Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Thought of the Day

To be sure, America has made some racial progress. But the dream of equality will not be truly and fully realized until President Obama's political detractors treat him with the same respect George W. Bush's detractors showed him.

James Taranto



Not Exactly Smooth Sailing

The Caitlin Arctic Stunt Survey did good work today; they went over 14 Km. and crossed 83 degrees Latitude North. Just 774 Km. to go to the Pole. The weather is -45 degrees C (it's about the same F), so cold they act and sound drunk on the videos.
I think I would rather hit my temple with a ball peen hammer repeatedly than spend ten minutes on the Arctic Ocean within 80 degrees Latitude North. You'd think the ice was at least relatively smooth. It's not so at the pressure ridges such as shown in the Martin Hartley photo here.



All That Glisters Is Not Gold

There was a story lately about Nils-Axel Mörner who said the sea rise (3mm/yr) claimed recently by scientists is a huge lie. A lot of guys I read linked to the story. Rush Limbaugh talked about it. I didn't link. Although there are good stories here and here about how neither Tuvalu nor the Maldives are being swamped by rising oceans, Nils-Axel Mörner is a flat out loon.
I think the oceans have been rising, about a foot a century, as they always do during the later part of an interglacial.
The photo is instructive. See all the ice berg rising above the ocean? There's 9 times more of it you can't see.



The Brave Little Toaster on Mars

One of our tough little robot explorers on Mars, seen from above in a composite photo, which, with the dunes, creates a striking image.
The ending of Battlestar Galactica notwithstanding, we should make our robots less dependent on wheels or tracks and smarter. There's no reason to believe an AI would be hostile to us. We're just projecting.



Diversity of Opinion

I saw this on a Muslim website. Progress?

Do the terrorists actually wear insignia?


Monday, March 30, 2009


A Photo Worth 1,000 Words--All of Them Sad

A Nazi death van, used not against the Jews first, but against those Germans who would now be competing in the Special Olympics, along with the floridly psychotic, and those with severe birth defects.

Apparently the Nazis were too girly to start with those who could actually resist, which is why we who can recall history are so protective of the poor Terry Schiavos of our nation, even when there was no hope for her and she existed in the purgatory of a persistent vegetative state.



The Most Effective Means of Fighting a Faux Consensus

Making fun of the consensus, with a well deserved social sanction for over-rigid behavior.

More sophisticated than I could ever do.



A Man Supremely Confident in His Sexuality

I hate to keep picking on John Mayer but at least you can't see a sizable percentage of his pubic hair in this photo.

Like some of the relatively light weight rockers who can sing and write a song, Mayer was having delusions of guitar mastery as he played, poorly, some blues the last time I saw him live. There's no guitar in sight here so it seems that he might be backing off that dream. Either that or he's started down the Michael Jackson road of wearing ever more elaborate fantasy uniforms.

I'm pretty sure he's neither gay nor ambisexual and indeed I hear he is a great lover with a huge penis. Fortunately, I have no personal knowledge.

Still, this picture makes me hear In the Navy in my head. That's not a good thing. Jenn might have gotten out just in the nick.



Defining Basic Terms

Here is the online dictionary's first definition of socialism:

a...system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital,land, etc., in the community as a whole.

The international socialists we call the Communists, like in the former USSR, obviously gave a try to community ownership of everything. It failed spectacularly. The wimpy current European socialism ranges from government ownership of some of the means of production to ownership, through taxation, of most of the gains from the means of production. It is in the process of failing less spectacularly.

Is there a term for when the capitalist still own the means of production but the government controls it? Why yes there is, Virginia, that's called fascism, as was practiced by the national socialists in Italy and Germany in the second quarter of the 20th Century.

I don't think we're really that close to socialism--about as close to true socialism as China is close to capitalism now, our ponzi scheme social security and medicare notwithstanding. Likewise, we are approaching the European type of socialism as our taxes rise, are more progressive and are ever more used for unconstitutional federal charity. Not there yet, however.

OK, so what is buying shares in a financial institution and telling them what the institution can pay its employees? What too is lending money to car makers and then telling them to lose the CEO or merge with a foreign corporation? Isn't that more fascism than socialism? Isn't that government control of the (partially) privately held means of production?

Just askin'?


Saturday, March 28, 2009


Thought of the Day

America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.

Bernard Lewis


Friday, March 27, 2009


Pictures That Put You off Your Food

Excuse me, I have to go now and destroy the two John Mayer CDs I own. Shame too as I really like 3x5.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Graph of the Day

The deficits of the Bush Administration versus the deficits of the Obama Administration. Our current President, like Bush, inherited a recession, which for Bush was made worse by the 9/11 attacks. Bush cut income tax rates (although he spent too much, as did the Republicans in Congress) and the recession was shallow and short; and later tax revenues were record breaking. Obama is doing the opposite. I think even the CBO projections are too rosy. I stand by my November 2008 prediction that he and his cohorts will triple the national public debt.
Further words are superfluous.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Thoughts on Mandatory Eye Candy

Over at the National Geographic is an article about doing PET scans of guys brains as they were shown pictures of women in bathing suits, etc. Here was the result:

Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

Now if we use Beavis and Butthead like word association with 'tool' the response to that statement is: No, duh. But that is not the lesson the researcher got.

And in a “shocking” finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another’s intentions.

This means that these men see women “as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,” Fiske said.

Shocking indeed. So the men were thinking like men and not like feminists. Oh, the humanity. Of course with a bosom like Gemma Atkinson's (who puts the rack back into the term 'frackin' huge'), I'm not consciously aware that I'm thinking about anything other than what I'm looking at. Color me shocked at my own thoughtless behavior.

