Friday, February 03, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Do you see Obama as a promoter of abolishing the military as a tool of international affairs?"

Cut back my spending???
Eric Holder spoke to congress yesterday again about Fast & Furious. He was outraged that people might be upset about the US Justice Department deliberately giving automatic weapons to drug cartels in Mexico then not tracking them at all. And he invoked executive privilege several times. What this means is that the executive department of the US Government (presidency) is equal in power to the legislative (congress) and as a result he can't be forced to say anything he doesn't care to. This happened several times in the Bush administration and Obama criticized them for it. So did nearly every leftist in America, such as Jon Stewart. As John Hindracker notes at Powerline, don't expect them to raise the same complaints now, at least publicly.

Scientists and workers in the antarctic are drilling through layers of ice to a buried lake which has been covered up for what they estimate has been 20 million years. The scientists hope to learn a great deal about the past from core samples out of this lake, but I'm just hoping they aren't drilling into Rl'yeh. The lake is so deep its actually still liquid, although it is expected to have a high level of carbonization in it like a soda pop.

Some are calling for sugar to be regulated as a toxic substance, and treated like tobacco. I agree there's too much sugar in too many products (like mayonnaise??) but its not a toxic substance, its critical for human survival. Tom Maguire sounds a pessimistic cautionary note:
Within fifty years Coca Cola and the NFL will be the fodder of campfire stories meant to scare excitable pre-teens. It can't happen? Sixty years ago Frank and Dean were the Kings of Cool, smoking cigarettes live on national television; now they would get busted and the President of the United States is heckled in his own home for being a smoker.
Well, if the humorless and bitter left has their way, that's how it will be.

Previously I've noted that as President Obama insists, the economy is in some areas getting better, but just imagine what questions a Republican President would face from the press if he said that. Well you don't have to, because Economic Collapse has a bunch that would be asked:
  • If the economy is getting better, then why did new home sales in the United States hit a brand new all-time record low during 2011?
  • If the economy is getting better, then why is the average duration of unemployment in this country close to an all-time record high?
  • If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by 3 million since this time last year and by more than 14 million since Barack Obama entered the White House?
  • If the economy is getting better, then why is the percentage of Americans living in "extreme poverty" at an all-time high?
  • If the economy is getting better, then why do only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012?
  • If the economy is getting better, then why does median household income keep declining?
And so on. Its all true, and it all would be hammered on a Republican. The truth is the economy is getting very slightly better in some areas, but its still very, very awful.

Nature Magazine ran a little piece recently admitting what everyone by now probably knows without realizing it: increased CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't cause nearly as much warming as scientists speculated in the 1980s.
Nathan Gillett and his co-workers at Environment Canada in Victoria, British Columbia, analysed how well the latest Canadian Earth System Model tracked temperature changes attributable to volcanoes, man-made aerosols and rising greenhouse-gas emissions. They adjusted the model using temperature records from 1851 to 2010 — 60 years of data more than most previous analyses. The model predicted a short-term increase of 1.3–1.8 °C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which is low in the range of estimates from previous forecasts.
Basically, what they understood about greenhouse warming and CO2 20 years ago they're finding out wasn't exactly true today, but still cling to the theories and predictions based on that old science anyway.

President Obama is fixated on the idea of a "green economy" but practical attempts to make that happen are failing around the world. Both Germany and now Spain have abandoned their "renewable energy" subsidies because they're out of money and its a massive waste to begin with.

Google's new "we'll take anything you give us to sell to advertisers" policy has one exemption. They won't be using it on computers that are used by governments. Why not? Because annoying a billion customers is one thing, but angering governments might hurt their bottom line.

Several times in the past I've shown how peak oil worries are misled and dated. Charles Kenny at Business Week went out of his way to chart how mistaken and foolish these concerns are, and then went on to show how false they are about other commodities such as phosphate and Chromium:
Start with oil. In 1971, the Limits to Growth team forecast that the world’s supply would run out 10 years from today. And yet according to renowned oil analyst Daniel Yergin, technology advances and new discoveries have allowed oil reserves worldwide to keep growing. For every barrel of oil produced in the world from 2007 to 2009, 1.6 barrels of new reserves were added. The World Energy Council reports that global proven recoverable reserves of natural gas liquids and crude oil amounted to 1.2 trillion barrels in 2010. That’s enough to last another 38 years at current usage. Add in shale oil, and that’s an additional 4.8 trillion barrels, or a century and a half’s worth of supply at present usage rates. Tar sands, including some huge Canadian deposits, add perhaps 6 trillion barrels more.
The earth is so packed with resources we won't come close to using them up in a thousand lifetimes, but eventually it will get harder to access some of them... using current technology. Which changes and grows to meet demand. Like the overpopulation fears, peak oil fears are based on a presumption that we never get better at doing anything.

