David Goldstein of the California Institute of Technology has commented that the possibility that someone will try to replicate a piece of work is a powerful disincentive to cheating — in other words, it can help to prevent scientific fraud. Goldstein also notes that, in reality, very few scientific papers are ever subject to an attempt to replicate them.
It’s a perfect storm: mix normal bad weather with a US federal administration that is overseen by a demagogue who, on assuming office, had no executive experience; now add ignorant, alarmist abuse of the power of journalism, and what do you get? A disgrace.
First, realize that the killer storm that savaged The Philippines was not caused by unusually warm weather. Fact: for more than a decade, warming has not occurred. In any event, huge hurricanes appear from time to time, and sometimes they make landfall in areas that are extremely vulnerable to high winds. Further, the assumption that warming would necessarily make all hurricanes stronger is just that — an assumption.
(If you want to help, once again this newsletter suggests that you not give money to the Red Cross. See this website; it’s put up by an organization with clean hands.)
Second, note that Obama is thrashing about frantically, attempting to accomplish something. He’s an under-achiever, and he knows it; his fecklessness threatens to produce recklessness. As his frustration grows, will his common sense and moral judgment decline?
Third, cult leader Gore and his scientifically illiterate followers have managed to rebrand anthropogenic global warming as climate change. The dodge is tantamount to a fraud because it is a shameless lie. That offense includes the crucial falsehood that mankind is significantly — some loons even say mainly — responsible for the warming of the earth (which warming has in fact not taken place).
The blunders and desperate fabrications remain unrecognized by an electorate that has not taken the time and trouble to inform itself. The information is available, but it is not politically correct. Accordingly, news media and politicians repeat untruths, either knowingly or ignorantly.
Whenever science is repressed by political power or is eclipsed by quasi-religious mythologies (such as the misanthropic fables created by guilt-ridden penitents in the AGW and “green” cults), everyone loses. The waste of resources that results from Quixotic crusades to redeem humanity only fosters poverty and suffering. Often forgotten: the charlatans leading the mad crusades are just authoritarians who lust to impose more controls on the public — by whatever means possible.
Afterword: “All right,” you say. “It’s the science that matters, eh? Well, show me that science!” Done.
Dispatches From A Tramp Abroad
Look at the video, and then consider this: if the government really wanted to tax medical and recreational marijuana sales, wouldn’t it make sense to allow credit card payments? What better way to track the companies’ financial activities? Forcing them to accept only cash payment will surely tempt many to evade taxes.
A flash mob puts on a performance in a Turkish shopping mall.
US Foreign Policy Suffers A Setback — Thank Goodness
Unfortunately a very great deal hinges on policy concocted in Washington DC. The list of contingent potential developments begins with entirely precedented mass murder and destruction (“terrorism”) in both the Old World and the New, and includes conventional war in the Middle East; nuclear war there and/or in Europe and the USA; interruption of the delivery of petrochemicals worldwide; and the disruption of international financial systems. In other words, what John Kerry and his boss do matters.
Anyone only partially familiar with the biography of John Kerry must be concerned, if not alarmed, to find him heading the US Department of State. (See Number 286 of this newsletter, in which a boldly predictive item, “Hillary Has Been Bad; Kerry Will Be Worse”, appears.)
Well, Kerry was seeing eye to eye with the Iranians, and then the French envoy blew the whistle. The agreement that was about to be effected was, the gentleman insisted, full of holes. The Iranians would carry on with their purification of nuclear material and build some bombs, he said. He was right, according to this commentary:
…any deal would make the use of force — by the U.S. or Israel — unthinkable and lock the international community into a process where Iran would become their partner rather than an outlaw to be curbed.
From here. Do read the entire item, please.
Team Obama is reacting to French concerns with dismay and a degree of optimism. Clearly, the White House wants to keep any deal with Iran from coming under Congressional scrutiny and comment. Really important matters can’t be open to discussion by the representatives of the people; when talks with a foreign power reach the “delicate” stage, everyone must be silenced, lest those exquisitely sensitive foreigners begin trembling and sweating. This attitude begs the question of whether negotiations might proceed to a more satisfactory conclusion if Iran perceived the US Congress and electorate as grimly, angrily determined to frustrate Iranian weapons development.
Why, then, keep silent? Why not risk telling Iran plainly that it will turn back? Because Obama needs a deal, and needs it badly — so if his envoy can’t quite get a perfect result, well, things will probably work out anyway, maybe. For an Obama/Kerry-friendly take on progress toward concord, see this report. Meanwhile, the only significant question remains unanswered by Washington: what will it take to prevent Iran from getting The Bomb?
Yes, you should be worried. Anything less than definitive action, whether diplomatic or military, is incredibly dangerous. Iranian Twelver theology teaches that the death of most of the Iranian population could only be beneficial, in that the catastrophe would trigger the final war to eradicate Islam’s enemies; there is, therefore, no such thing as deterrence. Iran is not the Soviet Union, it is not China, it is not India, and it is nothing like Pakistan. A nuclear Iran literally cannot be tolerated.
Some folks are convinced that Kerry does not understand that.