(h/t Laer and Mary Katharine Ham)



Thought of the Day

There were various theories on the enigmatic O in the run-up to his election: a) he was a post-partisan intellectually sérieux centrist with a totally awesome temperament, as Messrs Buckley, Brooks & Co argued; b) he was a doctrinaire leftie statist, as his choice of friends and associates suggested; or c) he was a man completely unqualified to be president, as his wafer-thin resume made plain. We're still debating over whether it's b) and/or c), but any homme sérieux ought by now to be honest enough to acknowledge that a) was a fantasy projected on to Obama by doting admirers. It might be useful for the smart set to ponder why they made this error, what it says about our political culture, and whether it might be in America's interest to avoid this mistake in the future.

Oh, and the Obamacons ought to give up on all the cooing over his "temperament". It makes these hommes sérieux sound like Tiger Beat reporters.

Mark Steyn



The Proverbial Pain in the A**

Of the three intrepid Arctic Ice Trekkers in the Caitlin Survey, the photographer, Martin Hartley, was proving the slow one. Not only did he have a frostbitten toe, but he was feeling a sharp pain in his backsides. Now that the cause of that pain has been removed, they should start zooming to the Pole. Martin thinks solemnly that he has 70 days of struggle left to get there. Let's do the math. Currently they have 894 km. to go. Divide that by 70 and you have their minimum rate: 12.77 km./day. What have they been averaging since their start over three weeks ago? 2.72 km./day. Ummm, that's not so good.

What have they been doing lately? 36 km. in 4 days, 9km/day. Well, that's a lot better than 2.72, but is it good enough?

Hmmm? Even if the Spring weather co-operates and the sea ice drifts less, you just might not make it in 70, Martin, but I hope you all do eventually get there. The last thing we need is Warmie martyrs.

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Things Continue Not to Add Up

Here is a graph of reality compared to IPCC computer models, in pink. Not that close in my opinion. Because there is a diminishing return on CO2 warming as it increases in the atmosphere, such warming as was predicted is physically impossible from rising CO2 alone and a three plus degree temperature rise is only possible if, as the Warmies assume, a positive feedback system will kick in because of the slight warming caused by green house gasses and make it much warmer than doubling CO2 could possibly do. However, back on planet Earth, there is no positive feedback assisting the warming. There appears to be the opposite, a negative feedback or mollifying system, which is making it not ever warmer; and indeed, for a short period lately, it has actually gotten colder worldwide. I believe the negative feedback system is clouds at a certain level which, for various reasons, will continue to cool us for a while now. Additionally, the sun will likely have fewer sunspots during the next 11 year period, if it ever actually begins, and our World will get colder still. In any event, something not in the IPCC computer models has already taken us off their prediction line on the chart and it's only 9 years into the new century.

Here is a chart of what the Warmie AGW theory predicts is now happening about 10 km. up over the tropics because of the CO2 et al. in the atmosphere there. The green house gasses, mainly CO2, should be creating a hot spot there as they do their thing, absorbing heat. Just below that is a chart showing a composite of actual weather balloon and satellite measurement of the troposphere temperatures recently. No signature hot spot is visible. The hot spot is a sine qua non for the Warmie theory so it looks like non to me. Those are two big strikes against AGW in my book.
If the sea stops rising at 3mm per year despite a continued steady increase in CO2 and the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice remains at the 19 year normal (as it is just now) over the next five years, that will be the final strike and even true believers will have a hard time explaining away the reality. (As they are now).

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Sunday, March 22, 2009


Thought of the Day

I feel utterly powerless to do anything about the fellow in the Oval Office who combines infantile leftism and adolescent grandiosity in roughly equal measures. It seems to me that every day he is responsible for assaults on the freedom and well being of the American people. I can't keep up and I can't stand to pay attention.

Scott Johnson


Saturday, March 21, 2009


Second Thought of the Day

He is a free soul, but he is also the product of environments in which even moderately conservative ideas are never considered; but where people on the further reaches of the left are automatically welcomed as "avant-garde." His whole idea of where the middle might be, is well to the left of where the average American might think it is. To a man like Obama, as he has let slip on too many occasions when away from his teleprompter, "Middle America" is not something to be compromised with, but rather, something that must be manipulated, because it is stupid. And the proof that it can be manipulated, is that he is the president today.

David Warren



Nowhere Left to Hide

Here is an accurate graph of the four major global temperature services from about this time last year. The satellite services (RSS and UAH) show a definite cooling over the past decade, as does HadCRUT. GISS, which is run by Warmie true believers, and based on unreliable ground thermometers they manipulate, merely shows a flat decade without any warming at all. One would think that this cooling, would cause real scientists to wonder about their AGW theory. It did, just a little, and the Warmie true believers said that the heat from anthropogenic CO2 was in the sea, in some sort of pipeline.

Well, we have placed 3,000 buoys in the sea, the Argo system, which has been supplying data from the oceans, including water temperature from the surface to a mile deep, since 2003. Although spokesman Josh Willis first let it slip, on NPR of all places, that the data showed a slight cooling, he later took it back, and blamed the measurers. But then another scientist took a look and indeed the oceans have been cooling at the same time the surface air (low troposphere) has also cooled. OK, Warmies, I give up, where has the atmospheric warming from the ever increasing CO2 gone?

They will say 'cooling is evidence of warming too', they will say 'we never said it would always get hotter', they will blame the interpreters of the data and go ad hominem ad nauseum, they will adjust the data until it says what they want it to say, but they will not admit, yet, that the walls of their fantasy/hoax house are crashing down around their ears.

With the La Nina firmly entrenched and the sun super quiet, there will almost certainly be decades of additional cooling. Serious cooling. That's because CO2 after 300 ppm has almost no effect on atmospheric warming, maybe a single degree in 150 years or so, and then another degree in a thousand years of CO2 increase. But don't count on the hoaxers to admit it until there is, as with the last decade's phantom/lost heat, no where left to hide.

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Thought of the Day

The first two months of the Age of the Hopeychange have been an eye-opener. I expected it to be ideologically distasteful to me, but I didn't expect it to be so inept. Not because I had any expectations of President Obama's executive skills. But I assumed he'd have folks around him who could take care of details like governing, while he pranced around as the smiley-face hopeychange frontman. But the bench is still empty save for a handful of mediocrities. And the disconnect between the smoothly scripted mush and what's actually happening makes the telepromptered cool look even more ridiculous.

