“I Think Al Gore Is Crazy”

If you agree with the fellow who said that, you are in very fast intellectual company indeed (GB, here’s the link for you). You see eye to eye with the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Richard Lindzen (on whom, find more information here). He spent some time recently talking to a Swiss periodical, and the interview gets TLB’s highest possible recommendation: do read it, and pass it on to your correspondents. Selected quotes:

…if one doubled the CO2 content (of the atmosphere), the temperature would rise about one degree Celsius. We could not observe that (increase). (TLB’s translation)

There is no real difference between the temperatures of today and those in the 1920s and ’30s. The system is never constant. And to declare the end of the world because of a couple of tenths of a degree is a joke.

…scientists have been silenced, and have even lost their positions, because they dared to express doubts about what we are told are the “facts” of the climate controversy. Laurie David, the producer of Al Gore’s film, wrote in her blog that she was happy that those scientists were finally silenced. She also wrote that any scientists who seek to investigate their scientific doubts should not receive any funding.

People like to think that they improve themselves when they believe with their whole hearts that the world will end unless they save it immediately. They develop a quasi-religious enthusiasm, like Islamist extremists.

If I, as an American, look at Europe, then I see a continent that does not care about terrorism, that Iran could become a nuclear power, that Islam is expanding. Instead, Europe worries about climate change. That is a form of societal stupidity. Europe wants to feel that it is good and important. That is dumb. And, at the same time no European country will meet the Kyoto goals. No, I don’t understand any of this.

Footnote: currently, the total human contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere amounts to approximately five percent of the amount of that gas that is in the air. So Prof. Lindzen is not saying here that if mankind doubled its production of atmospheric CO2, that would raise global temperatures by about one degree C. He appears to be talking about a doubling of the total CO2 in the air. That feat is literally beyond the ability of humankind to accomplish. Conclusion: either way — however Prof. Lindzen is understood — the very idea that it is necessary to worry about CO2 levels is insane. Al Gore really is crazy.

Remarks On The Case Of The Attempted Prosecution Of US “Mercenaries”

The political left is generally outraged by the recent dismissal of the case against Blackwater employees who killed a number of Iraqis in a furious gunfight two plus years ago. Regarding which, some observations:

1. The term “mercenary” is a pejorative that absolutely does not apply in this case. A true mercenary is amoral — i.e. will quit and work for your enemies if you don’t pay him more than they will. Blackwater’s employees were constrained by strict ethical principles in their choice of employer and cause.

2. The very idea that Blackwater employees would drive down a street, see a number of glowering Iraqis, begin cutting them down with gunfire and continue shooting at anything that moved is beyond preposterous. The fact that the convoy was fired upon — that hostilities were initiated by ambushers — is solidly established; it was a battle, not a random slaughter of innocents. The prosecution knew this.

3. The case was thrown out because of prosecutorial ideological zeal (do click on the link in the first paragraph). That raises the question of whether the prosecution realized the case was hopeless from the first, and bungled it deliberately so the facts could never be argued in court. A failure to convict in spite of a genuine opportunity to make the best possible case against the defendants might well have been considered politically intolerable. Remember, this is Holder’s Department of Justice, a bureau that has proved amenable to his politically correct mismanagement; he did not have to change everything when he arrived. The DOJ has always had its “progressive” element.

4. It is standard Islamofascist tactics to hide behind civilians in order to reduce incoming fire. Jihadis know the ethics of non-Muslims, and accordingly use women and children as shields. The practice is seen wherever violent Muslims engage non-Muslim forces. Again, testimony to this effect would tend to undercut the deceitful claims of a wide variety of factions on the left.

There is, in other words, little surprising about the court’s decision to dismiss. It is upsetting only in that the publication of the full truth has been significantly hindered. News reports of testimony giving the lie to the prosecution’s ideologically-based claims will never appear. The media will not have to repress the facts in order to prop up misconceptions and distortions. “Progressives” of various stripes will now be able to charge that the system uses and protects mercenaries.

In that narrow sense, the court’s action is a strategic victory for the liars. Whether it was deliberately engineered by the prosecution is a matter of speculation…but those who note that the DOJ’s blunder was a rookie mistake that would have been caught by a first-year law student have a point.

Computer News That Should Remind Us Of Something Essential

Ignore software for a few moments, and realize that it’s clear that the weak link in any laptop, notebook or desktop computer is the hard drive. As large, fast and reliable as they are, they are still mechanical devices with rapidly rotating parts, and they wear out. When they do, it is always the case that recovering data from them is impossible, difficult or expensive. Though there are some ways to estimate how long a drive might last, and sometimes a crash can be predicted based on tests, almost no one is ever fully backed up in preparation for the disaster — and who has a new hard drive on the shelf, just waiting for the current drive to fail?

This newsletter looks forward to the day when all hard drives will be replaced by something rather like a memory card. The hardware industry is working toward that goal, and TLB subscriber JY just passed along this information on some progress made in solid state data storage.

Skipping over many caveats, TLB predicts that there will a solid state, inexpensive, reliable replacement for the hard drive. Not soon, not soon at all. But at some point computer users will look back on the spinning magnetic disc in our boxes as just what it is today: a primitive and very unreliable non-solution to the problem of how to write, store and read data.

No one seems to be thinking about the real problem, however. That is not just how to design a practical non-mechanical data storage device, but what can survive a Carrington event. These natural phenomena are really nasty. The failure to take them into account in designing the technology of the twenty-first century is a huge blunder.

Our civilization must deal with reality if it is to survive, and the advent of this new memory card should remind us that technology is ignoring the fact that there will be more Carrington events. That is known. When they will occur cannot be known, but because we know what not to do and what will allow us to cope with them, we also know that at present we are being suicidally stupid.

