Monday, November 30, 2009

Some Good News, Europe May Be Waking Up

The numinously neutral and peaceful Swiss have voted 57.5 to 42.5 to ban the erection of more minarets in their country. Great news which Daniel Pipes thinks may validate the support of realistic policies inhibiting the spread of practical submission to Islam in the rest of Europe.

There is certainly a significant element of racism (or whatever we’re calling religious bias these days) in that Swiss vote; but that does not negate the fact that continued encouragement of immigration of Muslims who have no intention of assimilating into the existing culture of Europe (and the U.S.) is madness since it will almost inevitably lead to a murderous clash.

That it was the usually quiet, low-profile, un-newsworthy, politically boring,
neutral Swiss who suddenly roared their fears about Islam only enhances their
votes’ impact.

Hopefully it’s not too late for a line to be drawn without widespread bloodshed.

I also posted this at Zombie Contentions:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Inconvenient Truths

First there was the inconvenient truth that the world has been cooling since 1998 or so; despite the very clearly stated predictions of the global warming folks that it would continue to warm.

Then there was the inconvenient truth that we've just enjoyed a couple of the most mild hurricane seasons since modern records have been kept despite the alarmist claims of the global warming fanatics that we would certainly face more and bigger hurricanes.

Then there was the inconvenient truth that the so called scientists on the global warming side of the debate kept a careful silence while politicians and dissipated British princes made unbelievable claims about doom being around the corner if we didn't all go back to living like good peasants while they continued living like pashas.

Then there was the inconvenient truth that the so called scientists on the global warming side of the debate refused to release the basic data on which they based their climate models despite the fact that the data amounted to little more than temperature records kept by government paid for thermometers.

Finally, in the past couple of weeks we've learned the inconvenient truth that the so called scientists at East Anglia University and their worldwide associates who have been the primary providers of data and predictions behind all the hype about global warming have been running a Stalinist campaign to destroy their opponents by making them unpersons in the scientific community.

Isn't it about time to step back from all the hurry to hamper the world's economy and thus condemn hundreds of millions of people to lives of poverty and even actual starvation with hairbrained schemes like Cap and Trade until some of those inconvenient truths are examined carefully by real scientists with access to all the data?

Here's a report on the global warming "scientists" claiming their dog ate the primary data, so unfortunately no one can check and see how they twisted it to get the conclusions they wanted.

And here's a 30 minute video that tells about how the so called global warming scientists corrupted other data they came in contact with. In one case they sent out one of their toadies to do a shoddy half baked tree ring study despite the existence of a far more professional and extensive Finnish study. In another case they turned a set of Finnish lake sediment data upside down to achieve the hockey stick graph they wanted.

The Finns are proud and protective of their tree ring and lake sediment studies, so a nice sense of outrage comes through in the video, making it funny in parts. If only NOVA here in the U.S. were still doing science programs on PBS instead of propaganda programs

Monday, November 23, 2009

Perhaps the funniest skit Saturday Night Live has ever done

Saturday Night Live writers were obviously channelling what was really going through the mind of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao when he and President Obama did that joint press conference last week.

"While you are here, are you at least going to treat me to dinner and a movie? I think it is the polite thing to do before doing sex to me."

Herons, an eagle, ducks and a cat

It's November and the minds of great blue herons turn to thoughts of love, or maybe to thoughts of squabbling over territory. One of them has been persistently chasing another one, or else two of them are persistently chasing one another, back and forth across the property between here and the pond. Who but a heron can tell the difference between one and another? If this was a nature show on PBS or The Discovery Channel the scene would now shift to graphic heron porn; but this is an unscripted nature show so they'll probably retreat out of sight if they get down to making new herons.

But enough of the doings of herons. Last evening Linda and I went to Benny's 70th birthday party down in Kimberton. Benny put out quite a spread at the Kimberton Arts Center for about a hundred people. A bunch of folks from the Ballroom on High were there, along with Benny's family and others that he's met over the years. A real Italian event. Much of the dance music was from the Mob Hits CD, it seemed. Perhaps Benny grew up in South Philly. They have a nice dance floor at that place.

Afterwards we called Alex up in Boston and learned that Christina has had the flu for the past few days. One of her co-workers was diagnosed with Swine Flu, so that may have been the variant.

Now there's a golden eagle cruising around out there. Those herons had better not get too caught up in what they're doing. The ducks on the pond don't like that eagle circling, or maybe they've noticed the black cat stalking around. A lot of excitement over there but the ducks did not take flight the way they do when I walk over to the pond. Perhaps the eagle wants them to take off so he can get one on the wing?

