As you can see from space, a lot of people around the world have their holiday lights up already. No, just kidding. These photos were taken over the course of several months earlier this year by NASA´s Suomi satellite, which we actually wrote about on launch night last year. It’s actually a composite from 312 polar orbits taken during 22 nights in April and October of this year. It took that many circuits to capture clear nights everywhere. You can spot outlines of the continents and the brightest spots of the largest cities.
Unfortunately, this is far from the most revealing/useful of the nighttime mosaics. The contrasts are far starker. And sorry, I don´t have URLs for better ones at hand. A quick stop at APOD should lead to them.
As for the image, and more so for the better ones, which show far more illumination, several things template more or less directly on top of the brightest areas. They include: low infant mortality; long lifespans; higher standards of living; political liberty; economic liberty; higher GDPs; educational achievement; peaceful and productive relations with like-minded neighbors and similar nations across the globe.
Oppressive, tyrannical, benighted nations are dark in many ways, not just in their literal light. Cuba? Looks like a string of islands [compare to Florida]; South Korea looks like an island, as North Korea has just two "significant" lighted areas [not to mention a slave population that´s malnutritionally 3 inches or more shorter than their Southern cousins]; Israel looks like the whole country is one giant World Series night game [Egypt is bright only in the West-connected areas of commerce along the Nile], it´s a veritable map.
Well, I hear the clamor already: "But, but, but, Mr. Veritas, the US doesn´t really have great education or infant mortality, to name two problems. Right?"
Wrong. Very wrong, Grasshopper. You have either bought the Left´s self-hating propaganda, or you have not looked past the surface to find the facts.
Infant mortality? One example: infants are not recorded as "live births" in Switzerland ´til 24 hours after they´re born. That skews infant mortality very significantly.
And it is a huge mistake to take the entire US, whole, in such statistical comparisons. Many [most?] countries are far more homogeneous [being smaller than the US contributes to that]. I´d want US statistics split out into at least three groups: a. "conventional," or "old-school," productive and decent Americans; b. a population cohort that has adopted an incredibly-self-destructive sub-culture [crime; illegitimacy; dependency on the productive; flash over value; self-segregation; excuse-making; rewards demanded and extorted for identity rather than earned through achievement; blaming, and preying upon, the productive "other" (Group A); and so on]; and c. a population cohort that shares a number of factors with Group B, as well as including many illegal aliens.
Groups B and C can hardly be considered "assimilated Americans." Look to Group A for the real statistics on America. Thanks.
President Obama is scheduled to hold a rare news conference this summer Friday afternoon. It´s set for 3 p.m. in Washington. Not exactly the best time to make news you want many people to hear. A pretty strong indication that Obama has little intention of making real news and his mind is on his next week-long vacation on Martha´s Vineyard starting tomorrow. Still, the White House press corps will be in its seats ready with questions in case they get called upon. [Snip] Here are our select candidates for questions:
President Obama has been saying we have many important matters and issues to work on with Russia. And as a result, he´s decided not to meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit. This confusing upside-down-ness has become a key component of Obama´s diplomatic style in many places. [Snip] The immediate irritant in Obama’s failed Russia reset policy is Edward Snowden. During Obama´s Africa trip, he dismissed Snowden as a mere "hacker." But now the blabby nerd is reason to cancel a summit. Answering questions from late-night Russian specialist Jay Leno, Obama pronounced himself "disappointed."
How exactly, as President Obama has so often declared, is al Qaeda on the path to defeat if one long-distance message exchange between two senior terrorists can cause the world’s No. 1 superpower to shutter 19 different diplomatic installations across an entire region for at least one week? Eleven months ago the Obama administration, in the form of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was caught with its pantsuit down by a deadly terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11 – Gee, who would ever expect a Mideast terror attack on Americans around 9/11?
On the surface, the Fort Hood multiple murder trial that begins today in Texas seems simple enough for even an F.B.I. agent to figure out: On Nov. 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan jumped on a desk in the Fort Hood Army deployment center, shouted "God is great!" in Arabic and began firing with two handguns and extra clips. He killed 13 unarmed soldiers that day, wounded 30 others and exposed the rawest of nerves in the American psyche that had been shattered on 9/11 by Muslim extremists.