Mark Steyn


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Global Warming My Ass

Last year, some Warmies got in sea kayaks to float/paddle to the North Pole, or as close as they could get. Although it was Summer, it was freakin' cold and they kept getting frozen in. They quit after a short time when it was clear that, despite other Warmie predictions, not all the sea ice had melted and there was just no open water for their intended travels. They barely got to 80 degrees.

This year, three Warmie Brits, Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley, set out (in Winter!) to trek to the North Pole schlepping along a portable radar unit to measure the thickness of the sea ice. They thought that it would take 90 days. When they first got to the Arctic they were ecstatic. "Welcome to the High Arctic at 75 degrees North. We love it." (Emphasis added).

Then they were dropped of in the middle of nowhere. It was a hard slog through day 6 but they made some distance (about 1% of the way) but since then things have gone poorly. The ice has drifted south, so as hard and far as they travel (not that far compared to earlier explorers), they were, on day 12, not even to the day 6 point of greatest advance, and now that it's day 18, they are further from the Pole than they were on day 12. Now the real bitching and moaning starts in.

It was my birthday on Tuesday.
What a way to spend it - 500 miles from the North Pole, floating on a raft of sea ice that is breaking up to the north of us, a polar bear plodding around close by and running out of food.
The resupply plane is now several days late. I know they've tried three times and the weather has stopped them, so we are now down to half rations.

But the ambient temperature inside (sic) the tent is -40C, the inside of the tent is like an ice cavern.
I've got frostbite in my toes, my sleeping bag is full of ice and the supposedly hot food ends up like a roofing tile in seconds!
The best way to keep warm is to stay in your sleeping bag - but when that's full of camera cables as well as ice it makes for pretty uncomfortable sleeping.

I really don't wish them ill. I hope they give up and are rescued soon, but there seems to be a slight bit of disconnect between the Warmie beliefs and the cold hard facts of the Arctic climate.

The Warmies come off as fatuous clowns.

UPDATE: There was an earlier attempt to walk to the North Pole that was nipped in the bud two years ago. A friend called the current attempt brave. I still call these people showboaters, at best. I say end the suffering of the Catlin 3 now, bring them home.

UPDATE 2: Although Ms. Daniels is quoting a Robert Service poem about suicide and Mr. Hartley has called the expedition extremely cold and hard, they have been resupplied and are pushing on. Even if we go by the first 6 days' rate of advance, it looks like over a year until they reach the Pole. They say by May. Well, maybe. I have to note that these guys probably know what they're doing. Hadow walked alone in 2003 from Canada to the Pole without resupply That's impressive. He did the same at the South Pole, which is even more impressive as it's even colder there. Daniels has made the trips as part of teams to both Poles. Hartley has been around the Poles 19 times. I feel better about their chances now. These are not naive tyros; but the fact that, less than three weeks into it, they are semi-despairing, and sounding like Scott's ill fated team in 1912, shows just how difficult it is for men and women to live between 80 and 90 degrees latitude. It looks like they just had a run of bad luck with the weather and the fact that it was really, really cold, like negative forty Celsius. Who would have imagined that it would be so cold in late Winter in the Arctic?

UPDATE 3: They tell you how far they've gone, and how long they've been on the ice and they even have a daily average of distance traveled. Right now it's 1.42 km/day with 929 km to go to the Pole. I reckon they're going to have to pick up the pace a bit because at that rate they'll be nearing the pole early-January, 2011, just 19 months behind schedule. Well, if anyone can pick up the pace, it will be these guys, all in their 40s.

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Buyer's Remorse

What could go wrong with a short service Congressman and Senator with no executive experience and firmly held socialist beliefs being placed in one of the most difficult jobs on Earth? No person could probably have lived up to the expectations generated by candidate Obama but our President is beginning LBJ's third term with stumble after stumble, an incomplete cabinet, a woefully inept foreign policy, massive wasteful spending and a striking inability to solve the nation's serious financial problems. Even his former supporters are asking, "Is this guy in over his head?"
No, duh, as the youngsters used to say.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Update on the Doe With the Leg

I don't see her in this herd. I couldn't get the DOW interested in euthanizing her. Her leg looked bad enough to have killed her already. More as this continues to develope.
These deer look great for late Winter. I told you the suburbs were idyllic except for the vehicles.



This Seems Like Good News

Right Whale numbers have tripled since the nadir. That's still only about 350 whales and they are not recovering as fast as other species, but still, 350 is better than extinction.

They were named Right Whales because they were slow, full of oil and baleen, stayed near the coast and floated after death. They were the right whale to hunt.

I hope to see some this late Spring. I will report.



Mandatory Eye Candy

I don't know why this photo of Scarlett Johansson knocks me out so. My high school colors were green and gold...
Yeah, that's probably it.



Comparing Apples to Oranges and Finding Scorpions

Very few people take Andrew Sullivan seriously on the subject of torture anymore. He has, for a long time, been unserious in his equation of the ordinary things attending wartime detention with torture. He thinks, for example, that merely keeping an enemy combatant, if I can use the precise phrase now banned from official use, away from the battlefield for the duration of a war is torture. He long ago lost the distinction between simulated drowning and actual murder. So it is no surprise that he comes to this conclusion here:

Bush and Cheney were, in fact, more brutal in their "enhanced interrogation" than the Gestapo was. And note that I am not engaging in the slightest hyperbole here.

Notice his denying doing exactly what he is doing (a rhetorical device whose name escapes me just now*). He is engaging in hyperbole and he knows it, so he denies he is engaging in hyperbole. Like a liar saying spontaneously, "I'm not lying."

Notice too that he is comparing a report on a series of complaints, by our lying enemy combatant friends we haven't made yet, to a report on the field manual for effective interrogation (as far as the Nazis were concerned).

