Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies



Thursday, December 31, 2009

When Worlds Collide

New Year’s Eve. 2010 seems a bit awkward, although not as awkward as 2000 did, an entire decade ago now.

worlds collide

And how strange things have grown in the intervening ten years. To remind all of us how politics still make strange bedfellows, I’m linking and posting a portion of a Hillbuzz post from yesterday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Hillbuzz Boyz, this post pretty much sums up their motus operandi: they are 2 gay guys from Chicago who were die-hard Hillary boosters. They became completely disillusioned with the Democratic Party tactics involved in getting Obama elected.

Since the 2008 Democratic convention they’ve undergone an interesting political awakening, and have discovered some conservative roots in their DNA. Here’s a portion of their post on Rush Limbaugh. Read the whole thing: it will give you hope for America.

We don’t listen to Rush’s show, and didn’t catch when Dennis Miller was talking about us last month either, but enjoy when those of you that do listen to conservative radio tell us what’s up. The one good thing that’s come of The Golden Age of Hope and Change is that it’s proved people who don’t agree on anything, but love this country, can indeed fight the good fight on the same side.

We will say this to you now, so we are clear, because we want this to be as forceful as possible:  we believe Rush Limbaugh is crucial to stopping socialism from destroying this country.  He is an American hero.  No, we don’t like things he’s said about the Clintons in the past.  No, we don’t agree with him on everything.  But, we know he loves this country.  He does not want to see this country destroyed.  He is a powerful voice we are counting on to help lead the resistance movement for the next two years so that Dr. Utopia can be driven from the White House and Liberals can be exorcised from Congress.

We. Need. Rush. Limbaugh.

One of their previous posts that I think you might enjoy also is here. I’ve linked to it before, but it’s still a good read heading into a new year.

Happy New Year to all, and remember: let’s be careful out there.

Please Store all Sophistry in the Overhead Compartment

 

anti-sophistsAnti-Sophists

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Shelby Steele has penned one of the best op-ed pieces to-date on our national Obama-fication phenomenon. Mr. Steele is a senior research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution who  specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. He also happens to be a black man, so I think his credentials for commenting on “Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem” are solid.

He contends that the old form of white racism towards blacks has lost its legitimacy and become nearly universally maligned. In it’s place is a new kind of racism that he refers to as “sophistication.” He uses the term not in its modern context of  “urbane and cultivated” but in it’s original Latin sense: the use of sophistry.  Hence, he’s referring to the sophistry practiced by the American media and public. They fawned over the articulate Black man’s  every move and utterance, demanding not a whit of confirmation or substantive testimonial to anything they’d been told. Steele sees it as a conceit similar to that displayed by the Emperor’s subjects who did not wish to appear to be stupid and incompetent for not being able to see the Emperor’s new clothes; so they simply lied and said they appeared grand.

Mr. Steele describes our cultural political correctness as a “compendium of sophistications in which we join ourselves to obvious falsehoods ("diversity") and refuse to see obvious realities (the irrelevance of diversity to minority development.)”

He argues that a new American sophistication was at play in the election of Obama: a determination to see what was not there, all the while refusing to see what was there. Not in order to avoid looking stupid – like the Emperor’s subjects - but in order to avoid looking racist. Unlike the Emperor’s embarrassment, the impact of this lie has far deeper implications:

Our new race problem—the sophistication of seeing what isn't there rather than what is—has surprised us with a president who hides his lack of economic understanding behind a drama of scale. Hundreds of billions moving into trillions. Dramatic, history-making numbers. But where is the economic logic behind a stimulus package that doesn't fully click in for a number of years? How is every stimulus dollar spent actually going to stimulate? Why bailouts to institutions that only hoard the money? How is vast government spending simultaneously a kind of prudence that will not "add to the deficit?" How can such spending not trigger smothering levels of taxation?

The public’s lack of even superficial examination of a candidate who was equally unwilling to volunteer any personal  information (college grades, college papers, Harvard Law Review articles, birth certificate, personal  affiliations to name a few) resulted in the election of “arguably the least known man ever to step into the American presidency.”

The article goes on to explain just how much of an empty vessel we’ve apparently elected. In contrast to Ronald Reagan who spent his career defining who he was, what he believed, and where he wanted to lead the nation,

Mr. Obama's ascendancy to the presidency could not have been more different. There seems to have been very little individuation, no real argument with conventional wisdom, and no willingness to jeopardize popularity for principle. To the contrary, he has come forward in American politics by emptying himself of strong convictions, by rejecting principled stands as "ideological," and by promising to deliver us from the "tired" culture-war debates of the past. He aspires to be "post-ideological," "post-racial" and "post-partisan," which is to say that he defines himself by a series of "nots"—thus implying that being nothing is better than being something. He tries to make a politics out of emptiness itself.

Mr. Steele explains Obama’s victory lap is the result of something he calls the “bargainer’s mask –I will presume that you are not a racist if you will not hold my race against me.” White America is flattered by this racial trust, and relieved of some of it’s racial guilt. In return the Black man (or woman, e.g. Oprah) is elevated to adulation status which they may or may not be worthy of, but likely didn’t earn.

Obama, Steele tells us, came into power with a “benign—and therefore desirable—blackness” which:

… exempted him from the political individuation process that makes for strong, clear-headed leaders. He has not had to gamble his popularity on his principles, and it is impossible to know one's true beliefs without this. In the future he may stumble now and then into a right action, but there is no hard-earned center to the man out of which he might truly lead.

And that’s the charitable way to look at him.

The real point of Steele’s article is that political correctness is simply a new type of racism, and by no means more benign than the old kind – just less obvious. We live in dangerous times. We need to be sharper and see clearer, and yet we continue to cloud our vision with nonsensical “sophistications.”

