A Sea Change
The cult of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is demonstrably crumbling under the assault of science. Increasing numbers of people are questioning and rejecting alarmist hysteria. A few links will suffice to demonstrate the phenomenon; they provide additional sources of information, so skim or delve deeply, for it’s all here.
It’s almost embarrassing. As this issue is about to be delivered to both of its eager subscribers, more sources have surfaced: call this oneTurning Point, the next one Tinfoil Brigade, then Details, Details, and finally Goofus Gore. Whew!
Then there is this series of hammer blows that mangles the case for AGW: it’s relentless, even brutal.
What, this article asks, is “consensus,” and how do the news media deal with the dispute between junk science and real science? The answers are damning. Don’t overlook this contribution.
The list of sources concludes with a stunning, virtually unprecedented breakthrough. It is a seismic event, and signals the desperation of a terrorist as he is trapped by his own deceit. For years, Al Gore and many other AGW cultists have flatly refused to debate their critics. Gore recently insisted that we must act, not argue — and his contention was very reasonable indeed. It could hardly have been more rational, for the last thing he wants is for the public to put his propaganda into context. The draconian measures he proposes must, he realizes, be implemented with an absolute minimum of consideration. Emotion — genuine terror — cannot be allowed to fade…as it surely will, if facts are made available, hoaxes exposed, and bogus propositions analyzed.
Yet it did happen. A debate was held. A professor named William Schlesinger spoke for AGW, and was opposed by another academic, one John Christy. A brief report of the debate will be found here and here, along with links to video and a transcript. Essential quotes:
Schlesinger said that he was not going to discuss the science. He then went directly to rattling off scary scenarios about the future. So about two thirds of his talk was scare mongering with no actual defense of the hypothesis that human induced catastrophic global warming is in the process of occurring. What is interesting is that in “skipping over the science” he flipped through a number of slides that he had prepared to use including the now infamous and discredited “hockey stick” graph showing 900 years of no climate change and the last 100 years of dramatic warming.
During the question and answer session of last week’s William Schlesinger/John Christy global warming debate, (alarmist) Schlesinger was asked how many members of United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were actual climate scientists. It is well known that many, if not most, of its members are not scientists at all. Its president, for example, is an economist. This question came after Schlesinger had cited the IPCC as an authority for his position. His answer was quite telling. First he broadened it to include not just climate scientists but also those who have had “some dealing with the climate.” His complete answer was that he thought, “something on the order of 20 percent have had some dealing with climate.” In other words, even IPCC worshiper Schlesinger now acknowledges that 80 percent of the IPCC membership had absolutely no dealing with the climate as part of their academic studies.
Yeah, She’s Like, Y’Know, Cool, Right?
Though this newsletter does not endorse Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism,” some of her dramatic fictional scenarios do bear a shadowy similarity to real life. This matters because Obama’s determination to organize the national community by imposing a retreaded and rebranded socialism has given Atlas Shrugged and John Galt a lot of publicity lately. This novel is a half century old, and selling today like hotcakes; that’s impressive. For a pro-Rand view, look here.
Be aware: Rand was not so much a philosopher as she was a polemicist who constructed her system after writing her screeds. The result is top-heavy instant wisdom for folks who don’t want to slog through Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Hume before coming to some expedient understandings. “Objectivism” is Philosophy Lite, and in that sense it is similar to Marxism. Both ideologies depend on the ignorance and/or bitterness of their recruits.
It’s like a parallel universe out there. Politicians, newspaper journalists and television presenters are running around like headless chickens with no clue as to how to deal with the economic crisis. But the truth is out there.
Things are quite different from the recession of the 1970’s, which coincided with my discovery of libertarianism and Austrian School economics. Back then one had to be extraordinarily lucky to come across the likes of Mises, Hayek and Rothbard. Now correct explanations of why the crisis arose are just a few clicks away.
What Is The Culture War?
