Saturday, December 26, 2009

That river we just crossed

In Cross the river, burn the bridge, Mark Steyn says "“health care” is the fast-track to a permanent left-of-center political culture":

My Republican friends often seem to miss the point in this debate: The so-called “public option” is not Page 3,079, Section (f), Clause VII. The entire bill is a public option — because that’s where it leads, remorselessly. The so-called “death panel” is not Page 2,721, Paragraph 19, Sub-section (d), but again the entire bill — because it inserts the power of the state between you and your doctor, and in effect assumes jurisdiction over your body. As the savvier Dems have always known, once you’ve crossed the Rubicon, you can endlessly re-reform your health reform until the end of time, and all the stuff you didn’t get this go-round will fall into place, and very quickly.


Will it lead to Government-run, single-payer? DU, hot off Senate vote, today wants to destroy the private health insurance industry.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Patriot of the Year

The American Activist, the grassroots Tea Partying activists, have been the real surprise of 2009 and the real "Person of the Year" according to AFP's Tim Phillips:


Without a doubt, everyday Americans concerned about the future of their country have had more of an impact this year than any politician, Fed chairman, or celebrity. ...

Sometimes these tireless activists ask me if doing their part is really making a difference. CNN and Rasmussen polls show a majority of Americans oppose the current health care bill. That shift in opinion came because people paid attention and got their neighbors to pay attention, too.

But more than that, I tell them to look at Washington. The genuine uprising among constituents has pushed cap-and-trade off the congressional agenda for the year, and pushed back the deadline for a health care bill from August to Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

QOTD: Noonan on parents and the culture

Peggy Noonan on the de-moralization of parental America:

"It cannot be exaggerated, how much Americans feel besieged by the culture of their own country, and to what lengths they have to go to protect their children from it."

ObamaCare, Senate version: Most Dishonest Bill Ever

There are many disgraces, big and small, substantive and process-wide, associated with the ObamaCare bill now in the Senate. This terrible Bill just passed a hurdle on a strict party-line vote 60-40.

But I will mention just one. The 1am Monday vote to proceed today meant that: A vote was held in the middle of the night; there were ZERO business days to review this bill; a 2,000 page bill was amended by back-room deals on a weekend and then RUSHED to the Senate floor with NOBODY reading the bill prior to voting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Travis County Health Board Funds The Execution of 1000 Poorest

Last Thursday night (Dec. 10) the Travis County Healthcare District Board voted to fund the execution of 1000 of the County’s poorest. These humans are so poor they don’t have jobs, they don’t own a house or a car, and they don’t even own any clothes. The only thing they have is their lives and the County is paying to take that away. These, of course, are the preborn. In spite of testimony that they are living human beings, in spite of testimony that abortion hurts the mother as well as killing a baby, in spite of testimony by a father who had his fourth child aborted and now suffers from guilt every day, in spite of testimony that there are many alternative agencies to help women during and after a pregnancy, and in spite of receiving a petition with 10,000 signatures asking them not to fund abortions. In spite of all this testimony the Board unanimously voted to fund the execution of 1000 healthy babies and to condemn their mothers to a life time of guilt. The Board decided to ignore its stated purpose of providing health care for the County’s poorest and instead decided to hasten the death of 1000 health humans.
It is obvious that no one on this Board understands the value of human life. The citizens of Travis County should demand the replacement of all the Board members.

ObamaCare becoming Stalingrad for Obama & Co.

Maybe Senator DeMint was wrong. ObamaCare isn't actually Obama's Waterloo, it's his Stalingrad.

Hitler made three big mistakes in 1942 fighting the Russians. First, he tried to do three things in the Russian South in the summer of 1942: Take Caucasus oil fields, take the black sea ports and take Stalingrad. He bit off more than he could chew. His 6th Army got bogged down in street fighting in Stalingrad, and a city that had a deadline to be taken in August, which slipped into October and then November, with the city not fully in his control. Then he underestimated the Russians, setting himself up for a trap. In November, the Russians under Genreal Zhukov counterattacked in a pincer movement and in a week were able to surround the German Army in Stalingrad. Hitler then made the third mistake that cost him the whole 6th Army - instead of having them try a breakout retreat, he forced them to hold their ground, as he didnt want to give up Stalingrad. But his Lufwaffe lacked the air superiority to supply the surrounded troops. He lost both the city and his army.

Far be it from me to make comparisons that invoke Godwin's Law, but President Obama and the Democrat leaders have made parallel mistakes this year to those made by German High Command in 1942: First, they were over-ambitious and put too much politically risky things on the plate. They went in three directions, instead of one consistent vector. The ambitious over-reach ignited a conservative reaction in Tea Parties, and pegged Obama as a left-liberal. The legistative division, in particular the cap-and-trade House vote in June, started to make the wheels fall off of Congressional discipline. Deadlines for legislative accomplishments have been blown, and the big-ticket legislative front - cap-and-trade, immigration amnesty, card check, big spending, ObamaCare - has had middling success, with only the "Stimulus" as the big ticket that has actually passed Obama's desk. Obama failed to "choose his battles."

Second, they underestimated the opposition, both disorganized and organized. They've insulted the "Teabaggers" and put Republicans they might have got on board bipartisan bills out in the cold, taking a very partisan approach simply because they felt the numbers insulate them. The failed to consider that an energized minority has powerful ability to shape, if not the final votes, at least the debate - as the August recess showed.

Now, they are on mistake number three: Holding on to the ObamaCare prize even as the legislative and lobbying street-fighting make it impossible to fully win a clean bill. Will they make it? Only yesterday, it seemed that maybe they had; they first tried a "Medicare buy-in" trial balloon, and that didn't work, and then, having given up finally on public option to win over Senator Lieberman, find that progressives are now off the reservation and calling for the bill to be killed. Oh, and Senator Nelson is still a "NO" too.

The bill without public option is the 'all-pain no-gain' version, as I mentioned three months back. That is why - even though the votes aren't really there - they are trying to put public option in. With it out, the liberals say stuff like: "I'll be D @ M N E D if I'm going to be forced to buy something that is costly and inefficient. " on HuffPost. The coup de grace may be Senator Burris being a 'no' vote if public option is excluded.

Obama's polling numbers are worse than ever, and the ObamaCare bill gets more and more unpopular. Must be something to do with the trillions it will tax and spend in the next decade. So trying to hold on to a bill for the sake of holding on to it could be the costliest and final mistake of a very mistake-prone first year for President Obama. A flawed reform will only energize and anger opponents, while at the same time demoralizing his own base who a defecting from the bill. Time has run out for Senator Reid's "A bill by Christmas" deadline.

The Bad Obamacare Bill should just be killed - kick it to January, get out a clean sheet, and do a tailored targeted bill that only does the minimum popular things. But Democrats will probably decide to throw good political capital after already-spent political capital in a desperate gamble of losing teams. Holding the ground didn't work in Stalingrad 1942 and it won't work here.

Hey Democrats, You're Screwed!.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monarchy

On hearing about Prince Charles' visit to Copenhagen I am reminded ...

Monarchy is like a union shop: Seniority over merit.

Renewable Energy Does Nothing

A report from Germany (PDF) on renewable energy shows that it is so expensive and produces so little, that "net climate effect has been equal to zero", while costing billions of dollars:


Given the net cost of 41.82 Cents/kWh for PV modules installed in 2008, and assuming that PV displaces conventional electricity generated from a mixture of gas and hard coal, abatement costs are as high as 716 € (US $1,050) per tonne. Using the same assumptions and a net cost for wind of 3.10 Cents/kWh, the abatement cost is approximately 54 € (US $80). While cheaper than PV, this cost is still nearly double the ceiling of the cost of a per-ton permit under Europe’s cap-andtrade scheme. Renewable energies are thus among the most expensive GHG reduction measures.

