AAUW Strikes Again

There was a Reuters story in my local newspaper recently entitled “Pay Gap Between Sexes Proves Persistent”.  It was amusing because it was researched by the AAUW, the American Association of University Women.  What would you expect them to find?  That women had made progress?  No, and I seem to recall that the NAACP found that there are not enough Black men in baseball, too (since black Hispanic men were considered Hispanic and not black).

In my experience with several  accomplished AAUW women, I have noted one important thing:  they were highly political–Liberal Left Wingers, and their local AAUW chapter appeared to be a wing of the Liberal Democrat Party.  Liberals love to find victims and they have attempted to portray women as victims in this story.

The implied political moral of this AAUW study is, “Under the present administration, women have suffered.  Vote the straight Democrat ticket.”  In other words, this carefully constructed study is a political statement.

Having spent a career in various industries including three years on General Electric’s corporate staff, I can say that many companies are dedicated to hiring and promoting women and to making very sure that women get paid just as much as men for the same or similar types of work.  There are governmental penalties for doing otherwise, but there are benefits also.  Women have proven to be valuable, committed, achieving employees.

There are other studies showing women have made great progress in the past thirty years.  I would hope to see an article about one of these by Reuters, but I will not hold my breath.

Speaker Denny Hastert

I see by the newspaper that Speaker of the House Denny Hastert is in trouble.  Not because he did something, but because he didn’t do something—fast enough.

Did Mr. Hastert fail to kill Usama binLaden?

Did Mr. Hastert play sex games with a young page girl in his office while on duty?

Did Mr. Hastert lie to a Grand Jury?

Did Mr. Hastert store ninety thousand dollars of marked money in his refrigerator?

Did Mr. Hastert proclaim that gay men were pedophiles?

Did Mr. Hastert loose a child rapist on the public?

He didn’t do any of the above, but they were done by people of the opposite party.  There was no outcry.

What did Mr. Hastert do?  He failed to expel a Congressman fast enough.  The Congressman wrote nasty text messages which Mr. Hastert did not know about.  There was no physical damage to another person as a result of Mr. Hastert’s lack of fast action.

Yet, from the outcry of those who either ignored or protected people who were involved in the dastardly deeds listed above, is enormous.  The outrage they suppressed when obvious crimes were committed by Democrats has now been found.

It is good to let it out.  I did not know the mainstream media had any outrage in their systems at all.  They have held it in for so many years that I thought it had atrophied.

And now I understand.  Outrage can appear only when it is directed at Republicans.

Understanding always helps.

Media Bias for Sure

So after writing my last post to this blog I have been looking for some newspaper somewhere to relate what the Australians said to their radical Islamic citizens. Can you imagine that news media people have not found this story worth repeating?

Amazing!

Maybe I was too hard on the media. And then I considered what I heard on the radio this morning on a talk show. Maybe I am not hard enough.

Point One: The New York Times printed what I thought was tantamount to treason when it told the story about how the international banking system was being observed by intelligence agencies to see where terrorists were getting their funding. The Times did this even though their President asked them not to do it.

Did I hear any condemnation from the media for this breach of trust that occurred within its ranks? Not a word.

Point two: ABC ran a docudrama about the “Path to 9/11” and all Hell broke loose. In it the story was told about how our Government failed to take action against our enemies for many years. There was condemnation all over the place from the Media and others.

Conclusion: the Liberal Media does not care about the safety of this nation. It does care a whole lot about the Clinton Legacy.

More Nonsense from the New York Times

Recently my son sent me the address to a New York Times article.
So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldn’t Even Know You
By GINA KOLATA
Published: July 30, 2006

The past 100 years has seen a change from small, sickly people to humans who are so robust their ancestors are almost unrecognizable.

The gist of the story was that someone had looked at the skeletal remains of some fifty Union soldiers and then generalized to the entire American population that we were a small, weak, sickly group of people.  What nonsense!

To be sure the skeletons of the 1620 settlers to New England were small.  Many of their bones showed that.  So did the height of the decks on the replica of the Mayflower which is still in Massachusetts.

But, given the fresh air and good food in America, people began to reach their potentials.  Here is a quote about one of my own English/Welsh Pryor ancestors, Samuel,  who was born about 1698 in Virginia: “They had ten children, eight sons and two daughters:  William, Samuel, John, Thornton, Robert, Luke, Frank, and Joseph;  the youngest of the brothers and least of them weighed 220 pounds.”

In addition to the healthy living in the new country one must add the factor of genetics, specifically hybrid vigor, “Increased vigor or other superior qualities arising from the crossbreeding of genetically different plants or animals. Also called heterosis.”  In America the gene pool was quite broad and deep.   The citizenry was vitalized by the hybrid vigor factor.  Americans became a big, energetic, productive and smart nation due to this vigor.

You want proof?  Who is the super power in the world today?

So if fifty scrawny Yankee soldiers were not in good shape, so be it.  They were not smart or powerful enough to buy their way out of the draft.  It is quite possible they were immigrants from ghettoes in European cities.

Whatever the case, there is no scientific support for generalizing to the entire American population from these fifty individuals of unknown origin.

There is no end to nonsense, pseudoscience or cuteness.

We Are Going to Starve!

There is an interesting story on the Internet today about the use of world food supplies for ethanol.  That is, the more corn that is converted into alcohol, the less food there will be for starving people to eat.  “That means fuel prices can drive up food prices, bad news for the two billion people whose food may fetch a higher price if it fills a gas tank.”

What is needed, “is an international body to oversee the biofuel/food problem. Right now, the author noted, “in effect no one is in charge.”