They've been pretty good at keeping Michelle Obama away from microphones and controlling what she says when on one, but the Obama team can't control her behavior. She went shopping recently on Madison Avenue in New York City, and spent $50,000 in one boutique alone. To allow the first lady comfortable shopping, the secret service shut down part of the elite, exclusive store Agent Provocateur. The White House might be furious at comparisons to Marie Antoinette but how can anyone avoid them?

Warren Buffett got an award for being such a great citizen from President Obama and has been doing his part to promote Obama's class warfare economic policies around the country. Buffett himself refuses to pay taxes, as his company is six years behind and in court trying to cut their tax bill, but he claims he wants to pay more. The problem is, even in his "Buffett Rule" which would raise taxes on the wealthy, there are loopholes and ways he could get out of paying. Warren Buffett is Exhibit A of cronyism in government.

Speaking of Warren Buffett, here's a few things you might not know about the man Obama gave a citizenship award to:
  • He made his fortune in part using exactly the same tax dodge he now condemns, now that he's basically retired.
  • He was closely invested in GE and Goldman Sachs right before they got their bailouts from the federal government
  • He's being investigated by the Securities and Exchange commission for insider trading
  • He's a big investor in Moody's, the company that gave those shoddy toxic loans AAA status
By putting up a front of being a leftist and supporting all the right things, this mega corporation CEO has been given a pass by the media and the usual corporate-hating leftists. BP got that treatment a while too, by buying friendly politicians and promoting "green" causes and biofuels. Its a PR investment that probably pays off well these days.

Even if it was implemented, the Buffett Rule would only raise at most $40 billion annually, which barely pays for one month of interest on the national debt. And that assumes that the rule would not be dodged by the wealthy or slow down their investments, shifting them to other areas not touched by the rule.

According to a study, President Obama is the most polarizing president in history. He's caused more division and strife than anyone before him, and he did it after campaigning on healing, bringing people together, and magically ending bipartisanship. Unlike President Bush before him, though, Obama deliberately went out of his way to shut out the other party and has been insulting and dismissive toward Republicans. This is when the healing begins?

Ever wonder why Hollywood puts out so many sequels? Its because one of the most profitable ways to make films is to build a franchise. Here's the most profitable franchises in movie history, according to 24-7 Wall Street:
  1. Harry Potter
  2. James Bond
  3. Star Wars
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean
  5. Shrek
  6. Lord of the Rings
  7. Transformers
  8. Batman
  9. Spider-Man
Note: the article included Avatar, despite it being only one movie. Adjusted by inflation, the Bond series probably is the biggest moneymaker. Harry Potter and the Lord of the Ring movies don't really count in my book; they aren't really franchise movies, just a series of films based on books. Its not like there's going to be a Harry Potter 9: the Quickening coming out. For a few years, at least.

Nobody in the legacy media is going to report this, but air quality has been improving across Canada (and the US) since the 1970s. Risk of pollution-related illness has been greatly overstated up north just like down here in the US, too.

While Eric Holder was talking to congress, several members of the Justice Department were being investigated for bribery. Matthew Boyle writes at the Daily Caller:
...at least two DOJ prosecutors accepted cash bribes from allegedly corrupt finance executives who were indicted under court seal within the past 13 months, but never arrested or prosecuted.

The sitting governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, his attorney general and an unspecified number of Virgin Islands legislators also accepted bribes, the source said, adding that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is aware prosecutors and elected officials were bribed and otherwise compromised, but has not held anyone accountable.
Somehow I lack trust that the Holder Justice Department will be putting their best effort into these cases.

Indiana has voted to get rid of the union shop laws and allow people to work without being forced to join a union. I had a job once where I wouldn't join the union and was fired as a result. One more step in the collapse of union power in America, and that's really bad news for Democrats.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, union membership is declining rapidly. This isn't surprising, people are looking at union antics and saying "why would I want to be associated with that?" and "why am I paying money every month for something I don't need?" Unions were once very useful and important for workers, but government regulation and the free market negated that use. Now they're just a leftist drag on the economy.