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fly Safe: Pack Your Own Bomb - UPDATED

The Neanderthal world is laughing at our civilized world as we willingly follow the parade of clowns down the politically correct, multicultural path to the guillotine. Three full days after a Nigerian terrorist failed, due only to his own incompetence and the intervention of a brave Dutch tourist, to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit, the President of the United States interrupted his vacation to give us a speech read about the attack.

panty bomber Arrest of Panty-bomber after mid-air briss gone wrong

hero jasper schuringa

Dutch Hero Jasper Schuringa: the part of U.S. aviation security that worked

Dressed in the resort high-casual style of a CEO welcoming employees to an off-site retreat - and only after test marketing themes on the supportive press Sunday shows - Obama attempted to reassure Americans that they are safe. Sounding more like a prosecutor carefully outlining a pending indictment, he did little to show he has any understanding of the threat posed by Islamic terrorists, and nothing to show he has the fortitude or will to confront it.

Most troubling to us (Team Dewey’s curriculum vitae includes airport security) is the new “In Flight” procedures contained in the “Security Directive” ordered on December 25th by Homeland Security:

2. IN FLIGHT

1. During flight, the aircraft operator must ensure that the following procedures are followed:

1. (sic) Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.
4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.
5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

These “security procedures” are tacit admission that this administration can NOT, or will NOT keep bombs off of commercial aircraft.

They are intended to focus on the part of the system that Janet Napolitano concluded “worked”: the incompetence of the terrorist and the bravery of the Dutch tourist. Procedures 1, 2 and 5 are robust restrictions that will make it much more difficult, during the last hour of the flight, for a terrorist to access and/or detonate the bomb they brought through “security screening. At a minimum, it will make it easier for passengers to see what Abdul is up to, before they are required to resort to self-help procedures. “Security Procedures” 3 and 4 are my favorites, as they will prevent the terrorists from knowing exactly where the plane is. Unless Abdul looks out the window. Or has been advised by someone who has previously flown the route approximately how long the flight takes to reach its destination. Or he doesn’t really care where he is, as long as it’s over land.

We are reminded of a previous, equally robust “security procedure” (still in effect, so it must work) that prevented anyone without an airline ticket from entering the “sterile area” beyond the security screening checkpoints (one of the safest places in Detroit by the way). This procedure assumes terrorists do not know that they need an airline ticket, in addition to their bomb, to board a flight.

Mac%20with%20planes%20&%20tower%20300_lr

McNamara Terminal, Detroit Metropolitan Airport

We’ve been highly critical of U.S. aviation security procedures since their inception in the 1970’s. In the 90’s, an aviation security consultant, and former Israeli intelligence officer I knew described U.S. airport security as “…a childish attempt to give the appearance of security for public relations benefit, by harassing, inconveniencing and mistreating its citizens… and utterly incapable of securing an aircraft.”

President Obama agrees. And thinks that it’s a good idea.

Holiday Travel

Airport “Security” Lines

George Carlin used to quote statistics that the odds of finding yourself on a commercial airline flight with a bomb were 1 in 22 billion, and that the odds of being on a commercial flight with 2 bombs are an astronomical 1 in 800 quadrillion;

He concludes, therefore, that you will always be safe if you bring your own bomb.

Who would have thought bureaucrats would make it so easy to fly safely? Now if only they could work on making the skies friendly again.

UPDATE: 12-30-09, 7:50 AM

So now we know why we saw something akin to emotion from Obama at his second vacation read yesterday concerning the panty-bomber. According to the New York Times, we (that would be the US government) were apparently advised by Yemen that a Nigerian man would attempt to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day. Oh, oh! Were those dots? Was the dot connector on holiday? Let’s see: Nigerian, al-Queda? That sounds like middle-aged blonde grandmother, right?

An editorial today in the NY Daily News says:

Even so, Obama's description of Abdulmutallab as an "isolated extremist" was remarkable and disturbing. This radicalized young Nigerian is nothing of the sort. He operated, in fact, as an Al Qaeda-recruited, Al Qaeda-supplied, Al Qaeda-directed foot soldier - as, to put it directly, an enemy combatant, and not as the criminal "suspect" of Obama's description.

Enemy combatant? Wow, that sounds so… so, Bush-like.

Maureen Dowd called the President Spock-like, and complained that he was elected because he was so new-school, but is now looking same-old, same-old.

Instead of modernity, we have airports where security is so retro that taking away pillows and blankies and bathroom breaks counts as a great leap forward.

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

She should have added, “with all of these false security measures.” She concludes with what should have been obvious to all:

In his detached way, Spock was letting us know that our besieged starship was not speeding into a safer new future, and that we still have to be scared.

And until such time as we reject the politically correct nonsense world that insists a Scandinavian grandmother is as likely to want to blow us up as a young black Muslim man, we will continue to live in a very dangerous world.

And don’t even bother whining that you want to be submitted to a full body scanner before you can board an airplane. It appears al-Queda is way ahead of us on that intrusive security measure too.

bush-miss-me-yet

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Do You Think They Would Profile These Guys?

OK, this is a cheesy way to re-post one of our favorite videos(originally posted 7-4-09).

But I’m just wondering how blatant you would have to be to get patted down if you are black and have a Muslim name? How far will national and international security agents be required to bend over so as not to be accused of “profiling?”

Consider the plight of our local Detroit firecracker, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He tried to blow up a Northwest flight upon landing from Amsterdam - inadvertently setting  himself on fire in the process. He managed to pass all airport screening procedures with a load of PETN explosives in his underwear. So I’m just wondering how far you could go, being a black Muslim, and not be stopped for additional inspection?  Would these guys get waved through too?  Even though they look like Roman candles in burkas?

 

And I’m sorry Bruno (aka Janet Napolitano), by no stretch of anyone’s imagination – other than the sycophantic MSM – could one claim this demonstrated that “the system worked.”  Just a quick run down on the pertinent facts: his father warned the US Embassy in November that he thought his son had been “radicalized”  by al-Qaeda, but he was not placed on a no-fly list. He walked onto an international flight with a pant-load full of explosives. He attempted to detonate it, but, due to his own ineptitude, only managed to set himself and the plane’s interior wall on fire. Whereupon a Dutch tourist tackled him and extinguished the blaze. What page of the anti-terrorism manual covers that strategy, Bruno?

Yeah, you can get back to me after you’ve briefed the Obama-Claus in Oahu.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who Blew Up Detroit?

