Monthly Archives: April 2014

Minnesota Wild


So Minnesota should be leading the series with the Colorado Avalanche 5-1.  We’ll need to win our 6th game Wednesday to move on and play the Black Hawks.

Race, Racism – Bigots and Ignorants Part II

ClippersLast night I posted on the ridiculous reaction of the attorney complaining that making it illegal to allow college admissions to base their decision on race is racist.

A thought on that – consider the opposite of the position.

If it’s okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want  more black kids in a school then it should be okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want fewer black kids in school.


Since posting I’ve been following the story of the LA Clipper’s owner.  The man was quoted:

“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” the man says.

“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” she [the other individual on the phone] responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”

Bird, the longtime Boston Celtics star, was Johnson’s NBA rival.

“I’ve known (Magic Johnson) well, and he should be admired. … I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” the man on the recording says. “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”

Horrible.  Ugly and horrible.

No one disputes this – but what to do about it?

The first and obvious answers are fairly easy.

  • Quit going to his games
  • Quit watching the team
  • Quit advertising with or sponsoring the team

Less easy:

  • Quit working for the man

But can anything be done to punish the man legally or by the NBA?  And if so, what should it be?

The first first – Can we punish him legally?  I’m not sure how labor laws work during private conversations unrelated to on the job activity, but if they do, specifically in California, any black employee has a case.  If such laws do not include private speech between a man and his girlfriend, then there is little recourse available.

In either case, I have long maintained that an individual retains the right to personal preference – even if that makes him an ass.  In fact, BECAUSE it makes him an ass is why we need to protect individual liberty.  So, should it be illegal to hold bigoted beliefs?  No – it should not.

But the NBA is not the government ans the league can do damn near whatever it wants.  It can suspend Silver, fine him or both.  In fact, there are probably a ton of things it can do beyond either of those two options.

And I admit, I’m not sure the right and best course of action.  Thoughts include:

  • Release the players from their contract to the team
  • Ban Silver from all team operations
  • Buy the team from him and sell to the highest bidder

Again, I don’t know what the best answer is – perhaps after all is said and done, the damage will occur without any intervention: players won’t sign with him, sponsors will flee and advertisers will vanish.

Race, Racism – Bigots and Ignorants


First, so to be clear:

the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others

a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

The difference between racism and bigotry.

Now, to this oopion:

The civil rights lawyer who argued unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court to end Michigan’s affirmative action ban repeated Sunday that the high court’s decision was “racist.”

“This is a racist decision that takes us back to an era of state’s rights,” civil rights attorney Shanta Driver told “Fox News Sunday.” “This decision cannot stand.”

This is truly remarkable.  A decision that makes it illegal to  give preferential treatment to an individual based on race is called racist.  Forget the lack of understanding of the word – the lack of understanding of where we wanna get to is remarkable.

The future we aspire to is one where we judge an individual on merit of character, on basis of achievement – an equal footing not based on race.

An argument can be made for reparations, to be sure.  But that is an argument based on past wrongs.  Affirmative Action isn’t about that – Affirmative Action is about preferential treatment based on race.

The best way to test for appropriateness?  Ask yourself, if it’s okay to admit a student with lower scores because they are black – is it okay to admit a student with lower scores because they are white?

Cool New Honeybee Technology

mite protection

The varroa mite is really working a number on honey bees here in America – and we need help.

Nature might be starting to combat the scourge in her own way by producing queens that are able to bit the legs off the mites.  But working with Bayer – we may have another option:

…A four-year field study by the Bee Research Institute in Oberursel, Germany has found that the parasite is at the heart of the problem: “If we keep up our efforts at controlling the varroa mite, many more bee populations will survive,” explains Professor Nikolaus Koeniger, who was the institute’s director for many years; he and his wife have been devoted to studying the varroa mite for decades.

As this famous bee expert couple knows, it is horizontal infection that is most dangerous. “Particularly at the end of the flowering period, foraging bees from healthy colonies invade colonies weakened by varroa to steal honey.

They then become infected and take back large numbers of mites to their own population.” The researchers want to prevent this transfer of mites, since “it is vital for effective mite control to stop new pests constantly entering the hive.”

They have therefore concentrated on the strategically most important point, and the joint efforts of the Bee Institute and Bayer have led to the creation of the varroa gate, a structure at the entrance to the hive. Every bee must climb through this gate when leaving or returning to its own hive. At first sight it doesn’t look anything special: just a plastic strip with holes through which the bees fly in and out.

