and got the results they were looking for.

        I for one am glad the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation could bring us this important news.

  2. Here you go H&R, Dune and Mad Men:…..2-tortura/

    1. Makes sense, considering how much science fiction was written in advertising agencies. Bester and Pohl both worked in advertising, for example.

      1. io9 just posted on Pohl’s Gateway. Pohl is an underappreciated author, in my opinion.

        1. I liked Gateway. Are the earlier novels worth reading too?

          1. Pohl has had some more uneven works, but most anything he bothered writing is worth a read, and he has a few excellent novels (Space Merchants, for one). His short stories and novellas are often quite good, too. The Day of the Pussycat and Drunkard’s Walk are two novellas that come to mind.

              1. Ye gods. It’s a groggy Monday, and yes, that’s what I meant.

                1. I’ve only read it twenty times, after all.

                  1. It’s OK. Only the Internet saves me from doing that constantly.

                    1. And to think I was once an intellectual.

                    2. I could swear that I used to have a good memory.

                    3. I blame the Internet. And computing devices.

        2. The Space Merchants is an amazing work, if you’ve never read it. His second collaboration with Kornbluth, Gladiator-At-Law, is not as successful, but still a good read.

          1. His second third collaboration with Kornbluth

          2. I like Gladiator-at-Law. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fun read.

        3. Pohl is an underappreciated author

          Yep. Day Million has “always” been one of my favorite stories. Short and sweet.

        4. I hate io9 with the heat of a 10,000 exploding stars.

          That little Wimmer shit has managed to hate on both The Demolished Man and Gateway.

          1. He didn’t hate on Gateway. He’s using “dread” in the sense that Pohl made a scary setting. He loved the book. I thought trying to draw in pissed off readers by using “dreadful” in the headline was tacky, but that’s io9.

            Hating The Demolished Man is just ignorant. Bester was awesome. Very different, but great nonetheless.

            1. Martin: “And if elected class president, I was have our library stocked with the ABC’s of science fiction: Asimov, Bester, Clarke”
              Wendell: “What about Ray Bradbury?”
              Martin: (dismissive)”I’m aware of his work.”

          2. Never mind. RTFA reveals he likes Gateway. He’s still an ignorant little shit.

            1. A stopped clock and all.

              1. His article on The Forever War made me delete io9 from my RSS reader.

                1. Ugh.

                2. If it makes you feel better, I heard the folks at io9 were going to ask you to unsubscribe anyway. Something about “melodramatic SF cry-babies” or some-such.

    2. Is watching Mad Men a prerequisite for understanding that comic? Because my familiarity with Dune didn’t help at all.

      1. They often show people reading books on MM as a way of establishing trends in culture or as meta-comment on the characters motivation.

      2. Im with wylie.


  3. Americans feel the government does a poor job, yet want the government to keep doing stuff.

    Cognitive dissonance is alive and well in a demographic near you.

  4. When all you have is outrage, everything looks like a pretzel.

    vee 10/10/10
    I wouldn’t even be as furious about this if it was their first choice… but now it’s just one in a series of choices to make women feel bad about themselves.

    How does this kind of shit keep getting past so many levels of approval? Is ANYONE at this company awake / not a pig? What the fuck.

    I’m so angry, I could barely string together words for this comment.

    1. At this point, it almost feels like they’re baiting us. Pretzel Crisp couldn’t possibly think that these ads will be deemed acceptable by the very same community that rejected their pro-ana ads, right?

      Precisely. Just like how, when the government increases spending and debt, they’re doing it just to bait libertarians.

      1. Maybe they are using the psycho nutvaginaball retards as free publicity. Knowing they will freak out and that 99% of the world will laugh at them for it. Generating some free press.

        Or they just don’t care.

        1. Emily Gould wrote a spot-on article for slate on that very point. Deliberately stoking false outrage to get the hits.

          1. I’ve wondered if Reason has done it on occasion. To pad a low traffic month. Not that I find anything wrong with it, it just seems like you get an occasional week of the same annoying subject de jour of the MSM to get hits.

