Gallup identifies flaws in 2012 election polls
(USA Today) “Pollsters at Gallup said Tuesday they have identified flawed methods that contributed to their incorrect prediction that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 presidential election, but they are still working to determine how to better identify who is likely to vote. The survey firm undertook a far-reaching review of its operations after its surveys came up short in the election: Gallup’s final pre-election estimate showed Romney with 49% support to Obama’s 48%, with a margin of error of +/-2%.” (06/04/13)
Nathan: Obviously, they didn’t take enough fraud into account, or figured that the GOP would be able to hack the electronic voting more readily than the Dems.
NYC-Brooklyn: 10-year-old boy grabs gun from robber, fires shot
(NBC New York) “A 10-year-old boy fought back against two robbers who tried to break into his family’s home in Brooklyn Monday, grabbing a gun dropped by one of the suspects and firing a shot that scared them off, police said.” (06/04/13)
Nathan: Self-defense indeed. I assume, this being NYC, that the two robbers have also been charged with corrupting a minor, allowing a minor access to a firearm, and all the other crimes that exist in Nanny Bloomberg’s eyes. How much better if his parents had already had a firearm available to defend their home and their child!
Mama’s Note: How much better also if the teens had been taught NOT to open the door to a stranger. Far, far too many “home invasion” crimes start out with an unlocked door or the criminal being let in by the subsequent victim.
Hoploclasts – Self-defense
Pennsylvania police chief nullifies gun control in his jurisdiction
(Conservative Action Alerts) The remarks made by Police Chief Mark Kessler of Gilberton Borough, PA, were typical of the sentiment of the group. On January 3rd of this year, Kessler drafted a “Second Amendment Protection Resolution” for his Pennsylvania town which, when passed by city officials a few weeks later, nullified every single gun control law in the nation. “If you want to own a firearm,” Chief Kessler said, “the Second Amendment is your concealed carry permit, period. It has nothing to do with self-defense: it has to do with freedom from tyranny.” Police Chief Kessler went on to say: “Nullification is the key. We just have to tell them, ‘that’s it’. I drew my line in the sand back on Jan 3rd. One person can make a difference: you just need to do something about it.”
Nathan: I don’t know enough about Pennsylvania law to know if a Borough police chief has the authority normally part of a Sheriff’s duties, although the borough council certainly should be able to do this. But ANY rebellion against these unconstitutional acts is a good sign. More and more opposition is necessary if things are not to slide further. If predominantly “blue” states like this have centers of resistance.
Islamic wars: Arab street revolt
France says it is ‘certain’ that Syrian government has used sarin gas
(Washington Post ) The French government said Tuesday that it has confirmed the use of sarin gas by Syria’s government, and a U.N. panel reported that it has “reasonable grounds” to believe that chemical weapons have been used in the country’s civil war, deepening international suspicions that the red line set by President Obama has been breached.
Nathan: France is hardly a reliable source of such data. It is as eager (more eager, perhaps?) as the US to strike at Syria, and this pushes matters a lot farther. At the same time, I cannot agree that Israel is playing the “Serbia” in a rerun of the start-up of World War One, as too many people seem to claim (or hope). It is hardly the first time that an Arab (or Muslim) leader has killed his own people – whether it is with gas or just bullets or swords.
Home front – Economics 2013
YES! Amazon Will Start Delivering Your Groceries
(Business Insider) Amazon has been testing grocery delivery — AmazonFresh — in Seattle for a while, and was working on warehouse/refrigeration capacity logistics to roll it out nationally. (You can get a taste of Amazon’s grocery delivery business here.) Your local supermarket — you know, the one you’re forced to drive to — may be dead in the water, if Amazon gets its way. Bill Bishop, a prominent supermarket analyst and consultant, says everyone up the chain to Walmart is threatened by the plan:
Nathan: Don’t hold your breath. Most big chains (Kroger, Safeway, etc.) already HAVE delivery services in the big markets, and they don’t do well. There are always those people who are willing (or have) to do this, but most prefer to shop in a store (and the chains do, too: they know how to market in the stores and get impulse buying purchases). If anything might help, it is the nostalgia market that might be a worthy target: for those few people who remember the days of home milk (and egg) delivery.
Mama’s Note: The regular home delivery of things like milk, eggs and bread is quite different than the proposed business here. It is easier to anticipate one’s use of milk, etc. and the quality from a given company is apt to be fairly consistent. That way, a regular delivery route can be planned ahead of time. The Schwan’s frozen food delivery routes perform the same service for regular customers. Case lots of all sorts of non perishable groceries can be delivered almost anywhere now, from a number of vendors, though shipping costs make large orders more practical.
But I can’t even imagine wanting someone else to pick out fresh fruits and vegetables for me. It’s hard enough to find anything worth having in the store where I can choose it myself.
Economy 2013 – Energy
Cheap Batteries for Backup Renewable Energy
(Technologyreview.com) Investors recently chipped in $15 million to fund battery startup EOS Energy Storage, a company that says its batteries could eventually compete with natural-gas power plants to provide power during times of peak demand. Cheap energy storage is becoming increasingly important as greater numbers of wind turbines and solar panels are added to the grid. If renewable energy is to replace the fossil fuels that dominate power supplies and serve to backup wind turbines and solar panels, very large-scale, inexpensive batteries like the ones EOS is developing will be needed (see “Wind Turbines, Battery Included, Can Keep Power Supplies Stable,” “Battery Could Provide a Cheap Way to Store Solar Power,” and “A Solution to Solar Power Intermittency”).
Nathan: Several friends in the industry tell me this is very important, and very likely to succeed, making a huge difference in the feasibility of economical solar and wind power. I see it as a great potential to get off the grid and be able to survive any breakup and collapse.
Mama’s Note: Now if someone would just invent a reliable, inexpensive battery for ordinary devices. I’ve spent sooooo much money on batteries, of all kinds, and most of them are dead as a doornail when I really need to use them.