Scratch Pad

Friday, February 16, 2007

Joe Wilson File

Mona Charen article at National Review
The prosecutor accepted Joe Wilson’s “retaliation” theory from the start, looking for a White House conspiracy to harm Wilson. Fitzgerald tamely followed this line despite learning later that Wilson lied about how he was chosen for the mission to Niger (contrary to Wilson’s hot denials, it was his wife’s suggestion according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report), lied about what he found there (his report actually tended to confirm not deny Iraq’s uranium shopping), and lied about discrediting certain forged documents (they did not even appear until months after Wilson’s trip). Yet Wilson’s word was good enough for Fitzgerald.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Global warming roundup 02/07

Jonah Goldberg main column "Global Cooling is Too Expensive"
Europe's emissions vs United States' by Iain Murray
Dirty work at the green crossroads by Melanie Phillips
Climate of Opinion WSJ Editorial
A mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste by Peter Suderman
The Church of Climate Panic by Rich Lowry
A Carbon Cop-out by Michael Hanlon
It's the Science, Stupid by Thomas Sowell
NRO's new blog, Planet Gore
Ah...Bad Doomsday Predictions by Jonah Goldberg
Sydney Residents Wake to Laughingstock by Mark Steyn
An experiment that hints we are wrong about climate change in the London Times Online
Carbon offsets on Ecotality

plus some older ones:
Competitive Enterprise Institute debunking "An Inconvenient Truth"
Iain Murray on "An Inconvenient Truth"

You can only give us money if you...

Victor Davis Hanson has an insightful post about the attitude of the current Palestinian government on Western aid. The whole thing is incredible (in that I have a hard time believing it is even possible), but here's a key paragraph:

What has America done to suggest to a terrorist organization that it has an inherent right to American taxpayer money because it has found a way to market or soft-peddle its intention to destroy a democracy? The money quote of Hamas is the key phrase "they cannot..." Only in the Middle East does the recipient announce to the benefactor the conditions of the hand out.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Frustrations of a climate geologist

John Marchese from the Philadelphia Magazine interviews a geology professor in Al Gore is a Greenhouse Gasbag:

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. “I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.

Another interesting, but less persuasive article on the same subject ran in Canada Free Press.

Teacher Pay

An OpnionJournal piece cites some interesting stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about pay for public school teachers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty or technical worker.

Of course, public school teacher earnings look less impressive when viewed on an annual basis than on an hourly basis. This is because teachers tend to work fewer hours per year.... That time off is worth money and cannot simply be ignored when comparing earnings. The appropriate way to compare earnings in this circumstance is to focus on hourly rates.

While these stats sound interesting, I was unable to reproduce them myself on the BLS website. You can try your hand too, if you like. That site requires Java to be installed.

According to my search, "Teachers, except college and universities" make $31.51/hr. Still, the number is reasonably close.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Favorite Internet TV channels

Here are a few sources for online video that I like to watch.
  • BYU-TV - Religious programming for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Annenburg specials at - Tons of TV documentaries for education use. Of course, they are lots of fun for self-edification as well!
  • PBS has some video online for several of their specials. Usually, these are just supporting clips, but sometimes the whole program is available for online viewing. For example, they have a cool NOVA documentary about string theory called The Elegant Universe.
  • - with economics videos from Milton Friedman. They also have the biographical special about Friedman's life.
  • WGBH on Google - They have put a bunch of their documentaries up there, including some cool ones about the ancient world. Some of the documentaries are NOVA documentaries that don't seem to be available at above.
  • AOL In2TV has some fun old programs available online, like Gilligan's Island and the Flinstones.
  • ABC puts up full episodes of some of their popular prime-time programming. They don't stay there forever, so you have to watch them while they are around.
  • NBC Rewind features full episodes of a few of the current shows and 2 minute recaps of other recent shows.
  • Comcast Fan isn't a huge favorite, but sometimes I'll browse it for little news clips from recent events. I don't know if you have to be a Comcast subscriber to be able to see this one.
  • has recently started putting up video on their website. Only one video is there as of this writing.