There are much cheaper ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than subsidizing renewable energies. CO2 abatement costs of PV are estimated to be as high as 716 € (US $1,050) per tonne, while those of wind power are estimated at 54 € (US $80) per tonne. By contrast, the current price of emissions certificates on the European emissions trading scheme is only 13.4 Euro per tonne. Hence, the cost from emission reductions as determined by the market is about 53 times cheaper than employing PV and 4 times cheaper than using wind power. Moreover, the prevailing coexistence of the EEG and emissions trading under the European Trading Scheme (ETS) means that the increased use of renewable energy technologies generally attains no additional emission reductions beyond those achieved by ETS alone. In fact, since the establishment of the ETS in 2005, the EEG’s net climate effect has been equal to zero.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Travis County Healtcare Board of Managers, Please Reconsider

Thursday night at the Travis County Commissioners' Court on West 11th Street in downtown Austin, TX the not-elected-but-appointed-by-elected-officials Travis County HEALTHCARE District Board of Managers voted unanimously to use $450,000 of the district's property tax revenue (assessed without recourse to all Travis County property owners) to abort the unborn babies of poor and minority women. Margaret Sanger, who never met a person whom she considered of inferior race whom she didn't want to prevent from reproducing, would be so proud. The Board of Managers should be so ashamed of themselves.

As a result of this decision whether they like it or not, whether they live in Austin or not, whether they believe in the right to life or not, all Travis County Property owners' who pay their property taxes will be funding the killing of the unborn babies of poor and minority women. The Board of Managers made such a decision in the face of overwhelming opposition by the public. Why should the managers care about public opinion, they were not elected to their positions and so do not fear the public.

When unelected boards make life and death public policy decisions that are controversial and opposed by the public such decisions are dictates, not a consensus, not the decisions of a democratic body. Those decisions are therefore of questionable legitimacy. Those decisions should be appealed and litigated, and if there is no recourse they should perhaps be civilly disobeyed, in this case by a taxpayer revolt.

For the sake of decency and respect for the poor and minorities, we at The Travis Monitor urge the Hospital District Board of Managers to reconsider their ill-advised decision made without regard of public opinion.

And one more thing, ABORTION IS NOT HEALTH CARE.


Click here to read the Austin American Statesmen story on the "hearing".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Live from Copenhagen

I'm sitting here at the Texas State Capitol with Americans for Prosperity watching the AFP News conference live from Copenhagen, Denmark where the elite of the elite are discussing how to strap the West with a tax and trade system based on a myth, a system that would bring us to our knees and deprive us of freedom and prosperity.


I got lost in the Capitol looking for E2.102 when the event was being held in E2.012. When I came in the room Lord Monckton was up and Cindy Mallette told me I had just missed the protestors. Shucks!

Lord Monckton warned of Obama's potential signing away of US sovereignty though such an executive action, even if confirmed by Congress, could be reversed by a subsequent Administration, thank God, but we can't let it get confirmed in the first place.

Next up was a German, Wolfgang Muller, who talked about the cost of going sustainable/green as experienced in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The cost of living will at least double. The implication of that, though not stated, is the expansion of poverty.

Then Phil Kerpen, policy director took the podium. Sorry, I didn't catch that.

Now Rick Perry is up via video talking about the issue form a Texas perspective. Cost to Texans will be at least $1100 per year. Texas will loose 400,000 jobs. Any limits the EPA impose won't make a dent in CO2 levels, according to the EPA itself. He encouraged us to speak out against the EPA and those in Congress who support cap and trade.

Steve Lonegan, from Philadelphia, is up decrying the Little Red Book that the left is using to promote the climate change agenda. They unabashedly use such a communist symbol to indoctrinate the world.

Steve Moore of the WSJ just joined Lonegan on the stage. It's 10 degrees below zero today in North Dakota. It snowed in Houston last week. Not sure where the evidence for global warming is. Just a couple of decades ago the consensus was that the planet was cooling. Over the last ten years the earth has cooled, not warmed.

Only FOX News is following the climategate story. Steve took an informal poll of the audience and found that about half thought Obamacare was the biggest threat to freedom, about half thought that Cap&Trade was the biggest threat to freedom and a minority thought Card Check was the greatest threat to freedom. The climate alarmists say that hurricanes will increase because of global warming effects but this year we had few hurricanes and none that reached category 4.

Tim Philips from Copenhagen is talking about the events going on around the US.

Phil is now talking about the economic impact of C&T. The average family will loose 1000s of dollars of disposable income. It seems that the leftist want Americans to dispose of their money into the hands of leftists like themselves to spend as the left pleases. He said that what will come out of Copenhagen will be an executive agreement and in the Spring they will try to bring it up in Congress. Of more immediate concern are regulatory changes at the EPA, such as the recent "finding" that CO2 is a pollutant.

Now we have a speaker here at the Capitol, Kathleen Harnett White. She said that either the protesters or the counter-protesters (I'm not sure which she was referring to since I missed the protest but I expect it was the counter-protesters defending the status quo at the conference there in Copenhagen) were representative of those "scientists" who say that we are ignorant climate change deniers, just as some people are Holocaust deniers. The C&T bill is so complex and would produce 1000s of regulations and corresponding bureaucracies. Those "scientists" who say that global warming is unequivocally proven are spouting dogma rather than science. The EPA in it's endangerment finding last week regarding CO2 is regurgitated the "findings" of the IPCC. Texas needs to litigate this finding. We need to reverse it. The scientists that testified before the Texas Legislature last session were uniformly believers in climate change. The members of the Legislators were afraid to ask these "scientists" questions for fear of being tagged a denier. Texas leads the nation in CO2 emissions producing 670 million metric tons of CO2 per year. This is a sign of our vibrant economy, size, and the fact that we prove the country with a large part of its energy needs.

The best that could come out of this focus on CO2 would be if scientists arise that tried to measure in the troposphere the man caused CO2 and how it interacts with the other molecules and compounds up there. In other words doe real science.

Now Ms. White is taking questions. A couple of lively ones, including one from the blogger (me) about the implications of the reports of doctored data and why people don't realize that the entire man-causes-climate-change "science" is a fraud. If the proponents have to stoop to such measures (as faked hockey stick graphs) is it any doubt what is going on. Such "scientist" can make the data support whatever they want it to support.

Another lady commented that we need to not skip over explaining what CO2 is. It is not soot. It is an invisible and odorless gas at normal atmospheric conditions. It is not the bellowing black smoke that used to come out of smokestacks before we decided to cleaned up the air from real pollutants.

Ms. White ended with the costs of fuel (below) and with the statement that if you care about people you will care about and promoting freedom and prosperity, and you will fight the EPA and Cap & Trade.

Cost of alternative sources of fuel for electric generation (cost per kwh):

Wind
$24

Natural Gas
$0.23

Coal
$0.08

End Report.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Taxpayer Funded Abortions

All those 1970s things are coming back - We have a Jimmy Carter in the White House, high priced oil, environmental lunacy, and ... Taxpayer funded abortions.

On the local scene - Travis County's so-called Hospital district wants to spend taxpayer money on contracts with abortion providers. he governing board of managers will have a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10. At the meeting the board will vote on proposed contracts with three local abortion providers to use $450,000 in property taxes to pay for approximately 1,000 abortions for the next 12 months. They will decide on funding three abortion providers for non-medically necessary abortions on healthy unborn babies: Planned Parenthood at 201 E. Ben White Blvd., Whole Women's Health at 8401 N. IH 35, and Austin Women's Health Center at 1902 S. IH 35.
Texas Alliance for Life is tracking this issue. If you want to send a message to the nine members of the Board of Managers: Contact them here.

On the national scene - Senate Democrats defeated a measure to bar funding for abortion in the Obama/Reid Healthcare bill. The Nelson Amendment was defeated 54/45. Thanks to the Hyde Amendment of 20 years ago, we have for the past two decades avoided spending Federal dollars on abortions. That may end. Democrats are working to schmooze out a few more votes by relabelling public option. It's still over-expensive, over-regulatory, kills jobs, and harms the existing healthcare system... which means there is unfortunately a better than 50/50 chance the Democrats will all support it.