The culture war is hard to define only if you are likely to insist that the conflict does not actually exist. That reluctance, where it lurks, arises from two sources: first, hostility to the (presumably inbred) hicks and yokels that live in flyover country, and second, the realization that being candid about your hostility is, well, awkward, if not damning.
The bicoastal elite prefers to portray its prejudice not as a conflict waged against a distinct ethnic group — that would be too blatant — but as a process of properly rejecting specific individuals who lack proper education, represent disadvantaged minorities tainted by obsolete and anti-social folklore (a love of firearms and fundamentalist Protestant sects), and who have lower than average intelligence. Thus the person — such as Sarah Palin — can be mocked for being able to dress an elk, but her values and lifestyle are not spoken of as if they defined a distinct, definable and easily identifiable subclass.
When, however, the smug, advantaged social pioneers wish to explain (rather than simply snicker at) the misbehavior of a successful person who hews to the “traditional” values of flyover country, the battle lines are more candidly and clearly drawn. Suddenly a massive third-rate USA snaps into clear focus, and its procrustean cohesion is blamed for arresting the development of the targeted personage. (Palin is a Yahoo because her husband has this snow thingy and zips around on it, while she behaves oddly toward her kids and talks funny.) This is a revealing phenomenon in social taxonomy and politics; the unintentional admissions it conveys and the attitudes it bares are genuinely shocking. Consider, for example, this quote taken from an essay on the cultural condescension of the “progressive” (or liberal, or leftist) social stratum:
…everything about these people — where they reside, what they believe, how they live, work, recreate, talk, and think — is in irredeemably bad taste. To embark on a conversation with one of them, based on straight-faced openness to the possibility of learning something interesting or important, would be like choosing to vacation in Wichita instead of Tuscany.
This attitude toward the mouth-breathers can be further limned. For example, in explaining why the hayseeds are such intransigent oddballs, Obama told his supporters in San Francisco that, well, it was actually a matter of the cultural function of economics as Marx explained it. Here are these not-quite-human people, you see, living in reduced circumstances, and their culture is determined by the economics of the region. (That’s pure Marxist economic determinism, undiluted and unapologetic.) Their anxiety about the future makes them “cling” to selected but actually arbitrary icons, which of course is just like a child refusing to part with a blanket or doll. Firearms and religion are thus explained away, dismissed as the pathetic talismans of quietly desperate people whose lives have been stunted by economic circumstances above their understanding and control. The elites do not need those bizarre symbolic assurances that life has some modicum of security and hope.
Perhaps no more revealing or damning quote of Obama’s emerged from the campaign; the fact that it has been virtually forgotten is genuinely tragic. Its implications should concern the entire electorate.
The perceptive will note the distinct similarities between racist stereotypes that stigmatize(d) black folks and the current bigotry directed at flyover country. The backward, lazy, ill-educated, credulous, superstitious, technologically retarded (who kills his meat these days?) and dialectically identifiable Others are a heavy burden for the bigot. Secure in his hate, the cultural or racial supremacist realizes that his stewardship of the underclass (of blacks or hicks) is his curse and his privilege. It’s a kind of smelly noblesse oblige: “The subhuman scum won’t ever amount to much. Maybe some day education will help some of them, but…they are apart, and of their own choosing, for they realize that they cannot compete in the greater society.”
There is a new element in this disgusting scenario, for the nineteenth and twentieth century racists who supported Jim Crow are not the obvious models for a pseudo-sophisticated stratum of snobs who went to college. Voila! Marxist analysis and cant offer a tactic that may hasten the maturation of today’s culturally deprived and depraved. That is the reduction of the economic gap between the richest and the poorest. Change the economy, Marx said, and all else will respond; close the distance from the rich, and the poor will rise to the occasion, recognize their responsibilities as a group (not as individuals, certainly!), and society will evolve.
But bigotry is bigotry, and the fact that it thrives in an environment of self-congratulatory higher education, replete with philosophical-sounding rationalizations for coercive authoritarianism, excuses nothing. Thus ends the first chapter in the sickening tale of the new bigotry.