Although the authors of the report vouch for the veracity of the enemy combatants neighbors with a valid beef, I have read their field manual which commands them to lie about their confinement and always allege bad treatment. I do not yet believe them. I do however believe that the Gestapo would beat a prisoner with a stick. I also believe that a branch of the Gestapo murdered millions of Jews, hundreds of thousands of Poles, thousands of Gypsies and homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses und so weiter.

Comparing our three uses of waterboarding, simulated drowning, to the experiments in the concentration camps with prisoners in cold water, reveals a slightly different view. The Nazis wanted to know just how long they had to rescue their pilots who had bailed out over the North Sea. Prisoners were placed in varying degrees of cold water to see how long they would last before hypothermia, or, more usually, drowning killed them, because the cold made them so weak they could no longer keep their heads above the surface. Compare those things, Andy, when you're comparing the 'Bushies' to the Nazis. I continue to think that the totalitarian left caused 99% plus of the political murder in the 20th Century and thus any of their regimes were likely worse than the Bush Administration.

It takes a lot of education to be as morally vapid as Andrew Sullivan

UPDATE: *Apophasis, denying you're doing just what you're doing. An example:
I will not even mention Houdini's many writings, both on magic and other subjects, nor the tricks he invented, nor his numerous impressive escapes, since I want to concentrate on...


Monday, March 16, 2009


Talk about Inconvenient

Here is what Al Gore said/wrote in the Warmie propaganda movie (and book) An Inconvenient Truth:

...less than a month before Hurricane Katrina hit the United States, a major study from MIT supported the scientific consensus that global warming is making hurricanes more powerful and more destructive...

(Emphasis added).

And here is the truth:

Tropical cyclone (TC) activity worldwide has completely and utterly collapsed during the past 2 to 3 years with TC energy levels sinking to levels not seen since the late 1970s.

Like temperature itself, the Cyclone Energy level and thereafter the number of cyclones and hurricanes goes up and then it goes down. CO2 has nothing more to do with it than it has to do with global mean temperature, that is, after CO2 gets to 280 ppm in the atmosphere. Put another way, Al Gore is full of it regarding the climate on Earth.

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Al Gore: The North Polar Ice Cap Will Disappear in 5 Years

I think Gore is full of it. I bet that, in 2014, the Summer Arctic sea ice minimum extent (measured by AMSR-E) will be more than 5 million square kilometers, an area equal to the countries of India, France, Venezuela and Iceland combined,.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Rubric Change in Which We Can Believe

A lot has been made, and rightly so, of the new way of looking at scientific change authored by Thomas Kuhn in his work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), but, in a semeiotical sort of way, there is almost as much to be learned from a change in rubrics as there is in a change in paradigms. Although I've watched it and even made fun of it, the change from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" is actually a sign of victory by the Deniers. Or so says James Lewis here. I had not seen it that way before. Thanks, Jim.

Money quote:

But that’s not why I think the skeptics are winning. The rational skeptics are winning because the global warming crowd has simply dropped the two words “global warming” from its vocabulary. No more official global warming! This is like the old Soviet Communist Party. You have to analyze not just what’s said but what’s not said. You have to look to see who has been airbrushed out of the pictures of the Politburo waving on top of Lenin’s tomb watching the May Day parade. And “global warming” has disappeared from respectable scientific discourse. Only the elementary school teachers of the world will keep teaching about global warming, because their lesson plans are already written, and they’re a little slow on the uptake.



Our Source Was the New York Times

From a prescient NYT editorial in 1999:

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenominal (sic) growth in profits.
“Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990s by reducing downpayment requirements,” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market."
In moving, even tentatively into this new [subprime] area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980s.

(h/t Cheat Seeking Missiles)



The Scariest Graph I've Seen in Years

From good guy Donald Luskin's excellent site, The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid.

President Obama is currently blaming the previous Administration for everything bad, but it is only a matter of a few months, when the Democrats' apparent lack of any ability to cure the banking woes and their mad spending spree makes the current economy theirs.

In the meantime, we should pray that the recent congruance of the two graphs reverses.



Thought of the Day

There was no climate crisis. There is no climate crisis. There will be no climate crisis. “Global warming” is not a global crisis. It is a global scientific fraud.

Without you, that blunt truth might have taken far longer to emerge than it has. And delay is fatal. Though lies cannot alter or harm the truth, they can kill our fellow men. The environmental movement is out of control. It is now humankind’s deadliest enemy. In the name of humanity, it must be outlawed. Thirty years ago, the soi-disant “Greens” agitated for DDT to be banned. They killed 40 million people of malaria, most of them children. Eventually, after a third of a century, the WHO at last caved in to humanitarian pressure from me and others and reversed the ban. Dr. Arata Kochi, announcing the end of that murderous ban, said, “Usually in this field politics comes first and science second. Now we must take a stand on the science and the data.” That is what you in this room have so gallantly done. You have taken a stand on the science and the data.

Now the very same soi-disant “Greens” are killing millions by starvation in a dozen of the world’s poorest regions. Their biofuel scam, a nasty by-product of their shoddy, senseless, failed, falsified, fraudulent “global warming” bugaboo, has turned millions of acres of agricultural land from growing food for humans to growing fuel for automobiles. If we let them, they will carelessly kill tens of millions more by pursuing Osamabamarama’s stated ambition of shutting down nine-tenths of the economies of the West and flinging us back to the Stone Age without even the right to light fires in our caves.

The prosperity of the West is not only our sustenance. It is also the very lifeblood of the struggling nations of the Third World. If our economies fail, we are inconvenienced, but they die.

Lord Christopher Monckton


Friday, March 13, 2009


Whom to Believe?

The most recent alarmism has been about what the real rate of rise in the sea level has been since 1993. That's the year when satellites were launched to monitor the level of the oceans. Another important year in this dispute is 2003 when we began to get data from the now 3000 Argo buoys. Tidal measurements (left) over the past 120 years show a rise a little less than 2mm per year. Satellite measurement appears to show a rate about 3mm per year. Over a century the 3mm rate (without change in that rate) would lead to a rise of over a yard about a foot [a milimeter is a thousandth of a meter and I am a metric fool]. That's more less than the IPCC said. Whom to believe?