Where was I? This has been quite a dancing weekend. Besides Benny's party we went to the ballroom on Saturday evening for another Samba class and then the dance party. There's clearly a trick to the Samba because older and fatter guys than me do it without getting exhausted. Heck, Vince does it and he's about a ninety years old; yet it wears me out. His secret seems to be that he just shuffles his feet a bit and lets the woman do all the fast moving; but that's hard to do.

A mob of crows just got cued to join in the nature show. About ten of them just chased the eagle away.

Linda and I took a walk around the new shopping center up on 29 the other day and found a store the size of an old time supermarket that sells nothing but cosmetics. It's a very strange movie we humans are acting in. Ten percent unemployment while a dozen stores over there are hiring staff at $8 an hour, and someone thinks there will be enough demand for cosmetics to paint and putty up a thousand Cleopatras for a barge trip down the Nile.

Before I forget, Sam and I talked with Al and Jas down in Florida on Saturday. The Villages is building over a hundred houses a month in new clusters that are stretching for more miles. Jas said his house will be equidistant between Spanish Springs and the new town center that they're planning. He met a couple of guys who drove about 45 minutes in their golf carts to get to the course he played with them. He and Kathy are flying up today (Monday) and they'll be staying until after Christmas.

Alex mentioned seeing the news that someone has hacked the computer system of one of the biggest science centers that has been promoting global warming "evidence." Quite a controversy building there if all those emails are real. According to the hacked and published emails those "scientists" have been tampering with the data for years in attempts to hide the lack of global warming for the past decade. That's the same group that has refused to release their raw data for analysis by others. And the same group that claimed to have "lost" or deleted data because they didn't have enough storage capacity on their computers when it appeared they would be forced to release the data because it was accumulated using government funding.

It appears some supposed scientists have been acting like predatory cats and eagles stalking around and hovering over ducks on a pond. We're the ducks.

Here are some samples from those emails:

Manipulation of evidence:

"I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline."

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

"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."

Suppression of evidence:

"Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment — minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise."

From National Review's blog Planet Gore -

The BBC has reported that the emails are real. And it offers the suggestion that the "scientists" at that lab improve their computer security so they can manipulate data in the future without fear that their shenanigans will be embarrassingly revealed.

"I trust that they will now be looking at the systems, and investigating how this happened and ensuring that something like this does not happen again."

Much better if the ducks never learn about the cat.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cracked Poetic History For Dog Lovers

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree
Where Ralph his bad Samoyed ran
O’er lawns laid out to impress the Han
And made quite free to pee.

So twice five kennel guards were bound
And whipped the circuit well and sound
Of yellow spots on lawn around
That set the Khan’s foul temper free.
Worse yet just then a Japanner laughed
And launched a great fleet that got foul gaffed
By a freak Tai Fun whirling timely round
Which only more Kublai’s wrath compounded
And set ancestral voices prophesying s’mores
Made round Mongol campfires through endless wars.

Merest luck for countries all around
That Ralphie just then playfully rounded
And soothed the Khan’s urge to re-pound
His grandpa Ghenghis’ stomping ground.
For Kublai Khan couldn’t stay annoy’ed
When romping with Ralph, his bad Samoyed.

So now you know why Italy, England and France
Never suffered the horse Mongol warlike dance
And also why the prophesied recipe for a s’more
Came west but slow, after many centuries more.
Both gratitude and blame go to a sassy Samoyed
Who Kublai Khan’s temper quite thoroughly destroy-ed.

I also posted this at Zombie Contentions -

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gardens, Bunny Huggers, Clouds of arrows to blot out the sun, Abandonment and Raw Sex

The other evening we had the last three pathetic figs in our salad, an anticlimactic cap to a very disappointing garden year. Then last evening on our walk Linda raised the question, "What ever happened to the White House garden?"

As it happens Michelle Obama's garden, which was quite famous in the spring for a time, hasn't been getting much national attention since then. But it turns out to have produced pretty well if the Huffington Post can be trusted:

Good for the First Lady! Her garden did a whole lot better than mine this summer even if she is, as I suspect, shading the cost figure just a bit. Huffington Post quotes her as saying the garden cost $180.

I'm figuring the real cost of the Ph.D. agronomist who must have tested the soil and planned the amendments was all by itself a whole lot more than $180. And that's leaving out the cost of the round the clock Secret Service guards who had to protect that patch from rabbits and other varmints in a manner calculated not to enrage the bunny and chipmunk huggers. There's simply no way they could have gotten away with fencing that White House garden on the cheap and ugly the way I fence my garden. And there's no way the Secret Service could just blow away any intrusive White House garden bunnies who yearned for a taste of the greenery.