Links

Here’s a candid look at Israel and its enemies that provides considerable perspective.

A weblogger posts an excerpt from a book on Hitler’s assumption of power as seen by ordinary Germans who wanted the best for their nation. The brief snip is thought-provoking and even cautionary.

You romantics who think of the past as a Golden Age need to realize that this is what it was like in the USA just over a century ago.

A worthy cause. Donate in memory of MJK. — More: the race is getting a lot of attention, as well it should. If you are interested, try these URLs for openers: one, two, three, four and finally five. Why all the links? Teddy’s old seat is big news, and if it is lost to the GOP, the effect could be seismic — and predictive. We shall see.

How to be a hero, if you are a Democratic federal US senator: announce that the secret meetings being held to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Obamacare bill are inimical to the interests of the republic, and say, “Unless the president keeps his promise of openness and transparency, and unless these meetings are public, I shall vote against the bill.” It’s that close; one senator has that much power. And so far, not a single Democrat has the cojones to hold The One to his repeated promise. When November comes around, remember that. (Right, no link here, just opinion.)

If you are a warmongering capitalist neocolonialist, you may enjoy a thirteen-minute video edited from gunship cameras. There are lots of views of what happens to the Bad Guys when they are hit by 30mm cannon fire, and so on.

From TLB’s Power to the Pee–Hold it! Not to Those People! file comes this report on a local Tea Party group that realized it had a lot of work to do, and has rolled up its sleeves. Boy, how the establishment pols hate developments like this….

The airline security system is sclerotic. Information is not being transmitted in time, evaluated correctly, and used to shut the right people down.

Now that the climate emergency has been debunked, are some AGW psychos getting even by predicting more and bigger trouble? Or isannihilation approaching at the speed of light? The problem: you can’t see it coming.

The Tea Partiers have been hammered by some obscene and unfair charges lately. So is this their counterattack? No, it is not. Andrew Breitbart saw the hostility coming, and the goons did what he knew they would. Note the date on the video.

Closely related: no US political figure is more loathed than is Sarah Palin. Sure, the distinction might belong to President Obama, but the filth thrown at Palin is beyond extreme. Recall Letterman, Bernhard, and Sullivan. In selecting Palin to speak at the closing dinner of the Tea Party convention, The Loyal Opposition is taunting unstable haters. That’s very smart! It also delivers a message to the GOP that could be a mutually agreeable farewell. Is the desiccated Republican Party about to exorcize its populist inspiration and become part of the increasingly distrusted establishment? There is no predicting, but the next few months could bring a historic turning-point.

Populism: Congress in the crosshairs.

Burchfield does not list this as an example of a type of irony. TLB thinks of it as a boomerang effect harmful to cynical hypocrites. You be the judge.

“This is not incompetence — it’s corruption.” Horrors! It must be Bush’s fault! Isn’t everything?

Are they anti-war, or fighting on the wrong side? TLB believes Code Pink is not versed in rational thought and accordingly articulates its cause very poorly. Stupid, yes — stereotypically dumb-blonde brainless and gullible. Traitorous, no. Look, it’s the Fonda Syndrome: you can’t tell your people to stop fighting without giving aid and comfort to the other side, and if your intellect is not up to the challenge, you make an error with horrible ethical consequences. Then you spend the rest of your life in an un-sane attempt to justify the unjustifiable. That corrodes your very humanity, and you end your days in either pathetic denial or irresolvable self-doubt. Ultimately, Code Pink is both vacuous and pitiable.

Vaguely related, maybe: this video has what it takes to achieve “viral” status on the internet. This in spite of the fact that the feat the female purportedly accomplishes is physiologically impossible, according to TLB staffers who have, well, um, researched such things. If you disagree and can demonstrate that you are right, please contact the publisher; there is a position for you.

“They won’t leave us alone, whatever we do,” says Oliver Kamm. Thus, when “progressives” insist that opposing the jihadis violently is iatrogenic folly, they ignore conclusive empirical evidence. He is correct.

More damned lies. He actually expects us to buy this crap, which says a lot about his respect for us.

All government intimidates. That’s why the US federal constitution is not just a framework for an organization, but also a strict set of limitations on the behavior of that organization. “Progressives” complain that the constitution is, therefore, a negative document. We can thank our lucky stars that it is exactly that…while we continue to assert our autonomy to jealous bureaucrats and legislators. Push back or be confined.

Yikes: “The Dems don’t believe they will ever have to face a real election again.” That sounds very ominous — does it involve making the party immune to the democratic process? More: there appears to be grand strategy, but whether it is truly anti-democratic is unclear. Don’t join a militia just yet.

Andrew Breitbart fires another shot into the one hundred ton marshmallow: the press and AGW.

Next, a rational and unhurried answer to the question, “How’s that government stimulus working, anyhow?” Tip: if you are an Obamaniac, you had better skip this. It might be hard on your cardiovascular system.

Are government school lunch programs supposed to promote both obesity and hunger? Just asking….

A brief unhappy note on Greece.

Solar is the energy source of the future, and always will be. But some folks in East Africa are resorting to those panels that lie in the sunshine and charge batteries. That’s not just boutique technology, it’s sheer desperation — for which the real remedy is nuclear power.

For many years, Castro has trained and graduated large numbers of physicians as part of his socialist program. Now it seems some of the docs are escaping the workers’ paradise, and doing it through Venezuela. Three questions: how long can that last, given that it’s now public knowledge; are these people all genuine refugees, or are some spies; and are they really capable physicians? No lo se.

Here’s the latest climate alarmism. So Al Gore is going to lead the crusade to put as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as possible, eh? If there’s a buck in it, yes.