OK people. Christmas is definitely over. Umal Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest/Delta flight upon descent for landing at Detroit’s Metro Airport on Christmas. He was on a law enforcement-intelligence database but was not on the government's no-fly list. One can only speculate at this juncture why he had been placed in the database. One can only speculate on which politically correct directive prevented him from being placed on the no-fly list.

According to the suspect's entry visa, he was flying from Nigeria to the United States for a religious seminar, ABC News reported. His visa was issued June 16, 2008, and was good until June 12, 2010. Federal officials said he was traveling one way, without a return ticket, NBC reported.

That doesn’t make him sound suspicious. Despite the fact he is supposedly an engineering student in London. England, not Ontario.

delta

Why on earth would al-Qaida target Detroit to detonate a bomb? Experts suggest one reason might be our “diverse” population base makes it easier for “foreign” aka Muslim terror suspects to “blend-in”.

I don’t know. I would think if you’re going to blow something up, you’d target an area where the effects would be more obvious. Some place where it doesn’t already look like a bomb went off.

A City Destroyed by Liberal Idealism from PJMedia

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Blessings

Christmas greetings to you and yours from Team Dewey. Please click to zoom in on our card for a reminder of what has been sacrificed to ensure that we remain free to celebrate the day in the religious tradition (or not) of our choice.


Photo Mosaic by Flatsimile Studios

Fallen soldiers photos via Washington Post.

Mannheim Steamroller: Veni Veni (O Come, O come Emmanuel)

Blessings to all of our troops and their families during this season of real hope. Drag to re-center and zoom into other areas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now We’re Just Quibbling Over the Price

As you go about your holiday chores and celebrations, you might want to file these 9 graphs from the Doug Ross Journal away, in order to argue with the relatives if necessary.

Top Ten Health Care Charts You’ll Never See.  Just a couple of highlights:

 

The "lawsuit industry" gives more money (roughly $127 million in 2008) to Congress than every sector of the health care industry, combined.

Medical malpractice costs continue to skyrocket to new historical highs, growing far faster than any other component of health insurance premiums.

 

Got that? Tort reform could go a long way towards curing what’s wrong with runaway health care cost without blowing up the whole system. But then, Barry and Harry are lawyers. As are a great many of their colleagues. And apparently they can all be bought. It’s just a matter of price.

“We’ve already established what sort of a woman you are madam, now we are just quibbling over price.”

Life Does Imitate “Art” : Update From Blogprof

Do you remember Dewey’s fake news story from last September? “Michigan Blowing In the Wind” ?

windmills on lake mich 

Well, from today’s Detroit Free Press we have this: “Plan for wind energy farm on Lake Michigan has neighbors howling” detailing a developer’s plan to install wind turbines over a 100 square mile swatch of Lake Michigan between Pentwater and Ludington. For those not familiar, this is one of the most scenic stretches of Lake Michigan shoreline.

1562s2 Little Sable Point Lighthouse near Silver Lake State Park

Indiana-lake-michigan Lake Michigan beach

In exchange for this eyesore, the development is said to be able to produce up to 1000 megawatts – oooohh, that sounds like a lot! How much, exactly? Well, if everything goes well and the wind blows constantly, that’s enough to power maybe 1000 houses. Of course we have more than that many households leaving Michigan on a weekly basis, so by the time they get this wind farm up and running, we won’t need the energy.

The neighbors are upset. Imagine that.

Time to re-think nuclear, people.

UPDATE: From the Blogprof. Just how many people are leaving Michigan? A lot.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Fever Could Prove Fatal

It’s one AM Monday morning on the weekend before Christmas. Do you know what your Senate is voting on? No, and that’s the whole point.

But don’t be concerned. Our future is in good hands.

Never mind that Ben Nelson proved to be as principled as a hooker in need of a fix. As it turned out, his objection had less to do with right to life and more to do with jealousy that Mary Landrieu got more toys and candy in her sock than he did. But he held out and it was worth it. He got a waiver in perpetuity for the state of Nebraska’s new Medicaid payments related to Obamacare. That’s, like, forever! So take that Mary Landrieu. He’ll get your measly $300 million in the first year! Amateur.

But try to get past all that, and forget the nagging little concern that Nelson’s deal – or maybe even the whole healthcare bill –may be unconstitutional. Our betters will let us know what is and isn’t constitutional from now on.

If you’re concerned that what used to amount to horse-trading in the Senate has now taken on the trappings of felony bribery, you can lay that fear to rest too. Senators have simply co-opted the lobbyist system that they love to hyperventilate against at re-election time when people start yammering about special interests buying their votes. It’s like bribery, only legal. Besides, as Mark Steyn points out, if you’re bribing a judge or a politician, you have to use your own money. In Congress, they just use ours.

You will also have to ignore the the fact that the regime which promised complete transparency in government refuses to release the Senate bill from Harry Reid’s committee to the other senators, let alone you. 2,100 pages of stipulations, requirements, exceptions, contortions and unadulterated BS and we, the people, will not be allowed to see it before the Senate votes on it.

pelosi-reid-obama2

I guess that tells us where we (the little people) fit into Harry’s world. And it also tells us how much napalm is contained in the bill: too hot to handle. Just pass it on and stand clear.

Also, let’s not worry about the fact that the CBO scoring of the cost of the Senate bill at $849 Billion is a crock of lies. (CATO Institute estimates that is only 40% of the real cost) For starters, any legislation that collects increased taxes for four years before providing any benefits to the citizenry, and then has the audacity to cite a net 10 year cost is ludicrous on its face. You would be laughed out of Accounting 101 with that kind of matching, or thrown in jail if you were running a company.

Secondly, it doesn’t even pretend to price the immediate increase in costs in the private sector, beginning with increased insurance premiums that everyone will have to pay. Because you can’t mandate that insurance companies eliminate pre-existing condition clauses (Which will allow irresponsible people to opt out of the insurance pool until such time as they are diagnosed with a really costly ailment: it’s called adverse selection for a reason.) without expecting the cost of providing “insurance” to go up.

