Daily Archives: August 1, 2016

July ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking

Open Parachute

There are about 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake or get your stats wrong).

Every month I get queries from people wanting their own blog included. I encourage and am happy to respond to queries but have prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) people can check out. Have a look at NZ Blog Rankings FAQ. This is particularly helpful to those wondering how to set up sitemeters. Please note, the system is automatic and relies on blogs having sitemeters which allow public access to the stats.

Here are the rankings of New Zealand blogs with publicly available statistics for July 2016. Ranking is by visit numbers. I have listed the blogs in the table below, together with monthly visits and page view…

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Spotlight: Claudia Olivetti

Gender Matters

t_14-7507-OLIVETTI-025.jpgToday I am starting a new feature on the blog called Spotlight, that will feature the work of female economists, one at a time. First up, my colleague at Boston College, Claudia Olivetti.

Claudia is a Professor in the Department of Economics at Boston College since 2015. Before joining us at BC, she spent 14 years at Boston University in the Economics department. She is a Research Associate of the NBER and a former Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. Claudia is currently on the editorial boards of the European Economic Review, Labour Economics, and LABOUR. She received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Laurea in Statistics and Economics from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy).

Claudia’s research focuses on the economics of family and gender, economic history, and macro/labor economics. One of my favorite papers of hers (with Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli) is

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Uneasy Money

In the run-up to, and immediate aftermath of, Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine to be her running mate, one of the recurring comments was how unpopular Tim Kaine is with the liberals who supposedly comprise the bulk of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, and must somehow be coaxed, cajoled or persuaded to reconcile themselves with Kaine’s supposedly moderate centrist political views.

Here’s a typical description of Kaine’s liberal problem in the Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton has made her selection for vice president: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

That will come as a disappointment to many liberals. After rallying behind Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and being teased with Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s potential running mate — an audition that appeared to go very well — Clinton opted for a more boring, more moderate pick. This despite some liberal groups saying Kaine was unacceptable and even “disastrous.”

First, let’s…

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Why did Ford double wages?

reality is not optional

There is a popular meme that runs throughout American pop culture, one that I heard in my AP history course during high school. The teacher recounted that when Henry Ford doubled his workers’ wages, his reasoning was that “then they would be able to buy more products and he would be richer.” While this is about the most inane version of this meme, other ones still arise. That “he wanted his workers to be able to afford the cars they make” seems to be the more popular version. This sentiment seems to have been popularized by Ida Tarbell, the muckraking journalist popularly known for her attacks on Standard Oil. Not quite the fountain of objectivity.

I was unable to track down any quote by Ford on this matter, but even if he did make such statement, one has to remember that popular perception might make him choose his words…

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More proof of the unreliability of renewable energy

The Lake Pedder dam is full for the first time since 1988. A few months ago, Tasmanian hydroelectric lake levels were 13% with 6% the level at which the entire system shuts down.

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A Warm Period by Any Other Name – The Climatic Optimum

Watts Up With That?

Hypsithermal, Altithermal, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum, Holocene Megathermal, Anthropogene;

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

There is frustration and reward when an article appears on the same topic of an article you are completing – in this case the Holocene. Such was the case this week with Andy May’s article “A Review of temperature reconstructions.” Andy points out the basic problems of reconstruction using proxy data for the most recent half of the Holocene – an issue central to historical climate and climate change studies. His paper did not alter my paper except as it reinforces some arguments.

This article examines the entire Holocene and illustrates the history that influenced the studies. There are two distinct parts to the studies, the pre and post Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The former is a genuine scientific struggle with issues of terminology and reconstruction, and the latter a scientific struggle to…

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NC voter laws ruled intentionally discriminatory by 4th Circuit Court

JONATHAN TURLEY

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 1.51.04 PMBy: Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor/ghost

This is a follow up on N.C. State Conference of the NAACP v. McCrory

African-American voters in North Carolina were “targeted with almost surgical precision” by the North Carolina legislature, according to a three-judge panel for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote the opinion dismantling, point by point, all the provisions rushed through the Legislature in the days immediately following the landmark voting rights decision in Shelby County v. Holder on June 25, 2013.