Taxpayer funded abortions, job-killing Democrats and a lousy economy. Oh joy. Bring out your bell bottoms and disco balls and party like its 1979.

Monday, December 7, 2009

EPA to People: Drop Dead

In their eco-Fatwa against CO2, the EPA has now declared the act of breathing an offensive act of pollution! A climate date that will live in infamy, CheifIO says:

"From this day forward, EPA has taken responsibility for the climate with a goal of making it colder. Every time there is a cold excursion that causes loss or damage, the EPA ought to be presented the bill."

I signed up to Stop the Copenhagen treaty. We all will have to do our part for the greater good of humanity and save us from the anti-CO2 lunacy.



UPDATE - Next April 1st, they go after Water Vapor! Dihydrogen Monoxide, the most dangerous greenhouse gas - "(Washington, DC) The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to classify water vapor as a pollutant, due to its central role in global warming. Because water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for at least 90% of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, its emission during many human activities, such as the burning of fuels, is coming under increasing scrutiny by federal regulators...." See Eco_examiner.

Senate Dems New Twist on Public Option

The Senate Dems are at it again. To salvage the Public Option, Senate Dems seek expansion of Medicare, Medicaid. It's like trying to fit a 300lb woman in a size 8 dress. They keep trying on different names and outfits for their socialized medicine, but it is still the same thing. These plans will bankrupt already fiscally unstable programs and set us on a path of unsustainable Government commitments in healthcare subsidies.

Senator Cornyn has weighed in on Reid's Healthcare takeover bill - calling it "my way or the highway" and showing how it breaks many of Obama's promises.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Climate Audit - Blog of the decade (even before Climategate)

Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit blog has been taking on the AGW scientific establishment for almost a decade, and has on multiple occasions uncovered errors, sloppiness and outright deception, even before the "Climategate" emails from CRU were leaked. McIntyre's initial primary contribution was investigating the MBH 98 paper results and showing the MBH98 'hockey-stick' was based on poor statistical methods and debunking its implications. In busting the Mann 'hockey stick', McIntyre up-ended the claim that recent warming was unprecented, and busted a figure that was prominent in Gore's "Inconvenient Truth".



In doing so, he forced the IPCC to back down on some bold claims, but the "Hockey Stick team" didn't take kindly to that and pressed on to save Mann-made Hockey Stick. "Caspar and the Jesus paper" narrates the attempt by the team to salvage the Mann hockey stick that M&M busted, an amazing journey of multiple self-referencing Wahl and Caspar Ammann papers that attempted to reconfirm the Hockey stick. McIntyre's response: "Rather than disproving our results, at first blush, Ammann's results confirmed them.... the seemingly high RE statistic (99.999% significant) was an illusion from inappropriate benchmarking." The pesky details that the authors pushed to Supplementary Information got released much later - which McIntyre dissected in a Tour de Force, noting that their analysis confirmed his own - "the results are completely at odds with their representations."

A third attempt at recreating the hockey stick was tried, and this time McIntyre uncovered the culprit - the trends were relying on a mere 12 trees in corner of Siberia by tossing out trees that 'diverged' from the non-desired answer: Declining proxies when temps are rising. JoNova narrates what happened there as well. Well, that and Putting proxies in upside-down. All the climate scientists trying to "Hide the decline" have been unable to put Humpty Hockey stick back together again.

An appreciation for McIntyre on the Climate Audit blog explains what happens to those who dare expose the 'consensus' climate science as flawed:


I remember having an office down the hall from John Christy in the late 1980’s. He found something interesting in that no one had been looking at satellite temperature records that were stored on tapes, measured by NASA satellites. Dr. Christy took the time to look at this data and reduce it to a paper.

This paper took issue with the computer models of the time showing a dramatic global warming. Most people today don’t remember that the old models from the 80’s projected much more warming than the current ones. Dr. Christy’s (and I think McNiter) paper showed that the actual measurements from satellites and balloons diverged from what the models were saying. I don’t think that he had any motivation other than to help improve the science and that the result would be better models and more data collection.

Very quickly this paper was attacked and seized upon by various interests and before long Dr. Christy was hauled before non other than Senator Albert Gore to be personally pilloried. This began a completely new era for Dr. Christy, that has helped to lead where he and others are today. He, and others like him, are still pilloried, claimed to be shills of big oil, et al. but his work back then has led him to amazing places.

The same is with you Steve. I don’t think that you ever thought when you began this interest in the arcane details of the statistics related to temperature reconstructions, that you would end up being in the position that you are today. Take pride in this, realize that what you have done, are doing, and hopefully will do, will be of material benefit to billions of people, by helping to bring clarity to a topic that has been hijacked by the political class for their own ends.

What "Climategate" has done is confirm the suspicions of the baises and errors in the climate science community. internal emails acknowledge more errors and 'hide the decline' fixes than are admitted publicly, and the effort to hide data and information and confront rather than work with auditing skeptics is clear. Steve McIntyre has been the whistle-blower on the errors of climate scientists pushing flawed statistical representations that made AGW look worse than it is. For that, his blog is the "blog of the decade" in my humble opinion.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lamar Smith on Stolen Jobs

RedState, Rep Lamar Smith has an idea for getting millions of Americans back to work: Enforce immigration law and give the jobs they took back to Americans.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Copenhagen

Here's to hoping that Climategate and the lack of real warming in recent years has cooled off the Copenhagen fever to destroy our industrial economy on the Altar of the Globalist Warming theory/religion.



RealClimate Blog: Part of the ClimateGate "Front"

I posted the following comment to the RealClimate website on This thread. It was a challenge for the website to 'come clean'. They moderate comments and did not deign to allow this comment to get published:

Prof Mann had a letter to the editor in the Washington Post this Sunday, and directed people to RealClimate website - here.

This is what Prof Mann said of RealClimate website in one of the CRU emails to colleagues writing a 'helpful' paper: " We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you'd like us to include. You're also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put

forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We'll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont' get to use the RC comments as a megaphone..."

#18 says "I was under the impression that this is supposed to be a neutral website discussing climate." Well, #18 - I was too - once. We and a lot of other folks who decided to take it all on trust were apparently 'played'. The question the above quote raises is - Is RealClimate about science, where-ever it leads, or is it stage-managed PR on behalf of the Jones/Mann/IPCC viewpoint?

If RealClimate wants to extricate itself from the widening scandal that has now has seen Jones step down and Mann be put under investigation, it can take steps to rehabilitation:

1. Offer an apology to the McIntyre's of the world. Acknowledge that McIntyre and ANYONE who wants the data backing up ANY peer-reviewed paper or ANYTHING that appears in IPCC has the right to get it. No complaints about the burden of such request is legitimate, replicating results is vital to science. We now know that several of the items and issues he has raised have been legitimate, valid and have ADVANCED the science. Whether McIntyre and ClimateAudit is right or wrong on a particular item, we now have seen - shockingly - how groupthink and attempts to hide information leads to bad science.

2. End the policy of moderating comments at RealClimate. It's a poor way of way of stifling the knowledgeable skeptics, since I would guess their sites are now more visited. Attempts to stifle the skeptic voices has been the Mann & Jones way, as shown in the CRU emails - trying to get journal editors canned, refusing to allow certain peer-reviewed publication into the IPCC chapters, steering people into illegally obstructing FOI requests - and it has destroyed their credibility as professional scientists. It has done NO GOOD.

It's time for a New Era of Openness. Engage and accept the alternative views, not as correct per se, but as worthy of respect instead of revulsion and shunning. As of now, there has been enough of a breach of trust that at minimum the IPCC will need a whole new set of Lead Authors and a whole new level of transparency and open-ness to the next round, or the entire enterprise will be treated as a farce.

