Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Links

I can't promise this as a regular feature, but from time to time when I have already collected more than sufficient links for the Weekly Links feature, I am going to bleed off some of the excess on Sunday.

Perpetual motion machine de la semaine.

The plight of legal immigrants.

Cramer vs. Cramer.

The propeller trike.

Ten politically incorrect truths about human nature.

Biodiesel beats ethanol.

Chinese slaves discovered in Las Vegas.

A's for Google.

When Greenland was green.


Anonymous said...

Perpetual motion. In the 6th grade a friend thought he did it - it was a variation on the rotating chain of sponges and the pan of water. I was jealous. However, I briefly basked in glory myself in the 7th grade when I thought I had discovered how to trisect any angle using a compass and an unmarked straightedge. Prior to being gently disabused of that notion by Mr. Fox, our math teacher, I composed a letter to Scientific American announcing my discovery. I wish I still had it.

Anonymous said...

Bicycle and trike propellers have a long history. Just be careful on those bumps.

Knucklehead said...

That looked like an awful lot of pedaling for mediocre return. What's wrong with turning a wheel rather than a propellor. I can't imagine pedaling that thing up my driveway let alone a real hill.

Now, 'bout that "legal immigrants" article... It is sad that the writer has been disappointed. To charge that the US government is engaged in something akin to the slave trade is a bit much, IMO. Slaves are not free to go home. The writer of that piece is perfectly free to return whence he came - wherever that was where he had insufficient vaccination and/or record keeping.

Have recently been witness to the documentation effort required for a legal immigrant to apply for citizenship, and having been - long ago - subjected to the trials and tribulations of securing a "green card" for my beloved, I am aware that is a source of enormous frustration.

Too freakin' bad.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
a mighty woman with a torch
whose flame is imprisoned lightning,
and her name Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand glows
world-wide welcome;
her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor
that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands your storied pomp!"
cries she with silent lips.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

Two points to be made about those words.

1. It's a poem. It is not law nor is it US national policy. Never has been. No good reason to believe it ever will be.

2. Not a word in there about convenience or guarantees. Nobody promised anyone an easy ride with not setbacks or disappointments.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I hear what you are saying Knuck. And personally, I once had a potential job offer in Canada which I couldn't follow up because they had to "hire a Canadian first", so the red tape was equally frustrating. On the other hand, I was talking to a couple last night who have been working for 10 years to get their green cards! They've been going through all the hoops, standing in all the lines, doing everything aboveboard. They are highly educated professionals--why are we discriminating against them in favor of farm workers? If that's to be our national policy, so be it, but let's quit pretending otherwise.

My opinion is that the real reason is that the ruling classes inside the US like the idea of having lots of cheap farm laborers to keep wages down, but do not like to have professionals coming in from abroad who might drive their own wages down. However, in an increasingly global economy, it matters less and less.

Knucklehead said...


What's the nature of the problems they are encourtering? No doubt we can point to MANY similar people who, while surely not ready to rave about the efficiency and professionalism of the INS (now DHS), haven't found the process nearly as impossible as 10 years. I know quite a few personally who have completed the process in roughly 1 year. Not without frustration, but not insane levels of it either.

I'm a bit fedup, at the moment, with My Fellow Citizens ragging about how badly our government sucks. Pick another major government where the majority of 300 million people live pretty darned cushy and comfy lives compared to the other 5.7B humans and human history in general and tell me how that government is better.

It ain't perfect. It wastes huge amounts of money. We could all do much more than we do to pay attention and improve things. But damn, it's downright amazing how well it does work. What nation is free of bureaucracy, inefficiency, incompetence, corruption, nepotism, whatever?

Luther said...

You're right Knuck, always an excellent point to keep in mind. After 200+ years we are still an experiment. Its not like anyone else has ever done it.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

You're right Knuck. I'm not raging about the government. I'm raging about the insane immigration policies We the People have chosen.

I know a lot of people who have been in the queue for years, actually.

As for slavery, why do you think I juxtaposed that other article about real slavery?