To the right is the MSL altimeter record in detail. Although it still looks to me like it's tailing off since 2006, the rate is up at over 3mm/yr.

Here is what a prominent Aussie scientists, John Church, said recently about the issue:

The most recent satellite and ground based observations show that sea-level rise is continuing to rise at 3 mm/yr or more since 1993, a rate well above the 20th century average. The oceans are continuing to warm and expand, the melting of mountain glacier has increased and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are also contributing to sea level rise.

(Emphasis added).

Wait, we know precisely what has happened recently to the oceans from the thousands of sophisticated diving buoys in the Argo system. Here is what Josh Willis, a PhD at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said a year ago about sea temperatures revealed from that system, specifically regarding the fact that since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans:

There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant...Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming.
Less rapid warming, right, so much less it's called cooling. But there is a mystery then, as Dire Straits once sang:

Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong.

If the ocean has been slightly cooling since 2003, how can the sea levels have risen since 1993 in part by continued warming and expansion of the ocean?

Just asking.

UPDATE: Because I am a fool, I believed scientist John Church when he said, in the article, "By 2100, sea levels could be 1 metre or more above current levels..." A milimeter is .oo1 of a meter. Mulitply that by a hundred and you get .3 of a meter, just about a foot. How Church got to over 3 feet could be explained by the same math error I made or it could be explained by his belief that, in the future, it will be warmer and more ice on land will melt and flow into the sea. I'm not saying it's impossible, but possible is not the same as probable. Yeah, John, sea levels could be a meter higher in 2100 and monkeys could come flying out of my butt, too. With the average global air and sea temperatures both going down in the first decade of the 21st Century, there will have to be a rapid reversal soon to get back to increasing the 3 mm per year rate to a 9 mm per year rate. When will we see this reversal and acceleration? Any bets?



What Democratic Leadership has Done to Detroit

Here is a heart-breaking photo essay. Here is the NYT on the subject in 1990. During WWII, Detroit had over 2 million people and by 1950 was this nation's fourth biggest city. In 1960, the population was 1.6 million, 70% white. Now it's just over 900,000, 82% black. The mayor has been a Democrat since 1962. The median house price in the city is now $7,500. My 12 year old car is worth more than that. Whole neighborhoods have been abandoned because of crime. Just go to google earth. Look at the devastation of the neighborhoods and former industrial base for square mile after square mile. It really is a shame.

This is how well Democratic government works. We would probably see the same thing with many major cities that have had an unbroken line of Democratic mayors, and councilmen and women for 45 years or more.



What Happened to the Left's Sloganeering?

I used to think the lefty chants at anti-war rallies in the '60s and '70s were pretty good--Hey, hey LBJ, how many boys did you kill today? had some flare and a bite. There were others just as good. It was a little dismaying to hear the exact same ones, and no new ones, during the early part of Gulf War II protests (wonder what happened to them? oh, that's right, we won). Recently the left had a contest to put a slogan on a billboard near where Rush Limbaugh lives to chide him for hoping that President Obama's government growing/generational theft policies failed. After about two weeks and 80,000 entries, this is what they came up with, about the lamest billboard ever. About 20 seconds later someone wrote into the NRO with this, pretty good, I think.

I fear the crown for the best sloganeering has passed to the Republicans.
UPDATE: James Taranto sees the obvious, which escaped my attention, that the Democratic winning slogan, supposedly an anti-Limbaugh slogan, actually "sounds like an anti-Obama (or at least disappointed-with-Obama) one"--that other sound you hear is my palm slapping my forehead.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


This Is Why I Make My Own

Not only has the Obama election sent gun sales through the roof, but ammunition is also being bought up at record rates. So quickly is it selling that there are reports of ammunition shortages. I'm pretty much set in that arena, at least for long guns, would need to make a run to the manly sporting goods store (not REI) to be set for making my own pistol ammunition.

My question is why are guns and ammunition selling so rapidly since the Obama election?

Here are the possibilities, as I see them.

1. Circumspect guys and girls are getting them before they are banned or registration required.

2. Circumspect guys and girls are getting them because they foresee an ever decreasing economy leading to the breakdown of social order.

3. Circumspect guys and girls are getting them because they foresee a creeping socialist totalitarianism here and want to have the means to resist.

All the news articles say it's reason #1. I hope it's that. Would love to hear which one you think is the main driving force.



Second Thought of the Day

[Because of continuing problems with nominees] Left finally comes to terms that Obama is not Jesus. Jesus could actually build a cabinet.




Grading the President

Here is what economists polled by the Wall Street Journal said:

The economists' assessment stands in stark contrast with Mr. Obama's popularity with the public, with a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll giving him a 60% approval rating. A majority of the 49 economists polled said they were dissatisfied with the administration's economic policies.
On average, they gave the president a grade of 59 out of 100, and although there was a broad range of marks, 42% of respondents rated Mr. Obama below 60.

Here is what the public said at MSNBC, Chris Matthews', Rachel Maddow's, and Keith Olbermann's low rated network:

With 192,000 plus voters, 54% give President Obama an F (although there has been a huge spike in 'A's in the past 12 hours. A left led rescue plan?)

Heard this on MSNBC? Other alphabet networks? Hmm?

UPDATE: The lefty empire has struck back and the poll at MSNBC now with 476,000 plus votes 51% give the President an A and only 30% the F. No change from the expert economists.



Suffer the Little Does

There is a herd of Mule Deer Does in my neighborhood. The wander through the extensive green areas. It would seem an idyllic life. However, sometimes there are automobile collisions some of which are not fatal. One doe has a ruined right rear leg and has been that way for about a year now. Recently the hanging leg has been broken in the shin part and really looks painful now. Still the doe is in good shape elsewhere and stays with the herd and eats, etc. I called the city to see if animal control could euthanize it. The city is aware of the doe's condition but has either decided, or has its figurative hands tied by statute or regulation, that it can do nothing as long as the doe can move, eat, and stays with the herd. This seems cruel to me, but for shooting it myself, I can't think of a way to end its suffering. We have tripod dogs of course, but they get medical treatment to amputate the broken, irretrievable leg. We wouldn't let a dog continue to exist like this doe is now.