We will see if RealClimate / Gavin realizes how seriously this has damaged the credibility of ALL involved in these emails and work, and works diligently to repair it. Your actions will tell all. As Jesus put it, 'know them by their fruits'.

Postscript - we have our answer: RealClimate didn't post this comment. The blog, which was founded by Prof Mann among others, is part of the 'front' to deny the legitimacy of questions about the theory of man-made global warming, calling the skeptics of AGW theory 'deniers'. They have no interest in admitting the errors of their sponsors or changing their ways.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Climategate Aftershocks

I knew it would be a bombshell, but it's gotten bigger and more fundamental than many thought possible: Dr Phil Jones - who in emails wrote about deleting data and emails rather than submit to FOI requests, who spoke of using the 'trick' to 'hide the decline', and who conspired to can journal editors - stepped down ('temporarily'). Penn State is putting Prof Mann of hockey stick infamy under investigation. As usual, the Lamestream Media is in "denial" mode, underplaying how serious this is, and the real story is on the internet, where you can find the real emails and judge for yourself.

Climate Depot is having a field day with this story - links galore. Here is a good summary by Lord Monkton (PDF): http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/Monckton-Caught%20Green-Handed%20Climategate%20Scandal.pdf

What it all means is the skeptics have been proved right in several areas:
1. Skeptics were suspicious of 'data massaging' and the error of torturing data to fit conclusions - and the emails and data released shows things even WORSE than we might have thought: outright fudging of temperature series, skewing of data, using 'tricks' to make misleading presentations of data, mistakes in how proxies are used are admitted in emails but not shared with others, so bad data is reused, and now CRU claims the underlying raw data doesnt even exist! They have a 'dog ate my homework' excuse.
2. Skeptics claimed the IPCC was shutting out dissenters - the emails prove it now; attempts to get Journal editors who didnt toe the line canned, attempts to keep dissent out of IPCC reports, refusal to public review notes, and a complete paranoid approach to any questioning of their 'science'
3. Skeptics were claiming that the 'Hockey Stick Team' scientists were denying access to data to replicate results - we now have emails where Jones and Mann talking about how to subvert FOI requests and how to stop the skeptics from figuring out their 'tricks'.

What is left of the 'science'?
#1 - The temperature trends for the last century were skewed - Lord Monckton explains more in above summary, using the example of New Zealand, where "official" temperature took raw temp data and 'adjusted' it to create a warming trend that in the raw data doesnt even exist!
#2 - The IPCC's credibility is now complete shot. The 'system' was gamed to create a phony 'consensus'; we skeptics knew that, but this email release proved it.
#3 - The credibility of ANYONE who claims "the science is settled" is now shot.
There IS no science left to trust, we have to hit the 'reset' button on every brick of evidence
in the whole chain, because the behavior of these men so skewed the 'science' it is all tainted.
#4 - The hockey stick is busted - unproven if not a myth.
#5 - The IPCC models were based on suppositions, and the 'skeptic' theories that pointed out the data that undermined the models was shunned. These too need to be reviewed from the ground up, and until this is done the models have no value.

Without models, a hockey stick ramp up and temperature records worthy of trust, there is not much to go on.

What to do now?
- Removal of any global warming theory nonsense from schools. This stuff has the credibility of Piltdown Man and Lysenko-ism as of now.
- They need to FIRE Prof Mann and Dr Jones and possibly charge them with FOIA violations.
- The IPCC needs to fire all lead authors, and start from scratch with a whole other team
and a process based on 100% transparency. Or failing that, the IPCC needs to disband.
- Congress needs to have an investigation and needs to put a rule into Govt-funded research requiring the full and complete sharing of data produced to support published articles; less than that is not acceptable.

UPDATE 12/2: House and Senate GOP Leaders Call for Withdrawal of EPA Endangerment Finding, Other Rules Based on Dubious Science Exposed by E-mails .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CTRA calls for opposition to Senate healthcare bill

The Central Texas Republican Assembly
November 22, 2009

For Immediate Release
Contact Tim Bradberry
512-507-2823
dadofping@sbcglobal.net


(Travis County, Texas) – Saturday night, the United States Senate voted 60-39 to keep its ill-conceived and largely unpopular health care bill alive in the face of growing opposition by voters around the country, especially voters in states like Arkansas who oppose the bill 64% to 28% (Zobgy). Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) defied the wishes of the 64% of her fellow Arkansans who oppose the bill and voted with Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the other 56 Democrats and 2 “Independents”, including Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) who has promised to filibuster the bill if the public option is not stripped out of it.


In the early afternoon, long before the 8pm (EST) vote, Matt Drudge tweeted Louisiana Purchase: $300 million for [Sen. Mary Landrieu’s] vote
, a reference to what Sen. Landrieu herself boasts is not $100 million but $300 million in promised cost reductions of the bill’s higher Medicaid liability for her state, costs that one can assumed will be redistributed to the other 49 states, like so much gas tax receipts, enough to buy her vote. BayouBuss.com reported “Senator Landrieu is a major swing vote and her vote appears to be necessary for the current Senate legislation to pass.” Since the required 60 votes in favor of starting debate was exactly met, each one of the affirmative votes was a deciding vote.


Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) was wheeled out to his place on the floor of the Senate just long enough to have his vote cast, no less a deciding vote than that of Sen. Landrieu. Madeline Crabb calls the continued service of Senator Byrd a “great reason for term limits” — see http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/crabb/091122.


The Central Texas Republican Assembly is opposed to the health care bill being debated in the Senate and calls upon all Americans to join hands, voices, and forces to oppose it and to make the next deciding vote effect the defeat of this freedom reducing, marriage penalizing, abortion funding, health care rationing, deficit ballooning, state budget busting, fine imposing bill with the Orwellian tile, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Bombshell

Russian hacker releases 100 megabytes of internal communications from the Hadley center in the UK, that shows "Hadley is the Enron of Global Warming".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Left's "Winning Through Intimidation" Ploy

“The ongoing campaign of hatred directed at Carrie is inexplicable, and ugly.”
- Maggie Gallagher

This campaign of political intimidation is far from inexplicable. Over-the-top expressions and attacks, personal berating, etc. It is the same intolerant mind-shaping that totalitarians and Jackboot leftists have always engaged in for years. They will demean, disparage and defame those who oppose their core beliefs, and will top at nothing to destroy those who oppose them. Sometimes its in the form of racial blackmail, a la, a Jesse Jackson shakedown. Sometimes its simply a disinvitation to a University speaking event for a conservative voice. Sometimes,
like the anti-Prop 8 folks did, they will show up at your place of work and hound you out of a job. Sometimes it is physical, like the ACORN activists attacking a “Tea Party” person.

It has a clear purpose. It’s called “winning through intimidation”.

“But the anti gay marriage movement had to cash in on her [Carrie Prejean’s] notoriety …
She can say whatever she wants, but I think you are foolish to hitch your cause to her wagon”
- Email to NR

This is a liberal telling us not to defend a victim of defamation tactics. Carrie Prejean ‘notoriety’ is a concoction of the attack machine. She is a woman who’s been viciously attacked for her beliefs, and was attacked solely to create an example for those who share those beliefs to “shut up … or else”.

We don’t need to put her on a pedestal to see that she is being wronged. She is not a spokeswoman for anyone or anything, she is merely a beauty pageant contestant who dared to speak her mind.

“All of this dumbs down the discussion of this issue."

Exactly who decided that gay marriage was to be a topic of beauty pageant – someone who was virulently pro-gay-marriage! A deranged homosexual by the name of Perez Hilton opened the Pandora’s box. What we see her is projection: The left politicizes something that ought not
be politicized, and when conservatives protest, the left accuses the right of starting it.

Pollaganda

Another case of media Pollaganda, trying to buck up the Democrats by oversampling them in polls. This WashPost poll skewed the sample to over-sample Democrats, ... yet ObamaCare is still losing ground.

