Saturday, December 12, 2009

COTD: Correction Of The Day

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You need to accept that your dreams of global domination a Thousand Year Reich are over.

MB4 on December 12, 2009 at 6:57 PM



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Dear global warming fanatics,

Please. Stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves. Take a deep breath, and try to understand what has happened to you during the past month. You need to accept that your dreams of global domination are over. Increasingly shrill attempts to terrify the masses into ignoring Climagate are only making you look foolish. The con job you’ve been running for the last thirty years is busted forever.

I know this is difficult for you to accept. Things seemed to be going well. You’ve got the cap-and-trade bill lurking over the United States, ready to shatter an already weakened economy plagued with unemployment problems, and effectively end America’s role as a dominant industrial power. Your beliefs have been instituted in public schools as the official state religion, whose rituals and incantations are forced upon millions of school children.

Against Tyranny

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In summary, they wrote: Together we fought in the war with our brothers in the Revolutionary Guards in order to defend the country, the people, and the honor of the nation. They also emphasize that “the value of the land means the value of the Iranian nation.” This is very interesting. 

Value of the nation.

Not abstract concepts such as Iran or Islam, but the value of the nation determines the value of the land. Therefore, the weapons of the army and RG are to be used to protect the nation: “When we fought together, we could never suspect that parts of the RG would ever use its weapons against the people.”

The last section of this brief but powerful statement will surely immortalize these brave officers: “The army is a haven for the nation and will never want to suppress the people at the request of politicians. We shall remain true to our promise not to intervene in politics. But we cannot remain silent when our fellow citizens are oppressed by tyranny.”

In The Dark

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin admitted Friday that he is "in the dark" about the national health care bill currently under construction by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In an exchange on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. John McCain asked Durbin, "Should we not at least be informed as to what the proposal is that the Senate Majority Leader is going to propose to the entire Senate?" Durbin's answer: "I would say to the senator from Arizona that I am in the dark almost as much as he is, and I am in the leadership." Durbin explained that during a Democratic caucus, Reid and the small group of senators involved in crafting the bill turned to their fellow Democrats and "basically stood and said, 'We are sorry, we can't tell you in detail what was involved.'"

"Isn't that a very unusual process?" asked McCain, noting that "we are discussing one-sixth of the gross national product; the bill before us has been a product of almost a year of sausage-making.

Harrison Bergeron Update

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HARRISON BERGERON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: State schools admit they do not push gifted pupils because they don’t want to promote ‘elitism.’ “Bright youngsters told inspectors they were forced to ask for harder work. Others were resentful at being dragooned into ‘mentoring’ weaker pupils.”


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It’s worth reading the whole thing; a short excerpt doesn’t do justice to the scope of McCarthy’s argument. But make sure you take a tranquilizer first, because your sense of outrage might just reach a fever pitch otherwise:

In sum, by moving the case to civilian court this far into the process, the Obama administration sinks down the drain the years of work that went into pretrial litigation in the military court — work that cost taxpayers untold millions of dollars. That is, despite that talk about avoiding delay, the administration has gratuitously saddled the public with years of wasted effort, years of extra work, and mountains of extra expense…

KSM & Co. were ready, a year ago, to plead guilty in their military commission and proceed to execution. If the Obama administration had gone forward with the case, it would already be over.

Hockey Stick 101

In short, it's a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called "Climategate" scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used.

Why? Since the Climategate email affair erupted a few weeks ago, it has generated a lot of chatter in the media and across the internet. In all the talk of "models" and "smoothing" and "science" and "hide the decline" it became apparent to me that very very few of the people chiming in on this have even the slightest idea what they are talking about. This goes for both the defenders and critics of the scientists.

Long story, but I do know a little bit about statistical data modeling -- the principle approach used by the main cast of characters in Climategate -- and have a decent understanding of their basic research paradigm. The goal here is to share that understanding with interested laypeople.