Thought of the Day

You know why they can't solve any crimes in West Virginia, don't ya'? They don't have any dental records and everyone has the same DNA.

Denver radio personality Peter Boyles

Proving once again that you can still crack racist jokes about whites. Although I deplore disparaging West Virginia, I am always careful to tell people that I was born in real Virginia (although in the same hillbilly region as exists in the breakaway state to the north).


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Star Wars Allusion

They should have left off the last line which is not clever at all. Otherwise, pretty good.



Career Seppuku

Added on to the growing list of blogger/pundits on the internet whom I once read but do no longer is now David Frum. He joins Andrew Sullivan, Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley (I still like his novels, despite a recent Marx Brothers like sameness to them) and Kathleen Parker. I'm sure they are quaking in their boots that I stopped reading them. However, Frum will not be the first to learn that the 'attaboys' he's getting from the likes of Chris Matthews not only don't last but are wholly overbalanced by the jeers of conservatives and Republicans who are adding him to their traitorous shit list.

Not that political party self criticism isn't worthwhile.

I'm not the only one displeased with him.


Monday, March 09, 2009


Thought of the Day

We might hope to see the finances of the Union as clear and intelligible as a merchant's books, so that every member of Congress and every man of any mind in the Union should be able to comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and consequently to control them.

Thomas Jefferson

(See Obama's not the first president to talk about hopes for the government which were quickly dashed.)


Sunday, March 08, 2009


Friday Movie Review (quite late): Watchmen

Watchmen is supposedly the best comic book (or series of 12 DC comic books) ever written (and drawn). I have no first hand knowledge. Watchmen is certainly a long ass movie but is it a good one? Sadly, no, but that doesn't mean it's unwatchable. Quis custodies spectat? People who had read the comics in the late '80s thought it was pretty faithful to the 'book' until the end where it was different but probably better.

It certainly is chock full of good looking people (except for Rorschach) and even though there is way too much male nudity, there is enough of the main female visible to satisfy one's prurient interest--she is one good looking Swede. Crudup looks pretty much the same blue but his body is enhanced, somehow. The bad guy in Hard Candy is the most likable character, Nite Owl II, who gets the girl, and the incredible Matthew Goode, who was so good in The Lookout, is the not so difficult to figure good guy/bad guy here, Veidt.

The other good thing was the music: All good songs even Leonard Cohen's (although it was the weakest) and you got to hear nearly all of them with no dialogue over them. All good. And I thought the alternative reality caused by the existence of the 'super' heroes was exceptionally well done. Nixon and Kissinger, together to the end. Obviously, the writer of the comic was as convinced as I was in mid-late 80 that a catastrophic nuclear war between us and the USSR was inevitable and nigh. Thank God, or perhaps Ronald Reagan, we were both wrong. However, being absolutely sure that we were mostly all going to die in a nuclear war is essential, I think, to getting the piece. It is nearly impossible to resurrect those thoughts now. The real history of 1989-90 makes the central concept of Watchmen a quaint wrong turn in prediction/retrospection. We almost certainly will see nuclear war between Iran and Israel (or perhaps India and Pakistan first) but it will not be the 'back to the stone age' thing nuclear combat toe to toe with the Russians would have been when we together had about 80,000 nuclear weapons. Now we only have about 10,000 each and a President who would not use them under any circumstances. Il n’y a pas d’enemi à gauche ou à Islam. But I see I am getting too political for this comic book movie, and there has been entirely too much French in this review.

The real problem is that it plays just like a series of cells. There is no real arc of a story, just a series of images on the screen. Nice images usually, but without much emotional heft. You don't really like anyone but Rorschach, testament to Jackie Earle Haley's abilities to be tough as nails. Really, it was all quite pointless and not so cool a journey as to be worthwhile. The ending was incredibly weak even in the 'book' and somehow even lamer here (although without the faux aliens). I'm glad I saw it just for the shared social experience, and don't' get me wrong, I enjoy a traumatic compound fracture of the elbow as much as anyone, but it really is not much of an improvement on 300, director Zack Snyder's earlier comic book to movie effort.


Saturday, March 07, 2009


Red Eye and Ann Coulter Clobber Keith's Cornell Claims!

It's nice to see an insecure elitist snob be revealed as an insecure elitist snob who didn't go to the Ivy League school he used to say he attended. I'm pretty sure Ann Coulter would not have told the world about the Ag school, associated with Ivy League Cornell, had not Olbermann made fun of Republican after Republican, whose choice for college or law school did not satisfy him. The best moment is when Olbermann actually shows his framed diploma, his Cornell Ag School diploma. He is a black hole of insecurity, and the world's most pompous Ag School graduate in communications. Good work, Ann.


Predictions Based on Variable Trends

Much of Warmie hysteria centers around global sea rise. The island nation of Tuvalu is doomed to sink Atlantis like below the Pacific. The Greenland glaciers are melting faster than young and middle aged researchers have ever seen them melt. Ditto the Antarctic Peninsula glaciers and ice fields and ice shelves (see photo). The coastlines are doomed to flooding. Run for the hills!

Well, maybe not.

We're in an interglacial. The seas always rise during an interglacial at first at a very fast rate and then at a slower rate, but even the flat part of the curve is up until the tipping point is reached and the new Ice Age (#25?) begins. And perhaps, two Warmie scientists warn, the recent rapid melt in Greenland is not so permanent, at least not on the largest glacier there, which they studied, and, perhaps more importantly to their ilk, made computer models of. Was there ever a more humble, or timid warning about hysteria than this:

The scientists also suggested that as the data on increased melting covers relatively few years it might be ill-advised to project a trend on the basis of something that may turn out to be a short-term phenomenon.

Word, as the youngsters used to say.


