Day: April 9, 2018

Support the Sierra Club, Enrich the Lawyers

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

SPOTLIGHT: The Sierra Club is a lawsuit factory.

BIG PICTURE:  I’ve previously mentioned an online database of lawsuits concerning climate change – as opposed to environmental issues overall. A search of the US-only portion of that database reveals 80 cases in which the Sierra Club played some role. (A few days ago, the tally was 79.)

For the past two decades, not a single year has elapsed in which this group hasn’t sued someone. Many of its targets are taxpayer funded – which means that large amounts of public money have been spent responding to these lawsuits. While the public pays, the lawyers on both sides drink fine wine.

In 2008, the Sierra Club filed legal paperwork against the California city of Stockton. In 2009, it sued the County of Tehama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Interior, and the Federal Highway Administration.

View original post 525 more words

Men are 10% faster in athletics

Across all sports, men are 10% faster or stronger than women. This is strong enough that a good boys high school athletics team can be stronger in the world’s best women athletes. The New Zealand women’s soccer team played an Australian high school soccer team and lost 7-2 as I recall.

From https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/08/we-thought-female-athletes-were-catching-up-to-men-but-theyre-not/260927/ and https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/08/the-golden-ratio-the-one-number-that-describes-how-mens-world-records-compare-with-womens/260758/

One way to determine whether there is a lot of drugs in sport is to see whether women are catching up with men in world records. Prior to 1992, men were slowly losing their edge over women.

But when better drug testing technology became available, women’s world records of 1992 stood for years rather than sometimes hours or months.

More importantly, the best female performances were showing a bigger gap with the best male performances after 1992. The collapse of communism meant that bags of drugs were no longer given to East European female competitors.

The reason the gap was closing before 1992 was drugs that male women stronger show up predominately in power sports such as athletics and weightlifting. When it was possible to test for those drugs, athletes stopped taking them.

Sky News clip on Gaza riots fails to challenge multiple false claims

Here’s at brief thought experiment. Imagine if the Israeli government orchestrated a publicity stunt to highlight the plight of Jewish refugees, which entailed thousands of descendants of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands violently demonstrating and attempting to infiltrate the borders of Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisa, Iraq and Libya, ostensibly to reclaim the lost property and homes and assets of their ancestors.

Is there really any question that the media would be contemptuous of Jerusalem’s cynical exploitation of civilians to score (‘hasbara’) propaganda points, or that they would hold the government responsible for any subsequent loss of life?  

Yet, most British media coverage of the violent riots on the Gaza border has failed to critically examine Hamas’s framing of the propaganda stunt known as the “Great Return March as a “peaceful”, civil-rights march to secure their “right of return”, whilst simultaneously downplaying the use of molotov cocktails, IED’s and…

View original post 418 more words

The irrelevant British median voter

Alexandre Afonso

When you watch the campaign for the next general elections in the United Kingdom, you may get the impression that the two biggest contenders, Ed Milliband and David Cameron are competing for the same voters. They promise this, they promise that in multiple attempts to convince what in political science jargon we call the “median voter”, that is, the person in the very middle of the voter distribution, the one that decides elections. In theory, this is how it works in majoritarian systems. In fact, it’s not.

In the theory, the median voter swings from one side to the other, depending on the promises made by the different parties (there is a movie with Kevin Costner about this). In a perfect bipartisan system, one vote lost for one party is a vote won for the other party. This means that the vote share of one party is more or less…

View original post 667 more words