If the Dems follow the pollaganda and ignore the real polls that show big trouble for Blue Dogs, then they'll be missing the real story. Obama's support is trending down and the Democrats in Congress are setting up 2010 to be another 1994 wipeout of their majority.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Union goes after Eagle Scout Do-gooder

A story from Allentown, PA, of SEIU thugs vs. the Boy Scouts — and other related Big Labor antic.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

”We’ll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails,” Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn’t targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city’s decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said ”there’s to be no volunteers.” No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.

There are some nice hike and bike trails in Austin that have been improved thanks to the work of Boy Scouts. It would be awful to have that kind of countreproductive unionism invade here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Keys to McDonnell's Virginia victory

10 Lessons on how Bob McDonnell won the Virginia's Governor's race explores the key to Republican candidate Bob McDonnell's Virginia victory. A summation:

  1. Independents (and others) responded extremely well to McDonnell’s articulate, specific plans.
  2. McDonnell ran a very positive campaign.
  3. McDonnell successfully tapped in to national issues discontenting VA voters, again with specifics.
  4. McDonnell ran a disciplined campaign with a credible focus on job creation.
  5. Democrats here, as everywhere else, promise many great things, but governed terribly in the final analysis. In some parts of the state, unemployment was at depression era levels of 20-25%.
  6. McDonnell avoided the pitfalls many VA GOP statewide candidates have fallen into. The media constantly were on the lookout for a “macaca” moment (George Allen), but he did not give them one because he was wary of his audience. He did not focus on “pet issue” with which he could be caricaturized...
  7. The ground game was superb. ... He was an unapologetic conservative. ... I saw far more youths and McDonell campaign workers in an “off year election” than I ever did for McCain.
  8. McDonnell built a meaningful coalition. He had endorsements from key Democrats, business leaders, and virtually every job creating organization in the state. ... McDonnell took the time to woo key Democrats as well as Republicans.
  9. He weathered the attacks on him well. McDonnell was villified ... McDonnell and other key conservatives (Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner) called the Post out on its daily hack jobs, and they stopped in time. ... he continued to utilize the attacks as an opportunity to be the candidate to “refocus” the issues on matters that mattered to VA voters.
  10. He never rested on his laurels. His campaign frequently touted that even though they had a lead, they would run “like they were 10 points behind.” They maintained the energy level needed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Big Un-Bombshell: KBH to hold on Senate Seat

Hutchison to keep Senate seat in bid for governor, aide says: "She will announce tomorrow at the Texas Federation of Republican Women's Convention in Galveston that she will not be resigning her seat before the primary,"

You heard it here first, probably even before Sen Hutchison came to that conclusion -My fearless prediction back in July was: "Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will see the writing on the wall by December so she will NOT decide to vacate her senate seat, but play it safe. Lose the primary means she will ride it out until 2012, and no Senate race after all and a more boring 2010 election cycle."

The 'play it safe' route wasn't her game plan, and my own update blogged a retraction based on her own comments. But Senator Hutchison has been caught in the vice of a delayed ObamaCare vote, where it is vital for her to be there to help stop the ObamaCare train wreck, and polling that shows Perry with an 11 point lead, enough lead, especially among the conservative part of the base, to indicate that he will likely be the nominee. Conservatives prefer Perry, who's been more out front and forceful in jumping on populist Tea Party sentiment, and has tagged KBH as "Senator Bailout". So the likely scenario now is that Perry wins the primary.

If Sen Hutchison wins the primary, she'd resign then. This was always the smarter thing to do, given the stack of important issues facing the U.S. Senate right now.

This is an UN-bombshell because so many of the potential dominoes will STOP falling. It means the GOP statewide slate is a stack of incumbents - Lt Gov David Dewhurst, Combs, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, AG Greg Abbott, Railroad Commissioner Victor Carillo, etc. It also mean ambitions deferred for folks like Ted Cruz and Michael Williams. Never fear, both men are the future of the Texas Republican party, and they both deserve a promotion; they''ll just have to get the other folks out of the way next time.

The real losers here are the Democrats, who might have gleaned some advantage from additional GOP fratricide and were angling for a US Senate race. The Democrats could try to flood the GOP primary and vote for KBH just to get another Senate race going. Will it happen? Not in my crystal ball. Perry ekes out a victory, faces a second-tier Democrat (perhaps even ... KINKY?!?) and wins another term to become Texas' longest-serving Governor.

... and KBH stays in DC until 2012.

UPDATE: KBH says she will definitely will resign after the primary, win or lose hmmmm, I'll believe it when I see it. But if she does - Michael Williams for U.S. Senate!

Shattered Lives - Anecdotes on Government-run Healthcare

Shattered Lives - a report on victims of socialized medicine:
Example - cancer victim dies due to surgery delays:

By the time doctors got around to work on Skeet in January 2000 – five weeks after the initial scheduled operation – it was too late. The cancer had spread to her windpipe in two places, and doctors determined the tumor was inoperable. ... For five months, Jane helplessly watched her mother’s condition deteriorate, until Mavis Skeet passed away in late May 2000.

100 more cases like that.

ObamaCare Argumentorium

Via Right-wing nuthouse, four common arguments used to advance ObamaCare, and responses:

Discourse #1 - The "It's ObamaCare or the Horrible Status Quo" Argument

it’s not like the alternative non-government option (such as the status quo discussed above) is without huge, even worse problems of its own.

This is the logical fallacy of the False Choice. It’s either Status Quo or ObamaLosiCare?

Wrong! Here’ a simple “third way” that could be bipartisan:

1. Allow insurance purchased from any of 50 states - lower cost through more choices.
2. Medical tort reform - lower cost.
3. Address pre-existing conditions with regulations requiring acceptance of people under such conditions in insurance (also prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage) and a Government program (based on tax on insurance itself) to pay into a catastrophic health insurance plan for pre-existing situation.
4. Posted prices for all medical items - lower cost.
5. Individual / small business pooling program to lower cost. We could also try tax breaks to equalize individual vs company provided healthcare.
6. Expand health savings accounts so all health spending can be pre-tax. (related to #5)
7. Allow prescription drug importation.
8. All Medicaid/Medicare recipients can get their govt subsidy via a voucher for same amount for insurance program of their choice.

Understand - ANY system will have economic limits, and thus there will be imperfections. Do these things and see how it improves over the next 3 years. This is how REAL REFORM would work. If more/different is needed, iterate. Maybe this list needs tweaking,but the key - Fix what is broken without breaking what works - healthcare in the US is 85% okay and 15% broken and assuming it is the other way is wrong; the ‘idee fixe’ of going after ‘universal coverage’ (which will never happen) while ignoring that overall issue of cost, access and quality as a whole is folly.

ObamalosiCare is not REAL REFORM, it’s a Government takeover attempt. It will not make things better and is inferior to other alternatives.

Discourse #2 - It's a Rigged Market so Government control is better than industry control

“How can anyone defend a healthcare (or any other kind of) system that’s based on markets that are mostly non-competitive?”

Government over-regulation has made health sector markets non-competitive. Profit levels for insurance companies are less than 4%. Much of that Government regulation is indefensible, for example, silly mandates at various state levels that do nothing but make health insurance more expensive and less accessible. Often these are done for no reason other than some special interest got it in there - chiropractic care, acupunture, mental ‘welness’, etc. all drives up cost of health insurance. We should allow and have ‘bare bones insurance’ available, especially to young healthy individuals who cannot afford the premiums (and consitute a large portion of those opting out of health insurance entirely).

Discourse #3 - The Modern Age Requires Big Government

"[ in the 19th century] You would have next to no contact with any government."
Many people had plenty of contact with Govt back in 19th century, that they didnt desire, that's why they escaped to the US as immigrants.

"In 2009, you live in an single family home with about 5000 people living within that 100 acres."
Only in Manhattan do you find 50/acre densities ... come to Texas, you can get your own 100 acres outside of town for less than the price of a Manhattan condo.

" You can’t even shoot a gun"
Come to Texas. Concealed carry state.