Trying To Predict The Next Move Is Difficult, But We Must Make The Attempt
There are those who believe that Barack Obama is a threat to US law, business, and liberty. They may be wrong, of course, as Obama’s intentions may be utterly benign. But let’s poke at the issue anyway, and try to get it to reveal a bit more of its nature.
For the purposes of this discussion, several data are considered diagnostic. They are Obama’s declarations regarding the role of government, the use of taxation, the importance of the second amendment to the federal constitution, the future military capabilities of the USA, and the USA’s relationship with Israel.
On the second amendment, Obama has delivered himself of contradictory and puzzling statements that are too diverse to translate into policy. The only rational conclusions are that (a) one cannot know what to expect from the White House, and we know that (b) the new attorney general seems to think that a ban on “assault rifles” would be a good idea. If such a ban is eventually proposed — the PenPo considers that and other restrictive firearms legislation likely, while the supreme court’s Heller is ignored — we’ll know that the administration has abandoned facts and rationality in favor of ideological myth.
Some argue that the recent appointment of Charles Freeman was not Obama’s doing, and did not present a threat to the traditional ties between the USA and Israel. Freeman’s bitter parting blast at “the Israel lobby” is, however, generally accepted as about as expressive of true Jew-hatred as can be put into code words, and the very idea that Obama was unaware of the man’s orientation is hard to believe. Consider Hillary’s recent obnoxious attitude toward her Israeli hosts; then there are those huge financial grants to “Palestinians” (actually to Hamas, promises to the contrary notwithstanding). All that and an irrational concern for the welfare of the “Palestinians” indicate that there is a distinct policy shift in the offing. There may be yet more grumbling about “the Israel lobby” inside the beltway. Hamas is happy but playing it down, that much is obvious. Tentative conclusion: Israel may be in trouble.
Obama’s push for universal health care promises to be an ideological victory and practical disaster. In spite of convincing evidence that the patchwork, crazy-quilt system of the USA works much better than do the authoritarian socialist systems of both Canada and the UK (as reported in PenPo 8, in an item titled, “Leaping Into Quicksand”), the imposition of socialized medicine seems inevitable. Death rates will go up, suffering will increase, care will be rationed, the number of physicians will fall…it will be a horror.
Taxation is, as Obama has said, a matter of imposing fairness, not something that is to be imposed fairly; he views taxes as penalties to be paid in order to reduce the wealth of the richest (see PenPo 42, “This Is What It’s Really All About”). The reshaping of society through punitive taxation is utterly antagonistic to profound US ideals, but Obama intends to have his way (see also PenPo 65, two entries in the “Links” section). No, this is not just progressive taxation — it is a reorganization of social structure to be achieved by confiscation.
Then we have Obama’s declaration that he intends to have a military force for purely domestic purposes — a federal army that is just as powerful, well-funded and supplied as the traditional military that defends the nation from alien threats. Can he be taken at his word? If he cannot, then the man is a liar, and unfit to govern. If we can believe him, can we tolerate his vision of the future? See and hear him tell uswhat he has in store for us. As suggested in PenPo 39, one should ask who, exactly, will be battled by this internal security force. Is this new military to wage urban warfare on Hispanic gangs, disarm and disband corrupt or politically incorrect local law enforcement agencies, exterminate cults Waco-style, or relocate rednecks? Those questions are neither facetious nor paranoid.
Now…imagine the reaction if George W. Bush had made this proposal!
There is much to be concerned about, and whether Obama is ethically qualified to serve in the White House is an unanswered question. Worse, it has not yet been asked sincerely. The lap-dog press has ignored this talk of a domestic military, as well as the question of whether the coming universal health care program is practical. It is as if everyone knows that The One can create anything, make anything work, and cause no harm.
Indeed, a large minority of the electorate has invested far too much in a human being. That seems a peculiar thing to do, given the cynicism and hatred inspired by The One’s predecessor. If anything, Bush should have served his most bitter critics as proof of the imperfectability of the human animal. We are all mere mortals, and to endow one of us with inerrancy is to blaspheme against Nature.