Friday, March 06, 2009


Crescent Moon and Venus

The elegant beauty of the simplest, everyday things never ceases to amaze me.


Thursday, March 05, 2009


Outrage Bereft of Logic

Rosa Brooks' latest column in the soon to close LA Times is a hissy fit disguised as an opinion piece. I do give her high marks for knowing that Hitler, not Goebbels, is the author of the Big Lie theory (see chapter 10 of Mein Kampf), but after that intellectual gem her critical acumen nearly evaporates. Charles Krauthammer might be tempted to diagnose Bush Derangement Syndrome, if he still practiced psychiatry. Here are my nominations of the smoking guns of illogical thinking contained in the piece.

She is writing about the legal memoranda from shortly after 9/11/01, which the Obama administration recently released. She says the memos erroneously "conclude that citizens and noncitizens could be designated "unlawful enemy combatants" by the president on the basis of secret evidence." Of the memos in general she said they "mischaracterize previous Supreme Court decisions, ignore crucial legal precedents and contain gaping holes in logic."

I say there is a little projection going on there. Let's take the Supreme Court decision Ex Parte Quirin in which the Court held that a group of Nazi saboteurs could be designated unlawful enemy combatants by the president based on secret evidence, and, even though one of them had been born in America, they had no habeas corpus rights. Most of them were executed following a military tribunal. Sic semper militibus latentibus.

But there's more, however, let's start with a definition of 'lie'--it is a statement of purported fact which the speaker knows not to be true. It is not a mere mistake nor a prediction of the future which turns out to be wrong. OK, on to Ms. Brooks big examples of the so called Big Lie:

(The Big Lie theory also helps explain why other manifestly false Bush administration claims prevailed in the face of the evidence: Recall, for instance, how we were assured that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the war would be a cakewalk?)

Iraq had WMD and had used them against Iran and the Kurds, and President Bush rationally believed that Saddam Hussein retained them, otherwise why not co-operate with the UN and avoid sanctions and ultimately war, and execution? We may never know what precisely happened to the gas shells, for example, but to believe that President Bush knew there were no weapons left in 2003 yet he continued to say that Iraq had such weapons, as Ms. Brooks seems to believe, is foolishly dishonest indeed, delusional. Bush said what he believed, that WMD were there, they weren't; that's a mistake, not a lie, not even a little one.

The second, that we would defeat the Iraqi forces easily, was a prediction of the future. By definition that can't be a lie. We did walk through the Iraqi Army in three weeks with very few casualties to us. It was mistakes which later caused a multi-front insurgency which tied us down for so long until we actually used counter-insurgency tactics during the Surge and won the second part of the delayed ending of Gulf War I.

So Rosa 'Luxemburg' Brooks makes a big deal of the Big Lie theory and then uses two non lies as her only support for her application of the theory to the Bush Administration. Really good, professor. How rigorous of you. I won't make the obvious observation that Ms. Brooks lies about Bush Administration non-lies.

Oh and 2 minutes of waterboarding is not torture while a half hour of it would be. I don't think we have tortured any of the terrorists we've captured, more's the pity.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Report on American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

There was more deadly combat in Iraq this month than in a while. In Afghanistan, the IED has become the queen of the battlefield, such as it is.

According to Department of Defense releases for the month of December, the roles of non combat and combat were reversed from last month: 15 American servicemen died in Iraq, 11 in combat and 4 from non combat causes. We are mopping up the bitter ender remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq. Things in Afghanistan seem to be going the way of the middle period of Iraq, when by far the most of our heroes were killed by IEDs.

Here is a further breakdown. In Iraq, 15 American servicemen died. Six were killed by IEDs (twice as many as last month), four died from small arms fire, and one was killed by a gun shot wound with no further information given. None died in accidents, none died in combat operations; but four died from non combat causes including to only American woman to die, Cwislin Walter, 19, from Honolulu, who died in Kuwait. In Afghanistan, nine died from IEDs (which is another increase from last month and a telling statistic), two from combat operations, one from indirect fire, and one from small arms (an RPG). All were deaths in combat. That's telling too. The total in Afghanistan is 13, and the total last month for the wars being waged against us is 28, exactly one per day.

Several officers were killed: Capt. Brian Bunting, 29 of Potomac, MD, who died of an IED blast in Afghanistan; 1st Lt. William Emmert, 36, of Lincoln, TN, who died in small arm fire in Iraq; Lt. Col. Garnet Derby, 44, of Missoula, MT, killed by an IED in Iraq alongside 1st Lt. Jared Southworth, 26, of Oakland, IL.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and loved ones of these fallen warriors, and all our hopes for their continued success goes to our men and women, mainly men, fighting overseas.



Topping Out

The Northern Ocean sea ice reaches its maximum about now each year, and the 'average' extent of the ice is, for the period 1979-2000, about 15.75 million square kilometers in 14 separate areas. Right now, using a new and possibly more reliable satellite sensor system, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the sea ice extent is 15.25 msk, about .5 msk down, or 3.2%.

The particular areas where the sea ice is down for the NSIDC are: The Sea of Okhotsk (near Kamchatka); Barents Sea (east of Norway); the Greenland Sea; the Bering Sea (north of Alaska) and, Baffin Island/Newfoundland Bay.

This data coincides generally with the still suspect data at the Cryosphere Today, which says that the sea ice area (different from extent) is only 13.6 msk, but, again, that's down only about .6 msk. The areas of ice deficiency are different for this site. The Sea of Okhotsk is about .12 off; the Greenland Sea is about .05 off; the Baffin Island/Newfoundland Bay is off about .05; and, as usual for the last several seasons, Barents Sea is down about .2. All of those measurements are msk and all the other areas are at or just slightly above the 1979 -2000 average. If you added up the down areas and got only .42 msk down rather than the reported .6 msk down, join the puzzled club. The site has not added up for months now.

