Everyone is talking about how Greece needs to cut and raise taxes, but what it really needs is reform from the endemic corruption in which all kinds of special interests have managed to rig the system to their exclusive benefit, and to everyone else´s detriment. The economy is uncompetitive largely because the Greek government exists to favor special interests over the general interest, and the politicians are determined to prevent real reform of the system because this whole corrupt patronige system is what keeps them in power, and they are not going to touch that.
I found this article in theconomist.com to be quite interesting. I could really revolutionize photography in a few years time.
Science and technology
Jun 29th 2011, 23:55 by G.F. | SEATTLE
PHOTOGRAPHY can trace its roots to the camera obscura, the optical principles of which were understood as early as the 5th century BC. Latin for a darkened chamber, it was just that: a shrouded box or room with a pinhole at one end through which light from the outside was projected onto a screen inside, displaying an inverted image. This, you might think, is a world away from modern digital cameras, brimming with fancy electronics which capture the wavelengths and intensity of light and translate them into digital bits. But the principle of focusing rays through an aperture onto a two-dimensional surface remains the same.
Now a novel approach to photographic imaging is making its way into cameras and smartphones. Computational photography, a subdiscipline of computer graphics, conjures up images rather than simply capturing them. More computer animation than pinhole camera, in other words, though using real light refracted through a lens rather than the virtual sort. The basic premise is to use multiple exposures, and even multiple lenses, to capture information from which photographs may be derived. These data contain a raft of potential pictures which software then converts into what, at first blush, looks like a conventional photo.
The best known example of computational photography is high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging, which combines multiple photos shot in rapid succession, and at different exposures, into one picture of superior quality. So, where a single snap may miss out on detail in the lightest and darkest areas, an HDR image of the same scene looks preternaturally well lit. HDR was considered a specialised technique employed mostly by professionals. That changed when Apple added it as an option in the iPhone 4. (Earlier iPhone models lacked the oomph to crunch relevant data quickly enough to be practical.)
But HDR is just one way to splice together different images of the same subject, says Marc Levoy of Stanford University, who kickstarted the field in a seminal paper he and colleague Pat Hanrahan published in 1996. Since then, aspects of computational photography have moved from academia into commercial products. This, Dr Levoy explains, is mainly down to processing capacity of devices, such as camera-equipped smartphones, growing faster than the quantity of sensors which record light data. “You are getting more computing power per pixel.”
To show off the potential of some new techniques, Dr Levoy programmed the SynthCam app for the iPhone and iOS devices, which takes a number of successive video frames and processes them into a single, static image that improves on the original in a variety of ways. He and his colleagues have also built several models of Frankencamera: prototypes made using bits of kit found in commercially available devices which use a host of tricks to capture data and turn them into better pictures with clever algorithms. SynthCam and Frankencameras can improve photos taken in low-light conditions, which are usually quite grainy, and create an artificial focus that is absent from the original set of images.
Still, for all the superior results and techniques that computational photography may reveal, Dr Levoy laments, camera-makers have been loth to embrace the new approach. This is poised to change. On June 22nd Ren Ng, a former student of his at Stanford, launched a new company called Lytro, promising to launch an affordable snapshot camera this autumn.
Rather than use conventional technology, as the Frankencamera does, to take multiple successive exposures and then meld them, Dr Ng has figured out a way to capture lots of images simultaneously. This approach is known as light-field photography, and Lytro’s camera will be its first commercial exploration. In physics, a light field describes the direction of all the idealised light rays passing through an area. Dr Levoy and Dr Hanrahan’s 1996 paper described a way of simplifying this field mathematically which makes it feasible—albeit nearly 15 years later—to calculate using off-the-shelf chips. Dr Ng’s camera recreates the light field thanks to an array of microlenses inserted in between an ordinary camera lens and the image sensor. (Dr Ng declined to reveal the precise specifications for the commercial device, but prototypes from his academic days sported 90,000 minuscule lenses, arranged in a 300-by-300 grid.)
