Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Newt Redux

From the "Evans-Novak Political Report" from February 28:

"Conservative Void: Republicans around the country are now talking about the possibility that a conservative candidate outside the big three could suddenly catch fire and suck support away from both the frontrunners and several of the minor candidates. A push poll for the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses is instructive on the reality of conservative discontent with the current "big three" GOP candidates. The poll gives Sen. John McCain 20.5 percent, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani 16.3 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 3.5 percent. The candidate for whom the push-poll was conducted, former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore (R), leads them all with 31 percent.

This is not legitimate survey, of course -- it's a "push poll" that tells respondents positive and negative things about various candidates. The pollster peppered respondents with tales of the liberal deviations by McCain, Giuliani and Romney, and the true-blue conservatism of Gilmore. But it proves a point that is widely accepted in Republican ranks: None of the "big three" is a natural fit for the nation's right-of-center party. A conservative void unquestionably exists. The question is whether there is anyone who can fill the void.

The name usually mentioned as the void-filler is not Gilmore but Newt Gingrich. A straw poll by the right-wing Citizens United organization of contributors to its political fund showed Gingrich ahead with 31 percent (followed by Giuliani at 25 percent, Romney at 10 percent and McCain at 8 percent)."

The report follows up with "But based on his record as speaker of the House, Gingrich's conservative record is far from flawless." -- without giving details of the "flaws" Gingrich demonstrated.

During the debate between Gingrich and Mario Cuomo Wednesday night (Feb 28), Cuomo, in response to a question from the moderator, named Gingrich as the best candidate for the Republican nomination. "Intelligent, experienced, and a great debater."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Other People Say Smart Stuff VII

Mark Alexander has written another in the growing list of articles elucidating the growing realization among informed citizens that manmade global warming, and Al Gore's claim to enviro-nazi sainthood, are about to be revealed for the shams they are.

One excerpt:

For instance, Gore insists that the increased incidence of hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and other weather phenomena is the direct result of global warming.

Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray takes exception: "The degree to which you believe global warming is causing major hurricanes," he says, "is inversely proportional to your knowledge about these storms."

In a recent issue of Discover Magazine, Gray, described by Discover's editors as one of "the world's most famous hurricane experts," wrote, "This human-induced global-warming thing ... is grossly exaggerated. ... I'm not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and '40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle '40s to the early '70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical ... about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us."

Monday, February 26, 2007

...And the Oscar for Best Documentary Goes To: "Liar, Liar"

From the Tennessee Center for Policy Research:

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

"As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use," said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Descended from Medieval Demons

Other People Say Smart Stuff VI

Some excerpts from William Rusher's latest column, "The Global Warming Hysterics Strike Again":

"Do you have any idea how many billions of dollars the United States paid 'scientists' (mostly in universities) last year to study this or that aspect of global warming? They are raiding this El Dorado with both hands, and you can imagine their attitude toward any colleague who dares to doubt their warnings."

"The latest incitement to panic over global warming is the recently released summary of a 1,400-page report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We won't get to see the actual report till May, but the IPCC's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, says "I hope this report will shock people."

"Given the media's hype concerning the human causes of global warming, it undoubtedly will. But the actual figures, when compared to those in the IPCC's last report in 2001, are downright encouraging. Christopher Monckton, a British analyst, points out that the new summary "more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches." (Al Gore predicts 20 to 30 feet.) Monckton adds that "The U.N. has cut its estimate of (the human) net effect on climate by more than a third."

"The traditional liberal hatred of "American corporations," mobilized whenever some new misfortune can be laid, however speciously, at their door. All sorts of manufacturing operations emit carbon dioxide, which are thus responsible for some uncertain part of the seven-tenths of one degree Celsius by which the earth's surface temperature rose in the 20th century. Actually, believe it or not, cows emit far more greenhouse gases (from their rear ends) than corporations do, but corporations are easier to hate than cows."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Global Warming and Uri Geller (continued)

Global warming* alarmists are like those "true believers" who honestly think that psychic star Uri Geller has real powers, despite the fact that a) He has repeatedly failed to prove his powers under strictly controlled conditions, and b) He has been caught cheating. Their desire to believe overrides any common sense.

Global Warming Charlatanism
Misrepresentation of findings. Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory was a contributing author for the UN's second International Panel on Climate Change in 1995, writing the sections on observed changes in tropical cyclones around the world.

He contributed again to the "Third Assessment Report" in 2001. And he was invited to contribute to the IPCC's "Fourth Assessment Report." This report would specifically focus on Atlantic hurricanes, Landsea's specialty, and be published by the IPCC in 2007.

In October, 2004, the IPCC's Kevin Trenberth -- the very person who had invited Landsea's contribution -- was to participate in a press conference. The title of the press conference was "Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity." None of Landsea's work substantiated this claim. Nobody's had.