The Question Of Ethics — In This Case, A Decent Sense Of Grateful Responsibility — Has Not Even Come Up
His Obamaness wants to charge wounded veterans for their treatment. According to this story, The One says he has to have four hundred fifty million dollars to pay for the care, and it is implied that if he could scare it up somewhere, the injured volunteers just might be treated for free.
This one is easily solved. The LA Times informs the world that three hundred million US taxpayer dollars are headed for Gaza, and total US handouts to “Palestinians” will add up to nine hundred million dollars. The Washington Post agrees with the arithmetic. Oh, the State Department solemnly assures us that none of this money will wind up in the hands of Hamas. Thanks for that, Mr. Barnum.
Well, now. The anti-military bigotry of the new administration does not surprise this newsletter; it’s part and parcel of the elite’s ethical vacuity.
There is, however, an interesting contradiction waiting in the wings, for one must wonder how Obama will treat his precious domestic military (that planned security force mentioned in the item directly above). Perhaps the new enforcers will constitute an armed upper class, a kind of Nazi Waffen-SS or Iraqi Republican Guard, or a force like the Mexican falcones. That means hospitalization will be free for the troops, while the regular military may have to pay when wounded. Or will these federal security guards be private contractors, mercenaries to whom the government owes very little, and who owe the US public they police even less?
Back to the known and ponderable. No, Obama does not surprise when he breaks faith with today’s vets, and there is once again reason to be disgusted by the press, which has so far remained silent about the betrayal. These are the folks who have cynically reported on the suffering of servicemen in order to discredit the foreign policy that put them in harm’s way. Now perhaps the hypocrisy of that propaganda will be a bit more obvious to some naive souls. A lot of that humanitarian-sounding rhetoric was just pretense. (Remember that deceit about the suicide rate? See From The Archive, below.) But…perhaps the press will start asking questions about the perverse stinginess/largesse of the White House. After all, who needs and will pay for newspapers that, like the administration, have the moral sensibilities of pond scum?
Like The AIDS Epidemic, The Current Economic Disaster Targets A Despised Minority. The Bigots Don’t Feel The Least Bit Guilty For Rejoicing At The Carnage
It’s a nasty way of looking at history and society, but then Marx and his ideological children always were a bloody- minded bunch. As a weblogger notes,
…(there is) a significant narrowing in the previous disparity between rich and poor. To the extent that Americans, mostly Democratic Americans, believed that the gap between rich and poor was a bigger problem than the absolute prosperity of the poor, I suspect that on the final crunching of the numbers social scientists will discover that most of the widening of the last couple of decades has been suddenly erased.
The Eternal Self-Delusion
Ah, China, the hope of the West. It all started with the Opium Wars, when Britain insisted on selling the drug to the Chinese. Addicts may not be very productive, but they are still addicts, and therefore a captive clientele. Later things changed a bit, but a century and more ago, China was still considered the salvation of Western industry — remember “oil for the lamps of China”? And the missionaries who saw all those Chinese as souls that would save the sagging churches? And then there were those endless numbers of Western businessmen who looked at the astronomical size of the Chinese population and somehow managed to delude themselves into seeing consumers!
The greedy fantasies continue, to the everlasting shame of the West. A weblogger explains:
Bloomberg carries this article today about the willingness of China to go on holding Western debt that might deteriorate in value:
China, the U.S. government’s largest creditor, is “worried” about its holdings of Treasuries and wants assurances that the investment is safe, Premier Wen Jiabao said.
“We have lent a huge amount of money to the United States,” Wen said at a press briefing in Beijing today after the annual meeting of the legislature. “I request the U.S. to maintain its good credit, to honor its promises and to guarantee the safety of China’s assets.”
Good luck with that. As Brian Micklethwait noted the other day, the fact that the US, or indeed the UK, might be downgraded in credit terms as nations or even default on certain debts, is no longer unthinkable. Defaults are not just things that happen in Ecuador, Russia, or competelyfuckedupistan. They can happen in the supposedly rock-solid financial centres of the world.