Each microlens functions as a kind of superpixel. A typical camera works by recording where light strikes the focal plane—the area onto which rays passing through a lens are captured. In traditional cameras the focal plane was a piece of film; modern ones use arrays of digital sensors. In Lytro’s case, however, light first passes through a microlens and only then hits the sensors behind it. By calculating the path between the lens and the sensor, the precise direction of a light ray can be reconstructed. This in turn means that it is possible to determine where the ray would strike if the focal plane were moved. And moving the focal plane is tantamount to focusing the lens. In other words, one can find the focal plane on which even the blurriest point on the original image is in focus.
This ray tracing, as Dr Ng calls it, derives directly from computer graphics. In that field, the technique is used to paint realistic reflections of one artificial object on another, among other things. With Lytro’s device, the objects are real, but the principle remains the same. A viewer can adjust the focus of an image at will simply by clicking on a point to bring it into sharp focus and blurring the rest of the photo. The same data can be used to alter the depth of field, as photographers call the space between the closest and most distant points in an image that are in focus, or even create a so-called infinite depth of field where every point of the image is in focus. Manipulating the data can also be used to slide the point of view of the camera around to produce a compelling simulation of a stereoscopic image, shallower but similar to 3D movies. (The company’s website lets visitors fiddle with existing images to see how some of these features work.)
The main lens is fixed in place; there is no auto-focus, auto-aperture, or other gubbins. This limits the number of moving parts which need to be adjusted every time a photo is taken, and which cause a lag between pressing the shutter-release button and capturing the image. Lytro’s snaps, by contrast, will be truly instantaneous, just like old film-based snapshot cameras. The light-field approach means they will always be in focus (since the plane of focus can be moved at will after the photograph has been taken). And the main lens is preset so that it always captures the greatest amount of light possible. This means that exposure time can be extremely short even in poorly lit conditions.
That said, the Lytro may be clever, but it is also gimmicky. The resolution is limited to the number of microlenses, each of which is treated as a single pixel by the processing software when an image is extracted. The images on Lytro’s website are 525 by 525 pixels, which is fine online, but will not pass muster in print. Still, the new device might just reignite the once-furious race for ever more megapixels. Camera-makers have stopped going on about how many millions of pixels their latest products capture, because it is already more than enough for most amateurs, even on the cheapest models. Nowadays fewer photographic prints are made (and those that are made are typically pretty small), but billions of photographs are shared online each year. Professional photographers may still seek higher pixel counts, but there is little need or desire for such optical oneupmanship in the snapshot market.
For now, therefore, the company is targeting internet photo sharing. It will let owners upload the image data and the processing tools to Facebook and other social networks. The firm has reportedly already managed to raise $50m, so someone clearly thinks there is a market for its innovation. Investors must be hoping that consumers find all the irritants that Lytro’s camera removes, like blurred or dim pictures, niggling enough to want them removed once and for all. If they do, their holiday snaps will never have looked better.
More and more I get the strong feeling that Global Warming is-at best-a vast exaggeration constantly promoted by various interested groups (environmentalists, politicians, carbon traders, climate scientists, etc.) using unprovable apocoliptic scenarios to scare us into action. After more than 20 years of this hysteria I see no evidence of global warming. It is time for a serious reevaluation of the matter free of cant, ideology and conflicts of interest.
Rothbard & Rucker: The U.N.’s climate of desperation
By David Rothbard and Craig Rucker – The Washington Times
As the United Nations wrapped up its recent climate conference in Bonn, talks organizer Christiana Figueres proclaimed that climate change is the “the most important negotiation the world has ever faced.” Faced with real problems – financial meltdowns, unemployment, war and genuine human suffering – the world no longer agrees.
It’s a good thing human productivity doesn’t threaten the global thermostat the way the U.N. would have us believe. If it did, we’d be cooked. Countries rich and poor are backing away from commitments they made years ago during rosier economic times, before the public became aware of Climategate, renewable energy costs and genuine debate.