"electricity, sewers, police and fire."
And a gazillion other things provided via the free market, private-sector economy. Electricity provided in the US mostly by private sector utilities, and other 'necessities' like food, telecom, housing, are largely private, with Govt mainly involved via redistributing in some sectors.

Govt is over-involved in 2 sectors of the economy: Education and healthcare. Curiously, those are the two sectors of the economy that suffer from an inability to improve cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiencies, despite the obvious opportunities due to the information revolution.

" You come in constant contact with government: speed limits, sales tax, gun licenses."
If that's all the Govt did, it could live off of less than 1% of our GDP.

Point well taken that urban Government is more involved than rural Govt, but there too you have only another 1-2% of GDP for sewer, trash, parks, police, etc. That's 'some' Government (and local Govt too, the less intrusive kind), not the Leviathan Government like we have now that is consuming and spending 27% of a very huge $13 trillion GDP.

The Leviathan Government has nothing to do with our daily interactions with Govt in order to live peacably together. What that Leviathan Government is (aside from about 20% for DoD) is a massive amount of wealth distribution, from young to old, from taxpayers to welfare-takers, from consumers to farmers, from those who work to those-who-have-a-friend-in-Congress, etc.

The idea that 'right-wing' America is 'anti-Government' ergo doesnt want local police is just a red herring and sophistry. The REAL issue is this: Do we want the 'limited but effective Government' that sticks to the sewer/police/protect-the-border basics, or do we want the Leviathan Government that does that AND takes on managing industries (banks, GM), healthcare, energy, etc. AND redistributes wealth massively.

The real dividing line is not Government vs no Government (pace the Somalia Red Herring), it's Redistributionist-Socialist Government vs Limited Government.

"Overall I’ll take 2009. Bring on healthcare reform."

While we all will take today over yesterday, the false choice here is that implies support for Redistributionist-Socialist Government over the Limited Government vision.

The size of Federal Government relative to economy was smaller in 2008 than in 1945, and it was fairly even from 1960s through until 2 years ago... now it has spiked up and Federal Govt/ GDP is higher now than in 60 years. Is that the "future"? Inevitably Big Government?

Why bring on a 1945-era style of Government control - like ObamaLosicare - instead of something more modern, grounded in market-based choice, and leveraging modern technology? In reality, ObamaLosiCare is a THROWBACK to the mindset of the post WWII British socialists. The whole push to 'single payer' is based on a mindset locked in paradigms that are out of date.

Didnt fall of USSR, and socialist economic basketcases warn us off that kind of path? If the future is Big Government, then the future will look much like the failed visions of Socialism Past.

Discourse #4 - Moral Outrage, and hard times requires Socialism

“Is it okay with you that working people, people who put in their 40 hours plus every week, can end up living in a box under a freeway”

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that millions have lost jobs under Obama and will be losing homes as well due to the economic mis-management of Obama and his fellow Democrats.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that in ObamaLosiCare they are proposing a tax on millions of Americans, and a tax on businesses too, that will destroy jobs and hurt many.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that in the process of putting this bill together, they are going to be hurting the current recipients of Medicaid and Medicare by straining massively the budgets of both, thereby making it harder to help those truly in need.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that those in favor of ObamalosiCare are using faux moral outrage instead of defending a very flawed bill that will harm millions and head us towards bankrupcy.


ObamaCare, like acid on America's soul

America needs a shrink at Rick Moran's place got me going on ObamaCare. My thoughts:

“America still does have a soul”

The soul that is in our Constitution and our laws and culture has been eroded and has been under attack by 1960s leftists who disparage the pillars of American traditions, values and freedoms. The Obama agenda is rooted in the 1960s new left and is like acid poured on America’s soul.

“people with enough clout believe that being able to get decent care when you become sick or diseased is a right”

Such a belief (in the 'right' to healthcare) is an oxymoron. No economic good is a ‘right’. Such blather does injustice to the real issue and challenge, and is precisely why the blather polls better when its abstract than when its real and concrete. Economic goods have limits, and any government program that tries to ’solve’ the problem of market/cost-limited healthcare will replace it with bureaucratic limits (the road to ‘death panels’ and QALY ratings is paved with good intentions).

If society should provide healthcare to the level society can afford rather than an individual can afford, state it that way. Stating it as a ‘right’ is selling a promise that no Government program can possibly keep. For example, if healthcare is a ‘right’ than what right does the Government have dictating those terms of care - in qualified plans? What give Government the right to deny healthcare choices, including the choice NOT to take up health insurance? Why the heavy hand of Govt ready to fine and jail people for the ‘crime’ of not choosing what the Government dictates?

So in the end, they (the ObamaCare folks) are selling a lie. it has to be a lie, just based on iron laws of economics (it cant get fixed by renaming government-run healthcare into some euphemism, or hiding hundreds of billions of ‘doc fix’ costs in another bill). As people figure out that not only is it a lie - it has to be a lie - that support falls away.

After all, the old on Medicare are already on alert that they WILL will paying the price for ObamaCare through getting the screws applied. People have figured it out - Obama does not have a magic pixie dust solution to throw millions more into Government healthcare burden without it (a) costing a lot more (b) adding to the deficit (c) hurting those currently in Medicare etc. and (c) causing huge job-killing taxes, fees and regulation burdens on individuals and business. We know now that ALL of the above WILL happen.

But it’s worse than merely selling the lie and airbrushing limits. What’s worse than that even is that American rights and freedoms are being crushed left and right in this mad rush to turn more and more of the healthcare industry over to Government control. They are now asking Congress-critters “Say, is it Constitutional for the Federal Govt to force individuals to have health insurance?” Instead of the correct answer (”No, I guess not”) we now have videos of Congresscritters shrugging off Constitutionality … ah, and archiac scrap of paper barely of relevance to 21st century Governance.

That is the America-soul-killing thing.

As stated … “We are about to hand government an enormous amount of power along with the ability to control our lives in ways that can only dimly be glimpsed at this point.” … only glimpsed because this 2,000 page Godzilla of a bill is only the prelude to literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of pages of health care regulations that the DOZENS of bureaucracies will be writing up.

We will ‘accept’ it, the way we ‘accept’ gridlock rush hour traffic, the common cold, bad TV sitcoms, and the existence of endemic corruption in politics. “It’s just the way it is.” It will become an awful restriction on our freedom, an anchor on our economy, and a boon to much that is disreputable and base in politics (pandering, corruption, and self-interested taxpayer-raping-for-special-interests galore). But it will be like some ugly furniture that we cant seem to give away - and so it will stay.

… but it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. ObamaCare is NOT inevitable, even at this late hour. Only partisan blindness and this “idee fixe” of the Democrats that this is magic elixir for their majority (nope, its poison) keeps it going. Should the Dems pass it, Republicans will win back the House next year and the Senate and White House in 2012. And the Democrats will be discredited and tossed from power for another 10+ years. Perhaps they will realize that this Big Bad Bill is the wrong bill at the wrong time. Perhaps they will come back from the brink and do something appropriately incremental rather than a socialist rewrite of socialism… but who’m I kidding? Like the scorpion who stung the frog that carried him across the river and made them both drown - “It’s in their nature”.

Obama's Afghan Dithering

Factoid from Byron York today: 60% of Democrats want troop reductions in Afghanistan.

That explains the White House pushback against the General's request for more troops. They leaded classified memos to the press ... Who? ""The [White House] political operation is using him to push back [against the] Pentagon," one Democratic foreign policy hand suggested."

Savor this for a minute. Obama's team is violating national security laws to gain political advantage. He has to get his minions to leak to the WashPost to 'win' an internal fight against the best advice of his own Generals. Obama is a total wimp and is team is undermining national security via such leaks in the very attempt to try to save face.

Pathetic really. We know what the right thing to do it: Be in it to win it. That's why the Generals said "We need more" because more is needed to win it. Specifically, they want 30,000 more troops on the ground.