War For Oil ... Not So Much

Remember back in the heyday of the antiwar protests after our decision to invade Iraq? One of the biggest talking points from the loony left was that this was all about oil. They constantly chanted "No more war of oil" while parading around in their god awful ugly uniforms or, in the case of Code Pink when they were smearing fake blood on then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Well if this whole thing was about oil, the US certainly got screwed in the bidding for the rights to Iraqi oil fields that was held recently.
A consortium led by Russia's private oil giant won the biggest prize of Iraq's second oil auction this year, nabbing a field initially promised them a decade ago by Saddam Hussein while other companies Saturday showed little interest in offerings outside the secure southern part of the country.
In fact in this latest round of contracts that was awarded not a single American company was awarded a contract.

Legalized Pillaging

It’s so damn tough to be Goldman Sachs nowadays. Before its 1999 IPO, the firm didn’t have to navigate the murky waters of public opinion. Of course, it got no public backing for its risk, either. Everything has a price.

But now that price has, as they say on Wall Street, been “factored in.” And predictably, as its total compensation payouts are set to hit yet another all-time record, Goldman has again demonstrated its aptitude for well-timed, hollow spin.

The firm’s profits, indeed its existence, are predicated on two things: federally subsidized capital and taking risks with it. This year, that risk paid off. Next year, it might not. The notion that this cosmetic pay alteration will somehow reduce the firm’s overall risk is as far-fetched as the possibility that it will give back any of the $12.9 billion it got from the federal government through AIG.

Of course that’s not going to happen. Besides, it was perfectly legalized pillaging.

The Other Decline

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But it's more than that. Gold is also a hedge against a general loss of confidence in currencies, and in government debt denominated in those currencies. I don't just mean the risk of a falling dollar. I mean the risk that all currencies will decline at the same time.

How can that be? If they all decline, then relative to each other, nothing has happened. Right? Wrong. Something very terrible will have happened -- all currencies together will have depreciated against all the real tangible things in the world that we use currencies to buy: food, cars, movie tickets and everything else.

That's what inflation is. It's not prices going up -- it's money going down. We may be looking at a world in which all the money everywhere goes down. How to hedge? Buy food? Cars? Movie tickets? Sure. That would work. But when there's a general inflation, you never really know which goods and services will go up a lot, which a little, and which -- perversely -- not at all.

It Was A Lie

Greta Van Susteren played a number of clips tonight from the 2008 campaign where Barack Obama told supporters that he was going to hold his health care talks on CSPAN. Obviously, that never happened. After playing the video Greta looked at Karl Rove and said, “It was a lie.”

Obamaville In Colorado

“Welcome to Obamaville, Colorado’s fastest growing community.”
An Obamaville sign was posted in front of a homeless camp in Colorado Springs says it all.

The Ungoverned

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CAN I CALL ‘EM, OR WHAT? Back in September, noting a continuing pattern of White House incompetence, I predicted: “Expect this to play out in thumbsucker columns on whether America is ‘ungovernable.’”

And, right on cue, here’s Matthew Yglesias: “The smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the fact that it’s not tactical errors on the part of the president that make it hard to get things done, it’s the fact that the country has become ungovernable.”

Funny, that dumb cowboy Bush seemed to get a lot done with fewer votes in Congress. . . .

Plus, from the comments: “There have been no major institutional changes in the United States government in recent history that have caused it to ‘become ungovernable.’

Or, as Ed Morrissey noted a while ago: “Who could have warned us that a man who served seven years in the state legislature and three years in the Senate would not have been prepared for the toughest executive position in the Free World? We did. Repeatedly.

Nothing To See Here...

The Pakistani government has denied that Mullah Omar and the "Quetta Shura" -- his executive ruling council for Afghanistan -- was based in Pakistan. That is until Pakistan's defense minister said the Quetta Shura is indeed in Pakistan. But rest assured it is not a threat. From Dawn News reports:

The government has admitted the existence of the Afghan Taliban's Quetta shura for the first time, and says it has taken them on.

In an exclusive interview with DawnNews, Defence Minister, Ahmad Mukhtar said security forces have taken on the Quetta shura and have damaged it to such an extent that it no longer poses any threat.

