Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Enough for Government Work?

WashingtonExaminer.com:
As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee's benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer's benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.
The situation is the same when state and local government compensation data is compared with that of the private sector.


Read more at the Washington Examiner, if you can bear it.

We're with the government, and we're here to help...

...you raise your children.

These type of nanny state regulations are silly and sometimes even totalitarian, but I have much less problem with them when they are promulgated by local governments rather than the feds.

Falling Mortality

WashingtonPost.com:
The global mortality rate for adults has fallen by about 1 percent a year for the past 40 years, with women making greater gains than men and huge differences opening up between countries and regions over that period, according to a new study.

Introspection

Mercurynews.com:
A Stanford bioengineer has become the first scientist in the world to decode his own DNA with a machine he invented, allowing him to peer into his genetic blueprint to see his risk for disease — and expanding the frontier of medicine.
***
A decade ago, sequencing of the first-ever whole genome by the federal government took many years and cost $400 million to $500 million. Quake's machine, the size of a freezer, sequenced his human genome in only four weeks, for $50,000. The procedure is expected to cost $10,000 by the end of this year.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"More Spiritual Than Religious"

72 percent of the Millennial generation say they are "more spiritual than religious."

And nearly two-thirds say that they rarely or never go to church.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mexico Second Only to US in Childhood Obesity

How sad.

iPad Finds a New Market



Very touching.

Some People Say There's a Woman to Blame

Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi angered women's groups around the world on Monday when he claimed that promiscuous women were responsible for literally making the earth move.

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,'' Sedighi said.


Oh geez.

The Makings of A Police State

Robert Folsom:

Suppose the U.S. Senate passed a law which gives the Federal Government the power to do the following to American citizens who are suspected of a crime:

1.Forbid interrogators from telling the person of their right to remain silent.
2.Forbid interrogators from telling the person of their right to legal counsel.
3.Deny the person habeas corpus protection (the government cannot keep a person in custody without charge).
4.Do all the above not only to a person suspected of a crime, but also to a person who may know about a possible future crime.
Note that I began with "Suppose," because the U.S. Senate has not passed such a law. But I know for a fact that the Senate is considering a bill that undeniably will grant the government those powers and more. Senators McCain and Lieberman introduced the legislation earlier this month (March 4).

Not much information is available about the bill (S 3081), apart from snippets on blogs and websites I've never heard of. You may find my description too outrageous to accept: I understand. I didn't believe it either. That's why I went to the Library of Congress database (THOMAS), found the bill and read the language myself.

Your initial response to such a law may be a loud "Why?" If so please keep reading -- I can at least offer a very plausible explanation regarding "Why now?"

In the interest of accuracy, the bill's title is "Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010" -- in other words, how to treat terrorists. Yet the supposed purpose of a law is one thing, while the actual language may be a different thing indeed.

In this case, the bill's broad language is different from its purpose in the same way the Mississippi River is different from a spring-fed creek. For example:

■"An individual who is suspected...shall not, during interrogation...be informed of any rights...to counsel or to remain silent consistent with Miranda v. Arizona."
■"An individual, including a citizen of the United States...may be detained without criminal charges and without trial..."
■It even says that a citizen can be designated a suspect based on "[s]uch other matters as the President considers appropriate."
You read that right: "Such other matters as the President considers appropriate." Broad enough for you? Why has the mainstream media said virtually nothing?


A dang good question. Full story here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Der Spiegel has published...

an eight part series summarizing the current state of climate science. It's a must read for anyone interested in the subject, or anyone who wants to better understand the Climategate controversy.

Der Spiegel, a left-leaning publication well known for advancing the views of climate alarmists, should be credited for publishing such an honest assessment of things.

FAA Way Behind on Modernizing Air Traffic Control

InformationWeek:
Poor leadership and funding make it unlikely modernization of the air traffic control system will meet its 2025 deadline, officials told Congress.


I'm sure the feds will do a much better job managing health care though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pathetic:

Examiner.com:
Bruce Waltke has resigned, under pressure, from his faculty position at the Orlando campus of the Reformed Theological Seminary.

Professor Waltke taught Old Testament and Hebrew for the seminary when, in March, he participated in a video for the BioLogos Foundation stating his heretical view that acceptance of evolution is possible within the Christian faith. The video titled, "Why Must the Church Come to Accept Evolution?" exhorted the church to engage the world, especially the facts of evolution.

ComputerWorld:

I have seen the future of home computing, and it is the iPad. I'm convinced of it.

I am too. But, not just home computing, but most business computing too!

To determine whether it could really replace a laptop for business, I've taken it on my last two business trips, toting my laptop along just in case. Both times, my laptop never left my bag. My iPad, on the other hand, was used constantly.

As a business user, I find the biggest advantages of an ipad over a laptop to be the following:

1) 10 hour (plus) battery life with constant use.

That's right, unlike your laptop battery, which will last three hours at most, you can actually WORK on the iPad (or watch a movie or play games or whatever) for 10 straight hours on a single charge. Ten hours! It's amazing.

2) "Instant On".

Push the "home" button and the screen leaps to life immediately. Not only that, but you which it out of your bag, refresh your display, open your email inbox, and start typing emails in less than 10 seconds start to finish. Compare that to a laptop which takes a good 45 seconds to a minute to "wake up" from sleep mode, or two to three minutes to boot up from scratch, not counting how long it takes for Outlook to open.

Mark my words, no one will by buying laptops in three years. Well, almost no one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eva Longoria Shocked by DNA Test Results

Results here.

Dennis Overbye...

...offers a primer on the significance of the Large Hadron Collider.

MSNBC determines whether 7 common fears about health care reform are...

...true or false.

This is very helpful, though I find their "true/false" designations to be misleading in some cases. For example, they claim that comparative effectiveness research will NOT lead to the rationing of care for the elderly, contrary to some claims. But then they go on to admit that:

The law creates a nonprofit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute charged with examining the "relative health outcomes, clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness" of different medical treatments by evaluating existing studies and conducting its own. The institute would be governed by a 19-member board that includes patients, doctors, hospitals, drug makers, device manufacturers, insurers, payers, government officials and health experts.

The law states that the institute does not have the power to mandate or even endorse coverage rules or reimbursement for any particular treatment. Medicare may take the institute’s research into account when deciding what procedures it will cover, so long as the new research is not the sole justification and the agency allows for public input.

This is a shift from Congress’ position when it created the Medicare Part D drug benefit in 2003; back then it banned any use of comparative effectiveness research in determining what would be covered.


Uh...I think that means that fear of rationing care based on some panel's determination of effectiveness is TRUE, not false.

Human Evolution Being Rewritten

Two-million-year-old Child Fossil Discovered