The bottom line is this - a war we were winning is going south on Obama's watch, and he and top officials apparently are lacking the will and wit to find a way to win. Their own base wants to throw in the towel. This is not much different from Iraq in 2006 ... and guess what, Bush was right and Obama was wrong back then.

Obama lacks the vision to win in Afghanistan, and "Without vision, the people perish."

45% rate Obama 'poor' on economics

Via Powerline, Obamanomics gets 45% 'poor' rating in Rasmussen poll:

1*How do you rate the way Barack Obama will handle economic issues as President….excellent, good, fair or poor?

20% Excellent
19% Good
15% Fair
45% Poor
1% Not sure
What are those other 39% 'excellent/good' folks thinking? Deficits are good?They haven't heard about latest job losses? Still in "Bush's fault" mode? (What's the expiration date on blaming the previous occupant of the White House?)

Reality check: Deficits stink,

How will Obama cure this lagging poll? Why, Call for a Summit (yawn). Advice/retort:
Obama: It’s important that we don’t make any ill-considered decisions — even with the best intentions — particularly at a time when our resources are so limited. Comment: You’ve already made bad decisions. Now un-make them. That will spur the economy.

None Dare Call It Treason

Ft Hood Jihadist charged with 13 counts of murder. One charge missing, says Malkin (they missed the unborn baby, which is another count of murder here in Texas). Comment #1 says: I say the missing charge is Treason!

Yup. Treason isn't treason, and the declared Al Qaeda terroristic acts of war will be tried like OJ was. It's all just 'incomprehensible' and random acts of people 'who crack under stress.' Lessons learned the hard way are forgotten and give way to diversity-derived and PC-inspired willful ignorance.

President Bush tried to destroy Al Qaeda root and branch via the war-on-terror. Obama is trying to destroy the war-on-terror root and branch. Ever lesson gathered by the 9/11 Commission is being cast to the winds.

Techno-Pessimistic Liberals Miss the Droid Cluetrain

Droid is an existence proof that disproves Techno-Pessimistic Liberal complaints about the coming closed internet:

How can a device like this even exist when America's leading cyberlaw experts have been telling us that the whole digital world is increasingly going to hell because of "closed" devices, proprietary code, and managed networks? I'm speaking, of course, about the lamentations of Harvard professors Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, and their many disciples.... If all these dour predictions about the death of digital generativity and the rise of closed networks and walled gardens were true, how in the world does a phone with an open source operating system and a completely open applications process for developers even exist?

What's more amusing is that the techno-pessimists, who lament Apple's 'closed/walled garden' Apps store, are actually iPhone users:
I used some shameless McCarthyite tactics during our debate at New America Foundation last year -- "Are you now, or have you ever been, an iPhone user!"

The techno-pessimistic Liberals calling (unnecessarily) for net neaturality Miss the Droid cluetrain - that these different models/approaches exist because they each serve a customer need.

The Droid is open because the Google Android effort was open, and it was open because those involved saw an opening for such a platform. However, the more controlled iPhone platform innovated so much in the mobile phone space that one could well say the Droid would not be what it is today without iPhone leading the way in defining what a Smartphone is. Forcing open-ness up front could well have prevented the innovation that led to Droid.

The real iPhone/Droid evolution lesson is this: If we want real freedom, we want both open and closed business models, so consumers and businesses have more choice and freedom, and so innovation proceeds without impediment.

Obama's NEA Director - "You Lie!"

NEWLY REVEALED DOCUMENTS Contradict NEA Chairman Landesman.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Austin's Comprehensive Plan

The City of Austin is putting together a "Comprehensive Plan" and seeking community participation on it. This 2-year process of putting together a new comprehensive plan has kicked off recently with public forums this week.

How to get involved?

First, anyone can take the Issues and Aspirations survey, at any Austin library or online at http://www.imagineaustin.net/survey.htm.

Second, Austinites can host their own planning party--ask for a "Meeting in a box," and invite a few people over to participate. The Imagine Austin Meeting-in-a-Box has everything you need to host your own meeting.

This process is a 'set up' in that while public input is solicited, the powers-that-be at City Hall have pre-ordained the ideological orientation of the outcome. Specifically, 'Sustainability' is the name of the game:
Sustainability and climate change are overarching issues to be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.
This blog has previously pointed out that 'climate change' is code for hyperbolic CO2-phobia, that we are not in fact warming in recent years (not for last 10 years) , that CO2's impact is overrated, and that anything Austin does or doesn't do relative to CO2 has miniscule impact on temperatures. There is nothing Austin needs to in the next 20 years specific to 'climate change' except possibly replace our coal plant with nuclear (but that would be more for general pollution concerns).

Nevertheless, I took a crack at their survey. Here goes:

1. Please tell us what you think Austin’s strengths are:

Educated citizenry and UT at heart of city, part of a good state (Texas), technology-based economy, music scene and culture, capital city, Barton Springs.

2. The second step in crafting a Vision is identifying the ways in which Austin can be improved—what issues and problems do we need to address to become a better city?

Please tell us what you think Austin’s weaknesses are:


Too much nanny-statism in city hall, too many liberals running the city, traffic problems, crime, excessive panhandling, high property taxes.

3. You’ve told us what you think is great about Austin, and where you think we can improve. Now we would like to know what needs to be done.

What ideas do you have for improving Austin in the future?

Embrace nuclear power, use monorails (instead of the flawed light rail system), widen the Mopac bridge and Mopac from 1st to 45th, loosen density building zoning regs, turn some preserve areas into parks, keep taxes low, end nanny-statism such as phony 'green' audits on houses and smoking bans.
What do you think?

Sign #8 of the Obamunist Apocalypse

Another sign we are becoming an Obamunist 3rd-world-style despotism:

Obama Administration Intends to Purge Republicans From the Civil Service

Sounds like this Chicago-style thuggery is destroying 120 years of Civil Service reforms, but like many Obama initiatives, it will be called "change" and swept under the rug.

.. and #9, as Obama jets to China, they get Obamao Frenzy in China - get your ObaMao t-shirts here.

How High is the Price of "Diversity"?

“And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse ….” - General Casey

Many people are appalled at this apparent attempt to push diversity on a higher level than human lives, and indeed it is clear that people died perhaps unnecessarily because a 'political correctness' approach prevented the proper actions from taking place.

Question: How many dead people do we need to have to make those deaths more horrific than if "diversity becomes a casualty"?

The Left's War on American History

The Left's War on U.S. History in Texas TEKS update included an attempt to take out Veteran's day:

Embarrassed by SBOE testimony from the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Brooke Terry, and by being told the inconvenient fact that Veterans Day is an official American and Texas holiday, the review panel quietly returned Veterans Day to the list.
Another gem in this article is the "bullying, partisan letter" by Senator Shapleigh to try to shame the head of SBOE into towing the politically correct liberal version of history. There is much irony in a partisan ideologue like Senator Shapleigh doing the 'pot, kettle, black' routine on the SBOE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coming soon - 12% unemployment

Hate to scare you but ... 12 reasons unemployment is going to 12%.

Update: Emerson CEO blames Washington for lack of new U.S. jobs:

"Washington is doing everything in their manpower, capability, to destroy U.S. manufacturing," Farr said Wednesday in Chicago at a Baird Industrial Outlook conference. "Cap and trade, medical reform, labor rules." ... "What do you think I am going to do?" Farr asked. "I'm not going to hire anybody in the United States. I'm moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs."

None Dare Call it Terrorism

Obama on Good Morning America:

Tapper: You’re about to go to Fort Hood. Philosophically, what separates an act of violence from an act of terrorism?

Obama: In a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have, there are going to be instances, uh, in which an individual, uh, cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now, and we don’t have yet complete answers to it, is that ‘Is this an individual who is acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors?’ You know, what are the motivations?”

"We don't have complete answers" he says, but we know now of Hasan's strange and angry outbursts to others in the military, his contacts and conversations with Al Qaeda members (!) and radical Imams, etc. He had many ties to Jihad web sites and groups.

