Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, The Speaker Should Know

In case you were wondering:

Creepy Statist Quote of the Day From the Folks Who Object to Being Called Creepy Statists

Nancy Pelosi:

In a recent press release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., argues that constitutional objections to the individual mandate are "nonsensical," because "the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."

We're All Gonna DIE!!!


The Decision Tree

Great article, educational charts.

Well Said

From here:

Abortion is the most reliable issue there. If you're a Democrat, you better be pro-choice. No, that's not enough. You better be fiercely opposed to any restrictions whatsoever on abortion, and be in favor of the federal government paying for abortions if the unmother can't swing it. Otherwise, you're just another quasi-cancerous growth to be scraped off off the donkey's uterus.

Scrabble Gate

Sullivan's on it.



"No One Peer Reviews Scientific Software"


"Like World War II, Only With ACORN Instead Of The Manhattan Project"

What could go wrong?


The deficit for the fiscal year 2009 came in at more than $1.4 trillion—about 11.2 percent of GDP, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That’s a bigger deficit than any seen in the past 60 years—only slightly larger in relative terms than the deficit in 1942. We are, it seems, having the fiscal policy of a world war, without the war. Yes, I know, the United States is at war in Afghanistan and still has a significant contingent of troops in Iraq. But these are trivial conflicts compared with the world wars, and their contribution to the gathering fiscal storm has in fact been quite modest (little more than 1.8 percent of GDP, even if you accept the estimated cumulative cost of $3.2 trillion published by Columbia economist Joseph Stiglitz in February 2008).

Like World War II, only with ACORN instead of the Manhattan Project. What could go wrong? Plus, Paul Krugman re-spins the deficit. But where Ferguson worries about a decline in U.S. military power as a result, I think some people in the Administration regard that as a feature, not a bug.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"A Friendly Chat With The Global Warming Evangelist Who Lives In My Head"


The Various Sub-Frauds Involved

Laid out here for your convenience.

Well, Well, Well

Here's a little-known fun fact:

It's almost a left wing harmonic convergence on global warming fraud. Chris Horner writing for Big Government reveals that the principle warmist blogsite, Real Climate, is a Fenton operation. Fenton Communications is the left wing PR operation that promoted the Alar scare and other bogus health scares, and are the people who created the infamous "General Betray Us" ad attacking Gneeral Petraeus. Horner writes:

It turns out that is owned by an outfit that is in essence a non-profit public relations firm called Environmental Media Services (EMS), "dedicated to expanding media coverage of critical environmental and public health issues", whose Pittsburgh office houses the RealClimate server.[1] describes EMS as "the communications arm of leftist public relations firm Fenton Communications."[2]

EMA's listed registrant, Betsy Ensley, engages in the objective, non-partisan pursuit of "manag[ing], a joint public awareness website".[3] She also apparently ran, and former Harvard string theorist (and still-hilarious climate blogger) Lubos Motl notes that when Ensley was campaigning against John Ashcroft her secretary was Kalee Kreider, now Al Gore's spokesperson.[4] MoveOn is of course in part a George Soros venture, and attentive climate realists recall the kafuffle over Soros supporting Hansen's alarmism.[5]

Motl describes EMS as "primarily an organization to pay for junk science about food and beverages, often hired by food companies to damage their competitors".[6] This is known as "black marketing."[7] [snip]

As critics note, the idea that RealClimate is just a bunch of unpaid "real scientists" is risible, given their methods of argumentation are often little more than smear, ridicule, cherry- picking science, and pronouncing themselves and their exclusive little climate clique as only the few "qualified' to have an opinion on man-made global warming. RealClimate's members, like Andrew Dessler of Grist and writers for the Soros-backed Climate Progress, perpetrate a unique form of "qualification thuggery" by which anyone skeptical of their agenda are unworthy to comment, typically because they skeptic does not affiliate with the UN IPCC. When the skeptic is an IPCC author or reviewer, well he's still unqualified. And "mere physicists" such as Freeman Dyson, or chemists, or economists, are also unqualified, but only when they disagree. After all, Dessler is a chemist, and the IPCC's "chief scientist" is no such thing at all, as you'll see.

Another example of leftwing propagandist doing well for themselves while "doing good". has a long detailed history of Fenton in case you'd like to learn more about this operation.

$23 Million And $73 Billion Are Comparable. They Both End In "Illion".

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says that AGW skeptics are much better funded than the selfless scientists.

All righty, then.

"The Worst Scientific Scandal Of Our Generation"

Chris Booker in The Telegraph.

"The Dog Ate My Tree Rings"


The most obvious thing that strikes anyone wading through the CRU documents is how easy it was for a small number of "experts" to propel their data-raped conclusions first into a "peer-reviewed" "consensus" and then up through western governments into the international fait accomplis of Kyoto, the IPCC and now Copenhagen. I initially assumed stuff like this was just a bit of naked obstructionism toward a few troublemakers:

I find it hard to believe that the British Antarctic Survey would permit the deletion of relevant files for two recent publications or that there aren't any backups for the deleted data on institutional servers.

But no, it was systemic. Hysterical queens like Gordon Brown are demanding we introduce global taxation, micro-regulation of every aspect of your life, massive multi-trillion dollar transfers from the productive sector to eco-rackets and transnational bureaucracies, bovine flatulence levies and extraterrestrial surveillance of once sovereign states on the basis of fevered speculations for which there is no raw data:

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years...

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building...

In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

The CRU is the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

No raw data, huh? But why let that stand in your way?

Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

But don't worry. It'll all be very scientific. Your carbon allowance numbers will be kept in a big database. Maybe in East Anglia?

"May They Rest In Hell"

A great screed against those who wail about the impending doom of "journalism".

Too much good stuff to excerpt.

Perhaps when these clowns start offering actual journalism, they will begin again to make some actual money.

Myers Finally Chimes In

All he offers is a rant against the Discovery Institute.


All Signs In The Known Universe Cry Out For Total Government Power And Control

Mark Steyn:

This Just In!

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us give thanks that the two greatest all-purpose pretexts for government regulation of every single aspect of your life - "health care" and "the environment" - have now converged. Forget the global warming, global cooling, all the phoney-baloney tree-ring stuff - who can keep track of all that "settled science"? And fortunately we no longer need it, because we have a new rationale for the massive multitrillion-dollar Copenhagen shakendownen. Drumroll, please!

But slashing carbon dioxide emissions also could save millions of lives, mostly by reducing preventable deaths from heart and lung diseases, according to studies published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Government regulation of health care justifies government regulation of the environment: Ingenious!

There's even more ingenious health/environmental consilience noted by Steyn here. The world is a rich tapestry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

He's On It

Perusing the Science! blog Pharyngula, here is how P.Z. Myers has covered "Climategate" since it broke a week ago Thursday (post titles working backwards newest to oldest):

  • Kindle improves!
  • The University of Minnesota has failed to enshrine racism in its policies!
  • Hitler's library
  • Renounce your pomp! [highlighting an anti-Vatican video]
  • Hello, Southern California!
  • An Australian double standard [about an atheist conference down there]
  • A wicked twist [about a "nasty old Christian bigot"]
  • Darn it, I didn't even know these were on the market [Thanksgiving post about a fictional cross between an octopus and a Turkey]
  • Friday Cephalopod: Black Friday [just a graphic, but amazingly it has something to do with PZ's scientific specialty]
  • Congratulations to the Ladens [birth announcement]
  • The pie made from the cursed undead heart of the vengeful bride of the son of the thread that will not die!
  • Looks nothing like me [graphic of some sort of octopus pirate thing flippin' the bird]
  • Try not to think Catholic thoughts today, if you can help it
  • Reality is a liberal conspiracy
  • Happy Wary Vigilance Day! [He doesn't like the idea of Thanksgiving]
  • Greg Epstein is a very nice fellow [about a guy who wrote a book "Good Without God" ]
  • I get email — and create a contest! [where he says of his opponents: "Want another reason to avoid debating creationists? It's like giving a mangy, limping, scab-encrusted starving fleabait cat a saucer of milk — you'll never be rid of the whimpering dependent.]
  • I'm profiled in New Scientist [isn't that special]
  • Rom Houben is still a victim [skepticism about the guy who allegedly awakened from the 23 year coma]
  • Educate La Sierra in the Truth…with a poll [Set those Seventh Day Adventists straight!]
  • We're all still recovering from Skepticon
  • Keef gets it right [interestingly a comic that trashes "Primate change deniers"]
  • Happy Anniversary, Origin…some bad news [Lamenting that CNN published a piece by Stephen Meyer]
  • Happy Anniversary, Origin…some good news
  • Kirk Cameron embarrasses himself [about Kirk Cameron getting "rhetorically bitch slapped"]

Okay...Enough! This only gets us to last Tuesday.

