OMG: ACORN CEO Visited the White House

(Update below)
Instapundit, which has gone on virtually non stop about how the ACORN scandal is just about the biggest thing ever, finally got back around to ACORN news after a there was reason for those who are ideologically driven to ignore ACORN.

Namely, the most relevant news regarding ACORN in nearly a year:  A Congressional Research Service Study found no evidence that ACORN had engaged in fraudulent voting or finances for the past half decade.

So was this the relevant news that Instapundit finally got around to covering? 

After all, Instapundit is one of those sites that has been ranting on nonstop about how ACORN has been engaging in systematic voter fraud; and how the media, though it has covered this ACORN issue far too much, has in Instapundit's view not been covering it enough (much like Instapundit's Big Brother).


Here is what Instapundit dug up instead, wording it in a way to appear as if there is some sort of relevancy to what is, essentially, completely irrelevant.

But that is what Instapundit does. Essentially ignore that the Congressional Research Service found no evidence of voter wrong doing, but at the same time try to insinuate that the CEO of ACORN visiting the White House is somehow bad. Even better, try to tie it into that "sting" operation where a few of ACORNS thousands of employees took their motto of trying to help people a little too far.  Notice how Instapundit does this with the seemingly sinister, but ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT, TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, statement that it was a "week before the sting operations!":
NEWS: White House Visitors Log: ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis In Obama Residence Week Before Sting Videos Launched.
This is not that far removed from writing that Instapundit had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch last Wednesday, one day before the infamous Christmas airline bomber had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch!!

What is Instapundit trying to do here anyway, same old same old "Insta-BS"?

It never changes.

Update:  Politico's Ben Smith reports that it is not the same Bertha Lewis as the ACORN CEO (thus Instapundit and all the other Matt Drudge and Breitbart clones got it wrong), but a Bertha Lewis with a different middle initial.  We don't think it's relevant, one way or the other.


Why is Fox Not Talking About this Nonstop?

Remember when, not long ago, the Fox channel, and many far right zealots simply could not stop proclaiming how the ACORN "voter fraud" was one of the biggest stories of the decade? And how a mainstream media that was giving it far too much attention, was, in their words, virtually ignoring it?

How much coverage is that same far right, and its sponsor channel that likes to work in some pseudo news tidbits with its newslike appearing advocacy, giving to this little piece of news regarding its "story of the year."
A newly-issued Congressional Research Service (CRS) study (pdf) on the activities of the community group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) found no evidence the group has engaged in fraudulent voting or violations of federal financing rules over the last five years.
And how many times did America hear how this group, which supported Obama, had engaged in fraudulent voting or violated federal financing rules at the same time?

How many times will this "error of the year" be corrected? With near round the clock coverage of it just like Fox seemed to insist the "ACORN scandal" required?

Not exactly.  A google search of the terms "ACORN," and "fraud," with either "voter," or "voting" within the domain of foxnews.com yielded a plethora of results.  But in the first few dozen (we got tired of checking after that) there was no mention of the news above that ACORN had been cleared for the past half decade (changing "fraud" to "fraudulent" did not change this fact).

In fact, in the first few dozen results, none were even in the last two weeks or so, while November, October, and September found all kinds of ACORN and fraud stories on Fox.  It seems like, once the "story of the year" brought some news that didn't suit "fair and balanced" Fox's ideology, it went from being a 'story of the year" to pretty much off of Fox's radar.

And people still refer to this channel and organization as a news organization, which is the real shame. And this is Fox online -- which is far better than the TV channel and actually does sometimes carry some decent substantive news.


NRO and Jonah Goldberg Out of Touch with Reality

Here is what the National Review Online Actually published:
Janet Napolitano oversaw a report that singles out American citizens and returning vets as potential terrorists because of their political views.
The DHS report was on violent extremism, not the political ideology. Janet Napolitano did not oversee it, she inherited it. It was commissioned, and mainly produced, under the Bush Administration.

And to say that it "singles out American citizens and returning vets as potential terrorist because of their political views" is wildly off the mark.
Here's the DHS report.  Contrast it with NRO and Jonah Goldberg's fantasy world, where if there is a legitimate threat of far right extremist violence (which almost all experts concur on, including many noted conservatives) how does the DHS assess it without, according to Goldberg's "logic," "singling out" Americans for their views, absurd as this assertion of Goldberg's is. How does it? It can't, which is the whole point.


Person Who is Never Wrong Does Not Know Basic Logic or Science

"Who's never wrong about anything" is the way the London Telegraph describes James Delingpole, who recently wrote one of the most inane, and manipulative posts, ever to have graced the online pages of a major "news" source.

Here is Delingpole's assertion, as he shows why climate gate, is the "scientific scandal" of the modern era.
Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:
So what is the evidence of these "private doubts?"

First, let's consider what is meant by "warming up;" nanmely, is climate change real. Now let's look at his "evidence" from one of the hacked emails:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
Did the person who is "never wrong about anything" ever take a science class in high school or college? Did he pass it? Of is it just that his ideological bent has annilihated his ability to exercise basic scientific understanding or rudimentary logic when it comes to what is clearly an ideological issue to him (just read his popular post, linked to twice above.)

Sadly, that seems to be what is happening, in America (and apparently in our little puppy England) as we continue our march toward becoming more and more ill informed, as we become more and more ideologically driven.

Consider the paragraph that is cited as his "evidence." It claims a disappointment with the ability of a model to predict something, and has almost nothing to do with the underlying isssue of warming.

Some scientist is bummed because he can't accurately model exactly what is happening in the climate, and that's a relevant portion of what he requotes as the "scientific scandal of the modern era"?

This is what happens when the debate no longer revolves around what is going on, and what is the most sensible thing (if anything) to do about it, but between those who are essentially interested in understanding science when dealing with the physical world (which is what defines science), and those who are so driven by their "wants" "beliefs" "desires" and preconceived notions of the way that things should be, or that they want them to be, that their ability to spin (thus convincing themselves at the same time as others) increases commensurate with their precipitiously decreasing ability to objectively reason.

The rest of his examples are also similarly misplaced or well overblown.  And even if by "trick" and "hide" these scientists did not mean what most scientists normally mean (rounding out errors) and meant what non scientist mean by these things, so what. It's about as consequential to the underlying issue of climate change as........ [you fill in your own analogy; ours was too ribald to permit the printing thereof].

In other words, irrelevant. Because it's not their data that drives this. It's not their estimations that drive this.  Without any of it, the entire basic underlying science is the same. The physics never changes.  The known fact of net emissions increases in GHC and how much those are, never changes. The fact that heat trapping gases do drive climate, never changes.  And even the observable data, the only non essential part of this equation (although it has tended to corroborate early predictions decades ago) doesn't change; that is,data produced by some of the most reputable organizations on the planet, including NASA and the NOAA, and not some scientist at climate center East Anglia.
And the London Telegraph publishes his tripe, and perpetuates and promotes such idiocy.

Hopefully Delingpole lives in a big house near the sea, where he plans on staying a long, long time.


The American Spectator -- Why Would You Follow Something That Purposefully Misleads?

The American Spectator -- Why would you follow something that purposefully misleads?  Or, if not purposefully, illustrates no clue regarding the subject matter which it is nevertheless trying to inform you on, and, what do you know, by a bizarre coincidence, is also wildly misinforming you.

What is the reason for that bizarre coincidence?  Simple. The American Spectator has a particular view that -- right or wrong -- it very zealously, almost religiously, wants to believe, and promulgate. So it does it's darndest to then cherry pick, manipulate, and misrepresent information in order to promote that pre conceived notion.

Why would you trust such a magazine as a source of information?

Don't believe that this is what the America Spectator does? Let's take an example, on a very objective, factually based, non partisan, and in fact, wholly scientific matter, which nevertheless has been turned into a somewhat partisan, and very subjective matter by resources just like the American Spectator.