            Seems like a smart move to me.

            1. Anybody know anything about some mosque where the Twin Towers used to be?

      2. Also, does anyone find it a bit disturbing, the way people throw around lingo like “pro-ana”? I had no idea what that meant, and it took me a minute to figure it out. Do you really use that phrase so often that you need to shorten it?

        1. Not all of us can be ciseaters, dude.

          1. Awesome.

        2. When you consider (as many of them make plain) that any woman who is not overweight is exhibiting signs of disordered eating, then the lingo becomes handy.

    2. I still don’t understand what they’re angry about. I didn’t read ANYthing into the slogan. I comprehend “stacked” as “having a lot of money” or “being well off.”

      I wanna fuck the feminism out of (the hot) feminists.

      1. She’s mad because she identifies with the “old bag” that was dropped. Since more than likely some evil oppressing penis human dumped her annoying ass at some point in her life and she never got over it.

    3. It says a lot about the commenters there that feel put-down or belittled because of that ad. Seems to be not a little reading into things, and outings of personal insecurities.

      Maybe the issue isn’t with the ad.

      And dangit, these people know a lot of anorexics! It’s like when people bitch about all the atheists that are constantly haranguing them. Really?

      1. When you define anorexics as “anyone slimmer than myself” it does increase the population.

      2. “It says a lot about the commenters there that feel put-down or belittled because of that ad. Seems to be not a little reading into things, and outings of personal insecurities.”

        These are the kind of people who I, as a confident person, laugh at. If your bad self-esteem is based on a FUCKING ADVERTISEMENT then you are pathetic, weak, and spineless. Get angry about something that actually hurts other people instead of flipping through Cosmo and Vogue and feeling bad that advertisers use beautiful people and things to sell shit.

    4. So pathetic. Just don’t buy the damn things.

      Oh wait, I forgot, we’re all just products of our advertising environment.

    5. They are like government bureaucrats, when their jobs are obsolete, they see problems that do not exist in order to justify their jobs. Angry, outraged feminists types constantly need to find something to be outraged about or they have to admit they are not oppressed and actually have it quite good.

      1. Feminists traded the family patriarch for an even more powerful tyrant: Daddy Government.

  5. Spanish journalist infiltrates terror groups, befriends Carlos the Jackal, and receives militant terrorism training in Venezuela:…..-my-friend

    1. Who hasn’t?

    2. I still wish Jason Bourne had killed him in the 3rd book.

  6. Republican Nazi?

    “A Republican GOP nominee from the 9th District of Ohio, Rich Iott is being repeatedly criticized by some candidates and by obviously irked individuals including historians and professors because of wearing a Nazi uniform during a group’s portrayal of what happened during World War II.”…..tfit/9319/

    Imagine if I was the mirror image of John or our other rabid Gopers here, I would be all like “wow, proof the other side is Nazis!”

    But you know, this is a bunch of BS. The guy is into history, it’s a re-enactment thing. He’s no more a Nazi than Ralph Fiennes is, no more a Nazi than Martin Sheen is a Confederate…

    1. Me and a few friends got one of those old-timey photos where we were all in Confederate uniforms. This is back in the 80s, when the world was young and innocent.

      So much for my political career.

    2. A co-worker is into WWII recreations and he was explaining the “social” hierarchy amoungst the re-enactors:

      1) people start as Russians because the gear is so cheap to acquire

      2) people work their way up to American/British which requires a significant investment to achive

      3) people aspire to become German because it is by far the most expensive set of gear to acquire.

      So Rich Iott is a dedicated re-enactor (or a rich bastard rubbing it everyone’s faces).

      1. I have a friend who is crazy into reenactments. He tends to do WWII stuff, but he’s also done the Spanish American War (he’s Cuban-American) and the Civil War.