Nothing there about "Climategate".

But, to be fair, precious little about science in general, so maybe that explains it.

"Climategate" Has In One Week Caught Up With "Global Warming" As A Search Term On Google

And "Global Warming" had a decades-long head start.


10,100,000 hits for "Global Warming", 10,400,000 hits for "Climategate". But it's not a real news story. Just fringe.

The MSM, Subtracting Value From The Pursuit Of News And Information

Mark Steyn:

Michael Gerson has lousy timing. In The Washington Post, in one of those now familiar elegies for old media, he writes:

And the whole system is based on a kind of intellectual theft. Internet aggregators (who link to news they don't produce) and bloggers would have little to collect or comment upon without the costly enterprise of newsgathering and investigative reporting. The old-media dinosaurs remain the basis for the entire media food chain.

That's laughably untrue in the Warmergate story. If you rely on the lavishly remunerated "climate correspondents" of the big newspapers and networks, you'll know nothing about the Climate Research Unit scandals - just the business-as-usual drivel about Boston being underwater by 2011. Indeed, even when a prominent media warm-monger addresses the issue, the newspaper prefers to reprint a month-old column predating the scandal. If you follow online analysis from obscure websites on the fringes of the map, you'll know what's going on. If you go to the convenience store and buy today's newspaper, you won't. That's the problem.

If anyone needs newspapers, it ought to be for stories like this. If there were no impending ecopalypse, then "climate science" would be a relatively obscure field, as it was up to a generation ago. Now it produces celebrity scientists living high off the hog of billions in grants. They thus have a vested interest in maintaining the planet's-gonna-fry line. So what do the media do? Instead of exposing the thesis to rigorous journalistic examination, they stage fluffy green stunts, run soft-focus "living green" features with Hollywood "activists", and at a time of massive staff cutbacks in every other department create the positions of specialist "climate correspondent" and "environmental reporter" and fill them with sycophantic promoters of the Big Scare to the point that, as Dr Mann coos approvingly to The New York Times, "you've taken the words out of my mouth".

What Gerson writes ought to be true. Warmergate demonstrates why it isn't.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Do Atheists Care One Whit About Real Science?

Perhaps not the most outspoken ones:

At Least The ClimateGate Scientists Didn’t Admit Going to Church

The silence of the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere on the ClimateGate scandal is remarkable.

For years, readers of Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, Neurologica, WhyEvolutionIsTrue, Denialism, Respectful Insolence, and other militantly ‘pro-science’ blogs have been treated to rants about the need to protect the integrity of science from frauds and ideologically motivated practitioners. Of course, ‘protection of the integrity of science’ in the faux 'pro-science' blogsphere has generally meant suppression of skeptics who question so-called 'consensus science' on Darwinism and on Anthropogenic Global Warming. ‘Protection of science’ has more often that not entailed personal invective, recourse to ‘consensus’, advocacy of professional destruction of skeptics, deference to scientific authorities, censorship, and judicial coercion.

The ClimateGate e-mails and data sets obtained from the Climate Research Unit in England reveal scientific misconduct and criminal fraud on a massive scale. This documented pervasive scientific fraud suggests a darker meaning of 'consensus' in 'consensus science'. The Brahmins of climate science are, by their own words, frauds. Data on global temperatures was faked, withheld, and, if sought by skeptics with sufficient vigor, deleted. Climate scientists conspired to undermine peer review and to destroy the careers of other scientists who attempted to replicate their results. Exhortation to integrity and transparency was utterly absent from the communications. The e-mail conversations, had they been those of business executives, would invoke R.I.C.O. statutes. Trillions of dollars, and the economies and even governmental structure of many nations, depend on the integrity of this science. And there is no integrity.

Yet the militant pro-science blogsphere has been silent about this enormous scientific scandal.

Compare the pro-science blogosphere’s silence about fraud and scientific misconduct in climate science to another recent controversy in science: the appointment of Francis Collins as Director of the National Institutes of Health. Collins is a scientist of the highest professional and personal reputation. His scandal, according to the science blogsphere, is this:

He’s a Christian who publicly talks about his belief in God.

The ‘pro-science’ blogsphere… exploded.

[examples follow]

None of these blogs, at the time my writing of this post, has any discussion about the massive scandal in Climate Science. What duplicity. A Christian is appointed to a government science post, and the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere explodes. When a movie- a freakin’ movie (Expelled)- is released, the pro-science blogsphere descends into a vortex of angst that persists to this day. Yet when the integrity of a major field of global science is destroyed- not threatened, but destroyed- by smoking-gun evidence of massive systematic scientific misconduct and fraud, the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere gets writer's cramp. Dead silence.

Note to the investigators pouring over the thousands of ClimateGate e-mails, computer code, and data: Keep up the scrutiny. The integrity of science must be protected. If you find any evidence that any of these scientists went to church or were planning to make a movie, contact the science blogs immediately.

For a lot of people, "Science" is the cover, atheism is the real point.

The Fraud Has Been Exposed At An Interesting Time

When folks are already deeply, deeply distrustful of those in charge, who have proven over the last couple of years that they are only interested in making good time ransacking the economy before there's nothing left to steal. And now the climate scam.

James Delingpole on the current mood:

I’ve just had a great, very sympathetic interview about Climategate on LBC radio (London’s main commercial news and talk station) with Petrie Hosken. She told me she has been simply inundated with callers, all of them utterly unconvinced that human influence has made any significant on so-called “Global Warming”. She was desperate to get a few balancing calls from people who do believe in AGW but just couldn’t find any.

Can you imagine this happening a year ago? Or even a month ago? Until Climategate, we “Sceptics” were considered freaks – almost as bad as Holocaust deniers – beyond the pale of reasonable balanced discussion. Suddenly we’re the norm. Climategate has finally given us the chance to express openly what many of us secretly felt all along:

AGW is about raising taxes; increasing state control; about a few canny hucksters who’ve leapt on the bandwagon fleecing us rotten with their taxpayer subsidised windfarms and their carbon-trading; about the sour, anti-capitalist impulses of sandal-wearing vegans and lapsed Communists who loathe the idea of freedom and a functioning market economy.

We know it’s all a crock and we’re not going to take it.

This is our Berlin Wall moment! They can’t stop us now!

The Trouble Of "Outsourcing Your Marbles" To The Omniscient Process Of "Peer Review"

Mark Steyn:

My favorite moment in the Climategate/Climaquiddick scandal currently roiling the "climate change" racket was Stuart Varney's interview on Fox News with the actor Ed Begley Jr., star of the 1980s medical drama "St Elsewhere" but latterly better known, as is the fashion with members of the thespian community, as an "activist." He's currently in a competition with Bill Nye ("the Science Guy") to see who can have the lowest "carbon footprint." Pistols at dawn would seem the quickest way of resolving that one, but presumably you couldn't get a reality series out of it. Anyway, Ed was relaxed about the mountain of documents recently leaked from Britain's Climate Research Unit, in which the world's leading climate-change warm-mongers e-mail each other back and forth on how to "hide the decline" and other interesting matters.

Nothing to worry about, folks. "We'll go down the path and see what happens in peer-reviewed studies," said Ed airily. "Those are the key words here, Stuart. 'Peer-reviewed studies.'"

Hang on. Could you say that again more slowly so I can write it down? Not to worry. Ed said it every 12 seconds, as if it were the magic charm that could make all the bad publicity go away. He wore an open-necked shirt, and, although I don't have a 76-inch HDTV, I wouldn't have been surprised to find a talismanic peer-reviewed amulet nestling in his chest hair for additional protection. "If these scientists have done something wrong, it will be found out and their peers will determine it," insisted Ed. "Don't get your information from me, folks, or any newscaster. Get it from people with Ph.D. after their names. 'Peer-reviewed studies' is the key words. And if it comes out in peer-reviewed studies."


Look for the peer-reviewed label! And then just believe whatever it is they tell you!

