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Morning Whip, June 10, 2010

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Wealthy businesswomen win California Republican races -- "Wealthy?" Well, yes, but note the implicit bias. Why not "Successful?" "Prominent?" Or just "Businesswomen?" Why the qualifier "wealthy?" Why that word, specifically? THAT'S what people mean when they talk about media bias. And I'm quite sure that the headline writer didn't even think about using that word instead of something more neutral. It simply didn't occur to them. That's what bias means--it's not a conscious act, most of the time. It's "just the way things are." Just like "black people just aren't as smart as whites." Nobody actually went around saying that--it's just something that racists simply assumed was true, and built their worldview upon that false assumption.

The problem with bias is that biased people can not see their own biases. The Truth Shall Drive You Nuts
Two news stories, one which describes the secret history of Helen Thomas and the Reuters news agency's removal from its photos of a knife in the hand of a peace activist standing over a bloodstained IDF boarder on the humanitarian flotilla raises the question of what else is out there that we don't know? How can we estimate whether this is simply an outlier?
. . .
Early in the 20th century, advertisers discovered they couldn’t trust the press. “At the turn of the 20th century, publishers were ungoverned. A practice of inflating circulation figures to win advertising dollars was common. With little recourse, advertisers were forced to buy advertising based on exaggerated circulation claims.” So in 1914 they created the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Faced with the commercial problem of verifying circulation stats, they resorted to auditing.

The methods circulation auditors employ are not very different from any other audit. Basically the watchdogs take a set of claims and hire independent inspectors to go and collect field samples. If the statistics of the sample vary markedly from the claims, a red flag is raised. So for example, a newspaper claiming a circulation in millions but whose publications can’t be found at newstands in any quantity would raise suspicions. Advertisers would stop buying ads in that newspaper and the market would punish the lie. Can the same principles be applied to the news? Can the press be relied upon to audit the press? Can rival sides of the ideological press be trusted to police the other? Or are we left with two separate news narratives neither of which can be regarded as ‘true’?


Mystery gray whale sighted again off Spain coast -- I blame global warming. Or Bush. Tough call, here . . .

Video: Jon Stewart on the smear campaign against Nikki Haley

I, Ace of Spades, Also Care Deeply About Obamatrina -- Hmm. Me, too.

National Deficit-Reduction Commissioner: "The market-worshipping, privatizing, de-regulating, dehumanizing American financial plan has failed and should never be revived" -- The Nation Is In The Very Best Of Hands, to use a Glenn Reynolds catchphrase that's sweeping the country right now . . .

WaPo poll: Tea-party support collapses among young voters?

Jackrabbits excel in classroom during spring

Surprise: Wall Street ‘Reform’ Bill Picks Winners and Goldman Sachs Wins -- Hey, I have an idea . . . if you've ever worked for a bank, brokerage, or other financial services company whose home office is within--oh, say 100 miles of an ocean coast, or if, as a candidate for any political office, you have taken any political contribution money from any such financial services company, you are ineligible for any office of profit or trust in the United States, nor are you allowed to lobby the Congress or any agency of the Federal Government or serve on any advisory or regulatory board. Or, maybe we could just say if you have a degree from an Ivy League school, you're forever banned from having any contact with the Federal Government, except to pay your @$@#$ taxes like the rest of us. Yeah, that's my populist side showing . . .

Arrest Over Iraqi Helicopter Slaughter Video Leak -- 1) The government probably keeps too much stuff secret. 2) Point #1 doesn't make some loose cannon going and leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents a hero. Some secrets need to stay secret. Lots of them don't. But the question is: who gets to decide that?

ObamaCare's Defenders to the Public: Trust Us, You Really Like This Law! -- No, actually, we really, really don't . . .

The June 8 elections: A verdict on incumbents, unions, and Democrats

MEMO TO MSM: Rush & Elton John Agree on Same-Sex Marriage
Let’s just boil down the Rush Limbaugh/Elton John controversy for a second:

Rush Limbaugh: ANTI gay marriage and PRO civil union.

Elton John: ANTI gay marriage and PRO civil union.

The Alien in the White House: The distance between the president and the people is beginning to be revealed. -- In the largest newspaper in the USA. Ouch.
A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

The Beeville Science Fair Hoax – but look at the story the data tells

Breaking: Miles of Oil Containment Boom in Warehouse- Just Sitting- Waiting For BP or US to Collect (Video!) -- Well, let's see . . . respond quickly, constructively and effectively in a crisis situation . . . or sit back, wail loudly, and immediately start pointing fingers. Which strategy sounds like leadership> to you?

Man Finishes Long Journey Over Every State, County Highway in Missouri -- This guy's got way more time on his hands than even I do . . .

Less Talkin’, More Kickin’ -- If you were President, wouldn't one of the first things on your To-Do list when you heard about this spill, and the potential ramifications thereof, would be to call the head of the company involved and find out what the hell was going on--and more importantly--how the hell to stop it, or at least mitigate the disaster?

#1 among ALL books sold at Amazon

Obama Really Cares So It's Irrelevant That There Are Miles of Oil Containment Boom Sitting In Warehouses With No One From the Government or BP Buying It

President Obama Is Making a Fool Of Himself... -- With every day Obama makes it more and more clear that he simply does not have the tools to be an effective executive--ANYWHERE where something actually tangible and real is produced . . .

A window into Obama’s worldview

Climate Change Linked to Major Vegetation Shifts Worldwide -- When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail . . .

Putting characters in moral danger -- Not mortal, moral . . .

SDSU's Treinen drafted by Marlins; decision looms

Israel eases Gaza embargo to allow snack food in -- Oh, good. The Palestinians can enjoy Cheetos and Ho-Hos while being viciously oppressed by Hamas . . . er. . . Israel . . .

Gluskin Sheff strategist: "There's a significant chance that for the first time ever we will go into the next recession without having seen a new peak in employment."

Michael Oren speaks

Government Codes vs. Innovation

Unions lay a $10 million egg in Arkansas

CVS Caremark to cut off Walgreen from network

Rise of the Republican Woman

"Chicago will need some new and sensible legislating"

On Sharon Angle & Voter Enthusiasm

Dolphins Use Diplomacy in Their Communication, Biologists Find -- Proving that dolphins are more intelligent and highly evolved than Democrats . . .

New Species of Large Blue Butterfly Discovered -- The Association of Orange Butterflies issued a bitter denunciation . . .

Republican Whip Eric Cantor Dresses Down “No Excuses” Obama

New Evidence That Drinking Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Telomeres: Size Matters When It Comes to DNA -- Hey, baby, check out my telomeres!

Taliban Executes 7 Year-Old Child For Spying …Update: They Hung Him -- We should try harder to understand why they hate toddlers so . . .

Rolling Stone: Deepwater blew and Obama knew

A Cooler Pacific May Have Severely Affected Medieval Europe, North America -- We're still figuring out how this Earth thing works, you know? Maybe we should hold off on destroying what's left of our economy until we've got a better handle on things . . .