        1. kinnath == anglization of Cionaodh

          1. I have often described libertarianism to geeky n00bs as “Chaotic Good.”

            1. GAH! I blame the phone! I was talking to a half-literate slackwit!

            2. I lost interest in D&D after I found hitting people with sticks to be more invigorating.

                1. SCA — real sticks, real bruises

                  LAPRer — foam-covered PVC, real wimps

                  For better or worse, the SCA made me into an award-winning mead maker.

                  1. The truly hardcore SCA guys often have an impressive skill set in some obsolete or obscure technology. I admire that, as I’m too much of a dilettante to ever specialize that hard in anything.

                  2. Is it true that SCA chicks are easy?

            3. What about the ones that are Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil?

    3. He’s also portrayed Americans in WWI and WWII, as well as a Union soldier in the Civil War.

      Imagine if I was the mirror image of John or our other rabid Gopers here, I would be all like “wow, proof the other side is Nazis!”

      Citation please. Tu quoque is bad enough, but simply imagining that the other side would be as bad as another. Especially when a bunch of guys on “your side” actually are engaging in the rabid BS that you’re mocking.

      Perhaps a few years down the line, we’ll get vicious attacks that someone was known on occasion to play D&D characters with Evil alignment.

      1. vicious attacks that someone was known on occasion to play D&D characters with Evil alignment.

        Vote Wylie: I can’t help but play Lawful Good.

        1. All my NWN 2 characters were Chaotic Neutral. wylie – I can understand the good, if that’s what you prefer, but lawful? Did your character kick in farmhouse doors and slay dogs while looking for hidden mead?

          1. Did your character kick in farmhouse doors and slay dogs while looking for hidden mead?

            You’re assuming such paramilitary tactics don’t conflict with the prestablished laws of Neverwinter. When I play, my duties as a Knight of The Nine follow enumerated powers granted explicitly by a document ratified by all the fiefs of the realm.

          2. That’s really more of a lawful evil sounding thing anyway.

    4. I heard on Huffington Post that all the Nazi re-enactors get together to stand around and watch people’s trailers burn down. Especially if there are pets inside. It’s true!

    5. Glad to see you admitting that Josh Marshall and the crew at TPM, along with the Huffington Post, are all full of BS and rabid idiotic partisan hacks, though, MNG.

  7. when the government increases spending and debt, they’re doing it just to bait libertarians.

    I KNEW it!

  8. Happy Columbus Day, Italians!

    1. Fuck Columbus

      1. You know who else is said to have fucked sheep?

          1. Besides MNG.

        1. Ponce De Leon?

          1. Little known fact:

            Ponce DeLeon was a small pot bellied pig who, through a comedy of errors, received a commission and a ship. After he discovered Epcot Center everyone played along. Pretending that he was human by placing a funny hat on his head. Also he was an insatiable sheep fucker.

            True story.

        2. No sheep, but I always had this strange attration to Collies.

      2. I hear ya, brother.

  9. Surprise! CNBC’s resident Government Motors shill is on, extolling the wonderfulness of the VOLT.

    After the battery runs down (some time soon after you exit your driveway), it switches to a gasoline motor to run a generator to charge the battery to spin the electric motors, but it’s not really powered by gasoline! Yay!

    And the true cost, (“true cost”!), factoring in government subsidies, is only twenty five grand. It’s a fucking DEAL!

    1. The Top Gear guys did the same thing with a diesel engine and batteries for their homemade car. They found that it was super efficient to run this way.

      1. I didn’t get the sense PBrooks was arguing about the efficiency of the system, just the popular misconception that hybrids are somehow NOT fossil-fueled vehicles.

      2. They also used a V-8 to power a blender.

        1. Sounds suspiciously like perpetual motion to me, powering a blender with V-8. As long as you can make more V-8 in the blender than it takes to power the blender…

  10. Shootout at the EPA Corral
    Texas takes aim at the White House’s illegal carbon rules:

    If Democrats take a drubbing in November, the Obama Administration is likely to turn to regulation to achieve its “transformational” agenda. Which is all the more reason to cheer on Texas as it pushes back against the EPA’s illegal attempt to rewrite the nation’s clean air laws.