The trouble with outsourcing your marbles to the peer-reviewed set is that, if you take away one single thing from the leaked documents, it's that the global warm-mongers have wholly corrupted the "peer-review" process. When it comes to promoting the impending ecopalypse, the Climate Research Unit is the nerve-center of the operation. The "science" of the CRU dominates the "science" behind the United Nations IPCC, which dominates the "science" behind the Congressional cap-and-trade boondoggle, the upcoming Copenhagen shakindownen of the developed world, and the now-routine phenomenon of leaders of advanced, prosperous societies talking like gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell, whether it's President Barack Obama promising to end the rise of the oceans or the Prince of Wales saying we only have 96 months left to save the planet.

But don't worry, it's all "peer-reviewed."

Here's what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by "peer review". When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann "consensus," Jones demanded that the journal "rid itself of this troublesome editor," and Mann advised that "we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers."

So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the "consensus" reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley ("one of the world's foremost experts on climate change") suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to "get him ousted." When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Which, in essence, is what they did. The more frantically they talked up "peer review" as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: "How To Forge A Consensus." Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That's "peer review," climate-style. The more their echo chamber shriveled, the more Mann and Jones insisted that they and only they represent the "peer-reviewed" "consensus." And gullible types like Ed Begley Jr. and Andrew Revkin of the New York Times fell for it hook, line and tree-ring.

The e-mails of "Andy" (as his CRU chums fondly know him) are especially pitiful. Confronted by serious questions from Stephen McIntyre, the dogged Ontario retiree whose "Climate Audit" Web site exposed the fraud of Dr. Mann's global-warming "hockey stick" graph, "Andy" writes to Dr. Mann to say not to worry, he's going to "cover" the story from a more oblique angle:

"I'm going to blog on this as it relates to the value of the peer review process and not on the merits of the mcintyre et al attacks.

"peer review, for all its imperfections, is where the herky-jerky process of knowledge building happens, would you agree?"

And, amazingly, Dr. Mann does!

"Re, your point at the end – you've taken the words out of my mouth."

And that's what Andrew Revkin did, week in, week out: He took the words out of Michael Mann's mouth and served them up to impressionable readers of the New York Times and opportunist politicians around the world champing at the bit to inaugurate a vast global regulatory body to confiscate trillions of dollars of your hard-earned wealth in the cause of "saving the planet" from an imaginary crisis concocted by a few dozen thuggish ideologues. If you fall for this after the revelations of the past week, you're as big a dupe as Begley or Revkin.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" wondered Juvenal: Who watches the watchmen? But the beauty of the climate-change tree-ring circus is that you never need to ask "Who peer-reviews the peer-reviewers?" Mann peer-reviewed Jones, and Jones peer-reviewed Mann, and anyone who questioned their theories got exiled to the unwarmed wastes of Siberia. The "consensus" warm-mongers could have declared it only counts as "peer-reviewed" if it's published in Peer-Reviewed Studies published by Mann & Jones Publishing Inc. (Peermate of the Month: Al Gore, reclining naked, draped in dead polar bear fur, on a melting ice floe), and Ed Begley Jr. and "Andy" Revkin would still have wandered out, glassy-eyed, into the streets droning "Peer-reviewed studies. Cannot question. Peer-reviewed studies. The science is settled ..."

A Nice Little Manifesto

From this comment:

You the environmentalists, you the activists, you the campaigners.

You who have watched with growing concern the ways in which the world around us has been ravaged in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

You who are concerned with the state of the planet that we are leaving for our children and our grandchildren and those generations yet unborn.

This is not a message of divisiveness, but cooperation.

This is a message of hope and empowerment, but it requires us to look at a hard and uncomfortable truth:

Your movement has been usurped by the very same financial interests you thought you were fighting against.

You have suspected as much for years.

You watched at first with hope and excitement as your movement, your cause, your message began to spread, as it was taken up by the media and given attention, as conferences were organized and as the ideas you had struggled so long and hard to be heard were talked about nationally. Then internationally.

You watched with growing unease as the message was simplified. First it became a slogan. Then it became a brand. Soon it was nothing more than a label and it became attached to products. The ideas you had once fought for were now being sold back to you. For profit.

You watched with growing unease as the message became parroted, not argued, worn like a fashion rather than something that came from the conviction of understanding.

You disagreed when the slogans–and then the science–were dumbed down. When carbon dioxide became the focus and CO2 was taken up as a political cause. Soon it was the only cause.

You knew that Al Gore was not a scientist, that his evidence was factually incorrect, that the movement was being taken over by a cause that was not your own, one that relied on beliefs you did not share to propose a solution you did not want. It began to reach a breaking point when you saw that the solutions being proposed were not solutions at all, when they began to propose new taxes and new markets that would only serve to line their own pockets.

You knew something was wrong when you saw them argue for a cap-and-trade scheme proposed by Ken Lay, when you saw Goldman Sachs position itself to ride the carbon trading bubble, when the whole thrust of the movement became ways to make money or spend money or raise money from this panic.

Your movement had been hijacked.

The realization came the first time you read The Club of Rome’s 1991 book, The First Global Revolution, which says:

“In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

And when you looked at the Club of Rome’s elite member roster. And when you learnt about eugenics and the Rockefeller ties to the Kaiser Willhelm Institute and the practice of crypto-eugenics and the rise of overpopulation fearmongering and the call by elitist after elitist after elitist to cull the world population.

Still, you wanted to believe that there was some basis of truth, something real and valuable in the single-minded obsession of this hijacked environmental movement with manmade global warming.

Now, in November 2009, the last traces of doubt have been removed.

Last week, an insider leaked internal documents and emails from the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University and exposed the lies, manipulation and fraud behind the studies that supposedly show 0.6 degrees Celsius of warming over the last 130 years. And the hockey stick graph that supposedly shows unprecedented warming in our times. And the alarmist warning of impending climate disaster.

We now know that these scientists wrote programming notes in the source code of their own climate models admitting that results were being manually adjusted.

We now know that values were being adjusted to conform to scientists’ wishes, not reality.

We now know that the peer review process itself was being perverted to exclude those scientists whose work criticized their findings.

We now know that these scientists privately expressed doubts about the science that they publicly claimed to be settled.

We now know, in short, that they were lying.

It is unknown as yet what the fallout will be from all of this, but it is evident that the fallout will be substantial.

With this crisis, however, comes an opportunity. An opportunity to recapture the movement that the financiers have stolen from the people.

Together, we can demand a full and independent investigation into all of the researchers whose work was implicated in the CRU affair.

We can demand a full re-evaluation of all those studies whose conclusions have been thrown into question by these revelations, and all of the public policy that has been based on those studies.

We can establish new standards of transparency for scientists whose work is taxpayer funded and/or whose work effects public policy, so that everyone has full and equal access to the data used to calculate results and all of the source code used in all of the programs used to model that data.

In other words, we can reaffirm that no cause is worth supporting that requires deception for its propagation.

Even more importantly, we can take back the environmental movement.

We can begin to concentrate on the serious questions that need to be asked about the genetic engineering technology whereby hybrid organisms and new, never-before-seen proteins that are being released into the biosphere in a giant, uncontrolled experiment that threatens the very genome of life on this planet.

We can look into the environmental causes of the explosion in cancer and the staggering drops in fertility over the last 50 years, including the BPA in our plastics and the anti-androgens in the water.

We can examine regulatory agencies that are controlled by the very corporations they are supposedly watching over.

We can begin focusing on depleted uranium and the dumping of toxic waste into the rivers and all of the issues that we once knew were part of the mandate of the real environmental movement.

Or we can, as some have, descend into petty partisan politics. We can decide that lies are OK if they support ‘our’ side. We can defend the reprehensible actions of the CRU researchers and rally around the green flag that has long since been captured by the enemy.

It is a simple decision to make, but one that we must make quickly, before the argument can be spun away and environmentalism can go back to business as usual.

We are at a crossroads of history. And make no mistake, history will be the final judge of our actions. So I leave you today with a simple question: Which side of history do you want to be on?

Science Is A Self-Correcting Enterprise, As Long As The Correction Is Happening At Some Other Time, In Some Other Place, On Some Other Theory

In looking at the scientific responses to the "Climate-gate" revelations (here, for example, and in the associated comments), I'm finding an attitude that says, "We know that there is no scandal and that AGW is sound, because science is a self-correcting enterprise." All of this sidesteps the question of whether or not the self-correction is something that needs to take place right here, right now, and on this particular theory. If self-correction is always conveniently taking place somewhere and somewhen else, then when precisely is it ever really taking place?