It also doesn’t recognize the cost of the “Dr. fix” which has added additional, unbudgeted, costs back to Medicare for years now because no one in Congress has the chutzpah to actually enforce the terms of the bill that they all voted into law. (In essence, the “Dr. fix” reinstates doctors reimbursements to  former Medicare levels, overriding lower reimbursement rates legislated in order to claim “savings” in Medicare funding. It’s simply another congressional slight of hand that we are not supposed to notice. Doctors contend that the rates established in current legislation – before the “Dr. fix” are below their actual cost of service, therefore making the legislation another work of genius.)

Notwithstanding the above, you can also ignore the fact that the CBO now says they made (another) half trillion dollar error in calculating the size of the budget deficit reduction that supposedly accompanies the healthcare bill. Why? Because the estimates are really nothing more than wild-ass guesses anyway. You might as well make your own forecast: the odds of you being correct are just as good. As Karen Tumulty at Time notes: “If CBO can't keep up with what is getting slipped into this bill, what hope is there for the rest of us?”

Olympia Snow uttered her first intelligent thought in years yesterday. She observed that the Senate was on course to rush the healthcare bill through on Christmas Eve with no opportunity for anyone to offer amendments, indeed, no opportunity to even read it , “ …  so that we can adjourn for a three-week recess for a bill that doesn't become implemented until 2014" . Gee, I wish that possibility would have occurred to her before she voted it out of committee – the only time her vote could have possibly mattered.

But Obama says his healthcare bill will cut our deficit. That’s just a lie. It will increase the deficit, it will increase costs, it will result in higher taxes and higher cost of insurance premiums and every other consumer good or service provided by a company that pays health care premiums. But Obama and his stooges think that we are so stupid we will swallow the mealy-mouthed political gruel being regurgitated by our betters for our consumption.

The president is proud that his legacy legislation is going to “bend the healthcare cost curve.”  Unfortunately, it’s not going to bend in the direction he anticipates. The infamous “Hockey Stick Graph” is accurate after all. It just applies to health care costs, not global warming. It’s just one grand hoax after another around here.

hockey stick

Mann’s “Hockey Stick” graph: the most discredited artifact in the history of science.

graph via: Doug Ross Journal

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ghosts and Goons

It’s been the week of the goons. i_hansons_hi

 

 

The Hansen brothers

First there were all the snow goons in Copenhagen. The ones demonstrating in the street, the ones negotiating inside, the House of Representative goons who flew over when the conference was pretty much wrapped up,  for who knows what: some caviar on the taxpayers dime to celebrate yet another bill  larded with pork?

snowgoons

Then there was the mandatory contingent of dictators who arrived, as always, with their hands out, railing against the evil, industrialized West. Robert Mugabe - so despicable a leader that even the UN has imposed sanctions against his thieving,  murderous regime – felt justified in complaining that the sins of the “capitalist gods of carbon” were starving and killing his people. At 85, he may be getting senile and has forgotten that he’s the who destroyed the once thriving economy of Zimbabwe by seizing the farms of white landowners.

The goon squad from the southern hemisphere was equally offensive. Hugo Chavez was offended by the “ghost of capitalism” stalking Copenhagen. He was again allowed to insult an American president with impunity. Since he continues to smell sulfur, perhaps he should make sure it isn’t emanating from somewhere closer to himself. His sidekick, Evo Morales, from the great state of Bolivia, took center stage to demand that the West pay reparations for all the evil they have caused the climate. That should give the United Nation a raison d'état for another 50 years.

  20060429havana_hugo_chavez_fidel_castro_evo_morales6402

 

The ransom brothers

 

 

 

 

 

mugabeMugabe the Magnificent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But now, jet back to D.C. (before the blizzard: the Al Gore effect continues). Here we find all types of Congressional goons, beating up their own members in order to get the boss’s Winter Solstice Holiday present wrapped in time for them to all leave on Holiday break.

rAHMImage4

Rahm shows how he feels about the little people in flyover.

 

 

 

 

Pelosi and Emmanuel tried to goon DeFazio when he refused to follow the party line, and they would’ve gooned Mary Landrieu if she didn’t end up being so easy (although not cheap).

finger

In the Senate, the gooning of the Democratic holdouts has been going on all week.  Harry Reid runs a tight ship.

When he dispatched Al Franken to slap Joe Lieberman down, Al delivered big time. Although he, too,  looked like a goon.

frankens

One by one they were intimidated (or bribed) into voting with the herd. Then it all came down to Ben Nelson from Nebraska. First they threatened him with the closing of an Air Force base. When that wasn’t an adequate threat, they had to buy him off too. Just a little extra tasty bacon for the good voters of the Cornhusker state. It’s a good thing they had all that TARP and Stimulus money left over to reallocate to buying important votes.

So merry f-ing Christmas everyone: you’ve been gooned.

proud-member-of-the-angry-mob

Friday, December 18, 2009

Obama Channels His Inner Al Gore

Who would’ve  guessed that Barry could do such a convincing impersonation of Al Gore. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since they’re both idolized by the insane clown posse that bows at the altar of Global Warming.

 

copenclown

protesters in Copenhagen

Here is the complete, annotated for clarity, text of President Barack Obama's remarks Friday at the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen:

Good morning. It's an honor to for me to join this distinguished group of leaders from nations around the world. (Although the real honor is yours.)  We come together here in Copenhagen because climate change poses a grave and growing danger to our people. (And once people stop believing that, we will not be able to use this crisis to redistribute the wealth of the developed world to tin pot dictators across the planet) All of you would not be here unless you, like me, were convinced that this danger is real. (or there was political benefit to pretending to be convinced) This is not fiction, this is science. (science fiction)Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies, and our planet. This much we know. (has anyone shown Barry the emails from CRU?)

So the question before us is no longer the nature of the challenge. (Some of us still have questions - global warming: is it happening or not? If it is, is it man-made or natural? Question for the AGW morons in Copenhagen: do you think 2500 degree lava eruptions under sea could possibly raise the temperature of the oceans?) The question is our capacity to meet it. For while the reality of climate change is not in doubt, I have to be honest, I think our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now (thank God for small favors) and it hangs in the balance.

I believe we can act boldly, and decisively, in the face of a common threat. (How about we save it for nuclear maniacs like Ahmadinajad?) That's why I come here today. Not to talk, but to act. (This should be good, way out of Barry’s comfort zone.)