Here is their opening two paragraphs, with links, of a piece by Paul Chesser.  It is clear Chesser wants to believe something, so has done his darndest to convince himself that what he wants to believe, is accruate. He has that right. As do you to read his stuff. But if you want to be informed, rather than mislead into thinking that you are coming to your own conclusins,when in fact you are being somewhat manipulated, why would you want to?

Here we go:
It is like the Peanuts gang laughing in derision after yet another Charlie Brown gaffe. It is like the doubling-over at the double-stumble (video) during fashion week in Paris.

The cackles and guffaws now come routinely. Global warming alarmists, led by inconvenienced (because of cooling weather) Al Gore, are seeing their prophecies of doom dissolve. Now that big ice grows, big winter is bad (like last year), cold temperatures hit record levels, and global mean surface temperature has not continued upward -- despite continued increases in that demonized "greenhouse" gas, carbon dioxide -- the panic peddlers look like flailing jesters.
First, notice the three of three completely gratuitous links in paragraph one. Okay, that's fine. But what about paragraph two, where the mocking stops, and the "substance" begins?

The first link showed that it was really cold one day.  Trying even to insinuate relevance to this, would be like saying in late May that we must be going into winter in the northern hemisphere, because at 4:30 p.m. it was cooler out than at 4:23.  To call it idiotic doesn't even do it justice. But this is supposed to be entertaining? Is that what the American Spectator is, a "wholly" entertaining magazing that "informs"? How is it doing that here, and not misleading you by trying to imply that a day or two of temperatures have anything to do with the only data that really matters -- the decades long temperature trend.

The second link (go ahead, click on it, or go the original and try it there) is of course, "broken or expired."

Then comes the third link. Go ahead and click on it, also, and see how it was "really cold." It shows a record cold snap in a particula region,which is like saying now on a Wednesday in May that we are moving to winter because Tuesday hit a record low in your state (while perhaps hitting record highs in other areas, and on other continents). Only here this American Spectator artiucle actualy tries to tell its readers that this is in anyway relevant to the issue. What is this; blatant scientific idiocy on the part of the American Spectator, or an attempt to manipulate and deceive, you, its audience?

Which one?

Perhaps American Spectator does not understand the science. But then why write the article?? And why do so to try and undermine the consensus of an overwhelming majority of scientists (which, in itself, is fine), by the writing patent scientific absurdities and taking advantage of the fact that most of its audience probably does not consist of scientists either,  and is looking to the/American Spectator for guidance on the issue.And yet instead, is getting mislead.

Link four is not bad. But it is similarly irrelevant, since those who think that global climate change -- which means that our huge net emissions of heat trapping gases will have an influence on the climate -- somehow completely obviate natural patters, as well as cause climate to suddenly become linear and not still erratic (when really we should expect it to become more so) don't understand the issue. 

Not "well, they have a different take on the issue." But; "don't understand the issue." At the same time,we want all the data we can get, and all of it is relevant for assessing what degree of impact we may have.  So the source of this link -- Richard Lindzen of MIT -- why is he cherry picking a relatively short time span here? Is he just trying to refine modeling, or is he trying to suggest that climate change is not a real phenomenon because temperatures are following expected non linear patterns?

Well, it turns out Richard Lindzen is a self described global warming "denier." What do you know. This is a fine view to have, although it does not appear, from this link that Lindzen's methodology of scientific reasoning is very objectively sound.

But what is interesting to note is that very very few actual scientists reject the consensus that the large net addition of gases that trap heat into the atmosphere will invariably affect climate. Very very few scientists reject this consensus because there has realy been no scientifically plausible basis -- given what we know about climate, atmosphere, and heat (as well as the long term historical ice core data) to reject it.  Notice how American Spectator scours far and wide to bring you that source, however; a source which then in turn posits as his evidence something which is largely irrelevant to the broader issue -- namnely, that change will be non linear.

For those who think that climate change means that temperature change will be linear, guess what; it doesn't.  So the American Spectator mislead with every single substantive link and statement in that paragraph. And the one link and assertion that it did not mislead? It simply got it wrong.

Which brings us back to the original question. If you want to be fed cherry picked, and highly misleading information designed to make you think you are coming to your own conclusions, the American Spectator is your source. If you actually want to be given objective, reasoned information, look elsewhere.


How is Monica Crowley Repeatedly Asked Back to Speak On Television News Shows?

This is how America is becoming increasingly misinformed:

McLaughlin Group, December 13, 2009:

John McGlaughlin:

There is Consensus now that cars do not grow on pineapple trees, but are made, usually, in auto factories.
Monica Crowley:

"No there's not!"
Ha ha. That was a joke.

Unfortunately, this is not:

John McGlaughlin:

There is consensus that the earth is warming.
Monica Crowley:

No there isn't.
Do you need evidence of the inaccuracy of this statement? Just google every prominent scientific organization the world over; NASA, the NOAA, etc. etc. Or just look at this chart from NASA going back over 130 years, draw your own conclusion, and then ask yourself:

How is Crowley this profoundly uninformed, and yetstill being held out as a person who is serving to inform us on our airwaves?

Oh, and as for every single mainstream science organization? Crowley now characterizes that as "religion." The fervid, ideological, radical desire to stick to a preconceived belief now matter how at odds with the dispassionate, non partisan, scientific facts around us, can be best described as almost religion like. So how do those so engaged avoid the severe cognitive dissonance that would occur were they to objectivley look at the incontrovertible facts?

Easy -- just dismiss the source of the incontrovertible facts as "religion" -- which, in this case, is essentially what Crowley has now labeled science.

The writer of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, would be so proud.

America: Reason has Left the Building.

More Incredible Errors/Purposeful Manipulations of Viewers? From Fair and Balanced Fox

The real question is why people would want to watch a news station that does not report news, but that spins the news a certain way in order to support particular advocacy positions.

One that not only does this, but does it somewhat manipulatively, by trying very hard to "come off" as and convince viewers that it is unbiased and objective

So then what was this? Fox News'Andrew Napolitano:

NASA's Goddard Space Center made a remarkable discovery. The headline from the DailyTech is -- you're not going to believe this -- quote: "NASA acknowledges solar cycle, not man, responsible for global warming."

So, basically -- are you ready for this? -- the sun heats the Earth. The real question is whether Al Gore's NASA guy, Dr. James Hanson, will give up on trying to say "people heat the Earth" and "people cause global warming," or if the man who produced the report will get fired for going against the green -- I mean, against the grain.
What was this?

Stupidity on the part of Napolitano? Just an innocent mistake? How many mistakes like this are made by Fox?

The real question is how many hours go by where Fox does not make a mistake like this. Yet it is extremely rare to find a "mistake" by Fox that does not support a particular ideological side to the issues we face in America today -- and always that same "ideological" side.

Or maybe Fox likes scouring headlines or other out of context snippets to bring to its readers as "news" what helps to support what Fox wants to convey, without actually doing what real news does -- spending a few mintues checking up on the actual news, let alone, of course, doing any actual investigation.

Remember Napolitano not only told Fox viewers that NASA claimed that the sun, not any of man's greenhouse gas activities, were responsible for any global warming that was occurring, but he also mocked NASA and even NASA's James Hansen for asserting the overwhelming conclusion of the world' scientists, as well as every single major, pure science (aka, non partisan) organization the world over.

From the NASA report that Fox "you decide" news told its reporters concluded that the sun, and not human activity, was responsible for any global warming:

"For the last 20 to 30 years, we believe greenhouse gases have been the dominant influence on recent climate change," said Robert Cahalan, climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

... "Over recent decades, however, we have moved into a human-dominated climate that some have termed the Anthropocene. The major change in Earth's climate is now really dominated by human activity, which has never happened before."

