Anthropogenic Global Warming Takes Another Body Blow

A recent article adds another chapter to the chronicle of the collapse of junk science. Quotes:

…Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore’s chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

That may come as a surprise to those who have spent much time out of doors, but then as we know, when it’s hot, that’s global warming in action — and when it’s cold, that’s global warming in action.

The problem this time is a blunder that just may have been deliberate, however.

…scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs – run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious “hockey stick” graph – GISS began hastily revising its figures.

You will recall the “Hockeystick graph” hoax from PenPo Number 24, and Hansen was dealt with in Numbers 14 and 22. The weblogs that blew the whistle on the hoaxers are here and here.

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore.

Yet last week’s latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen’s methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

Don’t fret about carbon dioxide produced by human activity — it can’t cause global warming, and a reduction of it can’t cause global cooling. Climate change is utterly beyond our control; it’s up to the sun.

Three Thought-Provoking Links

The first link takes you to a scathing letter to a British newspaper. Then look at this story the major media would be very, very unlikely to carry — which is why the author, Michael Yon, is such an important man.

The Proposed Armed Force Whose Mission Will Be Purely Domestic

This newsletter had its problems with G. W. Bush, and at the top of that list were immigration policy and domestic airline safety. Bush’s cronyism nearly destroyed the Federal Air Marshal Service, and the president did nothing to reverse the insanity with which illegal immigration has been addressed. Can we expect reforms from Obama?

It could happen, to some degree. But that’s not the way to bet. Nothing in Obama’s ideological stance hints that he will deal rationally with these problems. Of course some might respond that his goofy proposal for a new domestic security force that is literally on a par with the military will result in better law enforcement (see PenPo Number 39 for more information and another link).

It seems more likely that The One has in mind a national military police that is the natural fulfillment of the community organizer’s dream: solidarity — or else.

Really: what is this all about?

Why would a government choose an authoritarian, armed response to a threat that is undefined? Is Obama fantasizing a redneck under every bed, a hillbilly revolt, a coup pulled off by inbred yokels and snake-handlers? Does he fear that flyover country will start shooting down airplanes flying from one coastal enclave to the other?

Fact: the only use for a huge internal security apparatus is to keep the populace in line. The regime that spends as much money on its domestic security as it spends defending the nation from its external enemies fears its citizens.

Be clear on this: with this proposal, The One tells us that the danger from within is just as great as any possible danger from without. It cannot be otherwise.

Who is dangerous? People who publish newsletters?

The qualities of specific opinions may be debated, but one hard fact is known: in order to protect the government from the people, domestic disarmament is necessary.

Sure enough, recent sales figures show that Obama’s record on firearms legislation has not been ignored. This is a man who wanted to make pistols illegal, period.

Well. What might The One call this dream of his? “Greatly Enhanced Security That Adumbrates Political Options” could be a candidate.

Perhaps consideration of a purely domestic security force would benefit from some historical perspective. Recall Nixon’s enemies list. The One makes Tricky Dick look downright amateurish, doesn’t he? And the really scary part of it is that while Nixon was generally opposed by the press, Obama has those rascals in his pocket.

Thomas Jefferson: “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” He also remarked that given the choice of living without a government but with newspapers, or living under a government without newspapers, he would prefer the former. If he could advise us today, he would note with chagrin that we may soon have something very like a regime without newspapers presiding over a disarmed populace.

That’s what some might call a successfully organized community.

Wrong! Well, Imagine That. What Next?

This newsletter flatly predicted that former Clinton White House staff would not be on the Obama team, as they would not be trusted. That was a principled rather than cynical view, and in Washington politics, cynical almost always trumps principled.

So how about some weasel words to try to explain away the bad call? “Don’t forget they were Slick’s people, not Hillary’s, and Slick just about sank his nominal wife’s campaign anyway, so Obama has no problem hiring the team that advised a depraved chief executive, because they don’t fuss over ethical stuff or hold their boss to high standards.”

Not very convincing, eh? Well, then, how about this: “Obama wants people who can get the job done. And these guys are hell on wheels. Look at the record: the homosexuality in the armed forces farce, letting Osama bin Laden get away, Monica’s ‘presidential kneepads,’ perjury, and Marc Rich. Sheesh, they saw him through all that, giving that chipmunk-eating-poop grin of his a chance to work its magic on the electorate. Those are some effective sleight-of-tongue artists, all right! You would want them on your team.”

Still not convincing. So…what? Ask The One why he did it.

And then Hillary at State. The striped-pants set will put a leash on her, or so The One thinks. Perhaps they will. Either way, Big Mistake. He’s just made it that much harder to put his stamp on his administration. The good aspect: Islam has not forgotten Hillary’s blunt, immediate description of what would happen to Iran in the event that nation rips into Israel. Fine, message sent; now, how do you deter people who look forward to the nuclear devastation of their nation, as the Twelfth Imam cultists do? (See PenPo Number 3.) Coping may require a willing suspension of disbelief. Because, like, wow — what if those smelly people really did take their faith seriously…hey, they don’t, do they??

None Dare Call It Partisan Hypocrisy

Tap the phone of a US resident in Ohio who is talking to an Al Qaeda operative in Frankfurt, and you get raked over the coals — if you are the National Security Agency, whose job it is to do things like that. But illegally search the confidential government records of a guy who asked Obama a couple of hard questions, and you get a pass — even if you are several agencies with no mandate to investigate people for their political opinions, and even if your purpose is to hand embarrassing information to the media so the citizen can be discredited in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world.

Now what was all that whining about privacy?

That Sinking Feeling: When You See Something Like This, You Worry

It’s the morning after the decision, and everything went your way. Your side won! Wow, aside from being a bit hung over, you feel great.