Now, as the world's largest economy (not for long) and as the world's second largest emitter, (with any luck we can drop way further down the list after we close up the rest of our manufacturing facilities.) America bears our responsibility to address climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility. That's why we've renewed our leadership within international climate negotiations. (I’ve come to lead you out of darkness.) That's why we've worked with other nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. That's why we've taken bold action at home by making historic investments in renewable energy; by putting our people to work increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings; (weatherizing with sexy insulation) by pursuing comprehensive legislation (cap and tax) to transform to a (third world ) clean energy economy.

These mitigation actions are ambitious, and we are taking them not simply to meet global responsibilities. We are convinced as some of you may be convinced that changing the way that we produce and use energy is essential to America's economic future that it will create (or save) millions of new jobs, power new industries, keep us competitive, and spark new innovation (over seas). We're convinced for our own self-interest (i.e., my historic re-election in 2112) that the way we use energy is essential to America's national security, because it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help us deal with some of the dangers posed by climate change. 

So I want this plenary session to understand: America is going to continue on this course of action to mitigate our emissions and move toward a clean energy economy. (by taxing the crap out of our businesses and our citizens) No matter what happens here in Copenhagen , we think it is good for us, (can we take a roll-call vote of the citizens?) as well as good for the world. But we will all be stronger and all be safer and all be more secure if we act together (and pass my healthcare bill). That is why it is in our mutual interest to achieve a global accord in which we agree to certain steps, and to hold each other accountable to certain commitments. ( Just like I hold myself and my administration accountable.)

After months of talk, and two weeks of negotiations, after innumerable side meetings, bilateral meetings, endless hours of discussion among negotiators, I believe that the pieces of that accord should now be clear. (and yet, just like my healthcare bill, they’re not)

First, all major economies must put forward decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions, and begin to turn the corner on climate change. I'm pleased that many of us have already done so. Almost all the major economies have ... and I'm confident that America will fulfill the commitments that we have made: cutting our emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020, and by more than 80 percent by 2050 in line with final legislation. (With the economic path we’re on we’ll be down at least 80%, at least by 2050. I’m betting sooner.)

Number two. We must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and exchange this information in a transparent manner. (and if you’ve been paying attention to my health care takeover initiative in Congress, you’ll know what I mean by transparent) These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. (although they most surely will) They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our mutual obligations. Without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page. (heh, heh, heh. See how that works?)

I don't know how you have an international agreement where we all are not sharing information and assuring that we are meeting our commitments. (It’s like having “global warming” and not sharing all of the actual data. Mistakes could be made.) That doesn't make sense. It would be a hollow victory. (the best kind, given the circumstances)

Number three. We must have financing that helps developing countries adapt, particularly the least-developed and most vulnerable countries to climate change. (Because some day, that will be us. Plus, I own a bunch of banks that have a lot of experience lending money to people who have no means or intention of paying it back) America will be a part of fast-start funding that will ramp up to $10 billion in 2012. And, yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made it clear that we will engage in a global effort to mobilize $100 billion in financing by 2020, if and only if it is part of a broader accord that I've just described.(oohhhh! Is that a hollow threat?) 

Mitigation. Transparency. And financing. It's a clear formula, one that embraces the principle of common but differentiated responses  and respective capabilities. (From each according to his means, to each according to their needs.) And it adds up to a significant accord, one that takes us farther than we have ever gone before as an international community. (New world order?)

I just want to say to this plenary session that we are running short on time. (TOTUS just advised I’m almost out of words and sentences) And at this point the question is whether we will move forward together, or split apart. (Again, can we have a roll-call vote?) Whether we prefer posturing to action. (posturing) I'm sure that many consider this an imperfect framework that I just described. No country will get everything that it wants. (Do I sound like Solomon yet?)

There are those developing countries that want aid with no strings attached, (kind of like ACORN) and no obligations with respect to transparency. (like Congress) They think that the most advanced nations should pay a higher price. I understand that. (being a New World Order guy) There are those advanced nations who think that developing countries either cannot absorb this assistance, or that will not be held accountable effectively, (“food for oil” set off any alarms?) and that the world's fastest-growing emitters should bear a greater share of the burden. (but we feel too guilty to suggest something that reasonable)

We know the fault lines because we've been imprisoned by them for years. (thank goodness for small blessings) These international discussions have taken place now for almost two decades. And we have little to show for it other than increased acceleration of the climate change phenomenon. (Can I see the data backing that assertion?)

The time for talk is over. (Because I see TOTUS’ reminder that I’m 45 seconds away from the end of my read) Here is the bottom line: We can embrace this accord, take a substantial step forward, and continue to refine it and build upon its foundation. (Just like we’re  going to have to do with my historic health care bill – but getting the camel’s nose in the tent is all we need)  We can do that, and everyone who is in this room will be part of a historic endeavor, one that makes life better for our children and grandchildren. ( If by better, you mean less affluent, less free and probably dumber)

Or we can choose delay, falling back into the same divisions that have stood in the way of action for years. (and I will leave Copenhagen empty handed again, so how about that historic roll call or just a simple unanimous consent.) And we will be back having the same stale arguments month after month, year after year, perhaps decade after decade, all while the danger of climate change grows until it is irreversible. (News flash: the sun, and it’s solar activity, has more impact on earth’s climate than all the “tea” in China. Climate change is irreversible. And we do not control it.)

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no time to waste. America has made our choice. ( Did I miss the roll-call vote?) We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, we will do what we say. (Elections do have consequences) Now, I believe it's the time for nations and the people of the world to come together behind a common purpose. (aka New World Order)

We are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk. Better for us to choose action over inaction; the future over the past. With courage and faith, I believe that we can meet our responsibilities to our people, and to the planet. (blah, blah, blah)

Thank you very much. (You may now go back to demonstrating in the streets against the Capitalist ghosts. I may join you later.)

 

cop

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Men Shouldn’t Write Advice Columns

This has been around the block a few times, but funny if you haven’t seen it yet.

 

ATT00095

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It’s Shakespearean

As I go about my holiday responsibilities, please review today’s required climate change reading:

 Climategate: Something’s Rotten In Denmark … and East Anglia, Asheville, and New York City.

