Joke of the Day

Little Emily was complaining to her mother that her stomach hurt.

Her mother replied, “That’s because it’s empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it.”

The next day, her teacher stopped by Emily’s family’s house for a visit.

Emily’s teacher mentioned that her head hurt, to which Emily immediately replied, “That’s because it’s empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it.”

Island of Mystery

A new look at a 425-year-old map has yielded a tantalizing clue about the fate of “The Lost Colony”, the settlers who disappeared from Britain’s Roanoke Island in the late 16th century.

 Experts from the First Colony Foundation and the British Museum in London discussed their findings Thursday at a scholarly meeting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their focus: the “Virginia Pars” map of Virginia and North Carolina created by explorer John White in the 1580s and owned by the British Museum since 1866.

“We believe that this evidence provides conclusive proof that they moved westward up the Albemarle Sound to the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers,” said James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and author of a 2010 book about the Lost Colony.

“Their intention was to create a settlement. And this is what we believe we are looking at with this symbol – their clear intention, marked on the map …”

Attached to the map are two patches. One patch appears to merely correct a mistake on the map, but the other – in what is modern-day Bertie County in northeastern North Carolina – hides what appears to be a fort. Another symbol, appearing to be the very faint image of a different kind of fort, is drawn on top of the patch.

 The American and British scholars believe the fort symbol could indicate where the settlers went. The British researchers joined the Thursday meeting via webcast.

In a joint announcement, the museums said, “First Colony Foundation researchers believe that it could mark, literally and symbolically, ‘the way to Jamestown.’ As such, it is a unique discovery of the first importance.”

White made the map and other drawings when he travelled to Roanoke Island in 1585 on an expedition commanded by Sir Ralph Lane. In 1587, a second colony of 116 English settlers landed on Roanoke Island, led by White. He left the island for England for more supplies but couldn’t return again until 1590 because of the war between England and Spain.

When he came back, the colony was gone. White knew the majority had planned to move “50 miles into the marine,” as he wrote, referring to the mainland. The only clue he found about the fate of the other two dozen was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a post, leading historians to believe they moved south to live with American Indians on what’s now Hatteras Island.

But the discovery of the fort symbol offers the first new clue in centuries about what happened to the 95 or so settlers, experts said Thursday. And researchers at the British Museum discovered it because Brent Lane, a member of the board of the First Colony Foundation, asked a seemingly obvious question: What’s under those two patches?

Researchers say the patches attached to White’s excruciatingly accurate map were made with ink and paper contemporaneous with the rest of the map. One corrected mistakes on the shoreline of the Pamlico River and the placing of some villages. But the other covered the possible fort symbol, which is visible only when the map is viewed in a light box.

The map was critical to Sir Walter Raleigh’s quest to attract investors in his second colony, Lane said. It was critical to his convincing Queen Elizabeth I to let him keep his charter to establish a colony in the New World. It was critical to the colonists who navigated small boats in rough waters.

So that made Lane wonder: “If this was such an accurate map and it was so critical to their mission, why in the world did it have patches on it? This important document was being shown to investors and royalty to document the success of this mission. And it had patches on it like a hand-me-down.”

Researchers don’t know why someone covered the symbol with a patch, although Horn said the two drawings could indicate the settlers planned to build more of a settlement than just a fort.

The land where archaeologists would need to dig eventually is privately owned, and some of it could be under a golf course and residential community. So excavating won’t begin anytime soon. But it doesn’t have to, said Nicholas Luccketti, a professional archaeologist in Virginia and North Carolina for more than 35 years.

Archaeologists must first re-examine ceramics, including some recovered from an area in Bertie County called Salmon Creek, he said.

“This clue is certainly the most significant in pointing where a search should continue,” Lane said. “The search for the colonists didn’t start this decade; it didn’t start this century. It started as soon as they were found to be absent from Roanoke Island … I would say every generation in the last 400 years has taken this search on.”

But none have had today’s sophisticated technology to help, he said.

“None of them had this clue on this map.”

Attribution: Daily Telegraph

The Threat of Global Warming…Deniers

By:

In 2006, then climate change enthusiast James Lovelock believed that “before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.” The 92-year-old scientist is now in the recanting phase of his life. He admits that some of the language in his 2006 book Revenge of Gaia had been over the top. He admits that if he were writing today he would be more cautious.

It’s a little late now that laws are being implemented to curtail what was said to be “scientific fact.”

More than a century ago, John William Draper made the unsupported claim that scientific “opinions on every subject are continually liable to modification, from the irresistible advance of human knowledge.”[1] This wasn’t true then and it’s not true today.

In reality, scientists for any number of reasons often oppose many new scientific theories. There is continued scientific debate over the causes or even the reality of human-caused global warming, whether oil is a “fossil” fuel or a renewable abiotic resource, [2] the medical benefits of embryonic stem-cells, and much more. A lot of it has to do with grant money.

These debates can be downright hostile as charges and counter charges are lobbed from scientific strongholds where the claim is made that there is no room for debate. Consider the Inquisition-like reaction to those who question the certainty of global warming:

Scientists who dissent from the alarmism [over global warming] have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse.

Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis. . . . In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.[3]

Some have gone so far as to propose that “global warming deniers” are aiding and abetting a global holocaust and should be prosecuted. Australian columnist Margo Kingston “has proposed outlawing ‘climate change denial.’ ‘David Irving is under arrest in Austria for Holocaust denial,’ she wrote. ‘Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offense. It is a crime against humanity, after all.’ Others have suggested that climate change deniers should be put on trial in the future, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their attempts to cover up the ‘global warming . . . Holocaust.’”[4] These arguments are being made by those within the secular scientific community. Follow the money. 

There’s a new Inquisition in operation. If you don’t hold to the agreed-upon theories, then you will not be hired, and if you already have a position, there is a good chance you will lose it if you express your opinion, especially if that opinion goes against a theory that might jeopardize money that flows from government grants. Stephen Jay Gould has written: “The stereotype of a fully rational and objective ‘scientific method,’ with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots, is self-serving mythology.”[5] Scientists are just like everybody else. They want the same things.

We shouldn’t be surprised that climate scientists might fudge the evidence to keep the grant money coming in. Who’s really getting harmed? Anyway, the kids need new shoes and an investment portfolio so they can get into the best universities to learn how to game the system.

Gary Sutton, writing in an online article for Forbes, makes the point:

You can’t blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed’s mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today’s scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work [6].

Of course, they can be blamed when they claim that they are doing real science, there is no contrary evidence, and what contrary evidence they do find they suppress it. So the next time someone dogmatically asserts that the majority of scientists believe in Global Warming, ask your antagonist how much grant money he’s getting?

Notes:

1.       John William Draper, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1875), vi. []

2.      Jerome R. Corsi and Craig R. Smith, Black Gold Stranglehold (Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2005). []

3.      Richard Lindsen, “Climate of Fear: Global-Warming Alarmists Intimidate Dissenting Scientists into Silence,” The Wall Street Journal (April 12, 2006): www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220 []

4.      Brendan O’Neill, “Global warming: the chilling effect on free speech” (October 6, 2006): www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1782/ []

5.      Stephen Jay Gould, “In the Mind of the Beholder,” Natural History (February 1994), 103:14. []

Gary Sutton, “The Fiction of Climate Science,” Forbes.com (December 4, 2009). []

Term Limits

Although Chuck is focused on California, his home state, it’s instructive none the less. I have seen many deceptive ballot initiatives in my state. The way the ballot is written, you think you’re voting yes for something when you’re really voting no. Make sure you fully understand what you’re voting for or against ahead of time. There is nothing scarier to a politician than an informed electorate.

A Few are Awakening

From:

 

A funny thing happened upon release of the monthly unemployment statistics yesterday.

A few journalists in the mainstream media began to wake up.

While there are still plenty of headlines floating around today that are some variation on “Unemployment Down Despite Lack of Jobs, Obama Yay,” a few journalists appear to have noticed the oxymoron inherent in the story pushed by the Obama Labor Department.

You’d be excused if your initial reaction is “it’s about time.”

Reuters and a few news outlets got it right this time. Instead of following the lead of the Associated Press, which published a story earlier this week predicting unemployment below 8 percent by election time, Reuters’ headline reported “US hiring slows, spells trouble for economy, Obama.”

While the unemployment rate technically fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, only about 115,000 jobs were added, not enough to account for the statistical improvement of jobless figures.

The secret number that’s being buried this month is the increasing number of people who are just giving up and leaving the labor force altogether. About half a million unemployed people who were counted as being in the labor force in March were removed from the April figures, drastically shrinking the number of people considered unemployed, without increasing jobs.

The Associated Press report predicting sub-8 percent unemployment ran this week before the release of the new labor figures. The prediction titled “Steady Job Gains To Sustain US Recovery” was based on interviews with obviously pro-Obama economists, included some outright boosterism:

“Falling unemployment would boost President Barack Obama’s prospects in November. Going back to 1956, no president has lost re-election when the unemployment rate dropped in the two years before the election.”

The AP’s spin on today’s unemployment figures was “Jobs Lost to Recession Trickle Back.”

The Associated Press’ chairman is William Dean Singleton, who last month slobbered all over himself while introducing President Obama at a luncheon. Singleton also owns hundreds of newspapers across the country and is probably singlehandedly responsible for running more newspapers into the ground than any human being in the last century.

Under Singleton’s leadership, those newspapers that haven’t closed outright have whittled their staffs down to near nothing, virtually eliminated local and original reporting, and ultimately just become print versions of the Associated Press and New York Time wire service, with local banners and ads.

As the Associated Press has swung Left under Singleton, a substantial portion of America’s newspapers have blindly followed.

Reuters, owned by the Thomson Corporation of Canada, operates in somewhat different circles than the AP leadership. One story doesn’t mean any media outlet is changing its tune, but it would be nice if professional reporters started leaving the rose-colored glasses at home when covering the Obama Administration.

Editors notes:

1) The margin of error for that 115,000 jobs number is 100,000. My prediction; the paultry 115,000 will quitely be revised down. Watch for it next week. It always happens.

2) 125,000 to 150,000 jobs must be added each month just to keep pace with work force population growth.

3) The Workforce or Labor Participation Rate is at 63.6%, the lowest in 30 years (1981). The labor force dropped 522,000 off the books to total over 88,000,000 discouraged Americans no longer looking for work.

Simply put, by dropping people off the books, the government can claim any unemployment rate it wishes without adding a single new job.