Only a closer look shows the immense benefits of this innovation. The plastic strip is coated in chemicals. Whenever a bee passes through the gate, it touches the edge. This transfers a mite poison (acaricide) to the bee and kills any mites it may be carrying. The substance needs to be permanently available on the surface of the strip so that protection can last for several weeks. This proved to be a particular technical challenge. It was solved when Bayer’s scientists thought back to an earlier project: the flea and tick collar Seresto™ for dogs and cats.

This innovative collar was the result of a joint venture by scientists from Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division, Bayer MaterialScience and Bayer CropScience.

They used a little physical trick: “The active substance molecules move between the polymer chains of the plastic matrix. They are always trying to balance out the gap in concentrations between the collar and the animal’s coat, and so rise to the surface. When some of the active substance is removed, it is automatically replenished,” says Krieger, explaining the principle.

Scientists are now using the same system to protect bees: “The acaricide is embedded in the plastic. When some is transferred to the legs or hairs of a bee, fresh supplies are automatically released from the strip to balance out the gap in concentrations between the plastic matrix and the surface,” he explains. This means that the device remains fully effective for the several weeks needed for treatment. At the same time, the amount of chemical available is never more than necessary. Scientists are still fine-tuning the formulation and application rate, and are testing two Bayer substances on bee populations in the field at various concentrations.

Very cool


2010 Election – A Boon to North Carolina Repulicans?

Republican vs Democrat

Prior to 2010 North Carolina was a strange state – reliably democrat in state politics and mostly republican in Presidential elections.

But then 2010:

WASHINGTON — The 2012 election should have been a good one for Democrats running for Congress in North Carolina.

They received a total of 2.2 million votes — about 81,000 more than their Republican opponents. But when those votes were divvied up among the state’s 13 House districts, Democrats came up short. Way short.

Republicans won nine seats and Democrats only four.

How did Republicans pull off this unlikely feat? State lawmakers set the stage when they redrew the boundaries of congressional districts following the 2010 Census.

Before redistricting, North Carolina’s congressional delegation was closely divided. Democrats held seven seats and Republicans held six. In any given election, three or four races could be competitive.


But is there a reason?

But the 2010 election was historic for Republicans in North Carolina, and the ramifications are still being felt. In 2010, Republicans won control of North Carolina’s entire state legislature for the first time since 1870, giving them control of the redistricting process.

North Carolina still had a Democratic governor, Beverly Perdue. But in North Carolina, the governor has no say over the congressional map. The entire process is controlled by the legislature.

To be sure the maps would e different after more than 140 years in the dark – but did the republicans go too far?


A [climate] Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Climate Models

I’ll add one – Crap

The Liberal Version Of Tolerance


I’m in DC this week taking in the sights.

Got me to thinking about things like Liberty and Freedom.

Some time ago the left was aflutter over the bill passed in Arizona allowing businesses to deny service based on religious freedoms.

Ridiculous, of course.  Everyone who believes in people being free support people businesses denying service to anyone for any reason.

But not the left – THEY have cornered the market on tolerance.  See:

Silversun Pickups have demanded that the Romney campaign stop using the band’s song “Panic Switch” at political rallies. It is the latest pop group to object to the use of a song at Republican events.

The band sent a formal cease-and-desist letter to the campaign on Wednesday, saying the Republican presidential candidate never sought permission to play the song. “We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign,” the lead singer, Brian Aubert, said in a statement.

And going a little further back:

Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign also came under fire for using music from artists who did not support it.

In 2008, the band Heart asked the campaign to stop playing its song “Barracuda” in honor of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s nickname on her high school basketball team, “Sarah Barracuda.”

The band even went on national television to express its outrage.

“Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represent us as American women,” Ann and Nancy Wilson told Entertainment Weekly. “We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image.”

McCain also settled out of court with Jackson Browne for using his 1977 hit “Running on Empty” in a campaign ad without the artist’s permission.

Foo Fighters, John Mellencamp and Boston asked McCain and other candidates to stop using their music.

And Tom Petty didn’t find Michele Bachmann his type of “American Girl.” The rocker’s manager asked the Bachmann campaign to stop using his 1977 hit “American Girl” after it was played during the kickoff event for the Minnesota representative’s presidential bid.

See, it’s okay to deny service as long as it’s properly liberal.