The sun is relatively calm compared to other stars. "We don't know what the sun is going to do a hundred years from now," said Doug Rabin, a solar physicist at Goddard. "It could be considerably more active and therefore have more influence on Earth's climate."
So, aside from doing any actual news work, how was it that Napolitano, "conveniently" got it so wrong, on such a large issue topic, and reported to a country wide network of viewers that NASA had concluded that manking was not causing any global warming?

Simple. Napolitano went to a classic "source" for major network reporting. The online blog "Daily Tech," which frequently misleads, routinely along ideological lines as well. A perfect source for Fox to get its "news" from. All Fox, and Napolitano had to do in order to not wildly mislead its viewers, something which is a simple task for an evening blogger with a full time job and a life full of activities, was take a minute and go to the source that Daily Tech itself misleadingly relied upon.

But for "Fair and Balanced" Fox, that was apparently too much.

What a fraud Australian Rupert Murdoch's network is perpetrating on the American public, who puts up with it.

It's probably Fox that is playing not just a big role in the incredible dumbing down of America, but in the transition of the Republican/ conservative party into a far right wing party of zealous ideologues, who believe they are "objective."


Climate Change, and the Tragedy of the Commons

This post, a little while ago, was in response to this Althouse blog post.  As an update, it noted a rather intriguing comment, and tried to put it in context.

There were a number of other spirited comments to Althouse's post, that are worth pointing out briefly. One of the more germane, was this:

And, Skeptical, I'm not sure how "going green" could only be done collectively.

All you have to do is convince a substantial portion of the population that the world will end if we don't stop producing CO2. Apparently, all the science is behind you, as well as the media, Hollywood, etc. Shouldn't be hard, in that case. Just convince them that we'll all die, the land inundated, the Statue of Liberty exploding, etc.

Any rational person who believed this would then minimize their own CO2 production
Actually, the whole point is that they wouldn't. A rational, yet consistently and thoroughly altruistic person who is willing to make sacrifices on their own, for the environmental benefit of all, and for no recognition might (and some people do, somewhat). But from a pure, calcuated, rationality perspective, a rational person would not. (Another commenter did point out that this argument is like recognizing that we need a national treasury, with funds, to take care of national defense and other related items, and asking all taxation to be "voluntary.")

The reason for this is that each person's actions are conducted in isolation of everyone else's. If one person on the globe did nothing to try and help climate change, it will not have an effect upon the ultimate outcome. Therefore, a purely "rational" approach is to keep doing what one wants to do, and hope that everyone else takes action -- in other words, thinks and acts differently.

Here was another comment, though seemingly in some contradiction of our post here, that was pretty good. Or at least funny:

If we can't burn coal, then hell, we NEED global warming. Chilly otherwise.
Coal is a predominant part of the problem. It is, CO2 emissions aside, also extremely polluting, often environmentally degrading, and is often mined and acquired, as a practical matter, by extremely destructive practices to local ecologies, watersheds, and landscapes.

There were also multiple comments posted that presume all of this coercion, and loss of freedom (some with rather hysterical sounding language) from sensibly addressing climate change. But it is not clear where all of this is coming from. We have far more restrictive laws right now than no more coal burning, as even an extreme example.

But that is not even the best solution. What is a much better one, is to simply not issues new plant permits (as it's already something that we have eexercised authority over, for far less reason), and and allow the market place to decide with respect to the rest of existing coal based energy production in what direction it goes, by heavily taxing the deleterious activity (which rewards those who find innovative ways to cut back and thus put their money into other, far more productive uses). And then in turn using those funds, ideally, not to then reward "better alternatives" but for tax refunds or stimulus if short term effects are to retard growth while our economy transitions. (In a perfect ccapitalistic market, everything would adjust instaneously, and there would be not a dime of cost or harm. But the real world is not like that. Markets take time to adjust, and any undue short term harm via policy changes to certain sectors can easily be balanced out via remediation. As well as could, for those so concerned, undue harship to the poor who use a disproportionate amount of their available funds on energy, and may not have the flexibility to as readily and creatively adopt.)

As for the "intrusive" idea that some activities that we have taken for granted will "cost" more: The unfair subsidy that those activies received because their environmenatal harm -- which is real even if it does not seem to matter as much to everybody -- was not integrated in to their pricing structure, thus giving them a competitive advantage over otherwise more beneficial productive practices and processes, will be lessened. That's not an infringement upon anything.

The only real philosophical issue here is: Why would person A's right to pollute transcend person B's right to be free of such pollution caused by person A's activity? Or even vice versa.

Neither should transcend, without more facts. If your neighbor is polluting the air that you must breathe, and you say "no go," she may very well be infringing more on your rights than vice versa.

The fact that this issue is something that we all share -- increased atmospheric greenhouse gase induced climate change is global by definition -- doesn't really change this. It's still a harm. Even if more abstract to some, than to others.

Lastly, here was a comment referencing perhaps one of the most misinformed books in the history of science.

Skeptical - wrong. If you bothered to read Superfreakonomics you'd know that there are cheaper solutions to cooling the planet other then flushing 25-50% of GDP down the drain.
For an example of just how stupid this book is (though this blog normally refrains from the use of the word "stupid,") it was suggested that solar panels "are probably not a good thing" when it comes to global warming because they are "black," which, of course, absorbs heat, and they are only able to translate a percentage of that heat into usable energy.
On a scientific level, it is difficult to conceive of a statement that is more idiotic, than this. In any context.

The sun produces that heat (that the "black" solar panel absorbs) anyway. It goes somewhere. Even if the solar panel is black (though many are not), it might otherwise hit a black roof. Or dark ground.

But the real problem is the idea that the sun's heat energy that the panel absorbed is anywhere near equal to (let alone greater than) the warming potential of greenhouse gases saved  --even if, somehow, "all" of the sun's heat that hits that panel would otherwise have miraculously disappeared as if it did not exist in the first place, in the absence of said "solar panel."

This is beyond comical science. It is like Beavis and Butthead do science. But that would be unfair to Beavis and Butthead, who don't hold themselves out to the world as experts, and write books making these assertions.

Even if only a small percentage of the sun's energy is captured (though technologies are well ahead of the perecentages that the book uses), the heat warming differential of the energy is up to several hundred thousand times greater by using at least some of that captured energy to produce non greenhouse gas emitting, usable energy.

[Instead of technical explanations, google science and engineering sites if you really want to know why. But common sense ought to tell you. One quick reason, among several, is that this heat from the sun is transitory. By turning a small fraction of it into energy which does not emit CO2 in the process, it replaces CO2 emitting sources, and thus heat trapping CO2 molecules. These would have become part of the (now increasing) carbon cycle, but they do not break down. In other words, instead of just trapping or accumulating heat for that instant (as in the absorption by black, blue, slightly less by yellow polka dotted solar panels), a portion of the carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel consumption, will persist, and trap heat, indefinitely.]

That's only the beginning of the problems with the wildly misinformed "Superfreakonomics." But it ought to give one a bit of an idea of just how hard the authors sought to be "provocative,"and contrarian -- all the way to the point, of abject idiocy, in consideration of the fact that they wrote a book postulating this.

Lastly, let's take that idea that addressing climate change will "flush 25 to 50% of GDP down the drain." This is the type of widely presumed thinking (if an extreme example of it) that allowed Superfreakonomics Author's Dunbar and Levitt to come across as really sharp, creative thinkers in the only slightly less inane (but seemingly sound) "Freakonomics."  Dunbar and Levitt would often speak (or write) in terms of "this costs" this without having any idea of that that means, or "if you would do that, that means implicity" when it means nothing of the sort. (Just because they are economists,and so called "contrarians" doesn't prevent them from falling prey to some of our most innately held and seemingly intuitive assumptions, that are housed in a complete misunderstanding of just what "value" is and the inherent limitations upon tangible valuation measurement across things that are not comparable even if we are constantly forced to make choices with respect to them on a daily basis. )

GDP is ultimately a measure of total cost. It is the sum total of all goods and services produced. (Which, over time, roughly equates to what we have spent, since supply tends to equal out to demand. Oversupply, we cut back production, undersupply, we increase more. ) All addressing climate change does, worse case scenario, is change what is in fact spent, that constitutes GDP. (Which in the long run should not matter anyway; what does matter is growth, and job opportunity). It will not lower GDP.