Landsea tried to contact Trenberth to clarify the scientific truth: No proven correlation between hurricanes and global warming. To Landsea's dismay, the press conference proceded, with the media drooling over the flashy headline possibilities.

Landsea resigned from the IPCC's report, in protest over the politicization and misrepresentation of scientific findings. You can read his story in his own words in his "Open Letter to the [Scientific] Community." Unfortunately, other scientists, eager for social status and funding, stepped in to support the bogus claims made by politicians.

The Big Question
How valid is the global warming alarmists' argument if they have to misrepresent and lie to achieve their goals?

* "global warming" in these discussions is defined as "man-made catastrophic climate change."

Other People Say Smart Stuff V

Catholic Cardinal Nails It

"What we were seeing from the [global warming] doomsdayers was an induced dose of mild hysteria, semi-religious if you like, but dangerously close to superstition....enough is enough" -- Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney

What a "Consensus" of Scientists Can Do

In the 1970's, a consensus of oceanographers and environmental scientists agreed that placing old tires in the ocean would be a good idea. It would provide artificial reefs for marine life and free up space in crowded landfills.

Now the tires are creating an ecological disaster. Sea critters are not building on the tires in significant amounts. The tires are either degrading, with pieces of rubber scattered throughout the oceanscape, or coming loose completely, littering the beaches and ocean floor for thousands of square miles.

The "experts" who advocated the idea now react with a shrug. Ray McAllister, a professor of ocean engineering at Florida Atlantic University who was instrumental in organizing a project in Florida, said: "I look back now and see it was a bad idea." Meanwhile, government money is being spent to try to repair the ecological disaster.

This vividly illustrates what happens when a so-called "consensus" of experts determines a solution based on a faulty premise. The remedy is worse than the original problem, and the experts walk away, leaving the rest of us to clean up their mess.
This should make all the global warming conspiracy fanatics pause and consider what the consequences of their "solutions" might be. As I often tell my children, "Consensus does not mean correctness."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Experts are Catching On

Former Clinton advisor and current political commentator Dick Morris recently wrote a column entitled "Here Comes Newt." It eerily echoes my column "The Class of '08" from August 28, 2006, in which I predicted Newt Gingrich would be the 2008 Republican presidential candidate.

Why ain't my phone ringing off the wall with offers to be the one making $$$ advising politicians? (Attention Republicans: I am for sale.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Other People Say Smart Stuff IV

Dr. Thomas Sowell is the smartest man in America. Among other accomplishments, he holds a Ph.D in economics and is currently a Senior Fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
He has written a series of articles entitled "Global Hot Air." In these articles he has so far pointed out that
  • The list of so-called "consensus of scientists" includes everything from "nuclear physicists to people who study insects, volcanoes, and endocrine glands -- none of whom is an expert on weather or climate, but all of whom can be listed as scientists, to impress people who don't scrutinize the list any further."
  • Many distinguished climatologists who have real credentials oppose the concept of "manmade global warming."
  • "There has been a full court press to convince the public that 'everybody knows' that a catastrophic global warming looms over us, that human beings are the cause of it, and that the only solution is to turn more money and power over to the government to stop us from our dangerous ways of living."
  • The media present sensational and inaccurate headlines and stories to promote the idea of "manmade global warming."
  • The big hurricane season in 2005 was touted in the media as caused by, and proof of, global warming. Predictions were that 2006 would be even worse. The fact that there was practically no hurricane season in 2006 went unmentioned.
Read Sowell's columns. He's smart and articulate.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Global Warming and Uri Geller

Uri Geller is a psychic who became famous in the 1970's due to television appearances where he seemed able to read other people's thoughts, start stopped watches and -- most famously -- bend spoons using the power of his mind. He has always insisted that his powers are real, not simply tricks.

Various skeptics have debunked Geller's tricks, and he has consistently failed when placed under strictly controlled conditions. He has even been caught cheating on video. Despite all this, Geller continues to insist on his legitimacy.

Uri Geller may indeed have genuine psychic powers. However, the fact that he has cheated, and that he failed under strictly controlled conditions, make you doubt that conclusion.

Similarly, global warming* may turn out to be the catastrophe that alarmists insist it is. So far, though, much of the research that supposedly supports that conclusion has been either a) faulty; b) misrepresented; or c) manipulated. Like believing in Uri Geller's powers, believing the truthfulness and accuracy of the reports of global warming is hard when you know they cheated.

The Reasons
The first question that comes to mind about something this important is Why? Why would supposedly ethical scientists and politicians try to deceive the populace?

Money. Since 1993 more than $80 billion has been spent on global warming research. Scientists who use climate change to explain environmental changes improve their chances of getting part of the $6.5 billion in research grants that foundations, corporations, and US government programs have budgeted for global warming in 2007. Politicians cement relationships with activists who support reelection campaigns and can rename $14 billion in "alternative energy" pork into ethical "planetary protection." It gives new meaning to the label of being "green."