I guess the UN people are too busy raping little girls to give attention to this problem.  But as the Communists plainly showed, central planning never worked, anyway.  And I can’t imagine that the corrupt officials in the U.N. will pass up an opportunity for another “oil for food” program/scandal to line their pockets.
Maybe central control of oil and food supplies is not the answer.    But there is a control.

Perhaps when ethanol makes a dent in the demand for world oil, the price of oil will drop and the need for food to be converted into ethanol will also decline.  When the price for corn rises more corn (and rice) will be produced.   But most media writers don’t think very far out with their analyses.

There is a wonderful price system that distributes food and oil.  On top of that there are several wonderful charitable supply systems that can also work if governments will only get out of the way and let them work.   All the food and oil pressures in the world will not work if local governments will not let them.

Have pity on those who think the answer to every problem is more government.  They aren’t very bright, and no experience in the world will convince them otherwise.

Rockets ala North Korea

Now that North Korea has demonstrated, sort of, its expertise in rocketry by firing off a few scud-type missiles and an ICBM that flopped, I suppose we in the U.S. should be shaking in our boots.

North Korea wisely counted on American Media to blow everything out of proportion in an effort to find some way to blame President Bush for their progress.  But somehow, the timing was all wrong.  There is nothing like an Independence Day celebration to make Americans feel strong again.  The North Korean and American Media efforts fizzled like the ICBM that lasted all of forty seconds.

Possibly there were a few Americans who recalled the former President’s give-away of American rocket secrets that made possible the North Korean efforts.   But that President should not be blamed too much.  If he hadn’t given away such secrets, the New York Times probably would have.

These days, the term “Arms Race” has an entirely new meaning.  It now means the race of one group or another to give away secrets.

Oops! in Cause for Global Warming

This morning my local newspaper carried the story that the temperature was warm and had not been so warm in four hundred years.  I assumed that the subject was global temperature and not the temperature in Southern California, which seems to have been cooler this year.

With this story, the proponents of “global warming caused by the SUV in your driveway” crowd seem to have shot themselves in the foot.  One may reasonably ask what caused the warming period four hundred years ago?  Was it the SUV in the driveway of my ancestor in Renaissance Europe, or worse, in the driveway of my Native American ancestor in Virginia?

If the answer is neither, that these things happen naturally, some wag is likely to ask if the present warming is not also naturally caused and the battle will continue.  But I will not ask that.  I come from a family whose child didn’t just shoot himself in the foot, he blew off his big toe with a shotgun.  For evidence see my book, Four on the Floor, which is kind of self-explanatory.

Rumors of Tumors

In a recent Reuters news story, some eighty-five users of cell phones had malignant brain tumors and used cell phones “a lot.”  What was the scientific quantity of use?  “A lot.”  Big science employed here!  So a correlation was established by the writer, between cell phone use and malignant tumors.   Two valuable rules of evidence were ignored.

One is that we all know that correlation is not cause and effect.    We all drink water and we all die.  Does water cause death?  Only to those who drown in it.

The second rule is even simpler.  It is exemplified by the story of people who lived near electric power poles whose children contracted cancer.  Immediately, some people (and their lawyers) jumped to the conclusion that the electricity in the wires caused the cancer.  What else did the children have in common?  They played near the base of the poles where the power company had sprayed a herbicide to keep down the growth of weeds.  It turned out that the herbicide was behind the cancer and not the electrons flowing through the wires.

Here is the second rule: One correlation does not rule out other correlations.   In fairness, I can say that author of the study wrote that some “other agents” were ruled out (such as cigarettes).   Probably not all of them.  What they did not write about was the mechanism that causes human cells to become cancerous while in the presence of the electro-mechanical field of a cell phone.  There doesn’t seem to be one.

Perhaps cell phones cause malignant tumors in some people, but probably not. The preponderance of evidence says not.

These kinds of “folk science” stories give good science a bad name.  You’d think an educated Media would be more responsible.  At least, more demanding.

Price Theory and the Media

Last week I was going through my dwindling library.  In it was a shelf of of books about classic economic thought.  There were several on price theory.  That is right, the theory of how prices are set in the marketplace.  I seem to recall that only wage theory was more complicated.

The reason I was going though my library was that I was setting aside books that might help those in the family who are attending college.  I was interested  only in the classics, such as writings by Keynes, Hume, Malthus, Gresham and Smith (no Marx).  What my professors wrote several decades ago probably has little significance today.  Certainly, my own papers do not.  But the really old books are still useful.

I was impressed by those economists who dwelt on the reasons prices are what they are.  And then I compared the thickness of my price theory books stacked together with what I just heard on television.  One of the media, who has a large audience and a small vocabulary, was telling his listeners about oil prices.  He summed up all he knew about price theory in one word:  gouging.  To him, prices are either unimportant or someone is gouging.  It is that simple.  There are only two states in his economy.

There is something about journalism school that makes experts of us all.

It was disappointing to hear this speaker talk with such authority.  I just knew he was going to have some influence on the windbags in Congress who would have hearings about oil prices.  They don’t have such hearings when prices are unduly low, just when they are high.  (Some prices of bottled water are much greater per gallon than those of gasoline, but I am not holding my breath until Congress has hearings on those.  Or until media types speak out boldly about gouging in the water business.)

I can understand the windbags in Congress.  They like to pontificate.  But media people?  Maybe it is true that many of them wanted to get into journalism school “to make the world a better place.”

I wish they just wanted to report the news accurately.  That would be a start toward a better world.