Back here at home I had a visit from two local bunny huggers the other day. They stopped by with their medium sized kinky haired sort of black poodles to ask about the monster pickup truck that Chris the bowhunter parks on the circle near their homes while he's sitting in his tree stand slavering at the chance of putting broadheads into Bambi's mom and dad. I agreed to talk to Chris when I see him about parking his truck in our driveway.

They also expressed concern about the danger to their children of hunters filling the air with far flung arrows. I explained that Chris does not shoot in the manner of Persians raising clouds of arrows to block the sun shining on Spartans so they can fight in the shade. And I assured them that Chris is a very qualified and careful hunter who's unlikely in the extreme to shoot arrows at or anywhere near any children. I didn't feel it necessary to warn them not to dress their children in realistic deer suits complete with big racks of antlers.

On another front, Jas and Kathy left for The Villages on Sunday morning and probably arrived there on Monday night. We've heard no word from them as of yet; but that isn't terribly surprising. They put the Postal Service behind them last Thursday after 35 and 20 years respectively; and now they've put all of us who remain condemned to this chilly northern climate behind them as well.

Not that I'm complaining that Jas is down in Florida and has forgotten all about his older brothers and sister. It's a beautiful sunny day, and the ten point buck spent quite a bit of time earlier chasing does thither and yon about the lawn, over the creek and around the pond. I hope he doesn't wander over toward Chris's tree stand for at least a couple more days. He's pretty magnificent on the hoof.

Gather ye does, buck, while ye may; for at any hour thy time may come.

I will certainly call Al R tomorrow morning at about 10:30 to see if Jas has stopped over there for coffee. Can't count on him to remember to call me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Warren Buffett made a big bet on coal

Roger Pielke noticed Warren Buffett’s big bet on coal the other day and wondered what the Sage of Omaha knows.

As it happens Alex sent me a long DOE report the other day that made me think things aren’t as bad as I had thought even if global warming fears are wholly reasonable. Or perhaps I’m just in an optimistic frame of mind.

If the assumptions of the study and the analysis leading to the executive summary aren’t too far wrong electricity from coal will cost about 50% more with very high CO2 capture and storage. That means fossil fuels alone can support recently normal rates of economic growth for a hundred years or more. If the transition can take place over twenty years it’s not an insurmountable economic problem, if only because many existing uses of electricity are pretty inefficient and the economy will enforce a lot of energy conservation as electicity costs rise. So the actual economic effect of the energy cost change in terms of living standards will be less than a 50% rise.

And that leaves out the possibility that the public will eventually get comfortable with nuclear fission, which is operating now at cost levels that must be at least comparable to coal plants without carbon capture (or else it wouldn’t be operating). It also leaves out the possibility that fusion will eventually become possible at some cost that’s reasonable in the context of rising fossil energy costs due to carbon capture and depletion. Plus, it leaves out wind and solar and biomass and such; but they strike me as nearly trivial in the 20 year term next to the bigger sources of energy despite all of the hype.

The economy commonly reacts to such cost changes, and even worse cost changes, over time without too much disruption if the politicians don’t meddle too much, as they did in the 1970’s for a time. For instance oil and thus gasoline prices can rise and have risen in the past by more than 50% in a year or two without causing more than moderate pain, at least to anyone who has access to the technology to read this, despite all of the whining that always attends such price changes.

Perhaps that’s why Warren Buffet made his big bet on coal.

I also posted this on Zombie Contentions at

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I met a traveler, late of Norwayland,
A meme park, cloying as Candyland,
Who said, “A vast, nay global, king is crowned,
Hawaii spawned, of earth split diverse strand,
Pre timely marriage, by two not long for him around.
Oft’ stoned, he education gained, and phlegm,
Plus caustic wife, and rep for writing great renowned.
From him pure peace will sure from passion stem,
To one and all astound, stamped on world around.

On Nobel plinth we erect his image,
Sing fulsome praise unto his visage.
“Here’s to you Obama, this prize of prizes,
We predict, imagine, the deed that to it rises.
To you great king, serene Obama,
Fond hope of hordes of baser mopes,
We grant, we sing, this hail, hosanna,
Based whole on horde of our fond hopes.”

To you who question, we render this,
“Look on his glory, ye deniers, and despair,
For from your every taunt re things amiss,
There’s nary doubt the writers most folks read,
Who grant no wrinkle, on those who leftward lead,
Will with airy twinkle, his flawless rep repair.”

With apologies Percy Bysshe. I also posted this at Zombie Contentions