Jews, Muslims, And The Future Of Europe
Demography cannot be denied: the influx of Muslims into Europe, combined with their high birth rate, means that in a few generations, Europe will be Islamic. That will necessarily involve the imposition of sharia (Koranic/Islamist law).
The transition will be resisted, of course. It appears that Christians will offer the most opposition; that is beginning now, with the announcement of a cooperative effort between Dutch politician Geert Wilders and France’s Marine Le Pen. Wilders, author of a book that received a highly favorable review in this newsletter, is not a Neo-Nazi and not a Jew-hater. Le Pen, her father, and her movement have attracted overheated criticism that implies they are slightly watered-down 1930s style Nazis. The contrived controversy serves the interests of the “left”.
The canary in the coal mine is probably the Jewish community in Europe. Two facts stand out: first, Jews are leaving Europe. Second, they do not blame the political “right” for promoting Jew-hatred — they blame the “leftist” politicians and Muslims. Do read this brief post.
If these developments presage the emergence of a pan-European movement that defends Western Civilization against its ancient blood enemy — and does that even as it denounces Jew-hatred — this newsletter will be delighted.
How did it come to this? In a word, policy. In two words, immigration policy.
Europe did not understand what Islam is, so it saw no harm in admitting large numbers of “guest workers” who were not at all guests. No German government realized that the children of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims could grow up to be mass murderers because they accepted the Koran as a holy guide to good behavior. No German saw how awkward the admission to Germany of many Muslims was, given that Germany was the locale of catastrophic persecution of the Jews — a crime wholly endorsed by Islam. The fondest hopes of both German National Socialism and Islam corresponded precisely regarding what should be done with Jews. Yet the Germans ignored that excruciatingly embarrassing fact.
And the future? One can hope that Wilders and Le Pen will wrest control of their nations’ respective borders from the European Union, and one can endorse their insistence that Western Europe must remain within Western Civilization. Unfortunately…the demographic facts will not be denied. Europe will be Islamic.
Begging for trouble from the first
The nuclear power plant was stupidly designed. With three reactors in one cluster, an accident in one makes it impossible to approach the other two. Protection from a tsunami was grossly, even criminally, inadequate. Now the plant is dumping radioactive water into the sea, as well as spewing unknown quantities of poisonous particles into the air, and working on the two continuing runaway meltdowns is impossible. It’s the infamous (but improperly named) China syndrome; in fact nobody knows exactly what is happening in two of the three Fukushima reactors.
This is not a problem for Japan alone. Unpredictable levels of airborne radioactivity will reach the USA, and no one knows what the consequences will be to the Pacific ocean. Comparisons with the Chernobyl accident usually include the estimate that the Russian disaster killed over a million people; if that seems high, consider the possibility/probability that the fatalities were attributed to other causes, and that radiation triggered those diseases.
What can be done? Some people claim that ingested or inhaled radioactive particles can be removed from the human body, and the effects of radioactivity can be countered, if the victim drinks a cocktail made of a type of clay and special nutrients. Whether that is quackery is impossible to determine.
Unfortunately the full truth about Fukushima is extraordinarily hard to discern. The site is lethally dangerous to anyone who approaches it; protective garb is not nearly adequate because the levels of radiation are so high. Add to that attempts by the profoundly embarrassed Japanese to leaven the bad news, and one can begin to wonder what is really going on.
Irrationality and alarmism reduce the credibility of the truth
Accordingly, alarming claims are impossible to debunk or verify. They do, however, attract the attention of folks who are fascinated by The Unknown. Thus the disaster falls into the category of fringe/cultic obsessions and mysteries. If you want information about Fukushima, you are likely to find yourself rubbing elbows with people who puzzle over UFOs, ghosts, ESP, abductions committed by extraterrestrial beings, and so on. These thrill junkies often either reject science or abuse it in order to promote their inflexible myths. The result is very unfortunate, because rational folks can wonder whether the meltdown in Japan has been exaggerated by crackpots. That suspicion is strengthened somewhat by the relative paucity of media coverage of the disaster. If if were a big problem, wouldn’t it be on the news more often?
Fukushima is also an attractive target for doctrinaire opponents of nuclear power generation such as Helen Caldicott; her ferocious opinions suggest to some folks that she views virtually everything with unrealistic, hysterical alarm. That tends to blunt her message — and create the impression that Fukushima is not as horrifyingly dangerous as it actually is. The accident does pose a worrisome threat to millions of people.
An attempt to restore reason and act on the facts
No one can rationally estimate the total harm that will be done. That means links provided here are absolutely not to be considered authoritative or definitive.
In spite of the horror of Fukushima, it might not be rational to forbid the construction of more nuclear power generators. France has done well with them, and the suggestion that the engineers who designed Fukushima were unusually incompetent makes a good deal of sense.
Not convinced? Want to err on the side of caution? Fine. Mankind can do well with other sources of electricity, and without risking anthropogenic global warming. So shutting down all nuclear fission power plants is a practical step that certainly could be prudent.
Ultimately, power from nuclear fusion may someday be practical; that appears to be safe technology. Research is under way. There’s international cooperation; here are some specifics, and those interested in a bit of technical detail will find information here.