Perhaps Pakistan's defense minister would like to share with us how the Quetta Shura has been "damaged"? Did they raid the Taliban's cozy complex in Quetta, which is nicely described here:

The one-eyed Mullah and his cohorts are said to have converted one of Quetta’s suburbs into a kind of mini-Taliban city

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sarah's Shatner Smackdown

Weeping Openly

"[I]t was extremely tense.  I've never experienced anything like that after flying for company reasons for more than twenty years now.  You can imagine just about everything you can think of has happened on a flight, and some pretty hair raising experiences.  This was like nothing I've ever experienced before.  After being in law enforcement and twenty years in the security industry, this was tension at its highest."   

Another eyewitness interviewed by Houston television station KHOU was Chaplain Keith Robinson, who missed the incident on the tarmac but took the rescheduled flight.  He boarded in spite of being warned by deplaning passengers, one of whom refused to continue the trip because "these Middle Eastern men were taking pictures, wouldn't sit down, and besides that a couple of them were making gestures with their hands as though they were shooting people".  Robinson witnessed "flight attendants were weeping openly"


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It explains his economic policy. Teleologists inherently don’t believe in unintended side effects when it comes to implementing their idealistic policies. Obviously it should be possible to provide free health care to everyone without wrecking the economy; it’s just how things really should be, so that’s how it will be. Where will the money come from? That’s the kind of question that materialists ask; teleologists don’t concern themselves with such trivial. It’ll happen somehow, because it’s obviously how it should turn out. To say we shouldn’t do it is to be heartless, uncaring — and those things are more important than mundane claims that it won’t work. If you just believe, it will work.

Of course, it won’t work. The materialists are right about that. But when it fails (if it gets tried) the teleologists will blame the negative vibes of all the materialist doubters for the failure. If only they’d come on board and supported it, then it would have come out OK.

Underwear On Fire -- Pants Already Gone

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So as you can see, we really have only one instance where Dr. Jones uses the word “trick” in reference to a procedure on data. There are other uses and variations of the word “trick” in other emails, but only this one instance attributed to Jones where he refers to this data issue.

As Dr. Jones put it: The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do.

Perhaps, but you’d think we’d see it in general use by Dr. Jones in other emails if it was indeed a colloquialism. In the thousand plus emails we have, there’s no other use of the word “trick” by Dr. Jones that I could find related to data truncation or otherwise, though there are other colloquial uses of the word by other authors.

Add the technical proof that Steve McIntyre has done today:

Which shows that CRU did indeed truncate tree ring data, so that the decline is not shown in the IPCC report as shown in the red line above.


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There are two main theories that attempt to explain recent changes in climate: the first states that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are the main driver, and the second claims that varying solar activity, amplified by corresponding changes in cloud cover, are most important. The first is promoted heavily by politicians and activists, based on computer modelling; as for the second, the most interesting work is quietly being pursued at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research.

The solar amplification theory depends on the seeding of clouds by galactic cosmic rays (GCR), the numbers of which are in turn controlled partially by the strength of solar activity. When that activity is low, the solar magnetic field strength and solar wind are low, allowing more GCRs into the Earth's atmosphere, thereby creating more clouds, which reflect solar energy back into space. Low solar activity means slightly lower energy from the Sun

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spiral Bingo Update: 303 Views So Far

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If the world is not dumb as a doornail this should at least hit 6 figures in by tomorrow.

UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

Spiral Bingo

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Ionospheric D-region studies by means of active heating experiments and modelling

Antti Kero

Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences, University of Oulu

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu

Academic Dissertation to be presented, with the permission of the
Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public discussion
in Polaria, Sodankylä, on 8th December, 2008, at 12 o’clock noon.

University of Oulu


ISBN 978-951-42-8916-3 (PDF)



Powerful radio waves can heat an electron gas via collisions between free electrons and neutral particles. Since the discovery of the Luxembourg effect in 1934, this effect is known to take place in the D-region ionosphere. According to theoretical models, the EISCAT Heating facility is capable of increasing the electron temperature by a factor of 5–10 in the D region, depending mostly on the electron density profile.

Kero and Rapp's EISCAT experiment is here.
UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

Forgot About This One

SYDNEY: A spectacular, rotating binary star system is a ticking time bomb, ready to throw out a searing beam of high-energy gamma rays – and Earth may be right in the line of fire.