There is a caveat, however. Our economy does not transition instaneously (as noted above). IN the short run, random proscription, as opposed to sensibly thought out policy, can have a shorter term repressive effect, before the marketplace fully adapts and reallocates goods, products, production processes (in this case energy productio processes as well as sources, for instance), etc. The effect is small, but that effect then has a fractionally smaller effect as well. Thus the more abrupt, radical shifts in policy to achieve a more important goal, should be accompanied by some sort of ameliorative action. (Using funds raised initially to subsidize those most hurt, on a decreasing scale, so that the motivation to alter the behavior is not undermined.)

Aside from this effect -- which may occur if we suddenly just started shutting everything down, instead of started using marketplace oriented motivation to let the market make its own adjustments -- there will be no "loss" to GDP. What is proscribed, or what becomes more expensive, will be substituted by what is then more attractive, and less expensive, while heightening market based development, production and implementation of those alternatives, all of which will contribute to growth (and smarter growht, by the way), whereas they would not have before.

More Althouse Logic

We covered Althouse in an earlier post, here, with additional links that are aptly illustrative.

On that popular blog, it's just non stop ideology and spin: often wildly misleading or ill informed, and, even more frequently, seemingly regardless of the context or logic behind it.  

Here is another example, from today: It is a statement that in the abstract, this blog agrees with. That is, just because we are a nation of laws, we should not:

...need law[s] telling us every last thing we ought to do: Individual voluntary action is a big distraction from what we really need — compulsion.
Except that once the context is considered, the very reasonable sounding statement -- why do we need laws telling us "everything," suddenly, is either manipulative, or illogical.

The context is a Washington Post editorial by Mike Tidwell. We are not sure that we agree with the editorial overall, but the basic underlying message is that volunteerism does not work when it comes to environmental matters.

In fact, environmentalism may be the very last place where volunteerism can effectively work.

This is not to say it is bad. It's good. Just that the problem is that the sacrifice is made by the individual making the choice. The benefit (known, or, more often in environmental matters, hidden) is conferrd to society at large. It relies upon idealistic altruism ahead of self interest.

Another "ism" -- apart from some other serious problems -- that relied upon so called good will as its prime moving force, was Communism. Aside fromg being anti individual to the hilt, ultimately anti freedom, and anti motivational, that also does not work on a practical level either. And for the same reason that large scale enviromental issues won't be solved by a small segment of the population, thru "good intent" trying to adjust for them, and the majority of the population, not.

This basic phenomenon has been so exhaustively covered, there is no point in it being gone over here. Althouse is a law professor, but yet has seemingly immunized herself from the basic ideas, and the multitude of corrollaries, of the "Tragedy of the Commons"? [Update, see here]

Again, volunteerism done in this regard is good. It helps. It is just that it can not work on its own when it comes to most problems that we all equally share, to which the cost of solution is borne individually, while the benefit is borne collectively. 

This does't mean the solutions always need to be "laws." And the less often they are, for many reasons, the better. But it does mean that solutions should often entail policies that help balance out the tremendous unfairness to business and industry that is at an enormous competitive disadvantage because its processes do not harm the environment for everybody as much as others,  yet it receives no commensurate competitive advantage as a result of this.

And why? Because while some people (presuming perfect knowledge, which it self is usually quite a stretch) might take this into account, most won't. And again, that is just with respect to those with perfect knowledge. (Sure there are what seem to be very rare, occasional, smaller scale exceptions, but these are largly de facto advertising campaigns, that happen to hit upon an emotion of concern or new chic "in," which may be also be almost as likely ignorantly engaged in as not.)

But then these are economic concepts. Althouse has shown that when it comes to economics and science both, well, the blog is popular -- and maybe this is why it is? -- let's just suggest there is room for considerable, reasoned, additional thought.  The blog, instead, is great for spinning things to fit a pre formulated view, and for affirmation of what one perhaps really wants to, or thinks one, believes; but not so great when it comes to actually informing, or being objective.  It is great at making people think that they are thinking, but poor at actually requiring them to think (most online sites are that way, however), and the blog is poor at exhibiting actual thinking, as opposed to almost constant knee jerk ideological pigeounholing, and overly clever spinning.

In effect, the business and industries -- not that they are "bad" -- that do tend to wreak more enviromental harm, are implicity subsidized, in that their true costs are not reflected in their pricing structure. Other businesses and industry and processes and methodologies which don't (or do less) are thus unduly punished, implicitly, since thus the absence (or lesser amounts) of these costs, is not reflected in their pricing structure.

That is why environmental issues are, according to economists, the classic "externality" -- or harm (or, theoretically, good) that occurs outside of the umbrella of market place decision making.

Of course, to Althouse (and perhaps some other far right wingers), the market "naturally integrates" these things.  Then again, Althouse frequently exhibits an utter lack of objectivity -- along with an abject scientific illiteracy and a seemingly open open hostility toward correcting that.  As, for example, by claiming that climate change may be "potentially be the biggest hoax ever," when the essence of climate change actually is defined by a few things that are in fact incontrovertible, with the unknown -- what is the exact effect -- being somewhat secondary, yet fairly easily reasoned.  (Again, see here).

Of course the marketplace doesn't integrate these things. If it could, communism -- aside from the other, in our estimation, quite severe, philosphical problems with communism expressed above -- would work. And it doesn't.

Continue to do good things to help the environment, if that moves you. It is good (so long as people don't start over proselytizing issues.) While problems can, in small measure, be improved this way, by the basic practical nature of man, including the entire premise of our otherwise quite sound capitalistic system -- make economic decisions that benefit us, not everyone else -- they can not be solved. Logic ovewhelmingly illustrates this. Common sense overwhelminginly illustrates this.  And actual experience, when it comes to ubiquitous, large scale wide spread environmental problems, has never failed to illustrate this.

Just not in the disconnected from reality world of the Althouse blog. A world where sensibly addressing environmental concerns that effect the quality of the existence of all of us, and the world that we leave our children, is "compulsion," and where the world will magically become clearner and species will flourish, and excessive net greenouse gas emissions will never occur  --and little green fairies will come down from heaven every other evening to mow everybodie's lawn, and sprinkle money under their door mats -- by everyone just "doing the right thing (not to mention, even more problematically, having the knowledge to do that) for everyone else, on their own, via only their own, sacrifice.

This doesn't work, whether it be a locality (where if it is small such practices do tend to be more practical), a region (where they don't) a country (where the idea is a bit far fetched), or the world (where it is even more far fetched, such as in he case of climate change.)

Don't want compulsion? Work towards sensible policies -- that solve the problem --that aren't compulsive. Fighting sensible redress to climate change, and continuing to pour out misinformation that is only undermining reasonable and informative discussion and policy, is if anything moving us on a path where more and more compulsion may be in the cards, as we get the worst of both words:  More compulsion by a frustrated populace and governing agencies as the problem subsequently gets worse and people wring their hands over the needless failure to take sensible, earlier action; and the unneccesary destructive ecological and biological effects of continued atmospheric heat trapping gas concentration levels.

Update: Below is a reasonably typical comment, if a bit more extreme, to Althouse's post on this. It helps exhibit the tremendous disconnect between the facts on this issue, and the level of information and how it is being perceived.  It is also evidence of just how far the so called "left" is from being able to effectively articulate a case (since, even though it is a scientific, and non partisan issue, Democrats seemed to be more inclined to want to address climate change than Republicans, though most moderate Republicans want to as well.)

