The same SCOTUS who thinks government can tell us what to buy; might now decide that government can tell us we cannot sell (via Instapundit) that which we bought.

You read that right. The government is about to decide if we need permission to sell stuff that we own.

The case stems from Supap Kirtsaeng’s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to America in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the United States.

He then sold them on eBay, making upward of $1.2 million, according to court documents.

If SCOTUS decides that we cannot sell what we own; then we really don’t own anything and we are just leasing items from the copyright holders.

To me, it’s amazing the basic stuff that we are fighting about every day right now; basic rights we’ve once assumed were obvious – are under assault from all directions. We have NYC wanting to impose blasphemy laws, liberals wanting to shut down free speech if it might offend someone, government thinking it can tell us what to purchase, and now possibly telling us what we can and cannot resell.

Scary times.

So I was watching History Channel the other night and they had this 2 hour thing about Apocalypse Island. So for 2 hours, we watch these dudes talking about the Mayans and some island that is supposed to do something or other in 2012, when the world ends.

So, you have to wait an hour and a half to see this rock the guy claims the Mayans carved. It’s supposed to be a head and a lion behind it or something. But, really, it just looks like a tall rock with another one behind it. Rare! Mysterious! Never do they even talk about tool marks (are there any?) to make him think it was carved or maybe it was just a natural formation. History Channel even goes out of its way (on multiple occasions) to show the rock as this guy imagines it (a head with a lion behind it) and not even show a graphic saying this was computer generated. It doesn’t even matter that the features they claim the rocks should have don’t even fit with the way the rocks look at all. Just awful.

Then, these guys climb all over this thing. As if you’d crawl to the top of the Egyptian Pyramids without taking any care to, you know, damage them?

Then they talk about the solar eclipse in 2012 and Venus crossing in front of the Sun in 2012 as well. Both of these are visible from, you know, a ton of places on the planet. The island’s location is simply a post hoc logical fallacy on part of these idiots. No proof of any of the assertions made, but 2 hours of trying (too hard, if you ask me) to convince without any effort of evidence.

I think it’s a huge shame that the History Channel is pimping this 2012 stuff so hard. Giving credibility to guys who, for all intents and purposes, are probably crack pots. The lack of any real science done during this show, and others of the 2012 series are just awful.

Then they countdown the 13 eras of the Mayans or whatever. Saying this happened on 12th, that on the 11th, etc etc etc. Well, of course something happened on those years. It’s amazing, really. Mayans were so apt at predicting the future, you’d think they would have foresaw their own demise. Doh!

Imagine if the Mayans did carve something on Apocalypse Island, so they could see the end of the world. Then, a few years after it was done…they were like “Ah, screw it. I’m not waiting. Let’s up and vanish, instead.” The thought seems to disprove the point that the Mayans had any clue about anything.

Just killing the meme here.

But before I do, can I make a point that you people on the internet will believe anything without actually researching it yourself? The meme started on Daily Kos (always a hotbed of truthfulness!) after someone pulled it out of their ass from looking at a single picture.

Then it just ballooned from there. How sad that you people seem to think that accusing a woman – with no evidence – of this sort of cover-up makes it to the front page of major Democrat sites, such as Democrat Underground, Daily Kos, etc.

First off, ignorance. The meme popularly states that most Downs births are from births under 35 (or some number below Palin’s actual age). This is because overall births are from this age group. However, after 42, woman have a greatly increased likelihood of giving birth to a child with Downs:

Recent data also suggest that paternal age, especially beyond 42, also increases the risk of Down Syndrome manifesting in pregnancies in older mothers

Again, I ask, is this the Democrat Party of the 21st century?

Now, putting the meme to sleep:

Story written In April, just before Trig’s birth.

Of course I had to check out the “Hottest Governor in the US” and quickly turned to see her pregnant (she has since had her baby) with bags and daughter in tote. Then it struck me as odd. Why is the Governor of Alaska in the airport and preparing to get onto my commercial flight?

So the meme is done, correct?

Thanks to Ace’s commenters for the link.

It’s been an interesting week for the Obama campaign. Rev. Wright and all that hub-bub. With Hillary laughing her way to the bank – in terms of rising in the polls. Obama’s halo has come off and so has, apparently, the media’s gloves. The picture below tells the entire story.

Old: Hillary: Old. Tired.  Obama: New. The Messiah. An Angel. Hope. Jesus.

New: Hillary: Vibrant. Engaged. Obama: A Zombie?