The attitude reminds me of the old joke about the "Efficient Market" economist who won't pick a twenty-dollar bill up off the sidewalk, because if it were really there someone else would have already picked it up!

So come on, scientists, you're going to need to prove for once that Science! really is a self-correcting enterprise. Even when the chips are down.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Author Of The Republican War On Science's War On Science

Chris Mooney sides with the climate scammers. Looks like his post generated some good comments.

You Had To Know This Was Coming

The first "Hitler's Bunker" climate fraud video. Not as funny as I'm sure they'll get, but a good start.

Darwinists, You're Going To Need To Step Up

To attempt to kill--successfully or not--the "Climate-gate" scandal with silence, without demonstrating that you are outraged by what is going on in the name of Science! is absolutely, positively going to leave your own credibility in ruins. All your talk of a "self-correcting enterprise", "peer review", "science proceeding by truth and not brass-knuckle politics" will be in tatters. And laughably so.

If science is truly the glorious, self-correcting enterprise you so triumphantly claim, then when it comes to stepping up and doing some correctin' of your errant peers, that time is now.

Worst Of The Worst Is "PhD Quality Code"

Here's a great AJ Strata post.

Software that might result in death or injury is rationally, painstakingly designed and thoroughly tested. Software that could result in the squandering of trillions, and the extinction of freedoms? Not so much.

There's Simply No Story

A google search using the terms [ "hide the decline" + climate + CRU ] currently turns up 400,000 hits...

America's Rebirth

Where we've been, where we are, where we're going.

A very well-written and hopefully not over-optimistic analysis.

The Data Is Right There, In The Correction Coefficients!

Nothing to see here:

Eric S. Raymond is a software developer and advocate of the open source software movement. He wrote a seminal paper called The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which explained why open processes are more effective than top down ones. He has been studying the code used by the scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, whose work raised serious questions about the quality of the research being used to underpin the proposed $1 trillion Cap'n Trade bill stalled in Congress. Here's what Eric found in the computer code:

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/ , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s -- see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn't just a smoking gun, it's a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.

Or as one of the commenters to Eric's post said:

They didn’t just cook the data; they marinated it for a week, put on a rub, laid it in the smoker for a day and a half, sliced it up, wrapped it in bacon, dipped it in batter, rolled it around in flour, and deep fried it.

American Thinker has more here.

Bravura Post

Amazingly good post by The Anchoress. Read it all, but here's an excerpt:

There is a lot to read about Climategate, but none of it is in the Mainstream Media, with the exception of the Obama-Administration described “not real news” organization. That would be Fox News, which is covering the story.

The New York Times, in a stunning bit of hypocrisy, says they won’t report on Climategate because they didn’t like the way the information was discovered. To the NY TImes, the real story, if they ever deign to cover it, will be about the method in which the story was found, and the ends not justifying means.

There is a valid nit to pick over hacking and how it threatens not just programs but governments and individuals. But when an entire global movement, with accompanying financial interests and public bullying has been founded on “science” that is -at the very least- now confirmed to be “unsettled,” that information, regardless of how it was brought to light, needs to be reported on and investigated.

The NY Times’ prim distaste for the means of disclosure on this issue rather reminds me of a few years back, when someone leaded a memo from the Senate Intelligence Committee, whereby Sen. Jay Rockefeller suggested strategies to undermine “Bush’s war,” and the mainstream media ignored the content of the memo, while waxing indignant over the leak.

The standard media, it seems, only like leaks when they serve their own agendas, or take down their perceived enemies, foreign and domestic.

So, they don’t like this Climategate Story, not at all. Troubling links and trouble, trouble for the narrative.

Let me tell you why the press is blacking out the Climategate story:

In a nutshell, Climategate is a destroyer of world-views. As someone who has always maintained that the AGW hype was a matter of politicians and grifters seizing an opportunity to use unsettled science as a means of getting filthy rich while imposing harsh measures against human freedom, I am very familiar with the world-view of the alarmists. Whenever I wrote about the “hoo-hah” of AGW (and particularly of Al Gore’s stupendous, international fake-out and hypocrisy), my email would load up with people telling me I was “a stupid hick,” unschooled in scientific method (just like Al Gore) and therefore unentitled to opine on anything, so I should just “shut up” and “go away” and of course, I was a “nazi.” These emails occasionally ended with a diatribe against George W. Bush for good measure, and suggested he and I were both “criminals” against humanity. One person even accused me of being Barbara Bush, in disguise.

All of that was standard-issue hate, but nowhere as amusing as the occasional “Sinner, fry in hell” emails I will get from a Jack Chicker, so I stopped reading them long ago.

But I also had a journalist I admired, and who I still consider a friend, privately and gently suggest that if I doubted the truth about AGW then I was as deluded (and perhaps as evil) as a “holocaust denier.”

Yes. The left went that far. The press went that far. They embraced this unsettled science, this unproven theory, with a fervor of moral righteousness; to dispute AGW was to be a bad and stupid person, even if were a dissenting scientist.

To question the point of “environmentally sound” lightbulbs that give bad light and create a dangerous and toxic risk when they break was to “not get the point,” which was that the planet was “dying” thanks to Hanukkah candles and incandescent lightbulbs.

To suggest that large-numbers of privileged people flying scores of private planes to exotic locals, gorging themselves on fine fare while deciding how the common folk ought to live, in order to “save” the planet from AGW was bizarre, wasteful and hypocritical in an era of video-conferencing, was to be sniffed at as “insipid.” Didn’t one understand the power of the Gore Indulgence carbon-offset? Just pay some money to the man with the absolute moral authority on all things green, and your sins are covered. Somewhere, a tree is planted.

The scam of AGW was permitted to gain the foothold it did, because of George W. Bush.

It’s Bush’s fault: if Bush had not fought back when CBS News called Florida for Al Gore before polls in the panhandle had closed, if Bush had not taken Gore’s selective re-count to the Supreme Court, if Bush had just taken those hanging chads like a man and allowed Al Gore to ascend to the presidency (as he’d been groomed to do before he sighed and fumed his way through debates, put his common sense into a lockbox and stumbled into the Buddhist convent, discovering the existence of “no controlling legal authority,”) whether the Vice-President actually won or not (the NY Times eventually admitted “not”) then Al Gore would not have had to seek redemption and his fortune in climate hucksterism, and the left would not have had to over-indulge him in it, overcompensating in order to “kick Bush in the leg.”

That’s basically it. The AGW/Climate Change question became a rigorous boondoggle that got out of control not because the scientist who first suggested a connection between human carbon emission and a change in climate were bad people, or that the question was not worth asking, but because bad people then took the uncertain hypothesis, put it on media-fueled steroids, demonized anyone who disagreed with them, made it political -so much so that even the scientists got caught up in the good/bad, smart/stupid, Gore/Bush, Left/Right identifiers- and found real power there; they allowed the AGW movement to become the dubious centering pole upholding the giant circus tent of their worldviews.

As such, it is not permitted to be shaken. Shake the centering pole, and everything could come tumbling down: Oh. My. Gawd! If the Gore-doubters were right about this, what else might they be right about? And if they’re all stupid, and I’m smart, but they’re right and I’m wrong . . .


If the true-believers of AGW got this wrong, and they’d attached it to all of their politics, all of their hate, all of their superiority, then everything is in a free-fall.

And this is why the mainstream media cannot possibly report on Climategate until they have an acceptable counter-narrative that they can haul out in order to either debunk the story or soften its edges, even as they break the news.

The press, who spent a huge portion of their credibility convincing America that President Bush was a “liar” and a “power-abuser” and an “arrogant chump who made the world (read Chirac and Schroeder) hate us” and then spent the balance of their capital carrying into office a man whose every utterance comes with an expiration date, who seems to have very quickly abused his power and has treated our traditional allies (who were partnering well with the United States from 2004-on) with contempt or disinterest. The press really cannot afford to admit that almost nothing they have said in the past 9 years has escaped ideological or political framing to suit their agenda. Implode, they will.

So the story must not be told, until it can be told from their self-protective angle which is undoubtedly under development as you read this.

A Cabinet That Looks Like America

This histogram explains quite a bit.