In his piece, Joe D’Aleo  briefly discusses the Gore Effect,  and explains how researchers tortured the climate data until it confessed.

How anyone can follow this stuff and not become cynical is one of life’s great mysteries.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hot, Flat and Stupid

I wonder if  President Obama is reconsidering his A and A (appearance and appeasement) gig in Copenhagen later this week? It is becoming awkward - now that people are actually reading those leaked Climategate emails. Here’s my favorite so far, via Mark Steyn:

Yet perhaps the most important revelation is not the collusion, the bullying, the politicization and the evidence-planting, but the fact that, even if you wanted to do honest “climate research” at the Climatic Research Unit, the data and the models are now so diseased by the above that they’re all but useless. Let Ian “Harry” Harris, who works in “climate scenario development and data manipulation” at the CRU, sum it up. Mr. Harris was attempting to duplicate previous results—i.e., to duplicate all that science that’s supposedly settled, and the questioning of which consigns you to the Climate Branch of the Flat Earth Society. How hard should it be to confirm settled science? After much cyber-gnashing of teeth, Harry throws in the towel:

“ARGH. Just went back to check on synthetic production. Apparently—I have no memory of this at all—we’re not doing observed rain days! It’s all synthetic from 1990 onwards. So I’m going to need conditionals in the update program to handle that. And separate gridding before 1989. And what TF happens to station counts?

“OH F–K THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.”

Thus spake the Settled Scientist: “OH F–K THIS.” And on the basis of “OH F–K THIS” the world’s enlightened progressives will assemble at Copenhagen for the single greatest advance in punitive liberalism ever perpetrated on the developed world.

Despite the fact that Copenhagen is the biggest Robin Hood scheme of all times, we still have the east coast elite telling us hayseeds in fly-over that we can ignore the pesky little emails that might indicate a tad of a problem with a bit of the data. The earth is still in full melt-down mode: Who you gonna believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes? Let’s ask Tom Friedman. He talks down to the unwashed masses in a most annoying and unctuous way. This from CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, via Ed Driscoll, (who’s post today fairly eviscerates Mr. Friedman):

FRIEDMAN: Well, clearly, the skeptics and deniers are saying to use these e-mails to say all the research is wrong. Let’s see, all the research, from all the research centers in the world, built up over 50 years, is wrong? Because a couple of climate scientists talking to each other in private- you know, based on statements that they probably wished they had rephrased- sorry, Wolf, I don’t buy it….I’m disappointed with the language they [the scientists who wrote the leaked ClimateGate e-mails] used…But I’m not focused on them. Wolf. I’m focused on the fact that we know for the last 1,000 years- okay, that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has stayed steady. We also know since the Industrial Revolution, it suddenly spiked, and with that spike, [there] has been a spike in global average temperatures. We know that, okay. We know that for multiple sources.

Tommy, you don’t know squat. But he continued to inform Wolf on China (because he’s an expert on international economics):

And, by the way, Wolf, you know who’s not debating this nonsense at all? China. China’s not debating this at all. They know their glaciers are melting. They know something’s happening. And you know what they’re trying to do? They’re trying to clean our clock in solar, wind, [unintelligible], because they know it’s happening. They’re not caught up in this idiot debate, and that’s where we should be.

The Chinese are most assuredly not caught up in this “nonsense,” this “idiot debate” over whether man-made global warming is real. They’re too busy making all that cheap crap that they sell to us. Have you wondered how they manage to make that crap so cheaply? No, it’s not just cheap labor, although they’ve got that too. It’s also because they still operate by turn of the century – 20th, not 21st – industrial pollution standards. Do you think a country that’s interested in global warming would operate their industries like this?  And how’s this for irony that any progressive should find amusing: some of the worst pollution is caused by the manufacture of “green” solar panels.

The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn’t believe what happened. Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.

This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and other villagers said.

In China, a country buckling with the breakneck pace of its industrial growth, such stories of environmental pollution are not uncommon. But the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It’s a green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon production — silicon tetrachloride — is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.

“The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or trees will grow in the place. . . . It is like dynamite — it is poisonous, it is polluting. Human beings can never touch it,” said Ren Bingyan, a professor at the School of Material Sciences at Hebei Industrial University.

Where’s the BBC documentary on this? The PBS expose and the call for a boycott of Chinese products? I’ll wait. Maybe the Sundance film festival documentary category will be all over it this year.

But Tom Friedman is still salivating over the Chinese prowess in his hot, flat and crowded world. As he opined in his column last fall, again via Mark Steyn:

The New York Times's Thomas Friedman finally gets to where he's been wanting to go all these years. Everything would be so much better if we could just submit to the benign rule of an enlightened elite:

   “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is  led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”

The bookshelves are filled with books written about the “drawbacks” of one-party autocracies, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to name one. Maybe Friedman should take it along on his next vacation. If he likes it, perhaps he can loan it to his best bud,  President Obama, for his next vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

book1               book3

summer reading 2009                   summer reading 2010

 

H/T  “China’s Not Debating This At All”  from Ed Driscoll.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Detroit Schools: Where We Eat Our Young

If you can read this, thank your parents for not sending you to a Detroit public school.

Last week the DPS called a press conference to announce that Detroit public school 4th and 8th graders scored the lowest math scores in the country, ever. This officially makes Detroit the worst school district in the country.

 Detroit Public Schools students posted the worst math results ever recorded in the 40-year history of a prestigious nationwide test, according to scores released today.

Sixty-nine percent of fourth-graders and 77 percent of eighth-graders scored below basic skill levels in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test that serves as a nationwide yardstick in measuring student learning.