Then you see this.

The question is, if these two are that happy, and say things like this, does that mean you…no, no. Don’t even think it.

Setting The Record Straight

Nasty rumors have been circulating, and none are nastier than the allegations regarding the handbook recently given to the press corps in Washington regarding proper comportment in the presence of The One. You might want to print this out and tape a copy to your refrigerator.

The following clarifications deal with the handbook and related issues:

1. A rumor persists that members of the press will, upon the entry of The One into the room, kneel and place their foreheads firmly in contact with the carpet (or other flooring material) with hands palms down on either side of the head. Not totally true; girl reporters need not kneel. Protocol requires only that journalettes stand with bowed heads and lowered eyes, elbows bent and arms close to the body with hands held at shoulder level, palms facing The One, fingers extended vertically and not splayed. Those with decolletage should arch their backs and lean forward slightly as a symbol of selfless devotion to the morale of the natural stewards of society. And no pants suits, gals.

2. Votive shrines have been erected in federal buildings (and in restaurants frequented by lobbyists), and those paying their respects to The One are alleged to have been told to deposit money, no bills less than $20 and no coins, in the offering boxes. Again, false. Symbolic gifts are suggested, such as small articles suitable for use by a gentleman — a key ring, hand sanitizer, Irish linen handkerchiefs and so on. Money may be offered, if the faithful so desire, but no minimum is suggested.

3. It has been claimed that all newspapers and electronic media were instructed to purge their files of awkward records that might be used to undermine public admiration of The One. This is absolutely not true. Nothing has been decided yet. Legislation is being studied in both houses of Congress, and an ad hoc YouTube committee is looking into that irritant; bulletins will be available to the press as work proceeds.

4. Agents provocateurs and deviants have spread lies about the magnificent story of The Life of The One; the nature of the falsehoods will not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the Elect Among the Elders will in due time issue a biography (to be titled “Q2”) that will render all subsequent accounts unnecessary and hence distinctly inadvisable. Again, Congress will address this area with iron-clad legislation. Until then, citizens are advised merely to exercise prudent discretion in discussing The Life.

Those with questions regarding the above should report to the nearest office of the FBI and request authentication as loyal and faithful citizens of the people’s republic. It is suggested that you pack a small bag with medications and other necessities, as the procedure may take some days; a letter from your physician certifying your good health and stamina is recommended.

That is all. Return to your endeavors. Now.

This Is Fascinating Stuff — If You Like Watching Dinosaurs Shuffle Slowly Into Oblivion

This report outlines the crisis facing the newspaper industry in the USA, and the response to that crisis. It is both visionary and breathtakingly blind.

Part of the problem of declining readership and advertising revenue is cultural: for years, the public schools have not made a sincere effort to educate all high school graduates to a level of genuine literacy, and competing media have encroached on what once was the newspaper’s turf. The times changed, and not for the better.

That’s by no means the full story. There is also the increasing awareness of the public that much reporting is propaganda disguised as news.

A glance at the article linked above reveals that press bias and low credibility are not acknowledged by the publishers and editors. That odd fact shows how deep the mindset is: these folks do not perceive reality accurately. Psychologists call it “denial.” That’s not the right word, for to deny something you have to see it and then refuse to deal with it. Many print journalists have yet to see the problem, let alone respond to it negatively. All they know is that some cretins are maliciously accusing them of acts they could not possibly commit.

Thence the non-reaction when a newsletter such as this one chronicles press bias. The complaints are considered unrelated to reality, or trivial to the point of non-existence. It is as if the critics insisted that malevolent fairies were setting type for the New York Times.

Later, when the financial crisis arrives, no one asks whether the press has been doing its job well enough to succeed in a free market. (Really now, would you expect to carry on making a profit if you asked people to pay you to treat them with contempt?) Because questions like those remain anathema among the insiders, the newspaper industry as we know it is in steep decline.

As always, it’s a matter of honesty. The people who have brought you dishonest reporting — propaganda — are flawed, and so much so that they cannot even be honest with themselves. Their perceptions of the world are skewed by their prejudices and false assumptions. Unable to grasp reality, they long ago lost their way in an ethical maze.

This Is Very Old News To Readers Of The Penguin Post And Its Predecessor, The Terrapin Gazette, But It’s Nice To Know That Some Simple Truths Can Now Be Uttered Publicly And Taken Seriously

Rupert Murdoch is a media owner, a much despised man who appears not to care what people think of him. One might expect him to speak plainly and fearlessly, but as we shall see in a moment, it is not so. He just made news saying some things this newsletter and its former incarnation have for years treated as among the most significant developments of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Some core quotes from this article:

“It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. …Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs….”

Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a “60 Minutes” report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. ’60 Minutes,’ he said, was a professional organization with ‘multiple layers of checks and balances.’ By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as ‘a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.’

“…many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let’s be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves.”

Murdoch said newspapers can still count on circulation gains “if papers provide readers with news they can trust.”

Murdoch has huge financial interests to protect, so his remarks stop far short of a summary of the truth. He ignores the propagandistic, ideological and anti-Enlightenment mindset that controls most of the West’s journalism. Even to admit that the bigotry and abuse exist would be unseemly for a man in his position. If all news consumers realized the degree to which they have been manipulated by journalists, the public’s reaction could be to toss the baby out with the bathwater. That would cost Murdoch a lot of money, and he knows it.

Well, in any event, welcome to the real world, Rupert. Of course it’s very late to be arriving, and far too late to be considered perceptive for having said what you just did. Still…those of us who have been saying all that and more for years are interested to note that you are making progress toward candor. Do carry on.