How can a party that is supportive of reasonable measures to address a serious ecological problem that extremely short sighted (and quite unnecessary) practices and policies have promulgated, carry on with business as usual with thes level of misinformation and misperception,as well as mistrust, in the comment exhibited just below? Of course, the problem with the left is that they then soley blame those on the right, not realizing that misinformation is a product not just of the misinformation that many are feeding, it is also a product of the non effective communication and informative focus of those who are trying to inform. And maybe Democrats, including wholescale moderates, are letting the far right use a small number on the left to define everyone who doesn't agree with some of the policies or ideas of the far right.

Here is the comment:

And the beat goes on from the brainwashed liberals. They really accept unquestioned the assumption the CO2 is a dirty pollutant. With that much stupidity they are trapped in an end to their own lives and insist that like the Prophet of Jonestown they shall make is all drink the cool-aid together, quickly, quickly...before an adult posting on Facebook comes and puts an end to the Cult. Crack Emcee was right all along. This is not mere politics for men like Mike Tidwell. It is a mass murder cult that desires to see us all driven out into the wilderness as Pol Pot did for the Cambodians.
They "really accept the unquestioned assumption that CO2 is a dirty pollutant." Just how poor a job have "brainwashed" liberals done at conveying what is going on here? (As well as the media, which is supposed to be covering the news and informing, not trying to appease groups that are going to shout at if if the relevant facts don't happen to support that group and the media simply reports the facts).

CO2 is a gas. We breathe it out. Most things in nature are bad or good -- often even lethal, or life requiring, depending upon usage, and amount. CO2, in general is no different. It is the most important greenhouse gas. Greenouse gases make life as we know it on earth possible. Without them, the earth would largely be a frozen ball.

Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and we strongly suspect -- many scientists are convinced (and the long term geologic record strongly supports)  -- that the earth gets warmer, are even more certain that the climate gets more extreme and volatile, and even more certain that inevitably, there will be rapid climatalogical changes (from a geologic perspective).  And we know that this will represent far too quick an ecological shift for adjustment. (Not to mention, if it is warming, which all theory and evidence both strongly point to, it will ultimately lead to a host of additional problems, if not minor to major catastrophes for large populations, and there is not much adjustment that can be made to increasingly volatile weather patterns, and increasing sea levels.)

We know there is too much greenhouse gas buildupin the atmosphere, because we know how much there has been historically. And we know the very precise, identifiable, reasons why they have risen dramatically above the normal, and far more slowly (on the order of ten to one hundred times slower) fluctuating cycles. Again, see link above for multiple links to data.


More Instapundit to Althouse Ideological Parroting

InstaBS, Dec. 6, 2009:

December 6, 2009
CLARK HOYT DROPS THE BALL AGAIN, gets spanked by Ann Althouse.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds at 9:21 pm
This Ann Althouse? The one that apparently believes that it is commendable that -- and has to affirmatively share -- with her many readers (often sent over by Instapundit), that she "believes" in science. That actually has to note this belief?

The Anglia affair is newsworthy. And that's it.  What is incontrovertible is that heat trapping greenhouse gases have risen remarkably, and remarkably rapidly, of late; and that we know precisely what human activities have led to this.

And these levels are not just higher than they have been for the last 650,000-800,00 years, they are significantly higher, and climbing still.

What is also incontrovertible is that we are seeing the slowly increasing warming, and increasing weather volatility, that we would tend to expect. (But can't really be sure about, while we can be sure that there will be increasing climate changes.)

That fact that a few scientists were afraid that some conflicting and otherwise largely irrelevant data to the underlying issue would have a disproportionate impact upon what is an already misinformed debate (thanks to sites like Instanpundit, and Althouse, of course), and so, wrongly, tried to hide some data, is a story. But that's all it is. A story. Not some huges scandal that deserves constant attention, or that changes the basic science.

So what did Clark Hoyt do that Ann, "No, really, 'I'm a believer"' in science, but not necessarily a believer in the Easter Bunny" Althouse, in the words of Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, "spanked" him on? Let's see:

Wow. Hoyt thinks that the NY Times handled the "Climategate" story appropriately.  Presumably Hoyt believed that non stop, round the clock, let's decide to throw science out the window "controversy" was not really required by this scandal -- as apparently those on the very far right, who tend to over dominate thr framing of our debate in America today, do.

Yes. That is dropping the ball. If one is wishing desperately for any smidgeon, any kernel, by which to be able to cling to the not very objective idea that the basic, known facts -- that heat drives climate; atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have skyrockected; they have skyrocketed due to very known and very specific, easily identifiable activities and practices; and we have seen a very slow but corroborating warming, and more volatile climate shift -- are somehow irrevelant (which is bad science), or untrue (which is not true).

[Update:  Time magazine, hardly a "liberal" source, has an article aptly entitled: "The Stolen E-Mails: Has 'Climategate' Been Overblown?" It notes,correctly, that:
The truth is that the e-mails, while unseemly, do little to change the overwhelming scientific consensus on the reality of man-made climate change.]
Climate gate, a bit more rationally examined. In particular, see here. Or here.

Yet a clearly outraged Althouse over the fact that the NY Times is not going to start (mis)interpreting the science or grilling on topics that really don't warrant grilling ("are you sure it's not the hot air coming out of the Instanpundit and Althouse sites, and not the fact that heat drives climate and that atmospheric heat trapping gases have radically risen that is causing climate change, maybe?") writes the following:
Drastic, mindboggingly expensive policy changes are proposed based on this science, making this potentially the biggest fraud in history.
Come on Ann, drop your ideological hat for one second. We know that perhaps some law professors are not that logical, necessarily; but are you seriously this gullible?

Also, and quite seriously, what makes you such a theoretical economics expert (when most people can't even get one of the two right) that you know that the "cost" to address climate change is really going to be so great, or even remotely significant at all.

Maybe all that this "cost" will accomplish is to discourage more harmful processes and activities that we have been over drastically overrelying upon, and encourage less harmful process that we have been drastically under relying upon. Maybe all the "cost" itself, since GDP is a measure of all goods produced (and ultimately they are not re produced if they are not bought), simply goes toward our net growth. In other words, Ann, and Glenn, maybe the development and growth of much smarter, more sensible, cleaner, and renewable fuels and energy practices will actually help constitute our growth, rather than, as you presume, impede it.

And is this really an ideological issue? If not, then why so seemingly knee jerk against the idea -- in this case, fighting tooth and nail the basic, incontrovertible science that you, Ann, say you are a believer in. 

What if you are right? Big deal, it costs some money. But it is incontrovertible that greenhouse gases trap heat, and that very identifiable activities are contributing massive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and that atmospheric levels are wildly out of whack with both historical norms, and --quite logically given its causes -- that this has occurred at geologically breakneck speed.

No one knows exactly what will occur. But it is almost impossible for this to not have some type of radical effect upon climate, over time.  Likely, that effect will be warming, and increased volatility (which the actual data that we do have backs up, rather strongly). But we don't know with absolute certainty, from a scientific perspective.  We do know that it is wildly reckless. And that it really has nothing to do with ideology, or partisanship, or economic perceptions and beliefs, or anything else. Nothing but basic science, which explains the world around us.

And the funniest thing, the concern, over this "cost," in the long run, is probably misplaced.  Expenditures are what grow our economy; they don't strangle us.  Are you fearful that a little money spent on protecting the ecology and biology of our world might delay the onset of the next great coffee maker by 3 months; or make electricity"cost" more for a little while? But then perhaps -- until we have the proper market incentives to promulgate more development, implementation, and usage of smarter fuels and processes -- we are vastly over utilizing these things right now: which would be wildly inefficient. And inefficieny is a cost. And, all those expenditures go to grow our economy, and are as valuable as anything else we choose to do.

And in this case, they are probably far more valuable -- as it will enable us to avoid what, from a non ideological, non partisan, cold, hard, scientific reality (which is the reality of our physical world, like it or not) is very likely to be increasing and rapid scale ecological and biological harm -- those expenditures will in the long run be going toward something for more productive and beneficial. That's not a cost.