What a patriot would say:
Terrorism is a specific form of violence that harms innocents in order to attack our wider society and to advance a political agenda. Major Hasan's murderous rampage is an apparent act of terrorism, based on the evidence we have seen so far.

It's about time we Dare to call it terrorism.

Republicans Looking Up for 2010

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breaking Higher Education's Iron Triangle: Access, Cost, and Quality

A followup to earlier thoughts on the Higher Education Revolution: Breaking Higher Education's Iron Triangle: Access, Cost, and Quality lays down a challenge that both developing nations and western nations need to address: "provide wide access to high-quality higher education at a low cost."

How to get there? "There is a growing realization that government provision of higher education in traditional modes alone cannot accomplish this task."

Why not? Traditional higher-education has been locked into an 'iron triangle' of high cost, limited access, and non-scalable educational models:
Much of today’s higher education remains a blend of student community and lecture bazaar, each of which contributes a particular notion of quality. In the community model, quality is largely a matter of the characteristics of the entering students. If the student community is difficult to get into, it must be a place where excellent education occurs. Quality is identified with exclusivity. The lecture bazaar model brings in another dimension of quality, namely expenditure per student: the more the better.

These models have no economies of scale because they are based on the concept that students need time of highly educated teachers in order to learn. Lack of cost controls are built on assumptions and institutional biases (through endowments and Government subsidies) that stymie innovations. They note:
The iron triangle—the assumption that quality, exclusivity, and expense necessarily go together—has been the bugbear of education.

What are the alternatives? "Open and distance learning (ODL) and eLearning are increasingly seen as key to providing access to the wider student population now seeking higher education, especially to working adults and those in remote rural areas."

What doors are opened up and need to be opened up? We need scalable economic models, and this is achievable on the side of information distribution with Open Educational Resources and other means of instructional material and course reuse. That means course developments that can be reused, technology that can be leveraged. Economies of scale can lower cost without harming quality.

We also need specialization, and one area the article notes that is essential is to de-link the learning process from the testing/certification. In doing so, we have a new models of education quality assurance through standardized forms of examinations to certify completion:
the key factor is the shift of emphasis from residence and lectures to outcomes and examinations. If the trend to delink testing from teaching continues, it will lead to more flexible and less expensive models of higher education, with the result that the aspiration of giving people access to high-quality higher education worldwide may not be an illusion. In terms of the access-quality-cost triangle, the examination system is a major breakthrough. Access is only limited by the availability of examiners, quality and standards can be set at the level required, and students are spared the costs of residence and instruction.

Consider it this way: Suppose instead of going to Harvard, you simply went to the Harvard examinations? You will need an educational and learning experience to get ready for those exams, but that process could and should be one that is tailored for the individual. There are examinations for College level courses like that - CLEP.
One myth is the myth of the need for Professorial contact:
Some important research by Robert Bernard and his colleagues at Concordia University, Montreal, explodes the myth about the importance of face-to-face support. They carried out a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies in which distance-education students were treated in different ways. They distinguished three types of interaction: student with content; student with student; and student with teacher. They then analyzed all the studies to find which type of interaction made the greatest difference to student performance when it was increased. The results showed clearly that increasing student-content interaction had much the greatest effect, with student-student interaction coming next and student-teacher interaction last.
See, when your freshman section was taught by a TA, you really didn't miss out on anything after all.

What they propose is a radically different way of conceiving of education. It's a form of education that is more personal, more effective, less costly, more flexible. It won't have those Ivy-covered Halls and exclusive clubs, but it will have a path for students to learn. The article summarizes their case this way:

The aims of wide access, high quality, and low cost are not achievable, even in principle, with traditional models of higher education based on classroom teaching in campus communities. A perception of quality based on exclusivity of access and high expenditure per student is the precise opposite of what is required. ... But perceptions of quality are changing, and the growing emphasis on outcomes and standards heralds the possibility of a model of higher education that could achieve the ministerial aims—one that centers on examinations and allows students to choose different ways of preparing for them. Although this type of system has a long history, contemporary technologies such as eLearning and open educational resources promise to make it even more cost-effective today.

Voters flee the job-killing Democrats

GOP Gains on Generic Ballot, now at +7 for the GOP, the same week the Democrat pass a huge Government overreach bill. Coincidence? Voters' Revenge?

Most voters are unengaged (and not too informed) non-ideological "moderate" voters, having not developed a strong capacity for an ideologically consistent worldview. But they have some common sense triggers: You know, like a guy who communicates with Jihadist Imams and then blows away a dozen soldiers is probably a terrorist, or double-digit unemployment and trillion dollar deficits are not good.

Open Education Resources

A brief introduction to Open Education is a talk by David Wiley, who forsees big change in education. How big?

He said all the content, research, support services, social life and even degrees can be obtained without the typical college experience. The reason why is because of the availability of free information through the attributes of the digital age.
He asks: Why do students go to Universities instead of a library?
1. Instructional sequence and the related materials.
2. Library and the institutional repositories of knowledge.
3. Support services - questions and guidance by tutors, professors, etc.
4. Credentials for a job.
5. Social life.

On point 1, this "Manifesto of Open Access" calls for freeing authors and users of materials from the commercial copyright system. The concept of Open Educational Resources is to free the materials created in the process of research and teaching from the restrictions placed by Copyright law. Thanks to the Creative Commons organization, copyright models have been developed that allow the "4R open" sharing concepts - Revise, Remix, Reuse, Redistribute. These models allow the producers and consumers to create a "Pro-sumer" ecosystem of shared Intellectual Property development. It is pointed out that taxpayers fund teachers and researchers, so how is it that publishers, who have little to do with funding or creating the research end up with the copyright?

An example is this free Calculus book offered under a Creative Commons 'sharealike' license, you can read it electronically. These new materials extend the concept of free books from old public domain, to a whole new generation of materials that students and teachers can use without violating copyright law or engaging in piracy.

This is not just about freeing textbooks, but about putting all the educational collateral into a system of sharing, reuse, remix and extending. The great value of this is to drive the incremental cost of informational sharing to effectively zero.

Combine Open Education, as ccLearn advocates, with the fact that online education beats the classroom and we have the recipe for a very different, lower-cost and more effective education. As stated in the article:
“We are at an inflection point in online education,” said Philip R. Regier, the dean of Arizona State University’s Online and Extended Campus program.

When you put it all together, people will be asking Who Needs Harvard?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Austin Tech Republicans - Nov 12th meeting on SBOE TEKS

The November Austin Tech Republicans is on November 12th, lunchtime, at Mangia's at Mopac/Duval in north Austin, and will be discussing SBOE Social Studies TEKS review. Jonathan Saenz from the Free Market Foundation and Brooke Terry from TPPF will discuss the topic.

A factoid that relates - http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/11/texas-new-leader-of-nation.html:

"Texas students "are, on average, one to two years of learning ahead of California students of the same age," even though per-pupil expenditures on public school students are 12% higher in California."
We are beating California and achieving 'more for less' in education because we have rigorous educational standards put in place by the SBOE through the TEKS, which defines the curriculum for students in Texas. Having the right school curricula in place determines the future of Texas.

The meeting is Thursday, November 12th, lunchtime (11:45-1pm) at the Mangia's at Mopac and Duval (*)

(*) Location: Mangia's Pizza at Mopac and Duval is right off Mopac (northbound access rd at Duval exit) at Duval and Burnet.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=12001+N+MO+Pac+Expy,+Austin,+TX&vps=4&jsv=164e&sll=30.41848,-97.711759&sspn=0.02561,0.055747&ie=UTF8&latlng=30407404,-97713679,9125205684671566230&ei=PTVESsX9KZ7uMvWprNsJ&sig2=5pcwkvIflYgpsHiEaI-UEQ&cd=3
12001 N MO Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758-2992. (512) 832-5550