The Kyoto Protocol, the only binding international agreement signed since the global warming scare began, expires after 2012. Canada, Russia and Japan have declared they will not renew; China and the United States never signed it, and the U.S. has made it plain it is not about to. And poor countries are becoming less enamored about signing on, as they realize hard economic times mean there will be little climate “mitigation” and “restitution” money coming their way from (formerly) rich countries.
Even die-hard warmists increasingly recognize that bureaucratic solutions hatched at these conferences are rife with waste, fraud and abuse. They may enrich a few, but they are powerless to control Earth’s climate.
In March, German investigators reported that 850 million euros disappeared when shady companies swarmed into carbon trading, emissions and energy businesses.Criminal enterprises raked in tens of millions, fended off regulators with delaying tactics and then announced bankruptcy or vanished. An Italian sting operation resulted in arrests of wind-farm developers who billed the country for subsidies but never produced a kilowatt of electricity.
London’s liberal Guardian newspaper was aghast to learn that the World Bank’s Biocarbon Fund had arranged to pay European “entrepreneurs” $1 million to establish a system under which 60,000 Kenyans would restrict themselves to farming under rigidly controlled, inefficient, “sustainable” techniques. For that they will receive $1.4 million over 20 years.
That’s right, the beneficent World Bank will enrich more Europeans so 60,000 Kenyans can receive $23.83 apiece for 20 years of drudgery, poverty and misery – a princely $1.19 a year.
Even the European Union finally understands how little bureaucracy and energy deprivation dictates the climate. “It is not enough for the EU to simply sign up for another commitment period,” EU climate representative Jurgen Lefevere admitted. “We only represent 11 percent of global emissions.”
Burning fossil fuels contributes only a fraction of total annual atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup, and the EU contributes just 11 percent of that. The EU’s commitment to slashing CO2 emissions by 20 percent invites corruption, has no control over Chinese or Indian emissions and has no effect on the climate.
The biggest divide evident in Bonn was between the United States and large emerging economies. Even Obama administration officials who are thoroughly committed to man-made global warming catastrophe claims finally recognize the fraud problem. In Bonn, the U.S. insisted that all countries subject their emission reduction claims to verification.
However, China will accept only an agreement that lacks verification – and guarantees the right to cheat. Meanwhile, the Chinese are happy to be “the world’s leader” in manufacturing wind turbines – 95 percent – which they gladly sell to guilt-ridden Western countries.
China and other nations support the notion that prosperous countries owe the world restitution for the “sin” of engaging in the Industrial Revolution and becoming prosperous. We can only hope some nation’s representative will have the courage to remind China and its fellow climate travelers that the West never forced them to spend 50 years mired in communism, bureaucracy and stagnation.
While it is encouraging that the global warming camp no longer has things entirely its own way, celebration would be premature. For all the gnashing of teeth and complaining about corporate influence we hear from global warming bureaucrats and campaigners, the truth is that, today, the warmists are the establishment.
Billions are being redistributed to researchers, developing nations, carbon speculators, alternative energy investors and other carbon profiteers – who would like to turn billions into trillions. Pity the poor carbon traders whose markets expire with Kyoto. Not all have their villa in the sun yet.
But rest assured, they will do whatever is necessary to get theirs. Big Warming will not surrender its hold on Western taxpayers without a fight.
The warmist camp plans to retake the initiative at the December U.N. conference in Durban, South Africa. It intends to turn back the clock to the time when the media would attribute any weather or nature event to global warming, without question or critical examination. Al Gore’s recent Rolling Stone diatribe essentially calls on the media to censure climate disaster skeptics and adopt a one-sided man-made warming narrative.
The New York Times may go along, but the huge and growing alternative media will not. This week’s Heartland Institute international conference of climate-alarm skeptics in Washington will only reinforce the lack of evidence for man-made Armageddon, and the disastrous consequences of staying the current U.N. course.
Many believe the last-minute appearance by dozens of world leaders crippled the Copenhagen climate conference. But with the big names absent from Cancun, Mexico, and now Bonn, the U.N. wants them back.