    To wit, the Lone Star State is resisting the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate carbon under the clean air laws of the 1970s. These regulations will be damaging enough on their own. But the EPA and chief Lisa Jackson are also threatening to punish Texas and other green dissenters with a de facto moratorium on any major energy or construction projects. Just what the economy needs.

    Under the Clear Air Act, the EPA’s national office chooses priorities, but state regulators run the relevant programs and issue the necessary permits. When orders from HQ change, as with carbon over the last year, states get three years to revise their “implementation plans.” But in August, Ms. Jackson decided that the law posed too long a climate wait and decreed that if these plans aren’t updated by an arbitrary January 2011 deadline, her office will override the states and run the carbon permitting process itself.

    Put bluntly, this coercion is illegal. As badly as Ms. Jackson has abused clean air laws to go after CO2, she can’t by regulatory fiat usurp the law’s statutory language about the federalist balance of power between Washington and the states. Texas filed an unusual lawsuit last week with the D.C. appeals circuit calling it an “ultra vires” act?literally, “beyond the powers”?and requesting an emergency stay of the EPA’s regulations because of the imminence of irreparable harm.…..oveLEFTTop

  11. The Volt is a better solution that typical hybrids — a single, electric drive train and a generator to keep the batteries charge up.

    But yeah, marketing on Volt is utter bullshit.

    1. WHY oh why did I sell all my stock in Guillotine Products International (Formerly Interslice, LTD.)

    2. And they STILL try to be Obama apologists!

      Most of Obama’s private (and sometimes public) rebuttals to the voices slamming him on all sides are justified or spot on. He did inherit a lot of problems from the Bush Administration. He did act quickly in the initial weeks of his Administration to stave off a worldwide depression. His efforts at job creation have been obstructed by Republicans (even the proposals based on policies supported by the GOP in the past). His opponents haven’t put forth specifics of their own, nor offered genuine compromise, while the media have allowed the right’s activists and gabbers to run wild with criticism without furnishing legitimate alternative solutions.

      I’m sure we would’ve been just fine without his “quick action”, for starters. And the statement that there are no other ideas for solving our economic problems is pure poppycock.

      1. […]the media have allowed the right’s activists and gabbers to run wild with criticism without furnishing legitimate alternative solutions.

        Because unless someone has specific answers to complex problems (or if they have answers which we are not willing to entertain), one shouldn’t criticize anything at all. Apparently only Obama should have the floor.

        Fuck off and lick my ass crack right after a huge fucking steamer you fucking shill.

    1. Dude, that’s so 2003.

      1. Not all of us are as involved in the BDSM community as you are Joe.

    2. Fucking engineers and their kinky sex-related equipment.

      1. There is no other way to technically remain a virgin into your 50’s.

      2. I would have become a fucking engineer instead of chemical if they’d offered that track at my school.

        1. The fluid dynamics courses are a bitch.

  12. Nothing about Obama getting the book thrown at him?

    Or did I miss it?

    1. Link below. I should have refreshed one last time; I would have seen you.

  13. The Top Gear guys did the same thing with a diesel engine and batteries for their homemade car. They found that it was super efficient to run this way.

    I saw that one. I’m not sure it was “super efficient”; it merely saved them from getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with no juice. And a small diesel generator is vastly different than using the exact same motor which (in a completely conventional configuration) directly powers the wheels in the Cruze.

    And the whole Rube Goldbergian “perpetual motion machine” character of the system does, in fact offend my sensibilities regarding efficiency.

    And- shortly after they (CNBC) did that segment about the VOLT, they had a “panel of experts” debate the need for a nationwide ban on texting-while-driving. One guy actually asked whether writing a law would have any real effect; in the next breath, he started whining about how (*GASP*) 70mph speed limits are causing the slaughter of millions of innocent little children.

