Wednesday, November 25, 2009

 

The Light Bulb on Climategate

Anyone out there still under the anthropogenic Global Warming delusion?

It may be difficult to come to terms with the fact you have been duped by some climate scientists, but as the
Washington Post reports:
Electronic files that were stolen from a prominent climate research center and made public last week provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to shape the public perception of global warming.

...In one e-mail, the [Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia's] director, Phil Jones, writes Pennsylvania State University's Michael E. Mann and questions whether the work of academics that question the link between human activities and global warming deserve to make it into the prestigious IPCC report, which represents the global consensus view on climate science.

"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report," Jones writes. "Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

In another, Jones and Mann discuss how they can pressure an academic journal not to accept the work of climate skeptics with whom they disagree. "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal," Mann writes.
And these are just a few examples for the public to wrap their heads around. Yes folks, the science is not only "not settled", it has had a huge hole blown in it by the simple fact that scientists were using every political means available to them to silence detractors, from intentionally keeping the data used for their research away from potentially skeptical researchers, to applying pressure to peer-review journals to keep the opposing research from being seen.

But don't feel bad. Here's the first Climategate joke from
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal:
Q: How many climate scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There's a consensus that it's going to change, so they've decided to keep us in the dark.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 

Old Media vs. New Media

The social media uber-blog Mashable responds to Rupert Murdoch's floated idea to hook up with Microsoft to take out Google's indexing of Newscorp sites.

Obviously, given my day job, I won't comment fully. However, there are two undeniable truths here: As Mashable states, "No, the future is in the web, fast-paced blogs, and social media. The future is in companies that realize that news a day old is, well, a day old. The future is in information discovery, not in hiding content.

On the other hand, Murdoch's gut has taken him very far, whether in creating a fourth broadcast network, getting the rights to NFL football or creating the Fox News Channel. He may have completely misread this idea on what to do with Google and other news aggregators. But, his track record suggests he might not.

As the saying goes: We'll see.

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A Pro-Choice RNC?

A handful of RNC members are trying to impose a certain amount of consistency on Republicans running for office by releasing a 10-point summary of principles. Candidates expecting party support should adhere to at least 7 out of 10.

One part kind of jumps out:
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion;
Contrast that with the language in the 2008 Republican Party platform:
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declarationof Independence, we assert the inherent dignity andsanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life whichcannot be infringed. We support a human lifeamendment to the Constitution, and we endorse leg-islation to make clear that the FourteenthAmendment’s protections apply to unborn children.We oppose using public revenues to promote or per-form abortion and will not fund organizations whichadvocate it. We support the appointment of judgeswho respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
Now, the statement of principles are not in any way contradictory to the platform. However, they are a lot more, shall we say, "inclusive" of a functionally pro-choice position on abortion. It is, also, arguably less restrictive than even the Stupak amendment which was included in the House health-care package.

And this is, supposedly, the work of the more conservative members of the RNC.

Hmmm...

UPDATE: Politico's Ben Smith gets RNC member Jim Bopp to respond to the above observation:

"We do'nt want to get into a debate with candidates on general principles," he said. "These are specific items, when possible, that we expect to come up this year or next year."

The goal, he said, is stopping the Obama agenda.

"After the Republicans take over Congress after the 2010 election, this will change," he said. "This is how we're going to look at the standards for funding candidates election cycle by election cycle."

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Monday, November 23, 2009

 

A Dickens of A Time

In Washington, DC, it's sorta the "best of times" for Democrats: On Saturday, the "motion to proceed" on health care reform passed along party lines in the U.S. Senate. Despite varying poll numbers, various twists and turns and hours-to-come of debate and amendments, this decades-long legislative desire for the Left is closer to becoming the law of the land than at any point in history.

Indeed, it's already passed the House -- when it hadn't even come to a vote prior to this year. That means the momentum is with the Democrats. And, despite having perhaps the two worst chamber leaders ever in Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (separately, or in combination), "national" health care is close to reality.

On the other hand, there is the "worst of times" scenario. To quote Destiny's Child, "bills, bills, bills.":

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, yes, that's just debt service. Before the costs of health care are even factored in. Even if one took Democrats statements for granted that the health-care package (whichever one) "pays for itself" (dream on), it still does nothing for the larger debt problem.

Fun times in the weeks -- and years and decades -- ahead.

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