And this perspective is a pretty far cry from "Drastic, mindboggingly expensive policy changes." Which perhaps is what is driving so many, illogically, and non dispassionately, to cling to the idea, scientifically ridiculous as it is -- that maybe this is all a "fraud," let alone the biggest fraud in history, that Althouse potentially calls it.

Which itself is what is really, "mindboggling." Except it's not.  It's driven by increasingly fervid (and unhealthy) ideology in this country.

Put aside that preconceived belief, or desired belief, for a moment. Go take some measurements of the air, monitor some sites, examine the history through 100,000s of years of ice cores, study the science of air chemistry. And see what you see. And then just consider.  Maybe switching over to fuels, for example, that are not extremely finite, that don't otherwise pollute heavily (as coal and oil do, extraordinarily in the case of coal), is in fact,a smart economic thing to do.

Mabye you'll see a whole new world. And maybe we can make some progress on this issue, that like it or not we are all in together.

And keep in mind that, if anything, this is an anti big government blog. But anti big government does not mean that we don't sensibly address collectively the few things that we are forced to share. And, besides national defense, what is number one on that list?

The quality of our natural environment.


The WSJ's James Taranto is Full of More Horse Manure Than a Stable of Mares

In a rather convoluted post on the climate change science email scandal this past wednesday, Taranto writes the following:
[NY Times Environmental Reporter Andrew] Revkin reports that the "latest peer-reviewed science" shows that "the case for climate change as a serious risk to human affairs" is "clear, despite recent firestorms over some data sets and scientists' actions."

What we now know about the "peer review" process in this field indicates that this is a predetermined conclusion. Revkin misleads his readers by describing it as if it were a real finding.
It should be considered profound that someone who writes the Wall Street Journal Online's "best of the web" today column could write something either this manipulative, or this inane.

Which is it? Does Taranto know? Does he know why this statement of his is inane? Or is he so driven by lopsided ideological zeal that he can't see it?

"What we know" about the peer review process in this field does not indicate that this is a predetermined conclusion.  It indicates that it was potentially a predetermined conclusion with respect to a few scientists in this field. 

There's a pretty big difference there.  

But then, logic is not Taranto's strong suit. Not by a long shot.  No wonder why he writes an incredibly partisan blog for the Wall Street Journal.  Decent logical skills -- as opposed to the ability to convince others of same (others who simply want their beliefs reinforced, and to be made to think tha they are thinking without actually doing so) -- would get in the way of that, as well as in the Wall Street Journal's editorial philosophy. 

Here's some more from the same column:
"Along similar lines is this comment from Michael Tomasky, the American Washington correspondent of London's Guardian:

One hope I had for the Obama era was that maybe we'd all grow up and have quasi-substantive debates about these things. Well, if anything, this "conversation" in America has become even more immature and batty than it was before. It ain't Barack's fault. But there's very little hope in America of having a serious conversation about anything.
Tomasky has a point, and here's a good example of a statement that is immature in both tone and substance: "It ain't Barack's fault."
Exactly.  Because Obama is doing so much to quash substantive debate!  And it's particularly because of Obama that we don't have any, any more.  

Question for the Wall Street Journal Editors:   What kind of crack is Taranto smoking?  Oh wait, the ridiculously partisan crack of far right wing pre determined belief driven ideology.

Health Care Reform's Individual Mandate -- More Impositions on Freedom

Here is a good debate between David Rivkin and Lee Casey, on the one hand, and Professor Jack Balkin, on the other, on the constitutionality of an individual federal health care mandate.

It's a good debate, however, only because there is considerable question as to whether this is good policy.  Not all things that might be theoretically constitutional, as that document is today intepreted, are good ideas.

Balkin is right. The mandate likely passes constitutional muster. But it is still an imposition on freedom.

Moreoever, without reforming health insurance, all it does is serve as a boon to health insurance companies, and will likely do little to address the underlying problem of excessive cost while forcing people to pay for private coverage that is often cost inefficient. 

The more money that goes to for private health insurance rather than directly into a consumers own health care, the more money that is being expended that is not furthering actual health care or its improvement. An individual mandate then in turn dictates this to citizens, telling them in essence that they must pay money to a for profit entity in order to provide themselves -- not others -- with insurance coverage.

In short, it's a terrible idea. And it's intrusive. And it's invasive.  And it's yet another indirect handout to a large corporate lobbying concern, one that here is far more responsible for the excessive health care costs that are driving the perceived need for reform in the first place, than for mitigating them.


Sarah Palin Wrote That? Yeah, Sure, Right

We have to confess. Our first reaction upon hearing the sentence was -- until the part about the beer bottle in the dogs jaw (which was just bad) -- that it was pretty good.  And we were suprised that Palin had written it. To say the least.

Of course, it turns out, Palin didn't write it.  So who were these ruse's exactly, who pounced all over this Obama as Palin prose?  Readers in a forum? Big deal.  What else is new.   

But Althouse, rabid right wing conservative, bizarrely writes that she liked the quote better after she found out that Obama had (ostensibly) written it.  Which makes no sense, unless she thought that a small apartment with intermittent heat and a downstairs buzzer that didn't work, right up the street from a garage made a lot more sense for Obama's past than Alaska Frontier Palin.

But the grandest part of Althouse's "objectivity" is her announcement that Palin's book and Obama's are almost exactly the same.

Goldberg might -- though she might have needed a few dozen hours rather than 60 seconds -- have been better served pointing out all the hypocrisies, inconsistencies, manipulations and misrepresentations in Palin's work, rather than suggesting, and looking somewhat elitist in so doing, that comparing Palin's book to Obama's "Dreams of My Father," was like comparing "Twilight" to "War and Peace."  Of course, what Althouse says in response is hilarious. Unintentionally. And it's too bad Goldberg was cut off right after going on about "nuance," which seems also to be besides the point.  (Maybe she is techinically right. But Political books are not art shows or depth of character studies. They are to promote and make a point -- ether a valid one, or ones -- or deceptive, misleading, ones. Focusing on how and why noted political books accomplished one or the other, rather than "nuance," is a lot more productive and relevant. But we don't know what else she said. Althouse cut off the tape at that moment.)

The Far Right and Instapundit's Manipulative Obsession with "ClimateGate"

Instapundit's obsession with climate gate was noted here.

Now Instapundit is citing articles (as part of its own pajamas TV site, no less) that call for a delay in climate talks, because of what is otherwise a fairly irrelevant academic scandal. And the article that it links to is truly profound:

Let's just start with the bulk of the first sentence:
Because, apparently, the “dog ate the homework” – more specifically the temperature data on which the whole global warming “can of beans” depends.
How much of this is outright lying, and how much is outright, abject ignorance?  It is hard to say.

But that is what happens when interpretation of facts and events is driven by ideology, rather than vice versa.  A largely irrelevant scientific scandal ensues, and in the world of ideology, all other substance must now fly out the window as well. How convenient. This way we can continue to avoid dealing with climate change!

And of course, to Instapundit,and this souce that Reynolds cites, it means that all of the temperature data on which the whole global warming 'can of beans' depends is now meaningless.

It is hard to accurately describe such idiocy with mere words.

Read the article. Yes, only those at East Anglia had the magic grail of data, with the rest of the world powerless to figure things out, and now, completely data empty. And thus with that data questioned, requoting out of context from an inane Times online article,  "It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years."

No, it doesn't. And in fact it doesn't mean anything of the sort.  And to claim otherwise is abjectly poor journalism, and even worse science. (What it does mean is that academics are not able to check East Anglia calculations that show a temperature rise over the past 150 years.)

But would one expect anything less from an Instapundit article citing an article on its own home grown pajamas TV.  No shocker that this Instapundit site had no less than 120 million visitors in the last 12 month period measured.