 Crain’s Detroit Business has laid out the results in unvarnished detail:

 

NAEP Achievement Levels

• Basic denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.
• Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
• Advanced represents superior performance.
4th Grade National Average
Advanced: 6
Proficient: 33
Basic: 43
Below basic: 19
4th Grade Michigan
Advanced: 5
Proficient: 30
Basic: 40
Below basic: 22
4th Grade Large cities
Advanced: 5
Proficient: 24
Basic: 43
Below basic: 28
4th Grade Detroit
Advanced: 0
Proficient: 3
Basic: 28
Below basic: 69
4th grade sample math problem from test: 301-75=?
Percentage with correct answer:
• Nation: 67%
• Large city: 63%
• Detroit: 33%
8th Grade National Average
Advanced: 7
Proficient: 25
Basic: 39
Below basic: 29
8th Michigan
Advanced: 7
Proficient: 24
Basic: 37
Below basic: 32
8th Large cities
Advanced: 5
Proficient: 18
Basic: 36
Below basic: 40
8th Detroit
Advanced: 0
Proficient: 4
Basic: 18
Below basic: 77
8th grade sample: In a box of six red pencils, four green pencils and five blue pencils, what is the probability of randomly selecting a green pencil?
Percentage with correct answer:
• Nation: 77%
• Large city: 67%
• Detroit 34%

In case your head is reeling and you missed that, Detroit’s 4th grade score results: 69% below basic (previously known as “F”), 3% proficient and 0% advanced. 8th grade: 77% below proficient, 4% proficient and 0% advanced. Look out Beijing. We’re ready to compete in the global automotive economy.

Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council on Great City Schools, said “There is no jurisdiction of any kind, at any level, at any time in the 30-year history of NAEP that has ever registered such low numbers,”  But that’s not even the bad news; he continued, "These numbers are only slightly better than what one would expect by chance as if the kids had never gone to school and simply guessed at the answers.” Got that? Our education system is as good as letting the kids hang out at one Detroit’s great casinos all day.

Slightly better than kids who had never gone to school? How much are taxpayers spending for this roll of the dice? According to the Heritage Foundation, Detroit spends over $13,000 per student per year on K-12 education.  Only six other large urban school systems spend more. Yet even districts that spend only a fraction of Detroit’s per-capita outlay have graduation rates 2 to 3 times higher. Detroit’s high school graduation rate is an embarrassing 24%. The test scores – the first time the test has been administered in Detroit – might go a long way to explaining the graduation rate.  Casserly explains clearly what these test scores mean for Detroit’s future: “frankly, this city has no viable future if this is allowed to stand.” We’re beyond mincing words.

So, you would suppose that the Detroit School Board and the Detroit Teachers Union would be mortified and ready to pull out all the stops to fix this national humiliation. But you would be wrong. Instead,the Detroit School Board is fighting with Robert Bobb - DPS Emergency Financial Manager brought in by Governor Granholm last March to fix the district’s financial disaster created by the DSB - over control of academic standards. The school board wants to maintain control over “academic standards” in the district, and Bobb  thinks they’ve managed them about as well as they have the finances of the district.

Bobb noted in the Crain’s article that the Detroit Board of Education had three key documents describing academic and financial shortcomings prior to his appointment.

The district had the internal audit outlining its financial woes, an educational report written by the governor's transition team and a report from Casserly's Council of Great City Schools. which were ignored or derided by school board members.

But they want to maintain control. Because they’ve done such a swell job so far.

In a sane world, it would be obvious that they are the ones responsible for the academic standards that led to this most recent embarrassment. But we don’t – live in a sane world, that is – so the DBS is heading to circuit court for a hearing. Don’t bet on the outcome.

Meanwhile, the district faces a $219 million deficit (further proof that no one in the school system is proficient at math) and is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. So what are the teachers doing? They’re threatening to walk out rather than accept the terms of the contract their union recently agreed to. They don’t like that the bankrupt district requires them to defer up to $10,000 of their pay – not a cut mind you, a deferred payment –  in order to avoid a bankruptcy filing. (The union rejected all other offers, including concessions of pay and benefits). A bite to be sure, but then…the kids don’t seem to be benefitting much from these high priced baby sitters.

Teachers don’t see it that way of course. In addition to threatening to go out on strike, they are talking about ousting their Union Chief.

dfd teacher

As one (math) teacher explained “When your boss gives you a check and says you either have to give up part of it or lose your job, that's extortion."  Interesting way to look at it. But if this was playing out in the real world, Mr. Bobb would have simply laid off a slew of teachers and redistributed the work load. But the teacher’s union won’t hear of such nonsense: besides, they’re doing it for the kids. How could they possibly learn in such over-crowded classes? On the other hand,  it’s hard to imagine how much worse test scores could possibly get. After all, all they have to do is flip a coin.

dfd teacher-2

Another (math) teacher explained why she was opposed to the new contract terms: “We haven't had a raise in several years and I can't retire for another 15 years, so what good is this,"-  uh, at least you still have a job - "They're saying they want the money because they can't make payroll...We're at the bottom of the pay scale in the state, but we work in the toughest district and we work harder than anyone else."

That’s what passes for logic in liberal-la-la land: where effort and intentions are as good as results and outcomes; and reality never intrudes on utopia. *

So let’s summarize: Detroit spends over $13,000 per student in order to achieve the lowest math scores in the nation while only managing to graduate 24% of their students from high school. The system is functionally bankrupt, and the teachers want more.

Wow. And you thought Wall Street sucked.

 

* If you still don’t think there is a socialist agenda in education, you really should read this nice little piece from The World Socialist Website on the Detroit teacher’s union current contract terms. They manage to firmly affix Detroit’s school problems on “corporate media mouthpieces”  and propose that we replace capitalism with socialism.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Accepting Reality In Oslo

Did I hear this correctly? Did President Obama actually say this in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech?

"Evil does exist in the world." A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

Is it possible that the President’s teleprompter (aka TOTUS) got his texts mixed up? The Oslo speech sounded more like the speech he should have given at West Point.

And the strangely unsettling West Point speech would have been more in keeping with the speeches Obama has previously given on foreign soil: apologies for past grievances,  praise for our enemies and threading the needle in an attempt to appease all comers.

But the Oslo speech adopted a new tone. No pot-shots at George W. Bush and his “war of choice,” no mention of what a wonderful religion Islam is, no claim that  “we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim World – one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict…”. Good, because the Muslims that wish to destroy us do not recognize this newly forged beginning. No trying to have it both ways. Also good, because in a war against evil you cannot have it both ways.