Like Japan, China will not buy from us. China is not our friend. China does not wish us well. China can not be trusted. End of report.
Links. They Inform, They Infuriate, They Entertain. You Never Know What They Will Do Until You Click
Revisit all twenty-six episodes of Victory At Sea, and grasp the profound implications of the demand for unconditional surrender.
Thanks to a federal supreme court ruling, you can now plead guilty to a misdemeanor without knowing what the implications can be, and accordingly lose some of your civil rights for life. The very concept seems self-contradictory. A misdemeanor can do that?
Revelations like this one usually turn out to be insipid, but you anticapitalists in the cheap seats will probably get a thrill out of it.
Bad bank, bad!!
The Obama administration talks to you like a Dutch uncle, helping you form correct views. Little do you know that you are taken to be a creature whose supreme intellectual achievement is a recently-developed ability to drool into your shoe. Sounds bad, eh? Well, fear not;the truth is available. And this newsletter credits you with the brains to recognize it and grasp it.
Yeah, this will work. Ole!!
Ignore this. It did not happen. It was not reported, that’s how we know it did not happen. No, no! Don’t click on the link, no matter wh– …. Oh, now see what you have done? You have been very, very naughty! That ends any hope you ever had of getting that brat of yours into the local ObamaChoir, you willful, anti-social, uncooperative, unorganized individualist deviant!
It’s a distasteful subject, but…let’s talk about Barney Frank anyway. Or not. Over to you.
From the PenPo’s “What The Hell Did You Expect, Bozo??” file comes this little gem. Cripes…quit acting surprised by the bias of the news media! That shtick stopped working years ago.
“…contrary to its editor’s suggestion, the (Los Angeles) Times doesn’t have a consistent policy on covering protests; they just cover the ones they agree with.” What’s inconsistent about that?? Well, there’s more here on what the author calls “a dereliction of journalistic duty.” — Aargh!! Why is everybody so slow to recognize these truths this newsletter and its predecessors have been hammering on for years??
Here is a question that, for many, simply does not exist: is the academy liberal?
From the PenPo’s Department of Fascist Fast Food, we have this umm delicious recipe for Humiliating Comeuppance Hobbler. Take some debatable but unsurprising political opinions, add bumper stickers supporting legitimate candidates, and season with current events. Stir. You now have multiple helpings (serves any number) of proof of an illegal terrorist conspiracy that allows you to have your dinner guests arrested. Big Brother says, “That’s a Good Thing!”
Though some will say recent developments are promising, Canada is still stuck on stupid.
Here’s a perfect example of overdone understatement. — Parenthetical but vital caution: Journalists should proceed slowly when surfacing and climbing out of the tank. Doing it too fast can cause the bends.
Hat tip to JY for this: NY has found a source of revenue that can be scaled up at will! Those alert to implications will note that (1) a similar tactic is in place regarding prostitution, (2) the potential for recreational drugs is huge but unrealized, and (3) we have come a long way since, “Hello, Central!” Aah, progress and possibilities…and all because so many of us are such morons.
Madame Zelda, Gypsy seer extraordinaire, made her debut in PenPo 48. She was told to focus on Obama, and Jimmy Carter appeared in her crystal ball. Well, now Carter’s back, while Madame Zelda is in parts unknown. Assign credit where credit is due, please, for she was the first to see Obama’s alter ego!
What do you get when you take (a) the politics of lending in order to put people in homes they can’t afford to own, and shove it into (b) the politics of keeping an imprudent bank safe from proper regulation? You get one heck of a spectacle, that’s what, and that spectacle isMaxine Waters in action. Stupefying.
Computer modeling may be abandoned if lots of scientists rate it objectively for its predictive value. That might be unwise. Perhaps in fifty years the technique will be more helpful than it is today. It has to do with complexity, which still overwhelms even the brightest geeks and the biggest computers. So…back to work, everybody.