Ms. Figueres capped the Bonn conference with a call for “high-level political attention.” If she succeeds, just imagine the mischief a gathering of heads of state, foreign ministers, bureaucrats, researchers, green campaigners and carbon profiteers can do at an African beach resort. Then imagine how nearly impossible it will be to repair the harm they inflict. Action must be taken to avert such a result.
David Rothbard is president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Craig Rucker is CFACT’s executive director.
I am not a bit sweet tooth, but considering that a lot of people are, and that sugar like products cause a lot of health problems, people are looking for the next great healthy sweetener. I found this article interesting.
Dear NaturalNews readers,
Over the last two years, we’ve witnessed a mass exodus away from agave nectar and a search for more natural sweeteners that are both low on the glycemic index and high in nutrient density. Several candidates have emerged, but my all-out favorite has become coconut sugar, which is really more like a coconut caramel sap.
This sweetener is fast becoming extremely popular among raw foodies, vegans and vegetarians. Many have switched from agave nectar to coconut sugar for all the reasons I’m covering here.
The coconut sugar (sap) I’ve been using is a 100% pure organic crystallized coconut sap from Thailand. It’s harvested from the sap of unopened coconut blossoms, then boiled under controlled heat to drive off the water and condense the liquid to a dark brown sap. There are no additives used, no bleaching, and absolutely no stripping of minerals or other nutrients. It’s not a raw food, however. Cooking the sap is a necessary part of concentrating it, just like with maple syrup, which is really a concentration of the watery maple sap.
The result is a thick, liquid “caramel” sap that’s brown in color and extremely sweet. It tastes almost like fudge, and some people even eat it like fudge. (Intense sweetness!) I use it in smoothies, where I’ve found it to offer the most full-spectrum sweetness taste from any natural sweetener I’ve ever tried. Agave nectar was great, but coconut sugar is so much better — it actually reminds me of the richness of raw cane sugar juice that I used to drink in South America.
Works in smoothies, recipes and hot beverages
This caramelized coconut sugar is also very handy in its sap format: It melts easily in hot beverages, it mixes easily in recipes, and it blends easily in smoothies. Amazingly, it’s only 12% sugar, and it’s high in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It’s also high in several key B vitamins, so eating it is not just delicious; it’s also healthy! (My theory is that the presence of certain trace minerals enhances the sweetness and richness of the flavor without needing high sugar content like you’ll find in refined sugar…)
While I was watching the documentary about the President´s photographer, I was struck by the fairly high number of his aides who are people of color. While I can’t confirm this, the number of people who appear to work for Obama who have dark skin seems to be above what one would expect if merely choosing employees based on qualifications alone. In other words, I have this strong suspicion that race plays a reasonably important factor in choosing many of those who work for Obama. And, the man seems to have a preference for those of a darker skin tones. In other words, if my suspicion is true, this is a phenomenon, that if a white politician did it, it would be labeled as racism. However, due to political correctness, Obama can choose as many dark skinned people as he feels like, regardless of qualifications, without anyone even breathing a whisper of complaint, or even pointing it out.
People like to accuse Obama of being a socialist, but I don’t think he has a lot of problems with rich people or corporations. He’s obviously in bed with the entire financial industry, and his policies towards that sector have been indistinguishable from Bush’s. where I think that Obama really shows his leftist streak is in his deeply felt preference for the politics of identity, and for favoring and promoting people of color over whites. When it comes to race, Obama is a classic politically correct leftist. He deals with whites, and hires them to work for him, but only as a political necessity, because the astute politician in him knows that he’s not going to give much done if he only relies upon blacks and Hispanics. He has to work with whites to get things done. But, when left to his own instincts he really would prefer, I believe, to surround himself with dark skinned people, while implementing policies that consistently favor blacks and Hispanics, and by extension this favor whites. Obama often hides his true feelings on the matter when he is playing politician, but not infrequently is real intentions and feelings slip out.