When the media turns against you and puts prominent photos like this on the web; you got problems. Awful:

obama hillary times change

As a Republican, I’m laughing myself silly of this absolutely ridiculous primary season. Democrats had 2008 tied up. Presidency was theirs to lose. Now? Not so much. I’m not a McCain fan, but it seems more and more likely that the race is his to win. Hillary voters are saying they won’t vote Obama in Nov. Obama voters are saying the same thing.

Of the two, I’d prefer Hillary to win. She’s a pragmatist. Interested in her own survival, much like her husband. He signed welfare reform and passed a balanced budget at the behest of the Republican House/Senate. She’ll do the same. It’s all about the legacy with them.

H/T: Hotair for the ABC link.

We have another celebrity coming out party. Yet another science major thinks that fire cannot melt steel. I haven’t blogged about these 9/11 truther morons in forever, because the target is just too easy. But celebrities get more press, so it’s fun to laugh at their buffoonery. Here is a quote from the story:

Miss O’Donnell claims the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was “the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel — it is physically impossible.”

Samurai Sword makers, Blacksmiths, Steel smelters, and Steel recyclers all boggle at this amazing concept of fire not being able to melt steel. Where do these people think steel comes from? It’s melted from a mixture of metals. With fire. And shaped. With fire. To make things out of it. And when it’s not needed; it’s torn down and melted, with fire, and recycled to make other things. It’s a very stunning concept, really.

The Steel Growers Farm Association is pleased to know that they have another customer though!

Growing Steel Girders

The customer base for growing steel girders from seeds and letting them grow naturally with sunlight and love; then cutting them down with hammer and chisels just isn’t the business it was eons ago; before, you know, fire was discovered. Accursed blacksmiths! So support your local pre-caveman farmers, generating steel like it was meant to be generated! On farms, from seeds. With love.

Marvel, this past month, announced that it was placing its comics online for a small fee. It appears that many new and past issues are already online and others will be shortly. I usually don’t think about comics too much (even though I’m a huge fan of the Justice League on Cartoon Network). But, every time I watch these shows or go see a Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, movie etal, I realize that I have a basic problem with the premise of the Superhero.

I’ll focus on Batman, but this applies to about every Superhero out there. He’s also my favorite Superhero. He’s just a normal guy (well, normal in the no real super powers sense); except that he is stinking rich. His parents were murdered when he was a child and now he avenges their death by capturing criminals in his adulthood. He dons a cape and mask and calls himself Batman. What possible problem can you have with Batman, right?

Batman, mostly, deals with small time psychos – Joker, Penguin, Riddler, etal. While a little crazy, each of these criminals can be dealt with via the proper application of law enforcement. Instead, Batman’s presence and constant dealing with these criminals, has forced people in the city to believe that he is their only savior. By continuing to provide this free protection, the city (and police) have become dependent on one man who is answerable to no one but himself. The cops no longer do their job; they call for Batman to help them with the Bat signal. Abdicating their responsibility to protect the public to a vigilante – whom they don’t even know.

And how does Batman reward the public that has come to rely on him so much? Upon capturing the Joker, for example, he puts him back into a flawed system which guarantees that the Joker will escape again so that the city will need the Batman again to save him. Proper application of law by real law enforcement people (who use guns) would probably kill the Joker at some point and that’d be the end of it. But Batman goes out of his way not to kill a man whose only goal in life seems to be murder and mayhem. So, in the end, it seems that Batman needs the villians to maintain his control over the populace of Gotham City.  It’s a little sadistic, isn’t it? Batman’s unwillingness to kill a criminal – who probably deserves it – is causing the death of innocent people.

The theme is much the same for every superhero. They offer up their protective services (much like the mob) without being asked, or in most cases, needed. Proper application of legitimate law enforcement can deal with most of the super villians that the comic book world creates. Instead, law enforcement has become impotent by relying on masked vigilantes to solve crimes that are their responsibility.

What is the common theme here?

Citizenship relying on an overpowering omnipresent person who protects them. Functional institutions impotent because they have become too reliant on that same overpower omnipresent person.

Let’s simplify this into a more day-to-day concept.

If you had someone who always watched over you to make sure you had food, shelter and money – what incentive is there to do anything on your own? You’ve chosen security over freedom and you really have neither. By accepting this sort of dictatorial rulership, you are giving up your freedoms – lest that omnipresent individual decide you’ve gone violated the rules of what he deems acceptable behavior and have become what they’ve decided they want to rid the world of.