Another Roman Catholic priest has been busted for molesting children under his care, at least 23 of them. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. This was a schoolteacher; you know, the group that has been busted and guilty of molesting kids hundreds of times more than priests. But I guess that doesn't get as easy a laugh from the crowd.

Pop quiz: when was the last time President Obama held a press conference? Here's a hint: its when he called cops stupid for arresting a professor. In 2009. Oh he's held lots of staged interviews and had short, tightly controlled Q&A sessions after a presentation, but never an open and uncontrolled conference. I recall when President Bush was savaged by the press for going a few months without one.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not just a reliable leftist, but a fool. You can tell by how she told Egypt that they shouldn't build their country around a constitution like the US but instead should look to the South African or Canadian constitution. Those lack the annoying free speech and gun protections she finds so troubling in her work.

Three years ago, London Mayor and leftist Boris Johnson told everyone that the city would be the "electric car capitol of Europe" and ensured that his policies would put 100,000 of the things on the road. Today, there are only 588 registered in the city, and just over 2000 owned by city residents, .08% of the cars in the city. Its almost as if people don't really want the things.

Following the embarrassing and idiotic awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama before he'd even been sworn in as president, the Nobel Prize jury is being investigated. It seems the Stockholm County Administrative Board administers the various charities and foundations in the city and they have a problem with how the prizes are being handed out:
Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and inventor, gave only vague guidelines for the peace prize in his 1895 will, saying it should honor "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Even Alfred Nobel would have a problem with handing Al Gore a Peace Prize for his hypocritical and fact-challenged PowerPoint presentation on global warming. But since this is Norway, the jury will be exonerated, praised, and given a compensatory package to make up for the inconvenience.

Over at his blog, Tom Nelson has been reading through every single email in the Climaquiddick releases. Here are a sample from Phil Jones:
I hope this gives you a few things to get started upon. As you might have guessed this is probably not something I want to waste much time on. Almost all the funding for the work on developing these datasets has come from the US Dept of Energy. They are happy with me not passing on the station data, as we make the gridded products, which are much easier to use. Also the raw station data have been modified by use, and we don’t still have the original data (as received, or as digitized by us in the 1980s).
Note two things here. First, they don't have the original data, only modified later versions. Second, the US DOE is heavily funding these guys. Here's another, from Mick Kelly:
CA are looking for someone to say more extreme events likely in future due to global warming at launch of new campaign. I've said I won't do it but did say I'd ask around. Frankly, I'd advise against as the impression I have is that this really does amount to 'rent a quote'. I'm not into peddling doom and gloom anyway. Oh, date is May 15th. Let me know asap if you are interested as they are getting desperate.
See, they are deliberately looking for someone who'll claim extreme events will take place. Kelly has some sort of integrity, but he's passing it on knowing others won't. One last sample, again from Phil Jones:
Keith/Tim still getting FOI requests as well as MOHC and Reading. All our FOI officers have been in discussions and are now using the same exceptions not to respond - advice they got from the Information Commissioner. As an aside and just between us, it seems that Brian Hoskins has withdrawn himself from the WG1 Lead nominations. It seems he doesn't want to have to deal with this hassle. The FOI line we're all using is this. IPCC is exempt from any countries FOI - the skeptics have been told this. Even though we (MOHC, CRU/UEA) possibly hold relevant info the IPCC is not part our remit (mission statement, aims etc) therefore we don't have an obligation to pass it on.
See he's trying to coach people about how to withhold information from people. Science usually is very open with data and ready to be tested, but he's telling how to refuse Freedom of Information requests by the absurd mechanic of claiming their data is not British at all. These emails are packed with this kind of thing. And its all bad science by activists looking to implement a certain worldview and get rich in the process.

And that's the Word Around the Net for February 3, 2012

1 comment:

theMickey's said...

Good post, you touched a lot of bases.

I'd like to say this about the "green" thingy and I'll make it real short: Mother Nature can take care of herself.

Of course we can all do our part, but she really doesn't NEED our help.

Saw a doc about Chernobyl the other day and they not only claim that plant life is not only back to normal but flourishing.

The wolves, however, are still radio-active (;