An example of this can be shown, yet again, by Obama`s attempt to do a run around, and get the dream act implemented through the back door by presidential fiat, because the bill was voted down in Congress. I believe that Obama likes nothing better than trying to promote the “browning of America”, and one of the main ways you to achieve this is through immigration. If Congress will not go along, but does try to do it anyway surreptitiously. This is also related to Obama’s appointment of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She is a Hispanic, and has a well established record of doing everything she can promote an advantage Hispanics, usually to the detriment of whites. She is not here to be impartial, but to promote the interests of her tribe above all others.
PRES. OBAMA CAN’T GET AMNESTIES PASSED IN CONGRESS,
SO HE IS ISSUING DE FACTO AMNESTIES
THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE MEMOS
Please Send Free Faxes Urging Support For Chairman Lamar Smith’s New Bill Barring Most of These Recent De Facto Amnesty Shenanigans
Rep. Lamar Smith — the powerful Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee — has had enough of the Obama Administration thumbing its nose at Congress on the amnesty issue.
As our NumbersUSA Director of Content & Activism Chris Chmielenski writes, Rep. Smith (R-Texas) “is finalizing legislation that would prevent the Obama Administration from offering amnesty to millions of illegal aliens through deferred action or parole.”
ACTION: Click on this link for the free fax to send to your U.S. Representative:
PRES. OBAMA’S BIGGEST DISAPOINTMNET WAS WHEN GRASSROOTS
BEAT THE DREAM ACT AMNESTY IN DECEMBER –
SO, HE’S MAKING IT HAPPEN WITHOUT CONGRESS
I’m sure you remember the Christmas message of the President that his biggest disappointment of the year was Congress’ failure to pass the DREAM Act amnesty for young adult illegal aliens.
The President’s failure on that front was because of the incredible outpouring of activism from all of you in the NumbersUSA network.
Even before the December vote, the President’s people over at ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) were coming up with the notion of an administrative amnesty. Now, a new memo from ICE Director John Morton tells his field staff to use prosecutorial discretion while enforcing federal immigration laws.
It appears he is telling his departments to refrain from enforcing the law against people who would have gotten an amnesty if the DREAM Act had passed.
Chairman Smith’s HALT (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation) Act would prevent the Obama Administration from:
- granting parole (except in narrow circumstances),
- issuing deferred action (except in narrow circumstances),
- issuing extended voluntary departure to removable aliens,
- granting work authorization to aliens on a discretionary basis,
- granting TPS to any new groups of aliens,
- waiving the three and 10 year bars to admittance for aliens who have been illegally present in the U.S., and
- granting cancellation of removal to illegal immigrants.
ICE MEMO GIVES ‘DISCRETION’ TO LET MOST ILLEGAL ALIENS REMAIN IN THE COUNTRY
Morton’s memo last week told field officials how to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” such as by granting deferred action, “deciding whom to stop, question, or arrest”, deciding “whom to detain”, and “dismissing” a removal proceeding.
The memo made clear that potentially millions of deportable illegal and criminal immigrants would be potentially eligible for administrative amnesty. It said:
“When weighing whether an exercise of prosecutorial discretion may be warranted for a given alien, ICE officers, agents and attorneys should consider all relevant factors, such as:
- ICE’s immigration enforcement priorities. (ICE has expressed little interest in deporting illegal immigrants who have not yet been convicted of ‘serious’ crimes.)
- The person’s “pursuit of education in the United States”. (The Migration Policy Institute estimates that more than two million illegal immigrants would be eligible for the DREAM Act amnesty).
- “Whether the person has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child or parent. . . . Whether the person or the person’s spouse is pregnant . . . .” (The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that illegal immigrants have 4.5 million U.S.-born and thus U.S. citizen children.)
- The persons length of presence in the U.S. (The Pew Hispanic Center has estimated that millions of illegal immigrants have been in the U.S. since the 1990s.)
While the Administration can’t grant citizneship through its executive authority, it can shield illegal aliens from being deported and issue temporary work authorization to illegal aliens who receive the administrative amnesty.