I, for one, do not want to be ruled by a super powered dictator, whom I had no power in selecting and whose power is unquestioned (and unquestionable in many cases) by those whom I have elected.

Focusing on a few more Superheroes, for a moment.

The Green Lantern is part of an intergalactic police force who enforce laws, bring criminals to justice and generally police the galaxy. Generally thought of as a “right wing” superhero because of this;  he is quite the opposite. Jon Stewart (the face of Green Lantern that I think of) was a former US Marine. He no longer upholds the law of this country and upholds the rule of law, he abides by an inter-galactic law and enforces it upon a country that had no choice of its implementation. If he were a true believer in the rule of law; wouldn’t he be enforcing US law not international (or inter-galactic) law?

The Green Arrow is another that is curious to me. He is generally thought of as “left wing” superhero. He fights “small time” criminals and helps poor people out of situations – and that he had a heroin addicted sidekick. Then he goes back to his billion dollar mansion, living the life of luxury. Of course. Somehow this is to make you believe that he cares about their plight. But does he really? If he did, wouldn’t he be starting a “Green Arrow Charity” and donating his money to help lift them out of poverty? It’d seem that the Green Arrow needs the poor to fulfill his desire for power as well.

I believe the only time I’ve seen the dictatorial powers of the Superheroes challenged was in the Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network. Where a governmental agency, called Cadmus, wanted to find a way to match their power. The goal of Cadmus, of course, was the proper one. A free nation simply cannot have a set of super powered non-elected vigilantes answerable to no one but their conscience hovering over them, literally, at gun point. But, in the end Cadmus was destroyed because – well, because America is evil, I guess – Americans do not have the right to defend themselves. That’s the message that I got out of it, at least. Whomever wrote the script apparently believes that this country should be protected by proactive benefactors (re: *cough* the UN *cough*) rather than our own military and officials.

And really, isn’t that just an expansion on the overall theme of these comics? You are helpless. You can’t defend yourself. Let someone do it for you.

What other lesson is there?

Yahoo just released a new keyword tool for Yahoo Store owners that is supposed to make it easier to help us find words to bid on in Yahoo Search Marketing.

This seems like a good idea doesn’t it? Previously, it’s been very difficult with Yahoo Stores to figure out what keywords convert best for us. Now we have a tool to see that. Awesome. So what’s the problem? Here it is.

Yahoo Keyword Tool

The referrals column is for 1 month; the conversions column is for 12 months. How does this information give us any sort of valuable data as to what words are converting for us? What it does, is inflate the performance of the keywords by 12 – assuming the referrals are the same for each month. When buying keywords, is this really the analysis you want to go with? It almost seems designed to encourage people to buy keywords on Yahoo (and other PPC engines) that do not convert well.

I know Yahoo is trying to sell people on Yahoo Search Marketing; but come on people. At least give us a way to filter the dates so each column is done by 1 month, 2 months, 6 months or even 12 months. This 1 month to 12 month comparison is just a load of bunk.

So the quarterly expenses were announced the other day and judging from the list, Ron Paul doesn’t own an Iphone, having only paid $180 to an Apple Store. Iphones, I believe, cost about $500 or so. How can Ron Paul fight the terrorists if he can’t even afford an Iphone?

Oh yeah, he also sent a $1,300 check Alex Jones. Yes, 9/11 truth Alex Jones.

It’s one thing to argue that Ron Paul isn’t responsible for those who donate to him (truthers, neo-nazis, etc), it’s quite another to send a payment to these people as well. Wonder if Ron Paul will be asked any questions about this payment?

I also find the $10,000 payment to Anita Andrews interesting. Googling that name tells me that she trains the grassroots to go out and support Ron Paul. Curious if she tells them to attach “9/11 truth” to their Ron Paul placards or not? And, until now, I was always told that the grassroot Ron Paul efforts were independent of the campaign. Hmm.

(H/T: Hotair)

Update: Oh yeah. From the same link. Please allow me some cheap giggles:

Kum & Go

Tee hee hee! Kum and Go.

Update: The $1,300 payment to Alex Jones (yes, that Alex Jones – confirmed) is a “partial” refund of his $2,300 donation. Paul’s campaign refunded part of it after discussion online. Interesting that Jones’ money isn’t good for the campaign but Ron Paul appearing on the radio show is just dandy.

I usually don’t do SEO posts. I certainly don’t out sites for spamming. But this is getting out of hand and I’ll confess to a little bit of sour grapes up front.

