Posts tagged ‘Central Park’

Trump is Actually Useful: Proves Once and For All That Business Licensing is Corrupted by Politics

Business licensing and awarding of government contracts is supposed to be entirely viewpoint neutral and related only to factors explicitly listed in the licensing legislation (e.g. training attained, cleanliness, whatever).  Of course, I believe that licensing is generally total BS and is basically a way for incumbent businesses to restrict potential competitors and throttle supply.

Of course, defenders of licensing laws piously intone that they are only there to protect consumers and are enforced in a totally neutral way that has nothing to do with viewpoints or political pull (lol).

Trump is a complete loss as a candidate but he is at least proving once and for all what total BS this is.  Both of the following are via the definitely indispensable Overlawyered.

Boston mayor says Trump will never get any city permits because of his political views.

If Donald Trump ever wants to build a hotel in Boston, he’ll need to apologize for his comments about Mexican immigrants first, the Hub’s mayor said.

“I just don’t agree with him at all,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told the Herald yesterday. “I think his comments are inappropriate. And if he wanted to build a hotel here, he’d have to make some apologies to people in this country.”

New York mayor says Trump will never get any city business because of his political views.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that his city may not be able to break its business contracts with Donald Trump but will avoid future deals with the 2016 GOP contender.

"My impression is that unless there has been some breaking of a contract or something that gives us a legal opportunity to act, I'm not sure we have a specific course of action," the Democratic mayor told reporters Monday, according to CNN and Capital New York.

"But we're certainly not looking to do any business with him going forward," de Blasio added.

De Blasio indicated Monday that he has yet to receive a final analysis on whether the city could get out of several contracts with Trump, a celebrity real estate developer turned presidential candidate.

New York City officials began reviewing the contracts, including a Central Park carousel, two rinks and a Bronx golf course, several weeks ago in light of Trump's controversial remarks on immigrants.

A Great Day in Manhattan for $20

I had a great day on Friday in Manhattan for the price of a $20 subway pass.  I did a lot of wandering around and people-watching, but here are three great free activities:

1.  Central Park.  Probably the greatest urban park in the world.  It is gorgeous, and everyone overlooks it.  If you have never strolled the Ramble, you will not believe you are in the middle of Manhattan.

2.  Walk the high-line park.  Another fabulous piece of landscape architecture, an old elevated rail line running north from about 14th street (just a bit south of the Chelsea Market) along the West Side that has been turned into a park and an amazing escape.  You can stroll the waterfront and urban New York without encountering a single car.  It is also incredibly quiet.  And train-lovers will appreciate that the architects kept a lot of the complex track-work as part of the landscape, almost like industrial art.

3.  Walk the Brooklyn Bridge.   I don't know that there is any similar experience anywhere else.  Something New Yorkers and tourists have enjoyed for over a hundred years.

I couldn't stay until magic hour but the view was still tremendous.

In the evening, I did whip out the wallet again and took my daughter to Ellen's Stardust Diner, near 51st and Broadway.  Total tourist trap.  Terrible food.  But an absolute blast every time.  All the waiters are out-of-work Broadway singers and they take turns singing show tunes for the restaurant as they serve.  We have walked out smiling and feeling good every time we have gone.


Junk Science's "10 Most Embarrassing Moments of 2004"

If you have never checked out, you should.  They do a nice job of providing balance and fact-based analysis for many science "stories" in the media, particularly those where the science is driven by political correctness or a litigation and/or political agenda.  The spend a lot of time on global warming, mainly because there is just so much bad science there to criticize, but they range all over, from the latest food Nazi threats to the latest chemical contamination panic.

Last week, they release their 10 most embarrassing moments of 2004.  One example:

10. University of Arkansas researchers attacked the Atkins Diet in January with a report linking a high-carbohydrate diet with weight loss, saying it was possible to lose weight without cutting calories and without exercising. What they didn't reveal, however, was that the study subjects who lost weight actually ate 400-600 calories per day less than those who didn't lose weight.

Never, ever, ever trust a science story in the press.  The press has no idea how to use or manipulate data (if they had been able to do math, they would not have been journalism majors in the first place).  The press generally publishes science stories by cribbing 95% of the story from activists press releases.  Even when there is data in the story, rather than just bald unsupported declarations, it is either seriously flawed, or more humorously, contradicts the text of the story.

I can't resist supporting this statement with a couple of examples from

This is a temperature chart for Central Park, NY.  It gets a lot of play in the press as a "common sense" proof of global warming, and comes right off the NASA climate site:


Now, lets ignore the fact that urbanization could be causing a local temperature increase that does not reflect a general climate trend.  Lets, however, select our time frame a little differently.  Lets take the whole data set, which goes back further, rather than this set chosen by activists to make their point.  The same data over a longer trend looks like this:


OOPS!  Gee, I am not sure Central Park looks much warmer.  In fact, you could argue it is cooler.  Hmmmm.  Ask yourself if you really think it was an accident that the year with the single lowest temperature in the middle of the second graph was used as the starting point for the first.

OK, one other, because I can't resist.  There is some debate (though perhaps not enough) about what temperature data set to use - ground level readings, satellite data, balloons, etc.  It might not stun you to learn that out of 3-5 alternative temperature data sets, global warming activists choose not the middle or the average but the single set (ground temperatures) that show by far the most warming to date.  By coincidence, this data set is perhaps the least reliable, since it never has had anything like 100% area coverage, it is subject to the most human error, and it is influenced by urban warming effects. 

However, if you want to use ground data, certainly the most reliable is data for the United States, where data has been taken over a larger coverage area for more time with more consistent standards than any other location.  Global Warming activists will love to show this chart of US temperatures since about 1978:


Wow, that looks bad - looks like a nearly one degree Celsius rise in less than 25 years.  This is the "hockey stick" climatologists refer to.  Let's leave aside that this same rise is not visible in satellite data or other measurement approaches.  Like the NYC data, lets take a longer time span.  Can you guess why this chart begins in 1978? 


So we are not even at the high's for the last 100 years - those occured in the 1930's  (you remember - drought, dust bowl, etc?)

OK, that's just a taste - check out their web site for more.  In addition, you can read my post on the Kyoto treaty to find other skeptics of global warming, as well as some specific information about how Kyoto is more an anti-American treaty than an environmental treaty.


Based on some responses I have gotten, its probably best that I point out that the reason for posting the charts above was not to "disprove" global warming.  It was to just make the point that you need to be careful with any science you see in the media.  If you look here or here, you will see where I am on global warming, which basically that manmade warming probably exists but is being overstated for a variety of reasons.  In fact, my whole point here is really that you CAN'T prove or disprove something as complex, chaotic, and poorly understood as climate change with 2 or 3 charts.