From The Archive
April 6, 2004
Recall, please, that while the invasion of Iraq was proceeding, the officers and crew of the British warship HMS Ark Royal demanded that the BBC World (TV news) be turned off. They were outraged by the obvious bias of the “reporting,” and decided to do without it.
The journalists are experts at lying by omission. It’s called “spiking” a story. They are not telling us the full truth on Iraq; they prefer to alarm and dismay us. Hence the lies about the high suicide rate of US soldiers in Iraq.
May 22, 2004
As I have said many times before, propaganda is not just the publication of lies and distortions; the deliberate withholding of relevant information is no less important.
Fortunately we now have the ability to conduct quick, easy searches of all news sources, including direct eyewitness accounts from the scene, and give the lie to media propaganda.
For example: we are confronted with the depressing innuendo of stories about the suicides of US soldiers in Iraq. A miasma of tragedy and despair descends. We can, however, discover in a few minutes something the US media refused to tell us: the German army, peacefully enjoying sausage and beer in The Fatherland, has a significantly, remarkably higher suicide rate. That unreported fact puts the crude propaganda of the US media in a revealing light.
The following appeared in The Terrapin Gazette Number 3, which appeared on the 27th of December, 2004. The weblog described in this report was closed down long ago.
If These Guys Get Caught, They Will Open A Consulate At The South Pole
There are two small cabals of US State Department employees, foreign service officers, who have established weblogs. Because their politics are at odds with the revealed truth around Foggy Bottom, they have to remain anonymous. Here are excerpts from a 23 December post on “Diplomadic,” at http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/
Not Your Father’s Marxism . . .
With the Soviet demise, international Marxism as we knew it for nearly the entire 20th century also died. Unfortunately, however, the forces that fathered and nurtured Marxism did not die: envy, resentment, and fear of competition and failure remain….
The envious, resentful, and fearful of the world found in Marxism’s pseudo-scientific analysis and language an “explanation” for any event. …the rich were rich, because they made the poor, poor; the successful succeeded because they made the failed, fail.
The USSR’s end forced the envious, resentful, and fearful and their leaders to adapt, transform, fracture and downgrade a belief system that had “explained” everything into less-satisfying sub-sets, each focused on a particular topic: most prominently, feminism, environmentalism and the rapidly growing one of “international law.”
Despite their seemingly different concerns, all these sub-sets shared much in common, to wit, at their core lay anti-capitalist, anti-American and increasingly anti-Semitic emotions disguised as analytical constructs.
Over the past fifteen or so years, we have seen these different strands re-meld into what we now call the Anti-Globalization Movement (AGM). While it doesn’t have the military force behind it of the old Marxism, nor has it yet formulated a clear vision of the world with which it seeks to replace the current world (there is no AGM Das Kapital), it shares with old-time Marxism a reliance on pseudo-science and a vanguard elite. Also from Marxism come much of its language and tactics, as well as the goals of disrupting economic development of the capitalist kind and bringing down the United States and the global order it dominates.
You recall my assertion that today’s anti-globalization loons and their allies are increasingly aligning themselves with the blood enemies of the USA, and that a hatred of Jews and Israel is spreading in the extremist left. In the above paragraph, this development is explained as having a clear source: the prejudices of yesterday’s Marxism. This is a welcome contribution to my thesis.
The author then focuses on
one particularly interesting sub-set of the AGM with which I have had some personal experience, and which has not received as much attention as the others. I refer to “movements” for the “rights of the indigenous.”
What follows is a stinging denunciation of a mind-set that the author says winds up
seeking to preserve rural poverty; to keep people poor, sick, illiterate, and isolated from the great and small wonders of our age. It means helping condemn them to half lives consumed with superstition, disease, and of watching their puny children struggle to live past the age of five. It’s a call to keep certain people as either an ethnic curio on the shelf for the enjoyment of European and North American anthropologists or, equally vile, as exploitable pawns for the use of political activists.
Read it all on the Diplomad website. It’s a howling, raving, searing, flaying, rip-snorting rant…but above all a supremely rational essay…that will set the hounds after its author.