    Apparently, the programming/marketing wizards at the Mother Ship have decided everybody should be as stupid as the people at MSNBC.

    1. It all comes down to whether running a gas generator at its most efficient setting and piping it through a battery to DC motors (and taking advantage of regenerative braking) is more efficient than running a gas generator across continuously variable loads, but essentially having all losses outside the driveshaft be due to friction.

      The answer probably depends on how/where you drive. I’m still waiting to see how that power plant operates after some one hooks up an 800W amplifier and plugs their laptop into the lighter port to watch a movie while running the AC on full blast.

      1. I’m still waiting to see how that power plant operates after…

        Shouldn’t be a problem as long as there’s gas in the tank. Now, add a microwave for their hot pockets, the mercury tanning lamp, the minifridge, and the margaritaville machine, and you might be looking at overheating the dynamo. Then again, the voltage would probably drop as the power draw exceeded the capacity of the generator, so none of the junk would run anyway.

        1. Of course, but in the traditional car, the powerplant is under utilized, so running all of that stuff has a pretty small effect on gas consumption. The more you optimize, the more effect these should have.

          I didn’t mean to imply it would break. I was just wondering if it would still be in the high 30s for mpg.

          1. I’m not sure how you can measure MPG when you’re standing still though. Or is the car under power while also running all the appliances?

            If it’s stationary, we’d have to work in KWHr/Gal.

            1. Gasoline contains 36.5 kWh/gal. So we can put 5 gallons of gas in the Volt and a Honda Civic and see which one can drive a tanning lamp, hair dryer, and margarita machine the longest at idle, then repeat while driving and see which one goes farther under both city and highway scenarios.

              Can you make it from Detroit to Daytona with a good base tan, a solid drunk, and gas in the tank without stopping in Georgia or Carolina?

              1. Can you make it from Detroit to Daytona with a good base tan, a solid drunk, and gas in the tank without stopping in Georgia or Carolina?

                Are we stopping for gas or tequila for the MargaritavilleMachine? The outcome of the experiment hinges on that variable.

              2. back to comparing the efficiency as a generator for a new volt vs traditional ICE setup.

                Yeah, the alternator is typically underutilized, however the peak power demands are also lower compared to the power plant in an electric vehicle.

                Your alternator just has to recharge the battery and run the lights, radio, instrumentation and AC. The powerplant in the electric vehicle has to output a couple KW just turn the wheels at speed. Running appliances on the highway wouldn’t work, but stationary, you could (theoretically*) run more appliances off the EV it before the load causes the voltage to sag.

                *theory, because I doubt Chevy allows the power system to deliver more than a couple hundred watts from the lighter or any electrical outlets in the car. You’d probably have to splice into the wires feeding the motors to get at the full output capacity of the plant.

    2. I took a shit at MSNBC once. I told Ed Schultz it was Obama’s, so he gobbled it right down.

    1. “It is not clear where the book came from in the crowd – or what type of book it was”

      Hopefully, it was a copy of The Constitution.

      1. “threw a book at obama” not “threw a roll of toilet paper”.

      2. If it was, it must have gone over his head.

    2. It looks like it has a phoenix on the back… anyone recognize it?

      1. Someone knows about it.

        Apparently the author threw the book because he wanted Obama to have a copy.

        No name was given for either the book or the author…

    3. Actually, I think that was a feral book flying south for the winter.

    4. Looking at the rally pictures shows a very black group of people. Oh sure, there is a token cracker here and there.

      What a bunch of racists.

      1. It’s not racist when they do it, nyuck-ah!

  14. To summarize the response to the Fort Hood Shooting:

    How dare you attribute the shooting to Islam, just because the shooter was Muslim! You’re a Hater! You’re a RACIST HATER! Don’t you know that he probably had mental issues. The court even sent him for a psychiatric evaluation to see if he’s secretly mentally ill. Yeah, that’s it. I bet he’s a psychiatric surviver who just hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

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