But let's not get bogged down in detail (if that's not too late). The Northern Ocean sea ice at its greatest area or extent is about 3 or 4% below the 29 year average starting in 1979. Not particularly alarming to me, but of course I'm neither a Warmie nor given to chicken little alarmism.

What about the future? I predict the northern sea ice, at its minimum at the end of summer this year, will be more in area and extent than the last two years and will have indeed recovered (or survived) to 'normal' or at least within 1% of the so called normal. That's where the southern sea ice is at its minimum right now.
Anyone care to bet against me?


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Thinking the Unthinkable

Jared Diamond, who wrote the interesting Guns, Germs and Steel and the slightly more tedious Collapse (never cut down all your trees) never seems to see what caused the mistake and disasters in the New World or the cutting down of all the trees in Greece, Turkey, the Yucatan and Easter Island--it's bad leadership, Jared. I see in every collapse the shaky hand of bad, sometimes horrendous leadership.

We have here in America now bad, possibly horrendous leadership. I have before mentioned in the non serviam posts that I am willing to do whatever I can, in a non-violent way, to oppose the horrendous policies of the Obama administration and the Reid-Peolsi axis in Congress. Since those posts, the market has continued to tank (about 50% down from just over a year ago), absolutely nothing effective has been done to solve the originating problem of loans which should never have been made (and but for the liberal launched and enforced CRA, would not have been). Indeed, nearly every single action of the liberals in charge has been the wrong move, designed to destroy private industry and grow government power. The likes of Glenn Beck and Jim Cramer, and other even more level headed media types have been saying and writing things nearly indistinguishable from the things people wearing "The End is Nigh" sandwich boards on street corners are usually spouting. So is it time to think the unthinkable?

Is it time, in a purely academic exercise of thought just now, to take up arms against the people ruining our country?

Let's look at the pros and cons.


1. More people on the right own guns and know how to use them.

2. More people on the right have military and police training.

3. More people on the left are unarmed and generally harmless.

4. From time to time, the tree of liberty must be wetted with the blood of tyrants.

5. Few things are more worth fighting than for freedom and against tyranny.

Perhaps there are more, but those are the highlights.


1. The guys who have to resort to violence to get their way have already lost the rational arguments.

2. The first guys any armed resistance would have to fight are police and military units, who are generally our brothers and sisters politically.

3. It will be bloody, messy, difficult, expensive, destructive and there is no telling how far it will go or how long it will last.

4. We could well lose.

5. It is very difficult to go from armed resistance to a republican form of government, even if successful and if we are unsuccessful, the left will take away even more freedoms and ruin the economy even more than a civil war/rebellion.

At this point, the cons clearly overwhelm the pros. I'll come back to this subject in a year or so.

A pro-gun nut was on the radio this morning talking about HB 45, the gun registration legislation not yet pending in Congress. I had pretty much decided not to obey that, if it passed into law. The gun guy felt the same way and said that everyone he knew would do the same, let the chips fall where they may.

I do recall that the American Revolution began when British troops were dispatched to seize the guns in the villages outside Boston. Unlikely that history would repeat itself, but...


Monday, March 02, 2009


Hanson's 1980 Paper on Global Warming

Here, in pdf version, is a paper which chief chicken little anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmist James Hanson wrote, with others, in 1980, which paper is generally considered the start of the AGW movement. Here is one thing he said.

The surface air warming is enhanced at high latitudes...
Notice that he uses the plural of latitudes. He meant that at both the north and south pole, the effects of AGW were enhanced. And sure enough there was a record of slight warming in Greenland and Alaska, and ever decreasing Summer sea ice in the Northern Ocean. So far, so good. But what about Antarctica--was it warming there too? Well, no, it wasn't. Between the time periods 1982 through 2004, the scientific consensus was that all but a small part of the Antarctic Peninsula was cooling. See below.
There was also a clear trend upwards
in the amount of sea ice around Antarctica, at least since the start of satellite measurement in 1979. I'm no scientist, but if the sea ice is growing to a greater extent most years, wouldn't the Southern Ocean have to be slightly cooler each year the sea ice gets larger? I think the answer has to be yes, but I am open minded. If you can tell me how sea ice increased most years while the sea heated up generally, I will certainly listen.

I have not found any such explanation, however. Indeed, the general explanation for a cooling Antarctica and the expansion of most of the ice cap was this: Oh, sure, with global warming, there would be more sea evaporated into the air, and with more moisture in the air, the precipitation would increase over Antarctica and with more snow on the coldest place on Earth, the ice cap would increase. It was nearly obvious.

But times change, and now, all the rage is in revision of our previously mistaken (apparently) view of Antarctica temperatures. Now, with the NASA revision (see new map) and the temperature reconstruction of Steig et al., and with the new reports about increased melting in the Antarctica Peninsula (and elsewhere), all the earlier explanations are forgotten. No, the scientists in 2009 say, it is getting warmer at both of the poles, and it always has been. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. And to illustrate the point that it's really hot in Western Antarctica, there is a new picture which shows almost nothing but heat gain for the continent since 1957, as shown below.

Yeah, red hot Antarctica. Average temperature: 50 degrees below zero.

Of course, there are many unanswered questions about the Steig reconstruction, as this long and nearly impenetrable blog post shows. As always, there should be considerable skepticism about the accuracy of very few ground stations, especially those sited next to living quarters, as well as those buried in snow. I'd much sooner trust the satellites, even with their limitations. The rebel deniers have yet to get the complete plans of Steig death star reconstruction. The story has not yet run its full course.



The Tendency of Matter in Infinite Space

This globular cluster of stars is called Omega Centauri, NGC 5139. This is the largest star cluster in the general vicinity and has over 10 million stars in it, within a 150 light year diameter. Consider, as both Lucretius (kinda) and Isaac Asimov did, what the night sky of a planet within this cluster would look like.

The congregation of matter surrounded by void is the leit motiv of space, whether it is a sun or planet, a nebula, a globular cluster, a galaxy or even the mind boggling clusters of galaxies.



Thought of the Day

The only stimulus we need is freedom.

Placard at "Tea Parties" around the nation


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