Jonah Goldberg

On the climate scam:

One reason this seemed to me like less of a big deal at first was that the individual e-mails — "hide the decline" and so forth — while damning, also seemed open to interpretation. And I still think that's the case in some instances. But what seems incontrovertible at this point is that the global-warming industry (and it is an industry) is suffused to its core with groupthink and bad faith. For many of us, this is not shocking news. But it is shocking evidence. Proving bad faith and groupthink is very hard to do. But now we have the internal dialog of those afflicted made public (I hope some intrepid reporters are asking other climate institutions whether they are no erasing their files for fear of being similarly exposed). It is clear that the scientists at the CRU were more interested in punishing dissenters and constructing a p.r. campaign than they were in actual science.

This should be considered not merely a scientific scandal but an enormous journalistic scandal. The elite press treats skepticism about global warming as a mental defect. It uses a form of the No True Scotsman fallacy to delegitimize people who dissent from the (manufactured) "consensus." Dissent is scientifically unserious, therefore dissenting scientist A is unserious. There's no way to break in. The moment someone disagrees with the "consensus" they disqualify themselves from criticizing the consensus. That's not how science is supposed to work. Skeptics who've received a tote bag from some oil company are branded as shills, but scientists who live off of climate-change-obsessed foundations or congressional fiefdoms are objective, call-it-like-they-see-it truth seekers. Question these folks and you get a Bill Murrayesque, "Back off, man. We're scientists."

An even larger reason this is a journalistic scandal is that governments want to spend — literally — trillions of dollars on climate change. Industries want to make billions off it. The poor will be hurt. Economies wrenched apart. And journalistic skepticism is almost nowhere to be found. If you know people in the "skeptic community" (for want of a better term) or even just normal, honest scientists, the observation that federal and foundation funding and groupthink is driving, or at least distorting, the climate debate is commonplace. But it's given almost no oxygen in the elite press, because they are in on it.

PJTV Thanksgiving


The Current Annual Deficit Is Actually $2 Trillion

Denninger makes the case.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"They Discovered They’d Built Their Conclusions On Fine Beach Sand, But The Tide Was Coming In."

"Climategate Computer Codes Are the Real Story"

These guys have been hiding their own data, because they don't have a chance in hell of reproducing it themselves.

Always Keep In Mind: We Are, After All, Talking About "Chess-Club Poindexters"

Vox Day:

The reality is that you don't actually need to know very much about science to detect scientific fraud. I would go so far as to argue that non-scientists will tend to be better at noticing scientific fraud than scientists, for what should be the obvious reason that scientists tend to possess a lower level of people skills than the average individual. This means that scientific con men tend to be rather clumsy and obvious compared to the non-scientific variety in in the act and the subsequent excuse-making, and it's only because their fellow scientists are also so clueless about people that they are able to get away with as much as they do.

Of course, if you expect your science BS detector to work, it helps a great deal to not have your sense of identity ensconced in romantic notions of the sanctity of science and the inherently pure intentions of scientists.

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody


via e-mail


Very insightful post from Robin of Berkeley.

"The Assured Results of Critical Scholarship"

Great parody.

"The Last Thing We Know For Sure About Real Pagans Is That They Sought Baptism"

Post title is Chesterton as quoted by Shea, who also quotes John C. Wright:

You see, 'neopaganism' has nothing to do with real paganism and everything to do with antichristianism.

Real pagans celebrated Saturnalia -- if they were Romans or Quviasukvik -- if they are Eskimos. The Germanic tribes had a winter feast day no doubt dedicated to Freyr or Baldr and the Patagonians no doubt have a feast day in honor of Setebos, but only an astronomer would celebrate the solstice because this is an astronomical term devoid of any cultural, ethnic, or religious meaning.

Real pagans were willing to fight for the ashes of their fathers and the altars of their gods, and practiced patriotism as indistinguishable from civic piety.

However, if you are a neopagan (and you joined the coven so that you could both rebel against your parents, find some comfort in a vague 'spirituality' that makes no spiritual demands of you, and continue your various perversions and sins without those nassty Christians condemning you) why, you dare not practice what real pagans practiced, because how could you indulge in pagan ancestor worship if your ancestors are Christian?

What May Turn Out To Be The Biggest Fraud In Scientific History Simply Isn't News

To no one's surprise.

In Touch With His Base


[B]asically Obama’s collapse is broad based and almost complete. He only polls favorably among the youngest adults (18-29), the lowest income levels, the non-religious, and non-white adults. It’s basically a portrait of the hard Left, which is exactly what his agenda represents, and the only political core he’s got. And if he sends more troops to Afghanistan, even some of these numbers may start to fall.

AGW Cultists And Academic Darwinists Are Birds Of A Feather

Read the whole thing, but this par-for-the-course behavior jumped out at me:

But what stood out most for me was extensive evidence of the hijacking of the "peer review" process to enforce global warming dogma. Peer review is the practice of subjecting scientific papers to review by other scientists with relevant expertise before they can be published in professional journals. The idea is to weed out research with obvious flaws or weak arguments, but there is a clear danger that such a process will simply reinforce groupthink. If it is corrupted, peer review can be a mechanism for an entrenched establishment to exclude legitimate challenges by simply refusing to give critics a hearing.

And that is precisely what we find.

In response to an article challenging global warming that was published in the journal Climate Research, CRU head Phil Jones complains that the journal needs to "rid themselves of this troublesome editor"-hopefully not through the same means used by Henry II's knights. Michael Mann replies:

I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.

Note the circular logic employed here. Skepticism about global warming is wrong because it is not supported by scientific articles in "legitimate peer-reviewed journals." But if a journal actually publishes such an article, then it is by definition not "legitimate."

You can also see from these e-mails the scientists' panic at any dissent appearing in the scientific literature. When another article by a skeptic was published in Geophysical Research Letters, Michael Mann complains, "It's one thing to lose Climate Research. We can't afford to lose GRL." Another CRU scientist, Tom Wigley, suggests that they target another troublesome editor: "If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted." That's exactly what they did, and a later e-mail boasts that "The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/new editorial leadership there."

Not content to block out all dissent from scientific journals, the CRU scientists also conspired to secure friendly reviewers who could be counted on to rubber-stamp their own work. Phil Jones suggests such a list to Kevin Trenberth, with the assurance that "All of them know the sorts of things to say...without any prompting."

So it's no surprise when another e-mail refers to an attempt to keep inconvenient scientific findings out of a UN report: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" Think of all of this the next time you hear someone invoke the authority of peer review-or of the UN's IPCC reports-as backing for claims about global warming.

Interestingly, I haven't found that the number one Science! blog has so far had anything whatsoever to say on the topic.

We Live In The Era Of: "Has Your Evil Scheme Blown Up Or Been Exposed? Then Double Down!"

Not a fun read, but at least the truth.


Via Mish:

The economy is struggling, the unemployment rate is high, and many Americans are struggling to pay the bills, but one class of Americans is doing quite well: government workers. Their pay levels are soaring, they enjoy unmatched benefits, and they remain largely immune from layoffs, except for some overly publicized cutbacks around the margins. To make matters worse, government employees—thanks largely to the power of their unions—have carved out special protections that exempt them from many of the rules that other working Americans must live by. California has been on the cutting edge of this dangerous trend, which has essentially turned government employees into a special class of citizens...

Read the rest here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

If You Must Choose Between The Data And Your Model, Go With The Model


Who's Lying About Personal Spending?

Here are your possibilities:

* The BEA is lying. In the third quarter they claim that PCE changed +0.2, +1.4, and -0.6% for July, August and September, respectively, leading to an aggregate change of +1.2%.

* Business that remit sales tax are lying. The overall sales tax collections in the 3rd quarter were down 8.2% from last year's levels, and this is the fourth quarter in a row that year-over-year declines were posted.

One of these two reports is a lie.

One is a count of actual monies remitted by businesses in satisfaction of taxes collected by them from real consumers processing real retail transactions (that's the spending that matters in the real economy, right?)

The other, if you read the BEA methodology papers, has the word estimate peppered liberally throughout.

Which do you believe?

Do you believe that retailers are intentionally under-reporting and under-paying sales taxes?

Or do you believe the BEA's "estimates" are complete horsecrap and that the government is intentionally overstating economic activity?

When you have two radically different claims of measurement of the same activity (in this case consumer spending) that are impossible to reconcile within reasonable "measurement error" the conclusion one is forced to reach is that one of the two reports is false.

The Charge Of The Dim Brigade

Great Rich Lowry column.