The most manipulative and ideology reinforcing crap floats to the top.

More BS from Instapundit Insta-BS

Also from Instapundit, November 28:
GATEWAY PUNDIT: 4000 Patriots Join James O’Keefe At St. Louis Tea Party Protest.

Posted at 8:41 pm by Glenn Reynolds
So if you go to a tea party protest, that makes you a "patriot"?  Most of those at tea party "events" have a hard time even articulating what it is they are protesting about. But it means automatic qualification as a "Patriot"?

Yes, in the misleading, BS world of Instapundit.

Patriotism: To the far right today and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit -- doing everything one can to undermine and attack the president of the United States when it is a Democrat, and not even questioning or criticizing the president or party in power when it is the party the far right voted for. Another way to put it is love not of country but of government, when it is the government one voted for, and knee jerk blind, hatred for government and its leaders, when it is not the government one has voted for.

Word to America. That is not Patriotism. That is very slow, creeping facism.

Once Again Insta-BS Cites a Source that has no Idea what they are Talking About

Here is the inane Instapundit post from earlier today:
MANCESSION: The Jobless Gender Gap: Unemployment for men is growing at a much faster pace than for women. “Imagine the outcry if women amounted to roughly three in four lost jobs in this recession.”

This was not by accident, but a matter of Administration policy in response to interest-group pressure.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds at 9:33 pm.
The second link is to this article in the Weekly Standard, which offers no proof whatsoever of its claim. But proof was never relevant to a site like Instapundit: Which wants to believe, and so leaps at any circumstantial evidence, and then cites it as if it is proof.

Maybe the Weekly Standard article makes a good point. Or maybe t is complete horse malarkey. (Both appear routinely in the Weekly standard, with an edge to the latter.)  The point is, there is really no way of knowing, since almost nothing is supported.

In Weekly Standard world: Proposal was for construction stimulus jobs.  Women's groups protested. scant information regarding actual evidence or other considerations is actually provided in the article.  But, what does that matter, since ultimate stimulus package did not emphasize construction jobs, this was then without a doubt a result of women groups protesting!

In Weekly Standard World, if you usually order a chocolate milkshake with your fries, but today you order a strawberry one and ask for a hurricane, and a hurricane comes, then ordering strawberry milkshakes causes hurricanes!

But one thing that the Weekly Standard article does assert that is determinable without additional evidence, one way or another, is the following claim by author Christina Hoff Sommers, so it is no shock that the article appears to be another case of manipulation. That claim -- keep in mind as you read it that the AEI is focused above all else on economics -- is this:
The whole idea of economic stimulus is to use government spending to put idle factors of production back to work.

No, it's not. And when it is, it's a bad idea.  Or a bad expression of what economic stimulus -- good or bad idea iself -- is all about.

What it is all about is increasing aggregate demand in the economy, which has lagged below that of aggregate supply.  That may have the effect of putting idle production back to work -- or, if that idle production has lagged due to competition, replacing it with more efficient competitors or alternatives. But the idea of stimulus is to stimulate demand and spur production and renew job growth, but not necessarily by simply propping up sectors or production capacities that are inefficient and thus have idle capacity.  This AEI "economist" confuses the purpose of such policy, with a potential and often resultant effect.

That's lazy analysis, but one wouldn't expect Instapundit to rely upon anything less.   As long as it throws a theory out there -- right or wrong, without backing it up -- that's against the Obama administration, that's good enough for Instapundit, your one stop shop for Insta BS.

Sarah Palin and Political Coverage: A Wonderfully Bad Question, and an Accurate, but Disturbing, Answer

Here is the on the one hand inane, and on the other hand relevant, question that politics daily asked a handful of conventional political "experts:"

Will [former Alaska Governor) Sarah Palin ever be president?

Here is the answer: It depends. 

What does it depend upon?  How dumb our country becomes. 

We are becoming increasingly dumber. Hopefully, this is a trend that can be arrested, and reversed; but there are not legitimate signs of this yet.  If we become dumb enough, Sarah Palin will be president. If we don't, she won't.

This is not to be glib and say that she will be president if we are "dumb" enough to elect her. But it is to say that if our country continues to get dumber and dumber when it comes to politics, policy, and rhetoric, being led increasingly more by the latter, than by fact, while being manipulated or led by increasing ideological belief that we are in fact being led more by fact, than Sarah Palin will be become president.

Another way of putting it, is if we continue to listen to things like this intensely ideologically driven and abjectively subjective and often manipulative site, then she will.


The Earth Has Continued to Warm the Past 10 Years, Not Cool

The last ten years have not gotten cooler, but warmer.  Graphs here

The two hottest years on record; 2005, and 2007. Both in the last ten years.  And from a geologic perspective, it is remarkably accelerated, as would be expected -- with some lag and general mid range variance -- from dramatically increased greenhouse gas concentration levels.

From Bloomberg News:
In 2003, 62 percent of the ocean’s ice cover was older, thicker ice, with 38 percent in seasonal layers, the researchers found. Five years later, 68 percent of the ice cap was made up of seasonal ice.
That is, in five years, the amount of non seasonal, constant ice was reduced by about half.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):, the world’s ocean surface temperature just this past summer was "the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August."

More importantly, "breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land.”

Additionally, over the past ten years, "daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States":
If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
"Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then."

Not only has the last decade been the warmest decade on record, but the "ten warmest years on record have all occurred in the last eleven years."
And so on, ad infinitum.

But all this really does not matter that much. What does matter is the basic science, unpolluted by desire, ideological bent, politics, or fear of misplaced economic implications due to the glaring need for smarter energy development and agricultural practices.  

Heat trapping gases make life as we know it on earth possible; without it the earth would be a largely lifeless ball of ice slowly circling the sun.  Heat drives climate.  Atmospheric concentrations of heat trapping gases (aka "greenhouse gases") are rising dramatically, and from a geologic perspective, at lightning speed, due to specific and easily identifiable anthropomorphic activities.


John McCain's "Objectivity" on Sarah Palin

McCain called Palin his "soul mate" last year shortly after meeting her -- an unfortunate choice of words given how radically right, and radically bereft of correct information, Palin was.

This was the same Palin, whom the media is quick to point out, that supported the Bridge to Nowhere initially while telling voters she "stood up to it," while not so quick to point out that she "told" voters she "stood up to that bridge to nowhere and told them no!," repeatedly, night after night after night even after the lie was dubunked, in wildly passionate crescendoing, booming eloquent voice, when in fact she remained a supporter of the project even after becoming Governor, and only "turned against" the project when it became a national symbol of pork waste (McCain even contemptously cited it several times on the primary campaign trail even while Palin was still in favor of it), and Congress cut off all further funding for the project.

That's just the tip of the iceberg on Palin.

But pointing these things out -- which still is not sufficiently done as we continue to listen to this person's opinion as if he is an expert when she is nothing of the sort is apparently being unfair to Palin, according to John McCain.

"Attacks" upon Palin are apparently unsettling to her former running mate and "soul mate," who himself, in order to get the nomination, radically shifted to the right, and nevertheless still became the media protected savior of integrity in politics and the untouchable expert on foreign policy and military strategy matters.

Maybe there are some crass attacks out there on Palin which are not non personal, fact based assessments of this person's constant assertions to the American populace. But even if so, this recent assertion by McCain belies a huge disconnect between the Palin issue, and everything else:

"I’m entertained and sometimes a little angry when I see this constant, vicious attacks by people on the left," McCain said of Palin during an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren.

"’I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years that I’ve been in politics," McCain continued, "the viciousness and the personalization of the attacks on Sarah Palin."
McCain's "never seen anything like it" in all the years he has been in politics? Really?