Here are links for Fukushima, rated by this newsletter from 0 to 10 for credibility: the higher the number, the more reliable the site.
Start with a bizarre source, and follow the links provided there. (2)
Next, look at a nostrum for radiation sickness. (1)
The BBC tries to make sense of the disaster. (7)
For more information and opinion — some of which will be nonsense — use a good search engine. (1 to 7; you take your chances.)
Floating debris from the tsunami is/are arriving on west coast of North America. (7)
The locals are noting what arrives in Oregon, and making sure it does not harbor unwelcome biota. (9) A tip of the hat goes to reader JW for the information.
This website is maintained by NOAA, which is a US federal outfit unrelated to Obamacare. (8)
The city in the world with the second largest number of Czech speakers (Prague has the most, of course) is Chicago.
“…surprising results indicate that genetic mutations do not always happen purely at random, as scientists have previously thought.” More here. Science is catching up to reality and shedding its mythological assumptions, slowly advancing an understanding of evolution. Recall previous commentary in this newsletter on epigenetics, the inheritance of acquired characters, philosophy, and teleology: see Numbers 231 and 320. As time passes, classical Darwinism, Bible-based creationism, and intelligent design are becoming relics.
Fracking is crucially consequential. Understand why. Will Team Obama develop a policy on fracking? The very question induces nightmares.
I’m cautious; you’re paranoid. I get enough rest; you are lazy. I spend carefully; you’re a miser. And so on….
Extremists on the “progressive” end of the political spectrum are singing the praises of Obamacare: it’s quick and easy to get, it will certainly lower your health insurance costs, the ACA will reduce the pressure on public charity hospitals (even poor people can afford health insurance now, so county facilities will be in the black for the first time ever!), and things will only get better yet when single-payer goes into effect. Oh, yeah? Some folks are not so sanguine (how great is it to have a liar for president, even if you get some increased benefits?). Well, good luck with your new circumstances, whatever your political opinions.
“…with Liberty and justice for all.” Doesn’t that mean that even the president of the nation has to obey the law? Well, yes, and this is why the question is important: if Obama were the CEO of a corporation, he could and should be indicted for fraud. That means that folks who bitterly denounce corporations for their misbehavior while supporting The One are hypocrites. Here’s the explanation of why that is true. Notice, by the way, Obama’s fundamental motive for promoting the Affordable Care Act: Obamacare was designed as a first step toward classical “socialized medicine”, which is euphemistically called “single-payer health care”. Finally: realize that The One will lie to you in order to impose his program. (Yes, most presidents have been no less willing to tell falsehoods; does that give Obama license to lie? If you objected to W because “Bush lied, people died”, can you be ethically consistent today regarding Obama’s deliberate deceit?)
Obamacare, present and future. “Here is how they will lie to you”. Recommended.
CBS’s Sixty Minutes has apologized for being taken in by a hoaxer who had a lot to say about the Benghazi disaster; that does not “fix” anything for Hillary and Team Obama, however. The fact remains that a lot of high officials blundered, and then made things worse.
From commentary located here: “If you think Obamacare is bad now — and it’s very, very bad, a direct assault on the most fundamental freedom Americans used to enjoy, which was the freedom to be left alone by the federal government — wait until the ’employer mandate’ kicks in. Already illegally ‘postponed’ by Obama, it will destroy, by design, the insurance market in the U.S., send the economy into an even worse tailspin than it’s in now, and disrupt the lives and budgets of untold millions of Americans.” Oh. Highly recommended.
Be careful: there are news reports that scammers are calling AT&T customers, pretending to work for the company, and getting vital information from unsuspecting folks — who then find they are billed for lots of expensive international calls they did not make. Don’t tell any caller who says he works for a communications outfit anything. No phone company places calls to its customers to get identity and account information from them.
Here’s another book collectivists will avoid.
Obamacare was promoted with lies; it seems only appropriate for applicants to lie when they sign up, doesn’t it? So where’s the problem?
How, exactly, is this man qualified to say, “Israel Doesn’t Know What Its Best Interests Are”? And what does he intend to do with and to a nation that is so utterly dissociated?
Iranians are not Arabs. Iranians + atom bombs = a bad idea. That does not mean Arabs + nuclear weapons = a good idea.
Oops. Evidently folks just don’t understand what The One is trying to do. Or…perhaps they do understand? Eh?
The USA and Iran: a weblogger makes all the necessary and important points in a brief post. Recommended.
Katie, bar the door, because “…the process by which Hillary will begin to disassociate herself from an administration that is beginning to take on the odor of lame-duck failure” has begun. (Source; read it all!) Hillary-lovers — that is, many ardent feminists — bitterly recall Obamite thugs shooing women away from crucial Democratic party caucuses. There are scores to be settled.
Some folks are alarmed; this newsletter remains puzzled and, well, alert.
Quotes and commentary like this make for difficult reading — that is, the reader must slog through some genuinely depressing facts and observations, trying to find some light in the gloom. Yes, it’s about Obama and his chaotic, deceptive plan to wreck the US health insurance market.
The masthead includes a quote from the works of A. W. Montford.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Slackware Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.