We are especially concerned about any work permits that may be issued through these de facto amnesties. It is one thing to give a “presence amnesty” which is what happens when the government decides to delay deportation. It is quite another thing to give a “jobs amnesty” which essentially is the government giving an illegal alien the right to steal a job from an American worker.
I know that many of you have been most disturbed by various news reports about what amounts to “executive nullification” of the laws of Congress. So, I know you are exremely grateful for the leadership of Chairman Smith in tackling head-on what could become a constitutional crisis.
Lamar Smith’s HALT Act will leave no doubt for anybody what the will of the U.S. Congress is. We’re hopeful the President will back down rather than throw the country into a constitutional crisis.
Please send your fax to support the HALT bill, and make sure you have also sent faxes of support for Chairman Smith’s national mandatory E-Verify bill.
In the article below we see yet another example of how our government once again has casually lied to us. How can they even pretend to have any honor and dignity left when the act is so low again and again and again. we also must keep in mind that nearly 3 years after “the Savior” was elected, the same nonsense, corruption and abuse of power goes on uninterrupted from the Bush administration. It’s like the saying: Welcome to the new boss. Same as the old boss. I wonder how many people by now are feeling a little bit silly at having swooned, wept and jumped up and down in a fit of pure irrational joy when Obama won the election.if they have any sense of self-awareness, they are feeling more than a little bit embarrassed about being carried away by this presumed miracle worker.
Exposed documents reveal Napolitano, TSA lied about safety of cancer-causing naked body scanners
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Remember when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed back in 2010 that the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) naked body scanners had been proven safe by research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…)? A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request recently brought to light internal emails that were sent by NIST to DHS that basically decry Napolitano’s false assertion that NIST had verified the safety of the naked body scanners.
Amid the string of emails discussing the matter, an undisclosed sender explains that NIST was “a little concerned” over Napolitano’s public reassurances that TSA’s naked body scanners are safe. After all, NIST does not test products, and it never tested the naked body scanners in the first place. Napolitano apparently took the individual machine dose measurements that NIST had gathered and twisted them to say what she wanted them to say, which was that the machines are safe.
Worse, NIST had actually warned DHS and TSA that the machines were not necessarily safe, and that airport screening agents should avoid standing next to them because of the harmful radiation they emit. It is unclear whether or not this warning was ever taken seriously by TSA officials.
Napolitano also falsely claimed that research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory confirms the safety of naked body scanners, even though the research actually suggests the opposite. Dr. Michael Love from the school publicly stated that the machines are going to give people skin cancer, and the specific findings of the report indicate that “radiation zones” around the machines emit enough radiation to exceed the “General Public Dose Limit.”
One thing is for sure, though. Many current and former TSA agents who have developed cancers are now speaking out against the machines, as they believe repeated and continual exposure to them is responsible for their conditions. Many TSA agents have repeatedly requested that they be given dosimeters to wear that will warn them of dangerous radiation exposure — but TSA higher-ups have never followed through in addressing their concerns, despite empty promises that they would.
Sources for this story include:
The reason why we get ridiculous stories, like the one below, is because government officials have become so afraid of being accused of discrimination or racism, that, as a defense, they have learned to apply the rules and the law robotically, because, after all, it’s hard to accuse or robot of being prejudiced. If officials, like the TSA, were allowed to use their common sense, I believe we would have less silliness like the article below. But, commonsense would inevitably lead to charges of “profiling”, “discrimination” and “prejudice”, simply because common sense and intelligence inevitably leads people to make distinctions, or, in other words, to discriminate. It’s logical pay a lot more attention to a young swarthy Muslim man with a beard and dressed in an Islamic garb, than it is to worry about a white 75-year-old grandmother. The young Muslim man is probably about 10,000 times more likely to engage in terrorism than the older white grandmother. But, realizing such truths would inevitably lead to accusations of “profiling”. So, making common sense and reasonable distinctions among people is prohibited. The only recourse is to treat everyone exactly the same and act robotically. Who cares if the white grandmother is about as much of a nonexistent terrorist threat as can be, and a young Muslim man with a beard is the perfect profile of a typical terrorists. The overriding concern is to not be seen as being preferential, and so everyone is treated the same, much to our detriment.
