Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/20 - Ukranians Speak Out, U.N. Struggles to Stem Haiti Cholera Epidemic

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 11:58 AM

Economy

In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin (jdargis)

Mr. Obama has concluded that even if there is a resolution to the current standoff over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he will never have a constructive relationship with Mr. Putin, aides said. As a result, Mr. Obama will spend his final two and a half years in office trying to minimize the disruption Mr. Putin can cause, preserve whatever marginal cooperation can be saved and otherwise ignore the master of the Kremlin in favor of other foreign policy areas where progress remains possible.

Portraits of Conflict: Ukrainians Speak Out (jdargis)

Donetsk has strong ties to Russia. About 38 percent of the broader region's 4.8 million people identified themselves as ethnic Russians in a 2001 census, the latest available. Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, is a native of Donetsk, and much of his support came from the region. He turned away from a free-trade pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow and was ousted by a protest movement called the Euro Maidan. New voting is set for May.

Cuts and Shutdowns Are Hurting Science (jdargis)

After the cuts in March, many scientists were suddenly unable to travel to conferences, even ones they were due to deliver keynote speeches at. This restricted their opportunities to exchange ideas and find out about others' work—both important parts of scientific free speech.

The shutdown only made matters worse. Scientific freedom of expression also includes the right to publish research and contribute to discussions. Both were severely compromised. Another round of cuts is due this year.

High Tech (jdargis)

So, officially, the Firefly is for pipe tobacco. But I didn’t try any pipe tobacco in it. You probably won’t either. I did, however, sample some marijuana, for which it’s really, really great. A personal disclosure: I’ve smoked a lot of pot. I’m no stoner, but I’ve been smoking it for more than 25 years, and in that time I’ve used all sorts of vaporizers. They’ve evolved a great deal over the years, from giant complex tabletop devices to today’s generation of e-cig-style vapes that deliver brain-hammering doses of butane-extracted cannabis oil. The Firefly does those devices one better, magically and almost instantly vaporizing actual plant material at the touch of a button. It is just wonderful.

U.S. Warns Money Managers of More Russia Sanctions (jdargis)

The meeting, convened a week before talks with Russia in Geneva that ended yesterday, left managers grappling with the question of whether the government intended to follow through, or was trying to trigger asset sales through the threat of sanctions, said the person. Former administration officials have said forcing Russia out of global financial markets is the strongest tool President Barack Obama has at his disposal in trying to defuse the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

U.N. Struggles to Stem Haiti Cholera Epidemic (jdargis)

The United Nations has yet to raise the $5 million necessary to vaccinate 600,000 vulnerable people right away — as the rainy season approaches and the threat of waterborne illnesses like cholera looms — let alone the $2 billion that it promised to raise from rich countries to build Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure, which public health experts say is vital to ridding the country of cholera.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/18/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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1 Comment

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 797
Budget cuts are a violation of scientific freedom of speech?

Hogwash!  There is nothing in the constitution that says our government is required to fund freedom of speech for any profession.

It's the same as saying the right to bear arms means that the government is required to provide arms for people who can't afford to buy them.

It would be easy to argue that government funded science is inherently flawed anyway.  Take the current trend in particle physics.  I've read there is a strong tendency to hire scientists who are involved in string theory research.  

String theory, as I understand it, will never be able to be tested in any way.  The example given was that, if a quark was the size of a solar system, then a string would be the size of an oak tree.  Planck's constant makes proving that strings exist forever impossible.  To use Steven Hawking's argument, even God could not see or test a string.

Therefore, research in string theory is the equivalent of mathematical doodling.  Why do we need an entire segment of government funded scientists doodling with mathematics?

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