The Thrill Is Gone


As Obama’s popularity falls, expect his own partisanship to increase, and the Chicago brass knuckles to be more evident. Obama knows that he can hope and change only until he hits 35-40% approval ratings, and is rendered shouting to half-empty audience halls and a triangulating congress.

Full Steam Ahead

A final prognosis—or why Obama is in deep, deep trouble, since he won’t quit in his dream to transmogrify American into something like Belgium at best and Brazil at worse.

Millions of independents and swing voters went for Obama for five reasons: (1) they believed the media hype that Bush was the “worst” (fill in the blanks); (2) the sudden financial panic of September 2008 and the anger at Wall Street banditry and bail-outs; (3) Obama’s youth, charm, and oratory; (4) the feel-good novelty of voting in our first African-American president; (5) Obama’s centrist campaign message of paying down debt, working with allies, drilling, being tough against Al Qaeda, and being bipartisan.

It’s taken almost 11 months, but voters now know that propositions 1-5 are now refuted or irrelevant:

1) Bush is history. Like Truman, in time he will begin to look better not worse. More importantly, Bush’s sins that bothered voters— too much big government and big deficits—were simply trumped by Obama’s gargantuan deficits and federalization of health care, banking, and the auto industry. “Bush did it” doesn’t work any more. “Obama did it even more” is the new worry.

2) The panic that we would lose all our 401(k’s) and home equity has passed. What we are left with in its wake is a sinking feeling that badgering small business and the Chamber of Commerce, as if they are Goldman Sachs grandees, isn’t working. Raising income, payroll, and surcharge taxes at a time state, local, and sales taxes are surging, is, well, a good way to turn a recession into a depression—or at least a stagflating, weak recovery. Sometime around next March, “Bush’s did it” will transmogrify into Obama’s recession. Obama can’t run against the economy, but must fix it—or take the blame. His best hope is that the Republicans don’t run a demagogic figure such as he himself acted in 2007-8.

3) Obama’s smoothness is getting old. All of us can almost write the next Obama speech: a) “some” say/do, but “I” say/do… The bad straw man is set up, followed by the contrast of the annointed “I” and “me” ad nauseum. b) then comes the apology for the sins of the rest of us—mitigated somewhat by the election of , yes, Barack Obama, the first black President; c) third is the impossible: spending more on health care saves more; cap and trade massive taxes will result in economies; no more lobbyists means gads of them, Bush shredded the Constitution equates into I’m copying his anti-terror protocols; d) an end with hope and change ruffles and flourishes. Bottom line: the oratory is old and trite, given the lack of commensurate accomplishments.

4) On the matter of racial landmarks, some of the voters think, righty or wrongly, that they did their thing, proving America is not racist by the fact of Obama’s election. Now? A lot of independents, however, won’t seem obligated to vote in 2010 or 2012, motivated by the same sense of liberal assuagement of guilt. This been there/done that feeling will be accentuated should Obama’s supporters continue to play the race card as his popularity dips as a result of a statist and neo-socialist agenda.

5) We know now that the campaign was a centrist deception. Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright make logical the presence of the Truther Van Jones and Anita Dunn (cf. her encomium to Mao). His most partisan Senate record presages his near suicidal effort to ram through statist health care, tax hikes, and partisan appointments, in addition to polarizing rhetoric. His campaign promises to meet with Ahmadinejad were not only met, but again trumped by serial apologies, selling out the Poles and Czechs and outreach to Chavez and Castro. In other words, the so-called right-wing nuts who tried to scare the hell out of voters are proving to be Nostradamuses of sorts.


I think not merely the thrill is gone, but a righteous anger about an Obama trifecta— of serial apologies and bows abroad, massive borrowing and deficit spending, and government-take overs of private spheres of life—is swelling up in the electorate. I haven’t seen in my lifetime anything quite like it. And this furor of being had has the potential not just to take Obama down, but also his ideology and supporters along with him for a generation.

At best. Other possible outcomes: the fiscal collapse of government at all levels. The leftists turning the screws tighter and tighter until secession/civil war/revolution breaks out. Or dispirited Americans putting up with it as the country descends into a dog-eat-dog world of the privileged against the vanquished, the ideals of the American Revolution only remembered by a handful of obviously dangerous fringe nutcases.

Horrid Writing

She's going to have to do much better if she wants to be President. I mean, come on.

Jonah Goldberg:

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

SNL Takes It To Obama

Brutal, true, and darned funny.

If All Goes Well, Maybe They Can Also Require Future Public School Teachers To Stomp On A Crucifix

What's the big deal?

STAR TRIBUNE: At U, future teachers may be reeducated.

Do you believe in the American dream — the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools — at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.

In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U’s College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of “the American Dream” in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace — and be prepared to teach our state’s kids — the task force’s own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.

I thought loyalty oaths were out.

See also.


Rand Simberg:

Kepler resolved the issue by demonstrating that the best fit of the motion was not circles within circles, but rather simple ellipses. He came up with simple but powerful and explanatory laws that described the motion of the planets as a function of their distance from the sun. Newton in turn used this finding to validate his own universal theory of gravitation.


About a century ago, another physicist, Albert Einstein, came up with a new theory of gravitation. A key part of it is that Newton’s laws must be adjusted slightly to account for the near presence of large masses. By Einstein’s new theory of general relativity, of which Newton’s earlier theory was simply a special case for velocities much less than that of light and locations not adjacent to very large masses, Mercury’s motion was perfectly explained by its close proximity to the sun.

Over thousands of years, at each step, the response of the scientists was to continually adjust and refine their theories to conform to the data, not the other way around. This is how science is done and how we developed the knowledge that has given us such tremendous and accelerating scientific and technological breakthroughs in the past century. It is occasionally reasonable to throw out a bad data point if it is in defiance of an otherwise satisfactory model fit, as long as everyone knows that you’ve done so and the rationale, but a deliberate and unrevealed fudging of results in an attempt to make the real world fit one’s preconceptions is beyond the scientific pale. Journal articles have been thrown out for it; PhD candidates have lost their degrees for it.

But such behavior, along with attempts to cover it up and dishonestly discredit critics, is exactly what was revealed in a leak of emails last Friday from a research facility in eastern England. And it was not the behavior of previously unknown researchers on some arcane topic of little interest to anyone outside their own field. It was the behavior of leading luminaries in perhaps the greatest scientific issue and controversy of our age: Whether or not the planet is warming to a potentially dangerous degree as a result of humanity’s influence. It is a subject on which billions — if not trillions — of dollars worth of future economic growth and costs hinge. It was the basis for the massive “cap and trade” bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the spring and seems stalled in the Senate.


It is hard (perhaps impossible) to know the motives of the people who would so betray the basic precepts of science. It is easy to postulate that they have political aims, and there are certainly many “watermelon” environmentalists (green on the outside, “red” on the inside) who see the green movement as a new means to continue to push socialist and big-government agendas, after a momentary setback with the collapse of the Soviet Union two decades ago.


[W]hat they did was not science, and they should be drummed out of that profession. They can no longer be trusted.

Many in the climate change community have condemned what they call “skeptics,” often to the point of declaring them de facto criminals and assigning them to the same category as Holocaust deniers. They tell us that “the science is settled” and that we should shut up. But every scientist worthy of the name should be a skeptic. Every theory should be subject to challenge on a scientific basis. Every claim of a model’s validity should be accompanied by the complete model and data set that supposedly validated it, so that it can be replicated. That is how science works. It is how it advances. And when the science is supposedly “settled” and they refuse to do so, it’s not unreasonable to wonder why.

Well, now we know.

In fact, when scientists become politicians but continue to pretend to be doing science, that is the real crime. The theory being promoted by these men was being used to justify government actions that would result in greatly diminished future economic growth of the most powerful economy on earth (and the rest of the world as well). It would make it more difficult and less affordable to address any real problems that might be caused in the future by a change in climate, whether due to human activity or other causes. It could impoverish millions in the future, with little actual change in adverse climate effects. And when such a theory has the potential to do so much unjustified harm, and it has a fraudulent basis, who are the real criminals against humanity?

"You Can Screw People Only So Many Times Before They Tire Of It And Simply Leave You To Play In Your Rigged Casino - With Yourself."

Excellent market-ticker post.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Credibility Remains

Good Anchoress post re:the press.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"I Don't Believe In Nothin' No More. I'm Going To Law School!!"