All high quality detective, police and intelligence work is based upon noticing patterns, and using profiles (or stereotypes), to identify individuals or groups that need to be watched much more carefully than the rest of the population. It is simply not effective, nor do such agencies have the resources to watch everyone all the time, or to put everyone through a dragnet. Security work that can identify those who are most likely to be problematic, to watch them, and to intervene proactively to defuse such groups when they appear to be doing something dangerous, is the cheapest, most effective, and also, importantly, the least intrusive upon the average citizen. The TSA´s approach of dragging everyone through a police state like process, has not been successful at catching terrorists, but it has been enormously successful at producing great cost to the nation, creating a lot of hassle and aggravation for citizens of this country, and most importantly incompletely trampling upon our civil liberties. All effective efforts at preventing terrorist attacks have come through intelligent intelligence, which profiles high-risk groups and defuses them before they can cause any harm. “Profiling” work is infinitely more effective, cheaper, and doesn’t make most people feel like they’re living in North Korea every time they go through an airport. But, that’s the price we pay for the mindlessness of absolute unquestioning adherence to the religion of political correctness. Even when it is wrong, it cannot be corrected, just like a fundamentalist dogma.
TSA makes grandma fly with no underwear
The Chinese tend to do very well in business because they are usually very hard-working and very ambitious. But, there is one weakness to the Chinese, and it is fair tendency to produce shoddy products if given a chance. The Chinese can produce high-quality products, but usually only Dussault when they are forced to, either by foreign buyers, or simply the demands of the marketplace that will not accept junk. The natural instinct of the Chinese is not to produce high-quality goods. Even today, I’m often appalled at the terrible quality of many cheap Chinese products. Things in many ways haven’t changed in almost 20 years, when Chinese products were notorious for substandard quality. eventually, I suppose the situation will improve — and I think it is slowly improving even now — but only because they are forced to. It took decades for Taiwan to raise its quality standards from poor to acceptable. BYD grew very quickly because of its innovative designs and cheap price. But, after rapid initial growth, they’re running into major problems, because their cars are not liable. Even the Chinese would rather spend three times as much to buy a Toyota, because at least he won’t spend half its life in the garage.
People are not interested in buying junk. Junk rarely makes a profit, because it is so undesirable and thus has to be sold at the absolute cheapest price.that is why I believe that the Chinese work so hard, and yet do not make as much money as they should. I think the Germanic approach to production is much more profitable, because they produce high-quality products, and high-quality products can command a price premium, because people are willing to pay a lot for the best. People gladly pay high prices for products from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland…, because they are considered to be superior. So, instead of having to slave away night and day, like the Chinese do for paperthin profits, they are able to make a lot more money from a lot less work.
A final problem with the Chinese is that corruption in their governments.throughout Asia (with the exception of Japan) corruption levels are at or near those of the Third World. In the West, corruption levels are normally much lower. With governments in Asia that do not work in the people’s interests, I believe the citizens of those countries have to work harder to compensate for the inequities and difficulties put up by their corrupt governments. At least, this is one supposition that I have as to why Asians work so hard, and yet, don’t seem to be wealthier than Germanic or Anglo-Saxons, who work less.just my two cents for today.
this is a video about the phenomenon that I knew little of before. Presidencies days have at least one official photographer that goes with them all over the place constantly taking photographs of them. The documentary is interesting because it exposes an aspect of the president that I had not known about before. It’s interesting how there is very little privacy with the president constantly being photographed all day long.