"When it finally explodes as a supernova, it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way", said Peter Tuthill, lead researcher of the team that report their findings in the current Astrophysical Journal.

"If such a gamma-ray burst happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way," he said. "I used to appreciate this spiral just for its beautiful form, but now I can't help a twinge of feeling that it is uncannily like looking down a rifle barrel."

Binary 'deathstar' has Earth in its sights

COTD: Bingo

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...could be purposed to explain and also to detract attention from Copenhagen climate criminals.

UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

Heated Up

Hmmm, digging in the EISCAT page I found some recent data from the Tromsø VHF radar:
I have no idea what this means, but the time of the data on the lower graph seems to match up with the reports.
A strange glowing spiral in the sky near an ionospheric heater capable of generating aurora-like phenomena and a chart from said facility showing a transmission at the same time? What could it all possibly mean?
UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

The Kulaks Are Dead And Dry

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11. According to the Conference Board’s monthly survey of consumer confidence. those “claiming jobs are ‘hard to get’ increased to 49.8% from 49.4%, while those claiming jobs are ‘plentiful’ decreased to 3.2% from 3.5%.”

12. It is tough to top Goldman’s analysis:

The level of un- and underemployment is so huge by historical standards as to make the usual sort of measurement questionable. With nearly 20% of the population unable to find proper work, there is a different sort of workforce. The vast majority of job creation in the US during the past two generations came from small businesses, which display only vaguely on the radar of government agencies as well as the bigger private surveys. The financial crisis killed small entrepreneurs as surely as Joseph Stalin killed the kulaks, and the roots of the economy are dead and dry.

Swifter Collapse

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Now, said the Senate to us sheep, we'll do health care this way: No public option. Just a, um, public option.

Senate Democrats' leaders, looking to pass something, on Tuesday night dropped the notion of a government-run health plan. Too many of their less liberal members recognized a money pit when they saw one. Instead, the plan is to let more middle-aged people join their elders in Medicare.

Uh, guys: Medicare is government-run. It's eight years away from fiscal ruin, its own trustees reported earlier this year. This deal trades a dysfunctional plan for a laughable one.

It also reveals the futility of Obamacare reaching one of its key goals: slowing the rise in health care spending. Congress' plans all do this in part by cutting Medicare by as much as a half-trillion dollars. Now the Senate would put perhaps 3 million more subsidized clients on that Titanic. There will be no cuts, only swifter collapse.


In effect, Pakistani intelligence is running its own secret war against America, a war bankrolled by the Saudis. These are the Taliban's shadow partners. And they are winning. In effect, we are offering Pakistan-based insurgents 30,000 new targets with no changes in the rules of engagement. Even now, when our troops come under attack, they are not permitted to pursue enemy fighters back across the border and destroy their Pakistani redoubts. Imagine sending troops to France to free the French from the Nazis but failing to take out their Eagle's Nest next door in Germany. Welcome to our war policy today in Afghanistan.

COTD: Oranges And Ice

There are other indicators to "climate change". For example, oranges used to be grown commercially in Georgia. They aren't anymore; it is too cold. The orange line is now in the middle of Florida. Climate warming models don't predict that.

As for Arctic and Antarctic ice, we really haven't been observing the extent of the ice caps all that long. But in the case of Antarctic ice, it looks like this year is a maximum year for extent, as long as we have been observing. As for West Antarctic ice thinning, it may well have something to do with the volcano sitting under it, and nothing at all to do with global warming. references the amount of ice.

nObody knOws the trouble I've seen...

The federal government is trying to take control over our lives via government medicine, cap and trade, and more. Michael Ramirez has, I think, the right take on Obamacare:


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It Has Begun

CERN's much-anticipated CLOUD experiment has begun, the atom lab says. Using the 50-year-old Proton Synchrotron, the experiment simulates cosmic rays passing through the earth's atmosphere, and hopes to reveal the extent to which the constant background drizzle of charged particles plays a role in cloud formation. Earlier experiments have suggested that ionisation causes clouds to "seed" - and that ionisation is influenced by the type and quantity of cosmic rays that reach the earth.