Heaven help us.

Title of this post is from a Simpson's reference.

The "Problem Of Evil" Is A Theological, Not A Scientific Question

And oh, why does the NCSE have a theologian? Why would they need a theologian, if science speaks for itself?


The Glory Of Unions

Both the main post and its comments have lots of fun examples of the value these extortion syndicates add to society.

Strong Words From An Expected Source

Denninger, in top form.

Sonja Schmidt

I finally got around to viewing this. Good stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Then There Was The Caps-Lock Incident!"

The Onion does what everyone else claims is impossible.

Who Do You Think You Are?

How dare, you oppose us, you mere pewling little...citizen!


Fun Times


The Great Disconnect

One of the oddest things is President Obama’s continuing surprise at the rising unemployment rate. Indeed, we now have a new Orwellianism of “jobs saved”: as jobs are lost, we are told that some of those who do have them were “saved” by President Obama (note the logic: you ignore the stats that quantify reality, but hype fantasy).

If you were a contractor, a car dealer, a dentist, or an accountant, and if you heard that we may/will/sorta raise federal income taxes, lift the tax caps off FICA, think about a VAT tax, impose a health care surcharge on the “wealthy,” have new mandatory fees for forced medical plans and green energy, and had you just got hit with new raised sales and state income taxes, why would you feel secure about the future and gamble on it by hiring more employees?

And if you were to read daily that gold is rising, the dollar crashing, the debt and deficit exploding, the trade imbalance surging, and if you collated all that depression with cheap slurs about doctors, the Chamber of Commerce, the insurance industry, etc. as grasping and greedy, and if you were caricatured as a Nazi, astro-turfer, tea-bagger, or racist if you protested, and if you saw the federal government taking over banks and car companies, and shutting down some dealerships, but mysteriously not others, and if you heard of vast new entitlements and programs to come, from a take-over of the student loan program to cap and trade, would you then conclude—“Wow, we have a serious sober President who supports the business climate, and will lead us out of recession, so by golly, I am going to go out and hire 2-3 more people to ride the coming wave of increased business!”?

Or would you instead conclude, “Hmm, our commander in chief likes neither me nor what I represent. He will take much of my profits and divert them to his own favored constituencies. So I better slow down, retrench, cut back, squirrel away some money to pay for new fees on power and health insurance, and find a smart accountant to advise on curbing my income so I don’t end up giving 70% to the state and federal governments”?

At some point, Obama may conclude that the vast presidential jet, the opulence of the Presidency, the power and influence at his fingertips, all that national wealth and more were not created by Acorn, community organizing, Michelle’s legal brilliance, Axelrod’s savvy advice, or Emanuel’s crassness, or by claiming that doctors needlessly take out tonsils and amputate limbs, or in general by sonorous tones promising to give someone vast amounts of someone else’s money, but rather through preserving a climate of freedom, respect for continuity and tradition, and government non-intrusion into the market place that encourage people to try to go into business and retain some of their profits—as recompense for getting up on Saturday morning at 6AM to get down to open the dry cleaning store, or borrowing one’s net worth to open a new stationary outlet, or staying late till 7PM to do a crown, or gambling that the new $500,000 crane will pay for itself in 5 years, or going under someone’s house on a Sunday to unclog the toilet when the employee doesn’t show up.

I expect him soon either to continue as is and face a historic rebuke in 2010, or to begin scrambling to talk about the debt, fiscal sobriety, and American exceptionalism—his Carter or Clinton call.

These are the most interesting of times: we are witnessing nothing less than an attempt in just 10 months to reinvent the United States at home and abroad into something it never was, led by someone who, the more soothing, comforting, and melodic his speech-making, the more bruising, cut-throat, and ruthless the act that follows.

So it’s like we’re living in the late Roman Republic…

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Money Grubbing Capitalist Pigs

No real surprise:

HEH: “A company is replacing 28 unionized workers in New York with cheaper, non-union workers in Florida. If anyone else did this it would be a cue for an editorial in the New York Times denouncing ‘greedy corporate interests,’ but in this case, the company doing it is the New York Times.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds at 7:19 am

The MSM Keeps Probing Deeper Depths Of Retardation

Cases in point.

And let's nor forget this recent bit of thorough asininity.

Look What Those Darned Reckless Republicans Did

Then look one bar to the right.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nicely Played

I liked the way this comment was worded (from this thread):

And, might I add, your use of ALL CAPS lends your pronouncements a certain erudite gravitas.

I Wish You Doofuses Had Gotten Your Thinking Straight On This Before Now

A telling poll. Ed Morrissey opines.

Engineering A Permanent Mob

Implicit marginal tax rates exceeding 100%. Now that's a hell of an incentive to leave the underclass. And it's only going to get worse. But that's good for Democrats!!

Sunny Prognosis


Since Volcker's time at The Fed the executive and legislative branches have willingly turned a blind eye to the scam machine known as "Wall Street." Oh sure, Wall Street has legitimate functions - capital formation is important, as is floating bond sales. No problems there. The issue comes about when the 50 basis points is no longer enough and greed starts to press people to look for 55, then 60, then 100 - and the only way to do it is to lie, cheat and steal. The campaign coffers fill up and the byzantine world of Federal Law and Regulation come out to protect the cheaters, even if only by obfuscation.

Likewise when the politicians want to spend more money. Normally you'd have to tax more to spend more, but that's not politically acceptable. So we float some more bonds, claim everything is ok, and off we go spending money we don't have. "Deficits don't matter" becomes the mantra, and despite the fact that many Democrats bemoaned Dick Cheney mouthing those words, President Obama and Pelosi's House have done nothing to change that viewpoint. Instead they have accelerated the unsupportable spending - full throttle.

What is supposed to happen to scammers is that when they get caught they go to pound-you-in-the-butt Federal Prison (not the "Club Fed" golf outing style) and the companies they run lose their corporate charter, as (effectively) did Arthur Andersen.

What is supposed to happen to the government when it tries to spend more than it makes is that the "Bond Market Vigilantes" show up. That is, to fund ever-rising debt the bond market will ordinary demand more and more coupon (interest), thereby serving as a brake on unsustainable government spending trends.

This presumes The Fed doesn't interfere in the latter, and the crooks don't manage to find the means (legal or not) to get The Federal Government to ignore their scams.

That's a very nice fantasy you see there Mr. Magoo.

So let's cut the crap. If the Asians don't like us borrowing so much money stop lending it to us. Cut the crap with the circle-jerk mentality that mercantilist political schemes are in some way compatible with honest and fair dealing. They're not, any more than the vendors in Shanghai hawking software are all selling "fully licensed and legal copies."

This nonsense about the dollar ever having been "safe" is a bad joke. Certainly the corrupt politicians in China, Japan and elsewhere are well-aware of the principle of seigniorage - that is, the "value" of money less the cost of printing it. Why would they believe our political machine wouldn't exploit the very tool they have used themselves? Such hubris.

At the same time if The Fed and its members are "concerned" about the destruction of the only thing they have to sell (dollar-based credit) then pull the system liquidity down until rates move higher. A lot higher. Keep doing it until the crap stops - until Congress either stops spending or the auctions fail and they're forced to cut it out and the carry trade is made unprofitable and thus is unwound.

The issue is not now and never was about the economy. When I ran MCSNet I could have grown the company 10x faster by using leverage - that is, debt - than operating on a cash basis. I refused, because while I might have wound up with 10 times as much money, I might have also wound up with a big smoking hole in the ground where my firm once was. Debt is not necessary, other than self-liquidating trade credit, in the operation of a firm, and indefinite geometric growth is not possible in any space of finite resource - like this rock of finite size we all live on.

That doesn't mean there aren't responsible uses of debt. There are. But playing Wimpy writ large to the tune of $12 trillion dollars isn't one of them, nor is operating a financial institution at 20, 30 or 40:1 leverage (that is, with just over $2 in capital for every $100 in "assets".) The latter only makes sense if you have reason to believe that if you blow it (remember, as little as a 3% loss in such a situation wipes you out!) the taxpayers will step in and "save" you.

That's exactly what they both expected and got for the most part, right?

Economic contraction isn't necessarily bad, nor is deflation. Both can be, but both squeeze out the bad actors - the scam artists and those who simply promised the impossible - and make them pay through bankrupting them. That's exactly what is supposed to happen on a somewhat-regular basis, and in fact it is necessary to have a sustainable economy - the scammers and imprudent need to be flushed on a regular basis or they crowd out all the legitimate business people (after all, you can always make more money stealing!) until only the scammers are left!