He probably didn't see anything like it -- in fact, far worse than it -- in 2008, when Palin herself engaged in a constant and wildly misleading campaign against his political opponent, Barack Obama, repeatedly questioning his integrity, calling him "unfit to lead" as a result of critical facts she got wrong and he got right, questioning his patriotism that even conservatives were calling racially tinged, very insinuatingly said he "doesn't see America like other Americans" in concert with suggesting he was connected to terrorists, suggested that he was two faced, and, as CNN puts it, intoxicated by his own voice; called Obama's actions "appalling" and "atrocious" while wholly mischaracterizing Obama's votes on the issue, and completely lying about the subject matter of a remark that Obama had made in order to falsely make him look horrible on it.

Or maybe McCain just hated Obama too, so much so that such viciousness then, simply did not exist?

The politico article linked to above also points out that McCain "did not mention that some of the harshest attacks against the former Alaska governor have come from former members of his own presidential campaign." Wonder why that is.

And speaking of viciousness and personalization unlike any he has ever seen, here is McCain in 1998:

Q:"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?"
A: "Because her father is Janet Reno."

McCain said that. Not a late night stand up comic. And still it would have been inappropriate. What leading politician has said anything that downright meanspirited on a personal, not policy or factual, level about Palin? McCain didn't only attack the personal looks of the female attorney general, in an extraordinarily disparaging way, he attacked an innocent kid. Publicly.

Calling all Teapots. Get your black out. Seriously.

"Belief" in "Science"

A post earlier today noted some of the science on climate change, and the far right ideologically driven dogma of popular (fake instant credibility building)"law professor" sites such as Intapundit and Althouse.

Conveniently, Althouse writes yesterday:  "I'm having a really hard time believing scientists lately."

Perhaps tipping her hand, Althouse then immediately asserts, as if to put the (rare) objective reader at ease, and further show the (common) subjective reader how "balanced" and "rational" she is, that "I'm a thorough believer in science."

This is an interesting statement. Science is the study and understanding of the physical world around us. In other words, lacking any other dimensional construct, objective reality. So Althouse has to assert that she is a "believer" in this, as if it's a choice? As in one can choose not to "believe" in "science," aka, observable learnings of our physical world. Give her extra credit for being, in her words, a "believer" in this.

Of course, driven by ideological dogma (which sometimes conflicts with science -- or objective, non partian physical reality) and with sources like this (also written by lawyers) -- which she cites in this same piece regarding her "skepticism rubbed raw" by climategate -- it is easy for Althouse to be "skeptical of scientists" as opposed to being skeptical of questionable motives and scientific data, for valid, non political objective reason. That is, a source which mangles the facts through grandiose omission, and comission.

Yes, just read powerline; the aerosol affect of SO2 largely offsets the heat trapping propensities of drastically increasing greenhouse gas concentrations!! (Decades -- or less -- from now, these same ideologically driven groups are going to be saying the same thing that was said on Iraq "no one knew nor could have contemplated how complex the Iraq dynamic was going to be," and be completely oblivious to the fact that they repeatedly fought non partisan objective scientific reality tooth and nail.)

Actually, if we all just turn our air conditioning up a little more, this may offset most of the negative effects of climate change too! Note that such a seemingly moronic statement is only slighly more inane than the claim in the grotesquely negligent piece of abject trash "Superfreakonomics" that solar panels, because they are "black," don't help because they don't absorb much of the energy of the sun and the rest is "reradiated as heat."

Yes, just read powerline. The basic long standing scientific fact that greenhouse gases trap heat (and in almost exclusive concentrations are the main reason why the surface of venus is over 800 degrees Fahrenheit) may not be a myth after all, but S02 particulates block sunlight and so cause cooling! You see, science is such a beautiful thing; if one consumes twenty seven Big Macs a day, but takes a sip of ice water, one will lose weight or remain relatively constant, since Big Macs put on calories, but the body must burn calories in order to bring the ice water up to temperature!

You see how easy science is? Natural SO2 pollution, you dopes. It offsets atmospheric heat trapping gases! Powerline is just grand. And what a grasp of science it has. Just like Althouse.

Althouse, Knee Jerk, Follows Wildly Misleading Ideological Dogma, Once Again

We wrote yesterday about the rather grand disparity between the underlying science facts of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and the so called "climategate" scandal.

And we wrote today about the ideologically driven illogic of the overly popular law professor blog, Althouse (In some ways mirroring the even more popular, law professor blog, Instapundit. See here, here, here, and here.)

Not suprisingly, here is Althouse's saracastic take today on this same "climategate scandal:"
That solemn editorial about global warming looks pretty silly...

... with all those comments about Climategate.

Newspapers just aren't what they used to be, when the readers can instantly talk back.
Of course Althouse's link is to the same "Newsbusters" column cited by her major promoter, Instapundit.
As for the fact that "newspapers aren't what they used to be, when readers can instantly talk back," Althouse is correct, but not exactly how she intended.  Now, newspapers can be filled with all sorts of wildly erroneous assertions in comments; unchecked, untested, unchallenged. And relied upon by Newsbusters for its own analysis, which then in turn is relied upon, knee jerk dogma style, by Instapundit, and Althouse, etc.
From that original post, let's recap:  

So here is one of the quotes provided to show how alert, informed readers are pushing back in this "hilariously bizarre situation" [note, this is the exact same link that Althouse smugly links to in her Post today to show that newpapers can now be criticized and "corrected" online by readers] where "climategate" is not being given enough "mention" by the media (emphasis added):
You are kidding me. Over the weekend we learned a server at East Anglia was hacked and emails were distributed that contradict Global Warming. In addition, they discuss how to overstate the findings in order to further their agenda. Yet, The Chronicle still blindlly pushes the Global Warming agenda. If that is not enough, [temperatures] have not risen over the last ten years. In fact, they have dropped slightly. How can any reader take a publication seriously when they refuse to report facts.
So the article is all about how some scientists may have tried to push some selective data years back, and how it is bizarre that the media largely ignores this as it examines the actual scientific issue of increasing heat trapping gas concentrations in our atmosphere. And it does this how?  By citing things that are simply made up, and diametrically incorrect.  [Nowithstanding the fact that the hacked emails did little to contradict global warming, as opposed to a shred of potential data in support of it amongst a sea flood of otherwise correlative information.]

Here are some facts, which to Newsbusters -- even in a piece with the express purpose of making much ado about some purposefully selected facts (by trying to quash contradictory data) years ago --apparently otherwise have less relevancy than "climategate."

The last ten years have not gotten cooler, but warmer.  Graphs here
The two hottest years on record; 2005, and 2007. Both in the last ten years.  And from a geologic perspective, it is remarkably accelerated, as would be expected -- with some lag and general mid range variance -- from dramatically increased greenhouse gas concentration levels.

From Bloomberg News:
In 2003, 62 percent of the ocean’s ice cover was older, thicker ice, with 38 percent in seasonal layers, the researchers found. Five years later, 68 percent of the ice cap was made up of seasonal ice.
That is, in five years, the amount of non seasonal, constant ice was reduced by about half.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):, the world’s ocean surface temperature just this past summer was "the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August."

More importantly, "breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land.”

Additionally, over the past ten years, "daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States":
If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
"Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then."

And so on, ad infinitum.

But all this really does not matter that much. What does matter is the basic science, unpolluted by desire, ideological bent, politics, or fear of misplaced economic implications due to the glaring need for smarter energy development and agricultural practices.  

Heat trapping gases make life as we know it on earth possible; without it the earth would be a largely lifeless ball of ice slowly circling the sun.  Heat drives climate.  Atmospheric concentrations of heat trapping gases (aka "greenhouse gases") are rising dramatically, and from a geologic perspective, at lightning speed, due to specific and easily identifiable anthropomorphic activities.

But that's okay.  To a smug Althouse, Newspapers are "not like what they used to be" because now readers will take them to task prompted by their own ideological leanings, instead.  And this is only making newspapers better and better, as they increasingly bend to criticism and mischaracterization from the far right, prompted on by such highly misleading sites as Instapundit, and Althouse.