I only noticed this because this site consistently ranks #1-3 for any keyword it wants. So my natural curiosity played a role here and in the space of about 10 minutes I found out that this site is spamming Google by using link counters to get inbound links from sites. This would violate Google TOS on a variety of levels, you’d think. It’s an obvious scheme to get a higher Page Rank by forcing people to link to your site. You’d think Google, with all its power, could at least find these links and diminish their value as they are known to do to sites that are known link buyers and sellers. But alas, not the case. I know this has been reported many times to Google in the past year, yet nothing is done.

Read More →

Note: This is a work in progress – feel free to add thoughts in the comments section below.

Preface: Debating with 9/11 truthers is essentially like shooting uninformed fish in a barrel which can get boring and tedious, but the fun (if you can call it that) comes in the squirming as they attempt to reason their way out of impossible problems.  Having argued with truthers over 9/11 for quite a few years now and not letting them see the light on a factual level; I’ve begun discussing 9/11 on a logical level instead. During this effort, I’ve come across a major conundrum that is -essentially- an unanswerable question if you believe in a 9/11 conspiracy.

It works something like this:

Even if a truther believes that the government used demolitions to bring down WTC1 and WTC2, a truther will acknowledge the initial plane hits. So, Given that the government used planes were used on WTC1 and WTC2. Many truthers deny that a plane hit the pentagon (they claim a missile was used). But, the so-called official story has a plane hitting. So, you can easily get a truther to acknowledge that the government, at least, wants the people to believe that a plane was used. So, according to official accounts, a truther will acknowledge planes at WTC1, WTC2, and Pentagon. So, the conundrum comes in at WTC7. Truthers will claim that “controlled demolitions” were used to take down WTC7.

So the question becomes…why would the government break a theme at use demolitions on WTC7 when, clearly, planes were used in every other instance? Why the fundamental flaw in the plan.

At least, you’d expect a missile to have been used – similar to the one at the pentagon, correct? It actually works as a wonderfully impossible logical problem that can lead to wonderfully awful explanations.

This one is a bit long and tedious so I think I’ve found a second one that works in about 5 minutes and, if properly used, would be quite effective in ending the discussion.

Which leads to the next, and possibly, the most devastating logical problem regarding the conspiracy.

Your goal: Get a truther to admit that Osama Bin Laden was, in some way, the hero of 9/11.

What? Yep, you read that right. But honestly, this shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish as I’ve done the work for you. In any online forum, message board, etc that is started by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Posit this question (or similar):

Remember after 9/11, Osama Bin Laden initially claimed not to be responsible for the attacks. Why do you think he did that?

To a truther, the only possible retort would be, of course: Because he didn’t do it. (This assumes you can get a straight answer out of them, if you can’t, simply press the issue).

So, the follow-up, of course, is:

Do you think he was trying to warn the world that something wasn’t right about the attacks?

I’d expect a dodge and weave here, if I were you, so here is your next reply in this scenario. Your next follow-up would be, of course:

Isn’t he really the original person who stood up and said, “hey something isn’t right here” In some sense, he’s the person who brought it out into the open that this was a huge conspiracy, right? Alex Jones didn’t start the 9/11 conspiracy talk until 2002, Loose Change didn’t come out until 2005, but Bin Laden denied involvement in Oct of 2001.

As long as the truther responds here (I’d suspect they realize where this is going and vacate the conversation – this is where each of my attempts ended), your next follow-up is, of course:

So, in that sense, Bin Laden is somewhat of the hero of 9/11, isn’t he? For being the first to stand up to the Bush Cabal and not take blame for the conspiracy.

If the truther didn’t vacate the discussion before; he most certainly will here. Who wants to be known on the board/forum as the guy who called Bin Laden his hero?

What this does is point out the dishonesty of their argument. If the truther cannot admit that Bin Laden is somewhat heroic for denying involvement and standing up to Bush, then, at least they have it in the back of their mind that Bin Laden is behind the attacks. If they do come out and say that Bin Laden was a hero for standing up to Bush; well that kind of speaks for itself doesn’t it?

If you do get an agreement here; please send me a screenshot or link to the discussion. I think it’d be an immediate object lesson to anyone toying with the “truth”. I’m working on it, but I’m a bit too well known as a debunker on forums I visit, so it’s a tough road to hoe unless I happen to find a truther who is a newbie - and they are already fun enough to mess with.

Update: So, do the Truthers have the courage to nominate their hero for President in 2008?