Conan: Bill Clinton is very upset with Anthony Weiner comparing his sexting to Clinton´s affair with Monica. Bill Clinton said, “Real men cheat in person.” Fallon: I just read that 25% of toddlers in America know how to use an iPad. While 100% of toddlers in China know how to make one. Conan: German researchers were recently able to stop light from traveling for an extended period of time. Here’s how they did it— they placed the light on United Airlines.
Hello. I’m Senator Susan Collins from Maine. My family founded a small business in northern Maine more than 160 years ago. Today, it continues to be run by two of my brothers. Our economy is built on millions of enterprises just like ours. It’s not easy to survive in today’s economy. But these employers remain our nation’s job creators. We should be doing all we can to promote policies to help them survive and thrive. Effective health-care reform should provide Americans with access to quality and affordable care while also encouraging economic growth. That’s not what is happening under ObamaCare.
Hi, everybody. This week, I went down to an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee to talk more about what we need to do to secure a better bargain for the middle class — to make sure that anyone who works hard can get ahead in the 21st century economy. Over the past four and a half years, we’ve fought our way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes and begun to lay a foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. Today, our businesses have created 7.3 million new jobs.
Impressive! President Obama´s policy reset with Russia is working out as well as his economic stimulus, Guantanamo closing, spending cutbacks, green energy investments, debt discipline, Benghazi investigation, Egyptian fallout, midterm campaigning, Syrian dictator-ousting, Bush-blaming, Libya-calming, Iran-isolating, job approval, budget-passing, Kim Jong-un-taming, ObamaCare implementation and Muslim-outreaching. American presidents have done naive things in the past. Few if any have been so totally and embarrassingly fruitless as this Democrat´s self-imposed suck-up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama has just endured another diplomatic slap, with Putin´s government granting NSA leaker Edward Snowden a year´s asylum.
It looks like we won´t have much to write for the next three years. The media, which knows all and tells some, has proclaimed Hillary Clinton the 2016 Democrat nominee. Who can argue? Joe the Delaware Gaffer? Nah? Clinton had breakfast with Biden this week to break the news. And lunch with Obama to get their stories straight about the lethal Benghazi screw-up. She assured him she won´t critically distance herself from him for another two years. Some of his campaigners signed on to the Clinton campaign-that´s-pretending-not-to-be--yet. And some senators profess adoration.
Montana´s Attorney General Tim Fox has taken a stand against revealing the identities of concealed weapon permit holders. All 50 states now have laws permitting qualified individuals to own and carry concealed firearms. But emotions have flared over identifying all those as a class. A firestorm of controversy erupted last winter when a suburban New York newspaper, citing the public´s right to know, published the names and addresses of all licensed handgun owners in two counties.
Letterman: So, Anthony Weiner has apologized for this new scandal. He also apologized for the next one. And the next one after that. Fallon: British Royal Birth: Kate Middleton´s baby weighs about eight pounds. Americans asked, ´How much is that in dollars?´ Conan: At their press conference, Anthony Weiner’s wife said she will stand by her husband. Especially when he goes on the computer. Leno: In a GQ interview, VP Joe Biden says he can die a happy man never having been president. You know what? So can we!
Tonight, millions of middle class Americans will go to sleep worried - worried about a job, worried about health care, worried about whether they can ever get ahead. While the bills stack up, many middle class families wonder whether there’s ever going to be enough money left over at the end of the month to save for retirement or college tuition. All the while, an out-of-touch government in Washington continues to abuse its power and put special interests first while hard working Americans are left to pay the bill.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a narrow lead among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but even more GOP voters say he’s the candidate they least want to see nominated. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote.
