Byron York: IRS scandal raises fears about enforcing Obamacare: “The Internal Revenue Service scandal would be bad enough if the IRS just handled issues like collecting income taxes and granting nonprofit status. But the immensely powerful federal agency is about to become even more powerful with the arrival of national health care, and that makes the still-unfolding scandal even more troubling.
‘When I hold town meetings, a great deal of distrust comes through about the size and increasing power of government,’ says Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. ‘The IRS targeting crystallizes that distrust in a very big way because of the IRS’ reach into taxpayer information. What’s happened heightens fears about how the IRS will handle taxpayer information and wield its power when it enforces Obamacare starting next year….’”
In the next few weeks, the details of the IRS’ apparent misconduct will be spelled out in a series of hastily arranged congressional hearings… For millions of Americans, the hearings will do what Charles Grassley noticed at those town meetings in Iowa: reduce their faith that the federal government will treat them fairly.
And that will mean even more anxieties about the coming of Obamacare. “Now every American understands there are elements of the IRS that go off on their own,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told MSNBC Monday morning. “Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can’t trust the bureaucracy with your politics?”
Oh, but nothing bad will ever come of having the IRS invovled in health care! All those people saying that government is too big and intrusive must be the crazy ones. Right?
Friends: this is exactly the type of thing that people in favor of a smaller government always warn against.
D-Wave quantum computer matches the tenth ranked supercomputer for speed: “How did the D-Wave computer do on the tests? On the largest problem sizes tested, the V5 chip found optimal solutions in less than half a second, while the best classical software solver required 30 minutes to find those same solutions. This makes the D-Wave computer over 3,600 times faster than the classical computer in these tests. This puts the effective speed of the D-Wave quantum computer on this class of problems at roughly the same as the tenth ranked supercomputer in the world as per the November 2012 Top500 list – the IBM/DARPS Trial Subset, with 63,360 64-bit cores that produce a maximum floating point performance of 1.5 petaFlops. The comparison shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but suggests that the 439 qubits of the D-Wave computer can solve such problems as quickly as do huge massively parallel supercomputers.”
Commercial quantum computer leaves PC in the dust – physics-math – 10 May 2013 – New Scientist: “McGeoch and her colleague Cong Wang of Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, ran the problem on a D-Wave Two computer, which has 439 qubits formed from superconducting niobium loops. They also tried to solve the problem using three leading algorithms running on a high-end desktop computer. The D-Wave machine turned out to be around 3600 times faster than the best conventional algorithm.”
Invelox wind turbine claims 600% advantage in energy output: “Invelox takes a novel approach to wind power generation as it doesn’t rely on high wind speeds. Instead, it captures wind at any speed, even a breeze, from a portal located above ground. The wind captured is then funneled through a duct where it will pick up speed. The resulting kinetic energy will drive the generator on the ground level. By bringing the airflow from the top of the tower, it’s possible to generate more power with smaller turbine blades, SheerWind says.”
Seems like a great new tech. Bird friendly, cheap ($750/kw), and attractive (well, more attractive than spinning blades, which I kinda like anyway). It’s science!
IRS Admits to Targeting Conservative Groups in 2012 Election: “After months of denying that the IRS has been targeting tea party groups for special scrutiny, Lois Lerner, Director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division, admitted that the IRS had been giving additional scrutiny to applications for tax-exempt status from groups with the ‘Tea Party’ or ‘patriot’ in their title.”
I was going to say “I can’t believe they would do anything like that” then checked myself.
That sound of frustration in this guy’s voice was strangely familiar, the grumble that comes when something that used to work but doesn’t work anymore, for some odd reason we can’t identify.
I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.
It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.”
A Nation of Wimps | Psychology Today: “‘If you have an infant and the baby has gas, burping the baby is being a good parent. But when you have a 10-year-old who has metaphoric gas, you don’t have to burp him. You have to let him sit with it, try to figure out what to do about it. He then learns to tolerate moderate amounts of difficulty, and it’s not the end of the world.’”