The cosmic ray effect - a factor of the background CBR bombardment itself, and the relative strength of the earth and the Sun's magnetic shields - shows a strong correlation between temperature, CBR and is extraordinary. Here's the relationship over the short term - around 2,000 years.

And here's the correlation into deep time, with CO2 as a comparison.

In addition, "deep freezes" in the Earth's temperatures have coincided with short-lived but intense bursts of cosmic ray activity.

Happily CLOUDy

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Many experiments in the world are currently investigating the factors that may affect the planet’s climate but CLOUD is the only one that makes use of a particle accelerator. “The proton beam that the PS provides is unique because it allows us to adjust the “cosmic ray” intensity. In this way, we can simulate the difference of particle flux in the atmosphere in going from the ground to the outermost layers of the stratosphere (a factor 100 more intense)”, explains Jasper Kirkby, CLOUD’s spokesperson.

“There are a lot of observations suggesting that particles hitting the atmosphere might affect the production of clouds and, in turn, the planet’s climate”, continues Kirkby. “However, given the complexity of the climate and the many parameters involved, a clear answer doesn’t exist yet”.

The CLOUD detector is optimized for addressing this question like no other experiment so far. “For the first time, we want to do definitive, quantitative measurements of the underlying microphysics”

ALGorithm-gate Update

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Al Gore has studied the Climategate emails with his typically rigorous eye and dismissed them as mere piffle:

Q: How damaging to your argument was the disclosure of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University?

A: To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.

In fact, as Watts Up With That shows, one Climategate email was from just two months ago. The most recent was sent on November 12 - just a month ago. The emails which have Tom Wigley seeming (to me) to choke on the deceit are all from this year. Phil Jones’ infamous email urging other Climategate scientists to delete emails is from last year.

How closely did Gore read these emails? Did he actually read any at all? Was he lying or just terribly mistaken? What else has he got wrong?

What's Behind The Mountain

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According to researchers noted in USAF research paper "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025", ionosphere heating was among techniques investigated by the former Soviet Union to either enhance friendly or disrupt enemy communications by modifying the natural ionosphere.

UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

From Behind The Mountain

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A Russian missile test or a meteor remain the top guesses for a strange spiraling light phenomenon
Strange Norwegian Lights: Rocket gone awry, or the something scarier?  Rex Features/Daily Mail
A bizarre spiraling light show over Norway has raised speculations ranging from a Russian rocket test to an odd meteoric display. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute remains unsure of the phenomenon's origins, but astronomers have said that it does not appear connected to the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

A blue light first appeared from behind a mountain, and created a giant spiral in the sky within seconds. Perhaps even more baffling, a green-blue beam of light appeared to shoot from the center. The entire display remained in the sky for a good ten to twelve minutes--enough time for photographers across Norway to shoot hundreds of images and capture video:

UPDATE: See this post. Turns out EISCAT didn't do it.

Terribly Wrong

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Algore Visits chicagO

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A massive storm buried much of the central United States in dangerous ice and snow Wednesday, stranding scores of motorists with massive drifts that shut down major roads and defeated plows.

Strong winds created drifts as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters) as the storm dropped as much as four feet of snow (1.2 meters) in some areas, said Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

"This has been a really big season opening storm," Slattery said.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, schools were closed and the freezing rain that preceded the snow in many places created hazardous road conditions.

Blizzard warnings were issued across the midwest as the storm moved eastward across the country after pounding Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona.


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Eschenbach proceeds to set out what an “inhomogeneity” is and show that the GHCN must have done something other than they claimed to have done to make the adjustments they did. In the course of this, he shows some stunning anomalies:

Then I went to look at what happens when the GHCN removes the “in-homogeneities” to “adjust” the data. Of the five raw datasets, the GHCN discards two, likely because they are short and duplicate existing longer records. The three remaining records are first “homogenized” and then averaged to give the “GHCN Adjusted” temperature record for Darwin.

To my great surprise, here’s what I found. To explain the full effect, I am showing this with both datasets starting at the same point (rather than ending at the same point as they are often shown).

Figure 7. GHCN homogeneity adjustments to Darwin Airport combined record
And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century
Yikes again, double yikes!