Thursday, November 27, 2014

Europe at a Crossroads?

Helmut Kohl, the Chancellor of the German reunification, has a striking piece at Europe is at a crossroads: will we push forward a united Europe of peace and freedom?

Roads, Public Lands and the European Union Idea

Freedom of movement on public roads is something we all take for granted and which did not exist in ancient days. In Europe, for example, Germany served as the model for the greater "Autobahn" idea to get rid of old toll road practices, which greatly diminished freedom of movement. Indeed, things have greatly improved through the European Union -- the antithesis of the former selfish war-torn Europe of individual greedy States, where movement was greatly restricted.

America is facing the reverse problem today of State and private interests trying to appropriate more and more land for regional and/or exclusive use, thus reducing public lands and RESTRICTING individual freedom.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has it right at the New York Times in The Land Grab Out West.

We have written previously at Home Ownership, Elites, Wealth, Congressionally Plundered Federal Lands and a Polarized Society of Haves and Have Nots about how vested interests over the centuries have pilfered national American land from its citizens for ultimately private gain.

If all of this land in the United States still belonged to the people, as it should and as it originally did, there would be much less national debt and much less taxation of the people. Now the people who have acquired that land privately want to keep all the loot and pay no taxes. That is not going to work.

Ideally, the federal government in America represents everyone in the country.

By contrast and by definition, individual U.S. States are minority-run collections of vested local and regional interests and it is hard to make a case that they have done anything useful in American history that could not have been done better federally. A similar logic applies to Europe.

The U.S. Interstate Highway System is one example of "bigger" thinking. Just imagine all U.S. roads being solely in greedy and selfish individual State hands.

A Europe of open borders within its jurisdiction has of course brought new problems, but has also opened up Europe to more freedom of movement by its citizens -- thus INCREASING freedom for all. Will it stay that way? We shall see.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New EU Ambassador to the USA David O’Sullivan Presents European Union Credentials and Tweets at Twitter

In a diplomatic position enabled by the Treaty of Lisbon,
New European Union Ambassador David O’Sullivan
this week
presented his EU credentials
to U.S. President Barack Obama.

As written at the website of the
Delegation of the European Union to the United States:
"Ambassador David O’Sullivan presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony today [November 18], formally assuming the role of European Union Ambassador to the United States.... Ambassador O’Sullivan is only the second diplomat to hold the position of EU Ambassador to the United States, established when the Treaty of Lisbon came into force on December 1, 2009." 
The Irish Times elaborated as follows in
Irishman formally becomes EU ambassador to United States:
"[O'Sullivan] succeeded Portuguese diplomat Joao Vale de Almeida in the role and follows in the footsteps of former taoiseach John Bruton who was the EU’s representative to the US from 2004 to 2009.... Mr O’Sullivan announced he had officially taken up his job in Washington with his first message on social media website Twitter.“Happy to send out my 1st tweet as EU Ambassador to the US after having presented my credentials to @BarackObama @WhiteHouse today,” he wrote in the message."
For Twitter, see:
@EUAmbUS - European Union Ambassador to the United States
@EPWashingtonDC - European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC

New Innovation Center at Stanford University to Study the Problem of Deficient Science Research and to Optimize Practices

John P. A. Ioannidis at the Scientific American in Science Research Needs an Overhaul writes that he has co-founded a new center at Stanford University -- the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) -- to deal with the costly problem that most mainstream research is wasted, for example, 85% of medical research, according to The Lancet. He writes that the METRICS center:
"[W]ill seek to study research practices and how these can be optimized. It will examine the best means of designing research protocols and agendas to ensure that the results are not dead ends but rather that they pave a path forward. The center will do so by exploring what are the best ways to make scientific investigation more reliable and efficient."
We applaud this development.

We have been confronted for years by gullible, uninformed, and opinionated people in and out of science proclaiming the near infallibility of mainstream ideas and research methods.

Having taught research ourselves at the university level, we know from experience, of course, that exactly the opposite is true.

Most of what is researched in science and published as a result is a costly waste of time and often leads science in the wrong direction.

One main reason for these follies of "scientific research", as we have written time and time again, is that science in the past has been predominantly "authority-based", whereas "evidence-based" research must be given priority.

Outdated memes must be abandoned.

That is our quest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Better Legislation is the Key to Privacy Rights Protection

BBC News reports at Americans have 'no control' of data that most people expect legislation to be the solution to privacy rights protection, rather than improved technology tools directed to that problem.