In the Shelby decision, the Supreme Court released states that, after passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, were required to clear all changes to voting policies and practices with either a federal court or the Department of Justice. Former slave states, where Jim Crow laws abound that disenfranchised minority voters for decades, were released from the pre-clearance requirement and allowed to make whatever changes they…

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Deception Island

Shackleton.

image by Giovanni Fattori image by Giovanni Fattori

“And though they were still hesitant to suggest openly that the Caird could be lost, they could no longer avoid admitting, at least tacitly, that something quite possibly might have happened.”

— Alfred Lansing, Endurance

“If so, it means a journey in the ‘Stancomb Wills’ to Deception I. This will be an arduous journey, but I hope I will be picked one of the party if it comes to this.”

— Alexander Macklin

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Just how anti-science are the @NZGreens?

One out of four for accepting the consensus position in the sciences of climate change, GMOs, vaccines and fluoridation. A rather disappointing scoreboard for the New Zealand Greens.

Let us start with the good: the position on climate science from the Greens policy platform:

We must act according to credible science on climate change, which demands urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and sustained action to safely remove excess greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

Let us move on to the bad which is GMOs, quoting from their platform

The Green Party believes that Genetic engineering should occur within a contained laboratory setting only. Our food and our environment must be kept GE Free. To this end, the Green Party will:

  1. Ban the commercial release and field trials of GE organisms.

  2. Prohibit field-testing or production of GE foods within New Zealand.

  3. Work towards a ban on GE food imports.

  4. Require safety testing for any imported GE food or commodity that is allowed to enter the New Zealand food supply.

  5. Allow gene technology in secure containment to continue to be used subject to assessment by the Environmental Risk Management Agency.

Now let us move on to the ugly which is vaccinations, again quoting from their platform, which is not to mention it at all. Greens health spokesman Kevin Hague said

Our official position is influenced by the fact that we do not have a firm policy on it as we don’t have consensus from our members. However there are some key points on which we all do agree;

  1. Immunisation is an individual medical choice, and should never be mandatory. Nor should it be promoted in a way that makes people feel pressured into being immunised, or immunising their children.
  2. Parents should have access to impartial information which provides them with information about the risks and benefits of immunisation, so that all individuals (and parents in the case of children) can make an informed decision about immunisation.
  3. Parents should not be penalised for not immunising their children, nor should there be incentive payments or rewards or access to other goods and services, or any linking of immunisation to benefit entitlement.
  4. Some parents will choose to have their child immunised against some diseases, but not others. No parents should be forced to make a decision between their child having all immunisations or having none.

That strike two so now let us move on to the decidedly ugly which is fluoridation

The presumption that parents know the best interests of their children requires very strong evidence before it is overturned. Of course, you do not have too tolerate their unvaccinated children coming to school to infect your children. It is another thing for the Green Party of New Zealand to see both sides of the fluoridation argument:

C. Fluoridation of Community Water Supplies

The issue of fluoridating community water supplies requires a difficult balance between the public health effects and the rights of individuals to opt out altogether or avoid excessive intake. The Party membership has indicated that when considering fluoridation proposals, the Green Party caucus shall:

  • Have particular regard to the public health benefits of fluoridated community water supplies.
  • Have particular regard to the potential public health risks of excessive fluoride consumption via community water supplies.
  • Have regard for the ability of individuals to opt out.

The Green Party will:

  1. Support the use of ‘opt-out’ options by local authorities for residents living in areas with fluoridated public water supplies, where shown to be feasible.
  2. Commission an independent study on the impacts of fluoridation to public health.
  3. Support education initiatives to advise caregivers of the potential for babies to develop dental fluorosis when mixing formula with fluoridated water

Green Party of the New Zealand – health policy.

One out of four is not good enough considering how prissy this Greens are about scientific consensus on climate change.

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