The owner of a shop in Zurich where US talk show host Oprah Winfrey says she encountered racism has called the incident a "misunderstanding". Winfrey, one of the world´s richest women, claimed an assistant refused to serve her in an upmarket handbag shop. She was apparently told one of the bags on display was "too expensive" for her. Shop owner Trudie Gotz told the BBC that Winfrey was "absolutely allowed" to look at the $35,000 (£22,500) bag, which was kept behind a screen. "My salesperson wanted to give her the handbag in her hand. But she didn´t want
Barack Obama delivered one gaffe after another in his August 6 interview with Jay Leno, but the networks that usually mock every mistake or slip of the tongue made by Republicans ignored the President´s verbal mishaps. ABC´s Good Morning America, CBS´s This Morning and NBC´s Today show, on Wednesday morning, all bypassed the chance to criticize Obama for: downplaying the threat of terrorism; falsely claiming Vladimir Putin once ran the KGB; placing the Atlantic coast cities of Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville on the Gulf of Mexico; confusing the Winter Olympics with the Summer Olympics. First up, on the
Ending a war is a good thing. Killing civilians a bad thing. Deliberately targeting civilians is murder, and is never morally licit, even in pursuit of a good thing such as ending a war. The tens of thousands of Japanese non-combatants we killed 68 years ago this week with two nuclear bombs were not “collateral damage” of military strikes. They were the intended targets. We hoped that mass murder would bring the Japanese emperor to surrender. It worked, and American and Japanese soldiers’ lives were probably saved by it —
Last month we learned that Megyn Kelly was leaving her daytime anchor gig to take over a Fox News primetime slot. According to an “exclusive” Drudge Report flash this afternoon, that time slot will be 9 p.m. ET. “Superstar newswoman Megyn Kelly has landed the 9 PM slot, top sources reveal,” the Drudge Report wrote. “The shock announcement is set for later this month.” Fox’s 9 p.m. hour is currently helmed by Sean Hannity, leading to speculation over whether he could be out of a primetime gig. There are many possible outcomes from this lineup change,
In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory. The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July. "Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard
Retired 68-year-old US Army general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley K. Clark has won yet another esteemed decoration — he is dating 30-year-old Shauna Mei, the founder of online retailer AHAlife.com. Clark, who was married to Gertrude Kingston Clark for 45 years before filing for divorce last year, is spending time with the young New York-based entrepreneur, who graduated from MIT and worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker before launching her luxury e-commerce site. Clark and Mei were spotted together recently in the Hamptons,
President Obama is slated to deliver a speech later this month commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Obama will deliver his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — the same place where King spoke 50 years ago. The Let Freedom Ring ceremony will be held Aug. 28. "It’s obviously a historic, seminal event in the country. It’s part of my generation’s formative memory and it’s a good time for us to do some reflection,"
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden extended his 15 minutes of fame Wednesday, as headlines tied his saga to President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel a planned summit meeting in Moscow next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But analysts said the talk of Snowden’s role in the cancellation obscured a more basic reality: The U.S.-Russia relationship is now so frosty that it didn’t appear the two presidents would actually accomplish enough to merit such a high-profile meeting. After four years, the much-vaunted reset in U.S.-Russian relations has devolved into a chilly standoff over issues like the Kremlin’s support for Syria
Nanny State: If any question remained about the Obama White House´s appetite for running everyone´s life from Washington, it should be settled now. This administration even wants to dictate neighborhood makeup. Like your neighborhood? Don´t get used to it. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development might decide it wants to dictate changes. HUD is, according to Fox News, considering "a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America´s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory." The proposed rule, disclosed last month by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at
“IQ is a metric of such dubiousness that almost no serious educational researcher uses it anymore,” the Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox wrote back in May. It was a breathtakingly ignorant statement. Psychologist Jelte Wicherts noted in response that a search for “IQ test” in Google’s academic database yielded more than 10,000 hits — just for the year 2013. (Snip) There is a large discrepancy between what educated laypeople believe about cognitive science and what experts actually know. Journalists are steeped in the lay wisdom, so they are repeatedly surprised when someone forthrightly discusses the real science of mental ability.
In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted.. In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special "secondary screening" because