Status. Besides the social acceptance by their green colleagues, scientists who tout global warming doom ("Climate change to flood New York City") increase their likelihood of getting headlines and quotes in news stories. Politicians get better press and can assume a holier-than-thou attitude toward anyone who is not as green.

The Research
Flawed science. Henk Tennekes was the director of research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and later chairman of the august Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. A skeptic of the global warming research, he argued that there were inherent limits on climate models scientists were basing their conclusions on, that the world was far too complex to be replicated. The best legitimate predictability models can now only reach up to 36 hours. The predictions for the "next 100 years" are based on cumulative day-by-day projections -- which are impossible.

Flawed statistics. The so-called "hockey stick" graph, established by Michael Mann, supposedly shows that the temperature increases that we have been experiencing are "likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years" and that the "1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year" of the millennium. A congressional energy and commerce committee asked Dr. Edward Wegman to head a team to assess the validity of the research that resulted in this graph. Dr. Wegman is a professor at the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and board member of the American Statistical Association.

Dr. Wegman's conclusion? "Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported," Wegman stated, adding that "The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable." When Wegman corrected Mann's statistical mistakes, the hockey stick disappeared.


* "global warming" in these discussions is defined as "man-made catastrophic climate change."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Liberals Will Choke to Death on This

I heard Rush talking about this on his radio show, and thought it was one of his jokes. To my pleasant surprise, it's a real story. This shows how easily something like the Nobel Prize can be manipulated. So Al Gore's nomination is nothing special. Pay special attention to Levin's comments about Rush. Liberals and those who don't listen to Rush regularly will be outraged at such statements. To long-time fans, though, they're just plain truth.

"Nationally syndicated conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh has been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize by Landmark Legal Foundation-the leading conservative public interest law firm in the country.

According to Landmark President Mark R. Levin, the firm decided to nominate Limbaugh, who also serves as a member of Landmark's Board of Advisors, for his "nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. These are the only real cornerstones of just and lasting peace throughout the world."

In his letter to the Nobel Committee, Levin writes, "Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law - and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."

Why Hillary Won't Win

Unless something catastrophic happens to Hillary Clinton's campaign, she will be the 2008 Democrat presidential nominee. Currently the media are singing Barack Obama's song, and John Edwards (and possibly Al Gore) wait in the wings. But it's Hillary's game to lose.

Although she is certain to be the Democrat candidate, there are many reasons I believe she will be unable to win the Presidency.

Reason #1: "She's a girl." Yes, I realize that Hillary Clinton is not a child. Nonetheless, chauvinistic or not, many people will vote against Hillary because of her gender. Some of her supporters will vote for her for that reason alone, of course, but many more voters will decide to vote for Hillary's opponent based solely on her being a woman.

Reason #2: Her personality. Ms. Clinton will spend the next 21 months trying to soften her image. Since 1992, however, she has been depicted as a cold, calculating, hard-nosed, unlikable beeyotch. The rhetoric she will have to use to win the Democrat primaries will only accentuate this image, despite her attempts to change it.

Reason #3: Her husband. Bill Clinton polarizes Americans. Many people dislike him, and even among his admirers there are some who don't believe a family should return to the White House. "Time for some new blood" and "not again" will be the sentiments of many voters during the campaign.

Reason #4: The primaries. What Hillary Clinton did not need was a strong opponent in the Democrat primaries. Although she is certain to win the nomination, Barack Obama is currently the media darling, giving the other challengers the courage to challenge Hillary. This will entail a lot of mudslinging and the political version of a UFC fight. She's going to lose some teeth. The infighting will accentuate her negatives for the voters. Her only chance to come out clean and in good shape is if Obama's campaign disintegrates before the primaries, and the other Democrats roll over.

Reason #5: Her politics. Despite the 2006 elections (which was a reprimand vote against the Republicans' wandering from Conservative principles,) most Americans are conservative, and voters will put conservative politicians into office. Despite what she says during the presidential campaign (which will sound much more centrist and conservative than what she says during the primary campaign,) Hillary's record shows her to be very Liberal.

All of the above factors are rendered moot if Republicans field a weak candidate (ala Bob Dole, '96.) That's why it's vital that Republicans work hard to find someone who is intelligent, appealing, and Conservative.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Other People Say Smart Stuff III

I recently read the most enjoyable column on the modern Liberal Left: "All the Old Dudes," written by Jack Langer. His first line tells the tale: "A man could make a fortune selling Geritol to these people." Read the rest of it, though, because it's fresh, fun, and informative.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Why They Won't Tolerate Discussion

To get "loads of media coverage...we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have."

-- Dr. Stephen H. Schneider, Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University and leading proponent of the "manmade global warming" theory, in Discover magazine, October 1989.