To be fair, the West Point speech included a lot of great rhetoric about American exceptionalism that rang of FDR. He echoed Colin Powell by noting that America has never asked for anything other than a place to bury our dead in return for our sacrifices in fighting for other nation’s freedom. He cited the spirit of the American people that built our economy, who create jobs and who burn with entrepreneurial zeal and creativity. His closing remarks could even have been something George W. Bush might have said:

We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. Thank you, God Bless you, God Bless our troops, and may God Bless the United States of America.

The problem of course is that it didn’t ring true. In the same speech he accused us of a reckless war and practicing torture. He said America will always champion human rights, but he has turned his back on the murder of Iranians protesting a fixed election. He said nothing to China about their human rights violations. He supported a corrupt leader in Haiti who was thrown out of office by terms of their own constitution, and he cavorts with tyrannical dictators like Castro and Chavez. He praised American entrepreneurial drive, but every policy and piece of legislation enacted since he took office is anti-business, anti-capitalism and anti-free market. He praises our troops in one breath but undermines them in the next by announcing an expiration date on our commitment to the campaign in Afghanistan.

How is this man to be taken at his word? His on-prompter eloquence sounds like a Hollywood screenwriter’s best effort at a script for a “a great historical leader.” Maybe the problem is Obama is just not a good enough actor to pull it off.

The West Point speech did not play well, and seemed to satisfy no one. Is it possible that the Won is taking a page from the Clinton era and relying more on polling data to shape his opinions, with the Oslo speech being the face of the latest metrics? I guess we should take that as a good sign. Better a politician of malleable principals than an ideologue committed to a Marxist/socialist agenda.

The Oslo speech ushers in a new bent if for no other reason than the only apology that Obama offered was for his unworthiness to receive the award. A view apparently shared by 79% of the rest of Americans.

 

Two sides of the same coin:

ALFRED E nobel_peace copy

framed world readership-CENTAU copy[4]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tiger: Still Not Out Of The Woods

Like everyone else who has spent hours, if not days, talking about the Tiger Woods scandal, Team Dewey would like to state definitively that, in the scheme of things going on in the world, this is not that important. Therefore we are NOT going to discuss it. For that, we’ll turn our post over to Michael Tyson, (aka Rob Bartlett from the Imus show on FOX Business Network) to handle this distasteful duty.

Warning: Adult-ish Content

THE TIGER WOODS HOLIDAY POEM



video

Rob Bartlett on Imus on FOX Business Channel

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ever Wondered What’s on Al Gore’s Toolbar?

 

What’s on Al Gore’s tool bar?  A custom Clippy:

 

global warming clippy-cruh/t Doug Ross Journal 

To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran: “If the data doesn’t fit, it isn’t legit.”

Friday, December 4, 2009

Broken Allegiance

Detroiters love cars. Maybe not like they love their children, but not dissimilar to how they love their dogs.  Unlike car lovers from outside these parts, Detroiters define themselves by the auto manufacturer of their preference: a GM man, a Ford man or a Mopar man. It’s not uncommon for this allegiance to run in families and to continue on from generation to generation: often the lineage of proud immigrants from Europe or the South who manned the original factories. I have always considered myself a GM man, even though I have owned a lot of Jeeps lately.

Since GM (along with Chrysler/Jeep) placed themselves firmly in the socialist grasp and control of the federal government, my lifelong fealty has been tested. Today I’m declaring my allegiance broken.

This Ford commercial was sent by a friend in one of those "pass it along to everyone you know" emails. It forced me to admit what I have known for some time: there is only one real American car company left. Today I have been reborn. Today I declare myself a Ford man!

So, thank you Patrick for sending the first "pass it along" email that not only deserves to be passed along, but deserves it’s own post. It's almost 5 minutes long, but you won’t regret it if you love cars and/or America (although I can’t imagine how you could love one without the other). Please watch the whole thing.

Then go buy a FORD!

That's all I have to say, Ford says the rest.

 

 

2009 Ford Mustang

 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

If you read nothing else today, or even this week, read this. Daniel Henninger’s Wonderland column cleanly and fairly summarizes what went wrong with science.

As the hard sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering—came to dominate intellectual life in the last century, some academics in the humanities devised the theory of postmodernism, which liberated them from their colleagues in the sciences. Postmodernism, a self-consciously "unprovable" theory, replaced formal structures with subjectivity. With the revelations of East Anglia, this slippery and variable intellectual world has crossed into the hard sciences.

And he has harsh words, indeed, for the perpetrators:

The East Anglians' mistreatment of scientists who challenged global warming's claims—plotting to shut them up and shut down their ability to publish—evokes the attempt to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State's Michael Mann and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.

While warning of a relatively new “principal” adopted in the scientific world: (which I talked about in a post from the way-way back machine: Skepticism: All That’s Right With the World)

Beneath this dispute is a relatively new, very postmodern environmental idea known as "the precautionary principle." As defined by one official version: "When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." The global-warming establishment says we know "enough" to impose new rules on the world's use of carbon fuels.

which translates into layman’s terms to “how can it hurt (to go along with laws limiting carbon output)?” Mr. Henninger demonstrates thusly:

The Environmental Protection Agency's dramatic Endangerment Finding in April that greenhouse gas emissions qualify as an air pollutant—with implications for a vast new regulatory regime—used what the agency called a precautionary approach. The EPA admitted "varying degrees of uncertainty across many of these scientific issues." Again, this puts hard science in the new position of saying, close enough is good enough. One hopes civil engineers never build bridges under this theory.

The column is excellent. However, it does overlook the penultimate in science’s demise: the role of government. Government funding of research, via grants, has grown geometrically since the 60’s; so much so that an entire new career - “grants writer” - has been created. When government provides the funding, it will also control research so as to advance its “public” political agenda and policies.  Sadly this agenda has come to look pretty much the same whether you’re talking a Democratic or Republican  majority. Whether we’re talking DDT, healthy lifestyle, early education, environmentalism, global cooling, or global warming, government pulls the chains and tilts the scales; and science slips away.

Public policy is nearly always about gaining more power and control over peoples lives. It doesn’t matter how it’s couched or shrouded, make no mistake: public policy is about controlling YOU. Something the founding fathers clearly abhorred. But what would a batch of  dead, old white men know about our complicated modern life?