I think we can see the political correctness in our elitist institutions by the way National Geographic treats Obama in reverential tones. It’s almost as if they were doing a documentary on the dear leader of North Korea. I believe that this was done in the early days of the Obama presidency before the mast Kool-Aid effect had worn off, and so many people in elite institutions still believed that Obama would be their politically correct savior. Morgan Freeman narrates the whole event was a great reverence and awe. This is not surprising since virtually all Blacks regard Obama is the best thing that ever existed. Of course maybe National Geographic’s propaganda piece was simply the price that they had to pay to gain access to this story. After all, National Geographic knows that it is not in its interest to bite the hands feeds it. This is a problem with all large established media organizations that are able to gain access to power. In an effort to continue to have that access, they will not keep their subjects feet to the fire, but will do everything they can to please them, and continue the “productive” relationship.
Anyway, if you can get over the worshipful slant of the documentary, it actually is quite interesting: both to learn about the President´s photographer, and to learn how the president functions. One thing that struck me once again at seeing Obama in action is just how much of a schmoozer and the charmer he really is. Most presidents know how to work a crowd, but Obama is a master. He is also a great speech giver, able to really work up a crowd, turn off their brains, but get their emotions on overdrive. In one of the speeches which he was giving, I saw echoes of other great demagogic political orators, such as Mussolini or Hitler. I think such people can actually be dangerous, although by now I believe that Obama has lost most of his credibility, and the masses are no longer willing to jump off a cliff just because he says so. Also, Obama is not principally interested in reaching people through logic. He prefers to play upon their emotions.
<object width = “625” height = “288” > <param name = “movie” value = “http://www-tc.pbs.org/video/media/swf/PBSPlayer.swf” > </param><param name=”flashvars” value=”width=625&height=288&video=1672209202&player=viral&lr_admap=in:pbs:0″ /> <param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param > <param name = “allowscriptaccess” value = “always” > </param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param ><embed src=”http://www-tc.pbs.org/video/media/swf/PBSPlayer.swf” flashvars=”width=625&height=288&video=1672209202&player=viral&lr_admap=in:pbs:0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” wmode=”transparent” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”625″ height=”288″ bgcolor=”#000000″></embed></object><p style=”font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #808080; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 625px;”>Watch the <a style=”text-decoration:none !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#4eb2fe !important;” href=”http://video.pbs.org/video/1672209202″ target=”_blank”>full episode</a>. See more <a style=”text-decoration:none !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#4eb2fe !important;” href=”http://video.pbs.org/program/1645068118″ target=”_blank”>The Presidents Photographer.</a></p>
- by Amelia T.
- June 26, 2011
We heard a lot about TSA last fall, when the decision to install “enhanced” security technologies and more extensive searches left people asking whether full-body scans or pat-downs constituted an invasion of privacy, and whether the potential discomfort or embarrassment they might cause was worth the public security benefits. Many people alleged that the innovations were too uncomfortable and invasive, and questioned whether people truly consented when they bought their airline ticket.
The hubbub about scans and searches has mostly died down. But TSA continues to humiliate people as they go through airport security. A woman, Jean Weber, filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, alleging that her 95-year-old mother was asked to remove her soiled adult diaper as security officials completed their pat-down. Weber’s mother was flying to Michigan to be with her family during the last stages of leukemia, and was traveling through the airport in a wheelchair because she could not walk. She was detained and searched extensively, but during the search, officials say that “they felt something suspicious on (her mother’s) leg and they couldn’t determine what it was.” They then asked the mother and daughter to leave, remove the mother’s adult diaper, and return to complete the search.
Understandably, Weber and her mother described the 45-minute ordeal as traumatic. ”Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this,” said Weber. But TSA defended its employees’ actions.
“Wheelchairs trigger certain protocols, including pat-downs and possible swabbing for explosives,” said Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for TSA. ”The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner.”
Weber, however, wants less invasive security methods for elderly people who are unable to walk through the security gates. ”Nobody should feel the way I felt that day,” she explained. “I’m not angry. The rules need to be changed.”
Protecting air travelers is one thing, but did security officials really need to humiliate a 95-year-old cancer patient and her daughter? This situation is far more clear-cut than debates over pat-downs and full-body scans: for people who are elderly or infirm, there need to be different rules, or at least machines that are capable of determining that even though a wheelchair is made of metal, it is not an explosive.
After all, as Weber said, “I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”