Until either Asia or Bernanke grow a pair, shut their jawboning, lying yaps about "concerns" and act we will see no meaningful change - or reform.

That is, you, the average American, will continue to be asset-stripped, you will see your real standard of living decline, and ultimately, you will be tossed into the street and onto the public dole, until that too collapses under its own weight.

Welcome to reality.

Hey Unions, How About This: You Get A Much Bigger Percentage Of Nothing!

Good riddance, and hopefully a strong sign of things to come:

Conventions Say Good Riddance to Chicago Over Costs and Union Work Rules

Major conventions are ditching Chicago over outrageous costs for McCormick Place electricians. Please consider High costs drive major trade show out of Chicago.

Chicago ditched. Tens of thousands of outsiders say it's too expensive to spend their money here; $52 million would have been pumped into our economy by some 28,000 visitors. Instead, a major trade show says it's leaving Chicago behind for good.

This week, CBS 2 reported on outrage over the hundred dollar case of Pepsi. Exhibitors feeling ripped off. Threatening not to come back.

Now, it's happened. McCormick Place electricians were the straw that broke the camel's back for one Chicagoan who says he reluctantly said "no" to bringing his convention back home.

The Tribune reports the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, which held its annual meeting at McCormick Place for the first time in April, is taking its 2012 show to Las Vegas instead.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems CEO Steve Lieber told CBS2 it's all because of the electricians.

"Our costs were about $200,000 more," said Lieber. "So it went from $40,000 to $240,000 for the electrical work alone."

The city got the word Wednesday that the huge medical convention wouldn't return. They're also sweating out a decision by an even bigger show.

The International Plastics Showcase has been in Chicago since 1971, but now a spokesman says: "We are looking at other options."

Like Orlando. Though the medical trade group says it's deeper than union versus non-union towns.

"It was the number of hours and the number of people it took to do the identical job," Lieber said.

Two months ago, McCormick Place quietly fired two-thirds of its electricians, promising to bring back only the best, and only when they're needed; trying to change the work rules and work ethic that's already cost Chicago tens of millions of dollars.

The article says the issue is not unions but rather "work rules".

Excuse me but who sets those work rules? Mickey Mouse?

If it takes 3 times as many workers to get the job done in Chicago then union rules are more than likely the culprit.

Not to fear, I have the perfect solution: raise property taxes and sales taxes to paper over falling revenues. That may sound preposterous but sadly that is just how Chicago and Cook county think...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Worth A Thousand Words

Classic Ace of Spades-style visual humor. And all too true.

Welcome To The Future

Ace of Spades:

Back to this leftist insistence that we're all paranoid to even think this way, to even define "freedom" in an antique, right-wing fashion, meaning "stuff you are permitted to do or not do without penalty and coercion from the state:" It is especially risible to me, in gallows-humor way, that the left continues to call us lunatics for fretting about increasing state control and increasing state coercion and increasing state outlawing of previously-legal behavior and freedoms even as, in their very first bill out of the socialist box, they propose jailing Americans for engaging in unobjectionable behavior which no one ever before dreamt of being a crime.

Think about this.

The left says: You are crazy to claim your so-called freedoms are being taken away, and you are a lunatic to scream about an overly powerful state which will use violent coercion (no one goes to jail without the threat of violence if he doesn't, after all) to enforce its notions of the "economic good."

And with the next breath the left says: By the way, you shall either buy health care insurance or we will throw you in prison for two or three years.

I'm paranoid? Really? I am not fretting here about some remote and unlikely possibility. We are not speaking here of "slippery slopes" or in terms of "what comes next?"

We are instead objecting to a black-letter law spelled out for all to see in the very first piece of legislation you're proposing.

Right out of the box. The state here -- Pelosi, Reid, Obama -- are claiming that they can imprison people for behavior that has never before even been hinted as being a crime, on the theory that such behavior constitutes unpatriotic economic behavior which is detrimental to the state's balance sheets.

Think about what a broad, all-encompassing term "economics" is. 80% of our waking hours are spent in economic activity of one sort or another. The state here is asserting the right to imprison people for behavior they consider not actually morally reprehensible or harmful as other crimes are, but instead merely detrimental to the Great Push Forward, the state's master plan of economic health and well-being.

Right out of the box they propose sending people to jail for acting as economic subversives and economic traitors and yet I am, somehow, paranoid if I point out that the first step here is to reduce human freedom and increase state power.

And this is just a down-payment, remember. This is merely the first of many freedoms you previously believed sacrosanct to be lost. This is merely the first freedom they've realized, in advance, will have to be taken away. When their Rube Goldberg system of cross-subsidizations and stealth-rationing produces a slew of irrationalities and evasions they did not anticipate, we will have a welter of new crimes to correct all that human behavior they now find constitutes bad economic hygiene and must be outlawed.

But we're paranoid. We're lunatics. We're "extreme."

Used to be in this county when we proposed making an entire category of human behavior a crime, that was cause for debate. Civil libertarians on the left would join those on the right in wondering what has so changed in the past several years to require an entire new category of criminality, an entire sphere of human activity now removed from the column of "freedom" and moved to the column of "forbiddance."

But not this time. Fascism, as they say, tends to come with a smiling face, and there's hardly a face more surgically stretched into smiles than Nancy Pelosi's, quite chipper and blithe as she proposes that she will begin filling America's prisons with a whole new category of criminal, the economic saboteur.

And there is no argument about it, and no debate. We are creating an entirely new type of "crime" that could end up imprisoning millions (or -- very nearly as bad -- compelling behavior and restricting freedom due to threat of incarceration) and the entire left and the entire media (but I repeat myself) blows it off as no big deal.

It's just What Must Be Done. Omelette, eggs, some breaking required.

But I'm a paranoid and extremist to take notice of the fact that what was once my freedom in 2009 shall become a cause for imprisonment in 2010.

World, We Hardly Know Ye

Fullscreen this amazing HD time lapse movie.

H/T Ace of Spades

The Spirit Of '76

A rousing tribute to the tea party movement by Kyle Anne Shiver.

"We're Gonna Be In The Hudson"

Riveting flight simulator reconstruction of the Flight 1549 landing in the Hudson, including airspeed and altimeter displays as well as cockpit and external views. H/T Peeve Farm.

What We're For

Zo sums it up.

The Cover Letter Is Crucial

Mike Shedlock gives an example:

Back To The Basics

Let's get back to the basics. Clearly the boards of directors want exactly the right talent. The same thing is happening for mainstream America as noted in Over 65 And Needing A Job; Interview Tips For Everyone

“Cover Letters can make a big difference,” said Hal Hamil Jr., 56, unemployed since August, but before then, a senior vice president of PNC Bank making $130,000 a year. Mr. Hamil said that last March he posted three openings for tellers paying $10 an hour and got 1,008 applications. “I hired two of them because of their cover letters,” he said.

Appropriate Cover Letters

CEO and board seekers have had it so easy over the past 10 years they forgot the necessary skill of writing appropriate cover letters. Moreover those cover letters need to be tailored for the exact position being sought.

For example, "Tin Hat", a poster on this very blog, listed a sample cover letter for someone seeking that AIG position, should it open up:

Dear AIG,

I am highly qualified for the position of AIG Chief Executive given that I possess all the skills necessary to lay waste of what's left of AIG.

I have no conscience, guilt or remorse. I am able to extort money from taxpayers and Congress by convincing them I do God's work. I am very skilled at making numbers fuzzier, covering up losses and generating bonuses so large even a blank check would blush. I have no concern for leverage, torch bearing mobs, Congress or President Obama.

I'm convinced that together, we can squeeze the middle class so successfully, they would be envious of the Haitian life style. I am looking forward to discussing this personally profitable opportunity with you soon.


AIG Candidate

Clearly that is an extremely powerful cover letter. It is tailored specifically to AIG and lists all the skills required to run any large financial corporation these days.

The only thing lacking is a connection to Goldman Sachs or Tim Geithner. That could be a problem. Otherwise it is perfect. Also note how easy that sample cover letter would be to modify. A few simple changes and the cover letter would be entirely suitable for would be seekers of CEO or board member at Bank of America.


Let's get America hiring again, the right talent for the right job. It all starts with an appropriate cover letter attached to your résumé.